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A sports recreation business with roots in Tinley Park might open a facility in Mokena and obtain the space formerly considered for use by the Autobahn Indoor Speedway.

Rebecca Susmarski

Irene Mooney does not think much of her age, but when nearly 100 people came to celebrate her 100th birthday with her, she viewed it as “a miracle.” 

Mooney, a Frankfort resident who turned 100 on Friday, Dec. 19, enjoyed a semi-surprise birthday party Sunday, Dec. 21, at her daughter Patricia Hurley’s home in Tinley Park. Seventy people came to the event, including two singers from the Lincoln-Way North Madrigals, who didn’t even know Mooney until the day of the party. 

Rebecca Susmarski

St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mokena recently welcomed its newly elected student council members.

The newly elected members were inducted after the school Mass on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the church. 

The seven student leaders on the executive board for the 2014-2015 year are McKenna Bandyk of Mokena, executive assistant; Sarah Noone of Mokena, treasurer; Alexandria Perns of Mokena, vice president; Maura Murphy of Mokena, president; Emma Canniff of Mokena, secretary; Athan Bastas of Mokena and John Morrison of Mokena, bookstore managers. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Momentum is heading in more than the right direction for the Mokena Marketplace, which as of Monday, Oct. 27, will officially welcome a new occupant to the Village in an area currently ripe with business and development.

Rebecca Susmarski
Central Command confirms friendly fire

Nearly three months after an operation in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of five U.S. soldiers — including Lincoln-Way East graduate and Mokena resident Pvt. Aaron Toppen — the United States Central Command released documents confirming it was a friendly fire accident.

Danielle Tabor

A proposed special use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary in Mokena was generally well received by trustees during a Village board work session meeting on Monday, Sept. 15.

Greenhouse Group LLC. is requesting the special use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary for the property at 9930 W. 190th St. in Mokena – a 5,100 square foot tenant condo space in the Mokena Crossings Business Park.

Danny Ciamprone

Toppen 

PFC Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, died June 9 while serving his country in Afghanistan. He is survived by his mother, Pamela (nee Winter) Toppen; two sisters, Amy Toppen and Amanda (Jerry) Gralewski; and niece, Taylor. He was the grandson of Betty Winter; boyfriend of Jacqueline Rozek; nephew of Jack Winter, Barb (Stephen) White and Jeff (Nina) Winter; and a dear cousin, neighbor and friend to many. Services were held at Parkview Christian Church. Interment St. John’s Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by the Vandenberg Funeral Home.

Rebecca Susmarski

A 42-year-old Mokena man died Saturday, Aug. 9, after falling off his bike and hitting his head on a Will County Forest Preserve trail.

Vaidas Varpucanskis was riding his bike down a hill shortly before 11 a.m. on the Hickory Creek Junction Trail in Frankfort Township when he tried to swerve out of the way to avoid another bicyclist, said Lt. Tracy Chapman of the Will County Forest Preserve Police.

Chapman said the other bicyclist on the trail went to pass a jogger and said, “On your left,” as he went by.

Rebecca Susmarski

A social program that intermingles special needs students with junior high students has encouraged acceptance and kindness more than even the program’s creators anticipated. 

Rachel’s Buddies, which commenced this year at Mokena Junior High School, combines MJHS eighth-graders with a total of seven students from Lincoln-Way Area Special Education District 843. Every week, the 843 “buddies” come to the junior high to play games or sports, make crafts and participate in other activities with their MJHS friends. 

Danny Ciamprone

Frank Fleischer takes a seat in EggCetera Cafe across from State Senator Michael Hastings (D-19), surrounded by Village officials.

It is early summer 2013, roughly one month after Fleischer is sworn is as mayor of the Village of Mokena.

It is a friendly chat in one of Mokena’s staple restaurants, but it is also one of the first discussions that would lead to Fleischer’s “signature project.”

Flash forward roughly one year later.

Rebecca Susmarski

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