Local News, Opinion

The Weeks | Jan. 28: Township coverage, biking/walking open house, dragons, local talent, bid whist

Meeting

Homewood-Flossmoor District 233 Finance Committee will meet at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the Viking Room, South Building, 999 Kedzie Ave.

  • Find the agenda here.

Stuff to do

Wednesday, Jan. 31

Big Bad Musical. Spotlight Performance Academy presents “The Big Bad Musical” at 6:30 p.m. in Homewood Auditorium, 2010 Chestnut Road. The show is billed as “a hilarious courtroom comedy bringing justice to the fairy tale forest.” Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Tickets can be purchased with cash at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m.

S.T.E.A.M. & Sing. Flossmoor Public Library, 1000 Sterling Ave., will host from 6 to 7 p.m. a “marvelous mash-up of music and S.T.E.A.M! If your child is half musician, half mathematician or a songstress with a scientific soul then this is the class for them.” The session is for children aged 3 to 6. Register here.

Friday, Feb. 2

Vikings Got Talent. The Homewood-Flossmoor High school talent show will be at 7 p.m. in the Mall Auditorium, South Building, 999 Kedzie Ave. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased on GoFan.

The Reluctant Dragon. H-F Park District Children’s Theater production will start at 6 p.m. in Irwin Center, 18120 Highland Ave. The story is about a peaceful dragon who likes tea, poetry and an afternoon snooze. Children stir the villagers to call in the famous dragon slayer, Saint George. A young lad befriends both and arranges a meeting between them. The comic battle that ensues provides an entertaining climax and a happy ending. Tickets to the performance are $5 at the door.

Bid Whist. Homewood-Flossmoor Park District will host Bid Whist games every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. through March 29 in Irwin Center, 18120 Highland Ave. The drop-in program offers a blend of friendly competition and social interaction, according to the park district. For those aged 21 and up. The fee is $5 per day.

Saturday, Feb. 3

Homewood biking/walking infrastructure open house. Anyone who has ideas or questions about how to improve cycling and walking infrastructure in Homewood will have a chance to share both at an open house from 10 to noon at GoodSpeed Cycles, 2125 183rd St. The event is part of the village’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Downtown Master Plan process. Village officials hope to gather feedback from residents on potential solutions for future biking and walking infrastructure in the downtown area.

Melody Angel at Freedom Hall. Melody Angel, “a powerful rocking vocalist and guitarist” will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Blvd., Park Forest. More information and tickets here.

H-F Sensational Scavenger Springs. How well do you know H-F parks? The park district will host a scavenger hunt from 3 to 6 p.m. starting at Irons Oaks, 20000 Western Ave. Partners will follow a series of clues, questions, tasks and obstacles that will lead through the community. The last stop will be at Wiley’s Grill, where appetizers will be served. For those aged 21 and up. The fee is $10 for district residents and $15 for non-residents. Click here to register.

Save the date

Sweetheart Dance. The H-F Park District will host a dance from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at the H-F Sports Complex, 18211 Aberdeen St. for dads, grandfathers, uncles and mentors and their sweethearts. There will be games, snacks and dancing. For sweethearts aged 3 to 12. The fee is $34 for district residents and $44 for non-residents. Click here to register.

News & Notices

MLK Day of Service work continues. This is the last week for the Village of Homewood and Homewood School District 153 donation drive in honor of Martin Luther King Day of Service. Items can be dropped off through Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Walt’s Food Center, 2345 183rd St.; James Hart School office, 18220 Morgan St.; Willow School office, 1804 Willow Road; Churchill School office, 1300 W. 190th St.; District 153 office, 18205 Aberdeen St.; and Homewood village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. Donations will benefit Anew, Respond Now and South Suburban Humane Society. 

Get the scores. Did you know the H-F Vikings boys basketball team beat Lincoln Way West 83 to 41 on Friday night? It’s easy to find out. The Chronicle has long used a service called Scorestream to post scores from H-F and Marian games in all sports on the front page of our website. Any time you want to see results, just take a look in the right sidebar at hfchronicle.com.

Flossmoor talent on Lyric stage. Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson reported in a Facebook post that she attended a showing of “Champion” at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on opening night Saturday, Jan. 27. On stage was Flossmoor resident Joshua Green. Nelson said Green’s performance was a “knock out” in “this fabulous new work is an ‘opera in jazz’ that broadens the typical opera experience through the emotional true story of welterweight boxer Emile Griffith.” The production runs through Feb. 11. Information and tickets are available here.

The Rising Star Showcase applications due Feb. 5. The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra will accept applications through Feb. 5 from performance-ready music students from Chicago’s South Suburbs for a chance to perform before a live audience. Applications are accepted for solos (with or without accompaniment), duets, trios, or quartets. Piano accompaniment is available upon request. A 45-minute virtual coaching session with a member of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra will be scheduled with all students selected. Applicants must provide all contact and musical information along with a sample performance recording to be considered. A 45-minute virtual coaching session with a member of IPO will be scheduled with all students selected. Musicians can apply by clicking here or visiting IPOmusic.org/rising-star-showcase.

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Township coverage. We received an email this week from a reader who asked for us to cover Thornton Township, where Supervisor Tiffany Henyard has attracted controversy over her relationship with the board, over spending practices and over a charity she founded. Those issues have been getting attention from larger media outlets, including Chicago TV stations and the Daily Southtown.

Almost half of Homewood is in Thornton Township, so governance there matters to taxpayers here.

Our colleagues at the Lansing Journal have been covering the township for some time, and in a video posted on Friday, publisher Melanie Jongsma and managing editor Josh Bootsma explore the challenges they face as a small, independent news organization covering a local government that has proven to be less than transparent at times and often resistant to media inquiries.

I recommend not only watching the video above, but visit the page, where the Journal has posted a number of videos from Thornton Township meetings to illustrate their points.

While they describe special situations related to Thornton Township leadership, some of the challenges apply to covering townships generally. The Chronicle has occasionally over the years gotten requests to cover township governance, and we would love to comply. But Homewood and Flossmoor are within four townships. We need to find the resources to hire reporters to get to all those meetings.

You can help. If you’re a subscriber, thank you! You’ve done your part. You can help more by urging friends and family to subscribe. If your company or organization is local and would like to support an informed workforce, we now offer group subscriptions, too.

If you’re not a subscriber, please consider signing up. When we started charging for website access, we called subscribers members of the Reporter Supporter Club. That’s because reader revenue is what helps us expand our reporting. 

Reader revenue was up in 2023, for example. We published 1,236 stories (that includes news releases from other sources). We published more than 100 stories in eight months. In 2022, we published 1,112 stories and topped 100 stories in a month only once. 

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