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Sandburg pitcher Ethan Highfill gets Marist's Aiden Cech to swing and miss on a pitch during a 7-3 Eagles' victory on May 23. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | Sandburg tops Marist to open playoffs, but falls to LW West in regional final

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent For the second consecutive year, Sandburg’s season came to an end at the hands of Lincoln-Way West. The Eagles (21-12) fell to the Warriors, 6-1, in the Class 4A Sandburg Regional championship game on May 25. They had advanced to a second playoff game with a 7-3 comeback victory over Marist…

The Chicago Red Stars' Penelope Hocking had her streak of three games with a goal stopped in a 1-0 loss to Louisville on May 25 in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Emma Sears scores match’s lone goal as Louisville blanks Red Stars

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Chicago Red Stars are miles ahead of where they were last year. The team secured its 16th point on May 12. In 2023, it had to wait until July 7 to hit its 16th point during a season in which it finished in last place in the NWSL. Despite that,…

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Sports Bits | St. Michael seventh-grader sets Illinois state record in 110-meter hurdles

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent • St. Michael School seventh-grader Tommy Walter set a grade-school state record en route to winning the Illinois Elementary School Association Class 2A 110-meter hurdles at the grade-school state meet held May 10-11 in East Peoria. Tommy set the Class 2A record in the event with a time of 16.31. •…

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Water Polo | Lions, Eagles, Macs, Crusaders and Mustangs earn All-State honors

All-State water polo Lyons girls water polo standout Maya Mladjan was named to the Illinois Water Polo organization’s All-State first team. The Lions’ Delaney Judkins and Isabella Recker, and Mother McAuley’s Becca Engquist earned second-team honors. Sandburg’s Claire Donnell made the third team and the Mighty Macs’ Andi Moriarity made the fourth team. In the…

Chicago Christian's Grace Mullin is committed to Air Force. Chicago Christian photo

Chicago Christian’s Grace Mullin caps successful spring by committing to Air Force

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Grace Mullin has proven talents on the ground. In the future, the Chicago Christian graduate may show more talents in the air. After an incredible spring and track season, Mullin — who graduated May 23 — capped things off by committing to the Air Force Academy. This came less than a…

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Boys Tennis State Finals | Lyons’ Jack McLane and Mason Mazzone take 2nd

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Two doubles teams from Lyons made deep runs at the IHSA Class 2A boys tennis state finals, with one of them bringing home some hardware. The boys state tennis finals were held at various sites in the north and northwest suburbs May 23-25. The Lions’ Jack McLane and Mason Mazzone won…

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Postseason Roundup | Area teams still alive in playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Several area baseball, softball, boys volleyball and girls soccer teams were still alive in the postseason heading into this week. Among those was two-time defending Class 3A champion Nazareth, which is competing in Class 4A this season. The Roadrunners, Brother Rice and Mount Carmel won regional titles. So did De La…

The St. Laurence 400 meter relay team of Harley Rizzs, Quinton Williams, Vincent Enoch and Monroe Thompson Jr. won the 2024 state championship in 41.94, becoming the first relay team in Vikings history to win a state title. Photo courtesy of St. Laurence High School

Boys State Track Finals | St. Laurence’s Harley Rizzs wins 100m title, helps Vikings to 400m relay gold

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent St. Laurence junior Harley Rizzs was a member of the Vikings football team that earned a 2023 Class 4A state runner-up trophy the day after Thanksgiving. He bettered that two days before Memorial Day when he became the first St. Laurence track athlete to win an individual state championship. Rizzs won…

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Boys Volleyball | Sandburg seeks 26th regional title

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Coming off the worst season in program history in 2023, Sandburg was not going to settle for anything less than better results this year. Past the midway point of this season, however, the Eagles had a record of 11-8. But they closed the regular season strong, winning 11 of their last…

Reavis players celebrate after the Rams clinched the South Suburban Red title with a 3-0 win over Oak Lawn. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | Red-hot Reavis looks to make noise in postseason

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Reavis is determined to send their head coach Don Erickson into retirement on a high note and will head into the postseason red hot and as South Suburban Red champions. The Rams defeated Oak Lawn 3-0 for the second straight day on May 15 to clinch the conference title. They followed…

Richards alum Sebastian Castro is ranked by NFL Draft Live among the top 10 college cornerbacks heading into the 2024 NCAA football season. Photo courtesy of University of Iowa Athletics

Sports Bits | Rice boats at Carlyle Lake, Hawkeye DB and Do It Stevie’s Way

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Noteworthy sports briefs from May 12-19 • Brother Rice’s No. 1 boat of Joe Hall and Joe Judeh took 31st in the state bass fishing tournament, which wrapped up on May 18 at Carlyle Lake. The Crusaders had a two-day haul of 7 pounds, 12 ounces.  The Crusaders’ No. 2 boat…

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Nothing NU at SeatGeek

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent There was speculation that because of the renovations being done at Ryan Field, Northwestern would schedule a few football games at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview this fall. The Wildcats announced their schedule and no home games are listed at SeatGeek, but the situation is still fluid. They are opting to use…

SXU softball players celebrate a victory over Bellevue. SXU photo

College Softball | Close losses at nationals end Saint Xavier’s season

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Saint Xavier softball team played three nailbiters in the opening round of the NAIA Tournament. But the end result was a 1-2 record to eliminate the Cougars from advancing. SXU (28-14) opened the tournament by nipping Bellevue (Nebraska), 5-4, in Sioux City, Iowa on May 13. Alexus Reese hit a…

Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher was with the team but did not play at Gotham on May 19.  IMAGN photo

Red Stars’ Naeher misses loss to Gotham

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The world’s best kept secret is still a mystery. The Chicago Red Stars are not releasing information to the public about the severity of a thigh injury or the status of world-class goalie Alyssa Naeher. What is known is that she did not play in a 2-1 loss to NWSL defending…

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Shepard’s Kyla Motley cruises to two medals at girls state track finals

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Shepard junior Kyla Motley medaled in two events in the Class 3A girls state track and field meet, the finals for which were held May 18 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Motley finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 4 inches. She finished sixth in…

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Illinois could be 19th state to phase out subminimum wage for disabled workers

Illinois could be 19th state to phase out subminimum wage for disabled workers

By ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com After years of negotiations and continued opposition from service providers, Illinois appears poised to prohibit employers from using a federal exemption that allows them to pay individuals with disabilities less than the minimum wage. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established minimum wage law, but created…

Capitol Briefs: Measure blocks interstate probes of abortion services

Capitol Briefs: Measure blocks interstate probes of abortion services

By PETER HANCOCK & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Authorities in Illinois would not be allowed to aid another state’s investigation of people coming to Illinois to seek abortions or other reproductive health care under a bill that cleared the General Assembly Thursday. House Bill 5239, which needs only a signature from…

Advocates underscore need for statewide reentry programs

Advocates underscore need for statewide reentry programs

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois legislators this week approved a bill to restructure an oversight board in charge of distributing state money to courts that provide prison alternatives, while other criminal justice measures introduced throughout the session remain stalled. House Bill 4409 would change the makeup of the Adult Redeploy Illinois Oversight…

Ban on wildlife killing contests ‘unlikely’ to clear state Senate this session

Ban on wildlife killing contests ‘unlikely’ to clear state Senate this session

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com A measure that would prohibit contests that award cash or prizes for killing certain wildlife is unlikely to clear the Senate after narrowly passing the House last week, according to its Senate sponsor.  House Bill 2900 would ban the practice of holding wildlife contests that reward participants with…

A security camera caught an employee beating a patient. It took 11 days for anyone to take action.

A security camera caught an employee beating a patient. It took 11 days for anyone to take action.

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois.  Cameras in the common areas of Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center were supposed to make the troubled southern Illinois facility safer for the approximately 200 people with developmental disabilities who live there.  But…

Potawatomi land transfer advances in Illinois House

Potawatomi land transfer advances in Illinois House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A bill that would help the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation expand their newly established reservation in DeKalb County advanced out of a state House committee Tuesday, despite concerns about the tribe’s long-term plans for the property. House Bill 4718 would authorize the state to hand over…

Would-be union of legislative staffers accuse Welch of undermining organizing effort

Would-be union of legislative staffers accuse Welch of undermining organizing effort

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Seven months after Democratic Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch advanced a measure that would allow legislative staff to unionize, members of his own staff on Tuesday blasted the speaker for allowing the bill to languish. The legislation has not seen any action since its passage…

As legislative session adjournment looms, a rush to regulate carbon capture industry

As legislative session adjournment looms, a rush to regulate carbon capture industry

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A technology that some say is a key tool to address climate change and others say is a cash grab for heavy industry could face new regulations – if lawmakers can find the time before their scheduled adjournment this week. Carbon capture and sequestration technology is…

Nursing home industry unlikely to see much help from Springfield in tough budget year

Nursing home industry unlikely to see much help from Springfield in tough budget year

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com It’s been four years since some of the worst scenes of COVID-19 played out in locked-down nursing homes during the early months of the pandemic.  But while most of the world has moved on, the nursing home industry is still reeling from COVID, which exacerbated pre-existing challenges in…

Lawmakers consider tax break for news publishers, state-sponsored journalism scholarships

Lawmakers consider tax break for news publishers, state-sponsored journalism scholarships

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com  SPRINGFIELD – A new measure being debated in the Illinois General Assembly would create a tax credit for certain news publishers based on the number of reporters they employ.  The proposal from Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, is part of a package of policies that he…