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Since last summer, Mokena has mourned the loss of its hometown hero, Pvt. Aaron Toppen, but with a plethora of community support, fundraisers and special events, his spirit will remain strong in a community that still wears blue with pride, and admires the yellow ribbons tied along Townline Road, later named Aaron Toppen Memorial Drive, in his honor.

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

Six individuals filed to run for four positions on the Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 Board of Education in the upcoming municipal elections — two of which are current board members. 

Board members James Gast and Stephen White opted not to run for another term, while members Christine Glatz and Kevin Molloy are to campaign to hold onto their seats on April 7. Mokena resident Joseph Spalla, and Frankfort residents Ronald Lullo, Chris McFadden, and Steve Kapsalis are to run, as well. 

Danny Ciamprone

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

A Mokena man was allegedly charged with domestic battery resulting from two incidents in three days.

Justin Rafacz, 33, of 11208 First St., in Mokena, was charged first from an incident stemming from a June 2 incident at 11208 First St., in Mokena, after police responded to a domestic disturbance in progress.

After further investigation, the victim informed police that her tooth was broken after a fight broke out.

Danny Ciamprone

Factors surrounding an inevitable school closure were at the forefront of discussion at a special meeting of the Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 Board of Education Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Lincoln-Way East Fine Arts Center.

The meeting focused primarily on clarifying facts surrounding the forthcoming school closure and discussing the factors the district is considering.

Meredith Dobes

A 30-year-old Manhattan man who allegedly had sexual relations with a 16-year-old Mokena girl was apprehended by Mokena police Aug. 14 and transported to Will County Jail.

Ryan C. Benck, of 24644 Route 52, in Manhattan, was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a child at his residence after the teen’s parents notified the Mokena Police Department, said Mokena police chief Steven Vaccaro.

Vaccaro said the suspect allegedly met the girl through an “app.” 

Danny Ciamprone

It would have felt like something was missing if a Lincoln-Way school was not represented May 16 during the Illinois High School Association’s boys gymnastics state finals, held at Hinsdale Central.

Lincoln-Way East senior Tyler Greenberg took care of that.

Greenberg competed on parallel bars and still rings, and he advanced to the evening’s championships on still rings with the state’s fourth-best score of 9.05. He was 48th on parallel bars with a 7.55.

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

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