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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Burglary Twarted by Alert Park Forest Resident


Park Forest, IL – (ENEWSPF) – A burglary was thwarted late Saturday afternoon by an alert Park Forest resident in the 300 block of Sioux St.  The resident reported to eNews Park Forest Sunday that she observed an unfamiliar man park his car in front of her house and go to the neighbor’s front door.  The man knocked on the neighbor’s door, and after receiving no response, came to her door opened up her screen door, and knocked very loudly, twice in succession. “I didn’t see him return to his car, so I immediately went to my back door to watch and see if he was coming to that door,” she reported. 

“When I saw him turn around the rear of my house, I immediately called 9-1-1.” The resident continued, “He came inside my attached garage to my back door, and was there for a few minutes and left.  I then provided the police with a description of his vehicle, a license plate number, and him, while he was still inside my garage.” The man then turned around, left, and proceeded to his vehicle to leave. 

He was immediately apprehended within 10 minutes by the police.  The resident reports that the she later found out the man confessed to police that he was going to burglarize the residence, but stopped when he heard the resident's appliances running in the utility room.

The resident said police told her burglary tools were found in his vehicle.  The resident reports she was told that he confessed to other burglaries in Cook County and in Will County, and other charges may be pending.

The resident reports that there was apparently no intention to do anyone harm since the perpetrator left her back door and garage when it appeared that the residence was occupied.

eNews Park Forest will update this story after the release of the official police report.

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Tax Levy and the Golf Course, Take…, Four!


The Village Board takes up discussion of the 2006/2007 Tax Levy tonight, Monday, December 4.  The final levy will be adopted at the regular meeting on December 11.  The memorandum prepared for the board tonight gives a basic introduction to the levy and the levy process:

The 2007/2008 Budget will be funded by the 2006 levy. The tax levy consists of six separate categories. Each category is evaluated separately to determine levy needs. Following is a summary of the tax levy discussed, as well as the analysis process. Note that the summary shows a 0% increase in the General Corporate Levy. The entire levy increase is attributable to pension funds.

 The total increase from last year's tax levy is 2.6%.  A 13 year summary of the tax levy is as follows:

Tax Levy Increases

1993     15.1%
1994     11.4%
1995     11.7%
1996     8.2%
1997     6.7%
1998     4.8%
1999     2.9%
2000     2.9%
2001     2.9%
2002     2.9%
2003     2.9%
2004     8.1%
2005     9.3%
2006     2.6%

A link to the current board agenda and the Village Budget can be found on the Links page at eNews Park Forest.

In other news, the board takes up discussion of the possible closing of the Hidden Meadows Golf Course yet again tonight.  The matter was unexpectedly tabled last week to a time "indeterminate."  The memo provided for the board provides the following information:

During the Board’s budget deliberations in 2005 there was some discussion about the future of Hidden Meadows Golf Course given the decline in rounds sold and the amount of Village taxmoney put into it annually to make the operation break even. The topic has been discussed offand on by the Trustees since. Prior to the Board’s Strategic Planning session on October 14th, Director of Recreation and Parks John Joyce submitted a memo requesting a decision on the matter so that he could advise staff and know where the Village stood with the operations related to marketing, purchases and grounds care activities for a potential 2007 season.

During that discussion at the October 14 planning meeting, there seemed to be consensus to close the facility for public golf at the end of the 2006 season. The attached resolution is intended toreaffirm that discussion. This potential action by the Village Board was discussed at the November 20 Rules Meeting in which a number of matters were presented by employees and/orvolunteers at Hidden Meadows, residents of the nearby Tamarack Street residential developmentand other members of the community. Staff provided a thorough follow-up to the Board regarding the issues broached at the November 20 Meeting in preparation for action at the November 27 Regular Board Meeting. At this subsequent meeting, the Board voted to have the matter tabled/postponed pending additional discussion of how the Hidden Meadows property would be maintained assuming there were to be no golfing season in 2007. In particular, the Board mentioned items related to maintenance include costs, level of upkeep and length of expected maintenance costs pending any development of the golf course property. Follow up information was provided to the Board on these matters. This included the most accurate cost estimates that Staff could reasonably project based on maintenance expenditures for other similar large tracts of land in the community.

The matter may be voted on next week. 

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Allstate Attorneys Spark Interest in Law among Minority High School Students


allstate-logo100 Chicago-area High School Students Attend Street Law Conference

NORTHBROOK, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Many of todays youth learn about the legal profession by watching popular television shows centered on criminal law. Allstate is working with Street Law, Inc., a hands-on education program about law, democracy, and human rights, to broaden that perspective. As part of the program, Allstate is hosting a unique conference from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 5 designed to introduce students from two Chicago-area high schools to various fields of the legal profession and related career opportunities.

More than 100 students from Waukegan High School and Jones College Preparatory High School in Chicago comprise the inaugural group in this program. These students will gather at the Allstate Northbrook Corporate Headquarters for interactive sessions on legal topics taught by members of the insurers legal staff. They will also participate in a career fair where they can learn about the array of legal professions available, such as corporate law, intellectual property, employment and immigration law, and other important industry areas that may not be as familiar to them. The conference is hosted by the Allstate/Premier Law Firm Diversity Roundtable, whose mission is to be recognized as role models for U.S. corporations and law firms in their management of diversity and work/life practices.

Allstate recognizes and embraces the role that large corporations can play in developing future leaders and is committed to encouraging diversity among its ranks. Diversity is especially important in the legal profession, where minorities today are severely under-represented. In Chicago, for example, the 2003 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau1 reports that minorities account for 58 percent of the citys population; yet a study by the National Association of Law Firm Placement2 reports that fewer than 11 percent of Chicagos 7,823 lawyers (partners and associates) are minorities. Together with the Street Law Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, Allstate is addressing this issue by partnering with schools with large minority populations through the Street Law program and by educating students of color about legal careers.

During the conference, senior Allstate executives will expose the students to the complex world of auto insurance policies, including the basic components of an automobile insurance contract, how insurance coverage decisions are made and the roles attorneys play when coverage decisions are made. They will also participate in workshops engaging them in negotiation tactics and issues related to advertising, employment and other potential legal matters.

Our goal is to educate students, especially minority students, about the legal profession, said Michael J. McCabe, vice president and general counsel of The Allstate Corporation and senior vice president and general counsel of Allstate Insurance Company. We want them to understand that it offers much more than criminal law, which is mostly what they see on television. McCabe has been personally involved and actively promoting the Street Law program.

The Street Law program offers a proven way for corporations to take a proactive role in reversing the under-representation of minorities in the legal ranks.

Street Law is pleased to be working with Allstate, its premier law firms and the Chicago Public Schools to help prepare the next generation of lawyers and other legal professionals and to ensure greater diversity in the legal profession, remarked Lee Arbetman, director of U.S. Programs at Street Law. Allstate and its partners have made an impressive commitment to strengthening our community and our democracy.

This year, Allstate is partnering with high schools in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Allstates volunteer legal professionals serve as resources, mentors and teachers for the students, providing the extra academic education and support these students need to successfully pursue a legal career. Allstate has plans to roll-out this program in other regions in the future.

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Park Forest Health Department News


Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Park Forest Health Department itself is news to many people. Established in 1952, this community health nursing service provides both clinic and in home services. With one phone call and for no fee, you can receive an answer to your health related question from a professional registered nurse. You will be treated with courtesy and consideration. If the nurses at the Health Department cannot provide the care you need, they will make sure that you receive a referral for care from another agency.

Nurses Plus and the Park Forest Health Department is your headquarters for Flu Shots and Immunizations, Medicare Certified Home Care, Village Nurse Services, Bath Services, Health Consultations, and the 10 Ton Challenge. Located in the lower level of Village Hall, the new facilities are accessible by stairs or elevator.

Nurses Plus Home Healthcare is launching the “I Choose” program for seniors living in Park Forest. Staff members from the Health Department visit members if they are hospitalized to make sure that all post hospital arrangements for recovery are made. The nurses especially work with family members-at-a-distance to reassure them that Mom or Dad are doing as well as can be. This is a benefit to Park Foresters only.

Call the Health Department 748-1118 for an appointment for a flu shot or drop in the lower level at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive—if a nurse is in the office; we can give you your immunization. This is free to Medicare part B recipients, $25 for all others. Protect yourself.

Immunization for shingles is now available. The cost-per-dose is around $150.00 but will be a good investment for people over 60 since nearly half of that group may contract shingles in their lifetime. This immunization will not be covered initially by Medicare. Protect yourself.

The Park Forest Health Department  provides many other low cost vaccines for adults.

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Tall Grass Arts Association

Tall Grass logo
Tall Grass Art Fair

The Park Forest Art Fair is right around the corner. (GRAPHIC SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Tall Grass Arts Association is busy preparing for the 54th Annual Park Forest Art Fair, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13. between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The weekend events will be held in DownTown Park Forest.

There will be live musical performances on Saturday by Patchouli, and on Sunday by Kev Wright and Brent Moats of the Righteous Hillbillies. The DownTown is located at the north east corner of Indianwood Boulevard and Orchard Drive, across from St. Irenaeus Church.

Admission is free.

The Park Forest Art Fair is a family event and, the second oldest juried art fair in the Chicago area. Each year the fair is produced by a group of volunteers dedicated to sustaining the arts in Chicago’s south suburbs. New artists are juried in each year. They and other artists from across the Midwest and as far away as Canada assemble their work on the beautiful Village Green of DownTown Park Forest. Paintings, photographs, ceramics, glass, wood carvings, sculptures, and more will be available for purchase. The fair includes live music, food vendors, and children’s art activities.

On Saturday come hear the sole soothing sounds of Patchouli. Uplifting and inspirational, a rhythmic style of folk music that is truly it’s own. Sunday’s talent will be, Kev Wright & Brent Moats of the Righteous Hillbillies. Listen to these ‘Gentleman Hillbillies’ as they unplug their own mixture of Southern rock and blues. Stomping in the aisles is optional.

On exhibit now at Tall Grass Arts Association through the dates of the fair is ‘With These Hands: Sculpture 2009.’

For more information on the fair, the Tall Grass Art Gallery, or The Tall Grass Arts Association, please call 708-748-3377, or visit our website http://tallgrassarts.org

We appreciate our sponsors for the Park Forest Art Fair:

  • The Village of Park Forest
  • The SouthtownStar
  • eNews Park Forest
  • Additional support from Rich Township,
  • The Illinois Arts Council,
  • American Bagel,
  • Gertrude Gold,
  • Janet Muchnik,
  • and several good friends.

Recent releases:

Tall Grass Arts Association Presents ‘With These Hands’ 2009 Sculpture Invitational

With These Hands

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Tall Grass Arts Association presents “With These Hands”, a compilation of sculptural works and wall images, beginning on Friday, July 10 and running through September 13. The exhibition will open with a reception and introduction of the artists on July 10 from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 367 Artists Way in DownTown Park Forest, adjacent to the Park Forest Village Hall. Admission is free.

The exhibit features the works of local and national artists. It will be the first of its kind for the Tall Grass Gallery and the first time several of these artists have exhibited in the Chicagoland area. Their combined artistic goal is to engage the viewing public in the magic of sculpture. Included in the exhibit are works by Joshua Andres, Patricia Bohannon, Louis Greer, John Hansen, Angela Lee, Michéle P. Owens, Michael Ruback, Eric Steele, Jan Stewart, Grant White and Robert R. Williams. All of the artists in the exhibit have studied and created works in other art forms but have come to prefer the “hands on” art form of sculpture. Each has experienced the joy of the combination of thoughts and three-dimensional representation of those thoughts.

Joshua Andres from Benton Harbor, Michigan, focuses on one-of-a-kind metal fabrications. His work has been displayed throughout the Midwest. Joshua says about art, “Artwork colors our lives and makes them interesting. A world without art would be a drab, dull place with no feeling. My world revolves around art, not only my art, but all art, new and old. Art documents the history of our world, not with words and quotes but with feelings and emotions. Art for me is an outlet. It is a way for me to express my feelings and emotions to the rest of the world. I work with different media to achieve different goals and to express different feelings. The art I create speaks of me and of my world. If I am to be remembered, this is what for.”

Michael Ruback, a participating Chicago artist who was initially trained as a musician, states, “My work is better than I am. It is freer, more generous, more open-hearted and braver”. His realistic bronze hands provide a whimsical and dynamic viewing experience.

Robert R. Williams from Stevensville, Michigan says that his “motivation is more for the love of the process of doing, rather than a desire to say something”. Robert’s life-sized, realistic three-dimensional portraits compel one to appreciate the “visual beauty” of his subjects, which may not be immediately apparent to the casual observer. Robert works in plaster, bronze and other media.

Chicago artist Angela Lee creates stoneware works, which resemble Middle Eastern design and are “recorded, etched, drawn, or painted on the surface or molded into the form itself”. Lee uses fired stoneware to capture the colors and shapes of body modification—elements that fade, distort and decay with age—in a static state. In her unique manipulation of the human body, Angela allows the subject to become the “principal embodiment of thought, feeling and emotion”.

Grant White, an artist from Ford Heights who works in bronze, exhibits regularly in the Park Forest Art Fair. One of his works was selected for the Tall Grass permanent collection.

In addition to bronze, ceramics, and plaster, other artists have included sculptures formed with steel, wood, copper, paper maché or a combination of these materials.

“With These Hands” was curated by CouSandra Armstrong, Michéle P. Owens, Donna Radcliffe and Grant White.

For additional information, call the Gallery at (708) 748-3377 or check the Tall Grass Web site at www.tallgrassarts.org. More information about participating artists and other exhibit details can also be found on the Tall Grass Arts Association Web site.

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Gay Baby Boomers Concerned About Aging, Funding Retirement


First National Survey Reports a Higher Rate of Caregiving

Fear Discrimination in the Health Care Arena

WESTPORT, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Baby Boomers have more distinct concerns about aging with regard to financial stability, personal support and end-of-life legal issues and are providing care at a higher rate than those in the general population. Men and women both fear outliving their income in retirement, women (60%) more than men (55%).

Out and Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian and Gay Baby Boomers, the first national survey of its kind, also found that more than a quarter of those polled (27%) fear discrimination as they age. Less than half expressed strong confidence that health care professionals will treat them with dignity and respect. Yet, 40% believe being LGBT helped them prepare for aging.

The study was conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute® and the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network of the American Society on Aging (ASA), with Zogby International.

The study indicates those in the LGBT community have concerns about growing older, said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. This group reports a great deal of worry about who will care for them. Financial concerns are also an issue, for women slightly more than men. Planning for financial, legal and emotional support should be a high priority.

The study found that one in four respondents said they had provided care for an adult friend or family member in the last six months, compared with one in five in previous general population studies. Forty-four percent of LGBT caregivers care for a partner, friend or other non-relative, while 36% care for a parent. Seventy-five percent report important connections with families of choice, close friends who are like a second or extended family, in addition to close ties with their families of origin. Additional findings include the following:

  • Seventy-four percent said they are afraid of not being able to care for themselves and 56% are concerned with being dependent on others.
  • One in five people in the survey say they are unsure of who will take care of them when the need arises, though at least 75% expect to be caregivers for someone else.
  • LGBT baby boomers clearly want to spend their final days in their own homes; 47% said they would like their end-of-life care to take place in their current residence with the help of hospice care.
  • Almost 40% of respondents believe that being lesbian or gay has helped them prepare for aging in some way; 36% said being an LGBT person taught them greater self-reliance.

Gender Differences in LGBT Community Contrast with the General Population

The study found that the differences between men and women in the study group, as both caregivers and with respect to attitudes toward aging, are at variance with those in the general population. Roughly the same proportion of men and women in the LGBT group are caregivers. This is in contrast to findings in previous general population studies showing that between 25% and 44% of caregivers are men. In addition, men and women in the LGBT population perform roughly the same caregiving tasks, compared with men and women overall. Men in this group are more likely to assist with personal care, whereas men in the general group are more likely to help with paperwork and paying bills.

  • Lesbian women are more concerned than gay men about their financial stability as they age and report being less financially prepared for retirement than gay men. Lesbian women are notably less likely to have purchased long-term care insurance.
  • Twenty-seven percent of the LGBT group report great concern about discrimination as they age and less than half expressed strong confidence that they will be treated with dignity and respect by healthcare professionals. Fears of insensitive and discriminatory treatment are particularly strong among lesbians; 12% said they have absolutely no confidence that they will be treated respectfully.
  • Men are more likely than women to be concerned with being alone (43% versus 36%), becoming sick or disabled (59% versus 50%) and losing the ability to care for themselves (76% versus 68%).
  • One half (51%) of all LGBT baby boomers, and women in particular, have yet to complete their will, living will or other similar legal directive, despite the fact that LGBT couples and families currently lack legal protection.

The unique family structures and gender role differences among those in the LGBT community point to an added need for social support networks, housing solutions, financial planning and end-of-life decision-making for this group and for those in policy roles, said Kimberly D. Acquaviva, Ph.D., co-chair of the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network (LGAIN) of the American Society on Aging (ASA).

A sample of 1,000 self-identified LGBT individuals, ages 40 to 61, participated in an online survey conducted by Zogby International in 2006. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.2%.

Most study respondents report being well educated, middle-income adults living in a committed relationship. Of those studied, 75% say they are completely or mostly out. Only 3.7% say they have kept their sexual orientation private.

A 2000 poll by Harris Interactive reports that there are 15 million people, 6.8% of Americans, who identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual and there are more than three million same-sex couple households. The buying power of this segment is expected to be $641 billion in 2006.

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Focus on Hidden Meadows


Hidden Meadows golf course Discussion at the November 20 Village Board meeting focused on the proposed closing of Hidden Meadows Golf Course.  Speaking to a crowded board room, Village Manager Tom Mick outlined reasons for the resolution, "It's clearly based on financial reasons."  In addition, Mick said that the board met with residents from Tamarack Street in recent years, "Along the way we had done to research what the Village's obligations were for Hidden Meadows." "So we met in 2004, 2005, and, again in 2006 with those residents to keep them abreast of what discussion transpired and what the Village was looking at."

Mayor Ostenburg suspended the normal agenda to give people a chance to make comments about the golf course.  Public comments normally occur at the end of the board's deliberations at a Rules Meeting.

Pete Godfrey, golf official at Hidden Meadows for the past 20 years was the first to address the board.  He spoke of the popularity of instruction at the golf course,  “Over the past 20 years I’ve probably taught over 2,000 golfers.”  He reported that the course is now open less than it used to be, “I don’t know if the board knows this, but in the past couple of years, the hours of operation have decreased.  We used to be open 15 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.  In the past few years we’ve had restricted hours.  Not once did we ever have lights this year to teach golf.  We are talking about 200 hours of operation that we’ve lost this year.  We did not have lights this year.  I was not able to teach until 9 o’clock."

Mr. Robert Marshall, Sr. inquired whether the question to close the golf course would be brought to the voters of Park Forest via referendum.   He also mentioned numerous comments he had heard from individuals unfavorable to closing the course.  Mayor Ostenburg responded, “The board had not planned to submit the item for referendum.  It’s not something that we would commonly submit for referendum.”  Responding to Mr. Marshall's remarks about residents making comments, he said, “In terms of the comments that I have received about the course closing, that they mostly have come from users of the golf course.  At least 50% – 60% of those have been non-residents who are not paying taxes.  And I think that’s the critical issue here we have is that there is $150,000 per year in terms of lost revenue is a burden on all of the tax payers.  A number of the people who don’t use the facility are paying for it.”

Another Tamarack Street resident, Mr. Robert T. Marshall, Jr., offered a compromise, “We’re suggesting that you add an amendment to that, that rather than sacrificing an important asset and in an endeavor to end the deficit in the budget, that the board consider closing the course for one year, maintain the course as open space, while a citizen’s group consider future use of [the course].” 

Mr. Bob Boyer spoke in favor of keeping the course open, “I’ve played different courses, and quite a few of them are supported by a village or a Forest Preserve.  I still prefer my own Hidden Meadows.  It is a lovely course.  I am proud that Park Forest has a municipal golf course.”  He also expressed his concern that closing the golf course would have an adverse effect on property values, “When Park Forest gives up on Hidden Meadows, then my housing value goes down.”

Mr. James Stedt spoke to the issue of duplication, having two golf courses within such proximity to each other.  “University Golf Course is an excellent facility, they’ve done some wonderful renovations over there, but it’s not in the same league.  Hidden Meadows is a course for all people.  You don’t have to worry about who’s coming up behind you.  It’s a place where the game starts.”  He also encouraged the board to take a look closely at the possibility of closing the north course.  “When it was just the south course, the south course was bringing in a lot of money.”

After the public comments, Mayor Ostenburg asked staff to give responses on all of the suggestions made by residents, and that these be ready for the next board meeting.  “On behalf of the board members, I’ve watched this board agonize over this issue, and there have been individuals who have come and gone from the board who have also agonized over it, and we do try to take into consideration the residents who say they moved to Park Forest based on this.”


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NAACP Holds Annual Freedom Fund Dinner


p1010026 The Far South Suburban NAACP held its 26th Annual Freedom Fund Awards & Dinner Dance Banquet on Saturday, November 11, 2006, at the Matteson Holiday Inn.  The guest speaker for this year's event was Mr. Roland S. Martin, Executive Editor of The Chicago Defender, the nation's largest black daily newspaper.  Martin is a national award-winning journalist, a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate and the author of Speak, Brother!  A Black Man's View of America.  He is also a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of "The Roland S. Martin Show" on WVON-AM/1450 in Chicago, which can be heard daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Award recipients included Bobbie L. Steele, Cook County Board President; Nate Sutton, President – Sutton Ford, Inc.; Rochelle Kemp, Owner – Flavor Restaurant; Clyde Hammond, President – Summit Laboratories; Zenobia Evans, Mayor – Village of Riverdale; and Irene Brodie, Mayor – Village of Robbins.  The Spirit of Freedom Award was given to the Staple Singers, and Andreaus Robinson was presented with the National ACT-SO Award.

In his presentation, Mr. Martin emphasized the possibilities of only a few people accomplishing great things.  "The people just in this room can transform the entire nation," he said.  "Don't let yourself get caught up in numbers.  What you should be focused on is work.  To be effective, you don't have to have a lot of people."  And he repeated, "Just the people in this room can completely change not just the south suburbs, but the entire nation." 

Following are some pictures from the evening. 

Rev. Blackful and Ralph Burkhalter









  Ralph Burkhalter, Gary Kopycinski, Rev. Lawrence Blackful









James Settles Sr.










  Trustee McCray & Chief

















   Janice Culbreath



















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When is eNews Park Forest published?


A new issue of eNews Park Forest is published every Monday, unless otherwise noted.

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Is eNews Park Forest an official publication of the Village of Park Forest?


No. eNews Park Forest, Inc. is a privately run company that is not affiliated with the Village of Park Forest.  Our publisher, Gary Kopycinski, does serve the people of Park Forest as a Trustee, but this is not a publication of the Village of Park Forest.

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