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President Donald Trump commits U.S. to fight on in AfghanistanPresident Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer in Arlington Va., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, during a Presidential Address to the Nation about a strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:37:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan Monday night, declaring U.S. troops must "fight to win." He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops will be dispatched to wage America's longest war. In a prime-time address to unveil his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said the U.S. would shift away from a "time-based" approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others. He insisted it would be a "regional" strategy that addressed the roles played by other South Asian nations – especially Pakistan's harboring of elements of the Taliban. "America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress," Trump said. "However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check." Still, Trump offered few details about how progress would be measured. Nor did he explain how his approach would differ substantively from what two presidents before him tried unsuccessfully over the past 16 years. Although Trump insisted he would "not talk about numbers of troops" or telegraph military moves in advance, he hinted that he'd embraced the Pentagon's proposal to boost troop numbers by nearly 4,000, augmenting the roughly 8,400 Americans there now. Before becoming a candidate, Trump had ardently argued for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan, calling the war a massive waste of U.S. "blood and treasure" and declaring on Twitter, "Let's get out!" Seven months into his presidency, he said Monday night that though his "original instinct was to pull out," he'd since determined that approach could create a vacuum that terrorists including al-Qaida and the Islamic State would "instantly fill." "We will ask our NATO allies and global partners to support our new strategy, with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will," Trump said in comments echoed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Earlier this year, Trump announced he was entrusting Mattis and the military with the decision about how many troops would be needed. In talking points sent Monday to congressional Republicans and supportive groups, the White House affirmed that the troop numbers were up to Mattis and added that the administration wasn't seeking more money from Congress for the strategy in the current fiscal year, which concludes at the end of next month. While Trump stressed his strategy was about more than just the military, he was vague on other "instruments of American power" he said would be deployed in full force to lead Afghanistan toward peace, such as economic development or new engagement with Pakistan and India. Absent military specifics, it was difficult to assess how his plan might dissolve the stalemate between the Taliban and the Afghan government. On one point – the definition of victory – Trump was unequivocal. He said American troops would "fight to win" by attacking enemies, "crushing" al-Qaida, preventing terror attacks against Americans and "obliterating" the Islamic State group, whose affiliate has gained a foothold in Afghanistan as the U.S. squeezes the extremists in Syria and Iraq. Trump's definition of a win notably did not include defeating the Taliban, the group whose harboring of al-Qaida led the U.S. to war in Afghanistan in the days after the 9/11 attacks. Like President Barack Obama before him, Trump conceded that any solution that brings peace to Afghanistan may well involve the Taliban's participation. "Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan," Trump said. Secret[...]


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Police: Fugitive's death 'breaks' cell behind Spain attacksAP photo A woman stands next to candles and flowers Monday after a van attack that killed at least 14 people in Las Ramblas promenade in Spain.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:36:00 GMT

SUBIRATS, Spain – The lone fugitive from the Spanish cell that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two troopers who confronted him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized, authorities said. Police said they had “scientific evidence” that Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, drove the van that barreled through Barcelona’s crowded Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 people on Thursday, then hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver while making his getaway. Abouyaaqoub’s brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in what police said was a botched bomb-making operation. After four days on the run, Abouyaaqoub was spotted outside a train station west of Barcelona on Monday afternoon. A second witness told police that she was certain she had seen the man whose photo has gone around the world as part of an international manhunt. Two officers found him hiding in a nearby vineyard and asked for his identification, according to the head of the Catalan police. He was shot to death when he opened his shirt to reveal what looked to be explosives and cried out “Allah is great” in Arabic, regional police chief Josep Luis Trapero said. A bomb disposal robot was dispatched to examine the downed suspect before police determined the bomb belt was not real, Trapero said. A bag full of knives was found with his body, police said. A police photo of the body seen by The Associated Press showed his bloodied face, bearing several days’ stubble on the chin. With Abouyaaqoub’s death, the group responsible for last week’s fatal van attacks has now been broken, Trapero said. “The arrest of this person was the priority for the police because it closed the detention and dismantling of the group that we had identified,” he said. Four are under arrest, and eight are dead: five shot by police in the seaside town of Cambrils, where a second van attack left one pedestrian dead early Friday; two others killed on the eve of the Barcelona attack in a botched bomb-making operation; and Abouyaaqoub. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both the Cambrils and Barcelona attacks. Roser Ventura, whose father owns a vineyard between the towns of Sadurni d’Anoia and Subirats, said she alerted the regional Catalan police when they spotted a car crossing their property at high speed. “The police told us to leave the premises and go home. We heard a helicopter flying around and many police cars coming toward the gas station that is some 600 meters from the property,” Ventura said. The search for Abouyaaqoub ended on the same day that Catalan police confirmed that he was the last remaining cell member thought to still be at large and provided a timeline of his movements. Authorities said earlier Monday that they had evidence pinpointing Abouyaaqoub as the driver of the van that plowed down the Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 pedestrians and injuring more than 120 others. Trapero said that after abandoning the vehicle, Abouyaaqoub walked through Barcelona for about 90 minutes, through the famed La Boqueria market and nearly to Barcelona University. The Spanish newspaper El Pais published images Monday of what it said was Abouyaaqoub leaving the van attack site on foot. The three images show a slim man wearing sunglasses walking through La Boqueria. In a parking lot often used by university students, he then hijacked a Ford Focus belonging to Pau Perez, sta[...]


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Navy orders 7th Fleet review amid search for 10 from McCainMalaysian Maritime Director Indera Abu Bakar points the damage of USS John S. McCain shown on a screen during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The U.S. Navy said the USS John S. McCain arrived at Singapore's naval base with "significant damage" to its hull after a collision early Monday between it and an oil tanker east of Singapore. A number of U.S. sailors are missing after the collision, the second accident involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The USS John S. McCain was docked at Singapore's naval base with "significant damage" to its hull after an early morning collision with the Alnic MC as vessels from several nations searched Monday for missing U.S. sailors. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy photo via AP)

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:36:00 GMT

SINGAPORE – The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided in Southeast Asia, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and five injured. It was the second major collision in two months involving the 7th Fleet. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan. Vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia were searching for the missing sailors. Four other sailors were evacuated by a Singaporean navy helicopter to a hospital in the city-state for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, the Navy said. A fifth was taken to the hospital by ambulance after the destroyer arrived in Singapore under its own power, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said. "It is the second such incident in a very short period of time – inside of three months – and very similar as well," Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon. "It is the last of a series of incidents in the Pacific fleet in particular and that gives great cause for concern that there is something out there we are not getting at." Richardson ordered a pause in operations for the next couple of days to allow fleet commanders to get together with leaders, sailors and command officials and identify any immediate steps that need to be taken to ensure safety. A broader U.S. Navy review will look at the 7th Fleet's performance, including personnel, navigation capabilities, maintenance, equipment, surface warfare training, munitions, certifications and how sailors move through their careers. Richardson said the review will be conducted with the help of the Navy's office of the inspector general, the safety center and private companies that make equipment used by sailors. There was no immediate explanation for the collision. Singapore, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, is one of the world's busiest ports and a U.S. ally, with its naval base regularly visited by American warships. Richardson said in response to a question that there was no indication the collision was intentional on either side and that the possibility of cyber sabotage would be explored just as it was during the probe of the USS Fitzgerald collision. Later, Richardson tweeted that nothing indicated cyber intrusion or sabotage had occurred but the review will consider all possibilities. The McCain had been heading to Singapore on a routine port visit after conducting a sensitive freedom-of-navigation operation last week by sailing near one of China's man-made islands in the South China Sea. The collision east of Singapore between the 505-foot destroyer guided missile destroyer and the 600-foot Alnic MC ripped a gaping hole in the destroyer's hull. The Navy's 7th Fleet said "significant damage" to the McCain's hull resulted in the flooding of adjacent compartments including crew berths, machinery and communications rooms. A damage control response prevented further flooding, it said. The destroyer was damaged on its port side aft, or left rear, in the 5:24 a.m. collision about 4.5 nautical miles from Malaysia's coast but was able to sail on to Singapore's naval base. Malaysia's Maritime Enforcement Agency said the area is at the start of a designated sea lane for ships sailing into the busy Singapore Strait. A photo tweeted by Malaysian navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin showed a large rupture in the McCain's side near the waterline. Janes, a defense industry publication, estimated the hull breach was 10 feet wide. Another U.S. naval vessel, the amphibious assault ship USS America,[...]


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Heads up in Illinois as state witnesses total solar eclipseAP photo A total solar eclipse is seen above the Bald Knob Cross of Peace on Monday in Alto Pass. More than 700 people visited the 100-foot cross for the event.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:35:00 GMT

CARBONDALE – Crowds looked to the heavens throughout Illinois on Monday for a glimpse of the first full-blown solar eclipse to traverse the U.S. in nearly a century, packing sites in prime viewing locations in the south of the state and ducking out of offices for cloud-obscured looks in Chicago.

In Carbondale, which fell in a 60- to 70-mile-wide corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina that enjoyed a total eclipse, about 14,000 people, including the governor, packed the Southern Illinois University football stadium for a viewing event that was months in the making. Organizers passed out safety glasses, the marching band performed and the eclipse was streamed live on the stadium big screens. Twenty-person suites at the sold-out event sold for $10,000.

Clouds appeared about six minutes before the eclipse reached totality and the crowds started cheering them away, said Rae Goldsmith, a school spokeswoman. “During totality when it was dark it was very quiet,” she said. “There was a moment of awe. At the end people were giving each other high fives.”

Another popular spot to view the rare celestial event was in the shadow of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace in Alto Pass, which is about 10 miles southwest of Carbondale.

Patrick Schueck, a 44-year-old construction company president from Little Rock, Arkansas, brought his 10-year-old twin daughters, Ava and Hayden, to watch the eclipse under the 100-foot-tall cross, which sits atop a 1,000-foot-high mountain.

Schueck said the girls weren’t that interested at first, with one daughter looking at her iPhone.

“Quickly that changed,” Schueck said. “It went from them being aloof to being in total amazement.”

Schueck called it a chance of a lifetime to do something memorable with his children. “It was one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had,” he said. “It was almost religious.”

Clouds obscured the view in Chicago, but that didn’t dissuade office workers from playing hooky for a few minutes to soak in the muted light outside. The Adler Planetarium on the city’s lakefront also held an eclipse block party.

AP photo A total solar eclipse is seen above the Bald Knob Cross of Peace on Monday in Alto Pass. More than 700 people visited the 100-foot cross for the event.


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Residents savor glimpse of eclipseH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Residents Joy Walsh (from left) of Spring Grove and Sophie and Richard Rogers of Powers Lake, Wisconsin, watch the solar eclipse Monday from the McHenry Public Library parking lot.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:13:00 GMT

McHENRY – Although some were disappointed to see the weather forecast Monday morning, a chance of clouds was not stopping 12-year-old Chloe Swider from seeing the solar eclipse.

Chloe, of McHenry, said she has been preparing for the eclipse since March, when she read about it in a magazine. Her grandma bought her glasses, and she left school early to watch.

“I wish this could last forever,” she said. “I wish I could see it at totality, at 100 percent, but I’m really happy. It looks like a tiny crescent moon.”

McHenry residents brought homemade viewing devices and glasses to the McHenry Public Library on Monday afternoon to view the eclipse, which occurs when the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth, according to NASA.

While some residents stayed local and attended viewing parties, others traveled to southern Illinois and other states to see the eclipse at totality.

The Algonquin Area Public Library and the Crystal Lake Park District held viewing parties featuring crafts and storytimes on how the eclipse works. 

The library began distributing 250 glasses at 11:30 a.m. and was out by 11:50 a.m., with people lining up outside before the library opened at 9 a.m., McHenry Public Library youth services manager Lesley Jakacki said.

“We saw some people who were the designated glasses-getters for their work and had to stand in line and bring them back to the office,” she said. “It was a fun way to get families out to the library and hang out together to enjoy something that is typically a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

The light rain stopped, and clouds slightly parted by about 1:20 p.m., when the moon obscured 85 percent of the sun in northern Illinois.

Richard Rogers tried to outsmart cloud predictions so he still could view the solar eclipse. The former professional welder from Powers Lake, Wisconsin, used welding glasses and added an extra lens to make the view darker and to bypass the clouds. 

Rogers said he hoped to travel to Southern Illinois University, but he is not a fan of traffic and crowds, which southern Illinois saw both of. Traffic was backed Sunday night and Monday morning, with the Illinois Department of Transportation anticipating that about 100,000 to 200,000 people would visit.

McHenry County College professor of earth science Paul Hamill of Woodstock traveled to Watertown, Tennessee, near Nashville to get a better view. He said he was able to see totality for two minutes and 30 seconds.

“I knew it was going to be impressive, but I wasn’t expecting that. It was just incredible,” he said, adding that he was able to see a great view of the “famous diamond ring” as the moon overcame the sun. 

Hamill said he knew he did not want to be in an area that was too crowded, so he picked a park with about 100 people. 

“It was definitely a party atmosphere, with everyone standing with their glasses and viewing devices, waiting,” he said, speaking from his car on his way home Monday.

With fears of not being able to see the eclipse gone, Hamill’s only worry was the traffic on his drive home.

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Residents Joy Walsh (from left) of Spring Grove and Sophie and Richard Rogers of Powers Lake, Wisconsin, watch the solar eclipse Monday from the McHenry Public Library parking lot.


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$1.59M VFW raffle pot on hold by license flapPlayers dump tickets into a barrel Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, during a $1.2 Million Queen of Hearts drawing at the Morris VFW in Morris, Ill.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:13:00 GMT

MORRIS – The VFW’s $1.59 million Queen of Hearts lottery was abruptly canceled only hours before tickets were to be pulled Monday. According to state law, which Morris Police Chief John Severson said was updated in 2015, a municipality needs to have a code prescribing rules for raffles and a limit to how much can be charged for a raffle ticket and the amount of prizes that can be awarded. Neither Grundy County nor Morris has that type of ordinance. “We were informed at 12:30 that we were in violation of a state statute,” VFW Auxiliary Treasurer Jim Maskel said. “We were not aware of it. The city of Morris was not aware of it.” When asked to describe the scene at the bar after the announcement, Maskel simply said, “Chaos.” ​“The game will continue as soon as we get everything worked out and it has to do with the city having a licensing ordinance for all raffles,” he said. Morris has an ordinance that states, “It is unlawful to gamble or attend any gambling resort or to make any bet, lottery or gambling hazard or to buy or sell any chances or tickets in any gambling game, arrangement or device.” Maskel said he knows how the gaming board found out about the VFW’s big-money raffle but would not elaborate on how its members learned of it. “I do, but I’m not going to answer that,” he said. “I’m just not going to answer that.” While Maskel wouldn’t tell, a Villa Park resident claimed credit for exposing the VFW’s Queen of Hearts game. Kathy Gilroy, 67, said she read about the Morris Queen of Hearts, checked the Morris city code and emailed the city along with calling the gaming board’s hotline. Gilroy said she has been advocating against gambling – especially illegal gambling – on a voluntary basis for the past 20 years. “I don’t expect people to know the law,” Gilroy said. “I expect people to look up the law.” Which Morris officials apparently did not do. “If we had to look into every raffle, we wouldn’t get work done,” Severson said. The Morris VFW’s quartermaster, Jerry Peterson, said that the post wants to be in compliance, so it will wait until they sort out the licensing problem before the game continues. “We at the VFW are in compliance with every legal thing that’s out there,” Peterson said. “With the exception of, the city needs to give us a license to hold a raffle. In the past, you always had a letter from the city. The city of Morris does not have an ordinance at this time, and we were instructed by the gaming board that the city needs to implement a licensing procedure so that we can continue to have this.” In order to eliminate confusion – and upset customers – Peterson decided to close down the VFW and its bar for the day. Megan Nussbaum, 21, was at her grandmother’s house around the corner from the bar telling people the game was shut down. “I was just sitting at my house, on Facebook and I saw someone else post about it, and I was like, ‘That’s a lie.’ So I’m like, ‘I’ll just drive past, park in my grandma’s driveway, run over, see what’s going on.’ ” Nussbaum told of seeing “lines of cars everywhere and police.” “I parked. I went across the street and talked to one of the officers,” she said. “They said they evacuated everybody out and they weren’t selling tickets anymore,” Nussbaum said. “We’ve pr[...]


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Marengo to host open house on I-90, Route 23 interchange projectH. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com The Illinois Tollway is reconstructing and widening the Route 23 bridge across the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Marengo.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:11:00 GMT

MARENGO – The city of Marengo will host an open house Tuesday at City Hall to answer questions and get public comment on the Interstate 90 and Route 23 interchange project.

The multimillion-dollar project that includes widening the bridge and creating an exit at Route 23 is underway, and has been projected to bring an economic windfall to the tune of more than $1 billion to McHenry County.

Residents will have a chance to get an update on the status of the project and find out more about the proposed improvements.

The open house will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Marengo City Hall, 132 Prairie St.

H. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com The Illinois Tollway is reconstructing and widening the Route 23 bridge across the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Marengo.


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Adult mosquito population forces Crystal Lake to spray for 4th time this summerPhoto provided Crystal Lake will have another misting application overnight between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to help control the adult mosquito population throughout the city.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:11:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The city again take will measures to control and reduce the adult mosquito population as a rain-filled summer nears its end.

A citywide misting application will take place overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

A rain date is scheduled for the next available night.

Sprays typically take place once the city’s traps have reached a threshold of about 150 female mosquitoes, and occur between two and three times a summer, Public Works Director Michael Magnuson said.

The city has an annual contract with Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management Inc. for $82,000 that runs through the end of the summer in 2020, and the city budgets about $110,000 each year for mosquito reduction for additional measures.

Each additional spray costs about $12,000, bringing the city’s mosquito spraying tab up to about $48,000 this summer.

Residents are encouraged to monitor potential mosquito breeding sites in their yards and to alert Clarke to locations by calling the toll-free mosquito hotline at 1-800-942-2555.

Photo provided Crystal Lake will have another misting application overnight between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to help control the adult mosquito population throughout the city.


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Lions Armstrong Memorial Pool in Algonquin to hold final open swim days of season

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:10:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – There will be two more weekends with open swim hours at the Lions Armstrong Memorial Pool in Algonquin before it closes for the season.

Open swim will be from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3 at the facility, 599 Longwood Drive, just south of Algonquin Road, according to a news release from the village.

The pool features a 1-meter spring diving board, lap pool, interactive splash pad area and pool deck with lounge chairs and shaded areas, according to the release.

For information, visit www.algonquin.org/pool.

– Northwest Herald




McHenry City Council grants $50K loan to Smith's Central GarageThe McHenry City Council approved a $50,000 loan to Smith’s Central Garage, 3315 Pearl St., McHenry, to pay for the installation of a sprinkler system at the banquet center.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:10:00 GMT

McHenry – McHenry City Council members approved a $50,000 loan to a downtown banquet center Monday with some discussion that included questions about safety, parking and McHenry’s “business friendliness.”

John Smith, owner of Smith’s Central Garage, sought the loan from the city to pay for the installation of a sprinkler system at his banquet center. Smith bought the long-vacant building in the summer of 2014 and has spent $800,000 refurbishing the space, including installing a new roof, new insulation and new heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment, he said.

Seventh Ward Alderwoman Geri Condon said she supported the loan but questioned why Smith was operating the center without a sprinkler system in the first place.

“We need businesses to work within the legal requirements. We have a wonderful staff willing to assist business owners in directing them in all ordinances,” she said. “… I am disappointed this is even before us now and was not addressed by Mr. Smith prior to opening.”

When Smith bought the former Hostess building at 3315 Pearl St. in McHenry across from Veterans Memorial Park, he hadn’t intended to turn it into a banquet center. It was only when he began refurbishing it that he decided its final use. Other aldermen voiced support for the loan.

“This, again, is the type of business we want to bring into our downtown, and see the use it’s going to go toward is something we need,” 3rd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Schaefer said. “The investment into the building that was pretty ugly, falling apart and empty for quite awhile has been nice to see.”

The loan – which will come out of the city’s Revolving Loan Fund – was approved, with only 2nd Ward Alderman Andrew Glab dissenting.

The McHenry City Council approved a $50,000 loan to Smith’s Central Garage, 3315 Pearl St., McHenry, to pay for the installation of a sprinkler system at the banquet center.


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Man on McHenry County's top 10 fugitive list admits to drunken driving chargeJustin E. Dean, 25

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:00:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A Wonder Lake man on McHenry County’s top 10 fugitive list avoided prison time after he admitted to a drunken driving charge.

Justin E. Dean, 25, appeared in court Monday before Judge Sharon Prather and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge from June 2016.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Dean was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge, 30 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine, and he must attend one session of a victim impact panel. All other charges against him, including a felony drug possession charge that landed him on the list, were dismissed by prosecutors.

He faced up to four years in prison if convicted of the felony charge.

Dean previously completed alcohol treatment and showed the judge proof of doing so, another term of his plea agreement.

Dean was wanted for a charge of possession of a controlled substance after police said he had less than 15 grams of oxycodone. He also had pending charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia, and citations for improper lane use and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

He was arrested in July in Hebron.

This was not Dean’s first time on the top 10 fugitives list. He was No. 7 on the list in 2012, when he was wanted for possession of a stolen firearm, sale of a stolen firearm, possession of a handgun and possession of a firearm with an expired firearm owner’s identification card, according to court records.

Justin E. Dean, 25


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Known gang member faces drugs, weapons charges in McHenry CountyChristopher M. Czajkowski, 23, of Gurnee faces charges of possession of cannabis, possession of a weapon as a felon, possession of a firearm without a valid firearm owner's identification card and possession of a firearm in a vehicle as a gang member.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 04:57:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A Gurnee man and known gang member faces drug and weapons charges in McHenry County after police said he had a loaded handgun and marijuana in his vehicle.

Christopher M. Czajkowski, 23, was arrested Monday by the Spring Grove Police Department and charged with possession of a firearm in a vehicle as a known gang member, possession of a firearm as a felon, possession of a firearm without a firearm owner’s identification card, possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance.

Czajkowski is a documented member of the Maniac Latin Disciples, police said. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

Police said Czajkowski had a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun in a vehicle while at 2251 Route 12, a gas station parking lot in Spring Grove, without a FOID card. He also had between 100 and 500 grams of marijuana and less than 15 grams of cocaine, police said.

He remains in McHenry County Jail on $75,000 bond. He will appear in court Sept. 13.

Christopher M. Czajkowski, 23, of Gurnee faces charges of possession of cannabis, possession of a weapon as a felon, possession of a firearm without a valid firearm owner's identification card and possession of a firearm in a vehicle as a gang member.


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McHenry residents savor glimpse of solar eclipseChloe, of McHenry, said she has been preparing for the eclipse since March, when she read about it in a magazine. Her grandma bought her glasses, and she left school early to watch. "I wish this could last forever," she said. "I wish I could see it at totality, at 100 percent, but I'm really happy. It looks like a tiny crescent moon." McHenry residents brought homemade viewing devices and glasses to the McHenry Public Library on Monday afternoon to view the eclipse, which occurs when the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth, according to NASA. While some residents stayed local and attended viewing parties, others traveled to southern Illinois and other states to see the eclipse at totality. The Algonquin Area Public Library and the Crystal Lake Park District held viewing parties featuring crafts and storytimes on how the eclipse works.The library began distributing 250 glasses at 11:30 a.m. and was out by 11:50 a.m., with people lining up outside before the library opened at 9 a.m., McHenry Public Library youth services manager Lesley Jakacki said. "We saw some people who were the designated glasses-getters for their work and had to stand in line and bring them back to the office," she said. "It was a fun way to get families out to the library and hang out together to enjoy something that is typically a once-in-a-lifetime event."The light rain stopped, and clouds slightly parted by about 1:20 p.m., when the moon obscured 85 percent of the sun in northern Illinois. Richard Rogers tried to outsmart cloud predictions so he still could view the solar eclipse. The former professional welder from Powers Lake, Wisconsin, used welding glasses and added an extra lens to make the view darker and to bypass the clouds.  Rogers said he hoped to travel to Southern Illinois University, but he is not a fan of traffic and crowds, which southern Illinois saw both of. Traffic was backed Sunday night and Monday morning, with the Illinois Department of Transportation anticipating that about 100,000 to 200,000 people would visit.McHenry County College professor of earth science Paul Hamill of Woodstock traveled to Watertown, Tennessee, near Nashville to get a better view. He said he was able to see totality for two minutes and 30 seconds. “I knew it was going to be impressive, but I wasn’t expecting that. It was just incredible,” he said, adding that he was able to see a great view of the “famous diamond ring” as the moon overcame the sun.  Hamill said he knew he did not want to be in an area that was too crowded, so he picked a park with about 100 people.  “It was definitely a party atmosphere, with everyone standing with their glasses and viewing devices, waiting,” he said, speaking from his car on his way home Monday. With fears of not being able to see the eclipse gone, Hamill's only worry was the traffic on his drive home.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 04:54:00 GMT

McHENRY – Although some were disappointed to see the weather forecast Monday morning, a chance of clouds was not stopping 12-year-old Chloe Swider from seeing the solar eclipse.

Chloe, of McHenry, said she has been preparing for the eclipse since March, when she read about it in a magazine. Her grandma bought her glasses, and she left school early to watch. "I wish this could last forever," she said. "I wish I could see it at totality, at 100 percent, but I'm really happy. It looks like a tiny crescent moon." McHenry residents brought homemade viewing devices and glasses to the McHenry Public Library on Monday afternoon to view the eclipse, which occurs when the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth, according to NASA. While some residents stayed local and attended viewing parties, others traveled to southern Illinois and other states to see the eclipse at totality. The Algonquin Area Public Library and the Crystal Lake Park District held viewing parties featuring crafts and storytimes on how the eclipse works.The library began distributing 250 glasses at 11:30 a.m. and was out by 11:50 a.m., with people lining up outside before the library opened at 9 a.m., McHenry Public Library youth services manager Lesley Jakacki said. "We saw some people who were the designated glasses-getters for their work and had to stand in line and bring them back to the office," she said. "It was a fun way to get families out to the library and hang out together to enjoy something that is typically a once-in-a-lifetime event."The light rain stopped, and clouds slightly parted by about 1:20 p.m., when the moon obscured 85 percent of the sun in northern Illinois. Richard Rogers tried to outsmart cloud predictions so he still could view the solar eclipse. The former professional welder from Powers Lake, Wisconsin, used welding glasses and added an extra lens to make the view darker and to bypass the clouds.  Rogers said he hoped to travel to Southern Illinois University, but he is not a fan of traffic and crowds, which southern Illinois saw both of. Traffic was backed Sunday night and Monday morning, with the Illinois Department of Transportation anticipating that about 100,000 to 200,000 people would visit.McHenry County College professor of earth science Paul Hamill of Woodstock traveled to Watertown, Tennessee, near Nashville to get a better view. He said he was able to see totality for two minutes and 30 seconds. “I knew it was going to be impressive, but I wasn’t expecting that. It was just incredible,” he said, adding that he was able to see a great view of the “famous diamond ring” as the moon overcame the sun.  Hamill said he knew he did not want to be in an area that was too crowded, so he picked a park with about 100 people.  “It was definitely a party atmosphere, with everyone standing with their glasses and viewing devices, waiting,” he said, speaking from his car on his way home Monday. With fears of not being able to see the eclipse gone, Hamill's only worry was the traffic on his drive home.


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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin praises Marengo-based forklift manufacturer for setting exampleH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Sen. Dick Durbin (center) walks the UniCarriers Americas Corp. production floor with Vice President of Operations Dale Mark (left) and President James J. Radous III (right) in Marengo on Monday.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 04:53:00 GMT

MARENGO – The state of Illinois can offer an outstanding workforce in manufacturing that can help boost the nation to the top of the global economy, said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. Durbin spent about a half-hour Monday morning touring UniCarriers Americas Corp.’s factory in Marengo, and he commended the forklift manufacturer for being an industry role model for keeping jobs in Illinois and offering education incentives for its employees. He spoke from a stage to hundreds of factory workers about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and maintaining the skills of American workers. “I heard you were doing some things that are pretty important for your lives, for the product you make, but I think could be important for our nation,” Durbin told workers at the factory that employs more than 500 people at its Marengo facility. “What we see here in UniCarriers is not only a quality product that can compete on an international scale, but it’s being produced right here in America by Americans who are up to the task and job of competition.” Durbin and his entourage wore safety glasses and earplugs during the tour of the factory floor, where factory administrators explained the utility of manned and automated machines at work. The global forklift market is expected to grow nearly 7 percent through 2021, according to a 2015 report from Persistence Market Research. Durbin commended UniCarriers for balancing growth while managing to add and enhance jobs and increasing automation in its factory. The UniCarriers Corp. was formed in 2013, when TCM Corp. and Nissan Forklift Co. were integrated under the company’s new name, but the history of the manufacturer goes back to 1914 with Barrett Industrial Trucks – which Nissan Forklift acquired in 1988, according to its website. “Now things are changing so fast that we’ve got to ask the basic question: Is America ready to change?” Durbin said. “Is America’s workforce ready to change? Is the American manufacturing ready to change so we continue to be competitive in the world?” To answer that question, Durbin encouraged other manufacturers to follow UniCarriers’ model and invest in American workers rather than moving their operations to other countries, paying workers good wages and providing retraining opportunities to ensure they are capable of doing the best job. He referenced the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act he sponsored in June 2015 that aimed to reward companies for keeping jobs in America and provide fair wages and benefits to workers. The bill was not enacted. Durbin also said the country will continue to lead the world in research and innovation ahead of China and the United Kingdom, who finished behind the U.S. in 2016, according to an annual report from Scimago Journal & Country Rank. He also said China poses the biggest threat to the U.S. in terms of global economy.   “They want to pass us, and we can’t let that happen,” Durbin said. “We have the best universities, the best laboratories, the best scientists in the world, and we can’t sit back and relax. We’ve got to be ready to keep that competitive edge.” When Durbin opened the room for questions, one member of the audience asked him how he planned to bring jobs to Illinois. He talked about th[...]


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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin commends Marengo-based forklift manufacturer for investing in American workersDurbin spent about a half-hour Monday morning touring UniCarriers Americas Corp.’s factory in Marengo, and he commended the forklift manufacturer for being an industry role model for keeping jobs in Illinois and offering education incentives for its employees. He spoke from a stage to hundreds of factory workers about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and maintaining the skills of American workers. “I heard you were doing some things that are pretty important for your lives, for the product you make, but I think could be important for our nation,” Durbin told workers at the factory that employs more than 500 people at its Marengo facility. “What we see here in UniCarriers is not only a quality product that can compete on an international scale, but it’s being produced right here in America by Americans who are up to the task and job of competition.” Durbin and his entourage wore safety glasses and earplugs during the tour of the factory floor, where factory administrators explained the utility of manned and automated machines at work. The global forklift market is expected to grow nearly 7 percent through 2021, according to a 2015 report from Persistence Market Research. Durbin commended UniCarriers for balancing growth while managing to add and enhance jobs and increasing automation in its factory.The UniCarriers Corp. was formed in 2013, when TCM Corp. and Nissan Forklift Co. were integrated under the company's new name, but the history of the manufacturer goes back to 1914 with Barrett Industrial Trucks – which Nissan Forklift acquired in 1988, according to its website. “Now things are changing so fast that we’ve got to ask the basic question: Is America ready to change?” Durbin said. “Is America’s workforce ready to change? Is the American manufacturing ready to change so we continue to be competitive in the world?” To answer that question, Durbin encouraged other manufacturers to follow UniCarriers’ model and invest in American workers rather than moving their operations to other countries, paying workers good wages and providing retraining opportunities to ensure they are capable of doing the best job. He referenced the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act he sponsored in June 2015 that aimed to reward companies for keeping jobs in America and provide fair wages and benefits to workers. The bill was not enacted. Durbin also said the country will continue to lead the world in research and innovation ahead of China and the United Kingdom, who finished behind the U.S. in 2016, according to an annual report from Scimago Journal & Country Rank.He also said China poses the biggest threat to the U.S. in terms of global economy. “They want to pass us, and we can’t let that happen,” Durbin said. “We have the best universities, the best laboratories, the best scientists in the world, and we can’t sit back and relax. We’ve got to be ready to keep that competitive edge.” When Durbin opened the room for questions, one member of the audience asked him how he planned to bring jobs to Illinois. He talked about the benefits of Illinois’ location in the Midwest and how much business comes through the state every year because of O’Hare International Airport.Durbin also invited up to the stage McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, who backed the importance of local colleges such as McHenry County College and said the best investment that can be made is in “the people in this room.” Franks also discussed the need to invest in infrastructure and lower property taxes to keep residents from moving out of the state – a sentiment that was met with some applause. “We reduce it by bringing more businesses,” Franks said. “We make it more beneficial for them to be here by having the best educated workforce, the best trained workforce."

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 04:49:00 GMT

MARENGO – The state of Illinois can offer an outstanding workforce in manufacturing that can help boost the nation to the top of the global economy, said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. Durbin spent about a half-hour Monday morning touring UniCarriers Americas Corp.’s factory in Marengo, and he commended the forklift manufacturer for being an industry role model for keeping jobs in Illinois and offering education incentives for its employees. He spoke from a stage to hundreds of factory workers about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and maintaining the skills of American workers. “I heard you were doing some things that are pretty important for your lives, for the product you make, but I think could be important for our nation,” Durbin told workers at the factory that employs more than 500 people at its Marengo facility. “What we see here in UniCarriers is not only a quality product that can compete on an international scale, but it’s being produced right here in America by Americans who are up to the task and job of competition.” Durbin and his entourage wore safety glasses and earplugs during the tour of the factory floor, where factory administrators explained the utility of manned and automated machines at work. The global forklift market is expected to grow nearly 7 percent through 2021, according to a 2015 report from Persistence Market Research. Durbin commended UniCarriers for balancing growth while managing to add and enhance jobs and increasing automation in its factory.The UniCarriers Corp. was formed in 2013, when TCM Corp. and Nissan Forklift Co. were integrated under the company's new name, but the history of the manufacturer goes back to 1914 with Barrett Industrial Trucks – which Nissan Forklift acquired in 1988, according to its website. “Now things are changing so fast that we’ve got to ask the basic question: Is America ready to change?” Durbin said. “Is America’s workforce ready to change? Is the American manufacturing ready to change so we continue to be competitive in the world?” To answer that question, Durbin encouraged other manufacturers to follow UniCarriers’ model and invest in American workers rather than moving their operations to other countries, paying workers good wages and providing retraining opportunities to ensure they are capable of doing the best job. He referenced the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act he sponsored in June 2015 that aimed to reward companies for keeping jobs in America and provide fair wages and benefits to workers. The bill was not enacted. Durbin also said the country will continue to lead the world in research and innovation ahead of China and the United Kingdom, who finished behind the U.S. in 2016, according to an annual report from Scimago Journal & Country Rank.He also said China poses the biggest threat to the U.S. in terms of global economy. “They want to pass us, and we can’t let that happen,” Durbin said. “We have the best universities, the best laboratories, the best scientists in the world, and we can’t sit back and relax. We’ve got to be ready to keep that competitive edge.” When Durbin opened the room for questions, one member of the audience asked him how he planned to bring jobs to Illinois. He talked about the benefits of Illinois’ location in the Midwest and how much business comes through the state every year because of O’Hare International Airport.Durbin also invited up to the stage McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, who backed the importance of local colleges such as McHenry County College and said the b[...]


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Ryan says Trump 'messed up' but opposes censureFILE - In this July 25, 2017 file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Ryan says the nation’s leaders “have an obligation” to steer the country past “the passions of the moment.” His remarks come after President Donald Trump drew bipartisan criticism for saying “both sides” were responsible for this month’s deadly clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:26:00 GMT

MADISON, Wis. – U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he will not support a resolution to censure President Donald Trump over his comments following the white supremacist march in Virginia, even though he believes Trump "messed up" by saying "both sides" were to blame for violence and that there were "very fine people" among those marching to protect Confederate statues. Ryan was asked at a town hall organized by CNN in his Wisconsin congressional district whether he would back the resolution that comes following Trump's comments about the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally. The question came from Rabbi Dena Feingold, the sister of former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who grew up in the same city as Ryan. Ryan said censuring Trump would be "counterproductive." "If we descend this issue into some partisan hack-fest, into some bickering against each other and demean it down into some political food fight, what good does that do to unify this country?" Ryan said, adding that it would be the "worst thing we could do." While Ryan said he wouldn't support censuring Trump, he gave his sharpest criticism to date of the president's comments in the wake of the rally where a woman protesting against the white supremacists was killed by a man identified as a neo-Nazi supporter. Ryan had previously spoken out against the violence, both on Twitter and in a statement earlier Monday, but he hadn't previously addressed Trump's comments directly. "I do believe that he messed up in his comments on Tuesday when it sounded like a moral equivocation or at the very least moral ambiguity when we need extreme moral clarity," Ryan said of Trump. "You're not a good person if you're there, it's so very clear." The Ryan town hall began 30 minutes later than originally planned to accommodate Trump's nationwide address where he outlined a new strategy for troops in Afghanistan. Trump vowed to keep American troops fighting in Afghanistan, despite his earlier inclination to withdraw. Ryan said he was "pleased" with what he heard from Trump and that it represented a more comprehensive strategy than what had been in place under former President Barack Obama. Ryan said he was also glad that Trump is moving away from having a timetable for withdrawing from Afghanistan and wants to prevent creating a safe haven for terrorists. "We can't afford to allow that to happen again," Ryan said. CNN extended invitations to people from Ryan's district and selected the questions that were asked. That has led to criticism from Democrats who say the Republican Ryan has been hiding from Wisconsin voters since he hasn't held a town hall open to everyone since October 2015. Ryan has held numerous events in Wisconsin, but he's only taken questions from the public in controlled environments such as private businesses. "Hopefully the media event that occurred tonight will convince Paul Ryan that talking to his constituents is a good idea," said U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democrat representing a south-central Wisconsin congressional district that's next to Ryan's. "In the remaining weeks when Paul is home, he might want to schedule a real town hall or two and explain his health care bill that drops tens of millions of people's coverage, as well as discuss his tax preferences that would give the top 1 percent more tax breaks while working Americans continue to struggle." [...]


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Video: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin commends Marengo-based manufacturerSen. Dick Durbin speaks to UniCarriers Americas Corp. employees about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and maintaining the skills of American workers during a visit Monday in Marengo.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 23:43:00 GMT

MARENGO – The state of Illinois can offer an outstanding workforce in manufacturing that can help boost the nation to the top of the global economy, said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois.

Durbin spent about a half-hour Monday morning touring UniCarriers Americas Corp.’s factory in Marengo and commended the forklift manufacturer for being an industry role model for keeping jobs in Illinois and offering education incentives for its employees.

He spoke from a stage to hundreds of factory workers about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and maintaining the skills of American workers.

“I heard you were doing some things that are pretty important for your lives, for the product you make, but I think could be important for our nation,” Durbin told workers at the factory that employs more than 500 people at its Marengo facility.

“What we see here in UniCarriers is not only a quality product that can compete on an international scale, but it’s being produced right here in America by Americans who are up to the task and job of competition.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

Sen. Dick Durbin speaks to UniCarriers Americas Corp. employees about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and maintaining the skills of American workers during a visit Monday in Marengo.


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Video: The coin toss to decide the final selling price for the 'waterfall house on Fox River'Jack Kraft (right) addresses spectators Sunday at the "$25,000 Challenge" for the "waterfall house" at No Wake Bar and Grill in Port Barrington. On a call of "tails" by David Wescott (second from right), Kraft won the $25,000 with the commemorative coin landing on heads. A portion of Kraft's winnings will be donated to McHenry and Lake counties' first responders.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 22:16:00 GMT

PORT BARRINGTON – A coin flip Sunday night decided how much it would cost for the new owner of the multimillion-dollar “waterfall house on Fox River” to seal the deal.

As an arrangement between friends, two Barrington-area businessmen settled a $25,000 deadlock on the sale of the property in River Glen in Barrington with a coin flip, and raised about $10,250 in the process for first responders for both McHenry and Lake county sheriff’s offices at No Wake Bar and Grill.

“We don’t see it as winners and losers here,” said Jack Kraft, the current owner. “We see it as we both got what we wanted. The house is really a destination on the river, and I wanted to get somebody who could afford to take care of it.”

To read the full story, click here.

Below, see video of the actual coin toss.

Jack Kraft (right) addresses spectators Sunday at the "$25,000 Challenge" for the "waterfall house" at No Wake Bar and Grill in Port Barrington. On a call of "tails" by David Wescott (second from right), Kraft won the $25,000 with the commemorative coin landing on heads. A portion of Kraft's winnings will be donated to McHenry and Lake counties' first responders.


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McHenry County gets a view of the solar eclipseSubmitted by Melissa McFaddenSubmitted by Brandi Garza-JacksonSubmitted by Kelly SmithSubmitted by Crystal BertolamiSubmitted by Jennifer BaumstarkSubmitted by Lisa KindstromSubmitted by Aimee Rose

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:03:00 GMT

McHenry County got a look through the clouds at the solar eclipse on Monday. These photos were submitted to the Northwest Herald's Facebook page.

Submitted by Melissa McFaddenSubmitted by Brandi Garza-JacksonSubmitted by Kelly SmithSubmitted by Crystal BertolamiSubmitted by Jennifer BaumstarkSubmitted by Lisa KindstromSubmitted by Aimee Rose


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Moon blots the sun out of the sky in historic U.S. eclipseThe shadow — a corridor just 60 to 70 miles (96 to 113 kilometers) wide — came ashore in Oregon and then began racing diagonally across the continent to South Carolina, with darkness lasting only about two to three minutes in any one spot. "The show has just begun, people! What a gorgeous day! Isn't this great, people?" Jim Todd, a director at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, told a crowd of thousands at an amphitheater in Salem, Oregon, as the moon seemed to take an ever-bigger bite out of the sun and temperature soon dropped noticeably.With 200 million people within a day's drive from the path of totality, towns and parks braced for monumental crowds. Clear skies beckoned along most of the route, to the relief of those who feared cloud cover would spoil this once-in-a-lifetime moment. "It's like nothing else you will ever see or ever do," said veteran eclipse-watcher Mike O'Leary of San Diego, who set up his camera along with among hundreds of other amateur astronomers gathered in Casper, Wyoming. "It can be religious. It makes you feel insignificant, like you're just a speck in the whole scheme of things." Astronomers were giddy with excitement. A solar eclipse is considered one of the grandest of cosmic spectacles.NASA solar physicist Alex Young said the last time earthlings had a connection like this to the heavens was during man's first flight to the moon, on Apollo 8 in 1968. The first, famous Earthrise photo came from that mission and, like this eclipse, showed us "we are part of something bigger." With half hour to go before totality, NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, enjoyed the moon's "first bites out of the sun" from a plane flying over the Oregon coast and declared it "just an incredible view." "I'm about to fight this man for a window seat," Lightfoot said, referring to a fellow NASA scientist. The Earth, moon and sun line up perfectly every one to three years, briefly turning day into night for a sliver of the planet. But these sights normally are in no man's land, like the vast Pacific or Earth's poles. This is the first eclipse of the social media era to pass through such a heavily populated area. The moon hasn't thrown this much shade at the U.S. since 1918, during the country's last coast-to-coast total eclipse. In fact, the U.S. mainland hasn't seen a total solar eclipse since 1979 — and even then, only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness."It's really, really, really, really awesome," said 9-year-old Cami Smith as she watched the fully eclipsed sun from a gravel lane near her grandfather's home at Beverly Beach, Oregon. Scientists said the total eclipse would cast a shadow that would race 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) through 14 states, entering near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 1:16 p.m. EDT, moving diagonally across the heartland over Casper, Wyoming, Carbondale, Illinois, and Nashville, Tennessee, and then exiting near Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:47 p.m. EDT. Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois was in line to see the longest stretch of darkness: 2 minutes and 44 seconds. All of North America was on track to get at least a partial eclipse, along with Central America and the top of South America.Joe Roth, an amateur photographer, traveled south from the Chicago area to Alto Pass, Illinois, to catch his first total solar eclipse — on his 62nd birthday, no less. He said the stars aligned for him — "a Kodak moment for me to cherish and experience." Kim Kniseley drove overnight from Roanoke, Virginia, arriving in Madisonville, Tennessee, before dawn to get a parking spot at Kefauver Park, where by sunrise dozens of folks had claimed benches and set up tents. He said he could have stayed home in Roanoke and seen a partial eclipse of 90 percent, but that would have been like "going to a rock concert and you're standing in the parking lot." Hoping to learn more about the sun's composition and activity, NASA and other scientists watched and analyzed from telescopes on the ground and in orbit, the International Space Station, airplanes and scores of high-altitude balloons beaming back live video. Citizen scientists also planned to monitor animal and plant behavior as daylight turned into twilight and the temperature dropped. Thousands of people streamed into the Nashville Zoo just to watch the animals' reaction. Scientists warned people not to look into the sun without protection, except when the sun is 100 percent covered. Otherwise, to avoid eye damage, keep the solar specs on or use pinhole projectors that can cast an image of the eclipse into a box. The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be in 2024. The next coast-to-coast one will not be until 2045.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:50:00 GMT

Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century. It promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history, with millions staking out prime viewing spots and settling into lawn chairs to watch, especially along the path of totality — the line of shadow created when the sun is completely obscured. The shadow — a corridor just 60 to 70 miles (96 to 113 kilometers) wide — came ashore in Oregon and then began racing diagonally across the continent to South Carolina, with darkness lasting only about two to three minutes in any one spot. "The show has just begun, people! What a gorgeous day! Isn't this great, people?" Jim Todd, a director at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, told a crowd of thousands at an amphitheater in Salem, Oregon, as the moon seemed to take an ever-bigger bite out of the sun and temperature soon dropped noticeably.With 200 million people within a day's drive from the path of totality, towns and parks braced for monumental crowds. Clear skies beckoned along most of the route, to the relief of those who feared cloud cover would spoil this once-in-a-lifetime moment. "It's like nothing else you will ever see or ever do," said veteran eclipse-watcher Mike O'Leary of San Diego, who set up his camera along with among hundreds of other amateur astronomers gathered in Casper, Wyoming. "It can be religious. It makes you feel insignificant, like you're just a speck in the whole scheme of things." Astronomers were giddy with excitement. A solar eclipse is considered one of the grandest of cosmic spectacles.NASA solar physicist Alex Young said the last time earthlings had a connection like this to the heavens was during man's first flight to the moon, on Apollo 8 in 1968. The first, famous Earthrise photo came from that mission and, like this eclipse, showed us "we are part of something bigger." With half hour to go before totality, NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, enjoyed the moon's "first bites out of the sun" from a plane flying over the Oregon coast and declared it "just an incredible view." "I'm about to fight this man for a window seat," Lightfoot said, referring to a fellow NASA scientist. The Earth, moon and sun line up perfectly every one to three years, briefly turning day into night for a sliver of the planet. But these sights normally are in no man's land, like the vast Pacific or Earth's poles. This is the first eclipse of the social media era to pass through such a heavily populated area. The moon hasn't thrown this much shade at the U.S. since 1918, during the country's last coast-to-coast total eclipse. In fact, the U.S. mainland hasn't seen a total solar eclipse since 1979 — and even then, only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness."It's really, really, really, really awesome," said 9-year-old Cami Smith as she watched the fully eclipsed sun from a gravel lane near her grandfather's home at Beverly Beach, Oregon. Scientists said the total eclipse would cast a shadow that would race 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) through 14 states, entering near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 1:16 p.m. EDT, moving diagonally across the heartland over Casper, Wyoming, Carbondale, Illinois, and Nashville, Tennessee, and then exiting near Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:47 p.m. EDT. Shawnee National Forest in southe[...]


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Wisconsin teen pleads guilty to lesser charge in Slender Man attackFILE- In a Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 file photo, Anissa Weier, 15, appears in court in Waukesha, Wis. Weier, one of two Wisconsin girls charged with repeatedly stabbing a classmate to impress the fictitious horror character Slender Man, pleaded guilty Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, to attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime, with use of a deadly weapon. She initially faced a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the 2014 attack on Payton Leutner in Waukesha, a city west of Milwaukee.(Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:45:00 GMT

MILWAUKEE – One of two Wisconsin girls charged with repeatedly stabbing a classmate to impress the fictitious horror character Slender Man pleaded guilty Monday, but she still faces a trial in the case next month focused on her mental health. Anissa Weier, 15, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime, with use of a deadly weapon. She initially faced a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the 2014 attack on Payton Leutner in park in Waukesha, a city west of Milwaukee. Weier spoke at length during the hearing, telling Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael O. Bohren that she understood her plea and its ramifications. She also explained her motivation for participating in her classmate's stabbing. "I believed that if I didn't go through with it, Slender Man would come and attack and kill myself, my friends and my family. Those I cared about the most," she said. The plea means her trial next month will look only at whether she is legally responsible for the crime or not guilty because of mental illness. She could face 10 years in prison if she's found guilty. If not, she'll spend three years in a mental hospital. Prosecutors allege she and her co-defendant, Morgan Geyser, stabbed Leutner 19 times in a wooded area following a sleepover, then left her. The girls planned to walk hundreds of miles north to meet Slender Man in a forest. Both suspects were 12 at the time of the attack. Leutner was able to crawl out of the woods in the park to a path where she was found by a bicyclist. Bohren questioned Weier about the attack. He asked her to describe what happened to ensure she understood her guilty plea. Weier told the judge she didn't want to harm Leutner. She said she told Geyser she couldn't stab her. "I told her that I couldn't do it," Weier said, adding that her co-defendant "asked me whether or not she should do it" when they were in the woods. "And I just wanted it to be over with so I said, 'Go do what you have to do,' and Peyton was then hurt," Weier said. "How was she hurt?" the judge asked. "Morgan (Geyser) jumped on top of her and stabbed her repeatedly," Weier said. Geyser also was due in court Monday for a status hearing. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease to attempted homicide charges in adult court. Weier initially entered the same plea. Geyser's attorney, Anthony Cotton, said Monday that he and his client plan to proceed to trial. He declined comment on Weier's plea, saying it would be inappropriate to do so. Cotton said he and his team have been holding mock trials weekly. "We have continued to gather crucial information from the focus groups we've been convening repeatedly," he said, adding that they "are confident in our approach." Slender Man started with an online post in 2009, as a mysterious specter photo-shopped into everyday images of children at play. He is typically depicted as a spidery figure in a black suit with a featureless white face. He was regarded by his devotees as alternately a sinister force and an avenging angel. [...]


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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl chooses to have trial heard by judge and not juryFILE - This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl is choosing be tried by a judge, not a military jury, on charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan. He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his trial scheduled for late October 2017. (U.S. Army via AP, file)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:20:00 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. – Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has decided to be tried by a judge — not a military jury — on charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl's lawyers told the court in a brief filing last week that their client chose trial by judge alone, rather than a panel of officers. He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his trial scheduled for late October at Fort Bragg. The latter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Defense attorneys declined to comment on the decision. But they previously questioned whether Bergdahl could get a fair trial by jury because of negative comments President Donald Trump made on the campaign trail.

Earlier this year the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance rejected a defense request to dismiss the case over Trump's criticism of Bergdahl.

Potential jurors had already received a questionnaire including questions about their commander in chief, but defense attorneys weren't allowed to ask jurors if they voted for Trump.

Rachel VanLandingham, a former Air Force lawyer not involved in the case, said defense attorneys likely felt limited in how they could probe juror opinions.

"They lost their ability to ask all the questions they wanted to ask, one of those being: 'Did you vote for President Trump?'" said VanLandingham, who teaches at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. "They felt that was very important ... for fleshing out whether a panel member could be fair."

Beyond concerns about jurors, she said Nance has so far demonstrated his objectivity.

"His pretrial rulings have shown that he's fair," she said.

Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban shortly after he left his remote post in 2009. The soldier from Idaho has said he intended to cause alarm and draw attention to what he saw as problems with his unit.

Bergdahl was freed from captivity in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners. Former President Barack Obama was criticized by Republicans who claimed the trade jeopardized the nation's security.

FILE - This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl is choosing be tried by a judge, not a military jury, on charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan. He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his trial scheduled for late October 2017. (U.S. Army via AP, file)


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Prosecutors: Prof killed boyfriend as part of sexual fantasyThese booking photos provided by the Chicago Police Department show Wyndham Lathem, left, and Andrew Warren on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. Lathem, a Northwestern University professor, and Warren, an Oxford University financial officer, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, a Michigan native who had been working in Chicago. Authorities say Cornell-Duranleau suffered more than 40 stab wounds to his upper body during the July attack in Lathem's high-rise Chicago condo. Lathem and Warren surrendered peacefully to police in California on Aug. 4 after an eight-day manhunt. (Chicago Police Department via AP)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:38:00 GMT

CHICAGO – The fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in Chicago was part of a sexual fantasy hatched in an online chatroom between a Northwestern University professor and an Oxford University employee, whose plan included killing someone and then themselves, prosecutors told a Cook County judge Sunday at a bond hearing for the men. An Illinois prosecutor shared disturbing new details about the July 27 slaying, describing to the court how Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, the 26-year-old boyfriend of since-fired microbiology professor Wyndham Lathem, was stabbed 70 times at Lathem's Chicago condo and with such brutality that he was nearly decapitated. His throat was slit and pulmonary artery torn. Lathem, 46, had communicated for months before with Andrew Warren, 56, about "carrying out their sexual fantasies of killing others and then themselves," Natosha Toller, an assistant Cook County state's Attorney, told the court. While the prosecutor used the plural in talking about the alleged fantasy to kill, she did not say there were other victims. Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. at one point shook his head in apparent disgust as he listened to the prosecutor offer a chilling narrative of the slaying. He later deemed both men potentially dangerous and flight risks, ordering them to remain in jail pending trial on first-degree murder charges. "The heinous facts speak for themselves," he said. Lathem and Warren – a British citizen employed as a financial official at the Oxford, England, university – were dressed in their own clothes Sunday at their first court appearance in Chicago. They stood calmly, their hands behind their backs, as the prosecutor and judge spoke. Lathem paid for Warren's ticket to travel to the United States and he picked Warren up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport a few days before the killing, the prosecutor said. On July 26, one day before the killing, Lathem booked a room for Warren near the condo, Toller said. Cornell-Duranleau, a Michigan native, had been asleep in Lathem's high-rise Chicago condo when Lathem let Warren into the 10th-floor unit around 4:30 a.m. on July 27 – treading carefully so as not to wake the victim. As Warren stood in a doorway, Lathem crept up to Cornell-Duranleau and began plunging a 6-inch drywall saw knife into his chest and neck, Toller said. Lathem had told Warren to take video of the killing using his cellphone, but Warren did not end up recording it, the prosecutor said. When Cornell-Duranleau awoke, he began screaming and fought back; Lathem yelled at Warren, asking him to help subdue Cornell-Duranleau, the prosecutor said. Warren ran over to cover the victim's mouth, then struck him in the head with a heavy lamp in an attempt to silence him, Toller said. As Lathem continued to stab the victim, Warren left the room and returned with two kitchen knives, she said. Warren bent over Cornell-Duranleau and joined Lathem in stabbing him, the prosecutor said. At one point, the victim bit Warren's hand as he struggled to fight off the attack. She said the victim's last words were to Lathem: "Wyndham, what are you doing?" While prosecutors said [...]


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Hospital officals: Nearly 500 dead in Sierra Leone mudslidesVolunteers search for bodies from the scene Tuesday of heavy flooding and mudslides in Regent, just outside of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown. Survivors picking through the debris of Sierra Leone's deadly mudslides are facing the reality that most, if not all, of the estimated 600 people missing are dead.Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma (second from right) attends a mass funeral for victims of heavy flooding and mudslides in Regent at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday. The government has begun burying the hundreds of people killed earlier this week in mudslides in Sierra Leone's capital, and it warned Thursday of new danger from a large crack that has opened on a mountainside where residents were told to evacuate.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:19:00 GMT

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone – Churches across Sierra Leone held special services Sunday in memory of those killed in mudslides and flooding earlier this week, as hospital officials announced the toll had risen to nearly 500 bodies collected.

More than 600 people remain missing and rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day. The death toll earlier stood at 450.

The Inter-Religious Council called for the services to be held Sunday in honor of the deceased, as special prayers and recitals were offered in mosques Friday and Sunday.

The preacher at Buxton Memorial Methodist Church in Freetown, the capital, offered a sermon that looked at mankind’s contribution to the disaster, as a gospel band rendered the song “Papa God Sorry for Salone (Sierra Leone).”

Large-scale burials have taken place all this week amid rainy weather that threatened further mudslides.

The government of the impoverished West African nation in recent days has warned residents to evacuate a mountainside where a large crack has opened. Thousands of people live in areas at risk, and the main focus is making sure they leave before further disaster, authorities have told local media.

Aid groups are providing clean water as a health crisis looms.

“Water sources have been contaminated” and that officials “fear for an outbreak of waterborne diseases,” said Saidu Kanu, country director for World Hope International.

Foreign aid from the rest of the world is being sent to Freetown, said authorities.

Volunteers search for bodies from the scene Tuesday of heavy flooding and mudslides in Regent, just outside of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown. Survivors picking through the debris of Sierra Leone's deadly mudslides are facing the reality that most, if not all, of the estimated 600 people missing are dead.Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma (second from right) attends a mass funeral for victims of heavy flooding and mudslides in Regent at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday. The government has begun burying the hundreds of people killed earlier this week in mudslides in Sierra Leone's capital, and it warned Thursday of new danger from a large crack that has opened on a mountainside where residents were told to evacuate.


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Iraq launches operation to take back IS-held town near MosulU.S. Army soldiers stands next to a a guided-missile launcher, a few miles from the frontline, in the village of Abu Ghaddur, east of Tal Afar, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. Iraqi forces have launched a multi-pronged assault to retake the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, marking the next phase in the country's war on the Islamic State group. Tal Afar and the surrounding area is one of the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in July in Mosul, the country's second-largest city. (AP Photo/Balint Szlanko)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:19:00 GMT

ABU GHADDUR, Iraq – U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on Sunday launched a multi-pronged assault to retake the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, marking the next phase in the country’s war on the Islamic State group. Tal Afar and the surrounding area is one of the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in July in Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. The town, about 93 miles east of the Syrian border, sits along a major road that once was a key IS supply route. “The city of Tal Afar will be liberated and will join all the liberated cities,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a televised speech early Sunday. He was dressed in a black uniform of the type worn by Iraqi special forces. He called on the militants to “surrender or die.” By early afternoon, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Rasheed Yar Allah, who commands the operation, said the forces had recaptured a series of villages east, southwest and northwest of town. The U.S.-led coalition providing air and other support to the troops praised what it said was a “capable, formidable and increasingly professional force.” “They are well prepared to deliver another defeat” to IS in Tal Afar, like in Mosul, the coalition said in a statement. On the front lines, pillars of smoke could be seen rising in the distance as U.S. and Belgian special forces worked with Iraqi troops to establish a position on the roof of a house. They later fired mortar rounds and launched drones. Lt. Gen. Riyad Jalal Tawfiq, of the Iraqi army, said IS had deployed small teams of attackers as well as suicide car bombs and roadside bombs. The Coalition estimates that approximately 10,000-50,000 civilians remain in and around Tal Afar. In past battles, IS has prevented civilians from fleeing and used them as human shields, slowing Iraqi advances. Hours after announcing the operation, the United Nations expressed concerns over the safety of the civilians, calling on warring parties to protect them. Iraqi authorities have set up a toll-free number and a radio station to help guide fleeing civilians to safety. A stepped up campaign of airstrikes and a troop buildup has already forced tens of thousands to flee Tal Afar, threatening to compound a humanitarian crisis sparked by the Mosul operation. Some 49,000 people have fled the Tal Afar district since April, according to the United Nations. Nearly a million people remain displaced by the nine-month campaign to retake Mosul. The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, described the situation inside Tal Afar as “very tough,” with food and water running out and many lacking basic necessities. “Families are trekking for 10 to 20 hours in extreme heat to reach mustering points,” she said. “They are arriving exhausted and dehydrated.” Iraqi forces have driven IS from most of the major towns and cities seized by the militants in the summer of 2014, including Mosul, which was retaken after a grueling nine-month campaign. [...]


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Former health chiefs to Trump: Avoid new 'Obamacare' crisis

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:18:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Don’t make things worse. That’s the advice of former U.S. health secretaries of both parties to President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress, now that “Obamacare” seems here for the foreseeable future. The 2018 sign-up season for subsidized private health plans starts Nov. 1, with about 10 million people currently served through HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts. Stability should be the immediate goal, said former Health and Human Services secretaries Kathleen Sebelius, Mike Leavitt and Tommy Thompson. At minimum: Dispel the political and legal uncertainty – fueled by presidential tweets – around billions in subsidies for consumers’ insurance copays and deductibles. The three former officials shared their views with The Associated Press. Beyond the urgent need to calm markets by providing clarity on subsidies, Democrat Sebelius and Republicans Leavitt and Thompson differ on the direction Trump and Congress should take. They agree that Republicans still have an opportunity to put their stamp on the Affordable Care Act, even if the drive to “repeal and replace” former President Barack Obama’s legacy program appears to have hit a dead end. “They can make changes that signal a new ideological direction without generating a logistical and political mess,” said Leavitt, who led HHS during former President George W. Bush’s second term. “They won the right to make changes. However, they should do it in a skillful way.” Leavitt shepherded the Medicare prescription drug benefit through its rocky rollout in 2006. “Stabilizing the current situation can only – I think – be to their benefit,” Sebelius said of the Trump administration. “In an environment in which [insurance] companies are enrolling customers, they’ve got a lot of time to actually go back to the drawing board and figure this out. The worst of all worlds for them would be to have the current situation unravel because of decisions by this administration.” Sebelius helped steer Obama’s law through Congress and later oversaw the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov, when the computer system locked up on the first day of sign-up season, frustrating millions of consumers and embarrassing the White House. She took the heat, but Sebelius stayed on task and ultimately helped deliver a successful open enrollment. “It would be a mistake to further destabilize the [insurance] market,” said Thompson, who served during Bush’s first term and led HHS preparations to meet the bioterrorism threat after the deadly anthrax mailings that followed closely the Sept. 11 attacks. Thompson urged a health care summit between Trump and congressional leaders of both parties, followed by a period of intensive legislative work under a deadline to reach a truce in the political battle over health care. Trump and top lieutenants like HHS Secretary Tom Price have sent mixed signals. Leading congressional Republicans want to try to move limited legislation after lawmakers return next month, worried they’ll suffer consequences in next year’s midterm elections. At the[...]



Free speech supporters: Outnumbered, but rally was a successCounterprotesters hold signs Saturday at a "Free Speech" rally by conservative activists on Boston Common in Boston. Thousands of demonstrators marched Saturday from the city's Roxbury neighborhood to Boston Common, where the "Free Speech Rally" is being held.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:18:00 GMT

BOSTON – Supporters of a small, conservative “free speech rally” held Saturday in Boston said that despite being outnumbered by tens of thousands of counterprotesters, their event was a success. Demonstrators protesting against racism and white supremacy had descended upon historic Boston Common, dwarfing the rally’s few dozen attendees and leading to what appeared to be an abrupt end of the event. Less than an hour after rallygoers arrived, they were escorted out of the area by police, as boisterous counterprotesters scuffled with officers. But event organizers, speakers and participants say coverage of the event has been mischaracterized and that it accomplished its purpose – to talk about the importance of free speech. “We were there to discuss the spectrum of American views,” said Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, who gave the keynote at the rally. Ayyadurai, a Cambridge technology entrepreneur who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, added that the crowd was a politically and racially diverse group of mostly students. In the days leading up to Saturday’s long-planned event, organizers publicly distanced themselves from the Aug. 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left a woman dead and many more injured. Addressing concerns that a similar event might come to Boston, Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh had denounced “hate groups” that would potentially attend Saturday’s gathering. But when asked about the atmosphere at the Parkman Bandstand on the Common where supporters gathered Saturday, participants described the opposite of what opponents had feared. “I was holding one of the ‘Black Lives Do Matter’ signs,” said attendee April Sutherland, 25, of Seattle. Photos show the signs being held up as Ayyadurai is speaking. “It was powerful to have our voices heard. The police were very good at escorting us out [and] we were met with people who were so encouraging. Forty thousand people were objecting to something they didn’t realize was a lie.” Melissa Smith, 32, of Brookline, said she participated in the rally because free speech is important to her. “[The event] was very successful,” she said. Despite multiple confrontations, fights breaking out and objects getting thrown at police, authorities touted the events as mostly peaceful, reporting a total of 33 arrests for disorderly conduct, assaulting a police officer and other offenses. Those arrested are expected in court this week. Officials say about 40,000 people attended. The counterdemonstration received praise from Walsh, who said Boston “stood for peace and love” and President Donald Trump, who said the people in Boston were “speaking out” against bigotry and hate. Trump added in a Twitter message that “Our country will soon come together as one!” Counterprotesters hold signs Saturday at a "Free Speech" rally by conservative activists on Boston Common in Boston. Thousands of demonstrators marched Saturday from the city's Ro[...]


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Spanish town struggles to reconcile locals as extremist cellA woman weeps during a gathering of members of the local Muslim community along with relatives of young men believed responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils to denounce terrorism and show their grief in Ripoll, north of Barcelona, Spain, Sunday.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:18:00 GMT

RIPOLL, Spain – They were brothers and boyhood friends from a town with no unfamiliar faces. They were linked by Moroccan roots and equally tied by their upbringings in Ripoll, an ancient hub in the Catalan foothills known for its monastery and passageways dotted with cafes and kebab shops. But most recently, police believe, the young men were drawn together by an imam and an alleged plot to murder on a massive scale – an extraordinary secret for 12 people to keep for months on end. In the suspected extremist cell’s final days, the group accumulated more than 100 gas canisters, blew up a house in a botched effort to make bombs, drove a van through Barcelona’s storied Las Ramblas promenade, and attacked beachside tourists, Spanish authorities said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed at least 14 people and left scores wounded. Five of the dozen were shot dead by police. Now, Ripoll is cut off by police roadblocks as the search for an alleged cell member thought to still be on the run continues. Families and friends in the town are torn between horror at the bloodshed and grief for the children they thought they knew. “We don’t know whether to cry and mourn them or what to do,” said Wafa Marsi, who knew the attackers and stood with their weeping mothers as they clustered in small groups in the town square. “They have killed 13 or 14 people and wounded a hundred, and we don’t know what to do.” What the families finally did, after fiercely debating the issue, was denounce the attack, some holding up homemade signs reading “Not in our name.” Police have identified 12 members of the cell, but three remained unaccounted for Sunday. Two are believed to have been killed when the house where the plot was hatched exploded Wednesday, Catalan police official Josep Lluis Trapero told reporters Sunday. Complicating the manhunt for the suspected fugitive and any other possible accomplices, however, was the fact that police so far have been unable to pinpoint who remained at large. The explosion in Alcanar, 186 miles south of Ripoll, nearly obliterated the bomb makers along with the house. A police official has said the imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, is thought to be one of them. Trapero declined to confirm that Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan, was the one at large and the suspected driver of the van that plowed down the Las Ramblas promenade Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring 120. Another attack hours later killed one person and injured others in Cambrils, a seaside town south of the city. “We are working in that line,” Trapero said. But he added: “We don’t know where he is.” Another police official did confirm that three vans tied to the investigation were rented with Abouyaaquoub’s credit card: The one used in the Las Ramblas carnage, another found in Ripoll, where all the main attack suspects lived, and a third found in Vic, on the road between the two. Police are investigating whether a man found stabbed [...]


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1979 Klan-Nazi attack survivor hopes for a 'justice river'The Rev. Nelson Johnson and his wife, Joyce, stand beside a 1979 photo of the "Greensboro Massacre" Wednesday at the couple's Faith Community Church in Greensboro, N.C. The Johnsons were taking part in a workers' march on Nov. 3, 1979, when they were attacked by Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:18:00 GMT

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Rev. Nelson Johnson needs no reminders of the massacre of five of his labor-activist friends almost 40 years ago – he still has the faded scar on his left arm, left by a Nazi who stabbed him as white supremacists descended on a march for workers through black neighborhoods in Greensboro. But the violence surrounding the Aug. 12 march by Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the death of a young woman hit by a car there, brought the events of Nov. 3, 1979, in sharper focus for him. “I was horrified,” he said. Johnson, now 74, was a member of the Workers Viewpoint Organization, which planned a march through a public housing project in Greensboro before a labor conference on Nov. 3, 1979. While the focus was on workers, textile mill wages and brown lung disease, it also was billed as a “Death to the Klan” rally. Both the rally title and the organization’s decision to rename itself the Communist Workers Party were mistakes, Johnson now acknowledges. Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen drove into the march and then fired at demonstrators, and a report found that some demonstrators also were armed and fired in response. Five marchers were killed and at least 10 people were wounded, including Johnson. All-white juries at two trials acquitted the Klan and Nazi members, who claimed self-defense. Testimony showed both the police and the then-Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had been warned by informants about the Klan-Nazi plans. Members of the Greensboro Police Department, along with Klan and Nazi members, were found liable at a civil trial for the death of one victim, and the city paid $351,000 to his family. The details were outlined in a report, completed in 2006 by the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A Nazi knifed Johnson’s left arm, which Johnson had used defensively to prevent a more serious wound to his abdomen. A light scar, faded over 38 years, is barely visible, and Johnson can’t move one finger because of where the knife sliced a muscle. Early reports described the attack as an ambush, but the narrative changed quickly from that to one of equivalent blame for the marchers and the killers – similar to what President Donald Trump said this week about Charlottesville. “To hear our president frame the issue this way was frighteningly familiar,” Johnson said. Still, he’s optimistic about the public response and that of local and state leaders to the Charlottesville protest and death, compared to the way officials reacted in Greensboro in 1979. “The response was much different,” he said. “The mayor, the governor, the leaders of Charlottesville all quickly came to the defense of those who were brutalized and abused. Nothing approximating that happened in Greensboro. And we were quickly isolated and alone.” Death threats led Johnson and his family to move from their house in the woods on the edge of the city to a home with several other families. He couldn’t find a job. About 20 pro-labor pr[...]


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Trump will address path forward on AfghanistanJoint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford works in his private cabin aboard his plane, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, while traveling to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:17:00 GMT

CAMP MOREHEAD, Afghanistan – Signaling that the U.S. military expects its mission to continue, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army’s new special operations corps, declaring that “we are with you and we will stay with you.” Gen. John Nicholson’s exhortation of continued support for the Afghans suggested the Pentagon may have won its argument that America’s military must stay engaged in the conflict in order to insure terrorists don’t once again threaten the U.S. from safe havens in Afghanistan. The White House announced that President Donald Trump would address the nation’s troops and the American people Monday night to update the path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia. Nicholson, speaking prior to the White House announcement, said the commandos and a plan to double the size of the Afghan’s special operations forces are critical to winning the war. “I assure you we are with you in this fight. We are with you and we will stay with you,” he said during a ceremony at Camp Morehead, a training base for Afghan commandos southeast of Kabul. The Pentagon was awaiting a final announcement by Trump on a proposal to send nearly 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. The added forces would increase training and advising of the Afghan forces and bolster counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and an Islamic State group affiliate trying to gain a foothold in the country. The administration has been at odds for months over how to craft a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan amid frustrations that 16 years after 9/11 the conflict is stalemated. The Afghan government only controls half of the country and is beset by endemic corruption and infighting. The Islamic State group has been hit hard but continues to attempt major attacks, insurgents still find safe harbor in Pakistan, and Russia, Iran and others are increasingly trying to shape the outcome. At this point, everything the U.S. military has proposed points to keeping the Afghan government in place and struggling to turn a dismal quagmire around. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he is satisfied with how the administration formulated its new Afghanistan war strategy. But he refused to talk about the new policy until it was disclosed by Trump. He said the deliberations, including talks at the Camp David presidential retreat on Friday, were done properly. “I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous,” Mattis said, speaking aboard a military aircraft on an overnight flight from Washington to Amman, Jordan. Months ago, Trump gave Mattis authority to set U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, but Mattis said he has not yet sent significant additional forces to the fight. He has said he would wait for Trump to set the strategic direction first. Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he had made decisions at Camp David, “including on Afghanistan,” but he did not say more[...]


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Incentives offered for new agents at remote border crossingsIn this Aug. 2, 2017 photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Mario Marquis checks in a driver at the port of entry on the Vermont-Quebec border in Norton, Vt. CBP is offering financial incentives for people willing to work at 21 remote border crossings across the country, including Norton. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:17:00 GMT

NORTON, Vt. – It can be slow at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing between Norton, Vermont, and Stanhope, Quebec, where agents have watched moose amble through while waiting for people and cargo. But the port still is open 24/7 and needs to be staffed around the clock. However, the U.S. Government is having a hard time finding employees. As part of a nationwide effort to increase staff at some of its most remote border crossings, Customs and Border Protection now is offering hiring bonuses and job security for people willing to make the move to remote spots in Vermont, Maine, North Dakota, Texas and other locations on both the northern and southern borders. While the hours of operation of some remote crossings are being reduced, in the post 9/11 era, security procedures require that crossings be staffed by at least two officers at all times. “There are midnight shifts in many locations where the volume is minimal, yet the community still expects to have that level of service,” said Customs and Border Protection Assistant Commissioner Todd Owen. Mario Marquis, a Norton agent for 15 years, said he’d like to have more co-workers. “The pool of people that you would pick from have probably left the area to look for work somewhere else,” said Marquis, who greets border-crossers in both English and French. New officers do come to work in Norton, but it’s hard for many who feel isolated in the rural region where even a trip to Walmart is an all-day event. “They come here and they soon realize it was a mistake,” Marquis said of some outsiders who come to work the port. “They are like a fish out of water, like I am when I go to Boston.” There are 328 ports of entry to the United States across the country, including land, sea and airports. Customs and Border Protection currently is working to hire 1,300 officers nationwide – 1,150 at about 30 officially recognized hard-to-fill locations. Of those, new hires at 21 locations, including Norton, are eligible for a three-year 25 percent bonus on top of a base pay of about $32,000. The hiring effort, which began spring 2015, is separate from President Donald Trump’s executive order issued shortly after he took office to hire 5,000 new border patrol agents and other security personnel. Many ports now help fill staffing shortages with lots of overtime for the officers, but that can only go so far, Owen said. “You need the staffing to be healthy so that there is that balance, you have fresh officers and the officers also have quality of life,” he said. Although the officers might appear to be working in areas where there is little to do, they have to be as ready to detect threats as officers working at larger, busier points of entry. Therese Herr, now a border patrol supervisor in Beecher Falls, where Vermont, New Hampshire and Quebec meet, was called in one night in December 1999 when a[...]


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Marengo City Council votes down mayor's recommended legal appointmentWoodstock-based and Marengo resident Carlos Arevalo of Smith Amundsen is Marengo's city attorney.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:16:00 GMT

MARENGO – Marengo City Council members voted against the new mayor’s recommendation to appoint new legal counsel last week with little discussion after several months of closed-door meetings on the matter.

Mayor John Koziol, who began his term in April, first called for an executive session for discussion on the matter of appointing new legal counsel the night he was sworn in as mayor. He also called for discussion of former City Administrator Gary Boden’s contract during the same meeting.

Boden’s contract was not renewed.

Marengo’s city attorney is Woodstock-based and Marengo resident Carlos Arevalo of Smith Amundsen. Koziol proposed Crystal Lake-based attorney David McArdle of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle. The firm has nine attorneys who specialize in municipal law, according to city documents.

Koziol wrote in a memo to City Council members that he wanted to have the best people available “within the particular field of expertise.”

“Ultimately, we need to appoint and approve those that are best for the job without consideration of personal relationships,” he wrote. “We have had lengthy discussions and interviews on the topic of the city attorney. The time has come for this appointment. While we have had some disagreement, I can assure all that I have taken everyone’s thoughts and opinions into account.”

Council members voted against his recommendation, 5-3, with 4th Ward Aldermen Dennis Hammortree and Brett Martin, along with 1st Ward Alderman Mike Miller, voting in favor of moving forward with the change.

The city must retain legal counsel, so Arevalo will continue on as an unappointed city representative for the time being, Koziol said.

Miller said he feels that the new firm is more qualified to serve Marengo. The company already handles some of the city’s legal problems when it comes to police and traffic matters, he said.

“Carlos is a great guy, but maybe we should move on,” Miller said. “The other firm does multiple municipalities in McHenry County and are well-versed [in city problems].”

Third Ward Alderman Matt Keenum said he voted the way he did because he has been happy with the legal service.

“I am very satisfied with the work he has done so far,” Keenum said. “I see no reason to change.”

Woodstock-based and Marengo resident Carlos Arevalo of Smith Amundsen is Marengo's city attorney.


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Algonquin approves 5-year public works contract with Local 150 unionSarah Nader file photo - snader@shawmedia.com Algonquin Public Works Department employees Matt Mozola (left) and Cameron Carlson work to fill and distribute sandbags to help with the Fox River overflow July 13 in Algonquin.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:15:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – The village of Algonquin has approved a five-year public works contract with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 that represents a 3.2 percent average wage increase for employees, according to a news release from the union.

The raise comes about after workers’ exhaustive efforts and dedication to the village after the Fox River flooding, according to the release. Algonquin Public Works Department employees are responsible for tasks including plowing snow in the winter and responding to natural disasters in the area.

“This agreement is a win for both the village and our union,” said James M. Sweeney, Local 150 president and business manager. “Our members at the village of Algonquin have had a chance to show their skills during the floods this summer, and it was important that we finally secure this contract for them this year so that they can focus on their continuing relief efforts in the village.”

The contract was approved by the Village Board at its meeting Tuesday after about two years of negotiations, and it will be in effect until April 2021, according to the release.

Union members’ salaries in 2016 ranged from $35,000 to $74,000, according to the contract.

For the full contract, visit the “transparency portal” section of the village’s website, www.algonquin.org.

Local 150 also represents members of the Algonquin Township Highway Department.

On April 10, the Illinois Labor Relations Board certified the union membership of the 10 employees under the highway commissioner, and their contract took effect May 1. However, union members have said Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser has not recognized the contract after his decision to fire two union employees during his first day in office.

Local 150 is a labor union representing 23,000 workers in various industries in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, according to the release.

Sarah Nader file photo - snader@shawmedia.com Algonquin Public Works Department employees Matt Mozola (left) and Cameron Carlson work to fill and distribute sandbags to help with the Fox River overflow July 13 in Algonquin.


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Residents asked to retrieve specialty bricks before Crystal Lake Main Beach renovations

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:15:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Residents who bought bricks that were placed around the Main Beach playground are being asked to reclaim theirs before the upcoming renovation project, which starts after Labor Day.

The bricks residents bought through “Buy a Brick” for Main Beach playground in 1993 are in poor condition and cannot be reused in the new park area, according to a news release from the Crystal Lake Park District.

The bricks will be available to pick up during park hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for several weeks in September at the Main Beach entrance. The office is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

The pickup area will not be staffed, meaning residents will need to search for their brick in a collection.

Questions can be directed to Ann Viger, director of planning and development, at aviger@crystallakeparks.org or 779-994-4239.




Sex offenders can live next door to victims in many states

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:15:00 GMT

EDMOND, Okla. – A convicted sex offender who molested his niece when she was 7 years old moved in next door to his victim nearly a dozen years after he was sent to prison for the crime. Outraged, the Oklahoma woman, now 21, called lawmakers, the police and advocacy groups to plead with them to take action. Danyelle Dyer soon discovered that what Harold Dwayne English did in June is perfectly legal in the state – as well as in 44 others that don’t specifically bar sex offenders from living near their victims, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. “I always felt safe in my home, but it made me feel like I couldn’t go home; I couldn’t have my safe space anymore,” Dyer told The Associated Press, which typically doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault but is doing so in Dyer’s case because she agreed to allow her name to be used in hopes of drawing attention to the issue. “He would mow in between our houses. Him moving in brought back a lot of those feelings.” Advocacy groups say the Oklahoma case appears to be among the first in the U.S. in which a sex offender has exploited the loophole, which helps explain why dozens of other states have unknowingly allowed it to exist. “This is something that I would dare say was never envisioned would happen,” said Richard Barajas, a retired Texas judge and executive director of the nonprofit National Organization for Victim Assistance. “In all the years that I’ve been involved with the criminal justice system, I’ve never seen a case like this.” Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia have laws dictating how far away sex offenders must stay from their victims – 1,000 feet in Tennessee, for example, and 2,000 feet in Arkansas. Other states haven’t addressed the issue, although, like Oklahoma, they have laws prohibiting sex offenders from living within a certain distance of a church, school, day care, park or other facility where children are present. “You assume it can’t happen and then realize there is no provision preventing it from happening,” said one Oklahoma prosecutor, Rogers County District Attorney Matt Ballard, whose agency is responsible for keeping tabs on sex offenders in his area. “To have even the possibility of an offender living next to the victim is extremely troubling.” Arkansas passed its provision in 2007. State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, a former prosecutor, said lawmakers drafted the provision out of “common sense,” not as a response to a situation like Dyer’s. But Barajas, whose group discussed the loophole with attendees at its annual training event this past week, said support for such laws typically gain traction “when someone who was impacted steps up,” like Dyer. “Legislation is never created in a vacuum,” he said. Oklahoma lawmakers have now drafted legislation to close the looph[...]



Food truck fest planned for Woodstock

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:14:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Food trucks will take over the Square at a new event planned for Woodstock.

McHenry County Living is planning the event set for Sept. 16 in Woodstock’s historic Square. Activities, music, entertainment and a vendor fair are planned as part of the fundraiser, which has attracted 11 food trucks from around McHenry County and the Chicago area.

The vendor market will run from 4 to 8 p.m., and the food trucks will be open from 5 to 9 p.m., according to the event website.

“We have a huge variety of awesome, different cuisines,” said Erica Burke, owner of McHenry County Living. “We just feed off of people’s interest, and this was one of those things on the wish list so we thought, ‘Why not? Let's get it going.' "

The participating food trucks from McHenry County will include Your Sister’s Tomato, Garden to Glass Juicery and Riverside Chocolate Factory. Trucks from Chicago, Glenview, Niles, Elgin and Naperville also will be onsite, offering tacos, pierogis, hot dogs and Italian, Korean and Japanese cuisines.

The event is a fundraiser for Alexander Leigh Center for Autism, which is in the process of moving locations from Crystal Lake to McHenry.

The event is free and open to the public. Patrons have the option to buy VIP tickets that will allow access to craft beer and cocktail tastings and a commemorative glass and shirt at Mixin Mingle on the Square.

“We are super excited,” Burke said. “This is our biggest event. We are trying to bring more metropolitan, Chicago-caliber events here while keeping with the local flair as much as possible.”

Information about the event can be found on the McHenry County Living Facebook page or the Facebook event page located at facebook.com/events/463487240693475.




McHenry County Sheriff's Office plans community open house

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:13:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office will host an open house to give the community an inside look at department operations.

The open house will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the sheriff’s office, 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock.

The free event is designed to give the community an opportunity to see the daily operations of the sheriff’s office while meeting many of the men and women who serve the community each day, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Visitors can participate in department tours, vehicle and equipment displays, child fingerprinting and a K-9 demonstration at 12:30 p.m.

For questions or information, contact the Community Relations Division at 815-338-2144.




Redevelopment of Maplewood property to be discussed at special Cary Village Board meetingA special Cary Village Board meeting will be held to discuss the redevelopment of the former Maplewood school property.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:09:00 GMT

CARY – A special Cary Village Board meeting will be held to discuss the redevelopment of the former Maplewood school property.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive, Cary. Village officials and a representative from the developer, Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One, LLC, will be present.

“This meeting is designed for the developer to introduce himself and also get feedback from the Village Board and residents regarding what they may want to see on the site,” Village Administrator Jake Rife said.

Cary School District 26 approved in July a $2.5 million purchase agreement for the property.

The school, 422 W. Krenz Ave., has been vacant since it closed in 2010 because of declining enrollment and property maintenance costs. Built in 1929, the 42,000-square-foot facility was one of the district’s oldest.

Central One, LLC, is looking to construct a commercial, multifamily and/or residential development on the property, according to a news release from District 26.

Plans still are in the early stages, Taylor said, but he hopes to stick close to the village’s comprehensive plan.

“We just want to make sure the village is pretty much in agreement with that comprehensive plan, or get some input if there’s something different they’re looking for,” Taylor said.

The comprehensive plan provides a general vision for the site, Rife said.

“Right now in our comprehensive plan, the property calls for a mix of housing and some open space,” Rife said. “But it still remains unclear essentially what each individual board member wants on that site.”

No formal action will be taken regarding the property during the meeting, according to a village news release. The meeting will allow the Village Board to provide feedback on plans before any development drawings are produced or a formal zoning petition is submitted.

A special Cary Village Board meeting will be held to discuss the redevelopment of the former Maplewood school property.


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Drone found on Crystal Lake property highlights difficulties of reuniting lost UVAs with their ownersH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Kay and Haskell Pitluck are searching for the owner of a drown found in their Crystal Lake yard by their landscaper Arturo Rodriguez.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:05:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Kay Pitluck could hardly believe her eyes when a toy drone turned up in her front yard after a patch of big storms in late July. When Pitluck’s landscaper found the drone outside her Crystal Lake home, across from Main Beach, she thought about the man who had come knocking weeks earlier after accidentally flying his drone over their property and losing it in the trees. The man had left a business card, but unfortunately it was misplaced. Now, Pitluck and her husband, retired McHenry County circuit judge Haskell Pitluck, are in possession of a drone they never wanted and have no means of returning to its rightful owner. “I have actually felt so guilty about it,” Kay Pitluck said. “I’m old; I don’t want a drone.” Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, have become more common among regular citizens over the past several years as restrictions on ownership and use have changed. The drone found in the Pitluck’s yard, manufactured by Skyrocket Toys LLC, appears to be one of the remote-controlled Sky Viper models and is colored black and neon green with four propellers and a camera. The ID number is H1216EI. However, the Federal Aviation Administration’s current system for drone registration makes knowing those details almost worthless when it comes to reuniting the drone with its owner. Michael Huerta, the FAA administrator, said in a March 27 press conference that more than 770,000 U.S. drone registrations had been filed in about 15 months after making it mandatory to register certain drones starting in December 2015. Registration data released two months later showed that 87 drones had been registered in Crystal Lake as of May 2016. However, the public data does not disclose owners’ names or include any identifying owner information. Registration for personal drones, however, stopped being mandatory in March when a Washington, D.C., court ruled the FAA’s drone registration rules were in violation of congressional law. Drones flying for commercial purposes still must be registered. Most Skyrocket Toys’ drones, such as the one found in the Pitluck’s yard, are sold for less than $100 and do not include built-in GPS trackers, while higher-end civilian drones with built-in trackers cost thousands of dollars. Unless a GPS tracker has been installed in the device, or comes already built-in, finding the owner can become nearly an impossible task for people who find lost drones. One of the few options available for people who find drones is turning it into local police as they would for any other form of lost property. In Crystal Lake, Deputy Chief Derek Hyrkas said police do not regularly recei[...]


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Coin toss breaks $25,000 deadlock in sale of ‘waterfall house on Fox River’Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media David Wescott (left) and Jack Kraft shake hands after the coin flip at the "$25,000 Challenge" for the beautiful "Waterfall House" commemorative coin falls to the ground at No Wake Bar & Grill in Port Barrington, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. On a call of "tails" by Wescott, Kraft won the $25,000 with the commemorative coin landing heads. A portion of Kraft's winnings will be donated to McHenry and Lake Counties first responders.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Retired McHenry County Chief of Corrections, longtime friend, and official coin flipper Tom Svoboda speaks about the commemorative coin used for the "$25,000 Challenge" for the beautiful "Waterfall House" at No Wake Bar & Grill in Port Barrington, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. On a call of "tails" by David Wescott, Jack Kraft won the $25,000 with the commemorative coin landing heads. A portion of Kraft's winnings will be donated to McHenry and Lake Counties first responders.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media David Wescott (left), Tom Svoboda, and Jack Kraft watch as the "$25,000 Challenge" for the beautiful "Waterfall House" commemorative coin falls to the ground at No Wake Bar & Grill in Port Barrington, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. On a call of "tails" by Wescott, Kraft won the $25,000 with the commemorative coin landing heads. A portion of Kraft's winnings will be donated to McHenry and Lake Counties first responders.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:02:00 GMT

PORT BARRINGTON – A coin flip Sunday night decided how much it would cost for the new owner of the multimillion-dollar “waterfall house on Fox River” to seal the deal. As an arrangement between friends, two Barrington-area businessmen settled a $25,000 deadlock on the sale of the property in River Glen in Barrington with a coin flip, and raised about $10,250 in the process for first responders for both McHenry and Lake county sheriff’s offices at No Wake Bar and Grill. “We don’t see it as winners and losers here,” said Jack Kraft, the current owner. “We see it as we both got what we wanted. The house is really a destination on the river, and I wanted to get somebody who could afford to take care of it.” Kraft, who has owned the waterfall home since 1987, said he knew he wanted David Wescott to purchase the riverfront property since he bought the neighboring guest house from Kraft for $500,000 earlier this year, but the two couldn’t agree on a price. To settle the matter, Kraft and Wescott worked their way down to a $25,000 difference and decided to flip for the final price tag on the deal, which included Wescott inheriting the property’s entire maintenance crew. After a best-of-three flipping decided Wescott would call the decisive flip, Kraft won the final toss and was handed a plastic jug with the $25,000 inside. He also said he would buy drinks for everyone at the bar with up to $2,000. “I’m just thrilled that my pal is in a position to buy both properties and keep them in shape,” Kraft said, patting Wescott on the shoulder. While donations were accepted, the event offered an auction and raffle for customers that included cash, tickets the Chicago Bears game on Oct. 22 and Six Flags Great America and a gourmet dinner for 10 people at the Waterfall house. People who purchased five raffle tickets also were given their own copy of the commemorative silver-and-gold coin, which included illustrations of the waterfall and the two businessmen with the words “Carpe Diem.” Kraft said all proceeds will go to the first responders of the McHenry and Lake county sheriff’s offices, including some of the $25,000 he won in the toss, since the property falls so close to both counties. “First responders are a passion for both Jack and I,” Wescott said. “We believe the people running toward the gunfire and toward the burning building instead of away from it, those are the people that I have a passion for. They’re the ones that are saving all of our lives.” Tom Svoboda, who is a retired member of the FBI and state police, was the official coin tosser for the event. He also is the former McHenry County Jail chief. Wescott said the Wa[...]


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Millions converge across U.S. to see sun go darkRay Cooper, a volunteer for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, prepares his equipment Sunday to provide live video of the solar eclipse Monday at the state fairgrounds in Salem, Ore.

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:41:00 GMT

Millions of Americans converged on a narrow corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday for a wondrous couple of minutes in the first total solar eclipse to sweep coast to coast in 99 years. Veteran eclipse watchers warned the uninitiated to get ready to be blown away. Planetariums and museums posted “Sold out of eclipse glasses” on their front doors. Signs along highways reminded motorists of “Solar Eclipse Monday,” while cars bore the message “Eclipse or bust.” With 200 million people within a day’s drive of the path of totality, towns and parks braced for monumental crowds. It’s expected to be the most observed, most studied and most photographed eclipse ever. Not to mention the most festive, what with all the parties. In Salem, Oregon, a field outside the state fairgrounds was transformed into a campground in advance of an eclipse-watching party for 8,500. “It’s one of those ‘check the box’ kind of things in life,” said Hilary O’Hollaren, who drove 30 miles from Portland with her two teenagers and a tent, plus a couple friends. Astronomers consider a full solar eclipse the grandest of cosmic spectacles. The Earth, moon and sun line up perfectly every one to three years, briefly turning day into night for a sliver of the planet. But these sights normally are in no man’s land, like the vast Pacific or the poles. This will be the first eclipse of the social media era to pass through such a heavily populated area. The moon hasn’t thrown this much shade at the U.S. since 1918. That was the country’s last coast-to-coast total eclipse. In fact, the U.S. mainland hasn’t seen a total solar eclipse since 1979 – and even then, only five states in the Northwest experienced total darkness before the eclipse veered in Canada. Monday’s total eclipse will cast a shadow that will race through 14 states, entering near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 12:16 p.m., moving diagonally across the heartland and then exiting near Charleston, South Carolina, at 1:47 p.m. The path will cut 2,600 miles across the land and will be just 60 to 70 miles wide. Mostly clear skies beckoned along much of the route, according to the National Weather Service. Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois will see the longest stretch of darkness: two minutes and 44 seconds. All of North America will get at least a partial eclipse. Central America and the top of South America also will see the moon cover part of the sun. Michele Arsenault of New York City and her son, Michael, spent Sunday driving south and stopped for dinner in A[...]


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Wife of McHenry man who died after being shot during home invasion recounts details to policeAn investigator brings a K-9 into a house as the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office looks for clues at a home in the 1800 block of Davis Avenue near McHenry after a home invasion and shooting May 29.Photo provided Don Jouravleff died after being shot during a home invasion May 29 near McHenry.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:44:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK ­ Four men charged with first-degree murder in connection with a May 27 home invasion were trying to steal cash from a rural McHenry couple after a former co-worker had been fired from the couple’s business, investigators said. Court documents filed by detectives provide more details about what happened the night Donald Jouravleff, a 52-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, was shot and killed. Authorities previously had released little information about what happened in the home that night. Affidavits show that two men coaxed someone to answer the door by knocking, and when Jouravleff opened the door, he was shot multiple times. His wife, Donna Mills, heard gunshots, so she tried to hide and called police. Mills later said she believed that what happened was in retaliation for the firing of an employee. During further investigations, police bugged a friend of one of the suspects and received several tips through Crime Stoppers, all of which eventually led to the arrest of four men. Adam Morris, 44, of McCullom Lake; Byron Howard, 36, of Wonder Lake; Charles A. Campo, 31, of McHenry; and Jared J. Fox, 25, of Wonder Lake were arrested in June in connection with Jouravleff’s death. Officials have said Jouravleff later died from complications from a gunshot wound after being shot that night. Prosecutors have filed an 87-count indictment against the four men. All have pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyers for each of the men declined to comment Friday. Mills could not be reached for comment. Mills spoke with police about the incident. She said she and Jouravleff were sleeping on the second floor when they heard a knock at the door about 1 a.m., according to court documents. Mills said that while her husband went downstairs to answer the door, she looked out the bedroom window and saw someone by the bushes near her front door. Mills told police that she heard him open the door, but she didn’t hear anyone talking. She then heard a pop, which she said sounded like a cap gun, and heard her husband moaning and yelling for help, according to court documents. Mills called 911 from her bedroom. A man came into the room and disconnected her call while she was on the phone with 911 operators, according to court documents. She said the man pointed a black semi-automatic gun at her and said, “You’re going to be OK, just stay still.” Mills told investigators that the man asked her where the money was in the house. While they were talking, another man came upstairs, and the two men took Mills to the basement, according to court documents. In the basement, she gave the two men the money she had. It wasn’t clear from court records how much money was taken. The[...]


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Responders fight overnight fire in abandoned Woodstock homeFirefighters tackle flames Friday night during an abandoned structure fire in Woodstock.Emergency responders were at the scene of an abandoned structure fire until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Woodstock.More than a dozen fire departments from across the northwest suburbs and southern Wisconsin responded to a large fire Friday night at an abandoned home in Woodstock.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:44:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – More than a dozen fire departments from across the northwest suburbs and southern Wisconsin responded to a large fire Friday night at an abandoned home in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded to a fire about 11:15 p.m. Friday at 4001 Doty Road in Woodstock, Fire Capt. Karen Bush said. When firefighters arrived, they found a “well-involved” fire in what appeared to be an abandoned home.

“There was a large amount of fire,” Bush said.

Because of the extent of the flames, Woodstock firefighters called for assistance from units in Union, McHenry Township, Marengo, Hebron-Alden-Greenwood, Fox River Grove, Cary, Harvard, Crystal Lake, Richmond, MESS Canteen, Algonquin-Lake in the Hills, Barrington-Countryside, Spring Grove, Pingree Grove and Bloomfield, Wisconsin.

Emergency responders were at the scene until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Bush said. The residence was difficult to access because of overgrown vegetation, and water needed to be brought to the site. No firefighters were injured, and the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

There was no cost estimate of damage as of Saturday afternoon because firefighters were being cautious about entering the abandoned building, Bush said.

Firefighters tackle flames Friday night during an abandoned structure fire in Woodstock.Emergency responders were at the scene of an abandoned structure fire until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Woodstock.More than a dozen fire departments from across the northwest suburbs and southern Wisconsin responded to a large fire Friday night at an abandoned home in Woodstock.


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McHenry County adoption center helps pets find homes during Clear the Shelters dayKaitlyn Lindwall, 17, of McHenry plays with a cat during Clear the Shelters day Saturday at the McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center in Crystal Lake. The shelter participated in the national initiative to help cats and dogs find their forever home by waiving the adoption fees for cats or dogs that are 6 months old or older.A cat looks back at people looking to adopt an animal during Clear the Shelters day Saturday at the McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center in Crystal Lake. The shelter participated in the national initiative to help cats and dogs find their forever home by waiving the adoption fees for cats or dogs that are 6 months old or older.Jeff Sutrick of Crystal Lake and his wife, Andrea Sutrick, meet a cat during Clear the Shelters day Saturday at the McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center in Crystal Lake. The shelter participated in the national initiative to help cats and dogs find their forever home by waiving the adoption fees for cats or dogs that are 6 months old or older.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:44:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Even after three years, Kara Plonczyniski said she always is surprised when she sees people lined up at the door when she arrives at work on Clear the Shelters day. The McHenry County Animal Control and Adoption Center on Saturday waived the adoption fee for cats and dogs that were 6 months old or older as part of the annual event, which encourages shelters nationwide to help find new homes for their animals. At the McHenry County shelter, the goal was to send all 32 cats and its only dog home with new families. The shelter also discounted the adoption fee from $100 to $80 for younger animals. More than half were adopted within the first hour, including the dog, and all but five of the animals found new homes by the end of the event at 2 p.m., said Plonczyniski, the shelter’s volunteer coordinator and health educator. “What’s interesting is before it happens, people come in and start adopting,” Plonczyniski said. “There is a surge around the event for sure, which we love. I don’t know why it surprises me, but it always does surprise me.” Hundreds of shelters in 20 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico also participate in the one-day event, according to a news release from the McHenry County Department of Health. More than 54,000 pets went home with new families last year. This year in Crystal Lake, Clear the Shelters helped pack the inside of the shelter at 100 N. Virginia St. with prospective pet owners of all ages. While shelter staff encouraged people visiting pets to take one home, members also directed people looking for specific pets to other shelters if the right animal was not available. Looking elsewhere wasn’t necessary for everyone, however. A shrill of joy poured out into one of the hallways as Hailey, 5, and Colby Nichols, 2, hurried out of one of the animal visiting room with smiles on their faces. Jody Nichols, the mother of the two Algonquin girls, said the family has a golden retriever and a black cat at home, but they had been looking for some time to find another kitten. Now although her daughters share the cats, each one also has one to call their own. “For cats, I think it’s super important [to adopt],” Nichols said. “They are mainly in the shelters, and it’s hard to find a purebred cat.” Plonczyniski said the shelter essentially has been able to clear its shelter in each of its previous two years participating, sending about 27 pets home with families in 2015 and sending all but two kittens home in 2016 – both of which she said were adopted the next day. [...]


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Attendees participate in KCBS-sanctioned cook-off at McHenry's Brews, Blues & BBQJosh Barnett with Old World Smoke and Barrel out of Wonder Lake fires up his grill while competing in the inaugural cook-off sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society at the McHenry Rotary Club's Blues, Brews & BBQ festival in McHenry. Judging will be held for chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket and ribs at the professional-level championship on Sunday.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:44:00 GMT

McHENRY – Eric Ferguson of Woodstock was taking time to relax at his designated cooking space with his family and industry friends Saturday before his cooking team, Big “E” BBQ, goes into full gear for the professional barbecue competition Sunday during the McHenry Rotary Club’s Blues, Brews & BBQ festival. Ferguson said he travels all over the country and participates in about 25 barbecue contests a season, which he said usually runs from April to October. He said he immediately took up the chance to compete in McHenry. “It was so close [that] we had to come,” Ferguson said. Kansas City Barbeque Society representative Tony Moore of Princeton, Wisconsin, said preparation for the competition is so involved that a lot of teams even have each individual member’s sleep scheduled to the minute – or the entire team is up all night until entry submissions, which are from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Ferguson said preparation for a single contest is a whole week’s process for his team. He said they start with making injections and sauces, getting meat out and getting rubs ready at the beginning of the week. Ferguson said his team will start to trim meat toward the middle of the week. By the end of the week, he said they travel to the competition and start cooking the night before turn-ins. “[Then] go home on Sunday and turn around and do it all over again,” Ferguson said while laughing. Ferguson said the work doesn’t stop after October; he said the offseason is spent on research and trial and error for the next season. More than 30 teams will compete in the KCBS-sanctioned event Sunday in McHenry, and they will be judged on four categories: chicken, ribs, pork and beef brisket. Up to $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to winners in each category during the competition. McHenry Rotary member Donna Schaefer, who also helped organize this year’s Blues, Brews and BBQ event, said this is the sixth year the club hosted the annual fundraiser. Schaefer said the event would include an amateur barbecue competition in years past and that this is the first year the barbecue contest became a KCBS-sanctioned event. Schaefer said making the competition a KCBS-recognized event might be a better alternative for the event going forward because it will attract more people to the festival to watch professionals at work. “These people are serious about their barbecue,” Schaefer said. Moore said having a barbecue contest be KCBS-sanctioned encourages more teams from all over to register for the event. [...]


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Fox River Grove trustees appoint new police chief

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:39:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – Fox River Grove will have a new police chief by the beginning of September.

Village Board trustees appointed Sgt. Eric Waitrovich to serve as new police chief, effective Sept. 2. Waitrovich has been on the Fox River Grove police force since 2007.

He began as a police officer and was promoted to sergeant in 2013, according to a news release from the village.

Waitrovich has a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Norbert College, and has completed the Police Staff and Command course at Northwestern University.

As sergeant, he manages daily operations for the police department, including training, scheduling and patrol-related functions.

Waitrovich will succeed Chief Ron Lukasik, who will retire Sept. 1 after 25 years with the Fox River Grove Police Department.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Waitrovich as police chief,” Village President Robert Nunamaker said in the release. “He is an excellent police officer and has shown an outstanding acumen for leadership that has earned the admiration of the other members of the police department and the Fox River Grove community.”

Waitrovich does not yet have a contract, and a salary has not been established, Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said.

“The salary range for the position is $85,084 to $115,116, and Eric will be paid working this range,” Soderholm said in an email.




Woman pleads not guilty to Cary burglary, theft chargesJudy A. Persfull, 56, faces charges of burglary and theft after police said she robbed Cary Bank and Trust, leaving with nearly $5,000. Persfull was found at the Maple Tree Inn and taken into custody.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:39:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK ­ A woman is denying allegations that she stole nearly $5,000 from Cary Bank and Trust.

Judy A. Persfull, 56, previously of Capron and currently homeless, was arraigned Friday and pleaded not guilty before McHenry County Judge James Cowlin to charges of burglary and theft of more than $500.

She could face probation or up to seven years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Police arrived about 2:10 p.m. Tuesday at the bank, 60 E. Main St., Cary, after a report of a robbery. Preliminary investigations found that Persfull went into the bank, approached a teller and demanded cash. She placed a bag on the counter and fled after receiving the money. Persfull did not say whether she had a weapon, police said.

Persfull fled west on foot with $4,881, according to court documents. She was found about a block away at the Maple Tree Inn, a sports bar in Cary, police said.

She next will appear in court Sept. 1.

Judy A. Persfull, 56, faces charges of burglary and theft after police said she robbed Cary Bank and Trust, leaving with nearly $5,000. Persfull was found at the Maple Tree Inn and taken into custody.


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McHenry City Council to consider $50K loan request for Smith's Central GarageJohn Smith, owner of Smith’s Central Garage, is seeking a $50,000 loan from the city of McHenry to install a sprinkler system at his event center, located at 3315 Pearl St. near McHenry’s Riverwalk. Fire code regulations state that without the system in place, no more than 100 people can be in the building at a time, according to city documents.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:38:00 GMT

McHENRY – Smith’s Central Garage soon could start hosting larger events with help from the city of McHenry.

John Smith, owner of Smith’s Central Garage, is seeking a $50,000 loan from the city to install a sprinkler system at his event center, located at 3315 Pearl St. near McHenry’s Riverwalk. Fire code regulations state that without the system in place, no more than 100 people can be in the building at a time. Once the system is in place, Smith will be able to accommodate larger crowds, according to city documents.

Smith bought the long-vacant former Hostess building in summer 2014 and has spent $800,000 refurbishing the space, including installing a new roof, new insulation and new heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment, he said.

“The important part of economic development is to attract people to the downtown area,” Smith said in a note to the city. “Before, during and after an event, it is logical to assume the people attending an event will patronize other businesses in the area. … There will be no kitchen in the building, so local caterers will benefit.”

The event center includes a catering kitchen with a commercial refrigerator and freezer, tables, chairs, garbage disposal, free Wi-Fi and a sound system. Liquor is on a bring-your-own basis.

A revolving loan fund is an incentive that municipalities can offer to existing and prospective businesses. Loans typically are low-interest funds that can help start up a business or assist in an expansion or update. The Revolving Loan Fund Committee is recommending approval for the project, according to city documents.

The McHenry City Council will consider the request at 7 p.m. Monday at its meeting at 333 S. Green St., McHenry.

John Smith, owner of Smith’s Central Garage, is seeking a $50,000 loan from the city of McHenry to install a sprinkler system at his event center, located at 3315 Pearl St. near McHenry’s Riverwalk. Fire code regulations state that without the system in place, no more than 100 people can be in the building at a time, according to city documents.


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Documents: 4 men charged in connection with McHenry home invasion, homicide trying to steal cashCourt documents filed by detectives provide more details about what happened the night Donald Jouravleff, a 52-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, was shot and killed. Authorities previously had released little information about what happened in the home that night.Affidavits show that two men coaxed someone to answer the door by knocking, and when Jouravleff opened the door, he was shot multiple times. His wife, Donna Mills, heard gunshots, so she tried to hide and called police. Mills later said she believed that what happened was in retaliation for the firing of an employee. During further investigations, police bugged a friend of one of the suspects and received several tips through Crime Stoppers, all of which eventually led to the arrest of four men. Adam Morris, 44, of McCullom Lake; Byron Howard, 36, of Wonder Lake; Charles A. Campo, 31, of McHenry; and Jared J. Fox, 25, of Wonder Lake were arrested in June in connection with Jouravleff's death. Officials have said Jouravleff later died from complications from a gunshot wound after being shot that night. Prosecutors have filed an 87-count indictment against the four men. All have pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyers for each of the men declined to comment Friday. Mills could not be reached for comment.Mills spoke with police about the incident. She said she and Jouravleff were sleeping on the second floor when they heard a knock at the door about 1 a.m., according to court documents. Mills said that while her husband went downstairs to answer the door, she looked out the bedroom window and saw someone by the bushes near her front door. Mills told police she heard him open the door, but she didn't hear anyone talking. She then heard a pop, which she said sounded like a cap gun, and heard her husband moaning and yelling for help, according to court documents. Mills called 911 from her bedroom. A man came into the room and disconnected her call while she was on the phone with 911 operators, according to court documents. She said the man pointed a black semi-automatic gun at her and said, "You're going to be OK, just stay still." Mills told investigators that the man asked her where the money was in the house. While they were talking, another man came upstairs, and the two men took Mills to the basement, according to court documents. In the basement, she gave the two men the money she had. It wasn't clear from court records how much money was taken. The men then asked once more whether she had any more money in the house. Once she told them she did not, she returned to the first floor. Mills told police she found Jouravleff lying on the floor near the front door bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds, according to court documents. She also said her husband told her that when he answered the door, one of the men said they were there because a former co-worker recently had been fired, according to court documents. The co-worker has not been charged in connection with the incident. Mills told police she had fired a man from her moving business, A. Best Movers Inc., shortly before the home invasion because $3,000 was missing and she thought he had taken it, according to court documents. She also said she thought the two men who came to her home knew she had money there because they had an employee meeting the day before. During that meeting, another employee gave her a large amount of money from jobs he had done the week before, according to court documents. Morris was one of the employees at the meeting, according to court records.Prosecutors have declined to say who is accused of shooting Jouravleff, but Morris is the only person charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. The indictment accuses Morris of "knowingly [discharging] a firearm in the direction of Donald Jouravleff," according to court documents. Cellphone records also show a phone call between Morris and Fox about 1 a.m. May 27, the day of the shooting, near the area of West Davis Avenue. Further investigations also found that Fox went missing for a few days after his mother told him police wanted to speak with him. During that time, he called a friend and told him that he had given a friend a ride where the home invasion was and parked down the street, according to court documents. Fox told the friend that he heard a noise shortly after parking the truck and found out it was gunshots. The friend told police that his story changed several times over the next week. At one point, Fox said he drove two friends, and then he said he wasn't even there, according to court documents.Fox and Campo each face 10 counts of first-degree murder, two counts of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of robbery and one count of burglary. Days later Fox spoke with the same friend and admitted that he drove them to the area and "knew something was going down," according to court documents. That conversation was recorded by detectives, and Fox was pulled over June 13 and subsequently arrested. A neighbor of Howard and Fox told police that she spoke with Howard's girlfriend shortly after the incident. She said Howard and Fox were involved in the home invasion, and she thought they had targeted the house because they thought Jouravleff was a heroin dealer, and they were looking for drugs or money, according to court documents.Howard faces 10 counts of first-degree murder, two counts of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery, one count of being an armed habitual criminal, two counts of robbery, one count of burglary and one count of possession of a weapon by a felon. Howard also is believed to have been armed with a gun at the time of the home invasion, according to the indictment. Howard's girlfriend told the neighbor that Howard and Fox burned the clothes and masks they were wearing, according to court documents. All four remain in McHenry County Jail in lieu of posting their respective bonds. Campo and Morris are being held on $5 million bonds, and Fox and Howard are being held on $2.5 million bonds.

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:31:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK ­ Four men charged with first-degree murder in connection with a May 27 home invasion were trying to steal cash from a rural McHenry couple after a former co-worker had been fired from the couple's business, investigators said. Court documents filed by detectives provide more details about what happened the night Donald Jouravleff, a 52-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, was shot and killed. Authorities previously had released little information about what happened in the home that night.Affidavits show that two men coaxed someone to answer the door by knocking, and when Jouravleff opened the door, he was shot multiple times. His wife, Donna Mills, heard gunshots, so she tried to hide and called police. Mills later said she believed that what happened was in retaliation for the firing of an employee. During further investigations, police bugged a friend of one of the suspects and received several tips through Crime Stoppers, all of which eventually led to the arrest of four men. Adam Morris, 44, of McCullom Lake; Byron Howard, 36, of Wonder Lake; Charles A. Campo, 31, of McHenry; and Jared J. Fox, 25, of Wonder Lake were arrested in June in connection with Jouravleff's death. Officials have said Jouravleff later died from complications from a gunshot wound after being shot that night. Prosecutors have filed an 87-count indictment against the four men. All have pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyers for each of the men declined to comment Friday. Mills could not be reached for comment.Mills spoke with police about the incident. She said she and Jouravleff were sleeping on the second floor when they heard a knock at the door about 1 a.m., according to court documents. Mills said that while her husband went downstairs to answer the door, she looked out the bedroom window and saw someone by the bushes near her front door. Mills told police she heard him open the door, but she didn't hear anyone talking. She then heard a pop, which she said sounded like a cap gun, and heard her husband moaning and yelling for help, according to court documents. Mills called 911 from her bedroom. A man came into the room and disconnected her call while she was on the phone with 911 operators, according to court documents. She said the man pointed a black semi-automatic gun at her and said, "You're going to be OK, just stay still." Mills told investigators that the man asked her where the money was in the house. While they were talking, another man came upstairs, and the two men took Mills to the basement, according to court documents. In the basement, she gave the two men the money she had. It wasn't clear from court records how much money was taken. The men then asked once more whether she had any more money in the h[...]


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Responders fight overnight fire in abandoned Woodstock home for hoursThe Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded to a fire about 11:15 p.m. Friday at 4001 Doty Road in Woodstock, Fire Capt. Karen Bush said. When firefighters arrived, they found a "well-involved" fire in what appeared to be an abandoned home. "There was a large amount of fire," Bush said.Because of the extent of the flames, Woodstock firefighters called for assistance from units in Union, McHenry, Marengo, Hebron, Fox River Grove, Cary, Harvard, Crystal Lake, Richmond, MESS Canteen, Algonquin, Barrington-Countryside, Spring Grove, Pingree Grove and Bloomfield, Wisconsin.Emergency responders were at the scene until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Bush said. The residence was difficult to access because of overgrown vegetation, and water needed to be brought to the site. No firefighters were injured, and the cause of the blaze still is under investigation. There was no cost estimate of damage as of Saturday afternoon because firefighters were being cautious about entering the abandoned building, Bush said.

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:41:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – More than a dozen fire departments from across the northwest suburbs and southern Wisconsin responded to a large fire Friday night at an abandoned home in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded to a fire about 11:15 p.m. Friday at 4001 Doty Road in Woodstock, Fire Capt. Karen Bush said. When firefighters arrived, they found a "well-involved" fire in what appeared to be an abandoned home. "There was a large amount of fire," Bush said.Because of the extent of the flames, Woodstock firefighters called for assistance from units in Union, McHenry, Marengo, Hebron, Fox River Grove, Cary, Harvard, Crystal Lake, Richmond, MESS Canteen, Algonquin, Barrington-Countryside, Spring Grove, Pingree Grove and Bloomfield, Wisconsin.Emergency responders were at the scene until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Bush said. The residence was difficult to access because of overgrown vegetation, and water needed to be brought to the site. No firefighters were injured, and the cause of the blaze still is under investigation. There was no cost estimate of damage as of Saturday afternoon because firefighters were being cautious about entering the abandoned building, Bush said.


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