Neighbors in the News: Palatine gymnast, 9, wins All-Around State Championship title

• Gymnast Emmy Terrell, 9, of Palatine won the All-Around State Championship title at the Illinois USA Gymnastics Level Four state championships in Aurora on March 9.

This title marks the second championship win for Emmy, making her a two-time all-around state champion in two consecutive years. Emmy also won the state champion title for floor exercise and balance beam, with a season high score of 9.675.

A third-grader at Jane Addams Elementary school in Palatine, Emmy holds eight career first-place all-around titles, as well as 18 career individual event champion titles.

She trains at the Bartlett Gymnastics Center in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic program.

Airman Damian Herrera Courtesy of Navy Office of Community Outreach

• Vernon Hills native Airman Damian Herrera serves as a hospital corpsman aboard the USS John L. Canley. Herrera graduated from Vernon Hills High School in 2020 and joined the Navy two years ago.

“I joined the Navy for a better life,” said Herrera. “I wanted stability, and the Navy offered me a great starting point for my life and career.”

The USS John L. Canley is an expeditionary sea base ship that is highly flexible and may be used across a broad range of military operations. Acting as a mobile sea base, these ships are part of the critical access infrastructure that supports the deployment of forces and supplies to provide prepositioned equipment and sustainment with flexible distribution.

Shannon Shuster, the first-place winner of The Sports Page Chili Cook-off, celebrates with family. Courtesy of Deborah Nelson

• The winners of The Sports Page Chili Cook-off in Arlington Heights on Sunday, Feb. 25, were: Shannon Shuster, first place; Brian Reed, second place; Jeannie Sok, third place; and Paul Sawatski, fourth place.

More than 100 hungry fans — from novices to foodies — packed the family establishment in Arlington Heights to vote in a blind tasting.

Shuster shared the key ingredients in her winning recipe.

“I used ground sirloin with beans, corn, peppers and onion,” she said.

There were 14 entries, including retired fire Captain Tim Bradley of Arlington Heights, who now owns The Salt Cave in Arlington Heights.

The Sports Page opened in 1985 in Arlington Heights and is known for its award-winning wings.

Barbara Hooker, center, holds her Community Service Award, from the Illinois Association of Park Districts and Illinois Park and Recreation Association. Courtesy of Gurnee Park District

• The Illinois Association of Park Districts and Illinois Park and Recreation Association has honored Gurnee resident Barbara Hooker with a Community Service Award.

For the past 23 years, Hooker has been a steadfast presence at Gurnee Park District. After retirement, she found meaningful engagement with the district's Monthly Mixer Volunteer Program.

During a recent park board meeting, Hooker was recognized by the Gurnee Park District’s park board, its directors and the Gurnee Park District’s supervisor of Community Programming and Events, Mary Lester, for her 23 years of service to the Monthly Mixer program, the older adult community and the park district.

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