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HORRIFIC

  • Written by Bob Rakow

PAGE-1-car-crash-3An 11-car accident Sunday killed three people including Sisters Jean Stickney and Kab Kyoung Kim (photo below) in Oak Lawn. Top photo by Dermot Connelly.Three dead – including two nuns – after 11-vehicle crash

 

A lone bouquet of roses was taped early MondaySisters morning to a light pole on the south side of 95th Street near Cicero Avenue.

Meanwhile, a man stood in front of the strip mall near the intersection, using a leaf blower to remove the bits of glass and debris that remained from the tragic 11-car accident that occurred the previous afternoon. Two Little Company of Mary sisters were killed and third injured in the crash described by officials as “a horrific scene.”
The roses and the shards of metal and glass were the only signs that remained less than 24 hours after one of arguably the worst traffic accidents in the history of Oak Lawn.
The roses were attached to the pole by Oak Lawn resident Jenni Simpson, who thought of the idea after taking her daughter to school. She drove the accident site and affixed the roses the pole with the help of her son, Kurt, 7.
“I drove by there, and I was numb,” Simpson said. “It was so sad. It was devastating. It’s just such a tragedy. It could be any of us.”
Simpson doesn’t know any of three people killed in the crash, but didn’t believe that’s was important in order to honor the victims.
“It’s the right thing to do,” she said
Many people in the community, especially the Evergreen Park area, did know two of the victims.
“It was a horrific scene and, as (Police Chief Michael Murray) pointed out, trained investigators were shocked,” Oak Lawn Police Division Chief Randy Palmer said.
Sister Jean Stickney, 86, and Sister Kab Kyoung Kim, 48, died at the scene after the car they were driving was struck by a pick-up truck driven by Edward L. Carthans, 81, of Chicago.
Carthans also was killed in the crash, in which the pickup he was driving veered in to the opposite of lanes of 95th Street, ran a red light and slammed into cars waiting at for the light to change, police said.
The third person in the car, and the driver, Sister Sharon Ann Walsh, is currently in stable condition at Little Company of Mary Hospital, officials said.
Twenty-three people were treated at the scene and 11 were taken to area hospitals, officials said.
The accident remains under investigation and could take weeks to reconstruct, police said.
Six Oak Lawn police officers were dedicated Tuesday to accident reconstruction duties, Palmer said.
“I can’t get into specifics. It is an ongoing investigation,” Palmer said at a press conference Monday morning at village hall.
Witnesses told police they initially saw Carthans slumped over the wheel of the pickup truck at 95th Street and Western Avenue and asked if he needed assistance.
Carthans declined help and drove away, police said.
“He was stopped at the light and a person saw him slumped at the wheel and didn’t know if he was having a medical emergency or fell asleep,” Palmer said. “That person did volunteer to park the vehicle for him if he was in distress.”
Moments later, Carthans was involved in a four-car accident at 95th Street and Keeler Avenue near Target. None of the drivers in the crash were seriously injured or transported to the hospital, officials said.
Carthans then drove at a high rate of speed toward 95th Street and Cicero Avenue. As he approached the intersection, he crossed into the eastbound lanes, ran the red light and struck cars stopped at a traffic light on eastbound 95th Street, officials said.
Officials said it is too early to determine if alcohol was involved in the accident or if Carthans had health concerns that caused him to drive erratically.
Sister Stickney served as the vocation director for the Sister of the Little Company of Mary and was a member of Little Company of Mary’s board of directors.
“There is no doubt that our hospital suffered a tremendous loss last night,” said Dennis Reilly, president and CEO for Little Company of Mary Hospital. “On behalf of the board of directors, physicians, administration and employees, we send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Sister Jean and Sister Anna’s families. They were compassionate women who devoted their lives to caring for others. We continue to pray for all who were involved in yesterday’s accident.”
Sister Stickney was born in Nashua, N.H., and joined the Little Company of Mary Sister in 1951. She has served in Evergreen Park; Cambridge, Mass; Torrance, Calif; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sister Kab Kyoung Kim, known as Sister Anna Kim to those who knew in the United States, was born in Seoul, Korea.
She was a member of the Little Company of Mary Sisters in the Korean Province and was visiting the American Province for the past two years to pursue her studies and gain an understanding of LCM ministries in the United States.
Sister Kim assisted with Little Company of Mary’s comprehensive bereavement services, more specifically the children’s support group, entitled “The Heart Connection.”

 

A new era begins

  • Written by Tim Hadac

 

New company buys Reporter and Regional News

A new chapter in Southwest Suburban journalism began this week, with the sale of The Reporter and The Regional News to a company dedicated to excellence and service.
The two weekly newspapers that had been owned by the Regional Publishing Corp., as well as the company’s printing press, Palos Heights headquarters and other assets, have been acquired by Southwest Community Publishing Co. The new entity will be called Southwest Regional Publishing Co.
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
The move closes the book on the Richards family’s ownership of the two newspapers. The Richards family has owned The Regional for 67 years. The Regional, founded in 1941 and currently the oldest business in Palos Heights, was purchased by the Richards family in 1947. Carl Richards worked during his high school years as the “printer’s devil” at a small weekly newspaper in the Ozarks when he decided someday he wanted to own and publish his own community newspaper. The family purchased The Reporter in 1986.
Former owner Charles Richards succeeded his father Carl Richards as publisher and served until his retirement in 2005. For more about the sale of The Reporter, see his “Let me say this about that” column on Page 6 of this week’s edition
The Southwest Regional Publishing Co. is affiliated with the Southwest Community Publishing Co.
It is an owner and operator of now five weekly newspapers in the Southwest Suburbs, including the Desplaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald and Clear-Ridge Reporter. With the addition of The Reporter and Regional News, their combined coverage territory spans from Countryside and McCook in the north through Orland Park in the south.
Founded in 2012, the company is chaired by Steve Landek and includes veteran newspaper operator Mark Hornung.
The new company announced that Amy Richards, publisher of The Regional News and The Reporter, will remain in her current post.
“We are honored that Amy Richards has chosen to lead our team in Palos Heights and Oak Lawn,” said Steve Landek, chairman of Southwest Community Publishing Co. “Our agenda is to continue this proud tradition of the Richards family of comprehensive news coverage while we modernize the commercial aspects of the business in a challenging environment.”

The Reporter serves Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Chicago Ridge, Worth, Hickory Hills, and Palos Hills.
The Regional News serves Palos Heights, Palos Park, and Orland Park.

 

Oak Lawn car wreck claims lives of two nuns

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Two Little Company of Mary sisters were killed Sunday afternoon at 95th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn as part of an 11-car crash described by officials as “a horrific scene.”

Sister Jean Stickney, 86, and Sister Kab Kyoung Kim, 48, were killed when the car they were driving was struck by a pick-up truck driven by Edward L. Carthans, 81, of Chicago.

Carthans also was killed in the crash, in which the pickup he was driving veered in to the opposite of lanes of 95th Street, ran a red light and slammed into cars waiting for the light to change, police said.

Twenty-three people were treated at the scene and 11 were taken to area hospital, officials said.

The accident remains under investigation and could take weeks to reconstruct, police said.

“I can’t get into specifics. It is an ongoing investigation,” said Oak Lawn Police Division Chief Randy Palmer at a press conference Tuesday morning at village hall.

Witnesses told police they initially saw Carthans slumped over the wheel of his pickup truck at 95th Street and Western Avenue and asked if he needed assistance.

Carthans declined help and drove away, police said. Moments later, he was involved in a four-car accident at 95th Street and Keeler Avenue near Target. None of the drivers in the crash were seriously injured, police said.

Carthans then drove at a high rate of speed to 95th Street and Cicero Avenue, crossed into the eastbound lanes, ran the red light and struck cars stopped at a traffic light on eastbound 95th Street.

Officials said it was too early to determine if alcohol was involved in the accident or if Carthans had health concerns that caused him to drive erratically.

Sister Stickney served as the vocation director for the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary and was a member of Little Company of Mary’s board of directors.

 

 

 

Let the search begin

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Worth seeking out a new police chief

Worth Police Chief Martin Knolmayer calls it a career tomorrow, Friday, but the village’s plans to find his replacement are in their infancy.
  Mayor Mary Werner shed little light on the village’s timeline or process for selecting a new top cop.
  “We are reviewing options at this time. As soon as we have any updated information, I will let you know,” Werner said in an email Monday.
  Deputy Chief Mark Micetic is the department’s second in command, but whether he will be named the interim chief remained uncertain late Tuesday afternoon.
  “Hopefully we will make that decision pretty quick,” said trustee Warren Soldan, the board’s police department liaison.
  Knolmayer announced his retirement at the Sept. 16 village board meeting. He leaves the village after more than 28 years of service and shortly before his 50th birthday.
  Trustee Tedd Muersch said he favors the appointment of an existing member of the police department hierarchy.
  “At this point, it seems like it would be worth it to promote from within,” Muersch said.
  Knolmayer rose through the ranks, becoming chief in 2011, 25 years after joining the force.
  Soldan agreed, saying he would prefer the village promote from within the ranks.
  Muersch added that it’s very early in the process, and the village board has not discussed the matter yet.
  “It’s really, early,” he said. “We haven’t gotten together as a group.”
  Trustee Colleen McElroy said she has talked to Werner about Knolmayer’s replacement.
  The chief is a mayoral appointment, but the board can reject the selection, McElroy said.
  She added that the new chief must work for the best interests of the village and understand the direction of the police department.
  “I would like to see what our options are,” McElroy said. “It’s difficult to say right now. You don’t want to (chose a replacement) in haste. This is a big position.”
  Knolmayer said he decided to retire to spend more time with his family.
  Knolmayer joined the police department as a patrol officer in 1986. A decade later, he moved to investigations where he would spend 14 years.
  While at that post, he worked with the South Suburban Major Crimes Unit. From there, he was assigned to the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and worked with the organization for 11 years to investigate homicides and kidnappings.
  Knolmayer became a sergeant in 2000 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2006.

New business to the rescue

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Page-3-CR-LibraryThe Chicago Ridge Library was closed for two days last week because of a bed bug problem but was opened last Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva.

A company that recently set up shop in Chicago Ridge was instrumental in eradicating bed bugs from the village’s public library.
Canine Detection & Inspection Services, 9955 Virginia Ave., was brought in when the library learned that a portion of the building might be infested with bed bugs.
The company’s business license was approved Sept. 16 by the board.
“Everything is fine. We’re up and running,” library director Kathy McSwain said Tuesday. “We used the canine company.”
The library was closed last Tuesday and Wednesday after a patron lodged a complaint about being bitten. The library, 10400 Oxford Ave., reopened on Thursday morning.
A statement posted on the door of the library and distributed to patrons said, “It is important to remember that this is a people issue not a building issue.”
The statement added that bed bugs can be found anywhere humans inhabit and are not known to transmit diseases to humans. It included links to Cook County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control for more information on bed bugs.
The library did not offer an explanation for the two-day closing prior to Thursday.
The library treated the areas where bed bugs were detected and got rid of furnishings inhabited by the bugs, said McSwain, who did not say where the bed bugs were discovered.
“It was a learning experience for all of us,” she said.
She added that this is the first time the library has experienced a bed bug infestation, but the experience should not be forgotten.
“This community needs an education on bed bugs,” McSwain said, adding that the library will provide pamphlets and brochures and host public speakers on the subject.
She said the library might also have to consider some policy changes to prevent another infestation. The policy changes might limit the amount of materials a patron may bring in or the donations the library accepts.
Mayor Chuck Tokar said the dogs subsequently checked out portions of village hall, including the council chamber, meeting rooms and senior citizen room.
The police station also was checked out. None of the facilities had any signs of bugs, Tokar said.