Monday, December 30, 2013

Governor Quinn to Speak at Archer Heights Civic Association Meeting

Governor Pat Quinn will serve as guest speaker at the next meeting of the Archer Heights Civic Association, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 8 at the UNO Veterans Memorial
Photo source: Governor's Office Flickr page
School, 47th and Kildare.

Quinn will also install the AHCA's new slate of officers.

The Archer Heights Civic Association, one of the oldest and most successful community organizations in Chicago, is beginning its 76th year of service in making the neighborhood one of the very best in the city.

According to a statement released by the AHCA, "Governor Quinn is no stranger to the Archer Heights Civic Association and has come to civic association meetings several times throughout his political career. The AHCA first became familiar with Patrick Quinn in the 1980’s when he came out to speak as the head the Coalition for Political Honesty. Then in 1982, Quinn came before the AHCA as a candidate for Commissioner of the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals and after winning that election, came again to talk about the “Citizens Utility Board” that he was instrumental in creating. Later, Patrick Quinn came to every “candidates night” that we held when he ran for state treasurer (1986), and again in 1990 when he was successfully elected to that position and once more in 1995.  He also came to AHCA during his campaign for United States Senate (1996), and for lieutenant governor in 1998. Then in 2002 Patrick Quinn again came to Archer Heights during his successful campaign for lieutenant governor.  Upon the resignation of Rod Blagojevch, Quinn assumed the governor’s position, was reelected in 2010, and now becomes the first sitting governor to come to our civic association."

"The Archer Heights Civic Association urges all of its members to come to this special meeting and to bring neighbors. As usual, cake and coffee will be served after the meeting," the statement concluded.

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CPD Announces Arrest in Sexual Assault of 69-Year-Old Woman Near Orange Line

A 30-year-old Lincoln Park man has been charged in the robbery and sexual assault of a 69-year-old woman that occurred just east of the CTA Orange Line terminal at 59th and Knox at about 4:15 p.m. Friday, December 27.
James Whiteside

James Whiteside, of the 600 block of West Deming Place, is scheduled to appear today in Central Bond Court, 26th and California, police said.

CPD made the announcement via a statement emailed to the press at 1:46 a.m. Monday.

Police said that he is charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault (one because the victim is a senior citizen, the other because a weapon was used), kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping/armed kidnapping, aggravated robbery, armed robbery/other dangerous weapon, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated vehicular hijacking.

According to a community alert issued by CPD detectives before Whiteside was apprehended, the victim “was returning home from work, had just exited the Orange Line train and was entering her vehicle parked in a secured parking lot when she was forced into her vehicle by an unknown black male offender who related that he was armed with a handgun. This offender proceeded to sexually assault the victim and subsequently robbed her, taking U.S. currency, her cell phone and ATM card. The offender then drove the victim to various locations and made withdrawals from her bank account before abandoning her and the vehicle on Chicago's West Side.”

Police added that "Whiteside is also charged for an earlier incident in which he was identified as the offender who sexually assaulted a 23-year-old female victim in the 3100 block of North Harlem on December 27th at approximately 2:30 a.m. No further information is available at this time."

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Third Person Arrested and Charged in Murder/Backyard Burial in Scottsdale

Just released by Chicago Police about an hour ago:

Third Person Charged in October Homicide

Name:                                   Milton Miranda, 22  
                                                Morristown , New Jersey

Charges:                             1 Felony Count - Murder – First Degree
                                               1 Charge of Issuance of Warrant
Court:                                   December 29, 2013, Central Bond Court ; 2600 S. California

An investigation by Area North detectives revealed human remains buried in the rear yard at 8300 Block of S. Scottsdale on October 4, 2013. On October 5 the Cook County Medical Examiner concluded that the cause and manner of death was multiple sharp force injuries/Homicide.

At that time, a warrant was issued for Milton Miranda in connection with this homicide. Miranda
Milton Miranda
was arrested in Morristown , New Jersey and extradited by the Chicago Police Department on December 28, 2013. Father and daughter - Salvador Gutierrez, 56, and Daisy Gutierrez, 19, have previously been arrested for their role in the homicide of the 29 year old male victim. No further information at this time.
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Decoration Winners Named by Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch

The best Christmas decorations in police Beat 811 (central and western Garfield Ridge), at least by the reckoning of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, were announced today.

The winners are the homes at 5200 South Nottingham, 5300 South Meade, and 5858 South Narragansett.

5200 South Nottingham (photo courtesy of the GRNW)

5300 South Meade (photo courtesy of the GRNW)

5858 South Narragansett (photo courtesy of the GRNW)

The GRNW also saluted Peaches Boutique as the best dressed business of the season. No Christmas-themed photo of Peaches was released, but a hint of Peaches's holiday style was posted earlier this month on the Peaches Facebook page

Early Saturday evening, GRNW members on a decorated vintage firetruck delivered prizes to the three winning homes. Peaches will receive an award certificate from the group.

Congratulations to all the winners!

(pasted below is the original story about the contest, published in the Southwest Chicago Post last month)


Best Christmas Decorations to Be Hailed By Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch

As members of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch make their usual
rounds this Christmas season in police Beat 811 (Garfield Ridge, west of Central Avenue), they will be looking for more than the usual crime-related concerns---they will be looking for the best holiday decorations.

“One way to fight crime is to promote neighborhood pride and beautification,” said GRNW President Al Cacciottolo. “We have done exactly that in the past year, and this Christmas decoration contest is a continuation of that.”

From now until Christmas Day, GRNW members on patrol will identify the “best dressed” homes and businesses in Beat 811, take photos and then vote among themselves to determine the top decorations.

Three winners will be chosen, and prizes will be awarded shortly after Christmas.

The contest is sponsored in part by Chicago Glass Blocks and Best Home Insulation, two local, family-owned companies saluted earlier this year by the GRNW for their ongoing role in improving the beauty, comfort and value of Garfield Ridge homes and businesses.

“Garfield Ridge is one of the best places in all of Chicago to live, work and raise a family,” stated Carol Basic, owner of Chicago Glass Blocks. “We salute the neighborhood watch for launching this fun Christmas contest, and we look forward to seeing the winners.”

For more details about the GRNW, visit

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

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 21-year-old South Side man has been arrested and charged with robbing a 50-year-old Scottsdale woman.

Donnelle D. Thurman of 94th and Sangamon is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court Branch 48-4, 155 West 51st Street, on Thursday, December 26.

Police said they stopped Thurman when they saw him loitering near 82nd and Pulaski at
Donnelle D. Thurman

about 2:40 p.m. Thursday, December 19. When they asked him if he was carrying anything illegal, he reportedly admitted carrying a BB gun "for protection, because I got jumped on earlier."

Police said Thurman matched the description of a man wanted for robbery in the vicinity two hours earlier. In that crime, the victim was walking hone from the Scottsdale Branch Library when her path on a Pulaski sidewalk was blocked by a thug who said, "I saw you with a phone. Give me your sh~t, give me your money." The assailant then struggled with the victim, ripping her purse, grabbing a photo ID and running away north on Pulaski, then west on 81st Place. A passing motorist stopped, assisted the victim and retrieved her ID, which the robber had thrown on the ground as he was fleeing.

Thurman was taken into custody and later positively identified by the victim in a lineup, according to police. He is an admitted gangbanger, police added.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you
live in Beat 834 (see map), come to Bogan High School at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, 
January 2. 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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A 39-year-old Archer Heights man was shot in the shoulder as he was robbed by two thugs on a sidewalk in front of 4802 South Komensky at 2:00 a.m. Friday, December 20.

The victim told police he was walking home when the pair approached him. One hit him with a bottle and demanded his money. While he had his hands up and one robber was going through his pockets, the other shot him with a black revolver.

The pair made off with $200 cash, running away west on 48th Street. The victim was transported to Christ Hospital by CFD ambulance, where he was reported in stable condition.

The thugs are described as black men--one 6'0 and 180 pounds and the other 5'5 and 130-140 pounds.

Minutes later, the same two criminals appear to have robbed a 19-year-old West Elsdon man as he walked down a sidewalk in front of 5101 South Keeler. The victim told police that one of the two assailants engaged him in conversation while the other hit him in the face with a gun. The victim fell to the ground, and the pair stomped on him and took his wallet and cell phone before getting into a white van driven by a third man. The vehicle then sped away west on Archer.

CPD issued an alert about the crimes on Sunday, December 22. Those with information about the crimes are encouraged to call the Bureau of Detectives -- Area Central at (312) 747-8380.

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A 23-year-old Gage Park man told police that a thug attempted to rob him as he walked down a sidewalk near 52nd and La Crosse at 9:30 a.m. Friday, December 20.

He said the robber grabbed his backpack and tried to wrest it from him unsuccessfully before fleeing on foot. The criminal is described as a black man age 30-35, 6'1 and 180 pounds, brown eyes, black hair, medium complexion, wearing a black hoody and jeans.

* * *

A 49-year-old Archer Heights man was robbed as he tried to deliver food to a residence near 66th and Talman at 4:45 p.m. Friday, December 20.

A delivery driver for Chinese Kitchen, 5833 South Kedzie, the victim said there was no answer at the door at 66th and Talman; and as he walked back to his vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Sport Wagon, he saw the offender getting into it. He tried to stop him, but the robber sped away north on Talman, dragging the victim briefly and injuring his knee and hand. Police later recovered the vehicle in the alley behind 6514 South Talman, abandoned and rummaged through. The victim said that $40 cash was missing, as well as two orders of food.

The robber is described as a black man age 25-30, 6'0, medium complexion.

* * *

An 87-year-old woman scared off two burglars when she confronted them in her home near 45th and Harding at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday, December 18.

They had just broken through her side door and were coming up the back steps when she went to investigate the noise and saw them. The CPD incident report gave no description of the offenders.

* * *

Burglars pried open the back door of a home near 50th and Leamington, but failed to steal anything because they were scared off by the victim, a 66-year-old woman. The crime occurred at 3:30 p.m. Friday, December 20. The woman told police she heard a noise, and that when she went to investigate, saw two criminals, who fled on foot.

The burglars are described as white Hispanic men age 25-30, 5'5 to 5'9 and 175-200 pounds, brown eyes, short black hair, medium complexion. 

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* * *

Burglars pried open the side door of a home near 57th and Austin and stole a TV. The crime was discovered at 12:10 p.m. Thursday, December 19 by a neighbor asked to check on the house by the 40-year-old niece of the home's owner, a 89-year-old woman who was in the hospital at the time.

* * *

Burglars kicked in the door of a home near 49th and LaCrosse and stole two TVs, two laptop computers, a PlayStation 3 video game console, assorted jewelry and $540 cash. The crime was discovered by police responding to an "open door" call at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, December 19. Police said they saw the back door lying in the back yard. The victims, a 31-year-old man and 37-year-old woman, told police that they had only been gone from home for a few hours.



Burglars kicked in the back door of a home near 68th Place and Springfield and stole two TVs. The crime was initially detected by a neighbor of the victim, a 45-year-old woman was at work at the time. The neighbor called the victim to report that a man had been knocking on her front door and side windows, and that the man then got into a silver SUV with an accomplice and drove around to the alley behind the house.

* * *

Burglars forced open the front door of Universal Communication, 4900 South Archer, and stole a cell phone that was on display. The crime was discovered when the burglars tripped the alarm and the owner was contacted via phone at about 3:50 a.m. Saturday, December 21. Police said they were reviewing surveillance video that showed two offenders wearing ski masks.

* * *

Burglars forced open the side door of a house near 67th and Karlov and stole a laptop computer, an iPad, an iPod, an Xbox video game console, and an estimated $9,500 worth of jewelry.

The crime was discovered by police responding to an "open door" call at 12:33 p.m. Friday, December 20. The glass window in the back door had been smashed. A neighbor interviewed by police said she had heard glass smashing at about 12:15 p.m, but did not look out her window to investigate.

* * *

Burglars kicked in the service door of a garage near 61st and Kenneth and stole four wheels and assorted tools. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old man, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 19.

* * *

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* * *

Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 57th and Hamlin and stole assorted hand and power tools, an air compressor, two phones, a battery tester and an edger. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 63-year-old man, at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 17.

* * *

Burglars forced their way into a garage near 49th and Kedvale and stole two bicycles and two ladders. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old man, at 6:00 a.m. Thursday, December 12, but was not reported to police until Saturday, December 21. The CPD incident report gave no explanation for the delay.

* * *

Burglars entered the back door of a house near 56th and Kilbourn and stole $100 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 79 year-old man, at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, December 21.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Byrne School Eighth Grade Girls Sweep Volleyball Tourneys, Crowned Champs

(Editor's note: just sharing some good news from SWCP reader Becki Pestow Reyes. Congratulations to the girls at Byrne, as well as their coaches and everyone who contributed to their success. Way to go! And thanks, Becki, for sharing the good news and photos...)

~ ~ ~

On Saturday December 14, Byrne's eighth grade girls volleyball team, coached by Rebecca Reyes and Sara Parker--as well as Assistant Coach Victoria Reyes--won first place at Kennedy High School's annual Holiday Classic volleyball tournament. This is the third year for the tournament, and Byrne's third straight win!

Gillian Reyes won the overall tournament MVP award, and Kelsi Chambers was named an all-tournament player.

Then on Sunday, December 15, the Byrne girls continued their streak and captured first place at Mt. Assisi Academy's annual volleyball tournament. They went undefeated the entire day to earn the win.

This team has been playing together for more than three years and are in their fourth and final season together at Byrne. They have worked incredibly hard to get to this point. 

They are known for their positive attitude, team effort, and overall wonderful sportsmanship. They represent Byrne and the neighborhood well. Congratulations to Gillian Reyes, Kelsi Chambers, Maya Diaz, Haili Parker, Elisia Calderon, Ashly Tully, Lelani Malara and Jael Munoz!

Keep up the great work! and GO BYRNE!

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