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Updated: 23 weeks 14 hours ago

Man pleads guilty in 2011 Crete Township traffic deaths

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:12

A University Park man ended his trial this week by pleading guilty to felony charges in the March 2011 traffic deaths of two women in Crete Township. Velar Mayfield, 26, pleaded to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of marijuana and was sentenced Wednesday to 31/2 years in prison. Mayfield’s attorney, Cosmo Tedone, said Mayfield faced anywhere from six to 28 years imprisonment if jurors had convicted him of the charges. He said Mayfield must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence but would be given credit for the more than two years he was held at …

Irish Fest takes center stage

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:11

Nobody knew when it started nearly three decades ago that Irish Fest would put Gaelic Park in Oak Forest on the proverbial worldwide map. The plan then was to simply present a Memorial Day weekend festival that would focus heavily on Irish culture, provide plenty of fun activities for families, and raise some money for other programs at Gaelic Park, 6119 W. 147th St. But as the years rolled on, the festival began getting bigger and bigger, attracting top entertainers and becoming something that — in its 28th rendition — is indeed known worldwide, said John Griffin, who was president …

Suit: Calumet Park hotel infested with bed bugs

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:11

A woman suffered from bed bug bites after she stayed at a hotel in Calumet Park, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday. Bridget Flowers rented a hotel room Feb. 14 at the Magnuson Hotel, 12800 S. Ashland Ave., and slept on the bed and used the sheets that the hotel provided, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court. Flowers awoke that evening with red bumps on her body and, upon examination of the room, found live insects on and around the bed, the lawsuit claims. She then checked out of her hotel room early and immediately …

Woman gets 10 years for role in Joliet double murder

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 07:11

One of four people charged with murder in the grisly slayings of two Joliet men last year pleaded guilty Thursday to lesser charges and agreed to testify against her co-defendants. Alissa Massaro, 20, of Joliet, pleaded to four felonies — two counts of robbery and two counts of concealment of a homicide — in the January 2013 killings of the Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover at Massaro’s father’s house, 1121 Hickory St. Prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge in exchange for her plea. Will County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kinney accepted the plea agreement, which includes a 10-year prison sentence …

Girl, 17, fatally struck by train in Mokena

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 01:46

A 17-year-old girl was fatally struck by a train late Wednesday night in Mokena in what appeared to be a suicide, authorities said. The girl was struck by Rock Island District outbound train No. 529 about 11 p.m., according to Metra spokesman Tom Miller. The girl was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:05 a.m., according to the Will County Coroner’s office. Passengers on the train were transferred to the next train to make the final two stops on the line, Miller said. Metra police are investigating. Sun-Times Media Wire …

South Holland tax preparer gets more than 3 years for tax fraud

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 01:46

A South Holland woman who ran a South Side tax preparation business has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for tax fraud. Verlean Hollins, 43, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and fined nearly $800,000 by U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. She pleaded guilty in January to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns. Hollins owned Taxes, Etc., Inc., in the 2300 block of East 71st Street, between at least 2010 and 2012, federal prosecutors said. She admitted that …

Worth man killed in Stone Park crash

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:18

A Worth man was killed early Wednesday in a traffic crash in west suburban Stone Park, authorities said. Luis Hernandez-Santiago, 24, was injured in the 1 a.m. crash near the intersection of Mannheim Road and North Avenue, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. Hernandez-Santiago, of the 7000 block of West 111th Street, was taken to Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, where he was pronounced dead at 1:45 a.m., the medical examiner’s office said. A Wednesday autopsy found he died of multiple injuries from a vehicle striking a fixed object, and ruled his death an accident, the medical examiner’s …

Ford Heights man, woman charged after heroin raid

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:17

A man and woman from Ford Heights, believed to have been selling heroin in New Lenox, were arrested Tuesday by New Lenox police and the Cook County sheriff’s police Gang Unit, police said. Loren Daniels, 26, 1125 Seeley Ave., was charged with possession and sale of heroin, and McClain Davis, 29, of the same address, was charged with conspiracy to possess and sell heroin, according to New Lenox Deputy Police Chief Robert Pawlisz. He said both were being held at the Will County Jail, and additional charges were pending a review by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. After a …

Smith to again coach H-F girls team

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:13

Tony Smith will return as the girls basketball coach as well as a health and driver’s education teacher at Homewood-Flossmoor, it was confirmed Wednesday by Jodi Bryant, the director of human resources and public relations at the school. Tuesday night, the District 233 school board reversed its April decision not to extend Smith a teaching contract for the 2014-15 school year. “It was a very difficult decision to make,” Bryant said. “There are so many different perspectives and so many different components to this issue. It’s very hard to explain to someone not in the middle of it. There are …

Sauk Village man dead after being tased in Old Town

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:13

A Sauk Village man suspected of retail theft died after he was injured when police used a stun gun on him earlier this month in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. During a retail theft arrest about 12:15 a.m. May 7 in the 200 block of West North Avenue, officers used a Taser on 23-year-old Dominique Franklin, who was resisting arrest and “refused to cooperate with officers,” authorities said. After the Taser was deployed, Franklin suffered a head injury when he fell to the ground. Franklin, of the 21000 block of Olivia Avenue, was taken in critical condition to Northwestern …

Proposed law to ban dumping at Worth site

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:12

A bill that would prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers from dumping dredged material into the Lucas-Berg Nature Preserve in Worth passed the U.S. House this week. That’s good news for the village, which has seen its citizens and elected officials fight for decades over control of the 74-acre site, a former sand and grave quarry that the Army corps leases from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. The proposed federal law would prevent the Army Corps, which manages the property near 111th Street and Southwest Highway, from dumping silt and other material dredged from the Calumet Sag Channel there. “Since …

OFPD station roof  damaged during storm

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:12

Strong winds during Tuesday’s thunderstorms partially tore off the roof of the Orland Fire Protection District station on 143rd Street, according to the district. Firefighters returning to the station, 8851 W. 143rd St., after a call found the flat roof membrane had been pulled back, exposing to the rain about half of the area where fire trucks are parked, a district news release said Wednesday. It said areas housing communications equipment and the living quarters for firefighters were not damaged. The station is able to operate despite the damage, a spokesman for the district said. Staff report …

Suit: Boy’s finger severed while waiting for doctor in Oak Forest

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:12

A woman has filed a lawsuit against an Oak Forest health center after she says her son was waiting for a doctor when a table fell on his hand and severed his finger. Cherise Davis says she and her son Daniel Jones were waiting for a doctor to conduct an examination at the Oak Forest facility last month when he was injured, according to a suit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court. The lawsuit names the Oak Forest Health Center of Cook County. The lawsuit claims the center, located at 15900 S. Cicero Ave., did not make timely and …

Suitcase of dynamite causes a stir in Evergreen Park

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 07:11

A basement cleanup of a sewage leak led to a surprising discovery of dynamite Wednesday morning at a home in Evergreen Park, which in turn led to a bomb squad responding, a lockdown of a four-block area, and homes being evacuated. It turned out that 24 sticks of dynamite had been stored for more than 60 years in a suitcase in the home of a 93-year-old man who wasn’t sure how to get rid of it. Tony Scarano, of the 9700 block of South Hamlin Ave., never forgot he had the dynamite that he stored for a friend who worked …

Grand opening slated for LWSRA’s special-recreation center

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 00:58

The Lincolnway Special Recreation Association will hold a grand opening celebration for its new recreation center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 21. The center is at 1900 Heather Glen Drive in New Lenox, and the public is invited, according to a press release from the association. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon, plus building tours, refreshments, music, giveaways, arts and crafts, a moon bounce, and fitness, Special Olympics and adaptive sports demonstrations. Visitors should park in the parking lot of the Jewel store at Schoolhouse and Laraway roads, and a shuttle bus will transport them to …

Cops: Getaway driver charged in Palos Hills armed robberies

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 23:43

A second man has been charged in a string of southwest suburban armed robberies for acting as the getaway driver in crimes aimed at supporting the suspects’ heroin addiction. Danny Tallant, 40, of Worth, was charged with aggravated robbery, according to a statement from Palos Hills police. He was ordered held on a $100,000 bond Tuesday. Tallant drove 25-year-old Nicholas Koliopoulos to rob a Marathon station in Palos Hills and a Sally Beauty Supply in Worth, according to police. Detectives pieced together conversations between Tallant and Koliopoulos to link him to the robberies, police said. Tallant allegedly told police he …

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