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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

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

Five years ago, Chris Pignotti’s son wanted to get involved with lacrosse, specifically, the Lincoln-Way Lacrosse Club youth team.

Wanting to help out, Pignotti started coaching in a league that at the time did not have a youth program for children under the age of 11, as the game was still gaining traction in popularity.

Danny Ciamprone

Cassidy DeGraff is a junior at Lincoln-Way North. The Tinley Park resident and girls water polo player led her team in goals this season.

Lincoln-Way West upset the Phoenix 10-9 in the quarterfinals of the sectional last week. What happened in that game?

Honestly, West stepped up and we underestimated them. They set up something different with Bridget Soukup shooting from the outside, and we just kept fouling her.

Danny Ciamprone

Tired, unoccupied and under utilized, it was growing more unlikely each day that the Therafin building in Mokena would see a proper use in the near future.

“It was almost to the point where [the building] had fallen into a state of disrepair and was also just so old and tired that in a lot of cases it didn’t meet the proper codes for certain uses,” said Mokena Village Administrator John Downs.

Danny Ciamprone

A proposal to bring a Panda Express to the Mokena Marketplace was well received by the Mokena Village Board of Trustees Monday, Feb. 16, during a Village worksession.

Panda Express is seeking a special use permit for a proposed 3,000-square-foot fast casual restaurant with one drive-through lane at 11255 Lincoln Highway in Mokena. 

Alan Zordan, director of community and economic development for the Village of Mokena, said the board first took a look at the concept plan for Panda Express in April 2014, but the board did not feel the designs were well suited to the area. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Having left her glass slippers at home, Mokena princess-in-training Adrianna Villarreal made do with white sparkly dance shoes. 

Villarreal, along with her father, Jose, were among the royal subjects who attended the Mokena Community Park District’s Cinderella Ball held April 18 at the District Recreation Program Center in Mokena.

“He’s a pretty good dancer,” Villarreal said of her father’s performance on the dance floor. 

Danny Ciamprone

The annual outdoor flea market for the Mokena Community Park District will take place from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at The Oaks east soccer field, 10847 W. La Porte Road, in Mokena.

Guests can enjoy the day selling, buying and swapping everything from fresh produce to new and used crafts, clothing, tools and more. Concessions will also be available.

Danny Ciamprone

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