TribLocal - Downers Grove /downers-grove TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:01:57 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Some Illinois state parks could close without new revenue /downers-grove/2012/06/18/some-illinois-state-parks-could-close-without-new-revenue/ /downers-grove/2012/06/18/some-illinois-state-parks-could-close-without-new-revenue/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 15:13:00 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /naperville/?p=81821 One of Gov. Pat Quinn‘sfirst acts after assuming office in 2009 was reopening seven state parks that predecessor Rod Blagojevich shuttered in a cost-saving move.

At the time, Quinn argued that closing the parks cost Illinois more in lost tourism dollars than the move saved.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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Hot, but high temperature falls short of hottest day of year /downers-grove/2012/06/18/monday-could-be-hottest-day-so-far-this-year/ /downers-grove/2012/06/18/monday-could-be-hottest-day-so-far-this-year/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 15:09:03 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /naperville/?p=81819 Temperatures today at O’Hare International Airport hit 94 degrees briefly, three degrees shy of tying the warmest day of the year so far. Tuesday and Wednesday could be hotter than today, but it’s unlikely we’ll reach record highs.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /downers-grove/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /downers-grove/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/#comments Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:53:27 +0000 Jeff Vorva /geneva/?p=30557

Time will tell if fans will be watching future Major League impact players such as Albert Pujols or Greg Maddux play Tuesday, June 19 in Geneva.
The Kane County Cougars host the Midwest League All-Star game at 6 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark and more than 65 players have been invited. In the past, stars such as Maddux, Pujols, Prince Fielder and several other major league stars played in the game.
When the Cougars last hosted the game in 2007, Clayton Kershaw was on one of the rosters and worked his way to the majors and won the Cy Young Award in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This year’s marquee players include Cleveland Indians’ top prospect Francisco Lindor and Minnesota Twins minor league standout Miguel Sano.
Kane County’s coaching staff, led by manager Brian Buchanan, will lead the Eastern Division team.
Cougars invited to the game are outfielders Lane Adams, Jorge Bonifacio, infielder Danny Mateo and pitcher Matt Ridings.
The Cougars will host a Fan Fest at 11:30 a.m. leading up to the game.
The event will feature a variety of fun including music, food and drink, and opportunities to take batting practice and play catch on the field from noon to 2 p.m. A rock-climbing wall, trackless train and plenty of kid-friendly attractions such as face painters, jugglers, magicians and balloon artists will all be part of the event. The first 1,500 fans through the gates that day will receive a commemorative All-Star Game aluminum sports bottle.
Before the game, there will be an autograph session from 5:10 to 5:40 p.m. and will feature both All-Star rosters.
Entertainment that will be featured during the game includes in-game performances by the Zooperstars, live organ music during the game by former Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, music by the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band, a post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers, and a fireworks show. Wayne Messmer will perform the National Anthem before the game. Fans may run the bases after the game.
Tickets for the Midwest League All-Star Game includes admission to that day’s Fan Fest. A limited number of tickets remain for the contest. Fans may call 630-232-8811 or visit kccougars.com for more information.

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Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest /downers-grove/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/ /downers-grove/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:34:58 +0000 Pat /joliet/?p=35990

Cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according to a new study billed as the first rigorous statistical look at the issue.

The findings, detailed in The Journal of Wildlife Management, showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest and as far south as Texas between 1990 and 2008. While confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple, that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008, the study shows.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Illinois foreclosures rise 29 percent in May /downers-grove/2012/06/14/illinois-foreclosures-rise-29-percent-in-may/ /downers-grove/2012/06/14/illinois-foreclosures-rise-29-percent-in-may/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:19:32 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /elmhurst/?p=48781 Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 29 percent in May compared to the previous month and is 54 percent higher than May of 2011.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 16,318 foreclosure filings last month. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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Incoming military cadets receive advice, thanks /downers-grove/2012/06/13/incoming-military-cadets-receive-advice-thanks/ /downers-grove/2012/06/13/incoming-military-cadets-receive-advice-thanks/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 16:05:01 +0000 Melissa Jenco /naperville/?p=81612

When Charles Ren heads to the U.S. Naval Academy later this month, he’ll begin to fulfill a dream he’s had since the age of 11.

“I wanted to be able to make a difference, I wanted to be different,” he said. “A lot of Asian kids want to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, that kind of stuff. I wasn’t drawn to that whole business.”

Ren, who graduated from Naperville Central High School last month, was among the young men and women gathered at the Hinsdale home of U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert Tuesday night for a reception as they prepare to enter military academies this summer. Biggert nominated many of them for entrance into the schools.

The congresswoman hosts the event annually as a way for cadets and their families to get to know each other and seek advice from some of their peers who are currently enrolled in military academies.

“All the work all you students have done and what you’re going into is service for our country and let me say how much we really appreciate (that),” Biggert told the group. “… We really really admire you, respect you and really think that you’re going to do a great job.”

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert poses for pictures with current and former military academy cadets from the 13th District during a reception Tuesday night at her Hinsdale home.. (Melissa Jenco/Tribune)

Ariana Mankus of Lisle, a current student at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, told the newcomers to keep a good attitude.

“As long as you keep with that mindset that I want to challenge myself, I want to better myself every day you’ll be fine,” she said. “It gets easier day by day.”

Matt Koltis of Clarendon Hills, who recently graduated with an aerospace engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, advised the incoming students to join groups at the school and show interest in specialties they enjoy.

“When you pick your major … pick what you think you’re going to love or what you’re going to like to do,” he said. “Don’t pick something just because you think it will make you look better but you’re not that into it because you’ll hate it and you won’t do well.”

Other current and former students advised the group to remember their goals and support their classmates. One also told parents in the room just how meaningful it can be to receive letters from home even just with a simple joke or bit of news.

“It gives you something to look forward to every day,” he said.

The mother of a West Point student said she carries envelopes addressed to her son so when people ask about him she can hand them out and suggest they write to him. She also recommended family and friends include a self-addressed envelope so the cadet can easily write back.

Mary Ellen Adamski of Naperville said she is glad her son Conner had a chance to thank Biggert Tuesday night for the nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy and that he had the opportunity to meet other incoming students. Conner’s grandfather was an officer in the Navy in World War II.

“It’s a nice legacy for (Conner) and I know it will be a great experience for him and he’ll do great things,” she said.

Carolyn Smith, 18, of Downers Grove said she was drawn to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy by its mission and the chance to major in marine and environmental science. She has been running and doing sit-ups and crunches to prepare for basic training that begins at the end of the month.

“(I’m) very nervous because the whole basic training thing, but I’ve heard as long as you keep your head down and get through it that it’s all OK, and I think I’ll be OK,” she said. “I’m excited as well.”

The physical demands of the program are weighing on Ren too, but he said he, too, is excited, especially after meeting recent graduates Tuesday night.

“The graduates here look mighty squared away,” he said. “Hopefully I can represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me well.”

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Area sophomore basketball teams get a summer workout at USF shootout /downers-grove/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/ /downers-grove/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 15:31:10 +0000 Jeff Vorva /lincolnshire/?p=18795

The first tipoff was at 8 a.m., and 13 hours later a champion was crowned.
And in the middle was nonstop basketball featuring several TribLocal-area sophomore boys basketball teams with players trying to hone their skills for next November.
The University of St. Francis hosted a 16-team shootout for high school sophomores. Thornton beat out Neuqua Valley for the title with Stevenson and Providence Catholic making it to the semifinals and Marist claiming fifth.
Other TribLocal-area teams that participated were Aurora West, Hinsdale Central, Joliet West, Hoffman Estates, Marian Central Catholic and Niles West.

Niles West's Nick Kanjou lets a 3-pointer fly against South Elgin in the sophomore shootout in Joliet. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Teams played five or six games on the day but the format featured 12-minute halves with a running clock. During the regular season, sophomores play seven-minute quarters with a stopped clock during fouls, turnover, free throws and out-of-bounds plays.
USF coaches and players helped run the tournament. The Saints came off a 15-16 campaign in 2011-12 a year after one of its best recent campaigns – 21-10 in 2010-11.
Coach John Baines enters his third year at the helm and nine players are eligible to return including Andrew Lerg, who averaged 10.2 points per game. The Saints are also welcoming St. Xavier University transfer Mark Peters of Aurora, Plainfield’s Edvinas Presniakovas, Joliet’s Brian Edwards and Florida’s Logan Timmons.

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Arrogance ‘in a good way’ helps Oak Park win first state baseball title since ’81 /downers-grove/2012/06/11/arrogance-in-a-good-way-helps-oak-park-win-first-state-baseball-title-since-81/ /downers-grove/2012/06/11/arrogance-in-a-good-way-helps-oak-park-win-first-state-baseball-title-since-81/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 20:08:25 +0000 Jeff Vorva /oak-park-river-forest/?p=59573

Oak Park River Forest High School’s baseball team needed a seventh-inning single from Mike Brennan to score Jack Picchiotti to set off a wild celebration as the Huskies won the Illinois High School Association Class 4A title Saturday night.
The Huskies nipped defending state champion Lyons Township, 4-3, at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. Lyons was denied the opportunity to become the first team since Maine in 1958 and 1959 to win back-to-back baseball titles.
The Huskies have a rich baseball history but only won titles in 1942 and 1981.

Oak Park fans had a lot to cheer about over the weekend as the Huskies won the Class 4A state baseball title. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Still, they came into the 2012 postseason ready for a title.
While many strong programs were upset in regional and sectional action, the Huskies won three wild postseason games heading into the state semifinals including a 2-1 win over Evanston, an 8-7 win over New Trier, a 10-8 slugfest over Maine South and a 2-0 pitcher’s dual win over Highland Park.
“They were very confident and arrogant in a good way not in a negative way,” Huskies coach Chris Ledbetter said. “They knew they couldn’t overlook anybody. They were mature week in and week out about it.”
The Huskies finished the season at 30-9-1.
Other members on the Huskies roster include seniors Jack Belcaster, Dan Shinsako, Joe Romoro, Jack Johanesson, Zach Weigel, Max Guzzetta, Colin O’Brien, Joe McKune, Matt McCormack and Mike Adams plus juniors Charlie Fencik, Henry Pine, Dain Mrozek, Henry Cappel, Patrick Clifford, Ryan Nelson, Nick Kowalczuk and Sam Munno.

Matt McCormack, 21, kicks up a load of dust on a play at the plate against Grant. He was ruled out but the Huskies still won the game and the state tournament. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Sophomores Sam Cottingham-Beard and Alex Rice were also on the roster.
Lyons was a fifth seed in its sectional and wasn’t expected to return to the final four. But the Lions made it to the title game and played even with the Huskies for six innings.
Evan Booth, pitcher Steve Heilenbach and Brad Taylor each had two hits for the Lions in the title game.
Grant finished third thanks to a 7-1 victory over Minooka to finish 26-12 and to bring home the baseball program’s first state trophy. Tino Torres had two hits in a six-run fourth inning to help the Bulldogs to the victory.
In Class 3A, Nazareth Academy claimed third place with a 2-1 victory over Troy Triad.
Ryan Marske homered for the Roadrunners (31-10) and Dominic Purpura pitched the victory. Last year, the Roadrunners finished fourth.
Marian Catholic won the state title in 3A with a 10-2 victory over LaSalle Peru.

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Five area softball teams bring home state trophies and two win titles /downers-grove/2012/06/11/five-area-softball-teams-bring-home-state-trophies-and-two-win-titles/ /downers-grove/2012/06/11/five-area-softball-teams-bring-home-state-trophies-and-two-win-titles/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 15:56:46 +0000 Jeff Vorva /glen-ellyn/?p=41769 Glenbard South and Marist High School each won Illinois High School Association softball championships Saturday in East Peoria while Bartlett claimed second and Providence Catholic and Elk Grove each finished third.
Glenbard South upended defending state champion Marengo, 2-1, to win the Class 3A title and Marist, a Chicago school that draws from several TribLocal south suburbs, beat Bartlett, 5-0 to win the Class 4A title.
South had been to the state semifinals in 2009 and 2011 but could not reach the title game until this year.
“I’ve been on the other side too many times,” senior pitcher Danielle Chitkowski told the Tribune after the title game. “I’ve been seeing other teams celebrate like that for years an that made our 10 times better.”
Chitkowski and her junior sister, Stephanie, combined for the victory allowing just three hits to Marengo. South (37-4) was led on offense by junior Hannah Taylor’s two-run single in the fourth.
Other members on the Raiders roster are senior Rachel Cohen, Olivia Ramirez, Brianna Meath, Lisa Bartha, Taryn Andros and Hannah Dewey plus juniors Jane Trzaska and Madison Rankin.
Also on the roster were sophomores Tarah Valdez, Angelica Eichele and Aimee Gerhardt plus freshmen Taylor Carli, and Tricia Weigland.
Providence dropped an extra-inning heartbreaker to Marengo (2-1 in eight innings) on Friday and came back for a 2-0 win over Mattoon to finish third. Sarah Brightmore and Jessica Jatis each drove in runs to help winning pitcher Amanda Wilson.
Marist, once 15-15 during the season, won 12 in a row to win the Class 4A title.
Haley Richy’s grand slam in the fifth helped break the game open against Bartlett.
Other members on the RedHawks’ roster include Brooke Wilson, Kaitlin Kenny, Nicole Babrowski, Audra Hecker, Katie Caulfield, Maggie Gorman, Brooke Wyderski, Kristin Klutcharch, Angela Sorrentino, Lauren Holt and Ashley Rios.
Kaylyn Zierke had two hits for Bartlett (32-9) in the title game.

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Skilling: Canadian front to cool things off for a few days /downers-grove/2012/06/11/skilling-canadian-front-to-cool-things-off-for-a-few-days/ /downers-grove/2012/06/11/skilling-canadian-front-to-cool-things-off-for-a-few-days/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 15:07:24 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /naperville/?p=81366 Chicago has logged four consecutive days of highs in the 80s or above, and Monday will be the fifth; however, the string ends.

A cold front that defines the leading edge of a surge of cooler and drier air of Canadian origin arrives in the evening. Once established, the mass will provide sunny, pleasant days and clear, cool nights through midweek.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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