News

Judge nixes lawsuit involving two SD 122 trustees

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 03:16

A federal judge in Chicago has dismissed the civil rights lawsuit that New Lenox School District 122 Board member Kathy Miller filed a year ago against board member Maureen Broderick. The judge ruled that Broderick was protected by “quasi-judicial immunity” when she voted in January 2013 as a member of the District 122 election board to remove Kathy Miller from the school board ballot — regardless of Broderick’s actions prior to that vote. Miller intends to appeal the ruling. In a Feb. 26 decision, U.S. District Court Judge John Darrah found that Broderick prepared and personally filed the objection to …

Blue Island woman named parade queen

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 03:11

Patience and persistence paid off for Lauren Catinella. After two years of being in the queen’s court and 10 years of competing in the queen contest, the Blue Island resident is queen of this year’s Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “Being in the court the last two years was spectacular. There’s nothing like the St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city of Chicago. It was wonderful,” Catinella, a 2005 graduate of Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, said in a prepared statement. The parade in downtown Chicago begins at noon March 15 at Balbo and Columbus drives and proceeds …

New Lenox’s Triple Play lineup still open

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 03:11

New Lenox rock fans are eagerly awaiting to learn what bands will perform this summer at the village’s annual Triple Play Concert Series. They are going to have to wait. In planning the three concerts, New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann said he has had to work a little harder this year. Baldermann lines up the bands that perform at the Village Commons and usually has the lineup nailed down by spring. However, he doesn’t have anyone booked yet. That’s because a lot of rock groups are seeing the success that country music bands are having performing in clusters, the mayor …

Study finds more Will County children in danger

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 03:11

Cases of child abuse and neglect in Will County have risen by 69 percent during the past seven years compared with 13 percent statewide, according to a report released Thursday by Voices for Illinois Children. The nonprofit organization’s report also found that the number of children living in poverty in the county increased from 7 percent to 12 percent between 2006 and 2011. Children’s and family health advocates discussed the report at a news conference at Aunt Martha’s Community Health Center in Joliet. “These numbers tell us everything is not OK,” R. Dale Evans, social services coordinator for the Housing …

Airport panel wants to protect residents’ rights

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 03:10

Will County’s four-month old ad hoc airport committee still is struggling to define its purpose, but during a meeting of the panel on Thursday, several members said they need to protect the rights of the residents in and around the footprint of the proposed airport near Peotone. “If we don’t stand up for these people, who will?” said county board member Don Gould, R-Shorewood. “Their lives are being turned upside down.” Board member Judy Ogalla R-Monee, whose property lies in the footprint, suggested that the part of the committee’s purpose should be to “maximize the protection of property rights” as …

Borrower loses home but still has to pay equity loan

Chicago Tribune Homes - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:00
Q: My home was foreclosed a few years ago. At that time, I had a home equity line of credit on the property. I am not responsible for the main mortgage. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to affect my equity loan, and I am still making payments on it. What options do I have? I'd like to stop payment or settle for a lesser amount owed.
    





Untangling housing stats is a numbers game

Chicago Tribune Homes - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:00
The number crunchers have been churning out reams of data about the relative health of the housing market, though every shred of seemingly good news — and there's a fair amount of it — almost simultaneously is followed by a statistical nugget that makes it hard to buy wholeheartedly into the housing industry's rah-rah-rah that the bad old days are behind us.
    





Rules must be adhered to in order to vote by proxy

Chicago Tribune Homes - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:00
Q: Our condominium bylaws state that unit owners unable to attend annual elections may vote via proxy.
    





Higher tax bill throws wrench in short sales

Chicago Tribune Homes - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 01:00
More than 1.4 million homeowners extricated themselves from unaffordable mortgages during the past four years through a short sale, but the option isn't quite as attractive in 2014.
    





‘Every acre counts’ — Land conservancy group stresses new ways to beautify yards

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 21:49

Whether you have a small urban backyard or acres of land, there are many ways to beautify it besides mowing. “It’s about gardening in a new way, bringing nature into our yards,” said Julia Plumb executive director of the Land Conservancy of Will County. These new ways of incorporating native plants and sustainable techniques will be demonstrated by Marcus de la fleur, a noted landscape architect and creative conservationist, at the Land Conservancy’s annual meeting March 30. He will speak about his award-winning project “One Drop at a Time, 168 Elm Avenue,” in which he designed a rain garden, gravel …

Kadner: Expert testifies Kustok death ‘not a suicide’

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 19:52

Anita “Jeanie” Kustok did not commit suicide, and the bullet wound to her face was not self-inflicted, an expert witness testified Tuesday. For nearly six hours, the defense hammered away at the state’s key expert witness in the Allan Kustok murder trial, and it seemed to me it backfired. Rod Englert, a forensic reconstruction expert, used human models to demonstrate how he believes, based on the evidence, the shooting occurred. His conclusion is that someone had to be standing over Jeanie, holding a gun within 6 inches of her face and likely holding the weapon, a .357 Magnum revolver, with …

State offers more than $20M to keep Gallagher in Illinois

Chicago Tribune Homes - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 18:26
Illinois has pledged more than $20 million in incentives to an insurance brokerage firm that was considering moving its headquarters out of the state, according to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
    





Hundreds rooting for Ray to find a forever home

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 17:57

In the span of a week, a 2-year-old Red Merle Australian Cattle Dog mix has gone from being a homeless shelter dog to a social media phenom. Ray, a black-and-white canine brought to South Suburban Humane Society in December, now has his picture posted all over Facebook, not to mention the Southland. You can see his photo on the wall at 5th Quarter Tap in Homewood. Or in Bill Howard’s photography classroom at Lincoln Way West High School. Or at the Oak Lawn Park District. His mug also hangs in a number of offices, including law firms, around the area, …

Homewood village green plan draws residents’ ire

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 15:59

A plan to close off a portion of Homewood’s downtown to make way for a village green drew criticism this week from a group of residents over the level of community input in the project and the plan to pay for it. More than 30 residents packed the village hall Monday night for a meeting on the planned redesign of a portion of Martin Avenue. The meeting was called after final design plans stalled at a village board meeting last month. Residents criticized the village’s plan to use $500,000 in special taxing district funds to pay for the project and …

Landowners meet liaison to discuss Illiana land loss

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 12:35

About 30 landowners came to the American Legion Hall in Peotone on Wednesday night to meet the man who promised to “help everyone as much as possible” though the “very unnerving situation” of losing their land to the proposed Illiana Expressway. Joliet attorney Mike Hansen has been appointed by the Will County Board to act as an ombudsman — an independent liaison between the Illinois Department of Transportation and the hundreds of people from whom it needs to acquire land for the planned 47-mile tollway between Interstate 55 near Wilmington and I-65 near Lowell, Ind. For over nearly two hours, …

Economic reports drive mortgage rates downward

Chicago Tribune Homes - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:22
Weaker-than-expected reports on the economy and the housing market helped push down average mortgage rates this week, after several weeks of small increases.
    





Police honored for catching alleged Bank of America robbers in Homewood

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 07:46

The Homewood Police Department and the South Suburban Early Response Team officially were recognized by Bank of America for their part in capturing three robbery suspects Dec. 4. Two of the suspects robbed the Bank of America branch, at 183rd Street and Governors Highway, at gunpoint, and a third was caught leaving a condominium complex near the bank. “I knew we were in for a long day,” Bank of America senior vice president Patrick O’Meara said before presenting Homewood Police Chief Larry Burnson with a plaque that reads, “To the Homewood Police Department for excellent police work in apprehending two …

Oak Forest woman says husband did nothing wrong

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 03:20

An Oak Forest woman accused, along with her husband, of embezzling more than $350,000 from the Palos Heights Fire Protection District said Wednesday he had nothing to do with the alleged crime. Michelle Sopko, the wife of Oak Forest Deputy Fire Chief Charles Sopko, made the statement in a telephone interview with the SouthtownStar. She declined further comment on their ongoing criminal case. “My husband had nothing to with the Palos Heights Fire Protection District,” she said. “He’s a good person, he’s a good man, and he had nothing to do with the fire department there.” The politically connected couple …

School District 142 superintendent resigns

SouthTownStar Newspaper - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 03:19

Forest Ridge School District 142 Supt. Courtney Orzel announced Wednesday that she will be leaving the Oak Forest-based district June 30 after nearly a decade of service to become superintendent in another district. “It’s hard to leave a place you love. It was a difficult decision,” she said. Orzel wouldn’t say what school district she will be heading because that district hasn’t yet announced her hiring. The District 142 school board is expected to accept Orzel’s resignation at its scheduled March 18 meeting. Orzel has been superintendent since July 1. Orzel called the new job a “great opportunity” and said …

Ex-Chicago Bear Anthony Adams lists Gurnee house for nearly $500,000

Chicago Tribune Homes - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 01:00
Former defensive tackle's 4,878-square-foot home includes 5 bedrooms

Retired Chicago Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams has listed his five-bedroom, 4,878-square-foot house in Gurnee for slightly under $500,000.
    






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