Greek Chicago News & Notes, People & Places: August 2016

Tina Sfondeles at Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
A quick glance at general bits of Greek Chicago news – from here to the greater Midwest and beyond…

Here’s the latest Greek Chicago news…


WGN Radios' Andrea Darlas, Anna Davlantes, Roe Conn at RNC
Andrea Darlas (foreground) shared her selfie with Anna Davlantes and radio partner Roe Conn at the RNC. Image: Andrea Darlas


Last month, many area journalists traveled to Cleveland and Philadelphia to help cover the Republican and Democratic national conventions, including notable Greek-Americans: Chicago Tribune page 2 columnist John Kass, Chicago Sun-Times chief political correspondent Tina Sfondeles, and WGN 720-AM radio hosts Anna Davlantes and Andrea Darlas.


Tina Sfondeles at Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
While covering the RNC, Chicago Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles took a little side trip to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Image: Tina Sfondeles



Longtime assistant Cook County State’s Attorney George Canellis was recently appointed associate judge of the Circuit Court. He most recently served as supervisor of the state’s attorney’s Felony Review unit. Canellis is a highly-respected and well-liked attorney. A resident of Orland Park, IL, Canellis achieved his undergrad at Arizona State University, and his JD at the University of Chicago School of Law, The John Marshall Law School. His brother, Lou Canellis, is the lead sports anchor at FOX32 news Chicago. At George’s swearing in ceremony, Lou brought his microphone with to interview his brother. 




Greek Film Festival Chicago set up a fundraising page on They have also extended the deadline for film submissions to August 31. The film fest takes place October 6-10 at the Skokie Theater.



Child’s Play Touring Theater (CPTT) in Chicago will be honoring Bob Falls, the longtime artistic director of the Goodman Theater, with a Victor Award at CPTT’s annual fundraising party. CPTT was co-founded by June Panagakis Podagrosi, who remains as principal of the non-profit traveling theater group which takes scripts written by kids and turns them into full theatrical productions to perform for the kids in school and other venues. CPTT will also host a networking event that’s open to the public on August 8 from 6 to 8 pm at the Underground Wonder Bar in Chicago. Donations voluntary.



Preliminary plans are in place to develop the parcel of land directly across from the National Hellenic Museum (NHM). The site currently serves as a parking lot. It’s been vacant for the past few years following the fire that destroyed the former Costas Restaurant. The website reported that the proposed lead developer is Aristithis Loukas of Loukas Development.



Speaking of the NHM, the contractor on that project was Centaur Construction, led by president Peter Alexopoulos and CEO Spiro Tsaparas. In June, Centaur broke ground on the new Nobu Hotel at Randolph and Peoria, just northwest of Greektown. Details were covered in an article at Famous actor Robert De Niro is co-owner on the 100-unit project, which has plans for a Japanese-style restaurant.



For those of you who missed one or all of the three episodes of “The Greeks” on PBS (in conjunction with National Geographic), you can catch full episodes online. DVDs are also available for purchase on the PBS website. It was a very entertaining and historically-enlightening program, sponsored in part by the National Hellenic Society. Among other sources of funding with Chicago connections, donations from the Dean Metropoulos family (Dean is on the advisory board of the National Hellenic Museum), and Peter and Adrienne Barris (Peter heads a Chicago-based investment fund).



My editor, publisher, and longtime friend Maria Karamitsos promotes so many people and causes, so when the opportunity comes for us to give her some well-earned recognition, we leap at it. Maria not only publishes this website, but she’s also writing a book, and a parent of two young ladies, and wife to software sales guru Peter Karamitsos. Fellow writer Amelia Amy Dellos profiled Maria in the latest edition of “Women Who Write.” Dellos has organized a panel discussion and meet and greet with four local women writers, including Maria. The event will take place Thursday September 8 from 6 to 8 pm at the 2112 business incubator, 4245 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. Join us!



Longtime “Taking Names” columnist Shia Kapos is now blogging with her unique take on Chicago’s business and civic community, in relation to their off-hours activities. Her “best of” columns are being aggregated in the Chicago Sun-Times twice weekly. Her first foray at the Sun-Times appeared on the front cover and it was an expose on Hillary Clinton’s big-money donors from Chicago. Previous, Shia’s columns appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business. Catch the full story here.



NBC5 Chicago recently promoted Chicago native Alex Maragos to co-anchor of the morning newscast…Vivianne Linou was recently hired as an assistant producer at CBS affiliate WBBM 780-AM news radio in Chicago.



Louis G. Apostol, executive director of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, was recently elected to the Associated Colleges of Illinois Board of Directors. Apostol has long been active in the Hellenic Bar Association and the Hellenic Foundation, among others. A former teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, Apostol went on to earn a JD and MBA. He currently chairs the Northern Illinois University College of Law Board of Visitors and is on the Board of Directors for the NIU Alumni Association.


Greek flag at Fermi Lab
Greek flag at Fermi Lab. Image: Terry Poulos



I recently had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Fermilab National Particle Accelerator in Batavia, Illinois, one of the premiere quantum particle research institutions in the world. Being a global research facility, they fly the flags of all nations but at the front entrance there’s only space for about 15 flags. Near the center of those 15 is the Greek flag. One of the security guards was taking down the flags at the end of the day and he was kind and gracious to pose with the Greek flag and give us a wide smile. A visit to Fermi is highly recommended. Not only for a tour of the accelerator and neutrino detector, and the magnificent grounds, but the place is teeming with art. The founder of the facility, Robert Wilson, was adamant that science could not be done without art as science is itself at times an art. So he established a permanent art installation and today curators host exhibits with works of art that are inspired by scientific and mathematical concepts.

That’s it for this month’s glance at Greek Chicago news.

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