Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday May Not Be What It Used To As Shopping Booster

Throngs of frantic shoppers were notable by their absence in the predawn this morning at Algonquin Commons--even with the latest addition, sidewalk booths offering coffee and hot cocoa.  One explanation might be that there's a limit to how much retailers can accomplish with early openings and smokin' deals.  Another might be that shoppers have become inured to Black Friday frenzy.

Black Friday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season and some retailers opened even earlier than last year offering even deeper discounts to attract shoppers.  One problem, though, was that the early openings weren't coordinated.
At Algonquin Commons a few stores opened at 6 pm on Thursday, but one jumped the gun to open at 4 while others waited until 8 and still others waited until 5 or 6 or 8 am this morning.  There was similar variation among the big box stores lining Randall Road.

Shoppers may have started to get wise to discount promotions, too.  For instance, a recent NerdWallet analysis found that 93 percent of retailers advertised products for the exact same price for Black Friday this year as they did for Black Friday last year.  Likewise, the fine print on "doorbusters" often show them available only in limited quantities, often only two of each item  in stock per store location.   There's been a trend at least for the past two years, anyway, for shoppers to skip the opening discounts in expectation of even deeper price cuts to clear stock closer to Christmas.

“We could witness a sea change this holiday season as consumers’ reliance on extremely deep discounts over the biggest shopping weekend of the year shifts to more of a ‘wait- and-see’ mentality," said said National Retail Federation  CEO Matthew Shay earlier this week.  According to an NRF survey, six in ten consumers  plan to shop between Thanksgiving day and Sunday.  That works out to about 140 million shoppers nationally, almost exactly the same number as last year.

In the pic:  Hot coffee and cocoa vied with an early morning dusting of snow this morning to influence shopper behavior this morning at Algonquin Commons.

THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

scroll down for stories
Black Friday May Not Be What It Used To As Shopping Booster
Algonquin Church Serves Thanksgiving Dinner To Homeless
An Actual Good Use For That Turkey Carcass
Surcharge Case Imperils Downstate "Clean Coal" Demo Power Plant
Police Blotters
Algonquin Judge Sets Year's End To Fix Up Two Downtown Buildings
McHenry County Unemployment Rate Up As Jobs Increase
Thousands Flock To Huntley To Gobble Turkey Testicles
Madigan Files Appeal Notice In Pension Reform Case
Obituaries
Police Blotters
McHenry County Bus Ride Vote Expected Soon But Start Uncertain
AG To Examine Rutland Township October Meeting
Registration Open For LITH Holiday Lights Contest
Interest In Illinois Fracking Damped By Low Oil Prices
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Prim Names New McHenry County Sheriff's Management
Monday Snow Calls For Reminder On Winter Parking Rules
Huntley Park District Winter Escape Camp Signups Open
No Violence In Chicago Protests Over Ferguson Verdict
Police Blotters
Algonquin Boyer Road Reopen Planned By Wednesday
Snow Likely By Afternoon, How Much Of It Less Clear
Huntley Library Holiday Basket Chances Now On Sale
Rauner Team Proposes Massive University Funding Cuts
Obituaries
Police Blotters
Huntley Guard Rail Replacement Delayed By Construction Backlog
Algonquin Lions Stock Randall Christmas Tree Lot
Letters From Santa Available For LITH Kids
IL Dems Call For "Comprehensive" Immigration Reform
Obituaries
McHenry County Indictments
Police Blotters
Algonquin Chief On List To Head Northern U.S. Marshal Office
McHenry County Deputies Honored After October Shootout
McHenry County Approves Effectively Flat Tax Levy
Pension Reform Law Headed To IL Supreme Court
Police Blotters

Algonquin Church Serves Thanksgiving Dinner To Homeless

About 150 homeless D300 students and their families gathered at Algonquin's Lifeline Christian Church for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday.  It was the church's fifth year serving "More Than A Meal" to the homeless.  The homecooked turkey and mashed potatoes and green beans and cranberries came from donations the church collected in a drive about two weeks ago.  Besides the banquet style Thanksgiving dinner, the event included free bowling at Brunswick Zone XL and a gamecard for the kids.

An Actual Good Use For That Turkey Carcass

          Turkey With Stuffing Soup

1 turkey carcass cut or broken into pieces (aviation sheetmetal snips work if you don't have poultry shears)
2 1/2 qt water
3 big carrots sliced
3 celery stalks sliced,  leaves from same chopped
1/2 cup parsley (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 cups turkey stuffing
2 cups turkey gravy
2 tsp salt

Place all except stuffing and gravy in a pot.  Bring to boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Cool.  Remove skin, bones, tendons.  Add gravy and heat again.  Add stuffing just before serving. The stuffing's kind of like dumplings.

The soup freezes well except the stuffing gets soggy if you don't hold it out and freeze it separately.  This is not merely a great turkey soup.  It's a great soup, period.  The only possible improvement is to make this turkey soup with a roasting chicken.

Surcharge Case Imperils Downstate "Clean Coal" Demo Power Plant

A statewide electricity surcharge to help pay for a "clean coal" plant downstate is up in the air again which means the plant itself might be, too.  The Illinois Supreme Court unexpectedly agreed Wednesday  to hear an appeal of the Illinois Commerce Commission's order tacking an extra $1 per month to an average power bill.

The appeal was brought by the Illinois Competitive Energy Association, which represents retail electricity suppliers, along with an association representing big industrial power consumers. “The ultimate decision in this case has a profound effect on the retail electricity market,” said Kevin Wright, the association's president.

The FutureGen project in downstate Meredosia south of Beardstown would burn coal in oxygen instead of air to create a flue gas composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide and water, the CO2 to be pumped underground, anyway.  Construction began this Summer to qualify for a $1 billion federal subsidy but the rest of the financing isn't lined up yet and the chance of a Supreme Court turndown for the ICC order could now hang over lenders' decisions for as much as the next year.

The project's fate has taken on new importance since the EPA proposed greenhouse gas emissions limits for new power plants—a cornerstone of President Obama's Climate Action plan—that critics say effectively require the clean coal technology.

In the pic:  The demonstration FutureGen power plant under construction in Coles County.

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
November 25
1736 HRS 300 BLOCK OF OAKLEAF RD.  UNLAWFUL VISITATION INTERFERENCE.  LORING, RIKI, F/W 34 YEARS OF AGE, 301 OAKLEAF RD., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Unlawful Visitation Interference.  NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED.
2133 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & CRYSTAL LAKE RD.  UNLAWFUL USE OF A WEAPON.  FERGUSON, SETH RYAN, M/W 20 YEARS OF AGE, 527 DELAWARE DR., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of Alcohol By a Minor, No Rear Registration Plate, Tinted Windows, No Insurance, and Transportation of Open Alcohol By a Driver.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0840 HRS RAKOW RD. & PYOTT RD.  ACCIDENT.  Three vehicles.  Property damage only.
0936 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & PYOTT RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1004 HRS RAKOW RD. & PYOTT RD.  ACCIDENT. Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1218 HRS 300 BLOCK OF PYOTT RD.  CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO VEHICLE.  Damage to vehicle’s window. Report for insurance.  FAIL TO FILE.
2246 HRS 200 BLOCK OF BRIDLEWOOD CIRCLE.  BATTERY.  Male vs. Male.  FAIL TO FILE.
2307 HRS 100 BLOCK OF BOULDER DR.  DOMESTIC.  Husband vs. Wife.  Verbal only. No priors.
November 26
0544 HRS ALGONQUIN RD. & ROUTE 47. DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  UNZUETA, OSVALDO R.,  M/W 30 YEARS OF AGE, 8 WEST OAK ST.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1604 HRS 200 BLOCK OF BRIDLEWOOD CIRCLE.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  BURDICK, SAMANTHA M.,  F/W 27 YEARS OF AGE, 211 BRIDLEWOOD CIRCLE, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Two Counts  of Domestic Battery.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
2350 HRS ROUTE 31 & RAKOW RD. DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  GUILLEN, ERASMO,  M/W 47 YEARS OF AGE, 3201 WILKE RD.,  ROLLING MEADOWS.  CHARGES: Driving While License
1521 HRS 00 BLOCK OF W. ACORN LN.  AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL SEXUAL ABUSE.  KNIESEL, KEVIN M.,  M/W 28 YEARS OF AGE, 12 W. ACORN LN.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Wanted on Warrant, Two Counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Failure to Register. Bond: $50,000 @ 10%.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0745 HRS 00 BLOCK OF HILLTOP DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles. Property damage only.
0805 HRS 900 BLOCK OF MESA DR.  DOMESTIC.  Brother vs. Brother.  Verbal only.  No priors.
1247 HRS WILLOW ST. & HILLTOP DR.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1457 HRS 00 BLOCK OF SONOMA CT.  HIT AND RUN. Vehicle was struck by an unknown vehicle that fled.
1741 HRS 260 N. RANDALL RD. (COSTCO GAS STATION).  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
2050 HRS 1300 BLOCK OF CUNAT CT.  SUICIDE ATTEMPT.  Male, 44 years of age, attempted suicide.  Transported to Sherman Hospital.
November 27
0913 HRS 300 BLOCK OF OAKLEAF RD.  UNLAWFUL VISITATION INTERFERENCE.  LORING, RIKI, F/W 34 YEARS OF AGE, 301 OAKLEAF RD.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: Unlawful Visitation Interference.  NOTICE TO APPEAR.
1950 HRS SPRING LAKE DR. & LARKSPUR LN.  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED.  HAVLICEK, JOHN R.,  M/W 33 YEARS OF AGE, 525 N. QUENTIN RD. APT 2, PALATINE.  CHARGE: Driving While License Revoked.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
0942 HRS 3300 BLOCK OF MONTGOMERY DR.  INFORMATION FOR POLICE.  Stove caught on fire.  Report for insurance.
1117 HRS 280 N. RANDALL RD. (DUNKIN DONUTS).  DOMESTIC.  Husband vs Wife.  Verbal Only.  One prior.
1142 HRS 1500 BLOCK OF ADAMS ST.  DOMESTIC.  Boyfriend vs Girlfriend.  Verbal only.  No priors.
Algonquin
November 24
1:00am Maraffino, Alaina M., DOB: 04/13/1990, of 308 Beach Dr., was charged with DUI.  She was taken into custody at APD.  She was released on a Personal Recognizance with a court date of 12/17/2014 in McHenry County.
17:44pm two 16 year-old males from Dundee, were charged with Retail theft.  They were taken into custody at 1410 S. Randall Rd.  They were referred to the Tri-Area Court for Teens and released to their parents.
November 26
02:19am A 17 year-old male from Algonquin, was charged with Possession of Cannabis. He was taken into custody at River Rd and Algonquin Rd.  He was issued a Notice to Appear with a court date of 01/28/2015 in Algonquin, then released to his parents.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Algonquin Judge Sets Year's End To Fix Up Two Downtown Buildings

A grueling five and a half hour Algonquin administrative hearing Wednesday ended when a group of suburban investors agreed to repair two decrepit historic buildings in the village's Downtown.  Administrative Law Judge David Eterno gave a group named Luck Partnership until Dec. 31 to fix everything except a driveway --and get a permit for that-- or pay fines as high as $7,000 per day starting today.

The investors bought the rundown 19th century buildings on Algonquin Road and newer garage to the rear just before the real estate market collapsed.  After a lot of building code citations, early this year they asked for permission to tear them down because it would cost too much to fix them up.  The Village Board reluctantly opened a six-month window for demolition but the group missed it.

Wednesday was supposed to be the one-day trial on the litany of code complaints about boarded up windows, rotten trim and voids stuffed with styrofoam.  Attorney Joseph Leong said the owners would fix a ripped screen by removing it but mounted a Churchillian battle over the rest of the charged violations. At one point Leong spent almost half an hour arguing the empty space in a wall where an air conditioner used to be wasn't a hole in it.

"It's a question of semantics," he concluded.

"This is ridiculous," Village Attorney Tim Clifton replied.

As daylight began to wane, so did Eterno's patience and, after a Leong-called potty break, the lawyer returned to announce his clients wanted to work out a deal.

Eterno set Jan. 28 to check that all the problems had been fixed warning he didn't want any arguments then about semantics from either side.  "Common sense...needs to guide the parties," he said.

In the pic:  Repairs are due by Dec. 31 at 107 and 111 W. Algonquin Road in Algonquin.

McHenry County Unemployment Rate Up As Jobs Increase

McHenry County's unemployment rate rose in October according to the latest report Wednesday from the Illinois Department of Employment Security increasing to 5.1 percent from September's 4.9 percent rate. The unemployment rate upswing came even though the number of people with jobs actually increased.

According to IDES and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 164,691 McHenry County residents were employed in September but 1,740 more had jobs in October.  The problem: 510 more people said they were looking for work, a total of 9,030 job-seekers last month.

Both McHenry county resutls were in contrast to statewide trends. “After months of strong growth, private-sector job growth slowed somewhat, but it was a decline in government employment that led to October’s decline in jobs,” according to IDES Director Jay Rowell.

In the state overall, the unemployment rate adjusted for seasonal variation was unchanged at 6.6 percent while the U.S. rate rose .1 percent to 5.9 percent.  Adjusted rates aren't available at the county level.

                            UNEMPLOYMENT (unadjusted)             
               REVISED Sep. 2014        PRELIMINARY Oct. 2014               
               LABOR    UNEMPLOYED      LABOR   UNEMPLOYED      Oct.
               FORCE    NUMBER  RATE    FORCE   NUMBER    RATE  2013   
U.S. (X1000)   155,903   8,962   5.7    156,616    8,680   5.5   7.0    
ILLINOIS     6,509,984 403,380   6.2  6,578,082  410,538   6.2   8.7    

MCHENRY COUNTY 173,211   8,520   4.9    175,461    9,030   5.1   7.0    
KANE COUNTY    275,039  14,395   5.2    277,837   14,439   5.2   7.6    
LAKE COUNTY    362,615  21,449   5.9    367,055   22,377   6.1   8.2
DUPAGE COUNTY  527,988  25,786   4.9    533,346   25,838   4.8   7.0

ALGONQUIN       16,667     842   5.1     16,828      836   5.0   7.0   
LITH            16,768     828   4.9     16,904      796   4.7   6.8    
CRYSTAL LAKE    21,673   1,155   5.3     21,952    1,217   5.5   7.3    
MCHENRY         14,945     680   4.6     15,157      741   4.9   7.1   

Thousands Flock To Huntley To Gobble Turkey Testicles

Huntley's famous festival the night before Thanksgiving began with a lark 32 years ago but now the Parkside Pub's serves hundreds of pounds of gonads from turkeys.  (FEN's running out of publicly acceptable gems of wordplay about testicles; family jewels, if  you will.)  An estimated four to five thousand festival-goers from all over the Chicago area flocked (so to speak) to this year's Turkey Testicle Festival.

At least three similar events Wedneday evening, including a new one at a bar in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, vied with the local event but Huntley's drew by far the biggest crowd.  Between four and five thousand festival-goers from all over the Chicago area flocked (sorry) to this year's Turkey Testicle Festival.  That's more than all the residents of Byron in Ogle County which claims to have started the Turkey Testicle craze craze 34 years ago.  That festival was in October, however.

Madigan Files Appeal Notice In Pension Reform Case

Attorney General Lisa Madigan Wednesday filed official notice that the State will appeal a ruling which found Illinois' landmark pension overhaul is unconstitutional and asked for expedited handling in the case.  A Sangamon County circuit judge last week struck the law down ruling the Illinois Constitution states that retirement benefits can't be reduced.

Even if the Illinois High Court allows a speedup, a final decision would probably wouldn't come for months.  In a different but similar lawsuit involving State retiree health insurance premiums, the court heard oral arguments last September but didn't issue an opinion junking the reform until this July.

Last week a Sangamon County judge ordered the refund of about $60 million in extra insurance premiums paid before the  top court outlawed them.

Monday Governor-elect Bruce Rauner implicitly predicted the high court will reject Madigan's expected argument that the Constitution's no reduction clause doesn't count in a  financial crisis. “Hopefully they will give us some feedback that will help guide the discussion for future modifications as appropriate for the pensions,” Rauner said. 

In the pic:  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Obituaries

Joseph V. Griseto, 85, of Huntley died Tuesday.  Visitation will be Monday from 4 to 9 pm at the James A. O'Connor Funeral Home, Huntley.  Memorial Mass will be Tuesday at 1pm at St. Mary Church, Huntley.

Griseto was the husband of the late Rose Zangara; father of Richard (Rose), Marianne (Michael) Einarsen, Michael (Sally), Nicholas (Tracy) and grandfather of Gina, Jason, Christine, Laura, Briana,Desire, Brian, Ashley.

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
delayed--FEN schedule problem
Algonquin
ditto

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

McHenry County Bus Ride Vote Expected Soon But Start Uncertain

Intergovernment agreements to expand McHenry County's dial a ride bus service to, among other areas, Huntley and Algonquin and Grafton townships is tentatively scheduled for a County Board vote in about three weeks, according to McDOT officials.  Even if it's approved, though, service isn't likely to start soon, they said.

In fact, the Pace suburban transportation agency hasn't officially approved an agreement to help pay for the County's expanded MCRide program, although Senior Transportation Planner Scott Hennings said that's still expected.  "We've started preliminary discussions with Pace and have a good indication they will support the program at the level we anticipated," he told FEN Tuesday.  Even after approval comes through, Hennings said the new service wouldn't begin immediately.  "Probably not until February or March," said Hennings.

The delay wouldn't make much difference to the two area townships which already run their own senior bus services and view the Pace program, limited for them to senior riders only, merely as an adjunct.  But it might pose problems for Huntley where the program would cover all residents even though its seniors in particular that the Village is concerned about.

Huntley's been running a stopgap taxi voucher program for seniors for a year now after Grafton Township suspended service in Rutland and Hampshire townships.   So far the Village has committed about $21,000 to the program but the latest $5,000 transfusion two months ago was only expected to last until the end of the year.

Hennings said he wasn't optimistic about speeding up the McRide expansion timetable.  "[Pace is] a big organization with lots of levels," he said.

AG To Examine Rutland Township October Meeting

The Rutland Township Board has until Dec. 5 to show the Illinois Attorney General's Office it didn't violate the State's Open Meetings Act during its October 14 monthly meeting.  Two weeks ago FEN filed a request for review after learning the Board approved an ordinance for an investment policy and appointed a Chief Investment Officer in place of the Supervisor in only a single vote.

In a letter dated Monday, Assistant Attorney General Josh Jones asked Township Clerk Linda Iverson to "clarify whether the Board approved the appointment without giving advance notice on the ...agenda."

The Township has seven business days from receipt of the letter to get together agendas and minutes and any other material, even though, as a courtesy, FEN provided a copy of the request for review the day it was filed.

Registration Open For LITH Holiday Lights Contest

Weather forecasters are still calling for a warmup Saturday so that's a good day for homeowners to plan putting up their Christmas decorations.  Especially the ones in Lake in the Hills because Dec. 18 will be the date for judging in this year's Lake in the Hills Holiday Lights Decorating Contest.  Registration for the contest is open at 847-960-7460 but only the first 20  homes signed up will be eligible for judging.

There'll be winners in two categories,  Best Overall Display and The Clark Griswold Award, the two top entries receiving a gift certificate to a Lake in the Hills restaurant.   The addresses of all the entrants will be posted on the Village website for folks looking to take their kids on an old fashioned (before TV) evening Christmas tour.

In the pic:  Last year's overall winner in the LITH Lights competition.

Interest In Illinois Fracking Damped By Low Oil Prices

Filing for hydraulic fracturing drilling permits began this week in Illinois but by Tuesday's end only three companies had applied.  The reason probably relates to the same problem facing OPEC oil ministers Thursday:  thanks to "fracking", there's so much oil that prices are tumbling.

With the addition of Illinois, 21 states now allow fracking, however, production in other states has already had a huge impact.  U.S. oil production peaked at  9.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 1970, then fell to less than 5 million by 2008. That's when, independent oil producers began adapting the new technologies of hydraulic fracturing.  U.S. oil production has risen to 7.4 million bpd and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that U.S. production will return to 1970 levels by 2019.

Fracking drilling in the U.S. alone is expected to add as much as a million barrels a day this year, coinciding with a slowdown in demand from Asian and European economies.  Together the two have hammered oil prices, down more than 25 percent since June to around $80 a barrel.

That's a problem for the OPEC cartel which still controls around one third of world oil production.  The group can't cut pumping enough to force prices up because a lot of cartel members are already living day to day on oil revenue.  However, depressed oil prices are also damping the incentive to sink new fracking wells in the U.S.  That's the problem in Illinois which is climbing on the fracking bandwagon late.  A couple of years ago reviving the oil fields in central Illinois held the promise of generous returns.  At today's prices, the prospects aren't so lucrative.

Executive vice president Brad Richards of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association said interest in the state among drillers has fallen as a result of the extended regulatory and legal fights.  “There’s probably six or seven companies I think are definitely going to give it a try,” he said.

Obituaries

Christopher J. Cowart, 21, of Lake in the Hills died Nov. 10 in Champaign.   A memorial gathering will be held Saturday from 10 to 11 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Huntley, with a Memorial Mass immediately following.

Chris was born on June 13, 1993, in Menomonee Falls, WI, the son of James and Ann Lacy-Cowart.  He is survived by his parents and brother, Patrick.  He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Keith and Laura (Blakely) Lacy, Elaine (Thompson) Lacy, James (Sr.) and Frances (Heintz) Cowart.

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
delayed

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Prim Names New McHenry County Sheriff's Management

A week before being sworn in as McHenry County's new Sheriff, Bill Prim Monday announced the names of his new top managers.  Two of Prim's picks will bring in new blood but a third's likely to reopen old wounds.

Prim said he won't name an Undersheriff, a position currently occupied by his Primary opponent Andy Zinke, but will split responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office into two major divisions the heads of which will report to him directly.  To run police operations, Prim named 23-year FBI agent Ricardo Pagán.  Jail and general office administrator responsibility will go to Cook County Sheriiff's Office veteran David Devane.  It's Prim's third pick, McHenry resident Sandy Salgado, to head  human resources and budget and management operations at the Sheriff's Office that will probably raise a ruckus.

Salgado's been Business Manager for a little over a year at the Lake County Sheriff's Office where Prim, until last month, was a part-time security officer.  However, she's also a 12-year McHenry County Board member and, for the last eight months, Chairman of the McHenry County Republican Party.  Adding to the tangle, Salgado's also the daughter of Ron Salgado, chief investigator and rumored eminence grise, for Prim patron, State's Attorney Lou Bianchi.  Bianchi more or less leads one faction of the McHenry County GOP so Salgado's appointment's bound to offend the other.

Pagan's publicly available background is scanty.  For the past year at least he's been Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Criminal/Violent Crime Branch of the Chicago FBI.  Prim highlighted Pagan's narcotics experience and FEN found case records showing he operated as an undercover agent at least twice in San Antonio and Miami about a decade ago.

DeVane's held a number of posts in the Cook County Sheriff's Office since Mike Sheehan won it in 1990 including two stints as Executive Director.  Most recently he's been its Executive Director, Office of Policy and Accountability.

Prim said that Devane and Salgado will begin their duties when he's sworn in Dec. 1.  Pagán will report after the first of the year.

In the pic:  Sandy Salgado at a Bill Prim fundraiser.

Monday Snow Calls For Reminder On Winter Parking Rules

With only about an inch of snow accumulated --and that mostly on grass, not streets-- the weatherman was kind to road crews Monday.  As a harbinger of more surely to come, however, the snow was a good reminder that it's time to review area Winter parking rules.

In Algonquin there's no parking between 2 and 5 am on Routes 31 and 62 ever.  On the rest of the streets between 2 and 5 am there's no parking longer than 15 minutes from Halloween to Income Tax Day.  But if it snows at least two inches there's no parking anytime for any length of time, at least until the plows clear the streets.

In Lake in the Hills, if there's more than an inch of snow between Nov. 1 and Apr. 1 parking's prohibited any time, day or night, until a street's cleared.

In Huntley there's no street parking between 2 and 6 am ever.  But when it snows two inches or more there's no parking for eight hours after a snowfall or until the plows have come through and the streets are clear.

Huntley Park District Winter Escape Camp Signups Open

Enrollment's underway for the Huntley Park District's 2014 Winter Escape Camp Dec. 22 through 30.  The camp feataures Rec Center special events filled with games, projects, sports and treats and field trips. Specific activity information will be posted a week before camp starts.  There's no camp on Dec. 24, 25 and 31 or January 1, of course.  The place to sign up is located here:  https://webtrac.huntleyparks.org/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/wbsearch.html?xxactivitynumber=314020  Registration closes Dec. 15.

No Violence In Chicago Protests Over Ferguson Verdict

Chanting activists and protesters snarled traffic in Chicago Monday evening after a grand jury refused to indict a while police officer for fatally shooting a Ferguson, MO, unarmed black teenager in August.  Demonstrations were peaceful in contrast to those in Ferguson and some other locations around the country.

Police fired tear gas and protesters set fire to businesses in Ferguson.  Early this morning the St. Louis County Police Chief said at least a dozen buildings burned and rioters fired about 150 gunshots during a night of looting, vandalism, arson and clashes between demonstrators and police.  Chief Jon Belmar said the rioting was "much worse" than in the immediate aftermath of 18-year-old Michael Brown's shooting by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

Besides the protests in Chicago, there were demonstrations in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, CA, and Washington, D.C., over the Ferguson verdict.  Most were relatively peaceful although fires and looting were reported in Oakland.

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
November 24
1928 HRS VIRGINIA RD & ROUTE 31.  NO VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE/ACCIDENT.  GONZALEZ-SANCHEZ, OFELIA, F/W 45 YEARS OF AGE, 116 GREEN ST., CARPENTERSVILLE.  CHARGE: Driving With No Valid Driver’s License.  RELEASED ON BOND.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.
1048 HRS PYOTT RD. & BARBARA ST.  CRIMINAL DEFACEMENT.  Graffiti on underpass tunnel.  TURNED OVER TO INVESTIGATIONS.
Algonquin
November 21
19:36pm Moore, Patrick K., DOB: 09/20/1983, of 14 Washtenaw Ln., Algonquin, was charged with Retail Theft.  He was taken into custody at 1501 E. Algonquin Rd.  He was issued a Notice to appear with a court date of 01/28/2015 in Algonquin, then released.
21:11pm Eppolito, Daniel F, DOB: 10/28/1971, of 800 Valley Drive, Cary, was charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.  He was taken into custody at APD and released after posting $150 with a court date of 01/07/2015 in McHenry County.
November 22
04:54am Delbosque III, Hector A., DOB: 10/28/1989, of 976 Shadowood Ln., Crystal Lake, was charged with DUI, Unsafe Equipment and Use of Unsafe Tire.  He was taken into custody at Hanson and Algonquin. He was released after posting $300 with a court date of 01/07/2015 in McHenry County.   
November 23

04:26am Meadows, Cheyenne C., DOB: 02/10/1991, of 121 E Main St., Cary, was charged with DUI, Improper Stopping, Improper Lane Usage, Speeding and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle.  She was taken into custody at Randall and Broadsmore.  She was released after posting $100 and her DL with a court date of 01/07/2015 in McHenry County.
23:52pm Gonzales, Boun R., DOB: 03/25/1991,  of 1158 Mohawk Dr., Elgin, was charged with Disorderly Conduct.  He was taken into custody at 225 Highland Ave.  He posted $120 and was released with a court date of 01/07/2015 in McHenry County.
Huntley
November 17
A theft report was taken in the 10400 block of Middletown Ln. A TV was reported stolen.
A theft report was taken in the 11800 block of Covey Ln. The victim reported that cash, a garage remote and a key were taken from the home.
November 18
Linsi K. Knapp, age 24, of 106 S. Menard, Chicago,was arrested for driving with no valid driver’s license and failure to signal near the intersection of Reed and Haligus Rds. Ms. Knapp was assigned a December 12, 2014, court date and was transported to McHenry County jail to await bond.
November 19
A theft report was taken at Huntley High School. A staff member reported that a laptop bag and a charger were stolen from a classroom.
A criminal damage to vehicle report was taken near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Main St. The victim stated that unknown persons kicked and punched his vehicle in a road rage incident.
November 20
A criminal damage to vehicle report was taken in the 10400 block of Rt. 47. The victim stated that a baseball bat and shoes were used to damage her vehicle.
November 21
Bonnie C. Daebel, age 50, of 200 W. Hartford Dr., Schaumburg, was arrested for driving while license suspended and speeding near the intersection of Kreutzer Rd and Main St. Ms. Daebel posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of December 19, 2014.
A 17 year-old girl from Lake in the Hills was arrested for speeding 35 miles an hour over the speed limit near the intersection of Brier Hill and Copperwynd Rd. The girl was released to her father with a McHenry County court date of December 19, 2014.
Margaret M. Przeklasa, age 46, of 12291 Glazier St., Huntley, was arrested for driving with a suspended registration and improper use of registration near the intersection of Reed Rd and Noah Ave. Ms. Przeklasa posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of December 26, 2014.
Manuel M. Alejandro, age 41, of 10811 Woodstock St., Huntley, was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident near the intersection of Main St. and Woodstock St. Mr. Alejandro posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of December 19, 2014.
November 22
Gerald A Mason, age 58, of 10748 Nantucket Ln., Huntley, was arrested for DUI, improper lane use and leaving the scene of an accident, near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Mill St. Mr. Mason posted bond and was released with a McHenry County court date of December 26, 2014.
A hit and run report was taken in the 10800 block of Timer Dr. West. A mailbox post was run over.
November 23
A theft report was taken at a gas station in the 13200 block of Rt. 47. An employee reported that a customer pumped more gas into his tank than he paid for, then drove off.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Algonquin Boyer Road Reopen Planned By Wednesday

Early Winter weather's put paid to plans for finishing Boyer Road reconstruction in Algonquin, according to Village officials.  Enough work's been done to return the stretch of roadway from Corporate Drive south to the Village limits to service, however.  Wednesday afternoon's the deadline for the construction contractor to pull the barricades, according to Algonquin Project Manager Shawn Hurtig.

"We've got a good three-inch [asphalt] base," he said adding that cold, rain and, now, likely snow preclude laying down another two-inch topcoat.  "They'll put that down in the Spring," Hurtig said.

Snow Likely By Afternoon, How Much Of It Less Clear

Snow is in the forecast today --meteorologists are pretty sure of that-- but National Weather Service forecasters said different models came up with different results on how much of it to expect.  Applying a lot of "fuzzy math and fudging", they came up with rain this morning changing to snow around Noon resulting in something like a two-inch accumulation by tonight when stiff winds will rise to blow it all around.  

Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be cold again with, maybe, some snow Wednesday, but then again, maybe not.  The weathermen's best guess right now is Thanksgiving will be pretty clear but pretty cold, too.

Huntley Library Holiday Basket Chances Now On Sale

Fifteen Friends of the Library Holiday Baskets are on display until December 16 at the Huntley Library for the group's 14th annual seasonal fundraiser.  Items included in this year’s baskets include Bulls Tickets, a $200 Meijers gift card, Tastefully Simple goodies, an iPad mini, chocolate, a big pool party and other swell stuff.

Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 at the Library’s Information Desk.  Basket winners will be announced and notified on December 17.  The Friends also have created beautiful holiday ornaments to celebrate the library’s 25th anniversary. The 3D, silver ornaments are available at Information Desk for $15 each while supplies last.

Rauner Team Proposes Massive University Funding Cuts

A glimpse of Governor-elect Bruce Rauner's plans to fix Illinois' "stunningly bad" finances emerged over the weekend, one that was  pretty stunning itself.  Lee Enterprises newspapers reported today that Rauner's budget transition team plans cuts in funding for State universities up to 30 percent over the next 18 months.

A story this morning cites a Friday email to university presidents from Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director James Applegate warning of "bad budget news" after his meeting with Rauner number crunchers.  "They have asked us to prepare a budget recommendation for FY 16 involving a 20 percent reduction. We may also be asked to create spending reserves of 5 percent or 10 percent out of our existing budget for the remainder of FY15," Applegate wrote in the email that the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau secured.

It's not clear if Rauner's budgeteers will ask other state agencies to prepare for similar reductions, but Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf told the newspaper chain Sunday, "Our state's fiscal house is in disrepair and years of patching over the problems have only made things worse."  Schrimpf said information from university presidents and other state agency chiefs will help the budget transition team develop a new State financial blueprint.

Obituaries

Joseph P. Chuffo, 66, of Lake in the Hills died unexpectedly Thursday.   Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 4 to 8 pm in the Miller Funeral Home, West Dundee.

Chuffo was born in Chicago on Feb. 7, 1948, the son of the late Joseph F. and Della (nee Fonte) Chuffo.  Survivors include his wife:.Sandra Crawford; his stepdaughters, Fiona and Orna Theboul, and his sisters, Betty McDuffy, Mary (Fritz) Dusek, Cindy Hillebrand, Becky Siewert and Vicki (Tony Bonich) Chuffo.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Illinois Bar Foundation.

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
November 23
0358 HRS RANDALL RD. & MILLER RD.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.  GONZALEZ-LARA, JOCELYN E.,  F/W 21 YEARS OF AGE 310 E. JUDD ST. APT 2, WOODSTOCK.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with a Breath Alcohol Content Greater Than .08, and Speeding.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0859 HRS 100 BLOCK OF N. RANDALL RD.  WANTED ON WARRANT.  MEADOWS, BLAKE S.,  M/W 26 YEARS OF AGE, 1022 MCPHEE DR.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Wanted on Warrant, Lake County Sherriff’s Office, Failure to Appear for Battery.  Bond: $25,000 @ 10%. Wanted on Warrant, McHenry County Sherriff’s Office, Contempt of Court.  Bond: $100 full cash.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1524 HRS 300 BLOCK OF HIAWATHA DR.  DOMESTIC BATTERY.  CARUSO, JEREMY E.,  M/W 19 YEARS OF AGE, 370 HIAWATHA DR.,  LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGES: Four Counts of Domestic Battery.  TURNED OVER TO MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.
1253 HRS 1100 BLOCK OF BURR ST.  FOLLOW UP ARREST: BATTERY.  CHAVES, DIEGO A.,  M/W 26 YEARS OF AGE, 1120 BURR ST., LAKE IN THE HILLS.  CHARGE: One Count of Battery.  RELEASED ON BOND.
Algonquin
delayed

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Huntley Guard Rail Replacement Delayed By Construction Backlog

An end of season backlog is the reason a guardrail for the creek culvert on Kreutzer Road at the UP tracks still hasn't been replaced, according to Huntley Village officials.  The safety rail was wiped out for the second time in two years last month but Village Manager Dave Johnson told FEN the rail contractor's been overloaded trying to finish other road construction before Winter puts a stop to everything.

Johnson said replacing the rail's a lot more expensive than it looks, too, about $15,000.  According to experts FEN contacted, the rail itself is fairly cheap but the end pieces so errant motorists won't impale themselves involve sophisticated--and pricey--engineering. 

This month's record cold hasn't helped either, according to Johnson who said the rail would be replaced soon.  "As soon as [the contractor] can get to it," he said.

Algonquin Lions Stock Randall Christmas Tree Lot

Algonquin's Lions Club braved chill and raw winds Saturday to unload 175 Christmas trees fresh off the tree farm in Fife Lake (south of Lake Skegemog), MI.   Lions suggested shopping early since last year they not only sold out completely but did it a week before Christmas at that.

The Lions' lot at Algonquin State Bank on Randall Road will feature mostly six to nine-foot firs priced from $55 to $100 although they have  a few ten to eleven-footers, too.  Proceeds go to Lions' vision and hearing programs and other community programs they've supported since 1939.  Hours will be 5:30  to 8:30 pm Monday through Friday and 7 am to 9 pm Saturdays and Sundays until Christmas or there's nothing left to sell.

Letters From Santa Available For LITH Kids

Lake in the Hills kids can thrill to a holiday letter from Santa Claus thanks to the elves at LITH Parks & Rec. Until Dec. 5, parents can  send or drop off a stamped business envelope with each child’s name and address printed on it and the elves will tuck a missive into it from Saint Nick himself and impress a plausible North Pole postmark on the whole thing.

Drop 'em off at Parks & Rec in LITH Village Hall or send them to:
Santa Claus
c/o Lake in the Hills
Recreation Department
600 Harvest Gate
Lake in the Hills, IL 60156

The elves express their regrets but the Santa letters are only for LITH kids, though.

IL Dems Call For "Comprehensive" Immigration Reform

Democratic politicians gathered at a Chicago high school Saturday to encourage Illinois' immigrant population to register with the federal government under President Barack Obama's new executive action on immigration.  Announced Thursday, the executive order would prevent the deportation of about four million parents and guardians who lack the same legal status as their children.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez challenged Chicago's immigrant community to "set the standard" for registration under the act.  U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said the president's action, while historic, is still short of a solution.  "We want comprehensive immigration reform to reach out to the millions who deserve this opportunity in America,” he said.

Friday, however, The Illinois Attorney General's office warned that the sweeping immigration changes raise the possibility of fraud.  “The immigration process is often intimidating and confusing, which is why many people seek assistance,” said AG Lisa Madigan.  “But unfortunately, much of the help offered is expensive and illegitimate."

Prosecutors say immigration services applicants could be targeted by scammers posing as lawyers or demanding excessive upfront fees for assistance.

Obituaries

Linda J. Lenehan, 74, died Oct. 30 at her home.  Visitation will be held Saturday at Holy Family Church, Inverness, immediately followed by a Memorial Mass.

Lenehan was born July 9, 1940, the daughter of Carl and Myrtle (Smith) Smith. She is survived by her son, Frank (Catherine) Vandy; grandchildren, Joshua, Aaron, Emily, Mark and Luke, and sister, Sandra (Tom) Rainer. She was preceded in death by her parents. Memorials in her name may be directed to Feed My Starving Children.

Meagan Colleen Sunde, 46, of Huntley died Wednesday.  A Celebration Service will be held Dec. 4  at Willow Creek Community Church Chapel, South Barrington.  A reception will follow.

Sunde was born in Sacramento, CA, July 4, 1968, but grew up in Lima, OH, the daughter of  Richard Charles and Terre Ann Walsh. On May 4, 1990, she married John Sunde.  She is survived by her husband; son, John; daughter, Skylar; her mother and her siblings, Joni Padilla and Dennis, John Walsh and Angel, Jim Walsh and Robin, Shanna Ruppert and Todd and Sean Walsh.  She was preceded in death by her father and her brother, Aaron Michael Walsh.

Memorials may be made to the family at a later date.

Dorothy Comyns Berg, 80, of East Dundee died Monday Genoa City, WI, less than a week after being diagnosed with brain cancer.  At her request there will be no visitation or funeral services.

Berg born  May 18, 1934, in Teaneck, NJ.  She is survived by her children, Clayton C. Webster, of Mansfield, TX; Leland C. Webster, of Brighton, MA, and Cynthia W. Kanner of Algonquin; grandchildren, Andrew Webster, Mark Webster, Dylan Kanner, and Benjamin Kanner, and step-grandson Ludwik Gorzanski;  former husbands, Joseph P. Berg, Jr., of Dallas, TX, and Dr. Donald K. Webster of Madison, NJ, and siblings, Richard Comyns of Asheville, NC, Olive Hunter of Naples, FL, and Georgia Crowell of Hereford, AZ.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, Woodstock.

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.

PETER J. KAPARIS, DOB:  06/28/1959, 1347 CUNAT COURT APT 1C, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  IDENTITY THEFT. --Lake in the Hills PD

MICHAEL A. PARRA, DOB:  06/03/1986, 9 WANDER WAY, LAKE IN THE HILLS.  UNLAWFUL DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (FOUR COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (FOUR COUNTS), UNLAWFUL DELIVERY OF CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS (TWO COUNTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS WITH INTENT TO DELIVER, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office
  
BENJAMIN M. PRIEST, DOB:  07/02/1971, 7206 N. OAKS STREET, WONDER LAKE.  AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL SEXUAL ABUSE (SEVEN COUNTS). --McHenry County Sheriff's Office

GARRET T. HOBBS, DOB:  10/23/1987, 819 CAYUGA TRAIL, MARENGO.  DISORDERLY CONDUCT. --McHenry County Sheriff's Office
  
MICHAEL J. ZIMMERMAN, DOB:  05/01/1959, 1411 NORTHFIELD COURT APT 1C, HARVARD.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE(2CTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --Harvard PD
  
JUAN FRANCISCO SERRANO-CASAS, DOB:  05/02/1976, 206 W. THOMPSON STREET, HARVARD.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. --Harvard PD
  
SEAN E. DEANE, DOB:  01/19/1990, 1005 KENNETH CIRCLE, ELGIN.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. --McHenry PD
  
MARK A. FORREST, DOB:  03/18/1977, 654 LAURELL STREET, ELGIN.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CANNABIS. --Crystal Lake PD
  
BRANDON I. BJERGA-WACHAL, DOB:  03/30/1989, 318 WISCONSIN STREET, EAGLE, WI.  UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE WITH INTENT TO DELIVER, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE(2CTS), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF HYPODERMIC SYRINGE, RETAIL THEFT, CRIMINAL TRESPASS TO REAL PROPERTY. --Johnsburg 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
November 22
0402 HRS 220 N. RANDALL RD. (MORETTI’S).  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL/ACCIDENT.  LEON, XAVIER, M/W 22 YEARS OF AGE, 18 WOODY WAY, CARY.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol with A Breath Alcohol Content Greater Than .08, No Insurance, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Failure to Report Accident, Driver Failure to Notify of Accident, and Illegal Transportation of Open Alcohol Driver.  RELEASED ON BOND.
1113 HRS RANDALL RD. & MILLER RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property Damage Only.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Algonquin Chief On List To Head Northern U.S. Marshal Office

Algonquin's soon-to-retire Chief of Police, Russ Laine, is on the short list to head the United States Marshal's Northern District of Illinois, according to an announcement Friday from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's office. President Barack Obama will likely choose among Laine, whose last day will be Dec. 16, and two other candidates.

"I was approached a while ago about appointing Russ Laine to management in the U.S. Marshal's service," said Algonquin Village President John Schmitt this morning, "and I gave him my resounding endorsement."

Durbin and fellow Sen. Mark Kirk also recommended Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore and the District's current acting Marshal, Joel Kirch.  Laine, 63, Chief in Algonquin for almost 30 years, is a former head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a licensed attorney.   Gilmore's been Chief for six years in Calumet City, once famous for having more liquor licenses per resident than anywhere else in the country.  Kirch had already retired from the Marshal's service but was called back in late August when the Northern District's previous head resigned the post to take a two-step demotion.

The Marshal's Illinois Northern District seems to be a troubled one.  According to published reports, it's been the subject of two investigations, both still unreleased, about financial mismanagement under Daryl McPherson, its previous boss.  McPherson had also been chastised by a federal judge for using "overly aggressive" witness tactics.

The Marshal's service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency dating from 1789.  It's the federal government’s primary agency for conducting fugitive investigations, protects federal courts and facilities and transports prisoners.

McHenry County Deputies Honored After October Shootout

Outgoing McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren this week honored a trio of Deputies involved in a Holiday Hills shootout a month ago.  Deputies Dwight Maness and Khalia Satkiewicz were both awarded the McHenry County Purple Heart for wounds they received when accused shooter Scott B. Peters blasted high velocity rifle rounds through the closed door of his home.  Deputy Eric Luna received the Award of Valor for trading shots with him afterwards, forcing his retreat.

All together, Nygren gave awards to 36 deputies, supervisors, detectives and dispatchers in connection with the Oct. 16 incident.

In the pic:  McHenry County Deputies Khalia Satkiewicz and Dwight Maness.

McHenry County Approves Effectively Flat Tax Levy

 The McHenry County Board this week approved a new property tax levy that effectively was the same as this year's.  The new $79.5 million levy is about $700,000 more than the previous one but the value of new construction's expected to keep the tax rate essentially unchanged.  Illinois' Property Tax Extension Limitation Law would have allowed a 1.5 percent increase for inflation.  The Board also approved a new $240.3 million balanced budget, down $7.2 from this year's version.

The Board also approved a new $240.3 million balanced budget, down $7.2 from this year's version.  Depending on location, McHenry County's portion of resident's tax bills usually runs between 9 and 11 cents per dollar.

Pension Reform Law Headed To IL Supreme Court

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she'd appeal a Sangamon County judge's Friday ruling that the state’s pension reform law is unconstitutional.  Circuit Court Judge John Belz said that the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution provides a guarantee of pension benefits.

“The state of Illinois made a constitutionally protected promise to its employees concerning their pension benefits,” Belz wrote in his ruling. “Under established and uncontroverted Illinois law, the state of Illinois cannot break this promise.”

Madigan said she'll ask justices to expedite the appeal, “given the significant impact that a final decision in this case will have on the state’s financial condition.”  Governor-elect Bruce Rauner who Thursday called the state's position "horrible" said,  “It is my hope that the court will take up the case and rule as soon as possible"

Legislators approved the pension reform plan a year ago hoping to reduce the state’s $100 billion pension debt and lessen payments to the State's five pension systems. The law reduces benefits for retirees but also reduces employee contributions. State employees argued that the Constitution prohibits reducing benefits or compensation.  Belz rejected arguments that the pension protection clause can be ignored in extraordinary circumstances like the state’s ongoing financial crisis.

“The pension protection clause contains no exception, restriction or limitation for the exercise of the state’s police powers or reserved sovereign powers,” he wrote in his six-page ruling.

In the pic:  The Sangamon County Courthouse

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
November 21
0151 HRS REED RD. & NORMANDY LN.  WANTED ON WARRANT.  GAUCH, BRIAN C.,  M/W 27 YEARS OF AGE, 11720 WOODCREEK DR. APT F,  HUNTLEY.  CHARGES: Wanted on Warrant, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office: Failure to Appear for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs $10,000 10 % applies, Unlawful Possession of a Vehicle with a Removed Vehicle Identification Number, Unlawful Possession of a Title or Registration (x2), Unlawful Possession of a Certificate of the Title (x2), Unlawful Display of Registration, No Valid Registration, and No Proof of Valid Insurance.  TRANSPORTED TO THE MCHENRY COUNTY JAIL.  JUVENILE, M/W 17 YEARS OF AGE, CRYSTAL LAKE.  CHARGE: Possession of Cannabis.  RELEASED TO PARENT.
0210 HRS 220 N. RANDALL RD.  (MORETTI’S).  DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED.  PRADO, EDUARDO,  M/W 20 YEARS OF AGE, 421 SADLER AVE.,  ELGIN.  CHARGES: Driving While License Suspended, and Disobeying a Traffic Control Device.  RELEASED ON BOND.
2226 HRS 30 BLOCK OF HILLTOP DR.  DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL/ACCIDENT.  LUTSCH, JOSEPH D.,  M/W 30 YEARS OF AGE, 308 BEACH DR.,  ALGONQUIN.  CHARGES: Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, and Failure to Reduce Speed. Additional charges pending.  RELEASED ON BOND.
0744 HRS PATTON AVE. & GRANT AVE.  ASSIST OTHER POLICE AGENCY.  Officer assisted the Hanover Park Police Department with locating a missing juvenile.
1130 HRS 00 BLOCK OF SUGAR MAPLE CT.  ASSIST AMBULANCE.  Male, one year of age, possibly ingested bleach.  NO TRANSPORT.
1251 HRS 00 BLOCK OF BARTON CREEK CT.  REPORT FOR INSURANCE.  A water pipe broke causing flood damage to the residence.
1516 HRS HALIGUS RD. & REED RD.  ACCIDENT.  Two vehicles.  Property damage only.