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: Local moms collaborate on children’s book ]]> Lead story image

There once was a story, Just brimming with joy It needed to be shared With every girl and boy. But time slipped away And years came to pass Until this very day, now a book, at last. There’s nothing elementary about writing a children’s book — even when you have a fabulous tale to tell. Nancy Gee knew right away she had the makings of a great picture book, but it still took a decade to bring “The Secret Drawer” to fruition. “I’m a little embarrassed, time got away from me,” Gee said. Gee, whose family owned Gee Lumber for … ]]> Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:11:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Vodou — Not what you may have thought ]]> Lead story image

Dark. Frightening. Zombielike. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Everything you thought you knew about vodou – including the name – is wrong. Vodou is a living religion practiced by millions of people. It is a vital spiritual and social force that for centuries bolstered the morale of the oppressed Haitian people as they struggled against unspeakable hardship. But Hollywood and indeed other religions would have you believe differently. They depict vodou as backward, evil and rife with curses and pain-inflicting practices involving dolls and pins. On Friday, the Field Museum opens “Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti” in its ongoing attempt to foster … ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:43:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Southland hospitals prepare but risk of Ebola is low ]]> Lead story image

What spreads faster than a viral outbreak? Fear. There’s no denying that the Ebola virus is horrific, fatal in about half of cases and is spreading rapidly in three West African countries. But, to date, only two cases have been diagnosed in the United States. Considering that the flu kills thousands each year, the widespread worry over Ebola may seem silly. Nevertheless, because the hemmoraghic virus is new to this country and there seems to be confusion among the nation’s top health officials about establishing and communicating protocols, many people are on high alert. But many Southland hospital officials want … ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:27:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: We don’t have to like them to love their story ]]> Lead story image

I was only a few chapters into the novel “Gone Girl” when it occurred to me — I didn’t like either of the main characters. Granted, likability is not a requirement for popularity in the fiction world. Consider Holden Caulfield from “Catcher in the Rye,” Humbert Humbert from “Lolita” and Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho.” Given the tenure that Gillian Flynn’s thriller has enjoyed on the New York Times best seller list, it’s obvious that charisma and charm did not factor into the success of “Gone Girl” either. I posted about this revelation on my Facebook page one day and … ]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 00:06:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: From Brothers Grimm to palm reading, local libraries busy at Halloween ]]> Lead story image

You think Sleeping Beauty went from a single kiss to a lifetime of bliss? Sure, it’s a fairy tale, but that doesn’t mean the original story was all twinkles and Dinseyfied charm. In the original tale collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and adapted by storyteller Judith Heineman and musician Dan Marcotte, Prince Charming’s mother is, well, less than sweet, as cannibals go. During a presentation Tuesday at the Green Hills Public Library in Palos Hills, Heineman and Marcotte told “the rest of the story,” based on the original folklore collected by the Brothers Grimm back in the late 1800s. … ]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:15:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Relic believed to be bone of St. Jude Thaddeus, one of Jesus’s apostles, in the Southland ]]> Lead story image

Catholics often appeal to a saint to join them in praying to God on their behalf. In times of distress, followers of the faith frequently reach out to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of difficult or seemingly hopeless situations. Many believe that St. Jude has a soft spot for people who are ignored, misunderstood or struggling with life’s challenges. St. Jude was one of Jesus’s 12 apostles. Since 1949, a relic of the martyred saint, who is believed to have been beheaded, has been housed at a church in Chicago. But through Oct. 15, the 1 ¼-inch piece of … ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 02:12:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Morgan Park long fought becoming part of Chicago ]]> Lead story image

It was a year of power struggles, alliances and outright war. Globally and on the south side of Chicago, too. Sure this year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, a war that would alter the face of Europe, but it is also the centennial of the culmination of another conflict closer to home: the battle for Morgan Park. It was in 1914 that the village of Morgan Park, once described as “the choicest of Chicago suburbs,” became a part of the city of Chicago. But, true to Chicago’s political roots, the annexation was rife with … ]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 02:14:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Final curtain coming down on Riley’s Trick Shop ]]> Lead story image

This is not the way that Jim Riley thought it would end. In their Palos Hills shop filled with whoopee cushions, fake vomit and relighting birthday candles — a place that for 77 years has made people smile, chuckle and scheme all sorts of silliness — Jim and his wife, Judy, have watched the American dream dissolve into a disappearing act. The business that Jim’s dad started during the Depression, that Jim and Judy have nurtured into an institution in the Southland is about to close its doors. Once the inventory runs out, Riley’s Trick Shop, 8086 W. 111th St., … ]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 02:13:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Positive reinforcement is the best way to parent ]]> Lead story image

There is a silver lining to the dark clouds hovering over the National Football League these days — conversation. People are now talking openly about the issues of domestic violence and corporal punishment. And discussion is the first step toward change. I sat down this past week with Gabrielle Roberts, a clinical psychologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, to find out what the experts think about the Adrian Peterson situation, about corporal punishment in general and about the most effective ways to parent. Peterson, a Minnesota Vikings running back, was charged last month with child abuse after he … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 02:14:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: The amazing life of Mike Giordano ]]> Lead story image

Mike Giordano handles this aging thing like he’s handled pretty much everything in his 90-plus years: like a winner. Then again, what do you expect from a guy who’s got so much going for him? “I’m a lucky man,” Giordano said last week while reminiscing about the old days in the Oak Forest home he shares with his daughter, Patty Zions. “I’ve done a lot of good things in my life. I was blessed with a lot of natural talent.” The former ace welder, top-notch softball player and celebrated accordionist, who “had a voice like Bing Crosby” and a washboard … ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:12:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Hatching turtles help make science lessons a snap ]]> Lead story image

Sometimes the field trip comes to you. Students in Chad Robson’s science classes at Tinley Park High School have been getting a hands-on lesson in reptile hatching since a retired Cook County Forest Preserve District employee brought them 19 snapping turtle eggs at the start of the school year. “What I find funny,” said junior Marissa Alcala, standing over a shallow plastic tub holding a half dozen hatchlings, “is that they all go up to one corner and start attacking each other to climb out. They’re stepping on each other’s heads and bodies.” “I love turtles,” said Alexis Cox, who … ]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 02:11:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: SD 230 bass fishing club casts eye toward future ]]> Lead story image

Fishermen often brag about what they take out of the water, but on this beautiful afternoon, the pride was all about giving back. About 20 members and their coaches from Consolidated High School District 230’s bass fishing club trolled across Orland Park’s Lake Sedgewick on Tuesday in the first wave of a long-term project to help advance the habitat of its fish population. Led by John Bartgen, head bass fishing coach and a social studies teacher at Andrew High School, the group, which was scattered across six sleek bass boats, dropped 14 fish cribs into the water. Half of them … ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 12:51:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Vickroy: Community leaders coming together to combat bullying ]]> Lead story image

Statistics show that bullying affects a third of all teens. But if we want to be honest, we must concede that it really affects us all. Victims, bullies, bystanders. If we haven’t been in those shoes ourselves, we know someone who has. So it makes sense to address this persistent social issue from a multifaceted approach, one that involves school officials, parents, police and counselors. That’s exactly what The Bridge Teen Center aims to do with its newly formed Bullying Coalition. Priscilla Steinmetz, executive director and founder of the Orland Park-based nonprofit community center, said, “It’s time.” Not only is … ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:18:52 -0500 <![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 … ]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:03:29 -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 … ]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 06:21:48 -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 … ]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 06:25:14 -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 … ]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 06:29:51 -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. … ]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:12:15 -0500