Hickory Hills Police Chief Charles Hobart pumps gas for a senior citizen. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Hickory Hills Police Chief Charles Hobart pumps gas for a senior citizen. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

400 motorists get free gas at Hickory Hill station as police chief pitches in

Spread the love

By Steve Metsch

Shirley Jenkins wasn’t about to miss her chance to get $50 worth of gasoline for free, even it meant getting in line around 6 a.m.

The Justice woman, 63, waited three hours to pump free gas into her SUV Thursday morning at Falcon Fuel in Hickory Hills.

“I need the gas,” Jenkins said. “Three hours. I was all the way around there on 91st Street.”

Asked if the wait was worth it, Jenkins said, “Well, I’m getting the gas.”

She wasn’t alone.

reporter HH gas giveaway2 shirley

Shirley Jenkins of Justice was all smiles despite waiting three hours for $50 worth of free gas.

Four hundred motorists each got $50 of free gas in a giveaway sponsored by businessman Willie Wilson, who paid for $1 million worth of gasoline at 50 stations in Chicago and the suburbs on Thursday.

Hickory Hills police said cars began lining up around 4:45 a.m. for the giveaway that started at 7 a.m.

Demand was so high at Falcon Fuel, 87th Street and Roberts Road, the line stretched 1.5 miles at 6:15 a.m., Police Chief Charles Hobart said.

Vehicles were on 87th Street west one mile to 88th Avenue and then another half-mile south to 91st Street.

“We like to help people,” cashier Peter Lobo said. “All the pumps are pre-paid. They don’t have to come in.”

Station owner Bill Stefan thought Wilson had a great idea.

“There are no strings attached,” Stefan said. “It’s a good deal for everybody.”

Stefan did not see many people coming inside for other purchases like lottery tickets, snacks or coffee.

reporter HH gas giveaway4 deputy chief

Hickory Hills Deputy Police Chief Mark Benaitis was busy directing traffic.

“It’s mostly gas,” Stefan said. “We want to keep people moving through.”

Hickory Hills Deputy Police Chief Mark Benaitis was in charge of that.

Benaitis waved vehicles to pumps when they became available.

“We had some line jumpers, but our auxiliary officers and our officers handled them great,” Benaitis said. “There haven’t been any major problems.”

He thanked the public works department that was out early strategically placing barricades and cones to ensure the line stayed on 87th Street.

“The chief did a great job with planning,” Benaitis said.

reporter HH gas giveaway5 cars in line

The line of vehicles stretched far down 87th Street. (Supplied photo)

Hobart – who pumped gas for some senior citizens – said the giveaway was “going wonderfully.”

“We are prepared. The gas station has been cooperative. And the people have been smiling all morning getting the free gas. It’s a wonderful event so far,” Hobart said around 9 a.m.

“As soon as we heard about the event last weekend, we sat down and started working on a game plan,” Hobart said.

Line jumpers “kindly left the line when asked to,” Hobart said, adding he did not fill his own tank. “That would be inappropriate.”

But Hobart was happy for those who did.

“I have no idea what Dr. Wilson’s intentions are,” Hobart said. “I think it’s wonderful for anybody to give $1 million of their own money to help people. Absolutely.”

Benny Arce, 42, of Oak Lawn, and Carrie Thompson, 48, of Palos Hills, did not mind their wait of two hours and 20 minutes.

“Gas prices are expensive and I don’t live far away” Arce said.

Thompson agreed: “Times are hard. We’re really appreciative to Willie for doing this.”

One young woman said “no” when asked if her two-hour wait was worth it. But she was the exception. There were many happy motorists like Jenkins.

After Jenkins got her free gas, she was asked the big question after her three-hour wait: “How’s your bladder?”

“I’ve gotta go,” Jenkins said with a laugh as she drove away.

reporter HH gas giveaway3 carrie

Carrie Thompson, of Palos Hills, arrived at 6:40 a.m. and waited two hours and 20 minutes.

Local News

St. Patrick's Day Parade queen Bea Keenan is crowned by deputy city clerk Liz Cordova Wednesday night. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

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

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy 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…

Steve Palmer, chairman of the Brew Moon Festival; Susanna Decker of Community Support Services; and McCook Mayor Terrance Carr pose with the oversized check donated from the festival. (Photos by Steve Metsch) 

Brew Moon raises $33,000 for two charitable organizations

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Two local charitable organizations will benefit from the 12th annual Brew Moon Beer & Band Festival held in October at the MAX in McCook. The Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Memorial Foundation, based in Indian Head Park, and Community Support Services, based in Brookfield, each received $16,500. Checks were presented to representatives…

Mario DePasquale

Ex-McCook police chief sentenced to 27 months in extortion plot

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Mario DePasquale, the former police chief of McCook, was sentenced last week to more than two years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to conspiring with the village’s former mayor to extort two businessmen out of tens of thousands of dollars. DePasquale, 50, was sentenced February 21 to…

stealing Mail

Palos Heights police bust mail theft ring

Spread the love

Spread the love3 arrested for allegedly stealing mail in Palos Heights, Palos Park By Jeff Vorva The good news is that lost mail involving residents of Palos Park and Palos Heights has been found. The bad news is that it may be a while before they get that mail back. Three people were arrested for…

Shepard High School junior, Anastasia Kladis, has raised nearly $2,000 for Special Olympics Illinois and hopes to keep the amount growing before she takes the plunge at Shepard High School on March 7. (Supplied photos)

Shepard student to take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White One Shepard High School student has been excelling in raising funds for this year’s Polar Plunge. Anastasia Kladis, a junior from Palos Heights, has raised nearly $2,000 for Special Olympics Illinois and hopes to keep the amount growing before she takes the plunge at school on March 7. “I have…

Evergreen Park senior Nolan Sexton drives past a Thornton defender during the Wildcats' 77-47 win over the Mustangs in the Class 3A Thornton Sectional on Feb. 27. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball Class 3A Sectionals | Evergreen Park’s historic ends with loss to Thornton

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The 2023-2024 Evergreen Park boys basketball team had one of the greatest seasons in program history. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, that season has come to an end with a 77-47 loss to Thornton in the semifinals of the Class 3A Thornton Sectional on Feb. 27. Evergreen Park was coming…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound February 28, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Mary Stanek

Looks like March may go out like a lion

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796. . March comes in like a lamb – it goes out like a lion! A sneak peek at the weather forecast for the next 10 days does show some mild days. So, we welcome…

Kathy Headley

Weather cooperated for Marine’s return

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . After the surprising snow coming down like a blizzard for a while last Friday night, I was especially glad to see the sun Saturday morning, for Patrick Downs (St. Rita High School class of…

Peggy Zabicki

Slam the brakes on reckless drivers

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . The most popular topic of conversation in our neighborhood lately is the problem of speeding drivers. There are car accidents every single day due to drivers who break the law. I hope the city will add even more…

Neighbors

St. Patrick's Day Parade queen Bea Keenan is crowned by deputy city clerk Liz Cordova Wednesday night. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

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

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy 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…

Steve Palmer, chairman of the Brew Moon Festival; Susanna Decker of Community Support Services; and McCook Mayor Terrance Carr pose with the oversized check donated from the festival. (Photos by Steve Metsch) 

Brew Moon raises $33,000 for two charitable organizations

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Two local charitable organizations will benefit from the 12th annual Brew Moon Beer & Band Festival held in October at the MAX in McCook. The Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Memorial Foundation, based in Indian Head Park, and Community Support Services, based in Brookfield, each received $16,500. Checks were presented to representatives…

Mario DePasquale

Ex-McCook police chief sentenced to 27 months in extortion plot

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Mario DePasquale, the former police chief of McCook, was sentenced last week to more than two years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to conspiring with the village’s former mayor to extort two businessmen out of tens of thousands of dollars. DePasquale, 50, was sentenced February 21 to…

stealing Mail

Palos Heights police bust mail theft ring

Spread the love

Spread the love3 arrested for allegedly stealing mail in Palos Heights, Palos Park By Jeff Vorva The good news is that lost mail involving residents of Palos Park and Palos Heights has been found. The bad news is that it may be a while before they get that mail back. Three people were arrested for…

Shepard High School junior, Anastasia Kladis, has raised nearly $2,000 for Special Olympics Illinois and hopes to keep the amount growing before she takes the plunge at Shepard High School on March 7. (Supplied photos)

Shepard student to take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White One Shepard High School student has been excelling in raising funds for this year’s Polar Plunge. Anastasia Kladis, a junior from Palos Heights, has raised nearly $2,000 for Special Olympics Illinois and hopes to keep the amount growing before she takes the plunge at school on March 7. “I have…

Evergreen Park senior Nolan Sexton drives past a Thornton defender during the Wildcats' 77-47 win over the Mustangs in the Class 3A Thornton Sectional on Feb. 27. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball Class 3A Sectionals | Evergreen Park’s historic ends with loss to Thornton

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The 2023-2024 Evergreen Park boys basketball team had one of the greatest seasons in program history. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, that season has come to an end with a 77-47 loss to Thornton in the semifinals of the Class 3A Thornton Sectional on Feb. 27. Evergreen Park was coming…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound February 28, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Mary Stanek

Looks like March may go out like a lion

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796. . March comes in like a lamb – it goes out like a lion! A sneak peek at the weather forecast for the next 10 days does show some mild days. So, we welcome…

Kathy Headley

Weather cooperated for Marine’s return

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . After the surprising snow coming down like a blizzard for a while last Friday night, I was especially glad to see the sun Saturday morning, for Patrick Downs (St. Rita High School class of…

Peggy Zabicki

Slam the brakes on reckless drivers

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . The most popular topic of conversation in our neighborhood lately is the problem of speeding drivers. There are car accidents every single day due to drivers who break the law. I hope the city will add even more…