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Video: The Tiffany Henyard timeline — how we got where we are


“Local news” means we were here before the drama, and we’ll be here after the drama is over

LANSING, Ill. (May 17, 2024) – Tiffany Henyard was local news before she became a national media sensation. This week’s video provides a timeline of milestones in our two-year journey of following the story and reporting back to our readers.

A couple of key points we try to make:

  • Tiffany Henyard was not elected to the position of Supervisor by the people of Thornton Township. She was appointed by the trustees after six meetings and more than a dozen failed nominations.
  • The drama in Thornton Township has attracted national media attention, but local media understand that this drama does not define our community. There are other stories to tell, and we will be here to tell those stories.

Although there is overlap between Thornton Township and the Village of Dolton — and The Lansing Journal has covered both — this video and the article timeline below focus only on Thornton Township:

This week’s video is longer than usual because The Lansing Journal has provided extensive coverage of Thornton Township over the past two years, and summarizing all those articles and videos was not easy. The timeline below includes the full list of articles we’ve published. The highlighted ones are specifically referenced in the video.

The timeline: Tiffany Henyard articles in chronological order

2022 — Local news was already here

  1. January 3, 2022: Frank Zuccarelli, longtime Thornton Township Supervisor, died Monday, January 3, 2022 (Point of interest: This story includes a quote from Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard.)
  2. March 1, 2022: Confusion marks attempted appointment of Zuccarelli replacement
  3. March 3, 2022, 10:55 p.m.: Surprise twist: Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard becomes Thornton Township Supervisor

2022 — Local news kept reporting

  1. March 8, 2022: Mayor/Supervisor Henyard leads first Thornton Township Board meeting
  2. March 23, 2022: ‘It was a shock’ – Two Thornton Township employees fired under Supervisor Henyard
  3. April 17, 2022: Dolton dominates Thornton Township Annual Meeting
  4. April 18, 2022: Township board discusses bills and financial questions
  5. May 3, 2022: Thornton Township Board appoints three new FOIA officers, approves personnel changes
  6. June 3, 2022: Three-month recap: Township-level politics get complicated following Zuccarelli death
  7. July 20, 2022: Township anticipates spending $50,000 on Taste of Thornton Township entertainment
  8. July 30, 2022: Thornton Township continues ‘Days in the Park’ tradition at Lansing’s Fox Pointe
  9. August 20, 2022: Thornton Township General Assistance Fund receives approval after 70-minute closed session
  10. September 29, 2022: Tensions run high during public comment at Thornton Township Board meeting (with video)
  11. December 27, 2022: Enterprise agreement, holiday bonuses? – Thornton Township Board meeting recap

2023 — Local news was joined by larger medai

  1. January 13, 2023: Mental health referendum question to appear on ballots in Thornton Township
  2. February 24, 2023: General Fund and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund approvals called into question at Thornton Township meeting
  3. March 7, 2023: Local Voices: Thornton Township concerns
  4. March 20, 2023: Local mayors recommend ‘no’ vote on Thornton Township mental health referendum
  5. April 13, 2023: Residents voice praises and concerns at Thornton Township Annual Meeting (with video)
  6. May 11, 2023: Thornton Township starts mental health tour for youth
  7. June 1, 2023: Under scrutiny: Big spending and a Springfield joyride for Thornton Township’s Tiffany Henyard
  8. June 7, 2023: Locked out: Thornton Township Assessor no longer able to keep taxpayer info secure (with video)
  9. June 20, 2023: Thornton Township Board declares Assessor ‘absent from duties’ (with video)
  10. June 28, 2023: Thornton Township awards over 70 student scholarships
  11. July 6, 2023: Local Voices: Addressing illegal activities by an elected official
  12. July 25, 2023: Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard calls out Calumet City Mayor Thaddeus Jones
  13. July 27, 2023: ‘Ya gotta show up,’ says Kim Foxx to Dolton residents
  14. August 18, 2023: Security denies public entrance at Thornton Township meeting; Freeman restricts public comment; Board approves Walk Of Hope spending

2024 — Community voices gain strength; subpoenas are finally served

  1. January 26, 2024: Video: Let’s talk about Thornton Township (with additional video clips)
  2. February 4, 2024: Local Voices: Tiffany Henyard is trying to fool us
  3. February 14, 2024: Public denied access to Thornton Township Board meeting
  4. February 15, 2024: Local Voices: Answering Tiffany Henyard’s ‘Referendum Question’
  5. February 26, 2024: Journal reporter denied entrance to Thornton Township Black History event, told NDA was needed
  6. February 28, 2024: Public eventually allowed into Thornton Township meeting – Supervisor Henyard absent
  7. March 9, 2024: Local politicians again recommend ‘no’ vote on Thornton Township mental health referendum
  8. March 14, 2024: Thornton Township referendum discussion, Supervisor Henyard on ‘fighting against the devil’ (with video)
  9. March 15, 2024: Video: Thornton Township Trustee Gonzalez questions Henyard referendum
  10. March 18, 2024: Local Voices: Tiffany Henyard’s advertising budget, and is there a budget deficit?
  11. March 19, 2024: Thornton Township voters decisively strike down mental health referendum
  12. March 26, 2024: Tiffany Henyard on the ‘brainwashed’ decision to vote against mental health referendum (with video)
  13. April 6, 2024: Thornton Township Annual Meeting – Agenda for April 9, 2024
  14. April 11, 2024: Thornton Township restricts media access at 2024 Annual Meeting
  15. April 13, 2024: ‘What are we hiding?’ – Thornton Township residents ask Tiffany Henyard for the numbers
  16. April 16, 2024: Thornton Township official Keith Freeman indicted for bankruptcy fraud
  17. April 17, 2024: ‘We are fed up’ – residents speak out against Tiffany Henyard at Thornton Township annual meeting (with video)
  18. April 18, 2024: From Tiffany Henyard drama to the TF North Drama Team
  19. April 20, 2024: Thornton Township financial reports approved – see the numbers
  20. April 29, 2024: Thornton Township residents decry Tiffany Henyard at ‘Take our Township Back’ rally
  21. April 30, 2024: Watch: Thornton Township Board meeting 4/23/24
  22. May 12, 2024: Federal subpoenas of Thornton Township focus on Tiffany Henyard – read in full
  23. May 15, 2024: Watch: Thornton Township approves new FOIA system, Tiffany Henyard says media is ‘part of the problem’

Supporting local reporting

The Lansing Journal plans to be here even after the drama dies down. We want to tell the full story of our community, not just the sensational and the outrageous. We depend on community support in order to continue showing up and reporting back. Will you show your support today?

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.