Monday, March 30, 2015

Longmeadow Parkway: "Where Are These Signs Coming From?"

"Where are all these Stop Longmeadow Tollway signs coming from?" asked one area resident last week.   The simple answer is a group called Taxpayers Against Longmeadow Toll Bridge who've put up 400 of them and ordered another batch.   The more complicated answer involves why or, perhaps more to the point, why now?

The proposed 5.6 mile Longmeadow Parkway would run from Route 62 across the Fox River via a toll bridge south of Algonquin to Huntley Road.  The current cost is estimated at $97 million with about half the construction funding already lined up and 60 percent of the land already bought.  One way or another the idea's been around for about two decades and the Kane County Board OK'ed drawing up blueprints over 18 months ago.

"Nothing's really changed," said Kane County Boad Transportation Committee member Becky Gillam, Dundee.  "KDOT's just going ahead the way they have been," agreed fellow Transpo member T.R. Smith, Burlington.

Even so, the red signs started popping up in late February and two weeks ago opponents held an informational meeting in West Dundee.  Organizer Dave Reece of Algonquin told FEN there wasn't any particular trigger.  "We've been against this for 20 years," he told FEN.

Be that as it may, KDOT planners ran into unexpected criticism early in February during what was supposed to be a routine Longmeadow briefing for the Carpentersville Village Board.  Trustees Pat Schultz and Paul Humpfer both blasted the idea.  "Our residents are very tired," said Schultz.  "We can't afford to build the bridge."  Humpfer agreed.  "People in McHenry County will pay the toll," he said, "but it will be on our books in Kane County."

Schultz and Humpfer are two of three incumbents in a six-way race for Carpentersville trustee in the Consolidated Election next week.  Carpentersville's one of 10 local municipalities that have passed resolutions in favor of Longmeadow.

"It seems like every time there's an election, suddenly Longmeadow's an issue," observed Kane Board member Maggie Auger, Algonquin, whose opponent tried to blame her for it in last year's General Election.

If Carpentersville's not the answer, maybe it's Springfield.  New Governor Bruce Rauner said the State's finances are "horrible" and froze all "non-essential" spending.  Last week, even before the Legislature raided road funds for $350 million to keep everything else running, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen admitted to some degree of uncertainty about $40 million that the Illinois Department of Transportation's promised to help build Longmeadow.  Friday Lauzen told FEN that's just from reading the newspapers, not from any inside info.  "We have a letter of commitment from IDOT," he said, "and I have no reason to believe they won't honor it."

In the pic:  Opposition to the Longmeadow Parkway seems particularly strong along Carpentersville's Bolz Road where its eastern leg would be located.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
Longmeadow Parkway:  "Where Are These Signs Coming From?"
Lane Reductions Planned For IL 68 In East Dundee
Algonquin Spring Cleanup Pickups To Start Saturday
Budget Deal Cripples State Car Theft Task Forces
Police Blotters
No Increase For State Population, Another Drop In McHenry County
Semi Tipover Stalls Route 47 Traffic 4 Hours Near Huntley
Some Warming To Season Average Expected For Easter
Downtstate Marshall County Offers Deal On Bridge
McHenry County Indictments
Police Blotters
Public Ponders Details Of New State Budget Bandage
MCC Trustee Candidates Silent At Unexpected Question
Centegra Hospital Huntley Passes Halfway Mark
Comptroller Promises The Check Is On The Way
Obituaries
Police Blotters
McHenry County Makes Small Improvement In State Health Report
Algonquin, LITH Saturday Egg Hunts Will Call For Winter Garb
LITH Briefs Local Pilots On Summer Airport Construction Plans
Rauner Signs Budget Patch Bill After Thursday Senate Passage
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Huntley Man Charged With Murder After Beaten Wife Dies
Minor Earthquake Shakes LITH, Surrounding Area
Fire Drives Couple From Algonquin Home
Vote On State Budget Stopgap Planned Today
Obituaries
Police Blotters
State House Passes Stopgap Budget Fix, Senate May Be Tougher
Huntley Creates Webpage For Downtown Work Updates
Huntley Concrete Contractor Indicted For Tax, Main Fraud
LITH Board Considers Airport Zoning, 2015 Water Main Replacement
Police Blotters

Lane Reductions Planned For IL 68 In East Dundee

Road construction's getting underway again.  Lane closures were scheduled to begin today on Route 68 in East Dundee for resurfacing road work.  Multiple lane closures during daytime hours are planned between Main Street and Prairie Lake Road, the 1.25 mile stretch of two-lane reduced to a single lane with flaggers.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has other lane reductions planned for 68 in Barrington Hills, Inverness and Palatine between Route 59 (Hawthorne Road) and US 12 (Rand Road).

Algonquin Spring Cleanup Pickups To Start Saturday

Saturday will mark the start of Algonquin's April Spring Cleanup for single-family residences and townhomes that receive Village residential refuse and recycling services.  Special no-sticker pickups are scheduled Saturday for homes east of Hanson Road and Highlands Subdivision followed by a second one April 11 for homes west of Hanson.

The program's designed to encourage residents to reduce fire hazards and “spruce up” their neighborhoods by getting rid of stuff like toys, old clothes, couches, beds, dressers, grills, and patio furniture. Not included junk like auto parts, landscape waste, "white" appliances, and construction materials.  Everything's supposed to be at curbside by 7 am on the cleanup dates.

Budget Deal Cripples State Car Theft Task Forces

Illinois stolen vehicle task forces will be another victim of legislation to use special purpose money to patch the State budget long enough to last until July 1.  The General Assembly approved a measure last week that sweeps more than $1 billion  into the state's general fund, including $6 million from a $1-per-policy car insurance fee to fund police teams dedicated to car theft investigations.

 "We have 21 years of success and no direction on how to shut it down," Gary Brewer the director of one told the Springfield State Journal Register. "You have to preserve all the evidence; you have to preserve all the reports. How are you going to do that without spending any money?"

Illinois motor vehicle thefts have dropped 73 percent since 1991, when the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act passed even though the number of vehicles has increased about 25 percent. The Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council which distributes the money from the insurance fee claims the decrease has saved more than $320 million in property losses.

"When you get the domino effect of these task forces shutting down, that's going to push all these reports back into agencies that may not have the time, training or experience to investigate these fully," said Bartonville Police Chief Brian Fengel, one of the Council's directors .  "They can be complex investigations, and they will be back on municipalities and small departments."

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
March 29
0706 HRS 600 BLOCK OF JOSEPH CT.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  DURON-MARTINEZ, ALONSO D., M/W 25 YEARS OF AGE, 636 JOSEPH ST., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts of Domestic Battery.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0914 HRS 481 N. RANDALL RD.  (ACE HARDWARE).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
Algonquin
March 28
23:59pm Dockery, Kay F., DOB: 10/30/1940, of 269 Torino Dr., Cary, was charged with DUI. She was taken into custody at Harrison St. and Beachway Dr.  She was released after posting bond with a court date of 05/06/2015 in McHenry County.
March 29
12:16am Perez-Lagunes, Julio C., DOB: 11/21/1982, of 296 E. Crystal Lake Ave, Crystal Lake, was charged with DUI, Transportation of Alcohol, Improper Lane Usage, and Improper Passing.  He was taken into custody at RT 31 and Three Oaks Rd.  He was released after posting bond with a court date of 05/06/2015 in McHenry County.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

No Increase For State Population, Another Drop in McHenry County

The U.S. Census Bureau this week announced the state of Illinois had essentially no population growth in 2014 while McHenry County probably lost a little more ground.  According to the latest census estimates, the entire state only gained 28 new residents last year but McHenry County lost 84.

According to estimators, while there were more than 10 million more people in the U.S. in 2014 than in 2010, only 50,000 of them decided to live in Illinois.  In the meantime, 1,477 of the 308,760 residents census takers found in McHenry County in 2010 went somewhere else, according to census estimators.

McHenry County's by no means the only one in Illinois to lose population since 2010 --most downstate counties except for Champaign have been losing residents-- but it's the only one among the collar counties where it's happened.  In fact, the metropolitan division that includes McHenry County has grown by about 81,000 people since 2010, according to the latest report.

How reliable are the estimates?  Pretty close, say Census analysts who started with the number of people actually found in 2010, added births, subtracted deaths, then adjusted for in- and out-migration based on income tax filings and Medicare enrollments.

According to the latest projections U.S. population totaled 318,857,056 last  year.  Illinois' was 12,880,580.  McHenry County's was 307,283.  Municipal estimates for 2014 aren't expected to be released until late May.

Semi Tipover Stalls Route 47 Traffic 4 Hours Near Huntley

A semi-tractor trailer accident Saturday closed Route 47 north of Huntley from Conley to North Union roads for most of Saturday afternoon.  The semi tipped off the highway taking out a power pole at about 1:30 pm.  Authorities thought it would only take a couple of hours to clear things up but Sheriff's deputies didn't reopen 47 to traffic until about 5:30.  The driver, whose name wasn't released, suffered only minor injuries, according to police.

Some Warming To Season Average Expected For Easter

As if Saturday wasn't cold enough, a cold front today was expected to drag temps down even further but the outlook for the coming week was better.  National Weather Service weathermen predicted temps in the high 50's and low 60's, albeit with at least the chance of more rain Monday night and possibly again midweek.  All of that's about normal for this time of year, according to meteorologists.

In the pic:  It was only about 29 degrees at Saturday morning's Easter Egg Hunt in Presidential Park in Algonquin.

Downstate Marshall County Offers Deal On Bridge

Conman George Parker's long gone so the Brooklyn Bridge isn't for sale anymore. There's still a chance to buy downstate Marshall County's Crow Creek bridge, though.  Cheap.  All the buyer has to do is take it away by June 1.

The Peoria Journal Star this weekend reported sealed bids will be accepted through April 8 on the 1932 steel pony truss (no top cross braces) bridge in the unincorporated community of Wilbern.  The 80-foot bridge washed out in 2013's flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency wants to replace it with a modern one so the old one's for sale. 

“Two parties have spoken to me,” said Marshall County Engineer Patrick Sloan. “I’m not sure exactly what they’re going to do with it.” 

It's one of the last of the old-time truss bridges, built when civil engineers were in the midst of deciding that beam structures were a better choice.  Marshall County doesn't need to keep the Wilbern bridge for historical purposes since a prior county engineer already preserved a similar one. 

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.

MARCOS A. RIOS, DOB:  08/07/1976, 272 PLYMOUTH LANE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL SEXUAL ABUSE. --Crystal Lake PD
   
SEAN O. ALLEN, DOB:  03/25/1976, 133 N. BRITTANY LANE, HAINESVILLE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.  CARRIE S. HOFFMAN, DOB:  01/29/1985, 1102 FRONT STREET, MCHENRY.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office.
   
LAURA B. HYLAND, DOB:  11/12/1967, 1463 BUTTERNUT DRIVE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office
   
BILLY W. MCELYEA, JR., DOB:  07/26/1987, 10520 COMMERCIAL STREET, RICHMOND.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office

JACOB T. AMATI, DOB:  08/22/1994, 812 ROBERT ROAD, WOODSTOCK.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (TWO COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (THREE COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office

CIARA M. NIEMEYER, DOB:  08/22/1995, 6420 GIANT OAKS ROAD, WONDER LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (TWO COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (TWO COUNTS).  MARQUIS J. WIMBERLY, DOB:  11/12/1996, 6420 GIANT OAKS ROAD, WONDER LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (TWO COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (TWO COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office
   
BRYAN S. BELKE, DOB:  06/21/1994, 677 MONTEREY DRIVE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF HYPODERMIC SYRINGE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS. --Crystal Lake PD
   
JONATHAN E. HARDEN, DOB:  02/01/1992, 690 SUSSEX LANE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS WITH INTENT TO DELIVER, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --Crystal Lake PD

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
March 28
1606 HRS 250 N. RANDALL RD. (COSTCO). DRIVING WITH NO VALIDDRIVERS LICENSE.  BUTANDA-RAMIREZ, IMELDA, F/W 42 YEAR OF AGE, 2108 TEPEE AVE., CARPENTERSVILLE.  CHARGES: Driving With No Valid Driver’s License and Unlawful Use of an Electronic Communication Device. RELEASED ON BOND.
0830 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HILLY LN. FOLLOW-UP ARREST: UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.  JUVENILE M/W 17 YEARS OF AGE,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  RELEASED TO PARENT.
0047 HRS 1212 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (POA).  ASSAULT.  Male subject attempted to strike female subject with his vehicle.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
1656 HRS RANDALL RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1924 HRS RANDALL RD. & MILLER RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Public Ponders Details Of New State Budget Bandage

Used tires by the side of the road may stay there a while longer.  The tax that would have paid to get rid of them was part of the $1.3 billion in special funds the Legislature raided Thursday to keep the State running until the end of June.  There were other surprises Friday as people began to comb through 399 pages of statutes to find out what the General Assembly has wrought.

What was billed as a 2.25 percent across the board cut for most state spending, for instance, turns out to be not quite that simple.  Many appropriations were, indeed, slashed by that amount, some were cut less.  A quick FEN scan found  IDOT's Department of Aeronautics, for example, saw a mere .04 percent cut. Meanwhile, a group of human rights programs got a 5 percent increase and the Illinois Firefighter's Memorial received an extra $200,000, a 100 percent boost from its original budget.

Reductions in aid to education were the most confusing.  General State Aid to the state's more than 800 school districts was chopped down the advertised 2.25 percent, adding up to about $97 million.  However, a number of other education programs suffered about $50 million in additional cuts.  Against all that, there's potentially $97 million the State Board of Education can tip back in to keep the neediest districts afloat.

What that all adds up to is anyone's guess since most school district administrators were off on Spring Break this week.  D300 Superintendent Fred Heid told FEN Friday he thought his district stood to lose $950,000 in State funds.  "I'm disappointed in the manner in which the State continues to erode funding for public education," he said. "It is even more disappointing that this one's on the heels of our new governor's promise to fully fund schools," said Heid.

Compounding confusion, the education cuts aren't just from now until the end of the school year but, rather, since last July.  Because nine months of the school year have already passed, districts will have to figure out how to, in effect, cut 10 percent from their next three months' spending or eat the difference.  D158 Board of Education President Don Drzal told FEN a lot will depend on how the State Board of Education interprets the new legislation.

The new budget deal frees up $226 million for a subsidized child care program, $117 million to meet payrolls at Illinois prisons $17 million to pay the the benefits and salaries of court reporters and $27 million for mental health service grants.

In the pic:  These old skins were tossed out near Kreutzer and Huntley/Dundee roads.

MCC Trustee Candidates Silent At Unexpected Question

There was an awkward moment during a McHenry County College Trustee Candidates Forum this week when moderator Barbara Mullikan tossed in her own question in the midst of prepared ones:  "What's the tuition at MCC?" she asked out of both apparent  curiousity and left field.  No one on stage answered her.

It wasn't clear who was supposed to.  Nevertheless, incumbents Board President Ron Parrish and recently-appointed Trustee Mike Smith, along with former Trustee Scott Summers all remained mum.  Hopeful Karen Tirio finally spoke up saying, whatever it was, "the tuition was just raised but I don't see any added value."  Finally, the other hopeful, Matthew Hardt, a Crystal Lake shop teacher, told Mullikan  "It's $105 per hour."  In fact, that's what it used to be, including a technically separate $9 per hour "technology fee".

MCC tuition's $101 per hour starting this Summer or $110 counting the tech fee.  Parrish didn't correct Hardt but said that last month's $5 per hour increase came at the request of MCC students themselves.

Candidate Jeffrey Hill didn't appear at the event, sponsored by the McHenry County League of Women Voters. Neither did much of an audience.  Only about two dozen people were in attendance.

Candidates who did show up all seemed in broad agreement that there probably wasn't much need to build new MCC facilities. Tirio said current space was used badly.  Parrish said the college just commissioned a study to use it better.  Summers seemed to favor more online offerings and possibly classes off-campus at local high schools.

Tirio charged student course completion rates were "dismal" but Hardt said, "You only have to work with what shows up at your door."  Summers suggested maybe someone could set up a program of volunteer mentors to help.

In the pic: (from left)  MCC trustee candidates Matthew Hardt, Ron Parris, Michael Smith, Scott Summers and Karen Tirio

Centegra Hospital Huntley Passes Halfway Mark

Centegra Health Systems announced this week that its the new Huntley hospital has passed the halfway mark toward project completion.  Centegra spokeswoman Michelle Green recently said Centegra Hospital-Huntley is on time to open in late summer 2016. The 128-bed hospital will provide acute medical care including intensive care, medical-surgical nursing, a labor and delivery unit and a Level 2 trauma center.

Last month Huntley Centegra Hospital workers celebrated 235 days on the job without a lost-time accident and more than 220,000 man hours of completed work on the new hospital. Green said Centegra Huntley will be only the second really new (as opposed to a replacement) hospital built in Illinois in the last 30 years.

Comptroller Promises The Check Is On The Way

Illinois' comptroller said Friday she plans to expedite payments to child care providers who have gone weeks without promised state funds.  A spokesman for Republican Leslie Munger said, "Many of them have actually gone more than six weeks without their promised state payment."

Child care was one of a number of state programs and agencies facing possible shutdowns because of a $1.6 billion hole in the state's budget that lawmakers patched this week.  The program never shut down; Illinois just stopped paying.  The state child care program needed another $300 million to catch up and keeping going through June.  "We're getting these things out ASAP - as soon as possible," said spokesman Rich Carter.

In the pic:  Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger

Obituaries

Angel Warda, 72,  of Lake In The Hills, died Thursday at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin.  A Memorial Gathering will be held on Tuesday from 4 to 8 pm with a Service of Remembrance at 7:30 at the DeFiore-Jorgensen Funeral & Cremation Service, Huntley.

Warda was born Jan. 25, 1943, in Tehran, Iran, the daughter of Kambar and Lydia (Yokhanan) Odisho.   She married Phillip Warda on Feb. 1, 1964, in Chicago.   She is survived by her husband; children, Lisa (Curt) Moser of Lake In The Hills, Jenna (Brian) Carey of Huntley and Tiffany St. Pierre of Algonquin; grandchildren, Lauren, Tyler and A.J.; her mother, Lydia Odisho, and half-brother, Yora Khamo and her half-sister, Ann Khamo, all of Los Angeles. She was preceded in death by her father and her brother, Anver.

Peter George Simatos
, 72, of Algonquin died Monday at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates.  His family will host an open house to celebrate his life Sunday from 2 to 6 pm. at Ki Martial Arts, 1487 South Randall Rd., Algonquin.

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
March 27
0311 HRS 220 N. RANDALL RD. (MORETTI’S).  CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.  ARROYO, BRANDON T., M/W 21 YEARS OF AGE, 11 WRIGHT CT., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Criminal Damage to Property over $300.  TRANSPORTED TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0353 HRS 220 N. RANDALL RD.  (MORETTI’S).  BATTERY.  Male vs. Male.  FAIL TO FILE.
1039 HRS 200 BLOCK OF APACHE TRAIL.  IDENTITY THEFT.  Complainant’s Social Security number was compromised.
1226 HRS 3200 BLOCK OF RONAN DR.  SUICIDAL SUBJECT.  Female, 44 years of age, made suicidal statements.  Transported to Woodstock Hospital.
1335 HRS LAKEWOOD RD. & ACKMAN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
1826 HRS 00 BLOCK OF CARL CT.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  Husband vs. Wife.  No priors.  FAIL TO FILE.
1834 HRS 343 N. RANDALL RD. (STARBUCKS).  ACCIDENT.  Delayed.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.

Friday, March 27, 2015

McHenry County Makes Small Improvement In State Health Report

McHenry County crept up a notch in the latest annual County Health Rankings released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Ranked as having Illinois' 14th healthiest residents in last year's report, McHenry County placed 13th this year.  Neighboring Kane County vaulted from 9th to 5th, according to the report.

McHenry County was 23 percent better than the Illinois average for years of life lost to premature deaths, two percentage points better than average for the number of residents in only poor or fair health, 10 percent better than average for days of poor physical health, the same as average for poor mental health days and 17 percent better than the rest of the state for low birthweight babies.

Factors pulling the county's ranking down were 17 percent more smokers than the state average, 4 percent more obese people, 5 percent more "excessive" drinkers, 11 percent more people than average who drive to work alone and 25 percent more than average who drive long commutes. 

New to the report this year was a measure of income inequality as an influence on health.  McHenry County has 23 percent less of it than the state average, according to the Foundation's reckoning.   McHenry County ranked as the fourth healthiest in Illinois in 2011's outcomes report.

The Illinois portion of the report is located here: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/illinois/2015/overview

Algonquin, LITH Saturday Egg Hunts Will Call For Winter Garb

Last year's Easter egg hunts were brisk but the ones Saturday are likely to be downright chilly so moms and dads are advised to dress their little snugglebunnies warmly and maybe don a heavy jacket themselves.  Temps will probably only be in the high 20's at 6 am when the Lake in the Hills egg hunt's scheduled and not much more at 10 when Algonquin's will occur.

Algonquin's featuring 10,000 plastic eggs for kids through 12 years old will be at Presidential Park on the East Side.  LITH's hunt for kids through age 8 will move to a new site this year, relocating to LITH's Village Hall's greensward.

Huntley Park District's egg hunt won't be until next Saturday.  It'll start then at 10 am at Deicke Park

LITH Briefs Local Pilots On Summer Airport Construction Plans

Lake in the Hills officials held an open house at LITH Airport Friday to brief fliers on this year's Federal Aviation Administration safety upgrade projects.  This Summer will see the extension of the airport's relocated taxiway all the way to the end of the runway.

Phase II will complete the work begun three years ago when the west portion of the parallel taxiway was relocated because it was too close to the runway for FAA standards.  The taxiway extension will require relocation of four hangars and demolition of the current Airport Administration building.  Coming construction will occasionally impact air traffic at 3-CK, the Airport's official designation, this Summer but officials said the only thing residents are likely notice is the occasional absence of small aircraft sounds.

In the pic: LITH's airport consultants briefed local pilots on construction planned at Lake in the Hills Airport this Summer.

Rauner Signs Budget Patch Bill After Thursday Senate Passage

New Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday signed a $1.6 billion patch for the current State budget only hours after the Democratic-dominated Senate approved it 32-26. All 20 Republicans voting for it only two days after House approval with similar full GOP support.

The legislations gives Rauner the power to "sweep" $1.3 billion from special purpose funds, including as much as $350 million from roads, to plug holes in the budget. The rest of the money to fill the gap would come from a 2.25 percent cut to most state programs, including schools.  The measure's supposed to provide enough money to run the State's low-income subsidized daycare program until the end of June and prevent crippling layoffs in Illinois' circuit courts and prisons.

Thursday's stopgap was the first big test to see whether the State's government, fractious at the best of times, can function at all with a Republican governor and Democratic legislature.  Only 12 of the 39 Senate Democratic caucus members voted for the measure.

"As promised, we are eliminating a $1.6 billion deficit without borrowing or increasing taxes on hard-working Illinois families," Rauner said in a self-congratulatory statement.

House Speaker Mike Madigan warned everyone not to get too happy.  "There will be much more work and more decisions in the months ahead as legislators and the governor work to craft a responsible budget for the coming fiscal year," he said.

Obituaries

Frances Monica Golec, 68, of Soddy Daisy, TN, formerly of Lake in The Hills, died Sunday.  Visitation will be held this Sunday  from 4 to 8 pm at Wait Ross Allanson Funeral & Cremation Services Chapel, Algonquin and Monday from 9 am until at 10 am Mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Crystal Lake. Burial will follow at Windridge Memorial Park, Cary.

Golec is survived by her husband of 48 years, Ronald V. Golec; daughters, Sandra Gamino, Veronica Janes and Barbara Golec; sons, Ronald (Shirley) Golec and Raymond Golec, and 16 grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Amy Sue.

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
March 26
1652 HRS ACKMAN RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  ANTONON-STEVENSON, JENNIFER, F/W 44 YEARS OF AGE, 4022 MEANDERING WAY, CRYSTAL LAKE.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Greater than .08, Improper Turn Signal, and Disobeying a Stop Sign.
0751 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF SWEETWATER RIDGE.  AMBULANCE ASSIST.  Male, Six months old, possibly having a seizure.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
0830 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HILLY LN.  DRUG INVESTIGATION.  Drug Paraphernalia turned in to the Police Department.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
2152 HRS 100 BLOCK OF BRIDLEWOOD CIRCLE.  MISSING PERSON.  Adult male reported missing and endangered.  Entered into LEADS.
Algonquin
March 23
14:41pm Zimberoff, Dawn M., DOB: 08/23/1964, of 1615 Knoll Ave., McHenry, was charged with Retail Theft. She was taken into custody at Caputo’s.  She was issued a Notice to Appear with a court date of 4/29/2015 in Algonquin.
20:09pm Clark, Ian P., DOB: 05/08/1980, of 471 Winding Canyon Way, was arrested on warrants out of Kane county Sheriff and Barrington Hills PD for Failure to Appear, Driving with License Suspended.  He was taken into custody at 471 winding Canyon Way.  He was unable to post bond and was transported to the McHenry County Jail.
21:19pm Kivisto, Marcus A., DOB: 03/29/1986, of 1069 Horizon Ridge, Lake in the Hills, was charged with DUI, Failure to Reduce Speed and Improper Entry/Exit to Controlled Access. He was taken into custody at Randall Rd and Bunker Hill Dr.  He was released after posting bond, with a court date of 04/29/2015, in McHenry County.
March 24
17:40pm Mesa, Jose, DOB: 01/27/1973, of 243 Short St., Cary, was charged with No Valid Driver’s License.  He was taken into custody at 20 S. Randall Rd.  He was released after posting bond with a court date of 04/29/2015 in McHenry County.
20:05pm Schofer, Marissa N., DOB: 07/23/1989, of 132 Washington Ave., LaGrange, was charged with Retail Theft.  She was taken into custody at 150 E. Algonquin Rd.  She was transported to the McHenry County jail to await bond court.
March 25
18:03pm Wouters, Denise A., DOB: 11/22/1954, of 230 First St., Crystal Lake, was charged with Retail Theft.  She was taken into custody at 734 S. Randall Rd.  She was released after posting bond with a court date of 04/29/15 in McHenry County.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Huntley Man Charged With Murder After Beaten Wife Dies

A Huntley man remains in McHenry County Jail this morning awaiting $5 million bond against a charge Wednesday of First Degree Murder after his wife's death at Centegra Hospital-Woodstock.  Edward E. Hartgraves,  64, of 10505 Longfield Drive, had already been charged with four different counts of domestic battery for the beating of 63 year-old Carol S. Hartgraves Friday.

The Hartgraves couple had only moved to Huntley from Schaumburg about two months ago, according to police, who said only weeks later they were called to the home to arrest Edward Hartgraves for violating a Cook County order of protection.  Deputy Chief Mike Klunk said when HPD officers arrived again early Friday evening they found Carol Hartgraves bleeding and disoriented.  Centegra physicians had to stitch up a cut on her chin and treat her for a broken forearm, Klunk said.

Edward Hartgraves had been released from custody after posting bond on the domestic battery charges but police re-arrested him Tuesday after his wife's unexpected death Monday.

McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski performed an autopsy Tuesday but told FEN results would be withheld while authorities were still conducting an investigation.   There's been no response yet to an inquiry to the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office about the cause of her death.

Klunk said there's been at least one domestic incident before the couple moved to Huntley.  He said in which Edward Hartgraves was arrested for battery last November.

In the pic:  Edward E. Hartgraves

Minor Earthquake Shakes LITH, Surrounding Area

A minor earthquake struck the area in Lake in the Hills shortly after 6 pm Wednesday.   The 2.9 magnitude on the Richter scale quake struck smack in the middle of the Boulder Ridge Golf Club north of Algonquin Road but six miles beneath it, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report.

Local police said there were no injuries or damage reported from the quake.  Some people said they heard a loud booming sound while others described tremors that felt like a heavy truck driving by.  USGS geophysicists said reverberations could be felt in Woodstock and Elgin.  According to experts, 2.9 is a pretty run of the mill kind of quake with around a million in the same range recorded each year worldwide.

Wednesday's quake was about 10 times weaker than one which struck the area near Gilberts five years ago.

Fire Drives Couple From Algonquin Home

An Algonquin couple were trying to repair their home Wednesday after an early morning fire made it uninhabitable.  Algonquin Lake in the Hills firefighters were called to the house at 1440 Braewood Drive shortly after 2:30 am but said the fire was already well-advanced.   They put out the fire which started in a second floor bathroom in less than 20 minutes but ALFPD investigators still haven't determined what caused the blaze.  Officials said no one was injured and the home was equipped with working smoke alarms.

Vote On State Budget Stopgap Planned Today

Illinois State senators are expected to vote today on whether to approve a plan to plug a $1.6 billion vote in the current state budget.   Senate President John Cullerton said he expects Senate Republicans to provide the bulk of the votes to pass the bill.  Cullerton said his Democrats are "still working on finding out who is supportive of the bill."

The plan to stave off court and prison cutbacks calls for cutting 2.25 percent from most state programs and taking $1.3 billion from dozens of special state accounts. However, it also calls for raiding $250 million in the State's highway construction fund and another $50 million from the motor fuel tax fund.  A group of business and labor interests called The Transportation for Illinois Coalition, opposes that.   "Every dollar in the road fund is needed for maintenance and repair of our existing highway, road and bridge system," the coalition said in a prepared statement.

Time's running short to shore up this year's State budget which was passed last year on the assumption legislators would extend high temporary State income tax rates which, in fact, expired Jan 1.  The General Assembly's scheduled to begin a two-week break after the end of today's session.

Obituaries

Thomas M. Stock, 55, of  Lake in the Hills died  Monday from cancer.  Visitation will Monday  from 3 to 8 pm at St. Mary's Church, Huntley, and Tuesday there from 9:30 am until a 10:30 Mass of Christian Burial.

Stock was born Nov. 28, 1959, in Libertyville, the son of William and Isabella (Welch) Stock.  He was a volunteer in many area community organizations and grous.  He is survived by his wife of 30 years,  Julie Ann (O'Malley); children Caitlin (Jon) Thorton, Jillian Stock and Daniel Stock, and brothers, William and Richard Stock.  He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Herbert Stock.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Stock Children's Educational Fund, c/o Chase Bank, Algonquin.

Alfred P. Wu, 71, of Sun City, Huntley, died suddenly Saturday.  Funeral services will be private.

Lynda Brewer, 73, of Huntley, died Tuesday after an extended illness. Visitation and services will be for her immediate family.

Brewer was born in 1942 in Springfield, the daughter of Albert Pierard and Leah Pierard (Hill).  She married Allan Brewer in 1960.   She is survived by her sons, Mark (Linda), of Parma, OH, Kevin (Amy), of Decatur, and Colin (Geri), of River Grove; six grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by two sisters, Eileen Favero (Rudy) and the Joyce Pierard.

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
March 25
0948 HRS 1109 CRYSTAL LAKE RD. (SAFETY EDUCATION CENTER).  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  LANDEROZ, CHRISTOPHER M/W 24 YEARS OF AGE, 1504 CLAYTON MARSH DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended and No Valid Insurance.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0440 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  CHECK FOR WELL BEING.  Elderly female found disoriented.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
1503 HRS RAKOW RD. & VIRGINIA RD.  ACCIDENT. Two vehicles. Property damage only.
1946 HRS 00 BLOCK OF CYPRESS CT.  IDENTITY THEFT.  Complainant’s social security number was compromised.  PENDING INVESTIGATION BY REPORTING OFFICER.
2054 HRS CRYSTAL LAKE RD. & ALGONQUIN RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2208 HRS 800 BLOCK OF MENOMINEE DR.  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Male, 18 months of age, trouble breathing.  Transported to Good Shepherd Hospital.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

State House Passes Stopgap Budget Fix, Senate May Be Tougher

The Illinois House Tuesday rushed through a plan to fill a $1.6 billion hole in the current State budget, including across-the-board cuts to most State programs.   The pair of bills to forestall looming layoffs in the State's court and prison systems is expected to face stiffer opposition in the Senate while the clock is ticks toward a Friday General Assembly adjournment.

"We are in a crisis in the state of Illinois, " was the way House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie summed up the state of affairs." We are in an emergency.” Court reporters in some parts of the state have been furloughed because State money to pay them is running out and money to pay prison guards is almost gone.  A subsidized day care program to help the poor ran out of money two months ago.  Even so, the “no” votes on both bills all came from Democrats who said they feared job losses from decreased road funding.  House Republicans all voted for the measures except for one who was absent.

Taken together, the bills call for shifting $1.3 billion from special State funds to cover spending shortfalls in other parts of the budget and cutting spending 2.25 percent almost across the board.  That would include a $150 million decrease for education offset by $97 million to dole out to school districts, in Currie's words,  “at the absolute brink of financial disaster.”  Some parts of the budget wouldn't remain untouched, though. Pensions, State employee health care and programs to aid the mentally ill, developmentally disabled and autistic children would escape. Also left intact would be the share of State income tax money that goes to cities and other local governments.   Spending cuts left over would amount to more than they sound since there's only three months left to run in the State's current budget.  Among the funds taking the biggest hits are several dedicated to road construction which stand to lose a combined $350 million

The conjoined bills came from the hand of  House Speaker Mike Madigan who slid them under a pair of existing titles Monday night.  “This is not a perfect bill. It is not a perfect solution," he said. "It responds to the governor’s request,” Madigan said, referring to Governor Bruce Rauner's call for emergency powers to move around money in the budget.  A spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton who's been hectoring the Governor about a fix for weeks would only say Tuesday that he'd meet with the Democratic caucus today to count heads in support.

Handicappers are betting Republicans will have to provide the edge to pass the measures in the Senate, too.  "Leader Radogno clearly recognizes we have to clean up the mess that was left behind by Gov. Quinn, and she will be working to secure as many votes as possible," said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno of Lemont.  "We recognize it's a one-time, emergency solution," she said.

Huntley Creates Webpage For Downtown Work Updates

The Village of Huntley lit up a special webpage Tuesday to keep residents abreast of construction on Downtown projects planned this year and published a general timeline for each one.  The website's located here:  http://www.huntley.il.us/DowntownUpdates2015.htm

The timeline runs like this:
Underground Utilities – Now through the end of May. Work consists of replacing water main along with new service connections and installing new or replacing or lining old sanitary sewers and manholes.
Municipal Parking Lot Improvements – April through the end of May. Work will involve paving, curb and gutter, storm sewer, brick pavers, sidewalk, and landscaping in the municipal parking lot between the railroad tracks and the new retail building on Main Street and work on Main between the parking lot and Woodstock Street.
Overhead Utility Relocation and Burial – April through the end of June. Work consists of underground trenching and conduit installation for ComEd, Comcast, and AT&T to install underground lines and new electric service at several locations properties along Main and Coral Streets. Overhead lines will be removed and buried in the area from Route 47 east along Main Street and Coral Street to Church Street.
Streetscape Improvements – May through the end of October. Work will include additional parking south of Main Street and street and drainage upgrades, pedestrian lighting, widened sidewalks, landscaping, and other enhancements to Main, Coral, Woodstock, and Church streets.

On the water and sanitary sewer work, Village officials said residents and businesses that will experience temporary disruptions, 4 to 8 hours for water and to 8 to 12 for the sewers. Affected residences and businesses will be notified via flyer 24 to 48 hours prior to the disruptions, they said.

In the pic:  Wayfinding signs like this one will be part of Huntley's Downtown Streetscape project due for completion this Fall.

Huntley Concrete Contractor Indicted For Tax, Mail Fraud

A federal grand jury indicted a Huntley concrete contractor Tuesday for failing to collect Social Security and Medicaid taxes, mail fraud, causing false pension reports and obstructing the IRS.  Thomas Manning, 58, president of T. Manning Concrete will be arraigned in Rockford next week.

According to the indictment, starting nine years ago, Manning devised a scheme to defraud the union pension plans of the masons and laborers at his company by underreporting the number of hours they worked, while keeping them happy with off the books payments.  Prosecutors claim he skipped $600,000 in FICA taxes on what they called “under the table” wages.

Five years ago a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago ordered Manning's company to pay the union benefit funds $6 million.  If Manning were convicted for all of Tuesday's charges he could face up to 225 years in prison and about $4 million in fines.

In the pic:  The former Route 47 Manning Concrete headquarters in Huntley are available for lease
.

LITH Board Considers Airport Zoning, 2015 Water Main Replacement

The Lake in the Hills Board did a little zoning work Tuesday passing along measures for a formal Thursday vote to update the Village's zoning map and cede hazard zoning around LITH Airport to State regulators.

The zoning map changes reflect projects the Board's already approved like the gas station/convenience store planned on Algonquin Road at Harvest Gate this Summer.  Scratched, however, was the one to change the former Crystal Highlands golf course at Ackman and Swanson roads into a Crystal Lake Park District recreation center.  The District failed to close on the property within LITH's time window so the whole process will have to be repeated.

Turning Airport Hazard Zoning over to the Illinois Department of Transportation would put LITH more in line with other municipalities.  LITH's one of only five left who still have their own regulations about the height of structures, equipment and vegetation close to an airport.  Public Works Director Fred Mullard said LITH's regs are "practically identical" to the State's but right now the Village is on the legal hook if anyone challenges them.  If the State takes over enforcement, it's their problem while the Village would still have zoning "input".

Separately, trustees gave an initial thumbs up to a $1.25 million contract for this year's water main replacement project.  New mains this year will go in on Clayton Marsh Drive and Washington, Monroe, Adams and Jefferson streets, all from McKinley Street to Roosevelt Street, and Roosevelt from Clayton Marsh to Jefferson.

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
March 24
1455 HRS 300 BLOCK PLUM ST.  FOUND ARTICLE.  Ammunition was turned in.
1553 HRS 9114 VIRGINIA RD. (COLLISION EQUIPMENT EXPERTS).  THEFT.  Of U.S. currency.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

D300 Wins In Proposed School Reform Bill, D158 Shortchanged

The State Board of Education Monday estimated the financial impact of the main Aid to Schools reform bill pending in the Legislature.  District 300 schools stand to gain about $2 million over the figure two years ago but neighboring District 158 would lose $1.7 million under the proposal known as SB1.  That's without any extra money, though.

ISBE also figured the impact with an extra $500 million which the Bill's sponsor, Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar, said would be required to make it work.  With an additional half billion in aid to K-12 education, D300 would receive $7 million more aid than two years ago and D158 would get an extra $355,000.

Governor Bruce Rauner in his budget address last month called for only $300 in extra school funding.  ISBE didn't provide any figures for that.

Since Monday was the start of Spring Break a lot of  school officials around the state haven't even seen the report yet.  D300 Superintendent Fred Heid was one of those but said he was somewhat dubious, anyway.  "Essentially, while it's great to see the best possible outcome,  someone needs to be sincere and show the impact if additional revenue isn't found," he told FEN this morning.

D158 Board of Ed President Don Drzal has a copy of the report and said much the same thing.  "The source of funding has yet to be identified," he said, "so I don't know how much faith I have in these numbers."

Both said the analysis is incomplete without taking into account another proposal to shift the cost of paying for teachers' pensions from the State to school districts.  "The State is also messaging that pension reform will take place at a faster rate than the initial phase- in proposal which would erode the $2 million figure," said Heid.

"That cloud hangs over all of the [school funding] discussion," Drzal said.

ISBE's complex spreadsheets analyzing SB1's effect on all the State's school districts are here:  http://www.isbe.net/budget/excel/fy14-sb1-sam1-92m-fullmodel-march2015.xlsx  and here: http://www.isbe.net/budget/excel/fy14-sb1-sam1-500m-fullmodel.xlsx

McHenry Court Reporters Face Furlough Without Stopgap Funds

The Illinois Legislature's in a race with the clock to keep the state's court system fully operational as circuit chief judges began to announce court reporter layoffs Monday.  McHenry County Circuit Judge Michael J. Sullivan told FEN he'll have to start "furloughs" for some reporters April 1 if the State can't come up with money to pay them.

Illinois' Democratic House speaker Mike Madigan introduced a plan late Monday evening to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole that includes payments for court reporters.  It would allow Gov. Bruce Rauner to raid $1.3 billion in funds dedicated to other things like roads and parks and conservation and cut the rest of the budget 2.25 percent across-the-board.  Observers estimate though, that a bill couldn't reach Rauner's desk before Thursday even if no one balks.

Sullivan said Friday's the deadline before he has to tell two of the 22nd Circuit's seven court reporters to stay home starting Wednesday.  According to published reports, some Kane and Lake County reporters have already been laid off and some in DuPage have been put on notice for April 1 layoffs.  Downstate Madision County, a popular class action venue, began laying off court reporters last week.

Court Administrator Dan Wallis said McHenry County's better positioned to handle reduced staffing than most other circuits since all but 2 of 18 courtrooms are wired for audio recording.  Indeed, that's why the circuit only has seven court reporters instead of two to three times the number.

Sullivan said in a way, that makes it worse.  "The recordings aren't the [official court] record, he said, adding that court reporters find it harder to make written transcriptions from tape than if they were actually on the spot.  "Sometimes attorneys' voices sound the same or there are names or technical terms," he said.

Besides court reporters, the Madigan plan would include funds to shore up State-subsidized childcare programs and salaries for State prison guards, too.  "They could have fixed this in the Spring but they didn't," said Sullivan.  "They could have fixed it in the Veto Session but they didn't.  The could have fixed this in the new General Assembly," he said.

Madigan's plan's contained in two bills scheduled for a committee hearing at the Capitol today.

Pigs Die, Cattle Saved In Huntley Barn Fire

An early Monday morning fire destroyed an unincorporated Huntley barn and killed three pigs, according to Huntley Fire Protection District Officials.  Neighbors spotted the fire on Coyne Station Road just north of Ernesti Road shortly before 1 am but firefighters said it was already well-advanced by then.

Fire officials said no one was home at the time so no one was injured.  They said while the pigs perished a small herd of cattle were were saved.

Workers To Join Chicago Union Dues Case, Downstate One Tossed

Three State of Illinois employees Monday asked to join Gov. Bruce Rauner's Chicago federal lawsuit to end union dues for nonmembers.  But a Downstate federal in a similar case Monday ruled the the question belongs in State court in the first place.

Rauner issued an executive order last month ending the dues, then sued sued more than two dozen public-employee unions, asking a federal judge in the Illinois Northern District to declare them unconstitutional.  The unions want the case dismissed arguing the Governor has no "standing", a legal term for skin in the game.  That's what the three State employees are about.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation whose lawyers represent them, says the three have got skin.  “These state employees are non members, yet they are forced to pay a fee to the union in order to work in the state of Illinois and therefore it’s clear they have standing, it’s clear they’ve been damaged and it’s clear that they have an interest in seeing this case to its conclusion”

Southern District Court Judge Staci Yandle ruled, however, that there isn't any Free Speech issue in the case before her.  The judge said the lawsuit there only raises questions about state, not federal, law.

Rauner Spokesman Lance Trover welcomed the employees' motion to join the Chicago case and said the Downstate one showed unions "are clearly attempting to avoid allowing the federal courts to decide this issue."

Obituaries

Lore Orchell, 87, of Sun City, Huntley, died Monday at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin following a short illness.  Visitation will be held from Thursday from 9 am until a  Funeral Mass at 10 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Huntley. Burial will take place later at the Florida National Cemetery.

Orchell was born Dec. 4, 1927, in Chicago, the daughter of Frank and Mary (Grala) Janicki. She married Eugene J. Orchell on May 24, 1952.  She is survived by her daughter, Mary A. Remiyac of Batavia. She was preceded in death by her husband and her brother, Frank.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church.

Police Blotters

The filing of charges is not proof of guilt. A defendant charged is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  For individuals subsequently found not guilty or nolle prossed, FEN will add a notation here upon submission of a court record.
Lake in the Hills
March 23
0848 HRS MILLER RD. & SPRINGLAKE DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
0912 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & HILLTOP DR.  ACCIDENT.  One vehicle.  Property damage only.
0950 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
0945 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & ANNANDALE DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
0956 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & LAKEWOOD RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1008 HRS JEFFERSON ST. & CRYSTAL LAKE RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1046 HRS RANDALL RD. & MILLER RD.  ACCIDENT.  One vehicle.  Property damage only.
1307 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & PYOTT RD.  ACCIDENT.  One vehicle.  Property damage only.
2015 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HAYWARD CT.  DOMESTIC.  Mother vs. Daughter.  Verbal only.  4 priors
Huntley
March 17
Criminal damage to property reports were taken in the 9900 block of Chetwood and the 10100 block of Dunhill. Mailboxes were damaged.
A fraudulent activity report was taken in the 11600 block of River Terrace Ln.  The victim states that she sent a MoneyGram to a pet transportation company. The company requested more funds from the victim but the pet was not delivered.
Christopher Gentile, age 22, of 11607 Country Club, Woodstock, was arrested for felony disorderly conduct and felony impersonation of a peace officer while committing a felony for an incident that occurred on February 17, 2015 at a business in the 11300 block of Main St.  Mr. Gentile was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond call.
March 18
A criminal damage to vehicle report was taken in the 11400 block of Middletown Ln.  A vehicle was damaged while parked in a residential driveway.
March 19
Alexander J. Post, age 22, of 11610 E. Main St, Huntley, was arrested for domestic battery and criminal damage to property at his residence.  Mr. Post was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond call.
March 20
A criminal damage to property report was taken in the 10300 block of Brighton Ln.  A fence was damaged.
A criminal damage to property report was taken in the 13100 block of Crestview Dr.  The house and a vehicle parked in the driveway were damaged by BBs.
Matthew E. Robisky, age 38, of 11301 Sunset Ln., Huntley, was arrested at a business in the 11700 block of Main St. for two outstanding McHenry County warrants for failure to appear in court on a driving while license suspended charge and a DUI charge and a Kane County failure to appear in court warrant for a driving while license suspended charge.  Mr. Robisky was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond.
Edward E. Hartgraves, age 64, of 10505 Longfield, Huntley, was arrested for two counts of domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, and two counts of felony aggravated domestic battery at his residence.  Mr. Hartgraves was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond call.
March 21
Steven A. Opfer, age 58, of 14N850 Sunset Dr., Hampshire, was charged with disorderly conduct for an incident that occurred at the intersection of Brier Hill and Copperwynd Rds. Mr. Opfer was released with a notice to appear in McHenry County court on April 27, 2015.
March 22
A residential burglary report was taken in the 10100 block of Compton Dr.  The home was damaged no items were reported stolen.