Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Algonquin Eatery Manager Fired For Veteran's Service Dog Incident

An Algonquin restaurant manager was fired Monday for turning away a Huntley veteran when he, his mother and service dog asked to be seated Sunday.  Mom Laura Wills' Facebook post about the incident prompted dozens of adverse comments, a WGN-TV Memorial Day feature story and, finally the termination.

Wills' son, Garrett Loughran, an ex-tank mechanic with post traumatic stress disorder, and his service dog, Hershey, had planned to have lunch at Houlihan's on Randall Road.  They ended up dining at the Village Vintner instead after a Houlihan's hostess, then the manager, both said dogs weren't allowed in the restaurant.

"I expected that by his day and age everybody knows what service dogs are and that they should be more accepting, especially with our veterans --all the other veterans like me," Loughran said in Channel 9's interview.

"His dog is a service dog and by federal law is allowed into anywhere he goes," complained Wills' in her Facebook post.

In fact, the Americans With Disabilities Act trumps most State and local health laws with the provisos that the animal's leashed and that business owners may inquire if it is, indeed, a service animal and what service it performs.

A spokesman for the Kansas City-based Houllihan's chain in a statement Monday said, "To be perfectly clear:  Houlihan’s supports and appreciates all veterans and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for this country.  We have and will always allow service dogs in our restaurants."  The company said it planned to donate $2,000 to Pets for Vets an organization that trains companion dogs.

ADA provisions about service animals are explained here:  http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
A DOJ Q and A about them is located here: http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm


In the pic:  Veteran Garrett Loughran and his dog Hershey.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
Algonquin Eatery Manager Fired For Veteran's Service Dog Incident
Algonquin, Huntley Memorial Day Parades Honor Military Fallen
County Line Road Pavement Completion Planned In Two Weeks
Dems Begin Push For More State Budget Spending
"Decoration Day" Originally Recalled The Civil War
Chance Of Rain To End But Breezy Memorial Day Shapes Up
Huntley "Then And Now" Photo Contest Winners Announced
Democrats' Budget Expected Tuesday Ahead Of Sunday Deadline
Swim (And Splash) Season Getting Under Way
Algonquin, Huntley Annual Memorial Day Parades Still On
Good Crowd At Huntley Farmers' Market New Location
State Audit Finds Complaint Agency For Judges Shorthanded
McHenry County Board Plans Another Flat Property Tax Levy
LITH PD Saves First Overdose Victim With Narcan Kit
Cop On Top Charity Events Planned Friday In LITH, Huntley
Governor Introduces "Turnaround" Bills As Session End Looms
New State Prisons Chief Quits Unexpectedly
Huntley, Algonquin To Renew Boundaries Pact
D158 Becomes Huntley Community School District 158
Huntley/LITH Rotary Carnival Opens In Huntley Tonight
Madigan Millionaires' Tax Stalls In House Again
Algonquin Streets Sticky As County Mulls Non-Public Roads
State Justices Hear Arguments Over Area High School Bleachers
Warmer Temps To Replace Record Cold For Memorial Day Weekend
Consumer Credit Agencies Promise Illinois, Other States To Improve
McHenry County Officeholder Audits Sent Back For More Work
Rutland Township Clerk To Tender Resignation
McHenry County Historical Society Seeks Antique Donations
GOP Leaders Blast Dems For Lack Of State Budget Progress

Algonquin, Huntley Memorial Day Parades Honor Military Fallen

A light mist fell as an honor guard from the Lake in the Hills American Legion Post 1231 fired salutes for the fallen in America's Wars at a ceremony at Algonquin Cemetery before the start of Algonquin's Memorial Day parade.  The parade featuring Vets, Jacobs High School's marching band and troops and packs of scouts marched down Main Street to Riverfront Park, for the first time in decades, not tying up traffic on Route 31.  Algonquin Police sent most of it to the Algonquin Bypass which is now the official route for the State highway.

An hour later, skies had cleared considerably for Huntley's Memorial Day Parade.  Even so, attendance was probably off a little, some spectators speculating it might have had to do with the uncertain weather forecast while others conjectured Downtown construction might also have been a factor.   The parade itself moved smartly along before dispersing to reassemble for a Memorial Day ceremony at the Gazebo in Dahmer Square.

County Line Road Pavement Completion Planned In Two Weeks

McHenry County Engineers said, weather permitting, it will probably be another two weeks before resurfacing's finished on Lake Cook/West  County Line Road between Route 62 in Algonquin and just short of Ashbury Lane in Barrington Hills.  Workers finished grinding off the old surface last week and have already laid several hundred feet of new asphalt eastbound from the Barrington Hills limit.  "It should be done by the middle of the month," Assistant County Engineer Jeff Young told FEN.

Dems Begin Push For More State Budget Spending

Meeting on Memorial Day, the Illinois House began hearing testimony on pieces of a State budget that even its Democratic backers admit is $4 billion short of revenue.  Democrats say the roughly $36 billion plan wouldn't cut spending as much as the $31.5 billion plan Republican Governor Bruce Rauner proposed in February.

The Dems' budget includes more money for public schools and prisons and smaller cuts for state universities and human service programs.   House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters his party will approve the budget blueprint and then start looking for tax increases to close the gap.  "Democrats in the legislature, both the House and the Senate, will offer a spending plan that's consistent with our view of what the state of Illinois should do for Illinoisans who need the government to be helpful to them," Madigan said. "We will publicly acknowledge that we don't have the money to pay for this budget."

A governor's spokesman blasted the plan even before Madigan spoke.  "The speaker and his allies in the legislature are sorely mistaken if they believe the people of Illinois will accept doubling down on a broken system that has failed Illinois over the last dozen years," said Lance Trover in a written statement.

Republicans led by Rauner have called for what they say are reforms that will help Illinois' economy grow its way out of its spending hole but Madigan rejected the idea.  "Attempting to tie the passage of a responsible state budget to issues unrelated to the budget ... tells middle-class families they are negotiating tools, not priorities," Madigan said.

In the pic:  Speaker Mike Madigan

Obituaries

David U. Lanckhoff, 40, of Lake in the Hills died Thursday in Woodstock.  Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 to 9 pm with a funeral service at 7 at Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, Palatine. Interment will be private at Memory Gardens Cemetery, Arlington Heights.

Lanckhoff was born Dec. 6, 1974 in Elk Grove Village to David and Rita (nee Osting) Lanckhoff.  He is survived by his wife, Mary; children, David and Nathan; mother and siblings, Tina Petersen, Betti Petersen, Norman (Joy) Eichmann and Rebecca Lanckhoff.  He was preceded in death by his father.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to his children.

Robert G. Preidis, 60, of Lake in the Hills died Sunday at his home.  Memorial visitation will be today from 4 pm until a Euology Service at 7:30 at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, Crystal Lake.  There will be a service in his hometown of Columbus at a later date where he will be inurned at Union Cemetery.

Preidis was born Dec. 8, 1954, in Columbus, OH, to Frank and Mabel (nee McMarrow) Preidis.   On March 20, 1982, he married Mary Tieman.  He is survived by his wife; children, Beth, Gary, and Adam; mother and siblings, Nancy Dill, Frances Preidis, and Frank Preidis.  He was preceded in death by his father.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to JourneyCare Foundation, Barrington.

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
May 24
0007 HRS RANDALL RD. & ANGELA LN.  POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.  WILLOUGHBY, EMMANUEL D., M/W 26 YEARS OF AGE, 1125 ERICA DR., WAUCONDA.  CHARGES: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Cannabis.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0133 HRS HEAVENS GATE & MILLER RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  HOLTZ, TOBY G., M/W 44 YEARS OF AGE, 1545 ROLLING HILLS DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Improper Turn at an Intersection, and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0544 HRS LITCHFIELD LN. & MILLER RD.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  HUGHES, PATRICK J., M/W 21 YEARS OF AGE, 593 TOMAHAWK LN., CRYSTAL LAKE.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended and Improper Lane Usage.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0928 HRS STONEGATE RD. & RANDALL RD.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  COLLIER, BRET A., M/W 24 YEARS OF AGE, 28608 PARKVIEW DR., ISLAND LAKE.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended.  RELEASED ON BOND.
May 25
1246 HRS 00 BLOCK OF ROLLING HILLS CT.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  AZZANO, MICHAEL A., M/W 36 YEARS OF AGE, 120 W. BRINK ST. APT 8 HARVARD.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1358 HRS 800 BLOCK OF JESSIE RD.  FOUND ARTICLE.  Bicycle.  ENTERED INTO EVIDENCE
1457 HRS 300 BLOCK OF CHIPPEWA TRAIL.  DOMESTIC.  Father vs. daughter.  Verbal only.  Two priors.
1803 HRS 5400 BLOCK OF AVALON LN.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1820 HRS 4400 BLOCK OF PRINCETON LN.  SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  Male, 44 years of age, intoxicated and left suicide note.  Transported to Woodstock.
1950 HRS 1212 CRYSTAL LAKE RD.  (PROPERTY OWNER’S ASSOCIATION).  BATTERY.  Two male subjects fighting.  FAIL TO FILE.
Algonquin
May 23
10:52am Ortega, Carlos, DOB: 07/25/1993, of 924 Chippewa Ci., Carpentersville, was charged with Hit and Run.  He was taken into custody at Algonquin Police Department.  He was released after posting bond with a court date of 06/24/15 in McHenry County.
May 24
16:10pm Eleosida, Kathleen Kaye, DOB: 09/03/1994, of 4113 W. Lilian St., McHenry was charged with Driving With License Suspended and Improper Lane Usage.  She was taken into custody at Rt. 31 and Rt. 62.  She was released after posting bond with a court date of 07/01/2015 in McHenry County.

Monday, May 25, 2015

"Decoration Day" Originally Recalled The Civil War

"You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too, like my Uncle David, when I grow up."  --John T. McCutcheon cartoon, circa 1905.

Chance Of Rain To End But Breezy Memorial Day Shapes Up

National Weather Service Meteorologists said a low pressure trough was likely to start moving through the Chicago metro area about 9 am bringing scattered, brief showers before exiting late this morning.  A following "dry slot" is expected to bring gusty winds this afternoon, then probably another chance of rain very late tonight and early Tuesday morning.   "Ample low level moisture will already be in place, so it will just be a matter of when [the next front] will get here," observed forecaster Andrew Krein.

Huntley "Then And Now" Photo Contest Winners Announced

A Lake in the Hills photographer, Amy Rizzo, was the winner announced this weekend in Huntley's Then and Now photo contest to help celebrate “Look at Local History” month.  Entries will compared a vintage photograph of a Huntley scene with a current shot as the site looks today. 

Rizzo's before and after of the Dean Foods plant in Huntley took the top adult honor in the competition.  Aliviah Sommers of Huntley snapped the number one entry in the youth division and the "People's Choice" winner, too. 

TCF bank contributed $500 in prizes for the contest sponsored by the Huntley Park District, Huntley Historical Society, Huntley Area Public Library and the Village of Huntley Historic Preservation Commission.  Entries from the contest will be on display this Summer at the Huntley Municipal Complex.

In the pic:  Deans in Huntley, 1952 and present day.

Democrats' Budget Expected Tuesday Ahead Of Sunday Deadline

It's likely to be an interesting week in Springfield.  With seven nominal days to go before a budget's deadline, the latest outlook is for House Democrats to float a spending blueprint no earlier than Tuesday.

"We've been working on a budget to propose to them because we're getting nothing otherwise from the governor's side," said state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan.  More precisely, Democrats who control the House and Senate have gotten something from Gov. Bruce Rauner but the package of business reforms he's proposed isn't one they like.

Assuming passage of a Democratic plan this week, "I would anticipate the governor vetoing that proposal or budget and then we will return to Springfield at some point in time in the very near future," said state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington.

The budget mess is made even messier since some lawmakers are already looking ahead to the 2016 election.   One conservative group began airing TV ads targeting Democrats while Dems sent out the first of an anticipated series of mailers last week accusing GOP legislators of failing to stanch property tax increases.  Simultaneously, Rauner handed out $400,000 worth of campaign money to party loyalists.  "Clearly the political season has begun," said Democratic state Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake.

Sunday's budget deadline's supposed to provide some sort of certainty about State spending on schools, agencies and social service programs but now most observers forecast it's going to be a long hot legislative Summer.

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
delayed

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Swim (And Splash) Season Getting Under Way

Algonquin's  Lions-Armstrong Memorial Pool and Splashpad opened for the season Saturday.  Even though early afternoon temps were in the low-80's there was still plenty of room.  Huntley Park District's Stingray Bay season was also scheduled to start this weekend.   LITH's beaches are technically both open now but won't have lifeguards on hand until next Saturday.  LITH's Splashpad in Sunset Park is scheduled to open Monday, Memorial Day, with new and improved ways to get wet.  Look for the "snake shooter".

Hours, fees and rules are located at these webpages
http://www.algonquin.org/department/division.php?structureid=38
http://www.lith.org/parksrec/page/indian-trail-butch-hagele-beaches
http://www.huntleyparks.org/programs/aquatics/

Algonquin, Huntley Annual Memorial Day Parades Still On

Unless it's pouring buckets --and the current NWS outlook is that it could if a "moist plume" doesn't move out of the area on schedule-- Memorial Day will be marked with annual parades in Algonquin and Huntley.

Algonquin's Memorial Parade sponsored by American Legion Post 1231 will begin at 10 am near the veterans' monument at the Algonquin Cemetery, march down North Main Street to Front Street, and debouch at Riverfront Park where a memorial ceremony will be held at about 10:30

Huntley's Memorial Day Parade will begin at 11 am at the Municipal Complex heading west on Main Street to Woodstock Street  where a ceremony will follow.  Village officials said even though there's still some landscaping pending at the Downtown Municipal Parking Lot, they planned to have it back open for use Monday.

In the pic:  Veterans' graves marked at Algonquin Cemetery.

Good Crowd At Huntley Farmer's Market New Location

Huntley's first outdoor Farmers' Market of the season drew a good crowd Saturday at its temporary new venue at the Huntley Municipal Complex.  Most vendors agreed sunny skies and, for a change, seasonal temperatures helped the inaugural turnout.

Beyond that, it was anyone's guess.  One reported a customer who had to ask directions to even find the Complex.  Another wondered if Saturday Huntley Post Office patrons who often check out the Farmers' Market at its Coral Street venue would continue to do so at the new one this Summer.

Thanks to Downtown construction, this year the Huntley Farmer's Market will be held every Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm at the Municipal Complex. That's the really big brick building on Main Street east of Dundee Road with the sign that says that's what it is.

State Audit Finds Complaint Agency For Judges Shorthanded

The state agency that investigates Illinois judges for misconduct has such a big backlog of pending complaints it can't keep up with new ones, according to a State audit released last this week.  Nevertheless, Governor Bruce's Rauner's proposed budget plans to cut funding for the State Judicial Inquiry Board 10 percent for the new fiscal year

"The Board has a growing inventory level of pending complaints of misconduct or physical or mental incapacity of judicial officers," concluded Illinois Auditor General Brad Holland's report.  Last year, for example, it investigated a case involving two McLean County judges in an extramarital affair and another about a LaSalle County judge caught driving drunk.  Holland's report recommended the Board try to get more money.

Auditors found the agency had 311 complaints pending at the end of the last June.  Some were still unresolved last month.  They said Commission staff literally couldn't tell them how many new complaints had been filed because there hadn't been time to start working on them yet.

One problem, Holland found, is that the agency's short-staffed.  In the audit, Kathy Twine, executive director, said the Board used to have six or seven employees but for the past four years the roster's dwindled to five.  In fact, for the past seven years, according to the audit, the nine-member Board itself hasn't been at full strength.  According to the report, two of four spots for non-lawyers are still empty, one for almost three years, the other for nearly four.

Obituaries

Kenneth Gordon Gerrans, 76, of Lake in the Hills died Thursday.  Visitation will be today from 3 to 7 pm at Willow Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Algonquin.  A funeral service will be there at 11 am Monday.  Cremation will be private.

Gerrans was born Dec. 6, 1938, the son of Sydney and Ruth Gerrans. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; children, Ken (Karissa), Kathleen and Kelley (Greg) Budd; stepchildren Jay Beverly (Kim), Jeff and Jon (Fenna) Beverly; grandchilddren, Randy, Stephanie, Brandon, Brooke, Corey, Jacob, Dylan, Andrew, Jack, Scott and Tim, and siblings, Marion, Irene and Bob Gerrans,

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “Cubs Care” charities.


John James Roth,
73, of Huntley died last Sunday.  Visitation will be June 24 at 9 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Huntley, followed by a 10 am Memorial Mass.

Roth is survived by his wife, Patricia (nee Bucaro); daughters Elizabeth (Jim) Burkwest and Patty and grandson, Connor Roth.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Catherine (nee O'hara).

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
May 23
0057 HRS 2450 W. ALGONQUIN RD.  SPEEDING.  LANDIN, TRAVIS J., M/W 23 YEARS OF AGE, 1108 STRATFORD LN., ALGONQUIN.  CHARGES: Speeding 35 MPH over the Posted Speed Limit and Violation of an Instructional Permit for a Motorcycle.  RELEASED ON BOND.
2131 HRS 3400 BLOCK OF SONOMA CIRCLE. UNLAWFUL JUVENILE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL.  M/W 17 YEARS OF AGE, HUNTLEY.   CHARGE: Underage Consumption of Alcohol.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED.  VIGIL, RICARDO R., M/W 18 YEARS OF AGE, 241 STICKLEY LN., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Underage Consumption of Alcohol.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED.  LAPORTA, MARCUS R., M/W 18 YEARS OF AGE, 641 GOLDENROD DR., ALGONQUIN.  CHARGE: Underage Consumption of Alcohol.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED.
0032 HRS ROUTE 47 & ACKMAN RD.  ACCIDENT.  One vehicle.  Property damage only.
1309 HRS LAKEWOOD RD. & LITCHFIELD LN.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1322 HRS 900 BLOCK OF MCPHEE DR.  LOST ARTICLE.  License plate.   Entered into LEADS.
1408 HRS 500 BLOCK OF BARTON CREEK DR.  DOMESTIC.  Son vs. Father.  Verbal only.  Three priors.
1423 HRS 1115 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (LITH PD).  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Contact with a registered sex offender.
1622 HRS 2126 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (LOTTERY MART).  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  No priors.
1900 HRS 500 BLOCK OF BARTON CREEK DR.  THEFT.  Complainant’s check was unlawfully cashed.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

McHenry County Board Plans Another Flat Property Tax Levy

The McHenry County Board this week voted to craft next year's budget without increasing the property tax levy for inflation.  "I think that's what we all understood we were voting for," Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Mike Skala told FEN the next day.

For the next County budget --and most others-- the State's Property Tax Extension Limitation Law sets an .8 percent cap, the smallest since 2009, on any levy increase (not counting new construction).

The budget process passed along by Finance and Audit didn't mention any sort of increase in favor of considering the possibility later.  "If we can't see our way clear to [minimize tax increases] in the form of policy, I wonder what options are open to us," complained District 6 member Diane Evertsen.

Two formulations were available for that.  One said, “The County Board will work towards not taking the CPI increase authorized under PTELL when balancing the 2016 budget" which seemed to allow the possibility of a lesser percentage.  The one the Board unanimously approved read, “The CPI increase authorized under PTELL shall not be utilized in the calculation of property tax revenues,” which, in a strict reading, still contained a lot of wiggle room.

As a replacement for the other policy, however, it probably meant the Board opted, for the fourth time in as many years, to seek no inflationary levy increase at all.

LITH PD Saves First Overdose Victim With Narcan Kit

Only three months after obtaining heroin antidote kits, Lake in the Hills police saved the life of their first overdose victim this week.  Deputy Chief Pat Boulden said officers administered a Narcan injection early Wednesday morning to a 22 year-old male at a home in the 1100 block of Sweetwater Ridge.  Boulden said he'd already begun to respond when ALFPD paramedics administered another before taking him to Sherman Hospital for further treatment.

LITH PD obtained the Narcan kits under a DuPage County program in February because McHenry County still doesn't have one of its own.

Cop On Top Charity Events Planned Friday In LITH, Huntley

Lake in the Hills and Huntley coppers are laying in supplies of Coppertone getting ready to take to the roofs of local Dunkin Donut shops Friday for the 13th Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run fund-raiser for the Special Olympics of Illinois. 

More than 170 locations in Illinois will take part in the Cop On A Rooftop event to help support nearly 22,000 Illinois athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 21,000 young athletes ages 2 to 7 with and without intellectual disabilities from communities throughout the state.  Everyone who makes a donation to the Torch Run will receive a free donut.

Algonquin PD supports the Torch Run in other ways; the village doesn't have a Dunkin shop of its own.

Governor Introduces "Turnaround" Bills As Session End Looms

With only 10 days to go before the planned end of the legislative session, Republicans Friday introduced long-awaited bills for parts of Governor Bruce Rauner's "Turnaround Agenda".   GOP leaders demanded passage before considering more taxes to close an expected $6 billion budget shortfall.  Democrats continued to knock down straw man versions of what they said were the governor's proposals.

The new Rauner bills would freeze property taxes, toughen workers' compensation policies and make it harder to file class action lawsuits against businesses.  The governor also favors legislation introduced earlier to allow municipalities to file bankruptcy.  "[Rauner] has been very clear that reform [goes] before revenue," Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said.  "He has never said revenue is off the table.  I think we have a number of members who agree with that, but reform first."

However,  Democratic reformer Rep. Elaine Nekritz from Northbrook, said the introducing the Rauner package this late was disingenuous.  "I just don't see any way that we could even negotiate them to come to any kind of agreement and get it right in five days," Nekritz said. "I think that it is sort of like here it is, here's my package, take it or leave it."

Despite introduction of the governor's own proposal, the House Friday voted down three of four Democratic measures that ostensibly duplicated his workers' compensation proposals.  The only one to garner GOP support was a bill to establish a review process for workers' compensation rates.

Democrats also reportedly continued work behind the scenes to craft their own budget without any input from Rauner or Republicans.  "I think the budget will be on the governor's desk by the end of session," House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown said.  "We can come back in the Fall, or the Winter," to consider the Rauner proposals said Brown.

New State Prisons Chief Quits Unexpectedly

Gov. Bruce Rauner's new State corrections director, who's overseen a crowded prison system for two months ago, has resigned, officials confirmed Friday. 

The governor's office gave no reason for the unexpected departure of Donald Stolworthy, named to the $150,228-a-year job March 9 and Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson said Stolworthy was "not available" Friday for an interview.  Stolworthy hadn't been confirmed yet, but Vice Chairman of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee Andy Manar said he knew of no reason why he wouldn't have been.

"At our request, he has agreed to help during the transition period to continue our transformation of the Department of Corrections while we identify the leader that will succeed him," Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a prepared statement.

Stolworthy had already raised State union hackles with with a memo that said contract sick-time and overtime rules were leading to unreasonable costs.   AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall said in a statement that replacing Stolworthy will require "committed, professional leadership of the Department of Corrections that is never subject to political influence."

IDOC's director is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of more than 35 state prisons, work camps, boot camps and transition centers as well as the supervision of parolees.  At last count the agency had more than 11,000 employees and over 48,000 prisoners.

In the pic:  Donald Stolworthy

Obituaries

Marjorie J. Liggett, 92, of Huntley died Wednesday.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 3 to 8 pm at the James A. O'Connor Funeral Home, Huntley and will continue Wednesday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley, from 9 am until a 10 o'clock Mass of Christian Burial.  Interment will be in will be in the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.


Liggett was born March 28, 1923, the daughter of the late George and Anna Krueger. She was t he wife of the late Keith R. Liggett. She was the mother of K. Ray (Darlene) Liggett and the late Barbara Liggett and grandmother of Christopher (Julie) Liggett.

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
May 22
2206 HRS FRANK RD. & MILLER RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  WAGGONER, NATHAN T., M/W 39 YEARS OF AGE, 4638 COURTNEY DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with a Blood Alcohol Content Greater than .08, and Disobeying a Stop Sign.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1115 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF PATTON AVE.  TELEPHONE HARASSMENT.  A male was harassing a female via the telephone.  FAIL TO FILE.
1407 HRS 100 N. RANDALL RD. (WALGREENS).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2137 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Huntley, Algonquin To Renew Boundaries Pact

The Huntley Village Board Thursday passed an agreement with the Village of Algonquin for final approval in two weeks to connect Main Street and Lakewood Road when development finally takes off in that area.  The pact also calls for the two villages to share sales taxes in a small undeveloped area bisected by the villages' border if there's every any tax money in the first place.

Algonquin's Village Board formally approved the agreement Tuesday.  Village Manager Tim Schloneger  then hailed the 20-year extension of a boundary agreement first signed in 1992 as a model for local communities' cooperation.  "You don't see Algonquin and its neighbors cutting each others' throats," he said.

The agreement settles the Huntley-desired Main and Lakewood connection now because, after the it's signed, the area will fall under Algonquin's auspices.  Huntley Village Manager Dave Johnson said the plan is for Algonquin to get the company that finally develops the area to pay for building the extension.

D158 Becomes Huntley Community School District 158

Consolidated School District No. 158 became Huntley Community School District 158 Thursday as the Board of Education formally approved the name change, adopted a snappy new logo, a new strategic plan and, separately, bought new furniture to fill an expanded Huntley High School.

The problem with "Huntley Community School District 158" is that it still takes too long to say.  FEN asked Superintendent John Burkey what the preferred short version ought to be.  "How about 'Huntley 158?'" he said.  To hear is to obey.

The Strategic Plan includes a mission, vision, motto, values, commitments, goals and strategies.  They can all be read here:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=36988411

The furniture contracts total $467,000 for furnishings for offices, classrooms, the cafeteria, commons areas and field house.  Funds for the purpose were included in the overall HHS expansion budget funded by State construction grants the District received which, in effect, finally reimbursed the costs of building the Square Barn campus.

In the pic:  Huntley 158's formal logo includes a "swooshed" H like the more familiar versions.

Huntley/LITH Rotary Carnival Opens In Huntley Tonight

Rides are ready and food stands are in place for this evening's opening of the joint Huntley/Lake in the Hills Rotary Memorial Day Carnival.   Located at Union Special on Route 47 in Huntley, the event will begin at 6 pm tonight, lasting until 10.   Proceeds from the event will benefit local charitable organizations and humanitarian efforts around the world.

The Huntley/LITH Rotary carnival will run through Memorial Day Monday.  Each day's open will be at 1 pm.  Close Saturday and Sunday will be at 10 pm.  Monday's will be at 8.

Madigan Millionaires' Tax Stalls In House Again

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's effort to impose a new income tax on millionaires stalled in the House Thursday.   Three Democrats, including McHenry County State Rep. Jack Franks, joined Republicans in voting against the measure but Madigan blamed the GOP, anyway.

"The roll call was very clear," Madigan said.  "The Rauner Republicans voted against the resolution. They don't even want to give the voters of the state the opportunity to vote on this question."  The measure would put a question on the November 2016 ballot asking if the State constitution should be amended to add a 3 percent surcharge to incomes of more than $1 million.

Madigan raised the idea of the surtax amendment last year but couldn't get enough votes to put it on the ballot then, either.  The General Assembly OK'ed an advisory referendum instead.  Voters strongly endorsed it in November.

Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, called Thursday's vote "great political theater" but said "it doesn't help us immediately."

The millionaires' tax would be worth $1 billion, according to Madigan estimates, all of it for schools.  "Republicans had a chance to help prevent teacher layoffs, cuts to education and property tax increases in our neighborhoods," he said. "They failed on all counts. They turned their backs on middle-class families," Madigan said.

 State Rep. David Reis, R-Willow Hill said, "I think in the long run it will be a job killer."

In the pic:  The rich are different from you and me.

Obituaries

Leona Mae Vistine, 83 of Huntley died Tuesday.  Visitation will be from 4 to 8 pm Wednesday at DeFiore Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 am Thursday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley.

Vistine was born March 5, 1932, in Oak Park, the daughter of Leo and Lillian Osowski. On May 9, 1953, she married John J. Vistine.  She is survived by her husband; daughters, Nancy (Bruce) Kaufman, Sharon (Lou) Martino, and Janet (Kevin) Wixted; seven grandchildren and sisters, Diane (Jon) Reed and Joyce Blaszak.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

Jehpreet S. Birdi, 32, of Chicago died unexpectedly Monday.  Visitation will be Saturday from 3 pm until Prayers at 4 at DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.  A Sikh religious Ceremony will be Sunday from  2 to 5 pm at the Lake In The Hills Village Hall, Lake In The Hills, IL 60156

Birdi was born March 23, 1983, in Arlington Heights, the son of Gurmit S. and Ridudaman Rashpal K. (Hanspal) Birdi.  He is survived by his parents and brother, Rick (Kiran) Birdi, all of Huntley, and sister, Ramjee (Parvinder) Bamrah of Bolingbrook.

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
May 21
1216 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF DEER CREEK LN.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Sister vs. Sister.  One prior.  FAIL TO FILE.
1751 HRS MILLER RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1932 HRS 00 BLOCK OF ROLLING HILLS CT.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2307 HRS 519 WILLOW ST. (LAKE IN THE HILLS ELEMENTARY).  CRIMINAL TRESPASS TO STATE SUPPORTED PROPERTY. Premises was entered by unknown subject.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
Algonquin
May 18
18:00pm A 17 year-old male of Algonquin was arrested for two counts of Domestic Battery and Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol.   He was taken into custody at his residence.   He was petitioned to Kane County Juvenile and released to his parent.
May 21
15:03pm Hill, Zachary I., DOB: 01/10/1997, of 220 Washington St., was charged with No DL and Unsafe Equipment.   He was taken into custody at Algonquin and Hanson Rd.   He was released on a Personal Recognizance with a court date of 06/23/15 in McHenry County.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Algonquin Streets Sticky As County Mulls Non-Public Roads

A McHenry County Division of Transportation contractor finished removing paving gone horribly wrong on Heather Drive in unincorporated Algonquin Wednesday as the County Board's Transportation Committee voted to expand McHenry County's program for upgrading non-dedicated roads.

"I've never in my life seen anything like it," said Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller surveying the aftermath of a botched asphalt surface that oozed oil which cars carried on their tires for at least five blocks south.  Heather Drive's the private roadway that Harrison Street turns into when it runs past Algonquin's Village Limit.  It's part of this year's County Non-Dedicated Roads paving program so the Township can take over responsibility for maintenance.

"I only had one call from a resident," said Miller.  "I apologized to her even though we didn't do anything."

Earlier Wednesday the Transportation Committee passed along a measure to expand the program to cover not just paving but, potentially, almost all construction activities for non-dedicated roads "on a case by case basis."  The program would target 23 miles of non-public roads, mostly in Algonquin and McHenry Townships at a more than $8 million cost over the next five years.

State Justices Hear Arguments Over Area High School Bleachers

The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday over whether Crystal Lake High School District 155 should have gotten permission from the City to build $1.2 million worth of 50-foot tall bleachers even though the Regional Superintendent of Education had already OK'ed them.  Districts around the state, including D300 and District 158, are waiting on the outcome of the case which likely will clarify who's ultimately responsible for what when it comes to schools' construction.

District 155 moved and upsized bleachers at CL South angering some nearby property owners who said they were looming and intrusive.  A McHenry County judge ruled the District should have gotten City zoning approval even though school construction's regulated by the Regional Superintendent.

In practice, recent school construction has usually met both municipal requirements for general construction and State regulations for features peculiar to schools.   District 155's never explained why it skipped getting City approval.

Arguments Wednesday were a rehash of those in lower courts and justices' questions didn't seem to hint which way they might be leaning.

Warmer TempsTo Replace Record Cold For Memorial Day Weekend

National Weather Service forecasters predicted clouds and record cold will depart this morning ushering in highs rebounding well into the 60s to near 70 degrees.  Wednesday's meagre 47 degree high in Rockford was the lowest ever for the date and Chicago's 48 degrees tied the record for second lowest.  Meteorologists said temps will remain mild Friday with warmer and more muggy conditions likely over the holiday weekend. They called for increasing chances for occasional rain late in the weekend.

Consumer Credit Agencies Promise Illinois, Other States To Improve

Three nationwide credit reporting agencies Wednesday agreed with Illinois and 30 other states to fix disputed information on credit reports more quickly, wait longer before adding potentially damaging medical debt information and set procedures for victims of identity theft.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the pact that Equifax, Experian and TransUnion which calls for the agencies to pay a combined $6 million to participating states.

The agreement requires agencies to maintain information about problems with data sources like collection agencies, department stores or banks and make it available to states, use a better, more detailed system to share data and set up a better process for complicated disputes like identity theft, fraud or mixed up credit files.  The settlement bars credit reporting agencies from adding information about fines and tickets to a consumer's credit report and puts a hold on listing medical debt until 180 days after it's first reported so consumers have more time to work with their insurance companies.

It also requires debt collectors to provide the original creditor’s name and information about the debt in order for the debt information to be added to a credit report.

Stuart Pratt, President and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents the credit reporting agencies, said the most recent comprehensive government study found credit reports are already "materially" accurate 98 percent of the time.

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 
May 20
0618 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF SWEETWATER RIDGE.  ASSIST AMBULANCE. Male, 22 years of age, overdosed.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
0652 HRS RANDALL RD. & MILLER RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1327 HRS 1301 PYOTT RD. (CHILDRENS GROUP MEDICAL).  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Complainant’s vehicle was damaged by a ladder.  Report for insurance.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

McHenry County Officeholder Exit Audits Sent Back For More Work

The McHenry County Board Tuesday sent final audits of three County officials who retired last year back to the Finance Committee because no one's sure exactly how to do them.  The debate was obscure.

"There are so many things going on in executive session we can't even talk about what's going on," complained District 3 Member Nick Provenzano.

"We are being asked to vote on something we don't even get to see," agreed District 1 Member Yvonne Barnes.

At issue are exit audits for former Sheriff Keith Nygren, former Treasurer Bill LeFew and former County Clerk Kathie Schultz required by a State statute more honored these days in the breach than the observance.  The law, written in 1943, is so old that changes in accounting make its current application uncertain.  "It's confusing and doesn't provide adequate guidance," said Committee Chairman, District 5's Mike Skala.

Minutes and off-the-record interviews suggest conflicting opinions about its adequacy from McHenry County auditor Pam Palmer and State's Attorney Lou Bianchi which sound like a technical tempest in a teapot since the audits are more about procedure than uncovering wrongdoing.  In any case, the deadline for the reports is June 1 but the County Board isn't set to meet again until June 2.

The exit audits are separate from internal ones Palmer's conducting on discretionary accounts controlled by several McHenry County officeholders.  The reliable sources report Nygren Sheriff's office records about at least one of those accounts can't be found.

Rutland Township Clerk To Tender Resignation

Rutland Supervisor Margaret Sanders Tuesday announced a Special Meeting to accept the resignation of Township Clerk Linda Iverson June 2 and select and appoint a replacement.  Reached at her Sun City home, Iverson, 69, said her leaving the post had nothing to do with the increasing factiousness at Rutland meetings.  "It's personal reasons," she said listing several which boiled down to too many commitments and not enough time.

Rutland's four trustees have been at greater and lesser odds with the Township's Supervisor, Assessor and Highway Commissioner for almost two years now, one dispute culminating in the two-week closure of the Assessor's Office in March over a funding feud.

Residents who'd like to be considered to take over the clerk's spot can put their name in the hat via email at supervisor@rutlandtownship.com

McHenry County Historical Society Seeks Antique Donations

The McHenry County Historical Society's looking for donations for its annual Heritage Fair auction in July.  Previously donated items include antique (pre-1950) furniture and furnishings, quilts, vintage toys, kitchen collectibles, and stained glass lamps.
Items donated for the Antique Auction can be tax deductible. Funds raised will be used to operate the Historical Society's award-winning countywide historical museum, provide student and adult educational programs, and encourage countywide efforts at historical preservation.

To donate antiques and collectibles by July 3, call the Historical Society at 815-923-2267 or email info@mchenrycountyhistory.org. Pickup service is available.

The Heritage Fair will be from 9 am until 4 pm July 12 on the museum grounds in Union. The Antique Auction will begin at 10.

GOP Leaders Blast Dems For Lack Of State Budget Progress

“We have 11 days, but right now, the signal I am getting on the House floor is [Democrats] have no desire to participate in any meaningful discussions,”  House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, told a group of reporters Tuesday at a Republican leaders' news conference in Springfield complaining that secret budget talks are starting to stall.  “Things have been slow-walked. Things have been taken off of the table without any negotiation,” said Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno.

"I'm sure nobody seriously believed we're going to dismantle decades of progress working families have made just because [the governor's] showing a Power Point around the state," said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan later.

Tuesday's sniping increased prospects that lawmakers might deadlock on Spring Session issues forcing the Legislature to work beyond its scheduled May 31 adjournment.  Another outcome might be for Democrats to pass a spending plan without Republican support which Governor Bruce Rauner would probably veto, likewise sending the session into extra innings.

Radogno said Democrat attendance at closed-door working groups has dwindled except for the one dealing with revenue.  “The Democrats are desperate for revenue,” she said. “We are desperate for reform. There’s not going to be revenue before there is reform.”

Senate President John Cullerton spokesman Rikeesha Phelon replied Dems have a good attendance record.  "The governor is basically asking the members of the General Assembly to wholeheartedly embrace his political agenda in exchange for producing a balanced budget," she 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
May 19
2351 HRS HANSON RD. & ARQUILLA DR.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL. MC CABE, THOMAS J., M/W 54 YEARS OF AGE, 500 HARPER DR., ALGONQUIN.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with a Breath Alcohol Content Greater than .08, Speeding, and Improper Turn at Intersection.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1254 HRS 400 BLOCK OF WRIGHT DR.  DOMESTIC.  Ex-Boyfriend vs. Ex-Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  One Prior.
1350 HRS 10 BLOCK OF SUGAR CREEK CT.  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Female subject having a seizure.  No Transport.
1809 HRS 1020 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (ALGONQUIN FIRE STATION).  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Ex-Girlfriend vs. Ex-Boyfriend.  FAIL TO FILE.
Huntley
May 11
A 17 year-old girl from Crystal Lake was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with no valid driver’s license near the intersection of Algonquin Rd. and Carl St.  In the same incident a 17 year-old girl from Crystal Lake was charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor.  Both girls were released to their parents with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on June 12, 2015, for the traffic charge and June 22, 2015, for the drug and alcohol related charges.
Luis Plata, age 41, of 532 Lavoie Ave., Elgin, was arrested for driving while license suspended near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Jim Dhamer Dr.  Mr. Plata posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 19, 2015.
May 12
Randy S. Roewer, age 34, of 1821 Butterfield Rd., Woodstock, was arrested for driving while license revoked and operating an electronic communication device while driving near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Main St.  Mr. Roewer posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 22, 2015.
May 13
Luis O. Garcia, age 32, of 2314 Daybreak Dr. #2314, Lake in the Hills, was arrested for driving while license revoked and speeding near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Oak Creek Pkwy.  Mr. Garcia posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 12, 2015.
A criminal damage to property report was taken at Huntley High School.  Gym lockers and the wall in the boys' locker room were damaged with graffiti.
Maria Corona, age 45, of 102 Woodland Ct. #2B, Carpentersville, was arrested for driving with no valid driver’s license and speeding near the intersection of Haligus and Algonquin Roads.  Ms. Corona posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 26, 2015.
May 14
Alisha S. Person, age 32, of 1287 Fleetwood Dr., Huntley, was arrested for driving while license suspended, registration suspended for non-insurance and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle near the intersection of Sun City Blvd. and Michigan Ave.  Ms. Person posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 26, 2015.
A theft report was taken at Huntley High School.  A student reported that his Nintendo 2 DS portable gaming system and a game were stolen from his unsecured backpack in the boys' locker room.
May 16
Daniel J. Werner, age 53, of 4760 Whitehall Ct., Algonquin, was arrested for DUI, improper lane use, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle and a driver’s license classification violation near the intersection of Algonquin and Haligus Rds.  Mr. Werner posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 12, 2015.
Priscilla K. Shoemaker, age 44, of 10615 Elizabeth, Huntley, was arrested for driving with a suspended registration and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle near the intersection of Haligus and Algonquin Rds.  Ms. Shoemaker posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of June 5, 2015.