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.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
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 Blotters
One To Two Inches Snow Likely But Not Certain
Police Search For Distraught LITH Youth Ends Well
Gov. Backs AG Decision To Junk Lottery Settlement
Ernie Banks Dies At 83
Police Blotters
Huntley Opts Extra For Underground Alley Power Lines
LITH Cancels 2015 Triathlon After Organizing Talks Breakdown
Trib Reports: Rauner "Blind Trust" Allows A Little Peeking
Rauner Previews State Of State But Not How To Fix It
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Transportation Committee OK's Area Pace Dial-A-Ride Expansion
Residents "Vision" Improvements For Fox River Corridor
Rauner Hold Lifted On Tollway Projects, Including Jane Addams
Pensioners Seek Extra Time To Answer New Reform Arguments
Police Blotters
Algonquin To Purchase Two Downtown Algonquin/Main Properties
Huntley Prim Campaigner Joins McHenry Sheriff's Office
IL AG Tells Treasurer To Keep Rutherford Investigation Secret
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Fender Withdraws From Huntley Village Board Race
Grafton Budgeting Pushed Off To February
Latest Report:  State Faces $6 Billion Deficit, $159 Billion In IOU's
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Craft Beers Tavern To Begin LITH Buildup Along Randall Road
Warm Temps Drive Huntley Snowflake Festival Fun Inside
AARP Tax Help For Seniors Coming To LITH Village Hall
Corrections Ruling Prompts Call For State Hiring Reform
Police Blotters

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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

One To Two Inches Snow Likely But Not Certain

A low pressure storm out of Alberta is giving snow crews in Northern Illinois fits this morning as weathermen try to predict its track.  Meteorological models differ, according to National Weather Service forecasters. The consensus this morning is for snow to begin in the area around midnight tonight leaving one to two inches behind before the system moves on Sunday afternoon.  Either that or the whole thing might pass further south to plague drivers in Pontiac, instead.  "This system is still developing," concluded this morning's forecast analysis.

Police Search For Distraught LITH Youth Ends Well

LITH police scoured the Old Section of Lake in the Hills Friday evening searching for a 17 year-old boy whose mother feared he might kill himself.  Sgt. Mark Smith said patrol units fanned out after about 9 pm from Burr and Willow Streets where the boy was last seen searching the roadways and contacting friends since, "He was distraught."  Only Thursday evening a 14 year-old LITH girl tried to commit suicide and was hospitalized.

Smith said after several alerts on Nixle, the civilian arm of the Nlets interstate justice and public safety network,  the boy was located unharmed about two hours later and taken to Sherman Hospital for an evaluation.  Nixle allows police and safety officials to send alerts via the Internet and text directly to residents who sign up for the service.  "We're using Nixle a lot more," said Smith. 

Algonquin and Huntley PD's and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office all send Nixle alerts, too.  Residents can sign up to receive them at:  https://local.nixle.com/register/

Gov. Backs AG Decision To Junk Lottery Settlement

Governor Bruce Rauner Friday stood behind Attorney General Lisa Madigan's rejection of an agreement by former Governor Pat Quinn to end the State's contract with the company that ran the Illinois Lottery. Madigan scotched the plan in  a letter made public Friday saying her office wasn't consulted about it and it might cost too much.

"The Attorney General's decision mirrors Governor Rauner's concerns expressed a month ago that this last-minute deal pushed by Pat Quinn was not in the taxpayers' best interest," said Rauner spokesman Catherine Kelly.

Quinn ordered an end to Northstar Lottery Group's management of the Lottery only weeks before leaving office.  The closeout deal calls for the company to receive $12.65 million for costs even though it didn't meet sales targets for three years straight.  Madigan said she should have been in on negotiations to end the Lottery contract since her office represents the State in a case in which Northstar's trying to prevent the release of Lottery planning documents to news organizations. 

Ernie Banks Dies At 83

"Mr. Cub", Ernie Banks died Friday.  He was 83.   One of the most beloved Chicago Cubs players in the history of the franchise, Banks played his entire career from 1953 to 1971 at shortstop and first base, with the Northsiders.

Despite never playing a single playoff game in his 19-year (Cubs) career, Banks was known as “Mr. Sunshine” thanks to his upbeat demeanor and pure love fo the game. “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… Let’s play two!” became his catchphrase.

Ernie Banks was selected for 14 All Star games, was a Gold Glove winner in 1960, won two MVP awards (1958, 1959), made the 500 Home Run Club (512), and will forever be remembered at the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field by his retired number 14 and a statue outside the ballpark.  Banks was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1977.

In the pic:  Banks' Topps baseball card from 1958, his best season.

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 23
0108 HRS STONEGATE RD. & RANDALL RD.  ASSIST OTHER POLICE AGENCY.   Assisted Crystal Lake Police with a hit and run accident.
1737 HRS 1000 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  DOMESTIC.  Ex-boyfriend vs. Ex-girlfriend.  Verbal only.  No priors.  Male juvenile transported to Sherman for an evaluation.
1841 HRS 400 BLOCK OF HARVEST GATE.  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Female, 17 years of age, possibly having a seizure.
Algonquin
January 19
11:41am Steinhafel, Pamela J., DOB: 10/27/1982, of 1605 Silverstone Rd., Carpentersville, was charged with DWLS, Invalid Insurance and Failure to Reduce Speed. She was taken into custody at RT 62 and Rt 31.  She was released after posting bond with a court date of 02/25/2015 in McHenry County.
11:58am A 17 year-old male from Carpentersville was charged with Retail Theft.  He was taken into custody at 1410 S. Randall Rd.  He was issued a Notice to Appear on 02/25/2015 in Algonquin and released to his father.
12:54am Fuller, Clarence E., DOB: 06/19/1974, of 4844 W. Congress, Chicago, was charged with Retail Theft.  He was taken into custody at 1501 E. Algonquin Rd.  He was also wanted on a warrant out of Kane county for Failure To Appear/No Valid DL. He was issued a Notice to Appear in Algonquin for the Retail Theft and transported to the McHenry County Jail.
January 20
13:48pm Cerda, Elissa G., DOB: 06/25/1995, of 248 Timber Trail, Gilberts, was charged with Retail Theft.  She was taken into custody at 1410 S. Randall Rd.  She was issued a Notice to Appear on 02/25/15 in Algonquin.
13:48pm Stephenson, Adora S., DOB: 03/04/1996, of 58 N. Dubois, Elgin, was charged with Retail Theft.  She was taken into custody at 1410 S. Randall Rd.  She was issued a Notice to Appear on 02/25/15 in Algonquin.
January 22
15:24pm Cuevas, Sheila Y., DOB: 04/13/1995, of 2900 Brisbane Dr., Lake In The Hills, was charged with Retail Theft.  She was taken into custody at 734 S. Randall Rd.  She was issued a Notice to Appear on 02/25/15 in Algonquin.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Huntley Opts Extra For Underground Alley Power Lines

After a week's cogitation, the Huntley Village Board opted Thursday to spend an extra $90,000 to bury Downtown power lines in the  the alley behind Main Street businesses instead of transfer them to shorter poles.  That boosted the estimated cost of overhead utility cleanup Downtown to $881,000.

The Board was split last week on whether putting the alley lines underground was worth it, but Thursday most sided with Trustee Harry Leopold who said he'd "checked with constituents" who were "overwhelmingly for it."  The lone dissenter was Trustee Ronda Goldman who said she'd checked with her constituents, too. "They think it's a waste of money," she said.

Earlier, sitting as the Huntley Liquor Commission, Trustees handed out stiff penalties to a pair of Huntley businesses for the Village's first compliance violations in two years.  Best Price Tobacco and Gifts and Tee 2 Green Indoor Golf both drew $400 fines and five-day liquor license suspensions for selling beer to a minor a couple of weeks before Christmas.  Village Attorney Mike Coppedge said the sanctions were to drive home that liquor sales, "are not a right but a privilege...and carry a heavy responsibility."

In the pic:  Power lines behind Huntley Main Street businesses will run underground from padmount transformers more or less like this one.

LITH Cancels 2015 Triathlon After Organizing Talks Breakdown

Village of Lake in the Hills officials announced Thursday there won't be a ninth annual swim, bike and run LITH Triathlon, at least not this year. 

The plan this year was to have a professional race manager handle since interest's grown to the point that, for the last couple of years,  the Village's Parks & Rec Department's had to limit signups.  Village Administrator Jerry Sagona said Thursday that negotiations bogged down over "terms and event details," however.  He declined to expand on that but, according to one source, what it finally boiled down to was the race company wanted too much money and not enough expense.  In any case, the breakdown came too late for Village staffers to pull everything together by the usual June race date, said Sagona who held out the possibility of resuming the event again next year.

In the interim, although there's no bicycle competition laid on, LITH still has swimming and running events scheduled this Summer including Stroke & Stride open water swim and 3-mile runs starting in June and the Village's Run Thru the Hills 5K/10K race in April and the Sunset 5K in September.

Trib Reports: Rauner "Blind Trust" Allows A Little Peeking

The Chicago Tribune actually read the documents Governor Bruce Rauner released two weeks ago when he announced he was placing his wealth in a "blind trust" and reported Thursday it isn't one.  A Rauner spokesman Thursday said it was as close as he could get thanks to a State law that requires him to list certain investments.

Under a blind trust,  Rauner, to avoid conflicts of interest or their appearance, would have shifted his assets to an independent trustee who'd, without telling the governor, do whatever seemed best to make a profit and then send him a check for whatever it turned out to be.  Illinois ethics law, however, straining for transparency, requires officeholders like Rauner to to file a yearly statement of investments that do business with the State.

The Trib figured out that what Rauner really set up was a fancy power of attorney granting management authority over much of his money to a New York investment adviser. However, according to the arrangement, Roundtable Investment Partners is only supposed to give Rauner enough information about what it's doing to fill out the State disclosure documents.

Spokesman Lance Trover said, "This is the strongest possible structure that both established blind trust procedures and allows the Rauners to fully comply with the State's economic disclosure laws moving forward." Trover said the acrobatics were voluntary, anyway, since Illinois law doesn't require Rauner to distance himself from his money in the first place.

Rauner Previews State Of State But Not How To Fix It

Governor Bruce Rauner Thursday gave students at the University of Chicago what he said was a preview of his State of the State address next month.  Laying out a litany of problems facing a state in "massive deterioration mode," all the governor had to say on fixing them, however, was that raising taxes wouldn't be enough.

Workers' compensation and unemployment insurance costs are driving businesses out of the state Rauner told business students. Property taxes are "brutally high," the State's public employee pension systems are "a time bomb for taxpayers,"   Medicaid spending is unsustainable and State workers' salaries and benefits are too generous, he said.

“Raising taxes alone will come nowhere near fixing the problem," said Rauner. "We are on an unstable path, and we need fundamental structural changes."  The governor offered no specifics on what those changes ought to be, though.

Rauner said he's been deluged by job seekers and it's been tough deciding whom to hire.  “I want people from the private sector like me, but I also really, really need talented people in government because I want to minimize the number of rookie mistakes I make,” he said.

Rauner announced his latest hires Thursday including former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican who will serve as senior adviser.

Obituaries

Sophia Chesek, 95, of Algonquin died Tuesday at JourneyCare in Barrington.   Visitation will be Saturday at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Algonquin, from 10 am until an 11 o'clock Mass.  Burial will be in St. John Nepomucene Church Cemetery, Barrington Hills.

Chesek was born on Nov. 3, 1919, in Yugoslavia, the daughter of Franz and Louise (Ziegler) Eller. Survivors include her sons, Stephen (Mary), Fred (Sally) and Joseph (Marion), and grandchildren, Paul, Jennifer, Peter (Terilynn), Joseph (Melissa), Luke (Megan), Jason (Carolyn), Ryan and Elizabeth (Art).  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ignac Chesek; brothers, Franz and Josef, and a sister, Maria.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the St. Margaret Mary Centennial Fund.

Marilyn A. Sullivan, 72, of Huntley died Wednesday.  Visitation will be today at Grove Memorial Chapel, Elk Grove Village, from 3 to 9 pm with a service at 7.  Interment will be private.

Born in Dayton, OH, she was the wife of the late Thomas E. Sullivan.  She is survived by children, Karin (David) Fournier and Kimberly (James) Ruffolo; grandchildren,John and Joseph, and siblings, Janice Stewart, Eileen (Carl) Richmond, Patricia (Alan) Peters, Teresa (Neal) Huysman and Joan (David) Compitello. 

Rosa H. Solis, 73 of Sun City, Huntley, died at her home Thursday following a lengthy illness.  Visitation will be Saturday from 1 to 4 pm followed by a Service of Remembrance at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.

Solis was born Oct. 25, 1941, in Puerto Rico, the daughter of Manuel and Amelia (Oliva) Rodriguez. She married Roberto D. Solis on June 27,1964.  She is survived by her husband; her sons, Robert (Diana) Solis of Prairie Grove and Christopher (Enza) Solis of Lake In The Hills; her daughter, Grace Grant of Huntley; grandchildren, Daniel, Jordan, Jacob, Noah, Jenelle, Brandon and Matthew, and her brother, Louis (Coralia) Rodriguez, and sister, Cecelia Rodriguez, both of Florida. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Providancia and Carmen.

In lieu of flowers, memorials 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 22
0045 HRS 300 BLOCK OF CLEAR SKY TRAIL.  SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  Female, 14 years of age, attempted suicide.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1202 HRS 1115 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (LITH PD).  IDENTITY THEFT.  Identity theft.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Transportation Committee OK's Area Pace Dial-A-Ride Expansion

On a 5 to 1 vote Wednesday, the McHenry County Board Transportation Committee sent up an agreement for approval next month with RTA's Pace suburban bus service to extend dial-a-ride service to seniors in Algonquin and Grafton townships and everybody in the Village of Huntley.  It's not clear, however, if all the County Board members understand the first year's funding's based on one-time money.

In early September Chairman Donna Kurtz informed the Public Health and Human Services Committee that County administrators had found about $1 million, 10 years' worth of Senior Services Grant Commission Commission unspent funds and interest that everyone had forgotten about.  Weeks of confusion ensued and it's still not clear how that came about.  County Administrator Peter Austin told FEN his people always knew the money was there and showed it in financial reports.  Long-time Senior Services head Sandy Salgado said she never saw it and no one ever poined it out.  In any event, there probably isn't any more spare Senior Services money lying around.

In mid-December the newly reconstituted County Board approved using $221,000 of the unspent Senior Services money to help pay the $300,000 cost of expanded Pace service.  Not all of the members knew where the money was coming from, however.  Fox River Grove District One Member Andrew Gasser, on the Board for only three weeks, said he wished he had.  "Honestly, the funding mechanism was never explained," he said.

Even some Board veterans said they didn't completely understand what they were voting for.  "I remember Peter Austin said it was money they'd 'found'," complained Lake in the Hills District One member Bob Nowak beginning his fifth year on the Board.  "There's so much going on, you have to depend on the committees to do their jobs," he said.

Both had reservations about expanding Pace bus service without a repeatable stream of funds to keep it going.  "To me it's a good idea," said Nowak, "but it could end up putting pressure to take money away from somewhere else."  Either that, or raise taxes, said Gasser.  "This is the way government keeps growing," he said.

Transportation Committee Chairman Anna Miller said using the Senior Services money for senior bus service makes sense because it helps seniors live independently instead of retiring to an old folks' home.  If less critical services for seniors have to be defunded in a year or two, "I would hope that [Board members] would see that that's a good investment," she said.

A final vote on expanding Pace dial-a-ride service isn't scheduled yet.  The County Board's Feb. 3 meeting looks like the earliest it could happen.

In the pic:  Pace headquarters in Arlington Heights

Residents "Vision" Improvements For Fox River Corridor

About 50 people gathered at Carpentersville's Public Works building Wednesday to "vision" a Fox River Corridor plan between roughly the the Fox Bluffs Conservation area north of Algonquin down to Carpentersville's Old Town.  Experts from the Chicago Metropolitan Area Plan Commission said they've got a good survey now on the way things are and were looking for new ideas on how to improve it.

The Corridor's status quo's really sort of a changeable thing right now, though.  Planner Brian Daley himself brought up a new plan announced last week for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide $2.4 million to remove the Carpentersville Dam.  Even that's not certain.  Carpentersville Village President Ed Rittter told FEN at the meeting he'd rather leave most of it in place to support a pathway from one side of the Fox to the other.

CMAP planners said they've expended the Corridor concept west to Route 31 to capture the land within the Kane County Forest Preserve's Brunner Family Preserve south of Algonquin.  Some of that area's within spitting distance of open spaces that belong to Dundee Township, though, and Senior Planner Trevor Dick told FEN CMAP hasn't made contact there yet.

CMAP's Fox River Corridor Study Existing Conditions report is located online (but takes a long time to load) at:  http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/10180/292201/ECR%20for%20Fox%20River%20Corridor_Reduced/58f97540-7a38-40f1-8c65-b75ac290af3b

Rauner Hold Lifted On Tollway Projects, Including Jane Addams

Gov. Bruce Rauner lifted a hold on more than $1 billion worth of  Illinois Tollway rebuilding and widening projects including I-90 east from Elgin this year, officials said Wednesday.  The projects had been cast  into uncertainty after Rauner issued an executive order last week barring state agencies from awarding major contracts without administration approval.

Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said Rauner's administration gave the go-ahead after his staff and the Office of Management and Budget decided  the Tollway's operations and construction projects are financed by tolls, so the spending wouldn't make any difference to the mounting State budget deficit.

At the same time Wednesday, the Tollway's Finance Committee OK'ed  four new major construction contracts worth $174 million for roadway and bridge reconstruction and widening on the Jane Addams between Elgin and the Kennedy Expressway.  The Tollway's in year four of a $12.1 billion rebuilding and widening program with a record $1.6 billion in work planned this year, mostly along the Addams.

The rest of Rauner's spending freeze is still in place, though, which threatens the Illinois Department of Transportation's Jan. 30 deadline for bids for the first phase of this year's road construction season.   “We hope to get a quick resolution on the IDOT situation, which remains in limbo," said Michael Sturino, head of a road construction industry group.  "If there's a long delay, it will have an incredibly serious impact on the motoring public, jobs and ability of construction firms to sustain themselves."

Pensioners Seek Extra Time To Answer New Reform Arguments

Lawyers trying to persuade the Illinois Supreme Court to junk the law that overhauls the State's pension programs asked for an extra month Wednesday to prepare arguments.  Last month the State's high court agreed to fast-track an appeal of a lower court ruling in November that the measure is unconstitutional.

However, John Fitzgerald, a lawyer for retired teachers, told WUIS radio in Springfield that 10 "friend-of-the-court" briefs from groups ranging from the City of Chicago to the Civic Federation contain arguments Attorney General Lisa Madigan never raised.  "We do not believe that any of those arguments have any merit," Fitzgerald said but asked justices to move the deadline to March 16 to prove it.

At issue's a law adopted in late 2013 that reduces pension benefits and raises the retirement age to reduce an abyssal hole in the state's pension accounts.  A Sangamon County judge found in November that the measure violates the Illinois Constitution.  Earlier this month Madigan argued that in a big enough crisis the Constitution doesn't count.

Update:  The Court denied the extension request Thursday.  Oral arguments are planned in March.

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 21
2102 HRS LAKEWOOD RD. & PRINCETON LN.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  REDENZ, STEPHAN, M/W 46 YEARS OF AGE, 6303 MAIN ST., UNION   CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with a Blood Alcohol Content Greater Than .08, Improper lane usage, and Changing Lanes Without Signaling.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0806 HRS 1440 IMHOFF DR. (PARKSIDE AUTO).  HIT & RUN.  An unknown vehicle struck a dumpster before fleeing.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
0951 HRS 100 BLOCK OF HILLTOP DR.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  One prior.  FAIL TO FILE.
1347 HRS 9354 VIRGINIA RD. (TRANSMISSION EXPRESS).  ASSIST FIRE DEPARTMENT.  Assisted the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Department with a car fire.
1806 HRS 100 BLOCK OF NORTHLIGHT PASS.  DOMESTIC.  Mother vs. Daughter.  Verbal only.  No Priors.
Huntley
January 12
Alieda Delgado, age 35, of 11704 Woodcreek Dr. Apt. D, Huntley, was arrested for driving while license suspended and registration suspended for non-insurance, near the intersection of Davey Ln. and Frederick Dr. Ms. Delgado posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of February 27, 2015.
David J. Rawske, age 39, of 2307 Meadow Dr., Rolling Meadows, was arrested for driving a vehicle with a suspended registration and driving with no valid driver’s license, near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Borden St. Mr. Rawske posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of February 20, 2015.
David J. Wouters, age 59, of 12500 Regency Parkway #3038, Huntley, was charged with battery at the assisted living facility located at 12500 Regency Parkway. Mr. Wouters was released with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on February 9, 2015.
Nicomedes Hernandez-Arguelles, age 47, of 294 Wellington Dr., Crystal Lake, was arrested for driving with no valid driver’s license and improper lane use, near the intersection of Kreutzer Rd. and Smith Dr. Mr. Hernandez-Arguelles posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of February 6, 2015.
January 13
A theft report was taken at Huntley High School. A student reported that his headphones were stolen from his back pack located in the boys' locker room.
Alexandra J. Koza, age 30, of 11723 Daniel-D, Huntley, was arrested for two counts of domestic battery and possession of a controlled substance at her residence. Ms. Koza was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond call.
A theft report was taken at Huntley High School. A student reported that his iPhone 5S was stolen from his unsecured back pack.
January 14
Justin D. White, age 18, of 11325 Balmoral, Huntley, was arrested for reckless driving, failure to report a property damage accident and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The charges stem from an incident in the 9600 block of Dover Ct. on January 5, 2015. Mr. White posted bond and was released a McHenry County court date of February 27, 2015.
January 15
Donald K. Swanson, age 48, of 3510 Wintergreen, Algonquin, was arrested on a McHenry County warrant for stalking. Mr. Swanson posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of January 26, 2015.
January 18
Scott M. Sytsma, age 39, of 11501 Frederick Way #3, Huntley, was arrested for driving while license revoked on the 11500 block of Frederick Way. Mr. Sytsma posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of February 13, 2015.
A 17 year-old boy from Huntley was charged with retail theft at a store in the 12300 Block of Rt. 47. The juvenile was released to his mother with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on February 23, 2015.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Algonquin To Purchase Two Downtown Algonquin/Main Properties

The Village Board Tuesday voted to spend $150,000 to buy two properties for Algonquin's Downtown Redevelopment Project.  The Village's new TIF District will pay $100,000 for the defunct King's Auto Sales lot at 5 S. Main and
$50,000 for the long-empty adjacent former Fox River Cleaners site at 115 W. Algonquin Road.

Algonquin's Downtown Redevelopment Study marked the entire block of Algonquin Road between Main and Harrison Street as an important one and Village planners have had their eye on the King's lot for some time.  More than a year ago, trustees went into closed session to talk about acquiring an unidentified property "on Main Street".  FEN tagged it as most likely Kings.  "You were right," said Village Manager Tim Schloneger.  However, the price, at the time, wasn't.

Schloneger said, since Algonquin's new TIF District was only set up a few months ago, it hasn't generated any money for the land acquisition.  He said the purchase will come from Village reserves which the TIF pay back when it has some funds.

Village President John Schmitt said there are no immediate plans for the properties, not even to tear them down since there's nothing for it in the current Village budget.  He intimated, however, that might not be the case in the budget for the next fiscal year.  The Village Board's expected to begin it's work on that next month.

In the pic:  The dilapidated Downtown sites approved for acquistion by the Algonquin Board Tuesday.

Huntley Prim Campaigner Joins McHenry Sheriff's Office

A Huntley man who became an issue in November's election for McHenry County Sheriff began work Tuesday as Bill Prim's Deputy Patrol Chief.  Private Security agent Matt McNamara, who Prim's November opponent had charged was both his campaign manager and a man with a criminal record , began processing in and pulling his equipment early Tuesday morning.

"It was all over the courthouse" by 10:30," said Dave Devane, MCSO Chief Administrative Officer.

Jim Harrison late in the campaign charged Prim was hobnobbing with people with criminal including the man originally listed as his campaign manager.  Harrison dug out records of a McNamara conviction in an Iowa bar altercation in 2001 and one for DUI in Arizona three years ago.  Prim said McNamara wasn't ever really his campaign manager, just one of many campaign volunteers.

Devane said today his convictions didn't count against the rest of  his record.  McNamara spent about eight years with Prim's old PD in DesPlaines, three with the Cook County Sheriff's office where he made Deputy Chief and for the past 10 years has held a number of positions with private security firms including his own.

In the pic: New MCSO Deputy Patrol Chief Matt McNamara providing security for then-governor's candidate Bruce Rauner in 2013.

IL AG Tells Treasurer To Keep Rutherford Investigation Secret

Illinois' new State Treasurer refused to release a report about charges of sexual harassment allegations against his predecessor.  During his election campaign Mike Frerichs called for its release but Tuesday he aid said he'll follow Attorney General Lisa Madigan's instructions to keep the lid on it while she's defending Dan Rutherford.

Rutherford was running for the GOP's governor's nomination last year when underling Edmund Michalowski claimed the then-treasurer had made unwanted sexual advances and forced him to do campaign work on State time.  Rutherford denied it and had his office hire an investigator to prove it.  However, Madigan later turned down multiple newspaper Freedom of Information Act requests to see the report, ruling it had been made in "anticipation" of a lawsuit, one of many FOIA exemptions.

A spokesman said Frerichs would try to release the Rutherford report after all the legal dust settles.  Paris Ervin said,  “Once the litigation is over, Treasurer Frerichs will work with the attorney general’s office to quickly get the investigative report released."  However a Madigan spokesman indicated that might not happen even then.  "“Once the litigation is resolved, we will work with the treasurer’s office to conduct the necessary legal research to assess whether the attorney-client privilege can be waived,” Natalie Bauer Luce told the Chicago Tribune.

In the pic:  Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs in a photo op his first day at work last week.

Obituaries

Douglas R. Kenning, 72, of Sun City, Huntley, died Monday  at his daughter's home in Alaska.  A memorial gathering will be held from Sunday from 2 pm until a  5 o'clock Sharing of Memories at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.

Kenning was born Aug. 1, 1942, in Chicago, the son of Roland E. and Julia (Schnabel) Kenning. On Dec. 28, 1963, he was married Esther S. Nygaard in Arlington Heights.  He is survived by his wife, currently of Huntley; son, Erik D. (Lisa) Kenning and daughter, Sonja M. (David) Daum, both of Anchorage, AK;  grandchildren, Kiel, Kailey, Hanna and Jane; brother, Roland W. (Emily) Kenning of Woodridge,  and his sister, Julie (Joseph) Balabuszko of St. Louis Park, MN.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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 20
1341 HRS 5400 BLOCK OF CHANCERY WAY.  CRIMINAL TRESPASS TO RESIDENCE.  SCHLEIFER, WILLIAM D.,  M/W 19 YEARS OF AGE, 480 WRIGHT DR.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.   CHARGES: Criminal Trespass to Residence, Criminal Damage To Property and Disorderly Conduct.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1844 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & OAKLEAF RD.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  CASALE, PHILIP J.,  M/W 57 YEARS OF AGE, 10775 WING POINT DR.,  HUNTLEY.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended and Operating An Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0404 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT.  Window screens were removed from windows.
1644 HRS 5700 BLOCK OF WILDSPRING DR.  LOST ARTICLE.  License plate and driver’s license.  Entered into LEADS.
1749 HRS ROUTE 31 & VIRGINIA RD.  HIT & RUN.  Complainant’s vehicle was struck by an unknown vehicle that fled.
2339 HRS 1500 BLOCK OF ADAMS ST.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  Two priors.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fender Withdraws From Huntley Village Board Race

The April race for three seats on the Huntley Village Board tightened up Monday when former trustee Pam Fender notified Mayor Chuck Sass she was dropping out of the competition.  Fender told FEN Monday she's withdrawing her candidacy because she doesn't think she'll still be a Huntley resident on Consolidated Election day.

Fender, who plans to marry her long-time inamorato soon, said the lease on their current home runs out Feb. 1 and they don't think they can afford to buy a new home in Huntley.  "We're looking at a house in Sterling," she said.

Fender said even though she's not running, it's unclear whether she can get her name off the ballot since she's already been certified as a candidate.  McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan said this morning there's no problem as long as the Village notifies her by Jan. 29.

Fender passed on a run for another term on the Huntley Village Board two years ago in favor of what turned out to be an unsuccessful Primary campaign to become Grafton Township Supervisor.  Her withdrawal leaves four candidates vying for three spots April 7.  Incumbent trustees Niko Kanakaris and Harry Leopold now face only 2013 Grafton Highway Commissioner runner-up Tim Hoeft and political unknown Darci Chandler.

Grafton Budgeting Pushed Off To February

Grafton's monthly meeting was crowded Monday but it doesn't take very many people to pack the Township's tiny boardroom.  Monday's crowd included half a dozen residents wroth about a sports complex proposed mostly in Door Township and the Grafton Assessor's staff.

The residents were upset about the latest incarnation of the failed McHenry County Sports Complex near Route 47 and Pleasant Valley Road north of Huntley.  LITH businessman Lou Tenore's pitching a revised version of his 2010 multi-million dollar proposal to the Village of Lakewood again, now as a not-for-profit corporation called the Chicagoland Sportsplex.  "This will impact a lot of Grafton Township roads," charged unincorporated Woodstock resident Sharon Bills.  It was all news to most of the Grafton Board and Trustee Danny Ziller and Road Commissioner Tom Poznanski said they planned to attend a Sportsplex info session set for this evening.

The Board turned to budgeting Monday with Assessor Al Zielinski handing out an 11-page proposal for his office which he said would save $15,000.  Trustee Bob Wagner complained that was more than he could digest in a few minutes and the rest of the Board booted detailed examination of the proposal to next month.

Supervisor Jim Kearns seemed to be getting anxious.  "We've got 60 days, basically, to argue it out," he said.

Trustees chastised Zielinski again for using the Township's credit card, this time for a $350 software purchase, without a prior purchase order.   Supervisor Jim Kearns said the unauthorized buy, made on New Year's Eve, created so much confusion the credit card company shut down the Township's account.

Latest Report: State Faces $6 Billion Deficit, $159 Billion In IOUs

Governor Bruce Rauner's charge two months ago that Illinois' finances are "stunningly bad" may have been an understatement, according to a report released Monday evening.  The University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs concluded the State’s IOUs now total $159 billion, more than twice as much money as it takes in each year.

“Years of pay-later budgeting has resulted in a massive imbalance between sustainable revenue and spending,” said Richard Dye, co-director of the Fiscal Futures Project which estimated Illinois' real 2015 deficit will be $6 billion, double the current estimate, and $9 billion next year.

According to the report entitled "Apocalypse Now?", there aren't any easy fixes left, anymore.  Restoring 2011's temporary income tax increase would only cover half the gap and a 20 percent spending cut in everything --except pensions-- would only stop the debt monster from getting any bigger.

The State's pols have known the report was in the pipeline but there's been no reaction yet even though they knew its conclusion, too:  "Illinoisans must reduce their expectations for the services that they can expect from government and be prepared to pay more for government, now and in the future.”

The full IGAPA report is located here:  http://igpa.uillinois.edu/system/files/FF_Apocalypse_Now_Jan_2015.pdf

In the pic:  A University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs report says even restoring the temporary income tax increase won't solve the State's financial woes.

Obituaries

Lois Janet Wilkas, 77, of Huntley died Wednesday.  Visitation will be Saturday at 10 am until a Mass at 10:30 at  Mary, Seat of Wisdom Church in Park Ridge.

Wilkas was born on May 20, 1937, in Montclair, NJ, to the late Nicholas and Annette (nee Perrault) Foloky.   She married Lawrence Wilkas in 1960.  She is survived by her children, Tom, Judy, Peggy, Anne, Mary Beth, Nancy and Christine and 13 grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband, brother, Charles Foloky, and sister, Judith Foloky.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to JourneyCare Foundation Hospice, 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
January 19
0923 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF ADAMS ST.  DOMESTIC.  Stepfather vs. Stepdaughter.  No priors.  FAILED TO FILE.
1716 HRS VIRGINIA RD & ROUTE 31.  ACCIDENT.  Three vehicles.  Property damage only.
2202 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  THEFT.  Vehicle title taken.   PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Craft Beers Tavern To Begin LITH Buildup Along Randall Road

There's no firm date yet for Woods Creek Tavern to open in Lake in the Hills' former Applebee's restaurant site.  Hoffman Estates-based owner Dave Allen will ask the LITH Village Board this week for a license to sell a wide selection of craft beers but told FEN over the weekend that he's still working on interior plans and the food menu.  Nevertheless, LITH planners hope it's the start of a new wave of businesses locating on north Randall Road.

Besides the ex-Applebee's, empty sites also include the former Hollywood Video location and the now-defunct Dominick's supermarket.  The Village had trouble getting them filled while County plans for a novel Continuous Flow Intersection at Randall and Algonquin Road were still in the works.  The McHenry County Board finally picked a more conventional solution in September, though.

"I think you're going to see a lot more interest [in Randall Road] in 2015," said LITH Community Development Director Dan Olson.

Allen said there was too much uncertainty for him until the County Board settled on a regular intersection.  "They said they'd keep the access points," he said.  "There's one right next to us.  It's an important feature."

Assurance may be showing up south of the intersection in Algonquin, too.  A new Menchie's frozen yogurt store, for instance, is due to open Saturday on the north end of Algonquin Commons.

Warm Temps Drive Huntley Snowflake Festival Fun Inside

Counterintuitively, temperatures in the low-40's dampened outdoor fun Sunday at the Huntley Park District's Snowflake  festival.  For the second time in five years, Illinois' infamous "January Thaw" discouraged sledding and skating in Deicke Park.  The 2012 Snowflake Festival was similarly marked by scanty ice and snow.

Inside the Park District Rec Center, there were still plenty of winter-themed fun and games, though, including an inflatable Walt Disney "Frozen" castle.  "It's as popular as Halloween," commented one District ticket seller.

AARP Tax Help For Seniors Coming To LITH Village Hall

Tax season's getting underway and AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, will, as usual, offer Tax Preparation for Seniors in McHenry County in the Community room at Lake in the Hills Village Hall on Mondays and Fridays from 9 am to Noon.  AARP experts will help prepare and electronically file both 2014 Federal and State of Illinois Income Tax Returns for free for seniors age 60 and older of moderate to low income who live in McHenry County.

The assistance is by appointment, though.  The number to call at LITH's Parks & Recreation Department at 847-960-7460 to make one.  Figure on allowing at least an hour to get right with Uncle Sam and, now, Uncle Bruce.

Corrections Ruling Prompts Call For State Hiring Reform

By Scott Reeder,  Illinois News Network
It's likely to be months before a decision's made public that restored the $111,432-a-year Department of Corrections job to a man with a troubled work history, criminal convictions and a history of street gang affiliations.  A state arbitrator has ruled Xadrian McCraven deserves his IDOC job back but a spokesman said the agency couldn’t release its copy of the decision because the matter remains under appeal.

Corrections officials fired Xadrian McCraven, 44, a year ago after a Chicago newspaper reported he'd been arrested in younger days “at least” 24 times on charges including arson, gun possession, attempted robbery, drug possession and aggravated assault. He’d previously been fired, in 2012, from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for sending hundreds of lewd and inappropriate emails.

A source familiar with McCraven’s situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said McCraven had failed to disclose on his IDOC application that he had multiple convictions expunged from his record.  McCraven appealed the new firing and an arbitrator ruled last week he should be reinstated.

McCraven originally was a Governor Rod Blagojevich hire.  Lance Trover, a spokesman for present Governor Bruce Rauner, told Illinois News Network, “Situations like these are compelling reasons why there needs to be a comprehensive review of the state’s personnel laws and procedures and meaningful reforms proposed.”

You can read Scott's full report at:  http://watchdog.org/193271/illinois-still-trying-fire-corrections-official-second-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
January 18
2051 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HILLTOP RD.  HIT & RUN ACCIDENT.  JUVENILE F/W 17 YEARS OF AGE, CHICAGO.  CHARGES: Fleeing the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident.  RELEASED TO ADULT.
0355 HRS 220 N. RANDALL RD. (MORETTI’S).  BATTERY.  Two males.  FAIL TO FILE.
0938 HRS 5400 BLOCK OF SULLIVAN PASS.  DEATH INVESTIGATION.  Female, 70 years of age, found deceased.  TURNED OVER TO THE CORONER.
1149 HRS 4000 BLOCK OF SPRING LAKE CT.  DISORDERLY CONDUCT.  Mother vs. Ex-Girlfriend.  Verbal Argument.  FAIL TO FILE.
1921 HRS PYOTT RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
2059 HRS 220 N. RANDALL RD. (MORETTI’S).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
2309 HRS 10 BLOCK OF MCKINLEY ST.  AMBULANCE ASSIST.  Male, 68 years of age, with chest pain.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
Algonquin
January 16
16:48pm A 16 year-old male and a 15year-old male, both from Algonquin, were charged with Retail Theft. They were taken into custody at 734 S. Randall Rd. they were referred to the Tri Area Court For Teens and released to their parents.
January 17
Tonne, Ryan L., DOB: 06/05/1991, of 9N551 Dittman Rd., Elgin, was charged with Criminal Damage to Property. He was taken into custody at Randall Rd. and Becky Lynn Dr. He was released after posting bond with a court date of  02/25/2015 in McHenry County.
17:17pm Golden, Daniel R., DOB: 12/22/1969, of 821 Katherine Lane, Hampshire, was charged with Retail Theft. He was taken into custody at 734 S. Randall Rd. He was released with a Notice to Appear 02/23/2015 in Algonquin.
January 18
10:25am Altamirano, Francisco J., DOB: 12/03/1986, of 23 Joslyn Dr., Elgin, was charged with DWLS and Speeding. He was taken into custody at N. Main St. and Edward St. He was released after posting bond with a court date of 02/26/2015 in McHenry County.
15:55pm Jones, Tyler A., DOB: 05/23/1992, of 1224 Meadow Dr. Algonquin, was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Reduce Speed and No Insurance. He was taken into custody at Cardinal Dr. and Edgewood Dr.  He was released after posting bond with a court date of 02/18/2015 in McHenry County.
23:04pm Anderson, Jacob R., DOB: 11/09/1993, of 1116 Ash St., Lake in the Hills, was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Failure to Reduce Speed which occurred 01/17/15 at Huntington Dr. and Randall Rd. He was released with a court date of 02/18/2015 in McHenry County.