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A cool, sunny day aided police officers from the Mokena and Frankfort departments during their annual torch run for Special Olympics Illinois June 8 along a stretch of LaGrange Road.

Mokena Police Chief Steven Vaccaro said the torch run is a great event for the officers and their families to help bring awareness to the Special Olympics and the many athletes who participate in the events.

“We covered nearly 3 miles with about 12-minute miles,” Vaccaro said between bites of a banana and guzzles of chilled water.

Amanda Jarzynski

“Advertise that you’re going to talk about Jesus, and 20-25 people will show up; you advertise that you’re going to talk about evil or hell, and you’ll get 200.” 

Exorcism expert and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago Father Jeffrey Grob used that as his opening line June 1 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. Grob delivered approximately an hourlong presentation called “Understanding the Reality of Evil” to the gathered parishioners before taking a handful of questions from the audience. 

Amanda Stoll

Wesley T. Yancey, 56, of 10643 Shilling Road in Frankfort, was charged Jan. 25 with retail theft after he allegedly stole 57 cigars, valued at $726.19, from a tobacco store in the 11200 block of W. Lincoln Highway during incidents that occurred Jan. 2 and Jan. 17. After coming into the police station on Jan. 31, Yancey reportedly returned seven of the cigars he allegedly stole. According to the report, Yancey told police he took cigars that were damaged and not fit for sale. 


Tim Carroll

As part of his acclimation process, new Police Chief Steve Vaccaro paid a visit to the Mokena Board of Fire and Police Commissioners on March 10 to get acquainted with the independent group’s function and structure.
The board, whose membership consists of three retired law enforcement professionals with decades of experience, is responsible for creating a patrol officer eligibility list every three years from which the department makes its hires. The board also creates a promotion eligibility list.

Will O'Brien

Mia Prnakus is a Mokena resident and Lincoln-Way East High School senior. This is her second year on the high school’s varsity poms and dance team. 

How did you get started with poms and dance? 

I got started with dance because my older sister did dance, so I followed in her footsteps. I thought it was a really good way to stay active and I also really enjoyed it. 

What has been your biggest accomplishment on the team?

My junior year on varsity, we made it to state.

Tim Carroll

Anthony Pratl, 20, of 19333 Beaver Creek Lane in Mokena was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal possession and consumption of alcohol and unlawful use of a driver’s license Sept. 7 when he was stopped on Schoolhouse Road and Front Street.

F. Amanda Tugade
Nearly 53 years after the Mokena Burros played their first official game, the youth football organization — consisting of tackle football, flag football and cheerleading squads — is still going strong.
Tim Carroll

With 2014 now at a close, we look back at a busy year full of successful events and programs, and new parks and projects that kept us focused on our goal of providing quality recreational opportunities and services throughout the year.

Danny Ciamprone


Thomas L. Erno, 62, of Mokena, died April 28. He is survived by his son, Frank. He was the brother of Ronald and Robert (Anne) Rhodes and Patricia “Sis” (Matt) Wachtor. He was also and the uncle of numerous nieces and nephews, including his Goddaughter and caregiver, Tammy Cleary. Erno was a former Frankfort Township Trustee. Services were held at the Hickey Memorial Chapel and St. Jude Church. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.


Rebecca Susmarski

Jake Mudde, a Mokena father of four, has asked that the Mokena School District 159 Board of Education reconsider its policy when it comes to bus transportation, as the issue directly affects his twin daughters.

Danny Ciamprone