Local News

countryside police

Countryside police seek grants for tasers and solar-powered cameras

By Steve Metsch / July 8, 2024 /

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…

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Jack in the Box to replace Arby’s in Countryside

By Steve Metsch / July 7, 2024 /

By Steve Metsch Fans of Arby’s in Countryside will have to travel to Downers Grove, Elmhurst and points beyond to get their fix of curly fries and beef sandwiches. The final day for Arby’s in Countryside is July 7, a manager said Saturday night. Arby’s will be replaced by Jack in the Box, Mayor Sean…

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Countryside zoning commissioner honored for 20 years on board

By Steve Metsch / June 30, 2024 /

By Steve Metsch For the past 20 years, Tina Grotzke has had a say-so in every development that’s come to Countryside. Grotzke was appointed to another term on the city’s the plan commission zoning board of appeals during the city council’s meeting on June 12. Mayor Sean McDermott noted Grotzke’s two decades of service before…

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Proud mayor grandpa hands out candy bars at meeting

By Steve Metsch / June 19, 2024 / Comments Off on Proud mayor grandpa hands out candy bars at meeting

By Steve Metsch It’s a tradition for new fathers to hand out cigars after the birth of a child. The cigar’s wrappers are blue for a boy and pink for a girl. If they’re non-smokers, new dads have been known to hand out bubblegum shaped like cigars. Sometimes, proud grandfathers get into the act. Especially…

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Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

By Steve Metsch / June 13, 2024 / Comments Off on Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

By Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing success, Township…

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Flagg Creek golfers will pay more for greens fees

By Steve Metsch / May 31, 2024 / Comments Off on Flagg Creek golfers will pay more for greens fees

By Steve Metsch It will cost more to play at Flagg Creek Golf Course in Countryside this summer. The Pleasant Dale Park District, by a 4-1 vote, recently approved a rate increase that had been unanimously approved by the Countryside City Council in April. The park district and city are co-owners of Flagg Creek. The…

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Countryside puts dog park on hold, will require leashes in two parks

By Steve Metsch / April 25, 2024 / Comments Off on Countryside puts dog park on hold, will require leashes in two parks

By Steve Metsch The city of Countryside has put on hold building a dog park, but canines and their owners are still in store for a treat. The city council has unanimously approved a plan to permit dogs in City Park and Countryside Park this year. Previously, they were not allowed in the parks. While…

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Countryside’s McDermott channels his inner Eagles

By Steve Metsch / March 29, 2024 / Comments Off on Countryside’s McDermott channels his inner Eagles

By Steve Metsch Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott thanked those who participated and attended the city’s eighth annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade that was held March 2, and had a nod to a classic rock band, too. “We had a great turnout, a beautiful day,” McDermott said at the March 13 city council meeting. The parade…

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Countryside City Council tackles long list of items

By Steve Metsch / March 28, 2024 / Comments Off on Countryside City Council tackles long list of items

By Steve Metsch Water leaks, a new truck and abandoned vehicles were among a laundry list of items tackled by the Countryside City Council at its latest meeting. They were all from the infrastructure committee chaired by Ald. Mark Benson (3rd). All of the following were approved by a unanimous 6-0 vote on March 13.…

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‘So cool’ says newly crowned queen of Countryside’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

By Steve Metsch / February 29, 2024 / Comments Off on ‘So cool’ says newly crowned queen of Countryside’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

By Steve Metsch Bea Keenan said it’s “so cool, such an honor” having been selected queen of Countryside’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade at the Countryside City Council meeting Wednesday night. The parade, with a record 68 entries, steps off at 1 p.m. Saturday. Bea will ride on a float with her royal court of Dylan…

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the leadershop logo

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

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Abortion remains legal as an emergency medical procedure in Idaho, for now, after a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court ruling, while a bill that would cement those protections in Illinois law awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.  The 6-3 decision saw the three liberal justices concur with the order. Three…

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Changes to primary election fundraising, the electoral college and the state’s voter registration database are now law after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a wide-ranging bill on Monday. The legislation, containing several unrelated election measures, passed near the end of the legislature’s spring session on a vote of 68-38 in…

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…