Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for Oak Park and River Forest in Wednesday Journal.
She graduated from University of Chicago and is a former daily reporter/night editor for the Lafayette, Ind. Journal & Courier (Gannett).
Oak Park firefighters responded around 1:30 p.m. to a house fire in the 900 block of Forest Avenue Saturday. Dispatchers said the fire started in the living room. Firefighters rescued a single resident and two dogs trapped on the second story back porch.
On Jan. 8, a Cook County grand jury indicted Samantha Bardgett, executive secretary at the West Suburban Consolidated Dispatch Center, on two counts of Class 1 felony theft. The veteran employee allegedly stole $53,606.05 by altering her paychecks over the past four years. She was also charged with two counts of official misconduct.
An informal meeting with a volunteer member of the Oak Park and River Forest High School pool committee and Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone ruled out the possibility of the high school to the east using the vacant Altenheim property, south of 7824 W. Madison St., for high school sports.
Oak Park and River Forest police reported a drop in serious crimes in 2014, part of a crime-falling trend over the past two decades, said Village Communications Director David Powers. The two villages released statistics reported to the Illinois State Police under the state's Uniform Crime Reporting Index (UCR).
A benefit concert for prostate cancer awareness at WIRE on Roosevelt Road will pay tribute to the sports and musical heritage of the Roosevelt strip by honoring the late "Big John" McConachie Jr., 87, one-time proprietor of Berwyn's legendary Sportsman's Lounge.
A gaggle of Albuquerque cellists celebrated the life and work of Oak Park native Felix Wurman (1958-2009) founder of the Church of Beethoven Oct. 26 at the Sunday Chatter concert series in Albuquerque.
Forest Park's Famous Wine and Spirits at 7714 Madison St. is for sale and negotiations are in play with Cardinal Wine and Spirits, which purchased a Famous Liquors branch at 7533 Roosevelt Road in 2009.