Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: Bears, Packers, Redhawks and Bulldogs?

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


Photo by Jeff Vorva. Marist coaches, who are having a disagreement with officials early in Friday night’s upset win over Bolingbrook, hope to guide their team to the Class 8A state championship. The Bears will honor all of the state champion teams when they play Green Bay in late December.

Column-Edit-NoteThe Bears host the Packers on what could be a frozen tundra at Soldier Field on Dec. 29.

Who knows which quarterbacks will show up for those teams? That will be a crapshoot. Jake Cutler and Aaron Rodgers could be in traction by the time that game rolls around.

The Bears also invited to the game head coaches and player representatives from the eight Illinois High School Association football champions.

Who knows who will show up for that? That will also be a crapshoot. But the Reporter area still has two horses still left in this race.

The quarterfinals are this weekend and Marist is still alive in Class 8A and Richards is one of eight teams left in Class 6A. The Redhawks host Oswego at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Bulldogs host Lincoln-Way North at 6 p.m.

If one or both teams win state titles, the halftime show should be pretty cool for them.

The ceremony will include state championship game highlights on the video boards, courtesy of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

“The Chicago Bears are dedicated to supporting high school football throughout the state of Illinois, and we will be proud to recognize our 2013 football state champion teams during halftime of our game on December 29,” said Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey in a news release. “Winning a state title is a monumental accomplishment, and we look forward to congratulating each championship team.”

The IHSA football state title games will be played at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb on Friday and Saturday, November 29-30.

What are the chances we get someone there?

Now that Marist knocked Bolingbrook, Class 8A looks a little more wide open. How about a Marist-Maine South championship two days after Thanksgiving in DeKalb? That would be a rematch from 2009, and that didn’t work out so well for the Redhawks in a 41-17 loss. A little revenge could be in order.

Richards’ big obstacle could be Providence in the semifinals. That team finished 5-4 during the regular season but played arguably one of the strongest schedules in the state.

It should be a fun couple of weeks full of twists and turns. And we’re not just talking about the limbs of Cutler and Rodgers.
Game of the year?

Evergreen Park’s thrilling 45-44 win over Argo is one of five games considered for the CN100 Game of the Year honors. Voting runs through Nov. 24.

The CN100 Game of the Week crew covered 17 games around Chicagoland this year and has narrowed the field down to the five best. Fans can select the CN100 Game of the Year by going to to make their choice.

The five games in contention are:

  • Evergreen Park vs. Argo (taped Oct. 15): Don Oresky strips the ball and returns the fumble for a fourth-quarter touchdown to give the Mustangs a 45-44 win over Argo.
  • Wheaton North vs. Wheaton Warrenville South (taped Sept. 13): The Tigers score 17 unanswered points and hold on to take down their crosstown rivals 17-13 in a Week 3 meeting.
  • Oak Forest vs. Lemont (taped Sept. 20): Oak Forest kicks a late field goal for the 23-21 comeback win to snap an eight-game losing streak to Lemont.
  • Lincoln-Way East vs. Bolingbrook (taped Oct. 18): The Raiders clinch their first conference title since 2009 with a 12-3 victory over Lincoln-Way East in Week 8 action.
  • Neuqua Valley vs. Waubonsie Valley (taped Oct. 11): Broc Rutter threw three touchdown passes and Mikey Dudek returned a kick 77 yards as Neuqua defeated rival Waubonsie 40-25 in Indian Prairie Classic.

Ms. Senior America crowned

  A few weeks ago, this press release came in and I didn’t have as much time or space to devote to it as I do now. I’m not sure this event was on TV so this is news to all of us:

Longtime Charlie Daniels Band background vocalist Carolyn Corlew was crowned Ms. Senior America at the National pageant at Resorts Casino Hotel’s Superstar Theater in Atlantic City, NJ. The competition featured 34 women age 60 and older from around the country. Corlew won the title of Ms. Senior Tennessee April 27th.

While representing Wilson County at the Tennessee State convention, Corlew encouraged ladies that have reached the “Age of Elegance” to consider participating in the pageant.

  “I am thrilled, honored and so excited about wearing this crown for the next year,” said Corlew.

  “These women were over the top — there were professional dancers, opera singers from Broadway... I sang a bluesy Etta James song and we had a 93 year old that rocked the competition. I’m blown away. From this point it’s spirit, mind and then body — it’s gotta come from within. I’ve got a 20-pound dress on and a crown and I’m proud to represent all the senior women of America!”

‘Shared sacrifice’ still on ice as Oak Lawn trustees mull their health benefits

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Mike CarberryMike CarberryOak Lawn trustees took a pass Tuesday night on a discussion of eliminating health care benefits for elected officials, deciding instead that additional information is needed first.

  “There’s going to be a lot of discussion that’s going to take place between all of us,” Trustee Mike Carberry said. “It’s an overall compensation package. Health benefits are a major cost. We need to get everybody’s input. We’re going to try to come up with something that makes sense. There’s not a big rush on this.”

Part of that discussion will focus on a proposal to allow trustees to purchase health insurance from the village if it is no longer offered as a benefit.

“That wasn’t really discussed at the last meeting and I think that’s important to talk about before we start drafting an ordinance,” Village Attorney Patrick Connelly said. “I would like to hear some direction on what you guys [on the board] think.”

Connelly added that he is exploring whether or not the repeal of health care benefits would take place after a board member’s term. He said there was “some gray area” in the law that might allow benefits to be repealed at the end of the fiscal year instead.

The health insurance issue was first raised at the Oct. 22 board meeting by Trustee Tim Desmond, who called for “shared sacrifice” at a time when the board is considering several significant cuts to balance the village budget.

Several trustees and Mayor Sandra Bury currently take full or partial health benefits.

Palos Hills construction projects wrapping up in time for winter

  • Written by Kelly White, Correspondent

Photo by Jeff Vorva  Road construction on 111th Street continues in Palos Hills.

Photo by Jeff Vorva. Road construction on 111th Street continues in Palos Hills.

Palos Hills Public Works crews are wrapping up this year’s construction season, but before shifting into winter work mode the city is guaranteeing several current projects will be completed.

The Illinois Department of Transportation performed an unscheduled asphalt overlay to repair all four lanes of traffic on 111th Street from Southwest Highway to Harlem Ave. recently.

“The overlay was necessary due to potholes and delamination of the road surface along 111th Street,” Commissioner, Dave Weakley, stated at Thursday’s city council meeting.

There was another problem on Kean Ave. stretching from 111th Street to 95th Street, where the Illinois Department of Transportation completed an edge of road patching program due to the slippary surface course of asphalt. This is the second time in three years the city has patched and replaced the asphalt on that section of Kean Ave., Weakley said. Mayor Jerry Bennett noted the city is using asphalt approved by IDOT; however, officials are hoping to eventually see a better product come along after having to replace Kean Avenue so soon after the previous repair.

“The problem is, unless it is an IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) approved product, we cannot use it,” Bennett said.

Retro Reporter 11-7-13

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

Retro Reporter ArtReavis racer just out for a drive
50 years ago
From the Nov. 7, 1963 edition
  The story: Palos Hills cops finally pulled over a Reavis High School student after a seven-mile chase and they issued her nine tickets after she stopped in Oak Lawn.
  The quote: “(I was) just out for a ride,” — the unidentified 16 girl told the Palos Hills police after the chase.
  Fun fact: Cubs pitcher Don Ellston was the guest speaker at the Worth Little League banquet.

The gipper comes to Moraine
25 years ago
From the Nov. 10, 1988 edition
  The story: President Ronald Reagan, in his closing days holding office, gave a speech at Moraine Valley Community College for a George H.W. Bush rally exactly eight years after Reagan was first elected president. The Stagg High School band entertained the crowd. Reagan was protected by nearly 160 police officers and several secret service men.
  The quote: “This was the first time I’ve ever seen the President in person and I had a seat right in front! I’ll never forget it.” — Worth resident Victoria Lykasiewcz
  Fun fact: OK, it’s not as important as a seated president coming to down, but the Commons of Chicago Ridge was excited for the coming appearance of Bears defensive tackle Dan Hampton.

Scooting the issues in Palos Hills
10 years ago
From the Nov. 6, 2003 edition
  The story: Palos Hills debated banning motorized scooters from public ways in the city. First-ward Alderman Martin Kleefisch said they posed a safety hazard to pedestrians.
  The quote: “The children are sharing the streets with drunks. Pleased wait [to drink] until the children are off the streets.” — Jerry Elsner, exectutive director of the Illinois State Crime Commission at a pre-Halloween speech at Worth Junior High.
  Fun fact: The finishing touches were put on the construction of Applebee’s in Evergreen Park and was scheduled to open in December.

Worth to get a higher octane BP gas station

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  Shuttered gas stations are becoming a more common sight across the suburban landscape, but one in Worth is expected to reopen before the end of the year.
  The BP station at Harlem Avenue and Southwest Highway will reopen its doors by Dec. 1, Mayor Mary Werner announced at Tuesday’s village board meeting.
  The new management team is currently installing new pumps that the Environmental Protection Agency will mandate in January, Werner said.
  She said the station has been upgraded and will look similar to the BP station on 95th Street in Hickory Hills.
  The station/convenience store is owned by Atlas Oil, a Michigan firm that partnered in 2009 with BP Products North America to acquire and supply 90 BP retail outlets in the Chicago area.
  The Worth location has been closed for more than one year.
  Tuesday’s 30-minute meeting featured several other business items, including:
  • A brief overview of the 2013 Worth Days financial statement.
  The fest had a $7,857 profit, with increases in beverage sales, donations and carnival proceeds. Expenses were down approximately $3,000 from the previous year. The Worth Park District has agreed to take over operation of the fest, and will soon sign along with the village an agreement formalizing the transition that will begin in 2014.
  • Approval of a 2.7 percent salary increase for the village’s non-union employees. The increase is identical to the one received by the village’s union employees.
  • The swearing in of police sergeant Cristiano Fernandez, an eight-year member of the force.
  • Water’s Edge Golf Course will hold a customer appreciation week Nov. 18-22. Patrons can play a round of golf with a cart and enjoy lunch for $24.99.