Thursday, October 30, 2014

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:

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

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 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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.


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.

* * *

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.


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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

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.

* * *

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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Pumpkin Parade 2014 Highlights

Highlights of Congressman Dan Lipinski's Pumpkin Parade, held in 2014 on Archer Road in Summit.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Papez Family Using Fright to Fight Hunger with Halloween Decorations

If you're looking for a creepy, scary, ghoulish house to check
out for Halloween in Garfield Ridge, head over to 5534 South Nagle from 7 to 10 p.m. now through October 31.

Every year, Rich Papez and family decorates, some might say a little over the top, for Halloween

"This year we hooked up with Haunts Against Hunger, we are running a food drive to benefit St. Blase food pantry in Summit," Rich says. "We will be collecting non-perishable food items from 7 to10 pm every Friday and Saturday up to and including Halloween."

Stop by any night for a fright, though, and drop your non-perishable food items in the bin out in front, if the Papez family is not there.

Want a sneak preview? Check out the video below, which starts with a few images from a house a few doors north of the Papez family home. It's scary, too!

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Villarreal Pumpkin Patch on Archer

With Congressman Dan Lipinski's annual Pumpkin Parade
moved out of Garfield Ridge this year, and down the road a bit to Summit, 23rd Ward aldermanic candidate Paulino Villarreal decided to host a "pumpkin patch" event in front of his storefront headquarters (near Archer and Oak Park), which is on the former longtime parade route in Garfield Ridge.

The event started at 11 a.m., the same time that Lipinski's parade stepped off in Summit.

Villarreal said he started with about 250 pumpkins and gave away all of them by the time the event ended at 2 p.m. Children in costume also received candy and prizes for best costumes.

We stopped by briefly with a camera to record the news event. Here are a few images:

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CPD Alert: 79-Year-Old Woman Missing from the Bogan Area: Has Dementia

Just released by CPD earlier this evening. Let's all keep our eyes and ears open!

Monday, October 20, 2014

CPD Alert Update 70-Year-Old West Lawn Man Was Missing, Now Found


CPD reports that Mr. Alvarez has been found safe.

Thank you, everyone.

Just released to the press at 3:54 p.m. today by CPD:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Police Release Sketch of Pervert Who Lured Kids in Scottsdale Neighborhood

Just released to the press at 9:07 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19.

This is an update to a previous alert. The information is the same, but now there is a sketch.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Editor's note: We respect your opinion and are privileged to share it via this website. All letters to the editor will
be reviewed before being posted. We do allow anonymous comments, yet we will not allow the Southwest Chicago Post to serve as a forum for bigotry of any kind. We also will not allow personal attacks against anyone, including elected officials and other public figures. On this site, all of us need to keep our tone respectful and our criticisms constructive. That's important as we work together to build better Southwest Side neighborhoods for all. So please join the conversation by sending your letter to

* * *

Dear Editor,

I will be voting for Democrat Dick Durbin in the U.S. Senate race in Illinois. Senator Durbin without a doubt is one of the most respected and effective senators in the nation. He has led an exemplary effort to raise the the national minimum wage, and has common-sense, people-first solutions to the issues of our day. Do we really need a senator who, with his party, wants to lower corporate income taxes? This at a time when corporations are more profitable than any time in our nation's history? How much more greed do we need supporting big oil and big pharma and the rest? Durbin provides solid thinking and a common man's approach to government. We desperately need another six years of his leadership in the Senate. I wholeheartedly support Dick Durbin for U.S. Senate.

Ed Kozak
Garfield Ridge

* * *


You better watch where you step with this antagonism of Congressman Dan Lipinski. Why you are going after him on this parade thing, I don't know. But what comes around goes around. Got it, buddy?


Editor's reply: We're not "going after" anyone, buddy, on the Pumpkin Parade. We simply let people know a fact we learned (indirectly) from the Clearing Civic League: that this year's parade had been moved from Garfield Ridge, which it has. That's the congressman's prerogative, of course, since he is the parade's sponsor, and it's his staff that pulls it all together.

The key question, of course, is why the parade was moved to Summit. Alderman Zalewski's staffers were telling callers that the parade had been moved to Tinley Park, because the congressman wanted to "move the parade around" in an effort to be more fair to all the municipalities in the Third Congressional District.

Then about a week later, the congressman's chief of staff was quoted in the Southwest News-Herald, saying that the parade was yanked from Garfield Ridge because of road construction on Austin Avenue, but that it will be back in Garfield Ridge in 2015. Make of that what you will, but that's the official explanation.

* * *

Dear Editor:

I am really angry that the pumpkin parade was taken away from Garfield Ridge. Why would Lipinski do such a thing to us? I know he doesn't live here, like his father did, but really, why? My neighbor told me this parade has been here on Archer at least 30 years.

I heard it had something to do with construction on Austin. I can't see how that would make a difference. The parade goes nowhere near Austin, and if people wanted to get back and forth to Clearing, they could just use Central or Harlem.

This is a big disappointment. My kids love that parade, and we are NOT going to Summit.

Terese Malzone
Garfield Ridge

* * *


So Congressman Lipinski took our parade away from us in Garfield Ridge. Why doesn't the alderman respond by staging his own parade on Archer? I think it's interesting that every year, Zalewski and other politicians slap their names right under Lipinski's name on the parade poster to tag along and get credit, but now that Lipinski pulls out, these other politicians are nowhere to be found, at least that I have seen.

These guys are great at having their pictures taken with our neighborhood children so they can appear in the neighborhood newspapers, but when it comes time to stand up for our boys and girls, they're out to lunch. Bunch of cowards. 

John Wilkosz
Garfield Ridge

* * *


I don't know what the truth is about how Lipinski decided to move the parade, but to me it looks like a big political slap in the face to our alderman, Mike Zalewski, and that's the last thing he needs with this remapping of the ward. He's in the fight of his life, and we're doing everything we can to get him re-elected--and then Lipinski pulls the rug out from under him? What's up with that?

David Olszewski
Garfield Ridge

* * *


I'm not sure what all the fuss is over the parade moving from Archer Avenue to Archer Road. I'll go either way. It's nice to see the little ones in their costumes.

Melinda Hernandez


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Help Wanted: Warehouse Workers

Warehousing hiring all positions

Cold Storage located on the south side of Chicago has an immediate opening for a warehouse workers in a fast paced work environment. Looking for CDL class A drivers,general laborers, freezer workers, general maintenance personnel, forklift drivers, and forklift mechanics. Those applying for warehouse positions must be capable of heavy lifting. Also looking for shipping/receiving clerks with customer service and typing skills. Top pay based on experience. Blue Cross Insurance and 401K retirement available after 90 days.  2 shifts available. Fax or email resumes.  Fax# 773-847-7994 / email:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Look at St. Nicholas of Tolentine

We were privileged to recently spend a few minutes with Mariagnes Menden, principal at St. Nicholas of Tolentine School, 3741 W. 62nd St.

We came away most impressed with a school rich in history, steeped in the arts, successful in academics and athletics, warm and welcoming to newcomers, and affordable for working parents.

Here is a conversation we had with her. Enjoy!

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CPD Busts Oak Lawn Man on 4 Counts of Sex Abuse Crimes on CTA Trains

Just sharing some information released by CPD at 11:46 p.m. Wednesday:

Michael Robinson, 31, of the 4300 block of West 95th Place
Michael Robinson
in Oak Lawn, was arrested and charged with four counts of felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse, after he was identified as the offender who sexually abused several female victims on CTA trains, between January 2012 and May 2014, according to police.

On these occasions, Robinson allegedly would expose himself and perform an inappropriate sexual act in front of female riders.

CPD Area North detectives said they were able to identify Robinson through CODIS and photo line-ups. On Oct. 14, 2014, Robinson was held by CTA security after being identified from CTA flyers.

Robinson was placed into custody on the 500 block of South Pulaski and was charged. He is due at a bond hearing at Central Bond Court, 26th and California, on Thursday. Oct. 16.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CPD Busts Two Men for Burglary

Just released to the news media at 5:39 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15 by CPD:

Car Burglars Nabbed by Deering (009th) District Officers
Offenders Arrested, Proceeds Recovered

CHICAGO – Deering (09th) District officers apprehended a pair of offenders stealing
John Eiliers
items from vehicles early this morning. 

Jeorgio Solis, 21, of the 3200 block of S. Lituanica Avenue was charged with four counts of felony Burglary and one count of misdemeanor Theft of Lost / Mislaid Property. John Eiliers, 21, of the 4400 block of S. Shields was charged with four counts of felony Burglary and one count of misdemeanor Theft of Lost / Mislaid Property and a Warrant Issuance.

On October 14, 2014, approximately 4:00 a.m, Deering (09th) officers responded to a “suspicious person” call in the area around 32nd and Princeton Avenue.  After touring the area, officers observed two male subjects matching a radio description walking on the sidewalk.  Upon exiting
Jeorgio Solis
their vehicle, Officers further observed that both subjects were carrying large, heavily laden backpacks.  Officer’s conducted a field interview, and subsequent investigation revealed the offender’s backpacks to be chock-full of stolen goods, ranging from GPS devices to IPhones

Officers were able to contact several victims who positively identified their items.  The Offenders were placed in custody and charged accordingly.  This investigation remains ongoing.

Solis and Eiliers were scheduled to appear in Central Bond court on October 15, 2014

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hale Park Pumpkin Patch a Hit With Kids

Just sharing a few photos from the Pumpkin Patch event at Hale Park on Saturday.

Beautiful weather, fun activities, smiling children and parents (and grandparents)!

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