Month: June 2014

Death Notices & Obituaries: Bobby Brown, Sally Heard Grace Powell

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bobby Brown

The visitation for longtime Maywoodian Bobby Brown will be held on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at Corbin Funeral Chapel (5345 W Madison St, Chicago, IL)  from 3 PM to 7 PM. The wake and funeral will be held Thursday, July 3, 2014 at Canaan AME Church, Maywood (14th and Warren, Maywood, IL). The wake will be from 10 AM to 11 AM and the funeral will begin at 11 AM.

Sally Heard Grace Powell (April 16, 1929 – June 12, 2014)

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Mother Sally Grace Powell Heard was born on April 16, 1929, in Melrose Park, Illinois to the union of Martin and Fannie Powell Heard. She was the fourth out of eight children. Her mother, father and five siblings preceded her in death.

Mother Sallie attended Melrose Park Elementary in Melrose Park, Illinois; and Washington School and Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois.

Mother Sallie accepted Christ at an early age as a member of Progressive Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Pastor Benjamin Alford, Sr.

Sallie was united in Holy Matrimony to Robert L. Grace, Sr., (better known as RL), who preceded her in death. To this union three children were born: Robert Grace, Jr. (Robbie), Katherin (Petie) and Valerie (Val). After many years, Sallie married Herman Powell in 1993. He preceded her in death.

She was a very active member of Progressive. Mother Sallie loved her church and her church family. She also loved writing, poetry, cooking, music and spending time with family and friends. She truly loved serving the seniors, and taking them on different outings. She was also involved with the Homebound Ministry. She taught Sunday School.

Mother Sallie was employed at Stanadyne, Irving Elementary School, and Fred Hampton Pool (Village of Maywood).

Those left with beautiful memories are: one son, Robert Grace, Jr.; two daughters, Katherine Grace-Henderson and Valerie Grace-Thomas (George “Buddy” Thomas); three grandsons, Trace Henderson (Bonita), Walter “Scooter” Henderson (Angie) and Robert Grace III (Jodie); three granddaughters, Denise Foreman (Kendrick), Megan Cooper (Damon) and Ryan Grace; seventeen great grandchildren; two sisters, Elizabeth Lyons and Eleanor Miller; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends; a special great granddaughter, Kiera Henderson; and the special ladies of Progressive Life-Giving Word Cathedral. VFP

To submit a loved one’s bio or obituary, please email content to All content is subject to editing at the editor’s discretion. 


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A Conversation With Dr. My Haley, Alex Haley’s Widow And Longtime Collaborator

Screenshot 2014-06-30 at 6.12.29 PM(Dr. My Haley and Nzingha Nommo, the owner of Afriware Books & Gifts. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press).

Monday, June 30, 2014 || By Michael Romain

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MAYWOOD–Dr. My Haley, the widow of Alex Haley and co-collaborator on his groundbreaking book Roots, was in Maywood twice last week. On Thursday, she spoke at a Rotary Club meeting at Meal of the Day Cafe, located in Eisenhower Tower. On Saturday, she appeared at Afriware Books & Gifts, also in Eisenhower Tower, to make a presentation and sign copies of her historical novel The Treason of Mary Louvestre. You can buy the book in person at Afriware or order the book on Afriware’s website here.

According to a synopsis of the book provided on Dr. Haley’s website, the novel “is based on the true story of a seamstress slave from the Confederate town of Norfolk, Virginia. When her owner gets involved with modifications to the ironclad CSS Virginia, Mary copies the plans and sets out to commit treason against the South. Facing certain death as a spy if caught, she treks two hundred miles during the bitter winter of 1862 to reach the office of Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, where she hands over the plans.”

I caught up with Dr. Haley before her presentation at Afriware. We talked about the book, her visit to Chicagoland and some Maywood history.

What made you want to write about the central character in your novel?

I was inspired by Mary’s boldness. Can you imagine a woman having that kind of commitment? Imagine somebody telling you today that you’re going to have to become a government spy. I fell in love with Mary’s commitment.

I got the story of Mary right after I was helping Alex finish his second miniseries. I kept putting off the project to focus on our work. When Alex died in 1992, I gradually returned to the idea. It was after my entire family died of cancer that I really got into Mary’s shoes, because once you look death in the face, it changes you. I began to empathize with Mary’s situation even more.

How’s your visit to the Chicago area been? Do you make it out here a lot?

I don’t get here often. This is my second visit to the Chicago area, but it’s been a good visit. I really like the energy of the city.

Will you only be discussing the book today?

I’m not only talking about the book, I’m talking about our history as blacks. This novel is really one part of a six-book series called The Fabric of America. When you go back far enough, you’ll find that we’re all connected.

How important is the past to understanding the present? And how important is what you’re doing to raising awareness and understanding about that past?

I was at an event somewhere, and I encountered this very well-dressed and very articulate young man. He came up to me and asked, ‘Was slavery all that bad?’ This was a young, African American man. That tells me about a person who is disconnected. Another person came up to me and wanted to know ‘about that guy, you know, that black guy [who gave the speech]?’ I said, you mean Dr. Martin Luther King?’

He was African American?


You have to have a personal stake in [a specific] history to really get it. When you don’t have a personal stake, you have this disconnect.

Talk about how important the idea of space is–tightly knit neighborhoods and communities–to cultivating that personal stake? Maywood, for instance, is a town with an incredibly rich, dense African American core. There was a tradition that is deeply rooted in the black experience in America that materialized out of the fact that a few hundred black families were forced to live very closely with, and rely extensively, upon each other. 

Sure. That’s not unusual at all. That also came out of slavery. White’s wouldn’t allow former slaves and freed slaves to set up their own businesses, so they started their own. Today, the offspring of many of those early black entrepreneurs and businessmen and women have turned into today’s black super-elite.

I think people with opportunity and freedom have some choices to make. You can choose to forget your history or you can embrace it. We have to relay this information about the past to the black community, because if we don’t it will be lost. When you forget your roots, you can’t dream dreams; or if you do, you can’t activate them. You lose your power. VFP

Afriware Books & Gifts is located on the fifth floor of Eisenhower Tower (1701 S. 1st Ave, Suite 503) in Maywood. For more information about the store or on how to order a copy of Dr. Haley’s book, call 708-524-8398, or visit their website here. They’re open Thurs-Fri: 10-6pm, Sat: 10-5:30pm. 

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The Accounting Firm That Prepares Maywood’s Annual Financial Statements In Merger Talks With Philly-Based ParenteBeard

Screenshot 2014-06-29 at 5.03.43 PMMonday, June 30, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, (Chicago headquarters pictured left; Google Maps),  the accounting firm that has prepared the Village of Maywood’s financial statements for the last several years, has been engaged in merger talks with the Philadelphia-based accounting firm ParenteBeard, according to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer published June 19.

In an email reply to the paper’s inquiry about the talks, ParenteBeard head Robert Ciaruffoli confirmed that his firm is indeed considering the possibility of joining forces with Chicago-based Baker Tilly.

“We are currently involved in ongoing discussions with Baker Tilly, and we look forward to providing more detailed information as we advance the discussion and planning process, but we are not in a position to share additional information at this time,” said Ciaruffoli, whose confirmation was corroborated by a Baker Tilly spokesperson.

According to Accounting Today, an industry publication, Baker Tilly–which employees more than 1,600– was ranked as the 17th largest accounting firm in the U.S. in 2014, with billings of more than $300 million. ParenteBeard, employs about 1,000 and amassed revenues of $158 million in fiscal year 2014, making it the 24th largest accounting firm in the U.S. Both firms are affiliates of Baker Tilly International, a London-based network of “161 firms operating in 137 countries with combined revenue of $3.4 billion and more than 26,000 people,” according to Baker Tilly’s website.

To read more about the possible merger, click here. VFP

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Prayer On The Prairie Path: Mayor, Chiefs And Residents Pray For Peace As They Walk The Path

Screenshot 2014-06-29 at 3.05.59 PM(Mayor Perkins, Billy Fowlkes (second from left) and others form a prayer circle on 17th Street as Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh looks on. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press).

Sunday, June 28, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

Screenshot 2014-06-29 at 3.18.02 PMMAYWOOD–Mayor Edwenna Perkins, Police Chief Valdimir Talley and Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh were among about a dozen people who gathered at the First Avenue point of the Illinois Prairie Path early yesterday evening. They were here to pray.

“We want to stop the violence and killing,” said Billy Fowlkes, who created and organized the event, which he calls the Prayer on the Prairie Path & Stop the Killing and Violence Walk.

“The purpose of this was to bring unity back to our community,” he said.

Fowlkes, the founder of Stretching Hands Community Outreach Ministries of Maywood, has been convening these prayer gatherings for at least a year. In May 2013, he organized a prayer vigil at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park for the same purpose.

The group met at 1st Avenue and walked the path to 17th Avenue, where they stopped in the middle of the street and formed a circle. A Maywood police squad car and an ambulance formed impromptu barriers between the prayer circle and the flow of traffic. If there were any drivers who were impatient with the inconvenience, they didn’t display it. Several feet away from the circle, one would have heard passionate pleas for peace, jobs and community restoration–but no horns.

“You can’t pray enough,” said Liz Campbell, a member of Project HOOD (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), an anti-violence initiative based in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Englewood neighborhoods. She had stopped by to pray en route from the South Side to her home in Bolingbrook, where she sits on the local school board.

“Prayer is the greatest thing we can do. Regardless of whatever is going on–we got to pray,” she said.

When asked what precisely she prayed for, Mayor Perkins, who walked from 1st Avenue to 17th Avenue, provided a list of things.

“Prayer is the ultimate,” she said. “I prayed for prosperity; for God to put a stop to the rise in foreclosures; for properties to be reinstated; for our young people to be free from drugs and alcohol and crime; for them to be liberated.”

When they got to the end of their short cross-town sojourn, the walkers stopped to bond over watermelon, cold drinks and grilled hot dogs. They had expended enough supernatural energy for the day. It was time to rest. VFP

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Maywood’s Got Nearly $1 Million In State Funds For Summer Youth Employment This Year [Correction]

Screenshot 2014-06-28 at 3.43.23 PM(Members of the Board, Isiah Brandon, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley, Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Commissioner Hampton look on as Rep. Welch (shorts) present a check. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press). 

Saturday, June 28, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

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MAYWOOD–State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-7th) convened a press conference inside council chambers today to present the Village government and the Maywood Park District with the checks from two Illinois Youth Recreation Corps grants that the entities received. The Village received $489,600 and the Park District received $96,288–two of only four governmental entities that received the grants, which are administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.The other entities were the Village of Bellwood ($76,248) and the Memorial Park District ($80,640).

Rep. Welch also announced that two of Maywood’s largest nonprofits–the Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA) and Vision of Restoration, the social service arm of Rock of Ages Baptist Church–each received grants from the Department of Human Services worth $300,000 and $100,000, respectively.

The total state money going to Maywood governmental units and nonprofit agencies for summer youth employment amounts to nearly $1 million.

The Village will use its portion of the money to employ 100 youth between 14 and 18 years old, and 10 young adult supervisors between 19 and 26, for conservation- and recreation-related employment during the months of June, July and August. The Park District will hire 20 youth between 14 and 18 years old in the same area of work. Vision of Restoration and PLCCA will hire at least 75 individuals between 16 and 24 years old for summer employment in a range of areas.

Rep. Welch said that he was initially contacted about the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps grants by Isiah Brandon, who was looking for the grant money on behalf of the Mayor’s office. Brandon, the executive director of Youth on the Move, a nonprofit organization in Maywood, also founded and helps facilitate the Summer Youth Initiative, a project geared toward creating, and identifying already existing, free summer recreational and volunteer activities for young people in Maywood. The Village’s grant application was written with extensive help from the Maywood Police Department, which will administer the Village’s youth employment program.

“According to the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the two applications submitted by Maywood were two of the best applications his department has received,” Rep. Welch said.

Andrew Martin, PLCCA’s Vice President of Administration, said that his organization will be employing 75 youth starting Tuesday, 25 of whom will be employed at Brookfield Zoo. PLCCA is also the fiscal agent of Progressive Ministries and the Answer Inc., who together will be employing another 75 young people. The Answer will employ 20-25 youth with disabilities.

Mayor Perkins thanked Isiah Brandon, Chief Valdimir Talley, Rep. Welch and Sen. Kimberly Lightford for their parts in retrieving the money, but said that there is still more to be done.

“Next year, we’ve got to work harder. We had over 30 something young people who were at least 19 years old apply for supervisory positions,” she said. According to Martin, PLCCA saw about 75 applicants apply for their positions in a single day.

“We have to keep our youth active, motivated and encouraged and all of us are doing our part to make that happen,” said Rep. Welch. William Hampton agreed.

“This is the Maywood I know,” said Hampton, a Maywood Park District commissioner who was just recently elected president of the board. “This was a Village everyone wanted to come to, because they saw hope and a future. That future is in the making.” VFP

CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly cited the amount of money allocated to the Maywood and Memorial park districts. It also incorrectly cited the range of ages eligible for the Village of Maywood and Maywood Park District jobs. This article has since been updated to account for those corrections.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for any of these summer openings, please go in person to the following locations ASAP:

Maywood Police Department: 125 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood

Maywood Park District: 921 S. 9th Avenue, Maywood

PLCCA: 411 Madison Street, Maywood

Vision of Restoration: 1405 Madison Street, Maywood

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Maywood Police Arrest Reports (June 21 – June 23); Maywood Police To Strictly Enforce Noise Ordinance During 4th Of July Holiday

Police BlotterFriday, June 27, 2014


June 21, 2014, 9:38 PM

Alfonso De La Torre, 56, of Melrose Park, arrested at 5600 W. Huron for assault and battery committed at 523 W. Lake Street.

June 22, 2014, 8:56 PM

Jason White, 23, arrested at 1114 W. Madison Street for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

June 23, 2014, 1:16 AM

Jemier Q. Featherston, 26, arrested at 1309 S. 7th for disorderly conduct.

June 23, 2014, 12:55 PM

Robert E. Rimmer, Jr., 32, arrested at 34 S. 21st, for open alcohol in a vehicle. released on I-Bond.


Maywood Police To Strictly Enforce Village’s Noise/Anti-Nuisance Ordinance During 4th of July Holiday


The Maywood Police Department will strictly enforce Village Ordinance 92.30, which regulates noise levels throughout town. A summary of the ordinance is below:

§ 92.30  NOISE.

(A)   Definitions.    For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

‘A’ BAND LEVEL.  The total sound level of all noise as measured with  a sound level meter rising the “A” weighting network. The unit of measurement is the dB(A).

DECIBEL.  A unit of measurement of the intensity (loudness) of sound. Sound level meters which are employed to measure the intensity of sound are calibrated in DECIBELS.

OCTAVE BAND SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL.  The sound pressure level for the sound being measured contained within the specified octave band. The reference pressure is 20 micronewtons per square meter.

SOUND-LEVEL METER.  An instrument including a microphone, an amplifier, an output meter and frequency weighting networks for the measurement of noise and sound levels in an specified manner.

(B)   Nuisance noise prohibited. It shall be unlawful and a nuisance for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise, or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the Village.

(C)   Nuisance noise standards. The following acts, among others, are declared to be excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud nuisance noises, or noises which constitute a nuisance by annoying, disturbing, injuring or endangering the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others within the Village, in violation of this section, but the enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:

(1)   Horns, signaling devices, and the like. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, motorbus or other vehicle on any street or public place of the Village, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any such signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; the sounding of any such device for an unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; the use of any signaling device, except one operated by hand or electricity; the use of any horn, whistle or other device operated by engine exhaust; and the use of any such signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up.

(2)   Radios, phonographs, and the like. The using, operating or permitting to be played, used or operated any radio receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing for the persons who are in the room, vehicle or chamber in which such machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners thereto. The operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device in such a manner as to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.

(G)   Penalties.  Any person violating the terms and conditions of this section shall be subject to a penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 for a first violation within the past 12 months, not less than $250 nor more than $1,500 for a second violation within the past 12 months and not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000 for a third or subsequent violation within the past 12 months, with each and every day that the violation is allowed to remain in effect being deemed a complete and separate offense. In addition, the appropriate authorities of the Village may take such other action as they deem proper to enforce the terms and conditions of this section, including, without limitation, an action in equity to compel compliance with its terms. Any person violating the terms of this section shall be subject, in addition to the foregoing penalties, to the payment of court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. VFP

Special Meeting Scheduled To Discuss Appointment, Employment And Compensation Of A Village Manager, Tomorrow, June 28, 9 AM

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Friday, June 27, 2014

A special meeting of the Village Board of Trustees is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, June 28, 2014, 9 AM, at the Village Chambers (125 S. 5th Avenue) to discuss “the appointment, employment and compensation of a Village Manager (Village Manager Candidates for Initial Interviews).” VFP