Riverside resident Sharon Weiss recently was recognized by Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel for “courageous action” in responding to a vehicle crash at the intersection of Berkeley and Byrd roads, near her home, on Oct. 27.

At about 10 a.m. that day, a vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree on the corner of Berkeley and Byrd. 

Weiss, a real estate agent for Burlington Realty in Riverside,  pulled the driver from vehicle, an action which “not only saved the driver from further injury, but removed the driver before the vehicle may have caught on fire,” according to Weitzel.

“You unselfishly put yourself in harm’s way and assisted the driver out of the vehicle before police and fire personnel arrived,’ Weitzel wrote. “I am truly thankful for you heroic efforts.”

Ascension Lutheran names pastor

Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside welcomed its new permanent pastor, the Rev. Christopher Honig, and his wife, Liz Honig, into the community earlier this fall.

It’s Honig’s second solo pastor position. He received his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago following the completion of his undergraduate studies at Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Ascension Lutheran had been in a period of transition in the year prior to Honig’s arrival after the departure of the previous full-time pastor, the Rev. Jennifer Fisher. In between, the Rev. Dr. Kim Beckmann led the congregation as interim pastor. A pastoral call committee began its formal search for new leadership in May. 

I’d be honored

Five Riverside police officers were honored recently by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart for their performance on the job.

At a presentation held at Moraine Valley Community College on Nov. 29, Officer John Cairo received an Award of Merit for “exceptional attitude, attendance, work ethic and professionalism serving the resident of Riverside.”

In addition, Detective Sgt. Frank Lara, Sgt. Leo Kotor, Officer Fabian Navarro, Detective Jim Lazansky and Officer Isaac Hamilton were honored with the Cook County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Unit Citation for their teamwork in assisting Lyons police with the apprehension of armed home invasion offenders in February. 

Welcome aboard, sir

Maj. Timothy Barnhart is the new commander of the 405th Brigade Support Battalion, which is headquartered at the Illinois National Guard Armory in North Riverside. Barnhart took command of the unit on Oct. 23, relieving Lt. Col. Brian Creech.

Barnhart, a Springfield native who previously served as the battalion’s support operations officer, was promoted to lieutenant colonel in November.

On campus

Libby Creek, of Brookfield, served as a national media volunteer during the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York) in September. The program included a month-long series of panel discussions, lectures and performances on important election issues.

Riverside residents Amy Kucera, Jack Lulich, Dennis O’Bryan, James Skiest, Garrett Javors, Rachel McCarthy, Anna Milleker, Alec Polston and Michael Saganich were among the 97 Fenwick High School senior class members named Illinois State Scholars in 2016.

Also, Lyons Township High School has announced that Brookfield residents Jose Bravo, Samantha Hauser, Hunter Jasinski, Brianna Liddell, Elizabeth Strzelczyk and Amber Troesch have been named Illinois State Scholars.

State scholars are among the top 10 percent in the state’s entire senior class, based on a combination of unweighted grade-point average and a scaled score based on either an ACT or SAT test taken during junior year.

Two S.E. Gross Middle School students are repeat state qualifiers for the FIRST Lego League Robotics Illinois Championship to be held in January. Eighth-grader Alex Barrido and seventh-grader Bridget Brown qualified for the state tourney as part of Team Chuck Norris, which competed at the Horizon Science Academy qualifier tournament on Dec. 10.

Teams are judges on how their Lego robots perform certain tasks, like pulling and pushing objects, retrieving items from one location and delivering them to another and maneuvering around a competition table.

Emma Dahl and Adam Kneebone were among the 57 Lyons Township High School student musicians recently selected for the Illinois Music Educators Association District 1 Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band and Jazz Choir.

Students were chosen from a field of more than 2,000 from more than 80 Chicago-area high schools. Being a district musician is the first step toward being selected as an all-state musician.

Dahl, a sophomore, was chosen in Band. Kneebone, a junior, was selected to the district Jazz Band.

Two Brookfield residents won awards during the annual Lyons Township High School Recycled Art Contest. All forms of artwork were accepted and had to be made from at least 70 percent reused material.

Winning first place was senior Derek Baker for “Flor Muerta” (Day of the Dead Flower), while junior Everardo Rios tied for second with his “Red Rocker” drum set.