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When it comes to the Fourth of July parade, Mokena officials have it down pat.

“We have the parade organization down to a science, which is why it runs so smoothly,” said Cindy Gamboa, a Mokena Chamber of Commerce member who grew up in the village and has coordinated the event for the last 18 years. “We have a dedicated crew of volunteers, generous corporate sponsors and there is excellent coordination among Village officials and departments that helps pull it all together.”

Rebecca Susmarski

Mokena resident David Kropp has something in common with his vibrant yellow home on Third Street: both have witnessed tumultuous periods in American history, as well as the growth of Mokena. 

Kropp grew up in the house during the Great Depression and returned in 2007, after spending decades away from Mokena. During that time, Kropp served in the military, owned a successful landscape architectural business and traveled all over the world. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Journalists, analysts and pundits across the U.S. have consistently referred to Illinois as one of the worst-run states in America, and Mokena residents are paying for it. The value of homes in Mokena is depressed because more people are leaving the state than coming in, especially at higher incomes. The great emigration is driving the supply of homes up in Mokena and the demand for homes down. Corporations are also fleeing as Illinois now has the fourth highest corporate tax rate in the country, taking their well-paying jobs with them.

Danny Ciamprone

July 14

• Sergio Juarez, 37, of Orland Park, was arrested and charged with DUI alcohol, having no valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and improper lane usage after police saw the suspect drifting in the lane at 12:22 a.m. in the 19600 block of La Grange Road in Mokena. His court date is Aug. 13 in Joliet.

Rebecca Susmarski

The Food & Wine Fest has been a tradition in the Village of Mokena for the past 10 years, and while some changes will be made for this year’s event, the outlook for good times appear undaunted.

Dennis Buxbaum, president of the Mokena Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Food & Wine Fest, said one of the changes this year will be the timing of certain events within the festival.

Danny Ciamprone

Dean Anna has played baseball for a lot of teams in his life. 

He’s played for his high school at Lincoln-Way East. He’s played for John A. Logan College and Ball State University. He even played for the Tucson Padres, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

And now, the 27-year-old Mokena native can add another stop to that list — the New York Yankees.

A 27-year-old man was arrested around 2:25 a.m. on Sunday, April 20, on numerous charges, including DUI and possession of marijuana, after police recorded him driving 98 mph on LaGrange Road.

Mamduh Hashem Beituni, of the 7200 block of West 108th Street, Worth, was also arrested on charges of reckless driving, speeding more than 40 mph over the posted limit, illegal transportation of alcohol, failure to stop and improper lane usage.

Will O'Brien

Welcome back.

It’s the middle of the day and you have a hankering for a corned beef or pastrami sandwich on marble rye and you’re in beautiful Mokena, Illinois. Driving to downtown Chicago for your deli fix isn’t an option. What to do, what to do?

If you’re in Mokena or the Lincoln-Way area, then the answer is quite simple. Drop in at D’Marie’s Deli,  19031 Old LaGrange Road (right next to Stoney Point Grill) and place your order with owners Gil and Christina Rimsnider.

The inspiration came to Bridget Shafer, very aptly, on the Fourth of July. 

The Mokena resident had stepped out for a run that day when she thought of Pvt. Aaron Toppen, a 19-year-old Mokena resident who died in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan this past June. The young patriot inspired her to create the inaugural “Our Fallen Hero” 5K run/walk, which will take place at 8 a.m. on Sept. 27 at Willowview Park in Mokena. 

Rebecca Susmarski

The Mokena Blaze 12U baseball team took first place in the Midwest Region Slamfest held April 26-27 in Portage, Ind.

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