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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

By 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 up on…

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‘These bruises won’t heal’

CPS 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 55.5% in…

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Smooch from a pooch

Mutts 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 months, he…

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

By 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 of the…

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

By 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 for the…

Michael Medeisis chats with village Trustee Norma Pinion after the board promoted him
to the rank of fire battalion chief. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Medeisis promoted to fire battalion chief in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch The Bridgeview Fire Department has a new battalion chief. Michael Medeisis, 55, was promoted from the rank of lieutenant at the Jan. 5 meeting of the Bridgeview Village Board. “Hey, hot diggity dog, we’ve got a great guy (promoted),” village Trustee Michael Pticek said. Trustee James Cecott said the promotion was due.…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty congratulates Steven Karasek after he was sworn in Jan. 4 as a commissioner on the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Retired village employee appointed to Lyons ZBA

By Steve Metsch The Karasek family has a long history of working for the village of Lyons dating back decades. And that history is getting a new chapter. Steven Karasek, 60, who two years ago retired after 36 years in the public works department, has been appointed by Mayor Christopher Getty to serve on the…

Diane Merrion (from left), CCFB Ag Literacy Coordinator, Eva Manzke, Teacher of Year Runner-Up, Kevin Dougherty, IL AITC Education Director. (SUpplied photo)

Walker teacher Eva Manzke honored by farm bureau

By Carol McGowan School District 104 teacher Eva Manzke was recently honored by the Cook County Farm Bureau for her work with teaching students about agriculture. Students at Walker Elementary in Bedford Park, and Manzke herself were surprised when Principal Amanda Venegonia said they were gathered to honor Manzke, as she had been selected as…

Argo graduate Tom Diaz at junior college nationals in the final straightaway about 50 meters from the finish line. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley’s Tom Diaz earns All-Conference honors

By Carol McGowan Tom Diaz is a freshman at Moraine Valley Community College, and is making big strides with their cross country team. Diaz is also a 2021 graduate of Argo Community High School, and is the first Argonaut to earn All Region honors while pursuing his cross country career. MVCC’s Men’s an& Women’s Cross…

Summit native Flip White is a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. (supplied photo)

Summit native marks decade with the Harlem Globetrotters

By Carol McGowan Saul White Jr., better known as Flip White to basketball fans, has been with the famed Harlem Globetrotters for just over 10 years, and has no intention of stopping the entertainment he provides for his fans. White, who grew up in Summit, attended Wharton School and Graves Junior High (now Heritage) in…

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A heavenly sound

In what is arguably the most ornate and beautiful house of worship on the Southwest Side—St. Joseph Church in Back of the Yards–the Polonijna Orkiestra Chicago played liturgical music selections last Sunday. Founded in 2011, the orchestra is designed to teach young musicians Polish music and culture. St. Joseph parishioner Konrad Pawelek served as conductor…

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Crime images spark outrage in Gage Park

Robbed at gunpoint in his own garage By Tim Hadac Home-security camera images of a 48-year-old Gage Park man being robbed at gunpoint in his own garage outraged a number of Southwest Siders this week. Images showed the man driving his car down the alley in the 5500 block of South Richmond at about 3:50…

Rob Cruz

Cruz booted from SD 229 school board in Oak Lawn

By Dermot Connolly There is a vacancy on the Oak Lawn Community High School District 229 School Board, after members voted 6-1 last week to remove Robert Cruz for allegedly violating his oath of office, school board policy and state statutes. Cruz, a property developer, was elected to the District 229 board in April 2021.…

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Tax exemptions will be automatic, Kaegi says

From staff reports In response to the ongoing pandemic, the Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s office will continue the automatic renewal of the Senior Freeze, Veterans with Disabilities and Persons with Disabilities Exemptions. The Homeowner and Senior Exemptions will continue to auto-renew every year. If a homeowner received any of these five exemptions last year…

Crime scene tape lies on the sidewalk in front of the Crossing Bar and Grill in Worth where two men were shot and killed early Monday morning. (Photos by Linda Bogard) 

Warrant issued for suspected shooter in Worth double homicide

By Bob Bong  Worth police have an arrest warrant for a man suspected as the shooter in a double homicide January 10 at the Crossing Bar and Grill in Worth. Worth police are working with numerous law enforcement agencies to seek the man, who was not identified. Police said the suspect is not the same…

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Oak Lawn officials rip governor, legislators over crime 

By Joe Boyle  Two Oak Lawn officials are calling for Gov. J.B. Pritzker and local legislators to re-evaluate a police reform law that they say has resulted in a rise in crime. Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) served as mayor pro-tem during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday night in place of Mayor Terry Vorderer, who could…

New Eagle Scout Adrian Ayala with his parents, Lorena Sanchez and Lazaro Ayala. --Supplied photo

Troop 1441 Scout earns Eagle rank

From staff reports A journey that began years ago for Adrian Ayala recently culminated in Boy Scouting’s highest honor. Ayala, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1441 (sponsored by the St. Mary Star of the Sea Holy Name Society) was honored at an Eagle ceremony at Duggan Hall on Jan. 13. The Eagle rank is a…

Hog Wild is scheduled to open Monday in Oak Lawn, a week after it was originally set to open. (Photos by Kelly White)

Hog Wild to open Monday in Oak Lawn

By Kelly White   Dining choices will get a boost in Oak Lawn with the arrival of Hog Wild. The restaurant is  scheduled to open Monday, January 17, at 4040 W. 111th St. That’s a week later than originally scheduled. “We are very fortunate here in Oak Lawn to have attracted Hog Wild,” Oak Lawn Mayor…

Orland Park Trustee Sean Kampas said voluntary camera registration will help the police solve crimes quicker. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Home security cameras could be big help to Orland cops

By Jeff Vorva  Residents of Orland Park could have a hand in solving crime in the village. The board of trustees unanimously approved to move forward with a voluntary security camera registration program at its Jan. 4 meeting. It’s expected to start on Feb. 1. This program gives citizens and businesses a chance to assist…

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Ailing eagle on the mend

Several blocks northwest of Garfield Ridge—just west of 47th and Harlem–motorists late last month noticed an eagle flying low and acting erratically. The Villa Park-based Chicago Bird Collision Monitors was contacted, and its volunteers found and captured the majestic bird. It was transported to a facility owned and operated by Glen Ellyn-based Willowbrook Wildlife, where…

Illinois News

With budget proposal and fiery address, Pritzker paints himself as progressive pragmatist

With budget proposal and fiery address, Pritzker paints himself as progressive pragmatist

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In delivering his annual State of the State and budget address on Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker cast his administration as both progressive and pragmatic – a balance he’s worked to strike as his national profile has grown. Some elements of the governor’s proposed spending plan, like…

Budget reaction: Retailers, municipalities critical of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes

Budget reaction: Retailers, municipalities critical of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes

By ALEX ABBEDUTO, COLE LONGCOR  & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The annual process of negotiating the state budget kicked off Wednesday with Gov. JB Pritzker proposing a $52.7 billion spending plan that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending and tax increases, particularly for businesses.  The governor’s proposal to…

Pritzker proposes over $2B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

Pritzker proposes over $2B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information on the budget and reaction from lawmakers.  SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by over $2 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax…

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information on the budget and reaction from lawmakers.  SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by about $1.8 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax…

Customers pay for utilities' lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

Customers pay for utilities’ lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinoisans pay tens of millions of dollars each year to utilities to cover costs they accrue for lawyers, belonging to trade groups, making charitable contributions and purchasing advertisements meant to boost utilities’ public image.  Consumer advocates are pushing for a change to state law that would bar utilities…

Pritzker to call for health insurance reforms in State of the State address

Pritzker to call for health insurance reforms in State of the State address

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker plans to take on the state’s health insurance industry this year by calling for legislation to curb many of the standard practices they use to hold down costs and boost profits. He plans to outline those reforms in his State of the State…

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After suddenly pleading guilty as his federal corruption trial was wrapping up this week, former state Sen. Sam McCann won’t be released to await sentencing, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless ruled Friday. McCann has been held at Macon County Jail since last Friday, when Lawless ordered…

Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com A controversial proposal that would grant electric utilities more control over the construction of transmission lines is being revived in Springfield.  Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood, who chairs the Public Utilities Committee in the Illinois House, was behind a push last year that would have granted a temporary “right…

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

BY JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Republicans in the Illinois Senate indicated Tuesday that their sticking point for budget negotiations this year will be the same as it was last year – state spending on programs for noncitizens and recent arrivals from the country’s southern border.  In what’s been a rarity over the past…

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker will give his sixth state budget address this week, laying out his plan for a fiscal year that government forecasters in November predicted is on pace for a near-$900 million deficit unless corrective action is taken.  Those same fiscal forecasters in the Governor’s Office of…

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