Park Clips

Evergreen Park

The Youth Commission's fall game room hours are 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The game room will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. during Evergreen Park students' Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. For more information call 229-3377.


The Youth Commission is seeking volunteers for leaf raking and snow removal. Certified babysitters are also available. For more information call 229-3377.


Step & Strength Training is from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, 7 to 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St.

Oak Lawn

The Oak Lawn Ice Arena's 8th annual New Year's Eve Kids Countdown will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31 at the arena, 9320 Kenton Ave. CMT Productions will provide entertainment. Each child will receive a party hat and noisemaker to celebrate a balloon drop over the ice at noon. Admission is $8, skate rental is $3. Concessions will be available. For more information on call 857-5173.


Registration is underway for before- and after-school FLASH (Fun & Learning After School Hours). The park district has partnered with Ridgeland School District 122 and Oak Lawn- Hometown School District 123 and is in all of those districts' elementary schools - Columbus Manor, Harnew, Kolb and Lieb in District 122, and Covington, Hannum, Hometown, Kolmar and Sward in District 123. For more information call the FLASH director or the FLASH assistant director at 857-2420.

Palos Hills

The Bulls/Sox Academy will hold a Chicago Bulls FUNdamentals Camp starting Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St. in Palos Hills. The four-week camp is designed to teach players techniques in ball-handling, passing, shooting, footwork and rebounding as well as offensive and defensive team play. It is open to boys and girls. Camp for children 5 to 8 will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturdays, cost is $79. Youths 9 to 12 will participate from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; cost is $114 per athlete. Each participant will receive instruction from professional academy coaches, a tee shirt, scouting report and a replica autograph photo of current Bulls superstar Derrick Rose. For more information or to register visit or call (630) 324-8221.


Jazzercise for persons age 16 years and older will be from 9:20 to 10:20 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday; and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at the Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave. Fee is $37 monthly for an Easy Fit Ticket and a registration fee of $25. For more information call 448-7080 or visit


The Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., has an indoor playground featuring slides, a climbing wall, tree house and more for children who can walk through 4 years old. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fee is $1 for residents, $2 for non-residents. For more information call 448-7080 or visit


The Worth Park District Historical Society meets at 7 p.m. every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Worth Historical Museum, in the Terrace Centre at 11500 Beloit Ave. Meetings are open to the public. Membership is free but is not required to attend.

Volunteers are welcome to come to the museum from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays to assist with projects. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Curator hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For group visits call 448-7080, Ext. 107.

Library Notes

Chicago Ridge

The library is accepting donations for its Hat and Mitten Tree. New and handcrafted winter wear such as hats, mittens, gloves and scarves for adults and children will be accepted at the library through December. All donations will be distributed to local families.


The Chicago Ridge Library is at 10400 Oxford Ave. The phone number is 423-7753.

Evergreen Park

After School Homework Help is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both teachers are bilingual (English and Spanish).


The library will, through December, showcase art by Evergreen Park High School students.


The Evergreen Park Public Library is at 9400 S. Troy Ave. The phone number is 422-8522.

Green Hills

The library has an eBook service, Axis 360, through which users can download bestselling eBooks for as many as 21 days directly onto a device using the Blio software application. Titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Place holds on items that are checked out. Service is only available to Green Hills cardholders. To start browsing visit For more information call 598-8446.


The library is collecting firstperson accounts of stories of military service to be donated to the Veteran History Project of the Library of Congress. The library is seeking photos, memoirs, and wartime diaries from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Call 598-8446 for more information.


The Green Hills Public Library is at 8611 W. 103rd St. in Palos Hills. The phone number is 598- 8446.

Oak Lawn

The library will be closed Sunday through Tuesday, Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. The library's regular hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.


The library will hold a free screening of "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (PG) at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27. Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.


Registration for winter/spring 2013 Youth Services programs begins Wednesday, Jan. 3 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 13. Child's library card must be presented at registration. Additional information regarding activities and events is listed at


The library will host a free screening of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" (PG) at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3. School is out and Greg is ready for the days of summer, when all his plans go wrong.


The library offers "Temporary Online Patron Registration." Fill out a registration form at oak shtml, and visit the Circulation Desk within 14 days to receive a permanent card. Proof of residency in Oak Lawn is required.


The Oak Lawn Public Library is at 5300 W. 95th St. The phone number is 422-4990.


The library subscribes to Zinio, an online magazine stand that enables patrons to read magazines on computers, tablets or phones using web browsers and apps. Must have Worth Library card. Zinio is accessible at


The library offers Try-It Illinois, which allows access to 300 free databases from more than 40 vendors. Access Try-It at (login and password is available at the library).

Argonne gets fed grant

Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with the University of Chicago, has received a $600,000 federal grant for a research effort intended to help decision-makers in urban areas better understand the impact of different policies on their communities.

The National Science Foundation grant will fund the new Urban Center for Computation and Data, an interdisciplinary program that will compile and analyze information collected by cities to help them make more informed policy and planning decisions, according to U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3, Western Springs).

"This grant will bring together researchers from several fields to help decision-makers in urban areas make better policy choices that should improve the quality of life for residents," Lipinski said. "With unprecedented volumes of data and statistics being collected in metropolitan areas, grants like these will help put that information to good, practical use, and could reduce the burden on taxpayers in metropolitan areas such as Chicago as resources are used more efficiently."

Lipinski is the ranking member on the House of Representative's Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Three years ago, when he served as chairman of the subcommittee, Lipinski wrote the bill reauthorizing the National Science Foundation.

The Urban Center for Computation and Data, under the leadership of Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, aims to produce computer models to simulate the impacts of potential development and policy decisions on areas such as transportation, employment, crime, and health. The center includes several outside collaborators, including the City of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago Medical Center, and the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.For more information visit

Vet from Oak Lawn receives Korean war medals

By Laura Bollin

Oak Lawn veteran Gust Peterson received an unexpected Christmas present this year - three Korean war medals from the time he served as a wireman overseas.

U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski presented Army Cpl. Peterson with the medals at a ceremony Dec. 18. He received a Good Conduct medal and a Korean Defense Service medal from the Army and a Korean War Service medal from the Republic of Korea. He also received a letter of appreciation from the President of the Republic of Korea.

He began looking into receiving his medals after a friend from his church went to Lipinski's office and received his Good Conduct t medal, Peterson said.

"It felt great to be recognized," Peterson said. "I think we kind of forgot the people who were in Korea after Vietnam. I appreciated getting the medals."

Peterson served in Korea for 14 months in 1954-54. He didn't want to go in the beginning, but the experience turned out to be invaluable, he said.

"I'm glad I went there," Peterson said. "It was an experience to see another country and another world. It is a lot different than it is here."

He served as a wireman in the Army.

"I was with the signal corps," Peterson said. "Six or seven of us took care of the communications. We had phones we took care of, and we managed the radios, which was a 24-hour operation."

Peterson has lived in Oak Lawn for 58 years with his wife, Norma. They have four children and three grandchildren.

Peterson's niece has adopted two children from Korea, but he didn't accompany her on the trips.

"It has changed a lot in the last 60 years," Peterson said. "I have hundreds of pictures that show the time I had in Korea. Whenever we got slides, we would show them to the fellas in our tent. It was our recreation, like playing with baseball cards."

Lipinski said he was honored to give Peterson the medals.

"I'm honored to participate in this important day for Cpl. Peterson and his family, and proud that my office was able to get him the medals he earned but never received," Lipinski said. "Our veterans have fought valiantly for our nation. It is a top priority of mine that they receive the proper recognition for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf."

Palos Hills man sentenced to 10 years in prison for Medicare fraud

By Laura Bollin

A Palos Hills man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in defrauding Medicare of more than $2.9 million.

Bahir Haj Khalil, the executive manager and co-owner of House Call Physicians, LLC in Palos Hills allegedly submitted tens of thousands of false claims annually that misrepresented medical services provided to people, according to Gary S. Shapiro, the acting attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice's Northern District of Illinois. Khalil opened House Call Physicians, LLC in 2006.

Khalil, 34, was charged with six counts of health care fraud. He and his business partner, Mohammed Khamis Rashed, 46, of Chicago, were also convicted of one count each of visa fraud for attempting to illegally obtain a work visa for Khalil. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras in federal court in Chicago Dec. 20. Khalil was also ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution and forfeiture. The forfeiture includes $155,175 that was seized when he was arrested. Khalil, a native of Syria and a Canadian citizen who was not authorized to work in the United States, has remained in federal custody since he was arrested in July 2011 and House Call Physicians, LLC was closed. He will be subject to deportation after completing his sentence.

Rashed, a former engineer for the City of Chicago who invested in House Call Physicians, LLC and was a co-owner was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $20,000 on Dec. 20.

A third man, Paschal U. Oparah, 47, of South Holland, a suspended podiatrist who pleaded guilty to health care fraud in April 2011 and cooperated with the government's investigation, was sentenced Dec. 12 to 18 months in prison and was ordered to pay $791,095 in restitution.

"I want the word to go forth from this sentence that this kind of crime does not pay and will be treated harshly," Kocoras said. Kocoras imposed the maximum sentence of 10 years on each of the seven counts and ordered them to be served concurrently, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to trial evidence and court records, the fraud scheme involved billing for services that were not medically necessary, including uncomfortable nerve conduction tests, services purportedly provided by physicians when they were performed by physician assistants, and services said to be performed by a licensed podiatrist when instead they were provided by Oparah, whose license was suspended.

"Khalil preyed on Medicare beneficiaries - people who were sick, elderly and disabled - and exploited them because they were vulnerable and easy to use to accomplish his fraud," said assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Otlewski and Ryan Hedges at the sentencing.

"To Khalil, the math was simple: Find people on Medicare, perform unnecessary tests and services, bill Medicare, get paid."