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Bridie Doyle, Mokena Elementary School first-grader

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

One thing I must have when studying is peace and quiet because I can’t focus if it’s loud.  

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

I like to ride horses at Fitzjoy Farm.

What is your dream job and why?

Will O'Brien

The Mokena Village Board of Trustees approved a host of business and infrastructure-related development items during its March 24 meeting.
The board first gave final approval to an indoor go-kart facility and indoor motor vehicles sales center. A special use permit was granted to Autobahn Indoor Speedway, whose team is aiming to have a 65,000-square-foot, two-track indoor raceway operating at 9120 W. 191st St. by summer.

Will O'Brien

It’s been a special season for the Lincoln-Way East boys tennis team. The Griffins hope it’s a special postseason, as well.

East wrapped up the regular season portion of the season last week by traveling to Sandburg Thursday, May 8, and coming away with a 6-1 victory to close out an undefeated SouthWest Suburban Conference season.

With their 21st consecutive dual meet win, the Griffins went undefeated in SWSC play for the second straight season. Along the way, they won 53 of 56 conference matches.

The Summit Hill School District 161 Board of Education unanimously named Michael Ruffalo as the new principal of Dr. Julian Rogus School on Wednesday, April 30, during a special meeting. 

Ruffalo currently serves as principal of Hilda Walker Intermediate School, and he will replace Kathryn Klein as principal at Rogus for the 2014-2015 school year. In early April, the  board approved Klein as the district’s director of curriculum for the forthcoming school year. 

Will O'Brien

Growing and selling medical marijuana in Mokena won’t be easy.

The Village Board made sure of that Monday, April 28, when during a regular meeting it approved zoning ordinance revisions designed to ensure those looking to operate a cultivation or distribution facility here would undergo multiple rounds of review before getting permission to open.

Under the revisions, operating a medical marijuana business would require a special use permit.

Will O'Brien

When the conditions are just right, one can see layers of mist roll across the fields of Yunker Farm on LaPorte Road. The traditional gabled farmhouse and the big red barn atop its craggy foundation emerge from the dew to greet one like an old friend. 

What was once but one of many farmsteads dotting the landscape, Yunker Farm is now the last within our village. It is such an everyday part of our local fabric, that it’s easy to overlook the farm’s heritage, one that is so tightly connected with our community.

Mike Jansto doesn’t mind the fact his dog outweighs him by more than 30 pounds.

He’s proud of it, and his “bigger the better” attitude paid off Sunday, May 18, when Kaash, Jansto’s 2-year-old, 162-pound Great Dane, was named Largest Pet during the Mokena Community Park District’s Woofstock event at Main Park.

“He’s a big dog, but will probably not get much bigger,” the Homer Glen resident said before elaborating on Kaash’s favorite meal — half a rotisserie chicken mixed with a bowlful of dry dog food.

Will O'Brien

Nikole Van Gennep is a junior at Lincoln-Way East and a pitcher on the Griffins softball team. She went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI last week to help East defeat Oak Forest 14-3.

The team had some wild scoring swings last week, driving in 14 runs, a run and 12 runs in the first three games of the week. What do the Griffins have to do to stay consistent?

I think we just have to find the groove. When we are all hitting and doing our part, it works a lot better.

The Mokena Blaze 13U baseball team won its first tournament of 2014 the weekend of April 12-13 at the Nations Select Championship in Joliet.

The team went undefeated in pool play, earning a No. 1 seed and proceeding to sweep the competition in the single-elimination bracket to claim the championship title with a 5-0 record.

Hola, bonjour, hallo and hello: greetings in the four languages that a group of Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 students have mastered. 

Speaking four divergent languages and hailing from the district’s four schools, 80 students became the first recipients in Illinois history to qualify for the new state-recognized Seal of Biliteracy during a ceremony Wednesday, April 10, at Lincoln-Way Central. 

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