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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

Since finishing high school, a group of Mokena and Frankfort natives have gone on to excel at Olivet Nazarene University both on and off the softball diamond.

Cheryl Sendzik, Caitlin Santefort, Hannah Gardner and Megan Butler all made big contributions to the Tigers’ 49-5-1 season, conference championship and NAIA World Series appearance, said longtime Olivet Coach Ritchie Richardson.

“The year itself has been fantastic, and these girls are a big reason why,” he said. 

Rebecca Susmarski

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

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

Since last summer, Mokena has mourned the loss of its hometown hero, Pvt. Aaron Toppen, but with a plethora of community support, fundraisers and special events, his spirit will remain strong in a community that still wears blue with pride, and admires the yellow ribbons tied along Townline Road, later named Aaron Toppen Memorial Drive, in his honor.

Danny Ciamprone

The Mokena Messenger sat down in an exclusive interview April 26 with Superintendent R. Scott Tingley and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Tim Reilly to talk about the district’s past, present and future in regards to finances, the closure of Lincoln-Way North and the transition process, and the district's transparency and reputation.

The following is a Q&A transcript of the interview.

At what stage is the transition process?

Amanda Jarzynski

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. 

It is difficult to stay positive in the face of overwhelming adversity. After a while, most people feel like calling it quits and giving up the big fight. For Mokena resident, Jim Giglio, there is no such thing as giving up when it comes to his three-year fight against Stage 4 lung cancer and brain tumors. He said he finds his strength through being a father to his two sons, Chris and Kyle.
Amanda Jarzynski

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