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[ Vickroy: Changing the face of beauty ]]> Lead story image

Lila Napientek has big dreams. Among them, to get her book published, to attend Yale or Harvard and to become a pediatric plastic surgeon. “I want to travel to Haiti and Africa and help kids like me,” she said. In addition to being smart, fun and beautiful, 10-year-old Lila is very aware that she is different. “I have frontal nasal dysplasia and midline facial cleft,” she said. She explains that’s why her eyes are so far apart and why she can’t bite down completely. “She’s been through some stuff,” said her mom, Nora Napientek, describing her daughter’s surgeries, one of … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:13:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Aspiring chef shares recipe: Find your passion, pursue it ]]> Lead story image

Kristyn Chatlosh recently returned to her alma mater to give high school students two things they typically love: inspiration and food. Chatlosh, a 2012 graduate of Andrew High School in Tinley Park, is enrolled in the culinary arts program at Joliet Junior College. She also is a member of the American Culinary Federation Youth Olympic Team that will represent the United States at the Youth Culinary Olympics in Germany in September 2016. On Sept. 5, she presented “Knife Skills and Life Skills” during Andrew’s enrichment and intervention period. Before a packed classroom, Chatlosh, 20, prepared Parisian-style gnocchi and talked about … ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:07:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Safe transport — more obese patients challenge EMS workers ]]> Lead story image

It’s a sign of our times — Americans are getting fatter. The Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation this month released the annual State of Obesity report, which shows that 68.5 percent of Americans are overweight with nearly 35 percent considered obese. While the report says there’s reason to believe those numbers are stabilizing, the rates remain high, particularly among middle-aged people and among blacks and Hispanics. In Illinois, nearly 30 percent of the population is considered obese. We’re certainly not the worst — Mississippi and West Virginia claim that title — but we’re a long … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:23:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Chicago-based group to honor fallen Marines at Ground Zero ]]> Lead story image

Cpl. Steve Olson’s best Marine Corps buddies were killed on the same night by the same gun. When Cpl. Brandon W. Pearson and Cpl. Matthew J. Broehm went on post on the night of Nov. 4, 2010, they had no idea that the Taliban had kidnapped the Afghan National Army soldier who was helping guard the base at Sangin, Afghanistan. A Taliban member had stolen the soldier’s machine gun. When Pearson and Broehm arrived for duty, he stepped off the ladder and shot them both. “That was a really bad night” in a string of months that offered “no calm … ]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 02:08:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Author to speak about desperate attempts to save family of Anne Frank ]]> Lead story image

Among the many questions that arise from reading “The Diary of Anne Frank,” is why Anne’s father, businessman Otto Frank, didn’t try to get his family out of occupied Amsterdam before they were captured by the Nazis. The answer is he did, which, of course, only makes the poignant story that much more heartbreaking. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who kept a diary while her family hid from the Nazis for nearly two years in a secret annex in Amsterdam during World War II. She and the seven others in hiding eventually were captured and deported to concentration camps. … ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:24:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: JRW success shows that character counts ]]> Lead story image

Between his power naps Tuesday, I caught up with Darold Butler, head coach of the U.S. Little League champs. He was still in shock from the welcome home hoopla that Jackie Robinson West received Monday at Midway Airport. “I had no idea all these people were watching,” said Butler, of Chicago’s Morgan Park community, where the team is based. Sure, his kids restored our interest in baseball at a time when both the Sox and the Cubs are failing to generate much excitement. But the Jackie Robinson West story is so much more than a sports story. It is a … ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:11:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: A year after transplant, Homewood student breathing easy ]]> Lead story image

For most of 21-year-old Josie Nordman’s life, the simple act of breathing has been a struggle. Born with cystic fibrosis, the Homewood resident was accustomed to being in and out of hospitals. Her condition made her prone to lung infections and other ailments. Throughout her years at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, she was a “frequent flier” at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where she would undergo antibiotic therapy and breathing treatments. She thought she was lucky in 2004 when the Make-a-Wish Foundation presented her with her own horse. But as her condition progressively worsened over the years, Nordman began … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 02:09:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Reavis principal’s pie wins blue ribbon at state fair ]]> Lead story image

For Paige Dague, winning a blue ribbon at the Illinois State Fair was as easy as pie. And anyone who knows pie knows it’s anything but easy, especially for novices, especially when they’re up against seasoned baking veterans at a state fair. Lucky for Dague, a mother of three and principal of Reavis High School in Burbank, she had no idea what she was up against. “Entering the fair was just a ‘bucket list’ thing for me,” said Dague, who began baking pies only a few years ago after her husband threw down a challenge. “I had no idea there … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:11:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Local filmmaker gets cooking with ‘Broiled’ ]]> Lead story image

What are the odds that two sets of dreamers would decide to rob the same bank on the same day? It could happen, and it does — in “Broiled,” a quirky, twisted and locally produced independent film shot on location this summer in rural DeKalb County. The movie, which features a local all-volunteer cast, is the brainchild of Palos Heights resident Megan St. John, a 2012 graduate of the University of Chicago. At the tender age of 23, St. John is founder/executive producer of Third Wheel Entertainment, a Chicago-based video production company that does promotional work for bands and small … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:11:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Turning sorrow into hope for at-risk job seekers ]]> Lead story image

Donna Cole-Scott is a big believer in second chances. The Homewood mother of three has worked for 17 years with kids who have wandered outside the boundaries and needed a second chance to get back on track. So when she struggled with what to do with her recently deceased husband’s suits, belts and other dress items, she knew he would want her to find a way to put them to good use, maybe even turn a sad situation into something hopeful. “I had called around to different consignment shops, but they all said they didn’t take men’s clothing because they … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:09:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: How to save the Cubs ... or at least their fans ]]> Lead story image

Help. The Cubs need help. So much help. And so do their waning, apathetic, disaffected fans. At a party Saturday night, a consensus arose among the mix of Cubs and Sox fans. Everyone — to a man, woman and child — agreed they would rather watch Jackie Robinson West play than either of Chicago’s major league baseball teams. “Win or lose, that’s a no-brainer,” one guy said. Though I’m ecstatic about the enthusiasm for the South Side’s Jackie Robinson West and all of the teams in the Little League World Series — those kids know how to generate excitement — … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:08:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Southland group helps men learn to grieve ]]> Lead story image

Walter Knight was angry. “Angry at God, the church, everyone,” he said. “Mostly, I was angry at myself. How did I let this happen? And why I couldn’t I have fixed it?” Like a lot of men who grieve the loss of a spouse, Knight had insisted for months after his wife, Deborah, died in 2009 that he was fine, that he’d get through this. “I kept saying, ‘I got this,’” he said. But the reality was he didn’t “have this.” It was bigger than him, and everything he tried to do to ease the pain backfired. “Staying in bed … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:29:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: What teachers do on summer vacation ]]> Lead story image

Here’s what some students might think their teachers did during their summer break: sit in a chaise lounge by the pool popping bonbons. But here’s what some local teachers really did during the offseason — traveled, wrote, performed on stage and conducted science experiments. Many teachers across the Southland spent their summer vacations learning, growing and working toward becoming better teachers. Alexis Morford traveled to Cuenca, Ecuador, to visit exchange students whom her family hosted when she was a student. Over the years, she has kept in touch with the three women whom she credits with helping her decide to … ]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:39:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: When genius isn’t enough: No humor in mental illness ]]> Lead story image

Dr. Rian Rowles was with a patient when he learned the news about Robin Williams. The chairman of psychiatry and substance abuse services at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn said: “I’d just watched ‘Good Will Hunting’ three weeks prior. I was definitely a fan but I was also aware of some of his struggles.” The nation exhaled a collective sigh Monday when it learned that the 63-year-old comic actor had committed suicide at his home in the San Francisco Bay area. How could someone with a gift for making millions of people happy be so incredibly sad, sad enough … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 06:35:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Beverly mom on mission of kindness ]]> Lead story image

The book sat on Kerry Lynch’s nightstand for a good two months. “I couldn’t bring myself to read it, just because I knew it was going to mirror our life,” she said. The book was “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio, and the life was that of a child with craniofacial syndrome. But like the bestseller’s title promises, once the mother of two from Chicago’s Beverly community cracked the cover last summer, she couldn’t put it down. In addition to giving her insight into what lies ahead for her 2-year-old daughter, Mary Cate, the book has blessed her with a platform from … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:10:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Oak Forest teen, science academy pioneer, survives stroke ]]> Lead story image

When last we saw Andy Beahan, just before Labor Day 2013, he was packing up to head east. The Oak Forest teen was among a handful of American and Chinese students chosen last year to participate in the inaugural class of Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science (PRISMS) in Princeton, New Jersey. The coeducational, non-denominational private boarding school provides a rigorous inquiry-driven education for highly talented students who have a passion for math and science. And what a year it was. Not only did Andy, 16, live away from home, he produced work on alternative energy that is now … ]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 06:30:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘A year with Gianna,’ Chicago Heights teen writes cook book ]]> Lead story image

There are three things that help Gianna West cope with being in constant pain. Since the 16-year-old, who was born with spina bifida and a host of complications, can’t go horseback riding every day and since the Jonas Brothers are, ahem, spoken for, she spends a lot of time in the kitchen of her family’s Chicago Height’s home chopping, stirring and devising recipes. “Cooking helps me escape, it helps me forget about the pain,” said Gianna, whose condition — marked by the incomplete development of the spinal cord, compounded by hydrocephalus (water on the brain), chiari (a structural defect of … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 06:22:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Morris Ellis backyard concert a musical trip down memory lane ]]> Lead story image

The phlox are bursting with pink, the temperature is an easy 75, and as the sun sets over Chicago, the jazzy instrumental “Europa” carries Leslie and George Jackson once again to Cloud Nine. The Jacksons, of the city’s South Shore community, met on Christmas night 1960, dancing to the music of Morris Ellis at the Parkway Ballroom in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Now, here they were again — basking in the entertainer’s greatness, right in his back yard in the Beverly community. “We’ve been married 51 years,” George said. “This is very special to us,” Leslie added. The concerts are special … ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:40:24 -0500