Monday, May 2, 2016

First Electric Newspaper Closing

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing,
'Til it dawns on you, no one can do it. 
--Martin T. Ringer's version of Edgar Guest's
   poem "It Couldn't Be Done"


Sunday was the final day of daily publication for the First Electric Newspaper.  During the past seven years FEN published an estimated 7,500 local news stories for and about Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and Huntley and another 2,500 state ones.  With FEN's cessation, the three villages and their 84,500 residents will, once again, find themselves living in, if not a local news desert, certainly a semi-arid wasteland.

By 2009, newspapers (and broadcasters) were clearly declining media while everything on the Web was growing.  FEN was an experiment to see if it was possible to adapt an old fashioned local newspaper to the Internet.  The result, editorially, was that, with a lot of compromises, it probably can.  Financially, the outcome was less clear.  For the kind of money it would take to maybe make it work, a businessman could buy a fast food franchise and make twice the bucks. 

Insofar as FEN specifically is concerned, the biggest limitation turned out to be personal.  I, myself, simply can't physically sustain 70 to 80 hours work per week anymore.  While I might be willing to die for democracy, I'm not ready to kill myself over it.  So this part of the experiment's over.  Thanks, readers, for being guinea pigs. 

Watch early next year for my forthcoming book about local news.  The working title's "Lose Weight, Have Better Sex And Cheat Death --The Easy Way."  Sometimes you've gotta go with the flow.

--pete gonigam
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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Huntley Celebrates Finish For HHS Expansion Project

Huntley D158 Superintendent John Burkey wielded the scissors Saturday at a Ribbon Cutting ceremony and Open House to commemorate the completion of construction at Huntley High School.  The event marked the official finish of a two-year $35 million project to expand HHS capacity from 2,000 to an expected 3,000 students.

A new HHS field house, revamped  library, cafeteria and football stadium all went into service this year.  Saturday's event celebrated completion of a new west wing, including six new science labs and four more classrooms.  The project was paid for with funds from a $40 million Illinois Capital Development Grant four years ago which represented the State's share of the cost to help build D158's Square Barn Campus and Marlow Middle School if the program hadn't run out of money back in 2003.

Not too coincidentally, the District announced today that HHS has been named to the Washington Post's national “Most Challenging Schools” list for the second year in a row.  “We are always pleased to receive national recognition for the high-quality education we provide to students,” said Burkey. “While this list focuses on just a sliver of the overall learning environment, it is a strong reflection of the work we continue to do to expand access and achievement on Advanced Placement and other high-level opportunities for students.”

The list primarily reflects the Post’s own Challenge Index score, which measures the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year.  All 74 Illinois schools ranked are listed here:  http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2016/list/illinois-schools/

In the pic:  Huntley High's new bigger and better science labs were popular at Saturday's HHS Ribbon Cutting ceremony and Open House.

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THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
Huntley Celebrates Finish For HHS Expansion Project
K-9 Search Fails To Find Pistol-Armed Robber In Huntley
Algonquin Guardsman Top Soldier In State Competition
Illinois Mitsubishi Plant Sold To Canadian Liquidator
More Problems Surface For McHenry County Clerk
Huntley Heritage Site For 2016 Street Improvements
Huntley Downtown Ladies Night Out Planned Thursday
Redistricting Reform Group Claims Double Required Signatures
Compromise Possible In Huntley Business Expansion Squabble
Weekend Weather In A Word:  Blecch
MCC Spring Job Fair Scheduled Next Friday
Groups Seek To Restore Legal Protection For First Responders
Algonquin Library Board to Seek Ex-Trustee Fill In
Algonquin Decorating Store To Move North On Randall Road
LITH Wednesday Smoke Dispatch Only A Stove Fire
Hastert Gets 15 Months, Sex Offender Treatment For Old Abuse
Rauner Hopes For Budget "Grand Compromise" Before Session End
Algonquin, LITH Board Try To Get Right With Supremes On Signs
D300 Board OK's Plan To Overhaul District Websites
National Drug Take Back Set Saturday, Locally Available Any Time
Chinese Company Buys Motorola White Elephant In Harvard
$10 Million Vote For Randall Improvements Planned Next Tuesday
Buona Beef Begins Randall Construction
Huntley Police Warn Against Aggregation Scammers
Rauner Signs Higher Ed Bill, Calls It "First Step"
McHenry County Dems Plan County Board Chairman Candidate
Tree Mitigation Might Kickstart Brunner Preserve Restoration
Migratory Bird Centennial Scheduled For Hackmatack Refuge
Munger Warns Higher Ed Payments May Take Until July
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K-9 Search Fails To Find Pistol-Armed Robber In Huntley

Huntley police are still searching today for a reported robber who brandished a black automatic pistol demanding cash register contents from the clerk at the Princeton Drive 7-11 store at about 3 am Saturday morning.  Deputy Chief Mike Klunk said that even though the robber fled on foot,  an area search by HPD officers and the Kane County Sheriff's K-9 unit was unable to find him.

Klunk said the clerk reported the robber as a male African American, short, dressed in black clothing with his hands and face covered.  He said 7-11 auditors were still trying to determine how much money was stolen.

Klunk asked anyone that can provide additional information is asked to call the Huntley Police Department at (847) 515-5311 or the anonymous  Huntley Police Tip Line at (847) 515-5333.
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Algonquin Guardsman Top Soldier In State Competition

A National Guardsman from Algonquin will compete in Ohio in two weeks to become the Midwest region Soldier of the Year.  Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki, 21, of Algonquin, a member of the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment based in Chicago, took top state honors last month.

Sieradzki finished third in the state's Best Warrior Competition a year ago, obviously good but not the best.  “It feels great to win,” said Sieradzki. “I just hope that by coming back and winning this year after losing last time motivates some of the soldiers in my unit to step up and do the same thing.”  The Best Warrior Competition pits soldiers against each other in a multitude of events designed to test their physical fitness, mental toughness, and their competence at warrior skills.

Sieradzki topped  nearly 10,000 of his fellows in the Illinois Army National Guard through platoon, company, and battalion-level boards to win the state competition.  If he wins the regional contest, he'll still face the National Guard’s national competition and then the final Army-wide one later this year.

In the pic: Spc. Tycjan Sieradzki
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Illinois Mitsubishi Plant Sold To Canadian Liquidator

A Canada-based auction house and liquidator this weekend bought the Mitsubishi auto plant in Normal which cost the State $300 million in location incentives over a 23 year span.  No terms were announced Friday and a Mitsubishi spokesman said he didn't know what the new owner planned to do with the factory.

"We do not know their future plans for the site and equipment," said Dan Irvin, general manager of corporate communications for Mitsubishi.   Buyer Maynards Industries is the world’s largest liquidator of automotive machine equipment and sold 16 General Motors plants from 2009 to 2012. The company's also worked with automakers such as Toyota, Ford and Nissan.

Local and state officials have been trying for nine months to find a buyer for the the 2.4 million-square-foot facility that ceased production in November and will permanently close at the end of the month.  Mitsubishi produced 200,000 cars a year at the Normal plant in the early 2000s but for the past decade production never rose higher than half that.
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Obituaries

John M. Hybl, 71 of Sun City, Huntley, died Friday at Journeycare in Woodstock following a lengthy illness.  Visitation will be Tuesday from 3 to 5 pm with prayers at 4:30 at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.

Hybl was born March 27, 1945, in Chicago, the son of John F. and Cecelia Kochanek Hybl. He married Linda M. Fiedler on May 13, 1967.  He is survived by his wife; daughter, Diane (Anthony) Ippolito of Bartlett; grandchildren, Kimberly and Alex and his mother.  He was preceded in death by his father and son, Jason
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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 against whom a charge is dismissed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
April 30
1225 HRS RAKOW RD. & MCHENRY AVE.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED.  HUBER, CHRISTOPHER K., M/W 23 YEARS OF AGE, 206 RIVERBEND DR., GENOA.  CHARGES: Driving While License Revoked, Failure to Yield to an Emergency vehicle.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1824 HRS 3000 BLOCK OF RONAN DR.  WANTED ON WARRANT.  KILDAY, KARLEY ANN, F/W 24 YEARS OF AGE, 3031 RONAN DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Wanted on Warrant, McHenry County Sheriff’sOffice, Failure to Appear on a Traffic Offense. Bond: $2500 @ 10%.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1026 HRS LAKEWOOD RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  INJURY ACCIDENT.  Three vehicles. Female, with a facial injury. Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1643 HRS 3600 BLOCK OF CHADWICK LN.  BURGLARY FROM MOTOR VEHICLE.  Delayed.  Items removed from an unsecured vehicle.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.
1657 HRS 10 BLOCK OF WOODY WAY.  SUICIDAL SUBJECT.  Female, 45 years of age, made suicidal statements.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1707 HRS PYOTT RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1707 HRS 100 BLOCK NORTHLIGHT PASS.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Husband vs. Wife.  No priors.  FAIL TO FILE.
1805 HRS RANDALL RD. & POLARIS DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1824 HRS 3000 BLOCK OF RONAN DR.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  Four priors.
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Saturday, April 30, 2016

More Problems Surface For McHenry County Clerk

More problems surfaced this week for McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan, already the target of criticism for her handling of the Primary Election.  A former employee filed a civil suit Friday charging her with assault a week before voting day.  Meanwhile, some local government officials and candidates complained her online version of the State-required Statement of Economic Interest form due Monday wasn't working.

Veteran Clerk's employee, Maria Ramos Warnecke, 51, of Harvard filed a complaint in McHenry County Circuit Court Friday charging McClellan "in a fit of rage thrust her hands and arms in the direction of [Warnecke's] face" on March 7.  The complaint asks for "more than $50,000" in presumed, nominal and punitive damages.

McClellan told FEN Warnecke was the one who created an uproar during a dispute over how to help an elderly Huntley couple with early voting so she fired her on the spot.  McClellan said there was no police involvement in the incident. Warnecke's complaint isn't set for a scheduling conference until the end of July.

McClellan admitted some officials had trouble using her online Economic Interests form.  "They were trying to save the wrong, thing," she said, reporting that she added more specific instructions including screen shots to the form page on her website. If that's not enough, she said, "They can still file it the usual way."

State law requires the form to be filed with county clerks every year by elected officials, candidates and non-elected decision makers in both State and local governments.  It's supposed to list, among other things, an individual's Illinois business interests and the name of anyone who gave him a gift worth more than $500.  If it's filed late, there are fines depending on how late.  A downloadable version's also available on the Secretary of State's website here:  http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/i188.pdf

A State Board of Elections review this week concluded some McHenry County voters may have been unable to cast ballots in last month's Primary because of County Clerk computer problems and said poll workers had difficulty communicating with the office on election day.
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Huntley Heritage Site For 2016 Street Improvements

Huntley's Heritage subdivision will the the site this year for the Village's  2016 Street Improvement Program.  Thursday trustees approved a $759,000 contract for grinding and overlay, spot curb and gutter rehab and ADA curb ramp upgrades on about 3.4 miles of streets in the neighborhood.  The cost of the whole project, $860,000, will come out of Huntley's share of the State's Motor Fuel Tax.

Construction's expected to begin in June with work set to finish by Aug. 5.
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Huntley Downtown Ladies Night Out Planned Thursday

The Village of Huntley plans to hold its first Ladies Night Out in the Downtown from 6 to 9 pm Thursday which happens to be Cinco de Mayo. Food, pampering, special deals and promotions are promised after check in at the Huntley Chamber Office on Coral Strete to receive a game board and map with the participating businesses. Sporting a Cinco de Mayo outfit or accessories at the check in qualifies ladies to win an extra Chamber sponsored prize.

Besides the Chamber, Downtown stopoffs include the American Legion Hall, Sammy's Restaurant, Sal's Pizz Place, Century 21 Realtors, Shampooch and Kitty, Visit McHenry County, Elated Boutique, Morkes Chocolates, Parkside Pub and Strode's Colonial Vermont Furniture.
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Redistricting Reform Group Claims Double Required Signatures

A statewide coalition advocating legislative redistricting reform announced Friday that it's collected more than twice the number of signatures needed to place the amendment question on the ballot in November.  "Illinois voters deserve a chance to replace the current, flawed system and have their legislative district maps drawn by an independent commission in a transparent and fair manner," said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps.

Spokesmen said that, after review, Independent Maps will submit petitions with at least twice the minimum of 290,216 signatures of registered voters before the May 9 deadline. The proposed amendment would remove the legislature's direct involvement in drawing its own boundaries and replace it with a more complicated method that supporters argue would remove politics from the process.  Probably not coincidentally, however,  two other redistricting proposals are moving through the Legislature.   Independent Maps supporters charge they still leave politicians significant oversight of the process.

"My opinion is they're both attempts to try to get so the legislators can say, 'We voted for something,' and that's it, which is pretty pathetic when you think about it," said Bill Daley, former Barack Obama chief of staff and son and brother of two Chicago mayors, a coalition member.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday the Independent Maps measure was the one that ought to go forward.  "What we don't want to do is confuse voters, and it would not be productive to have several constitutional amendments on redistricting on the ballot at the same time," Rauner said.

In the pic:  Former State Rep. Kathy Ryg, D-Vernon Hills, with petitions carrying an estimated 580,000 signatures asking for a legislative redistricting amendment to the State Constitution.

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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 against whom a charge is dismissed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
April 29
2259 HRS 300 BLOCK OF WEDGEWOOD CIRCLE. VIOLATION OF STALKING/NO CONTACT ORDER.  GAUCH, BRIAN C., M/W 28 YEARS OF AGE, 5N798 TIMBER TRAIL, ST CHARLES.  CHARGE: Violation of Stalking No Contact Order.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1143 HRS 00 BLOCK OF MEDINAH CT.  FOUND ARTICLE.  A bicycle.  Entered into Evidence.
1243 HRS PYOTT RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
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Friday, April 29, 2016

Compromise Possible In Huntley Business Expansion Squabble

Huntley Trustees hammered out a tentative compromise Thursday with a businessman who wanted to expand his operation across the Village border into unincorporated McHenry County:  keep all the new amenities inside Huntley.

Trustees weren't pleased earlier this month with entrepreneur Marc Tintner's plan to add volleyball and bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits and an open entertainment area with beverage and food service east of his Tee 2 Green Indoor Golf  facility since the area at Ruth and Huntley Dundee roads is just outside the Village's municipal limit.  Concerned they'd have no say about liquor sales, law enforcement, restrooms and lighting, they directed Village staffers to oppose the request before the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals.

Calling for more information, the ZBA tabled the request so Tintner was before the Huntley Board Thursday  to see if there wasn't some way to reach an accord.  "The idea is not to create an eyesore but to create a fun area," he said.

Even with fences and a promise to shut down outdoor athletics at 11  pm, trustees remained leary.  "We [still] don't have any jurisdiction," observed John Piwko.  Finally Mayor Chuck Sass asked Tintner if the whole proposed shebang couldn't just be moved from east of Tee 2 Green, outside the Village, to south of it which would be be within it.

Tintner replied he could probably do that.  "It would still have to come back to [the Board] with a site plan," reminded Village Manager Dave Johnson.  Tintner said he'd work on the new idea with Village staff but said he couldn't appear before the Board before May 12.

In the pic:  An outdoor athletics area proposed east of Huntley's Tee 2 Green Indoor Golf facility might be sited to the south, instead, under a possible compromise.
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Weekend Weather In A Word: Blecch

A gloomy, wet weekend is in store for the region, as an area of low pressure moves slowly east across the Midwest. Today will probably be the driest of the next couple of days, according to the National Weather Service.  Forecasters expect rain to spread across the area Saturday lingering into Sunday with temperatures in the 50's, well below normal.  Monday and Tuesday should bring some clearing and warmer temps but highs are still expected to be a little less than usual for this time of year, according to meteorologists.
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MCC Spring Job Fair Scheduled Next Friday

McHenry County College will host it's annual Spring Job Fair next Friday in the Multipurpose Room/Gym, in Building A from 10 am to 1 pm.  Job seekers do not need to pre-register for the free event.  However, all candidates are advised to dress professionally and bring plenty of resumes to distribute to prospective employers.

At this morning's count, 85 employers are scheduled to be on hand at the event.  A list of them's available here: https://www.collegecentral.com/CCNEngine/LiveEvents/ProfileSearch.CFM?SecTag=dmBp7g73Yh&EventID=1868

The Job Fair's open to Students, Alumni and Community Members.  It's held in partnership with, besides MCC,  the McHenry County Workforce Network, McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, Senator Pam Althoff, and Representative Barb Wheeler.

Questions go to (815) 455-8576 .
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Groups Seek To Restore Legal Protection For First Responders

The Illinois Municipal League and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois jointly warned this week that without new legislation, police and firefighters will be at risk of being sued for the way they respond to emergency calls.  IML president Brad Cole said lawmakers need to act because of a January State Supreme Court decision that junked long-standing protections against lawsuits.

The doctrine the Court struck down held that units of government and their employees have a duty to protect the well-being of the community as a whole rather than that of individual people. Under the "public duty rule", if, as in Will County in 2008, there are two different calls for one ambulance, lawyers can't second guess dispatchers' decisions later.  Justice Thomas Kilbride's opinion called the rule  “muddled and inconsistent”

Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Firefighters of Illinois said Sentate Bill 3070 would restore protection. “Never should a first-responder have to worry about the legal ramifications of an effort to save a life."  Devaney said, otherwise, the ruling could lead to “a cottage industry of frivolous lawsuits aiming to capitalize on the suffering of others.”

The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association opposes the measure, however.  “We certainly don’t want to encourage frivolous lawsuits,” said President Perry Browder. “But at the same time, we don’t want to encourage reckless conduct or intentional disregard [by public safety employees] because that harms the public, harms our citizens and puts people at risk.”

The Municipal League and Firefighters called a news conference about the bill this week because even though  it was introduced in mid-February. It still hasn't been assigned to a committee for a hearing.
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Obituaries

Jennie L. Wessman, 70 of Huntley died Wednesday at Autumn Leaves in St. Charles.  Visitation will be Saturday from 10 am to 1:30 pm at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley.  Visitation will continue Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley, followed by a Funeral Mass at 1:30.   Entombment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside.

Wessman was born July 28, 1945, in Chicago the daughter of Joseph and Joan Obrakta Antonucci. She married Oscar C. Wessman on Jan.  23, 1971.  She is survived by her husband; daughter, Lisa (Mike) Earnest of St. Charles; son, Eric Wessman of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and her granddaughter, Daphne.  She was preceded in death by her parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Journeycare Foundation.
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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 against whom a charge is dismissed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
April 28
0804 HRS HALIGUS RD. & REED RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
2006 HRS CRYSTAL LAKE RD. & HILLTOP DR.  FOUND ARTICLE.  A piece of lawn equipment.  Entered in Evidence.
2012 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HADDON CT.  DOMESTIC.  Father vs. Son.  One Prior.
2041 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF RIDGEWOOD CIRCLE.  DOMESTIC.  Ex-Husband vs. Ex-Wife and Stepdaughter. No Priors.
Algonquin
April 26
22:50pm LoCicero, Dawn, 02/08/1971, of 206 E. Algonquin Rd, was arrested on two warrants for Retail Theft from Cook County.  She was taken into custody at the same location and transported to the McHenry County Jail.
April 27
00:34am Huerta, Andres H., 05/07/1985, of 11711 Kenneth Ave., Huntley, was charged with Possession of Cannabis.  He was taken into custody at 4053 W. Algonquin Rd.  He was issued a Notice to Appear in the Algonquin Municipal Court.
03:01am Dunteman, Jacob R., 04/05/1993, of 722 Concord Dr., Crystal Lake, was charged with DUI.  He was taken into custody at 1708 S. Randall Rd.  He was released after posting bond with a court date in McHenry County.
08:10am Greene, Darrian K., 01/12/1994, of 11715 Woodcreek Drive, East Dundee, was arrested on a warrant out of Kane County.  He was taken into custody at 2600 Harnish Dr. and turned over to the Kane County Sheriff.
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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Algonquin Library Board To Seek Ex-Trustee Fill In

In the midst of planning for what might be a big expansion, Algonquin Area Public Library District trustees Wednesday gave their assent to asking a former trustee to step in for one who's retiring.  Director Stephen Bero said LITH resident Brian Schwarz had already said he was amenable to serving the rest of the term of Louise Nee, soon to move to a new home in Tennessee.

Bero, who in response to board complaints last month said he'd provide a midway option between nothing at all and a $7 million main library expansion, reported that he and architects have been "working on six scenarios" for consideration next month.

Board VP Erin Van Der Bosch said that was why it was important to find a Nee replacement who could get up to speed immediately.  "It sounds like there would be no problem for [Schwarz] to serve with the Board," she said.

A former Board Treasurer, Schwarz dropped out to spend more time with his business and family but there's less than a year left to Nee's term and Bero said Schwartz thought he could handle it.

In the pic:  Wednesday was the last day for AAPLD Trustee Louis Nee (center) who'll be moving from Algonquin.
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Algonquin Decorating Store To Move North On Randall Road

Wednesday was closing day for the Kirkland's store in Algonquin Commons but not the end of the home decorating shop's retail operation in the Village.  Remodeling's nominally scheduled to start Monday at a new site in Woodscreek Commons further north on Randall Road.  The price of Kirkland's buildout at the new location's estimated at $750,000 with bids due Friday.  The finish date's scheduled in mid-June.
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LITH Wednedsay Smoke Dispatch Only A Stove Fire

A watched pot, as an old saying has it, never boils but a Wednesday morning fire dispatch in Lake in the Hills showed an unwatched one may burn.  Algonquin Lake the Hills Firefighters, called to 126 Harvest Gate by a neighbor who heard a smoke detector and smelled something burning, found a pot of forgotten  food smoldering on the stove when they forced entry.

 Battalion Chief John Knebl said no one was home and no one was hurt in the incident which also drew crews to the scene from Crystal Lake, Huntley, Cary and Fox River Grove fire departments.
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Hastert Gets 15 Months, Sex Offender Treatment For Old Abuse

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennnis Hastert finally admitted Wednesday that he molested high school students when he was a Yorkville wrestling coach 40 or more years ago.  A Chicago judge  sentenced  him to 15 months behind bars, two years probation and a $250,000 fine for breaking banking laws trying to cover things up.  Judge Thomas M. Durkin also ordered Hastert to undergo sex-offender treatment.

In Federal District Court, Durkin said, “Some actions can obliterate a lifetime of good works. Nothing is more stunning than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.”

The sentence made Hastert one of the highest-ranking politicians in American history to be sentenced to prison. He pleaded guilty last Fall to violating banking law as he sought to pay $3.5 million to someone referred to in court papers only as "Individual A" to keep the sex abuse secret.  The judge's sentence exceeded plea deal recommendations.  Durkin described Hastert's early attempt to accuse one of his victims of extortion as "unconscionable".  Earlier this week, Individual A filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit saying he's owed more than half of the $3.5 million Hastert promised him to keep quiet. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Block said Wednesday Hastert's sex with minors was "horrendous" but was barred from prosecuting him for it because of the statute of limitations.  Technically, Hastert's sentence was only for a financial crime related to the payments he was making to Individual A.

In the pic:  Former U.S. House Speaker Dennnis Hastert before sentencing Wednesday.
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Rauner Hopes For Budget "Grand Compromise" Before Session End

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Wednesday he's "cautiously optimistic" about a “grand compromise” between Democrats and Republicans on a two-year State budget before the end of the Spring Session.  He also said if it takes longer than that, he might pick up the$30,000-per-day tab himself.

Rauner told reporters at a barnstorming stop at downstate Auburn High School that rank and file lawmakers have begun to bypass party leadership as the May end of Session approaches.  “My hope is that the right answer is not necessarily to do a short-term crisis bridge like we did for higher education, but to move expeditiously in the next couple weeks to a grand compromise with reforms, revenues and spending reductions as part of a grand solution for 2016 and 2017, simultaneously,” Rauner said.

Rauner said the possible closure of Chicago State University was the reason Democrats and Republicans suddenly saw eye-to-eye on higher education funding.  "The reality is, elected officials respond to pressure. And this is pressure," Rauner said.

A House Speaker Michael Madigan spokesman charged the higher education deal got done because Rauner didn't try to tie it to his business and economics reforms plans.  "I think the evidence continues to show that when you don't force these non-budget issues, you make good progress, so we will continue to work along those guidelines," said spokesman Steve Brown.

In the pic:  Gov. Bruce Rauner talked to students at Auburn HS south of Springfield Wednesday.

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Obituaries

Barbara J. Mangan, 71 of Huntley died Tuesday  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 am until a 10 o'clock Funeral Mass.  Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery.

Mangan was born May 14, 1944, in Chicago, the daughter of Robert and Margaret Heaney Artman. On Jan. 26, 1974, she married Dan Mangan. She is survived by her husband; children, Dan (Liz) Mangan, Mike (Clare) Mangan, Marty (Michelle) Mangan and Cathy (Shane) Jones; grandchildren, Danny, Ronan, Ava, Maya, Gianna, Carson, Finn and Declan, and by her brothers and sisters, Mary (Ernie) Faith, Tim (Debbie) Artman, Nancy (Gil) Brindley and Marge (John) Burke.  She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Ricky, Dan and Bob.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Mary's St. Vincent DePaul Society.

Jean E. Runge, 88, of Algonquin died Wednesday at JourneyCare in Woodstock.  Visitation will be Saturday at Miller Funeral Home, West Dundee, from 9 am until a funeral service at 11.  Burial will follow in the Chapel Hill Gardens South in Oak Lawn.

Runge was born in Chicago on Apr. 25, 1928, the daughter William and Florence Adair. On Oct. 16, 1948, she married Robert J. Runge.  Survivors include her children: Ivy (Francis) Beuning and Robert W. (Barbara) Runge; grandchildren, Kim (Andy) Fekete, Chris (Kristy) Beuning, Heather Runge and Barb Runge, and her brother,Raymond (Francie) Adair.  In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her siblings, William and Grace.

Duane F. White, 73, of Algonquin died Tuesday.  Visitation will be Saturday from 10 am until a funeral service at Noon at Willow Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Algonquin.  Interment will be at Dundee Township East Cemetery.

Robert Gordon Currie, 88, of Sun City, Huntley, died Saturday. Funeral services and internment will be held privately.

Currie was born May 1, 1927, the son of Goldwyn and Lucy Currie.  He is survived by his son William (Peggy) Currie.  He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Hugh, and wife.

Gerald Lee Zange
, 77, formerly of Algonquin, died Sunday in North Miami Beach, FL.  Funeral services will be private at the Algonquin Cemetery.

Zange was born in Elgin on Feb. 1, 1939, to Ronald Albert Zange Camille Antoinette Hubowicz Zange.  He is survived by brother, Charles (Judith) Zange.  He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard Zange.
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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 against whom a charge is dismissed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
April 27
1212 HRS 100 BLOCK HARVEST GATE.  ASSIST FIRE DEPARTMENT.  Burning food left on stove.
0806 HRS 210 WRIGHT DR. (LITH WELL #10).  FOUND ARTICLE.  Bicycle found.  Entered into Evidence.
0834 HRS 100 BLOCK HARVEST GATE.  DEATH INVESTIGATION.  Male, 48 years of age, found deceased.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY CORONER.
0953 HRS 1115 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (LAKE IN THE HILLS PD).  CHILD CUSTODY EXCHANGE.  Child custody exchange.
1056 HRS 00 BLOCK SAGINAW CT.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Father vs. Son.  No Priors.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1123 HRS BANBURY LN. & HAYWARD LN.  BATTERY.  Delayed.  Juvenile Male vs. Juvenile Female.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1212 HRS 100 N. RANDALL RD. (WALGREENS).  RETAIL THEFT.  Theft of miscellaneous items.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1641 HRS PYOTT RD. & OAK ST.  ACCIDENT.  Two Vehicles.  Property damage only.
1651 HRS 700 BLOCK OF MOHICAN TRAIL.  CUSTODY DISPUTE.  Custody dispute between Father and Son.
1937 HRS 600 BLOCK OF ANDERSON DR.  DOMESTIC.  Father vs. Son.  Verbal only.  No Priors.
Huntley
April 18
Cameron S. Evitts, age 23, of 8117 Leech Rd., Union, was arrested for driving while license suspended, display of expired registration, possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Regency Parkway. Mr. Evitts posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of May 6, 2016.
April 19
A theft report was taken at Huntley High School.  A student reported his cellphone stolen.
April 20
A criminal defacement report was taken at 11950 Ackman Rd., Tomaso Park.  Graffiti was found on a restroom wall.
A 15 year-old boy from Algonquin was charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor at Huntley High School.  The boy was released to his father and will attend peer jury.
April 21
A theft report was taken in the 11100 block of Church St.  A firearm was reported stolen.
April 23
A criminal damage to property report was taken in the 11700 block of Barberry Ln.  A garage door was damaged.
April 24
A theft report was taken in the 11800 block of Factory Shops Blvd.  A box of merchandise was reported stolen from a store.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Algonquin, LITH Boards Try To Get Right With Supemes On Signs

The Algonquin and Lake in the Hills Village Boards Tuesday wrestled with ways to regulate the proliferation of political signs without running afoul of a fairly recent Supreme Court ruling that said, essentially, that governments can't.  Algonquin ended up tabling its measure but LITH passed its group of amendments.

Both villages --and many others throughout the state--have ordinances governing when political campaign signs can be displayed and how big they can be.  Last June Supreme Court justices rendered a decidedly mixed verdict that most town attorneys interpreted to require ordinance rewrites.

Reed v. Town of Gilbert (AZ) wasn't even about political signs.  It involved temporary Sunday signs pointing the way to a church but  Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for a majority, said that while it's OK to regulate signs in general, differentiating among them by their purpose (e.g. directions or politics) was the same thing as doing so by their content and the First Amendment doesn't allow it.

"My head hurts," said Algonquin Trustee Jim Steigert and Village Attorney Kelly Cahill tried to explain what that meant. Well it might have since three other justices concurring with Thomas wrote their own separate opinions trying to explain what it meant in practical terms.

Algonquin's sign amendments didn't completely excise references to "political signs" but said signs in that class couldn't interfere with seeing traffic signs and lights or be on public right of way.  Max sizes for signs in general remained but because they were listed elsewhere, Trustee Jerry Glogowski wondered how residents were supposed to figure out that they applied to political signs, too.  That was the point at which Village President John Schmitt suggested holding off on further debate until Cahill could provide a summary of the Gilbert decision to help the Board  fine tune changes.

LITH's sign amendments struck out references to political (and construction) signs, period, limiting "yard signs" to a 6 by 4 foot maximum.  Those changes and some relating to window signs sailed through discussion and won final approval Tuesday.
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D300 Board OK's Plan To Overhaul District Websites

The D300 Board of Education Tuesday approved a proposal to overhaul the District's websites Tuesday.  Nominally the price will be $60,000 over the course of a three-year contract but with package deal discounts the actual cost works out to $42,000, according to
Communications Director Anthony McGinn.

That's considerably less than last year's spitball $100,000 estimate.  Indeed, "One proposal was for $110,000," McGinn said.  However a series of evaluations and tests winnowed proposals down to one from Washington, DC, based Blackboard, Inc., which already provides other digital services to the District.  "We talked with them for a long time," said McGinn.  "That's why it took so long but we wanted to save as much money for the taxpayers as we could."

The planned contract will beef up D300 general website security, regularize all of the individual school websites, rejigger everything so it works better on smartphones and tablet computers and move all the data from where it is in the current structure to where it goes in the new one.  McGinn said he hopes everything will be ready in a year.  "If we did this and nothing but this it would probably take six or seven months," said McGinn, "but I'm sure the administration will have other things for us to do, too."
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Chinese Company Buys Motorola White Elephant In Harvard

An unnamed Chinese company had the $9.3 million winning bid in an online auction for the former Motorola Inc. campus in Harvard, according to Village officials Tuesday.   Harvard Economic Development Corp. Director Charles Eldridge said the new buyer plans to use the 1.5 million square foot site as an "incubator" for other Chinese companies entering the U.S. market.

The price amounted to a little less than 10 cents against each dollar spent to build the ex-cellphone plant in 1996 and less than one third of the $30 million in incentives Illinois ponied up to keep it from being constructed in Wisconsin or some other nearby state.  The plant and 300 acre campus have been empty since 2003, a victim of changing technology, ordinary competition and what proved to be a spectacularly bad bet on satellite phones.

Under two different owners since, the Harvard campus has been the biggest white elephant in McHenry County for the past 13 years.  Under terms of the action, the deal isn't really done even yet.  The purchase money will be held in escrow until a closing planned next month, according to the auction house.  
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National Drug Take Back Set Saturday, Locally Available Any Time

The Algonquin and Huntley police departments and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office will all be taking part in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Drug Take Back Day Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Drop off locations are at the PD's and SO.  The event's to dispose of dry medications, however, not liquids and syringes.

DEA's been holding national Drug Take Back Days since 2010.  Locally, the need's been largely superseded for the past year by locked drug collection boxes available at local PD's, either 24/7 (Algonquin and LITH) or during regular business hours (Huntley).
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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 against whom a charge is dismissed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
April 26
0015 HRS 4200 BLOCK OF PEARTREE DR.  BURGLARY TO MOTOR VEHICLE.  BRIDGES, JUSTIN L., M/W 21 YEARS OF AGE, 3408 GREEN PASTURES RD., CARPENTERSVILLE.  CHARGES: Burglary to Motor Vehicle, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Unlawful Possession of Cannabis Under 2.5 Grams.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0223 HRS 4200 BLOCK OF PEARTREE DR.  CRIMINAL TRESPASS.  Complainant’s vehicles entered unlawfully and Two Counts of Criminal Trespass to Vehicle.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0826 HRS 3000 BLOCK OF BALDWIN LN.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Husband vs. Wife.  Four priors.  UNFOUNDED
1134 HRS 4511 W. ALGONQUIN RD. (CVS).  RETAIL THEFT.  Theft of unknown office supplies.
1811 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  HIT AND RUN.  Complainant’s vehicle struck by an unknown vehicle that fled.
1937 HRS 202 N. RANDALL RD. (VERIZON WIRELESS).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

$10 Million Vote For Randall Improvements Planned Next Tuesday

McHenry County officials confirmed this morning that $10 million worth of Randall Road right of way acquisition money will be on the agenda at next Tuesday's meeting of the County Board.  The measure was bumped from last week's County Board meeting so members could wrestle with settling an open meetings lawsuit.

County Administrator Peter Austin told FEN that next Tuesday's agenda hasn't been published yet but it will include the Randall right of way question.

Time's important since, although construction of the $97 million project to upgrade Randall Road between roughly Harnish Drive and Acorn lane isn't supposed to begin until next year, utility relocation is planned for this Summer.  "If there's a delay moving utilities to other locations it could certainly effect the timing of the project," Transportation Committee Chairman Anna May Miller told FEN.

When the $10 million question goes before the full County Board, it will carry a negative recommendation from the Committee where opponents earlier this month argued Randall was only a local problem for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills, not McHenry County in general.  A quick FEN check revealed, however, that from a revenue perspective, McHenry County has skin in the game, too.

The sales tax in both villages totals 7.75 percent.  The State keeps 5 percent of it and the municipalities get 1.75 percent but McHenry County (or in the case of the part of south Algonquin, Kane) gets .5 percent via its share of the State rate and its share of the Regional Transportation Authority tax.  (The rest of the RTA tax accounts for the remainder.)

From a property tax standpoint, McHenry County actually has more at stake than the villages.  The County tax rate's about 1.14 percent while Algonquin's is only around .70 and LITH's about .98.

A reportedly pending deal for a tenant at LITH's defunct Dominick's store and the outcome of next month's auction of the Caputo's store in Algonquin illustrate the importance of some sort of certainty about whether the Randall Improvement project is still on track.  "It's important to both the villages and to the County to keep these buildings occupied," Algonquin Village President John Schmitt told FEN.

In the pic:  Officials report a deal's more or less pending at LITH's former Dominick's store but the prospective new tenant wants to know what's going to happen to Randall Road.

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Buona Beef Begins Randall Construction

Since it's been almost seven months since the Village Board OK'ed it, passersby might well be excused for asking what all the big machines are doing all of a sudden on Randall Road between Buffalo Wild Wings and Algonquin State Bank.  They're starting construction of Buona Beef's 18th location.

The company opened a new store in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood last month and Algonquin's next on the list.  Buona Beef's on a tear to open four or five new locations in the region every year for the next five years.  The Algonquin store's expected to be finished late this Summer.
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Huntley Police Warn Against Aggregation Scammers

Huntley Police warned Monday of a new scam targeting residents.  Police said door-to-door salespeople from alternate energy providers have been telling people either that the Village’s electric aggregation program has expired or that they were representing a  new company providing power for the Village.  In fact, Huntley's aggregation program isn't set to run out until June of next year and Constellation Energy won the two-year power supply contract only a year ago.

Police said if there's ever any change to Huntley's aggregation program, company reps won't come to residents' doors.  They also reminded homeowners that if anyone shows up claiming to represent Huntley's natural gas program, there isn't one.
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Rauner Signs Higher Ed Bill, Calls It "First Step"

As expected, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Monday a bipartisan bill releasing $600 million to keep State colleges and universities open through the Summer.  In a statement, Rauner said the bill "doesn't solve our budget crisis or help our economy grow, but it does represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans."

The law not only provides money for universities, colleges, community colleges and the Illinois Math & Science Academy but also provides funds for Monetary Assistance Plan grants for low-income students.  The new funding, however, only amounts to partial payment of what the schools and scholarship programs expected to receive in fiscal 2016.

Heading toward the close of the tenth month without a State budget, according to Comptroller's estimates, Illinois is on track to spend $6.2 billion more than the $32 billion or so it will probably take in this fiscal year which ends July 1.  Two months ago the governor proposed a "maintenance" budget for fiscal '17 but even that was hedged with money-saving "transformations" most of which not only haven't happened but haven't even been discussed.

Rauner's said he won't negotiate with Democrats on tax increases unless they pass a list of economic and business reforms to grow the economy.  Democrats charge they're anti-union and amount to an attack on the middle class.
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Obituaries

Anita L. Mogdans, 67, of Algonquin died Saturday at Pepper Family Hospice Center in Barrington.  Visitation will be Thursday at the Schneider Leucht Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, Woodstock from 9 am until a funeral service at 11.  Interment will follow in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Woodstock.

Mogdans was born Apr. 17, 1949, in Chicago to Frank A. and Arretus D. West Boeckmann. Survivors include her son, David (Cindy) Mogdans of Algonquin; sisters, Kathryn Boeckmann of Machesney Park, and Elaine (Ronald) Frenk of Harvard; brother, Frank (Christine) Boeckmann of Crystal Lake, former husband, Karl Mogdans of Woodstock, and  three stepgrandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her parents.

Memorials may be made to JourneyCare Foundation, Glenview.

Genevieve E. Glynn, 98 of Huntley died Friday in Elgin following a lengthy illness.  Visitation will be today from 9 am until a 10 o'clock Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley.  Burial will be in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, Niles

Glynn was born Nov. 6, 1917, in Chicago, the daughter of Stanislaus and Agatha Wigdomski Nawiesniak. On Sept. 10, 1962, she married Peter Jaskowiak in Chicago. Following his death she married John Glynn.  She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Elsie S. Sterk
, 89 of Huntley, died peacefully Monday at her home.  Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 8 pm with a service at 7:30l at DeFiore Jorgensen Funeral Home, Huntley.

Sterk was born June 18, 1926, the daughter of Carl J. and Dorothy Enders Keller. On Nov. 30, 1942, she married Jack Sterk.  She is survived by her husband and grandchildren, Steve (Anita) Sterk, Cari (Scott) Braasch and Shannon Moose. She was preceded in death by her son, Jack Sterk, Jr.,and sisters and brothers, Ann, Carl, Dorothy Hank, Emily and Lydia.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Diabetes Association.
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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 against whom a charge is dismissed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
April 25
1739 HRS MILLER RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS.  MEMMINI, CHRISTOPHER J., M/W 24 YEARS OF AGE, 860 NOELLE BEND, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Unlawful Possession of Cannabis Between 2.5 and 10 Grams, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle and Expired Registration.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1914 HRS 1500 BLOCK OF ADAMS ST.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  OROZCO-TENORIO, ISIDRA. F/W 32 YEARS OF AGE, 1504 ADAMS ST., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts of Domestic Battery.  TRANSPORTED TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0857 HRS RANDALL RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1036 HRS 10 BLOCK OF OAK ST.  DOMESTIC.  Grandson vs. Grandparents.  Verbal only.  One Prior.
1506 HRS 100 BLOCK OF HICKORY RD.  LOST ARTICLE.  Complainant reported that his front license plate was missing.  ENTERED INTO LEADS.
2010 HRS 900 BLOCK OF WINDSTONE CT.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Husband vs. Wife.  No priors.  FAIL TO FILE.
2119 HRS 800 BLOCK OF BRANDT DR.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Father vs. Son. Five priors.  UNFOUNDED.
Huntley
April 11
A theft report was taken at an assisted living facility in the 12500 block of Regency Parkway.  Prescription medication was reported stolen.
April 12
An auto theft report was taken in a store parking lot in the 12300 block of Rt. 47.  The vehicle was left unlocked with the keys in the vehicle.  The vehicle was recovered later in the evening.
Christian J. Evans, age 22, of 5116 Fountain Ln., McHenry, was arrested on two counts of domestic battery in the 13700 block of Harmony Rd.  Mr. Evans was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond call.
April 13

Matthew A. Petersen, age 29, of 408 N. Locust St., Frankfort, was arrested for driving while license suspended, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle and use of an electronic device while driving near the intersection of Rt. 47 & Reed Rd.  Mr. Petersen posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of May 6, 2016.
Dominique Pierre Patrick, age 24, of 9358 Sunrise, Orland Park, was arrested for driving while license suspended, display of expired registration, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a suspended driver’s license.  Mr. Patrick posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of May 6, 2016.
A burglary report at a business in the 10400 block of Rt. 47 was reported.  Cash was stolen.
April 14
A theft report was taken in a parking lot of a business in the 9950 block of Rt. 47.  An unsecured bicycle was stolen from a bike rack.
April 15
A burglary from motor vehicle report was taken in the 10200 block of Cindy Jo.  A credit card was stolen from a vehicle that was parked in a residential driveway.
April 16
A theft report was taken in the 10500 block of Longfield Dr.  A Kayak was stolen from a backyard.
April 17
A theft of gas report was taken at a gas station on the 11200 block of Rt. 47.
A burglary to motor vehicle report was taken in the 10200 block of Cindy Jo.  Power tools were stolen out of a locked vehicle parked in a residential driveway.
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