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The Mokena Planning Commission recommended that Live Fire Gun Shop & Club come to Mokena at an Aug. 14 meeting of the commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. 

The eight commission members present — commissioner Mark Seliga was absent — unanimously agreed to recommend that the business receive a special use permit from the Mokena Village Board of Trustees. 

The Village Board will revisit the permit request at its Sept. 15 work session. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Some may see the road Rick Tustin took to his new job at Grace Fellowship Church an act of fate — or even, the hand of God. 

Tustin, a Manhattan resident and father of three, accepted the interim position of lead pastor at the church after former lead pastor John Morlan departed on June 15 to preach in Colorado. Tustin left a tenured position at Hillcrest High School, where he taught for 12 years, to take the job. 

Danny Ciamprone

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

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.

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

Pictured is Berkot’s Super Foods fried chicken. Berkot’s is the place to go for fried chicken in Mokena. On an average graduation weekend in June, the grocery serves upwards of 2,000 pieces of the hometown favorite.

Photo by Jean Lachat/22nd Century Media

Mokena-gram producer Jean Lachat blogs at

Rebecca Susmarski

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

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.

Mike Jansto doesn’t mind the fact his dog outweighs him by more than 30 pounds.

He’s proud of it, and his “bigger the better” attitude paid off Sunday, May 18, when Kaash, Jansto’s 2-year-old, 162-pound Great Dane, was named Largest Pet during the Mokena Community Park District’s Woofstock event at Main Park.

“He’s a big dog, but will probably not get much bigger,” the Homer Glen resident said before elaborating on Kaash’s favorite meal — half a rotisserie chicken mixed with a bowlful of dry dog food.

Will O'Brien