Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT Southtown Star logo 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Fund to fix veterans memorial in New Lenox gets a boost ]]> Lead story image

Efforts to repair a damaged veterans memorial in New Lenox got a boost Friday, when officials with LincolnWay Community Bank presented a check for nearly $2,700 to VFW Post 9545. Customers of the New Lenox bank joined forces, contributing toward the $2,694.50 check to help repair the vandalized memorial, bank president Mark Stevens said. The exact cost for repairs has not been determined, although New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann previously estimated it would take $35,000 to $50,000 to replace the broken granite monuments. VFW Post 9545 quartermaster Larry Paveza said a repair fund had about $26,500 in it before Friday’s … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:07:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Parolee charged with Bedford Park cold case murder ]]> Lead story image

A recent parolee with a long criminal history has been charged with the 2002 cold case murder of a woman in Bedford Park. Steven Podkulski, 40, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder for the death of 27-year-old Jennifer Boyd, according to court records. He was ordered held on a $3 million bond Thursday. Boyd was stabbed repeatedly and left to bleed to death inside a locker at the Public Storage facility at 6990 W. 79th St. in Bedford Park on Aug. 3, 2002. Her death was the first recorded murder ever in the village. Podkulski has a long history of … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:33:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ How cops tracked a suspected serial killer to the south suburbs ]]> Lead story image

As the search for other possible victims of suspected serial killer Darren D. Vann continues, Cook County sheriff’s investigators have been using his phone records to narrow their search, sources say. Vann traveled from Indiana to the Illinois south suburbs of Harvey, Markham and Hazel Crest after the murder of 19-year-old Afrika Hardy this month. Vann was arrested Oct. 18. Investigators can track his route with the “pings” phones make on cell towers, the sources said. A Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman said he couldn’t say how precisely the investigators can determine Vann’s route through the technology. But it’s enabling investigators … ]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:57:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woman sues Trinity Services over mom’s death ]]>

The Trinity Services mental health care agency is being sued by a woman who claims Trinity was negligent in allowing her mother to leave a group home in Lockport last year, resulting in the patient being killed in a hit-and-run accident. Joanna L. Mullis, of LeRoy, Illinois, has filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Will County Circuit Court against New Lenox-based Trinity Services and the driver, Marissa Martin, 19, of Olympia Fields. Mullis’ mother, Tina Douglas, suffered from psychotic and seizure disorders stemming from a traumatic head injury and resided at the group home, according to the suit. It says … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:22:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Police investigating murder of Lockport Township teen ]]>

A Lockport Township teen was killed in a drive-by shooting Thursday as he walked near his home along Princeton Avenue. Latray Wright, 16, was shot about 4 p.m. and taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and later died after being airlifted to another hospital. Will County Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas said the sheriff’s department is working with Joliet police in the investigation and had no new leads in the investigation on Friday afternoon other than a witness described the assailants as three black males in a blue vehicle. “It’s premature to speculate on (a motive),” Kaupas said. “Joliet … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:47:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Police: Golf club thief arrested in Palos Hills ]]>

A Burbank man has been charged with stealing more than $6,000 worth of golf clubs in the west and southwest suburbs, police said. Officers were called to a home in the 11200 block of Southwest Highway in Palos Hills at 11:25 a.m. Monday to investigate a reported theft, Palos Hills police said in a statement. A man told officers that several golf clubs — valued at $2,100 — had been stolen from the home, and that he had the theft on video, police said. About 3:10 p.m., police found a suspicious person in the area and identified him as the … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:57:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Educators decry proposed school funding plan ]]> Lead story image

Legislation that proposes a shift in state funding for school districts could result in teacher cuts, larger class sizes and higher property tax bills in some local districts, officials with those districts said Thursday. Consolidated High School District 230 and its six feeder school districts would stand to lose more than $23 million in state funds under the bill that passed the Senate in spring and is yet to be considered by the House, District 230 board president Richard Nogal said. The seven districts held a town hall meeting at Sandburg High School in Orland Park to rally support from … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:37:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ex-Alsip treasurer sues mayor; says she was fired for rejecting his sexual advances ]]> Lead story image

Alsip Mayor Patrick Kitching fired village Treasurer Elizabeth Gonzalez last year because she had rejected his sexual advances over several years, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Chicago. Kitching’s improper conduct included often leaving on Gonzalez’s desk personal cards that contained “suggestive messages,” the lawsuit claims. “I’ll never tire of playing with fire ... as long as that fire is you,” one card reads. Another features a picture of a dog that says, “No matter what, no matter when ... I’m here for you.” Some of the cards are signed, “Love Me.” “These cards are completely inappropriate for … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:35:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wolf’s Bakery owner remembered for community support ]]> Lead story image

When you make your living in the bakery business, it’s probably hard to choose a favorite treat. Not for Jeffrey Lyon. “Hands down, it was the lemon fluff,” said Joe Boehm, general manager of Wolf’s Bakery, which Lyon bought from the original owner 23 years ago. “He really prided himself on that cake. It was his baby.” Lyon, a popular member of the Evergreen Park community, died Oct. 20 of cancer. He is survived by his wife, Pam, sons Bill and Nick, sisters Ginger and Dana and brother Ham Lyon. “He was a wonderful man to work for,” Boehm said. … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:35:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ New bridge to end bottleneck on Metra’s Rock Island Line ]]> Lead story image

A bridge on Chicago’s South Side that’s designed to end frustrating delays for riders on Metra’s Rock Island Line was formally dedicated Thursday. The Englewood flyover — a $142 million project at 63rd and State streets funded largely with federal money — was finished last month and eliminated a crossing where the north-south Metra tracks met east-west tracks that carry freight and Amtrak trains. It’s part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program, or CREATE, and the bridge also will help speed the flow of freight trains through the Chicago area, a major area of congestion for national … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:35:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ In Brief: Hiring event in South Holland ]]>

Southland job seekers can take part in a hiring event from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at the South Suburban College gymnasium, 15800 State St., South Holland. U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-2nd. is hosting the event, according to a press release. More than 60 employers took part last year and met with more than 1,400 people, according to the release. Among the employers participating this year are Coca-Cola, Walgreens, Comcast, ComEd, Metra, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, JPMorgan Chase, Ingalls Memorial Hospital, Sinai Health System, Bimba and BMO Harris Bank, according to the release. Register beforehand at For … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:37:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Businesses accused of selling booze to minors ]]>

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission cited six Hickory Hills businesses for allegedly selling alcohol to minors during a sting conducted in conjunction with the Hickory Hills police department. The following businesses failed the compliance check: American Drug Stores, 9534 S. Roberts Road; Vito & Nicks II, 9644 S. Roberts Road; Speedway, 8759 W. 95th St.; Walgreens, 8800 W. 95th St.; Greko Investment (Kowal’s Bar & Grill) 9401 S. Roberts Road; and JK Partners (Roberts Roadhouse) 9090 S. Roberts Road, the ILCC said in a news release Wednesday. Owners will have hearings before the ILCC board of commissioners. They may be … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:32:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Homer Glen approves Big R store but nixes electronic sign ]]>

The Homer Glen Village Board on Wednesday night approved plans for a Big R home-and-farm store to fill a vacant building but rejected the store’s request for an electronic sign. Big R plans to take over the 92,000-square-foot former Kmart store, 15830 Bell Road, which closed in January 2013. It will be the retailer’s first Chicago-area store. Big R, which operates more than 75 stores nationwide, caters to small-farm owners but also carries clothing, sporting goods, tools, lawn and garden supplies, paints, toys and more. The store is expected to create 45 to 50 jobs and open in late April. … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:43:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hickory Street murder suspect’s hearing scheduled for November ]]> Lead story image

Accused murderer Adam Landerman was scheduled to have a pretrial hearing in Will County Court on Thursday, but that hearing now will be Nov. 5. Judge Gerald Kinney, who has been presiding over the case, was not in court Thursday. Landerman, who’s the son of a Joliet police officer, was one of four charged with the January 2013 murders of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, 22, who were robbed and strangled after being lured to a house on the 1100 block of Hickory Street in Joliet. Two of his co-defendants, Bethany McKee, 20, and Joshua Miner, 26, were found guilty … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:36:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ FBI: Bank robber told teller, ‘Have a great f------ day’ ]]> Lead story image

A robber man told a bank teller to “have a great f------ day” after he stole about $20,000 at gunpoint last week, according to federal court documents. The robber, identified as 26-year-old Carl P. Wilson, of Joliet, entered the First Midwest Bank branch at 11200 W. 143rd St. in Orland Park just after 1:30 p.m. Oct. 13 armed with a semi-automatic handgun and wearing a black hood on his face, according to the FBI. He jumped over the counter and loudly threatened an employee, demanding money, according to a federal criminal complaint. As the employee walked to a cash dispenser, … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 03:37:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oak Lawn restricts electronic recycling to residents only ]]> Lead story image

Too much of a good thing has Oak Lawn scaling back its electronic recycling program. Starting Nov. 1, only vehicles with an Oak Lawn village sticker will be allowed to drop off items such as TVs, DVD players, radios and desktop, laptop and tablet computers at the public works department garage collection site at 98th Street and Central Avenue. The site also will be open only from 9 a.m. to noon the second Saturday of each month. Jack Lopez, a public works employee who coordinates the village’s electronic recycling, told the village board last week that too many electronics were … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:44:08 -0500