Former OL man shot in the stomach by home invaders

  • Written by Tim Hadac

A 51-year-old Palos Heights man originally from Oak Lawn was in serious but stable condition at Advocate Christ Hospital Tuesday afternoon, 10 hours after he was shot in the stomach by two robbers who invaded his home near 131st Street and 80th Avenue.
Police said that Scott Farrow of Palos Heights was shot at his home. Farrow is the owner and president of United Insurance Services Ltd. in Palos Heights and is from Oak Lawn, according to his Facebook page.
A statement by the Palos Heights Department said they were dispatched to the home at 3:49 a.m Tuesday and spoke with the victim, who said he had been lying on his couch when he heard his rear door being forced open.
He was then accosted by the home invaders, one of whom hit him with a blunt object and then demanded money. The victim told police that when he resisted, one of the offenders shot him. They then grabbed a large amount of the victim’s cash and fled.
Footprints in the snow that had fallen overnight showed that they ran west, toward 131st Street and 80th Avenue.
After he was shot, the victim sought refuge in the home of a neighbor, who called police.
The victim told police that earlier in the evening, he had won a large amount of cash at a casino, which police declined to name. But news reports indicated it was the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond. Police said the winnings may have made the victim a target.
The offenders remained at large Tuesday afternoon and are described as black men ages 20s to 30s, police said.
Palos Heights police said the crime posed “no immediate threat to residents” and were said to be gathering and reviewing surveillance video from the casino and several local sites.
“All local schools were contacted and made aware of the incident and told that no lockdown was necessary,” the statement added. “Cook County Sheriff’s Police evidence technicians were called to process the scene. Palos Heights police were also assisted by Palos Park police and Orland Park police.”

Still simmering

  • Written by Bob Rakow


Brittany supporters unhappy with mayor’s online quotes and alleged tweets by mayor’s relative

PAGE-1-2-col-pass-outMike Tully passes out copies of tweets allegedly made by Mayor Mary Werner’s relative to members of the Worth Village board Tuesday night. Photo by Jeff Vorva.Worth Village Board meeting lacked some of the raw emotion and passion that marked the April 1 meeting, but family and friends of Britanny Wawrzyniak took the opportunity to sharply criticize the way in which the death investigation has been handled.

They also scolded Worth Mayor Mary Werner for talking about the case to an online publication after saying at the April 1 meeting that she could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
“You chose to make a statement there but you wouldn’t do if in front of the board meeting two weeks ago,” said Rebecca Tully, Wawrzyniak’s mother.
More than 200 people attended the April 1 meeting, and several unleashed their anger on Werner. Two days later, police arrested Lilyanna Arboleda, 18, of Chicago, and charged her with conspiracy to commit battery.
Prosecutors have said the charge does not mean Arboleda was involved in Wawrzyniak’s death, which occurred Nov. 8 after she was ejected from a moving car near the Worth boat launch, 115th Street and Beloit Avenue.
Werner was quoted on a website that Wawrzyniak’s family wanted to take credit for the arrest, a remark that upset Tully.
“How dare you. Our family is not looking for credit. Our family is looking for truth and justice,” Tully said.
Wawrzyniak’s family also distributed copies of messages allegedly sent on Twitter by a relative of the mayor in which she comments on the Nov. 8 incident.

Easter prayers for cardinal

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


Millions concerned for George as he urges talks about his successorpage-1-COLOR-4-COL-cARDINALCardinal Francis George presided over Marist’s 50th anniversary celebration last September. Since then, his health has taken a downturn again and even though he was able to speak at St. Xavier University last week he will not travel to Rome for a canonization ceremony later this month and has urged church officials to begin looking for his successor. Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (inset) is rumored to be the frontrunner to replace George. Top hoto by Jeff Vorva.

Some Catholics will pray with Cardinal Francis George on Sunday.Page-5-2-col-Archbishop-Kurtz Photo courtesy of Louisville Archdiocese.


Many more will be praying for him.
Cardinal George is putting up a brave fight as he battles cancer and goes through chemotherapy sessions again.
The 77-year-old George was able to keep his speaking engagement at St. Xavier University on April 8 and told that audience that he plans on participating in Holy Week services and plans on presiding at Easter Sunday Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.
On the down side, he is not able to take a trip to Rome for the important canonization ceremony of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, which takes place April 27.
“They spelled out the dangers,” George said at SXU. “I can’t risk another infection. It would be very foolish to go over there.”
And it might be time to start thinking of a replacement.
It’s hard for people to talk about this subject but Cardinal George’s run will end. Whether it’s in weeks, months or longer it is going to happen and the more than two million Catholics that he represents are likely wondering who takes over when he steps down.
George told the SXU audience that the process of selecting his successor has not started yet but three days later in a meeting with reporters he said the process should begin soon because “It’s not fair to the archdiocese to have someone who may not be able to do the job the way it should be done.’’
The speculation is that a man from Louisville could be coming to town to take the job when it becomes available.
Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz is

Worth mayor hitting a rough patch in first year

  • Written by Jeff Vorva


Page-1-2-col-wernerWorth Mayor Mary Werner studies comments allegedly tweeted by her relative that insulted Brittany Wawrzniak’s family during Tuesday’s board meeting. Photo by Jeff Vorva.One year ago, life was pretty good for Worth’s Mary Werner.


She experienced the elation of winning an election over an incumbent for mayor on April 9 and made history for being voted in as the first female mayor in the village. She was experiencing the excitement and anticipation of officially taking over and being sworn in on May 6.
Fun times.
Fast forward to today.
Not-so-fun times.
Werner is in the middle of a red-hot controversy regarding last November’s death of teenager Brittany Wawrzyniak. On Tuesday Wawrzyniak’s family and friends verbally attacked her for the second village board meeting in a row.
Last year at this time, Werner was getting ready to raise her right hand and take an oath to be sworn in as mayor. On Tuesday night, Rebecca Tully, Wawryzniak’s mother, was reading the oath back to Werner and calling the mayor out for what Tully thinks is not living up to that oath. And there has been some swearing from Brittany supporters toward the mayor the past two meetings.
At question is the way the police and village have handled the situation since the day the teenager died after either jumping or being pushed out of a car. Wawryzniak’s family and friends maintain they were lied to and not treated with respect. They also want answers. Village and police officials said they would not share details of the case until the investigation is complete and that could be for another eight to 10 months, Werner said.

Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: Although I wish we didn’t need it, Crisis Center turns 35

jeff column

There’s something about Mary’s story that brought
out some emotions on Friday night – including those of Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar.
The Crisis Center of South Suburbia celebrated its 35th anniversary with a bash at Parmesans Station in Tinley Park and among those on the guest list were Tokar and worth Mayor Mary Werner.
During a presentation, a video was shown about a woman they called Mary (last names are not used at the CC) who was abused and how her life was turned around for the good thanks to the Crisis Center.
“Something like that can reduce you to tears,” Tokar said. PAGE-3-3-col-with-jvcolThere was a lot of yelling going on at the last Worth board meeting regarding the police and village’s handling of Brittany Wawrzyniak’s death. Whether people supporting Brittany’s family will show up to Tuesday’s meeting is unknown. Photo by Jeff Vorva.
The video was only about five minutes long but it was powerful and inspiring. When it was over, Mary was presented with flowers and more eyeballs moistened. Tokar was moved to walk over and meet Mary and tell her of his admiration for her bravery.
The Crisis Center’s beginnings came about in this area. It started in Palos Park by Dianne Masters and spent some time being housed at a farm at Moraine Valley in Palos Hills before moving to its current digs in 1991.
Officials say they have helped more than 55,000 people over the years and currently have a staff of 40 people and 250 volunteers. One of those volunteers is Palos Park’s Barbara Najib, who has been with the organization 34 out of the 35 years.
“I saw a little squib in the paper about volunteering and I thought it was be a good way to give back to the community,” said Najib, a former court reporter in Chicago. “They started in the Community Center in Palos Park for a few years and then moved to Moraine.