TribLocal - Oak Park & River Forest /oak-park-river-forest TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:40:51 +0000 en hourly 1 101 degrees today? Maybe, maybe not /oak-park-river-forest/2012/06/28/could-hit-101-today-its-going-to-heat-up-fast/ /oak-park-river-forest/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 /oak-park-river-forest/2012/06/25/heatwave-expected-to-move-in-by-midweek/ /oak-park-river-forest/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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fawn in the Forest Preserve /oak-park-river-forest/community/galleries/2012/06/fawn-in-the-forest-preserve/ /oak-park-river-forest/community/galleries/2012/06/fawn-in-the-forest-preserve/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:40:00 +0000 Irene Flebbe /algonquin/?post_type=community_gallery&p=94002

The fawns of White-tailed deer are typically born the first week of June. This fawn was born June 1st, and is 5 days old in this series of pictures.

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Local Families Support Olympic Wrestler's Quest For Gold /oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2012/06/local-families-support-olympic-wrestlers-quest-for-gold/ /oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2012/06/local-families-support-olympic-wrestlers-quest-for-gold/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:32:25 +0000 Caryn Brooks /oak-park-river-forest/?post_type=community_post&p=59936

OAK PARK, ILL.—Years before the world knew of Ellis Coleman and his Flying Squirrel move with more than 5 million views on youtube, the Oak Park-River Forest Huskies Wrestling Family knew he was a winner.
Coleman, a 2009 graduate of Oak Park-River Forest High School, has the enthusiastic backing of hundreds of alums, coaches and friends who saw him mature from a member of the Little Huskies Wrestling Program as an eighth grader to a member of the 2009 Illinois high school state championship wrestling team and now a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team at the 60K weight class headed to London this summer.
The younger son of a single mother raising three children in Oak Park, Coleman has amazed spectators and athletes around the world with his agility, determination and humility. His is an inspiring story of becoming a world-class elite wrestler from a pre-teen enrolled in a sports program as a way to avoid trouble. He has succeeded with the help of a high school coach, the Olympic Training Center, friends, family and a community called the Huskies Wrestling Family.
"Ellis is one of our best guys ever in the program, and a real leader, the younger kids look up to Ellis so much," said Mike Powell, head wrestling coach at Oak Park-River Forest High School.
With the goal of raising funds for what Coleman needs to win gold, the Huskies Wrestling Family and Huskies Booster Club are sponsoring a fundraiser June 24 in Forest Park, Ill.
WHAT: Celebration of Support for 2012 Olympic Wrestler Ellis Coleman
WHEN: Sunday, June 24 from 3-7 p.m.
WHERE: Doc Ryan’s, 7432 W. Madison Street, Forest Park, Ill.
Tickets are $30 in advance from and $35 at the door and include all you can eat pizza, beer, wine and soda. $15 from each ticket goes to the 2012 Ellis Coleman Olympic Fund.
For more information, visit:

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Hephzibah Receives Community Bank Champion Grant /oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2012/06/hephzibah-receives-community-bank-champion-grant/ /oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2012/06/hephzibah-receives-community-bank-champion-grant/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:31:58 +0000 Frank Frigo /algonquin/?post_type=community_post&p=95623

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest is pleased to announce that Hephzibah Children’s Association is the recipient of Community Bank’s Champion Grant. The purpose of the Champion Grant is to assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low or moderate income individuals.

Hephzibah Children’s Association was founded in 1897 and their mission is to enhance the lives of at-risk children and families throughout the area. Most notably, through their Residence and Diagnostic Treatment Center (Group Homes), they provide a safe, secure space for abused and neglected children. These children are provided with physical, emotional and psychological healing in a therapeutic environment.

A grant in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Mary Anne Brown, Executive Director of Hephzibah Children’s Association, on Tuesday, June 19. Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank, presented the grant. Hephzibah will use the Champion Grant to provide financial literacy workshops as part of their Transitions to Middle School summer program. The Transitions to Middle School program prepares 5th and 6th graders for the challenges and opportunities of junior high school. The financial literacy component of the Transitions program will teach children how to budget and manage finances, which is an essential life skill that will help children “transition” into adulthood. Community Bank staff will be an integral part of this program by providing their financial expertise at training workshops for the children and their families. Children who participate will also receive piggy banks from Community Bank. More information about Hephzibah is available on their website at

Through the Champion Grant, Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities. Champion Grants will be awarded to qualifying organizations throughout the year. The Champion Grant application is available on the Community Bank website at

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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /oak-park-river-forest/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /oak-park-river-forest/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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12 sculptures invade Oak Park for the summer /oak-park-river-forest/2012/06/14/12-sculptures-invade-oak-park-for-the-summer/ /oak-park-river-forest/2012/06/14/12-sculptures-invade-oak-park-for-the-summer/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 20:42:20 +0000 Bridget Doyle /oak-park-river-forest/?p=59862

Public art in Oak Park just became a summertime activity.

Earlier this month, Oak Park kicked off its first-ever sculpture walk, comprised of 12 larger-than-life pieces of art sponsored by the village’s Public Art Advisory Commission.

Business Services Manager Loretta Daly said the feedback from the community has been “incredibly positive” – from both residents and visitors.

“It adds another layer to the cultural attractions within the community,” Daly said. “It’s our hope that this is successful and we continue it on an annual basis.”

The official walk starts at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., heads west along Lake Street to Forest Avenue, then north toward Chicago Avenue.

Other sculpture locations include First United Church, Unity Temple, Calvary Memorial Church, Grace Episcopal Church, two at Lake Street and Forest Avenue and five residences.

The outdoor exhibit is slated to run until Oct. 13.

Public Art Advisory Commission representative David Sokol said the downtown display coincides with the 23rdInternational Sculpture Conference to be held October 4-6 at the Chicago Cultural Center and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Brochures about the sculptures and their artists are available by clicking here.

To see a photos of all 12 sculptures, click here.

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Forest Park Summer Fest /oak-park-river-forest/community/galleries/2012/06/forest-park-summer-fest/ /oak-park-river-forest/community/galleries/2012/06/forest-park-summer-fest/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:24:53 +0000 Mike McReynolds /oak-park-river-forest/?post_type=community_gallery&p=59683

Held Friday and Saturday, 6/8 and 6/9, the Forest Park Summer Festival provided food, games and live music for all.
Bands occupied three separate stages set up along Madison Street from Circle to Des Plaines Avenues. The Food Court on Thomas Avenue plenty of summer fare like brats, Italian and smoked sausages, burgers and the like. Mingled in with carnival games, the offerings in the merchant booths spanned all manner of enticements from face-painting to tattoos; from handmade jewelry and sculptures, clothing, sports’ fan gear, and most things in-between. Local pubs and restaurants along Madison were also open and joined in the joyous cacophony as the well-varied crowd of celebrants mingled and moseyed, playing the games, buying the goods, eating the food, and generally having a grand time.
The Beer Tent kept the cold ones coming adjacent to the Court Stage where R-Gang was the featured act Sunday evening when I was there. The rollicking R&B band rocked through a performance of standards from their catalog that is heavy on covers of Classic Motown, Funk, Blues, Pop, with some Golden Oldies 50’s Rock n Roll, and even Disco thrown in, all with their own bounce attached. They had the crowd rocking and dancing throughout.
I got to the Kid’s Stage just in time to check out The Ralleys playing an inspired rendition of Ringo Starr’s ”It Don’t Come Easy”. The popular band, which also covered Tom Petty’s “Freefalling”, among other pop standards as well, is well-known in Forest Park for shows they’ve played in local venues.
The Circle Stage featured the Neverly Brothers as the evening act and they took the audience on a tour of Rock n Roll from the fifties Elvis to the Beatles, with multiple stops in-between including Jerry Lee Lewis, the Platters, the Dave Clark 5, and the Kinks, just to name a few. Their mettle was on display as they closed the festival in classic style. Oh, – and there was a well-stocked Beer Tent next to the Circle Stage also.
All in all, the Forest Park Summer Fest was a great party for all…

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The Boathouse Blast, Beach Volleyball Championship /oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2012/06/the-boathouse-blast-beach-volleyball-championship/ /oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2012/06/the-boathouse-blast-beach-volleyball-championship/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:23:32 +0000 Michael Mrkvicka /oak-park-river-forest/?post_type=community_post&p=59465

The beach volleyball team of Jordan Beirne Mrkvicka and Alysia Mrkvicka Beirne came so very close to claiming theIr first beach title of the summer, losing in the championship match of the 22nd Annual Boathouse Blast, Pro Am Beach Volleyball Tournament at North Ave. Beach, Chicago, Il.

Saturday June 2, 2012, the EVP Jr. Volleyball Tour, held its largest Chicago Beach Volleyball Tournament of the summer, covering 56 volleyball courts and over 160 teams competing for titles in the Pro Divisions and Amateur competition, as well as the EVP Tour’s Spike N‘ Splash Jr. Divisions.

The team of Alysia and Jordan, from Oak Park/River Forest, Il. were competing in the girls U14 – Division, playing in their second tournament of the summer. They went undefeated in pool play, emerging as the #1 seed going into the tournaments playoffs. Jordan and Alysia proceeded to move strongly through the playoffs, not losing a single set, highlighted by a two set sweep in the semi-finals over a team from Naperville Il. (21-14 and 21-15).

The girls stormed into the championship match facing another undefeated top seeded team from Fort Wayne Ind. The finals lived up to expectations, as the two top teams locked up in a even battle through out the first set, Both teams held the lead and scoring went back and forth, with Alysia and Jordan finally dropping the set 21-17. The second set played out similar to the first set, with both teams holding the lead, but the Oak Park girls were unable to close out the match, losing 21-18.

Jordan and Alysia, did however, capture 2nd place in the EVP Jr. Tournament, that had teams from across the midwest, the girls received medals and merchandise for their tremendous performance. The girls will be right back in action next weekend, playing in Michigan City, Ind. EVP Tour Tournament, than onto Indianapolis, Ind. For another tournament the following weekend.

Alysia and Jordan, represent the EVP Tour Naperville Il. Club, under the coaching genius of Ross Balling, congratulations girls on your great play!

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Folks get folked up at the 2nd Annual Friendly Folk Festival /oak-park-river-forest/community/galleries/2012/06/folks-get-folked-up-at-the-2nd-annual-friendly-folk-festival/ /oak-park-river-forest/community/galleries/2012/06/folks-get-folked-up-at-the-2nd-annual-friendly-folk-festival/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:17:18 +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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