Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tri-Builders Youth Triathlon Team Sets Open House at Wentworth Park

Our friends at the Tri-Builders athletic organization have
asked us to share the news of their upcoming open house/tryouts for their youth triathlon team, set for Saturday, March 24 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Wentworth Park. They are looking for youths 6-19 years of age for the tryouts.

Click the flyer below for more details, and please be sure at check out their website at

# # #

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Parade Will Step Off This Saturday in Garfield Ridge

A city neighborhood not known for Irish identity will host an
Irish-themed parade for the fourth year in a row.

Sponsored by the Clear-Ridge Social Athletic Club, the parade is scheduled to step off at noon Saturday, March 17 at Byrne Elementary School, 54th and Oak Park, march south to Archer and then east to Wentworth Park.

Those marching or riding in the parade are asked to arrive at Byrne at 11 a.m.

"This is not a big parade, but it's a good parade focused on families, on what makes Garfield Ridge such a great place to live," said SAC member Al Cacciottolo, who announced the event at a recent meeting of the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce. "It's truly a parade for the people."

While Garfield Ridge has never been thought of as an Irish bastion like the Mount Greenwood neighborhood, it has its sons and daughters of Erin.

The parade is small but spirited. It should take only about 10 minutes to pass by any given point on the parade route.

The weather forecast for Saturday calls for unseasonably cool temperatures--about 39 degrees, cloudy and dry when the parade steps off at noon. So please dress warm! If you see a Southwest Chicago Post photographer or videographer along the route, please smile and wave!

# # #

CPD Alert: Man Tried to Abduct Girl

Police are appealing to the press and public for help in apprehending a man wanted for attempted child abduction in the West Lawn neighborhood.

According to an alert issued by CPD on Friday, March 16, a man driving an older model silver/grey minivan attempted to lure a 16-year-old girl. The offender approached from behind and said "Ven aqui" ("Come here"). When the girl ignored him, the man got out of his vehicle and grabbed her by the arm. Fearing for her safety, the victim pulled away and fled.

The crime occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15 in the 6500 block of South Lawndale.

The offender was described as a heavyset Hispanic man with a dark complexion and black beard stubble. He wore a black T-Shirt and black work pants.

Those with useful information to share about the crime are asked to call CPD Area Central Detectives at (312) 747-8380 and refer to case number JB186962.

In the wake of the crime, police offered a few bits of advice:

• 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 between school and home, such as businesses or trusted neighbors.
• Always teach your children to be aware of their surroundings.

Missing Boy May Be Near Midway

Update at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 17: CPD reports that Isaiah has been found safe and has been reunited with his family. Thanks to everyone who kept eyes and ears open for him!

Original post:
Police are appealing to the press and public for help in
Isaiah Rodriguez
finding a 14-year-old boy missing from the Hermosa neighborhood, who may be here on the Southwest Side.

Isaiah Rodriguez has been missing from his home in the 2000 block of North Keystone since about 5:45 p.m. Thursday, March 15.

His cellphone was tracked to 65th and Cicero and is now turned off.

Isaiah is 5-foot-1 and 135 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair and a medium complexion.

He was last seen wearing a green polo shirt, khaki pants and a black coat.

If you see him, please call 911 immediately. Others with useful information to share are asked to call CPD Area North Special Victims Unit at (312) 744-8266 and refer to case number JB187159.

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 the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

Woman pushed to ground, robbed 
A 23-year-old Gage Park woman was pushed to the ground and robbed of her book bag as she walked down a sidewalk at 57th and Richmond at 11:37 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. The victim told police she was walking home from work when she was accosted by a thug holding a hammer. When she started to run away, the attacker tackled her and took the book bag after a struggle. He then ran away west. The criminal was described as a Hispanic man age 25-35, about 5-foot-5 and 200 pounds with a fair complexion. He wore a beige jacket. The book bag contained the victim’s credit and debit cards, ID, keys and other items.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 813 or 833 (see map), come to West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street, at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 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.

Robbed by bat-wielding gangbanger
A 28-year-old Chicago Lawn man and a 25-year-old Brighton Park woman were assaulted by a bat-wielding gangbanger as they walked down a sidewalk in front of 2816 W. 60th St. at 11:25 p.m. Monday, March 5. The victims told police they were walking to a CTA bus stop when the thug asked, “What you is, dog?” When the victims replied that they are not members of any gang, the assailant identified himself as a gang member. He went through the man’s pocket and stole his wallet, and then touched the woman’s breast and went through her pockets. He then told the victims to turn around and walk away, which they did. The criminal then fled down an alley near 59th and Mozart. He was described as a Hispanic man age 18-25, about 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, with short black hair and a light complexion. He had pierced ears and wore a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Boys rob Sears employee
A Sears employee making a service call to a home in the 4100 block of West 50th Street was robbed at gunpoint by two boys at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. The victim told police that one of the robbers pulled a handgun and ordered him to hand over his work and personal cellphones, which he did. The robbers were described only as black boys age 9-13.

Hit in the face with a beer bottle
A 44-year-old West Lawn man told police that he was knocked unconscious during a fight outside a bar near 59th and Troy at about 1:20 a.m. Saturday, March 10. The victim could not recall how he made it home, but he had been taken to Holy Cross Hospital because he had been hit in the face with a beer bottle. The offender, another bar patron, was described as a Hispanic man about 5-foot-7, with black hair.

Kicked out of car, then robbed
A 32-year-old Back of the Yards woman told police she was robbed of $200 cash on a sidewalk in front of 3500 W. 79th St. at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday, March 7. The victim, said by police to appear intoxicated, claimed that she was getting a ride home from a Bedford Park strip club when she was kicked out of the vehicle during an argument. Once outside the vehicle, she said that a man hit her on the back of the head and took her cash. She described the attacker only as a white man age 27-30. Police said they saw no sign of injury on the woman’s head. She refused medical attention and was given a ride home by police.


Pair steals cash from elderly woman
A 94-year-old woman reported that a man and a woman stole belongings from her home while pretending to be home repair contractors. The victim said she was standing outside her home in the 3500 block of West 76th Street at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8 when a man walked up and said he needed to repair her roof before it leaks. When the victim walked inside her home, the man followed—uninvited—and said he would need $400 cash. He also let in an accomplice—a woman—who engaged the victim in conversation while the man stole $450 cash, her state ID and other items. The thieves then fled. Descriptions of the two were vague.

No sign of forced entry at burglary site
Burglars entered a garage in the 3600 block of West 62nd Street and stole three drills, a jack, an air compressor, copper wiring, assorted tools and assorted vehicle parts. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 57-year-old man, at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, March 7. Police said there was no sign of forced entry.

Kelly HS ring swiped in home heist
Burglars forced open the rear window of a home in the 5400 block of South Kildare and stole two laptop computers, three iPads, two video game consoles, a DVD player, a set of speakers, a watch, a Kelly High School graduation ring, two wedding rings and other jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old woman, at 4:55 p.m. Thursday, March 8.

Cubs jacket taken from unlocked home
Burglars entered an unlocked home in the 5100 block of South Homan and stole a Chicago Cubs jacket. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 35-year-old woman, when she came home at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 and saw two men running out her back door. They were described as Hispanic men age 35-40, wearing black jackets and blue jeans.

Cash, jewelry, electronics taken from apartment
Burglars entered an apartment in the 3400 block of West 65th Place and stole a reported $4,000 cash, three video game consoles and a jewelry box with assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 39-year-old man, at about 1 p.m. Friday, March 9.

Basement door is burglars’ point of entry
Burglars forced open the basement door of a home in the 6600 block of South Kostner and stole two TVs, a video game console, two wedding rings and other jewelry, a pair of designer sunglasses, a laptop computer and a tablet computer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 46-year-old man, at about 2 p.m. Friday, March 9.

# # #

Thursday, March 8, 2018

No Stranger to the Clippers

Clearing teen participates in St. Baldrick’s for 6th time

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Clearing resident Andrew Moser has a date with a pair of hair clippers this month, but it’s old hat for the 15-year-old.

For the sixth year in a row, he will lose his locks to raise funds for the fight against cancer in children.

Moser will be called to go bald at a St. Baldrick's event set for
Sunday, March 18 at The Kerry Piper, 7900 S. Joliet Road, Willowbrook. The exact time has yet to be determined.

His goal is to raise $500 to help fund cancer research. As of Tuesday afternoon, five donors had put up $185. Those interested in helping are encouraged to visit click here:

“I just wanted to do something positive to help fight cancer,” Moser recalled about his start with St. Baldrick’s at age 9, sparked by the participation of his Uncle Eric. “I’ve just stuck with it every year since then.” 

Once he loses his blond hair, he will get his customary kiss of gratitude and pride from his mother, Chelli.
In a photo from 2014, Andrew receives a congratulatory kiss from his mom, Chelli.

“I’m proud of him,” she said. “He was raised to think about the needs of others and the world around him—and this is one example of how he does this. He’s always been a good boy on his way to growing up to be a good man.”

Andrew will be collecting donations for St. Baldrick's in front of Fair Share Finer Foods, 63rd and Narragansett, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a not-for-profit charity based in Monrovia, Calif. that began in 1999 as little more than a fun idea among three friends, yet has mushroomed into a movement. Last year, St. Baldrick’s participants raised more than $34 million, and the foundation over the years has given more than $127 million in grants to scientific research projects around the world, making it second in the U.S.—only to the federal government—in funding to fight childhood cancer.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Kennedy HS Hosts 'Social Media' Event

Our friends at Kennedy High School are hosting a "social
media awareness night" for parents, set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 12 in the school's auditorium, 56th and Narragansett.

This event is open to the public, not just Kennedy High School parents.

Here is a description of the event, provided by Kennedy High School:

Is your child on social media? Glued to a smartphone or tablet? Then you need to come to this presentation because although these can be powerful tools, with great power comes great responsibility!

This presentation is called “Social Media Land Mines” because, like with a land mine, you might not see the danger coming until it’s too late. Parents need to know the latest trends and potential dangers and best practices to help your child navigate around these potential dangers.

For most parents, social media is overwhelming. There are thousands of apps and it’s a moving target; what is popular today is out tomorrow. During this highly interactive presentation you will learn simple techniques and receive powerful resources to help them stay up-to-date with the latest trends and apps to keep your kids safe. 

Who Is This For?
Whether you are tech savvy or have no idea what this whole “social media” stuff is about; whether your child is even using social media (yet) or if they are about to graduate high school, this presentation has something for you. You will not only leave this presentation understanding the potential issues, but with a variety of simple tips and tricks to help guide your child and promote responsible posting.

Not Your Typical Speaker!
Get ready to be edutained! Robert Hackenson Jr. is a professional speaker and “edutainer” that infuses lectures with magic and illusions designed to reinforce the lessons. With over a decade of experience speaking to youth, parents, and professionals, he has now spoken in 46 states across the country, several provinces in Canada, and around the world (as far as Australia). His unique skills have also earned him numerous appearances on Fox News, PBS and several other local media outlets.

This Presentation Opportunity is made possible for both students and parents by Kennedy High School's Parent Advisory Council. It is paid for by the "Every Student Succeeds Act."

# # #

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Police Officer Gary Hughes; Served Overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Clearing policeman Gary Hughes, whose battle with cancer
was chronicled in a March 2017 story in the Southwest Chicago Post, died Feb. 28. He was 50 years old.

Officer Hughes, a husband and father of two, battled stage 4 stomach and liver cancers since he was diagnosed in October 2016. He had undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and blood transfusions.

Officer Hughes grew up with his mother and two brothers in Cicero. He attended Morton High School and at age 18 enlisted in the Army. He served in Panama, Operation Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. He rose to the rank of captain and was with the 416 Engineer Command with 30 years of military service. Shortly before his death, he was promoted to major.

He joined the Chicago Police Department 19 years ago and most recently served in the Ogden (10th) District.

Officer Hughes is survived by his wife, Kimberly; children, Justin and Kaylee; mother, Joan (the late Edward) Hughes; brothers, Rick and Jeff; and nieces and nephews.

The Hughes family will receive guests at Sax-Tiedemann Funeral Home, 9568 W. Belmont, Franklin Park from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 4. He will lie in state on Monday, March 5, from 9 am until the time of service: 10:30 a.m. at Christ Church, 501 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook.

Interment with full military honors will follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood.

Donations to assist the family are accepted at  “Salute Officer Gary Hughes” c/o Byline Bank, 6257 S. Austin, Chicago, IL 60638.

# # #

Seek Info on Theft from Supermercado in Archer Heights

Supermercado Rivera,4334 W. 51st St., one of the Southwest Side's most reputable, responsible, family-owned and operated businesses is going public with video footage of a theft that occurred at 7:27 p.m. Sunday, February 25--in the hope that someone will recognize the thief and call police.

In the video, released to Telemundo Chicago, store surveillance footage shows two women who appear to be customers walking in the store. One woman falls, while the other calls for help.

When employees rush to assist the fallen woman, a third woman is seen stealing merchandise (said to be energy drinks and cleaning products).

Shortly after, the three women are seen leaving the store together and getting into a light-colored Chrysler minivan.

Here is a link to the video:

Whether the first woman truly fell on accident--or deliberately to create a diversion--remains an open question, as does whether the first two women are accomplices of the third woman. But clearly, they were all together.

If you have any useful information to share about the crime, please contact police 

For years, Supermercado Rivera has been a clean, bright
store with top-quality meats, poultry, produce and other items. They are independent, locally owned and employ local men and women.

Let's all show our support for them. Stop by in the days ahead and do some shopping. We are. :-)

# # #


Monday, February 26, 2018

Sarcastic Applause for Man Who Reportedly Clapped for Accused Cop Killer

A 35-year-old Back of the Yards man who was scorned by
Eddie Negron
many for allegedly applauding an accused cop-killer, was himself applauded--in a derisive, mocking fashion--by Cook County Department of Corrections officers and supervisors.

Eddie Negron, of the 5400 block of South Marshfield, was given the sarcastic cheer as he was taken into custody by CPD Area Central Detectives after he left criminal court at 26th and California at about 3:45 p.m. Friday on an unrelated charge, according to the popular Second City Cop blog. 

Negron was apprehended and charged with one felony count of robbery in connection with a crime that occurred Friday, Feb. 9 at a retail establishment in the 0-100 block of East Roosevelt Road, according to a statement from CPD.

"Negron was positively identified by an employee of the establishment as the individual who grabbed and pulled the victim's wrist with his hand and left the store without paying for numerous items," the statement continued. "Additionally, Negron left his wallet at the scene."

Bond was set at $20,000, and Negron is due in court on Friday, March 2.

Negron is one of several inmates who reportedly applauded when CCDOC officers escorted convicted felon Shomari Legghette to a criminal court hearing on Feb. 15. Legghette is charged with murdering CPD Commander Paul Bauer earlier this month in the Loop.

Video of inmates applauding Legghette--released to the press by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and seen hundreds of thousands of times on the internet--sparked outrage among law-abiding people across the city and even around the world.

As punishment for applauding, Dart reportedly transferred several inmates to jails outside Cook County, temporarily.

# # #

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Rapper on the Rise

Southside Jake succeeds with blue-collar hip hop

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

A rap artist recently gave the Southwest Side a weather-related chuckle, but his continued rise to fame and acclaim is no joke.

Southside Jake, a Garfield Ridge resident, lit up local social media with posts about his “Snow Day” video he pulled together with two other rappers—Kidd Russell and Thé Fatman.

The song is a light-hearted romp through the snow—literally—by three men who have learned that they have the day off because of heavy snow.

South Side Jake (right) celebrates a snow day with Kidd Russell and Thé Fatman.

Weather aside, the rise of Southside Jake (officially Jake Tuton) has been steadily happening in recent years—a success he chalks up to keeping his lyrics real and speaking from experience. His best-known rap, South Side Girl, has become an anthem of sorts and can often be heard on digital jukeboxes at sports bars and other watering holes on the Southwest Side.

“The best and shortest way to describe what I do is ‘blue-collar hip hop,’” Southside Jake explained. “It’s rap music, for sure…but I’m from here. I’m from the Southwest Side. My two biggest songs are South Side Girl and City Kids. So it’s very everyday, very blue-collar, very much about the struggles of the ordinary person.”

It’s “catching the Orange Line, going downtown, Archer Avenue, Weber’s Bakery,” he continued. “This neighborhood’s a lot of firefighters, police officers, union workers. I’m living and breathing that every day--so you kind of write what you know.”

Southside Jake, 32, grew up in the Ford City condominium
Southside Jake in action.
His journey from boy to rap artist started early.

“I grew up listening to music,” he recalled, noting that his influences include rockers like the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Metallica, as well as rappers like Jay-Z and Common, I just grew up with everything on the iPod list, so the music just kind of comes from everywhere.”

He recalled that he “was a little kid writing little rap poems; and then hanging out here in the neighborhood, we’d just rap and freestyle at parties and stuff. And people were like, ‘Hey, you’re actually pretty good at this. You need to pursue it, you need to pursue it. So I branded it and came up with it and at first made some really, really bad songs; and you know, like the whole routine.”

Since hitting his stride as an artist about six years ago, he has enjoyed steady success. He has performed at Lollapalooza three times and notes, "We’re on iTunes, Spotify, AMI jukeboxes all over North America…so yeah, the music has some legs underneath it at this point.”

South Side Girl “was something I had it in my head forever, years before I wrote it,” he said. “There’s something special about our brand of ladies down here (on the Southwest Side). You know what I mean? Cuss you out, no nonsense, call it like they see it; but also beautiful, elegant, like a ying and yang thing. And I thought, ‘Nobody captures that, nobody really represents. There’s something special going on, on the Southwest Side and I don’t know if that’s ever been properly captured, at least on the female side of it.’ I wanted to make a tribute song, I had it in my head forever, and I finally said, ‘OK, we’re doing it,’ and it came to fruition.”

While some may express surprise that a rapper on the rise calls Garfield Ridge home, Southside Jake sees a different picture.

“There are a lot of musicians down here (on the Southwest Side), and there’s more vibrant stuff going on here than most people understand,” he said. “There are some metal bands out here that had record deals in like the ‘80s. There are some really good cover bands. There’s a lot of buzz around here. You pop into Lindy’s on a Saturday, and there’s always somebody playing, or at the Twisted Shamrock. There’s good musicians out here, for sure. Just gotta open your eyes and ears a bit.”

Southside Jake’s newest venture is a project called Kildare.

“There’s a rock guitarist from the neighborhood who’s had a high level of success…Matt Szlachta. He’s in this heavy metal band called Broken Hope, super aggressive stuff, way too aggressive for me, way too heavy…it’s like my world meets his world—guitar infused with hip hop. It’s a huge collaboration that’s been going on, and I’m excited about it. You’ll all hear about it soon.”

Kildare just announced a show on March 15 at The Forge in Joliet. For details, visit