Saturday, January 31, 2015

Eight To Ten Inches Of Snow Expected Tonight, Sunday

National Weather Service forecasters issued a winter storm warning for northern Illinois this morning and predicted eight to ten inches of snow will fall locally tonight and Sunday.  Forecasters said temps for the next seven days will be below normal and there'll be at least a 30 percent chance of light snow through Tuesday night.

The good news, according to weathermen, is that the worst of he storm's expected to track to the south, more or less along I-80.  If it gets cold enough fast enough there, forecasters said folks down there could face a foot or more of snow.

In fact, forecasters expressed uncertainty about total snow accumulation in the Chicago metro area.  "It is still a complex interaction of several key features forecast to take place and numerical weather guidance has hung us out to dry repeatedly this Winter," said Romeoville NWS Meteorologist Andrew Krein this morning.

Update 6 pm:  NWS now predicts snow accumulation for the immediate area will be in the 10 to 12 inch range.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
Eight To Ten Inches Of Snow Expected Tonight, Sunday
Local Pols Join Obscure But Powerful General Assembly Committee
Huntley Friends Foundation To Sell Hearts In Feb. For Library Month
Rauner Defends Higher Pay For Top Governor Aides
Obituaries
Professional Regulation
Police Blotters
State OK's Cardiac Services For New Centegra Huntley Hospital
McHenry County Unemployment Rate Tops 5 Percent Again
LITH PD Asks For Tips After Mid-Week Graffiti Orgy
Union Pickets Protest Rauner Labor Stance
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Local Pols Nonplussed As Mass Transit Committee Vanishes
Flu Reports Improving Locally, Statewide
Rauners High In List Of Top 50 Donors In November Elections
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Algonquin Haggles 10 Year Deadline For Algonquin Road RV Storage
Algonquin Announces Business Award Winners For 2015
Rauner Calls For Local "Right To Work Zones" In Poor Areas
Obituaries
Police Blotters
D300 Board Votes: Stay Put In Fox Valley Conference
Huntley Tyrell Bridge Construction To Resume Monday
eBook Registration Begins At Huntley Library
Rauner Shakes Up Sports Sinecure Again
Police Blotters
Quinn Pot List Shows No Growers In McHenry, Kane Counties
Plan Agency Rolls Out New Metro "Mobility" Website
Rauner May Revamp Rules On Coal Mining
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Area Home Prices Rebound To 2010 Levels
Stats Show LITH Third Safest Place In U.S.
Demand Limited For Illinois Immigrant Driver's Licenses
Illinois Senate Bill Would Ban (Seriously) Powdered Alcohol
Obituaries
McHenry County Indictments
Police Blotte

Local Pols Join Obscure But Powerful General Assembly Committee

GOP leaders Friday named a pair of McHenry County legislators to an obscure but powerful joint oversight committee in the Legislature.  State Sen. Karen McConnaughay and State Rep. Mike Tryon will become the newest members of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules which is supposed to make sure State agency regulations bear some resemblance to the laws that authorized them.

"I think it's one of the most important and overlooked committees in Illinois," commented McHenry County State Sen. Pam Althoff, who's already on it.  “The members of JCAR oversee the rule making process by state agencies, making sure the rules abide by the original intent of lawmakers,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Fracking, medical marijuana and concealed carry rules were among the high profile regs the low-profile group vetted in the last General Assembly.  During his stint in Springfield the President was one of JCAR's 12 members.

It takes 8 of JCAR's 12 members to kill a reg outright and no one can remember that happening in living memory, but mere significant opposition is sometimes enough to moderate bureaucratic excess.  Two years ago, FEN watched a proposed IDNR tax on golf carts simply disappear after inquiring phone calls from JCAR members.

As for McHenry County legislators' now occupying 25 percent of the spots on JCAR, Althoff told FEN it was just coincidence.

In the pic:  33rd District Sen. Karen McConnaughay and 66th District Rep. Mike Tryon.

Huntley Friends Foundation To Sell Hearts In Feb. For Library Month

Starting Sunday, the Huntley Area Public Library Friends Foundation will celebrate Library Lovers’ Month with the group's annual heart sponsorships to suppport the Library.  “This past year the Friends Foundation paid for all the library programs held each month, summer and winter reading programs, some library databases, more copies of popular ebooks, and some library furnishings,” said Library liaison, Pamela Kampwerth.

Hearts will decorate the library throughout the month.  Sponsors, individual or commercial, can purchase a heart for $1, $5, $10 or $25 and write their names on it to show community support. Next Saturday and Sunday the Friends will also have a big book sale in the library’s program room.  Hours Saturday are 9:15am to 1 pm and Sunday from 12:30 to 4 pm.  Sunday includes a "bag sale".  Five dollars buys a Friends reusable bag and whatever it will hold from the sale.

In the pic: HAPLD Library Director, Frank Novak receives a $30,000 donation from Friends Co-Treasurers Diane Benson and Sandy Cooper.  The Friends Foundation gave $42,000 to the Library last year.

Rauner Defends Higher Pay For Top Governor Aides

Governor Bruce Rauner admitted paying his top staffers more than his predecessor Friday but said he had to because they were so much better.  "The people we're bringing into our administration, most of them are taking significant cuts compared to what they were making on the outside," Rauner told reporters.  An Associated Press review of state payroll records Thursday found 9 of 10 top administrative posts receiving more pay under Rauner.  AP figured the 10 staffers collectively will make 36 percent more per year than their Pat Quinn equivalents.

AP's breakdown found Rauner staff salary increases ranged from 11 to 94 percent.   The top percentage increase went to Holly Griff, Rauner's longtime executive assistant, scheduled to receive $135,000 per year.  Friday, however, Rauner promised that the overall cost of running the governor's office will be less than it was under Quinn despite paying "what it needs to for the talent that we've got."

This morning, Lee Enterprises newspapers reported Rauner may already be cooking the books to make employment expenses look lower by putting some top aides' salaries on other state agencies' payrolls.  The report, based on Illinois Comptroller's Office data, found about one quarter of the more than 40 people Rauner named to his administrative team don't officially work for the governor's office.  Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly told a reporter that technically it was was true.  "They are liaisons to ensure we are the most efficient when working for the people of Illinois," she said.

Obituaries

Anthony Romano, 72 of Huntley died Friday at his home.  Visitation will be Monday from 4 to 8 pm at DeFiore Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley. A Mass will be celebrated Tuesday at 10 am at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley.

Romano was born June 12, 1942, in Chicago, the son of Leo and Marie Romano.  He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; sons, Vincent A. (Toni) Romano, and Ted J. Romano; grandchildren, Rocco, Sofia, Francesca, Gabriella and Cecilia, and sisters, Angeline Romano and Leona (Joe) Lejman.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Professional Regulation

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the following enforcement orders in the month of December.

Conor Phelan, Algonquin – permanent employee registration card issued and placed on probation for one year due to criminal conviction.

Suzanne Albrecht, Woodstock – pharmacist license automatically indefinitely suspended for a minimum of 12 months for violating an agreement of probation with the Department related to diversion of controlled substances and substance abuse.

Karen Friedel, Elgin – real estate managing broker license suspended for six months for contacting her tenant's lender, when she did not represent that tenant, to inquire about the status of the tenant's loan for a home mortgage. Also contacted the listing agent on a property her tenant was purchasing, when she did not represent that tenant, to make additional inquiries about the status of the tenant's home purchase. The respondent contacted the United States Post Office to stop her tenant's mail, without her tenant's permission or knowledge.

Melissa Manganiello, Elgin – cosmetology license indefinitely suspended for a minimum of 60 days and fined $500 for failure to comply with the continuing education requirements and for submitting altered certificates.

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
January 30
1949 HRS 700 BLOCK OF PARC CT.  FOLLOW UP ARREST:  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  DEFRANCISCO, GINO L.,  M/W 25 YEARS OF AGE, 780 PARC CT.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts of Domestic Battery.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1312 HRS 700 BLOCK OF PARC CT.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Three priors.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1513 HRS 3000 BLOCK OF FAIRHAVEN LN.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Parents vs. Son.  Two priors.  UNFOUNDED.
1533 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & HARVEST GATE.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2255 HRS HALIGUS RD. & MILLER RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
Algonquin
January 24
01:03am Black, Maurice A., DOB: 03/10/1986, of 2218 N. Parkside 2nd Floor, Chicago, was charged with DWLS, Speeding, and No Insurance. He was taken into custody at RT 62 and Eastgate Dr. He was released after posting bond with a court date of 02/25/15 in McHenry County.
17:35pm Gonzalez-Rodrigues, Emigdio F., DOB: 08/07/1988, of 414 village Creek Dr., Lake in the Hills, was charged with DUI, Improper Lane Use, and No Valid DL. He was taken into custody at Crystal Lake Rd. and Pheasant Dr.  He was released after posting bond with a court date of 2/25/15 in McHenry County.
20:13pm A 16 year-old female from Lake in the Hills and a 16 year-old male from Algonquin were charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. They were taken into custody at 2100 Sleepy Hollow Rd. They were both referred to the Tri-Area Court for Teens and released to their parents.
January 25
03:44am Pease, David J., DOB: 12/19/1977, of 1187 Heartland Gate, Lake in the Hills, was charged with Domestic Battery and Interfering with the report of Domestic Violence. He was taken into custody at APD and transported to the McHenry County Jail to await bond court.
January 26

13:07pm Proctor, Jeffrey R., DOB: 08/27/1964, of 756 Stewart, Elgin, was charged with No Valid DL and Cell Phone Use while Driving. He was taken into custody at Randall Rd. and Longmeadow Parkway. He was released after posting bond with a court date of 03/11/2015 in McHenry County.
January 27
15:06pm Anton, Stephen J., DOB: 10/27/1987, of 2514 East Chestnut, Wonder Lake, was charged with Retail Theft. He was taken into custody at 734 S. Randall Rd. He was released after posting bond with a court date of 03/04/2015 in McHenry County.
15:06pm Hollen, Eric H., DOB: 03/11/1981, of 2611 Walnut Rd., Wonder Lake, was arrested on a warrant out of McHenry County for Theft. He was unable to post bond and was transported to the McHenry County jail.
18:14pm Pavithran, Harish K., DOB: 01/24/1966, of 941 Par Dr., was charged with four counts of battery. He was taken into custody at the same location. He was released after posting bond with a court date of 03/04/2015 in McHenry County.
January 28
03:29am Alonso, Martin, DOB: 01/27/1995, of 2 Alameda Dr., Carpentersville, was charged with Violation of an Order of Protection. He was taken into custody at 1501 E. Algonquin Rd.  He was transported to the McHenry County jail to await bond court.

Friday, January 30, 2015

State OK's Cardiac Services For New Centegra Huntley Hospital

Centegra Health System officials announced Thursday that the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board this week OK'ed adding cardiac catheterization services at Centegra Hospital-Huntley.  The approval means local residents will have access to the advanced service the day the new hospital opens.

“We are pleased that we will now be able to care for many of our patients closer to their homes in Huntley and its surrounding area,” said Hadley Streng, vice president of strategy and development with Centegra.  Currently Centegra  provides catheterization to diagnose and treat heart conditions at its McHenry Hospital

"When a patient is having a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, fast access to care can be lifesaving and prevent damage to the heart muscle," said  said Dr. Douglas Tomasian, a Centegra cardiologist  "It is important community hospitals have the ability to provide high-quality catheterization and life-saving treatment when patients need it most.”

In the pic:  Centegra Hospital-Huntley's about halfway done.  It's scheduled to open next year.

McHenry County Unemployment Rate Tops 5 Percent Again

McHenry County's unemployment rate inched back up over five percent in December according to the latest report Thursday from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  Last month's unemployment rate rose .2 percent from November's revised 4.9 percent figure despite 340 more residents who had jobs.

December's 5.1 percent unemployment rate marked a 2.4 percent improvement in McHenry County's rate over the previous 12 months during which about 5,900 more people found jobs.  However, more people re-entered the labor force so the number who said they were looking for work only fell about 4,200 during the period.

Illinois' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased .2 percentage points to 6.2 percent in December.  “The 0.9 percent gain in December over the year was significantly less than the national increase of 2.1
percent,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays, “indicating that Illinois employment growth remains lower than the
national average.”

                          UNEMPLOYMENT (unadjusted)             
               REVISED  Nov. 2014       PRELIMINARY Dec. 2014               
               LABOR    UNEMPLOYED      LABOR   UNEMPLOYED      Dec.
               FORCE    NUMBER  RATE    FORCE   NUMBER    RATE  2013   
U.S. (X1000)   156,297   8,630   5.5    155,521    8,331   5.4   6.5    
ILLINOIS     6,552,892 390,774   6.0  6,509,607  371,025   5.7   8.6    

MCHENRY COUNTY 175,000   8,590   4.9    175,645    8,937   5.1   7.5    
KANE COUNTY    277,622  14,257   5.1    279,144   15,308   5.5   8.3    
LAKE COUNTY    365,564  21,969   6.0    359,307   22,276   6.2   9.0
DUPAGE COUNTY  531,505  24,061   4.5    530,765   22,414   4.2   6.6

ALGONQUIN       16,762     772   4.6     16,765      747   4.5   6.9   
LITH            16,837     731   4.3     16,905      770   4.6   7.2    
CRYSTAL LAKE    21,881   1,149   5.3     21,861    1,092   5.0   7.2    
MCHENRY         15,149     735   4.9     15,223      783   5.1   7.5   

LITH PD Ask For Tips After Mid-Week Graffiti Orgy

Lake in the Hills Police Thursday asked for tips to find and stop one or more individuals who spray painted graffiti between Algonquin Road and Indian Trial Beach Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning.  In fact Algonquin PD would like to know who it was, too, since one of the sites was in their bailiwick.  The graffiti were blue spray paint on several structures and street signs.   The number to leave an anonymous tip with LITH PD is 847-658-5676. Information can also be left anonymously online at www.lith.org/police/webform/crime-tips.

Union Pickets Protest Rauner Labor Stance

About 120 protesters from the Champaign County AFL-CIO picketed Illinois Bruce Rauner Thursday at another State of the State speech preview at the U of I.  Rauner again confronted organized labor charging, "Groups that contract with the state should not be making campaign contributions to the people across the table with whom they're negotiating."

It was the second time in a week that the new Illinois governor tagged unions as one of the causes of the State's financial and economic woes.  "They're trying to solve all the state's debt problems on our backs," said Matthew Kelly, president of the Champaign County Central Labor Council.

Echoing another part of a Tuesday preview presentation in Decatur, Rauner again hinted he'll ask to expand the State sales tax to include services.  He said neighboring states have lower rates because they tax a broader base of things than Illinois does.  "We're not competitive," he said.

Presaging either next week's State of the State speech or his budget address two weeks later, the governor also warned that some Illinois agencies are already running out of money only halfway through the fiscal year.  "We've got a plan to deal with it," he said promising, "We'll be outlining it very shortly."

Obituaries

Salvatore J. Seno, 87, of Huntley died Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.  A gathering of friends will be Monday from 10 am until a Memorial Mass  at 11 at St. John's Catholic Church, Twin Lakes, WI.

Seno was born on Oct. 27, 1927, in Chicago, the son of the late Salvatore and Lucia Seno.  He married Patricia Klemp on Aug. 19, 1950, in Forest Park. He is survived by his son, Al Seno of Myrtle Beach, SC; daughter, Terry Santi of McHenry; four grandchildren and three step-grandchildren; two brothers, Aldo and Sebastian, and his sister, Josephine Perry.  He was preceded in death by his wife; daughter, Ann Donile, and brothers, Rudy, Guy and Louis.

Memorial remembrances may be made to St. John's Catholic Church, Twin Lakes, WI.

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
January 29
0811 HRS 228 INDIAN TRAIL (INDIAN TRAIL BEACH).  CRIMINAL DEFACEMENT.  Graffiti found on multiple items near the roadway.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.
0831 HRS 200 BLOCK OF WANDER WAY.  IDENTITY THEFT.  Fraudulent activity occurred on complainant’s tax return.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1009 HRS 300 RAMBLE RD. (FORD SCHOOL PARK).  CRIMINAL DEFACEMENT.  Graffiti found on multiple items near the roadway.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1019 HRS 2800 BLOCK OF BRIARCLIFF LN.  CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO MOTOR VEHICLE.  Complainant’s car window was damaged.
1057 HRS RANDALL RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1422 HRS 2800 BLOCK MELBOURNE LN.  FRAUD.  Fraudulent activity occurred on complainant’s checking account.
1422 HRS 2600 BLOCK OF FAIRFAX LN.  FRAUD.  Fraudulent activity occurred on complainant’s bank account.
2258 HRS 4900 BLOCK OF PRINCETON LN.  SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  Female, 42 years of age, attempted suicide.  Transported to Woodstock Hospital.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Local Pols Nonplussed As Mass Transit Committee Vanishes

Collar county State Reps this morning said they don't know why the Illinois House Mass Transit Committee was discontinued in the 99th General Assembly.  Wednesday McHenry County Reps Mike Tryon, Barb Wheeler and six others formally asked House Speaker Mike Madigan to reinstate it.

“Our regional transportation system is the third largest in the entire country and provides more than two million rides per weekday to Illinoisans living in the six-county region,” said Tryon.“The 8.4 million people who live in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties deserve to have a committee in the House of Representatives looking after their mass transit needs.”

Wheeler this morning said, "We've been trying to figure out what the politics of this is."  She said none of the Mass Transit members in the last Legislature was notified the Committee would be discontinued and only learned of it by its absence on a form for committee preferences in the new one.

"It's the Democrats who control the committees," said Vickie Crawford, spokesman for House Republican leader Jim Durkin.  "We're not privy to why they do what they do."

State Rep. Al Riley, who headed it last year, said no one among his fellow Dems wanted to be committee chairman.  Even so he was surprised at its elimination.  "I thought it was a typo," he said.  Nevertheless, Riley said mass transit bills will be vetted.  "Maybe it will be in a subcommittee but there'll be someone who'll evaluate mass transit."

In 2013 and 2014, the House Mass Transit Committee met several times to respond to ongoing reports of misconduct and financial mismanagement at the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and service boards for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), PACE and Metra. The committee looked into a $718,000 severance package offered to an outgoing Metra CEO, sought answers to widespread service problems with trains and busses during the cold winter months, and considered a mass transit report which listed a $31 billion infrastructure deficit for the next ten years.

“These are significant issues, and while we took great steps last year in addressing transparency, accountability and ethics at the agencies, the capital needs moving forward will require a lot of discussion and debate,” said Tryon.

Flu Reports Improving Locally, Statewide

The latest reports from state and county health agencies suggest this year's flu bug may be on the wane.  "We are seeing decreased activity," Illinois Department of Public Health spokesman Melaney Arnold told FEN this morning.  "It's still widespread but below the baseline."

For the entire state, flu-like illness complaints peaked in the week before Christmas and are now back at October levels, according to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.  In McHenry County flu-like illnesses are down to about two percent of patient visits and no cases tested positive for flu in the week ending Jan. 24. according to the McHenry County Department of Health.  Kane County's emergency room visits for flu-like complaints was about 2.6 percent with about 10 percent testing positive for one or more flu strains.

The flu season began early this year so it's possible the disease is burning itself out.  "You generally see a peak," each flu season,  Arnold said.    "It could be that we've seen it."

Rauners High In List Of Top 50 Donors In November Elections

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and his wife ranked number 7 among the top 50 political givers in elections around the U.S. in November, according to a Wednesday report from the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity.  Collectively the top groups and individuals spread $440 million around in support of state candidates.

Top spender was the Republican Governors Association which contributed $68.6 million in state elections around the country with its Democratic counterpart holding the number two spot for $31.6 million on donations.  Bruce and Diana Rauner contributed $14.4 million in state elections, separate from the Bruce Rauner Campaign Committee which kicked in another $4.1 million, good enough for the 39th spot.  Rauner supporter billionaire Ken Griffin and his wife doled out $7.5 million earning them the 15th highest ranking.

Thanks mostly to Rauner's contest with former Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Education Association and the Democratic Party of Illinois also made the top 50.  IEA was 29th with $4.6 million on donations, the state Dems, 42nd putting in $3.9 million on contributions.

The analysis didn't cover races for U.S. House or Senate and wasn't an exhausting accounting of campaign contributions  because disclosure rules and deadlines vary from state to state.  Nevertheless, the Center said the big donors' candidates tended to be the big winners in their contests.

“It’s an amazing amount of power concentrated in a handful of organizations,” said Ed Bender, executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics that collected some of the data used for the analysis. “If people want to understand why government is dysfunctional, you don’t have to look much farther than this list.”

The Center's list is located here:   http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/01/28/16619/who-tried-buy-2014-state-elections

Obituaries

Donald R. Trolliet, 72, of Huntley died Tuesday.  Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 8 pm at DeFiore Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley. A funeral service will be Saturday at 11 am at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Dundee. Burial will be in Huntley Cemetery.

Trolliet was born Feb. 5, 1942, the son of Rolland and Vera Trolliet. He married Darlene Nisbit on July 22, 1967. He is survived by his wife; children, Traci (Ed) White, Brad (Jennifer) Trolliet and Tiffani (Mike) Haught; grandchildren, Katie, Nicole, Megan, Jake, Zach, Justin and Ryan and brother, Richard (Donna) Trolliet.  He is preceded in death by his parents and  granddaughter, Morgan.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Morgan Haught Foundation, Gilberts.

Yvonne M. Less, 80, of Algonquin died last Thursday.  Memorial Services will be Saturday at the New Life Christian Center, Woodstock, at 1 pm with the service at 1:30.

Less was born Dec. 23, 1934 , the daughter of Max and Erma Breuder, was born in Follansbee, WV.   December 23, 1934.  She is survived by her children, Jaci Fox, Barbara Less and Daniel Less ( Uschi), and grandchildren, Nick, Rick and Renee Fox, and Jennifer and Kevin Less.  She was predeceased by her brother, Leonard Breuder and her former husband, Bruno Less.

Flowers may be sent to New Life Christian Center or, in lieu thereof, donations may be made to the New Life Christian Center.

Irene A. Buckalew, 93 of Lake In The Hills died Monday at Valley Hi Nursing Home in Woodstock following a short illness.  A memorial will be held for family and friends this Summer.

Buckalew was born Aug. 21, 1921 in Bloomfield, NJ, the daughter of Stanley and Wladaslawia (Piotrowski) Kurkewicz.  She is survived by her daughter, Eileen (John) Olsen; son, Gregory (Jacqueline) Buckalew, and seven grandchildren.   She was preceded in death by her parents;  husband, Homer; seven siblings and two grandchildren.

Memorials in her name may be made to a charity of choice.

Mel J. Wojtynek, 69 of Lake In The Hills, died Sunday in Elgin following a lengthy illness.  Private family services will be held later.  Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery, Huntley.

Wojtynek was born Sept. 22, 1945 in Chicago, the son of Walter W. and Jean (Milcarek) Wojtynek. On Oct. 29, 1966, he married Judith E. Solan.  He is survived by his wife and brother.   He was preceded in death by his parents.

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
January 28
1749 HRS 700 BLOCK OF MOHICAN TRAIL.  WANTED ON WARRANT.   CAMPBELL, KEVIN P.,  M/W 33 YEARS OF AGE, 8603 MEMORY TRAIL, WONDER LAKE.  CHARGE: Wanted on Warrant, Cook County Sheriff’s Police, Probation Violation. No Bond.  TRANSPORTED TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
2136 HRS PYOTT RD. & MENOMINEE DR.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  BROWN, CHRISTOPHER T.,  M/W 43 YEARS OF AGE, 822 MENOMINEE DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Improper Lane Usage.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0240 HRS 00 BLOCK OF DEERPATH RD.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  Four priors.
0724 HRS 600 BLOCK OF GRACE DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
0954 HRS 2126 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (LOTTERY MART).  THEFT.  An unknown amount of US Currency was taken.  PENDING INVESTIGATION.
1714 HRS 700 BLOCK OF MOHICAN TRAIL.  SUICIDAL SUBJECT.  Female, 20 years of age, made suicidal statements.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1946 HRS 4300 BLOCK OF LARKSPUR LN.  DOMESTIC.  Daughter vs. Parents.  Verbal only. No priors.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Algonquin Haggles 10 Year Deadline For Algonquin Road RV Storage

Despite a unanimous OK from the Planning and Zoning Commission, it took the Algonquin Board more than an hour to hammer out terms to approve a new self-storage facility on East Algonquin Road.  Trustees were fine with the building itself, but ended up setting deadlines to remove a flotilla of boats, trailers and RV's stored at the site now.

Next Door Self Storage father and son owners Jack and Phil Murphy plan to build a three-story 30,000 square foot climate-controlled structure for indoor self-storage and, when it filled up, a second one later on.  They said they'd keep the present self-storage garages to the rear although RV storage would eventually phase out.  The question eventually came down to when the RV's would disappear.

"They're not terribly attractive and there's no landscaping that screens them," complained Village President John Schmitt although he reminded himself and trustees that their storage predated the rest of the homes and businesses in the vicinity.

The Murphy's said storage of about 160 RV's and trailers currently accounts for 35 percent of sales.  Phil Murphy they'd get rid of them when the new self-storage building was so full they needed to build the second one.  "It comes down to an economic decision," said father Jack.

Yes, but when, insisted Trustee John Spella.  "We don't want to make the East Side look not as attractive as the West Side," he said.

Trustee Bob Smith said he and his fellows were even on the same side as the Murphy's.  "If you don't make money on this, then we have another empty building on the East Side," he said.

"I still think we need a hard date," said Spella.  Trustee Debbie Sosine thought 10 years, the interval the village gave to pave over gravel driveways, would be enough.

Schmitt suggested the RV's departure either when the second self-storage building goes up or in five years whichever comes first.   Ten sounded better, said Phil Murphy.  Call it a deal was the Board's consensus as they passed approval along for a formal vote next week.

In the pics:  (above) The Algonquin Village Board set a 10-years-at-the-latest deadline for boats and RV's to disappear from an expanded self-storage facility on East Algonquin Road.  (below)  A planned new inside storage facility would be three stories tall but only look as if it were two high from the street.

Algonquin Announces Business Award Winners For 2015

Algonquin’s Economic Development Commission, annnounced the winners of the Village's 16th annual Business Awards Tuesday.  The Commission recognizes businesses for outstanding accomplishments each year in hopes it will encourage others to go and do likewise.

The Rehabilitation Award went to the Congregational Church of Algonquin which spend  $160,000 on renovations to the historic sanctuary and church building over the Summer.   That was only phase one of a three-part renovation project for all Church owned properties. One of the Church's project goals is to encourage other property owners to renovate and repair their Downtown properties.

Shining Stars Early Learning Center off Algonquin Road on the East Side was the winner of  this year's Business Improvement Award.  Commissioners decided that owner, Magdalena Kusiak, deserved it for upgrading the center through physical improvements and program development to better prepare children for today’s technology and skills.

Algonquin's Community Economic Impact Award was shared this year.  One recipient was Goodwill Industries which opened a new store on East Algonquin Road in October.  Commissioners thought the non-profit's full service resale store added a lot to the village, not only by establishing a place to donate unwanted items, but by creating employment opportunities for those with developmental disabilities.

Sharing the Economic Impact Award was outdoors retailer Gander Mountain on Randall Road which, likewise, opened in October . The new store employs more than 60 local residents and draws in shoppers from the greater region.  Commissioners thought more jobs was a good idea all by itself but more tax money from increased sales within the village seemed like a pretty good one, too.

This year's awards will be presented to recipients at a ceremony this coming Tuesday at 7:30 pm in the Village Board Room at the William J. Ganek Municipal Center.

Rauner Calls For Local "Right To Work Zones" In Poor Areas

In what most saw as another preview of his State of the State address next week,  Bruce Rauner said Tuesday  he'd like to create "right-to-work zones" in economically depressed areas where union fees would be voluntary for local workers.  "I'm not advocating Illinois becoming a right-to-work state," said the new Republican governor, "but I do advocate local governments being allowed to decide whether they're right-to-work zones." 

Before the election Rauner said Illinois' closed and agency shop laws drive businesses away to states where union representation is voluntary.  Speaking at Richland Community College in Decatur, Rauner assailed Illinois unions for a "conflict of interest" and "corrupt" alliance in which labor campaign contributions support candidates who vote for better state benefits and higher wages on public works projects.  "The Bruce Rauner that managed to mask his true feelings about working families for most of last year showed his true agenda today," AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a statement later.

Rauner also issued non-specific call for more sales taxes.  "We have a very narrow sales tax base," Rauner said. "Economists will tell you the best way to grow an economy is to have broad-based taxes and low rates."  Currently the State's sales tax only applies to goods.  During his campaign Rauner proposed expanding it to cover services, too.

Rauner touched on other areas he's discussed in the past as well, including cutting spending on Medicaid and the state's payroll.  His State of the State speech is scheduled next Wednesday.

Obituaries

Mary Johann Stroupe, 86, of Huntley died Saturday at Highland Oaks in Elgin.  Visitation will be Friday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley, from 9 am until a 10 o'clock Mass of Christian Burial.  Following cremation, interment will be in St Mary Cemetery.

Stroupe was born Aug. 21, 1928, in Elgin, the daughter of Leo and Margaret (Long) Dwyer.  She married C. Ronald Stroupe Dec. 5, 1970, at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.  Surviving are her stepsons, Chet Stroupe of Woodstock and Greg Stroupe of Madison, WI.  She was preceded in death by her parents;  husband and brother, Richard (Bonnie) Dwyer.

Memorials in her name may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church.

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
January 27
0042 HRS 00 BLOCK OF DEERPATH RD.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  Three priors.
0317 HRS JOSEPH ST.  & ANDERSON DR.  SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT.   Footprints leading up to several vehicles in the area.
0555 HRS 400 BLOCK OF COURSE DR.  DEATH INVESTIGATION.  Male, 64 years of age, was found deceased.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY CORONER.
0647 HRS PYOTT RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
0758 HRS 00 BLOCK OF PROSPER CT.  DEATH INVESTIGATION. Male, 53 years of age, was found deceased.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY CO CORONER.
1440 HRS INDIAN TRAIL & VILLAGE CREEK DR.  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Male, 60 years of age, intoxicated.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1941 HRS 200 BLOCK OF TERRAMERE LN. DOMESTIC.  Mother vs. Son.  Verbal only.  Five priors.
1911 HRS 100 BLOCK OF VILLAGE CREEK DR.  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Questions regarding alleged threats that were made.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

D300 Board Votes: Stay Put In Fox Valley Conference

The District 300 Board of Education voted Monday to keep its schools in the Illinois High School Association's Fox Valley Conference.  The measure was the latest in a four-district agreement to keep the core of the conference intact until at least 2020.

"Conference hopping" has become a problem in IHSA interscholastic competition as uneven suburban growth has turned  fairly even matchups 35 years ago into modern David and Goliath contests.  Seven current schools will be leaving the Fox Valley for a new one in 2016 but nine schools plan to remain.

Superintendent Fred Heid told the Board the District looked at two others but decided to stay put because they weren't a good match in secondary sports.  In those, Jacobs and Dundee-Crown "have programs where kids excel,"  Heid said, not just a matter of boasting rights but of financial aid where wins, even in lesser sports, tend to turn into college scholarships.

Logistics, specifically, travel time was the other big factor.  Board Member Dave Alessio said a conference change would have made for some lengthy bus trips for both teams and fans.

District 158 voted to stay in the conference for similar reasons two weeks ago.

In the pic:  D300's Board meeting Monday was the first in the District's new central office building in Algonquin built with the hope that the State Board of Education would release a capital grant approved 10 years ago.  It didn't show up but members said they'd lobby the Legislature for it again now that there's a new session.

Huntley Area Bridge Construction To Resume Monday

Illinois Tollway officials announced Monday that work on the Tyrrell Road Bridge over I-90 east of Huntley will resume next week.   Electronic message signs will warn of next Monday's planned traffic shift and reduction to one lane on the bridge. Traffic signals will be used to control access for northbound and southbound traffic on the single open lane during construction.

After the first phase is finished, traffic will be move to the new southbound lane and work will begin to remove the northbound side of the bridge. The northbound lane is scheduled to reopen by summer.  The new concrete bridge will include two lanes and shoulders where as many as 8,600 vehicles cross the Jane Addams each day.

eBook Registration Begins At Huntley Library

Registration for the Huntley Area Public Library's latest round of ebook programs began Monday.  The library subscribes to several online databases that allow cardholders to access digital audiobooks and eBooks from home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, downloadable to computer, MP3 player, PDA device, in some cases even to iPods.

There's a list of services and how-to's located here:  http://www.huntleylibrary.org/digital_books

A series of instructional classes (registration required) in coming weeks is located here:  http://www.huntleylibrary.org/node?qt-events_classes_tabs=5#qt-events_classes_tabs

Rauner Shakes Up Sports Sinecure Again

Governor Bruce Rauner Monday replaced the chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.  That's a seven-member Board that supervises five employees including a 30 year-old $160,000 executive director who played college football at Lake Forest but, probably more importantly, headed Pat Quinn's unsuccessful re-election campaign.

Rauner appointed his transition team co-chairman Manny Sanchez as the new chairman of the city/state agency that built and operates U.S. Cellular Field and pays the bonds for Soldier Field's rehab.  He'll replace former State Senate President Emil Jones, Jr., who was instrumental in hiring both Lou Bertuca and his predecessor, Kelly Kraft, an ex-TV reporter who went bankrupt while a spokesman for Quinn's budget office, then became his chief mouthpiece.

Chavez, a member of the Authority Board at the time, opposed hiring Kraft and Quinn picked another man to replace him.  Now that he's back and as agency boss, too, but even if he can force a new director choice, it probably won't make much difference to Bertuca.  His contract says if he's fired, he'll get full salary for up to two years.

Sanchez, a prominent Democrat who he helped lead Latino outreach in President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, said he'd look for more ways to squeeze revenue out of the White Sox' stadium.

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
January 26
0609 HRS RAKOW RD. & PYOTT RD.  ACCIDENT.  Car vs. Deer.  Property damage only.
0804 HRS 100 BLOCK OF POLARIS DR.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Male vs. Female.  One prior.  Male, 33 years of age, made suicidal statements.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.  FAILED TO FILE.
0954 HRS PYOTT RD. & RAKOW RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1542 HRS 200 BLOCK OF WARWICK LN.  IDENTITY THEFT.  Complainant advised of identity theft.  TURNED OVER TO ADDISON POLICE DEPARTMENT.
1552 HRS 3600 BLOCK OF SONOMA CIRCLE.  THEFT.  Delayed. A tablet computer was taken from residence.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.
1630 HRS 5500 BLOCK OF CHANCERY WAY.  TELEPHONE HARASSMENT.  Harassment by electronic communication device.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
Huntley
January 19
A burglary to a construction site report was taken in the 10400 block of Haligus Rd. Construction  materials and a cart were reported stolen.
A delayed residential burglary report was taken in the 10600 block of Mathew Dr. Power tools were reported stolen from a garage.
A telephone harassment report was taken in the 11700 block of Leland. The victim states that he has received repeated phone calls from a business.
A 16 year-old boy from Wauconda was arrested for possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia in an apartment building parking lot in the 11800 block of Woodcreek Dr. The boy was released to his mother and will be petitioned into McHenry County juvenile court. In the same incident Fernando E. Silva, age 19, of 9241 Jasmine Way, Fox River Grove, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Silva was released with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on February 9, 2015.
John W. Tremblay, age 19, of 609 Windsor Dr., Fox Lake, was arrested on an outstanding Lake County warrant for aggravated assault. Mr. Tremblay was transported to McHenry County jail to await transport to Lake County jail.
January 20
Hilda Hurtado, age 36, of 2301 Claremont Ln., Lake in the Hills, IL was arrested for driving with a suspended driver’s license and expired registration, near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Main St. Ms. Hurtado posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of February 13, 2015.
Heath W. Knotts, age 38, of 219 N. State St., Genoa, was charged with retail theft, at a store in the 12300 block of Rt. 47. Mr. Knotts was released with a McHenry County court date of February 23, 2015.
Jonathan Zermeno, age 21, of 2 Montclair, Lake in the Hills, IL was arrested on an outstanding McHenry County warrant for disorderly conduct. Mr. Zermeno was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond.
January 21
Michael E. Nowakowski, age 34, of 299 Town Center, Gilberts, was arrested for driving with a suspended registration and an outstanding Boone County warrant for a traffic charge near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Main St. Mr. Nowakowski was assigned a February 6, 2015, court date for the Huntley PD traffic charge and was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond.
January 23
Attempted residential burglary reports were taken in the 13200 block of Shirley and the 13400 Block of  Ivy Dr. Forced entry was attempted, no entry was gained at either residence.
A theft report was taken at Huntley High School. A student reported that his wallet was stolen from his unsecured backpack in the boys' locker room.
Ann M. Olson, age 35, of 10707 Wheatlands Way, Huntley, was charged with DUI, in the driveway of her home. Ms. Olson was assigned a McHenry County court date of March 6, 2015, and was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quinn Pot List Shows No Growers In McHenry, Kane Counties

The Chicago Sun Times this morning published a list of applicants former Governor Pat Quinn was close to approving to dispense and grow medical marijuana.  Despite working on the licenses, according to the newspaper, even the night of Bruce Rauner's inauguration, Quinn left final approvals to his successor.

The newspaper obtained a list of pot pilot program growing operations Quinn was considering and a second one for dispensaries.  The  grow list shows an application in Bensenville was Quinn's leading contender for the area including McHenry and Kane counties.  Quinn's dispensary list for the district including McHenry County shows only two applicants, Alternative Treatments, Ltd., apparently based in Glenview, and JKP Properties in Crystal Lake.  The dispensary list for Kane County shows 14 applicants including JKP.

A Rauner spokesman Sunday offered no timetable for the new governor's picks, according to the Sun Times.

Separately, today the American Academy of Pediatrics asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to remove marijuana  from the government's most restrictive drug category, which includes heroin, LSD and other narcotics and put it in the next one for drugs with an accepted medical use.  The group said the change would make it easier to do medical marijuana research.

In the pic:  Illinois' pilot medical marijuana program allows one growing operation in each State Police district except 15, the Tollway.

Plan Agency Rolls Out New Metro "Mobility" Website

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning this morning lit up a new Internet site of interactive maps about bridges, roads and rail transportation in Cook and the collar counties.  The site entitled "Moblity: engine of our regional economy" seems calculated to drum up support for generating new revenue.

CMAP officials are already considering higher-priced express toll lanes during rush hours and trying to raise the 19 cents-per-gallon state motor fuel tax by eight cents.  "The regional system of roads, transit and freight is not being adequately maintained and resources to upgrade these assets are more scarce and precious than ever," reports the website.

Noodling through the pages, however, one finds that, 90 percent of McHenry County's non-interstate roads rate "acceptable or better" although only 80 percent of Kane's meet the same mark.  Nevertheless, both have among the highest levels of bike and pedestrian service in the Chicago metro area.

Some of the information at "Mobility" may need a little digital proofreading, anyway.  For example, the site seems to think that Vine Street crosses the railroad tracks in Huntley where trains block 20 cars for .71 minutes on average.

The (computer memory-gobbling) website's located at:  http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/mobility

Rauner May Revamp Rules On Coal Mining

Fracking for oil and gas may be off to a weak start in Illinois but Governor Bruce Rauner's transition team has some ideas about to give the state's coal industry a jumpstart.  The Bloomington Pantagraph this morning said the governor's considering an overhaul of the way Illinois regulates coal mining.

Two months after a legislative panel finally approved long-awaited rules for hydraulic fracturing oil drilling, only one company's registered to drill and none has asked for an actual permit.  The rules came out around the same time U.S. oil prices started to plummet.

There's a different problem with coal, however, according to a new Rauner transition report.  It says the State's jumble of regulators has hampered coal just when it's facing aging power plants, tougher emission rules and the advent of renewable energy.  In one example, according to the Illinois Coal Association, a new for a new coal mine application in Vermilion County languished for 13 months because of a staff shortage at the Department of Natural Resources.

"Gov. Rauner is committed to transforming state government,"  Rauner spokesman Lance Trover told Lee Enterprises newspapers.  "That includes a review of how the state coordinates the regulation of energy production in order to balance both environmental and economic concerns."

Obituaries

Darlene L. Lund, 72, of Sun City, Huntley, died in Elgin Friday following a short illness.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 4 to 8 pm at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley, continuing Wednesday from 9 am until a 10 o'clock Funeral Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley.

Lund was born Oct. 31, 1942, in Chicago, the daughter of Joseph and Loretta (Statczny) Scaletta.  On Jan. 30, 1993. she married John L. Lund.  She is survived by her husband; son, Michael (Christina) Mix of Berwyn; daughters, Colleen (Sergio) De Luca of Huntley, Mary Pat (Jeff) Wickert of Manahawkin, NJ, and Cheryl Mix of Huntley; stepdaughters, Jeanette (Dan) Licata of Northbrook and Kathy (Dan) Lund Dean of Saint Paul,MN; grandchildren, Amina, Zach, Alex, Cono, Gianna, Merissa, Paul, Sean, Madeleine, Harrison and Cooper, and her brother, Ronald (Eileen) Scaletta of Oak Brook She was preceded in death by her parents and granddaughter, Allison.

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
January 25
1347 HRS 4300 BLOCK OF BARHARBOR DR.  WANTED ON WARRANT.  LYDON, MAXIMILLIAN M.,  M/W 19 YEARS OF AGE, 4300 BARHARBOR DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Wanted on Warrant, Boone County Sherriff’s Office, Failure to Appear for a Traffic Offense.  Bond: $355.00 Full Cash Amount.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1954 HRS 2265 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (THORNTON’S).  WANTED ON WARRANT.  TURNER, MICHAEL J.,  M/W 32 YEARS OF AGE, 16 E LILLIAN AVE. APT. 2D, ARLINGTON HEIGHTS.  CHARGES: Wanted on Warrant, McHenry County Sherriff’s Office, Failure to Appear for Driving Under Influence of Liquor. Bond: $5,000 @ 10%, Driving While License Revoked, Headlight Violation, Unlawful use of a Telecommunication Device, and Transportation/Carry of Alcohol by Driver.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0657 HRS 3200 BLOCK OF RONAN DR.  DOMESTIC.  Ex-girlfriend vs. Ex-boyfriend.  Verbal only.  No priors.
0857 HRS RANDALL RD. & ACCESS RD.  ACCIDENT.  One vehicle.  Property damage only.
1014 HRS RANDALL RD. & ACORN LN.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1036 HRS 300 BLOCK OF VILLAGE CREEK DR.  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Complainant receiving toll violations from old license plates.
1128 HRS 1109 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (SAFETY EDUCATION CENTER).  FOUND ARTICLE.  A bicycle.
1254 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HILLTOP DR.  THEFT.  A tablet computer was taken from residence. Entered into LEADS.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1301 HRS RANDALL RD. & ACORN LN.  INJURY ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Two juveniles with head injuries.  No Transport.
1400 HRS 280 N. RANDALL RD. (DUNKIN DONUTS).  HIT AND RUN.  Complainant’s vehicle was struck by an unknown vehicle that fled.
1445 HRS 3200 BLOCK OF RONAN DR.  AMBULANCE ASSIST.  Female, 50 years of age, highly intoxicated.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Area Home Prices Rebound To 2010 Levels

McHenry County's average home price edged up to 2010 levels in 2014, according to the latest report this week from Heartland Realtors, formerly the McHenry County Association of Realtors.  Average Summer prices hovered above the $195,000 level, still far below a $250,000 or so 2007 peak,

Year to year, December's $179,000 average McHenry County home price was only about $10,000 over December, 2013, about $20,000 off this Summer's high.  That's more or less in line with national and regional trends.  The S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices for October, the most recent available, were up around 29 percent from 2012 lows but remain around 17 percent off  pre-Recession peaks.

The chairman of the S&P index committee was guardedly optimistic on housing at the start of the new year saying,  "Most national economic statistics, other than those connected to housing, posted positive reports in November and early December."

In the pic:  Housing prices are generally on an upswing.  How big and how long is another matter.  Prices in the Chicago area are getting pretty near the trend line that results from excluding prices during and after the Housing bubble.

Stats Show LITH Third Safest Place In U.S.

The Village of Lake in the Hills this week announced it had scored as the third safest city in the U.S., according to a ranking by an Internet research company.   Neighborhood Scout, divided the number of FBI-recorded crimes against population to create crime ratios for the 100 safest cities.

Glen Cove, NY, is the safest place in the U.S., according to the report, followed by Zionsville, IN, but in the number three spot, LITH  ranked safer than 96 percent of all the cities in the U.S. The Internet boffins reported LITH had only 3.8 crimes per 1,000 residents, 3.21 of them against property rather than people. Violent crime was less than one sixth the national average, according to the report.  Neighborhood Scout concluded the original Woods Creek Lake section of Lake in the Hills was the village's safest neighborhood.

The company's been doing these comparisons for four years.  Its 2015 report is the first in which LITH has appeared.  Huntley ranked 17th this year, the first time for it it the top 100 list, too.  Neighborhood Scout's breakdown is located here:  http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100safest/  Click the names for more detailed info.

Demand Limited For Illinois Immigrant Driver's Licenses

Far fewer immigrants than predicted obtained special temporary driver's licenses last year as part of a new state program.  Supporters said as many as 500,000 illegal immigrants might qualify for the licenses when it began in late 2013 but only a little over 85,000 now have licenses to drive in Illinois, according to a report from the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers.

According to a Secretary of State's spokesman only about 190,000 people have even applied for the licenses  may be used only for driving, not identification purposes like voting or buying a firearm.   Good for three years, the licenses are available to available to immigrants who can prove they've lived in Illinois for a year.  They're the same ones issued to  the same as those issued to diplomats, relatives of overseas businessmen, artists and athletes who live temporarily in the U.S.

In the pic:  Temporary immigrant Illinois driver's licenses feature a purple border instead of the red one used for regular drivers.

Illinois Senate Bill Would Ban (Seriously) Powdered Alcohol

Illinois residents can rest potentially safer in their beds thanks to the 67th Senate bill introduced in the 99th General Assembly.   Majority Caucus Chair State Sen. Ira Silverstein of Chicago has filed a measure to ban "powdered alcohol".

The legislation would nix the Illinois sale of  "any powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol produced for human consumption."  In practice, that would probably mean Palcohol, the name of a formulation of grain alcohol absorbed in cyclodextrin, at least if it ever gets made.  According to its optimistic Arizona-based maker, Palcohol "is not for sale anywhere and won't be until at least spring 2015."  Nevertheless, 10 states have already banned powdered alcohol and bills are pending in at least two more.

Even though the idea's been tried at least twice without much success in Europe, U.S. regulators fear kids  will flock to the stuff.  "We don't need people spiking beverages," Silverstein said.  Others worry they'll snort the stuff instead but, according to the prospective manufacturer, that's a load of hooey.  The Palcohol people seem to have already tried it and report that, thanks to the alcohol, "It's painful."

Palcohol, incidentally, only plans seven formulations, none of them gin, so the ultimate dry martini will probably remain a platonic ideal.

Obituaries

Carol A. Toede, 69, of Sun City, Huntley died Saturday at her home following a lengthy illness. Visitation followed by a  Service of Remembrance will be Tuesday from 5 to 7 pm at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.

Toede was born Feb. 13, 1945, in Chicago, the daughter of John and Bernice (Reynoldson) Malik. She married Herbert F. Toede on April 19, 1969, in Chicago.  She is survived by her husband; daughter, Deborah (Ronald) Habernegg of Chicago;  son, Brock (Kimberly) Toede of Ypsilanti, MI; grandchildren, Alexander, Michaela, Stone and Strom; mother, Bernice Malik of Hoffman Estates, and her brothers, Terrance (Cathy) Malik of Sanibel, FL and Thomas Malik of Schaumburg. She was preceded in death by her father and sister, Darlene.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Cure PSP & CBD, Timonium, MD.

Donna G. Smalec, 59 of Huntley died peacefullyThursday. Visitation will be Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley, from 9 am until and 11 o'clock Mass.

Smalec was born May 18, 1955, in Chicago, the daughter of Hillard and Rose Golly. On Sept. 15, 1978, she married Chester “Jack” Smalec.  She is survived by her husband and daughter, Tiffany, and her sisters, Marianne Depowski and Diane (Jerry) Smalec. She was preceded in death by her parents.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the family.

Kenneth Leroy McCloud, 66, of Lake in the Hills died Friday at his home.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 3 to 8 pm at Willow Funeral Home. A funeral service to follow there Wednesday at 11 am. Interment will be at Ohio Grove Cemetery in Sycamore.

McCloud was born Feb. 29, 1948, in Elgin.  He is survived by his children, Dawn McCloud Block ( Brian), and Michael Aaron McCloud; grandchild, Logan Michael Block; mother, Grace Grant, and sister, Susan McCloud Grant.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon Chapman McCloud, and father, Harry McCloud.

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.

ALEXANDER J. ROBSON, DOB:  08/31/1993, 1405 OAKLEAF LANE, WOODSTOCK.  AGGRAVATED ROBBERY;  JEREMY G. STOKES, DOB:  08/04/1990, 11602 E. MAIN STREET, HUNTLEY.  AGGRAVATED ROBBERY;  AARON W. WORDLAW , DOB:  07/19/1989, 3903 SANDPIPER DRIVE, HANOVER PARK.   AGGRAVATED ROBBERY;  NICHOLAS A. SANFILIPPO, DOB:  07/09/1994, 10498 MIDDLE TOWN LANE, HUNTLEY.  AGGRAVATED ROBBERY, RESISTING A PEACE OFFICER. --Woodstock PD

SANDRO GOMEZ, DOB:  12/25/1977, 104 BLACKMAN, HARVARD.  AGGRAVATED DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED. --Bull Valley PD
   
BRIDGET A. NUTLEY,  DOB:  04/17/1994, 405 E. ANDERSON STREET, HARVARD.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A FRAUDULENT DRIVER’S LICENSE, UNLAWFUL USE OF LICENSE OR PERMIT (TWO COUNTS). --Bull Valley PD
   
ARMANDO P. RICO, DOB:  10/27/1950, 3309 W. LAKE SHORE DRIVE, WONDER LAKE.  AGGRAVATED DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (THREE COUNTS), DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED (SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE). --Bull Valley PD
   
STEVEN A. STONE, DOB:  07/15/1981, 1298 THOMAS DRIVE, WOODSTOCK.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. --Woodstock PD
   
CLAY W. COSTIN, DOB:  05/27/1990, 203 CASCADE DRIVE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --Crystal Lake PD
   
PATRICK J. CHRISTY,  DOB:  12/13/1992, 784 CAMBRIDGE LANE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS WITH INTENT TO DELIVER, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --Crystal Lake PD
   
MARC VAN-AUSDALE, DOB:  04/19/1984, 3813 N. WILLIAMS STREET, WESTMONT.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. --Marengo PD

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
January 24
2233 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  UNLAWFUL JUVENILE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR.  M/W 16 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED, TURNED OVER TO PARENT.  JUVENILE, M/W 17 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED, TURNED OVER TO PARENT.
0536 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  No priors.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1003 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF SWEETWATER RIDGE.  IDENTITY THEFT.  Unauthorized use of complainant’s credit card.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1510 HRS 600 BLOCK OF E. OAK ST.  CRIMINAL DEFACEMENT.  Graffiti found under the bridge on E. Oak St.
1551 HRS 1115 CRYSTAL LAKE RD (LITH PD).  DOMESTIC.  Father vs. Daughter.  Verbal only.  One Prior.
1721 HRS RANDALL RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1738 HRS 5500 BLOCK OF WILDSPRING DR.  MISSING JUVENILE.  Male, 16 years of age, ran away from home.  Juvenile returned home.
1741 HRS 1200 BLOCK OF SPRUCE ST.  SUICIDAL SUBJECT.  Male, 37 years of age, made suicidal statements.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1744 HRS 200 BLOCK OF TERRAMERE LN.  MISSING JUVENILE.  Male, 16 years of age, missing.  Juvenile returned home.
2233 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  DISORDERLY CONDUCT.  14 year-old male juvenile was chased down the street by 16 year-old male juvenile.  FAIL TO FILE.