Check E. Cheese’s liquor license could be in jeopardy

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury will determine the future of Chuck E. Cheese’s liquor license Tuesday at a liquor control commission hearing.

The mayor, who is also the village’s liquor commissioner, could suspend or revoke the establishment’s license or levy a fine. It would not be the first time Bury has taken decisive action against an establishment that allegedly has violated the terms of its liquor license.
Bury announced the hearing Tuesday, just days after a May 18 disturbance at Chuck E. Cheese, 4031 W. 95th St.

The fracas involved a large, unruly crowd of approximately 100 patrons—including many young children—who were outside the restaurant when police arrived at about 6:15 p.m., according to reports.
Some members of the crowd were swearing and arguing with one another or ignoring police commands to disperse, police said.
Four individuals were arrested during the incident and charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing or resisting a police officer, according to reports.
The liquor commission hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Oak Lawn Village Hall, 9446 S. Raymond Ave.
The hearing notice says that Chuck E. Cheese allegedly violated the disorderly conduct clause of a village ordinance.

“No retailer of liquor licensed under the provisions hereof shall suffer any loud or boisterous talking or obscene or profane language, quarreling, singing, fighting or other disturbances,” according to the ordinance.
This is not the first criminal incident at Chuck E. Cheese.
In 2012, a 20-year-old man who was sitting in his car in the restaurant parking lot was shot. The man, a self-admitted gang member, told police he was sitting in his car when shots were fired. Police said that two men walked up to the car and started shooting.
The restaurant agreed last year to hire off-duty Oak Lawn police to serve as security.
This is not the first liquor commission hearing under Bury’s watch.
Earlier this year, George’s Lounge, 5407 W. 95th St., was fined $3,000 for underage drinking and failure to have a liquor license
Specifically, the tavern was fined $500 for serving four underage patrons on Nov. 9 and an addition $1,000 for not posting a valid liquor license, the second such violation, Bury said.
An expired liquor license was posted in the tavern, said police, who could not find a valid license in the state’s database. The $500 fine per violation is the minimum fine that can be assessed by mayor, who also serves as the village’s liquor commissioner.
The underage drinking was discovered when police arrived to conduct a spot check, they said. The ID check revealed four underage patrons, one who had a fake ID, police said. The four were charged with underage drinking.
Additionally, TC Pub, 9700 S. Cicero Ave., was fined $250 for being open after hours on Dec. 13 and $1,000 because cocaine was found in the office of the establishment when police responded to a disturbance at the bar that night.
The village reached an agreement with the tavern calling on the owner to enforce an employee code of conduct as well as a drug-free workplace policy. Additionally, TC Pub agreed to hire security to be at the bar from 8 p.m. until close on Fridays, Saturdays and other nights that a large is expected.
The agreement requires employees to complete the state’s Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training program.
The code of conduct states that the bar’s last call will be at 1:30 a.m., and customers must leave by 2 a.m. Employees must leave by 3 a.m.
Employees may not consume alcohol after the bar closes. Friends and customers are not allowed on the premises after close, according to agreement.

‘We are adjourned, let’s party!’

  • Written by Kelly White

Worth officials partied like it was 1914. page-1-3-col-mayorWorth Mayor Mary Werner, decked out in garb from the 1914 era, presided over a quick board meeting and a party to help celebrate the village’s 100th anniversary. Photo by Jeff Vorva.

On the eve of marking the 100-day countdown to the village’s 100th birthday, Worth village board members brought back the sensation of the era by dressing in clothing from the 1900’s during a brief 15-minute outdoor meeting Tuesday night at Gale Moore Park in the Worth Historic District.
In lieu of a gavel, Worth Mayor Mary Werner banged the table with her hand and said “We are adjourned, let’s party!” and the close to a hundred people ate hot dogs and ice cream and watched a fireworks show.
Some stuck around for Worth’s edition of the game show “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?’’ hosted by trustee Colleen McElroy featuring fifth graders from Worth Junior High competing against longtime Worth residents, including Carol Phalm, who has lived in the city for 60 yrs. Although the residents were tough competitors, the fifth graders took the win with a final score of 5-4.
The festivities were rushed because of impending storms and most people cleared the area at 8 p.m. before heavy rains and wind hit the park.
Officials dressed for the occasion.
In the era of Queen Victoria, whose very name is synonymous with conservative manners, fashion was vastly more formal than modern standards. Men donned three-piece suits for nearly every occasion, and women wore dresses that reached down to their shoes. The board members did not disappoint, decked out in long dresses, bonnets, vests and top hats.
“As a financial advisor, I sometimes wear a suit to regular meetings, minus the top hat, of course,” Trustee Tedd JUMP-2-or3-colTrustee Tedd Meursch Jr., left, looks dapper in his top hat while trustee Warren Soldan’s cowboy-meets-Santa Claus ensemble was a hit at Tuesday’s board meeting, held at Gale Moore Park. Photo by Jeff Vorva.Muersch, Jr., joked. Muersch’s family has owns one of Worth’s historic landmark homes directly across from the park that his father purchased at the age of 18.
“What’s ironic is that the family that owned that house before my father had a son who was also on the Worth Village Board,” Muersch said, “Now, fast forward 100 years, and I am the son of my father, also on the Worth Village Board.”
Muersch was elected onto the board at the age of 29 and said he is the youngest board member ever elected.
The board members gathered onto Muersch’s porch after the meeting, to reenact a photograph of the original 1914 board members at the same location. Werner held a photo of the original board members at that site during Tuesday night’s photo shoot.
There was a positive, happy vibe to the night.
“One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life was to move to the Village of Worth,” City Clerk Bonnie Price told the crowd. Price was elected onto the board in 2001 and said she is happy to be involved with the community. Price, along with the Centennial Committee, was responsible for organizing the 1914-themed event.
“I was really excited about the attire,” Centennial Committee Chairperson Bahira Karim said. “I think it’s a great idea to come out here and see how it was for the village board members back then.”
Karim and her family have lived in Worth for 24 years.
A teacher at District 127 and a Worth library board member, Karim added the village is an excellent place to raise your kids. “Worth is such a diverse community. Not a lot of communities are like that when you live there or are trying to raise a family there. I really like that a lot about this town,” she said.
Some residents also participated in the 1900s-style attire, contributing to the atmosphere of the era. The occasion was catered by Buddy’s Special Events of Deer Park, providing hotdogs, chips, soft drinks and ice cream.
The five-minute fireworks display, which started an hour earlier because of the pending rain, ended with a large, brightly lit 100-year sign in celebration of the centennial event.
This is just the beginning of a long celebration in the coming months.
“The entire village will be included in the celebration of Worth’s Centennial on Aug. 29,” Werner said. She said the village will be having birthday cakes for everyone to enjoy throughout the community, including, schools, park districts, the Worth Public Library and the Worth Village Hall.
“Hopefully, everyone can come out and enjoy a piece of cake with us that day in celebration of Worth’s 100th birthday.” she said.
The Village Hall will also display a countdown calendar on the marquee outside of the building, counting down the days until the big event. The countdown started at 100 days on Wednesday.

Jeff Vorva's ImPRESSions: The ultimate WHATIZIT?


Name this car and win money and beer

Jeffs-Col-ImpressionsHey gang, how would you like to earn a hundred bucks and a six pack of beer?
No, the Reporter is not holding a promotional contest or anything like that. But you might call this the ultimate WHATIZIT? contest. For those unfamiliar, we run a photo of something on page 12 and our fine readers try to guess what it is. The prize is getting your name in the paper for a job well done.
A man in St. Augustine, Fla., is seeking your help to solve a nearly half-decade old mystery and is willing to part with that big bounty in order to do it.
But I have to warn you – this one is the toughest of the toughies. Celebrities couldn’t come up with the answer. Experts couldn’t come up with the answer. But you just might have a shot at the beer. And the hundy. We’re giving you a lot of hints.
See, Phillip Topcik is looking for the name and make of a car that he bought years ago and said that it once belonged to John and Anne Greeneltch, who lived in the 9100 block of 50th Ave. in Oak Lawn. The car was in town in the early and midPAGE-1-COLOR-4-COL-CARPhillip Topcik has spent nearly 50 years tracking down the make and model of this rare car, which belonged to an Oak Lawn family in the 1960s. Submitted photo. 1960s and sold to a Volkswagen dealer in Evergreen Park. It was serviced at Evergreen Imports at 3401 W 95th St in Evergreen Park and eventually traded to them for a VW Bus. It was also serviced at Zander Shell Service at 95th & Ridgeland in 1965.
“I know a million things about this car,” Topcik said. “But I don’t know the make and model. No one knows who built it or what it was called. Anne Greeneltch told me her husband said it was made in Germany for a movie star and that it was made to look sleek and fast.’’
Since he bought the car that he calls “ugly” and features suicide doors in 1967, Topcik has been trying to figure this out. He has written letters. He has had stories written about it in four magazines – including one written in all German.

BREAKING NEWS: Community disservice: Ten percent of OLCHS seniors won't graduate

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Approximately 10 percent of Oak Lawn Community High School’s senior class is not expected to participate in graduation ceremonies Wednesday night because they allegedly falsified paperwork indicating that they completed mandatory service hours.

School district officials realized last week that 47 seniors submitted service hour forms that included the forged signature of Stony Creek Golf Course Superintendent Bill Krueger. A 48th student has been banned from graduation ceremonies because he forged Krueger's signature on 45 of the forms, Supt. Michael Riordan said.

The student charged his classmates between $10 and $20 for each signature, Riordan said, and has served a five-day suspension from school.

Approximately 400 seniors will participate in graduation ceremonies Wednesday night at the Shannon Center at St. Xavier University.

“The kids did not meet graduation requirements,”  Riordan said Monday. They will receive their diplomas when they complete the required service hours.

The students who submitted falsified documents indicated that they had completed their required service hours by volunteering at Stony Creek Golf Course, which is part of the Oak Lawn Park District.

Students were informed last week during individual meetings that they would not participate in graduation ceremonies, Riordan said. District administrators also talked to the students’ parents on the phone or at the meetings, he said.

Riordan said administrators did not become aware of the deception until last week when they compared Krueger’s signature on two forms submitted at the last minute with ones handed in earlier in the year.

“The signatures looked different,” Riordan said. “It was a fabricated signature.”

Further examination revealed that all of the forms that bore Krueger’s signature were bogus, Riordan said.

Until that point, school officials had no reason to doubt the validity of the Krueger’s signature, the superintendent said.

They had confirmed earlier in the year with the park district’s volunteer coordinator that Krueger was authorized to sign service hour sheets, but no one at the park district had seen the signature, Riordan said.

A small number of parents asked the school to consider a different consequence, but “this is our policy,” Riordan said.

“There’s no one on this building that’s taking any pleasure in doing this,” he said, adding that most of the students expressed remorse for their actions.

OL mayor says seniors are getting ‘screwed by politics’

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury said resident seniors are getting “screwed by politics” regarding a proposed series of land exchanges and purchases that would lead to the development of a new senior center.

“It’s just a shame the seniors get screwed by politics, and I don’t think that’s right,” Bury said at Tuesday’s village board committee meeting. “People chose to make this sensational, and seniors are the ones who are losing. This was a great idea.”
The land exchanges and purchases involved the village, park district, Mancari’s auto dealership, 4630 W. 95th St., and St. Paul Lutheran Church, 4660 W. 94th St.
Under the terms of the proposal, St. Paul would sell a 61,740 square-foot parcel located adjacent to the church to Mancari’s, who would deed the property to the village. The village, in turn, would deed the property to the park district.
Mancari’s would then negotiate with the park district to purchase a 41,862 square-foot parcel located between the dealership and the Oak Lawn Ice Arena. The village would then negotiate with the park district and Mancari’s to secure the funds needed to build the senior center.
The agreement would give the park district additional open space and provide Mancari’s room to expand its landlocked dealership, Bury said.
Park district officials initially seemed open to the plan, but in a Jan. 23 memo to village manager Larry Deetjen, park district attorney Tom Farrell said the park board did not wish to have further discussions with the village concerning the senior center.