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Alex Ortiz

Stories by Alex

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High school football: Court rules in favor of Plainfield North

Judge Kathleen Kennedy of the Circuit Court of Chicago upheld the result of last Saturday’s Class 7A semifinal game in which Plainfield North beat Fenwick 18-17 in overtime following a mistakenly awarded untimed down at the end of regulation in which Plainfield North kicked a game-tying field goal.

Controversial call sends Plainfield North to state finals, court hearing

After Saturday’s Class 7A semifinal matchup against Fenwick, Plainfield North pulled off a miraculous 18-17 victory in overtime. That miracle resulted from an error by the officials that IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson quickly to in a statement released soon afterward: “On the final play of the fourth quarter in today’s IHSA Class 7A Semifinal Football game between Fenwick High School and Plainfield North High School, an error was made by the officiating crew, which resulted in an untimed down being awarded to Plainfield North. On the untimed down, Plainfield North tied the contest with a field goal and then went on to win the game in overtime. Per Rule 3-3-4 in the 2016 NFHS Football Rules Book, the game should have concluded on the final play of regulation and the untimed down should not have been awarded.

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Controversy follows Plainfield North’s semifinal win against Fenwick

After Saturday’s Class 7A semifinal matchup against Fenwick, Plainfield North pulled off the miraculous 18-17 victory in overtime.

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UPDATED: Owners of empty Dominick’s stores agree to meet with suburban mayors

For nearly a year, a coalition of mayors from Chicago-area communities have been trying to fill vacant properties once occupied by the Dominick’s grocery chain including a site on Weber Road in Romeoville.

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College sports roundup: Lewis men’s basketball falls to Ferris State

The Lewis men’s basketball team fell to 1-3 this season with an 84-72 loss to Ferris State on Saturday on the road.

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Company featured on ‘Shark Tank’ expands to Joliet

A housing company featured on ABC's 'Shark Tank' is looking to expand to the Joliet area.

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College sports roundup: Lewis men’s basketball drops season opener

The Lewis men’s basketball team (0-1) lost its season opener to Michigan Tech (1-0) 80-75 in overtime at Neil Carey Arena on Saturday. Lewis sophomore Delaney Blaylock led the Flyers with 24 points and 11 rebounds while freshman forward Anthony D’Avanzo recorded 11 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Miles Simelton scored 18 points which included four three-pointers. Despite Lewis having a 45.5 percent to 36.9 percent lead in shooting and a 42-39 lead in rebounds, the team also committed 16 turnovers to Michigan Tech’s 9.

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College sports roundup: Lewis men’s basketball drops season opener

Lewis men's basketball drops its season opener, Saint Francis football closes out the 2016 season, and Saint Francis volleyball wins conference tournament.

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High school football: Plainfield North rolls in quarterfinals against Rockford Auburn

The Plainfield North Tigers handily defeated Rockford Auburn (10-1) on Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the Class 7A playoffs to advance to the semifinal at Fenwick of Oak Park (11-1).

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American Legion Post 52 Honors Veterans (Photo Gallery)

Check out our photo gallery of American Legion Post 52 in Romeoville honoring veterans at Riley's Roadhouse on Rt. 53.

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Immigration organization getting vote out in Bolingbrook and Romeoville

The Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project is trying to get people out to the polls early this election season.

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Local organizations host resource fair for fathers

Last Saturday, numerous community organizations and local companies came to Joliet Central High School for the first “Fathers For the Future Resource Fair.

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High school football: Plainfield North dominates in first round of playoffs

The Plainfield North Tigers (7-2) dominated its first round opponent Highland Park 42-0 in the program’s first home playoff game on Saturday.

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High school football: Oswego hands Joliet West tough loss

For more than three and a half quarters, the Joliet West defense dominated the Oswego offense, but they were not able to pull out the victory.

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Local school programs look to combat bullying

Bullying is a serious problem in schools. That is why local school districts have been implementing programs to help combat the issue by engaging students and parents.

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Lewis men’s basketball prepares for 2016-17 season

This season, Lewis will be looking to take some big steps forward with some veteran returners and new faces.

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Expectations high this season for Lewis women’s basketball

During the 2015-16 season, the Lewis women’s basketball team went 28-3 overall, 18-0 in conference and 14-0 at home. The team also boasted the best scoring defense (54.5 points per game) and the second-best average margin of victory (11.4 points). But that was last year.

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Two Valley View students named National Merit semi-finalists

Two Valley View School District students were named National Merit semi-finalists, Robert Masek of Bolingbrook High School and Elizabeth Zahorick of Romeoville High School.

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High school football: Joliet Central wins thriller at Romeoville

It was certainly a wild one on Friday. Romeoville was looking for it's fourth-straight win, but Joliet Central had other ideas.

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Game of the Week: Romeoville seeks fourth straight win against Joliet Central

Romeoville is looking for its fourth straight win to end the season behind its powerhouse running game.

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Bolingbrook mosque open house attempts to promote understanding of Islam

On Sunday, the Muslim Association of Bolingbrook held an open house event on Sunday at the New Masjid Community Center.

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High school football: Romeoville wins big with record day for running back Nettles

Romeoville running back Jordan Nettles is helping his team finish the 2016 season strong with a record day and a 52-15 win over Plainfield Central.

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Game of the Week: Romeoville seeks third-straight win at Plainfield Central

The Romeoville Spartans (2-5) are on a bit of a roll and might be able to finish this season with quite the statement. The Spartans visit the Wildcats of Plainfield Central (0-7) on Friday.

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College sports roundup: St. Francis football defeats St. Ambrose

Catch up with the latest action in local college sports.

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High School Football: Plainfield North shuts out Plainfield South

Plainfield North beats crosstown rival for its Homecoming game on Friday.

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Strong community reaction from Plainfield South players’ protest

Reaction was strong to a story that initially ran on The Times Weekly website (thetimesweekly.com) this week about a protest by the Plainfield South football team and some of the players there who decided to kneel (take a knee in football terms) during the National Anthem. The players’ protest follows in the wake of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the protest during the NFL preseason to bring awareness to the issue of police brutality against African-Americans. Since then, some of his teammates, fellow NFL players and professional, college and high school athletes around the country have followed suit in showing support against the killing of unarmed African-Americans by police officers. The protests have received criticism from some, who say protestors are being disrespectful to the flag and the military.

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Plainfield South spoils Plainfield East’s Homecoming

Plainfield East's homecoming was dampened not only by the weather but also by the loss to rival Plainfield South this weekend.

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College sports roundup: Saint Francis football loses on overtime field goal

The St. Francis Saints Football team lost a heart breaker in overtime on Saturday against Concordia College.

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Plainfield South players kneel during national anthem

During the National Anthem at Friday's game, members of the Plainfield South football team took a knee to protest police brutality against African Americans.

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Game of the Week: Plainfield South takes on Plainfield East

Crosstown rivals Plainfield East and Plainfield South each have something to prove as the teams compete in the Times Weekly's High School game of the week.

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High School Football: Oswego East takes down Plainfield North

Oswego East had Plainfield North in mind following last year’s loss to the Tigers, and the team was able to redeem itself and remain undefeated through five games.

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College sports roundup: Saint Francis football falls to Robert Morris

The Saint Francis football team fell to a record of 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the MSFA following the team’s 38-35 loss to Robert Morris University Illinois.

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Game of the Week: Oswego East looks to remain undefeated at Plainfield North

This week's game of the week match up pits the Plainfield North Tigers against the Oswego East Wolves.

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Saint Francis football wins first game of 2016

The Fighting Saints (1-2) won its first game of the season against Missouri Baptist 38-14 on Saturday on its last of a three-game road trip to start 2016. Sophomore wide receiver Tyrell Mitchell scored two of the Saints’ five touchdowns. Junior quarterback Don Butkus went 22 of 31 passing for 210 yards and led the Saints with 77 rushing yards on eight carries.

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Joliet West wins at Romeoville

In a game that started out dominantly for Joliet West (2-2), Romeoville (0-4) was able to make it competitive at home on its Homecoming night. After allowing three touchdowns early, the Spartans were able to make it a game but ultimately fell short 21-16.

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Saint Francis football wins first game of 2016

Joliet West eked out a win against a formidable opponent in Romeoville this weekend as the

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Saint Francis football seeks first win against Missouri Baptist

The Saints have lost their first two games of the season and hope to score a win in their game this weekend against Missouri Baptist.

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Game of the Week: Minooka at Plainfield East

This week’s game features Plainfield East (2-0) welcoming Minooka (1-1) to town on Friday night. The Bengals are a very young team and while they boast an undefeated record through the first two weeks, they’re still learning on the job. Plainfield East’s quarterback, tailback, the defensive line, and three of their four linebackers are all playing their first season of varsity football. “We got off to a slow start Week 1 against Joliet Central,” Plainfield East Head Coach Mike Romeli said. “I think our kids kind of settled into Week 2 and did a really good job.” The Bengals won against Joliet Central, 6-0, and then defeated in-town rival Plainfield Central 42-20. Romeli praised his team’s defensive performance so far this season, which is allowing only ten points per game and has forced six turnovers in those two games. But what should be noted is that East’s first two opponents this season are a combined 1-3 in

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Joliet West loses close one to Oswego

Joliet West lost Saturday to Oswego but the team's coach said that despite that the team is headed in the right direction.

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No. 14 Saint Francis football looks to continue offensive success at UW-Platteville

The USF Saints will face a formidable opponent when they meet UW-Platteville’s offense in Wisconsin this weekend.

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Game of the Week: Minooka at Plainfield East

Undefeated Plainfield East will face its first real challenger when the Begals meet Minooka at home on Friday night.

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Joliet West takes down Plainfield South

Plainfield South fell to Joliet West this weekend as the Tigers take their first win as members of the Southwest Prairie Conference.

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Saint Francis football set to open season at St. Xavier

The game between St. Francis and St. Xavier will take place this Saturday, Sept. 3 at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

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American Legion post helping homeless veterans

Romeoville American Legion Post 52 in Romeoville is working to reduce homelessness among veterans in Will County.

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Romeoville Village Board approves tax sharing, development deal for local brewer

The Village of Romeoville recently struck a tax plan to help its own home-grown Metal Monkey Brewing continue to flourish.

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Expectations high for Fighting Saints Football in 2016

The University of St. Francis football team has its eye on a championship this season as the Fighting Saints prepare for their season opener on September 3.

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Habitat helps turn resident into a homeowner

Success is measured in many ways. Monica Smith is a social worker, mother of two children, and has a master’s degree in social work from the University of St. Francis. But it’s not just her professional accomplishments that make her story notable. Smith is a homeowner. That might not seem like an accomplishment worthy of putting on the list, but becoming a homeowner was a long and challenging process for the Joliet resident. Smith, 31, grew up with very little, but was determined to create a better life for herself and her children, the oldest of which she had while in high school. While attending school and working low wage jobs to make a living, she found affordable housing at Evergreen Terrace apartments and through the Joliet Housing Authority. Along the way, Smith wanted to find a way out of poverty through education and using the resources available to her.

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Local police departments host ‘National Night Out’

Held the first Tuesday in August, National Night Out promotes unity between the police and the residents they protect and serve.

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Church crusade strikes note for unity

In the face of the divisive rhetoric in the current social and political atmosphere, John King, organizer of the annual Joliet Crusaders for Christ has changed the focus of the organization he founded and renamed the annual revival “Churches United for Christ. King said the crusade, now in its 11th year, is important because the two-week event will not only provide the community with spiritual nourishment, but will fill a societal void. “This is really fundamentally what churches should do,” King said. “Churches should tear down barriers. They should forget about denominations and get together and show people love.”

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Romeoville Police hold memorial service for slain Dallas officers

Amidst national tensions about police brutality and the recent deadly shootings of five Dallas police officers, the Romeoville Police Department held a memorial service to honor all officers lost in the line of duty. Members of the police department, fire department, village board and dozens of residents gathered in front of Village Hall for the ceremony. “I think for anyone it’s a lot to take in, no matter who you are,” Romeoville Mayor John Noak said. “It’s a time for all of us to come together and have open communication about the issues that we’re facing every day and the bigger issues that are out there.” The ceremony was led by Rev. Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle, the police and fire departments’ volunteer chaplain. They held a 62-second moment of silence for the 62 police officers killed this year nationwide as of Friday. There were shirts and wristbands given out for residents to show their support for police officers. Many of those residents personally shook hands with the officers present and thanked them for their service.