Sunday, May 29, 2016

Led Zeppelin Tribute Band 'Kashmir' Will Rock the Stage at St. Joe's Carnival

Old favorites and hot new entertainment acts can be
found on the main stage lineup for this year's carnival at St.
Joseph Parish, just 1/2 block west of 56th and Harlem.

Taking the stage from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 2 will be Kashmir, one of the nation's top Led Zeppelin tribute bands.

Maggie Speaks, one of the most popular and eclectic cover bands in Chicago history, will commandeer the stage at 9 p.m. Friday, June 3 and shake it for three hours.

On Saturday, June 4, starting at 3 p.m. and running all the way to midnight, a string of the Chicago area's hottest DJs will spin exciting club mixes in a high-energy day of today's music.

The final day of the annual carnival will feature an eclectic mix of music. Starting things off on Sunday, June 5 will be the nationally acclaimed Ampol Aires polka band, performing from 2 to 4 p.m. Atorón Norteño will play Latino favorites from 4 to 6 p.m., and Hillbilly Rockstarz will close the carnival from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Hillbilly Rockstarz bills itself as "Chicago's very
own country super group, specializing in covering the latest hits in country music, along with many of your classic favorites" and will cover a pickup truck's worth of today's country hits, as well as covers of favorites by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Patsy Cline.

St. Joseph Carnival hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 2; 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, June 3; 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, June 4; and 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 5.

In addition to musical entertainment, the four-day event features carnival rides, games of skill and chance.

All are encouraged to bring hearty appetites. In
addition to familiar favorites like cotton candy, lemonade and ice cream, several local restaurants and other food vendors will sell such taste-tempting delights as pizza slices, Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, Maxwell Street-style Polish sausage, hot dogs, corn dogs, meatball sandwiches, eggplant sandwiches, chicken parmigiana, barbecue chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, steak tacos, marinated pork tacos, chicken tacos, taquitos and fajitas, pork stew, rice and beans, empanadas, funnel cakes and more.

Wristbands that offer discounts on carnival rides are still available. For more information, call the St. Joseph Parish rectory at (708) 458-0501 weekdays.

The Carnival Committee at St. Joe's is encouraging
everyone to stop by and have a great time: parishioners, alumni, friends of the school and parish, as well as everyone in the larger community. That's you!

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

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.

* * *

Robbed as he takes out trash
A 40-year-old West Lawn man was robbed at gunpoint as he took out the garbage behind his home near 60th and Hamlin at 1:10 p.m. Monday, May 16. The victim told police that a man pulled a pistol on him and demanded his wallet. He complied, and the robber removed $140 cash, gave the wallet back to him and said, “Don’t try anything, or I will blow your head off.” The robber then ran away west down an alley. He was described as a Hispanic man age 25-30, 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, with brown eyes, short brown hair and a medium complexion. He wore dark blue jeans and a dark blue jacket.

Robbed at gunpoint near home
A 40-year-old West Elsdon man was robbed at gunpoint as he got out of his vehicle in front of his home near 58th Place and Springfield at 3 p.m. Monday, May 16. The robber put a revolver to the victim’s back and ordered him, in Spanish, to surrender his cash. The victim gave up $90, and the offender ran away west through an alley. He was described as a Hispanic man about 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds, with brown eyes, short black hair and a light complexion. He wore black hoody with a Chicago Bears logo.

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, May 24 and attend your monthly CAPS 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.

Teens in car threaten mom
Teenage boys in a car threatened a 24-year-old Brighton Park woman and her three-year-old daughter in a traffic incident at 54th and Kedzie at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 21. The victim told police she was driving south on Kedzie when the teens’ red Pontiac sedan approached aggressively and pulled alongside. One teen waved a pistol and shouted, “I’m gonna shoot you, b~tch!” The victim called 911 and was advised to drive to the nearby Eighth District station, which she did. She said that she had no idea why the teens would threaten her. The offenders were described only as Hispanic males age 16-19.

Boy busted after he threatened woman
A 14-year-old Scottsdale boy was apprehended after he allegedly threatened a 32-year-old Ashburn woman on the street in front of Pizza Nova, 3836 W. 79th St., at 6:37 p.m. Saturday, May 21. The victim said that the teen was pulling on the handle of her car door, trying to get inside. When she confronted him, he allegedly held his hand inside his shirt (implying a weapon) and said, “These are my streets. Bang bang.” Police notified the boy’s mother.

Cash, jewelry swiped from Kildare bedroom
Burglars opened the bedroom window of a home near 58th and Kildare, entered and stole $250 cash and assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 34-year-old woman, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19.

Power tools taken from 59th Street garage
Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 59th and Springfield and stole about 20 power tools. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 54-year-old man, at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 22.

Burglars use unlocked door to steal bike
Burglars entered the unlocked service door of a garage near 48th and Kildare and stole a bicycle and a lawn mower. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 30-year-old woman, at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 21.



Garage burglarized in West Lawn
Burglars forced open the door of a garage near 67th and Hamlin and stole a weed whacker, two tools bags and assorted other items. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 44 year-old man, at 11 p.m. Friday, May 20.

Man with fencing mask robs cell phone store
Two men robbed the Metro PCS cell phone store at 8117 S. Pulaski, making off with about $600 cash. A 32-year-old store employee told police that the bandits approached at 7:55 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, just before closing time. Thinking they were customers, the employee let them inside, when one of the two put on a fencing mask, pointed a pistol in his face and ordered him to open the safe. The employee was ordered to lie on the floor, and the robbers ran away with the cash. They were described as black men age 19-20, about 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds, with brown eyes, dark complexion and short black hair.

Elderly man robbed in his kitchen
An 86-year-old West Lawn man was robbed of $750 cash in the kitchen of his home near 65th and Karlov at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 11. The victim told police that he had let a man into his home, think he was a friend of his son’s, who was on vacation at the time. After they were in the kitchen a short time, the younger man said, “This is a stick up. Give me all your money now.” The victim complied, and the robber walked out of the house. He was described as a white man age 25-30, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, medium length brown hair, wearing dark blue pants and a cream-colored shirt.

Walking to work, knocked to ground
An 18-year-old Clearing woman said she was knocked to the ground and robbed of $2 cash while she walked down an alley behind 5554 W. 64th St. at 4:20 a.m. Thursday, May 12. The victim said she was walking to work when the crime occurred. She was attacked from behind and had no description of the offender.

Man stole flowers, police say
A 57-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with aggravated assault and retail theft after he allegedly stole six hanging flower baskets from the Jewel/Osco at 6107 S. Archer and then used his minivan to nearly strike two people as he sped away. John J. Kesek of the 5200 block of South Moody is set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court at 51st and Wentworth on June 8. The incident occurred at 11:48 a.m. Sunday, May 1. A 23-year-old store manager told police that a customer alerted to him to a theft outside the store and that when he and a security officer went to investigate, Kesek jumped in his vehicle and almost ran them over. Provided with a vehicle description and license plate number, police apprehended Kesek at his home and brought him to the store, where he was positively identified by the victims, according to the police report.

Cleaners hit by burglars
Burglars forced open the rear door of Polly Prim Cleaners, 4640 S. Cicero, and stole three cash registers and several items of clothing. The crime was discovered by a worker at a nearby restaurant at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, May 8. She then called the owner of Polly Prim.

FedEx package stolen from porch
A 61-year-old Clearing woman reported that someone apparently stole a package left on her front porch in the 5700 block of West 64th Street. The package, which contained a humidifier worth $68, was delivered by FedEx at 2:53 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, according to FedEx records. A neighbor who also said that packages had been stolen from her porch, said that two men in a maroon van had been cruising the neighborhood. The men may have been following the FedEx truck and waiting for an opportunity to steal parcels, according to the police report.

Garage on 58th Street burglarized
Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 58th and Lawndale and stole an air compressor a cordless drill, two cable nailers and assorted tools in a bag. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 47-year-old man, at 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 10.

Burglars hit garage on 57th Street
Burglars entered a garage near 57th and Lawndale and stole a radar detector from a car parked inside. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 62-year-old man, at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 10. There was no sign of forced entry, according to the police report.

Bikes, BB guns stolen in burglary
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 58th and Lawndale and stole five bicycles, two BB guns, a commercial water filter worth $5,000 and a stereo speaker. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 48-year-old man, at 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 10.

Saw swiped from 58th Place garage

Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 58th Place and Springfield and stole an air compressor and a concrete saw. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 23-year-old man, at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 10. 

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Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch's Sell-A-Bration a Success, 1 More in Fall

Congratulations to the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch
for today's Sell-A-Bration event at Kennedy High School--several dozen people selling rummage items, craft knick knacks and more to hundreds of local men, women and children on a beautiful spring day.

The sale was yet another successful GRNW event to fight crime indirectly by promoting neighborhood pride and encouraging us all to get out and meet each other.

The GRNW plans to host another Sell-A-Bration in the fall. Date will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Want to join the GRNW and help make Garfield Ridge a safer
and better place? Please attend their next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Monday, June 20 at Bridgeview Bank, 6366 South Archer.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Felon Gets 25 Years For Robbing Archer Heights Store, Shooting Man in the Head

Three years and nearly 40 court dates after he robbed an
Jose Guerra
Archer Heights grocery store and then shot a man in the head while making his escape, a convicted felon was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Jose Guerra, 22, of the 5800 block of South Fairfield, pled guilty to attempted murder last week as part of a deal with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. He is now serving time at the Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet.

Estevan Rosario
Also convicted and sentenced last week by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Joyce was Guerra's accomplice, Estevan Rosario, 20, of the 2800 block of West 59th Street. He also accepted a deal and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He, too, is incarcerated at Stateville.

Rosario's projected parole date is in 2027, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. Guerra's projected release date has not yet been determined, according to IDOC.

The news was announced at the May meeting of the Archer Heights Civic Association by Michael Kovac, AHCA first vice president and point man on fighting crime in the neighborhood.    

Guerra, convicted of armed robbery in 2010 and sentenced to six years in prison, was released on parole in 2011. Almost a year after his early release, he walked into Supermercado Rivera, 4334 W. 51st St., just after 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 with Rosario. The pair robbed the store at gunpoint, jumped into a waiting van and sped away.

Seeing the crime, the 36-year-old brother of the store's owner got in his car and followed the van. In the 5400 block of South Komensky, the van stopped, the door was opened and Guerra shot the victim in the head.

The victim was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital and was in a coma "for quite some time," Kovac said last week. "More than three years later, he is still severely handicapped as a result of the shooting. His life is permanently and totally changed. He will never return to his normal self."

At the time of the crime, Guerra, Rosario and the van's driver,
Gabriela Contreras
Gabriela Contreras--Guerra's older sister--escaped capture. However, police broke the case open in January 2013 when officers saw Guerra drop a gun on the ground near his home. 

He was arrested, and the gun matched a description provided by a witness at Supermercado Rivera. Detectives pieced the puzzle together, and all three were charged in connection with the robbery and shooting.

Contreras pled guilty as part of a deal in December 2014. She is currently serving a six-year sentence at IDOC's Logan Correctional Center near the Central Illinois town of Lincoln. Her projected parole date is in 2018.

Kovac is a retired Chicago firefighter and key member of the Chicago Lawn (8th) District court advocacy team, a group of volunteers who attend criminal court cases and through their silent witness, remind judges of the community's demand for justice. They also are in court to show support for police and prosecutors, as well as provide comfort to crime victims and witnesses.

"It's been a long road," Kovac said last week. "The court advocates did our part to get a measure of justice for the victim and for the whole Rivera family. We thought it was important to show the Riveras that the community is behind them, that we support them, and we did."

Those interested in learning more about being a court advocate are advised to call (312) 747-8724 and ask to speak with the CAPS Office about the court advocacy program.

Here is a Southwest Chicago Post video about the court advocates.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Dulce V Has Sweet Deal to Thank Police

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

We Southwest Siders are known for our appreciation of our
police and all the good they do, day in and day out.

Police confront danger so the rest of us don't have to--protecting our lives, our property and our neighborhoods.

So in honor of Police Appreciation Week, our friends at the newly-opened Dulce V frozen treat parlor--at Archer and Austin--are offering a 10 percent discount to all law enforcement officers--now through 10 p.m. Friday, May 20.

Sounds sweet to us! So if you're a Chicago Police officer or an officer in any other jurisdiction--suburban municipalities, Illinois State Police, Cook County Sheriff, etc.--stop in and enjoy some frozen yogurt, custard, gelato and more.

See you there?

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

CPD Alert: Sexual Assault in Ashburn

Chicago Police issued a "community alert" at 1:38 a.m.
Sunday, May 15, warning about a criminal sexual assault that occurred in the Ashburn neighborhood.

Text of the alert:

"This alert gives notice to citizens residing in the 008th District of a recent criminal sexual assault incident. On May 14, 2016 at approximately 2:30 a.m., a female victim walking in the vicinity of 3300 W. 85th St. was approached by a male black driving a tan sedan. The offender exited his vehicle and chased the victim into an alley. The offender caught and then sexually assaulted the victim. The offender fled the area in an unknown direction.

• Male black, 20-25 years old, 5'08-5'10, low fade hair style, fair complexion, goatee, birthmark or tattoo on right hand, wearing a white t-shirt and black sweatpants

Vehicle involved
• Tan sedan, four door

What you can do:
• Always be aware of your surroundings
• Report suspicious activity immediately
• Remember any unique physical characteristics (scars, limp, acne, teeth, etc...)
• Never pursue a fleeing assailant, but provide the information to the police
• If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information
• Dial 9-1-1 immediately and remain on scene when possible

If you have any information, contact the CPD Area Central Bureau of Detectives at (312) 747-8380 and refer to case number HZ-264602."

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mega-Passes Going on Sale Monday for Big, Fun Carnival at St. Joseph School

Mega-passes (wristbands) for the Southwest Side's first

parish carnival of the season go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday, May 16 at the rectory at St. Joseph Parish, 7240 W. 57th St.

The annual carnival is set for Thursday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5 on the grounds of St. Joseph School, just west of 56th and Harlem.
Mega-passes cost $50 each and offer unlimited rides on all
four days of the carnival. Cash and checks will be accepted until Friday, May 20. After that date. it will be cash only.

The passes will be sold at the rectory weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as at the school office, 5641 S. 73rd Ave., from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Monday, May 16.
Carnival hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 2; 6 p.m.
to midnight Friday, June 3; 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday,
June 4; and from 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 5.

The carnival features food vendors from local restaurants, live entertainment, a grand raffle and carnival rides and games.

For more information, call the rectory office at (708) 458-0501 or the school office at (708) 458-2927 during weekday business hours.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

CPD Alert: Luring Incident at 78/Kedzie

At 7:26 p.m. Friday, May 13, CPD issued a "community alert"
regarding a reported case of luring near 78th and Kedzie.

From CPD:

"On May 12, 2016 between approximately 6:30 A.M. and 8:00 A.M., on the 7800 block of S. Kedzie Ave, an unknown male on foot attempted to lure an adolescent female as she walked to school.  When ignored, the offender attempted to grab the victim at which time she ran to a nearby alley.  The victim was able to make it safely to school where she alerted her mother of what occurred.

About The Offender(s)

·        Offender is described as a male black, dark complexion.
·        Approximately 40 to 45 years of age
·        Approximately 6’00”-6’02”, 175-190lbs
·        At time of incident, the offender was wearing a black baseball cap, red hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, blue and white gym shoes.  However, the offender was last seen wearing all dark clothing.

What you can do:

·        Be aware of this situation and alert your neighbors.
·        Call 911 to report any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity in your neighborhood.
·        Do not let children walk or play alone.  Identify safe havens along your child's route to school and home, such as businesses or trusted neighbors.
·        Always be aware of your surroundings. 

If you have any information, Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area Central at (312) 747-8380."

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Clearing Man Robs Bank, Shot by Police After He Points His Gun at an Officer

A Clearing man who robbed the Byline Bank at 4970 S. Archer just after 10:45 a.m.
A selfie Johnson posted on Facebook
Monday. May 9 was, minutes later, shot and killed after he reportedly prepared to fire at police pursuing him.

Michael Johnson, 26, of the 5400 block of West 63rd Place, was chased from the bank by at least one bank employee. He ran west, across Pulaski and then down 50th Street.

Police joined the foot pursuit, according to CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a curbside press conference near 50th and Karlov. "The officers chased the subject down a gangway, at which time the subject turned towards the officers with a weapon," Johnson said. "One of the officers discharged his weapon, striking the offender."

After he was hit, Johnson then fell in a yard in the south end of the 4900 block of South Karlov. He was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to published reports. Police said they recovered Johnson's weapon at the scene.

The chase and shooting occurred about a block south of Edwards Elementary School, 4815 S. Karlov, which was temporarily placed on a soft lockdown as a precaution, according to published reports.

Editor's note: Police initially did not disclose Johnson's identity to the press or public. However, officers at a CAPS Beat 812 meeting did on Wednesday night. A CPD News Affairs spokesman confirmed it the following day to the Southwest Chicago Post.
Mugshot from Winnebago County

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were gathering evidence at the Byline Bank branch, directly across the street from Curie High School. An FBI spokesman later said Johnson was the same man who had escaped authorities after robbing the Byline Bank branch at 6257 S. Austin at 10:24 a.m. Saturday, May 7.

Authorities said that Johnson had a criminal history, including at least one arrest near Rockford.

Reaction in the neighborhood was swift.

"I heard the gunfire from a distance and wondered what was going on," said Maria Iniguez, an elotero wheeling a cart near Edwards School. "In a situation like this, I worry for los niños (the children). Anything could have happened. I'm glad the police stopped him. I'm sad that someone died, but the police did what they had to do."

Juan Arce said he was at the Archer Heights Branch Library when he heard what had happened.

"I've been a robbery victim myself, more than once," he said. "So it may sound cold, but I
From Johnson's Facebook page.

have no pity for someone who sticks a gun in your face. And you point a gun at a cop--well, what do you think they're going to do in response?"

Steve Kuminskas said he had "just stopped for a cup of coffee" at the New Pindos Restaurant, immediately west of the bank, when he "heard and saw this commotion. I figured out that the guy must have robbed the bank or at least tried to. I only found out later what happened. I've lived around here for over 40 years, and I've lost count of how many times there have been stick-ups at local banks, grocery stores, gas stations and other businesses. It's not a good thing, but it pays to put it in context--that these bank robberies are happening all over, even throughout the suburbs."

A statement released by CPD on Monday afternoon noted that "the specifics of this incident, including the comprehensive use of force investigation, are being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority with the full cooperation of the CPD. The officer(s) involved will be placed on routine administrative duties for a period of 30 days. This policy will ensure separation from field duties while training and fitness for duty requirements can be conducted. Going forward, this will be standard protocol following all officer-involved shootings."

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

St. Bruno School to Host Open House

Parents looking for an elementary school for their sons and
daughters for the 2016-17 school year are invited to an open house at St. Bruno School, 4839 S. Harding.

Two dates are offered: 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17.

Guided tours will be offered, and parents of prospective students will be able to observe classes in session, as well as meet teachers, staff and students.

According to an event flyer, St. Bruno offers:

• Full Day Program for PreK 3 & PreK 4
• Small Class Sizes
• Faith-filled Community
• High Academic Standards
• Accredited by Advanced ED through the
Archdiocese of Chicago
• Technology Driven Curriculum
• Foreign Language Program
• Partnership with the Museum of Science
and Industry for a strong STEM Program
• Fully-equipped STEM Lab
• Extensive Library
• Sports, Scouts, & After School Clubs
• Before & After School Care
• Affordable Rates

Its full-day preschool (for children ages 3 and 4) offers:
 Teachers Aide in Each Classroom
 Curriculum to Teach You Child
 Fine Motor Skills
 Math Foundation
 Reading Foundation
 Social Skills

For more information, call the school at (773) 847-0697.

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