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The members of the Lincoln-Way East varsity poms team displayed their sisterly bond in a Sunday, Dec. 14 competition, and it paid off for them winningly. 

The 3A division poms team, comprised of juniors and seniors, placed third in their division at the Illinois High School Association’s 2014 Bremen Invitational in Midlothian. The Griffins performed the routine that they intend to perform for the IHSA sectionals and, hopefully, state finals. 

Danny Ciamprone

A sports recreation business with roots in Tinley Park might open a facility in Mokena and obtain the space formerly considered for use by the Autobahn Indoor Speedway.

Rebecca Susmarski

There has been an “Xplosion” of talent in the Lincoln-Way area when it comes to youth talent on the court.

The Xplosion, a nonprofit youth basketball organization, is now entering its 10th winter season with both boys and girls teams throughout the Lincoln-Way area.

It all started with a simple idea by a trio of parents  – Bill Hayes, Frank Toland and Jay Layman – to start a Lincoln-Way District 210 feeder program.

Danny Ciamprone
Central Command confirms friendly fire

Nearly three months after an operation in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of five U.S. soldiers — including Lincoln-Way East graduate and Mokena resident Pvt. Aaron Toppen — the United States Central Command released documents confirming it was a friendly fire accident.

Danielle Tabor

St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mokena recently welcomed its newly elected student council members.

The newly elected members were inducted after the school Mass on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the church. 

The seven student leaders on the executive board for the 2014-2015 year are McKenna Bandyk of Mokena, executive assistant; Sarah Noone of Mokena, treasurer; Alexandria Perns of Mokena, vice president; Maura Murphy of Mokena, president; Emma Canniff of Mokena, secretary; Athan Bastas of Mokena and John Morrison of Mokena, bookstore managers. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Laura Quinlan’s dreams are about to become reality.

The New Lenox mother of four’s Simply Rose Boutique, located off 191st Street in Mokena, will host a grand opening on May 3-4, marking the culmination of a half-year’s worth of work Quinlan hopes will result in a sophisticated shopping experience customers of all ages will find worthy of revisiting time and time again.

“I am so excited,” a beaming Quinlan said during a recent interview. “This is a dream come true for me; a bucket list item, you know. 

Frank Fleischer takes a seat in EggCetera Cafe across from State Senator Michael Hastings (D-19), surrounded by Village officials.

It is early summer 2013, roughly one month after Fleischer is sworn is as mayor of the Village of Mokena.

It is a friendly chat in one of Mokena’s staple restaurants, but it is also one of the first discussions that would lead to Fleischer’s “signature project.”

Flash forward roughly one year later.

Rebecca Susmarski

Plans to build a Panda Express near the intersection of Wolf Road and Lincoln Highway are headed back to the drawing board after Village trustees strongly objected to blueprints of the project presented by an architecture firm on Monday, April 21, during a work session at Village Hall.

“I think it would be a disservice to the residents and businesses in the area to put in a business like that,” Trustee George Metanias said. “It needs to match what’s around, which is nothing like this. I cannot and will not support a plan like this.”

Will O'Brien

Toppen 

PFC Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, died June 9 while serving his country in Afghanistan. He is survived by his mother, Pamela (nee Winter) Toppen; two sisters, Amy Toppen and Amanda (Jerry) Gralewski; and niece, Taylor. He was the grandson of Betty Winter; boyfriend of Jacqueline Rozek; nephew of Jack Winter, Barb (Stephen) White and Jeff (Nina) Winter; and a dear cousin, neighbor and friend to many. Services were held at Parkview Christian Church. Interment St. John’s Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by the Vandenberg Funeral Home.

Rebecca Susmarski

Irene Mooney does not think much of her age, but when nearly 100 people came to celebrate her 100th birthday with her, she viewed it as “a miracle.” 

Mooney, a Frankfort resident who turned 100 on Friday, Dec. 19, enjoyed a semi-surprise birthday party Sunday, Dec. 21, at her daughter Patricia Hurley’s home in Tinley Park. Seventy people came to the event, including two singers from the Lincoln-Way North Madrigals, who didn’t even know Mooney until the day of the party. 

Rebecca Susmarski

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