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“More happiness.”

That was the term that Lincoln-Way North girls’ volleyball senior middle hitter Valen Manns used last week.

She had good reason too, as she helped lead the Phoenix to the championship of the summer league playoffs on Thursday, July 31, at Palos Courts in Palos Heights.  

Rebecca Susmarski

Numerous residents have been inquiring about the Mokena Meijer project’s progression, Assistant Village Administrator Kirk Zoellner said, so on Monday, Jan. 13, he provided an update.
“There’s a lot going on inside,” Zoellner said, explaining that after work on the facility’s frame wrapped in fall, laboring moved indoors, where the installation of plumbing, electric and ventilation systems continues. “Questions pop up from time to time because people see the site over there, and sometimes you don’t see much work from the outside.”

Will O'Brien

It’s been a special season for the Lincoln-Way East boys tennis team. The Griffins hope it’s a special postseason, as well.

East wrapped up the regular season portion of the season last week by traveling to Sandburg Thursday, May 8, and coming away with a 6-1 victory to close out an undefeated SouthWest Suburban Conference season.

With their 21st consecutive dual meet win, the Griffins went undefeated in SWSC play for the second straight season. Along the way, they won 53 of 56 conference matches.

A sea of blue packed the meeting room for the Mokena Village Board of Trustees meeting on July 14 as family, friends and supporters received a resolution designating the honorary name of “Aaron Toppen Memorial Drive” for Townline Road between 187th Street and Francis Road in Mokena.

“Through this tragedy and difficult time, we’re really, really blessed with the wonderful circle of support,” said his mom Pam Toppen who, along with several family members and supporters, wore blue T-shirts to commemorate Aaron.

Rebecca Susmarski

Hola, bonjour, hallo and hello: greetings in the four languages that a group of Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 students have mastered. 

Speaking four divergent languages and hailing from the district’s four schools, 80 students became the first recipients in Illinois history to qualify for the new state-recognized Seal of Biliteracy during a ceremony Wednesday, April 10, at Lincoln-Way Central. 

Bucky and Mojo

Myrna Wiese

Mother of Mokena resident

Dear Editor,

I was recently visiting my daughter, Christine Kreke, in Mokena and read your “plea” for pictures for Pet of the Week.  Her dogs, Bucky and Mojo, most certainly qualify as outstanding entries. Both dogs were rescued by Chrissy and her late husband, Shane. Although spoiled rotten, they are her companions and children.

Thanks for considering my grandpuppies for your feature.

Will O'Brien

When the conditions are just right, one can see layers of mist roll across the fields of Yunker Farm on LaPorte Road. The traditional gabled farmhouse and the big red barn atop its craggy foundation emerge from the dew to greet one like an old friend. 

What was once but one of many farmsteads dotting the landscape, Yunker Farm is now the last within our village. It is such an everyday part of our local fabric, that it’s easy to overlook the farm’s heritage, one that is so tightly connected with our community.

March 23
• At 1 a.m. in the 19500 block of Midland Avenue, Carlie R. Foreman, 25, of the same address, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug equipment. She was transported to the Will County Adult Detention Facility.

March 22
• At 12:11 a.m. in the 11600 block of Seminole Court, Lauren Dolores Bayci, 33, of the 300 block of Sunset Trail, New Lenox, was arrested on a charge of theft. She was released pending a May 12 local court date.

Will O'Brien

Growing and selling medical marijuana in Mokena won’t be easy.

The Village Board made sure of that Monday, April 28, when during a regular meeting it approved zoning ordinance revisions designed to ensure those looking to operate a cultivation or distribution facility here would undergo multiple rounds of review before getting permission to open.

Under the revisions, operating a medical marijuana business would require a special use permit.

Will O'Brien

Nikole Van Gennep is a junior at Lincoln-Way East and a pitcher on the Griffins softball team. She went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI last week to help East defeat Oak Forest 14-3.

The team had some wild scoring swings last week, driving in 14 runs, a run and 12 runs in the first three games of the week. What do the Griffins have to do to stay consistent?

I think we just have to find the groove. When we are all hitting and doing our part, it works a lot better.