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Coroner IDs motorcyclist killed in Fox Lake crash as Spring Grove manJoe Shuman for Shaw Media The McHenry County Coroner's Office has identified a 26-year-old Spring Grove man killed Tuesday night in a motorcycle crash in Fox Lake. Fox Lake police responded to a report of a crash about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on State Park Road at Kohl Avenue, according to a news release from the Fox Lake Police Department.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:10:00 GMT

FOX LAKE – The McHenry County Coroner’s Office has identified a 26-year-old Spring Grove man killed Tuesday night in a motorcycle crash in Fox Lake.

Fox Lake police responded to a report of a crash about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on State Park Road at Kohl Avenue, according to a news release from the Fox Lake Police Department.

An autopsy performed Wednesday found Samual J. Wiesbrock died from blunt trauma to the head despite wearing a helmet, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said in a news release. Toxicology testing is pending.

Wiesbrock was riding a Yamaha motorcycle north in the southbound lane of State Park Road near Kohl Avenue to pass vehicles in the northbound lane when a Chevrolet passenger car turned left onto Kohl Avenue from the northbound lane, police said.

Wiesbrock hit the driver’s side of the vehicle and on impact was ejected from his motorcycle, police said.

Wiesbrock was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry, where he was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m., Majewski said. No one else was injured in the crash.

The crash shut down State Park and Grass Lake roads during the evening rush hour Tuesday and backed up traffic in the area. The road reopened about 8:50 p.m.

The crash still is under investigation by Fox Lake police and the coroner’s office, police said.

Joe Shuman for Shaw Media The McHenry County Coroner's Office has identified a 26-year-old Spring Grove man killed Tuesday night in a motorcycle crash in Fox Lake. Fox Lake police responded to a report of a crash about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on State Park Road at Kohl Avenue, according to a news release from the Fox Lake Police Department.


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Coroner: Woodstock man found on abandoned property in Harvard; no foul play suspectedJeffrey T. Carlton, 29, of Woodstock, died Sunday in Harvard. Carlton had been reported missing Friday and was found on an abandoned property. Photo taken from DonorDrive.com.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:09:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of a 29-year-old Woodstock man who was found on an abandoned property in Harvard.

Jeffrey T. Carlton, 29, of Woodstock, left his home Friday night and never returned, according to a news release from the coroner’s office. Police searched for Carlton on Saturday but were unable to find him.

The coroner’s office was called about 1 p.m. Sunday to the property of concrete and building material supplier Ozinga Bros. Inc., 20806 McGuire Road, Harvard, where Carlton’s body was found.

An autopsy was performed Monday afternoon, but the cause of death is pending toxicological testing, according to the release.

“No foul play is suspected at this time, “ McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said in a statement.

Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause said the death appeared to be an overdose.

“We don’t have anything that leads us to believe that we have anything beyond that,” Krause said Tuesday.

Anyone with information regarding Carlton’s death is asked to call the coroner’s office at 815-338-9392 or Harvard police at 815-943-4431.

A DonorDrive.com page attributed to the Carlton family was started to raise money for funding for the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in Carlton’s memory. The foundation funds scientific research to understand and treat brain and behavior disorders, including everything from addiction to schizophrenia.

“What we hope everyone will realize is that mental illness is not mental weakness, although many often look at it that way,” the DonorDrive.com page said.

The family wants to remember Carlton as a “kind, funny, spirited guy,” a gifted student, an athlete and a “friend to all,” according to the page. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2015, and the mental illness affected him greatly at times, the page said.

“He lost hope, deciding to end his disease in the only way he saw as an option,” the page said. “His death has brought incredible pain to his family and friends but we hope that in this time of incredible pain we can find ways for his disease and story to help others.”

The page had raised $1,730 – more than its initial $1,000 goal – as of Wednesday evening.

In Carlton’s obituary, he is described as loving to work out and be outdoors, reading, writing, music, drawing, acting and making funny videos. He was a Cubs fan who collected baseball cards, and graduated from McHenry East High School and the University of Iowa.

Funeral services will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 15012 St. Patrick Road, Hartland.

Carlton’s family could not be reached for comment.

Jeffrey T. Carlton, 29, of Woodstock, died Sunday in Harvard. Carlton had been reported missing Friday and was found on an abandoned property. Photo taken from DonorDrive.com.


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Judge denies bond reduction for Woodstock man facing drug dealing chargesDeonte L. Baugh, 29

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:09:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge will not lower the bond of a Woodstock man facing drug dealing charges, citing his extensive past criminal history.

Deonte L. Baugh, 29, appeared in court Wednesday with his defense lawyer, Martin Lascola, for a bond hearing.

Baugh was arrested in June with co-defendant and fiancée Durelle J. Hall at their apartment in Woodstock and charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and endangering the life of a child.

Police said Baugh and Hall sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant on two separate occasions. When members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office searched their residence, they found more than 3 pounds of marijuana and 17 grams of cocaine.

Lascola asked that Baugh’s bond be reduced to something more manageable for him to be able to come up with.

He said his client had a job before his arrest and would be able to retain that job when he was released from custody.

He said Baugh has children he provides for, and most of his criminal history has been related to drug possession.

Baugh is being held in jail in lieu of posting 10 percent of his $350,000 bond. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.

Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese said she thought his bond was appropriate given his past criminal history and the charges he is facing.

Freese said Baugh has been arrested about 25 times, “almost as many years as he’s been alive.”

She said that when the couple was arrested, police spoke with their 6-year-old son, who said he knew his parents “were selling drug stuff,” and he’s seen them “smoke brown, skinny, long things.”

Judge Sharon Prather denied the request, citing Baugh’s extensive past criminal history and the nature of the charges he is facing.

Hall was found guilty by McHenry County jurors in July of a drug-induced homicide charge in connection with the overdose death of Chelsie Kumm. She remains in jail without bond ahead of her sentencing Sept. 7.

Baugh next will appear in court Sept. 18.

Deonte L. Baugh, 29


Media Files:
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McHenry County board members speak to residents in unofficial setting after failing to reach a quorum for special meetingEight board members called for a special meeting Wednesday night to vote on resolutions to reinforce board members’ commitment to transparency and to discuss whether to authorize the hiring of two people who already were added to the County Board departmental roster. Board members also were expected to decide whether to censure County Administrator Peter Austin and County Board Chairman Jack Franks for what they said was secrecy regarding possibly privatizing the county's Valley Hi Nursing Home. Only nine members of the 24-member board, however, were present at 7 p.m. when roll was called and left Franks to adjourn the meeting with no quorum – 13 members – established. “They refuse to put the needs of the taxpayers first because they’re playing their own political game, so I’m very thankful that the board members who reject this minority’s hate and cynicism,” Franks said. “We’re moving forward and we’ve done great progress.”Although Franks declared board members would be in violation of the Open Meetings Act if they stayed to engage with the public, Craig Wilcox and Jeff Thorsen ignored him and spent more than an hour speaking to the public about why the original meeting was called. The Open Meetings Act requires that meetings of public bodies be open to the public and that the public must be given advance notice of the time, place and subject matter of the meetings. A majority of members gathered in the same place discussing public business is considered a public meeting. Notice was given of Wednesday's meeting. Concerns about the Valley Hi request stemmed from a request for qualifications issued by the county for a brokerage interested in leasing the nursing home. The request was posted Aug. 17 on the county website, a day after the Valley Hi operating board meeting and two days after the last County Board meeting Aug. 15. Valley Hi is a county-owned long-term care facility that provides a variety of care and rehabilitation services for elderly residents in the county, including veterans. The nursing home also offers short-term stays, hospice and health care-related services.Wilcox, a Republican from District 4 serving McHenry, Richmond and Burton, said members felt they were excluded from the decision-making process to issue the request for qualifications and wanted to rescind the request to allow for further discussion, both in the public and among various boards that were excluded from the decision to issue the request. “[Taxpayers] should demand to know how we’re going to go from response to an RFQ to some future decision, and how are we going to involve the public in that interim, and how is the County Board going to remain abreast of what’s going on,” Wilcox said. “All of that needs to be done in an open and transparent way.” Wilcox said he did not expect the resolution to pass but said it was there to drive discussion about the issue. The other conflict comes from the administration recently filling two staff vacancies – temporary project manager and utilities coordinator – seemingly without posting the job openings either within the department or publicly. Wilcox also said the two people were hired for public relations and communication roles for Franks, which did not seem to fit the qualifications for the job they were hired to do. Franks said that the hires were done lawfully. In doing this, board member Chuck Wheeler, a Republican also serving District 4, said before the meeting that Austin and Franks both usurped the county’s hiring procedure and created an unfair situation for employees. He also said the hiring contradicts Franks’ stance on wanting to cut the size of his department.In doing this, board member Chuck Wheeler, a Republican also serving District 4, said before the meeting that Austin and Franks both usurped the county’s hiring procedure and created an unfair situation for employees. He also said the hiring contradicts Franks’ stance on wanting to cut the size of his department. Both positions together cost the county more than $166,000 that comes from both the county administration and department of transportation budgets. The utility coordinator position became vacant May 3, 2013, and the temporary project manager was vacated Aug. 12, 2016. “The ones that could have [attended] denied you, the public, the opportunity to hear that discussion, and there is nothing more wrong than that,” said Thorsen, who is the board's vice chairman and is a Republican from District 2, serving Algonquin. As Franks left the room, an audience member repeatedly asked him whether he had met with the absent board members and asked them not to attend Wednesday night. Franks did not answer the question, and when asked directly later said: “There is no reason to talk about any meetings that didn’t happen.” Wilcox also declined to say whether he thought Franks had asked board members to skip the meeting, but he was glad the question was asked. “I’d love to have the chairman asked the question that was asked, 'Did he ask County Board members not to come?' ” Wilcox said. “But he’s not going to answer that question, if he did or he didn’t.” These are the people who were present when roll was called. Attending members: Chuck Wheeler Michael Rein Michael J. Walkup Yvonne Barnes Tom Wilbeck Craig Wilcox James L. Heisler Jeff Thorsen John D. Hammerand Chairman Jack Franks was also present Absent members: Christopher Spoerl Bob Nowak John Reinert Donna Kurtz Joseph Gottenmoller Donald C. Kopsell Chris Christensen Kay R. Bates Paula Yensen John Jung, Jr. Michael Skala Michele Aavang Mary T. McCann Jim Kearns Larry W. Smith

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:08:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board members who called a special meeting Wednesday night were unable to establish a quorum, but that didn’t stop several members from discussing the issues raised with about 30 people in the audience. Eight board members called for a special meeting Wednesday night to vote on resolutions to reinforce board members’ commitment to transparency and to discuss whether to authorize the hiring of two people who already were added to the County Board departmental roster. Board members also were expected to decide whether to censure County Administrator Peter Austin and County Board Chairman Jack Franks for what they said was secrecy regarding possibly privatizing the county's Valley Hi Nursing Home. Only nine members of the 24-member board, however, were present at 7 p.m. when roll was called and left Franks to adjourn the meeting with no quorum – 13 members – established. “They refuse to put the needs of the taxpayers first because they’re playing their own political game, so I’m very thankful that the board members who reject this minority’s hate and cynicism,” Franks said. “We’re moving forward and we’ve done great progress.”Although Franks declared board members would be in violation of the Open Meetings Act if they stayed to engage with the public, Craig Wilcox and Jeff Thorsen ignored him and spent more than an hour speaking to the public about why the original meeting was called. The Open Meetings Act requires that meetings of public bodies be open to the public and that the public must be given advance notice of the time, place and subject matter of the meetings. A majority of members gathered in the same place discussing public business is considered a public meeting. Notice was given of Wednesday's meeting. Concerns about the Valley Hi request stemmed from a request for qualifications issued by the county for a brokerage interested in leasing the nursing home. The request was posted Aug. 17 on the county website, a day after the Valley Hi operating board meeting and two days after the last County Board meeting Aug. 15. Valley Hi is a county-owned long-term care facility that provides a variety of care and rehabilitation services for elderly residents in the county, including veterans. The nursing home also offers short-term stays, hospice and health care-related services.Wilcox, a Republican from District 4 serving McHenry, Richmond and Burton, said members felt they were excluded from the decision-making process to issue the request for qualifications and wanted to rescind the request to allow for further discussion, both in the public and among various boards that were excluded from the decision to issue the request. “[Taxpayers] should demand to know how we’re going to go from response to an RFQ to some future decision, and how are we going to involve the public in that interim, and how is the County Board going to remain abreast of what’s going on,” Wilcox said. “All of that needs to be done in an open and transparent way.” Wilcox said he did not expect the resolution to pass but said it was there to drive discussion about the issue. The other conflict comes from the administration recently filling two staff vacancies – temporary project manager and utilities coordinator – seemingly without posting the job openings either within the department or publicly. Wilcox also said the two people were hired for public relations and communication roles for Franks, which did not seem to fit the qualifications for the job they were hired to do. Franks said that the hires were done lawfully. In doing this, board member Chuck Wheeler, a Republican also serving District 4, said before the meeting that Austin and Franks both usurped the county’s hiring procedure and created an unfair situation for employees. He also said the hiring contradicts Franks’ stance on wanting to cut the size of his department.In doing this, board member Chu[...]


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Multiple McHenry County board members address concerns with residents in unofficial meeting after failing to reach a quorumSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com McHenry County Board Vice Chairman Jeff Thorsen (left) and board member Craig Wilcox talk to residents after Wednesday's special meeting to dispute some of Jack Franks' recent actions Aug. 23, 2017.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks leaves the room after not enough board members showed up to Wednesday's special meeting in Woodstock Aug. 23, 2017.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com McHenry County Board members get up to leave during Wednesday's special meeting to dispute some of Jack Franks' recent actions Aug. 23, 2017.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com McHenry County Board Vice Chairman Jeff Thorsen talks to residents after Wednesday's special meeting to dispute some of Jack Franks' recent actions Aug. 23, 2017.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:06:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board members who called a special meeting Wednesday night were unable to establish a quorum, but that didn’t stop several members from discussing the issues raised with about 30 people in the audience. Eight board members called for a special meeting Wednesday night to vote on resolutions to reinforce board members’ commitment to transparency and to discuss whether to authorize the hiring of two people who already were added to the County Board departmental roster. Board members also were expected to decide whether to censure County Administrator Peter Austin and County Board Chairman Jack Franks for what they said was secrecy regarding possibly privatizing the county’s Valley Hi Nursing Home. Only nine members of the 24-member board, however, were present at 7 p.m. when roll was called and left Franks to adjourn the meeting with no quorum – 13 members – established. “They refuse to put the needs of the taxpayers first because they’re playing their own political game, so I’m very thankful for the board members who reject this minority’s hate and cynicism,” Franks said. “We’re moving forward and we’ve done great progress.” Although Franks declared board members would be in violation of the Open Meetings Act if they stayed to engage with the public, Craig Wilcox and Jeff Thorsen ignored him and spent more than an hour speaking to the public about why the original meeting was called. The Open Meetings Act requires that meetings of public bodies be open to the public and that the public must be given advance notice of the time, place and subject matter of the meetings. A majority of members gathered in the same place discussing public business is considered a public meeting. Notice was given of Wednesday’s meeting. Concerns about the Valley Hi request stemmed from a request for qualifications issued by the county for a brokerage interested in leasing the nursing home. The request was posted Aug. 17 on the county website, a day after the Valley Hi operating board meeting and two days after the last County Board meeting Aug. 15. Valley Hi is a county-owned long-term care facility that provides a variety of care and rehabilitation services for elderly residents in the county, including veterans. The nursing home also offers short-term stays, hospice and health care-related services. Wilcox, a Republican from District 4 serving McHenry, Richmond and Burton, said members felt they were excluded from the decision-making process to issue the request for qualifications and wanted to rescind the request to allow for further discussion, both in the public and among various boards that were excluded from the decision to issue the request. “[Taxpayers] should demand to know how we’re going to go from response to an RFQ to some future decision, and how are we going to involve the public in that interim, and how is the County Board going to remain abreast of what’s going on,” Wilcox said. “All of that needs to be done in an open and transparent way.” Wilcox said he did not expect the resolution to pass but said it was there to drive discussion about the issue. The other conflict comes from the administration recently filling two staff vacancies – temporary project manager and utilities coordinator – seemingly without posting the job openings either within the department or publicly. Wilcox also said the two people were hired for public relations and communication roles for Franks, which did not seem to fit the qualifications for the job they were hired to do. Franks said that the hires were done lawfully. [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/08/23/e308be2610bc4b7eaceeae9f80c2cd9a/1f84571b-a240-4922-ae76-0e11332c79e5/image-pv_web.jpg




Swedish journalist's torso found in submarine death mysteryAP photo Police search a waterway for body remains related to the ongoing Kim Wall murder investigation Wednesday at the west coast of Amager close to Copenhagen, Denmark. The investigation continues after the headless torso identified as that of missing Swedish journalist Wall was found on a beach off Copenhagen.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:02:00 GMT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Journalist Kim Wall had reported on conflicts, crises and natural disasters around the world. Earlier this month, she set out to sea from laid-back Copenhagen for a story about an eccentric Danish inventor and his home-made submarine. She never returned. On Wednesday, police confirmed that Wall’s headless torso had been found on a beach near the Danish capital. The inventor, Peter Madsen, has been arrested on suspicion of killing her. Wall, 30, was last seen alive on the evening of Aug. 10 on Madsen’s submarine, named UC3 Nautilus. The freelance journalist’s family said she was working on a story about Madsen, 46, a celebrity entrepreneur and engineer who dreamed of launching a manned space mission. Early the next day, Wall’s boyfriend reported her missing. Madsen was rescued from his sinking vessel south of Copenhagen hours later. Wall was nowhere to be found. Madsen, who remains in police custody on suspicion of manslaughter, initially told police he had let Wall off on an island several hours into the trip. Later, he said she had died accidentally and he had “buried” her at sea. On Monday, a cyclist discovered a torso on a beach on Copenhagen’s southern Amager island, near where Wall was believed to have died. Copenhagen police said Tuesday that the body’s head, arms and legs had “deliberately been cut off.” Copenhagen police investigator Jens Moeller Jensen told reporters Wednesday that DNA tests had confirmed the torso was Wall’s. Dried blood found inside the submarine was also a match to DNA obtained from Wall’s toothbrush and hairbrush, he said. Moeller Jensen said the torso “washed ashore after having been at sea for a while,” and was attached to a piece of metal “likely with the purpose to make it sink.” The investigator said marks on the torso indicated that someone had tried to press air out of the body so that it wouldn’t float. The cause of the journalist’s death is not yet known, police said. They are still looking for the rest of her body. Madsen’s defense lawyer said her client still maintains that Wall died accidentally, and that the discovery of her torso doesn’t mean he’s guilty of killing her. “It doesn’t change my client’s explanation that an accident happened,” Betina Hald Engmark told Danish tabloid BT. “No matter what, we find it very positive that she has been found now,” she added. Wall’s boyfriend alerted authorities early Aug. 11 that the 40-ton, nearly 60-foot-long sub hadn’t returned from a test run. The Danish navy launched a rescue operation, scrambling two helicopters and three ships for the search. The navy said the sub had been seen sailing, but sank shortly afterward. Madsen was picked up by a private boat. Police said they believe Madsen deliberately scuttled the submarine. Authorities later found it and brought it onto land for investigation. A self-taught aerospace engineer, Madsen was one of a group of entrepreneurs who founded Copenhagen Suborbitals, a private consortium to develop and construct submarines and manned spacecraft. Madsen made headlines when he launched the Nautilus – billed as the world’s largest privately built sub – on May 3, 2008. In 2011, Copenhagen Suborbitals launched a homemade 30-foot rocket five miles into the sky over the Baltic Sea, a step toward its unrealized goal of launching a person into space. The g[...]


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U.S. families, friends of missing sailors proud, prayingIn this photo released by the Royal Malaysian Navy, navy sailors cover an unidentified body on to the deck of KD Lekiu frigate after it was recovered in the waters off the Johor coast of Malaysia, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said some remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain on Tuesday, a day after the warship's collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing. (Royal Malaysian Navy via AP)

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:01:00 GMT

Families in the U.S. are awaiting word on missing seamen who were aboard the USS John S. McCain when it collided with an oil tanker Monday near Singapore. The military said five sailors were injured and 10 were missing after the collision. The collision tore a hole in the ship’s left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments, including crew berths and machinery and communication rooms. The military has not identified any of the sailors, but family members in Michigan, Illinois, Texas and Ohio so far have confirmed some of them. Here are brief portraits of the missing as reported by families: Logan Palmer, 23, Illinois Palmer loved serving in the Navy because it let him see the world after an eye injury kept him from being an Air Force fighter pilot, brother Austin Palmer said. Austin Palmer said his family is in shock and worried but hopeful after hearing Logan is among the missing. He told WAND-TV in Decatur, “I speak for my family when I say that we have put our faith in God’s mighty hands.” The interior communications electrician third class petty officer graduated from Sangamon Valley High School. His family said in a statement released by the U.S. Navy that his relatives are thankful for all who have offered prayers and support as they await word from the military. They called it “a very difficult time for our family.” The Palmer family attends Life Foursquare Church, where the Rev. Mark Cooper told the (Decatur) Herald and Review there are hundreds of people praying, “pulling together and believing for the best in this situation.” U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he’s spoken with Palmer’s mother, Theresa Palmer, and called the family “extremely proud and patriotic.” John Hoagland, 20, Texas When looking out from the deck of the USS John S. McCain, Hoagland often was struck by the immensity of the Pacific Ocean and the sparkling clarity of the stars above. His mother, Cynthia Kimball, said Hoagland knew as a 5-year-old that military service was for him. A recruiter steered him toward the Navy. “He wouldn’t have wanted to be in any other branch,” Kimball said Wednesday. “He sends me pictures of just water.” Hoagland spent his early years in Cleveland, Texas, northeast of Houston, and later lived in the Central Texas city of Killeen. He had long expressed an interest in stepping out of Texas and traveling the world, she said. Hoagland enlisted in 2015 and has served aboard the McCain since October as an electronic technician. “He’s very proud of what he does,” said Kimball, who lives with her husband at Fort Benning in Georgia. Jacob Drake, 21, Ohio Drake’s fiancee, Megan Partlow, said she has been planning their wedding scheduled for next summer, but now is overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed. Partlow, 20, told the Columbus Dispatch that Drake last texted her Sunday. Drake’s relatives gathered at their home in the rural village of Cable, about 50 miles west of Columbus, but she said they aren’t ready to talk. “I just want him to be safe,” she said. Drake graduated from Triad High School, and fellow graduate Boston Gregg remembers Drake once fit himself into a school locker “just to prove a teacher wrong.” “Everybody I know is praying for him and pulling for him,” Gregg said. Ken Smith, 22, [...]


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Within 24 hours, a pair of wildly different Trump speechesSupporters of President Donald Trump rally across the street from hundreds of anti-Trump protesters Anti-Trump protesters near the Reno-Sparks Convention Center while Trump addressed the national convention of the American Legion, in Reno, Nev., on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:01:00 GMT

RENO, Nev. – It was a tale of two Trumps in the desert Southwest. Within a 24-hour span, President Donald Trump delivered one speech in which he tore into the media and members of his own party, and a second in which he called for national unity and love. The about-face seemed to reflect the president’s real-time internal debate between calls for moderation and his inclination to let loose. On Wednesday, the president spoke in measured tones and stuck to his prepared remarks as he praised veterans at an American Legion conference in Nevada as examples for a nation yearning to set aside its differences. “We are here to hold you up as an example of strength, courage and resolve that our country will need to overcome the many challenges that we face,” he said. The night before, the president cut loose in Arizona, defying instructions from his aides to stick to the script and angrily renewing his fight with the press over its coverage of his comments about the race-fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The public push-and-pull in Trump’s message mirrors the internal dynamics at the White House, where new chief of staff John Kelly has organized and regimented the West Wing staff but has been unable to rein in the president’s tendency to veer off course. The president’s speech in Reno was full of the calls for patriotism and national healing that would not have seemed out of the ordinary had they been uttered by previous occupants of the Oval Office. But his rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night was uniquely Trump. He opened his remarks with a talk of unity but quickly erupted in anger, blaming the media for the widespread condemnation of his response to the violence in Charlottesville at a protest organized by white supremacists. Trump read from his three responses to the racially charged violence, becoming more animated with each one. He withdrew from his suit pocket the written statement he’d read the day a woman was killed by a man who had plowed a car through counterprotesters. But he skipped over the trouble-causing part that he’d freelanced at the time: his observation that “many sides” were to blame. That, as well as his reiteration days later that “both sides” were to blame for the violence that led to the death of Heather Heyer and two state troopers, led Democrats and many Republicans to denounce Trump for not unmistakably calling out white supremacists and other hate groups. By the time he arrived at the American Legion conference, Trump seemed more congenial. He even thanked Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican with whom he has openly and repeatedly feuded. He discussed his early efforts to restructure and improve the Department of Veterans Affairs. Later in the speech, Trump said Americans aren’t defined by the color of their skin, the size of their paycheck or their political party. “Our hearts beat for America. Our souls fill with pride every time we hear the national anthem,” Trump said. “This is the spirit we need to overcome our challenges.” When Medal of Honor recipient Donald Ballard joined the president onstage and offered praise for Trump, the president smiled and praised Ballard’s declaration that Trump was “the right leader to lead us out to drain the swamp.” “That was very risky of me,” Trump told the veterans, explaining that he didn’t know in advance what Ballard would say. “That could ruin the whole day for me.” Since Kelly took over last month as chief of [...]


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Woodstock commercial fire results in $100,000 in damageWoodstock Fire/Rescue District responded about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to the 1000 block of Lake Avenue in Woodstock for a report of a fire in a building next to Niko’s Red Mill Tavern, 1040 Lake Ave., according to a news release from the district. When firefighters arrived, they found flames showing from a small commercial structure.Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes but spent roughly two hours checking for and extinguishing "hidden fires" and investigating. An investigation is ongoing, but the cause of the blaze does not appear to be suspicious, according to the release. Woodstock Fire Captain Scott Nieman would not elaborate on why it appears that way.No one was injured, and the initial cost estimate of damage is $100,000. Emergency responders from Huntley, Harvard, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Marengo, Nunda Township and Union assisted both at the scene and in covering Woodstock's stations during the fire, Nieman said.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 06:00:00 GMT

An overnight fire in a small commercial structure next to Niko's Red Mill Tavern in Woodstock caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.

Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to the 1000 block of Lake Avenue in Woodstock for a report of a fire in a building next to Niko’s Red Mill Tavern, 1040 Lake Ave., according to a news release from the district. When firefighters arrived, they found flames showing from a small commercial structure.Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes but spent roughly two hours checking for and extinguishing "hidden fires" and investigating. An investigation is ongoing, but the cause of the blaze does not appear to be suspicious, according to the release. Woodstock Fire Captain Scott Nieman would not elaborate on why it appears that way.No one was injured, and the initial cost estimate of damage is $100,000. Emergency responders from Huntley, Harvard, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Marengo, Nunda Township and Union assisted both at the scene and in covering Woodstock's stations during the fire, Nieman said.


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First 2017 human case of West Nile Virus in McHenry County confirmed in Crystal LakeMosquitoes sit in a petri dish.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:59:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Department of Health confirmed its first case of West Nile virus in a human in 2017 Wednesday.

An elderly resident of Crystal Lake remains hospitalized with the disease. As of Wednesday, 15 batches of mosquitoes collected in McHenry County have tested positive for West Nile virus, but no birds have tested positive, according to a news release.

In 2016, there were 155 cases of human West Nile Virus with six deaths reported in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Up to this point in 2017, IDPH reported four cases and zero deaths.

“MCDH continues to urge residents to take precautions as the risk of mosquito-borne West Nile Virus lasts until the first hard frost,” a spokesperson for MCDH said in a statement.

Those infected by the virus typically experience mild symptoms, including fever, headache and body aches. But in some cases, encephalitis, meningitis and death are possible, according to the release. Illness can occur three to 15 days after an infected bite, and it affects all ages. Those 50 and older have the highest risk of severe disease.

MCDH suggests limiting time outside from dusk to dawn – peak times for mosquitoes. It also recommends wearing repellent, especially repellent with DEET, and protective clothing during those hours, dumping out standing water and having tight-fitting intact screens on doors and windows.

For information on West Nile virus, visit the MCDH website at www.mcdh.info or call 815-334-4585.

Mosquitoes sit in a petri dish.


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Spring Grove man facing theft charges in connection with Antioch Family Video robberyKeith E. Bradley, 26, of the 3800 block of Watts Ave., Spring Grove, was eventually arrested Aug. 20 and charged with misdemeanor theft in connection with the incident. Hes faces probation or up to one year in jail if convicted.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:55:00 GMT

SPRING GROVE – A Spring Grove man is facing a theft charge after police said he took money from a Family Video store in Antioch.

Members of the Antioch Police Department responded about 7 p.m. Aug. 9 for a reported robbery that took place at Family Video, 504 Orchard St., according to a department news release.

Preliminary investigations found that a man, later identified as Keith E. Bradley, 26, of the 3800 block of Watts Avenue, came into a store wearing sunglasses, a winter stocking cap and orange tape over part of his face, and started talking with the clerk.

Bradley placed a bag on the counter and asked the clerk to put money from the cash register inside, police said. After he got the money he left, police said.

Bradley was arrested Aug. 20 and charged with misdemeanor theft in connection with the incident. He faces probation or up to one year in jail if convicted.

Police said he was ultimately charged with theft because his actions did not rise to the level of robbery under Illinois law, according to a news release.

His bond was set at $25,000 and he will next appear in Lake County court Sept. 11.

Keith E. Bradley, 26, of the 3800 block of Watts Ave., Spring Grove, was eventually arrested Aug. 20 and charged with misdemeanor theft in connection with the incident. Hes faces probation or up to one year in jail if convicted.


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McHenry man guilty of hitting 84-year-old woman at Elgin casinoSteven K. Henshall, 49, McHenry

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:54:00 GMT

McHENRY – A McHenry man was convicted Tuesday of hitting an 84-year-old woman at a casino in Elgin.

Steven K. Henshall, 49, of the 3200 block of Still Hill Road, was found guilty by a Kane County jury for aggravated battery and aggravated domestic battery, according to a news release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Henshall was with the woman, whom he knew, about 9:30 p.m. April 13 at the Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Ave. He became angry and hit the woman with her wallet after she told him that she misplaced an item, prosecutors said.

Henshall then grabbed the woman by the arm, moved her into a restaurant and shoved her into a table, prosecutors said. Two witnesses called authorities to report abuse. 

Henshall’s next court appearance is set for Sept. 22. He faces probation or between two and 10 years in prison.

He remains in custody at the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest.

Steven K. Henshall, 49, McHenry


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Egypt angered by U.S. aid cut over human rights concernsMENA via AP Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (right) poses for a photo Wednesday with White House adviser Jared Kushner in Cairo, Egypt. El-Sissi and Egypt's foreign minister have met with Kushner just hours after the Trump administration cut or delayed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Cairo over human rights concerns. Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump's son-in-law, was in Cairo as part of a Middle East tour aimed at exploring ways to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which last collapsed in 2014.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:35:00 GMT

CAIRO – Egypt reacted angrily Wednesday to the Trump administration’s decision to cut or delay nearly $300 million in military and economic aid over human rights concerns, a surprise move given the increasingly close ties that have bound the two allies since President Donald Trump took office in January. Hours after the U.S. announcement, Trump’s Middle East envoy, son-in-law Jared Kushner, arrived in Egypt as part of a Middle East tour to try to revive Arab-Israeli peace talks. He met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and later conferred with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry before leaving for Israel. In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Cairo regretted the U.S. decision, calling it a “misjudgment of the nature of the strategic relations that have bound the two countries for decades.” The move, it said, “reflects a lack of careful understanding of the importance of supporting the stability and success of Egypt, as well as the size and nature of the security and economic challenges faced by the Egyptian people.” It warned that the cuts may have “negative consequences for the realization of common U.S.-Egyptian interests.” It did not elaborate. However, an Egyptian presidential statement on Kushner’s meeting with el-Sissi made no mention of the aid cuts and delays, which totaled $290.7 million. El-Sissi, a general-turned-president who has repeatedly stated his admiration for Trump, showed none of the frustration expressed by the Foreign Ministry as he smiled while posing for a ceremonial photo with Kushner in the Egyptian leader’s opulent Cairo palace. El-Sissi spoke to Kushner and his delegation about “Egypt’s keenness to continue to work on strengthening the multifaceted relations that bind the two countries in various fields,” the statement said. Of the $290.7 million, $195 million was military aid that the State Department said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was not able to certify that Egypt had met the human rights criteria set by Congress in order to receive it. But because Tillerson signed a so-called national interest waiver, those funds will remain available to Egypt as long as it makes human rights improvements. Had Tillerson not signed the waiver, the money would have been returned to the Treasury by Sept. 30 – the end of the current fiscal year. The remainder – $95.7 million in economic and military assistance – was cut from the Egypt account. Most of it had been held in escrow since 2014 as a result of the new aid conditions Congress set after el-Sissi’s 2013 ouster of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president. Of that, $65.7 million was foreign military financing and $30 million so-called “economic support funds,” basically a cash payment to the government. These funds will now go instead to “key security partners, without undermining Egypt’s security,” according to the State Department. In announcing the changes, the Trump administration cited Egypt’s poor human rights record and its crackdown on civic and other non-governmental groups. Prominent rights lawyer Gamal Eid said U.S. demands for Egypt to improve its rights record were “legitimate” given what he said was a surge in violations. “The government must now convince its American friends that what it’s doing in the field of human rights serves democracy and stability,” Eid said. “It’s in a bind and anything it does now will be seen as a means to secure U.S. aid.” [...]


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Violence in Charlottesville leads to soul-searching at ACLUAP photo A supporter of President Donald Trump (center) argues with a counterprotester (left) at a "Free Speech" rally Saturday by conservative activists on Boston Common in Boston. Faced with an angry backlash for defending white supremacists' right to march in Charlottesville, Va., earlier in the month, the American Civil Liberties Union is confronting a suggestion in its ranks that was once considered heresy: Maybe some speech isn't worth defending.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:35:00 GMT

NEW YORK – Faced with an angry backlash for defending white supremacists’ right to march in Charlottesville, the American Civil Liberties Union is confronting a feeling among some of its members that was once considered heresy: Maybe some speech isn’t worth defending. Cracks in the ACLU’s strict defense of the First Amendment no matter how offensive the speech opened from the moment a counterprotester was killed during the rally in Virginia. Some critics said the ACLU has blood on its hands for persuading a judge to let the Aug. 12 march go forward. An ACLU leader in Virginia resigned, tweeting, “What’s legal and what’s right are sometimes different.” “This was a real tragedy and we’re all reeling,” said Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s headquarters in New York City. “Charlottesville should be a wake-up call to all of us.” The backlash, reminiscent of one that came after the ACLU’s 1978 defense of a neo-Nazi group that wanted to march through Skokie, Illinois, a Chicago suburb with a large number of Holocaust survivors, set off a tumultuous week of soul-searching and led to a three-hour national staff meeting in which the conflict within the group was aired. What resulted from the backlash was an announcement that the ACLU will no longer stand with hate groups seeking to march with weapons, as some of those in Charlottesville did. “If people are gathering armed to the hilt and hoping for violence, I think the ACLU would be doing damage to our free-speech rights in the long term,” Rowland said. The newfound limit on how far the nearly century-old ACLU is willing to go to defend free speech sets up intriguing choices in the months ahead. Will it intervene, for example, in the case of a white nationalist rally at Texas A&M that the university canceled after Charlottesville? The ACLU said it won’t discuss when and where it might take a stand. The seeds of upheaval in Charlottesville were planted when a judge agreed with the ACLU that white nationalists should be able to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee where the monument stands, instead of at a neutral site sought by city officials. It was a position consistent with the ACLU’s history of defending free-speech rights for protesters on all parts of the spectrum. But then James Alex Fields Jr. was accused of using his car to kill 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injure several others who were staging a counterdemonstration. Within hours, a board member of the ACLU’s Virginia branch, Waldo Jaquith, resigned and fired off a stinging tweet that ended with, “I won’t be a fig leaf for the Nazis.” In an opinion piece in The New York Times, K-Sue Park, a race studies fellow at the UCLA School of Law, argued that the ACLU’s defend-in-all-cases approach to the First Amendment “perpetuates a misguided theory that all radical views are equal,” adding that group is “standing on the wrong side of history.” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe went further, accusing the ACLU of creating a “powder keg” in Charlottesville. The ACLU of Virginia responded by saying it was “horrified” by the violence but didn’t cause it. “We do not support Nazis,” it said. “We support the Constitution and the laws of the United States.” After the 1978 furor over the neo-Nazi rally in Skokie, which never actu[...]


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15 best pizza restaurants in McHenry County

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:29:00 GMT

Check out the video below for the 15 best local places to get a slice in McHenry County, as voted on by readers in our 2017 Best of the Fox competition. 

To learn more about these restuatants and get their address, check out our list of the 15 best pizza restaurants in McHenry County.


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Dowe & Wagner shares A/C tips to keep cool

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:26:25 GMT

Can you have your ice cream and eat it, too? Can you stay cool in your home all summer and save money on A/C costs, too?  It’s possible with some simple ideas from Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

He encourages home owners to change their air filters regularly, as a clean filter promotes air flow.  While air filters trap allergens and contaminants from the air to improve your home’s air quality, they also help your equipment run more smoothly.  A debris-filled filter reduces airflow, and stresses the air-conditioning system.  A clogged filter is less effective in trapping dirt that can then collect on the equipment’s moving parts, impeding operations and increasing utility costs through longer running times.

High quality baffled filters are recommended for better filtration.  They should be checked monthly, and changed at least every three months, or when they’re soiled and darkened from use.

Eppers also recommends turning up (not off) your air conditioner when you’re not home, especially during vacations.  He discourages home owners to turn off their unit completely, as excessive humidity can build up indoors which encourages mold growth.

“Ideally you could set your programmable thermostat to keep your home’s temperature at 85 when you’re on vacation, and program it to 72 for the day of your return, which saves energy,” he says.

Other simple ways to conserve air-conditioning dollars are to close the window blinds or drapes on sunny days, use a ceiling fan to circulate the cool air, and keep furniture and clothing off floor registers to ensure unimpeded airflow.

For more information, contact Dowe & Wagner, a full-service heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company based in Richmond at (815) 678-3000, or visit

www.doweandwagner.com

 


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Northwest Herald 2017 Preseason All-Area Football TeamOffense: QB - Samson Evans, Prairie Ridge, Sr.RB-Brian Niemaszek, Marian Central, Sr.RB - Loren Strickland, Jacobs, Sr.WR - Braden Crowley, McHenry, Jr.WR - Nico LoDolce, Johnsburg, Sr. WR - Cameron Fleury, Hampshire, Sr.OL - Wyatt Blake, Crystal Lake Central, Sr.OL - Jimmy Wormsley, Jacobs, Sr.OL - Jeff Jenkins, Prairie Ridge, Sr.OL - Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South, Jr.OL - Addison West, Cary-Grove, Jr.K-P – Adam Jayko, Johnsburg, Sr.Defense: DB - Max Skol, Cary-Grove, Sr.DB - Adam Jayko, Johnsburg, Sr. DB - Nicco Lorenzo, McHenry, Sr.DB - Tyler Koss, Huntley, Sr.LB - Steve Pinter, Marian Central, Sr.LB - Kyle Leva, Crystal Lake South, Sr.LB - Joe Perhats, Prairie Ridge, Sr.LB - Jacob Ommen, Prairie Ridge, Sr.DL - Cade Keenan, Crystal Lake Central, Sr.DL - Eric Schutt, Jacobs, Sr.DL - Geoffrey Cagle, McHenry, Sr.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:59:00 GMT

Our Preseason All-Area football team is here, check it out.

Offense: QB - Samson Evans, Prairie Ridge, Sr.RB-Brian Niemaszek, Marian Central, Sr.RB - Loren Strickland, Jacobs, Sr.WR - Braden Crowley, McHenry, Jr.WR - Nico LoDolce, Johnsburg, Sr. WR - Cameron Fleury, Hampshire, Sr.OL - Wyatt Blake, Crystal Lake Central, Sr.OL - Jimmy Wormsley, Jacobs, Sr.OL - Jeff Jenkins, Prairie Ridge, Sr.OL - Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South, Jr.OL - Addison West, Cary-Grove, Jr.K-P – Adam Jayko, Johnsburg, Sr.Defense: DB - Max Skol, Cary-Grove, Sr.DB - Adam Jayko, Johnsburg, Sr. DB - Nicco Lorenzo, McHenry, Sr.DB - Tyler Koss, Huntley, Sr.LB - Steve Pinter, Marian Central, Sr.LB - Kyle Leva, Crystal Lake South, Sr.LB - Joe Perhats, Prairie Ridge, Sr.LB - Jacob Ommen, Prairie Ridge, Sr.DL - Cade Keenan, Crystal Lake Central, Sr.DL - Eric Schutt, Jacobs, Sr.DL - Geoffrey Cagle, McHenry, Sr.


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Woodstock commercial fire results in $100,000 in damageFirefighters battle a fire in a small commercial structure in the 1000 block of Lake Avenue in Woodstock early Wednesday morning. The blaze cost an estimated $100,000 in damage.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 16:03:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK — An overnight fire in a small commercial structure next to Niko's Red Mill Tavern in Woodstock caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.

Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday to the 1000 block of Lake Avenue in Woodstock for a report of a fire in a building next to Niko’s Red Mill Tavern, 1040 Lake Ave., according to a news release from the district. When firefighters arrived, they found flames showing from a small commercial structure.

Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes but spent roughly two hours checking for and extinguishing "hidden fires" and investigating. An investigation is ongoing but the cause of the blaze does not appear to be suspicious, according to the release.

Woodstock Fire Captain Scott Nieman would not elaborate on why it appears that way.

No one was injured, and the initial cost estimate of damage is $100,000.

Emergency responders from Huntley, Harvard, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Marengo, Nunda Township and Union assisted both at the scene and in covering Woodstock's stations during the fire, Nieman said.

Firefighters battle a fire in a small commercial structure in the 1000 block of Lake Avenue in Woodstock early Wednesday morning. The blaze cost an estimated $100,000 in damage.


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High school football podcast: Week 1 breakdown, who did we pick to win?Prairie Ridge head coach Chris Schremp addresses his team during practice Friday July 14, 2017 in Prairie Grove. The Wolves are defending Class 6A State Champions.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:28:35 GMT

Finally, Week 1 of the high school football season is here. And the Northwest Herald high school football podcast is here to break it all down for you.

In our first game-by-game breakdown of the season, sports editor Kyle Nabors, senior sports reporter Joe Stevenson and sports reporter Sean Hammond go through each game for McHenry County's high school football teams.

Who did they pick to win?

And what about the preseason all-area team?

Listen to the podcast to find out, and subscribe here.

Prairie Ridge head coach Chris Schremp addresses his team during practice Friday July 14, 2017 in Prairie Grove. The Wolves are defending Class 6A State Champions.


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McDonald's to close 169 outlets in India in franchise battleAP photo A stray dog sleeps at the entrance to a partially closed McDonald's outlet Tuesday in New Delhi, India. McDonald's India has announced it will close 169 McDonald's outlets in northern and eastern India after the American fast food giant decided to terminate a franchise agreement with its Indian partner.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:53:00 GMT

NEW DELHI – McDonald’s India has announced it will close nearly 170 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India after the American fast-food giant decided to terminate a franchise agreement with its Indian partner.

McDonald’s said its partner Connaught Plaza Restaurants violated the terms of the franchise agreement, including reneging on payment of royalties.

Connaught Plaza Restaurants, which runs 169 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India, said Tuesday that it is considering legal action in the long-drawn legal battle. In June, it shut 43 McDonald’s outlets in the capital, New Delhi, after it failed to renew their licenses.

McDonald’s said its Indian partner would have to “cease using the McDonald’s name, trademarks, designs, branding, operational and marketing practice and policies” within 15 days of the termination notice.

The decision to close nearly a third of the 430 McDonald’s outlets in India creates a challenge for the company, disrupting operations in the world’s second most populous country.

Vikram Bakshi, the managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants, described the McDonald’s decision as “mindless and ill-advised.”

“Appropriate legal remedies that are available under law are being explored,” Bakshi said in a statement.

McDonald’s said it is looking for a new partner to work with in north India. McDonald’s franchises in southern and western India are run by a separate company.

AP photo A stray dog sleeps at the entrance to a partially closed McDonald's outlet Tuesday in New Delhi, India. McDonald's India has announced it will close 169 McDonald's outlets in northern and eastern India after the American fast food giant decided to terminate a franchise agreement with its Indian partner.


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Man critically injured in Fox Lake motorcycle crash

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:48:00 GMT

FOX LAKE – A 27-year-old man is in critical condition after a motorcycle crash in Fox Lake.

The crash shut down State Park and Grass Lake roads about 5 p.m. Tuesday and backed up traffic in the area. The road reopened about 8:50 p.m.

Officials called Flight for Life, but the man was transported to an area hospital by ambulance with critical injuries before the helicopter landed, fire officials said Tuesday night.

Fox Lake Fire Protection District officials said they responded to the scene along with Spring Grove Fire Protection District officials Tuesday. The Fox Lake Police Department and the McHenry County Major Crash Accident Team are investigating the incident.

Fox Lake police could not immediately be reached for more information Tuesday night.

– Northwest Herald


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McHenry County Community Foundation distributes nearly $330,000 in grants to 34 nonprofitsElizabeth Heneks, vice president of program services for Home of the Sparrow, greets Suzanne Hoban (left), executive director of the Family Health Partnership Clinic, after a McHenry County Community Foundation luncheon. Home of the Sparrow and Family Health Partnership Clinic were among 34 nonprofits that shared in nearly $330,000 in grants distributed Tuesday. At right is Debbie DeGraw, vice president of marketing and development for Home of the Sparrow.McHenry County Community Foundation board member Barbara Oughton hugs donor Kent Cooney on Tuesday at the Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills before the MCCF health and human services grant awards luncheon.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:48:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The McHenry County Community Foundation distributed nearly $330,000 in grants to representatives of 34 nonprofit agencies Tuesday during a luncheon in Lake in the Hills. The amount brought the total that the 16-year-old organization has distributed this fiscal year – which, for the foundation, ends Sept. 30 – to $1.7 million, executive director Robin Doeden said. “What brought us here today is the culmination of a lot of time and a lot of work, resulting in more than 60 grant requests in this particular cycle,” Doeden said to the crowd of recipients and donors gathered at Boulder Ridge Country Club. “Today, we have the pleasure of distributing grant checks to 34 organizations.” Top-dollar recipients included the Adult & Child Rehabilitation Center for McHenry County. The Woodstock-based agency garnered $20,000 for its Birth to Three program providing speech, physical and occupational therapies to children younger than 3 who have physical and developmental delays, disabilities and other conditions. Also in the high-dollar category was Family Health Partnership Clinic, with a $15,000 grant awarded for the clinic’s “Breaking Down Barriers” program. The project provides primary health care to homeless people who attend the PADS day shelter in Woodstock. The Northern Illinois Food Bank earned two grants, one for $25,000 that was partially funded by the Dooley Family Fund, and another for $20,580 for supporting and expanding the Milk2MyPlate Program. The latter will put more fresh milk on the tables of more McHenry County residents and will fund refrigerators so that the Grafton Food Pantry can join the program. Doeden said the $1.7 million that the foundation has distributed this fiscal year is the highest amount in MCCF history. Money distributed earlier this year, in March, went to arts, education and environmental causes. The August allocation is reserved for health- and human services-related entities. Other grants also are made throughout the year. Doeden thanked donors for making the foundation part of their charitable giving. “The need grows every year,” she said, adding that the foundation’s assets also have risen considerably in recent years. The MCCF currently manages about $32 million in 50 different funds, she said. That’s up from $11 million five years ago. Money comes from individual giving plans, endowments and corporate charitable arms. Among ways individuals can get involved is the Give 360 program, an opportunity to become a philanthropist for less than $1 a day by giving $360 a year and then voting for favorite charities. Among the key donors in attendance Tuesday was Kent Cooney, son of the late Karlen Cooney, part of the James and Karlen Cooney Family Fund. “The work they do is incredible,” Kent Cooney said of the McHenry County Community Foundation, which is an affiliate of the Chicago Community Trust. “The foundation does the research for you and gives you the ability to connect with agencies you might never connect with on your own.” Other grant recipients included: Northern Illinois Center for Autism (two grants totaling $13,084); Big Brot[...]


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McHenry County's first County Administrator Bill Morefield diesBill Morefield began working for McHenry County government in 1969 when he became Administrator for the Valley Hi Nursing Home in 1969. He became McHenry County’s first administrator, according to his obituary. He died Saturday at age 80.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:48:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – McHenry County’s first county administrator, Bill Morefield, has died after fighting a decades-long battle with cancer.

Morefield, 80, is survived by his wife, Judy Morefield, three children – Kathryn Blanks, Cindy Thomson and Derik Morefield – along with grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Morefield began working for McHenry County government in 1969 when he became administrator for Valley Hi Nursing Home.

He started as the first McHenry County administrator in 1986, according to Northwest Herald archives.

Morefield’s son and current McHenry City Administrator Derik Morefield said he recalled living on the nursing home grounds during those years and seeing his dad “in action.”

“I was able to see his compassion for the residents and staff, and see his leadership,” he said. “He never pestered me to get into public service, but seeing him as a role model and his work in public service must have had an impact on me because I ended up in the field.”

After Morefield’s retirement in 1993, he served on boards and committees for the Easter Seals of McHenry County, McHenry County College, McHenry County Fair Board, Northern Illinois University and the Woodstock High School Backers Club.

Derik Morefield described his father as someone who prioritized relationships over everything else.

“His greatest reward was the network of family and associates he had built up,” Morefield said. “He didn’t need money, or fancy cars, or a fancy house or anything else.”

A note Derik Morefield wrote on his Facebook page garnered nearly 150 condolence responses filled with happy memories of Bill Morefield, who died Saturday.

A celebration of life service and luncheon will be Sept. 9 at Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, 8505 Church St. Pastor John Dillon will be officiating. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and will be followed immediately by the luncheon in the church’s fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, Bill Morefield has requested that memorial donations be made in honor of Hope Fuller and Bill Morefield to the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, ATTN: Dr. Stewart Goldman, Pediatric Brain Tumor Program, 225 E. Chicago Ave., Box 4, Chicago, IL 60611.

Bill Morefield began working for McHenry County government in 1969 when he became Administrator for the Valley Hi Nursing Home in 1969. He became McHenry County’s first administrator, according to his obituary. He died Saturday at age 80.


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Lakewood man indicted on fraud charges by federal grand jury

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:48:00 GMT

LAKEWOOD – A Lakewood man was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on fraud charges.

Valentino Valeriu Agignoae, 50, was charged with two counts of wire fraud, one count of stealing Social Security disability insurance funds and four counts of making false statements or concealing facts with the intent to fraudulently secure Social Security benefit payments.

According to the indictment, Agignoae began receiving the benefits in 1996 via direct deposit despite working as a manager at Valentino’s Club Café in Chicago. It’s alleged that he obtained a total of $157,503 in disability insurance payments from the Social Security Administration because he concealed these facts from the government.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison; stealing disability insurance funds carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 10 years in prison; and each count of making a false statement or concealing facts for use by the Social Security Administration in determining rights to Social Security disability insurance benefits payments carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison.

Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000 and full restitution. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Agignoae will appear for arraignment in Rockford before U.S. Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnston on a date yet to be determined.




McHenry County man's body found on Harvard concrete supplier property

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:32:00 GMT

HARVARD – A 29-year-old rural Woodstock man who had been reported missing was found dead Sunday on a Harvard concrete supply company’s property, police said.

“It appears to be an overdose at this point,” Harvard Police Chief Mark Krause said Tuesday afternoon. “We don’t have anything that leads us to believe that we have anything beyond that.” 

The man was first reported missing Saturday afternoon when Harvard police were called about 3:30 p.m. to the Harvard Walmart Supercenter, 21101 McGuire Road, for a report of a suspicious vehicle, Krause said.

After contacting the owner of the vehicle, police filed a missing persons report, Krause said. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office also used a K-9 unit to search the car.

Police found the 29-year-old man about 1 p.m. Sunday at the property of concrete and building material supplier Ozinga Bros. Inc., 20806 McGuire Road, Krause said. He would not say who found the body and notified police.

He said the circumstances surrounding the incident and preliminary investigation led police to the conclusion that a drug overdose appeared to be the cause of death, but Krause would not specify the circumstances.

The body was taken to the McHenry County Coroner’s Office, and an autopsy was performed Monday afternoon. Krause said the investigation will not be closed until the autopsy report is completed, but he said foul play is not suspected.

A spokesperson for the coroner’s office would not provide any additional information about a preliminary cause of death Tuesday afternoon.


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Ex-Lake in the Hills village president found guilty of domestic batteryPaul J. Mulcahy, 65

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:26:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge found ex-Lake in the Hills Village President Paul Mulcahy guilty of domestic battery after prosecutors said he threw his then-girlfriend out of his house and dragged her down a flight of stairs.

Mulcahy, 65, was found guilty Monday of two counts of domestic battery, but was acquitted on additional counts of the misdemeanor charge. Convictions on those charges would not have increased Mulcahy’s sentence.

Mulcahy, who took the stand on his own behalf, said he drank three beers Nov. 6 over a six-hour period and his then-girlfriend had four double-vodka drinks and a glass of wine, said Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs, one of the prosecutors on the case.

Mulcahy said the woman he had dated for about two years was verbally abusive and the two had broken up before they decided to meet for dinner. Mulcahy claimed that she asked him to take her back Nov. 5, Combs said.

After they went out for dinner and drinks, the two argued when they returned to his home, prosecutors said. Mulcahy said he told her she had to leave or get a ride, but she became upset and continued to text, call and ring the doorbell, Combs said.

Combs said Mulcahy testified that the woman entered his home through a window and was sleeping in a spare bedroom. Mulcahy again asked the woman to leave and when she did not, he pulled her down the stairs.

Police were called and Mulcahy was arrested and charged with several counts of domestic battery. Police testified that the woman was upset and had abrasions on her back from her shoulder blades down her back, Combs said. She was found outside the home in a tank top and underwear, he said.

Judge Michael Feetterer said Mulcahy was not justified in the force he used to remove the woman from his home, Combs said.

Mulcahy, who had been village president since 2013, lost a re-election bid in the spring to Russ Ruzanski.

He and his defense lawyer did not return requests for comment Tuesday.

He will be sentenced Aug. 28. He faces probation or up to one year in jail.

Paul J. Mulcahy, 65


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Marengo hosts open house for $36M Route 23, I-90 interchange projectH. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com The Illinois Tollway is reconstructing and widening the Route 23 bridge across the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Marengo.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:18:00 GMT

MARENGO – Plans for the proposed interchange at Route 23 and Interstate 90 are progressing as planned as engineers work to realize the county’s first entryway onto the tollway.

Marengo hosted an open house Tuesday for residents to view plans for the proposed interchange and roundabout planned at Route 23 and I-90. The $36 million project is planned by the Illinois Department of Transportation, McHenry County, Marengo and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

The project will fall on the heels of the IDOT completion of a $9 million reconstruction of the bridge that runs over the tollway, which made the project more realistic to complete.

“It’s almost a no-brainer. It’s the perfect time to do this,” Marengo Mayor John Koziol said. “Now was just the perfect storm.”

The project is expected to trigger an economic effect of more than $1 billion for McHenry County. If industrial potential is realized, between 900 and about 3,500 jobs could come to the Marengo area, according to a study by the McHenry County Economic Development Corp.

The roundabout design that drivers must navigate while getting on and off the highway concerned Riley Township resident Adam Olsen.

“I’ve been through quite a few of them in other states, and they are still a pain,” he said. “Whether it’s just because you’re used to them the other way, I’m not sure. … It’s a concern.”

Roundabouts have been shown to reduce fatal crashes, and although the different configurations take some getting used to, the mayor said that he was confident residents would get used to the new design.

“With a lot of people, it’s just the unfamiliarity,” Koziol said. “It’s new to Illinois in general. … I think once people get used to it, [they will] realize they are not that difficult to maneuver.”

The project is set to begin construction by spring 2019 and should be complete by fall 2020, said project manager Jeff Pisha of HR Green, the engineering company on the project.

From there, economic development will be the benefit, Pisha said.

“So far, everything is on track,” Pisha said. “The big thing is this is the only opportunity in McHenry County to provide direct access to the tollway. It’s a benefit to the county from a regional standpoint. We are looking at generating industrial industry in the area.”

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


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Italian boy credited with helping save brother after quakeRescuers pull out 7-month boy Pasquale from the rubble of a collapsed building in Casamicciola, on the island of Ischia, near Naples, Italy, a day after a 4.0-magnitude quake hit the Italian resort island, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017.Hospital officials on the Italian resort island of Ischia say that three brothers rescued from the rubble of their home after a 4.0-magnitude quake are all in good condition. (ANSA via AP)

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:15:00 GMT

MILAN – An Italian family of five was “reborn” after all three children buried in the rubble of their home by a 4.0-magnitude quake were pulled to safety Tuesday in a painstaking 16-hour rescue operation on the popular Mediterranean resort island of Ischia. The Toscano family’s happy ending brought cheers from the dozens of firefighters who worked through the night to extricate the two boys and their infant brother, trapped alone for hours after their father was rescued and their pregnant mother managed to free herself from their collapsed apartment in the hard-hit town of Casamicciola. “I don’t know how to define it if not a miracle,” the boys’ grandmother, Erasma De Simone, said after the family was reunited at a hospital. “We were all dead, and we are reborn.” Although relatively minor in magnitude, the quake Monday night killed two people, injured 39 others and displaced some 2,600 people in Casamicciola and the neighboring town of Lacco Ameno on the northern end of the island. The damage in Ischia focused attention on two recurring themes in quake-prone Italy: seismically outdated old buildings and illegal new construction with shoddy materials. One woman was killed by falling masonry from a church that had suffered damage in a quake centered in Casamicciola in 1883 that killed more than 2,000 people. Another died in the same apartment complex where the family was saved. Rescuers hailed the courage of the older boys, who spent 14 and 16 hours, respectively, waiting to be freed, talking with firefighters all the while, eventually receiving water and a flashlight. One official credited the older boy, 11-year-old Ciro, with helping save his 8-year-old brother, Mattias, by pushing him out of harm’s way under a bed. The boys’ grandmother described Ciro as shaken by the ordeal. While Mattias was scared, he also “was sorry because he lost the money in his piggy bank, and lost his toys,” she told the ANSA news agency. When the quake struck just before 9 p.m. Monday, the boys’ father, Alessandro Toscano, said he was in the kitchen while his wife, Alessia, was in the bathroom and his two older sons in their bedroom. His wife managed to free herself through the bathroom window, Toscano told RAI state television, while he was rescued soon afterward by firefighters. But the three boys remained trapped when the upper story of the building collapsed. In their bedroom, 11-year-old Ciro pushed Mattias under the bed. “The gesture surely saved them both,” said Andrea Gentile of the Italian police. “Then with the handle of a broom he knocked against the rubble, making them heard by rescuers.” The baby, 7-month-old Pasquale, was in the kitchen in a playpen, and the first to be rescued around 4 a.m., seven hours after the quake struck. He cried as rescuers passed him to safety, but looked alert in his still-white onesie. Firefighters said reaching the two older boys was more delicate, requiring them to create a hole in the collapsed ceiling without destabiliz[...]


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Critics: Pardon would nix chance to hold Arpaio accountableFILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of metro Phoenix, at a campaign event in Marshalltown, Iowa. Trump was just a few weeks into his candidacy in 2015 when came to Phoenix for a speech that ended up being a bigger moment in his campaign than most people realized at the time. And now Trump is coming back to Arizona at another crucial moment in his presidency. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:15:00 GMT

PHOENIX – Gary Donahoe learned firsthand the consequences of crossing Sheriff Joe Arpaio when the lawman was still one of Arizona’s most powerful politicians. Arpaio was launching criminal investigations against county officials eight years ago because he was upset at them over budget cuts and opposed the county’s plan to build a new courthouse building. Donahoe – at the time a judge who ruled against Arpaio in the fight – got charged with bribery. The case was later thrown out, but he said his reputation was ruined. Now that President Donald Trump is considering pardoning Arpaio’s conviction for disobeying another judge’s order in an immigration case, Donahoe fears the lawman is going to wiggle out of his legal troubles yet again. “It looks like he’s going to walk away from it without any repercussions,” Donahoe said. Critics said a pardon would remove the last chance the community has to finally call Arpaio into account for a litany of misconduct over his 24 years as sheriff. They cited Arpaio’s investigations of his legal and political foes, a racial profiling case that led to his criminal conviction and his failure to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases. Here is a look at some of Arpaio’s legal issues over the years: Investigating foes Arpaio has a reputation for investigating officials who cross him in legal or political disputes. Maricopa County paid $8.7 million to settle lawsuits filed by county officials who claimed Arpaio had launched criminal investigations against them on trumped-up allegations. The disputes centered on cuts to agency budgets, a plan to build a new court complex and other issues. Donahoe, who in the end won a $1.2 million settlement, drew the sheriff’s ire by disqualifying a prosecutor who was an Arpaio ally from an investigation into the construction of a court building in downtown Phoenix. Donahoe and two county officials were charged with crimes, but their cases were dismissed. Racial profiling Arpaio was convicted in July of misdemeanor contempt of court for disobeying a judge’s order to stop his immigration patrols that targeted immigrants. The conviction stems from a civil rights case in which Arpaio’s officers were found to have racially profiled Latinos in his patrols. Arpaio faced many other allegations of wrongdoing in the profiling case that didn’t result in criminal charges. He was accused of ordering some immigration patrols not based on reports of crime but rather on letters from Arizonans who complained about people with dark skin congregating in an area or speaking Spanish. Botched investigations Arpaio spent years trying to cultivate an image as a law enforcer who was tough on criminals. But that reputation was undermined when his office failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases[...]


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Officials say Trump's Afghan plan involves 3,900 more troopsFILE - In this Dec. 2, 2009 file photo, U.S. soldiers stand guard near the site where Afghans, unseen, receive the food stuff donations provided by U.S. solders in Kabul, Afghanistan. Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, U.S. President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan Monday night, Aug. 21, 2017, declaring U.S. troops must "fight to win." He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops will be dispatched to wage America's longest war. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq, File)

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:14:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s plan to end America’s longest war and eliminate Afghanistan’s rising extremist threat involves sending up to 3,900 additional U.S. troops, senior officials said Tuesday. The first deployments could take place within days. In a national address Monday night, Trump reversed his past calls for a speedy exit and recommitted the U.S. to the 16-year-old conflict, saying U.S. troops must “fight to win.” He warned against repeating what he said were mistakes in Iraq, where an American military withdrawal led to a vacuum that the Islamic State group quickly filled. Trump would not confirm how many more service members he plans to send to Afghanistan, which may be the public’s most pressing question about his strategy. In interviews with TV networks Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence similarly wouldn’t give any clear answer, but he cited Pentagon plans from June calling for 3,900 more troops. “The troop levels are significant, and we’ll listen to our military commanders about that,” Pence said. Although the Pentagon’s plans are based on 3,900 additional troops, the exact number will vary as conditions change, senior U.S. officials said. Those officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the figures and demanded anonymity. They said the Pentagon has told Trump that it needs the increase, on top of the roughly 8,400 Americans now in the country, to accomplish Trump’s objectives. Those goals, he said Monday night, include “obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaida, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.” Speaking to reporters in Iraq, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declined to confirm a precise number Tuesday, saying he was waiting for more input from Gen. Joseph Dunford, America’s top military official. Mattis said he will “reorganize” some U.S. troops in Afghanistan to reflect the new strategy. Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East said he expects the first reinforcements to arrive “pretty quickly,” within days or weeks. “What’s most important for us now is to get some capabilities in to have an impact on the current fighting season,” Gen. Joseph Votel, who spent last weekend in Afghanistan, told reporters traveling with him to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. Most of the new forces will train and advise Afghan forces to improve their combat abilities, or provide security for American adviser teams in the field, Votel said. U.S. counterterror forces will make up a smaller portion, as will other support forces and medical personnel. About 460 of the total troops will help the U.S. train more Afghan special commandos in more locations, said U.S. Maj. Gen. James Linder, commander of U.S. and NATO special operations forces in Afghanistan. Before he was a presidential candidate, Trump argued for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan and called the war a massive waste of U.S. “blood and treasure.”[...]


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U.S. says some remains of sailors found on USS John McCainCommander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Scott Swift answers questions during a press conference with the USS John S. McCain and USS America docked in the background at Singapore's Changi naval base on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Singapore. The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted Tuesday to the damaged destroyer's flooded compartments. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:14:00 GMT

SINGAPORE – Navy divers searching a flooded compartment of the USS John S. McCain found remains of some of the 10 sailors missing in a collision between the warship and an oil tanker, the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander said Tuesday as he promised a full investigation. Adm. Scott Swift also said at a news conference in Singapore, where the McCain is now docked, that Malaysian officials had found one body, but it had yet to be identified and it was unknown whether it was a crew member. The collision before dawn Monday near Singapore tore a gaping hole in the McCain’s left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments including crew berths and machinery and communication rooms. Five sailors were injured. “The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search today,” Swift said, adding that it was “premature to say how many and what the status of recovery of those bodies is.” “We will continue the search and rescue operations until the probability of discovering sailors is exhausted,” Swift said. He would not say where in the destroyer the bodies were found. It was the second major collision in two months involving the Pacific-based 7th Fleet, and the Navy has ordered a broad investigation into its performance and readiness. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan. There were two lesser-known incidents in the first half of the year. In January, the USS Antietam guided missile cruiser ran aground near Yokosuka base, the home port of the 7th Fleet, and in May another cruiser, the USS Lake Champlain from the Navy’s 3rd Fleet, had a minor collision with a South Korean fishing boat. “While each of these four incidents is unique, they cannot be viewed in isolation,” Swift said. He said the Navy would conduct an investigation “to find out if there is a common cause ... and if so, how do we solve that.” He said he had heard some reports speculating that the Navy could have been a victim of a cyberattack. “We’ve seen no indications of that as yet, but ... we are not taking any consideration off the table,” he said. Earlier Tuesday, the 7th Fleet said the sea search by aircraft and ships from the U.S., Singapore and Malaysian navies would continue east of Singapore where the McCain and the tanker collided. Megan Partlow of Ohio, who said her fiance was on board the McCain, told The Associated Press in a Facebook message that they last communicated on Sunday and she was losing hope of seeing him again. “My last text to him was ‘be safe,’ which is the same way we end every conversation. I’m just ready for answers,” she said. The identities of the missing have not been disclosed, but Partlow said her fiance’s parents were in touch with the Navy’s family assistance center. April Brandon of Michigan said her son, Ken Smith, 22, is among the missing sai[...]


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Cary residents worry plans for multifamily housing on former Maplewood school property are too dense

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:08:00 GMT

CARY – A special meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the former Maplewood school property had Cary residents and village trustees asking themselves what kind of village Cary should be. Some residents said they enjoy the small-town, open-space feel in Cary, and worried that a proposal to bring what some called a high-density, multifamily housing development to the site, 422 W. Krenz Ave., wouldn’t fit. More than 40 residents came to the meeting Tuesday, and most of those who spoke during public comment opposed the new concept, citing concerns with the density of the project, parking, traffic and construction. Three people in the audience said that they liked the concept. “Change is always difficult. We’ve developed a culture in that area, and we don’t want to see that lost,” said Mike Boyce of Cary. “Our village was born on single-family ideas. I understand the tax issues and how much we need that ... but I don’t think anyone wants to see commercial in this residential area. ... I don’t want to see one more car going down my street because of this development.” Developer Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One LLC presented preliminary plans for the property, allowing the board to provide feedback on the concept ideas before development drawings are completed. Cary School District 26 shuttered the school in 2010 because of declining enrollment. Built in 1929, the 42,000-square-foot facility was one of the district’s oldest. The school board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement with Central One LLC for the property in July after putting it up to bid for the third time since the school had been vacant.   The 15-acre site sits close to Cary’s downtown and is surrounded by single-family residential homes. Many homeowners spoke out against Taylor’s concept, which includes multistory apartment complexes along the Metra railroad tracks, detached single-family condominiums and open park space. Taylor said he was inspired to transform the property after seeing the nearby public transportation and opportunity for mixed-use development. “The product I built for 30 to 50 years is antiquated,” he said. “People are looking for smaller homes, and smaller lots and are tired of maintaining. ... Ownership isn’t as popular as it was 20 to 30 years ago. Everybody wants to rent.” But Cary residents voiced concern ranging from increased traffic on Cary-Algonquin Road, the effect on water retention ponds and the desire to keep open spaces for a playground and fields for athletic games. Christy Wagner of Cary has lived in the Maplewood area for 30 years and asked for open space. “Once those fields are dug up and cement poured, we have lost a local treasure,” she said. “Think how many times all of us have been to games in those fields. ... This is a very emotional issue for all of us in the Maplewood area.” Although Taylor did not have a[...]



Cary residents worry plans for multifamily housing on former Maplewood school property are too denseSome residents said they enjoy the small-town, open-space feel in Cary, and worried that a proposal to bring what some called a high-density, multifamily housing development to the site, 422 W. Krenz Ave., wouldn't fit. More than 40 residents came to the meeting Tuesday, and most of those who spoke during public comment opposed the new concept, citing concerns with the density of the project, parking, traffic and construction. Three people in the audience said that they liked the concept. “Change is always difficult. We’ve developed a culture in that area, and we don’t want to see that lost,” said Mike Boyce of Cary. “Our village was born on single-family ideas. I understand the tax issues and how much we need that ... but I don’t think anyone wants to see commercial in this residential area. ... I don’t want to see one more car going down my street because of this development.”Developer Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One LLC presented preliminary plans for the property, allowing the board to provide feedback on the concept ideas before development drawings are completed. Cary School District 26 shuttered the school in 2010 because of declining enrollment. Built in 1929, the 42,000-square-foot facility was one of the district’s oldest. The school board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement with Central One LLC for the property in July after putting it up to bid for the third time since the school had been vacant. The 15-acre site sits close to Cary’s downtown and is surrounded by single-family residential homes. Many homeowners spoke out against Taylor’s concept, which includes multistory apartment complexes along the Metra railroad tracks, detached single-family condominiums and open park space.Taylor said he was inspired to transform the property after seeing the nearby public transportation and opportunity for mixed-use development. “The product I built for 30 to 50 years is antiquated,” he said. “People are looking for smaller homes, and smaller lots and are tired of maintaining. ... Ownership isn’t as popular as it was 20 to 30 years ago. Everybody wants to rent.” But Cary residents voiced concern ranging from increased traffic on Cary-Algonquin Road, the effect on water retention ponds and the desire to keep open spaces for a playground and fields for athletic games.Christy Wagner of Cary has lived in the Maplewood area for 30 years and asked for open space. “Once those fields are dug up and cement poured, we have lost a local treasure,” she said. “Think how many times all of us have been to games in those fields. ... This is a very emotional issue for all of us in the Maplewood area.” Although Taylor did not have an estimate yet to how many people would live in the space, residents worried about “high-density housing,” creating an overflow of traffic into the neighborhood streets and raising questions over whether Briargate Elementary could take in more students. “A lot of residents love that Cary is a small-town feeling and they worry that with hundreds of residents coming in, they will lose that small-town feel,” Trustee Jennifer Weinhammer said.Trustee Kimberly Covelli said she would like to see retail added into the space, such as businesses on the ground floor of apartments. Trustee Jeffery Kraus said he would like to explore rehabbing the auditorium of the Maplewood school to be used as an anchor-point for the community to host performances and community events. Taylor worked off the village’s comprehensive plan, approved in 2015, and said he would take all residents' comments into consideration. He hopes to come back to the board with his concept plan within the next 30 days. Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect a quote from Jennifer Weinhammer.

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:08:00 GMT

CARY – A special meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the former Maplewood school property had Cary residents and village trustees asking themselves what kind of village Cary should be. Some residents said they enjoy the small-town, open-space feel in Cary, and worried that a proposal to bring what some called a high-density, multifamily housing development to the site, 422 W. Krenz Ave., wouldn't fit. More than 40 residents came to the meeting Tuesday, and most of those who spoke during public comment opposed the new concept, citing concerns with the density of the project, parking, traffic and construction. Three people in the audience said that they liked the concept. “Change is always difficult. We’ve developed a culture in that area, and we don’t want to see that lost,” said Mike Boyce of Cary. “Our village was born on single-family ideas. I understand the tax issues and how much we need that ... but I don’t think anyone wants to see commercial in this residential area. ... I don’t want to see one more car going down my street because of this development.”Developer Patrick Taylor of Barrington-based Central One LLC presented preliminary plans for the property, allowing the board to provide feedback on the concept ideas before development drawings are completed. Cary School District 26 shuttered the school in 2010 because of declining enrollment. Built in 1929, the 42,000-square-foot facility was one of the district’s oldest. The school board approved a $2.5 million purchase agreement with Central One LLC for the property in July after putting it up to bid for the third time since the school had been vacant. The 15-acre site sits close to Cary’s downtown and is surrounded by single-family residential homes. Many homeowners spoke out against Taylor’s concept, which includes multistory apartment complexes along the Metra railroad tracks, detached single-family condominiums and open park space.Taylor said he was inspired to transform the property after seeing the nearby public transportation and opportunity for mixed-use development. “The product I built for 30 to 50 years is antiquated,” he said. “People are looking for smaller homes, and smaller lots and are tired of maintaining. ... Ownership isn’t as popular as it was 20 to 30 years ago. Everybody wants to rent.” But Cary residents voiced concern ranging from increased traffic on Cary-Algonquin Road, the effect on water retention ponds and the desire to keep open spaces for a playground and fields for athletic games.Christy Wagner of Cary has lived in the Maplewood area for 30 years and asked for open space. “Once those fields are dug up and cement poured, we have lost a local treasure,” she said. “Think how many times all of us have been to games in those fields. ... This is a very emotional issue for all of us in the Maplewood area.” Although Taylor did not have an estimate yet to how many people would live in the space, residents worried about “high-density housing,” creating an overflow of traffic into the neighborhood streets and raising questions over whether Briargate Elementary could take in more students. “A lot [...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 16:06:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Trying to recapture the Republican fervor that helped put him in office, President Donald Trump travels to Arizona on Tuesday to visit the nation's southern border and to rally thousands of supporters in a state where he's trashed both Republican senators. The two-day trip, which also includes a stop in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday to speak to veterans at an American Legion conference, marks his farthest journey west since taking office in January. It comes at a politically turbulent time for the president. On Monday night, he addressed the nation about his decision to maintain a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, an action at odds with his repeated promises on the campaign trail to end the country's longest war. And last week he touched off a firestorm by saying that "both sides" were to blame for violence that erupted at a rally organized by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump's planned events could help stoke a base of voters who oppose his move on Afghanistan and the recent White House departure of Steve Bannon. The chief strategist had made it his mission to remind Trump of what his most fervent supporters want from his presidency, and some conservative strategists have openly worried that without Bannon around Trump will be too influenced by more traditional Republicans — such as on Afghanistan policy. Trump is scheduled to tour a Marine Corps base along the U.S.-Mexico border, watch demonstrations of U.S. Customs drones, a boat and a truck, and meet with Marines. While at the Marine Corps facility, Trump can renew his vow to build a wall and highlight other tougher immigration policies, a favorite among his supporters. Later, his political rally in Phoenix provides the atmospherics of the campaign trail itself. This will be Trump's eighth political rally since taking office. His 2020 re-election campaign pays for and organizes the events, carefully screening attendees. Democratic leaders and other Trump opponents plan protests and marches outside the rally to decry his immigration policies and his comments about Charlottesville. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton had implored the president to postpone the rally to allow time for the country to heal after Charlottesville. Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday on Fox News Channel that Trump will be "completely focused" on his agenda for the country. "But he's also going to call on the Congress to get ready to come back when they arrive on Sept. 5th and go straight to work to make America safe again, make America prosperous again, and in his words to make America great again," said the vice president, who was flying separately to Phoenix to introduce Trump at the rally. Gov. Doug Ducey, a Trump supporter, will greet Trump as he arrives in Phoenix but will not attend the rally to focus on safety needs, his spokesman said. Neither Sens Jeff Flake nor Sen. John McCain, who is undergoing cancer treatment, will join Trump at hi[...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:58:00 GMT

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

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


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Crystal Lake home a 'total loss' after fireCrystal Lake firefighters responded to a report of a residential fire at 308 Valhalla Cir. at 8:50 p.m. with an occupant still inside the building Monday night, according to a news release from the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department. When emergency responders arrived, they found the person was safely outside the home.Smoke and flames were coming from the residence around 8:56 p.m., and firefighters worked to contain the blaze to the single structure. The home was deemed a "total loss" after responders extinguished the flames. According to the release, the estimated cost of damage to the building and its contents is $250,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe it might have started near a wall outlet in the home's living room.One resident was transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation, and no firefighters were injured. Units from Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, Cary Fire Protection District and Woodstock Fire Rescue District either assisted Crystal Lake firefighters at the scene or covered their station while they were fighting the blaze.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:57:00 GMT

A home was completely destroyed after it caught fire Monday night in Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake firefighters responded to a report of a residential fire at 308 Valhalla Cir. at 8:50 p.m. with an occupant still inside the building Monday night, according to a news release from the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department. When emergency responders arrived, they found the person was safely outside the home.Smoke and flames were coming from the residence around 8:56 p.m., and firefighters worked to contain the blaze to the single structure. The home was deemed a "total loss" after responders extinguished the flames. According to the release, the estimated cost of damage to the building and its contents is $250,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe it might have started near a wall outlet in the home's living room.One resident was transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation, and no firefighters were injured. Units from Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, Cary Fire Protection District and Woodstock Fire Rescue District either assisted Crystal Lake firefighters at the scene or covered their station while they were fighting the blaze.


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Crystal Lake home a 'total loss' after fireAlex Vucha - for Shaw Media Crystal Lake firefighters work to contain flames in a residence at 308 Valhalla Circle Monday night. One resident was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation. Fire investigators believe the fire began near a wall outlet in the living room. The estimated damage to the structure and contents is $250,000.Alex Vucha - for Shaw Media Crystal Lake firefighters investigate the cause of a fire at a residence at 308 Valhalla Circle following a fire Monday night. One resident was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation. Fire investigators believe the fire began near a wall outlet in the living room. The estimated damage to the structure and contents is $250,000.Alex Vucha - for Shaw Media Crystal Lake firefighters work at a command vehicle on the scene of a fire at a residence at 308 Valhalla Circle in Crystal Lake following a fire Monday night. One resident was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation. The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department was assisted by Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, McHenry Fire Protection District, Cary Fire Protection District and the Woodstock Fire Rescue District.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:51:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE — A home was completely destroyed after it caught fire Monday night in Crystal Lake.

Crystal Lake firefighters responded about 8:50 p.m. to a report of a residential fire at 308 Valhalla Circle, where a person still was inside the home, according to a news release from the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department. When emergency responders arrived, they found the person was safely outside the home.

Smoke and flames were coming from the residence about 8:56 p.m., and firefighters worked to contain the blaze to the single structure. The home was deemed a "total loss" after responders extinguished the flames.

The estimated cost of damage to the building and its contents is $250,000, according to the release. The cause of the fire still is under investigation, but officials believe it might have started near a wall outlet in the home's living room.

One resident was taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation, and no firefighters were injured.

Units from Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, Cary Fire Protection District and Woodstock Fire Rescue District either assisted Crystal Lake firefighters at the scene or covered their station while they were fighting the blaze.

Alex Vucha - for Shaw Media Crystal Lake firefighters work to contain flames in a residence at 308 Valhalla Circle Monday night. One resident was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation. Fire investigators believe the fire began near a wall outlet in the living room. The estimated damage to the structure and contents is $250,000.Alex Vucha - for Shaw Media Crystal Lake firefighters investigate the cause of a fire at a residence at 308 Valhalla Circle following a fire Monday night. One resident was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation. Fire investigators believe the fire began near a wall outlet in the living room. The estimated damage to the structure and contents is $250,000.Alex Vucha - for Shaw Media Crystal Lake firefighters work at a command vehicle on the scene of a fire at a residence at 308 Valhalla Circle in Crystal Lake following a fire Monday night. One resident was transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be evaluated for smoke inhalation. The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department was assisted by Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, McHenry Fire Protection District, Cary Fire Protection District and the Woodstock Fire Rescue District.


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The Future of Healthcare Could Be In Your Future: Health Information Technology Offers Many Opportunities

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:46:48 GMT

Just as technology has changed the way we bank, shop, or watch movies, so too is technology shaping medical record keeping.

Now electronic exchange of medical information allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers to access and securely share vital medical information electronically—and, ideally, improve the speed, quality, safety, and cost of patient care.

Those who work in Health Information Technology (HIT) manage and organize medical data, ensuring accuracy and security of these records. Technicians can also track patterns of disease and treatment outcomes. They may specialize in types of information, such as in medical coding or in maintaining cancer registrars.

“With the future of healthcare, everyone is shifting to electronic health records,” said Allison Minicz, instructor for the Health Information Technology Department at McHenry County College. “It’s a great time for anybody getting into the HIT field.”

Nationally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for health information technicians to grow by 22% per year between 2012 and 2022. This growth is expected to result in an increase of 41,100 jobs by 2022.

MCC recently added a HIT degree that expands on its current medical billing and coding certificate.

Many students go on to work in a hospital’s health information management department, but Minicz said there are many other employers that hire health information technicians, including insurance companies, government agencies, cancer registries, software vendors, and education. 

The AAS degree can be completed mostly online, Minicz said. Classes are held in the evening and blended classes meet on campus once a month.

Minicz, who has taught HIT for six years, said she has never had a student who had an issue finding a job.

“It’s health care,” Minicz said. “It’s always going to be there.”

For more information on a HIT career or classes at MCC, visit www.mchenry.edu/HIT


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Lions Armstrong Memorial Pool in Algonquin to hold final open swim days of seasonMatthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com Gabriella Odegaard of Algonquin, 7, swims underwater to beat the heat on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at Lions Armstrong Memorial Pool in Algonquin.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:26:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

– Northwest Herald

Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com Gabriella Odegaard of Algonquin, 7, swims underwater to beat the heat on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at Lions Armstrong Memorial Pool in Algonquin.


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:10:00 GMT

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


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:08:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

For the rest of the story, click here.

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


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U.S. and S. Korean troops start drills amid N. Korea standoffSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in (center) presides over a cabinet meeting Monday at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea. U.S. and South Korean troops have begun annual drills that come after tensions rose over North Korea's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month. Moon said Monday the drills are defensive in nature. He said the drills are held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea.

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:02:00 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea – U.S. and South Korean troops kicked off their annual drills Monday that come after President Donald Trump and North Korea exchanged warlike rhetoric in the wake of the North's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month. The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills are largely computer-simulated war games held every summer and have drawn furious responses from North Korea, which views them as an invasion rehearsal. Pyongyang's state media on Sunday called this year's drills a "reckless" move that could trigger the "uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war." Despite the threat, U.S. and South Korean militaries launched this year's 11-day training on Monday morning as scheduled. The exercise involves 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean soldiers, according to the U.S. military command in South Korea and Seoul's Defense Ministry. No field training like live-fire exercises or tank maneuvering is involved in the Ulchi drills, in which alliance officers sit at computers to practice how they engage in battles and hone their decision-making capabilities. The allies have said the drills are defensive in nature. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said Monday that North Korea must not use the drills as a pretext to launch fresh provocation, saying the training is held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea. North Korea typically responds to South Korea-U.S. military exercises with weapons tests and a string of belligerent rhetoric. During last year's Ulchi drills, North Korea test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that flew about 310 miles in the longest flight by that type of weapon. Days after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test to date. Last month North Korea test-launched two ICBMs at highly lofted angles, and outside experts say those missiles can reach some U.S. parts like Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at normal, flattened trajectories. Analysts say it would be only a matter of time for the North to achieve its long-stated goal of acquiring a nuclear missile that can strike anywhere in the United States. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with "fire and fury." North Korea, for its part, threatened to launch missiles toward the American territory of Guam before its leader Kim Jong Un backed off saying he would first watch how Washington acts before going ahead with the missile launch plans. South Korean President Moon Jae-in (center) presides over a cabinet meeting Monday at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea. U.S. and South Korean troops have begun annual drills that come after tensions rose over North Korea's two intercontinental ballistic missile [...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:37:00 GMT

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


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:36:00 GMT

SUBIRATS, Spain – The lone fugitive from the Spanish cell that killed 15 people in and near Barcelona was shot to death Monday after he flashed what turned out to be a fake suicide belt at two troopers who confronted him in a vineyard not far from the city he terrorized, authorities said. Police said they had “scientific evidence” that Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, drove the van that barreled through Barcelona’s crowded Las Ramblas promenade, killing 13 people on Thursday, then hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver while making his getaway. Abouyaaqoub’s brother and friends made up the rest of the 12-man extremist cell, along with an imam who was one of two people killed in what police said was a botched bomb-making operation. After four days on the run, Abouyaaqoub was spotted outside a train station west of Barcelona on Monday afternoon. A second witness told police that she was certain she had seen the man whose photo has gone around the world as part of an international manhunt. Two officers found him hiding in a nearby vineyard and asked for his identification, according to the head of the Catalan police. He was shot to death when he opened his shirt to reveal what looked to be explosives and cried out “Allah is great” in Arabic, regional police chief Josep Luis Trapero said. A bomb disposal robot was dispatched to examine the downed suspect before police determined the bomb belt was not real, Trapero said. A bag full of knives was found with his body, police said. A police photo of the body seen by The Associated Press showed his bloodied face, bearing several days’ stubble on the chin. With Abouyaaqoub’s death, the group responsible for last week’s fatal van attacks has now been broken, Trapero said. “The arrest of this person was the priority for the police because it closed the detention and dismantling of the group that we had identified,” he said. Four are under arrest, and eight are dead: five shot by police in the seaside town of Cambrils, where a second van attack left one pedestrian dead early Friday; two others killed on the eve of the Barcelona attack in a botched bomb-making operation; and Abouyaaqoub. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both the Cambrils and Barcelona attacks. Roser Ventura, whose father owns a vineyard between the towns of Sadurni d’Anoia and Subirats, said she alerted the regional Catalan police when they spotted a car crossing their property at high speed. “The police told us to leave the premises and go home. We heard a helicopter flyin[...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:36:00 GMT

SINGAPORE – The U.S. Navy ordered a broad investigation into the performance and readiness of the Pacific-based 7th Fleet after the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided in Southeast Asia, leaving 10 U.S. sailors missing and five injured. It was the second major collision in two months involving the 7th Fleet. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan. Vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia were searching for the missing sailors. Four other sailors were evacuated by a Singaporean navy helicopter to a hospital in the city-state for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, the Navy said. A fifth was taken to the hospital by ambulance after the destroyer arrived in Singapore under its own power, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said. "It is the second such incident in a very short period of time – inside of three months – and very similar as well," Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon. "It is the last of a series of incidents in the Pacific fleet in particular and that gives great cause for concern that there is something out there we are not getting at." Richardson ordered a pause in operations for the next couple of days to allow fleet commanders to get together with leaders, sailors and command officials and identify any immediate steps that need to be taken to ensure safety. A broader U.S. Navy review will look at the 7th Fleet's performance, including personnel, navigation capabilities, maintenance, equipment, surface warfare training, munitions, certifications and how sailors move through their careers. Richardson said the review will be conducted with the help of the Navy's office of the inspector general, the safety center and private companies that make equipment used by sailors. There was no immediate explanation for the collision. Singapore, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, is one of the world's busiest ports and a U.S. ally, with its naval base regularly visited by American warships. Richardson said in response to a question that there was no indication the collision was intentional on either side and that the possibility of cyber sabotage would be explored just as it was during the probe of the USS Fitzgerald collision. Later, Richardson tweeted that nothing indicated cyber intrusion or sabotage had occurred but the review will consider all possibilities. The McCain had been heading to Singapore on a routine port visit after conducting a sensitive freedom-of-navigation operation last week by sailing near one of China's man-made islands in the[...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:35:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:13:00 GMT

McHENRY – Although some were disappointed to see the weather forecast Monday morning, a chance of clouds was not stopping 12-year-old Chloe Swider from seeing the solar eclipse. Chloe, of McHenry, said she has been preparing for the eclipse since March, when she read about it in a magazine. Her grandma bought her glasses, and she left school early to watch. “I wish this could last forever,” she said. “I wish I could see it at totality, at 100 percent, but I’m really happy. It looks like a tiny crescent moon.” McHenry residents brought homemade viewing devices and glasses to the McHenry Public Library on Monday afternoon to view the eclipse, which occurs when the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth, according to NASA. While some residents stayed local and attended viewing parties, others traveled to southern Illinois and other states to see the eclipse at totality. The Algonquin Area Public Library and the Crystal Lake Park District held viewing parties featuring crafts and storytimes on how the eclipse works.  The library began distributing 250 glasses at 11:30 a.m. and was out by 11:50 a.m., with people lining up outside before the library opened at 9 a.m., McHenry Public Library youth services manager Lesley Jakacki said. “We saw some people who were the designated glasses-getters for their work and had to stand in line and bring them back to the office,” she said. “It was a fun way to get families out to the library and hang out together to enjoy something that is typically a once-in-a-lifetime event.” The light rain stopped, and clouds slightly parted by about 1:20 p.m., when the moon obscured 85 percent of the sun in northern Illinois. Richard Rogers tried to outsmart cloud predictions so he still could view the solar eclipse. The former professional welder from Powers Lake, Wisconsin, used welding glasses and added an extra lens to make the view darker and to bypass the clouds.  Rogers said he hoped to travel to Southern Illinois University, but he is not a fan of traffic and crowds, which southern Illinois saw both of. Traffic was backed Sunday night and Monday morning, with the Illinois Department of Transportation anticipating that about 100,000 to 200,000 people would visit. McHenry County College professor of earth science Paul Hamill of Woodstock traveled to Watertown, Tennessee, near Nashville to get a better view. He said he was able to see totality for two minutes and 30 seconds. “I knew it was going to be impress[...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:13:00 GMT

MORRIS – The VFW’s $1.59 million Queen of Hearts lottery was abruptly canceled only hours before tickets were to be pulled Monday. According to state law, which Morris Police Chief John Severson said was updated in 2015, a municipality needs to have a code prescribing rules for raffles and a limit to how much can be charged for a raffle ticket and the amount of prizes that can be awarded. Neither Grundy County nor Morris has that type of ordinance. “We were informed at 12:30 that we were in violation of a state statute,” VFW Auxiliary Treasurer Jim Maskel said. “We were not aware of it. The city of Morris was not aware of it.” When asked to describe the scene at the bar after the announcement, Maskel simply said, “Chaos.” ​“The game will continue as soon as we get everything worked out and it has to do with the city having a licensing ordinance for all raffles,” he said. Morris has an ordinance that states, “It is unlawful to gamble or attend any gambling resort or to make any bet, lottery or gambling hazard or to buy or sell any chances or tickets in any gambling game, arrangement or device.” Maskel said he knows how the gaming board found out about the VFW’s big-money raffle but would not elaborate on how its members learned of it. “I do, but I’m not going to answer that,” he said. “I’m just not going to answer that.” While Maskel wouldn’t tell, a Villa Park resident claimed credit for exposing the VFW’s Queen of Hearts game. Kathy Gilroy, 67, said she read about the Morris Queen of Hearts, checked the Morris city code and emailed the city along with calling the gaming board’s hotline. Gilroy said she has been advocating against gambling – especially illegal gambling – on a voluntary basis for the past 20 years. “I don’t expect people to know the law,” Gilroy said. “I expect people to look up the law.” Which Morris officials apparently did not do. “If we had to look into every raffle, we wouldn’t get work done,” Severson said. The Morris VFW’s quartermaster, Jerry Peterson, said that the post wants to be in compliance, so it will wait until they sort out the licensing problem before the game continues. “We at the VFW are in compliance with every legal thing that’s out there,” Peterson said. “With the exception of, the city needs to give us a license to hold a raffle. In the past, you alwa[...]


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:11:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 05:11:00 GMT

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

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

A rain date is scheduled for the next available night.

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

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

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

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

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


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