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In her private bedroom on Wednesday, Feb. 4, Viola Van Dam is looking quite comfortable. 

Just two days earlier, Van Dam traversed unknown territory as she became the first resident of Victorian Village’s Health & Wellness Center Small House — a Homer Glen facility that is the first of its kind in the state of Illinois — but it’s quickly become home sweet home for Van Dam and several other new residents.

Thomas Czaja

To the naked eye, Shady Oaks Camp may look like your average summer camp. Sure, the campgrounds at 16300 S. Parker Road, Homer Glen, have dorms, picnic tables, a pool, open space and camp counselors.

But to the campers, individuals of all ages who have disabilities, the camp is like no place else. 

On Sunday, July 20, the campers were able to share their beloved campground with the whole community as Shady Oaks hosted its 67th annual open house, with a circus theme, on a pristine summer day.

Meredith Dobes

It might not be long before Lockport can boast that it has an Olympian raised in town.

Haley Augello, a graduate of Lockport Township High School, is dedicating her life to trying to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in women’s wrestling.

While she joked that her sport is so obscure “you have to get up at 4 a.m. to watch it” she is serious about qualifying on the world’s stage in Brazil two summers from now.

Lauren Finkler

According to a police report from the Will County Sheriff’s Office, three male and three female suspects  — seen on a surveillance camera — entered the Meijer at 14169 S. Bell Road  on July 7 and allegedly stole nine bottles of Cognac. Two of the females also approached the service desk to return items without a receipt. When asked to provide identification, they gave it. Criminal charges are being pursued by the store.

July 10

Thomas Czaja

The Benes family’s lives will never be the same.

Whether thoughts of Kevin Benes are spurred by his absence during the holidays, his favorite color, his athletic competitiveness or a favorite photo of him, he is remembered, loved and missed every day.

“Our lives are different now, because, you know, one of us isn’t here,” said Kevin’s mother, Marilyn, who lost her son on Dec. 11, 2009, when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver. “Life has changed.

Lauren Finkler

In this job, I get plenty of unexpected emails.

That never rang more true than two weeks ago when I was first contacted by Homer Glen’s Dan Donegan, the guitarist for the highly-successful metal and hard rock band Disturbed. To my surprise, Dan told me a bit of his background, first moving to Homer in the mid 1980s and again moving here with his wife and children in 2007. He invited me to attend Disturbed’s first show out of  their hiatus at the sold out House of Blues.

Amanda Jarzynski
How did you start playing softball? When I was really young [8 or 9 years old], my grandparents’ neighbor coached a softball team, and one day we went out and practiced, and he said, “Hey, I think that she could be really good.”
Erin Redmond

Sarah Calvert, 13, of Homer Glen, and an eighth-grader from Homer Jr. High School, has been taking art classes for a few years.
 While she has experimented with an assortment of media, she said she does not have a favorite yet.

Amanda Jarzynski
Those who have stopped by the Szajkovics’ Homer Glen home year after year during the holidays to see their radiant display of lights will notice something different that’s wrapped around their walkway tree.
Jacquelyn Schlabach

Homer Glen residents looking for a new spot to grab a slice of pizza are in luck.

Baldinelli Pizza has expanded to Homer Glen, opening its doors Friday, Feb. 5. The pizzeria will be at the former site of Great American Pizza. Baldinelli is owned by Vince Distasio and run with the help of his family, including his father, Tom Distasio, and fiance, Michelle Honein.

“It was a good opportunity,” Tom said. “We’ll be happy to serve the community and the surrounding communities.”

Max Lapthorne