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This is what $3.8 million can get you in Barrington Hills — The exercise room is epicBarrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Entranceway from aboveEntrancewayEntrancewayLiving roomFormal dining roomKitchen and dining areaOne of seven fireplacesKitchenWalk-in butler's pantryFamily roomFamily roomStudyStudyStudyExercise roomExercise roomExercise roomOne of seven bathroomsLarge finished basementLarge finished basementThe finished basement includes a full kitchenLarge finished basementLaundry roomLaundry roomLaundry roomMaster bedroomMaster bedroomMaster bathroomMaster bathroomOne of the bedroom suitesOne of the bedroom suitesPatio area next to the in-ground poolBarrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:53:00 GMT

Take a look inside this $3.8 million Barrington Hills estate listed on Zillow.

Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Entranceway from aboveEntrancewayEntrancewayLiving roomFormal dining roomKitchen and dining areaOne of seven fireplacesKitchenWalk-in butler's pantryFamily roomFamily roomStudyStudyStudyExercise roomExercise roomExercise roomOne of seven bathroomsLarge finished basementLarge finished basementThe finished basement includes a full kitchenLarge finished basementLaundry roomLaundry roomLaundry roomMaster bedroomMaster bedroomMaster bathroomMaster bathroomOne of the bedroom suitesOne of the bedroom suitesPatio area next to the in-ground poolBarrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2017/06/27/4a0a23e081b94361824b8a825f6ca5b7/caffa382-0834-4f1d-a009-047255b02589/image-pv_web.jpg




This is what $3.8 million can get you in Barrington Hills — The exercise room is epicBarrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Entranceway from aboveEntrancewayEntrancewayLiving roomFormal dining roomKitchen and dining areaOne of seven fireplacesKitchenWalk-in butler's pantryFamily roomFamily roomStudyStudyStudyExercise roomExercise roomExercise roomOne of seven bathroomsLarge finished basementLarge finished basementThe finished basement includes a full kitchenLarge finished basementLaundry roomLaundry roomLaundry roomMaster bedroomMaster bedroomMaster bathroomMaster bathroomOne of the bedroom suitesOne of the bedroom suitesPatio area next to the in-ground poolBarrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:53:00 GMT

Take a look inside this $3.8 million Barrington Hills estate listed on Zillow.

Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. This estate has an exercise room that would rival most gyms. An in-ground pool and hot tub highlight part of the 5.5 private acres, which includes a pond. All five bedrooms are suites, while the master bedroom features a spa bath. The home also features a breathtaking study and seven fireplaces. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Entranceway from aboveEntrancewayEntrancewayLiving roomFormal dining roomKitchen and dining areaOne of seven fireplacesKitchenWalk-in butler's pantryFamily roomFamily roomStudyStudyStudyExercise roomExercise roomExercise roomOne of seven bathroomsLarge finished basementLarge finished basementThe finished basement includes a full kitchenLarge finished basementLaundry roomLaundry roomLaundry roomMaster bedroomMaster bedroomMaster bathroomMaster bathroomOne of the bedroom suitesOne of the bedroom suitesPatio area next to the in-ground poolBarrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.Barrington Hills estate listed for sale on Zillow: 420 Dana Lane. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 13,000 square feet. Listed price: $3,795,000. Estimated mortgage: $14,412 per month. Listing agent: Kim Alden, Baird and Warner - Barrington: 847-381-1855.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/lists/2017/06/27/4a0a23e081b94361824b8a825f6ca5b7/caffa382-0834-4f1d-a009-047255b02589/image-pv_web.jpg




Crystal Lake warning sirens sound in errorLathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com Noah Pelican, 2, and Jack Pelican, 4 cover their ears as sirens sour while fire trucks pass during a parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cary Fire Department in Cary, Ill. on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:24:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE — No, there was not a tornado early Tuesday morning. The Crystal Lake Outdoor Public Warning Sirens were accidentally activated.

According to a news release from the Crystal Lake Police Department, a vendor on site in the regional dispatch center, Southeast Emergency Communications (SEECOM), was installing new radio consoles when a short occurred in a wire around 6:40 a.m. The short simulated a system activation, and sirens throughout Crystal Lake sounded. Once the vendor realized what had happened, the issue was quickly fixed.

The release states, "SEECOM is working with the vendor to ensure no additional false activations will occur during the course of their work. The vendor, SEECOM and the City apologize for any inconvenience to our citizens this may have caused."

Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com Noah Pelican, 2, and Jack Pelican, 4 cover their ears as sirens sour while fire trucks pass during a parade celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cary Fire Department in Cary, Ill. on Saturday, June 15, 2013.


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Lake in the Hills intersection closed Tuesday for water main replacement

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:21:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS — The intersection of Crystal Lake Road and Woody Way in Lake in the Hills will be closed for most of the day Tuesday.

Lake in the Hills Water Superintendent Ryan McDillon said the area needs to be completely closed off for machinery to access the water main. Lake in the Hills Public Works crews will be working to connect a new water main to the existing one.

McDillon predicted the intersection would likely be closed four to five hours. A news release from the Public Works Department asked motorists to follow the posted detour signs.


Media Files:
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Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground caseFILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, the empty playground at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo. The Supreme Court has ruled that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other non-religious needs. The justices on Monday, June 26, 2017, ruled 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri. The church sought a grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground, but was denied any money even though its application was ranked fifth out of 44 submissions (Annaliese Nurnberg/Missourian via AP, File)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:39:00 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other nonreligious needs. But the justices stopped short of saying whether the ruling applies to school voucher programs that use public funds to pay for private, religious schooling. By a 7-2 vote, the justices sided with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground. Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court that the state violated the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment by denying a public benefit to an otherwise eligible recipient solely on account of its religious status. He called it "odious to our Constitution" to exclude the church from the grant program, even though the consequences are only "a few extra scraped knees." The case arose from an application the church submitted in 2012 to take part in Missouri's scrap-tire grant program, which reimburses the cost of installing a rubberized playground surface made from recycled tires. The money comes from a fee paid by anyone who buys a new tire. The church's application to resurface the playground for its preschool and daycare ranked fifth out of 44 applicants. But the state's Department of Natural Resources rejected the application, pointing to the part of the state constitution that says "no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion." A recycled scrap tire is not religious, the church said in its Supreme Court brief. "It is wholly secular," the church said. Justice Sonya Sotomayor took the rare step of reading her dissent from the bench, saying the ruling weakens America's longstanding commitment to separation of church and state. "This case is about nothing less than the relationship between religious institutions and the civil government — that is, between church and state," she wrote, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "The Court today profoundly changes that relationship by holding, for the first time, that the Constitution requires the government to provide public funds directly to a church." More than 30 other states have constitutional provisions similar to Missouri's, though some of those already permit churches to take part in grant programs for nonreligious purposes. In the days before the argument in April, Missouri's Republican Gov. Eric Greitens changed the state's policy and said churches would be allowed to apply for grants. Some religious groups cheered the decision, which was closely watched for the effect it may have on school voucher programs. But in a carefully worded footnote, Roberts said the ruling was limited and did not address "religious uses of funding or other forms of discrimination." Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch wrote separately to say they would not have limited the ruling to playground resurfacing or related issues that involve children's safety or health. "The general principles here do not permit discrimination against religious exercise — whether on the playground or anywhere else," Gorsuch said. Proponents of school vouchers said they hope the ruling lays the groundwork for a future decision on whether states can let parents choose to send their children to religious schools through publicly funded programs. Michael Bindas, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, said the principle of "religious neutrality" applies "whether the government is enabling schools to resurface their playgroun[...]


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White House warns Syria's Assad against chemical attackWhite House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during a the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:29:00 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House issued a stern warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday night as it claimed "potential" evidence that Syria was preparing for another chemical weapons attack. In an ominous statement issued with no supporting evidence or further explanation, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S. had "identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children." He said the activities were similar to preparations taken before an April 2017 attack that killed dozens of men, women and children, and warned that if "Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price." The White House offered no details on what prompted the warning and spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said she had no additional information Monday night. Several State Department officials typically involved in coordinating such announcements said they were caught completely off guard by the warning, which didn't appear to be discussed in advance with other national security agencies. Typically, the State Department, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies would all be consulted before the White House issued a declaration sure to ricochet across foreign capitals. The officials weren't authorized to discuss national security planning publicly and requested anonymity. A non-governmental source with close ties to the White House said the administration had received intelligence that the Syrians were mixing precursor chemicals for a possible sarin gas attack in either the east of south of the country, where government troops and their proxies have faced recent setbacks. Assad had denied responsibility for the April 4 attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the rebel-held Idlib province that killed dozens of people, including children. Victims show signs of suffocation, convulsions, foaming at the mouth and pupil constriction. Days later, President Donald Trump launched a retaliatory cruise missile strike on a Syrian government-controlled air base where U.S. officials said the Syrian military had launched the chemical attack. It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Trump's most dramatic military order since becoming president months before. Trump said at the time that the Khan Sheikhoun attack crossed "many, many lines," and called on "all civilized nations" to join the U.S. in seeking an end to the carnage in Syria. Syria maintained it hadn't used chemical weapons and blamed opposition fighters for stockpiling the chemicals. Russia's Defense Ministry said the toxic agents were released when a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal and munitions factory. Russia is a close ally of Assad. The U.S. attack on a Syrian air base came after years of heated debate and deliberation in Washington over intervention in the bloody civil war. Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of the conflict. Earlier Monday, Trump had dinner with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and other top officials as he hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House. Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talked earlier Monday about the need to secure a cease-fire in Syria, fight extremist groups and prevent the use of chemical weapons, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassado[...]


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World Food Prize goes to African Development Bank presidentThis undated photo provided by The World Food Prize Foundation shows Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank. Akinwumi the son of a Nigerian farm laborer who rose out of poverty to earn graduate degrees in agricultural economics and spent his career improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers is the winner of this year's World Food Prize. Adesina, was named this year's recipient Monday, June 26, 2017 in a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington.(The World Food Prize Foundation via AP)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:08:00 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa – The son of a Nigerian farm laborer who rose out of poverty to earn graduate degrees in agricultural economics and spent his career improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers is the winner of this year’s World Food Prize announced Monday. Akinwumi Adesina, president of African Development Bank, said the future of global food security relies on making farming in Africa a profitable business and developing local food processing that adds value to agricultural products to help move farmers out of poverty. “I believe that what Africa does with agriculture and how it does it is not only important for Africa but it’s important for how we’re going to feed the world by 2050 because 65 percent of all the uncultivated arable land left in the world is in Africa,” he said. “To help Africa get it right in agriculture is also going to be a key part of securing food for the world.” World Food Prize President Kenneth Quinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, said those goals are one reason the organization’s board chose Adesina this year for the $250,000 prize. An official announcement for the World Food Prize came in a ceremony Monday at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue hosting the event. Adesina, 57, works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where the African Development Bank is based. He will receive the prize in a ceremony Oct. 19 at the Iowa Capitol. “Dr. Adesina knows that our work is not done. The challenge of feeding 9 billion people in just a short time will continue as we address the hunger issue,” Perdue said. “At USDA we keep that in mind as the world population grows, and we want to be a huge contributor in providing the food needed to resolve and to supply the global demand for that vital noble resource.” The World Food Prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food. The foundation that awards the prize is based in Des Moines, Iowa. The award recognizes several of Adesina’s accomplishments, including: • Negotiating a partnership between commercial banks and development organizations to provide loans to tens of thousands of farmers and agribusinesses in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Mozambique. • Creating programs to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production and to help cassava become a major cash crop while serving as Nigeria’s minister of agriculture from 2011 to 2015. • Helping to end more than 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer and seed sectors in Nigeria by launching an electronic wallet system that directly provides farmers with vouchers redeemable for inputs using mobile phones. The resulting increased farm yields have led to the improvement of food security for 40 million people in rural farm households. Adesina said it’s vitally important to show young people in rural regions of Africa that farming can be profitable and can improve their lives as a way to stem terrorist recruitment efforts. He said high unemployment among young people, high or extreme poverty, and climate and environmental degradation all contribute to conditions in which terrorists thrive. He said these factors make up “the disaster triangle.” “Anywhere you find those you find terrorists operating. It never fails,” he said. Adesina grew up in poverty in a rural area of Nigeria and said his father and grandfather walked fields as laborers. After his father was chosen for a [...]


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Mystery of missing Chinese scholar shakes up Illinois schoolThis undated photo provided by the University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang. Police said the FBI is investigating the disappearance of Zhang, a Chinese woman from a central Illinois university town, as a kidnapping. Zhang was about a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign when she disappeared June 9, 2017. (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:07:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Yingying Zhang, the daughter of a working-class factory driver from China, took the same career path as many other young Chinese academics before her: She traveled to a university in the U.S. with dreams of one day landing a professorship and being able to help her parents financially. But just weeks after arriving at the University of Illinois, the 26-year-old visiting scholar in agriculture sciences stepped off a bus on a sunny afternoon and got into a black hatchback. She hasn’t been seen since. Her disappearance June 9 on her way to sign an apartment lease is being treated as a kidnapping. The case has shaken staff and students at Illinois’ flagship public school in Urbana-Champaign. And it’s led some parents of the more than 300,000 Chinese students currently studying at American universities to question whether it’s safe to send to their children to the U.S. Zhang’s father, Ronggao Zhang, traveled to the university from the family’s home in Nanping, China, to await word on his daughter. He had a message for whoever might have abducted her. “We will forgive you,” he said in a telephone interview. “But please, let Yingying go.” The 53-year-old, speaking through a translator, had a message for his daughter, too: “Yingying, please be strong.” Local police and the FBI have said Zhang’s case is a top priority, although they have withheld details of their investigation, even from the father, said Yingying Zhang’s boyfriend, who sat in on the weekend interview with the father from the 44,000-student campus about 140 miles south of Chicago. “So you can imagine the anxiety,” Xiaolin Hou said. “It’s almost torture ... not knowing anything.” Chinese media have covered Zhang’s disappearance, with her friends and acquaintances drawing attention to her case on Chinese social media sites such as WeChat. “There’s so little we can do at home, but we’d like the local police in the United States to stay on top of the case and not to let it slide,” said Zhao Kaiyun, a roommate of Zhang’s at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School. Zhang graduated last year with a master’s degree in environmental engineering. The University of Illinois has the largest Chinese student population of any U.S. college, with 5,600 students enrolled, according to U.S. government data. By chance, U of I representatives recently held a previously scheduled orientation session in China for students headed to the school and their parents. Several attendees asked about Zhang’s disappearance, said Robin Kaler, the associate chancellor for public affairs. “Parents were very concerned,” she said. “We obviously tell them that it is a very safe community in general, but that there are instances when horrible things can happen. And this is one instance.” Urbana-Champaign, with a population around 250,000, typically records no more than a few homicides each year. The university’s reputation as a leader in agriculture studies attracted Zhang to the school. She’s been doing research on crop photosynthesis, Kaler said. The expectation was that she would begin work on her Ph.D. in the fall. One central motivation for everything she did was a desire to help her parents in Nanping, a city in a picturesque part of China amid mountain ranges and forests, her boyfriend said. She set aside part of her research income to buy her parents devices to make their lives easier, including a microwave and a cellphone. [...]


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Trump travel ban partly reinstated; fall court arguments setAP file photo Protesters wave signs and chant during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban May 15 outside a federal courthouse in Seattle. The Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower court orders that blocked it. The action Monday is a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:07:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is allowing President Donald Trump to forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to the U.S. Trump hailed the decision as a “victory for national security,” but it’s likely to set off a new round of court disputes over anti-terror efforts and religious discrimination. The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has stirred heated emotions across the nation and pointed rebukes from lower courts saying the administration is targeting Muslims. Until then, the court said Monday, Trump’s ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The ruling sets up a potential clash between the government and opponents of the ban over the strength of visitors’ ties to the U.S. A senior official said plans already had been written to enforce the ban aggressively. But immigrant groups said relatively few people try to enter the U.S. without well-established ties. Those groups said they will be sending lawyers and monitors back to American airports, where the initial, immediate implementation of the ban in January caused chaos and confusion. Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being cleared by courts. That would be Thursday morning. The president has denied that the ban targets Muslims but has said it is needed “to protect the nation from terrorist activities” committed by citizens of the six countries. All six have been designated as presenting heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the U.S. The 90-day ban is necessary to allow an internal review of screening procedures for visa applicants from the countries, the administration said. That review should be complete before Oct. 2, the first day the justices could hear arguments in their new term. The ban will have run its course by then, raising a question of whether the justices will even issue a decision in the case or dismiss it because it has been overtaken by events. The court asked both sides to address the issue of timing, along with questions about whether the ban is aimed at Muslims, the impact of Trump’s provocative campaign statements and federal courts’ authority to restrain the president in the area of immigration. A 120-day ban on refugees also is being allowed to take effect on a similar, limited basis. Three of the court’s conservative justices said they would have let the administration apply the bans without the limits imposed by their colleagues. Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to win the legal case in the end. Thomas said the government’s interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country. Trump hailed the court’s order as a “clear victory for our national security,” especially after lower court rulings that blocked the travel ban in its entirety. He said in a statement that his “number one responsibility” is to keep Americans safe. His administration’s implementation plans, largely orchestrated by White House adviser Stephen Miller, focus on refusing entry to people who are unable to show a substantial and pre-existing tie to a person or institution in the United States. The plans were described by a sen[...]


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U.S. to say China among worst on human traffickingFILE - In this June 21, 2017 file photo, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the State Department in Washington. The Trump administration is poised to declare China among the world’s worst offenders on human trafficking, U.S. officials said Monday, June 26, 2017, putting the world’s most populous country in the same category as North Korea, Zimbabwe and Syria, China’s downgrade is to be announced Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at the State Department when Tillerson unveils the annual Trafficking in Persons Report to Congress. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:07:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is poised to declare China among the world’s worst offenders on human trafficking, U.S. officials said Monday, putting the world’s most populous country in the same category as North Korea, Zimbabwe and Syria. China’s downgrade is to be announced Tuesday at the State Department when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unveils the annual Trafficking in Persons Report to Congress, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to comment publicly ahead of the announcement and demanded anonymity. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, planned to attend the ceremony. The determination marks the first major, public rebuke of China’s human rights record by the Trump administration, which has generally avoided direct, public criticism of Beijing while seeking its cooperation in combating North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. The report is likely to draw strong protest from China’s communist government. China will be listed under “Tier 3,” the ranking system’s lowest category, which applies to countries failing to meet minimum standards to prevent human trafficking or making significant improvement efforts. Other countries that have recently been on that list include Sudan, Iran and Haiti. In last year’s annual report, the U.S. placed China on its “watch list” of countries that aren’t meeting minimum standards and could be downgraded to the lowest classification. The U.S. described China as devoting “sufficient resources” to a written plan for addressing trafficking. But it said that the Asian power hadn’t increased its anti-trafficking efforts from the previous year. It wasn’t immediately clear what changes are leading the Trump administration to downgrade China to the lowest tier. The State Department declined to confirm the designation or to comment ahead of the report’s release Tuesday, saying it “does not discuss details of internal deliberations.” In the 2016 report, the U.S. called China a “source, destination and transit country” for forced labor and sex trafficking. That report described internal migrants in China as particularly vulnerable, with some forced to work with little government oversight in factories and coal mines. It said men, women and children from other Asian countries and from Africa also are exploited. The report also raised concerns about forced begging in China that particularly affects children. It said that girls and women from rural areas are at higher risk of being recruited for sex trafficking in cities. Countries placed in Tier 3 can be penalized with sanctions, including the withholding of non-humanitarian aid and assistance that could affect agreements with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Officials from countries designated in that tier can be barred from participating in U.S. government educational and cultural exchange programs. However, the president retains the authority to waive the sanctions in U.S. national interest or if the penalties could adversely affect vulnerable populations. In practice, countries given the worst designation have often been granted waivers under previous U.S. administrations. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., one of several lawmakers who had pressed the Trump administration to downgrade China, praised the move but urged the administration to follow through by imposing sanctions. He said he hoped the downgrade would “lead to reforms that will save women and children’s lives and ensure that Chinese exports are not made with slave labor.” [...]


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Philando Castile's family reaches $3M settlement in deathFILE - In this Friday June 16, 2017, file photo, Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist who was killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez, speaks about her reaction to a not guilty verdict for Yanez at the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul, Minn. Valerie Castile reached a nearly $3 million settlement in Philando Castile's death, announced Monday, June 26, by attorneys for Valerie Castile and the city of St. Anthony. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, File)

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:07:00 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS – The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last July, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement with the city that employed the officer, avoiding a federal wrongful death lawsuit that attorneys said could have taken years to resolve. The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile, who is the family’s trustee, was announced Monday and comes less than two weeks after officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges connected to her son’s death. Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot five times by Yanez during a traffic stop after Castile informed the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun. The shooting gained widespread attention after Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed its gruesome aftermath on Facebook. The acquittal of Yanez, who is Latino, prompted days of protests, including one in St. Paul that shut down Interstate 94 for hours and ended with 18 arrests. The $2.995 million settlement for Valerie Castile will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony. The plan for distribution of funds requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks. Robert Bennett, who along with attorney Glenda Hatchett is representing Valerie Castile, said a decision was made to move expeditiously rather than have the case drawn out in federal court, a process that would “exacerbate and reopen terrible wounds.” The settlement also will allow the family, the city and community to work toward healing, Bennett said. “No amount of money could ever replace Philando,” a joint statement from the attorneys and city of St. Anthony said. “With resolution of the claims the family will continue to deal with their loss through the important work of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.” Bennett said the foundation’s mission is to provide financial support, grief counseling, scholarships and other help to individuals and families affected by gun violence and police violence. Bennett said Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, is not part of the settlement. Reynolds has also hired an attorney, but it’s not clear whether she still is planning a lawsuit or has any standing for a federal claim. Reynolds’ attorney did not return messages Monday. Darin Richardson, claims manager with the League of Minnesota Cities, said St. Anthony’s insurance coverage is $3 million per occurrence. If Reynolds were to file and win a claim, the city’s remaining $5,000 in coverage would be paid to her, and St. Anthony would have to cover any additional money awarded. The settlement happened faster than others stemming from the killings of black men by police officers elsewhere. Last week, a $1.5 million settlement was reached in the case of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri. That settlement came nearly three years after the death of Brown. FILE - In this Friday June 16, 2017, file photo, Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist who was killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez, speaks about her reaction to a not guilty verdict for Yanez at the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul, Minn. Valerie Castile reached a nearly $3 million settlement in Philando Castile's death, announced Monday, June 26, by attorneys for Valerie Castile and the city of St. Anthony. (Renee Jones Schneide[...]


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McHenry crash sends 1 person to hospitalH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry Township Fire Protection District paramedics tend to a person injured in a two-vehicle crash Monday at the intersection of North Ringwood and Flanders roads.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:04:00 GMT

McHENRY – A two-vehicle crash Monday sent one person to the hospital and caused moderate to severe damage to both pickup trucks involved, a fire official said.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District was dispatched at 11:03 a.m. to a crash at the intersection of Ringwood and Martin/Flanders roads in McHenry.

McHenry Battalion Chief Dave Harwood said the driver of the pickup was a 49-year-old man who was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry with injuries that were not life-threatening. Two children in the same pickup were not transported.

There were two people in the second pickup, Harwood said. One girl was treated on scene for minor injuries.

Harwood said the northbound lanes of Ringwood Road were closed for about 20 minutes, and southbound lanes were diverted down Martin Road.

Both the McHenry Police Department and McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded to the scene.

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known, and police were not immediately available to provide more information.

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry Township Fire Protection District paramedics tend to a person injured in a two-vehicle crash Monday at the intersection of North Ringwood and Flanders roads.


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Cary-Grove AMVETS seeking volunteers for 30th annual picnic for veteransSarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Veteran Carlos Saunders of Chicago walks past a row of American flags while attending the 29th annual picnic for hospitalized veterans hosted by the Cary-Grove AmVets Pearl Harbor Memorial Post 245 on June 29, 2016, at Lions Park in Fox River Grove. The annual event features food, games and a boat ride for the veterans.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:03:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – Cary-Grove AMVETS Pearl Harbor Memorial Post 245 is hosting its 30th annual picnic Wednesday with hundreds of hospitalized veterans expected to be in attendance.

The event will be held at Lions Park, 747 S. River Road, in Fox River Grove. Event set-up will begin at 9 a.m., and veterans are expected to arrive at 11 a.m. In case of rain, the picnic will be held at the Algonquin Township Office at 3702 U.S. Route 14, Crystal Lake.

The picnic will offer veterans food, beverages, music and various activities, such as fishing, bags, bingo and pontoon boat rides on the Fox River.

The picnic first took place 30 years ago at The Hollows in Cary, where veterans would fish and eat lunch away from the hospital.

“It’s grown from 30 or 40 veterans to anywhere from 400 to 600 veterans,” AMVETS Cmdr. Gary Foster said.

Volunteers are expected to come from Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.

Foster said they’re accepting money donations and are still looking for more volunteers.

Donations can be sent to AMVETS Post 245, P.O. Box 741, Cary, IL 60013.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Bob Janu at 847-639-4587.

For information, call Foster at 847-899-3936.

Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Veteran Carlos Saunders of Chicago walks past a row of American flags while attending the 29th annual picnic for hospitalized veterans hosted by the Cary-Grove AmVets Pearl Harbor Memorial Post 245 on June 29, 2016, at Lions Park in Fox River Grove. The annual event features food, games and a boat ride for the veterans.


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McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan announces run for judge, will not seek second termBy H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:03:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan will not seek a second term and instead will run to fill the seat of former Judge Maureen McIntyre. McClellan, of Holiday Hills, announced Monday afternoon in a Facebook post that she will run in the March 2018 primary to succeed McIntyre, who retired at the end of last year from the 22nd Judicial Circuit. “It has always been my dream as a young girl to someday be a judge. It’s nice to know we can dream, but to actually achieve them as well is special,” McClellan, a lawyer, said in her announcement. Voters elected McClellan, a Republican, in 2014 to succeed Republican Kathie Schultz, who retired after six terms in office. McClellan had served two years on the McHenry County Board before deciding on the county clerk run. McClellan has been credited for bringing the office forward when it comes to computer technology and automation, as well as helping advance the new County Board electronic voting system that new Democratic County Board Chairman Jack Franks wanted. She said in her news release that she had an eight-year vision for the office that she was able to accomplish in one term. Besides the technology front, McClellan also undertook a scrubbing of the county’s voter rolls, and created an electronic system by which county officials could submit their statements of economic interest. The county clerk’s office supervises elections, records birth, death and marriage certificates, and maintains a number of other county records. “I have brought the office into the 21st century with fresh ideas and all within budget,” McClellan said. However, McClellan faced a rocky election halfway into her term – communications and technical issues plagued the 2016 primary to such an extent that an angry state lawmaker asked the Illinois State Board of Elections to look into it. Her office addressed the findings in the state board report, and the November 2016 election went much more smoothly. Franks, of Marengo, lauded McClellan’s accomplishments and wished her luck. She worked with Franks and new Republican Recorder Joe Tirio on a referendum to abolish the recorder’s office. Tirio successfully ran last year on a platform to consolidate the clerk’s and recorder’s offices. “She’s been a terrific public servant and she’s done a tremendous job with her office, and if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t have electronic voting,” Franks said. “She’s had some challenges I think she’s overcome with automating her office, and I think she’d be a great judge.” The Illinois Supreme Court promoted former Associate Judge Robert Wilbrandt to fill the remainder of McIntryre’s term. McClellan’s decision to run for judge staves off a potential primary battle between McClellan and Tirio, who has been eyeing a run for the county clerk’s office. If voters approve the referendum that will go before voters in March, the recorder’s office will cease to exist in December 2020, making Tirio’s first term as recorder his last. McClellan worked for the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office after law school, and then moved into private practice, where she defended civil rights cases for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and other local units of government. By H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan[...]


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1 person injured in Woodstock-area crash after minivan strikes utility polePhoto provided by Woodstock Fire/Rescue District - Alex Vucha A minivan versus pole crash Monday morning closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle crash. When they arrived a utility pole was down and power lines were on top of a minivan, Parker said.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A minivan versus pole crash Monday morning closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle crash. When they arrived a utility pole was down and power lines were on top of a minivan, Parker said.Photo provided by Woodstock Fire/Rescue District - Alex Vucha Flight for Life crew members and a Woodstock Fire/Rescue District paramedic prepare the driver of a minivan after a crash with a utility pole Monday morning. The crash closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle crash.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:59:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A minivan versus pole crash Monday morning closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area.

Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. to a report of a single-vehicle crash. When they arrived, a utility pole was down and power lines were on top of a minivan, Parker said.

Parker said a passer-by removed the driver, who was the only occupant, from the vehicle. He said the driver was taken to an area hospital via Flight for Life. The driver's injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, Parker said.

The road was shut down for about 20 minutes, he said.

ComEd and AT&T were notified. Less than five people lost power, which returned about 3:45 p.m., according to ComEd's outage map.

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. Police were not immediately available for comment.

Photo provided by Woodstock Fire/Rescue District - Alex Vucha A minivan versus pole crash Monday morning closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle crash. When they arrived a utility pole was down and power lines were on top of a minivan, Parker said.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A minivan versus pole crash Monday morning closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle crash. When they arrived a utility pole was down and power lines were on top of a minivan, Parker said.Photo provided by Woodstock Fire/Rescue District - Alex Vucha Flight for Life crew members and a Woodstock Fire/Rescue District paramedic prepare the driver of a minivan after a crash with a utility pole Monday morning. The crash closed a portion of Route 47 and caused a handful of power outages in the area. Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said crews responded about 8:21 a.m. for a report of a single-vehicle crash.


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88-year-old woman continues to work after insurance business turns 50H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Stassen Insurance celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday, June 23, 2017. Carol Stassen, 88, started the business with her husband in 1967.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:57:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – With her daily crossword puzzle and two cups of coffee, 88-year-old Carol Stassen continues to do as she has done for the past 50 years.

Stassen passed up the customary retirement age at 65, and each morning she heads to her office at Stassen Insurance, 1662 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock, and sits at her desk by 7:30 a.m.

“It’s never boring because there is a new store and story, a new scenario every day,” Stassen said. “It’s new every day because everybody has a different car, everybody has a different business, and sometimes we feel like detectives finding all this information.”

Stassen and her husband, Henry, started the insurance company in February 1967 after finding it to be more and more difficult to support their family of six solely with Henry’s job at the Chicago Motor Company.

It wasn’t until Memorial Day weekend of that year that they received their first check.

“It was $6 and everybody says, ‘Do you still have it?’ No. We needed it,” Stassen said. “Pretty scary when you have a family of six and you say, ‘OK, I’m starting over,’ but we made it.”

Stassen started her part in the business by answering the phone while she stayed home with the children and her husband met with customers. During the past 50 years, she watched the business grow.

“Our business has completely changed from the first customer onward. Everything was by mail. We didn’t have a copy machine,” Stassen said. “We had ourselves and a typewriter and an adding machine. That’s how we started. It’s a success story.”

Their son, John Stassen, emptied wastebaskets and got the mail for the business when he was 19 years old. He has since taken over running the business from his father, who died in 1999. Carol Stassen said that John has become one of the most knowledgeable truck insurance agents in northern Illinois.

Stassen sees in her children and grandchildren the same work ethic that has kept her going all these years.

“It’s built into us, the family. My children are the same way,” Stassen said. “They all are good workers. I mean they all feel, if they have a job to do, they do it and they get it done in a timely way.”

Stassen said that her children are the best employees that she could get since they grew up in an office environment.

“They started off hearing me and my husband deal with customers and with the public,” Stassen said. “So, there is nothing like experience.”

These days, Stassen deals mainly with accounting work for the company on top of a handful of customers, one of whom has been doing business with the Stassens since he started his business in the 1980s.

Stassen said she plans to continue to work until she can’t drive her car anymore.

“I don’t want to sit at home and eat and watch TV all my life. The Cubs are only on so much...” Stassen said. “Fifty years and I’ve been here every day.”

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Stassen Insurance celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday, June 23, 2017. Carol Stassen, 88, started the business with her husband in 1967.


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Marengo Settlers' Days organizers plan to break from tradition with site moveShaw Media file photo Members of the Hidden Path Arts studio perform a demonstration during the third day of the four-day Marengo Settler's Day festivities in 2016. The city council will meet to discuss moving Settlers Days to a new location out of the downtown area.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:55:00 GMT

MARENGO – Marengo Settlers’ Days event coordinators plan to move the iconic, four-day Marengo event out of the downtown strip because they say it will improve safety and other longstanding issues. But not everyone is convinced it’s a good idea to break from tradition.

The four-day event was founded in 1971 and includes parades, a carnival, a craft show, food, live music and other events. One of its highlights is the “Saturday Night on Main Street” party, which takes place along Route 23.

City officials and Marengo residents expressed concern Monday about a proposal to move Settlers’ Days from the downtown strip to near the high school campus.

City aldermen cited concerns about breaking tradition, parking and traffic, timing and lack of organization surrounding the event, which takes place in October.

“Settlers’ Days has always been about being downtown,” 4th Ward Alderman Dennis Hammortree said. “It seems like this is kind of put together and hurried through.”

Third Ward Alderman Todd Hall said he was concerned about the effect the move would have on the businesses downtown that benefit from the four-day fest.

“I would almost like to see a sign-off from them, saying, ‘Hey yeah, we’re OK with this,’ ” Hall said. “Just so that they know what is going on, that they are OK with it. … I have no problem where it’s at, but I just want to make sure we are taking care of the businesses.”

What would become of the popular “Saturday Night on Main Street” event also caused concern. Settlers’ Days planners want to hold the event – now dubbed “Saturday Night Family Festival” – behind the Glo-Bowl off Route 20 near the high school.

“I know people who come back to Settlers’ Days to go to ‘Saturday on Main,’ ” 1st Ward Alderwoman Nicole DeBoer said.

An informal social media poll was taken on a Marengo community forum regarding the event. Of the more than 300 responses, 289 people voted to keep “Saturday Night on Main Street” downtown.  

The City Council will discuss the item again at its July 10 meeting. Officials requested that Settlers’ Days event planners organize a more formal proposal addressing the concerns voiced at the meeting. A search for more volunteers to help with the event also is open.

Mayor John Koziol said he hoped the group would carefully weigh the decision, citing the uniqueness of the festival and its ties to the city’s identity.

“I can see the argument going both ways,” he said. “Not like you are proposing something out of the ordinary, but you are taking an identity about what is Marengo, what the downtown area is.”

Shaw Media file photo Members of the Hidden Path Arts studio perform a demonstration during the third day of the four-day Marengo Settler's Day festivities in 2016. The city council will meet to discuss moving Settlers Days to a new location out of the downtown area.


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Huntley Fire Protection District keeps sprinkler code despite frustration from new homebuildersH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Retired heating, ventilating, and air conditioning service contractor Charles Harding visits his new home site June 12. Harding and his neighbors are fighting the Huntley Fire Protection District ordinance that says new homes in subdivisions platted after 2005 are required to have a sprinkler system installed.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Retired heating, ventilating, and air conditioning service contractor Charles Harding visits his new home site June 12. Harding and his neighbors are fighting the Huntley Fire Protection District ordinance that says new homes in subdivisions platted after 2005 are required to have a sprinkler system installed.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:53:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – After Charles Harding started building his dream home west of Huntley in the Willow Hill subdivision, he realized he was required to install a home sprinkler system – which could cost upward of $15,000. Just south of his neighborhood, located north of Harmony Road and west of Seeman Road, newly constructed homes in the Botterman Farms subdivision don’t have the same home sprinkler system requirements, even though they also fall in the Huntley Fire Protection District’s jurisdiction.  The discrepancy in rules between two neighborhoods within the fire protection district’s boundaries has caused Harding, among other home builders, to question the fairness of an ordinance that only applies to subdivisions platted after 2005. “Had we known about the sprinkler ordinance, we wouldn’t have bought that lot,” Harding said.  Harding and a handful of other people who bought lots in the Willow Hill subdivision have asked the district to change the ordinance so homeowners can decide for themselves whether to install sprinkler systems in their new homes.  However, Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Ken Caudle said the district’s board of trustees sees no compelling evidence to rescind or alter the ordinance.  The residential sprinkler ordinance was adopted in August 2004, when the Huntley Fire Protection District was experiencing rapid growth, Caudle said. It was difficult to apply the ordinance evenly at first because of multiple residential building projects being in various states of development, he said.  The board made a decision to apply the ordinance to projects and properties that were platted on May 1, 2005, or later, Caudle said.  “While some may see this as unfair, the board felt it was the best way to apply the ordinance without disrupting projects that had already started,” Caudle said in an email. Home sprinkler systems have a number of benefits, according to Caudle, the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board and the National Fire Protection Association. Sprinklers will extinguish a typical residential fire in less than a minute, and they dramatically improve survival rates, Caudle said. They also use a fraction of the water that fire department hoses do, he said.  There were about 365,500 home structure fires nationwide in 2015 that claimed 2,560 lives, according to the NFPA. Overall, structure fires caused more than $10.3 billion in property damage.  The risk of someone dying in his or her home is cut by about 80 percent when automatic fire sprinkler systems are present, according to an NFPA report. But for Harding, home sprinkler systems bring more problems than benefits. Aside from the added cost sprinklers bring – including initial installation, maintenance and the added property tax values – sprinklers also are unsightly and could potentially go off when they’re not needed, Harding said.  Karyn Pourchot and her husband, Rob, also have bought a lot in Willow Hill subdivision, and they have not yet started building. Karyn Pourchot said it was shocking to find out the sprinkler system would be required for her new home. “It just really comes down to the fact that the ordinance is not executed fairly,” Karyn Pourchot said. “… [...]


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A cut above: 10 best salons in McHenry County

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:00:48 GMT

Here are the 10 best salons in McHenry County, as voted on by readers in our 2017 Best of the Fox competition.

53 Brink St., Crystal Lake | 815-893-6370

Facebook

25 N. William St., Crystal Lake | 815-459-2462

www.clipjoyntsalon.com

3731 W. Elm St., McHenry | 815-385-8781

salonuniqueinc.com

410 S. Route 31, McHenry | 815-385-2877

salonteellece.com

77 E. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake | 815-444-9873

blushsaloncl.com

415 E. Congress Parkway, Ste. E, Crystal Lake | 815-477-7300

www.salonmackk.com

3103 Route 176, Crystal Lake | 815-893-4340

www.saloncora.com

8 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake | 815-459-0900

ihw1997.com

318 Memorial Drive, Crystal Lake | 815-455-0780

www.paulhylandsalon.com

81 N. Randall Road, Lake in the Hills | 847-458-7299

chazios.com


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Scores missing in massive China landslide; 10 bodies foundRelatives toss paper offerings to appease the dead at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Crews searching through the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China on Saturday found bodies, but more than 100 people remained missing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)A rescue worker takes a nap at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Crews searching through the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China on Saturday found bodies, but more than 100 people remained missing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:30:00 GMT

MAO COUNTY, China – Rescuers recovered 10 bodies and still were searching for 93 missing people Sunday, a day after a massive landslide buried a picturesque mountain village in southwestern China.

More than 2,500 rescuers with detection devices and dogs were looking for signs of life amid the rubble of huge boulders that rained down on Xinmo village in Sichuan province early Saturday.

As of Sunday night, only three people – a couple and their month-old baby – had been rescued from the disaster site.

Relatives toss paper offerings to appease the dead at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Crews searching through the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China on Saturday found bodies, but more than 100 people remained missing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)A rescue worker takes a nap at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Crews searching through the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China on Saturday found bodies, but more than 100 people remained missing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


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Possible effects of gerrymandering seen in uncontested racesMinority Whip Carolyn Fleming Hugley, D-Columbus (right), and Minority Leader DuBose Porter, D-Dublin (left), attend a Feb. 9, 2005, meeting at the Capitol in Atlanta. In 2017, Georgia Republicans sought to change the boundaries of several state House districts, including a couple won by Republicans by single-digit margins last November. Some of the proposed shifts sought to move heavily black precincts – where voters overwhelmingly support Democrats – from Republican-held districts into ones occupied by Democrats. Although the bill passed the House, it died in the Senate. Hugley criticized it as gerrymandering intended to create safer Republican seats.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:30:00 GMT

When voters cast ballots for state representatives last fall, millions of Americans essentially had no choice: In 42 percent of all such elections, candidates faced no major party opponents. Political scientists say a major reason for the lack of choices is the way districts are drawn – gerrymandered, in some cases, to ensure as many comfortable seats as possible for the majority party by creating other districts overwhelmingly packed with voters for the minority party. “With an increasing number of districts being drawn to deliberately favor one party over another – and with fewer voters indicating an interest in crossover voting – lots of potential candidates will look at those previous results and come to a conclusion that it’s too difficult to mount an election campaign in a district where their party is the minority,” said John McGlennon, a longtime professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary in Virginia who has tracked partisan competition in elections. While the rate of uncontested races dipped slightly from 2014 to 2016, the percentage of people living in legislative districts without electoral choices has been generally rising over the past several decades. About 4,700 state House and Assembly seats were up for election last year. Of those, 998 Democrats and 963 Republicans won without any opposition from the other major political party. In districts dominated by one party, election battles are fought mostly in the primaries; the winner from the majority party becomes a virtual shoo-in to win the general election. Some states had a particularly high rate of uncompetitive races: • In Georgia, just 31 of the 180 state House districts featured both Republican and Democratic candidates, a nation-high uncontested rate of 83 percent. Republicans hold almost two-thirds of the seats in the Georgia House of Representatives. • In Massachusetts, just 34 of the 160 state House districts had candidates from both major parties, an uncontested rate of 79 percent. There, Democrats hold four-fifths of the House seats. • About 75 percent of the state House races in Arkansas and South Carolina lacked either a Democratic or Republican candidate. Under an Arkansas law passed this year, the names of unopposed candidates won’t even have to be listed on future ballots. Unchallenged candidates will automatically be declared the winners. Voting for unopposed candidates “just seems like an extra step in the process that we could eliminate,” said the sponsor of the Arkansas law, Rep. Charlotte Douglas, who hasn’t faced any opposition the past two elections. She added: “You hate to say that it doesn’t count, because any vote counts, but it’s unnecessary.” There are far fewer uncontested U.S. House races. Less than 15 percent of the 435 districts lacked a Republican or Democratic candidate last year. But some of the same states were atop that noncompetitive list: Five of Massachusetts’ nine U.S. House districts lacked Republican candidates. Three of Arkansas’ four districts lacked Democratic opponents. And in Georgia, which has 14 U.S. House districts, four Republicans and one Democrat ran unopposed by the other major p[...]


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Gay pride parades sound a note of resistance – and face someSteven Menendez blows a kiss while participating Sunday in the New York City Pride Parade in New York.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:30:00 GMT

NEW YORK – Thousands of people lined the streets for gay pride parades Sunday in coast-to-coast events that took both celebratory and political tones, the latter a reaction to what some see as new threats to gay rights in the Trump era. In a year when leaders are anxious about the president’s agenda, parade organizers in New York and San Francisco were more focused on protest. In New York, for instance, grand marshals from the American Civil Liberties Union were chosen to represent a “resistance movement.” Activists have been galled by the Trump administration’s rollback of federal guidance advising school districts to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. The Republican president also broke from Democratic predecessor Barack Obama’s practice of issuing a proclamation in honor of Pride Month. At the jam-packed New York City parade, a few attendees wore “Make America Gay Again” hats, while one group walking silently in the parade wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts as they held up signs with a fist and with a rainbow background, a symbol for gay pride. Still others protested potential cuts to heath care benefits, declaring that “Health care is an LGBT issue.” “I think this year is even more politically charged, even though it was always a venue where people used it to express their political perspectives,” said Joannah Jones, 59, of New York, with her wife, Carol Phillips. She said the parade being televised for the first time gives people a wider audience. “Not only to educate people in general on the diversity of LGBTQ community but also to see how strongly we feel about what’s going on in office.” Lemon Reimer, a 20-year-old college student from upstate New York, said the sense of community was important. “I am starting to feel more like I need to have the security of my culture and my people around me to feel protected and safe.” Meanwhile, Kendall Bermudez, a 21-year-old parade-goer from New Jersey, felt empowered by the huge showing there. “I think with all these people here, they’re going to show we’re fighting back and we’re proud of who we are,” she said. “I think we’re going to overcome it and show Trump who’s boss.” And in Chicago, 23-year-old Sarah Hecker was attending her first pride parade, another event that attracted wall-to-wall crowds. “I felt like this would be a way to not necessarily rebel, but just my way to show solidarity for marginalized people in trying times,” said Hecker, a marketing consultant who lives in suburban Chicago. Elected officials also made a stand, Sunday, among them New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said his state would continue to lead the way on equality. On Sunday, Cuomo, a Democrat, also formally appointed Paul G. Feinman to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Feinman is the first openly gay judge to hold the position. But the pride celebrations also face some resistance from within the LGBT community itself. Some activists feel the events are centered on gay white men and are unconcerned with issues that matter particularly to minorities in the movement, such as economic inequality and policing. The divide has disrupted some other p[...]


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Total solar eclipse 1st in 99 years to sweep width of U.S.AP photo This June 7 photo shows a sign showcasing an upcoming solar eclipse in Hopkinsville, Ky. For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the U.S. on Aug. 21. There is heightened anticipation in the eclipses path, including in the small, rural towns of southwestern Kentucky.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:29:00 GMT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – This August, the U.S. will experience its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. Total solar eclipses occur every year or two or three, often in the middle of nowhere, such as in the South Pacific or Antarctic. What makes this one so special – at least for Americans – is that it will cut diagonally across the entire U.S. The path of totality on Aug. 21 – where day briefly becomes night – will pass over Oregon, continuing through the heartland all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. Those on the outskirts – all the way into Canada, Central America and even the upper part of South America – will be treated to a partial eclipse. The last time a total solar eclipse swept the whole width of the U.S. was in 1918. No tickets are required for this Monday matinée, just special eclipse glasses so you don’t ruin your eyes. Here are some eclipse tidbits as you get ready to feast your protected eyes on perhaps the greatest of all cosmic spectacles. WHAT’S A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE? When the moon passes between Earth and the sun, and scores a bull’s eye by completely blotting out the sunlight, that’s a total solar eclipse. The moon casts a shadow on our planet. Dead center is where sky gazers get the full treatment. In this case, the total eclipse will last up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds in places. A partial eclipse will be visible along the periphery. Clouds could always spoil the view, however, so be ready to split for somewhere with clear skies, if necessary. WHAT’S THE PATH ON AUG. 21? The path of totality – meaning total darkness – will begin near Lincoln City, Oregon, as the lunar shadow makes its way into the U.S. This path will be 60 miles to 70 miles wide; the closer to the center, the longer the totality. Totality will cross from Oregon into Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and, finally, South Carolina. (It also will pass over tiny slivers of Montana and Iowa.) The eclipse will last longest near Carbondale, Illinois: approximately two minutes and 40 seconds. The biggest cities in the path include Nashville; Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina; Salem, Oregon; Casper, Wyoming; and just barely within Kansas City, Missouri. LAST TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSES IN U.S.? Hawaii experienced a total solar eclipse in 1991. But the U.S. mainland hasn’t seen a total solar eclipse since 1979, when it swooped across Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, then into Canada. Before that, in 1970, a total solar eclipse skirted the Atlantic coastline from Florida to Virginia. Totality – or total darkness – exceeded three minutes in 1970, longer than the one coming up. The country’s last total solar eclipse stretching from coast to coast, on June 8, 1918, came in over Oregon and Washington, and made a beeline for Florida. ___ WHEN’S THE NEXT ONE? If you miss the Aug. 21 eclipse – or get bitten by the eclipse bug – you’ll have to wait seven years to see another one in the continental U.S. The very next total solar eclipse will be in 2019, but you’ll h[...]


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Europeans learn to live with – and adapt to – terror attacksAP file photo Debris from a June 7 attack in Borough Market, London, remains in the street. The jihadis' targets are depressingly repetitive: the Brussels metro (twice), Paris' Champs-Elysees (twice) and tourist-filled bridges in London (twice). And that's just the past few months.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:29:00 GMT

PARIS – The jihadis’ targets in Europe are depressingly repetitive: the Brussels metro, the Champs-Elysees in Paris (twice), tourist-filled bridges in London (twice) and a U.K. rock concert. And that’s just the past few months. The steady stream of attacks on centers of daily life have drawn pledges from Europeans not to let terrorists change how they live, but in ways large and small they already have. There is a heightened awareness and quicker reactions, especially in the hardest-hit countries of France, Britain and Belgium, that would have seemed unthinkable just a few years ago. In Brussels on Tuesday, a 36-year-old Moroccan man shouting “Allahu akbar!” set off a bomb among subway commuters. The bomb didn’t detonate in full and a soldier shot him dead. It was another Muslim, Mohamed Charfih, who demanded that the subway’s doors be closed before the attacker could enter. “I heard people on the platform shouting for help,” he told the news site DH. He looked out and knew what he saw. “I screamed to close the doors immediately. I asked to get out of there as fast as possible and that everyone get down on the floor.” That reaction, blocking the door and fleeing, has become part of official instructions on what to do in case of an attack in France. Signs have been posted in public areas and even schools showing people running, ducking beneath a window or using heavy furniture as a barricade. Tensions are high enough in central Paris that on Thursday the quick-response police unit reacted to a witness’ phone call about a man wearing a sidearm by tackling him on the street, only to learn that he was a ranking member of the anti-terrorism squad, according to French media. In Britain, decades of IRA attacks prompted the installation of country-wide TV surveillance cameras – one of the most expansive systems in the world. Paris quickly is ramping up its own camera system, to the point where authorities were able this week to track the minute-by-minute path of the man who tried to attack a Champs-Elysee gendarme patrol until the moment he rammed their vehicle. The man died of burns and smoke inhalation – the only casualty of his act – but left behind a substantial arsenal. Both Britain and France have installed barriers around airports, train stations and other public buildings in recent years. Since the Westminster bridge attack in March, however, talks are underway to install even more barriers on bridges and around crowded places such as London’s Borough Market, where three attackers this month went on a stabbing rampage after crashing their vehicle on a busy street not far from London Bridge. Echoing France, London’s security authorities have issued advice to pubs and restaurants since the attacks with the message of “Run, Tell and Hide.” The advice includes establishing whether the threat is inside or outside and not waiting for police to decide whether the venue should be locked down or evacuated. Few British commuters have changed their habits. After suicide bombers in 2005 struck trains and buses during a busy London morning rush-hour, scores of commuters started riding bic[...]


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Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaulPresident Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:29:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Making a final push, President Donald Trump said he doesn’t think congressional Republicans are “that far off” on a health overhaul to replace “the dead carcass of Obamacare.” Expressing frustration, he complained about “the level of hostility” in government and wondered why both parties can’t work together on the Senate bill as GOP critics expressed doubt over a successful vote this week. It was the latest signs of high-stakes maneuvering over a key campaign promise, and the president signaled a willingness to deal. “We have a very good plan,” Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday. Referring to Republican senators opposed to the bill, he added: “They want to get some points, I think they’ll get some points.” Trump’s comments come amid the public opposition of five Republican senators so far to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama’s health law. Unless those holdouts can be swayed, their numbers are more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and deliver a bitter defeat for the president. That’s because unanimous opposition is expected from Democrats in a chamber in which Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority. Trump bemoaned the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, having belittled prominent Democrats himself. “It would be so great if the Democrats and Republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it and come up with something that everybody’s happy with,” the president said. “And I’m open arms; but I don’t see that happening. They fight each other. The level of hostility.” Trump has denigrated Democrats on numerous occasions, including a jab at Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the same interview: “She’s a hopeless case. I call her Pocahontas and that’s an insult to Pocahontas.” In a tweet last week after Georgia’s special House election, Trump also criticized House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party – and please let Cryin’ Chuck stay!” he wrote. In the broadcast interview, Trump did not indicate what types of changes to the Senate bill may be in store, but he affirmed that he had described a House-passed bill as “mean.” “I want to see a bill with heart,” he said, confirming a switch from his laudatory statements about the House bill at a Rose Garden ceremony with House GOP leaders last month. “Health care’s a very complicated subject from the standpoint that you move it this way, and this group doesn’t like it.” “And honestly, nobody can be totally happy,” Trump said. McConnell has said he’s willing to make changes to win support, and in the week ahead, plenty of backroom bargaining is expected. He is seeking to push a final package through the Senate before the July 4 recess. At least two GOP senators said Sunday that goal may prove too ambitious. “I would [...]


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City of Harvard announces construction dates for Culvers, Dollar General

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:21:00 GMT

HARVARD – Harvard will soon welcome two new businesses to town: a Culver’s restaurant and a Dollar General store.

Culver’s of Harvard will be located at 5410 South Division St. / U.S Route 14, near the Walmart and Cardinal Wine and Spirits, Mayor Mike Kelly said. The restaurant plans to close on its purchase of the property by August and start construction at the end of September.

If construction goes according to plan, Culver’s could be open and ready to sell its custard and butterburgers by December or January. The new restaurant will provide 15 full-time jobs and 50 part-time jobs, and the franchise intends to hire locally, city officials said.

Craig Culver founded the restaurant chain in 1984 in Wisconsin, and the franchise has since grown. It has more than 500 restaurants across 22 states, according to the Culver’s website.

Dollar General also has announced plans to begin construction in Harvard. The store will be located north of Harvard Savings Bank on North Division Street / Route 14, and plans to be open for business in September.

Dollar General sells everything from food to toiletries to household items, and operates 12,500 stores across 43 states. Dollar General has 451 Illinois locations, including many in McHenry County, according to the Dollar General website. Hebron’s Dollar General opened late last year and the chain announced plans to build in Wonder Lake in 2016.




Genealogy conference to take place at MCC in July

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:20:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Those looking to learn more about their family’s history are invited to attend an all-day genealogy conference Saturday, July 8.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in McHenry County College’s Conference Center, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The conference is sponsored by the McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society.

The event will feature a number of vendors, including various genealogy societies, historical societies and book sellers.

Speakers will include genealogists Mary Tedesco, Thomas MacEntee, Paul Milner and Michael Lacopo.

“This year we have a variety of topics for beginners, intermediates and more advanced researchers,” said Kristen McCallum, president of McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society. “But really the conference is for anybody who has an interest pursuing their family history.”

Last year’s event saw about 200 attendees, and vendors included the Elgin Genealogical Society, the Chicago Genealogical Society, the Illinois State Genealogical Society, ArkivDigital and HistoryLines.

“Every year we’ve got more people signed up for it,” McCallum said. “It’s really a great opportunity for people to come out for one day and learn all there is to offer with this great hobby and just discover how fun it is do research on family history.”

Conference registration can be done online at www.mcigs.org/conference.

Registration will continue through July 8 and cost $80 a person.

The McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society is a nonprofit of family history researchers who provide instruction in current research methods and practices, and support the preservation of and access to genealogical and historical records.

To learn about the event, contact the society at 815-687-0436 or at mcigs@mcigs.org.




McHenry County Board approves prevailing wage, ending three years of protest votes

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:18:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board approved the state prevailing wage rates, ending a three-year streak of casting a symbolic protest vote against them. Board members voted, 19-3, to adopt the wage schedule, which requires local governments to pay workers hired for public construction projects a specific wage set by the Illinois Department of Labor.  Audience members, many of whom were union members and local residents who came to encourage a vote to approve, applauded when the final vote was tallied. The County Board since 2014 had voted against prevailing wage, while being careful to instruct county staff to follow the law. Board member Donna Kurtz, R-Crystal Lake, said voting against prevailing wage sends a negative message to the community, and disputed the notion that the wages are responsible for the county’s sky-high property taxes. “I think in the end, the overall benefits well outweigh the negatives that some may perceive regarding prevailing wage. It’s the right thing to do – we know it’s the law. It’s the right thing to do,” Kurtz said. The County Board was one of the first local governments to begin casting an annual symbolic vote against prevailing wage. Opponents allege that it makes public works projects funded by taxpayers much more expensive than they need to be. Supporters counter that prevailing wage allows workers to make living wages in an expensive county, and prevents governments from shipping in cheap, unskilled and exploitable labor. State law requires local governments, such as the County Board, to adopt the wage schedule each year. But although voting to reject the schedule carries no penalty, a government that willingly pays workers less than prevailing wage is illegal – elected officials can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and the body itself can be subject to fines, which would be paid by the taxpayers. Board member Chuck Wheeler, R-McHenry, echoed the sentiments of current and past opponents, alleging that the prevailing wage law is an unjust one that puts more burden on taxpayers and is unfair to workers on private-sector contracts. He called prevailing wages “a leg of the political machine” because the unions that benefit in turn donate to politicians who keep the system going. “These [prevailing wage] workers are paid more than their private-sector counterparts, who are some of the very people footing the bill for these artificially high wages,” Wheeler said. A number of speakers during public comment urged the County Board to follow the law and adopt the schedule. Bob Paddock, a business representative for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 that represents several classes of county employees, urged board members not to “demonize” tradespeople who only want to earn a decent living. Woodstock resident and media entrepreneur Wendy Piersall likewise asked the County Board to adopt the wage schedule. “I can definitely say you get what you pay for when it comes to employee talent,” Pier[...]



Petersen Farm in McHenry holds 10th annual event to showcase life 100 years agoMike Greene - For Shaw Media Thomas Stamatis, 3 of McHenry, tests out a 1941 Ford 9N provided by Walt Boettcher during the 10th annual "A Day at Petersen Farm" Sunday, June 25, 2017 in McHenry. This year's event featured hayrides, farm animals, music and children’s games as well as exhibits showing McHenry County farm life in 1916.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:18:00 GMT

Patti Frett, formerly Patti Moerschbaecher, used to live across the street from Petersen Farm, 4112 McCullom Lake Road, in McHenry, and played on the farm when she and her siblings were children. Now, she brought her grandchildren to the farm during its 10th annual “A Day at Petersen Farm” event on Sunday to show them how she and her siblings used to play as kids. “This is all home stuff for me,” Frett said. Frett also said she recalls playing hide-and-seek with her siblings in the corn fields where Petersen Park is – where her grandsons play baseball now. “It’s really neat to tell our grandchildren that these were our stomping grounds, especially how everything has changed so much,” Frett said. Frett’s 10-year-old granddaughter, Lauren Blake, said she played farm games and saw animals at the petting zoo on site. She said her favorite part of the day was seeing a magician perform. “It was cool to watch,” Blake said. The event was meant to show what McHenry County farm life was like in 1916. It also featured a cow replica named “Cowleen” that people could milk, tractor driving simulators and indoor setups with furniture of the era and an outdoor laundry demonstration, along with old tractors on display. The farm was formed in 1842. The city of McHenry acquired it for agricultural heritage preservation after the Colby and Petersen families turned it over to the city. Kent Rexford and his children decided to stop by after they initially passed the event on their way to lunch. “I think it’s way better for them than sitting in front of the TV playing Playstation or anything else,” Rexford said. Rexford’s 5-year-old son, Cage, said his favorite part about the event were the cars and tractors on display. He and 4-year-old sister Averly watched blacksmith Sam Johnson at work. “People need to know what it took to make a living back then,” Johnson said. “It really gives you an appreciation for the modern amenities that we have.” Pat Wirtz, McHenry Landmark Commission chairman, member of the Colby-Petersen Farm Foundation and organizer for the event, spent the day walking around the farm and taking photos. After stopping to take a photo of people waiting in line at one booth, Wirtz lowered his camera from his eye and smiled. “We haven’t had lines like this in a long time,” Wirtz said. Wirtz said there were about 1,000 attendees for the Petersen Farm event last year. This year, Wirtz said they were on track to having even more attendees and perhaps the most the farm has seen since the annual event began a decade ago. Organizers counted about 900 attendees as of about noon. “In 10 years, I’ve really learned a lot about the history of McHenry, even though I’ve lived here for almost 70,” Wirtz said with a chuckle. Wirtz said the goal is to make the farm into an agricultural museum[...]


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Woodstock Train Depot to become Church St. Cafe

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:17:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – Commuters soon will have a new place to grab coffee, sandwiches, hot dogs and “take and bake” meals at the Metra station.

Main Street Pourhouse owner Bryson Calvin plans to open Church St. Cafe in Woodstock’s train depot. The cafe will offer freshly made donuts, croissants and bagels as well as a variety of breakfast sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks, fruit and cereal. The cafe also plans to offer “take and bake” meals that will be prepared and ready to serve, so commuters can grab dinner to bring home.

Calvin will lease the space from the city of Woodstock at $500 a month beginning Aug. 1. Council members approved the lease at a meeting this week.

The space will focus on offering local foods and supporting area businesses, Calvin said.

“The closest, most direct competition is Starbucks,” he wrote in a proposal to the city. “We plan to offer the same quality coffees and teas with a better selection of bakery, breakfast and lunch specials. We will also be sourcing many of our items from local farmers and businesses thereby creating an atmosphere that has a local community rather than corporate feeling.”

The cafe will offer breakfast sandwiches that go beyond the standard egg and cheese – some highlighted options on the proposed menu include a bacon jam and peanut butter bagel sandwich and a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on a glazed donut.

Church St. Cafe also plans to offer art and gathering space for business meetings, in connection with Main Street Pourhouse, according to planning documents.

The depot has seen many businesses come and go over the years. In 2015, City Council member and local business owner Dan Hart attempted to open a cafe with video gaming and alcohol sales, but the plan was quashed by Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the majority of the property. It operated as a cafe for a time, but the depot has been vacant for about 18 months, said Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson.

Before that, Stella’s Off the Square operated in the space from July 2013 to September 2014. Another cafe had been open at the depot from 2008 to 2012, after the Java junction exited after 11 years in business.

Council members were largely in favor of the proposal.

“I am really excited about the idea and the investment,” council member Maureen Larson said. “It’s something we don’t really have in town, and I think it can be a popular investment.”




Marengo interchange continues, Longmeadow stops under IDOT budget shutdownSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Vehicles drive past bridge construction on Route 14 near Bunker Hill Road in Woodstock Friday, June 23, 2017.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com McHenry County leaders who have waited a long time for a Marengo interchange at Interstate 90 and Route 23 will not have their dream delayed if state lawmakers can’t come to an agreement on a budget.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 05:12:00 GMT

McHenry County leaders who have waited a long time for a Marengo interchange at Interstate 90 and Route 23 will not have their dream delayed if state lawmakers can’t come to an agreement on a budget. But a continued budget impasse will do to the next phase of the Longmeadow Parkway what an endangered bumblebee could not, and shut down work until a state budget is in place. The Illinois Department of Transportation, as it did this time last year during the ongoing budget impasse, has ordered that all IDOT-funded roadwork start winding down and cease altogether by Friday unless the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner can end a three-year budget standoff. Rauner ordered the General Assembly into special session last Wednesday to attempt to reach a budget deal before the 2018 state fiscal year begins Saturday. The interchange work in Marengo, which right now consists of replacing the Route 23 overpass, is under the auspices of the Illinois Tollway, which gets its funding from tolls rather than state or federal dollars, so work will continue as scheduled. However, that’s not the case for the next phase of the Longmeadow Parkway in neighboring Kane County. The $13.28 million next phase for the four-lane, 5.6-mile road – building it from west of Randall Road to east of White Chapel Lane in Algonquin – will not continue without a 2018 budget, Kane County Division of Transportation Assistant Director Steve Coffinbargar said. The next phase in the project to connect Randall Road and Route 62 is an IDOT contract, and federal funds that are helping pay for it flow through the state. “It does contain federal funds, and thus if the state budget doesn’t get passed come July 1, it will be shut down,” Coffinbargar said. Engineering and land acquisition for the remainder of the Longmeadow project is county funded and will continue on schedule, he said. A federal judge in April halted further construction on Longmeadow Parkway under a temporary restraining order after an opposition group filed a lawsuit over concerns that the work would harm the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee, which was found in a forest preserve along the parkway corridor. The two-week restraining order expired in early May and construction continued. A shutdown would affect 700 IDOT projects statewide, totaling $2.3 billion. Three McHenry County projects under IDOT jurisdiction will stop without a budget. A $642,571 project that began in April to repair a small bridge on Route 14 over the Kishwaukee river near Bunker Hill Road west of Woodstock will stop if the impasse continues. Two more were set to begin this week, according to IDOT: a $784,117 resurfacing of Route 31 from Park Place to Route 120 in McHenry, and a $962,056 resurfacing of Route 31 from north of Route 14 to Orchard Lane in Crystal Lake. However, an economic policy nonprofit is sounding a warning that a protracted shutdown of state ro[...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:30:00 GMT

Susan Wayman took up gardening simply because she needed something to do while her children played outside. Thirty years, numerous gardening books and countless weeds pulled later, Wayman is still at it. Garden lovers who participated in the McHenry County Master Gardeners Garden Walk admired Wayman’s garden a decade ago when it was a part of the self-guided tour. Now, Wayman’s garden once again will be a stop on the annual garden walk, but this time she is honored with being this year’s featured garden. “I just started planting flowers, and it kept growing,” Wayman said, “and now [my children] are all grown up and I’m still going.” Rounded plots of soil expands out into Wayman’s yard, curving in and out from the front of her home to the back, completely filled with plants. In the backyard, more plants are seen in the back corners of the yard. One of these corners serves as a vegetable garden guarded by a scarecrow decked out in Cubs apparel. Out of the what seems to be hundreds of plants, Wayman most admires her hostas, which lie under an apple tree in the back left corner of her property. Wayward formed her own style over her many years of gardening. She never really has a plan or layout for her garden. She just finds the plants she likes and goes from there. “Pretty much I see plants at nurseries and I have to have that,” Wayward said, “and sometimes I’ll walk around the yard like for two hours like ‘Now where do I put this?’ ” Three decades of gardening comes with its habits, such as Wayman’s need to pull weeds. “I can’t walk past a weed without pulling it. Sometimes even in public spaces,” Wayward said. “No, I don’t really, but I’m tempted. It’s like nope, that’s really weird.” Members of her family also contribute to the garden. Her son helped her in laying down the stone paths that lead through the garden. Her husband built several stands that help support plants out of re-purposed rod iron steel he got from selling steel for a living. Wayward advises new gardeners to research their plants before they buy them. Wayward acquired many books and subscribes to numerous gardening magazines. “I’ve educated myself pretty well about gardening,” Wayward said. “It keeps you from making expensive mistakes.” The McHenry County Master Gardeners invite those interested to “sit and rest, and read” at their demonstration garden from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8 at McHenry County College. The event also includes a self-guided tour of eight private gardens, including Wayman’s. Tickets can be bought by June 30 for $12 at gardenwalkmchenrycounty.bpt.me or on the day of the walk for $17. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake resident Susan Wayman strolls through her backyard garden that is featured in the Master Gardeners of McHenr[...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:50:00 GMT

MAO COUNTY, China – Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 100 more people remained missing. About 3,000 rescuers were using detection devices and dogs to look for signs of life in an area that once held 62 homes and a hotel, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. “We won’t give up as long as there is a slim of chance,” the agency quoted an unidentified searcher as saying. The provincial government of Sichuan on Sunday released the names of the 118 missing people. It’s unclear if the 15 bodies have been identified. Relatives were sobbing as they awaited news of their loved ones. A woman in a nearby village told The Associated Press that she had no information on her relatives in Xinmo, the mountain village that was buried. She said she had heard that only body parts were found. Xu Zhiwen, executive deputy governor of the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba, the region where the landslide struck early Saturday, said that all 142 tourists who were visiting a site in Xinmo have been found alive. Three members of one family were located five hours after the landslide. Qiao Dashuai, 26, said he and his wife awoke to cries from their 1-month-old son about 5:30 a.m. “Just after we changed the diaper for the baby, we heard a big bang outside and the light went out,” Qiao said. “We felt that something bad was happening and immediately rushed to the door, but the door was blocked by mud and rocks.” Qiao told state broadcaster CCTV his family was swept away by water as part of a mountain collapsed. He said they struggled against the flood of water until they met medical workers who took them to a hospital. His parents and other relatives were among the missing. “It’s the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake,” Wang Yongbo, an official leading one of the rescue efforts, told CCTV. Wang was referring to China’s deadliest earthquake this century, a magnitude-7.9 temblor that struck Sichuan province in May 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people. Mao County, or Maoxian, sits on the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau and is home to about 110,000 people. Most residents are of the Qiang ethnic minority. The landslide buried 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of road and blocked a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) section of a river. The provincial government said on its website that an estimated 8 million cubic meters (282 million cubic feet) of earth and rock – equivalent to more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – slid down the mountain. Experts told CCTV that the landslide was likely triggered by rain. Search may be made easier Sunday as the weather service forecast a sunny day. [...]In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescu[...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:49:00 GMT

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


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:49:00 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. The biggest news of all, though, would be if Justice Anthony Kennedy were to use the court's last public session on Monday to announce his retirement. To be sure, Kennedy has given no public sign that he will retire this year and give President Donald Trump his second high court pick in the first months of his administration. Kennedy's departure would allow conservatives to take firm control of the court. But Kennedy turns 81 next month and has been on the court for nearly 30 years. Several of his former law clerks have said they think he is contemplating stepping down in the next year or so. Kennedy and his clerks were gathering over the weekend for a reunion that was pushed up a year and helped spark talk he might be leaving the court. "Soon we'll know if rumors of Kennedy's retirement are accurate," one former Kennedy clerk, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, said on Twitter Friday. When the justices take the bench Monday, they are expected to decide the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which was excluded from a state grant program to pay for soft surfaces on playgrounds run by not-for-profit groups. The case is being closely watched by advocates of school vouchers, who hope the court will make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in states that now prohibit it. Missouri has since changed its policy under Republican Gov. Eric Greitens so that churches may now apply for the money. Also expected in the next few days, though there's no deadline by which the court must decide, is a ruling on whether to allow the administration to immediately enforce a 90-day ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, could play a pivotal role in both the travel ban and church playground cases. In all, six cases that were argued between November and April remain undecided. Three of those, all involving immigrants or foreigners, were heard by an eight-justice court, before Gorsuch joined the bench in April. If the eight justices are evenly divided, those cases could be argued a second time in the fall, with Gorsuch available to provide the tie-breaking vote. FILE - This Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration‚Äôs travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)[...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:48:00 GMT

CHICAGO – Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to “junk” status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come. S&P Global Ratings has warned the agency will likely lower Illinois’ creditworthiness to below investment grade if feuding lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget for a third straight year, increasing the amount the state will have to pay to borrow money for things such as schools, building roads or refinancing existing debt. The outlook for a deal wasn’t good Saturday, as lawmakers meeting in Springfield for a special legislative session remained deadlocked with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year approaching. That should alarm everyone, not just those at the Capitol, said Brian Battle, director at Performance Trust Capital Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm. “It isn’t a political show,” he said. “Everyone in Illinois has a stake in what’s happening here. One day everybody will wake up and say ‘What happened? Why are my taxes going up so much?’” Here’s a look at what’s happening and what a junk rating could mean: Why now? Ratings agencies have been downgrading Illinois’ credit rating for years, although they’ve accelerated the process as the stalemate has dragged on between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats, led by House Speaker Michael Madigan, who control the General Assembly. The agencies are concerned about Illinois’ massive pension debt, as well as a $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills and the drop in revenue that occurred when lawmakers in 2015 allowed a temporary income tax increase to expire. “In our view, the unrelenting political brinkmanship now poses a threat to the timely payment of the state’s core priority payments,” S&P stated when it dropped Illinois’ rating to one level above junk, which was just after lawmakers adjourned their regular session May 31 without a deal. Moody’s did the same, stating: “As the regular legislative session elapsed, political barriers to progress appeared to harden, indicating both the severity of the state’s challenges and the political difficulty of advocating their solutions.” What is a ‘junk’ rating? Think of it as a credit score, but for a state (or city or county) instead of a person. When Illinois wants to borrow money, it issues bonds. Investors base their decision on whether to buy Illinois bonds on what level of risk they’re willing to take, informed greatly by the rating that agencies such as Moody’s assign. A junk rating means the state is at a higher risk of not repaying its debt. At that point, many mutual funds and individual investors – who make up more than ha[...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:31:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:29:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Cary Park District Board of Commissioners looking to fill board vacancy

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:29:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:28:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

But what about the direction these new seats will face?

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:28:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – For the second year in a row, the Huntley American Legion Post 673 held a festival to benefit local veterans and organizations dedicated to them. Hundreds of people attended the second annual Vet Fest on Saturday at the Huntley Legion Post 673 - Auxiliary, 11712 W. Coral St., Huntley. The festival offered veterans food, beverages, raffle prizes and entertainment in the form of music. Raul Zuniga, a 96-year-old Army veteran who served in World War II, said he was honored to be at the festival. “Not many World War II vets are left,” Zuniga said. “So I’m blessed, I’m humble, and I’m lucky to still be alive and attend this event.” Post Cmdr. Michael Stojak said last year’s festival saw between 400 to 500 people and expects about 800 people to have attended Saturday’s event. “The expectations are much higher this year to raise even more money for all these organizations,” Stojak said. Throughout the festival, attendees could buy a hot dog or hamburger, order a cold one from the event’s beer tent, sit down and relax to live performances from Serendipity, Vertical Jam and Tongue-n-Groove. “We try to support a lot of different charities that help out veterans,” Stojak said. “The American Legion is veterans helping veterans.” “We only have veteran organizations here and no outside vendors,” Stojak said. “And any charities here are not allowed to ask the public for donations. Instead the public comes out, they have a good time, and they can put the money in the jars to donate if they want to.” Proceeds will benefit organizations such as Gifts to the Yankees, New Horizons, Operation Comfort Warriors Scholarships and Pits for Patriots, a nonprofit organization that trains rescued pit bulls to be service dogs for first responders and veterans. “We’re here to help spread the word about our organization,” said Lori Ogawa of Pits for Patriots. “We love this event and support it a hundred percent.” Stojak said this festival was made possible by the support of staff and sponsors. “I couldn’t have done this without them,” Stojak said. “They all did such a great job in helping put this together.” Stojak said senior staff members Lori Nichols, Jen Raymer and Suzan Hoehn were instrumental in their help. “There’s many veterans that come out of service who need help,” Nichols said. “And there’s not a lot of help out there, so the more money we can raise, the more they can get help.” This year’s sponsors included Centegra Health System, Offie’s Tap, Alliance Contractors Inc., and Landmark [...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:27:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:26:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Anyone traveling through Huntley can visit a new boutique-style home goods store that sells decor, jewelry, artisan work and other unique items from around the world. Plenty, the name of the house-turned- business, opened Thursday at 1103 S. Church St., Huntley. Owner Lisa Uidl and her husband, Randy, chose a residential location on purpose, thinking it was the perfect location for a home goods store. Uidl said they almost bought a different Huntley location, but that fell through. “We knew were going to open a store, but we didn’t want to rent,” Uidl said. “We wanted a home. Something we could feel like we were at home in it and the people would come in and feel like they were at home.” The layout of a home helps with the placement of Uidl’s goods. For example, kitchenware is on display in the kitchen. Uidl spent the past year and a half scouting for items and vendors she felt would fit in her store. Local artists created items displayed in the store as well as artists from Thailand, Estonia and Italy. “I’m kind of growing my direct contact and that’s one of my favorite things – to connect with people from all over,” Uidl said. “It’s so fun to talk to people around the world who make really cute things.” Uidl described herself as a frustrated artist. Uidl said she doesn’t have the talent to create, but makes up for it by collecting items that other people have created. “I love to travel and every time we go some place, my first thing is checking out tiny little shops, so I just like stores that have things that are adorable, that you can’t find other places, like you can’t get them at Target,” Uidl said. “That’s kind of my operating mode. If you can buy it at Target, I can’t carry it.” Uidl formerly taught English and is currently a discipleship pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. She said the link between these other jobs and running her own business is dealing with people, which is her favorite part. “Every job I ever had is very relational and just has a lot to do with people,” Uidl said, “And so this is nice just to meet the people in the community.” Just as much as she loves the home itself, Uidl said she enjoys the community built around it. She applauded Huntley’s work creating the downtown area that it has today. In addition to the shop, Uidl’s son, Zack, teaches guitar lessons upstairs with students of all ages. Zack Uidl can be reached at 224-406-2397 or at zack@zackuidl.com. More information can be found at www.huntleyguitarlessons.com. Hav[...]


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:25:00 GMT

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


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:23:00 GMT

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


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

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 04:23:00 GMT

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


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

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:03:00 GMT

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


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

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:28:00 GMT

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


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Fire official: McHenry crash leaves 1 in serious condition

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:17:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


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

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:16:00 GMT

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

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

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

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

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

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


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