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Crystal Lake garden 30 years in the making to be featured on Garden WalkH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake resident Susan Wayman strolls through her backyard garden that is featured in the Master Gardeners of McHenry County Garden Walk. Hosted by McHenry County College and the University of Illinois Extension the event features 8 area gardens on July 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting at the college, 8900 Route 14.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:30:00 GMT

Susan Wayman took up gardening simply because she needed something to do while her children played outside. Thirty years, numerous gardening books and countless weeds pulled later, Wayman is still at it.

Garden lovers who participated in the McHenry County Master Gardeners Garden Walk admired Wayman’s garden a decade ago when it was a part of the self-guided tour.

Now, Wayman’s garden once again will be a stop on the annual garden walk, but this time she is honored with being this year’s featured garden.

“I just started planting flowers, and it kept growing,” Wayman said, “and now [my children] are all grown up and I’m still going.”

Rounded plots of soil expands out into Wayman’s yard, curving in and out from the front of her home to the back, completely filled with plants. In the backyard, more plants are seen in the back corners of the yard.

One of these corners serves as a vegetable garden guarded by a scarecrow decked out in Cubs apparel.

Out of the what seems to be hundreds of plants, Wayman most admires her hostas, which lie under an apple tree in the back left corner of her property.

Wayward formed her own style over her many years of gardening. She never really has a plan or layout for her garden. She just finds the plants she likes and goes from there.

“Pretty much I see plants at nurseries and I have to have that,” Wayward said, “and sometimes I’ll walk around the yard like for two hours like ‘Now where do I put this?’ ”

Three decades of gardening comes with its habits, such as Wayman’s need to pull weeds.

“I can’t walk past a weed without pulling it. Sometimes even in public spaces,” Wayward said. “No, I don’t really, but I’m tempted. It’s like nope, that’s really weird.”

Members of her family also contribute to the garden. Her son helped her in laying down the stone paths that lead through the garden. Her husband built several stands that help support plants out of re-purposed rod iron steel he got from selling steel for a living.

Wayward advises new gardeners to research their plants before they buy them. Wayward acquired many books and subscribes to numerous gardening magazines.

“I’ve educated myself pretty well about gardening,” Wayward said. “It keeps you from making expensive mistakes.”

The McHenry County Master Gardeners invite those interested to “sit and rest, and read” at their demonstration garden from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8 at McHenry County College. The event also includes a self-guided tour of eight private gardens, including Wayman’s. Tickets can be bought by June 30 for $12 at gardenwalkmchenrycounty.bpt.me or on the day of the walk for $17.

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake resident Susan Wayman strolls through her backyard garden that is featured in the Master Gardeners of McHenry County Garden Walk. Hosted by McHenry County College and the University of Illinois Extension the event features 8 area gardens on July 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting at the college, 8900 Route 14.


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15 bodies found, scores still missing in ChinaIn this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers work at the accident site Saturday after a landslide occurred in the mountain village of Xinmo, in southwestern China's Sichuan Province.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:50:00 GMT

MAO COUNTY, China – Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 100 more people remained missing.

About 3,000 rescuers were using detection devices and dogs to look for signs of life in an area that once held 62 homes and a hotel, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

“We won’t give up as long as there is a slim of chance,” the agency quoted an unidentified searcher as saying.

The provincial government of Sichuan on Sunday released the names of the 118 missing people. It’s unclear if the 15 bodies have been identified.

Relatives were sobbing as they awaited news of their loved ones. A woman in a nearby village told The Associated Press that she had no information on her relatives in Xinmo, the mountain village that was buried. She said she had heard that only body parts were found.

Xu Zhiwen, executive deputy governor of the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba, the region where the landslide struck early Saturday, said that all 142 tourists who were visiting a site in Xinmo have been found alive.

Three members of one family were located five hours after the landslide. Qiao Dashuai, 26, said he and his wife awoke to cries from their 1-month-old son about 5:30 a.m.

“Just after we changed the diaper for the baby, we heard a big bang outside and the light went out,” Qiao said. “We felt that something bad was happening and immediately rushed to the door, but the door was blocked by mud and rocks.”

Qiao told state broadcaster CCTV his family was swept away by water as part of a mountain collapsed. He said they struggled against the flood of water until they met medical workers who took them to a hospital. His parents and other relatives were among the missing.

“It’s the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake,” Wang Yongbo, an official leading one of the rescue efforts, told CCTV. Wang was referring to China’s deadliest earthquake this century, a magnitude-7.9 temblor that struck Sichuan province in May 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.

Mao County, or Maoxian, sits on the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau and is home to about 110,000 people. Most residents are of the Qiang ethnic minority.

The landslide buried 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of road and blocked a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) section of a river. The provincial government said on its website that an estimated 8 million cubic meters (282 million cubic feet) of earth and rock – equivalent to more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – slid down the mountain.

Experts told CCTV that the landslide was likely triggered by rain. Search may be made easier Sunday as the weather service forecast a sunny day.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers work at the accident site Saturday after a landslide occurred in the mountain village of Xinmo, in southwestern China's Sichuan Province.


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Wet winter ups the ante for hikers on popular U.S. trailIn this self portrait photo taken May 29, Anya Sellsted stands in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Sellsted had traversed the highest snow-covered passes and forded raging rivers during her hike from Mexico to Canada when she ran into trouble in the high Sierra Nevada mountains.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:49:00 GMT

LOS ANGELES – Anya Sellsted had scaled scary snow-covered passes and forded frightening rivers during her solo hike from Mexico to Canada when the hazards of California’s gargantuan winter finally caught up to her. While crossing a partly submerged log in Yosemite National Park, Sellsted was sucked under the tree and down the rushing creek. She gasped for air as the weight of her 55-pound backpack pushed her under the frigid water. No one was within miles as she was battered and scraped on rocks before grasping branches and saving herself. “I couldn’t stop screaming and shaking and crying,” said Sellsted, who swigged whiskey to calm her nerves. Sellsted is one of several hikers who reported harrowing incidents tackling the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail across this year’s massive snowpack, which has fed swift streams and turned the dream trip of a lifetime into a near-death nightmare for some. Hikers have survived an avalanche, falls on snow and close calls in raging rivers. Most have retreated to lower ground and detoured the hazardous Sierra Nevada – the highest, most rugged section of the scenic trail running the length of California and through Oregon and Washington. Hiking the trail is an arduous endurance test, but not particularly perilous. It has become more popular each year and draws more than 3,000 hikers from around the world trying to cover the entire length within six months, although fewer than a quarter finished last year. Given the length and likelihood of snow in the Sierra and Cascades, most hikers start in the Southern California desert in early spring with the hope that snow will melt by the time they reach alpine elevations. With hundreds of so-called thru-hikers entering the high Sierra early in the season, their experiences can serve as cautionary tales for others planning summer wilderness escapes. More than a dozen people have drowned in Sierra rivers at lower elevations, including one in Yosemite and three in Sequoia National Park, and rangers are warning hikers to think twice about crossing swift water. Marcus Mazzaferri, 25, of Seattle, narrowly survived an ordeal after falling into a swollen Yosemite creek and abandoning his pack so he could get to shore before being swept over a waterfall. He lost all his gear and had to do jumping jacks and run in circles all night. He got lost hiking for help the next day and was beginning to despair when he heard a beeping sound and discovered a snow-plowing crew, who took him to a ranger station. “I remember the feeling of not being sure if I would survive or not,” Mazzaferri said. Photos and videos on social media show whitewater churning beneath shaky log crossings and shirtless hikers wading chest-deep in still waters with packs over their heads. On cliff-hanging Forester Pass, the trail’s highest point at 13,200 feet (4,000 meters), snow cover makes for precarious footing. Majestic landscapes display endless expanses of white framed by craggy black and gray peaks. Jack Haskel of the Pacific Crest Trail Association urged hikers two weeks ago on Facebook to let more snow melt, saying he was worried someone would die. “It’s not really ready for us yet,” he said. “Conditions are more like mountaineering than backpacking.” Brien Bower, 25, an experienced mountaineer from Seattle, said there were two mindsets among hikers approaching the high Sierra: those who said everyone was going to die and those going for it. Bower, who completed the trail two years ago, planned to turn around if he sensed danger. He was climbing on [...]


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Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finishFILE - This Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration’s travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:49:00 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground.

The biggest news of all, though, would be if Justice Anthony Kennedy were to use the court's last public session on Monday to announce his retirement.

To be sure, Kennedy has given no public sign that he will retire this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court.

But Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so. Kennedy and his clerks were gathering over the weekend for a reunion that was pushed up a year and helped spark talk he might be leaving the court.

"Soon we'll know if rumors of Kennedy's retirement are accurate," one former Kennedy clerk, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, said on Twitter Friday.

When the justices take the bench Monday, they are expected to decide the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which was excluded from a state grant program to pay for soft surfaces on playgrounds run by not-for-profit groups. The case is being closely watched by advocates of school vouchers, who hope the court will make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in states that now prohibit it.

Missouri has since changed its policy under Republican Gov. Eric Greitens so that churches may now apply for the money.

Also expected in the next few days, though there's no deadline by which the court must decide, is a ruling on whether to allow the administration to immediately enforce a 90-day ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, could play a pivotal role in both the travel ban and church playground cases.

In all, six cases that were argued between November and April remain undecided. Three of those, all involving immigrants or foreigners, were heard by an eight-justice court, before Gorsuch joined the bench in April.

If the eight justices are evenly divided, those cases could be argued a second time in the fall, with Gorsuch available to provide the tie-breaking vote.

FILE - This Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration’s travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)


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Illinois could be 1st state with 'junk' credit because of budgetIllinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers speaks in the Illinois House chamber Jan. 25 in Springfield. Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to "junk" status, a move that will deepen a multibillion-dollar financial hole and cost taxpayers more for years to come.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:48:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to “junk” status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come. S&P Global Ratings has warned the agency will likely lower Illinois’ creditworthiness to below investment grade if feuding lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget for a third straight year, increasing the amount the state will have to pay to borrow money for things such as schools, building roads or refinancing existing debt. The outlook for a deal wasn’t good Saturday, as lawmakers meeting in Springfield for a special legislative session remained deadlocked with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year approaching. That should alarm everyone, not just those at the Capitol, said Brian Battle, director at Performance Trust Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm. “It isn’t a political show,” he said. “Everyone in Illinois has a stake in what’s happening here. One day everybody will wake up and say ‘What happened? Why are my taxes going up so much?’” Here’s a look at what’s happening and what a junk rating could mean: Why now? Ratings agencies have been downgrading Illinois’ credit rating for years, although they’ve accelerated the process as the stalemate has dragged on between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats, led by House Speaker Michael Madigan, who control the General Assembly. The agencies are concerned about Illinois’ massive pension debt, as well as a $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills and the drop in revenue that occurred when lawmakers in 2015 allowed a temporary income tax increase to expire. “In our view, the unrelenting political brinkmanship now poses a threat to the timely payment of the state’s core priority payments,” S&P stated when it dropped Illinois’ rating to one level above junk, which was just after lawmakers adjourned their regular session May 31 without a deal. Moody’s did the same, stating: “As the regular legislative session elapsed, political barriers to progress appeared to harden, indicating both the severity of the state’s challenges and the political difficulty of advocating their solutions.” What is a ‘junk’ rating? Think of it as a credit score, but for a state (or city or county) instead of a person. When Illinois wants to borrow money, it issues bonds. Investors base their decision on whether to buy Illinois bonds on what level of risk they’re willing to take, informed greatly by the rating that agencies such as Moody’s assign. A junk rating means the state is at a higher risk of not repaying its debt. At that point, many mutual funds and individual investors – who make up more than half the buyers in the bond market – won’t buy. Those willing to take a chance, such as distressed debt investors, will only do so if they are getting a higher interest rate. While no other state has been placed at junk, counties and cities such as Chicago, Atlantic City and Detroit have. Detroit saw its rating increased back to investment grade in 2015 as it emerged from bankruptcy – an option that by law, states don’t have. What will it cost? Battle said the cost to taxpayers in additional interest the next time Illinois sells bonds, which it inevitably will need to do in the long term, could be in the “tens of millions” of dollars or more. The more money the state has to pay on interest, the less that’s available [...]


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First phase to fix Nunda Township intersection completeMcHenry County Board Chairman Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, instructed the McHenry County Division of Transportation to move forward with reconfiguring the traffic signals at the intersection of River Road and Charles J. Miller Road in Nunda Township. Now, drivers can only turn left on a green left arrow. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Division of Transportation.In early May, the McHenry County Division of Transportation alerted McHenry County Board Chairman Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, of the rising number of severe crashes at the intersection of River Road and Charles J Miller Road in Nunda Township. Previously, left turns were permitted during green lights. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Division of Transportation.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:31:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Division of Transportation has completed a short-term project in an effort to reduce severe car accidents at an intersection in Nunda Township, according to a news release from MCDOT.

The release states that the intersection of River and Charles J. Miller roads in Nunda Township had been the site of an increasing number of car accidents resulting in serious injuries and even deaths. In early May, MCDOT Director Joseph Korpalski brought the issue to the attention of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo.

“The increasing number of tragedies at River Road and Miller Road meant our county government had to act,” Franks said.

The two discussed both short- and long-term options. Franks directed MCDOT to reconfigure traffic signals at the intersection as a short-term solution. Drivers now are prohibited from turning left northbound to westbound, except on a green left arrow. Previously, these turns were permitted during green lights.

“Protecting the lives of residents is my highest priority as chairman,” Franks said. “And we hope that the improvements to this intersection reduce the number and severity of accidents there.”

MCDOT will continue to analyze potential long-term solutions that might stem the increase in severe accidents, according to the release.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, instructed the McHenry County Division of Transportation to move forward with reconfiguring the traffic signals at the intersection of River Road and Charles J. Miller Road in Nunda Township. Now, drivers can only turn left on a green left arrow. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Division of Transportation.In early May, the McHenry County Division of Transportation alerted McHenry County Board Chairman Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, of the rising number of severe crashes at the intersection of River Road and Charles J Miller Road in Nunda Township. Previously, left turns were permitted during green lights. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Division of Transportation.


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Northern Illinois Governmental Electric Aggregation Consortium suspends program because of comparable ComEd rates

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:29:00 GMT

Residents who are part of the Northern Illinois Governmental Electric Aggregation Consortium will see their electric supply changed back to ComEd starting in July. 

The consortium, known as NIGEAC, includes Woodstock, Algonquin, Huntley, Ringwood, Lakewood and Genoa, said Chalen Daigle, the executive director of the program. The program started in 2012, Daigle said, and is run through the McHenry County Council of Governments.

“When the program first started out, the residents were seeing significant savings on their electrical bill because we had the consulting firm go out and bid electrical rates on their own,” Daigle said. 

Since then, the savings have leveled off. When the consulting firm went out to bid this spring, they were unable to get prices that were lower than ComEd’s supply rate, Daigle said. 

Rates will continue to be monitored, and NIGEAC’s consultant will go out to bid again if there is a change in the market, Daigle said. As to why the rates have leveled out, Daigle said she didn’t know. 

Algonquin Assistant Village Manager Mike Kumbera said the leveling out of prices is most likely because of the introduction of more competition. 

“It’s not going to be too big of a movement on your bill,” Kumbera said of the change.

It’s anticipated that residents may receive more solicitations from electric companies with the suspension of the village’s program, Kumbera said.

Residents are advised to avoid any monthly fees, early termination fees and variable rates when considering any solicitations, according to a message on the village’s website. 

Similar messages can be found on the village of Huntley’s website and the village of Lakewood’s website.

NIGEAC’s current contract with Constellation Energy has a rate of 6.89 cents a kilowatt hour.

ComEd’s rate was listed at the same price, according to Plug In Illinois’s website.

A comparison of current rates can be found at www.pluginillinois.org/MunicipalAggregationList.aspx. A price comparison of electric supply companies can be found at www.pluginillinois.org/OffersBegin.aspx.




Cary Park District Board of Commissioners looking to fill board vacancy

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:29:00 GMT

CARY – The Cary Park District Board of Commissioners is seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on the board.

The Board of Commissioners will appoint the individual who will serve until April 2019.

The board consists of five members, and commissioners are not compensated for their time.

To qualify, candidates must be a registered voter within the park district and a resident of the Cary Park District for at least a year. The appointed individual is required to attend at least two meetings a month and participate in other park district events throughout the year.

Candidates should send their letters of interests and any questions to Executive Director Dan Jones at 847-639-6100 or djones@carypark.com. Letters should be submitted no later than Monday, July 10.

Letters should include the interested individual’s full name, address, phone number, email address, past experiences with the park district and why they are interested in joining the board.

More information about the Cary Park District and the Board of Commissioners can be found at www.carypark.com.




New Metra seats will not change direction but will have armrests, built-in cup holdersMatthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com Passengers sit aboard a Metra train from Chicago at the Pingree Street station on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 in Crystal Lake.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:28:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Metra announced last week that it will be installing new, modern seats in railcars it rehabilitates and new railcars it buys, according to its news release.

According to the release, the commuter railroad company used a yearlong pilot program to gather input from customers about what they did and did not like about the old and new seats. The new style will include armrests, built-in cup holders and better head, neck and lumbar support.

“This was not an easy choice to make because we know that many of our customers like the older, bench–style seats,” Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno said. “But we received some great input from our customers that we will incorporate into the next design that will make the new seats even more comfortable.”

Those who were surveyed requested the headrests and armrests be improved from the old style, and an additional armrest be added to seats on the aisle. The new seats will not affect the width of the aisle – some survey respondents were concerned they might.

And the cup holders will be big enough to hold large-sized drinks.

But what about the direction these new seats will face?

According to the release, “most respondents indicated they were unsatisfied with the direction the new seats face (the stationary design means that half of seats face backward); however, the majority of customers who had an opinion about the new seats were satisfied with both their comfort and size.”

USB ports and power outlets will also continue to be installed in railcars.

The release states that replacing the new seats in future rehabilitations will cost roughly 50 percent less than replacing the old ones because parts can be reused, and more manufacturers exist for the new style – hopefully driving down costs. It goes on to say that only seats that already needed to be replaced will be swapped out for the new and improved version.

“The agency also hopes that the new, stationary design will help prevent injuries to customers and employees who pinch their fingers and strain muscles flipping the older seats back and forth,” the release states.

Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com Passengers sit aboard a Metra train from Chicago at the Pingree Street station on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 in Crystal Lake.


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2nd annual Vet Fest in Huntley benefits local veteransKen Koontz for Shaw Media World War II veteran Raul Zuniga takes in the sights and sounds Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the second annual Vets Fest in Huntley.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:28:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – For the second year in a row, the Huntley American Legion Post 673 held a festival to benefit local veterans and organizations dedicated to them.

Hundreds of people attended the second annual Vet Fest on Saturday at the Huntley Legion Post 673 - Auxiliary, 11712 W. Coral St., Huntley. The festival offered veterans food, beverages, raffle prizes and entertainment in the form of music.

Raul Zuniga, a 96-year-old Army veteran who served in World War II, said he was honored to be at the festival.

“Not many World War II vets are left,” Zuniga said. “So I’m blessed, I’m humble, and I’m lucky to still be alive and attend this event.”

Post Cmdr. Michael Stojak said last year’s festival saw between 400 to 500 people and expects about 800 people to have attended Saturday’s event.

“The expectations are much higher this year to raise even more money for all these organizations,” Stojak said.

Throughout the festival, attendees could buy a hot dog or hamburger, order a cold one from the event’s beer tent, sit down and relax to live performances from Serendipity, Vertical Jam and Tongue-n-Groove.

“We try to support a lot of different charities that help out veterans,” Stojak said. “The American Legion is veterans helping veterans.”

“We only have veteran organizations here and no outside vendors,” Stojak said. “And any charities here are not allowed to ask the public for donations. Instead the public comes out, they have a good time, and they can put the money in the jars to donate if they want to.”

Proceeds will benefit organizations such as Gifts to the Yankees, New Horizons, Operation Comfort Warriors Scholarships and Pits for Patriots, a nonprofit organization that trains rescued pit bulls to be service dogs for first responders and veterans.

“We’re here to help spread the word about our organization,” said Lori Ogawa of Pits for Patriots. “We love this event and support it a hundred percent.”

Stojak said this festival was made possible by the support of staff and sponsors.

“I couldn’t have done this without them,” Stojak said. “They all did such a great job in helping put this together.”

Stojak said senior staff members Lori Nichols, Jen Raymer and Suzan Hoehn were instrumental in their help.

“There’s many veterans that come out of service who need help,” Nichols said. “And there’s not a lot of help out there, so the more money we can raise, the more they can get help.”

This year’s sponsors included Centegra Health System, Alliance Contractors, Inc. Offie’s Tap, Alliance Contractors Inc., and Landmark Contractors Inc., among many others.

Ken Koontz for Shaw Media World War II veteran Raul Zuniga takes in the sights and sounds Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the second annual Vets Fest in Huntley.


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Friends pulled all-terrain vehicle crash victim from pond, fire official says

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:27:00 GMT

FOX LAKE – A crash involving an all-terrain vehicle in Fox Lake left a man in critical condition, a fire official said.

Fox Lake firefighters and police responded to an ATV that had struck a large tree early Saturday on private property off Honing Road in Fox Lake.

Fox Lake Fire Battalion Chief Brent Connelly said he was told the crash victim was thrown from his ATV into a nearby pond after he struck the tree, and the young men and women who were with him rescued him from the water before emergency responders arrived.

Connelly said it initially was difficult to gain access to the crash site because the area was so heavily wooded.

“I was able to get the battalion chief vehicle and several others down there right away to assess the victim,” Connelly said. “But the ambulance crew had to push the cot 100 to 150 yards to access it.”

Connelly said the victim was unconscious when units arrived, and the decision was made to call a Flight For Life helicopter.

The victim was in critical condition when he was brought to a field near Jewel-Osco on Route 12 in Fox Lake to board the flight, Connelly said.

Connelly assumed the victim was flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville because of the direction the flight was headed.


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Home goods store opens in Huntley house turned businessOwner Lisa Uidl organizes some products while working at her newly opened home good store, Plenty on Thursday in Huntley. Huntley Guitar Lessons also opened upstairs.A view of the newly opened home good store, Plenty, on Thursday in downtown Huntley. Huntley Guitar Lessons also opened upstairs.A view of some of the merchandise at the newly opened home good store, Plenty, on Thursday in Huntley. Huntley Guitar Lessons also opened upstairs.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:26:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Anyone traveling through Huntley can visit a new boutique-style home goods store that sells decor, jewelry, artisan work and other unique items from around the world.

Plenty, the name of the house-turned- business, opened Thursday at 1103 S. Church St., Huntley.

Owner Lisa Uidl and her husband, Randy, chose a residential location on purpose, thinking it was the perfect location for a home goods store.

Uidl said they almost bought a different Huntley location, but that fell through.

“We knew were going to open a store, but we didn’t want to rent,” Uidl said. “We wanted a home. Something we could feel like we were at home in it and the people would come in and feel like they were at home.”

The layout of a home helps with the placement of Uidl’s goods. For example, kitchenware is on display in the kitchen.

Uidl spent the past year and a half scouting for items and vendors she felt would fit in her store. Local artists created items displayed in the store as well as artists from Thailand, Estonia and Italy.

“I’m kind of growing my direct contact and that’s one of my favorite things – to connect with people from all over,” Uidl said. “It’s so fun to talk to people around the world who make really cute things.”

Uidl described herself as a frustrated artist. Uidl said she doesn’t have the talent to create, but makes up for it by collecting items that other people have created.

“I love to travel and every time we go some place, my first thing is checking out tiny little shops, so I just like stores that have things that are adorable, that you can’t find other places, like you can’t get them at Target,” Uidl said. “That’s kind of my operating mode. If you can buy it at Target, I can’t carry it.”

Uidl formerly taught English and is currently a discipleship pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. She said the link between these other jobs and running her own business is dealing with people, which is her favorite part.

“Every job I ever had is very relational and just has a lot to do with people,” Uidl said, “And so this is nice just to meet the people in the community.”

Just as much as she loves the home itself, Uidl said she enjoys the community built around it. She applauded Huntley’s work creating the downtown area that it has today.

In addition to the shop, Uidl’s son, Zack, teaches guitar lessons upstairs with students of all ages. Zack Uidl can be reached at 224-406-2397 or at zack@zackuidl.com. More information can be found at www.huntleyguitarlessons.com.

Having her son right upstairs and her two daughters-in-law and husband helping around the shop, Uidl said Plenty is really a family business.

Visit Plenty in Huntley’s Facebook page for open dates and hours of operation.

Owner Lisa Uidl organizes some products while working at her newly opened home good store, Plenty on Thursday in Huntley. Huntley Guitar Lessons also opened upstairs.A view of the newly opened home good store, Plenty, on Thursday in downtown Huntley. Huntley Guitar Lessons also opened upstairs.A view of some of the merchandise at the newly opened home good store, Plenty, on Thursday in Huntley. Huntley Guitar Lessons also opened upstairs.


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New gastropub opens in McHenry offering more than 120 beersSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com General manager Veronica Costello pours a beer Friday, June 22, 2017 while getting ready the new gastropub, Beerability, to officially open this weekend in McHenry. This is the fourth location for the pub that features craft beers, spirits, food and live gaming machines.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:25:00 GMT

McHENRY – A new gastropub offering customers more than 120 different beers opened Saturday in McHenry. BeerAbility is now open at 4117 Shamrock Lane, McHenry, just south of Centegra Hospital – McHenry. “It’s a nice, comfortable, high-end place to hang out in McHenry with a ton of beers to choose from,” owner Jason Newman said. BeerAbility will specialize in craft beers while offering its customers a full service bar, including wines and spirits. The gastropub will also offer food such as wings, a Reuben, flat bread pizza and pork tacos. “I didn’t want just cheap bar food, so we actually worked with some chefs and created an outstanding menu,” Newman said. In addition to food and drinks, the venue will have five gaming machines for entertainment purposes. Customers can also watch sporting events or the latest news on several large screen TVs. This will be the fourth BeerAbility location, with the other three in Lake Zurich, Round Lake Heights and North Chicago. The first location was Round Lake Heights, which opened at the end of 2015. Newman said the McHenry location should seat about 60 people. “We chose McHenry because of the community here,” Newman said. “We thought we fit a need here bringing more craft beers to the area, and the community has been incredibly accepting so far.” “It’s got to be a good fit all the way around when we look at locations,” Newman added. “We don’t just set up shop anywhere, when we walked into our first meeting with the city it was great and the people were just amazing.” Director of Economic Development Doug Martin said Newman has been great to work with, and the city was interested in working with him because of the success of the other locations and Newman’s willingness to be involved in the community. “Specifically for that center in Liberty Square, I think this will provide even more life to that center,” Martin said. “And his business is another element that will make the city a better draw for people to come to.” Jim Moran, marketing and public relations manager, said one of BeerAbility’s assets is general manager Veronica Costilla. “As far as her relationships with the beer distributors, Veronica is very proactive in updating the beer constantly and bringing in different types of beer,” Moran said. “She brings in beers she expects to do well and ones that can be hard to find.” Moran said the other three locations have received positive feedback from customers who compliment the calming ambience and wide selection of beer. “If you’re looking for a place to meet out with friends or even go by yourself to just hang out, it’s a very casual atmosphere,” Moran said. The McHenry venue is expected to have about 10 employees, Newman said. Operating hours are 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place in early July. Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com General manager Veronica Costello pours a beer Friday, June 22, 2017 while getting ready the new gastropub, Beerability, to officially open this weekend in McHenry. This is the fourth location for the pub that features craft beers, spirits[...]


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Cary resident recovering after transplant surgeryH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Julie Magnini, with Eddie, one of her Sphynx hairless cats, underwent a stomach, intestine and pancreas transplant. Magnini and her husband, Marty, band director at Cary-Grove High School and of the Crystal Lake Community Band, have been making trips to the Cleveland Clinic for several months. For six months after the surgery, Julie Magnini will have to live within 10 minutes of the hospital.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:23:00 GMT

CARY – Cary resident Julie Magnini has received a stomach, duodenum, small intestine and pancreas transplant after being on a waiting list for more than two years.  The hardest part of her journey has been being away from home, Magnini said. She has had to make regular trips to the Cleveland Clinic, and will now stay in Ohio for up to six months as she recovers.  “I think it’s a new normal, but a better normal,” Magnini said of life after surgery. Magnini had made an arrangement with a pilot to fly her to the hospital at a moment’s notice when organs were available. Magnini said she had a couple of “dry runs,” where she went to the clinic ready for surgery, only to find the organs weren’t a good match.  However, on Memorial Day, Magnini already was in Cleveland, for a regular appointment when she received a call from the clinic saying they had found a match. After waiting about six hours for the organs to arrive, she underwent the 18-hour transplant surgery. Magnini has been in the hospital since then, but hopes to move Monday to an apartment for transplant patients near the hospital. Family and friends are taking shifts to stay with Magnini, who needs someone with her 24 hours a day. Eventually, Magnini will be able to eat regularly again. A 2007 gastric bypass is what led to her case of gastroparesis. Since 2012, Magnini has lived without a stomach, receiving necessary nutrients by way of a bag that connects to her small intestine.  Magnini’s husband, Cary-Grove High School music teacher Marty Magnini, was at the hospital with her on Thursday.  Throughout the process, the Magnini family – including 21-year-old daughter Toni and 16-year-old son Miles – have learned to be a “glass half full kind of family,” Marty Magnini said. During the school year, Marty, Toni and Miles would live at home in Cary and make trips to see Julie in Ohio.  “Now that the transplant has happened, there’s an end in sight,” Marty Magnini said. Expenses for the Magnini’s trips back and forth to Cleveland and the cost of travel and living expenses for full-time caregivers have cost the family thousands of dollars, Julie Magnini said.  The help from family, friends and strangers has been overwhelming, Julie Magnini said. The original YouCaring page set up for the family raised more than $17,000, and now a new page to support the family after Julie Magnini’s transplant has raised more than $6,000. Donations can be made at www.youcaring.com/juliemagnini-836117. A fundraiser, Jammin’ for Julie, is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2 at Lions Park, 1200 Silver Lake Road, Cary. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/events/140655746503421/.  “We wouldn’t have been able to make it this far without the help of everyone,”Julie Magnini said.  Some days, Julie Magnini said she has “pity parties,” but then she stops and reminds herself of an important fact. “I’m alive, and somebody else isn’t. So I need to take this gift and do the best I can with it,” she said. H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Julie Magnini, with Eddie, one of her Sphynx hairless cats, underwent a stomach, intestine and pancreas transplant. Magnini and her husband, Marty, band director at Cary-Grove High School and [...]


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Search underway for suspects after man shot in WoodstockDetectives with the Woodstock Police Department are pursuing leads as they search for the suspects involved in a shooting early Saturday morning in Woodstock, Sgt. Constantino Cipolla said.Woodstock police responded to numerous 911 calls reporting gunfire early Saturday morning on the 1200 block of Mitchell Street in Woodstock, according to a news release from the Woodstock Police Department. Police found one victim shot in the lower abdomen. Residents of the block of describe it as "quiet and peaceful." One resident added it is mostly made up of families and elderly residents.Woodstock police responded to numerous 911 calls reporting gunfire early Saturday morning on the 1200 block of Mitchell Street in Woodstock, according to a news release from the Woodstock Police Department. Police found one victim shot in the lower abdomen.

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:23:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A man was shot early Saturday in Woodstock in what police said may have been a targeted attack. Woodstock police found a 33-year-old Chicago man had been shot when they went to the 1200 block of Mitchell Street shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday. Many people called 911 to report hearing gunshots, according to a news release from the Woodstock Police Department. The man had what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to his lower left abdomen, police said. Emergency responders took the man to an area emergency room for treatment. The wound is not believed to be life-threatening, according to the release. Detectives learned that an altercation took place inside a vehicle that was parked in the driveway of a home in the 1200 block of Mitchell Street. The altercation was between the victim and two men reportedly wearing masks, police said. A pistol was displayed and one round was fired, according to the release. The victim got out of the car and ran inside the residence. Two more shots were fired from outside the residence, one of which struck the victim. Five people were believed to be inside the residence at the time of the shooting, according to the release. Erin Andereggs said her elderly father has lived on the same block for 15 years. “I just heard what happened and came to check things out this morning,” Andereggs said. “This street is a lot of elderly and families. Nothing ever happens here.” Other residents of the block seemed to echo Andereggs’s sentiment. “We’ve lived here for 18 years and it’s always been a quiet street,” Art Karagianis said. No one the Northwest Herald spoke to heard any commotion the previous night. “I didn’t hear anything,” resident Jose Stephen said. “I just woke up and saw [police] lights and someone being carted off.” Police said the man who was shot appeared to have been targeted and possibly knew the suspects. Woodstock police are searching for the suspects, according to the release. Police said the incident appears to be isolated and that there’s no heightened risk to the public. Woodstock police Sgt. Constantino Cipolla could not speak to the specific case but said risk to the public typically is measured situationally, depending on if an incident is random or targeted. Cipolla said that he could not add any information to that provided by the news release because the investigation is ongoing. “I haven’t seen the detectives all day because they’ve been out there working,” Cipolla said. “They’re following up on any leads that come in.” Woodstock police continue to investigate a recent homicide where a Woodstock man was shot and killed in a municipal lot June 16 just off the Woodstock Square. Police said that incident also was isolated and that there was no heightened risk to the public. When asked whether he thought Woodstock had a crime problem because of the recent shootings, Cipolla praised the police department’s proactive approach to fighting crime. “There are always issues in some towns, but in Woodstock they’re few and far between,” Cipolla said. “It’s a very safe place to live.” Cipolla said the Woodstock police have an “aggressive pa[...]


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Over 120 people buried by massive southwest China landslideIn this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, emergency personnel work at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Saturday, June 24, 2017. Around 100 people are feared buried by a landslide that unleashed huge rocks and a mass of earth that crashed into their homes Saturday, a county government said. (He Qinghai/Xinhua via AP)In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, emergency personnel, in orange, work at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Saturday, June 24, 2017. Around 100 people are feared buried by a landslide that unleashed huge rocks and a mass of earth that crashed into their homes Saturday, a county government said. (He Qinghai/Xinhua via AP)Emergency personnel work at the site of a massive landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Saturday, June 24, 2017. Dozens of people are feared buried by a landslide that unleashed huge rocks and a mass of earth that crashed into their homes in southwestern China early Saturday, a county government said.(Chinatopix via AP)

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:03:00 GMT

BEIJING (AP) — More than 120 people were buried by a landslide that caused huge rocks and a mass of earth to come crashing into their homes in a mountain village in southwestern China early Saturday, officials said. The landslide, which came from a mountain, engulfed a cluster of 62 homes and a hotel in the village of Xinmo in Mao County at about 6 a.m., the Sichuan provincial government said. Officials said 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of road were buried in the disaster. "It's the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake," Wang Yongbo, an official leading one of the rescue efforts, told state broadcaster China Central Television. Wang was referring to China's deadliest earthquake this century, a magnitude 7.9 temblor that struck Sichuan province in May 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people. The provincial government said more than 120 people were buried by the landslide. CCTV cited a rescuer as saying five bodies had been found. Rescuers pulled out three people, two of whom had survived, the official Sichuan Daily newspaper said on its microblog. The paper also said a family of three, including a month-old baby, managed to escape just as the landslide started to hit their house. Qiao Dashuai told CCTV that the baby saved the family because he was woken up by the child's crying and was going to change the baby's diaper when he heard a noise that alerted him to the landslide. "We heard a strange noise at the back of our house, and it was rather loud," Qiao said. "Wind was coming into the room so I wanted to close the door. When we came out, water flow swept us away instantly." He said they struggled against the flood of water until they met medical workers who took them to a hospital. Qiao said his parents and other relatives had not been found. Mao County, or Maoxian, sits on the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau and is home to about 110,000 people, according to the government's website. Most residents are of the Qiang ethnic minority. The village is known locally for tourism, and Chinese reports said it was unclear if tourists were among those buried by the landslide. The landslide blocked a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) section of a river. The provincial government said on its website that an estimated 8 million cubic meters (282 million cubic feet) of earth and rock — equivalent to more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — had slid down the mountain. Experts told CCTV that the landslide was likely triggered by rain. A meteorologist interviewed by CCTV said there was light rain in the area that would continue for a few days. The Sichuan Daily said rescuers made contact with a villager buried under the rubble who answered her cellphone when they called and burst into tears. The woman was in the bedroom of her home when the landslide hit the village, and rescuers were trying to reach her, the report said. Search and rescue efforts were underway involving more than 400 workers, including police. CCTV showed footage of rescuers in bright orange uniforms using earth movers and excavators but also relying on ropes to pull at huge rocks and shovels to dig up the dirt. Provincial police sent 500 rescuers with two dozen sniffer dogs to the site, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. [...]In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, emergency pe[...]


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Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used toIn this Tuesday, June 20, 2017, photo, Nathan Miller, 19, far right, stands in a certified nursing assistant class at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School in New Berlin, Wis. He is forgoing a summer job to play baseball and take the class, to help make him a better candidate for medical school down the road. He's not alone. Fewer and fewer teens are taking summer jobs, according to the Department of Labor. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)AP Photo Abby McDonough, 19, a student at Liberty University, left, hands Liela Calloway, 2, with her mother, Sadi Calloway, a sticker at Wegmeyer Farms in Hamilton, Va. Working at Wegmeyer Farms is one of McDonough's summer jobs.

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:28:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – It was at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie “The Shining,” where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck. He was a busboy. The job didn’t pay much. But Doyle quickly learned lessons that served him for years as he rose to become the CEO of Domino’s, the pizza delivery giant: Show up on time, dress properly, treat customers well. “I grew up a lot that summer,” he said. As summer 2017 begins, America’s teenagers are far less likely to be acquiring the kinds of experiences Doyle found so useful. Once a teenage rite of passage, the summer job is vanishing. Instead of baling hay, scooping ice cream or stocking supermarket shelves in July and August, today’s teens are more likely to be enrolled in summer school, doing volunteer work to burnish their college credentials or just hanging out with friends. For many, not working is a choice. For some others, it reflects a lack of opportunities where they live, often in lower-income urban areas: They sometimes find that older workers hold the low-skill jobs that once would have been available to them. In July 1986, 57 percent of Americans ages 16 to 19 were employed. The proportion stayed over 50 percent until 2002, when it began dropping steadily. By last July, only 36 percent were working. Economists and labor market observers worry that falling teen employment will deprive them of valuable work experience and of opportunities to encounter people of different ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds. But the longer-term trend for teen employment is down and likely to stay that way for several reasons: • Teenagers and their parents are increasingly aware of the value of a college education. A result is that more kids are spending summers volunteering or studying, to prepare for college and compete for slots at competitive schools. In July 1986, only 12 percent of Americans ages 16 to 19 were taking summer classes. Thirty years later, the share had risen to 42 percent. “Parental emphasis on the rewards of education has contributed to the decline in teen labor force participation,” Teresa Morisi, a Labor Department economist, concluded in a February report on teen employment, which has been declining in the U.S. and other wealthy countries. Nathan Miller, 19, of New Berlin, Wisconsin, didn’t work throughout high school, choosing instead to play baseball and spend time with his family. He’s forgoing summer employment again this year to play baseball and take a certified nursing assistant course at a high school. Miller, who starts college in the fall, thinks the course may give him an edge in his quest to become a doctor. “I’m going to try to get as much hours as I can as early as possible to get as much advantage as I can to get into a competitive med school,” he said. “It’s a competition out there.” • Teens who do want to work can find that older workers are standing in the way. The summer jobs teens used to take – flipping burgers, unpacking produce at the grocery store, cashiering at the mall – increasingly are filled by older, often foreign-born, workers. In 2000-01, teens accounted for 12 percent of retail workers, researcher[...]


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Fire official: McHenry crash leaves 1 in serious condition

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:17:00 GMT

McHENRY – A two-vehicle crash in McHenry sent two people to the hospital and left one person in serious condition Friday, a fire official said.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District was called at 12:25 p.m. Friday to a crash at the intersection of West Flanders and North Ringwood roads.

On arrival, Battalion Chief Dave Harwood said it appeared that an SUV had “T-boned” a Volkswagen convertible.

The driver of the convertible was a 21-year-old woman who was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry and then flown by Flight for Life to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville in “serious condition,” Harwood said.

The driver of the SUV was a 25-year-old man who was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry with non-life threatening injuries. A 17-year-old female passenger and an infant also were in the SUV at the time of the crash. Neither were taken to the hospital

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


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How did the turtle cross the road? With a little help from a deputyMcHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Kathleen Wendt helps a turtle cross the road, according to a Facebook post from the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.A turtle successfully crosses the road thanks to McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Kathleen Wendt, according to a Facebook post by the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:16:00 GMT

McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Kathleen Wendt recently helped a turtle safely cross a busy road, according to a Facebook post from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

The post went on to explain how easy it can be to help turtles such as this one.

Potential turtle rescuers first should ensure that the road is not too busy and that other cars see them, according to the post. Large turtles with long tails might be snapping turtles, which can be aggressive. Pushing these types of turtles with blunt objects rather than attempting to pick them up is the safest approach. Pick up small turtles on either side of their shells behind their front legs and carry them close to the ground. If the turtle falls, then there is less risk of injury.

Turtles must remain facing in the same direction in which they are found, otherwise they will wander back into the roadway, according to the post. Relocating a turtle also is a bad idea because each turtle has a home range, or territory it knows. If a turtle is relocated, it might try to find its way back home or stop eating.

Those who are unsure what to do should contact local police for help.

McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Kathleen Wendt helps a turtle cross the road, according to a Facebook post from the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.A turtle successfully crosses the road thanks to McHenry County Sheriff's Deputy Kathleen Wendt, according to a Facebook post by the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. Photo courtesy of the McHenry County Sheriff's Office.


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Bull Valley woman facing drug trafficking charges released on bond after judge says funds are legitimateJamie M. Lee was arrested on marijuana charges.David A. Soskin, 42, of the 1000 block of Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, is being held in McHenry County Jail on $1 million bond. McHenry County Sheriff's deputies said they found a cache of marijuana valued at $3 million and weapons including a .50-caliber machine gun in his home. He is being held on $1 million bond in McHenry County Jail.

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:16:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A Bull Valley woman facing drug trafficking charges was released on bond Friday after a judge determined the funds a family member intended to use were appropriate.

Jamie M. Lee, 26, appeared with her defense lawyer, Alfred Stavros, Friday for a hearing to determine if the funds her aunt intended to post on Lee’s behalf were from a legitimate source.

Lee and her fiance, David A. Soskin, face charges of marijuana trafficking, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of marijuana. Both face a minimum of 12 years in prison, if convicted. Lee’s bond was set at $250,000.

When Lee and Soskin were arrested, a judge ordered that if either person came up with bond they would have to prove where it came from. Funds tied to drug trafficking or other criminal or illegal sources cannot be used to post bond.

Lee’s aunt, Marcia Maurice, testified that she has been employed with the same company for more than 30 years and makes about $70,000 a year.

Maurice said she withdrew $25,000 from her bank account to “get (her) niece released today.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese asked Maurice if Lee had ever given her any money or had access to her bank account. Maurice said she hadn’t. Maurice said she plans to have Lee pay her back but was unaware bond money could be used to pay any fines imposed on Lee if she were to be convicted.

Judge Sharon Prather said the funds could be used to post bond. Lee was released from jail shortly before 1 p.m. Friday.

Lee and Soskin were arrested after the conclusion of a monthslong investigation that picked up speed with the arrest of a Loves Park man May 18 and the discovery of piles of marijuana the next day in the Bull Valley home they bought for $800,000 in December 2016.

Sheriff’s deputies searched the couple’s Bull Valley home May 19 and found about 350 pounds of marijuana in a locked closet in the master bedroom, according to court documents. The street value of the marijuana was estimated at about $3.2 million. Police also found a .50-caliber machine gun, a Cobray M11 machine pistol with a suppressor, a shotgun and several boxes of ammunition, records show.

Soskin faces additional weapons charges because he was previously convicted of illegally possessing and selling stolen firearms. He was sentenced in 1998 to 20 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing about 150 firearms from a Bensenville gun store owned by his father.

Lee next will appear in court Aug. 4.

Jamie M. Lee was arrested on marijuana charges.David A. Soskin, 42, of the 1000 block of Cherry Valley Road, Bull Valley, is being held in McHenry County Jail on $1 million bond. McHenry County Sheriff's deputies said they found a cache of marijuana valued at $3 million and weapons including a .50-caliber machine gun in his home. He is being held on $1 million bond in McHenry County Jail.


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Wild Pigs charity fundraiser in Johnsburg to benefit fallen Chicago police officers

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:15:00 GMT

JOHNSBURG – The Wild Pigs Motorcycle Club will host a fundraiser Saturday in Johnsburg with live music and charity raffles, with proceeds going to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and the Chicago-based Brotherhood for the Fallen.

Wild Pigs Motorcycle Club is an independent nonprofit of current and retired law enforcement officers. The event starts at 4 p.m. at the McHenry Moose Lodge, 3535 N. Richmond Road, Johnsburg.

Door tickets are priced as a $20 donation. Attendees also can buy $100 tickets for the grand raffle of a 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Glide motorcycle, provided by Woodstock Harley-Davidson. Raffle ticket holders will be exempt from the door fee.

Mellencougar, a rock ‘n’ roll tribute band, and rock band Whiskey Road will perform live, and food and drinks will be available, beginning at 4 p.m. with no listed end time.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit that provides support for the families of Chicago police officers killed or “catastrophically injured” in the line of duty, according to the foundation’s website.

Brotherhood for the Fallen is an organization comprised of Chicago police officers that financially and physically demonstrates support for fallen officers across the U.S. and Canada.




Police arrest McHenry man wanted for more than 6 yearsThe Lake County Sheriff's Office Warrants Team and U.S. Marshals Service — Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Jaime Herrera, 57, of McHenry, Thursday, according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Herrera had several warrants out for his arrest. Photo courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:15:00 GMT

McHENRY – Police arrested a McHenry man Thursday who had been wanted on a Lake County arrest warrant for felony theft for more than six years, according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Team and U.S. Marshals Service – Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Jaime Herrera, 57, of the 2500 block of Kenilworth Avenue in McHenry.

Herrera was wanted on multiple warrants. The Fox Lake Police Department had a $250,000 warrant issued for him in June.

The Northwest Herald reached out to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office regarding the nature of Herrera’s most recent warrant and was directed to the Fox Lake Police Department. A spokesperson for Fox Lake Police Department did not have specific information regarding the warrant and directed calls to the records department in the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

According to online case records, Herrera was charged with theft between $500 and $10,000.

Herrera also had two failure to appear arrest warrants in Lake County for deceptive practices issued in 2010 for $50,000 and $15,000 bond, respectively. There was an additional arrest warrant from Porter County, Indiana, for felony theft issued in 2015, which listed $1,000 bond.

Police found Herrera getting out of a vehicle in the driveway of his McHenry residence. He was arrested without incident and is being held in Lake County jail.

Herrera is due in court June 30.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office Warrants Team and U.S. Marshals Service — Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Jaime Herrera, 57, of McHenry, Thursday, according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Herrera had several warrants out for his arrest. Photo courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


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Man heads back to prison for Pistakee Highlands arson convictionJoseph O. Ziegler, 27

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:14:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A 27-year-old Elmhurst man is headed back to prison months after an appellate court overturned his 2014 arson conviction.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather convicted Joseph O. Ziegler of one count of residential arson, a Class 1 felony. He was sentenced to 14 ½ years in prison and two years of mandatory supervised release.

The case was slated to go to trial for a third time in August, but Ziegler admitted to the facts of the crime without pleading guilty.

Prosecutors accused Ziegler of mistakenly torching the Pistakee Highlands home of Roseann Aitken in August 2012, and alleged that he intended to torch the home of Nick Pennington, a man Ziegler thought stole drugs from him.

Authorities said Ziegler set an SUV parked in Aitken’s driveway on fire, believing it was the vehicle he saw Pennington in earlier that night. Aitken lived two doors down from Pennington.

The fire spread to a second car and ultimately carried over to Aitken’s home. No one was injured.

Jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision at Ziegler’s first trial, and Prather declared a mistrial. He was convicted on a burglary charge at the time.

A jury convicted Ziegler of multiple arson charges at his second trial, but the Illinois Appellate Court sent it back to McHenry County on Feb. 15 to be retried.

Ziegler will get credit for time served since August 2012. He will serve 50 percent of the sentence imposed, meaning he could be released from prison in a few years.

Joseph O. Ziegler, 27


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Mercyhealth general counsel blasts Centegra for "disingenuous opposition" to Crystal Lake hospital after Woodstock changes announcedSarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Board members listen to speakers Tuesday in Bolingbrook during a Health Facilities and Services Review Board hearing for the Mercyhealth hospital that plans to build in Crystal Lake. Mercyhealth is reacting after Centegra announced plans to close beds the day after a high-stakes review board hearing where hospital bed count was an issue.

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:11:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Mercyhealth won its 14-year battle to bring a hospital to Crystal Lake, but the Rockford-based health care system wasn’t done throwing punches at its competition. Paul Van Den Heuvel, vice president and general counsel for Mercyhealth, submitted a letter Thursday to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board reporting what he called “disingenuous opposition letters and testimony filed by or on behalf of Centegra Health System” after Wednesday’s announcement that Centegra plans to suspend most inpatient care at its Woodstock hospital. Centegra officials stood by their comments and testimony to the review board and called Heuvel’s letter “ridiculous.” Centegra’s announcement came a day after the review board granted Mercyhealth approval to build its 13-bed small hospital in Crystal Lake, which Centegra opposed, in part, citing an excess number of hospital beds in the area. In the letter, Heuvel disputed claims that Centegra took “careful consideration” in changing its services at Woodstock. Heuvel said the proposed changes “must have been in the planning and approval stages for months,” which would mean Centegra officials knew the number of medical-surgical and intensive care unit beds within the planning area would decrease. “Mercyhealth asks that you consider this new information and the misleading nature of Centegra’s statements in taking any future action with Centegra Health System,” Heuvel wrote. “We also ask that the Review Board not allow Centegra to file any application to claim the beds created with the changes at Woodstock.” Centegra’s 108-bed Woodstock hospital will stop performing surgeries and accepting admissions to its intensive care unit, medical-surgical unit and telemetry Aug. 14, according to a memo Centegra CEO Michael Eesley sent to employees this week. Additionally, Centegra plans to move its inpatient rehabilitation from McHenry to Woodstock while using its vacated beds at McHenry as medical-surgical beds. Four medical-surgical beds at Centegra’s hospital in Huntley would be converted into ICU beds, under plans Centegra announced this week. McHenry’s intensive care unit also would be expanded. Some of the changes Centegra has proposed would require approval from the state review board. Centegra estimated it will place about 50 beds – including medical-surgical and ICU – back into the state’s inventory, Centegra spokeswoman Michelle Green told the Northwest Herald on Wednesday.    Depending on the final number of beds removed, the planning area would decrease the existing number of excess beds in the planning area and could even result in a deficit for both medical-surgical beds and ICU beds, Heuvel said. Heuvel’s estimate for the number of beds eliminated because of the changes at the Woodstock facility – 60 medical-surgical, 12 ICU beds – does not correspond with information Centegra has provided to the Northwest Herald. Centegra hadn’t submitted a formal request to close hospital beds to the review board as of Friday afternoon. “Centegra deliberately withheld this information[...]


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Questions remain one week after four suspects charged with first-degree murder in connection with home invasion, shootingCharles A. Campo, 31, of McHenry, Adam Morris, 44, of McCullom Lake, Byron Howard, 36, of Wonder Lake, and Jared J. Fox, 25, of Wonder LakeJohn Konstantaras for Shaw Media Investigators with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office are seen May 29 at a home in the 1800 block of Davis Avenue in unincorporated McHenry after an a home invasion and shooting at the home. Four men have been charged in connection with the incident.

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:10:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – More than a week after four men were arrested in connection with a May 27 home invasion and homicide, many questions remain about what McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim has called a “heinous crime.” Donald Jouravleff, a 52-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, died of complications from a gunshot wound shortly after he was found shot in his home about 1 a.m. May 27 in unincorporated McHenry. Law enforcement officials, prosecutors and defense lawyers have declined to comment on what happened in the house that night, a possible motive for the crime or even how the four men were tracked down and arrested. All four men arrested in connection with the incident – Adam Morris, 44, of McCullom Lake; Byron Howard, 36, of Wonder Lake; Charles A. Campo, 31, of McHenry; and Jared J. Fox, 25, of Wonder Lake – face identical charges of first-degree murder, home invasion and residential burglary. If convicted of first-degree murder, the men each could face 20 to 60 years in prison. The criminal complaints filed for each of the four were identical. Police and prosecutors haven’t said who they believe shot Jouravleff or how they believe the four men carried out the crime. Assistant State’s Attorney John Gibbons declined to speak about the incident because the case remains open. He said more information could be made public after the case goes before a grand jury. Each of the defense lawyers also declined to comment, and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said it was not releasing any additional information at this time. Investigators initially said two masked men were responsible for the shooting. A witness previously told police that two men wearing bandanas over their faces went into the home, shot the man and stole cash before leaving in a small, dark-colored pickup truck, police have said. Police said it was believed to be an isolated incident and there was no threat to the public, but the four men remained at-large for about three weeks until they were brought into McHenry County jail custody. Fox was arrested June 14, Campos was arrested June 15, and Morris and Howard were arrested June 16. All four men charged in connection with the home invasion have criminal records. In 2011, Campo was charged with and convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in connection with an arson committed with a Molotov cocktail. He was sentenced to four years in prison in September of that year. At that time, he also was sentenced to 364 days in jail for an unrelated aggravated battery charge of punching a woman in the face and fracturing her jaw during a fight at a party in 2010. The sentence was part of plea deal accepted by Judge Sharon Prather. Three years later, in 2014, Campo was sentenced to another four years in prison for beating and robbing a man in Lakemoor. In that case, Campo pleaded guilty to robbery, and prosecutors dropped more serious charges as part of a plea deal accepted by Prather, according to court records and Northwest Herald reports. Prather is set to preside over a case against Campos for the third time in six years. H[...]


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McHenry County grand jury indictments

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:47:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County grand jury this past week indicted these people on these charges: • Jesse L. Rubly, 33, 620 E. Pennsylvania Drive, Apt. #2, Palatine, forgery, unlawful acquisition of a controlled substance, unauthorized possession of a prescription form. • Gina R. Jayko, 54, 412 Stewart Ave., Woodstock, identity theft. • Joseph L. Foat, 31, 1580 Wicker St., Woodstock, burglary. • Ni Y. Patel, 27, 1421 Portage Lane, Woodstock, residential burglary. • Jeffrey C. Repec, 38, 703 Pheasant Trail, McHenry, sexual exploitation of a child. • Samantha M. Campo, 28, 7414 Mohawk Drive, Wonder Lake, two counts of aggravated battery, two counts of domestic battery. • Ronald L. Steinsdoerfer, 45, 3108 Hilltop Drive, Wonder Lake, unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle. • Michael L. Duncan, 51, 112 Sunnyside, Lakemoor, three counts of aggravated driving under the influence, driving while license revoked subsequent offense. • Ismael Salazar-Mantilla, 45, 4521 Garden Quarter Road, McHenry, four counts of aggravated driving under the influence. Alex P. Gonzaque, 33, 6132 State Line Road, Walworth, Wisconsin, unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle, criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, unlawful repossession of a motor vehicle. • Genaro Peña, 34, 110 Cloud Mist Drive, Capron, unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle, criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, unlawful repossession of a motor vehicle. • Hayley K. Halpin, 37, W6132 Stateline Road, Harvard, unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle, criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, unlawful repossession of a motor vehicle. • Richard M. Jones, 44, 4013 Lauren Court, McHenry, two counts of identity theft, unlawful possession of another person's credit card. • Russell L. Spitolnick, 54, 2813 Hook Court, Port Saint Lucy, Florida, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, residential burglary, theft. • Jessica N. Decker, 32, 2409 N. Club, McHenry, residential burglary, theft. • Nicholas R. Porcayo, 20, 40 Briarwood Circle, Crystal Lake, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. • Luis Granados, 18, 235 Cannon Road, Volo, unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis, unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. • Jaime Murrieta-Gonzalez, 27, 956 Nottingham Lane, Crystal Lake, unlawful possession of a controlled substance. • Jordon P. Carmody, 23, 4201 Jacqueline Lane, Crystal Lake, aggravated fleeing and eluding a peace officer, reckless driving, driving while license revoked, speeding, improper traffic lane usage, disregarding a stop sign, improper turn signal, operating an uninsured motor vehicle. • Bjorn D. Torgerson, 34, 330 Cunat Blvd., Apt. 2G, Richmond, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a weapon. [...]



Crystal Lake-based School District 155 Board approves new assistant superintendentCrystal Lake-based School District 155 Board of Education approved Tom Kim as the new assistant superintendent of human resources, effective July 1.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:58:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Community High School District 155 Board approved Tom Kim as the new assistant superintendent of human resources, effective July 1.

Kim will replace Randy Davis, who has held the position since July 2007 but resigned at Tuesday night’s board meeting for a “personal reason,” director of communications Shannon Podzimek said.

Kim, who was selected among 40 candidates, has 17 years of education experience and has held multiple leadership positions, such as athletic director, associate principal and principal. He is working on his doctorate in education leadership and supervision at Loyola University.

“I am thrilled to join the D-155 family,” Kim said in a news release. “Already, it has been a welcoming atmosphere, and I am looking forward to meeting the wonderful people in our district. I am committed to continuing the excellent work in all of our D-155 high schools, and I will work to ensure the district’s mission to inspire, empower and nurture is achieved in our district.”

Davis’ resignation will be effective June 30, while Kim will officially assume his duties July 1.

Crystal Lake-based School District 155 Board of Education approved Tom Kim as the new assistant superintendent of human resources, effective July 1.


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Crystal Lake School District 47 changes leadership at Bernotas, North ElementarySteve Scarfe is the new principal for Bernotas Middle School beginning with the 2017-18 school year.Christina Moran is the new principal for North Elementary School beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:57:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 has made changes to three leadership positions at Bernotas Middle School and North Elementary for the 2017-18 school year.

Steve Scarfe, principal at North Elementary for the past two years, will become the new principal at Bernotas Middle School and replaces former Principal Jeff Prickett, who accepted the role as principal at McHenry East High School in May.

Scarfe’s 2017-18 salary has not been determined, coordinator of community relations Denise Barr said. His 2016-17 salary was $102,432.

“I began my career in education as a middle school math teacher, so for me, this feels like coming home again,” Scarfe said in a news release. “My own children attend Bernotas, and I am very excited to be joining a great staff at a great school.”

The School District 47 Board also voted unanimously Monday to approve Christina Moran as the next principal of North Elementary, where she has served as assistant principal since 2014. Her salary will be $102,471 for the 2017-18 school year.

“I’m just excited to continue all the wonderful things that are happening at North and continue serving the students, staff and community,” Moran said.

Ken Hommowun will become the new assistant principal at North Elementary after two years serving as the dean of students for Old Orchard Junior High School in Skokie. He also has previous teaching experience in music at the middle school and elementary levels.

Hommowun’s salary is $74,595 for the upcoming school year.

Steve Scarfe is the new principal for Bernotas Middle School beginning with the 2017-18 school year.Christina Moran is the new principal for North Elementary School beginning with the 2017-18 school year.


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Changes to Woodstock hospital could end up costing residentsH. Rick Bamman file photo - hbamman@shawmedia.com Centegra Health System announced Wednesday that it plans to suspend in-patient care at its Woodstock hospital to save money and improve care at its hospitals in Huntley and McHenry.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Centegra Chief Executive Officer Michael Easley (left) and Hadley Streng, senior vice president for strategy and development for Centegra announce plans to suspend in-patient care at its Woodstock hospital Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:52:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK — Centegra Health System’s decision to suspend much of its inpatient care at its 108-bed Woodstock hospital could pose challenges both medically and financially for residents, depending on the extent to which services are affected.    Centegra officials announced Wednesday plans to end intensive care and medical-surgical operations at its Woodstock facility by Aug. 14 and move those services to hospitals in McHenry and Huntley as a cost-saving measure. In turn, patients needing inpatient hospital services would be taken or referred to other facilities should Centegra get approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Chief Michael Hill said Centegra reached out to him Wednesday to keep the department informed about the upcoming service changes. Centegra also offered to assist with implementing the changes and with the adjustment process. But regardless of Centegra’s help, Hill said any changes requiring patients to be brought to either Huntley or McHenry facilities would affect both residents and his department. “It’s an inconvenience for us and an inconvenience for (patients),” Hill said of taking patients to Huntley and McHenry. “Obviously, the quicker you can get to medical attention, the better off you’re going to be and just the easier it’s going to be.” Concerns about the number of available ambulances at any given time also come into play. Hill said his district averages 12 to 13 calls on a daily basis and has a minimum of two staffed ambulances at all times, with a third either fully staffed or a jump company — when a crew will respond with either a fire engine or an ambulance, depending on the call. Hill said his district could seek assistance from surrounding communities in dire situations, as is common practice; however, Hill added that making it a regular thing would mean a higher level of service in the district is necessary. For calls needing to take patients to either Huntley or McHenry, Hill said he estimates the time an ambulance would be unavailable would increase by 30 to 45 minutes. Each hospital is about 10 miles away from the Woodstock’s downtown area. “If that’s the case and if it becomes a problem where we don’t have ambulances available for significant portions of the days, we’re talking about getting more equipment (and) more personnel to make up for the change,” Hill said. “And that’s going to affect people financially.” Since Woodstock Fire/Rescue District receives its funding directly from the taxpayers — accounting for 7 percent of district homeowners’ property tax bill — the district would need to submit and pass a referendum to increase its tax levy and increase funding to afford additional equipment and personnel. “At this time, we don’t have any plans to run a referendum,” Hill said, “but we need to assess the ramifications of this change.” Less concerned with the possibility of tax hikes, Woodstock resident Brian Vinson th[...]


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After May Brexit opening, EU leaders ask: where's the beef?German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second left, speaks with, from left, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven during a round table meeting at an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, June 23, 2017. European Union leaders met in Brussels on the final day of their two-day summit to focus on ways to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean and how to uphold free trade while preventing dumping on Europe's markets. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)British Prime Minister Theresa May, left, speaks with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a round table meeting at an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, June 23, 2017. European Union leaders met in Brussels on the final day of their two-day summit to focus on ways to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean and how to uphold free trade while preventing dumping on Europe's markets. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:21:00 GMT

BRUSSELS (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May's show of goodwill at the European Union summit left the 27 other EU leaders with "thousands of questions" and eagerly awaiting a more detailed proposal on the future right of EU citizens to remain in a departed Britain. Even if some leaders applauded May's commitment to treat EU citizens seeking to remain in Britain beyond 2019 with the utmost respect, others remained wary that her words would not necessarily be reflected in the legal position of Britain's negotiating team, which should be presented to Parliament on Monday. "I want to reassure all those EU citizens who are in the U.K., who've made their lives and homes in the U.K., that no one will have to leave, we won't be seeing families split apart. This is a fair and serious offer," May said as she entered Friday's final day of the EU summit. Many leaders were nonplussed by the move, saying there was a clear deal to leave such issues to the top negotiators, Michel Barnier for the EU and David Davis for Britain. "There are thousands of questions to ask," said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte after May laid out her proposals to the leaders during a dinner. In a separate session without the British leader, the others pondered the meaning of it all. "We told each other when she was gone 'OK, this is interesting but now it must go to Michel Barnier'," Rutte said. "We don't want to buy a pig in a poke," said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, calling May's opening "an extremely vague proposal for something which is incredibly complicated." German Chancellor Angela Merkel too insisted that a huge number of issues remained open, though she welcomed May's first hint of a negotiating stand as "a good start." May promised that EU citizens will not be immediately kicked out of Britain when it leaves the union and says their fate will be a priority in Brexit negotiations. May laid out benchmarks for the rights of 3 million EU citizens living legally in Britain and how they should be shielded from excessive harm because of the divorce. She made it clear that Britain wants reciprocal measures for the 1.5 million British citizens living in the EU. The issue of citizens' rights is especially sensitive in the Brexit talks. Under May's proposal, EU citizens with legal residence in the U.K. will not be asked to leave and will be offered a chance to regularize their situation after Brexit. May also promised to cut the burdensome bureaucracy such paperwork can involve. EU citizens had faced an imposing 85-page form to fill in to stay if they wanted to stay. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second left, speaks with, from left, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven during a round table meeting at an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, June 23, 2017. European Union leaders met in Brussels on the final day of their two-day summit to focus on ways to stop migran[...]


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Qatar's neighbors issue steep list of demands to end crisisFILE - In this Jan. 1, 2015, file photo, staff members of Al-Jazeera International work at the news studio in Doha, Qatar. Kuwait has given Qatar a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations that includes shutting down Al-Jazeera and cutting diplomatic ties to Iran. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File)

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:05:00 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar issued a steep list of demands Thursday to end the crisis, insisting that their Persian Gulf neighbor shutter Al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. In a 13-point list — presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis — the countries also demand an end to Turkey's military presence in Qatar. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the list in Arabic from one of the countries involved in the dispute. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar this month over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism — an accusation that President Donald Trump has echoed. Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation. Qatari officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP. But the list included conditions that the gas-rich nation had already insisted would never be met, including shutting down Al-Jazeera. Qatar's government has said it won't negotiate until Arab nations lift their blockade. The demands were also likely to elicit Qatari objections that its neighbors are trying to dictate its sovereign affairs by imposing such far-reaching requirements. Only a day earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had warned the demands must be "reasonable and actionable." The U.S. issued that litmus test amid frustration at how long it was taking Saudi Arabia and others to formalize a list of demands, complicating U.S. efforts to bring about a resolution to the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years. According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalize citizens from the four countries and expel those currently in Qatar, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs. They are also demanding that Qatar hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism; stop funding any extremist entities that are designated as terrorist groups by the U.S.; and provide detailed information about opposition figures that Qatar has funded, ostensibly in Saudi Arabia and the other nations. Qatar vehemently denies funding or supporting extremism. But the country acknowledges that it allows members of some extremist groups such as Hamas to reside in Qatar, arguing that fostering dialogue with those groups is key to resolving global conflicts. Qatar's neighbors have also accused it of backing al-Qaida and the Islamic State group's ideology throughout the Middle East. Those umbrella groups also appear on the list of entities whose ties with Qatar must be extinguished, along with Lebanon's Hezbollah and the al-Qaida branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front. More broadly, the list demands that Qatar align itself politically, economically and otherwise with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional club that has foc[...]


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Retailers want to work out your wallet – and your bodyAP Photo Coss Marte, second from right, conducts a workout class at ConBody Bootcamp Studio at The Wellery on the second floor of the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York. Saks' New York flagship opened a 16,000-square foot wellness sanctuary in May that offers 1,200 different fitness classes, a salt chamber and meditation classes alongside wellness merchandise.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:50:00 GMT

NEW YORK — Stores such as Saks and Urban Outfitters are looking to work out more than your wallet. As retailers struggle to draw in shoppers who have migrated online, stores are seizing on one of the few bright spots in the industry – fitness and wellness – in hopes of engaging consumers. That means meditation lectures with Deepak Chopra at ABC Carpet & Home in New York, a yoga class at Bloomingdale’s or a wellness getaway with Free People. One recent Wednesday, a dozen women walked into Saks on Fifth Avenue, tucked their purses into lockers and got to work performing squat thrusts and jumping jack intervals during an hour-long boot camp. After class, they could browse through a rack of $85 Phat Buddha leggings and try Glow Recipe’s $58 oil essence with cactus extract. Mila Petrova, who wasn’t part of the class that day but has attended other sessions at Saks, said it’s the location more than the shopping that has drawn her – it’s closer to her office. “I probably would have gone (to the workout) wherever they put it,” she said. The 27-year-old browsed the store only on the first night and hasn’t made any purchases – she’s usually rushing to the class from work and anxious to get home afterward. Still, however, she’s not a big shopper in general, she can see herself buying holidays gifts at Saks’ Wellery section because she’s already in the store. Several stores have opened stand-alone locations with vast areas carved out for exercise classes and seminars. Urban Outfitters’ five-story Space Ninety 8 in Brooklyn scheduled a chakra meditation and sound bath this month. None of the chains are talking about how much the wellness business has increased sales – or if it has. It may be too soon to tell. But while clothing stores struggle, U.S. activewear sales have increased. In 2016, they rose 11 percent over the previous year to nearly $46 billion, according to The NPD Group, a consumer tracking service, and are up from $36.9 billion in 2014. So it’s no surprise retailers want to offer those customers more and keep them in the stores longer. Saks’ New York flagship has devoted an entire floor to the 16,000 square-foot wellness sanctuary that opened in May and offers fitness classes, a salt chamber and meditation alongside other merchandise. Celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson was the marquee name on opening night. After a sweat session, fitness aficionados can test the latest home gym equipment such as a Peloton bike, get custom-fitted for golf clubs or get their nails done – a day’s worth of self-care in one spot. “We need to be their sanctuary, whether they need retail therapy or want to feel good about themselves,” Saks President Marc Metrick said. “After a good workout it’s a big rush, so it’s great. We want people to feel good in our stores ... it doesn’t always have to be because you bought a killer pair of shoes.” The Wellery is full circle for the upscale chain that constructed an indoor [...]


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Stabbing suspect was caretaker, studied insurance salesAP photo Timothy Wiley, FBI public affairs specialist, holds a photo Amor Ftouhi after a news conference in Detroit, Thursday, June 22. Amor Ftouhi, a Canadian man, shouted in Arabic before stabbing a police officer in the neck at the Bishop International Airport in Flint, Mich., on Wednesday, and referenced people being killed overseas during the attack that's now being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal officials said.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:50:00 GMT

DETROIT – The Canadian man charged with stabbing a police officer at the Flint airport in a possible act of terrorism was a part-time caretaker at the Montreal apartment building where he lived and had once studied to sell insurance, a landlord and an insurance company spokesman said Thursday.

Amor Ftouhi kept the building stairwells clean and always paid his rent on time, his landlord said. The 49-year-old originally from Tunisia lived in a two-bedroom apartment with his wife and children and “never made any trouble,” Luciano Piazza said.

Investigators are working to learn more about Ftouhi, whom they describe as a lone-wolf attacker who made his way to the seemingly random destination of Flint, a struggling Michigan city once known for its sprawling General Motors factories but now better known for lead-tainted water.

Once in the U.S., he unsuccessfully tried to buy a gun, but instead managed to buy a knife, David Gelios, head of the FBI in Detroit said Thursday. He did not elaborate.

Licensed gun dealers first must put purchasers through an electronic background check of U.S. law enforcement databases, which could make Canadians ineligible, said Brady Schickinger, director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.

The attack Wednesday at Bishop International Airport, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit, was being investigated as an act of terrorism, but authorities said they have no indication that the suspect was involved in a “wider plot,” Gelios said.

Ftouhi, a dual citizen of Canada and Tunisia, stabbed airport police Lt. Jeff Neville with a large knife after yelling “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.” According to the FBI, Ftouhi said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.”

He was immediately taken into custody and was charged in a criminal complaint with committing violence at an airport. Acting U.S. Attorney Dan Lemisch said more charges are coming in the days ahead. Ftouhi is in custody and has a bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

He wanted to identify an international airport, but, Gelios said, authorities “have absolutely no indication that he had any association with anyone in the Flint area or, thus far, in Michigan.”

Ftouhi was “neither on the radar of Canadian authorities or FBI or United States authorities,” Gelios said.

AP photo Timothy Wiley, FBI public affairs specialist, holds a photo Amor Ftouhi after a news conference in Detroit, Thursday, June 22. Amor Ftouhi, a Canadian man, shouted in Arabic before stabbing a police officer in the neck at the Bishop International Airport in Flint, Mich., on Wednesday, and referenced people being killed overseas during the attack that's now being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal officials said.


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Illinois man charged with threatening to assassinate TrumpThis 2007 booking photo provided by the Troy Police Department shows Joseph Lynn Pickett. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Pickett of Edwardsville, Ill., was charged June 15, 2017, with threatening the president of the United States. U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Vincent Pescitelli says in a criminal complaint that Pickett "did knowingly and willfully make a threat to take the life of, to kidnap, and to inflict bodily harm" against President Trump on Facebook. (Troy Police Department via AP)

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:49:00 GMT

EDWARDSVILLE – An Illinois man has been charged after posting online several times that he wants to assassinate President Donald Trump.

Joseph Lynn Pickett of Edwardsville was charged June 15 with threatening the president of the United States, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Vincent Pescitelli said in a criminal complaint that Pickett “did knowingly and willfully make a threat to take the life of, to kidnap, and to inflict bodily harm” against Trump on Facebook.

The posts included frequent profanity as well as detailed death threats to the president.

After making the online threats, Pickett also posted several times that he was “still waiting” for the Secret Service to come arrest him.

The complaint said two of Pickett’s co-workers at Lowe’s contacted the Secret Service indicating that Pickett had posted threatening messages against Trump on Facebook.

Pickett also bragged about having weapons.

“Please call the Cops on me now so I have an,excuse to use my firepower .... AR 15, AK 47, s and w 40, Sig sauer 9 mm. Oh I’m so afraid of the police now..,” he wrote.

Pickett will be detained until a trial because the court can’t ensure the safety of other people in community because of “mental instability,” according to court documents.

A phone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment from Public Defender Thomas Gabel was not immediately returned.

This 2007 booking photo provided by the Troy Police Department shows Joseph Lynn Pickett. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Pickett of Edwardsville, Ill., was charged June 15, 2017, with threatening the president of the United States. U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Vincent Pescitelli says in a criminal complaint that Pickett "did knowingly and willfully make a threat to take the life of, to kidnap, and to inflict bodily harm" against President Trump on Facebook. (Troy Police Department via AP)


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Americans and guns: It's complicatedAP file photo This photo shows a rack of rifles at Firing-Line gun store in Aurora, Colo. A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows Americans have grown more divided over gun issues.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:49:00 GMT

ATLANTA – Americans have long had a complex relationship with guns. Now, a new study shows that the country’s deep political divide is reflected in attitudes toward gun control. The Pew survey released Thursday found a sharp drop since 2000 in overall support for gun control despite common ground on some key issues. For example, when people were asked whether it was more important to protect gun rights or control gun ownership, 51 percent favored gun control and 47 percent favored gun rights. Compare that with responses in 2000, when two-thirds of those surveyed said they supported gun control measures. People in the new survey were in broad agreement when asked about specific gun control measures. Some 89 percent supported preventing the mentally ill from buying guns and 84 percent of all adults supported background checks for private sales and at gun shows. Barring gun purchases for people on no-fly lists won support from 83 percent, while 71 percent of adults, including a small majority of gun owners, supported a federal database tracking gun sales. The survey showed wide disparities in how people view firearms along political, gender, racial and geographic lines. The gaps come at the start of President Donald Trump’s term. He is seen as one of the most gun-friendly presidents and could be supported by a GOP-controlled Congress, although there has been little action on gun issues since January. About half of the public said making it more difficult to purchase a firearm would mean fewer mass shootings, while a little over one-third said it would have no impact. Most people attribute gun violence to the ease in illegally getting access to a firearm, and the public can’t decide whether making it easier to legally purchase a firearm would lower or raise the crime rate. Republicans have made the most significant shifts on guns while Democrats have remained consistent in their views, said Kim Parker, Pew’s director of social trends research. “This reflects that the issue has really become more polarized, more driven by partisan attitudes,” Parker said. The study also showed that people in the United States, whether they own a firearm or not, have broad exposure to guns. At least two-thirds have lived in a household with guns and about 70 percent have fired a gun. The main reason most cited for wanting to own a gun? Protection. Two-thirds of gun owners say they own a gun to protect themselves or loved ones. Nearly one-third of gun owners have five or more. Still, just one-quarter of them said they usually carry a firearm outside the home. That willingness to purchase a firearm is despite the fact that 44 percent of adults said they personally know someone who was shot and about one-quarter say they or a family member have been t[...]


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Senate GOP unveils 'Obamacare' overhaul, but not all aboardSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017, as Senate Republicans work on a health reform bill. Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited plan to scuttle Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:49:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans launched their plan for shriveling Barack Obama’s health care law Thursday, edging a step closer to their dream of repeal with a bill that would slice and reshape Medicaid for the poor, relax rules on insurers and end tax increases on higher earners that have helped finance expanded coverage for millions. Four conservative GOP senators quickly announced initial opposition to the measure and others were evasive, raising the specter of a jarring rejection by the Republican-controlled body. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated he was open to discussion and seemed determined to muscle the measure through his chamber next week. Release of the 142-page proposal ended the long wait for one of the most closely guarded bills in years. McConnell stitched it together behind closed doors, potentially moving President Donald Trump and the GOP toward achieving perhaps their fondest goal – repealing former President Obama’s 2010 statute, his proudest domestic legacy. On Twitter, Trump said he was “very supportive” of the bill. On Facebook, Obama said at the heart of the bill was “fundamental meanness.” The bill would end Obama’s tax penalties on people who don’t buy insurance – effectively ending the so-called individual mandate – and on larger companies that don’t offer coverage to their workers. It would offer less generous subsidies for people than Obama’s law but provide billions to states and insurance companies to buttress markets that in some areas have been abandoned by insurers. McConnell must navigate a narrow route in which defections by only three of the 52 Republican senators would doom the legislation. He and others said the measure would make health insurance more affordable and eliminate Obama coverage requirements that some people find onerous. “We have to act,” McConnell said. “Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo.” Democrats said the measure would result in skimpier policies and higher out-of-pocket costs for many and erode gains made under Obama that saw about 20 million additional Americans gain coverage. “We live in the wealthiest country on earth. Surely we can do better than what the Republican health care bill promises,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Four conservative senators expressed opposition but openness to talks: Ted Cruz of Texas, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson from Wisconsin. They said the measure falls short, missing “the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.” On the other hand, Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, facing a competitive 2018 re-election battle, Ohio’s Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito of West [...]


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103.9 the Fox hosting radiothon to benefit Marengo explosion victims

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:48:00 GMT

MARENGO – WFXF/103.9 the Fox is hosting a #MarengoStrong Radiothon fundraiser Friday for victims of the Marengo home explosion that took place June 11.

Proceeds from the station’s 13-hour radiothon will directly benefit the M.O.R.E. Center, a nonprofit organization that has been helping those affected by the explosion with clothing, food and money to help pay for expenses and bills related to the incident.

“Anytime we can use our station’s powers for good, we should. I’m confident that 103.9 the Fox listeners will come through big time for their unfortunate neighbors in Marengo,” program director Alex Quigley said.

The radiothon will continue through the morning drive with Eddie Volkman, midday with Quigs, and afternoon drive with Pat Capone.

Anyone looking to donate can visit www.rockthefox.com anytime from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Twisted Rose of Algonquin will be matching the first $5,000 in donations collected starting at 6 a.m., according to a news release.

All money raised will go directly to the M.O.R.E. Center of Marengo.




Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County hosting annual kids golf

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:47:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS — Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County is hosting its 15th annual Swing for Kids’ Sake Golf Outing to raise funds for the program’s one-to-one mentoring program July 24 at Boulder Ridge Country Club.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County works with more than 450 kids ages 6 to 14 with its one-to-one mentoring program designed to boost kids’ academic performance and self-confidence while discouraging illegal drug use and skipping school.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria will provide lunch, and Bonefish Grill of Algonquin will provide dinner. There also will be silent and live auctions. Other sponsors include: Crystal Lake Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Intren, Plote Homes, BMO Harris Bank, Gray & Gray LLC, Elastic Cord & Webbing, Home State Bank and Crystal Lake Bank & Trust.

The outing is open to the public but does require registration: as an individual ($210), foursome ($800) or corporate foursome/tee box sponsor ($900). Registration includes golf, lunch and dinner and carts for foursomes.

Registration can be done online or over the phone at 815-358-3855.




McHenry fundraiser to benefit local man battling cancerColleen D'Angelo, Tim D’Angelo, and their 2-year-old son Timmy. Tim D'Angelo was diagnosed with cancer this past year and a fundraiser is planned for Saturday to help the family's financial burden of chemotherapy costs.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:47:00 GMT

McHENRY – The public is invited to attend a fundraiser Saturday benefiting McHenry native Tim D’Angelo, who was diagnosed with cancer this past year.

The fundraising event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Church Of Holy Apostles, 5211 Bull Valley Road, McHenry.

Around Christmas 2016, Joe D’Angelo said his 36-year-old son who grew up in McHenry wasn’t feeling well, prompting him to pay a visit to the doctor. The D’Angelo family eventually found out Tim has colon cancer after he underwent a colonoscopy.

“There were also two spots on his liver they found,” Joe D’Angelo said.

Tim is now undergoing chemotherapy – which has helped shrink the tumors so far – and has taken time off from his occupation as a laborer as a result.

“He can’t work right now because of the cancer,” Joe D’Angelo said. “That’s the reason we decided to do the fundraiser to help tide his family over in the meanwhile.”

Tim lives in Island Lake with his wife, Colleen, and 2-year-old son, Timmy.

“He’s a great father, a great friend and someone you can always depend on to be there for you,” said Dan Loud, Tim’s best friend.

Loud said that when he found out the news, he was shocked.

“He was a young, healthy man,” Loud said. “But just the support through the church and the whole community has been great. It seems like it will be a really fun night and everyone is just pulling together to help out Tim.”

The Turn Out for Tim fundraiser will feature a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Auction items will consist of Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears tickets for sports fans, among many other items.

“Tim loves sports,” Joe D’Angelo said. “How fun would that be do a fundraiser also where we serve ballpark foods? We’ve got hot dogs, brats, ice cream and Cracker Jack.”

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for teenagers. Children 10 and younger can join for free.

Tickets can be bought at the door.

Colleen D'Angelo, Tim D’Angelo, and their 2-year-old son Timmy. Tim D'Angelo was diagnosed with cancer this past year and a fundraiser is planned for Saturday to help the family's financial burden of chemotherapy costs.


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Algonquin Township Highway Department to host Saturday recycling event for residents

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:46:00 GMT

The Algonquin Township Highway Department is hosting a recycling event for township residents from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, but there will be some changes.

Recyclables will be accepted at the township building at 3702 Route 14 in Crystal Lake. However, entrance to the event will be at The Hollows, the neighboring McHenry County Conservation District recreation area – the entrance to the township offices will be used for exit only.

Township residents can drop off window-unit air conditioners, answering machines, computers and video game consoles, camcorders and cameras, cellphones and landline phones, small humidifiers and dehumidifiers, fax machines, microwave ovens, MP3 and music players, power tools, small appliances, stereos, typewriters, car batteries, used motor oil and tires. A recycling fee will be charged for tires.

The township will not be accepting paint, refrigerators, freezers, hazardous waste, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, or household batteries.

Recyclables will only be accepted from residents of Algonquin Township.

Brush and log drop-off, and mulch pickup, will be suspended during the recycling event, but will resume when it ends.

For information, call 847-639-2700, ext. 6, or follow the highway department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlgonquinTownshipHighwayDepartment.




London man arrested after police pursuit through McHenry County awaits mental health treatmentSidhekur Rahman, 29, of London

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:45:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – An Englishman who led police on a chase in April through several local towns in a stolen truck claiming he couldn’t stop because he thought he was being filmed for a movie was deemed unfit for trial and is awaiting mental health treatment.

Sidhekur Rahman, 29, of London, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on several felony charges, but the matter was continued until he can get treatment from a mental health facility. The Department of Human Services deemed him unfit to stand trial last month.

Rahman didn’t appear before Judge Sharon Prather, but his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos, appeared on his behalf. Mourelatos said his client will be taken to a treatment facility as soon as a spot is made available.

Police have said Rahman was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Fox Lake while driving a stolen 1996 GMC 2500. Rahman fled and continued toward McHenry County when Woodstock police officers started following him at Route 47 and Ware Road. Officers followed Sidhekur into Crystal Lake until they arrived at Route 176 and Route 31.

Crystal Lake police officers eventually arrested him when they found him at Pauly Toyota in Crystal Lake.

Sidhekur is facing charges of aggravated fleeing, criminal trespass to a vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, disorderly conduct, reckless driving, speeding 21 to 25 mph above the speed limit, disregarding a traffic control light, improper use of a designated lane and improper traffic lane usage.

The most serious charge, a Class 2 felony, is typically punishable by three to seven years in prison.

He remained in McHenry County Jail custody as of Thursday afternoon. His next court date is scheduled for July 20.

Sidhekur Rahman, 29, of London


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McHenry County Board chairman: LITH Sanitary District pulling 'shenanigans' to avoid consolidationH. Rick Bamman file photo - hbamman@shawmedia.com Lake In The Hills waste water treatment facility 515 Plum St, Lake in the Hills. A political and legal battle is brewing over a move by the Lake in the Hills Sanitary District to purchase land in Kane County, which if successful would negate an ongoing effort to consolidate it into the village.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:43:00 GMT

A political and legal battle is brewing over a move by the Lake in the Hills Sanitary District to buy land in Kane County, which, if successful, would negate an ongoing effort to consolidate it into the village. To the legal counsel retained by some of its members, the impending purchase makes the district a multicounty entity, which means that the McHenry County Board not only can’t consolidate it under a new law but also loses the authority to appoint its three-member board. But to County Board Chairman Jack Franks, who as a state representative wrote the law allowing the county to abolish certain small units of government, the move is an illegal and immoral attempt to stymie taxpayer relief and accountability. “This, in my opinion, is a scheme to defraud the taxpayers to perpetrate a fiefdom where the insiders are taking advantage of the taxpayers, and that’s exactly why I wrote the law to consolidate,” Franks, D-Marengo, said Wednesday morning. About 40,000 residents in Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Crystal Lake are served by the district, which was created in 1963 by voter referendum to handle wastewater management and water pollution control. The district, one of a handful of county bodies that could be eliminated under state law, has been singled out by Franks as a prime candidate for dissolution in a state with almost 7,000 units of local government. But Derke Price, an attorney representing the district in the land deal and several district members, including its ousted former board president, said the County Board now has no power to do so. He is filing a challenge to the County Board’s vote Tuesday evening to fill two board vacancies. “The consolidation act that Mr. Franks authored says that it has to be an entity that exists solely within McHenry County, and whose officers are appointed by the county,” Price said. “Because [the sanitary district] is now in two counties, they can’t appoint the officers, and it’s not eligible under the consolidation act, either.” The land at the heart of the fight is 13.88 acres over the border in Kane County, down Square Barn Road – the district’s boundaries at their closest point are a mile and a half from the county line. Unlike most other governments, sanitary districts can annex down roads without contiguous parcels to help facilitate getting people off of well and septic. Sanitary district trustees voted in April to annex the right-of-way of all of Square Barn Road. Price said the district has not yet bought the land, but is under option to do so, pending the needed formalities. Under the consolidation law that Franks wrote and Gov. Bruce Rauner signed in August, the McHenry and Lake county boards can elimina[...]


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Centenarian looks back at life of travel and educationH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Robert (left) and Anna Fitzpatrick and Brian Fitzpatrick surprise the brother's grandmother Helene Fitzparick for her 100th birthday Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at Three Oaks Assisted Living in Cary. Fitzpatrick's secret to longevity could lie in her lifelong love of sports starting with joining her high school basketball teams and expanding to tennis and other sports increasing her appreciation for the outdoors.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Three Oaks Assisted Living resident Helene Fitzpatrick clebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in Cary. At age 12, the stock market crashed. Fitzpatrick was nearing 27 when the Western Allies invaded Normandy. She was born June 20, 2017, the eldest of three girls, in Philadephia.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:43:00 GMT

Blowing out the candles, even at 100, is no daunting task for Helene Fitzpatrick, who let out a confident gust of air during her birthday celebration. Her secret to longevity could lie in her lifelong love of sports, starting with joining her high school basketball teams and extending to tennis and other sports increasing her appreciation for the outdoors. Fitzpatrick said it may be attributed to good genes – both her parents lived well into their 90s. No matter the reason for her long life, Fitzpatrick spent most of her lifetime traveling and learning and looking back. She emphasized the importance of education. "Truthfully, some [eras] were good and some were bad," Fitzpatrick said, "but I've always thought that was life itself." At age 12, the stock market crashed. Fitzpatrick was nearing 27 when the Western Allies invaded Normandy. She was born June 20, 1917, the eldest of three girls, in Philadelphia. It wasn't until she married her husband, a World War II veteran, that her travels truly began. Her husband, Robert, brought Fitzpatrick and their two children around the country with him because his work required him to travel. Fitzpatrick saw this as an adventure and enjoyed seeing most of the U.S. She especially enjoyed living in New Jersey because they spent each summer by the ocean. After her husband died in the mid-1970s, Fitzpatrick decided to go to college. She attended Elmhurst University where she received a degree in English, a subject chosen because of her love of language. Her education didn't end there. Fitzpatrick went on to study Shakespeare at Oxford University for a semester. She also got to travel to Spain and Russia. "[Russia] is very far, but it's a whole new world," Fitzpatrick said. "I liked everything I did." She passed her love of language and the world to her grandchildren, who got to travel extensively. One of her grandsons went on to become proficient in Spanish, citing Fitzpatrick as a main inspiration. On her 100th birthday Tuesday, she was surrounded by family and fellow residents of Three Oaks Assisted Living. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Robert (left) and Anna Fitzpatrick and Brian Fitzpatrick surprise the brother's grandmother Helene Fitzparick for her 100th birthday Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at Three Oaks Assisted Living in Cary. Fitzpatrick's secret to longevity could lie in her lifelong love of sports starting with joining her high school basketball teams and expanding to tennis and other sports increasing her appreciation for the outdoors.[...]H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Three Oaks Assisted Liv[...]


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Trump says he didn't tape his conversations with ComeyPresident Donald Trump speaks during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:26:00 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he "did not make" and doesn't have any recordings of his private conversations with James Comey — his fired FBI director.

Trump also tweets that he has "no idea" whether other "tapes" or recordings exist.

Trump has disputed Comey's assertion that Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty during a dinner meeting they had.

When news of Comey's account broke, Trump tweeted that Comey "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Under a post-Watergate law, presidential recordings belong to the people and eventually can be made public. Destroying them would be a crime.

The House committee investigating Russian meddling in the election set a Friday deadline for the White House to hand over any tapes.

President Donald Trump speaks during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


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The Results are in!

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:14:35 GMT

Who was voted Best of the Fox 2017? Click here to see the section that was in the paper!


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In Iowa, the president channels his inner candidate TrumpPresident Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. This is Trump's first visit to Iowa since the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)President Donald Trump shakes hands with former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Ambassador to China as he speaks at Kirkwood Community College, which is recognized by the White House as a major center of agricultural innovation, during a visit to the campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. This is Trump's first visit to Iowa since the election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:57:00 GMT

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Struggling to advance his agenda in Washington, President Donald Trump traveled to the Midwest for a raucous rally with his loyal supporters — the kind of event he relished before winning the White House. Trump touched down Wednesday evening in rainy Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and headed to a local community college, where he got a look at agriculture technology innovations before leading a campaign-style rally. He reveled in Georgia Republican Karen Handel's congressional victory in an election viewed as an early referendum on his presidency. "We're 5-0 in special elections," Trump said in front of a boisterous crowd that packed a downtown arena. "The truth is, people love us ... they haven't figured it out yet." He also applauded Republican Ralph Norman, who notched a slimmer-than-expected win in a special election to fill the South Carolina congressional seat vacated by Mick Mulvaney, his budget director, and mocked Handel's challenger, Jon Ossoff, saying the Democrats "spent $30 million on this kid who forgot to live in the district." Trump, no stranger to victory laps, turned his visit to a battleground state he captured in November into a celebration of his resilience despite the cloud of investigations that has enveloped his administration and sent his poll numbers tumbling. With the appearance in Cedar Rapids, he has held five rallies in the first five months in office. The event underscores Trump's comfort in a campaign setting. He laughed off the occasional heckler, repeated riffs from last year's rallies and appeared far more at ease when going after Democrats in front of adoring crowds than trying to push through his own legislative agenda from the confines of the White House. Trump's aides are making a renewed push to get the president out of Washington. The capital is consumed with the investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election and Trump's firing of his FBI director. Campaign rallies energize Trump by placing him in front of supporters who have stuck by him and are likely to dismiss the investigations as Beltway chatter. Iowa, with its large share of independent voters, could be a proving ground for whether Trump can count on the support of voters beyond his base. Unaffiliated voters — or "no party" voters, as they are known in Iowa — make up 36 percent of the electorate, compared with 33 percent who register Republican and 31 percent who register as Democrat. Self-identified independents in Iowa voted for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton by a 13-percentage-point m[...]


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IS militants destroy 12th century mosque in Iraq's MosulFILE - In this Sunday, July 6, 2014 file photo, the gate of the Great Mosque or al-Nuri Mosque is seen in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq. The Islamic State group destroyed Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque and its iconic leaning minaret known as al-Hadba late Wednesday night on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 when fighters detonated explosives inside the structures, according to Iraq’s Ministry of Defense. The mosque is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in 2014 shortly after the city was overrun by the militants and was seen as a key symbolic prize in the fight for Iraq’s second largest city. (AP Photo, File)FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2003 file photo, an electrician works on the roof of a shop in the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul. In the background is the leaning minaret. Iraq’s ministry of defense says IS destroyed the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul and the adjacent iconic leaning minaret when fighters detonated explosives inside the structures late Wednesday night on June 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)FILE - This file image made from video posted on a militant website Saturday, July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. Iraq’s Ministry of Defense says the Islamic State group destroyed the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul and the iconic leaning minaret when fighters detonated explosives inside the structures late Wednesday night on June 21, 2017. The mosque — also known as Mosul’s Great Mosque — is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in 2014 shortly after the city was overrun by the militants and was seen as a key symbolic prize in the fight for Iraq’s second largest city.(AP Photo/Militant video, File)

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:53:00 GMT

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The Islamic State group blew up a historic landmark in Mosul — the city's famed 12th century al-Nuri mosque with its iconic leaning minaret known as al-Hadba, from where the IS leader proclaimed the militant group's self-styled caliphate nearly three years ago. The explosion destroyed another piece of priceless Iraqi cultural heritage but also sent a strong message to U.S.-led coalition forces and Iraqi troops closing in on the last stronghold of IS, in Mosul's Old City neighborhood. Iraq's Ministry of Defense said the militants detonated explosives planted inside the structures on Wednesday night. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted early on Thursday that the destruction was an admission by the militants that they are losing the fight for Iraq's second-largest city. "Daesh's bombing of the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri Mosque is a formal declaration of their defeat," al-Abadi said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. "It is a shock, a real big shock," Amir al-Jumaili, a professor at the Archaeology College in Mosul told The Associated Press. The al-Nuri mosque, which is also known as Mosul's Great Mosque, is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a rare public appearance, declaring a so-called Islamic caliphate in the summer of 2014, shortly after Mosul was overrun by the militants. The minaret that leaned like Italy's Tower of Pisa had stood for more than 840 years. The IS blew up the mosque during the celebrations of Laylat al Qadr, the holiest night of the year for Muslims. The "Night of Power" commemorates the night the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is now underway. An IS statement posted online shortly after the Ministry of Defense reported the mosque's destruction blamed an airstrike by the United States for the loss of the mosque and minaret. The U.S.-led coalition rejected the IS claim. Spokesman, U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon told the Associated Press coalition planes "did not conduct strikes in that area at that time." IS fighters initially attempted to destroy the minaret in July 2014. The militants said the structure contradicted their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, but Mosul residents converged on the area and formed a human chain to protect it. IS has demolished dozens of historic and archaeological sites in and around Mosul, saying they promoted idolatry. Earlier this month, Mosul residents reported IS fighters had begun sealing off the area around the mosque. Residents said that IS fighters or[...]


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FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mindAP photo U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa, with Federal Bureau of Investigation Washington Field Office Special Agent in Charge Timothy Slater, speaks to reporters Wednesday outside the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, D.C. The officials held a news conference about the investigative findings to date in the shooting that occurred June 14 at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Va.

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:31:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Adrift and nearly out of money after three months of living out of his van in the Washington area, the gunman who shot a top House Republican and four other people on a Virginia baseball field didn’t have any concrete plans to inflict violence on the Republicans he loathed, FBI officials said Wednesday. James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was shot and killed by police after he opened fire on Congressional Republicans practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats last week. Rep. Steve Scalise of Lousiana, the House majority whip, was struck in the hip and gravely wounded. Scalise remains hospitalized, and his condition was upgraded to fair on Wednesday. All five people who were shot, including two U.S. Capitol police officers, survived their injuries. At a news conference on Wednesday, FBI officials gave an overview of the evidence they’ve gathered on Hodgkinson. They said he acted alone and had no connections to terror groups. But they said they had not yet clarified who, if anyone, he planned to target, or why, beyond his animus toward President Donald Trump and the Republicans he felt were ruining the country. It wasn’t even clear whether he had previous plans to attack the baseball practice or whether he just happened upon it the morning of June 14, said Tim Slater, who leads the criminal division of the FBI’s Washington field office. “At this point in the investigation, it appears more spontaneous,” Slater said. Hodgkinson had a piece of paper with the names of six members of Congress written on it, Slater said, but the note lacked any further context and there was no evidence from his computer, phone or other belongings that indicated he planned to target those officials. Slater declined to name the officials whose names were on the note or say whether they were Republicans or Democrats or were at the baseball practice. Scalise, 51, “continues to make good progress,” according to a statement issued Wednesday by MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “and is beginning an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.” House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Scalise “is on the road to recovery.” Hodgkinson was an unemployed home inspector from Belleville, Illinois, who frequently railed against Republicans in letters to the editor and angry social media posts. In November, shortly after Trump was elected, he purchased the two guns that he used in the shooting, a rifle and a 9mm handgun. Neighbors called police as Hodgkinson conducted target practice on his property, but he did not violate any laws, the FB[...]


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Boy killed by log in surf as tropical storm churns in GulfTom McLaughlin – Northwest Florida Daily News via AP An unidentified man looks at a truck that was crushed by a falling tree Wednesday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The Florida panhandle community was hit by a wave of severe weather Wednesday morning as Tropical Storm Cindy churns through the Gulf of Mexico.

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:31:00 GMT

NEW ORLEANS – A boy on an Alabama beach was struck and killed Wednesday by a log washed ashore by storm surge from Tropical Storm Cindy, which spun bands of severe weather ashore from the Florida panhandle to east Texas as it churned ever closer to the Gulf Coast. Baldwin County Sheriff’s Capt. Stephen Arthur said witnesses reported the 10-year-old boy from Missouri was standing outside a condominium in Fort Morgan when the log, carried in by a large wave, struck him. Arthur said the youth was vacationing with his family from the St. Louis area and that relatives and emergency workers tried to revive him. He wasn’t immediately identified. It was the first known fatality from Cindy. The storm formed Tuesday and was expected to make landfall some time late Wednesday or early Thursday. Rough seas also led to the rescue of a shrimp trawler in danger of sinking off the coast of Texas. The U.S. Coast Guard said crew of the trawler Footprint was about 80 miles southeast of Galveston when the crew radioed that the vessel was taking on water faster than onboard pumps could clear it. A helicopter crew lowered and extra pump that enabled the shrimp boat crew to clear enough water to stay afloat. A Coast Guard cutter escorted the vessel to Freeport, Texas. Cindy was expected to come ashore near the Louisiana-Texas line but the severe weather extended far to the east. National Weather Service forecasters estimated it had dumped anywhere from 2 to 10 inches of rain on various spots along the Gulf Coast from south Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle as of Wednesday. And more rain was on the way. Alek Krautmann at the weather service office in Slidell, Louisiana, said more moisture was heading in from the Gulf on Wednesday evening. “There were plenty of breaks today, but it’s filled in a little more this afternoon,” he said. Coastal roads and some buildings flooded. There were several reports of possible short-lived tornadoes. In Gulfport, Mississippi, Kathleen Bertucci said heavy rainfall Wednesday sent about 10 inches of water into her business, Top Shop, which sells and installs granite countertops. “It’s pretty disgusting, but I don’t have flood insurance because they took me out of the flood zone,” said Bertucci, whose store is near a bayou. “We’re just trying to clean everything up and hope it doesn’t happen again.” In nearby Biloxi, a waterspout moved ashore Wednesday morning. Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said there were no [...]


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Sources: Senate GOP would halt Obamacare penalties, taxesAP photo Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Sen. John Barrasso (from left), R-Wyo.; Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks after a closed-door strategy session Tuesday at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. McConnell said Republicans will have a "discussion draft" of a GOP-only bill scuttling former President Barack Obama's health care law by Thursday.

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:31:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Top Senate Republicans prepared Wednesday to release their plan for dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law, a proposal that would cut and revamp Medicaid, end penalties on people not buying coverage and eliminate tax increases that financed the statute’s expansion of coverage, lobbyists and congressional aides said. Departing from the House-approved version of the legislation – which President Donald Trump privately called “mean” last week – the Senate plan would drop the House bill’s waivers allowing states to let insurers boost premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions. It also would largely retain the subsidies Obama provided to help millions buy insurance, which are pegged mostly to people’s incomes and the premiums they pay. The House-approved tax credits were tied to people’s ages, a change the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would boost out-of-pocket costs to many lower earners. Starting in 2020, the Senate version would begin shifting increasing amounts of tax credits away from higher earners, making more funds available to lower-income recipients, some of the officials said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell planned to release the measure Thursday morning and hopes to push it through the Senate next week. Some of its provisions were described by people on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them publicly. “We believe we can do better than the Obamacare status quo, and we fully intend to do so,” said McConnell, R-Ky. McConnell was unveiling his plan even as GOP senators from across the party’s political spectrum complained about the package and the secretive, behind-closed-doors meetings he used to draft a measure reshaping the country’s medical system, which comprises one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, Republicans can suffer defections by no more than two of their 52 senators and still push the measure through the Senate. Enough have voiced concerns to make clear that McConnell and other leaders have work to do before passage is assured. GOP Senate leaders were eager to get a seal of approval from Trump, who had urged them to produce a bill more “generous” than the House’s. “They seem to be enthusiastic about what we’re producing tomorrow,” No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas told reporters. “It’s going to be important to get the president’s support to get us across the finish line.” [...]


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