This is a completely local, independent portal of information, news, reporting, analysis and story-gathering provided exclusively for the Village of Maywood, Illinois. Here, you’ll also find a forum for lively discussion and debate on those topics that matter most to you as a citizen, a resident and a person.  Quite simply, there’s no other source of information like it.


MBRMichael Romain || Founder, Publisher & Editor

Michael is the editor, publisher and principal contributor to thevillagefreepress.org. He is also the editor of the Austin Weekly News in Chicago and a staff reporter for the Oak Park-based Wednesday Journal newspaper. Michael has a dual bachelor’s degree in English & Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His analysis of local issues have been featured on a range of media platforms, including WVON’s “The Cliff Kelly Show,” WBEZ’s “Afternoon Shift,” “The Stephanie Trussel Show” on WLS 890 AM and the Channel 7 News. His coverage has received numerous awards from the Illinois Press Association.

Nick SamuelNick Samuel || Contributing Reporter & Associate Editor

Nick is a contributing reporter and associate editor of thevillagefreepress.org. A former government beat reporter for the Morris Daily Herald, he has extensive experience in covering board meetings, county projects, budgets, taxes, bond financing and local events. He has also worked for My Suburban Life, a weekly newspaper in Downers Grove. Nick acquired a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

David Pollard || Adviser & Associate Editor

David Pollard.jpgDavid has over 20 years of reporting experience. He’s covered local neighborhoods such as Maywood, Elmwood Park and Chicago’s Galewood and Mont Clare communities for the Chicago Sun-Times Media Group and the Chicago Tribune Media Group. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.

Dawn Ferencak || Advertising Director 

Dawn.jpgDawn Ferencak likes to go behind the scenes when connecting with her customers to create ways to help make their businesses grow beyond their expectations. What she didn’t expect, when she started working for Wednesday Journal Publications, Inc. seven years ago, was how much of a passion she would develop for the communities she serves. Her work has become much more of a way of life than a 9 to 5 job.

Dawn takes the time to get to know her clients’ businesses from the ground up.  She knows how important it is to learn their background; why they started their business; what their goals are; what their challenges are; and what drives them to succeed. This uniquely personal approach builds strong bonds of trust. Her clients know that she always has their best interest in mind and as a result they truly consider her a partner with them in their success. Dawn says that she believes in bringing the best skills, research and products to the table every time she has a chance to help a client. This clarity of focus is one of the reasons she has been named Sales Representative of the Year by the Illinois Press Association multiple times.


If you have talent in areas such as photography, writing, reporting, editing, video production, sales, marketing, business and intellectual property law, and accounting that you’re willing to share with VFP–send your resume and a cover letter to thevillagefreepress@gmail.com, or call 708.316.8147 for inquiries.


Our mission is to build communities and enhance local democracy by providing people with information that actually means something and creating moments that matter.


“Integrity First”


It is our vision that no community in Proviso Township, or anywhere in the country for that matter, be deprived of a source of vital, trusted, authoritative information about the decisions that affect the lives of its residents.


Although a blog, the Village Free Press has been cited as a source and/or published by a range of local and national websites and media outlets, such as: Slate magazine online, Ballotpedia, NBC 5 Chicago’s Ward Room blog, the Better Government Association’s Investigator’s Notebook blog, the West Suburban Journal, the Forest Park Review, the Wednesday Journal, Neighbors magazine and Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax blog.


nly other business owners and entrepreneurs might understand. It will be a support group, a brain trust and an advertising vehicle–all rolled into one.

Contact the Village Free Press at 708.316.8147, or email us at thevillagefreepress@gmail.com.


If you’d like to give to the Village Free Press, click on the “Donate” button below and follow PayPal’s simple instructions. Note that your donation is not tax-exempt, since we’re not registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. However, we’re always open to your generosity.

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11 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Michael,
    I am impressed at how accurately you described the Maywood Seniors event today (Gizmos, Gadgets,…). I was there and am amazed at how you captured the “flavor” of the event. Keep writing!! P.S. I am also amazed that you have no mention of Maywood Youth Mentoring Program, Inc. on this blog — as I thought you knew us well enough to take liberty to give us a “shout out!” (Despite the fact that our website is so badly in need of update! I am looking for a student who can correct this situation. Send them my way!) 🙂 Thanks.

  2. This comment has nothing to do with the article, i just found out that you’re chee chee’s grandson? Is that true? OMG Chee Chee is my best friend, and she never told me she had a grandson who had started the village free press!!!!!!!

  3. Mothers of Murdered Sons thank the Village Free Press for sharing our thought and our accomplishment with the Proviso Leyden communities. We promise to continue to do what we do for the uplifting of a communitiy in mourning.

  4. Mike, Seed of Hope Foundation would like to thank you for giving us a voice on your platform to join the discussion on youth and violence in our communities. We look forward to reading more of your work about the community.


  6. News Tip: Outbreak of infectious and contagious Scabies at Nursing Home in Bellwood, Illinois. All patients, staff, and visitors have been exposed. This nursing home receives Millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid and private insurance. But, the residents still receives substandard care!! Bellwood, Developmental Center is located at 105 Eastern, Bellwood, Illinois. This outbreak is due to poor hygiene care of patients at this nursing home. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been notified and a investigation has begun. The contact person with IDPH is Judy Levi 815-474-3129 and Suburban Access has also been notified 708-449-7257. The Loyola Medical system has confirmed the outbreak.

    P.S. The nursing home was unaware of the outbreak until visitors from a local church group returned an infected resident to the nursing home and the resident guardian was notified.

  7. To: Michael Romain and Kamil Brady – AKB EVENT.
    I would like to “Join the African American Read-In.” The event scheduled for February 20 – 24.
    I am available for any day between the 20-23. My telephone # is 708-420-3867.

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