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

Engineer Carl Germann (left) and executive producer Ron Jankowski helped Channel 4 in Palos Heights to a successful 2021. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Broadcast news — Palos Heights’ Channel 4 has big 2021

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The first Palos Heights city council meeting of 2022 featured a few minutes of bragging about Channel 4’s success in 2021. The local cable channel had a record-breaking year and Alderman Jerry McGovern was more than happy to run down the happy totals at Tuesday’s board meeting at City Hall.…

The Rios family plans to make The Great American Bagel shop at 12774 S. Harlem Ave. a go-to breakfast and lunch choice in Palos Heights and beyond. Pictured (from left) are Manny Jr. Manny Sr., daughter Silvia, Mia and mother Silvia Rios. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Experienced bakers buy The Great American Bagel in Palos Heights

Spread the love

Spread the loveNew owners nearly double the menu for breakfast, lunch   By Cosmo Hadac When The Great American Bagel’s shop in Palos Heights changed hands late last year, the new owners who walked in the door weren’t exactly new. Manny Rios Sr. and his wife, Silvia, have nearly 50 years of combined experience in…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

New owner will keep Palmer Place name and burgers Copy

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy  Steve Metsch Palmer Place Restaurant and Biergarten, a mainstay in downtown La Grange for nearly 40 years, will soon have new owners. But not much else will change. The name on 56 S. La Grange Road will still read Palmer Place. The employees now there will still have their jobs. And the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound PDF January 19, 2022

Spread the love

Spread the love

Palos Park Mayor John Mahoney and the village council could make a decision on Monday regarding video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park could be making its decision on gaming on Monday

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Will Palos Park make its decision on bringing in gaming machines to the village on Monday? The world will have to wait until Monday to find out. The village council will meet for the first time in 2022 on Monday after its Jan. 10 meeting was cancelled because of a…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said that mandates from Cook County are unlawful. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau takes Rubin and Foxx to task over mandate punishments

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Orland Park has Cook’s County’s attention. The village’s decision to vote against enforcing Cook County COVID-19 mandates at a special meeting Dec. 28 has been a hot topic. The village’s position is that businesses need not require proof of vaccination for patrons to enter. Some businesses are taking the board…

CRRNH_FrontPageStory_011922

‘These bruises won’t heal’

Spread the love

Spread the loveCPS kids back in school, but bitterness remains By Tim Hadac Teachers who walked off the job in the new year returned last week after the Chicago Teachers Union rank and file voted to accept Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s offer of increased safety measures at schools. But it was a divided vote, with just…

CRRNH_JohnShakerAnd Burt_011922

Smooch from a pooch

Spread the love

Spread the loveMutts of the Midway volunteer John Shaker smiles as he gets a smooch from Burt, a 5-year-old American Pit Bull/Boston Terrier mix. Shaker works as a transporter, driving dogs to and from veterinarian appointments. The 37-pound Burt was rescued by the non-profit Mutts of the Midway from a shelter in Texas. For several…

The Clear-Ridge Little League is scheduled to start its games in April, but signup is occurring now. --File photo

Here’s a sure sign of spring

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com Hi everyone. How have you been surviving January? This is one month I always hope flies by. If the sun is out, the temperatures are, or feel like they are in the subzero range. If it’s cloudy, which is most…

Justice Police Chief Kraig McDermott (from left), Justice Police and Fire Commissioner Don McGuire, Justice Police Officer Kady Sassenger, and Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Justice swears in new police officer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan The Justice Village Board approved the recommendation of the Justice Fire and Police Commission to hire Police Officer Kady Sassenger at its January 10 meeting. Her move from the Coal City Police Department to Justice is considered a lateral move, which means the officer transfers from one department to another…

Neighbors

Shepard basketball coach Corey Wolf draws up a play during the Astros game against Argo June 14 at the Stagg Shootout. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Corey Wolf ‘living the dream’ as new Shepard hoops coach

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent For Corey Wolf, obtaining the ultimate high school basketball prize started in the summer of 2007. Wolf was playing for a Richards team that had showed much promise, having gone 26-3 and winning a regional title the previous season. Then-Bulldogs coach John Chappetto let his players know when summer…

Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Kansas City. IMAGN photo

Staab header helps Red Stars forge draw with KC

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Heading into the weekend, only Kansas City and Orlando were unbeaten among NWSL teams. The teams were tied atop the league standings, with each sporting 8-0-4 records. They now share another common denominator: Both have forged draws with the Red Stars. Red Stars defender Sam Stabb’s header in the…

NWSL ball

Red Stars unhappy with Riot Fest conflict

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Among the bands that will headline the newly minted Riot Fest music festival are Chicago-area natives Fall Out Boy. The annual concert featuring an eclectic mix of musical acts will be held in Bridgeview Sept. 20-22 — and boy, oh boy, there is a lot of fallout from the…

Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo is looking forward to the 35-second shot clock, which will be used for the first time in Illinois high school basketball when he is a senior. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It’s about time | Illinois high school hoops gets 35-second shot clock beginning with 2026-27 season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Count Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo as someone who can’t wait for the 2026-2027 basketball season. The rising guard/forward will be a senior that year, and he will embrace the IHSA’s implementation of a 35-second shot clock for varsity boys and girls basketball. “It’s a good feature,” Morakinyo said after…

Mayor Terry Vorderer presents a plaque to Michael Reising for earning Eagle Scout recognition. The award was presented during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11 night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn police target drivers who ignore stop signs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Oak Lawn police are going to crack down on reckless drivers who repeatedly blow stop signs throughout the village. And police will begin enforcing those measures within the next two weeks. The subject was brought up during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11. Village Manager Tom Phelan said…

Student volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence assist in the
burial of 160 indigents  last week at Mount Olivet Cemetery. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence help indigent on their final journey

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Father Larry Sullivan, a director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago and pastor of Christ the King Parish, joined County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and spoke words of love, respect, and God at the 35th annual committal service at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The service on June 6 at…

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy 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…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…