Subscribe: Local News
http://www.nwherald.com/?rss=news/local
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Local News

Northwest Herald



Recent news from Northwest Herald



 



Huntley High School cancels some after-school activities after bullets found at schoolPolice vehicles from Huntley and the Illinois State Police are parked at the main entrance to Huntley High School on Friday after a student found bullets in a hallway. The school was placed on lockdown. Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said police were talking to students and reviewing security video footage to determine where the bullets came from.A Huntley police officer arrives Friday at Huntley High School after a student found bullets in a hallway. The campus was put on lockdown. Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said police were talking to students and reviewing security video footage to determine where the bullets came from.Signs alerting visitors to the lockdown were posted on windows at the main entrance of Huntley High School. Leggee Elementary School, located just northwest of the high school, was also placed on soft lockdown as a precaution.Police vehicles from Huntley and the Illinois State Police are parked at the main entrance to Huntley High School on Friday after a student found bullets in a hallway. The school was placed on lockdown. Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said police were talking to students and reviewing security video footage to determine where the bullets came from.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:39:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Some after-school activities at Huntley High School were canceled Friday as police continued to search the building after the discovery of bullets in a school hallway. Police had completed the search as of Friday afternoon. Activities scheduled before 5:30 p.m. were canceled but activities after 5:30 p.m. were set to be held, Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said about 4:30 p.m. Friday. A police officer would be on-site at the school during activities “out of an abundance of caution,” Principal Scott Rowe said in a notice to parents. Officials put the school on lockdown after a student found two 9 mm bullets in the hallway outside the College and Careers office Friday morning. Klunk said police on the scene, 13719 Harmony Road, talked to students and reviewed security video footage to determine where the bullets came from. Police had completed an initial room-by-room search with K-9 units by Friday afternoon. Klunk said no additional bullets or causes for concern were discovered during the search. “We still have to review more video and talk to a few more students,” he said. “But at this point everything can pretty much go back to normal.” Students weren’t allowed to move between classrooms. No one was allowed to come into or go out of the building during the investigation during school hours. There is no known danger for students or the surrounding area, Klunk said. Leggee Elementary School, located just northwest of the high school, also was put on soft lockdown as a precaution, said Dan Armstrong, director of communications for Huntley School District 158. The lockdown was lifted and students were dismissed on schedule Friday afternoon, according to a notice from the district. Several cars waited outside the high school in attempt to pick up students inside during the incident. Huntley High School parent Laura Dour said she had dropped her daughter off at school five minutes before the lockdown, which is why she was at the school. “They are going to be in these classrooms the rest of the day,” Dour said. “I’m not worried. I’ve been watching the cops and they are walking pretty calm, and the kids know what is going on. It’s more just [waiting out] the investigation.” Kara Calder said she experienced a similar situation. She had been scheduled to pick up her sister for a blended class, but the lockdown was in place when she arrived. “I feel like they have it somewhat under control,” Calder said. “[My sisters] have been texting me. … They just keep saying it’s going to be an all-day thing and the only way they are going to release people is if they do it one by one and search everyone.” It’s not the first time in recent months local police and the district have had to work together. A Marlowe Middle School student was charged with a hate crime and disorderly conduct in October after posting a threatening video on social media. Another case of racially motivated threats toward a District 158 student was investigated by Huntley police in November. Police vehicles from Huntley and the Illinois State Police are parked at the main entrance to Huntley High School on Friday after a student found bullets in a hallway. The school was placed on lockdown. Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said police were talking to students and reviewing security video footage to determine where the bullets came from.A Huntley police officer arrives Friday at Huntley High School after a student found bullets in a hallway. The campus was put on lockdown. Huntley Deputy Police Chief Michael Klunk said police were talking to stude[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/859a6af22c26461db0fce60805948a9e/3ed05da0-d29a-46d5-9310-e68815c9f82f/image-pv_web.jpg




Women to march with aim to become a political forceAP photo Jeri Burton makes a sign Jan. 17 in preparation for a rally in Las Vegas.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:38:00 GMT

A year after more than 1 million people rallied at women’s marches worldwide with a message of female empowerment and protest against President Donald Trump, activists will return to the streets this weekend in hopes of converting anger and enthusiasm into political force. The 2017 rally in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of similar marches created solidarity for those denouncing Trump’s views on abortion, immigration, LGBT rights and more. Since then, a wave of women decided to run for elected office and the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct became a cultural phenomenon. “We made a lot of noise,” said Elaine Wynn, an organizer. “But now how do we translate that noise into something concrete or fulfilling?” Along with hundreds of gatherings Saturday and Sunday across the U.S. and in places such as Beijing, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Nairobi, Kenya, a rally Sunday in Las Vegas will launch an effort to register 1 million voters and target swing states in the midterm elections. Linda Sarsour, one of the four organizers of last year’s Washington march, said Las Vegas was targeted for a major rally because it’s a strategic swing state that gave Hillary Clinton a narrow win in the presidential election and will have one of the most competitive Senate races in 2018. Democrats believe they have a good chance of winning the seat held by embattled Republican Sen. Dean Heller and weakening the GOP’s hold on the chamber. Wynn, president of the Nevada State Board of Education and former wife of casino mogul Steve Wynn, said women make up half of the state’s congressional delegation, including Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who became the first Latina in the U.S. Senate in 2016. Nevada also has one of the highest percentages of female state lawmakers in the country, and women are mayors of its three largest cities. Organizers say Nevada is also a microcosm of larger national issues like immigration, as well as the debate over gun control after the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. Following the October massacre, the rally will be held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ stadium 10 miles southeast of the famous Strip where a gunman opened fire onto a concert, killing 58 people. Authorities have kept details confidential about security at the 40,000-seat stadium. Minnie Wood, a nurse practitioner who participated in the 2017 gathering in Las Vegas, said she was left with a sense of solidarity and “this feeling of almost a quickening, this resistance brewing.” It also laid the groundwork for the recent movement that brought a reckoning for powerful men accused of sexual misconduct, Sarsour said. “I think when women see visible women’s leadership, bold and fierce, going up against a very racist, sexist, misogynist administration, it gives you a different level of courage that you may not have felt you had,” she said. Many women inspired by last year’s massive marches have sought higher office, such as Mindi Messmer, a 54-year-old environmental scientist from Rye, New Hampshire. Messmer was a state legislator when she attended the 2017 march in her state capital of Portsmouth. She’s now a candidate for the seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, a fellow Democrat. “Last year was really empowering and uplifting at a time when we women feel we are being assaulted on a daily basis,” she said. Other women running for Congress include newcomer Chrissy Houlahan, who hopes to unseat a Republican in suburban Philadelphia, and Sara Jacobs, a former aide to Barack Obama, seeking the Southern California seat held by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Darrel[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/20/63b3ea4ce7dc4562a0450e6e855d1b28/cc9338ef-374c-4727-a2af-2b9fdb8dfc6a/image-pv_web.jpg




Border wall models thwart U.S. commandos in testsAP file photo Prototypes of border walls are seen Oct. 26 in San Diego. Rigorous testing of prototypes of President Donald.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:37:00 GMT

SAN DIEGO – Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico indicate their imposing heights should stop border crossers, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the rigorous assessment told The Associated Press. Military special forces based in Florida and U.S. Customs and Border Protection special units spent three weeks trying to breach and scale the eight models in San Diego, using jackhammers, saws, torches and other tools and climbing devices, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not authorized for public release. A Customs and Border Protection report on the tests identifies strengths and flaws of each design but does not pick an overall winner or rank them, although it does point to see-through steel barriers topped by concrete as the best overall design, the official said. The report recommends combining elements of each, depending on the terrain. The official likened it to a Lego design, pulling pieces from different prototypes. Carlos Diaz, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said the agency is still in “the testing phase” and that results are being evaluated. He said combining elements of different prototypes instead of picking a winner is consistent with previous statements by officials. He noted that the agency said in its bidding guidelines that a minimum height of 18 feet would be a key characteristic. He said he did not have additional details on test results. Contractors were awarded between $300,000 and $500,000 for each prototype. Prototypes were built last fall to guide future construction of one of Trump’s signature campaign pledges. Four were concrete and four were made of other materials. Ronald Vitiello, the agency’s acting deputy commissioner, said after visiting the prototypes in October that he was struck most by the 30-foot heights, which are significantly higher than existing barriers. Taller barriers are undoubtedly more effective, but whether the cost is justified will be up for debate. The highly trained testers scaled 16 to 20 feet unassisted but needed help after that, said the official who described the assaults on the wall prototypes to the AP. Testers also expressed safety concerns about getting down from 30 feet. Only once did a tester manage to land a hook on top of the wall without help, the official said. Tubes atop some models repelled climbing devices but wouldn’t work in more mountainous areas because the terrain is too jagged. The report favors steel at ground level because agents can see what is happening on the other side and holes can more easily be patched, the official said. With concrete, large slabs have to be replaced for even small breaches, which is time-consuming and expensive. Topping the steel with smooth concrete surfaces helps prevent climbing. Customs and Border Protection leaders were scheduled to be briefed on the findings this week amid intensifying discussions between the White House and Congress on immigration legislation to avert a government shutdown and renew protection for about 800,000 young immigrants who were temporarily shielded from deportation under an Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which is scheduled to end in March. The administration has insisted wall funding be part of any immigration deal but Trump has been unclear about how long the wall would be and how it should be designed. The administration has asked for $1.6 billion this year to build or replace 74 miles of barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and San Diego and plans to request another $1.6 billion next year. A proposal by Customs and Border Protection called for spending $18 billion over 10 years to extend barri[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/a7c524fcd45e4c99959970d337dbdc3c/2377c123-b9c0-4a80-9f58-8ca3c9026a8d/image-pv_web.jpg




Vegas gunman studied SWAT tactics, music siteAP photo The view of foyer of room 32-135 towards a sitting area of the interior of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock's 32nd floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel is seen in October in Las Vegas.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:37:00 GMT

LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas gunman meticulously planned the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, researching SWAT tactics, renting other hotel rooms overlooking outdoor concerts and investigating potential targets in at least four cities, authorities said Friday. But almost four months after Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded more than 800 others with a barrage of bullets from the Mandalay Bay casino-hotel, investigators still have not answered the key question: Why did he do it? Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo released a preliminary report on the Oct. 1 attack and said he did not expect criminal charges to be filed against Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who had been called the only person of interest in the case. Investigators believe Paddock acted alone, and he did not leave a suicide note or manifesto. Paddock, who killed himself before police reached him, told friends and relatives that he always felt ill, in pain and fatigued, authorities said. His doctor thought he may have had bipolar disorder but told police that Paddock refused to discuss the possibility, the report said. The doctor offered him antidepressants, but Paddock accepted only a prescription for anxiety medication. He was fearful of medication and often refused to take it, the doctor told investigators. During an interview with authorities, Paddock’s girlfriend said he had become “distant” in the year before the shooting and their relationship was no longer intimate. When they stayed at the Mandalay Bay together in September 2017, Paddock acted strangely, she told investigators. She remembered him constantly looking out the windows overlooking an area where the concert would be held the next month. He moved from window to window to see the site from different angles, the report said. She described him as “germaphobic” and said he had strong reactions to smells. The 64-year-old retired accountant was a high-stakes gambler and real estate investor. He had lost a “significant amount of wealth” since September 2015, which led to “bouts of depression,” the sheriff has said. But Paddock had paid off his gambling debts before the shooting, according to the report. Prior to the attack, Paddock’s online searches included research into SWAT tactics and consideration of other potential public targets, including in Chicago, Boston and Santa Monica, California, the sheriff said. His research also sought the number of attendees at other concerts in Las Vegas and the size of the crowds at Santa Monica’s beach. Among his searches was “do police use explosives,” the report said. Four laptops and three cellphones were found inside his hotel suite. On one of the computers, investigators found hundreds of photos of child pornography. The same computer was used to search for the height of the Mandalay Bay, how to remove hard drives from laptops, the location of gun shows in Nevada and information about several other Las Vegas casinos. Paddock’s brother, Daniel Paddock, was arrested in Los Angeles in October in an unrelated child pornography investigation. He has pleaded not guilty. Authorities have said they found no link between the attack and international terrorism. Paddock fired more than 1,100 bullets, mostly from two windows on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, into a crowd of 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival music below, Lombardo has said. That includes about 200 shots fired through his hotel room door into a hallway where an unarmed hotel security guard was wounded in the leg a[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/ade6392a02bc4e14adc764ffe12816cd/3c397840-fa75-4c29-8106-9989f26d90d2/image-pv_web.jpg




Trump bends, but doesn’t break, ways of Washington in year 1AP file photo President Donald Trump sits at his desk after a meeting with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (left), and members of his staff in the Oval Office of the White House in 2017 in Washington.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:37:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – In his first year in office, President Donald Trump has frequently bent Washington to his will, shattering long-standing norms, plunging politics to a new level of corrosiveness and wielding his executive power to start rolling back his predecessor’s policies on the environment, education and America’s role around the world. But at times, Trump’s Washington can also look strikingly similar to the era before presidential directives were delivered by tweet. Hyperpartisanship and legislative gridlock still reigns. Many of the same issues that bedeviled previous presidents now sit unresolved on Trump’s desk, including North Korea’s nuclear threats and the fate of millions of people living in the U.S. illegally. And rather than draining the “swamp” – Trump’s term for Washington’s medley of lobbyists, special interest groups and high-dollar donors – several of the president’s allies are diving in to share in the riches. “If you stop and look back at his first year, it’s been two tales,” said Sara Fagen, who served as White House political director for President George W. Bush. That paradox positions Trump on the anniversary of his inauguration as both a transformational figure and a temporary captain of a ship too large to turn quickly. He commands Washington and the world’s attention, but has struggled to use his bully pulpit to win support for his policies or bolster his standing with Americans, who overwhelmingly disapprove of his time in office. He’s waged unprecedented battles with his own party’s congressional leaders and the courts, but expressed deep frustration to friends and advisers about the way both branches of government can curtail a presidency that he believed would hold more unilateral power. “There are some basic institutions and a basic culture in Washington that no one person can change,” said Charlie Black, a longtime Republican operative. White House officials and other Trump advisers say the president has succeeded during his first year in office in challenging the status quo in Washington, from pulling out of a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade pact that had support in both parties to declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel over the objections of national security advisers and overseas allies. Trump allies blame setbacks over the past 12 months not on the president, but on lawmakers – including Republicans – who aren’t yet willing to follow his lead. “As the president used to say on the trail, politicians are all talk, no action,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser. “He’s inherited a Republican Party that doesn’t know how to govern.” Trump’s most glaring struggle to reshape the capital has come in his dealings with Congress, an institution that remains as polarized as it was the day he took office. Despite having Republican control of both chambers, Trump signed just one major piece of legislation during his first year in office – a sweeping tax overhaul that passed in December on GOP votes alone. In the opening weeks of 2018, lawmakers are grinding through a process that became all too familiar during the Obama administration: A struggle just to keep the government funded. A midnight Friday deadline loomed, with no concrete plan for avoiding a shutdown in sight. Lawmakers in both parties have blamed at least some of the past year’s legislative struggles on Trump’s frequent inability to articulate a clear vision of his priorities and the gaps that often seem to exist between the president and his advisers. In the midst of the shutdown negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers were still trying to “figure out wha[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/20/1a92ad2e13b24f44a9528fb857128f13/bbc44a3b-40ab-4aa3-bf48-45b0dbef0ffd/image-pv_web.jpg




Pope to indigenous: Amazon is ‘heart of the church’AP photo Flanked by Bishop David Martinez and Father Bruco Cadore, Pope Francis speaks to indigenous groups Friday in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. Standing with thousands of indigenous Peruvians, Francis declared the Amazon the "heart of the church" and called for a three-fold defense of its life, land and cultures.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:37:00 GMT

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru – From deep in the scorching Amazon rainforest, Pope Francis demanded Friday that corporations stop their relentless extraction of timber, gas and gold from God’s “holy ground,” and called on governments to recognize the indigenous peoples living there as the primary forces in determining its future. Bare-chested and tattooed native families, many sporting feathered and beaded headgear, interrupted Francis repeatedly with applause, wailing horns and beating drums as history’s first Latin American pope declared the Amazon and its indigenous peoples the “heart of the church.” In the highlight of his weeklong trip to Chile and Peru, Francis warned that the Amazon people are now more threatened than ever before, and called for a three-fold defense of their life, their land and their cultures. “You are a living memory of the mission that God has entrusted to us all: the protection of our common home,” the pope said. Francis traveled to the steamy city of Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to Peru’s Amazon, before even calling on President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a protocol-bending change to the itinerary undertaken because of weather concerns that had the unintended effect of signaling that the Amazon natives were Francis’ top priority in Peru. Francis did meet later with Kucyznski in the presidential palace in Lima, where he blasted corruption as a “social virus” that must be stopped – a charged comment given the Peruvian president is under investigation in Latin America’s biggest corruption scandal. Francis’ trip to the Amazon came as the expansion of illegal gold mining, new roads, dams and farming have all turned thousands of acres of once lush green forest into barren, contaminated wastelands. In his landmark 2015 encyclical, “Praise Be,” Francis demanded world leaders do more to protect what he called “one of the lungs” of God’s creation, and denounced the profit-at-all-cost business interests behind its steady demise. The issue is so important to the Argentine pope that he has called a global church meeting next year on the Amazon and its native peoples. Friday’s encounter served in many ways as an unofficial opening to the synod, giving the native peoples themselves the floor. “The sky is angry and is crying because we are destroying the planet,” Hector Sueyo, a member of the indigenous Harakbut people, told the pope in between performances of traditional songs and dance in a stadium in Puerto Maldonado. Yesica Patiachi, also Harakbut, told Francis that loggers, oil workers and gold diggers all come to their lands to take the resources without even consulting with the indigenous people whose ancestors have lived there for centuries, cutting their trees, killing their fish and polluting their rivers with runoff that turns them into “black waters of death.” “We ask you to defend us,” she said to applause. Answering the call, Francis condemned big businesses that want to “lay their hands on” the Amazon’s riches. But he also criticized conservation efforts that claim to preserve the rainforest but end up walling off vast swaths of its resources from the people who live there and need it to survive. “These problems strangle her peoples and provoke the migration of the young due to the lack of local alternatives,” he said. “We have to break with the historical paradigm that views the Amazonia as an inexhaustible source of supplies for other countries without concern for its inhabitants.” He said it was “essential” for governments and other institutions to [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/20/d5741cd172b54f5fa754d09dee80cc4f/444062cf-978d-44e6-a086-afbef550d1be/image-pv_web.jpg




U.S. government shuts down; Dems, GOP blame each otherSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, as a bitterly-divided Congress hurtles toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:36:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction. Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century. The slide toward closure lacked for high drama: The Senate vote was all but predetermined, and since the shutdown began at the start of a weekend, many of the immediate effects will be muted for most Americans. Still, it comes with no shortage of embarrassment for the president and political risk for both parties, as they wager that voters will punish the other at the ballot box in November. Social Security and most other safety net programs are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed. After hours of closed-door meetings and phone calls, the Senate scheduled its late-night vote on a House-passed plan. It gained 50 votes to proceed to 48 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster. A handful of red-state Democrats crossing the aisle to support the measure, rather than take the politically-risky vote. Four Republicans voted in opposition. In an unusual move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allowed the roll call to exceed 90 minutes – instead of the usual 20 or so – seemingly accommodating the numerous discussions among leaders and other lawmakers. Still as midnight passed and the calendar turned, there was no obvious off-ramp to the political stalemate. Each party expressed resolve in its position – and confidence that the other would suffer the wrath of voters. Even before the vote, Trump was pessimistic, tweeting, “Not looking good” and blaming the Democrats who he said actually wanted the shutdown “to help diminish the success” of the tax bill he and fellow Republicans pushed through last month. Democrats balked on the measure in an effort to pressure on the White House to cut a deal to protect “dreamer” immigrants – who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally – before their legal protection runs out in March. The president watched the results from the White House residence, dialing up allies and affirming his belief that Democrats would take the blame for the shutdown, said a person familiar with his conversations but not authorized to discuss them publicly. Predictably, both parties moved swiftly to blame one another. Democrats laid fault with Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House and have struggled with building internal consensus. Republicans declared Democrats responsible, after they declined to provide the votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate over their desire to force the passage of legislation to protect some 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation. Republicans branded the confrontation a “Schumer shutdown” and argued that Democrats were harming fellow Americans to protect “illegal immigrants.” Trump had brought Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to the White House Friday afternoon in hopes of cutting a deal. But the two New Yorkers, who pride themselves on their negotiating abilities, emerged without an agreement, and Republicans and Demo[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/20/f1bb3930b9ca4328ae5fe8bb806a426f/267026d2-6087-48a4-b1d5-d42799788473/image-pv_web.jpg




Prosecutors to seek death penalty in scholar caseAP file photo Brendt Christensen is seen in a photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill. U.S. prosecutors told a judge Friday, Jan 19, 2018, that they will seek the death penalty for the 28-year-old man charged with the kidnapping and killing of a University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang from China, also broaching new allegations that he choked and sexually assaulted someone five years ago.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:35:00 GMT

CHICAGO – U.S. prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a former physics student charged with the kidnapping and killing of a University of Illinois scholar from China, they told a judge in a Friday filing that also made a new allegation that the 28-year-old suspect once choked and sexually assaulted someone else years ago. The filing in U.S. District Court in central Illinois provides several reasons for why the death penalty is called for in Brendt Christensen’s case, including because he allegedly tortured 26-year-old Yingying Zhang before killing her. It didn’t say how. The new allegation is that Christensen “choked and sexually assaulted” someone referred to only by the initials “M.D.” in 2013 in central Illinois. He has not been charged in that alleged assault. Christensen also once expressed his aspiration “to be known as a killer,” the filing said. Zhang disappeared June 9 on her way to sign an apartment lease off campus in Urbana, some 140 miles southwest of Chicago. She had arrived on campus in April and had just missed a bus when Christensen lured her into his car, prosecutors said. They also said Zhang is dead, though her body hasn’t been found. Christensen, who earned a master’s degree in physics from the University of Illinois, has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping resulting in death. His trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 27, though his attorneys have said previously they would need more time to prepare, especially if the government intended to seek the death penalty. Illinois abolished the death penalty in 2011, years after then-Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions, citing doubts about the guilt of several of those on death row. Although capital punishment is available under federal law, prosecutors typically seek it in cases involving terrorism or multiple deaths. Among other factors Friday’s five-page filing said justifies the death penalty was the “heinous, cruel, or depraved manner” of the crime and that it involved “planning and premeditation,” as well as what the document says is Christensen’s “lack of remorse.” “The victim was particularly vulnerable due to her small stature and limited ability to communicate in English,” the filing said. A message seeking comment from Christensen’s attorney, Robert Tucker, wasn’t immediately returned. Zhang, who received her master’s degree in environmental engineering in China in 2016, had hoped to eventually land a professorship and help her family in China out financially. Her father, a sometime-semitrailer driver, traveled from China to Illinois in June for the search. Her disappearance prompted a massive search that drew international media attention, particularly from China. Other disturbing details in the case emerged after Christensen’s arrest last year. Months before Zhang went missing, his phone was used to visit the website FetLife.com, including to view threads titled “Perfect abduction fantasy” and “planning a kidnapping,” prosecutors said. FetLife described itself as “the Social Network for the BDSM, Fetish & Kinky Community,” stressing in policy statements that it’s a place for consenting adults. The acronym BDSM stands for bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism. Users provide their ages, genders and roles they wish to play, but otherwise remain anonymous. AP file photo Brendt Christensen is seen in a photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill. U.S. prosecutors told a judge Friday, [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/7862e703ba0247d0af3c37305c9b258a/692ab955-c736-47c2-a9ef-f73e1147e3f6/image-pv_web.jpg




Coroner identifies Rockford woman killed Wednesday in crash near Union

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:34:00 GMT

UNION – The McHenry County coroner has identified a Rockford woman killed in a Wednesday night crash.

The crash occurred about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 17000 block of Route 176, about a half-mile east of North Union Road near Union. It was one of two fatal crashes that occurred overnight in McHenry County.

Sarah E. Wells, 27, of Rockford died of blunt trauma to the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said.

Union Fire, Marengo Rescue and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. Wells was driving west in a 2005 Honda Civic when she crossed the center line and hit a 2007 Jeep Cherokee, police said.

The Marengo man driving the Jeep was critically injured in the crash and taken to Centegra Hospital – Huntley and later transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. His condition was not known Friday afternoon by Majewski’s office.

Cellphone use is suspected as a contributing factor, according to police, and the crash remains under investigation.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/31af4a4dcebe4dc9be13c20698790e3f/7b08f498-ee8e-4b48-aa81-f35996a8b3e4/image-pv_web.jpg




Algonquin woman fractures ankle at track meet, sues District 155, Diocese of Rockford

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:34:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – An Algonquin woman who said she was permanently injured after she tripped and fell in a foot-deep hole at a local track meet is moving forward with a lawsuit against Community High School District 155 for allowing the property to fall into disarray, according to a lawsuit.

Rose Zaffina filed an amended complaint in the case last week. Her lawsuit, first filed in May, also names the Diocese of Rockford, which is associated with the Catholic school St. Thomas the Apostle that hosted the sporting event at District 155’s Prairie Ridge High School.

On May 7, 2016, Zaffina went to the school at 6000 Dvorak Drive, Crystal Lake, to watch her son compete. While walking down a hill in a field that surrounds the school’s football field and track, Zaffina tripped and fell into a hole that was about a foot deep, the suit states. The fall fractured Zaffina’s ankle, requiring her to get surgery. Now she’s seeking at least $50,000 in damages. The public school district’s attorneys said the school isn’t responsible for the woman’s injuries.

The suit accuses District 155 of neglecting the field and allowing it to become overgrown with grass and weeds that concealed about 15 holes.

“… prior to May 7, 2016, as a result of constant use and degradation from the weather, numerous holes were created throughout the grassy hills,” the suit stated.

Zaffina’s attorney, Martin Gould, could not be reached for comment.

Both District 155 and the Diocese of Rockford have asked McHenry County Judge Thomas Meyer to dismiss the lawsuit.

The district has said school officials aren’t responsible for any injuries that happen on “recreational” property, citing an Illinois law that offers some protections to public property.

Attorney Babak Bakhtiari, who is representing District 155, declined to comment on the pending case.

Representatives from the Diocese of Rockford could not be reached for comment Friday.

Zaffina claims the district, the Catholic school and the Diocese of Rockford knew or should have known about the dangers. The suit claims at least one person was seriously injured after tripping and falling on the hill a year or two before the track meet Zaffina attended and that maintenance crews had reported the hills were “steep” and “dangerous.”

She also accused the district of not having in place any policies to make sure that people visiting the football field area were safe.

The lawsuit accuses District 155 of negligence and willful and wanton conduct. It claims the Catholic school and the Diocese of Rockford also were negligent.

District 155 is required to file a response to Zaffina’s complaint by Feb. 2, according to a judge’s order.

The case is scheduled to resume Feb. 15.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/568d7b4b21664ce7aea676854862034c/9fc367ec-b1d6-40fd-b52a-19b1a60e8704/image-pv_web.jpg




Road conditions may have been a factor in fatal head-on crash near Hebron

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:34:00 GMT

HEBRON – The McHenry County coroner has identified a Woodstock woman who was killed in a head-on crash Thursday when the driver of the vehicle reportedly lost control on a patch of snow on Route 173 near Hebron.

Silvia Ortiz-Ayala, 44, of Woodstock died of blunt trauma to the spine, chest and abdomen at Harvard Mercy Medical Center after a crash in the 9800 block of Route 173 east of Hebron, according to a news release from McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski.

The crash was the second fatal crash in McHenry County in a three-hour period and sent two other people to the hospital.

The two-vehicle crash occurred about 12:20 a.m. Thursday when a 20-year-old Woodstock woman driving a 2004 Mazda Tribute east on Route 173 hit a patch of snow and lost control of the car, according to the release. Ortiz-Ayala was in the front passenger seat of the Mazda.

The Mazda crossed the center line and struck a 2010 Dodge Journey heading west on Route 173. The 56-year-old Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, woman driving the Dodge Journey was taken to a local hospital.

Majewski said her office did not know the condition of the drivers involved.

The crash remains under investigation by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Accident Investigation Unit. The sheriff’s office hadn’t released additional details about the crash as of Friday afternoon or the names of the two drivers.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/bcddde01edf44656b468f84cb90966e0/74497db7-99d8-44fa-a43c-8e51a6c1c60a/image-pv_web.jpg




Algonquin Township officials discuss 'probable' lawsuits in executive sessionAlgonquin Township Trustee Melissa Victor speaks during a meeting Dec. 13.Algonquin Township residents wait for officials to return from executive session at a special meeting held Friday.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 04:45:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Taxpayers could be on the hook for more legal fees if new lawsuits are filed regarding Algonquin Township employees and elected officials – and township leaders are getting prepared. After less than 10 minutes of open session at a special meeting Friday afternoon, officials went into executive session to talk about pending and “probable” litigation, township attorney James Kelly said. Discussion during executive session can be kept secret under provisions of the state’s Open Meetings Act. Trustees and Supervisor Charles Lutzow declined to comment on what they talked about for more than an hour behind closed doors. However, township sources said the officials expect to field lawsuits related to recent flare-ups among public officials – including the firing of Ryan Provenzano, the supervisor’s former chief of staff, and video footage with audio showing Clerk Karen Lukasik looking through records with Fox River Grove Trustee Jennifer Curtiss. Provenzano, a political insider who earned more than $33 an hour in two Algonquin Township offices, was fired Tuesday. Lutzow has not said why he fired his chief of staff and banned him from the premises. Provenzano’s roles in two offices raised questions from some township officials and road district employees who contend that his hiring was the product of patronage and cronyism. Provenzano could not be reached for comment Friday on his cellphone. The Republican had agreements in place to earn $32 an hour and $63,000 a year working full time as the chief of staff in Lutzow’s office, and another deal working part time as deputy highway commissioner at the Algonquin Township Highway Department, where he made $33 an hour. It is unclear if Provenzano will continue working for the road district. Other litigation may sprout from a 15-minute video obtained by the Northwest Herald that shows Lukasik and Curtiss riffling through records inside the supervisor’s office – but officials would not comment on what that litigation might entail. The video spurred Trustee Rachael Lawrence to call for the clerk’s resignation – but Lukasik, who had a key to the township office where the camera recorded her, said the video is misleading and she only was doing her job: organizing, taking inventory and securing township records. The security camera footage underscores the turmoil that has turned Algonquin Township into a hostile political environment engulfed with infighting and secrecy. Trustees said they are tired of the township’s involvement in expensive litigation – officials have approved more than $312,000 in legal bills since June of last year. “The legal fees are completely out of control, and the legal fees need to stop,” Trustee Melissa Victor said. “This has turned into a political game – not about what is right or wrong. It needs to end.” Algonquin Township officials called the special meeting to approve more than $700 in backlogged bills to pay two contract workers who plowed snow. Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser failed to submit a bill to pay the workers before the township’s Jan. 10 meeting. Gasser did not return phone calls to his cellphone and office phone Friday. Residents showed up more interested in witnessing the latest drama. “This is not good public [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/514ea3f3993849f4ad242006cdf840ee/01463d41-9a5f-4db1-b727-9ded7055bd47/image-pv_web.jpg




Crystal Lake police reports

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 02:24:00 GMT

Information in police reports is obtained from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments. Individuals listed in police reports who have been charged with a crime have not been proven guilty in court. • Alexis N. Tucci, 18, of the 900 block of Golf Course Road, Crystal Lake, was charged Sunday, Sept. 24, with domestic battery, aggravated battery of a peace officer, consumption of alcohol by a minor and resistance to an officer. • Douglas M. Enders Jr., 37, of the 2400 block of MacArthur Drive, McHenry, was charged Sunday, Sept. 24, with domestic battery. • Richard C. Chafton Jr., 34, of the 700 block of Dartmoor Drive, Crystal Lake, was charged Saturday, Sept. 30, with interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, aggravated domestic battery and domestic battery. • Eric J. Wyatt, 56, of the 100 block of Greenfield Avenue, Crystal Lake, was charged Monday, Oct. 16, with domestic battery. • Brittany A. Hale, 20, of the 100 block of Robinson Drive, Morris, was charged Tuesday, Oct. 31, with criminal damage to a property or school. • Judith L. Roesslein, 63, of the 0 to 100 block of N. Briarwood Road, Crystal Lake, was charged Thursday, Nov. 2, with domestic battery. • Chrystian Bochnia, 27, of the 100 block of Crystal Lake Road, Lake in the Hills, was charged Sunday, Nov. 5, with battery. • Jesse L. Keel, 36, of the 100 block of Stewart Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Wednesday, Nov. 8, with criminal trespass to residence and criminal damage to property. • Ryan A. Boyko, 22, of the 4500 block of Hanover Drive, Crystal Lake, was charged Friday, Nov. 10, with possession of drug paraphernalia. • Matthew R. Kleinke, 38, of the 9400 block of Route 176, Crystal Lake, was charged Sunday, Nov. 12, with driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent and driving under the influence of alcohol. • Lauren A. Eilken, 29, of the 300 block of South Oriole Triangle, Crystal Lake, was charged Thursday, Nov. 16, with child endangerment. • Michaela L. Notman, 19, of the 1300 block of Skyridge, Crystal Lake, was charged Thursday, Nov. 16, with domestic battery. • Paul P. Pisciotto, 52, of the 0 to 100 block of Timberhill Drive, Crystal Lake, was charged Monday, Nov. 20, with domestic battery. • Elvis Presley Jackson, 55, of the 100 block of S. Crandall Court, Crystal Lake, was charged Tuesday, Nov. 28, with violation of a no stalking/no contact order. • Matthew R. Kleinke, 38, of the 9400 block of Route 176, Crystal Lake, was charged Friday, Dec. 1, with domestic battery and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. • Deon L. Woodrome, 42, of the 0 to 100 block of High Road, Cary, was charged Wednesday, Dec. 20, with domestic battery, resisting arrest, obstruction, driving on a revoked license and an in-state warrant. • Christopher J. Lamping, 46, of the 0 to 100 block of West Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake, was charged Tuesday, Dec. 26, with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident. • Susan A. Pena, 65, of the 600 block of Cress Creek Lane, Crystal Lake, was charged Thursday, Dec. 28, with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08 [...]



Supreme court OKs wrongful death suit against former NIU fraternity, sorority membersSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com "In its historic opinion today, the Illinois Supreme Court holds that hazing is a scourge and that young men who plan and participate in it, and young women who agree and join in it will be held civilly liable to the victims and their families to the fullest extent of the law," Peter Coladarci, the Bogenberger family's lawyer, said during a news conference Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 in Chicago.Gary and Ruth Bogenberger react while DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack speaks to the media after court in May 2015. The Bogenbergers' lawsuit against 22 men and 16 women who were at a fraternity hazing ritual in 2012 that led to their son's death was largely reinstated by the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com "In its historic opinion today, the Illinois Supreme Court holds that hazing is a scourge and that young men who plan and participate in it, and young women who agree and join in it will be held civilly liable to the victims and their families to the fullest extent of the law," Peter Coladarci, the Bogenberger family's lawyer, said during a news conference Friday.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:56:00 GMT

CHICAGO – The family of a Northern Illinois University fraternity pledge who died from excessive drinking at an initiation ceremony in 2012 can proceed with their lawsuit against all of the people who were there that night, the Illinois Supreme Court held Friday. Peter Coladarci, lawyer for the family of David R. Bogenberger, said the decision could help to stop hazing on college campuses around the state. "In its historic opinion today, the Illinois Supreme Court holds that hazing is a scourge and that young men who plan and participate in it, and young women who agree and join in it will be held civilly liable to the victims and their families to the fullest extent of the law," Coladarci said Friday at the Union League Club in Chicago. Justices upheld the finding of lower courts that Bogenberger's family could not file a wrongful death suit against the national chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, but can sue the local chapter, its local members and the local sorority women who were present that night. "Although the national organization has been dismissed by the Supreme Court in this case, the fact that individual members may be held liable for significant damages to the victims means that national fraternities and sororities need to take action to stop hazing in their name," Coladarci said. Bogenberger, one of three triplets from Palatine, was a 19-year-old pledge at NIU's Eta Nu chapter of the national Pi Kappa Alpha, or "Pikes," fraternity. In November 2012, he and 18 other pledges attended an unsanctioned party, at which fraternity members and other guests ordered pledges to drink vodka out of four-ounce cups, authorities have said. The pledges drank alcohol for about two hours while playing a game in which they were assigned “moms” and “dads” whose identities they were supposed to guess. The morning after the event, Bogenberger was found dead. Toxicology results showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.351 percent at the time of his death. Coladarci said his BAC reached 0.43 during the night. He drank about 27 ounces of vodka – more than a pint and a half – in 75 minutes. "We’re encouraged by the ruling," Ruth Bogenberger, David's mother, said. "It’s been my husband’s and my goal from the beginning to shed a light on hazing, its dangers, and to protect future pledges. In our opinion, it’s a step in the right direction.” Bogenberger’s family filed suit in 2013 against 22 men, 16 women, the landlord for the Pikes fraternity house, the NIU chapter and the national fraternity organization. Cook County Judge Kathy Flanagan dismissed the case in 2014, finding that a person providing or serving alcohol bears no responsibility for consequences to the person who drinks it. This is known as "social host liability." But the majority opinion of the court found that this was a case of hazing, rather than a simple party. "We would be turning a blind eye if we failed to acknowledge the differences between a social host situation and an alcohol-related hazing event," read the majority opinion, which was written by Justice Charles Freeman. "A social host situation involves the sale or gift of alcohol. An alcohol-related hazing event involves the required consumption of alcohol in order to gain admission into a school organization in violation of Illinois’s hazing statute."  Initially, five fraternity members faced felony hazing charges in con[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/0e716c225dc54aaf9eaa8e0dbc947f57/2f44ffaa-55e6-45bf-9905-8d10accb3bd1/image-pv_web.jpg




Government shutdown looms; blame game already in full swingSen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to reporters as he walks towards the Senate as Congress moves closer to the funding deadline to avoid a government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:45:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – A bitterly divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported. Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that cleared the House Thursday evening, seeking to shape a subsequent measure. That could expose them to charges that they are responsible for a shutdown, but they point the finger at Republicans instead. "They're in charge," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday as he entered his Capitol office. "They're not talking to us. They're totally paralyzed and inept. There's no one to negotiate with." Republicans controlling the narrowly split chamber argue that it's the Democrats who are holding the government hostage over demands to protect "dreamer" immigrants brought to the country as children and now here illegally. As a shutdown loomed, the White House said Friday that President Donald Trump would not leave for a planned weekend in Florida unless a funding bill passes. Trump had been set to leave Friday afternoon to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration at his Palm Beach estate. Trump entered the fray early Friday morning, mentioning the House-approved bill on Twitter, adding: "Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate — but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!" Administration officials said Trump had been actively engaged, calling lawmakers late into the night Thursday. They said the White House remained hopeful that a deal would be reached, arguing that Democrats would be blamed for a shutdown. Republicans made the same argument. "Democratic senators' fixation on illegal immigration has already blocked us from making progress on long-term spending talks," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "That same fixation has them threatening to filibuster funding for the government." In the House, Republicans muscled the measure through on a mostly party-line 230-197 vote after making modest concessions to chamber conservatives and defense hawks. House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately summoned reporters to try to pin the blame on top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York. A test vote on a filibuster by Senate Democrats appeared likely before the shutdown deadline of Friday at midnight. Schumer was rebuffed in an attempt to vote Thursday night. "We can't keep kicking the can down the road," said Schumer, insisting on more urgency in talks on immigration. "In another month, we'll be right back here, at this moment, with the same web of problems at our feet, in no better position to solve them." The measure would be the fourth stopgap spending bill since the current budget year started in October. A pile of unfinished Capitol Hill business has been on hold, first as Republicans ironed out last fall's tax bill and now as Democrats insist on progress on immigration. Talks on a budget deal to ease tight spending limits on both the Pentagon and domestic agencies are on hold, as is progress on a huge $80 billion-plus disaster aid bill. House GOP leaders sweetened the pending stopgap measure with legislation to extend for six y[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/f1bb3930b9ca4328ae5fe8bb806a426f/ddd383c6-291b-4ea8-9eae-a1669faec5d5/image-pv_web.jpg




Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bidFILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon announced Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that it has narrowed down its potential site for a second headquarters in North America to 20 metropolitan areas, mainly on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:04:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Chicago officials vowed Thursday to step up the competition to lure Amazon’s headquarters after the company named the city among the top 20 locations in the running for a facility that promises 50,000 jobs.

Amazon narrowed the list of 238 proposals from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, to 20 finalists, also including Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest. The Seattle-based company plans to announce the winner later this year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago offers “unparalleled opportunities” with its qualified workforce, higher education institutions and quality of life.

“We are prepared to compete at the next level and the next level after that,” he said in a statement.

Chicago, which teamed up with state officials for the bid, only has released some details, touting the possibility of 10 different sites in the region. One in the city’s downtown core includes space in the Willis Tower. Two are in the suburbs.

However, officials have kept details on possible tax breaks and incentives quiet. The city denied Freedom of Information Act requests from The Associated Press, sending 82 pages of nondisclosure agreements between Chicago, its nonprofit economic development arm and companies.

– Wire report

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon announced Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that it has narrowed down its potential site for a second headquarters in North America to 20 metropolitan areas, mainly on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/d08a3d8949d34707acc8b49d807ceb70/98e208a0-8aaf-4557-999b-07bb295c207d/image-pv_web.jpg




Year-old 'resistance' now sets it sights on the ballot boxAP photo Linda Sarsour (right) and Carmen Perez, co-chairs of the Women's March on Washington, speak during an interview in 2017 in New York.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:46:00 GMT

The idea first came to Teresa Shook, a Hawaii retiree, in the hours after Donald Trump was elected. Perhaps, she suggested to a few friends on Facebook, women could march on Washington to show the depth of their resistance. Two days later, New York fashion designer Bob Bland joined the call for action with her own message. “Who wants to join me?!?” she asked. Turns out, a whole lot of people did. The astounding sea of women in bright pink “pussy hats” – half a million in Washington alone, and many more in hundreds of marches elsewhere – became the face of the resistance to Trump and his agenda. It inspired thousands of women to do something they’d never done before: Explore a run for political office. The jolt of energy, and unity, also laid the cultural groundwork, many believe, for the “#MeToo” phenomenon to catch fire later in the year, calling powerful men to account for sexual misconduct. Now, the loosely defined “resistance movement” – a network of groups around the nation, with men and women raising money and knocking on doors and supporting hundreds of progressive candidates – is setting its sights on the 2018 midterm elections, hoping to deal the White House and the all-GOP government in Washington a permanent setback. Next stop for the Women’s March organizers: Las Vegas. Rather than returning to Washington, they’re holding a “Power to the Polls” rally in the Nevada city on Sunday, launching a voter registration tour and putting out the message that the next step is all about votes. “The year 2018 is really where the rubber meets the road,” said Linda Sarsour, one of the original organizers along with Bland. A year on, Sarsour said what she’s proudest of is that “the march set the tone for the resistance ... if you look at so many of the fights that happened this year, whether it be around health care, the tax bill, the Dreamers, if you really look, it was led by women.” The group pointedly decided to spend the anniversary in a battleground state, won narrowly by Hillary Clinton in November. “If it can happen in Nevada, it can happen anywhere,” Sarsour said. Nevada also is at the crossroads of crucial issues such as immigration and gun control, she said. In October, it suffered the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Fueling these electoral ambitions is an infusion of first-time women candidates. Emily’s List, which helps Democratic, pro-abortion rights candidates run for office, proudly has kept a tally all year of women who’ve expressed interest in running, via its website. More than 26,000 women have done so since the women’s march, compared only with 920 in the two years before, said its president, Stephanie Schriock. The group has been buoyed by recent state legislative victories in Virginia – where it focused on 16 races, and its candidates won 13 of them – and by this week’s victories of two Wisconsin candidates. “We’re still recruiting hundreds of candidates, until the last filing deadline,” Schriock said. “There’s a decade of candidates coming.” Debbie Walsh of Rutgers University, who’s been studying women in politics for 35 years, said she had initially feared that women would be discouraged from seeking office by Clinton’s defeat. “There was this instantaneous resp[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/04dfb0ee665849d5bc88e2f6595f7ac0/0224ec4b-4060-4205-bcf3-de9ea5d67af7/image-pv_web.jpg




Prosecutor: Parents who tortured children were 'depraved'Members of the media work outside a home Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, where police arrested a couple on Sunday accused of holding 13 children captive, in Perris, Calif. Authorities said an emaciated teenager led deputies to the California home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, with some of them malnourished and chained to beds. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:46:00 GMT

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A California couple tortured a dozen of their children for years, starving them to the point that their growth was stunted, chaining them to their beds for months at a time and forbidding them from showering more than once a year or using the toilet, a prosecutor said Thursday.

“The victimization appeared to intensify over time,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in announcing charges. “What started out as neglect became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse.”

David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, were charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment. David Turpin also was charged with performing a lewd act on a child under age 14.

The parents were jailed on $12 million bail each after pleading not guilty Thursday at their first court appearance.

Members of the media work outside a home Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, where police arrested a couple on Sunday accused of holding 13 children captive, in Perris, Calif. Authorities said an emaciated teenager led deputies to the California home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, with some of them malnourished and chained to beds. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/1aeef27725864f0aa75d036996394c80/e8d3b3a1-a42f-46d2-99d9-02686e607d7e/image-pv_web.jpg




Illinois governor to air ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretapAP file photo J.B. Pritzker announces his run April 6 for Illinois governor in Chicago. Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign said Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, that Rauner is launching campaign ads this weekend featuring 11 minutes of conversations between Pritzker, a top Democratic rival and now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich captured on FBI wiretaps.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:46:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has reserved 30-minute time slots on TV stations across Illinois for infomercial-like campaign ads featuring FBI recordings of conversations between a top Democratic rival and now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The ads, which include 11 minutes of discussions between billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker and Blagojevich, are a highly unusual and expensive pre-emptive strike by Rauner, who’s considered the most vulnerable GOP governor seeking re-election. Pritzker, a billionaire businessman, still faces five candidates for the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ March 20 primary. Rauner’s campaign said the move is a response to Pritzker’s statements that an ad released last week was selectively edited. That ad included a portion of audio captured on FBI wiretaps in which Blagojevich and Pritzker discuss the possibility of Blagojevich appointing Pritzker attorney general. Pritzker is heard saying, “That’s a deal I would take.” “J.B. Pritzker is part of the corruption and cronyism that has plagued Illinois for decades,” the Rauner campaign said in a statement. “The people of Illinois deserve better.” The campaign didn’t disclose what time or on which channels the ads would air, or how much the airtime cost. Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen noted that Pritzker never was accused of wrongdoing. “Bruce Rauner is desperately trying to interfere in the Democratic primary because he can’t defend his failed record and because he doesn’t want to face J.B. Pritzker in November,” she said. Blagojevich, a Chicago Democrat, was convicted of wide-ranging corruption in a 2011 trial and later sentenced to 14 years in prison. Several convictions involved his bid to trade an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president for campaign cash. Audio recordings from FBI wiretaps in late 2008 of telephones in Blagojevich’s campaign office played prominently in the disgraced politician’s trial, but none included conversations with Pritzker. Audio not presented at the trial is sealed under a court order, but the Chicago Tribune obtained the Pritzker-Blagojevich conversations and reported them in May. Slayen said hundreds of people spoke with Blagojevich at the time. Rauner’s campaign had to reserve 30-minute time slots for the extended ad because TV stations do not sell ad time in increments long enough to play the full wiretap recordings. Portions of the ad will air twice during the half-hour segments, which will appear on network and cable channels statewide this weekend. Travis Ridout of Washington State University – co-director of The Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks and analyzes all broadcast ads for state and federal election candidates – said the average cost of a 30-second TV ad in the U.S. is $500 to $600. Thirty seconds during prime time in Chicago, however, can run $10,000, he said. “The intended audience for this is the news media,” Ridout said. “It keeps the story in the news for another day, the connection between Pritzker and Blagojevich, whom I guess no one likes.” The impact of such an expensive purchase of television time for what amounts to being a mini-infomercia[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/2543e6fe4c9a40b3a485011ee15c8d4d/cb043bed-1287-4646-9273-9d25fe89f6f4/image-pv_web.jpg




Ark. health officials say 150 people exposed to measles

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:46:00 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Health said about 150 people were exposed to measles after an ill traveler flew from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Little Rock.

Officials said those exposed to measles include passengers on United Airlines Flight 5314 on Jan. 10, as well as people in the University of Arkansas at Medical Science’s emergency room on Jan. 11. Chief medical officer Gary Wheeler said they should contact the health department to verify they have been vaccinated.

Wheeler told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the ill passenger traveled from outside the U.S. for a new job in Arkansas and developed measles symptoms en route.

Illinois health officials said two unrelated measles cases have been reported this month involving passengers at O’Hare, which is the nation’s third-largest airport by passenger volume.




House votes to avert federal shutdown, Senate chances dimAP photo House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. (center), accompanied by his Press Secretary AshLee Strong, walks to the Capitol Building on Thursday from the Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:46:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – A divided House voted Thursday to prevent a government shutdown after an eleventh-hour deal brought conservatives aboard. But the GOP-written measure faced gloomy prospects in the Senate, and it remained unclear whether lawmakers would be able to find a way to keep federal offices open past a Friday night deadline. The House voted by a near party-line 230-197 vote to approve the legislation, which would keep agency doors open and hundreds of thousands of federal employees at work through Feb. 16. The measure is designed to give White House and congressional bargainers more time to work through disputes on immigration and the budget that they’ve tangled over for months. House passage was assured after the House Freedom Caucus reached an accord with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The leader of the hard-right group, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Ryan promised future votes on extra defense spending and on a conservative, restrictive immigration bill. Meadows also spoke to President Donald Trump. But most Senate Democrats and some Republicans were expected to oppose the measure when it reaches that chamber later Thursday. Democrats were hoping to spur slow-moving immigration talks, while a handful of Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., were pressing for swifter action on immigration and a long-sought boost in Pentagon spending. Senate rejection would leave the pathway ahead uncertain with only one guarantee: finger-pointing by both parties. The GOP controls the Senate 51-49 and will need a substantial number of Democratic votes to reach 60 – the number needed to end Democratic delaying tactics. Republicans were all but daring Democrats to scuttle the bill and force a shutdown because of immigration, which they said would hurt Democratic senators seeking re-election in 10 states that Trump carried in 2016. “If there’s a government shutdown – and let’s hope there’s not – it’d be the Democrats shutting it down,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. Democrats said voters would fault Republicans because they control Congress and the White House and because Trump shot down a proposed bipartisan deal among a handful of senators that would have resolved the conflict over how to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. “You have the leverage. Get this done,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said about Republicans. Trump himself weighed in from Pennsylvania, where he flew to help a GOP candidate in a special congressional election. “I really believe the Democrats want a shutdown to get off the subject of the tax cuts because they’re doing so well,” he said. If the measure stalls in the Senate, the next steps were murky. Barring a last-minute pact between the two parties on spending and immigration disputes that have raged for months, lawmakers said a measure financing agencies for just several days was possible to build pressure on negotiators to craft a deal. Also imaginable: lawmakers working over the weekend with a shutdown underway – watched by a public that has demonstrated it has abhorred such standoffs in the past. Shadowing everything is this N[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/19/d9d4f06448b84025bf70f258f302f557/e3a75958-b87d-4a7d-9dd7-de9a0219bb8a/image-pv_web.jpg




Former Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Ken Caudle retiresFormer Huntley Fire Chief Ken Caudle poses for a portrait Jan. 16, 2016, in Huntley. Caudle, who was put on administrative leave amid an open investigation, has retired from the Huntley Fire Protection District.Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Scott Ravagnie was sworn in as chief, taking over for former Fire Chief Ken Caudle. Caudle, who was put on administrative leave amid an investigation, has retired from the Huntley Fire Protection District.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:40:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – A former Huntley Fire Protection District chief who had more than two years left on his six-figure contract gave up his rank before retiring amid an investigation.

Ken Caudle, who was put on administrative leave in the summer, has retired from the district.

The former fire chief continued to get his $119,240 salary while on leave until he retired Jan. 5, Fire Chief Scott Ravagnie said.

“The case is closed,” Ravagnie said, declining to comment further on details of the investigation.

Caudle resigned as fire chief Aug. 15 and returned to the rank of battalion chief before being placed on paid administrative leave “pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation,” according to district documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Officials have not said what they were investigating.

When asked Thursday about why he retired, Caudle said, “It was time to retire, and there was no reason for it.”

Former Fire Chief Jim Saletta, who now is a district trustee, said the fire district’s board is meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the annex building, 11118 Main St., to vote on Caudle’s retirement.

“We’re not going to comment on [the results of the investigation],” Saletta said. “... At this point, I would assume that we would accept his retirement.”

Caudle, who was 49 years old at the time he was placed on leave, said he does not plan on taking any other jobs right now, and he is “just enjoying retirement.”

Before he stepped down, a contract for Caudle in his role as fire chief took effect in May and was set to run through April 2020, district documents show.

The Northwest Herald submitted a Freedom of Information Act request Thursday seeking all documents regarding the investigation into Caudle.

Attempts to reach district board President Milford Brown on Thursday were not successful.

Former Huntley Fire Chief Ken Caudle poses for a portrait Jan. 16, 2016, in Huntley. Caudle, who was put on administrative leave amid an open investigation, has retired from the Huntley Fire Protection District.Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Scott Ravagnie was sworn in as chief, taking over for former Fire Chief Ken Caudle. Caudle, who was put on administrative leave amid an investigation, has retired from the Huntley Fire Protection District.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/04e2adbf7ea2455b89b22224d64946d2/e8ed7f5f-9a97-425e-8020-20b38928683b/image-pv_web.jpg




Metra adding trains to accommodate Women's March in ChicagoParticipants gather Jan. 21 near Grant Park for the Women's March Chicago.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:40:00 GMT

Metra is adding trains to its busiest lines Saturday to accommodate riders attending the Women’s March in Chicago.

Additional trains will run on the BNSF, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West lines, according to a news release from Metra. Customers should listen to station announcements and check metrarail.com for extra train times.

Other lines will run on regular schedules and will have expanded seating capacity. Trains likely will be too crowded to allow bicycles, according to the release.

An estimated 250,000 people took to the streets as part of the Women’s March Chicago last year. About 670 marches in all 50 states and 32 counties – the largest in Washington, D.C. – took place to unite people and send a message to newly inaugurated President Donald Trump.

This year’s march, called March to the Polls, will start with music and a video at 9 a.m. Saturday at Grant Park in Chicago, according to Women’s March Chicago’s website. A rally will begin at 11 a.m.

The goal of the march is to “celebrate the spirit of the resistance efforts over the past year and unite to focus on the 2018 elections and beyond,” according to the website.

Participants gather Jan. 21 near Grant Park for the Women's March Chicago.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/96d661f479b34301a6d601d9e20f5f4a/7c337f6d-18cf-4f43-93c7-3960bed31328/image-pv_web.jpg




Students evacuate Lake in the Hills elementary school after 'small electrical fire'

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Students at a Lake in the Hills elementary school eventually were able to return to classes Thursday after administrators spotted a small electrical fire in the school’s kitchen area.

School District 300 spokesman Anthony McGinn worked Thursday morning to calm anxious parents’ fears on Facebook after students at Lincoln Prairie Elementary, 500 Harvest Gate, were evacuated because of a reported fire.

“Earlier this morning, administration contacted the fire department after observing smoke near the kitchen area at Lincoln Prairie Elementary,” McGinn said in a post about 10:30 a.m.

Firefighters found a small electrical fire in the kitchen and extinguished it.

Students temporarily were relocated to Lake in the Hills Village Hall “to err on the side of caution,” McGinn said.

This also allowed firefighters to better access the building and assess the incident. An air quality test confirmed that it was safe for students to return.

No one was injured in the incident, and students ate lunch and finished classes in the building.

Additional staff was on-site to assist if needed, according to the post. McGinn asked parents to have patience when calling the school because it was receiving a high volume of calls.

Anyone with concerns also can contact the District 300 office at 847-551-8300.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/22a48864ac1841aaa4fab5ce338531ce/a48bb529-e3ea-476b-9b6c-dd634e69deff/image-pv_web.jpg




Florida man in McHenry County Jail faces sex abuse, assault chargesManuel A. Rivera, 61, of the 7000 block of North Interbay Boulevard, Tampa, Florida, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

McHENRY – A 61-year-old Florida man remained at the McHenry County Jail on Thursday on charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a young girl with a physical disability.

McHenry police filed a complaint June 30 in McHenry County court accusing Manuel A. Rivera of sexually assaulting a girl younger than 13 on May 16. Rivera, of the 7000 block of North Interbay Boulevard, Tampa, Florida, also is accused of sexually abusing a girl with a physical disability June 28.

He was arrested on a warrant and brought to the jail in Woodstock on Wednesday. Rivera is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. If he is convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, Rivera could be sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison.

Although the police complaint refers to one of the alleged victims as “physically handicapped,” there is no mention of a physical disability in Rivera’s official indictment.

McHenry police could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Rivera’s bond is set at $150,000, meaning he must post $15,000 bail to be released, jail records show.

He is due in court Monday.

Manuel A. Rivera, 61, of the 7000 block of North Interbay Boulevard, Tampa, Florida, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/c98b2ed1adaf4019b94d034c28f6e715/341e50f4-0265-4d85-9420-38d22c9665d1/image-pv_web.jpg




Algonquin man facing life in prison declines 2 plea deals, moves forward with trialRichard Lampp is charged with criminal sexual abuse and sexual assault in two separate cases.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A 57-year-old Algonquin man facing child sex assault charges chose to risk a natural life sentence in prison at trial rather than accepting either of the plea deals prosecutors offered Thursday. Richard Lampp, of the 100 block of Brook Street, appeared in court Thursday morning with Assistant Public Defender Grant Tucker. Lampp was expected to make a decision on a negotiated plea that was offered to him earlier this month, after prosecutors threatened to press new child pornography charges based on recently discovered evidence. Lampp is charged in two separate cases with predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a child, predatory criminal sexual abuse and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. A conviction in both cases would mean natural life in prison. Tucker met privately Thursday with McHenry County Judge James Cowlin and McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein before Lampp made a decision. Attorneys returned at 1:30 p.m. to hear his decision, which was to decline the initial plea deal and move forward with a trial against Tucker’s recommendation. Cowlin asked whether Lampp understood that not accepting the plea meant potentially spending life in prison if he were convicted. Lampp said he understood. “It’s likely the state is going to revoke its offer and not revive it,” Cowlin said. With relatives of one of the three girls Lampp is accused of abusing in the gallery, prosecutors again met briefly with Tucker before offering Lampp another negotiated plea, which he also declined. Tucker and Eisenstein previously had declined to comment on the terms of the original negotiated plea. Neither could be reached for comment about Thursday’s hearing, and terms of the deal were not discussed in open court. The victim’s relatives attended Thursday’s court hearing because they were told Lampp likely would take the deal, the family members said. Lampp previously worked as a manager at Colonial Cafe in Crystal Lake, a restaurant employee confirmed Thursday. He is accused of inappropriately touching a girl younger than 17 between January and December 2014, according to a complaint filed in McHenry County court. Charges in another case allege that Lampp assaulted a girl younger than 13 in July 2016. At least one of the girls was someone Lampp knew, according to the complaint. He was arrested Aug. 26, 2016, and additional charges were filed against him in a separate case Sept. 8 of that year. Trials set for earlier this month in both cases were delayed when prosecutors learned about five pornographic pictures of children believed to have been found on Lampp’s electronic devices. One of the photos is believed to include a child who Lampp is accused of abusing. At the time, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office said it anticipated filing more charges. Lampp could get new trial dat[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/c9b6e398c5054093a13d006f4666c811/baa6bae3-c92c-4dd0-b714-4468dcd994f7/image-pv_web.jpg




Rockford woman dies, Marengo man in critical condition after Union crashShaw Media file photo

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

UNION – A 27-year-old Rockford woman died and a 24-year-old Marengo man is in the hospital after a Wednesday night crash on Route 176 north of Union, police said.

There were two fatal crashes in McHenry County overnight Wednesday, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said. The other killed a 44-year-old Woodstock woman on Route 173 east of Hebron.

Union firefighters responded about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday to the 17000 block of Route 176, about a half-mile east of North Union Road near Union, to a reported crash after Marengo firefighters had spotted it while responding to another call, Union Assistant Fire Chief Tim Camp said.

A Rockford woman in a 2005 Honda Civic was driving west on Route 176 and veered into the oncoming lane of traffic for unknown reasons, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. The Honda collided with a 2007 Jeep Cherokee driven by a 24-year-old Marengo man, police said.

The Rockford woman died at the scene. The Marengo Rescue Squad took the man to Centegra Hospital – Huntley with a leg injury, and it later transferred him to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he remained stable but in critical condition, police said.

Investigators suspect cellphone use was a contributing factor in the crash, according to the release. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crash Investigation Unit and McHenry County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate the crash.

Both drivers were the sole occupants of their vehicles, and both were wearing seat belts.

The crash closed the road for several hours overnight.

Shaw Media file photo


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/d48e5563233747d1a4029a4bd4e38e07/489737a4-1e4e-4143-9d8a-192abf05c426/image-pv_web.jpg




44-year-old Woodstock woman killed in crash near Hebron

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

HEBRON – A 44-year-old Woodstock woman died Thursday after a head-on crash on Route 173 east of Hebron that sent two others to the hospital.

Police and fire crews were called about 12:20 a.m. Thursday to the 9800 block of Route 173 for the second fatal crash in McHenry County in a three-hour period, according to a news release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

A 20-year-old Woodstock woman had been driving a 2004 Mazda Tribute east on Route 173 when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle traveled into the westbound lane, police said. The 44-year-old woman was in the passenger seat.

A 56-year-old Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, woman was driving a 2010 Dodge Journey west and collided with the Mazda when it drifted into her lane, police said.

The 44-year-old was taken to Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center – Harvard, where she later died. Both drivers were taken to Centegra hospitals with injuries.

Air bags deployed in both vehicles. Police said drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Major Crash Investigation Unit and McHenry County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate the incident.

The Hebron-Alden-Greenwood Fire Protection District, Wonder Lake Fire Protection District, Richmond Township Fire Protection District, Spring Grove Fire Protection District, Mercy MD-1 and Flight for Life responded to the crash.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/e430df776abd423ca0c774effcb181ca/44cf3c06-ed33-43dd-8c14-a97b2431190a/image-pv_web.jpg




VIDEO: Surveillance footage shows Algonquin Township clerk riffling through records with Fox River Grove officialThis screenshot from surveillance video footage shows Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik (left) and Fox River Grove Trustee Jennifer Curtiss inside Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow's office. Lukasik said the video is misleading and she only was doing her job.This screenshot from surveillance video footage shows Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik (left) and Fox River Grove Trustee Jennifer Curtiss inside Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow's office. Lukasik said the video is misleading and she only was doing her job.Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:38:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – After hidden camera footage surfaced of Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and a friend thumbing through records after hours, one township trustee is calling for the clerk to step down. A 15-minute video with enhanced audio obtained by the Northwest Herald shows Lukasik and Fox River Grove Trustee Jennifer Curtiss riffling through records inside Supervisor Charles Lutzow’s office. Lukasik, who had a key to the township office where the camera captured her, said the video is misleading and she only was doing her job: organizing, taking inventory and securing township records. At 12 minutes, 19 seconds into the video, Curtiss asks Lukasik, “Karen, do you have authority to go through this stuff?” “I can do whatever I want,” Lukasik says. The video – showing Lukasik taking pictures of certain records, including the salary of Lutzow’s former chief of staff, Ryan Provenzano, disturbed Trustee Rachael Lawrence. “The conduct exhibited by public officials Karen Lukasik and Jennifer Curtiss in this video is shocking and disappointing,” Lawrence said. “Secretly riffling through my trustee mailbox, employee personnel files and desks, as well as confidential financial aid recipients’ files, I believe to be extremely inappropriate, if not illegal. I condemn her actions as unprofessional and unworthy of the public’s trust, and call for her immediate resignation.” Although Lukasik contends that she did nothing wrong, the 15-minute video underscores the turmoil that has turned Algonquin Township into a hostile political environment engulfed with infighting and secrecy. The video footage also helps close a chapter on the mystery surrounding one of four Nest security cameras township officials bought last summer. Footage of the clerk was recorded on a hidden Nest security camera, said Lukasik and other township officials familiar with the matter. The camera had been tucked into a bookshelf inside Lutzow’s office, overlooking the desk of Provenzano, who was fired Tuesday morning. The video likely was recorded in June, shortly after the clerk took office, Lukasik said. “I had just been sued,” Lukasik said. “I got sued by [Highway Commissioner] Andrew Gasser [who said] I had intent to destroy records. ... I was doing my job.” At one point in the video, Lukasik opens a filing cabinet filled with records. “Let’s see,” she says, putting a hand to her chin.  She runs a hand over the records and closes the cabinet. She opens the filing cabinet next to it. Curtiss walks into the room. She looks around, and within seconds, reaches inside a mailbox and pulls out a document. She reads it aloud. “Ms. Lawrence,” Curtiss says, reading from a letter tucked into Lawrence’s mailbox, “I have these files from a township attorney. You may keep these for your personal files. Thank you.” Seconds later, Curtiss says, “Where were the bills?[...]Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/64e5315d415041cc86c41e767827420e/b959984d-9901-42e5-9010-ebeed1ac4f84/image-pv_web.jpg




Tentative settlement in Cary-Grove student's lawsuit against District 155 is pending board approvalCary Mayor Mark Kownick and Crystal Lake-based Community High School District 155 are being sued by a Cary-Grove High School senior who alleges that school administrators restrained his First Amendment rights when Kownick spoke at the school in September.The Community High School District 155 Board's Strategic Planning Committee met Thursday to talk staffing and curricular adjustments for the 2018-19 school year, before adjourning to two separate executive sessions.Cary-Grove High School senior Matt Ahmann

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:38:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Community High School District 155 officials are nearing a settlement with a Cary-Grove High School student who filed a federal lawsuit against the district after he was suspended for using a smartphone to take video of Cary’s mayor speaking at the school. Cary-Grove senior Matthew Ahmann alleges that administrators discouraged him from speaking before Mayor Mark Kownick visited one of his classes to give a speech, and they later suspended him for posting recordings of the mayor’s speech online. A court document filed Jan. 12 states that the two parties “have reached a tentative settlement pending approval from the board,” referring to the District 155 board. On Thursday night, the board’s Strategic Planning Committee met and adjourned twice to executive session. Board President Adam Guss said between executive sessions that the board is “not there yet” regarding any action related to the suit, but that if a consensus was reached by Friday, a corresponding item could be on the district’s regular board meeting agenda, set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Attorneys for the district and for Ahmann declined to comment before Thursday’s meeting. The suit alleges that the conduct of Kownick and Cary-Grove Dean Jim Kelly was a “prior restraint upon” Ahmann’s First Amendment rights. Ahmann is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and requesting his suspension records be expunged. The lawsuit stems from a Sept. 26 incident in which Kownick gave a speech about government and politics at the high school, according to the lawsuit. Before presenting, however, Kownick approached Kelly about Ahmann’s “prior political activity” and asked that he be restrained from saying or doing anything during the mayor’s speech, the suit stated. Kelly approached Ahmann, pulled him away from others and “forcefully instructed” him not to say or do anything during Kownick’s speech, the suit states. Ahmann is a moderator of an online group that discusses political topics and has criticized Kownick’s politics in the past, according to the lawsuit. He’s listed as the admin of a private Facebook group called Cary-Grove Politics. Weeks after the mayor’s visit, Ahmann posted video and audio recordings of Kownick’s speech online. The student’s attorney stated in the lawsuit that because the recordings were of a political figure performing his public duties, Ahmann had the right to post them online. On Oct. 12, Ahmann was given a one-day in-school suspension for “inappropriate cellphone use in class without permission,” the lawsuit states. Ahmann accused school administrators of not letting him appeal the suspension. Cary Mayor Mark Kownick and Crystal Lake-based Community High School District 155 are being sued by a Cary-Grove High School senior who alleges that school administrators restrained his First Amendment rights when Kownick spoke at the school in September.[...]The Communi[...]Cary-Grove High School senior Matt Ahmann


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/dc0639156ef1409db3d0a2312efd006d/acac473e-994e-4179-8d7c-28847d1dad11/image-pv_web.jpg




Correction

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:37:00 GMT

A story on page A13 in Wednesday’s edition incorrectly cited the high school Ryan Provenzano attended. Provenzano attended Marian Central Catholic High School. The Northwest Herald regrets the error.




McHenry Downtown Theater holds grand opening, ribbon-cuttingEmployees Samantha Hildebrandt (left), 18, of Wonder Lake and Hailey Yolo, 17, of Round Lake prepare food while getting ready for the opening of the McHenry Downtown Theater on Wednesday. The theater, located downtown near the McHenry Riverwalk, will have three screening rooms – one with 113 seats, one with 133 seats and a third with 60 seats. Arcade games and concessions also will be available.Manager Scott Dehn of McHenry demonstrates how to use the projector Wednesday at the McHenry Downtown Theater. The theater, located near the McHenry Riverwalk, will have three screening rooms – one with 113 seats, one with 133 seats and a third with 60 seats. Arcade games and concessions also will be available.Employees Sam Grant (left), 16, Will Kokoruz, 17, and Logan Von Allen, 17, practice on the computer Wednesday while getting ready for the opening of the McHenry Downtown Theater.After a lengthy renovation, the McHenry Downtown Theater celebrated its grand opening Thursday. The theater, located near the McHenry Riverwalk, will have three screening rooms – one with 113 seats, one with 133 seats and a third with 60 seats. Arcade games and concessions also will be available.Caramel corn, cheddar popcorn and cheddar bacon popcorn are displayed Wednesday at the McHenry Downtown Theater.After a lengthy renovation, the McHenry Downtown Theater officially opened Wednesday. The theater, located near the McHenry Riverwalk will have three screening rooms – one with 113 seats, one with 133 seats and a third with 60 seats. Arcade games and concessions also will be available.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 06:37:00 GMT

McHENRY – More than 100 people came to the McHenry Downtown Theater to celebrate its grand opening Thursday. The community-owned, three-screen movie theater has undergone extensive renovations in the past year and held its ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. The city has been without its own indoor theater since 2014, and McHenry City Council members approved plans for its development in February 2017. McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett invested in the theater in the beginning and has played a major role in completing the project, but he said he now will step away. A total of 26 community members are investors under the community-owned model. “I think that is the same platform we are going to use for future opportunities in McHenry,” Jett said. “People who invested here want to invest in other opportunities. It’s not about the [return on investment] ... it is about bringing opportunities to the city of McHenry.” Opening weekend will feature “Paddington 2” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” The third screening room is expected to open in the next couple of weeks with showings of “Black Panther.” Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children. The theater also offers snacks and specialty flavored popcorn, including caramel, cheddar and a flavor of the month: cheddar bacon. “There has been a lot of excitement and buzz about reopening the theater,” said Denny Norton, chairman of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce board. “All the people who have helped and put time and effort into it is pretty remarkable. … It’s very exciting for the city of McHenry and a catalyst for a lot of things to come.”   The theater, located downtown near the McHenry Riverwalk, 1208 N. Green St., has 246 seats with an additional 60 available when the third screening room opens. It also has an arcade. The $1.5 million overhaul of the building has included roof replacement, interior wall and floor work and facade improvements. Jett said the theater is a sign of great things to come for the city. “All of this has been special. It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “This is the beginning, not the end, of what we are going to do in McHenry.” Dottie Renji of Delavan, Wisconsin, came to McHenry on Thursday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. She said she used to work at the theater as a teenager and was happy to see it reopen. “It’s wonderful,” she said. “It’s really nice to see it restored so people can have fun again.” The addition of Woodstock-based D.C. Cobb’s is expected next month. The restaurant plans to serve specialty burgers, craft beer, appetizers and other pub-style fare similar to its Woodstock menu. Owner Dan Hart also plans to offer rooftop and patio dining. Wonder Lake resident Mary Bonilla said she plans to visit the theater often. “We ar[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/af68c664004f4772b7ade33432f7b9c9/263450ae-0711-491a-a467-ec7de2ea1955/image-pv_web.jpg




Carpentersville's Bradie Tennell tries to keep things normal as she prepares for OlympicsSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Figure skater Bradie Tennell, 19, practices Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2018 at Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove. The Carpentersville native won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship Jan. 5 and is one of three American women who will compete for the individual title next month at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Skater Bradie Tennell, 19, practices Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 at Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove. The Carpentersville native won the U.S. Figure Skating Championship Jan. 5 and is one of three American women who will compete for the individual title next month at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 05:39:00 GMT

BUFFALO GROVE – A couple U.S. Figure Skating officials dropped by Bradie Tennell’s practice a few days ago at Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion in Buffalo Grove, and afterward, they had someone on the phone who wished to speak with Tennell. On the other end of the line was Peggy Fleming, 1968 Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion figure skater. “She just wanted to wish me good luck and tell me that she likes my skating and to enjoy the experience,” Tennell said. “I thought that was very cool.” It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 19-year-old from Carpentersville. After winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championship women’s title Jan. 5 in San Jose, California, Tennell earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team as one of three female skaters competing individually. She leaves for Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Feb. 5 and plans to be a part of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony Feb. 9. Tennell, who takes classes at McHenry County College, was home-schooled by her mother, Jean Tennell, a nurse. Bradie first started skating at age 2, and once she started, she never wanted to stop. “My mom says that she came home from work one day and I asked her to take me skating, and then I kept asking and asking,” Bradie Tennell said. ‘Always been very driven’ The admittedly shy skater will turn 20 later this month and still is adjusting to all the attention her spot on the Olympic team has garnered. A self-described “homebody” who enjoys reading and family movie nights, Tennell and her coach at Twin Rinks, Denise Myers, have tried to stick to the status quo. “We’re trying to keep things as normal as possible and take it one day at a time, one session,” Myers said. “We have our daily plan for each day, and we’re trying to stick with it.” Myers has coached figure skating for 36 years. In all those years, Tennell is her first Olympian. Tennell started seeing Myers 10 years ago. “She’s always been very driven,” Myers said. “She’s loved to skate, you could see that from an early age.” Tennell won a U.S. junior women’s championship in 2015. Then she went through two difficult years when she dealt with stress fractures in her back. She spent back-to-back summers wearing a back brace and didn’t perform as well as she hoped. She finished sixth at the 2016 U.S. Championships and ninth in 2017. “I really just hung on to the fact that I knew it wasn’t a career-ending injury and people have come back from far worse,” Tennell said. “I’m not one to shy away from a challenge.” The past year she has remained healthy, and it has made a difference. “The turning point for [Tennell] was probably at the beginning of this season,” Myers said. “She was healthy. She was able [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/44eee23219864284b73aedd94cdf3fb0/8ebba4e4-301f-4886-9192-2a0c0904e717/image-pv_web.jpg




Even without El Nino last year, Earth keeps on warmingFILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 file photo, a man walks his dog across the snow-covered beach while a cargo ship sits in the steaming fog of Lake Ontario in Toronto. According to a report released on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, U.S. and British scientists calculate that 2017 wasn’t the hottest year on record, but close and unusually warm for no El Nino cooking the books. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:03:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Earth last year wasn't quite as hot as 2016's record-shattering mark, but it ranked second or third, depending on who was counting. Either way, scientists say it showed a clear signal of man-made global warming because it was the hottest year they've seen without an El Nino boosting temperatures naturally. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Kingdom's meteorological office on Thursday announced that 2017 was the third hottest year on record. At the same time, NASA and researchers from a nonprofit in Berkeley, California, called it the second. The agencies slightly differ because of how much they count an overheating Arctic, where there are gaps in the data. The global average temperature in 2017 was 58.51 degrees (14.7 degrees Celsius), which is 1.51 degrees (0.84 Celsius) above the 20th century average and just behind 2016 and 2015, NOAA said. Other agencies' figures were close but not quite the same. Earlier, European forecasters called 2017 the second hottest year, while the Japanese Meteorological Agency called it the third hottest. Two other scientific groups that use satellite, not ground, measurements split on 2017 being second or third hottest. With four teams calling it the second hottest year and four teams calling it third, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization termed 2017 a tie for second with 2015. "This is human-caused climate change in action," said Nobel Prize winning chemist Mario Molina of the University of California San Diego, who wasn't part of any of the measuring teams. "Climate is not weather, (which) can go up and down from year to year. What counts is the longer-term change, which is clearly upwards." Which year is first, second or third doesn't really matter much, said Princeton University climate scientist Gabriel Vecchi. What really matters is the clear warming trend, he said. NOAA's five hottest years have been from 2010 on. During an El Nino year — when a warming of the central Pacific changes weather worldwide — the globe's annual temperature can spike, naturally, by a tenth or two of a degree, scientists said. There was a strong El Nino during 2015 and 2016. But 2017 finished with a La Nina, the cousin of El Nino that lowers temperatures. Had there been no man-made warming, 2017 would have been average or slightly cooler than normal, said National Center for Atmospheric Research climate scientist Ben Sanderson. On the other hand, NASA calculated if the temperature contributions of El Nino and El Nina were removed from the global data through the years, 2017 would go down as the hottest year on record, NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said. Carbon pollution is like putting the Earth on an escalator of rising temperatures, with natural variation such as El Nino or the cooling effect of volcanoes like hopping up or[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/fa67efa587574b15b401307a8e5ebcb8/aa93c4ca-4dda-42e5-947f-660b15ec9faf/image-pv_web.jpg




13 siblings held captive likely were coerced to remain quietAP photo Riverside County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Fellows speaks with reporters Tuesday during a news conference in Perris, Calif. A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were children even though seven are adults.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:50:00 GMT

LOS ANGELES – When a 17-year-old girl jumped out a window from the house where her parents allegedly starved and tortured their 13 children, she broke a silence that likely had lasted for years. It’s not clear why the teenager waited so long to act, but psychiatrists said such behavior is not uncommon even in cases of extreme deprivation. Most people would recognize milder forms of the same inaction that is a coping mechanism, whether it’s failing to speak out against off-color jokes, enduring sexual harassment or staying in an awful marriage, said Dr. Bruce Perry. “This happens all the time. The number of individuals who would immediately respond to an opportunity where they could get away is very small compared to the number of people who would have that paralysis and insecurity and confusion about what to do,” said Perry, a psychiatrist who is a senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy in Houston. Only after many missed opportunities did the teen probably work up the courage to act, Perry said. “It’s pretty remarkable that she’d do that,” he said. “The power that must have been exerted to keep an entire family like that for so long must have been pretty sophisticated.” David Allen Turpin and his wife, Louise Anna Turpin, were arrested Sunday after authorities found the malnourished children in their home in suburban Perris, 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. They were jailed on $9 million bail each and are expected to appear Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court on charges that could include torture and child endangerment, authorities said. Some siblings were shackled to furniture in the foul-smelling four-bedroom home that looked perfectly normal from the outside. The couples’ children – ages 2 to 29 – were so emaciated the older ones still looked like children. Authorities thought the 17-year-old daughter who called 911 was only 10 when they found her. Until the girl fled with photographic evidence, it appears no one, neither neighbors nor public officials, knew anything about what was happening inside. The Turpins have lived in two Riverside County communities since moving to California in 2011, and police said they were never called to either home, nor were any reports fielded by child protective services. In Hill County, Texas, where they previously lived, the sheriff’s office reported receiving a call from a neighbor complaining a pig that belonged to the Turpins escaped from a pen and ate 55 pounds of his dog food. In another complaint, David Turpin reported that the family’s dog had bitten their 4-year-old daughter on the face. He told police that he took the girl to a hospital for stitches and the dog to a veterinarian to be put down, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. It’s not clear what motivated the Turpins to live a secluded life with their la[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/2e5eff21eb684756b2ec2ade6f6f099c/6120809c-aaae-44cc-9ad3-1b9557164b3a/image-pv_web.jpg




Liberals press Dems to act on immigration, shutdown or noAP photo Sen. Robert Menedez, D-N.J., speaks with reporters after attending a Congressional Hispanic Caucus meeting with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:50:00 GMT

NEW YORK – Shrugging off the prospect of a government shutdown, liberal activists are demanding that Democrats protect thousands of young immigrants from deportation, no matter what. The conflict comes to a head this week as the Republicans who control Congress scramble to get enough votes – including some from Senate Democrats – to avoid the partial shutdown. On Capitol Hill, Democrats are being urged to let the shutdown happen unless Republicans and President Donald Trump agree to restore a program that protects from deportation some 700,000 people who were brought to the U.S. as children and now are here illegally. There are protesters at the offices of Senate Democrats, threats of primary foes for those who don’t push hard enough for an immigration deal and efforts to brand those deemed to have fallen short “the deportation caucus.” Indeed, immigration is becoming a political litmus test for Democrats, supplanting health care as a defining issue of Trump’s second year as president. “It needs to be very clear for vulnerable Republicans as well as for Democrats who do not act this week that there will be political consequences,” said Cristina Jimenez of the immigrant activist group United We Dream. “The progressive movement who are going to be the boots on the ground for the Democrats to regain power” in November’s midterm elections, she added, “are going to hold them accountable if they don’t come through.” Clashes over health care and taxes dominated Trump’s initial year in office, even as his administration cracked down on illegal immigration. The administration has given agents leeway to detain and try to deport a wide range of people in the country illegally, from criminals to otherwise law-abiding residents with jobs and U.S.-citizen children. Although immigrant rights groups and some liberals protested, those actions did not require congressional approval, and there was limited pressure activists could bring compared to the battle that helped stall repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law. That changed in September when Trump announced he’d end, effective March 5, Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which let hundreds of thousands avoid deportation and legally work. Trump tossed the issue to Congress to act before then. That also turned the spotlight on those who have benefited from DACA, men and women who were raised in the U.S. and are the most sympathetic face of the immigrant rights movement. The Trump administration was “out in front, advancing their agenda and they were basically getting away with it,” said Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, an immigrant rights group. “Then they picked a fight with well-organized, American kids. They picked the wrong fight and it’s brought attention to all their immigration agenda.” It was during Oval Office negotiations over a potential DACA replacement [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/6196cc0e53ed4aaaa41c115f0c6001ad/108252f2-ada7-405c-9cdd-7898ab3d42c7/image-pv_web.jpg




Heed old shelter signs? If nuke is coming, maybe notAP photo A flashlight illuminates the main command center of a Cold War era Civil Defense bunker Sept. 26 in New Orleans. The fallout shelters, marked with metal signs featuring the symbol for radiation - three joined triangles inside a circle - were set up in tens of thousands of buildings nationwide in the early 1960s amid the nuclear arms race.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:50:00 GMT

NEW YORK – A generation of Americans knew just what to do in the event of a nuclear attack – or during a major false alarm, like the one over the weekend in Hawaii. Take cover in a building bearing a yellow fallout shelter symbol. But these days, that might not be the best option, or even an option at all. Relics from the Cold War, the aging shelters that once numbered in the thousands in schools, courthouses and churches haven't been maintained. And conventional wisdom has changed about whether such a shelter system is necessary in an age when an attack is more likely to come from a weak rogue state or terrorist group rather than a superpower. "We're not in a Cold War scenario. We are in 2018," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, head of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute. "We're not facing what we were facing 50 years ago, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. had nuclear warheads pointed at each other that would devastate the world. There's a threat, but it's a different type of threat today." People weren't sure what to do Saturday when Hawaii mistakenly sent a cellphone alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile and didn't retract it for 38 minutes. The state had set up the missile warning infrastructure after North Korea demonstrated its missiles had the range to reach the islands. Drivers abandoned cars on a highway and took shelter in a tunnel. Parents huddled in bathtubs with their children. Students bolted across the University of Hawaii campus to take cover in buildings. The false alarm is the perfect time to talk about what to do in such an emergency, Redlener said, because most of the time people don't want to talk about it. At all. "But it's a real possibility," he said. "City officials should be talking about what their citizens should do if an attack happened. And it's a necessity for individuals and families to talk about and develop their own plan of what they would do." New Yorkers who were asked this week about where they would seek shelter during a missile attack said they had no idea. "The only thing I can think is, I would run," said Sabrina Shephard, 45, of Manhattan. "Where we would run, I don't know, because I don't know if New York has any bomb shelters or anything." The fallout shelters, marked with metal signs featuring the symbol for radiation — three joined triangles inside a circle — were set up in tens of thousands of buildings nationwide in the early 1960s amid the nuclear arms race. In New York City alone there were believed to be about 18,000. The locations were chosen because they could best block radioactive material. Anything could be a shelter as long as it was built with concrete, cinder blocks or brick, had no windows, and could be retrofitted quickly with supplies, an air filtration system and potabl[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/bf680303d68e449580ab78230523b569/2e8d6cb8-fda1-4d87-9bbf-e5b5480d88a7/image-pv_web.jpg




Crystal Lake parks offer ice skating, sledding activities throughout winterDuring a day off from school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Hunter Mosolino glances over his shoulder while tubing down a hill at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake.Andy Faruzel of St. Charles teaches his son, Allan, 5, how to skate on the ice rink at Lincoln Park in St. Charles.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:42:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – From ice skating to sledding, city parks are offering a variety of winter activities.

The Crystal Lake Park District monitors winter activity areas daily to check that it’s safe for residents, according to a news release from the district.

Ice thickness at the city’s two ice rinks – one at Main Beach, 300 Lake Shore Drive, and the other at West Beach, 2330 Lake Ave. – is estimated with measurements taken from six locations.

Ice must be at least 5 inches thick to allow public skating, according to the district.

Information on park closings can be found at rainoutline.com/search/dnis/8154104475.

Residents also can sled at Veteran Acres Park near Route 176 and Walkup Avenue.

Main Beach and West Beach are open from 9 a.m. to dusk, and both have lighted skating areas from 4 to 9 p.m. Restrooms only are available at Main Beach.

Sledding is permitted from dawn to dusk, and lighted sledding areas are available from 4 to 9 p.m.

Restrooms and shelters are available at Veteran Acres Park.

During a day off from school for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Hunter Mosolino glances over his shoulder while tubing down a hill at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake.Andy Faruzel of St. Charles teaches his son, Allan, 5, how to skate on the ice rink at Lincoln Park in St. Charles.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/249382be7e584e20800a172454498e0f/e30b067d-c415-45a2-a9fe-fda765494ec1/image-pv_web.jpg




Man with Crystal Lake ties hired as Genoa interim city administratorBill GanekAdministrative consultant Joseph Misurelli speaks during a State of the City address Nov. 21, 2013, in Genoa. Misurelli died Dec. 25.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:42:00 GMT

GENOA – Genoa Mayor Mark Vicary called it either divine intervention or Joe intervention.

After the city’s administrator, Joseph “Joe” Misurelli, died Dec. 25, the City Council on Tuesday approved the hiring of Bill Ganek as interim city administrator, a man Misurelli mentored in McHenry County, Vicary said.

“We’d like to call him the successor,” Vicary said Wednesday evening. “No one will ever replace Joe.”

Ganek retired from his post as Algonquin village manager in 2013 after serving in that role for 21 years, but he and Misurelli, a former Crystal Lake city administrator, collaborated on many projects.

“I think between them, they developed Randall Road,” Vicary said.

Ganek also was director of planning for Crystal Lake for nine years after he spent five years with the McHenry County Planning Department. Ganek interviewed for the position last week, and his contract is for six months, during which the search for a permanent replacement will continue. Ganek will work 20 hours for two days a week.

Vicary said Rivers Mexican Cantina opened in the former home of Rosati’s Pizza in the Ridge Point Shopping Center the week Misurelli died, and the plan for Dunkin’ Donuts to move into a two-unit commercial building at Prairie Street and Route 72 is on track.

Ganek immediately has taken the reins on the developing projects, but he also has provided an emotional salve, Vicary said.

“It’s comforting hearing Joe stories,” he said.

Bill GanekAdministrative consultant Joseph Misurelli speaks during a State of the City address Nov. 21, 2013, in Genoa. Misurelli died Dec. 25.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/18/e48d18b45b5042e0afef4828ab40f54a/6f11b2bb-7c44-41ba-89d6-5d42264fd5ef/image-pv_web.jpg




McHenry County Conservation District to host 2018 Conservation Congress

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:41:00 GMT

The McHenry County Conservation District is preparing for its second Conservation Congress event.

The district announced that the “2018 McHenry County Conservation Congress – Sustaining the Dream – Stewarding the Places We Love” is set from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

More than 125 delegates representing recreation, historical preservation, agriculture, business, service clubs, transportation, education, conservation, health and wellness and other disciplines will attend.

Conservation Congress will provide the community a formal process to advocate for actions MCCD can take to protect and conserve natural resources and provide compatible education and recreational opportunities on public lands in the county, MCCD board President Steve Barrett said.

“We are looking ahead to shape McHenry County’s future as it relates to conservation by engaging the community in developing a shared vision for valuing our economy, protecting our groundwater and cultivating an active and healthy community,” Barrett said in a statement.

Presentations about geotourism, the value of nature and keeping water on land rather than your basement will be focal points of the day.

The presentations – which will be given by representatives from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the National Recreation and Park Association, the Illinois State Geological Survey and the American Sportfishing Association – will be followed by roundtable discussions.

MCCD Executive Director Elizabeth Kessler said in a statement that “by enjoying and stewarding the wide-open spaces and places we love, we invest in our own well-being and that of a healthy community and economy.”

“It is important that we do everything in our capabilities to not only protect these treasured landscapes, but provide opportunities for the public to gain an understanding and appreciation for how intertwined our lives are with the natural community,” Kessler said. “Actions taken today will have far-reaching effects on what McHenry County will look like in the future.”

Space for the 2018 Conservation Congress is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Register online at MCCDistrict.org.




Rep. Steve Reick to hold public office hours at Woodstock Public LibraryState Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, will hold public office hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at 414 W. Judd St.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:41:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – State Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, will hold mobile office hours next week at the Woodstock Public Library. Reick will be available to talk with residents of the 63rd District from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at 414 W. Judd St.

“I enjoy these outreach events because they provide me with an excellent opportunity to connect with the people I represent in Springfield,” Reick said in a statement. “I look forward to talking one-on-one with constituents so I can learn about the issues that are important to them. I can also help constituents with issues they may be having with state agencies.”

No appointment is needed, and the event is open to all residents who live in the 63rd District.

State Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, will hold public office hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at 414 W. Judd St.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/a7aa239a55b54597aa25b64f7ec4f4d5/9e1a3df1-ca10-4e52-bb48-1c70e714f759/image-pv_web.jpg




Johnsburg officials protest water rate increaseJohnsburg Village President Edwin Hettermann

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:40:00 GMT

JOHNSBURG – Johnsburg officials are protesting a water rate increase proposed by Utility Services of Illinois Inc.

Village President Edwin Hettermann has requested a public hearing on the change through the Illinois Commerce Commission after Utilities Inc. recently announced a plan to raise its prices for water. The proposal would leave residents paying $35.03 a month at a flat rate, with consumption rates of $11.08 per 1,000 gallons, according to information from the city of Johnsburg.

Whispering Hills Water System, which is owned and operated by Utilities Inc. – the parent company of Utility Services of Illinois Inc. – serves northern Johnsburg. This would be the third time the company has increased its rates, Hettermann said.

“Many of these residents are on fixed incomes, already struggling with the constant increases they experience from taxes, utilities and other sources,” Hettermann said. “Furthermore, each time Utilities Inc. pursues an increase, they represent that the increase is necessary to cover the cost of needed capital improvements and repairs, yet we have not seen any marked improvement in the water system.”

Utilities Inc. began serving the community in 2009 at a monthly rate of $5.14 and consumption rates of $3.14 per 1,000 gallons, Hettermann said. If the new rates go into effect, residents will see a 682 percent increase from 2009 monthly rates and a 353 percent increase from 2009 consumption rates.

“I respectfully ask that you consider the village’s input regarding the proposed increase and, more importantly, consider the potential impact it will have on our residents – many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet,” Hettermann wrote in a Jan. 11 letter to the commission. “We would be happy to help coordinate an adequate meeting location if you desire.”

Steven Lubertozzi, president of Utility Services of Illinois Inc., said that since the last rate increase, about $2 million in capital improvements have been made or planned in the Whispering Hills Water System.

“We understand that no one likes rate increases, but capital improvements made to improve service to our customers is driving our request to increase customers’ rates,” Lubertozzi said in an email.

Projects include multiple water main replacements, putting in a new well, reconditioning the water tank and more, Lubertozzi said. Ultimately, the Illinois Commerce Commission approves or disapproves all capital improvements and rate increases, he said.

Johnsburg Village President Edwin Hettermann


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/15/5a27bf4bab454f35b61fd85ee9f07802/e3cab403-ee27-46e9-af86-72beea54c4b6/image-pv_web.jpg




Auction for former Dominick's site in Lake in the Hills set for FebruaryAn auction for a Lake in the Hills shopping center that includes the former Dominick’s store is set from Feb. 26 to 28.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:40:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – An auction for a Lake in the Hills shopping center that includes the former Dominick’s store has been set for late February – and the village’s economic development director said it’s not official that Aldi will be moving into the site. The auction will be from Feb. 26 to 28 on Ten-X Commercial, an online real estate search and transaction website. The starting bid begins at $1.2 million, and a $10,000 participation deposit is required. About 17 percent of the 99,451-square-foot space is leased, according to Ten-X, with four total buildings. The auction, originally planned for last summer, was postponed for the strip center at Randall and Algonquin roads. Economic development coordinator George Hahne said the holiday season pushed back the auction because Transwestern, the real estate firm for the property, said it needed more time to do its due diligence – to create reports on the building quality, conduct road studies and more. Hahne said he was unsure of Aldi’s intent to move into 22,000 square feet of the vacant Dominick’s site – he thinks Aldi wants to see who the owner of the store will be before committing to a lease. Hahne said in June that Aldi signed a letter of intent to occupy the space, but on Wednesday, Hahne said he found out later that Aldi did not sign. “My understanding is they want to deal with the new owners of the shopping center, but that’s only speculation,” Village President Russ Ruzanski said. Trustee David McPhee said there has been vague talk of Aldi bringing in a new prototype store. “But with another facility down the street [on Randall Road], they were combating themselves and questioning if that was the appropriate location,” McPhee said. The main building contains a 72,385-square-foot building that formerly was leased to Dominick’s, as well as 10,346 square feet of small shopping stores attached, including GNC, H&R Block, Miracle Ear and four vacant suites. Another building north on Randall Road contains 16,720 square feet of space. Its tenants include Einstein Bros. Bagels, Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt, Jersey Mike’s Subs and two vacant suites. “With the right owner and right tenants over there, we could bring in a lot of sales tax and do very good things for the village itself, like being able to continue and maintain not increasing property taxes,” McPhee said. Farm, ranch and home retail chain Big R had planned to move into the Dominick’s space but backed out in August 2016. Dominick’s closed in December 2013, and the grocer continu[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/42aba0f4e426473cbd4a5090a261a9c5/d6da3741-07d8-4787-ba37-984395c7cba2/image-pv_web.jpg




McHenry County Magazine looking for Women of Distinction nominationsMcHenry County Magazine's Women of Distinction award identifies women who have made a difference in McHenry County and who are representative role models and leaders in their fields and communities.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:40:00 GMT

McHenry County Magazine’s Women of Distinction award identifies women who have made a difference in McHenry County and who are representative role models and leaders in their fields and communities.

This is a chance to recognize those women who put the community, co-workers, friends and/or family before themselves.

Honorees will be profiled in McHenry County Magazine’s May issue and recognized at an awards luncheon.

To nominate someone, visit the online submission form at shawnews.secondstreetapp.com/MCWOD2018.

For information, contact Meredith Schaefer at 815-526-4534 or mschaefer@shawmedia.com.

McHenry County Magazine's Women of Distinction award identifies women who have made a difference in McHenry County and who are representative role models and leaders in their fields and communities.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/97fb4213bb01445aa504620706f6e6a7/3f9aa6fe-176a-4cf5-aca0-327541ce646f/image-pv_web.jpg




Jury trial underway for Hanover Park man charged in Woodstock armed robberyBrian Odell, of the 4700 block of Zeppelin Drive, Hanover Park

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:40:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Attorneys finished selecting jurors Wednesday for the trial of a Hanover Park man accused of participating in an armed robbery at a Woodstock home.

Brian Odell was charged in June with armed robbery, unlawful restraint and mob action in connection with the robbery, which ended in a high-speed chase.

During a fight at a home in the 200 block of Throop Street, a handgun was displayed and two men inside the residence were battered, police said. The offenders took “personal property” from the home and fled the area before police arrived, police said.

Brian Odell, of the 4700 block of Zeppelin Drive, Hanover Park


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/f187339fdcea4d8ebcc89608471032ce/ef79a8e5-deb0-40cc-91b1-00a6375991f5/image-pv_web.jpg




Pipe bursts in home of Bull Valley couple charged with drug traffickingA judge granted attorneys with the Medford Real Estate Fund an emergency motion to inspect David A. Soskin's Bull Valley property after a pipe burst during the recent cold snap causing about $100,000 in damages. Soskin remains in McHenry County jail on drug trafficking charges.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com A judge granted attorneys with the Medford Real Estate Fund an emergency motion to inspect David A. Soskin's Bull Valley property after a pipe burst during the recent cold snap causing about $100,000 in damages. Soskin remains in McHenry County jail on drug trafficking charges.David A. SoskinJamie M. LeeH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Surrounded by containers of cannabis, McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Hoven removes ammunition from a .50-caliber machine gun seized from a home in Bull Valley.A 17,000-square-foot Bull Valley mansion where police found 350 pounds of marijuana in May is going to pot, lawyers fighting for control of the property said.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 property recently suffered damage from a burst pipe.McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Hoven holds a pouch containing cannabis seized in a drug operation.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.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.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry County Sheriff's Sgt. Robb Tadekman (left) and Deputy Ryan Hoven sort through some of the estimated 350 pounds of marijuana seized in recent operations. Police also found a .50-caliber machine gun, a Cobray M11 and ammunition at a Bull Valley home.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 McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Hoven holds a pouch containing cannabis seized in recent operations.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.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

BULL VALLEY – A 17,000-square-foot mansion where police found 350 pounds of marijuana in May is going to pot, lawyers fighting for control of the property said. Attorneys for the lending company fear that the value of the Bull Valley home at the center of a large-scale drug investigation could take a hit from a burst pipe and subsequent water damage. The damage came after the lender repeatedly had asked local judges for permission to winterize the home to protect it. Medford Real Estate Fund I, which loaned money to the trust that bought the property, filed an emergency motion Friday seeking control of the property at 1001 N. Cherry Valley Road. Lawyers said the pipe burst during the recent cold snap, causing about $100,000 in damages, according to the motion. McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel granted that motion Tuesday, and he appointed Newpoint Advisors Corp. to look after the property in the meantime, said Todd Rowden, an attorney representing Medford. “All of this was preventable, had the state’s attorney cooperated in a request that benefited everybody,” Rowden said Wednesday. David A. Soskin, 43, bought the home and 35-acre property for $800,000 in December 2016 through a trust after receiving a $450,000 mortgage from Medford. Lawyers for the financing company claim that Soskin and his fiancée, 26-year-old Jamie M. Lee, were living in the home instead of fixing it up to flip it. Soskin and Lee both face charges of marijuana trafficking, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of marijuana. Lee, who is out on bond while her case is pending, discovered the water leak when she went to the home, possibly to pick up mail, Rowden said. Lee had been going to the house two to three times a week to get personal items, but she was not living there, Soskin’s attorney, Nicholas Giordano, said at a Jan. 5 court hearing. “The heat is on, the electricity is on, so the house is secured up,” Giordano said. “[Lee] is not living there, but the house is in a secure mode as we stand here today.” Rowden, however, told McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt that insurance at the property had been canceled, and Medford needed access for an inspection to get replacement insurance coverage. Giordano and McHenry County prosecutors objected to Rowden’s plan at the Jan. 5 hearing. Rowden also told the judge that access to the home was needed to make sure it was properly maintained and prepared for the stretch of below-freezing, single-digit temperatures. At the time, Wilbrand[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/15/c4d6623b714c430bbc8a0930bc02d908/8dd9efd0-f78b-4f0e-9355-9da47d6870c8/image-pv_web.jpg




Science panel backs lower drunken driving thresholdA car approaches a sobriety checkpoint Dec. 29, 2011, set up along a busy street in Albuquerque, N.M. A prestigious scientific panel is recommending that states significantly lower their drunken driving thresholds as part of a blueprint to eliminate the "entirely preventable" 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the U.S. each year.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Most women would need to draw the line at two drinks, and men at two or three, if states follow a blueprint by a prestigious scientific panel for eliminating the “entirely preventable” 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the U.S. each year. The U.S. government-commissioned report by a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine made multiple recommendations, including significantly lowering drunken driving thresholds. It calls for lowering the blood-alcohol concentration threshold from 0.08 to 0.05. All states have 0.08 thresholds. A Utah law passed last year that lowers the state’s threshold to 0.05 doesn’t go into effect until Dec. 30. The amount of alcohol required to reach 0.05 would depend on several factors, including the person’s size and whether the person recently has eaten. The report cites studies indicating that most women more than 120 pounds would reach 0.05 after two drinks. Men weighing up to about 160 pounds likely would reach the lower threshold at two, and those more than 180 pounds at three. In its 489-page report, the panel also recommended that states significantly increase alcohol taxes and make alcohol less conveniently available, including reducing the hours and days alcohol is sold in stores, bars and restaurants. Research suggests a doubling of alcohol taxes could lead to an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths, the report said. It also calls for cracking down on sales to people younger than 21 or who already are intoxicated to discourage binge drinking, and putting limits on alcohol marketing while funding anti-alcohol campaigns similar to those against smoking. All the proposals are likely to draw fierce opposition from the alcohol and restaurant industries. The American Beverage Institute took out full-page newspaper ads opposing Utah’s new law that featured a fake mugshot under a large headline reading, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation.” The recommendation in the academies’ report for lowering the blood-alcohol threshold would “do nothing to deter” repeat offenders and drivers with high blood-alcohol levels, who represent the “vast majority” of alcohol-impaired driving deaths, the Distilled Spirits Council said in a statement. The council said it also doesn’t support the report’s recommendations for “tax increases and advertising bans, which will have little or no impact on traffic safety.” The report points out that “alcohol-impaired driving remains the deadliest and costliest danger on U.S. roads,” accounting for 28 percent of traffic deaths. Each day, 29 people in th[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/63796633935441539083243da89da2b5/8b2bea9e-74f7-4000-a8ba-0c66d38aeeed/image-pv_web.jpg




Algonquin Township officials to hold special meetingAlgonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser speaks at a meeting Nov. 8. Township officials will hold a special meeting Friday to pay contract workers who Gasser failed to pay before the township's last meeting.Algonquin Township Trustee David Chapman talks during a meeting Dec. 13.Algonquin Township Trustee Melissa Victor speaks during a meeting Dec. 13.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:39:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Algonquin Township will hold a special meeting Friday to pay contract workers who Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser failed to pay before the township’s last meeting, and to allow trustees to discuss the recent firing of the supervisor’s former chief of staff, Ryan Provenzano, officials said.

Gasser failed to submit payment for contract workers who plowed snow before the township’s Jan. 10 meeting, officials said.

Gasser could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Township trustees are expected to review those bills.

Although Provenzano’s firing is not mentioned on the meeting agenda, trustees expect to discuss his termination during a closed executive session, Trustee Rachael Lawrence said.

Provenzano, a political insider who earned more than $33 an hour in two Algonquin Township offices, was fired Tuesday.

Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow terminated the 23-year-old chief of staff Tuesday and banned him from the premises.

Lutzow would not comment on why he fired Provenzano, whose roles in two offices raised questions among township officials and road district employees who contend that his hiring was the product of patronage and cronyism.

The Republican had agreements in place to earn $32 an hour and $63,000 a year working full time as the chief of staff in Lutzow’s office, and another deal working part time as deputy highway commissioner at the Algonquin Township Highway Department, where he made $33 an hour.

It is unclear whether Provenzano will continue working for the road district.

Despite several phone calls to his cellphone, Provenzano could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday at the township hall, 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

The public will be allowed to address township officials for up to three minutes.

Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser speaks at a meeting Nov. 8. Township officials will hold a special meeting Friday to pay contract workers who Gasser failed to pay before the township's last meeting.Algonquin Township Trustee David Chapman talks during a meeting Dec. 13.Algonquin Township Trustee Melissa Victor speaks during a meeting Dec. 13.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/df20cb719d224cdea541cb469877d16e/444ed273-971d-41a8-8376-7a59a67eb42a/image-pv_web.jpg




2 gov. candidates spend $26M in 3 monthsAP photo Democratic gubernatorial candidates Robert Marshall (from left), Bob Daiber, J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy and Tio Hardiman participate in a forum with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board on Wednesday in Chicago.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:52:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – The race for Illinois governor cost more than $28 million just in the last three months of 2017 for the November 2018 election. Campaign finance disclosures filed this week show $9 of every $10 was spent by just two candidates – Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the leading Democratic challenger, Chicago businessman J.B. Pritzker. That’s nearly as much as the $30 million spent in the first nine months of 2017 in a race that easily could surpass the $112 million spent in the Prairie State four years ago and could approach the national record. Rauner, whose first term has been marked by a record-long budget stalemate with the Democratic-controlled Legislature that ended last summer, drew right-wing ire last fall when he signed a law providing state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions. Rauner reported raising $2.9 million in the last quarter of 2017. His campaign spent $12.8 million and had a whopping $55.6 million in the bank. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel franchise and among the world’s wealthiest people, reported raising $21 million and spending $13.3 million, with nearly $8 million on hand. The 2014 race in which Rauner beat incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn cost $112 million. The national record was set in the 2010 California contest, in which the price tag for ex-Gov. Jerry Brown to reclaim the post over businesswoman Meg Whitman was $280 million. Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican who didn’t join the gubernatorial race until Nov. 15, reported raising $434,000, spending $39,000 and with cash to start, had $662,000 in the bank. Sen. Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democrat whose campaign has decried big-money self-funders such as Pritzker, raised $1.1 million and ended 2017 with $3.1 million. Another wealthy businessman, Chris Kennedy, raised $1 million and had $737,000 on hand. Educator Bob Daiber of Marine, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman of Calumet City, and physician Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge also are seeking the Democratic nomination. On a smaller scale, the race for attorney general to fill the seat being vacated by Democrat Lisa Madigan is heating up. Eight candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general, including former Gov. Quinn, and they’re putting up money to get it. Each of the Democrats, individually, has more on hand than the combined total for the GOP candidates, Erika Harold and Gary Grasso. Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago le[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/17/7cec4253ea49417b864def6d9ecd2235/629045c7-3f6d-4956-8f6e-d5fce2ac4b22/image-pv_web.jpg




2nd case of measles confirmed in person at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:52:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Public health officials are reporting a second case of measles in a person who was at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the nation’s third-largest airport by passenger volume.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday that the case is unrelated to one reported last week. The department said there’s no measles outbreak at O’Hare, which served 78 million passengers in 2016.

Officials said the individual with the second confirmed case was at the airport Jan. 9. Authorities said local health departments are contacting people believed to be most at risk, including passengers on the inbound flight to Chicago. The individual also was at locations in suburban Chicago.

Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. Experts said people who think they may have been exposed should contact their health care provider.