Zion-Benton News

Stories from the November 27, 2014 Issue

New Tech students collect
food for Thanksgiving

By Ginny Skweres
Zion-Benton News staff 

Two groups joined forces to conduct a food drive a New Tech. The Interact Club and the National Honor Society from New Tech have been collecting food on campus from students and staff for two weeks, as well as going out on Halloween and trick-or-treating for non-perishable food in Beach Park and Winthrop Harbor.

In addition to making their own donations, teachers encouraged student donations by offering extra credit for food donations. Altogether, about 1,250 food items were collected, with 500 items coming from the students and staff.

The donations are going to A Safe Place in Waukegan and they will distribute the food in and around Zion for Thanksgiving, according to history teacher Matt Hutchison who heads up the Interact Club. Interact Club is associated with the Rotary Club.

"Our goal is to get the students started in volunteering and giving back to the community," Hutchison said. There are about 25 members in the club, which is its second year. Returning members are excited about the project and coming back, he said. This is the second year for a food drive and members have also collected pop tabs and packed food. More...

Torrez back to face charge of murdering two girls

By Ginny Skweres

Zion-Benton News staff 

Jorge Torrez, 26, formerly of the 2100 block of Gabriel Avenue in Zion, appeared in court last week to face charges in the murders of Laura Hobbs and Krystal Tobias when they were 8 and 9 years old, respectively. They were murdered on Mother's Day 2005 and their bodies were found the next day, May 9, in Beulah Park.

Torrez pled not guilty to 18 counts of first-degree murder in the court room of Judge Daniel Shanes on Nov. 20. The prosecution is being led by Assistant State’s attorneys Ari Fisz and Steve Scheller. His defense is by Jed Stone and LaTonya Burton.

The two girls had been beaten and brutally stabbed many times. Both girls had been second-graders in Beulah Park School in Zion. Laura's father, Jerry Hobbs, had been charged with the crimes but was released after about five years when Torrez's DNA proved to be a match with the girl's murders. Hobbs sued a number of agencies and was awarded about $8 million. He reportedly moved back to Texas.

Torrez's DNA became available when he was charged in Virginia for crimes against women, which files the DNA at the beginning of a case. Torrez was charged with the murders of the girls about seven years after they took place. His other trials had to be completed before he could appear in Lake County. More...

Photo of the Week

Save room for pie!
Mindy Doherty, who works in the bakery/deli at the Zion Piggly Wiggly, shows off a pumpkin pie, one of many varieties available for Thanksgiving. Cakes, pies and other sweet treats are baked fresh every day. Piggly Wiggly is open
Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m.-4 p.m.


Superintendent Dr. Nancy Wagner

Dr. Nancy Wagner fits right in at District 3. She took over as the Beach Park District 3 Superintendent from Dr. Robert DiVirgilio earlier this summer.

School News

Mrs. Davis’s third grade class is reading
the book Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia
MacLachlan. The students chose a flower to do a research project on.
Above: Samuel is working on his project.


The Zion varsity basketball program got
its season underway with Zee Bee Madness last Friday night, a showcase
event featuring inter squad scrimmages of the sophomore and varsity teams. Above: Kevin Garcia and DeShawn Wilson during Friday’s ZeeBee Madness scrimmage.