The Worth Police Department will beginning in the spring use an all-terrain
vehicle in an attempt to discourage vandalism and other petty crime at parks and
the village-owned Water's Edge Golf Club.
The four-wheeler will allow police officers access to areas they would not be
able to enter with squad cars. Worth Trustee Mary Rhein said the ATVs will help
with the department's "aggressive patrol tactics."
"The ATV will be used to help with underage drinking, criminal damage to
property, and graffiti at Water's Edge and the 10 parks in the village," Rhein
said. "There will be access to where access by patrol cars is limited."
Worth will pay $8,500 for the black-and-white vehicle, which will be equipped
with emergency lights, a public address system, windshield and siren, Rhein
said. The funds will come from the police department's asset forfeiture fund. It
will be delivered to the department next week, then sent out to be equipped with
Worth resident Gene Sikora at Tuesday's Village Board meeting questioned how
police officers would transfer an arrestee to the police station. Police Chief
Martin Knolmayer said a squad car will be called to do such a job.
If the ATV purchase proves beneficial, a second one may be purchased, Rhein
said. Officers will receive four to eight hours of training on how to properly
operate the vehicle, and one officers is a certified ATV instructor, Rhein said.
"I really think it's gonna be an asset, especially on vandals," Rhein said.
"It will be easier access to fly through a park."
Saint Xavier University student Aldo Quinones of Oak Lawn shows his enthusiasm at the SXU School of Education's first Pinning Ceremony held Feb. 5. The ceremony was held in honor of the university's teacher education students earning candidacy status in the School of Education, the first major benchmark in the program leading to teacher licensure.
For an online gallery of photos from the event visit the "Saint Xavier University News" Facebook page.
Park dist. bringing back rocket slide as part of $1.2M project at Memorial
By Laura Bollin
Memorial Park in Oak Lawn is going back in time. More specifically, it is
going back to the 1960s, when it was known as Rocket Slide Park.
Oak Lawn Park District director Maddie Kelly said the park, 102nd Street and
Major Avenue, will undergo a $1.2 million renovation this summer. Among the
imrpovements will be a return of the beloved rocket ship slide, only bigger and
better than before.
"I used to ride my bike from Beverly [in Chicago] up there when I was a kid,
it was such a cool slide," Kelly said. "Now, we are replacing the whole
playground, and it will all have a rocket ship theme. The rocket ship slide is
going to be a huge slide that looks like a tall rocket ship, with all sorts of
space toys on it. It's going to be really, really cool."
The park district received at $400,000 grant from the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources to help cover the costs of the renovation. Other upgrades will
include a splash pad, new playground, bathrooms, walking trails, tennis courts,
areas for bean bags and horseshoes, and two full basketball courts.
"We're resurfacing everything so it'll be like playing on a brand new court,"
The park district also plans to replace a dilapidated picnic shelter with one
covered with a green roof. The shelter will be about the same size as the
existing one, and will accommodate as many as 15 people.
Visitors will also see improvements to Memorial Pond. The park district will
install a new pier, and add plants and a log fence and rock outcroppings for
"That park has been in disarray for a long time, and it is an eyesore and an
embarrassment to us," Kelly said. "It is going to rejuvenate the whole
neighborhood. It will be a place people want to move because it is such a
Kelly expects the renovations to be completed by the end of the summer.
The Ultimate Spartan Contest, which will conclude with the selection of the
top senior male student-athlete at Oak Lawn High School, will be held at 7:30
p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Spartan Gymnasium, 95th Street and Southwest
Highway. The competition is a fundraiser for the Oak Lawn High softball program,
which wants to build a batting cage at the Spartan Athletic Complex.
The contestants will be Kyle Cheng (from left), Connor Niemiec, Bob Kametas,
Sean Altenburg, Shawn Cannon, Cody McElheny and Saul Huerta, who will compete in
formal wear, beachwear, talent, fundraising and interview. One of the categories
for judging will be audience approval as well, where the loudest screams and
cheers will give the contestants more points.
Altenburg was the school's Homecoming king and plays football and basketball.
Cannon plays hoops and competes on the track team. Cheng is a tennis player and
participates in several clubs and organizations. Huerta plays soccer, Kametas
plays basketball and baseball, McElheny runs cross country and track, and
Niemiec wrestles and plays football and baseball.
Tickets will go on sale for $5 in advance, and will be $7 at the door.
Softball players, contestants, the coaching staff, and the Athletic Office will
be selling tickets. Find updates on Twitter @OakLawnSoftball.
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.
A preschool open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at
the Cynthia Neal Recreation Center, 8047 W. 91st Place. Event is for parents who
want to enroll children in a program for the first time in the 2013-14 school
year. An informational pamphlet on preschool programs will be available, or call
598-1233 to have one mailed.
The Resource & Recreation Department will offer programs at the Activity
Center, 8455 W. 103rd St.
Parent and Tot classes for children 2 to 3 years old and a parent are from
11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $30 for Palos Hills residents, $35 for
Huggy Bear Twos is Thursday, Feb. 28 to April 4.
Cooking/Craft classes for children 7 to 10 years old are Tuesdays, 3:30 to
4:45 p.m. Cost is $12 per student.
Green & Lucky St. Patrick's Day will be March 5, Hopping Into Spring will be
Disney Dance Class for children 6 to 10 years old will be Saturdays from 1 to
2 p.m. Cost is $25 per session.
The park district offers duplicate bridge every Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Oak
View Center, 4625 W. 110th St. Cost is $7 per person and includes a light lunch.
All ages are welcome. For more information call 857-2200.
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
The Worth Park District Historical Museum is offering a bus-and-walking tour
of Historic Pullman Town from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March. Fee is $33
and includes a light lunch. Registration deadline is Feb. 20.
An antique appraisal with professional appraiser Rex Newell of Rex's Antiques
will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 at the Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave.
Appraisals are available for the first 40 patrons for $5 an item. Only one
"hand-held" item permitted. Call 448-7080 to register. Deadline is March 6.
Little Club offers benefits such as free indoor playground usage. Fee is $10
resident, $15 non-resident. For more information call the park district.
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 worthparkdistrict.org.
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.