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Journalists, analysts and pundits across the U.S. have consistently referred to Illinois as one of the worst-run states in America, and Mokena residents are paying for it. The value of homes in Mokena is depressed because more people are leaving the state than coming in, especially at higher incomes. The great emigration is driving the supply of homes up in Mokena and the demand for homes down. Corporations are also fleeing as Illinois now has the fourth highest corporate tax rate in the country, taking their well-paying jobs with them.

Danny Ciamprone

Lincoln-Way East Athletic Boosters will host its annual Breakfast with Santa from 7-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6.

Children will be able to visit Santa and have their pictures taken. Jean Lachat Photography will be on-hand for photos. Tickets will be $5 per person with 3 years old and under free with a paid adult.

Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, milk, juice or coffee.

Danny Ciamprone

Mokena resident David Kropp has something in common with his vibrant yellow home on Third Street: both have witnessed tumultuous periods in American history, as well as the growth of Mokena. 

Kropp grew up in the house during the Great Depression and returned in 2007, after spending decades away from Mokena. During that time, Kropp served in the military, owned a successful landscape architectural business and traveled all over the world. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Volleyball and basketball enthusiasts can rejoice as the Mokena Village Board unanimously approved an indoor sports facility addition at Velocity All Sports during its regular board meeting Monday, Aug. 25.

The special use permit request from Velocity All Sports, located at 9120 W. 191st St., allows the business to operate a 50,000 square foot indoor volleyball and basketball facility on the property.

Danny Ciamprone

July 14

• Sergio Juarez, 37, of Orland Park, was arrested and charged with DUI alcohol, having no valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and improper lane usage after police saw the suspect drifting in the lane at 12:22 a.m. in the 19600 block of La Grange Road in Mokena. His court date is Aug. 13 in Joliet.

Rebecca Susmarski

Nov. 5

• Kenneth Land, 48, of 243 Indian Mound Drive in New Lenox, was charged with DUI, carrying a suspended/revoked driver’s license and improper lane usage in the 11200 block of West Lincoln Highway in Mokena after police reported the driver crossed the concrete shoulder of the roadway with both passenger tires on several instances.

Danny Ciamprone

The inspiration came to Bridget Shafer, very aptly, on the Fourth of July. 

The Mokena resident had stepped out for a run that day when she thought of Pvt. Aaron Toppen, a 19-year-old Mokena resident who died in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan this past June. The young patriot inspired her to create the inaugural “Our Fallen Hero” 5K run/walk, which will take place at 8 a.m. on Sept. 27 at Willowview Park in Mokena. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Dean Anna has played baseball for a lot of teams in his life. 

He’s played for his high school at Lincoln-Way East. He’s played for John A. Logan College and Ball State University. He even played for the Tucson Padres, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

And now, the 27-year-old Mokena native can add another stop to that list — the New York Yankees.

The Mokena Blaze 12U baseball team took first place in the Midwest Region Slamfest held April 26-27 in Portage, Ind.

After months of discussion, research, public forums and spreading the word about the need for upgrades at two Mokena Community Park District facilities, park commissioners have approved a resolution to place a $6 million property tax neutral bond issue on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

One of those facilities is The Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center, which needs to be expanded to accommodate growing demand, and the other concerns improvements to Yunker Farm Park. 

Rebecca Susmarski