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Local News

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…

Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson (left) earned two big awards for her recent goal-scoring spree. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Swanson picks up Best XI of Month honors

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson picked up some big honors recently, including being named to the NWSL’s Best XI of the Month for June. This is the seventh time in Swanson’s career and the fourth time as a Red Star she has won a best of the month award. In…

St. Laurence finished second in the state in Class 4A and is looking to win it all in 2024. Photo by Jeff Vorva

A bevy of changes ahead for the 2024 high school football season

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The IHSA’s annual posting of the coming season’s football schedule always gets people talking. This year is no exception. Tears for Fears meets David Bowie as there are changes, changes and more changes; fans might need pencils and scorecards to keep track. As a public service, we here at Southwest Regional…

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…

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.…

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…

Houston's Natalie Jacobs (left) and Red Star Ally Schlegel jostle to get to the ball on June 6 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Swanson scores again, Naeher has clean sheet as Fire edge Dash

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Mallory Swanson is Olympics-ready after scoring her fourth goal in four games. Swanson’s left-footed shot in extra time in the first half was the difference in the Chicago Red Stars’ 1-0 win over Houston on July 6 in an NWSL battle before an announced crowd of 5,566 at SeatGeek Stadium in…

Orland Park's Krysta Stanko (in sunglasses) has won the women's division of the Veterans Liberty run three straight years. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park woman wins third straight Veterans Liberty Run

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent She did it again. Three for three. Orland Park resident Krysta Stanko won her third straight women’s division championship at the Veterans Liberty Run, held July 3 at Centennial Park in Orland Park. Stanko, an Andrew graduate who will be a sophomore at Governors State, ran the 2-mile course in 12:40.2,…

Worth resident Calista Stefaniak won the Tinley Park Stars and Stripes 5K run for the second year in a row. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Worth resident Calista Stefaniak wins Stars and Stripes 5K

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Calista Stefaniak won her second straight women’s title in the Tinley Park Stars and Stripes 5K, held June 29 at the village’s McCarthy Park. Stefaniak, 25, of Worth, ran the course in 20:22.6. She also won the event in 2023 and was runner-up in 2022. “I love how it makes me…

Sandburg junior Jackson Canellis has made hundreds of sandwiches for BEDS Plus. He plans to run 12 miles from Wrigley Field to Guaranteed Rate Field to raise money for the organization. Photo supplied

Sandburg junior to run from Wrigley Field to Sox Park

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Sandburg junior Jackson Canellis isn’t sure if he will be wearing a Cubs or White Sox jersey on Aug. 10 during a 12-mile run. That decision will be up to those who donate to his cause. Canellis, a volunteer at BEDS Plus, is organizing a unique 12-mile run from Wrigley Field…

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…

Janae Banks

Woman charged in Palos Heights robbery

From staff reports A Chicago woman was charged last month with robbery in connection with an incident in May in the parking lot of the Jewel-Osco at 12803 S. Harlem Ave. Police said Janae Banks, 26, was taken into custody on June 22 at a home in the 8800 block of South Indiana Avenue in…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said at the July 1 board meeting that those who have issues with the board should show up at meetings or identify themselves. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park’s Pekau blasts anonymous critics

By Jeff Vorva Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau used a little Independence Day history to hammer home a point about anonymous critics on social media who are hammering him and the board of trustees. At the July 1 board meeting, Pekau said attacks were unproductive. “We used to have anonymous robocalls and anonymous letters and…

Neighbors

Comings & Goings

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Trial date set for state senator charged with embezzlement

Trial date set for state senator charged with embezzlement

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Tom Cullerton, who was indicted in 2019 on charges of embezzlement, is set to go to trial in February next year, a federal judge said on Tuesday. Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park, is scheduled to be tried in the U.S. District Court in Chicago,…

Illinois to lose congressional seat based on 2020 census

Illinois to lose congressional seat based on 2020 census

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday Illinois will lose a seat in Congress based on the results of the 2020 census. Illinois will move from 18 to 17 seats in the U.S. House, an expected result after some advocates had warned that an undercount could lead to…

New state program aims for ‘one-on-one connections’ in communities to combat COVID-19

New state program aims for ‘one-on-one connections’ in communities to combat COVID-19

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new state program Monday that aims to increase vaccine access in low-income, vulnerable communities and to connect residents across the state to COVID-19 assistance programs for transportation, food, utilities or other resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic Health Navigator Program serves areas of the…

Illinois General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session end approaches

Illinois General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session end approaches

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — The state Senate and House passed more than 750 bills between them last week, addressing isolated timeouts in schools, youth vaping, teaching Muslim history, the commemoration of Juneteenth and automatic voter registration in prisons, among other topics. Friday was the deadline for the General Assembly to pass…

CAPITOL RECAP: Revenue discussions progressing at Capitol

CAPITOL RECAP: Revenue discussions progressing at Capitol

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Members of an Illinois Senate committee on Friday, April 23, sparred with officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration Friday in a hearing on tax changes proposed by the governor in an effort to balance the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. In his budget proposal released in February,…

Bills creating liaisons for homeless college students, addressing dental care in schools advance

Bills creating liaisons for homeless college students, addressing dental care in schools advance

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News Illinoisgbarbic@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate advanced several bills to the House Wednesday, including one establishing a housing insecurity liaison for homeless college students and another allowing routine dental care to be provided at schools. Senate Bill 190, sponsored by Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton, D-Western Springs, would require higher education…

House passes bill to reclassify small-amount drug possession as misdemeanor

House passes bill to reclassify small-amount drug possession as misdemeanor

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — A bill to lessen penalties for possessing and selling small amounts of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, narrowly passed out of the state House of Representatives Wednesday after a contentious debate. The discussion over House Bill 3447 provoked strong emotions on both sides of the aisle, passing…

CAPITOL RECAP: Lawmakers begin review of state monuments

CAPITOL RECAP: Lawmakers begin review of state monuments

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD  – A House committee tasked with reviewing statues and monuments on state property held its first meeting Wednesday, April 21, hearing from historians and state government associations on what steps are being in other states and what frameworks can be established to guide the review process. Rep. Tim Butler, a…

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinoisrtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A bill allowing a person who must register with a state agency due to a criminal conviction to change their name under specific circumstances passed the Illinois House on Thursday with bipartisan support. House Bill 2542, introduced by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, amends several state statutes…

House passes leadership term limits, source of income protections for renters

House passes leadership term limits, source of income protections for renters

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House advanced several bills Thursday, including one which would implement term limits on leadership positions in the General Assembly and another that would create additional protections for tenants’ sources of income. House Bill 642, introduced by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, would bar any individual…