Saturday, September 20, 2014

McHenry County Board Votes "Support" For New Tollway Intersection

The McHenry County Board this week got on board the idea of a full I-90 interchange at Route 23 south of Marengo despite uncertainty about how much the County might end up paying for it.  Tuesday's meeting had already run to four hours, much of it arguing over the intersection at Randall and Algonquin roads, before members began debate on whether they wanted another one to serve western McHenry County.

District 6 Member Diane Evertsen opposed a resolution endorsing the interchange.  "A lot of people who like to live out in the country don't necessarily want to see another Randall Road down Route 23 to the Tollway," she said.

However, District 3 Member Nick Provenzano, who'd earlier led an attempt to postpone a decision on the Randall/Algonquin intersection because it would cost too much, argued that "Economic development is what drives down our taxes."  Admitting an apparent inconsistency with his prior position he said, nevertheless, "If we mess this up...we won't have another opportunity for 50 years."

District 6 Member Ersel Schuster complained the County was buying another financial pig in a poke since there's no agreement yet on how costs would be allocated for a Route 23/Tollway intersection.  County Administrator Pete Austin said that's partly because "There are a lot of players" and "this is a unique situation."

After a failed attempt to table the measure, the vote was 19 to 4 to "support" the proposed crossroad.

By then it was half past eleven and there wasn't a way in the world the Board was going to finish debate for a scheduled vote on the long-delayed McHenry County Unified Development Ordinance that evening, so members voted to delay it again.  It's now set for a Special Meeting all its own Tuesday.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
McHenry County Board Votes "Support" For New Tollway Intersection
Governments Cooperating Yield Road To Fire Facility Built To Last
Local Special Olympians Celebrate New School Year Kick-Off
Illinois Farm Deaths Nearly Double From Previous Year
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Huntley Board Gives Senior Taxi Final Cash Fix, Increases Fare
D158 Board OK's Budget, Starts Work On Bond Savings Plan
New Safezone At LITH PD Announced For Internet Exchanges
Quinn, Rauner Spar Over Latest Unemployment Report
Judge Rules Libertarian Gov. Candidate To Stay On Ballot
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Ex-McHenry Kid Porn Deputy Gets 50 Years For Child Sex
Dundee Twp. Clears Way For Medical Marijuana Grow Facility
HHS Homecoming Discount Offered For Canned Pantry Donations
Rauner Releases "Blueprint" For Ethics, Blasts Quinn's
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Business On Board, Homeowners Doubtful At Algonquin TIF Hearing
McHenry County Board OK's Conventional Randall/Algonquin Fix
I-90 Fox Bridge Eastbound Lane Shift Due This Week
New Subpoena Revealed In Quinn Anti Violence Investigation
Police Blotters
New Foreclosures Fall In McHenry County But Auction Decreases Lag
Fence Pliers Might Cut Through Tangled LITH Sign Problem
Child Seat Safety Check Planned Saturday At ALFPD Station One
Quinn Claims No Need For Hiring Monitor At IDOT
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Decision Looms On Huntley Senior Taxi Service Thursday
First Congregational Huntley Celebrates Sanctuary 150th Anniversary
Pork Chop Fundraiser Planned At LITH Legion Saturday
USDA Boosts Corn, Soybean Harvest Estimates To New Records
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Month Of I-90 Westbound Traffic Shifts Set To Start Monday
"Minor Injury" To Firefighter In Early Morning Algonquin Blaze
Algonquin Seventh Annual River Day Cleanup Planned Saturday
Trib Poll Shows Quinn Out In Front
Police Blotters

Governments Cooperating Yield Road To Fire Facility Built To Last

The Grafton Township Road District Friday finished rebuilding the stretch of Ernesti Road from Coyne Station to the Huntley Fire Protection District's training site.  Highway Commissioner Tom Poznanski said, thanks to unusual co-operation between the two governmental agencies, it's not likely to break up again.  "It's like there's a concrete pad under there now," he said.

Heavy fire trucks heading for training exercises took their toll on the road Poznanski said.  "It was so broken it would just hook my plow this winter," he said.  "We could have just laid on a new layer of paving but it wouldn't have lasted," Poznanski said.  However, installing a new heavy-duty base called for more money that the Road District had in its budget.  Poznanski said he talked with Chief Ken Caudle about the problem and the Fire District agreed to chip in $40,000 to get the job done right.

"I don't think this has ever happened before.  Not in my memory, anyway," said Pozanski.  "I think it's pretty great when two different government bodies can get together to accomplish a common goal."

Local Special Olympians Celebrate New School Year Kick-Off

The local Special Olympics program for District 300 began the 2014-15 season with a kick-off event at Algonquin's U.S. Bank on Randall Road.   This year's Summer Games at ISU only ended a couple of months ago, but D300 Assistant Superintendent  for Education Services Shelley Nacke said, "the competition's almost year-round" for the 35 to 40 challenged athletes in the District each school year.

Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics Illinois hopes to bring people with intellectual disabilities out of the isolation, intolerance and inactivity they often face. Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 21,000 athletes and 40,000 volunteers though 18 area programs in every county of the state.

Illinois Farm Deaths Nearly Double From Previous Year

Farming claimed the lives of 21 people in Illinois in the last yearly reporting period,  nearly double the number of deaths during July 2012 through June 2013, according to Bloomington-based Country Financial insurance company this week.  Nine of the deaths were due to tractor accidents with roadway collisions and grain bin accidents the other major causes.  Overall, though, more than half the deaths, not matter the cause,  involved farmers 65 and older.

“This year’s numbers seem to prove that while experience is key with almost any job, it isn’t a bulletproof vest,” said Eric Vanasdale,  senior loss control representative for the insurance company.   “Fatigue is a significant issue, as are the effects of medications on reaction time," he said.  "We also need to encourage older farmers to operate tractors with [roll over protection] when doing activities that have a high rollover risk such as mowing roadsides, ditches and fields with significant slopes.”

About 57 percent of farm death victims in Illinois in 2013-14 were 65 and above, according to the latest report.  Elders were at the wheel in seven out of the State's nine fatal tractor rollovers during the past year. McHenry County has seen nine farm fatalities between 1986 and 2012.  While one victim (caught in a PTO) was only 12, four others were over 65 and six were over 50.

Although the latest numbers suggest older farmers may have a higher risk of accidents, the raw number may be somewhat misleading.  It turns out seniors are the the fastest growing farmer demographic in the nation, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Census. In fact, the  majority of Illinois farmers now fall into the 50 and above age group.

Obituaries

Richard Allan Johnson, 79, of Sun City, Huntley, died Wednesday at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin.  Visitation will be from 4 to 8 pm Monday and Tuesday from 10 am until an 11 o'clock.Funeral Service at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley. Entombment will be in Windridge Cemetery, Cary.

Johnson was born Feb. 5, 1935, in St. Charles, the son of David W. and Svea (Carlson) Johnson. He married Sandra R. Bushnick on April 9, 1994.  He is survived by his wife;  his son, David Johnson of Arlington, VA, and daughter, Cindy (Dave) Darling of Lewisville, TX;  his stepchildren, Kevin (Sandy) Bushnick of West Dundee and Korey (Lisa) Bushnick of Mesa, AZ; grandchildren, Melissa (Brent), Peter (Melissa), Trevor, Tyler, Matt and Mike and his sister, Carmen (Larry) Briggs of Batavia.   He was preceded in death by his brother, Wally.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Harvest Bible Chapel, Walk In The Word.

Steven Frank Henning, 72 of Huntley, died Thursday after a battle with brain cancer.  Visitation will be on Monday at the First Congregational Church, Huntley,  from 3 to 8 pm, continuing there Tuesday from 10 am until an 11 o'clock Funeral Service.

Henning was born Oct. 7, 1941, the son of Ralph and Phyllis (Williams) Henning. He was raised on a farm and attended Huntley High School.  After high school he worked at Union Special for seven years. Wanting something different, he worked for the United States Post Office in Elgin and retired from there after 40 years.  He is survived by his wife of  48 yrs, Pat; children, Sean (Dana) Henning of Huntley, Kelli (Pete) Albanese of Macomb, Keelyn (Alisha) Henning of Madison, WI, Elisabeth Stevens of Ft Meyer, FL, Julli Henning of Bristol, VA; grandchildren, Taylor, Connor and Cole Henning, Sophia and Isabella Henning, Lindsey Wells, and four brothers, David (Eileen),Stan (Kay), Terry (Connie) and Ralph Henning.  He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Bud; and grandson, Mitchell.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be directed to JourneyCare Hospice.

Henry G. Quathamer, 87, of Huntley died Friday at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin.  A memorial service will be at 6 pm  Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church, Huntley.

Quathamer was born Dec. 14, 1926, in Germany to Heinrich and Gesine (Cordes) Quathamer. On Oct. 1, 1946, he married Erna M. Koester in Germany. He is survived by his loving wife; sons, Henry (Susan) Quathamer and Richard (Beth) Quathamer, and nine grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his grandson, Kyle Quathamer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, Chicago.

Ann Caroline Sommers, 79, of Sheridan,  formerly of Algonquin died  Wednesday. Visitation will be from 5 until 7 pm Monday, at Moss Family Funeral Home, Batavia.  Funeral services will be at 10 am Tuesday at the home.  Interment will follow in Chapel Hill Garden West in Oak Brook Terrace.

Sommers was born Feb.25, 1935, in Chicago, the daughter of Thomas and Adelaide (nee Long) Erhardt. She married Thomas Sommers Nov. 26, 1955.  She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Sommers of Elgin, and two grandchildren, Krystal Wolff and Thomas Wolff of Sandwich.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband and a daughter, Sally Sommers.

Richard York, 77, of Algonquin, Illinois died at his home Wednesday after a long battle with Parkinsons disease.  Funeral Services will be private. A Celebration of his life will be held Oct. 4 at the Golf Club of Illinois

York was born in Alton, the son of Sarah Voorhess Gandsey and George Gandsey.  He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Margo.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 19
1104 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & HARVEST GATE.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  DAVIDSON, SHANNON M.,  F/W 32 YEARS OF AGE, 153 RAILROAD ST.,  GILBERTS.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended, Suspended Registration and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1554 HRS APACHE TRAIL & HIAWATHA DR.  WANTED ON WARRANT.  MARTIN, ANTHONY M.,  M/W 27 YEARS OF AGE, 11914 OCEOLA DR.,  ALGONQUIN.   CHARGES: Wanted on Warrant, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.  Bond: $40,000 @ 10%.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1621 HRS 9341 PYOTT RD.  (BARBARA KEY PARK).  POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.   JUVENILE, M/W 13 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.   CHARGES: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Alcohol by a Minor.  PETITIONED INTO JUVENILE COURT, RELEASED TO PARENT.   JUVENILE,  F/B 14 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED, RELEASED TO PARENT.  JUVENILE, M/W 17 YEARS OF AGE, ALGONQUIN.   CHARGES: Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED, RELEASED TO PARENT.
2031 HRS 600 BLOCK OF JOSEPH ST.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  CLAUDIO, KARLISLE, F/W 19 YEARS OF AGE, 514 W. PRAIRIE,  KIRKLAND.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended, and Improper Backing.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1552 HRS 600 HARVEST GATE (VILLAGE HALL).  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Two juveniles yelled at by an unknown male.
1712 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & FRANK RD.  ACCIDENT.  Three vehicles. Property damage only.
2207 HRS 00 BLOCK OF CYPRESS CT.  ASSIST TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT,  Small fire located on the deck of the residence. Fire was extinguished.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Huntley Board Gives Senior Taxi Final Cash Fix, Increases Fare

The Huntley Village Board agreed Thursday to put another $5,000 in the kitty to continue the Village's senior voucher taxi program until the end of the year but made it clear that will be the end of the stopgap program.  The Board also ordered a $2 fare increase to $4 per ride starting Oct. 1. 

"The big thing is, is it fair to the rest of the village with tax dollars to the select few?" said Mayor Chuck Sass.  Huntley's funneled $16,000 to provide subsidized taxi service for Huntley seniors in Rutland and Hampshire townships since Grafton Township cut its senior bus service back to just Grafton riders 10 months ago.  Nevertheless, before the latest dollar transfusion, the program had been expected to run out of money next week.

"There'll be three and a half months to come up with something," said Sass.  "I think we've done enough," he said. "We don't have Rutland kicking in or Sun City."

Trustee Ronda Goldman, a Sun City resident herself, said she was ambivalent but agreed Dec. 31 was a reasonable deadline. 

The fare hike was a measure to limit what some viewed as frivolous use of the taxi service. "I don't think it's our job to tell them where they can go, but we can increase the fare [to discourage unnecessary trips]," said Trustee J.R. Westberg.

Separately, Trustees sent the architect for local dentist John Faubl back to the drawing board to revamp plans for a new office at the southeast corner of Main and Grove.  "It looks too modern," said Trustee John Piwko.  Trustee Harry Leopold suggested adding "bric-a-brac".

The Board also OK'ed another step along the bureaucratic path to obtaining federal funds for a pedestrian and bike path from Kreutzer Road down to Del Webb Boulevard.  Engineering's not expected to start until next year.  On another project, the Board accepted a $984,000 bid to widen Freeman Road from Route 47 to the new Weber-Stephen facility.  IDOT's supposed to pay about half the cost, Weber-Stephen's developer the rest.

D158 Board OK's Budget, Starts Work On Bond Savings Plan

The District 158 Board of Education Thursday OK'ed an $89 million  budget for the new school year and voted to begin setting up a new bond refinancing plan expected to save the school district about $800,000 in debt service.

Fiscal year 2015's operating budget's planned to increase $4.9 million,  primarily from a $1.1 million tax levy increase but also from
a $3.2 million boost in General State Aid to schools.  Expenses are expected to go up $4.8 million thanks to salary increases, increased enrollment and a hike in the cost of health insurance.  The new budget is located here:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=35921309

Board members picked what CFO Mark Altmayer called "the bird in the hand option" on debt refunding.  Barring a bond market conniption in the immediate future, the savings are pretty predictable.  There might be even more further out but interest rates, both paid out and coming in, would have to break just the right way.  "We could have done 15 or 20 different scenarios pretty easily," said Altmayer, which was sort of the problem.

Board President Don Drzal called the outyears' plan "the risky option" and members voted to begin work on the safe one to take place in a few weeks.

New Safezone At LITH PD Announced For Internet Exchanges

Lake in the Hills Police announced a new Online Transaction Safezone Thursday for residents and business owners who buy and sell things via the Internet.  LITH PD already has 24/7 security cams scanning its parking lot and lobby areas so Chief Dave Brey said his department can provide a safe and secure location for transactions between buyers and sellers who don't really know each other.

Brey told FEN the Safezone wasn't a response to any specific local incident.  Nevertheless,  "You read about this sort of thing in the newspaper," he said.  Two different LITH residents did, anyway, so they called the PD for advice and assistance.  Brey said it was a short step from those ad hoc responses to creating a formal program.  According to a 2010 AIM Group study, Craigslist transactions were linked with 330 crimes, 12 murders and 105 robberies or assaults in the U.S. that year.  "It's not the world we grew up in," said Brey with some regret.

The only PD requirement is a call to Dispatch [(847) 658-5676] when a transaction's planned so staff monitors will know what they're watching when they see it.  "Meeting in the police department parking lot helps reduce any potential danger to the seller or the seller’s family and property," said Brey.

Quinn, Rauner Spar Over Latest Unemployment Report

The Illinois unemployment rate fell in August for the sixth consecutive month to reach 6.7 percent according to the lllinois Department of Employment Security Thursday.  Governor Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner argued whether that meant the jobs glass was half full or half empty.

"The recession obviously hurt a lot of people in our state, a lot of people lost their jobs, but we're coming back," Quinn said.  “The bottom line is unemployment is down, and jobs are up,”

"One of the reasons unemployment rates have fallen is many thousands of families in Illinois have stopped looking for work," Rauner said. 

The August Illinois unemployment rate was a slight drop from 6.8 percent the month before.  It was the lowest rate since August 2008 and a sharp decrease from 9.2 percent a year ago.  State numbers show that in the last year, 160,000 people came off the unemployment rolls, 123,000 because they found jobs but 37,000 because they stopped looking for them.  Seasonally adjusted, Illinois' labor force was about 6.6 million in February 2009, when Quinn first took office. State data released today showed the labor force at nearly 6.5 million, about 100,000 fewer workers and jobseekers than when Quinn began.

In the pic:  Governor Pat Quinn.

Judge Rules Libertarian Gov. Candidate To Stay On Ballot

A Sangamon County judge dealt a possible blow to Republican Governor candidate Bruce Rauner's campaign Thursday rejecting the GOP's attempt to banish the Libertarian Party's candidate from the General Election. Judge Patrick Kelley declined to overturn a State Board of Elections decision allowing the name of Chad Grimm on the ballot.

  A recent poll found five percent of voters favored the unknown candidate, a group that pundits presume would prefer Rauner to Democrat Pat Quinn without a third choice.  Republicans challenged Grimm's petitions for candidacy claiming the circulators didn't live where they said they did and that signatures were fake or illegible.  However, in a two-page order Kelley found Republicans didn't have enough evidence to reverse the Elections Board.

“I want to get rid of the wasted vote syndrome," Grimm told a Downstate radio reporter Thursday.   "There's three people in this race," the Peoria fitness gym manager said.  "Any one of us can win."

In the pic: Libertarian Chad Grimm

Obituaries

Lawrence Ferdinand Bieschke, 78, of Huntley died Wednesday at his home.  Visitation will be Sunday from 4 to 8 pm at DeFiore Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley. Visitation will continue Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley,  from 9 to 10 am when a Funeral Mass will be celebrated.  Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery.

Bieschke was born March 31, 1936, in Chicago to Chester and Marjorie Bieschke.  He married Veronica Rogers in 1964 in Dundalk, Ireland.  He is survived by her; his children, Andrew (Julie) Bieschke, Jane Marie (David) Kennedy; his grandchildren, Devin, Nolan and Griffin Kennedy;  his sisters, Judy Maaske, Peggy Clough, Linda Parell, and by his brother, Kenneth Bieschke. He
was preceded in death by his  brothers, Robert, James and Paul.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Woman’s Center of Chicago or St. Mary’s St. Vincent DePaul Society.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 18
1603 HRS 900 BLOCK OF VIEWPOINT DR.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  NAVAR, ROBERTO, M/W 28 YEARS OF AGE, 6416 26TH ST APT 2, BERWYN.   CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, Two Counts of Parking Where Prohibited.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0836 HRS ROUTE 31 & TRINITY DR.  INJURY ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Female, 24 years of age, with hand pain. Female, 3 years of age, with shoulder pain. Both transported to North Illinois Medical Center.
1224 HRS 1115 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (LITH PD). INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Contact with a registered sex offender.
1429 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF HEARTLAND GATE.  ACCIDENT.  Delayed from 09/16/14. Two vehicles. Property damage only.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER
1607 HRS 1115 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (LITH PD).  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Male, 23 years of age, needing an evaluation.  Transported to Good Shepard Hospital.
1952 HRS MILLER RD. & RANDALL RD.  ACCIDENT  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
Algonquin
September 14
04:24am Zapata-Urbina, Thalia L., DOB: 05/07/93, of 1704 Maple Pl. #309 Schaumburg, was arrested for DUI and No Insurance. She was taken into custody at Randall Rd and Corporate Parkway. She was released after posting $100 and her driver’s license with a court date of 10/15/14 in McHenry County.
September 15
17:15pm Massion, Robert M., DOB: 11/15/1957, of 1144 Cermak Rd., Algonquin, was charged with DUI. He was taken into custody at Park St and Harrison St. He was released on a Notice to Appear 10/22/14 in McHenry County.
September 17
20:52pm Korpela, Shaun A., DOB: 09/21/77, of 1001 Oak Ln., Algonquin, was arrested on two warrants one for Failure To Appear, Disorderly Conduct, the other for Failure To Appear, Window Peeping, both out of McHenry County. He was taken into custody at his residence. He was released after posting $500 for each offense with courts dates of 10/06/14 and 09/29/14 in McHenry County.
September 18
01:23am Jemmi, Bradley P., DOB: 09/01/92, of 1600 Stone Ridge Ln., Algonquin, was arrested on a warrant for Contempt of Court out of Lee County. He was released after posting $300 with a court date of 10/03/14 in Dixon.
13:50pm Schiller, Michael J., DOB: 04/06/75, of 11607 D Daniel Lane, Huntley, was charged with Retail Theft. He was taken into custody at 734 S. Randall Rd. He was released with a Notice to Appear 10/29/14 in Algonquin.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ex-McHenry Kid Porn Deputy Gets 50 Years For Child Sex

A U.S. District Federal Judge in Rockford sentenced the former child pornography specialist at the McHenry County Sheriff's Office to 50 years in prison Wednesday for repeatedly sexually abusing a preteen boy over a four-year period.  Gregory Pyle, 39, originally faced local child sex charges in January, 2012, but was indicted six months later after he was implicated in a federal investigation.

“For over five years, [Pyle] was entrusted with the efforts of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office to protect children from exploitation and abuse. When he knew he was under investigation, [Pyle] successfully obstructed investigators determining the full scope of his criminal conduct,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love argued in requesting a maximum sentence.

Pyle admitted to investigators that less than two weeks before Christmas, 2008, he drove from Crystal Lake to a Milwaukee hotel where he engaged in sexual acts with the child that were sadistic, masochistic, and violent. They said he produced images of the acts and later distributed them over the Internet.

Pyle's sentencing had been delayed twice since he pleaded guilty in January leading to speculation he might be trading information for better treatment.  A defense pre-sentencing document two weeks ago reported Pyle had provided investigators "truthful information relating to several other individuals...however, the investigating authorities are seeking more evidence before charges are brought."  The document doesn't say what sort of charges, however.

Pyle's local case is due again in McHenry County Circuit Court in a week.  If  he's convicted there, he could face as much as another 30 years in a State prison.

In the pic:  Greg Pyle.

Dundee Twp. Clears Way For Medical Marijuana Grow Facility

The Dundee Township Board Wednesday cleared the way for East Dundee to be a site for one of the 22 growing facilities in the State's Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.  Trustees approved the Village's request to rezone the Dundee Township Cemetery from residential classification to agricultural (really, in both cases),  removing what would have otherwise been a bar against locating a marijuana farming facility on a nearby Plote plot.

Separately, the Board approved an agreement to turn over the Township's former offices in the main library of the Fox Valley Public Library District at the end of the month.  In return the Township will receive an easement through the parking lot so staff, volunteers and visitors can get to the Library Springs Nature Area.

Trustees agonized for nearly an hour over what to do about a 39 percent increase in the cost of medical insurance for employees if they keep the current medical plan.  An lesser ACA/Obamacare-compliant plan would still cost 24 percent more.  The full increase would add about about $65,000 a year to Township expenses, enough to hire another employee observed Trustee George Johnson.  "This is a job-killer," he said.

Supervisor Sue Harney recommended keeping the present plan but said, "We have to make a decision on what we can afford."  That's scheduled for a vote next month.

HHS Homecoming Discount Offered For Canned Pantry Donations

Huntley High School's Homecoming Parade wended from Ol' Timers Park to the Huntley Municipal Complex Wednesday.  The focus now shifts to Friday's big HHS v. HHS contest (Huntley High against Hampshire High), not to mention a four-way battle among Huntley, Hampshire, Jacobs and Dundee Crown high schools  to see which can collect the most canned food items for local pantries.

In aid thereof, spectators toting a canned food item to Friday’s HHS Homecoming game will get a  $1 discount on admission.     

In the pic:  Homecoming's not just about American football at Huntley High.  The HHS Soccer team included an impromptu exhibition of the other kind of football during Wednesday's Homecoming parade.

Rauner Releases "Blueprint" For Ethics, Blasts Quinn's

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner unveiled an "ethics blueprint" to clean up State government Wednesday with a cover photo of Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn getting a friendly chest thump from his predecessor, now-incarcerated Rod Blagojevich.  Rauner used his proposals to get another day's mileage out of  a federal investigation into Quinn's mismanaged $54.5 million anti-violence program and a state inspector general’s finding of illegal patronage hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Rauner's proposed reforms included a temporary ban on Illinois officials becoming lobbyists and broadening recall powers. "This revolving door of cronyism and corruption rewards a select group of insiders at the expense of the tax payer," Rauner told reporters.

Later,  Quinn again said 100 IDOT "staff assistants" hired for their political connections shouldn't be fired because they have different State jobs now.  He also said if investigators decide someone in the anti violence program did something wrong, "they should be prosecuted and held accountable."

Quinn tried to deflect criticism, calling on Rauner, who owns a piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to condemn domestic violence.  "If you own a team, however small the ownership percentage, you should speak out on this issue," Quinn said.  The Steelers don't have any current domestic violence controversies but Rauner'scampaign later released a statement that the NFL had "badly mishandled" the Baltimore Ravens Ray Price case.

Obituaries

Walter H. Burtan, 88 of Lake In The Hills died Tuesday at Centegra Hospital in McHenry.  Visitation will be from 3 to 8 pm Friday  at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley and Friday from 9 am until a 10 o'clock Funeral Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery.

Burtan was born June 3, 1926, in Chicago, the son of Andrew and Anna (Karpierz) Burtan.  He married Rita M. Piesciuk on Nov. 30, 1985.  He is survived by his wife; daughter, Margie (Tom) Nolan of Lake In The Hills, and granddaughters, Kirsten Raducka-Dakof (Mike) and Kristie Raducka, Dziadziu of Kendall Dakof. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Florence and Helen Burtan.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Mary Church Building Fund or the American Cancer Society.

Ronald E. Goff, 67, of Lake In The Hills died Saturday.  A funeral service will be held today at 10 am at Willow Funeral Home & Cremation Care,Algonquin.  Interment will be at St. Michael Archangel Cemetery, Palatine.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 17
1841 HRS 103 S. RANDALL RD. (JEWEL-OSCO). DRIVING WITH NO VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE.  CAMACHO, NATHAN,  M/W 20 YEARS OF AGE, 4390 BUNKER HILL DR.,  ALGONQUIN. CHARGE: No Valid Driver’s License.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0833 HRS 1200 HEARTLAND GATE. (KEN CARPENTER PARK).  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Male, nine years of age, with a wrist injury. Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1032 HRS 600 HARVEST GATE. (VILLAGE HALL).  HIT & RUN. A vehicle struck a light and then fled.  Incident occurred on 091214 @ 1842 hrs.
1115 HRS 600 HARVEST GATE. (VILLAGE HALL). INFORMATION FOR POLICE,  A light, estimated at $700, was damaged. Incident occurred on 091414 @ 1215 hrs.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1116 HRS 101 PYOTT RD. (BUCKY’S MOBIL). THEFT. Of money.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Business On Board, Homeowners Doubtful At Algonquin TIF Hearing

Businessmen were in favor of a proposed Tax Incremental Financing District to fix up Downtown Algonquin but homeowners weren't so sure Tuesday.  About 65 people attended a hearing on what an Algonquin TIF District is supposed to do and what it might.

The extremely short description of a TIF District is that it's a mechanism to funnel tax money from increasing property value into redevelopment to create still more property value increases.  "A TIF is not a new tax," explained consultant Bob Rychlicki in an overview.  "It's the same tax rate whether you're in or out of a TIF district."

Algonquin's Downtown needs a boost said Randy Errington, managing partner in the company that owns the now-empty Main Street Billiards location.  "It can survive but if you want your Downtown to thrive you need that TIF," he said.  Errington said he saw Downtown as a viable "entertainment district" since, "if you're looking for a national retailer, it's not going to happen."

Downtown B&B owner Sherry Brewer said bootstrapping redevelopment sounded like a good idea.  "I don't see a downside," she said.  "It sounds like a win/win."

Homeowners were more dubious, though.  "If I were a business owner, I'd be all for it, too," said Jefferson St. resident Mary Stratejcruk who isn't one.  "The assessor not only raises your assessment when you make an improvement, he does it when your neighbor makes an improvement, too." she said.  "My big fear is you're going to tax me out of my home."

LaFox River Drive resident William Pfister asked if increasing the collective value of all the property in the proposed TIF district meant his taxes would go up.  Rychlicki, starting at "it depends",  plowed through a lengthy discourse on the housing bust and "halo effects" from nearby property to finally arrive at a conclusion of sorts that sounded like it fell between maybe and probably, eventually.

The hearing ended after about an hour.  The next step is for the Village Board to take up the TIF discussion during a Committee of the Whole meeting.

McHenry County Board OK's Conventional Randall/Algonquin Fix

In a lengthy session after a lengthy presentation the McHenry County Board Tuesday voted 17 to 7 to make a conventional intersection to "preferred alternative" fix for a proposed $100 million improvement to Randall Road.  Board members didn't vote to actually build it, however, even though that's what a lot of Tuesday's arguments were about.

"All that's being approved is the design," Chairman Tina Hill told the Board, "not the dollars."

Five years ago the McHenry County Division of Transportation picked a largely untested Continuous Flow Intersection to solve what was expected to be massive congestion at the Randall/Algonquin roads Intersection in Lake in the Hills and Algonquin by 2040.  "The villages of Lake in the Hills and Algonquin were very concerned about the CFI concept," explained County Engineer Joe Korpalski in recap.  Indeed, nearby businesses totally rejected it but, using revised numbers, hired designers came up with a way to make regular turn lanes work about the same way at about the same price as a CFI.

Even so, District Two member Donna Kurtz questioned whether the new study related to the way the world will be in 25 years, listing three factors it failed to consider:  telecommuting, online shopping and an exodus of Illinois residents for somewhere that isn't Illinois.

District Three member Nick Provenzano skipped projections entirely.  "I don't think taxpayers have the temperament to spend $100 million to save five or six minutes," he said.

Fellow District Three member Mike Walkup complained things were moving too fast.  "This is a railroad job," he said, adding that LITH and Algonquin backing for the new solution was irrelevant.  "Let's remember the villages aren't putting in any money."

During public comment, however, Algonquin President John Schmitt argued improving Randall Road would be a good investment.  "It's going to bring business to the community," he told the Board.

Not for a while, yet, though.  Design engineer Brian Fairwood explained that IDOT approved a Continuous Flow Intersection fix so the new configuration will have to be resubmitted.  Likewise, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, OK'ed a $10.6 million grant to build a CFI but now that will need a redo, too.

I-90 Fox Bridge Eastbound Lane Shift Due This Week

Illinois Tollway officials announced Tuesday that eastbound traffic on the I-90Fox River Bridge in Elgin will shift this week as work begins to rebuild the bridge structure. Three lanes will remain open in both directions while traffic will remain in the configuration until winter.  “We are committed to keeping as many lanes open as possible as we work to rebuild and widen the Fox River Bridge,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur

The Illinois Tollway is rebuilding and widening the Fox River Bridge in Elgin as part of the I-90 Rebuilding and Widening Project scheduled to be completed in 2016. The $95 million Fox River Bridge Project includes construction of two new bridge structures that will increase capacity from six lanes to eight lanes with full shoulders in both directions to accommodate the new, wider I-90 roadway and also provide for drainage improvements and replacement of the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge.

Officials said, weather permitting, overnight tonight and Thursday night, lane closures are scheduled for pavement striping and barrier wall placement to shift all eastbound traffic to the left between Illinois Route 31 and Illinois Route 25 and create a work zone for reconstruction of the eastbound bridge. All westbound traffic on the bridge is already shifted to the right to accommodate the work zone. The new traffic configuration is scheduled to be in place by 5am in advance of the morning commute.

New Subpoena Revealed In Quinn Anti Violence Investigation

Federal authorities in Chicago issued a new subpoena over records involving Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled anti-violence program, state officials confirmed Tuesday.  Numerous prior subpoenas had come from another in Springfield so it's unclear whether there are two different inquiries or a pair working together.

The  $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, cited in a State auditor general’s report for mismanagement and misspending is also being examined by  the Cook County state’s attorney and a legislative commission.

The subpoena, dated Aug. 27, was delivered to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the state agency that took over NRI.  Chicago newspapers filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the document about a week later but the Governor's Office took an extra week before turning it over "due to the overall volume of FOIA requests," according to a spokesman.

Quinn announced the anti-violence program in 2010 to target Chicago neighborhood violence, but Republicans have charged it was a “political slush fund” to buy votes in the tight Governor's race.  Quinn's has denied the claim.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 16
0625 HRS RAKOW RD. & PYOTT RD. DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  KIOUSSIS, MARGARET, F/W 41 YEARS OF AGE, 945 GOLF COURSE RD. UNIT 8, CRYSTAL LAKE. CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended and No Insurance.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0708 HRS 4540 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (LAPETITE ACADEMY).  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED/ACCIDENT.  HELINSKI, JON M.,  M/W 47 YEARS OF AGE, 291 WEDGWOOD CIRCLE,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving While License Revoked and No Insurance.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1212 HRS REED RD. & LAKEWOOD RD. NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE/ACCIDENT.  CAMAS, ROBERTONI J.,  M/W 37 YEARS OF AGE, 716 ROCKTON AVE.,  ROCKFORD. CHARGE: No Valid Driver’s License. RELEASED ON BOND.
1009 HRS RAKOW RD. & PYOTT RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
2022 HRS HALIGUS RD.  & HALIGUS RD. ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Foreclosures Fall In McHenry County But Auction Decreases Lag

New foreclosures in McHenry County fell 37.5 percent from the first half of 2013 to the first half of this year, according to the latest report from fair lending watchdog the Woodstock Institute.  That's was almost exactly average for the Six County Chicago area but completed foreclosure auctions only fell 13.9 percent during the same period.  That was the smallest decrease in the metro area, according to the report.

New foreclosure filings, the first step in the foreclosure process, fell to pre-recession levels in the Chicago region but there were still lots of earlier ones heading down the pipeline, according to the report. “There are still thousands of homeowners entering the foreclosure process who will need guidance on how to avoid losing their homes whenever possible," said Spencer Cowan, vice president of Woodstock Institute.  "There are also tens of thousands more who lost their homes and who are struggling to rebuild their lives," he said.

Locally, Algonquin new foreclosures fell 20.8 percent, less than the 37.7 percent regional average.  Lake in the Hills' filings fell 40.2 percent, however, while Huntley's dropped a whopping 53.2 percent.

Houses at auction fell 35.5 percent in Algonquin and 33.3 percent in Huntley, both considerably better than the six-county 16.7 percent average decrease.   LITH auctions only dropped 6.7 percent, however.

The Woostock Institute's full foreclosure report is located here: http://www.woodstockinst.org/sites/default/files/attachments/Foreclosure_FS_1H14_final.pdf

Fence Pliers Might Cut Through Tangled LITH Sign Problem

Lake in the Hills Planning and Zoning Commissioners Monday cut a planned 19 foot-tall advertising sign on Rakow Road down to 16 feet and change but it might end up being even less if the McHenry County Division of Transportation will modify a fence.

Generally, LITH ground signs aren't supposed to be more than 8 feet tall but McDOT's fence in front at Riggsby Construction's site tops out at 9 and a half feet.  Besides that, "there are all of eight feet of weeds there," complained Riggsby spokesman Dan Kunzer.

Commissioners "got" the basic problem, although Bill Dustin worried fixing it might set a precedent that would come back to bite the village if anyone ever develops the property at the nearby Rakow/Virginia intersection.  The question became one of how low could a sign get and still be higher than the fence?  Thanks to the barbed wire atop the fence, sixteen feet-two inches was the minimum,  said Kunzer.   Barbed wire?? 

"Could  you call the County and ask them to remove [it]?" Commissioner Brent Borkgren asked Community Development Director Dan Olson.  "I could...," he replied so the Commission added a fuzzy proviso that if McDOT will drop the top of the fence then the height of the sign will go down commensurately.  Eventually, the LITH Village Board will have the final say on the matter.

In the pic:  LITH's Riggsby Construction wants to put up a sign along Rakow Road high enough that McDOT's right of way fence won't block it.  Riggsby plans to re-enter residential construction and thinks the sign would be a good way to notify consumers and advertise for 40 to 50 new workers.

Child Seat Safety Check Planned Saturday At ALFPD Station One

The Algonquin and the Lake in the Hills police departments and ALITH Fire Protection District will hold  a National Seat Check event to inspect child safety seats Saturday at Fire Station One at Algonquin and Pyott roads in Algonquin.  From 10 am to 2 pm certified child passenger safety technicians will offer free checks for proper installation and help and parents and caregivers figure out how to pick a good seat and install it properly.  Illinois law requires kids under eight to ride in a safety or booster seat but sometimes that's trickier than it sounds, even after reading the instructions carefully.  Twice.

Quinn Claims No Need For Hiring Monitor At IDOT

In a filing by the Attorney General's office Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn said his fixes for patronage in the Illinois Department of Transportation have been "prompt, appropriate and aimed at a long-term solution to preventing any such improprieties in the future."  Earlier Monday Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner called IDOT hiring a "scam, perpetrated by Pat Quinn."

The Attorney General's federal filing argued a court-appointed monitor called for by anti-patronage activist Michael Shakman isn't necessary to ensure compliance with political hiring bans.  "Despite plaintiffs' contentions, the uncontested facts do not demonstrate a widespread patronage problem," it read.

Shakman filed a petition for an independent IDOT hiring monitor after a Better Government Association report last year detailed political hiring in the transportation department.  Last week IDOT announced that 103 employees improperly hired as "staff assistants" won't be fired because they have other job titles now.

Separately Monday, Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas accused  Rauner of profiting "from fraud".  Vallas pointed to APS Healthcare Inc., a company owned by Rauner's former investment firm. The state of Georgia and the federal government charged the company failed to provide services it was paid for.  The company agreed to a $13 million settlement three years ago.  Spokesman Mike Schrimpf said Rauner didn't have anything to do with managing APS.

Obituaries

Anthony F. Smith, 72, of Sun City, Huntley, died suddenly on Sunday at Sherman Hospital in Elgin.  A celebration of his life will be held later.

Smith was born in Chicago on Sept. 4, 1942, the son of the late Anthony and Josephine Smith.  On May 22, 1970, he married Judith M. Garska. Survivors include his wife; their children: James (Kim) Phillips, Debbie (Bob) Ackerley, Scott (Bea) Smith, and TJ (Heidi) Smith; 12 grandchildren and his sister, Marilyn.

Ronald E. Goff, 67, of Lake in the Hills, died Saturday in Elgin.  Visitation will be Wednesday from 3 tp 9 pm at Willow Funeral Home,  Algonquin. A funeral service will be Thursday at 10 am at the home. Interment will be in St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery, Palatine.

Goff was born June 13, 1957 in Bushnell, IL.  He is survived by his girlfriend, Becky Diaz; children, Chris and Robert Goff, and Scott and David Knight; grandchildren, Courtney, Wren, Mariah, Angel and Tommy; brothers, Mike and Don Goff, and sisters, Barb Strange and Patti Honts.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 15
1844 HRS 100 BLOCK OF NORTHLIGHT PASS. DOMESTIC BATTERY/MISSING JUVENILE.   JUVENILE, M/W 15 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts of Domestic Battery.  RELEASED TO PARENT.  Male, 15 years of age, missing. Entered into LEADS. Juvenile located and removed from LEADS.
1407 HRS 4540 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (LAPETITE ACADEMY).  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Female, 15 months of age, had a seizure. Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1608 HRS PYOTT RD. & INDUSTRIAL DR.  INJURY ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Male, 46 years of age, face and hand injuries.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1910 HRS MILLER RD & HALIGUS RD.   ACCIDENT.  Vehicle vs. Tree. Property damage only.
Huntley
September 8
A burglary to a construction site report was taken in the 10300 block of Haligus Rd. Construction equipment and vehicles were reported stolen.
A 17 year-old girl from Lake in the Hills was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of cannabis at Huntley High School. The juvenile was released to her mother and will be petitioned into McHenry County juvenile court.
Dennis G. Jones, age 59, of 11609 Douglas Ave., Huntley, was arrested for driving while license revoked, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle and a registration light violation near the intersection of Main St. and Lois Ln. Mr. Jones posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 17, 2014.
September 9
Nichole A. Stewart, age 20, of 318 Page St., Marengo, was arrested for driving while license suspended and a headlight violation near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Main St. Ms. Stewart posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 17, 2014.
A 15 year-old girl from Huntley, was arrested for disorderly conduct in the 9900 block of Thornton Way. The juvenile was released to her father and will be petitioned into McHenry County juvenile court.
September 10
Maria Flores-Torres, age 44, of 327 N. Crystal, Elgin, was arrested for driving with no valid driver’s license and disobeying a traffic control device on Auto Mall Dr. Ms. Flores-Torres posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 24, 2014.
September 11
Lauren E. Buric, age 22, of 19N202 W. Woodview, Hampshire, was arrested for leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident at the intersection of Main St. and Rt. 47. Ms. Buric posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 10, 2014.
Leticia A. Aveiga, age 32, of 289 Alpine Dr, Gilberts, was arrested for driving while license suspended and a tail light violation near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Del Webb Blvd. Ms. Aveiga posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 10, 2014.
September 13
Laurie L. Perry, age 53, of 12500 Regency Pkwy room 1014, Huntley, was arrested for retail theft at a store in the 12300 block of Rt. 47. Ms. Perry was released with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on October 20, 2014.
A trespass report was taken in the 10900 block of Cape Cod Ln. Personal items were found in a vacant home.
September 14
Nicomedes Hernandez-Arguelles, age 46, of 294 Wellington Dr., Crystal Lake, was arrested for driving with no valid driver’s license and speeding near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Kenneth. Mr. Hernandez-Arguelles posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 17, 2014.
Jose L. Matallanes, age 39, of 202 Evergreen Ct., Round Lake Beach, was arrested for driving while license suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and a tail light violation near the intersections of Algonquin and Haligus Rds. Mr. Matallanes posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of October 17, 2014.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Decision Looms On Huntley Senior Taxi Service Thursday

The Huntley Village Board Thursday will once again try to unravel the tangle that transportation for Rutland and Hampshire Sun City residents has become.   Stopgap funding for a taxi voucher program, supposed to last to the end of the year, is likely to run out in about two weeks according to the latest projection.

A brief history of senior transportation in Huntley runs like this:  Former Grafton Township Supervisor John Rossi began a bus service for seniors, even those in Sun City outside of Grafton, seven years ago.  The Village of Huntley contributed $10,000 per year to cover the cost for non-Grafton riders.  During the term of succeeding Supervisor Linda Moore, Grafton pretty much went bust.  Current Supervisor Jim Kearns examined the program and concluded non-Grafton riders were costing the Township about $25,000 per year and asked Rutland Township to help cover the expense.  Trustees there wouldn't even talk about it so the Grafton Board suspended senior bus service for outsiders and gave Huntley back what was left of the village's subsidy for the year, about $6,000.  Huntley cobbled together a voucher program for Rutland and Hampshire township seniors to use Route 47 taxis to get around, initially funded by the Grafton refund, then, when it ran out, by another $10,000.  Now that money's almost gone again. 

According to a report for trustees last week, about 65 percent of the Huntley's taxi voucher rides are for groceries and medical appointments.  That proportion is reasonably consistent with Grafton's senior bus experience this year, according to monthly Township reports.  Also consistent, Grafton saw a fairly hefty increase in rider numbers this Summer, just like Huntley's taxi voucher program.

Some of the options trustees will consider include simply ending the program when current funds run out; increasing the current $2  fare; creating an actual voucher program to allow a limited number of rides per week or month or just adding more money to continue the program the way it is through the end of 2014.

Huntley's signed a letter of interest in joining the McHenry County Division of Transportation's McRide Program which would provide Pace suburban dial a ride bus service for all residents within Huntley.  However, that's not expected to begin until next Spring, if indeed, it begins at all.  McDOT is reportedly still negotiating with Pace about it.

A briefing report for trustees on Huntley's tax voucher program is located here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/239794354/BOARD-REPORT-Rider-Information-8-29-14

First Congregational Huntley Celebrates Sanctuary 150th Anniversary

The First Congregational Church of Huntley marked the 150th anniversary of its sanctuary Sunday with an open house including a display of antique autos like Model T's that were up to the minute modern when the structure was already a venerable three score and ten.

The First Congregational isn't the oldest church in McHenry County as a group of congregants, according to Rev. Lance Lackore, but its sanctuary is the oldest church structure.   As an organization the church dates to 1852.  It took 11 years, however, to build the 1863 sanctuary which still rests on its original 36-foot hewn log sills. 

After 150 years the structure still welcomes worshippers said  Lackore, "almost every Sunday."  The "almost" goes back to one Sunday during the blizzard of  '36 the snow was so deep, according to old timers, that no one could get the doors open.   So although there've been 7,800 Sundays since the First Congregational sanctuary opened 150 years ago, there've only been sabbath services there on 7,799 of them.

Pork Chop Fundraiser Planned At LITH Legion Saturday

The Lake in the Hills American Legion has something a little different from its monthly fish fry laid on Saturday.  From 4 to 8 pm Legionnaires and Auxiliary volunteers will be serving up pork chops to raise funds at Post 1231 on Algonquin Road at Pyott.

Tickets will be $9 per person with a reservation or $10 per person at the door.  The prices include two grilled pork chops, a baked potato, Tom’s sweet corn on the cob, applesauce, salad, and dessert.  The children's menu ($5 per child 12 and under) offers a choice between a chop or a hot dog.

Reservations must be in before Saturday, though.  There's a slip to print out at:  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2Uv1y81yiWQaklkdXA3UFptSFl0SG84OW9oQmhyN01RQVZv/edit?usp=drive_web

Legion organizers report ticket sales at the door will be limited.

USDA Boosts Corn, Soybean Harvest Estimates To New Records

The nation's corn and soybean farmers will bring in the largest harvest ever this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week in a new report.  Corn farmers are expected to harvest nearly 14.4 billion bushels of corn, .5  billion bushels more than last year's record harvest. The soybean estimate also moved to a record of 3.9 billion bushels, likewise, .5 billion bushels more than the  previous record in 2009.  Both harvests are expected to ease the price of food at the supermarket.  Eventually.

Traders already knew 2014 was going to be a banner year and have driven the price of corn and bean prices significantly lower.  Farmers are already aching and racked with pain but it will take a while for the lower prices to work their way to the consumer level.  Since the grains are staples in livestock feed, there'll probably be some decline in the cost of beef, pork, chicken and milk but likely not until next year.

After meeting all current demands for corn  including exports and use for animal feed, ethanol and food ingredients the USDA estimated 2 billion bushels of corn would remain in stock. That's the highest ending stock in a decade.  The report estimated ending soybean stocks at 475 million bushels, the highest since 2006.

The only question mark is the recent unseasonable coolth.  An early hard frost could still damage crops.

In the pic:  Beans and corn east of Huntley.

Obituaries

Eugene "Bud" McLaughlin, 75, of Algonquin, died Saturday.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 3 to 9 pm. at the Countryside Funeral Home and Crematory, Streamwood. The funeral will be Wednesday at 10:30 am at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Schaumburg, with Mass at 11. Interment will be at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery, Palatine.

McLauglin was born July 31, 1939, in Muskegon, MI.  He is survived by his wife Dona, nee Olson; children, Kim (David) Holinbeck and Jason (Debbie); grandchildren, Heather, Andrew, Sean and Meghan; and sister, Roberta.  He was preceded in death by his siblings, Robert and Vivien.

In lieu of flowers, donations made to Smith-Lemli-Opitz Foundation, Fargo, ND.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 14
0209 HRS 00 BLOCK OF WANDER WAY.  DOMESTIC BATTERY/CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.  EGGER, FRANK P., JR,  M/W 45 YEARS OF AGE, 22 WANDER WAY,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts of Domestic Battery and Criminal Damage To Property. TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL. DAVIS, STACEY J.,  F/W 45 YEARS OF AGE,  21 WANDER WAY,  LAKE IN THE HILLS. CHARGES: Two Counts of Domestic Battery.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1944 HRS 1200 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  THEFT.  STEVENS, DANIEL M.,  M/W 27 YEARS OF AGE, 1210 BURR ST., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts of Misdemeanor Theft.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1944 HRS 1200 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  FOLLOW UP ARRESTS:  FELONY THEFT.  STEVENS, DANIEL M.,  M/W 27 YEARS OF AGE, 1210 BURR ST.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS. CHARGES: Felony Theft. TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0947 HRS 800 BLOCK OF MENOMINEE DR.  VIOLATION OF AN ORDER OF PROTECTION.  A male subject violated an order of protection.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1011 HRS 5500 BLOCK OF WATERBURY PL. ASSIST AMBULANCE.  One month old male having difficulty breathing.  NO TRANSPORT.
1031 HRS 10 BLOCK OF BALDWIN CT. ASSIST TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.  Structure fire.
1728 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  BATTERY.  Male vs. Male.  FAIL TO FILE.
1900 HRS 1200 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  DOMESTIC.  Father vs. Daughter. Four priors.
Algonquin
moretocome

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Month Of I-90 Westbound Traffic Shifts Set To Start Monday

The Illinois Tollway plans a group of hopscotch westbound traffic shifts beginning Monday and running into October to finish the first phase of the $2.5 billion Jane Addams (I-90) Tollway Rebuilding and Widening Project between Elgin and Rockford this Fall.

All traffic in the 37-mile segment's been traveling on the eastbound side of the roadway during reconstruction of the westbound lanes. Now, weather permitting, at night, the westbound traffic's supposed to shift so there are two lanes in each direction while work continues to complete construction in the median.  The shifts are planned on this schedule:

Between U.S. Route 20 and Illinois Route 23 during the week of September 15
Between the Elgin Toll Plaza and the Union Pacific Railroad during the week of September 22
Between the Union Pacific Railroad and U.S. Route 20 during the week of September 29
Between Illinois Route 23 and Genoa Road during the week of October 6

Tollway officials said there'll be overnight lane closures with two lanes shut down for work east of Randall Road and one lane closed for work west of Randall. Lane reductions will be removed by mid-morning on weekends and by 5 a.m. daily on weekdays in advance of the morning rush hour.

Separately, officials said one westbound Tollway lane between Route 25 and Duncan Avenue will close Monday from 9 am  to 3 pm for barrier wall installation.

"Minor Injury" To Firefighter In Early Morning Algonquin Blaze

An ALFPD firefighter suffered a minor injury but the occupants of a home at 1312 Merrill Ave, Algonquin, escaped without harm in fire early this morning.  Two cats died in the fire called in at 5:15 am.  Battalion Chief John Green reported responding crews had the fire under control in minutes and declared it out at 6:05.  Green said the cause of the fire was still under investigation and there was no damage estimate yet.

Firefighters from Huntley Fire Protection District, Carpentersville Fire Department, Crystal Lake Fire Department, and Fox River Grove Fire Protection District assisted, Green said.

Algonquin Seventh Annual River Day Cleanup Planned Saturday

Saturday the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and the Village of Algonquin will sponsor the annual “It’s Our River Day” celebration and clean-up. The event will center at Cornish Park in Downtown Algonquin from 1 to 4 pm with the actual cleanup set to start at 2. 

It’s Our River Day, is a statewide celebration, the theme this year, “Explore the Outdoors.” There'll be brief presentations will be given by local environmental groups throughout the event and opportunities to meet representatives from almost two dozen different environmental, outdoor and governmental groups and “green” businesses.

The Sierra Club will provide bags and gloves for voluntgeers for the shoreline clean-up.

Trib Poll Shows Quinn Out In Front

A Chicago Tribune poll released Saturday shows GOP challenger Bruce Rauner's message that Gov. Pat Quinn is a Chicago-style pol isn't sticking but Quinn's, that Rauner's too rich, is.  The poll found Quinn leading Rauner among registered voters 49 to 37 percent.

The survey found Quinn, not surprisingly, thrashing Rauner 76 to 12 percent in Democratic-leaning Chicago and 55 to 31 percent in suburban Cook County. In the the more Republican collar counties, however, Rauner only managed a tepid 44 percent to 39 percent lead over Quinn. Downstate, Rauner led 48 percent to 36 percent but Downstate literally doesn't count as much as the metro area.

The poll's results for voter intent were oddly discordant with how respondents felt about the two candidates themselves. Forty nine percent thought Quinn wasn't doing a good job as governor with only 30 percent approving.   However, 49 percent also said Quinn was more in touch with regular people than Rauner, whom only 30 percent ranked over the governor.

The ongoing controversies over Quinn's prodigal anti-violence grant program and IDOT patronage hiring have had little impact, according to the poll.  Fifty six percent said they didn't care while only 30 percent said they'd make them less likely to vote for the governor.

Apart from undecided voters, the real wild card in the survey was five percent of voters who, two months before the election, said they'd vote for Libertarian candidate Chad Grim.  He's a fitness gym manager from Peoria who's never held elective office.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
September 13
0242 HRS 220 N.  RANDALL RD.  (MORETTI’S).  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  TWINAM, TYLER J.,  M/W 23 YEARS OF AGE, 539 WOODVIEW DR.,  LAKE BARRINGTON. CHARGES: Domestic Battery, and Criminal Damage to Property.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0837 HRS 5400 BLOCK OF WHITMORE WAY. FOUND ARTICLE.  A bicycle. Entered into evidence.
2050 HRS 323 N. RANDALL RD.  (FUNKY MUNKY).  ACCIDENT. Two vehicles. Property damage only.
2244 HRS 400 BLOCK OF WINDERMERE WAY.  DOMESTIC.  Husband vs. Wife. Verbal only. No priors.