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Captain: Oklahoma City man killed by police was deafADDS NAME OF NEIGHBOR - Julio Rayos answers questions for the media in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, concerning the officer involved shooting of Magdiel Sanchez Tuesday night. The neighbor was an eyewitness to the shooting. Oklahoma City police officers who opened fire on Sanchez as he approached them holding a metal pipe didn't hear witnesses yelling that he was deaf, police Capt. Bo Mathews said at a news conference. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:40:00 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City police officers who opened fire on a man in front of his home as he approached them holding a metal pipe didn’t hear witnesses yelling that he was deaf, a department official said Wednesday. Magdiel Sanchez, 35, wasn’t obeying the officers’ commands before one shot him with a gun and the other with a Taser on Tuesday night, police Capt. Bo Mathews said at a news conference. He said witnesses were yelling “he can’t hear you” before the officers fired, but they didn’t hear them. “In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision, or you can really lock in to just the person that has the weapon that’d be the threat against you,” Mathews said. “I don’t know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point.” Sanchez, who had no apparent criminal history, died at the scene. The officer who fired the gun, Sgt. Chris Barnes, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Mathews said the officers were investigating a reported hit-and-run at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. He said a witness told Lt. Matthew Lindsey the address where the vehicle responsible for the hit-and-run had gone, and that Sanchez was on the porch when Lindsey arrived. He said Sanchez was holding a metal pipe that was about 2 feet long and that had a leather loop on one end for wrapping around one’s wrist. Lindsey called for backup and Barnes arrived, at which point Sanchez left the porch and began to approach the officers, Mathews said. Witnesses could hear the officers giving Sanchez commands, but the officers didn’t hear the witnesses yelling that Sanchez couldn’t hear them, Mathews said. When he was about 15 feet away from the officers, they opened fire – Lindsey with his Taser and Barnes with his gun, apparently simultaneously, Mathews said. He said he didn’t know how many shots were fired, but that it was more than one. When asked why Barnes used a gun instead of a Taser, Mathews said he didn’t know. He said it’s possible Barnes wasn’t equipped with a Taser. Neither officer had a body camera. Sanchez’s father, who was driving the hit-and-run vehicle, confirmed after the shooting that his son was deaf, Mathews said. He said Sanchez wasn’t in the vehicle when his father struck something and drove off. It wasn’t a person that he struck. A man who saw Oklahoma City police officers open fire on Sanchez said his neighbor was developmentally disabled and didn’t speak in addition to being deaf. Neighbor Julio Rayos told The Oklahoman on Wednesday that Sanchez communicated mainly through hand movements. “He don’t speak, he don’t hear, mainly it is hand movements. That’s how he communicates,” Rayos told the newspaper. “I believe he was frustrated trying to tell them what was going on.” Mathews said the city has officers who are trained in the use of sign language, but he didn’t know if Lindsey and Barnes are among them. Jolie Guebara, who lives two houses from the shooting scene, told The Associated Press that she heard five or six gunshots before she looked outside and saw the police. “He always had a stick that he would walk around with, because there’s a lot of stray dogs,” Guebara said. Guebara said Sanchez, whose name she didn’t know, wrote notes to communicate with her and her husband when he would occasionally stop and visit if they were outside. Police initially said Sanchez was carrying a stick, but Mathews described it Wednesday as a metal pipe. Sanchez’s death is the latest in a string of con[...]


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Watchdog: Airfares for many travelers rise due to bag feesLuggage sits Jan. 30 on a baggage claim carousel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. Travelers who check at least one bag when flying domestically are paying more overall than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008 and charging separately for checked baggage, a government watchdog said Wednesday.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:39:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Travelers who check at least one bag when flying domestically are paying more overall than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008 and charging separately for checked baggage, a government watchdog said Wednesday.

A report by the Government Accountability Office said airline officials told GAO investigators that base airfares are now lower than before airlines began separately charging passengers for checked bags, reservation changes, priority boarding and other services. But the GAO’s review of studies that have examined the effect of bag fees on ticket prices shows that charging separately for bags reduced fares by less than the new bag fee itself.

“As a result, customers who paid for checked bags paid more on average for the combined airfare and bag fee than when the airfare and bag fee were bundled together,” the report said. “Conversely, passengers who did not check bags paid less overall.”

One study found that airlines with bag fees lowered fares to appear more competitive and then made up the lost revenue in bag fees. Another study found that declines in airfares amounted to less than the bag fee, so on average, the combined total of the fare and bag fee increased.

Airlines collected $7.1 billion in revenue from checked bag and changed reservations fees in the federal budget year ending on Sept. 30, the GAO said. Those are the only fee revenues that airlines are required to report to the government.

The Department of Transportation said Wednesday that airlines collected nearly $1.2 billion in checked bag fees during the seconded quarter of this year. That’s a record and the fifth consecutive quarter that bag fee revenues exceeded $1 billion.

“At this rate, passengers are going to have to start showing up with a suitcase full of clothes and a suitcase full of money just to get on the plane,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who requested the report. “It’s high time the airlines rein in these outrageous fees.”

Airlines for America, a trade association, said fares are “historically low and have trended that way since deregulation” in 1978.

The group, citing federal figures, noted that “we are in the third consecutive year of real declines in domestic airfares, and year after year we continue to see record numbers of flyers taking to the skies.”

But the report said the Transportation Department’s data had serious limitations that may cause fares to appear lower than they actually are.

Consumer advocates and online travel agents also told GAO investigators that the proliferation of new fees for services means flyers aren’t always able to determine the full cost of their travel and compare prices across airlines before buying tickets.

“Consumers should be able to shop for airline seats without being nickel-and-dimed, and without getting hit with post-purchase sticker shock,” William J. McGee, an aviation adviser to Consumer Reports magazine, said in a statement after the release of the report. He called for “basic standards to curb these unfair practices.”

Congress told the Transportation Department to issue new rules requiring quick automatic refunds for bag fees when checked luggage isn’t delivered, but the department hasn’t yet acted on the directive.

Luggage sits Jan. 30 on a baggage claim carousel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta. Travelers who check at least one bag when flying domestically are paying more overall than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008 and charging separately for checked baggage, a government watchdog said Wednesday.


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McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady announces run for Illinois Senate District 32 seatMary Mahady, of McHenry, announced Monday she is seeking a seat in Illinois Senate District 32 - a seat currently held by state Sen. Pamela Althoff.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:27:00 GMT

McHENRY – Another McHenry County resident has submitted a bid for the Illinois Senate District 32 seat that state Sen. Pamela Althoff occupies.

McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady, D–McHenry, said in a news release that she would join the Senate race against current McHenry County Board members John Reinert, R-Crystal Lake, and Craig Wilcox, R-McHenry. Althoff announced that she is not running for re-election and supports Reinert.

Mahady focused on tax law reform in her announcement.

“The biggest issue touching every Illinois resident is the increasing burden of property taxes,” Mahady said in a statement. “Many politicians promise to reduce property taxes, but the only real way to reduce the burden is to change our state laws to provide more funding for our schools and eliminate property tax loopholes. I am committed to solving these complex issues and ensuring our communities have the resources they need.”

Mahady also is a real estate agent and former member of the McHenry County Board of Review. She said she has the knowledge to create more equity in the system.

“People don’t mind paying their fair share, but they want a system that is fair for everyone,” Mahady said in a statement.

A 37-year McHenry Township resident, Mahady said that she has raised her two children and now four grandchildren in the county. She has been involved in the McHenry Chamber of Commerce and was president of the Pigtail Softball League.

“I am dedicated to making Illinois a place where all of our children and grandchildren want to live and where grandparents can afford to retire near their family,” Mahady said in the statement. “I am committed to listening to all views and working with anyone to create the most efficient, transparent and beneficial system. I will bring the voices of the 32nd District to Springfield to make our state stronger than ever.”

Mary Mahady, of McHenry, announced Monday she is seeking a seat in Illinois Senate District 32 - a seat currently held by state Sen. Pamela Althoff.


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Crystal Lake man being held on drunken driving charges, ICE hold asks judge to dismiss chargesShaw Media file photo

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:25:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK — A Crystal Lake man being held in jail on drunken driving charges and an immigration hold is asking a judge to dismiss his criminal charges, claiming he is being unlawfully held after posting bail weeks ago. Pascasio Martinez, 34, is arguing that his fourth and eighth amendment rights are being violated by Sheriff Bill Prim because he has not been released from the McHenry County Jail, while others who have immigration holds and pending criminal charges have. The motion was filed by his defense lawyer, George Kililis, in McHenry County Court on Wednesday. “Mr. Martinez has suffered irreparable harm to his fundamental right of freedom based on a standard that has no rational basis in law or fact, is arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory,” Kililis said in the motion. “Continued prosecution of Martinez under these circumstances would allow the government to violate the Equal Protection clause with respect to the most fundamental right of all, the right to freedom, with impunity and without fear of consequences.” Kililis argues that Judge Sharon Prather has the authority to dismiss charges if the failure to do so could result in a deprivation of due process or a miscarriage of justice, according to the motion. A miscarriage of justice is defined as a failure of a court or judicial system to attain the ends of justice, especially one that results in the conviction of an innocent person. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Trust Act on Aug. 28, a measure prohibiting local and state police from searching, arresting or detaining a person simply because of their immigration status. Previously, jails across the state could hold a defendant on an immigration detainer, now the state law requires a federal warrant signed by a judge. Despite this law, McHenry County families have been told by jail officials that their loved ones would be deported if they posted bond. Martinez was arrested Aug. 31 on a felony aggravated driving under the influence charge and misdemeanor DUI charges. Susana Garcia Velasco and her mother, Cristina Velasco, went to the McHenry County Jail to post bond for Martinez on Sept. 7, but they were told immigration officials would be immediately contacted once bail was posted. After waiting several hours, bail eventually was posted, but Martinez was not released. He then was taken in the middle of the night the next day from the jail to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Chicago, according to the motion. He since has been taken back to the McHenry County Jail. The county long has rented space on the third floor of the jail to ICE and the U.S. Marshal’s Office. “Martinez is still currently being held in the jail of McHenry County, despite posting the necessary bond, for the benefit of the federal government, without a judicial immigration warrant, or other applicable exception,” Kililis said in the motion. About one week later, Mario Lopez-Alatorre, 43, who was charged with felony residential burglary Sept. 4, posted 10 percent of his $60,000 bond and was released about 30 minutes after, according to court documents. Lopez-Alatorre also had an immigration hold, according to jail records. Kililis also claimed in his motion that other defendants in similar situations have been released after posting bail despite having an immigration hold. Prim has declined to comment on why Lopez-Alatorre was released, citing pending litigation, and has not spoken publicly about the matter since a statement released Sept. 1. “We have a public act less than a week [old] with [...]


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OrthoIllinois breaks ground on Algonquin medical clinicSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Christina LaBrie (left) of Fox Lake and Dr. Frank Bohnenkamp, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIllinois, look at blue prints of the new OrthoIllinois building at Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony in Algonquin Sept. 20, 2017. The new 30,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open September 2018 and will offer orthopedic care and sports medicine.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:22:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – OrthoIllinois officials say too often, residents have to travel to larger cities to receive specialized medical care.

But the orthopedic business hopes to service more clients with the opening of a multispecialty clinic at 650 S. Randall Road.

Village officials and members of the OrthoIllinois clinics attended a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday at the site of the new building.

The new clinic will provide bone and joint care, physical and occupational therapy, MRI and X-ray services, durable medical equipment, a casting room and an injury express walk-in center.

CEO Don Schreiner said there is a 40 percent migration rate where people leave McHenry County and go to Chicago or Madison, Wisconsin, for specialized medical services.

“We wanted to bring in highly specialized staff that can meet those needs,” Schreiner said. “We have two fantastic local hospitals in the area and we wanted to add to the depth.”

Additionally, instead of waiting in an emergency room, clients can visit the center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week for emergency care, and are charged the cost of a regular office visit, Marketing Director Lynne Pratt said.

“This service will help save people a lot of money, and they won’t have to sit and wait in an emergency room for treatment with other sick people but can be treated for sprains, concussions, back and neck problems and more,” Pratt said.

The project was estimated to cost $9 million when it initially was proposed in January.

Trustee Janis Jasper said the facility will be a wonderful addition to Algonquin.

“It’s important to have something close in the village where you can receive emergency care,” Jasper said. “Residents can’t always make far trips away. I live down Randall Road, and now I know this service is available and exactly where to go in an emergency.”

Construction for the 30,000-square-foot building with 33 exam rooms began Tuesday, and developers hope to be open by September 2018. The clinic is built in the vacant lot of the Advocate Sherman Immediate Care Center.

The clinic also hopes to add a pediatric orthopedic specialist by late 2018.

OrthoIllinois has clinics in Rockford, Crystal Lake and Huntley.

Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Christina LaBrie (left) of Fox Lake and Dr. Frank Bohnenkamp, an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoIllinois, look at blue prints of the new OrthoIllinois building at Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony in Algonquin Sept. 20, 2017. The new 30,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open September 2018 and will offer orthopedic care and sports medicine.


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McHenry Planning and Zoning OKs rezone for new teen centerEconomic Development Director Doug Martin (center) speaks about a proposed teen center during a McHenry Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Wednesday.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:22:00 GMT

McHENRY – A McHenry alderman is proposing a teen center for a vacant property on Crystal Lake Road and Main Street near McHenry district schools. Chad and Jennifer Mihevc want to open Ignite Teen Center at 4105 W. Crystal Lake St. in McHenry to offer teens a place to go to get positive support, fun activities and a chance to contribute to their community in a safe, supervised atmosphere. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a rezoning for the plan Wednesday. Haley Ullett, 15, said that she saw a need for the center and that many of her fellow McHenry East High School students would benefit. “I know there are a lot of students at East that need this place for peer support or just somewhere to meet new people or hang out with friends that isn’t at the school but is a safe and supportive environment,” she said. “It will be great for people in middle school or eighth grade going into high school, so that way they’re not just going in blindly. They will know people from high school from this center.” Teens and their parents came to the meeting to voice support for the proposal, which the Mihevcs hope to have up and running by November or December. The McHenry City Council will consider the plan at its 7 p.m. Oct. 16 meeting at the McHenry Municipal Center, 333 Green St., McHenry. The two-story, 4,880-square-foot building is centrally located, less than a mile from both McHenry High School campuses and close to a bike path and park. Programming will be free and open to students in sixth through 12th grades. Kyla Henige, 14, said that for her, the benefit would be the ability to connect with students of all ages and learn how to collaborate with diverse age groups and new people. “It’s going to be good to learn those life lessons we need to know,” she said. “And to get to work with kids younger and older will help us get that experience, so when it comes to school time or outside school, you really have that real true experience of working with other kids.” The center will operate on a nonprofit, volunteer-run basis and will include an on-site, student-run used bookstore. The profits from the 700-square-foot retail portion of the space will go back to operating costs, Mihevc said. Ignite Teen Center will offer academic, life and interest, health and wellness, and social and service project opportunities and programming. Hours are planned from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with select evening and weekend courses, according to planning documents. McHenry School District 156 parent and former teacher Barb Sharpe said that she has seen how mentorships can influence teens’ lives. “I have seen a lot of kids that need mentors in their life,” she said. “For me, when I see that kids have a parent or a mentor, someone that really cares, it makes a difference in their life. It changes how they are in school and in their personal life. … I think it’s a needed thing these days.” Fellow District 156 parent Sue Kaspar said that she wanted a place where her teenager could spend time with people who have similar values and escape negative pressure. “Even if they aren’t mentoring each other necessarily, it gives them a place where they have relatively the same values,” she said. “It gives them a safe zone where it is OK to be who they are and not fall into all those stressors and peer pressure-type draws.” Economic Development Director Doug Martin (center) speaks about a proposed teen center during a McHenry Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Wednesday.[...]


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Trump's North Korea threat leaves Asia struggling to explainJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signs a guest book before a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:46:00 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea – Was it a bluff? A warning that Washington would shoot down North Korea’s next missile test? A restatement of past policy? Or simply just what it seemed: a straightforward threat of annihilation from the president of the U.S.? Officials and pundits across Asia struggled Wednesday to parse Donald Trump’s vow Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly to “totally destroy North Korea” if provoked. In a region well used to Pyongyang’s pursuit of nuclear weapons generating a seemingly never-ending cycle of threats and counter-threats, Trump’s comments stood out. South Korea officially played them down, while some politicians worried that Trump’s words signaled a loss of influence for Seoul. Tokyo focused on his mention of Japanese citizens abducted by the North. Analysts across Asia expressed surprise, worry, even wry amusement, in one case, that Trump’s words seemed to mirror threats normally emanating from North Korean state media. Amid the speculation, the focus of Trump’s belligerence, North Korea, remained silent in the hours after the speech. Officials from the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who has advocated dialogue with the North while being forced into a hawkish position by the North’s weapons tests, called Trump’s words a signal of Washington’s strong resolve to deal with the North, but also essentially a repetition of the basic stance that all options will be considered when confronting Pyongyang. Trump previously has threatened the North with “fire and fury.” Pyongyang responded to those past remarks with a string of weapons tests, including its sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation and two missiles that flew over U.S. ally Japan. Park Soo-hyun, a Moon spokesman, said that Trump’s comments “reaffirmed the need to put maximum sanctions and pressure against North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations” so that Pyongyang realizes that abandoning its nuclear weapons is the only way forward. Marcus Noland, a North Korea specialist with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, said in an online post that Trump’s threat will feed a long-standing North Korean narrative that claims that the U.S. poses an existential threat. “With those words, President Trump handed the Kim regime the soundbite of the century. It will play on a continuous loop on North Korean national television,” Noland wrote. North Korea’s regular weapons tests are an attempt to create an arsenal of nuclear missiles that can threaten U.S. troops throughout Asia and the U.S. mainland. Pyongyang tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and claims that it can now accurately reach the U.S. homeland, although outside experts say the North may still need more tests before its weapons are fully viable. Each new test pushes the nation that much closer to that goal. Some South Korean opposition politicians saw the comments as another sign that South Korea is losing its voice in international efforts to deal with the North’s nuclear program. Trump’s U.N. speech came days after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis created unease in South Korea by saying without elaboration that the U.S. has military options against North Korea that wouldn’t involve the destruction of Seoul. The South Korean capital is within easy artillery range of the huge array of North Korean weapons dug in along a border only an hour’s drive from greater Seoul’s 25 million people. Kim Su-min, a lawmaker in the People’s Party, expressed worry that South Korean official[...]


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Trump: GOP health bill short of votes before deadlineSen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., (center) speaks Tuesday to the media, accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (from left), Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:46:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Wednesday the Republicans’ last-resort “Obamacare” repeal effort remains two or three votes short, forecasting days of furious lobbying ahead with a crucial deadline looming next week. The legislation by Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina would repeal major pillars of former President Barack Obama’s health law, replacing them with block grants to states to design their own health care programs. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to round up 50 votes to pass the legislation before Sept. 30, when special rules preventing a Democratic filibuster will expire. “We think this has a very good chance, Obamacare is only getting worse,” Trump told reporters covering the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. “At some point the Senate is going to be forced to make a deal.” By his reckoning, “we’re at 47 or 48 already, senators, and a lot of others are looking at it very positively.” Trump’s comments came several hours after McConnell’s office announced that the majority leader’s “intention” is to bring the legislation to the Senate floor next week, a question McConnell was noncommittal on a day earlier. After the embarrassing defeat of an earlier repeal bill in July, some Republicans believe McConnell would bring a bill to the floor only with the votes in hand. In a Senate split 52-48 between Republicans and Democrats, McConnell has little room for error. GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has already announced his opposition, saying the bill doesn’t do enough to repeal “Obamacare,” while moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is also seen as a likely “no” vote. With Democrats unanimously opposed, McConnell cannot afford to lose even one more Republican senator. The focus is on Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, both of whom opposed earlier versions of repeal legislation. One leading Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, voiced pessimism Wednesday in a phone interview with home-state reporters, saying glumly: “I think we’re one or two votes short and I don’t see those other votes coming and I hope I’m wrong.” Trump touched on one of the most contentious aspects of the bill in a tweet Wednesday night, asserting: “I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace.” Whether it truly does protect people with pre-existing health problems is fiercely under debate. Later Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Senator (Doctor) Bill Cassidy is a class act who really cares about people and their Health(care), he doesn’t lie - just wants to help people!” Cassidy defended the health care bill against criticism from late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, who jumped into the debate after his son was born with a congenital heart defect in April. “I am sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy said of Kimmel on CNN, arguing that his bill would in fact protect people with pre-existing conditions, a claim that leading health advocacy groups dispute. “I think the price will actually be lower.” “This guy Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face,” Kimmel said on his ABC show Tuesday night, referring to Cassidy’s promises to Kimmel and others that his health bill would pass the “Jimmy Kimmel test.” Cassidy coined the phrase to mean that people with pre-existing conditions would have protections and not face lifetime caps on coverage from insurers. [...]


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Mexico quake rescuers race to free girl, other survivorsAP photo People walk through a neighborhood Wednesday where many buildings collapsed a day before during a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Jojutla, Mexico. Police, firefighters and civilians are digging frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings looking for survivors.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:46:00 GMT

MEXICO CITY – The wiggling fingers of a young girl trapped in the rubble of her collapsed school in Mexico City raised hopes among hundreds of rescuers working furiously Wednesday to try to free her – a drama that played out at dozens of buildings toppled by the powerful earthquake that killed at least 230 people. But it was the rescue operation at the Enrique Rebsamen school, where 25 people – including 21 children – perished, that was seen as emblematic of Mexicans’ rush to save survivors before time runs out. Helmeted workers spotted the girl buried in the debris early Wednesday and shouted to her to move her hand if she could hear. She did, and a rescue dog was sent inside to confirm she was alive. Hours later the crews still were laboring to free her, as images of the rescue effort were broadcast on TV screens nationwide. Workers in neon vests and helmets used ropes, pry-bars and other tools, frequently calling on the anxious parents and others gathered around to be silent while they listened for any other voices from beneath the school. At one point, the workers lowered a sensitive microphone inside the rubble to scan for any noise or movement. A rescuer said they thought they had located someone, but it wasn’t clear who. “It would appear they are continuing to find children,” said Carlos Licona, a burly sledgehammer wielding volunteer who came to help in any way he could. Asked if that made him optimistic, he said, “I hope so.” It was part of similar efforts at the scenes of dozens of collapsed buildings, where firefighters, police, soldiers and civilians wore themselves out hammering, shoveling, pushing and pulling debris aside to try to reach the living and the dead. By midafternoon, 52 people had been pulled out alive since Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 quake, Mexico City’s Social Development Department said, adding in a tweet: “We won’t stop.” Among them were 11 people rescued at the Enrique Rebsamen school, where three people remained missing, two children and an adult. Earlier, journalists saw rescuers pull two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets. More than 24 hours after the collapse, the debris being removed from the school began to change as crews worked their way inside: from huge chunks of brick and concrete, to pieces of wood that looked like remnants of desks and paneling, to a final load that contained a half dozen sparkly hula-hoops. A volunteer rescue worker, Dr. Pedro Serrano, managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble and make it to a classroom, where he found no survivors. “We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults – a woman and a man,” he said. All were dead. “We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from ... the walls above, or someone below calling for help,” Serrano said. A helicopter overflight of some of the worst-hit buildings revealed the extent of the damage wrought by the quake: three midrise apartment buildings on the same street pancaked and toppled in one Mexico City neighborhood; dozens of streets in the town of Jojutla, in Morelos state, where nearly every home was flattened or severely damaged and a ruined church where 12 people died inside. The death toll included 100 people killed in Mexico City, 69 in Morelos state just south of the capital and 43 in Puebla state to the southeast, where the quake was centered. [...]


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Suit: Pregnant Illinois officer forced to take unpaid leaveJennifer Panattoni speaks at the ACLU Illinois offices with her lawyer Amy Meek on Wednesday, Sept 20, 2017, in Chicago. Panattoni, a senior patrol officer with the Frankfort Ill. police department, filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the village after she became pregnant and was forced to go on unpaid leave. (AP Photo/Sara Burnett)

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:46:00 GMT

CHICAGO – A Franfort police officer has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the police department refused to modify her duties when she became pregnant, wouldn’t provide a protective vest that covered her growing belly and then forced her to take unpaid leave months before she gave birth.

Jennifer Panattoni, a senior patrol officer and 14-year veteran of the Frankfort Police Department, sued the village this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, who are representing Panattoni, argue that the village violated the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy.

Panattoni said she asked to be assigned to a non-patrol position, but police Chief John Burica denied the request. She continued to work patrol, wearing a too-tight vest and a 25-pound duty belt that she said pressed against her abdomen, until she was five months pregnant.

“I was sitting in my squad car and I could feel my son kicking against my duty belt,” Panattoni said Wednesday. “I sat there trying to decide what was more important, earning for my family or ... what’s safe for me and what’s safe for my baby.”

Rob Piscia, administrator for the community of about 19,000 people southwest of Chicago, said in an email that the village and its police department “are strongly committed to a discrimination free workplace and to providing reasonable accommodations to employees who need them to perform their jobs.” He said the village believes it complied with state and federal law and that it intends to fight the lawsuit.

Panattoni, 37, said she is one of three female officers in the department. She was the first female patrol officer to become pregnant when she learned in 2015 that she and her husband, a sergeant in the department, were expecting their first child.

She said she approached the chief when she was 12 weeks pregnant to ask if she could be placed on modified duty, such as record-keeping or taking walk-in complaints from the public. Those positions are regularly given to officers who were injured on the job, she said.

Panattoni also was not allowed to wear some of her equipment in her pockets, rather than on her duty belt, to reduce its weight on her abdomen.

When she provided a note from her physician at five months into her pregnancy recommending she be assigned to light duty or clerical work, she said she was immediately placed on leave without pay.

Panattoni said she exhausted her accrued sick and personal time about a month into her leave and then had to withdraw disability benefits from her police pension. That amounted to about half of her usual salary, and she eventually will have to repay the money.

She returned to work in October 2016, about 10 weeks after her son was born.

Panattoni said she decided to sue largely because she wants to have another child someday. She also wants to continue working at a job she says she loves.

Jennifer Panattoni speaks at the ACLU Illinois offices with her lawyer Amy Meek on Wednesday, Sept 20, 2017, in Chicago. Panattoni, a senior patrol officer with the Frankfort Ill. police department, filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the village after she became pregnant and was forced to go on unpaid leave. (AP Photo/Sara Burnett)


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Cary Junior High School hosts New York Times best-selling authorBest-selling author Caitlin Alifirenka autographs her book "I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives," for Cary Junior High students Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Alifirenka gave two separate presentations Wednesday to seventh and eighth graders. Before she started, she told the teachers she wanted the students to broaden their horizons. “I just want [students] to understand they can be more than one thing,” Alifirenka said.Best-selling author Caitlin Alifirenka autographs her book "I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives," for Cary Junior High students Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 02:16:18 GMT

CARY – Cary Junior High School seventh- and eighth-graders sat attentively in the school’s gym Wednesday morning while New York Times best-selling author Caitlin Alifirenka told them her story. Every year, the junior high school selects summer reading books for each grade level, and this summer, seventh- and eighth-grade language arts teachers Caitlyn Burton and Kathy Englund picked the same one – “I Will Always Write Back.” “It was just a really powerful story,” Burton said. “We felt we wanted our kids to obviously look in their community and look to those who needed help, but also have a more global perspective.” In the dual memoir, Alifirenka and Martin Ganda, with help from writer Liz Welch, tell the story of how their penpalship changed both of their lives. Alifirenka grew up in a middle class family in Pennsylvania and Ganda grew up in poverty in Zimbabwe. As the two got to know each other better through Alifirenka’s pen pal assignment in middle school, they relied on each other. Burton and Englund applied for a grant through the Cary 26 Education Foundation, which has supplied money for other author visits, field trips and even a 3-D printer in the past, President Kurt Kaise said. They were awarded $1,800 to fly Alifirenka from her suburban Philadelphia home to the northwest suburbs. “We don’t get to see our grants in action much,” Vice President Debbie Lazarski said. Alifirenka gave two separate presentations Wednesday to seventh- and eighth-graders. Before she started, she told the teachers she wanted the students to broaden their horizons. “I just want [students] to understand they can be more than one thing,” Alifirenka said. Alifirenka is an emergency room trauma nurse by profession. “I figure in the emergency room that’s where people are at their worst, so that’s where I can help them the most,” Alifirenka said. She elaborated on her and Ganda’s story throughout the hourlong presentation, saying she initially thought Zimbabwe would be like something out of National Geographic and how she needed to send Ganda a disposable camera just so he could send her a photo of himself. Eventually, Alifirenka’s family helped her to find a four-year scholarship for Ganda at Villanova University. He went on to earn a dual degree in mathematics and economics and an MBA from Duke. Ganda now is a CEO and considered one of Africa’s rising stars. Alifirenka ended her discussion by saying it was up to the students to make the world a better place, and their teachers said they hoped to assist in that goal. The students had the options of writing to a local assisted living community or to victims of Hurricane Irma, Burton said. They also collected food for the Cary-Grove Food Pantry. “We’ve had a lot of positive reactions,” Burton said. “I think that a lot of students were just surprised by what [Ganda] had to do, and what he had to go through just to go to school and just to have food and clothes.” “I Will Always Write Back” has been nominated for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award in 2018. The annual award is given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools, according to the award’s website. Best-selling author Caitlin Alifirenka autographs her book "I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives," fo[...]


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2 Marengo residents charged with burglaries to businesses, residence

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:32:00 GMT

MARENGO — Two Marengo residents were charged Wednesday in connection with burglaries involving several Marengo businesses and one residence.

The burglaries occurred in the early morning on Monday and Tuesday, Marengo Police Sgt. Paul Fritz said.

The businesses and residence were all within the 100 and 200 blocks of south State Street and involved the following businesses: Donna’s Jewelry Box of the Marengo Emporium, Flatlander Market, Three Stars Salon, Wholesome Petz and Empower You Life Source Center, Fritz said. The one-room residence was located in between the businesses.

Cash, jewelry and computer equipment were stolen, Fritz said.

Robert H. Charping, 56, was charged with burglary, theft and criminal damage to property, according to a news release from Marengo police. He could face up to 7 years in prison.

Nichole R. DePew, 38, was charged with burglary, possession of stolen property and criminal trespass, police said. It was not immediately clear how many years DePew could face in prison.

Both live in the 1200 block of north State Street. Charping and DePew were transported to the McHenry County Jail about 5 a.m. Wednesday and are currently being held there, Fritz said.

Charping was previously convicted of aggravated battery charges in 2014, according to McHenry County court records. DePew was previously convicted of theft charges in 2016, court records show.

Fritz said police found one of the windows to a business smashed Monday night and then received a call Tuesday night about another robbery. A witness helped police find the suspects, he said.


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Iranian president: Trump's UN comments 'ignorant, absurd'Iranian President Hassan Rouhani sits after speaking during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:21:00 GMT

UNITED NATIONS – Iran's president warned the United States on Thursday that his country will "respond decisively" to any violation of the agreement that reins in Tehran's nuclear program and called U.S. President Donald Trump's "ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric" about Iran unfit for the United Nations. In remarks clearly directed at Trump's 8-month-old administration, Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly: "It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics." "The world will have lost a great opportunity, but such unfortunate behavior will never impede Iran's course of progress and advancement," Rouhani said. His speech came a day after Trump, in his own address to the assembly, called the U.N.-backed Iran nuclear deal "an embarrassment" to the United States. And he hinted that his administration, which has accused Tehran of aiding terrorism in the Middle East, could soon declare Iran out of compliance with the deal. That could unravel it. "I don't think you've heard the end of it, believe me," Trump said. Rouhani retorted that "the ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric, filled with ridiculously baseless allegations, that was uttered before this august body yesterday" didn't befit an organization established to promote peace and respect among nations. In a later tweet, he made clear that the comments were directed at Trump. The Iranian president said his country would not be the first to breach the nuclear agreement, "but it will respond decisively to its violation by any party." Iran has accused the Trump administration of not living up to its requirements on sanctions relief under the nuclear deal, and Rouhani said America was harming itself. "By violating its international commitments, the new U.S. administration only destroys its own credibility and undermines international confidence in negotiating with it or accepting its word or promise," he said. The Iranian leader also lambasted Israel, calling it a "rogue" nation. Israel sees Iran as its most dangerous adversary, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Tuesday for scrapping or changing the 2015 nuclear deal. He said Iran had embarked on a "campaign of conquest across the Middle East." Rouhani replied that it was "reprehensible that the rogue Zionist regime that threatens regional and global security with its nuclear arsenal ... has the audacity to preach to peaceful nations." Israel is believed to have hundreds of nuclear weapons, though it has never confirmed or denied having an arsenal. Rouhani repeatedly invoked moderation as Iran's goal and said its missiles — which have been strongly criticized by the Trump administration — "are solely defensive deterrents." As he spoke, dozens of other nations began signing the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact spurned by nuclear powers. The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, approved a resolution supporting efforts to reform the world body's far-flung peacekeeping operations. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence joined the discussion on a Trump administration priority. Forty-two states put their names on the nuclear weapons pact within an hour after a signing ceremony opened, and more were added afterward. Guyana, the Vatican and Thailand also have alre[...]


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Lake in the Hills police reports

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:52:00 GMT

Information in police reports is obtained from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments. Individuals listed in police reports who have been charged with a crime have not been proven guilty in court.

• Brett M. Irvin, 40, of the 4000 block of Tulip Street, Crystal Lake, was charged Aug. 30, with driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding.

• Bryan H. Turner, 36, of the 2700 block of Connolly Lane, West Dundee, was charged Sept. 3, with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a breath-alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent and disobeying traffic control.

• Juan R. Gavina, 38, of the 1500 block of south Pembroke Drive, South Elgin, was charged Sept. 2, with two counts of battery.

• Lajaylan A. Bailey, 19, 2300 block of Daybreak Drive, Lake in the Hills, was charged Saturday, Sept. 2, with possession of alcohol.

• A 16-year-old Huntley boy was charged Sept. 4, with theft under $500.

• Brandon W. Malanowski, 21, of the 6600 block of Oak Tree Trail, Woodridge, was charged Sept. 9, with two counts of controlled substance trafficking, and was wanted on a warrant from Maricopa County, Arizona.




Huntley police reports

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:42:00 GMT

Information in police reports is obtained from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments. Individuals listed in police reports who have been charged with a crime have not been proven guilty in court.

• Christopher M. Sanborn, 32, of the 1100 block of Algonquin Road, Huntley, was charged Aug. 29 with two counts of domestic battery.

• Richard J. Haenel, 58, of the 9800 block of Bennington Drive, Huntley, was charged Sept. 2 with two counts of domestic battery.

• Matthew P. Buhrow, 25, of the 900 block of West Avenue, Woodstock, was charged Sept. 4 with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

• Jeremie W. Allen, 19, of the 9600 block of Farley Drive, Huntley, was charged Sept. 7 with criminal sexual abuse.

• A 16-year-old Huntley boy was charged Sept. 10 with retail theft, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property and possession of tobacco.




Study: Most states would take a hit from GOP's Graham-Cassidy health billSen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., center, listens as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:34:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Most states would take a stiff budgetary hit if the latest Senate GOP health care bill becomes law, according to an outside analysis released Wednesday. That would likely result in more uninsured Americans. The study by the consulting firm Avalere Health found that the Graham-Cassidy bill would lead to an overall $215 billion cut to states in federal funding for health insurance, through 2026. Reductions would grow over time. "A reduction in federal subsidies for health insurance is likely to result in more people being uninsured," said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere, which specializes in health industry research. The study itself did not make estimates of the impact on insurance coverage. States that voted for President Donald Trump would not be immune from cuts, though deep-blue California and New York face the deepest reductions. West Virginia, a Trump bastion, would see a $1 billion cut from 2020-2026. The Avalere analysis comes as Senate leaders are rushing a vote on the legislation by the end of the month, before the expiration of special budget rules that allow passage by a simple majority. The findings could take on added importance, because the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says it can't complete a full analysis of the bill by the Sep. 30 vote deadline. Named for Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, the bill would repeal much of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and limit future federal funding for Medicaid. That federal-state health insurance program covers more than 70 million low-income people, ranging from newborns to elderly nursing home residents. Compared to current projected levels, Medicaid spending would be reduced by more than $1 trillion, or 12 percent, from 2020-2036, the study found. The bill would also end Obama's health insurance subsidies and put money into a big pot that would distributed among the states. Governors and legislatures would have broad leeway on how to spend the money, and could also seek waivers from ACA insurance requirements. Though insurers would still have to cover people with medical problems, in some states they may be able to charge them more. The Avalere study also found that over 20 years cuts could potentially total more than $4 trillion, but that scenario appears unlikely. It's based on a literal reading of the bill, under which legal authority for the big pot of money to subsidize coverage would expire after 2026. Typically, Congress renews expiring programs. Still, the study found more losers than winners. Thirty-four states would see cuts by 2026, while 16 would see increases. Among the losers are several states that were key for President Donald Trump, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio. Arizona and Alaska would be losers, a detail that could be important. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, are seen as undecided on the legislation, and Republican leaders cannot afford many defections. New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he is opposed to the Graham-Cassidy bill because of cuts to his state, estimated by Avalere at $10 billion from 2020-2026. Texas would be the biggest winner, with a $35-billion funding increase by 2026. Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia would also see funding gains, as would Wisconsin and Wyoming. [...]


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McHenry police investigating armed robbery at gas stationAn unidentified man robbed a McHenry gas station at gunpoint overnight Wednesday. The suspect remains at large.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:05:00 GMT

McHENRY — Police are searching for a man who reportedly pulled a gun on a McHenry gas station employee and demanded money and merchandise early Wednesday morning.

McHenry police officers responded about 2:38 a.m Wednesday to the Shell Gas Station, 3110 W. Elm St., McHenry, for the report of a robbery, according to a news release from the McHenry Police Department.

A man entered the building through the front door, approached an employee behind the front counter and displayed a handgun, police said. He then demanded an undisclosed amount of money and merchandise and ran from the store. No injuries resulted from the incident, and the man remained unidentified and at large as of Wednesday.

Police did not responded to calls seeking more information on the robbery or the suspect.

The man is described as 5 feet, 10 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches tall, with short brown hair and a thin build. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a gray hooded zip-up sweatshirt, a black bandana with white flower print concealing his face, glasses and gloves, police said.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the McHenry Police Department is investigating the incident. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the division at 815-363-2599. Those wishing to pass along anonymous information are encouraged to call the McHenry Police Tip line at 815-363-2124.

An unidentified man robbed a McHenry gas station at gunpoint overnight Wednesday. The suspect remains at large.


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High school football podcast: Week 5 breakdown, and are we underestimating Cary-Grove?

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:53:45 GMT

With four weeks down, the playoff picture begins to take shape, and Northwest Herald sports editor Kyle Nabors, senior sports reporter Joe Stevenson and sports reporter Sean Hammond break down each game for Week 5.

Other topics: What can we realistically expect from Woodstock the rest of the way? And who did we pick to win this week?

Like what you hear?   Subscribe to us here in iTunes  . Leave a review, it helps others discover the show.


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Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores openAP file photo Shoppers shop in a Toys 'R' Us store Nov. 25 in Miami. Toys 'R' Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced late Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:05:00 GMT

NEW YORK – Toys R Us, the toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season – and says its stores will remain open for business as usual. The company said the proceedings are a way for Toys R Us to work with its creditors on restructuring the debt beleaguering it. And it emphasized that its stores worldwide will serve customers while it works with suppliers and sells merchandise. Filing for bankruptcy protection “will provide us with greater financial flexibility to invest in our business ... and strengthen our competitive position in an increasingly challenging and rapidly changing retail marketplace worldwide,” Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon said. The move comes as retailers head into the busiest shopping time of year. The company said it was “well-stocked as we prepare for the holiday season and are excited about all of our upcoming in-store events.” Retailers of all kinds are struggling. The Toys R Us bankruptcy filing joins a list of at least 18 others since the beginning of the year – including shoe chain Payless Shoe Source, children’s clothing chain Gymboree Corp. and the True Religion jean brand – as people shop less in stores and more online. “Toys R Us had little choice but to restructure and try to put itself on a firmer footing, said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. However, he added, “even if the debt issues are solved, Toys R Us still faces massive structural challenges against which it must battle.” Toys R Us, a major force in toy retailing in the 1980s and early 1990s, started losing shoppers to discounters such as Walmart and Target and then to Amazon. GlobalData Retail estimates that in 2016 about 13.7 percent of toy sales were made online, up from 6.5 percent five years ago. And children are increasingly moving more toward mobile devices as playthings. “For many children, electronics have become a replacement or a substitute for traditional toys,” Saunders said. Toys R Us has struggled with debt since private-equity firms Bain Capital, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust took it private in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005. The plan had been to take the company public, but that never happened because of its weak financial performance. With such debt levels, Toys R Us has not had the financial flexibility to invest in its business. Marc Rosenberg, a toy marketing executive, said Toys R Us hasn’t been aggressive about building its online business, and let those sales migrate to rivals. And he says the company should have also thought of new ways to attract more customers in its stores, such as hosting birthday parties. “Everyone is shopping online and using the store as a showcase,” he said. Randy Watson of Fort Worth, Texas, used to pick up items at Toys R Us for his kids. But now with his grandchildren, he uses the store to see what’s available and then shops elsewhere to get lower prices. “We will go to Toys R Us to check out the current toys, and while we are at the store, we will be looking up prices on the phone on Walmart.com and Amazon,” he said. What he finds on the shelves might be a question. Jef[...]


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Child safety seat inspection to be held Saturday in Crystal Lake

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:04:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – A free child safety seat inspection will be held Saturday in Crystal Lake.

The event aims to teach the proper use of child safety seats, which when used correctly can be one of the most important tools to keep children safe when traveling, according to a news release from Crystal Lake police.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to noon at Pauly Toyota, 1035 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake.

Traffic crashes are a leading cause of death and serious injury in children age 16 and younger, according to the release.

At the event, child passenger seat safety technicians will be available to teach and assist parents and caregivers with correctly installing safety seats in their vehicles. Technicians also can answer questions about safety recommendations, according to the release.

No appointments are necessary to participate. These items should be brought to the event:

• The child who uses the safety seat

• The vehicle the seat it is used in

• The child safety seat

• The user’s guide or owner’s manual provided with the safety seat

For information, contact officer Ed Pluviose at 815-356-3731 or epluviose@crystallake.org.

Visit Buckle Up Illinois’ website, www.buckleupillinois.org, for information on child passenger safety and where to find child safety seat events.




Crystal Lake Country Club members collecting clothes for veterans to wear at job interviewsSarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Kurt Riedel talks with his neighbors in 2015 while staying at New Horizons, a transitional-living center in Hebron for homeless veterans. Two veterans who are Crystal Lake Country Club members started a clothing drive to help provide outfits for veterans in transition to wear to job interviews.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:04:00 GMT

HEBRON – Two McHenry County veterans started a clothing drive to help clothe homeless veterans for job interviews.

Walt Kalemba, a former member of the Marine Corps, and Chuck Stevens, a former member of the Air Force, have asked fellow Crystal Lake Country Club members to donate men’s clothing to those living in Transitional Living Services for Veterans’ New Horizons facility.

The Hebron-based program provides food, shelter, support and employment opportunities to veterans looking to rebuild their lives.

Kalemba said he was close with TLS Veterans’ late president, Everett H. Pratt. Pratt was a three-star general in the Air Force, the highest ranked officer in McHenry County. When Kalemba visited the facility, he said he noticed the need for proper job interview attire.

“There are jobs available for them, but they want to be real presentable when they go for the interviews,” Kalemba said.

Kalemba and Stevens began collecting clothes at the beginning of September, and they already have brought a van full of “some of the best clothes you ever saw” to the transitional living center.

The two men are part of a larger group who call themselves the “Twilighters.” About 40 seniors, mostly veterans, make up the group, and they helped get the idea off the ground.

“I got a phone call from TLS last night, and they said the veterans are just beside themselves,” Kalemba said.

Kalemba said he hopes other country clubs follow Crystal Lake’s lead, and next month he plans to collect women’s clothes for some of the veterans’ wives.

Men’s clothing can be donated from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except Monday until the end of September at the Crystal Lake Country Club, 721 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake.

“We all have golf shirts and nice sport coats that we somehow grew out of,” Kalemba said.

Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Kurt Riedel talks with his neighbors in 2015 while staying at New Horizons, a transitional-living center in Hebron for homeless veterans. Two veterans who are Crystal Lake Country Club members started a clothing drive to help provide outfits for veterans in transition to wear to job interviews.


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Huntley American Legion Post 673 plans expansionThe Huntley American Legion Post 673 will receive $20,000 from the village for exterior improvements to its building and to create a brick wall surrounding a future honor garden.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:03:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – American Legion Post 673 of Huntley will be expanding its building in hopes of attracting a younger crowd.

The addition will be located along the east side of the building, 11712 Coral St., and will expand the bar area, reconfigure bathrooms and provide a handicap-accessible ramp for the rear parking lot.

Post Cmdr. Michael Stojak said that to draw younger veterans in, the building from the 1950s will need to be revamped.

“Veterans these days were ill-prepared for what they had to deal with overseas, and when they get home, many don’t know there are other people who understand what they experienced,” Stojak said. “I hope they can come here, talk with older veterans and realize they are not alone.”

The Huntley Village Board approved a site plan Thursday for a new addition that will add about 722 square feet to the facility and enclose a future honor garden with a brick wall. The bathrooms also will become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, something Stojak said is important for the accessibility of all veterans.

Trustees also approved a $20,000 grant to the Legion – $10,000 in 2017 and $10,000 in 2018 – for exterior improvements to its building through the village’s facade improvement program.

The total cost of the addition and brick wall is estimated at $450,000, according to village documents. The brick wall will be short enough so people sitting in the honor garden can see parades and town performances, Stojak said.

The honor garden will sit next to the incoming BBQ King Smokehouse restaurant. The design for the honor garden has yet to be determined, Stojak said. The west wall of the building will be painted and feature military logos.

The Legion has about 300 members, Stojak said, and he hopes the expansion will help the longevity of the program.

Construction is set to begin in October and be completed by the spring, Stojak said.

The village budgeted $90,000 for facade improvements in fiscal 2017, and about $28,000 has been used so far, according to village documents.

The Huntley American Legion Post 673 will receive $20,000 from the village for exterior improvements to its building and to create a brick wall surrounding a future honor garden.


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Weigh in on Fox River Corridor Plan at Lake Barrington open houseThe Route 14 and Union Pacific bridges pass over the Fox River in Fox River Grove.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:03:00 GMT

LAKE BARRINGTON – What should the Fox River area look like in 2030?

In collaboration with local agencies and Lake County, the McHenry County Planning and Development Department is creating a plan for the Fox River corridor from Burtons Bridge just north of Route 176 to the Fox Bluff Conservation Area to the south.

A public vision workshop will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at Village Hall, 23860 N. Old Barrington Road, Lake Barrington.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the county planning department will focus on creating transit and multimodal connections along the river and creating open space that preserve water quality.

Kate Evasic, project manager and associate planner for CMAP, said the plan looks at ways to connect villages to the river, including Cary and Fox River Grove.

“They are looking to revitalize their downtowns, so how can we better connect those downtown areas to the river?” Evasic said.

Many residents and village staff have told the CMAP that Cary is interested in having more access to the river and is like “a river community without a riverfront.” She said it hopes to create more bike trails and walking paths. Additionally, the plan will look at opportunities to develop commerce aimed at users of the river and recreational activities.

The area spans more than 11 miles and covers eight communities. The planning process will include four phases in the next 14 months.

An initial public meeting was held in March, when participants helped to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Fox River area.

Evasic said a lot of participants said they love the area because it’s a place to disconnect and relax, and people appreciate the ability to use powerboats on the river between the Chain O’ Lakes and Algonquin dam.

There is a desire to have more businesses on the river – to generate tourism and revenue to surrounding towns – and to keep some open space, Evasic said.

The area includes portions of Cary, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake Barrington, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington, Tower Lakes and Trout Valley.

CMAP previously worked with Algonquin and Carpentersville to create a plan for the Fox River in December 2015.

Evasic said CMAP hopes to have the plan complete by the spring.

For information, visit the project’s webpage at cmap.is/fox-river-mchenry-lake.

The Route 14 and Union Pacific bridges pass over the Fox River in Fox River Grove.


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Former Huntley man indicted on bankruptcy fraud charges

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:03:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – A former Huntley man was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on bankruptcy fraud charges.

Tracy L. Sunderlage, 71, was charged with making false statements in a bankruptcy case and making false statements under oath of a bankruptcy proceeding, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Sunderlage filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, various bankruptcy schedules and a statement of financial affairs, signed under the penalty of perjury, in August 2011, according to the indictment.

In the statement of financial affairs, Sunderlage allegedly made concealed fraudulent transfers of 100,000 shares of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, more than $173,000 in transfers to a relative, a receipt of $241,000 in income from the sale of ownership interest on Gulf Keystone, a receipt of $25,000 in income from the sale of ownership interests with other companies, and personal property interests and his Jaguar, according to the indictment.

Sunderlage also allegedly falsely testified under oath at a meeting in May 2012 with creditors, according to the indictment.

Each charge has a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, a three-year supervision term and fines up to $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater, according to the release.


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Rep. Randy Hultgren announces 2017 Congressional App Challenge

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:03:00 GMT

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, announced that the annual Congressional App Challenge for high school students in the 14th Congressional District has launched and will be accepting submissions through Nov. 1.

The competition is designed to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education fields, allowing students to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet or computer devices on a platform of their choice. Students may work in groups of up to four members to learn and grow as a team.

Last year, the nationwide competition received submissions from students in 123 congressional districts with more than 2,150 participants.

Alan Koval of St. Charles East High School was selected as the 14th District winner by area judges for his app, “Koval’s 3D Grapher.” Koval also won the National Merit PPG Foundation Community Scholarship, a competition among 1.5 million high school applicants across the country.

The 14th District winners will be selected by a panel of local judges and recognized by Hultgren. The apps will be on display in the U.S. Capitol building.

Students wishing to submit applications for the Congressional App Challenge can submit their application online at congressionalappchallenge.us, and additional information can be found at congressionalappchallenge.us and on Hultgren’s website at hultgren.house.gov/serving-you/stem-competition, or by phone at 202-225-2976.

Hultgren is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and is co-chairman of the STEM Education Caucus in the U.S. House.

He recently celebrated the graduation of his inaugural STEM Scholars class. The youth leadership program encourages highly motivated and energetic high school students to become ambassadors in their communities for the possibilities provided by the STEM fields.




Hebron man wins $450,000 off lottery ticket from Crystal Lake gas stationDonald Raef of Hebron holds his winning Lucky Day Lotto ticket. Raef's ticket matched all five numbers – 3, 4, 9, 16 and 28 – in the Sept. 8 drawing.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 05:00:00 GMT

HEBRON – A Hebron man won almost a half-million dollars from a lottery ticket bought at a Crystal Lake gas station.

Donald Raef won $450,000 from a Lucky Day Lotto Illinois Lottery ticket sold at BP gas station, 7615 Route 14, Crystal Lake, during the Sept. 8 evening drawing, according to a news release from the Illinois Lottery.

“It was my lucky day,” Raef said.

His ticket matched all five numbers – 3, 4, 9, 16 and 28. Raef said he has been playing the same numbers for several years. He plans on buying a house with part of the money. 

The retailer received a bonus of $4,500, or 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket. More than 22,000 players won prizes ranging from $1 to $200 in the same drawing. Lucky Day Lotto drawings are twice a day and seven days a week.

Donald Raef of Hebron holds his winning Lucky Day Lotto ticket. Raef's ticket matched all five numbers – 3, 4, 9, 16 and 28 – in the Sept. 8 drawing.


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Crystal Lake synagogue readies for Jewish High Holy DaysAP photo Seth Merlin blows a shofar during Rosh Hashanah services Sept. 25, 2014, at the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:57:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Sundown on Wednesday marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

The date varies from year to year because the Jewish calendar is a lunar one, officials from the Crystal Lake-based Congregation Tikkun Olam said in a statement.

This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Wednesday, and Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, begins at sundown Sept. 29.

On Rosh Hashanah, those who practice Judaism believe God judges their actions and writes them in the “Book of Life” for the upcoming year.

“[The book includes] who will live, who will die, who will be poor, who will be rich, who will be humbled, who will be exalted,” according to the statement.

Jewish people can repent for their wrongdoings until Yom Kippur, when the book is sealed. Although weekly sabbaths are considered Jews’ holiest days, Yom Kippur is the next holiest. On this day, healthy adult practitioners fast for 24 hours and spend the day in prayer and reflection.

“Our fast reminds us of the hungry and needy in the world, and gives us an opportunity to focus on our spiritual needs. For many Jews, fasting emphasizes their commitment to the difficult task of change in the coming year,” officials said. “The day also includes a special memorial service (Yizkor) to remember deceased loved ones.”

The holiday is filled with tradition, including special food, songs and prayers. For example, on Rosh Hashanah, apples are dipped into honey as a symbol of a sweet new year; challah, the special braided egg bread eaten each sabbath and on many holidays, is baked in a special round shape just for High Holy Days; the shofar, or ram’s horn, is sounded in the temples as an ancient reminder of the call to Holy Convocation.

Yom Kippur begins with chants and often ends with attendees breaking their fast together.

Congregation Tikkun Olam holds its services at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, 503 W. Jackson St., Woodstock. 

Attendees can celebrate Erev Rosh Hashanah at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Rosh Hashanah at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Yom Kippur celebrations begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 and continue the next day with a morning service at 10 a.m., an adult study group at 3 p.m., Yizkor (memorial) and concluding services at 4:30 p.m., and Havdalah and a dairy potluck to break fasting at 5:30 p.m.

AP photo Seth Merlin blows a shofar during Rosh Hashanah services Sept. 25, 2014, at the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


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Crystal Lake to apply for grant to demolish 5 homes affected by floodingSarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com After a downpour, Susan Adams stands on her flooded driveway June 29 at her Crystal Lake home on Pine Street. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com South Oriole Trail resident Terry Cotter adds fuel to his backyard water pump July 12 after heavy rains in Crystal Lake. Neighborhood residents have been seeking relief from the city for continual flooding in yards. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:54:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake City Council members adopted a resolution in support of applying for a grant that would demolish five homes affected by flooding in the Pine Street, Oriole Trail and Crystal Lake Avenue areas.

If the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program is awarded, the city will match $340,000. The project is estimated to cost more than $1.3 million, according to village documents.

This is not the first time the city has applied for the grant, but it has not been awarded in the past, Public Works Director Michael Magnuson said.

The deadline to apply for the grant is Nov. 14, and Magnuson said it could take a year before the state makes a decision about what projects to forward to FEMA to receive funding.

If awarded, the city would excavate the land of five homes and create stormwater storage, Magnuson said.

“We are trying to get resolutions from [the] City Council and area legislators to gain support for the grant,” Magnuson said.

The five homeowners are not required to sell their homes, according to village documents, and residents who attended a meeting Aug. 8 did not object to the concept. Magnuson said that so far, three have expressed a willingness to sell.

“They are open to selling because they are tired of battling the stormwater each and every spring,” Magnuson said.

Residents have expressed frustration with the city for not finding a solution to the flooding problem, which has cost them money and left them without access to their backyards for much of the summer.

For between 10 and 12 affected homes, rainwater typically ponds longer than a standard swimming pool and covers large portions of residents’ yards.

Mosquitoes and other flying insects are attracted to the standing water and make it nearly impossible for people to stand in the backyards at night without pests biting or bothering them, residents have said.

Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com After a downpour, Susan Adams stands on her flooded driveway June 29 at her Crystal Lake home on Pine Street. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com South Oriole Trail resident Terry Cotter adds fuel to his backyard water pump July 12 after heavy rains in Crystal Lake. Neighborhood residents have been seeking relief from the city for continual flooding in yards. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.


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Woodstock City Council votes to implement 1 percent home rule sales taxSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com City Council member Mike Turner speaks during Tuesday's meeting in Woodstock. Woodstock council members voted on increasing Woodstock's sales tax rate after previously voting to reduce property taxes by 10 percent.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:44:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The city of Woodstock will see a sales tax increase Jan. 1 after City Council members decided Tuesday to implement a 1 percent home rule sales tax. City officials first began to discuss the tax in July, a month after Woodstock became a home rule community. A public hearing was held Aug. 1 on the proposed tax, and residents had mixed reactions. A diversified tax base is one benefit residents saw, whereas some business owners – particularly those who sell large-ticket items, such as lumber and building materials – have criticized the plan because it could chase away clients to surrounding communities with lower rates. Council members discussed the possibility of offering a rebate program to those large-sale companies but won’t discuss the idea until a future City Council meeting. The tax will exclude titled vehicles, prescription and nonprescription medicine and groceries, excluding hot food, candy, soda and alcohol. City officials estimate that the tax will bring in an additional $2.5 million annually. The council voted earlier this year to lower its 16 percent portion of a resident’s tax bill by 10 percent, and the revenue will offset those costs. Woodstock’s sales tax rate now will be a quarter of a percent above some neighboring communities, such as Crystal Lake and Algonquin. Both Crystal Lake and Algonquin have sales tax rates of 7.75 percent. Council member Dan Hart, who owns D.C. Cobb’s as well as with other businesses, said that he has heard split reactions from Woodstock residents, but would support the raise. He said the roads would have a bigger effect on Woodstock’s future growth than a higher sales tax would. “Some people are very upset with the idea, and some people support it,” Hart said. “Yes, this is a raised sales tax, and as a business owner, I support it.” Council members largely have been supportive of the plan throughout the process, with the exception of Jim Prindiville, who cast the sole dissenting vote Tuesday. “I think we would be better served if we would cut expenses to meet our goals,” he said. “My experience talking with residents … is the No. 1 thing they see in most communities is more shopping options. They’d like to see that here. In that sense, I am concerned this proposed tax runs risk of undermining our efforts to fix those underlying problems to create more shopping opportunities.” Revenue raised from taxes is intended to go toward property tax relief and infrastructure improvements, with a focus on the city’s roads, council members said. Mayor Brian Sager emphasized the city’s history of “fiscal responsibility” and said it is time to implement a sustainable revenue to go toward those needs. “For many years since the economic downturn, we have had to make difficult decisions,” Sager said. “We are dealing with less full-time staff than we did six years ago. We are dealing with less of a property tax rate being imposed from a munic[...]


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Palestinian activist to be deported to Jordan from ChicagoAP file photo Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh of Chicago stands Aug. 17 outside the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit, Mich., for a final court hearing before she's eventually deported. Supporters said the activist is leaving the U.S. for Jordan after a criminal case that revealed her decades-old record of bombings in Jerusalem.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:51:00 GMT

CHICAGO – A Chicago Palestinian activist with a decades-old record of bombings in Jerusalem will be deported to Jordan on Tuesday, her spokesman said.

Supporters and community activists plan to gather at O'Hare International Airport before Rasmea Odeh, 70, departs for Jordan, said Hatem Abudayyeh, coordinator of her defense committee.

Odeh pleaded guilty in April to concealing her convictions when she applied for U.S. citizenship in Detroit in 2004. Her record would have disqualified her from entering the U.S. a decade earlier.

In 1970, Odeh was convicted of two bombings in Jerusalem, including one that killed two young men at a supermarket. She insists she was tortured into confessing by the Israeli military. 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. Odeh was convicted of lying in 2014, but the verdict was overturned. She chose to make a deal with the government rather than face a second trial.

Odeh didn't serve any time in prison after pleading guilty, but she lost her citizenship and must leave the U.S.

In Chicago, Odeh was 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.

"Technically she was a terrorist," U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain said in 2015. "But looking at Ms. Odeh's recent history, I'm convinced she's really been involved in a lot of good works.

AP file photo Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh of Chicago stands Aug. 17 outside the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit, Mich., for a final court hearing before she's eventually deported. Supporters said the activist is leaving the U.S. for Jordan after a criminal case that revealed her decades-old record of bombings in Jerusalem.


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Sessions: Sanctuary cities undermine law's moral authorityAP photo A group protests U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday as he arrives in Portland, Ore., to discuss sanctuary city policies with city and regional law enforcement officials.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:51:00 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday criticized sanctuary cities that try to protect immigrants in the country illegally as places that “undermine the moral authority of the law.” He made the comments a day after the Trump administration appealed a judge’s ruling blocking its efforts to withhold money from the cities. Sessions, speaking to law enforcement officers in a sanctuary city in the sanctuary state of Oregon, urged officials who have decided that local police should not cooperate with federal immigration agents to reconsider those policies. As he spoke, protesters lined the streets outside the Portland field office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Their chants could faintly be heard inside the room where Sessions appeared. Sessions said the federal grant money that U.S. cities receive are not an entitlement, and cannot be given to sanctuary cities that he said frustrate efforts to reduce crime. “Rather than reconsider their policies, these sanctuary jurisdictions feign outrage when they lose federal funds as a direct result of actions designed to nullify plain federal law,” Sessions said. A Chicago judge last Friday at least temporarily blocked the administration’s attempt to withhold one particular public safety grant from cities that don’t cooperate. On Monday, U.S. government lawyers appealed a judge’s ruling in lawsuits by San Francisco and another California county challenging President Donald Trump’s broader executive order threatening to cut off funding to sanctuary cities. U.S. District Judge William Orrick rejected the administration’s argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress The Chicago lawsuit blocked late last week was in response to the administration’s decision to attach immigration restrictions to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. And he accused Portland and other cities of suing the administration “so that they can keep receiving taxpayer-funded grants while continuing to impede federal immigration enforcement.” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who did not attend the speech, wrote a letter to the Sessions saying that the city celebrates diversity and that “our local laws support these values and we are better for it.” “It is for these reasons that I strongly oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to coerce local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws,” wrote Wheeler, a Democrat. Sessions highlighted the case of Sergio Martinez, a man accused of assaulting two women in July after his release from a Portland jail. Martinez has a lengthy arrest record, and has been deported more than a dozen times. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it asked the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Of[...]


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Hurricane Maria aims at Puerto Rico after slamming DominicaA woman passes out trays of food to evacuees taking shelter Tuesday at the Juan Ponce de Leon Elementary School before the arrival of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is likely to take a direct hit by the Category 5 hurricane. Authorities warned people who live in wooden or flimsy homes to find safe shelter before the storm's expected arrival Wednesday.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:51:00 GMT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Maria barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado. As rains began to lash Puerto Rico, Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that Maria could hit “with a force and violence that we haven’t seen for several generations.” “We’re going to lose a lot of infrastructure in Puerto Rico,” Rossello said, adding that a likely islandwide power outage and communication blackout could last for days. “We’re going to have to rebuild.” Authorities warned that people in wooden or flimsy homes should find safe shelter before the storm’s expected arrival Wednesday. “You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you’re going to die,” said Hector Pesquera, the island’s public safety commissioner. “I don’t know how to make this any clearer.” The warnings came after Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sent out a series of dramatic posts on his Facebook page as the storm blew over that tiny country late Monday – but then stopped suddenly as phone and internet connections with the country were cut. “The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God,” Skerrit wrote before communications went down. A few minutes later, he messaged he could hear the sound of galvanized steel roofing tearing off houses on the small rugged island. He said that even his own roof had blown away. In the last message before falling silent, he appealed for international aid: “We will need help, my friends, we will need help of all kinds.” The storm knocked out communications for the entire country, leaving anyone outside Dominica struggling to determine the extent of damage, though it was clearly widespread. “The situation is really grave,” Consul General Barbara Dailey said in a telephone interview from New York. She said she lost contact with the island about 4 a.m. At that point, officials had learned that 70 percent of homes had lost their roofs, including her own. “I lost everything,” she said, adding there had been no word on casualties. “As a Category 5 it would be naive not to expect any (injuries), but I don’t know how many,” she said. The island’s broadcast service also was down Tuesday, and Akamai Technologies, a company that tracks the status of the internet around the world, said most of Dominica’s internet service appeared to have been lost by midday. The Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica reported a widespread loss of communication on the island, and relatives of students posted messages on its Facebook page saying they had been unable to talk to their loved ones since late Monday evening as the storm approached. Dominica is particularly vulnerable to flooding because of its steep mountains, cut through with rivers that rage even after a heavy rain. It was still reco[...]


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St. Louis faith leaders urge peace, justice amid turmoilHundreds of protesters stand in the rain outside of the St. Louis city jail on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The protesters chanted "free our people" outside the jail on Monday night to show solidarity with those who remain behind bars. Police said that more than 120 people were arrested during Sunday's protests. Monday was the fourth day of protests over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 03:33:00 GMT

ST. LOUIS – Leaders of several faiths on Tuesday called for peace and justice amid the turmoil that followed the acquittal of a white former St. Louis police officer in the 2011 death of a black man. Several hundred people gathered on a hot, unshaded public plaza for an interfaith service followed by a march to City Hall. The service came after four days of protests that followed a judge's decision Friday to acquit Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Speakers at the service included Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert Carlson, black church pastors, and Jewish and Muslim leaders. "Let us remember that we are not a divided humanity, but a human family," Carlson said. "Let us show love instead of hatred." Several who spoke acknowledged the pain the ruling caused African-Americans in the community. "Justice, fair treatment ought to be the right of all God's children," said the Rev. Linden Bowie of the Missionary Baptist State Convention. More than 150 people have been arrested in the protests since Friday. No organized demonstrations were planned for Tuesday, protest leaders said. Smith's mother, Anne Smith, was among the hundreds of people who attended a rally Monday night outside the jail in downtown St. Louis. Demonstrators chanted "free our people" to show solidarity for those jailed. On Sunday night, 123 people were arrested after a smaller group of protesters that remained on the streets after the more organized demonstrations wrapped up broke business windows downtown, smashed concrete pots and threw things at officers. The unrest was reminiscent of three years ago, when sometimes-violent protests lasted for months after a white officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, fatally shot Michael Brown, a black and unarmed 18-year-old. Officer Darren Wilson was not charged but eventually resigned, and the shooting became a catalyst for the national Black Lives Matter movement. The shooting of Smith by Stockley came after a chase on Dec. 20, 2011. Stockley, 36, testified he felt endangered because he saw Smith holding a silver revolver when Smith backed his car toward the officers before speeding away, prompting the chase. Prosecutors said Stockley planted a gun in Smith's car after the shooting. The officer's DNA was on the weapon but Smith's wasn't. Dashcam video from Stockley's cruiser recorded him saying he was "going to kill this [expletive]." Less than a minute later, he shot Smith five times. Stockley's lawyer dismissed the comment as "human emotions" during a dangerous pursuit. Stockley left the police department and moved to Houston three years ago. Hundreds of protesters stand in the rain outside of the St. Louis city jail on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The protesters chanted "free our people" outside the jail on Monday night to show solidarity with those who remain behind [...]


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IHSF Podcast 018: Talking playoffs and conference mayhem

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:14:21 GMT

It's Week 5, which means it's nearly time for Steve Soucie to start projecting the playoff field. Kyle Nabors and Joe Stevenson ask Steve for details, and later the guys talk about the Interstate Eight's breakup.

Our podcast is sponsored by Lootcrate. Get great gamer/geek gear and more, and save $3 on your first box by using our promo code 'shaw' at  www.lootcrate.com/shaw.

Like what you hear?  Subscribe to us here in iTunes. Leave a review, it helps others discover the show.




Centegra Health System cutting, outsourcing staff to ease 'financial pressures'Planned layoffs will affect 131 people in roles throughout the company, according to the news release. Another 230 jobs will be outsourced to nThrive, a Georgia-based firm that specializes in medical billing and other hospital business services. Centegra is McHenry County's largest employer; the job reductions are about 9 percent of Centegra's workforce of about 4,000 people. "The decision to take these steps is among the most difficult that any organization can make," Centegra CEO Mike Eesley said in a memo to hospital staff Tuesday. "Although financial pressures have forced us to address our business structure, it feels deeply personal." The positions targeted for elimination were not expected to directly affect inpatient services, Centegra Health System spokeswoman Michelle Green said in an email. "The health system’s main goal was to prevent a reduction of hospital positions that provide bedside patient care," she said. "By reducing administrative and support positions, we are able to become more efficient without affecting the level of care our patients receive."The health system has mounting debt and ended fiscal 2017 with $62.3 million in operating losses, according to an unaudited financial statement on Electronic Municipal Market Access, a municipal security website. A 12.7 percent increase in revenue year over year was offset by a 26.3 percent increase in expenses, according to financial statements. Much of that increase was in salaries, which jumped more than $50 million in the past fiscal year. Employees whose jobs are being eliminated will receive two months' pay and benefits, plus a severance package, officials said. They also will be provided with resources for finding other jobs. All employees affected by outsourcing will have the opportunity to join nThrive, which provides medical billing, medical coding and business analytics services for health systems, according to its website. nThrive has responsibility for the hospital’s business office and the health information management department, and starting Nov. 19, it will expand its role to include patient access and additional health information management responsibilities, Centegra officials said.Current Centegra employees whose jobs are being outsourced will be offered positions with nThrive on Wednesday. All 230 will be offered the same base pay, and their years of service will be honored. Eesley sent a companywide memo to employees explaining the changes and the need for layoffs. "The difficult decision to balance our workforce through a reduction will ensure our health system is financially viable for years to come," Eesley said in the email. "While this day marks a major step toward financial improvements, it brings change for people in a number of positions." Eesley said outsourcing would help sustain finances as well. "Within a short time, we expect to see benefits from this partnership for our patients and for our organization’s financial performance," he said.This is the second major cost-cutting announcement Centegra has made this year. In June, it said it would end intensive care and medical-surgical operations at its Woodstock hospital and move those beds to its hospitals in Huntley and McHenry. Woodstock residents shared concerns about ambulance costs, increased travel times, inconvenience and the future of health care at a public forum Monday in Woodstock. Centegra officials have projected that those changes will save the health system $15 million annually. They did not say how much Tuesday's staff cuts are expected to save. Centegra still is in talks to join Northwestern Medicine in 2018, Green has said.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:30:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Centegra Health System officials announced plans Tuesday to shed 361 jobs through layoffs and outsourcing after posting a $62.3 million operating loss in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Planned layoffs will affect 131 people in roles throughout the company, according to the news release. Another 230 jobs will be outsourced to nThrive, a Georgia-based firm that specializes in medical billing and other hospital business services. Centegra is McHenry County's largest employer; the job reductions are about 9 percent of Centegra's workforce of about 4,000 people. "The decision to take these steps is among the most difficult that any organization can make," Centegra CEO Mike Eesley said in a memo to hospital staff Tuesday. "Although financial pressures have forced us to address our business structure, it feels deeply personal." The positions targeted for elimination were not expected to directly affect inpatient services, Centegra Health System spokeswoman Michelle Green said in an email. "The health system’s main goal was to prevent a reduction of hospital positions that provide bedside patient care," she said. "By reducing administrative and support positions, we are able to become more efficient without affecting the level of care our patients receive."The health system has mounting debt and ended fiscal 2017 with $62.3 million in operating losses, according to an unaudited financial statement on Electronic Municipal Market Access, a municipal security website. A 12.7 percent increase in revenue year over year was offset by a 26.3 percent increase in expenses, according to financial statements. Much of that increase was in salaries, which jumped more than $50 million in the past fiscal year. Employees whose jobs are being eliminated will receive two months' pay and benefits, plus a severance package, officials said. They also will be provided with resources for finding other jobs. All employees affected by outsourcing will have the opportunity to join nThrive, which provides medical billing, medical coding and business analytics services for health systems, according to its website. nThrive has responsibility for the hospital’s business office and the health information management department, and starting Nov. 19, it will expand its role to include patient access and additional health information management responsibilities, Centegra officials said.Current Centegra employees whose jobs are being outsourced will be offered positions with nThrive on Wednesday. All 230 will be offered the same base pay, and their years of service will be honored. Eesley sent a companywide memo to employees explaining the changes and the need for layoffs. "The difficult decision to balance our workforce through a reduction will ensure our health system is financially viable for years to come," Eesley said in the email. "While this day marks a major step toward financial improvements, it brings change for people in a number of positions." Eesley said outsourcing would help sustain finances as well. "Within a short time, we expect to see benefits from this partnersh[...]


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At UN, President Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North KoreaUnited States President Donald Trump speaks during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:42:00 GMT

UNITED NATIONS – President Donald Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the "total destruction'" of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons. Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd at the U.N. on Tuesday that "it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront" Kim Jong Un and said that Kim's "reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons" poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life. "Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," Trump said about the North Korean leader. He said of the U.S.: "If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." Elected on the nationalist slogan "America First," Trump argued that individual nations should act in their own self-interest, yet rally together when faced with a common threat. Using bellicose language rare for an U.S. president at the rostrum of the United Nations, Trump touched upon hot spots around the globe, declaring "The scourge of our planet is a group of rogue regimes." He urged nations to join together to stop Iran's nuclear program — he declared the deal to restrain it an "embarrassment" for the United States — and defeat "loser terrorists" who have struck violence across the globe. He denounced "radical Islamic terrorism," the inflammatory label he has recently shied away from. He warned that some violence-plagued portions of the world "are going to hell." And he made little mention of Russia. North Korea drew most of Trump's attention and anger. Trump, who has previously warned of "fire and fury" if Pyongyang does not back down, claimed that "no one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea." And he scolded nations that it was "an outrage" to enabled and traded with North Korea, seeming to slight China, though he did not mention it by name. Addressing the General Assembly is a milestone moment for any president, but one particularly significant for Trump, a relative newcomer to foreign policy who has at times rattled the international community with his unpredictability. He has pulled the Unites States out of multinational agreements, considered shrinking the U.S. military footprint in the world and deployed bombastic language on North Korea that has been criticized by other world leaders. Trump frequently belittled the U.N. as a candidate and some within his White House believe the U.N acts as a global bureaucracy that infringes on the sovereignty of individual countries. He urged the world leaders to embrace their own "national sovereignty to do more to ensure the prosperity and security of their own countries. But the president stood before world leaders and a g[...]


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Wheaton College football players charged in hazing incidentWheaton College

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:36:00 GMT

WHEATON – Several Wheaton College football players are facing criminal charges after a freshman teammate was restrained with duct tape, beaten and left half-naked with two torn shoulders on a baseball field as part of a 2016 hazing incident, according to media reports. The players – James Cooksey, Kyler Kregel, Benjamin Pettway, Noah Spielman and Samuel TeBos – have been charged with aggravated battery, mob action and unlawful restraint, the reports stated. There is a $50,000 arrest warrant for each player, DuPage County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Paul Darrah said. Wheaton College released a statement saying it was "deeply troubled" by the allegations. "Wheaton College aspires to provide an educational environment that is not only free of hazing, but practices our values as a Christian community," the college said in the statement. "As such, we are deeply troubled by the allegations brought by law enforcement against five members of our football team. When this incident was brought to our attention by other members of the football team and coaching staff in March 2016, the college took swift action to initiate a thorough investigation. Our internal investigation into the incident, and our engagement with an independent, third-party investigator retained by the college, resulted in a range of corrective actions. We are unable to share details on these disciplinary measures due to federal student privacy protections." College officials said they have fully cooperated with authorities in their investigation, and in light of the incident, the college's Board of Trustees has engaged outside experts to review the campus's anti-hazing policy and "the culture around how students treat one another in our campus communities, athletic teams and organizations." "To not impede the law enforcement investigation, the college was bound by confidentiality and unable to share more information until now," the statement read. "The conduct we discovered as a result of our investigation into this incident was entirely unacceptable and inconsistent with the values we share as human beings and as members of an academic community that espouses to live according to our Community Covenant." The college revised its anti-hazing policy in 2014 and improved its training protocols to "include a formal review of our anti-hazing policy with all student athletes every year, with required student signatures; we also require annual training for residence assistants who are responsible for residence hall activities," according to the statement. "Despite these deeply troubling charges, we have experienced positive changes on campus, including rapid responses from campus leaders to reports of hazing or other inappropriate behavior and effective disciplinary review," the statement read. This is a developing story. Check back at mysuburbanlife.[...]


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‘A horrific tragedy’ – Police: Dixon dad kills 5-year-old son, turns gun on himself

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:35:00 GMT

DIXON – A Dixon man under investigation for child sexual abuse shot his 5-year-old son in the head before killing himself this afternoon, the police chief said.

Dixon Police officers and Lee County Sheriff's deputies received a report at 3:37 p.m. of two shots fired at 1014 Fargo Ave. where they found Christopher Michaels dead and his father, Robert W. Michaels, 33, breathing but unresponsive with a semi-automatic handgun lying next to his hand on the floor.

Michaels was taken to KSB Hospital with a gunshot wound to his head, and later was flown to a Rockford hospital where he was pronounced dead, police Chief Danny Langloss said at a news conference tonight.

Michaels had been under investigation for child sexual abuse since Sept. 12. Although Christopher is not the child he is accused of molesting, Michaels was forbidden from being alone with the boy without supervision, Langloss said.

No further details on the assault were provided.

Christopher, a kindergartner at St. Anne School in Dixon, and his mother, Kassondra, Michaels' ex-wife, went to Michaels' home, where his dad asked whether he wanted to play a video game.

She followed the pair upstairs and, at Michaels' request, left the room to grab something. He slammed and barricaded the door, and she then heard two gunshots. She left the house to get her phone and call the police.

Michaels filed for divorce May 1 in Lee County Court; the petition was granted June 20 and a parenting plan was filed that day, court records show.

"Our heart goes out to the family members who have suffered this horrific tragedy," Langloss said.

"Our officers feel your pain. There is nothing more difficult for a police officer than seeing a young child's life being taken in such a senseless manner. This is by far the worst situation our officers have been involved in."


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Coroner identifies 2 Crystal Lake men killed in crash near McHenry

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:29:00 GMT

McHENRY – The McHenry County coroner identified the Crystal Lake men killed Sunday in a crash on Lily Lake Road near McHenry.

The single-vehicle crash was reported about 11:48 p.m. Saturday at 1402 Lily Lake Road, police said.

Allan Javier Sanchez Gamez, 31, of Crystal Lake and Timoteo Guzman Mejia, 33, of Crystal Lake were killed in the crash and died from blunt trauma to the head and chest. Additionally, Mejia suffered blunt trauma to the abdomen, according to a news release from the coroner.

Preliminary investigations found that Gamez was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer south on Lily Lake Road when it ran off the road and struck a tree, police said.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District and McHenry County Sheriff’s Police responded and found two men, who were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight, according to the release. 

Gamez was trapped in the vehicle, and Meija was ejected from the Ford. The unidentified front passenger, a 23-year-old man, also of Crystal Lake, was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry for injuries police said were not considered life-threatening, according to the release.

The front-seat passenger and driver were wearing seat belts, but the rear passenger was not, police said.

Toxicology testing is pending, and the crash remains under investigation by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police Accident Investigation Unit and the coroner’s office.


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Great Lakes states renew push for new lock at critical pointAP file photo An ore ship passes through the Soo Locks on June 10, 2005, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Vessels large and small pass through the structures known as the Soo Locks more than 7,000 times a year. Officials from the Great Lakes states are making a renewed push to win approval of a long-stalled proposal for adding a new lock to the Soo Locks complex, a critical chokepoint that connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. Only one of the two working locks there handles large iron ore boats.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:54:00 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS – Officials from Great Lakes states are making a renewed push to win approval of a long-stalled proposal for adding a new lock to the Soo Locks complex, a critical chokepoint that connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. Only one of the two working locks there handles large iron ore boats. A Homeland Security study said an unplanned six-month closure of the Poe Lock because of an accident or terrorist attack would shut down much of the U.S. steel industry and that the economic shockwaves could cost 11 million jobs. That’s more than the Great Recession. A Treasury Department report projects a net economic benefit of up to $1.7 billion from a new Soo Lock. The Soo Locks The Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, carry all the shipping traffic between Lake Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes, including ships bound for the Atlantic Ocean – more than 10,000 one-way trips and about 80 million tons of cargo annually. The cargo is mostly iron ore and coal, but also includes grain and even wind turbine blades. Boats longer than 730 feet or wider than 75 feet, which account for 85 percent of the cargo passing through the locks, are too big for the MacArthur Lock. The big vulnerability is that nearly all iron ore mined in the U.S. goes through the locks on the way to steel mills elsewhere, mostly on boats that must use the Poe Lock instead. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not have an official price tag for a new lock, but similar projects have cost about $1 billion, said Lynn Rose, spokeswoman for the Corps’ Detroit district. The threat A 2015 Department of Homeland Security study called the Poe Lock “the Achilles heel of the North American industrial economy.” It concluded that an unexpected six-month closure of the lock would be “catastrophic” because of the disruption to the supply chain that extends from the iron mines of Minnesota and Michigan, to the steel mills of the Great Lakes region, onward to manufacturers that depend on steel – especially the automakers. It projected a $1.1 trillion loss in gross domestic product. “Almost 11 million people in the United States and potentially millions more in Canada and Mexico would become unemployed due to the production stoppage, and the economy would enter a severe recession,” the report said. “There are no plans or solutions that could mitigate the damage to the manufacturing industries dependent on this supply chain.” Vanta Coda, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said he’s often asked whether he believes that figure. He said his reply is always: “What if it’s only 5 [million]? What if it’s only six? What if it’s only eight?” No matter what, he said, the[...]


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President Donald Trump calls for U.N. reform, but with more restrained tonesAP photo President Donald Trump gets up to leave after making a quick statement at a meeting Monday during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:54:00 GMT

UNITED NATIONS – President Donald Trump used his United Nations debut on Monday to prod the international organization to cut its bloated bureaucracy and sharpen its ill-defined mission. But he pledged U.S. support for the world body he had excoriated as a candidate, and his criticisms were more restrained than in years past. “In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential due to bureaucracy and mismanagement,” Trump said. “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment.” The president urged the U.N. to focus “more on people and less on bureaucracy” and to change “business as usual and not be beholden to ways of the past which were not working.” He also suggested the U.S. was paying more than its fair share to keep the New York-based world body operational. The short remarks at a forum on U.N. reforms were a precursor to Tuesday’s main event, when Trump will address the U.N. General Assembly for the first time, a speech nervously awaited by world leaders concerned about what the president’s “America first” vision means for the future of the world body. Trump riffed on his campaign slogan when asked to preview his central message to the General Assembly, saying: “I think the main message is ‘make the United Nations great’ – not ‘again.’ ‘Make the United Nations great.’” “Such tremendous potential, and I think we’ll be able to do this,” he added. But even as the president chastised the U.N., he pledged that the U.S. would be “be partners in your work” to make the organization a more effective force for peace across the globe. He praised the U.N.’s early steps toward reform and made no threats to withdraw U.S. support. The president’s more measured tone stood in sharp contrast to the approach he took at NATO’s new Brussels headquarters in May, when he scolded member nations for not paying enough and refused to explicitly back its mutual defense pact. While running for office, Trump had labeled the U.N. as weak and incompetent, and not a friend of either the United States or Israel. But he has softened his message since taking office, telling ambassadors at a White House meeting in April that the U.N. has “tremendous potential.” Trump more recently has praised a pair of unanimous U.N. Security Council votes to tighten sanctions on North Korea over its continued nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. The annual gathering of world leaders opens amid serious concerns about Trump’s priorities. For many world leaders, it will be their first chance to take the measure of the president in person. The president on Monday praised U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gute[...]


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Hurricane Maria batters Dominica as a Category 5 stormMen remove boats from the water ahead of Hurricane Maria in the Galbas area of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. Hurricane Maria grew into a Category 3 storm on Monday as it barreled toward a potentially devastating collision with islands in the eastern Caribbean. (AP Photo/Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte)

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:54:00 GMT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Maria intensified into a dangerous Category 5 storm and pounded the small island of Dominica as it surged into the eastern Caribbean on Monday night, and forecasters warned it might become even stronger. The storm was following a path that could take it on Tuesday near many of the islands recently devastated by Hurricane Irma and then head toward a possible direct strike on Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Fierce winds and driving rain lashed the mountainous island for hours, causing flooding and tearing roofs from homes. A series of Facebook posts by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit captured the fury of the storm as it made landfall. “The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God,” Skerrit wrote at the start of a series of increasingly harrowing posts. A few minutes later, he messaged that he could hear the sound of galvanized steel roofs tearing off of houses on the small rugged island. He then wrote that he thought his home had been damaged. And three words: “Rough! Rough! Rough!” A half hour later, he said: “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.” Seven minutes later he posted that he had been rescued. Late Monday, a police official, Inspector Pellam Jno Baptiste, said there were no immediate reports of casualties, but it still was too dangerous for officers to do a full assessment as the storm raged outside. “Where we are, we can’t move,” he said in a brief phone interview. Dominica authorities had closed schools and government offices and urged people to move from dangerous areas to shelters. “We should treat the approaching hurricane very, very seriously,” the prime minister warned as the storm approached. “This much water in Dominica is dangerous.” In August 2015, Tropical Storm Erika unleashed flooding and landslides that killed 31 people and destroyed more than 370 homes on the small, mountainous island. Officials on nearby Guadeloupe said the French island would experience extremely heavy flooding and warned that many communities could be submerged overnight. In Martinique, authorities ordered people to remain indoors and said they should prepare for cuts to power and water. Schools and non-essential public services were closed. With Puerto Rico appearing destined for a hit, officials in the U.S. territory warned residents of wooden or otherwise flimsy homes to find safe shelter. “You have to evacuate. Otherwise you’re going to die,” said Hector Pesquera, the island’s public safety commissioner. “I don’t know[...]


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U.S. immigrants sue over Trump's end of deportation protectionAP file photo April Soasti, 9, and her sister Adriana (left), 7, stand with other community members after the president announced the plan to repeal of the Deferred Action in Childhood Arrivals program Sept. 7. Six immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who became teachers, graduate students and a lawyer are suing the Trump administration over its decision to end DACA, which is shielding them from deportation.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:54:00 GMT

IRVINE, Calif. – Six immigrants brought to the United States as children who became teachers, graduate students and a lawyer sued the Trump administration on Monday over its decision to end a program shielding them from deportation. The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleged the move violated the constitutional rights of immigrants who lack legal status and provided information about themselves to the U.S. government so they could participate in the program. “The consequences are potentially catastrophic,” said Jesse Gabriel, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “These people can very powerfully and very clearly communicate the extent to which they organized their lives around this program.” The lawsuit joins others filed over President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrants to obtain work permits and deportation protection since 2012. More than a dozen states from Maine to California have sued over the administration’s decision to phase out the program, alleging similar constitutional violations. So has the University of California system. The effect of Trump’s decision directly weighs on plaintiffs’ personal lives and decisions they made to advance their careers in the U.S. Viridiana Chabolla, a 26-year-old law student at University of California Irvine, said she does not know how she would repay a loan she took out to cover living costs or how she would afford books or food if her protection from the program known as DACA is rescinded. “I imagined in the years to come I’d be able to get a job and would be able to pay it back,” said Chabolla, whose parents brought her illegally to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 2. “I imagined I’d at least have DACA.” The lawsuit claimed that the administration’s decision violates the immigrants’ rights to equal protection and due process. The plaintiffs – who are from Mexico and Thailand – include teachers, a medical student and 34-year-old lawyer Dulce Garcia, who recently signed a lease for an office and hired employees believing she could stay and work in the U.S. under the program, said Gabriel, an attorney for the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Trump’s announcement on Sept. 5 came after 10 Republican attorneys general threatened to sue in an attempt to halt the program. Under Trump’s plan, those already enrolled remain covered until their two-year work permits expire, and some renewals are being allowed. But there will be no new applications. Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley blamed the Obama administration f[...]


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Trustees, residents hope for retail, mixed-use development at former Huntley Outlet CenterCapital Companies LLC President Rich Turasky, a Lake in the Hills resident, has said he and other property owners would like to turn the space into an office, research and industrial district, such as warehouse space. However, the Plan Commission and Village Board have the ultimate say, as members would need to approve a rezoning agreement. The space currently is zoned for retail. Demolition has begun on 8 of the 77 acres of the property that were sold to General RV for an expansion. Turasky said developers hope to have the portion demolished by Oct. 1. Village Manager Dave Johnson said an incomplete rezoning application was submitted to the village at the beginning of August, and the village still is waiting on a new application to be submitted. Many residents expressed a want for a hotel, adding that people visiting residents in Del Webb have nowhere to stay. Trustee JR Westberg said a hotel could help Huntley High School bring Illinois High School Association-sanctioned events to its field house and have people stay overnight from across the state.Trustee Ronda Goldman said she would love to see a mixed-use space, featuring office and commercial space along with a boutique hotel and some restaurants and shops. "It would be great for the residents, the tax base and for jobs, and it would certainly bring people to the corridor of Route 47, while also benefiting neighboring towns," Goldman said. In its heyday in 2002, the center generated $346,743 in sales tax compared with $124,884 generated in 2015, according to village documents. "Unfortunately, there are zero dollars coming in sales tax-wise currently, but the change of zoning to ORI [office, research and light industry district] would significantly impact in a negative way the village’s ability to generate sales tax," Johnson said. Westberg said he'd like to see a mixed-use development, featuring a movie theater and entertainment venue such as Dave & Buster's, along with space for athletic programs such as a dance studio and indoor soccer arena. "If you draw the children and athletics in, mom and dad could drop them off for a few hours and have a nice meal or go see a movie," Westberg said. "This would draw attention from people outside of the community and make it more of a destination than a one-stop shop."He said he will oppose big-box industrial space, such as the Weber Grill distribution center, because the area deserves to be a marquee corner as people enter town. "I think we could do better," Westberg said. "This needs to be a cornerstone with substance to it other than office space. We have plenty of other spaces throughout our town for industrial use, but that corner needs to be a spotlight." The center, located at Route 47 and Interstate 90, sits along a $61 million full interchange opened in 2013, which has inspired the village to create a draft plan to guide future land use and development of the area. Village staff and planning consultant firm Houseal Lavinge Associates will host a feedback meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Huntley Municipal Complex, 10987 Main St. Johnson said the focus of the draft plan is on the hundreds of acres that surround the intersection, but the outlet center property on the draft plan still shows commercial use. "That is different than what developers have proposed, so it will be important and good to obtain feedback for that property and other spaces and get public input," Johnson said.Johnson said the village has had good dialogue about other development options, but officials understand the "challenges associated with retail and other development in today's world." "The outlet mall and retail business has drastically changed because of the internet and how people are buying their retail products," Turasky has said. Lake in the Hills resident Amy Blozinski said that between the outlet center and several stores at Algonquin Commons closing, Huntley residents are left with limited options about where to shop. "It now takes an hour or more to drive to the same stores somewhere else," Blozinski said. "It's a shame the property wasn't sold to someone else and improved upon years ago." Melissa Albright, who lived in Huntley for 20 years, said she is in favor of industrial and corporate space because it would bring more job availability. Albright said a business such as Chase Bank or Fisher Nuts on Randall Road could bring younger people to the area and bring back money into the economy. “A lot of people graduating college are moving closer to Schaumburg for opportunities now,” she said.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:52:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Hotels, restaurants and retail are just some of the options Huntley residents and trustees want to see at the former Huntley Outlet Center property. But a changing retail marketplace has prompted developers to look outside of the mall's previous use. Capital Companies LLC President Rich Turasky, a Lake in the Hills resident, has said he and other property owners would like to turn the space into an office, research and industrial district, such as warehouse space. However, the Plan Commission and Village Board have the ultimate say, as members would need to approve a rezoning agreement. The space currently is zoned for retail. Demolition has begun on 8 of the 77 acres of the property that were sold to General RV for an expansion. Turasky said developers hope to have the portion demolished by Oct. 1. Village Manager Dave Johnson said an incomplete rezoning application was submitted to the village at the beginning of August, and the village still is waiting on a new application to be submitted. Many residents expressed a want for a hotel, adding that people visiting residents in Del Webb have nowhere to stay. Trustee JR Westberg said a hotel could help Huntley High School bring Illinois High School Association-sanctioned events to its field house and have people stay overnight from across the state.Trustee Ronda Goldman said she would love to see a mixed-use space, featuring office and commercial space along with a boutique hotel and some restaurants and shops. "It would be great for the residents, the tax base and for jobs, and it would certainly bring people to the corridor of Route 47, while also benefiting neighboring towns," Goldman said. In its heyday in 2002, the center generated $346,743 in sales tax compared with $124,884 generated in 2015, according to village documents. "Unfortunately, there are zero dollars coming in sales tax-wise currently, but the change of zoning to ORI [office, research and light industry district] would significantly impact in a negative way the village’s ability to generate sales tax," Johnson said. Westberg said he'd like to see a mixed-use development, featuring a movie theater and entertainment venue such as Dave & Buster's, along with space for athletic programs such as a dance studio and indoor soccer arena. "If you draw the children and athletics in, mom and dad could drop them off for a few hours and have a nice meal or go see a movie," Westberg said. "This would draw attention from people outside of the community and make it more of a destination than a one-stop shop."He said he will oppose big-box industrial space, such as the Weber Grill distribution center, because the area deserves to be a marquee corner as people enter town. "I think we could do better," Westberg said. "This needs to be a cornerstone with substance to it other than office space.[...]


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Rolling Stone, iconic music magazine, puts itself up for saleThis Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 photo shows people looking at covers of the Rolling Stone magazines at the "Rolling Stone 50 Years" exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland. Rolling Stone, rock'n'roll magazine turned liberal cheerleader, is up for sale. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:43:00 GMT

Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner is putting the magazine up for sale, marking a new chapter for the cultural bible that for half a century has spotlighted musical artists from Jimi Hendrix to Kendrick Lamar and prose from writers such as Hunter S. Thompson and Matt Taibbi. Wenner Media, one of the last family-owned media companies would become the latest publisher to shift away from print publications after years of losing advertising and readership to online alternatives. A sale would leave the company without a print publication for the first time since Wenner created Rolling Stone in San Francisco in 1967. The buyer of Wenner Media’s 51 percent stake would most likely pay far less than the $500 million offer that Wenner has boasted about receiving years ago, before the print industry began its decline. A new owner may bring in new management, which would mark another changing of the guard among celebrity editors. In recent weeks, Nancy Gibbs and Graydon Carter, top editors at Time magazine and Vanity Fair, announced they’re moving on. Gus Wenner, the company’s digital chief, and his father, Jann, who started Rolling Stone when the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane were performing at local clubs, told the New York Times that they intend to stay at the magazine but that the decision would be up to the new owner. When Wenner Media sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to Singapore-based BandLab Technologies in September 2016, it was the first time Jann Wenner had admitted an outside investor. The deal was an opportunity to take the brand into new and different markets, Gus Wenner said at the time. The younger Wenner runs the day-to-day operations. While some former employees have said 27-year-old Gus lacks the experience to run a media company, others say his youth may help a magazine that has focused too much on aging rock stars when advertisers are seeking younger readers. Rolling Stone is looking to invest more in video, including TV and film projects, Gus Wenner told Bloomberg earlier this year. Wenner Media hired Methuselah Advisors to explore the sale of Rolling Stone, according to the company statement Sunday. The company didn’t say whether Wenner is in talks with any potential suitors. BandLab Technologies, a budding digital music company co-founded by Kuok Meng Ru, the scion of one of Asia’s richest families, declined to comment. Earlier this year, Wenner Media sold Men’s Journal and Us Weekly to American Media Inc. The sales helped Wenner pay off substantial debt after it sold half of Us Weekly to Walt Disney Co. in 2001 for about $40 million, then borrowed to buy back the[...]


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McHenry County Department of Health: Rabid bat found in Crystal Lake

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:34:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A rabid bat was found last week outside a Crystal Lake house, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

A homeowner discovered the bat Sept. 11 and removed it with a shovel and plastic bag. A dog who lived in the house potentially was exposed, and no human exposure was reported, the health department said in a news release.

Keeping pets vaccinated will prevent them from getting rabies if exposed, according to the health department. Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms of rabid bats in particular include daytime activity, presence in a place bats usually are not seen or the inability to fly, according to the health department.

People should not touch bats directly. Bats that are inside a home should be contained to a single room. If the bat is outside and possibly has interacted with pets or humans – or if it’s injured – place a bucket over it and call Animal Control at 815-459-6222, according to the health department.

Statewide, 46 rabid bats have been reported in 2017, with 43 of them having been found in northeastern Illinois, according to the health department.

Call MCDH’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500 with any questions. To learn more about rabies prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/rabies/.


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Women won big at Emmys, in front of and behind the cameraAP photo Jeffrey Nordling (from left), Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz and Laure Dern pose in the press room with their awards for outstanding limited series for "Big Little Lies" at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:34:00 GMT

NEW YORK – The Emmy statuette depicts a winged woman, and this year’s Emmy telecast celebrated a TV season in which women, as never before, were able to soar. Strong roles about strong women abounded. And they were rewarded. The winning drama series and limited series (“The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Big Little Lies,” respectively) focused on issues of women – rather than defaulting to the male point of view – as a vivid way to explore the human condition. “Veep,” which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the former president of the U.S., won best comedy series. Women also made inroads behind the camera, with Lena Waithe winning best comedy writer Emmy for “Master of None.” She’s the first female winner ever in that category. For many of the winners as well as many fans who were cheering them on, the Emmycast unfolded as a bracing rebuttal at a time when surveys continue to expose unfair representation by women in Hollywood. “Let’s hope that this is the beginning of something even better in our country and the world,” Louis-Dreyfus said, savoring her record-breaking sixth win as Selina Meyer on “Veep.” “I think the world would be a better place if more women were in charge.” “We’ve made incredible progress, obviously,” said Elisabeth Moss, who won the best actress Emmy for her starring role in “The Handmaid’s Tale” as one of the few fertile women left in a world ruled by a totalitarian regime that treats women as property. But she added, “There’s still a lot of work to be done. There are still meetings you walk into and wonder if they say ‘no’ because it’s a show by or about a woman.” The answer, Moss said, is “not only women in front of the camera, but it’s women behind the camera.” “Feud: Bette and Joan,” starring Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in a robust saga of clashing queens of the silver screen, was a promising entry in the Limited Series category. But “Feud” was edged out by another woman-centric drama, “Big Little Lies,” which followed a group of mothers who each has secrets threatening to crash down upon her. The series collected eight Emmys also including best actress (Nicole Kidman), best supporting actress (Laura Dern) and best supporting actor Alexander Skarsgard. In accepting his trophy, Skarsgard thanked his colleagues for letting him be “one of the girls.” Indeed, two of the series’ executive producers were Kidman and her co-star Reese Witherspo[...]


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McHenry County Jail holding Arlington Heights man facing sexual assault, theft chargesEric J. Elwell, 23, of the 1300 block of East Waverly Place, Arlington Heights, was charged with criminal sexual assault and theft

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:30:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – An Arlington Heights man accused of holding down a McHenry County woman who was raped by another man after a night out at a local nightclub is in McHenry County Jail.

Eric J. Elwell, 23, of the 1300 block of East Waverly Place, previously was being held in Cook County Jail but was brought Sunday afternoon to McHenry County.

He remained in the jail Monday on $100,000 bond, according to jail records.

Elwell will appear Thursday before Judge Sharon Prather.

Elwell and his co-defendant, Blake R. Alberts, were charged Aug. 31 with criminal sexual assault and theft in connection with an Aug. 12 incident, according to court records.

The woman Alberts is accused of sexually assaulting requested a civil no-contact order against him Aug. 18. A judge granted an emergency no-contact order the same day, court records show.

The 21-year-old woman told police that she was at Moretti’s with two friends Aug. 12 when she met Alberts and Elwell, according to the no-contact order. The Moretti’s in Lake in the Hills transitions into Club 220 North at night. The club was closing, so the woman said she invited her two friends and Alberts and Elwell back to her house.

The party continued in the woman’s garage, and she said she invited people to sleep over because she didn’t want anyone to drive home after they had been drinking, according to the order.

Between 6 and 9 a.m., the woman said Alberts and Elwell walked her to her bedroom while others went to the basement to sleep, according to the order. She said Elwell held her down while Alberts sexually assaulted her, and then raped her after Elwell had left, records show.

Both men also were charged with theft of more than $500 worth of “numerous pieces of jewelry” from another woman with the same last name as the woman they are accused of assaulting on the same day, according to a criminal complaint signed by a detective with the Crystal Lake Police Department

Both men face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Alberts remained in McHenry County Jail custody Monday on $150,000 bond. He next will appear in court Sept. 28.

Eric J. Elwell, 23, of the 1300 block of East Waverly Place, Arlington Heights, was charged with criminal sexual assault and theft


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Crystal Lake trustees to consider grant, city funds to help with backyard floodingSarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com After a downpour, Susan Adams stands on her flooded driveway June 29 at her Crystal Lake home on Pine Street. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com South Oriole Trail resident Terry Cotter adds fuel to his backyard water pump July 12 after heavy rains in Crystal Lake. Neighborhood residents have been seeking relief from the city for continual flooding in yards. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Donald and Susan Adams' backyard is flooded June 29 on Pine Street in Crystal Lake. Residents living on the block immediately southeast of the Route 14 and West Crystal Lake Avenue intersection are frustrated with the city for not finding a solution to the flooding problem. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:30:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake City Council members will decide whether the city should apply for a grant and potentially spend more than $340,000 to help reduce flooding for the Pine Street, Oriole Trail and Crystal Lake Avenue areas. Trustees will vote on a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting to support a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. The grant would allocate funds to the city to demolish five homes that are continually flooded, according to village documents. The project is estimated to cost more than $1.3 million, village documents show. If the federal grant is awarded, the federal share would total 75 percent and the local match would be 25 percent, or about $343,902. Demolition is expected to significantly reduce the risk of flooding and reduce flood damage to other residences and roadways nearby, according to village documents. The vacated properties would be used for additional stormwater storage. Residents expressed frustration with the city for not finding a solution to the flooding problem, which has cost them money and left them without access to their backyards for much of the summer. However, the city repeatedly has been denied grant money to help fund a solution. For between 10 and 12 affected homes, rainwater typically ponds longer than a standard swimming pool and covers large portions of residents’ yards. Mosquitoes and other flying insects are attracted to the standing water and make it nearly impossible for people to stand in the backyards at night without pests biting or bothering them, residents have said. The five homeowners are not required to sell their homes, according to village documents, and residents who attended a meeting Aug. 8 did not object to the concept. The grant application can be submitted until Nov. 14, documents show. It could take six months to a year before the state makes a decision on what projects to forward to FEMA. FEMA then reviews the applications and makes funding decisions based on its priorities. The City Council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake. Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com After a downpour, Susan Adams stands on her flooded driveway June 29 at her Crystal Lake home on Pine Street. Crystal Lake trustees will vote on a resolution to the city's flooding problem at Tuesday's meeting, including whether to apply for a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's [...]


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Trustees to vote on grant funding for continual flooding in Crystal Lake backyardsTrustees will vote on a resolution at Tuesday's meeting to support a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. The grant would allocate funds to the city to demolish five homes that are continually flooded, according to village documents. The project is estimated to cost more than $1.3 million, village documents show. If the federal grant is awarded, the federal share would total 75 percent and the local match would be 25 percent, or about $343,902. Demolition is expected to significantly reduce the risk of flooding and reduce flood damage to other residences and roadways nearby, according to village documents.The vacated properties would be used for additional stormwater storage.Residents expressed frustration with the city for not finding a solution to the flooding problem, which has cost them money and left them without access to their backyards for much of the summer. However, the city continuously has been denied grant money to help fund a solution. For between 10 and 12 affected homes, rainwater typically ponds longer than a standard swimming pool and covers large portions of residents' yards. Mosquitoes and other flying insects are attracted to the standing water and make it nearly impossible for people to stand in the backyards at night without pests biting or bothering them, residents have said.The five homeowners are not required to sell their home, according to village documents, and residents who attended a meeting Aug. 8 did not object to the concept. The grant application can be submitted until Nov. 14, documents show. It could take six months to a year before the state makes a decision on what projects to forward to FEMA. FEMA then reviews the applications and makes funding decisions based on its priorities. The City Council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:27:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake City Council members will decide whether the city should apply for a grant and potentially spend more than $340,000 to help reduce flooding for the Pine Street, Oriole Trail and Crystal Lake Avenue areas.

Trustees will vote on a resolution at Tuesday's meeting to support a grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. The grant would allocate funds to the city to demolish five homes that are continually flooded, according to village documents. The project is estimated to cost more than $1.3 million, village documents show. If the federal grant is awarded, the federal share would total 75 percent and the local match would be 25 percent, or about $343,902. Demolition is expected to significantly reduce the risk of flooding and reduce flood damage to other residences and roadways nearby, according to village documents.The vacated properties would be used for additional stormwater storage.Residents expressed frustration with the city for not finding a solution to the flooding problem, which has cost them money and left them without access to their backyards for much of the summer. However, the city continuously has been denied grant money to help fund a solution. For between 10 and 12 affected homes, rainwater typically ponds longer than a standard swimming pool and covers large portions of residents' yards. Mosquitoes and other flying insects are attracted to the standing water and make it nearly impossible for people to stand in the backyards at night without pests biting or bothering them, residents have said.The five homeowners are not required to sell their home, according to village documents, and residents who attended a meeting Aug. 8 did not object to the concept. The grant application can be submitted until Nov. 14, documents show. It could take six months to a year before the state makes a decision on what projects to forward to FEMA. FEMA then reviews the applications and makes funding decisions based on its priorities. The City Council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake.


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