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Northwest Herald



Recent news from Northwest Herald



 



Kim Jong Un will walk across border for summit with South Korean presidentA man hangs unification flags near Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet at the southern side of the Panmunjom on Friday.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:52:00 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon-Jae-in will plant a commemorative tree and inspect an honor guard together after Kim walks across the border Friday for their historic summit, Seoul officials said Thursday.

The talks on the southern side of the border village of Panmunjom are expected to focus on North Korea's nuclear program, but there will be plenty of symbolism when Kim becomes the first North Korean leader to be in the southern section of the border since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Moon will receive Kim after he crosses the concrete slabs that form the rivals' military demarcation line Friday morning. They will then walk together for about 10 minutes to a plaza where they'll inspect a South Korean honor guard, Moon's chief of staff Im Jong-seok told reporters.

After signing the guestbook and taking a photo together at Peace House, the venue for Friday's summit, the two leaders will start formal talks at 10:30 a.m. (0130 GMT). They will later plant a pine tree on the border using a mixture of soil from both counties' mountains and water from their respective rivers. The tree, which is beloved by both Koreas, dates to 1953, the year the war ended, Im said.

Engraved on the stone plaque for the tree will be the phrase, "Peace and Prosperity Are Planted," as well as the signatures of the leaders. After the tree-planting, the two plan to stroll together to a footbridge where a signpost for the military demarcation line stands, Im said.

The leaders will meet again in the afternoon and later attend a banquet, Im said.

Im said Kim is to be accompanied by nine top North Korean officials, including his influential sister, Kim Yo Jong. Im said South Korea hopes Kim's wife, Ri Sol Ju, will attend parts of Friday's summit, but Ri's attendance hasn't been agreed to yet.

It's also not clear how the leaders will announce the results of the summit. The most difficult part, Im said, centers on North Korea's level of denuclearization commitment.

Friday's summit and Kim's planned meeting with President Donald Trump in May or early June were arranged after Kim recently expressed a wiliness to put his nuclear program up for negotiation after a year of nuclear and missile tests.

A man hangs unification flags near Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet at the southern side of the Panmunjom on Friday.


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Police respond to Crystal Lake School Districts 47, 155 bus crash outside of WoodstockPolice directed traffic after a school bus crash Wednesday afternoon at South Fleming Road and Hidden Lane near Woodstock.A Crystal Lake School Districts 47 and 155 bus was on the side of Fleming Road about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and another vehicle at the scene had front-end damage.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:51:00 GMT

Police directed traffic after a school bus crash Wednesday afternoon at South Fleming Road and Hidden Lane near Woodstock.

A Crystal Lake School Districts 47 and 155 bus was on the side of Fleming Road about 4:30 p.m.

Another vehicle at the scene had front-end damage.

The Crystal Lake Central varsity softball team was on its way to a game at Woodstock North High School when the crash happened, District 155 director of communications Shannon Podzimek said.

One student suffered a minor injury and was evaluated at the scene before being released, Podzimek said.

The team was transferred to another bus to be taken to its game at Woodstock North.

McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies at the scene declined to answer questions.

The Northwest Herald reached out to the sheriff’s office with a follow-up email, but spokeswoman Sandra Rogers was not available Wednesday evening.

Police directed traffic after a school bus crash Wednesday afternoon at South Fleming Road and Hidden Lane near Woodstock.A Crystal Lake School Districts 47 and 155 bus was on the side of Fleming Road about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and another vehicle at the scene had front-end damage.


Media Files:
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U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger introduces opioid legislationAdam Kinzinger

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:51:00 GMT

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger recently introduced a resolution to remedy opioid addiction.

Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican, along with Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., proposed the Opioid Addiction Action Plan, which would require the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid to develop a plan with stakeholder feedback and then report it to Congress by Jan. 1, according to a news release issued by Kinzinger’s office.

Kinzinger and Clarke were joined by their colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee – Reps. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, and Danny Davis, D-Chicago – in introducing the legislation.

The plan is needed to make sure policies include coverage, treatments and information that serve the overall goal of preventing opioid abuse, according to the release.

Under the measure, Medicare and Medicaid will better be able to identify ways to be more adaptable to treatments for both pain that normally would require opioid prescriptions and for treatment of substance abuse disorders.

“For far too long, we have employed a ‘one size fits all’ method for treating pain and substance abuse disorder,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “We must have other options, and in the 21st century, we should be encouraging innovation and push the boundaries of our medical advances.

“ ... I look forward to working toward putting an end to the opioid abuse crisis and creating a system that is flexible, adaptable and focused on preventing and treating addiction.”

Adam Kinzinger


Media Files:
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Illinois Democrats' plan to override gun dealer veto fizzlesPresident Pro Tempore of the Senate Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, seated, presides over the Illinois Senate Wednesday, April 25, 2018, next to Senate Parliamentaran Giovanni Randazzo at Illinois State House in Springfield, Ill. Harmon is sponsor of legislation to require state licensing of firearms dealers, which was vetoed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Harmon said he had enough votes to override the veto, but some members wanted assurances by Wednesday's deadline that the House would vote to override, too, while some House members were waiting to see what the Senate did. (AP Photo/John O'Connor)

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:51:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Democrats’ hopes of overriding a veto of firearms-dealer licensing fizzled Wednesday, swamped by the inaction of a Senate and House afraid to take the vote without cover from the other. Democrats in the Senate, where the override had to occur by Wednesday’s deadline, said they had enough votes to reverse Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the plan to require gun shops to obtain $1,000, five-year licenses from the state; train employees to spot illegal purchasers; and videotape “critical areas” of their stores. But the measure’s sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, said several of his colleagues’ commitments to vote for override were contingent on knowing that the House would follow suit. “’Victory’ is not overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto ...,” Harmon said in a statement in which he pledged to reintroduce the plan by tacking it to existing legislation. “Victory means protecting the people we represent from the senseless violence fueled by the ready availability of guns in our communities.” Harmon’s pushed the plan before as a way to keep in check what critics call rogue gun shops. Chicago officials released a report last fall showing that nearly one-quarter of guns recovered at crime scenes over a four-year period came from only 10 Chicago-area businesses. It took on additional urgency after the Parkland, Florida, massacre Feb. 14, preceded a day earlier by the fatal downtown Chicago shooting of police Cmdr. Paul Bauer. But while Harmon looked to the House for reassurance, the sponsor there, Rep. Kathleen Willis, said she was courting votes from members who wanted to see the Senate act first and was at least three votes short of the 71 needed. “Those are the three who are waiting to see what their senators do,” said Willis, an Addison Democrat. Wednesday was an unfortunate day for Democrats to broach the subject, with gun-rights advocates swarming the Capitol for the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day. Illinois Secretary of State police estimated the crowd at 1,000; the Illinois State Rifle Association claimed 2,500. “It would be so cost-prohibitive for small shops like mine,” said 49-year-old Amy King, who’s owned a Belleville gun shop since 2003. “The law would be putting us out of business because of the amount of money that we would have to spend. I think the effort is to intimidate gun shops so that it makes it harder to purchase guns legally.” Besides the cost, which supporters deny would be exorbitant, critics object to additional bureaucracy. Rauner’s veto message called the legislation “unnecessary, burdensome regulation” that would hurt small businesses without increasing community safety. Rauner noted in a statement Wednesday that a public-safety group he formed is continuing “to focus on illegal gun trafficking, school safety (and) how to best keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.” Harmon lashed out at Rauner’s “vociferous and unreasonable opposition” to licensing, but said he’s open to further streamlining his plan, adding his hopes for “some cooperation on solving the real problem, which is a handful of gun dealers somehow sell a disproportionate number of guns that end up being used by criminals.” President Pro Tempore of the Senate Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, seated, presides over the Illinois Senate Wednesday, April 25, 2018, next to Senate Parliamentaran Giovanni Randazzo at Illinois State House in Springfield, Ill. Harmon is sponsor of legislation to require state licensing of firearms dealers, which was vetoed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner[...]


Media Files:
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Trump's travel ban likely to be upheld, justices indicateSeema Sked, 39, of Richmond, Va, demonstrates outside the Supreme Court ahead of arguments over President Donald Trump's travel ban on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko)

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:51:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court seemed poised Wednesday to uphold President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by visitors from several Muslim-majority countries, a move that would hand the president a major victory on a controversial signature policy. In the court’s first full-blown consideration of a Trump order, the conservative justices who make up the court’s majority seemed unwilling to hem in a president who has invoked national security to justify restrictions on who can or cannot step on U.S. soil. The justices in December allowed the ban to take full effect even as the legal fight over it continued, but Wednesday was the first time they took it up in open court. Trump’s tough stance on immigration was a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, and he rolled out the first version of the ban only a week after taking office, sparking chaos and protests at a number of airports. The ban’s challengers almost certainly need either Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Anthony Kennedy on their side if the court is to strike down the policy that its opponents have labeled a Muslim ban. But neither appeared receptive to arguments made by lawyer Neal Katyal, representing the ban’s opponents, that Trump’s rule stems from his campaign pledge to keep Muslims out of the country and is unlike immigration orders issued by any other president. The room was packed for the court’s final arguments until October, and people waited in line for seats for days. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was in the audience. Demonstrators protesting the ban filled the area outside the building. Some who oppose the ban have said courts should treat Trump differently from his predecessors. But that issue was raised only obliquely from the bench when Justice Elena Kagan talked about a hypothetical president who campaigned on an anti-Semitic platform and then tried to ban visitors from Israel. When Solicitor General Noel Francisco, defending the ban, started to answer that such a turn of events was extremely unlikely because of the two countries’ close relationship, Kagan stopped him. “This is an out-of-the-box kind of president in my hypothetical,” she said, to laughter. “We don’t have those, Your Honor,” Francisco replied. While there was discussion about Trump’s statements both as a candidate and as president, no justice specifically referenced his tweets on the subject, despite Katyal’s attempt to get them to focus on last fall’s retweets of inflammatory videos that stoked anti-Islam sentiment. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the most aggressive questioner of Francisco. She told him she doubted that the president has “the authority to do more than Congress has already decided is adequate” under immigration law. She and Kagan also questioned Francisco closely about whether the ban discriminates against Muslims. From the other side, Kennedy challenged Katyal about whether the ban would be unending. He said the policy’s call for a report every six months “indicates there’ll be a reassessment” from time to time. “You want the president to say, ‘I’m convinced that in six months we’re going to have a safe world,’ ” Kennedy said, seemingly rejecting Katyal’s argument. His only question that seemed to favor the challengers came early in the arguments, when he asked Francisco whether Trump’s campaign statements should be considered in evaluating the administration’s ban. Francisco told the justices they shouldn’t look at those campaign statements. Kennedy pressed on that p[...]


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32-year-old man seriously injured in Johnsburg rollover crashThe intersection of Ringwood and McCullom Lake roads is seen Wednesday in McHenry.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:49:00 GMT

A 32-year-old man was flown to an area hospital in serious condition after he was ejected from a vehicle that rolled over about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday in Johnsburg.

Four people were traveling in a vehicle that left the road for unknown reasons and rolled, McHenry Township Fire Battalion Chief David Harwood said. The incident happened on North Ringwood Road between McCullom Lake and West Martin roads.

The 38-year-old driver was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry in good condition, and 20-year-old and 25-year-old passengers were treated at the scene, Harwood said.

The fourth person – a 32-year-old man – had been ejected from the vehicle.

The man was treated in an ambulance and then flown by Flight for Life to an area hospital with serious injuries.

The crash closed North Ringwood Road until about 6 a.m. while police investigated, Johnsburg Police Chief Keith Von Allmen said. The major accident investigation team continues to investigate.

The intersection of Ringwood and McCullom Lake roads is seen Wednesday in McHenry.


Media Files:
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Man charged in attempted murder-suicide suffers from brain injury, attorney saysMcHenry police officers work the scene of a shooting after responding to a domestic disturbance call Jan. 15 on Home Avenue in McHenry.William R. Chrisman, 36

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:49:00 GMT

A man charged in an attempted murder-suicide suffers from serious brain trauma, which prevents him from taking care of himself, court records show.

William R. Chrisman was arrested Feb. 27 upon his release from the hospital. The 36-year-old had been hospitalized for more than a month after the alleged attempted murder-suicide at his former McHenry home.

Chrisman is accused of waking his sleeping wife by pointing a gun in her face and pulling the trigger Jan. 15. He then shot himself in the head in front of two young children, according to motions filed in McHenry County court.

The woman was treated for a bullet graze wound and released shortly after, according to an order of protection granted in a divorce case between Chrisman and his wife.

The self-inflicted gunshot wound left Chrisman with poor memory and serious learning difficulties, his attorney wrote in a Feb. 28 motion. It is unclear how his condition might affect a potential trial.

Out on bond, Chrisman now lives with family members who supervise and take care of him, the motion stated.

It was not clear what prompted Chrisman to try to kill himself and his wife. Documents show that he had no criminal history in McHenry County. He previously filed for divorce in January 2016, but by May of the same year, the couple decided not to go through with it, and the case was dismissed, records show.

Representatives from the state’s attorney’s office and Crystal Lake-based law firm Donahue and Walsh could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Chrisman’s wife filed a new petition for divorce in March after her husband was released on bond, noting that she feared for her and her children’s safety.

Conditions of Chrisman’s bond include agreements that he stay at his parents’ alarmed and securely locked home under constant supervision.

Prosecutors’ request to keep Chrisman from seeing his children was denied. He is due in court May 4.

McHenry police officers work the scene of a shooting after responding to a domestic disturbance call Jan. 15 on Home Avenue in McHenry.William R. Chrisman, 36


Media Files:
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Huntley man cited for driving under the influence after Union rolloverA Huntley man was cited for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.A Huntley man was cited for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.A Huntley man was cited for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:49:00 GMT

A Huntley man was issued citations for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.

Mauricio Reinbrecht was traveling east on Hemmingson Road, west of McCue Road, when for unknown reasons he drove his 2008 Saturn Ion off the road and flipped it over, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said.

He was issued a citation for driving under the influence and improper lane use, Rogers said.

A Huntley man was cited for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.A Huntley man was cited for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.A Huntley man was cited for driving under the influence after he veered off the road and rolled his vehicle about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Union.


Media Files:
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Harvard man takes plea deal, gets probation on 2016 marijuana-dealing chargeBenito Mendoza, 21, of the 800 block of Casey Lane, Harvard

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:48:00 GMT

A 21-year-old man could have a marijuana conviction vacated from his record if he successfully completes two years of probation.

Benito Mendoza, of the 800 block of Casey Lane, Harvard, pleaded guilty Tuesday to manufacturing and delivering 10 to 30 grams of marijuana.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather ordered Mendoza to serve two years of probation, which is reserved for first-time offenders. If Mendoza follows the conditions of his probation, the drug conviction will be cleared from his record. He also must perform 30 hours of community service.

At the time of his plea Tuesday, Mendoza faced charges in two drug-related cases from 2016.

The first case, which was dismissed as a result of the deal, accused Mendoza of having between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver.

A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County court stated that police also found drug paraphernalia and brass knuckles on the man.

Ultimately, Mendoza was sentenced on a felony offense that stemmed from his July 22, 2016, arrest.

About the time of his arrest, Illinois became the 21st state to pass a law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. It was not clear how much marijuana Mendoza had on him, although it’s alleged to have been more than 10 but fewer than 30 grams, according to a criminal complaint.

Additional charges, including possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, were dismissed. Mendoza previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges from 2015 in an unrelated case.

Representatives from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment about Mendoza’s arrest or sentencing.

His probation is expected to end April 17, 2020.

Benito Mendoza, 21, of the 800 block of Casey Lane, Harvard


Media Files:
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Lost Valley Visitor Center offers hiking, birdwatching, animal trackingA pelican searches for its next meal April 13 at Griswold Lake in Holiday Hills.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:48:00 GMT

Hike, go birdwatching or track wildlife during a Lost Valley Nature Detective adventure at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Indoor displays and activities will prepare participants for an outdoor exploration, and each month features a new topic. Check out a free exploration backpack to borrow binoculars and field guides, and grab a scavenger hunt map to help you search the wild spaces of Glacial Park.

Topics change monthly, including frogs in May, salamanders in June, pioneer play in July and butterflies in August.

The Lost Valley Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, and is closed Memorial Day. For information, call Prairieview Education Center at 815-479-5779.

A pelican searches for its next meal April 13 at Griswold Lake in Holiday Hills.


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Harvard woman's autopsy results pending; police investigating 'suspicious' death

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:47:00 GMT

Harvard police are waiting for more detailed autopsy results from the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office after a Harvard woman’s “suspicious” death.

Coroner William Hintz said Tuesday that autopsy results for Marlene Lynch, 54, are pending further studies. The autopsy was conducted Monday, and a pathologist is reviewing medical records before determining a cause of death.

“We are in a holding pattern until we hear back from the coroner,” Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause said.

Lynch was pronounced dead at 11:40 p.m. Friday at a hospital in Rockford, authorities said. Harvard police responded Thursday to the 300 block of South Division Street in Harvard and found Lynch unresponsive but breathing with facial injuries, police said.


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Lake in the Hills trustees to consider allowing Speedway patrons to drink beer, gambleLake in the Hills Trustee Stephen Harlfinger listens to public comment Tuesday during a Committee of the Whole meeting.The Illinois Video Gaming Board requires that gaming sites either serve alcohol or be a truck stop, so Speedway gas station, 2700 W. Algonquin Road, Lake in the Hills, is seeking a change to its liquor license to allow people to drink beer on-site.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:46:00 GMT

Lake in the Hills trustees will vote on a proposal Thursday that could allow a Speedway gas station to change its liquor license to allow people to drink beer while on-site.

The intent is to allow the gas station, 2700 W. Algonquin Road, to have video gaming machines. The Illinois Video Gaming Board requires that gaming sites either serve alcohol or be a truck stop.

Speedway representative Rachel Shurr said the station would be remodeled to create a wall that blocks off the five terminals and creates an age-restricted gaming room.

The area would have a self-contained wall with a locking door visible from the register area, Shurr said.

People could buy two beers – 12-ounce Miller Lite and Coors Light cans at $4 apiece – from a locked cooler. Shurr said a consumption log would be kept, listing the date and time of the sale, the customer’s name and the employee who sold it.

The intent is not to promote drinking, which is why Speedway has set prices high, Shurr said.

“I would refuse that sale no differently than someone looking to buy packaged alcohol. If I feel they are in any way potentially intoxicated, I’m going to refuse that package sale,” Shurr said.

Trustee Stephen Harlfinger had reservations at first.

“It’s a gas station. That right there screams ‘no.’ We say we are all about not drinking and driving, but here, have a beer and fill up your car with some unleaded [gas],” Harlfinger said.

But during Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Harlfinger said if Police Chief David Brey feels comfortable with the idea, then he would support it.

Brey said the proposed safety measures are more than those at other businesses in the community, and the station would be subject to routine sale checks.

“They are talking about logging every single drink a patron drinks,” Brey said. “Their controls on paper are way above and beyond. I don’t see it as any different as when we allowed Starbucks to start serving wine on the premise.”

Trustees said they’d prefer the station become a truck stop. Shurr said Speedway would prefer to become a truck stop, but it lacks spacing because it’s required to have 3 acres of property.

Speedway has two truck stops with video gaming nearby in Hampshire and South Elgin, but none serve alcohol on the premises. A Speedway in Willow Springs also has applied for a consumption license.

Butcher on the Block is the only business with a similar liquor license in Lake in the Hills.

Trustees will vote on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate.

Lake in the Hills Trustee Stephen Harlfinger listens to public comment Tuesday during a Committee of the Whole meeting.The Illinois Video Gaming Board requires that gaming sites either serve alcohol or be a truck stop, so Speedway gas station, 2700 W. Algonquin Road, Lake in the Hills, is seeking a change to its liquor license to allow people to drink beer on-site.


Media Files:
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Correction

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:46:00 GMT

A story on page A2 in Monday’s edition incorrectly spelled Zachery Brokaw’s name based on incorrect information given in a news release.




Debate continues on proposed solar farm for McHenry TownshipCypress Creek Renewables senior developer Scott Novack gives a presentation Wednesday during a public hearing about a proposed solar farm at the McHenry County Administration Building in Woodstock.About 200 people attend a hearing for a proposed solar farm Wednesday at the McHenry County Administration Building in Woodstock.Magitek Energy Solutions owner Paul LaBarbera asks a question during a zoning board hearing about a proposed solar farm Wednesday. Johnsburg-based Magitek Energy Solutions supplies solar energy equipment.About 200 residents watch a presentation about a proposed solar farm during Wednesday's meeting.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:45:00 GMT

About 200 people attended a contentious McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Wednesday as a debate about a proposed solar farm in McHenry Township continued. California-based Cypress Creek Renewables, Chicago-based Shabadoo Solar LLC and Wisconsin-based West Grant Development want to install solar panels on about 35 acres of land on a 50-acre portion of property the companies plan to lease northeast of South Solon and West Ringwood roads. What isn’t leased of the total 90-acre property will continue to be farmed. The plot of land is across from a residential area, and nearby homeowners have organized in protest. Residents have raised concerns about aesthetics, property values, effect on the land and future land use. “We don’t want it there,” said Walter Bruhn, who owns a farm north of the potential development. “It will devalue property and be an eyesore.” He said he is worried trash and stray field debris will get caught in the security fence and be left there. He said that he doesn’t think developers have had adequate answers to questions residents have raised. Some have said they have an overall distrust for California-based companies. “I don’t agree with it,” said Johnsburg resident Linda Helmers, Bruhn’s daughter. “I think the company putting it in is questionable, and more research needs to be done.” The zoning board first heard the proposal during a marathon meeting earlier this month. A second hours-long meeting Wednesday was continued to May 9. The board had a chance to hear from a variety of Cypress Creek-hired experts Wednesday about solar farms’ effect on property values. The consensus from two witnesses – Rich Kirkland, a North Carolina-based expert from Kirkland Appraisals, and Patricia McGarr, national director of CohnReznick Advisory’s Valuation Practice – was that there isn’t devaluation. McGarr said she and her partner interviewed township assessors in areas where solar farms exist. They also studied market values and time on the market for homes adjacent to these developments against a control group of similar real estate. The group found no negative effect on market value, sales or appreciation, she said. Properties in Illinois and Indiana were included in the study. Illinois doesn’t have many existing solar farms, but the recently passed Future Energy Jobs Act has made way for such developments. The mandate requires utility companies such as ComEd to sell about 25 percent of their power in renewable energy, such as wind and solar. Electricity generated by solar energy plants will go back onto the ComEd grid. When a community solar plan is put in place by the Illinois Power Agency, residents will benefit. The result will be a lower electric bill for solar subscribers, Cypress Creek senior developer Scott Novack said. The proposed McHenry Township complex would gather about four megawatts of energy, which is enough to power 640 homes, Novack said. Once the program launches – likely by the end of this year or early next year – residents in the ComEd territory can sign on, he said. “ComEd is huge ... but the idea is to give access to people,” Novack said. “This is a way of making sure everyone who wants it can subscribe.” Residents and some local municipalities, such as Rin[...]


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Algonquin Township trustees travel to Springfield to lobby against proposed consolidation billAlgonquin Township Trustee Dave Chapman speaks during the annual town meeting April 10.

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:45:00 GMT

Algonquin Township officials traveled to Springfield on Wednesday to lobby against a bill that could make the path to township consolidation easier.

Although some township trustees have said it’s a great use of taxpayers’ dollars, the state representative behind the bill said the use of tax money to lobby for any cause shows the problem with township government.

The legislation at the center of the movement at Township Officials of Illinois’ 37th annual Township Topics Day is House Bill 4637 – a proposed statute from the desk of state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, that could give township trustees in McHenry County the power to put a consolidation referendum to voters with a majority vote.

“We’re here to lobby the remaining senators to vote against that and give us a chance and disregard [McSweeney’s] opinions of what he knows nothing about,” Trustee Dave Chapman said.

He attended the event with Trustees Melissa Victor and Rachael Lawrence on a trip Algonquin Township funded.

A ticket to the Springfield event cost $75, and the hotel stay was about $70, Chapman said.

Chapman said the point of the annual event is to lobby for Township Officials of Illinois – an advocacy and educational organization that represents nearly all of the state’s 1,431 townships.

“This is absolutely a necessary effort. It’s a wonderful, organized trip to convey our feelings about initiatives that are important to the state of Illinois and our township.” Chapman said.

McSweeney characterized proponents of township government as “taxeaters.”

“How disgraceful it is that people are using taxpayer money to travel to Springfield to lobby against taxpayer relief,” he said.

Algonquin Township Trustee Dave Chapman speaks during the annual town meeting April 10.


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Arizona unites to care for, feed kids during teacher strikeHighland Arts Elementary School kindergarten teacher Melissa Perez participates in a final walk-in Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. Communities and school districts are preparing for a historic statewide teacher walkout on Thursday that could keep hundreds of thousands of students out of school indefinitely. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 00:25:00 GMT

PHOENIX – From gathering gift cards, prepping boxed lunches and opening church doors for child care, communities across Arizona are getting ready for a historic teacher walkout that could keep hundreds of thousands of students out of school indefinitely. Working parents had a week to figure out where to send their children starting Thursday after teachers voted for an unprecedented statewide strike to push for increased education funding. While tens of thousands of educators rally this week, students will be cared for by friends, family or community organizations. "Everybody is banding together and helping each other," said Stephanie Barton, an exercise physiologist and Phoenix mom of two. She will send her kids to a church while she and her husband are at work. Others are leaving their children with stay-at-home parents who offered to help or are taking advantage of day camps that sprung up statewide. Volunteers also are busy gathering food for students who rely on free meals at school and collecting gift cards for hourly workers who won't be paid while schools shut down. The walkout is the climax of a teacher uprising that began weeks ago with the grass-roots #RedforEd movement that spread from West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky. It has moved most recently to Colorado, where widespread teacher walkouts Thursday and Friday will shut down schools. In Arizona, the action grew from red shirts and protests to costly demands: a 20 percent raise for teachers, about $1 billion to return school funding to pre-Great Recession levels and increased pay for support staff, among other things. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey offered teachers the pay bump by 2020, but they say his plan didn't address their other demands and are concerned, along with lawmakers, about where the money might come from. Ducey doubled down on his plan Wednesday, telling Phoenix new station KSAZ-TV that he's working with lawmakers and has proposed an additional $100 million for K-12 education that schools can use to address other demands. "I'm hopeful we will have a vote on this this week, as soon as possible," he said. Nearly 80 percent of teachers voted for the first-ever statewide strike, though it could put them at risk in the right-to-work state without many union protections. A 1971 Arizona attorney general opinion says a statewide strike would be illegal under common law and participants could lose their teaching credentials. But no school district has said they would fire educators who walk out or revoke teaching certificates. Some districts have said they will try to stay open if they have enough staff, but the walkout has left Barton and other parents scrambling. Still, she supports the action. "Teachers deserve a raise but also to get funding for the schools to meet their basic needs," Barton said. Other parents are frustrated. "I would have gladly walked out to show support for our teachers, rather than the teachers walk out on our kids," said Katy Crawford of Tucson. "I know they keep saying they're not 'abandoning' the kids, but that's what it feels like. My 11-year-old son doesn't understand their situation, and he shouldn't have to yet." Ester Skiera, a suburban Phoenix mother of three who works from home, said she's [...]


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DNA brings arrest in sadistic crime spree from '70s and '80sThis undated law enforcement photo provided by the Sacramento County, Calif., Sheriff's Office shows Joseph James DeAngelo. DeAngelo, a suspected California serial killer who committed at least 12 homicides and 45 rapes throughout the state in the 1970s and '80s was identified Wednesday, April 25, 2018, as a former police officer, an official said. (Sacramento County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 20:47:00 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A DNA match led to the arrest of a 72-year-old former police officer in one of the most baffling and sadistic crime sprees of the 1970s and '80s – a string of at least 12 slayings and 45 rapes in California by an attacker dubbed the Golden State Killer, police said Wednesday. Armed with a gun, the masked attacker would break into homes while single women or couples were sleeping. He sometimes tied up the man and piled dishes on his back, then raped the woman while threatening to kill them both if the dishes tumbled. He often took souvenirs, notably coins and jewelry, from his victims, who ranged in age from 13 to 41. The match led to Joseph James DeAngelo, who was fired in 1979 from the police department in Auburn, northeast of Sacramento. Despite an outpouring of thousands of tips over the years, his name had not been on authorities' radar before last week, District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. "We knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack, but we also knew that needle was there," Schubert said. "We found the needle in the haystack, and it was right here in Sacramento." "The answer was always going to be in the DNA," she said. DeAngelo was arrested on suspicion of committing four killings in Sacramento and Ventura counties, officials said. He was fired from the Auburn department in 1979 after he was arrested for stealing a can of dog repellant and a hammer from a drug store, according to Auburn Journal articles from the time. FBI agents were gathering evidence at a Sacramento-area home linked to DeAngelo, the agency said. As the crimes unfolded across the state, authorities called the attacker by different names. He was dubbed the East Area Rapist after his start in Northern California, the Original Night Stalker after a series of Southern California slayings and the Diamond Knot Killer for using an elaborate binding method on two of his victims. He was most recently called the Golden State Killer. Jane Carson-Sandler was sexually assaulted in 1976 in her home in Citrus Heights by a man believed to be the East Area Rapist. She said she received an email Wednesday from a retired detective who worked on the case telling her they have identified the rapist and he's in custody. "I have just been overjoyed, ecstatic. It's an emotional roller-coaster right now," Carson-Sandler, who now lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I feel like I'm in the middle of a dream and I'm going to wake up and it's not going to be true. It's just so nice to have closure and to know he's in jail." In 2016, the FBI and California officials renewed their search for the East Area Rapist and announced a $50,000 reward for his arrest and conviction. He has been linked to a total of more than 175 crimes between 1976 and 1986. Authorities decided to publicize the case in advance of the 40th anniversary of his first known assault in Sacramento County. DeAngelo, who was also a police officer in Exeter, in Southern California, from 1973 to 1976, was taken into custody without incident as officers surprised him at his Sacramento-area home, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said. "This was a truly a convergence of emerging technology and[...]


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HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose tripling rent increases for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidiesBen Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on June 13, 2017. Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:46:00 GMT

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday will propose to increase the amount low-income households are expected to pay for rent as well as require those receiving housing subsidies to work, according to the administration's legislative proposal obtained by The Washington Post.

The move to overhaul how low-income rental subsidies are calculated would affect more than 4.5 million families relying on federal housing assistance. The proposal legislation would require Congressional approval. Currently, tenants generally pay 30 percent of their adjusted income toward rent or a the public housing agency minimum rent not to exceed $50. The administration's legislative proposal sets the family monthly rent contribution at 35 percent of their gross income or 35 percent of their earnings by working 15 hours a week at the federal minimum wage - or approximately $150 a month, three times higher than the current minimum. The Trump administration has long signaled through its budget proposals and leaked draft legislation that it sought to increase the rents low-income tenants pay to live in federally subsidized housing. The White House budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year indicated that it would "encourage work and self-sufficiency" across its rental assistance programs. The reforms would require adults who are able to work to "shoulder more of their housing costs and provide an incentive to increase their earnings," budget documents said. HUD also seeks to change the deductions that could be considered when determining a tenant's rent, eliminating deductions for medical and childcare costs. "When we are in the middle of a housing crisis that's having the most negative impact on the lowest income people, we shouldn't even be considering proposals to increase their rent burdens," said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Carson plans to lay out the administration's reform plans in a press call about an hour before a Wednesday afternoon House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on rent reform.

Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on June 13, 2017. Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg


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McHenry County groups to mark Year of the Bird with activities next weekendDozens of pelicans search for their next meal at Griswold Lake on Friday, April 13, 2018 in Holiday Hills.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:18:00 GMT

This is the Year of the Bird, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, McHenry County Conservation District, Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are bringing a worldwide celebration of birds to the Illinois-Wisconsin state line region. Upcoming events include:

• 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Glacial Park’s Lost Valley Visitor Center on Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood – Bird banding by USFWS biologists from 8 to 10:30 a.m., and activities all morning.

• 8 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday – USFWS Bird banding demonstrations at Ducks Unlimited’s Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge site, N541 County Road H, Genoa City, Wisconsin.

• Noon to 4 p.m. at Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Road, Ingleside.

On both mornings, wildlife biologists will be capturing and banding birds' legs before releasing them back into the wild. As the specialists weigh and check the health of each bird, participants will see these creatures up close.

This year features a special prize, Backpacks for Birding. Donated to the events in memory of young birder Zachery Brokaw who died in an auto accident in 2015, the packs were created by his mom, in partnership with McHenry County Audubon, to keep his memory alive and inspire the next generation of young birders. Each pack contains a pair of 7 x 35 binoculars, a bird book, a hummingbird ring and other bird-related items. The backpacks will be distributed free to the first 75 children ages 6 – 14 who complete 14 activities at Glacial Park or Volo Bog State Natural Area. One pack per child, please.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Zachery Brokaw's name.

Dozens of pelicans search for their next meal at Griswold Lake on Friday, April 13, 2018 in Holiday Hills.


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Trump rallies behind VA nominee after suggesting he should drop out of 'ugly' processRonny Jackson, seen here in January, is meeting with lawmakers ahead of his confirmation hearing next week. Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 12:58:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The White House rallied around Ronny Jackson's nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs late Tuesday as the president's former doctor was besieged by complaints that he improperly dispensed drugs, created a hostile workplace and became intoxicated on duty. The administration's decision to fight on in defense of the nomination came hours after President Donald Trump publicly suggested that Jackson should consider pulling out because of the "abuse" he was facing. But by late afternoon, Trump huddled with Jackson, and White House aides vowed to fight the charges. "I don't want to put a man through a process like this," Trump had said earlier when asked about Jackson's nomination during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. "It's too ugly, and it's too disgusting." Trump added, "I said to Dr. Jackson, what do you need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians? . . . If I was him . . . I wouldn't do it." Jackson's worsening problems flared into public view Tuesday when lawmakers nixed his confirmation hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The nomination was officially postponed by Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, the Republican chair of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, the ranking Democrat. Later Tuesday, Tester said during an interview with NPR that the committee had heard complaints from more than 20 current and former military members that Jackson had improperly dispensed drugs, had become intoxicated on professional trips and belittled staff members. "We were told stories where he was repeatedly drunk on while duty where his main job was to take care of the most powerful man in the world," Tester said. "That's not acceptable." Tester said concerns about the allegations were "bipartisan in nature," including from Isakson. A spokeswoman for Isakson said that the senator remained undecided about the nomination but continues to harbor serious concerns. Hours after the president's news conference, more allegations emerged about Jackson, including a 2012 government report that said he exhibited "unprofessional behavior" and should be removed from his post. "There is a severe and pervasive lack of trust in the leadership that has deteriorated to the point that staff walk on 'eggshells,' " the report found. It described morale under his leadership as in the doldrums and said the office was beset by fighting between Jackson and Jeffrey Kuhlman, President Barack Obama's doctor at the time. It was another episode where a previously respected figure was lifted to prominence in Trump's orbit - only to have their sheen and reputation tarnished. Jackson had been widely hailed by three presidents and their aides as competent, charming and fiercely protective before Trump stunned Washington last month by picking the doctor to run the country's second-largest federal agency. Jackson declined to comment on the accusations, and senior aides said that he showed no willingness to drop out Tuesday afternoon as he trudged through meetings with senators on Capitol Hill. Privately, he dismissed some of the charges to senior aides, according to administration officials, and said he was being unfairly attacked. "N[...]


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Trump, Macron make show as best buds but tussle over IranPresident Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron embrace at the conclusion of a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:35:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – With exaggerated handshakes and a pair of kisses, President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron professed a sunny, best-friends relationship Tuesday, even as the two allies strained to bridge differences over the Iran nuclear agreement, Syria and more. Hosting Macron for the first state visit of his administration, culminating in a lavish dinner Tuesday night, Trump remained firm in his criticism of past and enduring American undertakings in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. But he appeared open to the French president’s pleas to maintain U.S. involvement in Syria – and expressed openness to negotiating a new agreement with Iran. As Trump weighs withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear accord, he issued a warning to Iran against restarting its nuclear program, saying “they will have bigger problems than they’ve ever had before.” At a joint White House news conference, he appeared to be more in line with Macron’s push for a longer-term U.S. presence in Syria. Trump, who announced weeks ago that he would withdraw American troops, said Macron reinforced the idea of a potential Iranian takeover of territory liberated from the Islamic State group. “We’ll be coming home,” Trump said, “but we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint.” Macron told Trump that together the U.S. and France would defeat terrorism, curtail weapons of mass destruction in North Korea and Iran and act together on behalf of the planet. That last was a reference to Macron’s work to revive a U.S. role in the Paris climate accord to fight global warming, another international agreement Trump has spurned. Differences aside, Trump and Macron lavished praise – and even a pair of kisses – on each another Tuesday. “It’s an honor to call you my friend,” Trump said, after predicting Macron would be a historic leader of France. In one light moment, Trump sought to demonstrate some of the personal chemistry he claimed. The U.S. president brushed something off Macron’s suit jacket, saying, “We have a very special relationship; in fact I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off. We have to make him perfect – he is perfect.” The meetings followed a pomp-filled welcome ceremony on the South Lawn. Highlights included a 21-gun salute and Melania Trump’s wide-brim white hat, which drew more comments than all the rest of the pageantry. Trump said before an audience of U.S. soldiers and members of his Cabinet that the relationship he forged with Macron at the start of his presidency was a testament to the “enduring friendship that binds our two nations.” He thanked the French leader for his “steadfast partnership” in the recent missile strike in response to the chemical attack in Syria. Macron said, “History is calling us. It is urging our people to find the fortitude that has guided us in the most difficult of times. France and with it, Europe, and the United States have an appointment with history.” Later he placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The social highlight of Macron’s visit was Tuesday night’s formal state dinner at the White House. About 150 g[...]


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Crystal Lake crash sends 2 people to hospital, shuts down Route 31Route 31 shut down Monday as police investigated a crash that sent two people to the hospital.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:34:00 GMT

Two people were taken to the hospital after a crash Monday in Crystal Lake, police said.

The Crystal Lake Police Department, Crystal Lake Fire Rescue District and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded about 5 p.m. to the scene on Route 31, Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said Tuesday morning.

Route 31 at Ray Street closed for about an hour as police investigated the crash, which occurred just north of Route 176 at River Birch Boulevard, he said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Route 31 shut down Monday as police investigated a crash that sent two people to the hospital.


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McHenry County libraries receive grants from Jesse WhiteParents and children fill the children’s area at the Huntley Area Public Library on Feb. 8. The district will receive $49,041.25 in grant funding from Secretary of State Jesse White.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:34:00 GMT

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has awarded Public Library Per Capita and Equalization Aid Grants totaling $15.4 million to 630 public state libraries serving almost 12 million patrons.

“I am proud of the outstanding service Illinois’ public libraries provide to our communities,” White said. “Our libraries are the best and most reliable information resource available to citizens, and I am pleased to be able to provide these grants each year.”

Local grants recipients are:

• Algonquin Area Public Library District – $51,011.25

• Antioch Public Library District – $32,638.75

• Cary Area Public Library District – $35,306.25

• Crystal Lake Public Library – $50,928.75

• Harvard Diggins Library – $11,808.75

• Huntley Area Public Library District – $49,041.25

• Johnsburg Public Library District – $15,526.25

• Marengo-Union Library District – $17,416.25

• McHenry Public Library District – $52,528.75

• Rural Woodstock Public Library District – $15,767.5

Some of the valuable services public libraries provide include free internet access; books; magazines; newspapers; CDs and DVDs; audiobooks and eBooks; interlibrary loan service, reference services such as homework assistance; social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter; after-school and summer programming for children; book clubs where patrons read and discuss books; multicultural programming and translation services; special programs and services for senior citizens, such as tax return assistance and demonstrations on how to use computers and email; voter registration and organ/tissue donor drives; and meeting rooms for important community events.

Per Capita Grant funding is authorized under Illinois library law for public libraries, which allows resources for expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.

Equalization Aid Grants help qualifying public libraries with a low library tax base ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.

For information, visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/plpc_equalization.html.

Parents and children fill the children’s area at the Huntley Area Public Library on Feb. 8. The district will receive $49,041.25 in grant funding from Secretary of State Jesse White.


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PHOTOS: Signs of spring in McHenry CountyTwins Vivian and Luke Hansen, 3, of Crystal Lake play on the swings Tuesday at Veteran Acres Park.Alejandro Hernandez of Carpentersville holds up a walleye he caught Tuesday near the Algonquin dam.Alejandro Hernandez of Carpentersville throws a walleye he caught back into the Fox River on Tuesday near the Algonquin dam.Gigg Cencula (left) of Woodstock poses for a photo with her mom, Noom Mekkamol of Thailand, on Tuesday on the Woodstock Square. Mekkamol was visiting the Square with her sister after traveling to visit Cencula, who moved to the area eight years ago.Vivian Hansen, 3, of Crystal Lake plays on the swings Tuesday at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:34:00 GMT

McHenry County residents were out and about Tuesday enjoying the warmer weather.

Twins Vivian and Luke Hansen, 3, of Crystal Lake play on the swings Tuesday at Veteran Acres Park.Alejandro Hernandez of Carpentersville holds up a walleye he caught Tuesday near the Algonquin dam.Alejandro Hernandez of Carpentersville throws a walleye he caught back into the Fox River on Tuesday near the Algonquin dam.Gigg Cencula (left) of Woodstock poses for a photo with her mom, Noom Mekkamol of Thailand, on Tuesday on the Woodstock Square. Mekkamol was visiting the Square with her sister after traveling to visit Cencula, who moved to the area eight years ago.Vivian Hansen, 3, of Crystal Lake plays on the swings Tuesday at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake.


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Pioneer Center for Human Services to hold abilities workshop in McHenryMcHenry-based Pioneer Center for Human Services celebrated its 60th anniversary earlier this year with a nod from U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:31:00 GMT

Pioneer Center for Human Services’ Family Connections Group is hosting a workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday at its McHenry campus, 4031 W. Dayton St. The free event, “Don’t Lose Yourself in the Shuffle,” will help parents and caregivers complete a well-being check so they are at their best in caring for others.

Speakers will include Karla Chandler, who has a child with a developmental disability; Cindy Sullivan, executive director of Options and Advocacy for McHenry County; Sherri Schneider with Family Benefit Solutions; Pioneer Center wellness coordinator Bryan Bode; Mary Jo Napolitano of the Illinois Nutrition Education Program at the University of Illinois Extension; Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association regional coordinator Rebecca Ortman; Pioneer Center respite program coordinator Erin Newport; and Lisa Neuhaus, Pioneer Center’s Special Olympics and recreation facilitator.

To register, contact Barb Swanson at 815-759-7128 or bswanson@pioneercenter.org.

To view a full schedule of events, visit www.pioneercenter.org.

McHenry-based Pioneer Center for Human Services celebrated its 60th anniversary earlier this year with a nod from U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.


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Online post suggests Toronto rampage suspect might have resented womenOzra Kenari places flowers at a memorial Tuesday for victims the day after a driver drove a van down sidewalks along Yonge Street, striking pedestrians in his path in Toronto.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:29:00 GMT

TORONTO – The suspect in the deadly van attack in Toronto posted a chilling Facebook message just minutes before plowing into a crowded city sidewalk, authorities said Tuesday, raising the possibility that he might have nursed grudges against women – a possible echo of a 1989 massacre of 14 women that remains one of Canada’s most traumatic acts of violence. The 25-year-old suspect, Alek Minassian, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the deaths of 10 pedestrians he mowed down in the rented van he sent careening along the busy walkway. Fourteen others were injured. Toronto Police Services Det. Sgt. Graham Gibson told a news conference that those killed and injured were “predominantly” women, although he declined to discuss a possible motive. “All the lanes are open with this investigation,” Police Chief Mark Saunders said. Authorities have not yet released a list of victims. Those known to have been killed include a 30-year-old woman from Toronto, Anne Marie D’Amico, who was active in volunteer work, as well as a female student at Seneca College, which Minassian also attended. A Jordanian citizen and two South Koreans also were among those killed. The gender issue arose because of what police called a “cryptic” Facebook message posted by Minassian just before the incident that suggested he was part of an online community angry over its inability to form relationships with women. The now-deleted post saluted Elliot Rodger, a community college student who killed six people and wounded 13 in shooting and stabbing attacks near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2014. Calling Rodger “the Supreme Gentleman,” the Facebook post declared: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!” Rodger had used the term “incel” – for involuntarily celibate – in online posts raging at women for rejecting him romantically. Like-minded people in internet forums sometimes use “Chad” and “Stacy” as dismissive slang for men and women with more robust sex lives. The anti-women sentiment recalled the 1989 massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique, an engineering college in Montreal, when 25-year-old Marc Lepine entered a classroom, separated the men from the women, told the men to leave and opened fire, killing 14 women before killing himself. In a suicide note, he blamed feminists for ruining his life. Since then, there have been sporadic mass shootings in Canada, but none with a higher death toll – reinforcing the view among many Canadians that their country is less violent than the U.S. “Canadians don’t know who they are, but they know who they are not – they’re not Americans,” said Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto. “They perceive that Canada, relative to the U.S., is a peaceable kingdom.” “This isn’t to say everything’s hunky dory in Canada,” Wiseman added. “But we don’t have this constant string of mass shootings that keep happening, and then nothing changes.” W[...]


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Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victimBill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial Tuesday at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:29:00 GMT

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – Jurors at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments that portrayed the comedian both as a calculating predator who’s finally being brought to justice and the victim of a multimillion-dollar frame-up by a “pathological liar.” The seven men and five women sequestered at a suburban Philadelphia hotel will start weighing charges on Wednesday in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. They begged off a late Tuesday start, saying they were exhausted from 5½ hours of arguments. The prosecution and defense gave them lots to think about after a two-week trial pitting Cosby, the 80-year-old comedian once revered as “America’s Dad,” against Andrea Constand, a former Temple University sports administrator who testified that he knocked her out with three pills he called “your friends” and molested her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in January 2004. “The time for the defendant to escape justice is over. It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said, imploring jurors to stand with Constand, look Cosby in the eye and “tell him the truth about what he did.” Cosby’s lawyers argued that the charges were based on “flimsy, silly, ridiculous evidence.” This time, prosecutors had five other women testify that Cosby drugged and violated them. One accuser asked him through tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?” Cosby’s lawyers, who contend the encounter was consensual, called a woman who said Constand spoke of framing a high-profile person to sue and extract a big settlement. None of that was allowed at Cosby’s streamlined first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year after deliberations over six days. Nor were jurors told the amount of Cosby’s 2006 civil settlement with Constand: nearly $3.4 million, which defense lawyer Tom Mesereau on Tuesday called “one of the biggest highway robberies of all time.” “I have never seen or heard of a retrial that was as different as this was from the first trial,” said lawyer Dennis McAndrews, who’s been in court following the retrial and is not associated with either side. “The prosecution now had multiple victims and the defense had the issue of money, which were powerful weapons for both sides.” Cosby faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault, each carrying up to 10 years in prison. His wife of 54 years, Camille, looked on from the gallery as his lawyers pleaded with the jury to clear him, the first time she has attended the trial. She also sat in for the defense’s closing argument at his first trial. Camille Cosby, 74, had stayed away as the prosecution built its case that her husband maintained a sordid double life, plying women with drugs and preying on them sexually. Before the jury came in, she put her arm around Cosby, who is legally blind. They smiled and chatted, and he gave her a peck on the cheek. When it was the prosecution’s turn to argue, she left the courtroom, and Constand entered[...]


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Illinois rivers helped feed economic growth in stateA square tub on blocks, used for boiling mussels, can be seen in front with shells lying on it. Two shell forks and clam dredge with a very long handle are leaning on a table, used when cleaning the mussel meat out of shells.Steamboats are seen on the Illinois River.The Scott W. Lucas Bridge carries Route 136 over the Illinois River in Havana.Shell buyers would travel up and down the Illinois River buying shells from the commercial musselers at their camps.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:29:00 GMT

• Editor’s note: The Illinois bicentennial series is brought to you by the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors and Illinois Press Association. More than 20 newspapers are creating stories about the state’s history, places and key moments in advance of the bicentennial Dec. 3. Stories published up to this date can be found at 200illinois.com. During the first century of the state’s history, the natural habitats along the Illinois River helped spur fishing industries and had places for hunting. The Illinois River was a habitat for bottom-feeding fish such as catfish, common carp and smallmouth buffalo, as well as mussels. The abundance of fish led to a commercial fishing industry between Havana and Meredosia, according to the Illinois State Museum. Towns had their own markets that processed and shipped fish to large Midwestern and Eastern cities from the 1890s to the 1950s. Sport hunters formed clubs and bought land along the Illinois River to start duck hunting resorts managed by locals, according to the state museum. However, there also was a demand to be able to transport goods, which changed life along the river. Reports in the 1830s said the river wasn’t navigable in 70 to 80 places during the low-water months. A canal eventually was built between LaSalle and Chicago. “The canal was instrumental in Chicago’s growth,” said Michael Wiant, interim director for the museum. “There’s a recognition there – navigability on the river would give vitality to the economy of Illinois.”  Towns along the Illinois River – such as Naples, Grafton, Peoria and Beardstown – are the earliest communities in the region to be established. Ottawa had deposits of silica sand, that would be transported into Chicago for construction. “You could begin to see the river as an artery that literally feeds the heart of the city,” Wiant said. Levees eventually were built along waterways to keep the river in place and maintain a channel. That infrastructure decision also eventually drained flood plains and backwater habitats, which led to those areas becoming land for row-crop agriculture.  “The river is largely, by the early part of the 20th century, engineered to handle that transportation issue that is having vitality,” Wiant said. “But it comes at a price of not only the natural powerhouse of the backwater lakes; things like commercial fishing industries are affected negatively. It changes the character of the river profoundly.” Natural habitats for ducks, fish and mussels were affected negatively, and populations crashed, Wiant said. Eventually, wildlife refuges were established to give habitat to ducks to try to keep those population. “To maintain navigation, you need stable water levels. To get stable water levels, you need locks and dams. To keep the channel in place, you need levees,” Wiant said. “Levees then cut off the backwater lakes from the natural hydrology of the river, and while you’re producing agricultural commodities, which are good things[...]


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Woodstock mayor appointed to Regional Transportation Authority boardBrian Sager, Woodstock mayor

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:28:00 GMT

Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager has been appointed to represent McHenry County on the Regional Transportation Authority board.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said he nominated Sager for the role because of his experience and education. The County Board voted on the appointment this month.

“He is one of the most intelligent public servants I have ever met,” Franks said. “He is a thoughtful and reasoned guy who brings people together. ... He will be a warrior on the RTA board to fight for McHenry County.”

The RTA is in charge of financial and long-term planning for Metra, Pace and Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains.

Franks said he wanted McHenry County to get a “bigger piece of the pie” when it comes to transportation services.

“Brian has a realistic grasp of the funding challenges, but if anyone can get it done, he can,” Franks said.

Sager will remain mayor of Woodstock for the rest of his term, but he will forgo the $12,000 salary the city pays.

The RTA’s current McHenry County representative is Blake Hobson, who is president of Image Industries in Huntley, according to the authority’s website.

“There is certainly a lot I think we can do in terms of bringing more transportation opportunities to the residents and businesses of our county and community,” Sager said. “One of the things we have been talking about for a long time is moving the Metra parking function from downtown Crystal Lake. We would like to see it move to Woodstock because that would improve our train schedule.”

Sager said at a recent City Council meeting that he would like to see more warming centers along the Metra line in McHenry County, as well, and he discussed the potential for another Metra station in Woodstock.

“Those are some of the things we should be looking at and trying to address,” Sager said.

Brian Sager, Woodstock mayor


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Crystal Lake Travel Agency Inc. employee honored

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:27:00 GMT

Susan Marie Swett of Crystal Lake Travel Agency Inc. recently was honored as a recipient of the 2017 Million Dollar Agent Sales Award by the MAST Travel Network, a sales and marketing travel agency trade group based in Oakbrook Terrace.

The awards ceremony held in Wheeling recognized the top travel consultants among 220 travel agencies across seven states in the upper Midwest. This is the 14th consecutive year Swett has won the award.

For information, visit Crystal Lake Travel Agency, 13 Crystal Lake Plaza; call 815-459-2500; or visit www.cltravelagency.com.


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Illinois State Bank to host Community Shredding Day

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:27:00 GMT

Illinois State Bank will host Community Shredding Day from 9 to 11 a.m. May 5. Residents are invited to visit the McHenry and Lake in the Hills locations to drop off outdated personal documents for secure shredding.

Community Shredding Day is free and open to the public and will take place in rain or shine. The public is encouraged to drop off materials at both 1301 Pyott Road, Lake in the Hills, and 1689 N. Curran Road, McHenry.

“Our annual Community Shredding Day provides an opportunity for residents to reduce their financial paper trail and help protect against identity theft. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this free, secure service and drop off their outdated documents to any of our local branches,” said Sue Doyle, North Shore Bank senior vice president of branch administration.

Shredded materials will be recycled. For information, visit shredit.illinoisstatebank.com.




Woodstock police, DEA to participate in prescription drug take back eventA Woodstock police officer collects unused medications dropped off on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in front of the police station Sept. 26, 2015, in Woodstock.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:27:00 GMT

The Drug Enforcement Administration – along with various government, community, public health and law enforcement partners – is announcing a nationwide prescription drug take back initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft.

The DEA will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at sites nationwide. The service is free.

The initiative addresses a public safety and health matter. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

The Woodstock Police Department will host a collection event in the public parking lot on the east side of the station at 656 Lake Ave. Residents are invited to drop off their unwanted or unused pharmaceutical pills for disposal.

Controlled, uncontrolled and over-the-counter substances can be brought to this event. Liquid and gel products, IV solutions, injectable drugs and syringes will not be accepted.

Woodstock police officers will be present to assist residents; however, no questions will be asked, and no identification will be required to participate in the program.

For information, call Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Parsons at 815-338-2131.

A Woodstock police officer collects unused medications dropped off on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in front of the police station Sept. 26, 2015, in Woodstock.


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McHenry County College students to receive 'Grow-A-Tech' scholarships

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:27:00 GMT

McHenry County College will award “Grow-A-Tech” scholarships for upcoming fall automotive classes at an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Several students enrolled in the automotive technology program or in local high school automotive programs who plan to enroll will be awarded scholarships between $250 and $1,000. The event will be held in Building D and feature demonstrations, displays and activities from Interstate Batteries’ NASCAR vehicle, Hunter Engineering Co., Snap-on Tools, NAPA Auto Parts, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Schock’s Towing and The Lift Guy.

Automotive repair shop owners from the Automotive Service Association of Illinois and automotive repair industry vendors will be in attendance to network with students who are interested in pursuing careers in the industry.

Five students were awarded scholarships at the first presentation in November.

To RSVP or for information, contact Grow-a-Tech scholarship program director Dave Hinz of Mastertek Auto Repair at 847-854-6906 or MCC automotive instructor Mike Albamonte at 815-455-8941.




McHenry man accused of concealing assets in bankruptcy case faces federal charges

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:26:00 GMT

A federal grand jury charged a McHenry man Tuesday with concealing a personal injury claim while filing for bankruptcy in 2013.

The indictment accuses 54-year-old Joseph F. Ruiz of not disclosing assets while filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Jan. 25, 2013, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s Northern District of Illinois office sent Tuesday.

The claim stems from injuries Ruiz suffered March 19, 2009, according to the release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love declined to comment on how much the personal injury claim was worth, or why charges have been filed five years after Ruiz originally filed for bankruptcy.

Aside from the petition for bankruptcy, Ruiz also would have been required to file a record of his assets, income and a financial statement, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

If Ruiz is found guilty of the offense, a judge could order him to serve one to five years of probation or three years of parole.

Ruiz also could be ordered to pay a fine of as much as $250,000, or twice the total profit or loss caused by the concealment – whichever is greater, according to the release.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The indictment was announced by U.S. attorney John R. Lausch Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois and acting postal inspector in charge William Hedrick of Chicago.


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Wonder Lake man sentenced to 13 years in prison after 2016 heroin-dealing investigationBrian M. Freund, 31, of the 3500 block of East Wonder Lake Road, Wonder Lake

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:26:00 GMT

A man at the center of what the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office called its largest single drug seizure was ordered Tuesday to serve 13 years in prison.

On July 26, 2016, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant in the 3900 block of Main Street in McHenry and said they recovered 6 ounces, or $36,000 worth, of heroin; two scales; packaging materials; and $963 in cash.

Brian M. Freund, 31, was arrested and faced felony drug charges in connection with the raid.

Freund originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, which threatened as many as 40 years in prison, but he turned himself in to the sheriff’s office shortly after and bonded out the same day.

It was a little more than six months later, however, that Freund again found himself behind bars after police reportedly found an additional $8,540 worth of drugs at his home in the 3500 block of East Wonder Lake Road, Wonder Lake.

On Tuesday, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the most recent charges filed against Freund if he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, charges that stemmed from the original 2016 investigation.

Freund accepted the plea deal and was sentenced to 13 years in prison, followed by three years of parole. He was joined in court by defense attorney Bruce Cowan.

Freund is required to serve 50 percent of his sentence, and he will receive credit for any time he has spent in the county jail while his cases awaited trial.

His arrest came on the heels of a yearlong effort by police and the state’s attorney’s office to get ahead of the countywide heroin epidemic, according to news releases issued at the time.

Freund previously served two years of probation after a 2006 conviction for possession of a controlled substance – his oldest drug-related charge in McHenry County, online records show.

Brian M. Freund, 31, of the 3500 block of East Wonder Lake Road, Wonder Lake


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McHenry County Democratic Party elects new executive board, chairwomanKristin Zahorik, a Nunda Township precinct committeewoman, has been elected chairwoman of the Democratic Party of McHenry County.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:25:00 GMT

The Democratic Party of McHenry County has elected a new executive board.

At the party’s annual convention April 18, four candidates ran unopposed for the open positions.

Former Vice Chairwoman Kristina Zahorik now will serve as the party’s chairwoman. The Oakwood Hills resident also is a precinct committeewoman in Nunda Township.

Zahorik replaces outgoing Chairman Michael Bissett, who stepped down from his post to run for the party’s treasurer spot.

To Zahorik, the goal for the party going forward is simple.

“Try to elect as many Democrats in McHenry County as we can – including a new governor,” she said.

The Democratic Party did not endorse a candidate in the gubernatorial primary. In November, Democrat J.B. Pritzker, who has the party’s nomination, will square off against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“We have a more visible presence in the county,” Zahorik said. “There are a number of people starting to come out of the woodwork and give voice to [the party].”

In the primary, 62,990 people voted Democratic for seven candidates in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, up from 8,615 in the 2014 primary.

The 6th Congressional District – serving parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties – voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Ruth Scifo, a Crystal Lake resident and precinct committeewoman in Algonquin, was elected vice chairwoman.

Bissett, who has served on the party’s executive board since 2003, now will serve as treasurer.

Kristy Smith, a precinct committeewoman in Algonquin, will serve as the Democratic Party’s secretary.

Kristin Zahorik, a Nunda Township precinct committeewoman, has been elected chairwoman of the Democratic Party of McHenry County.


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McHenry Township Trustee Bob Anderson wants to slash salaries of elected officialsTrustees Bill Cunningham (left) and Bob Anderson talk before a McHenry Township meeting Jan. 11.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:24:00 GMT

McHenry Township Trustee Bob Anderson wants to do a little more than abolish townships.

He wants to obliterate the salaries of the elected officials who run them.

“If you’re a public servant, you shouldn’t be getting employee salaries,” Anderson said.

On May 10, the township board will discuss cutting the pay of four officials – the supervisor, highway commissioner, assessor and clerk.

The total compensation of township officials includes several layers, including base salary, insurance and pension contributions.

Here’s a look at what McHenry Township’s officials earn today:

• Supervisor Craig Adams – $97,610 (plus $1,000 to serve as road district treasurer)

• Highway Commissioner Jim Condon – $106,919

• Clerk Dan Alyward – $14,242

• Assessor Mary Mahady – $87,994

Anderson declined to comment on how much he would like the see the salaries reduced. He said he’s speaking with an attorney to figure out the details.

“I’m here more than 40 hours a week,” Adams said. “Pay should be commiserate with responsibility, and they don’t know what my responsibilities are.”

The supervisor said he plans to describe for the board his responsibilities, which include managing $10 million in assets.

“We ran on reducing the salaries of all the elected officials,” Anderson said. “I feel strongly that they’re overpaid.”

The Wonder Lake barber started his campaign to eliminate townships almost three decades ago. He has since focused his energy on a movement to abolish the road district.

Anderson saw a small victory in February, when McHenry Township officials voted to put a referendum to voters in November asking whether the road district should be eliminated.

At a special meeting, Trustees Mike Rakestraw, Bill Cunningham and Anderson voted in favor of the measure, while Trustee Stan Wojewski and Adams voted against it.

The 3-2 vote in favor of the measure came one month after the same board voted down the referendum.

Trustees Bill Cunningham (left) and Bob Anderson talk before a McHenry Township meeting Jan. 11.


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Neighbors lay out sale alternatives to Lake in the Hills water system saleRachel Zastrow gives a presentation to village officials and audience members during a Lake in the Hills Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday.Judy Zoellner speaks during a Lake in the Hills Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday.Lake in the Hills Village President Russ Ruzanski listens to public comment during a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday.

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:05:00 GMT

Residents of an unincorporated neighborhood of Lake in the Hills have joined forces to solve issues before, Judy Zoellner said, speaking of a time when roads barely existed for the area. “We had to do everything, even the roads, and we did a lot of work just getting us able to get in and out,” Zoellner said. “All of us gals would be out in our boots and shovels, and we’d have picnics and community events afterwards. We’ve been a tight-knit community.” The 71 unincorporated neighbors have spent the past 30 days researching options because they fear a proposed sale of their water system will lead to higher rates. Rachel Zastrow helped compile and make a presentation on behalf of the neighborhood that was presented at the village’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday. The pipes, owned by the village of Lake in the Hills, were made of now-obsolete asbestos-composite material that is subject to deterioration. Now the pipes are so fragile that staff members cannot perform basic flushing maintenance without causing water main breaks, village officials have said, which has prompted consideration of a sale. Village President Russ Ruzanski said trustees have a few days to make a decision based on Tuesday’s presentation, and he had no comment on his opinion. When asked whether the proposed ideas seemed feasible, Public Works Director Dan Kaup said it’s up to the Village Board. Zastrow warned that the Illinois Commerce Commission is focused on ensuring companies operate in a reasonable profit margin and recoup the investments made. Since 2010, 18 percent of successful cases have resulted in cost increases of more than 100 percent, she said, according to documents she received through a Freedom of Information Act request. Residents laid out four options for trustees to consider: • Delay the vote for six months and consider allowing the residents to buy the infrastructure, where Lake in the Hills would operate it and conduct repairs. This would require creating a special service area or special assessment area. The village would pay for three incorporated businesses on the water system. • Consider creating a fee-based water system and extend the water main replacement fee until all of the mains are repaired. It would cost residents $5.25 a customer per quarter for 10 years to fully fund improvements. • Incorporate the system into Lake in the Hills and look at adopting all infrastructure codes for lights, sidewalks and curbs. • Negotiate better terms for unincorporated customers and sell the system to a private water company. Customers requested that the village cover three businesses to reduce the amount the private company would request from the Illinois Commerce Commission. Limit the increase to[...]


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Photos show 2 Great Lakes electric cables were severed

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 23:04:00 GMT

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. – Officials said underwater photos show two electric cables were severed in what Michigan's attorney general saids was a tugboat anchor strike in the waterway that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

An investigative team led by the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday a remotely controlled vehicle had obtained images of the damage site beneath the Straits of Mackinac. The two severed cables were among six owned by American Transmission Co. that are stretched along the lake floor.

Officials said with the visual assessment finished, the company and its contractors plan to cap the ends of the damaged cables to prevent more pollution. About 600 gallons of mineral oil insulation fluid spilled into the water when the cables were struck April 1.

Crews have removed about 590 gallons that didn't leak.




Mugs in the News for McHenry County: April 2018Trevor J. O’Neill, 22, of the 300 block of Old Country Way, charged with possession of marijuana, manufacturing and delivering marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Nikolas Bauer, 22, of the 700 block of Leah Lane, Woodstock, charged with delivery of a controlled substance. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Jack D. Hoschouer, 20, of Harvard, charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Ryan B. Hurst, 35, of 1300 block of North Riverside Drive, McHenry, charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing or delivering heroin. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Margarita Troncoso-Davila, 34, of the 700 block of West Thompson Street, Harvard, is charged with three counts of endangering a child – one count for each of the children she was meant to be supervising, according to a criminal complaint. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Lucas A. Altmayer, 25, of the 500 block of North Front Street, McHenry, charged with delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Anthony F. Destefano, 24, of the 500 block of North Front Street, McHenry, charged with delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Daniel P. Kosel, 23, of the 500 block of North Front Street, McHenry, charged with delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Robert E. Jost, 63, of Vernon Hills, charged with felony theft. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Richard D. Lampp, 57, of Algonquin, charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a child, predatory criminal sexual abuse and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Robert C. Ratkovich, 19, of the 400 block of Alma Terrace, Cary, charged with burglary, criminal trespass to vehicles and resisting a peace officer. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Jeffrey Krucek, 59, of the 2600 block of West Emerald Court, McHenry, charged with aggravated driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Shawn T. Shaffer, 40, of the 1600 block of Northwest First Terrace, Cape Coral, Florida, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13 and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child younger than 13. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Marcus J. Moore, 35, 1200 block of Mitchell Street, Woodstock, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a church, possession of heroin with intent to deliver and possession of a controlled substance. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Sarah Kalbach, 20, of the 1200 block of Mitchell Street, Woodstock, charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Mark Glawe, 65, of the 14800 block of Redbud Lane, Woodstock, charged with a felony charge of aggravated use of a communication device. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:37:00 GMT

The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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. Trevor J. O’Neill, 22, of the 300 block of Old Country Way, charged with possession of marijuana, manufacturing and delivering marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Nikolas Bauer, 22, of the 700 block of Leah Lane, Woodstock, charged with delivery of a controlled substance. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Jack D. Hoschouer, 20, of Harvard, charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Ryan B. Hurst, 35, of 1300 block of North Riverside Drive, McHenry, charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing or delivering heroin. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Margarita Troncoso-Davila, 34, of the 700 block of West Thompson Street, Harvard, is charged with three counts of endangering a child – one count for each of the children she was meant to be supervising, according to a criminal complaint. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Lucas A. Altmayer, 25, of the 500 block of North Front Street, McHenry, charged with delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Anthony F. Destefano, 24, of the 500 block of North Front Street, McHenry, charged with delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The charges against the individuals listed are not a proof of guilt. A defendant 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.Daniel P. Kose[...]


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Watchdog report points to power struggle involving VA pickRear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building Tuesday after meeting individually with some members of the committee that would vet him for the post, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:14:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – A watchdog report ordered in 2012 by Dr. Ronny Jackson – President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs – found that he and a rival physician exhibited "unprofessional behaviors" as they engaged in a power struggle over the White House medical unit. The report, reviewed Tuesday by The Associated Press, suggested the White House consider replacing Jackson or Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman – or both. Kuhlman was the physician to President Barack Obama at the time, and had previously held the role Jackson held at the time: director of the White House Medical Unit. The six-page report by the Navy's Medical Inspector General found a lack of trust in the leadership and low morale among staff members, who described the working environment as "being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce." "There is a severe and pervasive lack of trust in the leadership that has deteriorated to the point that staff walk on 'eggshells,'" the report found. President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that Jackson, his pick for VA secretary, might want to withdraw. Jackson has been hurt by the emergence of allegations about inappropriate workplace behavior, including over-prescribing prescription drugs and drinking on the job. The inspector general report reviewed by The AP includes no references to improper prescribing or the use of alcohol. According to the report, Jackson admitted he had failed to shield the White House medical unit from the leadership drama. He is quoted saying he was willing to do what was necessary to straighten out the command, even if it "meant finding a new position in Navy Medicine." The report stated that the "vast majority" of those interviewed said Kuhlman had "irrevocably damaged his ability to effectively lead." It added that "many also believe that CAPT Jackson has exhibited poor leadership," but attributed those failures to the relationship with Kuhlman. The report quoted unnamed members of the White House medical unit who, while participating in a focus group, used phrases like "Worst command ever," ''No one trusts anyone" and "The leaders are child-like." Jackson was named Physician to the President in 2013, after Kuhlman left the unit entirely. Trump said Tuesday he would stand behind Jackson, calling the White House doctor "one of the finest people that I have met." But he questioned why Jackson would want to put up with the scrutiny, which he characterized as unfair. "I wouldn't do it," Trump said. "What does he need it for? What do you need this for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren't thinking nicely about our country?" He said Jackson would make a decisi[...]


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Michigan State kept ties to coach accused of sexual abuseIn this Aug. 4, 2014, photo, Rick Butler, a nationally renowned volleyball coach from Chicago, watches a scrimmage during the first day of a volleyball camp at Abbott Sports Complex in Lincoln, Neb. Michigan State University has maintained ties to Butler for decades after he was publicly accused in 1995 of sexually abusing and raping six underage girls he trained in the 1980s. Letters obtained by The Associated Press from accusers' advocates show the school has been under pressure since at least 2017 to sever ties with Butler.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 21:11:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Michigan State University, already reeling from the scandal involving a gymnastics doctor who molested young athletes, maintained ties to a prominent volleyball coach long after he was publicly accused in 1995 of sexually abusing and raping six underage girls he trained in the 1980s. Letters obtained by The Associated Press from advocates for the accusers reveal the school has been under pressure for at least a year to sever its relationship with Rick Butler. He runs training facilities in suburban Chicago that for decades have been a pipeline for top volleyball recruits, including Michigan State. Butler's accusers say he threatened to use his national influence to thwart their college prospects if they did not accept his advances. Questions about ties to Butler add to the scrutiny of Michigan State that began when Dr. Larry Nassar was charged in 2016 with abusing scores of gymnasts over 20 years while he had an office on campus. A former dean, William Strampel, was recently charged with failing to protect patients from Nassar and with sexually harassing female students. Colleges nationwide have recruited players trained by Butler and sent teams to play at his facilities, but one of Butler's 1995 accusers, Sarah Powers-Barnhard, said there's a special onus on Michigan State in the wake of Nassar to have nothing to do with him. Instead, she said, the school "turned a blind eye" to Butler's sordid history. "If we don't stop supporting the top abuser in volleyball, how can we ever claim zero tolerance for sexual abuse?" she said from her Jacksonville, Florida, home. The 63-year-old Butler has never been criminally charged. The alleged abuse occurred more than 30 years ago and was already beyond the statute of limitations for prosecution when the first three accusers came forward in 1995. Three others came forward more recently. Powers-Barnhard said Butler molested her hundreds of times over two years starting when she was 16 and he was around 30. She says he raped her at his home, in cars and even in a train-car bathroom as her teammates sat nearby. In a short Monday statement responding to AP questions, the university said Butler is currently "not affiliated with MSU in any way." The school, it added, "is not actively recruiting players from his program at this time." The statement did not address other questions, including when any affiliation with Butler might have ended or why the university had ties to him for so long after he was publicly accused. In a 1995 report, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services found no evidence to support Butler's claim the three athletes were lying. He acknowledged during a 1995 hearing held by USA [...]


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Mental health and guns an issue after Waffle House attackResidents of the apartment complex where Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking lived watch as police work near the wooded area where Reinking was captured Monday, April 23, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Police say Reinking shot and killed at least four people at a nearby Waffle House restaurant Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 18:06:00 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Without knowing who he was or what he might do, police briefly had Travis Reinking in their sights days before the deadly assault on a Waffle House restaurant. Alerted to the theft of a BMW from a car dealer last week, officers decided against a risky police chase, knowing the car had a GPS device and could soon be located. Sure enough, the car was recovered the same day, outside Reinking's apartment. But police didn't figure out who stole it until Sunday, after the Waffle House attack. By then, police say, the 29-year-old with a troubled past used an assault weapon — the same AR-15 once taken from him at the FBI's request — to kill four people and wound four others. Reinking escaped on foot from the restaurant after a quick-thinking customer wrestled the gun from his grasp, and he shed the only item of clothing he was wearing, a green jacket. By the time he was captured in the woods nearby, police had searched his apartment, and found the key fob to the stolen BMW. Nashville Police Department Lt. Carlos Lara told reporters that a detective was tipped to the suspect's presence by some construction workers, and confronted Reinking, who lay down on the ground to be handcuffed. He carried a black backpack, with a silver semi-automatic weapon and .45-caliber ammunition. Reinking then asked for a lawyer and was taken to a hospital before being booked. He was formally charged late Monday with four counts of criminal homicide. A judge on Tuesday revoked his initial bond of $2 million pending a Wednesday hearing. The arrest ended a 24-hour manhunt involving more than 160 law enforcement officers, but it left troubling unanswered questions about official responses to months of bizarre behavior before the restaurant attack, including encounters with police in Illinois and Colorado and an arrest at the White House that raised red flags. In May 2016, Reinking told deputies from Tazewell County, Illinois, that music superstar Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone. Reinking agreed to go to a local hospital for an evaluation after repeatedly resisting the request, the sheriff's report said. He would make a similar claim about Swift in Salida, Colorado, nearly a year later, in March 2017, authorities there said. Another Illinois sheriff's report said Reinking barged into a community pool in Tremont last June and jumped into the water wearing a pink woman's coat over his underwear. Investigators believed he had an AR-15 rifle in his car trunk, but it was never displayed. No charges were filed. Last July, Reinking was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service after he entered a restricted area near the White House an[...]


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President Trump: Kim Jong Un 'very open' and 'very honorable'President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 18:04:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Kim Jong Un wants a historic, high-stakes meeting as soon as possible and suggested the North Korean dictator has been "very open" and "very honorable," a sharply different assessment of a leader he once denounced as "Little Rocket Man." The United States and North Korea have been negotiating a summit between Trump and Kim to be held in May or June to broker a deal on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. Trump, who has struck a decidedly optimistic tone on the situation in recent days, said Tuesday that the United States and North Korea were having "good discussions." "We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that's a great thing for the world," Trump said at the White House alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. "Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we're seeing." Trump cautioned that North Korea had not followed through on previous promises, but credited tough steps from his administration — including sanctions and organizing pressure from international allies — for having forced Pyongyang to hold talks. And he again suggested that he would "leave the table" if the negotiations were not productive or if North Korea was not operating in good faith. "We'll see where that all goes," the president said. "Maybe it will be wonderful or maybe it won't." Trump's comments came days after a flurry of moves from North Korea that the White House was anxious to promote as signs that its coercion campaign was working. On Saturday, North Korea announced it will close its nuclear testing facility and suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests — a move welcomed by Trump as "big progress." However, the North stopped short of suggesting it will give up its nuclear weapons — as Trump suggested in a weekend tweet — or scale back its production of missiles and their related components. When pressed Tuesday what he meant by the goal of "denuclearization," Trump said "It means they get rid of their nukes. Very simple." "It would be easy for me to make a simple deal and declare victory. I don't want to do that," the president said. This week, U.S.-allied South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim will hold a summit in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas that could lay the ground for Trump's planned meeting with the North Korean dictator. The leaders of the U.S. and North Korea have never met during six decades of hostility since the Korean War. The exact date and location of the possible summit has not been determined. White House press s[...]


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Facebook finally explains why it bans some content, in 27 pagesFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Washington on April 11, 2018. Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:06:00 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO - Among the most challenging issues for Facebook is its role as the policeman for the free expression of its two billion users. Now the social network is opening up about its decision-making over which posts it decides to take down - and why. On Tuesday the company for the first time published the 27-page guidelines, called Community Standards, that it gives to its workforce of thousands of human censors. It encompasses dozens of topics including hate speech, violent imagery, misrepresentation, terrorist propaganda, and disinformation. Facebook said it would offer users the opportunity to appeal Facebook's decisions. The move adds a new degree of transparency to a process that users, the public, and advocates have criticized as arbitrary and opaque. The newly-released guidelines offer suggestions on various topics, including how to determine the difference between humor, sarcasm and hate speech. They explain that images of female nipples are generally prohibited, but exceptions are made for images that promote breastfeeding or address breast cancer. "We want people to know our standards and we want to give people clarity," Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management, said in an interview. She added that she hoped publishing the guidelines would spark dialogue. "We are trying to strike the line between safety and giving people the ability to really express themselves." The company's censors, called content moderators, have been chastised by civil rights groups for mistakenly removing posts by minorities who had shared stories of being the victims of racial slurs. Moderators have struggled to tell the difference between someone posting a slur as an attack and someone who was using the slur to tell the story of their own victimization. In another instance, moderators removed an iconic Vietnam War photo of a child fleeing a napalm attack, claiming the girl's nudity violated its policies. (The photo was restored after protests from news organizations.) Moderators have deleted posts from activists and journalists in Myanmar and in disputed territories such as Palestine and Kashmir, and have banned the pro-Trump activists Diamond and Silk as "unsafe to the community." The release of the guidelines is part of a wave of transparency that Facebook hopes will quell its many critics. It has also published political ads and streamlined its privacy controls after coming under fire for its lax approach to protecting consumer data. The company is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over the misuse of data by a Trump-connected consultancy known as Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress about the issue. Bickert said discussions about sharing the guidelines started last fall and were not related to the Cambridge controversy. The [...]


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Pruitt to unveil controversial 'transparency' rule limiting what research EPA can useEPA Administrator Scott Pruitt during an interview in his office at the EPA headquarters in Washington on Oct. 25, 2017. Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:03:00 GMT

WASHINGTON - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to propose a rule Tuesday that would establish new standards for what science could be used in writing agency regulations, according to individuals briefed on the plan. It is a sweeping change long sought by conservatives. The rule, which Pruitt has described in interviews with select media over the past month, would only allow EPA to consider studies for which the underlying data are made available publicly. Advocates describe this approach as an advance for transparency, but critics say it would effectively block the agency from relying on long-standing, landmark studies linking air pollution and pesticide exposure to harmful health effects. In an interview Sunday with radio host John Catsimatidis on 970 AM in New York, Pruitt described the change as a way to let the public judge "the data, the methodology, the analytics" behind any scientific analysis presented to the EPA as it drafts regulations. "That's transparency," he told Catsimatidis. "It gives people the opportunity in real time to peer review. It goes to the heart of what we should be about as an agency." The individuals briefed on the rule, which will be subject to a 30-day comment period, spoke on the condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement. Many scientists argue that applying a standard to public health and environmental studies that is not currently required by peer-reviewed journals would limit the information the EPA could take into account when crafting federal limits on everything from power-plant emissions to which chemicals can be used in agriculture and in homes. Some researchers collect personal data from subjects but pledge to keep it confidential - as was the case in a major 1993 study by Harvard University that established the link between fine particle air pollution and premature deaths. That practice would not be allowed under the new rule. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, sought to establish a requirement similar to the one Pruitt will propose through legislation, but it failed to pass both chambers. On Monday, 985 scientists signed a letter organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists urging Pruitt not to forge ahead with the policy change. "There are ways to improve transparency in the decision-making process, but restricting the use of science would improve neither transparency nor the quality of EPA decision-making," they wrote. "If fully implemented, this proposal would greatly weaken EPA's ability to comprehensively consider the scientific evidence across the full array of health studies." Under the proposed rule, third parties would be able to test and try to replicate the findings of studies submitted to EPA. But, the scientists wrote, "many public health studies cannot be replicate[...]


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Travel ban case is Supreme Court's first dive into Trump policyThe Supreme Court is seen Feb. 1, 2017, in Washington. The justices' first deep dive into a Trump administration policy comes in a dispute over the administration's ban on travel from some countries with majority Muslim populations.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:01:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has so far had little to say about Donald Trump’s time as president, even as the nation has moved from one Trump controversy to another. That’s about to change. The justices’ first deep dive into a Trump administration policy comes in a dispute over the third and latest version of the administration’s ban on travel from some countries with majority Muslim populations. Opponents of the policy and some lower courts have labeled it a “Muslim ban,” harking back to Trump’s campaign call to keep Muslims from entering the country. The high-stakes arguments at the high court on Wednesday could offer some indication about how a court that runs on respect for traditions and precedent will deal with a president who regularly breaks with convention. Apart from the campaign statements, Trump’s presidential tweets about the travel ban and last fall’s retweets of inflammatory videos that stoked anti-Islam sentiment all could feature in the court’s discussion of the travel ban’s legality. “The court could get to the right outcome without getting into the question of his tweets. But I think the president set it up so that it’s virtually impossible to ignore him when he’s shouting from the rooftops about what his purpose was in the three versions of the ban,” said Cecillia Wang, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy legal director. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who will argue the administration’s case, said in a court filing that the ban is well within the president’s authority and is not based on prejudice against Islam. In a sign of heightened public interest, the court is taking the rare step of making an audio recording of the proceedings available just hours after the arguments end. One key issue will be how the court evaluates administration actions. Neil Eggleston, President Barack Obama’s last White House counsel, suggested in an online forum last week that Trump does not merit the same measure of latitude that courts usually give presidents, especially in the areas of national security and immigration. “The court will have to wrestle with how much to defer to a President who has created this record of chaos and animus,” Eggleston and co-author Amanda Elbogen wrote on justsecurity.org. Josh Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, cautioned that the court would be breaking new ground if it were to treat Trump differently from other presidents. The policy under review at the court applies to travel[...]


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U.S. won't ease sanctions without action by N. Korea on nukesIn this undated file photo distributed Sept. 3, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (second from right) is seen at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:01:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The White House said Monday that North Korea won’t get sanctions relief until it takes “concrete action” toward denuclearization, the goal of President Donald Trump’s planned summit with Kim Jong Un. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ comments appeared to leave open the possibility of easing the U.S.-led “maximum pressure” campaign before North Korea had completely given up its nuclear weapons. But Sanders said the U.S. wouldn’t make the mistake of past administrations in taking the North Koreans “simply at their word.” She said, “We’ve seen some steps in the right direction but we have a long way to go.” On Saturday, North Korea announced it will close its nuclear testing facility and suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests – a move welcomed by Trump as “big progress.” The North stopped short of suggesting it will give up its nuclear weapons or scale back its production of missiles and their related components. Asked if the suspension of tests was a positive sign, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday, “Right now, I think there (are) a lot of reasons for optimism that the negotiations will be fruitful and we’ll see.” This Friday, U.S.-allied South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim will hold a summit in the demilitarized zone between the Koreas that could lay the ground for Trump’s planned meeting with the North Korean dictator in May or early June. The leaders of the U.S. and North Korea have never met during six decades of hostility since the Korean War. Sanders said the U.S. goal was the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. When asked if the president was willing to accept anything short of that goal before lifting sanctions or was willing to go incrementally, she told reporters: “Certainly no sanctions lifted until we see concrete actions taken by North Korea to denuclearize.” Last year, the U.S. spearheaded through the U.N. Security Council the toughest international sanctions yet against North Korea in response to three long-range missile launches and its most powerful nuclear test explosion yet. The Trump administration supplemented those restrictions with unilateral U.S. sanctions against firms that had conducted illicit trade with the North. This year, Kim has pivoted from confrontation to diplomacy and, according to South Korea and China, has expressed a commitment to denuclearization. There is still uncertainty about what he seeks in return. Three weeks ago, Trump’s pick to be the next secretary of state, CI[...]


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Closing arguments, deliberations loom in Bill Cosby retrialBill Cosby arrives for his sexual assault trial Monday at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:01:00 GMT

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial is set to go to the jury on Tuesday, but not before closing arguments pitting the prosecution’s portrayal of a serial predator against the defense’s contention that he’s the victim of a “con artist” who made up drugging and molestation allegations to score a big payday. The defense rested on Monday after the 80-year-old comedian said he wouldn’t testify, echoing his decision at his first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year. “You now have all of the evidence,” Judge Steven O’Neill told jurors, sending them back to their sequestration hotel after an abbreviated day of testimony. “Try to relax, so that you’re on your game tomorrow.” Jurors at Cosby’s first trial deliberated for five days without reaching a verdict on three related counts of aggravated indecent assault. Each carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years. That trial hinged largely on chief accuser Andrea Constand’s testimony alleging that the “Cosby Show” star once known as America’s Dad knocked her out with three pills and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in January 2004. Cosby has said he gave Costand a cold and allergy medicine to help her relax before what he called a consensual sexual encounter. The current panel of seven men and five women also heard from Constand, but both sides have given them much more to consider. This time, prosecutors were able to call five additional accusers who testified that Cosby also drugged and violated them – including one woman who asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?” Cosby’s new defense team, led by Michael Jackson lawyer Tom Mesereau, countered with a far more robust effort at stoking doubts about Constand’s credibility and raising questions about whether Cosby’s arrest was even legal. The defense’s star witness was a former colleague of Constand who says Constand spoke of leveling false sexual assault accusations against a high-profile person for the purpose of filing a civil suit. Constand got a civil settlement of nearly $3.4 million from Cosby. Both juries also heard from Cosby himself, via an explosive deposition he gave in 2005 and 2006 as part of Constand’s civil suit against him. In it, Cosby acknowledged he gave the sedative quaaludes to women before sex in the 1970s. Cosby’s lawyers devoted the last two days of their case to travel records they say prove he couldn’t hav[...]


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Van kills 10, injures 15 in Toronto; driver in custodyPolice are seen near a damaged van after a van mounted a sidewalk crashing into pedestrians in Toronto on Monday. The van apparently jumped a curb Monday in a busy intersection in Toronto and struck the pedestrians and fled the scene before it was found and the driver was taken into custody, Canadian police said.

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:00:00 GMT

TORONTO – A rented van plowed down a crowded Toronto sidewalk Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 before the driver fled and was quickly arrested in a confrontation with police, Canadian authorities said. Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately, but police officials would not comment on the cause or any possible motive. Speaking at a news conference Monday night, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders raised the initial death toll of nine to 10, saying another victim had died at a hospital. He said 15 others were hospitalized. Saunders identified the man detained after the incident as Alek Minassian, 25, a resident of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill. Authorities released few details in the case, saying the investigation was still underway, with witnesses being interviewed and surveillance video being examined. “I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation,” Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said earlier. The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June. Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of international terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert. A senior national government official later said that authorities had not turned over the investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believed it unlikely terrorism was the motive. The official agreed to reveal that information only if not quoted by name. The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street about 1:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the sidewalk. Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph. “He just went on the sidewalk,” a distraught Shaker said. “He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit.” Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop. “If it was an accident, he would hav[...]


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