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Wide open – 50,000 square feet to be exact – of what will soon be filled with athletes, an array of sports courts and fans all within the friendly confines of what may very well be the first of several indoor recreation facilities for a couple’s vision that knows no bounds.

Rebecca Susmarski

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

A 29-year-old Mokena man and former educator at Herscher Community Unit School District 2 who allegedly abused six students in December at a Yorkville hotel is facing numerous charges.

Danny Ciamprone

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

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

A proposal for a new gun range in the Village of Mokena was well received by the Mokena Village Board of Trustees Oct. 19 during a regular work session meeting.

Thomas Willingham, founder and CEO of Point Blank Range & Gun Shop, is seeking a special use permit for a gun range that would potentially be located at 18810 S. 88th Ave., in Mokena, which was the original site of Live Fire Gun Shop and Club that was approved last year in September by the Mokena Village Board of Trustees.

Danny Ciamprone

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. 

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

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