Tag: Chicago Sun-Times

Sun-Times: Melrose Park Police Raffled Off Assault Rifle During Taste

Monday, September 18, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Melrose Park mayor Ronald Serpico at the 2017 Taste of Melrose Park. | File 

Apparently, there was more than $3 dishes, music and dancing at the 37th Annual Taste of Melrose Park, which was held Sept. 1 through Sept. 3.

Continue reading “Sun-Times: Melrose Park Police Raffled Off Assault Rifle During Taste”


Sun-Times’ Mary Mitchell Profiles 106-year-old ‘Regal’ Maywood Woman

Thursday, August 10, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews

According to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, Susie Lewis, 106, of Maywood, almost looks too good to be true.

When Mitchell, a former Maywood resident herself, visited the Maywood home where Lewis has lived for half a century, the columnist encountered a woman whose face “is virtually untouched by the two scourges of time: wrinkles and sag” and who “has the peaceful look of a contented child.”

Continue reading “Sun-Times’ Mary Mitchell Profiles 106-year-old ‘Regal’ Maywood Woman”

Sun-Times: Ex-Melrose Park Cop Caught Selling Drugs Bragged About His Crimes

Greg SalviFriday, July 14, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews

According to a July 13 Chicago Tribune article, Gregory Salvi, a former Melrose Park police officer who admitted to selling drugs that were stolen from his department’s evidence room, could serve more than 10 years in prison.

“But with his sentencing hearing approaching later this month, the feds say they also caught Salvi bragging about stealing power tools from the department, and about helping a drug trafficker’s associate walk away from a drug deal without paying,” the Sun-Times reports.

“Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Otlewski made the allegations in a memo this week that asks U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve to put Salvi away for 14 years.”

The Sun-Times reports that Otlewski said that “Salvi bragged about selling drugs stolen from the police department before. And he alleged Salvi told a federal informant he conducted a fake arrest to help the associate of a marijuana trafficker get out of a drug deal without paying.”

Read the full report here. VFP

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Maywood, Bellwood Losing Millions of Dollars in Unpaid Property Taxes | Vacant Lots for Sale


Sunday, February 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 9:01 a.m.

This Sunday, the Chicago Sun-Times published a partial list of the more than 66,000 properties in Cook County with unpaid property taxes.

According to a Feb. 3 article published on the Sun-Times’ website, the listing is released in “preparation for an April auction that allows investors to buy unpaid property taxes from delinquent property owners countywide.”

More property listings are supposed to be published on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, the article notes. The tax sale, which is facilitated by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, “will auction almost $212 million worth of taxes that went unpaid in tax year 2015 by owners of residential and commercial properties as well as vacant lots, according to an official with the treasurer’s office.”

Included among the 66,109 properties (which comprise a total of $212 million in unpaid taxes) are 1,457 properties in Proviso Township (for a township total of $8.62 million in unpaid taxes).

Nearly 26 percent (374) of Proviso Township’s delinquent properties are located in Maywood, which has a total of $1.7 million in unpaid property taxes represented in the Sun-Times listing. Bellwood contains roughly 15 percent (216) of those delinquent properties, for a total of $1.53 million in unpaid property taxes.


Graphic: Chicago Sun-Times


Chart: Village Free Press

The following are the commercial/industrial properties in Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and Melrose Park with the highest tax delinquencies on the Sun-Times’ delinquent property tax list (all are for tax year 2015):

  • 110 S. 25th Ave., Bellwood | Golden Lake Real Estate | $223,448.23
  • 1812 Roosevelt Rd., Broadview | HB Owens Investments | $37,546.44
  • 1000 St. Charles Rd., Maywood | Tri-Star Surplus | $49,592.37
  • 110 N. 25th Ave., Melrose Park | Golden Lake Real Estate | $443,092.89



Top to bottom: The most tax delinquent commercial/industrial properties in Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and Melrose Park. Photos are from the Cook County Property Tax Portal

In addition to that tax sale (properties in Proviso Township will go on sale on April 4), two more sales are scheduled to happen in July and December, the Sun-Times notes.

“Two other similar sales are set to start later this year: the 2017 “tax scavenger” sale in July, and the sale of property taxes that went unpaid in 2016, which is set for December, said Madre Belmer, a tax examiner in the Cook County Clerk’s office. ‘There are three tax sales this year, and that’s unprecedented,’ he said.”

Anyone seeking to purchase delinquent taxes is required to register for the auction “between Feb. 10 and March 24 at CookTaxSale.com or by contacting the treasurer’s office at (877) 361-7325. The sale will begin April 3. Buyers can purchase a real-time list of the taxes for sale for $250.”

To read the full Sun-Times article, click here.

Cook County Land Bank Selling Vacant Lots


A screenshot of the Cook County Land Bank’s interactive property viewer showing the many tax-delinquent vacant lots the bank is selling in Maywood. 

In an attempt to put some of Cook County’s tax-delinquent vacant lots to use, the Cook County Land Bank is selling more than 4,400 of those lots. The prices range between $3,000 and $5,000.

According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, “Many of the lots have sat vacant for a decade or more, and are among 8,000 tax-delinquent properties the land bank aims to sell to local developers, not-for-profits, block clubs and community organizations to help revive neighborhoods hit by the foreclosure crisis and the decline of manufacturing.”

At least 14 of those parcels are in Bellwood, more than 50 are located in Maywood and a couple are in Melrose Park. For info on those particular lots, visit the land bank’s interactive map identifying those parcels.

To apply for any of these parcels, visit the land bank’s website here. To read the entire Tribune article, click here. VFP

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Sun-Times: Former Bellwood Official Gets Probation for Stealing From Village


Thursday, December 1, 2016 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews 

The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that Roy McCampbell, (pictured left), a former village manager and chief financial officer for the Village of Bellwood, was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution on Nov. 30 by Cook County Judge Timothy James Joyce.

According to the Sun-Times, McCampbell was arrested in 2012 for a range of alleged crimes, including “numerous unauthorized pay raises” that amounted to “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in taxpayer money that flowed to McCampbell’s pockets.

McCampbell also allegedly “used illicit taxpayer funds to boost his pension and “fraudulently expanded the village’s health insurance plan to pay for a variety of treatments for his family, including horse therapy for his children,” the Sun-Times reports.

The former Bellwood official pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft. To read the full Sun-Times article on McCampbell’s sentencing, click here. VFP

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Sun-Times: Video Gambling Proliferating Across State

video gambling

Sunday, July 10, 2016 || Originally Published: Chicago Sun-Times || By Chris Fusco

The number of video-gambling machines at Illinois bars, strip malls and other small venues is booming, growing from zero to more than 23,000 in the past four years, records show.

That’s nearly double the number of gambling spots the state’s 10 casinos have.

Which has casino owners, who once fought against video gambling, now taking a different tack: If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.

The latest example: A Canadian private equity firm that has a 40 percent stake in the state’s top-grossing casino, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, announced a $32.5 million investment last month in Accel Entertainment Gaming, the biggest operator of video-gambling terminals in Illinois.

That investment comes after two companies that own four casinos in Illinois bought two other big video-gambling operators: Gaming & Entertainment Management and Prairie State Gaming.

“Regional casino revenue is down throughout the country, and Illinois is kind of the forerunner in what’s expected to be the next wave — if there is another wave — in gaming,” says Michael Gelatka, president of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association.

The casinos “see another revenue source out there and see a way to hedge their bets on the future,” says Gelatka, who owns G3 Gaming, a video-gambling company in Lansing. “If you have a regional casino and you feel video gaming is eating your lunch, then you have the ability to be a part of it” by investing in the industry or buying terminal operators outright.

As of the end of May, there were 23,406 video-gambling terminals operating at 5,658  locations statewide — including bars, restaurants, truck stops, gas stations and so-called casino cafés, many of them located in strip malls.

Revenues from those video poker, slot and other types of gambling machines are split roughly in thirds among terminal operators, owners of the sites where the machines are placed and the state, with a portion of the state’s tax share going to local governments.

State law caps the number of terminals at five per establishment. It also places lower limits on wagering and payouts on the machines than the limits at casinos.

Last year, video-gambling terminals took in $913 million, the most yet in Illinois, with $274 million of that going to the state and host communities.

In the first five months of this year, revenues are up 25 percent over the same time last year, to $459 million. That’s almost the same amount as the state’s 10 casinos generated in the same period.

Video Gambling Jackpot_Monthly comparison of video gambling revenues.png

A Chicago Sun-Times graphic based on Illinois Gaming Board data 

The casinos — limited to 1,200 slot-machine and table-game positions apiece — still took in more revenue last year than video-gambling spots, $1.4 billion, and provided more taxes to the state and local governments, $488 million. But their revenues and the number of people visiting them have been decreasing since 2012, when video gambling began taking root throughout the state.

Video Gambling Jackpot_Illinois casino revenues vs video gambling revenues.png

A Chicago Sun-Times graphic based on Illinois Gaming Board data 

Chicago is among 150 municipalities that ban video gambling, though industry advocates have been trying to convince Mayor Rahm Emanuel the machines would produce much-needed tax revenue for the cash-strapped city. Emanuel instead wants a Chicago casino, but plans for that have yet to materialize.

When the state law authorizing video gambling was approved in 2009, “The original intent was to help the bars, restaurants and some of the truck stops earn some revenue for themselves and for the state,” says Tom Swoik, executive director of Illinois Casino Gaming Association, which represents eight of the state’s 10 casinos. “I think what happened was with the advent of the cafés — and also with the liquor stores and gas stations — people realized there were ways it could expand. And it’s just gone crazy.”

To read the rest of this Sun-Times article, click here. VFP

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Maywood Man, Former Proviso East Student Murdered In Chicago

image.jpgSunday, February 28, 2016 || Originally Published: Chicago Sun-Times Homicide Watch || By Jeff Mayes || Updated: 2/29/16 

A man killed in a drive-by shooting on a [Feb. 23] Tuesday afternoon in the South Austin neighborhood on the West Side has been identified as 23-year-old west suburban resident Diamond Garner.

Garner was outside in the 0-100 block of South Leamington about 4 p.m. Tuesday when a vehicle drove by and someone inside fired shots at him, Chicago Police said.

He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy showed he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Garner attended Proviso East High School and lived in the 1200 block of South 17th Avenue in Maywood, according to the medical examiner’s office. VFP

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