Zion-Benton News

Stories from the April 24, 2014 Issue

They’re there for you 24/7

By Ginny Skweres
Zion-Benton News staff 

There could be a strange man lurking in the backyard late at night or a traffic accident with injuries. Who are you going to call? 911, naturally! They are always there to answer a call, day or night, weekends as well as weekdays. On top of that, they have a calm voice and know how to help when the world is falling apart around the caller.

"If they're calling 911, they're having a bad day. We have some very patient people here. They calm things down to get the information so they can get first responders out," said Lt. Michael Gregory who heads up the Communication Center of the Lake County Sheriff's Office in Libertyville. "They do a fantastic job."

Events can trigger a multitude of calls, Lt. Gregory said. Two of their busiest days in the past couple of years were the school bus accident on its way to Newport School in Beach Park and the 'Snowmageddon' a couple of winters ago.

In the first, parents from many districts were calling 911 to see what school district was involved and if their child was on that bus.   More ...

F. I. S. T. celebrates five year anniversary

By Ginny Skweres

Zion-Benton News staff 

Former Inmates Striving Together is a faith-based non-profit organization made up of formerly incarcerated men and women who are helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society. Their goal is to change lives and prevent ex-offenders from repeating a crime by providing better options. Recidivism is costly to society and to individuals on both sides of the equation.

Like most non-profit organizations, funding is sparse and F.I.S.T. is having this fund-raising event in celebration of their fifth anniversary, as well as their free second annual food tasting contest.

However, admission is free. F.I.S.T. founder and president Jim Schmitt wants members to be able to take part in the celebration. "How can you celebrate if you can't afford to come?" he asked. Money will hopefully be raised through raffle tickets, a silent auction and the sale of items from the F.I.S.T. gift shop. “I really fel this is the year we could really take off,” he said. More...


Photo of the Week


Paulina and Italia Ramirez are all smiles after the Zion Park District’s Easter Egg Hunt. They filled their hoods with the filled eggs and to top the day they met the Easter Bunny who was checking in at several egg hunts around the


New Fire Chief

Justin Stried, appointed Winthrop Harbor Fire Chief in January, has goals to make
the fire department more community-oriented and to equip it with a dive team.


Beach Park Band Boosters held their Seventh Annual Festival of Fine Arts
at Beach Park Middle School last weekend. Principal Ray Ruiz and art teacher Alison Merritt with some of the students work that was displayed.


The Northern Illinois Flag Football League’s season kicks off with a Pep
Rally Friday, April 25 at the Zion Park District Sports Arena. Pictured: Isiah Telledo and Davion Darby play with gusto.