Wednesday, September 2, 2015

D300 Teachers' Agreement Announced, But No Details

District 300 teachers' union LEAD 300 Tuesday evening announced on its Facebook page that "We have a tentative contract agreement."  The notice said union members will be informed of the details next Sunday, Sept. 13, with a vote on the proposed three-year pact scheduled for Sept. 16.

LEAD 300 President Mike Williamson didn't respond to requests for more information.   Earlier this year, he told FEN contract talks covered teacher salaries but also included ways to improve the District's reading program.

D300 School Board spokesman Joe Stevens said Tuesday, "I don't think we'll have any comment until we vote on it."  Assuming union approval on the 16th, the Board of Ed wouldn't vote on the agreement until Sept. 22 without calling a special meeting.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

 scroll down for stories
D300 Teachers' Agreement Announced, But No Details
State Proposals Make D300 Budget Still Hazy Three Weeks Out
Local Schools "Lock Down" On Crystal Lake Gunman Report
Manhunt Continues For Fox Lake Cop Shooters
Fox Valley District To Patrons:  More Library?  What Price?
"Gastropub" With Drinks And Food Opens In LITH
Rauner Reaches New State Agreements With Teamsters
Judge Acquits Criminal Attorney
Three Of Four House Hopefuls Appear At Dundee Twp. GOP Meet
Longmeadow Tree Impact Found Less Than Imagined
Huntley Downtown This Week:  Second Verse, Same As The First
Illinois Legislative Remapping Effort Begins To Heat Up Again
Kane County Opens Brunner Forest Preserve South Of Algonquin
Twilight Cruise Night Fills Downtown Algonquin With Cars, Crowd
Academy Kids Harvest Veggie Donations For Grafton Food Pantry
Officials Argue Over Calamitous Drop In State Fair Attendance
Algonquin Commons Entertainment Promotions Return
Lightning Lays LITH Well Low
Health Department Reports County West Nile Crow Located
State Denies Contempt For "Impossible" Pay Order
Rauner's Budget Adviser's Contract Finished Friday
McHenry County: Fewer Jobs But A Better July Unemployment Rate
Huntley Board Requires Make-Up Parking For Dual Ordering Lane
LITH Lowers Water Hook Ups, Will Count Video Gaming "Incentive"
Rauner Budget Guru's Contract Up For Second Extension Today
Huntley D158 Students Return For New School Year
One Injured In Evening Algonquin Townhouse Fire
Algonquin, Huntley Groups Among Foundation Grant Winners
U.S. Judge Orders Illinois Comptroller Accounting By Friday

State Proposals Make D300 Budget Still Hazy Three Weeks Out

Reviewing District 300's proposed 2015-16 budget Tuesday, Chief Financial Officer Sustan Harkin Tuedsay told the Board of Ed's Finance and Audit Committee, "This is probably the craziest budget I've ever done."

On paper, it comes out $9.3 million in the black, mostly from increased State Aid she said.  However, Harkin also listed a litany of proposals pending in Springfield that, if enacted, could add up to as much as $22 million in cuts to current revenue.  A shift in responsibility for teachers' pensions and a possible property tax freeze were the big items.  The list didn't include anywhere from $500,000 to $800,000 that might be lost if Sears Holding Corporation eventually convince authorities that its Hoffman Estates headquarters isn't worth as much as Cook County assessors claim.

Despite the uncertainty, Harkin said there are statutory budget requirements.  "We'll have to adopt the budget," she said, "and then we will have to come back and amend it," she said.

New Finance Committee Member Joe Stevens put it more bluntly.  Under the circumstances in Illinois right now, "This budget doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot."

Nevertheless, D300's Board of Education's expected to vote on it Sept. 22.

Local Schools "Lock Down" On Crystal Lake Gunman Report

Lincoln Prairie Elementary in Lake in the Hills and and Jacobs High School in Algonquin both had "soft lockdowns" Tuesday while Crystal Lake police tried to sort out a report of a residential assault by a gunman.  District 300 Superintendent Fred Heid said later that clamping "'shelter-in-place' protocols" on the schools was standard operating procedure.

"The decision to activate our safety procedures is based upon multiple factors including recommendations by local law enforcement, proximity of an event to our schools, and the severity of the event," Heid said.

This event occurred at about 1 pm at a home near Miller and Golf Course roads in Crystal Lake.  Police said a resident there complained another resident, 23 year-old Daniel T. Hawkins, had pointed a gun at him during a dispute.  Crystal Lake Police spent most of the afternoon trying unsuccessfully to contact Hawkins in the residence to negotiate with him.  Eventually, they gave up when to decided he wasn't there.

Police still haven't found Hawkins but said they don't think he's a threat to the general public.  "This event has every appearance of being uniquely related to the individuals involved," according to Deputy Chief Derek Hykas.

Update 9/2:  Crystal Lake Police reported Daniel T. Hawkins turned himself in today and was released on $1,500 bond against a charge of aggravated assault.

In the pic:  Daniel T. Hawkins

Manhunt Continues For Fox Lake Cop Shooters

Police armed with rifles conducted a massive manhunt with helicopters and dogs in northern Lake and McHenry counties Tuesday night and this morning after a Fox Lake police officer was fatally shot pursuing a group of men.

The slain officer, 53-year old Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, was well known in the area law enforcement community where he sported the nickname "G.I. Joe."  Shaking his head Tuesday night, Algonquin Police Chief John Bucci recalled, "I trained with him for six months a few years ago."

Authorities said they're not sure how Gliniewicz was killed.  They said he radioed in to tell dispatchers he was chasing three men on foot but then there no more messages.  "His backup arrived shortly thereafter and found him injured with a gunshot wound," said Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.   Gliniewicz died where he was found police said.

Besides local police, searchers include Illinois State Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI. They're looking for two white men and one black man, the trio believed to be armed with a pistol.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 1
2312 HRS 80 BLOCK OF HILLTOP DR. DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  FERGUSON, SETH, 20 YEARS OLD, 527 DELAWARE DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident, Improper Lane Usage, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, and Failure to Provide Aid/Information for a traffic accident.  Notice to Appear Issued for Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1029 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF PATTON AVE.  ASSIST OTHER POLICE AGENCY.   Assisted McHenry County Sheriff Department with serving a No Contact Order.
1253 HRS 00 BLOCK OF DANBURY CT.  FRAUD. Credit card used without owner's consent.
1302 HRS 10 BLOCK OF CRABAPPLE CT.  DOMESTIC.  Husband vs. Wife.  Verbal only.  One Prior.  Female, Transported to Centegra Hospital Woodstock.
1438 HRS 300 BLOCK OF MEADOW LN.  FRAUD.  Debit card used without owner's consent.
1756 HRS SPRING LAKE DR. & MILLER RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1838 HRS 3900 BLOCK OF SPRING LAKE CT.  AMBULANCE ASSIST.  Male, 35 years old, evaluation.  Transported to Centegra Hospital Woodstock.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fox Valley District To Patrons: More Library? What price?

The Fox Valley Library District which serves Kane County Algonquin plans a series of public input sessions next week to see how much more library patrons want and, perhaps, how much they're willing to pay for it.  "We have done a needs assessment and found the amount of space is too small," explained Library Director Roxane Bennett.  The problem is, "We don't have a lot of reserves and we don't have bonding authority without a referendum."

"Designing Our Future" sessions are planned next Tuesday at the main Dundee library at  9:30 am and 4 and 6:30 pm.  There's also an 11 am session scheduled at the District's Randall Oaks branch.  In fact, the outlying branch is a big part of what the sessions are about, according to Bennett.  The Randall Oaks location opened three years ago as a stopgap for the new homes that mushroomed around Randall Road during the housing boom.  However, the lease with the Dundee Park District has less than two years to go before it runs out.

Another looming question is what, if anything, to do with the former Dundee Township Offices space in the Dundee branch.  The District officially inherited the space this Spring but Bennett estimated it would require a full lower level rehab to use it for more than storage, at an estimated $500,000 price tag.

Hence, next week's input sessions.  "It's not, 'Here's what we're going to do,'" said Bennett.  "It's going to be, 'What do you want and how much do you want it?,'" she said.

"Gastropub" With Drinks And Food Opens In LITH

Monday saw the long-awaited official opening of Woods Creek Tavern on North Randall Road.  Located in the extensively and expensively (cast monogrammed door hardware) remodeled former Applebee's location, Lake in the Hills' new "gastropub" replaces a restaurant which served drinks with a tavern that serves food.

About the tavern part: "We have 32 craft beers on tap," said General Manager Patrick Murphy, "and 15 in bottles.  Plus four wines on tap."  About the food: menu items include Caprese chicken sandwiches, Caesar salad, meatloaf with garlic mashed and mushroom gravy and cheese and mac (as opposed to mac and cheese).  One patron rated peach pie and whipped cream chucked in a chilled Mason jar an "amazing" dessert.

The term "Gastropub" was only added to the Oxford English Dictionary three years ago.  In fact it's a British term since "Pub Grub" has injected new life into what was once a moribund English tavern scene.  Woods Creek boss Dave Abaham hopes the concept will do the same thing here.  He plans the LITH location as the pattern for a whole chain of Woods Creek Taverns.

Rauner Reaches New State Agreements With Teamsters

The Rauner administration said Monday it's reached tentative agreements on new labor contracts with three more groups of Teamsters units,  adding about 4,l00 more workers to the 500 who've already settled statewide. The new agreement includes a four-year wage freeze, continuation of a 40-hour work week and a reduction in vacation day buybacks.

"This agreement is good for taxpayers and good for state employees,” Rauner said in a statement. “We were able to reach an agreement with the Teamsters quickly because all parties negotiated in good faith, something we are committed to doing with all unions representing state employees.”

The 4,600 workers covered by the Teamster contracts, however, is dwarfed by 38,000 state workers represented by a different union,  AFSCME.  That's the union pushing the House Wednesday to override the governor's veto of a bill replacing the bargaining process with binding arbitration. The Senate's has already approved an override but the Teamsters' agreements help Rauner prove he can reach reach union agreements without arbitration.

Judge Acquits Criminal Attorney

A U.S. District Judge Monday acquited a high-profile Chicago lawyer of coaching clients and witnesses to lie.  Judge Harry Leinenweber said some of criminal defense attorney Beau Brindley's practices that prosecutors questioned were, in fact, the mark of good legal work.

The 37-year-old lawyer quickly made a name for himself in Chicago after moving from Iowa, boasting about aggressive legal strategies on behalf of purported mobsters and drug traffickers.  Prosecutors claimed what Brindley really did was write question-and-answer "scripts" instructing clients and witnesses to memorize false answers.

Leinenweber said all of of Brindley's former clients who testified against him had already "lied at least once under oath" and some had been offered sentence reductions in exchange for their testimony, too.  Mainly, however, the judge said he himself had used scripts when he was a private attorney.  "The use of Q-and-As is not the least bit improper," he said.

After the verdict Brindley said, "It validates aggressive defense on behalf of your clients and doing everything you can to try to achieve the best result, which is our ethical duty."

In the pic:  Beau Brindley

Obituaries

Carrissa T. Jackson, 20,  of Algonquin died Saturday.  Visitation will be Thursday from 4 pm until the time of services at 7:30 at Wait Ross Allanson Funeral and Cremation Services, Algonquin.  Interment will be private.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 31
1903 HRS 9625 HALIGUS RD. (MARLOWE MIDDLE SCHOOL).  AMBULANCE ASSIST.  Male, 12 years old, with leg injury.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
2051 HRS 00 BLOCK OF CRABAPPLE CT.  DOMESTIC.  Husband vs Wife.  No Priors.
Huntley
August 25
Jessica A. Kerwin, age 18, of 48W868 Rt. 72, Hampshire, was charged with retail theft from a store in the 12300 block of Rt. 47.  Ms. Kerwin was released with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on September 14, 2015.
August 26
A vehicle was reported stolen from a business parking lot in the 11800 block of Illinois Rt. 47.
Two skateboards were reported stolen from Ol’ Timers park, 10700 Church Street.  The skateboards were left unattended and when the owners returned they were gone.
August 27
A hit and run report was taken near the intersection of Messing Drive and Delaney Drive.  A street light and mailboxes were damaged.
Renee L. Vongsa, age 31, of 3281 Banford, Lake in the Hills, was arrested for driving with a suspended registration near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Oak Creek Parkway.  Ms. Vongsa posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of September 25, 2015.
August 28
Julie K. Ahillen, age 45, of 9988 Cummings Street, Huntley, was arrested on two counts of domestic battery at her residence.  Ms. Ahillen was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond call.
August 29
A delayed retail theft report was taken at a store in the 12300 block of Illinois Rt. 47.  Electronics were reported stolen.
August 30
A battery report was taken in the 11800 block of Hawley Street.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Three Of Four House Hopefuls Appear At Dundee Twp. GOP Meet

Turnout was light at Sunday's Dundee Township Republican Annual Picnic at Randall Oaks Park in West Dundee.  Only a handful of party stalwarts attended and only three of the four GOP candidates for the House 66th District next Spring came to mingle with them.

None of the three said much either for or about themselves.  Dan Wilbrandt and  Allen Skillicorn probably didn't need to, being, respectively, trustees in West Dundee and East Dundee in the first place.  Carolyn Schofield probably did need to make a pitch since, although she's a McHenry County Board member, she's not so familiar in Kane County.

"I came to learn what Kane County residents have to say," Schofield told FEN later on.  "Thirty percent of the District is in Kane County," she said.  Even so, Schofield spent most of her time sharing chicken and potato salad with a table full of other McHenry County Republicans and only spoke briefly with Kane County GOP Chairman, Circuit Clerk Tom Hartwell.

Absent at the picnic was the fourth 66th District GOP hopeful, Lakewood Trustee Paul Serwatka.  He posted a video on YouTube last week promising "Change", but didn't specify what sort.

Change, one way or another, is pretty much guaranteed in the 66th District, next year.  Incumbent Rep. Mike Tryon announced in June he'll retire after 10 years in the Legislature.

Longmeadow Tree Impact Found Less Than Imagined

"Stop Longmeadow" slogans stenciled onto Route 31 before this weekend's grand opening at the Brunner Family Forest Preserve prompted FEN to take a closer look at the planned Longmeadow Parkway's environmental impact.  It's less than most people might think.

 Opponents charged in a Facebook posting last week that the Parkway "will cut right through [the Brunner Forest Preserve] causing irreparable damage to this beautiful land."  The part about the Parkway's running through the middle of the Preserve is correct but, according to Kane Conservation District officials, 450 of Brunner's 751 acres are currently planted to row crops.  If the Parkway ran through Brunner today it would mostly bisect a cornfield.

Longmeadow's planned to pass through more than just Brunner, however.  The path runs about 3.5 miles from Route 62 across the Fox to Huntley Road at Boyer Road.   Opponents at meetings have charged that building it will require chopping down "7,000 200 year-old oak trees".

The newest old map FEN could locate that shows forestation, however, indicates most of the trees in the proposed Longmeadow right of way can't be more than 125 years old at best.  A Kane Division of Transportation survey last year found that only 15 had diameters that might mark them as 150 years old or more.

Timbers in old houses indicate Chestnuts were common a mile or so downriver but if there were ever any in Longmeadow's path, they fell to the blight a century ago.  

KDOT's survey estimated that there are, indeed, 7,200 trees in the the proposed right of way but, based on representative sampling, most are invasive or opportunistic species and over half of them are either dead or sickly, anyway.  Only about five percent are oaks of some description, according to the report, oddly enough, about the same percentage as American elms.



The survey's located here:  http://kdot.countyofkane.org/Longmeadow%20Parkway/Longmeadow%20Tree%20Report%20Final%20August%207%202014.pdf

 Highway planners promise all the trees lost to the Parkway will be replaced with plantings of desirable species.

In the pic:  (above) Where trees were in 1892 along the Longmeadow Parkway route.  (below)  Where they are today.

Huntley Downtown This Week: Second Verse, Same As The First

Huntley's Downtown Project update for this week calls for little change.  Main Street between Woodstock and Church will remain two-way with occasional temporary traffic disruptions and detours for construction. Concrete sidewalks are supposed to finish up with work shifting to brick paver installation and landscaping. Crews have installed curbs and gutters and the subbase on Main so concrete work's expected to shift over to Coral and Woodstock streets this week.

Village officials report ComEd and Comcast have completed utility service switchovers but those for AT&T will probably continue "for a couple more weeks."   ComEd's supposed to continue removing the company's overhead cables and utility poles,  AT&T's supposed to pull down the remainder when crews finish those service changes.

Illinois Legislative Remapping Effort Begins To Heat Up Again

Illinois' new Independent Map movement said it picked up 550 more signatures at this weekend’s Urbana Sweetcorn Festival.  The group's grinding away toward an official goal of 290,000 by next May claiming it's already collected 263,000  petition signatures to put a constitutional amendment to reform the State's redistricting process on next November's ballot.

Earlier this year, the Independent Map movement announced plans to resurrect a plan for a bipartisan map-drawing process aimed at putting an end to gerrymandering.   "Rigged maps were a major reason why 82 of 137 legislative races were uncontested [in 2014]," claims the group.  A similar remap effort that year foundered after an Election Board finding that some of the signatures collected were invalid and a judicial ruling that the constitutional amendment's phrasing as then written was itself unconstitutional.

This time backers say they plan to gather twice the required number of signatures this time and the group's chairman, Dennis FitzSimons, said the new measure's language is the work of  "some of the city’s best legal minds."

The changes are apparently credible enough that organized opposition's formed.  "We believe the results of allowing an independent commission to draw the map will be anything but fair to minorities, and will prevent minorities from electing the candidates of their choice," warned a mass mailing earlier this month from a group calling itself  "People's Map."  According to the letters, changing Illinois' remapping process is a sneaky Republican plot.

"Independent Maps is an independent, diverse and non-partisan effort," the reform group shot back last week. "The Independent Maps Board of Directors is diverse with five African-American and three Latino community leaders, and its members would not be involved in a proposal that would hurt minority communities," it said.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 30
0210 HRS RANDALL RD. & STONEGATE RD. DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  LANGLAND, SHANNON M., F/W 37 YEARS OF AGE, 1800 FAYETTE WALK, HOFFMAN ESTATES. CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Improper Lane Use.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0013 HRS 500 BLOCK OF BLACKHAWK DR.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Brother vs. Sister.  No Priors. FAIL TO FILE.
1046 HRS 3900 BLOCK OF THORNBERRY WAY.  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Possible violation of no contact order.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1120 HRS 5500 BLOCK OF ALEXANDRIA DR.  SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  Female, 15 years of age.  Suicide attempt.  Transported to St. Joseph Hospital.
1554 HRS 4100 BLOCK OF SPRING LAKE DR.  CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.  Complainant’s bicycle was damaged.  FAIL TO FILE.
1743 HRS 1400 BLOCK OF CLAYTON MARSH DR.  AMBULANCE ASSIST.  Male, 29 years old, difficulty breathing.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1804 HRS 00 BLOCK FLOWERFIELD CT.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Ex-Husband vs. Ex-Wife.  No Priors.  FAIL TO FILE.
2207 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF PINE ST.  DOMESTIC.  Husband vs. Wife.  No Priors.
Algonquin
August 24
14:41pm Koss, Kristina D., DOB: 08/09/1994, of 730 Fairfield Ln., Algonquin, was charged with DWLS and Using an Electronic Communication Device while driving.  She was taken into custody at Stonegate and Huntington.  She was released after posting bond with a court date in McHenry County.
18:07pm Townes, Deshawn, DOB: 02/19/1983, of 622 S. Third St, DeKalb, was charged with Retail Theft.  He was taken into custody at 1501 E. Algonquin Rd.  He was unable to post bond and was transported to the McHenry County Jail.
23:47pm Calderon-Victorino, Huvertino, DOB: 02/02/1968, of 64 S. Clifton Ave., Elgin, was charged with No DL and Improper Lane Use.  He was taken into custody at RT 62 and Longwood.  He was released after posting bond with a court date in McHenry County.
August 25
20:55pm Olivas, Cory D., DOB: 03/16/1992, of 511 Greens View Dr., Algonquin, was charged with Battery.  He was taken into custody at 2555 Bunker Hill Dr.  He was released after posting bond with a court date in McHenry County.
August 27
16:50pm Smith, Amanda J., DOB: 07/23/1996, of 9417 First Ave, Cary, was charged with Speeding 40+ miles over the limit.  She was taken into custody at RT 31 and Huntington Dr.  She was released with a personal bond and court date in McHenry County.
20:52pm Eppolito, Anthony J., DOB: 03/15/1952, of 951 Interloch Ct was charged with Attempted Residential Arson.  He was taken into custody at the same location and transported to the McHenry County Jail.
August 28
22:56pm Kollios, Matthew J., DOB: 12/14/1977, of 440 South Drive, Algonquin, was charged with  DUI, Driver’s License expired more than one year and No Seatbelt.  He was taken into custody at RT 31 and Jayne St.  He was released with a court date in McHenry County.
August 30
04:22am Macas-Marca, Manuel J., DOB: 12/13/1984, of 3940 Georgetown Circle, Algonquin, was charged with No Valid DL and No Turn Signal.  He was taken into custody at Georgetown Circle and Bunker Hill Dr.  He was released after posting bond with a court date in McHenry County.
16:00pm Two 14 year-olds from Lake in the Hills were arrested for Retail Theft from 400 S. Randall Rd.  They were taken into custody at the same location. Both were referred to the Tri Area Court For Teens and released to their parents.
20:18pm Pinsel, Joseph A., DOB: 02/10/1992, of 1226 N. Winchester Ave., Chicago, was charged with Theft over $300.  He was taken into custody at 1440 Richmond, Algonquin.  He was taken to Kane County bond court.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kane County Opens Brunner Forest Preserve South Of Algonquin

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County claimed 200 Saturday at the Grand Opening of Brunner Family Forest Preserve east of Route 31 between Algonquin and Carpentersville.  With a light mist just ending, that number may have been overly optimistic but a lot of open space fans came and went at the celebration of the long-awaited and newly improved forest preseve.

"This is a happy day," said Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen heading toward the hamburger table after the ribbon cutting ceremony for the 741-acre rural property.  Rural was the point, said County Board Member T.R. Smith.  "If it weren't for this preserve we'd be standing in the middle of a bunch of townhouses now," he said.

Purchased in 2008, The Brunner Family Forest Preserve borders 3.5 miles of the Fox River from Buffalo Park Forest Preserve down to the Fox River Shores Forest Preserve.  Combined with the Raceway Woods Forest Preserve they all add up to over 1,000 acres of contiguous open space.

Brunner amenities include a picnic shelter, water pump, information kiosk, fishing access, interpretive signs, parking lot, restrooms, and nearly five miles of trails, so far.  A 12-acre fen restoration is in progress, as is a 20-acre wetland restoration and a 60-acre prairie restoration.  That's just for starters, according to County Board Member Becky Gillam who said seeds for native plants are the bottleneck holding back more restoration.  "They're hard to get and they're expensive," she said.

Twilight Cruise Night Fills Downtown Algonquin With Cars, Crowd

The cars kept rumbling in during the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce Twilight Cruise Night Saturday in Algonquin's South Main Street.  BGV Motorsports Promoter Steve Howorka said he'd checked in about 70 at 6 pm and estimated there might be 80 to 100 by 8 o'clock.

Chamber Director Dave Rudin called the not overly-publicized event a definite hit and said it heralded more to come.  "We're looking to do a lot more celebrations to support and promote Downtown Algonquin," he said.

The coolest car to show up was probably a chopped and channeled '50 Merc with lake pipes but the most interesting was most likely the superbly restored 1956 Volkswagen brought by Crystal Lake Beetle buff F. P. Martinez.  That was the first year for direct VW imports. The company sold about 33,000 bugs in the U.S. that year at $1,995 apiece, even though a 6-cylinder Ford Fairlane two-door only cost $52 more.  The rest, as they say, was history.

Academy Kids Harvest Veggie Donations For Grafton Food Pantry

Children at Lakewood's Chesterbrook Academy harvested produce they raised this Summer to support the Grafton Food Pantry in Huntley.  " We dug up 33 potatoes and 25 onions out of our garden that we planted back on Earth Day with our plant donations from Kolze’s Corner Gardens," said Chesterbrook Principal Sandy Jenner.

Besides the 'taters and onions, the kids have harvested 10 gallon-sized bags of spinach, 11 gallon-sized bags of lettuce, 4 heads of broccoli, one of cauliflower, 19 tomatoes and a pepper.  [Peppers are trickier than you'd think.]  "This has been a great experience for the children not only to learn about gardening, vegetables and how they grow but also to service the community and those in need," Jenner said. 

The Grafton Food Pantry at 11481 Allison Court in Huntley is open 4 to 7 pm Mondays, and 1 to 4 pm Wednesdays and Fridays.  The phone's (847) 495-0922

Officials Argue Over Calamitous Drop In State Fair Attendance

Springfield was roiled this week over a report that attendance at the Illinois State Fair fell by more than 50 percent this year.  According to estimates, only about 411,000 people visited the fair during its 11-day run this year, way below last year's 844,000. Since this year's method of counting heads was different from previous years, some are suggesting the prior numbers were inflated.   Call the brewing scandal "State Fair Gate-gate".

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you they purposefully cheated on their numbers," said first-year Fair manager Patrick Buchen.  He did, however, point out that, while this year's attendance numbers were down by half, the parking numbers were actually up slightly and the number of Grandstand tickets sold was up even more.

Other officials pronounced themselves shocked, shocked at the idea that previous State Fair attendance might have been "cooked".  They suggested a number of reasons that people might really have stayed away from the Fair in droves this year.  Among the excuses, not necessarily in order of  plausibility:  early school starts, no State budget, three stabbings, boring bands, the high price of funnel cakes and corn dogs, dingy restrooms and not enough harness racing.

In the pic:  After suggestions that last year's attendance numbers at the Illinois State Fair were inflated came allegations that 2014's annual butter sculpture was really made from oleomargarine.  [We made that up. Probably.]

McHenry County Indictments

A McHenry County Grand Jury returned indictments this week against the following individuals:  The charges against these defendants are merely allegations against them.  The defendants are presumed innocent of any crime until proven guilty in court. For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon their submission of a court record.


TODD J. BEDGOOD, DOB: 03/27/1968, 22 DELLWOOD CT., ALGONQUIN.  AGGRAVATED DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL (TWO COUNTS),  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED.  --Marengo PD

KELLY A. GORDON, DOB: 03/18/1984, 1875 GLENEAGLE CIRCLE, ELGIN.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA (TWO COUNTS). --Algonquin PD

BRIAN M. ADAMS, DOB: 04/24/1989, 2208 WESTERN AVENUE, WAUKEGAN.  SALLY E. EPPERSON, DOB: 08/26/1967, 59 AMBER COURT, LINDENHURST.  INSURANCE FRAUD (TWO COUNTS) (OVER $300). --McHenry County Sheriff's Office

JEFFREY A. HUNT, DOB: 09/08/1964, 415 CHARLOTTE AVE., CRYSTAL LAKE.  AGGRAVATED DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF STOLEN MOTOR VEHICLE, DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED OR SUSPENDED (SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE). --Woodstock PD
   
NICHOLAS D. PITEJ, DOB: 09/11/1944, 309 MCHENRY AVE., WOODSTOCK.  AGGRAVATED BATTERY TO A PEACE OFFICER (TWO COUNTS). --Woodstock PD
   
JOHNATHON SOLRTE, DOB: 06/22/1986, 795 DARTMOOR DR., CRYSTAL LAKE.  UNLAWFUL FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER. --Crystal Lake PD
   
JAROSLAW SZCZGIEL, DOB: 10/09/1981,    625 AMBASSADOR CIRCLE 2H, CRYSTAL LAKE. RETAIL THEFT. (SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE). --Crystal Lake PD
   
MARTIN U. ACOSTA-COSTILLO, DOB: 01/14/1988, 134 ELLSWORTH STREET, CRYSTAL LAKE.  AGGRAVATED DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (TWO COUNTS), DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED. --Crystal Lake PD
   
BRIDGET M. GIBSON, DOB: 12/06/1988, 1501 NORTHFIELD CT., HARVARD.  RETAIL THEFT (OVER $300), RETAIL THEFT (SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE). --Johnsburg PD
   
GARY M.D. MOE, DOB: 01/09/1990, 4104 SPRING GROVE RD., JOHNSBURG.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.  --McHenry County Sheriff's Office
   
KATHRYN P. BARANOWSKI, DOB: 12/01/1989, 686 TRAILSIDE DR., LAKE ZURICH. UNLAWFUL DELIVERY OF A LOOK A LIKE SUBSTANCE (TWO COUNTS). --North Central Narcotics Task Force
   
OSVALDO R. FLORES, DOB: 10/23/1993, 104 N. ROSEFARM RD., WOODSTOCK.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. --Crystal Lake PD

Obituaries

Lawrence J. Ruschke, Jr., 75, of Crystal Lake, formerly of Algonquin, died Friday. Visitation will be at Ahlgrim Funeral Home,  Elmhurst, from 4 to 8 pm Monday.  A funeral service will be held at the funeral home, Tuesday, at 11 am.  Interment will be in Elm Lawn Cemetery.

Ruschke was born Dec. 23, 1939, the son of the late Lawrence Sr. and Marie Ruschke.  He is survived by his brothers, Daniel (Fran) Ruschke, Gerald (Dorothy) Ruschke and Ricky (Tammy) Ruschke.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 29
0450 HRS RANDALL RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS/INJURY ACCIDENT.  PERRY, JOHN O., M/W 27 YEARS OF AGE, 707 W. SHERIDAN RD., CHICAGO.
CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Driving in the Wrong Lane, Failure to Notify the Secretary of State of an Address Change and Unlawful Possession of Cannabis. RELEASED ON BOND.  Three vehicles. Female, 51 years of age, transported to Sherman Hospital.
1717 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  DRIVING WITH NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE.  ROJANO, CARLOS A., M/W 28 YEARS OF AGE, 7920 RIDGEFIELD RD. # 34, CRYSTAL LAKE.  CHARGES: Driving With No Valid Driver’s License, Speeding and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle. RELEASED ON BOND.
2354 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  DE COSTA, NICHOLAS J., M/W 32 YEARS OF AGE, 1345 N. BOSWORTH AVE. #1R, CHICAGO. CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol With a Blood Alcohol Content Greater than .08 and Improper Lane Use.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1005 HRS 100 BLOCK OF HUNTERS PATH RD.  ASSIST OTHER AGENCY.  Assist to Adult Probation of McHenry County.  Male, 24 years of age, in violation of his probation.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY PROBATION.
1103 HRS 500 BLOCK OF AUTUMN RIDGE RD.  MISSING JUVENILE.  Female, 16 years of age, missing. Entered into LEADS.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.
1719 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  DOMESTIC.  Mother vs. Daughter.  Verbal only.  No priors.
1735 HRS 35 HILLTOP DR.  (LABUY PARK).  SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT.  A syringe was found at the park.  Entered into Evidence.
2342 HRS 5700 BLOCK OF FOXFIELD LN.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Son vs. Stepfather vs. Daughter-in-Law. No priors. FAIL TO FILE.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Algonquin Commons Entertainment Promotions Return

Between an equivocal weather forecast and herds of sawhorses due to ongoing paving, attendance was light Friday at the first evening of Algonquin Commons' three day-long Rock and Shop event.  The promotion is the first of its kind since a Kane County Judge in 2013 appointed a caretaker to manage the Commons during foreclosure proceedings which still continue.

Why the sudden interest?  It might have something to do with the $14 million spruce up going on this Summer at Schaumburg's iconic Woodfield Mall.  Or it could be a reaction to the $110 million addition that opened Thursday at the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall in Aurora.  Then, again, it might be a pre-emptive strike against the $40 million revamp planned as early as next year for Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee.

In any case, Commons promoters amped the Rock and Shop lineup earlier this week to include four bands instead of just three.  Today's whilom headline group played Friday along with the scheduled band.  Today's performance will feature what was to have been Sunday's band while the Sunday concert will now feature an extra group called Final Say whose playlist seems to cover almost everything since "Take Five" topped the charts.

Meanwhile the battle over who ends up with a haircut for the Commons' $154 million sale in 2006 continues with no obvious end in sight.  Legal arcanities were exchanged this week. A status check's scheduled Oct. 15 to see if they made any difference.

In the pic:  Alex and the Allstars led off this weekend's Rock and Shop event Friday at Algonquin Commons.  They were actually pretty good.

Lightning Lays LITH Well Low

As everyone "knows", lightning doesn't strike the same place twice.  But LITH Public Works Director Fred Mullard told Village trustees this week that, apparently, it can strike pretty darn close to the same place, at least if it's near LITH's Well 14 at Pyott Road and McPhee Drive.  The Well 14 pump had to be replaced last year, fried by an apparent lightning strike.  However, this Spring the well began to limp again and, so far, examination points to a second levin blast.

The LITH Board Thursday OK'ed pulling the pump for a full diagnosis.  Mulllard said, if it's (not very metaphorical) toast, insurance should cover the cost of replacement but he said he planned, nonetheless, to see if there's a way to lightning-proof the pump and controls.

Health Department Reports County West Nile Crow Located

The McHenry County Department of Health reported this week that a crow collected in Woodstock tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that has tested positive in McHenry County this year, although there've been 23 others identified elsewhere in Illinois.

WNV, endemic in birds in Africa and the Middle East, turned up in the U.S. in 1999.  It turns out, according to researchers, that birds like blue jays and crows can tolerate a remarkably high number of viral particles, far more than enough to reliably infect a biting mosquito, which a lot of mammals, humans in particular, can't.

In any case, the birds are usually bystanders and it's the mosquito that's the vector.  MCDH recommends insect repellent, long sleeves and pants and draining the sort of standing water mosquitoes like to breed in.

In the pic:  This year's Illinois distribution of the West Nile Virus.

State Denies Contempt For "Impossible" Pay Order

The State of Illinois asked a federal judge Friday not to hold it in contempt for missing a recent court-ordered deadline to pay services providers for the disabled.  Rauner administration officials asked the judge to modify her order "to clarify that compliance does not mean doing the impossible."

Lawyers representing Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration and the State comptroller said Illinois has made millions of dollars in payments to providers, including in recent days. But it also noted that the State's account falls short by at least $300 million each month.  "The payments in this case do not exist in a vacuum," the State said in its written response filed Friday. "They compete against the state's other obligations, many of which are also covered by court orders." 

Attorneys said U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's order doesn't match the way things work, anyway.   As an example, the filing said payments to developmentally disabled facilities for August care can't meet a court-set Sept. 4 deadline "because those claims are not even received until mid-September at the earliest."  The filing asks the judge to change the deadline to Oct. 31 at the earliest.

Coleman gave advocacy groups in the case until Monday to respond to the State's filing, after which she would decide the contempt issue.

Rauner Budget Adviser's Contract Finished Friday

A day after saying Donna Arduin's contract to advise Gov. Bruce Rauner on budget matters might be extended, the administration announced Friday that she'd be leaving the job immediately.  She'll receive an estimated $165,000 for nearly eight months of work.

Rauner budget chief Tim Nuding said in a statement that the originally $30,000 per month (lately $15,000) consultant had "played an instrumental role in re-establishing sound economic and fiscal principles" in state government. 

Rauner delivered his proposed budget to lawmakers on schedule in February, but Democrats charged it was out of balance because it relied on more than $2.5 billion in savings from pension reforms and health insurance changes that the General Assembly hadn't then and hasn't yet approved.  Democrats countered with spending proposals of their own which they admitted were $3 billion to $4 billion more than the State was likely to take in.  With no budget in place since July 1, the latest estimates put Illinois' spending rate at $5 billion to $6 billion per year more than underlying revenue.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 28
2029 HRS ROUTE 31 & KLASEN RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL/ACCIDENT.  KRANIG, BENJAMIN F., M/W 54 YEARS OF AGE, 170 RIVERSIDE DR., SOUTH ELGIN.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol With a Blood Alcohol Content Greater than .08, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Driving Under the Influence of Combined Drugs and Alcohol, Unlawful Possession of Open Alcohol, Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident, Improper Lane Use, and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0932 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & OAKLEAF RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1009 HRS 200 BLOCK OF VILLAGE CREEK DR.  SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  Male, 22 years of age.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1036 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & HILLTOP DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1737 HRS 3000 BLOCK OF BRISBANE DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2029 HRS ROUTE 31 & KLASEN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2358 HRS 9400 BLOCK OF ACKMAN RD.  FOUND ARTICLE.  A key.  Entered into evidence.

Friday, August 28, 2015

McHenry County: Fewer Jobs But A Better July Unemployment Rate

McHenry County's unemployment rate fell .3 percent in July to only 5.3 percent, according to the latest report on local employment Thursday from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.    However the number of residents who had jobs was actually 813 less than in June.  The improvement in the unemployment rate came from disproportionately fewer residents trying to find work last month. 

Illinois' July unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.9 percent.  The number of jobs was up from June but so was the number of job seekers.  The U.S. unemployment rate increased .1 percent to 5.6 percent for July.

Illinois officials finally stopped trying to tie a bow on the state's disappointing employment picture.  “Since the beginning of this year, Illinois has gained only a quarter of the job growth seen by the rest of the country,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “With the added problem of a widening job growth gap between Illinois and the rest of the nation, we won’t achieve pre-recession job levels until September 2016, nearly two and a half years after the entire nation regained its jobs.”

Warned Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz, “We desperately need structural reform to create a more welcoming environment for business in order to be competitive and bring jobs home."

Adjusted for normal seasonal variation, Illinois' unemployment picture wasn't much better.  The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell .1 percent in July to 5.8 percent while the U.S. seasonally adjusted rate was unchanged at 5.3 percent.

                    
                              UNEMPLOYMENT (unadjusted)             
               REVISED     June 2015    PRELIMINARY  July 2015               
               LABOR    UNEMPLOYED      LABOR   UNEMPLOYED      July
               FORCE    NUMBER  RATE    FORCE   NUMBER    RATE  2014   
U.S. (X1000)   158,283   8,638   5.5    158,527    8,805   5.6   6.5    
ILLINOIS     6,581,675 386,039   5.9  6,602,519  388,141   5.9   7.3 

MCHENRY COUNTY 168,805   9,370   5.6    168,596    8,874   5.3   6.4
KANE COUNTY    266,833  13,363   5.0    270,239   13,925   5.2   6.9
DUPAGE COUNTY  520,443  26,350   5.1    520,412   25,298   4.9   6.0
LAKE COUNTY    372,117  16,961   4.6    376,569   17,972   4.8   6.3

ALGONQUIN       17,280     881   5.1     17,323      853   4.9   6.3   
LITH            16,417     899   5.5     16,383      837   5.1   6.5
HUNTLEY         10,986     568   5.2     11,027      577   5.2   6.6
CRYSTAL LAKE    23,031   1,267   5.5     23,007    1,204   5.2   6.2
WOODSTOCK       13,177     804   6.1     13,153      757   5.8   6.6
MCHENRY         14,352     842   5.9     14,321      786   5.5   6.6

Huntley Board Requires Make-Up Parking For Dual Ordering Lane

The Huntley Village Board Thursday formally OK'ed a second drive-through order lane at the village's northside McDonald's restaurant but said the shop would have to make up the 10 parking spaces it would lose to install it.  Trustees also approved the idea of turning a Downtown Main Street office back into a residence again.

Neighboring Pet Vet veterinarian Debra Junkins told trustees adding 12 McDonald's parking spaces to the access lane in front of her clinic would confuse everyone.  "The corner is somewhat hazardous," she said warning, "I'm concerned about adding to that mix."

Trustee Harry Leopold said the problem was simple enough.  "We've got to replace it," he said.

However, three visits to the site convinced Trustee Ronda Goldman otherwise.  "To me, it's still a commuter McDonalds," she said.

At the vote, though, only J.R. Westberg joined her opposing the compensatory parking requirement.

Trustees said it was OK turn turn 11510 Main, most recently a financial consultant's office, back into a residence.   Hampshire owners said when they bought the property they thought it was a swell adaptive reuse of a house for an office.  After a year, though, they said there's been little interest even though they've dropped the rent below market.

In the pic:  (above)  Huntley's McDonald's North will have to add a dozen parking spaces to the restaurant's access drive. (below)
A zoning change made it possible to convert 11410 Main Street back into a residence again if that's what owners decide.

LITH Lowers Water Hook Ups, Will Count Video Gaming "Incentive"

The Lake in the Hills Board tried to get more competitive Thursday, approving a 19 percent reduction in the Village's water tap-on fee to bring it more in line with those in neighboring communities and adding video gaming to the list of incentives LITH can dangle before retailers to lure them into locating there.

A recent survey found Lake in the Hills had by far the most expensive charge in the area to hook a 1 inch water pipe to a municipal main.  A roughly $2,000 decrease will still leave the Village with the highest charge but not by as much.

FEN asked Village Administrator why LITH's charge was so much higher than nearby communities.  "Because we've raised our charge every year by the [increase] in the CPI [inflation index]," he said.  "I don't think the others have."

The video gaming incentive isn't exactly new, according to Community Development Director Dan Olson.  Adding it to the published guidelines of LITH incentives just means now its value can be formally considered when a retailer asks for a consideration to locate in LITH.

Rauner Budget Guru's Contract Up For Second Extension Today

Controversial budget consultant Donna Arduin's contract as Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget guru expires today while the State budget remains mired in a divisive political fight.  Nevertheless, the administration confirmed Thursday that Arduin's contract is "under review" for a possible extension, the second since the end of May.

Despite the lack of a spending plan two months into the State's fiscal year, Rauner's office praised the adviser for hire who, so far, has collected about $165,000 from Illinois  for her budget consultation services.  "In a state with a horrific economic and fiscal record over the last dozen years, Donna Arduin is playing a major role in attempting to change the mindset in Illinois from one of  'kicking the can down the road' to solving the state’s economic and fiscal problems for the long term," Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said.  The administration didn't respond Thursday to a request for specific examples of where Arduin has saved the State money, however.

The amount of her initial contract, $30,000 per month, has rankled some Democratic lawmakers, who held hearings designed to shine a spotlight on what they said was the governor's practice of paying out high salaries to his top aides while he argued that rank-and-file state workers were getting big salaries and excessive benefits.  Rauner defended Arduin’s salary, saying she was “the smartest state government budget person in America.”

State Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat who chairs a House Appropriations Committee, disagreed.  "If you look at what she did in other states, she recommended draconian cuts, balancing the budget by cutting higher education and social services. It's not a surprise that she tried to do that here," Harris said.  But Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine, the ranking Republican on one of two Senate appropriations committees, said Arduin's input has been valuable. "For a new Republican administration, it seemed kind of logical to me to go outside the state for someone with experience elsewhere turning things around," said Murphy.  " She was part of the budget team that got the governor's budget address out on time."

Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, chairman of the House General Services Appropriations Committee, likewise, disagreed.  "The fact we don't have a budget today tells me the money was not well-spent," he said.

In the pic:  Donna Arduin, itinerant state budget expert.

Obituaries

Al R. Clemente, 73 of Huntley died Tuesday from complications after heart surgery.  Visitation will be Sunday at DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.  from 1pm until a 3 o'clock funeral service

Clemente was born Aug. 13, 1942, in Chicago, the son of Alfredo and Ruth (Rowan) Clemente.   He married Dawn M. Beetem on Aug. 13, 1988, in Las Vegas.  He is survived by his wife; children, Felisa Clemente, Ron Clemente, Kelly (Todd) Bangs, Larry Wood, Jason (Jennifer) Wood and Nicole (Brad) Wood; grandchildren, Vanessa, Nicole, Amanda, Candice, Melissa, Ashley, Dyllin and Gabriel, and his brothers and sisters, John Howard, Nancy Howard, Felisa Clemente and Carlos (Pam) Clemente.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 27
2029 HRS 2122 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (TACOS EL NORTE).  CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.  ABITUA, FRANCISCO W., M/W 22 YEARS OF AGE, 2451 MILLBROOKE DR., ALGONQUIN.  CHARGES: Criminal Damage to Property and Two Counts of Disorderly Conduct.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0724 HRS 500 BLOCK OF AUTUMN RIDGE RD.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  One prior.
1012 HRS 1000 BLOCK OF HORIZON RIDGE.  FOUND ARTICLE.  A license plate.  Entered into Evidence.
1058HRS 3000 BLOCK OF IMPRESSIONS DR.  CHECK FOR WELL BEING.  Check on a juvenile subject in Colorado.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1456 HRS 1107 PATTON AVE. (RICHARD TAYLOR SKATE PARK).  MEDICAL ASSIST.  Male, 7 years of age, with an arm injury.  No transport.
1513 HRS 00 BLOCK OF GLASCOW CT.  DOMESTIC.  Mother vs. Son.  Verbal only.  Two priors.
1754 HRS 1400 INDUSTRIAL DR. (BIG STUFF STORAGE).  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Complainant’s travel trailer was damaged.  Report for insurance.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Huntley D158 Students Return For New School Year

Wednesday was the first day of the new school year for about 9,600 students in Huntley District 158.  It was a lot like last year.  Most of the buses ran pretty much on time except for one from Marlowe Middle School that broke down, not a headache for ex- Marlowe Assistant Principal Jake Litchfield since he's the new head at Heineman.  Mackeben Elementary had a new princpal, too, Anna Hoyou  from DeKalb.

The big changes in the District were at Huntley High where students got their first taste of the expanded HHS cafeteria with more pay registers so kids will spend less time in line and more actually eating.  The new cateteria takes over the former Learning Resource Center (library) space but the LRC will have a new location in "The Hub".  It's where the secondary gym used to be and it's expected to open Monday.

Work's still undway on a new wing of HHS classrooms to expand the school's capacity from 2,000 to 3,000 students.  That's not due to be finished until next year.

Also still to be completed is a new three-year contract with the Huntley Educators Asscociation teachers' union.  A mediation session was scheduled Wednesday.  Negotiator and Board of Education Member Paul Troy this morning said that between that one and an unscheduled session Monday, there've been 12 hours worth of talks this week.  "I was encouraged by the depth of discussion," said Troy.

No details about the talks are available yet but there's been enough progress that another bargaining sessions set for Tuesday.

One Injured In Evening Algonquin Townhouse Fire

One person was injured Wednesday evening in a townhome fire at 951 Interloch Court in Algonquin.   Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District crews arrived on the scene three minutes after dispatch at about 8:30 pm to find smoke escaping from inside the home. Firefighters put out the flames within 10 minutes but investigators remained on the scene afterwards.

ALFPD officials said one patient was taken for treatment to Sherman Hospital.  A damage estimate isn't available yet this morning and the cause of the fire is still under investigation, they said.

Algonquin, Huntley Groups Among Foundation Grant Winners

The Algonuin Police Department and Huntley Community Radio were among 26 recipients Wednesday of  more than $300,000 in grants from  the McHenry County Community Foundation at an awards ceremony at Boulder Ridge County Club.

The Foundation granted Algonquin PD $5,000 to defray taking a dozen youths to the Illinois Law Enforcement Exploring Conference and Competition earlier this month and to purchase new Class A uniforms for the program.

HCR's grant was for $10,000 to fund the expansion of programs to include more technically challenging shows including the production of live news so community producers and interns gain more experience and to buy equipment needed for remote broadcasts.

The Foundation, now in its 15th year, was created to give concerned citizens an innovative way to use their charitable dollars for the good of McHenry County. Unlike other charities, the Foundation aims to direct its unrestricted grants toward unmet needs, new ideas, new programs and deserving existing entities in need of expansion money.

U.S. Judge Orders Illinois Comptroller Accounting By Friday

A Chicago federal judge Wednesday gave Illinois until Friday to list which bills the tate has paid and explain why others haven't in compliance with a court order to fund services for developmentally disabled residents even  without a State budget.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman had already ordered the comptroller to pay community living providers by this past Friday.  But when the money didn't show up, the providers retirmed for Wednesday's hearing. An attorney for the comptroller's office, John Stevens, said the problem is cash flow; here isn't enough of it.  Coleman said she understood the state's spending problem but said, nevertheless, that Illinois shouldn't "flout" a court order.

"You have to make contact with the court or else you are in contempt of the court order," the judge told attorneys for Illinois' comptroller and two state agency heads.

“In the absence of a balanced budget for this fiscal year, my office will continue to work to meet the payment timelines set by the courts despite the state’s limited resources,” said Comptroller Leslie Munger in a statement later Wednesday.  “To be clear: taxpayers deserve better than government by court order,” Munger said.

Illinois is now nearly 60 days into its fiscal year with only funds for primary and secondary education approved so far.  Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats, who hold supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature haven't been able to reach agreement on anything else in this year's budget.

In the pic:  Federal Judge Sharon J.  Coleman

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 26
0104 HRS 103 S. RANDALL RD. (JEWEL OSCO).  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED.  XOCHIHUA-GARCIA, JOSAFAT, M/W 48 YEARS OF AGE, 503 BUTRICK ST. #2, WAUKEGAN.  CHARGES: Driving While License Revoked and Driving with One Headlight.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1928 HRS 2000 BLOCK OF NOELLE BEND.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  NUCCIO, ALEXANDER V., M/W 19 YEARS OF AGE, 10929 CAPE COD LN., HUNTLEY.  CHARGE: Driving While License Suspended.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1032 HRS RANDALL RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1309 HRS 1119 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (American Apparel & Promo).  FOUND ARTICLE.  A purple & silver Huffy bicycle. Entered into Evidence.