THE WEEK >
Hazel Crest Board of Trustees will hold its administrative meeting at 6 p.m. and its regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at village hall, 3601 W. 183rd St.
- Find the administrative agenda here.
- Find the regular agenda here.
- Highlights: The board will consider an ordinance to annex the portion of Calumet Country Club that is currently in unincorporated Cook County. The move is a prerequisite to considering a controversial redevelopment plan.
- Recent stories in the Chronicle:
Project consultants, opponents campaign ahead of Hazel Crest vote on Calumet Country Club annexation (Feb. 13, 2023)
Video: Hazel Crest board on Calumet Country Club redevelopment Jan. 24 (Jan. 27, 2023)
Hazel Crest to consider annexing Calumet Country Club at Feb. 14 board meeting (Jan. 25, 2023)
Hazel Crest begins process that could lead to annexation, redevelopment of Calumet Country Club (Jan. 22, 2023)
Developers at Calumet Country Club site envision town square around warehousing, while awaiting Hazel Crest annexation (Nov. 22, 2022)
Forest Preserves District: Calumet Country Club not currently an acquisition priority (Oct. 27, 2022)
Catalyst Consulting, SSG spar during discussion session Monday (Oct. 19, 2022)
Residents bring concerns about potential Calumet Country Club development to Hazel Crest board (Sept. 30, 2022)
Homewood Public Library Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 17917 Dixie Highway.
- Find the agenda here.
- 7 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13: thank u, next … with Jon Langford and South of Chi Productions at Rabid Brewing, 17759 Bretz Drive, Homewood. Sponsored by Homewood Arts Council. Tickets are $25 at eventbrite. “An evening of comedy and music for lovers and the lovesick romantics,” according to the promo.
- “Steel Magnolias” will be staged at The Drama Group, 330 W. 202nd St. in Chicago Heights. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday Feb. 17 and 18, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23, 24 and 25. Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 and 26. Tickets are $23 and can be purchased at BookTix. Or for information, contact the Drama Group box office at 708-755-3444.
- Vendor applications are open for the H-F Juneteenth festival on Saturday, June 17.
For more information and to submit your application visit www.hfjuneteenthfestival.com/vendors. Send questions to [email protected]. The deadline is April 1.
< THE WEEK
A big story this week was the announcement by Walmart officials that the Homewood store will close March 10, about six years and four months after it opened. Homewood officials were surprised and disappointed by the move, but they immediately started contacting developers to seek a new use for the site. The 365 workers at the store will be given opportunities to transfer to other area stores, according to Walmart officials.
Many local residents commenting on local social media channels assumed the closure was either because the company had used up incentives or because theft was costing it too much money. The company only received one financial incentive, a Cook County Class 8 property tax relief designation, and that has not expired. A spokesperson did not directly address the theft question when we asked about it, but said a number of factors were considered and the store was not performing up to expectations.
Parents address District 153 board about injured student
A number of parents spoke at the District 153 board meeting on Monday, asking for better communication when problems occur. The concerns were connected to a recent incident in which a student was impaled by a pencil and required medical treatment.
H-F Racquet & Fitness Club staffer credited with saving member’s life
Christopher Demski was honored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board on Feb. 7 for his quick action in rendering aid to a member. Demski was credited with saving the man’s life by applying CPR.
Kids portray elders in annual 100th Day dress-up
It’s always a cute photo op. Every year, on the 100th day of school, Willow School kindergarteners reimagine themselves as 100-year-olds. Marilyn Thomas was on hand to capture the kids in their costumes.
Homewood releases 2023 special events calendar
Homewood will add eight new events this year and keep most of the old favorites. Events Manager Marla Youngblood presented the new calendar at the Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 24 and last week the full list was released. Among the new events are St. Patrick’s Day, Touch-a-Truck, an Easter egg hunt downtown, a village garage sale and Oktoberfest.
H-F alum wins a Grammy
Saxophonist Christopher McBride (H-F, 2002) won a Grammy Award in the Best Large Ensemble Jazz for his work with Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra.
The Local News Alliance forms
Media watchers have been sounding the alarm for years about the decline of local news and the damage to democracy that often results. The Chronicle is one of several independent local news organizations in the South Suburbs trying to ensure our communities do not suffer that fate.
One frustration we all face is the limits of our reporting resources versus the important stories we think should be reported. There’s always more to do than can be done. For example, the Chronicle has never covered local townships. Homewood and Flossmoor are in four of them. We just haven’t found a way to get a reporter to all those board meetings.
But readers have asked for more township coverage. Some would like explanatory stories that look at what townships are, their histories, their purposes and services. Some would like more scrutiny of how they operate, what they do with taxpayers’ money and whether they are necessary.
We would love to respond to that interest. We think we might be able to collaborate our way toward a solution.
In January, my wife, Amy, called a meeting of representatives from five area news organizations: the Chronicle, the Lansing Journal, eNews Park Forest, Harvey World Herald and the Southland Investigative Reporting Center.
We decided to form the Local News Alliance as a way to explore how we can work together to support and expand how we serve our communities.
One of our first goals is to figure out how best to share stories.
On Jan. 30, the Chronicle posted a story about a referendum Thornton Township is putting on the April 4 ballot. The story by Quinton A. Arthur was originally published in the Lansing Journal.
It’s a start, and we’ll keep working at it. We still have four townships to cover, but five news organizations working together have a better chance to do it well than any one of us alone.