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Coroner IDs man who died in Harvard house fire

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 21:55:00 GMT

The McHenry County coroner has identified a man who died last week in a Harvard house fire.

Randall A. Hanson, 63, died Thursday. A preliminary autopsy shows that the man suffered from thermal and inhalation injuries, the coroner said.

Hanson was pronounced dead at the scene about 4 a.m.

Harvard police and fire officials responded about 3:15 a.m. to the 400 block of East Blackman Street for a reported fire that had begun in the basement of the home, officials said.

A 10-year-old boy, 14-year-old girl and 55-year-old woman escaped the fire, police said.

The fire caused about $75,000 in damage and appears to have been an accident because of careless smoking, police said.

The incident remains under investigation.


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Police investigate Harvard woman's 'suspicious' death

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 19:51:00 GMT

The Harvard Police Department and the Winnebago County Coroner's Office are investigating a Harvard woman's "suspicious" death.

Marlene Lynch, 54, of Harvard was pronounced dead at 11:40 p.m. Friday at a hospital in Rockford, Winnebago County authorities said,

Harvard police responded Thursday to the 300 block of South Division Street in Harvard and found Lynch unresponsive but breathing. She had facial injuries, according to a news release from the Harvard Police Department.

Lynch was taken to Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center – Harvard and transferred to Rockford, where she later died. Police are investigating the death, authorities said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, and toxicology reports will be available in about two weeks, authorities said.


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Church elders renew probe of founder's alleged misconduct

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:05:00 GMT

SOUTH BARRINGTON – Leaders of a Chicago-area evangelical church that became one of the largest in the nation say they will renew their examination of the church's former pastor.

The Rev. Bill Hybels retired from Willow Creek Community Church earlier this month after allegations he touched and made lewd comments to female congregants. The elders say they are acting after new accusations against Hybels surfaced.

The new allegations were published Saturday in Christianity Today. Hybels couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The elders and an outside investigator cleared Hybels of any wrongdoing in a previous inquiry.

In a letter posted Saturday on Willow Creek's website, the elders said in hindsight, aspects of their past work could have been handled differently. The elders said their work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of Willow Creek Community Church and its elders isn't done.




4 dead in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee; suspect soughtBullet holes are seen at a Waffle House after a fatal shooting in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Sunday.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:00:00 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A man wearing nothing but a green jacket and brandishing an assault rifle stormed a Waffle House restaurant in Tennessee and shot four people to death before dawn Sunday, according to police, who credited a customer with saving lives by wresting the gunman's weapon away. The gunman shot people in the parking lot before entering the restaurant, where he continued firing until a customer snatched the rifle, Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said. Four people were injured. The police department tweeted that authorities are searching for 29-year-old Travis Reinking. Police named him as a person of interest because the pickup truck the gunman drove to the restaurant was registered to Reinking. Witness Chuck Cordero told The Tennessean newspaper he had stopped to get a cup of coffee and was outside the restaurant when he saw the chaos unfold around 3:25 a.m. "He did not say anything," Cordero said of the gunman, who he described as "all business." Cordero said the man who wrested the gun from the suspect saved lives. "Had that guy had a chance to reload his weapon, there was plenty more people in that restaurant," he said. Police identified the customer as 29-year-old James Shaw Jr. Shaw told the Tennessean in an interview that he was "just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it." The newspaper said Shaw was grazed by a bullet, treated and released. "When I was in the ambulance to hospital I kept thinking that I'm going to wake up and it's not going to be real," Shaw said. "It is something out a movie. I'm OK though, but I hate that it happened." Police spokesman Aaron said three people died at the restaurant and one person died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where two others were being treated for gunshot wounds. Medical Center spokeswoman Jennifer Wetzel said one was in critical condition and the other was in critical but stable condition. TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center spokeswoman Katie Radel in Nashville said two people were treated for minor injuries and released. Aaron said the gunman arrived at the restaurant, sat in the parking lot for four minutes before shooting two people outside, then entering. Inside, Shaw grabbed the rifle from the suspect and tossed it over a counter, Aaron said. After that, the gunman fled. "No doubt he saved many lives," Aaron said of the customer, who he described as a hero. After fleeing, the suspect shed his jacket. Aaron said he lived at an apartment complex in the working- and middle-class area of southeast Nashville and, based on witness reports, went there and put on a pair of pants. Aaron said witnesses saw a man in a nearby wooded area, and police were still tracking the man more than eight hours after the shooting. Police said Reinking, the person of interest to whom the truck the gunman drove was registered, was from Morton, Illinois. Later on Sunday, Metro Nashville police tweeted that they were drafting murder warrants against him. Aaron said Reinking was known to both Illinois and federal law enforcement. The victims' names weren't immediately released. "This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family," the company said in a statement on Twitter. "We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers." Nashville Mayor David Briley said the shooting represents "a tragic day" for the city. "My heart goes out [...]


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Inspectors collect samples from Syria site

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 06:28:00 GMT

BEIRUT – Chemical weapons inspectors collected samples from Syria’s Douma on Saturday, two weeks after a suspected gas attack there followed by retaliatory strikes by Western powers on the Syrian government’s chemical facilities.

The site visit, confirmed by the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, would allow the agency to proceed with an independent investigation to determine what chemicals, if any, were used in the April 7 attack that medical workers said killed more than 40 people.

Douma was the final target of the government’s sweeping campaign to seize back control of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus from rebels after seven years of revolt. Militants gave up the town days after the alleged attack.

OPCW inspectors arrived in Damascus just hours before the April 15 strikes but were delayed from visiting the site until Saturday, leading Western officials and Syrian activists to accuse Russia and the Syrian government of staging a cover-up.




Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush rememberedFormer Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush arrive Saturday at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 06:28:00 GMT

HOUSTON – Barbara Bush was remembered as the “first lady of the Greatest Generation” during a funeral Saturday attended by four former U.S. presidents and hundreds of other people who filled a Houston church with laughter as much as tears, with many recalling her quick wit and devotion to family. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked that his mother called her style of raising him and his siblings “’a benevolent dictatorship’ – but honestly, it wasn’t always benevolent.” She was widely admired for her plainspoken style during her husband George H.W. Bush’s presidency and was known as “The Enforcer” in her high-powered family. Jeb Bush said he could feel her presence Saturday inside the nation’s largest Episcopal church and that she would likely have given him advice: “Jeb, keep it short. Don’t drag this out,” he said to chuckles. He met her expectations with a speech lasting about seven minutes. He choked up at one point while addressing the roughly 1,500 people seated inside St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where his parents regularly worshipped, when saying his mother – known for her self-deprecating remarks about her wrinkles and white-gray hair – was “beautiful” until the very end. His father, a prolific writer of love letters to his wife, laughed when his son read a letter from their wedding anniversary in 1994. It began: “Will you marry me? Oops! I forgot we did that, 49 years ago.” But when his son continued reading, about how his father grew happier each year spent with his wife, his father closed his eyes and cried. Jeb Bush later hugged his father and kissed him on the cheek. Presidential historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography on the former president, recalled during his eulogy Barbara Bush’s devotion to her husband of 73 years, noting he was the “only boy she ever kissed.” Theirs was the longest marriage of any presidential couple. Meacham said Barbara Bush also was known for bringing awareness to AIDS patients and for her work promoting literacy, which her husband subtly honored Saturday by wearing socks printed with blue, red and yellow books. “Barbara Bush was the first lady of the Greatest Generation,” Meacham said, a nod to the generation that fought in World War II. The couple’s family, including their five children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, played prominent roles in the service. Granddaughters offered readings, some of their voices shaky with emotion, while their eight grandsons were pallbearers. The Bush family was seated in front of the church. Nearby, two other former presidents – Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – along with their wives and current first lady Melania Trump were seated in the same pew. A eulogy also was given by Barbara Bush’s longtime friend, Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. She said Bush – the wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the 43rd – was “the secret sauce of this extraordinary family.” As the funeral ended, George H.W. Bush was pushed in his wheelchair by another son, former President George W. Bush, as they followed the casket out of the church’s cavernous sanctuary, which had been adorned with sprays of yellow garden roses, yellow snap dragons and antique hydrangeas. They stopped along the way to shake hands as mourners sang “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” which Barbara Bush had requested as the final song. She died on Tuesday , with her husband by her side, at their home in Houston. She was 92. Barbara Bush was buried Saturday afternoon at h[...]


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Retail vacancies in McHenry County point to changing marketBruce Kaplan of Premier Commercial Realty of Lake in the Hills shows a vacant commercial property in Coventry Plaza in Crystal Lake Friday, April 20. The property, at 35 Berkshire Dr., Unit 14, is a former comic and collectible store.Jack Minero of Berkshire Hathaway Starck Real Estate walks through a vacant commercial property in Winding Creek Center in Algonquin Friday, April 20.Jack Minero of Berkshire Hathaway Starck Real Estate walks through a vacant commercial property Friday in Winding Creek Center in Algonquin.

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 05:28:00 GMT

A drive down Randall Road between Crystal Lake and Algonquin yields a common site on both sides of the road. Vacant retail spaces. The southern part of McHenry County – much like the numerous shopping centers stretching down the thoroughfare to Batavia – is full of them, and it’s part of Linda Kost’s job to fill many of them. She’s a senior broker and partner at Algonquin-based Realty Metrix. Her specialty is commercial real estate, and she’s been watching how the retail market has transformed over the past decade. “The dynamics of retail real estate have changed dramatically,” Kost said of a market that peaked in 2007 and bottomed out in 2011. “It’s not terrible – just changing.” Before the recession, a building boom heaped a surplus of retail spaces into markets where the economic collapse would later make it difficult to find businesses to fill those spaces. On top of that, Kost said, the internet happened.  Equipped with smart phones and Amazon Prime accounts, shoppers no longer felt tied to the big-box retail shops where they once did their shopping – stores such as Office Depot, OfficeMax and Best Buy. “It’s really thwarting any sort of big-box development,” said Kost, who is part owner of an old Dominick’s property in Geneva.  Instead of filling the 71,000-square-feet of space with a single grocer, Kost’s team split the property in two: About 28,000 square feet of that space will be a Fresh Thyme Market and the balance will be a Burlington Coat Factory. A similar move is happening at the old Dominick’s in Crystal Lake, where developers broke the property in two for different organizations to occupy. Repurposing is another trend that shows how much the retail market has changed. Kost pointed to a bank on Randall Road redeveloped into a McAllister’s Deli and a Med Express. Then there’s Dania Furniture Co. building in Algonquin, where a soccer club is considering moving into the long-vacant space. Ask Jack Minero why a soccer club is a good choice for such a property, and he surely mention these two words: “Specialty” and “service.” A real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway, Minero is the man behind the Winding Creek Shopping Center, one block west of Randall Road on Algonquin Road. The center has 16 units, eight of which are leased. Of those eight rented units, five of them are specialty shops that offer services to customers. “Insurance, beauty salon, physical therapy, martial arts and day care,” Minero said, describing some of the businesses that seem to stick in the suburbs. Kost offers this advice to landlords and tenants hoping to make a splash in the retail scene: try to go toward service. There’s another factor stifling the retail market: Rent isn’t cheap in McHenry County. The average price for an redeveloped property is between $16 and $22 per square foot. Rent on brand-new spaces could push past $40 per square foot, Kost said. That’s on top of the additional rent tenants pay for common area fees, maintenance, taxes and insurance. “A lot of these retailers are struggling,” Minero said, pointing to McHenry County’s “steep” property taxes. “It’s something that goes along with the economic climate we’re in.” Bruce Kaplan of Premier Commercial Realty of Lake in the Hills shows a vacant commercial property in Coventry Plaza in Crystal Lake Friday, April 20. The prope[...]


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Stand Up for School Bus Safety coalition claims Harvard D50 busing service dangerousShaw Media file photo

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 05:23:00 GMT

A local group has claimed the busing service that Harvard District 50 uses is unsafe.

Several people warned Harvard District 50 school board members against Durham School Services at the district’s last board meeting.

The individuals are part of a nationwide coalition Stand Up for School Bus Safety, which originated in Tennessee after a fatal crash occurred in Chattanooga.

The crash killed six students and the Durham driver has since been charged with vehicular homicide and a handful of other charges, according to local media reports.

The coalition argues the incident isn’t isolated.

Durham is operated by its parent company, United Kingdom-based National Express Group. The company’s school bus operations have experienced a 25 percent higher rate of crashes per million miles traveled compared with its main competitors First Student and Student Transportation Inc., according to a study based on data from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Federal safety violations were also higher than competitors, according to the study.

Susan Bartos, a Harvard resident who drives for First Student, said that she was concerned about the potential safety hazard.

“I don’t want what has happened in other communities to happen here in Harvard,” she said. “I take great pride in my work and the safety of our children and our drivers.

“That’s why I’m so concerned and need to speak up.”

Terressa Langston, who is a school bus monitor with First Student, said she used to drive for Durham and didn’t feel the training was adequate.

“When I got my license, that was the end of it,” she said.

“With First Student the training goes on and on. It’s every month. … We are transporting precious, irreplaceable cargo.”  

She added that the equipment provided by Durham wasn’t always adequate.

A call to the Harvard Durham location was directed to the company’s corporate office. Durham officials at that office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

District 50 Business Manager Mary Taylor said the district is in the process of bidding for its transportation services and would take into account the recently raised concerns.

“Student safety is definitely a primary concern for us,” she said. “We will take that into consideration when looking into bids as normal.”

Shaw Media file photo


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Rear-end collision in Crystal Lake causes moderate damage to carOne car crashed into the rear of another around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Road and Walkup Road, fire officials said.One car crashed into the rear of another around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Road and Walkup Road, fire officials said.One car crashed into the rear of another around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Road and Walkup Road, fire officials said.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:57:00 GMT

Two cars were involved in a rear-end collision Saturday afternoon in Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Lt. Darrell Cook said one car crashed into the rear of another about 12:20 p.m. at Hillside and Walkup roads.

Cook said he did not know the cause of the crash, which is being investigated by the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.

"One of the vehicles had moderate to heavy damage, and the other had minor to moderate damage," Cook said.

No one was injured or taken to a hospital. Police were not available for more information.

Attempts to reach McHenry County Sheriff's Office were unsuccessful.

One car crashed into the rear of another around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Road and Walkup Road, fire officials said.One car crashed into the rear of another around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Road and Walkup Road, fire officials said.One car crashed into the rear of another around 12:20 p.m. Saturday at Hillside Road and Walkup Road, fire officials said.


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Fox Lake fire causes about $120,000 in damageLathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com Fire trucks move up First Street during a parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cary Fire Department in Cary, Ill. on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:38:00 GMT

A Fox Lake garage was severely damaged Saturday after a fire broke out.

The Fox Lake Fire Protection District responded to a call about 1:10 p.m. at 31 Atwater Parkway, Battalion Chief Larry VanHoorelbeke said.

The fire was contained to the garage and a small area of the master bedroom next to the garage. VanHoorelbeke estimated the fire caused about $120,000 worth of damage. The garage was severely damaged, he said.

"The residents were at home, but they all quickly got out, and no one was hurt," VanHoorelbeke said.

Firefighters had the fire under control within 15 to 20 minutes, he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, VanHoorelbeke said.

Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com Fire trucks move up First Street during a parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cary Fire Department in Cary, Ill. on Saturday, June 15, 2013.


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Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'Former Presidents George W. Bush, left, and George H.W. Bush arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday in Houston.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 21:19:00 GMT

HOUSTON – Barbara Bush was remembered as the "first lady of the greatest generation" during a funeral Saturday attended by four former U.S. presidents and hundreds of other people who filled the church with laughter as much as tears, with many recalling her quick wit and devotion to family. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked that his mother called her style of mothering him and his siblings "a benevolent dictatorship – but honestly, it wasn't always benevolent." He emphasized how she believed in the power of laughter and that joy should be shared. He said he could still feel her presence Saturday inside the nation's largest Episcopal church and she would likely have given him advice on his eulogy: "Jeb, keep it short. Don't drag this out," he said to chuckles. He met her expectations with a speech lasting about seven minutes. He choked up at one point while addressing the roughly 1,500 people seated inside the St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parents regularly worshipped, when saying his mother – who was known for her self-deprecating remarks about her wrinkles and gray hair – was "beautiful" until the very end. He said he felt privileged that he had a "front row" seat to the incredible love story shared by his mother and father, former President George H.W. Bush, who laughed as longtime friends and family recalled his wife's wicked sense of humor during the nearly two-hour service. After he spoke, Jeb Bush walked over to his father, and hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. Presidential historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography on the former president, recalled Barbara Bush's devotion to her husband of 73 years, noting former George H.W. Bush. is the "only boy she ever kissed." Theirs was the longest marriage of any other presidential couple. One of just two first ladies to have a child elected president, Barbara Bush was widely admired for her plainspoken style and was known as the "Enforcer" in her family, the glue who kept the high-powered clan together. Meacham said it was Barbara Bush's quick tongue that made her so popular, along with her work promoting literacy and bringing awareness to AIDS patients. "Barbara Bush was the first lady of the greatest generation," Meacham said during his eulogy. The couple's family, including their five children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, played a prominent role in the service. Granddaughters offered readings, some their voices shaky with emotion, while their eight grandsons were pallbearers. The Bush family was seated in front of the church. Nearby, two other former presidents – Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – along with their wives and current first lady Melania Trump were seated in the same pew. The invitation-only service was also attended by former ambassadors, members of Congress, sports stars and Houston business owners. A eulogy was also given by Barbara Bush's longtime friend, Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who said Bush – the wife of the 41st president of the U.S. and mother of the 43rd – was "the secret sauce of this extraordinary family." As the funeral ended, George H.W. Bush was pushed in his wheelchair by his son George W. Bush as they followed the casket out of the church's cavernous sanctuary, which had been adorned with sprays of yellow garden roses, yellow snap dragons and antique hydrangeas. They stopped along the way to shake hands, as mourners sa[...]


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Coroner IDs Round Lake Park woman who died Wednesday in Volo crash

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 17:08:00 GMT

The Lake County Coroner's Office has identified a 24-year-old Round Lake Park woman who died Wednesday after a Volo crash.

Susana Ortega died from multiple traumatic injuries as a result of the crash, according to preliminary autopsy results. Toxicology results are still pending, according to a news release from the Lake County Coroner's Office.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched about 12:23 p.m. to Route 120 at Ellis Drive in Volo for reports of a crash with injuries, according to a news release from police.

A 55-year-old Gurnee woman was driving an SUV east on Route 120, west of Ellis Drive, when for an unknown reason a Sedan driven by Ortega entered the eastbound lanes of Route 120 and struck the SUV, police said.

Ortega was sent to Advocate Condell Medical Center, where she later died, and an autopsy was performed Thursday morning.

The driver of the SUV was sent to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

The Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team continues to investigate.

– Northwest Herald


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Woman gets 3 years after guilty plea in videotaped beating of Crystal Lake teenTanishia Covington

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:15:00 GMT

A Chicago woman involved in a beating of a mentally disabled teen from Crystal Lake that was shown on Facebook Live has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Twenty-five-year-old Tanishia Covington learned her sentence Friday after pleading guilty to a hate crime, intimidation and aggravated battery.

Covington apologized in court while the victim looked on.

She's the second of four co-defendants to plead guilty in the case that received national attention because it involved a white victim and four blacks who taunted him with profanities against white people. Her sister, Brittany, who livestreamed the video, was sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty in December. The cases against the two other co-defendants are pending.

Tanishia Covington


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Crystal Lake approves budget, votes to lease vehicles to save moneyCrystal Lake City Council approved a balanced budget that includes a new tactic to save funding: leasing department vehicles.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 14:59:00 GMT

Crystal Lake City Council approved a balanced budget that includes a new tactic to save: leasing department vehicles.

Council members voted, 5-0, to approve the budget Tuesday that spends about $89.8 million, a $16,000 decrease from this year’s budget, according to village documents.

A twist on the budget is a new leasing and replacement program for all city vehicles, except ambulances and fire engines. The police department is in need of 10 vehicle replacements.

The goal is to use a fleet leasing program instead of purchasing vehicles outright to improve cash flow, implement replacement schedules and reduce maintenance costs.

The city has 57 vehicles, and it would cost $4.8 million to purchase the vehicles for the next five years, finance director George Koczwara said. It would cost $3.8 million to replace 120 units through the leasing program, he said.

“It’s important we have a fleet that is safe, reliable and provides the necessary functionality at an economical cost,” Koczwara said. “As a vehicle ages, its capital cost diminishes, and its operating costs of maintenance and repair increases.”

Koczwara said ideally, vehicles should be replaced when these two costs meet each other. The city would lease from Enterprise Fleet Management and lease terms would span five years. The city would annually determine how many vehicles they will lease each year and Enterprise would pay for all repairs of the vehicles at local repair shops.

One fleet maintenance position will be eliminated through attrition once someone retires.

The city has budgeted $13.49 million for capital expenditures, including roadway improvements, automotive equipment, computer hardware, information technology equipment, tree replacement, sewer improvements and a water delivery study.

The city is expecting revenue to increase in the upcoming fiscal year because of an increase in sales tax with Mariano’s and Steinhafels Furniture opening.

The budget included the final year of 11.4 percent increases in water and sewer rates that go into effect May 1, when the city’s fiscal year begins.

Additionally, 27¼ positions were eliminated through attrition since the start of the Great Recession. Nonunion employees have the ability to receive a 3 percent raise based on individual performance for the upcoming fiscal year.

More than 70 percent of general fund expenditures go to personnel services.

Crystal Lake City Council approved a balanced budget that includes a new tactic to save funding: leasing department vehicles.


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Woodstock couple facing drug dealing charges given OK to have jailhouse weddingDeonte L. BaughDurelle J. Hall

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 14:59:00 GMT

Two inmates at the McHenry County Jail have been granted permission to get married while in custody.

Both Durelle J. Hall, 26, and Deonte L. Baugh, 29, sent handwritten letters to the McHenry County Clerk’s Office requesting an order allowing the co-defendants to have a wedding ceremony at the jail.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather issued that order April 6, and it was not immediately clear when the wedding would occur.

Typically, a judge will perform the service at the jail in a room where newly arrested inmates are read their rights and have their bond set, McHenry County court administrator Dan Wallis said. Both Baugh and Hall will be required to wear their jail uniforms. Family can attend, but they’ll have to observe from outside the courtroom behind a glass window.

Police arrested Hall and Baugh in July after they were accused of selling cocaine to an undercover police officer on two separate occasions.

At the time, Hall was awaiting drug-induced-homicide charges in connection with a Marengo overdose death. She since has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The pair faces a series of felony drug and child endangerment charges stemming from a police search of their Woodstock home. There, McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies said they found more than 3 pounds of marijuana, 17 grams of cocaine and 10 Ativan pills.

Married couples sometimes are afforded a privilege that can protect them from having to testify against each other in court. It was not clear whether Baugh and Hall would qualify for that privilege, however, since they were not married when the alleged crime occurred.

Baugh and Hall both are due back in court May 9.

Deonte L. BaughDurelle J. Hall


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McHenry County College to offer academic summer camps, classesChildren start solar power rovers in a Tech Camp class called Exploration 2050: Future of Space Exploration and Drones at McHenry County College.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:12:00 GMT

Keep your children busy this summer with academic and enriching programs at McHenry County College with the MCC Kids and College program, offered June 18 to Aug. 9 for students in first through 12th grade.

This year’s theme is “Dream Big: Where Creativity and Innovation Meet Summer Fun.” Children can attend for one week or for all six weeks. Flexible programming is available, including before and after care to accommodate parents’ busy schedules.

“These quality and affordable programs aim to keep kids engaged in learning, sharpen critical thinking skills, inspire creativity and maybe even light a spark for a future career,” said Laura Beaupre, coordinator of College and Career Readiness at MCC.

New this year are high school STEM Boot Camps for students in ninth to 12th grade. Kids and College also offers half-day academic and enrichment classes and full-day STEM camps to prepare students for the upcoming school year, expose them to 21st-century learning skills and expand their knowledge in many content areas.

Instructors include MCC faculty, certified teachers and support staff who bring their passion and enthusiasm to MCC each day.

Kids and College offers a full menu of digital media and technology classes, including computer gaming, 2D animation, APP development and web design.

The popular MCC Tech Camp STEM offers weeklong sessions Monday to Thursday for students in first through ninth grad. The full-day MCC Tech camp is a one-week camp offering hands-on learning in the areas of science, engineering, art and technology, as well as outdoor fun. All campers in MCC Tech Camp will be placed in their age group of no more than 20 students.

Summer Academy classes include academic enrichment classes designed to tap into kids’ creativity and critical-thinking skills. Popular classes include Baking and Culinary Academies, Creative Writing, Essays and Presentations, Digital Storytelling, Persuasive Writing, Girls Only STEM: Tiny House Design and Décor, Intro to Web Design, 3D Video Game Design with Unity and more.

Flexible schedules are available, including one- and two-week Summer Academy classes, offered in both the morning and afternoon with an option to stay for lunch. Before and after care is available, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m., and 4 to 5:30 p.m.

For cost information or to register, visit www.mchenry.edu/kidsandcollege. For information, contact Laura Beaupre at lbeaupre@mchenry.edu.

Children start solar power rovers in a Tech Camp class called Exploration 2050: Future of Space Exploration and Drones at McHenry County College.


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Sun City Huntley among 'best-selling' active adult communities

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:12:00 GMT

Sun City Huntley by Del Webb has been named one of the “50 Best-Selling Active Adult Communities for 2018” by 55places.com, the No. 1 resource for information about active adult communities in the U.S.

For the period of March 1, 2017, to Feb. 28, 55places.com compiled a list of the best-selling active adult communities based on the number of sales through 55places.com and other criteria.

“It has been nearly 20 years since development began in 1999, and the community is thriving. I often hear residents say that moving to Sun City Huntley was one of the best decisions they’ve made,” said Deanna Loughran, executive director of the Sun City Community Association of Huntley.

For information about Sun City Huntley, visit www.sccah.com.


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Roads reopen after transformer fire

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:11:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Ackman and Golf Course roads were closed for an hour Friday because of a transformer fire on an electric pole that closed the intersection.

Crystal Lake police Cmdr. Scott Miller said the transformer blew and was causing some isolated sparks.

The Crystal Lake Fire Department requested a temporary closure of the area of Ackman Road from Westport Ridge to Golf Course Road.

ComEd fixed the transformer about noon, and the roads were reopened by 1:20 p.m.

- Megan Jones


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Israeli fire in new Gaza border protest kills 4 PalestiniansPalestinian medics evacuate a wounded person during clashes with Israeli troops Friday along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:09:00 GMT

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli soldiers firing Friday from across a border fence killed four Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, and wounded more than 150 others, health officials said, as several thousand people in blockaded Gaza staged a fourth round of weekly protests on the border with Israel. Huge plumes of black smoke from burning tires engulfed the border area. Some of the activists threw stones toward the fence or flew kites with flaming rags dangling from their tails. The latest deaths brought to 32 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in protests since March. More than 1,600 have been wounded by live rounds in the past three weeks, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The rising Palestinian casualty toll signaled that Israel’s military is sticking to its open-fire rules despite international criticism of the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters. Israel said it’s defending its border, and alleges Gaza’s ruling Hamas uses protests as cover for attacks. Israeli soldiers are positioned on the other side of the border fence, including snipers taking cover behind earthen berms, and none have been hurt. Turnout for the marches has fluctuated, with the biggest showing March 30, but Friday’s crowd appeared to have been somewhat larger than the one the previous week. The marches are part of what organizers, led by Hamas, have billed as an escalating showdown with Israel, to culminate in a mass march May 15. The top Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said Friday that people should get ready for large crowds spilling across the border that day. “Our people will outnumber the occupation and force it from our land,” he said, referring to Israel. Hamas said the protests are aimed at breaking a crippling border blockade that was imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Islamic militant group overran Gaza in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliament elections. The marches also press for a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced from homes in the 1948 war over Israel’s creation. Palestinians mark May 15, the anniversary of Israel’s founding, as their “nakba,” or catastrophe, to mourn their mass uprooting. “We will stay here until we reclaim our lands,” said Ahmed Nasman, 21, speaking in a protest tent camp east of Gaza City, as activists near him prepared kites. “Every day, we will come here with a new way to resist them,” he said, referring to Israel. Several thousand protesters flocked to the border area Friday, most gathering at five tent camps several hundred yards away from the border. Smaller groups advanced toward the fence, throwing stones, burning tires and flying kites with burning rags. The kites are part of a new tactic aimed at setting fields on the Israeli side on fire. Most kites showed the colors of the Palestinian flag. One white kite bore a Nazi swastika. Earlier on Friday, Israeli military aircraft had dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from the fence and warning that they endanger their lives if they follow Hamas directives. While Hamas and s[...]


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Ex-FBI deputy director 'disappointed' in Comey commentsThen-FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on June 7 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:08:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is “very upset and disappointed” by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday.

“Andy has at all times attempted to, and believes he’s been successful in, playing it straight with Jim,” Michael Bromwich told reporters as he again attacked an internal investigation process that led to McCabe’s firing from the FBI last month and a criminal referral to federal prosecutors.

The disagreement stems from conflicting recollections about a conversation the two men had after an October 2016 Wall Street Journal story about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

McCabe said he told Comey after the article was published that he had authorized FBI officials to share information with the reporter – specifically, details of a heated phone conversation with a senior Justice Department official – in order to push back against a story he felt was going to be unfair to the bureau.

Comey, however, has said McCabe did not acknowledge having done so and left the impression that he didn’t know who had shared that information with the journalist.

The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that McCabe misled officials under oath about authorizing the disclosure. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him last month, and the inspector general’s office in recent weeks referred the matter to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington for a possible criminal investigation.

Bromwich said Friday that the threshold for criminal referrals is very low, and that he did not expect the case to result in prosecution.

He said the investigation that led to McCabe’s firing was “unprecedented” in its speed and accelerated so that he could be terminated without being allowed to retire with full pension benefits.

The disagreement and contrasting memories have burst into public view this week, as Comey has insisted in television interviews that he stands by his account and that the FBI and Justice Department cannot tolerate lack of candor. He has said that he feels conflicted about McCabe’s legal problems given that the two men worked closely together.

“I like him very much as a person, but sometimes even good people do things they shouldn’t do,” Comey said in an interview with CNN on Thursday.

Bromwich also suggested that the disagreement was not personal, although he did note that McCabe feels “very upset and disappointed” by some of Comey’s comments.

“Andy McCabe and Jim Comey had an excellent relationship,” Bromwich said. “Andy McCabe looked up to Jim Comey. We are not for a moment suggesting that Jim Comey is making things up or lying.”

Then-FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on June 7 on Capitol Hill in Washington.


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Democrats' lawsuit alleges conspiracy between Trump camp, RussiaPresident Donald Trump listens during an April 18 news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club, in Palm Beach, Fla. The Democratic National Committee on Friday sued President Donald Trump's campaign, Trump's son, his son-in-law, the Russian Federation and WikiLeaks.A lawsuit that was filed by the Democratic National Committee, as photographed Friday in Washington. The national Democratic Party sued President Donald Trump's campaign, his son, his son-in-law, the Russian Federation and WikiLeaks, accusing them of an intricate conspiracy to undercut Democrats in the 2016 election by stealing tens of thousands of emails and documents.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:06:00 GMT

NEW YORK – The Democratic Party sued Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks and Trump’s son and son-in-law Friday, accusing them of an intricate conspiracy to undercut Democrats in the 2016 election by stealing tens of thousands of emails and documents. The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages and an order to prevent further interference with computer systems of the Democratic National Committee. “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement. He called it an “act of unprecedented treachery.” The Democrats accuse Trump and his associates of trading on pre-existing relationships with Russian oligarchs tied to President Vladimir Putin and of collaborating with Russia as it worked to undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The president has said repeatedly there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia. On Friday, his campaign scorned the lawsuit as “frivolous” and predicted it would be quickly dismissed. “This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional and nearly insolvent Democratic Party,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. He said the campaign would seek to turn the tables on the Democrats, using the legal discovery process to try to pry documents from the DNC including any related to a dossier detailing allegations of links between Trump and Russia. The dossier – a collection of memos – was written by an ex-British spy whose work was funded by Clinton and the DNC. Trump himself tweeted that the DNC lawsuit could be “very good news,” saying his campaign “will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI” as well as Hillary Clinton’s emails. Trump’s tweet also referred to “the Wendy Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man.” He appeared to be referring to former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and reports of an IT specialist who once worked for some House Democrats. Requests for comment from the Russian Embassy in Washington were not immediately returned. The Democrats’ lawsuit doesn’t reveal new details in the sprawling storyline of connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives working on behalf of the Kremlin. Instead it knits many of the threads that have emerged in public over the past two years to paint a picture of an alleged conspiracy between the Trump campaign, the Kremlin and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The DNC said the “brazen attack on American democracy” began with a cyberattack on DNC computers and phone systems in 2015, allowing the extraction of tens of thousands of documents and emails. WikiLeaks then blasted out many of the documents July 22, 2016, shortly before Clinton was to be nominated – upsetting the Democrats’ national convention. That added up to a “campaign of the presidential nominee of a major party in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidenc[...]


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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at Judson UniversityFormer Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich speaks as part of the World Leaders Forum on Thursday at Judson University in Elgin.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:05:00 GMT

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean showed how those on opposite political sides can be polite, work together and accomplish a goal at the 2018 World Leaders Forum on Thursday at Judson University in Elgin.

Dean, the Democrat, and Gingrich, the Republican, presented “A Bipartisan Conversation About Leadership in Divided Times,” illustrating by example how to conduct themselves without rancor or name-calling.

“There’s no reason we can’t work together,” Dean said. “The best years I had as governor was when one party controlled one chamber and the other party controlled the other chamber. If I needed help reducing spending, I went to the Republicans. If I needed help with a program, I went to the Democrats.”

Gingrich praised the genius of the nation’s Founding Fathers in designing the way government would work.

“The Founding Fathers saw themselves as engineers who were trying to build a machine that was sufficiently inefficient that no dictator could make it work,” Gingrich said. “Their design was very deliberate. They feared tyranny and fought a revolutionary war. They did not want to see freedom slide back into dictatorship, so they designed this very intricate, very complicated machine.”

The process called politics, Gingrich said, is a way to sublimate civil war where passions, dreams and fears “come into this arena we call politics.”

Neither Gingrich, nor Dean said anything about President Donald Trump.

Dean said America is an exceptional country because the founders created a system in which the government works for the public and not the other way around.

George Washington turned down a third term as president because he said the office was more important than the person holding it, Dean said.

“Somewhere along the line, we lost our way,” Dean said. “The two parties have very different philosophies, but that should not stop us from moving our country forward. … I’m optimistic about the future because of our younger generation – a powerful group of socially tolerant, respectful individuals who are eager to work together.”

The real effect of partisan attacks is it cuts off a legislator’s ability to communicate with other people, Gingrich said.

“It’s very important to remember the other person is a human being, not the ‘other.’ They are not alien,” Gingrich said. “And as a human being, they deserve a chance to have their views [heard].”

Gingrich said meetings are an opportunity “to listen, learn, help and lead – in that order.”

In that format, solutions emerge, Gingrich said.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich speaks as part of the World Leaders Forum on Thursday at Judson University in Elgin.


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Illinois woman sentenced to life in prison for deadly plot in CanadaLindsay Souvannarath arrives at provincial court in March 2015 in Halifax. Souvannarath has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for nearly a decade. The Geneva, Ill., resident pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit murder in a plan that involved opening fire at a mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2015.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:05:00 GMT

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – An Illinois woman who plotted to go on a Valentine’s Day shooting rampage at a Canadian mall was sentenced to life in prison Friday with no chance of parole for nearly a decade.

Lindsay Souvannarath of Geneva pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit murder in a plan that involved opening fire at a mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2015.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Peter Rosinski said that Souvannarath is and will remain a threat to society.

He said she has not expressed remorse for her plot.

Rosinski also said that if the plan to kill unsuspecting shoppers had not been interrupted by an anonymous tip and the quick actions of police in Nova Scotia, it would have been carried out.

Rosinski said his sentence was partly shaped by the principles that apply to terrorism.

While he told the court the motivations and intentions in the case aren’t precisely the same as those related to terrorism activities, he said the crime requires the court to “send a clear message” to those conspiring to kill multiple people that “they will pay a heavy price.”

The judge also gave Souvannarath credit for time served in custody, so she will be eligible for parole in seven years.

Police thwarted the planned attack after receiving an anonymous tip, but Souvannarath had already boarded a plane in Chicago bound for Nova Scotia.

Her co-conspirator, James Gamble, killed himself as police surrounded his Halifax-area home. Souvannarath was arrested at the airport.

A third accomplice – a Canadian man described in court as the “cheerleader” of the plot – was previously sentenced to a decade in jail.

When Rosinski asked Souvannarath if she would like to address the court before sentencing, the 26-year-old said: “I decline.”

Before delivering sections of his decision orally in court Friday, the judge entered new letters from Souvannarath’s parents and grandparents as exhibits in the case.

The parents of both Souvannarath and Gamble were in court for the sentencing.

At the time the plot was being planned, Souvannarath and Gamble were unemployed and lived with their families.

Court documents released say online conversations between Souvannarath and her Canadian friend quickly devolved into a shared admiration for the Columbine killers, mass shootings and their murderous conspiracy to go on a shooting rampage at the Halifax Shopping Centre food court.

Lindsay Souvannarath arrives at provincial court in March 2015 in Halifax. Souvannarath has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for nearly a decade. The Geneva, Ill., resident pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit murder in a plan that involved opening fire at a mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2015.


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Woodstock woman charged with DUI after crashing into police carCassandra Pociask, 52 of Woodstock, was charged with driving under the influence, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and failing the right-of-way at at an intersection.Cassandra Pociask, 52 of Woodstock

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:04:00 GMT

A Woodstock woman was charged Thursday with driving under the influence after crashing into an unmarked police car responding to a separate incident, police said.

Cassandra Pociask, 52, was driving a black Ford Focus south on South Seminary Avenue, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sandra Rogers said Friday. A Woodstock police officer was going east on South Street responding to a call for service with his emergency lights activated.

Pociask failed to yield at a stop sign and collided into the driver’s side of the police car about 6:35 p.m., Rogers said.

There was minor damage to both vehicles, and while interviewing Pociask, officers saw signs of impairment, Rogers said.

Pociask also was charged with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and failing to yield the right-of-way at an intersection, Rogers said.

It was not clear whether a breath test was administered for Pociask.

Pociask is being held at the McHenry County Jail with bond set at $300.

No injuries were reported in the incident. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crash because a Woodstock police car was involved.

Cassandra Pociask, 52 of Woodstock, was charged with driving under the influence, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and failing the right-of-way at at an intersection.Cassandra Pociask, 52 of Woodstock


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Police still searching for car theft suspectA man fled after crashing into a traffic signal Wednesday in Crystal Lake.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:04:00 GMT

Police still are searching for a man who fled on foot Wednesday night after stealing a car in Cary and crashing into a traffic signal in Crystal Lake, Cary Deputy Police Chief Jim Fillmore said Friday morning.

“No information has come in yet,” Fillmore said. “We’ve gathered some items, but we are going to have to wait for the results to come back. Sometimes that can take a long time actually with the backlog.”

A woman stopped at Bob’s Amoco BP Station, 400 Silver Lake Road, Cary, and was away from her vehicle when the male suspect jumped into her car and drove off about 9 p.m., Fillmore said.

About 9:30 p.m., a car crashed into a traffic signal at Randall Road and McHenry Avenue, knocking out power to the traffic controls, Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said.

A McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy later found the crashed car, and when the deputy approached the car, the man inside took off on foot, deputy Sandra Rogers said.

The suspect has shoulder-length blond hair and was wearing jeans and a camouflage jacket, Fillmore said.

Anyone with information should call the Cary Police Department at 847-639-2341, the Crystal Lake Police Department at 815-356-3620 or McHenry County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-762-7867.

A man fled after crashing into a traffic signal Wednesday in Crystal Lake.


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Woodstock senior wins scholarship in Illinois Realtors Bicentennial Essay ContestJim Haisler, the Organization’s CEO, who also served as the Essay Contest’s Chairperson.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:03:00 GMT

A Woodstock High School student was among 23 scholarship winners in an essay contest that celebrates Illinois’ bicentennial.

Jade Bellairs, a Woodstock High School senior, was awarded $750 toward academic expenses by submitting an essay on the theme “Home is Where the Heart is.” Her entry was selected from more than 450 essays submitted as part of the contest sponsored by Illinois Realtors as part of the association’s celebration of the state’s 200th birthday.

Bellairs’ entry was judged a winner by a 10-member selection committee. In all, the association’s Bicentennial Task Force awarded one $1,000 scholarship, 11 scholarships for $750 and 11 scholarships for $250. For information on the essay contest, go to IllinoisRealtors.org/Bicentennial.

Top finalists also included:

$1,000: Hannah Young, Wheaton Academy, West Chicago

$750: Gabrielle Allen, Warrensburg-Latham High School, Warrensburg; Bailey Brooks, Forreston Junior/Senior High School, Forreston; Megan Coakley, Grant Community High School, Fox Lake; Dillon Davey, Barrington High School, Barrington; Kennedy Green, Sacred Heart-Griffin, Springfield; Emma Nelson, homeschool student, Brookport; Cooper Peterson, Glenwood High School, Chatham; Amber Tomlin, Heyworth High School, Heyworth; Clare Turano, Willows Academy, Des Plaines; Camilla Vazquez, William Fremd High School, Palatine.

The essay contest is one of several ways Illinois Realtors members are marking the state’s 200th birthday.

“Locally, the Heartland Realtor Organization in Crystal Lake will be partnering with five local ‘Tour of History’ events from April to October to celebrate the state’s history,” said Jim Haisler, the organization’s CEO, who also served as the essay contest’s chairperson.

On Aug. 26, the state association plans to open Bicentennial Plaza – A Realtor Community Partnership in Springfield.

The plaza’s grand opening is a signature event of the state’s Bicentennial Commission’s celebration of the milestone.

Jim Haisler, the Organization’s CEO, who also served as the Essay Contest’s Chairperson.


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Bernotas Middle School prioritizes service learningA clothing committee made up of seventh-graders is pictured with Jennifer Kolarczyk, volunteer program coordinator for Home of the Sparrow.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:03:00 GMT

To enhance personal growth and development and create more civic-minded students, Bernotas Middle School has prioritized service learning during the 2017-18 school year. By pairing up with local not-for-profit organizations and agencies and a neighboring District 47 school, teams of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders are making a difference in the Crystal Lake community.

The service learning project idea grew out of a desire to increase students’ awareness of the various needs in their community and to encourage them to get involved, assistant principal Kellie Marks said. Marks said the yearlong service learning plan came about during school improvement team meetings during the 2016-17 school year. After researching and discussing the benefits of service learning, the improvement team dedicated time throughout the 2017-18 school year to teach Bernotas students how to engage with their community.

“One of the goals of the service learning endeavor is for our staff and students to value working with our community and to continue this work in the future,” Marks said. “It is exciting to watch the progress that has been made so far.”

One of the unique aspects of the Bernotas service learning model is that each service team is run by students. At the beginning of the school year, each grade-level team chose a not-for-profit agency to work with. Students learned about their respective organization’s mission through guest visits or by taking field trips to on-site locations.

Grade-level teams then brainstormed ways to contribute to the mission of their partnering organization, creating committees to accomplish tasks. Once or twice a month, students meet with their fellow students to carry out their service learning projects.

Examples of student-community partnerships by grade level include:

Sixth-graders are taking up donations for PADS of McHenry County and creating holiday greeting cards for those served by the organization.

Seventh-graders are helping women and children through the Home of the Sparrow. After learning about homelessness from the organization’s volunteer coordinator, students brainstormed ways to help. Ideas presented included recipe boxes, grooming kits, first aid kits and a clothing drive.

Eighth-graders rang the bell over the holidays to benefit the Salvation Army. Illini students also worked on a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser to benefit childhood cancer research March 23 at Bernotas Middle School.

A clothing committee made up of seventh-graders is pictured with Jennifer Kolarczyk, volunteer program coordinator for Home of the Sparrow.


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McHenry man accused of smuggling pills into jailNicholas B. Hitztaler, 19, of McHenry.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 05:03:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A man who police said smuggled pain and anxiety medication into the McHenry County Jail remained at the facility Friday.

Officers arrested 19-year-old Nicholas B. Hitztaler on Wednesday after he missed a court appearance on felony drug charges, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office sent Friday.

Hitztaler was charged in December with possessing more than 15 grams of heroin.

When police searched Hitztaler before letting him in the jail Thursday, 18 pills bundled in a wad of tissue paper fell out of his clothes, the release stated.

The man told police he already had taken 11 pills, according to the news release.

Hitztaler was placed under a 72-hour watch. He faces new charges of possession of a controlled substance and bringing contraband into a penal institution.

His bond is set at $115,000. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance on the most recent charges Friday.

– Katie Smith

Nicholas B. Hitztaler, 19, of McHenry.


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Hubly says former student persuaded classmates to lie in courtFormer Crystal Lake Central choir director Justin Hubly arrives for court with supporters on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 in Woodstock. Hubly is accused of inappropriately touching former students and giving them alcohol while they were younger than 21.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 04:53:00 GMT

A 36-year-old former high school music teacher took the stand Friday and vehemently denied acting inappropriately with two Crystal Lake Central graduates, adding that allowing 19-year-olds to drink at his home on multiple occasions was use of “poor judgment.”

Visibly frustrated during testimony Friday, Justin Hubly told prosecutors that a disapproving student persuaded his peers to rally against the former teacher in court. The reason, his attorney said, didn’t matter.

“They walked into this courtroom like they walked into District 155 and lied,” Hubly said.

Hubly is charged in two separate cases with battery and giving alcohol to a minor. The charges stem from claims that the former teacher hosted parties at his Crystal Lake home, where he provided groups of mostly 19-year-olds with tequila and rum, and on two occasions, allegedly inappropriately touched young women. He denied ever touching one of the alleged victims. His account of what happened the night of Oct. 7, 2016, was in marked contrast to that of a now 21-year-old woman’s testimony during the first day of trial Wednesday.

The young woman told McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt that she had gone to Hubly’s that night to drink and left about an hour after he first kissed and touched her in ways that made her uncomfortable. Hubly, however, told a different story Friday about the kiss he said they shared.

“I stopped and said, ‘I don’t want to do this. We’re friends,’ ” he testified.

He believes the charges against him are the fault of a now 22-year-old Crystal Lake Central High School graduate, who defense attorney, Henry Sugden, said coached the other young witnesses before taking the stand.

The former student testified Thursday that he does not like Hubly.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Brette Dunbar noted that there was no evidence the 22-year-old and the other alleged victim even knew each other.

Wilbrandt called a brief recess after questioning between Hubly and Dunbar turned argumentative. When the trial resumed minutes later, Dunbar told the judge that Hubly took advantage of his relationship with the former students.

“He exploited their vulnerability and their impressionability,” Dunbar said.

Wilbrandt is expected to announce a verdict Friday.

Former Crystal Lake Central choir director Justin Hubly arrives for court with supporters on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 in Woodstock. Hubly is accused of inappropriately touching former students and giving them alcohol while they were younger than 21.


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McHenry County area red light cameras continue to generate millionsA truck travels east while a Metra trains speeds past a sign that indicates red light cameras are in effect at the intersection of Routes 14 and 22 on April 11 in Fox River Grove.McHenry County area red light cameras, such as this one photographed March 28 at the interesection of routes 120 and 12 in Lakemoor, have generated millions of dollars in revenue since 2016.Red light cameras are popping up more in the area, and the ones at the intersection of Routes 120 and 12, photographed March 28 in Lakemoor, have led to a lawsuit.A red light camera records images of drivers at the intersection of Routes 14 and 22 on April 11 in Fox River Grove.A red light camera records images of drivers at the intersection of Routes 14 and 22 on April 11 in Fox River Grove.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 04:53:00 GMT

Red light cameras in the McHenry County area are sparse but bring in millions of dollars in revenue annually. Fox River Grove and Lakemoor are the only two municipalities in the county that use red light cameras. Lake in the Hills and Algonquin both shut down red light camera programs in 2016. Fox River Grove officials said there are no plans to take down the camera at the intersection of routes 22 and 14. Lakemoor, which sits in both McHenry and Lake counties, is in the midst of a class-action lawsuit related to its red light camera program. Lakemoor officials didn’t return calls for comment. Red light camera programs typically are set up with the intention of making problematic intersections safer. They also are good for revenue – Fox River Grove has collected $1.6 million from violation fees since January 2016. Lakemoor has collected about $3.6 million in the same time period, according to records provided by the municipalities under a Freedom of Information Act request. That revenue came from 56,904 violations at Lakemoor’s Route 12 and Route 120 intersection and 30,994 violations in Fox River Grove, records show. Lake in the Hills issued less than 700 first- and second-violation notices in 2016 before the program was shut down, records show. Between 2010 and 2015, the village issued about 3,500 violations, which generated about $412,000. Village officials decided to end the program because of upcoming construction on Randall Road. “It will impact [the intersection of Randall Road and Acorn Lane], and we would have had to take the cameras out,” said Lake in the Hills Police Department’s Deputy Chief of Support Services Pat Boulden. “Construction hasn’t started yet, but at the time, we would have had to go into a long-term contract.” The village also would have to reapply for a red light camera permit through the county and demonstrate a continued need for the camera at the reconfigured intersection after construction is complete, he said. “The goal of the program was to bring attention to the issue and change driver behavior,” he said. “We accomplished that.” He said there hasn’t been a noticeable increase in crashes or issues at the intersection since the camera has come down. Algonquin shut down its program in 2016 as crashes and violation notices dropped. Fox River Grove Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said the village has no plans to take down its cameras because the program consistently improves safety. He said the village doesn’t rely on violation dollars for operations. “We specifically … put those funds back in the community,” he said, “so capital improvements, investments into the parks, our facade grant program for businesses in town.” A truck travels east while a Metra trains speeds past a sign that indicates red light cameras are in effect at the intersection of Routes 14 and 22 on April 11 in Fox River Grove.[..[...]


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President George HW Bush greets mourners honoring his wifeDeborah Blanton of Houston signs a board honoring former first lady Barbara Bush on Thursday in Houston.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 02:49:00 GMT

HOUSTON – His daughter standing behind him, former President George H.W. Bush sat at the front of the cavernous sanctuary of St. Martin's Episcopal Church. He gazed up at the rose-draped casket holding his wife of 73 years. After a few moments, an aide came forward to help Bush with his wheelchair, turning it so he faced the rest of the sanctuary. A string of mourners began to approach: adults and children, many of the women wearing his wife's favorite color, blue, and trademark pearls. He offered his hand and smiled as people shook it. Thousands of people came Friday to pay respect to Barbara Bush, wife of the nation's 41st president and mother of the nation's 43rd. Among them was Houston social worker Varney Johnson, who like other mourners said he wanted to honor her work supporting literacy. "This woman dedicated her life to educating children," he said. Barbara and George Bush were married longer than any other presidential couple when she died Tuesday at their home in Houston. One of just two first ladies to have a child elected president, Barbara Bush was widely admired for her plainspoken style and her advocacy for causes including literacy and AIDS awareness. A hearse containing the former first lady's casket arrived before daybreak at St. Martin's, which is the nation's largest Episcopal church. Her body was to be in repose from noon until midnight. A spray of dozens of roses covered the closed light-colored metallic casket. The 93-year-old former president arrived at the church shortly after the viewing opened, accompanied by daughter Dorothy Bush Koch. He hadn't been scheduled to visit, but he decided to go after watching video from the church, said family spokesman Jim McGrath. Bush shook dozens of hands and stayed for about 15 minutes. "I think he was very touched by all of the people who were taking the time out of their lives," McGrath said. "It was just a natural inclination for him." Lucy Orlando was one of the more than 100 people in line well before bus service began from a separate location to the church. Originally from Haiti, the 74-year-old Orlando had traveled from Weston, Florida, and said she has admired Barbara Bush for years, including for her work promoting literacy. "She was a very sweet lady and she loves people," said Orlando, who was carrying a gray suitcase containing framed photos of the couple and members of their family, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura. Jessica Queener, who works in special education and wears a cochlear implant to help with hearing loss, said Barbara Bush's work in education and helping people with disabilities "really resonates with me on a personal level but also professionally." In Houston for work from Washington, D.C., Queener and her husband decided to attend the public viewing, saying she also credits the former first lady for being a positive influence when her husband signed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Barba[...]


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Leak crackdown talk yields rare Comey, Trump agreementCopies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, as photographed Thursday.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 02:46:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – James Comey and President Donald Trump seem to disagree on most everything, but the ex-FBI director's memos show consensus on at least one thing: the need to hunt down leakers. The two men bonded over the idea of a proposed leak crackdown, even sharing a chuckle over a crude joke involving jailed journalists, according to memos written by Comey and obtained by The Associated Press. The jocularity over leakers and journalists is striking given the otherwise tense nature of their conversations, which touched on loyalty pledges, Russian prostitutes and open FBI investigations. The memos kept by Comey show his unease with Trump's requests and his concern that the president was blurring the bright line between politics and law enforcement, including with a request that he end an investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Yet Trump and Comey were clearly on the same page about leaks, even if they weren't quite in agreement on whom to hold accountable for them. Comey recounts an Oval Office conversation from February 2017 in which Trump raises the prospect of jailing journalists who benefit from leaked information. According to the memos, Comey told Trump it would be tricky legally to jail reporters but said he saw value in going after leakers and "putting a head on a pike as a message" by bringing such a case. Trump shot back that sending that message may involve jailing reporters. "They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk," Trump says in one memo. Comey laughed as he walked out of the room, according to the memo. The Trump administration has loudly complained about leaks, and Trump himself has repeatedly accused Comey of being a leaker. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said there are several dozen leak investigations open, though that aggressiveness is similar to that of the Obama Justice Department, which was frequently criticized by media organizations and free press advocates. Comey's memos had been eagerly anticipated since their existence was first revealed last year, especially since Comey's interactions with Trump are a critical part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the president sought to obstruct justice. After his firing, Comey provided one of his memos to a friend so he could disclose details to journalists and prompt the appointment of a special counsel. Comey has said he was within his rights as a private citizen to make the disclosure. Late Thursday night, Trump tweeted that the memos "show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION." The documents cover the early months of the Trump administration, a period of upheaval marked by staff turnover, a cascade of damaging headlines and revelations of an FBI investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The memos reflect Trump's uneasiness about that investigati[...]


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In new walkouts, students look to turn outrage to actionHarvard University students observe a moment of silence Friday during a protest against school shootings and gun violence on the steps of Widener Library on campus in Cambridge, Mass. Protests were planned across the country Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 02:44:00 GMT

Once again, they filed out of class. In a new wave of school walkouts, they raised their voices against gun violence. But this time, they were looking to turn outrage into action. Many of the students who joined demonstrations across the country Friday turned their attention to upcoming elections as they pressed for tougher gun laws and politicians who will enact them. Scores of rallies turned into voter registration drives. Students took the stage to issue an ultimatum to their lawmakers. “We want to show that we’re not scared. We want to stop mass shootings and we want gun control,” said Binayak Pandey, 16, who rallied with dozens of students outside Georgia’s Capitol in Atlanta. “The people who can give us that will stay in office, and the people who can’t give us that will be out of office.” All told, tens of thousands of students left class Friday for protests that spread from coast to coast. They filed out at 10 a.m. to gather for a moment of silence honoring the victims of gun violence. Some headed to nearby rallies. Others stayed at school to discuss gun control and register their peers to vote. Organizers said an estimated 150,000 students protested Friday at more than 2,700 walkouts, including at least one in each state, as they sought to sustain a wave of youth activism that drove a larger round of walkouts on March 14. Activists behind that earlier protest estimated it drew nearly 1 million students. HeadCount, a nonprofit group that registers voters at music events, said 700 people had signed up to vote through its website during the past week. That’s up from just 10 people in the same period last year. Spokesman Aaron Ghitelman credited the uptick to walkout organizers who steered teens to the group’s website. Friday’s action was planned by a Connecticut teenager, Lane Murdock, after a gunman stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, leaving 17 people dead. It was meant to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado. The focus on the November elections reflects a shift after activists gained little immediate traction in Washington – and prospects for their influence remain uncertain. Congress has shown little inclination to tighten gun laws, and President Donald Trump backed away from his initial support for raising the minimum age to buy some guns. Among those who helped orchestrate the walkout – and the voter registration push – was the progressive group Indivisible, which formed after the 2016 election to oppose Trump’s policies. In cities across the country, it was common to see crowds of students clad in orange – the color used by hunters to signal “don’t shoot” – rallying outside their schools or at public parks. Several hundred gathered at New York City’s Washington Square Park, chanting “The NRA has got to go!” and “Enough is enough.” A large [...]


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Site of unsolved 1981 Springfield ax killing to be razed

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:37:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – The city of Springfield is preparing to demolish a hardware store that was the scene of an unsolved ax killing 37 years ago.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield reported that a private contractor finished removing asbestos from Lauterbach Cottage Hardware Store on Thursday. City officials say the structure will be demolished sometime in the next week.

Police have been looking for a suspect since March 18, 1981, when a man walked into the store, grabbed an ax and forced three people in the store to get on their knees. He swung at their heads. One person, 64-year-old John Ewing, was struck three times and died. A customer found the victims a half hour later.

The building was abandoned and the remainder of the hardware store was auctioned in 2011.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com




50,000 Illinois firearm owner ID cards due for renewal

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:36:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Police are urging those with firearm owner's identification cards to apply early if their cards are up for renewal this year.

State Police Director Leo Schmitz said Friday that the agency expects tens of thousands of renewal applications to come in over the next few months as the first wave of 10-year cards come due for renewal. State police are recommending gun owners send renewal applications at least one to two months in advance so the agency has enough time to process requests and issue new cards before expiration.

The agency says more than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and Aug. 1. Renewal notices have been sent to those whose cards expire June 1.

Illinois lawmakers in 2008 amended state law to allow FOID cards to be valid for 10 years.




Deerfield faces 2nd lawsuit after creating semiautomatic weapons ban

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:33:00 GMT

DEERFIELD – The northern Chicago suburb of Deerfield faces a second lawsuit after its village board voted unanimously to ban certain semiautomatic firearms.

The ban goes into effect June 13 and includes the AR-15, which has been used in mass shootings. The Chicago Tribune reported that the advocacy group Guns Save Life and Deerfield resident John William Wombacher III filed the lawsuit Thursday in Lake County court.

The new lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction. Guns Save Life executive director John Boch said the group wants to stop Deerfield from denying people "the right to firearms based merely on cosmetic appearance." The Illinois State Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday also filed a lawsuit against the ban.

The village has said it "believes it has acted within its statutory authority." Village Manager Kent Street said he couldn't comment because the village had not been served with the lawsuit.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com




Bill would remove Illinois from multi-state voter database

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:31:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – A measure awaiting action from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner would end the state's participation in a controversial multi-state voter registration database.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Illinois House approved the legislation Thursday and sent it to Rauner, whose spokeswoman called the vote "troubling." Illinois is among several states re-evaluating the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Critics say the system doesn't properly protect personal information.

Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold says the systems are "intended to ensure access to voting while preventing opportunities for fraud." Republican lawmakers argued Thursday against the measure, saying the Illinois Board of Elections shouldn't be barred from accessing data because of political reasons.

Democratic sponsors say the state still will have access to an alternative voter data system called the Electronic Registration Information Center.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com




Comey memos offer new details on his interactions with Trump as probe intensifiedCopies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey are photographed in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018. President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment of his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, according to memos maintained by Comey and obtained by The Associated Press. The 15 pages of documents contain new details about a series of interactions that Comey had with Trump in the weeks before his May 2017 firing. Those encounters include a White House dinner at which Comey says Trump asked him for his loyalty. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:31:00 GMT

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump expressed concerns about the judgment of his national security adviser Michael Flynn weeks before forcing him to resign, according to memos kept by former FBI director James Comey that recount in detail efforts by Trump to influence the bureau's expanding investigation of Russia. The memos also reveal the extent of Trump's preoccupation with unproven allegations that he had consorted with prostitutes while in Moscow in 2013. Trump, according to the memos, repeatedly denied the allegations and prodded Comey to help disprove them, while also recalling being told by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia has the most beautiful prostitutes. The details were disclosed Thursday as the Justice Department released redacted versions of memos - some of which contained previously classified material - that Comey composed in the immediate aftermath of his interactions with Trump, a step he says he took because he was troubled by their conversations and worried that the president might one day lie about them. The documents, first published by the Associated Press, provide a significantly more detailed account of those conversations than has previously been revealed through Comey's contemporaneous records and are largely consistent with his statements before Congress and in his newly published memoir. In a Jan. 28, 2017, memo, Comey said Trump blamed Flynn for botching the scheduling of a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May. "In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said, 'the guy has serious judgment issues,' " Comey wrote. Comey said he did not comment at the time. Trump has disputed Comey's accounts of their conversations. On Thursday night, Trump tweeted: "James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?" Flynn, who was forced out in the early days of the administration, has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller III's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. In early February, Comey met with then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who asked the FBI director "if this was a 'private conversation.' I replied that it was," Comey recounted in one memo. Priebus then asked if the bureau was wiretapping Flynn, according to the memo. "I paused for a few seconds and then said that I would answer here, but that this illustrated the kind of question that had to be asked and answered through established channels," Comey recounted. "I explained that it was important that communication about any particular case go through that channel to protect us and to protect the (White House) from any accusations of improper influence. He said he understood." After that discussion, Priebus brought Comey to speak with the president, where Trump raised the issue of Comey's deputy, Andrew McCabe, who had been criticized by Trump during the campaign because Mc[...]


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Giuliani to join Trump legal team in Russia probeThen-President-elect Donald Trump (right) and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pose for photographs Nov. 20, 2016, as Giuliani arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:21:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump since the early days of his campaign, is joining the team of lawyers representing the president in the special counsel’s Russia investigation. With the addition of Giuliani, Trump gains a former U.S. attorney, a past presidential candidate and a TV-savvy defender at a time when the White House is looking for ways to bring the president’s involvement with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to a close. The president has been weighing whether to sit for questioning by Mueller’s team, and his legal team repeatedly has met with investigators to define the scope of the questions he would face. Giuliani will enter those negotiations, filling the void left by attorney John Dowd, who resigned last month. It’s a precarious time for Trump. His legal team has been told by Mueller that the president is not a target of the investigation, suggesting he’s not in imminent criminal jeopardy. But he currently is a subject of the probe – a designation that could change at any time. Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow told The Associated Press that Giuliani will be focusing on the Mueller investigation – not the legal matters raised by the ongoing investigation into Trump attorney Michael Cohen. That probe is being led by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, an office that Giuliani headed in the mid- to late 1980s. Cohen’s office, home and hotel room were raided last week by the FBI, who are investigating the lawyer’s business dealings, including suspected bank fraud. They also sought records related to payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who both claim to have had sexual encounters with Trump several years ago. The White House has denied the claims. The raids enraged Trump, prompting him to publicly weigh whether to fire Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He also intensified his public attacks on the Mueller investigation, calling it “an attack on our country.” In a statement announcing Giuliani’s hire, Trump expressed his wish that the investigation wrap up soon and praised Giuliani, a fellow New Yorker, confidant and Mar-a-Lago regular. “Rudy is great,” Trump said. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.” Giuliani will be joining Sekulow on Trump’s personal legal team but will be working closely with White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who has also been handling the administration’s cooperation with the Mueller investigation. “It is an honor to be a part of such an important legal team, and I look forward to not only working with the President but with Jay, Ty and[...]


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Protests erupt in Sweden over Nobel scandalWomen wear bow ties as a large crowd gathers in the Stortorget square in Stockholm, while the Swedish Academy held its usual meeting Thursday at the Old Stock Exchange building. The crowd gathered to show its support for former Academy member and Permanent Secretary Sara Danius who stepped down wearing her hallmark pussy bow last week.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:20:00 GMT

STOCKHOLM – Thousands of protesters called Thursday for the resignation of the secretive board that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature after a sex-abuse scandal linked to the prestigious Swedish academy forced the ouster of its first woman head and tarnished the reputation of the coveted prize. The ugly internal feud already has reached the top levels of public life in the Scandinavian nation known for its promotion of gender equality, with the prime minister, the king and the Nobel board weighing in. On Thursday evening, thousands of protesters gathered on Stockholm’s picturesque Stortorget Square outside the headquarters of the Swedish Academy, which has awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature since 1901, to demand all of its remaining members resign. Parallel demonstrations were planned in Goteborg, Helsingborg, Eskilstuna, Vasteras, and Borgholm. The national protests have grown out of what began as Sweden’s own #MeToo moment in November when the country saw thousands of sexual misconduct allegations surfacing from all walks of life. It hit the academy when 18 women came forward with accusations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure in Sweden who is married to Katarina Frostenson, a poet who is a member of the academy. Police are investigating the allegations, which Arnault denies, but the case has exposed bitter divisions within the academy, whose members are appointed for life, and given rise to accusations of patriarchal leanings among some members. The turmoil began when some of the committee’s 18 members pushed for the removal of Frostenson after the allegations were levied against her husband, who runs a cultural club that has received money from the academy. In addition to sexual misconduct, Arnault also is accused of leaking Nobel winners’ names for years. After a closed-door vote failed to oust her, three male members behind the push – Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund – themselves resigned. That prompted Horace Engdahl, a committee member who has supported Arnault, to label them a “clique of sore losers” and criticize the three for airing their case in public. He also lashed out at Sara Danius, the first woman to lead the Swedish Academy, who was forced out last week amid criticism from male members of her handling of the scandal. Danius, a Swedish literature historian at Stockholm University, had cut the academy’s ties with Arnault and hired investigators to examine its relationship to the club he ran with Frostenson. Their report is expected soon. Supporters of Danius have described her as progressive leader who pushed reforms that riled the old guard. At Thursday’s protests, many participants wore pussy-bow blouses such as the ones worn by Daniu[...]


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2 black men arrested at Starbucks get an apology from policeIn this Wednesday April 18, 2018 photo, Rashon Nelson, left, and Donte Robinson, right, sit on their attorney's sofa as they pose for a portrait following an interview with The Associated Press in Philadelphia. Their arrests at a local Starbucks quickly became a viral video and galvanized people around the country who saw the incident as modern-day racism. In the week since, Nelson and Robinson have met with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson and are pushing for lasting changes to ensure that what happened to them doesn't happen to future patrons. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:18:00 GMT

PHILADELPHIA – Rashon Nelson initially brushed it off when the Starbucks manager told him he couldn’t use the restroom because he wasn’t a paying customer. He thought nothing of it when he and his childhood friend and business partner, Donte Robinson, were approached at their table and were asked if they needed help. The 23-year-old entrepreneurs declined, explaining they were just waiting for a business meeting. A few minutes later, they hardly noticed when the police came into the coffee shop – until officers started walking in their direction. “That’s when we knew she called the police on us,” Nelson told The Associated Press in the first interview by the two black men since video of their April 12 trespassing arrests touched off a furor around the U.S. over racial profiling or what has been dubbed “retail racism” or “shopping while black.” Nelson and Robinson were led away in handcuffs from the shop in the city’s well-to-do Rittenhouse Square neighborhood in an incident recorded on a white customer’s cellphone. In the week since, the men have met with Starbucks’ apologetic CEO and have started pushing for lasting change at the coffee shop chain, including new policies on discrimination and ejecting customers. “We do want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody again,” Robinson said. “What if it wasn’t us sitting there? What if it was the kid that didn’t know somebody that knew somebody? Do they make it to jail? Do they die? What happens?” On Thursday, they also got an apology from Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross, a black man who at first staunchly defended his officers’ handling of the encounter. “I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law, and not that they didn’t do anything wrong,” Ross said. “Words are very important.” At a news conference, a somber Ross said he “failed miserably” in addressing the arrests. He said that the issue of race is not lost on him and that he shouldn’t be the person making things worse. “Shame on me if, in any way, I’ve done that,” he said. He also said the police department did not have a policy for dealing for such situations but does now and it will be released soon. Nelson and Robinson said they went to the Starbucks to meet Andrew Yaffe, a white local businessman, over a potential real estate opportunity. Three officers showed up not long after. Nelson said they weren’t questioned but were told to leave immediately. Yaffe showed up as the men were being handcuffed and could be seen in the video demanding an explanation for the officer[...]


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Illinois plan: Replace armed school officers with therapistsFILE - In this May 25, 2016 file photo, Illinois Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch, D-Westchester, speaks to lawmakers at the Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Legislation before the Illinois House would replace school-based police officers with social workers. Rep. Welch is sponsoring the plan to address what proponents say is needless arrests of blacks and other minority students. A group called Voices of Youth in Chicago Education says police officers aren't equipped to handle behavioral health issues and commonly arrest students for non-violent behavior. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:18:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Some Illinois lawmakers want to give extra money to schools that replace armed security officers with unarmed social workers and behavior therapists, an approach to safety that’s far different than a national push to add police or arm teachers after a mass shooting at a Florida high school. Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, a Hillside Democrat, said he proposed the plan after hearing from advocates who argue that investing in mental health resources is the best way of treating the epidemic of violence. His plan, which is backed by 16 other Democrats in the House, would allow schools to apply to an optional grant if they promise to reallocate funding for school-based law enforcement to mental health services, including social workers or other practices “designed to promote school safety and healthy environments.” But the measure could be a tough sell, especially amid a widespread effort to employ more of what’s known as school resource officers – fully armed law enforcement officers often paid for by schools. As of early April, 200 bills or resolutions have been introduced in 39 states regarding school safety, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than half of these measures were introduced after the events in Parkland, Florida. Thirty-four bills in 19 states address regulations and training for school resource officers. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions proposed a school safety plan in March that included a measure prioritizing grants to states that agree to use the money to put more law enforcement in schools. Michelle Mbekani-Wiley, from the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, said this approach is wrongheaded and that police are unequipped to recognize or respond to mental health problems. She said that many minority students within the Chicago Public School system are arrested by school resource officers for nonserious offenses, which could jeopardize their chances of applying for jobs and to colleges in the future. “This increased presence of law enforcement in schools does not necessarily enhance school safety,” Mbekani-Wiley said. “Instead, it dramatically increases the likelihood that students will be unnecessarily swept into the criminal justice system often for mere adolescent or disruptive behavior.” However, advocates for school resource officers argue their role is essential to keep students safe, especially in the event of a school shooting. After Parkland, Deputy Kip Heinle, former president of the Illinois School Resource Officers Association, said he was “fielding two to three phone calls a day” from school districts asking how they can add more patrolling officers. While there’s no official count o[...]


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Woodstock School District 200 uses Google Expeditions to create virtual reality experienceDean Street Elementary School fifth-grader Julia Laidig looks through a virtual reality device during a school program Thursday.Fifth-grader Brittany Cortes Landa after taking off her virtual reality device used to view a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock on Thursday at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock.The Old Courthouse and Sheriff's Jail are seen through a virtual reality device Thursday during a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock. The students photographed multiple locations in the city using a 3-D camera, which then were published on Google.Fourth-grader Alex Benites (left) and fifth-grader Joselin Ortiz Ayala look through a virtual reality device to view a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock on Thursday at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock.Fifth-graders Brian Kus and Jessica Ayala look through a virtual reality device to view a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock on Thursday at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:17:00 GMT

Woodstock School District 200 elementary students recently had a chance to create their own virtual reality experience of the Square and their school through Google Expeditions. Katie Jacobson, who teaches fourth- and fifth-grade dual language students at Dean Street Elementary School, introduced the worldwide project through a Google pilot program that allows students to showcase the world around them. Google Expeditions allows users to immerse themselves in different virtual reality spaces using a 360-degree camera and the Google app. Many educators use the program to let students take virtual field trips around the world. Through the pilot program, participants have a chance to create their own tours. Dean Street Elementary fourth- and fifth-graders created a tour of the Woodstock Square, and the experience now is published through the Google Expeditions app. “We worked really hard on it, and I am sure everyone here is really proud of what we did,” fifth-grader Lauren Ribbe said. “My favorite place was probably the mural.” Classmate Lilyana Espina, 11, said she enjoyed the field trip to the Square and learned new things about her town. “I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about Woodstock,” she said. “Like it used to be called Centerville.” In addition to taking pictures of about seven different locations, the students had to research and write about the featured places. “We talked about ‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘Dick Tracy,’ ” Jacobson said. “We talked about the history of the Square, like the fire and the Opera House. We also took pictures of the front and back of the school and talked about the history of Dean Street Elementary. The research and collaboration was very extensive.” Dean Street Elementary School fifth-grader Julia Laidig looks through a virtual reality device during a school program Thursday.Fifth-grader Brittany Cortes Landa after taking off her virtual reality device used to view a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock on Thursday at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock.The Old Courthouse and Sheriff's Jail are seen through a virtual reality device Thursday during a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock. The students photographed multiple locations in the city using a 3-D camera, which then were published on Google.Fourth-grader Alex Benites (left) and fifth-grader Joselin Ortiz Ayala look through a virtual reality device to view a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock on Thursday at Dean Street Elementary School in Woodstock.Fifth-graders Brian Kus and Jessica Ayala look through a virtual reality device to view a Google Expedition tour of Woodstock on Thursda[...]


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Diane Evertsen elected McHenry County Republican Party chairwomanDiane Evertsen, R-Harvard, is the new chairwoman of the McHenry County Republican Party.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:12:00 GMT

The McHenry County Republican Party has a new leader. Her name is Diane Evertsen, a 73-year-old Harvard grandmother and political insider with a long resume – a history that includes a stint as president of Minutemen Midwest, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center designated a “nativist extremist” group. Evertsen won election as the GOP’s chairwoman Wednesday night at the party’s annual convention, beating out Old Guard representative Mark Daniel. Precinct committeemen from across the county descended on McHenry VFW Post 4600 to cast a weighted vote and cement the GOP’s leadership for the next two years. With votes counted, Evertsen ran away with the win, collecting 8,668 votes to Daniel’s 6,678. Evertsen – a retired real estate agent who served on the Harvard School District 50 Board for 11 years, the McHenry County Board and currently serves as a McHenry County College trustee – was president of the Minutemen Midwest, which the SPLC named several times on its annual list of nativist extremist groups between 2007 and 2010. The Alabama-based civil rights nonprofit defines nativist extremist groups as organizations that go beyond mere advocacy to personally confront suspected undocumented immigrants or those who hire or help them. In its Spring 2007 issue of Intelligence Report, the SPLC quoted this statement from the Harvard-based Minutemen Midwest: “There is a conspiracy afoot to merge the U.S. and Mexico. This heinous ongoing treason has been engineered by an entrenched cabal of legislators, courts, military brass and government employees embedded at all levels of the executive branch, constituting a ‘Shadow Government,’ who are working to dismantle this country in plain sight.” Evertsen – who had six children with her husband, Evert, and enjoys cooking, gardening and reading books by thriller writer Brad Thor – could not be reached for comment. Her opponent, Daniel, is a precinct committeeman in Nunda Township and once served as the vice chairman of the McHenry County Republican Party under Mike Tryon. To Daniel, Evertsen’s election, coupled with her ties to the Minutemen group, does not bode well for the McHenry County GOP. “I think the Democrats are going to win some races,” Daniel said. “I’m not sure the party is going to move forward because of this.” Chuck Wheeler, a District 4 McHenry County Board member, won election as the party’s vice chairman, collecting 8,787 votes to McHenry County Board District 6 representative Jim Kearns’ 5,975. To Wheeler, the GOP’s [...]


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Huntley School District 158 chooses new high school principalMarcus Belin

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:12:00 GMT

Marcus Belin will serve as the new principal of Huntley High School starting in the fall.

The Huntley School District 158 Board approved Belin’s hire at its meeting Thursday, according to a news release.

Belin will begin the position July 1 and take over for Scott Rowe, who recently was promoted to associate superintendent for District 158.

Belin serves as the assistant principal of Dunlap High School, which is north of Peoria. During his time there, Belin has managed a broad portfolio of administrative duties and driven initiatives that have helped the school maintain its place among the top schools in the state, the release said.

He is from the South Side of Chicago and attended Bradley University in Peoria, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He is pursuing a doctorate in education at National Louis University.

Belin previously served as a teacher, dean of students and assistant principal at Quest Charter Academy, a public charter middle school and high school in Peoria.

“Those of us who were part of the interview process with Marcus were immediately struck by his passion for the transformative power of education, his vision for driving meaningful change, and his infectiously positive attitude,” interim District 158 Superintendent Brad Hawk said.

Belin and his wife, Monique, have three children.

Rowe has served as principal for the past five years, and he previously was principal at Marlowe Middle School in Lake in the Hills.

Marcus Belin


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Harvard man had about 19 ounces of marijuana, $11,000 in cash, police sayJack D. Hoschouer, 20, of the 400 block of Cobblestone Road, Harvard

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:11:00 GMT

A 20-year-old Harvard man faces drug charges after the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office discovered he posted photos of narcotics and weapons on social media.

Jack D. Hoschouer caught the sheriff’s office’s attention after someone tipped police off to “racially derogatory” comments posted on social media, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Deputies soon learned there was an active warrant out for Hoschouer’s arrest tied to an unrelated case.

On Wednesday, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police Narcotics Task Force and the U.S. Marshal’s Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Hoschouer on the warrant at his home in the 400 block of Cobblestone Road.

During Hoschouer’s arrest, officers observed numerous items related to narcotics sales and use in plain view, and a search warrant was granted to enter the residence, police said.

Detectives seized $10,974 in cash, about 19 ounces of marijuana, 11 grams of marijuana wax, digital scales, packaging materials and drug paraphernalia. 

The estimated street value of the seized drugs is about $10,800, police said. Hoschouer faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is set to appear in court at 9 a.m. Monday. A judge set his bond at $25,000.

Jack D. Hoschouer, 20, of the 400 block of Cobblestone Road, Harvard


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Round Lake Park woman dies in Volo crash Wednesday

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:10:00 GMT

A 24-year-old Round Lake Park woman died after a Volo crash Wednesday.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched about 12:23 p.m. to Route 120 at Ellis Drive in Volo for reports of a crash with injuries, according to a news release from police.

Off-duty paramedics were administering CPR to someone when sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene.

A 55-year-old Gurnee woman was driving an SUV east on Route 120, west of Ellis Drive, when for an unknown reason a sedan driven by the Round Lake Park woman entered the eastbound lanes of Route 120 and struck the SUV, police said.

The Round Lake Park woman was sent to an area hospital, where she later died, police said. The driver of the SUV was sent to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

The name of the woman who died is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of family. The Lake County Coroner’s Office was scheduled to perform an autopsy Thursday morning.

The Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team continues to investigate.

– Northwest Herald


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63-year-old Harvard man dies in house fire ThursdayA man boards up a second-story window of a home in the 400 block of East Blackman Street on Thursday in Harvard. A fire at about 3 a.m. killed a 63-year-old man at the residence.A man boards up a second-story window of a home in the 400 block of East Blackman Street on Thursday in Harvard. A fire at about 3 a.m. killed a 63-year-old man at the residence.

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:09:00 GMT

A 63-year-old man was found dead Thursday morning in the basement of a Harvard home after a house fire.

The Harvard Police Department and Harvard Fire Protection District responded about 3:15 a.m. to the 400 block of East Blackman Street for a fire that began in the basement of the home, according to a news release from the police department.

The 63-year-old man was declared dead at the scene, Fire Chief Steve Harter said. A 10-year-old boy, 14-year-old girl and 55-year-old woman escaped the fire, police said.

“Officers, upon our arrival, were able to hear him calling out, but in terms of his cause of death, we are unsure,” Police Chief Mark Krause said, adding that the McHenry County Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy.

Krause said the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire, and it appears to be accidental and attributed to careless smoking.

The fire caused about $75,000 in damage and mostly was contained to the basement, Harter said. A man boarded up a second-story window of the home Thursday morning.

The three other residents of the home were uninjured, Harter said. The man was temporarily staying at the residence, Krause said.

Hebron and Capron rescues crews, as well as Marengo, Woodstock, McHenry and Sharon fire departments, also responded.

The incident and cause of fire is under investigation, Harter said.

The coroner’s office could not be reached for comment Thursday.

A man boards up a second-story window of a home in the 400 block of East Blackman Street on Thursday in Harvard. A fire at about 3 a.m. killed a 63-year-old man at the residence.A man boards up a second-story window of a home in the 400 block of East Blackman Street on Thursday in Harvard. A fire at about 3 a.m. killed a 63-year-old man at the residence.


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Corrections for April 20

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:09:00 GMT

A story on page A4 of Thursday’s edition incorrectly reported the day a former student testified in court. The former student testified Wednesday that Justin Hubly had kissed her and tried to touch her at a party in October 2016. The Northwest Herald regrets the error.

• A story on page A6 of Wednesday’s edition included inaccurate information about Diane Evertsen’s background. She is a former member of the McHenry County Board.

The Northwest Herald regrets the errors.




McHenry man facing charges after being found with cocaine, heroin, pills, police sayRyan B. Hurst, 35, of the 1300 block of North Riverside Drive, McHenry

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:08:00 GMT

A man who police said they found in a vehicle with drugs and more than $800 cash remained in the McHenry County Jail on Thursday afternoon.

McHenry County Judge Joel Berg set bond for 35-year-old Ryan B. Hurst at $100,000 Wednesday.

Johnsburg police said they found Hurst, of the 1300 block of North Riverside Drive, McHenry, with fewer than 15 grams of cocaine, heroin, buprenorphine, Xanax, oxycodone, Ativan and hydrocodone, according to a criminal complaint filed in McHenry County court.

He also had $892 in cash with him at the time, prosecutors said.

Hurst is charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, possession of a controlled substance and manufacturing or delivering heroin.

He could face four to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Miller requested that Hurst prove the source of any bond money he might post, to make sure it wasn’t earned illegally. Berg granted the request Wednesday.

Hurst’s first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Ryan B. Hurst, 35, of the 1300 block of North Riverside Drive, McHenry


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