Local News

biz 3 17 24 brookfield zoo ferris wheel

Brookfield Zoo Anniversary Ferris Wheel now open

By Bob Bong / March 21, 2024 / Comments Off on Brookfield Zoo Anniversary Ferris Wheel now open

By Bob Bong Brookfield Zoo has been attracting visitors for 90 years. To celebrate the anniversary, the zoo has opened a new attraction that has nothing to do with animals. Last Friday, the zoo opened its Anniversary Ferris Wheel. The towering 110-foot Ferris wheel offers guests unique bird’s-eye views of the park’s gardens, animal habitats, and…

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Campaign 2024: Rashid to seek re-election in 21st District 

By Bob Bong / December 15, 2023 / Comments Off on Campaign 2024: Rashid to seek re-election in 21st District 

By Bob Bong  The holiday season also marks the beginning of the 2024 election cycle in Illinois as candidates in the March 19 primary have already filed their petitions to run. The 2022 primary was moved to June, but next year’s primary is moving back to its traditional third Tuesday in March date. The biggest…

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Beds Plus to hold ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ pop-up bar in Brookfield 

By Bob Bong / December 8, 2023 / Comments Off on Beds Plus to hold ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ pop-up bar in Brookfield 

George Bailey is coming to Brookfield for the Beds Plus third annual “It’s a Wonderful Life” pop-up bar. Come and get your wings from Nick to help those in need of “a couple of decent rooms and a bath.” Beds Plus works to reduce and end homelessness in your community. The pop-up event is set…

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Brookfield VFW helps Navy recruits enjoy Thanksgiving

By Bob Bong / November 30, 2023 / Comments Off on Brookfield VFW helps Navy recruits enjoy Thanksgiving

By Nuha Abdessalam About 50 recruits undergoing Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Naval Base in North Chicago had plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. “This has been so challenging,” said Seaman recruit Cazja Andrades. “These nine weeks have been so hard but such a gift.” “Everyone here has been such a godsend,” said…

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mike porfirio headshot Copy

News from Springfield: 12 school districts to receive an additional $6.2 million 

By Bob Bong / September 2, 2023 /

State Senator Mike Porfirio (D-11th) announced that 12 school districts across the area will receive over $6.2 million in additional funding to help address the financial challenges of recent years.  “Evidence-based funding supports educational opportunities that contribute to the long-term success of our students,” said Porfirio. “Through this funding formula, we can ensure that a…

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dvn mugshot Miguel Montesinos

Brookfield man charged with child pornography, abuse of a minor 

By Bob Bong / August 13, 2023 /

From staff reports  A 29-year-old Brookfield man is facing child pornography felonies and an aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor charge following an investigation by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced last week. Sheriff’s police arrested Miguel Montesinos Jr., of the 3400 block of Vernon…

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NNO 2023 40th anniversary

Local National Night Out events to celebrate first responders, promote community

By Bob Bong / July 28, 2023 / Comments Off on Local National Night Out events to celebrate first responders, promote community

By Isabella Schreck Many residents will be able to meet their local police officers and police canines, while enjoying food and fun activities at local National Night Out Against Crime events coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The national event, which has occurred every year on the first Tuesday of August for the past four…

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Local Fourth of July celebrations say ‘Happy Birthday’ to America

By Bob Bong / June 30, 2023 /

By Isabella Schreck The southwest suburbs are bringing the red, white and blue spirit to the area with festivals, fireworks and fun this Fourth of July. Evergreen Park and Lyons host the earliest Independence Day events. This year’s five-day Lyons Fest begins Friday, June 30, and Evergreen Park’s parade marches the same day. Here’s a…

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Police to hit the roof at Dunkin’ Donuts for Special Olympics 

By Bob Bong / May 18, 2023 / Comments Off on Police to hit the roof at Dunkin’ Donuts for Special Olympics 

By Bob Bong  Police departments across the south suburbs are gearing up for another high-flying fundraiser for Special Olympics Illinois. Police will be hanging out at more than 325 Dunkin’ Donut coffee shops across Illinois starting at 5 a.m. Friday, May 19, for another edition of Cop on a Rooftop. They will be collecting donations…

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Brookfield man charged in fight at LTHS north campus

By Bob Bong / May 6, 2023 / Comments Off on Brookfield man charged in fight at LTHS north campus

By Steve Metsch A Brookfield man has been charged with battery in what La Grange officials are calling “an altercation” at Lyons Township High School that left one youth with “severe injuries.” La Grange Police on Friday arrested James Hernandez Jr., and charged him with battery in relation to a May 1 fight at the high…

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LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

The LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The LeaderShop Board…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

By Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and Frankfort. The…

Alan Morales

LeaderShop director faces more charges from former staffers

From staff reports The LaGrange-based LeaderShop, a social service agency that recently lost $300,000 in funding, is facing new charges of a toxic work environment, bullying, and inappropriate behavior by Executive Director Alan Morales. Since the story was first published in the Desplaines Valley News on June 24, at least six women have documented their…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents a copy of the proclamation honoring the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club for 100 years to President Gary Benedik. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Mustangs honored for 100 years of service

By Steve Metsch It’s not often a service organization hits 100 years. But there are not many service organizations like the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club. “We don’t know of any other organization anywhere around here, maybe in the city of Chicago, but maybe around here that has made it 100 years. It’s quite a feat.…

Eddie Korosa will perform again at this year's Music in the Park series of concerts in Lyons. (file photo)

Lyons’ Music in the Park series starts July 10

By Steve Metsch The popular Music in the Park series will begin a six-week run on July 10 at Veterans Park in Lyons. Bands will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 14, said Ted Tale, director of parks and recreation for the village. Each night will “feature a vendor with food…

mccook police star

McCook settles with former police officer

By Steve Metsch More than eight months after the process began, the village of McCook has reached a settlement with former police officer John Kosmowski Jr. “This will end this case for once and for all. Gets it out of our hair even though I don’t have hair,” Mayor Terrance Carr quipped during the McCook…

countryside police

Countryside police seek grants for tasers and solar-powered cameras

By Steve Metsch The Countryside Police Department is applying for two grants that are intended to help improve safety. Police Chief Paul Klimek told the city council at its June 12 meeting that he is seeking a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority for tasers. “The state is going to award tasers to…

Illinois News

National Committeeman Richard Porter looks ahead to GOP convention as party names new state chair

National Committeeman Richard Porter looks ahead to GOP convention as party names new state chair

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Republicans will gather in Milwaukee next week for what promises to be a historic national convention. Former President Donald Trump will be nominated for the third consecutive time as the party’s presidential nominee, the first major party candidate to win nomination that many times since Franklin…

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is urging a Cook County judge to dismiss a lawsuit members of his staff filed against him last month seeking to force recognition of their union. In a new filing Monday, attorneys for Welch argued the Illinois Legislative Staff Association has no…

The U.N. calls restraint chairs torture. Illinois jails use them every day.

The U.N. calls restraint chairs torture. Illinois jails use them every day.

by GRACE HAUCK ILLINOIS ANSWERS PROJECT Warning: The following article includes mentions of self-harm and profanity. This is the first in a series of stories. McHENRY, Ill. – Vernon L. Brooks Jr. was distraught. Forced into a chair in a jail cell with a black mesh hood over his head, he panicked as he felt…

Pritzker signs health insurance reform measures

Pritzker signs health insurance reform measures

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday that puts new controls on the state’s health insurance industry, including bans on certain practices companies have used to reduce costs by controlling the amount of health care services a patient receives. The Health Care Protection Act, House Bill 5395,…

Transit heads again ask state for funding help, reject proposals for oversight reform

Transit heads again ask state for funding help, reject proposals for oversight reform

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – It was standing room only in a downtown Chicago committee hearing Tuesday as activists, transit experts and lobbyists hung on the words of the region’s transit agency chiefs.  Public transit has become an increasingly contentious issue in Chicagoland as the Regional Transportation Authority – the funding…

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday narrowed the scope of a federal bribery law prosecutors have relied on in their cases against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and several of his allies convicted of bribing him. A jury last spring found those allies – former lobbyists and…

Former GOP state lawmaker, candidate for governor sentenced to 42 months in prison

Former GOP state lawmaker, candidate for governor sentenced to 42 months in prison

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann on Tuesday was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $700,000 in campaign funds and attempting to conceal his theft with false reports to state election authorities. In February, McCann pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire…

Menard prison staff picket, citing unsafe working conditions

Menard prison staff picket, citing unsafe working conditions

By MOLLY PARKER Capitol News Illinois   mparker@capitolnewsillinois.com Hundreds of Menard Correctional Center employees and their supporters staged a rally alongside a busy street in Chester on Monday, highlighting what they described as perilous working conditions at the state’s largest maximum-security prison.   The problems at the southern Illinois facility stem from low staffing levels, said…

Pritzker ‘all in’ for Biden following visit to White House last week

Pritzker ‘all in’ for Biden following visit to White House last week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday he is “all in” for President Joe Biden after visiting the White House last week with other Democratic governors.  He headed to Washington, D.C., to meet with the president and members of the Democratic Governors Association last Wednesday on the heels of Biden’s…

Illinois switching to ACT exams for state assessments

Illinois switching to ACT exams for state assessments

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – When Illinois high school students sit down to take their annual state assessments next year, they will take a different exam than in recent years. The Illinois State Board of Education recently announced that starting next spring, it will use the ACT exam rather than the…