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What is eNews Park Forest?

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Welcome to eNews Park Forest, an online news magazine dedicated to telling the whole story, news and information from the Village of Park Forest, IL.  Many people have expressed displeasure with the quality of news coverage for Park Forest.

Our goal is to change all of that.  With regular updates, feature stories from around the Village, it is our plan to make sure that all residents of Park Forest are completely informed.

The concept for eNews Park Forest is simple.  We wanted to develop an online magazine for the citizens of Park Forest.  Clubs and not-for-profit organizations can submit press releases. 

Our advertising rates are very reasonable. 

Through the years we’ve heard many concerns from Park Forest residents that we do not get enough coverage in the local papers.  In particular, people are upset that the police blotter and other events do not get the coverage that they seem to get in other towns.  There are even reports that the Park Forest police blotter is more complete in the Hammond Times than it is in our local papers!

And there are many cases that our police solve that do not get proper coverage.  There are community events that do not get proper coverage.  There are questions that need to be asked, stories that need to be told.

If this venture is going to be successful, we cannot do it alone.  We’re looking for people who are interested in writing a story from time to time, as well as a few willing to visit the police station once or twice a month to report for eNews Park Forest on the police blotter.  If you think you might be in the least bit interested in helping out, please send a message through the contact page at eNews Park Forest.

We invite you to take a look at eNews Park Forest.  Registration is free.  When you register, you will have more access to stories, and you will receive new magazine issues via email when they are published.  Our goal is to eventually publish one issue a week.

The layout and the styling for the magazine is complete.  Please take a look at it, and tell your friends.  We’re confident that there is a need for more news coverage in Park Forest, and this can become an important community forum.

We will be happy to post notices for any Park Forest club or organizations you are involved with.  Please send them to us at any time through the contact page here at eNews Park Forest. 

 Thank you for stopping by to browse.  Stop by regularly to read.

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Seeking “Unsung Heroines” Nominees

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Commissioner Joan MurphyCook County Commissioner, Joan Patricia Murphy (6th District) announced that she is seeking a nominee to be honored by the Cook County Board's Commission on Women's Issues.  The Annual "Unsung Heroine" Breakfast will be held in March at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The Unsung Heroine Award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the well-being and betterment of their community through their volunteer actions.  Jennifer Vidis, Executive Director of the Cook County Commission on Women's Issues, said: "These honorees are our neighbors, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters.  They make a difference in our lives through their generous gift of their time, energy, expertise and leadership."

Commissioner Murphy stated nominees must be residents of Cook County and live in her 6th County Board District.  These women must have a background of community involvement in a volunteer capacity and be someone who has not received widespread recognition. Commissioner Murphy encourages all community organizations in the 6th District to submit nominees. A panel of judges will determine the selection of the 6th District honoree. All other nominated women will receive an Official Certificate of Honorable Recognition.  Nomination entry forms are available at Commissioner Joan Murphy's 6th District office located at 5405 W. 127th Street in Crestwood or call 708-389-2125 and one will be mailed.  All entries must be received by January 10th, 2007.

The Nomination Entry Form may be downloaded here.

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Agenda Item 6: Closing Hidden Meadows

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The Village Board will take up the discussion Monday, November 20, on the potential closing of Hidden Meadows Golf Course, as reported last week in eNews Park Forest.  The item is sixth on the agenda, and the resolution presented to the board reads as follows:

A RESOLUTION DISCONTINUING OPERATIONS AT HIDDEN MEADOWS
GOLF COURSE WITH THE CLOSE OF THE 2006 GOLF SEASON

WHEREAS as part of an open space preservation program in the south end of the Village, the Village of Park Forest acquired property in 1969 then known as the Park Forest Municipal Golf Center, and

WHEREAS since that time the Village has operated the facility as a public fee golf course complete with practice range, lessons and other programs, and

WHEREAS as part of the development of The Meadows Subdivision in 1994, the Village agreed to purchase from a private developer an additional nine hole course referred to as the “North Course”, and

WHEREAS as part of this expansion the name of the facility was changed to “Hidden Meadows Golf Club”, and

WHEREAS after a two year spike in rounds sold after that expansion, the number of rounds sold at Hidden Meadows has steadily declined, and

WHEREAS this decline in rounds played at Hidden Meadows is evidenced by the approximate 32,000 rounds of golf played in 1999 compared with approximately 17,100 rounds played in 2005

WHEREAS this trend in declining sales has also been mirrored by statistics for the Upper Midwest made available from the National Golf Foundation; and

WHEREAS during this same period a number of new golf venues have opened in the Chicago land area while a number of other courses in the south suburban region have closed, and

WHEREAS these trends of recent years has resulted in the Village putting more and more tax money into the golf operation in order to make it break even.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Park Forest, Cook and Will Counties, IL that the facility known as Hidden Meadows Golf Club will discontinue operations with the close of the 2006 golfing season.

This item and the entire agenda for Monday's board meeting can be found here

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Hunting for Local Treasurers

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macc-after-hours-1 The maps of downtown Park Forest were distributed and off they went.  Business owners, professionals and residents from surrounding communities scattered throughout the area on November 16 to discover the hidden gems that lie within.  The Matteson Area Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Park Forest co-hosted this special event in honor of the Chamber's recent move to its new location in downtown Park Forest.

The scavenger hunt was the brainchild of Hildy Kingma, Director of Economic Development for the Village and Georgia O'Neill, Executive Director of the Chamber. "We wanted to welcome the Chamber to our community"

said Kingma, "and let everyone have fun in the process."  As Chamber members sought out the new headquarters, they discovered the 11 other participating businesses scattered throughout the downtown.  "We're excited to be in our new location and we wanted our members to get familiar with our new home and our new neighbors," said O'Neill. 

macc-after-hours-2 The blustery night didn't stop Chamber members and guests from facing the elements in search of their bounty.  The participating businesses rewarded their efforts by offering bits of nourishment at each location, information about the services they offer and the qualifying signatures for even greater rewards to be found at the journey's end – a bounty of raffle prizes.  A good time was had by all.

The Matteson Area Chamber of Commerce serves the communities of Park Forest, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Richton Park and University Park by promoting a favorable business climate, supporting opportunities for economic development and serving as a voice for all local businesses. 

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Stamp Club – Who Are We?

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The Park Forest Stamp Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7:45 p.m. at Freedom Hall. The Club has members dedicated to all levels of Philately, ranging from beginners to highly advanced collectors. Formal programs are presented from September to June, with informal meetings during the summer months. An annual stamp exhibition and bourse is held each spring. The 2008 exhibition and bourse will be held on April 12 and 13 at Forest Trail Middle School, Lakewood and Wilson streets.

The Park Forest Stamp Club was founded in 1960 and is open to anyone interested in stamp collecting. Call Duane Larson at (708) 503-9552 or Paul Larsen at (708) 747-1444 for more information.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

November 6: Club Auction. Members will provide stamps and covers for auction.

November 20: "Show and Tell" Members will bring items for show and tell. 

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Park Forest Running and Pancake Club

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Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Established in 1978, the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club (PFRPC) is based in the South Suburbs of Chicago. While the club originated in the far south community of Park Forest, today our members come from more than 25 different communities throughout metropolitan Chicago, as well as Northwest Indiana.

Far from a fair-weather organization, the PFRPC is active all year long, literally — rain or shine, snow or sleet, heat or humidity — sponsoring races, weekend recreational runs, speed workouts, training runs, Moon Runs, road trips and just plain social get-togethers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a walker, a 7-minute miler, 12-minute miler or a world class runner (we have them all in the club), all are welcomed by the PFRPC.

The Park Forest Running and Pancake Club is a group dedicated to fitness through running, fun, and friendship. We welcome and actively include runners and walkers of all speeds and levels. In order to accomplish this we run together, provide each other with encouragement, and help each other achieve our running and fitness goals.

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The Park Forest Running and Pancake Club is running the 30th Bob Stevens Progressive Half-Marathon. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Running Club Presents 30th Anniversary Bob Stevens Progressive Half-Marathon

Runners and Walkers of All Ages and Abilities Are Welcome

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Why do a Half-Marathon in less than a day when you can run one progressively over the course of a month? How? Run or walk your Half-Marathon on the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club’s Progressive plan.

The PFRPC is preparing for its Progressive Half Marathon, running on select Tuesdays and Sundays in August. The race winds through the Forest Preserve in Park Forest, beginning in the Sauk Trial Woods Central parking lot off Ashland Avenue, Grove #7.

The Progressive Half Marathon consists of two 4.0547 miles legs and the Park Forest Scenic 5-mile race on Labor Day, September 7. Runners have five dates to choose from to run their two required legs for the Progressive-Half. Want to run them all? The more the merrier. The PFRPC will take your two best times and add them to your time at the Park Forest Scenic 5 to determine your Half-Marathon time. Should a participant complete more than two legs of the Progressive Half-Marathon, the club will take the two best times and combine them with the official time from the Scenic 5 on Labor Day for the official half-marathon time. These two short legs combined with the 5-mile race on Labor Day will result in a half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles.

Results will be grouped by gender and age, with five-year age brackets (19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, etc.).

Park Forest resident George Stapleton says he enjoys the ability to run in multiple races, ” “The Progressive Half-Marathon makes it possible for a runner, if he or she wishes, to run 5 races within a little over a month for only $49, less than $10 a race!”

Club member Margaret Brady likes the Progressive Half-Marathon for training and getting to know other runners, “Training: With a capital ‘T.’ The four-mile loop is hilly and challenging – a great training route. It’s a fun and interesting trail – never boring. Watch for deer! The club members manning the start/finish line, water stations and all along the course are the best. There’s no one more supportive than a fellow runner … especially when you’re drenched in sweat in mid-August humidity. No matter how slow I go, the folks on the sidelines make me feel like a star!”

Margaret is approaching 30 years as a member of the PFRPC.

Club president Fred Mazurski says this race is one-of-a-kind, “The concept of the Progressive Marathon and Progressive Half Marathon is unique to the PFRPC. To my knowledge, there is no other event like this in the U.S.”

Mazurski says the primary reason for it’s uniqueness is the time and effort required by the many volunteers to not only help set up one race, but a total of four races (each one of the 4 miles ‘legs’) in August, “In addition to the four legs, each participant will also run in the PF Scenic 5 and will be able to partake of great food at our awards picnic after Labor Day.”

“The Progressive Half simply represents the best deal in town.”

The $50 registration fee includes the five races in August, the registration for the Park Forest Scenic 5 and More. Runners will also receive a Progressive Half-Marathon t-shirt and a Scenic 5 and More t-shirt, a Progressive Half-Marathon medaland a Scenic 5 and More medal. Finally, participants are all invited to the Progressive Awards Picnic on September 13 in Somonauk Park, where runner and walker will receive a trophy. That’s right, the club awards trophies to runners at least five-deep in each age bracket.

The club offers $1 discounts for entries received before July 26, plus a $3 discount for current PFRPC members. New PFRPC members will receive a $5 discount. You can join the club online at PFRPC.COM.

Races are on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., August 4 and 11, and on Sundays at 8:00 a.m., August 9 and 16. There will be a “make-up run” at 8:00 a.m. on September 5.

Registration is available online or by sending in this application. Questions? Email John Kotash at [email protected]

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More information is available on the club’s Web site: http://www.pfrpc.com.

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Christine Magnuson presented a signed picture to the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

PFRPC Supports Olympian Member Christine Magnuson

Members of the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club had the unique opportunity to support an Olympian. Club member Christine Magnuson earned two silver medals at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

The trip, however, was not free.

When club members learned that Beijing hotel rooms ran in excess of $1000 a night, the club decided to help with a donation. Club members authorized a $500 donation to the Magnuson family.

Christine’s parents, Geri and Bill Magnuson, are also members of the PFRPC.

Club president Fred Mazurski expressed his pride in Christine’s accomplishments, “PFRPC is extremely proud of club member Christine Magnuson for her achievement of two silver medals at the Beijing Olympics. Congrats to Christine on her world class achievement.”

Visit the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club web site at PFRPC.COM.

 

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Police Honors Ceremony

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pfpd-39 The Park Forest Police Department held its third annual Service Awards on November 12, 2006.  Citizen awards were presented to Eric Carlson, Ronald Johnson, and Claudia Valdez.  Fifteen year service awards were presented to Officer Joe Butler, and Officer Thomas Naughton.  One twenty year award was presented to Corporal Mel Dunnagan, and two twenty five year awards were presented to Commander Patrick Fitzgerald and Deputy Chief Michael McNamara.

"It's always nice to see officers recognized for their work in front of their families because they're the ones who actually sacrifice not having their husband or father or wife at home," said Chief Thomas Fleming of the event.  "It's a day we started 3 years ago to acknowledge in a more formal setting the awards  each year. We answer about 30,000 calls a year, and you figure that out of 30,000 calls, there's going to be some nice ones there."

Following are some photos from the event. 

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Park Forest Salutes its Veterans

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veterans-2006

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Park Forest celebrated Veterans Day with a 7 p.m. program on November 13, 2006 in the board room at Village Hall. The Presentation of Colors, led by Donald Ziems, was by Boy Scout Troop 156 and Cub Scout Webelos Pack 156. The following is information on those honored from the program published for the event.

Gary Garhammer, Jr. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, served as a civil engineer for 6 years, and was deployed twice overseas during that time. In 2005, he transferred to the Army to train with Special Forces, and was based at Fort Knox in Kentucky. He received a medical discharge in 2006 due to an injury sustained during combat maneuvers.

veterans-18SGT. David A Dew, Jr., U.S. Marines, just returned from his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq. He is an 0621 Radio Operator and a 8851. A, Martial Arts Instructor. He and his wife Tiffany will be moving to San Diego, CA, where his next assignment will be a Drill Instructor.

Lance Corporal Lucas B. Hodges, U.S. Marines, served with the Scout/Sniper unit in the 2nd Bat. 2nd Marine stationed in Camp Lejuenne and served in Iraq from March 2004 to September 2004, where he fought in the battle of Fellujah in April 2004. He has now completed his Medic training for the U.S. Army and is currently in Arizona.

Airman Spencer Robinson U.S. Air Force, a 2004 graduate from Rich East High School. He currently is assigned to the 1st Medical Support Squadron as a Medical Logistician at Langley AFB in Virginia. In October 2006 he was recommended for the base honor guard. He plans on making the Air Force his career.

veterans-26Petty Officer 2nd Class John W. Reindt, III. U.S. Navy Serves as an airman in the US Navy. He served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier and participated in the first "Shock and Awe" battle in|he Persian Gulf. He is currently stationed at Point Mugu, Oxnard, California aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. During that time, the Lincoln participated in Exercise Valiant Shield 2006 wfich was the first exercise in more than a decade to employ three carrier strike groups – USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Kitty Hawk and USS Ronald Reagan.

Robert E McLeod, Ret. U.S, Navy, 1979-1999, served on the USS Iwo Jima LPH-2, with the U.S. Peacekeeping forces in Beirut Lebanon in 1983. He was stationed at the Naval Air Station Chase Field, Beeville Texas and then aboard the USS Independence CV-62. In August 1989 he was transferred to Commander Naval Air Forces Pacific Fleet where he provided technical support to Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers during Desert Storm. In September 1991, he served aboard the USS Ranger CV-61, which was the first ship to respond to Somalia. During October of 1993, he reported to USS Essex LHD-2, the ship was part of Operation United Shield.

veterans-03 Robert E.L. Mcleod U.S. Navy enlisted in the U.S. Navy in basic training in November 2004, completed Aviation Structural Mechanic school in March 2005. He reported for duty at Whidbey Island, Washington, Aviation Intimidate Maintenance Department Detachment in April 2005. In April 2006, he was deployed with the USS Enterprise CVN-65.

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Public Meeting About SouthCom

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Have you ever wondered what happens when you call 911? On average, a person makes only one 911 call in his/her lifetime. That call is a unique experience for us so it is important to know that the person on the other end of the telephone knows what to do!

If you live in Matteson, Richton Park, Olympia Fields, or Park Forest, your 911 call will be handled by one of the 17 dispatchers working for SouthCom, the combined dispatch center for those communities.

On Wednesday December 13 at 6:30 pm at Park Forest Village Hall (350 Victory Drive), the League of Women Voters of the Park Forest Area will present a program by Ron Bonneau, the Director of SouthCom. He will talk about reasons for combined dispatch, the history of SouthCom, and the challenges of 911 services, which does have limitations. The public is invited to this one hour program and questions will be taken.

Mr Bonneau has a master's degree in Criminal Justice from Western Illinois University and is currently the First Vice President of the National Emergency Number (911) Association. Before taking this position, he was a captain on the Riverdale Police Department and has 27 years experience as a police officer.

SouthCom handles 100,000 emergency calls per year, dispatching 75,000 emergency vehicles. The center was responsible for handling all emergency dispatch during the 2003 US Open Golf Tournament. SouthCom and its supervisory personnel have been recognized in national publications for their exemplary service.

Please join the League of Women Voters at Park Forest Village Hall on Wednesday December 13 at 6:30 for an informative hour.

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Board set to debate Golf Course Closing

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hidden-meadows Village Manager Tom Mick confirmed in a telephone interview that the Village Board will discuss the closing of Hidden Meadows Golf Course later this month.  "I expect there will be a decision made in November," Mick said, indicating the matter will probably be discussed next Monday, with a resolution calling for the closing of the golf course at the end of this season.

The 2006/2007 Village of Park Forest Budget tells the history of Hidden Meadows:

The Village purchased the course in 1969. In 1994, in order to stimulate the development of an upscale residential development, an additional nine holes(2,000 yards, par 30) were added to the facility. In the fall of 1995, the old south course underwent major renovation. Ten new greens and 20 new tees were constructed, along with modifications to the existing irrigation system. In 1996, this major renovation was completed with expansion of the parking lot and development of the pitching green, the practice sand hitting area and the expanded grass hitting area on the driving range. In addition to golf, the club offers a lighted driving range, an extensive program of youth and adult lessons and other special events.

The board further set two objectives for the current fiscal year:

1. Attempt to enter into a contractual arrangement with the University Golf Club (across the street) to engage the technical services of their Superintendent to handle turf grass management and the application of herbicides and pesticides at Hidden Meadows for the 2006 season.

2. In 2006/2007 the Village will be exploring the Village Board’s plan to convert Hidden Meadows into a new residential development for Park Forest. 

The budget shows a severe decline in rounds played, from a high water mark of 32,000 in 1997 when both the north and south courses were open together, to 17,087 in 2005.  The budget further shows an estimated $151,500 in transfers from the General Fund to Hidden Meadows in 2005/2006.

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