Zion-Benton News


Stories from the July 21, 2016 Issue

Remembering Village Clerk Jana Lee in Winthrop Harbor

By Meridith Jumisko
Zion-Benton News staff 

There's an empty seat at the Winthrop Harbor Village Hall that will be hard to fill. On July 12, the village lost its Village Clerk, Director of Administration, Human Resources Director, and Collector. Jana Lee passed away - one day shy of her 53rd birthday - after a courageous battle with cancer. Funeral services were held on July 16. Her faith and her family were near and dear to her, and for those who knew her, she will never be forgotten.

Lee's career with the Village of Winthrop Harbor began when she was hired in June of 1994. She was first appointed to the position of Village Clerk on January 5, 1999, and was elected and then re-elected for each term that followed.

"She was a wonderful boss and friend to all of us in the office. She always took great care of her employees and we looked out for her too. We are going to miss her terribly," shares Julie Rittenhouse, an Administrative Assistant at Village Hall. She's also been serving as the Deputy Clerk under Lee, and was appointed as Interim Clerk at Tuesday's regular village board meeting. More...

WH Mayor promises to
veto license

By Meridith Jumisko
Zion-Benton News staff 

On the heels of the loss of their Village Clerk, Jana Lee, last week, emotions were running high at Tuesday's regular village board meeting in Winthrop Harbor. Mayor Robert Loy verbally attacked the four trustees that are in support of a man opening a new restaurant/bar in town - a man with a criminal record, according to Loy. Loy has promised to use his veto power at a future meeting to overturn the decision.

J. Michael Smith came before the board three times this year, to get a liquor license for his proposed Cornerstone Grille, which he plans to open at 1039 Sheridan Road. He was twice denied a license. Then at the last meeting on June 21 - when apparently his transgressions publicly came to light - four trustees voted in favor of granting a liquor license. Tuesday night, those trustees - Buddy Hargett, Dana McCarthy, Richard Robards, and Fritz Weiss - got quite an earful from Loy.

In June, a specific liquor license class was not specified. Thus, now the vote on Tuesday was to specifically give him a class "G" liquor license. Loy asked for a motion to turn down the request. Only trustees Robert Marabella and Kimberly D. Braden voted "yes" to deny. McCarthy then made a motion to support Smith's request. More...

Photo of the Week


On a visit to his Nana Dora, Zavier Zavala decides to help her cool off as she relaxes in the backyard. A cool pail of water may sound pretty good as the temperatures are expected to hit the 90s and feel like over 100 degrees Thursday and Friday.


Remember Veg-o-matic?

“But Wait … There’s More!” opened at the
Elmhurst History Museum last month and continues through Sept. 18. The exhibit tells the story of the Popeil family.


Enjoy Pokémon GO safely at Brookfield Zoo. Weedles & beetles, Zubats & fruit bats...you can catch ‘em all? at Brookfield Zoo! As Pokémon GO gains steam,
where better to go find the some of the most popular and rare Pokémon than Brookfield Zoo?


Michael Bogdala of Winthrop Harbor was on vacation in Crystal Falls, Mich. on Sunday, July 17 when he and his friend Chris Bitto went fishing on the Paint River and landed a large Muskie.