Joliet's 2021 Captured In Photos By Patch (2024)

JOLIET, IL — A lot happened around the city of Joliet during the past year as Joliet Patch published thousands of photos showcasing everyday life in Will County's largest community.

I went back and selected one photo from every month to capture 2021 in photos.

Some of my photos accompanied human interest stories. Other photos captured major emergencies that necessitated a large presence of Joliet police and Joliet paramedic/firefighters.

Some were enormous political events, such as Governor J.B. Pritzker's Joliet news conference in May. Others, as you will see, were simply photos showing a slice of every day life across Joliet.

Here's your month by month look back at Joliet's year:

JANUARY

Man Shot 3 Times By Joliet Police Undergoes Surgery: Relative

A man who lived with his mother at a house in the 1200 block of Nicholson Street on Joliet's west side was shot at least three times by a Joliet police officer, and he was undergoing surgery at the AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center, according to his cousin. At the scene of Thursday's late morning shooting, the woman told Joliet Patch, "We're hearing that he pulled a BB gun, and it shot air out ... that's what the police are telling us."

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FEBRUARY

Hundreds Of Joliet Teachers Get Coronavirus Vaccines: Photos

Off-duty volunteers from the Joliet Fire Department have taken over the Joliet West High School field house, where they will give thousands of Joliet area educators the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. About 300 school employees from Joliet Township High School District 204, Rockdale, Laraway and Elwood waited their turn to receive their doses of the vaccine Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Carey told Joliet Patch that he expects to be administering the coronavirus vaccines for several weeks to come. "We're moving the line faster than we thought, so we're trying to get some more teachers in today," Carey remarked.

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MARCH

Brian Urlacher Endorses Joe Clement For Joliet Council: Photos

Brian Urlacher, one of the Chicago Bears all-time greats, made good on his promise to attend Joliet City Council candidate Joe Clement's charity fund-raiser at the IBEW Local 176 Banquet Hall on the frontage road near Interstate 55. "It's for a good cause and Joe's a good dude," Urlacher told Joliet Patch. "Get out and vote for Joe. I think he has a lot of good ideas and I think he'll do a lot of good for the community on the City Council."

With 12 candidates in the April election, Clement had the second-highest vote total, winning a four-year term on the Council.

APRIL

ACE: Joliet's Iconic Drive-In Opens For 73rd Year

Restaurants around Illinois come and go. Some don't last a full year. Joliet's ACE Drive-In has remained at 1207 Plainfield Road since 1949, and during the first week of April, for the first time in 2021, ACE opened for the season. The parking lot remained busy during the lunch hour as the Pierson brothers, Tom and Rich, kept busy in the ACE Drive-In kitchen making french fries, preparing Italian beef and barbecue sandwiches.

"It's been steady," Tom Pierson told Joliet Patch's editor.

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MAY

Pritzker: Joliet Gets Lion Electric Auto Manufacturing Plant

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker came to Joliet on May 7 to reveal positive economic development news: Lion Electric, a Canadian company in Quebec, will open its first United States automobile manufacturing plant in Joliet.

Long-term, Lion Electric plans to hire around 1,400 people to make electric automobiles at the Youngs Road facility in Joliet. "This is one of the best places in the entire world to be if you're a manufacturer, if you're somebody that wants to be in the crossroads of America, making sure that you're in the distribution hub of the world," Pritzker told everyone. "Being right here in Will County is the place to be."

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JUNE

Joliet Bulldozes Man's House In College Park: 'I Lost Everything'

Two years and four months after the city of Joliet declared Carl E. Johnson's property in the College Park subdivision near Houbolt Road a public nuisance, a demolition crane arrived at 906 Menlo Court and flattened Johnson's house June 15.

"I lost everything, everything that I owned from my children's pictures to Christmas pictures, just like a tornado came along, just like a tornado came along," Johnson, 62, repeated. "Why didn't they give me time, knowing I'm disabled? They should have allowed me to repair my roof."

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JULY

Joliet Canal's Jet Ski Enthusiast Is Back: Video

The mysterious Jet Ski rider Joliet Patch first wrote about back in early March returned to the dirty canal waters to have some fun July 30.

He was splashing and having a blast near the Jefferson Street Bridge across the street from the Joliet police station and City Hall. He said his name is Van, and he is 59 years old. "I bet you figured that I had to be someone like 20 or 25 years old," he said, smiling.

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AUGUST

Fire At Speedway Auto Parts: 'We Were Very Lucky'

Speedway Auto Parts has been on Joliet's east side for more than 50 years, and the Aug. 17 fire in the auto salvage yard left business owner Sean Krause thankful the fire wasn't worse. An estimated 200 to 300 crushed cars were damaged in the fire that began shortly before 7 p.m. Speedway is at 1301 Herkimer St., right off Collins Street and adjacent to the sprawling concrete fortress known as the Old Joliet Prison.

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SEPTEMBER

Steve Sherwood No Longer Preaching Near Walmart In Joliet

For many years, people around Joliet could find Steve Sherwood sitting outside the Walmart Supercenter on West Jefferson Street preaching the good news of the Bible, parking his long bicycle nearby. But that ended abruptly a few weeks ago.

Sherwood told Joliet Patch that a Joliet store manager told him he's no longer welcome to occupy the metal benches in front of the giant retailer at 2424 W. Jefferson St. Sherwood acknowledged he usually was not at the Walmart to shop for store merchandise.

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OCTOBER

Niko's Overcomes Oven Woes: 1,010 Greek Chickens Sold

Niko's Pizzeria at 20 Ohio St. set its one-day record Oct. 27, selling 1,010 Greek chicken dinners, but around 2 p.m. a disaster happened in the kitchen. Niko's usually reliable oven broke. An entire hour passed before it was fixed. "Once you fall behind, it's hard to catch up because it's a heavy amount of order," owner Nikos Lippas told Patch. "We had a little problem with the oven, it kept breaking down. The problem is fixed, and we're going full blast, but we're an hour behind."

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Van Plows Into Tastee Bites Restaurant On Jefferson Street

The Joliet Police Department said that no traffic citations were issued following the Nov. 10 crash involving a minivan into the restaurant of Tastee Bites. A 54-year-old woman from Darien "had stepped on the accelerator pedal when entering her running minivan which caused the vehicle to jump the curb and collide into the front of Tastee Bites," Joliet police reports show. "The vehicle came to its final rest approximately 10 feet inside the store."

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DECEMBER

Sue Regis Glass Art Makes State Of Illinois Holiday Gift Guide

For the first time ever, the city of Joliet has a small business recognized by the Illinois Office of Tourism's annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift. Only 20 small businesses in the entire state were selected for the honor — and Sue Regis Glass Art was one of the winners.

"I think it puts Joliet more on the map," Regis told Joliet Patch. "It's nice to have something positive in the news, especially for downtown Joliet."

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This article originally appeared on the Joliet Patch

Joliet's 2021 Captured In Photos By Patch (2024)
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