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What began as a service requirement for one high schooler has resulted in an annual lesson in giving for multiple children. 

The annual caroling and gift-giving event took place on Dec. 20 at the Catholic Charities Daybreak Center in Joliet. John Narcissi, a Mokena resident and graduate of St. Mary’s, originally started the event three years ago as a service project and provided a free acoustic guitar concert at the event this year. 

Rebecca Susmarski

A Mokena firefighter was hospitalized and later released Monday, June 2, after responding to a residential fire in the 10000 block of Cambridge Drive in Mokena, said Mokena Fire Protection District Chief Howard Stephens. 

The firefighter, taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, “is doing OK at this point,” Stephens said. 

Around 5:52 p.m. the fire districts of Mokena and Frankfort were dispatched and upon arriving found a kitchen fire inside one unit of a four-unit townhouse complex, Stephens said. 

Will O'Brien

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

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

Mokena resident Pvt Aaron Toppen was tragically killed in the line of duty.  Arriving back to the United States the week of June 9, 2014,  local florist and owner of An English Garden on Front St.,  Kim McAuliffe decided to support the Toppen family by inundating the community with free yellow ribbon for residents trees.

Advertising only on Facebook, McAuliffe blew through over 5,000 yards of yellow ribbons simply by word of mouth in two days between June 12 and 14.

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. 

Aug. 4

• Kelly Conway, 34, of Frankfort, was arrested at 3:14 p.m. and charged with resisting/obstructing a peace officer, and having an in-state warrant. Shawn Roe, 35, of Frankfort, was arrested and charged with having a suspended/revoked license, resisting a peace officer and having an in-state warrant after police observed Roe driving on a suspended license with Conway as the passenger in the 19600 block of Wolf Road. 

Aug. 1

Rebecca Susmarski

Plans to develop a pair of subdivisions in Mokena are moving ahead.
A development known as Ginger Creek, featuring 38 upscale lots on 38 acres along the 19300 block of Townline Road, could soon get final approval from the Village Board, said Alan Zordan, Mokena’s director of economic and community development.
Ginger Creek is being developed by Huguelet Homes, a firm with a longstanding presence in the local area and track record of successful developments. Huguelet Homes representatives have stated they’d like to break ground by spring, Zordan
said.

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

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

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