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Residents mixed on how they will celebrate the holiday

The recent surge of COVID numbers is putting a damper on the holiday spirit for many in the local area.

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Christmas spirit for children in the holiday season

Organizations in Will County don’t just believe in wishing everyone a happy holiday season they also want to show the spirit of the season to children who are not expecting much. The Plainfield Village Board Monday authorized buying 43 Target gift cards for the Shop with A Cop program. The $14,000 expenditure will allow qualified children in Plainfield Community on Friday, Dec. 17, to shop for gifts with a Plainfield police officer at a local Target store. "Under this program, the school districts nominate worthy children whose families are struggling financially," explained Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek. "The students gain an opportunity to shop with a Plainfield police officer and purchase Christmas presents for their families."

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Local kids will not go without this Christmas

For many families, having presents under the Christmas tree for their children is expected every holiday season. But in some instances, families must decide between giving a toy or putting food on the table for their children.

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Local kids will not go without this Christmas

For many families, having presents under the Christmas tree for their children is expected every holiday season. But in some instances, families must decide between giving a toy or putting food on the table for their children. To help with the need in the area, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy counties is hosting a toy drive for families this season on Saturday December 10. The program specifically targets children who are in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

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Local families are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday

Unlike last November's small gatherings, this week's Thanksgiving celebrations across the country have many people saying "go big or go home." As many in this country have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, residents in Will County are confident celebrating the holiday with family and friends will not cause medical issues for them. Marisha Jackson of Joliet said she plans to go all out this Thanksgiving. "Besides my family, I am having my cousins, aunts and uncles over," she said. "I love to cook so this holiday is ideal for me. Last year, it was just my husband, myself and our two children. I would rather cook for a large group than a few. It makes the holiday much more special when we can pass the food around and share laughs."

Parking in downtown Plainfield could get easier

Anyone who has been to downtown Plainfield knows parking is at a premium. Now with the holiday shopping on the horizon, the Plainfield Village Board is considering an intergovernmental agreement that would expand the existing north Des Plaines Street parking lot in the downtown corridor. Allen Persons, public works director, said in April 2020, a developer was considering the demolition of a property at 15024 S. Des Plaines St. and redevelopment of this site. This plan, he adds, included the expansion of the Des Plaines Street parking lot within property owned by the village, Plainfield Township and the developer. "Staff has been informed that this plan will not be moving forward as discussed in 2020," Persons said Monday.

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Plainfield acquires property for road extension

The pieces are coming together for a roadway extension project officials say will alleviate traffic throughout Will County. The Plainfield Village Board Monday authorized spending $7,500 to buy a parcel along 143rd Street near Route 59 from Ravago America Inc. Allen Persons, public works director for the village, said the property is needed to construct the proposed 143rd Street roadway extension. Initially, according to Persons, an appraiser hired by the village said the property was worth $6,000. Though the village received a counteroffer from the owner's attorney for $41,091, the village did not accept the proposal and continued with negotiations, he added. The second counteroffer of $7,500 was later accepted, Persons said.

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No changes in tax for Plainfield residents

During these times of uncertainty, at least one thing is not changing, a property tax increase for Plainfield resident’s next year. The board on Monday reviewed the proposed 2021 tax levy calculations that maintains the 2020 overall levy rate of .4669. Based on preliminary equalized assessed valuation (EAV) estimates, the ordinance reflects a total property tax request of $7.75 million, according to Traci Pleckham, interim village administrator. However, the actual dollar amount the village will receive is anticipated to be less. She told the board the levy rate has remained unchanged for the past eight years.

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New village administrator hired in Plainfield

After about six months, Plainfield finally has a permanent village administrator. The Plainfield Village Board, replacing Brian Murphy, who served nearly a decade in the top position, hired Joshua Blakemore unanimously on Monday. Blakemore is currently the city administrator at Marengo. He has a master of public administration degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Blakemore will start his new job on Dec. 13 at an annual salary of $180,000. He will receive a monthly stipend of $500 for car expenses related to village business and get 20 days of paid vacation.

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No more snow days off from school?

Students can now say goodbye to snow days in the Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, which serves students in Plainfield, Joliet, Romeoville and Bolingbrook, is doing away with snow days, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Associate Superintendent Dr. Glenn Wood said the "E-Learning Day" plan may be used when school is closed because of emergency or bad weather. He said District 202 had been slowly building its e-learning program before the pandemic shut down schools in March 2020. That work quickly accelerated in spring and summer 2020 as the district transitioned incrementally back to in-person learning in fall 2020 and winter and spring 2021. Now, e-learning is a normal part of the educational package, Wood said.

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Costco exceeds projection, spurs growth in Plainfield

While the pandemic wreaked havoc on many communities, the Village of Plainfield's finances apparently have weathered the storm. The Plainfield Village Board received on Monday a good financial report at a review of their financial audit for fiscal year 2021 that ended April 30, 2021. The accounting firm Sikich in Naperville reported that the financials for the village were in good shape. The audit was presented during the committee of the whole workshop. The audit revealed that Plainfield is doing well in business, especially retail sales and new home constructions. Overall, retail sales increased 17.9 percent in comparison to the previous fiscal year. State income and use tax also improved by 5.8 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively.

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Plainfield Inn to expand

When one thinks of staying at a small, charming hotel, places like Galena or Wisconsin come to most people's minds. But there is a quaint inn around the corner on Fox River Street in downtown Plainfield.

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Area residents push back on proposed roadway project

The noise, pollution and the quality of life has some members of the Bass and Gill Club along with many Will County residents asking the Village of Plainfield to stop a proposed roadway project in its tracks. Steve Schmidt of the hunting and fishing club at 23011 E. Main St. said the 143rd Street roadway extension would not help curtail traffic in the area. "The path you have chosen ... is an engineering difficulty," he said. "The plan is going to be difficult."

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Former Forest Park teacher inspires scholarship fund for students

When most seniors in high school plan for college, they are thinking more about the campus and not about how they will pay for their tuition. But Stanley Morris, president of Forest Park Alumni Scholarship Fund, said help is available as grants are available for needy students in Joliet. The Vivian Ward Pennymon Scholarship, established in 2007, is given annually to minority students who live in Joliet. So far, 35 scholarships have been awarded since the endowment's inception.

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Plainfield mayor to investigate E. Coli contamination

Following a weekend where residents could not get their favorite iced coffees at local establishments or get tap water with their dinner at restaurants, things are back to normal in the Village of Plainfield as the EPA has declared it is safe to consume water. Last Friday, residents who receive their water from the Village of Plainfield received alerts from Will County that E. coli bacteria was found in the community's water supply. Residents were all told to boil their water, causing mass shortage of bottled water in area stores. Anyone who drinks water contaminated with E. coli can have diarrhea, stomach cramping, pain or tenderness, nausea and vomiting.

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Tawny Tortoise in Plainfield closes

After more than three decades, a Plainfield institution has closed its doors for good. The Tawny Tortoise, 24012 W. Lockport St., a go-to place for area shoppers who prefer unique items for themselves or as gifts, has closed after 33 years in downtown Plainfield. The closing was bittersweet last weekend as shoppers took the last opportunity to grab collectibles and store fixtures like cabinets during the final sale.

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Plainfield moves ahead putting grant funds to use with new extension project

Big dollars are coming to the Village of Plainfield through the Rebuild America grant funds. Plainfield's 143rd Street extension is one of 24 projects from 18 states selected to receive the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America 2021 grant. Plainfield will receive $5 million from the $905.25 million program. Scott Threewitt, lead engineer for Plainfield, said this is the fourth competitive grant for the project, totaling more than $47 million.

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Perter Rubi, popular market in Plainfield not closing

It appears some shoppers in the area are getting a whiplash as a popular family-owned, plant-based market that sells organic fruits and vegetables has decided to stay in Plainfield. Last month, John Graves, who has been operating Peter Rubi store since 2012 in the strip mall at 15412 S. Route 59, said the landlord is selling the store for $350,000.

Residents push to keep public access of DuPage River

A Shorewood brewery will host a pint night in support of the publics continued access to the DuPage River.

In July residents who live along the DuPage River complained there was excessive activity at the river and filed a complaint with business owners who lease water sport equipment to the public on the river. The complaint said kayakers and other water sports enthusiasts were trespassing on their property and littering. In an effort to support keeping public access on the river open the Illinois Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is hosting a pint night from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, at Will County Brewing, 1142 W. Jefferson St., Shorewood.

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Peter Rubi Market closing

A popular family-owned, plant-based market that sells organic fruits and vegetables will soon close in Plainfield. John Graves, who has been operating Peter Rubi store since 2012 in the strip mall at 15412 S. Route 59, said the landlord is selling the store for $350,000. During a Facebook Live telecast, Graves said, "We have been struggling as a business for a long time. We have tried and now it's time to move on. Our concept is not working here in Plainfield."