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Local growers make the best of a rainy pumpkin season

The pumpkin is the piece de resistance for many a gardener. After the tomatoes, peppers and zucchini have been enjoyed or put up, there is the grand crop of homegrown specialties — to be carved, baked or simply regaled. Two successful pumpkin gardeners in the …

Chicago man missing; last seen in forest preserve near Palos Park

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Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding a Chicago man thought to be lost in a forest preserve near Palos Park. John Michael Cunningham, 27, was last seen about 10:45 a.m. Thursday in a forest preserve area near 104th Avenue and McCarthy Road, …

Snow, slushy rain offer chilling Halloween for Chicago area

The best Halloween outfit might be a heavy coat, gloves and a knit skull cap. About an “hour or two” of snow was slated for Friday morning in Chicago, and temperatures could dip as low as the 20s with wind gusts up to 60 mph.

New school report cards can’t be compared with last year’s

It’s report card time for schools, and Friday debuts a new reporting system in Illinois, one that has been generally well received by school officials and promises to be easier for parents to understand.

The new report card contains a lot more information, presented in …

Guts and gore line Mokena streets for Halloween house contest

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The Mokena park district has announced the winners of its Halloween house decorating contest and hopes residents will drive by to take a look.

First place winners were Darren Grant, 19801 Scarth Lane, and Lisa Fabian, 19410 Sarkis Drive, said Erin Cortilet, spokesperson for the …

Four Southland students in the running for Tollway map cover art

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Four art students from the Southland were named semifinalists in the 2015 Tollway Map Art Contest.

Nora Guerrero, Kevin McDonald and Klaudia Tryskuc, of Reavis High School in Burbank, along with Jessica L. Karlic, of Lincoln-Way West High School, were four of the 10 selected. …

Federal inspector general to audit transport of volatile crude by rail

A federal inspector general is launching an audit of whether hazardous materials are being carried safely over the nation’s rails — including highly volatile Bakken crude that travels through the Chicago area. “Due to the public safety risk posed by increases in the transportation of …

New Lenox proclaimed a Purple Heart community

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There seemed to be an extra snap in the wrists of three men as they saluted the flag Monday night at the New Lenox Village Board meeting.

Dressed in purple shirts, purple satin jackets and purple Garrison caps, Bill Minnich, Art Schultz and John Domina …

Quinlan won’t run for third term on Oak Lawn Village Board

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Saying she’s grown weary of bickering at Oak Lawn Village Board meetings, Trustee Carol Quinlan has decided to not seek re-election in 2015.

A lifelong Oak Lawn resident, Quinlan, 52, the 5th District trustee, is winding down her second four-year term on the board.

She …

Will County judge’s son pleads ‘not guilty’ to alleged abuse

The son of a Will County judge on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to attacking his girlfriend, the mother of his 1-year-old son, and has requested a jury trial.

Louis Goode, 29, allegedly choked and pushed his girlfriend and briefly locked her in the trunk of …

Traffic issue stymies proposed New Lenox apartment complex

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Concern over traffic congestion on Monday stalled a proposed luxury apartment complex at U.S. 30 and Prairie Street in New Lenox.

Village trustees said they didn’t want to add more traffic in that area, which now draws about 800 vehicles per day, mostly using Metra’s …

Orland Park art studio hosts BYOB painting parties

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At one Orland Park business, customers can raise a glass at the same time they raise a paint brush.

Art a la Carte opened in late February and recently won approval from the village for a license allowing customers to bring in liquor.

The studio, …

Will County board considering next year’s spending plan

Members of Will County board’s finance committee are finalizing figures on their proposed 2015 budget and are expected to act on it at the committee’s Nov. 6 meeting before presenting it to the full county board later this month.

The total proposed budget is $466 …

Three suffer minor injuries on hayride at Bengtson’s Farm

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Three people suffered minor injuries Monday when a tractor-pulled hayride wagon tipped slightly at Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen, Homer Township Fire Protection District Chief Bob Tutko said.

A father, daughter and grandmother were taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for “bumps …

Illiana impact: Is last call near for former Capone hangout?

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It’s a quiet weekday afternoon in the spring, and a few men have straggled in for a cold one after work.

There’s a loyal customer base at Edwin’s bar ­— though it seems to sit in the middle of nowhere, the only building on the …

Harvey approves outside study of police department

By a 5-1 vote Monday night, Harvey aldermen voted to override Mayor Eric Kellogg’s veto and approve an ordinance allowing the Cook County Sheriff’s Department to conduct an evaluation of the city’s police department. The assessment will include interviews with all police employees, a complete …