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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

Grace Fellowship Church in Mokena has redefined the meaning of Vacation Bible School with its productions over the years that has featured an inspiring message mixed in with creative costumes, elaborate sets and an abundance of entertainment.

This year’s VBS centralized on a “Chozen” theme based on the popular Disney movie, “Frozen.” The production also helped the Mokena church take the top prize in this year’s Fourth of July parade in Mokena for best float and for judge’s choice.

Danny Ciamprone

Residents of the Prairie Ridge subdivision will have developed park space to enjoy after the Mokena Community Park District was awarded a $400,000 grant to develop the space through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Numerous amenities will be added to the 5.7-acre plot, which is located southwest of the intersection of Wolf Road and Lincoln Highway.

Will O'Brien

To say last year’s inaugural Festa Italiana in Mokena was a success would be an understatement, but those achievements have not deferred organizers from accomplishing more as plans are now in gear for the celebration to return.

“Many people doubted we would have 300 people [attend] and we ended up with about 1,200,” said Dave Molinari, co-organizer of Festa Italiana. “It was a great turnout and we expect even more than that this year.”

Danny Ciamprone

A 42-year-old Mokena man died Saturday, Aug. 9, after falling off his bike and hitting his head on a Will County Forest Preserve trail.

Vaidas Varpucanskis was riding his bike down a hill shortly before 11 a.m. on the Hickory Creek Junction Trail in Frankfort Township when he tried to swerve out of the way to avoid another bicyclist, said Lt. Tracy Chapman of the Will County Forest Preserve Police.

Chapman said the other bicyclist on the trail went to pass a jogger and said, “On your left,” as he went by.

Rebecca Susmarski

Abby Olivieri is a senior at Lincoln-Way East. She is a two-sport athlete on the swimming and water polo teams.

What are you doing sports wise in the summer?

I play with LAW, which is Lincoln-Way Area Water Polo. We practice 3-4 times per week and we [went] to Cincinnati [last] weekend. I think plying in the offseason is just as important as playing in the season, and it helps get you [college] exposure. 

What else do you like about playing club polo in the summer?

Danny Ciamprone

Two slates and a total of six candidates – including three incumbents – are vying for three spots on the Mokena Village Board of Trustees.

The Mokena Messenger interviewed each candidate in advance of the April 7 Consolidated Election.

Candidate questionnaires were conducted by phone and appear in the order the names will appear on the April ballots, which is based on a lottery system in Will County.

 * Denotes incumbent

Name: Deborah Engler*

• Age: 57 

Danny Ciamprone

It has been three years since residents of the Village of Mokena have shopped at an Ace Hardware right in their backyards. 

After originally coming to Mokena in 1987, and after a series of franchisee ownership changes, Ace Hardware closed its doors in 2012 because of economic hardships from the recession. 

But now, a new set of owners have come forward and are proposing an Ace Hardware in the Francis Plaza location.

Danny Ciamprone

A social program that intermingles special needs students with junior high students has encouraged acceptance and kindness more than even the program’s creators anticipated. 

Rachel’s Buddies, which commenced this year at Mokena Junior High School, combines MJHS eighth-graders with a total of seven students from Lincoln-Way Area Special Education District 843. Every week, the 843 “buddies” come to the junior high to play games or sports, make crafts and participate in other activities with their MJHS friends. 

Danny Ciamprone

A 53-year-old Mokena man was charged with DUI June 29 at 11333 Hummingbird Lane, in Mokena, after police responded to reports of a vehicle parked in the driveway for two hours.

Timothy O’Loughlin, of 11333 Hummingbird Lane, in Mokena, was alleged found asleep behind the wheel by police with the vehicle still running. 

The suspect then allegedly refused to take the field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI, police said.

June 28

Danny Ciamprone