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NFL to fund Kelly Park renovation

The NFL and LISC are donating $200,000 to construction of a new artificial turf soccer and football field at Kelly Park, a major win in a two-year campaign to win renovation of the Southwest Side park.

Mark Bachleda and Ramon Salazar of Brighton Park Neighborhood Council made the announcement at the first annual Brighton Park Fest held Saturday at Kelly Park by BPNC to raise funds for the renovation.

Hundreds of residents turned out for games and festivities, with booths featuring local restaurants.

Pat Levar, chief operating officer of the Chicago Park District, announced the district would contribute $500,000 in capital funds for the field.  Previously State Senator Martin Sandoval had won a $210,000 state appropriation for the project.

Sara Reschly of BPNC, chair of the Kelly Park Advisory Council, said CPS had indicated it would kick in the balance of the $1.2 million needed for the field.

Brian Richter, assistant principal of Kelly High, exulted that Kelly’s boys’ soccer team, now in the running for its second citywide championship in a row, would have a real soccer field across the street from the school for practice and games.

In 20 years as a teacher and administrator at Kelly, he said, he’d “watched the park continue to deteriorate….We’re so pleased our children are finally going to get the park they deserve.”

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Details Expected on Foreclosure Plan

While they continue their work helping families facing foreclosure, housing counselors are awaiting more details about the Obama administration’s new foreclosure prevention program.

“People are definitely asking how the new housing policy will effect them,” said Andre Gaither, director of the South Chicago office of Neighborhood Housing Services. “At this point the information we have is sketchy.” More details about the plan will be released March 4.

But anyone facing trouble with their mortgage will benefit from seeing a certified housing counselor, who can negotiate with a lender to make sure a mortgage workout is affordable, he said.

Studies have shown that most homeowners facing foreclosure seek no help at all; many of the rest deal directly with their mortgage servicers, often ending up with resolutions that actually increase monthly payments.

“They really need to come to us,” said Gaither. “We’re working for them.”

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  • Telling people’s stories, an ethnic media success September 2, 2015
        By Stephen Franklin Community Media Workshop   A 3-year-old child died on a plane from Chicago to Poland. This, Magdalena Pantelis instantly knew, was a story her readers would care about. But she needed more detail to write about it for the Polish Daily News, the nation’s oldest daily newspaper in Polish, founded Jan. […]
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