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I was born and raised in the south suburbs. A Mother McAuley girl forever, I later memorized the potholes on I-57 during my five years attaining both bachelor and master degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During my time with local news, I have learned invaluable lessons in local journalism as I teared up while covering the funeral of a beloved couple and chased a renegade miniature pony through a subdivision. I have seen firsthand what responsible, inspiring hyper-local journalism can do for a community. I love working for Patch, and sharing my passion with our communities. Questions? Concerns? Comments? You have my full attention at lauren.traut(at)patch.com, or 708-465-4653.