Subscribe: Lifestyle Columns
http://www.nwherald.com/?rss=lifestyle/columnists
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
crystal lake  high school  high  jan  lake  mchenry county  mchenry  police  president  school  trump  year     
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Lifestyle Columns

Northwest Herald



Recent news from Northwest Herald



 



6 new rules to prevent Oscars envelope gaffeAP file photo Jordan Horowitz (left), producer of "La La Land," shows the envelope revealing "Moonlight" as the true winner of best picture at the Oscars on Feb. 26 in Los Angeles as presenter Warren Beatty and host Jimmy Kimmel look on.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:37:00 GMT

LOS ANGELES – After taking responsibility for the epic best picture flub at the Oscars last year, Tim Ryan of PwC got down to business. He grilled the partners who made the gaffe, then personally reached out to the dozens of people affected by it: The show’s producers, presenters and stage managers, and the filmmakers behind “La La Land” and “Moonlight.” In the months that followed, PwC met with the academy many times to come up with new protocols and safeguards to prevent such a blunder in the future. Ryan revealed six new reforms, including a new process in which the celebrity presenter will confirm they have the correct envelope before stepping onstage, PwC partners attending rehearsals, as well as measures to quickly correct any mistake. Last year’s mistake happened when a PwC partner mistakenly handed an envelope for the best actress winner category, which went to Emma Stone in “La La Land,” to the presenters of the best picture category, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. That resulted in “La La Land” being briefly named best picture, before one of that film’s producers revealed the error and that “Moonlight” had in fact won. “One of the most disappointing things to me was all the great work that had been done, not only last year but over the last 83 years, around accuracy, confidentiality integrity of that process,” Ryan said. “And where we got it wrong was on the handing over of the envelope.” Ryan said Oscar voting procedures and the tabulation of nominees and winners won’t change. Instead, reforms focus on envelope rituals. Ryan said he will be personally involved with Oscar operations this year as PwC’s U.S. chairman and senior partner. Other changes include: • The addition of a third balloting partner, who will sit with Oscar producers in the show’s control room. Just like the balloting partners stationed on either side of the Dolby Theatre stage, this person will have a complete set of winners’ envelopes and commit the winners to memory. “Think of it as a safety control,” Ryan said. • The two partners who worked on last year’s Academy Awards have been replaced, although Ryan confirms that both still work for PwC. The new stage-side partners overseeing the envelopes will include Rick Rosas, who previously worked in that post for 14 years, and colleague Kimberly Bourdon from the company’s Los Angeles office. • A new formal procedure is in place for when envelopes are handed over. Both the celebrity presenter and a stage manager will confirm that they’ve been given the correct envelope for the category they are about to present. (Last year’s gaffe occurred when the PwC representative accidentally gave presenters the envelope for best actress rather than best picture.) • All three balloting partners will attend show rehearsals and practice what to do if something goes wrong. “Because, as you’re well aware, it took a long time to respond last year when there was a mistake that we made,” Ryan said. “So we’re formally practicing the what-ifs.” The final change is one the academy immediately instituted last year: PwC partners are prohibited from using cellphones or social media during the show. “Our singular focus will be on the show and delivering the correct envelopes,” Ryan said. Besides tabulating votes for Oscar nominees and winners, PwC handles much of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ accounting, including audits and taxes. Film academy chief Dawn Hudson said that after reviewing the relationship between the two organizations, and given that the voting and secrecy around the Academy Awards were never compromised, the ac[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/96ddb8ef9bcb446291a71a194c21992b/b4a06f8f-61e6-4af4-87b7-e4bc99fd1df3/image-pv_web.jpg




Vice President Mike Pence visits Western Wall amid tensions with PalestiniansAP photo U.S. Vice President Mike Pence touches the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site on Tuesday in Jerusalem's Old City.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

JERUSALEM – Vice President Mike Pence placed his hand on the hallowed Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday as he wrapped up a four-day trip to the Mideast that ended with Palestinians still fuming over the Trump administration’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital. On a solemn visit to the holiest site where Jews can pray, Pence tucked a small white note of prayer in the wall’s cracks after touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During his first trip to the region as vice president, Pence sought to enlist the help of Arab leaders in Egypt and Jordan on the Mideast peace process and used a high-profile speech to the Knesset to reaffirm President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and accelerate plans to open a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. But Pence’s willingness to meet with Palestinian leaders – he told The Associated Press in an interview that the “door’s open” – was rebuffed by President Mahmoud Abbas, who canceled meetings last month and offered a not-so-subtle snub by overlapping with Pence in Jordan from Saturday evening until midday Sunday. Several Arab lawmakers disrupted the start of Pence’s speech to the Knesset, holding signs that said, “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.” Much of Pence’s trip focused on working with U.S. partners to counter terrorism and make the case for persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East. But shortly before Air Force Two departed Jerusalem, Abbas’ ruling Fatah party called for a general strike to protest Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital – another escalation after the Trump administration had raised hopes of a cooling-down period. “The trip made zero progress in bringing the Palestinians back to the table,” Ilan Goldenberg, director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, wrote in an email. “In fact, it probably only hardened the Palestinian position.” Aaron David Miller, a Wilson Center distinguished fellow who served as a State Department Middle East analyst and negotiator, said the trip shouldn’t be judged in terms of accomplishments. Pence wasn’t going to make any breakthroughs, largely because of the Palestinian freeze-out after Trump’s announcement, he said. In negotiations like those hoped for between the Israelis and Palestinians, Miller said, the third party in those talks needs to prod and cajole using both honey and vinegar. But, Miller said, “we’ve taken the application of the honey to an extreme.” A senior White House official said top negotiators for the Trump administration, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and the president’s son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, had not spoken to Palestinian leaders since just before Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement. The official wasn’t authorized to describe private deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity. Trump’s announcement in December declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital has created reverberations through the region and countered decades of U.S. foreign policy and international consensus that Jerusalem’s status should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians have pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal floated by the Trump administration amid concerns it would fall far below their hopes for an independent state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza, lands captured by Israel in the 1967 war. Pence reiterated throughout his travels that the U.S. would accept a two-state solution – if both parties agreed – an[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/2553d5d3df824d6c875af1e3458bb64e/1618df89-0594-494f-8015-e7d2a8a009d3/image-pv_web.jpg




In Oscar nominations, fresh voices lead the wayAP file photo This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Frances McDormand (from left), Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell in a scene from "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." The film won a Golden Globe and SAG Award for best motion picture drama and is a contender for an Oscar for best picture.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

NEW YORK – The Academy Awards showered outsiders, on screen and off, with milestone-setting nominations that celebrated Guillermo del Toro’s full-hearted ode to outcasts “The Shape of Water,” embraced first-time filmmakers such as Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele, and made “Mudbound” director of photography Rachel Morrison the first woman ever nominated for best cinematography. In nominations that spanned young and old, studio blockbusters and passion-fueled indies, the 90th annual Academy Awards on Tuesday gave many who have long been shunned by the movie business – women directors, transgender filmmakers, minority actors, even Netflix – something to cheer about. Leading all nominees with 13 nods, including best picture, was “The Shape of Water,” by veteran Mexican filmmaker del Toro, whose Cold War-era fantasy is about a mute office cleaner (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with an amphibious creature. But the nominations also carried forward some of the ongoing reckoning of the Me Too movement that has been felt especially acutely in Hollywood, where male filmmakers outnumber women by a ratio of approximately 12-to-1. Gerwig, the writer-director of the nuanced coming-of-age tale “Lady Bird,” became just the fifth woman nominated for best director, following Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow, the sole woman to win, for “The Hurt Locker.” Speaking by phone Tuesday from Los Angeles, Gerwig said the distinction was extremely meaningful. “When I think about Kathryn Bigelow winning and me sitting there watching it and feeling suddenly like, ‘It’s possible,’ ” Gerwig said. “To be nominated as the fifth woman, I hope that what it does is that women of all ages look at it and they also find the spark within themselves that says: ‘Now I have to go make my movie.’ That’s what I want. And I want it selfishly because I want to see their stories.” In what’s been a wide-open awards season, Oscar voters chose nine best-picture nominees, including four with female protagonists: “The Shape of Water,” ‘’Lady Bird,” Martin McDonaugh’s rage-fueled comic drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jordan Peele’s horror sensation “Get Out,” Joe Wright’s Winston Churchill drama “Darkest Hour,” Steven Spielberg’s timely newspaper drama “The Post,” Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk,” Luca Guadagnino’s tender love story “Call Me By Your Name” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s twisted romance “Phantom Thread.” One of Gerwig’s first calls of congratulations was to another first-time filmmaker, Peele. The two have been brought together by Hollywood’s months-long Oscar campaigning and their mutual rookie status. (Gerwig previously co-directed a small feature.) “The Shape of Water” landed just shy of tying the record of 14 nominations, scoring a wide array for nominations for its cast (Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer), del Toro’s directing, its sumptuous score (by Alexandre Desplat) and its technical craft. Del Toro said in an interview Tuesday that he would celebrate with an extra chicken sausage for breakfast: “That will be my indulgence for the day.” “You realize that we are all, in some way or another, a bit of an outsider in different ways,” del Toro said of his film’s resonance. “Not fearing the other but embracing the other is the only way to go as a race. The urgency of that message of hope and emotion is what sustained the faith for roughly half a decade that the movie needed to be made.” All of the acting front-runners – Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards”[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/32523ae184f548258d826bb173fcc083/142bfab6-bfba-4e4c-a924-b2b4e39541b2/image-pv_web.jpg




Bill Cosby is hitting the town; legal experts see a strategyAP photo Bill Cosby plays the drums at the LaRose Jazz Club on Monday in Philadelphia. It was his first public performance since his last tour ended amid protests in May 2015. Cosby has denied allegations from about 60 women that he drugged and molested them over five decades. He faces an April retrial in the only case to lead to criminal charges.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

PHILADELPHIA – Bill Cosby is suddenly out and about in his hometown of Philadelphia in what legal experts say appears to be an effort by the comedian to rebuild his good-guy image ahead of his retrial on sexual assault charges in the spring. In the past two weeks, the 80-year-old Cosby emerged from a long period of near-seclusion to have dinner with friends at a restaurant and gave his first comedy performance in more than two years. Cosby’s publicists turned both nights into media spectacles, letting reporters tag along as he enjoyed penne and sausage earlier this month and inviting cameras in as he told jokes Monday at a jazz club. Legal experts say Cosby’s team appears to be orchestrating the public outings and media coverage to influence potential jurors at his April 2 retrial on charges of molesting a Temple University employee at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. The former TV star’s first trial ended in a hung jury over the summer. “It’s the ‘Bill Cosby is not a bad guy’ defense,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. By playing up Cosby’s comedic past and Philadelphia roots, Levenson said, his team is trying to recast his image from that of a predator accused of drugging and molesting about 60 women over five decades. Prosecutors have asked a judge to let 19 of those women testify at Cosby’s retrial, which likely is to unfold in a far more hostile climate than his first trial. In recent months, the #MeToo torrent of sexual misconduct allegations has brought down numerous powerful men, including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer and Michigan Rep. John Conyers. “The defense is saying, ‘If they’re going to try to make this about his reputation, we better start building back up his reputation,’” Levenson said. Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, denied the comedian’s recent public appearances are aimed at influencing a potential jury. He said that the entertainer gets “hundreds of requests per day” and that he accepted the jazz club invitation because he wanted to honor Philadelphia musician Tony Williams. “Living life is not a strategy,” Wyatt said “Mr. Cosby is a human being. When did being a human being become a strategy? He has to live life to the fullest.” Cosby’s accusers see his re-emergence as a slap in the face. “While he’s laughing, they’re crying,” said Gloria Allred, the lawyer for about 30 Cosby accusers. “Perhaps this is some sort of charm offensive, but I think there are many, many people who believe the accusers, and they are not charmed by what appears to be an act,” she added. “It feels manipulative of public opinion.” Earlier Monday, Cosby spoke at a star-studded memorial service in New York for choreographer George Faison’s longtime partner. Over the weekend, Cosby’s social media accounts featured photos of him visiting a Philadelphia barber and a cafe and expressing support for the Super Bowl-bound Eagles. During his hour-long jazz club performance, Cosby appeared at ease at he reminisced about his childhood and pounded the drums. He didn’t touch on his criminal case and wouldn’t answer reporters’ questions about it afterward, saying: “I came here tonight to enjoy being with my friends and the musicians and the people who came.” Outside the restaurant where he ate dinner with friends Jan. 10, Cosby shook a reporter’s hand and told her: “Please don’t put me on MeToo.” Wyatt argued Cosby’s life shouldn’t stop just because he is facing charges. “When you have to go to traffic court, do you stop going to wo[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/a92552611aa54d27a0ad8b601ef37028/c9a50f80-edf9-406c-8b27-183292d098e7/image-pv_web.jpg




Do e-cigarettes help or harm? Report says not clear yetAP file photo A doctor holds an e-cigarette in a smoking lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016 in Atlanta.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Electronic cigarettes could be a boon to public health or a major liability, depending on whether they help Americans quit smoking or encourage more young people to try traditional cigarettes, a new report concludes. The report issued Tuesday wrestles with the potential benefits and harms of the vapor-emitting devices that have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade. But those effects may not be known for decades, in part, because of how slowly illnesses caused by smoking emerge. “In some circumstances, such as their use by non-smoking adolescents and young adults, their adverse effects clearly warrant concern,” said David Eaton, of the University of Washington, who headed the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee that studied the issue. “In other cases, such as when adult smokers use them to quit smoking, they offer an opportunity to reduce smoking-related illness.” E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. since 2007. Most devices heat a liquid nicotine solution into vapor and have been promoted to smokers as a less dangerous alternative since they don’t have all the chemicals, tar or smoke of regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes and similar vaping devices have grown into a $4 billion U.S. industry with thousands of varieties of flavors and customizable products available in specialty shops and online. There are few long-term studies on their health impacts and no consensus on whether they are effective in helping smokers quit, according to the report requested by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA gained authority to regulate the devices in 2016 after years of pushback from the industry. But last year the agency said it would delay the deadline for manufacturers to submit their devices for review until 2022. The decision was blasted by anti-smoking advocates who say some e-cigarette manufacturers target kids with candy and fruit flavors. The FDA has signaled its intention to begin pushing U.S. consumers away from traditional cigarettes toward alternative products, including e-cigarettes. The regulatory delay was intended, in part, to give companies more time to research their products. After reviewing more than 800 studies, the panel reached a series of conclusions largely in line with prior assessments by other researchers. For instance, the panel found “conclusive evidence” that most e-cigarettes contain numerous chemicals that can be toxic. However, there is equally strong evidence that e-cigarettes are far less dangerous than traditional cigarettes. The experts found “substantial” evidence that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try cigarettes. On the other hand, experts found only “limited evidence” that cigarettes are effective tools to help adult smokers quit. Some other key takeaways and questions from the report: • Chemicals in e-cigarette vapor, such as formaldehyde, are capable of damaging DNA in humans. However, it’s unclear if the chemicals exist at levels high enough to cause cancer. • Switching completely from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes significantly reduces exposure to numerous cancer-causing chemicals. • E-cigarettes can sometimes explode, causing burns and injuries. The risk of such accidents is higher with devices that are stored improperly or contain low-quality batteries. • There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette vapor contains traces of metal, possibly due to the metallic coils used to heat liquid that the devices vaporize. [...]AP file photo A doctor holds an e-cigarette in a smoking lab at the Cent[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/f9beedcbf8f548269f0e0048e03b2cf5/81a21b1b-e6c6-430c-bbf6-d374fad2e487/image-pv_web.jpg




Senate Dem Chuck Schumer takes back wall offer in new immigration pushProtestors gather at Grand Army Plaza near the home of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer on Tuesday pulled back an offer of $25 billion for President Donald Trump’s long-promised southern border wall, as lawmakers scrambled to figure out how to push a deal to protect 700,000 or more so-called Dreamer immigrants from deportation.

Schumer had made the offer last Friday in a last-ditch effort to head off a government shutdown, then came scalding criticism from his party’s liberal activist base that Democrats had given up too easily in reopening the government without more concrete promises on immigration.

Protestors gather at Grand Army Plaza near the home of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/24/3ba6a95a0a9540df8f41bcf5bfa3e01d/59dc8e24-b540-4ea0-bd97-591b1297368a/image-pv_web.jpg




Special counsel questions Sessions; is Trump coming soon?AP file photo United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks Dec. 17 during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as prosecutors moved closer to a possible interview with President Donald Trump about whether he took steps to obstruct an FBI probe into contacts between Russia and his 2016 campaign. The Sessions interview last week makes him the highest-ranking Trump administration official, and first Cabinet member, known to have submitted to questioning. It came as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates whether Trump’s actions in office, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, constitute improper efforts to stymie the FBI investigation. With many of Trump’s closest aides having now been questioned, the president and his lawyers are preparing for the prospect of an interview that would likely focus on some of the same obstruction questions. Expected topics for any sit-down with Mueller, who has expressed interest in speaking with Trump, would include not only Comey’s firing but also interactions the fired FBI director has said unnerved him, including a request from the president that he end an investigation into a top White House official. In the Oval Office on Tuesday, Trump said he was “not at all concerned” about what Sessions may have told the Mueller team. The recent questioning of the country’s chief law enforcement officer shows the investigators’ determined interest in the obstruction question that has been at the heart of the investigation for months through interviews of many current and former White House officials. Sessions himself is a potentially important witness given his role as a key Trump surrogate on the campaign trail and his direct involvement in the May 9 firing of Comey, which he advocated. The White House initially said the termination was done on the recommendation of the Justice Department and cited as justification a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that faulted Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation. But Trump said later that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he fired Comey, and he had decided to make the move even before the Justice Department’s recommendations. Sessions was one of Trump’s earliest and most loyal allies, the first senator to endorse him during the presidential campaign and then a key national security adviser. He was present for an April 2016 Trump foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where he spoke with the Russian ambassador to the United States. He also attended a meeting a month earlier with campaign aides including George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI. Sessions may well have been asked during his Mueller interview about any interactions he had with Papadopoulos, as well as about his own encounters during the campaign with the Russian ambassador. He might also be able to supply information about White House efforts to discourage him from recusing himself from the Russia investigation, which he did last March after acknowledging two previously undisclosed encounters with the ambassador. And he may also have been asked about an episode from last February in which Comey says Trump cleared the room of Sessions and other officials before encouraging him to end an investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. Mueller has been investigating the events leading up to Flynn’s dismissal from the White House in February. Comey said he documented that conversation in a memo, one of a series of [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/24/8b1b4570f6194ec7b49c95d83659549a/14167939-2999-4ff1-bf0b-46faa13cc185/image-pv_web.jpg




2 dead, 17 injured in Kentucky school shooting; suspect heldFamily members escort their children out of Marshal North Middle School near Palma, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, after being transported from the Marshal High School. The students of the high school were transported to the middle school to be picked up by family members after a shooting. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:36:00 GMT

BENTON, Ky. – A 15-year-old student killed two classmates and hit a dozen others with gunfire Tuesday, methodically firing a handgun inside a crowded atrium at his rural Kentucky high school.

“He was determined. He knew what he was doing,” said Alexandria Caporali, who grabbed her stunned friend and ran into a classroom as their classmates hit the floor.

“It was one right after another – bang bang bang bang bang,” she added. “You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger.”

He kept firing, she said, until he ran out of ammunition and took off running, trying to get away. Police arrested their suspect moments later, leading him away in handcuffs to be charged with murder and attempted murder. Authorities did not identify the gunman responsible for the nation’s first fatal school shooting of 2018, nor did they release any details about a motive.

Kentucky State Police Lt. Michael Webb said detectives are looking into his home and background.

Family members escort their children out of Marshal North Middle School near Palma, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, after being transported from the Marshal High School. The students of the high school were transported to the middle school to be picked up by family members after a shooting. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/24/8dd0b081ed07484cb62e624613bd8d2b/139e4003-7af4-4de4-8c49-1080b1353be8/image-pv_web.jpg




Legionella bacteria possibly at Illinois Capitol ComplexFILE - This June 21, 2006, file photo shows The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Officials said Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 that preliminary test results show the possible presence of Legionella bacteria in the Illinois Capitol Complex's hot water system. Experts at the Illinois Department of Public Health say the complex is safe for state employees to work, and they're not aware of any reports of Legionnaires' disease related to the water system. More testing is underway and results are expected in about 14 days. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman File)

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:35:00 GMT

– Wire reports

FILE - This June 21, 2006, file photo shows The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. Officials said Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 that preliminary test results show the possible presence of Legionella bacteria in the Illinois Capitol Complex's hot water system. Experts at the Illinois Department of Public Health say the complex is safe for state employees to work, and they're not aware of any reports of Legionnaires' disease related to the water system. More testing is underway and results are expected in about 14 days. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman File)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/0663f3220fa84f66868bdabe938bfd65/a4754295-bbc1-43ce-afec-648d6ebf3893/image-pv_web.jpg




Democratic Illinois gubernatorial candidates face off in 1st TV forumFILE - In this Jan. 17, 2018 file photo, Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates, from left, Robert Marshall, Bob Daiber, J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, Chris Kennedy and Tio Hardiman participated in a forum with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board in Chicago. The six Democrats running for governor are scheduled to square off in their first televised debate ahead of the March primary, Tuesday Jan. 23, 2018. The Democrats are vying for the chance to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in a race that is expected to be one of the most expensive in U.S. history.(Rich Hein/Sun Times via AP File)

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:35:00 GMT

CHICAGO – The Democratic candidates for Illinois governor fought Tuesday to position themselves as the best person to appear on the November ballot, facing off in a rapid-fire forum over taxes, accusations of pay-to-play politics and who has the best vision for the state. Businessman Chris Kennedy and state Sen. Daniel Biss went after billionaire J.B. Pritzker in the first televised meeting ahead of the March 20 primary, questioning his ties to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and conversations captured on FBI wiretaps between Pritzker and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Those exchanges already have been featured in ads Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is running attacking Pritzker, who has spent millions on his campaign and has the support of much of the Democratic establishment. Pritzker directed his fire squarely at Biss, saying he has supported Madigan and “I don’t think you’re one to lecture here.” Regional superintendent Bob Daiber, community organizer Tio Hardiman and physician Robert Marshall also participated in the forum at WMAQ-TV in Chicago. Here’s a look at the back-and-forth: Electability Biss stressed his progressive, middle-class background as he worked to distinguish himself from Pritzker and Kennedy. He said Democrats must be focused on defeating Rauner and that the “best thing for him in this election is to run against another billionaire who’s Mike Madigan’s candidate,” a reference to Pritzker and his establishment backing. In addition to being the longtime House speaker, Madigan also is chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Pritzker said he disagrees with Madigan on some issues, including supporting term limits for legislative leaders and independently drawn political maps. “I’ve been an independent leader and an independent thinker my entire life and that won’t change when I become governor.” He blasted Biss for supporting Madigan in the legislative election for House speaker and for running a super political action committee on Madigan’s behalf. Biss said he voted for Madigan because his only other option was a Republican, and said he’s proud to have run a PAC that went after Donald Trump and Rauner in 2016. He also questioned why Pritzker was so focused on attacking him during Tuesday’s forum. “I think it’s because he doesn’t want the voters of Illinois to have a clear choice between a billionaire and a middle-class candidate,” he said. Blagojevich questions Kennedy renewed attacks on Pritzker over the recordings of him talking with the now-imprisoned Blagojevich about a possible job, saying Pritzker has become “the poster child for pay-to-play in this state” and that would cause him problems in a general election. On the audio, Blagojevich and Pritzker discuss the possibility of Blagojevich appointing Pritzker attorney general. Pritzker is heard saying, “That’s a deal I would take.” Blagojevich was later sentenced to prison for corruption. Pritzker reiterated that he did nothing wrong and “was never accused of anything” and accused Rauner of running the ads to distract from his own “failed record.” Asked whether he should have known better than to talk to Blagojevich because prosecutors had said the Democratic governor was under investigation, Pritzker said hundreds of people spoke with him, and many more supported him. [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/24/68ce8153d52d4cf4a372dbf7239f8986/c1364960-caf6-45ac-ba74-775bd9315246/image-pv_web.jpg




Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth to be first sitting U.S. senator to give birthFILE - In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., followed by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., on Capitol Hill in Washington. Duckworth has announced that she’s pregnant with her second child, making her the first senator to give birth while in office. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:35:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth is pregnant with her second child. She will be the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.

The 49-year-old Democrat, a veteran who lost her legs in the Iraq War, announced her pregnancy in a news release Tuesday.

"Parenthood isn't just a women's issue, it's an economic issue and an issue that affects all parents – men and women alike," Duckworth said. "As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a Senator can be, I'm hardly alone or unique as a working parent."

Duckworth added that her first daughter, Abigail, "has only made me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere."

Duckworth gave birth to her first child in 2014, while serving in the House. She is one of only 10 lawmakers who have given birth while serving in Congress. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was a U.S. representative when she had her second child in 2008. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., has had three children while serving in Congress.

Sen. Dick Durbin, Duckworth's colleague from Illinois, congratulated Duckworth on Twitter.

"Proud to have her as my colleague," he said, "and prouder still that she will make history by being the first U.S. Senator to have a baby while in office. I couldn't be happier for her."

Duckworth said she is due in the spring.

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., followed by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., on Capitol Hill in Washington. Duckworth has announced that she’s pregnant with her second child, making her the first senator to give birth while in office. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/24/b33955dc870c4eccb453c00e89f7503e/997a7cac-c83c-499c-b0e2-1144a5552dae/image-pv_web.jpg




Norge qualifies 3 for Olympic men's ski jump teamKevin Bickner competes during the men's ski jumping event Dec. 31 at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah.Michael Glasder celebrates after winning the men's ski jumping event Dec. 31 at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah. Glasder qualified for the Olympic team.Casey Larson

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:34:00 GMT

Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove is realizing its Olympic dream – not once, but three times. Three Norge-based ski jumpers are expected to be named to the 2018 Olympic team as soon as Tuesday. Kevin Bickner, 21, of Wauconda and Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington will join Cary’s Michael Glasder on the four-person men’s team. Glasder, 28, already had locked up his spot on the team by winning the U.S. team trials Dec. 31 in Park City, Utah. Glasder previously missed out on the Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and Vancouver in 2010 by one spot. The official announcement had not been made as of noon Tuesday, but a source confirmed to the Northwest Herald that the three men had been notified. For more than a century, the ski club nestled along the Fox River in the northwest suburbs has dreamed of sending a ski jumper to the Winter Olympics. With Tuesday’s news, 2018 will go down as a banner year for Norge, which opened in 1905. The 2018 Winter Games opening ceremony is Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The men’s ski jumping competition begins Feb. 8. The Olympic ski jumping team is selected by accruing points in World Cup and Continental Cup events throughout the year. All three jumpers have been coached by Scott Smith, who has coached at Norge for 30 years. Glasder has been a Norge member since he was 5 years old, and Larson since he was 6. Bickner joined at 9 years old. “It’s awesome,” Glasder said. “The club puts a lot of time and effort into helping the athletes out. It’s going to be really special to have a couple of my hometown teammates with me. We’re really looking forward to it.” Glasder was speaking from Slovenia, where he shares a team apartment with Bickner and Larson. “Before the season started, we kind of had an idea of who was going to go,” Glasder said. “It was just a matter of making the jumps that you had to do at the right time.” In March, Bickner set the North American ski jumping record of 244.5 meters (more than 2½ football fields), smashing the previous record of 221.5 meters, set by Alan Alborn in 2002. Smith was a ski jumper himself before becoming a coach. He ranked second in the country in 1987, but missed out on the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. Four years later, he coached the 1992 Olympic team. “Once I started coaching here full time, that always was a dream of mine: to get one of our kids to the Olympics,” Smith said Tuesday at the club in Fox River Grove. “Back when I had that thought, I never thought three in one year. Who would ever think Olympians out of Illinois? Twenty years ago, you would never think that.” Norge boasts that it is the “oldest continuously open ski club in the United States” on its website. The 150-foot-tall ski jump is scheduled to host its signature event this weekend (weather permitting). The International Winter Tournament begins at noon Saturday with the junior competition, and the main event begins at noon Sunday. Kevin Bickner competes during the men's ski jumping event Dec. 31 at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah.Michael Glasder celebrates after winning the men's ski jumping event Dec. 31 at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah. Glasder qualified for the Olympic team.Casey Larson[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/6487e0be1a0b42d9954816de1bad0477/7eac26f8-48cf-4a63-9323-78ae16c72771/image-pv_web.jpg




McHenry County Economic Development Corp. names interim leaderThe McHenry County Economic Development Corp. has picked an interim president as it continues to search for a new leader. MCEDC board Chairman Mark Saladin announced Monday that Jim McConoughey (pictured) has been appointed to the role in an interim capacity.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:31:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The McHenry County Economic Development Corp. has picked an interim president as it continues to search for a new leader.

MCEDC board Chairman Mark Saladin announced Monday that Jim McConoughey has been appointed to the role in an interim capacity.

“We are fortunate to have Jim step in as we continue our presidential search,” Saladin said in a statement. “Jim has an extensive career in economic development with hands-on experience with countywide organizations as CEO and has helped dozens of communities be more effective at economic development. His skills include strategic planning, deal execution, fundraising, project planning and implementation, policy interpretation, community education, workforce development and key other aspects of economic development organizations.”

McConoughey is a member of the Visit McHenry County board of directors, and he has invested in businesses that are related to agricultural economic development.

McConoughey has a master’s degree in business administration. He has taught economic development to national audiences and written about the subject. He has worked on local and regional economic development projects, infrastructure development and regional planning scenarios.

He has experience with incubators, research facilities and industrial and commercial parks, according to a news release from MCEDC.

“The board looks forward to working with Jim as we continue our efforts to build a positive environment for business growth in McHenry County,” Saladin said.

McConoughey will lead operations of the business organization on the heels of longtime President Pam Cumpata’s departure.

The McHenry County Economic Development Corp. has picked an interim president as it continues to search for a new leader. MCEDC board Chairman Mark Saladin announced Monday that Jim McConoughey (pictured) has been appointed to the role in an interim capacity.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/e165120f6db149b6ad77a2de310d7564/00ca258c-82c2-41a8-b4f9-fb0cf6581211/image-pv_web.jpg




With warm weather in forecast, Norge Ski Club loading up on snow before International Winter TournamentSarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com John Glasder (left) and Scott Smith, of Cary, clear snow from the 250-foot jump tower at the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. With the warm weather expected this weekend, International Winter Tournament jumpers will take off from the porcelain track, like they do in Norge's summer events.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:31:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – The Norge Ski Club proudly advertises that it has never canceled its International Winter Tournament, although weather sometimes makes holding the annual event quite challenging. Last year, it was pushed back three weeks, which Norge members hoped was a good omen for this year. “We’ve had some tough years,” said club member Guy Larson, who lives in Barrington. “We always say, after a tough year, ‘The snow gods will be kind to us next year.’ They’re still a little mean.” Norge director of public relations Charlie Sedivec said the hill has twice been ready to go, only to have high temperatures and rain set things back. The club is confident the event will happen this weekend, despite more warm weather and rain forecast for later in the week. Norge ski coach Scott Smith, Larson and others planned on hitting the hill early Wednesday with the four snow guns they have and putting down as much snow as possible while temperatures allowed. “We’re going to do everything we can do to make snow [Tuesday] night,” Larson said. “That’s probably our only opportunity at about 2 this morning. It’s going to dip down to around 20 degrees, and we want to get as much snow on the 70-meter hill as we can. We know we’re going to lose a lot more as we go into the weekend. We have to do everything we can to have enough snow on there to last through the weekend.” Norge’s event draws huge and festive crowds, and club members are in an even more celebratory mood this year as three members – Mike Glasder of Cary, Kevin Bickner of Wauconda and Casey Laron of Barrington – were named to the U.S. ski jumping team for next month’s Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Those jumpers will not compete here this weekend, as they are in Slovenia competing and preparing for the Olympics. The club initially had planned to pack the 250-foot jump tower Tuesday night, which requires a human chain passing baskets of snow to be packed onto the track. Sedivec said they decided instead to just brush the snow on the towers off and jumpers will take off from the porcelain track, like they do in Norge’s summer event. “Snowing the tower is a huge undertaking and if we’re going to lose it anyway with warm temperatures …,” Larson said. “It’s a blast. We always turn it into some kind of big work party. It’s a full night of hard labor. If we’re not going to pack the tower, it actually makes our lives easier this weekend.” Instead, they will create all the snow they can and hope it’s enough. Even with weather-related challenges, Smith will not complain too much. “It’s a lot better than it used to be,” he said. “We’ve moved up in the world. It’s a lot easier than back in the ’80s when we did it.” The snow guns cost from $10,000 to $20,000 and are set up to be moved up and down the hill with cables. There are aluminum poles with nozzles at the top. A compressor pushes the water and air through, and fans then slice the water drops into smaller drops. With temperatures below freezing, those drops turn into snow and are shot all over the hill. There are two other fans at the bottom that cover the area where skiers stop. Temperatures are predicted to reach into the 40s Thursday through Saturday, with some rain in the forecast. On the tower, the club likely will have hos[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/04c4b4d2598e4d8b83383c5e5517d57b/18c1aca7-ef69-4429-b40e-2bc4a5349903/image-pv_web.jpg




Retired Huntley fire chief won't receive pension for 11 yearsFormer Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Ken Caudle's retirement will leave him unable to collect a pension for 11 years.Deputy Fire Chief Al Schlick, Fire Chief Scott Ravagnie, administrative professional Maria Piszczor and district board President Milford Brown meet Tuesday during the Huntley Fire Protection District board's monthly meeting.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:29:00 GMT

HUNTLEY – Former Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Ken Caudle’s retirement will leave him unable to collect a pension for 11 years.

Caudle, who was put on administrative leave in the summer, retired from the district Jan. 5.

The 49-year-old had 17 years and eight months of credible service with the district, Fire Chief Scott Ravagnie said. According to Illinois pension law, if a firefighter serves less than 20 years, he or she cannot receive a pension until age 60.

Ravagnie said Caudle will not receive any benefits from the district in retirement, and his retirement agreement did not include any financial aspects.

​Before he stepped down, Caudle’s new contract took effect in May and was set to run through April 2020, district documents show. When he resigned as chief and asked to return to the rank of battalion chief, he set a retirement date for Nov. 10, 2019, according to documents.

Former Fire Chief Jim Saletta, who now is a district trustee, previously said the board would vote on Caudle’s retirement contract at its meeting Tuesday. Saletta said he was misled, and the district will not vote on the contract. The district’s attorney said the board is not required to vote on retirements.

Caudle continued to get his $119,240 salary while on leave until he retired Jan. 5, Ravagnie said.

Caudle resigned as fire chief Aug. 15 and worked as battalion chief before being placed on paid administrative leave “pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation,” according to district documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Officials have not said what they were investigating. Ravagnie said the investigation into Caudle is complete and was done by the district’s attorneys.

When asked Thursday about why he retired, Caudle said, “It was time to retire, and there was no reason for it.”

Caudle said he does not plan on taking any other jobs right now, and he is “just enjoying retirement.”

The Northwest Herald submitted a Freedom of Information Act request Thursday seeking all documents regarding the investigation into Caudle.

Former Huntley Fire Protection District Chief Ken Caudle's retirement will leave him unable to collect a pension for 11 years.Deputy Fire Chief Al Schlick, Fire Chief Scott Ravagnie, administrative professional Maria Piszczor and district board President Milford Brown meet Tuesday during the Huntley Fire Protection District board's monthly meeting.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/36b67046458142b1be0d459ee60730ab/9e3c9236-1c03-42cf-bb30-057074bf57c8/image-pv_web.jpg




Lakemoor residents protest proposed mining pit expansion off Route 120Dan Shepard, executive vice president of Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc., shows Lakemoor residents plans for the proposed mining expansion at an informational session Monday.A sign protesting the proposed mining expansion was brought to an informational session about the project Monday in Lakemoor.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:29:00 GMT

LAKEMOOR – Lakemoor residents are protesting a proposed expansion of an existing mining pit because of noise, pollution and property value concerns. Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc., a building and construction supply company with locations throughout northern Illinois, has been mining on 182 acres of land it owns north of Route 120 and south of Lincoln Road in Lakemoor. Thelen recently has acquired more property surrounding its existing mining area and wants permission to expand its mining operations to 346 acres. The expansion would put operations adjacent to residential areas, and neighbors said they don’t want to deal with the consequences of having a mining pit operating next door. “Basically, the overall view is that the quality of life for so many people is going to be impacted by something that shouldn’t be put where it is,” resident and local real estate agent Sharon Lame said. “You think you’re going to sit on your deck when this is going full blast? Property values are going to go down.” More than 100 people showed up to a recent informational session about the project when Thelen officials were at Lakemoor Village Hall to answer questions and address concerns. “We have been mining here [for eight years], and we don’t get a lot of phone calls now,” said Dan Shepard, the company’s executive vice president. “If you have concerns, I say call me, and we will address it.” He added that Thelen has been in business in Lake and McHenry counties for the past 70 years and isn’t planning on going anywhere. “We want to be a good neighbor, but we also want to mine the property that we own,” he said. “There’s the dispute.” Resident Pandora Rouleau said she already can hear noise from the site at its current location and is worried it could get worse, particularly if the village grants permission for Thelen’s request to operate 24 hours a day, six days a week for two months a year. “We can already hear the operations of the machines,” she said. “It’s not horrible, but you can hear it. If you told me we would have that noise 24 hours a day and during the night, that would be just awful.” Some were concerned with the project’s effect on wildlife in the area. Ann Korpan, a member of the Valmar Estates Homeowners Association, which is near the proposed site, said she has seen wolves and the endangered Blanding’s turtle in the neighborhood, and she doesn’t want those animals disrupted. Water quality and residents’ health also are considerations, she said. “Our septic tiles and septic field is in the backyard,” she said. “All the vibrations [from the work] – will that affect the stability of wells and septic fields?” Lakemoor’s Village Board rejected a plan to reopen a mining pit near Moraine Hills State Park in 2016 after residents protested with similar concerns. Moraine Hilltop LLC had wanted to move forward with the plan. The village’s Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the matter at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Lakemoor Village Hall, 28581 Route 120. Dan Shepard, executive vice president of Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc., shows Lakemoor residents plans for the proposed mining expansion at an informational session Monday.[...]A sign protesting the proposed mining expansion was brought to an informational session about the project Monday in Lakemoor.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/f6e7d7b74e8f4feb8f83264d150fe702/58d35ea8-0078-4291-aa99-5f476d574047/image-pv_web.jpg




Crystal Lake-based School District 155 Board approves multiyear superintendent contractSuperintendent Steve Olson reviews notes during a November meeting of the Community High School District 155 Board. On Tuesday night, the board approved a multiyear contract for Olson to be the district's superintendent. He had served on an interim basis in the role since August.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:28:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Community High School District 155 Superintendent Steve Olson lost his interim tag Tuesday night.

The district board approved a multiyear contract for Olson, who had served in an interim basis since August. Contract terms will be released Wednesday, officials said.

“I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t something I wanted to do at some point in my professional career,” Olson said after the meeting. “I’m excited and certainly have a supportive family behind me that makes it all come together.”

The board voted, 6-1, on the agreement with Olson. Board President Adam Guss, Vice President Jason Blake and Trustees Dave Secrest, Amy Blazier, Nicole Pavoris and Rosemary Kurtz voted “yes.” Trustee Ron Ludwig voted “no.”

There was no discussion in open session about the agreement. The board voted on the matter after about an hour of executive session behind closed doors.

Olson, who served 16 years as the principal at Crystal Lake Central High School, was appointed interim educational superintendent of the Crystal Lake-based school district in August after the unexpected resignation of former Superintendent Johnnie Thomas.

Olson said he took a day-to-day approach to the job as interim superintendent.

“I approached each day as a new day, and challenged myself to grow,” he said.

Olson spent the first half of his career at Crystal Lake South High School. The biggest adjustment as superintendent, he said, is going from worrying about one building for 16 years to keeping tabs on all four high schools and an alternative campus. 

“Certainly, it’s a much grander scope, making sure that all kids are serviced the way they deserve to be serviced at all five sites,” he said.

Olson said he made a conscious effort to be seen and get to know people at Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove high schools, where he had not yet worked.

“That has been a real emphasis for me to make sure I’m visible in those spots, where they maybe don’t know me as well as the other places do,” Olson said.

Olson applied for the superintendent position in 2012 when Thomas was hired. Thomas left for Rich Township School District 227 in Matteson.

In a corresponding move Tuesday night, the board also approved Eric Ernd as principal of Crystal Lake Central High School. Ernd was named interim principal after Olson was bumped up to interim superintendent.

Ernd will be paid $139,300 for this school year and $145,000 for 2018-19. The contract is pending attorney review, officials said. Olson made $160,000 in base salary as principal.

Previously, Ernd was vice principal at Central for six years and spent time as an athletic director and dean.

Superintendent Steve Olson reviews notes during a November meeting of the Community High School District 155 Board. On Tuesday night, the board approved a multiyear contract for Olson to be the district's superintendent. He had served on an interim basis in the role since August.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/114a5356f4634b979f062f9f8469566b/fc4aa887-8052-4245-a33f-991be9a82fca/image-pv_web.jpg




Snow, slush create messy Tuesday morning commute in McHenry CountyFox River Grove resident Dan Shey plows his neighbor's sidewalk Tuesday along School Drive. Wednesday is expected to be partly sunny, with a high near 31 degrees.Shaw Media file photo

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:28:00 GMT

Drivers in McHenry County saw a messy Tuesday morning commute as snow and slush covered the area.

Route 20 in Marengo was shut down for a portion of the morning after cars ran off the icy road.

McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies shut down the road about 8 a.m. from West Union Road to Interstate 90 because it was covered in ice and multiple cars were stuck, Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said. No one was injured in the incident, and the road reopened about an hour and a half later.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office warned commuters Tuesday morning that snow and slush likely would extend their commute. Police advised motorists to drive defensively, allow enough braking time and remember to put down distractions.

Morning flurries are in the forecast for Wednesday morning, and highs are expected to be in the low 30s, according to the National Weather Service.

Fox River Grove resident Dan Shey plows his neighbor's sidewalk Tuesday along School Drive. Wednesday is expected to be partly sunny, with a high near 31 degrees.Shaw Media file photo


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/1c169ce705e24319b24d15e4845596c5/4dc6db7f-4552-4a82-bf6c-e81305d6d04a/image-pv_web.jpg




Algonquin dentist accused of sexual assault, abuseEman A. Shirazi, 42, of Lakewood is charged with criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint. Shirazi is a dentist and orthodontist at Water Tower Family Dental, 496 Merchant Drive, Algonquin.Eman A. Shirazi, 42, of Lakewood was charged with criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint Tuesday. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation of a criminal sexual assault that was reported to have occurred at Water Tower Family Dental in Algonquin. The victim in this incident is reported to have had a professional relationship with Shirazi and the dental practice.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:28:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – Police arrested an Algonquin dentist accused of sexually assaulting someone he had a professional relationship with.

Eman A. Shirazi, 42, of Lakewood was arrested about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at Water Tower Family Dental, 1496 Merchant Drive, Algonquin, according to a news release from the Algonquin Police Department.

Shirazi is the general dentist and orthodontist at the office, according to its website, which refers to the business as “one of the most respected dental offices in Illinois.” He acquired the business in 2005, according to the website.

The office closed for the remainder of the day Tuesday after Shirazi’s arrest, Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Ryan Markham said.

Shirazi’s arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation into the report of a sexual assault at the business Jan. 11, according to the release.

Investigators said the alleged victim is believed to have had a “professional relationship” with Shirazi. The person was not an employee or patient, Markham said. The alleged victim was an adult, Markham said.

Police said the assault was an isolated incident, and the police department has not received reports of other crimes at the dental office, Markham said.

Shirazi remained at the police station Tuesday afternoon, although he was expected to be taken to the McHenry County Jail, Markham said.

Shirazi is charged with criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint. His bond has not been set. If he is convicted of criminal sexual assault, Shirazi could be sentenced to between four and 15 years in prison.

Markham declined to comment on further details surrounding the charges.

The Algonquin Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division continues to investigate the charges.

Eman A. Shirazi, 42, of Lakewood is charged with criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint. Shirazi is a dentist and orthodontist at Water Tower Family Dental, 496 Merchant Drive, Algonquin.Eman A. Shirazi, 42, of Lakewood was charged with criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint Tuesday. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation of a criminal sexual assault that was reported to have occurred at Water Tower Family Dental in Algonquin. The victim in this incident is reported to have had a professional relationship with Shirazi and the dental practice.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/c64b1dcd0ba3428bb617c3d2817b84f7/5e886bb7-870f-4e2b-bddd-18782ae78ab0/image-pv_web.jpg




Families of Norge ski jumpers reflect on Olympic dreams come trueSteve Glasder (from left), Kathy Glasder, Scott Smith, Maureen Bickner, Kailey Bickner, Meg Larson and Guy Larson discuss their children, who will compete on the four-person Olympic men's ski jump team.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:26:00 GMT

FOX RIVER GROVE – Guy Larson recalled being angry years ago when one of the top U.S. ski jumping coaches told his son, Casey Larson, that he could reach the 2018 Winter Olympics. “I was actually mad,” Guy Larson said Tuesday. “I was like, ‘Why would a coach say that?’ ” Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Guy Larson thought the comment was setting the bar pretty high for a high school kid. But Guy Larson later saw what that comment did to his son. “He got laser-focused,” Guy Larson said. “We thought it was a long shot, but then he just kept working and got better.” Casey Larson quit lacrosse, his other favorite sport, and graduated from Barrington High School early to focus on ski jumping. It paid off in the form of a spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic team, along with two other ski jumpers who came up through Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. Never until now has one club qualified three ski jumpers for the four-man U.S. Olympic team. And never has Norge qualified one ski jumper in more than a century of its existence. Now, however, at least for the 2018 Winter Games, Norge is America’s ski jumping capital. The parents of all three Norge ski jumpers heading to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, met at Norge on Tuesday to discuss their sons’ journeys. Joining Casey Larson on the U.S. team are Michael Glasder, 28, of Cary and Kevin Bickner, 21, of Wauconda. The three men currently are in Slovenia, where they share a team apartment. For all three Olympians, there are similar stories of stumbling upon the sport by accident or at the suggestion of a friend. “Our neighbor was coming to watch the tournament here (at Norge) and called and asked if we wanted to join her,” recalled Bickner’s mother, Maureen Bickner. “I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ We had a lot of things going on.” The family decided to attend the tournament and was surprised to see kids jumping. A few months later, Kevin’s father, Tom Bickner, signed him up. Kevin Bickner eventually made the national development team when he was 16 and moved to Park City, Utah. His family soon followed, and they now live in Park City. His sister, Kailey Bickner, 17, also jumps. Kevin Bickner accrued enough points through World Cup competition that the Bickners had a pretty good idea that their son was going to make the Olympic team this year. Glasder was the only lock to make the team. He earned his spot by winning the U.S. team trials in late December. His mother, Kathy Glasder, teared up when thinking about the two times – 2010 and 2014 – when Michael missed the Olympics by one spot. “He’s a better person because of the disappointment,” Kathy Glasder said. “He had his own little toolbox to go to and say, ‘I can do this.’ … We never talked about what we call the ‘O-word’ in our house. We never had an Olympic conversation with Mike. We knew that’s what his goal was, and we always said it’s not ‘work hard, play hard.’ It’s ‘work hard and work hard.’ ” Casey Larson was the last to secure his[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/d7db1f8081d64071b94e0fa51a2b4ab0/a8d0b09c-f8ab-44e6-a92d-3769f129d84e/image-pv_web.jpg




Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser wins round in labor disputeAttorney Robert Hanlon (left) and Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser attend an Algonquin Township board meeting last year in Crystal Lake in 2017. The Illinois Labor Relations Board has overturned a default judgment that ordered the highway department to rehire three employees who Andrew Gasser fired on his first day in office.Andrew Rosencrans (left) and Derek Lee speak during an Algonquin Township board meeting last year in Crystal Lake. Rosencrans and Lee were fired shortly after Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser took office.

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:24:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Is the highway department the same as the road district? To residents who pay taxes, the answer might seem simple. To the lawyer representing Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser in a labor case that has generated thousands of dollars in legal fees, the question was more important than the answer. It’s the reason the road boss will get his day in court. The Illinois Labor Relations Board on Monday rejected a judge’s ruling and order for Gasser to rehire the three employees the highway commissioner fired on his first day on the job, according to court records. After months of back-and-forth court filings from Gasser’s attorney, Robert Hanlon, and lawyers for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, the ruling came down as to whether the “highway department” is the same entity as the “road district.” Although the board commented in a court filing that Hanlon’s arguments about the difference separating the two entities were “not persuasive,” the board concluded that the complaint form was not served on the proper entity – the Algonquin Township Road District. “Although the exceptions are not particularly persuasive on the issue of whether the highway department and the road district are separate and distinct entities,” the filing says, “... [they] cast just enough doubt as to the identity of the proper respondent in this case.” Gasser and his attorney now will have an opportunity to stand before an administrative law judge to defend against the charge and make a case for why the highway department is separate from the road district. A hearing date has not been set. Despite repeated phone calls in recent weeks, the Northwest Herald could not reach Gasser for comment on the case. “I can’t articulate what we’re going to do in the future because it would prejudice my client,” Hanlon told the Northwest Herald. “We’re going to seek a resolution of the matter in the most cost-effective way possible.” Algonquin Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow said the case could not end soon enough. “I would love to see these cases settled,” Lutzow said, “and not have any more lawyers crawling around the township.” The legal acrobatics that led to Monday’s ruling have been complicated – and expensive. Since June, Robert T. Hanlon & Associates has represented Gasser and the highway department in a fight against Local 150 and the Illinois Labor Relations Board. In total, Hanlon’s firm has charged the highway department $202,427, according to billing records. It has billed the department for 571 hours of work. Records show that labor attorney Michael Ernest Avakian has helped Hanlon in his work for Algonquin Township. The Washington, D.C.-based attorney spent hours researching, editing and finalizing responses regarding the union, according to billing records. He spent hours researching the distinction between the highway department and the township’s road district. Gasser’s legal team claimed that the union failed to serve the proper entity. [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/13f05dc5218347bf9a15d4273f43ac75/ef8cf962-7881-44f4-ad85-5774d2dbed21/image-pv_web.jpg




Duckworth to be first sitting U.S. senator to give birth

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 22:20:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth has announced that she's pregnant with her second child. She will be the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.

The 49-year-old Democrat, a veteran who lost her legs in the Iraq War, announced her pregnancy in a news release Tuesday.

Duckworth gave birth to her first child, a daughter, in 2014. The senator will be one of only 10 lawmakers who have given birth while in Congress.

Duckworth says, "As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a Senator can be, I'm hardly alone or unique as a working parent."

She adds that her first daughter, Abigail, "has only made me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere."




Armed Woodstock man steals 60-inch TV from Walmart, police sayA 24-year-old Woodstock man was arrested Monday night after reportedly stealing merchandise from a Walmart in Woodstock and brandishing a handgun when he was asked to pay, police said.A 24-year-old Woodstock man was arrested Monday night after reportedly stealing merchandise from a Walmart in Woodstock and brandishing a handgun when he was asked to pay, police said. Luis E. Arreola-Gonzalez was charged with aggravated robbery, obstructing justice, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia after an incident Monday night at a Walmart in Woodstock.Luis E. Arreola-Gonzalez, 24, of the 500 block of Birch Road, Woodstock, was charged with aggravated robbery, obstructing justice, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with a reported armed robbery Monday night in Woodstock.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:20:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A 24-year-old Woodstock man was arrested Monday night after police said he stole a 60-inch Vizio TV from a Walmart in Woodstock and brandished a handgun when he was asked to pay.

 

 

A 24-year-old Woodstock man was arrested Monday night after reportedly stealing merchandise from a Walmart in Woodstock and brandishing a handgun when he was asked to pay, police said.A 24-year-old Woodstock man was arrested Monday night after reportedly stealing merchandise from a Walmart in Woodstock and brandishing a handgun when he was asked to pay, police said. Luis E. Arreola-Gonzalez was charged with aggravated robbery, obstructing justice, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia after an incident Monday night at a Walmart in Woodstock.Luis E. Arreola-Gonzalez, 24, of the 500 block of Birch Road, Woodstock, was charged with aggravated robbery, obstructing justice, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with a reported armed robbery Monday night in Woodstock.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/cb92d5a242d841f690eab5e618d4a7c7/8d3c92bc-f396-438b-95a8-0dc69fba4bd3/image-pv_web.jpg




Metra to hold open houses in February to discuss potential fare and ticket changesMatthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com A Metra train arrives at the Pingree Street station on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 in Crystal Lake.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:40:00 GMT

Metra wants to hear its customers' opinions on potential changes to fare structure and ticket options at several open houses this February. “What we are hoping to do is to modify our fare structure and ticket options in ways that work well for Metra’s customers and also help Metra make the best use of available resources and capacity,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement. The meetings' end goal is to create a flexible fare structure that allows Metra to segment and price markets differently; give the company more flexibility to increase fare revenue while providing control over ridership impacts including fare changes; encourage off-peak travel and better use off-peak capacity; and redefine zones to define premium destinations and address inconsistencies, according to a release from Metra. The effort started in the summer of 2016, when Metra hired California-based Four Nines Technologies to study the rail system's fare structure, determine opportunities for changes and develop a model to help Metra evaluate the potential changes. Four Nines Technologies' work included conducting a survey of Metra customers in the spring of 2017 and holding a workshop with the Metra Board of Directors last month, where Board members selected several proposals to present to customers and the public for their feedback before further Board consideration. The proposed changes would: • Introduce a day pass for travel between any two zones, available on the Ventra App, priced at twice the cost of a One-Way Ticket. The day pass will simplify fare payment, save time and encourage use of the Ventra App. • Discount non-rush hour trips to/from downtown stations, perhaps by $0.50 to $1 per one-way trip initially, for riders using One-Way or 10-Ride tickets. Discounting non-rush hour fares will allow market-specific fare changes and encourage customers to ride off-peak to alleviate peak loads. • Redefine the inner zones so Zone A covers only the six downtown stations in Chicago’s Central Business District (Chicago Union Station, Ogilvie, LaSalle Street, Millennium, Van Buren Street and Museum Campus/11th Street); other stations currently in Zone A would be assigned to Zone B: 27th Street, McCormick Place, 18th Street, 35th Street, Western Avenue/BNSF, Halsted, Kedzie, Western Avenue/Milwaukee District/NCS and Clybourn. (Less than one percent of Metra riders currently travel between stations in Zone A.) Restructuring Zone B will allow riders to take longer trips within Chicago for the price of a one-zone fare, including travel to downtown stations on off-peak trains. Defining downtown stations as premium destinations will allow market-specific fare changes and encourage customers to travel on off-peak trains to alleviate peak loads. • Conduct a phased consolidation of Zones K, L and M into Zone J, thereby capping fares for trips that exceed 45 miles (about one percent of Metra riders come from those zones). The new Zone J would include 10 stations: Round Lake Beach, Lake Villa, Antioch, Long Lake, Ingleside, Fox Lake, Kenosha, McHenry, Woodstock and Harvard. Consolidating Zones J, K, L, and M will cap the fare to stations in tho[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/956488c9e0ee469a9063092dadbdaa4b/41b9303c-3ad6-4698-85fb-58c692e54855/image-pv_web.jpg




Alaska hit by 7.9 earthquake; tsunami warning canceledBrennan Caton, center, Misty Lawson and Courtney Caton, right, listen to the coast guard radio inside their home for updates on the tsunami warnings that shook Tofino, British Columbia, after the Alaskan earthquake on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was canceled Tuesday morning after some people living along parts of the province's coast evacuated to higher ground when a powerful earthquake struck off Alaska. (Melissa Renwick/The Canadian Press via AP)This screenshot shows alerts for a tsunami watch early Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, after an earthquake struck off Alaska's Kodiak Island prompting a tsunami warning for a large swath of the state's coast. Officials at the National Tsunami Center canceled the warning after a few tense hours after waves failed to show up in coastal Alaska communities. (AP Photo)A van backs down the road as Tofino, British Columbia, residents and visitors flood out of the community center after the tsunami warning ends, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was canceled Tuesday morning after people living along parts of the province's coast evacuated to higher ground when a powerful earthquake struck off Alaska. (Melissa Renwick/The Canadian Press via AP)Jan Knutson, left, and her husband Ed Hutchinson, center, and a man at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, wait for the all-clear at Homer High School during a tsunami alert for Homer, Alaska. The city of Homer issued an evacuation order for low-lying areas shortly after an earthquake hit. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News via AP)Tofino residents and visitors leave the community center after the tsunami warning ends, on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Tofino, British Columbia. A tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was canceled Tuesday morning after people living along parts of the province's coast evacuated to higher ground when a powerful earthquake struck off Alaska. (Melissa Renwick/The Canadian Press via AP)Abdulai Salam and his daughter Mina at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, wait for the all-clear at Homer High School during a tsunami alert for Homer, Alaska. The city of Homer issued an evacuation order for low-lying areas shortly after an earthquake hit. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News via AP)Anna Dale and her dog Poppy at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, wait for the all-clear at Homer High School during a tsunami alert for Homer, Alaska. The city of Homer issued an evacuation order for low-lying areas shortly after an earthquake hit. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News via AP)

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:14:00 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A powerful earthquake struck off an island in the Gulf of Alaska early Tuesday, prompting a tsunami threat that sent people living along the state's southern coast and western Canada fleeing for higher ground. After a few intense hours, the tsunami warning was canceled, allowing people to return home from shelters. There were no immediate reports of damage, not even on Kodiak Island, the closest land to the epicenter of the magnitude 7.9 quake. For Alaskans accustomed not only to tsunami threats but also to regular drills, the early morning alert that made cellphone alarms go off still created some fretful moments. The phone message read: "Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland." Keith Perkins got the phone alert and later heard sirens going off in his southeast Alaska hometown of Sitka. He said people on Facebook were talking about whether the threat was real and what they should do. Given the magnitude of the earthquake, Perkins said, he thought it best to head to the high school, a tsunami evacuation point, even though in the past he felt his home was at a "high-enough spot." "I figured I'd probably just better play it safe," he said. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake was recorded in the Pacific Ocean at 12:32 a.m. about 170 miles southeast of Kodiak, home to one of the nation's largest Coast Guard bases. The temblor prompted the tsunami warning stretching thousands of miles along Alaska's southern coast, from Attu in the Aleutian Islands to Canada's border with Washington state. Kodiak is about 200 miles (321 kilometers) south of Anchorage, the state's largest city, which was not under a tsunami threat. Elsewhere in the United States, Washington state, Oregon, California and Hawaii were under tsunami watches, which eventually were lifted. Officials in Japan say there was no tsunami threat there. People reported on social media that the quake was felt hundreds of miles away, in Anchorage. Reports varied about how long the quake's shaking lasted, depending on location. In the popular cruise ship town of Seward, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Anchorage, Fire Chief Eddie Athey said the quake felt like a gentle rattle that lasted for up to 90 seconds. "It went on long enough that you start thinking to yourself, 'Boy, I hope this stops soon because it's just getting worse,'" Athey said. The earthquake woke Kodiak Police Lt. Tim Putney from a dead sleep. He said it shook for at least 30 seconds but admits his estimate might be skewed by sleeping through some of it. "I've been in Kodiak for 19 years that was the strongest, longest-lasting one I've ever felt," he said by telephone. Putney said there were no immediate reports of damage reported to Kodiak police. The state emergency management agency also had no immediate reports of damage. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center categorized the shaking intensity as light. John Bellini, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Cen[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/4034b17c03634fc38bb99430bcacd001/f9cb6c28-0ea0-43c4-9e49-fec4fb82ed7f/image-pv_web.jpg




1 dead, 9 injured in Kentucky school shooting; suspect heldEmergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Authorities said a shooting suspect was in custody. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)Authorities investigate the scene of fatal school shooting Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Kentucky State Police said the suspect was apprehended by a Marshall County deputy. (AP Photo/Stephen Lance Dennee)Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Authorities said a shooting suspect was in custody. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Authorities said a shooting suspect was in custody. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)Emergency crews respond to Marshall County High School after a fatal school shooting Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Benton, Ky. Authorities said a shooting suspect was in custody. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:04:00 GMT

BENTON, Ky. — Someone with a gun opened fire inside a rural Kentucky high school Tuesday morning, killing one person and injuring nine others. Police said a suspect was apprehended and there is no reason to suspect anyone else in the first fatal school shooting of 2018. Nearly 100 students ran out of Marshall County High School seeking safety, said Mitchell Garland, who rushed outside of his business when he heard about the shooting. "They was running and crying and screaming," he said. "They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there." A half-dozen ambulances and numerous police cars converged on the school. Officers in black fatigues carrying assault rifles showed up as well. Federal authorities responded, and Gov. Matt Bevin ran out of the Capitol to rush to the school. Parents left their cars on both sides of an adjacent road, desperately trying to find their teenagers. One victim died at the scene, a person is in custody and the Kentucky State Police have no reason to suspect anyone else, Trooper Jody Cash told the Murray Ledger & Times. Authorities released no immediate details on the shooter or motive. Nine people were injured in the gunfire, which happened in a common area before classes began, according to Brian Roy, the county's former sheriff, who told the Louisville Courier-Journal he had spoken with people at the scene. Seven victims were taken to hospitals, some by helicopter, Darlene Lynn of Marshall County Emergency Management told WDRB-TV. Four of them were flown about 120 miles (193 kilometers) to Nashville, Tennessee's Vanderbilt University Medical Center, spokeswoman Tavia Smith said. This was the year's first fatal school shooting, 23 days in to 2018, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, which relies on media reports and other information. "It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County. As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love each other," Bevin said in a statement. Marshall County High School is about 30 minutes from Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, where a 1997 mass shooting killed three and injured five. Michael Carneal, then 14, opened fire there about two years before the fatal attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, ushering in an era when mass school shootings have become much more common. Meanwhile, in the small North Texas town of Italy, a 15-year-old girl was recovering Tuesday after police said she was shot by a 16-year-old classmate in her high school cafeteria on Monday, sending dozens of students scrambling for safety. The scene of Tuesday's shooting was chaotic, with parents and students rushing around trying to find each other, said Dusty Kornbacher, who owns a nearby floral shop. "All the parking lots were full with parents and kids hugging each other and crying and nobody really knowing what was going on," Kornbacher said. Barry Mann said his 14-year-old son was put on a bus and taken to another school for him to pick up. [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/8dd0b081ed07484cb62e624613bd8d2b/b5e5b7cc-8468-49be-bac0-ac4a38836edc/image-pv_web.jpg




Pictures of the WeekH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Snow clings to trees in Veteran Acres Park on Jan. 15.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Marian Central’s Regan Dineen (left) and Crystal Lake South’s Ava Sevcik fight for control of the ball during the third quarter of a Jan. 12 game in Woodstock. Marian Central won, 39-29.Whitney Rupp - for Shaw Media The Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque of the Community Church of Barrington speaks to attendees during her keynote speech at the eighth annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 15 in Crystal Lake. Jacque spoke of the need to seek out others for help and advice, even if they see things differently, and to step out of one’s comfort zone in all areas of life.Candace H. Johnson - for Shaw Media Carpenter Paul Pieper of Lake in the Hills reframes the bar top during construction of the new Timothy O’Toole’s Pub on Grand Avenue in Lake Villa on Jan. 16.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com McHenry Downtown Theater employees Samantha Hildebrandt (from left) of Wonder Lake, Hailey Yolo of Round Lake and Serena Payton of McHenry wait to serve customers Jan. 17 at the opening of the theater.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Winding Creek Drive neighbors Mary Jane Kittl (left) and Linda Flatley visit with each other Jan. 15 after clearing their driveways in McHenry. “This is so gorgeous,”Kittl said of the new fallen snow, while Flatley said she “loves the snow.”

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 17:00:00 GMT

Northwest Herald photographers and editors share some of their favorite images of the past week

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Snow clings to trees in Veteran Acres Park on Jan. 15.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Marian Central’s Regan Dineen (left) and Crystal Lake South’s Ava Sevcik fight for control of the ball during the third quarter of a Jan. 12 game in Woodstock. Marian Central won, 39-29.Whitney Rupp - for Shaw Media The Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque of the Community Church of Barrington speaks to attendees during her keynote speech at the eighth annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 15 in Crystal Lake. Jacque spoke of the need to seek out others for help and advice, even if they see things differently, and to step out of one’s comfort zone in all areas of life.Candace H. Johnson - for Shaw Media Carpenter Paul Pieper of Lake in the Hills reframes the bar top during construction of the new Timothy O’Toole’s Pub on Grand Avenue in Lake Villa on Jan. 16.Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com McHenry Downtown Theater employees Samantha Hildebrandt (from left) of Wonder Lake, Hailey Yolo of Round Lake and Serena Payton of McHenry wait to serve customers Jan. 17 at the opening of the theater.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Winding Creek Drive neighbors Mary Jane Kittl (left) and Linda Flatley visit with each other Jan. 15 after clearing their driveways in McHenry. “This is so gorgeous,”Kittl said of the new fallen snow, while Flatley said she “loves the snow.”


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/lists/2018/01/23/f6a3ee7a76044bd8947b231e31a096a6/1bbb90b4-a49c-47ce-8e9d-a00cd4f2e37c/image-pv_web.jpg




Jeff Sessions interviewed by Mueller team in Russia investigationFILE - In this Dec. 15, 2017, file photo, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said Tuesday that Sessions has been interviewed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:58:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed for hours last week in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the Justice Department confirmed Tuesday.

The interview comes as Mueller is investigating whether President Donald Trump's actions in office, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, constitute efforts to obstruct an FBI probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia.

Sessions is thought to be the highest-ranking Trump administration official, and first Cabinet member, to be interviewed by Mueller's team.

He is seen as a potentially important witness given his direct involvement in the May 9 firing of Comey. The White House initially said that the termination was done on the recommendation of the Justice Department and cited a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The memo faulted Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email server investigation, as justification for the dismissal.

But Trump has since said he was thinking of "this Russia thing" when he fired Comey.

Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation in early March after acknowledging that he had had two previously undisclosed encounters with the Russian ambassador during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. He said at the time that it would be improper for him to oversee a probe into a campaign for which he was a vocal and prominent supporter.

His decision to recuse made him a source of steady criticism from Trump, who has lashed out repeatedly on Twitter at Sessions and the Justice Department.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, to take over the Russia investigation one week after Comey was fired. He oversees the work of Mueller's investigators, but told The Associated Press in an interview last June that he would recuse from the investigation if his actions ever became relevant to the probe.

Sessions' attorney, Chuck Cooper, declined to comment, as did the White House.

Sessions' interview was first reported by The New York Times.

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2017, file photo, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said Tuesday that Sessions has been interviewed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/8b1b4570f6194ec7b49c95d83659549a/2b777295-902b-42ce-b1b2-f8cdb4a79005/image-pv_web.jpg




McHenry County Sheriff's Office asks motorists to use caution on Route 20 in Marengo

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:41:00 GMT

MARENGO — McHenry County Sheriff's deputies shut down part of Route 20 in Marengo Tuesday morning after cars ran off the icy roadway.

The sheriff's office sent an alert around 8 a.m. Tuesday asking motorists to avoid Route 20 in Marengo. Deputies shut the road down from West Union Road to Interstate 90 because it was covered in ice, and multiple cars were stuck, Sheriff's Deputy Sandra Rogers said.

No one was injured in the incident. A second alert was sent around 9:20 a.m., informing drivers the roadway had reopened.

Motorists were still advised to use caution when traveling in the area.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/2e229ca237f94044984be0a774c01e32/dfbe80c0-8a8c-4967-9288-15b5d07de7f6/image-pv_web.jpg




Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner: Cut taxes, 'wasteful spending' to curb deficitFILE - In this June 14, 2017, file photo, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, speaks during an interview in Chicago. Failure to pay debts on time has cost Illinois $1 billion in late-payment penalties.The debt-transparency report Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 also shows that in addition to the backlog, there's roughly $2.3 billion the General Assembly never approved spending. Comptroller Susana Mendoza reported the state had $9 billion in overdue bills on Dec. 31, 2017, with almost $2.5 billion still at individual state agencies. (AP Photo/G-Jun Yam File)

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:34:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that he will propose rolling back last year's income tax increase in a "step-down" process over several years while also tackling a continuing deficit of billions of dollars. The Republican, who will propose a budget outline next month, revealed his plan to pare down the tax increase – a $5 billion-a-year revenue boost – in response to a report that the state spent $2 billion that lawmakers never approved. Comptroller Susana Mendoza's first-of-its-kind monthly review Monday detailed Illinois' $9 billion in overdue bills. Mendoza, a Democrat, pointed out that in addition to that pile, the state has $2.3 billion that it's obligated to pay, but which the General Assembly never appropriated. Rauner, who's facing a tough re-election campaign this year, was asked about the deficit after a visit to a Skokie high school. "It's going to take a few years, but we're going to step down the income tax increase and put more money in education, shrink the wasteful spending in government and close this deficit," he said. "We've had a deficit now for years and even after a tax hike, there are deficits." Mendoza's review results from a law adopted in November. It also pointed out that the backlogged spending, which hit $16.7 billion in November before borrowing paid off a portion of it, carries with it a $1 billion late-payment surcharge run up since mid-2015, the beginning of a two-year budget deadlock between Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature. It ended last summer when several House Republicans helped Democrats override Rauner's veto of an increase in the income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. Democrats have claimed that much of the unappropriated spending came from Rauner, who continued during the impasse to sign contracts with providers of good and services without a guarantee that the money would be approved to pay the bills. Of the backlog – which stood at $8.8 billion Monday – Mendoza's report said $2.5 billion had not yet been sent to the comptroller for processing by the agencies that incurred them. Before now, agencies weren't required to report the amounts they were still holding. But knowing what is coming from the agencies is part of why Mendoza wanted the law. "This report will be an effective cash-management tool for my office and provides a much greater level of transparency for taxpayers and policymakers," Mendoza said in a statement. Eighty of 84 agencies complied on time, Mendoza's office said. The biggest of the four who failed is the Department of Children and Family Services. A spokesman for DCFS did not respond to a question as to why. FILE - In this June 14, 2017, file photo, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, speaks during an interview in Chicago. Failure to pay debts on time has cost Illinois $1 billion in late-payment penalties.The debt-transparency report Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 also shows that in addition to the backlog, there's roughly $2.3 billion the General Assemb[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/a0994ac6d3c6470eae50884bdc97c23f/e526f134-2eca-48bd-9269-900091109d4c/image-pv_web.jpg




2 vehicles collide in Lake in the HillsTwo vehicles were involved in a crash Monday in Lake in the Hills.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:33:00 GMT

Two vehicles were involved in a crash Monday at the intersection of Algonquin Road and Village Hall Drive in Lake in the Hills.

Officials were not available to provide information about the incident Monday.

Two vehicles were involved in a crash Monday in Lake in the Hills.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/0c45bebe636f4d80a5973a32aa6fdfe3/bf336f28-f465-4114-bf56-d127f8e47586/image-pv_web.jpg




Snow mostly melts Monday in McHenry County, but more expected TuesdayTrees and a ribbon of snow are reflected Monday at a pond on the McHenry County College campus in Crystal Lake. Snow is likely Tuesday morning, with a high temperature expected to be near 32 degrees.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:29:00 GMT

Snow is likely Tuesday morning, with a high temperature expected to be near 32 degrees.

Trees and a ribbon of snow are reflected Monday at a pond on the McHenry County College campus in Crystal Lake. Snow is likely Tuesday morning, with a high temperature expected to be near 32 degrees.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/162f6b63ab8c45bcaf1672987d09838c/b25edf40-6569-42ee-9d8e-9f896caccff5/image-pv_web.jpg




17th annual People in Need Forum set Saturday at McHenry County CollegeKaty Crain of Woodstock sets up a booth for the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition at the People in Need Forum last year at McHenry County College. The 17th annual event is set for Saturday.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:29:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The 17th annual People in Need Forum will be Saturday at McHenry County College, and it will host more than 80 exhibitors.

McHenry County-area community members are invited to register for the free event, which will be from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., to learn about the abundance of resources and support available to them.

The forum features experts in providing important community resources available in the area to help those in need through networking, panel discussions and workshops.

Topics to be addressed through 16 workshops include veterans’ services, suicide prevention, human trafficking, LGBTQ issues and challenges, student loans, Medicare and opioids in McHenry County.

Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. in the Luecht Conference Center in Building B at the college, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

To register or for information, visit www.mchenry.edu/peopleinneed or contact Bev Thomas at 815-479-7529 or bthomas@mchenry.edu.

Katy Crain of Woodstock sets up a booth for the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition at the People in Need Forum last year at McHenry County College. The 17th annual event is set for Saturday.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/479827fee6764c798c072bb3c7183b49/355ea73c-0e6d-4b35-adda-97c7c9aed7c0/image-pv_web.jpg




Prosecutors charge another person in McHenry man's overdose deathPatrick D. Milton, 29, of the 6200 block of Gold Circle, Hanover Park, is charged with drug-induced homicide.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:28:00 GMT

McHENRY – Police arrested a 29-year-old Hanover Park man during the weekend in connection with the death of a McHenry man, who overdosed on heroin in August.

Patrick D. Milton, 29, of the 6200 block of Gold Circle, is the second person to be charged in Michael Roach’s death. Prosecutors in November filed drug-induced homicide charges against 25-year-old Jessica D. Chapman, claiming that she delivered the dose of heroin that ultimately killed Roach on Aug. 31.

Milton was arrested and taken to the McHenry County Jail on Friday, jail records show.

He is charged with drug-induced homicide and could face six to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office was not available Monday to comment on the charges.

Milton is accused of delivering heroin to Chapman and Roach on Aug. 31, according to a criminal complaint filed Jan. 10 in McHenry County.

Autopsy results show that Roach died from a combination of hydrocodone, heroin and fentanyl, police said. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is significantly more potent than heroin.

Roach’s family described him as a caring man with a big heart who died after a relapse, according to his obituary.

Milton’s bond is set at $500,000. He must post $50,000 bail to be released.

He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning.

Patrick D. Milton, 29, of the 6200 block of Gold Circle, Hanover Park, is charged with drug-induced homicide.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/3ec4bd51b5ef4e4d9e70f72b014979ea/48ba5489-8bda-4f18-b8fe-c6abda9ba0bd/image-pv_web.jpg




Wonder Lake man cited in crash involving unmarked McHenry police vehicleA McHenry police detective was involved in a two-vehicle crash Monday at Route 120 and Crystal Lake Road in McHenry.McHenry police block Crystal Lake Road at Main Street after a police detective was involved in a two-vehicle crash Monday at the intersection of Route 120 and Crystal Lake Road in McHenry.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:28:00 GMT

McHENRY – McHenry police cited a Wonder Lake man Monday after a crash involving a McHenry Police Department detective.

The crash occurred at Crystal Lake Road and Route 120 when a Honda Civic collided with an unmarked McHenry police vehicle.

Shane O. Williams, 46, of Wonder Lake was cited with failure to yield and operating an uninsured motor vehicle, Deputy Police Chief Tom Walsh said.

Williams was driving west on Route 120 and about to turn left onto Crystal Lake Road.

The McHenry detective was driving a 2012 Dodge Charger east on Route 120 at Crystal Lake Road.

Witnesses reported that the traffic light had turned yellow as the two vehicles entered the intersection, and Williams’ Civic turned in front of the unmarked police vehicle, Walsh said.

Both Williams and the driver of the police car were taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry with injuries not considered life-threatening, Walsh said.

The police department investigated the crash because supervisors are permitted to investigate such incidents involving officers, Walsh said.

The crash temporarily blocked Crystal Lake Road at Main Street.

A McHenry police detective was involved in a two-vehicle crash Monday at Route 120 and Crystal Lake Road in McHenry.McHenry police block Crystal Lake Road at Main Street after a police detective was involved in a two-vehicle crash Monday at the intersection of Route 120 and Crystal Lake Road in McHenry.


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/8ad5b4ada5a84e47887cb234af4e8f91/4ceb5daf-7974-43fe-b056-ae6045a7871a/image-pv_web.jpg




39-year-old Hanover Park man convicted in Woodstock armed robberyBrian Odell, of the 4700 block of Zeppelin Drive, Hanover Park

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:28:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – A Hanover Park man accused of entering a Woodstock home for an alleged drug deal, beating the people inside and threatening them with a gun was found guilty Monday of armed violence, among other charges. Jurors found 39-year-old Brian Odell not guilty of charges that accused him directly of having a gun – unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and being an armed habitual criminal. McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather announced the verdict after nearly four hours of deliberation. Odell was escorted back to the McHenry County Jail, where he’ll remain until his sentencing March 30. He could spend between six and 30 years in prison for being convicted of armed violence and armed robbery. He also was found guilty of unlawful restraint and mob action. Odell, of the 4700 block of Zeppelin Drive, Hanover Park, was arrested June 29 at his residence by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. Investigators identified Odell as one of the suspects in an armed robbery that took place the day before at a home in the 200 block of Throop Street in Woodstock. He also was believed to have led police on a chase through McHenry and DeKalb counties, dropping evidence – including a stolen wallet and a blood-stained T-shirt – along the way, prosecutors Randi Freese and Rita Gara said in their closing statements. Investigators never found the gun they believe was used during the robbery. “I love that he keeps calling it a scuffle,” Freese said in court while holding up photographs of the robbery’s aftermath. “What part of these pictures makes you believe that’s a scuffle?” The situation on June 28 centered around an alleged drug deal that was supposed to take place at the Throop Street home. When the “dealer” and his three friends arrived, however, they were attacked by Odell and another man, prosecutors said. During the attack, a woman was locked in the bathroom and a man broke his hand. Odell’s alleged accomplice was referred to only by first name throughout the trial, and Odell claimed not to know his last name. Victims who called 911 told the operator that someone was holding a gun to their friend’s head, but defense attorney Hank Sugden denied that Odell had a weapon. Based on two previous felony convictions, including one handed down 20 years ago for murder, Odell is barred from having a firearm. “The bottom line is it’s a fight,” Sugden told jurors. “It’s simply a fight.” That fight could be attributed to the photographs prosecutors showed of smeared blood throughout house, and the splatters on a white T-shirt submitted as evidence, Sugden said. He called the blood “not any worse than you’d see in a bar fight in town.” Sugden also read aloud a letter writ[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/ed7a45af326941ca9db3181d0897cd0b/05b85b73-ec3d-44ae-9b13-835ebe64e81e/image-pv_web.jpg




McHenry County's armored vehicle used for safety of officers, publicPolice gather equipment from the McHenry County's mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle. Heavy police presence closed down the 2000 block of Grandview Drive for several hours as officials assessed an incident in below-freezing temperatures on New Year’s Day. A woman was sent to the hospital after barricading herself in her Johnsburg home and threatening to shoot herself.Heavy police presence closed down the 2000 block of Grandview Drive for several hours as officials assessed an incident in below-freezing temperatures on New Year’s Day. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched about 8:15 a.m. for a wellness check at a home, Sheriff's Deputy Sandra Rogers said.McHenry County's mine-resistant ambush-protected military vehicle maneuvers down Sunset Drive in Holiday Hills in 2014.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:27:00 GMT

JOHNSBURG – The county’s mine-resistant ambush-protected military vehicle raised eyebrows earlier this month when a woman who threatened to shoot herself was barricaded inside a Johnsburg home, eliciting a response from the area’s SWAT team. The MRAP has been used fewer than 10 times in the past year, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said. Seeing the county’s MRAP vehicle parked nearby usually means SWAT officers are responding to a call where a weapon might be present, or officers need the vehicle space to evacuate the area, Rogers said. “It’s not just for us, but it keeps the public safe, as well, because it has enough room in the back where we can get other people out,” Rogers said. The county’s MRAP is only one item on a long list of surplus acquired by police departments through a federal program. On Jan. 1, the county’s multijurisdictional SWAT team responded to the 2000 block of Grandview Drive, where a woman had threatened to shoot herself. Traffic through the area was shut down for several hours while police navigated the situation in below-freezing temperatures. Although officers never found a gun, a SWAT response, including use of the MRAP vehicle, is appropriate when responding to a threat with a weapon, Rogers said. “We also needed other people out there because it was just so cold,” Rogers said. “We had to switch people off in short intervals of time.” Departments prefer to bring out the MRAP sooner rather than later, but not until they’ve considered alternative solutions, including whether a person might be more responsive to negotiation tactics. Despite the intimidation of a military vehicle and a team of armed officers, a large police turnout usually is enough to coax a potentially armed or suicidal person out of a home, Rogers said. “Seeing that type of equipment – generally we’ve had the response that people just give up,” Rogers said. “They come out.” Officers typically wouldn’t roll out the vehicle for a suicidal person unless they have reason to believe that the person has a weapon, Rogers said. “Unfortunately, in this day and age – with officers being killed by responding to such calls – we would take it very seriously,” Rogers said. The threat of someone opening fire at officers was realized Oct. 16, 2014, when sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic dispute at a home along Northeast Shore Drive in Holiday Hills. As officers approached, a gunman shot and wounded two deputies. Officers used the MRAP vehicle that day to evacuate people in the neighborhood. They also used the vehicle in June 2017 when responding to an armed robbery at a Marengo pharmacy shortly after a major explosion damaged dozens of homes, which led off[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/9136608759684e9daeccc35199f08299/d5d80ac9-6079-442e-816c-b28199fbb8fe/image-pv_web.jpg




Bill Cosby jokes he 'used to be' comedian in 1st show since 2015Bill Cosby plays the drums Monday at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philadelphia as his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, and 11-year-old drummer Mekhi Boone look on. It was his first public performance since his last tour ended amid protests in May 2015. Cosby has denied allegations from about 60 women that he drugged and molested them over five decades. He faces an April retrial in the only case to lead to criminal charges.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:27:00 GMT

PHILADELPHIA – Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he “used to be a comedian” and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault case. The 80-year-old entertainer took the stage for about an hour Monday night at a Philadelphia jazz club for his first show since May 2015. Before a friendly crowd, he told stories, honored old friends and finished by leading the band in a set, first using his mouth to scat in place of a missing horn section and then taking a turn at the drums. Cosby, handing the drumsticks off to the bass player’s 11-year-old son, asked if the boy knew who he was and then told him. “I used to be a comedian,” Cosby deadpanned. Cosby reminisced about his childhood, telling the crowd about how when he was 4 he grilled a relative about the impending birth of his brother. He mimicked his Uncle William, who took a swig from a cocktail before answering every question – including whether a stork was really delivering the baby to his parents. Afterward, Cosby nearly dropped a glass jar he was using as a prop, prompting a “Whoa!” from the crowd. Cosby, who’s legally blind, seized on the moment. “Let me tell you something about people talking to blind people, you sighted people,” Cosby said. “If you see a blind person walking into a pole or something, if you speak perfect English, there’s a word called ‘Stop!’ Not ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!’ “You laugh when blind people walk into things,” he continued. “And guess what: Blind people laugh when sighted people fall down!” Cosby arrived at the jazz club on the arm of his spokesman, Andrew Wyatt. He wore a gray hoodie bearing the phrase “Hello Friend,” something his late son, Ennis Cosby, often would say. He posed for photos with friends, including a couple he honored at the start of his set. They all grew up in the same public housing complex. The crowd applauded and laughed along with Cosby’s jokes, a far cry from how his last performances went. His last comedy tour ended amid protests as about 60 women were coming forward to accuse him of drugging and molesting them over five decades, something he has denied. Cosby is scheduled for an April 2 retrial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bail. His first trial ended with a hung jury last year. Jury selection for his retrial will start March 29. Cosby’s spokesman notified reporters of the comedy performance about two hours before he was to take the stage at the LaRose Jazz Club. The show was part of a program honoring jazz music[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/70b8989bdf3f40b2828cbcdbfaa0bc05/c21e4dae-a4dc-4708-bf6d-aad6afbc16d0/image-pv_web.jpg




President Donald Trump to face mixed welcome at elite Davos gatheringFollowed by a TV team and assistants, Klaus Schwab (center) – founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum – walks through the meeting's conference center Sunday in Davos, Switzerland. The meeting brings together entrepreneurs, scientists, chief executives and political leaders from Tuesday through Friday.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:25:00 GMT

DAVOS, Switzerland – In Davos this week, participants can experience “a day in the life of a refugee.” Or hear about ways to uphold the Paris climate accord and promote free trade. Or rub elbows with any number of leaders of African countries. Enter Donald Trump. The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is meant – pretentiously perhaps – to be a place for the world’s decision-makers to put their power to good use. The theme this year is “Creating a Shared Future in Fractured World,” an ambition not likely to turn up on the U.S. president’s Twitter feed. Instead, Trump will bring his zero-sum message of “America First,” and will speak last among the parade of world leaders – from places such as India, France and Canada – who are gathering from Tuesday to Friday in the Swiss snows. As with most things Trump, there are stark contrasts between how attendees view his visit. Some are happy and hope for dialogue. Others unabashedly say they wish he would stay away and accuse him of a lack of compassion and vision for the world that are out of place in Davos. “I find it quite sad he’s coming to the WEF, but I imagine nothing can be done about it,” said Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, a longtime disciple of the Dalai Lama. The U.S. government shutdown cast some doubt on whether Trump might actually make the trip later in the week – the wider U.S. delegation’s departure on Monday was delayed due to the shutdown. While Trump’s visit may seem incongruous or unwelcome in Davos, he will be sticking to one key aspect of the WEF’s ambition in starting the annual forum 47 years ago: Business. An array of Cabinet officials is due to tag along, suggesting the U.S. is preparing a big economic and diplomatic push. Some have suggested it’s ironic that Trump, a self-styled populist despite his penchant for the penthouse, is attending the elite event. Others speculated he could have felt a need to regain the Davos spotlight for the United States a year after Chinese President Xi Jinping stole the show by casting China as a champion of free trade and stability. An administration official said Trump is expected to tout the booming U.S. economy and measures such as his recent tax overhaul, while again criticizing trade practices that he sees as unfair toward the U.S. The official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans, said Trump made the decision to go because he thinks he has a positive economic message. With Wall Street surging, Trump has some cheerleaders on the economic front, even if they hope he’ll be more accommodating. “I think it’s really good that he’s going,” said Bill Thomas, chairman of business services KPMG International. “The Amer[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/1a5463f82eaf45dfa6c4e5ce474f1d6d/afa5d2ca-f813-474b-b9b4-3b4cfd7cd7df/image-pv_web.jpg




Fighting rages amid Turkish push in Kurdish enclave in SyriaAP photo Turkish army tanks enter Afrin, an enclave in northern Syria controlled by U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters Monday in Hassa, Hatay, Turkey.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:24:00 GMT

HASSA, Turkey – Intense fighting flared Monday as Turkish troops and their allies advanced on a Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria, the third day of Ankara’s offensive to oust a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia from the area, according to the militia and a war monitoring group. Skirmishes between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters also broke out farther east in Syria, threatening to widen the scope of the new front in the Syrian war that pits Turkey against Washington’s main ally in the region. The Turkish ground and air offensive on Afrin, codenamed “Operation Olive Branch,” began Saturday, raising tensions in the already-complicated Syrian conflict and threatening to further strain ties between Turkey and the U.S., both NATO allies. Turkey said it aims to create a 20-mile-deep “secure zone” in Afrin, the Kurdish-controlled enclave on its border. The Turkish military announced late Monday its first fatality to the operation. It said a soldier was killed in cross-border raid. The U.N. Security Council was scheduled to convene later Monday to discuss the situation. A NATO statement said it has contacted Turkey over the offensive. NATO said Turkey has suffered from terrorism and has the right to self-defense but urged Ankara to do so in a “proportionate and measured way.” NATO also said it has no presence in Syria but that as members of the anti-Islamic State coalition, “our focus is on the defeat” of the extremists. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Turkey has “legitimate security concerns” about Syria. Speaking to reporters traveling with him Sunday to Indonesia, he said diplomats are working on a solution to Turkey’s confrontation with the Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the People’s Defense Units or YPG, who have been the key U.S. military ally in battling the Islamic State in Syria. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group because of its ties to its own Kurdish insurgency. Mattis said Ankara gave the U.S. military advance notice of its Afrin offensive. The U.S. has offered direct military and logistical support to a Kurdish-led group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces that spearheaded the fight against IS in Syria. With the near total defeat of IS in both Syria and Iraq, the U.S. said it would create a 30,000-strong border force of existing Kurdish and Arab SDF members to ensure there would be no IS comeback. That announcement has outraged Turkey, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tried to walk back the U.S. position, saying it was portrayed incorrectly. The U.S. focus in recent years has been on eastern Syria. The area west of the Euphrates River, including Afrin, has been more of a problem for the U.S. because Turkey had said it would not accept a Kurdish mili[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/019bba5b3dc24881804d7cadd8984c34/d3687989-d968-45cb-91eb-a96e479025ab/image-pv_web.jpg




Rohingya Muslim refugee return to Myanmar likely delayedAP file photo Rohingya children and refugees raise their hands and shout that they won't go back to Myanmar during a demonstration Monday at Kutupalong near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:24:00 GMT

DHAKA, Bangladesh – The gradual repatriation of more than 680,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees back to Myanmar from Bangladesh, scheduled to begin Tuesday, has been delayed amid widespread fears that they are being forced to return, Bangladesh said Monday. There was no immediate confirmation from Myanmar. The refugees began pouring across the border into Bangladesh in August, fleeing waves of attacks by Myanmar security forces and Buddhist mobs. Although the two countries have signed an agreement to begin sending people home in “safety, security and dignity,” the process has been chaotic and opaque, leaving international aid workers and many Rohingya afraid they would be coerced into going back to villages that they fled only months ago. Abul Kalam, Bangladesh’s refugee and repatriation commissioner, said a number of issues remain unresolved. “The main thing is that the process has to be voluntary,” said Kalam, adding that paperwork for returning refugees had not yet been finalized and transit camps had yet to be built in Bangladesh. It immediately was not clear when the process would start. Myanmar officials could not be reached for comment. “If they send us back forcefully, we will not go,” Sayed Noor, who fled his village in Myanmar in August, said over the weekend, adding that Myanmar authorities “have to give us our rights and give us justice.” “They will have to return all our wealth that they have looted and hold people accountable. They will have to compensate us. We came here because we are fighting for those things,” he said. “If we don’t get all of this, then what was the point of coming here?” Eventually, all the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since August were to leave Bangladesh, according to the agreement signed late last year. Over the weekend, the U.N.’s migration agency increased the total estimate of those refugees to 688,000. David Mathieson, a longtime human rights researcher who has spent years working on Rohingya issues, heaped scorn on the agreement ahead of the latest announcement. “It’s a fantasyland, make-believe world that both governments are in,” he said in an interview in Yangon, Myanmar’s main city, noting that security forces there had just forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya across the border. “Now you’re expecting them to come back, as if they’re in a conga line of joy after what you did to them?” The Rohingya Muslims have long been treated as outsiders in largely Buddhist Myanmar, derided as “Bengalis” who entered illegally from Bangladesh, even though generations of Rohingya have lived in Myanmar. Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless. They are d[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/43ec6809ca564a80b59152e4246edcf8/8ee58dbe-3583-4cc6-9f7b-fbe7affdfdaf/image-pv_web.jpg




Pope Francis apologizes to abuse victims, but defends Chilean bishopAP photo Osornos Bishop Juan Barros smiles as he leaves the altar after Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis on Lobito Beach Thursday in Iquique, Chile.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:24:00 GMT

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE – Pope Francis apologized for insisting that victims of pedophile priests show “proof” to be believed, saying he realized it was a “slap in the face” to victims that he never intended. But he doubled down on defending a Chilean bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest, and he repeated that anyone who makes such accusations without providing evidence is guilty of slander. Francis issued the partial mea culpa in an airborne press conference late Sunday as he returned home from Chile and Peru, where the clergy abuse scandal and his own comments about it plunged the Chilean church into renewed crisis and revived questions about whether Francis “gets it” about abuse. Francis insisted that to date no one had provided him with evidence that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in keeping quiet about the perversions of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, the charismatic Chilean priest who was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for molesting and fondling minors in his Santiago parish. Flying home from the most contested trip of his papacy, Francis said Barros would remain bishop of Osorno, Chile as long as there’s no evidence implicating him in the cover-up. “I can’t condemn him because I don’t have evidence,” Francis said. “But I’m also convinced that he’s innocent.” Karadima was removed from ministry and sentenced by the Vatican in 2011 to a lifetime of penance and prayer based on the testimony of his victims, who said they were all molested by him in the swank parish he headed in the El Bosque area of Santiago. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking. The victims have said for years that Barros, one of Karadima’s proteges, witnessed the abuse and did nothing to stop it. Barros denies the accusations. “The best thing is for those who believe this to bring the evidence forward,” Francis said. “In this moment I don’t think it’s this way, because I don’t have it, but I have an open heart to receive them.” Juan Carlos Cruz, the most vocal of the accusers against Karadima and Barros, responded with a statement to The Associated Press: “If he wanted evidence, why didn’t he reach out to us when we were willing to reaffirm the testimony that not only us, but so many witnesses, have been providing for more than 15 years?” he said. Francis, though, repeated again that anyone who makes an accusation without providing evidence is guilty of slander. “Someone[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/b30ced436a674ccebbe2e537b6887a08/546f50df-b604-4b8e-b5ca-7484f239ba16/image-pv_web.jpg




President Donald Trump hits solar panels, washing machines with tariffsFILE- This April 20, 2011, file photo shows some of the 30,000 solar panels that make up the Public Service Company of New Mexico's new 2-megawatt photovoltaic array in Albuquerque, N.M. Some in the U.S. solar-power industry are hoping a decision this week by President Donald Trump doesn’t bring on an eclipse. Companies that install solar-power systems for homeowners and utilities are bracing for Trump’s call on whether to slap tariffs on imported panels. The solar business in the U.S. has boomed in recent years, driven by falling prices for panels, thanks in part to cheap imports. That has made solar power more competitive with electricity generated from coal and natural gas. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:17:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday approved tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers. The president's decision followed recommendations for tariffs by the U.S. International Trade Commission. "The president's action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the decision. Most imported solar modules will face an immediate tariff of 30 percent, with the rate declining before phasing out after four years. For large residential washing machines, tariffs will start at up to 50 percent and phase out after three years. The U.S. solar industry was split over the trade barriers. The tariffs were sought last year by Suniva Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection in April, and the U.S. subsidiary of Germany's SolarWorld. They said that a nearly 500 percent increase in imported solar panels over five years led to a ruinous price collapse. Nearly 30 U.S. solar-manufacturing facilities had closed in the past five years, they said, as China plotted to flood the global market with cheap products to weaken U.S. manufacturing. Suniva spokesman Mark Paustenbach called tariffs "a step forward for this high-tech solar-manufacturing industry we pioneered right here in America." However, solar installers and manufacturers of other equipment used to run solar-power systems opposed tariffs, which they said will raise their prices and hurt demand for the renewable energy. The Solar Energy Industries Association, which represents installation companies, said billions of dollars of solar investment will be delayed or canceled, leading to the loss of 23,000 jobs this year. Mark Bortman, founder of Exact Solar in Philadelphia, said the prospect of tariffs — since the trade commission recommended them in October — had already caused him to delay hiring and expansion plans. "Solar is really just starting to take off because it is truly a win-win-win situation" for consumers, workers and the environment, he said. "Tariffs would really be shooting ourselves in the foot." The case for tariffs on washing machines was pushed by Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool Corp. The company's chairman, Jeff Fettig, said tariffs on imported machines would create new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. "This is a victory for American workers and consumers alike," Fettig said. "By enforci[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/5f68ab2a45124b29be5dfbfc474dde73/aaf39be8-d613-4177-b9c7-b5c63772c435/image-pv_web.jpg




Back to work: Government shutdown ends after Dems relentAP photo Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks back to his office on Capitol Hill on Monday in Washington.AP photo A Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour boat passes by the Statue of Liberty on Monday after dropping passengers off there.

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:16:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed a bill reopening the government late Monday, ending a 69-hour display of partisan dysfunction after Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations. They relented in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant “dreamers” and other contentious issues. The vote set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return on Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse. The House approved the measure shortly thereafter, and President Donald Trump later signed it behind closed doors at the White House. But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,000 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally. Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals’ and immigrants’ demands. Under the agreement, Democrats provided enough votes to pass the stopgap spending measure keeping the government open until Feb. 8. In return, McConnell agreed to resume negotiations over the future of the dreamers, border security, military spending and other budget debates. If those talks don’t yield a deal in the next three weeks, the Republican promised to allow the Senate to debate an immigration proposal – even if it’s one crafted by a bipartisan group and does not have the backing of the leadership and the White House, lawmakers said. McConnell had previously said he would bring a deal to a vote only if President Donald Trump supported it. Sixty votes were needed to end the Democrats’ filibuster, and the party’s senators provided 33 of the 81 the measure got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed. Hours later the Senate passed the final bill by the same 81-18 vote, sending it to the House, which quickly voted its approval and sent the measure on to President Donald Trump. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders predicted that operations would return to normal by Tuesday morning. The plan is far from what many activists and Democrats hoped when they decided to use the budget deadline as leverage. It doesn’t tie the immigration vote to another piece of legislation, a tactic often used to build momentum. It also does[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/23/f90c98301d0c425997b08ad238edf0f4/7cffe0fb-6b44-4c40-ad49-a5083edfdd57/image-pv_web.jpg




Vice President Mike Pence says U.S. embassy will move to Jerusalem by end of 2019U.S. Vice President Mike Pence walks with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Pence is receiving a warm welcome in Israel, which has praised the American decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The decision has infuriated the Palestinians and upset America’s Arab allies as well. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:15:00 GMT

JERUSALEM – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Israeli lawmakers Monday that the U.S. would put plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem on a fast track, drawing angry denunciations from Arabs who were forcibly removed from the hall during his speech before Israel's parliament. The Trump administration's plan to accelerate the move of the embassy, announced in the first address of a sitting American vice president to the Knesset, marked the highlight of Pence's visit celebrating President Donald Trump's decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Jerusalem is Israel's capital – and, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to begin initial preparations to move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Pence told the lawmakers, vowing that the "United States Embassy will open before the end of next year." Pence's speech drew protests from the Palestinians, with chief negotiator Saeb Erekat saying it "has proven that the U.S. administration is part of the problem rather than the solution." Shortly after Pence began speaking, several Arab lawmakers voiced their displeasure by raising signs that said, "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine," and heckling the vice president. They were forcibly removed from the plenum. Despite the pandemonium, Pence expressed hope in an interview with The Associated Press after the speech that the Palestinians would re-enter negotiations. "Our message to President (Mahmoud) Abbas and the Palestinian Authority is: The door's open. The door's open. President Trump is absolutely committed to doing everything the United States can to achieve a peace agreement that brings an end to decades of conflict." The embassy is to be opened in an existing U.S. facility that will be "retrofitted" to meet safety and security requirements, Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein told reporters in Washington. He said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had yet to sign off on the safety plan for the new facility but would do so in coming weeks. The most likely location is in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood, in a modern building that currently handles U.S. consular affairs like issuing passports, birth certificates and travel visas, said a U.S. official, who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The U.S. consul-general works out of another Jerusalem facility that handles political affairs and diplomatic functions. The retrofitted building had been originally envisioned as an interim plan that would allow Trump to quickly fulfill his vow to move the embassy. Yet it was unclear after Pence's speech whether Trump still intended to break ground later [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/b408e10184554cfa8ca5b6660d23bb1b/358959fc-ec48-4eeb-8214-e094d1be6845/image-pv_web.jpg




Senate Democrats relent, vote to end shutdown; House to followSen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., leaves after meeting with a bipartisan group of senators, Monday Jan. 22, 2018, on Day Three of the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:24:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday as Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations, relenting in a fight over immigration in return for assurances from Republican leaders that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young "dreamers" and other contentious issues. The vote set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return on Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse. The House was expected to vote later in the day. But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,0090 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's commitment to quickly tackle the issue of the "dreamers" was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending funding measure lasting a little less than three weeks. Sixty votes were needed to end the Democrats' filibuster, and the party's senators provided 33 of the 81 the measure got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed. Hours later the Senate approved the final bill by the same 81-18 vote, sending it to the House and President Donald Trump for expected approval so the government can reopen. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders predicted that operations would return to normal by Tuesday morning. Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new reassurances from Senate Majority Leader McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressive looking satisfy liberals' and immigrants' demands, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber's floor. "Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate," he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at the younger immigrants. However, the agreement to reopen the government provided no certainty for the "dreamers," and the short-term stopgap sets up another potential crisis point on Feb. 8. The White House downplayed McConnell's commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. "They blinked," principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN. In a statement, Trump said he's open to immigration deal only if it is "good for our country." [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/f90c98301d0c425997b08ad238edf0f4/8afadb36-9b42-474d-a59b-de454ccc2290/image-pv_web.jpg




Schumer's 'cave'? Shutdown deal puts spotlight on senate's minority leaderSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., arrives at the Capitol at the start of the third day of the government shutdown, in Washington, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Schumer, arguably the most powerful Democrat in Washington, is trying to keep his party together to force a spending bill that would include protections for young immigrants. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 20:29:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Republicans tried to make Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the face of the government shutdown. Now, he's becoming the face of the Democratic retreat. For two days, Schumer, perhaps the most powerful Democrat in Washington, succeeded in keeping his party unified in a bid to use the government funding fight to push for protections for some 700,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But as the shutdown moved into its third day, the New York Democrat and his party buckled as several Democrats backed a deal to end the shutdown in exchange for a Republican pledge to address the immigration debate in the near future. Schumer quickly became a punching bag for the right and left. "It's official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington — even worse than Trump," said Murshed Zaheed, political director for the liberal group CREDO. "Schumer caved," tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ally to President Donald Trump. He added, "Lessons learned — Schumer burned." Schumer had little margin for error in this first major test of his muscle and maneuvering as leader. The pragmatist was balancing the demands of a liberal base eager for a fight with the president and the political realities of red-state senators anxious about their re-election prospects this fall. As liberals embraced the fight, some vulnerable senators met with Schumer on Sunday morning and urged a compromise to end the shutdown. "The question is, how do we get out of here in a way that reflects what the majority of the body wants to do," said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is among the Democrats on the ballot in November. She added: "It is critically important that we get this done today." The Senate voted Monday to advance a bill that would extend government funding through Feb. 8. In a bid to win over a few Democratic holdouts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also pledged to take up legislation on immigration and other top Democratic priorities if they weren't already addressed by the time that spending bill would expire. McConnell's pledge was enough to sway the handful of Democrats he needed to pass the spending bill. Democratic aides said that while Schumer, who spent the weekend calling members on his flip phone, initially appeared to be holding the party together, the desire to end the shutdown won out. Liberal leaders across the country hosted a conference call before Monday's vote to encourage Schumer and other Democrats to opp[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/cdaeee968aac46af84c3b070ac01fd3c/6ae32524-cd13-4086-b478-6a6f413a155b/image-pv_web.jpg




End to shutdown in sight as Senate breaks Democrats' filibusterSen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., leaves after meeting with a bipartisan group of senators, Monday Jan. 22, 2018, on Day Three of the government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 18:37:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday, as Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other contentious issues. Senate Republican leader McConnell's commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant "Dreamers" was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks. The measure needed 60 votes, and Democrats provided 33 of the 81 it got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed. Before the government can reopen the Senate must vote on final passage, the House must approve in turn, and President Donald Trump must sign the measure. Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new reassurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber's floor. "Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate," he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at "Dreamers," who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally. Earlier Monday, McConnell raised hopes for a quick end to the shutdown, saying "I hope and intend" to reach agreement soon on immigration and other contentious issues — if the Democrats agreed to the stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks. A block of liberal Democrats — some of them 2020 presidential hopefuls — stuck to their opposition. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey voted no, as did Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Feinstein said she wasn't persuaded by McConnell's assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House. House Speaker Paul Ryan told "Fox and Friends" Monday that if the Senate approved a temporary spending bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8, the House would approve it, too. The Senate vote came as most government offices cut back drastically or even closed on Monday, as the major effects of the shutdown were first being felt with the beginning of the workweek. McConnell said he hoped to reach bipartisan solutions on immigration, border security, disaster aid, mili[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/532fcd6149a34d488723517156c34a55/8afadb36-9b42-474d-a59b-de454ccc2290/image-pv_web.jpg




Government shutdown continues into workweek as Senate talks dragSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., explains to reporters Saturday how his negotiations with President Donald Trump broke down Friday as quarreling politicians in Washington eventually failed to keep their government in business.

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 07:17:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – The government shutdown has extended into the workweek as the Senate appeared to inch closer to ending a partisan stalemate late Sunday but fell short of agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said negotiations still were underway into the night, with a vote to break a Democratic filibuster on a short-term funding bill scheduled for noon Monday. Seeking to win over holdout votes, McConnell pledged Sunday that the Senate would take up legislation on some top Democratic priorities, including immigration, if they aren’t already addressed by Feb. 8. “We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward,” Schumer said, adding that talks would continue. McConnell’s commitment follows hours of behind-the-scenes talks between the leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers over how to end the two-day display of legislative dysfunction. The Senate adjourned without voting Sunday, guaranteeing the shutdown would continue into a third day. Republicans have appeared increasingly confident that Democrats were bearing the brunt of criticism for the shutdown and that they ultimately would buckle. The White House and GOP leaders said they would not negotiate with Democrats on immigration until the government is reopened. There were indications Sunday that Democratic resolve was beginning to waver, with growing worries that a prolonged shutdown could prove to be an electoral headache for the party just as they have grown confident about their prospects in November. Discussions took place behind closed doors throughout the day with few outward signs of progress, as lawmakers took turns delivering animated speeches to near empty chambers to explain why the other party is to blame. McConnell and Schumer met off the Senate floor in the early evening, as many in quiet Capitol offices flipped their TV screens to playoff football games. As lawmakers feuded, signs of the shutdown were evident at national parks and in some federal agencies. Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. Lawmakers were mindful that the political stakes would soar Monday morning, when thousands of federal workers would be told to stay home or, in many cases, work without pay. What still was a weekend burst of Washington dysfunction could spiral into a broader crisis with political consequences in[...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/22/ecd3ad82d5054d30a1dfc27dc910b492/341ab3c0-8100-45e8-8b53-cf0c68e58659/image-pv_web.jpg




Jordan urges Vice President Mike Pence to 'rebuild trust' after Jerusalem pivotAP photo U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (left), meets with King Abdullah II on Sunday the Husseiniya Palace in Amman, Jordan.

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 07:16:00 GMT

AMMAN, Jordan – Jordan’s king appealed Sunday to Vice President Mike Pence to “rebuild trust and confidence” in the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after fallout from the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Pence tried to reassure the monarch that the U.S. was committed to restarting peace efforts and to a two-state solution, if both sides agree. Such a caveat deviates from long-standing U.S. support for that approach as the only possible outcome of any peace deal. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem last month infuriated the Palestinians, who seek the Israeli-annexed eastern sector of the city as a future capital. They accused the U.S. of siding with Israel and said Washington can no longer serve as a mediator. Jerusalem is the emotional centerpiece of the long-running conflict, and Trump’s policy shift set off protests and condemnation across Arab and Muslim countries. It posed a dilemma for Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, a staunch U.S. ally who derives his political legitimacy in large part from the Hashemite dynasty’s role as guardian of a key Muslim site in Jerusalem. Any perceived threat to Muslim claims in the city is seen as a challenge to Jordan, where a large segment of the population is of Palestinian origin. Pence told the king that the U.S. has committed “to continue to respect Jordan’s role as the custodian of holy sites, that we take no position on boundaries and final status.” It was a message Pence relayed Saturday in talks with Egypt’s president. Later, after meeting U.S. troops near the Syrian border, Pence said he and Abdullah had “a very frank discussion.” “Look, friends occasionally have disagreements and we agreed to disagree on the decision by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But what we agreed on was the need for all parties to come back to the table,” Pence said. “The Palestinian Authority has been absent from direct negotiations since 2014. And I hope I impressed upon King Abdullah our earnest desire to restart the peace process,” Pence said. Abdullah expressed concerns about the regional fallout from the Jerusalem decision. “Today we have a major challenge to overcome, especially with some of the rising frustrations,” he said. He described the Pence visit as a mission “to rebuild trust and confidence” in getting to a two-state solution, in which [...]


Media Files:
http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2018/01/21/1b59ab505645423da9fe21b491540b64/4499047a-f6bb-4b1e-9f1c-9cc04c3a2f52/image-pv_web.jpg