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Coming off its first regional title in seven years, the Lincoln-Way East girls volleyball team is looking to have another outstanding season. 

And if the Hackett sisters have their way, the Griffins will surely get it.

Senior setter/right side hitter Kailey Hackett (14 service points, 6 aces, 10 assists) and her younger sister, sophomore outside hitter Molly Hackett (5 kills, 2 aces), shined Thursday, Aug. 27, as East cruised to a 25-17, 25-13 victory over Charleston in the season opener for both teams in Frankfort.

Danny Ciamprone

High above ground level at Lincoln-Way East High School now hangs a blue “V” that will illuminate after a “victory,” whether it be a sports achievement, club accomplishment or another triumph.

“If you’re driving by, you can see the light and understand that something positive happened at the school,” East class president Jimmy Finn said. “You can look forward to it if you’re on a team to lighting it after a victory, and I think it’s a tradition that will be started here and continued for a long time.”

Danny Ciamprone

More than 20 Lincoln-Way science teachers attended a training program recently to master the online science simulations offered through Explore Learning Gizmos.  

Teachers will be able to use the technology in their instruction this year after being awarded the Gizmos Science Grant last month. Explore Learning Gizmos is the world’s largest library of online simulations for science and math for third- through twelfth-grade classrooms, according to a news release from District 210.

Danny Ciamprone

All the Lincoln-Way East baseball team needed was a spark.

That is what the Griffins got last week when Andrew Garcia started a double play to end the fifth inning April 29 against Sandburg in Orland Park. It was the catalyst for East as it rallied for three runs in the final two innings to beat the Eagles 4-3 in a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue tussle.

Danny Ciamprone

Homes recently sold in Mokena:

June 3

• 19518 116th Ave., B, Mokena, 60448-1827 - Federal Home Loan Mtg Corp to David G Richardson, $82,000

May 30

• 10313 Austen Court, Mokena, 60448-7953 - Scott Redding to Steven J. Vaccaro, Emily A. Vaccaro, $334,000

• 10824 Bryant Road, Mokena, 60448-1109 - James Gamble to Edward K. Goewey, Heather Goewey,$225,000

Rebecca Susmarski

The fifth- and sixth-grade Sparks girls basketball team recently won its division in the Mokena Community Park District’s recreational league

The Sparks went 7-5 during the regular season, good enough for third place. During the playoffs, though, they pushed past bronze all the way to the championship title, beating the Fever (second place in regular season) 27-17 before downing the Sky (first place in regular season)

The team is coached by Becky Rogers and Ken Alvers.

Zoey rests by owner Kim McAuliffe’s feet at An English Garden Flowers and Gifts on Front Street in Mokena. Photo by Jean Lachat/22nd Century Media

Jean Lachat is a Mokena photographer. Her blog can be found at

Rebecca Susmarski

Mokena resident Evelyn May is a big fan of her hometown library.
On the afternoon of March 29, May gathered three of her best friends — one her sister — to come out to the Mokena Community Public Library and enjoy an hour of country music.
Bowling buddies for many years, May and her lady friends were even prepared to get up and dance.
The cause of their delight?
Retired music teacher John “JT” Trimmel, whose motto is “A smile on every face.”

Will O'Brien

As a fun way to get excited about the start of a new school year, 22nd Century Media will hold its first Back on the Bus - A Back-to-School Expo Saturday, Aug. 23.

The expo, which is scheduled for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Village of Orland Park Sportsplex, will feature more than 50 vendor booths, a full lineup of entertainment, food vendors and more at the free admission event.

“This event will have something the whole family can enjoy together,” said Heather Warthen, 22nd Century Media chief events officer. 

Rebecca Susmarski

There was a day when every band member graduating from a Lincoln-Way area junior high school ended up as one high school band.

Many of the top musicians from these six feeder schools – Hickory Creek, Liberty, Manhattan, Martino, Mokena and Summit Hill – got a taste of what that might have been like when they met recently as members of the sixth annual “Lincoln-Way Area-All Star Band” festival.

Rebecca Susmarski