Local News

Alumni Association members Heather Leininger, Emily Szymczak, Candice Mares and Miriam Cruz (at table) lead a crowd of LeaderShop alumni and community members waving posters saying Morals Matter, Demand Change, and Integrity for the Kids. (Photos by S. Kirchman)

LeaderShop alumni, board meeting turns testy at times

By S. Kirchman The LeaderShop Alumni Association rallied under the pavilion at The LeaderShop office in La Grange for the board’s scheduled 6 p.m. meeting after it was switched from in-person to virtual earlier on Thursday. The Alumni Association consists of volunteers, previous staff members, former members of the board of directors, funders, donors, and…

Cleveland Cavaliers guard-forward Max Strus hits a 3-pointer last season over the Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown. Photo courtesy of Max Strus

Hometown Hoops Hero: Stagg alum Max Strus discusses his rise through the NBA, hitting big shots and his annual youth hoops camp

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent A lot of changes have taken place for Max Strus during the past year. While the Cleveland Cavaliers guard has played in an NBA Finals and been featured as No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s “Top Plays,” among other noteworthy events, the Stagg alum is the same homegrown kid who grew up…

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press release posted…

CTAlogo

CTA hiring means more rail service

. Orange Line sees 11% jump . From staff reports The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that because of what they described as continued, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, it has added 8.5% more scheduled rail service in recent weeks for a total of 9% more scheduled service added since April 2024. Locally, there…

the leadershop logo

LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

The LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The LeaderShop Board…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

By Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and Frankfort. The…

The Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. (Photos by Enrique Reyes, Courtesy of the Oak Lawn Public Library)

Oak Lawn Library hosts Local Author Showcase

By Kelly White Oak Lawn Public Library opened its doors to the summer season and to its local authors. The library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. “Thirty authors, two hours, and lots of…

Palos Heights native Patrick Bertotelli won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4 in New York. (Photo courtesy of Major League Eating)

Palos Heights native is top dog in famous eating contest

By Jeff Vorva At one time, it may have seemed impossible for Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti to win the Nathan’s Hog Dog Eating contest. After all, Joey Chestnut was roasting opponents year after year by winning 16 titles since 2007 and had a streak of gobbling up championships eight years in a row heading…

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is hoping a mobile DMV will return to the village after the July 15 visit was sold out. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

DMV sellout could mean a return visit in Palos Park

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park Clerk Marie Arrigoni announced that appointments for the one-day mobile Department of Motor Vehicles visit to Village Hall are sold out. That’s bad news for those residents who were looking forward to taking care of DMV business right there in town. But it was good news to Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters.…

Alan Morales

LeaderShop director faces more charges from former staffers

From staff reports The LaGrange-based LeaderShop, a social service agency that recently lost $300,000 in funding, is facing new charges of a toxic work environment, bullying, and inappropriate behavior by Executive Director Alan Morales. Since the story was first published in the Desplaines Valley News on June 24, at least six women have documented their…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents a copy of the proclamation honoring the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club for 100 years to President Gary Benedik. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons Mustangs honored for 100 years of service

By Steve Metsch It’s not often a service organization hits 100 years. But there are not many service organizations like the Lyons Mustangs Athletic Club. “We don’t know of any other organization anywhere around here, maybe in the city of Chicago, but maybe around here that has made it 100 years. It’s quite a feat.…

Eddie Korosa will perform again at this year's Music in the Park series of concerts in Lyons. (file photo)

Lyons’ Music in the Park series starts July 10

By Steve Metsch The popular Music in the Park series will begin a six-week run on July 10 at Veterans Park in Lyons. Bands will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 14, said Ted Tale, director of parks and recreation for the village. Each night will “feature a vendor with food…

mccook police star

McCook settles with former police officer

By Steve Metsch More than eight months after the process began, the village of McCook has reached a settlement with former police officer John Kosmowski Jr. “This will end this case for once and for all. Gets it out of our hair even though I don’t have hair,” Mayor Terrance Carr quipped during the McCook…

countryside police

Countryside police seek grants for tasers and solar-powered cameras

By Steve Metsch The Countryside Police Department is applying for two grants that are intended to help improve safety. Police Chief Paul Klimek told the city council at its June 12 meeting that he is seeking a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority for tasers. “The state is going to award tasers to…

The retiring owners left this message on the sign at the Saunoris Garden Center in Frankfort. (Photos by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: U-Haul buys Saunoris Frankfort location

By Bob Bong Two years after closing its Chicago Ridge location, Saunoris has closed its garden center in Frankfort. U-Haul has acquired the former garden center at 19600 S. Harlem Avenue. No price was announced, but the property had been listed for $2.5 million on real estate websites. The 6.88-acre property, now called U-Haul Moving…

Nicholas Lipinski now wears the lieutenant’s badge his father Terry, the former chief, wore for the Bridgeview Fire Department. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Son of former Bridgeview fire chief promoted to lieutenant

By Steve Metsch There were a few damp eyes and many big smiles at the most recent meeting of the Bridgeview Village Board. Yep, even firefighters get a bit sentimental, especially when family history is involved. The reason for the emotions was former Bridgeview Fire Chief Terry Lipinski pinned his old lieutenant’s badge on the…

The iconic Arby’s sign at 5656 S. La Grange Road in Countryside, will go dark forever the night of July 7. Arby’s is closing there and Jack in the Box is moving in (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Jack in the Box to replace Arby’s in Countryside

By Steve Metsch Fans of Arby’s in Countryside will have to travel to Downers Grove, Elmhurst and points beyond to get their fix of curly fries and beef sandwiches. The final day for Arby’s in Countryside is July 7, a manager said Saturday night. Arby’s will be replaced by Jack in the Box, Mayor Sean…

Ray Hanania

Orland Park once had a great mayor

How do you assess the failures of Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau? Compare him to his predecessor when it comes to helping people. In July 1996, when Dan McLaughlin was mayor, a dozen areas of Orland Park had been slammed by heavy rainstorms and extensive flooding that caused massive property damage. The Village of Orland…

Pete Fejzuloski, president of the Paisans Pizzeria restaurant chain, cuts the ribbon during the official grand opening ceremonies on June 25 at the Oak Lawn location in the Stony Creek Promenade. He is surrounded by family, employees, and members of the community. To the left of Fejzuloski is Mike Sutko, a member of the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce, Trustee William "Bud" Stalker (5th), Mayor Terry Vorderer, Natasha Miller Williams, president of the chamber; and Steve Loulousis, president of the Oak Lawn Parks Foundation. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizzeria has impressive grand opening in Oak Lawn

Local officials ecstatic about new restaurant By Joe Boyle The origins of Paisans Pizzeria were humble as immigrant Luigi Fejzuloski created the business in a small corner store in Cicero. He was making pizzas in 1985 out of a household kitchen. Soon after that, Luigi was joined by his son, Pete. They both responded to…

Jose Reyes (center) learning at an F.H. Paschen construction site at a suburban housing development. --Supplied photo

From high schooler to civil engineer

. West Lawn man’s 8-year path leads to job with top company . It’s a daunting question for any high schooler: what do you want to be when you grow up? Had anyone asked West Lawn resident Jose Reyes in 2016 when he was in high school, he might not have had a clear answer.…

Illinois News

WITH PODCAST: Disinvestment, pandemic leave Illinois’ state of mental health care in ‘crisis’

WITH PODCAST: Disinvestment, pandemic leave Illinois’ state of mental health care in ‘crisis’

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News Illinoisgbarbic@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Rooted in disinvestment and growing amid economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois is facing a statewide mental health crisis due to workforce shortages and accessibility. “It’s been recognized that we are no longer in an emergency, we’re in a crisis,” said Marvin Lindsey, CEO of the…

LaSalle investigation prompts legislation strengthening inspectors general

LaSalle investigation prompts legislation strengthening inspectors general

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers representing the LaSalle Veterans’ Home, including Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, unveiled new legislation that would allow inspectors general of state agencies to subpoena former state employees. The legislation was prompted by an investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak last year at the LaSalle home that killed 36…

Watchdog report finds COVID-19 safety protocols not enforced at Pulaski County jail

Watchdog report finds COVID-19 safety protocols not enforced at Pulaski County jail

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — An unannounced inspection by federal authorities of the Pulaski County Detention Center found that supervisors were not enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols, such as masking and social distancing requirements, for inmates being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The jail in Pulaski County, which is in the…

Senate passes Medicare, tax zone legislation

Senate passes Medicare, tax zone legislation

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinoisrtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Capping off a slow legislative week as the General Assembly grapples with drawing redistricting maps, the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year and massive energy overhaul legislation, the Senate passed 14 bills Thursday, most of them unanimously. Senate Bill 1747, introduced by Grayslake Democratic Sen. Melinda…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker announces plans for broader reopening

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker announces plans for broader reopening

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois will enter the “bridge” phase to full reopening on Friday, May 14. And barring any reversal of current trends, Phase 5, or full reopening, will begin on June 11. He also announced that residents can now obtain COVID-19 vaccines from their physicians’…

Pritzker: Broader reopening to begin next week

Pritzker: Broader reopening to begin next week

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinoisphancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois will enter the “bridge” phase to full reopening on Friday, May 14. And barring any reversal of current trends, Phase 5, or full reopening, will begin on June 11. He also announced that residents can now obtain COVID-19 vaccines from…

Pritzker now says budget can include added $350 million for K-12 schools

Pritzker now says budget can include added $350 million for K-12 schools

By JERRY NOWICKI and TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News IllinoisJnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.comtkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Citing an “improved” economic outlook, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday his support to increase evidence-based education funding in the state by $350 million in fiscal year 2022 which begins July 1. In his February budget proposal, Pritzker originally proposed flat spending for education, citing…

GOP leaders call out House Dems for redistricting ‘hypocrisy’

GOP leaders call out House Dems for redistricting ‘hypocrisy’

By GRACE BARBIC and SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois gbarbic@capitolnewsillinois smansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Republicans continue to demand a “fair” redistricting process, following a news report depicting Democratic lawmakers meeting behind a closed door to discuss the mapmaking process. The “secretive” room on Capitol grounds where House Democrats are said to be drawing maps…

Bill proposes standardized election procedures

Bill proposes standardized election procedures

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinoisphancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Two Republican senators have introduced legislation to standardize the way local election authorities across Illinois handle elections, from the training of election judges to posting information about delays in election night ballot counting. Sens. Sally Turner, of the Logan County town of Beason, and Sue Rezin, of…

Illinois law enforcement community honors officers killed in line of duty

Illinois law enforcement community honors officers killed in line of duty

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, members of Illinois’ law enforcement community gathered in Springfield Thursday to honor officers killed in the line of duty in 2019 and 2020. In a ceremony at the Illinois State Capitol, the names of 16 Illinois officers…

Neighbors

Prep Sports