Zion-Benton News

Stories from the September 18, 2014 Issue


Potential hotel development project in Winthrop Harbor

By Meridith Jumisko
Zion-Benton News staff 

Often discussed by the powers that be in Winthrop Harbor is to one day see a hotel go up at the lakefront, as the original North Point Marina master development plan detailed. But one at Sheridan Road and Seventh Street? It could happen if one development group has its way.

Preliminary interest has been shown from a developer to develop the "triangle" project in Winthrop Harbor. This is located at the northeast corner of Sheridan Road and Seventh Street - where businesses and houses are now. It should be stressed that no agreements are in place and everything is very preliminary, according to Pat DiPersio, Director of Community Development.

For many years, the village has been seeking ways to develop and/or redevelop both the lakefront and downtown Winthrop Harbor. The goal is economic development - to increase non-residential revenue sources so there is less of a burden on residents.
Commercial development results in both property tax and sales tax revenues.

According to DiPersio, the development group Fidei became aware of the "triangle" opportunity and began exploring it. The group showed interest and came to the village before the new downtown zoning code was put into place. Now that it's in place, two representatives from the group came back at Tuesday's regular village board meeting to share what their vision is for the area. More...

Zion teen father to be sentenced
for murder

By Ginny Skweres

Zion-Benton News staff 

Victor Salinas-Corona, 18, appeared in court Monday on the charge of first-degree murder of his infant child. He admitted to killing his 5-month-old son, Ayden Salinas, by hitting his head against the crib because the baby wouldn't stop crying on Feb. 27.

The baby had stopped breathing and Zion Police and Rescue was called on Feb. 28. They took the baby to Vista East Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The autopsy revealed a crack nearly an inch long in the baby’s head. The parents were arrested the following day.

In a partially negotiated plea he admitted his guilt in exchange for dropping additional counts of murder and capping his sentencing at 30 years, Assistant States Attorney Jim Newman said. He was originally charged with two counts of first degree murder. He had also been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and no FOID card.

Ayden's mother, Aurora Escamilla, 20, of Beach Park, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment earlier and was sentenced to time served and was required to pay court costs. She did not take part in the beating but was present at the time and aware of previous abuse. More...

Photo of the Week

An estimated 800 people of all ages came out Sept. 11 to participate in the Community of Character Walk despite the unseasonably cold weather. The Walk, sponsored by the Zion Police Department and Zion Park
District, is part of the move to create a better community by living and modeling positive character traits. The effort encompasses all three Zion-Benton communities: Zion, Winthrop Harbor and Beach Park.


Jubilee Festival Parade winners

The Mayor’s Trophy was presented to Beach Park Community Church Puppets for Christ for overall best entry.

School News

Christian Elrod and Amelia Smith add contour lines to their drawing. In art class 5th grade students had a discussion about what an artist draws then they draw a still life arrangement. Students then looked for two items in the art room to arrange for their drawing. Students also read
information about the artist Janet Fish.


Augustana senior goalkeeper Brett Johnson, a Z-BTHS graduate, was named this week’s College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Defensive Player of the Week. Johnson recorded five saves Sept. 12 as the Augustana College soccer team shut out Lake Forest 1-0; his second solo shutout of the season. He is a biology major and the son of Lance and Debi Johnson of Beach Park.