11 months ago


The Mokena Messenger 012518

16 | January 25, 2018 |

16 | January 25, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger news 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. 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. 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 FRANKFORT STATION Mayor administers oath to two new police sergeants Two longtime members of the Frankfort Police Department were sworn in as sergeants during the Jan. 16 meeting of the Village Board. Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland administered the oath of office to Sgt. Michael Jaicomo and Sgt. Leanne Bender. “I don’t think our residents necessarily know how complex and difficult it is to become a sergeant in the police force,” Holland said. Jaicomo began working for the Frankfort Police Department in 2005 and participated in the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois. Throughout his 12- year career in Frankfort, he has been assigned to several functions with the department, including the Investigations Division. In 2006, Jaicomo received the department’s life-saving medal after assisting a man experiencing a heart attack. The new sergeant also has been a part of the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, with which he has assisted with multiple investigations, including homicides. Bender joined the department in 2002 as a patrol officer and began working as a crime prevention officer in 2006. During her time in crime prevention, Bender played a role in implementing department programs such as the Night Out Against Crime, Citizens’ Police Academy, Seniors on Patrol, Trunk or Treat and school safety programs. Reporting by Nuria Mathog, Editor. For more, visit Frank FROM THE LOCKPORT LEGEND New computer program at Homer 33C opens communication between parents, students It is normal for parents to ask their children what they did at school when they come home. Too often, however, the answers tend to be, “nothing” or ”not much.” But a new educational program called Seesaw is changing the way parents and children communicate with one another about the activities done throughout the school day at Homer School District 33C. All grade levels at Schilling School and select teachers at Goodings Grove, Butler and Young schools are using Seesaw, which allows students to post throughout the day the various activities and assignments they have completed for their parents to see. Parents can sign into Seesaw via the smartphone application or directly on the website, and get notifications when their child has made a post. “We do so much on the computers now that the parents don’t get the opportunity to see, and now students are able to screenshot the things that they make; they’re able to upload files, any Google slideshows, and it’s just great for the parents to see what they’re doing on a daily basis in the classroom,” said Alisha Neil, third-grade teacher at Schilling School. At the start of the 2017- 2018 school year, teachers updated from the free version of Seesaw to the school edition, which has more capabilities. “Really, we were looking for it to empower our students to showcase their learning, but also really to kind of engage our families more in communication, we wanted students to be able to show that authentic work sample,” said Kathleen Robinson, assistant superintendent for instruction at Homer 33C. Reporting by Jacquelyn Schlabach, Assistant Editor. For more, visit LockportLegend. com. FROM THE HOMER HORIZON Lockport boys swimming overcomes Warriors 105- 77, awaits postseason With an eye on the upcoming conference meet and sectional to follow soon after that, the Lockport Township and Lincoln-Way West boys swimming teams tuned up last week. The two teams met in a SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover dual meet on Jan. 16 in New Lenox. There, Lockport outdistanced the host Warriors 105-77. “We’re nearing the end, so we’re looking to finetune everything,” Lockport swimmer Erik Firganek said. “Our turns, our touches, our walls, everything. We’re swimming tired now. Some of the younger guys are looking ahead to the conference, while the guys that have been on varsity longer will look to taper more toward the sectional.” Firganek, a senior, captured the 100-yard butterfly against West with a time of 59.06 seconds and also was on a pair of winning relay teams. Also winning individual titles for the Porters was junior Michael Bates (25.58 seconds) in the 50 freestyle and Connor Hecker (51.83), who outraced fellow senior teammate Colin Onak (55.37) in the 100 free. Also, sophomore Augusto Ureta (5:30.14) won the 500 free by more than 18 seconds. In the diving, senior Logan Morgan (271.05) outscored junior teammate Wrigley Fields (263.60). The week before, on Jan. 11 against Sandburg, Morgan set a new Lockport pool record with a six-dive score of 289.80. Reporting by Randy Whalen, Freelance Reporter. For more, visit FROM THE TINLEY JUNCTION Applications open for Benches on the Avenue One of Tinley Park’s favorite traditions is to return this May for its 15th season. The Village of Tinley Park recently announced applications are now open for Benches on the Avenue, with this year’s theme of “Treasured Family Musicals.” Artists of all degrees and experience are encouraged to submit two designs that will be become the art base for each handcrafted wooden bench sponsored by a local individuals and businesses. The 6-foot benches are to be on display from May to October along Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park’s downtown district. “We are looking for exciting, imaginative, threedimensional designs depicting some of the most classic musicals of both stage and screen,” according to a press release issued by the Village. “Anyone with imagination and a bit of artistic creativity can be part of Benches on the Avenue.” An application and design form are available on the Village’s website, and selected artists will receive $400 for supplies, as well as a chance to win one of several awards based on various criteria, such as Best First-Time Participant and Judge’s Choice. Entries must be postmarked no later than Feb. 2 or can be dropped off at the Tinley Park Village Hall, 16250 S. Oak Park Ave. Artists whose designs have been selected are to be notified by Feb. 23, with an artist meeting planned for Feb. 28. Benches will be available for pickup on March 1 at which point the selected artists will work on the project from their homes or studios before the benches are due back by May 4. Reporting by Cody Mroczka, Editor. For more, visit Tin sound off the Mokena Messenger | January 25, 2018 | 17 Social snapshot Top 10 Web Stories of 2017 From as of Monday, Jan. 22 1. ‘Every 21 Seconds’ debuts at Emagine 2. Dance fever catches on for LW Central team 3. District (sort of) moves closer on LW North fate 4. Accelerate brings high-speed fun for all ages 5. Griffins outlast Eagles despite off shooting night Become a member: “Great ribbon cutting at Accelerate in Mokena last week. If you haven’t been yet, you must check it out. Fun for everyone and anyone.” Skye Bergeson posted this on his Facebook page Thursday, Jan. 17. Like The Mokena Messenger: “Boys Swimming Senior night! Thank you for your hard work and commitment!” @LWCKnights posted this to its Twitter account Thursday, Jan. 18. Follow The Mokena Messenger: @mokenamessenger from the assistant editor Making plans for Valentine’s Day? Amanda Stoll I know many people are divided on the topic of Valentine’s Day — with the pressure to create an ultra-romantic evening for your significant other and the torment it can have on those without someone special to share the occasion with. I’d argue that there is room in everyone’s heart, regardless of relationship status, to spread love on the holiday devoted specifically to it. Think about the people in your life who mean the most to you. Maybe it’s a close friend, child, parent or teacher. Let this be an opportunity for you to remind those you love how much they mean to you. Consider taking them out for a modest lunch or doing something a little different that allows you to simply enjoy each others’ company. A stroll through one of the county’s many parks or a trip to the movies might be just the thing to do for a fun outing. For those of us with a special someone to dote on romantically, Valentine’s Don’t just list your real estate property... Day doesn’t have to break the bank. Last year I was sick as a dog on Valentine’s Day, so we stayed in, ordered pizza and ate chocolate on the couch while watching a movie. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with going out to a fancy dinner, but if you’re on a tight budget there’s no need to feel pressured to do something extravagant. In my opinion a beautiful, handwritten note, a homemade dinner or an evening spent learning something new is just as meaningful — if not more — than something expensive or sparkly. I don’t give these suggestions to dampen the romance of an exquisite, candlelight dinner at a fancy restaurant or a gift of jewelry but, rather, to offer suggestions for people looking for something different or more affordable this Valentine’s Day. The one thing I am against is the idea of an anti-Valentine’s Day. I think our world could always use more love to go around, and this is a chance for us to all do just that. Single folks, go out and find a friend, neighbor or coworker to do something fun with. Volunteer your time somewhere you can do some good or take some time to have a long phone conversation with a loved one miles away. Locally, there are a couple of events in the Lincoln- Way area that could prove to be quite a fun way to Sell It! With a Classified Ad celebrate the day of love. New Lenox Park District’s Valentine Heart Contest for ages 2-13 begins on Thursday, Feb. 1. Guess the number of candy hearts in the jar. Whoever guesses the closest wins a prize. The jar will be in the lobby at the Lions Community Center in New Lenox. The Frankfort Park District’s annual Senior Valentine Luncheon is perfect for the 55 and older crowd to enjoy live entertainment and a catered meal followed by dessert and dancing. The luncheon, which will be held at noon on Feb. 13, costs $12, and registration ends Feb. 8. Frankfort’s Winter on the Green also has a Valentine’s event each year, with 2018 being no exception. The event will begin at noon on Feb. 10 at the Breidert Green at Kansas and Ash Streets. Not only will there be chocolate fondue, but the Heartland Blood Center will be taking blood donations beginning at 10:30 a.m. Volunteering and donating is such a great way to show love and compassion to your fellow humans. That same weekend, head over to Nova Quarter Horses in Mokena for a two-hour Valentine’s Day Dinner and Ride event. There are sessions at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 for adults only as well as a family session at 4 p.m Feb. 10. Cost is $73 per pair and $17 for each additional rider. To register, call (708) 479-3696. The Mokena Park District is hosting a sweet event for moms and their sons at noon Feb. 10 at Morgan’s Thunder Bowl in Mokena. The deadline to register is Jan. 26, and the cost includes unlimited bowling, shoes, pizza, soda, cake and a gift. The event is for boys ages 5-10 and, of course, their mothers. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 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 Mokena Messenger 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 Mokena Messenger reserves the right to edit letters. Letters become property of The Mokena Messenger. Letters that are published do not reflect the thoughts and views of The Mokena Messenger. Letters can be mailed to: The Mokena Messenger, 11516 West 183rd Street, Unit SW Office Condo #3, Orland Park, Illinois, 60467. Fax letters to (708) 326- 9179 or e-mail to See the Classified Section for more info, or call 708.326.9170