Em Miller writes

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Tag: Chicago Sun-Times

New home a place ‘to heal and grow’ (Sun-Times Media/Chicago Sun-Times)

ELGIN — U.S. Army Spc. Nick Mapson of Sugar Grove lifted his 1-year-old son, Jayden, from his wife’s arms.

He held the boy close and kissed his forehead. He pointed out the three skydivers from Ohio-based Team Fastrax jumping from an airplane overhead, each with an American flag waving proudly behind, and the quartet singing a medley of patriotic tunes on the deck.

What he didn’t know was that it all was for him.

It all was part of a surprise announcement from New American Homes, the Chicago NFL Players Association Former Players Chapter and several area home builders associations: They were presenting the Sugar Grove veteran and his family with a new home, mortgage-free.

“It’s unbelievable, and I’m so thankful,” Mapson said.

That announcement came Thursday afternoon during an annual golf outing hosted by the Home Builders Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the Residential Construction Employers Council at the Highlands of Elgin golf course, 875 Sports Way.

And it was made possible, according to NFLPA President Reggie Smith, “because of a few miracles.”

“Part of that miracle happened when a few people … turned into a lot of people, and a great thing happened,” Smith said.

The house, a 1,992-square-foot LIFEhouse designed by Hawthorn Woods-based New American Homes, is under construction in the Newport Cove community on the Chain O’Lakes near Antioch, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Looking at a photo of the house Thursday with its blue siding and white picket fence, Jackie Mapson called it “the all-American home.”

When finished, it will feature award-winning universal design principles, such as low-pile carpet in alternating colors on stairs, wide doorways and hallways and an accessible bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. Those details now will be finalized with Spc. Mapson’s physical challenges in mind, according to New American Homes President Susanne Tauke.

That design will make the home not only functional but also “beautiful” — a place “to heal and grow,” according to Rita Unzner, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago.

For the rest of the story, visit New home a place ‘to heal and grow’ (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Andrew Nelles for Sun-Times Media.

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Death of Elgin Marine ‘ultimate’ sacrifice from community (Chicago Sun-Times)

Death of Elgin Marine ‘ultimate’ sacrifice from community (Chicago Sun-Times)

LINK: 12 Great Articles That Inspired Films via The Electric Typewriter

This post (see link below) got me thinking: If one of my articles were turned into a movie, which would it be?

On Facebook, I’ve gotten votes for “Student Gives Birth to Baby in High School Bathroom,” the Sears EDA saga and the articles I’ve written with the Elgin Paranormal Investigators (most recently, this one). Alas, the Drew Peterson case already was made into a Lifetime original movie, and it was based on another reporter’s work.

Any other ideas?

You can find some of my favorite articles in my portfolio and the last few weeks’, here under “Articles.” You also can turn up some oldies if you search Google News for “Emily McFarlan.”

LINK: 12 Great Articles That Inspired Films via The Electric Typewriter

Student gives birth to baby in Streamwood High School bathroom (Chicago Sun-Times)

Not surprisingly, this article of mine got picked up today in the Chicago Sun-Times.