Friday, March 22, 2019

Going Once, Going Twice...

Properties may be sold at auction if taxes not paid soon 

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Hundreds of Southwest Side properties are at risk of being sold at auction in May, unless their back taxes are paid.

Lists released last week by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas show that the large majority of the properties are residential—but there are a handful of noteworthy business properties that are said to be in arrears.

Perhaps most striking is the Cicero Hotel (formerly
Sportsman’s Inn), 4501 South Cicero, which reportedly is more than $207,000 behind in taxes and interest.

Once a seedy motel scorned by local civic leaders and hauled into court by local aldermen, the Cicero Hotel (under new ownership) has been undergoing a slow-moving renovation for several years and now boasts a selection of rehabbed rooms with all new beds and other furniture.

A message left for the hotel’s owner was not returned.

Other Southwest Side properties reportedly behind in taxes include:

• 6806, 6810 and 6812 W. Archer, which together are said to be more than $15,000 in the hole. The first was until recently home to A Cup of Joe coffee shop. The other two are the storefront home of the VDSA private security and detective agency. The properties’ owners are listed as two members of the Shubert family (the A Cup of Joe storefront is the former decades-long home of Shubert Draperies).

• Two blocks west, the property at 7023 West Archer is listed as more than $5,500 behind. The owner is Andrzej Korniejczuk, and the address is home to Halina’s Pub.

• Four connected properties, 5842-8 West 63rd St., appear to be more than $10,000 behind in taxes, in sum. The owner is Hickory Hills resident Jerome McDonald, according to Pappas’ list. In recent years, the site was home to Nu-Way Cleaners.

• Ten connected properties, 5932-56 S. Central, about $18,000 delinquent, all told, owned by an LLC with unnamed owners.

• The Acero Marquez School, 47th and Francisco, more than $90,000 delinquent.

• Four storefront properties—4622-30 S. Cicero, owned by S. Sheikh of suburban Lemont—which together are more than $3,800 in the hole.

In all, some 57,000 property owners across Cook County owe nearly $190 million in delinquent taxes, according to Pappas. Those properties may be auctioned at the annual tax sale that begins May 3.

Lists of all the properties, by suburban municipality and city ward, are published on the Cook County Treasurer's website.

“I am asking religious leaders, community groups and elected officials to use these lists to see if they know any of these homeowners with delinquent taxes and alert them about the Tax Sale,” Pappas said. “With their help, we will get many homes off the Tax Sale list.”

Among the properties with delinquent taxes:

Nearly 21,000 owners may be unaware of the Tax Sale because the U.S. Postal Service has returned their bills and subsequent notices.
About 22,000 owe $1,000 or less.
More than 2,000 homes are probably owned by senior citizens.
As many as 900 seniors would see their homes removed from the Tax Sale if they applied for property tax exemptions they qualify for.

Homeowners can avoid the Tax Sale by paying all delinquent taxes and interest before the sale begins. To see if your taxes are delinquent—and to make a payment—visit and select “Avoid the Tax Sale.” 

Reaction from Southwest Side homeowners quizzed at the West Lawn Branch Library was a mix of surprise and anger.

“This is amazing,” said Estela Reyes. “If you had asked me how many are behind on their property taxes (countywide), I would have said a thousand or so. But 57,000? Unreal.”

Ryszard Markowski said the list “makes me angry. I always pay my taxes on time, every year. Why do these deadbeats get away with it?”

Sheila Brown said she understands why some homeowners fall behind on their taxes “because when you have to put food on the table, sometimes tax bills have to wait. But I look at that figure ($190 million) and I wonder how many things in government don’t get funded because of that.”





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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Woman robbed at knifepoint in med office waiting area
A 43-year-old Scottsdale woman was robbed at knifepoint as she sat in the waiting area of a medical office in the 6900 block of South Pulaski at 1:41 p.m. Tuesday, March 12. The victim, who speaks only Spanish, initially did not understand the robber, who spoke English. After he pulled a knife and put it to her stomach, he went through her pockets, stealing her cellphone and purse before fleeing. He was last seen running east on 69th Place. He was described as a white man age 30-35, about 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds. He wore a blue and gray sweatshirt.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in and/or own a business in Beats 813 or 833 (see map) make plans to attend your next CAPS meeting, set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 at West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

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Cellphone buyer sprayed in face, robbed
A 36-year-old South Shore man was robbed as he tried to purchase an iPhone on a sidewalk in front of 7909 S. Whipple at 12:34 pm. Wednesday, March 13. The victim told police he met the seller through the LetGo website and had arranged to buy the phone at the designated location. When he arrived, the seller emerged from a gangway and demanded payment first. When the buyer refused, the seller sprayed a mace-like substance in his face, grabbed $300 cash and ran away. He was described as a black man age 20-23, about 5-foot-6 with brown eyes and a medium complexion. He wore a black and white hoody with a red design, black and white sweatpants, gray socks and flip-flops. The victim’s eyes were burning, but he refused medical care.

Washes her clothes, then robbed at knifepoint
A 52-year-old Archer Heights woman was robbed at knifepoint as she walked out of a coin laundry in the 4500 block of South Pulaski at 10:24 p.m. Sunday, March 10. The victim told police that she and a 19-year-old relative were loading their vehicle when a man approached and, in Spanish, ordered her to hand over her purse. When the victim refused, the bandit pulled a knife and pressed it against her side. She handed over the purse. When the 19-year-old woman ran after the robber and attempted to get the purse back, the offender threatened her, saying, “Imma cut you, b~tch.” The robber then jumped into a black vehicle and sped away west on 46th Street. He was described as a Hispanic man age 40-45, about 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, with a light complexion. He wore a dark green hoody under a black jacket, dark blue sweatpants and a white baseball cap. The victim’s purse contained a cellphone, $80 cash and a Matricula ID, among other items.

Elderly pizza driver robbed at gunpoint
A 77-year-old man delivering food for Giordano’s pizza was robbed at gunpoint as he attempted to make a delivery to a home in the 4400 block of South Leclaire at 8:20 p.m. Saturday, March 9. The victim told police that as he walked with the food, a man emerged from a gangway, pointed a pistol at him and said, “Give me the money or I’ll f~cking kill you.” The victim handed over his wallet (which contained $80 cash and a debit card, among other items), and the bandit ran away east. He was described as a black man age 20-25, about 5-foot-11 and 150 pounds, with a medium complexion. He wore a black hoody and black sweatpants.

Young pizza driver robbed at gunpoint
A 21-year-old man delivering food for Giordano’s pizza was robbed at gunpoint as he attempted to make a delivery to a home in the 4400 block of South Leclaire at 11:15 p.m. Sunday, March 10. The victim told police that as he stood in a gangway to make a delivery to a side door, a man accosted him with a revolver, saying, “I’m going to kill you.” The gunman then took the pizza and soda from the driver and ran away. The victim relocated to 45th and Cicero, where he called police. The robber was described as a black man age 20-25, about 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, with black hair in an Afro and a dark complexion. He wore a red, white and blue jacket and blue sweatpants.



Gangbanger robs men near Groucho’s
A 34-year-old Chicago Lawn man and a 35-year-old Brighton Park man were robbed at gunpoint as they sat in an SUV parked in a lot adjacent to Groucho’s lounge, 8355 S. Pulaski, at about 3 a.m. Monday, March 11. The victims told police that a man walked up, pulled a handgun and said, “Hey, motherf~cker, I’m a [Latin] King. What are you?” The victims replied that they are not gang members, but the gunman refused to believe them. He said, “Give me your wallets, money and phones. Give me everything or I’ll kill you.” The victims handed over two wallets and a cellphone. The bandit then ran away east on 84th Street. He was described as a Hispanic man age 30-35, about 5-foot-9 and 220 pounds with a light complexion. He wore an orange jumpsuit, a black skullcap and had a black scarf around his face. Police later detected the victim’s cellphone pinging at 64th and California but were unable to locate the offender.

Beauty salon robbed by bandit with knife
A man with a knife robbed the Beauty 2000 salon, 4306 W. 63rd St., at 6:15 p.m. Friday, March 8. The salon’s owner, a 54-year-old Burbank woman, told police that the bandit pulled a small knife and asked her where she keeps the money. She told him and them complied with his demand that she lock herself in the bathroom. Later, when she emerged from the bathroom, she saw that the robber was gone and that about $150 cash was missing. The bandit was described as a Hispanic man age 30-39, about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, with a light complexion. He wore a brown jacket with baggy pants.

Man charged with hitting policeman

A 32-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with aggravated battery after he allegedly
Jose Aviles
scuffled with a police officer in a parking lot at 4550 W. 57th St. at 8:13 a.m. Sunday, March 10.

Jose C. Aviles, of the same block, also was charged with DUI. Police had been summoned to the site by Aviles’ girlfriend, who reported a domestic disturbance. When they arrived, they reportedly found Aviles behind the wheel of a vehicle, its engine running. Aviles allegedly became combative and threatened to beat up the investigating officer. He reportedly refused an order to exit the vehicle and started to make a phone call to summon a friend to come over and beat up the officer.

When the policeman reached in the vehicle to confiscate the phone, Aviles allegedly grabbed the officer’s protective vest and punched him several times. Other police units arrived, and Aviles was taken into custody.

Police bust two on drug-related offenses
Petrulias Paul

A 49-year-old Clearing man was charged with possession of controlled substances after he “was observed in a hand-to-hand narcotic transaction and then fled from police,” a CPD spokesman said.

Petrulias A. Paul, of the 6000 block of South Meade, was arrested at 3:53 p.m. Monday, March 11 on the same block.

Arrested at the same time was Ronald Jennings, 27, of the 7700 block of South East End Avenue.

He was charged with four felony counts relating to narcotics.
Ronald Jennings

Jennings was arrested in the 6000 block of West 63rd Street. Police said they recovered “various amounts of narcotics” from him, although they declined to say exactly what.

Man blames ‘Mexican gangs’ for gun possession
Torrance Coats

A 20-year-old West Side man was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun and unlawful possession of ammunition after he was arrested on the street in the 5100 block of West 48th Street at 10:17 a.m. Thursday, March 14.

Torrance Dante Coats, of the 3500 block of West Carroll, was apprehended after police on patrol reportedly spotted him jaywalking.

When they stopped him to speak with him, officers said they noticed a large bulge in his jacket. They searched him and recovered a .38 caliber revolver with six live rounds. Torrance reportedly explained the weapon by telling officers that he needed it because “Mexican gangs” were after him.

Barking dog may have frightened burglars
Burglars broke into a home in the 7800 block of South Sawyer and stole a tablet computer and a small bag containing assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 59-year-old woman, at about 9 p.m. Thursday, March 14. The victim told police that only one room in the house had been ransacked, and she believed her barking dog may have prevented them from searching other rooms.

Burglars vandalize apartment with bleach
Burglars broke into an apartment in the 4900 block of South Millard and stole an Xbox video game console and a TV. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 24-year-old woman, at about 4 p.m. Thursday, March 14. The victim told police that the offenders have vandalized the apartment by pouring bleach all over. The crime may have been interrupted, since the burglars had removed a second TV from a wall but left it in the apartment.

Owner says relative burglarized his store
A store at 4635 W. 63rd St. was burglarized, and the owner told police that the offender is a relative. Police responding to a burglar alarm just after 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9 were contacted by the business owner, who said the burglar was inside. When police arrived, the offender was not on the premises, but security camera footage reportedly showed him stealing a jug full of coins (worth an estimated $250) and fleeing out the back door. The relative, a 29-year-old Burbank man, has not been apprehended.

Bust man on shoplifting rap at liquor store
Arnell Nettles

A 31-year-old man was charged with retail theft after he allegedly stole merchandise from Archer Liquors, 5996 S. Archer, at 9:39 p.m. Saturday, March 9.

Arnell M. Nettles, who police say is from downstate Charleston, was apprehended at the scene.

They did not say what Nettles allegedly stole. According to public records, Nettles has been arrested five times by CPD since 2017, on charges that includes retail theft (four times) and assault.

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Garfield Ridge Goes Green!

Archer Avenue is 'Irish for a day'

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Garfield Ridge has once again gone green--if only for a day--as Archer Avenue was the scene of a merry, festive St. Patrick's Day parade.

The Clear-Ridge Men’s Social Athletic Club (SAC)'s parade stepped off at noon Saturday, March 16 at Archer and Oak Park, marched east on Archer to Narragansett and then south to the Kennedy High School parking lot. All under sunny skies.

Thanks to the men of the S.A.C., as well as the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 and everyone else who helped make the parade a fun, family-focused event.

Proceeds of the parade will benefit Misericordia, which since 1921 has provided care and a range of services to people with developmental disabilities.

The Southwest Chicago Post shot a few photos of the parade units; but as usual, we couldn't resist turning the camera around and focusing on the boys and girls, moms and dads at the curb--who in a way are the real stars of the event.

Here are a few shots we took (along with a few shot by our friends), in no particular order. Enjoy!





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