Driver in Oak Lawn DUI crash says she ‘loves smoking weed,’ police say


  An Oak Lawn woman is facing multiple auto and alcohol-related charges for crashing the car she was driving into a parked truck after drinking while under age at a bar in Chicago Ridge, according to police reports.
  Carlena Williams, 19, was arrested around 3 a.m. July 7 after police responding to the scene of a hit-and-run accident in the 5400 block of 99th Street found her walking down 99th Street away from the scene, according to reports. She is charged with underage drinking, DUI, obstructing identification attempts and failure to reduce speed, according to reports.
  Williams — who was bleeding from her right wrist and right ear — denied involvement in the accident before admitting to police she was coming from a bar, according to reports.
  Williams reportedly began changing her account of the events and once again denied driving from the bar. According to reports, Williams allegedly told police she was 19 years old but then said she was 21 after they began questioning her about her time at the bar. Police reports state Williams appeared intoxicated, her breath smelled of alcohol, and her eyes were glassy.
  A witness who was driving behind Williams told police she saw the Mazda Williams was driving smash into the truck and become stuck before accelerating in an attempt to dislodge from the crash, according to reports. About five minutes passed before Williams was able to free the car and park it a short distance away from the accident, according to police. She then exited the car and began walking away, according to reports.
  Williams’ friend, Jessica Gonzalez, 20, of Burbank, was a passenger in the car following Williams and confirmed for police that Williams had been driving the Mazda, according to reports. Police took Gonzalez into custody for underage consumption after she admitted to drinking with Williams at a party in Burbank before accompanying her to Jack Desmond’s, according to reports.
  While in jail, Williams reportedly told police, “I love smoking [expletive] weed. I’m going to leave this stupid [expletive] police department and smoke a blunt. Write that down. Are you writing that down?”
  According to the report, Williams also admitted to purchasing and smoking cannabis, stating that she had bought marijuana at 23rd and Troy in Chicago and had smoked 1/8 of an ounce of it in two hours.
  Williams was charged, released on bond, and given a court hearing on July 25.
— The Reporter


Ridge property predicaments

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne

CR does not grant 6B incentive to Virginia

Avenue lot; no action on Roche property

  To avoid burdening Chicago Ridge’s residential and commercial taxpayers, village trustees voted Tuesday night against extending a Cook County property-tax incentive known as Class 6B to the prospective owner an industrial property, formerly CBK Group.

  In order for the 10130 Virginia Avenue property to be classified as a Class 6B, it must be abandoned or unused for 24 months, require substantial rehabilitation or be substantially reoccupied. The 36,000-square-foot property has been listed at $1,450,000 for the past several months.
  “The owner indicated that the property has just gone vacant in June 2013 and as we know under 6B the property must be abandoned and unused for more than 24 months,” Trustee Michael Davies said. “Getting to the rehabilitation part, the question is whether or not replacing the roof on a property that is in excess of 20 years old counts as substantial rehabilitation or regular maintenance.”
  Under special circumstances. a property can be classified as abandoned prior to 24 months if the municipality or Cook County Board of Commissioners deems the property abandoned for the purposes of Class 6B. The issue is now offering a second tax break in addition to classifying the property and land as a Class 6B level.
  “So first we are going to grant the 6B where they are going to take the valued property that they bought at auction where it will reduce that assessment level from 25 percent to 10 percent and then we are going to let them reduce it further with vacancy relief,” Davies said. “This property will have a very small footprint tax-wise and I think this is giving the potential owner a double-cut in which the end result is that everybody else pays higher taxes.”
  Village attorney George Witous asked the board if they would rather have the property abandoned or if they would rather induce a buyer to help generate additional revenue for the village.
  “I don’t believe this qualifies as an abandoned property, but the point of the issue we have to consider is do you want a vacant property in the industrial park or do we want a revenue-generating property,” Witous said. “This is an inducement to a prospective purchaser to know that he’s got the advantage of a reduced tax rate.”
  Chicago Ridge officials met with figureheads from YRC Freight, formerly Yellow Freight to inspect the property and to discuss the company’s intentions to move back into the abandoned property. Yellow abandoned the property in 2008 when it moved its Chicago-based terminal to Ford Heights.
  “We are going to meet with the Yellow Freight staff to point out all of the areas of concern and identify all of our concerns for them to reoccupy that site,” said village engineer Chris Burke. “We will review a request for them to reoccupy that site and at that point we will get their response as to how they wish to respond to all of our concerns before we get everybody out there to review the property.”
  Chicago Ridge had planned to create a TIF district on the old Yellow site and redevelop the 75-acre trucking terminal into a mix-use facility comprised of office space, retail shopping, entertainment and other business that would generate additional tax revenue for the village.
  • There was no action on the fate of a property owned by Mike Roche Jr. at 10014 Anderson Ave. – an area some officials have deemed an eyesore.
  Officials met in a special meeting and executive session on Aug. 1 and there was speculation that action could be taken at Tuesday’s meeting. Officials were asking Roche to produce a contract outlining improvements he would make on the property, such as repaving, and when they would be complete.
  Roche said he has been working the past three months to clean up the property and complete a list of eliminating code violations that were directed at him by Chicago Ridge Building Commissioner Rich Sumner.

DeJesus brightens day of Christ patients

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


  Cubs outfielder David DeJesus DOUBLERUN-COLOR-3-col-Dejesus-1Fifteen-month-old Gunnar VanCleave of Seneca gets up close with Cubs outfielder David DeJesus last Thursday at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn.slammed into a wall to try to make a catch in New York in June and his body paid the price as he suffered a sprained shoulder and missed 33 games and returned in late July.

  So when he stopped by the Advocate Christ Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn last Thursday, he knew of what some of the patients were going through.
  “I just kept the faith,” he said in a room featuring several young patients. “I know that I can rely on my trainers and rely on the guys who have knowledge to help me get better. Time will heal all wounds and everyone here has their own struggles going on. But you have to believe that there is healing in the world and everything will be OK if you keep that positive mentality.’’
  On a lighter note, he encouraged long-suffering Cubs fans to keep the faith as well. The Cubs have gone more than 100 years without a World Series title and since Theo Epstein took over as the Cubs president, the team has been subpar in 2012 and 2013 and gutted in order to rebuild with young players.
Douelberun-color-3-col-dejesus-2David DeJesus shakes hands with Hickory Hills’ Mike Henderson while his parents Janet and Jeffrey, look on.  “It’s going to happen sooner than later,” DeJesus said. “I think Theo and the new management team are on the right program. They are building from within the minor leagues. A lot of young guys are coming up together. When they come into the major leagues they will have that camaraderie. Sprinkle in a couple of guys who are veterans to keep them right and I think it’s going to happen sooner than later.”
  Having a major league ballplayer show up changes the climate of the day at the hospital.
  “[It] really brightens the day of our pediatric patients,” Dr. George Harris, a pediatrician at the hospital said in a news release. “It’s great to have the kids interacting with these professional athletes and seeing the smiles on their faces.”
  That included Hickory Hills’ Mike Henderson, who was able to meet DeJesus hours before having surgery performed.
  He admitted to DeJesus he was more of a Sox fan than a Cubs fan but still looked thrilled to be able to spend a few minutes with a professional athlete.
  After visiting with some of the younger patients, DeJesus made a trip to the adult surgical heart unit to pay a surprise visit to die-hard Cubs fan Carmen Murphy of Addison.
  The two talked baseball for awhile and Murphy said “I saw your father play with the Cubs.”
  DeJesus had to politely tell Murphy that former Cub Ivan DeJesus was not his father and people tell him that all the time.
  “I’m just a kid from Jersey,”doublerun-2-col-dejesus3Jennifer Murphy, David DeJesus, Carmen Murphy and Alexa Murphy pose Thursday at Christ Hospital. Carmen Murphy of Addison is a die-hard Cubs fan who underwent heart surgery and was surprised by DeJesus’s visit. he said. “I’m not related to Ivan although my dad did know him in college.”
  DeJesus asked Murphy what he thought of the Cubs and Murphy said “They are going in the right direction.”
  In the future, Cubs players will be visiting another Advocate hospital later in the month in Park Ridge.


Caught in the action?


double-run-3-col-carl  Palos Heights Channel 4 cameraman Carl Germann looks like he is in the middle of the action after a Blackhawks postseason goal.

  Germann was taking crowd shots from the stage at the Incarnation gym during the Stanley Cup’s appearance last Wednesday in front of a big-screen television.

Photo by Jeff Vorva


Hometown man dies in OL park

  The body of a 56-year-old Hometown man was discovered Tuesday morning near a park bench in Lewandowski Park near 89th Street and 49th Court, according to police.
  Oak Lawn police officers and paramedics responding to the report of an unresponsive man in the park behind Fairplay Foods discovered the man at 8:48 a.m., police said.
  No signs of foul play were evident, and Oak Lawn police Division Chief Thomas Simon said it appears the man had been out walking or exercising before his death.
  The man’s body was transported to the Cook County medical examiner’s office at about 11 a.m. that morning. Jamie Giller, an investigator with the examiner’s office, said results from the autopsy were scheduled to be complete around 2 p.m. July 31.