TribLocal - Joliet /joliet TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Wed, 09 Jan 2013 22:23:49 +0000 en hourly 1 Heatwave expected to move in by midweek /joliet/2012/06/25/heatwave-expected-to-move-in-by-midweek/ /joliet/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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Joliet Catholic Academy students Norgren, Pasieka help donation of prom dresses to charity /joliet/community/stories/2012/06/joliet-catholic-academy-students-norgren-pasieka-help-donation-of-prom-dresses-to-charity/ /joliet/community/stories/2012/06/joliet-catholic-academy-students-norgren-pasieka-help-donation-of-prom-dresses-to-charity/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:20:54 +0000 Joliet Catholic Academy /joliet/?post_type=community_post&p=35673

JOLIET – The Glass Slipper Project, a non-profit organization founded in Chicago, has been around since 1999. The intent is to give away hundreds of prom dresses and accessories every spring to high school students.

This spring, for the first time, Joliet Catholic Academy juniors Courtney Norgren and Marin Pasieka coordinated a sizable donation to the Glass Slipper Project. According to a study authored by the USA Today, prom costs for the 2011-12 school year were estimated at slightly over $1,000 per couple.

And besides that?

“Everyone deserves to go to prom,” Pasieka said.
“And everyone,” Norgren said, “deserves to look pretty.”

Norgren’s mother Leslie suggested the pair of JCA girls look into the Glass Slipper Project. Norgren and Pasieka noted it operates like a boutique, with personal shoppers helping needy students prep for prom.

But the highlight for Norgren and Pasieka was watching JCA students, faculty and staff donate prom dresses to the worthy cause – an example of how the JCA community mobilizes for the good of others.

“Our job was to collect gently used prom dresses and you bring them to a pickup location,” Norgren said. “My mom explained it to me and we thought it would be a good idea to get as many as we could.”

“It was cool to see everyone bringing in dresses,” Pasieka said. “And it wasn’t only our fellow students. A bunch of the staff brought in dresses, and it was nice to look through all of them and to see them.”

In the end, Norgren and Pasieka were able to gather 60-plus dresses to be donated. Norgren, who also attended prom, understood how beneficial the project is for such a special event in a teenager’s life.

“When you’re facing a charge of over $200 a dress, that’s pretty substantial,” Norgren said. “I did go to prom, so I know what it costs, and I think everyone should be able to go, even if they can’t afford it.”

“It was nice that we got so many dresses,” Pasieka pointed out. “When we dropped them off, they were so impressed. You don’t get to know the girls who benefit, but it does make you feel good knowing that you contributed to making someone’s life easier and they got to be happy. It was totally worth it.”

Time. Talent. Energy. Norgren and Pasieka lived the message and the rewards were immeasurable.

“It’s the first time that we did this, but I’m definitely looking forward to doing it again with Courtney next year,” Pasieka said. “And really, it wasn’t that hard of a thing to do. We felt great about doing it.”

“At JCA, we have that community feeling and it was nice to see everyone contributing what they had,” Norgren said. “If they weren’t going to use their dresses again, they were happy to help us out.”

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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /joliet/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /joliet/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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Judge in Peterson trial: Pastor may testify about statements Stacy Peterson made /joliet/2012/06/14/judge-in-peterson-trial-pastor-may-testify-about-statements-stacy-peterson-made/ /joliet/2012/06/14/judge-in-peterson-trial-pastor-may-testify-about-statements-stacy-peterson-made/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:21:29 +0000 Pat /bolingbrook/?p=34862 A pastor can testify at Drew Peterson’s trial in the drowning of his third wife about statements Peterson’s fourth wife made about Peterson’s actions at the time of the death, the judge in the former Bolingbrook police sergeant’s case ruled today.

Peterson is scheduled to go on trial next month in the murder of Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in her bathtub March 1, 2004, about five months after they had divorced.

Will County Judge Edward Burmila ruled this morning that the Rev. Neil Schori will be allowed to testify for the prosecution that Peterson’s now-missing fourth wife, Stacy, told the pastor she saw Peterson return home late, dressed in black and carrying a bag of women’s clothing shortly before Savio was found dead.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest /joliet/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/ /joliet/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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Joliet, Crest Hill make last-ditch efforts to avoid Diocese office move /joliet/2012/06/13/joliet-crest-hill-try-last-ditch-meeting-to-avoid-diocese-office-move/ /joliet/2012/06/13/joliet-crest-hill-try-last-ditch-meeting-to-avoid-diocese-office-move/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:06:08 +0000 Pat /joliet/?p=35960 Diocese of Joliet officials plan to close on property in Crest Hill for a new office building despite pleas from two suburban mayors not to buy the vacant strip mall.

The mayors of Joliet and Crest Hill met this afternoon with the Diocese in the hopes of changing the Diocese’s plans to close on the property Friday. Although city officials said developers have expressed interest in the strip mall at the corner of Weber Road and Division, they were unable to give any specifics on potential developers in the meeting,” said Michael Bava, chief financial officer for the Diocese.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Area sophomore basketball teams get a summer workout at USF shootout /joliet/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/ /joliet/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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Report: Rivers Casino makes $35M in May /joliet/2012/06/12/report-rivers-casino-makes-35m-in-may/ /joliet/2012/06/12/report-rivers-casino-makes-35m-in-may/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:12:45 +0000 jenniferdelgado /des-plaines/?p=44980 The Rivers Casino in Des Plaines made $35.2 million last month and continues to outpace other riverboats in the state, according to figures released by the Illinois Gaming Board.

The Des Plaines casino remains well-ahead of its competitors, like the Grand Victoria in Elgin and the Harrah’s Joliet, which brought in about $18.7 million and $17.8 million, respectively. Still, Rivers’ revenue in May dipped by less than 1 percent compared to April, when it made $35.5 million, according to the report.

The state’s remaining seven casinos posted revenues from $7.3 million to $12.6 million, documents show. With the exception of the Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, all the casinos in Illinois saw some kind of decline in adjusted gross receipts. Par-A-Dice made a minimal gain — roughly $46,000 — in May, the report states.

Admissions figures for the Rivers Casino jumped by 4 percent between April and May, from 322,098 to 335,875. All but two of the state’s casinos also saw increases in attendance, according to the report.

In April, the Des Plaines casino raked in nearly twice as much as the Grand Victoria in Elgin and the Harrah’s Joliet, which made $19.1 million and $18.9 million, respectively.

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