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Aaron Toppen grew up dreaming of serving his country.

Though he and family members knew his enlisting would come with an unavoidable degree of risk, they held firm and united — a tight-knit group — in supporting his ambition, keeping close from the time he was a tot to a teen.

Rebecca Susmarski

Mokena teen who allegedly resisted police arrested again

A Mokena 19-year-old who police subdued with a stun gun during an alleged altercation in early April was arrested again Sunday, April 27, this time allegedly with 368 Xanax pills and marijuana in his possession.

Robert M. Hollingsworth, 19, of the 11400 block of Abbey Road, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana, underage drinking and driving on the wrong side of the road. 

Will O'Brien

Since finishing high school, a group of Mokena and Frankfort natives have gone on to excel at Olivet Nazarene University both on and off the softball diamond.

Cheryl Sendzik, Caitlin Santefort, Hannah Gardner and Megan Butler all made big contributions to the Tigers’ 49-5-1 season, conference championship and NAIA World Series appearance, said longtime Olivet Coach Ritchie Richardson.

“The year itself has been fantastic, and these girls are a big reason why,” he said. 

Rebecca Susmarski

To the southeast of Rome lies the town of Amaseno – a small farming community in Italy with a population of about 4,000.

It’s also a place where three women can trace their roots from, and what serves as the focal point for a passion that has developed through generations of families.

“We grew up together in the same town and have known each other since we were little kids,” said Anna Panici as she helped get dinner ready Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Scrementi’s Italian Grill in Mokena.

Danny Ciamprone

Wide open – 50,000 square feet to be exact – of what will soon be filled with athletes, an array of sports courts and fans all within the friendly confines of what may very well be the first of several indoor recreation facilities for a couple’s vision that knows no bounds.

Rebecca Susmarski

With Frisbees floating lazily around Mokena’s Main Park Friday, July 4, the 60-member, red-shirted Encore Concert Band tuned its instruments.

“This is the part of our Fourth of July celebration that I have come to like best,” said Bea Johannsen, a Mokena resident, as she set down her wooden picnic basket and spread a checkered, red-and-white blanket on the grass. “When my kids were young, the parade was always the highlight. But now that I’m up in age, I like things a little more relaxed, like this concert.”

Rebecca Susmarski

The members of the Lincoln-Way East varsity poms team displayed their sisterly bond in a Sunday, Dec. 14 competition, and it paid off for them winningly. 

The 3A division poms team, comprised of juniors and seniors, placed third in their division at the Illinois High School Association’s 2014 Bremen Invitational in Midlothian. The Griffins performed the routine that they intend to perform for the IHSA sectionals and, hopefully, state finals. 

Danny Ciamprone

Frankfort Fusion Gold finished their 2014 season in Overland Park, Kansas, at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series where they took fifth place. 

Their record was 7-2-0.  

Frankfort Fusion Gold started their new season in Mokena at the PGF Regional Qualifier hosted by Blue Wave where they were named the champions. The girls have been playing together for several years and continue to progress at each level.  

Rebecca Susmarski

Farmers markets, outdoor movies, trips to the pool, festivals, parades, cruise nights and fireworks. There is no shortage of activities when it comes to summer in the southwest suburbs. And 22nd Century Media has 101 ideas for readers to get out and enjoy their communities this summer. We provided 50 ideas in print and now have 51 more online. Enjoy!

1. One Fish, Two Fish ... Time to Find All the Fish

Will O'Brien

Carollo

Lauren Katherine Carollo, 17, of Mokena, died suddenly May 22. She was the daughter of Randy and Ginger Lee (nee Lyons) Carollo; granddaughter of Dolly and step-granddaughter of Beverly; and niece of Kathy (Kenny) Schwartz, Peggy Beke, Peter, Bobby (Lisa), David (Ronda) and Johnny (Lynn) Carollo, Dawn (Bill) Morrison, Tammy (Paul) Litchenberg and Thomas and Frank Lyons. She had 14 cousins. Services were held at Vandenberg Funeral Home. Interment private.

Curtis

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