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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

The newly opened Velocity All Sports has come a long way in just a few months since Village approval – going from 50,000 empty square feet to now housing hundreds of athletes on any given night with state of the art equipment.

“It’s been fantastic,” said co-owner Cindy See of the Mokena sports complex. “We’re getting booked heavily, club coaches and owners are coming in and booking a lot of the space.”

Rebecca Susmarski

Feb. 2

• Kaitlin Hallahan, 20, of 19534 S. 115th Ave. in Mokena, was charged with domestic battery, illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor and criminal damage to property at 19534 S. 115th Ave. after a physical dispute with family members.

Feb. 1

Rebecca Susmarski

Adeline Bowen, Mokena Elementary first-grader

Bowen was picked as this week’s Standout Student for her academic excellence.

What is one essential you must have when studying and why?

One essential I must have when studying is a quiet space so I can focus.

What do you like to do when not in school or studying?

When I am not in school or studying I like to cook with my mom.

Rebecca Susmarski

“More happiness.”

That was the term that Lincoln-Way North girls’ volleyball senior middle hitter Valen Manns used last week.

She had good reason too, as she helped lead the Phoenix to the championship of the summer league playoffs on Thursday, July 31, at Palos Courts in Palos Heights.  

Rebecca Susmarski

Last summer, the Mokena Educational Foundation started a brainstorming session that now has not only lead to big things for the organization, but Mokena School District 159 as well.

“We kept asking ourselves, ‘How can we do more with the money that we have?’” asked Christy Mullin, president of the MEF, Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Mokena School District 159 Board of Education meeting. 

Rebecca Susmarski

The Mokena Fire Protection District (MFPD) responded to a residential structure fire at about 3:53 a.m. Friday, July 18 in the 1900 block of Anna Street.

Three minutes after notification, fire crews arrived on the scene and determined the fire originated in the basement of the home where the fire was contained, according to a news release from MFPD.

The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no one was injured. An estimate on damage caused was not available at this time.

Danielle Tabor

Ladies and gentleman of Mokena, start your engines. Indoor go-karts could be coming to town.
Developers at Autobahn Indoor Speedway want a two-track, 65,000-square-foot racing business up and running inside the Ligo building at 9100 W. 191st St. by June or July.
The plan was first publicly detailed Monday, Jan. 20, during a Village Board work session.

Will O'Brien

Seven thousand Easter eggs may sound like a load too large for even the Easter Bunny to carry, but a local club will soon hide that amount for Mokena children to find.
The Lions Club of Mokena will host its annual Easter egg hunt promptly at noon on Saturday, April 12, at the Mokena Community Park District’s Main Park, 10847 W. La Porte Road. All children ages 2-15 are invited to participate and will be divided into three groups at the hunt based on age.

Will O'Brien

The Mokena teachers’ union expressed “extreme disappointment” with the current progress of contract negotiations during a July 14 meeting of the Mokena Elementary School District 159 Board of Education. 

About 30 members of the Mokena Teachers Association (MTA) filled the spectators’ seats as MTA co-president Cathy Lark spoke for the union in front of the six board members present (member Patrick Markham was absent). The MTA currently has more than 100 members.

Lark said contract negotiations began in early 2014. 

Rebecca Susmarski