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Only one Crystal Lake store fails April alcohol compliance check

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:02:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Only one of 80 establishments checked for alcohol compliance by city police this month failed the test, Crystal Lake police said Friday.

Sunrise Tobacco & Liquors, 450 N. Route 31, was cited by police for selling alcohol to a minor. Police check for compliance by sending people under the age of 21 into establishments with liquor licenses and attempt to purchase alcohol.

The store’s adjudication hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 9 at City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St.

City ordinance sets forth a progressive discipline process for liquor violations within a five-year period. A first offense comes with a $750 fine, while a second offense comes with a $1,500 fine and a suspension. A third offense in a five-year period comes with a $2,500 fine and can be grounds for revoking the license.

The sting comes as a Route 14 restaurant began serving a two-week suspension for racking up two offenses in five years.

The city and the police department created a system by which participating businesses can test their own employees to ensure compliance with liquor laws. Besides encouraging best practices, a participating business that fails an official compliance check can get some leniency on the penalty.




Woman charged in crash that killed Woodstock mom pleads guilty to aggravated DUISheree Ann Shaw

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:01:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK — A Wisconsin woman faces up to 26 years in prison after she admitted to being under the influence of heroin during a 2016 McHenry crash that seriously injured a motorcyclist and killed the passenger.

Sheree Ann Shaw, 46, entered a blind guilty plea Friday to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 and Class 4 felony, respectively. She faces between three and 14 years in prison on the Class 2 felony and one to 12 years on the Class 4 felony. If she is sentenced to prison on both charges they must be served consecutively and at 85 percent, according to state law.

There is no agreement between Shaw's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos and Assistant State's Attorney Michael Combs. She will be sentenced by McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather on June 29.

Prosecutors said Shaw was driving a 2002 Ford Taurus near the 2500 block of Richmond Road on May 6 when she attempted to change lanes several times, crossed into a no-passing zone and struck a 2007 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. The motorcycle was driven by Mike Thornton, 40, with passenger Amy Thornton, his wife of nearly 19 years.

The two were on an excursion discussing college plans for their son who was about to graduate from Woodstock North High School. The Woodstock couple had two sons, Zach and Michael, and Amy Thornton, 42, worked as a nurse for 20 years.

She died nine days after the crash at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Mike Thornton, 39, sustained a shattered left shoulder and left pelvis and has since had six surgeries.

Mike Thornton outside court Friday said he was thought it was "awesome" that Shaw pleaded guilty because the case will soon be resolved.

He said he is looking to return back to work at Black Diamond Plumbing & Mechanical in the near future, but has no plans to get back on a motorcycle.

"I don't want to put my life in anyone else's hands again," he said.

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

Shaw failed to appear in McHenry County court June 7 and Prather issued a warrant for her arrest. She was extradited from Las Vegas after missing court appearances in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Authorities have said Shaw was visiting family in Las Vegas when she was arrested.

Sheree Ann Shaw


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President Trump: 'I thought it would be easier'President Donald Trump, accompanied by Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, center right, and veterans, signs an Executive Order on "Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection" at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:34:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is sounding wistful as he reflects on his first 100 days on the job.

The president says he "loved" his "previous life. I had so many things going."

He says his new gig is "more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

The president is also lamenting his loss of privacy, describing life in the White House as being in "your own little cocoon."

The president made his comments in an interview with Reuters, one of several he's done to mark his first 100 days.

He also told Reuters he'd like to see a diplomatic resolution to escalating tensions with North Korea.

But he warns, "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict" with the country.

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, center right, and veterans, signs an Executive Order on "Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection" at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Thursday, April 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


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France's dark Nazi history colors presidential campaignFrench far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen addresses supporters during an election campaign rally in Nice, southern France, Thursday April 27, 2017. After "the battle of Whirlpool," when Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron both went hunting for France's blue-collar vote at a threatened home appliance factory, the presidential candidates clashed over fish as Le Pen boarded a fishing trawler, in a return to more traditional campaigning on Thursday. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:32:00 GMT

PARIS – France's troubled wartime past is taking center stage Friday in the country's highly charged presidential race, as centrist Emmanuel Macron visited the site of France's worst Nazi massacre and Marine Le Pen's far-right party suffered a new blow over alleged Holocaust denial. Seeking the moral high ground, Macron wants to send a message to voters that Le Pen isn't a candidate like any other, but the heir of a party stained by anti-Semitism, racism and an outdated worldview. Le Pen's years-long efforts to detoxify her party's image — efforts that have brought her one step away from the presidency — endured a new setback Friday, when the leader of her National Front party quit because of an uproar over past remarks allegedly questioning the Nazi gas chambers. French emotions around France's history of collaborating with the Nazis remain raw, seven decades after the war's end. The country has never undergone a national atonement; instead many people still view the actions of the collaborationist Vichy regime as a historical anomaly instead of atrocities committed by the French state. Macron sought to bring the horrors of the Holocaust home to voters with his visit Friday to Oradour-sur-Glane, a ghost town left behind after the largest massacre in Nazi-occupied France. The town is today a phantom village, with burned-out cars and abandoned buildings left as testimony to its history. On June 10, 1944, four days after the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, an SS armored division herded villagers into barns and a church, blocked the doors, and set Oradour-sur-Glane ablaze. A total of 642 men, women and children died. Only six people survived. In comments to local newspapers published on Friday, Macron said "we don't want to forget that from here, from Oradour, comes our Republican pride, the National Council of the Resistance that has built our (fundamental) balances, our strength and the European project. That is, everything Marine Le Pen wants to destroy." Le Pen prompted an outcry earlier this month by denying that the French state was responsible for the roundup of Jews in World War II, in a reference to the Vel d'Hiv, the Paris stadium where thousands of Jews were transferred before being sent to Nazi death camps. Meanwhile, interim National Front leader Jean-Francois Jalkh resigned Friday over comments reported in a 2000 interview in which he allegedly cast doubt on the truth of Nazi gas chambers. National Front vice president Louis Aliot said on BFM television Friday that Jalkh is stepping down to avoid further damage to the party, but that he is contesting allegations of Holocaust denial, a crime in France. Jalkh is also among seven people called to trial in an alleged illegal financing scheme for the party — one of the other challenges facing Le Pen's campaign. Aliot said Jalkh will be replaced as party leader by Steeve Briois, mayor of Le Pen's electoral fiefdom of Henin-Beaumont in depressed northern France. Soccer great Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, joined the list of prominent figures urging voters to keep Le Pen out of the presidency. Le Pen is not letting setbacks deter her. She is painting herself as David against rival Emmanuel Macron's Goliath as she tries to overcome a poll gap and broaden her support base. The two candidates offer starkly different visions of France's future — Macron's embrace of a globalized, diverse nation within an open-bordered Europe vs. Le Pen's protectionist, tightly policed France independent of the EU. Le Pen reached out Friday from her far-right base across to th[...]


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United moves to ease criticism with settlement, new policiesAP file photo United Airlines planes are parked at their gates July 8, 2015, as another plane, top, taxis past them at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. United Airlines said it will raise the limit to $10,000 on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and will increase training for employees as it deals with fallout from the video of a passenger being violently dragged from his seat.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:40:00 GMT

DALLAS – United Airlines moved to staunch criticism – and any customer defections – by reaching a settlement Thursday with a passenger dragged off one of its planes two weeks ago and issuing new policies designed to prevent similar customer-service failures. On April 9, Kentucky physician David Dao was forcibly removed from a flight after refusing to give up his seat to a crew member. The incident ignited a debate about poor service and a lack of customer-friendly policies on U.S. airlines. United and lawyers for Dao declined to disclose financial terms of the settlement Thursday. Earlier, United announced steps it would take to reduce overbooking of flights. Among other things, the airline said it will raise the limit on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights to $10,000, and it will improve training of employees. Dao’s lead attorney, Thomas Demetrio, praised the airline and its CEO, Oscar Munoz, for accepting responsibility and not blaming others, including the city of Chicago, whose airport security officers yanked Dao from his seat and dragged him off the United Express plane. Dao never filed a lawsuit against United, but Demetrio had said legal action was likely. Dao was waiting to fly to Louisville, Kentucky, on April 9 when the airline decided it needed four seats for Republic Airline crew members who needed to travel to work another United Express flight in Louisville the next morning. When Dao and his wife were selected for bumping, he refused to leave. Video of the incident has sparked more than two weeks of withering criticism and mockery of United. Munoz initially blamed Dao, but later said he was horrified by the event and called it a failure on United’s part. On Thursday, United released a report on the incident that outlined new policies to prevent a repeat. The airline vowed to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking – the selling of more tickets than there are seats on the plane. United won’t say whether ticket sales have dropped, but the airline’s CEO acknowledged the Dao incident could be damaging. “I breached public trust with this event and how we responded,” Oscar Munoz said. “People are upset, and I suspect that there are a lot of people potentially thinking of not flying us.” To head off customer defections, United had already announced that it will no longer call police to remove passengers from overbooked flights, and will require airline crews traveling for work to check in sooner. On Thursday, it added several other new policies including: • Raising the limit on compensation to $10,000 for customers who give up their seats starting Friday. That is a maximum – it’s unclear how many, if any, passengers would see that much. The current limit is $1,350. Delta Air Lines earlier this month raised its limit to $9,950. • Sending displaced passengers or crew members to nearby airports, putting them on other airlines or arranging for car transportation to get them to their destinations. • Giving gate agents annual refresher training in dealing with oversold flights. Munoz said he also wants agents and flight attendants to get more help at de-escalating tense situations. While not a factor in this month’s incident, United also said that starting in June it will pay customers $1,500 with no questions asked if the airline loses their bag. For United, the timing of the viral video could hardly have been worse. The airline struggled badly after a 2010 merger with Continental, enduring several technology breakdowns that an[...]


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Fox River Grove to hold open house at Public Works Department facilityH. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com Tim Zintl (left), Fox River Grove operation manager of water and sewer, and John Reese, operations manager at the Public Works Department, walk through the department's new garage March 30. The village will host an open house Saturday so the public can view its new Public Works facility.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:18:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – The village of Fox River Grove is hosting an open house Saturday so the public can view its new Public Works Department facility.

The free event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1229 Lincoln Ave., according to a news release from the village.

Residents will be able to walk through the new building and see the inner workings of the department, according to the release. Children also can touch, explore and climb on the village’s plow trucks and other equipment. Refreshments will be served.

The $3.9 million project was finished at the start of the year and features an estimated 11,000-square-foot building with a conference area, private offices and a garage with four drive-thru apparatus bays to give Public Works vehicles easy in and out access.

H. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com Tim Zintl (left), Fox River Grove operation manager of water and sewer, and John Reese, operations manager at the Public Works Department, walk through the department's new garage March 30. The village will host an open house Saturday so the public can view its new Public Works facility.


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Belvidere doctor sentenced to 9 years for health care fraud

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

ROCKFORD – A suspended physician was sentenced to nine years in federal prison Thursday on charges of federal health care fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Charles S. DeHaan, 62, of Belvidere pleaded guilty May 20 to two counts of health care fraud in a scheme to defraud Medicare that included billing and overbilling Medicare for the treatment of deceased patients.

According to the written plea agreement, DeHaan was an Illinois-licensed physician who between January 2009 and Jan. 24, 2014, primarily billed Medicare for in-home patient visits and certifications for patients he deemed housebound.

DeHaan admitted in the plea agreement that he knew Medicare authorized payment for physician services and home visits only if the services were provided and were medically required because of a disease, infirmity or impairment.

The plea agreement said that DeHaan billed Medicare when he knew he did not have any reimbursable medical service to provide patients. As a result, DeHaan would bill Medicare at the highest reimbursement rates for routine, noncomplex visits with new patients, even though he knew the visits would not qualify for the highest levels, according to a news release.

DeHaan also would bill Medicare for patients he had never treated and for some patients who had died before the date of the alleged visit, according to the release.

DeHaan was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala. The government was represented by assistant U.S. attorneys Scott R. Paccagnini and Talia Bucci.

Along with serving nine years, DeHaan is ordered to pay $2,787,054.58 in restitution, and his sentencing will be followed by three years of supervised release, the news release said.




Fundraiser to raise money for Huntley teen with heart condition(WEB) Thomas Cristofaro - On Saturday, a fundraiser will be held for Thomas Cristofaro, a Huntley teen who recently had heart surgery and has suffered his whole life from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. Money raised will help the family with medical bills.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – When Thomas Cristofaro was born, doctors didn’t know whether he would have problems with his development or whether he would be able to play sports.

Thomas has pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, which meant no blood was getting to his lungs when he was born, said his mother, Gina Sperling.

Six surgeries later, the 14-year-old from Huntley has exceeded all expectations, Sperling said.

“They call him ‘choo choo,’ ’cause you can’t get him down,” Sperling said.

Thomas plays baseball with Huntley’s Little League program, but his true passion is football, Sperling said. He has played with the Huntley Mustangs program for the past six years, and his goal is to join Huntley High School’s football camp in June, she said. He’s currently a student at Marlowe Middle School in Lake in the Hills.

At first, Sperling said she was cautious about letting Thomas play sports, but he was determined to do what he loves despite his condition.

“He’s an inspiration to all of us,” Sperling said.

One of the people Thomas has inspired is his friend, 14-year-old Jackson Wiley, whose family is helping to organize a fundraiser for him. Jackson said that Thomas is charismatic and a very nice friend.

“We wanted to [hold the fundraiser] so he could focus on his recovery, not paying bills,” Jackson said.

Thomas had his most recent surgery in March to repair his pulmonary artery valve. Although his condition will have to be monitored for the rest of his life, this should be his last surgery for another 10 to 15 years, Sperling said.

Just in the past eight months, Sperling said, her family has incurred about $20,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs.

The fundraiser for Thomas will be held Saturday at Parkside Pub, 11721 Main St., Huntley.

From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., a portion of every dining bill will be donated to the Cristofaro family to help offset their medical bills.

People also can donate to the family’s GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/cristofaro-medical-bill-fundraiser.

(WEB) Thomas Cristofaro - On Saturday, a fundraiser will be held for Thomas Cristofaro, a Huntley teen who recently had heart surgery and has suffered his whole life from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. Money raised will help the family with medical bills.


Media Files:
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Literacy Connection to host annual Trivia Bee fundraiser

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

See 21 teams compete for bragging rights at the Literacy Connection’s Trivia Bee on Saturday at Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., and the contest starts at 9:30 a.m. Admission is $5 and includes refreshments. A cash bar is available.

There will be various chances for an opportunity to win gift baskets, with the prize for the grand prize raffle being two Mezzanine tickets to “Hamilton” on Sept. 12; $250 in cash; or a Fitbit Charge 2, a heart rate activity tracker. Tickets cost $10 each or $20 for three.

A separate raffle will offer four tickets to a Cubs game with parking and $100 spending money. Tickets cost $20 each. Winners need not be present.

Buy tickets at The Literacy Connection office at the Gail Borden Library in Elgin and at the event.

A $5 grab bag drawing offers a chance to win tote bags, gift cards and more.

For information, call 847-742-6565 or visit www.elginliteracy.org.

The nonprofit Literacy Connection serves 16 northwest suburban Chicago communities, including Algonquin, Cary, Huntley and Lake in the Hills.




Out of the Darkness Campus Walk set to benefit suicide prevention in McHenry

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

McHENRY – McHenry County residents are invited to join the suicide-prevention movement by attending McHenry’s Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on Saturday.

The eighth annual walk will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at McHenry High School West, 4724 W. Crystal Lake Road.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy and support family and friends who have lost someone to suicide.

“I think the stigma of suicides needs to be changed,” event organizer Patti Hartmann said. “I think that people have to realize that with social media, and people being so cruel on social media, [it] can have an effect on other people. And I just want to get the word out to have people start thinking about mental health and what they can do to help.”

Hartmann said this year’s walk is on track to be the largest, with more than 300 registered walkers and $20,000 raised as of Thursday afternoon. Last year’s event raised about $14,000.

Hartmann said she does the fundraiser for healing purposes in memory of her son, who committed suicide nine years ago.

“There’s so much cruelty in the world; there’s so much bullying. People don’t know how to communicate to get resources,” Hartmann said.

Walkers will participate in a 4-mile course.

People can register independently or as part of a team. There is no minimum fundraising required, although raising $100 will earn walkers a free T-shirt.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. and goes until the walk starts. Walk donations will be accepted until June 30.

Those interested can register by visiting www.mchenrywalk.org.

Online registration ends Friday at noon, but anyone who would like to participate still can register in person at the walk.

Help for anyone feeling depressed is available, 24 hours a day, by calling the McHenry County Crisis Line at 800-892-8900.




Jury find McHenry man guilty of robbing Discount Cigarette and Cigar CenterKyle Griebel

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – McHenry County jurors this week found a McHenry man guilty of robbing a Discount Cigarette and Cigar Center in 2014.

Prosecutors said Kyle Griebel, 24, entered the store, 4226 Elm St., McHenry, wearing a Halloween goblin mask.

Griebel pointed what first appeared to be a handgun at the store clerk, threatened to shoot him and demanded money. He also was accompanied by a juvenile who served as a lookout.

Griebel got away with about $2,000 and cigarettes, prosecutors said. The McHenry Police Department responded to the robbery shortly after the clerk’s 911 call, but police were unable to make an identification of the suspects because they wore gloves and masks.

The case remained unsolved for about 18 months until last July, when Griebel and the juvenile were arrested. Police also determined that the gun used in the robbery was a BB gun manufactured to look like a handgun, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, jurors found Griebel guilty of aggravated robbery and theft by force.

He faces up to 14 years in prison and will be sentenced June 14.

Griebel previously was convicted of burglary and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Kyle Griebel


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Electronic voting rule changes headed to full McHenry County Board

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:15:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Revisions to McHenry County Board rules to incorporate the new but unused electronic voting system are headed to the full board for approval.

After about 30 minutes of minor debate and housekeeping Thursday, the board’s Ad Hoc Committee on Governmental Accessibility forwarded the rules for a board vote at its May 16 voting meeting.

Approval would mean the system will go live in June, six months after its installation at the behest of new County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, as a way to increase transparency and accountability.

Franks said the latest version incorporates improvements and addresses concerns that some members had.

He called Thursday’s discussion – which between the committee and guests accounted for just less than half of the 24-member board – productive and collaborative.

“I think the debate around the issue made it much stronger,” Franks said.

The system, which works through the county’s existing audio streaming and online agenda software, allows board members to vote on issues with their county-issued iPads, and it displays voting results online and on a flat-screen TV behind the chairman’s seat.

It was paid for through the budget of County Clerk Mary McClellan at a cost of $2,700 for the hardware, and about $1,000 a month for the software. The county clerk’s responsibilities include counting votes and taking minutes at full meetings of the board.

When the system was first used at the board’s Jan. 17 meeting, board members complained of a lack of training and the fact that County Board rules did not reflect electronic voting.

Since then, all have received training either at the committee level or through one-on-one training with McClellan.

Electronic voting will be used for all roll call votes, except for attendance or in situations in which the equipment is malfunctioning. The system only will be used during full County Board meetings and not for standing committees, which under Franks now meet in the boardroom so their meetings can be streamed online.

County staff has said that finances, available staff and other factors make expanding electronic voting to committee meetings impractical for the time being.

However, the committee Thursday tweaked the rules on the advice of Mike Skala, R-Huntley, to leave open the possibility of having electronic voting in committee meetings if it can be done sooner.

“I don’t want a definitive [no] in the board rules because maybe in a year, a year and a half, it will be different,” Skala said.

The system will go live at the County Board’s voting meeting in June if members approve the rule changes in May.




Woman killed by Metra train in Woodstock

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:14:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A commuter train struck and killed a woman early Thursday in Woodstock.

Woodstock police were called at 2:05 a.m. to the 500 block of Lake Avenue for a report of a pedestrian collision on the railroad tracks.

Responding officers found a 35-year-old woman dead at the scene on the train tracks near 508 Lake Ave., Woodstock. The woman was struck by a westbound train on its way to Harvard from Chicago, according to a news release from the Woodstock Police Department.

The identity of the woman was not released.

The train was delayed about an hour while Woodstock police and representatives from the Union Pacific Police Department and Metra Police Department investigated.

Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Parsons said foul play was not suspected in the death, and no additional information is available at this time.

Woodstock police and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office are investigating the incident.




After controversy, new Oakwood Hills police chief focuses on futureSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Oakwood Hills Police Chief Valiza Nash poses for a portrait Tuesday in Oakwood Hills.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Oakwood Hills Police Chief Valiza Nash talks with a Northwest Herald reporter Tuesday in her office in Oakwood Hills.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Police officer Ramtin Sabet (left) talks with Oakwood Hills Police Chief Valiza Nash on Tuesday at the police station in Oakwood Hills.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:13:00 GMT

OAKWOOD HILLS – The village’s new chief of police, Valiza Nash, comes to the area with a decorated past and big plans for the future, but after only a few months on the job, she’s already facing controversy and calls for her department to be disbanded. Much of the controversy spilled out last month over the hiring of an officer who filed a federal lawsuit against the municipality he previously worked for, but there’s also an online petition circulating among some residents that calls for getting rid of the Oakwood Hills Police Department and having the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office take over. After spending more than two decades with the North Chicago Police Department, Nash retired as a sergeant and shift commander to accept the chief of police position in Oakwood Hills. Nash, 51, was interviewed along with two other candidates for the job. The Oakwood Hills Village Board unanimously voted Feb. 7 to appoint Nash to the job. Village Trustee Kristina Zahorik said she knew Nash personally and didn’t participate in the interview process. However, Zahorik did vote for Nash’s appointment. Trustees Mark Wise and Kerry Leigh were absent from the special meeting and didn’t vote, according to meeting minutes. Nash replaced part-time Police Chief Peter Goldman, who was involved in a car crash last fall and had not been able to return to his duties. Village President Paul Smith removed Goldman from his position a week before Nash was hired. Nash is the first full-time police chief in many years. She said she will be paid $47,500 a year. The department has six officers, including Nash. Most of them are part time. Nash said the department soon will have a full-time police officer after training is completed this summer. Police department spending accounted for about 35 percent of the village’s $737,275 budget, according to Oakwood Hills 2016-17 budget. Although the move came a few years before Nash planned to retire, she said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity. “I wasn’t ready for it yet – I wanted at least three more years in North Chicago. … But it came about, and you’ve got to take the opportunities as they come,” she said. Nash said that although North Chicago is larger than Oakwood Hills, the crimes are not necessarily unique. “You have the same crimes, it’s just a different zip code … just maybe not as frequent,” she said. Nash first realized she wanted to get into law enforcement after her brother was accused of a crime he didn’t commit in the late 1970s and she saw firsthand the effects of what bad policing can do to a person. “I wanted to be a part of stopping that within the law enforcement community,” she said. Now that she’s getting into to her new position, Nash has some changes to make. She said she plans to bring the department into the 21st century with updated technology. Through grants and other sources of funding, Nash said she’s looking into body cameras, LiveScan fingerprinting and an updated evidence management system. The department also has started a Facebook page to share what’s going on at the department. The department will participate in the annual National Night Out event as well as the Law Enforcement Torch Run, and it also plans to start a Citizens Police Academy and Police Ex[...]


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For the Record: McHenry County incorporations, business licenses and commercial property transactions

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:55:00 GMT

Gathered as of April 10 by Record Information Services, a company that compiles public record information. This list contains business-to-business filings for McHenry County and does not represent the entire public record. Incorporations 03/10/17 - Sarris Designs & Interiors Inc, 2705 Rose Ave, Mchenry 60050-1734, Stephanie A Sarris 03/10/17 - Empower Dance Midwest, 339 Lloyd St, Cary 60013-2127, Sharon Smith 03/17/17 - Arch Transition Experts Inc, 50 N Virginia St, Crystal Lake 60014-4126, Ryan P Farrell 03/24/17 - Ralfi Express Inc, 1555 Autumncrest Dr, Crystal Lake 60014-2947, Dominika Kupiec 03/24/17 - Marazza Construction Co, 11720 Cape Cod Ln, Huntley 60142-6734, Louis Morales 03/24/17 - Kind Trils Corp, 2 Grandview Ct, Algonquin 60102-1993, Patricia Lacheta 03/31/17 - The Prime Group Exteriors Inc, 11870 Haegers Bend Rd, Barrington 60010-9054, Gregorz Swiercz 03/31/17 - Fox Valley Masonry Inc, 6 Wander Way, Lake In The Hills 60156-1336, Bernadetta Walaszek 03/31/17 - Fox Valley Eagles Football Association Inc NFP, 638 Joy Ct, Marengo 60152-3309, Jett Gregory Zurba 03/31/17 - Boutique Motors Inc, 20 Northwest Hwy, Cary 60013-2926, Christina Rein 04/07/17 - Stalkers Construction & Window Cleaning NC, 11903 Prairie Ave, Hebron 60034-8863, Josephy R Stalker 04/07/17 - Pathlight International Inc, 704 Village Cir, Marengo 60152-3634, Jodi Burnside 04/07/17 - Grotham Exteriors Inc, 601 Park Dr, Marengo 60152-2976, Robert G Grotham Business licenses 03/10/17 - Adornments 4 You, 320 Aberdeen Dr, Algonquin 60102-1742  03/10/17 - Ayfocy, 398 Oakmont Dr, Cary 60013-1180  03/10/17 - Charles Langer Trucking, 2385 Linden Dr, Woodstock 60098-9275  03/10/17 - Frank Lile, 301 Cobblestone Ct, Lake In The Hills 60156-4420  03/10/17 - Green Pine Landscaping, 1200 N Division St, Harvard 60033-1759  03/10/17 - Haase Wood Concepts, 2413 W Algonquin Rd Ste 237, Algonquin 60102-9402  03/10/17 - Mom & Dads Bath Bombs & More, 3206 Eastwood Dr, Wonder Lake 60097-9216  03/10/17 - Risenshine, 2414 Aspen Dr, Woodstock 60098-7496  03/10/17 - Ten 99, 1532 Clay St, Woodstock 60098-2526  03/10/17 - Wonderwave Design & Hosting, 3204 Hillside Dr, Wonder Lake 60097-9331  03/10/17 - Wonderwave Wireless Solutions, 3204 Hillside Dr, Wonder Lake 60097-9331  03/17/17 - Artie Russell Horseshoeing, 1068 Butler Dr, Crystal Lake 60014-6927  03/17/17 - Big Ass Bandana, 22516 Carmack Rd, Marengo 60152-9619  03/17/17 - Midwest Motors Group, 680 W Terra Cotta Ave, Crystal Lake 60014-3441  03/17/17 - Mobile Sandblasting, 411 S Shannon Dr, Woodstock 60098-9423  03/17/17 - Speed Lamps, 809 Oak Manor Dr, Marengo 60152-3503  03/24/17 - Blanc Ny, 1096 Viewpoint Dr, Lake In The Hills 60156-4935  03/24/17 - County Investments Beyond 2000, 11880 Niagra Ln, Huntley 60142-6766  03/[...]



Photos: Crystal Lake Police arrest nine in connection with stabbing that closed part of Route 14Dylan P. Macari, 18, of Huntley; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Davon E. Manning, 18, of Crystal Lake; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Tyler A. Novak, 18, of Lake in the Hills, is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Geoffrey M. Miller, 18, of Lake in the Hills is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Thomas S. Madura, 18, of Crystal Lake; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Brandon D. Rosas, 18, of Crystal Lake; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:53:00 GMT

Police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.

Dylan P. Macari, 18, of Huntley; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Davon E. Manning, 18, of Crystal Lake; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Tyler A. Novak, 18, of Lake in the Hills, is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Geoffrey M. Miller, 18, of Lake in the Hills is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Thomas S. Madura, 18, of Crystal Lake; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.Brandon D. Rosas, 18, of Crystal Lake; is among six men and three boys facing charges of vehicular invasion, a Class 1 Felony; Aggravated robbery, a Class 1 Felony; Attempted aggravated robbery; a Class 2 Felony; Mob action, a Class 4 Felony; Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 Felony and two counts of Aggravated battery in a public place, a Class 3 Felony, as police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area.


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Crystal Lake police arrest nine in connection with stabbingTop Row from left: Dylan Macari, Thomas Madura, Davon Manning Bottom Row from left: Geoffrey Miller, Tyler Novak, Brandon Rosas

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:16:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Police arrested nine teenagers Wednesday and Thursday in connection with a stabbing earlier this month that closed down Route 14 while police searched the area. On April 3, officers were called to the 400 block of West Virginia Street in Crystal Lake where they found two people who had serious stab wounds. During the three-week investigation, police discovered a fight had broken out on the 400 block of Berkshire Drive after an attempted robbery. Several people involved didn't cooperate with investigators, police said. The suspects used baseball bats during the planned robbery attempt, and one of the robbery victims stabbed two of the suspects – Tyler Novak and Thomas Madura – with a knife during the attack, police said. The victims weren’t charged because they were acting in self-defense, Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said. Hyrkas declined to comment on whether the victims had any connection to the nine suspects. “I am not going to get into that detail,” he said. “The case was complex and took a while, and there was a lack of cooperation with a lot of the people involved. A lot will come out appropriately in court.” All of the suspects were involved in some way with the robbery, Hyrkas said. He declined to say what the suspects were trying to steal. Six men and three boys face charges of vehicular invasion, aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated robbery, mob action, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated battery in a public place. If convicted of the most serious offense, a Class 1 felony, the men could face four to 15 years in prison. The men are Davon E. Manning, 18, of Crystal Lake; Brandon D. Rosas, 18, of Crystal Lake; Dylan P. Macari, 18, of Huntley; Geoffrey M. Miller, 18, of Lake in the Hills; Thomas S. Madura, 18, of Crystal Lake; and Tyler A. Novak, 18, of Lake in the Hills. All were taken to jail and held in lieu of $75,000 or $80,000 bond. Since then, Novak, Miller, Macari posted bond and were released. The boys were not named because of their age, police said. They were taken to the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center in St. Charles. They will remain there pending a hearing in juvenile court, police said. All of the men are scheduled to be in court at 9 a.m. May 10 at the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the incident was gang-related. On Feb. 21, Davon Manning posted a status update on his Facebook profile that referred to gang activity and "snitchin." “I am not going to get into details on whether it was gang-related,” Hyrkas said. “The whole thing is so complex we will rely on prosecutors to present in court before more information is released.” Both Novak and Macari had been athletes at Huntley High School. Novak played varsity baseball, and Macari played varsity football. Hyrkas said that there is no reason to believe the public is in danger. “Our community is very safe. This stuff doesn’t happen very often at all,” he said. “We feel very strongly this is isolated. It was not random. These individuals planned this. We feel confident the public has nothing to fear.” [...]To[...]


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U.S. unemployment claims tick up but remain at low levelFILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, file photo, a man fills out a job application at a job fair, in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Labor Department reported that more Americans filed for unemployment benefits the previous week, but applications remained at a low level, suggesting most workers enjoy job security. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:52:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, but applications remained at a low level that suggests most workers enjoy job security.

THE NUMBERS: The Labor Department says weekly jobless claims rose by 14,000 to 257,000, the highest level in almost a month. The less volatile four-week average slipped by 500 to 242,250, lowest since late February.

Overall, 1.99 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits, down more than 7 percent from a year ago.

THE TAKEAWAY: Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have come in below 300,000 for 112 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970. The numbers suggest that most American workers are secure in their jobs.

KEY DRIVERS: The U.S. economy is healthy, if not booming. Employers are adding a healthy 175,000 jobs a month so far this year and are confident enough to be holding on to their workers. The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to 4.5 percent, lowest in nearly a decade

"The behavior of claims suggests there is room for the unemployment rate to decline further," Raymond Stone, co-founder of Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, wrote in a research report.

Economists believe the economy grew slowly — at an annual pace of 1 percent or lower — from January through March. The Commerce Department releases the first-quarter numbers on Friday. But forecasters expect growth to pick up in the spring. Employers are optimistic about future sales and are posting job openings.

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016, file photo, a man fills out a job application at a job fair, in Miami Lakes, Fla. On Thursday, April 27, 2017, the Labor Department reported that more Americans filed for unemployment benefits the previous week, but applications remained at a low level, suggesting most workers enjoy job security. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)


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Chicago Archdiocese to settle priest abuse suits for $4.45M

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:47:00 GMT

CHICAGO – The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $4.45 million to settle separate lawsuits brought by three men who allege they were sexually abused more than a decade ago by a former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender.

Mark Brown, the attorney for the men, told the Chicago Tribune that two brothers reached settlements in late January. They accused Daniel McCormack of sexually abusing them more than once during an after-school program at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School in the mid-2000s.

The other man, who was a basketball player on a team McCormack coached for the school, reached his settlement April 20.

An archdiocese spokeswoman confirmed the settlement has been reached. She said she can’t discuss the case “out of respect for the privacy of those involved.”

Allegations against McCormack became public in 2006, four years after Cardinal Francis George, who is now deceased, urged Catholic bishops to remove any priest from ministry for a single act of sexual abuse.

The cardinal didn’t remove him from ministry at St. Agatha Catholic Church when McCormack had been taken into custody by Chicago police in August 2005 for allegedly abusing a boy. McCormack served as a pastor there until 2006.

McCormack was permanently removed from the priesthood after pleading guilty in 2007 to fondling five boys ages 8 to 12. The Illinois attorney general and the Cook County state’s attorney petitioned the court to have him committed under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act when he came up for parole in 2010.

McCormack remains in a state mental health facility as those proceedings continue.




Death of giant British rabbit adds to United Airlines' woes

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:40:00 GMT

LONDON – United Airlines is reviewing its handling of a giant showcase rabbit that died after being shipped across the Atlantic from Britain on one of its flights, the latest in a growing list of customer complaints. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that a veterinarian had checked Simon – a 10-month-old, 3-foot continental rabbit – shortly before the animal was placed on a United flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Edwards said Simon is the offspring of Darius, which the Guinness World Records lists as the world’s longest rabbit at 4 feet, 3 inches. “Simon had his vet check just before getting on the plane,” she said from Worcestershire in central England. “He was fit as a fiddle.” United spokesman Charles Hobart said the rabbit was moving around in its crate and appeared healthy when taken off the plane in O’Hare, waiting to be put on another flight to Kansas City. About a half-hour later, at the company-run pet facility, Simon seemed to be sleeping. Shortly after that, a pet facility employee opened the cage and found the rabbit dead. He said the airline is reviewing its handling of the animal. “We won’t know the cause of death, because we offered to perform a necropsy free of charge – that’s standard procedure – but the customer didn’t want us to perform a necropsy, and we understand,” he said. Hobart said the airline offered compensation to the breeder but would not disclose the amount. Bryan Bergdale, a farmland investment manager, said he bought the rabbit for his boss, who had hoped to show it at the Iowa State Fair. He had driven from the Des Moines area to Kansas City and was nearing the airport last Thursday when United called with the bad news. At first, he didn’t believe it. “We’d built a pen and had toys all ready. It’s sort of a sad deal,” he said. Bergdale, 29, said he’d tracked down the breeder and bought the rabbit for his boss, Steve Bruere, who owns a farm real estate company in the Des Moines suburb of Clive. Bergdale said the rabbit cost $530 and the shipping was $1,800. Bergdale said the United representative didn’t say anything about compensating him for the loss. “We’re still in the mourning process,” he said. “We’re not quite sure what we’re going to do.” United had the second-highest level of animal deaths and injuries of any U.S. airline last year, or 2.11 per 10,000 animals transported, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Only Hawaiian Airlines was worse at 3.99, the result of three deaths among the 7,518 animals it transported. United transported 109,149 animals last year, second only to Alaska Airlines with 112,281. United reported nine deaths and 14 injuries, the highest figures for each category among U.S. carriers. Alaska reported two deaths and one injury. United said it works to protect the safety of animals through its PetSafe program, which is staffed 24 hours a day and allows pet owners to track their animals from point of origin to destination. “Travel can be stressful for animals,” Hobart said, adding[...]



Passes for Main and West beaches in Crystal Lake available May 8Shaw Media file photo Passes for Main and West beaches on Crystal Lake will go on sale beginning May 8. Prices are $7 for individuals for Crystal Lake and Lakewood residents, and $50 for non-residents. Children ages 3 and younger and senior citizens older than 60 do not require a pass. The cost of a replacement pass is $5.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:38:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Passes for Main and West beaches on Crystal Lake will go on sale May 8.

Prices are $7 for individuals for Crystal Lake and Lakewood residents, and $50 for nonresidents.

Children ages 3 and younger and senior citizens older than 60 do not require a pass. The cost of a replacement pass is $5.

The passes only cover use of the beach and not the boat launch, boat rental, program or special event privileges. However, season pass holders get half off boat rentals on weekdays at Main Beach, except for Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Passes are available at the Park District main office at 1 E. Crystal Lake Ave., or at either beach during summer operating hours.

For information, call the district at 815-459-0680, ext. 1213.

– Kevin P. Craver

Shaw Media file photo Passes for Main and West beaches on Crystal Lake will go on sale beginning May 8. Prices are $7 for individuals for Crystal Lake and Lakewood residents, and $50 for non-residents. Children ages 3 and younger and senior citizens older than 60 do not require a pass. The cost of a replacement pass is $5.


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Crystal Lake police check on sex offenders

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:37:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake police went door-to-door this month to make sure sex offenders are living at their registered addresses.

Crystal Lake has 21 offenders listed on the public adult sex offender and violent offender against youth registry. Juvenile sex offenders are included in this total but are not listed on the public domain. Under state law, registered sex offenders are required to report any change to registration information within three days.

The department maintains an Offender Watch database that residents can access at any time. A direct link to all Crystal Lake residents on the registry can be accessed at www.crystallake.org/departments/police/sex-offender-list.

Crystal Lake police randomly check on sex offenders throughout the year to ensure they are in compliance with all requirements under state law.

The Crystal Lake Police Department’s Targeted Response Unit supervisor Sgt. Mike Bennett can be reached at 815-356-3789 regarding registered sex offenders and noncompliance information.




New Italian restaurant to come to Fox River Grove, village creates new liquor license class for business

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:37:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – A new class of liquor license has been created in Fox River Grove to ensure that when a liquor license is given to a new business, it’s primarily operating as a restaurant, Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said.

The Fox River Grove Village Board agreed to issue the new Class B liquor license to Mio Pizza on the condition that the business takes over the former Jimano’s Pizzeria space and the adjacent space to start the restaurant.

Mio Pizza owner Brian Abraham of Algonquin first wanted to open a business with only video gambling in the village, Soderholm said, but later came back before the board with the Mio Pizza concept when he was told he would have to have food, too.

“I’m concerned that I learned at the last meeting that this was the person who had come before and just wanted to open a gaming license,” Fox River Grove Trustee Patrick Wall said at Thursday’s Village Board meeting. “And I’m concerned that it’s just a front, and it’s not an actual business.”

The board unanimously approved the addition of the Class B liquor license, which requires the license holder to make at least $250,000 in gross annual sales from food, beer and wine. If the licensee doesn’t meet the mark after a year, the liquor commissioner, who is the mayor, may revoke the license, according to the village’s ordinance.

Trustees added the requirement for Mio Pizza to lease not only the former Jimano’s Pizzeria space, 700 Route 14, but also the vacant space adjoining Jimano’s to make it more of a restaurant.

“If we have another place that just ends up as a gambling place, we’re doing a disservice to the residents, we really are,” Trustee Steve Knar said. “We’ve got enough gaming in this town.”

In Illinois, businesses that serve alcohol can apply for a video gambling license with the state. Mio Pizza coming to Fox River Grove was contingent on having video gambling.

Although he originally wanted to open a place with only video gaming, Abraham said the space now will be a “full blown Italian restaurant” that also serves alcohol and has video gaming.

The restaurant will be about 2,000 square feet, Abraham said, and he hopes to open at the end of May.




District 155 to offer aviation course with LITH AirportH. Rick Bamman file photo - hbamman@nwherald.com A Cessna 170 lands at the Lake in the Hills airport. School district 155 is partnering with the airport for a program that puts kids on a path to getting their pilot's license.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:36:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – High School District 155 is partnering with Lake in the Hills Airport to offer interested students an opportunity to earn a private pilot license.

A limited number of spots are available for the course, which gives students the opportunity to study for and pass the written test required by the Federal Aviation Administration before flight time with an instructor can start.

Both the district and the airport see the partnership as mutually beneficial. The district can give students an opportunity to begin work pursuing jobs in the in-demand field of aviation.

“This course will provide a strong foundation of knowledge and increase students’ exposure of aviation,” Superintendent Johnnie Thomas said in a statement. “Students interested in aviation can advance in high school, allowing them to reduce costs in college.”

As for the airport, the course can help promote flying to a new generation, manager Mike Peranich said.

“One of the challenges the aviation industry as a whole and the airport face is keeping pilots flying – maintaining an influx of new ones,” Peranich said. “The earlier we can reach kids and involve or interest them, the more they know as adults, and they may make the decision earlier to fly.”

Besides pilot, the course is aimed for students who are interested in pursuing the careers of flight operations support, dispatcher, engineering and working for the FAA.

Chicago-based Boeing, the world’s largest aviation company, last year projected a demand for nearly 1.5 million pilots and technicians for the worldwide commercial aviation industry over the next 20 years. For North America, the estimate predicts a need for 112,000 new pilots, 127,000 new technicians and 151,000 new cabin crew employees.

The course will be taught by a commercial pilot and an FAA-certified ground instructor. Classes will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays from Aug. 21 to Dec. 18 at Crystal Lake South High School, giving students the necessary knowledge to pass the written knowledge test.

The cost of the course is $350. The district is hosting an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the library of Crystal Lake South, 1200 McHenry Ave.

The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time on top of passing the test in order to get a private pilot license.

H. Rick Bamman file photo - hbamman@nwherald.com A Cessna 170 lands at the Lake in the Hills airport. School district 155 is partnering with the airport for a program that puts kids on a path to getting their pilot's license.


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Former Algonquin teen remembered for strong fight against cancerSarah Nader file photo - snader@shawmedia.com Talia Freund, 14, of Mazon visits her father's house in Algonquin Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Freund died Monday after battling Ewing's sarcoma for about 9 months. The 14-year-old and her father, who lives in Algonquin, had raised thousands of dollars for Team Talia, including at a recent St. Baldrick's fundraiser at St. Mary's.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:36:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – Although 14-year-old Talia Freund lost her battle with metastatic Ewing’s sarcoma Monday, her family has pledged to continue her battle to fight childhood cancer.

Freund, formerly of Algonquin, was diagnosed about nine months ago and died peacefully among her family and close friends at her home in Mazon, according to her obituary.

Throughout her battle, Talia always kept a smile on her face and was dedicated to helping others who were going through what she was, said her father, Greg Freund of Algonquin.

“We have to go continue that fight, and try to make sure as many kids as possible can be saved,” Freund said.

Donations to Team Talia and her family while she was fighting cancer totaled more than $30,000, her family said.

More than $20,000 was raised at a fundraiser in March in Mazon, Freund said, and nearly $10,000 was raised through the Shamrock Shave at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church later that month.

Talia fought her battle like a warrior, said her mother, Tabitha Freeman. In March, Talia told the Northwest Herald she just wanted to be treated like a normal person, not a cancer patient.

“She fought this battle with such a kind, strong heart that it’s admirable,” Freeman said. “I don’t know how she did it.”

Family and friends are working on setting up a foundation in honor of Talia to fund childhood cancer research. Talia’s wish was to have memorials made to the Team Talia account at the First Community Financial Bank of Mazon to go toward cancer research.

Talia was a freshman attending Seneca Township High School.

She had dreams of becoming a special education teacher and had a passion for cosmetics, according to her obituary.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by stepfather, Joseph Freeman of Mazon, and brother, Owen.

A celebration of Talia’s life will be from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington St., Morris.

The visitation will be at 10 a.m. May 6, followed by Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 111 S. Hubbard St., Algonquin. After the Mass, a celebration will be at Haegers Bend Community Center, 3226 E. Bend Drive, Algonquin.

Sarah Nader file photo - snader@shawmedia.com Talia Freund, 14, of Mazon visits her father's house in Algonquin Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Freund died Monday after battling Ewing's sarcoma for about 9 months. The 14-year-old and her father, who lives in Algonquin, had raised thousands of dollars for Team Talia, including at a recent St. Baldrick's fundraiser at St. Mary's.


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NERCOM dispatch center to open May 1Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Dispatcher Charvon Walker works at the new consolidated dispatch center in McHenry during an open house Wednesday. The center will now dispatch 16 area agencies.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Harvard police officer Mark Krause (left) talks with dispatcher Dexter Barrows during an open house of the new consolidated dispatch center Wednesday in McHenry. The center will now dispatch 16 area agencies.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Dispatcher Laura Cox works at the new consolidated dispatch center in McHenry during an open house Wednesday. The center will now dispatch 16 area agencies.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:35:00 GMT

McHENRY – Almost two years after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law that required McHenry County to reduce its number of dispatch centers, Northeast Regional Communications Center has started taking calls. The dispatch center, which will have its grand opening Monday, was formed from a partnership with the McHenry police, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, Woodstock police and Harvard police. It will be the emergency service provider for 16 local agencies, including the McHenry Township Fire Protection District, Woodstock Police Department, Harvard Police Department, Johnsburg Police Department and Woodstock Fire District.The center will house nine dispatch workstations for those agencies. “We’re excited to have other agencies here,” NERCOM supervisor Jennifer Synek said. “It’s a streamlined process. I know it’s something that was mandated by the government, but we’re here to do a job, and we’re here to do it efficiently.” The law was signed by the governor in 2015 mandating that dispatch centers consolidate. The state mandate requires any county with at least 250,000 residents, which includes McHenry County, to cut its dispatch center by 50 percent by July 1. At an open house Wednesday, McHenry Police Chief John Jones said the consolidation was going to happen even if the governor didn’t mandate it. “Prior to this, we were already dispatching for other area departments. … So in my opinion, this was a natural progression,” Jones said. The McHenry Police Department started evaluating the McHenry Dispatch Center for potential future growth in 2011, and a formal partnership was created between McHenry police and fire departments in 2015 to expand services of the center. Not long after, the state passed the legislation requiring consolidation. The project’s construction and renovation began in September and was recently completed. Jones said the dispatch center’s cost was about $1.3 million. Both Harvard and Woodstock will be responsible for a percentage of NERCOM’s operational costs. “Because Gov. Rauner made it a mandate that 50 percent of our dispatch centers close in McHenry County, a lot of that was made eligible by a grant refund, so we’ve submitted our grant application, and we’re pretty confident we’re going to get the majority of our costs for the dispatch center back,” Jones said. NERCOM staffing will consist of 21 full-time, nonsworn dispatchers and six part-time dispatchers working 12-hour rotating shifts. Woodstock will bring in five of its dispatchers to NERCOM on Monday. “I think the city of Woodstock took the best course of action possible with this partnership as far as being part of NERCOM,” Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb said. “This is the best route possible to benefit the city, the citizens of Woodstock and the dispatchers that had to move. And as always, we are abiding by the state mandate for consolidation, so once again I think this is the best result considering the situation.” However, Lieb said they are some minor concerns to start the consolidation. [...]


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Police find meth lab equipment near McHenry neighborhoodThe 2900 block of Lincoln Road in unincorporated McHenry is seen on Wednesday, April 26 2017. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017 the McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Sean C. Blackmon for possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material and methamphetamine manufacturing waste.WEB - Sean C. Blackmon, 44, of McHenry, was arrested April 25 and charged with possession of methamphetaimine manufacturing material, a Class 2 felony, methamphetamine manufacturing waste, a Class 2 felony and driving on a suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:35:00 GMT

McHENRY – Police arrested a local man Tuesday after finding equipment for making methamphetamine and methamphetamine manufacturing waste at a home in a residential neighborhood near McHenry.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office was called about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday to the 2900 block of Lincoln Road near McHenry for the report of a possible meth lab in the area. Deputies saw equipment and supplies, including tubing and jars, that appeared to be part of a meth lab.

McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said materials found in the residence likely were used for the one-pot method – a way to cook methamphetamine in small batches for personal use. Deputies also found other items commonly associated with making meth.

No one needed to be evacuated from the surrounding area or alerted of the situation because of the size of the operation, Rogers said.

Sean C. Blackmon, 44, was charged with possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material and methamphetamine manufacturing waste, both Class 2 felonies, and driving on a suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor. Rogers said Blackmon has lived at the McHenry residence for at least the past year. She said the sheriff’s office was unable to release Blackmon’s address because there were other people living in the home at the time who were not involved.

Blackmon has previously been charged with disorderly conduct in 2016, burglary in 2014 and unlawful possession of a controlled substance in 2002.

Members of the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit also responded.

Blackmon remains in McHenry County Jail custody in lieu of posting 10 percent of his $55,000 bond. He will appear in court Thursday.

Rogers said the sheriff’s office has seen an increase in methamphetamine-related arrests in the past year as compared with the past six years, many of which have been small operations such as this one.

She said methamphetamine has always been around, but more residents are becoming aware of what’s needed to make it and reaching out to authorities with information, resulting in more investigations and arrests.

The 2900 block of Lincoln Road in unincorporated McHenry is seen on Wednesday, April 26 2017. On Tuesday, April 25, 2017 the McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Sean C. Blackmon for possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material and methamphetamine manufacturing waste.WEB - Sean C. Blackmon, 44, of McHenry, was arrested April 25 and charged with possession of methamphetaimine manufacturing material, a Class 2 felony, methamphetamine manufacturing waste, a Class 2 felony and driving on a suspended license, a Class A misdemeanor.


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Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study saysIn this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP)

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:27:00 GMT

NEW YORK – A startling new report asserts that the first-known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought – more than 100,000 years ago – and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon evidently were smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could instead have been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. “The very honest answer is, we don’t know,” said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe came across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature. Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don’t think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-93. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon’s bones and teeth evidently were placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what’s thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches to 12 inches long and weighed up to 32 pounds. They weren’t handcrafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. The fate of the visitors is not clear. Maybe they died out without leaving any descendants, he said. Experts not connected with the study provided a range of react[...]


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U.S. colleges confront a new era of sometimes-violent protestFILE - In this March 28, 2017 file photo, a police officer pushes back Notre Dame senior Doug Randolph, a former Notre Dame football player, as students protest an event featuring author Charles Murray on the school's campus in South Bend, Ind. After a series of protests around the country, some institutions are rethinking their security and tactics in an age of growing political polarization.(Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:27:00 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Fearing a return to violent protests that roiled campuses in the 1970s, colleges and universities are re-examining how to protect free speech while keeping students and employees safe in a time of political polarization. Campus police are trying new tactics to try to keep events peaceful, while other schools have abruptly canceled controversial speakers over safety concerns, as the University of California, Berkeley, did with conservative writer Ann Coulter’s appearance, originally scheduled for Thursday. In response to earlier rioting at Berkeley, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators last month put on daylong protest preparation and response training sessions at Chapman University in Orange, California, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and the University of Maryland, attended by law enforcement from about 40 colleges and universities. Another training session will take place Thursday at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. “Our mission is basically to protect the university’s mission, which is to have civil debate and present both sides of an issue and have things be done in a way that’s civil,” said the association’s president, Randy Burba, police chief at Chapman. “It’s a challenge to make that happen when there’s really opposing sides and views, but that’s really what we’re supposed to do.” Burba declined to offer specifics about the training, to avoid disclosing proprietary police tactics. But, he said, the sessions were a chance to remind campus police of best practices: to know and be engaged with the college community, do research on speakers, look at what’s happened at other campuses, and meet with the leaders of protest groups ahead of time to talk about their plans and the college rules. At Vermont’s Middlebury College last month, protesters shouted down guest speaker Charles Murray, a social scientist who critics say used pseudoscience to link intelligence to race in the 1994 book “The Bell Curve.” Afterward, protesters surrounded Murray and professor Allison Stanger, with a protester pulling Stanger’s hair, police said. The protesters also climbed onto the car carrying Stanger and Murray and rocked it. Stanger, who was treated for a neck injury and a concussion, said she feared for her life. Middlebury said last week that 70 people might be subject to discipline, and that more than 30 students so far had been punished, but officials did not elaborate. Stanger wrote an editorial about her experience, saying the country’s “constitutional democracy will depend on whether Americans can relearn how to engage civilly with one another, something that is admittedly hard to do with a bullying president as a role model. But any other way forward would be antithetical to the very ideals of the university and of liberal democracy.” Bertram Johnson, chairman of the political science department that co-sponsored the event, last week wrote in the college newspaper that it was a mistake for him to offer [...]


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Trump tax plan could be good news for many, bad for deficitTreasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin takes a question in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, where he discussed President Donald Trump tax proposals. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:26:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Dismissing concerns about ballooning federal deficits, President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed dramatic tax cuts for U.S. businesses and individuals – outlining an overhaul his administration promises will spur economic growth and simplify America’s tangle of tax code rules. His proposal, a one-page sketch short on detail, would reduce the top corporate tax rate by 20 percentage points and allow private business owners to claim the new lower rate for their take-home pay. It would whittle the number of tax brackets for individuals from seven to three, lower the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and double the standard amount taxpayers could deduct. It would eliminate the estate tax and reduce taxes on investments, typically paid by the rich. It would further reduce the tax burden for the wealthy by eliminating the catch-all alternative minimum tax, which takes an additional bite out of high-income Americans. More lower-income Americans would pay no tax at all, and there would be relief – still undefined – for families with child care expenses. The plan does not propose any budget cuts or tax increases that might offset the lost revenue, a choice that alarms some fiscal conservatives in Trump’s party who have spent years railing about the dangers of deficit spending. It also does not fully embrace tax proposals backed by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, an essential ally if the president is to make good on his promise to deliver a tax overhaul that creates growth and brings jobs to struggling parts of the country. Still, “I would never, ever bet against this president. He will get this done for the American people,” said Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council. “He understands that there are a lot people who work hard and feel like they’re not getting ahead.” The president’s proposal marks a rehash of an economic theory popularized in the 1980s. Trump officials essentially argue that benefits from the tax cuts will trickle down from higher profits for companies into stronger pay raises for workers and greater consumer spending. This expected surge in growth, in theory, would be enough to keep the federal budget deficit from shooting upward. Some economists agree, but most budget experts have said it’s unlikely. “Unfortunately, it seems the administration is using economic growth like magic beans – the cheap solution to all our problems,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “But there is no golden goose at the top of the tax cut beanstalk, just mountains of debt.” Trump’s plan resembles aspects of the tax ideas he campaigned on last year. The right-leaning Tax Foundation estimated that, even after accounting for growth, the Trump campaign plan would put a $2.6 trillion to $3.9 trillion hole in the budget over 10 years. “We know this is difficult,” Cohn said. “We know what we’re asking for is a big[...]


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Illinois board terminates Hastert's state lawmaker pensionFILE - In this April 27, 2016, file photo, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert who is is serving a 15-month prison term in a sexual abuse case departs the federal courthouse in Chicago. State officials are poised to consider the status of the pension Hastert receives for the time he served in the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday April 27, 2017 in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System's board of trustees are scheduled to consider Hastert's $28,000 annual pension. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:26:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Trustees of an Illinois state retirement board on Wednesday terminated the pension that imprisoned former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert received for his nearly six years of service in the Illinois General Assembly.

The General Assembly Retirement System’s board of trustees voted, 5-2, to end Hastert’s $28,000 annual pension. Hastert, 75, is serving a 15-month prison term in a hush-money case that stemmed from his sexual abuse of students when he taught at an Illinois public school more than 35 years ago. The Republican pleaded guilty in 2015 to federal bank violations and is scheduled to be released Aug. 16.

Hastert’s attorneys declined comment on the decision Wednesday. Hastert has the option of appealing in state court, and the Chicago Tribune reported that Hastert attorney Mark DeBofsky wrote a letter to the board last month saying Hastert intended to appeal any termination or reduction in benefits.

Illinois law allows for the state to revoke the pensions of those convicted of felonies connected to their time serving in the state Legislature.

“Neither the indictment nor the disposition of the criminal case implicated any wrongdoing by Mr. Hastert during the time he served in the General Assembly,” DeBofsky wrote.

Board member state Rep. Michael Zalewski, a suburban Chicago Democrat, argued that Hastert’s crimes were designed to protect his political career.

“I would argue his political career is part and parcel with his career as a General Assembly member because his General Assembly career led to his congressional career,” Zalewski said.

But state Rep. David Harris, a Republican from suburban Chicago, said the board should have followed a recommendation from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to reduce Hastert’s pension.

The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System previously revoked the pension money Hastert earned for his time as a teacher in Yorkville. He still is eligible for pension funds from his time in Congress.

FILE - In this April 27, 2016, file photo, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert who is is serving a 15-month prison term in a sexual abuse case departs the federal courthouse in Chicago. State officials are poised to consider the status of the pension Hastert receives for the time he served in the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday April 27, 2017 in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System's board of trustees are scheduled to consider Hastert's $28,000 annual pension. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)


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Trump team softens war talk, vows other pressure on N. KoreaSen. John Kennedy, R-La., second from right, boards a bus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, heading to the White House with other Senators to get a briefing on North Korea. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:26:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration told lawmakers Wednesday it will apply economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, as an extraordinary White House briefing served to tamp down talk of military action against an unpredictable and increasingly dangerous U.S. adversary. President Donald Trump welcomed Republican and Democratic senators before his secretary of state, defense secretary, top general and national intelligence director conducted a classified briefing. The same team also was meeting with House members in the Capitol to outline the North’s escalating nuclear capabilities and U.S. response options to what they called an “urgent national security threat.” After weeks of unusually blunt military threats, the joint statement by the agency chiefs said Trump’s approach “aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners.” It made no specific mention of military options, though it said the U.S. would defend itself and friends. The unprecedented meeting in a building adjacent to the White House reflected the increased American alarm over North Korea’s progress in developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the U.S. mainland. A flurry of military activity, by North Korea and the U.S. and its partners on and around the divided Korean Peninsula, has added to the world’s sense of alert. While tensions have increased since Trump took office, they’ve escalated dramatically in recent weeks as American and other intelligence agencies suggested the North was readying for a possible nuclear test. Although such an explosion hasn’t yet occurred, Trump has sent high-powered U.S. military vessels and an aircraft carrier to the region in a show of force, while the North conducted large-scale, live-fire artillery drills, witnessed by national leader Kim Jong Un, earlier this week. On Wednesday, South Korea started installing key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system that also has sparked Chinese and Russian concerns. America’s Pacific forces commander, Adm. Harry Harris Jr., told Congress on Wednesday the system would be operational within days. He said any North Korean missile fired at U.S. forces would be destroyed. “If it flies, it will die,” Harris said. The Trump administration has said all options, including a military strike, are on the table. But the administration’s statement after briefing senators – all 100 members were invited – outlined a similar approach to the Obama administration’s focus on pressuring Pyongyang to return to long-stalled denuclearization talks. Trump’s top national security advisers said they were “open to negotiations” with the North, though they gave no indication of when or under what circumstances. The strategy hinges greatly on the cooperation of China, North Kore[...]


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Officials 'doing everything we can to find' missing Preston Heights 1-year-oldEmergency divers uses sonar to search the water in a nearby retention pond Wednesday while searching for a missing Preston Heights child in Joliet Township.A water rescue vehicle turns into Louis Road on Wednesday during a search for a missing Preston Heights child in Joliet Township.Semaj Crosby, 1, is missing, according to the Will County Sheriff's Office.Will County sheriff's deputies walk Wednesday along Richards Street during a search for a missing Preston Heights child in Joliet Township.Will County Deputy Chief Rick Ackerson speaks to the media Wednesday during a press conference about the disappearance of 1-year-old Semaj Crosby in Joliet.Emergency divers search the water in a nearby retention pond Wednesday while searching for a missing Preston Heights child in Joliet Township.A missing persons poster of 1-year-old Semaj Crosby stands Wednesday in the Will County Sheriff's Department.Louis Road is seen Wednesday during a search for a missing child in Preston Heights.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 05:25:00 GMT

JOLIET TOWNSHIP – Searchers scoured the Preston Heights area Wednesday for a missing 1-year-old girl. Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Rick Ackerson said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that hundreds of police and volunteers had been searching for Semaj Crosby. “It’s such a large area, open fields, woods, trees, retention ponds,” Ackerson said. “We’re doing everything we can to find her.” Ackerson said nothing investigators had learned indicates that the girl did not wander off on her own. The FBI was called Wednesday morning to assist in the case. Semaj was reported missing to police about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Ackerson said she’d been playing with about six other children in front of her family’s home in the 300 block of Louis Road. “She was right there one minute and gone the next,” Ackerson said. Dive teams from a half-dozen area fire agencies were called to search the retention ponds near the area, but one firefighter indicated the searches were being done as a precaution, not because the child was seen near the water. Ackerson said the child has been near the ponds with adults in the past. Semaj was last seen wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt with a cat face on it and blue jeans. Her hair was in ponytails with white beads. The 18-month-old girl was barefoot. She answers to “Tink” or “Majay.” The Department of Children and Family Services opened two investigations of the mother for allegations of neglect last month. DCFS spokeswoman Veronica Resa said in an email that DCFS personnel had been at the home about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday “and had seen all three of the mother’s children, including Semaj. There were no obvious hazards or safety concerns at that time.” Resa said DCFS has been offering services to the family since September. Ackerson said deputies responded to a 911 hang-up from the residence on Easter Sunday. There was no disturbance, but deputies provided some candy and toys for the children at the house, he said. Oak Valley School, which borders the backyard of the Crosby home, will provide its school surveillance video to police. The Will County Sheriff’s Office considers this to be a missing child case, and Semaj’s family is fully cooperating with detectives, Ackerson said. Police searched the Preston Heights area throughout Tuesday night, using bloodhounds, more than 80 emergency personnel and a helicopter with infrared sensors, but they were unable to locate the girl. On Wednesday morning, a second team of bloodhounds was called to the scene from Cook County. Responders with the Will County Emergency Management Agency, Forest Preserve District of Will County and sheriff’s office continued to search, and the East Joliet Fire Department was coordinating water and drone searches. There are seven retention ponds nearby – some in the[...]


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Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study saysIn this April 28, 1993 photo provided by the San Diego Natural History Museum, a bulldozer refills the Cerutti Mastodon site in San Diego, Calif., after the excavation and salvage of fossils. In a report released on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, researchers say the southern California site shows evidence of human-like behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephant-like mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. (San Diego Natural History Museum via AP)

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 19:10:00 GMT

NEW YORK – A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals. If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago. Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks. The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus. "The very honest answer is, we don't know," said Steven Holen, lead author of the paper and director of the nonprofit Center for American Paleolithic Research in Hot Springs, South Dakota. No remains of any individuals were found. Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California, Holen said in a telephone interview. Holen and others present their evidence in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature . Not surprisingly, the report was met by skepticism from other experts who don't think there is enough proof. The research dates back to the winter of 1992-3. The site was unearthed during a routine dig by researchers during a freeway expansion project in San Diego. Analysis of the find was delayed to assemble the right expertise, said Tom Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum, another author of the paper. The Nature analysis focuses on remains from a single mastodon, and five stones found nearby. The mastodon's bones and teeth were evidently placed on two stones used as anvils and smashed with three stone hammers, to get at nutritious marrow and create raw material for tools. Patterns of damage on the limb bones looked like what happened in experiments when elephant bones were smashed with rocks. And the bones and stones were found in two areas, each roughly centered on what's thought to be an anvil. The stones measured about 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and weighed up to 32 pounds (14.5 kilograms). They weren't hand-crafted tools, Demere said. The users evidently found them and brought them to the site. The excavation also found a mastodon tusk in a vertical position, extending down into older layers, which may indicate it had been jammed into the ground as a marker or to create a platform, Demere said. [...]


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Interest in beekeeping rises in McHenry CountyDaryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Instructor Larry Krengel sprays a foundation with a sugar water solution in preparation to install a colony April 15 during a session of Field Study in Beekeeping, a class presented through McHenry County College that is taught in a bee yard in Woodstock. During the course, students received practical, hands-on instruction for installing, manipulating and inspecting colonies of bees.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Students watch as instructor Larry Krengel finishes installation of a colony by pouring about 3 pounds of bees into a hive April 15 during a session of Field Study in Beekeeping, a class presented through McHenry County College that is taught in a bee yard in Woodstock. During the course, students received practical, hands-on instruction for installing, manipulating and inspecting colonies of bees.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Instructor Larry Krengel finishes installing a colony by pouring about 3 pounds of bees into a hive April 15 during a session of Field Study in Beekeeping, a class presented through McHenry County College that is taught in a bee yard in Woodstock. During the course, students received practical, hands-on instruction for installing, manipulating and inspecting colonies of bees.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Instructor Larry Krengel shows a queen bee still in containment from its buy April 15 during a session of Field Study in Beekeeping, a class presented through McHenry County College that is taught in a bee yard in Woodstock. During the course, students received practical, hands-on instruction for installing, manipulating and inspecting colonies of bees.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Instructor Larry Krengel demonstrates setting up a smoker April 15 during a session of Field Study in Beekeeping, a class presented through McHenry County College that is taught in a bee yard in Woodstock. During the course, students received practical, hands-on instruction for installing, manipulating and inspecting colonies of bees.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:25:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Beekeeping has been creating quite the buzz in McHenry County over the years as honeybee populations in Illinois continue to struggle. Larry Krengel, a beekeeping instructor at McHenry County College, has been teaching people the ins and outs of keeping colonies for about two decades and said he has seen a rapid increase in interest in the hobby. The college holds seminars in the spring to prepare for bee season, which typically begins at the end of March. This year, the course had so much interest that it was broken up into two sessions. “I think many people feel they can be of a help because of the problem the honeybees are having,” he said. “I also think they find a fascination with it. The world of the honeybee is quite intriguing.” About $15 billion worth of U.S. crops are pollinated by the honeybee, but populations are declining because of a variety of factors, including vicious parasites and what has been known as colony collapse disorder – where mature worker bees leave the hive, and the queen and remaining nurse and immature bees don’t survive, Krengel said. The No. 1 challenge local beekeepers face now is a parasite called the varroa mite, which made its first appearance in the U.S. in the late 1980s. “It now exists in every state,” Krengel said. “There is no way to get rid of it. How to manage it is the biggest challenge.” It’s not just the honeybee that is in danger. The rusty patched bumblebee is an endangered species and recently has caused headaches in Algonquin. Its potential presence has halted work on the already-controversial Longmeadow Parkway project near Randall Road. The bee is the first bumblebee to officially be named endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The issue is national. At the beginning of 2016, the number of honeybee colonies was down 8 percent from 2015, with varroa mites being the top cause for loss, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. General Mills recently removed its iconic mascot from its Honey Nut Cheerios boxes in an effort to raise awareness of the issue. But backyard beekeepers are making a difference, Krengel said. “My philosophy is that it very well could be the small-scale beekeeper that saves the day,” he said. “I think having many bees in many places is how we will save the bee.” In McHenry County, there are 113 registered beekeepers and a total of 1,305 active colonies, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Jerry Gudauskas of McHenry got started because he noticed his own garden wasn’t being properly pollinated. He now is studying at the University of Florida for a master’s in beekeeping, belongs to many beekeeping organizations around Illinois and Florida, takes care of 15 hives and raises queen bees. [...]


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Golf course views and an in-ground pool: Check out this $525,000 Marengo home for saleMarengo home listed for sale on Zillow: 17419 Granite Drive. 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4,240 square feet. Listed price: $525,000. Estimated mortgage: $1,975 per month. Located on Blackstone Golf Club, this Marengo home has a fully fenced in-ground pool and patio. Inside, there is an open plan chef’s kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The master suite has a sitting room and luxury bath. The finished basement has a rec room with a fireplace, wet bar and exercise room. Listing agent: Keith Schauer - 847-217-8049EntrancewayDining roomOfficeLiving room with fireplace and trey ceilingOpen concept kitchen with eating areaKitchen with large center island, breakfast bar and stainless steel appliancesChef's kitchen with double oven, granite countertops and large center islandMarengo home listed for sale on Zillow: 17419 Granite Drive. 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4,240 square feet. Listed price: $525,000. Estimated mortgage: $1,975 per month. Located on Blackstone Golf Club, this Marengo home has a fully fenced in-ground pool and patio. Inside, there is an open plan chef’s kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The master suite has a sitting room and luxury bath. The finished basement has a rec room with a fireplace, wet bar and exercise room. Listing agent: Keith Schauer - 847-217-8049Laundry roomMaster bedroomMaster bedroom with sitting areaMaster bathroom with tub and dual sinksMaster bathroom with walk-in showerOne of five bedroomsOne of five bedroomsOne of six bathrooms, this one shared with two bedroomsFinished basement with rec roomFinished basement with wet barFinished basement with fireplace and entertainment areaFinished basement with exercise roomOutdoor patioIn-ground poolMarengo home listed for sale on Zillow: 17419 Granite Drive. 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4,240 square feet. Listed price: $525,000. Estimated mortgage: $1,975 per month. Located on Blackstone Golf Club, this Marengo home has a fully fenced in-ground pool and patio. Inside, there is an open plan chef’s kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The master suite has a sitting room and luxury bath. The finished basement has a rec room with a fireplace, wet bar and exercise room. Listing agent: Keith Schauer - 847-217-8049

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:18:00 GMT

Check out this $525,000 Marengo home for sale, listed on Zillow

Marengo home listed for sale on Zillow: 17419 Granite Drive. 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4,240 square feet. Listed price: $525,000. Estimated mortgage: $1,975 per month. Located on Blackstone Golf Club, this Marengo home has a fully fenced in-ground pool and patio. Inside, there is an open plan chef’s kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The master suite has a sitting room and luxury bath. The finished basement has a rec room with a fireplace, wet bar and exercise room. Listing agent: Keith Schauer - 847-217-8049EntrancewayDining roomOfficeLiving room with fireplace and trey ceilingOpen concept kitchen with eating areaKitchen with large center island, breakfast bar and stainless steel appliancesChef's kitchen with double oven, granite countertops and large center islandMarengo home listed for sale on Zillow: 17419 Granite Drive. 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4,240 square feet. Listed price: $525,000. Estimated mortgage: $1,975 per month. Located on Blackstone Golf Club, this Marengo home has a fully fenced in-ground pool and patio. Inside, there is an open plan chef’s kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The master suite has a sitting room and luxury bath. The finished basement has a rec room with a fireplace, wet bar and exercise room. Listing agent: Keith Schauer - 847-217-8049Laundry roomMaster bedroomMaster bedroom with sitting areaMaster bathroom with tub and dual sinksMaster bathroom with walk-in showerOne of five bedroomsOne of five bedroomsOne of six bathrooms, this one shared with two bedroomsFinished basement with rec roomFinished basement with wet barFinished basement with fireplace and entertainment areaFinished basement with exercise roomOutdoor patioIn-ground poolMarengo home listed for sale on Zillow: 17419 Granite Drive. 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 4,240 square feet. Listed price: $525,000. Estimated mortgage: $1,975 per month. Located on Blackstone Golf Club, this Marengo home has a fully fenced in-ground pool and patio. Inside, there is an open plan chef’s kitchen with a large island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The master suite has a sitting room and luxury bath. The finished basement has a rec room with a fireplace, wet bar and exercise room. Listing agent: Keith Schauer - 847-217-8049


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Democratic Illinois House OKs public funding for abortions

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:44:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – The Democratic-controlled Illinois House approved legislation Tuesday that would allow the state to cover abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients, voting just hours after several hundred people from across the state flocked to the Capitol to lobby their lawmakers to support it. The 62-55 party-line vote coincided with a rally by women’s groups outside the Capitol that focused on a “progressive” legislative agenda, headed by the abortion measure. Springing from the inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump in January, the issue has gained enough steam this spring to force GOP Bruce Rauner to walk back his former support for expanding publicly funded abortions. Despite the familiarity of the arguments from both sides, the floor debate lasted two hours and was fueled by the morning rally, called the Illinois Women March, which was patterned after similar marches worldwide Jan. 21. “Women should have access to safe, legal and accessible abortion no matter what their insurance is,” Chicago Democratic Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, the proposal’s sponsor, said in closing the floor debate. Feigenholtz and other Democratic proponents argued the measure is a matter of fairness, ending the “two-tiered” system that denies low-income women and state employees the same access to abortion coverage that women insured privately or by some units of local government receive and protecting their right to make reproductive health decisions. They said the proposal would also safeguard abortion access in Illinois by striking language in current law expressing the state’s intent to criminalize the procedure if the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized it is ever overturned. But Republicans claimed the Legislature lacks necessary public support to use taxpayer dollars in funding the controversial procedure, particularly amid the state’s two-year-long budget crisis. “Where should this money come from?” asked Republican Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard, who said Medicaid-funded abortions do not qualify for a federal match and would cost Illinois an extra $60 million a year. “Should it come from cancer screenings? Legitimate medical expenses like heart medicine or insulin?” Breen also called striking the so-called “trigger language” in existing law – which advocates say would criminalize abortion in Illinois if Roe v. Wade is overturned – a “smokescreen” to cover the bill’s funding expansion. He cited a 1989 analysis from the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Research Unit that found Illinois would need to reinstate criminal penalties for abortion before that language could have any practical application. During the debate, Democratic Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago read from a statement she said Republican Gov. [...]



Chicago Palestinian activist pleads guilty to U.S. immigration crimeAP photo Supporters of Rasmea Odeh carry signs and chant Tuesday outside the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit. Odeh, is expected to agree to be deported for failing to disclose her conviction for bombings in Israel in the late 1960s.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:43:00 GMT

DETROIT – A Chicago Palestinian activist with a decades-old record of bombings in Israel pleaded guilty Tuesday to concealing those convictions when she applied for U.S. citizenship. Rasmea Odeh, 69, will be deported to Jordan or another country in the months ahead. Supporters traveled to Detroit from Chicago to pack the courtroom, and many were in tears later on the courthouse steps. Odeh was convicted at trial in 2014 and sentenced to 18 months in prison, but the verdict was overturned. A second trial was planned in Detroit, the city where she went through the citizenship process in 2004, before she decided to accept a plea deal. But even with the plea agreement, Odeh found it impossible to say the word "guilty" when repeatedly asked by U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain. He gave up and accepted her reply that she had admitted her crime in the court document. "I signed this," Odeh said. She won't spend any time in prison and will wait for U.S. immigration officials to tell her when she must leave the country. The deportation won't happen until after she appears in court in August. "The United States will never be a safe haven for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts," said Steve Francis, special agent in charge of Homeland Security investigations in Detroit. In 1970, Odeh was convicted of two bombings in Israel, including one that killed two young men at a supermarket in Jerusalem. She insists she was tortured into confessing. She was sentenced to life in prison but was released in 1979 as part of a prisoner swap with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. With family in Michigan, she applied for a U.S. visa in 1994 but didn't disclose her criminal record. She also didn't disclose it when she applied for citizenship in 2004. Her record would have disqualified her from entering the U.S. In the plea agreement with prosecutors, Odeh said she made the false statements "intentionally and not as a result of any mistake, post-traumatic stress disorder or any other psychological issue or condition or for any innocent reason." In Chicago, Odeh has worked as associate director of the Arab American Action Network, which provides social services and education. She is widely respected for her work with immigrants, especially Arab women. Hatem Abudayyeh, director of the organization, told Odeh's allies outside the courthouse that she's guilty only of "dedicating over 50 years of her life to the liberation of Palestine." Before the guilty plea, a Detroit-area man held a sign outside to honor Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe, the victims of the 1969 supermarket bombing. "I'm out here for the families," Dan Cutler, 65, said. [...]AP photo Sup[...]


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U.S. sets up missile defense in S. Korea as North shows powerSouth Korean protesters stage a rally against U.S. deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to the Korean Peninsula, in front of the Defense Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 25, 2017. North Korea marks the founding anniversary of its military on Tuesday, and South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that it could conduct another nuclear test or launch an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time. The signs read "Stop military action on the Korean Peninsula". (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:43:00 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea – In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system had been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power. The South's trumpeting of progress on setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing. North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person strong Korean People's Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea, and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea. The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons. China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with its ally Pyongyang, and Russia see the system's powerful radars as a security threat. South Korea said in a statement Wednesday that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed. The statement said that Seoul and Washington have been pushing to get THAAD quickly working to cope with North Korea's advancing nuclear and missile threats. According to Yonhap news agency, the parts include two or three launchers, intercept missiles and at least one radar. About 8,000 police officers were mobilized and the main road leading up to the site in the southeast was blocked earlier Wednesday, Yonhap reported. About 200 residents and protesters rallied in front of a local community center, some hurling plastic water bottles. On Tuesday, North Korea conducted live-fire drills near the east coast city of Wonsan that involved 300 to 400 artillery pieces, Yonhap reported. An official from Seoul's Defense Ministry couldn't confirm those specific details. North Korea's official media said early Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Un personally observed the exercises. The drills reportedly included submarine torpedo attacks on mock enemy warships "while fighters and bombers made zero feet flight above the sea to drop bombs on the targets," the Korean Central News Agency said. President Donald Trump has sent more U.S. military assets to the region in a show of force while leaning on China to exert economic pressure on its wayward ally. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke to Trump on Monday, is urging restraint from both Pyongyang and Washington. In Washington, top Trump administration officials are scheduled to brief the entire U.S. Senate on Wednesday. A rapid tempo of North Korean weapons testing in the past year has pushed Kim Jong Un's authoritaria[...]


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Documents: Tennessee teen abused by mom before kidnapping by teacherSiskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, right, speaks during a press conference in Yreka, Calif., Thursday, April 20, 2017. A 15-year-old Tennessee girl was rescued near a cabin in a remote part of northern California on Thursday, April 20, 2017, more than a month after her 50-year-old teacher kidnapped her and set off a nationwide manhunt, authorities said. (Danielle Jester/Siskiyou Daily News via AP)

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:43:00 GMT

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – A 15-year-old Tennessee girl who authorities said was kidnapped by her teacher had endured months of abuse at the hands of her mother, according to court documents, making her particularly vulnerable to an adult predator. The mother is scheduled to appear in court next month and has pleaded not guilty to five counts of abuse and neglect involving several of her children. The girl’s father filed for divorce Monday, citing the alleged abuse. His daughter was found safe with her teacher last week at a cabin in a remote part of Northern California. The girl’s father has said the 50-year-old teacher brainwashed his daughter. In divorce documents, he said the teacher used his position of authority to “prey upon her, groom her, and ultimately entice her into running away with him.” The Associated Press is not naming the student or any family members because the teen is an alleged victim of a sex crime. The teacher, Tad Cummins, faces federal charges of bringing a minor across state lines for sex and state charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. Cummins’ attorney has said the girl went with her teacher willingly, and was not forced, threatened or coerced. School records showed the girl often relied on Cummins “like a friend and a counselor” when she became upset or anxious at school. A history of abuse at home can make children particularly susceptible to manipulation disguised as help, said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. “They’re very vulnerable to the grooming because this is an adult who seems to care about them and is interested in them, and that’s probably something they’re not getting elsewhere,” he said. Authorities said the mother physically abused several of her children for about a year, beginning in November 2014. The teen’s father was living at home during that time, but the couple separated in November 2015 and the father took sole custody of the children, according to the divorce filing. The parents have been married for 30 years and have 10 children together, although only four of them are still minors. The mother is accused of hitting her children until they bled, knocking a daughter unconscious with a wooden board and throwing a chair at another daughter, bruising her leg, court documents show. The mother also smacked a child in the head for injecting herself with her brother’s EpiPen. The mother said she can’t comment about the case. Her attorney has asked for more detail on the allegations and access to the children’s social media accounts. The mother has been ordered to stay away from the children, court records said. [...]


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San Diego schools defend effort to fight Islamophobia

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:43:00 GMT

SAN DIEGO – One of the nation's largest school districts is defending its campaign to fight Islamophobia and promote understanding of Muslim culture against critics who said it is favoring a religion. Kevin Beiser, vice president of the San Diego Unified School District board, said Tuesday that the effort is modeled on a plan he advanced several years ago to protect LGBT students. He said bullying of Muslim students is pervasive and vastly underreported. "Muslim students are constantly being harassed, spit on, verbally abused, pushed, shoved, their hijabs are being pulled," he said, calling it a "serious problem probably in every public school in the country." Critics planned a protest at Tuesday's school board meeting but no one in the audience rose to speak for or against the effort and there were no visible signs of opposition. The multiyear plan includes ensuring staff calendars include Muslim holidays, reviewing library materials on Muslim culture, providing resources to teachers and engaging in partnerships with the Council on American Islamic Relations. The district also plans to consider high school clubs that promote American Muslim culture, create "safe spaces" for students and train staff about Muslim culture. The district is reviewing internal staff calendars to make sure Muslim holidays are recognized. A letter outlining plans will be sent to staff and parents of its 132,000 students. It's expected to go out before Ramadan begins in late May. The plan drew little attention when the board approved it, 4-0, April 4, with one member absent. Public comments from staff and community members were uniformly positive. "We believe this is a great first step in the direction of protecting Muslim students from the bullying that is a direct result of the growing Islamophobia in our state and nation," Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' San Diego chapter, said after the vote. "Other school districts should follow this lead, and we will be happy to work with them to provide resources and trainings." Pushback gradually spread on the social media and the internet, with written attacks on Islam and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. A Sunday article on the conservative website Breitbart News drew hundreds of reader comments. The headline of a story on the Angry Patriot website that had 35,000 Facebook 'likes' read, "Islamic Takeover CONFIRMED - American School Surrenders to SHARIA LAW." Mary Baker, founder of Citizens for Quality Education-San Diego, urged the district to retract the policy. Her organization planned a protest at Tuesday's school board meeting. "Students may be taught about religion in its hist[...]



Caterpillar 1st quarter results top Street, boosts outlookFILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, file photo, a Caterpillar 349E Hydraulic Excavator operates on a construction site in Miami Beach, Fla. Caterpillar, Inc. reports financial earnings Tuesday, April 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:43:00 GMT

PEORIA – Caterpillar's first-quarter adjusted profit handily topped expectations on Wall Street, and revenue climbed thanks to improved sales across its business segments. The construction equipment company also boosted its full-year outlook thanks to a stronger-than-expected start to the year.

Shares jumped 6 percent in Tuesday premarket trading.

For the three months ended March 31, the Peoria company earned $192 million, or 32 cents a share. That compares with $271 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out restructuring costs, earnings were $1.28 per share. That easily beat the 62 cents a share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research called for.

Revenue rose to $9.82 billion from $9.46 billion. That topped the $9.36 billion in revenue that analysts expected.

For the year, Caterpillar Inc. now predicts adjusted earnings of $3.75 per share, with revenue in a range of $38 billion to $41 billion. Its prior guidance was for adjusted earnings of about $2.90 per share, with revenue between $36 billion and $39 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet are looking for earnings of $3.25 per share on revenue of $37.9 billion.

Caterpillar is having a tumultuous year, announcing that it would move its headquarters to the Chicago area. Last month it denied it had broken any federal tax laws after its headquarters and other facilities were raided by a number of federal agencies including the Internal Revenue Service.

Caterpillar has been challenged for some time by federal agencies in regard to its accounting practices and said that the raids may have been related to a Swiss business, called CSARL.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, file photo, a Caterpillar 349E Hydraulic Excavator operates on a construction site in Miami Beach, Fla. Caterpillar, Inc. reports financial earnings Tuesday, April 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)


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Lawmakers suggest former Trump aide Flynn broke U.S. lawAP fil ephoto Then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing Feb. 1 at the White House, in Washington, D.C. The White House is refusing to provide lawmakers with information and documents related to President Donald Trump's first national security adviser's security clearance and payments from organizations tied to the Russian and Turkish governments.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:42:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, appeared to violate federal law when he failed to seek permission or inform the U.S. government about accepting tens of thousands of dollars from Russian organizations after a trip there in 2015, leaders of a House oversight committee said Tuesday. The congressmen also raised new questions about fees Flynn received as part of $530,000 in consulting work his company performed for a businessman tied to Turkey’s government. The bipartisan accusations that Flynn may have broken the law come as his foreign contacts are being examined by other congressional committees as part of investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin. Congress returned earlier this week from its spring recess, and Tuesday’s announcements reflected renewed interest on Capitol Hill. Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said they saw no evidence that Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, properly disclosed foreign payments he received to military officials or on his security clearance paperwork. Flynn, who headed the military’s top intelligence agency, was Trump’s national security adviser until he was fired in February. Among the payments in question was more than $33,000 that Flynn received in 2015 from the Russia Today television network, which has been described by U.S. intelligence officials as a propaganda front for Russia’s government. “That money needs to be recovered,” said Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Chaffetz said Flynn was obligated as a retired Army officer to request permission from both the Defense and State departments about prospective foreign government payments before he received them. “There was nothing in the data to show that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said. Cummings said Flynn’s failure to formally report the Russian payments on his security clearance paperwork amounted to concealment of the money, which could be prosecuted as a felony. Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, said Flynn reported his plans to travel to Russia to his former agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and he briefed officials there after he returned. Kelner declined to answer questions about whether Flynn properly disclosed the payments. The congressmen spoke after reviewing classified documents regarding Flynn that were provided by the Defense Intelligence Agency. They were also briefed by agency officials. The congressmen declined to describe in detail the materials they reviewed. But Cummings said the documents were “extreme[...]


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Illinois American Civil Liberties Union leader to speak at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:19:00 GMT

McHENRY – Illinois American Civil Liberties Union Communications Director Edwin Yonhka will speak and lead a discussion Wednesday at a McHenry church.

The presentation will be at 7 p.m. at an open meeting at the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 5603 Bull Valley Road, McHenry, according to a news release from the church.

The program, titled “Effective Activism With the ACLU,” will give a briefing on what is going on in the nation and the state, as well as discuss ways people can get involved and support the ACLU’s efforts, according to the release.

There will be a discussion about how to approach Congress members on these issues when they return to their districts during upcoming recesses May 8 to 12 and May 29 to June 2.

The program is sponsored by the Tree of Life Social Justice Team and is free and open to the public.

For information, reach the Tree of Life office at 815 322-2464 or office@treeoflifeuu.org, or visit treeoflifeuu.org/2017/04/18/effective-activism-with-the-aclu/.




Superintendent of Richmond-Burton School District 157, Nippersink District 2 named superintendent of distinctionDan Oest, superintendent of Richmond-Burton Community High School Disrict 157 and Nippersink School District 2 was named 2017 Superintendent of Distinction by the Kishwaukee Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:19:00 GMT

RICHMOND – Dan Oest, superintendent of Richmond-Burton School District 157 and Nippersink School District 2, was named superintendent of distinction in the Kishwaukee region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

Oest has been an educator for 33 years, working as superintendent for more than a decade in both districts. He was honored at a luncheon Friday in Springfield.

“Acknowledgment by one’s peers for what one has given to the profession is gratifying,” Oest said. “However, the team assembled alongside me each and every day makes it happen and deserves credit in implementation and achieving the success. I have been surrounded by great minds giving their all to our school community.”

While superintendent, Oest has implemented shared services between the two districts, including the 1:1 program for high school students and digital learning for middle school and elementary school students.

Oest earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, his master’s degree from Northern Illinois University, his education specialist degree from National Louis University and his doctorate in education from NIU.

Dan Oest, superintendent of Richmond-Burton Community High School Disrict 157 and Nippersink School District 2 was named 2017 Superintendent of Distinction by the Kishwaukee Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators.


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Birthday bags are a bright spot for needy families at the Lutheran School AssociationIn this April 3, 2017 photo, Lutheran School Association student Jared Gregory adds new donations to "birthday bags" at Lutheran School Association in Decatur, Ill. When a family is having financial problems and cutting expenses, one of the first things to go is birthday parties. The LSA decided to help out Northeast Community Fund by collecting items for "birthday bags." The bags will be given to children in need on their birthdays. (Jim Bowling/Herald & Review via AP)In this April 3, 2017 photo, Lutheran School Association Principal Allison Nolen and student Jared Gregory add the latest donations of birthday gifts and party items to those given by Lutheran School Association students for the Northeast Community Fund in Decatur, Ill. When a family is having financial problems and cutting expenses, one of the first things to go is birthday parties. The LSA decided to help out Northeast Community Fund by collecting items for "birthday bags." The bags will be given to children in need on their birthdays. (Jim Bowling/Herald & Review via AP)

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:18:00 GMT

DECATUR – When a family is having financial problems and cutting expenses, one of the first things to go is birthday parties. The Lutheran School Association decided to help out Northeast Community Fund by collecting items for “birthday bags.” “My goal was 200,” said high school Principal Allison Nolen, standing in a storeroom at the school with four long tables groaning under the number of colorful gift bags, each containing cake mix, candles, paper plates, napkins and a present. “I knew that we would get a good response. I was hopeful for 200. I did not realize it was going to be this huge and people were going to be so invested in it. They blew me away.” LSA families came through handsomely, donating enough items for 275 complete bags, plus 75 more partial bags, with enough cake mix and toys left over to create several Easter packages, as well. Nolen designated an item a day recently – one day for cake mix, one day for napkins, another for gift bags – and students who brought donations were allowed a day without wearing their school uniform. Nolen and high school junior Jared Gregory double-checked bags to make sure they all had all of the items in them, and they distributed the last-minute donations. Although the school asked families to spend about $5 a gift, some people went well over that, and bags had presents peeking over the edges that clearly cost more. One held a new baseball glove, and a couple of others had “Star Wars” toys and other items to make children very happy. “This is something that we’ve just found is a kind of nice little extra thing to do,” said Jerry Pelz, founder and executive director of Northeast Community Fund. “If their children have birthdays that week or month (that they come in), we give them one of these bags that has everything they need in it.” Pelz doesn’t remember exactly when it started, but about two years ago, some families started bringing in birthday kits to donate, and now people are doing it regularly, including kids who ask for such donations instead of birthday presents on their own birthdays. The organization still is raising money to build a new facility, and the board’s goal is to reach $2 million before breaking ground, Pelz said. The fund is at $1.1 million now. Once they have a new building, storing donations will be much easier. “We really are cramped for space,” Pelz said. “An event like this demonstrates it. We don’t have room to store that kind of stuff, and in the new place, we could easily take care of those donations. We are, in some ways, hindere[...]


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McDonald's U.S. sales climb; customer traffic still a focusAP photo A McDonald's restaurant is seen Monday in downtown Pittsburgh. McDonald's Corp. reported its earnings Tuesday.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:18:00 GMT

NEW YORK – McDonald’s said new Big Mac sizes helped boost a key sales figure in the U.S., but it still is working on trying to attract more customers to its stores. The world’s biggest burger chain said Tuesday that global sales rose 4 percent at established locations in the first three months of the year. That included a 1.7 percent increase in its flagship U.S. market, where the fast-food chain has suffered four straight years of declining customer visits. Sales rose as a result of higher prices, the company said, and from smaller and bigger versions of the Big Mac that helped drive up average spending. Customer visits were “relatively flat” from a year ago, when factoring out the benefit of an extra day in last year’s quarter. McDonald’s Corp. said its results show it is “strengthening its foundation” in the U.S. as it tries to improve the image of its food and looks to the rollout of options such as mobile order-and-pay and expanded delivery to drive sales moving forward. The sales bump was better than analysts expected and built on a 5.4 percent increase from a year ago. Sales also were stronger in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom and China, and McDonald’s stock hit an all-time high at $140.82. Still, CEO Steve Easterbrook said Tuesday that executives have had “honest conversations” about the declining customer traffic in the U.S. “Let’s acknowledge the guest counts that we’ve lost, because frankly we want those back,” he said during a conference call with analysts. Compared with 2012, McDonald’s has said its customer visits in the U.S. are down by 500 million a year, in part because it has failed to hold onto deal seekers after doing away with the Dollar Menu. To help address that, the company has been offering $1 coffee drinks and more recently introduced $1 sodas of any size. As part of its campaign to step up the perceptions about its burgers, McDonald’s recently announced it will start using fresh instead of frozen beef for its Quarter Pounders sometime next year. In late 2015, it also introduced an all-day breakfast menu. McDonald’s also has trimmed its domestic store base for the past two years. McDonald’s closed additional stores in the first quarter, bringing its store base to 14,094 locations as of March 31. On a global basis, it is expanding and had more than 36,900 locations, including the domestic stores. For the quarter, McDonald’s reported a profit of $1.21 billion, or $1.47 a share. Analysts expected $1.32 a sha[...]


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McHenry man admits to fatally stabbing wife with screwdriver

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

McHENRY – A McHenry man has pleaded guilty to stabbing his wife to death with a screwdriver in 2015.

The Daily Herald reported Monday that 46-year-old Javier Bahena-Arellano of McHenry entered the plea in exchange for a 30-year prison term. Officials said he stabbed 42-year-old Francisca Quintero-Montoya at an Elk Grove Village hospital.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Denise Loiterstein said the couple and family were at the hospital grieving the death of her brother, who died from a heart attack. Loiterstein said Bahena-Arellano believed his wife was cheating on him, retrieved a screwdriver from his truck and followed Quintero-Montoya into a restroom, where he locked the door and stabbed her. Prosecutors said relatives heard her screaming and tried to rescue her.

They had been married 20 years.




St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in McHenry to host mobile food bank

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

McHENRY – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will host its seventh Mobile Food Truck since 2015 in partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank on Saturday at the church, 3706 W. St. Paul Ave.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon. In addition to the free food from the Mobile Food Truck, bagels, coffee and juice will be served for free to guests starting at 9 a.m. The event will take place rain or shine, organizers said.

“We are proud and honored to offer this free service to members of our community. We typically feed 80 to 100 families for a week each time we host this event,” the Rev. Lori Lowe said.

St. Paul’s has distributed food to more than 500 families in the past two years through the Mobile Food Truck and the Northern Illinois Food Bank, church representatives said.

The church will host the event in partnership with two other McHenry County episcopal churches – St. Ann’s in Woodstock and St. Mary’s in Crystal Lake.




Outback Steakhouse in Crystal Lake remains open during renovationCrews work Thursday on the roof of the Outback Steakhouse in Crystal Lake. Renovation work is underway, but the restaurant will remain open as construction continues.Outback Steakhouse opened in Crystal Lake in January 1999.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:17:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Renovation work is underway at the Outback Steakhouse in Crystal Lake, and the Aussie-themed chain restaurant will remain open while construction continues.

The city of Crystal Lake issued a permit for work at the restaurant, 4751 Route 14, earlier this month. The permit is for exterior facade remodeling, including the patio area. Image One is listed as the contractor on the project. The permit expires Oct. 10.

A banner hung out front says the restaurant will remain open during construction.

Outback Steakhouse opened in January 1999 at the Crystal Lake location.

The chain is owned by Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands Inc. The company also owns Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

A spokesperson for the company couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Crews work Thursday on the roof of the Outback Steakhouse in Crystal Lake. Renovation work is underway, but the restaurant will remain open as construction continues.Outback Steakhouse opened in Crystal Lake in January 1999.


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