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Residents gather for 'Marengo Strong' community daySarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Dawn St. Clair (left) of Marengo and Brenda Alt of Marengo chat during Saturday's Marengo Strong Community Day at Indian Oaks Park in Marengo July 22, 2017. The event was designed to support the many families impacted by the June 11 home explosion. St. Clair's home was at the center of the explosion

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 05:23:00 GMT

MARENGO – Debby Castillo has been a Marengo resident for just a year but already has a feeling of town pride.

“Marengo is strong,” she said.

The community gathered Saturday for “Marengo Strong Community Day,” which volunteers organized after the home explosion that decimated a neighborhood June 11. The event included live music, food and retail vendors, games and raffles. Proceeds will go toward the disaster relief fund.

“I am trying to help those people that lost their homes,” Castillo said. “I think this is excellent. It’s really good. They have been doing a lot to help those people. A lot of people were contributing.”

The 10-person organizing committee along with about 12 other volunteers ran the event, which went from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The hope is to make the community day an annual event, said Terri Paulauski, who is on the committee, as well as president of the Marengo Park District board.

“We weren’t sure exactly what to expect but we were hopeful,” she said. “It’s been a constant flow of people since we opened. The kids are loving it. We are seeing lots of familiar faces from in town, which is what we wanted.”

An event like this would typically take about a year to plan, but the first “Marengo Strong” day came together in about a month, she said.

“The original idea for this event was just for families to have something to look forward to, something positive,” she said. “This terrible thing happened, so let’s plan a day that is just comfortable, Marengo and positive. … It came together very quickly, and we had nothing but a positive response.”

Volunteer Rose Tekstar, who has lived in Marengo for five years, said she was impressed at how the community came together after the tragedy and leading up to this event.

“I think its really great to see people work together to help others,” Tekstar said. “So often you hear about the bad things and don’t see things like this.”

Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Dawn St. Clair (left) of Marengo and Brenda Alt of Marengo chat during Saturday's Marengo Strong Community Day at Indian Oaks Park in Marengo July 22, 2017. The event was designed to support the many families impacted by the June 11 home explosion. St. Clair's home was at the center of the explosion


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/07/23/dfac7f7a1a074150b1401ad63e4d1763/cac33f4d-be1a-4aa9-a5e1-9c9aa8fb3c66/image-pv_web.jpg




Cary Ale House plans to add brewery, seeks $60,000 village loanCary Ale House and Brewing Company wants to start brewing its own beer.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 05:00:00 GMT

CARY – People may soon be able to sip locally brewed beer in Cary.

Cary Ale House and Brewing Company wants to start brewing its own beer and plans to expand to a vacant storefront adjacent to the restaurant. The restaurant occupies half the retail space in the building located at 200 to 208 W. Main St. More than $215,000 worth of renovations are planned, which includes construction and equipment costs, according to village documents.

Restaurant owners Chris Panagakis and Dustin Davies are seeking a $60,000 loan from the village’s revolving loan fund in order to partially contribute to the project, which they said will help make their restaurant a destination spot.

Revolving loans are incentive tools that municipalities can use to help new or existing businesses with projects that will create jobs by offering a low-interest loan. Cary Ale House anticipates adding between five and seven jobs after the expansion, according to village documents.

Since Panagakis and Davies opened the gastropub in 2015, they had planned to include a brewery, but renovation costs on the existing building were more than expected so the project was pushed back, according to village documents. The restaurant has served locally brewed beer in the past and it has sold well, and now the owners want to move forward with the venture.

Village officials heard the request at the July 18 Committee of the Whole meeting and were largely supportive of the plan. The Cary Village Board will take action on the item at its next meeting, which will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at Cary Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive.

“This to me is the perfect reason why we have a revolving loan,” Trustee Ellen McAlpine said. “This is exactly what we want to do – help a business grow within our community. … I think it will make it a nice destination for people to be able to hop off the train and come over and check [it] out.”

Cary Ale House and Brewing Company wants to start brewing its own beer.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/07/20/0d517bf24fa24fb4bdcbb071fc799ebf/dd11552d-7026-4a94-bb6e-ed6a20ca4079/image-pv_web.jpg




Environmental Defenders of McHenry County organize Styrofoam collection programThe Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the environment, is organizing a styrofoam collection program in McHenry County.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 05:00:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation, protection and improvement of the environment, has announced it is reopening its Styrofoam collection program.

The defenders will be collecting clean Styrofoam – containing no food or residue – at its monthly recycling drives and beginning Aug. 1 at the Algonquin Township Highway Department, 3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake, according to a news release.

Styrofoam, expanded polystyrene and packing peanuts can be dropped off between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Algonquin Township Highway Department.

U-Haul of Crystal Lake also has partnered with the nonprofit to help transfer the Styrofoam to a warehouse for pickup by the Dart Company, according to the release.

“Styrofoam [expanded polystyrene] is a product made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource,” the release said. “It can break down into smaller pieces, entering the human food stream through fish and other marine animals and is detrimental to marine life in this process.”

More collection sites will open in the coming months thanks to the village of Algonquin, the city of Woodstock, McHenry Township Road District and Nunda Township Road District.

Call 815-338-0393 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with questions or visit mcdef.org. Donations also can be made directly to the Styrofoam Collection Program through Generosity.com.

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the environment, is organizing a styrofoam collection program in McHenry County.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/07/21/31ba0b7b69004bb6b34120df44e72e2c/6f321995-b253-4e5f-b092-bace54a891ab/image-pv_web.jpg




Crystal Lake, Algonquin police to help raise money for Special Olympics IllinoisThe Crystal Lake Police Department along with the Algonquin Police Department are pairing up with Texas Roadhouse, 835 Cog Cir. in Crystal Lake, to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois July 28.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:59:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Police officers will serve “free lunch” during the seventh annual Texas Roadhouse Benefit Lunch for Special Olympics Illinois next Friday.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the restaurant’s Crystal Lake location, 835 Cog Circle, and officers from both the Crystal Lake and Algonquin police departments will serve off a limited menu, which includes a pulled pork sandwich, corn, fresh-baked bread with honey-cinnamon butter and a nonalcoholic beverage, a spokesperson for the Crystal Lake Police Department said.

Diners are asked to leave a donation for their meal. All proceeds will benefit the nearly 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 18,500 “Young Athletes” – ages 2 to 7 – of Special Olympics Illinois.

“Special Olympics changes lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life,” according to a news release from Crystal Lake police. “Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.”

During the meal, diners are eligible to enter to win a free dinner for two at Texas Roadhouse by posting a photo on social media using the hashtag #igotserved. Both dine-in and carryout options will be available. Call Texas Roadhouse with questions or contact Officer Ed Pluviose at 815-356-3731 or EPluviose@CrystalLake.org.

Members of local law enforcement also participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which is the largest year-round fundraising effort for Special Olympics Illinois. It has raised nearly $31 million over 28 years, according to the news release.

“The annual intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and to gain awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics Illinois,” the release said.

To find out more about Special Olympics Illinois, visit www.soill.org or call 800-394-0562.

The Crystal Lake Police Department along with the Algonquin Police Department are pairing up with Texas Roadhouse, 835 Cog Cir. in Crystal Lake, to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois July 28.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/07/21/405f82e7da13420391725baa132d5536/1b205da1-06b9-43ac-b94f-048b2c24541e/image-pv_web.jpg




Stade's Farm and Market closes McCullom Lake Road roadside stand

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:58:00 GMT

McCULLOM LAKE – Stade’s Farm & Market has closed its McCullom Lake roadside stand, owners announced this week.

The stand, located on the corner of McCullom Lake and Ringwood roads, was opened in 1997, nearly 20 years after Vern Stade began farming on the land that is now Stade’s Farm & Market, 3709 Miller Road, McHenry.

Vern Stade and his wife, Gayle Stade, alerted customers that the market would be closing in an email newsletter earlier this week, citing the need to reduce operating costs.

“In order to maintain high-quality products at reasonable prices, we need to reduce our operating costs,” the newsletter said. “Consolidating our two farm markets into one business location is the most cost-effective way to accomplish that goal.”

Stade’s still offers a full-service market on the McHenry farm property open each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The family is celebrating its 40th year in business.

In addition to its market, Stade’s offers U-Pick farming, church services every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend until the end of October, a Farmtractions theme park and a Tractors for Charity event that raises money for local food pantries and Feed My Starving Children, among other events.

“We hope you agree that the peaceful farm atmosphere and the larger selection of products available in the market outweigh the extra drive time,” the newsletter said.




Next Minneapolis police chief tasked with changing culture

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:57:00 GMT

People who have worked closely with the man tapped to lead Minneapolis’ embattled police department say he has qualities that will fit well with the role: He’s friendly, forthright, has deep city roots and is African-American, which could help improve sour relations between the police and the city’s black community. But Medaria Arradondo’s rise from school resource officer and patrolman to assistant chief during 28 years on the force have some wondering whether an outsider would be better suited to changing the culture of a department accused of being too quick to use force. Facing public anger over an officer’s fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed, white 40-year-old Australian woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home, Mayor Betsy Hodges asked Police Chief Janee Harteau to resign, which she did Friday. Hodges nominated Arradondo as Harteau’s replacement and dismissed protesters’ calls for her to resign, too. “Inside the department, outside the department, fans, critics, everybody – he builds relationships with people, which is going to be crucial as the department moves forward,” Hodges told The Associated Press on Saturday. “What’s needed at this time is someone who is good at making change and helping usher people through change, which Arradondo has done and is doing,” The police department has stepped up training in recent years, focusing on community policing, Hodges said. She said Arradondo will work to cement those changes. Arradondo, nicknamed “Rondo,” needs city council’s approval before he can begin the job. He served as the department’s public face for most of a week after the July 15 police shooting of Justine Damond, until Harteau returned from vacation Thursday. Linea Palmisano, a city councilwoman who represents the ward where the shooting happened, said she’s impressed with Arradondo, but wonders whether someone from outside the department would be better able to make changes and enforce procedures such as turning on body cameras. Neither the Somali-American officer who shot Damond, Mohamed Noor, nor the officer with him, Matthew Harrity, turned on their body cameras. Others say an insider is exactly what the department needs: someone who was brought up in the Twin Cities and can spot the dysfunction beneath “Minnesota nice.” “He’s a fifth-generation Minnesotan, and he’s appreciated and well-respected as a police officer,” said Raeisha Williams, a 5th Ward city council candidate and the former communications director for the local NAACP. “He’s African-American, obviously, and he knows the climate, he knows the community, he knows the culture.” That’s vitally important when policing a region where 40 percent of residents are people of color, Williams said. Arradondo has also experienced discrimination: He and four other officers sued the city in 2007 alleging they were the victims of systemic racial discrimination and a hostile working environment. They contended black officers were offered fewer training and overtime opportunities and received fewer appointments than white counterparts, among other problems. The city settled two years later, paying the officers a total of $740,000. Williams dealt closely with Arradondo after the 2015 police shooting of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man whose death sparked large protests and an 18-day occupation outside of the north side police station. The officers involved weren’t charged. Williams said Arradondo was respectful. Arradondo’s hometown experience contrasts with many officers who [...]



All three horses saved from Prairie Grove barn fireA horse barn caught fire Friday night in Prairie Grove, and hay was still smoldering in what was left of the building Saturday morning.Firefighters battle a barn fire near the intersection of Barreville and West Justen roads in Prairie Grove Friday evening. Information was not immediately available from fire crews late Friday. Check NWHerald.com later for more updates.Firefighters battle a barn fire near the intersection of Barreville and West Justen roads in Prairie Grove Friday evening.Firefighters battle a barn fire near the intersection of Barreville and West Justen roads in Prairie Grove Friday evening.Smoke billows from what was left of a horse barn in Prairie Grove Saturday morning. Horse owners who boarded their horses there thought a lightning strike was the reason for the flames.Power had previously been shut off to the barn, a spokesperson for ComEd said Saturday morning, but workers redirected that power to the horses' new home - a barn several hundred yards away.Fire crews continued to work on the blaze in Prairie Grove Saturday morning. No fire departments were immediately available for comment.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:57:00 GMT

PRAIRIE GROVE – Liz Wolodkiewicz said she only got an hour of sleep Friday night after her 15-year-old horse barely survived an intense barn fire.

Wolodkiewicz said she could not even remember how long she has boarded her horse at a barn at 2480 Barreville Road in Prairie Grove, but she was visibly shaken by the ordeal.

“You just don’t hear this [horses being saved] with barn fires,” Wolodkiewicz said. “We’re very lucky.”

Lynn Magoon has boarded her 23-year-old horse at the barn in Prairie Grove for more than 10 years. She said she heard about the blaze around 8:45 p.m. Friday.

Wolodkiewicz said the fire began in the top of the barn, where the hay is stacked. She explained that the owners’ daughter, Krista Ziec, was the reason both her and Magoon’s horses, and a third, made it out alive.

“We think it was lightning,” Wolodkiewicz said. “But Krista was watching the storm and saw smoke. She helped save the horses. It [the barn] just collapsed after the last two got out.”

There were no injuries to horses or people, Wolodkiewicz said. ComEd workers were on the scene Saturday morning rerouting power to the nearby barn where the horses had been moved.

Officials with Nunda Rural Fire Protection district are investigating the cause of the fire, which started in the roof area. More than 30 agencies responded to the incident, which lasted about eight hours, according to the district. No one was injured.

A horse barn caught fire Friday night in Prairie Grove, and hay was still smoldering in what was left of the building Saturday morning.Firefighters battle a barn fire near the intersection of Barreville and West Justen roads in Prairie Grove Friday evening. Information was not immediately available from fire crews late Friday. Check NWHerald.com later for more updates.Firefighters battle a barn fire near the intersection of Barreville and West Justen roads in Prairie Grove Friday evening.Firefighters battle a barn fire near the intersection of Barreville and West Justen roads in Prairie Grove Friday evening.Smoke billows from what was left of a horse barn in Prairie Grove Saturday morning. Horse owners who boarded their horses there thought a lightning strike was the reason for the flames.Power had previously been shut off to the barn, a spokesperson for ComEd said Saturday morning, but workers redirected that power to the horses' new home - a barn several hundred yards away.Fire crews continued to work on the blaze in Prairie Grove Saturday morning. No fire departments were immediately available for comment.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/07/22/539c112ae48e4a3bba18eb4e48f9b2e0/1fee0dd6-300b-44ae-9b89-a2bb9caca64a/image-pv_web.jpg




‘Let 1994 go’: Simpson case’s racial symbolism now a relicFormer NFL football star O.J. Simpson attends his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool)

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:57:00 GMT

Justin Zimmerman was a 7-year-old black boy in Moreno Valley, California, when O.J. Simpson was on trial for murder. He wasn’t old enough to understand the “trial of the century,” but his parents and the older black people in his community made their position clear: They were cheering for Simpson, and were convinced the former NFL star was an innocent dupe in a racial conspiracy. For them, Simpson was a symbol of racial tension and uneven justice. But Zimmerman, now 30 and living in Washington, D.C., grew up amid the hashtags that have come to symbolize the killings of unarmed black men by police. On his Facebook page on Thursday – after Simpson was granted parole from armed robbery and assault convictions – Zimmerman posted: “Let 1994 go guys.” “The most relevant thing that came out of O.J. since the trial was the Kardashians for millennials,” Zimmerman said, referring to Simpson’s close friendship with the reality-TV clan that was highlighted in a recent television series about the case. Family patriarch Robert Kardashian, a lawyer, was on Simpson’s defense team during the murder trial. “We don’t have an O.J.,” Zimmerman said. “For me, that was Trayvon Martin. He was me. That resonates more to me ... It wasn’t like [Simpson] was at the forefront of any movement.” While millions watched Simpson’s parole hearing last week, audiences were hardly as emotionally invested as they were a generation ago watching his murder trial. Simpson’s 1995 acquittal in the deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman bitterly polarized Americans around race. But interest has waned, attitudes have changed, and black Americans are wrestling with more familiar injustices. Today, Simpson’s racial symbolism is largely seen as a relic. “We just have bigger concerns that are much more directly impacting our specific lives,” University of Pennsylvania sociologist Camille Z. Charles said. “We now have symbols that reflect what actually happens to most black people. Most black people don’t get fancy lawyers that get them off. They don’t have jurors that will be sympathetic because of celebrity. The tide has shifted.” On Oct. 3, 1995, an estimated 150 million people – more than half the country at the time – tuned in to hear the jury’s verdict in Simpson’s trial for the Brown-Goldman murders. The strategy for Simpson’s defense team – which included legendary black litigator Johnnie Cochran – was to frame the case around race. They argued that Simpson had been framed by a corrupt and racist Los Angeles Police Department. Simpson spent much of his life distancing himself from the black community. He lived in the wealthy enclave of Brentwood in Los Angeles and traded his black college sweetheart for a blond, white woman. And he once said, “I’m not black. I’m OJ.” Still, many African-Americans saw the former running back and actor as a pioneer and cultural icon. Even before he became a criminal defendant, Simpson stood for something bigger. Charles McKinney, who is black, was at work on June 17, 1994, when a friend called and told him to turn on the television. In his office with his white co-worker, the two saw the infamous Bronco chase as Simpson tried to elude police on a California highway. “My co-worker was like, ‘I think we should both go home and watch this,’ ” recalled McKinney, now 49, and a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. “I knew it was a simultaneously fascinating and toxic mix of race, reality television and celebrity, to see [...]


Media Files:
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Cary Fire Protection District hosts annual water fightThe Cary Fire Protection District readies for battle at the Cary Fire Protection District’s annual water fights Saturday.The Wilmot, Wis., fire department team competes in the Cary Fire Protection District’s annual water fights Saturday

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:56:00 GMT

Andy Taylor has spent the past few days helping friends and family clean up from last week’s devastating floods. So when the skies cleared on Saturday afternoon, the Cary resident was ready to relax and have some fun. He and hundreds of community residents gathered for the Cary Fire Protection District’s annual water fights, where fire teams from around the area try to push an empty barrel across the opposing team’s “goal” using water from their fire hoses. 

Taylor, who has been coming to the summertime event for many years, said this year’s turnout was the biggest he’s ever seen.

“This is a good way for our community to forget about the flooding for a few hours,” he said. “People need an outlet. It’s ironic that we’re watching water fights while we’re dealing with floods, but this is a tradition here. We need an escape and to feel like it’s OK to have fun, because there are lots of people who’ve been devastated.”

Nine fire departments, including teams from Fox Lake, Marengo, Cary and Wilmot, Wisconsin, battled in the tournament-style event that has four firefighters on each hose. Retired Capt. Dennis Krenz of the Cary Fire Protection District, said he participated on the water fight team for many years, but now enjoys being a spectator.

“A lot of people have never seen a water fight, and it’s a nice day, gives people something to do,” he said. “There’s a lot of strategy involved. They have to work as a team and be in unison. Everyone on the line has a specific job.”

Saturday was the first time Cary resident Kim Covelli had been to the water fights. She said she thought it would be fun for the kids to see.

“The kids are loving it, and it’s a fun event for the community. It showcases the fire department in a fun way. It’s nice to see so many community members out here enjoying the day,” she said. 

Brad Delatorre, a Cary firefighter who’s been on the waterfight team for about 25 years, said he enjoys participating because of the camaraderie with his co-workers. Delatorre is at the front of the hose, controlling the nozzle.

“It’s a good team-building event. If your team is behind you, you feel it and have a good fight. The community always supports us. It’s very exciting, especially if you’re winning,” he said.

Unfortunately for Delatorre and his team, Cary didn’t win.That honor went to one of the teams from Wilmot, Wisconsin. The Fox Lake team took second place.  

The Cary Fire Protection District readies for battle at the Cary Fire Protection District’s annual water fights Saturday.The Wilmot, Wis., fire department team competes in the Cary Fire Protection District’s annual water fights Saturday


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/07/22/16fdd18b6c724773821f96b1b86449bd/479b973c-569d-42ee-95c8-574b82d4c6b3/image-pv_web.jpg




Trump’s new man deletes inconvenient tweetsAnthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, accompanied by newly appointed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, right, speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Washington. White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:56:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – A day after accepting a top White House job, President Donald Trump's new communications adviser announced Saturday that he's deleting old tweets, saying his own views have evolved and that what he said in the past shouldn't be a distraction.

Trump announced Friday that he'd hired Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci to help the White House sharpen its public message.

Social media users quickly did a deep dive and recirculated past tweets by Scaramucci that were at odds with Trump's views, including one that praised Hillary Clinton's competence. Trump defeated Clinton for president last year and continues to criticize her, including in several tweets Saturday.

Other repurposed Scaramucci tweets expressed support for stronger gun laws, which he tweeted about in August 2012. In May 2016, he expressed displeasure with individuals who believe climate change is a hoax. Trump has at times referred to global warming as a hoax.

"Full transparency: I'm deleting old tweets. Past views evolved & shouldn't be a distraction. I serve @POTUS agenda & that's all that matters," Scaramucci said Saturday in the first of a pair of messages on the subject.

"The politics of "gotcha" are over. I have a thick skin and we're moving on to @POTUS agenda serving the American people," he added.

Twitter users also scrolled back deep into Scaramucci's timeline to raise questions about a 2012 tweet in which he seemed to misattribute a quote to author Mark Twain.

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth. Mark Twain," Scaramucci tweeted.

Scaramucci served Trump as a campaign fundraiser and adviser during the transition.

He made his first appearance before reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday and quickly apologized to Trump for referring to him as a "hack politician" during an August 2015 appearance on Fox Business Network.

Asked whether Trump was aware of the comment, Scaramucci joked that the president mentions it every 15 seconds.

He called it one of his "biggest mistakes" before looking into the cameras and saying: "Mr. President, if you're listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that."

In a tweet Saturday, Trump defended Scaramucci, who supported other GOP presidential candidates before he backed Trump.

"In all fairness to Anthony Scaramucci, he wanted to endorse me 1st, before the Republican Primaries started, but didn't think I was running!"

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, accompanied by newly appointed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, right, speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, Friday, July 21, 2017, in Washington. White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


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Trump asserts he has power to pardon

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:56:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Saturday that he has "complete power" to issue pardons, an assertion that comes amid investigations into Russian interference in last year's presidential election. It was one of many topics that appeared to occupy the president's mind as the day broke. On a day when most people are ready to forget about the issues that nagged them during the week, Trump revved up. In an early morning flurry of 10 tweets, he commented about pardons, former presidential rival Hillary Clinton, son Don Jr., health care, the USS Gerald Ford, the attorney general and other issues. Trump said in one of his 10 messages: "While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS." The Washington Post recently reported that Trump has inquired about the authority he has as president to pardon aides, relatives or even himself in connection with the widening investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether any Trump associates were involved. The president has long criticized leaks of information about the investigation, and has urged authorities to prosecute leakers. Trump maintains that no crimes have been committed. One of Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, said the president has not discussed the issue of pardons with his outside legal team. Next week, Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner; and Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, are scheduled to appear before Senate committees investigating Russian meddling. Trump defended his son in one of the tweets, saying he "openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-mails!" Trump's namesake has become a focus of the investigation after it was revealed that he, Kushner and Manafort met with Russian representatives at Trump Tower in June 2016. Trump Jr. later released email exchanges concerning the meeting on Twitter, after learning that The New York Times was about to publish them. The FBI investigated Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state. She turned over thousands of pages of emails to the government, but deleted thousands of others that she said were personal or unrelated to her work as the nation's top diplomat. Trump also complained Saturday about a Washington Post report that the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said he discussed election-related issues with Jeff Sessions when the men met during the 2016 presidential race. Sessions, now the attorney general, at the time was a U.S. senator and foreign policy adviser to Trump. Trump tweeted: "A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!" The Post on Friday cited anonymous U.S. officials who described U.S. intelligence intercepts of Ambassador Sergey Kislyak's descriptions of his meetings with Sessions. The Justice Department said Sessions stands by his previous assertion that he never had conversations with Russian officials about any type of interference with the election. Trump also said "Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace" the Obama-era health care law. An effort to advance legislation collapsed in the Senate earlier this week after several Republicans said they [...]



Strong aftershocks test nerves on Greek island after quake

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:56:00 GMT

KOS, Greece – Crews of experts began examining the damage to cultural monuments and infrastructure on the eastern Greek island of Kos on Saturday, a day after a powerful earthquake killed two tourists and injured nearly 500 others in the Aegean Sea region that stretches to Turkey's sprawling coast. Residents and tourists were still jittery as a series of aftershocks Saturday night continued to rock the island. A tremor measuring a preliminary 4.4 magnitude struck at 8:09 p.m. Saturday, sending residents and restaurant customers scurrying toward the middle of the town's main square, as far away as possible from buildings. Sixteen minutes later, a second 4.6-magnitude tremor struck, the Athens Geodynamics Institute reported. The first tremor had its epicenter only 12.5 miles northeast of Kos at a depth of 6.2 miles. Hundreds of residents and tourists spent Friday night sleeping outdoors on the island, too afraid to return to their homes or hotels after the quake that struck early Friday. Many camped out in parks and olive groves, or slept in their cars or on beach and swimming pool lounge chairs. The aftershocks Saturday night meant that many would spend a second night outdoors. During the day in Kos, churches, an old mosque, the port's 14th-century castle and other old buildings that suffered in the quake were being checked by archaeologists and experts from Greece's Culture Ministry. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake Friday at magnitude 6.7, with Greek and Turkish estimates a fraction lower. Two men, a Turk and a Swede, were killed when a wall collapsed into a popular bar in the Old Town of Kos. The most seriously injured in Greece were airlifted to hospitals on the mainland and the southern island of Crete, and at least two were still in critical condition Saturday. The Turkish man's parents were on the island making arrangements to repatriate his body home by boat, possibly on Sunday. Panagiotis Bekali, a 30-year-old resident, spent the night sleeping in an olive grove with relatives while his 5-year-old son and 16-year-old nephew slept in the family car. "There were cracks in the house [from the earthquake] so we went straight out," he said. "We were afraid to stay indoors, so the whole family slept outside." Dozens of aftershocks have shaken the island. John Grant, a 60-year-old tourist from Britain, said he felt safer sleeping outside. "Coming from somewhere that doesn't have earthquakes, you don't understand," he said from his makeshift bed on a lounge chair. "So to me it was very frightening being in the building. But being outside, I know I'm safe." About 350 of the injuries occurred in Turkey, in Bodrum and other beach resorts, as people fled buildings and as a sea swell flung cars off the road and pushed boats ashore. Seismologists said the shallow depth of the undersea quake Friday was to blame for the damage. In Kos, the quake damaged the island's main port, so ferries were being diverted to the smaller port of Kefalos on the island's southwestern coast. Serif Damadoglou Soukri, the imam of Kos, said the greatest damage to Kos mosques was sustained by the central 17th-century Defternatar Ibrahim Pasa mosque, whose minaret, restored a few years ago, collapsed completely. Ancient columns also toppled over in the southern part of the 2nd-century agora in the main town. [...]



Democrats herald agreement on sweeping Russia sanctions bill

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:56:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Congressional Republicans and Democrats announced Saturday that they had reached an agreement on a sweeping Russia sanctions package to punish Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, said lawmakers had settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. The sanctions targeting Russia, however, have drawn the most attention due to President Donald Trump’s persistent push for warmer relations with President Vladimir Putin and ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign. Passage of the bill, which could occur before Congress breaks for the August recess, puts Capitol Hill on possible collision course with Trump. The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would mandate a congressional review if Trump tried to ease or end the sanctions against Moscow. But if Trump were to veto the bill, he risks sparking an outcry from Republicans and Democrats and having his decision overturned. The sanctions review was included in the bill because of wariness among lawmakers from both parties over Trump’s affinity for Putin. The precise mechanics of how involved House Democrats would be in the review process had been a key sticking point, but Hoyer said he’s satisfied with the outcome. “The legislation ensures that both the majority and minority are able to exercise our oversight role over the administration’s implementation of sanctions,” Hoyer said. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the sanctions legislation “strong” and he expected the legislation to be passed promptly. “Given the many transgressions of Russia, and President Trump’s seeming inability to deal with them, a strong sanctions bill such as the one Democrats and Republicans have just agreed to is essential,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted a legislative business schedule that shows the sanctions bill will be voted on Tuesday. McCarthy, R-Calif., had pushed to add the North Korea sanctions to the package. The House had overwhelmingly passed legislation in May to hit Pyongyang with additional economic sanctions, but the Senate had yet to take up the bill. The Senate last month passed sanctions legislation that targeted only Russia and Iran. Congressional aides said there may be resistance among Senate Republicans to adding the North Korea penalties, but it remained unclear whether those concerns would further stall the legislation. The aides were not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “North Korea, Iran and Russia have in different ways all threatened their neighbors and actively sought to undermine American interests,” McCarthy and Rep. Ed Royce of California, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a joint statement. “The bill the House will vote on next week will now exclusively focus on these nations and hold them accountable for their dangerous actions.” The House and Senate negotiators addressed concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia’s energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow’s benefit. The bill raises the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Rus[...]



Trump: USS Ford is ‘100,000-ton message to the world’

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:56:00 GMT

NORFOLK, Va. – With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed. U.S. allies will rest easy, Trump said, but America's enemies will "shake with fear" when they see the Ford cutting across the horizon. The president and commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces likened the $12.9 billion warship to "an incredible work of art" and boasted about the American labor that went into building a vessel that eventually will house thousands of sailors and crew members. Trump's participation in the ceremony also capped "Made in America" week at the White House, during which the president and administration officials sought to draw attention to U.S. manufacturing. "American steel and American hands have constructed this 100,000-ton message to the world," Trump said of the Ford during a speech that praised the bravery and spirit of U.S. service members and referenced his desire for a buildup after years of spending restrictions. "American might is second to none and we're getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration. That I can tell you," Trump told thousands of service members and guests, including former defense secretaries Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, all packed into the steamy hangar bay on the main deck. "Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming, and America is coming strong," Trump said. After the speech, he put the Ford into commission and asked God to "bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her." He was followed by Susan Ford Bales, the ship's sponsor and daughter of the 38th president, whom the ship honors. "There is no one, absolutely no one, who would be prouder of the commissioning of this mighty ship than the president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford," she said. "I am honored to give the command: 'Officers and crew of the United States Gerald R. Ford, man our ship and bring her to life.'" "Anchors Aweigh" played as row after row of sailors in crisp, white uniforms who had been standing in formation began filing off to man their stations. Sirens and bells sounded, horns blared and the U.S. flag was hoisted high above the deck. Soon after, the captain was informed that the "ship is manned and ready and reports for duty to the fleet." Trump, who visited the carrier in March, told Time magazine this year that the Navy should revert to using steam catapults to launch fighter jets because some of the USS Ford's state-of-the-art systems and technology "costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it's no good." Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The Navy has blamed the delays and budget overruns on the ship's advanced systems and technology, including electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones that will replace steam catapults. The warship also has a smaller island that sits farther back on the ship to make it quicker to refuel, re-arm and relaunch planes, and a nuclear power plant designed to allow cruising speeds of more than 30 knots and operation for [...]



Korean War soldier missing 66 years to get Illinois burial

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:55:00 GMT

HARRISBURG – The remains of a Harrisburg soldier missing in action 66 years are coming home for burial.

Phyllis Walker tells the Carbondale Southern Illinoisan that the U.S. Army identified the remains of her uncle. Reserve Cpl. Edward Lee Borders was reported missing in action in 1951. The army declared him dead in 1954.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used DNA analysis to identify the remains of the 20-year-old soldier from comingled remains in 208 boxes turned over to the U.S. from North Korea from 1990 to 1994.

Chinese forces aiding the North Koreans launched an offensive on Feb. 11, 1951. Borders' anti-aircraft artillery battalion came under attack. He was listed as missing on Feb. 13 when he didn't report with his unit in the city of Wonju.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com




‘League of Their Own’ turns 25 and continues to inspire

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:55:00 GMT

ROCKFORD – The hit movie that resurrected the memory of the Rockford Peaches is 25 and it still inspires.

The Rockford Register-Star reported that hundreds of girls aged 7 to 17 will converge on Rockford on July 27 for what organizers say is the largest all-girls baseball tournament ever. They’ll play in Beyer Stadium. It was the home from 1943 to 1954 of the Rockford Peaches . The team that was part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was the star of the 1992 film “A League of Their Own.”

The tournament is coming to Beyer because of the Peaches. Many players said they were inspired by the film and the story of the Rockford Peaches. Beyer Stadium has become an international baseball-fan mecca too, even though there was no filming there.




Illinois Raptor Center expands rehabilitation space

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:55:00 GMT

DECATUR – A raptor center in Illinois soon will have rehabilitation space for injured birds of any size.

The Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur is building a Super Flight, a 16-foot-wide, 17-foot-high, 400-foot-long space for birds of prey to regain their soaring heights and hunting skills, the Herald & Review reported.

Partition doors can create seven separate flights or be left open to allow birds to use the entire flight. A natural floor and slight openings in the ceiling and walls will allow nature to infiltrate, helping the birds acclimate to the outdoors again.

Program director Jacques Nuzzo designed the flight. Ameren Illinois supplied utility poles, and Phillips Construction built the frame. Sullivan-based Westside Buildings is completing the work.

Nuzzo said he marvels at how hard and fast they work.

“Originally, it was supposed to be one flight,” he said.

The flight being used now is a barn. It will continue to serve barred owls, while the new flight will be used for larger birds.

Nuzzo said that before the new flight, large birds were taken outdoors for practice flights with hoods and leads used to train falcons. That stressed out the birds without giving them the sustained flight necessary to build muscle and control.

“I don’t think we could have pulled this off 20 years ago,” Nuzzo said. “This is the culmination of 20 years of rehab.”




Rauner U of I trustee pick a generous GOP donor

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:55:00 GMT

CHAMPAIGN – Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent choice for a seat on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees is a generous Republican campaign donor.

The Champaign News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/2eEckHj ) that Dr. Stuart King has given $6,000 to Citizens for Rauner. His most recent check was for $1,000 in March.

Campaign disclosure records reviewed by the newspaper also show King has given more than $22,000 to GOP candidates. They include state Sens. Chapin Rose of Mahomet and Jason Barickman of Bloomington, Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield and Champaign County-area hopefuls.

King is a Christie Clinic physician. He's given money to Illinois Republican congressional accounts and the presidential campaigns of John McCain, Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham.

It is not unusual for a governor to appoint trustees who are donors.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com




Chicago festival to mark Pokemon Go anniversary goes awry

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:55:00 GMT

CHICAGO – A Pokemon Go festival at Chicago’s Grant Park to celebrate the virtual game’s one-year anniversary went awry when a technical glitch prevented many players from logging on.

The Chicago Tribune reported the festival’s organizers decided to issue refunds for the $20 tickets and $100 in credits for use on the app.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported the CEO of the game’s developer was booed when he tried to explain the problem to the crowd. Niantic Inc.’s John Hanke said “the whole Niantic team” was working to fix a glitch in the server and log-on problems with cellular service providers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Some in attendance paid as much as $400 online for the tickets when they sold out within minutes of their June release.

The augmented reality game that uses GPS to locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures was introduced in the United States in July 2016.

Niantic says Pokemon Go has been downloaded 750 million times.




Bringing Carbondale’s heyday into the digital age

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:55:00 GMT

CARBONDALE – When Jane Adams looks back on the Carbondale of her youth, she remembers an era marked by forward-thinking innovation. Adams, a retired Southern Illinois University professor and former city councilwoman, grew up on a farm in Ava and started coming to Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship with her family in the 1950s, right when “things were really bursting out,” she said. “Delyte Morris had started the emeritus program where he brought in people who were real luminaries, and several of them went to the Unitarian Fellowship and gave lectures there regularly,” Adams said. “Bucky Fuller gave lectures from time to time, and philosophers and educational philosophers. They were starting the Dewey Center, Morris Library – all of that was happening. It was a place you could go and you could do things.” Adams and her husband, photographer D. Gorton, helped establish the downtown Arbor District. The couple has painstakingly restored several historic homes in Carbondale, mostly along Cherry Street; they’ve sold a few and rent out the others to professors, graduate students and members of the community. In December, the Carbondale City Council approved an ordinance establishing the licensing process for short-term vacation rental units within the city, allowing homeowners to rent out units on websites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. The couple seized the opportunity and took on a new project: renovating their detached 1967 pool house as a short-term rental. Their Elm Street property, which Gorton refers to as a “compound,” is steeped in history. The original 50-year-old pool was built by the family of Dr. Leo J. Brown, who co-founded the Carbondale Clinic and Memorial Hospital. The property’s courtyard features the bricks that originally paved Walnut Street, and the expansive garden, teeming with vegetables and herbs, was first cultivated in the 1850s. Gorton and Adams sought to renovate the 800-square-foot pool house while staying true to its mid-century modern aesthetic and design. But the space fuses the old with the new: It’s also a fully equipped smart home. “It was built in 1967, but everything you’ll see is connected to my iPhone. So I can open the doors, close the doors, I can turn the temperature up and down, I can turn the TVs on and off, lights come on and off – the idea being that it’s the greatest experience for my guests but also the least amount of, hopefully, the least amount of work for me and Jane,” Gorton said. With SIU enrollment numbers plunging and the downstate region feeling the pinch of the state budget impasse, Gorton and Adams regard the Aug. 21 solar eclipse – an event projected to draw as many as 50,000 people to the city – as a chance to show visitors the best side of Carbondale: one that honors the innovative spirit of the city’s past and also looks to the future. “There was a chance here – and what Mayor [Mike] Henry says is, it’s the last best chance we’ve got – to renovate Carbondale, to make a difference and make a change; basically to change the story of what people think of Carbondale. I don’t want to dwell on the negatives, but people think it’s crime-ridden, people think it’s ugly. We’re exactly the opposite here. We made this as beautiful as we could[...]



Crystal Lake-based School District 155 Board approves Sage YMCA pool rent contractSarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake co-op girls swimming coach Stephanie Wozny talks to the team during swim practice Aug. 31 at Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:54:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Swimmers in Community High School District 155 again will have access to the competitive swimming pool at Sage YMCA of Metro Chicago in Crystal Lake.

The school board unanimously approved a $47,700 contract Monday for the use of the pool for all District 155 swim practices and meets for the 2017-18 school year.

The contract will allow the use of seven of eight lanes in the competitive pool from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. during both the boys and girls seasons, in addition to five home swim meets, said Jeremy Davis, District 155 assistant superintendent of finance, operations and technology, before Monday’s special board meeting.

Like last year, the district will pay $25 a lane per hour. Students who want to make the full two-hour practices will have to miss ninth period, as was the case during last year’s swim seasons.

“I know that the swim teams really like it and are pleased with the facility,” Davis said.

The cost of the contract increased by $1,850 this year to account for use during swim meets, which Davis said the YMCA gave the school district for free last year to “seal the deal” with the initial contract.

In summer 2015, the district moved its swim practices out of the Sage YMCA after the rental cost increased, leading the district to pen a $16,000 contract with Woodstock School District 200 for two of the district’s four teams to use four lanes at Woodstock High School for the 2015-16 season. The other two teams practiced at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center in Crystal Lake.

The district and Sage YMCA negotiated a new rental agreement in April 2016 for all four teams to use its competitive pool for the 2016-17 school year.

Although the new contract is for a single school year, Davis said, the district will try working on getting a multiyear contract with YMCA in the future.

“We would like to enter into a multiyear agreement with the YMCA if they would be willing to do that, but so far we have not been able to get anything more than a one-year agreement with them,” Davis said.

Practice for the girls swim season begins Aug. 9, and the boys season will start Nov. 20.

Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake co-op girls swimming coach Stephanie Wozny talks to the team during swim practice Aug. 31 at Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake.


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Women's March six-month anniversary march held in WoodstockWomen dressed as handmaids walk around the Woodstock Square during Saturday's Women's March Six-Month Anniversary March hosted by the Democratic Party of McHenry County July 22, 2017.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:54:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Six months after the national marches, about 150 people participated in the Woodstock Women’s March on Saturday starting at the Woodstock Historic Square, 205 Todd Ave. That included participants from the Washington, D.C., and Chicago marches in January. Many marched to Dick Tracy Way Park, on Dick Tracy Way and Lake Ave., with signs that displayed messages such as “Women’s rights matter to men who value women.” Some women dressed in red robes like the women from the novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, which is about a future dystopian society where women only existed for breeding purposes. They marched with signs in support of Illinois House Bill 40, which would keep abortion legal in Illinois if Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Juliana Morawski, who is from the group Indivisible Northwestern Illinois and is a registered nurse from Crystal Lake, was one of the marching handmaids. “We put this stuff on to show that we’re concerned that we’re slipping backwards and that we won’t go back,” Morawski said. Several speakers were featured at the event, including Kristina Zahorik, state central committeewoman for the Democratic Party of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District and vice chairwoman of the Democratic Party of McHenry County. Zahorik highlighted the significance of hosting the event at the Historic Square during her speech, saying that it was one of the stops along Grace Wilbur Trout’s suffragette tour in 1910. “History points out to us why marching and rallying are important,” Zahorik said. Ruth Scifo, who is 3rd District chairperson of the Democratic Party of McHenry County, said she and Cathy Johnson, 6th District chairperson for the party, organized the event. She said the event was not hosted by the Democratic Party of McHenry County, and that it was important to note so that women feel included in the event, regardless of political affiliation. “[Johnson] and I organized the bus to the march in D.C.,” Scifo said. “So we had gathered, we did our own fundraising; […] we got 45 women to come with us and when we were done with the march, we actually had gotten donations. So we had funds left over, and we decided that we wanted to do another event, and so this is it.” Florence DeMeo of Woodstock held a sign that said “Women 4 Trump” during the speeches. She said she attended as a supporter of President Donald Trump because the event was a women’s gathering. “[Trump] loves America,” DeMeo said. “He’s fighting for all of the Americans.” Nellie Cocks, of Johnsburg, said she and her two female relatives stopped by the event out of curiosity. Cocks said she felt the event was polarizing for some that may be for refugee resettlement in the U.S., for example, but may be pro-life. “What frustrates me, I guess, is when I see rallies and protests, there’s a list of ten things that people will say, like ‘We stand on this, we’re against this, we’re for that, we’re this’ and I’ll go, ‘Okay, I agree with these two points, but I don’t agree with all ten – and in fact, I really disagree with those three,” Cocks said. [...]


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Prison sentence stands for Wisconsin woman convicted of aggravated DUI in 2016 fatal heroin crashSheree Ann Shaw

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:53:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge will not reconsider a prison sentence for a Wisconsin woman who pleaded guilty to two aggravated driving under the influence charges in connection with a May 2016 crash that killed a Woodstock woman and seriously injured her husband.

Judge Sharon Prather sentenced Sheree Ann Shaw to 16 years in prison July 6. Shaw pleaded guilty in April to the two felony charges and faced up to 26 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Shaw was driving a 2002 Ford Taurus near the 2500 block of Richmond Road on May 6 when she tried to change lanes several times, crossed into a no-passing zone and struck a 2007 Harley-Davidson Road Glide driven by Mike Thornton, 40, with passenger Amy Thornton, 42.

Mike Thornton and his wife of nearly 20 years were on an excursion discussing college plans for their son, who was about to graduate from Woodstock North High School. The Woodstock couple has two sons, Zach and Michael.

Amy Thornton worked as a nurse for 20 years. She died nine days after the crash at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Mike Thornton suffered a shattered left shoulder and left pelvis, and since has had six surgeries.

Shaw’s defense lawyer, Angelo Mourelatos, filed a motion on his client’s behalf to reconsider the sentence imposed. This is typically the first step before an appeal.

Shaw was not present in court because she was recently transferred to Logan Correctional Center near Springfield.

Mourelatos argued that Prather erred in applying and weighing all factors when imposing Shaw’s sentence, according to his motion. He said Prather did not consider Shaw had a minimal past criminal history and led a law-abiding life for a substantial period of time before the offense.

Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs said Prather made her decision at sentencing and didn’t provide further argument.

After Prather said she would not reconsider her decision, based on the fact that she considered all facts when determining an appropriate sentence, Mourelatos said his client planned to appeal the sentence to the 2nd District Appellate Court.

Shaw was first taken into custody after the crash and charged with driving without a valid driver’s license and insurance but posted bond shortly thereafter and returned to Wisconsin. She then was arrested in Walworth County on upgraded charges, but was again released on a $2,500 recognizance bond.

Shaw failed to appear in McHenry County court June 7, and Prather issued a warrant for her arrest. She was extradited from Las Vegas after missing court appearances in Wisconsin and Illinois. Authorities have said Shaw was visiting family in Las Vegas when she was arrested.

Sheree Ann Shaw


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Fox River surpasses last week's crest levels, officials sayThe bridge going across the Fox River in Algonquin was packed with pedestrians wanting to see the flood Saturday. Severe thunderstorms throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning drenched flooded areas throughout McHenry County, depositing more than 2 inches of rain in some areas.Piles of sandbags cover La Fox River Drive in Algonquin Saturday. Severe thunderstorms throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning drenched flooded areas throughout McHenry County, depositing more than 2 inches of rain in some areas.A view of the flooded parking lot at Cornish Park off the Fox River in Algonquin Saturday. Severe thunderstorms throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning drenched flooded areas throughout McHenry County, depositing more than 2 inches of rain in some areas.

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 04:49:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – Floods are expected to rise in McHenry County after Friday night’s downpour that dumped between 1 and 2 and a 1/2 inches of rain throughout the area. McHenry, Lake, Kane and parts of Cook counties have been declared state disaster areas after the historic flooding of the Fox River. Residents in Cary, Fox River Grove and Algonquin will still feel the effects of the continually rising waters into Saturday night and possibly Sunday, Fox Waterway Agency Executive Director Joe Keller said. Keller said there will be a rise throughout the whole system, and the Fox River at the Algonquin tailwater has already superseded its most recent crest of 12.82 feet. Those near the lower river will be hurting the most because they will be facing both the rising river and runoff due to the ground being saturated, he said. “We advise people to stay away from water,” Keller said. “Lots of the water has been sitting. It has bacteria and sewage overflow in it, and it’s really not the best thing for kids or even adults to be playing near or around.” He added that he was grateful more rain didn’t fall Friday. “It wasn’t as bad as they had talked,” Keller said. “You get to the point that you do so much physical work, you just have to pray, and I think that’s what a lot of people did.” The Fox River at the Algonquin tailwater reached 13.04 feet Saturday morning – more than 3 and 1/2 feet above flood stage. By 4:30 p.m. it was at 12.88 feet, still above the 2013 crest which was 12.70 feet, according to the U.S Geological Survey. The river at the McHenry dam had reached 7.60 feet, also more than 3 and 1/2 feet above its 4 foot flood stage. McHenry County remained under a severe weather alert Saturday night for thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. There is an elevated storm risk for Sunday as well, with flood warnings for the Fox and Des Plaines River, according to the service. On Friday, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack D. Franks signed a new disaster declaration in response to the additional storms and growing floods. Sen. Tammy Duckworth will be meeting with Franks on Sunday to get a firsthand look at the flooding. Franks also has been in close contact with U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam, and Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has directed the state of Illinois to send pumps to assist in Algonquin and Cary, according to a news release from the McHenry County Board. Volunteers are needed to assist with the crisis. Disaster relief organization Team Rubicon are organizing volunteers and will be onsite at the McHenry Home Depot, 2461 N. Richmond Road, beginning Monday. Cleanup kits and buckets are available at the Home Depot for affected residents free of charge. Residents who need volunteer help can call the Crisis Cleanup hotline at 1-800-451-1954 to request assistance. Residents can sign up to volunteer by visiting www.co.mchenry.il.us/flood. To alleviate some of the burden from storm-related damage and help residents and emergency personnel stay connected in the wake of recent storms in Lake and McHenry Counties in Illinois, Comcast is opening up thousands of Xfinity WiFi hot[...]


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Women's march planned in Woodstock to highlight issues, energize voters

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 22:50:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The Democratic Party of McHenry County is planning a women’s march Saturday to highlight women’s issues and to energize voters.

The march will take place after a rally beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the gazebo on the Woodstock Square. The march will end at the Dick Tracy Way Park on Lake Avenue, and an ice cream social event will follow.

The worldwide Women’s March took place Jan. 21 and has been followed by numerous sister marches, including some in Chicago, Rockford and Elgin. Members of the Democratic Party of McHenry County went to the march in Washington, D.C., six months ago and came away motivated to effect change, said Cathy Johnson, co-organizer of the Woodstock women’s march.

“A lot of them had been engaged here and there,” she said. “But they came away really ready to do some things.”

Speakers planned for the event include Jenna Prochaska of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Rights Project; director Cindy Skrudrud of the Clean Water Program of the Sierra Club Illinois chapter and former executive director of the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County; Latino program director Janie Galarza of Turning Point of McHenry County; and Kristina Zahorik, state central committeewoman for the Democratic Party of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District and vice chairwoman of the Democratic Party of McHenry County.

The Democratic Party also has come up with a new declaration of purpose, which is on a large scroll that marchers can sign to express what they are willing to do to keep political change going, Johnson said.

“I think it’s powerful when you sign your name to something like this,” Johnson said. “It’s really pretty exciting.”




See what happened after more storms hit McHenryPhoto provided by Kim Scharlow on Route 47 looking east in Huntley.Photo provided by Brendan Silker in Port Barrington.Photo provided by Linda Henderson Noshay in Crystal Lake after Wednesday's storms.Photo provided by Brendan Silker in Port Barrington.Photo provided by Tom Legare in Prairie Grove.Photo provided by Christopher Neufeldt in Fox River Grove.Photo provided by Dirk Bantin in McHenry.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 15:04:00 GMT

Here's what some of the Northwest Herald's readers are seeing after another batch of storms rolled through McHenry County Friday night into Saturday morning.

Photo provided by Kim Scharlow on Route 47 looking east in Huntley.Photo provided by Brendan Silker in Port Barrington.Photo provided by Linda Henderson Noshay in Crystal Lake after Wednesday's storms.Photo provided by Brendan Silker in Port Barrington.Photo provided by Tom Legare in Prairie Grove.Photo provided by Christopher Neufeldt in Fox River Grove.Photo provided by Dirk Bantin in McHenry.


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Documents: Investigation into Crystal Lake firefighters who face discipline, criminal charges after incident at bar

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 11:37:00 GMT

Documents obtained by the Northwest Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request describe a rowdy gathering of off-duty firefighters and others March 15 at a "diaper party" – the male version of a baby shower – at Finn McCool’s, 72 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.

Witnesses told an investigator hired by the city that firefighters groped customers and bar employees, continued drinking after they were cut off and eventually were kicked out, according to a report prepared by an Oak Brook law firm.


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3 Palestinians, 3 Israelis killed in violence over holy siteA Palestinian uses a slingshot against Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Friday, July 21, 2017. Israel police severely restricted Muslim access to a contested shrine in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday to prevent protests over the installation of metal detectors at the holy site.(AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:26:00 GMT

JERUSALEM – Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the Holy Land’s most contested shrine boiled over into violence on Friday that killed six people – three Palestinians in street clashes in Jerusalem and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement. After nightfall, a Palestinian sneaked into a home in the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank and stabbed to death three Israelis. The military said the attacker apparently jumped over the fence and infiltrated the family’s home, surprising them as they ate the traditional Sabbath evening meal. It said the Palestinian killed a man and two of his children, while a woman was wounded and taken to hospital. The man’s grandchildren were present but not harmed, it said. The army released footage showing a blood-covered kitchen floor. It said senior military officials are meeting overnight to discuss how to proceed. A military spokesman called the Palestinian attack “a massacre.” Israel TV’s Channel 10 said the assailant was in his late teens and had posted on Facebook that he was upset by the events at the Jerusalem shrine. Eli Bin, the head of Israel’s rescue service MDA, said an off-duty soldier next door heard screams, rushed to the home and shot the attacker through a window. Bin said the wounded attacker was taken to a hospital. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, announced that he is freezing ties with Israel, dealing a blow to fledgling Trump administration efforts to try to renew long-dormant peace talks. Abbas said contacts with Israel would be suspended on “all levels.” It was not immediately clear if this means long-standing security coordination between Israeli troops and Abbas’ forces will be halted. At issue in the current round of violence are metal detectors Israel installed at the Jerusalem shrine this week in response to an attack by Arab gunmen there. The metal detectors are perceived by the Palestinians as an encroachment on Muslim rights and portrayed by Israel as a needed security measure following the attack that killed two Israeli policemen. Earlier Friday, several thousand Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank clashed with Israeli troops, burning tires or throwing stones and firecrackers. Troops fired live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas. Three Palestinians were killed and several dozen hospitalized with live or rubber bullet injuries. White clouds of tear gas rose from Jerusalem streets and West Bank flashpoints. In one neighborhood, Palestinians threw stones from behind a mattress used as a shield. Israel also faced growing criticism from the Muslim world, and thousands staged anti-Israel protests after Friday prayers in Jordan and Yemen. Turkey and Egypt also condemned the violence. The confrontations could escalate in coming days as both sides dig in. Israel said the metal detectors would remain in place. Lawmaker Tzachi Hanegbi, a confidant of Prime M[...]


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O.J. Simpson will get his freedom, but then what?Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learning he was granted parole at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool)

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:25:00 GMT

LOVELOCK, Nev. – When O.J. Simpson gets out of prison in October for his first taste of freedom in nine years, he will have the mementos he was convicted of stealing in a Las Vegas heist, his guaranteed NFL pension and, with any luck, certain life skills he says he acquired behind bars. Beyond that, the 70-year-old sports legend faces an uncertain future. “The legitimate mainstream business opportunities for Juice in the megabuck world of professional sports are slim and none,” said John Vrooman, an economics professor and sports industry expert at Vanderbilt University. “If Americans love anyone more than a superhero, it is a fallen hero making a comeback against the odds,” he said a day after Simpson was granted parole. But Vrooman said the odds against the one-time murder defendant and convicted armed robber “now seem insurmountable.” Others think he will find a way to make ends meet, perhaps by signing autographs and making personal appearances. “The primary asset this guy has is name and brand recognition. ... I believe Mr. Simpson believes he can make a bunch of money by returning to the memorabilia circuit,” said David Cook, collections attorney for the parents of Ronald Goldman. Goldman was stabbed to death along with Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in Los Angeles in 1994, a crime O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the following year. He was found liable in civil court in 1997 for the killings and was ordered to pay $33.5 million to the victims’ families. The verdict is still hanging over him, and the Goldmans’ lawyer has been trying for years to seize some of Simpson’s assets. After getting released, Simpson plans to move to Florida, a state with a strong law that would shield his home and everything in it from seizure to satisfy the verdict. But Tom Scotto, one of Simpson’s closest friends, said Simpson has no plans to buy a house. Simpson played 11 seasons for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers, and his league pension could be as much as $10,565 a month, depending on when he began collecting it, according to ESPN. Cook said he believes Simpson does not have much more than that, noting that the Hall of Famer lost his Miami-area home to foreclosure in 2014. One thing Simpson will have is some of the sports memorabilia and family photos he and his armed accomplices stole from a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007, the crime for which he was locked up. He told the parole board on Thursday that California authorities investigated the ownership of the items shortly after he went to prison, concluded they were his and returned them to him, a turn of events he called “kind of mind-boggling.” Simpson also told the board he is a better man and a “better Christian” and has a new appreciation for those less advantaged. He said he intends to make use of what he considered the most valuable part of his stint in prison – an “Alternative to Violence” class. Othe[...]


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Special session slated if Rauner doesn't get school billKristina Rasmussen, left, the new chief of staff for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, watches as Rauner enters a news conference at Auburn High School Friday, July 21, 2017, in Auburn, Ill. Rauner said he wants lawmakers to send him an education funding bill by noon Monday or face daily special sessions until month's end to ensure the school bell rings on time. The Republican repeated his vow that he would use an amendatory veto to take out of the legislation portions he says are too generous to Chicago. (Justin L. Fowler /The State Journal-Register via AP)

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:23:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday he wants lawmakers to send him an education funding bill by noon Monday or face daily special sessions until month’s end to ensure the state’s schools open on time. The Republican repeated his vow to use what is called an amendatory veto to take out of the legislation portions he says are too generous to Chicago schools. But whether it’s the legislation the General Assembly approved to revise the school funding formula or another plan, he wants quick action as the dog days of summer dissolve into homeroom attendance calls. “There is no excuse – none – for our schools not to open on time,” Rauner said during a visit to Auburn High School, 25 miles south of Springfield. Senate President John Cullerton later issued a statement discouraging “expensive special sessions” and suggesting Rauner “end the secrecy” of how he calculates what he says is an improved plan. The budget lawmakers adopted this month that ended a two-year political struggle over an annual spending plan requires Rauner to distribute school aid through a revised method, endorsed in separate legislation, which provides money to the neediest schools first. But Democrats, fearing a veto, never sent Rauner the measure setting up the “evidence-based” funding system. So there’s no system in law to distribute general state funding to the state’s 851 school districts. Lawmakers aren’t obligated to ever send him the bill. A memo to local administrators from state schools Superintendent Tony Smith, obtained by The Associated Press, points out that the total elementary and secondary school budget is $11.9 billion. While $6.7 billion must be put through an “evidence-based” model not yet in law, the Illinois State Board of Education will, in any event, begin issuing $5.2 billion in other state and federal pass-through dollars, Smith said, citing as an example federal nutrition grants. That money, said Tony Sanders, CEO of the Elgin U-46 school district, the state’s largest outside of Chicago, is “not a whole lot of help,” and the state still owes the district $18 million from last year. “We would work to stay open all year, but it would require our board to make difficult decisions regarding cuts and borrowing,” Sanders said. Chicago schools CEO Forrest Claypool announced Thursday that the nation’s third-largest district will be open for a full academic year. The aim of the evidence-based formula ensures no district receives less than it did last year. That includes a $250 million grant for Chicago, added in 1995. It also adds money to pay for the Chicago district’s portion of teacher pension costs, like it does for every other district. The Senate approved the plan May 31 but Assistant Senate Majority Leader Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, held onto it. Trotter did not respond to a request for comment Friday. Rauner said the Chicago pension issue should be dealt with separately. He contends he’ll slash t[...]


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Cary Fire Protection District to host water fights Saturday

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:07:00 GMT

CARY – The Cary Fire Protection District will battle with neighboring firefighters at its annual water fights Saturday.

The event will start at 2:30 p.m. at Cary Fire Protection District Station 1, 400 Cary-Algonquin Road, Cary, according to the event’s Facebook page.

Food and drink will be available for purchase, according to the event page. Free beer, donated by Tracks in Cary, will also be available.

For information, visit www.facebook.com/events/1869442096602031.




UPNW Metra line delayed Friday after train hit pedestrian near Arlington HeightsPassengers sit aboard a Metra train from Chicago at the Pingree Street station on Dec. 30, 2015, in Crystal Lake.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:05:00 GMT

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – A Metra inbound train on the Union Pacific Northwest line struck a pedestrian during rush hour Friday morning, creating more than two-hour delays, according to Metra.

Metra spokesperson Katie Dahlstrom said a train struck a pedestrian at 7:45 a.m. Friday near Arlington Heights and stopped trains in both directions. Dahlstrom did not know the circumstances surrounding the incident nor the pedestrian’s condition. She did not know how long trains were completely stopped before operating again.

The Arlington Heights Police Department did not provide any information regarding the incident Friday.

According to Metra’s website, train number 626, which was scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 8:31 a.m., struck the pedestrian, and extensive delays were expected throughout the morning. Another alert on the site stated that Metra tickets were honored for all stops on the CTA blue line except the O’Hare station until 10:15 a.m.

Passengers sit aboard a Metra train from Chicago at the Pingree Street station on Dec. 30, 2015, in Crystal Lake.


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Monarch butterfly educational fair set Sunday at Main Beach in Crystal Lake

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:04:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A free educational fair intended to teach people about how they can help the monarch butterfly will be hosted Sunday at Main Beach in Crystal Lake.

The Hackmatack Monarch Coalition will host the fair from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at the Main Beach Pavilion, 300 Lakeshore Drive. The fair will include a variety of activities and information on monarch butterflies migrating across North America, according to a news release.

​Activities include face painting, art and science activities, nature trunks, information on planting butterfly gardens and an interactive monarch migration map. Prairie plants that provide nectar for butterflies will be available to buy.

Six local bands will perform from 12:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Main Beach bandstand. If the event is canceled because of rain, the fair will be at the same time July 30 in the same place.

A study from the World Wildlife Fund released earlier this year found the monarch butterfly population has decreased 27 percent, with bad weather and deforestation listed as top threats. Monarch butterflies migrate between 1,200 to 2,800 miles every year from southeast Canada and the northeast U.S. into Mexico, where the colonies are observed annually for the study.

Mexico, Canada and the U.S. are collaborating on a North American strategy to conserve and recover the species, the release said.

The event is sponsored by Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Crystal Lake Park District, featuring activities from numerous conservation, education and arts groups involved in the Hackmatack Monarch Coalition.




Fox River receding projected to stop with new round of heavy rainA view of Wauconda Road in McHenry while rain falls Friday. Heavy rains have delayed the receding of the river according to hydrogeologic data. The level at the Algonquin tailwater is now projected to hold steady at more than 12 feet, which is severe flood stage, through at least another week.Jose Martinez of Cary lays sandbags Friday while helping a friend protect their house on Waterview Road in McHenry.Jose Vazuez of Crystal Lake grabs a sandbag on Friday while helping a friend protect their house in McHenry. Heavy rains in Wisconsin are again pushing the Fox River into significant flooding, which will then push downstream.Homes on Wauconda Road in McHenry sat surrounded by floodwater from the Fox River on Friday.The Broken Oar Marina fuel pump doubles as a water depth gauge in Port Barrington.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:03:00 GMT

Another 1 to 2 inches of rain – possibly accompanied by severe weather – was forecast through Saturday morning for the flood-swollen Fox River. While the heavy rains that fell Wednesday night delayed the receding of the river according to hydrogeologic data, the rains that began falling Friday afternoon are projected to stop it cold. The level at the Algonquin tailwater is now projected to hold steady at more than 12 feet, which is severe flood stage, through at least another week. Forecasters on Friday projected a crest of 13.3 feet at the Algonquin tailwater over the weekend. That’s not all the bad news. Heavy rains in Wisconsin are again pushing the Fox River into significant flooding, which will then push downstream. Officials last Friday first warned of an “unprecedented” Fox River flood event based on heavy rains and record river levels in Wisconsin. A week later, the ground is saturated, and more water is coming. “If we were in uncharted [waters] last week, we’re beyond that now, and the only thing I can tell people is to protect their property and prepare for something worse,” Fox Waterway Agency Executive Director Joe Keller said. A brief round of heavy rain moved through McHenry County on Friday afternoon, and the National Weather Service subsequently put McHenry County and the rest of northern Illinois under a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight. The chance of thunderstorms will stay throughout the weekend. With the new rain coming, McHenry County Emergency Management Agency Director David Christensen said people all along the river who have stayed with their homes to battle the floods need to have a plan – and have it now – in case they lose their fight with the new water incoming. He advises people to have their cars already packed with essentials and ready to leave, and parked away from places where floodwaters may rise. “People have to keep their eye on higher ground. A lot of people have stayed with their homes. They have to watch conditions and get ready to evacuate,” Christensen said. The Klimek family had no intentions of doing so, despite the Fox River being in their unincorporated McHenry backyard. Carole Klimek and grandson Jack Lischewski reinforced the walls of sandbags that were, for now, keeping the water out of their homes, save for their crawlspace that they regularly pumped out. They knocked down their fence to connect their sandbag walls with those of their neighbor and hopefully increase their mutual odds. They were faring better than their neighbors down the street in the Riverview subdivision, located along the river between Holiday Hills and unincorporated Burtons Bridge. The homes were underwater and the residents gone – fish, frogs and snails were swimming in the yards. This is the fourth flood Klimek has battled in her 28 years in the home – she said[...]


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McHenry man faces up to 65 years in prison after admitting to killing man during drunken Russian roulette

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:03:00 GMT

A McHenry man faces up to 65 years in prison after he admitted to killing a man during a drunken game of Russian roulette.

Robert M. Sterling, 31, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Walworth County Court to first-degree reckless homicide by use of a dangerous weapon, according to court records. He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. Sept. 15.

Sterling was charged with first-degree reckless homicide and homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon days after David Bauspies, 36, of McHenry was found dead Jan. 2 after being shot in an apartment in East Troy, Wisconsin.

East Troy police responded to an apartment about 12:30 p.m. for reports of a gunshot victim. Police said they found Sterling kneeling over Bauspies’ body with a revolver on the floor nearby and blood splattered on the wall, according to court documents.

Police said they interviewed Tyler M. Odell, who lives in the apartment where the incident occurred, and said Bauspies and Sterling were drinking enough beer to get “pretty drunk,” according to court documents. Odell said he took out a .44 Magnum revolver, removed six rounds from the gun and showed it to everyone.

He said he put a round back into the gun and spun the cylinder as Sterling watched. Odell held the gun up to his own head but did not pull the trigger, according to court documents. Odell then handed the gun to Sterling, who spun the cylinder, held the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire.

Sterling then pointed the gun at Bauspies and pulled the trigger, causing the gun to fire and killing Bauspies, according to court documents.


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Chief: Crystal Lake firefighters brought 'disrepute and disgrace' to cityCrystal Lake firefighters Timothy R. Kerley (left), 38, of Crystal Lake, and Adam J. Fowles, 41, of Cary, were arrested on May 11 in connection with an off-duty incident at a local bar two months earlier, records show. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to next appear in court Aug. 17.Crystal Lake firefighters Timothy R. Kerley (pictured above), 38, of Crystal Lake, and Adam J. Fowles, 41, of Cary, were arrested on May 11 in connection with an off-duty incident at a local bar, records show.Crystal Lake firefighters Timothy R. Kerley (pictured above), 38, of Crystal Lake, and Adam J. Fowles, 41, of Cary, were arrested on May 11 in connection with an off-duty incident at a local bar, records show.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 04:58:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Nine Crystal Lake firefighters, including two who were arrested, face discipline in connection with an off-duty incident in March at a local bar, records show. Documents obtained by the Northwest Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request describe a rowdy gathering of off-duty firefighters, lieutenants and others March 15 at a “diaper party” – the male version of a baby shower – at Finn McCool’s, 72 N. Williams St. Witnesses told an investigator hired by the city that firefighters groped customers and bar employees, continued drinking after they were cut off and eventually were kicked out, according to a report prepared by an Oak Brook law firm. The firefighters grew disruptive after their wives, girlfriends and children left for the night. Two firefighters – Adam Fowles and Timothy Kerley – were so drunk that employees refused to serve them additional drinks after complaints from others at the bar, according to reports. Fowles allegedly drunkenly groped a woman and insulted her when she rejected his advances, records show. Kerley was caught drinking after he had been cut off and refused to leave, forcing other firefighters to restrain and remove him and knocking a glass off the bar, records show. “His conduct by assaulting the female patron was inexcusable and shameful for an employee of the city who when taking his oath of office swore to uphold the law,” according to a disciplinary notice signed by Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Chief Paul DeRaedt. One bar employee told investigators that he allowed the group to stay only because they were Crystal Lake firefighters. “He permitted the two intoxicated males to remain as long as they didn’t cause any problems or drink anymore,” according to a report. But the peace didn’t last. Other firefighters threatened and insulted customers and employees. The confrontation intensified when employees kicked the group out and threatened to call police, records show. On their way out, firefighters smashed bottles on the floor, according to the report. City officials on Friday gave the Northwest Herald hundreds of pages of documents related to the incident and subsequent investigations in response to a FOIA request. The documents were heavily redacted, and more than 700 of the pages were entirely whited out. City officials refused to provide videos of the incident in response to a FOIA request from the newspaper. The Northwest Herald has challenged that decision with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Investigation finds firefighters violated city policies Crystal Lake police started investigating the incident March 27 after learning about a citizen’s complaint about the incident. The city also conducted its own employment investigation into the matter. Several firefighters in[...]


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Crystal Lake police reports

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:42:00 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. • Cameron Cody Stonge, 26, 143 Lakewood Ave., Crystal Lake, was charged Monday, May 15, on a Crystal Lake warrant for domestic battery. • Maria Victorina Garcia, 26, 5006 State St., Crystal Lake, was charged Monday, May 15, with aggravated assault and two counts of domestic battery. • Cynthia Jean Hayden, 53, 455 Nash Road, Crystal Lake, was charged Tuesday, May 16, with two counts of domestic battery. • Michelle Marie Licata, 59, 42W117 Copperwood Lane, St. Charles, was charged Tuesday, May 16, with driving under the influence of alcohol. • Jennifer Lynn Esp, 51, 787 Nottingham Lane, Crystal Lake, was charged Thursday, May 18, with two counts of domestic battery. • Gretchen Ann Shay, 40, 718 Ceresia Drive, Crystal Lake, was charged Friday, May 19, with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than .08 percent. • Michael Troy Olsen, 30, 717 1/2 Washington St., Woodstock, was charged Saturday, May 20, on a McHenry County warrant for failing to appear on a retail theft charge. • Stacy Leanne Bagley, 32, 2050 Lawson Road, Schaumburg, was charged Saturday, May 20, with making a telephone threat. • Dylan Salvatore Decesare, 18, 4422 Bay View Drive, Crystal Lake, was charged Sunday, May 21, with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. • Orlando Ruano Rivera, 47, 4808 Prairie Ave., McHenry, was charged Sunday, May 21, on a McHenry County warrant for contempt of court. • Kassondra S. Neukom, 26, 783 Covington Circle, Crystal Lake, was charged Tuesday, May 23, on a McHenry County warrant for failing to appear on a driving under the influence of alcohol charge. • Samantha June Podgorski, 21, 591 Darlington Lane, Crystal Lake, was charged Tuesday, May 23, with domestic battery. • Jesse Lee Rubly, 33, 630 E. Pennsylvania Drive, Palatine, was charged Wednesday, May 24, on a McHenry County warrant for forgery. • Ricardo Najera, 39, 3706 W. 70th St., Chicago, was charged Wednesday, May 24, with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, retail theft, the crime of attempt and driving with a revoked license. • Zachary Stevan Seiler, 23, 883 Barlina Road, Crystal Lake, was charged Friday, May 26, with driving under the influence of alcohol. • Mitchell Kenneth Fanter, 21, 1258 Manchester Drive, Crystal Lake, was charged Saturday, May 27, with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood-alcohol content gre[...]



Crystal Lake police reports

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:26:00 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. CRYSTAL LAKE • Peter Albert Dhuyvetter, 38, 296 Charlotte Ave., Crystal Lake, was arrested Friday, April 28, on a McHenry County warrant for being in a school zone as a child sex offender. • Brett Anthony Miceli, 50, 204 Donegal Court, McHenry, was charged Saturday, April 29, with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than .08 percent. • Dyana Nicole Merida, 29, 104 E. Sumner St., Harvard, was arrested Wednesday, May 3, on a Lake County charge for failure to appear in court. • Victoria Rose Patterson, 29, 627 N. Virginia Road, No. 111, Crystal Lake, was charged Friday, May 5, with two counts of domestic battery. • Heather Jean Ohowell, 31, 804 Eletson Drive, No. 3, Crystal Lake, was charged Saturday, May 6, with two counts of domestic battery. • Sara Katharine Langguth, 23, 7445 Grandview Court, Carpentersville, was charged Saturday, May 6, with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than .08 percent. • Bruce Erick Lewis, 42, 105 McHenry Ave., No. 2, Crystal Lake, was arrested Saturday, May 6, on a McHenry County warrant for failing to appear on a larceny charge. • Tomas Herrera, 26, 718 Longfellow Lane, Mundelein, was charged Sunday, May 7, with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than .08 percent. • Breiana Alyssa Gaston, 22, 450 Wright Drive, Lake in the Hills, was charged Sunday, May 7, with battery. • Marc Nicholas Rowley, 36, 153 Railroad St., Gilberts, was charged Wednesday, May 10, with retail theft. • Fernando A. Calderon, 33, 371 Millard Ave., Crystal Lake, was charged Friday, May 12, with domestic battery. • Laura V. Salazar, 39, 124 S. Porter St., Elgin, was charged Saturday, May 13, with driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a suspended license. • Philip D. Crimaldi, 45, 8512 Shady Lane, Wonder Lake, was charged Sunday, May 14, with attempting to unlawfully acquire a controlled substance. • Jonathan Richard Voigt, 36, 222 N. River Road, Fox River Grove, was charged Sunday, May 14, with reckless driving. • Magdi Soliman, 50, 1905 Scott Circle, Carpentersville, was charged Monday, May 15, with trespassing. • Ryan Patrick Sullivan, 40, 1339 Cottonwood Lane, Crystal Lake, was charged Monday, May 15, with driving[...]



Woodstock police reports

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:19:00 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. • Jesus H. Jimenez, 28, of the 700 block of Lake Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Tuesday, June 6, with two counts of domestic battery, resisting a peace officer and criminal trespassing to a vehicle. • Albert T. Minter, 36, of the 300 block of Putnam Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Tuesday, June 6, with possession of a firearm without a FOID card, possession of ammunition without a FOID card and driving with a suspended license. • Lasheila M. Saffold, 25, of the 1950 block of Sheila Street, Woodstock, was charged Saturday, June 10, with resisting a peace officer and a warrant for retail theft. • Thomas J. Riff, 45, of the 400 block of Lake Avenue, was charged Saturday, June 10 with leaving the scene of a crash, failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and driving with a revoked license. • Colton M. Howell, 19, of the 200 block of Maple Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Saturday, June 10, with two counts of domestic battery. • Esparanza L. Bosquez, 53, of the 700 block of Washington Street, Woodstock, was charged Wednesday, June 14, with two counts of domestic battery. • Gina R. Jayko, 54, of the 400 block of Stewart Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Tuesday, May 23, with identity theft. • Salvador Arreola, 49, of the 500 block of Birch Road, Woodstock, was charged Monday, May 22, with aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated driving while license revoked, driving under the influence, driving while license revoked, no valid registration and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. • Jayson M. Cruz, 24, of the 2300 block of North Queen Anne Road, Woodstock, was charged Tuesday, May 23, with battery. • Sarah N. Kuespert, 20, of the 1000 block of Golden Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Wednesday, May 24, with transportation and possession of open alcohol by a driver, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license. • Joseph L. Foat, 31, of the 1500 block of Wicker Street, Woodstock, was charged Saturday, May 27, with burglary. • Alexandria C. Ladas, 28, of the 3100 block of Home Avenue, Berwyn, was charged Sunday, May 28, with failure to notify owner after striking property, operating an uninsured vehicle and driving with a suspended license. • Nil Y. Patel, 27, of the 1400 block of Portage Lane, Woodstock, was charged Tuesday, May 30, with residential burglary. • Jessica M. Bosquez, 23, of the 700 block of Washington Street, Woodstock, was charged Wednesday, Ma[...]



Chainsaw CarverH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Using a chainsaw, carver Scott Cochrane of Homer Glen, creates a heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach. The tree was no longer viable and would have been removed in the upcoming playground and Main Beach renovation project.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Using a chainsaw Scott Cochrane of Homer Glen, creates a heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Brenan Reinhard of Crystal Lake peeks through fencing to watch chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane of Homer Glen, as he creates a heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A heron sculpture created by chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com After chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane finished cutting, Jeanne Cochrane paints details on the heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:00:00 GMT

Northern Exposure chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane creates a heron from a tree that would have been slated for removal in the upcoming playground and Main Beach renovation project in Crystal Lake.

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Using a chainsaw, carver Scott Cochrane of Homer Glen, creates a heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach. The tree was no longer viable and would have been removed in the upcoming playground and Main Beach renovation project.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Using a chainsaw Scott Cochrane of Homer Glen, creates a heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Brenan Reinhard of Crystal Lake peeks through fencing to watch chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane of Homer Glen, as he creates a heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A heron sculpture created by chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com After chainsaw carver Scott Cochrane finished cutting, Jeanne Cochrane paints details on the heron sculpture from a tree at Crystal Lake Main Beach.


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Sean Spicer resigns as White House press secretaryWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer points to members of the media as he answers questions in the Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)FILE - In this May 9, 2017, file photo, White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned over hiring of new communications aide. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:42:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – White House press secretary Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's embattled spokesman during the first six months of his presidency, is resigning his position, according to two people with knowledge of the decision. Spicer's decision appears to be linked to the appointment of a new White House communications director, New York financier Anthony Scaramucci. The people with knowledge of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the personnel matter publicly. Spicer's daily press briefings had become must-see television until recent weeks when he took on a more behind-the-scenes role. Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has largely taken over the briefings, turning them into an off-camera event. Spicer spent several years leading communications at the Republican National Committee before helping Trump's campaign in the general election. He is close to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, the former RNC chair, and several of the lower-ranking aides in the White House communications shop. Priebus told The Associated Press that he supports Scaramucci "100 percent," despite reportedly trying to prevent the financier from getting multiple administration positions. "We go back a long, long way and are very good friends," Priebus said of Scaramucci. "All good here." Scaramucci is expected to play a visible role as one of Trump's defenders on television. But Spicer and other officials questioned his hiring as communications director ahead of the president's push to overhaul the tax system and other policy issues. One of the officials said Spicer objected to Trump's vision for the future of the press operation. Spicer's resignation set off a chaotic scene in the White House briefing room, as journalists gathered near a doorway seeking more details on his departure. White House officials had yet to announce the timing of the daily briefing — and who would be conducting it. Spicer's tenure got off to a rocky start. On Trump's first full day in office, Spicer lambasted journalists over coverage of the crowd size at the inauguration and stormed out of the briefing room without answering questions. Spicer, who often displayed a fiery demeanor in tense on-camera exchanges with reporters, became part of culture in the way few people in his job have, particularly through an indelible impersonation by Melissa McCarthy on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." She portrayed Spicer as a hostile figure who tore through the briefing room on a portable podium, willing to attack the press. Spicer remained loyal to Trump but he frequently battled perceptions that he was not plugged in to what the president was thinki[...]


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No foul play: Burundi robotics teens likely meant to vanishIn this July 17, 2017, photo, the Afghanistan team, left, walks past two of the team members from Burundi, at right in black shirts, during the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge in Washington. Police tweeted missing person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens, who had last been seen at the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday's final matches. The missing team members include two 17-year-old girls and four males ranging in age from 16 to 18. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:21:00 GMT

McLEAN, Va. – As an international robotics competition in the U.S. capital was wrapping up, the chaperone of the Burundi team was confronting his worst nightmare: He couldn’t find his kids. He looked in the college dorms where the six teens – ages 16 to 18 – had been staying. Their bags were packed and gone. Maybe they got on the wrong bus? Officers swept through DAR Constitution Hall. They were gone. Police now say that two of the six were seen crossing into Canada, and they don’t suspect foul play with any of them. Event organizers said Thursday that their disappearance may have been “self-initiated.” A member of the Burundi-American community was a little more straightforward, saying he has little doubt the teens are seeking asylum, though he emphasized he had no direct knowledge of the situation. Police in D.C. posted missing-person fliers Wednesday asking for help finding the teens, who had last been seen at the FIRST Global Challenge around the time of Tuesday’s final matches. Don Ingabire, 16, and Audrey Mwamikazi, 17, were later seen crossing into Canada, Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said Thursday. Marilu Cabrera, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which receives asylum applications, said the agency does not comment on whether specific individuals have sought asylum. Canadian immigration authorities also declined to comment. The competition, designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science, attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations. It had been in the national spotlight already, thanks to a team of girls from Afghanistan who were allowed to attend after President Donald Trump intervened on their behalf. Twice, their visas had been rejected — an Afghan official said the Americans feared they wouldn’t go home. Competition organizers learned Tuesday night that the Burundi chaperone couldn’t find his team. FIRST Global President Joe Sestak, a former congressman from Pennsylvania, made the initial call to the police, according to a FIRST Global statement. “There were indications that the students’ absence may have been self-initiated, including leaving all their keys in their mentor/chaperone’s bag and the removal of students’ clothes from their rooms,” FIRST Global said in a subsequent statement. The students had been staying in dorms at Trinity Washington University, and had been expected to return to Burundi together on Thursday. Benjamin Manirakiza, first counselor at the Burundian embassy, told The Associated Press on Thursday that officials were not aware of the team’s presence in Washington until the chaperone alerted the embassy on Wednesday[...]


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Family dog killed in Richmond house fire at Hazelridge Acres Dairy Goats farmH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Veterinarian Dr. Bohdan Rudawski of the Fox Lake Animal Hospital takes a cat suffering from smoke inhalation from the scene of a house fire Thursday at 9013 Winn Road in Richmond. "The male cat was given oxygen and was progressing nicely, and is expected to survive," Rudawski said.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:21:00 GMT

RICHMOND – A house fire Thursday at Hazelridge Acres Dairy Goats farm killed a family dog and sent a cat suffering from smoke inhalation to the Fox Lake Animal Hospital.

The Spring Grove Fire Protection District responded about 9:30 a.m. Thursday to the scene of a house fire at 9013 Winn Road, Richmond, and found smoke coming from the back of the house, Fire Chief Rich Tobiasz said.

Occupants evacuated by the time responders arrived, but several pets were trapped inside, Tobiasz said. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire using less than 200 gallons of water and evacuate the remaining pets, but the house was left uninhabitable, Tobiasz said.

A box alarm was activated because the rural area has no hydrants and the weather was hot and humid, Tobiasz said.

He said that a kitchen fire appeared to be the cause of the blaze.

Tobiasz said there was about $120,000 in damage, mostly in the kitchen area.

Fire crews from Richmond, Hebron, Harvard, Wonder Lake, McHenry, Woodstock, Fox Lake, Antioch, Grayslake, Lake Villa and Wauconda responded to the scene. Members from the Lake Zurich Fire Department, Cary Fire Protection District and Salem Fire Department in Wisconsin also provided resources.

The American Red Cross was at the scene assisting at least three occupants of the home.

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Veterinarian Dr. Bohdan Rudawski of the Fox Lake Animal Hospital takes a cat suffering from smoke inhalation from the scene of a house fire Thursday at 9013 Winn Road in Richmond. "The male cat was given oxygen and was progressing nicely, and is expected to survive," Rudawski said.


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Fox River Grove Memorial Library to change hours for employee safety

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:20:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – Fox River Grove Memorial Library will open 30 minutes later and close 30 minutes earlier starting Sept. 5.

The library, 407 Lincoln Ave., will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, library director Nicole Steeves announced this week.

She said the changes were in response to general employee safety concerns and not any specific incident. The Fox River Grove Public Library District’s seven-member elected board approved the new hours at a meeting June 20, Steeves said.

Steeves said the changes might help reduce utility costs, but safety was the driving factor for the decision. She said few patrons use the library during those times early in the day and later in the evenings.

The library district offers materials, services and programs to more than 4,800 residents, according to its website.




Wonder Lake man in critical condition after 3-car crash on Interstate 94

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:20:00 GMT

WONDER LAKE – A 25-year-old Wonder Lake man is in critical condition after a three-car crash on Interstate 94, according to a news release from the Illinois State Police.

The initial investigation shows that Dylan J. Bowden, 25, of Wonder Lake was driving south about 5 a.m. on I-94 at Church Street when he lost control of his 1996 Subaru Sedan and hit the left wall. The sedan came to a stop, blocking the two left lanes of traffic, police said.

Nikolaos Stellatos, 68, of Skokie was driving a 2004 Volvo Sedan in the center lane when he hit the driver side of the Subaru, and Felipe A. Perez, 40, of Waukegan, who was driving a 2001 Buick Sedan, then hit the Volvo. The two men were taken to NorthShore Evanston Hospital in stable condition, police said. Bowden was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston and is in critical condition, police said.

The three men each were wearing seat belts at the time of the incident. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor, but weather might have been, police said.

The investigation is ongoing.


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Weather delays Prairie Street railroad crossing construction in Crystal Lake

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:20:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Weather has delayed plans for a temporary road closure at the railroad crossing on Prairie Street.

The Crystal Lake Police Department issued a release earlier this week about plans for Union Pacific Railroad to close the crossing on Prairie Street for construction from 8 a.m. Friday to 5 p.m. July 27.

Another release was issued Thursday updating the expected dates of closure from 8 a.m. July 28 to 5 p.m. Aug. 4.

Construction will include rehabilitating the crossing to ensure safety along the Metra Northwest Line with advanced warning signs posted one week before the closure, the release said.

A detour plan can be found on the city’s website.




Former employee at Charter Dura-Bar in Woodstock accused of stealing trade secretsShaw Media file photo A Charter Dura-Bar employee works to clear off slag from the top of a container of molten iron Jan. 6, 2015, at Charter Dura-Bar in Woodstock.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:17:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A man who worked for Charter Dura-Bar in Woodstock for 30 years is accused of stealing trade secrets from the company while planning to take a job with a rival manufacturing company in China. Federal prosecutors Wednesday charged Robert O’Rourke, 57, of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, with 13 counts of theft of trade secrets. His arraignment is set for Tuesday. Each charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The indictment does not name Charter Dura-Bar or the Chinese firm, but a spokesperson with Dura-Bar confirmed that O’Rourke previously had been employed at the company. Corporate officials were not immediately available to comment on the case. O’Rourke had worked for Dura-Bar since about 1984 in a variety of positions, including quality assurance manager, salesperson and plant metallurgist. He also worked on international business development in China, among other places, according to court documents. The indictment alleges that O’Rourke started talks to take a vice president position with another continuous cast-iron manufacturing company in Jiangsu, China, between December 2013 and September 2015. On Aug. 12, 2015, he told Dura-Bar he planned to resign. At the time, O’Rourke didn’t mention that he was negotiating for a job with the Chinese firm, and he continued to work for the Woodstock company for another month, according to the indictment. During that month, he bought a plane ticket to China and stole the proprietary trade secrets, prosecutors said. O’Rourke took trade information – including electronic and paper documents that contained information about the company’s manufacturing processes and customer information from Dura-Bar – about Sept. 13, 2015, according to the indictment. He resigned two days later. A week later, federal agents caught him with the stolen documents at O’Hare International Airport as he prepared to get on a flight to China, according to the indictment. Federal authorities seized the stolen documents at the airport, according to a news release from the U.S Attorney’s Office. O’Rourke could not be reached for comment Thursday. Charter Dura-Bar is one of McHenry County’s largest employers. The company makes continuous cast-iron bar stock. Charter Manufacturing Co. bought Wells Manufacturing Co., Dura-Bar and Dura-Bar Metal Services in December 2012. The company has been operating out of the facility at 1800 W. Lake Shore Drive, Woodstock, since 1974, according to the company’s website. In 2014, the McHenry County Economic Development Corp. named Dur[...]


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Residents plan 'Marengo Strong' community day to raise money for victims of house explosionH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com HyperStitch shop director of screen printing Larry Walker fastens the "Marengo Strong" logo to a manual six-color screen printing machine Thursday in Marengo. The shop started printing "Marengo Strong" T-shirts after a house on Seventh Circle exploded June 11.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com HyperStitch shop director of screen printing Larry Walker cleans the "Marengo Strong" logo before printing shirts on a manual six-color screen printing machine Thursday in Marengo. The shop started printing "Marengo Strong" T-shirts after a house exploded June 11. It has donated $9 a shirt to the Seventh Circle Fund.HyperStitch shop director of screen printing Larry Walker smooths out a shirt after a test run Thursday at the shop in Marengo. The shop started printing "Marengo Strong" T-shirts after a house exploded June 11. It has donated $9 a shirt to the Seventh Circle Fund, and it has raised at least $10,000 while it continues to print shirts daily.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:14:00 GMT

MARENGO – Saturday will mark the first “Marengo Strong” community day, an event designed to help families affected by the June 11 house explosion. A team of volunteers is planning a communitywide event meant to bring residents together and raise funds for victims of the house explosion that decimated a neighborhood and displaced multiple families in the area of Seventh Circle in Marengo. “Marengo Strong” community day is planned from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday and will feature a variety of local vendors, live music, games, food and a rock climbing wall. The event will be held at the Marengo Park District, 825 Indian Oaks Trail. Rebecca Hickey, who has lived a few miles west of Marengo for seven years, came up with the idea for the event after the disaster. “I knew one family that was directly affected. Their home was totaled,” she said. “I am [an American] Red Cross volunteer, and I felt helpless, so I thought, ‘Why don’t we have a community day event?’ ” Hickey said she was surprised by how quickly the event, which she originally had planned to host at her home, took off. “I got great responses,” she said. “We jumped in and got lots of people, and all their different talents came into play.” Vendors will donate a portion of their sales to the Marengo area OutReach Enterprises center, which has been the main point of contact for donations to victims of the disaster. HyperStitch in Marengo, 117 W. Prairie St., started printing “Marengo Strong” T-shirts after the explosion to raise money for the Seventh Circle Fund. The shop has raised $10,000 and continues to print the shirts daily. “I’ve never sold anything so hot,” owner Pat Laulor said. “We couldn’t print them fast enough – 14 hours a day that first couple weeks. ... We’re just a little embroidery shop.” The hope is to make the get-together an annual event. Nicole Weskerna of the Park District said the district hopes the event will rejuvenate the former “Summer in the Park” celebration. “We are hoping this will kick off our annual event we used to have,” Weskerna said. “We used to host it every year, but it’s been a few years, and it used to be a community staple.” H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com HyperStitch shop director of screen printing Larry Walker fastens the "Marengo Strong" logo to a manual six-color screen printing machine Thursday in Marengo. The shop started printing "Marengo Strong" T-[...]


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Jurors find Woodstock woman guilty of providing fatal dose of heroin to Marengo woman in 2015Durelle J. Hall, 26, sat stoically in the presence of tearful family members, supporters and friends, as the judge read the guilty verdict before a packed courtroom. Chelsie Kumm's family members, who said they were happy but declined to comment further, could be seen hugging each other and crying outside the courtroom. The jury began deliberation shortly after noon Thursday and returned with a verdict about 1:30 p.m. Jurors found that Hall sold Kumm heroin that ultimately killed her. Hall will be sentenced Sept. 7 by Judge Sharon Prather. Hall's additional pending criminal cases will be set for a status hearing the same day.Michael Hall, Durelle Hall's father, said he was disappointed by the verdict and felt prosecutors didn't have the evidence to prove their case. "The county doesn't do enough for addicts, and they are not getting rid of the problem," he said, referencing his younger daughter's heroin addiction. "The heroin problem out there is devastating." He also said he was very sorry for the loss Kumm's family suffered. Prosecutors said that after an exhaustive and desperate search, Kumm texted a contact in her phone with with the name "Durelle" and said she had $50 and wanted to meet at a friend's apartment in Crystal Lake. A gray vehicle arrived minutes later, and Kumm left the apartment to meet the person. When she returned to her friend's apartment, she asked to go home to use what she had received. The night Kumm overdosed, her boyfriend's mother, Laurie Cool, found her in the basement bedroom “slumped over” alongside baggies of heroin and heroin residue; prescription pills; several items of drug paraphernalia, including needles; and cooking instruments. The only items sent for forensic testing were pink baggies, red and white baggies, a blue plastic bag and a prescription pill bottle. Kumm's boyfriend, Brandon Smedley, testified that the only time he’s ever received heroin in pink baggies was from Hall, who he said they’ve bought the drug from on more than one occasion.Mark Peters, a forensic pathologist who testified as an expert for the prosecution, told the jury that after conducting Kumm’s autopsy in October 2015 and examining the toxicology report, he found that the cause of death was a heroin overdose. McHenry County Deputy Coroner Paula Gallas testified last week that her office ruled the death as accidental when it had the option to rule it a homicide. Assistant State's Attorney Randi Freese said in closing arguments that Kumm was a 20-year-old woman whose life was stolen by heroin, and anyone who chooses to sell the drug needs to be held accountable. "Anybody that sells that poison, that venom, has to be held accountable," Freese told jurors. She said Hall knowingly delivered the heroin Kumm injected that day, which ultimately killed her, pointing to the pink baggies that were found partially used, the "fresh" needle mark on Kumm's neck, and the text messages between Kumm and Hall that day. During a police interview Nov. 4, 2015, Hall vehemently denied ever selling heroin to Kumm just one month before. She said she knew Kumm for about three years but that the two did not hang out frequently. “I don’t use heroin. I don’t bring that stuff around me. I would not give a person heroin,” Hall told Marengo Detective Shaun Boeckh. Hall said the last time she saw Kumm was the end of September 2015, when she bought marijuana from Kumm at her and Smedley’s home. Hall went to the home on only two occasions, and both were before Kumm’s death, she told police. Officers asked Hall what her phone number was at the time and whether she had any other phones, and she only recounted one phone number with a 773 area code. Boeckh asked her whether she spoke with Kumm at all the day she died. Hall said she did not. Hall later told police that Kumm called her a few times that day but that she did not return her calls. When police told Hall there were text messages from a phone number with a 224 area code about 5:30 p.m. that day about buying drugs, she denied any communications of that nature.Witnesses Gilberto Martinez and Jose Martinez took the stand last week and said they saw Kumm approach a dark-colored car driven by a younger black man with a white woman in the passenger seat who had a tattoo on her neck. Hall denied ever being there and said she spent the morning in Volo, dropped off a family friend at work, visited with her boyfriend at the time, went to her aunt's house in Palatine and then traveled to the North Side of Chicago to see her cousin. Authorities later investigated Hall’s I-Pass records for that day and found that she was traveling east on Interstate 90 about 8:14 p.m. and west between 9:19 and 9:42 p.m. Hall told police she previously sold heroin in 2010, but had not since then. Hall became emotional when speaking about her younger sister’s addiction and the friends she knew who were addicted to heroin. Freese said it was terrible that Hall lied to police about not selling heroin during her interview and wept over her sister's addiction, all while she was "peddling poison" to people such as Kumm.Defense lawyer Vanessa Sheehan told the jury that prosecutors failed to prove their case and largely relied on circumstantial evidence. "The problem is that they didn't get it right," Sheehan said. Sheehan attacked the credibility of several of the state's witnesses, including Smedley, who appeared to be drowsy the second day he testified after taking methadone as part of his treatment program. She said Smedley likely pinned it on Hall because the two didn't like each other and she wouldn't sell him heroin without Kumm being present. Sheehan also questioned the usefulness of Boeckh's investigation. She said Smedley said there was no heroin anywhere in that house, but there was residue left in red and white baggies and other baggies he had not seen that day, alluding that Kumm bought drugs from someone that morning before Smedley picked her up to take her to Crystal Lake later that day. She also questioned the "cocktail" of substances found in Kumm's blood and whether a multihour binge of different drugs wasn't how she died that day. "We do not know what bag of anything Chelsie consumed that day," Sheehan said. Assistant State's Attorney Rita Gara shot down the possibility that it could be another substance that killed her because the heroin in her bloodstream was five times higher than what it takes for a person to overdose. "One person purchased death, and one person sold it," Gara said.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:09:00 GMT

Jurors on Thursday found a Woodstock woman guilty of providing a fatal dose of heroin to a Marengo woman on Oct. 6, 2015, nearly two years after she died. Durelle J. Hall, 26, sat stoically in the presence of tearful family members, supporters and friends, as the judge read the guilty verdict before a packed courtroom. Chelsie Kumm's family members, who said they were happy but declined to comment further, could be seen hugging each other and crying outside the courtroom. The jury began deliberation shortly after noon Thursday and returned with a verdict about 1:30 p.m. Jurors found that Hall sold Kumm heroin that ultimately killed her. Hall will be sentenced Sept. 7 by Judge Sharon Prather. Hall's additional pending criminal cases will be set for a status hearing the same day.Michael Hall, Durelle Hall's father, said he was disappointed by the verdict and felt prosecutors didn't have the evidence to prove their case. "The county doesn't do enough for addicts, and they are not getting rid of the problem," he said, referencing his younger daughter's heroin addiction. "The heroin problem out there is devastating." He also said he was very sorry for the loss Kumm's family suffered. Prosecutors said that after an exhaustive and desperate search, Kumm texted a contact in her phone with with the name "Durelle" and said she had $50 and wanted to meet at a friend's apartment in Crystal Lake. A gray vehicle arrived minutes later, and Kumm left the apartment to meet the person. When she returned to her friend's apartment, she asked to go home to use what she had received. The night Kumm overdosed, her boyfriend's mother, Laurie Cool, found her in the basement bedroom “slumped over” alongside baggies of heroin and heroin residue; prescription pills; several items of drug paraphernalia, including needles; and cooking instruments. The only items sent for forensic testing were pink baggies, red and white baggies, a blue plastic bag and a prescription pill bottle. Kumm's boyfriend, Brandon Smedley, testified that the only time he’s ever received heroin in pink baggies was from Hall, who he said they’ve bought the drug from on more than one occasion.Mark Peters, a forensic pathologist who testified as an expert for the prosecution, told the jury that after conducting Kumm’s autopsy in October 2015 and examining the toxicology report, he found that the cause of death was a heroin overdose. McHenry County Deputy Coroner Paula Gallas testified last week that her office ruled the death as accidental when it had the option to rule it a homicide. Assistant State's Attorney Randi Freese said in closing arguments that Kumm was a 20-year-old woman whose life was stolen by heroin, and anyone who chooses to sell the [...]


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Storms in McHenry County add to flood-ravaged Fox RiverKayla Wolf for Shaw Media Algonquin residents Carrick Roggenbuck (front) and Dave Roggenbuck work on reinforcing a sandbag wall Thursday along La Fox River Road in Algonquin. Dave Roggenbuck said he has been sandbagging since July 12.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:03:00 GMT

The monsoon rains that pummeled McHenry County on Wednesday night did what officials and flood-weary residents watching the swollen Fox River feared. Forecasters predicted that the county would get 2 inches or so of rain through early next week, prolonging an already agonizingly slow recession. Much of the county got more than that amount in a matter of hours, and river levels, which on Tuesday began to recede, now are rising again. The water level at the Algonquin tailwater as of Thursday afternoon was about 12.8 feet, officially breaking the all-time crest of 12.7 feet during the historic 2013 flood. Barring any more rain, the river now is expected to crest Friday morning at the 13 feet forecasters first predicted a week ago, when they warned of a potentially historic flood. Flood stage at the tailwater is 9½ feet. Downstream from the tailwater, Maggie Carlton packed up household essentials into her car and parked it down the road before spending the rest of her morning and early afternoon lining her street and property with sandbags. Neighbors and friends stood out in the street in tank tops and waders, filling sandbags and distributing them to different houses on the block. Carlton moved into the home on La Fox River Drive only last summer. “We’ve got no plan of attack, except trying to save something, anything,” she said. Courtney Stone, who was helping take care of her father’s house across the street from Carlton, said water began rising over sandbags about 7:30 a.m. and spilled into her father’s backyard. Between six and seven water pumps in the backyard were going by midafternoon, as Stone and other residents remained determined to avoid evacuation at all costs. “He’s been living here 40 years and going through floods, but never this terrible,” said Stone, who lives in Crystal Lake. “We don’t want to [pack up], but if they cut the power, we’ll have no choice.” A line of severe thunderstorms moved into northern Illinois on Wednesday evening, dumping the first of several waves of heavy downpours onto McHenry County. “This just raised the river to record levels. Houses that didn’t flood last time will flood this year,” McHenry County Emergency Management Agency Director David Christensen said. “It’s also going to put more stress on the flood control measures that people already have taken.” The level at the William G. Stratton-Thomas A. Bolger Lock and Dam in McHenry increased to 7.52 feet, slowly creeping toward breaking its h[...]


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