We've got the scoop on what folks are talking about these days. Every Monday, however, A Good Read on the Southland keeps you in the know with the region’s must-read stories.
First, the Good News: An Orland Park woman is a millionaire after winning a share in the Hoosier State Lottery with her relatives earlier this month. On Feb. 4, Ann McClelland heard from her sister, Marcha Nowaczyk of Calumet City, that they'd won the lottery.
“We kept checking the number for days. We had some doubts it was real," McClelland told the Southtown. Her mother purchased the ticket. "“My mother just told the cashier to do any type, and she bought a single ‘quick pick’ for Mega Millions. The cashier picked the right ticket,” McClelland said. “My mother wants nothing to do with the lottery herself. She’s 88, has her house paid off and is content. She only does it for her kids. She always said if it comes in, she’d give it all to us. She said after we won, ‘I’m just happy for you kids. I don’t have to worry about you anymore.’ ”
Ann's husband James McClelland owns Mack Industries in Tinley Park, a real estate business.
McClelland, who will share the $29 million in winnings with four siblings, each getting $5.8 million before the government takes its share in taxes.
The siblings are so publicity shy that they sent Jim McClelland of Frankfort, Ann's son, to get the giant mock check.
Ann says she hopes to visit Hawaii.
And Now, the Sad News: TMZ is reporting that Jennifer Lopez broke into tears when the American Idol judges sent Oak Forest's Chris Medina packing. Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson had to console her, according to TMZ.
Medina's story of love and commitment to his fiancee, who sustained a brain injury in a devastating car accident in 2009, moved the Idol judges when he first performed for them. The next episode airs Wednesday, but TMZ reports he's sent home in Thursday's show.
If this is true, fans in the Southland will be devastated. They've been turning out in force at viewing parties since the new season began. Last week, Patch editors joined them at the Blarney Stone Pub in Oak Forest and posted several videos from the evening that feature fans and family offering their best wishes for Medina.
And the Ugly: In the days following the Cook County sheriff's police raid on Dazzle's Painted Pastures in Tinley Park, people with information about owner Dawn Hamill have been reaching out to Southtown columnist and animal lover Donna Vickroy, who writes: "... most described a greedy narcissist who knowingly adopted out sick or injured animals, who ignored unhealthy conditions at her shelter and who just maybe used donated money for luxury vehicles and cosmetic surgery for herself."
They told Vickroy she had expensive cars, took in many donations from corporate benefactors and appeared to be changing her appearance through cosmetic surgery.
The sanctuary, where many sick and dead animals were found has been shut down. More than 100 neglected animals were removed from the property.
Tinley Park Patch published a number of graphic photographs that showed the awful state of the animal sanctuary, which prompted much debate in the comments on the site.
One of my favorite stories from the week involves three Orland Park men accused of perpetrating $30,000 in damage on several Toyotas at the Chicago Auto Show. , yet the Toyotas are mostly "made in America."
Also, Tinley Park cops go spelunking for crack rocks and other .
At the Grand Opening of the New Lenox White Castle: Jimmy, a student at Bentley School, had one piece of advice for the village fathers on on another new restaurant to bring to town: “We need a Hooters.”
His father agreed.
“Hooters would be nice.”
Dennis Robaugh is editor of Patch's south suburban region. You can reach him at email@example.com.