Month: July 2016

Update: Early Morning Raid Nets Arrests, Drugs and Relief for Businesses, Says Chief

Pumpkins place

Pumpkin’s Place, 1426 S. 5th Ave. in  Maywood, where a raid early Thursday morning took place in apartments above the business. Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley said the business gets a bad reputation because of the violence in the area. 

Friday, July 29, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free  

An early morning raid conducted July 28 by law enforcement officials with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force above Pumpkin’s Place, 1426 S. 5th Ave., resulted in the arrest of two individuals, said Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley.

Talley said that a man and a woman were arrested in the raid. Onassis Lloyd was arrested on multiple drug charges, unlawful use of a weapon and armed violence by a felon. Police also seized undisclosed amounts of heroine and cocaine. The woman,who wasn’t identified, was later released, he said.

Talley confirmed that the raid had no relation to Pumpkin’s Place, the business below where the police action was conducted. If anything, Talley said, the popular establishment should be lauded for its patience.

“That restaurant gets a bad reputation because of the location,” Talley said. “I’m happy we have a business partner we can work with there and that they’ve been patient enough to allow us to develop cases and act on them.”

Talley said that the area around the corner of 5th and Quincy has experienced a lot of narcotic-related problems, including two shootings in the past two years. The most recent one occurred two weeks ago, he said.

“There are a lot of businesses in the area and I’m glad all of them have been patient with us as we work to make sure that they don’t have to fear crime at all,” Talley said.

One Maywood police officer participated in the task force raid. Talley said that he thought it was necessary to place one of his officers on the task force because the collaboration benefits the community. VFP

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U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S

Rep. Welch’s 4th Annual Back to School Health Fair, July 30

Welch Health Fair.jpg

On Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., I will present my 4th Annual Back to School Health Fair at Proviso West High School in Hillside located at 4701 W. Harrison Street. This is a fun filled event for the entire family.  A variety of vendors will be in attendance with resourceful information regarding health and more.  (Photo above is provided by Tara Gray-Mister of Feel this Moment Photography from last year’s event.)

We will have entertainment that includes music, an inflatable jumpy house, face painting, and free raffle prizes.  The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Rho Zheta Lambda Chapter will be providing food fresh off the grill, and beverages will be provided by Pepsi-Cola, all free of charge.  Of course, officials from Westlake Hospital and the office of Dr. Nabil Saleh will be on hand to perform health physicals.  We will also have dental exams performed by the Children’s Clinic of Oak Park and River Forest, haircuts provided by Erskine Reeves Barber Academy, and school supplies for kids of all ages provided by Tenet Hospitals, the West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571, and the Chicago Public Schools.  Kids can also come out to touch a fire truck provided by the Village of Hillside.

For a ride to the event, please feel free to use to rideshare company LFYT, and when they arrive, give them the special event code WELCHB2S to receive a $20 discount on your ride.  In most cases, your ride will be free.  I hope you will join us.

If you have any questions, please call my district office at 708-450-1000 or email me at repwelch@emanuelchriswelch.com.

Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Annual Back-to-School Fair, July 31

Lightford Health Fair.jpg

Maywood police to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 2

National Night Out.png

Maywood Police officers clean up after a 2014 National Night Out event in Maywood. | File

The Maywood Police Department will be in Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out.

The event takes place nationwide each year and is designed “to raise Crime Prevention Awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirits and unity, and Community-Policing Partnerships,” according to a flyer circulated by the department promoting the event.

This year’s entertainment will include a youth tumbling team, an outdoor screening of the movie “Zootopia,” and free food, t-shirts, gifts and balloons.

Free Outdoors Music Concert, Aug. 3

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 6.09.21 PM.png

Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

Monthly Breakfast

Rebirth of Jazz in Maywood, Aug. 6

Rebirth of Jazz.jpeg

13th Annual Back 2 School Giveaway & Picnic, Aug. 14 

13th Annual back to school

Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20

Old Timers

It’s time again for the Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

 

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Melrose Park Ruby Tuesday Restaurant Closes Abruptly

Ruby Tuesday.jpg

Ruby Tuesday in Melrose Park, which closed this week. | zomato.com

Friday, July 29, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free  

Ironically enough, as the Chicago Tribune reports, “Tuesday was the last day you could eat at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Illinois.”

The restaurant has 10 locations across the state, including one in Melrose Park, 851 W. North Ave., and all of them have closed this week.

One employee who worked at a Ruby Tuesday in Morton, Illinois told the Peoria Journal Star, “I didn’t see it coming. I really didn’t.” The man, George Garza, worked a normal shift Tuesday night, which would be his last. “I thought this place was going to be here forever.”

RT Midwest Holdings, based in Minnesota, is the franchisee that operated the Illinois Ruby Tuesday restaurants, the Tribune reports.

In a recent statement, the restaurant company, which is based in Maryville, Tenn., noted that it “went to great lengths in assisting the franchisee to remain open but he has made the decision to close his restaurants.”

The Tribune noted that attempts to reach RT Midwest’s president, Guerrino Ruta, were so far unsuccessful.

Other Ruby Tuesday restaurants in the Chicago area that closed are in Downers Grove, Skokie and Gurnee. Restaurants in DeKalb, Rockford, Morton, Effingham and Rockford also closed.

To read the Tribune report, click here. To read the Peoria Journal Star report, click here. VFP

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U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S

Rep. Welch’s 4th Annual Back to School Health Fair, July 30

Welch Health Fair.jpg

On Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., I will present my 4th Annual Back to School Health Fair at Proviso West High School in Hillside located at 4701 W. Harrison Street. This is a fun filled event for the entire family.  A variety of vendors will be in attendance with resourceful information regarding health and more.  (Photo above is provided by Tara Gray-Mister of Feel this Moment Photography from last year’s event.)

We will have entertainment that includes music, an inflatable jumpy house, face painting, and free raffle prizes.  The men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Rho Zheta Lambda Chapter will be providing food fresh off the grill, and beverages will be provided by Pepsi-Cola, all free of charge.  Of course, officials from Westlake Hospital and the office of Dr. Nabil Saleh will be on hand to perform health physicals.  We will also have dental exams performed by the Children’s Clinic of Oak Park and River Forest, haircuts provided by Erskine Reeves Barber Academy, and school supplies for kids of all ages provided by Tenet Hospitals, the West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571, and the Chicago Public Schools.  Kids can also come out to touch a fire truck provided by the Village of Hillside.

For a ride to the event, please feel free to use to rideshare company LFYT, and when they arrive, give them the special event code WELCHB2S to receive a $20 discount on your ride.  In most cases, your ride will be free.  I hope you will join us.

If you have any questions, please call my district office at 708-450-1000 or email me at repwelch@emanuelchriswelch.com.

Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Annual Back-to-School Fair, July 31

Lightford Health Fair.jpg

Maywood police to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 2

National Night Out.png

Maywood Police officers clean up after a 2014 National Night Out event in Maywood. | File

The Maywood Police Department will be in Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out.

The event takes place nationwide each year and is designed “to raise Crime Prevention Awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirits and unity, and Community-Policing Partnerships,” according to a flyer circulated by the department promoting the event.

This year’s entertainment will include a youth tumbling team, an outdoor screening of the movie “Zootopia,” and free food, t-shirts, gifts and balloons.

Free Outdoors Music Concert, Aug. 3

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 6.09.21 PM.png

Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

Monthly Breakfast

Rebirth of Jazz in Maywood, Aug. 6

Rebirth of Jazz.jpeg

13th Annual Back 2 School Giveaway & Picnic, Aug. 14 

13th Annual back to school

Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20 

Old Timers

It’s time again for the Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

BREAKING: Early Morning Police Raid Above Maywood Restaurant, July 28

Pumpkins place.jpg

The outside of Pumpkin’s Place in Maywood. Law enforcement officials raided the space above the restaurant early Thursday morning, according to Maywood police. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free  

Law enforcement officials with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force conducted an early morning raid Thursday above Pumpkin’s Place, 1426 S. 5th Ave., in Maywood, according to Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley. The task force comprises officers from multiple law enforcement agencies.

Talley said he didn’t know off-hand the details of the raid, such as whether anyone was arrested, but noted that he would give more information at a later time. One Maywood police officer took part in the raid, he said. So far, no connection has been made between the raid and the restaurant.

The July 28 raid comes two days after 36 alleged Latin King gang members were charged with numerous crimes, including racketeering, murder, attempted murder and extortion.

Some of the 36 alleged gang members are from Maywood and Melrose Park, an area known as ‘M-town.’ One, Edgar Velarde-Saldana, 33, of Maywood, is charged with attempting to murder a Melrose Park police officer in 2014.

Talley said the July 28 raid has no connection to the federal charges, but that both operations will help put a dent in the crime rates in Maywood and surrounding suburbs.

“We’ve already been realizing a decrease in criminal activity,” he said. “This assistance from multiple agencies allows us to get the crime down even further.”

Talley said that, while Maywood isn’t necessarily the center of Latin King operations, the gang’s activities in Chicago have consequences for the suburbs.

“A lot of families migrated into the west suburbs and some had members who were part of those gangs,” Talley said. “The gangs have been able to infiltrate Maywood, Melrose Park, Stone Park and other places. Collectively, all of us west suburban police chiefs are trying to utilize every resource we can to stop this criminal activity.” VFP

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Maywood Police J.A.G. Program/Danka’s Basketball League Host Tourney, Aug. 3, 4, 5

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How a Maywood Churchgoer’s Faith Turned Into Action Became an Annual Event

Marching Band.png

Members of the Proviso West Marching Band perform during the 2014 Health and Awareness Fair and Parade, held outside of Miracle Revival Center in Maywood. The event often features free medical services, below, among other resources. This year’s fair and parade, the 11th one, could also be the last for its founder and organizer, Bonnie Stegall. | File

Health Fair.pngThursday, July 28, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free  

Bonnie Stegall, 73, the inspiration and organizer behind a Homeless Awareness Fair and Parade that takes place each year on the grounds of Miracle Revival Center, 2010 S. St. Charles Rd., in Maywood, said this year’s event could be her last. 

During a recent interview, Stegall reflected on the reason she first hatched the idea for the annual gathering. She said the motivation came while she was on her way to church one Sunday roughly a decade ago. 

“I saw this homeless lady sitting on the bench at 25th and St. Charles and she was full of feces,” said Stegall. “She was maybe in her late 40s, early 50s. She looked like she had lost her mind and it didn’t appear that anyone was looking after her.” 

Stegall said that same morning, she came across another unfortunate sighting. This time of a little girl who appeared to be no more than 5 years old. Stegall said she followed the girl in her car for some time before the child walked into a nearby barbershop. In the same area and around the same time, the dedicated churchgoer said, she also witnessed a woman who appeared to be a teenager standing on the corner prostituting. 

The sequence of unfortunate sightings compelled Stegall to approach her pastor at the time, Bishop Willie J. Chambliss, with an urgent appeal. 

“I went into the bishop’s office and told him our people need help,” she recalled, adding that, with her pastor’s consultation, the idea to put on the free event was formed. Stegall said the event is designed to bring particular awareness to homeless veterans.

Over the years, the annual event has featured free HIV testing, book bags, school supplies, entertainment, food and a variety of other resources to thousands of community members. Stegall said the annual event is privately funded, with much of the cost paid from her and her fellow organizers’ own pockets. The returns, she said, aren’t monetary but spiritual.

“Last year, one lady came with a baby stroller and was pregnant with another child,” Stegall said. “She wanted to be tested for HIV. A lot of people, if you show that you genuinely want to help them, they’ll come out to get helped. Our people need help.”

A decade later, Stegall said, she’s planning what could be the biggest event of them all.

This year’s event, the 11th annual, will feature the usual parade and various vendors, including a local Mexican restaurant, in addition to free medical and dental services. Stegall said she’s especially excited to have landed both Proviso East and West marching bands, the popular South Shore marching band and an appearance by Buffalo Soldiers, complete with stagecoaches.

“We usually get over 1,000 people to come,” she said. “I couldn’t do it without Dr. Greg Gaither, who helps me plan this, Bishop Chambliss and our current leader, Pastor DeAndre Patterson.”

When asked why this might be the last year for the event, Stegall said simply, “I‘m 73 years old.” But she didn’t rule out perhaps doing it again next year.

“My daughters always tell me, ‘Mom, every year you say it will be your last for organizing this.’ So who knows?”

This year’s fair and parade will take place on Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., outside of Miracle Revival Center, 2010 S. St. Charles Rd. The parade is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. VFP

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Maywood Man Charged With Murder | Off-Duty Cop Cleared of Wrongdoing in 2012 Shooting

smith.jpegThursday, July 28, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free  || UPDATE: 2:05 p.m.

A man who was questioned in relation to multiple murders in Maywood and who was reportedly shot in the village last May has been charged with “first-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon,” the Chicago Tribune reports

Andrew Smith, 33, was arrested and denied bail on July 22, after he was caught “with the same multicolored Nike shoes captured in video surveillance before, during and after” a fatal July 19 shooting, according to prosecutors.

Police said Smith was wearing all black clothes and a mask at around 6:30 p.m. on July 19 when he confronted a 38-year-old man in Chicago and chased him around parked cars with a 9mm handgun before firing “several shots, prosecutors say.”

The victim, who suffered wounds to the chest and hip, was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Tribune report noted that Smith’s attorney said he works as a custodian at Washington Dual Language Academy in Maywood and that he is from Lyons. District 89 officials, however, denied that Smith ever worked at the school or was ever an employee in the district.

This publication has previously reported that Smith was the victim of a shooting last May that police said occurred near 16th Avenue and Oak St.

According to Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley, Smith lived in Maywood before moving to Lyons and was a suspect in multiple murders in the village, but no charges were brought against him in connection to them.

To read more of the Tribune report, click here.

Off-duty Chicago cop who killed Maywood man in 2012 cleared of wrongdoing

An off-duty Chicago Police Officer who fatally shot a Maywood man during an altercation in 2012 was cleared of any wrongdoing by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) last week, according to a July 21 Chicago Tribune report.

On Aug. 11, 2012, the off-duty officer was riding his motorcycle when he accidentally hit a 4-year-old girl and her 18-year-old cousin on the 1100 block of South 1st Avenue.

The girl’s father, Maywood resident Christopher Middleton, 26, came out of a nearby restaurant he was in and angrily approached the officer, according to accounts given to the Tribune by spokesmen for the police and the village at the time of the incident.

The Tribune reported that, according to the spokesmen, the off-duty officer identified himself as a cop and Middleton said he “‘didn’t give a (expletive)’ and punched the officer in the face, authorities said. Another person hit the officer in the back of the head.”

Here’s more of the Tribune’s 2012 reporting on the incident:

“The girl’s 18-year-old cousin, who ran into the street after the girl and was holding her hand when she was hit, also kicked the officer while he was on the ground, Shapiro said.

“The officer removed his weapon and fired once, hitting Middleton in the groin, Shapiro said. Camden said the officer felt he was near losing consciousness and fired at Middleton in defense of his life.

“Tanya Jones, who identified herself as Middleton’s fiancee and the mother of the 4-year-old girl, said she and Middleton had been visiting his family in Maywood when he decided to dine at a restaurant nearby.

“She said she came outside after the fight had begun and saw both men trying to get up off the ground when the officer shot Middleton.

‘“Chris asked him, ‘Why did you shoot me, why did you shoot me,’ Jones said.”

The ruling by IPRA, which is the agency responsible for looking into allegations of police misconduct whose members are appointed by Chicago’s mayor, ruled that the off-duty officer “reasonably thought his life was in danger,” according to the recent Tribune report.

The agency, however, also noted that the officer “might have avoided killing [Middleton] if he had first warned he was going to shoot.” VFP

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U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S

Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Annual Back-to-School Fair, July 31

Lightford Health Fair.jpg

Maywood police to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 2

National Night Out.png

Maywood Police officers clean up after a 2014 National Night Out event in Maywood. | File

The Maywood Police Department will be in Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out.

The event takes place nationwide each year and is designed “to raise Crime Prevention Awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirits and unity, and Community-Policing Partnerships,” according to a flyer circulated by the department promoting the event.

This year’s entertainment will include a youth tumbling team, an outdoor screening of the movie “Zootopia,” and free food, t-shirts, gifts and balloons.

Free Outdoors Music Concert, Aug. 3

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 6.09.21 PM.png

Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

Monthly Breakfast

Rebirth of Jazz in Maywood, Aug. 6

Rebirth of Jazz.jpeg

Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20 

Old Timers

It’s time again for the Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

Maywood Fest Planned for September, With or Without Events Commission

Performance .jpg

A music performance under the gazebo inside Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way, directly behind the Maywood Police Station and the Maywood Public Library. There could be more music coming to that space in September, when Maywood Fest is scheduled to take place after years of not happening. | Photo: artistrecord.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free || UPDATED: 7/28/16

Maywood Fest, the community-wide event hosted by the village that’s been defunct for at least the last four years, is slated to make a comeback. A 7-member ad hoc committee created exclusively to plan the fest held its first meeting on July 11.

At least one trustee, however, hopes that the village’s Special Events Commission — a permanent body responsible for planning and organizing numerous community-wide events hosted by the village but that has been defunct for the last several years — would gain some members of its own.

According to its meeting minutes, the ad hoc committee suggested the fest take place over three days, between Sept. 9 through Sept. 11.

The first day would include a movie night in the park featuring vendors and a special events tent. Beer, wine and t-shirts will be for sale. The day would also feature a senior appreciation banquet with “food, live entertainment and transportation for those who need it.”

The second day, Saturday, Sept. 10, would include live entertainment for most of the day, a car show, a soccer game and a battle of the bands contest, among other forms of entertainment.

The 3-day fest would end on Sunday with a Gospel music brunch and a softball game, among other features.

According to the committee’s minutes, the fest organizers are seeking proposals from vendors for entertainment, outdoor furniture rental, food liquor and t-shirt sales and game trucks. Sponsorship letters and vendor applications were set to be sent out this week.

The idea for the fest was brought up during budget discussions earlier this year, with Trustee Antoinette Dorris, who proposed the idea, estimating that the cost of putting on the event would range between $24,000 and $30,000. She said she based the figure on what it took to fund the fest that was held “about six years ago,” according to March 30 VFP report.

“I am interested in having [the fest],” said Dorris at the time. “This is no slight to the turkey giveaway, Bataan Day, the employee party, Safe Summer or the Old Timers Picnic, but I think that, while these are great, they’re not hitting the entire village. We’ve gone three years now and have not had anything.”

There was, however, a minor controversy during the July 26 regular board meeting where the fest was discussed.

A motion to appoint the seven members of the ad hoc fest committee to serve on the Maywood Special Events Commission was pulled out from an omnibus agenda by Dorris so that it could be tabled, or removed from board consideration, indefinitely.

Dorris said that none of the committee members wanted to serve on the village’s formal events commission, which would entail attending regular meetings and planning numerous events. The commission has been defunct at least since Perkins took office in 2013.

She said the agenda item, to appoint the ad hoc committee members to the events commission, was inaccurate, which is why she requested it be tabled. Her motion to table passed by 5-1, with Perkins voting against the measure. Trustee Henderson Yarbrough was absent.

Dorris’s move to table the item prompted the mayor to suggest that the action was a sign that the fest wouldn’t happen.

“By tabling this you will not have a fest,” Perkins said, “that’s what this boils down to. In order to have the fest, we had to go to this committee.”

Trustee Isiah Brandon, however, noted that the item’s presence on the agenda was likely the result of miscommunication and that the ad hoc committee “is still in place” and the “fest is still moving forward.”

Trustee Michael Rogers conceded that he put forward the concept of leveraging the fest to recruit permanent members of the non-functioning events commission, but that his intentions may not have sank in with his board colleagues.

“We need to get the commission back up and running,” Rogers said. “We don’t want to be a one-trick pony. For now, as a temporary measure, (the ad hoc committee) is fine. But we need to get back to getting our commissions functioning.”

Board approves $2,500 for Safe Summer events

At the July 26 regular meeting, the village board also unanimously approved $2,500 to fund two events associated with the Safe Summer initiative. Trustee Isiah Brandon said the money would go to pay for a sound system and for bands to perform at two Music in the Park events.

A Gospel and jazz night is planned for Aug. 6 and a hip-hop and R&B night is planned for Aug. 19. VFP

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly attributed ownership to Safe Summer and its related music events, which the village board allocated funding. These events are sponsored by the village as a whole and not individual board members, hence the public funding. VFP regrets this error.

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U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S

Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Annual Back-to-School Fair, July 31

Lightford Health Fair.jpg

Maywood police to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 2

National Night Out.png

Maywood Police officers clean up after a 2014 National Night Out event in Maywood. | File

The Maywood Police Department will be in Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out.

The event takes place nationwide each year and is designed “to raise Crime Prevention Awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirits and unity, and Community-Policing Partnerships,” according to a flyer circulated by the department promoting the event.

This year’s entertainment will include a youth tumbling team, an outdoor screening of the movie “Zootopia,” and free food, t-shirts, gifts and balloons.

Free Outdoors Music Concert, Aug. 3

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 6.09.21 PM.png

Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

Monthly Breakfast

Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20 

Old Timers

This year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the annual Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

Maywood Voters to Weigh In on Video Gaming During Nov. 8 Election

video gambling

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 || By Michael Romain  || @maywoodnews || @village_free || UPDATED: 11:40 p.m.

At a regular board meeting Tuesday night, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted 4-2 to approve a resolution that would put the question of whether the board should adopt an ordinance prohibiting the issuance of any new Class M liquor licenses, which are exclusively granted to video gaming establishments, on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The referendum question is strictly advisory and non-binding, meaning the board isn’t required to adopt the prohibition into law. The vote on the referendum is largely a measure of where the community stands on the issue and is typically utilized to guide future decisions by elected officials.

The board’s vote comes roughly a month after a group of residents started a petition drive to protest against Lucky Brew LLC, a proposed gaming cafe that was seeking to setup shop at 406 Lake Street, within a few blocks from Maywood Fine Arts, the Metra Station and the Maywood Library.

In March, the board voted 5-2 in favor of issuing a Class M liquor license to Lacey’s Place, a video gaming establishment seeking to move to 611 W. Roosevelt Rd., on condition that Lacey’s meets minimum requirements, such as securing a lease, pulling a permit and building out the space.

The business, however, is still stuck in a lease dispute with the building’s landlord. It has a year from the time the board approved its Class M liquor license to meet those minimum requirements or the license may be repealed.

Since the board approved the license for Lacey’s Place, the public dissatisfaction with gaming cafes, in general, and Lucky Brew, in particular, has grown. The petition, which was created in June, garnered more than 100 signatures.

And during its meeting on July 25, the village’s liquor commission voted 4-2 against recommending Lucky Brew for a Class M liquor license approval.  Lucky Brew proprietors were absent at the Monday meeting, the second time they’ve failed to show up to a commission hearing at which they were scheduled to appear.

Opponents of the gaming establishments argue that the businesses will attract unwanted quality of life issues, such as loitering and crime.

Trustees Isiah Brandon and Michael Rogers — who both voted along with Mayor Edwenna Perkins, Trustee Henderson Yarbrough and Trustee Melvin Lightford in favor of granting Lacey’s Place a Class M license — have argued that Lacey’s Place would generate much-needed tax revenue for the village and, since its in a busy location with lots of surveillance, the quality of life issues would be kept to a minimum.

Rogers also noted that an ordinance already in place essentially restricts the number of gaming establishments that can setup in the village to one, a regulation designed to provide a check on their proliferation throughout the village.

Trustee Isiah Brandon, who along with Mayor Perkins voted against the resolution to allow a Nov. 8 referendum (while Rogers abstained), suggested that the referendum take place in the April 2017 election instead, so that more time can be dedicated to educating the public about video gaming.

“In other places, they normally have town halls and educational conversations about the type of businesses (they’re considering) and (how those business may impact the) community,” he said during the July 26 meeting. “That has been missing here.”

Village attorney Michael Jurusik, however, recommended that the referendum take place during the Nov. 8 election, a presidential election year. He said that the November election will generate a higher voter turnout, thus providing greater public feedback on the issue. He also argued that the roughly three months between now and November should be enough time to organize town hall discussions and a more comprehensive public education campaign if members of the board choose to do so.

Jurusik, however, cautioned board members to avoid speaking out either in favor or against the referendum, since to do so would be a violation of election law and is “a serious offense.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the village board has put a liquor-related matter up for a vote. In 2008, the board put a non-binding advisory referendum question on the ballot in the Feb. 5, 2008 Primary Election. Residents were asked whether the village should prohibit any new Class B (package store) liquor licenses in Maywood.

That election year, more than 68 percent of residents who voted were in favor of prohibiting the issuance of Class B liquor licenses.

The village clerk has until Sept. 1 to certify the Nov. 8, 2016 referendum question with the Cook County Clerk for placement on the ballot. Early voting starts Sept. 29. VFP

The referendum question to appear on the Nov. 8 ballot (the question can be modified by the board):

“Shall the Village of Maywood adopt an ordinance prohibiting the issuance of any new Class M (video gaming cafe/bistro) liquor licenses in the Village of Maywood?”

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