Gimme Back My Bullets, I Need Them for Show-And-Tell
Bullets on a school bus. Love dolls at the mall. $200 bus rides. And stolen rent checks. If you missed a day on Patch, you missed a lot. Let's catch you up.
Every Monday, Good Read keeps you in the know with the Southland’s must-read stories and then some.
Bullet Points: I'm imagining a second-grader belting out Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic Gimme Back My Bullets following the discovery of a .44-caliber bullet on the bus ride to school in Tinley Park last week.
In tracking down the bullet-toting student, school officials decided to go to the onboard surveillance tape, only to find it missing.
Although the second-grader and fifth-grader who found the bullet Tuesday afternoon as the bus was pulling out of Tinley Park's Fulton School turned it over to the bus driver, the bus company didn't notify the district for nearly 24 hours. By then, the district had already heard about it from the children's parents. Those incidents coupled with a school bus crash into a classroom in Orland Park last November and a kindergartner who was dropped at the wrong stop have School District 146 contemplating a change in who buses its children, who hail from Orland, Tinley and Oak Forest, to its various schools.
Illinois Central School Bus company is in the first six months of a three-year contract.
"To have had two incidents that we've had this year where there have been no tapes and we had major happenings, that's not acceptable," board member John Carey, Jr., said.
Gimme Back My Love Dolls? The sex toys, love dolls, lubes, gels and S&M products once found openly on the shelves at Spencer's Gifts in Orland Square Mall may soon be kept in an isolated area — or out of the store altogether — under a new store floor plan being considered ahead of an Orland Park police inspection this week.
In December, Orland Park police seized about $22,000 in sex toys, inflatable love dolls, lubricants, gels, sado-masochistic products and sex-themed Christmas items. According to an Illinois statute, the merchandise was considered “harmful materials.” A 19-year-old cashier was arrested the same day of the seizure and accused of selling bondage gear to two teenagers working undercover for police. She is scheduled to be in court Feb. 4.
The Orland store is being forced to reconsider its floor plan to conform to state law. There is a possibility that a separate room, entirely shielded by a door, may be necessary for the store to be compliant, Orland Park Police Sgt. Scott Malmborg said.
A Tinley Legend: Basil F. Heath, better known to legions of Tinley Park residents and decades of moviegoers as Chief White Eagle, said John Wayne killed him seven times on the screen.
The longtime Tinley Park resident died Monday. He was 93. He lived in Tinley Park from about 1975 to 1990 and was well-known to the children of the town.
Starting with 1939's Northwest Passage, White Eagle appeared in Westerns like She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Red River, Niagara, How the West was Won and Stage Coach. He later went on to host the "Indian Stories" segment of the long-running WTTW children's show Totem Club, which debuted in the 1960s. White Eagle also appeared on the show Wagon Train, made numerous commercials and public appearances and hosted a Native-American-centric radio show for many years.
His passing prompted some who knew him to share their thoughts on Patch.
Wabsetoset: My earliest memory of Chief White Eagle is from pre-school at the now defunct Orchard Hill Farm School in Tinley Park. ... Later in my early teens, I remember him at my parents' home working on Cultural Heritage projects with my father, a tribal historian for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. I have always taken notice when his name and his contributions to his communities was mentioned. — AnnMarie Cobb Wabsetoset
$200 Bus Rides: If your child goes to Mokena elementary schools, you'll have to pay $200 next year for every kid who needs to ride the school bus. The fees could add up to $188,000 in savings, assuming a 50 percent ridership. The district currently faces a $2.7 million deficit. This story is getting a lot of reaction on Mokena Patch.
Empty Pockets: $200 per child? They have already increased tuition. Well, they just lost mine and my husband's vote for the referendum. We just can't afford it all. Increase all fees OR pass a referendum. People can't afford both!
Bobby Hull Still Draws a Crowd: An appearance by Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull was momentarily disrupted Friday night at Arctic Ice Arena in Orland Park when the number of people who showed up—both to meet the Blackhawks legend and to watch the Lincoln-Way East/North hockey club play Lincoln-Way Central on Senior Night—exceeded capacity. The arena has a capacity of 2,000. But by 9:30 p.m., the crowd had grown to about 2,500 or 2,600. Orland Park Police and the Orland Fire Protection District had been called in for crowd control and had to escore the rowdier spectators out of the arena.
Sent Packing: The story of South Sider John Stone, a car salesman who wore a Packers tie to honor his recently deceased grandmother only to lose his job over it, has lots of people talking across the country. He was immediately offered a new job in Homewood at Chevrolet of Homewood, and Patch caught up with him on his first day. "I want everybody to know that I thank them for having my back. Everybody that cares, have sent me letters, Facebook [comments]. Anything media-wise, I thank them for that, for having my back," he told Patch.
The Rent Isn't Late, It's Gone: A bunch of folks living the Manchester Court Apartment complex found their hard-earned rent money in the hands of a disgruntled apartment-building employee, according to the cops, who cashed the checks and lavished the money on herself, using some of her ill-gotten gains to buy Christmas presents. Megan Resendez, 24, of Oak Forest, pocketed rent cash, checks and money orders, depositing them into fraudulent bank accounts in a friend's name, police said. Resendez is accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the Oak Forest residents. Other crimes in Orland, Tinley and Palos may have netted her thousands more, police said.
Two local men charged with a hate crime in the beating of a woman they believed to be a lesbian say the Cook County state's attorney's office is waging a propaganda campaign against them. Chris Medina, of Oak Forest, stole hearts in his American Idol debut with the story of his love for his fiance, who was severely injured in an accident a few years ago. New Lenox resident and Air Force Lt. Col. Cheryl Scaglione, a 22-year veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star, was welcomed home from Afghanistan last week. A referendum petition in Oak Lawn to change the form of government in town, withdrawn amid allegations of fraud, is now under review by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
HOT LINKS, FROM OUR NEWS-ON-PAPER PALS
Adam Kinzinger Goes to D.C.: Our good friend Kristen McQueary, the Southland's top political writer, caught up with the 11th District's new congressman, Adam Kinzinger, in his first weeks in Washington, D.C. The conservative 32-year-old former Air Force officer sent Debbie Halvorson packing as part the nationwide comeuppance the Obama administration experienced in the fall election. Observes McQueary:
With only a month of exposure to one of the country’s most ambitious cities, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-11th), of Manteno, exhibits few hints of a Washington, D.C., makeover. He doesn’t plow through corridors with an entourage and a Blackberry, and he doesn’t speak in cautious generalities. Sometimes, his words end with the twang of a Central Illinois native.
“My district is very diverse,” he said. “You’ve got some of the Will County folks who have that Chicago accent and you have some with more of a southern accent. I hope as I grow into this role, I reflect and understand those different backgrounds.”
He admitted being slightly awestruck by a chance passing with actor Rob Lowe, who is filming a new reality series, Potomac Fever, in the capital.
“Hey, it was Rob Lowe,” Kinzinger said.
Halvorson, who secured the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, was always seen as vulnerable in the 11th District, which has traditionally favored Republicans. But Kinzinger isn't just gaining attention locally. Slate.com selected Kinzinger as one of 10 conservatives who will define 2011. Kinzinger recently visited Mokena for the dedication of Rasmussen College, and he talked about how the country was going to pull out of this economic malaise.
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