Hibbing Building 20220406_102527_web
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Here First | April 8

The future

Here’s what we strongly suspect will happen in coming days …

Bloom Township board will hold its annual town meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, at 425 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights. Check here for the agenda.
Homewood Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the board room at village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. Check here for the agenda.
Lucky Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 9, in Irwin Park will give the Easter Bunny a workout and delight youngsters and parents. It’s a free event sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District and is for H-F residents only.
Green Thumb Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the board room at Homewood village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road will provide an opportunity to learn about the life cycle of monarch butterflies and how to raise them. The presenter will be University of Illinois Master Gardener Debbie Kostolansky.
The District 153 school board meets Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at the James Hart School media center, 18220 Morgan Ave., Homewood.

The past

You were there because we were there …


We posted a story this week that was first published in our April 1 print edition providing an update on Homewood’s water system project. The village is nearing completion of the system that will draw Lake Michigan water from Hammond, Indiana, via Chicago Heights.

The story focuses on efforts to ensure water quality, but residents will have more questions about the project, how it came about, whether it will have an effect on rates, and more. We plan to do a more complete account of the whole project this summer as the time nears for the new system to be activated.

Homewood Public Works Director John Schaefer walks past the pad where a generator will soon be placed to provide emergency power for the new pump station in Thornton. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)


Masonry work is starting on the long vacant Hibbing Building at 18121-18123 Harwood Avenue in Homewood. Village Economic Development Director Angela Mesaros said village officials met with the building owner several weeks ago. In addition to masonry work, the owner plans interior demolition work in preparation for renovations to the apartments upstairs and commercial spaces below, Mesaros said.

LEFT: The long vacant Hibbing Building on Harwood Avenue is starting to get a make-over. RIGHT: Workers set up scaffolding on the north side of the Hibbing Building on Wednesday, April 6, in preparation for doing masonry repairs on the building. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Workers are replacing antennas for T-Mobile on the water tower at Homewood village hall. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Workers are replacing antennas for T-Mobile on the water tower at Homewood village hall. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Residents might have noticed a lift alongside the water tower at Homewood village hall in recent days. Homewood Public Works Director John Schaefer said workers for cellular phone company T-Mobile are replacing antennas.


What we’re watching

Dolton drama. The Lansing Journal reported this week that Dolton trustees voted to sue Mayor Tiffany Henyard. Trustees voted to file several suits, including one challenging the legality of Henyard serving as Dolton mayor and Thornton Township supervisor at the same time. Henyard was appointed supervisor early in March, filling the vacancy created when longtime Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli died Jan. 3.

Homewood connection. Rahsaan Gordon, attorney for Cara and Alonzo Wilson of Homewood, filed an injunction for relief in Cook County Circuit Court on March 17 trying to force the village of Dolton to comply fully with Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the death of their daughter, Alexis, who was 19 when she was shot multiple times by a Dolton police officer.

Gordon provided copies of the seven FOIA requests filed on Jan. 27. The requests sought information about any civilian complaints or lawsuits against the two police officers involved in Wilson’s death plus information about Henyard’s communications about the incident and subsequent protests. Another request asked for any complaints or investigations involving Baba’s Famous Steak and Lemonade, the restaurant at 685 Sibley Boulevard where Wilson was killed.

Gordon claimed the village’s responses were late and incomplete. Nakita McGraw, chief of staff to Henyard, said the police department and office of administration provided the requested documents but could not verify whether the information was provided to the requesters.

“The Mayor believes strongly in governmental transparency and hopes that this matter is immediately resolved,” McGraw said.

State news

Secretary of State promotes organ donation. In a new ad campaign, Secretary of State Jesse White is promoting organ donation. The campaign features Phillip Hanks, an organ recipient who received five lifesaving organs from a single donor.

Homewood lost an organ recipient in November 2021. Josie Nordman suffered from cystic fibrosis and received a double lung transplant in 2013. The procedure was credited with giving her eight more years of life, allowing her to complete a college degree and work as an actor and horse trainer.

White’s campaign is using Hanks’ story to encourage people to register as organ donors.

“Phillip’s story shows how organ and tissue donation saves lives,” White said in a news release. “Phillip was able to be there for the birth of his granddaughter and he now works as an advocate for my office with the organ/tissue donor program. He reminds us that by registering to become an organ donor that you, too, could help change someone’s story.”

The ad is also available in Spanish.

Drop it and Drive. The “it” in this state promotion refers to cell phones, probably the biggest draw for drivers’ attention while they are on the road. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are teaming up to encourage drivers to focus on driving.

“We’ve all seen people trying to text and drive, or who are distracted by something else while on the road,” ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said. “Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds puts your life and the lives of others at risk. Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible, and the consequences can be deadly.”

The news release notes that while overall crash fatalities decreased slightly from 2018, distraction-related fatalities increased by 10%.

In Illinois, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using an electronic communication device to text or make a call unless using hands-free mode.

The agencies offer this advice:

  • If you need to send a text or check your phone, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
  • Make a passenger your “designated texter.” Let them use your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cellphone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cellphone in the trunk or back seat.

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