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The early morning rain on Wednesday, June 11, stopped just in time for the Mokena Chamber of Commerce to host its annual golf outing at Sanctuary Golf Course in New Lenox. 

 More than 80 golfers divided into about 21 teams of four were expected to participate in the event. The outing ran under a Las Vegas theme this year — that is, “What happens at the Mokena Chamber golf outing stays at the Mokena Chamber golf outing.” 

Rebecca Susmarski

Sept. 23

• Phillip Smith, 29, of 601 E. 87th Place in Chicago, and Jeffrey Mason, 29, of 621 E. 87th Place in Chicago, were each charged with credit card theft, forgery and possession of cannabis at 20002 S. Wolf Road in Mokena after police responded to a reported credit card fraud with a description of two suspects purchasing gift cards with fraudulent credit cards, police said. The cannabis weighed 3.8 grams, police said.

Danny Ciamprone

The Mokena Messenger is rolling out another new weekly feature, this one highlighting the handiwork of professional photographer Jean Lachat, who lives and operates a studio in Mokena.

Not long ago, the publication added two columnists: Jay Margalus, the author of Front Street Tech (weekly); and Robin Melvin, writer of Robin’s Nest (monthly). 

Now, we’re adding some exciting visuals to the mix.

Will O'Brien

What began as one Mokena resident’s response to a tragedy blossomed into a positive effort against poverty in schools. 

Retired teacher Dick Flesher and current teacher Dawn Oler operate a nonprofit called Schools Count Corp. out of their Mokena home. The organization provides a variety of items and services for schools in need throughout the Chicago area and even out-of-state. 

Danny Ciamprone

Representatives on behalf of the Meijer store due to open in Mokena this summer gave $25,000 to the Mokena Elementary School District 159 Board of Education during a June 18 board meeting. 

Jags Brar, director of the Mokena Meijer, and Lisa Milla, Brar’s partner, presented the check to board president Danielle Didrickson in front of superintendent Omar Castillo and four other members of the board. (Members Joseph Spalla and Patrick Markham were absent.) 

Rebecca Susmarski

Although Mokena resident Kathleen Fitzgerald Bowlds could be called a devoted teacher — a heroine, even — she humbly prefers not to broadcast her efforts. 

Yet Bowlds’s colleagues touted her superior work for her on Friday, May 2, when they surprised her with the Most Distinguished Teacher for 2013-2014 award at a ceremony in Gaelic Park. Bowlds educates children ranging in age from 14-21 with physical impairments and also works with children with other special needs via after-school activities. 

July 28

• Jacob Kittl, 22, of Oak Lawn, was arrested at 11:30 p.m. and charged with DUI alcohol, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, improper lane usage and driving without headlights after police spotted him drifting to the right with no lights on in the 19600 block of La Grange Road in Mokena. His court date is Sept. 2 in Joliet.

July 26

Rebecca Susmarski

Two men stole about 100 cellphones and $500 during an armed robbery Friday, Oct. 10, at the T-Mobile store in Mokena, according to police reports.

At about 8:45 p.m., police were dispatched to the store at 11316 W. Lincoln Highway, in which witnesses stated the two men entered the store. 

The first suspect entered and said he needed help with his phone as he approached the counter, according to reports. As he did so, a second suspect entered the store and stood off to the side.

Danny Ciamprone

Playing bluegrass music isn’t just a hobby for Mokena resident Patrick Otto — it’s a lifestyle. 

Otto, who teaches at Down Home Guitars in Frankfort, recently brought his passion to the Frankfort Bluegrass Festival the weekend of July 12-13, where he played onstage with Eric Lambert & Friends. Otto has played bluegrass for more than two decades, and throughout the year he plays festivals around the Midwest with a variety of performers. 

Rebecca Susmarski

The Lincoln-Way East girls track and field team is truly that: a team. Now, the Griffins are also something else — back-to-back Illinois High School Association Class 3A state champions.

Behind a number of record-breaking performances, East placed in the Top 8 in seven different events and cruised to a 72-point, championship-winning total Saturday, May 24, at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

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