TribLocal - Forest Park /forest-park TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:38:25 +0000 en hourly 1 101 degrees today? Maybe, maybe not /forest-park/2012/06/28/could-hit-101-today-its-going-to-heat-up-fast/ /forest-park/2012/06/28/could-hit-101-today-its-going-to-heat-up-fast/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 12:07:58 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /barrington/?p=32163

Even though downtown Chicago baked in 97-degree heat at midday, the National Weather Service said it was looking less likely — but still possible — that the official high today will hit 100 for the first time since 2005.

The official recording station at O’Hare International Airport registered just 93 degrees at noon, but temperatures were still dangerously hot throughout the Chicago area. The humidity made it feel like 99 at O’Hare and 102 Wheeling, Northerly Island and Waukegan.

“It doesn’t look as likely,” said National Weather Servce meteorologist Richard Castro this afternoon when asked about hitting the 100 mark.

But the expected lakefront cooling won’t be very strong and a cold front won’t arrive until late in the afternoon, Castro said. So temperatures could even hit 101, which would tie the record for the date. By 2 p.m., temperatures had climbed to 98 at O’Hare, with a heat index of 107, and 99 at the lakefront, with  heat index of 110.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Heatwave expected to move in by midweek /forest-park/2012/06/25/heatwave-expected-to-move-in-by-midweek/ /forest-park/2012/06/25/heatwave-expected-to-move-in-by-midweek/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2012 11:58:24 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /schaumburg/?p=41991 Officials are expecting three-digit temperatures to move into the area Thursday following a brief cold front that may produce scattered thunderstorms tonight.

Meteorologist Paul Dailey said the storms will be “hit or miss” with some locations getting more rain than others.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Opportunity Knocks prepares to launch Daylong Event /forest-park/community/stories/2012/06/opportunity-knocks-prepares-to-launch-daylong-event/ /forest-park/community/stories/2012/06/opportunity-knocks-prepares-to-launch-daylong-event/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:44:13 +0000 Phil Carmody /oak-park-river-forest/?post_type=community_post&p=60134

The fundraising forces behind the local non-profit Opportunity Knocks are nearing the brink of their first of their two big summer events. On Saturday, June 30th, OK will host a daylong affair, including the OK ‘Tee-It-Up’ Golf Outing followed by the first annual OK Pig Roast-Block Party.

The first half of the event will be hosted at the Bloomingdale Golf Club located in Bloomingdale, Illinois. A few foursomes are still available, but space is limited. For the $150 registration fee, golfers will be treated to a full day of food, drink, championship golf, and great contests. After a day on the course, golfers will be treated to a block party back in Forest Park, featuring a pig roast by Skrine Chops & live music from How Far to Austin.

Registration and a Continental Breakfast will start this amazing day at 8am, followed by a shotgun start at 9am. Golfers will be treated to cold beverages and snacks throughout the round, including a catered spread at ‘The Turn’ provided by Buona Beef. Golfers will also have the opportunity to take advantage of some great contests, including the ‘Back-Nine Bookie’, ‘Closest to the Cooler’, ‘Longest Drive’, ‘Beat the Pro’ and the much-anticipated “Helicopter Drop.’

After a day of fun in the sun, we will host our guests to a block-party on the 400 block of Elgin, next to Fatduck Bar & Grill back in Forest Park. Non-golfing guests are also invited to join us at the block party, for only $40 per person for food & drink and $20 for just food. The Block Party begins at 7:00 as Skrine Chops Catering lays out a Pig Roast spread and local favorite; How Far to Austin entertains with live music. The event will also feature raffles, a great silent auction and many other opportunities to support the Warriors at OK.

Golf and Dinner Party registration is limited. Registration is available now online at:

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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /forest-park/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /forest-park/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 for more information.

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Folks get folked up at the 2nd Annual Friendly Folk Festival /forest-park/community/galleries/2012/06/folks-get-folked-up-at-the-2nd-annual-friendly-folk-festival-2/ /forest-park/community/galleries/2012/06/folks-get-folked-up-at-the-2nd-annual-friendly-folk-festival-2/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:17:15 +0000 Friendly Tap /oak-park-river-forest/?post_type=community_gallery&p=59667

The Friendly Tap hosted its 2nd Annual Friendly Folk Festival, last weekend. The daylong event featured some of the area's best local bands. Musicians included Ryan Anderson, The Lopardos, Ian Leith, Robin and Jenny Bienneman, Sugarcreek Road and the Oak Park Farmers Market Donut Band.

The Friendly Tap is located at 6733 W. Roosevelt Rd. For a list of upcoming bands, go to

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Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest /forest-park/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/ /forest-park/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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Area sophomore basketball teams get a summer workout at USF shootout /forest-park/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/ /forest-park/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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Oak Parkers speak out against widening Ike /forest-park/2012/06/12/oak-parkers-speak-out-against-widening-ike/ /forest-park/2012/06/12/oak-parkers-speak-out-against-widening-ike/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 11:45:49 +0000 Bridget Doyle /oak-park-river-forest/?p=59653

Nearly a dozen Oak Park residents spoke out at a meeting Monday night encouraging the Illinois Department of Transportation to focus on public transit opportunities instead of widening of the Eisenhower Expressway.

IDOT presented its current draft of an Interstate 290 environmental study to a packed board meeting at Oak Park’s Village Hall Monday night. The plan includes potential widening of the highway, toll car pool lanes, extension of the CTA Blue Line and shifting the left-lane Austin Boulevard and Harlem Avenue ramps to the right side of the expressway.

IDOT’s Pete Harmet and other project representatives presented 10 scenarios, all of which included adding a lane in either direction.

The meeting was setup as a discussion of the possible alternatives, but residents who spoke were adamant about IDOT exploring options that didn’t change the highway from three to four lanes. A majority of speakers at the meeting spoke in favor of upgrading and extending the area’s public transportation.

Trustee Colette Lueck said the village’s goals are at odds with IDOTs goals, as the board wants to make living in Oak Park better for residents, and IDOT wants to improve local and regional travel.

“We’re much more interested in having an urban transit-based community than transportation scenarios that improve the highway for people who live in Naperville,” Lueck said.

President David Pope said the current board has guiding elements for its position on Eisenhower expansion – don’t expand the trench, a preference for Blue Line extension, keep intersections in the middle of the corridor and increase physical linkages from the two sides of the village separated by the expressway.

However, he said, the village needs to consider its neighbors in order to achieve its goals.

“If we think about this as only Oak Park, we will lose,” Pope said. “The things that impact Oak Park also impact our neighbors.”

Planning for the expressway project is expected to last until spring 2014, Harmet said. If all moves forward on a local and federal level as planned, Harmet said construction could start as early as 2017.

Resident Jenny Jocks Stelzer said there should have been more of a focus on environmental impact.

“We live and work here – we don’t just drive here,” Jocks Stelzer said.

Resident Jim Kelly said the goal of IDOT should be to make public transportation more affordable than driving a car.

“Public transit should be comfortable, convenient and safe – none of which we have with the Blue Line at the moment,” Kelly said. “None of these plans look explicitly at the Blue Line.”

Pope said the village plans to continue to actively work with IDOT through the I-290 planning process.

“This is a transportation investment we can use as a tool to strengthen our own development,” he said.

Harmet said the next step in the process is a public meeting that will be scheduled sometime in August.

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Arrogance ‘in a good way’ helps Oak Park win first state baseball title since ’81 /forest-park/2012/06/11/arrogance-in-a-good-way-helps-oak-park-win-first-state-baseball-title-since-81/ /forest-park/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 /forest-park/2012/06/11/five-area-softball-teams-bring-home-state-trophies-and-two-win-titles/ /forest-park/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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