North Palos firefighters prepare Sunday morning to attack a blaze at the former L.W. Paul Supply Company. (Photos by Todd Sherman/Northern Illinois FireGround Photos)

North Palos firefighters prepare Sunday morning to attack a blaze at the former L.W. Paul Supply Company. (Photos by Todd Sherman/Northern Illinois FireGround Photos)

Squatters may have started fire in Worth building

Spread the love

By Bob Bong

A fire that heavily damaged a former plumbing supply company on 111th Street in Worth early Sunday morning may have been caused by homeless people living in the abandoned structure.

“The fire started on the second floor, which used to be a beautiful and spacious apartment,” Worth Mayor Mary Werner said Monday. “A couple of weeks ago, the Worth Police Department had to remove some homeless people who were living there.”

North Palos Fire Chief Paul Mackin said firefighters arrived on the scene at 6435 W. 111th St. about 3 a.m. and saw heavy fire inside the building. The building was the former home of L.W. Paul Supply Co., which sold plumbing and heating supplies.

reporter worth fire2 7 14

Firefighters set up in the parking lot of Thorntons gas station Sunday morning.

“We cleared the scene at 5:35 a.m.,” he said. Eight other fire departments assisted in fighting the fire.

He said no injuries were reported. He said the cause of the blaze was undetermined at press time.

“We do know there were no utility connections to the building,” he said.

He said the state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

Werner said the new owners of the building were aware of the squatters the police found and they had tried to better secure the building.

Werner said the village had recently approved plans for the building and building permits had been applied for to turn the former store into a new location for Premiere Auto Works in Alsip.

“The new owners were going to turn the building into a used car dealership,” she said. “They were going to move from Alsip to Worth.

She said Worth officials liked the idea of a used car dealership because it would breathe new life into an empty building and bring in new tax dollars to the village.

Werner said a contractor for Premiere reached out to the village on Monday to see if they could start demolition of the damaged building.

“We had to tell them we are waiting to hear from the fire marshal,” she said.

“Before the fire, it was a sound building,” she said. “The new owner had already received permission from the MWRD to repave the parking lot. We are hoping the owner will move forward with his plans.”

Werner also was thankful the fire did not spread to the adjoining Thorntons gas station.

“That would have been a disaster.”

Local News

Marist's Nathen Toth (3) was named the boys volleyball state finals MVP by the Illiniois Volleyball Coaches Association. File photo

Boys Volleyball | Marist’s Nathen Toth named state finals MVP

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent   With the IHSA boys volleyball state semifinals and finals championships held on the same day, the round of four tends to get overshadowed once the smoke clears. But Marist’s 28-26, 26-24 semifinal win over Glenbard West in a battle of two of the top five teams in the…

York's Ben Brown, shown getting ready to serve against Marist in the state championship on June 1, is the son of Chris Brown, who helped Oak Lawn finish fourth in the state in 1993. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Brown family legacy continues in world of Illinois boys volleyball

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Brown family’s legacy continues in the world of boys volleyball. Twins Chris and Eric Brown helped Oak Lawn finish fourth in the IHSA volleyball tournament in 1993, the second year the boys state tournament took place. Though the twins graduated that year, that season served as a springboard…

Two-time national wrestling champion Austin O'Connor, a St. Rita graduate, won his MMA debut on June 9 in Texas. North Carolina photo

Don’t sleep on grappling great | St. Rita grad Austin O’Connor starts MMA career with a win

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The “Irish Nightmare” was not about to be put to sleep. Austin O’Connor, a four-time IHSA state wrestling champion during his years at St. Rita, made his professional MMA debut on June 9; and despite some pre-match taunting from opponent Camden Fontenot — who claimed he would put O’Connor…

Lyons Township Assessor Patrick Hynes at his office in Countryside. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Lyons Township Assessor saves taxpayers big money

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Property taxes. Just the mention of them can fire up a conversation quicker than you can start a nice one in a fire pit on a cool night. Many understand them, but some have no idea where their money is going. A lot of people think that the town, village…

reporter 2-2-24 oak lawn police logo

Oak Lawn police seize drugs, cash in raid on home

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Oak Lawn Police Department tactical detectives last week raided a home and recovered drugs and cash. At 8 a.m. on May 29, detectives executed a search warrant at 8825 S. Austin, assisted by the department’s Special Response Team. Detectives recovered more than 17 pounds of cannabis bagged for sale and…

Kathy Headley

Few cicadas to bug us in Chicago Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . Well, it looks like we escaped the big cicada invasion in Chicago Lawn. I know enough folks in other areas that did not, and it was almost unbelievable to see them all on the trees…

GSWNH_BFEDMfinalshow_060724

Celebrating culture with smiles

Spread the love

Spread the love Four young dancers share smiles backstage at Hubbard High School last weekend, just before they performed onstage as part of the season-ending performance of Ballet Folklórico Estrella Del Mar. The West Lawn-based youth group celebrates traditional Mexican culture through song and dance. – Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Kelly White

Mary Stanek

Today is a day to fly Old Glory

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . Fly the American flag proudly on Flag Day—Friday, June 14. This holiday commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States. Happy Father’s Day to all the men in the community on…

Peggy Zabicki

School’s out, but learning is still in

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . School is out for the summer, but this does not mean that our youngsters have been idle. The Los Youth Organization will be unveiling their mural located at the West Lawn Branch Library, 4020 W. 63rd…

Rich Miller

Dems, GOP wrangling over ballot access

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Rich Miller . A state law essentially designed to prevent Republicans from appointing legislative candidates to the ballot after the March primary was ruled unconstitutional by a Sangamon County judge last week, but her ruling only applied to the 14 Republican plaintiffs in the case who are running for the Illinois…

Neighbors

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois law banning the sale and use of “bump stocks” and other devices that increase the firing power of semiautomatic weapons remains in place, at least for now, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday striking down a federal ban on such items. “Illinois law…

Lawmakers pass on oversight vote for Pritzker’s prison closure, rebuild plan

Lawmakers pass on oversight vote for Pritzker’s prison closure, rebuild plan

By HANNAH MEISEL & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – For the last two decades, each time a governor has moved to close a large state-run facility like a prison or mental health center, a legislative oversight panel has voted on the plan. That changed on Friday – at least for now –…

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com LINCOLN – On the eve of a scheduled vote to advise Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on plans to close and rebuild a pair of dilapidated state prisons, hundreds filed into a junior high school gymnasium Thursday evening clad in matching green T-shirts. Printed on the shirts was a…

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com In the final hours of their spring legislative session, Illinois lawmakers approved a tax credit of up to about $300 for families with young children.  The credit is available to Illinoisans with children under age 12 who qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. Although…

Members of House speaker’s staff sue over ongoing unionization conflict

Members of House speaker’s staff sue over ongoing unionization conflict

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Members of a would-be union representing staffers in House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s office filed suit against their boss on Friday, asking a Cook County judge to force recognition of the union. The Illinois Legislative Staff Association, which formed in the fall of 2022, claims Welch’s…

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A hearing officer is recommending the Illinois State Board of Elections dismiss a complaint that alleged conservative radio host and political operative Dan Proft illegally coordinated with former Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey during his 2022 campaign for governor. Proft, a one-time gubernatorial candidate himself, is behind an…

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Jimmy Soto spent more than 42 years wrongfully imprisoned in Illinois Department of Corrections facilities. In 2020, he was moved to the “F-House” at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, a condemned unit, not because he was being punished, but because it was where the facility was housing individuals…

Judge blocks law that would have banned newly slated candidates from ballot

Judge blocks law that would have banned newly slated candidates from ballot

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A Sangamon County judge on Wednesday blocked the Illinois State Board of Elections from enforcing a new law that would have prevented certain General Assembly candidates who didn’t run in the March primary from getting on the November ballot. The move doesn’t void the bill in its entirety,…

“No Schoolers”: How Illinois’ hands-off approach to homeschooling leaves children at risk

“No Schoolers”: How Illinois’ hands-off approach to homeschooling leaves children at risk

By BETH HUNDSDORFER  & MOLLY PARKER  CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS investigations@capitolnewsillinois.com This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois. It was on L.J.’s 11th birthday, in December 2022, that child welfare workers finally took him away. They arrived at his central Illinois home to investigate an abuse allegation and decided…

Brushing off concerns of overspending, Pritzker signs $53.1 billion state budget

Brushing off concerns of overspending, Pritzker signs $53.1 billion state budget

By ANDREW ADAMS JERRY NOWICKI & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed the state’s $53.1 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, the largest in state history.  The signing caps months of work – and tension – among top Democratic leaders in Springfield and within the…