In the picture, Sarah Walker smiles broadly outside the front door of her new home in Lockport.
Her mother, Ann Walker, stands behind her, smiling too.
Their excitement is hard to contain — after months of frustration and red tape, the two finally moved into their new house July 5.
"We are happy in our new home," Ann Walker said in an email. "Even Troy (their dog) likes the fenced-in yard."
The Walkers, featured in a June 9 column, had been waiting since Dec. 26 for Chase Bank to rule on their short-sale offer.
After the Problem Solver inquired about the case, things moved quickly. Chase approved their offer, the Walkers closed on the house July 1, then moved in four days later.
Ann Walker sent a photo of her and Sarah at their new residence a short time after moving in.
There is still some work to be done.
Wood flooring is being installed on the main level, and the Walkers are sharing a bedroom until a contractor finishes adaptations for Sarah's wheelchair.
The family's furniture remains in storage, and Ann Walker is working to get a permit to build a concrete ramp outside the front door.
"As soon as all the flooring is installed, I can have the appliances delivered," she said. "I am cooking on the grill and microwave. That's OK; it's better than living in a hotel."
ComEd has agreed to pay a contractor $2,525 to repair Wayne Pukala's damaged storm drain.
The Elmhurst resident signed a release Saturday, accepting the utility company's proposal for the fixes.
Pukala, featured in the June 23 column, alleged ComEd broke the drain pipe when it installed a new utility pole in his back yard last summer.
With the drain pipe broken, his backyard flooded for several days after recent rains.
The release Pukala signed states that ComEd will pay for the repairs but does not admit liability for the damage.
"Wayne Pukala further understands and agrees that this settlement is the compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim," the release states.
Yard battle continues
Kathy Cummings' fight with the city over her award-winning front yard continues.
The West Town resident, once honored by Mayor Richard Daley for her natural garden, was fined $640 in November for violating the city's weed ordinance.
An administrative hearing officer ruled in the city's favor, but the battle did not end.
Cummings has since filed a class-action suit, asking a judge to stop the city from issuing future weed ordinance tickets.
"We're asking for fairness and a moratorium on all the tickets," she said.
The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29.