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[ Mokena road named after Pfc. Aaron S. Toppen ]]> Lead story image

A road that a fallen Mokena soldier grew up on has been renamed in his memory. Dozens of people attended a ceremony Saturday commemorating the naming of Townline Road to Pfc. Aaron S. Toppen Memorial Drive. Toppen, 19, was one of five American soldiers killed June 9 by friendly fire while on a mission in Afghanistan. A convoy of military vehicles, fire trucks from local departments and motorcycles lined up along the road for the event attended by Toppen’s family, friends and supporters from groups such as Soldiers Guardian Angels, Warrior Watch Riders, Patriot Guard Riders, the Mokena VFW and … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:09:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Teen doesn’t let cerebral palsy keep her from modeling ]]> Lead story image

Cortney Kovack is an active 19-year-old, who enjoys cheerleading, singing in the choir and swimming. But her sparkling blue eyes and captivating smile are really what define this young lady from Evergreen Park. Never mind that she is physically and mentally challenged by Cerebral Palsy. Cortney, who uses a wheelchair, loves to dress up and ham it up in front of a camera, is on her way to fulfilling a dream of being a runway model. Her smile has already opened more than a few doors for her. Thanks to social media, Cortney was recently “discovered” by RunwayLOUD, which recently … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:56:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Tollway makes it easier to get I-PASS transponders ]]>

The Illinois Tollway is making it cheaper to obtain and fund an I-PASS transponder and account in advance of the new, cash-free interchange linking the Tri-State Tollway with Interstate 57 that is scheduled to open in October, according to a news release. The new I-294/I-57 Interchange will be the fourth all-electronic interchange on the Tollway system. While all of the Tollway’s recently constructed interchanges have not included a cash payment option, this is the first interstate-to-interstate connection on the Tollway system where there is no toll collection point on the mainline roadway for customers who want to pay cash. Tollway … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:46:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ SXU opens center for student-veterans ]]>

A new office at St. Xavier University’s Chicago campus is designed to help veterans who are returning to school. The Student Veteran Resource Center had its grand opening Aug. 25, with more than 50 attending the ceremony in the Warde Academic Center on the campus, 3700 W. 103rd St. “The objective of this office is to provide individualized advising and advocacy as well as a diverse range of programs and services that support student-veterans’ academic and personal development, learning experiences and involvement in campus life,” Sheri Gross, the center’s coordinator, said in a statement. The Student Veteran Resource Center will … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:46:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ One hurt in shooting near Oak Forest; person in custody ]]>

One person was shot and suffered minor injuries and another was taken into custody Sunday night after an incident following a soccer game in a forest preserve near Oak Forest, police said. The shooting happened about 5:15 p.m. after a soccer game at the Bachelor Grove Woods forest preserve at 147th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, Cook County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said. The person who was shot suffered graze wounds that were not life-threatening, Ansari said. Police took one person into custody. Neither the gender nor age of either person was available Sunday night. Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire, Jessie Molloy … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:08:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ St. Linus students place flags on lawn for Labor Day ]]> Lead story image

One by one, students at St. Linus Catholic School in Oak Lawn placed tiny American flags on the lawn outside the building to celebrate Labor Day and our nation’s workforce. The idea came from teacher Jean Swiecicki, the student council faculty adviser, and Principal Mike Stritch. “It’s to celebrate the American worker. You’ve heard of him and her,” Stritch said. “We’re trying to reinforce with the kids that the American worker built this country. Let’s celebrate that a bit. Maybe it will come back.” Also Friday, Stritch allowed students to take part in a “dress down day” in exchange for … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:07:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Homer Harvest Days next weekend ]]>

Lessons in tomahawk throwing, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator and a living history presentation about 18th century medicine are among the new events at this year’s 7th annual Homer Harvest Days. The festival, which is co-sponsored by Homer Glen and Homer Township, will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 6 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Trantina Farm, 15744 W. 151st St., Homer Township. Admission is free. The festival features food, live music, old-fashioned entertainment, children’s activities and demonstrations on pioneer and Civil War life. Many of the event’s most popular attractions are … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:07:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Frankfort fest continues to balloon ]]> Lead story image

Ten-year-old Sydney Hooten was hoping the Frankfort Fall Festival would help her get a new smartphone. She came up with the idea of turning the yard of the family’s house, just a couple of blocks from the fest, into a paid parking lot to raise money toward the purchase of a phone. They had, at $10 apiece, about 15 cars Saturday and another 18 on Sunday, plus she and family members were selling cold bottles of water for a buck. Whether she gets the phone was “still to be determined,” Sydney’s mom, Lisa, cautioned, but the parking lot on East … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:06:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ New Lenox’s Sharefest helps the needy ]]> Lead story image

Of all the municipal events held throughout the year in the Southland, Sharefest is somewhat unique. It’s a festival of charity and giving — there are no carnival rides, craft booths, musical entertainment or elephant ears. But there’s something for everyone at New Lenox-based Sharefest, where anyone who wants to donate food, clothing, household goods, books, pet supplies and recyclables is urged to participate. Volunteers are still needed, and those who do will find a wide variety of jobs from which to choose, according to their interest and ability. And those in need — whether it’s food, clothing or a … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:07:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ 1-year-old Tinley Park boy dies in accidental drowning ]]>

A 1-year-old boy drowned Friday afternoon in Tinley Park, an autopsy Saturday revealed. About 3:30 p.m., emergency crews responded to a home in the 7600 block of Brookside Glen Drive for a report of a possible drowning, said Pat Carr, director of Emergency Management and 911 communications for Tinley Park. Paramedics found Liam Joseph Giannone, who lived at the home, unresponsive and transported him to a Franciscan St. James Health in Olympia Fields, where he died at 5:05 p.m., authorities said. An autopsy performed Saturday found Giannone drowned, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the Cook County … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 17:18:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gov. Pat Quinn visits Robbins to push park funding initiative ]]> Lead story image

Gov. Pat Quinn visited the Robbins Park District on Saturday as part of a series of stops announcing a new plan to invest $14.4 million in south suburban parks. “Investments in park development and recreation are investments in the health, well being and future of the people in these communities,” Quinn told the spectators outside the small Park District office on Claire Boulevard. Robbins’ share of the allotted funds is $135,000, to improve the village’s existing parks and to demolish and demolish and clear hazardous buildings from two properties recently purchased by the park district. According to Quinn’s spokesperson Katie … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 17:18:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Person shot outside McDonald’s in Homewood ]]> Lead story image

A person was shot outside a McDonald’s restaurant Friday night in south suburban Homewood. The shooting happened about 11:30 p.m. at a McDonald’s parking lot in the 3100 block of 183rd Street, a Homewood Fire Department spokesman said. The person — whose age or gender was not immediately known — was taken to Christ Medical Center was stabilized, the spokesman said. … ]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:24:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Happy Birthday’ Worth celebrates 100 years ]]> Lead story image

Bill Conway chuckled when asked how Worth has changed since he was a boy. “Oh, a lot,” Conway, 89, said at the village hall.“I’m still in the house I was born in over on Worth Avenue. There was farmland here and only a couple of hundred people. My father, Edward Conway, was mayor from 1930 to 1941. They used to have his photo on the wall here.” Asked why Worth was a good place to live, he replied, “What’s wrong with it? It’s a nice town. Good people.” Conway, who was grand marshall of the Worth Days Parade Aug. 24, … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:10:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Skate park owner  unhappy with village ]]>

The owner of the Drop In skate park in New Lenox is angry about the village citing him for violating the park’s zoning permit by staying open later than allowed. Kevin McCullough called the village board “big government” and accused it of interfering with free enterprise by issuing the violation notice that accuses him of staying open until 11 p.m. when his special use permit specifies a 10 p.m. closing. “The first we knew our hours would be regulated was when we were given a violation,” said McCullough, who with his son owns the skate park, 899 Country Creek Drive. … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:16:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Church marks ‘friendly village’s’ 100 years with family friendly event ]]> Lead story image

As part of celebrating Worth’s centennial, and as a way to let more people know about their church, the folks at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church are inviting the community to what they’re calling an “old-time friendly fair” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. With Worth’s nickname being “the friendly village,” the name makes perfect sense, organizer Vivian Falcone said. She and fellow congregation members Jeanne Elder and Lezley Zubaty have been busy for weeks, finalizing plans for what promises to be a fun event for families at the church, 11007 S. 76th Ave. It’s on 111th Street, just … ]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:23:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago-area mattress chains being sold ]]>

Mattress Firm, a Texas-based retailer is paying about $60 million to acquire the Back to Bed and Bedding Experts stores in the Chicago area. The deal includes more than 100 stores in the metro area, as well as locations in Indiana, Wisconsin and Florida, the company said in a news release. The purchase is expected to close before October. Houston-based Mattress Firm operates 1,480 stores and expects sales for the current fiscal year to exceed $1.5 billion. The company has 13 stores in Illinois, but none in the Chicago market, and the purchase “will allow us to immediately gain scale … ]]> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:59:47 -0500