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Rex Robinson

Stories by Rex

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Joliet group plans to keep fighting despite judge’s ruling

An initiative to change the make up of Joliet's City Council and its districts will not be on the November ballot following a judge's ruling this week.

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Local pastor responds to mass shootings with art

Multiple deaths, grieving families and frightened communities are too often the results of gun violence, and when these national tragedies strike, they spread over the airwaves like a cancer. How people respond to this violence is important. The healing begins only when people respond with something other than violence. Pastor Lonnie Posley Sr., of Joliet, chooses to respond with art. An artist who has been honing skills for only the past six or seven years, Posley creates works of art in response to mass shootings around the country and then visits those places and donates the paintings to the communities suffering in the aftermath. For his latest project, he created a-piece titled “Broken But Not Bent” in response to the five Dallas Texas police officer that were killed after being gunned down by a sniper. “Art is a great way to bring about healing to the families and all those involved in these tragedies. What’s from the heart reaches the heart,” Posley said recently while sitting among some of his works at New Cannanland Church on Clinton Street in Joliet, where he is also the Senior Pastor. He and his brother traveled to Dallas on Aug. 16 to hand deliver the painting to the police chief and other city officials. The piece now hangs in the office of the Dallas police chief, Posley said.

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Judge delays validation decision for Joliet group’s ballot question

A Will County circuit court judge has delayed a decision until later this month on the validity of a ballot question that seeks to eliminate Joliet's at-large council seats.

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Stopping it before it starts

Children focus of local drug and alcohol prevention coalitions

More than 2,000 community leaders and substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists from around the world, including one from Will County, convened late last month at the Las Vegas Mirage Resort for the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America’s15th annual mid-year Training Institute. Cherry Powell, prevention coordinator with Chestnut Health Systems in Joliet, was among those on hand at the national conference, one of two held annually, to seek information to strengthen local programs aimed at preventing children from using drugs and alcohol. Powell is the prevention coordinator for the Will County Substance Abuse Coalition as well as the Lockport Homer Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention.

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Joliet group’s referendum question could be ruled invalid

A ballot referendum to change Joliet's city council to 8 districts may be at risk of being thrown off the November ballot and is now awaiting a decision by the Will County Circuit Court.

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Fifth annual Back 2 School Blast this Saturday in Joliet

The annual event includes free food, school supplies and other fun stuff for the whole family.

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Local officials see bridge to better economic times

Project expected to bring reduced traffic, jobs and more to Will County

State and county officials announced this week a plan to build a new Houbolt Road bridge linking Interstate 80 and the intermodal facilities in Will County. The plan is expected to not only create jobs but also help alleviate traffic congestion near the intermodal site.

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Tech upgrades major achievement for McGuire

Joliet resident passes on running for sixth Will County Circuit Clerk term

Pam McGuire remembers vividly walking into her office after being sworn in as the new Will County Circuit Court Clerk in 1996 and looking for a computer.

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Retail jobs dominate area employment offerings

Experts encourage workers to pursue management opportunities

New fast-food restaurants, retail stores and strip mall developments are popping up all over Will County, a good sign that the economy is slowly rebuilding after five long recessionary years.

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T.J. Maxx leaving Crest Hill

The T.J. Maxx clothing retailer in Crest Hill will be closing once a new store now under construction opens in Romeoville later this year.

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New Lenox gets state grant to extend Old Plank Trail

The Village of New Lenox has been awarded more than $200,000 in state grant funding to extend Old Plank Trail and make it more accessible for Providence High School students as well area residents.

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Bolingbrook students get career lessons from business owners

It’s never too early to start thinking about a career. That could be the motto for Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook ...

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Thousands of dead trees overshadow Arbor Day

Emerald Ash Borer problem hits critical stage throughout region

As local communities get set to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, this year’s annual celebration of all things trees is somewhat of a mixed bag with all villages and cities facing a huge problem from a little green monster known as the Emerald Ash Borer.

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Buckling under pressure

Lack of constant repair to county courthouse causes serious structural damage.

A crew on Wednesday was busy fixing a 6-by-12 foot section of brick flooring on the first floor of the Will County Courthouse that buckled under the pressure of extensive foot traffic Tuesday afternoon.

Canine unit coming to Lockport

Lockport police will soon be getting a new furry, four legged, highly trained partner on the force. The department is expected to get a canine unit later this summer after Police Chief Terrence Lemming worked out a deal with the Lemont Police Department to swap its canine unit vehicle in exchange for a Lockport squad car.

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A celebration of trees

Early Arbor Day celebration held at Wesmere School in Plainfield

They did skits about the importance of recycling and caring for the environment, learned how to properly plant a tree and they all went home with a small sapling to plant in their yards.

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Homer Glen meeting Tuesday on Woodbine Golf Course purchase

Homer Glen village officials will discuss the village’s purchase of the Woodbine Golf Course at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 at village hall, 14917 S. Founders Crossing.

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Veteran’s housing proposal gets green light from Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals

A nonprofit group’s plan to bring a veteran’s housing project to Joliet passed a major hurdle Thursday when the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously in favor of a special use permit for the development.

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Joliet city officials support increased court fees for new courthouse

Joliet city officials have given a nod to a plan by Will County to initiate a fee for each court case filed to help pay for a new courthouse in the city’s downtown.

Veteran’s housing round two

Joliet’s Zoning Board of Appeals is set to hear plans for Thursday for the veteran’s housing project proposed for the property which includes the former Silver Cross Hospital.

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Bettye Gavin appointed to fill vacant Joliet Council seat

Gavin to fill out remaining term of Susie Barber who resigned in March

Longtime Joliet resident and Forest Park Community Center Director Bettye Gavin can now add 4th District City Councilwoman to her resume.

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Mayor to nominate someone to fill vacant 4th District council seat

Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante, sticking to a pledge he made weeks ago, plans to nominate someone to fill the 4th district council seat left vacant when Susie Barber resigned due to health reasons.

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County board members visit Capitol Hill to advocate for local concerns

Will County Board members this week flew-in to Washington, D.C. to advance its legislative agenda with the county's congressional delegation. The meetings came during National County Government Month and in the midst of federal budget negotiations.

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New intersection coming for Romeoville High School

Construction is expected to get underway in the next couple of weeks on a new intersection that will provide safer way in and out of Romeoville High School.

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Ficarello opts not to pursue recount in primary

Nick Ficarello, who ran for Will County Sheriff in last month’s Republican Primary race against Ken Kaupas, has reportedly decided not to pursue a recount.

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Sparks fly over Joliet mayor's comments on crime stats report

O'Dekirk accuses Giarrante of playing politics, and Giarrante responds

A recent study released by the Joliet Police Department examining crime trends at multi-family complexes in the city over the last 13 years shows Fairview was the worst with a 175 percent increase.

Debate continues over complex

Consultants present new redevelopment plans

A real estate consulting firm responsible for redeveloping several low-income housing projects in Chicago, including Cabrini-Green, this week gave Joliet city officials a preview of how it could help redevelop Evergreen Terrace should the city prevail in its ongoing condemnation lawsuit of the 365-unit complex on Broadway Street.

Officials say more needed to reduce workplace harassment

Illinois ranked fifth in the nation for workplace harassment and discrimination charges in 2013, according to a recently released study from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The ranking showed a total of 4,781 harassment and discrimination charges last year, which is actually a more than 12 percent decrease from 2012. However, according to those who work closely with workers in Will County, harassment and discrimination in warehouses continues to be a problem. “Every month we see hundreds of people,” said Leah Fried, spokeswoman for the Warehouse Workers for Justice based in Joliet. “Discrimination is something that occurs fairly regularly in warehouses and we encourage workers to learn their rights.”

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Joliet housing could get state kick-start

Housing Authority could receive money for the project by next year

The Housing Authority of Joliet’s plans to redevelop a 112-unit housing project, deemed “functionally obsolete” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, could get underway next year.

Bolingbrook firearms instructor stripped of Concealed Carry training credentials

A firearms instructor from Bolingbrook is no longer approved to instruct Illinois Concealed Carry Curricula, and 327 applicants trained by the instructor will receive notification that their application has been denied due to improper training, according to the Illinois State Police.

Bolingbrook man dies after being struck by a vehicle in Romeoville

A 33-year-old Bolingbrook man was killed when he walking along Illinois Route 53 in Romeoville and was struck by an SUV, according to police.

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HAJ pursues redevelopment of Des Plaines Garden Homes

Development would include mix of single family homes and townhouses

A 112-unit housing project in Joliet could be demolished to make way for a mix of single-family homes and townhouses in the next few years if the Housing Authority of Joliet is successful in obtaining $16 million for the project from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

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Foster launches jobs program for 11th district

Challenge will be getting applicants trained, ready for high-tech jobs

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) on Friday launched ‘Project Growth,’ an initiative aimed at creating jobs and economic development in11th Congressional District, which includes Will County.

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Walsh named to Illinois State Freight Advisory Council

Will County Executive Larry Walsh has been appointed a charter member of a new state freight advisory council by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.

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Romeoville’s new center opens

The official opening of the Romeoville Athletic & Events Center in the village’s downtown area, now known as Uptown Square, and already the center is a hit with sports groups and other event organizers, according to village officials.

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Will County ranked among healthiest in Illinois

Will County has ranked 25th among the healthiest counties in Illinois according to a study released on Wednesday and for the fifth consecutive year, according to county Health Department officials. The study, called Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH), uses data sets collected from numerous sources to rank the health of each Illinois County. The University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute authored the MATCH project with the help of funding provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Lockport to hire firm to attract retail

Lockport has three retail markets along 159th Street and the city is about to contract with a firm that will focus on recruiting retailers for all of them.

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District 205’s Lukasik earns Presidential Volunteer Award again

John Lukasik, board president at Lockport Township High School District 205, has once again been named a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Lockport looks to Joliet for emergency water supply

The City of Lockport currently has no emergency water supply with a neighboring municipality and depends solely on its own water system being fully operational. City Administrator Ben Benson is looking to change that to avoid a potential emergency situation and contract with the City of Joliet to provide an emergency water connection. The proposed connection to a water main hook-up at Rosalind Road and Farrell Road could also provide a water supply from Lockport to Joliet should Joliet need an emergency water supply.

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Promenade Bolingbrook sale to close next month

Forest City Enterprises is set to close in April on the sale of the Promenade Bolingbrook Shopping Center at Boughton Road and Interstate 355 for more than $80 million to Starwood Retail Partners.

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Natural gas buildup caused house explosion

Joliet Fire Department investigators have determined that a natural gas buildup caused a house to explode earlier this week on the city's far East side.

Many voters bypass polls

The losers of Tuesday’s Primary Election have licked their wounds and the winners are now preparing for the most important next phase – the general election in November.

Community wants accountability

The process of replacing former Joliet City Councilwoman Susie Barber is well underway as Mayor Tom Giarrante has received some resumes and has started interviewing potential candidates. Giarrante said he hopes to have the 4th District seat filled by the second week of April.

Voters reject most tax increase proposals

Voters in the Primary Election were mixed when it came to referendum questions.

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Road relief for Homer Glen residents

Will County Board Members Steve Balich (R-Homer Glen) and Mike Fricilone (R-Homer Glen) expressed relief that the 143rd Street corridor road improvements in Homer Glen will not include raised medians, except at major intersections.

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One celebrates while another waits

And then there were two. Voters on Tuesday shaved three candidates from the list of five vying for the chance to represent their respective political parties in the November general election for Will County Sheriff.

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Unity CDC holds forum on upcoming appointment in Joliet City Council District 4

The process of replacing former 4th District Joliet City Councilwoman Susie Barber is well underway and Mayor Tom Giarrante is accepting resumes and starting to interview potential candidates.

Joliet Regional Chamber turns 100

When it began in 1914 it had probably less than 25 members and today it has more than 1,200. The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

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A year of economic highs for Romeoville

Noak outlines progress made in 2013 in State of Village address

From welcoming more than 85 new businesses to unveiling a new Athletic and Event Center, Romeoville Mayor John Noak looked back on a year of positive economic developments in his State of the Village Address held at Lewis University.

Top Dems and Republicans say sheriff’s race one to watch

Primary elections, especially those lacking a presidential race, tend get low voter turnout. While no one can predict how many will show up to the polls for this coming Tuesday’s Primary Election, it is probably safe to say that many polling place will be somewhat quite, depending on where you live.