Flashback to Forest Park Review journalist, Judy Baar Topinka

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By Historical Society

Looking back this last week of Woman's History month, we highlight a Forest Park Review journalist from late 1976-early 1978, Judy Baar Topinka.  After ten years writing for the Suburban Life newspapers, she was hired by Bob Haeger, Forest Park Review publisher, to cover Village government and local interest stories.  Shortly after she started, she was the lead reporter here and covered the sudden death of Senator, and Mayor, Howard Mohr.    His sudden death, three hours before retiring as a Senator, caused, a shock wave throughout town.

Known for her cheerful energy, she was pragmatic and a straight shooter.   Judy Baar Topinka would later be elected to Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois State Senate, Illinois State Treasurer and Illinois Comptroller.   In 1995, she purchased the Riverside Landmark Newspaper, and sold it two years later to Wednesday Journal Inc. which also owns the Forest Park Review.

Judy Baar Topinka, it is said, kept her keys to the Review office, so she could sneak in once a year to decorate it for Bob Haeger's birthday.

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Joseph Baar Topinka from Riverside  

Posted: April 2nd, 2019 5:19 PM

Such a great article. I looked up to Mr. Haeger as did my Mother. I often told him when I was a child that he reminded me of Gregory Peck. He loved the reference. He and my Mother, Judy Baar Topinka, were true, local journalists who made reading about the local issues, especially, politics and government, noteworthy and important to the lives of everyday citizens. I wrote the book, Just Judy, A Citizen and Leader for Illinois, to try to capture that same spirit for young people. Thank you Mom and thank you Mr. Haeger! More information about Judy Baar Topinka, the book about her, and The Judy Baar Topinka Charitable Foundation at www.judybaartopinka.org.

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