Stop it!

  • Written by Kevin M. Coyne


CR residents and officials believe stop signs near Metra station are a hazard

Chicago Ridge trustees mayPage-3-3-col-signsSigns on the Ridgeland Avenue and Washington Street area are becoming more of a hazard, say Chicago Ridge residents and officials. Photo by Kevin M. Coyne. try to put a stop to recently erected stop signs at the Ridgeland Metra station.
Nearly five months ago, the village installed three new stop signs that were designed to offer Metra commuters with safe passage across Ridgeland Avenue. Instead, the signs, coupled with trains stopping at the intersection, have caused a major hazard for those who have only a temporary window of safe passage.
One resident complained of trains blocking the intersection – especially during busy rush hour traffic.
“I’ve been riding the train for 30 years,” said Lynn Barker, a Chicago Ridge resident who spoke out during Tuesday’s board meeting. “Some of the trains block the busy intersection and allow for the commuters to cross the street. I don’t know how it’s feasible for one train and not another, especially during rush hour.”
Trustee Sally Durkin said the number of trains that block the intersection have been reduced over the years. She

Office manager tagged by FBI for alleged wire fraud

  • Written by Bob Rakow

An Oak Lawn man who allegedly used his position as a back office manager at a Chicago trading firm to steal or divert payments intended to go to the firm’s co-owners was charged with wire fraud last Friday.
Joseph Tagler, 29, of the 5100 block of 105th Street, was charged with fraud after the FBI discovered a $9,550 wire transfer that took place in January.
The charge was announced by Robert J. Holley, special agent in charge of the Chicago FBI field office, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Tagler was arrested last Thursday by FBI agents at his residence and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan, who released him on a $50,000 bond. No future court date has been set.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.
The complaint, filed last Wednesday, alleges that Tagler, a back office manager and member of the board of directors for Eagle Market Makers, stole a total of more than $700,000 during a 26-month period and that the money was used for his personal use, including the purchase of a property for himself and his brother-in-law in Walkerton, Ind.
The complaint further alleges that the scheme was discovered last month when one of the company co-owners was preparing file tax returns and noticed that the amount he received in dividend payments was less than what it appeared he was paid in paperwork he received from the company.
According to the complaint, Tagler transferred funds in July 2011 and March 2013 for the purchase of two real estate parcels in Indiana. The complaint further alleges that the same account was used to deposit funds in the amounts of approximately $323,700 in 2012 and approximately $496,000 in 2013, which funds were primarily a co-owner’s dividend checks.
Most deposited funds were withdrawn from the account through checks made out to “cash.” The checks appeared to be endorsed by Tagler, who allegedly signed a co-owner’s name, the complaint said.

Former OL man shot in the stomach by home invaders

  • Written by Tim Hadac

A 51-year-old Palos Heights man originally from Oak Lawn was in serious but stable condition at Advocate Christ Hospital Tuesday afternoon, 10 hours after he was shot in the stomach by two robbers who invaded his home near 131st Street and 80th Avenue.
Police said that Scott Farrow of Palos Heights was shot at his home. Farrow is the owner and president of United Insurance Services Ltd. in Palos Heights and is from Oak Lawn, according to his Facebook page.
A statement by the Palos Heights Department said they were dispatched to the home at 3:49 a.m Tuesday and spoke with the victim, who said he had been lying on his couch when he heard his rear door being forced open.
He was then accosted by the home invaders, one of whom hit him with a blunt object and then demanded money. The victim told police that when he resisted, one of the offenders shot him. They then grabbed a large amount of the victim’s cash and fled.
Footprints in the snow that had fallen overnight showed that they ran west, toward 131st Street and 80th Avenue.
After he was shot, the victim sought refuge in the home of a neighbor, who called police.
The victim told police that earlier in the evening, he had won a large amount of cash at a casino, which police declined to name. But news reports indicated it was the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. Police said the winnings may have made the victim a target.
The offenders remained at large Tuesday afternoon and are described as black men ages 20s to 30s, police said.
Palos Heights police said the crime posed “no immediate threat to residents” and were said to be gathering and reviewing surveillance video from the casino and several local sites.
“All local schools were contacted and made aware of the incident and told that no lockdown was necessary,” the statement added. “Cook County Sheriff’s Police evidence technicians were called to process the scene. Palos Heights police were also assisted by Palos Park police and Orland Park police.”

Still simmering

  • Written by Bob Rakow


Brittany supporters unhappy with mayor’s online quotes and alleged tweets by mayor’s relative

PAGE-1-2-col-pass-outMike Tully passes out copies of tweets allegedly made by Mayor Mary Werner’s relative to members of the Worth Village board Tuesday night. Photo by Jeff Vorva.Worth Village Board meeting lacked some of the raw emotion and passion that marked the April 1 meeting, but family and friends of Britanny Wawrzyniak took the opportunity to sharply criticize the way in which the death investigation has been handled.

They also scolded Worth Mayor Mary Werner for talking about the case to an online publication after saying at the April 1 meeting that she could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
“You chose to make a statement there but you wouldn’t do if in front of the board meeting two weeks ago,” said Rebecca Tully, Wawrzyniak’s mother.
More than 200 people attended the April 1 meeting, and several unleashed their anger on Werner. Two days later, police arrested Lilyanna Arboleda, 18, of Chicago, and charged her with conspiracy to commit battery.
Prosecutors have said the charge does not mean Arboleda was involved in Wawrzyniak’s death, which occurred Nov. 8 after she was ejected from a moving car near the Worth boat launch, 115th Street and Beloit Avenue.
Werner was quoted on a website that Wawrzyniak’s family wanted to take credit for the arrest, a remark that upset Tully.
“How dare you. Our family is not looking for credit. Our family is looking for truth and justice,” Tully said.
Wawrzyniak’s family also distributed copies of messages allegedly sent on Twitter by a relative of the mayor in which she comments on the Nov. 8 incident.

Easter prayers for cardinal

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


Millions concerned for George as he urges talks about his successorpage-1-COLOR-4-COL-cARDINALCardinal Francis George presided over Marist’s 50th anniversary celebration last September. Since then, his health has taken a downturn again and even though he was able to speak at St. Xavier University last week he will not travel to Rome for a canonization ceremony later this month and has urged church officials to begin looking for his successor. Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (inset) is rumored to be the frontrunner to replace George. Top hoto by Jeff Vorva.

Some Catholics will pray with Cardinal Francis George on Sunday.Page-5-2-col-Archbishop-Kurtz Photo courtesy of Louisville Archdiocese.


Many more will be praying for him.
Cardinal George is putting up a brave fight as he battles cancer and goes through chemotherapy sessions again.
The 77-year-old George was able to keep his speaking engagement at St. Xavier University on April 8 and told that audience that he plans on participating in Holy Week services and plans on presiding at Easter Sunday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.
On the down side, he is not able to take a trip to Rome for the important canonization ceremony of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, which takes place April 27.
“They spelled out the dangers,” George said at SXU. “I can’t risk another infection. It would be very foolish to go over there.”
And it might be time to start thinking of a replacement.
It’s hard for people to talk about this subject but Cardinal George’s run will end. Whether it’s in weeks, months or longer it is going to happen and the more than two million Catholics that he represents are likely wondering who takes over when he steps down.
George told the SXU audience that the process of selecting his successor has not started yet but three days later in a meeting with reporters he said the process should begin soon because “It’s not fair to the archdiocese to have someone who may not be able to do the job the way it should be done.’’
The speculation is that a man from Louisville could be coming to town to take the job when it becomes available.
Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz is