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Heat can't wilt Huntley Fall FestCarly Haniszewski, one of the event’s coordinators, said her husband, Bryant, was inspired to bring a festival to Huntley after he went to Schaumburg’s festival for years. With the help of an all-volunteer committee, she said he and other festival leaders made it happen.Haniszewski said her husband initially had the idea of making the festival a one-day food festival when the event began in 2006. Now, the festival has grown into a three-day event and included a full carnival, live entertainment, a fireworks show Saturday and a used book sale benefiting the Huntley Library Friends Foundation.Haniszewski said she has heard that people keep coming back to the festival every year because they love the affordable prices. “It’s just a place for family and friends to go and have a good time,” Haniszewski said. Haniszewski said about 20,000 people attend the multiday festival every year.Haniszewski said about 20,000 people attend the multiday festival every year. Committee Treasurer Sean Cratty said that number fluctuates depending on the weather, but the hot temperatures didn’t appear to dampen attendance much this year. He said the only year when the festival lost money was in 2008. Cratty said the festival raises about $25,000 a year. He said that net income is given back to the various groups that the festival volunteers come from, which includes the local Lions Club and Knights of Columbus chapters, church groups and sports organizations. In the past 12 years the committee has hosted the festival, Cratty said about $100,000 has been given back to help benefit local groups. “The goal is to get sponsors to offset the cost and to make money for the community,” Cratty said.Renee Blitek of Crystal Lake has been going to the festival for years for the evening entertainment. She said this was the first year that she brought her grandchildren – Brandon, 8, and Blake, 5 – to the festival’s carnival. Blitek said they had fun during this year’s festival, but she felt bad that her younger grandson couldn’t ride a lot of the rides that his older brother could. However, she said he probably will be tall enough to get on those rides by next year. Regardless, Blitek said it was fun to see the older grandson go on more adventurous rides when he’s usually of a more cautious nature. “It’s worth every penny,” Blitek said.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:10:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Record-high temperatures didn’t stop thousands from attending Huntley Fall Fest this weekend at the Huntley Park District, 12015 Mill St.

Carly Haniszewski, one of the event’s coordinators, said her husband, Bryant, was inspired to bring a festival to Huntley after he went to Schaumburg’s festival for years. With the help of an all-volunteer committee, she said he and other festival leaders made it happen.Haniszewski said her husband initially had the idea of making the festival a one-day food festival when the event began in 2006. Now, the festival has grown into a three-day event and included a full carnival, live entertainment, a fireworks show Saturday and a used book sale benefiting the Huntley Library Friends Foundation.Haniszewski said she has heard that people keep coming back to the festival every year because they love the affordable prices. “It’s just a place for family and friends to go and have a good time,” Haniszewski said. Haniszewski said about 20,000 people attend the multiday festival every year.Haniszewski said about 20,000 people attend the multiday festival every year. Committee Treasurer Sean Cratty said that number fluctuates depending on the weather, but the hot temperatures didn’t appear to dampen attendance much this year. He said the only year when the festival lost money was in 2008. Cratty said the festival raises about $25,000 a year. He said that net income is given back to the various groups that the festival volunteers come from, which includes the local Lions Club and Knights of Columbus chapters, church groups and sports organizations. In the past 12 years the committee has hosted the festival, Cratty said about $100,000 has been given back to help benefit local groups. “The goal is to get sponsors to offset the cost and to make money for the community,” Cratty said.Renee Blitek of Crystal Lake has been going to the festival for years for the evening entertainment. She said this was the first year that she brought her grandchildren – Brandon, 8, and Blake, 5 – to the festival’s carnival. Blitek said they had fun during this year’s festival, but she felt bad that her younger grandson couldn’t ride a lot of the rides that his older brother could. However, she said he probably will be tall enough to get on those rides by next year. Regardless, Blitek said it was fun to see the older grandson go on more adventurous rides when he’s usually of a more cautious nature. “It’s worth every penny,” Blitek said.


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Crystal Lake teen fatally strikes motorcyclist in Crystal Lake crash

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:31:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE — Police are investigating a crash involving a 17-year-old Crystal Lake boy fatally striking a motorcyclist Sunday night in a Crystal Lake intersection.

Crystal Lake police and fire rescue members responded around 8:50 p.m. Sunday to the intersection of Virginia Road and James R. Rakow Road in Crystal Lake for a report of a collision, according to a news release from the Crystal Lake Police Department.

When first responders arrived, they found that an adult man who had been driving a Harley-Davidson motorcycle sustained life-threatening injuries in the crash, according to the release. The man received treatment on the scene, was transported to an area hospital and was later pronounced dead there.

The Crystal Lake Police Department’s Accident Investigation Team has determined in preliminary investigation that a 17-year-old male teenager, of Crystal Lake, driving a blue Ford Expedition was southbound on Virginia Road when he turned left onto James R. Rakow Road and struck the motorcyclist in the intersection. The teen was not identified because he is a minor. There were no other injuries in the crash.

Crystal Lake Park District Police assisted with traffic control, as the intersection was closed for roughly two hours.

The Crystal Lake Police Department and McHenry County Coroner's Office continued to investigate the incident Monday morning. Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said he did not know if any citations had been issued Monday morning.

The deceased man's name was withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The coroner's office was not available for comment Monday morning regarding when an autopsy was scheduled.


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Decades after "Little Rock Nine," school segregation lingersFILE - In this Sept. 4, 1957, file photo, students of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., including Hazel Bryan, shout insults at Elizabeth Eckford as she calmly walks toward a line of National Guardsmen. The Guardsmen blocked the main entrance and would not let her enter. Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, marks 60 years since the Little Rock Nine first entered the school for classes. (Will Counts/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP, File)This combination of file photos shows the nine black teenagers who had to be escorted by federal troops past an angry white mob and through the doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 25, 1957. Top row from left are Minnie Brown, Elizabeth Eckford and Ernest Green; middle row, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo and Gloria Ray; bottom row, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Walls. (AP Photos/File)FILE - In this Sept. 27, 1957, file photo, two paratrooper officers escort black students from Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. School was closing for the weekend. (AP Photo/File)FILE - In this Sept. 25, 1957, file photo, white girls from Central High School laugh as troopers with bayonets force them to move in Little Rock, Ark. Federal forces were used to enforce integration in the face of racial tension in Arkansas. (AP Photo/File)FILE - In this Sept. 26, 1957, file photo, members of the 101st Airborne Division take up positions outside Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., after President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered them into the city to enforce integration at the school. The 60th anniversary of the school's desegregation is Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/File)FILE - In this Sept. 25, 1957, file photo, nine African American students enter Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., escorted by troops of the 101st Airborne Division. (AP Photo/File)This combination of Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 photos shows eight of the Little Rock Nine, the black teenagers who had to be escorted by federal troops past an angry white mob and through the doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., on Sept. 25, 1957. Top row from left are Minnijean Brown Trickey, Elizabeth Eckford and Ernest Green; middle row, Thelma Mothershed Wair, Melba Pattillo Beals and Gloria Ray Karlmark; bottom row, Terrence Roberts and Carlotta Walls LaNier. (AP Photos/Kelly Kissel)FILE - In this September 1957 file photo, marchers protesting against school integration head south from the State Capitol toward Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. (Will Counts/Arkansas Democrat via AP, File)

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:55:00 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Among the most lasting and indelible images of the civil rights movement were the nine black teenagers who had to be escorted by federal troops past an angry white mob and through the doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 25, 1957. It had been three years since the Supreme Court had declared "separate but equal" in America's public schools unconstitutional, but the decision was met with bitter resistance across the South. It would take more than a decade before the last vestiges of Jim Crow fell away from classrooms. Even the brave sacrifice of the "Little Rock Nine" felt short-lived — rather than allow more black students and further integration, the district's high schools closed the following school year. The watershed moment was "a physical manifestation for all to see of what that massive resistance looked like," said Sherrilyn Ifill, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "The imagery of these perfectly dressed, lovely, serious young people seeking to enter a high school ... to see them met with ugliness and rage and hate and violence was incredibly powerful," Ifill said. Six decades later, the sacrifice of those black students stands as a symbol of the turbulence of the era, but also as a testament to an intractable problem: Though legal segregation has long ended, few white and minority students share a classroom today. The lack of progress is clear and remains frustrating in the school district that includes Central High. The Little Rock School District, which is about two-thirds black, has been under state control since 2015 over the academic performance of some of its schools. The district has seen a proliferation of charter schools in recent years that opponents say contributes to self-segregation. Ernest Green still remembers the promise of the era that put him and the eight other students on the front line. After reading about the May 17, 1954, Brown v. Board of Education decision in the local newspaper, he recalled: "I thought to myself, 'Good, because I think the face of the South ought to change.'" He and his classmates came face-to-face with Southern opposition after integrating Central. The first day of school was only the beginning of the hardships they would endure. Green described the experience as "like going to war every day." Threatening phone calls came to their homes nightly. Students threw acid on them at school. "For all of us, we decided that this was a year that we were going to support each other," said Green, now 76, and the first member of the Little Rock Nine to graduate from Central. "The principal of the school told me at one point ... that I didn't have to come to the ceremony, that they would mail me my diploma." Green ignored his suggestion, knowing the magnitude of his accomplishment. Sitting in the audience at graduation with his family was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., then in the throes of the civil rights movement. For the 1958-1959 school year when the district's high schools closed — known as "The Lost Year" — the remaining students either went to nearby public schools in the state or out of state where they had friends or relatives, or found other alternatives such as private schools, correspondence courses or early entrance into college. Terrence Roberts, also one of the Little Rock Nine, said the challenge his former school district now faces is just part of a larger problem nationwide for public education. "To me it's a testament to the fact that we as a people have been reluctant to have a meaningful conversation about the need for public education," Roberts, now 75, said. "When you look at the history of public [...]


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Redevelopment of Maplewood property in Cary to be discussed Oct. 3The school board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement with Central One LLC for the Maplewood property in July after putting it up to bid for the third time since the school has been vacant.Developer Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One LLC introduced himself to Village Board members and residents at a special meeting Aug. 22, and he presented his own concept plan based off Cary's comprehensive plan, which was approved in 2015 and is shown above.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:47:00 GMT

CARY – Cary trustees again are slated to discuss the village-owned Maplewood property.

A discussion will take place at the Cary Committee of the Whole meeting, which starts immediately after the Village Board meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 3 at Village Hall, 655 Village Hall Drive.

Developer Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One LLC will be presenting a revised concept plan based off feedback he heard from residents at a meeting Aug. 22.

More than 40 residents spoke out during the August meeting, many voicing concerns that the proposed high-density, multifamily housing development wouldn’t fit with the small-town, open-space feel of Cary.

Director of Community Development Brian Simmons said Taylor has taken the feedback and is working on a new concept plan, which has not yet been formally submitted to the village.

“The proposal is very conceptual, and we are in the very early phases looking at redevelopment,” Simmons said. “Eventually, it will have to go through formal building and zoning, but right now, we are in a conceptual phase.”

Cary School District 26 closed the school in 2010 because of declining enrollment. Built in 1929, the 42,000-square-foot facility was one of the district’s oldest schools. The school board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement with Central One LLC for the property in July after putting it up to bid for the third time since the school has been vacant.

The 15-acre site, 422 W. Krenz Ave., sits close to Cary’s downtown and is surrounded by single-family residential homes. Taylor’s original concept included multistory apartment complexes along the Metra railroad tracks, detached single-family condominiums and open park space.

The meeting will be livestreamed online.

The school board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement with Central One LLC for the Maplewood property in July after putting it up to bid for the third time since the school has been vacant.Developer Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One LLC introduced himself to Village Board members and residents at a special meeting Aug. 22, and he presented his own concept plan based off Cary's comprehensive plan, which was approved in 2015 and is shown above.


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Gunman opens fire in Nashville church; 1 dead, 7 woundedKaitlyn Adams, a member of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, hugs another church member at the scene after a deadly shooting at the church on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Antioch, Tenn. (Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP)

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:25:00 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A masked gunman opened fire at a Nashville church Sunday, silently walking down the aisle as he shot unsuspecting congregants. At least one person was killed and seven others wounded, authorities said. An usher confronted the shooter, who apparently shot himself in the struggle before he was arrested, police said. The FBI said Sunday night it has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. No motive was immediately determined. Church members told investigators that the suspect had attended services a year or two ago, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department. Nashville police did not comment on several bizarre posts on the suspect’s Facebook page in the hours before the shooting. The gunman pulled into the church’s parking lot as services were ending. He fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle, then entered the rear of the church with two pistols and kept firing, hitting six people, Aaron said. Authorities identified the attacker as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident. It was unclear whether the self-inflicted wound to the chest was intentional, Aaron said. The gunman was discharged hours later from Vanderbilt University Hospital but remained in police custody. Warrants charging him with murder and attempted murder were pending, Aaron said. Witness Minerva Rosa said the usher was “a hero.” “He’s amazing,” said Rosa, a member of the church for eight years. “Without him, I think it could be worse.” The suspect said nothing as he fired. While the gunman made his way down the aisle, Rosa said, the pastor started shouting, “’Run! Run! Gunshots!’” Aaron called the usher, 22-year-old Robert Engle, “an extraordinarily brave individual.” The woman who was killed in the parking lot was identified as Melanie Smith, 39, of Smyrna, Tennessee. The gunman and six others were treated for gunshot wounds at nearby hospitals, along with Engle, who was pistol-whipped, Aaron said. Among the wounded was Joey Spann, who is the church’s pastor and is a Bible study teacher at Nashville Christian School. After the attack, the nearby New Beautiful Gate Church opened its doors to Burnette Chapel churchgoers as they reunited with loved ones. New Beautiful Gate Pastor Michael Mosby said he is neighbors with Spann. “As a pastor myself, you come with the expectation of sitting down and having a service and not thinking about what can happen around you,” Mosby said. “You never know who is going to come to the door or what reasons they would come to the door, come to your church and do something like that. We’re always on guard. We just thank God many more weren’t hurt.” 42 people were at the church at the time of the shooting, and all victims were adults, Aaron said. The small brick church describes itself on its website as a “friendly, Bible-based group of folks who love the Lord and are interested in spreading his word to those who are lost.” Photos on the church’s Facebook page show a diverse congregation with people of various ages and ethnicities. On Samson’s Facebook page, a post in the hours before the shooting read, “Everything you’ve ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B.” Another post read, “Be[...]


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Trump replaces travel ban with new restrictions on 8 nationsPresident Donald Trump walks towards the White House in Washington, Sunday after speaking to reporters upon his return. Citizens of eight countries will face new restrictions on entry to the U.S. under a proclamation signed by Trump on Sunday.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:24:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Citizens of eight countries, including North Korea and Venezuela, will face new restrictions on entry to the U.S. under a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday that will replace his expiring travel ban. The new rules, which will impact the citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, will go into effect on Oct. 18. The restrictions range from an indefinite ban on visas for citizens of countries like Syria to more targeted restrictions. A suspension of non-immigrant visas to citizens for Venezuela, for instance, will apply only to certain government officials and their immediate families. The announcement comes the same day as Trump’s temporary ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries was set to expire 90 days after it went into effect. That ban had barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” from entering the U.S. Only one of those countries, Sudan, will no longer be subject to travel restrictions. “Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” Trump tweeted late Sunday after the new policy was announced. Unlike the first iteration of Trump’s travel ban, which sparked chaos at airports across the country and a flurry of legal challenges, officials stressed they had been working for months on the new rules, in collaboration with various agencies and in conversation with foreign governments. To limit confusion, valid visas would not be revoked as a result of the proclamation. The order also permits, but does not guarantee, case-by-case waivers for citizens of the affected countries who meet certain criteria. That includes: having previously worked or studied in the U.S. for a lengthy and continuous period of time; having previously established “significant contacts” in the U.S.; and having “significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S. Still, officials acknowledged the waiver restrictions were narrower than the exemptions for people with bona fide ties to the United States that he Supreme Court mandated. The restrictions are targeted at countries that the Department of Homeland Security says fail to share sufficient information with the U.S. or haven’t taken necessary security precautions. Over the course of the past three months, DHS worked to developed new security baselines, which includes factors such as whether countries issue electronic passports with biometric information, report lost or stolen passports to INTERPOL and share information about travelers’ terror-related and criminal histories. The U.S. then shared those benchmarks with every country in the world and gave them 50 days to comply. A total of sixteen countries did not comply with the rules at first, officials said, but half worked with the U.S. to improve their information-sharing and security practices. The remaining eight are now subject to the new restrictions until they are deemed in compliance. This includes a suspension of all immigrant visas for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, and the suspension of non-immigrant visas, such as for business and tourism, to nationals of Chad, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Yemen. Citizens of Iran will not be eligible for tourism and business visas, but remain eligible for student and cultural exchange visas if they undergo additional scrutiny. Such additional scrutiny also will be required for Somali citizens applying for all n[...]


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Opposition from GOP senators grows, jeopardizes health billU.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to members of the media Aug. 17 while attending an event in Lewiston, Maine. Collins said Sunday, she finds it "very difficult" to envision backing the last-chance GOP bill repealing the Obama health care law. That likely opposition leaves the Republican drive to fulfill one of the party's premier campaign promises dangling by a thread.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:23:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Republican opposition to the GOP health care bill swelled to near-fatal numbers Sunday as Sen. Susan Collins all but closed the door on supporting the last-ditch effort to scrap the Obama health care law and Sen. Ted Cruz said that “right now” he doesn’t back it. White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the measure’s sponsors, said Republicans would press ahead with a vote this week. But the comments by Collins and Cruz left the Republican drive to uproot President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act dangling by an increasingly fraying thread. A vote must occur this week for Republicans to prevail with their narrow Senate majority. Next Sunday, protections expire against a Democratic filibuster, bill-killing delays that Republicans lack the votes to overcome. President Donald Trump seemed to distance himself from the showdown, saying his “primary focus” was his party’s drive to cut taxes. “I don’t know what they’re doing,” Trump told reporters about the bill’s GOP opponents as he prepared to fly back to Washington after a weekend at his New Jersey golf club. “But you know what? Eventually we’ll win, whether it’s now or later.” Two GOP senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona, already have said they oppose the legislation. All Democrats will vote against it. “No” votes from three of the 52 GOP senators would kill the party’s effort to deliver on its perennial vow to repeal “Obamacare” and would reprise the party’s politically jarring failure to accomplish that this summer. Collins cited the bill’s cuts in the Medicaid program for low-income people and the likelihood that it would result in many losing health coverage and paying higher premiums. The Maine moderate also criticized a provision letting states make it easier for insurers to raise premiums on people with pre-existing medical conditions. “It’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” said Collins. The conservative Cruz also voiced opposition, underscoring the bill’s problems with both ends of the GOP spectrum. “Right now, they don’t have my vote,” Cruz said at a festival in Austin, Texas. He suggested the measure doesn’t do enough to reduce premiums by allowing insurers to sell less comprehensive coverage than Obama’s law allows. Cruz said he doesn’t think fellow conservative Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, backs the GOP bill. Lee spokesman Conn Carroll said Lee wants “technical changes” but hasn’t finalized his position. The growing opposition leaves the White House and party leaders with one immediate option: changing opponents’ minds. Republicans have said they’re still reshaping the bill in hopes of winning over skeptics. Collins said sponsors were making last-minute adjustments in the measure’s formulas for distributing federal money to states. “So yes, we’re moving forward and we’ll see what happens next week,” Graham said. Paul said even though the bill transforms federal health care dollars into block grants states would control, the GOP bill left too much of that spending intact. “Block granting Obamacare doesn’t make it go away,” Paul said. McCain has complained that Republicans should have worked with Democrats in reshaping the country’s $3 trillion-a-year health care system and cited uncertainty over the bill’s impact on consumers.[...]


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Candidates scramble in unexpected open attorney general race

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:23:00 GMT

CHICAGO – The race to become Illinois’ next chief legal officer is off to a furious start after Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s sudden announcement that she wouldn’t seek a fifth term. A Republican former Miss America’s campaign has been reinvigorated. Two Democratic state lawmakers have stepped forward. And so many others are contemplating runs that news outlets are posting online trackers of who’s in and out. The mad dash for the only open race for statewide office next year means there could be a crowded primary ballot, at least on the Democratic side. “It’s going to be a very vigorous race,” said Republican Erika Harold of Urbana, who declared her candidacy last month. “My message will remain the same. I’ve been focused on putting the people before the powerful.” The Illinois Republican Party has contributed roughly $34,000 to her campaign. Since Madigan made her surprising announcement about a week ago, Harold has tried to solidify her GOP establishment backing. She’s collected endorsements from 45 Republican lawmakers, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. He used a Chicago speech last week to praise the Harvard University-educated lawyer, who was crowned Miss America in 2003 and made an unsuccessful primary bid for Congress in 2014. Fewer endorsements have trickled in on the Democratic side where things are more complicated when it comes to party backing. Madigan is the daughter of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the longest-serving speaker nationwide who’s also leader of the state Democratic Party. He said, through a spokesman, that he hasn’t taken a position on the attorney general’s race. Still, candidates have had to factor in the influence of both of them. Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul nodded to Lisa Madigan in his campaign rollout last week. “She’s had an incredibly successful tenure. So she leaves a big void,” he said. “I’m calling everybody that I know in the party.” He picked up an endorsement from longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago. Raoul, an attorney, was appointed to his Senate seat in Chicago to fill the vacancy left by then-state Sen. Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, another Democratic legislator – state Rep. Scott Drury – exchanged his gubernatorial bid to seek the attorney general nomination. Drury was the sole Democrat to forgo support of Michael Madigan’s election to a 17th term as speaker. “What Illinois needs is an attorney general who’s fiercely independent,” the former federal prosecutor from Highwood said. Other Democrats contemplating runs include former Chicago Board of Education president Gery Chico and McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, a former state representative. Outgoing state Rep. Elaine Nekritz announced Sunday that she had decided against a run after discussing the matter with her family. Madigan was elected Illinois’ first female attorney general in a tight 2002 race, going on to easily win the next three elections. Four years ago she briefly considered running for governor, but said Illinois wouldn’t be well served by having a House speaker and governor from the same family. She’s declined most interview requests, including with The Associated Press. But she told a Chicago radio station she wasn’t running another campaign soon, ruling out a possible run for governor in 2018 or Chicago mayor the year after. Her term ends in January 2019. “I’ve learned never [...]



Democratic 14th Congressional District candidates square off at forumDemocratic Party primary candidates for the 14th Congressional District – Matt Brolley (from left), Victor Swanson, Lauren Underwood, Jim Walz and George Weber – participate in a forum Monday at Amalgamated UAW Local 145's Union Hall in Montgomery, moderated by Jerre Henricksen (center).Candidates Jim Walz and George Weber listen to a resident after the Democratic 14th Congressional District primary candidates forum Monday.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:22:00 GMT

Democratic Party candidates in the 14th Congressional District primary race talked climate change, health care, education and a multitude of other topics at a candidates forum last week at the Amalgamated UAW Local 145’s Union Hall in Montgomery. The Democratic Women of Kendall County organized the forum, which featured candidates Matt Brolley, Victor Swanson, Lauren Underwood, Jim Walz and George Weber. The candidates will compete in the March 20 Democratic Party primary election, and the winner will face incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, in the November 2018 general election. Brolley, the village president of Montgomery, said he’s running partly as a result of the November election of President Donald Trump. Brolley, whose wife’s family is from Mexico, said he has faced questions from his children about Trump. “When my daughter asks why Donald Trump wants to build a wall so she can’t visit her grandma, that really hits home, and that hurts,” Brolley said. Swanson, a teacher from Batavia, said he’s “not running for myself.” He said he’s running for his elderly father with Parkinson’s disease who uses Social Security and Medicare; his mother, who is a small-business owner; his sister, who has a pre-existing condition, diabetes; his son, who he said couldn’t understand how the Republicans went from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump; for his daughter, who he said deserves to be paid the same as his son for the exact same work; and for his students. Underwood, a public health nurse from Naperville, said she’s running because of Hultgren’s vote on health care. She said she has a pre-existing heart condition. Hultgren voted in favor of the Paul Ryan-backed American Health Care Act in May; the measure failed to pass Congress. “I felt betrayed, and I think he needs to be held accountable for that action,” Underwood said of Hultgren’s vote. Walz, a Gurnee resident who ran against Hultgren in 2016 but lost, said he’s a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and said he wants the U.S. to wean itself off of fossil fuels. He said he would file legislation to provide incentives for wind, solar, geothermal and other energies. He said he also wants to get “money out of politics” and voiced opposition to the Citizens United decision. He also criticized congressional Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “The fact that anybody would vote to take away health care from the most vulnerable among us, while also giving tax breaks to the rich, I found it immoral and disgusting,” Walz said. Weber, a chemical engineer from Lakewood, said he wants “prosperity for the middle class.” Each candidate received a question specifically for them during the forum. Brolley was asked about his residency outside of the 14th Congressional District. Brolley lives in Montgomery, but over the boundary in the 11th Congressional District. He said his house was in the 14th District before the 2011 redistricting. Brolley stressed that he grew up in Boulder Hill and has lived in the area for most of his life. “I was not dropped in this district; I moved here when I was 3,” he said. Swanson was asked whether he would have time to campaign and raise money since he has a full-time teaching job and a family. Swanson said he was told when he was exploring his candidacy that he wouldn’t be able to do it because, “I have a real job.” [...]


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Crystal Lake School District 47 adopts new strategic planning initiativeSarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Anthony Pizza (left) of Crystal Lake watches as Sara Garcia of Crystal Lake casts her ballot for her presidential choice during a mock presidential election Nov. 5, 2012, at Husmann Elementary School in Crystal Lake. Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 kicked off a new strategic planning process this month to plan for the school system's future.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:21:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 kicked off a new strategic planning process this month to plan for the school system’s future.

Forward 47 will help the district establish a set plan for the next five years, according to a news release from the district. A team of nearly 40 stakeholders – including parents, staff, community members, board members, administrators and students – will meet monthly through December to discuss the plan under the guidance of the Consortium for Educational Change.

“An effective school district relies on the shared vision and collaborative input from all stakeholders,” Superintendent Kathy Hinz said in a statement. “Through the efforts of the strategic planning team and feedback from the school community, we look forward to developing a viable plan that will guide our efforts in continuing to provide quality educational services for all students.”

The team recently met for a “data retreat” in which the members focused on uncovering the district’s strengths and weaknesses. Team members produced a SWOT analysis identifying the district’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats using finance/operations, instruction/curriculum, personnel/human resources and recent stakeholder surveys.

“The Forward 47 strategic planning team invites all stakeholders to weigh in and provide feedback on the SWOT analysis by taking a brief survey on the webpage,” the release states.

The survey will be open through Oct. 15, and all results will be shared with the team for consideration in determining a final SWOT analysis that will inform the strategic plan.

For information about the strategic plan or to take the survey, visit www.d47.org/forward47.

Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Anthony Pizza (left) of Crystal Lake watches as Sara Garcia of Crystal Lake casts her ballot for her presidential choice during a mock presidential election Nov. 5, 2012, at Husmann Elementary School in Crystal Lake. Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 kicked off a new strategic planning process this month to plan for the school system's future.


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2 people sent to hospital after Woodstock crashA battered car sits on the bed of a tow truck after a single-vehicle crash sent two people to the hospital Sunday.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:21:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A single-vehicle crash in Woodstock led to a person being transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries Sunday.

Woodstock Fire-Rescue District and Woodstock Police officials responded to a crash at Route 14 and South Street about 3:48 p.m. Sunday after a car hit a utility pole, according to the fire department.

One person was ejected from the vehicle during the incident and was taken to Condell Hospital with life-threatening injures. The other person was taken to Centegra Hospital – Huntley with injuries that were non life-threatening, according to the department.

The road was closed for about an hour and ComEd came out to fix the utility pole. The car was between 20 and 30 feet off the road in a ditch, officials said.

The cause of the crash and the occupants’ identities and conditions weren’t available Sunday evening.

Woodstock Police Department officials are investigating the incident.

A battered car sits on the bed of a tow truck after a single-vehicle crash sent two people to the hospital Sunday.


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McHenry County grand jury indictments

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:14:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County grand jury this past week indicted these people on these charges: • Jason A. Long, 30, of the 2400 block of Randall Lane, Arlington Heights; solicitation to meet a child, indecent solicitation of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. • Luis Guzman, 46, of the 4600 block of Willow Lane, McHenry; aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of aggravated battery. • Christopher J. Charpentier, 25, transient; possession of another person’s credit card, identity theft and burglary. • Kenneth J. Pencak, 19, of the zero to 100 block of Duxbury Lane, Cary; residential burglary and theft of more than $500. • Nicholas A. Charpentier, 21, of the 3000 block of Walnut Road, Wonder Lake; burglary. • Pascasio, M. Martinez, 34, of the 200 block of Church Street, Crystal Lake; aggravated driving under the influence and driving with a revoked license. • Jose M. Contreras, 34, of the 100 block of East Cherry Street, Cary; criminal trespass to a residence and violation of an order of protection. • Blake R. Alberts, 24, of the 400 block of West Miner Street, Arlington Heights; criminal sexual assault and theft. • Eric J. Elwell, 23, of the 1300 block of East Waverly Place, Arlington Heights; criminal sexual assault and theft. • Bridget M. Gibson, 28, of the 900 block of 8th Street, Harvard; retail theft and criminal trespass to real property. • Michael G. Briley, 52, of the 1100 block of North 4th Street, Mankato, Minnesota; possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. • Justin T. Frost, 23, of the 5300 block of West Orchard Drive, McHenry; possession of a controlled substance. • Steven J. McMillan, 53, of the 7500 block of Algonquin Road, Wonder Lake; possession of a controlled substance. • Robert J. Sienkowski, 33, of the 3900 block of West Main Street, McHenry; possession of a controlled substance. • Diego A. Valencia-Garcia, 30, of the zero to 100 block of South Seebert Street, Cary; possession of a controlled substance. • Madison J. Larson, 20, of the 2400 block of North Woodlawn Avenue, Cary; possession of a controlled substance. • Caleb S. Redd, 20, of the 800 block of Stonebridge Lane, Crystal Lake; possession of a controlled substance. • Justin T. Orozco, 19, of the 200 block of South Madison Street, Woodstock; possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. • Ryan J. Orozco, 18, of the 200 block of South Madison Street, Woodstock; possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. • Ashley E. Moyer, 28, of the 100 block of Lakewood Drive, Oakwood Hills; possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. • Alyson L. Palos, 26, of the 13800 block of Davis Road, Woodstock; possession of a controlled substance. [...]



Developer plans Marengo truck stop near proposed interchange

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:13:00 GMT

MARENGO – A developer has proposed a full service truck stop at the intersection of Route 23 and Harmony Road in Marengo.

Lazar Brothers Enterprises Inc. bought 34.8 acres at the site and plans to develop the truck stop across 10 acres of land at the intersection. The location is just north of the proposed Interstate 90 and Route 23 interchange.

The company closed on the sale in late August and is in the process of planning site development. The developer hopes to break ground in 2020, said Tina Kropke of Premier Commercial Realty.

Premier Commercial Realty is representing an additional 102 acres at the intersection and is in the process of marketing them to companies seeking space for manufacturing and industrial businesses as well as some fast-food service restaurants.

Lazar Brothers owns other fueling stations in the area, Kropke said.

Marengo and McHenry County officials have projected that the interchange will bring businesses into the county and have an economic impact of between $538 million and $1.7 billion, according to an analysis from the McHenry County Economic Development Corp.

The interchange, which would be the first in McHenry County, also could create up to 3,594 jobs if its industrial potential is realized, according to the analysis.

The interchange project is part of plans by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority to replace the Route 23 overpass as part of an I-90 widening project.




McHenry County Farm Stroll offers access to locally sourced productsMike Greene for Shaw Media Sophia Carrion, 5, of Woodstock, feeds a group of alpacas grain during the 3rd annual McHenry County Farm Stroll Sunday, September 24, 2017 at ALsPACAs of Dutch Mill Farms in Harvard. This year's free event included 12 farms featuring apple orchards, vegetable growers, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, alpacas, honey bees, perennial plants, hydroponics and more.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Myla Hoyne, 5, left, and Lola Moreano, 10, both of Huntley, pet a goat at Thornpaw Lea Farm during the 3rd annual McHenry County Farm Stroll Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Marengo. This year's free event included 12 farms featuring apple orchards, vegetable growers, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, alpacas, honey bees, perennial plants, hydroponics and more.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Al VanMaren explains the sheering process for Suri alpacas during the 3rd annual McHenry County Farm Stroll Sunday, September 24, 2017 at ALsPACAs of Dutch Mill Farms in Harvard. This year's free event included 12 farms featuring apple orchards, vegetable growers, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, alpacas, honey bees, perennial plants, hydroponics and more.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Thornpaw Lea Farm featured a variety of animals including chickens, pigs, goats, cows and more during the 3rd annual McHenry County Farm Stroll Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Marengo. This year's free event included 12 farms featuring apple orchards, vegetable growers, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, alpacas, honey bees, perennial plants, hydroponics and more.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media A pig rests next to a water trough at Thornpaw Lea Farm during the 3rd annual McHenry County Farm Stroll Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Marengo. This year's free event included 12 farms featuring apple orchards, vegetable growers, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, alpacas, honey bees, perennial plants, hydroponics and more.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media A Suri alpaca chews on grass during the 3rd annual McHenry County Farm Stroll Sunday, September 24, 2017 at ALsPACAs of Dutch Mill Farms in Harvard. This year's free event included 12 farms featuring apple orchards, vegetable growers, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, alpacas, honey bees, perennial plants, hydroponics and more.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:13:00 GMT

McHENRY COUNTY – The heat of this year’s early fall did not keep people from going down to the farm Sunday for the third annual McHenry County Farm Stroll. Organized by the McHenry County Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois Extension McHenry County Master Gardeners, the farm stroll offered the opportunity for attendees to participate in self-guided tours of each farm free of charge.  From dairy cows, to hydroponics, to alpacas and indoor horse riding arenas, each farm had something unique to offer. New to the stroll, Thornpaw Lea Farm in Marengo sells meat options such as Katahdin sheep, Tamworth hogs and Bourbon Red turkeys. Owners Robert and Therese Ortloff, manage their 10-acre farm with the help of their five daughters. “Nobody really knew that we were here or what we are doing,” said Robert. “We’re only coming up on our sixth year so we’re pretty new, and we needed the exposure. We’re not out here just fooling around, and this isn’t a hobby farm. We wanted people to see what we offer.” The farm’s black goat, Shadow, and their Anatolian shepherd/Great Pyrenees mixes Sophie and Gus, greeted guests, nudging them with their snouts to say hello. Northeast of Thornpaw Lea in Richmond, Patyk’s Farm Market and Greenhouse sits on 80 acres, 35 of which is dedicated to produce. Those visiting are greeted by rows of pumpkins, wandering farm cats, a fine display of fall perennials and the cluck of chickens. Their third year as a featured farm on the stroll, John and Myra Patyk are proud to offer fresh produce such as cauliflower, heirloom tomatoes and some lesser known items such as lemon cucumbers for a new experience. Goats, cows, pigs and turkeys also are on property. “Every year we try different things. We experiment with different hybrids and heirlooms,” said John Patyk. “Some work, and some don’t.” John and Myrna primarily work the land themselves with some occasional seasonal help. John Patyk said their 8-year-old son, Johnny, loves life on the farm, running around and helping out. Patyk’s grandparents were produce farmers, but the tradition skipped a generation. Nine years ago, John and Myrna decided to move from the Morton Grove/Skokie area to give the family business a go. “It was the best move I ever made,” John Patyk said. “We need local agriculture. We do a little bit of everything here, flowers, produce, animals, so it’s very diverse. It’s definitely the hardest job I’ve ever had, but also the best. But we love it.” McHenry resident Suzan Paulin said Patyk’s was one of her favorite stops on the stroll. She said she liked the friendly feel the farm had, and she loved all the varieties of produce and pumpkins. Paulin spent part of the stroll snacking on a fresh honeycrisp apple from stroll farm participant, Prairie Sky Orchard. The sharp crunch of her bites gave way to very large smiles; a telltale sign of a very satisfied customer. “It’s just so great to be able to see what the county farms have to offer. I would have never known all of these wonderful places existed,” Paulin said. “I will definitely be visiting these farms in the future, and I can’t wait to take my grandkids to some of them.” Prairie Sky Orchard has 2,000 dwarf apple trees with over a dozen varieties for t[...]


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Heat can't wilt Huntley Fall FestSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Chloe Nasticky, 5, of Schaumburg helps build a scarecrow Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Tyler Kulik, 11, of Lake in the Hills runs around the inflatable corn maze Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Ela Hontanosas, 13, of Huntley helps build a scarecrow Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com A crowd gathers to watch a magic show Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Chloe Nasticky, 5, of Schaumburg looks at the scarecrow she helped build Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:13:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Record-high temperatures didn’t stop thousands from attending Huntley Fall Fest this weekend at the Huntley Park District, 12015 Mill St. Carly Haniszewski, one of the event’s coordinators, said her husband, Bryant, was inspired to bring a festival to Huntley after he went to Schaumburg’s festival for years. With the help of an all-volunteer committee, she said he and other festival leaders made it happen. Haniszewski said her husband initially had the idea of making the festival a one-day food festival when the event began in 2006. Now, the festival has grown into a three-day event and included a full carnival, live entertainment, a fireworks show Saturday and a used book sale benefiting the Huntley Library Friends Foundation. Haniszewski said she has heard that people keep coming back to the festival every year because they love the affordable prices. “It’s just a place for family and friends to go and have a good time,” Haniszewski said. Haniszewski said about 20,000 people attend the multiday festival every year.  Committee Treasurer Sean Cratty said that number fluctuates depending on the weather, but the hot temperatures didn’t appear to dampen attendance much this year. He said the only year when the festival lost money was in 2008. Cratty said the festival raises about $25,000 a year. He said that net income is given back to the various groups that the festival volunteers come from, which includes the local Lions Club and Knights of Columbus chapters, church groups and sports organizations. In the past 12 years the committee has hosted the festival, Cratty said about $100,000 has been given back to help benefit local groups.  “The goal is to get sponsors to offset the cost and to make money for the community,” Cratty said. Renee Blitek of Crystal Lake has been going to the festival for years for the evening entertainment. She said this was the first year that she brought her grandchildren – Brandon, 8, and Blake, 5 – to the festival’s carnival. Blitek said they had fun during this year’s festival, but she felt bad that her younger grandson couldn’t ride a lot of the rides that his older brother could. However, she said he probably will be tall enough to get on those rides by next year.  Regardless, Blitek said it was fun to see the older grandson go on more adventurous rides when he’s usually of a more cautious nature. “It’s worth every penny,” Blitek said. Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Chloe Nasticky, 5, of Schaumburg helps build a scarecrow Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Tyler Kulik, 11, of Lake in the Hills runs around the inflatable corn maze Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Ela Hontanosas, 13, of Huntley helps build a scarecrow Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com A crowd gathers to watch a magic show Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Chloe Nasticky, 5, of Schaumburg looks at the scarecrow she helped build Saturday at the 12th annual Huntley Fall Fest at Deicke Park.[...]


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Magnitude 6.1 earthquake shakes jittery MexicoRescuers race to save people believed to be still alive inside a collapsed office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City, as night falls Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, three days after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Hope mixed with fear Friday in Mexico City, where families huddled under tarps and donated blankets, awaiting word of their loved ones trapped in rubble. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:42:00 GMT

MEXICO CITY – A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, killing at least two people, toppling already damaged homes and a highway bridge, and causing new alarm in a country reeling from two even more powerful quakes that together have killed more than 400 people. The U.S. Geological Survey said the new, magnitude 6.1 temblor was centered about 11 miles south-southeast of Matias Romero in the state of Oaxaca, which was the region most battered by a magnitude 8.1 quake on Sept. 7. It was among thousands of aftershocks recorded in the wake of that earlier quake, which was the most powerful to hit Mexico in 32 years and killed at least 96 people. The government of Oaxaca state reported that some homes collapsed. A woman died when a wall of her home fell on her in the town of Asuncion Ixtaltepec, and a man died after a wall fell on him in San Blas Atempa. Four people were injured in Juchitan and three in Tlacotepec, but none of their lives were in danger. Another person suffered a broken clavicle in the town of Xadani. Three hotels and two churches were damaged and a highway bridge collapsed. The Federal Police agency said the bridge already been closed due to damage after the Sept. 7 quake. Bettina Cruz, a resident of Juchitan, Oaxaca, said by phone with her voice still shaking that the new quake felt "horrible." "Homes that were still standing just fell down," Cruz said. "It's hard. We are all in the streets." Cruz belongs to a social collective and said that when the shaking began, she was riding in a truck carrying supplies to victims of the earlier quake. Nataniel Hernandez said by phone from Tonala, in the southern state of Chiapas, which was also hit hard by the earlier quake, that it was one of the strongest aftershocks he has felt. "Since Sept. 7 it has not stopped shaking," Hernandez said. U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso said the new temblor was an aftershock of the 8.1 quake, and after a jolt of that size even buildings left standing can be more vulnerable. "So a smaller earthquake can cause the damaged buildings to fail," Caruso said. "At the moment the greatest damage has been to the Ixtaltepec bridge, which should be rebuilt, and structures with previous damage that collapsed," President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted. He said government workers were fanning out in Juchitan to provide help to anyone who needs it. Jaime Hernandez, director of the Federal Electrical Commission, said the quake knocked out power to 327,000 homes and businesses in Oaxaca but service had been restored to 72 percent of customers within a few hours. Buildings swayed in Mexico City, where nerves are still raw from Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 temblor that has killed at least 307 across the region. Many residents and visitors fled homes, hotels and businesses, some in tears. And the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City spewed a cloud of vapor with some ash about a mile into the air Saturday, but experts said it was not related to the quakes. The 17,797-foot volcano has been periodically erupting since 1994. At Mexico City's Xoco General Hospital, which is treating the largest number of quake victims, workers ordered visitors to evacuate when seismic alarms began to blare. [...]


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Evidence of invasive grass carp signals threat to Lake ErieAP photo Janice Kerns (left) and Anne Marie Gorman, both with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, net fish after a brief electric shock is administered to the water. Researchers in the Great Lakes region have found new evidence that invasive grass carp are spawning near the mouth of a river that flows into Lake Erie. The discovery of more grass carp eggs this summer in a northern Ohio river points to what some scientists believe is a growing danger.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:42:00 GMT

TOLEDO, Ohio – Researchers have fresh evidence that invasive grass carp are swimming and spawning near the mouth of a river that flows into Lake Erie. Their next step is figuring out how to stop it from gaining a foothold and devouring wetland plants along the shoreline and underwater vegetation in the lake that shelters native fish. Grass carp are one of four Asian carp species threatening the Great Lakes, but they’re not as worrisome as the bighead and silver carp, which could devastate fish populations in the lakes. While environmental groups and scientists have put much of their attention on preventing the bighead and silver carp from reaching the lakes, the grass carp already have been found in Lakes Erie, Michigan and Ontario. A look at the efforts to stop the grass carp: What are grass carp? Brought to the U.S. more than 50 years ago to control weed growth, they’re still sold to pond owners. Some states now require that they be sterilized before being released. But recent surveys have found grass carp eggs in Great Lakes waterways. Some made their way into the lakes via rivers, while others were dumped into the waterways. The fish feed on aquatic plants, eating up to 90 pounds a day and damaging areas used by spawning fish and migrating birds. What is not known is how many are in the lakes and where they’ve spread. How big of a threat are they? It’s believed there still are only a small number of grass carp in the lakes. But a report released by U.S. and Canadian researchers warned this year that if effective steps aren’t taken, it’s likely that the invasive fish will be established in lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and Ontario within 10 years. Where are they being found? The biggest concern is in Lake Erie, where grass carp have been found in tributary rivers and along the shoreline. Researchers have been closely watching the Sandusky River, between Cleveland and Toledo, since the discovery of grass carp eggs in 2015. More eggs were found this summer along with eight adults that were netted during a two-day search. What have researchers learned? It appears the grass carp spawn after heavy rains or when there’s high water on the Sandusky River, said Rich Carter, who oversees fish management and research for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The fish also seem to like long rivers. All of that is important to know, he said, to help find a potential way to control their populations. What’s being done? Plans are being developed to make a more intensive effort to capture and remove the carp from the Sandusky River, where more than 100 have been found since 2012, Carter said. There’s also ongoing work to follow grass carp that have been tagged to determine where they spawn and where they can be found, said Mark Gaikowski, a research director with the U.S. Geological Survey. AP photo Janice Kerns (left) and Anne Marie Gorman, both with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, net fish after a brief electric shock is administered to the water. Researchers in the Great Lakes region have found new evidence that invasive grass carp are spawning near the mouth of a river that flows into Lake [...]


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Cherry Tree Inn in Woodstock opens under new ownershipLori Miarecki walks around her newly purchased bed and breakfast home Saturday in Woodstock. Miarecki and her husband, George, bought the 1800s home – which was featured in the 1993 film "Groundhog Day" – several weeks ago, and they hosted their first guests this weekend.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:13:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The famed “Groundhog Day” house where Bill Murray stayed on repeat as weatherman Phil has been reopened under new ownership in Woodstock.

Lori and George Miarecki bought the house several weeks ago and had their first guests of the Cherry Tree Inn this weekend. The couple bought the place almost on a whim after staying at the home as guests when they were in town from Florida for former Woodstock High School choral director Paul Rausch’s retirement gala.

“We were just looking for a place to stay,” Lori Miarecki said. “We came. We saw. We bought.”  

The 5,815-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 8½-bathroom home is located at 344 Fremont St. in Woodstock, close to Dick Tracy Way Park and about a half-mile from Woodstock’s historic Square.

The 1800s home was featured in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day,” and guests can stay in the famed “Bill Murray suite” on the second floor. The city of Woodstock embraces its connection to the movie by hosting an annual “Groundhog Days” festival and having a mural downtown that includes Murray.

But the home’s notoriety wasn’t what sparked the Miareckis’ interest.

“It had nothing to do with the movie. We still would have bought the house,” Lori Miarecki said. “It was just perfect. It’s a dream come true.”

Lori said that she grew up working in hospitality and always wanted to own a bed and breakfast, but she hadn’t found the ideal place until now.

The previous owners operated a bed and breakfast out of the home on a limited basis. They also put extensive work into restoring the historic building, Lori Miarecki said.

“The work that has been put into it is incredible,” she said. “They restored everything they possibly could. They retained all of the architectural details. It’s amazing.”

Rooms start at $152 a night, and the Miareckis are offering 50 percent off for guests’ first night if they stay a second, as listed on the inn’s Airbnb listing. For information, visit cherrytreeinnbnb.com or the Cherry Tree Inn’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Groundhogdayhouse.

Lori Miarecki walks around her newly purchased bed and breakfast home Saturday in Woodstock. Miarecki and her husband, George, bought the 1800s home – which was featured in the 1993 film "Groundhog Day" – several weeks ago, and they hosted their first guests this weekend.


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Habitat for Humanity dedicates McHenry home for mother with disabilities, twin girlsHabitat for Humanity of McHenry County CEO and President Jerry Monica speaks at the Weiss family's home dedication Saturday in McHenry.Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County family supporter Kathy Haupt hands Jennifer Weiss the keys to her new home Saturday in McHenry. A volunteer looks on, and Alaina (from left) and Gabrielle, Jennifer's twin daughters, stand next to their mother.The sun shines on the Weiss family's new home provided by Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County on Saturday.Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County community engagement coordinator Holly Zissman reads Jennifer Weiss' story on Saturday at the Weiss family's home dedication.Jennifer Weiss thanks Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County officials and volunteers Saturday in her new McHenry home.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:13:00 GMT

McHENRY – After recovering from an aneurysm that Jennifer Weiss had at 37 weeks’ pregnant, she was ready to begin her new life, but she needed some help. Weiss applied for a new, affordable home from Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County, and she had her wish granted Saturday morning. “I’m thrilled; I’m just overwhelmed with trying to pack and everything,” Weiss said. “I’m very grateful to them.” Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve housing conditions for a number of the county’s poor and low-income families. Habitat for Humanity staff members, neighbors and volunteers, along with Jennifer and her twin daughters, Alaina and Gabrielle Weiss, both 11, gathered at the family’s new home at 11 a.m. Saturday in the 5800 block of North Agatha Lane in McHenry. “Everyone likes to come together and see the end product,” Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County CEO and President Jerry Monica said. Jennifer Weiss had to have an emergency C-section 11 years ago, in addition to many other surgeries. She went through seven months of rehabilitation after a month in the intensive care unit before she was able to join her new family. “After moving into an apartment in McHenry eight years ago, the rent has become an ever-increasing drain on my disability income,” Jennifer Weiss wrote in her letter to the nonprofit. “Unfortunately, the apartment that I have is also not set up to handle the continued weakness that I have on my left side after all of my therapy.” Jennifer Weiss was connected with Habitat for Humanity through the Epilepsy Foundation and Brain Injury Health Management group, which is common, Monica said. He said partnering with other nonprofits is beneficial to both parties. Jennifer Weiss’ home is the organization’s 48th sold to a needy homeowner in McHenry County. Monica said Habitat for Humanity is able to provide for one in every 220 people in their demographic – McHenry County residents with a total household income of $20,000 to $40,000 a year. “Our program allows people to put roots down,” Monica said. Weiss will own the new home but at a much lower cost than other options in the county, Monica said. The home was completed using 70 percent volunteer assistance, and the nonprofit is in need of more volunteers, Monica said. “We hope to continue to expand pace,” Monica said. For information, visit habitatmchenry.org or call 815-759-9002. Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County CEO and President Jerry Monica speaks at the Weiss family's home dedication Saturday in McHenry.Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County family supporter Kathy Haupt hands Jennifer Weiss the keys to her new home Saturday in McHenry. A volunteer looks on, and Alaina (from left) and Gabrielle, Jennifer's twin daughters, stand next to their mother.The sun shines on the Weiss family's new home provided by Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County on Saturday.Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County community engagement coordinator Holly Zissman reads Jennifer Weiss' story on Saturday at the Weiss family's home dedication.[...]Jennifer Weiss thanks Hab[...]


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Crystal Lake joins countywide program to help drug addictsSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Rich Caccamo of Crystal Lake poses for a portrait Thursday at Knaack Park in Crystal Lake. Caccamo's brother, Jeremy, died from an opioid overdose in July, and Rich has since been advocating for overdose awareness and promoting the A Way Out – McHenry County program, which provides treatment to addicts who seek it.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:12:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The “A Way Out” program helped Jeremy Caccamo extend his life, his brother said. Caccamo, 29, of Wonder Lake died this summer because of a heroin overdose, but his brother, Rich Caccamo, is trying to keep his legacy alive and increase awareness of the McHenry County program. A Way Out – McHenry County aims to fast-track heroin and other drug addicts to treatment by providing a certain amount of amnesty to addicts who want help. The initiative, which started in May, is modeled after Lake County’s program, and so far has helped 51 people, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said. Crystal Lake is the latest city to join the program. It also is the largest city in McHenry County, and its police department is the second-largest law enforcement agency in the county behind the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. Woodstock is the only municipality in McHenry County not participating, but Kenneally said Woodstock is going through final legal approvals to join soon. “We thought it was particularly timely due to the opioid crisis in the county that has not only claimed a lot of lives, but has had cascading consequences across the country,” Kenneally said. The county is on pace to have more overdose deaths, particularly related to opioids, than last year, with about 50 deaths to date, Kenneally said, adding that the county sees about one person die a week. Jeremy Caccamo joined the A Way Out program and was able to get treatment from Lutheran Social Services of Illinois in Chicago. He died July 5, but Rich Caccamo said the program helped prolong his life. “It definitely gave him direction and got him into detox and treatments, but it is a disease. It’s not just a choice, and there are known to be relapses,” said Rich Caccamo, 36, of Crystal Lake. “My advice to anyone coming out of treatment is to find a 12-step program to follow and be persistent, because a lot of the people who relapse say their fallout point was to stop going to meetings because they thought they were doing better.” Finding treatment with limited resources Laura Crain with the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition said that of the 51 people who have reached out to police departments, 38 of them qualified for the program. Of the 38, the county was able to place 27 of them in treatment facilities. “The remainder of them either didn’t get placed or, in all honesty, if you have an opioid user who is sitting for 12 hours, if they start to get sick, they get a desire to go out and use again. Sometimes they choose to leave,” Crain said. “In the hospital, it just depends on availability, and unfortunately in Illinois, we just don’t have the residential and detox resources, but we are doing everything we can.” An addict can walk into a police department in McHenry County at any time of the day and say they want to participate. If the person has drugs or paraphernalia on them, they can surrender them without fear of being arrested. The program is voluntary, and users can leave at any point. Within 30 minutes, a police officer has the person go through an intake process, and then the person is taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock, where the user will[...]


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Dam failing as scope of Puerto Rico's disaster becomes clearAP photo Residents ride a mechanical shovel through a flooded road Friday after the passing of Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:08:00 GMT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rican officials rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people downstream of a failing dam and said they could not reach more than half the towns in the U.S. territory as the massive scale of the disaster wrought by Hurricane Maria started to become clear on Friday. Government spokesman Carlos Bermudez said that officials had no communication with 40 of the 78 municipalities on the island more than two days after the Category 4 storm crossed the island, toppling power lines and cellphone towers and sending floodwaters cascading through city streets. Officials said 1,360 of the island’s 1,600 cellphone towers had been downed, and 85 percent of above-ground and underground phone and internet cables were knocked out. With roads blocked and phones dead, officials said, the situation may be worse than they know. “We haven’t seen the extent of the damage,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello told reporters in the capital. More than 15 inches of rain fell on the mountains surrounding the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico after Maria left the island Wednesday afternoon, swelling the reservoir behind the nearly 90-year-old dam. Authorities launched an evacuation of the 70,000 people living downstream, sending buses to move people away and sending frantic warnings on Twitter that went unseen by many in the blacked-out coastal area. “This is an EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION,” the National Weather Service wrote. “All the areas around the Guajataca River must evacuate NOW. Your lives are in DANGER.” The 345-yard dam, which was built around 1928, holds back a manmade lake covering about 2 square miles. An engineer inspecting the dam reported a “contained breach” that officials quickly realized was a crack that could be the first sign of total failure of the dam, said Anthony Reynes, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service. “There’s no clue as to how long or how this can evolve. That is why the authorities are moving so fast because they also have the challenges of all the debris. It is a really, really dire situation,” Reynes said. “They are trying to mobilize all the resources they can, but it’s not easy. We really don’t know how long it would take for this failure to become a full break of the dam.” Maj. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm, deputy to the chief of the Air Force Reserve, said at the Pentagon that it was impossible to say when communication and power will be restored. He said mobile communications systems are being flown in. But he acknowledged “it’s going to take awhile” before people in Puerto Rico will be able to communicate with their families outside the island. Until Friday, he said, “there was no real understanding at all of the gravity of the situation.” Across the island more than 15,000 people are in shelters, including some 2,000 rescued from the north coastal town of Toa Baja, including several who were stranded on roofs. Rossello couldn’t say when power might be restored. The island’s electric grid was in sorry shape long before Maria struck. The territory’s $73 billion debt crisis has left agencie[...]


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President Donald Trump trying to turn around GOP holdouts on health billFILE - In this July 27, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, walks onstage as Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, points to him while Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., watches as they speak to reporters at the Capitol as the Republican-controlled Senate were unable to fulfill their political promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare" because of opposition and wavering within the GOP ranks, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. McCain says on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. The Arizona Republican says he can't back the partisan GOP measure because "we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:07:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Unwilling to concede defeat on a bedrock GOP promise, President Donald Trump on Saturday tried to sway two Republican holdouts on the party’s last-ditch health care hope while clawing at his nemesis who again has brought the “Obamacare” repeal-and-replace effort to the brink of failure. Trump appealed to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a possible “no” vote, to swing around for the sake of Alaskans up in arms over high insurance costs, and suggested that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul might reverse his stated opposition “for the good of the Party!” Arizona Sen. John McCain, whose announcement Friday that he would not vote for the proposal seemingly scuttled efforts to revive the repeal, came under renewed criticism from the White House. It was the second time in three months that McCain, at 81 in the twilight of a remarkable career and battling brain cancer, had emerged as the destroyer of his party’s signature and yearslong pledge to voters on health care. “He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!” Trump tweeted. He jabbed at the senator with another tweet later in the day: “Democrats are laughingly saying that McCain had a “moment of courage.” Tell that to the people of Arizona who were deceived. 116% increase!” With Senate Democrats unanimously opposed, two is the exact number of GOP votes that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., can afford to lose. McCain and Paul are in the “no” column, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is leaning against the bill and Murkowksi is also a possible “no.” But Trump isn’t letting go, as seen by his series of tweets while he spends the weekend at his New Jersey golf club. Aiming at Murkowski, Trump cited increases in premiums and other costs in Alaska under the Affordable Care Act. “Deductibles high, people angry! Lisa M comes through,” he wrote. Trump, without offering support for his assertion about former presidential rival Paul, said: “I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!” But there was no doubt where Trump stood on McCain. “John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill,” Trump said. The measure was co-written by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, McCain’s closest Senate ally, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. “McCain let his best friend L.G. down!” Trump said, adding that the health bill was “great for Arizona.” McCain, in explaining that he could not “in good conscience” vote for the legislation, said both parties “could do better working together” but hadn’t “really tried.” He also he could not support the measure “without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.” His opposition all but ensured a major setback for Trump and McConnell, and appeared likely to deepen rifts between congressional Republicans and a president who has begun making deals with Democrats out of frustration with his own party’s failure to turn proposals into laws. During the election campaign Trump had pledged to quickly kill the Affordable Care Act –[...]


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Donald Trump's comments on Curry, NFL protests anger athletesGolden State Warriors Stephen Curry takes questions from the media after NBA basketball practice in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. President Donald Trump doubled down on denouncing protests by NFL players and rescinded NBA star Stephen Curry's White House invitation on Saturday, a series of tweets that quickly inflamed football and basketball stars and even prompted LeBron James to call the president a "bum." (AP Photo/Janie McCauley)

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

SOMERSET, N.J. – President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes and brought swift condemnation Saturday from league executives and star players alike. Wading into thorny issues of race and politics, Trump's comments in a Friday night speech and a series of Saturday tweets drew sharp responses from some of the nation's top athletes, with LeBron James calling the president a "bum." Trump started by announcing that Curry, the popular two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, would not be welcome at the White House for the commemorative visit traditionally made by championship teams: "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Later, Trump reiterated what he said at a rally in Alabama the previous night – that NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired, and called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to tell them to stand. The Warriors said it was made clear to them that they were not welcome at the White House. Curry had said he did not want to go anyway, but the Warriors had not made a collective decision before Saturday – and had planned to discuss it in the morning before the president's tweet, to which coach Steve Kerr said : "Not surprised. He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him." Others had far stronger reactions. "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going!" James tweeted in a clear message to the president – a post that Twitter officials said was quickly shared many more times than any other he's sent. "So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!" Curry appreciated James' strong stance. "That's a pretty strong statement," Curry said. "I think it's bold, it's courageous for any guy to speak up, let alone a guy that has as much to lose as LeBron does and other notable figures in the league. We all have to kind of stand as one the best we can." Curry added that he doesn't believe Trump "respects the majority of Americans in this country." James also released a video Saturday, saying Trump has tried to divide the country. "He's now using sports as the platform to try to divide us," James said. "We all know how much sports brings us together. ... It's not something I can be quiet about." The Warriors said that when they go to Washington this season they will instead "celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion – the values that we embrace as an organization." General manager Bob Myers said he was surprised by the invitation being pulled, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was disappointed that the Warriors won't be at the White House. "The White House visit should be something that is celebrated," Myers said. "So we want to go to Washington, D.C., and do something to commemorate kind of who we are as an organization, what we feel, what we represent and at the same time spend our energy on that. Instead of looking backward, we want to look fo[...]


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Syria looks to peace; North Korea to attack on U.S. mainlandMahamoud Ali Youssouf, Foreign Minister of Djibouti, addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

UNITED NATIONS – Syria's foreign minister told world leaders Saturday that victory against terrorists in his war-ravaged nation "is now within reach" while North Korea's foreign minister said U.S. President Donald Trump's insult to his country makes an attack against the U.S. mainland inevitable. Global conflicts, threats and challenges dominated the fifth day of the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting, including an impassioned appeal for help from the prime minister of Dominica who said his hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island nation is in "the front line of the war on climate change." Syria's Walid al-Moualem said his country is "marching steadily" toward the goal of rooting out terrorism. He pointed to "the liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra," the end of the Islamic State extremist group's siege of Deir el-Zour, "and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria" by the Syrian army and its supporters and allies, including Russia and Iran. Russia's military said about two weeks ago that Syrian troops have liberated about 85 percent of the war-torn country's territory from militants, a major turn-around two years after Moscow intervened to lend a hand to its embattled long-time ally. But the spotlight Saturday was on North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho who said Trump's insult calling the country's leader Kim Jong Un "rocket man" makes "our rocket's visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more." Ri's speech fueled the fiery rhetoric between the U.S. president and North Korea's young leader. Trump threatened in his speech to the 193-member world body on Tuesday to "totally destroy" North Korea if provoked. Kim, in an unusual direct statement to the world, responded pledging to take "highest-level" action against the United States. Ri called the American leader "a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency" with his finger on the "nuclear button." He said Trump's "reckless and violent words" have provoked "the supreme dignity" of the country. "None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission," Ri told ministers and diplomats on Saturday. "In case innocent lives of the U.S. are lost because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible." The annual gathering of presidents, prime ministers and monarchs has taken place against a backdrop of a spate of natural disasters – hurricanes that have ravaged the Caribbean and the U.S. and a major earthquake in Mexico. Climate change already was a major issue before the leaders but these events magnified the importance of global action. "Let these extraordinary events elicit extraordinary efforts to rebuild nations sustainably," Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica told the assembly five days after Hurricane Maria swept over his country with 160 mph winds, killing 15 people, flattening homes and destroying roads. He asked other countries to lend his ravaged nation military equipment that could be used to help rebuild it, saying "our landscape reflects a zone of war" against global warming. Tiny Dominica, population 72,000, has contributed little of the greenhouse[...]


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Crystal Lake lawyer facing gun, DUI charges has law license suspendedThe Crystal Lake Police Department executed a search warrant at Donald F. Franz’s residence at 358 Dartmoor Court in Crystal Lake. Items seized during the search warrant included 36 high-powered rifles, assault rifles and shotguns; 20 assorted handguns; and thousands of rounds of firearm ammunition.Donald F. Franz, 50, a Crystal Lake lawyer facing drunken driving and weapons charges, had his law license suspended for two years and until further order of the court, according to a news release.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:57:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A Crystal Lake lawyer facing drunken driving and weapons charges had his law license suspended. The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ruled that Donald F. Franz, 50, is suspended for two years and until further order of the court, according to a news release. Franz was arrested Jan. 19 after police responded about 10:20 p.m. to North Williams Street in Crystal Lake after a report of a possible intoxicated motorist. Crystal Lake police later obtained a warrant to search Franz’s vehicle and residence. Inside, they found 36 high-powered rifles, assault-style rifles and shotguns; 20 assorted handguns; and thousands of rounds of ammunition, authorities have said. Franz is believed to be a hunter. He already was under investigation by the ARDC after threatening an ARDC employee. The commission first filed a complaint against Franz in 2014, alleging that he pressured a client to sign a promissory note requiring the client to pay a $10,000 fee for legal representation in a divorce without informing the client of his options. An additional count was added to the complaint last year, alleging that Franz challenged a client to a duel and insulted him during a dispute over fees. In October, a third count was added to the pending complaint, accusing Franz of sending threatening emails and voicemails to a former client, commission counsel Scott Renfroe and ARDC administrator Jerome Larkin. Franz allegedly threatened to kill Larkin over the ARDC’s efforts to sanction him as recently as September 2016, according to the complaint. “Jerry Larkin, my name is Don Franz. I’m the attorney you are trying to murder because of the installment note, so the day you suspend me, I’m going to stop taking my pills, I’m going to get my affairs in order, I am going to kill you. Have a nice day,” Franz allegedly said in a voicemail message to Larkin on Sept. 14, 2016. The ARDC, an agency of the Illinois Supreme Court, investigates alleged wrongdoing by Illinois attorneys, holds hearings on specific charges and recommends discipline when warranted. The state Supreme Court announced disciplinary orders Friday during the September term of court. Sanctions are imposed when lawyers become engaged in professional misconduct by violating the state’s ethics law, according to the release. Franz was licensed in 1993 and removed from the master roll March 10 after failing to register, according to the release. Franz has pleaded not guilty to all criminal charges against him, and he has tried to argue that evidence collected during his arrest cannot be used against him in court. The most serious charge, a Class 2 felony, is punishable by up to seven years in prison if convicted. He is due in court at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 30. The Crystal Lake Police Department executed a search warrant at Donald F. Franz’s residence at 358 Dartmoor Court in Crystal Lake. Items seized during the search warrant included 36 high-powered rifles, assault rifles and shotguns; 20 assorted handguns; and thousands of rounds of firearm[...]


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Former Hebron Trustee Andrew Georgi announces run for McHenry County Clerk's OfficeShaw Media file photo Former Hebron Village Trustee Andrew Georgi talks during a Village Board meeting Feb. 17, 2014. Georgi recently announced his run for the McHenry County Clerk's Office.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:56:00 GMT

Another name has been thrown into the race for the McHenry County Clerk’s Office.

Andrew Georgi, D-Hebron, announced his intent to run against McHenry County Recorder Joe Tirio, R-Woodstock.

Republican County Clerk Mary McClellan is not seeking a second term, and instead is running for circuit court judge.

Tirio ran for the recorder’s office with intentions to eliminate the position. The duties of the recorder would be folded into the clerk’s position if voters approve the plan.

Georgi said he supports consolidation when it improves efficiency and maintains or improves services. If elected, Georgi said he’d be a clerk who will fight for the people.

“With my 10 years in Marine Corps administration, almost 20 years in quality control, my time as a village of Hebron trustee, and being a part of the McHenry County Democrats for over 10 years, I believe I have the skills, knowledge and experience to be one of the best county clerks this county has had in long time,” Georgi said in a statement.

Georgi was one of the first Hebron trustees to publicly speak out after former Hebron Village President John Jacobson’s arrest on drug and firearms charges.

Georgi said he would not be a “party puppet.”

“I will work with whoever is willing to work with me to make things better,” he said.

McClellan, of Holiday Hills, said she will run for the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court seat vacated by retired Judge Maureen McIntyre.

The county clerk’s office is responsible for supervising elections and voter registration; maintaining birth, death and marriage certificates; maintaining County Board records; and taking minutes and roll call at County Board voting meetings.

Shaw Media file photo Former Hebron Village Trustee Andrew Georgi talks during a Village Board meeting Feb. 17, 2014. Georgi recently announced his run for the McHenry County Clerk's Office.


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Kitchen fire leaves Algonquin home uninhabitable

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:56:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – A kitchen fire left an Algonquin home uninhabitable Saturday morning, according to Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District officials.

The fire district responded to a call from a neighbor about 9:15 a.m. Saturday about a fire at 10 Sunset Lane in Algonquin. When crews arrived, they found heavy flames and smoke, according to the district.

No one was home at the time, and there were no injuries. The fire district put out the fire in 10 minutes.

A damage estimate was not available. The cause of the fire is under investigation.




EPA removes waste at Texas toxic sites, but won’t say from whereIn this Sept. 21, 2017, photo, a sign on a door of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington. The EPA says it has recovered 517 containers of "unidentified, potentially hazardous material‚" from highly contaminated toxic waste sites in Texas that flooded last month during Hurricane Harvey. But the agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there's a threat to human health. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:55:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency said it has recovered 517 containers of “unidentified, potentially hazardous material” from highly contaminated toxic waste sites in Texas that flooded last month during Hurricane Harvey. The agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there’s a threat to human health. The one-sentence disclosure about the 517 containers was made Friday night deep within a media release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency summarizing the government’s response to the devastating storm. At least a dozen Superfund sites in and around Houston were flooded in the days after Harvey’s record-shattering rains stopped. Associated Press journalists surveyed seven of the flooded sites by boat, vehicle and on foot. The EPA said at the time that its personnel had been unable to reach the sites, although they surveyed the locations using aerial photos. The Associated Press reported Monday that a government hotline also received calls about three spills at the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund site, a former petroleum waste processing plant outside Houston contaminated with a dangerous brew of cancer-causing chemicals. Records obtained by the AP showed workers at the site reported spills of unknown materials in unknown amounts. Local pollution control officials photographed three large tanks used to store potentially hazardous waste completely underwater on Aug. 29. The EPA later said there was no evidence that nearby Vince Bayou had been affected. PRP Group, the company formed to clean up the U.S. Oil Recovery site, said it does not know how much material leaked from the tanks, soaking into the soil or flowing into the bayou. As part of the post-storm cleanup, workers have vacuumed up 63 truckloads of potentially contaminated storm water, totaling about 315,000 gallons. It was not immediately clear whether those truckloads accounted for any of the 517 containers cited in the FEMA media release Friday. The EPA has not responded to questions from the AP about activities at U.S. Oil Recovery for more than a week. About a dozen miles east, the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site is on and around a low-lying island that was the site of a paper mill in the 1960s, leaving behind dangerous levels of dioxins and other long-lasting toxins linked to birth defects and cancer. The site was completely covered with floodwaters when the AP surveyed it Sept. 1. To prevent contaminated soil and sediments from being washed down river, about 16 acres of the site was covered in 2011 with an “armored cap” of fabric and rock. The cap was reportedly designed to last for up to 100 years, but it has required extensive repairs on at least six occasions in recent years, with large sections becoming displaced or having been washed away. The EPA has not responded to repeated inquiries over the past two weeks about whether its assessment has determined whether the cap was similarly damaged during Harvey. [...]


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Crystal Lake joins countywide program to help drug addictsFinding treatment with limited resources Laura Crain with the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition said that of the 51 people who have reached out to police departments, 38 of them qualified for the program. Of the 38, the county was able to place 27 of them in treatment facilities. “The remainder of them either didn’t get placed or, in all honesty, if you have an opioid user who is sitting for 12 hours, if they start to get sick, they get a desire to go out and use again. Sometimes they choose to leave,” Crain said. “In the hospital, it just depends on availability, and unfortunately in Illinois, we just don’t have the residential and detox resources, but we are doing everything we can.” An addict can walk into a police department in McHenry County at any time of the day and say they want to participate. If the person has drugs or paraphernalia on them, they can surrender them without fear of being arrested. The program is voluntary, and users can leave at any point. Within 30 minutes, a police officer has the person go through an intake process, and then the person is taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock, where the user will undergo a medical evaluation and assessment to determine what treatment is needed. Kenneally said that sometimes beds are not immediately available at Centegra. A new navigator position recently added to the State’s Attorney Office helps in cases where someone cannot be placed in a residential program within the first 24 hours and has to be released from the hospital. “Then the navigator follows up with them, along with local treatment providers, to make sure we can get them connected to resources,” Kenneally said. “If beds aren’t available, we’ll transport them home or to a safe place, and then check back in to make sure they get the treatment they need.” The McHenry County Mental Health Board provided $75,000 for treatment costs for those who are underinsured or uninsured.Arrests Discussion about the possibility of arresting users who come in for help arose during a recent Crystal Lake City Council meeting. Kenneally said that each department maintains the right to arrest someone if they think someone is trying to use the program in bad faith. Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black said the department will not arrest anyone unless their possession of drugs is an amount beyond personal use. He said the goal of the policy is to prevent drug dealers from claiming to be addicts to unload large quantities of heroin or other drugs.   “We are not looking to arrest subjects seeking assistance; however, if there are instances where we believe a subject may not be participating in the program in good faith or is attempting to use the program as a narcotics dealer to dispose of drugs or avoid criminal prosecution, then we keep [open] option to take action,” Black said. No one has been arrested so far, and Kenneally said he does not expect any arrests to happen. Rich Caccamo said that, with social media today, it would only take one arrest to erase the trust built by the program between the community and police. “Not only do we need full cooperation from trained and trusted officers when someone reaches out for help, but we also need to instill a relationship of trust that they can come to the police department to get help,” Rich Caccamo said. “When an individual goes to them to get help with the program, we need them to go with no fear and not be treated like a criminal, but someone who has a disease and is coming to them for help.”Raising awareness Rich Caccamo hosted an “Always Remember” event Sept. 9 in Wonder Lake to spread awareness of the heroin epidemic and the danger of overdoses. He said he hopes to host the event annually. Jeremy Caccamo left behind a fiancée whom he recently had proposed to, along with his mother, who was devastated, Rich Caccamo said. Kenneally said he has received three “thank you” cards so far from either users themselves or a family member of someone who turned their lives around. “We think it’ll help people abusing drugs and committing crimes to get out of that system,” Kenneally said. “What is going to change the dynamic is expanding the recovery community and offering people the resources they need.”

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:55:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The "A Way Out" program helped Jeremy Caccamo extend his life, his brother said. Caccamo, 29, of Wonder Lake died this summer because of a heroin overdose, but his brother, Rich Caccamo, is trying to keep his legacy alive and increase awareness of the McHenry County program. A Way Out – McHenry County aims to fast-track heroin and other drug addicts to treatment by providing a certain amount of amnesty to addicts who want help. The initiative, which started in May, is modeled after Lake County’s program, and so far has helped 51 people, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said. Crystal Lake is the latest city to join the program. It also is the largest city in McHenry County, and its police department is the second-largest law enforcement agency in the county behind the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. Woodstock is the only municipality in McHenry County not participating, but Kenneally said Woodstock is going through final legal approvals to join soon. “We thought it was particularly timely due to the opioid crisis in the county that has not only claimed a lot of lives, but has had cascading consequences across the country,” Kenneally said. The county is on pace to have more overdose deaths, particularly related to opioids, than last year, with about 50 deaths to date, Kenneally said, adding that the county sees about one person die a week. Jeremy Caccamo joined the A Way Out program and was able to get treatment from Lutheran Social Services of Illinois in Chicago. He died July 5, but Rich Caccamo said the program helped prolong his life. “It definitely gave him direction and got him into detox and treatments, but it is a disease. It’s not just a choice, and there are known to be relapses,” said Rich Caccamo, 36, of Crystal Lake. “My advice to anyone coming out of treatment is to find a 12-step program to follow and be persistent, because a lot of the people who relapse say their fallout point was to stop going to meetings because they thought they were doing better.” Finding treatment with limited resources Laura Crain with the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition said that of the 51 people who have reached out to police departments, 38 of them qualified for the program. Of the 38, the county was able to place 27 of them in treatment facilities. “The remainder of them either didn’t get placed or, in all honesty, if you have an opioid user who is sitting for 12 hours, if they start to get sick, they get a desire to go out and use again. Sometimes they choose to leave,” Crain said. “In the hospital, it just depends on availability, and unfortunately in Illinois, we just don’t have the residential and detox resources, but we are doing everything we can.” An addict can walk into a police department in McHenry County at any time of the day and say they want to participate. If the person has drugs or paraphernalia on them, they can surrender them without fear of being arrested. The program is voluntary, and users can leave at any point. Within 30 minutes, a police[...]


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Woodstock 'Groundhog Day' house opens as bed and breakfast under new ownershipLori and George Miarecki bought the house several weeks ago and had their first guests of the Cherry Tree Inn this weekend. The couple bought the place almost on a whim after staying at the home as guests when they were in town from Florida for former Woodstock High School choral director Paul Rausch’s retirement gala. “We were just looking for a place to stay,” Lori Miarecki said. “We came. We saw. We bought.”The 5,815-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 8½-bathroom home is located at 344 Fremont St. in Woodstock, close to Dick Tracy Way Park and about a half-mile from Woodstock’s historic Square.The 1800s home was featured in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day,” and guests can stay in the famed “Bill Murray suite” on the second floor. The city of Woodstock embraces its connection to the movie by hosting an annual “Groundhog Days” festival and having a mural downtown that includes Murray.But the home’s notoriety wasn’t what sparked the Miareckis' interest. “It had nothing to do with the movie. We still would have bought the house,” Lori Miarecki said. “It was just perfect. It’s a dream come true.” Lori said that she grew up working in hospitality and always wanted to own a bed and breakfast, but she hadn't found the ideal place until now.The previous owners operated a bed and breakfast out of the home on a limited basis. They also put extensive work into restoring the historic building, Lori Miarecki said. “The work that has been put into it is incredible,” she said. “They restored everything they possibly could. They retained all of the architectural details. It’s amazing.”Rooms start at $152 a night, and the Miareckis are offering 50 percent off for guests' first night if they stay a second, as listed on the inn's Airbnb listing. For information, visit cherrytreeinnbnb.com or the Cherry Tree Inn's Facebook page at facebook.com/Groundhogdayhouse.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:55:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The famed “Groundhog Day” house where Bill Murray stayed on repeat as weatherman Phil has been reopened under new ownership in Woodstock.

Lori and George Miarecki bought the house several weeks ago and had their first guests of the Cherry Tree Inn this weekend. The couple bought the place almost on a whim after staying at the home as guests when they were in town from Florida for former Woodstock High School choral director Paul Rausch’s retirement gala. “We were just looking for a place to stay,” Lori Miarecki said. “We came. We saw. We bought.”The 5,815-square-foot, eight-bedroom, 8½-bathroom home is located at 344 Fremont St. in Woodstock, close to Dick Tracy Way Park and about a half-mile from Woodstock’s historic Square.The 1800s home was featured in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day,” and guests can stay in the famed “Bill Murray suite” on the second floor. The city of Woodstock embraces its connection to the movie by hosting an annual “Groundhog Days” festival and having a mural downtown that includes Murray.But the home’s notoriety wasn’t what sparked the Miareckis' interest. “It had nothing to do with the movie. We still would have bought the house,” Lori Miarecki said. “It was just perfect. It’s a dream come true.” Lori said that she grew up working in hospitality and always wanted to own a bed and breakfast, but she hadn't found the ideal place until now.The previous owners operated a bed and breakfast out of the home on a limited basis. They also put extensive work into restoring the historic building, Lori Miarecki said. “The work that has been put into it is incredible,” she said. “They restored everything they possibly could. They retained all of the architectural details. It’s amazing.”Rooms start at $152 a night, and the Miareckis are offering 50 percent off for guests' first night if they stay a second, as listed on the inn's Airbnb listing. For information, visit cherrytreeinnbnb.com or the Cherry Tree Inn's Facebook page at facebook.com/Groundhogdayhouse.


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Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County presents keys to mother with disabilities, twin girlsWeiss applied for a new, affordable home from Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County, and she had her wish granted Saturday morning. “I’m thrilled; I’m just overwhelmed with trying to pack and everything,” Weiss said. “I’m very grateful to them.”Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve housing conditions for a number of the county’s poor and low-income families. Habitat for Humanity staff members, neighbors and volunteers, along with Jennifer and her twin daughters, Alaina and Gabrielle Weiss, both 11, gathered at the family's new home at 11 a.m. Saturday in the 5800 block of North Agatha Lane in McHenry. “Everyone likes to come together and see the end product,” Habitat for Humanity CEO and President Jerry Monica said.Jennifer Weiss had to have an emergency C-section 11 years ago, in addition to many other surgeries. She went through seven months of rehabilitation after a month in the intensive care unit before she was able to join her new family. "After moving into an apartment in McHenry eight years ago, the rent has become an ever-increasing drain on my disability income," Jennifer Weiss wrote in her letter to the nonprofit. "Unfortunately, the apartment that I have is also not set up to handle the continued weakness that I have on my left side after all of my therapy."Jennifer Weiss was connected with Habitat for Humanity through the Epilepsy Foundation and Brain Injury Health Management group, which is common, Monica said. He said partnering with other nonprofits is beneficial to both parties. Jennifer Weiss' home is the organization's 48th sold to a needy homeowner in McHenry County. Monica said Habitat for Humanity is able to provide for one in every 220 people in their demographic – McHenry County residents with a total household income of $20,000 to $40,000 a year. “Our program allows people to put roots down,” Monica said. Weiss will own the new home but at a much lower cost than other options in the county, Monica said.The home was completed using 70 percent volunteer assistance, and the nonprofit is in need of more volunteers, Monica said. “We hope to continue to expand pace,” Monica said. For information, visit habitatmchenry.org or call 815-759-9002.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:58:00 GMT

McHENRY – After recovering from an aneurysm that Jennifer Weiss had at 37 weeks pregnant, she was ready to begin her new life, but she needed some help.

Weiss applied for a new, affordable home from Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County, and she had her wish granted Saturday morning. “I’m thrilled; I’m just overwhelmed with trying to pack and everything,” Weiss said. “I’m very grateful to them.”Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve housing conditions for a number of the county’s poor and low-income families. Habitat for Humanity staff members, neighbors and volunteers, along with Jennifer and her twin daughters, Alaina and Gabrielle Weiss, both 11, gathered at the family's new home at 11 a.m. Saturday in the 5800 block of North Agatha Lane in McHenry. “Everyone likes to come together and see the end product,” Habitat for Humanity CEO and President Jerry Monica said.Jennifer Weiss had to have an emergency C-section 11 years ago, in addition to many other surgeries. She went through seven months of rehabilitation after a month in the intensive care unit before she was able to join her new family. "After moving into an apartment in McHenry eight years ago, the rent has become an ever-increasing drain on my disability income," Jennifer Weiss wrote in her letter to the nonprofit. "Unfortunately, the apartment that I have is also not set up to handle the continued weakness that I have on my left side after all of my therapy."Jennifer Weiss was connected with Habitat for Humanity through the Epilepsy Foundation and Brain Injury Health Management group, which is common, Monica said. He said partnering with other nonprofits is beneficial to both parties. Jennifer Weiss' home is the organization's 48th sold to a needy homeowner in McHenry County. Monica said Habitat for Humanity is able to provide for one in every 220 people in their demographic – McHenry County residents with a total household income of $20,000 to $40,000 a year. “Our program allows people to put roots down,” Monica said. Weiss will own the new home but at a much lower cost than other options in the county, Monica said.The home was completed using 70 percent volunteer assistance, and the nonprofit is in need of more volunteers, Monica said. “We hope to continue to expand pace,” Monica said. For information, visit habitatmchenry.org or call 815-759-9002.


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McHenry police chief set to retire; deputy chief to take overMcHenry Police Chief John Jones will retire Oct. 20 after 28 years of service with the McHenry Police Department.Deputy Police Chief John Birk will succeed Chief John Jones, effective Oct. 20. Birk has been with the McHenry Police Department since 1999 and has been the deputy chief since 2011. He is also the task force commander of the McHenry County Major Crash Investigation Assistance Team.

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:23:00 GMT

McHENRY – The city of McHenry will have a new police chief Oct. 20 after the retirement of Chief John Jones.

Jones has served on the McHenry police force for the past 28 years, working his way up from patrol officer until he was named chief seven years ago. During his time on the force, he developed a consolidated dispatch center, the School Safety Committee and the Adopt-a-School program, according to a news release from the city of McHenry.

Deputy Police Chief John Birk will succeed Jones, effective Oct. 20. Birk will formally be sworn into the position at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 in front of the City Council.

Birk has been with the McHenry Police Department since 1999 and has been the deputy chief since 2011. He also is the task force commander of the McHenry County Major Crash Investigation Assistance Team, according to the release.

“Deputy Chief Birk possesses the personal integrity, leadership qualities and technical skills required to ensure that the McHenry Police Department continues to provide the highest quality services and programs to the residents of our community,” McHenry City Administrator Derik Morefield said. “While Deputy Chief Birk will most certainly bring his own leadership style and ideas for continuing the positive evolution of the department, his promotion will ensure a seamless and stable transition.”

The city will host a retirement reception for Jones at 3:30 Oct. 19 in the City Council chambers at the McHenry Municipal Center, 333 S. Green St. Cake and refreshments will be served, and all are welcome.

McHenry Police Chief John Jones will retire Oct. 20 after 28 years of service with the McHenry Police Department.Deputy Police Chief John Birk will succeed Chief John Jones, effective Oct. 20. Birk has been with the McHenry Police Department since 1999 and has been the deputy chief since 2011. He is also the task force commander of the McHenry County Major Crash Investigation Assistance Team.


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Woodstock firefighters battle back-to-back blazes

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 00:09:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Firefighters from the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District were sent to two separate fires within about 30 minutes of each other Friday night in Woodstock, one of which resulted in an injury.

The first call came in at 6:28 p.m. Friday for a possible structure fire in the 1300 block of Portage Drive in Woodstock, Fire Capt. Scott Nieman said in an email. When firefighters arrived, the occupants of the home already had evacuated, and light smoke could be seen from the front of the structure.

"The homeowner stated she was alerted by the smoke detectors and saw smoke in the second floor and called 911," Nieman said.

Crews entered the house and found a dehumidifier smoldering on a dresser on the second floor. There were no injuries, and the damage cost about $10,000. The cause of the fire is not suspicious.

Firefighters from Harvard, Huntley and Wonder Lake assisted Woodstock firefighters at the scene.

At 6:59 p.m., the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded to the 2900 block of Raycraft Road in Woodstock, an area without fire hydrants, for another fire, Nieman said. Those who arrived first reported that flames had engulfed half of the first floor of a residence.

"They were to perform a fast attack," Nieman said.

The first responders used water to keep the fire in check, but they had to wait for other units to do anything else. Woodstock Fire Chief Michael Hill arrived at the scene to direct operations.

Firefighters from Algonquin, Cary, Crystal Lake, Harvard, Hebron, Huntley, McHenry, Marengo, Richmond, Spring Grove and Wonder Lake assisted Woodstock because of the lack of hydrants. Some units needed to bring large tanks carrying about 3,000 gallons of water.

One resident was taken to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock with injuries and remained stable, Nieman said.

The fire was estimated to cost $200,000 in damage, and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office is investigating its cause.


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Woman injured in rollover crash in WoodstockA woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.A woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.A woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:55:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – One person was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded at 11:15 a.m. Saturday to a report of a rollover crash involving two vehicles at the intersection of Route 14 and Hartland Road in Woodstock, Fire Lt. Matt Hedges said.

A 2012 Kia Soul was traveling north on Hughes Road and pulled out in front of a red Ford F-350 that was driving east on Route 14, and the two collided, according to the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.

After the collision, the Kia turned over in the intersection. The female driver had to be extricated from the vehicle, and she suffered minor injuries. She was taken to Centegra Hospital – Huntley in good condition after the crash.

The driver of the Ford had no injuries.

The woman was cited for failure to yield.

Members of the Harvard Fire Department were called to assist, and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office responded as well. The roads surrounding the crash were closed for about 30 minutes, Hedges said.

Police did not respond to comment Saturday afternoon regarding the woman's identity.

A woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.A woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.A woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.


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Volo teen reported missing Friday found safeLake County Sheriff's Office deputies found Chase Johnson, 16, of the 300 block of Shelbourne Road, Volo on Saturday morning. He was reported missing Friday night.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:46:00 GMT

VOLO – On Saturday morning, Lake County Sheriff's deputies found a 16-year-old Volo boy who went missing Friday night.

Detectives from the sheriff's office found Chase Johnson, 16, of the 300 block of Shelbourne Road, Volo, safe about 10:45 a.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the office.

"The Lake County Sheriff’s Office thanks all of the community members who offered to help and shared social media posts," the release stated.

Johnson was last seen leaving his home about 5:30 p.m. Friday. His family reported him missing later that day.

Johnson was wearing a dark blue Notre Dame T-shirt and khaki shorts when he disappeared. He is about 6 feet tall and 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Johnson did not have his cellphone with him when he left.

Lake County Sheriff's Office deputies found Chase Johnson, 16, of the 300 block of Shelbourne Road, Volo on Saturday morning. He was reported missing Friday night.


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Woman injured after Woodstock rollover crashThe Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded at 11:15 a.m. Saturday to a report of a rollover crash involving two vehicles at the intersection of Route 14 and Hartland Road in Woodstock, Fire Lt. Matt Hedges said. A 2012 Kia Soul was traveling north on Hughes Road and pulled out in front of a red Ford F-350 that was driving east on Route 14, and the two collided, according to the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.After the collision, the Kia turned over in the intersection. The female driver had to be extricated from the vehicle, and she suffered minor injuries. She was taken to Centegra Hospital – Huntley in good condition after the crash. The driver of the Ford had no injuries. The woman was cited for failure to yield.Members of the Harvard Fire Department were called to assist, and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office responded as well. The roads surrounding the crash were closed for about 30 minutes, Hedges said. Police did not respond to comment Saturday afternoon regarding the woman's identity.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 19:18:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A woman was injured after a two-car collision caused one vehicle to roll over Saturday morning in Woodstock.

The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded at 11:15 a.m. Saturday to a report of a rollover crash involving two vehicles at the intersection of Route 14 and Hartland Road in Woodstock, Fire Lt. Matt Hedges said. A 2012 Kia Soul was traveling north on Hughes Road and pulled out in front of a red Ford F-350 that was driving east on Route 14, and the two collided, according to the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.After the collision, the Kia turned over in the intersection. The female driver had to be extricated from the vehicle, and she suffered minor injuries. She was taken to Centegra Hospital – Huntley in good condition after the crash. The driver of the Ford had no injuries. The woman was cited for failure to yield.Members of the Harvard Fire Department were called to assist, and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office responded as well. The roads surrounding the crash were closed for about 30 minutes, Hedges said. Police did not respond to comment Saturday afternoon regarding the woman's identity.


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GOP's 'Obamacare' repeal all but dead; McCain deals the blowSen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters July 27 on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:08:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party’s years of vows to kill the program. It was the second time in three months the 81-year-old McCain emerged as the destroyer of his party’s signature promise to voters. “I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said of the bill, co-written by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, his best friend in the Senate, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. “Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.” McCain, who is battling brain cancer in the twilight of a remarkable career, said he could not “in good conscience” vote for the legislation. That all but ensured a major setback for President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and appeared likely to deepen rifts between congressional Republicans and a president who has begun making deals with Democrats out of frustration with his own party’s failure to turn proposals into laws. During the election campaign Trump had pledged to quickly kill President Barack Obama’s health care program – “It will be easy,” he said – and he has publicly chided McConnell for not winning passage before now. With the Arizona senator’s defection, there are now two declared GOP “no” votes on the repeal legislation, the other being Rand Paul of Kentucky. With Democrats unanimously opposed, that’s the exact number McConnell can afford to lose. But Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins said Friday she, too, is leaning against the bill, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also was a possible “no,” making it highly unlikely that McConnell can prevail. So once again, the GOP seems destined to fail on a campaign promise that every Republican agreed on – right up until the party obtained full control of Congress and the White House this year and actually was in position to follow through. There was no immediate reaction from Trump. But Vice President Mike Pence said the fight wasn’t over. “This is not going to be easy. Some have gone so far as to announce their opposition already,” he said. “President Trump and I are undeterred.” Graham, too, vowed in a statement to “press on,” and reaffirmed his friendship with McCain. Up until McCain’s announcement Friday, close McConnell allies still were optimistic McCain’s relationship with Graham might make the difference. GOP leaders hoped to bring the legislation to the Senate floor next week. They face a Sept. 30 deadline, at which point special rules that prevent a Democratic filibuster will expir[...]


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Families of missing in Mexico quake still hold out hopeA handler and his rescue dog look for victims at the site of a quake-collapsed seven-story building in Mexico City's Roma Norte neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Mexican officials are promising to keep up the search for survivors as rescue operations stretch into a fourth day following Tuesday's major earthquake that devastated Mexico City and nearby states. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:08:00 GMT

MEXICO CITY – Hope mixed with fear Friday on a 60-foot stretch of a bike lane in downtown Mexico City, where families huddled under tarps and donated blankets, awaiting word of their loved ones trapped in the four-story-high pile of rubble behind them. On Day 4 of the search for survivors of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that brought down the seven-floor office building and many others, killing at least 293 people, hope rose and fell on the small things. A change in the weather, word that Japanese rescuers – strangers from half a world away – had joined the recovery effort, officials’ assurances that people remained alive inside, a call from a familiar number. For Patricia Fernandez Romero, who spent the morning on a yellow folding stool under a handwritten list with the names of the 46 missing, it was remembering how badly her 27-year-old son, Ivan Colin Fernandez, sang and realizing how much she wanted to hear him again. “There are moments when you feel like you’re breaking down,” Fernandez said. “And there are moments when you’re a little calmer. ... They are all moments that you wouldn’t wish on anyone.” The families have been camped out since the quake hit Tuesday. More than half of the dead –155 – perished in the capital, while another 73 died in the state of Morelos, 45 in Puebla, 13 in Mexico State, six in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca. Along the bike lane, where families slept in tents, accepting food and coffee from strangers, people have organized to present a united front to authorities, who they pressed ceaselessly for information about their loved ones. They were told that water and food had been passed along to at least some of those trapped inside. On Friday morning, after hours of inactivity blamed on rain, rescuers were readying to re-enter the site, joined by teams from Japan and Israel. Fernandez said officials told them they knew where people were trapped on the fourth floor. It’s the moments between those bits of information that torment the families. “It’s that you get to a point when you’re so tense, when they don’t come out to give us information,” she said. “It’s so infuriating.” Jose Gutierrez, a civil engineer attached to the rescue who has a relative trapped in the wreckage, gathered other families of the missing to let them know what was going on. “My family is in there. I want them to get out,” Gutierrez said, his voice breaking. “So ... we go onward.” A roller coaster of emotions played out Friday for Roberta Villegas Miguel, who was awaiting word of her 37-year-old son, Paulino Estrada Villegas, an accountant who worked on the fourth floor and is married with two young daughters. Wrapped in a fuzzy turquoise blanket against the morn[...]


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Mental exams ordered for suspect in Illinois school shootingA student watches as police and other officials discuss their response at Mattoon High School after a shooting incident in the school Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Mattoon, Ill. Police in central Illinois say a teacher subdued a male student who shot and wounded another student in a high school cafeteria, and the suspect is in custody. Officials said the injured student is in stable condition at a local hospital.(Dave Fopay/Journal Gazette via AP)

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:07:00 GMT

CHARLESTON – A judge ordered a central Illinois high school student to undergo mental evaluations and remain in juvenile custody after the freshman was charged with opening fire in the school cafeteria and injuring another student.

The student faces a count of aggravated battery with a firearm after Wednesday’s shooting at Mattoon High School that left one student shot and in stable condition at a hospital. A judge during a Thursday hearing granted the evaluation requests from the student’s public defender. The boy’s parents agreed to the evaluations.

Coles County State’s Attorney Brian Bower, citing details and interviews from the Mattoon Police Department’s investigation, told the judge that the boy had a semi-automatic handgun.

Teacher Angela McQueen grabbed the boy’s arm as he fired at a girl, Bower said. The gunshot missed the girl but hit another student in the upper chest. More shots were fired into the cafeteria ceiling before McQueen subdued the boy, the prosecutor said. No details about motive were revealed.

Mattoon Police Chief Jeff Branson said the teacher’s intervention was pivotal.

“Had the teacher not responded as quickly as she had, I think the situation would have been a lot different,” Branson said Wednesday.

Mattoon School District 2 Superintendent Larry Lilly said he visited the injured student in the hospital.

“With permission from his father, I can share his son is smiling, in stable condition, in good spirits and joked about catching some slack on his grades,” Lilly said.

The teen is next due in court Oct. 5. Mattoon is about 180 miles south of Chicago.

A student watches as police and other officials discuss their response at Mattoon High School after a shooting incident in the school Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Mattoon, Ill. Police in central Illinois say a teacher subdued a male student who shot and wounded another student in a high school cafeteria, and the suspect is in custody. Officials said the injured student is in stable condition at a local hospital.(Dave Fopay/Journal Gazette via AP)


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Date set for public meeting to discuss Crystal Lake park restoration projectSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Construction for the high priority Fetzner Park Riparian Restoration Project in Crystal Lake was put on hold Thursday Sept. 21, 2017 after the Crystal Lake Park District and other city officials received numerous phone calls from concerned residents.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:32:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake Park District set a date to further discuss what has become the controversial Fetzner Park riparian restoration project.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 in the lower level of the Park District building, 1 E. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake.

The meeting will be held “to address concerns and to provide further information about the project,” according to a post on the Park District’s website.

The Park District stopped work on the project Thursday because of numerous complaints from residents who live near Fetzner Park.

For information, contact Ann Viger, director of planning and development, at 815-459-0680, ext. 1205, or aviger@crystallakeparks.org.

Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Construction for the high priority Fetzner Park Riparian Restoration Project in Crystal Lake was put on hold Thursday Sept. 21, 2017 after the Crystal Lake Park District and other city officials received numerous phone calls from concerned residents.


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Woodstock man, 4 others injured in 2-car collision near Illinois-Wisconsin borderA Woodstock man, two Wisconsin women and two children under the age of 6 years old were injured in a collision Thursday afternoon near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:28:00 GMT

A Woodstock man, two Wisconsin women and two children younger than 6 years old were injured in a collision Thursday afternoon near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a traffic crash involving two cars with multiple injuries about 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Route 14 and Stateline Road in Walworth, Wisconsin, according to a news release from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office.

A Wisconsin woman and her 5-year-old son had been ejected from a vehicle.

When emergency responders arrived, they found a white Chevy pickup truck near the front of a house on the southeast corner of the intersection with extensive front-end damage and a blue Chrysler minivan south of the intersection with extensive passenger side damage.

“Neither of these vehicles struck the house or anything other than each other,” the release said.

Preliminary investigation shows the minivan was traveling west on Stateline Road when it failed to yield at a stop sign and entered the intersection. The pickup truck, which was traveling south on Route 14, hit the van.

A 57-year-old woman from Darien, Wisconsin, was driving the minivan. Her 31-year-old female passenger, who also is from Darien, Wisconsin, was ejected from the vehicle, as was the 31-year-old’s 5-year-old son. A 2-year-old boy also was in the car. All four were taken to area hospitals for their injuries.

A 51-year-old Woodstock man was driving the pickup truck and had a 19-year-old Woodstock man as his passenger. The 51-year-old also was taken to a hospital, but the 19-year-old was not.

None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, but the conditions of those involved are unknown, according to the release. Some with multiple injuries were treated immediately at the scene.

The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.

Police declined to release the victims’ identities, citing the ongoing investigation.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, village of Walworth Police Department, Walworth and Harvard Fire and Rescue, Paratech Ambulance Service, Mercy MD-1 and Flight for Life assisted the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

A Woodstock man, two Wisconsin women and two children under the age of 6 years old were injured in a collision Thursday afternoon near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.


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Crystal Lake craft store closes shop, moves to EtsyThe buy, sell and trade retail outlet for craft goods has been open for three and a half years, but recently saw a turn in sales with more buyers online than in store, owner Louise Steinbach said. Steinbach said Etsy has had the biggest reach for selling goods online, with orders coming throughout the U.S. and internationally. The store’s last day is Saturday, and it will close with a blow-out sale at 37 N. Williams St. in the Pinehurst Square Strip Mall. Craft classes still will continue at 39 N. Williams in the newly renovated basement of Pilates Body by Kristen. A calendar of classes and event information can be found online at www.eventbrite.com/o/fabric-fiber-amp-finds-7751572823.Classes offered include group and private events from knitting, crochet, paint ‘n sips and wine ‘n woods. Steinbach said the store is one-of-a-kind, with 80 percent of its inventory reclaimed from other crafters. “The audience for vintage fabric, patterns and antique sewing machines is bigger than Crystal Lake or McHenry County, it is more universal,” Steinbach said. However, she said she could not compete with other online vendors because she had to increase prices to be able to pay for the storefront. “With having to pay the overhead for a storefront and being the only employee, that becomes very tiresome,” Steinbach said. “I have family from out of town, and I was having trouble getting out of the store to go see them, so it just came to a point where I thought I could have this on Etsy, and it has turned out to be very good. I’ve been shipping to London, China and the Netherlands.”The store relocated to the downtown area in July 2016, filling the last retail vacancy downtown. Heather Maieritsch, economic development manager for the city of Crystal Lake, said the demand for the downtown area still is very strong. “It’s really exciting that there is such a strong demand to be within the downtown area, and we have a lot of small business owners that want to be there,” Maieritsch said. “We are sad to see Fabric, Fiber & Finds close, but we have already gotten a lot of calls from different business concepts for that space.” Other vacancies downtown include the former Le Petit Marche – Dawn’s Bread location, 19 N. Williams St., and two retail spaces in the Brink Street Market shopping center, 40 N. Williams St.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:19:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Fabric, Fiber & Finds craft store is closing its brick-and-mortar store in Crystal Lake and moving online.

The buy, sell and trade retail outlet for craft goods has been open for three and a half years, but recently saw a turn in sales with more buyers online than in store, owner Louise Steinbach said. Steinbach said Etsy has had the biggest reach for selling goods online, with orders coming throughout the U.S. and internationally. The store’s last day is Saturday, and it will close with a blow-out sale at 37 N. Williams St. in the Pinehurst Square Strip Mall. Craft classes still will continue at 39 N. Williams in the newly renovated basement of Pilates Body by Kristen. A calendar of classes and event information can be found online at www.eventbrite.com/o/fabric-fiber-amp-finds-7751572823.Classes offered include group and private events from knitting, crochet, paint ‘n sips and wine ‘n woods. Steinbach said the store is one-of-a-kind, with 80 percent of its inventory reclaimed from other crafters. “The audience for vintage fabric, patterns and antique sewing machines is bigger than Crystal Lake or McHenry County, it is more universal,” Steinbach said. However, she said she could not compete with other online vendors because she had to increase prices to be able to pay for the storefront. “With having to pay the overhead for a storefront and being the only employee, that becomes very tiresome,” Steinbach said. “I have family from out of town, and I was having trouble getting out of the store to go see them, so it just came to a point where I thought I could have this on Etsy, and it has turned out to be very good. I’ve been shipping to London, China and the Netherlands.”The store relocated to the downtown area in July 2016, filling the last retail vacancy downtown. Heather Maieritsch, economic development manager for the city of Crystal Lake, said the demand for the downtown area still is very strong. “It’s really exciting that there is such a strong demand to be within the downtown area, and we have a lot of small business owners that want to be there,” Maieritsch said. “We are sad to see Fabric, Fiber & Finds close, but we have already gotten a lot of calls from different business concepts for that space.” Other vacancies downtown include the former Le Petit Marche – Dawn’s Bread location, 19 N. Williams St., and two retail spaces in the Brink Street Market shopping center, 40 N. Williams St.


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Report: Faulty part caused 2015 helicopter crash that killed Army pilot from McHenryU.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Mose WeissProvided photo of Kevin Mose WeissKevin Mose Weiss, age 32, of Clarksville, Tennessee, and formerly of McHenry, died Dec. 2, 2015, in a U.S. Army helicopter training accident near Clarksville, Tennessee.Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com From left: Bethany Weiss, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Mose Weiss, along with his mother and father, Susan and Kevin Weiss, smile as they watch a collection of home movies memorializing the life of their loved one on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 at Harvest Bible Chapel in Crystal Lake. Weiss was killed in a helicopter crash during a training exercise in Tennessee.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:15:00 GMT

McHENRY – The helicopter crash that killed two Army pilots, including one from McHenry, in December 2015 was caused by an improperly installed part, according to a U.S. Army incident report. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Mose Weiss, 32, of McHenry, and Alex Caraballo-Leon, 35, of Patillas, Puerto Rico, were killed when the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter they were flying out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, crashed in Tennessee during a training exercise, according to a news release from the 101st Airborne Division based there and a story from Military.com. The pilots had about 20 seconds to notice the helicopter was in serious trouble as it flew 700 feet above the ground, according to Military.com. The incident report found the crash was unavoidable once the small part malfunctioned. A spokesman for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell said the safety of soldiers is paramount, and the post is doing everything it can to prevent a similar occurrence. Weiss, the oldest of eight children, was known to his family and friends by his middle name of “Mose,” which was the nickname of his grandfather. “He was fun. He was hardworking. He was loyal,” Weiss’ father, also named Kevin, has said. Hundreds of people gathered to remember Weiss at his funeral in December 2015. Weiss attended McHenry public schools through fourth grade, and was then home-schooled until his sophomore year in high school. He then attended Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights and graduated in 2001. It also was in McHenry that he met his future wife, Beth, through the Christian youth group Awana. He joined the Army at age 19, and married Beth the following year. After nine years working in intelligence, his father said, he decided to do something more adventurous. He ended up in aviation, said his mother, Susan Weiss, motivated by his grandfather, who was a pilot in World War II. Weiss went through the Army’s grueling Ranger school, and almost immediately after graduation went to flight school. He flew a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Weiss had two children: Lucas Mose and Susan Jane. • The Associated Press contributed to this report. U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Mose WeissProvided photo of Kevin Mose WeissKevin Mose Weiss, age 32, of Clarksville, Tennessee, and formerly of McHenry, died Dec. 2, 2015, in a U.S. Army helicopter training accident near Clarksville, Tennessee.Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com From left: Bethany Weiss, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kevin Mose Weiss, along with his mother and father, Susan and Kevin Weiss, smile as they watch a collection of home movies memorializing the life of their loved one on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 [...]


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Judge orders Woodstock sex offender to remain in custodyIllinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the ruling in a news release Friday. Robert L. Bacci, 47, of Woodstock was convicted in 2014 of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child who was 5 years old at the time.McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Prather ruled that Bacci must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment at the state’s Sexually Violent Persons Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville, according to a news release from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. “The offender’s history of sex offenses clearly shows the danger his release would pose to the community,” Madigan said in a statement. “I appreciate the judge’s decision to prevent him from re-entering society.”Bacci is serving a two-year prison sentence after his 2014 conviction. Prather previously ruled in 2015 that Bacci remain locked up.Bacci has an extensive criminal history, but in his most recent case, authorities said he approached a 5-year-old girl in a Woodstock laundromat. Bacci began talking to her about her shoes, and attempted to take off her shoes and socks, according to reports. Police said Bacci did this for purposes of sexual gratification.Bacci’s sexual assault history dates back to when he was 21. In 1992, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated criminal sexual assault with force and aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a victim between ages 13 and 16. He was sentenced to seven years in jail in 1999 for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child younger than 13. Bacci’s criminal history also includes a felony loitering charge in 2002 and felony violations of his sex offender registration in 2005 and 2011.Attorneys from Madigan’s office prosecute cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.“To be committed under the Act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Prosecutors must also prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody,” the release states. “Once committed to IDHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.” Assistant Attorneys General Elizabeth Cox and Aimee Snow handled the case for Madigan’s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:13:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge ordered a convicted sex offender with an admitted sexual foot fetish to remain in a state treatment facility because he continues to pose a danger to the community.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the ruling in a news release Friday. Robert L. Bacci, 47, of Woodstock was convicted in 2014 of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child who was 5 years old at the time.McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Prather ruled that Bacci must remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment at the state’s Sexually Violent Persons Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville, according to a news release from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. “The offender’s history of sex offenses clearly shows the danger his release would pose to the community,” Madigan said in a statement. “I appreciate the judge’s decision to prevent him from re-entering society.”Bacci is serving a two-year prison sentence after his 2014 conviction. Prather previously ruled in 2015 that Bacci remain locked up.Bacci has an extensive criminal history, but in his most recent case, authorities said he approached a 5-year-old girl in a Woodstock laundromat. Bacci began talking to her about her shoes, and attempted to take off her shoes and socks, according to reports. Police said Bacci did this for purposes of sexual gratification.Bacci’s sexual assault history dates back to when he was 21. In 1992, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated criminal sexual assault with force and aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a victim between ages 13 and 16. He was sentenced to seven years in jail in 1999 for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child younger than 13. Bacci’s criminal history also includes a felony loitering charge in 2002 and felony violations of his sex offender registration in 2005 and 2011.Attorneys from Madigan’s office prosecute cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.“To be committed under the Act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Prosecutors must also prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if released from custody,” the release states. “Once committed to IDHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.” Assistant Attorneys General Elizabeth Cox and Aimee Snow handled the case for Madigan’s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.


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Lakemoor fire destroys deck

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:09:00 GMT

LAKEMOOR – An early morning fire Friday in Lakemoor destroyed a deck, according to a news release from the McHenry Township Fire Protection District.

Firefighters were dispatched about 2 a.m. to the 200 block of West Sunset Drive for a wooden deck fire, according to the release.

The fire was caused by hot embers coming out of a charcoal grill dropped onto the deck, fire officials said.

The fire caused an estimated $3,000 in damage to the deck, which is a total loss, according to the release. The fire quickly was extinguished and did not damage the home attached to the deck.

There were no injuries from the fire.


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Illinois Lottery picks new private manager

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:08:00 GMT

CHICAGO – The Illinois Lottery chose a Chicago company Friday to run the state’s lottery, but details on how much the company will be paid haven’t been released.

The Illinois Lottery awarded its private management contract to Camelot Illinois LLC, a Chicago-based subsidiary of the family of companies, Camelot Group, which runs the national lottery in the United Kingdom.

“Camelot has shown more than a decade of success in managing lotteries throughout the world,” Acting Lottery Director Greg Smith said in a statement. “The Lottery and Camelot Illinois have common goals to responsibly grow the Lottery’s player base, align incentives, eliminate conflicts of interest, introduce new technology and innovation, and ensure responsiveness to public needs and concerns.”

A proposed 10-year contract is based on a revised structure that aligns financial incentives and includes new permanent point-of-sale at retailers, new games and a next-generation iLottery platform that supports omni-channel lottery participation, according to a news release.

The contract mandates transparency and regular audits. Camelot will reinforce the Lottery’s commitment to responsible gaming and social responsibility by pursuing World Lottery Association Level 4 standards, the release said.

In 2009, the Illinois Legislature mandated a private management model for the Lottery. Northstar Lottery Group LLC, the Lottery’s first private manager, will continue to provide management services to the Lottery until a successful transition is complete. Illinois lawmakers voted in 2009 to hire a private company to run the state’s $2 billion-a-year lottery. At the time, they had high hopes of making more money that could be funneled into education and construction projects. Then the company missed sales goals, and two governors tried to fire Northstar Lottery Group. But Northstar remained on the job more than two years later, and the firm was able to collect millions of dollars more in fees than under its original contract, an Associated Press review found.

Northstar, the Lottery’s first private manager, will continue to provide management services to the Lottery until a successful transition is complete, the release said.

Under the termination agreement Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office negotiated with Northstar, the company may receive up to $17 million a year in “disentanglement fees” in addition to management fees of up to $14 million annually.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.




McHenry High School District 156 plans manufacturing trades expoRob Jessup, president of Jessup Manufacturing in McHenry, gives a tour of the factory to local educators and city officials Friday ahead of a McHenry High School District 156 manufacturing and trades industry expo.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:07:00 GMT

McHENRY – McHenry School District 156 is planning a career expo that focuses on the manufacturing trades industry in collaboration with the city of McHenry, McHenry County College and more than 50 businesses. The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at McHenry High School East Campus, 1012 N. Green St. The expo will feature more than 50 exhibitors. The event is open to any middle or high school student or parent in McHenry County. Educators, workforce and economic development leaders met with city officials Friday to discuss the expo and its importance at a tour of Jessup Manufacturing in McHenry. The company runs McHenry and Lake Bluff locations and frequently has difficulty filling positions, company President Rob Jessup said. The trade event and the partnerships are a way to ensure McHenry County students have the best chance for success after they leave high school, District 156 Superintendent Ryan McTauge said. “Our No. 1 priority is to make sure our students leave us with every option and every opportunity available to them,” McTauge said. “By partnering with community business leaders, by partnering with manufacturing representatives … we can ensure that success. We can make sure we have the right curricular pathways. We can make sure we have the right interactions and connection so our kids have every opportunity.” District 156 offers manufacturing and trades curriculum for its students, and McHenry County College offers various trades programs as well. MCC President Clinton Gabbard said the importance of events such as this include raising awareness. “The only way you can share manufacturing is to get them into these places to see what they do,” Gabbard said. “It’s not just the cool factor. It’s the standard of living factor. The ability to support families and have a great lifestyle here. You can’t do that until you somehow get them to connect that with what is going on in manufacturing.” This will be the district’s second annual event, and officials project that hundreds of students from around the county will attend. Seniors who attend and plan to enter secondary trade or technical areas are eligible to win one of three $1,000 scholarships. Any student who attends is eligible to win signed Blackhawks memorabilia. McHenry Economic Development Director Doug Martin said one of the goals important to the city and the county at large is to grow the workforce. “People don’t understand what these companies do here and the impact that they have,” Martin s[...]


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Woodstock man, 4 others injured in 2-car collision near Illinois-Wisconsin borderThe Walworth County Sheriff's Office received a report of a traffic crash involving two cars with multiple injuries about 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Route 14 and Stateline Road in Walworth, Wisconsin, according to a news release from the Walworth County Sheriff's Office. A Wisconsin woman and her 5-year-old son had been ejected from a vehicle.When emergency responders arrived, they found a white Chevy pickup truck near the front of a house on the southeast corner of the intersection with extensive front-end damage and a blue Chrysler minivan south of the intersection with extensive passenger side damage. "Neither of these vehicles struck the house or anything other than each other," the release stated.Preliminary investigation shows the minivan was westbound on Stateline Road when it failed to yield to a stop sign and entered the intersection. The pickup truck, which was southbound on Highway 14, hit the van.A 57-year-old woman from Darien, Wisconsin, was driving the minivan. Her 31-year-old female passenger, who is also from Darien, Wisconsin, was ejected from the vehicle, as was the 31 year old's 5-year-old son. A 2-year-old boy was also in the car. All four were transported to area hospitals for their injuries. A 51-year-old Woodstock man was driving the pickup truck and had a 19-year-old Woodstock man as his passenger. The 51 year old was also transported to a hospital, but the 19-year-old was not.None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, but the conditions of those involved are unknown at this time, according to the release. Some with multiple injuries were treated immediately at the scene. The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit continues to investigate the crash. Police declined to release the victims' identities, citing the ongoing investigation. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Village of Walworth Police Department, Walworth and Harvard Fire and Rescue, Paratech Ambulance Service, Mercy MD-1 and Flight for Life assisted the Walworth County Sheriff's Office at the scene.

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 05:07:00 GMT

A Woodstock man, two Wisconsin women and two children under the age of 6 years old were injured in a collision Thursday afternoon near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.

The Walworth County Sheriff's Office received a report of a traffic crash involving two cars with multiple injuries about 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Route 14 and Stateline Road in Walworth, Wisconsin, according to a news release from the Walworth County Sheriff's Office. A Wisconsin woman and her 5-year-old son had been ejected from a vehicle.When emergency responders arrived, they found a white Chevy pickup truck near the front of a house on the southeast corner of the intersection with extensive front-end damage and a blue Chrysler minivan south of the intersection with extensive passenger side damage. "Neither of these vehicles struck the house or anything other than each other," the release stated.Preliminary investigation shows the minivan was westbound on Stateline Road when it failed to yield to a stop sign and entered the intersection. The pickup truck, which was southbound on Highway 14, hit the van.A 57-year-old woman from Darien, Wisconsin, was driving the minivan. Her 31-year-old female passenger, who is also from Darien, Wisconsin, was ejected from the vehicle, as was the 31 year old's 5-year-old son. A 2-year-old boy was also in the car. All four were transported to area hospitals for their injuries. A 51-year-old Woodstock man was driving the pickup truck and had a 19-year-old Woodstock man as his passenger. The 51 year old was also transported to a hospital, but the 19-year-old was not.None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, but the conditions of those involved are unknown at this time, according to the release. Some with multiple injuries were treated immediately at the scene. The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Crash Investigation Unit continues to investigate the crash. Police declined to release the victims' identities, citing the ongoing investigation. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Village of Walworth Police Department, Walworth and Harvard Fire and Rescue, Paratech Ambulance Service, Mercy MD-1 and Flight for Life assisted the Walworth County Sheriff's Office at the scene.


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Live updates from Friday night football in McHenry County: Week 5Cary-Grove's Max Skol runs the ball during the third quarter of Friday's football game against Jacobs Sept. 15, 2017. Cary-Grove won, 52-26.

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:40:00 GMT

Looking for live updates from Friday night football games throughout McHenry County in Week 3? We've got you covered.

First, if you don't already, give us a like on Facebook so you don't miss the full recap from any game.

We also put out a weekly newsletter recapping the night. You can sign up here.

For live updates from indivdiual games, our list is below:

Dixon at Woodstock

Richmond-Burton at Woodstock North

Harvard at Marengo

Johnsburg at Burlington Central

Bartlett at Prairie Ridge

McHenry at Jacobs

Crystal Lake South at Dundee-Crown

Crystal Lake Central at Hampshire

Cary-Grove at Huntley

Marian Central at Joliet Catholic

Cary-Grove's Max Skol runs the ball during the third quarter of Friday's football game against Jacobs Sept. 15, 2017. Cary-Grove won, 52-26.


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Route 14, State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie reopens after crashThe area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:27:00 GMT

BIG FOOT PRAIRIE – The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.

A Nixle alert sent by the McHenry County Sheriff's Office about 3 p.m. Thursday asked people to avoid the area for a couple of hours. Another alert sent about 5:30 p.m. said the roads had reopened.

The crash appeared to have involved a minivan and a truck. The truck appeared to have crashed into a house.

Harvard fire officials could not be reached for comment Friday morning, and Walworth, Wisconsin, fire officials declined to comment citing Walworth County Sheriff's Office's ongoing investigation.

Sheriff's office officials had not returned calls seeking comment Friday morning.

The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.The area around Route 14 and State Line Road near Big Foot Prairie closed for two hours Thursday because of a car crash.


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http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/09/21/8ab0eb6f7a8f4ac0a5896570345b9142/e0739296-7a7e-4754-97bf-9545234914fa/image-pv_web.jpg