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Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

By Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the company of…

Michael Benjamin has a laugh after being named Orland Park’s Officer of the Year during a ceremony on Jan. 16. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park cops honored and defended

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park hosted its police awards ceremony last week and, as usual, Mayor Keith Pekau expressed his gratitude for the job the police force does. He also was irked by some comments he has seen online with negative comments on a post. On Jan. 7, Orland police responded to…

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Casten scolds sheriff on new gun control law

Says he can’t pick which laws to enforce By Tim Hadac U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th) and several other Democratic members of the state’s Congressional delegation recently sent a letter to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, expressing concern over his Jan. 13 statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act (H.B. 5471).…

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2023 Illinois tax filing season now open

From staff reports The Illinois Department of Revenue began accepting 2022 state individual income tax returns on Monday, the same date that the Internal Revenue Service began accepting federal individual income tax returns. “Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible in the tax season and choose direct deposit in order to ensure…

Palos Park Police Officer Ross Chibe, shown at a village council meeting in 2021, and the Palos Park force are staying on top of a sextortion scam that has become prevalent. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park tries to stay ahead of the curve on sextortion scams

By Jeff Vorva The Palos Park Police Department is trying to stay ahead of a disturbing trend that has not been talked about publicly very much. When it comes to the topic of sextortion scams, the Palos Park police are monitoring things very closely and Detective Ross Chibe was called on to provide some wisdom…

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Former hospital employee charged in Palos Heights identity theft

From staff reports A Hazel Crest man was charged last week with aggravated identity theft stemming from an incident that happened on December 27. Palos Heights police took a report on December 27 from a patient at Northwestern Palos Hospital who reported their wallet was missing and then observed two unauthorized charges on her debit…

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Boys Bowling | Stagg charges to first state finals appearance

By Randy Whalen Correspondent For Stagg, it’s a first. For Sandburg, it’s a return trip. Both teams survived the Plainfield North Sectional at Town & Country Lanes in Joliet to advance to the state tournament. The finals will be Friday, Jan. 27, and Saturday, Jan. 28, at St. Claire Bowl in Fairview Heights. The Chargers,…

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Boys Bowling | Reavis rolls to sectional title, sixth straight trip to state

By Jason Maholy Sports Editor A strong all-around team effort and a runner-up performance by Ethan Deluna powered Reavis to the championship of the IC Catholic Sectional and a trip to the state tournament. The Rams totaled 6338 to top second-place Glenbrook North by 100 pins on Jan. 21 at Bowlero in Glendale Heights. Lyons…

McKendree sophomore tight end Jordan Sprycha, and Oak Lawn alum, finished third on the Bearcats in receiving touchdowns with five, and tied for sixth in both receptions (22) and receiving yards (193) for the 2022 season. Photo courtesy of McKendree Athletics

College Notebook: Ex-Spartan Sprycha balling with Bearcats

By Mike Walsh Correspondent The fall of 2022 was successful both in the classroom and on the football field for Jordan Sprycha. In the classroom, the Oak Lawn graduate was one of eight McKendree University chosen to the 2022 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team. CSC Academic All-District Award nominees must be a starter or…

Brother Rice’s Ahmad Henderson shoots a game-winning 3-pointer against Fenwick his sophomore season. He has also had last-second game winners in his junior and senior seasons. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Hoops Wrap: Ahmad Henderson’s late-game heroics lift Rice over Marist

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There is no rule that says Ahmad Henderson needs to sink a game-winning basket at least once a season. If there was such a rule, the Brother Rice senior would follow it to perfection. Henderson worked his closing-seconds magic in one of the area’s hottest rivalries in a 49-48 victory…

Evergreen Park's competitive dance team is heading back to the state meet after winning its first sectional. Evergreen Park High School photo

Area Sports Roundup: Evergreen Park dancers make history with first sectional crown

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Evergreen Park was the only team from the area to place in the state’s top 12 in competitive dancing last season. The Mustangs, who finished a program-best sixth in the state in Class 1A in 2021, are seeking an even better showing this year. Evergreen Park made history by winning…

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Boys Basketball: Improving Sandburg still seeking first conference win

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Sandburg coach John Daniels doesn’t have to give to his team what he refers to as the “let’s play hard” speech. The Eagles play hard. But as Daniels acknowledged after a 53-43 loss at Lockport on Jan. 17, they “have to play better.” David Vargas led Sandburg (9-14, 0-3 entering this…

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed is running for the council again despite health issues. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Despite serious health woes, Reed ready to keep serving for Palos Park

By Jeff Vorva G. Darryl Reed knows his time on Earth could be short. He gets it. He doesn’t like it. But he gets it. The Palos Park commissioner has been dealing with intestinal failure for the past two years and his doctors have not been sugarcoating it. Reed, a former Marine and lawyer, is…

Chicago Hounds CEO James English (left) and head coach Sam Harris. (Supplied photo)

Major League Rugby coming to SeatGeek Stadium

Chicago Hounds expansion team to play games at Bridgeview facility By Bob Bong A new professional sports team will be playing its matches at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview next month. The Chicago Hounds, an expansion team for Major League Rugby, will be calling Bridgeview home when they begin their inaugural season in February. “We’re honored…

Kennedy Shelby (front row, from left), Karalyn Burke, Jamia Head, Kaitlyn Higgins, Katharine Downey-McGurk, Julianna Black, Helen Joyce. Back row, from left, Tom O'Malley, David Ortiz, Olivia Doran, Katherine Beyer, Paul Lieske, Leo Cassidy, Noah Flores, Noah Valdez, Nicole Reynolds, Bill Sanderson. Not pictured: Kailen Curran and Leo Lesauskis. (Supplied photo)

17 EPCHS students named Illinois State Scholars

Evergreen Park Community High School Principal Bill Sanderson announced that 17 students from the EPCHS graduating class of 2023 have been designated as Illinois State Scholars. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state’s college access and financial aid agency, presents this prestigious recognition of academic achievement to exceptional Illinois high school students annually. This year,…

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UPDATED: Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

UPDATED: Pritzker signs assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker gave final approval Tuesday to a bill banning the purchase, sale and manufacture of semi-automatic assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and large-capacity magazines in the state while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep them. The House had…

Legal protections for abortion providers, seekers poised for Pritzker’s signature

Legal protections for abortion providers, seekers poised for Pritzker’s signature

By HANNAH MEISEL For Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the General Assembly on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging measure aimed at shoring up Illinois’ position as a “haven” for abortion access in the Midwest, including legal protections for health care professionals and patients traveling from states where abortion access is illegal or restricted.…

After stepping down as minority leader, Durkin to exit Illinois House

After stepping down as minority leader, Durkin to exit Illinois House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin will leave the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday for the last time as a state legislator. After a bruising 2022 election cycle in which House Republicans lost five seats, Durkin did not seek another term as leader of the caucus. But on…

UPDATED: Lawmakers pass assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

UPDATED: Lawmakers pass assault weapon sales, manufacturing ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House gave final passage Tuesday to a bill banning the purchase, sale and manufacture of semi-automatic assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and ammunition, and large-capacity magazines in the state while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep them. The House had…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker sworn in as major proposals advance in lame duck session

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker sworn in as major proposals advance in lame duck session

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker was sworn in to his second term Monday with the state’s other constitutional officers, promising a bold and ambitious agenda for the next four years. The ceremony was held at the Bank of Springfield Center, the same venue that for several months served as a makeshift…

UPDATED: Pritzker signs bill giving state government pay raises, advancing ‘closing fund’

UPDATED: Pritzker signs bill giving state government pay raises, advancing ‘closing fund’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Officials at the highest levels of state government will receive substantial pay raises this month after the House and Senate passed a budget bill that also advances a $400 million business incentive fund proposal pushed by Gov. JB Pritzker. Under the bill, lawmaker salaries will increase…

House, Senate announce agreement on assault weapon sales ban

House, Senate announce agreement on assault weapon sales ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Negotiators in the Illinois House and Senate have reached agreement on a bill to ban the purchase, sale and manufacture of semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines while still allowing people who already own such weapons to keep them. The deal came together Monday as Gov.…

Pritzker strikes optimistic tone, lays out second-term priorities in inaugural address

Pritzker strikes optimistic tone, lays out second-term priorities in inaugural address

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker was sworn in to his second term Monday with the state’s other constitutional officers, promising a bold and ambitious agenda for the next four years. The ceremony was held at the Bank of Springfield Center, the same venue that for several months served…

Lawmakers to consider state government pay raises, Pritzker’s ‘closing fund’

Lawmakers to consider state government pay raises, Pritzker’s ‘closing fund’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Officials at the highest levels of state government appear set to receive substantial pay raises this month after the House and Senate passed a budget bill that would also advance a $400 million business incentive fund proposal pushed by Gov. JB Pritzker. Under the bill, lawmaker…

Illinois Democrats push to further expand abortion, gender care access

Illinois Democrats push to further expand abortion, gender care access

By HANNAH MEISEL For Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Six months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent providing for legal abortion, Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly have their eye on once again expanding access to reproductive health care as the state solidifies its position as a “haven” for…

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