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The Homer Horizon 012518

® 16 | January 25, 2018

® 16 | January 25, 2018 | The Homer Horizon news Two weeks left to spread the love Valentine’s Day Coloring Contest deadline is Feb. 7 Bill Jones Managing Editor The Valentine’s Day Coloring Contest is off and running. And this year, we are making it as easy as it has ever been to enter. Last week, we announced the return of 22nd Century Media’s annual competition. We provide you with a blank heart. Children fill it with love and creativity. Veterans receive cards right around Valentine’s Day. And a few lucky entrants win prizes, and even more get to see their work in print. We are once again asking children ages 3-12 to get creative by downloading the form from the home page of — or find it on Page 29 of this week’s issue of The Homer Horizon — creating just one outstanding valentine per entrant and sending those valentines our way. Entries must be mailed to or dropped off at 22nd Century Media Southwest Chicago c/o Editor Bill Jones, 11516 W. 183rd St., Unit SW Office Condo #3, Orland Park, IL, 60467. The deadline to submit entries is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7. Publisher 22nd Century Media’s Southwest Chicago staff will review all entries and select winners in each of three age groups — ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The winning entries are to be published in The Homer Horizon’s Feb. 15 edition, along with other favorites, at the editor’s discretion. For this year’s contest, we will be picking first-, secondand third-place entries from each of the three age groups. All three of the 9- to 12-yearold winners are to receive two hours of free bowling for up to six people, including shoe rentals, along with a pizza and pitcher of pop, at Laraway Lanes, 1009 W. Laraway Road in New Lenox. The three 6- to 8-year-old winners will get a multi-use pass for the Splash Park run by the Mokena Community Park District. And the 3- to 5-year-old winning entrants will take home a $5 gift certificate to Dairy Queen, 950 E. 9th St. in Lockport. Winners will be chosen based on creativity and neatness. Entries must use and fit on the form provided. As in past years, 22nd Century Media Southwest Chicago is to team up with an area organization to help distribute the finished valentines — minus the entry forms information — to veterans. For more information, call (708) 326-9170 ext. 20 or email FROM THE NEW LENOX PATRIOT Three men, one juvenile charged in string of burglaries Three men and one juvenile reportedly were apprehended near the Village Commons the morning of Jan. 15 in connection with a string of burglaries in New Lenox and neighboring communities. A public works employee who was plowing the streets observed the four checking on cars around 4 a.m. near Old Plank Trail Community Bank and called the police, according to New Lenox Police Deputy Chief Louis Alessandrini. When authorities responded to the area, all four fled, he said. One was found hiding in an unlocked vehicle; two were found hiding in bushes; and the other was caught as he was running across Route 30 — all in a short amount of time, Alessandrini said. Omar Ali, 22, of Harvey; Tyler Cupit, 21, of Dolton; and Abullah Mansurmasa, 20, of Calumet City, each were charged with possession of a stolen car and burglary to a motor vehicle. The juvenile, who is from Harvey, was released to his family and will be petitioned to court at a later time, Alessandrini said. Alessandrini said the four traveled to New Lenox in a car that was stolen out of Highland Park. Inside the vehicle, police reportedly found items that were connected to car burglaries from New Lenox and other towns over several days. “In this particular case, we’re very fortunate that our public works employee was observant and gave the police a call,” Alessandrini said. “We encourage all residents to give us a call if they see something fishy, even if NEW YEAR. NEW SUCCESS. ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS IN The Homer Horizon JULIE MCDERMED 708.326.9170 ext. 21 CONTACT it turns out to be nothing.” Reporting by James Sanchez, Editor. For more, visit New FROM THE ORLAND PARK PRAIRIE Faith United Methodist presents first of safety training series This winter, Faith United Methodist Church of Orland Park is opening its doors for a series of Church Safety & Disaster Preparedness Training, aimed to help its congregation — and members of the community — gain skills to put to use in any number of emergency situations. On Jan. 17, the first of these classes — two additional courses are slated to be offered later in the season — was presented in two parts. Orland Park Police Deputy Chief Joe Mitchell led a session on church safety and, later, members of Faith United Methodist’s own Emergency Response Team led a session on Disaster Preparedness Training. It can be tough to engage in conversations about active shooters and bomb threats, but Mitchell explained the importance of “what if” thinking and developing response plans to such horrible scenarios. “We’re going to talk a bit about the background of what’s going on in houses of worship, active shooter situations that occur, and how to build and maintain site security,” he said before his presentation. “I have a manual that I will hand out about dealing with bomb threats, active shooters, suspicious people and disasters.” Faith United Methodist Church is slated to offer the program again at 11 a.m. Feb. 17 (the Orland Park Police presentation only) and at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 25 (both sessions). For more information, visit or call (708) 444-8560. Reporting by Laurie Fanelli, Freelance Reporter. For more, visit FROM THE MOKENA MESSENGER Multi-chamber event plays to Mokena’s Front Street plans A night of networking brought the south suburban business community together to share ideas, business plans and a few laughs at Little Joe’s in Frankfort. On Jan. 11, members of four local chambers of commerce — Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox and Tinley Park — met in Frankfort for a business after hours staged by Spa Remedy and Little Joe’s. The gathering gave business owners and employees a chance to brainstorm ideas with colleagues while enjoying a casual night full of food, fun and music. Members of the Mokena Chamber of Commerce earlier that day also welcomed a new business to town. “Today was exciting,” said April Jackson, Mokena Chamber of Commerce’s director. “We had the grand opening and ribbon cutting for Accelerate Indoor Speedway. Half of the proceeds from any go-kart race that you purchased and participated in during the opening went toward benefitting the Special Olympics, so it was a big fundraiser, too.” Revitalizing Front Street and drawing more businesses to Downtown Mokena is one of the priorities for the Mokena Chamber. Reporting by Laurie Fanelli, Freelance Reporter. For more, visit sound off the Homer Horizon | January 25, 2018 | 17 Social snapshot Top stories From from Monday, Jan. 22 1. Dance: Porters team receives 90.63 score at conference 2. Homer college student trains for cross-country bicycle journey 3. Boys Bowling: Porters cruise to regional title on home lanes 4. Eighth-graders learn about LTHS choir, band at Step-Up Days 5. Township Board: Officials discuss 2018 projects at Morris Park, Trantina Farm Become a Horizon Plus member: “Maryann T. from our LTC Small Houses is a real champ at the game Left, Right and Center.” Victorian Village from Jan. 17. Like The Homer Horizon: “Getting ready for community strategic planning in #HomerGlen. #MunicipalPartner @ONTO2050” @janegrover, Jane Grover, outreach principal at Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, from Jan. 17. Follow The Homer Horizon: @homerhorizon From the Assistant Editor Encouraging children to be excited about learning Jacquelyn Schlabach I remember back in fifth grade, my class was the only one in the whole school to have laptops. There would be times that other classes would come and share the laptops with us because we were fortunate enough to have a teacher who was very knowledgeable in technology. They were Mac laptops, no less, and a lot of times, we would make short movies to demonstrate our understanding of a topic we were learning about. I remember one time, we were Sound Off Policy Editorials and columns are the opinions of the author. Pieces from 22nd Century Media are the thoughts of the company as a whole. The Homer Horizon encourages readers to write letters to Sound Off. All letters must be signed, and names and hometowns will be published. We also ask that writers include their address and phone number for verification, not publication. Letters should be limited to 400 words. The Homer Horizon reserves the right to edit letters. Letters become property of The Homer Horizon. Letters that are published do not reflect the thoughts and views of The Homer Horizon. Letters can be mailed to: The Homer Horizon, 11516 West 183rd Street, Unit SW Office Condo #3, Orland Park, Illinois, 60467. Fax letters to (708) 326-9179 or e-mail to tom@ learning about levers and pulleys in our science unit, and the group of students I was working with decided to remake our own show and talk about the machines. I really enjoyed it. At only 10 years old, I was using technology that not many students — or adults for that matter — had used. I had the opportunity to visit Schilling School last week to learn about a new computer program called Seesaw that students are using in the grade schools. It’s a program that allows students to upload videos, audio, drawings, pictures and more to demonstrate their understanding of daily activities and lessons. The neat thing is that parents can see what their children are posting to stay up-to-date on their learning. You can read more about this on Page 11. It was actually pretty encouraging to see how excited the thirdand fourth-graders that I spoke to were about Seesaw. Six students in a row all kept saying to me how they wanted to talk about Seesaw, and one boy went out of his way to explain to me all that he does with the program. Children are getting passionate about learning, and that’s inspiring to see. They love sharing their learning with their teachers and parents, because they’re proud of their work. They feel like they have a purpose and that their learning is really meaningful, which, of course, it is. Although I was fortunate to have laptops when I was Get ready to vote! THE FRANKFORT STATION • THE HOMER HORIZON • THE LOCKPORT LEGEND THE MOKENA MESSENGER • THE NEW LENOX PATRIOT THE ORLAND PARK PRAIRIE • THE TINLEY JUNCTION a fifth-grader, I still wish I had something like Seesaw for my earlier years of grade school. Not only is it a fun program, it also encourages students to pay attention and take the time to understand the material because they know they have to post about it later on Seesaw. I’m all for any educational tool that helps make learning easier and more fun, especially as the students get older and enter high school, where everything becomes more competitive. Seesaw can at least prepare them to focus on their own learning and work to find ways that help them understand material the best. I hope more schools continue to find the best learning tools to help their students excel. coming Jan. 18-feb. 12 Categories include: Beauty • Dining Education Fitness & Recreation Health • Pets • Services Shopping • Vehicles Honor your favorite local businesses by voting for them in the third annual Southwest Choice Awards! Look for the ballot inside your 22nd Century Media newspaper or vote online at