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Articles written by Mark Gregory

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  • Comedian Nikki Glaser to play Joliet

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Apr 20, 2023

    In July of 2022, Nikki Glaser headlined her own HBO special, 'Good Clean Filth', which has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Comedy Special, she has been one of the stars of Comedy Central roasts of Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis and Rob Lowe and even guest hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live, and on Jan. 21, the St. Louis native will make the four-hour trip from her home to do a pair of shows at downtown Joliet's historic Rialto Square Theater on her current 'The Good Girl... Full story


    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jun 3, 2022

    Anyone that ever spent time around Romeoville High School graduate Abby Smith knows that no matter if she was on the basketball court or the softball field, she was always as positive as she was relentless her pursuit of a victory for her teammates. A few things have changed over the years -her last name as changed to Talley, her battle is now in the game of life and her No. 1 teammate is only eight months old. Her attitude, energy and determination, however, are still the... Full story

  • Success in a season that almost wasn't

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Nov 14, 2021

    This season, the baseball team at Crest Hill's Richland Grade School posted a 10-5 record and won its opening game of the IESA state regionals. However, the success of the Eagles this year came the moment the players took the field. This season almost didn't happen for Richland as the school board decided in March to abolish baseball, softball and golf from the slate of sports offered by the school due to lack of participation. After upset parents and coach Joe Marshall voiced... Full story

  • Levaris gets a worthy birthday salute

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Sep 13, 2021

    Gus Levaris got the surprise of a lifetime on Independence Day weekend, thanks in large part to former student Bill Otis. Levaris celebrated his 90th birthday on July 3 and just as he does almost daily, he showed up that day at the Dunkin' Donuts on Route 30, across from the Louis Joliet Mall, to have a beverage and read the daily papers. This time, however, the extremely private Korean War Veteran was met with a host of people to wish him a happy birthday. Otis had arranged... Full story

  • Going for Gold: Niles West's Loyd is an Olympian

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Sep 13, 2021

    In 2015, Niles West graduate Jewell Loyd decided to leave the University of Notre Dame after her junior season and enter the WNBA draft . Not only did Loyd become the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA by the Seattle Storm, she also became the Gold Mamba, a nickname given to her by her mentor - the late Kobe Bryant. Already a two-time WNBA champion, and has three-time gold medalist as a member of USA Basketball at the FIBA U17 World Cup in 2010, the FIBA 3x3 World Cup in 2014 and... Full story

  • East's Louck tabbed as Player of the Year

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Sep 13, 2021

    For some high school sophomores, just making the varsity team is the highlight of the season. For Plainfield East’s Brady Louck, he did more than just make the team, he made people take notice. Louck pitched in two of the Bengals’ biggest games of the season — and dominated both of them ­— helping East turn a bad start to the season into an IHSA Class 4A state championship. The lefty pitched East into the state finals with a commanding performance against Brother Rice for... Full story

  • Niles West's Loyd earns Olympic Gold

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Sep 13, 2021

    With a 90-75 win over Japan, the United States women's Olympic basketball won its seventh consecutive Gold medal. The biggest story of the game was guards Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi winning their fifth Gold – becoming the only player, men or women, to accomplish that feat. And, while Bird and Taurasi are the storyline, there are six members of the US team in their first Olympic games – one of them being Niles West graduate Jewell Loyd. The 27-year-old Loyd, who recently mad... Full story

  • Students tell stories of learning in a pandemic

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    For more than a year, students have been forced to learn in a way unlike any time in history. From learning strictly online to partial days with masks and social distancing to hybrid methods — it has been a whirlwind for young learners across the country. As the CDC and state officials set guidelines and school districts implemented plans with the input of teachers, parents, administrators and support staff, often times the group that was left without a voice was the one t... Full story

  • Angels hit the ball hard, but come up short in state final tilt

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    Wrigley – it is a name people know as the name of a baseball stadium on Chicago's north side or as the chewing gum company from where the stadium earned its name. Add to that list the name of the third baseman for the Joliet Catholic Academy softball team. If it wasn't known already, freshman Wrigley Fanter made her name known in the softball world with a 5-for-7 day in the IHSA Class 2A tournament Wednesday afternoon. Fanter was 3-4 in the Angels' 5-0 semifinal win over Unity... Full story

  • Minooka, JCA headed to Peoria

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    In the sectional semifinal, the Minooka softball team showed its ability to use a big inning for a come-from-behind win. In the Illinois State University Supersectioal Monday, the Indians used strong pitching and small ball to get past SPC West foe Yorkville 5-1 and punch their second trip to the state finals in school history. Up next is date with Lincoln-Way Central, who defeated Minooka 11-1 on April 22. The Knights defeated St. Charles North 5-4 in Orland Park to with thei... Full story

  • Local collector sells rare item on A&E show

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    Collectors of memorabilia not only collect in hopes that their items will increase in value and eventually be sold for a profit, but they also collect for sentimental reasons. Their collections reflect a time period, person or moment in pop culture that the collector is passionate about. For Plainfield resident Vito Thomaselli, that passion is professional wrestling. His love for wrestling and passion for collecting came together last August when two-time WWE Hall of Famer... Full story

  • A 'Grate' Life: Joliet sign fabricator dies at 97

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    As the Rialto Rialto Square Theater sits in downtown Joliet as one of the city's most treasured landmarks, the marquee that adorns the front of the theater is a memorial in its own way to the Michalak family. Longtime Joliet resident, Steve Michalak, who grew up on the east side of Joliet, was instrumental in building the current marquee sign for the Rialto Square Theater in 1980. The sign is a replica of the original from 1926."They wanted me to copy from the original, and... Full story

  • JCA wins semifinal 5-0, advances to IHSA Class 2A state finals

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    In a dominating 5-0 performance over Unity High School from Tolono, Joliet Catholic Academy punched its ticket to the IHSA Class 2A finals to be held at Louisville Slugger complex in Peoria at 5 p.m. tonight. The Angels opened the scoring in the top of the first when senior pitcher Andie Broniewicz drove in Wrigley Fanter and Charlie Kinsella to give JCA a lead it would never squander. Broniewicz went to work, tossing her second consecutive shutout and improving to 18-6 with... Full story

  • Indians enter playoffs with below .500 record, exit as one of four medalists

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jul 13, 2021

    When the IHSA Class 4A postseason started, the Minooka girls softball team entered with a record of 11-13 and coming off a fourth-place finish in the SPC West. With a regular season like that, there were not many people who thought the Indians had a chance at a regional title. Minooka claimed the regional title, used a pair of comebacks in the sectional - including their post-lighting delay rally to win the title over Belleville East and then drubbed a Yorkville team that they... Full story

  • Minooka's 'Wondergirls' come back after lightning delay to win sectional title

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jun 11, 2021

    In the movie and book 'The Natural' it was a bat crafted out a tree struck by lightning that was dubbed Wonderboy that seemingly gave Roy Hobbs his ability to literally knock the cover off the baseball. Nothing was struck by lightning Friday night in the Class 4A Minooka Sectional championship game, but it was after a lightning delay that the Indians' bats came to life - dub them 'Wondergirls.' The Indians (15-13) came out of the delay like a team possessed, scoring 5 runs in... Full story

  • Hogan pitches West to SPC East title

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated May 25, 2021

    A year ago, the Joliet West baseball team was ready to compete. The Tigers were coming off a loss in the regional championship game and had several key players back. That season, however, was lost to the pandemic protocol set forth by the State of Illinois and the Illinois High School Association. Entering the 2021 season, West knew it had a few talented players, but there were a lot of question marks — namely could a conference pitching rotation that saw 6-foot, 8-inch sophomore Conner Hogan as the elder of the staff be e... Full story

  • Crest Hill's Hareld joins Space Force

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated May 17, 2021

    Whether it was ship captains navigating by the stars, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon or the countless Hollywood adaptations of what the future may look like, space has been a constant source of intrigue dating back to the beginning of time. In December of 2019, the United States Space Force became the newest branch of the Armed Forces. It is responsible for "developing Guardians, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and... Full story

  • Hogan, Batusich team up to lead West

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated May 10, 2021

    In a May where the weather has been nothing shy of cold for many high school baseball games, there has been some heat on the area diamonds. Two of the hottest players around teamed up to form the Joliet West battery Monday night at as the Tigers traveled to rival Joliet Central for the first in a three-game series with the rival Steelmen. The duo did not disappoint. Six-foot, 7-inch sophomore lefty Conner Hogan went into the game with an area-leading four wins and ran that... Full story

  • Timbers honor Joni Hilger with award

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated May 10, 2021

    Joni Hilger was one of the most dedicated and beloved volunteers at the Timbers of Shorewood – so much so that she was selected as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year and was slated to be presented with her award in April of last year. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the presentation did not take place and tragically, Joni was struck by a car in front of her house and died instantly on June 4, 2020. On May 8, 2021, the Volunteer of the Year award was finally presented to J... Full story

  • Ex-Bolingbrook Raider inks with Vikings

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated May 4, 2021

    Former Bolingbrook High School and Ohio State University linebacker Tuf Borland will continue his football career with the Minnesota Vikings after signing as an undrafted free agent. He joins the team coached by another local product in Lockport Township High School graduate Mike Zimmer - one of the few defensive minded head coaches in the NFL. "I just learned about that connection earlier in the process before the draft," Borland said of Zimmer's ties to the area. "It is... Full story

  • WIDE RIGHT: After no discussion, Richland Grade School's new plan is amazingly worse than the old one

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Apr 29, 2021

    I logged into the Richland Grade School District 88A Zoom school board meeting April 28 looking for information on a follow-up story to the run I ran a few weeks back about the school cutting three sports – baseball, softball and golf to get more participation. What I got was more confusion. Before we get into the meeting, let's tackle the logic of eliminating sports to get more kids involved. You understand that one? I don't. Cutting three sports that have been in the s... Full story

  • JCA's 'special' senior class finishes season 6-0

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Apr 27, 2021

    In 2018 when JCA won the IHSA Class 5A state football title, it was apparent to those watching the games just how battle-tested the Hilltoppers were. Joliet Catholic lost four games that season and needed to win its final game just to qualify for the playoffs. What fans didn't see, however, was maybe the Hilltoppers' toughest opponent - their own underclassmen. "There wee a couple sophomores that started on varsity on the championship team, but we don't win that championship... Full story

  • Joliet West's Evans victim of 'hate crime'

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Apr 10, 2021

    Jazzpher Evans, a graduate of Joliet West High School and freshman at Quincy University, spoke out Thursday along with her family and attorney after she was brutally attacked in the early morning hours of April 4. Her alleged attacker was Steven William Homan, the owner of the Barn Nightclub, where Evans and a friend were enjoying a Saturday night out. Evans tells a story of two college girls, standing near an unoccupied DJ stand when Homan approached her. "We were just... Full story

  • JCA defeats Minooka in match-up of two local powers

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Apr 9, 2021

    Two schools, separated by a 20-minute ride down Interstate-80, both programs that have had much success on the local volleyball landscape over the recent times, yet during normal seasons don't play each other. This year is not normal and Friday night, Minooka and Joliet Catholic Academy faced off in Minooka on the Indians' senior night. Behind a match -high 12 kills from Alexis Mines, the Angels win in two sets, 25-18, 25-23. "We just couldn't stop Alexis and (Crystal... Full story

  • 604 Initiative offers mentorship to youth

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Apr 8, 2021

    If it truly takes a village to raise a child, then rest easy Will County - the village is here. The 604 Initiative, a non-profit organization designed to serve minority and underprivileged youth in Northern Will County is "committed to educating and inspiring leaders of tomorrow through leadership and character development, mentorship and partnerships." While the 604 Initiative came to be after the civil unrest in the world this past year, it is something Howard has been... Full story

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