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Last summer, the Mokena Educational Foundation started a brainstorming session that now has not only lead to big things for the organization, but Mokena School District 159 as well.

“We kept asking ourselves, ‘How can we do more with the money that we have?’” asked Christy Mullin, president of the MEF, Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Mokena School District 159 Board of Education meeting. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Two slates and a total of six candidates – including three incumbents – are vying for three spots on the Mokena Village Board of Trustees.

The Mokena Messenger interviewed each candidate in advance of the April 7 Consolidated Election.

Candidate questionnaires were conducted by phone and appear in the order the names will appear on the April ballots, which is based on a lottery system in Will County.

 * Denotes incumbent

Name: Deborah Engler*

• Age: 57 

Danny Ciamprone

Feb. 2

• Kaitlin Hallahan, 20, of 19534 S. 115th Ave. in Mokena, was charged with domestic battery, illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor and criminal damage to property at 19534 S. 115th Ave. after a physical dispute with family members.

Feb. 1

Rebecca Susmarski

Oct. 21

• Steven Higgins, 55, of 19403 S. Wolf Road in Orland Park, was charged with driving on a suspended/revoked driver’s license and speeding at Wolf Road and Boyer Court in Mokena after police reported the driver to be traveling at a high rate of speed.

Danny Ciamprone

Aidan Byrne, Mokena Elementary first-grader 

Byrne was chosen as this week’s Standout Student for his academic excellence.

What is one essential you must have when studying and why?

I like it quiet when I am studying because I get easily distracted.

What do you like to do when not in school or studying?

I like to play sports like soccer, baseball and football. I also like to play on my iPad or video games.

Rebecca Susmarski

The newly opened Velocity All Sports has come a long way in just a few months since Village approval – going from 50,000 empty square feet to now housing hundreds of athletes on any given night with state of the art equipment.

“It’s been fantastic,” said co-owner Cindy See of the Mokena sports complex. “We’re getting booked heavily, club coaches and owners are coming in and booking a lot of the space.”

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

Will O'Brien

March 16

• Aaron Riha, 20, of 11434 Wexford Drive in Mokena, was charged with improper lane usage, driving without lights and possession of a controlled substance at 104th Avenue and Marley Lane in Mokena after police observed the driver operating the vehicle without headlights. Upon further investigation, police discovered an assortment of pills weighing 4.7 grams.

Danny Ciamprone
A pair of racers enjoy the Autobahn Indoor Speedway facility in Maryland.

Ladies and gentleman of Mokena, start your engines. Indoor go-karts could be coming to town.
Developers at Autobahn Indoor Speedway want a two-track, 65,000-square-foot racing business up and running inside the Ligo building at 9100 W. 191st St. by June or July.
The plan was first publicly detailed Monday, Jan. 20, during a Village Board work session.

Will O'Brien

March 25: Corey Thompson, 21, of 1519 S. Ottawa St. in Joliet, was charged with having a suspended/revoked driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and disobeying a traffic control device in the 9600 block of  West 191st Street in Mokena, after police observed the driver make an illegal left turn where a “no left turn” signal was posted.

March 22

Danny Ciamprone