Tag: Willie Norfleet

Maywood Board May Start Meeting Less Often

Monday, August 14, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Photo: Getty Images 

The Maywood Board of Trustees is expected to approve a motion to decrease the number of times it meets from four times a month, (or once a week), to twice a month.

This would effectively mean that the Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meetings that were held twice a month will now only be held when they’re necessary.

Continue reading “Maywood Board May Start Meeting Less Often”


Maywood Officials Say Mayor, Trustee Improperly Applied for $10K Grant

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Last month, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept a $10,000 restorative justice capacity building grant from Cook County, but the board’s approval of the funds didn’t come without a lengthy, sometimes tense, debate about whether or not the money was secured appropriately.

Continue reading “Maywood Officials Say Mayor, Trustee Improperly Applied for $10K Grant”

Maywood Gets $206K, Melrose Park Gets $203K for Bike Lanes | Video Cameras for New Maywood Metra Station | More


Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) addresses community members during a July 15 town hall held at village council chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood. | Michael Romain/VFP

Friday, July 28, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

During a town hall meeting he convened in Maywood on July 15, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) announced that the county board was set to approve a grant of around $206,000 to install a bike path along Washington Blvd.

The county board unanimously approved the grant, which is part of a $7.2 million county-wide highway improvement project, at a regular meeting on July 19.

Formally called the 2017 Invest in Cook Awards, the projects are designed to provide incentives to municipalities to encourage “non-auto” forms of transportation.

Continue reading “Maywood Gets $206K, Melrose Park Gets $203K for Bike Lanes | Video Cameras for New Maywood Metra Station | More”

MB Financial Replaces Seaway Bank As Maywood’s Largest Account Holder

Seaway Bank

Thursday, July 27, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

MB Financial has replaced the defunct Seaway Bank & Trust as Maywood’s largest account holder. During a regular meeting on July 18, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted on a resolution designating MB Financial a public depository for the village.

Less than two years ago, according to village records, Maywood was parking funds from at least nine different accounts at Seaway, including the corporate, water, motor fuel and general fund and payroll accounts. On Nov. 29, 2015, the total ending balance of village funds at Seaway was over $2.5 million. At the time, MB Financial was not an authorized public depository for the village.

Continue reading “MB Financial Replaces Seaway Bank As Maywood’s Largest Account Holder”

Village Officials Say They’re Moving Fast to Tear Down Hazardous Properties

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An abandoned auto repair shop on the 1100 block of South 17th Ave., which is slated for fast-track demolition. | Village of Maywood

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a July 12 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting, Maywood village officials said that they’re getting closer to executing a measure unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in March to put 12 hazardous properties in the village through the fast-track demolition process.

Fast-track demolition allows municipalities to bypass the courts and demolish properties, no higher than three stories that are “open and vacant and determined by the Village to be continuing hazard to the community,” according to a March memo drafted by the village’s contracted law firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins.

Village officials provided an update on the demolition process after at least two residents complained about an abandoned auto repair shop located on the 1100 block of South 17th Ave. that was among the 12 properties slated for demolition.

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet Jr. said that the former auto repair shop was the “location we caught [and arrested] our first official fly-dumper.” Norfleet said the person was throwing material inside of the boarded-up building. The suspect’s truck was also confiscated.

“Hopefully, [that building on 17th Ave.] comes down very shortly,” Norfleet said, adding that he hopes within the next 30 to 90 days.

Maywood Assistant Village Manager David Myers said that the village’s attorneys have begun the process of verifying the owners of the 12 properties and are working on sending out letters to those owners, which is required as part of the process.

“The process is still moving,” Myers said. “We have signs ordered. We just need the green light to start the demolition process.”

Attorney Michael Jurusik said that a program administered through the Cook County Sheriff’s office will actually carry out the demolitions, saving the village money. But the speediness in which the process is carried out could also depend on how long it takes the county to act, he said.

“We’re moving as fast as possible,” he said. “We’re doing the minimum due diligence necessary to make sure the property owners have minimal notice of what to do with the properties. Our ducks are all lined up in a row. We’ve approved everything we need to approve on our end.”

Other properties scheduled for fast-track demolition:

  • 1825 S. 22nd Ave. 
  • 1821 S. 21st Ave. 
  • 1420 S. 21st Ave.
  • 1304 S. 21st Ave. 
  • 1248 S. 21st Ave.
  • 419 S. 21st Ave. 
  • 1817 S. 20th Ave. 
  • 440 S. 14th Ave.
  • 1205 S. 16th Ave. 
  • 1242 S. 16th Ave.
  • 2108 S. 8th Ave. 

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Maywood Celebrates Juneteenth By Reading Gen. Granger’s Order No. 3

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Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. and Mike Rogers during Juneteenth reenactment last Saturday in Maywood. | Courtesy Mike Rogers

Maywood Juneteenth_4Thursday, June 22, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Former Maywood Trustee Mike Rogers and Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. took to the steps of the Home for Soldiers Widows, at the corner of First Avenue and Lake Street, to reenact  the Union army’s arrival at Galveston, Texas and a reading of Gen. Gordon Granger’s famous order No. 3., issued June 19, 1865.

The event was the culmination of a week of Juneteenth activities coordinated by Operation Uplift Inc., the organization’s West Town Museum of Cultural History and the village of Maywood.

Below, the Gen. Granger’s orders as they appeared in the New York Times in 1865.




GENERAL ORDERS, No. 3. — The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, “all slaves are tree.” This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.

The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts, and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

By command of Maj.-Gen. GRANGER.

F.W. EMERY, Major, and A.A.G.



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Norfleet, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, Rogers and former Forest Park Commissioner Rory Hoskins, who also hosts an annual Juneteenth event in Forest Park. | Courtesy Mike Rogers

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 5. — Until the arrival of the proper Treasury agents in this district all cotton may be turned into the Quartermaster’s Department for shipment to New-Orleans or New-York, there to be sold to the United States Purchasing Agents. In case of such consignments, bills of lading will be given, and the owner will be permitted to accompany his property for the purpose of effecting its sale to the purchasing agents. No cotton, or other products of insurrectionary States, can be shipped on other conditions.

By order of Major-Gen. GRANGER.

F.W. EMERY, Major and A.A.G.



GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4. — All acts of the Governor and Legislature of Texas, since the Ordinance of Secession, are hereby declared illegitimate.

All civil and military officers and agents of the so-called Confederate States Government, or of the State of Texas, and all persons formerly connected with the Confederate States Army, in Texas, will at once report for parole at one of the following places, or such others an may be designated hereafter, to the proper United States officers to be appointed: Houston, Galveston, Bonham, San Antonio, Marshall and Brownsville.

Although their long absence from their homes, and the peculiar circumstances of their State, may palliate their desertion from their organizations, this order will be strictly and promptly complied with.

The above-mentioned, and all other persons having in their possession public property of any description whatever, as arms, horses, munitions, &c., formerly belonging to the so-called Confederate States, or State of Texas, will immediately deliver to the proper United States officer at the nearest of above-mentioned places.

When they cannot carry it, and have not the means of transporting it, they will make to the same officer a full report of its character, quantity, location, security, &c.

All persons not complying promptly with this order will be arrested as prisoners of war and sent North for imprisonment, and their property forfeited.

All lawless persons committing acts of violence, such as banditti, guerrillas, jayhawkers, horse thieves, &c., &c., are hereby declared outlaws and enemies of the human race, and will be dealt with accordingly.

By order of Major-Gen. GRANGER.

E.W. EMERY, Major and Ass’t Adjt. General. VFP

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Fred Hampton Pool Officially Opens and Proviso East Lifeguards Start Work

Fred Hampton Pool I

Newly installed lifeguards at Fred Hampton Aquatic Center prepare for a photograph with Maywood and Proviso East officials on June 12. | Michael Romain/VFP

Haptom Pool IIMonday, June 12, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

During a short ceremony held outside of the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center, 300 Oak St. in Maywood on June 12, a crowd of at least 300 people witnessed six lifeguards receive their official life guard shirt and sunglasses from the West Cook YMCA — the Oak Park-based nonprofit that operates and maintains the aquatic center.

According to YMCA officials, by late afternoon more than 550 people had cycled through the center’s turnstiles to enjoy the pool on its grand opening day. 

The scene was particularly special to community members because the lifeguards were trained inside of the swimming pool at Proviso East High School in Maywood.

The Red Cross-certified, 5-week training program that was facilitated by West Cook resulted in the revival of the high school’s pool and may have been the catalyst for what high school officials hope will be regular swimming courses at the school starting next year.

West Cook staff members maintain the pool during the summers, with the village of Maywood sharing half the operating costs with the nonprofit organization. This year was the first time that West Cook collaborated with Proviso East to help train lifeguards from within Maywood and surrounding Proviso Township communities.

Hampton Pool III

From left: Maywood Trustees Kimyada Wellington and Isiah Brandon, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, West Cook YMCA President & CEO Phillip Jimenez, Maywood Trustee Henderson Yarbrough, Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet and Maywood Trustee Antonio Sanchez. | Michael Romain/VFP

In the past, most lifeguards who worked at Fred Hampton were from other areas due to a dearth of well-trained local young people. The swimming classes at East, West Cook officials have said, worked to fill that void.

“This collaboration is a true example of the impact that can be made when organizations come together and add value to our community,” said Kevin Klein, the West Cook YMCA’s chief operating officer, during the June 12 opening ceremony.

Klein said that he anticipates this pool summer to be the biggest since West Cook since 2011, when West Cook started operating the pool.

“In 2014, we had 1,300 people visit the pool. Last year, the number increased to 4,000 visits. And just last summer, we had as many as 9,000 guest experiences,” Klein said. “Our goal this year is to break into five digits. We want 10,000 guest experiences here at the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center.”

“Fred fought hard for this pool to be in the community,” said Bill Hampton, the brother of the slain Black Panther after whom the pool is named. “We can make this a monument not just to swimming but how to how we got it and how we can keep it well.”

Hampton Pool IV

Bill Hampton, second from right, with Maywood Library Trustee John Rice and other members of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, which held a small vigil for slain Black Panther leader and the pool’s namesake earlier in the day. | Michael Romain/VFP

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet said that the pool is an example of the kind of fusion that’s necessary to make a healthy community work — a sentiment that Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins reinforced.

“It can be done and it will take all of us to do it,” Perkins said, before Norfleet praised the parts that “the board, mayor, employees, parents, residents and taxpayers” played in the pool’s existence.

“As long as this park area is green, clean and safe, the people will come,” Norfleet said. “Take away one of those ingredients, the people won’t be here. This is a testimony of the will of the village council and the work of the employees so that we can have this place green, clean and safe.”

The Fred Hampton Aquatic Center, 300 Oak St. in Maywood, is open daily, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., from June 12 until September 4. For more info and/or to buy passes, click hereVFP

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