12 | June 20, 2019 | the mokena messenger news mokenamessenger.com FROM THE TINLEY JUNCTION TPHS students, teachers moved by promise-keeping initiative Back in March, fellow teachers Maureen Koce and Rebecca Haustein attended a conference and walked away so inspired, they returned to Tinley Park High with a simplebut-radical idea: Getting students and teachers to make promises — and keep them. The duo, along with an enthusiastic group of about 10 students, started the school’s Because I Said I Would program with the goal of improving the school, one promise at a time. Because I Said I Would is an international nonprofit with a straightforwardyet-profound mission: Improving humanity through accountability. The organization was started by Alex Sheen in 2012 after he delivered the eulogy for his father, a man known for keeping his word. Sheen, on that day, handed out for the first time what went on to become known as Promise Cards — little reminders to follow through. His message has blossomed since, reaching a global audience across more than 153 countries. Koce and Haustein recruited students involved with the already-established Say Something initiative, a violence-prevention program, and the poms team, of which Haustein is a coach, and got to work. They held meetings, planned a school-wide campaign and, in early May, made their presence known in a big way. Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with Because I Said I Would, the students and teachers took to all corners of the school, handing out Promise Cards and spreading the word about the new effort, day after day. After a week of distributing and collecting cards, the club organized the hundreds they received in a mural just outside the cafeteria, a heavily trafficked area where the cards could be read and have an impact. Reporting by Will O’Brien, Freelance Reporter. For more, visit TinleyJunction. com. Broker - Management Team “10” FROM THE NEW LENOX PATRIOT Library board member leaves after over three decades Lou Broccolo spent the last 34 years on the New Lenox Public Library Board and his time on it finally came to an end at the June 10 meeting. He joked that he started on the board when he was 10 years old. Broccolo, a retired middle school social studies/history teacher, started on the board in 1985, long before the current library was built in the New Lenox Commons. He saw the library through many changes, including the new building process that was completed in 2001. Broccolo lost the first time he ran for a board position and he did not think it would bother him much, but it did, he said. “When I ran the first time, I never said ‘I’m going to do this, this and this,’” he said. “I was just encouraged to run by Georgia Madden, who has passed away since then. She worked here and said ‘you’re in here all the time, why don’t you run for the library board.” Part of what Broccolo was known for was his sense of humor, so that shined through at times. The second time he ran unopposed and told Madden if he somehow lost that time, he was going to put a “for sale sign” in front of his house because he could not be a “nobody.” And that was the start of a 34- year tenure. Reporting by Sean Hastings, Editor. For more, visit New LenoxPatriot.com. FROM THE FRANKFORT STATION Art on the Green highlights creativity, community Downtown Frankfort was even more alluring than usual on June 9 as Art on the Green brought the creative community together to celebrate artistic expression. More than 30 local artists exhibited their work at Frankfort’s Breidert Green Park, and attendees had the opportunity to purchase everything from paintings to photography to jewelry. As a juried show, the event showcased a high level of fine art, and the artists were in the running to win prizes for the top three artists as well as two honorable mentions. Since forming in 2018, The Frankfort Arts Association has worked to bring area artists of all mediums together. The Village of Frankfort — a major sponsor of Art on the Green — handed off its Fine Arts Fair to the association to host the renamed, revamped event for the first time this year. New Lenox ceramicist Nicholas S. Eckmayer combines originality and functionality with his creations. “Everything is functional ceramics, and I try my best to make each piece individual and unique, just like a person,” Eckmayer said. Reporting by Laurie Fanelli, Freelance Reporter. For more, visit FrankfortStation. com. FROM THE HOMER HORIZON Girl, 14, suffers broken bones, bruised liver after being struck by car A 14-year-old girl was riding her bicycle with a friend when she was struck by a car and suffered broken bones and a bruised liver the evening of June 9 in Homer Glen, according to Will County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer. At 8:47 p.m., deputies responded to the intersection of Bell Road, north of 143rd Street, about the girl being struck, according to police. When they arrived, they found the driver of a Mazda 6 at the intersection with the teenage girl lying in the street. The girl was responsive but had difficulty speaking, police said. The Northwest Homer Fire Protection District arrived and transported her to Silver Cross Hospital, per Hoffmeyer. The teen was later transferred to Christ Hospital to be treated, and initial reports have indicated her injuries as being non-life-threatening. Witnesses stated the girl and her friend were crossing Bell Road on their bikes against a red light when the 14-year-old was struck, according to Hoffmeyer. The injured girl is a Homer Glen resident. The accident remains under investigation. No tickets had been issued initially following the accident. Reporting by Thomas Czaja, Editor. For more, visit HomerHorizon.com. FROM THE LOCKPORT LEGEND LGBTQ support organization comes to Lockport People in the LGBTQ community are constantly battling ignorance and discrimination, and the fight for equality is currently ongoing in the Lockport community. The PFLAG organization, which was founded in 1973 by Jeanne Manford, is an active organization with 400 chapters across the country. PFLAG stands for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. PFLAG’s mission is to “build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ people.” Michelle Eckmayer, president of the chapter in Homer Glen and Lockport, is confident that PFLAG is contributing to the communities by positively affecting the push for equality for the LGBTQ community and making discrimination less and less prevalent. “Really, there [are] three basic things that we try to do,” Eckmayer said. “That is support, educate and advocate. Those three things are what we basically stand for. There is much more to fight for because ignorance still surrounds us. This is why we educate, because some people just do not understand it and get afraid of what they do not understand. Once you educate people, they are more informed and less likely to discriminate.” The chapter in Homer Glen/Lockport is to officially begin having meetings the last Tuesday of every month that will be open to anyone who wants to support the LGBTQ community. Meetings are to be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at Cross of Glory Lutheran, 14719 W. 163rd St., Homer Glen. Reporting by Christian Villanueva, Editorial Intern. For more, visit LockportLeg end.com.
mokenamessenger.com sound off the mokena messenger | June 20, 2019 | 13 Social snapshot Top Web Stories From MokenaMessenger.com as of Monday, June 17 From the Editor Hooray for local journalism 1. Sunshine and pride cast upon Mokena at festival 2. Summit Hill D161 Board of Education: Study for K-12 district gets green light 3. Mokena Village Board: ‘Conservative’ budgeting pays off with State-shared revenue in doubt 4. Mokena warehouse where the sausage gets made 5. Moving on up: Mokena chamber’s new office draws community’s attention Become a member: mokenamessenger.com/plus “Happy last day of school! We wish all of you a wonderful summer and can’t wait to see your kids again in the fall. Good luck to all of the incoming freshmen!” TJ Kremer iii email@example.com In case you missed our article on it, our parent company, 22nd Century Media, took home 16 National Newspaper Association awards for journalism. (That story was on Page 6, in case you missed it.) The 16 awards sets a new high bar for the company, and it is something each of us here is proud of. Now, I cannot speak for my colleagues here, but it is not so much the actual awards I’m most proud of, as those are more or less pretty subjective, but proud of the fact that local journalism got the attention and credit it deserves. Many of the winning articles were about stories that came right from our backyards and, in many cases, flew right under the radar of larger media networks. And those that the larger, national media outlets did pick up also started right in our own backyards, reported on by the local journalists who have as their beats the streets, governments, schools and businesses that most directly affect you and me, dear reader. There is a saying in the media that all government is local. It certainly does not feel that way with the dominance of the 24-hour news cycle and the everincreasingly biased political coverage on either side of the spectrum, but here’s the thing: Those qualities that mainstream society professes to hate about the “news” are almost always absent from quality, local journalism, and, yet, it is exactly that kind of local journalism that is rapidly disappearing from America’s landscape. Local journalism is about telling a community’s story. It is about informing the public on the issues that directly affect them, not in some abstract, politicallymotivated ideological way, but in concrete terms of what is happening in our streets, our governments, our schools and our businesses. So, it is nice to be recognized. My hope is that local journalism is recognized more thanks to the efforts of the local journalists working tirelessly to keep local news relevant. Mokena School District 159 posted this to its Facebook page June 5. Like The Mokena Messenger: facebook.com/ mokenamessenger.com “Pride fest in Mokena is going strong! #PrideMonth #Pride” @FrankfortDems posted this to its Twitter account June 8. Follow The Mokena Messenger: @mokenamessenger police From Page 10 ports, an officer was dispatched to the 11300 block of West Lincoln Highway in response to a theft by an employee. The complainant told the officer that Lester had been the subject of an internal investigation for stolen items totaling $148.54 on May 23. He was placed under arrest. license came back as being suspended in Illinois. Moore was placed under arrest. June 10 • Feliciano Victor Hugo Lopez-Meija, 28, of 1817 57th Ave. in Cicero, was charged with having no valid driver’s license and speeding. According to police reports, an officer spotted Lopez-Meija on LaPorte Road reportedly traveling at 48 mph in a 30 mph zone. The officer initiated a traffic stop, at which point Lopez-Meija presented the officer with a passport and Guatemalan identification card, but no valid driver’s license. He was placed under arrest. EDITOR’S NOTE: The Mokena Messenger’s police reports come from the Mokena Police Department. Anyone listed in these reports is considered to be innocent of all charges until proven guilty in a court of law. 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@mok namessenger.com. www.mokenamessenger.com. June 5 • Christopher M. Moore, 20, of 598 Vigo Place in Gary, Indiana, was charged with driving on a suspended/revoked driver’s license and speeding. According to police reports, an officer performing stationary radar in the 11600 block of Francis Road observed Moore’s vehicle traveling at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. The officer initiated a traffic stop. A check of Moore’s