Near miss Mokena police officer’s footage

captures close encounter with train, Page 3

Top 10 Find out which stories on were most viewed, Page 9

End of year check in Community

leaders recap their 2018, Inside

mokena’s Award-Winning Hometown Newspaper • January 3, 2019 • Vol. 11 No. 21 • $1





(Clockwise from

top left) Students at

Mokena Elementary

School welcome

veterans during a

special celebration;

Mokena’s first Pride

Fest shows all you

need is L-O-V-E;

a high-flying dog

champion leaves his

impact on his people;

and flags line the

streets for America’s

birthday. 22nd Century

Media file photos

The Messenger looks back at the news

that helped define the year, Pages 4-5



Let the equity in your home help.




•Debt Consolidation

20181 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort


1938 E. Lincoln Hwy.,New Lenox



2 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger

In this week’s


Breaking News............... 3

Editorial......................... 9

Faith Briefs....................12


The Scene......................18

Classifieds................ 20-27

The Mokena


ph: 708.326.9170 fx: 708.326.9179


TJ Kremer III, x29

assistant editor

Megan Schuller, x34

Sales director

Lora Healy, x31

real estate sales

Tricia Weber, x47

Classified Sales

Kellie Tschopp, x23

Legal Notices

Jeff Schouten, x51


Joe Coughlin 847.272.4565, x16

Managing Editor

Bill Jones, x20


Andrew Nicks


Nancy Burgan, x30

22 nd Century Media

11516 West 183rd Street

Unit SW Office Condo #3

Orland Park, IL 60467

Chemical- free printing on 30% recycled paper

circulation inquiries

The Mokena Messenger (USPS #025404) is

published weekly by 22nd Century Media, LLC,

328 E Lincoln Hwy New Lenox, IL 60451.

Periodical postage paid at New Lenox, IL

and additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER: Send changes to:

The Mokena Messenger, 328 E Lincoln Hwy

New Lenox, IL 60451

Published by

Megan Schuller



Winter Break Jump Fest

3-8 p.m. Jan. 3, The Oaks

Recreation and Fitness Center,

10901 W. La Porte Road,

Mokena. Jumpfest wristbands

will include unlimited

jump time on tons of inflatables.

Children 11 years and

younger must have a guardian

with them. Register by

Jan. 3 for $10, or register at

the door for $12.


Memories of the King

1-2 p.m. Jan. 5. Mokena

Public library District, 11327

W. 195th St., Mokena. Celebrate

Elvis’s birthday with

a trip down memory lane.

Dave “Elvis” Thomas has

been performing his “Memories

of the King” show for

almost 17 years. His show

thrills audiences of all ages.

To register, please call 708-

479-9663 or register on our

events calendar at


Blood Drive

3-7 p.m. Jan. 9. Frankfort

Public Library Meeting

Room AB. 1119 S. Pfelffer

Rd., Frankfort. Heartland

Blood Centers and the

Frankfort Public Library

partner to provide a blood

drive. Please sign up for

an appointment online at


schedule/2036240. Walk ins

are also welcome, but appointments

have priority.

Mokena Fire Protection CPR


6:00 p.m. —9:30 p.m. Jan.

7. Mokena Fire Station 1,

19853 S. Wolf Rd, Moknea.

The Mokena Fire Protection

District offers monthly CPR

classes for the public. Students

are instructed in adult,

child and infant CPR and

AED. The cost of the class

is $35.00 for Community

CPR and $40.00 Healthcare

CPR. Register at


Movie Morning

10 a.m.-noon. Jan.8. Mokena

Public library District,

11327 W. 195th St., Mokena.

Screening of “The Greatest

Showman” with Hugh Jackman

will be held. One lucky

patron will win a copy of the

movie at the end of the program

and refreshments will

be served. To register, please

call 708-479-9663 or register

on our events calendar at


Mokena D159 Community


9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 9.

Mokena Elementary, 1244

Willow Crest Ln, Mokena.

These informational community

forums are to help

educate residents on the proposed



State of the District D210

7:00 p.m- 8:30 p.m. Jan.

10, Lincoln-Way Central in

the Knight’s Round Table,

1801 E Lincoln Hwy, New

Lenox. The Lincoln-Way

District 210 will hold their

Second Annual “State of the


Get Fit While You Sit

10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday,

Jan. 11. Mokena Public library

District, 11327 W.

195th St., Mokena. Chair

yoga is “Yoga for Every-

Body”. Marti Anne will

guide you through an hourlong

practice where you’ll

learn several ways to practice

yoga while seated at

your desk, standing by your

chair or traveling. You’ll

also learn how to synchronize

your moves with your

breath. To register, please

call 708-479-9663 or register

on our events calendar at

Meet and Greet Author Matt


11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Jan. 12. Mokena Public library

District, 11327 W.

195th St., Mokena. Welcome

local historian and author

Matt Galik. He will give

an outline of his latest work

of non-fiction “The 1926

Orland Park Murder Mystery,”

a gripping story with a

cast of well-known Mokena

characters from yesteryear.

The book is the culmination

of six years of research

and dispels the modern day

romantic view of the 1920s.

Mr. Galik will be available

after the discussion for a

book signing.

Indoor Flea Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Jan.

13. The Oaks Recreation

Center, 10847 W La Porte

Road, Mokena. Don’t let the

unpredictable winter weather

stop you from bargain

shopping or early spring

cleaning. Vendors must preregister

for booth space but

buyers are admitted free.

Mokena D159 Board of

Education Meeting

7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan.

16. Mokena Elementary

School, 11244 Willow Crest

Ln, Mokena.

Healthy Living Expo

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday,

Jan. 19, Tinley Park Convention

Center South Pavilion,

18451 Convention

Center Drive. Join more than

50 vendors in health and

wellness at the third annual

expo, which includes speaker

sessions, cooking demos,

a Vitalant Blood Drive and

more. Free admission and

free parking. For more information,

call (708) 326-9170

ext. 16 or visit 22ndCentury-

Friends of the Library Winter

Book Sale

Noon-5 p.m. Jan. 25-26.

Mokena Public library District,

11327 W. 195th St.,

Mokena. The Friends of the

Library are hosting their first

book sale of the year to support

the Mokena Community

Public Library District.

The sale is held downstairs

in the library’s community

room. The members of the

Friends of the Library are allowed

early into the pre-sale

on both Friday and Saturday.


Reach out to thousands of daily

users by submitting your event at

For just print*, email all information to

*Deadline for print is 5 p.m. the Thursday prior to publication.

Volunteer Work Day

8 a.m.-Noon. Tuesday Jan.

29. Hickory Creek Preserve-

Hickory Creek Junction.

21063 Prestancia Dr,, Mokena.

Our “Volunteer Workdays”

provide an opportunity

for you to contribute to your

community, support your local

environment, meet fellow

nature-lovers, and get

some fresh air and exercise.

Please dress for outdoor

work and the weather. Wear

long pants, closed-toe shoes,

and work gloves. Registration

is required by calling

815.722.7364 or emailing


GFWC Mokena Woman’s

Club Scholarships

The General Federation

of Women’s Clubs Illinois

is offering scholarships,

through the GFWC Mokena

Woman’s Club sponsorship,

for students planning on enrolling

in an Illinois college,

university, trade or vocational

school for the Fall Semester

2019. Applicants are

not limited to current high

school seniors. All ages of

potential students are welcome

to apply. Applications

with all supplemental materials

must be postmarked

by February 15, 2019 and

mailed to: Judy Rader, 132

11th Street, Lincoln, IL

62656. Applications may

be obtained on the Lincoln-

Way High Schools website,

Providence Catholic High

School website, at the Mokena

Public Library, and the

Frankfort Public Library.

Mobile Workforce Center

1:30-3:30 p.m. Fridays,

Mokena Community Public

Library, 11327 W. 195th St.,

Mokena. The Mobile Workforce

Center assists residents

who are looking for a job. news

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 3

from Dec. 26

Metra signal malfunction blamed

for near-miss collision on 191st

Megan Schuller

Assistant Editor

Mokena Police Officer

Peter Stanglewicz was traveling

westbound on 191st

Street at 8:45 a.m. on Nov.

9, when malfunctioning

Metra crossing gates nearly

resulted in a collision between

a train and several


Footage from Stanglewicz’s

police vehicle’s dash

camera recorded the moments

leading up to and

following the incident.

The footage, which originally

was posted on the officer’s

Facebook page on

Friday, Dec. 21, caught the

near miss with Metra train


The footage shows Stanglewicz

approaching the

tracks while the crossing

arms are still up. An eastbound

vehicle and a vehicle

to Stanglewicz’s right can

be seen crossing the tracks

mere feet from the oncoming

train. Stanglewicz makes

a hard left turn over the median

divider to avoid a collision.

After the train passes,

the arms begin to go down,

and a Metra crew can be

seen across the tracks.

The video went viral on

social media, being viewed

more than 500,000 times on

Facebook and shared within

various Facebook groups’


According to a Metra

spokesperson, the crew seen

in the video was on the scene

at the time attempting to repair

safety equipment that

control the crossing gates.

Metra repaired the electrical

gate crossing malfunction

by the afternoon of

Nov. 9.. Additional crews

were then sent out to repair

and “exhaustively test” the

functionality of the crossing

arms and circuits, according

to Metra.

Mokena Police Chief Steven

Vaccaro advised residents

to be cautious at railroad

crossings in Mokena

and neighboring towns.

“I am thankful there were

no injuries,” Vaccaro said.

“Always look out for trains.

Be aware, be vigilant and

always slow down at the


Metra also urges motorist

to be aware of trains when

approaching crossings.

“It is just like crossing a

road, always look both ways

when approaching a crossing,”

Metra spokesperson

Sylvia Cooper said.

Need aDoctor?See a











• Board-CertifiedPhysicians

• Easy Access/Parking

• Prompt Attention


A screenshot taken from the dash cam of Mokena Police Officer Peter Stanglewicz

captures a near-collision with a Metra train on Nov. 9.



LaGrange Road @St. Francis Road

4 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger news

2018 marks year of milestones, firsts in Mokena

T.J. Kremer III, Editor

Time flies, whether we

want it to or not.

How will we remember

2018 as we look back and

reflect on the passing of another


There were tragedies, to be

sure. But, out of those came

stories of people coming together

in the truest sense of

community to overcome the

hardships and divides those

tragedies forced upon us.

In fact, as is often the case,

there were far more positive

stories than negative ones.

Perhaps that’s how we can

choose to remember 2018:

That even in the face of divisiveness

and negativity,

Mokenians pulled together

to make this year a great one

for so many in our community.

Here are just some of the

stories we thought punctuated

the spirit of 2018. And,

here’s to good health, wealth

and an abundance of happiness

in 2019!


• Accelerate Indoor

Speedway had its grand

opening and ribbon cutting

ceremony Jan. 11, marking

the business’ introduction

to the Mokena community.

Though the indoor attraction

has been open for almost

a month, Accelerate owners

and staff opened their

doors to the community for

the grand opening, which included

a promise of donating

50 percent of the day’s proceeds

to Special Olympics



• A Mokena resident decided,

almost on a whim, to

put a vibe of kindness out

to the world via a Facebook

group page. The page, started

in September by Tammie

Key-Holley, has the sole

purpose of helping women

who otherwise wouldn’t be

able to find that special dress

connect with other women

who are willing to share

their used dresses and gowns

with each other. The page inspired

an unexpected boom

in benefactors and beneficiaries

— including around 150

gowns and dresses donated

from Bella Sposa in Tinley

Park, and around 500 donated

from members of the



• At 10 a.m. on March 14,

students across the nation left

their classrooms in support

of something greater than

themselves. For 17 minutes,

they honored the 17 people

who were gunned down

three weeks ago on Feb. 14

at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas

High School in Parkland,

Florida. Lincoln-Way students

at each of the three

schools had discussions with

their principals concerning

the proposed walkouts and

came to an agreement where

students who chose to participate

were not disciplined

for leaving class during the

school day.

• As thousands of high

schools around the country

galvanized to show support

for victims of last month’s

shooting at Marjory Stoneman

Douglas High School

and to raise awareness of gun

violence by participating in

National Walkout Day, Lincoln-Way

Community High

School District 210 students

were a no show, at least to

anyone outside the buildings.

Students weren’t able

to leave the building. Exits

to the building were blocked

by security and deans. An

estimated 300 students at

Lincoln-Way Central, which

represents approximately 14

Bob Krankvich (middle) speaks at a press conference April 12, about the alleged abuse he

endured in 1995-1996 while a student at Providence Catholic High School. Lawyers Jeff

Anderson (left), holding a photo of a 13-year-old Krankvich, and Marc Pearlman stand with

him. 22nd Century Media file photos

People line Wolf Road in front of Pioneer Cemetery May 28, to wait for the annual Memorial

Day parade.

percent of the student population

there, participated

indoors in one of several


spots, or simply outside their

classrooms in the hallway.

• It was a lesson in democracy

for the dozens of demonstrators

who turned out

March 24, to participate in

the March for Our Lives in

Frankfort. The march, organized

by Southwest Suburban

Activists, was attended

by many local students

and community members,

looking for further legislative

change after the mass

shooting at Marjory Stoneman

Douglas High School

in Parkland, Florida. On this

day, hundreds of similar type

events were held all across

the nation, according to the

March for Our Lives website.

The main march took

place in Washington, D.C.


• A former Providence

Catholic High School student

has come forward to allege

he was sexually abused

by longtime Providence

President Richard J. Mc-

Grath. Bob Krankvich, 36,

represented by Jeff Anderson

& Associates and Frost

Pearlman, is the plaintiff

in a lawsuit filed April 12,

against Providence and the

Order of St. Augustine that

claims both organizations

knew of the alleged abuse

and shielded McGrath. In a

press conference held April

12, Krankvich, a Homer

Glen native, told his story in

front of television cameras

and other media of how Mc-

Grath repeatedly sexually

abused him in 1995-1996

and how the alleged abuse

led to personal troubles,

such as substance abuse and

mental instability, including

multiple suicide attempts.


• Community members

and parents of Summit Hill

School District 161 offered

a proposal during the public

comments section of the

May 9 Board of Education

meeting. Tinley Park and

District 161 resident Stephen

Cook was granted the

time to discuss the yearlong

research he and a group of

community members have

done regarding the possibility

of acquiring Lincoln-Way

North for $56 million and

Please see MILESTONES, 5 news

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 5


From Page 4

restructuring of D161 into a

K-12 unit district. Not only

would it give D210 a better

Moody’s bond rating, but it

would release their district

and taxpayers of paying for a

school that is not operational.

For D161, it would thin

out the crowded schools, allow

smaller class sizes and

create school facilities that

could be used by the public

when school is not in session.

• The Mokena library developed

programs focused

on senses to help children on

the autism spectrum. Each

of these programs, such as

Sensory Story Time Saturday,

are designed around

current best practices to help

children on the spectrum develop

skills that they may be

deficient in.

• During the annual Memorial

Day parade in Mokena,

the procession started

at St. Mary Cemetery,

headed north on Wolf Road,

led by the boys and girls of

the Mokena Junior High

and Lincoln-Way Marching

Bands. Beyond the St. Mary

Cemetery, up over a rise in

the dip along Wolf Road, sat

or stood a hundred or more

people at Pioneer Cemetery,

with its hundred-year-old

graves and WWII cannon,

waiting to see the sights and

show their respect.


• If one way to measure

a man’s life is by considering

how many people his

life influenced, then John J.

Mazzorana has left an indelible

mark on Mokena. Mazzorana,

75, whose public

service to his community as

a Village of Mokena Board

of Trustees member lasted

more than 25 years, died

May 27 in New Lenox. A

real estate lawyer who practiced

in both Will and Cook

counties for 50 years, Mazzorana

is best known for his

time on the Mokena Village

Board — shepherding the

community from small town

to a vibrant suburb.

• Residents from across the

southwest suburbs gathered

in Yunker Farm for the village’s

first pride event. The

all-day family friendly event

on Sunday, June 10, had activities

for kids, live music

and performances, as well

as vendors and non-profit organizations

from across the

area. Organizations — such

as the Gay Straight Alliance

in Lockport, Southwest Suburban

Activists, and Cross

of Glory Church in Homer

Glen — tabled and answered



• Ten young children

standing on yoga mats held

multicolored feathers in the

palm of the hand, competing

on who could blow it

further across the Mokena

Community Public Library

District classroom. They

were participating in a free

yoga class for kindergarten

through third-grade students

on June 28, meant to

have the children focus on

their breath and stretching

their muscles in an entertaining


• On the morning of July

14, the New Lenox Public

Library and State Representative

Margo McDermed

hosted a workshop to help

with the citizenship application

process. The free

workshop was held in conjunction

with the Illinois

Coalition for Immigrant

and Refugee Rights, as well

as the Spanish Community

Center of Joliet. In Illinois,

there are over 500,000 legal

permanent residents; and

over 75 percent are eligible

to become a citizen. Of

the 385,000 eligible legal

permanent residents in the

state, 3,472 reside in the

37th District, which Mc-

Dermed represents.


• “What else would be

lost?” a 73-year-old man repeatedly

asked the board as

Charles Stark, the 73-year-old man who founded the Lincoln-

Way madrigal choir nearly 49 years ago, speaks to the

Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 Board

of Education about a recent decision to bar the singing

group from performing in churches. The ban is a result of a

February complaint made by Wisconsin-based The Freedom

from Religion Foundation. 22nd Century Media file photo

he sat in front of them holding

the microphone in one

hand and his walker in the


That man was Charles

Stark, the man who founded

the Lincoln Way madrigals

program nearly 49 years

ago. He came back to the

district he once worked at

for one reason: to speak during

public comment on the

recent decision of the madrigal

singers being banned

from performing in non-secular,

religious spaces.

• Betty Winter was waiting

for her family at the Pipefitters

Training Center in

Mokena. Her family was on

a 50-mile escorted ride to remember

Pfc. Aaron Toppen.

Toppen’s grandmother

joined hundreds of others on

Aug. 19, to remember her

grandson. Toppen was killed

along with four other U.S.

soldiers in June 2014 during

a friendly-fire incident in

Afghanistan. But Winter remembers

her grandson like it

was yesterday.


• There’s an old saying in

sports: Act like you’ve been

there before.

Lyla Grace Wroble has

been there before. And when

she went again, the results

were the same: Another

World’s Championship for

the 11-year-old Mokena resident

at the World’s Championship

Horse Show in Louisville,



• The fall season kicked

off with the smell of sizzling

bratwurst permeating the air

followed by sounds of mugs

filled with traditional German

beer clinking together

in celebration of the Mokena


Nearly 700 community

members attended the fifth

annual Oktoberfest hosted at

St. Mary Catholic Church on

Sept. 29 and 30. Guests indulged

in the all-you-can-eat

menu, featuring authentic

German dishes, including

schnitzel, bratwurst, apple

strudel and an Oktoberfest

staple: traditional German


• With fall-like weather

finally settling into Chicagoland,

residents were finally

able to get into the ghostly

spirit of the season. What

better way to summon those

spirits than with a festival to

bring all the village souls together?

During the weekend

of Oct. 12-14, Main Park in

Mokena was transformed

into the Halloween Hallow,

a spooky celebration

with entertainment, carnival

rides, food and a lot of fun

for the whole family. The

Mokena Community Park

District has hosted event for

the past 37 years, with the

event growing and drawing

larger numbers each year.

• Lincoln-Way Marching

Band members, family and

staff packed into the gym

of Lincoln-Way East Oct.

28, to celebrate the achievements

of the band’s seasonlong

and most recent success

in competition. A row of trophies

lined a table beside the

podium where Superintendent

Scott Tingley and the

four band directors spoke.


• Weimaraners don’t usually

succeed in the canine

sport of dock jumping. In

general, Weimaraners are

too large (Wrigley was between

75 and 80 pounds)

and casual to soar long distances.

Pete and Meghan

Williams tried the sport as a

weekend activity, something

to offset the school and hospital

visits. “He was always

the underdog,” Meghan said.

“We didn’t think in a million

years he would do as well

as he did. We just did it for


• With about half the students

in the elementary

school gymnasium, one

might expect it to get a bit

rowdy in the space that

normally hosts a variety of

sports and extra curricular

activities. But that was not

the case at Mokena Elementary

School the morning

of Nov. 7. Students invited

their own special veterans —

whether that was a grandparent,

aunt, uncle or parent —

to join them as the students

sang songs and read letters

and poems during their assembly.

• Scores of Mokena residents

braved the cold drizzle

on Nov. 17, to participate in

the first Village photo since

2008. The Mokena Messenger

was on hand to lend its

camera for the photo after

the original plan to use a

drone was scrapped due to

the inclement weather.


•Forty-nine years of excellence.

Forty-nine years

of tradition. Since 1970, the

Lincoln-Way community

has celebrated the season

with the sound of music –

performed by none other

than their own Lincoln-Way

Central Madrigal Singers.

During the weekend of Dec.

6-8, the group once again enchanted

the community with

their 49th Annual Madrigal


Bob Spychalski









ILC 8509 0318

6 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger news

Year in Review 2018

Keeping taxes low, inviting new

businesses spur Mokena growth



Our unique ue lifestyle le of Catered Senior Living.




It means we understand

that each person has unique

needs and wants. At Tinley

Court those needs and

wants will be met with

dignity, respect and support.

Tinley Court strives to nurture individuality with a

sense of purpose in hopes of enriching one’s life. We

offer a support system like no other senior community. 24

hour staffed for the well being and security of our residents.

Tinley Court has a Wellness center that offers doctor services,

a nurse practitioner, an audiologist, podiatrist, dentist,

physical therapy, home health care agency and lab & x-ray

services, never having to leave the comforts of your home.

At Tinley Court you are family and we see you! We are

the best financial deal in the southwest suburbs offering

many amenities that others charge for such as; 3 meals a

day, weekly housekeeping, utilities and daily activities that

include entertainment and outings




Call 708-532-7800


16301 S Brementowne Rd., Tinley Park, IL 60477

Member of Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce Since 1994



Frank Fleischer

Mokena Mayor

You’ve heard me say it

many times, but good things

don’t just happen in Mokena.

They’re the result of diligent

planning and attention to detail

by your Village Board of


Over the course of the past

year, your Village Board has

been listening to your concerns

and actively addressing priorities

you have indicated to us

are important to you. Among

other things, these priorities

include: sound management

of your tax dollars and fiscal

responsibility; a sustained focus

on quality economic development;

and quality of life.

First of all, I’m pleased

to report that the Village of

Mokena retained its sterling

financial reputation in 2018.

The board recently approved

a “tax neutral” 2018 property

tax levy providing for Mokena

to retain its long-standing distinction

of having the lowest

current municipal tax rate of

23 Will County communities.

Only 4 cents of every dollar

you pay annually in property

taxes goes to the Village, and

for this nominal investment

you receive a broad array of

quality, core public services,

such as police protection and

street maintenance, to name

a couple. In 2018, the Village

additionally maintained its

AA+ bond rating with Standard

& Poor’s, remaining very

near the top when compared

against other Chicagoland

municipalities in this key financial

metric. I think it’s also

important to note that your

board believes in keeping its

commitments to our valued

employees who serve you on a

daily basis. As a result, both of

our Village pension funds are

stable, with the police pension

fund 82 percent funded and

the Illinois Municipal Retirement

Fund 89 percent funded.

As responsible stewards of

your money, we will not “kick

the can down the road” for

future Mokena residents and

businesses to deal with.

This past November, your

Village Board authorized

moving ahead with the design

of necessary improvements to

Mokena’s wastewater treatment

plant. Because these

improvements (estimated at

approximately $9.6 million)

were planned for and money

was meticulously set aside for

them over time, no increases

in water or sewer rates will be

required to pay for them, nor

will the Village need to incur

any new debt to fund them.

On the economic development

front, Tribes Beer Company

opened its “vintage feel”

craft brewery on Front Street

in May. Meanwhile, Nothing

Bundt Cakes and McAlister’s

Deli both launched this

autumn to rave reviews in

the Mokena Marketplace retail

center at the intersection

of U.S. Route 30 and Wolf

Road, and local entrepreneur

Len McEnery threw open the

doors to his second Mokena

Gas N Wash facility — complete

with Hog Wild and Great

American Bagel restaurants

— on LaGrange Road just a

little over a month ago. Regional

draw Lorenz Appliances

additionally moved to

Mokena from Homewood,

and ABC Supply — taking

advantage of an innovative,

performance-based economic

incentive offered by the Village

that allows them to share

in sales tax revenue generated

by their operations — shifted

across Interstate 80 from Tinley


At the residential level, the

results received from our special

census early in the year

testified to our community’s

lasting status as a magnet for

quality builders and formally

recognized those of you who

selected them to construct

your dream home here. Mokena

has added 1,565 new

residents over the past sevenplus

years, raising the total

population of our village to

20,305, an increase of almost

8.4 percent.

Last but not least, your Village

Board persisted in addressing

your community’s

quality of life in 2018 through

policies that support our local

economy. These in turn provided

increased levels of sales

tax allowing for the continued

provision of the quality core

services you’ve become accustomed

to receiving from

your local government. Mokena’s

commitment to maintaining

a relatively low sales

tax rate (at 7.5 percent, one

of the lowest in the area) and

its lack of a local utility tax

on electricity and natural gas

are two excellent examples of

these policies.

In closing, I want to recognize

former Trustee John

Mazzorana, who passed away

in late May at the age of 75.

I know I speak for our entire

board and staff family in saying

he is greatly missed.

As always, thank you for

the honor of continuing to

humbly serve on your behalf. news

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 7

Year in Review 2018

New superintendent, repairs, technology highlight 2018

Nicole Swanberg

Relations Liaison of D159

The 2018 calendar year

has been very successful for

the Mokena School District

159. In July, we welcomed

our new Superintendent,

Don White, who came to us

from Hinsdale-Clarendon

Hills Elementary District

181, where he served as

the superintendent for four

years. White has worked in

small, mid-sized and large

districts. White has met multiple

times with many community

leaders and members,

and he welcomes all

D159 stakeholders to reach

out with questions regarding

the district.

The district completed

a facility analysis in June.

We learned that many of our

facilities are in need of repair.

To this end, the Board

of Education is considering

the placement of a referendum

question on the April 2,

2019, ballot. The final decision

to move forward with

the referendum has not been

made. This referendum is

being considered so that the

district can maintain, repair

and update current facilities.

The district wishes to continue

providing quality educational

services and safe

learning environments in a

fiscally responsible manner.

The district has done its

best to provide quality educational

services for one of

the lowest costs in the area

by demonstrating fiscal responsibility.

District 159

has the lowest tax rate in

the area, and our operating

expense per student in 2017

($11,163) was well below

the average other area school

districts. The district’s operating

spending in 2017 was

also much less than the state

average of $13,336.

If the board decides to

place a question on the ballot

and voters were to approve

this referendum, then the

current tax rate being used

to pay for bonds needed to

build Mokena Junior High

School will be applied to

maintain, repair and update

all current facilities. This is

due to the fact that the Mokena

Junior High School

bonds are scheduled to be

paid off in 2020. If voters

approve a referendum to

maintain current taxes collected

by the district, and

your home stays at its current

value, then your taxes

will not increase as a result

of this referendum.

We have also made technology

accessible to more

students. We now have

Chromebooks for each student

at Mokena Junior High,

and a Chromebook ratio

of 2:1 at Mokena Intermediate

School and Mokena

Elementary School. Many

of our teachers have also

become Google Certified

Educators. From trying out

green screens for our Student

Council videos, to Google

virtual reality, Mokena 159

is always trying to embrace

new and exciting technology

that is focused on improved

learning opportunities for

our students.

The students at all three

of our schools have been

involved in service projects,

raising over $600 for Mokena-Marley

FISH Organization,

volunteering at school

events, helping pack food

at the Frankfort Township

Food Pantry, having “Penny

Wars” to support Mokena

Miracles and the list goes on.

We have many fun events

throughout the year, and we

welcome the community to

attend one of our concerts,

Board of Education meetings,

and other public events.

Year in Review 2018

LWC celebrates student success and perseverance

Steven Provis

Lincoln-Way Central Principal

We anticipate a rewarding

2019 as our students and

staff strive to excel academically

and athletically in the

second semester.

I am honored to announce

that Lincoln-Way

Central High School has

been awarded an exemplary

designation from the Illinois

State Board of Education.

Only 10 percent of the

schools in the state attained

this designation. The exemplary

designation highlights

the outstanding performance

of LWC in measures of student

achievement and other

indicators of school success.

We are extremely proud of

the Class of 2019 for earning

the highest overall SAT

score in District 210, as well

as, all the high schools in

Will County! The extra effort

provided by our students and

staff has paid off. We continue

to strive for academic

excellence that will provide

our students with opportunities

after their Lincoln-Way

Central experience.

This spring, we had 604

students take more than 1,188

advanced placement exams.

We honored 71 total AP

scholars, 55 AP scholars with

honor, 83 AP scholars with

distinction and 11 national

AP scholars. Additionally,

423 students earned college

credit through AP testing.

We are extremely proud of

our 114 Illinois state scholars,

10 national merit commended

scholars and two national

Hispanic recognition

program scholars. Additionally,

seven of our Knights

earned a score of 35 on their

ACT and one student earned

a perfect score of 36.

Our graduation rate

reached a high of 98 percent.

This number is a testament

to the dedication of both

students and staff. Teachers

continually volunteered their

time to orchestrate exam review

sessions, helped students

prepare for state testing

and made themselves available

to many individuals who

requested additional help.

Athletically, the 2018 fall

season was very successful.

We earned 10 conference

titles and our girls golf team

placed third at the IHSA

State Final. All 10 of our varsity

level teams earned All-

Academic Team recognition

from the IHSA. Eighteen of

our student athletes earned

individual recognition for

excelling in their sport at the

state level. All-State medalists

were Bri Bolden, Grace

Curran and Sean Curran.

We are proud of our elite

marching band. They are one

of nine high school bands in

the nation chosen to participate

in the Tournament of

Roses Parade on New Year’s

Day 2019. [The Lincoln-

Way Marching Band competed

in] the Rose Parade

[and] the Rose Bowl on Jan.

1 in Pasadena, California.

The first semester has

brought more energy than

can be captured in words.

We could not be prouder of

the students we have and

the energy they bring to this

building. They continue to

build to the traditions and

values that make Lincoln-

Way Central one of the top

schools in the state. We are

incredibly appreciative of

our success this year, and we

will continue to work toward

a rewarding 2019 .

8 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger news

Year in Review 2018

New community programs on horizon in 2019

Steve Vaccaro

Mokena Police Chief

2018 was a productive and

successful year for your Mokena

Police Department.

Keeping your family and

home safe remains our top

priority, with a focus on

neighborhood patrols and

being visible around the

community. See something

suspicious or have questions

or concerns? Call us. If you

see something, say something.

The MPD is in the early

stages of the following two


• A redeveloped Neighborhood

Watch program will

offer our residents the opportunity

to be the conduit

between MPD and neighbors.

Information exchange

will take place via email

between each Neighborhood

Watch Liaison and our

Crime Prevention Officer.

• Currently in its infancy

stage, the MPD Video Surveillance

Registry will allow

our residents the opportunity

to become a part of this important

program. Voluntary

in nature, this program will

provide MPD with added

resources should a crime occur

in the area of a registered


With the Southland experiencing

a rash of car burglaries

earlier this year, MPD

implemented the “Lock-it or

Lose-it” campaign. The goal

of this program is to remind

our residents to lock their

vehicles, hide valuables in

their vehicles from plain

view and to never leave keys

or proximity fobs in an unattended


Sponsored by the U.S.

Drug Enforcement Agency,

our Prescription Drug Drop-

Off Program and Drug Take-

Back Day have provided a

much-needed service not

only for Mokena residents,

but for those in surrounding

communities. Over the

past 12 months, almost

300 pounds of prescription

medications have been

turned over to the DEA for

destruction. Remember, you

can always drop off unused,

unwanted, or expired medications

at any time to us at

our station at 10907 Front

St. This service is available

to you at no cost, and you

may remain anonymous. No

registration is required, and

no questions will be asked of

you. Please note that liquids

will not be accepted.

Following more than 13

years of dedicated service to

Mokena residents, the Village

offered its best farewell

wishes to retiring customer

service clerk Mary Barnes.

She started work at the Village

Hall in 2005 and transferred

to MPD in 2006,

where she finished her career.

Barnes served the community

with pride and dignity.

Finally, the MPD recently

welcomed the addition of a

new commander, sergeant

and police recruit to our patrol


Sergeant Christopher

Carlson was appointed to the

rank of police commander in

July. Carlson brings 25 years

of experience with MPD to

his new position. He is currently

responsible for patrol

operations within the department.

Police Officer Joseph Ballantine

was promoted to the

position of police sergeant

in July, concurrent with the

commander appointment.

Ballantine brings 11 years of

experience with MPD to his

new position, including five

years in our investigations


Officer Caitlyn Wynn of

Bourbonnais came to us

with previous police academy

training and immediately

entered the Field Training

Program. Released for solo

patrol in late November,

Wynn brings a new perspective

to our patrol division as

she works with current staff

to further our customer-first

philosophy while promoting

safety and security for all of

our residents.







Call Today At


Year in Review 2018

Fighting fires only one part of MFPD’s 2018 highlights

Howard Stephens

District Chief

In FY 2018, the Mokena

Fire Protection District responded

to 2,692 alarms,

with over half (1,503) being

requests for emergency medical

services. The MFPD experienced

42 total fires with

an estimated property value

saved of $6,118,679.

In-house training supplements

the training requirements

placed upon our

paramedics by the Silver

Cross EMS System continuing

education program.

The annual requirements

for EMS continuing education

per Illinois Department

of Public Health and the Silver

Cross EMS System are

being met and exceeded by

as much as two-and-a-half

times the required training

hours. This is an example of

our commitment to provide

superior EMS service by

both the Fire District and its

personnel. These hours are

achieved by on-shift training,

as well as members

participating in off-shift

trainings. During the 2018

fiscal year, our firefighter/

paramedics logged in over

17,248 hours of training in

fire suppression, emergency

medical and apparatus operations.

The Fire Prevention Division

conducted over

1,270 total fire inspections

and 128 commercial plan

reviews. The Public Education

Division provided

safety education at monthly

CPR/AED classes, senior

luncheons, first aid classes,

babysitting clinics, safety

presentations, station tours,

block parties and health

fairs throughout the year.

This safety related instruction

reached approximately

9,000 residents throughout

the year.

Much of FY 2018 was

once again focused on dispatch

services and the consolidation

of Public Safety

Answering Points. Senate

Bill 96, signed into law by

Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015,

mandated the reduction of

PSAPs within each county

by half. This mandate has

resulted in the consolidation

of four PSAPs into one: Will

County Sheriff, Lincoln-

Way, Eastcom and Romeoville

did consolidate and

now operate as the Laraway

Public Safety Communications

Center. The LPSCC

went live in December of

2017; since then, there have

been many opportunities for

improvement at the LPSCC.

The MFPD remains engaged

in the overall improvement

process at the LPSCC.

FY 2018 has proven to

have been a busy year for the

maintenance division, with

repairs to MFPD’s apparatus

and equipment. All of the

brake/steering inspections,

pump tests, aerial maintenance,

aerial inspections,

aerial testing, ground ladder

testing, ground ladder maintenance

program, small tool

repairs, station mowers, station

generators, station compressors,

station plows, and

station salt spreaders have

been completed this FY. We

have a consistent priority repair

schedule to get all of the

vehicles in for repairs and/or

maintenance. The members

of the maintenance division

have attended Illinois Fire

Apparatus Association meetings

and Will County Fire

Apparatus Mechanics meetings

throughout the year.

I would like to thank the

community for their continued

support of the MFPD’s

services and programs; and

I would like to thank the

members, employees and the

families of the Fire District

for their dedication and hard

work throughout the entire

year. sound off

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 9

Social snapshot

Top 10 Web Stories of 2018


From the Assistant Editor

Looking back and looking forward

1. Summit Hill D161 Board of Education:

Community proposal suggests buying

Lincoln-Way North, becoming K-12 district

2. Breaking News: 16-year-old who

threatened school faces felony charge

3. Breaking News: Man, 45, dead after police

chase ending in Mokena

4. Armed robbers allegedly hit three towns in

24 hours

5. Mokena Wendy’s supervisor charged with

sexual abuse

6. LW students earn perfect ACT scores

7. Home burglaries prompt Village warning

8. Mokena resident struck by vehicle, killed

following crash in Indiana

9. Lincoln-Way District 210 Board of

Education: LW madrigal founder speaks

up for program

10. Lincoln-Way Community High

School District 210: Board approves

superintendent contract extension Summit

Hill D161 Board of Education: Community

proposal suggests buying Lincoln-Way

North, becoming K-12 district

Become a member:

“Can someone with a nice sports car,

preferably a Mazerati Crossover, come to

Mokena, IL and save me? With extended

in-laws. Enough said.”

Seth Allar posted this to his Facebook page

Thursday, Dec. 27

Like The Mokena Messenger:

“Happy Fill in the Blank Friday! “When I

see little surprises like this along the trails, I


@WillCoForests posted this to its Twitter

account Friday, Dec. 28

Follow The Mokena Messenger: @mokenamessenger

Megan Schuller



began this year as a regular

freelance reporter for

The Mokena Messenger,

The Frankfort Station and

The New Lenox Patriot covering

meetings and events.

In late November I became

the assistant editor for these

papers, deepening my connection

to the communities

I have been covering since

earlier this year.

Out of the more than 190

stories I have written for

these publications since

April, a few remain prominent

in my memory as stories

that not only impacted

the community but, also, me

as a writer.

I can still clearly remember

the first D161 Board of

Education meeting I ever

covered on May 9 that I

wrote for The Messenger

and The Station. This one

Letter to the Editor

Support Mokena D159


I attended a recent forum

at Mokena School District

159 concerning a proposed

tax referendum in April

2019. This referendum, if

passed, would fund much

needed building maintenance

and structural repairs

of our three schools. Slides

were shown and Superintendent

[Don] White discussed

story developed into my beat

and became a regular subject

in my coverage. I noticed

an unusual presentation

being given during public

comment on the agenda.

Intrigued, but still new to

covering meetings I listened

intently as the lights dimmed

and a group of concerned

citizens gave a presentation

about the possibility of

D161 becoming a Unit District

and acquiring Lincoln-

Way North. As I continually

followed up with this story,

the D161 Unit District Committee

was established, and

despite Lincoln-Way D210’s

unwillingness to participate

the committee has moved

forward with pursuing a feasibility

study. The long-term

outcome of this is unknown

at this point, but I will have

followed it from its inception,

to where it is now, to

where it could be.

Sometimes stories you

cover come full circle. In

December I covered the

Silver Oaks Behavioral

Hospital grand opening for

The Patriot. Two years ago,

as an intern for another

newspaper, I did a four-page

spread on the mental health

crisis in Will and Grundy

Counties. Silver Oaks

was just breaking ground

when that published, but

and answered questions concerning

the building needs

and the possible wording of

the referendum. It is refreshing

to have White openly

and honestly discuss this

matter with the voters of

Mokena 159, especially in

light of the not too long ago

debacle perpetrated on the

Lincoln Way High School

Community [D210] taxpayers.

That matter still haunts

the promise of a 100-bed

facility seemed like a light

at the end of a dark tunnel,

when most hospitals

have fewer than 20 beds

dedicated to mental health

patients. Coming back to

see Silver Oaks finished and

covering how it will help the

local community and mental

health across the county was

a gratifying closure.

I covered the annual

veterans and memorial day

events within New Lenox,

the “Home of proud

Americans.” I have come to

know the “proud American”

culture cultivated in New

Lenox well. In every speech,

Mayor Tim Baldermann

always thanks the veterans,

current service members and

their families for the sacrifices

they have made. I have

watched families clearing

grass off headstones, veterans

saluting the fallen after a

21-gun salute, and families

holding their hands proudly

over their hearts as Taps is

played. Covering these little

but profound moments has

in turn made me proud to

cover stories through The


Other stories are notable

just for the way they spark

a change and break through

barriers. I covered the

first Pride Festival held in

us and hurts us. Some have

even vowed never to support

another referendum of

any kind. I was one of those

people, but after listening to

White’s presentation I am

confident that he has the best

interest of our school district

at heart. Please back the

school board and the superintendent

come April.

Michael Sheridan, Mokena


Mokena at Yunker Farms

back in June. Despite the

weather, people of all ages

from across the Southwest

Suburbs came out to celebrate

Mokena’s first annual

Pride Fest.

The thing I have enjoyed

the most this past year is the

diversity in the things I have

had the privilege to cover.

I learn something new with

nearly every story I write

and that, for me, is what

makes my job so interesting

every single day. I walk into

a story, and quite often the

story takes form into its own

entity with its own identity.

The stories become much

bigger than the writer behind

them, and while some are

similar no two are exactly

the same.

I look forward to covering

whatever news the year

ahead will bring, and the

future stories that will take

on a life of its own. Here’s

to 2019.

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 tj@

10 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger mokena






The Healthy

Living Expo

has tons of activities!

9am - 1pm


Jan. 19, 2019

Tinley Park




(708) 326-9170 ext. 16




Tote Bag*

*to first 300



Danni Allen

winner of NBC's

The Biggest Loser

Season 14

• More than 60 vendor booths!

• Vitalant Blood Drive

• Canned Food Drive for local Micro


• FREE 30-minute workout sessions

• Speaker Sessions

• Free KIND bar samples to the first

500 people

• Enter to win a free door prize from

one of our vendors at the 22nd

Century Media table

Healthy Living Expo 2019 Vendors

22nd Century Media

AAA Chicago

Affordable Dentures & Implants

Agnes & Dora

AJ Specialties Inc.



Bath Planet Chicago

BDBE Telemedicine

Body Bliss Wellness Center

Body n Brain Yoga Tai Chi

Brannigan Chiropractic Center

Capitol Nutrition

Chamberlain University Student Nurses

Association - Tinley Campus

Chiro One Wellness Centers

Chulo Fit


Country Botanical Depot - Your CBD Store


COUNTRY Financial

Cruise Planners

Dog is Good


Dr. Yelena Potekhin, D.C.

Edward Jones

Essentially 3B’s (Body, Blends & Balance)



Girls on the Run

Goodlife Physical Therapy

Greenhouse, a medical cannabis dispensary

Greenridge Farm

Groovestones Jewelry & Gems

Hacked Snacks

Health From Within

Heart & Sole Dance


Jercon Wealth Management

Juicy Luzy Sangria

Keller Williams Preferred Realty


Make Up Eraser

Mill Pond Dental Group

Orland Oaks Dental

Passanante’s Home Food Services

Physicians Immediate Care

Planet Fitness

Poppilu Antioxidant Lemonade

Power Home Remodeling

Progressive Radiology

Rife Family Medicine/Weight No More

Scout & Cellar Wine

Shelf Genie

Smoothie King


The Oasis for Natural Healing

The Plourdé Institute

This Is My Legacy

Thrive by Le-Vel

Tiger Bath

UChicago Medicine


WellCare Health Plans

Window Works

Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc.

Young Living Independent Distributor

the mokena messenger | January 3, 2019 |

That’s a wrap

Mokena Park District, Chamber highlight 2018, Pages 13-14

Painting the town

Check out local spots for nightlife, Page 18

A look at

the special


that made area


stand out

last year,

Pages 16-17


the things that made

area restaurants stick out from the

pack in 2018 were (clockwise, from top left), the “guts”

at Peppo’s, the home-cooking touch of Kim Friedl’s

Macaron Shoppe, the baked potatoes loaded with extras

and college nostalgia at McAlister’s Deli, and the pizza

restaurant that was living inside Joey’s all along. 22nd

Century Media File Photos

12 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger faith


Kim O’Neil Golob

Kelli Hartseil Mores

Kelly Furlong Foresman, Secretary

It was easy to

decide on cremation.

Now, what about the

rest of the decisions?

Colonial Chapel

Funeral Home

Private, On-site Crematory

15525 S. 73rd Ave.

(155th/Wheeler Dr. & Harlem)

Orland Park, Illinois

Family owned for 40 Years


The Cremation Experts.

Broker - Management Team





©2006 Copyrighted Material

Faith Briefs

St. Mary’s Catholic Church (19515 115th

Ave., Mokena)

Church Service

5 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m,

9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6:

p.m. Sundays


Wednesdays following

8:00 a.m. Mass in the Chapel

until 6:45 p.m.

Young at Heart Senior Club

1 p.m. the first and third

Wednesday of the month.

Join the senior club for activities

and outings Sept.-

June. For more information,

call (708) 699-5018.

Holy Rosary

7:30 a.m. daily; 7 p.m.

Tuesday evenings.

St. John’s United Church of Christ (11100

Second St., Mokena)

Traditional Service

8 a.m. traditional mass,

9:45 a.m. contemporary &

traditional music in a service

of praise and reverence. Supervised

childcare available.

For more information, call

(708) 479-5123.





Contact Classifieds at


Garden Club

8 a.m. Tuesdays. For more

information, call (708) 479-


Cards for a Cause

7 p.m. the second Monday

of each month. Bring your

tape, scissors and colored

pencils — if you have them

— and plan for a creative

evening with lots of fun.

Bundles of Love

7 p.m. the second and

fourth Monday of each

month. Enjoy fun and fellowship

while making baby

quilts for infants baptized at

St. John’s and lap quilts for


Mokena United Methodist Church (10901

LaPorte Road, Mokena)

Service and Sunday School

10:15 a.m. Sundays.

Church service and children’s

Sunday School will

be held. For more information,

call (708) 479-1110.

Bible Study

7 p.m. Tuesdays at the

church. For more information,

call (708) 479-1110.

Community Prayer Gathering

2:30 p.m. every 4th Sunday.


In Memoriam

Joan A. Fischmann

Joan A. Fischmann, 59, of

Mokena, died Dec. 23.

She was the loving sister

of Kent (Bobbi) and Gary

(Mariah); and caring aunt of

Caleb, Cami, Jack, Alex and


She was preceded in

death by her parents, Robert

and Helen Fischmann, and

brother Bryan Fischmann.

Pamela J. Newton

Pamela J. Newton, 61, of

Mokena, died Dec. 24.

She was the daughter of

the late Phyllis and Frank

9 a.m. every third Saturday

of the month.

Choir Practice

7:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Newcomers welcome.

Weight Watchers


Weigh-ins take place at

6:30 p.m., while the meeting

is at 7 p.m.

Marley Community Church (12625 W.

187th St., Mokena)

Church Service

10 a.m. Sundays. Childcare

is provided.

Sunday School

9-10 a.m. Sundays.

Senior High Youth Group

7-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

For more information, email


Junior High Youth Group

6-7:30 p.m. Fridays. For

more information, email


Men’s Group

6 p.m. Sunday nights in

the church basement. All

men are welcome.

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church

(10731 W. La Porte Road, Mokena)

Please see faith, 14

A. “Bud” Newton; sister of

Cindy (Kevin) King, Denise

(Paul) Baenen and David

(Jo-Anne) Newton; aunt of

Monica, Spencer, Erica, Desiree,

Paige Ann, Alexandra,

Grant, Peter and Bryce; and

niece, cousin, dear friend,

and “Aunt Pam” of many.

Do you have someone’s life

you’d like to honor? Email

Editor T.J. Kremer III at tj@ with

information about a loved one

who was a part of the Mokena


® life & arts

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 13

Year in Review 2018

Setting a course for the future makes 2018 year to remember

Mike Selep

Park District Executive Director

As we take a look back at

2018, we can honestly say it

has been a year to remember. It

was the first year of having the

new Yunker Park amenities

operational for the full year,

which includes the splash pad,

band shell, dog park and newly

opened garden plots.

It was also the first full year

of being able to offer additional

space at The Oaks new field

house, which allowed the park

district to expand opportunities

for open and league play

for badminton, pickleball,

volleyball and tennis. Additional

fitness classes were also

offered using the new multipurpose


While we were getting our

new facilities up and running,

we were also making numerous

improvements and additions

to several parks. Outdoor

spaces were enhanced with

a new playground installed

at Heritage Park, the tennis

courts were resurfaced and

new light poles were installed

at Main Park, and the basketball

court at Green Meadows

Park was resurfaced. The main

driveway and circle entrance

at the Oaks Recreation and

Fitness Center was redone,

as well as cement and shade

structures were added to the

dog park.

We also worked closely

with our community partners,

MBSA and Mokena Burros

regarding field maintenance

and improvements for our

ballfields throughout the district.

We hope that everyone

can visit these parks and enjoy

the new or improved amenities.

We also worked closely

with other community organizations

and local companies

to develop new components

to our annual 5K run, Fourth

of July celebration, as well as

our Farm and Barn, and Halloween

Hollow festivals. We

received a large number of

compliments from the community

for our work with the

Village of Mokena to provide


NAWS Illinois Humane Society 9981 W. 190th St. Mokena,


fireworks during the Saturday

evening of Halloween Hollow

this year due to the inclement

weather for the Fourth of July


Perhaps the most important

thing that we did in 2018 was

to go through a new master

planning process. Throughout

this process the park district

solicited feedback from

residents through a community-wide

survey, community

meetings and focus groups,

as well as planning sessions

with staff and Commissioners.

The master plan, which will be

adopted at the end of the year,

will provide a path for the next

six years. Your input was key

to helping us determine how

we can better serve the community.

This plan will guide

us through the process of improving

existing programs and

facilities, as well as developing

new programs and facilities

to meet the growing needs

of the community.

In addition, utilizing the

plan will guide us through

increasing organizational efficiencies

and effectiveness to

help us provide greater opportunities

for the community to

recreate while making better

use of our resources.

We invite you to visit our

Peppermint is a young, 1- to 2-year-old, female mix looking

for a forever home. She is playful, friendly and affectionate. She knows sit and takes

treats very gently. Contact Stacy at or call NAWS at (708) 478-

5102 to setup an appointment with an adoption counselor to meet her.

Want to see your pet featured as The Mokena Messenger’s Pet of the Week? Send your pet’s photo

and a few sentences explaining why your pet is outstanding to Editor T.J. Kremer III at

or 11516 W. 183rd St., Office Condo 3, Suite SW, Orland Park, IL 60467.

Please call 708.326.9170

to reserve your Ad.

website at

or our Facebook to discover

what’s in store for 2019.

The Board of Commissioners

and staff at Mokena Community

Park District wishes

everyone a happy and healthy

New Year. Create lasting

memories by participating in

recreation programs; attending

a movie, concert or festival

in our parks; work out at The

Oaks Recreation and Fitness

Center. We look forward to

seeing you there.




The Mokena Messenger


708.326.9170 ext. 31





Reach more than 89,000 homes and businesses

in our coupon section !

All ads will also appear digitally on each publication’s website.

Appearing February 28

Reserve your Ad by Jan. 31 • Approve your Ad by Feb. 7

14 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger life & arts

Year in Review 2018

Mokena Chamber continues work to promote local businesses

Skye Bergeson

Chamber of Commerce President

This past year marked

57 years that the Mokena

Chamber of Commerce has

been in existence to promote

both business and community

relationships. As 2018

Board President, I would

like to start by thanking everyone

in the community for

their continued support of

the chamber. The Board of

Directors, chamber member

volunteers and staff work

hard each day to keep our

local businesses moving forward,

and we could not run

this organization without the

group effort of everyone.

We would like to thank the

39 businesses that decided to

join the chamber in 2018,

and applaud the nearly 350

members that renewed their

annual dues. The Mokena

Chamber of Commerce held

24 ribbon cutting ceremonies

this year to welcome

new businesses to Mokena.

A significant goal of the

Mokena Chamber in 2018

was to connect Chamber to

community. This year was

another great year of giving

back to the community

by means of donations and

volunteer efforts through




fundraisers, scholarships,

sponsorships, and hosting

community special events.

And as our chamber motto

states, our goal is to, “Create

community connections.”

We also once again presented

scholarships to deserving

students at Lincoln-

Way Central High School

who live in Mokena. We are

pleased to also have been

able to sponsor various nonprofit

community organizations

in their fundraising

goals, as well.

We make every effort for

residents to recognize our

chamber member businesses.

One way in which we do

this is with the production

of the blue banners that you

have seen displayed along

light poles on both Wolf

Road and West 191st Street.



We are able to bring attention

to not only our members’

businesses, but also our

community through hosting

annual community events.

New this year was the inaugural

Mokena Mud Turtle

Race held on May 5 outdoors

in front of The Oaks

Recreation and Fitness Center.

These numbered, rubber

turtles were purchased

by businesses and the community,

and “raced” down

a giant rubber track, pushed

along by a fire hose. We also

had vendor booths, games

and music to round out the


Our annual Chamber Golf

Outing was held in June at

The Sanctuary Golf Course.

The event attracted 85 golfers

who were able to enjoy

a great day of fun and networking

on the green.

The Fourth of July Parade

once again saw a huge community

turnout, with approximately

5,000 in attendance


From Page 12


9 a.m. Sundays.

God’s Kids Club

10:15 a.m. Sundays in


Adult Bible Study

10:15 a.m. Sundays in


and 80 entries in the parade.

The Community Business

Expo, held in September at

The Mokena Park District’s

The Oaks Recreation and

Fitness Center, had 50 businesses

participate and drew a

large community turnout.

Christmas Fest, held every

November on the Saturday

before Thanksgiving, once

again didn’t disappoint with

a morning of crafts, cookies

and pictures with Santa

and Mrs. Claus. Following

the morning events was the

Lighted Parade that made

its way down Front Street

through downtown Mokena

and showcased local businesses

and civic groups.

Following the parade was

the annual lighting of the

tree and the Family Dance at

the Mokena VFW complete

with a DJ and pizza party.

Through the generosity of

our chamber members, all

of these events are planned,

sponsored and staffed by

Parker Road Bible Church (18512 Parker

Road, Mokena)

Worship Service

10:30 a.m. Sundays. Be

sure to arrive early for our

Sunday Worship Service to

enjoy a hot, complimentary

cup of coffee every week at

the church. Following the

Christian Education Hour

(9:15-10:15 a.m.), all beverages

can be found just outside

the sanctuary.

our chamber member volunteers.

If you attended any of our

community events this year,

we would like to extend our

sincere thanks to you. The

Mokena Chamber of Commerce

is a 501 c 6, non-profit

organization that operates

solely on membership dues,

sponsorships, donations and

revenue from our community

events. We receive no

state or federal tax dollars to

operate our organization.

At this time we would like

to reach out to you and ask

you to please invest in our

chamber members first, as

our members do so much to

invest in your community.

And looking forward to

the new year, we are happy

to welcome Michelle De-

Paolis of LincolnWay Bank

as Board President for 2019.

On behalf of the Board of

Directors, we wish everyone

a healthy and prosperous

new year.

For more information, call

(708) 479 -0300.

Spanish Mass

12:30 p.m. Sundays.

Worship Service

10 a.m. Sundays. All are


Women’s Bible Study

8:45-9:45 a.m. Sundays

and 2-3 p.m. Tuesdays.



(708) 480-1775

Enjoy more space with custom pull-out

shelves for your existing cabinets.

*Limit one offer per household. Applies topurchases of 5ormore Classic or Designer

Glide-Out shelves. Lifetime warranty valid for Classic orDesigner Solutions.

Learn more at Expires2/28/2019.

Mokena Baptist Church (9960 W. 187th

St., Mokena)

Sunday Services

11 a.m. and 5 p.m. For

more information, call (312)


Sunday School

10:15 a.m. Sundays. Mokena

Baptist offers Sunday

School classes for all ages.

For more information, call

(312) 350-2279.

Grace Fellowship Church (11049 LaPorte

Road, Mokena)

Seniors Coffee

8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14.

McDonalds, 21011 South La

Grange Road, Frankfort.

Narcotics Anonymous

7-9 p.m. Mondays. All

those struggling or who have

struggled with a narcotics

addiction are welcome. All

meetings are confidential.

Victory Baptist Church (13550 US Route

6, Mokena)

Morning Worship

10:45 a.m. Sundays.

Have something for Faith

Briefs? Contact Assistant

Editor Megan Schuller at or

call (708) 326-9170 ext. 34.

Deadline is noon Thursday one

week prior to publication. mokena

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 15

Sign up to get your local news every day and wherever you go with

Subscribe today at

or scan the QR for a direct link

16 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger dining out

Local recipes for success in 2018 Dishes

A look at some of the

things that made this

2018’s Dishes special

Bill Jones, Managing Editor

Restaurants pride themselves

on secret ingredients. They can’t

tell you the exact mix of spices

that make those baby back ribs

taste so good. They might assure

you a sauce isn’t going to trigger

any allergies, but good luck getting

the recipe. And they sure as

heck won’t explain the techniques

handed down from generation to


But figuring out what makes a

restaurant tick doesn’t have to be

such a mystery. Sometimes, businesses

wear what makes them special

on their sleeves — figuratively

and literally.

So, in 2018, we took a look back

at some of the not-so-secret ingredients

of area restaurants that

caught our attention for The Dish.

The list that follows is far from

comprehensive, but it highlights

some of the best.

Because if we told you everything,

we’d have know.

All about the “guts”

Bob Peplowski, of New Lenox,

son of Peppo’s founder Jim Peplowski,

has no way to hide what

has made the family’s sandwich

shop a popular stop in Palos Hills.

Their sandwiches overflow with

“guts” — a mixture of diced pickles,

tomato and onion, with herbs

and spices, as well as a homemade

vinegar and oil dressing — that

now come in five variations.

There is a small secret we shared

with readers earlier this year,

though: the off-menu “boss guts”

are a mixture of all of the varieties

put together.

Less (sugar) is more

Many bakeries assume if you’re

game for a sweet treat, you’re all

in. You want the sweetest cupcakes.

You want a sugary frosting

topping them. And maybe some

extra candy sprinkled in the mix.

But Orland Park’s Créme by

Sarah Ashley bucks that trend with

items low in sugar, offering cake

pops and more that aren’t quite as

sweet, but still quite a treat.

Secretly loaded with college

nostalgia, not-so-secretly loaded

baked potatoes

When McAlister’s Deli opened

in Orland Park in 2018, its love for

loading baked potatoes was hard to

miss. A variety of options on the

menu are highlighted by the Spud

Max, a giant baked potato stuffed

with ham, turkey, bacon, cheddarjack

cheese, green onion, black

olive and sour cream that acts as a

meal unto itself.

What helped get people in the

doors, though, was a huge helping

of college-town memories. The

franchise has locations in close

proximity to campuses at Illinois

State and the University of Illinois,

and co-owner Ravi Patel first discovered

the chain at his alma mater,

Purdue University.

Macarons with a home-cooked


Many find happiness in a meal

that reminds them of something

mom cooked at home when they

were children. And some restaurants

even jump through elaborate

hoops in frivolous attempts to replicate

something that comes close.

Mokena resident Kim Friedl did

it by just staying home. She simply

started making macarons with her

children. And once the New Lenox

native mastered it, she turned it

into The Macaron Shoppe, petitioning

the Mokena Village Board

to pass an ordinance that would accommodate

her work and creating

cookies that would be difficult for

anyone else’s mom to replicate.

Hot dogs give birth to pizza

Who would have guessed that inside

of an Orland Park hot dog stand

Please see recipes, 17

The “smoke” created by Tasty Chill’s Dragon Breath is a mixture of either cereal balls or cheese balls and

liquid nitrogen. 22nd Century Media File Photos

Chicago Dough New Lenox owner Tim Waters (left) and chef Ernesto Lopez prepare a pizza for the daily lunch

buffet. dining out

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 17

Créme by Sarah Ashley’s birthday cake cupcakes feature vanilla cake baked with rainbow

sprinkles, topped with vanilla buttercream and sprinkles.

One of the items on the At Ease menu is the Buffalo chicken sandwich, which is made with

fresh chicken, Buffalo sauce, provolone cheese, pickles and lettuce.


From Page 16

there was a pizza joint waiting

to blossom? But that’s

exactly what happened this

year, as Joey’s Red Hots took

over the space next-door to

open a pizza shop alongside

its already immensely popular

restaurant. Now, we’re

looking at other businesses

and wondering what secret

ambitions they might be hiding,

like they’re all some late

1990s high school drama.

The Macaron Shoppe offers more than 20 flavors.

Not so much what goes into

the food as what comes out

of it

People go to Chicago

Dough Co. in New Lenox

for the pizza. They go for the

buffet. They go for the pictures

on the wall.

But Chicago Dough Co.

does all of that not just for

the business but for the charitable

opportunities, as well.

Since it opened in 2007, the

business has donated free

food to fundraisers, events,

and people and families

experiencing hardships.

Knowing your money helps

support those efforts is just

another reason to feel good

about dining there.

When in doubt, liquid


There are dessert shops

aplenty in the area, but Tasty

Chill’s 19-year-old entrepreneur

Abdullah Mubarik

knew if he wanted to captures

a market of both children

and adults in Orland

Park, he needed to have

some fun with things.

Enter the Dragon Breath,

which comes in two varieties:

with cheese balls or with

chilled, fruit-flavored cereal.

This selection lets customers

exhale “smoke” while the

chilled, fruit-flavored cereal

or cheese balls are in their

mouths. The effect comes

from the liquid nitrogen that

freezes the bite-sized balls to

an extremely low temperature.

Love for country and beer

At Ease Craft Beer Pub

displays its military pride

everywhere — in the name,

on the wood-crafted American

flag hanging on a military-green

painted wall,

and with tap handles made

in the shape of .22-caliber

rounds. Owner Nick Roppo

served seven years in the

Army, and he hopes the pub

— which now serves food,

as well — can be a place

for veterans and anyone

else looking for a stress-free


Bob Peplowski, of New Lenox, is the son of Peppo’s founder Jim Peplowski.

18 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger puzzles

crosstown CROSSWORD & Sudoku

The crosstowns: Frankfort, Homer Glen, Lockport, Mokena, New Lenox, Orland Park, Tinley Park

Crossword by Myles Mellor and Cindy LaFleur


1. Falcon film

4. Juries

10. ___ maison: Fr.

13. Neighbor of Minn.

14. “A Horse with no

name” singers

16. Business watchdog

for customers (abbr.)

17. Julia’s rags to riches


19. Big Ten sch.

20. Ages

21. GPS system

23. Orland Park winery

and restaurant chain

that has opened in New

Lenox, goes with 35


27. Most healthy

30. Gold units: Abbr.

31. Bamako is its capital

33. Marries in haste

34. Mountain climbing


35. See 23 across

36. One of Cream’s great


41. Adorned

42. Litmus reddeners

43. One of the Greek


46. The Christmas season

47. Where the buoys are

50. Music of Kanye West

51. Sandburg basketball

star, Ian ____

53. Bible book after Song

of Solomon

56. It’s a wrap

57. U.S. Army medal

59. Tanzania seaport

63. Class

64. Begin

65. OJ’s trial judge

66. Lady

67. Of greatest age

68. Toyota ____ 4


1. Russian coin

2. Implant deeply

3. Shorthand experts

4. Way to stand

5. “Chasing ___” (1997

Ben Affleck movie)

6. “What’s ___?”

7. Son of Aphrodite

8. Beans

9. Excoriate

10. Better than expected

11. Dieters’ units: Abbr.

12. “Aladdin” monkey

15. Historical account

18. Baking need

22. Maui “good-byes”

24. Turkish VIP

25. NZ forest tree

26. Black fruit

28. Uses a Singer

29. “Naughty, naughty!”

32. Dental work

34. Fools, with out

36. Limp watch painter

37. Climber’s equipment

38. Critical hosp. areas

39. Venomous lizard

40. Steinbeck’s “East of


41. “Well, ___-di-dah!”

44. Amphibians

45. Narcotic

47. Salty oxygen

48. Corrections

49. Foundation series


52. High-speed Internet


54. Asia’s shrinking ___


55. Round up

57. Not very bright

58. Digital camera type

60. ___ Anne de Beaupré

61. “Help!”

62. Picnic crasher


The Alley Grill and Tap


(18700 S. Old LaGrange

Road, Mokena; (708) 478-


■9 ■ p.m. Tuesdays: Karaoke

Fox’s Restaurant and Pub

(11247 W. 187th St.,

Mokena; (708) 478-


■6 ■ p.m. Thursdays,

Fridays and Saturdays:

Performance by Jerry



Little Joe’s Restaurant

(1300 N. Cedar Road,

New Lenox; (815) 463-


■5-8 ■ p.m. Tuesdays:

Piano Styles by Joe


Front Row

(14903 S. Bell Road,

Homer Glen; (708) 645-


■7 ■ p.m. Wednesdays:



Pete Mitchell’s Bar & Grill

(21000 Frankfort Square

Road, Frankfort; (815)


■6-8 ■ p.m. Wednesdays:

Free N’ Fun Bar Game.

Free to play.


Port Noir

(900 S. State St., Lockport;

(815) 834-9463)

■4-7 ■ p.m. Monday-Friday:

Happy Hour

■8-10 ■ p.m. Thursdays:

Comedy Bingo

■8-11 ■ p.m. Fridays and

Saturdays: Live Band

■7-11 ■ p.m. Sundays:

Open Mic Night

Strike N Spare II

(811 Northern Drive,

Lockport; (708) 301-


■9:30 ■ p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Mondays: Quartermania

■10 ■ p.m.-midnight Saturdays:

Cosmic Bowl


Traverso’s Restaurant

(15601 S. Harlem Ave.,

Orland Park; (708) 532-


■8 ■ p.m. Wednesdays and

Saturdays: Karaoke

To place an event

in The Scene, email


How to play Sudoku

Each sudoku puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid that

has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3x3

squares. To solve the puzzle, each row, column and

box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9.

LEVEL: Medium

Sudoku by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan real estate

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 19

The Mokena Messenger’s

Sponsored content

of the


Nov. 1

• 9226 W Huntington

Court, Mokena, 60448-

8897 - Blaine J. Saxton to

Kyle A. Hermann, Michelle

M. Hermann, $168,000

Nov. 2

• 11300 194th St.,

Mokena, 60448-9454

- Michael D. Figlio to

Ryan T. Cohoon, Laura B.

Mrazek, $266,000

• 18124 S Hunt Club

Drive, Mokena, 60448-

8622 - Etaf Akkawi

Trust to Gregory Evans,


• 18411 Rachel Drive,

Mokena, 60448-8538

- James J. Suppes to

Michael Swieter, Alissa

Dennis, $505,000

• 19305 Weber Court,

Mokena, 60448-1166

- John T. Herman Jr. to

Daniel Constantine, Molly

Constantine, $295,000

Nov. 5

• 12500 Alpine Ridge

Drive, Mokena, 60448-

7538 - David Voss to

Donald L. Panek Jr,


Nov. 7

• 11045 Daniel Trail,

Mokena, 60448-1002 -

Bader Brothers Builders

Inc to Tara Rose Fritts,

Corey Linhart, $250,000

• 12416 Pemrose

Court, Mokena, 60448-

7106 - Chicago Trust

Co Na Trustee to Adam

Miklaszewski, Erica A.

Miklaszewski, $455,000

Nov. 8

• 19618 Wolf Road,

Mokena, 60448-1306 -

Eldridge Trust to Adrienne

Thomaston, Daniel

Thomaston, $184,000

• 21241 Foxtail Drive,

Mokena, 60448-1960 -

Nebor Construction Inc to

Mark Bryant Cassidy, Jill

S. Fruhwirth, $490,000

• 10628 Revere Circle,

Mokena, 60448-2466 -

Chicago Title Land Trt Co

Ttee to Joel D. Krooswyk,

Amanda R. Turek,


Nov. 9

• 11301 Wexford Drive,

Mokena, 60448-1462 -

Titan Ajj Properties Llc to

Eric J. Stanish, Michelle R.

Stanish, $465,000

• 19123 Loveland Court,

Mokena, 60448-8247 -

James Schwichtenberg to

Christopher Mlynarczyk,

Kelly Tavernier, $633,000

• 19214 Crescent Drive,

Mokena, 60448-7508

- Rakesh K. Chugh to

Sandra N. Moser, Mario F.

Navarro Sr., $220,000

• 19536 115th Ave. B,

Mokena, 60448-1297 -

David Dakuras to Patrick

Connors, $118,000

Nov. 16

• 19542 115th Ave. A,

Mokena, 60448-1817 -

Lar Homes Llc to Dale A.

Kurecki, Stefanie Kurecki,


Nov. 29

• 19247 Crescent Drive,

Mokena, 60448-7512 -

Christopher L. Harlos to

Danijel Rajak, $345,000

Located only a few minutes from downtown Mokena. Only a few more minutes to Route

30. Walking distance to parks and the Mokena library.

What: A two-story, three bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom condo. Home features a

spacious main level with large eat-in kitchen and adjoining large living room.

Listing Price: $139,900

Where: 19508 116th Ave., Mokena, 60448

Amenities: This remodeled, move-in ready home has an inunit

laundry and an attached one-car garage. There are lots of

updates, including hardwood flooring and completely updated


Listing Agent: Michael

Glenn III, (708) 263-5869,

Listing Brokerage: Village

Realty, Inc.

The Going Rate is provided by

Record Information Services,

Inc. For more information,


or call (630) 557-1000 Want to know how to become Home of the Week? Contact Tricia at (708) 326-9170 ext. 47.

20 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise



1003 Help


Are you made for ALDI?


We are looking for Store

Associates, Casual Store

Associates, Shift Managers

and Manager Trainees

for the following locations:

Lockport, Lemont,

Frankfort, New Lenox,

Joliet (Hennepin St. &

Jefferson St.) Orland Hills,

Tinley Park and

Orland Park

Casual and Store Associate -

$13.50/HR (starting wage)

13-24 months=$13.90/HR

25-36 months = $14.30/HR

Shift Managers -

$18.00/Manager hours worked

($13.50/hour plus $4.50/hour

when performing manager


Manager Trainee -

$47,320/yr* w/ an opportunity

to earn $75k-$80k/yr as a

Store Manager *22.75/hr

(avg 40 hrs/wk)

Please visit one of the

following locations:

Monday, Jan 7th at

Quality Inn & Suites

8800 W. 159th St.

Orland Park, IL 60462

between the hours of

6am - 2pm or

Monday, Jan 7th at


16000 Harlem Ave,

Tinley Park, IL 60477

between the hours of


Hiring Desk Clerk

(must be flexible w/ shifts)

& Housekeeping

(Morning) Needed at

Super 8 Motel

Apply within:

9485 W. 191st St, Mokena

No Phone Calls

1003 Help Wanted

Entry Level Sales Representative

22nd Century Media LLC. - Orland Park, IL

22nd Century Media has an entry level sales positions open for it’s

Southwest Suburban Team. The position would be responsible for the

sales of print and digital classified advertising to local businesses and

individuals.Candidates should be comfortable and familiar with being on

the phone, making cold calls, communicating with clients via e-mail and

occasionally traveling locally to meet with clients to find their most

effective advertising solution.

This position offers a base salary plus commission

along with a comprehensive benefits package.

What you are responsible for:

• Prospecting and qualifying new accounts

• Earning new business through cold-calling efforts and research

• Developing and maintaining client relationships

• Working closely with clients to develop effective advertising campaigns

• Working with decision makers to obtain customer commitment

• Copywriting content for ads with clients to develop the right message

• Achieving and exceeding weekly revenue targets

Qualifications: Must have a strong work ethic and ability to work

independently as well as with a team. A desire to learn not only the sales

process but also gain experience in advertising and marketing. Excellent

communication skills, time-management, comfort with selling over the

phone, face to face as well as e-mail, and interpersonal skills required.

Email Resume to:

No phone calls, please. EOE

Job Types: Full-time, Commission

Village Seeks F/T Maintenance Worker

The Village of Homer Glen is seeking a full-time maintenance

worker to perform skilled and semi-skilled work in the care and

maintenance of the Village's buildings, equipment and park

properties. Applicants must have a H.S. diploma or GED, 2 yrs of

experience performing maintenance work, knowledge of

mechanical equipment used in maintenance of public facilities

and possess a valid driver's license. Pay is $20/hr, with excellent

benefit package. Selected candidates will be required to pass a

criminal background check, medical physical and drug screen.

A position description and application may be found on the

Village's website

Completed applications can be e-mailed to Heather Kokodynsky

at or mailed to Village of Homer

Glen, Attn: Heather Kokodynsky, 14240 W. 151st Street, Homer

Glen, IL 60491. Applications are due by Friday, January 25.

Tinley Court is seeking a

mature, reliable person to

work as a P/T Front Desk

Receptionist. 2 Days/Week

plus Holidays. Please apply in

person, no phone calls!

16301 S Brementowne Rd

Tinley Park, IL 60467

Route Driver to fill vending

machines. P/T; 2 day/week.

Experience a Plus

Contact Mike at:

708.646.1067 / 708.301.8145

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm


Real Estate

F/T Field Service Technician

Entry Level – Trainee Position

Basic electronic/mech skills a

plus, good driving record /

neat appearance. Call

815-463-1209 or Fax resume:

815-463-1215 Email resume:

Attention Realtors

Looking to Advertise?



See the Classified Section for more info,

or Call 708.326.9170



Call Us Today 708.326.9170


4 lines/

7 papers Help Wanted


7 lines/

7 papers Merchandise

1004 Employment


1023 Caregiver

Caregiver Services

Provided by

Margaret’s Agency Inc.

State Licensed & Bonded

since 1998. Providing quality

care for elderly.

Live-in/ Come & go.


1024 Senior



per line

4 lines/

7 papers


4 lines/

7 papers

Senior Companion

Do your loved ones need

holiday shopping done,

grocery shopping, to be

taken to a doctor appt,

errands run or just

socialization? If so

Call Betty (815)545-4935

1037 Prayer /


Prayers Answered Lady of

Mt. Caramel. EM


1074 Auto for


2010 Honda Accord EX - 4dr,

81,100 miles. Exc. condition,

6-CD player, sun roof $8300

Negotiable 708-560-6858



Running Or Not from Old to New!

Top Dollar Paid - Free Pick-Up

Locally Located



1225 Apartments for Rent

Oak Forest Terrace

15815 Terrace, Oak Forest

Spacious 1 & 2 Bdrms.

Serene setting & Beautiful

Grounds. Tennis, Pool,

Walking Trails. Near metra.


1310 Offices for Rent

The perfect downtown


11225 Front St. Mokena, IL

Newly rehabbed office spaces

avail. Office spaces are flexible

for any type of business.

Includes lobby, private bathrooms,

utilities and Comcast

Internet/Wifi. Units ready to

lease Available NOW.

$299/mo total.

Julie Carnes 708-906-3301

Village Realty Inc.

1074 Auto for Sale







Advertise your


in the newspaper

people turn to first

CALL US TODAY: 708.326.9170 classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 21


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise




Mike McCatty





Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



Real Estate




Kim Wirtz




4 lines/

7 papers Help Wanted


7 lines/

7 papers Merchandise


per line

4 lines/

7 papers


4 lines/

7 papers

Rates As

Low As3 %

Chicagoland’s #1 Century 21 Agent

2003 Appliance Repair




• Air Conditioning • Furnaces

Refrigeration • Dishwashers

Stoves & Ovens • Microwaves

Garbage Disposals


Family Owned &Operatedsince 1986

Someone you can TRUST


BEST price in town!


Business Directory place your

Classified Ad!


2006 Basement Waterproofing

2011 Brick/Chimney Experts

Are you a Local Realtor,

Real Estate Attorney

or Lender?

Contact Classified Department

to Advertise in this Directory



708-326-9170 ext. 47





22 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds

2011 Brick/Chimney Experts


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm


Real Estate


4 lines/

7 papers Help Wanted


7 lines/

7 papers Merchandise


per line

4 lines/

7 papers


4 lines/

7 papers

2080 Firewood

2090 Flooring







(708) 478-8269

2070 Electrical

2080 Firewood

2090 Flooring



Seasoned Mixed


$120.00 per FC

Free Stacking &


708 235 8917

815 981 0127












2120 Handyman place


Classified Ad!





Windows, Doors, Decks Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling, Plumbing Interior and

Exterior Painting Wall Paper Removal Professional Work At Competitive Prices

CALL MIKE AT 708-790-3416

® classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 23


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm


Real Estate


4 lines/

7 papers Help Wanted


7 lines/

7 papers Merchandise


per line

4 lines/

7 papers


4 lines/

7 papers

2150 Paint & Decorating

2130 Heating/Cooling

2132 Home Improvement



Starting at $495 Installed

(708) 532-7579

Visit our new website at

2132 Home Improvement

Advertise your



in the newspaper

people turn

to first

CALL US TODAY: 708.326.9170

Celebrating 3generations of outstanding service!

Tens of Thousands of Highly Satisfied Customers!

Family owned & operated -66years in business!


2135 Insulation

•Blown-In Fiber

Glass Insulation

•Foam nsulation

• nsulation Removals.



Interior / Exterior

Fast, Neat Painting


Wallpaper Removal


Free Estimates

20% Off with this ad


Want to




in the








for a FREE

Sample Ad

and Quote!

24 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

2170 Plumbing

Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm


Real Estate


4 lines/

7 papers Help Wanted


7 lines/

7 papers Merchandise

2200 Roofing


per line

4 lines/

7 papers


4 lines/

7 papers

2255 Tree Service

Don’t just

list your

real estate


Sell It!

With a Classified Ad

See the Classified

Section for more info,

or call 708.326.9170

2294 Window Cleaning



Window Cleaning

Gutter Cleaning

Power Washing

Office Cleaning

call and get $40.00 off

708 974-8044





in the


people turn

to first CALL US TODAY: 708.326.9170

2296 Window Fashions

Blinds &



I Do Windows &


Call Pat

815 355 1112

815 485 1112

o f f i c e

I Do House Calls

Too! place your

Classified Ad!


Call Jeff Schouten

to learn more about recruitment

advertising in your local newspaper.

708.326.9170 ext. 51 classifieds

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 25


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise



Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



4 lines/

7 papers

Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers

2390 Computer Services/Repair

2489 Merchandise Wanted

Metal Wanted

Scrap Metal, Garden



Appliances, Etc.


Call 815-210-8819

Free pickup!









Buy It!





in the



















26 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger classifieds


Help Wanted · Garage Sales · Automotive

Real Estate · Rentals · Merchandise

2900 Merchandise Under $100

(2) new American Camper

kerosene latern vintage 12”

high sturdy metal construction

$45. Rare vintage metal galvanized

watering can with long

flange spout & 2handles $50.


3 furnace filters for Trion (Air

Bear) 20x25x5 New $60.


5piece entertainment center,

solid oak, smoked glass doors,

fully lighted, lots ofstorage for

CDs & tapes, ect. Excellent

condition $100. 708.532.4044

9ft. pre lite slim tree 48” diameter

w/ 2058 tips 1200 color

lights $100. 708.479.7537

Artists aluminum easel by

Expo height 38” -70” weight

4.58 lbs $15. Hoover rub and

upholstery cleaner $25. Fran


Barbie dolls, new in box (2)

50th anniversary Irish doll $10.

2Barbie mermaid dolls, new

$5 each. Hero Barbie $5.


Beanie Babies 4 for $5. Baseball

hockey promo cards $1.


Two 13 lb bowling balls in

good condition. One Hammer

Legend Hi-Performance $50.

One Columbia 300 White Dot

Spare Ball $20. Both balls for

$60. 7108.226.0881

Vellux skylight 35x38 new in

the box low - Eglass $100.


Buy It!



in the



Book collectors, volume of six,

antique books “Library of Best

Authors” $100. Good condition.


Cardio Fit $20. Mens brown

keather suburban coat -4419

$20. Mens suit, cleaned $10.


Chaise lounge - champagne

colored, used for abedroom,

very good condition $50.


Chicago Bulls leather jacket

XL $100. Chuck 847.724.8681

Coach purse $40. New, never

used, black courier. Retail

$135. Still in package.


GE oven range, white $50. GE

Profile over-the-range microwave,

white $20. Both very

good condition. 815.469.4586

GE stainless steel 30” range

$99 or best offer. 708.785.0987

Hoover rug shampooer, used

once $50. 815.534.0987

Hummel annual Christmas ornaments

in original boxes. Dating

from 1981 to 1996 16 total

$50. 815.838.9570

JVC bookshelf stereo system

400 watts, brand new, still in

box. Paid $179, asking $80.


Lamp timer time clocks $3

each. Brass fireplace set $3.

Brass table lamop and shade

$10. Beet steins $3 each.


Pillsbury Dough Boy porcelain

collection Baked toPerfection

& clock $50 each.


Salomon ski boot optima ultra

light size 9, black incolor $35.

Homer Glen. 708.785.3085

Samsonite leather 15.6 laptop

case, new $20. 708.599.6769

Sears fake fur 3/4 length fur

jacket, size 20.5, black/brown,

excellent clean condition $30.


Showtime rotiseri BBQ $50

bob. 708.478.5338 LM.

Solid wood computer desk 35

1/2 x22x29, two shelves file

folder drawer, Orland Park.

$65. 708.408.0685

Sony with built in amp sub

woopor 12” like new piano finish.

Paid $430. Asking $70.

Ray 708.301.2800




- IN THE -



Sell It 708.326.9170

Fax It 708.326.9179

Charge It


Friday at 3pm



4 lines/

7 papers

Help Wanted

per line $13

4 lines/

7 papers

Real Estate


7 lines/

7 papers



4 lines/

7 papers



In this tough economy, we'll give you a free

merchandise ad totaling $100 or less.

· Write your FREE ad in 30 words or less.

· One free ad per week.

· Same ad may not be submitted more than 3 times.

· The total selling price of your ad must not exceed $100.

· Ads will be published on a space available basis.

· Free Ads are Not Guaranteed to Run!

GUARANTEE Your Merchandise Ad To Run!

Free Merchandise Ad - All Seven Papers

Ad Copy Here (please print):

Merchandise Pre-Paid Ad $30! 4 lines! 7 papers!

Choose Paper: Homer

Horizon New Lenox Patriot Frankfort Station

Orland Park Prairie Mokena Messenger Tinley Junction





Payment Method(paid ads only) Check enclosed Money Order Credit Card

Credit Card Orders Only

Credit Card #


$30 for 7 papers


Exp Date

Please cut this form out and mail or fax it back to us at:

22nd Century Media

11516 W. 183rd St, Suite #3 Unit SW

Orland Park, IL 60467

FAX: 708.326.9179

Circle One: sports

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 27

Athlete of the Week

10 Questions

with Mason Sargent

Mason Sargent is a senior

on the Lincoln-Way Central

wrestling team and played

defensive lineman on the

Knights football team

How’d you get started

in wrestling?

Since I was little I always

had an interest in it. My

dad signed me up with the

Lincoln-Way Falcons club

and it just kind of grew from


Do you have any rituals

or superstitions before

a match?

It’s not really a superstition,

but I try not to get too

freaked out, just try to stay


What’s your favorite

memory from


I have a lot of memories

from wrestling. But, if I were

to say one, it was probably

Granite City [Tournament

in East St. Louis] two years

ago because of the kids who

were there. It was just a lot

of fun to wrestle and learn.

What would be the first

thing you’d buy if you

won the lottery?

I’d buy my mom’s house

and my dad’s house, too. I’d

try to have a good time, but

try to save it and make it last

a long time, too.

How does wrestling

help you in football?

It helps me with being

able to use my leverage because

football, for my position,

I’m not exactly a very

big kid. I’m kind of undersized

for what I played. So,

it just helps me to be able to

move around better and play


What’s your favorite


“Step Brothers.” I just

think it’s hilarious.

Who would you choose

as a tag-team partner?

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin

from WWE. He’s a really

cool dude. He’s got a cool

persona. I like his moves.

If you could have dinner

with anyone living or

22nd Century Media file photo

dead, then who would

it be?

John Denver. I’m a big fan

of John Denver’s music, and

I think it’d be really cool because

I think he’s an interesting


What are your goals for

the rest of the season?

I want to be able to make it

to State, but then I want to be

able to place.

What’s one thing you

own that you couldn’t

live without?

Probably my truck. It’s a

really cool truck. It’s a 1996

Ford F-150. Sexy truck. It’s

grey with a maroon stripe on

the bottom.

Interview conducted by Editor

T.J. Kremer III

Athlete of the Month

Sandburg junior dives to victory

in the December competition

Bill Jones, Managing Editor

When he’s not on the

diamond, Sandburg junior

Cody Thill is either bouncing

around on a trampoline

or diving his way to the state

finals for the Eagles swim

team — or winning local

newspaper contests.

Thill can call himself Athlete

of the Month, after earning

the most votes in 22nd

Century Media’s December

contest to win that title.

The Athlete of the Month

competition pits featured

Athlete of the Week selections

from our south suburban

newspapers against one

another in an online voting


The next contest is to begin

Thursday, Jan. 10.

To vote, visit Moke, hover

over the “Sports” menu tab

and click “Athlete of the

Month.” Readers can vote

once per session per valid

email address. Voting ends

at 5 p.m. Jan. 25.

All athletes featured in

the December Athlete of the

Week sports interviews are

automatically entered into

the contest.

This Week In...

Knights Varsity


Boys Basketball

■Jan. ■ 4 - hosts Thornton,

6:30 p.m.

Girls Basketball

■Jan. ■ 3 - hosts Thornton, 6


■Jan. ■ 8 - at Thornwood, 6:30


■Jan. ■ 10 - hosts Thornridge,

6 p.m.


■Jan. ■ 3 - hosts Thornwood,

Cody Thill — a Sandburg junior who dives and plays

baseball — won the December Athlete of the Month

competition for publisher 22nd Century Media’s Southwest

Chicago branch. Photo submitted

10 a.m.

■Jan. ■ 5 - hosts Lincoln-Way

Central Mega Duals,

9 a.m.

■Jan. ■ 10 - at Lincoln-Way

West, 5 p.m.

Girls Bowling

■Jan. ■ 3 - hosts Lincoln-Way

West, 4:30 p.m.

■Jan. ■ 7 - hosts Joliet West,

4:30 p.m.

■Jan. ■ 8 - hosts Lincoln-Way

East, 4:30 p.m.

■Jan. ■ 10 - at Lockport, 4:30


Boys Bowling

■Jan. ■ 5 - at SWSC Meet at

Orland Bowl, 8 a.m.

Boys Swimming and


■Jan. ■ 3 - at Andrew, 5 p.m.

■Jan. ■ 8 - at Homewood-

Flossmoor, 5 p.m.

■Jan. ■ 10 - hosts Thornton

co-op, 5 p.m.

Competitive Dance

■Jan. ■ 6 - at Huntley Invite,


■Jan. ■ 9 - at SWSC Meet at

Bolingbrook, 5 p.m.

28 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger sports

Triumph over adversity, bright futures dominate sports stories

T.J. Kremer III, Editor

What a year in sports.

Over the last 12 months,

The Messenger has shared

not only the statistics and

box scores from our local

high school teams, but

we’ve gone deeper to bring

readers the stories behind the

linescores, and shared those

athletes’ tales of triumph

over adversity and what it

takes to be a true champion.

These are the Top 10 most

viewed stories on Mokena, as decided

by you, the readers.

1. Going Places: Hardthrowing

righty brings

star potential to Western


Prior to his final two seasons

at Lincoln-Way Central,

Ryan Vice was a first

baseman with a powerful bat

who had never spent much

time pitching.

That all changed in the

summer before his junior


“People always told me

I should pitch, because I’m

tall [6-foot-4] and everything,”

Vice said. “I wanted

to give it a shot and gain experience.

“I went to a tryout for the

Chicago Elite travel team

and pitched. I was throwing

87 or 88 [miles per hour]

right away and they were

like ‘OK, you’re on the


A little more than a year

later, in the summer of 2017,

Vice committed to Western

Michigan as a pitcher. He

began his collegiate career

in the fall of 2018.

2. Football: Records are

meant to be broken

The 2018 Lincoln-Way

East football team began

the year carrying the weight

of continuing on from last

Top 10 most viewed Athlete of the Week stories on

1. Jackson Hosman, Lincoln-Way Central football

2. Tommy Cheney, Lincoln-Way East baseball

3. Lauren Kraft, Lincoln-Way Central girls basketball

4. Allie Reis, Lincoln-Way co-op gymnastics

5. Devin O’Rourke, Lincoln-Way East wrestling

6. Sean Curran, Lincoln-Way Central boys golf

7. Elizabeth Myotte, Lincoln-Way girls co-op lacrosse

8. Abi Baumgartner, Lincoln-Way Central girls basketball

9. Veda Prestamer, Lincoln-Way East badminton

10. Rick Smith, Lincoln-Way co-op boys lacrosse

year’s undefeated Class 8A

state championship team.

How have the Griffins

responded? Through just

eight games, the 2018 crew

has stamped their place in

school history by surpassing

the East record for offensive

points scored in a regular

season. The Griffins (8-0)

accomplished that Thursday,

Oct. 11, on the way to defeating

Thornwood 56-18 in

South Holland.

The previous East record

for offensive points scored

in the regular season was

359, done both in the 2010

and 2016 seasons. By the

end of the game against

Thornwood — and with a

game still to play in the regular

season this year — the

Griffins had 369.

“I just think it is probably

where we are at with

each position,” East coach

Rob Zvonar said. “A lot of

years, you may have an extremely

strong offensive

skillset [group], but maybe

your O-line is good but not

the best. Maybe other years,

your O-line is unbelievable,

but you don’t have some of

the explosiveness at the skill

spots. This just happens to

be a year where maybe you

can sit back and say, ‘Maybe

they are as good at all 11

spots as they’ve been — just

the ability to be versatile and

not be one-dimensional.’”

3. 8 seconds to glory, a

lifetime of work: Mokena

teen bullrider looks to

buck his way into national


On a rather sweltering,

muggy afternoon in late

May, Jake Morinec of Mokena,

a 15-year-old bull rider,

waited on the public address

announcer to broadcast

the results over the sound


Surrounded by fellow

contestants, whom he has

since befriended through

involvement in the Illinois

High School Rodeo Association,

Morinec processed

his tallied score at the state

final, unfazed by what he

had already thought to be a

finalized conclusion. In New

Berlin that day, joined by the

most refined talent in the region,

he secured admittance

to the national stage.

“Thank God grandma and

grandpa said they would

drive him because it’s in

Wyoming,” Mike Morinec,

the rodeo star’s father, said

with a laugh.

Wearing his western attire,

complete with jeans and

a long sleeved collared shirt,

Jake weathered a diverse

supply of movements at the

state final. More specifically,

when the bull thrusted forward

and lifted its hind legs

in the air — a move known

as a sunfish — he remained

Ryan Vice will be only three hours away from home. as he will pitch for Western Michigan

University next year. Pictured is Vice on Senior Night this past spring season with Lincoln-

Way Central. Burns Photography

Mokena bullrider Jake Morinec does his best to hang on during a competition in February.

Next month, he’ll face even tougher competition at nationals. 22nd Century Media file photo

atop the creature’s back.

4. Boys Lacrosse: Coach:

LW’s perfect record a

credit to players, coaching

structure, foundation;

Undefeated unit’s ranked

No. 5 in the state heading

into second half

A four-year college player

with 15 years of coaching

experience, Lincoln-Way

boys lacrosse coach Mike

McCormick knows a good

team when he sees one.

And for a team that’s returning

half of its starters

and best players from last

year’s final four appearance

in Class B play, McCormick

saw this year’s unit as such.

The proof is in the results.

Lincoln-Way was a perfect

9-0 on the season with a 12-8

win coming against Wheaton

North – a Class A team

last year – on April 9. Rick

Smith led the way with four

goals, three assists; George

Burchfield had two goals,

two assists; and Erik Vallow

had three goals and an assist.

More importantly, Vallow

won nine of 12 faceoffs.

Teammate Hunter Lash won

seven of nine.

Please see Bright, 29 sports

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 29


From Page 28

5. LW Central grad making

dreams come true at DI


Andrew Hancock is getting

an early taste of collegiate


Hancock, who graduated

from Lincoln-Way Central

and headed to Evansville in

the fall, is pitching for the

Northwest Indiana Oilmen

of the Midwest Collegiate


The summer league features

many players who have

already played a season or

more in college, along with

some incoming freshmen

like Hancock.

“This is giving me an opportunity

to face college

hitters, good competition,”

Hancock said. “I’m getting

in some reps, getting

a chance to try some new

stuff so I can be ready for

next season. So far, it’s been

good. I’ve been pitching


After the summer, Hancock

will live out a childhood

dream when he joins

the team at Evansville, a

NCAA Division I program

that competes in the Missouri

Valley Conference.

6. Going Places: LW East

grad commits to Univ. of

Michigan for softball

Alex Storako simply

wanted to prove herself.

Since the recent Lincoln-

Way East graduate went on

to play Division I softball at

the University of Michigan,

it’s safe to say that she has.

Storako played third base

when she was younger, but

she wanted to pitch.

“My dad [Rob] coached

high school baseball so I

went to a lot of his team’s

practices and first started

swinging a bat at age 7 or 8,”

Storako said. “I first played

travel on a 10u team that

won a world series. I started

as a third baseman, but then

wanted to pitch.

“But they said I wasn’t going

to be a pitcher and I wanted

to prove them wrong. I

was 12 then and my success

was from my motivation to

prove them wrong.”

Natural talent helped, too.

“I’m tall,” said Storako,

who stands 5-feet 11-inches.

“So throwing a rise ball was

suggested to me. A lot of it is

due to my height and ability

to do upward motion. Plus I

have big hands.”

7. Secret to successful selfdefense:


Through 14 years of experience,

Britney Johnson, a

martial artist with numerous

accolades, has maintained a

need to recycle, converting

what she has learned into reusable


Johnson has perfected the

art of self-defense, staving

off those in pursuit of her

finest exploits, namely a

silver medal at the 2018 Illinois

State Tae Kwon Do


Her moves come in many

a variety.

With an open hand, rather

than a closed fist, she will, at

times, strike opponents with

her knuckles, a maneuver

better known as knife hands.

Then comes the sequel, a

roundhouse kick.

“She can do twenty spinning

kicks in the same spot

within like 10 seconds, like

boom, boom, boom, boom,”

said Master Sung Ho Kim,

the founder and owner of

Family Martial Arts in Mokena.

As this bona fide martial

artist ascended the ranks of

her craft, she was justifiably

compensated, receiving

a bonus of recognition

with each promotion. What

Johnson gained in years, she

matched in trophies.

8. Jeff Vorva’s Thursday

Morning Quarterback

column: Stevie’s spirit

lives on with area baseball


To be honest, I wish I never

heard of Steven M. Bajenski.

I wish I never heard of

Former Lincoln-Way East standout softball player Alex Storako finished her career at East

with a 42-5 record with 544 Ks in just two seasons. 22nd Century Media file photo

Steven Bajenski died nine years ago, but his legacy lives on through a high school baseball

tournament and foundation, both named in his honor. 22nd Century Media file photo

the Do It Stevie’s Way 219


I wish there wasn’t a Do

It Stevie’s Way high school

baseball tournament – one

of the coolest tournaments

in the south suburbs, if not

the state.

As a parent – heck, as a

human – I wish Steven was

a normal, healthy man who

is living his life. Maybe he

would be a young hotshot

on the rise at his chosen profession.

Maybe he would be

like many of us working hard

to pay the bills and worrying

about how much money that

funny sound in his car engine

is going to cost him.

Either way, he would

still be here, and that would

make his family very happy.

But that’s not how the

cards were dealt.

Bajenski would have

turned 26 on Tuesday, May

8. But the Mokena resident

died at age 17 after living

life with a series of serious

health ailments, including

having open-heart surgery

performed on him when he

was just 10 weeks old.

9. Former Knight heads

to land of 10,000 Lakes;

Defensive back Peyton Nigro

commits to DII Concordia-St.


When Peyton Nigro

earned playing time on Lincoln-Way

East’s varsity team

as a sophomore, he started to

believe that college football

may be in his future.

“Ever since I was in seventh

grade, I knew I wanted

to play in college, but it was

after I got up to varsity as

a sophomore that I started

to take it seriously,” Nigro

said. “That’s when I started

to think that I had a real shot

to do it.”

The shifting of district

boundaries that followed

the closure of Lincoln-Way

North brought Nigro to

Lincoln-Way Central for his

final two seasons, and it was

there that his college dreams

became reality.

“My junior year, I had

a really good season and I

thought I’d have some good

college options,” he said.

“Then senior year, my recruiting

really opened up

and it just came down to me

deciding where I wanted to


Nigro, a defensive back

who graduated from Central

in May, chose Concordia-St.

Paul, a NCAA Division II

program in Minnesota.

10. Going Places: Trio of LW

volleyball players unite at


Anyone from the Lincoln-

Way area who ventured 100

miles or so to see an Illinois

Wesleyan women’s volleyball

match this fall saw some

familiar faces.

That’s because the Titans

not only had a trio of players

from Frankfort and Mokena,

all three of them stood out

with fantastic seasons this


Those players were:

Rachel Burkman, a 2015

Lincoln-Way North graduate;

Madi Corey, a 2018

Lincoln-Way East grad; and

Leah Seielstad, who graduated

in 2015 from Lincoln-

Way East. They all played

key roles in helping to guide

Wesleyan to a 27-6 record

this season, and a College

Conference of Illinois and

Wisconsin championship.

While they’re all from the

same area and ended up at

the same school for college,

it wasn’t by design.

“It’s kind of crazy how

we all went full circle,”

Seielstad said. “I knew Rachel

back in high school.

We played on the same club

team together for a couple

years at Ultimate and against

each other at East and North.

But then we got to know

each other more in college,

and then Madi joined the

team this year, too. It was

super cool to have three

people who live five minutes

from each other back home

be able to play together two

hours away. I loved playing

with all of them this season.”

30 | January 3, 2019 | The Mokena Messenger sports

Girls basketball

Griffins take own tourney title for 4th straight year

RANDY WHALEN, Freelance Reporter


There are times when Katchie

Savic has her last name accidentally

said that way. Well, the Lincoln-

Way East senior guard doesn’t

mind it at all.

“It can happen a lot I guess,”

Savic said. “But I kind of like it

when they say it.”

Savic liked her performance last

week because it was pretty savage.

Especially the last day as she

scored a career-high 31 points in

helping to spark the host Griffins

to a 65-50 victory over Glenbard

West in the title game of their own

Medieval Classic Holiday Basketball

Tournament on Saturday, Dec.

29, in Frankfort. It was the fourth

straight season that East has won

the title.

With its fifth win in a row, East

(12-4) hopes to propel itself for another

nice run in the second half of

this season.

“Katchie is really just getting

better all the time,” East coach

Jim Nair said. “She’s shooting

about 50 percent on 3-pointers

and over 80 percent from the free

throw line.

“But while Katchie finished with

the most points, there were so many

girls who set a screen for her or hit

big shots when she gave it to them.

They were very concerned with

Kaley [Sheehan] and that gave us

a lot of gaps. I think the biggest

key to the game was our defensive

pressure kind of wore them down

and that all started with Sydney

Nekola, who was really able to

slow down Katelyn Heller, since

their offense goes through her. We

kind of wore them down in the second

half. Andie Perch stepped up

and our rebounding in the second

half was much better than in the

first half.”

The Griffins trailed 35-31 at

halftime and 38-34 just over a minute

into the second half. But at that

point, they embarked on a 21-0

blitz. Savic put them ahead for

good at 39-38 on an old-fashioned

three-point play with 4:30 left in

The Lincoln-Way East girls basketball team pose with the Medieval Classic Holiday Basketball Tournament

plaque on Saturday, Dec. 29. It was the fourth year in a row the host Griffins captured the title. Randy

Whalen/22nd Century Media

the third quarter. From there both

Savic and junior guard Olivia Molnar

(10 points) scored four points

apiece as East opened a 47-38 lead

after three. In the third quarter,

Glenbard West was 1-of-17 from

the floor while committing seven


Savic, who had nine points total

in the 21-0 run, had another driving

layup to open the fourth quarter.

Junior forward Andie Perch

(8 points, 6 rebounds) and junior

guard Lilly Genis (6 points) added

3-pointers as the lead grew to 55-

38 with 6:05 to play in the game.

The Hilltoppers never got closer

than 13 points after that.

“We were all in it together and

played hard as a team and we never

gave up and kept fighting until

the end,” Savic said. “When it was

down low with their two bigs, we

just helped and Andie [Perch] was

on fire getting rebounds for us. I

wanted to win this so I contributed

in any way and I felt good. Our

defense plays really well and we

were able to pressure them, and

I also liked how we ran our fast


Senior guard Kaley Sheehan (7

points) performed well throughout

the four-day tournament and

joined Savic on the all-tournament


“It was fun and we work really

hard in practice and couldn’t do

anything that we’ve been able to

accomplish without our amazing

coaching staff,” Sheehan said. “We

work really hard and we couldn’t

do it without everyone on the team.

We don’t have just five or six strong

players, our whole team is filled

with strong players. We all know

what we’re capable of and have

faith in each other and our coaches

put confidence in everyone. It’s a

positive vibe all the way around.”

Based on the first half it looked

like the game would go down to

the wire as there were two ties

and seven lead changes. East led

19-18 after the first quarter, but

the Hilltoppers rallied for a 27-21

lead midway through the second

quarter, and later scored the final

five points of the first half for the

35-31 lead at intermission. Glenbard

West was led by a pair of

all-tournament selections. They

were sophomore guard Maggie

Stutelberg (20 points, including

six 3-pointers) and senior forward

Katelyn Heller, who was limited to

five points against East. Post players

junior Taylor Huff (12 points)

and senior Nicholette Adamski (11

points) were other scoring leaders

for the Hilltoppers in the title


In other games on the final day

of the tournament, Providence defeated

Hinsdale South 68-44 for

seventh, Lincoln-Way Central defeated

Hinsdale South 47-38 for

fifth, and Minooka toppled Andrew

59-48 for third.

The tourney opened on Wednesday,

Dec. 26, and East defeated

Andrew 53-41 in pool play. Sheehan

led the Griffins with 17 points

while junior forward Isis Finch led

Andrew with 20 points in the loss.

The next day, the Griffins toppled

Hinsdale South 49-38 behind 16

points from Sheehan. Then on Friday,

Dec. 28, East defeated Providence

65-48. Savic led the Griffins,

who raced out to a 15-0 lead to start

the game, with 22 points.

For the 17th straight season, the

tournament named an honorary

chairperson. This year’s recipient

was former East girls basketball

coach Jim Martin, who compiled

a 341-153 record in 17 seasons as

coach at the school. His teams won

four conference and nine regional

titles, and set a school record with

28 wins in advancing to the Sweet

16 in Class 4A last season.

The Griffins are back in action

with a pair of SouthWest Suburban

Conference Blue Division games

to open the new year. First at 12:30

p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4, when Lockport

Township comes to Frankfort.

Then at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8,

they travel to Orland Park for game

against Sandburg. sports

the Mokena Messenger | January 3, 2019 | 31


Girls basketball

Knights place 5th at Medieval Classic tourney

22nd Century Media file



LW girls basketball

1. Griffins lock it up

Lincoln-Way East’s

girls basketball

team claimed its

fourth consecutive

Medieval Classic

Tournament title,

rolling past Andrew,

Hinsdale South,

Providence and Glenbard


2. Back to even

The Knights girls

basketball team took

care of Hinsdale

South to take fifth at

the tourney and even

their record at 7-7 on

the season.

3. Up next

The Knights host

Thornton on Thursday,

Jan. 3, while the

Griffins host Lockport

Township on

Friday, Jan. 4.

RANDY WHALEN, Freelance Reporter

Mountains and valleys.

That’s a good metaphor for the

Lincoln-Way Central girls’ basketball

highs and lows team so far this

season, including their most recent

game, too. That was a 47-38 victory

over Hinsdale South on Saturday,

Dec. 29, in the fifth-place game on

the final day of the Medieval Classic

at Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort.

The victory left Central (7-7) at

the .500 mark at the midpoint of the


“We have been an ebb and flow

team,” Central coach Dave Campanille

said. “Our highs are so high and

our lows are in the valley. But we

also have great heart and toughness

and that drive has helped us.”

Early on against Hinsdale South

(5-10), which lost for the sixth time

in seven games, it was all Knights

as they raced out to a 23-7 lead after

one quarter. Junior guard Regan

LoConte, who was named to the All-

Tournament team, led the charge in

the first quarter by scoring 13 of her

16 points in the first quarter.

“In the first quarter, I felt I could

do anything,” said LoConte, who

added four rebounds and three assists

in the game. “Then they really

clamped down on defense and were

face-guarding me.”

The Hornet defense, coupled with

some foul trouble from Central, allowed

them to cut the lead to 31-23

at halftime.

“A couple of us got into foul

trouble and then we got mixed up

on some matchups,” Central senior

forward Abi Baumgartner said. “We

had some mental lapses. We kept

our composure, we knew we were

Lincoln-Way Central sophomore guard Megan Hutchinson goes for a

floater in the lane. Hutchinson had eight points Saturday, Dec. 29 in the

fifth-place game against Hinsdale South. 22nd Century Media file photo

the better team, we just had to finish


“We have a good culture going

here. We just need to play a solid

four quarters.”

Baumgartner (13 points, 5 rebounds,

3 assists), sophomore guard

Megan Hutchinson (8 points), and

senior center Lily Zopf (6 points)

also contributed for the Knights.

Hinsdale South cut the Knight lead

to 35-32 with a minute left in the

third quarter. But the Knights scored

a quick five points to gain a 40-32

lead after three. LoConte scored her

only three second-half points on an

old-fashioned three-point play with

9.7 seconds left in the quarter to cap

it off. The Hornets closed within

42-38 on a three-point play by junior

forward Erin Adams with 5:03

remaining in the game. But they

wouldn’t score again as Hutchinson

and Baumgartner scored key points

down the stretch.

“We just have a good connection

and a strong bond,” LoConte said of

the Knights. “In the second half of

the season, I expect a lot more wins

and us not to let teams back in the


In other games on the final day of

the tournament, Providence defeated

Hinsdale South 68-44 for seventh,

Minooka toppled Andrew 59-48 for

third, and Lincoln-Way East won its

fourth consecutive tournament title

with a 65-50 victory over Glenbard

West behind 31 points from tournament

MVP Katchie Savic.

The day before, on Friday, Dec.

28, Central fell to eventual tournament

runner-up Glenbard West

65-37 in the final day of pool play.

LoConte (13 points) led the way. On

Thursday, Dec. 27, the Knights were

edged 44-41 by Minooka. LoConte

(12 points, 4 assists) and Baumgartner

(11 points, 8 rebounds) paced


On the opening day of the tourney,

which was Wednesday, Dec. 26,

the Knights defeated Bloom Township,

53-35. Hutchinson (14 points,

3 rebounds) and Baumgartner (11

points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3

blocks) were the leaders.

The Knights have a pair of South-

West Suburban Conference Red

Division games to kick off the new

year. First is a 6 p.m. home game on

Thursday, Jan. 3, against Thornton.

Then at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan.

8, they travel to South Holland for a

game against host Thornwood.

Listen Up

“We were all in it together and played hard as a

team and never gave up and kept fighting until the


Katchie Savic – Lincoln-Way East girls basketball senior guard, on

winning the school’s Medieval Classic Tournament.



9 a.m. Jan. 5

• Lincoln-Way Central hosts the Lincoln-Way

Central Mega Duals.


27 – Athlete of the Month

28 – Athletic Year in Review

FASTBREAK is compiled by Editor T.J. Kremer III, tj@

mokena’s Hometown Newspaper | | January 3, 2019



ebb and flow

Knights girls

basketball back to

.500, Page 31



Griffins girls

basketball claims 4th

tourney title, Page 30



A look at this past year’s most popular

sports stories, Pages 28-29

The Messenger looks back at the top sports stories of 2018, as determined by our readers. 1: Lincoln-Way’s Rick Smith leads the team in goals (34) and assists (17). 2: Recent

Lincoln-Way Central grad Andrew Hancock was a two-sport standout in high school and now he’s going to University of Evansville (Indiana), to focus on baseball. 3: Former

Lincoln-Way Central defensive back Peyton Nigro returns an interception 54 yards for a TD against Thornwood. Nigro committed to play at DII school Concordia-St. Paul. 4: Rachel

Burkman (left) class of 2015 at Lincoln-Way North, and Madi Corey, class of 2018 at Lincoln-Way East, both ended up at Wesleyan College along with another former Lincoln-Way

East grad Leah Seielstad, class of 2015. All three women factored prominently in Wesleyan’s deepest NCAA Division III title run this past November. 22nd Century Media file photos



Palos Hospital + Palos Medical Group + Palos South Campus

Palos Imaging &Diagnostics + Palos Home Care

More magazines by this user