Flossmoor Park ice 2022-01-05 005
Local News

Here First | Thursday, Jan. 6 (free content)


Who built the kinara that was used in Flossmoor’s first community Kwanzaa celebration? (Answer below.)

Predicting the future

Prognostication is a pasttime fraught with peril, but we’re going to go out on a limb and confidently predicting that …

Ice skating will be back. The H-F Ice Arena is still out of commission. While park district officials start work on the big project of renovating the facility, district workers braved blizzard like conditions to get the outdoor ice rinks ready for use. They caution skaters not to get on the ice until it’s ready. Signs usually are posted, and there is yellow caution tape around the perimeters. The district offers a web page, too, where skaters can check the status of the ice.

Flossmoor Park ice rinks are not yet ready for skating, but the cold weather this week means they might be good to go soon. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Local government boards will get back to work after the holiday break.

  • District 153 school board will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 10, at James Hart School’s Media Center, 18220 Morgan St. Check here for the agenda.
  • Homewood trustees will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, in the board room at village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road and via Zoom. Check here for the agenda.
  • District 161 school board will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, in Normandy Villa, 41 E. Elmwood Drive in Chicago Heights. Check here for the agenda.

Keep up with COVID-19

It’s not easy. Every new variant changes the game. Scientists scramble to find answers to the nature and effect of each. County, state and federal recommendations change. New and improved misinformation makes the rounds.

One of the best sources I’ve found for making as much sense as possible of the latest developments is a daily newsletter by Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute, “Covering COVID-19, a Daily Coronavirus Briefing for Journalists.” Although the primary audience is journalists, Tompkins does quite well what journalists are supposed to do. He pays attention to new developments and gathers reliable sources to explain in an accessible way what’s going on. You sure don’t have to be a journalist to find his work useful. I recommend it. Here’s the Jan. 6 edition, as an example.

Know the law

WBEZ posted a very useful roundup of new laws that went into effect Jan. 1 in Illinois. It might be worth giving it a run through. We suspect “I didn’t know” is not the strongest defense if we are up against one of these new laws.

Help for local news

One of the new laws in the list above was sponsored by former news guy Sen. Steve Stadelman. It creates a task force to study how to help local news survive. We’ll certainly be interested in the group’s findings since we would sure like the Chronicle to survive and will take all the good ideas we can find.

Help for the Chronicle

That a task force is necessary in an attempt to save local news suggests the industry is in trouble. It is. It’s also still essential to democracy and the quality of life in our community.

But we know who can save local news in Homewood and Flossmoor. You.

Your local newspaper does not have investors except the businesses and readers in our community. We are here for you, and we hope you will be here for us. “You were there because we were there” is not just a slogan. It’s an operating principle.

A few examples from 2021:

  • We paid reporters to attend the 20 hours of meetings while the Planning and Zoning commission considered a rezoning request that would have enabled the redevelopment of Calumet Country Club.
  • We covered the opening of the new performing arts center at Homewood-Flossmoor High School after covering every step of the project, from design to construction.
  • We covered demolitions, of the Triumph Building, which had anchored Homewood’s downtown for almost 70 years, and of the former Bogarts Charhouse, once a popular restaurant, and we’ll cover the development of Homewood Brewery on that site.
  • We covered progress on the major renovation of the Homewood train station.
  • We covered every community festival in Homewood and Flossmoor.
  • We covered the ebbs and flows of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected businesses, schools and organizations in our community.
  • We continue to keep the community informed with a free monthly print edition, free daily headlines by email and posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To get a full account of each story, you can join the Reporter Supporter Club. As a subscriber, you can read all of every story. Plus, we recently introduced a weekly newsletter, Here First (which you are reading now) that will be available to members of the club every Thursday.

We’re still in the process of migrating to a new subscriber system. For the time being, readers can still subscribe using the LaterPay popup that appears over news stories. We’ll keep you posted on progress. When you subscribe, you’re keeping local news alive in H-F.


Longtime Thornton Township Supervisor and Southland power broker Frank Zuccarelli died on Monday. He was 70. Josh Bootsma in The Lansing Journal and Gregory Pratt in the Chicago Tribune and Ted Slowik in the Southtown published stories recounting his career of service and his considerable influence over Democratic Party politics.

Trivia answer

Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson.

Demarco Jesus Shelton, left, helps Gina LoGalbo place candles in the kinara built by Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson prior to the Flossmoor Kwanzaa celebration on Dec. 26. (Chronicle file photo)

News by email

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Free weekly newsletter

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Most read stories this week