Park District to celebrate facility upgrades

Less a grand re-opening and more to give residents a sneak peek at the renovations, the Park District will host a ribbon cutting Saturday, Jan. 19 on the months-long project at its Harrison Street offices. The administrative building for the district has been outfitted with several new meeting rooms, an elevator and other upgrades to improve handicapped accessibility. Executive Director Larry Piekarz said he’s optimistic that by early February the facility will be able to house several park programs that were relocated elsewhere in Forest Park during the construction.

“We’re happy to be substantially completed,” Piekarz said.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at 7501 Harrison St.

Police continue search for shooter

Investigators searching for the gunman who killed a 52-year-old man in his garage just days before Christmas said they are reviewing a number of leads in the hopes of focusing their efforts. With the help of the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, local detectives are examining video surveillance from nearby CTA stations. Detective Sgt. Mike Keating would not comment on any specifics of the inquiry. The department has said the shooting was likely a random act of violence.

David Carlson was shot once in the head in the garage behind his apartment at 513 Hannah Ave. the evening of Dec. 20. His body was found at approximately 9 p.m., according to police. Keating declined to say why Carlson may have been in the garage, though authorities have speculated the shooting was the result of a botched robbery.

Keating confirmed reports that neighbors did not report hearing any gunshots, and said it’s entirely possible that the blast could have gone unnoticed.

“We got a bunch of leads and a bunch of things we’re trying to work out,” Keating said. “We have so many investigators working on this right now.”

Hollywood actor was native

A village native who rose to fame writing and performing in various radio and television programs died recently at the age of 88. Bill Idelson, perhaps best known for his stint as Herman Glimcher on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” was born in Forest Park, according to an obituary from the Los Angeles Times. Idelson was also a writer for “The Twilight Zone,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Happy Days” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” to name a few.

According to national media reports, Idelson was hospitalized in June after breaking his hip and died Dec. 31 in Los Angeles as a result of complications from that injury.

Groundbreaking ceremony

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 to celebrate the construction and renovation of the former Roos cedar chest property on Harrison Street into residential condominiums and townhouses. The now vacant structure located just west of the junction with Circle Avenue is expected to be rehabbed into 70 condos. On the western side of the lot, 28 town homes will be erected, according to development plans approved by the village late last year.

Some preliminary work is already underway at the site and a sales office has been opened. Local officials and project managers will meet at 7329 Harrison St. at 10 a.m. for the ceremony.