TribLocal - Northbrook /northbrook TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Wed, 09 Jan 2013 16:24:50 +0000 en hourly 1 Skilling: Pleasant end to the work week /northbrook/2012/06/22/skilling-pleasant-end-to-the-work-week/ /northbrook/2012/06/22/skilling-pleasant-end-to-the-work-week/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 13:14:05 +0000 Kara Silva /barrington/?p=31890

The work week ends with sunshine and warmth but without the humidity that smothered the first half of the week.

Friday is to deliver 85-degree warmth for the 25th time this year in a month running a solid 5 degrees above normal — the ninth consecutive month to produce a temperature surplus here and the warmest June of the past quarter century.


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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /northbrook/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /northbrook/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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Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest /northbrook/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/ /northbrook/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 /northbrook/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/ /northbrook/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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Father and son team run new Libertyville car wash /northbrook/2012/06/12/father-and-son-team-run-new-libertyville-car-wash/ /northbrook/2012/06/12/father-and-son-team-run-new-libertyville-car-wash/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 17:57:57 +0000 Amy Alderman /libertyville/?p=43353

Libertyville area residents can get their cars washed, give their dogs a bath and pick up their dry cleaning at a one-stop shop recently opened by a father and son team.

Following the success of George Roman’s Northbrook family business, he opened Splash Hand Car Wash & Detail, 185 Peterson Road, near their Green Oaks home.

Roman has been in the business since 1981, but as father’s day approaches this Sunday, he says he’s a proud papa as his 17-year-old son, Nick, takes on a managerial role at the Libertyville location, which opened in May.

“I get a lot of help from my son. I get so much good feedback from the customers. He’s a young boy and he handles it really well–the pressure and dealing with the employees. I almost get it (compliments on Nick) daily.”

Nick Roman said he is glad to help with the business so his dad can take a break.

“It’s nice that he doesn’t have to work all the time. He’s got more energy. I come in and he’s able to be home more,” said the younger Roman. “I’m able to run the place the way I hope he wants the place to be run.”

George Roman started with small hand car washes in the 1980s in Rogers Park, North Chicago and Morton Grove, which he sold. Then, he added dry cleaning and a do-it-yourself dog washing station to the mix at a Northbrook location.

The Roman family was on the look out for a location near their home and found a vacant 50-year-old building to renovate into a store largely identical to the Northbrook business.

With a second location, more  help was needed. But Nick Roman wasn’t handed the manager position in Libertyville easily.

“(My dad) definitely made me earn it,”  he said.

Nick Roman started working up the chain of command by doing the dirty work of vacuuming and washing cars at age 15. Eventually, he learned the software system at the Northbrook location and began to take on more responsibilities.

Today, he manages as many as 12 employees on a given day in Libertyville.

However, his father doesn’t expect his son to take over the family business.

“I just want him to follow his passion,” George Roman. “It would be nice if he wanted to stay and keep on building these. The concept really works. But, he’s got to follow his passion. I’d be real happy if he does that.”

Nick Roman isn’t sure what he’s going to do after high school, but he does enjoy working at the car wash.

“I definitely want to go to college,” he said. “But here, it’s a nice job. I like helping out with the family.”

His 13-year-old sister, Isabella, also has her eye on working at the family business, but for now, she’ll enjoy her summers off until she’s old enough to work, he said.

In the meantime, father and son work together on greeting customers, handling questions and problem-solving.

“I like to get out there, and help get the cars in and out,” Nick Roman said. “It’s nice to see my dad’s reaction.”

And every now and then, they get to step back and eye an antique or luxury car together.

“It’s one of the perks of seeing a nice car coming in,” he said. “My dad’s a car guy and I guess I’m a car guy too.”


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High school class still connected 70 years after graduation /northbrook/2012/06/12/high-school-class-still-connected-70-years-after-graduation/ /northbrook/2012/06/12/high-school-class-still-connected-70-years-after-graduation/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:14:23 +0000 jenniferdelgado /des-plaines/?p=44895

Most people laugh when Peggy Kinder Jackson talks about her 70-year high school reunion, pointing to how rare and unusual the gathering is. But the 88-year-old says they just don’t understand her classmates and the ties that bind them together.

Decades after graduation, the class of 1942 from Maine Township High School in Park Ridge is still a tight-knit group who share childhood experiences from the Great Depression era. When World War II broke out months before commencement, a few men dropped out during their senior year to enlist in the military while others joined the service as soon as they received their degrees. Many of the classmates also married each other, or others in different grades.

“It’s kind of a long time to have reunions, I guess, but we have a lot of people interested in doing it,” said Kinder Jackson, a lifelong resident of Des Plaines who married her high school sweetheart, Dave Jackson, now 91.

Over the weekend, nearly 30 people from the class gathered in Des Plaines, where they reminisced about Maine Township High, now called Maine East, how things have changed since their teenage years, and life since the last reunion in 2007. Some, like Kinder Jackson, are still in the area while others flew in from places like Tuscon, Ariz.; Boca Raton, Fla.; and Denver, Colo.

The group has held a reunion every five years since 1962 with exception of 1972 when they skipped their 30-year reunion.

Though a majority of the 373 classmates have passed away or can’t be found, Lois Carlson, a co-organizer of the get-together, said the surviving classmates told her in January that they still wanted to meet up.

For at least 25 years, Carlson, 87, has maintained a semi-complete address list for the 1942 graduates. The Park Ridge resident updates the ledger as often as she can and passes out copies during the gatherings so the group can keep in touch.

Frank Baranski, the other co-organizer who couldn’t make the reunion due to a last-minute illness, spent months creating the weekend’s itinerary, which included breakfasts, dinners and a bus tour of Chicago.

His absence was noted as classmates scribbled personal messages on a large “get well” card, hoping to brighten his mood.

Shirley Erickson Thackaberry, 87, a Park Ridge native who now lives in St. Charles, looks at that classmate list right before each reunion to remind herself who’s alive and who’s gone. Most of her close high school friends have died, she said, but that doesn’t stop her from attending.

“At the time you graduate, you think that you’ll never see these people again,” she said. “But I think it’s kind of nice we do. I’ll always come if they have reunions.”

The Maine Township High School class of 1942 gather during a 70-year reunion over the weekend. (Jennifer Delgado/Tribune)

The three-day affair culminated with a special dinner at Silver Stallion in Des Plaines on Saturday, when the class sang the school’s fight song, posed for pictures and leafed through old photos from past reunions. A group of high school sweethearts, like Merv and Phyllis Karl, sat at one table while classmates accompanied by their sons and daughters settled in at others.

Instead of discussing past accomplishments or career accolades, their conversations focused on family, daily activities and recent maladies. They laughed about how they used to walk miles to the pool and how couples today live together before they get married.

“The more you go to these, the less you care about what everyone has done,” said Lawrence Johnson, 87, of Northbrook, who was on the school’s cross-country team.

Mary Nissen, 88, said she didn’t originally plan on making the trip from Boca Raton, Fla., but changed her mind because she knew she’d have a fit when the weekend arrived. The highlight of the visit was seeing her classmates, some of whom were her peers in grade school, she said.

“I pretty much know everybody, which surprises me, because sometimes I don’t know who I am,” she joked.

Betty Jo Streff Reed, 88, who now lives in Denver, Colo., could barely contain her excitement as she floated around the room hugging people. In her opinion, camaraderie today carries a different meaning than it did in high school.

“I’m awfully glad to be here,” she said. “Nobody has a 70-year reunion, but it’s a lovely thing to have friends this long.”

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Arrogance ‘in a good way’ helps Oak Park win first state baseball title since ’81 /northbrook/2012/06/11/arrogance-in-a-good-way-helps-oak-park-win-first-state-baseball-title-since-81/ /northbrook/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 /northbrook/2012/06/11/five-area-softball-teams-bring-home-state-trophies-and-two-win-titles/ /northbrook/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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Area softball teams hoping to knock off defending state champs Marengo and Moline /northbrook/2012/06/07/area-softball-teams-hoping-to-knock-off-defending-state-champs-marengo-and-moline/ /northbrook/2012/06/07/area-softball-teams-hoping-to-knock-off-defending-state-champs-marengo-and-moline/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2012 17:38:46 +0000 Jeff Vorva /elk-grove-village/?p=19278 Five TribLocal area teams are gunning for state softball titles this weekend but will have to knock off a pair of defending state champs to do it.
Class 3A and 4A semifinals in the Illinois High School Association state tournament start Friday in East Peoria.
Elk Grove High School coach Ken Grams has 778 victories and numerous 30-victory seasons but is looking for his first state title. The Grenadiers bring in a 31-8 mark against Marist at 2:30 p.m. Friday and have outscored their five postseason opponents by a combined score of 29-7.
Senior pitcher Dani Goranson is a strikeout machine, notching 284 Ks in 198 innings. She also leads the team with 10 homers and 13 doubles.
The Grenadiers finished second in the state in 1982 and third in Class 4A in 2010.
Marist, a Chicago school that draws several students and athletes from the south suburbs, is making its state finals debut and brings in a 25-15 mark.
The Redhawks are riding a 10-game winning streak and sophomore Brooke Wyderski has been on fire all year, hitting 10 homers and driving in 41 runs.
Bartlett, which draws students from West Chicago, is in the other semifinal bracket and takes on defending Class 4A champ Moline Friday at 5 p.m.
The Hawks (31-8) outscored postseason opponents by a combined 22-2 score and are led by senior Tori Burke, who has four homers and 26 RBI and has 20 wins on the mound.
In Class 3A, Glenbard South is making its fourth appearance in the final four in the past five years, finishing third in 2008, fourth in 2009 and third in 2011. Coach Julie Fonda’s squad is 34-4 and takes on Mattoon at noon Friday.
Solving South’s Chitkowski sisters has not been an easy thing to do for opponents. Senior Danielle Chitkowski own a 17-2 mark with a 1.74 ERA and has driven in 51 runs. Junior Stephanie Chitkowski is 16-2 with an 0.98 ERA.
The Raiders had a 15-game winning streak halted with a 7-3 loss to Burlington Central to close out the season but have beaten four postseason opponents b a combined score of 27-3.
Providence Catholic takes a 28-12 record into its Class 3A semifinal game against defending Class 3A champ Marengo at 9:30 a.m. Friday. The Celtics are making their first state finals appearance.
Coach Jay Biesterfeld is enjoying this run. He opened his coaching career at Rich South, where his team won just 25 games in five years. Since coming to Providence in 2005, he has racked up 164 wins.
Last year, the Celtics were 16-19-1 but this year they have claimed nine straight victories heading into the final four including a 2-1 sectional victory over Tinley Park, a 5-4 sectional title win over Oak Forest and a 4-3 supersectional triumph over Geneseo.
Pitcher Allie Strick struck out 174 hitters over 142 1/3 innings en route to a 17-4 record for the Celtics. Amanda Wilson has driven in 30 runs and Morgan Greenwood 29.

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Area baseball teams hope to continue wild postseason /northbrook/2012/06/06/area-baseball-teams-hope-to-continue-wild-postseason/ /northbrook/2012/06/06/area-baseball-teams-hope-to-continue-wild-postseason/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 19:12:20 +0000 Jeff Vorva /la-grange-la-grange-park/?p=30280

In a wild postseason that saw several top-ranked teams fall, four TribLocal area baseball team survived in Class 3A and 4A and have a date to try to win state titles.

The state semifinals take place Friday and Saturday at Silver Cross Field in Joliet.

In Class 4A, defending champion Lyons Township faces Minooka at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Lyons (26-12-1) had its moments of greatness and also had some rough patches during the season and picked up a fifth seed in the sectional.

But the Lions put on an impressive postseason run, beating Reavis 10-7 and Morton, 12-2 to win a regional title. They beat three strong private school teams in St. Laurence, 8-3, Mt. Carmel, 9-1, and Marist, 3-2 to reach the semifinals for the second straight year.

Kevin Lehmann has a 9-2 mark with an 0.86 ERA. Evan Booth, Steve Heilenbach and Lehmann lead the club with seven homers apiece.

Oak Park-River Forest faces Grant at 3 p.m. and comes into the final four with a 28-9-1 mark.

The Huskies boast a deep pitching staff as six of the seven pitchers who stepped on the mound threw between 25 and 45 innings.

Joe McKune has a 1.43 ERA and Zachary Weigel is at 1.71. Weigel also hit a team-high five homer runs this season.

Grant (25-11) closed the regular season winning four games by a combined score of 58-3 to help go into the postseason on a roll.

The Bulldogs were 12-17-1 and 10-17 the past two years and have never made it this far in the posteason.

In Class 3A, Nazareth returns to the final four after finishing fourth in 2011.

The Roadrunners, 30-9, sputtered toward the end of the year, dropping three of their last four regular-season games.

But they returned to form in the postseason, clobbering Chicago Westinghouse, 11-0, and Chicago Little Village, 10-1 in regional play and knocking off their next three opponents by a combined score of 22-8 to make it back to the state semifinals.

Dominic Pupura (9-1, 1.43 ERA) and Jake Bartels (7-2, 2.01) are a tough one-two punch on the hill and Ryan Marske has driven in 30 runs this season.

The Roadrunners’ semifinal opponent at noon Friday is East Suburban Catholic Conference foe Marian Catholic (23-17). During the regular season, Nazareth won 4-1 on May 2 but fell 5-3 the next day.

LaSalle Peru and Troy Triad are the two teams in the other bracket.

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