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To the southeast of Rome lies the town of Amaseno – a small farming community in Italy with a population of about 4,000.

It’s also a place where three women can trace their roots from, and what serves as the focal point for a passion that has developed through generations of families.

“We grew up together in the same town and have known each other since we were little kids,” said Anna Panici as she helped get dinner ready Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Scrementi’s Italian Grill in Mokena.

Danny Ciamprone

A 29-year-old Mokena man and former educator at Herscher Community Unit School District 2 who allegedly abused six students in December at a Yorkville hotel is facing numerous charges.

Danny Ciamprone

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

Cassidy DeGraff is a junior at Lincoln-Way North. The Tinley Park resident and girls water polo player led her team in goals this season.

Lincoln-Way West upset the Phoenix 10-9 in the quarterfinals of the sectional last week. What happened in that game?

Honestly, West stepped up and we underestimated them. They set up something different with Bridget Soukup shooting from the outside, and we just kept fouling her.

Danny Ciamprone

A Frankfort man was charged with possession of a controlled substance after police observed the suspect ducking in-and-out between vehicles in Mokena.

Aaron Fister, 20, of 10650 Williamsburg Trail, in Frankfort, was apprehended April 1 at 19546 S. 116th Ave. in Mokena. After police investigated the scene, the suspect said he was waiting “for friends to get home.” Police then conducted a pat down when a bottle of pills without a label was discovered.

Police said the suspect indicated he did not have a prescription with him.

Rebecca Susmarski

On the surface, “Made in Mokena” may appear like an ordinary cookbook with recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts, but the substance of the newly released hard cover is made up of the like-minded will of residents and a community looking to support an educational cause.

Danny Ciamprone

With Frisbees floating lazily around Mokena’s Main Park Friday, July 4, the 60-member, red-shirted Encore Concert Band tuned its instruments.

“This is the part of our Fourth of July celebration that I have come to like best,” said Bea Johannsen, a Mokena resident, as she set down her wooden picnic basket and spread a checkered, red-and-white blanket on the grass. “When my kids were young, the parade was always the highlight. But now that I’m up in age, I like things a little more relaxed, like this concert.”

Rebecca Susmarski

A Bourbonnais woman was charged with retail theft April 6 after attempting to steal five packages of ribs and fleeing from a Mokena store.

Amber Zummallen, 26, of 1325 N. Arthur Burch, in Bourbonnais, was later located by police hiding under a semi-trailer at 11305 W. Lincoln Highway in Mokena. The suspect allegedly tried to steal several packages of ribs, and after being apprehended by police, stated she had stole 10 packages of bacon approximately one week prior from the same location.

April 6

Danny Ciamprone

It plays in one of the toughest conferences in the state, and it typically deals with a loaded Class 7A playoff field. But year after year, the Lincoln-Way East football team finds a way to contend for a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue title and make the playoffs.

In fact, in school history the Griffins have never failed to advance to the postseason. It has a state title (2005) to its name and a runner-up trophy (2012).

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

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