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The Mokena Fire Protection District (MFPD) responded to a residential structure fire at about 3:53 a.m. Friday, July 18 in the 1900 block of Anna Street.

Three minutes after notification, fire crews arrived on the scene and determined the fire originated in the basement of the home where the fire was contained, according to a news release from MFPD.

The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no one was injured. An estimate on damage caused was not available at this time.

Danielle Tabor

With three months until the April 7 Consolidated Election, three challengers have emerged to run for a spot on the Mokena Village Board of Trustees.

The challengers include Joseph E. Budzyn, Marietta Kafka Glass and Debbie Fox. Seeking reelection on the board are incumbents Don Labriola, Debbie Engler and Jim Richmond.

Rebecca Susmarski

Seven thousand Easter eggs may sound like a load too large for even the Easter Bunny to carry, but a local club will soon hide that amount for Mokena children to find.
The Lions Club of Mokena will host its annual Easter egg hunt promptly at noon on Saturday, April 12, at the Mokena Community Park District’s Main Park, 10847 W. La Porte Road. All children ages 2-15 are invited to participate and will be divided into three groups at the hunt based on age.

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

Athletics and extracurricular clubs play an important part in school life, but on Thursday, April 2, 181 students at St. Mary Catholic School brought in a piece of their lives outside of school to class. 

The first- through seventh-graders participated in the school’s 13th annual Special Interest Fair, which allows students to bring in items they collect, build or create as a hobby in their free time. The students packed the school’s gym, cafe, atrium and hallway with items ranging from the recreational to the educational. 

Rebecca Susmarski

There might not be quite as much history attached to it as other well-known Mokena landmarks, but soon a recognizable building will pass from our midst.

It’s no St. John’s Church, not as storied as Little’s Al’s and one could even say it’s not much to look at. 

Nevertheless, the old Therafin building at 19747 Wolf Road has a story that should be told. Beneath the weatherworn, gray cladding on the old structure is a tale of bustling post-war Mokena when business was booming along the Rock Island tracks. 

Danny Ciamprone

The Mokena teachers’ union expressed “extreme disappointment” with the current progress of contract negotiations during a July 14 meeting of the Mokena Elementary School District 159 Board of Education. 

About 30 members of the Mokena Teachers Association (MTA) filled the spectators’ seats as MTA co-president Cathy Lark spoke for the union in front of the six board members present (member Patrick Markham was absent). The MTA currently has more than 100 members.

Lark said contract negotiations began in early 2014. 

Rebecca Susmarski

The Mokena Messenger is rolling out another new weekly feature, this one highlighting the handiwork of professional photographer Jean Lachat, who lives and operates a studio in Mokena.

Not long ago, the publication added two columnists: Jay Margalus, the author of Front Street Tech (weekly); and Robin Melvin, writer of Robin’s Nest (monthly). 

Now, we’re adding some exciting visuals to the mix.

Will O'Brien

The annual outdoor flea market for the Mokena Community Park District will take place from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, May 24, at The Oaks east soccer field, 10847 W. La Porte Road, in Mokena.

Guests can enjoy the day selling, buying and swapping everything from fresh produce to new and used crafts, clothing, tools and more. Concessions will also be available.

Danny Ciamprone

Anticipating a larger audience than usual Thursday, May 14, the Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 Board of Education moved its meeting to the Lincoln-Way Central auditorium.

The topic on most peoples’ minds was the persistent rumors over whether the district’s financial woes would cause it to shutter one of its four high schools.

Superintendent Dr. R. Scott Tingley presented information at the meeting to not only the board members but also the public, in hopes of “laying the groundwork” for the discussion.

Danny Ciamprone