Local News, Opinion

The Weeks | May 7: Wave Of Spring Events, Juice WRLD’s Mom On Mural Loss, H-F Alum Drafted To NFL


Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, May 8, in Normandy Villa, 41 E. Elmwood Drive. 

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Highlights: The board will consider a contract addendum with Kickert School Bus Lines, which includes a 6.5% increase in rates. The board will also consider adding staff to the district’s expanding preschool programs. The board will reorganize and elect new officers.

Homewood School District 153 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, May 8, at James Hart School library, 18220 Morgan St.

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Highlight: The board will consider adding an  English language arts instructional coach/coordinator position.

Homewood Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, in village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road.

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Attend virtually here. ID 980 4907 6232, passcode 830183.
  • Write to the board by sending email to [email protected] or by placing written comments in the drop box outside village hall. Comments submitted before 4 p.m. on the meeting date will be distributed to all village board members prior to the meeting.
  • Highlights: The board will consider:
  1. Recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission to refine the new zoning code regarding basketball and other sports courts on residential lots. 
  2. A letter of intent with Steinmarch Development Corporation for the possible purchase and redevelopment of the property at 1221 175th Street. The village-owned building was considered as a new location for Homewood Police Department operations, but a study conducted last year apparently showed the project would not be feasible. 
  3. bid to replace the roof of the Homewood Science Center annex at 2018 Ridge Road. The building was given to the village several years ago but requires renovation before the science center can put it to use.
  4. Authorizing the village to begin selling water to East Hazel Crest. Homewood switched water supplier last year from Harvey to Chicago Heights. East Hazel Crest currently buys water from Harvey. Homewood also sells water to Flossmoor.

Flossmoor Public Library Board of Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, in the library, 1000 Sterling Ave.

  • Find the agenda here.

Homewood Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road.

  • Find the agenda here.
  • Attend the meeting virtually here. ID 991 8481 1606, passcode 573812. 
  • Write to the board at [email protected] or by placing written comments in the drop box outside village hall. Comments submitted before 4 p.m. on the meeting date will be distributed to all commission members prior to the meeting.

Metra to break ground on station renovation
Metra and Homewood officials will break ground at 11 a.m. at Harwood Avenue and Ridge Road to officially mark the start of the train station renovation project. RSVP by May 8 to Noe Gallardo at 312-322-6487 or [email protected].

IPO violinists to use historic instruments in concert
Violins owned and played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust will be played by Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra musicians in the last concert of the 2022-23 season on Saturday, May 13. The instruments are part of the Violins for Hope collection. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Drive in Palos Heights. 

HFD blood drive Saturday
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, Homewood Fire Department will hold a blood drive in the parking lot behind the fire station, 17950 Dixie Highway. To schedule an appointment, visit vitalant.org. Use group code ORD0545E. Donors will receive a $10 digital Amazon gift card.

Jack and Jill South Suburban Chicago to hold supply drive for homeless teens
Teens of Jack and Jill South Suburban Chicago will hold a toiletries drive from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, on the west fieldhouse sidewalk at the North Building, 800 Governors Highway. The list of items requested can be found here.

Feed your calendar
Wednesday, May 17: Flossmoor Service League House Walk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information and tickets at the FSL website. Registration for lunch at Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery should be done by May 10.
Saturday, May 20: Homewood Public Works open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17755 Ashland Ave. Kids love climbing on big equipment during this annual event.
Saturday, May 27: Opening day of the Homewood Farmers Market summer season from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Martin Square between Ridge and Chestnut roads. Food, fresh produce, live music and activities.
Monday, May 29: Taps Across America from 3 to 4 p.m. in downtown Flossmoor.

Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3: Homewood Artisan Street Fair on Martin Avenue and Hickory Road. Get the summer festival season rolling with artists, crafters, music, food and activities. Hours are Friday, from 4 to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 3: Bike the Gem from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. following the route of the Hidden Gem Half Marathon. More details coming soon.
Saturday, June 17: H-F Juneteenth Festival from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the south parking lot at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, 999 Kedzie Ave.
Monday, June 19: H-F Juneteenth Parade starting at 9 a.m. at Western Avenue School.


H-F alum drafted by NFL team
John Michael Schmitz, Homewood-Flossmoor High School class of 2017, was drafted by the New York Giants. David P. Funk got the story for the Chronicle.

H-F athletes sign with colleges
David P. Funk also reported on 20 Homewood-Flossmoor High School student athletes who plan to continue their sports careers at college.

Prom glitch
Marilyn Thomas reported on a venue glitch that left out as many as 75 Homewood-Flossmoor High School students from the prom on May 7.

New sculpture coming to Flossmoor
Jalyn Edwards covered the Flossmoor village board’s approval of a lease for a new sculpture in the village’s sculpture garden. The Public Art Commission recommended a colorful aluminum piece by French artist Nicolas Dubreuille.

H-F Park board bids farewell to Dallas Collins
Marilyn Thomas reported on the end of Dallas Collins’ service on the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Board of Commissioners. After serving two terms, Collins decided not to run for re-election. 

Robbers hit armored car in Homewood
An armored car employee suffered minor injuries during an armed robbery on May 2. NBC Chicago reported two men were later arrested after law enforcement officials tracked Apple Air Tag buds that were taken in the heist.


Juice WRLD’s mother responds to mural destruction
Last week, we cited reports from Axios Chicago and Block Club about the destruction of a West Loop mural of the late Jarad Higgins, known to the music world as Juice WRLD. His mother, Carmela Wallace, responded this week to our request for comment. She is co-owner of Homewood Brewing Company (HBC), currently under construction on Dixie Highway.

“Street art is often misunderstood or worse, disrespected. The loss of these murals — or any art for that matter — is tragic,” she said, noting that art should be discussed rather than destroyed. “A founding principle of HBC is to bring joy, and supporting creativity is a way to do that. In the development of HBC we envision a prominent place for creativity through our experiences, food, products and the environment we are building. 

“We are in conversation with the Juice WRLD mural artist Corey Pane to create a lasting tribute on the exterior of HBC. Our intention is to celebrate Jarad’s creativity with this accessible, long-lasting location. While this cannot replace the mural we lost, and all the memories people have with it, we do hope this new work will find a place in peoples hearts.”

Got one
Homewood police officials say they have increased attention to traffic enforcement in recent months, and on Saturday, April 19, resident Christian Kranz visited village hall during Mayor Rich Hofeld’s office hours with a story that suggests the efforts could be working.

Kranz said it’s not unusual to have speeding drivers pass him on the left on two-lane streets as he drives along, following the speed limit.

“I see them all the time. They come flying by me,” he said.

One driver really alarmed him in mid-April when Kranz was heading east on Ridge Road. The driver pulled around on the right, passing in the bike lane — where Kranz often sees morning joggers.

Fortunately, no runners were in the way that day, but a Homewood squad car was in the vicinity, and the speeder was pulled over.

Residents on social media have been lobbying for years to combat bad driving with increased enforcement. Deputy Chief Kelly Strayer was at village hall to hear Kranz’ story. She didn’t have the latest statistics handy, but she confirmed the department is working hard to catch the speeders.

Parking caution from Homewood police
The Homewood Police Department posted on its Facebook page a reminder about not parking vehicles on sidewalks. We thought it would be good to pass it along:

Why you should not park blocking the sidewalk:

1. Sidewalks are a safe place for people to walk along roadways without having to worry about getting hit by a passing vehicle.  This is especially important for children and elderly.

2. The sidewalk is used by many other people and, by blocking it, you’re depriving those people of their ability to do so.  Be a kind neighbor!

3.  And last, but not least, it is illegal.  Vehicles parked blocking the sidewalk are subject to ticketing and fines.  

If you need assistance with parking options near your home, contact the Village of Homewood or the Homewood Police Department.

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