Monday, August 31, 2015

Editor's Note:  FEN published woefully late today due to losing its Comcast connection 12 times in two hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
Three Of Four House Hopefuls Appear At Dundee Twp. GOP Meet
Longmeadow Tree Impact Found Less Than Imagined
Huntley Downtown This Week:  Second Verse, Same As The First
Illinois Legislative Remapping Effort Begins To Heat Up Again
Kane County Opens Brunner Forest Preserve South Of Algonquin
Twilight Cruise Night Fills Downtown Algonquin With Cars, Crowd
Academy Kids Harvest Veggie Donations For Grafton Food Pantry
Officials Argue Over Calamitous Drop In State Fair Attendance
Algonquin Commons Entertainment Promotions Return
Lightning Lays LITH Well Low
Health Department Reports County West Nile Crow Located
State Denies Contempt For "Impossible" Pay Order
Rauner's Budget Adviser's Contract Finished Friday
McHenry County: Fewer Jobs But A Better July Unemployment Rate
Huntley Board Requires Make-Up Parking For Dual Ordering Lane
LITH Lowers Water Hook Ups, Will Count Video Gaming "Incentive"
Rauner Budget Guru's Contract Up For Second Extension Today
Huntley D158 Students Return For New School Year
One Injured In Evening Algonquin Townhouse Fire
Algonquin, Huntley Groups Among Foundation Grant Winners
U.S. Judge Orders Illinois Comptroller Accounting By Friday
LITH Board Ponders Developing Development Incentives Puzzle
Indiana Refiner Starts Up Again Gas Prices Begin To Drop
Huntley Tree Replacement Fall List Fast Filling
Generalissimo Francisco Franco Still Dead, Illinois Budget, Too
E-Waste Collections Canceled At Algonquin, Grafton Townships
New Chinese Restaurant Joins Huntley Outlet Mall Lineup
Economic Development Corporation Seeks Business Champions
AG Madigan, Emanuel Send Public Nastygram To Oil Companies

Longmeadow Tree Impact Found Less Than Imagined

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Illinois Legislative Remapping Effort Begins To Heat Up Again

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

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

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

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

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

Police Blotters

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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kane County Opens Brunner Forest Preserve South Of Algonquin

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

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

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

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

Twilight Cruise Night Fills Downtown Algonquin With Cars, Crowd

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

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

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

Academy Kids Harvest Veggie Donations For Grafton Food Pantry

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

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

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

Officials Argue Over Calamitous Drop In State Fair Attendance

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

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

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

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

McHenry County Indictments

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


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

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

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

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

Obituaries

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

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

Police Blotters

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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Algonquin Commons Entertainment Promotions Return

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

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

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

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

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

Lightning Lays LITH Well Low

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

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

Health Department Reports County West Nile Crow Located

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

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

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

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

State Denies Contempt For "Impossible" Pay Order

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

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

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

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

Rauner Budget Adviser's Contract Finished Friday

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

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

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

Police Blotters

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

Friday, August 28, 2015

McHenry County: Fewer Jobs But A Better July Unemployment Rate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huntley Board Requires Make-Up Parking For Dual Ordering Lane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rauner Budget Guru's Contract Up For Second Extension Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obituaries

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

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

Police Blotters

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Huntley D158 Students Return For New School Year

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

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

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

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

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

One Injured In Evening Algonquin Townhouse Fire

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

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

Algonquin, Huntley Groups Among Foundation Grant Winners

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

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

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

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

U.S. Judge Orders Illinois Comptroller Accounting By Friday

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

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

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

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

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

In the pic:  Federal Judge Sharon J.  Coleman

Police Blotters

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LITH Board Ponders Developing Development Incentives Puzzle

The Lake in the Hills Board Tuesday tried to stuff the incentive genie back in the bottle as a restaurateur asked trustees for $169,000 to encourage him to locate in and remodel a restaurant in Lake in the Hills.  The heavily-revamped Woods Creek Tavern's scheduled to open for business on Randall Road Monday.

LITH's had a formal incentive program to encourage growth since 2010 but it only came into play recently when a developer asked for $230,000 worth of fee reductions to build some apartments on Haligus Road. Last month he received $140,000 worth.  Only minutes later, however, another developer asked for a break so he could build an infill house in a stalled LITH subdivision.  Trustees at the time agreed to postpone development fee payments until the house is sold and Tuesday agreed to cut the Village's hefty water tap-on fee 20 percent for him and, henceforth, everybody else, too.

Dave Abraham's request for assistance on the already-finished $1 million remodel of LITH's former Applebee's restaurant added a  new level of complication, however.  Abraham said former Village Economic Development Coordinator Gino DeVivo had spoken of "assistance" if he'd buy the two-years empty restaurant and Village President Paul Mulcahy recalled their mention during preliminary talks.  However, there was never any specific agreement on how much of a break the Village would allow, much less how it would provide it.

"The timing's a little questionable," said Trustee Ray Bogdanowski.  "I would say we might have a lot of people coming in after the fact," agreed Trustee Frank Covone.

After lengthy but not especially coherent debate, the board reached a vague consensus to give Abahamson something for locating in LITH.  However, trustees couldn't agree on how much or even what constituted assistance.  For instance, trustees planned to let Woods Creek Tavern put in video gambling machines which Village staff estimated will bring in $150,000 worth of income.  "If you were in Crystal Lake you wouldn't have an opportunity to make that money," observed Bogdanowski suggesting the extra income stream might count as help.

Mulcahy directed Village Administrator Jerry Sagona to negotiate "Some way without hurting ourselves to satisfy the request."

In the pic:  Staff's already being trained for next week's opening of LITH's new Woods Creek Tavern.

Indiana Refinery Starts Up Again, Gas Prices Begin To Drop

Gasoline prices at some local stations dropped a dime Tuesday after the BP oil company announced a large Indiana oil refinery shutdown for unscheduled repairs earlier this month had gone back online.   Energy experts predicted a quick drop in the cost of since gasoline prices across most of the rest of the country are declining rapidly.

"Retail prices across the Midwest had been moving lower already for the past seven days or so after that issue first caused a spike. So the recent drop in prices may accelerate in the days ahead and in the next two to three weeks we could see prices drop some 20 to 50 cents," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst.

Locally, the lowest gas prices had plunged to $2.36 the day before the largest of BP's three Whiting, IN, distillation units shut down.  The loss of half the giant refinery's capacity quickly pushed fueld prices $1 higher.  Tuesday evening some stations in the area had already slashed prices to $2.99.

“Restart of this unit is increasing the refinery’s fuel production, with output ramping up over time,” BP said in a brief statement on Tuesday to announce that the refinery unit was working again. The company didn't say how long it would take for the unit to reach full production.

“With the return of this BP refinery, so long as there are no new outages from it, I would expect it’s just a matter of a couple of weeks or a couple of months before we see the first stations at under $2 a gallon,” DeHaan said. “The Whiting refinery was the only kink in the chain from delivering far-lower gasoline prices.”

Nationally, average gas prices are at their lowest late Summer levels since 2004.   Analysts said prices should continue to fall in coming months due to declining demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline.

Huntley Tree Replacement Fall List Fast Filling

Huntley residents have two weeks left to sign up for the Village's 50/50 Tree Replacement Program.  The deadline's Sept. 8 or until this Fall's supply's exhausted.  Huntley Tree Lady Barb Read reports this morning, "I have funds for about 100 trees left."  By Village calculations there are still around 1,000 stumps left where ash trees used to be before the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer devastated them.

Huntley's 50/50 Tree Program will grind out a stump and plant one of seven types of trees in its place for half price or reimburse up to half the price of a tree directly from a nursery or landscaper.  Details and application forms are located here:  http://www.huntley.il.us/documents/Fall2015PlantingPacketResident.pdf

Read said residents who sign up for a Village planting could expect to see a swell new tree "at the end of September or early October."

In the pic:  This American Sentinel Linden is one of the seven types of trees available in Huntlely's 50/50 Tree Program

Generalissimo Francisco Franco Still Dead, Illinois Budget, Too

House Democrats tried to restore spending on subsidized child care Tuesday while Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger's office warned that the State is short on cash and having a hard time meeting legal requirements to pay its bills.

A court hearing is scheduled today on why Illinois missed an Aug. 21 deadline to pay for services to developmentally disabled residents in community homes or larger facilities. State Comptroller Leslie Munger reported that without a budget, the State's checking account has cash-flow problems. Munger released $71 million to some providers but said through a spokesman that others will see their checks delayed.  "The cash flow is very tight," said Rich Carter. "We are prioritizing the payments with the money we have available to pay."

At the Capitol, a House committee approved a Senate-passed measure that restores funding for a child care program which Gov. Bruce Rauner drastically scaled back by changing eligibility rules.  Rauner spokesman Catherine Kelly called the plan an attempt by Democrats to "claw their way to a massive tax hike by hamstringing the State with an unbalanced budget."

Democratic leaders also introduced a bill to release $146 million in motor fuel tax funds to city and county governments.  Theoretically, the money's just a pass-through but, according to spokesman Guy Tridgell, IDOT currently has no legal authority to disburse it.

Rauner stayed in his office Tuesday but in a news release announced the highly symbolic sale of five surplus State aircraft for $2.5 million.  The governor said getting rid of the machines will save $1 million on scheduled inspections and repairs.

Obituaries

Morla A. Fry, 82, of Lake in the Hills died Tuesday.  Visitation will b Saturday at the Laird Funeral Home, Elgin, from 10 am until a  funeral service at 11.  Burial will follow at North Cemetery, St. Charles.

Fry was born on April 20, 1933, the daughter of John and Rubye (Kamp) Moss.  Survivors include children, Marcia Stein of Lake in the Hills, Miki Karson of Chicago and Dennis (Julie Leatherby) Fry of Elgin; five grandchildren and brothers, William (Sandra) Moss and Terry (Marleen) Moss.  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband: Jack Fry, Sr.; son:, Jack Fry, Jr., and  grandsons, Daniel Stein and Micah Karson.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 25
1240 HRS 2700 BLOCK OF HILLSBORO LN.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Roommate vs. Roommate.  Verbal only.  No priors.  FAIL TO FILE.
1333 HRS 2601 VILLAGE HALL DR. (THE RESIDENCES OF LITH).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1348 HRS 9200 HALIGUS RD. (SKATE PARK).  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Male, 12 years of age, broke his arm.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1611 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF HEAVENS GATE.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1636 HRS 100 BLOCK OF WANDER WAY.  CHILD ABUSE.  Juvenile with a face injury.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING DETECTIVE.
1741 HRS 4581 PRINCETON LN. (PARK N SHOP).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2016 HRS 2700 BLOCK OF BRIARCLIFF LN.  FOUND ARTICLE.  A gray and black BMX bicycle.  Entered into Evidence.
2229 HRS 1000 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  Two priors.
2258 HRS 1000 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  SUICIDAL SUBJECT.  Female, 18 years of age, made suicidal statements.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

E-Waste Collections Canceled At Algonquin, Grafton Townships

Saturday's the last in August, ordinarily the day for Algonquin Township's Special Recycling Saturday.  Residents won't be able to get rid of their dead or obsolete electronics this time, however.  "Electronics collection's suspended for the time being," said Highway Commissioner Bob Miller.  The same thing applies to Grafton Township's e-waste collection, too, and for the same reason:  "The company we were using went belly up," said Grafton Commissioner Tom Poznanski.

Both Grafton and Algonquin townships were sending their electronic waste to Pro Earth Recycling in Richmond.  However, a FEN investigation finds that Pro Earth didn't actually go out of business two weeks ago. It's just left the e-waste business. 

Pro Earth registered with the Illinois Secretary of State this February as a limited liability corporation  with member management.  However, all the members FEN was able to reach said they weren't managers and neither were the others.  The company's originally registered address was in Spring Grove at the same location as the C.W. Supply company which was listed as one of its members.  Nevertheless, C.W. Supply Vice President Daryl Voska told FEN his company wasn't a member of Pro Earth.  However, he said  that he, himself, was helping Pro Earth exit the electronics recycling field.  "There'll be a lot of other companies doing the same thing," he said.  "There isn't enough of a market to support it," he said.

Indeed, in the past year there's been a steep decline in the commodity price of glass, plastic, metals and circuit boards.  Generally, (except for gold) e-waste is only selling for about half what it did 12 months ago.  Experts blame much of the decline on the economic slowdown in China, once a heavy e-waste importer.

Even so, Algonquin Township in particular finds itself back in the same place it was a year ago when the Illinois EPA's e-waste quota system hit its marks and manufacturers quit buying electronics scrap.  "All I can do is try to find another recycler," said Miller.  "You can't throw this stuff away anymore."

In the pic:  One of Algonquin Township's Special Recycling Saturdays where electronics waste recycling is canceled again until further notice.

New Chinese Restaurant Joins Huntley Outlet Mall Lineup

A new Chinese restaurant opened at the  Huntley Outlet Mall Food Court this week.  It's called Fu Shan Buns, named after a traditional North China steamed bun called Bao, often filled with meat or veggies, then fried.  The restaurant aims to offer a taste of Chicago's China Town which ought to be pretty easy since that's where owner Wenjun Gao commutes from to Huntley every day.

Fu Shan Buns also offers more familiar Chinese fare including Kung Po Shrimp, General Tso's Chicken, Moo Shoo Pork and Moo Goo Gai Pan, to name a few.  The new restaurant's located in the old Asian Express location at the Outlet Food Court and also offers takeout and delivery.

In the pic:  Fu Shan Buns Chinese restaurant owner Wenjun Gao

Economic Development Corporation Seeks Business Champions

Nominations are open for theMcHenry County Economic Development Corporation 2015 Business Champion Awards.   In its eighth year, MCEDC recognizes companies who've made a positive impact on McHenry County’s economy and who are exceptional primary employers.  The deadline for submitting Business Champion nominations is September 7.

Nominations categories are based on the number of employees: small, 24 or less, medium, 25 to 100, and large, over 100, as well as a special category for those companies who have over 300 employees.    Judges are business leaders from outside of the county.

Additional information and forms are available on the MCEDC website home page – www.mchenrycountyedc.com or by contacting the MCEDC office at 815.893-0895. 

In the pic:  Huntley's Tegel Design tied for the first-place award in last year's MCEDC Business Champions small business category.

AG Madigan, Emanuel Send Public Nastygram To Oil Companies

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Monday gave the Illinois Petroleum Council and its member oil companies two weeks to explain the recent gasoline price spike in Illinois.  “Unfortunately, every time gas prices rise, the oil companies give us excuses," complained Madigan.

A partial shutdown for leaks at a BP refinery in Whiting, IN, on Aug. 8 was blamed for price increases across the Midwest, but Madigan and Emanuel said the outage alone could not explain the higher prices.  "It seems that retail prices are lagging spot prices," said their letter.  Oil prices hit six-year lows Monday while retail gas prices in the Chicago metro area averaged $3.31 per gallon, only about 15 cents lower than a week ago.  That wa still 70 cents higher than the national average, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

However, the U.S.  Energy Information Administration said Midwest refineries were running at 99% of their total capacity before leaks crippled the Whiting complex.  In fact the Midwest was already importing gasoline from refineries in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast and pipelines were having trouble handing the load, according to the agency,

"The oil companies need better contingency plans because drivers deserve answers and relief from these outrageous prices," groused Madigan.  

A quick FEN search finds that The U.S. hasn’t built a major new refinery since 1977 although expansions and additions  to existing ones have added about 380,000-barrels-a-day to their 17.6 million barrel capacity.  Coincidentally, that's about 10 percent less than what Whiting can turn out when everything's running full tilt.

In the pic:  Chicago area gasoline prices.  Unadjusted for inflation.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
August 24
0409 HRS ALBRECHT RD & BRISBANE DR.  CURFEW VIOLATION.  JUVENILE, M/W 15 YEARS OF AGE, ALGONQUIN.  CHARGES: Curfew Violation and Drug Paraphernalia.  LOCAL ORDINANCE TICKETS ISSUED.  TURNED OVER TO PARENT.  JUVENILE, M/W 15 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Curfew Violation.  LOCAL ORDINANCE TICKET ISSUED.  TURNED OVER TO PARENT.   JUVENILE, M/W 15 YEARS OF AGE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Curfew Violation.  LOCAL ORDINANCE TICKET ISSUED.  TURNED OVER TO PARENT.  JUVENILE, M/W 16 YEARS OF AGE, ALGONQUIN.  CHARGE: Curfew Violation.  LOCAL ORDINANCE TICKET ISSUED.  TURNED OVER TO PARENT.
1750 HRS MAYBERRY CT. & SPRING LAKE DR.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED,  KAY, JOSHUA W., M/W 30 YEARS OF AGE, 820 MAYBERRY CT., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Aggravated Driving While License Revoked, Improper Use of Turn Signal & Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1055 HRS 5400 BLOCK OF CHANCERY WAY.  CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.  Complainant discovered damage to his vehicle.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.
Huntley
August 18
A theft report was taken in the 11400 block of Russell Dr.  A black BMX bicycle was reported stolen out of the front yard of the residence.
An identity theft report was taken in the 12400 block of Russet Ln.  A credit card was opened in the victim’s name.
August 20
An identity theft report was taken in the 11700 block of Ludbury Dr.  The victim’s identification was used to obtain medical treatment.
August 22
A residential burglary report was taken in the 12300 block of Winding Creek Loop.  Jewelry was reported stolen.
Jason S. Bartlett, age 38, of 2953 Manchester Dr., Montgomery, IL, was arrested for driving with no valid driver’s license, display of an expired registration and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle.  Mr. Bartlett posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of September 25, 2015.
August 23
Ulises Fernandez-Monfil, age 20, of 4911 Glenbrook Trail, McHenry, was arrested for domestic battery stemming from an incident that occurred on August 22, 2015, outside a business in the 13200 block of Rt. 47.  Mr. Monfil was transported to Kane County jail to await bond call.
A burglary report was taken in the 10900 block of Sawgrass.  Liquor was stolen from an open garage.