Dave Allison

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Art Show lets disabled speak for themselves

"This entire Art Show just grew organically from the need for out disabled clients to give themselves a voice," said Cornerstone Services P.R. Matthew Lanoue in speaking of the upcoming Annual Art Show, Thursday, June 6 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 North Ottawa in downtown Joliet. "The program came about through some of the work of our staff, who have an interest in art, and some of the outside individuals who come in to help out with our adult programs. The Cornerstone staff then set about creating an art studio out of some unused warehouse space, to create a place for those with disabilities to let their creative juices flow. "This arts project developed over many years. We found that there were a number of individuals who weren't comfortable with some of our other programs. We found that with people who can't talk or speak their mind that, if you give them a paintbrush or a pencil, they flourish,"Lanoue continued. "They become very productive and prolific. Some of the work they create is truly amazing and some of them have developed a following of people who collect their artwork."

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Joliet Peace Walk using smiles to fight community violence

news@thetimesweekly.com When Joliet Central High School teachers Jeffrey Grimes, Ernest Crim and Fabio Marquez came up with the idea of a peace walk to give students an opportunity to vent their frustration over the rising problem of community violence, they had no idea that it would catch on. What began as a simple walk around the school with handmade signs calling for an end to violence in and calls for youth to find peaceful means to resolving conflict, grew into a full fledged march from Joliet Central to downtown Joliet with signs that, not only called for an end to violence, but suggested positive ways to promote peace in the community. In the Peace Walk, which was held this past week, the students and their signs suggested offering hugs, smiles and friendly greetings to neighbors and community members and doing things like supporting local businesses and learning the names of store owners and neighbors and greeting them by name. "Its a small step, "Jeffrey Grimes admitted, "but you'd be surprised how something as simple as a smile might cause someone to think differently about the encounters they will have over the course of a day. They might carry that smile over with them and it could help ease a conflict situation." Grimes said this year's march was especially significant because Fabio Marquez, one of the walk's originators, died a year ago this week. "The original idea was to give the students a platform upon which they could express their voices and the idea was peace in the community and in their individual neighborhoods. The larger objective is to ask students and those in the community at large to take a pledge to resolve disputes without violence." Grimes says the first march was simply a walk around the school with the students carrying handmade placards that read things like "Stop The Violence" and other simple anti-violence messages. "The students noticed that people were honking as they passed by in their cars and that others would stop and talk to them on the street. That's when we decided to expand it into a full fledged walk and to offer more proactive solutions on the signs, such as asking people to share a hug or a smile with their neighbors, store owners and even people in the community as a way of spreading a positive vibe that would lead to non-violent behavior." We found that the students are using social media to spread the word, and they were getting responses from the community at large.

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Conway Barber Shop celebrates 50 years in business

Local businessman making History

When 84-year old Mr. Percy Conway moved to Joliet to stay with relatives from his native Canton, Mississippi as a teenager, his father's words rang in his ears.

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The woman who's making it happen

Will County Board member Denise Winfrey leading the way to Capital Improvements in the county

"Revitalize. Reinvigorate. Renovate." You might say Will County Board member Denise Winfrey is an advocate of the 'three R's" as she discusses her work as chairwoman of the board's Capital Improvements Committee.

Big Brothers Big Sisters launch groundbreaking program

"We're really excited that Joliet has been chosen as one of the six cities nationwide that will run the first pilot program for mentor2.0, a unique mentoring program that will match mentors from the corporate community with at-risk teens who hopefully will become the first in their families to go to college."

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County jobs increase in tandem with U.S. economic turnaround

Many people who have been out of work during the recession have given up looking because of the low quality of the jobs.

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Home for the holiday gives new meaning with Habitat

More than 50 families have a special reason to celebrate this holiday season. They are living in homes provided through Will County Habitat for Humanity, which is now celebrating its 25th year of operation.

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