Impressive panel

Ed McElroy, host of “The Ed McElroy Show” REPORTER-2-col-mcelroy-cutlineat Access Comcast, channel 19, recently interviewed Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White (right) and Michael Barrett (left), an attorney at Barrett & Sramek Law Firm. McElroy is Past National Commander of Catholic War Veterans, U.S.A.

Circus coming to Palos Hills

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

 Event will aid sexual assault victims

There will be clowns.admin-ajax 5Franchesca Cavallini, above photo, is a trapeze artist who also sings and will be a part of the Carson and Barnes Circus that will come to Palos Hills Aug. 19 and 20.

There will be high-flying trapeze artists.

There will be elephants and camels.

Heck, there will even be a pygmy hippopotamus scheduled to make an appearance.

The Carson and Barnes Circus will attempt to offer all sorts of fun activities for members of the family when it rolls into Palos Hills Aug. 19 and 20.

But it will offer some painful and somber reflections as well.

The Circus, which will take place on Sunny Creek Drive and South Roberts Road, will feature shows each night designed for the state of Illinois victims and survivors and their families of violence, rape, missing loved ones or murder.

A candlelight vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 19.

The shows will feature songs from Jacque Hollander, herself a victim of sexual assault. The ensuing legal action brought by Hollander against her alleged rapist — soul singer James Brown — helped change the law for victims to allow them unlimited time to bring a civil charge against their attackers, according to her LinkedIn account.

admin-ajax 1Hollander will auction off her own designed t-shirts and proceeds will benefit the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. One of the songs she wrote, “I am the Circus” was dedicated to the Carson and Barnes Circus, and 16-year-old trapeze artist Franchesca Cavallini sang lead vocals on its recording.

“Sexual assault, domestic violence, kidnapping and murder [has] now reached an epidemic level and we here at Carson and Barnes Circus want to be [a part] of shedding light on this matter,” circus officials wrote in a news release.

Tickets at the gate are $16 for adults and $10 for children. For more information and to purchase advance tickets visit


Glenn Maker motors on with third annual car show

  • Written by Kelly White

car-show field  Car enthusiasts from the southwest suburbs and beyond were hoping the third time was the charm for their cars at the third annual American Legion Glenn Maker Post 1160 car show and competition in Chicago Ridge.

  Classics, muscle cars and hot-rods car-show Rich-ZelisRich Zelis, of Oak Lawn displays his 1939 Buick complete with whitewall tires.packed the post’s parking lot at 106th Street and Ridgeland Avenue July 28 as vehicle owners hoped to win awards doled out to the best of the mean machines. Awards were given out to best cars in each decade, beginning with pre-1950’s. A total of 250 trophies were awarded, including Best Racecar and Best in Show, as well as a series of new awards such as the Ladies Auxiliary Top Pick, Sons of the American Legion Top Pick and Commander’s Choice Award. The judgment criterion was based on appearance and maintenance both inside and outside of the vehicle.
  The American Legion’s parking lot displayed 84 vehicles, doubling the amount of vehicles entered in last year’s competition. Last year’s show featured more than 40 cars and motorcycles.
car-show Fred-BerndlFred Berndl, of Justice, pops the hood on his Ford Mustang during the show.  “The event is becoming more and more popular every year,” Sons of the American Legion member Roger Schweikert stated.
  Rich Zelis, of Oak Lawn, entered last year’s competition with a 1962 Chevy Impala; however, he decided to showcase a 1939 Buick on Saturday. Having owned the car for 43 years, Zelis said everything inside and outside of the vehicle is all original. “In fact, I don’t know how people used to rob banks with these cars, they aren’t exactly fast but they sure are nice to look at,” Zelis joked.
  Zelis wasn’t the only one with a unique story behind his vehicle. Eastern Illinois graduate Todd Triller, of Chicago, built his shiny yellow 1977 Camero himself.
  “I built the entire vehicle from scratch,” he said. “It wasn’t easy and it definitely took a lot of time and dedication but I am very proud to enter it in car shows whenever I have the opportunity.”car-show Todd-TrillerTodd Triller, of Chicago, shows off the 1977 Chevy Camaro he built from scratch.
  Triller’s car has taken home several awards at previous car shows for best in class.
  Another former award winner, Mike Guidarelli, of Palos Hills, admits he is more than proud to showcase his solar-gold 1978 Poniac Trans AM.
  “I have taken home several awards for having an unrestored, all original vehicle, including awards for best in class, as well,” he said.
  Since purchasing his vehicle last winter, 1939 Chevy owner Joe Motyka, of Romeoville, has taken home awards at car shows throughout the Chicago area this past spring and summer for best in show.
  “My wife wasn’t too happy when I bought this car at first,” Motyka joked, “But the shows are consistently proving that I do have an award-winning vehicle.”
  The show also brought in new competitors this year, including brothers Joe and Mark Hofsteadter, of Midlothian and Chicago Ridge. This is the first show their 1970 yellow Camaro has seen, and according to Joe, it won’t be the last.
  “We have had the car over twenty years, and this is honestly the first time we ever considered entering it in a competition,” he stated.
  Mustang owner Fred Berndl, of Justice, originally bought his vehicle for his daughter, but ended up keeping it for himself. “I drive this car all the time just for fun — it isn’t just a show car,” Berndl stated.
  Chevelle owner John Muradito, of Burbank, agrees that his car is not just a show car. “I do try to enter my car in a show whenever I have the chance, but I also drag race my vehicle,” Muradito said about his 550-horsepower engine. Purchasing the car in 1995, Muradito repainted the once red vehicle to a gray and put in a new suspension and brakes. “The entire car is like brand new again,” he added.
  Dodge Coronet owner Frank Zilka, of Lockport, also drives his car all the time. “They only made Coronets up until the mid-1970s,” Zilka explained. “With having such a unique car, I’m happy to not only enter it in car shows, but to use it as my everyday vehicle, as well.”
  All proceeds from the show contestants will be going to veterans.
  The Glenn Maker post will be making donations to the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and the Wounded Warriors Project.

  Hines Hospital, located at 5000 South 5th Avenue in Hines, Illinois provides healthcare services to veterans in the Chicagoland area, offering a Blind Rehabilitation Center, while the Wounded Warriors Project provides programs and services to severely injured members during the time between active duty and the transition to civilian life.

Palos man allegedly attempted to sell drugs laced with candy


  A Palos Hills man is facing a felony charge for possession of a controlled substance after allegedly selling candy laced with drugs to undercover detectives.
  Alexander Pacura, 21, was arrested at 3:50 p.m. July 26 after selling the candy, which tested positive for amphetamines, to police, according to reports. He appeared in court July 27 for a bond hearing.
  The drug — a schedule 1 narcotic — is a stimulant commonly prescribed to children for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Normal side effects include a decrease in appetite and fatigue, but taken in high doses over a longer period in time the drug can cause psychosis and delusional behavior.
— The Reporter


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