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Assisted living project proposed for Lake in the Hills

Mon, 29 May 2017 06:17:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – An assisted living complex could be coming to a property on East Oak Street just west of Pyott Road in Lake in the Hills.  

Mark Mojsa submitted an application in March for a concept plan for Beehive Assisting Living of Lake in the Hills, but the board didn’t like the proposed location at the southeast corner of Ackman Road and Ronan Drive, and it encouraged Mojsa to look at other locations in the village.

“The first location was on Ackman Road, and it was prime retail development property, so the village felt like they would rather see the assisted living use not take up prime retail property,” Lake in the Hills Community Development Director Michael Brown said. 

At Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, trustees were supportive of the new proposal, Brown said.

“Everyone was very happy with the new location, so [trustees] gave them a thumbs-up to move forward,” Brown said. 

The site on which the assisted living facility is proposed originally was planned for an expansion of an existing office complex in the area that was developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to village documents.

Two buildings likely will be part of the assisted living complex to house assisted living and memory care functions, Mojsa said. He declined to talk further about the project until more detailed plans were made.

Each building would have 21 rooms with 18 to 21 employees, village documents show. 

After more detailed plans are developed, the proposal will come back before the Village Board, Brown said. The project would require a rezoning and a conditional use permit for senior housing. 

Idaho-based BeeHive Homes has more than 170 franchised homes in 22 states, BeeHive Franchise Sales Director Troy Veach said. The Lake in the Hills location would be the only BeeHive franchise in Illinois, he said.




Woodstock High School students, alumni to honor outgoing choral director Paul RauschWoodstock High School choral director Paul Rausch has been with the district for his entire career, which has spanned 33 years. He was also a top 10 finalist in 2015 for the Illinois Teacher of the Year award in the excellence division, put on by the Illinois State Board of Education. He will retire this year.

Mon, 29 May 2017 06:16:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The Woodstock School District 200 community past and present are coming together to honor retiring choral director Paul Rausch with a special concert Sunday.

More than 100 Woodstock High School alumni, along with current students, plan to gather at the high school to present a two-hour choral concert broken up into different eras and types of choir, such as madrigal group and jazz choir.

Rausch will direct several of the songs. The event will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at Woodstock High School, and a reception will follow.

Jillian Chase, a Woodstock High School 1998 graduate and a former student of Rausch’s, is part of the organizing committee of the event. She said she wanted to give back to the man who had done so much to inspire her and others.

“He is very dedicated to all of his students and made us understand music is more than just a blow-off class,” she said. “He made it something you wanted to learn and were excited to learn about.”

Chase sang in choir all four years of high school and said that even though not all of the students went on to professional music careers, Rausch was inspirational.

“He influenced a lot of us to go on and do things in music,” she said. “We want to give back to him for all he gave us.”

Rausch has been with the district for his entire career, which has spanned 33 years. He also was a top 10 finalist in 2015 for the Illinois Teacher of the Year award in the excellence division, named by the Illinois State Board of Education.

“It’s great district to work in,” he said. “It’s a great community that supported the arts. I love the students and the area. It’s a great place to raise a family.”

Rausch’s four sons attended District 200 schools. His wife works at Centegra Hospital – Huntley, and the family plans to stay in Woodstock.

He said he was excited that his former students would have an opportunity to get together Sunday and reconnect with each other and him.

“I am incredibly honored by the fact that former students would want to do this,” he said. “One of the things I try to promote is that students in the choral program are like a family. This will feel like a big reunion.”

Woodstock High School choral director Paul Rausch has been with the district for his entire career, which has spanned 33 years. He was also a top 10 finalist in 2015 for the Illinois Teacher of the Year award in the excellence division, put on by the Illinois State Board of Education. He will retire this year.


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McHenry County man shot during home invasion near Holiday Hills

Mon, 29 May 2017 06:16:00 GMT

HOLIDAY HILLS – Police are looking for two men suspected of shooting and robbing a McHenry County man during a home invasion Saturday morning.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and Nunda Fire Protection District were called to the 1800 block of Davis Avenue in unincorporated McHenry near Holiday Hills about 1 a.m. Saturday for a home invasion and shooting.

Police and paramedics found a 52-year-old man who lived in the home shot and seriously wounded, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Paramedics treated the man at the scene before taking him to a local hospital. Police didn’t release the name of the man.

A witness told police that two men wearing bandanas over their faces went into the home, shot the man and stole cash before leaving in a small, dark-colored pickup truck, according to the release.

The suspects were described as a white man and a black man. Both had bandanas over their faces. No other identifying details were released Sunday.

The McHenry County Major Investigations Team is investigating the crime.

“This is believed to be an isolated incident, and [we] do not believe there is any threat to the public,” the release said.

Sheriff’s officials said Sunday afternoon that no additional details could be released about the crime or investigation. Officials declined to comment on the victim’s status as of 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the incident to call 815-338-2144.


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Survivors of Egypt Christian bus attack recount their horrorAP photo Relatives of Coptic Christians who were killed during a bus attack surround their coffins during their funeral service Friday at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt. The Libya connection in the Manchester concert bombing and Friday's attack on Christians in Egypt has shone a light on the threat posed by militant Islamic groups that have taken advantage of lawlessness in the troubled North African nation to put down roots, recruit fighters and export jihadists to cause death and carnage elsewhere.

Mon, 29 May 2017 05:45:00 GMT

CAIRO – Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire. The videos surfaced on social media networks on Sunday, two days after 29 were killed in the attack on a desert road south of the capital. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday. It was the fourth attack against Christians in Egypt since December to be claimed by the IS. The string of attacks have killed more than 100 and injured scores. One survivor, a small boy who seemed to be about six, said his mother pushed him under her seat and covered him with a bag. A young woman speaking from her hospital bed said the assailants ordered the women to surrender their jewelry and money before they opened fire, killing the men first and then some of the women. The woman said the gunmen were masked and wore military uniforms. Two girls, ages 2 and 4, were among those killed, according to a list released by the local government in Minya, the province where the shooting took place. The attack left 26 wounded, including nine children. Only 11 of the 26 remained hospitalized on Sunday. Bishop Makarios, the top Coptic Orthodox cleric in Minya, said the assailants told Christian men they ordered off the bus that their lives would be spared if they converted to Islam. “They chose death,” said Makarios, who has been an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of anti-Christian violence in Minya, where Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population, the highest anywhere in Egypt. “We take pride to die while holding on to our faith,” he said in a television interview aired late Saturday. Makarios confirmed that the assailants stole the women’s jewelry and his contention that the men were ordered off the bus before being killed was also confirmed by a video clip purportedly taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. This video showed at least four or five bodies of adult men lying on the desert sand next to the bus; women and other men screamed and cried as they stood or squatted next to the bodies. Egypt responded to the attack with a wave of airstrikes against suspected militant bases where the military said the perpetrators trained. A large-scale manhunt by police and soldiers backed by helicopters is underway in the vast deserts to the west of the site of the attack, but has so far yielded no arrests. In funerals for the victims held over the weekend in Minya, women relatives passed out, while others wailed in grief. There were chants demanding retribution. Others chanted “With our lives and blood, we sacrifice ourselves for the cross” and “Oh, God!.” In the Vatican, Pope Francis, for the second day in a row, expressed his solidarity with Egypt’s Coptic Christians following Friday’s attack. He led thousands of people in prayer Sunday for the victims, who Francis said were killed in “another act of ferocious violence” after having refused to renounce their Christian faith. Speaking from his studio window over St. Peter’s Square, he said: “May the Lord welcome these courageous witnesses, these martyrs, in his peace and convert the hearts of the violent ones.” AP photo Relatives of Coptic Christians who were killed during a bus attack surround their coffins during their funeral service Friday at Abu Garnous Cathedral in Minya, Egypt. The Libya connection in the Manchester concert bombing and Friday's attack on Christians in Egyp[...]


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Muslims thankful for support after rant, deadly attack in Portland, OregonAP photo Angel Sauls helps her stepdaughter, Coco Douglas, arrange a sign and some painted rocks she made for a memorial Saturday in Portland, Ore., for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women.

Mon, 29 May 2017 05:45:00 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. – Muslims in Portland, Oregon, thanked the community for its support and said they were raising money for the families of two men who were killed when they came to the defense of two young women – one wearing a hijab – who were targeted by an anti-Muslim rant. “I am very thankful as a Muslim, I am very thankful as a Portlander ... that we stand together here as one,” Muhammad A. Najieb, an imam at the Muslim Community Center, said Saturday. The two young women “could have been the victims, but three heroes jumped in and supported them,” he said. A fundraising page launched by his group for the families of the dead men, a surviving victim and the two young women had raised more than $300,000 by Sunday evening. Police said they’ll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who is accused of killing the two men Friday. Christian’s social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence. Messages left at the home of Christian’s mother were not immediately returned. The attack occurred on a light-rail train on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims. Christian was being held on suspicion of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was arrested a short time after the attack when he was confronted by other men. One of the victims of the hate speech is sending her thanks to those who came to her defense, according to KPTV. Destinee Mangum, 16, told the station on Saturday that she and her 17-year-old friend were riding the train when Jeremy Christian approached them yelling what is described as hate speech. She said her friend is Muslim, but she’s not. “He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia, and he told us we shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country,” Mangum said. “He was just telling us that we basically weren’t anything and that we should kill ourselves.” The girls were scared and moved to the back of the train while a stranger jumped in to help. “Me and my friend were going to get off the MAX and then we turned around while they were fighting and he just started stabbing people and it was just blood everywhere and we just started running for our lives,” Mangum said. Alvin Hall said had just stepped off the train on Friday when he saw a man bleeding from the neck, KATU-TV reported. Hall said his instincts kicked in and he went after the suspect. “My first process was, ‘What can I do? Where did he go?’ and someone said, ‘He ran over to the bridge,’ ” Hall said. “So I just took up running from the bridge up the stairs.” He said he met Chase Robinson and Larry Blackwell, and the three men confronted the suspect, who turned on them with a knife. “The minute he saw me he started coming after me. He’s like, ‘You want some of me, you’re a snitch, come on after me, you want some of this?’ and started chasing me,” Hall said. Soon, police arrived and took the suspect into custody. Christian will make his first court appearance in the case Tuesday, and it wasn’t clear if he had an attorney. No one answered the phone at his Portland home. Police identified the men killed as Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, Oregon, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, of Portland. Mayor Ted Wheeler said Best was an Army veteran and a city employee. Meche earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 2016 f[...]


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Joe's Barber Shop in Crystal Lake pays tribute to armed forces with displayH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Jack McArdle of Joe's Barber Shop in Crystal Lake honors veterans by displaying flags, military artwork, caps and more. Many of the items have been donated by customers.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A copy of "Into the Heart of Darkness" is part of the collection Jack McArdle displays to honor veterans in Joe's Barber Shop in Crystal Lake. The artwork was donated by a military recruiter.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Many items in Jack McArdle's military collection have been donated by customers and members of the community for display in Joe's Barber Shop in Crystal Lake.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Many items in Jack McArdle's military collection have been donated by customers and members of the community for display in Joe's Barber Shop in Crystal Lake.

Mon, 29 May 2017 05:41:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Thomas O’Reilly of Crystal Lake was a naval officer who was temporarily assigned to the Marine Corps at one point. During his service, he was deployed in 2005 to Iraq, where he said he saw a lot of “ugly things.” “I was over there when it was really ugly, and there was a lot of fighting,” O’Reilly said. “I’ve seen a lot of fighting. … The first night I was there I was in a helicopter headed for Baghdad, and I looked out and we were getting shot at.” When he returned, O’Reilly discovered that Joe’s Barber Shop in Crystal Lake was displaying military items. So he brought over a flag that was flown over a Marine air base in May 2006 in Al Asad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Old photographs of the country also are included in the display. “I just thought people in the area should know that lots of us have been touched and affected by those wars,” O’Reilly said. “Jack [McArdle] was nice enough to put it up on his wall, and it has been there since.” In 2005, Jack McArdle, the owner of Joe’s Barber Shop, created a display in the shop on a tree to show off military members’ accomplishments. McArdle’s wife, Pat, suggested that he go to a recruiter’s office to do something with the tree for Memorial Day that year. As he received positive feedback, word of the display spread to the community, and people started bringing their own items to the barber shop, 29 N. Williams St. in downtown Crystal Lake. “It went over so well that [my co-workers] here said, ‘Let’s keep it up,’ ” McArdle said. “So more people started bringing stuff in over the years and putting it on the tree. It happened so fast.” He later took the items off the tree and displayed them around a section of the shop. The display includes hats, flags, old photographs and other items that show local residents’ links to the military. Customers walking in can see a piece of steel from the hull of the USS Forrest Sherman (DD-931), a destroyer. The Sherman was commissioned in 1955 and was the first class of destroyers built after World War II. The unique item was donated by 76-year-old Stan Manchester, who was on the ship for two years as a signalman. “When they scrapped it, they cut sections of the hull and sent them to anybody who had served on the ship,” Manchester said. “I gave it to Joe’s Barber Shop so it wasn’t just sitting around unused and not looked at.” Manchester was on the ship during the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. Along with the piece of steel is a certification of authenticity and the battle ensign flown over the ship at the time. “I was very happy to see the ship get the recommendation it deserves,” Manchester said. “It’s not about me, it’s about the ship and the battle that was there. And there’s all kinds of stories here from different people who served. You look at all those hats, and there is a story behind every one of them.” Crystal Lake resident Chris Borchert was deployed in Afghanistan with the Air Force. When he returned, Borchert brought over a flag to the local barber shop that was flown over Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and the U.S. embassy in Kabul in 2015. “I dedicated it to Joe’s because he had all that military stuff up there already, and I wanted to give that back to him,” Borchert said. “By Jack displaying the flag and other items, I think it just puts the community in touch with the local people here that continue to or have served around the world, and create a reminder for them of what they’ve done.” Also a[...]


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U.S. official mulling greatly expanded airplane laptop banAP file photo Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly listens Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., while testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the fiscal 2018 budget. Kelly said he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the U.S. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights a day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East.

Mon, 29 May 2017 05:41:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the U.S.

That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights a day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was put in place because of concerns about terrorist attacks.

The ban prevents travelers from bringing laptops, tablets and certain other devices on board with them in their carry-on bags. All electronics bigger than a smartphone must be checked in.

Kelly was asked on “Fox News Sunday” whether he would expand the ban to cover laptops on all international flights into and out of the U.S.

His answer: “I might.”

The current U.S. ban applies to nonstop U.S.-bound flights from 10 international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

About 50 flights a day, all on foreign airlines, are affected.

Earlier this month, there were reports that the Trump administration would broaden the ban to include planes from the European Union, affecting trans-Atlantic routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year.

U.S. officials have said that initial ban was not based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners.

“There’s a real threat,” Kelly said, adding that terrorists are “obsessed” with the idea of downing a plane in flight, “particularly if it’s a U.S. carrier, particularly if it’s full of mostly U.S. folks. It’s real.”

Kelly said that the U.S. is going “to raise the bar for, generally speaking, aviation security much higher than it is now, and there’s new technologies down the road, not too far down the road, that we’ll rely on. But it is a real sophisticated threat, and I’ll reserve making that decision until we see where it’s going.”

While Kelly referred to “a real sophisticated threat,” the Trump administration’s spending plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 would make significant cuts to airport security programs.

AP file photo Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly listens Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., while testifying before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the fiscal 2018 budget. Kelly said he's considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the U.S. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights a day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East.


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President Donald Trump eyes White House overhaul, outside lawyers, PR teamPresident Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk from Marine One across the South Lawn to the White House on Saturday as they return from Sigonella, Italy.

Mon, 29 May 2017 03:50:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team’s inability to contain the burgeoning crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Expanding teams of lawyers and experienced public relations hands are being recruited to deal with the drumbeat of new revelations about Moscow’s interference and possible improper dealings with the Trump campaign and associates. The disclosures dogged the president during his first trip abroad since taking office and threaten to overwhelm and stall the agenda for his young administration. As he mulls outside reinforcements to his operation, Trump returned late Saturday from his nine-day journey to a White House seemingly in crisis mode, with a barrage of reports hitting close to the Oval Office and involving Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and influential adviser. A rally planned Thursday in Iowa was postponed because of “an unforeseen change” in Trump’s schedule. After maintaining a limited social media presence throughout his trip, Trump on Sunday unleashed a furious flurry of tweets, lashing out at what he called the “fake news” media. He focused heavily on leaks – both those coming out of the White House and an intelligence leak blamed on Americans about this week’s deadly bombing at a concert in England. On the bombing investigation Trump said: “British Prime Minister May was very angry that the info the U.K. gave to U.S. about Manchester was leaked. Gave me full details!” Trump also said that “many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies.” He added that it is “very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers.” Even when authorized, however, top officials in the Trump White House frequently request anonymity to brief reporters “on background,” meaning their names will not be disclosed. The latest reports in the Russia matter said Kushner spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the United States about setting up secret communications with Moscow during the presidential transition. While overseas, Trump’s longtime lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, joined a still-forming legal team to help the president shoulder the intensifying investigations into Russian interference in the election and his associates’ potential involvement. More attorneys with deep experience in Washington investigations are expected to be added, along with crisis communication experts, to help the White House in the weeks ahead. “They need to quarantine this stuff and put the investigations in a separate communications operation,” said Jack Quinn, who served as White House counsel for President Bill Clinton. During the Monica Lewinsky investigation, the Clinton White House brought on a dedicated group of lawyers and a created a separate media operation to handle investigation-related inquiries so they didn’t completely subsume the president’s agenda. Trump, according to one person familiar with his thinking, believed he was facing more of a communications problem than a legal one, despite the intensifying inquiries. The person, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private conversations. As he mulls changes, Trump has entertained bringing his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and former deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, formally back into the fold. Both Lewandowski and Bossie discussed the prospect with the president bef[...]


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House Dems discuss potential tax increase

Mon, 29 May 2017 03:50:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Democrats began debating tax increases Sunday as an attempt to break a two-year budget deadlock, and while their top budget negotiator wouldn’t endorse a $5.4 billion package of tax hikes, he warned of “devastating cuts” if support falters.

Lawmakers began review of a $37.3 billion spending outline the Senate approved last week. It includes a 32 percent increase in the personal income tax rate and a broadened sales tax along with $3 billion in spending reductions.

Majority Democrats were meeting Sunday evening behind closed doors to hear Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris’ take. The budget point-man wouldn’t say where he stands on the tax question but previewed a presentation that hinted lawmakers have no choice.

Colleagues would hear “what the implications are if we do come up $2 billion or $3 billion short in revenue,” Harris said. “If those numbers come down, you’re going to see devastating cuts to higher education, to public schools and to human services.”

Illinois has been without an annual budget since summer 2015, the longest of any state in modern times. GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted on changes to boost commerce and to freeze property tax bills in exchange for spending authority and the likely tax increases necessary to dig the state out.

The stalemate has decimated social service programs, left colleges and universities drawing down reserves, and forced state agencies to continue begging vendors for more time with overdue bills hitting $14.5 billion at week’s end. The state will end its fiscal year June 30 with a deficit of nearly $6 billion.

The consequences were again hammered home earlier Sunday in testimony before the House General Services Appropriations Committee. Kevin Turner, director of information technology for the Illinois State Board of Elections, said the agency does not have enough computers to quickly dispatch with candidates filing nominating petitions late this fall for the 2018 election. There’s been no money for replacing obsolete work stations and without $25,000 for new ones, lines will be long, Turner said.

“We may be doing it in the parking lot using abacuses,” Turner joked.

Turner added that the board, which suffered a breach of election data by a foreign hacker last summer, is two years behind on paying as much as $9,000 for online antivirus protection and if it doesn’t catch up this fall, “we would have to unplug our agency from the internet.”

The House GOP picked up where their Senate counterparts left off, claiming tax-and-spend Democrats have no interest in slowing government growth. House Democrats used a procedural move to take control of the income tax increase legislation from Rep. Jeanne Ives. The Wheaton Republican filed paperwork months ago to ensure her sponsorship of any tax increase legislation coming to the House.

“Illinoisans do not want a massive tax increase,” Ives said on the floor. “For you to pull this bill from me simply shows the Democrats are not interested in bipartisan support for what we should be doing with taxes.”




North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile off western JapanJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, answers to a reporter's question about North Korea's missile launch, at his official residence in Tokyo Monday morning, May 29, 2017. North Korea on Monday fired an apparent ballistic missile off its east coast that landed in the waters of Japan's economic zone, South Korean and Japanese officials said, the latest in a string of recent test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. (Muneyuki Tomari/Kyodo News via AP)

Mon, 29 May 2017 03:50:00 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. The suspected Scud-type missile launched from the coastal town of Wonsan flew about 280 miles, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It landed in Japan’s exclusive maritime economic zone, which is set about 200 nautical miles off the Japanese coast, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. He said there was no report of damage to planes or vessels in the area. North Korea is still thought to be several years from its goal of being able to target U.S. mainland cities with a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile. It has a strong arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles that could hit Japan and South Korea as well as U.S. forces in the region, and it is working to perfect its longer-range missiles. North Korea’s state-controlled media had no immediate comment. But a day earlier, the North said leader Kim Jong Un had watched a successful test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system. It wasn’t clear from the state media report when the test happened. Kim found that the weapon system’s ability to detect and track targets had “remarkably” improved and was more accurate, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. KCNA cited Kim as ordering officials to mass-produce and deploy the system all over the country so as to “completely spoil the enemy’s wild dream to command the air.” The North’s nuclear and missile programs are perhaps the biggest foreign policy challenges to the new leaders in Washington and Seoul. President Donald Trump has alternated between bellicosity and flattery in his public statements about North Korea, but his administration is still working to solidify a policy to handle its nuclear ambitions. Monday’s missile launch was the third since South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in was inaugurated on May 10. He has signaled an interest in expanding civilian exchange with North Korea, but many analysts have said he won’t likely push for any major rapprochement because North Korea has gone too far in developing its nuclear program. Moon called a National Security Council meeting Monday morning to discuss the North’s launch. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who just returned from a G7 meeting in Italy, told reporters that “North Korea’s provocation by ignoring repeated warnings from the international society is absolutely unacceptable.” The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement that it tracked a short-range missile for six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan. Suga, the Japanese cabinet secretary, told reporters that the missile fell about 190 miles north of the Oki islands in southwestern Japan and 310 miles west of Sado island in central Japan. Suga said Japanese officials will discuss North Korea with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who is scheduled to visit Japan later Monday. He said China has been increasingly stepping up and using its influence over North Korea and that the two sides will thoroughly discuss the situation. Besides its regular ballistic missile test-launches, the North carried out two nuclear tests last year – in January and September. Outside analysts believe North Korea may be able to arm some of its shorter-range missiles with nucle[...]


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Muslims thankful for support after rant, deadly attackA heart-shaped wreath covered with positive messages hangs on a traffic light pole at a memorial for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday, while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women, including one wearing a Muslim head covering, on a light-trail train in Portland, Ore, Saturday, May 27, 2017. A memorial grew all day Saturday outside the transit center in Portland, as people stopped with flowers, candles, signs and painted rocks. Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, was booked on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in the attack. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

Sun, 28 May 2017 23:55:00 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. – Muslims in Portland, Oregon, thanked the community for its support and said they were raising money for the families of two men who were killed when they came to the defense of two young women – one wearing a hijab – who were targeted by an anti-Muslim rant. "I am very thankful as a Muslim, I am very thankful as a Portlander ... that we stand together here as one," Muhammad A. Najieb, an imam at the Muslim Community Center, said Saturday. The two young women "could have been the victims, but three heroes jumped in and supported them," he said. A fundraising page launched by his group for the families of the dead men, a surviving victim and the two young women had raised $50,000 in its first hours, Najieb said. Police said they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who is accused of killing the two men Friday. Christian's social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence. Messages left at the home of Christian's mother were not immediately returned. The attack occurred on a light-rail train on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims. Christian was being held on suspicion of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was arrested a short time after the attack when he was confronted by other men. One of the victims of the hate speech is sending her thanks to those who came to her defense, according to KPTV (http://bit.ly/2qq2QEy ). Destinee Mangum, 16, told the station on Saturday that she and her 17-year-old friend were riding the train when Jeremy Christian approached them yelling what is described as hate speech. She said her friend is Muslim, but she's not. "He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia, and he told us we shouldn't be here, to get out of his country," Mangum said. "He was just telling us that we basically weren't anything and that we should kill ourselves." The girls were scared and moved to the back of the train while a stranger jumped in to help. "Me and my friend were going to get off the MAX and then we turned around while they were fighting and he just started stabbing people and it was just blood everywhere and we just started running for our lives," Mangum said. Alvin Hall said had just stepped off the train on Friday when he saw a man bleeding from the neck, KATU-TV (http://bit.ly/2rcpdwm ) reported. Hall said his instincts kicked in and he went after the suspect. "My first process was, 'What can I do? Where did he go?' and someone said, 'He ran over to the bridge,' " Hall said. "So I just took up running from the bridge up the stairs." He said he met Chase Robinson and Larry Blackwell, and the three men confronted the suspect, who turned on them with a knife. "The minute he saw me he started coming after me. He's like, 'You want some of me, you're a snitch, come on after me, you want some of this?' and started chasing me," Hall said. Soon, police arrived and took the suspect into custody. Christian will make his first court appearance in the case Tuesday, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney. No one answered the phone at his Portland home. Police identified the men killed as Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, Oregon, and Taliesin Myrddin Na[...]


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Merkel: Europe must stay united in face of ally uncertainty

Sun, 28 May 2017 22:20:00 GMT

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday urged European Union nations to stick together in the face of emerging policy divisions with the U.S., Britain's decision to leave the bloc and other challenges.

Speaking at a campaign event held in a Bavarian beer tent, Merkel suggested that the G-7 summit in Italy that ended Saturday had served as something of a wakeup call. G-7 leaders were unable to reach unanimous agreement on climate change after U.S. President Donald Trump said he needed more time to decide whether to back a key climate accord.

"The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days," Merkel told the crowd of some 2,500 that gathered to hear her and Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer.

"And so all I can say is that we Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands," she said, according to the dpa news agency.

Merkel emphasized the need for continued friendly relations with the U.S. and Britain and also stressed the importance of being good neighbors "wherever that is possible, including with Russia, but also with others."

"But we need to know we must fight for our own future, as Europeans, for our destiny," she said.

Despite the Trump administration's talk of an "America first" policy and ongoing criticism of Germany for its massive trade surplus, the G-7 leaders in Sicily did vow to fight protectionism, reiterating "a commitment to keep our markets open."

They also agreed to step up pressure on North Korea, to forge closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism, on the possibility of imposing more sanctions on Russia over role in the conflict in Ukraine.

But while six of the seven G-7 nations agreed to stick with their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement that aims to slow global warming, Trump said he needed more time to decide if the U.S. would abandon the accord.

His administration has argued that U.S. emissions standards are tougher than those set by China, India and others, and therefore have put American businesses at a disadvantage.

After the summit, Merkel called the climate talks "very difficult, if not to say, very unsatisfactory."




Cannes Palme d'Or goes to Ruben Ostlund's 'The Square'

Sun, 28 May 2017 20:58:00 GMT

CANNES, France – The Cannes Film Festival awarded its coveted Palme d'Or award to Ruben Ostlund's Swedish comedy "The Square" on Sunday, while Sofia Coppola became only the second woman to win the best director award. "Oh my god! OK," the Swedish filmmaker exclaimed after he bounded onto the stage to collect the prestigious Palme, in a rare and somewhat surprising win for a comedy. In "The Square," Claes Bang plays a museum director whose manicured life begins to unravel after a series of events that upset his, and the museum's, calm equilibrium. The movie's title comes from an art installation that Bang's character is prepping, which invites anyone who enters a small square to be kind and generous. The film's satire and exploration of moral dilemmas culminated in one of the festival's most eye-catching scenes. A muscled, grunting man pretending to be a gorilla upsets a black-tie dinner for the museum, sniffing attendees and dragging a woman by the hair. The president of the Cannes jury, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, praised the film for exploring the "dictatorship" of political correctness and those trapped by it. "They live in a kind of hell because of that," Almodovar said. "It's clever. It's witty. It's funny. It deals with questions so important," said French actress and filmmaker Agnes Jaoui, a member of the jury that also included Americans Will Smith and Jessica Chastain. Most odds makers didn't have "The Square" as a favorite to win the prestigious Palme d'Or, the top prize awarded at Cannes. Coppola won best director for "The Beguiled," her remake of Don Siegel's 1971 Civil War drama about a Union soldier hiding out in a Southern girls' school. Hailed as Coppola's most feminist work yet, the remade thriller told from a more female point of view stars Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst, with Colin Farrell playing the wounded soldier. Coppola was one of three female filmmakers out of 19 in competition for the Palme this year. The first – and until now, only – female winner of the best director prize was Soviet director Yuliya Ippolitovna Solntseva in 1961. Diane Kruger was named best actress and Joaquin Phoenix best actor as the festival celebrated its 70th anniversary. Kruger was honored for her performance in Fatih Akin's "In the Fade." She played a German woman whose son and Turkish husband are killed in a bomb attack. The film alludes to a series of actual killings that shook Germany six years ago, when it came to light that police had spent more time investigating the possible mob connections of migrant victims than the tell-tale signs of the far-right plot eventually uncovered. "I cannot accept this award without thinking about anyone who has ever been affected by an act of terrorism and who is trying to pick up the pieces and go on living after having lost everything," the actress said. "Please know that you are not forgotten." Phoenix was recognized for his role in Lynne Ramsay's thriller "You Were Never Really Here," in which he played a tormented war veteran trying to save a teenage girl from a sex trafficking ring. The actor wore sneakers on stage as he collected the prize. He said his leather shoes had been flown ahead of him. He apologized for his appearance, saying the prize was "totally unexpected." The French AIDS drama "120 Beats Per Minute" won the Grand Prize from the[...]



McHenry man killed in plane crash in Wisconsin

Sun, 28 May 2017 11:31:00 GMT

McHenry – A McHenry man was one of two people killed Friday in a plane crash in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.

The pilot of the plane was identified as McHenry resident Dennis Hall, 67, according to the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office. The passenger was Filip Smecko, 19, of Janesville, Wisconsin.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about 12:33 p.m. Friday reporting that a plane had crashed in the area of Highway O and Willow Road. Upon arrival, officers confirmed that a single-engine plane had crashed in a field.

The plane that crashed was an Aerotek Pitts S-2A fixed wing single-engine aircraft, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies and emergency personnel from the City of Sheboygan Falls Fire Department and Orange Cross Ambulance Service responded.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


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Supreme Court travel ban case could test Trump's reachFILE - In this Sept. 27, 2016 file photo, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Roger Gregory, gestures during an interview in his office in Richmond, Va. The 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals dealt another blow to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban targeting six-Muslim majority countries on Thursday, May 25, 2017, siding with groups that say the policy illegally targets Muslims. “Congress granted the president broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the president wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” Gregory wrote. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:19:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court may soon decide how courts are supposed to view presidential power in the age of Donald Trump. The administration has promised a high court appeal of a ruling blocking the president’s ban on visitors from six majority Muslim countries. The case could be a major test for the young administration and for a court that has its 5-4 conservative majority restored with the confirmation of Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch as the ninth justice. First, the justices must agree to intervene – something they’ll probably do considering the importance of the issue. If so, then they will be dealing with an area of the law, immigration, where courts have given presidents a lot of leeway. But the president’s power over immigration is not absolute, and several lower courts have prevented Trump from putting in place a temporary ban on travel to the U.S. by residents of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The travel policy was first issued a week after Trump took office on Jan. 20 and then revised following initial unfavorable court rulings. The dispute is unusual because Trump himself has supplied much of the evidence that opponents said demonstrated that anti-Muslim prejudice lay behind the policy. At issue in the case are statements Trump made during the campaign, in interviews and in his actions as president. “We’ve never really had, at least in recent decades a case like this which involves blatant evidence of pretextual discrimination by the president himself and also in the immigration sphere,” said Ilya Somin, a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the travel policy Thursday, saying that Trump’s comments helped show that the policy was “steeped in animus and directed at a single religious group.” One key issue may be whether statements from candidate Trump should carry any weight. Three dissenting judges on the 4th Circuit said the statements shouldn’t because candidates say many things while campaigning and shouldn’t necessarily be held to them. Josh Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, said he thinks the Trump factor that was central to the 4th Circuit’s ruling could be less pronounced at the Supreme Court. The court could pay more attention to declarations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in support of the policy. “The justices recognize their decisions will long outlive Donald J. Trump. They’ll be a little more careful to recognize that this isn’t only for or about Trump,” Blackman said. Yet it may not be possible for the justices to separate the issue from Trump himself, said Richard Primus, a University of Michigan law professor. “If a different president had issued this order, would it be unconstitutional? The question falsely assumes that another president could have issued this order. This order only makes sense from an administration that wants to demonstrate to its constituency that it doesn’t like Muslims,” Primus said. “Neither Obama nor Clinton, or either President Bush, would have issued this order.” It’s hardly clear how the Supreme Court might eventually rule in the case, but Justice Anthony Kennedy probably will be in the majority whatever the outcome. Th[...]


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British police ask public for information about Manchester concert bomberCourteeners' fans are searched as they arrive for a concert Saturday at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester, England. Security was ramped up after more than 20 people were killed in an explosion after an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:19:00 GMT

MANCHESTER, England – British police on Saturday released surveillance-camera images of the Manchester concert bomber on the night of the attack as they appealed for more information about his final days. Authorities said they had made major progress in unraveling the plot behind the concert bombing but acknowledged there were still gaps in their knowledge. Britain reduced its terrorism threat level a notch Saturday, from “critical” to “severe,” yet security remained high as jittery residents tried to enjoy a long holiday weekend. Armed police officers and soldiers were deployed at soccer matches, concerts and other big events. Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton of Libyan descent, died in Monday’s explosion, which killed 22 others and wounded nearly 120 as crowds were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. The photos released by police show Abedi on the night of the bombing, wearing sneakers, jeans, a dark jacket and a baseball cap. The straps of a knapsack are visible on his shoulders. Greater Manchester Police chief Ian Hopkins and Neil Basu, the national coordinator of counterterrorism policing, urged people to contact police if they had information about Abedi’s movements between May 18 and Monday night. “In the past five days, we have gathered significant information about Abedi, his associates, his finances, the places he had been, how the device was built and the wider conspiracy,” they said in a statement. “Our priorities are to understand the run-up to this terrible event and to understand if more people were involved in planning this attack.” British Prime Minister Theresa May said “a significant amount of police activity” and several arrests had led to the level being lowered. But she urged Britons to remain vigilant and said soldiers would remain at high-profile sites throughout the weekend, and start reducing their presence beginning Tuesday. A severe threat still means an attack is “highly likely,” according to the scale set by Britain’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, Britain’s top counterterrorism police officer, said authorities have dismantled a “large part” of the network around bomber Salman Abedi. But Rowley said there were still “gaps in our understanding” of the plot, as investigators probed Abedi’s potential links to jihadis in Britain, Europe, Libya and the Middle East. “There will be more arrests and there will be more searches,” he said. Police made two more arrests in Manchester on Saturday on suspicion of terrorism offenses, bringing the number of suspects in custody to 11. All are men, aged between 18 and 44. In addition, Abedi’s father and younger brother were detained in Libya. Police disclosed new details about Abedi’s’ movements, saying he returned to Britain four days before the attack. His father has said Abedi was in Libya until earlier this month and had told family he planned to go to Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage. Police said they think Abedi assembled his bomb at a rented apartment in central Manchester that was raided by officers Wednesday. Investigators have searched 17 properties, including Abedi’s home in south Manchester and other houses in nearby districts. [...]


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Earth's outlook not good if U.S. quits climate dealFrench President Francois Holland (right), French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius (second right), United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres (left) and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hold their hands up in celebration Dec. 12, 2015, after the final conference at the COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change, in Le Bourget, north of Paris.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:18:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming even sooner if the U.S. retreats from its pledge to cut carbon dioxide pollution, scientists said. That’s because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. President Donald Trump, who once proclaimed global warming a Chinese hoax, said in a tweet Saturday that he would make his “final decision” this coming week on whether the United States stays in or leaves the 2015 Paris climate change accord in which nearly every nation agreed to curb its greenhouse gas emissions. Leaders of seven wealthy democracies, at a summit in Sicily, urged Trump to commit his administration to the agreement, but said in their closing statement that the U.S., for now, “is not in a position to join the consensus.” “I hope they decide in the right way,” said Italy’s prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni. More downbeat was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the leaders’ talks were “very difficult, if not to say, very unsatisfactory.” In an attempt to understand what could happen to the planet if the U.S. pulls out of Paris, The Associated Press consulted with more than two dozen climate scientists and analyzed a special computer model scenario designed to calculate potential effects. Scientists said it would worsen an already bad problem and make it far more difficult to prevent crossing a dangerous global temperature threshold. Calculations suggest it could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year. When it adds up year after year, scientists said that is enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather. “If we lag, the noose tightens,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change. One expert group ran a worst-case computer simulation of what would happen if the U.S. does not curb emissions, but other nations do meet their targets. It found that America would add as much as half a degree of warming to the globe by the end of century. Scientists are split on how reasonable and likely that scenario is. Many said because of cheap natural gas that displaces coal and growing adoption of renewable energy sources, it is unlikely that the U.S. would stop reducing its carbon pollution even if it abandoned the accord, so the effect would likely be smaller. Others say it could be worse because other countries might follow a U.S. exit, leading to more emissions from both the U.S. and the rest. Another computer simulation team put the effect of the U.S. pulling out somewhere between 0.18 to 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit. While scientists may disagree on the computer simulations, they overwhelmingly agreed that the warming the planet is undergoing now would be faster and more intense. The world without U.S. efforts would have a far more difficult time avoiding a dangerous threshold: keeping the planet from warming more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. The world already has warmed by just more than half that amount – with about one-fifth of the past heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions coming from the U.S. usually from the burning of coal, oil and ga[...]


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New Dennis Hastert accuser sues former speaker, Yorkville School District 115Another alleged abuse victim has come forward with allegations against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Plano.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:17:00 GMT

YORKVILLE – Another former Yorkville student has filed a lawsuit against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, as well as Yorkville School District 115, detailing allegations of a rape that occurred in the 1970s. The alleged victim, named Richard Doe in the lawsuit that was filed Friday in Kendall County Circuit Court, states in his lawsuit that Hastert sodomized him in a bathroom when the victim was in fourth grade, and that the county state's attorney at the time threatened him with criminal charges upon hearing the story years later. A court hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville on a request by the alleged victim's attorneys to use a pseudonym instead of Doe's real name. Doe and his attorneys named Hastert as a defendant in the civil lawsuit and the school district as a "respondent in discovery," which means the district is not a defendant in the lawsuit but could be if enough information is obtained to make it a defendant. The lawsuit accuses Hastert of battery, false imprisonment, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress. When asked about the lawsuit, District 115 spokeswoman Kristine Liptrot said she was "unaware of the new allegations that have been brought forward" and that she "cannot comment on pending litigation." "However, if law enforcement needs our assistance, we are always available to help in an investigation," Liptrot said. The lawsuit was filed by attorney Kristi Browne of the Patterson Law Firm of Chicago, which also is representing a person known as Individual A, a former Yorkville student who initially accused Hastert of abuse and whose hush-money agreement with Hastert led to the federal indictment and conviction of the former speaker for banking violations. Hastert was convicted and sentenced for those violations in April 2016, and he is slated to be released Aug. 16 from the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Attack and intimidation alleged The lawsuit states that when Doe was nine or 10 years old and in fourth grade, in the spring or summer of 1973 or 1974, he was riding his bike along Game Farm Road in Yorkville and stopped in what was then the state Game Farm Building (now the location of Yorkville City Hall) to use the bathroom. Doe claims he was sitting on a toilet in a stall in a bathroom when he heard "a male voice mutter something outside the stall door." "Suddenly, the stall door opened and a large man (now known to be Hastert) entered the stall," the lawsuit states. "[Doe] believes the man's genitals were exposed at that time. Hastert grabbed (Doe) by the neck, bent him over the toilet, and proceeded to forcefully sodomize [Doe]." After the alleged assault took place, Hastert left the bathroom, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit says Doe "saw Hastert's face at that time but did not recognize him." The lawsuit states that several weeks after the alleged attack, Doe was in gym class at Yorkville Grade School, which is located next door to the old Yorkville High School, where Hastert was a teacher and coach at the time. Doe claims Hastert walked into the gym class and talked to his teacher. Doe said upon recognizing Hastert, he began "shaking and crying."[...]


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Eighth-grader collecting used band instruments for Crystal Lake students in needSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Kate Lanza, an eighth-grader at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, poses for a portrait Thursday at her Crystal Lake home. Lanza is collecting used band instruments for her Girl Scout Silver Award. The donations will be given to Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 students who are unable to afford to participate in band. The drive runs through June 30.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Kate Lanza, an eighth-grade at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, poses for a portrait Thursday surrounded by musical instruments at her Crystal Lake home. Lanza is collecting used band instruments for her Girl Scout Silver Award. The donations will be given to Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 students who are unable to afford to participate in band. The drive runs through June 30.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:16:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake residents with unused band equipment can donate their instruments to benefit Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 students interested in music.

Kate Lanza, an eighth-grader at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, plays the clarinet and has been in band since fifth grade. After talking with her former band teacher, Keith Hulen, she realized not every student could afford to play an instrument. The 14-year-old then decided to create a fundraiser to help get the necessary tools to others in the district.

“That’s my goal, is to get one instrument to every kid, because I am having a fabulous experience in band, and if I can help one more kid get that too, then that’s my goal,” Kate said.

The band instrument drive started Monday and will go through June 30.

Items needed include woodwind instruments, brass instruments and percussion kits. The drive also is requesting foldable music stands and “Standard of Excellence, Book 1” for the suggested instruments.

Scott Sampson, District 47 music coordinator and Hannah Beardsley band director, has helped support the collection drive.

“I’m glad that we had a student step forward and force us to move forward on this thing more,” Sampson said. “It’s a great idea, and I really hope that it allows a number of students to get into music.”

Kate has been a Girl Scout for nine years, and the fundraiser is part of her Girl Scouts Silver Award project. The Silver Award is a high honor given to a Girl Scout Cadette who helps give back to their community.

“We wanted to show that Girl Scouts is more than just selling cookies,” said Beth Lanza, Kate’s mother. “She’s learned over nine years the skills to be able to even have the confidence to come up with a project like this.”

Piano Trends Music Co. in Crystal Lake is participating in the drive. People can drop off their donations at the local music store, 35 Berkshire Drive, Crystal Lake, during normal business hours.

For information, email 47instrumentdrive@gmail.com.

Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Kate Lanza, an eighth-grader at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, poses for a portrait Thursday at her Crystal Lake home. Lanza is collecting used band instruments for her Girl Scout Silver Award. The donations will be given to Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 students who are unable to afford to participate in band. The drive runs through June 30.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Kate Lanza, an eighth-grade at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, poses for a portrait Thursday surrounded by musical instruments at her Crystal Lake home. Lanza is collecting used band instruments for her Girl Scout Silver Award. The donations will be given to Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 students who are unable to afford to participate in band. The drive runs through June 30.


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Algonquin Commons to offer free document shredding event

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:16:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – Algonquin Commons is hosting ShredFest on June 3.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members can shred bank statements, outdated medical records, old tax returns or other papers that contain personally identifiable information, according to a news release form Algonquin Commons. 

The free event aims to help protect individuals from identity theft, and shredding services will be provided by Accurate Document Destruction Inc., according to the release. 

Paper should not have bindings or large clips, but staples and paper clips do not need to be removed, according to the release.

Shredding is limited to two boxes a vehicle.

Accurate Document Destruction Inc. trucks will be located near Art Van Furniture, 1500 S. Randall Road. 

– Northwest Herald




Renovations underway at 1776 Restaurant in Crystal LakeH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Tessler Construction Co. employees Kurt Hendricks and Rusty Lavender stack lumber to be used for interior framing at 1776 Restaurant in Crystal Lake. The business was opened in 1990 by Andy and Terrie Andresky, and Rhienna Trevino recently took over operations, which has included a recent remodeling and rebranding.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:16:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A well-known Crystal Lake restaurant is getting a fresh look while still offering customers farm-to-table food items.

1776 Restaurant, 397 W. Virginia St., Crystal Lake, started renovations May 15 and plans to reopen in early June.

Owner Rhienna McClain Trevino said the entire restaurant is being remodeled, including a new roof, gutters, windows, trim, front door, dining tables, kitchen and bar. Trevino said renovations are expected to cost $300,000.

“We want to show people we’re invested,” Trevino said. “It’s important for people to understand that we’re doing this because we believe in this place, and we love our community.”

With these more modern renovations, Trevino said she’s hoping the restaurant will look more appealing to younger generations.

“We’re doing a lot of rebranding to update the space while offering great food and service still to make it more appealing,” Trevino said.

The restaurant originally opened in 1990. Trevino, who lives in Crystal Lake, bought the restaurant in November from longtime owners Andy and Terrie Andresky.

Trevino said she was a frequent diner at the restaurant before buying it.

“Terrie and Andy have built an amazing legacy in this place,” Trevino said. “People come here for the great food and great service. I just wanted to make sure that matches the atmosphere better. So we’re making it a little prettier while really preserving that history.”

The restaurant offers locally sourced food and caters to people with food allergies, since the restaurant boasts gluten-free dishes.

“I was coming here before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, but after, it was one of the few places I could go to since they had gluten-free items,” Trevino said.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the ingestion of gluten to lead to damage in the small intestine.

The restaurant’s total capacity will be about 100 people, including the dining room and bar area. The new bar will have twice as much seating as before, and it will include new wine lockers that are temperature controlled. As for staff, Trevino said it has retained most of the same staff during the transition, which includes about 22 employees.

After the restaurant opens, Trevino said she is planning to have a garage sale during the summer to sell some of the old decor and mementos.

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Tessler Construction Co. employees Kurt Hendricks and Rusty Lavender stack lumber to be used for interior framing at 1776 Restaurant in Crystal Lake. The business was opened in 1990 by Andy and Terrie Andresky, and Rhienna Trevino recently took over operations, which has included a recent remodeling and rebranding.


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Coyote pup found injured in Barrington Hills recovering from surgeryThe coyote pup found injured near Penny Road Pond is recovering after surgery Thursday at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington. The nonprofit's founder and director, Dawn Keller, said there's a possibility the pup could be released.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:16:00 GMT

BARRINGTON HILLS – An injured coyote pup found in a container in Barrington Hills earlier this month underwent surgery Thursday to repair the coyote’s right rear leg.

According to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation’s Facebook post, the injured coyote was discovered May 11 with six dead coyote pups near Penny Road Pond.

The pup has been in the care of the Barrington nonprofit since the day of its discovery, and the operation was performed Thursday by veterinarians. Doctors from Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center took X-rays and inserted small pins to straighten the coyote’s tibia.

“When we first picked him up, the prognosis was not good, but at this point, given the success of the surgery on Thursday, there’s a possibility he could be releasable,” said Dawn Keller, founder and director of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation.

“At this point, he’s eating normally and looks really good, so we’re just waiting to see how the leg heals,” Keller said.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and there are no new details at this time, an official with the Forest Preserves of Cook County said.

Anyone with tips regarding the incident can call the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Tip Line at 1-877-236-7529.

The coyote pup found injured near Penny Road Pond is recovering after surgery Thursday at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington. The nonprofit's founder and director, Dawn Keller, said there's a possibility the pup could be released.


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Friend of motorcyclists killed in crash pushes to improve McHenry intersectionKelly Liebmann of Wonder Lake stands near the memorial at Charles J. Miller and River roads in McHenry Township for her friends, Carpentersville motorcycle riders Tanya Schafer, 42, and Dennis Edward Spears Jr., 49. Liebmann convinced McHenry County to add a red left turn arrow to the intersection. Liebmann obtained records through Freedom of Information Act requests that revealed that the intersection has had an uptick in crashes in recent years.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Kelly Liebmann of Wonder Lake convinced the county to add a left turn arrow to the intersection of Charles J. Miller and River roads after two of her motorcyclist friends died there in a crash. Liebmann obtained records through a Freedom of Information Act request revealing that the intersection has had an uptick in crashes in the past eight years.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Carpentersville motorcyclists Tanya Schafer, 42, and Dennis Edward Spears Jr., 49, were killed at the intersection of Charles J. Miller and River roads in McHenry Township. Kelly Liebmann of Wonder Lake, a friend of the pair, convinced McHenry County to add a left turn arrow to the intersection. Liebmann obtained records through a Freedom of Information Act request that revealed that the intersection has had an uptick in crashes in recent years.

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

McHENRY – A roadside memorial near the intersection of Charles J. Miller and River roads honors the lives of motorcyclists Dennis Spears Jr. and Tanya Schafer, who were killed in an April 9 crash. Workers soon will erect a permanent memorial in the form of a new traffic signal – allowing a left turn from northbound River Road onto westbound Miller Road only with a green arrow – to help prevent their fate from befalling anyone else. The determination of a family friend who was skeptical about the safety of the rural McHenry intersection might have helped. Wonder Lake resident and new Greenwood Township Trustee Kelly Liebmann knew the Carpentersville couple through the Libertarian Party and other endeavors, becoming close to them. They last had met at the state party’s annual convention April 7 and 8 in Tinley Park. On April 9, Spears, 49, and Schafer, 42, were dead. “It was just complete shock that we had seen them all weekend, and then they were gone,” she said. Spears was driving their 2017 Harley-Davidson motorcycle south on River Road shortly before 8 p.m. and had the green light to go straight through the intersection, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. But a 41-year-old woman traveling north on River Road didn’t yield while turning left onto Miller Road, and crashed her van into the couple. Liebmann and other friends mourned their deaths – the couple only had been married three years. But it only took a few minutes of poking around on the internet to conclude that maybe their deaths didn’t have to happen. She came across the Facebook page of Lake and McHenry County Scanner, a group of volunteers that keeps a 24-hour vigil on police and fire calls. The comments on the post regarding the crash indicated to Liebmann that the crash that claimed her friends’ lives was no quirk. One poster called it “a rough corner,” while a nearby resident posted that the intersection has seen “nothing but accidents.” “That should be a left on green arrow only because whoever designed that intersection had no clue what they were doing,” the resident wrote. Liebmann reached out to county officials. Although she was told in an email that the intersection was being looked at, they referred her to a proposed safety analysis for River Road to start in 2020 as part of the county’s latest five-year transportation plan. Although the County Board’s Transportation Committee in recent months had talked with transportation staff about getting the intersection signaling improved, Liebmann decided to also poke around on her own. Liebmann asked the sheriff’s office under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act for the total number of crashes, injuries and fatalities at the intersection dating to 2008. The 10-year time frame also included the 2013 redesign of the intersection as part of widening the Charles Miller Road bridge over the Fox River. Her May 4 FOIAs came back a week later, and they verified what she had seen online. There were no crashes or injuries recorded in 2008 – in 2016, there were 21, or almo[...]


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Turning Point of McHenry County urges Illinois to restore funding

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Leaders from McHenry County’s only domestic violence agency are calling on Illinois lawmakers to fix the state’s budget as they struggle to stay afloat without state funding.

Turning Point of McHenry County has been without state funding since mid-October. It is one of many domestic violence agencies across the state that were forgotten in last summer’s stopgap budget, agency leaders said.

Executive Director Jane Farmer said the organization will be $300,000 short in state funds by the end of the fiscal year in June.

“It’s kind of critical that we get paid because we’ve provided the services already,” Farmer said.

Turning Point of McHenry County has walk-in services in Woodstock and an overnight shelter to house women and their children who have escaped abusive relationships. It also has an office at the courthouse to help people obtain orders of protection. Its staff is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Turning Point served 1,645 clients throughout all programs and took 3,083 calls on its crisis line, according to fiscal 2015 statistics.

There also were 3,972 nights of shelter given, and 211 child victims of domestic violence were helped.

Although the agency has not had to reduce services, it has had to seek out alternative funding sources. Farmer said Turning Point has “made do” with grants, funding from the McHenry County Mental Health Board and donations.

“It’s really hard to be in the position that I’m in because I can’t see cutting services for men, women and children who are trying to change their lives,” she said. “Without us, I don’t know what they would do.”

The Illinois House is pushing a bill to streamline $18 million for shelters across the state.

Illinois House Bill 3259 was passed Thursday by the House Appropriations Human Services Committee, the first step toward providing full funding for domestic violence services.

The bill will move to the House floor, and then it could be sent to the Senate during the holiday weekend while the Legislature is in Springfield, all while May 31, the regular session deadline, looms.

Farmer said she’s working alongside the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and has spoken with McHenry County legislators in hopes of getting the bill passed. She said that although many have expressed their support, she recognizes that actions speak louder than words.

Farmer said she remains hopeful that the Legislature will pass a bill before the end of the legislative session. In the meantime, Farmer said it will be business as usual for as long as the agency can continue to keep its doors open.

“As long as we can continue to do this, then we will do this,” she said. “I can’t imagine what this county would do without Turning Point. It would be terrible.”




In opioid crisis, accidental overdose a new risk for policeThis May 25, 2017 photo shows Harford County Major John R. Simpson is seen at the Harford County Sheriff's Office, MD., holding up elements of a protective suit that the sheriff's office is now providing to deputies sent to crime scenes involving heroin and synthetic opioids. After a deputy accidentally overdosed while at a drug scene, the department rushed to procure protective gear and establish protocols for officers responding to drug scenes. (AP Photo/Juliet Linderman)

Sun, 28 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

BEL AIR, Md. – As Cpl. Kevin Phillips pulled up to investigate a suspected opioid overdose, paramedics were already at the Maryland home giving a man a life-saving dose of the overdose reversal drug Narcan. Drugs were easy to find: a package of heroin on the railing leading to a basement; another batch on a shelf above a nightstand. The deputy already had put on gloves and grabbed evidence baggies, his usual routine for canvassing a house. He swept the first package from the railing into a bag and sealed it; then a torn Crayola crayon box went from the nightstand into a bag of its own. Inside that basement nightstand: even more bags, but nothing that looked like drugs. Then – moments after the man being treated by paramedics came to – the overdose hit. “My face felt like it was burning. I felt extremely light-headed. I felt like I was getting dizzy,” he said. “I stood there for two seconds and thought, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t just get exposed to something.’ I just kept thinking about the carfentanil.” Carfentanil came to mind because just hours earlier, Phillips’ boss, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, sent an email to deputies saying the synthetic opioid so powerful that it’s used to tranquilize elephants had, for the first time ever, showed up in a toxicology report from a fatal overdose in the county. The sheriff had urged everyone to use extra caution when responding to drug scenes. Carfentanil and fentanyl are driving forces in the most deadly drug epidemic the United States has ever seen. Because of their potency, it’s not just addicts who are increasingly at risk – it’s those tasked with saving lives and investigating the illegal trade. Police departments across the U.S. are arming officers with the opioid antidote Narcan. Now, some first responders have had to use it on colleagues, or themselves. The paramedic who administered Phillips’ Narcan on May 19 started feeling sick herself soon after; she didn’t need Narcan but was treated for exposure to the drugs. Earlier this month, an Ohio officer overdosed in a police station after brushing off with a bare hand a trace of white powder left from a drug scene. Like Phillips, he was revived after several doses of Narcan. Last fall, 11 SWAT officers in Hartford, Connecticut, were sickened after a flash-bang grenade sent particles of heroin and fentanyl airborne. Phillips’ overdose was eye-opening for his department, Gahler said. Before then, deputies didn’t have a protocol for overdose scenes; many showed up without any protective gear. Gahler has since spent $5,000 for 100 kits that include a protective suit, booties, gloves and face masks. Carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin and easily inhaled, and a single particle is so powerful that simply touching it can cause an overdose, Gahler said. Additional gear will be distributed to investigators tasked with cataloguing overdose scenes – heavy-duty gloves and more robust suits. Gahler said 37 people have died so far this year from overdoses in his county, which is between Baltimore and Philadelphia. The county has received toxicology reports on 19 of those cases, a[...]


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Iraq says Iranian commander killed fighting IS

Sun, 28 May 2017 03:40:00 GMT

BAGHDAD – A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander was killed in an explosion during clashes with the Islamic State group west of Mosul, an Iraqi official told The Associated Press on Saturday, as aid groups voiced concern for the safety of civilians after Iraq’s government called for residents in militant-held neighborhoods to flee immediately. Gen. Shaaban Nasiiri was an adviser to Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Soleimani has acted as a key adviser to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces – an umbrella group of Mostly Shiite militia forces sanctioned by the Iraqi government – in the fight against IS since 2014. The Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said Nasiiri was killed Friday and is the first senior Iranian commander to die in the Mosul fight. Inside Mosul, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces began the push to retake the Old City on Saturday morning, moving in on the district from three directions, according to a statement from Nineveh operations command, the authority overseeing the Mosul fight. The IS hold on Mosul has shrunk to just a handful of neighborhoods in and around the Old City district where narrow streets and a dense civilian population is expected to complicate the fight there. Iraqi planes dropped leaflets over the area Friday telling civilians to flee “immediately” to “safe passages” where they will be greeted by “guides, protectors and (transportation) to reach safe places,” according to a government statement. However, it is unclear how the government intends to ensure safe passage for civilians as IS fighters have repeatedly targeted fleeing civilians with small arms and mortar fire. The move to clear the Old City marks a shift in approach. Since the Mosul operation was launched in October, Iraqi forces have encouraged civilians to remain in their homes to avoid massive displacement. However, more than 730,000 people have fled the fight to date according to United Nations figures. “As many as 200,000 additional people may try to leave in coming days,” the U.N. said Saturday in a statement following the call for Old City civilians to leave. Save the Children warned that fleeing civilians could be caught in the crossfire, leading to “deadly chaos” in a statement Friday. Both Iraqi forces and IS fighters are obligated under international law to protect civilians, the U.N. statement added. More than 100,000 civilians are estimated to still be inside IS-held Mosul neighborhoods. While U.S.-backed forces have fought inside Mosul during the operation to retake it from IS, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces have largely operated in the deserts to the west cutting supply lines and attempting to begin securing Iraq’s border with Syria. The Popular Mobilization Forces are largely supported by Tehran, a key Iraqi ally in the fight against IS. Iran has provided weapons, training and advisers credited with important early victories against the extremists in 2014 before the U.S. began a campaign of airstrikes targeting the group. [...]



AP source: Kushner’s Russian back channel involved SyriaJared Kushner, senior advisor of President Donald Trump, shakes hands with Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Wednesday.

Sun, 28 May 2017 03:40:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and now top White House adviser Jared Kushner proposed a secret back channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team during a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat. Kushner spoke with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about creating that line of communication to facilitate sensitive discussions aimed at exploring the incoming administration’s options with Russia as it was developing its Syria policy, according to a person familiar with the discussions who spoke with The Associated Press. The intent was to connect Trump’s chief national security adviser at the time, Michael Flynn, with Russian military leaders, said this person, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss private policy deliberations and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Russia, a pivotal player in Syria, has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, often at the expense of civilians during a long civil war. The White House did not acknowledge the meeting or Kushner’s attendance until March. At the time, a White House official dismissed it as a brief courtesy meeting. Kushner’s involvement in the proposed back channel was first reported by The Washington Post, which said he proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for the discussions, apparently to make them more difficult to monitor. The newspaper cited anonymous U.S. officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications. The Post wrote that Kislyak was reportedly taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate – a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team. According to the person familiar with the Kushner meeting, the Trump team eventually felt there was no need for a back channel once Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state, and decided to communicate with Moscow through more official channels. Tillerson was sworn in on Feb. 1. Flynn briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser before being fired in February after officials said he misled Vice President Mike Pence about whether he and the ambassador had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia in a phone call. Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, told Congress this month that that deception left Flynn vulnerable to being blackmailed by the Russians. Flynn remains under federal investigation in Virginia over his foreign business ties and was interviewed by the FBI in January about his contacts with Kislyak. The disclosure of the back channel put White House advisers on the defensive Saturday, as Trump wrapped up his first foreign trip as president, and led lawyers for Kushner to say he is willing to talk with federal and congressional investigators about his foreign contacts and his work on the Trump campaign. Meeting with reporters in Sicily, two Trump advisers refused to address the contents of Kushner’s December meeting with the Russian diplomat. But they did not dismiss the idea tha[...]


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Inmates can order fancy pizza made in jailInmate Jonathan Scott (right), works Tuesday in the kitchen at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. Inmates in the jail's medium-security Division 11 are now allowed to order pizzas made by inmates like Scott, who is participating in the jail's "Recipe for Change" program while he waits for trial after his 2015 arrest on an armed robbery charge. in Chicago.Inmate Marcus Clay pulls pizza from oven Tuesday at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. Inmates in the jail's medium-security Division 11 are now allowed to order pizzas made by participants in the jail's "Recipe for Change" program, which teaches inmates about cooking and nutrition.

Sun, 28 May 2017 03:40:00 GMT

CHICAGO – How can you get a gourmet Italian pizza delivered right to your door for no more than $7? Get locked up at Cook County Jail in Chicago. Inmates in the jail’s medium-security Division 11 can now order pizzas made with the finest ingredients in the kind of ovens found in pizzerias. It’s all part of Sheriff Tom Dart’s ongoing effort to make jail a bit more humane while providing inmates skills that might help keep them from returning once they’re set free. Pizzas have been served and prepared behind bars before. A few institutions allow inmates to order from nearby restaurants. At one Massachusetts jail, inmates make pizzas that guards can buy and take home and heat themselves. But it’s safe to say Dart is the first jail administrator to bring into his facility an Italian chef to oversee an operation in which inmates bake a couple hundred pizzas a week in a $16,000 oven and deliver them piping hot to the cells of captive customers. “We’re teaching skills to make them more marketable when they get out of here,” Dart said. At the same time, by giving inmates a break from the bland jail food, he’s employing what experts say is an effective tactic to keep inmates in line. “If any detainee assaults staff or engages in misconduct they’re moved out of that division, and they’re not able to purchase the pizzas,” said Cara Smith, the department’s chief policy officer. “So it’s an incentive to behave.” Other programs Dart has introduced include using chess to teach inmates about problem-solving and patience, and sending inmates from the jail’s boot camp to tear down abandoned buildings. The pizza delivery service is an outgrowth of a program called “Recipe for Change” that’s run by Bruno Abate, a chef and owner of trendy Chicago restaurant Tocco , that teaches inmates about cooking and nutrition. Abate said there’s no overstating the effect gourmet pizza has in a place where the drab food only reminds inmates of where – and what – they are. “This is treating people with dignity and respect as a human and not [an] animal,” he said. The pizza also might be the best food some of the desperately poor inmates have ever eaten. “How many of them even get to go to a decent restaurant?” asked Ron Gidwitz, a prominent Republican fundraiser who donated money to buy the oven and raised the rest. When the inmates bring the pizzas to the cells, the effect, inmates say, is immediate. “Their eyes light up like it’s Christmas,” said Jonathan Scott, whose nametag reads “Chef Jonathan,” as he waits for trial on an armed robbery charge. Dart said he decided to sell the pizzas to raise money for the program. Initially, he planned to have the inmates sell them to correctional officers. But the jailers weren’t interested in buying food prepared by inmates who might take the opportunity to add something to the recipe. Dart said they also groused that inmates were being coddled. So the[...]


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Islamic State claims responsibility for Egypt attack

Sun, 28 May 2017 03:40:00 GMT

MINYA, Egypt – The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack on a bus carrying Christians on their way to a remote desert monastery south of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, which killed 29.

Egypt responded to Friday’s attack by launching a series of airstrikes that targeted what it said were militant bases in eastern Libya in which the assailants were trained. On Saturday, the military said on its official Facebook page that the airstrikes were continuing “day and night” and that they have “completely” destroyed their targets. It gave no details.

“What you’ve seen today will not go unpunished. An extremely painful strike has been dealt to the bases. Egypt will never hesitate to strike terror bases anywhere,” President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a televised address to the nation late Friday. He said the attacks on Christians aimed at driving a wedge between them and the country’s Muslim majority.

He also appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump to lead the global war against terror.

The claim, published by the group’s Aamaq news agency, takes to four the number of deadly attacks targeting Christians since December that the extremist group says it’s behind. It put the death toll at 32, but there was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.

In all, the four attacks – Friday’s, two in April and one in December – killed at least 104 people, mostly Christians. El-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency following April’s twin attacks, which fell on Palm Sunday.

The Egyptian Cabinet, meanwhile, said 13 victims of Friday’s carnage remained hospitalized in Cairo and Minya province, where the attack took place. The bloodshed came on the eve of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

El-Sissi told Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, in a phone call late on Friday that his government would not rest until the perpetrators of the attack were punished.

Egypt’s government has been struggling to contain an insurgency by Islamic militants led by an IS affiliate that is centered in the northern region of the Sinai peninsula, though attacks on the mainland have recently increased.

After a visit to Egypt last month by Pope Francis, IS vowed to escalate attacks against Christians and urged Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and Western embassies.




Police: Suspect in Portland stabbings ranted about MuslimsThis booking photo provided by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office shows Jeremy Joseph Christian. Authorities on Saturday, May 27, 2017 identified Christian as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of two people on a Portland light-rail train in Oregon. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Sat, 27 May 2017 21:02:00 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. – A man who police say fatally stabbed two people who tried to stop him from yelling anti-Islamic slurs on a Portland light-rail train spent time in prison for robbery and kidnapping charges years ago, according to court records and a defense attorney. Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, was being held Saturday in the Multnomah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a weapon. He will make a first court appearance Monday, and it wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. A phone at his home in Portland rang unanswered early Saturday. Two people died Friday night and another was hurt in the stabbing after police say Christian yelled racial slurs at two young women, one of whom was wearing a Muslim head covering. The assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language," according to a statement from police. Friday was the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for Muslims, and the attack prompted soul-searching in Portland, a city that prides itself on its tolerance and liberal views. A memorial of flowers and signs quickly grew at the scene by a transit station. "There is too much hatred in our world right now, and far too much violence. Too much of it has arrived here in Portland," Mayor Ted Wheeler said in Facebook post. Wheeler was on the inaugural direct flight from the Oregon city to London when the attack occurred. He said he boarded the first flight back and was due to arrive Saturday afternoon. Dyjuana Hudson, a mother of one of the girls, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the man began a racial tirade as soon as he spotted the girls. Her daughter is African-American and was with a friend who was wearing a hijab, she said. "He was saying that Muslims should die," Hudson said. "That they've been killing Christians for years." The attack happened on a MAX train as it headed east. A train remained stopped on the tracks at a transit center that was closed while police investigated. Autopsies on the victims were being done Saturday. Their names have not been made public. Police say the victims were trying to stop Christian from confronting the girls. "In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him and appeared to try to intervene with his behavior and some of the people that he was yelling at," police Sgt. Pete Simpson told the Portland newspaper. "They were attacked viciously." Neighbors who live next to Christian's parents' house – which was also his last listed address in court records – said the family was quiet and they often saw Christian's two adult brothers but never him. One neighbor, Kenny Jenkins, said he occasionally saw Christian riding his bike around the neighborhood. The neighborhood where the Christians live is on the northern outskirts of Portland, an area that has bee[...]


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PHOTOS: Knights of Columbus members place American Flags to Honor VeteransH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Fr. Matthew BeBlock (right) paster at St Catherine Catholic Church in East Dundee gives the blessing for members of The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 before they begin placing American Flags on 1093 graves of veterans Friday, May 26, 2017 at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Ken Prigge (from left) of Algonquin, Mike Hillegonds of Crystal Lake and Mark Heineman of Huntley place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Dan Biggins of West Dundee, (from left) Thomas Clenniwa, and Ken and Dorthy Labuda all of Elgin place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 member Mike Hillegonds of Crystal Lake carries flags while placing them on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/ Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Dorthy (from left) and Ken and Labuda and Thomas Clenniwa all of Elgin Dan Biggins of West Dundee place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Ken and Dorthy Labuda of Elgin place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:30:00 GMT

Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members place American Flags on 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Fr. Matthew BeBlock (right) paster at St Catherine Catholic Church in East Dundee gives the blessing for members of The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 before they begin placing American Flags on 1093 graves of veterans Friday, May 26, 2017 at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Ken Prigge (from left) of Algonquin, Mike Hillegonds of Crystal Lake and Mark Heineman of Huntley place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Dan Biggins of West Dundee, (from left) Thomas Clenniwa, and Ken and Dorthy Labuda all of Elgin place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 member Mike Hillegonds of Crystal Lake carries flags while placing them on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/ Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Dorthy (from left) and Ken and Labuda and Thomas Clenniwa all of Elgin Dan Biggins of West Dundee place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Knights of Columbus Bishop Arthur J. O'Neill Assembly # 2381 members Ken and Dorthy Labuda of Elgin place American Flags on some of the 1093 graves of veterans at River Valley Memorial Gardens/Holy Sepulchre cemetery in West Dundee on Friday, May 26, 2017.


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Woodstock School District 200 Board expected to discuss consolidation options TuesdaySarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Superintendent Mike Moan addresses the crowd during a community forum in April to discuss the final options recommended by the facilities review committee regarding potential school consolidations. The Woodstock School District 200 board is expected to discuss its final options regarding school and building consolidations at a meeting Tuesday.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Superintendent Mike Moan addresses the crowd during Monday's community forum to discuss the final options recommended by the facilities review committee regarding potential school consolidations. April 10, 2017 in Woodstock.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock resident Randy Gerry makes a comment during Monday's community forum to discuss the final options recommended by the facilities review committee regarding potential school consolidations. April 10, 2017 in Woodstock.

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:31:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The Woodstock School District 200 Board is expected to discuss its final options regarding school and building consolidations Tuesday.

Over the past school year, the Facilities Review Committee has been studying ways for the district to save money and better use its space. Numerous public forums have been held on the controversial matter, where Woodstock residents and district parents expressed concern about the possibility of school closures, enrollment numbers and future growth and the district’s financial state.

At its last meeting, three new board members were sworn in. School consolidations were a hot-button issue during the election season. New board members include Bruce Farris, Jacob Homuth and John Parisi – a member of the review committee. New board members are largely open to the idea of consolidation as long as students’ well-being is priority.

In April, Superintendent Michael Moan presented final options that the facilities committee recommended, which included closure of Dean Elementary School, which has an enrollment of about 330 students.

Other recommendations the board could consider include selling the district office, leasing open space at the high school and ending an annex lease.

Board President Carl Gilmore was not immediately available for comment Thursday. The District 200 board will meet at 7 p.m. May 30 at Clay Professional Development Center, located on the second floor of Clay Academy, 112 Grove St., Woodstock.

Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Superintendent Mike Moan addresses the crowd during a community forum in April to discuss the final options recommended by the facilities review committee regarding potential school consolidations. The Woodstock School District 200 board is expected to discuss its final options regarding school and building consolidations at a meeting Tuesday.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Superintendent Mike Moan addresses the crowd during Monday's community forum to discuss the final options recommended by the facilities review committee regarding potential school consolidations. April 10, 2017 in Woodstock.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock resident Randy Gerry makes a comment during Monday's community forum to discuss the final options recommended by the facilities review committee regarding potential school consolidations. April 10, 2017 in Woodstock.


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Crystal Lake student named finalist in New York Times editorial contestBernotas seventh grader Izma Casubhoy is one of 58 teens worldwide who made it to the third round of The New York Times (NYT) fourth annual student editorial contest.

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:31:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Out of thousands of applicants, Izma Casubhoy of Richard Bernotas Middle School was one of 58 teens to be named a third-round finalist in the fourth annual New York Times student editorial contest.

The writing contest asks for teens to submit short, evidence-based persuasive essays about any topics they wish in about 450 words or fewer.

Casubhoy, who is in seventh grade, made it to the third round of the contest with an editorial titled “The Stakes of Steaks: Why Vegetarianism Is Clearly the Better Lifestyle.” She was one of six 13-year-old students recognized this year.

“Writing an editorial for this contest was such a valuable experience for me,” Casubhoy said. “I learned how to challenge myself as a writer and had the opportunity to express my opinion about a topic that means a lot to me. I never really imagined making it to Round 3. Out of all the wonderful writers out there, I am honored to be recognized.”

Students were required to have cited works that support their stance and used at least one New York Times source as well as one outside source in their writing. They were allowed to submit entries in teams or individually.

To help students and teachers with the contest, the newspaper provided a list of about 400 writing prompts in argumentative writing.

While Casubhoy didn’t win, her teacher, Belinda Strebel, said she wasn’t surprised to see her student recognized.

“Her topic of vegetarianism is one that is regularly written about, but she took a unique stance that stood out and taught the audience new information about an old topic,” Strebel said. “If you look at the list of recognized writers, the majority are 17 and 18 years old. To be recognized as a seventh-grader is extraordinary.”

This year’s popular topics included climate change, prison reform and discrimination.

The list of winners and runner-ups can be found at The New York Times website.

Bernotas seventh grader Izma Casubhoy is one of 58 teens worldwide who made it to the third round of The New York Times (NYT) fourth annual student editorial contest.


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Crystal Lake home temporarily uninhabitable after fireSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Firefighters clean up after putting out a fire Friday at 844 Wimbledon Lane in Crystal Lake.

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:31:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A bathroom fire Friday left a Crystal Lake home temporarily uninhabitable.

The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department responded at 1:46 p.m. to a report of a house fire in the 800 block of Wimbleton Lane, Crystal Lake.

Upon arrival, crews found smoke coming from the roof on the back side of the house. Firefighters deployed a hose line to the bathroom on the upper floor to put out the flames. The fire was out by 2:07 p.m. Fire damage was limited to the bathroom ceiling and part of the attic adjacent to the bathroom.

The cause of the fire remained undetermined Friday afternoon, but an initial investigation suggested the fire may have been related to a bathroom ceiling fan, according to the fire department.

“We just had an exhaust fan die,” homeowner Robert Schoenbrunn said. “The switch was left on, and it must have caused an electrical fire that spread to the attic.”

Damage is estimated to be less than $8,000. No one was injured, according to the fire department.

The Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District and the McHenry Township Fire Protection District assisted at the scene. The Woodstock Fire Rescue District provided station coverage during the incident.

Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Firefighters clean up after putting out a fire Friday at 844 Wimbledon Lane in Crystal Lake.


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Bull Valley couple lived posh life that surprised friends before drug bustThe McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.Jamie M. Lee, (from left) David A. Soskin and Joseph Vogrinc have all been charged after a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Ammunition and a .50-caliber machine gun were seized by McHenry County Sheriff's deputies from a Bull Valley home.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry County Sheriff's Sgt. Robb Tadekman breaks down a Cobray M11 seized from a home in Bull Valley.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry County Sheriff's Sgt. Robb Tadekman returns a Cobray M11 to a case. The gun and about 350 pounds of marijuana were seized from a Bull Valley home.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Ammunition was seized by McHenry County Sheriff's deputies and the Drug Enforcement Administration.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Containers hold some of the 350 pounds of cannabis and a shotgun seized from a Bull Valley home by McHenry County Sheriff's deputies.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Cash-counting machines were seized by McHenry County Sheriff's deputies and the Drug Enforcement Administration in recent operations.David Soskin.Jamie M. Lee, (from left) David A. Soskin and Joseph Vogrinc have all been charged after a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.Jamie M. Lee was arrested on marijuana charges.Jamie M. Lee was arrested on marijuana charges.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road Bull Valley in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road Bull Valley in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office seized property at 1001 and 1005 N. Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, in connection with a months-long investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration, the McHenry County Narcotics Task Force, the Rockford Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:30:00 GMT

BULL VALLEY – New details have emerged days after a Bull Valley couple were arrested in connection with a drug-trafficking operation that show the pair were living lavishly with no visible means of support. David A. Soskin, 42, and Jamie M. Lee, 26, appeared to embark on a life of extravagance only months after their May 2016 engagement. Prosecutors allege that the couple used drug money to buy a six-bedroom, 11-bathroom home with an indoor pool in December 2016 for $800,000. A months-long investigation that picked up speed with the arrest of a Loves Park man May 18 and the discovery of piles of marijuana in the Bull Valley house the next day remains active, officials said. Soskin and Lee drew little attention from neighbors in Bull Valley, but their spending surprised at least a few friends in the months before their arrests. The home was bought through a trust; neither Lee’s or Soskin’s name appears on official paperwork regarding the sale, according to documents from the McHenry County Recorder’s Office. Although their names are not on the documents, both Lee and Soskin posted on Facebook about buying the home in affluent Bull Valley together. The hillside ranch, set on 35 wooded acres, includes a guest house with an attached two-car garage, a large barn, a tennis court and a hotel-style indoor pool room with a sauna and bar. The couple also posted photos of two motorcycles and a classic car. Prosecutors haven’t seized those vehicles, but did seize cash-counting machines, weapons and more than $40,000 in cash from the home, police have said. After closing on the property on Christmas Eve 2016, Lee posted on Facebook about the news, including a photo of the indoor pool room. “After much hard work, dedication and a lot of determination, we closed today on my little slice of serenity in the ever most beautiful village of Bull Valley. The house I will marry the love of my life. The house I will die inside of, our estate,” Lee wrote in the post. The couple’s lifestyle raised eyebrows from friends on Facebook. One asked whether they had won the lottery. The home and property had been appraised for more than $1.6 million, according to court documents. The couple planned to have their wedding at the Bull Valley estate next summer, Lee wrote on Facebook. Their recent arrests and the seizure of their home put those plans in jeopardy. If prosecutors can prove the home was bought with illicit gains, it could be sold off, with the proceeds going to local and state law enforcement and government agencies. Both Soskin and Lee face charges of marijuana trafficking, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of marijuana. If convicted of the most serious charge, marijuana trafficking, both Soskin and Lee could face six to 30 years in prison. The two remained in McHenry Co[...]


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Prosecutors: Drugs seized from Crystal Lake apartment contained mix of heroin, fentanylH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com More than seven pounds of heroin seized by McHenry County Sheriff's deputies during the search of a Crystal Lake man's apartment earlier this month tested positive for the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Roman Castro, 47, of the 600 block of Virginia Road, was arrested May 2 by members of the McHenry County Sheriff's Police Narcotics Task Force. He appeared in court Friday and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:30:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – More than seven pounds of heroin seized by McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies during the search of a Crystal Lake man’s apartment earlier this month tested positive for fentanyl, a powerful – and deadly – opioid painkiller.

Roman Castro, 47, of the 600 block of Virginia Road, was arrested May 2 by members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police Narcotics Task Force. He appeared in court Friday and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Castro faces charges of unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, an enhanced Class X felony, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, an enhanced Class 1 felony. He faces between 15 and 60 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge. He would be required to serve 75 percent of his sentence, according to state law.

The indictment charges him with the possession and delivery of a substance that contained both heroin and fentanyl, according to court documents. Fentanyl can be up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

“We are (generally) seeing an uptick in fentanyl on the streets, which is an extremely dangerous drug and when mixed with heroin it’s proving to be quite fatal, statistics are showing,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Gibbons said.

Detectives had received information that Castro was holding a large amount of heroin. Authorities said the gray-white substance was inside a black backpack in Castro’s apartment. They also recovered two scales and packaging materials. No money was taken from Castro’s residence, authorities said.

This likely was the largest bust of its kind in county history, authorities have said.

Castro is in McHenry County Jail in lieu of posting 10 percent of his $2 million bond. A judge previously granted a motion from prosecutors stating no one would be allowed to post bond for Castro before a hearing was held to determine where the money came from. Funds tied to drug trafficking or some other criminal or illegal source cannot be used to post bond.

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com More than seven pounds of heroin seized by McHenry County Sheriff's deputies during the search of a Crystal Lake man's apartment earlier this month tested positive for the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Roman Castro, 47, of the 600 block of Virginia Road, was arrested May 2 by members of the McHenry County Sheriff's Police Narcotics Task Force. He appeared in court Friday and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.


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Rocker Chris Cornell remembered as 'voice of our generation'A plaque marking Chris Cornell's gravesite appears, covered in guitar picks, flowers, photos and notes, following the late singer's funeral at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Friday, May 26, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:22:00 GMT

LOS ANGELES – Music’s elite and Hollywood stars remembered Chris Cornell at a somber memorial service Friday that focused on the Soundgarden frontman’s love of family and friends as much as it did on his musical achievements as one of rock’s leading voices. “Chris was as melodic as The Beatles, as heavy as Sabbath and as haunting as Edgar Allan Poe,” Tom Morello, Cornell’s Audioslave bandmate, said during his eulogy. “The demons he wrestled with were real, but he harnessed those demons and rode them like a mother-flipping chariot of lightning strapped with Marshall stacks to make some of the greatest rock ’n’ roll of all time.” Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington and guitarist Brad Delson performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the crowd of mourners, including Brad Pitt, Pharrell Williams, James Franco, Christian Bale and numerous members of rock royalty, many of whom were moved to tears. Four large portraits of Cornell were on display on a dais where Morello, actor Josh Brolin, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, film producer Eric Esrailian and Cornell’s Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron delivered eulogies under overcast skies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. They all spoke of the rocker’s compassion and his delight in his three children. Cameron said he and Cornell had “so many normal dad conversations” about the Cornell kids: Christopher, Toni and Lily. “Losing my brother and artistic soulmate will always pale in comparison with you three kids losing your dad,” Cameron said. “Let it be known that I am here for you and will forever be in your lives.” Linda Ramone opened the service with word that Cornell was buried next to her late husband, punk rocker Johnny Ramone, whose headstone features a statue of him playing guitar. Cornell’s grave marker, decorated with bouquets of flowers and several red roses, reads, “Voice of our generation and an artist for all time.” Cornell’s music played before the hourlong service, and afterward as guests visited his grave site in the cemetery’s Garden of Legends section. Among those paying respects were Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica, Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, singer-songwriter Joe Walsh, guitarist Nile Rodgers, rocker Courtney Love and Bush’s Gavin Rossdale. Scores of fans gathered outside the cemetery during the service awaiting a public viewing of Cornell’s grave site later Friday afternoon. “We had to be here. He was part of our generation,” 49-year-old Marcus Dubray said, breaking into tears. He and his wife were visiting Los Angeles from Sacramento for her birthday when they heard about Cornell’s service. “I was ready to go to Seattle” for the funeral, said fellow fan Alfredo [...]


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As Trump announces famine aid, relief funds face big cutsIn this May 24, 2017, photo, Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump at the Vatican. When Trump met Pope Francis, the U.S. leader renewed a commitment to fighting global famine and proudly announced a new multimillion-dollar American aid contribution to four African nations in crisis. Left unsaid by the president or the White House: His proposal to slash such funds by more than 40 percent in the next fiscal year. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:21:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – When President Donald Trump met Pope Francis this week, the U.S. leader renewed a commitment to fighting global famine and proudly announced a new multimillion-dollar American aid contribution to four African nations in crisis. Left unsaid by the president or the White House: His proposal to slash such funds by more than 40 percent in the next fiscal year. While the Trump administration’s 2018 spending plan does not eliminate money for emergency food aid, it ends a critical program by consolidating it into a broader account that covers all international disaster assistance. Doing so reduces the amount of money the U.S. dedicates to fighting famine to $1.5 billion next year, from $2.6 billion in 2016. The reduction is likely even steeper compared with 2017, but the administration hasn’t calculated figures for this fiscal year because it doesn’t end until Sept. 30 and more money may be allocated for famine relief before then. Trump officials say the proposed changes will streamline U.S. aid programs, eliminate redundancies and increase efficiency. Relief organizations fear less U.S. money will mean an increase in famine and hunger-related deaths, particularly in Africa, if Congress approves the budget. Trump’s overall proposal, however, is already prompting significant opposition from Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Trump’s announcement at the Vatican on Wednesday, which officials said totaled $329 million, went largely unnoticed, tucked into the last paragraph of a brief White House readout of the meeting. And coverage of the president’s papal audience was dominated by atmospherics between two men with widely divergent views on many issues. Officials familiar with planning for the new assistance said the White House was seeking “a deliverable” to announce after Trump’s discussions with the pope and settled on the additional famine relief for millions in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the issue publicly. In the meeting, Trump “renewed the commitment of the United States to fighting global famine,” the White House said. “As he relayed at the Vatican, the United States is proud to announce more than $300 million in anti-famine spending, focused on the crises in Yemen, (South) Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.” The U.S. Agency for International Development, which along with the State Department could face a 31 percent budget cut, said the additional money brought total U.S. humanitarian assistance for those four countries to almost $1.2 billion since last October. “The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance in all four crises,” it said, extolling the value of U.S. aid. In what may have been a subtle reminder to the rest of Trump’s administratio[...]


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GOP focus on lowering health premiums may undermine benefitsHouse Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:21:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Republicans trying to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law are grappling with a hard lesson that vexed him: Quality health insurance isn’t cheap, especially if it protects people in poor health, older adults not yet eligible for Medicare and the poor. Something has to give. Now, the GOP’s laser focus on lowering premiums could undermine comprehensive coverage, such as the current guarantees that people with medical problems can get health insurance, or that plans will cover costly conditions such as substance abuse. Consumers value comprehensive coverage, since no one is beyond the reach of sickness, or immune from the consequences of age. “Premiums do not tell the whole story,” said Trish Riley, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, a nonpartisan organization that advises states. “The questions that need to be addressed are what do those premiums buy, and what other costs besides premiums do consumers pay?” Riley said. “If you buy a bike it will cost you less than a car.” With “Obamacare,” Democrats set out to get more people insured, but they also wanted to bolster the underlying coverage. They required insurers to accept those with medical problems, prescribed a broad range of standard benefits, and established baseline financial protections. Previously, for example, people with a history of cancer could be charged a higher premium, or be turned down altogether. That led to 20 million more insured, but also higher premiums for people buying their own policies, along with tax increases and considerable federal regulation. Republicans trying to roll back the 2010 health care law have made their case all about premiums, trying to find ways to give states and insurers flexibility to design plans that cost less. About half the people who buy individual health insurance policies are subsidized under Obama’s health law, but the rest are not, and many have faced stiff premium increases. The old saying about getting what you pay for still applies. Although many healthy customers would welcome plans with lower monthly premiums, the high cost of medical care isn’t going down. The easy way for insurers to reduce premiums is by covering less. A nonpartisan analysis of the House-passed Republican bill said the potential consequences could be severe. The Congressional Budget Office said that in states that take full advantage of the House plan’s waivers to insurance requirements, healthy people might flock to skinnier, lower-premium plans. Those in poor health left in comprehensive plans could face premiums that keep rising until they become unaffordable, because there would be fewer healthy people in those plans to share [...]


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New 'Blue Lives Matter' laws raise concerns among activistsFILE - In this July 7, 2016 file photo, Dallas police detain a driver after five police officers were shot in downtown Dallas. More than a dozen states this year have passed “Blue Lives Matter” laws that come down even harder on crimes against law enforcement officers. The new laws came in reaction to a spike in deadly attacks on police last year. Some civil rights activists fear the measures could set back police-community relations. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:20:00 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After a spike in deadly attacks on police, more than a dozen states have responded this year with "Blue Lives Matter" laws that come down even harder on crimes against law enforcement officers, raising concern among some civil rights activists of a potential setback in police-community relations. The new measures build upon existing statutes allowing harsher sentences for people who kill or assault police. They impose even tougher penalties, extend them to more offenses, including certain nonviolent ones such as trespassing in Missouri, and broaden the list of victims covered to include off-duty officers, police relatives and some civilians at law enforcement agencies. Proponents say an escalation of violence against police justifies the heightened protections. "What we're getting into as a society is that people are targeting police officers not by something that they may have done to them, but just because they're wearing that uniform," said Republican state Rep. Shawn Rhoads of Missouri, a former detective. People who have been protesting aggressive police tactics are expressing alarm. "This is another form of heightened repression of activists," said Zaki Baruti, an activist and community organizer from St. Louis County. "It sends a message to protesters that we better not look at police cross-eyed." Police deaths on the job have generally declined over the past four decades, from a recent high of 280 in 1974 to a low of 116 in 2013, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. But they rose last year to 143, including 21 killed in ambushes – the highest number of such attacks in more than two decades. Nearly all states already have laws enhancing the punishments for certain violent crimes against law officers. One year ago, Louisiana became the first state to enact a law adding offenses against police, firefighters and emergency medical responders to its list of hate crimes. More states began expanding their penalties after last summer, when five officers were killed in a July 7 sniper attack at a protest against police brutality in Dallas, and three more officers were slain in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 10 days later. Penalty enhancements have passed this year in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, most of which are led by Republicans. Similar bills are under consideration in other states. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt cited the case of Bradley Verstraete as one example of the need for such measures. Verstraete was accused of raising an ax handle against police officers responding to a disturbance call in 2015. Police shot and wou[...]


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Illinois lawmakers pass workers' compensation measuresIllinois state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Springfield on Friday, May 26, 2017. What qualifies as Illinois Democrats' spring compromise on cost-cutting changes to the workers' compensation program won Senate approval Friday, leaving derisive Republicans without a major, previously agreed-to cost-saving concession. Raoul sponsored one measure requiring state Insurance Department-approved rates based on market need. (AP Photo/John O'Connor)

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:20:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Senate Democrats made good Friday on their pledge to pick apart the workers’ compensation system at the behest of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, but the measures they approved brought only derision from the GOP. Majority Democrats endorsed one proposal that would require companies writing workers’ compensation insurance to get state approval for the rates they charge, and another that creates a nonprofit company – with government oversight – to write competitive policies. Here are some questions and answers about the web of rules that ensures compensation for employees injured while on the clock: Q: Why is this an issue when the state has no budget? A: Rauner has made cost-cutting workers’ comp changes a must before he’ll agree to an annual budget – something Illinois has been without for two years, longer than any state in modern history. Frustrated Democrats say they’re making major concessions because they overhauled the compensation system in 2011. Q: What is workers’ comp? A: A Progressive Era reform, Illinois was on the ground floor when it adopted the law in 1912. Workers previously had little recourse if they were hurt on the clock. Workers’ compensation created limited liability for employers and set speedy payment for an injured worker who agreed to forgo an uncertain court remedy. Q: Where does it stand? A: Rauner’s demand for workers’ comp reform goes back to when he was a gubernatorial candidate. After he became governor, Democrats told him their 2011 changes meant that medical and replacement-wage payments in Illinois dropped 20 percent, to $1.33 billion, from 2011 to 2015, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, an industry observer. Quoting state statistics, the Midwest Region of the Laborers’ International Union of North America reports that insurance premiums that Illinois employers pay for workers’ compensation coverage have gone up nearly 15 percent. Q: Why is there still a problem? A: That’s what Democrats have wondered. An expert, Democratic Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea, notes that NCCI has recommended a 29 percent reduction in workers’ comp insurance rates during the past seven years. Q: What did Democrats do? A: A Hoffman-initiated measure sponsored by Chicago Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul requires state Insurance Department-approved rates based on market need. It won approval, 32-20, but must return to the House for concurrence. The other, sponsored by Glenview Democratic Rep. Laura Fine and Evanston Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss, creates a nonprofit insurance company – with oversight from a government board – to push down rates by competi[...]


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McHenry County grand jury indictments

Fri, 26 May 2017 23:55:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County grand jury this past week indicted these people on these charges: • Yovani Ayala, 24, 358 Alma Terrace, Cary, aggravated battery, aggravated assault. • Paulina Maciantowicz, 29, 813 Hayden Drive, Johnsburg, disorderly conduct. • Eric M. Stefko, 39, 2605 Benjamin Drive, Wonder Lake, driving while license revoked subsequent offense. • Shauna C. Divoky, 37, 11401 Commercial St., Richmond, two counts of aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, two counts of domestic battery, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, criminal damage to property. • Santiago M. Jackson, 33, 20612 E. Route 173, Harvard, criminal trespass to residence. • Elmer O. Rodas-Murillo, 19, 460 Buckingham Lane, Crystal Lake, forgery. • Carlos Lucas, 30, 3710 S. Honore St., Chicago, theft over $500. • Anita Lopez-Quintero, 48, 1810 Powers Road, Woodstock, retail theft subsequent offense. • Rafael L. Torres, 45, 952 Chippewa Circle, Carpentersville, aggravated battery to a peace officer. • Jeremy D. Christopher, 27, 514 Highland Ave., Woodstock, aggravated battery. • Daniel R. Turner, 33, 5219 Miller Road, Wonder Lake, attempted fleeing or eluding a police officer, driving while license revoked. • Kenneth S. Nerpas, 1804 Kishwaukee Ave., Rockford, burglary, criminal damage to property. • Paul S. Benzinger, 29, 6118 Anvil Road, Crystal Lake, unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. • Danielle A. Boden, 27, 4905 Hill Road, Richmond, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. • Brett A. Clemens, 26, 4905 Hill Road, Richmond, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. • Roman Castro, 47, 651 Virginia Road, #326, Crystal Lake, two counts of unlawful possession with intent to delivery a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. • Wesley J. Tennison, 25, 1528 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. • Hizqeel Ahmed, 19, 10503 Hunter Trail, Huntley, unlawful possession of a controlled substance. • Garrett J. Verba, 36, 2701 Benjamin Lane, Wonder Lake, u[...]



Chicago firm will run $1 billion overhaul of Union StationGoettsch Partners/Riverside Investment & Development via AP This artist rendering provided by Riverside Investment & Development shows a view of the proposed changes to Union Station in Chicago. Officials in Chicago have chosen the real estate firm to run a $1 billion overhaul of the iconic building. The plans for the project were announced at a news conference Thursday in Chicago.

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:24:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Chicago’s historic Union Station will get an estimated $1 billion makeover that will include millions of square feet of office, retail and hotel space, according to details unveiled Thursday by Amtrak and the city.

The proposed commercial development will span about 3.1 million square feet, including a pair of 12-story residential towers, and is expected to take about six years to complete. On Thursday, officials announced Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development Co. would oversee the renovation of the station and surrounding Amtrak-owned properties.

Riverside officials called it a “transformative” project for Chicago.

“Adapting such an iconic building and transportation hub that serves so many is a responsibility we take very seriously,” Riverside CEO John O’Donnell said in a statement.

Union Station was built in 1925 and is one of the nation’s busiest rail terminals with about 120,000 daily passengers. Amtrak and Metra commuter trains use the station, which is adjacent to a major bus depot.

Plans for the overhaul have been in the works for years, with Amtrak and city transportation officials choosing four finalists to oversee the massive project last year.

Private funds will be used for the overhaul, city officials said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the project will generate thousands of jobs and ensure a “more vibrant future” for the city.

The project is expected to create about 7,500 construction jobs, along with up to 8,000 permanent jobs. Amtrak officials said they will negotiate final terms of the development agreement by the end of the year.

Union Station has recently undergone other renovations, including overhauling a passenger lounge.

Goettsch Partners/Riverside Investment & Development via AP This artist rendering provided by Riverside Investment & Development shows a view of the proposed changes to Union Station in Chicago. Officials in Chicago have chosen the real estate firm to run a $1 billion overhaul of the iconic building. The plans for the project were announced at a news conference Thursday in Chicago.


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Trump scolds NATO leaders, tells them to spend more for militaryAP photo President Donald Trump speaks with British Prime Minister Theresa May as they participate in a working dinner meeting during the NATO summit of heads of state and government Thursday at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Trump inaugurated the new headquarters during a ceremony with other heads of state and government.

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:24:00 GMT

BRUSSELS – Surrounded by stone-faced allies, President Donald Trump rebuked fellow NATO members Thursday for failing to meet the military alliance’s financial benchmarks, asserting that leaves it weaker and shortchanges “the people and taxpayers of the United States.” Trump, who has often complained back home about other nations’ NATO support, lectured the other leaders in person this time, declaring, “Many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years.” The president’s assertion immediately put NATO under new strain and did nothing to quiet questions about his complicated relationship with an alliance he has previously panned as “obsolete.” Notably, he also did not offer an explicit public endorsement of NATO’s “all for one, one for all” collective defense principle, although White House officials said his mere presence at the meeting signaled his commitment. Fellow NATO leaders occasionally exchanged awkward looks with each other during the president’s lecture, which occurred at an event commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. When Trump tried to lighten the mood with a joke about NATO’s gleaming new home base – “I never asked once what the new NATO Headquarters cost” – there was no laughter from his counterparts. NATO officials had expected Trump to raise the payments issue during Thursday’s meeting, even preparing Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg for the prospect that the president could try to pull off a stunt like handing out invoices. But one European official said NATO members were still taken aback by the aggressive tone of his speech. As a presidential candidate, Trump railed against NATO’s financial burden-sharing, suggesting the U.S. might only come to the defense of countries that meet the alliance’s guidelines – for committing 2 percent of their gross domestic product to military spending. A White House official said the president wanted to deliver the same direct message in front of NATO allies. Trump’s public scolding was all the more remarkable given the fact that he has actually backed away from some of his most provocative comments on foreign policy issues since taking office. He’s retracted his vow to label China a currency manipulator and has lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping. During a visit to Saudi Arabia this week, he called Islam one of the world’s great religions after declaring during the campaign that “Islam hates us.” But few issues appear to have as much staying power with Trump as the uneven financial contributions of NATO members. Last year, only five of the 28 countries met the 2 percent goal: the U.S., Greece, Britain, [...]


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Manchester bomber said to have pleaded 'Forgive me' before blastAP photo People line up Thursday to place flowers at St Ann's square in central Manchester, England. More than 20 people were killed in an explosion after an Ariana Grande concert at the venue late Monday evening. Britons will find armed troops at vital locations Wednesday after the official threat level was raised to its highest point.People look at tributes in a square in central Manchester, England, Thursday, May 25, 2017, ahead of a minute's silence for the victims of the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left more than 20 people dead and many more injured, as it ended on Monday night at the Manchester Arena. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:24:00 GMT

MANCHESTER, England – The alleged culprit in a deadly concert bombing was driven by what he saw as unjust treatment of Arabs in Britain, a relative said Thursday, confirming he made a final phone call in which he pleaded: “Forgive me.” Salman Abedi was particularly upset by the killing last year of a Muslim friend whose death he believed went unnoticed by “infidels” in the U.K., said the relative, speaking on condition of anonymity over concerns for her own security. “Why was there no outrage for the killing of an Arab and a Muslim in such a cruel way?” she asked. “Rage was the main reason,” for the blast that killed 22 at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on Monday, she said, speaking by telephone from Libya. The new insight into Abedi’s motivation came as Britons faced stepped-up security, authorities pushed forward with raids and the investigation extended across Europe into Libya, where most of the suspected bomber’s family lived. The number of arrests in the U.K. ticked up to eight as British Transport Police said armed officers would begin patrols on some trains because of an increased threat of terrorism. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said, without elaborating, that searches of suspects’ homes brought “very important” clues in the probe of the bombing. But leaks from the investigation were creating a trans-Atlantic diplomatic mess. Manchester police halted their sharing of investigative information with the U.S. through most of Thursday until receiving fresh assurance there would be an end to leaks to the media. British Prime Minister Theresa May, who spoke about the matter with U.S. President Donald Trump at a NATO summit in Brussels, said the countries’ partnership on defense and security was built on trust. But “part of that trust is knowing that intelligence can be shared confidently,” she said. Trump pledged to “get to the bottom” of the leaks, calling them “deeply troubling” and asking the Justice Department and other agencies to “launch a complete review of this matter.” British officials were particularly angry over photos published by The New York Times showing remnants of a blue backpack which may have held the explosive. But it wasn’t clear U.S. officials were the source of the images, which the Times defended as “neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims” and consistent with basic reporting “on weapons used in horrific crimes.” British security services also were upset that 22-year-old Abedi’s name was apparently leaked by U.S. officials while police in the U.K. continued withhold[...]


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Dr. Beach names Florida's Siesta Beach best beach in U.S.AP photo Visitors relax May 18 at Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Beach is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer, compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University.

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:24:00 GMT

SIESTA KEY, Fla. – The sand on Siesta Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast is as fine as powdered sugar, a pure, sparkling white and soft as a kitten’s fur – all because it’s comprised of 99 percent pure crushed quartz. For that reason, and many others, it was selected this year as the best beach in America by a professor who’s made a career ranking and studying beaches around the U.S. “The sand is outstanding,” said Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami’s Florida International University. “Every time I go there, I’ve got to take a bag home with me. It’s almost sacrilegious to walk on it with shoes on.” Other beaches that made the list this year, in order of ranking, are: Kapalua Bay Beach in Maui, Hawaii; Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; Grayton Beach State Park on the Florida Panhandle; Coopers Beach in Southampton, New York; Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod in Massachusetts; Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater, Florida; Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island, Hawaii; Coronado Beach in San Diego, California; and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. On a recent workday, Siesta Beach was packed with people, even though it wasn’t particularly sunny. The turquoise water was still gorgeous, the sand still fine. The beach is about 200 to 300 feet wide in some places, which means people can stretch out and not feel crowded. The beach was last year’s runner up and one of three in Florida on this year’s top 10 list. “It’s nice and clean, that’s what I look for,” said Jamie Gaskin, a 59-year-old retiree from Lakeland, Florida, who was scoping out the beach for a family Memorial Day party. She especially liked the two-story pavilion, which boasts a snack bar and restrooms. It’s only two years old and even offers sweet crepes for breakfast and tapas dishes in the early evening. “There’s plenty of tables to barbecue and to hang out. And the restrooms were nice and clean. I’d definitely recommend this,” she said. Siesta Beach is on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, and is located just southwest of downtown Sarasota. The water is placid on most days – Leatherman said you can measure the waves “in inches” – and is shallow and safe for swimming, with no sharp drop-offs. Added bonuses include lots of parking, a trolley service to and from the island’s adorable downtown area and plenty of lifeguards. The beach also has natural dunes, which is a bit rare for Florida, and the fine sand is excellent for building sand castles. “I look for kind of a balance between nature and a developed environm[...]


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Family sues Naperville high school, police over teen's death

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:21:00 GMT

WHEATON – The family of a Chicago-area teenager who allegedly took his own life by jumping from a parking deck is blaming the school he attended and police for his death.

Corey Walgren was accused in January by Naperville North High School officials of having child pornography on his phone and playing it for his friends. Attorney Terry Ekl said the 16-year-old had consensual sex with a girl, the sounds of which were on his phone.

Walgren's family said in their DuPage County court lawsuit that school officials and police caused him "emotional and psychological distress" during a disciplinary interrogation. The lawsuit also said officials were tardy in notifying his parents of Walgren's interrogation.

School officials refused to comment on the lawsuit. Naperville police officials said the school resource officer acted properly.




GOP senators say tough report complicates health care billSenate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of N.Y. speaks during a news conference about the Paris climate agreement, Wednesday, May 24, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:20:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Republicans senators conceded Thursday that a scathing analysis of the House GOP health care bill had complicated their effort to dismantle President Barack Obama's health care law. "It makes everything harder and more difficult," Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said of a Congressional Budget Office analysis projecting that the House bill would cause 23 million Americans to lose coverage by 2026 and create prohibitively expensive costs for many others. "There's blinking yellow lights throughout the whole thing," Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., said of the report by lawmakers' nonpartisan fiscal experts. Congress now begins a week-long recess, with GOP senators still hunting for a health-care overhaul plan that can win the support of no less than 50 of their 52 members. All Democrats seem likely to oppose the bill, and Vice President Mike Pence could break a 50-50 tie. While the analysis of the House-passed plan simply gives senators a numerical starting point for their own work, it also made the Republican health care drive a fatter target for Democratic attacks. And it highlighted how some provisions in the House bill would produce damaging consequences for many people. "The bottom line is very simple. Unless you're a healthy millionaire, Trumpcare is a nightmare," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "And I think that's why our Republican colleagues are having such trouble putting together their own bill." The House bill would relax many of the Obama statute's consumer protections, kill its mandate that people buy coverage, trim federal subsidies for insurance purchasers and cut the Medicaid program for lower-income and disabled people. Senate Republicans have been holding private meetings to narrow differences and produce their own health care package. They've said it will differ markedly from the House measure, including easing some Medicaid reductions and focusing tax credits for buying coverage more at poorer people. The No. 2 Senate GOP leader, John Cornyn of Texas, expressed optimism that senators were narrowing differences and said staff could "start work" over the recess on writing some language of a Senate bill, but he conceded, "There's nothing final." Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, "We're still a ways away from having solutions here." That's prompted increased talk of possibly breaking out a less ambitious bill aimed at keeping insurance markets stable over the next two years, Republicans say. That could involve providing money to insura[...]


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Census: Chicago loses population for 3rd consecutive year

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:20:00 GMT

CHICAGO – New Census figures show that Chicago has lost population for the third consecutive year as other major U.S. cities gained population.

Population estimates released Thursday found that Chicago lost 8,638 residents between 2015 and 2016. However, the city remains the nation's third-largest city with 2.7 million residents. Chicago trails behind New York with 8.5 million residents and Los Angeles, which has 4 million residents.

Demographers have cited many reasons for the shifts from dwindling immigration and fertility rates to families' concerns about city violence and cash-strapped schools.

Experts also have noted an overall trend with cities in the South continuing to grow at a faster rate than other U.S. regions. Census figures show 10 of the 15 fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more were spread across the South.




Sears revenue continues to decline amid tough landscapeThis Thursday, May 11, 2017, photo shows a Sears store in Hialeah, Fla. Sears Holdings Corp. reported earnings on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Sears’ extended decline in sales continued during the first quarter and the storied retailer vowed additional spending cuts to offset its slowing business. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Fri, 26 May 2017 05:20:00 GMT

NEW YORK – Sears' extended decline in sales persisted during the first quarter and the storied retailer vowed to make additional spending cuts to offset its slowing business. The company's operating loss widened to $222 million, or $2.15 per share, on weak sales. Sears Holdings has been closing stores and selling brands long affiliated with Sears, including Craftsman. A year ago the company reported a loss of $181 million. Still, the company registered a profit of $244 million, or $2.28 per share, counting a gain from the sale of assets. Its shares surged $1.63, or 22 percent, to $9.10 in trading Thursday. Revenue fell 20 percent, to $4.3 billion, and sales at established stores fell 11.9 percent. In March, Sears Holdings Corp. said there is "substantial doubt" it could continue as a viable concern, with intense pressure coming from companies like Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon.com. It has insisted that its actions to turn around its business should help reduce that risk. Asset sales have bought the retailer time, but it said recently that pension agreements may prevent the sale of more businesses, potentially leading to a shortfall in funding. Sears, which employs 140,000 people, announced in January that it would close 108 additional Kmart and 42 more Sears locations, and unveiled yet another restructuring plan in February. The company has lost more than $10.4 billion since 2011, the last year that it made a profit. "While this was certainly a challenging quarter for our company, it was also one that clearly demonstrated our commitment to return Sears Holdings to solid financial footing," Chairman Eddie Lampert said in a company release. "We recognize that we need to accelerate our efforts to improve our operational performance and are moving decisively with our $1.25 billion restructuring program." Lampert's hedge fund has forwarded millions in funding to keep Sears afloat. The company remains in a "tenuous" position, according to Evercore analyst Greg Melich, with operating losses showing no sign of improvement and sales in freefall. "Sears does not appear well positioned for the rest of 2017," Melich said, citing its weak store base, anemic sales and continued market share loss in most major categories. Prior to the market opening, shares of the Hoffman Estates, Illinois, company had dropped 20 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock had fallen 38 percent in the last 12 months. [...]


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