Man tries to lure EP girl into vehicle

  A man driving an SUV attempted Friday to lure an Evergreen Park girl into his vehicle, police said.
  Police said the girl was walking in the 2700 block of 98th Street to Central Junior High School.
  The man, described as white, mid 40s, average build, bald with a black and brown mustache and wearing a black jacket, slowed his Chevrolet Suburban alongside the girl and said: “Do you want a ride? Get in.”
  The student did not reply and the man drove away south on Washtenaw Avenue, police said.
—Regional News report

Stolen car leads to burglary charges

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  A stolen car was the key to Evergreen Park police arresting four individuals involved in several recent resident burglaries in the area, police said.
  Police on Oct. 20 spotted a car at the Shell station in the 2600 block of 87th Street. The car was reported stolen 30 minutes earlier from a residence in Evergreen Park.

  Police later learned that the car’s keys were taken during a Sept. 6 residential burglary and that the driver and three passengers were involved in several burglaries in the area.
  A subsequent search of an abandoned building in the 8200 block of Kedzie Avenue in Chicago revealed several items which were taken during the burglaries, police said.
  Christopher A. Sparks, 30, and Robin M. Fields-Tiner, 23, both of Chicago, were charged with retail theft. Ryan N. Fields-Tiner, 22, of Chicago was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, and Levert P. Wragg, 59, of Chicago, was charged with criminal trespass to motor vehicle.

  The investigation is ongoing and has revealed the offenders’ involvement in incidents in Chicago, police said.

Battering Rams

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Reavis treated roughly by inspired Bulldogs

  Evergreen Park certainly did Reavis no favor.
  By squeezing out a victory over Richards in the closing seconds of a Week 5 showdown between two unbeaten squads, the Mustangs no doubt put Bulldogs players in an ugly frame of mind. Richards coach Tony Sheehan didn’t deny it, but stated that his guys used the Evergreen “wake-up call” in a positive manner.
  “This was probably one of our best weeks of practice,” Sheehan said. “The kids were really focused. I think they realize what’s in front of them and what’s at stake, and we came ready to play Friday night.”
  Did they ever. While the visiting Rams threatened to make some early noise, the Bulldogs’ defense refused Reavis entry into the end zone. Richards’ offense, meanwhile, racked up four first-half touchdowns and eventually claimed a resounding 40-0 South Suburban Conference Red triumph at Korhonen Field.
  “I hope it will continue,” Sheehan said of his team’s solid exhibition,” and I think it will. You’ve got to play your best every week or you’re going to get beat because this conference is so balanced. We learned that last week.

OL trustee says fire department lodged 46 complaints against 911 dispatchers

  • Written by Bob Rakow

The firestorm over 911 dispatchers continues to rage.


Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury’s administration “has clearly demonstrated their contempt for the safety of our residents” by refusing to address complaints about the 911 emergency dispatch center,” Trustee Robert Streit said Tuesday.


“The safety and well-being of our residents should always be the primary concern of our village government,” Streit said at Tuesday’s village board meeting.


Streit provided a report that briefly summarized 46 complaints lodged against the 911 dispatchers by the members of the fire department.


He also chastised Bury and Village Manager Larry Deetjen for refusing to provide records of the complaints until last week then Illinois Attorney General’s office opened an inquiry at his request.


“Months ago, I requested that the village turn over documentation detailing problems with the dispatch service,” Streit said.


The village “denied, deflected and generally ignored official requests for information,” he added.


Streit opposed the village’s decision to outsource its emergency dispatch operations, a move trustees approved nearly one year ago.


Since that time, Streit repeatedly has alleged that Norcomm Public Safety Communications, the company that took over dispatching operations, has performed poorly.


Bury responded to Streit’s allegation, saying the village did not have the records he was seeking when he submitted his Freedom of Information Act request.


Carmie O’Leary, one of the village’s nine FOIA officers, forwarded Streit’s request to her counterpart at the fire department, Bury said.


The fire department responded saying it did not have the information Streit was seeking, the mayor said.


“In this case, however, the FOIA officer said ‘we do not have information concerning the FOIA request,’” Bury said. “When the error was discovered, the documents were released. When someone says we don’t have information, we tend to believe them, sir.”


“No one is hiding anything,” Bury said after the meeting.


She added that some firefighters may have filed the complaints because they opposed the village decision to outsource the emergency dispatch center.


“Clearly, there are some bitter feelings,” she said.


Streit also called for three ordinances to be considered at the Nov. 10 village board meeting.


The first ordinance would direct the village manager to post on the village website all Freedom of Information requests within five business days. The second proposed ordinance would call on the manager to post on the website all responses to Freedom of Information requests within five days of sending the response. Streit’s third ordinance would require the manager to include in trustees’ meeting packets responses to all Freedom of Information requests.


“Government records are the people’s records,” Streit said.


Village Attorney Pat Connelly explained the village's position.


“We treat every FOIA the same way regardless of the requestor,'' he said. “The mayor is not involved in the FOIA process.”


D218 starts search for a new Super

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

After eight  years at the helm, Community High School District 218 Superintendent John Byrne is leaving his post at the end of the school year and district officials hope to name his successor in February.

District spokesman Bob McParland said Byrne was “looking forward to a new challenge. He has been approached regarding some opportunities but right now is focusing on District 218.”

And now District 218 is focusing on a new superintendent and the public has been invited to help out.

The school board sketched out a timeline that included three public forums this week with the last one coming at 7 p.m., tonight, Thursday, at District 218’s Academy located at 10701 S. Kilpatrick, Oak Lawn.

The board recently met with representatives from and PROACT Search to discuss the search.

 “The Board of Education is committed to finding a talented leader  and wants community input to ensure broad based stakeholder engagement in the process,” Margaret Longo, senior consultant for PROACT Search said in a statement.

PROACT is also collecting feedback from community members through an online survey, which can be found at All responses will be received by the search firm and results will be used during the search process. The identity of participants is confidential.

Board of Education officials say they want to start interviewing candidates in early January and have a finalist candidate selected by the beginning of the 2015 year. 

"The selection of the next Superintendent to lead CHSD 218 is a significant priority for the Board of Education and our District. As we conduct this important search, we feel it is important to seek input from multiple school and community members to ensure the next leader meets the criteria necessary to move our schools forward,"Board President Marco Corsi said in a news release.  

The board is eying interviews for the finalists in January and naming the new boss in February.

 Byrne was named superintendent for the 2007-08 school year, succeeding Kevin Burns. Byrne was a teacher at Richards, a dean at Eisenhower and a director of special education in the district before taking over as the superintendent.  He had been in the district since 1989.

            Under Byrne’s watch, for seven straight years, District 218 students have broken a new record for the number of A.P. exams passed; this year and experienced a new record for the number of A.P. Scholars recognized by the College Board.

He helped create the Back to School Health Fair, which has provided hundreds of free school physicals, dental exams, and eye screens for residents.

Under his direction, the district launched its Educational Foundation, which has raised thousands for college scholarships and teacher grants.

District 218 has earned the state’s highest fiscal rating, Financial Recognition, each year of his tenure. During that span, the district also earned a perfect finance score (4.0) from the state board.

This year, Shepard opened a new science wing.  Previously, both Richards and Eisenhower have constructed new cafeterias, Eisenhower remodeled its LRC.  Plans have started for a new arts center at Richards.