What We Cover
Oak Park and River Forest IL: News, crime, business, sustainabilty, politics, schools, events, and announcements.
Meet Your Local Patch Team
Lauren Williamson, Contributor, Editor
Lauren serves as associate regional editor for several Patch.com sites in the near-west Chicago suburbs. She came to Patch from InsideCounsel, a legal magazine where she worked as managing editor. She was awarded Folio Magazine's 2011 Bronze Eddie Award for business reporting for her story "Mind the Gap: Generation Y Enters the Workplace." She has a master's in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Post-graduation, she completed a three-month investigative reporting fellowship through the Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative. She spent the summer reporting on the environmental, political and economic implications of a controversial industrial dairy farm under construction in northwest Illinois. Prior to graduate school, she worked as assistant director of undergraduate admission at Northwestern. She has a bachelor's degree in performance studies from Northwestern's School of Communication.
Darren McRoy, Contributor, Editor
I was born and raised in Eastern Massachusetts, and first took an interest in journalism when I was named the National Correspondent of the Year for SchoolSports (now called ESPN Rise.) I relocated to Chicagoland in 2006 to attend the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where I wrote for a number of student publications. During my time in school, I also completed editorial internships with Chicago Parent and Vicon Publishing. Upon graduating, I became Western Springs Local Editor with Patch.com
My interests/hobbies include sports, reading, fiction writing, gaming, and outdoor living (hiking/camping/canoeing.) I play both indoor and beach volleyball, and I'm passionate about golf (if not terrific at it.) I also author the online graphic novel Panthera.
Amie Schaenzer, Editor Lake in the Hills
Amie Schaenzer graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh in 2005 with her bachelor's degree in journalism and has been working mainly as a reporter for daily newspapers ever since. As a reporter, she's covered a little bit of everything, including crime, courts, local government, business and politics for newspapers. She has written for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Oshkosh Northwestern, Fond du Lac Reporter and Northwest Herald.
Charlotte Eriksen, Contributor, Editor
I graduated with a masters degree in journalism from DePaul University in 2010. I fell for the journalism field when I covered the World Boxing Championships in 2007, which indirectly led to an invitation to work for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. I was also the editor of the center spread section of The DePaulia, DePaul's student-run newspaper for one year, and Editor in Chief for one year. I've earned awards in features design, in-depth reporting and news reporting for my work on The DePaulia and was honored for student achievement in DePaul's graduate program.
I love the outdoors. I love hiking whenever possible and have run three half marathons. I love golf and waterskiing, and played soccer for a state champion team in high school and DePaul's club team for three years. I enjoy being around and/or watching all sports—and am a huge fan of the Detroit Red Wings.
I'm artsy. I love the Beatles, Elvis and Saturday Night Live, circa Mike Myers.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable.
I grew up in a family of conservatives and feel I lean toward conservative economic beliefs and liberal social beliefs. I've never contributed to any political campaign.
Local Hot-Button Issues
I think economic development is at the top of the list. Wheaton has a tremendous opportunity to become a destination for spenders in the western suburbs.
I also believe in quality education and the importance of choosing a community that will cultivate its young people to someday understand, and continue, the value of excellence in education.
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I hope to see downtown Wheaton boom in the next few years. I think the Wheaton Grand Theater could become a regional destination for supporters of the arts, and that Mariano's Fresh Market will be a boost to the local economy.
I think the results the schools have delivered with its teachers, awards, graduates' successes and testing speak for themselves.
Oak Park Patch, Editor
Jim Hankes, Contributor, Sales
Jim is very excited to be Advertising Manager for Patch and truly believes Patch is revolutionizing the way people are getting their local news and information. He is passionate about helping local businesses attract and retain new customers through marketing and advertising.
You can expect to see Jim and his wife Vickie, along with their son Brian around the area at various sporting events, local concerts or dining out with friends. If you have any questions about Patch or how we can help grow your business, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 630-815-4171.
What is Patch?
Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you.
We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation.
We want to be the most trusted, comprehensive, and relevant news and information resource in your community. What can you do on Patch?
- Keep up with news and events
- Check out photos and videos from around town
- Learn more about local businesses and the people behind them
- Participate in discussions
- Share your perspectives via our Local Voices blogging platform
- Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
Who's Behind Patch?
Patch is run by professional editors, photographers, videographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters. Patch also gets advice from our Advisory Board and from many members of the community.
We look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. If you see us around town, don't be afraid to say hi and tell us what you want to see on Patch!
Where You Come In
We hope that our sites will strengthen communities and improve the lives of their residents, but we can't do it without you. We've built Patch so that you have plenty of opportunities to comment on stories, share your opinions, post photos and announcements, and add events to the community calendar. So get to it! And if you're a business owner who wants to be listed, just let us know.
You can't truly serve a community unless you provide the help it needs most, which is why giving back is so important to us. We do it as part of our coverage — in a dedicated space that lets local charities and volunteers find each other — and with a program called "Give 5," through which we donate advertising space to charitable organizations and contribute our own time as volunteers. Want to know more? Email us at email@example.com.
Phil Meyer is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in Journalism in the spring of 2008. He joined the Journalism School in 1981 and served as Knight Chair in Journalism Professor from 1993-2008. Prior to joining the school, he held a number of reporter and research positions at various media outlets.
He has won numerous awards including the 2005 Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for Research About Journalism (with Scott Maier). He was named a Fellow of Society of Professional Journalists in 2005. In 2004, the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication gave him its Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award. And in 2000 he received the American Association for Public Opinion Research Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.
Meyer is the author of several books including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age and Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods. Journalism Quarterly in 2000 listed this book as one of the 35 significant books of the 20th century in journalism and mass communication; and the American Association for Public Opinion Research, observing its 50th anniversary in 1996, listed it as one of 50 significant books on public opinion research.
He received his B.S. in technical journalism from Kansas State University and his M.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Steven Berlin Johnson is a pioneer in the web world, as a co-founder of FEED, Plastic.com, and Outside.in, which was acquired by Patch in March of 2011. He also co-created Findings.com, which launched in late 2011. Steven was the 2009 Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence at The Journalism School at Columbia University, and served for several years as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Journalism School. He is a bestselling author of seven books, and won acclaim and a Newhouse School Mirror Award for his 2010 Time Magazine cover story, "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."
Speaking of Steven's editorial prowess, check out this video based on Steven's book, Where Good Ideas Come From, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Economist.
Brian Farnham, Founding Editor-in-Chief
Brian was Editor-in-Chief of Time Out New York magazine before coming to Patch. Before that he worked for a variety of publications both online and off, including Details magazine, New York Magazine, and the old, dearly departed Sidewalk.com. He has written for numerous publications, from the New York Times magazine to Harper's Bazaar. He graduated from Bowdoin College and got an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University so he could put his novel in a drawer with distinction. He lives in Manhattan with his beautiful wife, adorable son, angelic daughter and the world's most dog-like cat. He’s proud as hell of what the Patch team has built.
Ken Paulson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the First Amendment Center
Ken Paulson is president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Paulson served as the editor and senior vice president/news of USA Today. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.
Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.
He also is past-president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news media leaders.
Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program “Speaking Freely,” seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.
He was an early advocate of making newspaper content available online, launching online newspapers in both Florida and New York in 1993.
For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.
In 2007, Paulson was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, “the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.” In 2008, he received the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications from the Southern Regional Press Institute. He has also been elected to the Illini Publishing Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from American University.