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Profiles

TV star Jeremy Sisto

Best known as the pencil-wielding team leader on the CBS hit drama “FBI,” Jeremy Sisto has steadily built an impressive acting resume thanks to a devotion to the sorts of details that bring his characters to life. Telly Savalas had his lollipops. Peter Falk had his trench coat. And Jeremy Sisto has his pencil. Appearing on the hit CBS drama “FBI,” now in its second season, Sisto’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jubal Valentine commands an elite team of investigators in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York field office, and he does it all while spinning, chewing and pointing ...

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Castanza to serve as chairman of Casa Italia

Angelo Castanza has been elected by the board of directors to chair Casa Italia for a two-year term. Joining him as fellow officers are Jo Ann Serpico as vice chairman, Cathy Lange as treasurer and Paul Basile as secretary. A past president of the Calabresi in America Organization, Castanza has been a member of the board since 2014 and served as vice chairman from 2018 to 2020. “I was assigned to the board as president of the Calabresi in America and decided to maintain my membership after my term was up, because I like the vision that the Casa represents,” ...

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Renato Bacci to preside over veterans museum

Retired Army Col. Renato Bacci has been elected by the board of directors to helm the Italian American Veterans Museum. Joining him as officers are retired Navy Commander Joseph Troiani as first vice president, retired Army Maj. Lorenzo Fiorentino as second vice president, Army veteran Mark DiSanto third vice president, Steve Corbo as treasurer, Eugene Giudice as parliamentarian and Paul Basile as corporate secretary and executive vice president. The officers were installed by community leader Joanne Spata. During his 30-year military career, Bacci served as an infantry, armor, and civil affairs officer, with tours of duty in Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, ...

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Flowers of Italy to honor Di Piero

The Flowers of Italy Club will honor community activist Frank Di Piero on March 28 at Villa Brunetti in Franklin Park. (630-688-3153) Di Piero is the host of the podcast “Keepin’ It Real with Frankie D.” on ItalianAmericanLife.com. He is a past president of the Harlem Avenue Italian & American Business Association and served on the committee to create the Italian-American studies program at Loyola University in Chicago. He is a board member of Casa Italia, Italidea-Midwest and Little Italy Cenetta, and serves on the committee that stages the Festa della Repubblica at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii. ...

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Army machine gunner Paul Calabrese (Vietnam)

Mere months before full-scale battles raged across Vietnam, Paul Calabrese engaged in deadly skirmishes in the jungles around his base camps to ward off enemy incursion. The oldest of four sons, Paul Calabrese was born in Chicago to Joseph and Betty (Spindler) Calabrese. They lived in a family-owned six-flat on the West Side of Chicago until moving to Oak Park when Calabrese was 6 years old. He recalls Sunday dinners and Christmas gatherings at his paternal grandparents’ home. “I remember grandma making raviolis all the time and they lived in the basement,” says Calabrese. He explains that his grandparents had ...

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Rodeo wunderkind Katelyn Turner

A veteran rider at 16 years of age, Katelyn Turner took her roping to the next level last year at the World Junior Championships in Vegas. Katelyn Turner found her passion at a young age when she first saddled up a horse. Now, she’s competing in the international spotlight at just 16 years old. Turner was only 10 when she first started riding. Once she put her feet in the stirrups, they almost never came out. “I lived in Hollywood, Florida, and they used to have a Wednesday night Jackpot Rodeo,” says Turner, the granddaughter of longtime Chicago-area Italian-American community ...

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Eco-friendly artist Simona Rodano

In her bilingual musical for young adults, Simona Rodano breaks artistic boundaries while tackling a topic of importance and poignancy. One well-worn cliché where adventurous artists are concerned centers on how they “follow their own muse.” But Simona Rodano is far more driven than that. Working within the four disciplines of music, theater, environmental science and education — spread out over two languages no less — this native of northern Italy has created what she calls an “edumusical” titled “Sempreverde: Evergreen.” Where anything environmental is concerned, Rodano knows whereof she speaks: A scientist by training, she deftly avoids the trap ...

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Air Force refueler Dominic Guerrieri

Refueling fighter jets during Desert Storm, Dominic Guerrieri flew over burning oil fields, saw bomb flashes and witnessed artillery launches into Kuwait. The youngest of six children, Dominic Guerrieri was born in Chicago and grew up on the Far Northwest Side of Chicago near Foster and Cumberland. His father, Carmen, and mother, Rita (Mariano) were born in Chicago. His grandparents emigrated from Basilicata and Bari, Italy. One of the youngest of 28 cousins, Guerrieri enjoyed his close-knit family. Christmas Eve was celebrated at home with the extended family enjoying the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes. A favorite Easter dish ...

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Former Cub Fanzone barred from MLB benefits

A former Chicago Cub with 237 games under his belt, Carmen Fanzone has been denied benefits accorded other short-term players in the wake of a 1980 rule change. Former Cubs player Carmen Fanzone still has fond memories of his time in the Windy City. “When I was there, if people found out you played for the Cubs, you were treated like royalty,” the 78-year-old Fanzone says. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Major League Baseball and the union representing today’s players, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association. Fanzone is among the over 600 retirees who do not receive MLB ...

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San Marino Honorary Consul Robert Allegrini

A respected travel and hospitality expert and author, Robert Allegrini now takes on a one-of-a-kind role as honorary consul for the republic of San Marino. When Michigan Stadium is sold out for a Wolverines football game, it fits three times as many people as live in all of San Marino — a nation within Italy that’s so small, it’s referred to in geographic terms as a “microstate.” Its 33,000 residents, spread out over 24 square miles, occupy the fifth smallest country in the world. It also stands alone as a priceless curiosity, with a style of government and copious architectural ...

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