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On June 14, the 11 and younger Mokena Blast girls’ softball team made it to the championship game in the Naperville Father’s Day tournament.

The team took second place in the 12 and under bracket – one division up – with a final score of 2-1.

The team includes Kathryn Ponton, Ashlyn Agnich, Ashley Carter, Morgan Dapkus, Laila Summers, Abbie Caskey, Hayley Wlodarski, Megan Smith, Eliza Rex and Madelyn Del Cotto. 

The team is coached by Ed Wlodarski, with assistant coach Mike Dapkus and manager Mike Agnich.

Rebecca Susmarski
Central Command confirms friendly fire

Nearly three months after an operation in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of five U.S. soldiers — including Lincoln-Way East graduate and Mokena resident Pvt. Aaron Toppen — the United States Central Command released documents confirming it was a friendly fire accident.

Danielle Tabor

The members of the Lincoln-Way East varsity poms team displayed their sisterly bond in a Sunday, Dec. 14 competition, and it paid off for them winningly. 

The 3A division poms team, comprised of juniors and seniors, placed third in their division at the Illinois High School Association’s 2014 Bremen Invitational in Midlothian. The Griffins performed the routine that they intend to perform for the IHSA sectionals and, hopefully, state finals. 

Danny Ciamprone

St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mokena recently welcomed its newly elected student council members.

The newly elected members were inducted after the school Mass on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the church. 

The seven student leaders on the executive board for the 2014-2015 year are McKenna Bandyk of Mokena, executive assistant; Sarah Noone of Mokena, treasurer; Alexandria Perns of Mokena, vice president; Maura Murphy of Mokena, president; Emma Canniff of Mokena, secretary; Athan Bastas of Mokena and John Morrison of Mokena, bookstore managers. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Frank Fleischer takes a seat in EggCetera Cafe across from State Senator Michael Hastings (D-19), surrounded by Village officials.

It is early summer 2013, roughly one month after Fleischer is sworn is as mayor of the Village of Mokena.

It is a friendly chat in one of Mokena’s staple restaurants, but it is also one of the first discussions that would lead to Fleischer’s “signature project.”

Flash forward roughly one year later.

Rebecca Susmarski

A sports recreation business with roots in Tinley Park might open a facility in Mokena and obtain the space formerly considered for use by the Autobahn Indoor Speedway.

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

A suspicious circumstance reportedly lead to charges against two individuals after police located a suspect unconscious in a parking lot.

Ryan Testa, 20, of 19721 Glennell Ave., in Mokena, was charged with illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, and Savannah Filkins, 18, of 19404 Cranfield Lane, in Tinley Park, was charged with obstructing justice July 23 at 10129 W. 191st St., in Mokena, after police responded to the report of a suspicious circumstance.

Danny Ciamprone

Toppen 

PFC Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, died June 9 while serving his country in Afghanistan. He is survived by his mother, Pamela (nee Winter) Toppen; two sisters, Amy Toppen and Amanda (Jerry) Gralewski; and niece, Taylor. He was the grandson of Betty Winter; boyfriend of Jacqueline Rozek; nephew of Jack Winter, Barb (Stephen) White and Jeff (Nina) Winter; and a dear cousin, neighbor and friend to many. Services were held at Parkview Christian Church. Interment St. John’s Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by the Vandenberg Funeral Home.

Rebecca Susmarski

Irene Mooney does not think much of her age, but when nearly 100 people came to celebrate her 100th birthday with her, she viewed it as “a miracle.” 

Mooney, a Frankfort resident who turned 100 on Friday, Dec. 19, enjoyed a semi-surprise birthday party Sunday, Dec. 21, at her daughter Patricia Hurley’s home in Tinley Park. Seventy people came to the event, including two singers from the Lincoln-Way North Madrigals, who didn’t even know Mooney until the day of the party. 

Rebecca Susmarski

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