Meghan Hynes (left), dance coordinator for the Evergreen Park Recreation Department, receives the "Employee of the Quarter" award from Mayor Kelly Burke during the village board meeting Monday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Meghan Hynes (left), dance coordinator for the Evergreen Park Recreation Department, receives the "Employee of the Quarter" award from Mayor Kelly Burke during the village board meeting Monday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park police cited for quick actions after fatal Mariano’s shooting

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By Joe Boyle

Evergreen Park police officers who assisted in tracking down a man linked to a fatal shooting were recognized by village officials for their performance to duty.

Police were dispatched during the morning hours of July 13 after a report of multiple shots fired by an active shooter in Mariano’s food store at 2559 W. 95th St. Units arrived and without hesitation, entered the store to confront the threat, police said.

Mayor Kelly Burke said during the Evergreen Park Village Board meeting Monday night said that life-saving measures were taken by an off-duty Chicago firefighter. Evergreen Park Police Department Detective Michelle Cavato also responded to the scene.

A 21-year-old woman was pronounced dead in the store. Detectives established the identity of the alleged shooter and Flock camera readers established the direction of travel from the crime scene.

A Chicago police tactical team was able to secure the suspect, his vehicle and firearm, that was still in his possession, according to reports.

“This was a complex investigation and investigators worked tirelessly to secure witnesses, statements and to process evidence to seek charges,” Burke said. “As a result of their intense efforts, a class X felony charge for first-degree homicide was lodged against the offender.”

Evergreen Park officers Biszewski, Knight, Morgan, Quette, Warniczek, Flores, Kurschner, Foran, Stumpfe and Ragsdale were recognized for their excellence in this arrest.

Evergreen Park Police Department lieutenants Franklin, Healy, Kmetty, Stiers, Soso and Zimmer were also recognized, as well as detectives Rich, Cavato, Arroyo and Truell. Sergeants Switalski, Trujillo, Watts and Bielanski were honored, as well as Captain Hart and deputy chiefs Linn and Donovan.

Police Chief Michael Saunders also recognized the Hometown, Oak Lawn and Chicago police departments, and the Chicago Fire Department and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department.

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists issued certificates of appreciation to “Top Cops” Evergreen Park police officers Bavone, Biszewski, Cervantes and Wantroba for exceptional DUI enforcement.

Commendations were given to officers Guzman, Smiley, Detective Cavato and Sergeant Switalski for “outstanding performance of duty” on June 16 responding to a Flock camera alert for a stolen vehicle from Chicago.

“Evergreen Park police were able to quickly and safely arrest the occupants that have extensive criminal histories and are linked to a homicide that is currently under investigation in another jurisdiction,” Burke mentioned during the meeting. “Loaded firearms, key fobs, and other suspended stolen items were recovered.”

Employee of Quarter

The board honored Meghan Hynes, the dance coordinator for the recreation department, as the “Employee of the Quarter.” Hynes was honored as the top employee for the third quarter.

Burke mentioned several email messages citing Hynes for her accomplishments and her commitment. Many of the instructors nominated her for the award, Burke said.

“There were a lot of messages about Meghan,” Burke said. “One said she works tirelessly while another said that she could not think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Burke then presented the certificate to Hynes, along with other gifts.

Independence Day Awards

Laura Shallow, first vice president of the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce, presented trophies to winners who participated in the annual Independence Day Parade last month.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Phi Kappa Omega were honored in the walkers category and the Evergreen Park American Legion Post 854 color guard received a trophy.

Other winners were Aires Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (new entry), Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (elected official), Evergreen Bank Group (professional float), Evergreen Park Library (decorated vehicle with marchers), First National Bank of Evergreen Park (special vehicle), First United Methodist Church of Evergreen Park (amateur float with walkers), Humana (specialty unit sponsor), and OSF Little Company of Mary Medical Center (grand marshal).

A special recognition trophy was presented to George Peso, the director of the Evergreen Park Historical Commission, for being the chamber’s “Citizen of the Year” for 2022.

In a related matter, Trustee Norm Anderson thanked Peso and the Historical Commission for their efforts in holding the annual bike tour last month.

“I really learned a lot,” Anderson said. “I’ve been here 56 years and I learned about some things I didn’t know before. It was really fun.”

A business certificate was granted by a 5-0 vote for Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy LLC, 9730 S. Western Ave., a medical office.

Licenses were also granted for Wonder Nails, 3343 W. 95th St., and a 7-Eleven, 3440 W. 95th St. Both businesses are under new ownership.

Sympathies were extended to the family and friends of longtime Evergreen Park Fire Department firefighter Darren Vederber, who died recently. He began his career with the Evergreen Park Fire Department in 1991. He was also a full-time Chicago firefighter.

City Lights Orchestra Concert will perform from 5 to 7 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, at Sexton Park, 9100 S. Rockwell. Labor Day fireworks will follow at 8 p.m. at the park.

Village Hall will be closed on Sept. 4 in observance of Labor Day. The next board meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5.

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