Zounds: Hearing aids ‘that can change lives’

  • Written by Tim Hadac

  A hearing aid company promising revolutionary new technology that can change people’s lives has opened shop in Palos Heights — its first unit in Illinois.

  “We are the new kid on the block, and we hope to be here for a long time,” said Karen Liddell, franchisee of Zounds, at 7202B W. 119th St., in the Tiffany Square shopping center, Route 83 and Harlem.
  Based in Phoenix, Ariz., Zounds designs, manufactures and sells hearing aids for people with mild to profound hearing impairments.
  The company was founded by electrical engineer Sam Thomasson, whose daughter, Kate, lost much of her hearing due to an illness when she was a toddler and later struggled — as many do — with the limitations of conventional hearing aids. Thomasson and his team of engineers searched for solutions, amassing more than 50 patents and fitting Kate with her first Zounds prototype at age 16.
  The “breakthrough” technology, according to Thomasson, changed his daughter’s life. Today, according to a company brochure, she is a college student studying electrical engineering.
  That life-changing technology is a key to the success of Zounds, Liddell noted.
  “I fell in love with the ‘Sam and Kate’ story,” she said. “It’s a story of father’s love for his daughter. How great is that? I want to be in a position to make that kind of a difference in people’s lives, and I believe I am.”
  Liddell, an accountant, said she became a Zounds franchisee because she “was facing a layoff in my industry, and I’m too young to retire.”
  She decided to go into business for herself and started shopping for a franchise opportunity with several companies, “but I wanted to go into business with people you can trust and make a connection with. That’s why I chose Zounds.”
  She said that Zounds offers several clear advantages over others.
  “First, we are the leader in technology,” she added. “Second, we are buying hearing aids directly from the manufacturer, so we’re the price leader — offering hearing aids at $999 each when others’ cost several times more. Third, we offer same-day fittings. So people come in here with hearing loss, and within two hours they’re going to leave hearing better, and that can change their lives. That’s what sets us apart from our competitors.”
  Zounds also offers free hearing exams, remote-control programming, and rechargeable batteries and charging station.
  A native of Chicago’s South Side and current resident of Homewood, Liddell is quick to credit and praise her staff — Jeff Clark, a state-licensed hearing instrument specialist, and Rachel Nelson, customer service representative. “I am blessed to have a real A-Team here, and I am certain our clients will agree.”
  Clark, with nearly a decade’s experience in the field, said he has found a real home at Zounds.
  “Most places are about selling hearing aids,” he said. “I wanted to work at a place where we’re about caring for people. [At Zounds] I don’t have to worry about selling a hearing aid, because our prices are lower than everyone else’s. I can focus on what’s important, which is making it work for that customer. We take that very seriously here.”

Retro Reporter 10-24-13

  • Written by Compiled by Jeff Vorva

Retro Reporter ArtRidge man shoots guy in trailer court

50 years ago
From The Oct. 24, 1963 edition
  The story: James Lovell of Chicago Ridge was charged with the murder of a man in a Harvey trailer court. Lovell told police he brought a 12-gauge shotgun to scare the man but the gun discharged accidentally, according to the police.
  The quote: “I’m the man you are looking for,” — Lovell, after stopping a Harvey police officer a block away from the incident.
  Fun fact: Oak Lawn’s football team knocked off Sandburg, 26-0 in what the un-bylined report called a “stunning upset.” It was Oak Lawn’s second win of the season.

Palos Heights dinner tab to taxpayers causes indigestion

25 years ago
From the Oct. 27, 1988 edition
  The Story: The Palos Hills City Council voted to approve a $1,206 dinner tab while at Artie G.s in Chicago after attending the Illinois Municipal League Convention. Alderman Pauline Stratton motioned to have the item taken off a list of expenditures they voted on and voted “no” for the tab.
  The quote: “What she did was a cheap shot. All the aldermen could go out by themselves. But we think it’s an interesting fact that we went out as a group.’’ Palos Hills mayor Gerald Bennett on Stratton’s attempt to have the item stricken from the list.
  Fun fact: MJ’s Grill in Worth offered a 99 cent breakfast of two eggs, breakfast potatoes, a choice of fresh baked muffins, buttered biscuit or toast.

Attendance down but beer sales up at RidgeFest

10 years ago
From the Oct. 23, 2003 edition
  The story: The bad news — It was announced that lousy weather hurt the previous July’s RidgeFest 2003 as there was a 21 percent drop in profits from 2002, Village Clerk Charles Tokar said at a board meeting. The good news — Despite a dip in profits and attendance, sales of beer was up 25 percent. Pat Benatar and Poi Dog Pondering were entertainment headliners.
  The quote: “It scared me!” Hickory Hills City Clerk Joann Jackson after touring the Halloween-themed Haunted Hall in town.
  Fun fact: St. Xavier’s radio station, WXAV, won three first-place awards out of five categories at the Illinois Broadcast Association’s Silver Dome Awards.

Putting on the dog — Palos Hills pets dress up for Halloween

  • Written by Kelly White

   It’s not just children who get topage-4-3-col-spookyRoxy won the spookiest costume honor at the Halloween Pet Parade Oct. 12 in Palos Hills. Photos by Kelly White. dress up in costumes for Halloween.
  The Riviera townhome complex in Palos Hills held its first Halloween Pet Parade Oct. 12, where over 20 well-dressed dogs and their owners paraded around the town.
  Costumes some of the pooches and pets wore included a shark, a bumblebee, a hotdog, a princess and a pumpkin.
  The dogs and their owners met at the Riviera Business Office where together they sung — or, in some cases — barked the Star Spangled Banner, before taking off single-file down the street. The dogs were led to the Riviera Park where pumpkin water bowls were waiting for them before the judging began for the best costumes. Donuts, water and apple cider were also available for the dogs’ owners to enjoy while mingling with neighbors.
  Dressed as a shark, Roxy, a three-year-old Shar-Pei/Beagle, took home the award for the Most Spooky Costume. Roxy was dressed with a shark around the body and it gave the appearance that the dog was being eaten by the shark.
Resized SuzySuzy-Q was more interested in earning a goody bag filled with treats rather than winning an award at the first Pet Parade in Palos Hills.  “A lot of people were commenting on how much they liked her costume as we were walking up to the parade,” Roxy’s owner, Roger Schweikert, 30, of Palos Hills said. “I kind of had a feeling she was going to win.”
  Judging was done by some of the Riviera residents who did not participate in the parade. Each dog who participated in the parade was given a goody bag filled with bones and rawhide treats before leaving for the day. For four-year-old shih-tzu, Suzy-Q, dressed as a bumblebee, is seemed as if the goody bag was better than winning an actual award.

  The parade was organized by Riviera and Palos Improvement and officials are planning to continue the event again next year.

Two Palos Hills cops promoted

  • Written by Kelly White

By Kelly White

  Two Palos Hills Police Officers hard work paid off by promotions granted earlier this month by Mayor Jerry Bennett and Chief Paul Madigan.
  Sergeant Traci Hlado was appointed to the position of lieutenant and Patrolman Michael Collins was appointed to sergeant of the Palos Hills Police Department.
  Former lieutenant Sam Nelson has submitted his letter of resignation, retiring from the Palos Hills Police Department. This created a vacancy created in the lieutenant’s position and once a new lieutenant was appointed, the department would then have a vacancy in the sergeant’s position. After some deliberation, Bennett and the Palos Hills Police Department narrowed down to whom they feel are the two most fit for the job.
  Hlado was administered the Oath of Office by Bennett and was appointed into the office of Lieutenant for the Palos Hills Police Department.
  “You have been around a long time with the city of Palos Hills and moved up in rank, especially through the Detective Division, which we are certainly going to miss you in that part of it,” Bennett told Hlado. “But, I know your leadership on the street is going to go a long way with our police officers.”
  Lieutenant Hlado thanked Bennett and the City of Palos Hills before Collins was called forward and administered the oath, appointing him to the office of Sergeant for the Palos Hills Police Department.

  “Mike has been with us a long time and I know he looked forward, as all patrolmen do, in taking tests and wanting to get the opportunity for leadership and moving up in the ranks,” Bennett said. “Over the last four or five years, we have had openings that have become available and we have referred them to our officers to have the opportunity to be promoted. Mike did very well on his exam and he was next on the list for a promotion with our police department.”

  Collins also thanked Bennett and the City of Palos Hills, admitting his hard work and determination with the Palos Hills Police Department has paid off through the good fortune of his promotion.

EP is getting juiced up for Binny’s

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Village is a hard-hat haven with beverage store

 opening and Mariano’s grocery on horizon

  Ground will be broken in Evergreen FRONT-COLOR-2-col-binnyBinny’s, which took over Bleekers Bowl in Evergreen Park recently, could be open by Thanksgiving. Photo by Jeff Vorva.Park next Thursday for an upscale grocery store, while one mile away, workers will be busy converting a long-time bowling alley into a liquor store in time for the holiday season.

  Mariano’s Fresh Market is not expected to open its doors until August 2014, but store and village will turn over the first shovels of soil at a groundbreaking ceremony, which is scheduled for 10 a.m.
  Meanwhile, Binny’s Beverage Depot hopes to open before Thanksgiving at the site of Bleeker’s Bowl and Tavern, 3447 W. 95th St., a veritable landmark in the village since 1950s.
  “I’ve never seen so many hard hats on 95th Street,” Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton said.
  Binny’s held a hiring fair last week at Evergreen Park Village Hall and is expected to fill 25-30 positions. The business has received more than 300 online applications and another 100 at the job fair, Sexton said.
  The store has 29 locations in the Chicago area. The Evergreen Park store will be the third in the southwest suburbs and will employ approximately 300 employees.
  The 70,000-square-foot Mariano’s will be built on the site of the shuttered Webb Ford, 2601 W. 95th St. The site has been vacant for five years and convincing the upscale grocer to come to town was not accomplished overnight, Sexton said.
  The mayor first contacted Bob Mariano, the store’s chairman, in February 2009. Sexton had a previous relationship with Mariano from his days as CEO of Dominick’s.
  “There’s just a whole lot to it,” Sexton said.
  In addition to negotiations with the property owner and the grocery store, governmental agencies such as the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District were involved, he said.
  Mariano’s also is opening a store in Oak Lawn, which will anchor a retail development at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue.
  Dominick’s, Kmart and some small businesses were previously located on the site. That store is expected to open in 2014. Village officials are hopeful the store will draw other businesses to the retail center.
  Mariano’s is owned by Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets, which operates four other supermarket chains in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The store features an Italian coffee shop, sushi bar, wine and cheese bar, salad bar and prepared meals to take home.
  As Binny’s and Mariano’s prepare to join the Evergreen Park business community, Sexton is taking the next step toward resurrecting the Plaza.
  An informational meeting about development plans for the mall is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Nov. 4 at village hall, 9418 S. Kedzie Ave.
  “We want to get this thing moving along,” Sexton said.
  Trustees in August authorized the village attorney with Carson’s to negotiate so that demolition of the mall, 95th Street and Western Avenue, can proceed.
  The retailer is only one remaining at the otherwise shuttered mall, which closed on May 31. Applebee’s, which is located on an out lot, and Planet Fitness, remain open.
  Plans calls for an outdoor mall that would a feature a variety of retailers and restaurants.
  “The indoor thing is over,” Sexton said.
  The 61-year-old shopping mall, formerly the Evergreen Plaza, has been in foreclosure since 2011. The property is currently in receivership.
  DeBartolo Development wants to demolish the mall and replace it with a “lifestyle center,” Chicago Real Estate reported. The development firm is owned by former San Francisco 49ers’ owner Eddie DeBartolo.