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Palos Heights wants to chop down this tree, remove the greenspace and pave it over. (Photo by Nuha Abdessalam)

Navajo Hills residents want to save threatened cul-de-sacs

By Nuha Abdessalam Navajo Hills greenspace islands could be getting the ax and residents are upset. Residents of the East and West Courts of Navajo Hills, aware of the historical significance of the greenspace, spoke up during the Palos Heights City Council meeting May 21. There are five cul-de-sacs in the Navajo Hills subdivision and…

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Summer concerts coming to Palos Heights

By Nuha Abdessalam At the May 21 City Council meeting, Ald. Jeff Key shared exciting news about some of the summer activities coming to Palos Heights in the coming months. Key said the Concerts in the Park, a series of family-friendly events featuring live music, food vendors, and fun activities for all ages, will kick…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau speaks during the May 16 State of the Village Address. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Nerds and bullies among topics of Orland’s State of the Village

By Jeff Vorva The 2024 Orland Park State of the Village Address was held at the Orland Park Civic Center, but it could have been held on a playground with talk of nerds and bullies and cool kids. Mayor Keith Pekau spent the first half hour “ripping off the Band Aid” of some recent controversial…

Marist won the Marist Sectional and will play Payton on Friday, May 31 in the state quarterfinals. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Marist tops Jones, advances to state quarterfinals

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent For the first time since 2019, Marist will play in the IHSA state finals. The RedHawks (36-2) beat Jones, 25-13, 25-13, for their 17th straight victory and a Marist Sectional championship on May 28 in Mount Greenwood. They will face Payton in the state quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 31…

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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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…

House GOP advances 2 human trafficking victim protection bills as others remain in limbo

House GOP advances 2 human trafficking victim protection bills as others remain in limbo

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com After Illinois received another failing grade from a national advocacy group, state House Republicans have introduced legislation aimed at further protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators of human trafficking. Shared Hope International, an advocacy organization that works to prevent sex trafficking, said in its 2023 Illinois report card that…

Hundreds of bills pass, including changes to state’s biometric data privacy law

Hundreds of bills pass, including changes to state’s biometric data privacy law

By HANNAH MEISEL COLE LONGCOR & ALEX ABEDDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers passed more than 200 bills this week ahead of their scheduled May 24 adjournment.  Many of the measures will soon head to Gov. JB Pritzker, including a bill that changes how damages accrue under Illinois’ first-in-the-nation biometric data privacy law.…

Pritzker pledges to expand access to mental health care in Illinois

Pritzker pledges to expand access to mental health care in Illinois

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month, Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton hosted a panel in Springfield this week at which he pledged to expand the state’s behavioral health services. With several dozen services providers from around the state in attendance, Pritzker…

With 1 week left in session, Pritzker admin says all revenue options remain on the table

With 1 week left in session, Pritzker admin says all revenue options remain on the table

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com While the governor’s office instructed its agency directors to prepare for $800 million in potential budget cuts last week, all facets of his plan to raise $1.1 billion in revenue to avoid those cuts remain under consideration.  Read more: ANALYSIS: ‘Significant enough’ opposition to Pritzker’s revenue plan leads to…

Illinois launches summer food assistance program

Illinois launches summer food assistance program

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The state is launching a new program to provide food assistance during the summer for families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school. Gov. JB Pritzker joined other state officials and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday to announce that Illinois will…

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…

House gives OK to new state agency focused on early childhood programs

House gives OK to new state agency focused on early childhood programs

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House gave final passage Thursday to a bill establishing a new cabinet-level state agency whose mission will be to provide a kind of one-stop shop for services focusing on early childhood development and education. By the time it’s fully operational in 2026, the new…

As vacated Centralia funeral home prepares for new tenant, owner makes a startling find

As vacated Centralia funeral home prepares for new tenant, owner makes a startling find

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com In the basement of a Centralia funeral home in a dark hallway off the embalming room, tucked inside a nook behind two steel plates and a door, a visitor found three disembodied, neatly wrapped human legs, two of them marked with names and dated to the 1960s.  The…