Thursday, October 30, 2014

Southwest Side Neighborhood Calendar


Sunday, November 2nd Taco Lunch at St. Joe's

Runs from noon to 4 p.m. at St. Joseph School's Centennial Hall, 5641 S. 73rd Ave. (just a block west of 57th and Harlem). Free off-street parking. Tickets are $10 at the
door for adults, which entitles you to all-you-can-eat tacos! Tickets for children (eighth grade and younger) are $1.25 per taco. Soda and bottled water available at reasonable prices. This tasty fundraiser will benefit St. Joseph School, which has provided a Catholic elementary education to boys and girls in Summit, Chicago's Southwest Side, and other fine communities for a century!

Wednesday, November 5th Vittum Park Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. If you live in or own a business in Vittum Park, stop by and get active! This month: Clear-Ridge Historical Society President Ron Bitunjac will discuss the history of the area.

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Wednesday, November 5th CAPS Beat 815/821 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 South Harding. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), attend this meeting! 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.

Thursday, November 6th CAPS Beat 834 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 834 (see map), attend this meeting! 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.

Friday, November 7th Vendor Fair at St. Joe's
Runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at St. Joseph School's Centennial Hall, 5641 S. 73rd Ave., Summit. (One block southwest of the Portillo's at 56th and Harlem.) Free admission and off-street parking. Get an early start on your Christmas shopping! Music, desserts, refreshments, fun! Free swag bags to the first 75 shoppers! Event flyer is here.

Wednesday, November 12th CAPS Beat 812 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Symphorosa Church, 6135 South Austin. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), attend this meeting! 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.


Wednesday, November 12th Archer Heights Civic Association
Starts at 7:30 p.m. at the UNO Veterans Memorial Campus, 47th and Kildare. One of Chicago's oldest and most effective neighborhood organizations--more than 75 years of fighting for a better neighborhood! If you live in and/or own a business in Archer Heights, this is the group to join and get active with. Hear updates on a wide range of community concerns and learn how you can help build a better Archer Heights for everyone.

Thursday, November 13th CAPS Beat 814 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), attend this meeting! 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.

Saturday, November 15th Garfield Ridge Civic League
Thanksgiving/Christmas party. Runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at New Warsaw Restaurant, 6250 West 63rd Street. Tickets are $25 each. Includes smorgasbord-style dinner in a semi-private room. Cash bar. More information at garfieldridgecivicleague.org.


Tuesday, November 18th CAPS Beat 811 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 South Merrimac. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), attend this meeting! 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.

Tuesday, November 25th CAPS Beat 813/833 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), attend this meeting! 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.


Wednesday, November 26th Midway Garden Society
Starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 West 63rd Place. Runs until
8:00 p.m. Monthly meeting. The Society hosts guest speakers and also conducts plant exchanges, publishes a newsletter, stages an annual Urban Garden Walk every summer, and works to make the Midway area a more beautiful and peaceful place by encouraging gardening among people of all ages. Check them out!


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Tuesday, December 2nd West Elsdon Civic Association
Starts at 7:30 p.m. at Divine Word Polish National Catholic Church, 3842 West 57th Street. Quarterly meeting. Open to the public. If you live in or own a business in West Elsdon, stop by and get active!

Wednesday, January 21st Garfield Ridge Civic League
Starts at 6:30 p.m. at Kennedy High School, 56th and Narragansett entrance. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. This month: 13th and 23rd Ward aldermanic candidates have been invited to stop by and address the group. Moderator is GRCL member and local businessman Ed Kozak. Free off-street parking, coffee and snacks. More information at garfieldridgecivicleague.org.

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Man Missing from 63rd and Narragansett

Just released to the news media by CPD at 11:26 a.m. today:



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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

St. Rene, St, Turibius Schools to Close in June; Nearby Schools Will Welcome

Just released to the news media by the Archdiocese at 3:30 p.m. today:

RESTRUCTURING PLAN TO STRENGTHEN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF
CHICAGO ANNOUNCED
Plan Will Strengthen the Archdiocesan Mission to Provide Catholic
Education in Chicago and Suburban Cook and Lake Counties

Chicago, IL (October 29, 2014) - Francis Cardinal George, OMI,
Archbishop of Chicago, has approved the restructuring plan recommended
by the Archdiocesan School Board and the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic
Schools.  The reconfiguration, which will include school consolidations,
re-purposing and closings, are part of the ongoing 2013-2016 Strategic
Plan for Catholic Schools and will result in a strengthened mission of
Catholic education in the Archdiocese.  

“This restructuring is the result of our ongoing efforts to
strengthen and support sustainable Catholic schools over the long
term,” said Thomas McGrath, Chief Operating Officer for Catholic
Schools.  “Although difficult in the immediate term, we know taking
these steps will increase access for families and students to excellent
Catholic school education, now and in the future.”  

The following actions will take effect July 1, 2015:  
Reconfigured Schools

St. Dorothy School, at 7740 South Eberhart Avenue, and St. Columbanus
School, at 7120 South Calumet Avenue, are partnering to form a new
Catholic school on Chicago’s south-side to be named the Augustus
Tolton Catholic Academy, at 7120 South Calumet Avenue.  

In Lake County, Holy Cross School, at 720 Elder Lane in Deerfield, and
St. James School, at 140 North Avenue in Highwood, are partnering to
merge students and traditions from St. James to Holy Cross.  

In Des Plaines, Our Lady of Destiny School, 1880 Ash Street, is
partnering with St. Zachary School, 567 West Algonquin Road, to merge
students and traditions from Our Lady of Destiny to St. Zachary.

The Nativity Early Childhood Center, at 2740 West 68th Street in
Chicago, will continue to serve the Marquette Park neighborhood, with
the potential partnership of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of
Chicago.  

Beginning in the fall of 2015, Saint Agatha Catholic Academy, at 3151
West Douglas Boulevard in Chicago, will become an Early Childhood Center
with a potential partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese
of Chicago.  Additional programs that may be provided to the children
and community of North Lawndale will be released in the coming weeks.
Families with primary and upper grade students at Saint Agatha will be
actively welcomed at nearby Catholic schools that have the capacity to
accept new students in the 2015-2016 school year.

Closed facilities and transition of families to Welcoming Schools

School facilities that will close at the end of June 2015 are: St.
Peter, 8140 Niles Center Road, Skokie; St. Hyacinth, 3640 West Wolfram
Street, Chicago; St. Ladislaus, 3330 North Lockwood Avenue, Chicago; St.
Turibius, 4120 West 57th Street, Chicago; St. Rene Goupil, 6340 South
New England Avenue; and St. Lawrence O’Toole, 4101 St. Lawrence
Avenue, Matteson.






Nearby schools with open seats have been carefully identified for all
affected families. Transition plans that create clear pathways for
families to get to those Catholic schools are well underway.

The impact of the reconfiguration affects approximately 1,280
elementary students and nine elementary sites that will be closed.  The
number of affected teaching staff includes 107 full-time and 17
part-time teachers, 47 full and part-time aides and substitutes, as well
as 58 full and part-time administrative and operations staff.  

“Throughout Lake and Cook Counties, families, parishes and
neighborhoods are brought to life by the presence of Catholic
schools,” said Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, OP, Superintendent of
Catholic Schools.  “The rigorous assessment behind these strategic
decisions is a reflection of a shared commitment to the students and
families of our schools and the desire to ensure that the school system
as a whole continues to be spiritually anchored, academically excellent,
financially sound and well managed.” 

The Archdiocese of Chicago Board of Catholic Schools created its
2013-2016 Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools to provide the best, most
sustainable Catholic education to families in Chicago and the suburbs.
Among other provisions, the plan specifies benchmark criteria to assess
a school’s sustainability and potential for reconfiguration that
include: total Archdiocesan aid of more than $300,000 annually; and/or
total enrollment lower than 225 students; and/or total Archdiocesan aid
per student greater than $1,000 annually.  

About the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago

The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools currently serve more than
82,000 students in 240 schools across the City of Chicago, and in Cook
and Lake Counties. It is the United States' largest private school
system and the recipient of the most U.S. Department of Education Blue
Ribbon Awards of any school system in the nation.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fun Shopping Set at St. Joe Vendor Fair

Get an early start on your Christmas shopping at St. Joseph School.

We plan to head over this vendor fair. See you there?


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Let's Help Our Vets ThisThanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving and bow our heads in
gratitude and count our blessings, may all of us consider those less fortunate, including our many military veterans in need.

Want to help?

Click on this link:


...and get connected to 6th Annual Veterans Food Drive sponsored by the 2014 Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run.

This is an outstanding annual effort that provides turkey dinners with all the trimmings to Chicago-area veterans (including a number right here on the Southwest Side), as well as bags of groceries to help carry them through Christmas.

We reported on last year's effort here:


This year's effort is even more ambitious, as it should be. It is dedicated to the memory of the late Army Pvt. Aaron S. Toppen of Mokena, who lost his life at age 19 while on active duty in Afghanistan last June.

Will you please help? You can donate money to buy turkeys and/or you can show up as a volunteer at the Bridgeview Sports Dome on Friday, Nov. 21 and help in person.

Details are all on the ilmfr.org website.

Thanks to our friend, Garfield Ridge resident Chuck Dryden, for reminding us about this worthwhile effort and encouraging us to join him in promoting it.

Will you please help? Thank you, and may your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pervert Spotted at 57th and Central Park

Just released to the news media by CPD at 3:32 p.m. Sunday.

No word from CPD on the age of the victim.

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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 and southern 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 Sector 1. 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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A career criminal was charged with burglary after he allegedly broke into an apartment near
Michael Vassar
61st and Oak Park and stole a rent application.


Police said that while they were booking Michael Vassar, 58, of 45th and State, on charges of possession of a controlled substance and criminal trespass to property at 12:16 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, they learned that a maintenance man had discovered the burglary.

Police said that the apartment unit's door had been forced open, and inside was a black bag containing a pry bar and a screwdriver. They added that Vassar, when first apprehended, had in his possession a rent application that was identical to those stored in the vacant apartment unit.

The CPD incident report gave no indication of a court date. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Vassar has served time for a number of crimes dating back to 1977, including burglary, theft and armed robbery.

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Four thugs robbed La Milpa grocery store, 4425 W. 55th St., at 12:44 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21. The store owner, a 31-year-old Northwest Side man, told police that two of the men walked in, one flashed a revolver and said, "I only want the money" in Spanish. The store owner gave them a cash drawer with $30 cash, and the quartet ran away west on 55th Street. They are described as Hispanic men age 18-19, wearing hoodies.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 28. 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.

 

Burglars pried open the rear door of Metro PC Wireless, 8117 S. Pulaski, and stole 75 cell phones valued at $8,325. The crime was discovered by a neighbor, a 66-year-old woman, who told police that she heard a loud noise at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, looked out her home's window, saw two men entering the store, and called 911. The criminals are described only as men 5'6 to 5'10 and 160-180 pounds.

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A 24-year-old West Elsdon man told police he was robbed by four thugs as he walked on a sidewalk in front of 5230 S. Keeler at 6:35 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20. The quartet walked up from behind, one grabbed the victim in a bearhug and others rifled through his pockets, stealing a wallet with $60 cash. The crooks are described as black men age 16-20.

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A 20-year-old Archer Heights man told police that two gangbangers beat him with fists and a crowbar at a gas station at 4500 S. Pulaski at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. The victim said the duo asked him, "Do you gang bang?" and "What you is?" before attacking him. A short time later, they sped away in a white Chevy Tahoe. They are described as Hispanic men age 20-25, 5'8 and 140-190 pounds, with short black hair.

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An 81-year-old West Lawn woman told police that a fellow tenant pushed her in the chest as she went to get the mail in her apartment building near 62nd and Komensky at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21. The neighbor, a 30-40-year-old woman, allegedly said, "Crazy lady, get out of the way," before pushing the victim. The CPD incident report said police attempted to contact the alleged offender, without results.


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A 27-year-old West Elsdon man told police that an armed criminal robbed him as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 5245 S. Kildare at 7:10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. The victim told police he was walking home from work when the thug pulled a pistol on him. The victim grabbed the gun and wrestled with the crook when he was punched in the head. The attacker stole the victim's cell phone and fled on foot. He is described as a black man age 23, 5'6 to 6'0.

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A 29-year-old South Side man told police he was robbed near his room at the Saratoga Motel, 7701 S. Cicero, at 10:18 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. He said a thug brandishing a pistol approached him and said, "You know what time it is." The victim fought back and struggled with the would-be robber, until the gun fell and the criminal fled on foot. The crook is described only as a black man wearing a hoody.



A 42-year-old West Elsdon man told police he was robbed by two thugs as he walked on a sidewalk in front of 5030 S. Kilpatrick at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18. The pair approached and ordered him to the ground. The victim complied, and one of the robbers held a gun to his head while the other stole $60 cash from his pockets. The two then fled on foot. They are described as black men age 25, both about 6'0 tall, and one weighing 170 pounds and the other 260 pounds.

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Burglars forced open the side window of a garage near 57th and Keeler and stole assorted tools and a supply of auto clay. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old woman, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21.

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Burglars forced open the overhead door of a garage near 43rd and Karlov and stole assorted tools, and three tires and rims, and damaged the headlight of a truck parked inside. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old man, at 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19.


Burglars entered the unlocked service door of a garage near 83rd and Kostner and stole four tires and rims. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 47-year-old man, at 2:20 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20.

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Burglars used a stolen garage door opener to enter a garage near 68th and Kilbourn and steal several power tools. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 29-year-old man, at 6 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.


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Burglars forced open the front door of an apartment near 64th and Keeler and stole two TVs, a DVD player and a laptop computer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 30-year-old man, at 9:40 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.

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Burglars kicked in the side door of a home near 49th and Knox and stole about $90 cash and assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 58-year-old woman, when she came home from work at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17.

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