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Fire causes $200,000 in damages to McHenry homeH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Crew member Tim Oak from 1-800-BoardUp service works the fire scene in the 2800 block of Rosedale Avenue in McHenry. The fire loss has been estimated at $200,000.00.A fire caused $200,000 in damages to a house on the 2800 block of West Rosedale Avenue in McHenry early Tuesday. Contractors were boarding up the home around 10 a.m.

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:32:00 GMT

McHENRY – A fire caused $200,000 in damages to a house in McHenry early Tuesday.

McHenry Township Fire District responded to a call around 2 a.m. Tuesday regarding a house fire on the 2800 block of West Rosedale Avenue in McHenry. When firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke and fire throughout the home, according to a news release.

The street didn’t have a fire hydrant system, so the water had to be shuttled in. The residents of the house were home at the time, but had exited the home before the department arrived and weren’t injured, according to the release.

One firefighter was injured, but it was minor and the person wasn't taken to the hospital.

Contractors were on the scene boarding the house up around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the McHenry Township Fire District and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Crew member Tim Oak from 1-800-BoardUp service works the fire scene in the 2800 block of Rosedale Avenue in McHenry. The fire loss has been estimated at $200,000.00.A fire caused $200,000 in damages to a house on the 2800 block of West Rosedale Avenue in McHenry early Tuesday. Contractors were boarding up the home around 10 a.m.


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Woman fatally struck by car in Harvard identified, GoFundMe startedSusan R. Forgacs Hathcock

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:31:00 GMT

HARVARD – A family is mourning after a woman fatally struck by a car in Harvard last week.

The Winnebago County Coroner has identified the Harvard woman as Susan Hathcock, 59. A GoFundMe has been started for the family and has raised nearly $4,000. The page describes Hathcock as a “wonderful mom to many and dear friend to everyone she met.”

Harvard police and the Harvard Fire Protection District responded to a call that a car had hit a pedestrian around 9:14 p.m. May 17. The incident occurred on the 100 block of West Brink Street/Route 173 near Route 14. Hathcock was taken to OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford where she was later pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation shows that a 25-year-old man was driving a 2007 Nissan east on West Brink Street. Hathcock was crossing the street from north to south, which is when the crash occurred,

The driver was treated at the scene and released. He was later cited with an insurance violation, police said.

The crash remains under investigation by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Harvard Police Department. The family's GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/9ce78.

"Susan touched the hearts of everyone she knew. She was a wonderful mom to many and a dear friend to everyone she met," according to the page. "It's a very difficult time for all of her family and friends."

Susan R. Forgacs Hathcock


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Celebrate McHenry County College’s 50th anniversary at Scots Fest June 10

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:22:39 GMT

It’s hard to believe that 50 years has passed since McHenry County College became a reality in 1967. It first opened its doors to 312 full-time and 1,045 part-time students in the old Pure Oil building on Route 14. Today, the institution educates thousands of students and just broke ground on a new science center.

One of the highlights of the year-long anniversary celebration is MCC Scots Fest, a free, fun-filled family event to thank the public for its support throughout the last half-century. The festival is slated for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10 on MCC’s Crystal Lake campus.

Art lovers can enjoy demonstrations in ceramics, jewelry, printmaking, horticulture, and more. For those more into the art of automotive design, there’s also an auto show planned.

And what festival would be complete without food? Food trucks will offer up tasty fare for sale from Crescent City Cajun, Dukes, Kona Ice, Mario's Cart, MJ's Coffee Bar, Riverside Chocolate Factory, and Rosati's.

And, of course, there’s entertainment, courtesy of Charlie Three Valves and the Weird Seven, storyteller Jim May, Potts & Pans Steelband, and Crystal Lake Strikers.

You can take a respite from the activities and enjoy some poetry readings, or grab the kids and head over to the STEAM Zone where kids can enjoy hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. There’ll also be a Kids Corner with interactive play for children and families.

“All of us at McHenry County College are thrilled to be celebrating 50 years of delivering quality education to the county,” said Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement Christina Haggerty. “We believe that education is the best investment someone can make—producing strong, dedicated citizens who live, work, and give back to their community. It’s never too late to start—or continue—learning. MCC is here when you’re ready.”


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Police: No suspect being sought in vehicle crash that killed Carpentersville toddlerH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer looks at a truck in a retention pond Monday near the scene where a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com The truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday is pulled onto a tow truck from a retention pond as police investigate the scene. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigators walk past a broken mail box Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A crime scene investigator photographs the truck involved in a fatal Carpentersville crash Monday while it is pulled from a retention pond. A child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Investigators look at a truck in a retention pond near the scene where a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:24:00 GMT

CARPENTERSVILLE – Police called Monday’s death of a toddler in a one-vehicle crash a “family tragedy” that was not the result of a speeding or a reckless vehicle. 

Police stated in a Monday post to Facebook that, while an investigation is ongoing into the death of 2-year-old Levi Cruz, no one is in custody and police are not looking for an offender. The post stated that the ongoing investigation is limiting the department from releasing much new information. 

Authorities responded to a call of a chid hit by a vehicle at about 9:40 a.m. in the 1000 block of Deer Creek Drive near the intersection of Deer Creek and Rosewood drives in the Lakewood Estates North subdivision. While police made efforts on the scene to resuscitate the boy, he was taken to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin where he was declared dead about an hour later, according to the Kane County Coroner’s Office. 

Besides cordoning off the scene of the accident, police honed in on a gray Ram truck that one witness said rolled down the street, snapped a mailbox and came to rest in a wetland retention area. Deer Creek Drive slopes downward close to its intersection with Lake Marian Road. 

The witness had said he was uncertain whether the truck had anyone inside of it, but said his focus was on heading toward the commotion. He said Cruz’s mother and grandmother were with Cruz and were inconsolable.

Neighbors said the house where Cruz died is home to a woman who for years has offered baby-sitting services for other children in the subdivision.

Carpentersville police and the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating the crash.

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer looks at a truck in a retention pond Monday near the scene where a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com The truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday is pulled onto a tow truck from a retention pond as police investigate the scene. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigators walk past a broken mail box Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A crime scene investigator photographs the truck involved in a fatal Carpentersville crash Monday while it is pulled from a retention pond. A child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Investigators look at a truck in a retention pond near the scene where a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.


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Photos: Legendary James Bond actor Roger Moore dead at 89 British actor Sir Roger Moore arrives at the Monaco palace for the religious wedding ceremony of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Princess of Monaco, Saturday, July 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, Pool) British actor Roger Moore gets a kiss from Miss United Kingdom, Marilyn Ann Ward, left, and Miss USA, Brucene Smith, at a luncheon at London's Savoy Hotel, Nov. 4, 1971, for the Miss World contestants. (AP Photo/Bob Dear) Actor Roger Moore poses with a martini and a big cigar at the Dorchester Hotel in London, on August 1, 1972, after the announcement was made that he will play the British secret agent James Bond 007, in the new production "Live and Let Die." (AP Photo)British actor Roger Moore, his wife, Italian actress Luisa Mattioli Moore, left, and Susannah York, his new leading lady in the comedy "Heaven Save Us From Our Friends," are seen having a New Year's drink at Gerrick Club in London, on January 2, 1975. (AP Photo)British actor Roger Moore poses with his son, Christian, after UNICEF appointed him special representative for the film arts at the United Nations in New York City on Aug. 9, 1991. Roger Moore's role with UNICEF will be to promote the cause of children worldwide. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)British actor Roger Moore signs autograph on his latest book "The World is My Bond" during the news conference in Hong Kong Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)Actor Roger Moore, right, poses with Tanya Roberts, Aug. 17, 1984. (AP Photo/Alexis D.)Der britische Schauspieler Roger Moore posiert am Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2009, waehrend eines Interviews mit der Associated Press Interviews in Hamburg fuer ein Portraet. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer) --- British actor Roger Moore poses for a portrait during an interview with the Associated Press in Hamburg, northern Germany, on Wednesday, June 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)British actor Roger Moore, well-known from his "James Bond 007" movies, shows a soccer-shirt reading: "Roger Moore 007" presented to him by German national football team player Lothar Matthaeus (unseen) on Monday, October 7, 1991 in Munich, Germany. Both are advertising for a soccer match in favor of the UNICEF organization. Moore is international ambassador for the "Universal Child Immunization" program of UNICEF. (AP Photo/Uwe Lein)Actor Roger Moore, who played the part of James Bond 007 in seven films, receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moore's star is aptly located at 7007 Hollywood Blvd. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Actor Roger Moore, who played the part of James Bond 007 in seven films, is seen with his wife Christina Tholstrup, during a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moore's star is aptly located at 7007 Hollywood Blvd. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Actor Roger Moore, left, stands with Albert Broccoli, known as Cubby, after he presented Broccoli with the Irving Thalberg Award during the 54th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, USA on March 29, 1982. (AP Photo)Veteran British actor Roger Moore, currently starring with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the new action-adventure film ìThe Quest,î poses for a portrait, April 22, 1996 in the Studio City section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)British actor Roger Moore speaks at a press conference during the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm Thursday, August 29, 1996. He recalled how a pedophile had made sexual advances on him as an 8-year-old child during a camping expedition. Moore, who is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, was attending the global conference aimed at stopping child prostitution and child pornography. (AP Photo/Fredrik Sandberg)British actor Roger Moore and his wife Kristina Tholstrup pose during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Monte Carlo Television Festival, Sunday, June 10, 2012, in Monaco. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)Sir Roger Moore and his wife Kristina Tholstrup riding in a carriage during the opening ceremony of the CHIO Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:48:00 GMT

English actor Roger Moore, famous for his roles as James Bond, died on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Moore was 89.  British actor Sir Roger Moore arrives at the Monaco palace for the religious wedding ceremony of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Princess of Monaco, Saturday, July 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, Pool) British actor Roger Moore gets a kiss from Miss United Kingdom, Marilyn Ann Ward, left, and Miss USA, Brucene Smith, at a luncheon at London's Savoy Hotel, Nov. 4, 1971, for the Miss World contestants. (AP Photo/Bob Dear) Actor Roger Moore poses with a martini and a big cigar at the Dorchester Hotel in London, on August 1, 1972, after the announcement was made that he will play the British secret agent James Bond 007, in the new production "Live and Let Die." (AP Photo)British actor Roger Moore, his wife, Italian actress Luisa Mattioli Moore, left, and Susannah York, his new leading lady in the comedy "Heaven Save Us From Our Friends," are seen having a New Year's drink at Gerrick Club in London, on January 2, 1975. (AP Photo)British actor Roger Moore poses with his son, Christian, after UNICEF appointed him special representative for the film arts at the United Nations in New York City on Aug. 9, 1991. Roger Moore's role with UNICEF will be to promote the cause of children worldwide. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)British actor Roger Moore signs autograph on his latest book "The World is My Bond" during the news conference in Hong Kong Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)Actor Roger Moore, right, poses with Tanya Roberts, Aug. 17, 1984. (AP Photo/Alexis D.)Der britische Schauspieler Roger Moore posiert am Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2009, waehrend eines Interviews mit der Associated Press Interviews in Hamburg fuer ein Portraet. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer) --- British actor Roger Moore poses for a portrait during an interview with the Associated Press in Hamburg, northern Germany, on Wednesday, June 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)British actor Roger Moore, well-known from his "James Bond 007" movies, shows a soccer-shirt reading: "Roger Moore 007" presented to him by German national football team player Lothar Matthaeus (unseen) on Monday, October 7, 1991 in Munich, Germany. Both are advertising for a soccer match in favor of the UNICEF organization. Moore is international ambassador for the "Universal Child Immunization" program of UNICEF. (AP Photo/Uwe Lein)Actor Roger Moore, who played the part of James Bond 007 in seven films, receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moore's star is aptly located at 7007 Hollywood Blvd. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Actor Roger Moore, who played the part of James Bond 007 in seven films, is seen with his wife Christina Tholstrup, during a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moore's star is aptly located at 7007 Hollywood Blvd. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Actor Roger Moore, left, stands with Albert Broccoli, known as Cubby, after he presented Broccoli with the Irving Thalberg Award during the 54th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, USA on March 29, 1982. (AP Photo)Veteran British actor Roger Moore, currently starring with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the new action-adventure film ìThe Quest,î poses for a portrait, April 22, 1996 in the Studio City section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)British actor Roger Moore speaks at a press conference during the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Stockholm Thursday, August 29, 1996. He recalled how a pedophile had made sexual advances on him as an 8-year-old child during a camping expedition. Moore, who is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, was attending the global conference aimed at stopping child prostitution and child pornography. (AP Photo/Fredrik Sandberg)British actor Roger [...]


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Mississippi lawmaker apologizes for calling for lynching

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:18:00 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. – A Mississippi lawmaker has apologized for saying Louisiana leaders should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments, only after his comment sparked broad condemnation in both states. “The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific,” Republican state Rep. Karl Oliver of Winona said in a post Saturday night, which was removed from his page Monday. “If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, ‘leadership’ of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.” The post was made after three Confederate monuments and a monument to white supremacy were removed in New Orleans. Oliver issued a statement Monday apologizing. “I, first and foremost, wish to extend this apology for any embarrassment I have caused to both my colleagues and fellow Mississippians,” Oliver said. “In an effort to express my passion for preserving all historical monuments, I acknowledge the word ‘lynched’ was wrong. I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term. I deeply regret that I chose this word, and I do not condone the actions I referenced, nor do I believe them in my heart. I freely admit my choice of words was horribly wrong, and I humbly ask your forgiveness.” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat, was among the officials criticizing Oliver’s original post. “Now that everyone can see Mississippi state Rep. Oliver’s position on the matter clearly, his message proves our fight to tackle the issue of race head-on is both right and necessary,” Landrieu said. Oliver is a funeral director and first-term lawmaker who represents a district that includes the tiny town of Money, where black teenager Emmett Till was kidnapped before being lynched in 1955, allegedly for whistling at a white woman in a grocery store. Till was from Chicago and was visiting relatives in Mississippi. His disfigured body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, and his mother held an open-casket funeral in Chicago. Outrage over his lynching helped spark the civil rights movement. Lynching was used in Mississippi and other states not only to kill people by hanging, but also to intimidate African-Americans who sought equal treatment under the law. New Orleans City Councilman James A. Gray II, who represents a majority African-American district, supported the removal of the Confederate monuments and said he thinks Oliver committed a crime. “Calling for a lynching, calling for everyone involved to be hanged, is inciting the murder of American citizens, and that’s a crime that ought to be prosecuted,” Gray said Monday. “We are a nation of laws. We need to enforce our laws.” Oliver’s post drew bipartisan criticism in Mississippi. Gov. Phil Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn, both Republicans, condemned Oliver’s post. “Rep. Oliver’s language is unacceptable and has no place in civil discourse,” Bryant said in a statement. Gunn said he heard about Oliver’s Facebook post late Sunday and called Oliver early Monday and told him to apologize. “I was just shocked. I was dismayed. I was disappointed,” Gunn told reporters Monday at the Capitol. “The first two words out of my mouth and my statements are ‘I condemn’ his statements. That’s the strongest word I could come up with is condemnation. If ther[...]



California's legal pot law helps reduce, erase convictionsIn this Jan. 19, 2917 photo, attorney Bruce Margolin stands by a sign outside his office in West Hollywood, Calif. Marlin, has crusaded for marijuana legalization for decades and is now helping convicts get their felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors under a lesser-known provision of the voter-approved ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana in California. (AP Photo/Brian Melley)

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:17:00 GMT

LOS ANGELES – Jay Schlauch’s conviction for peddling pot haunted him for nearly a quarter century. The felony prevented him from landing jobs, gave his wife doubts about tying the knot and cast a shadow over his typically sunny outlook on life. So when an opportunity arose to reduce his record to a misdemeanor under California’s voter-approved law that legalized recreational marijuana last year, Schlauch wasted little time getting to court. “Why should I be lumped in with, you know, murderers and rapists and people who really deserve to get a felony?” he said. This lesser-known provision of Proposition 64 allows some convicts to wipe their rap sheets clean and offers hope for people with past convictions who are seeking work or loans. Past crimes also can pose a deportation threat for some convicts. It’s hard to say how many people have benefited, but more than 2,500 requests were filed to reduce convictions or sentences, according to partial state figures reported through March. The figures do not yet include data from more than half of counties from the first quarter of the year. While the state does not tally the outcomes of those requests, prosecutors said they have not fought most petitions. Marijuana legalization advocates, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, have held free legal clinics to help convicts get their records changed. Lawyers who specialize in pot defense have noted a steady flow of interest from new and former clients. Attorney Bruce Margolin said he got two to three cases a week, many of them decades old. Margolin has spent most of his five-decade career fighting pot cases and pushing for legalization of marijuana, even making it a platform for unsuccessful runs for state Legislature and Congress. A coffee table in the waiting room of his office is covered with copies of High Times magazine, a book called “Tokin’ Women,” a history of women and weed, and copies of Margolin’s own guide to marijuana laws in every state. His office in the back of a bungalow in West Hollywood has the faint whiff of pot in the air. Since the passage of Proposition 64, he’s gotten convicts out of prison, spared others time behind bars and successfully knocked felonies down to misdemeanors. But he’s also encountered a lot of confusion about the law that went into effect immediately in November. “They were totally unprepared,” Margolin said of judges and prosecutors in courts he’s appeared in throughout the state. “It’s amazing. You would have thought they should have had seminars to get them up to speed so we don’t have to go through the process of arguing things that are obvious, but we’re still getting that.” That has not been the case in San Diego, where prosecutors watched polls trending in favor of marijuana legalization and moved proactively to prevent chaos, said Rachel Solov, chief of the collaborative courts division of the district attorney’s office. They learned lessons from the 2014 passage of Proposition 47, which reduced several nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors. Prosecutors in the county researched which convicts serving time or probation were eligible for sentence reductions and notified the public defender’s office so they could quickly get into court. Many were freed immediately, Solov said. “Whether we agree with the law or not, our job is to enforce it,” Solov said. “It’s the right thing to do. If someone’s in custody and they shouldn’t be in custody anymore, we [...]


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UK police: 19 confirmed dead in explosion at Grande concertArmed police gather at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:17:00 GMT

LONDON – An explosion struck an Ariana Grande concert in northern England late Monday, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens in what police say they are treating as a terrorist attack.

Greater Manchester Police said 19 people were confirmed dead and about 50 were injured by the explosion at Manchester Arena. Emergency vehicles were helping the injured and bomb disposal units were later seen outside the venue.

There was mass panic after the explosion at the end of the concert, which was part of Grande’s The Dangerous Woman Tour. The singer was not injured, a representative said.

Britain’s terrorist threat level has been set at “severe” in recent years indicating an attack is highly likely. Police said the explosion is being judged a terrorist attack unless new information proves otherwise.

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m., but there were few further details.

“A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” concertgoer Majid Khan, 22, told Britain’s Press Association. “It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.”

Added Oliver Jones, 17: “The bang echoed around the foyer of the arena and people started to run.”

Video from inside the arena showed concertgoers screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government is working to establish “the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”

She said her thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected. The government is expected to call an emergency Cabinet meeting.

If the incident is confirmed as a terrorist attack, it would be the most deadly in Britain since the London subway bombings in 2005.

Police advised the public to avoid the area around the Manchester Arena, and the train station near the arena, Victoria Station, was evacuated and all trains canceled.

Joseph Carozza, a representative from Grande’s U.S. record label, said the singer is OK and they are investigating what happened.

The Dangerous Woman Tour is the third concert tour by Grande and supports her third studio album, “Dangerous Woman.”

Grande’s role as Cat Valentine on Nickelodeon’s high school sitcom “Victorious” propelled her to teen idol status, starting in 2010.

The 23-year-old Grande, with her signature high ponytail, went on to also star in spinoffs that included “iCarly,” as she worked to develop her recording career.

The tour began in Phoenix in February. After Manchester, Grande was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow.

Armed police gather at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)


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Flynn rejects Trump-Russia probe subpoena; Dems say he liedFILE - In this Feb. 13, 2017 file photo, Mike Flynn arrives for a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The former national security adviser will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday, May 22, 2017, as he notifies the Senate Intelligence committee that he will not comply with a subpoena seeking documents. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:17:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in rebuffing a subpoena Monday in the investigation into Russia’s election meddling. Then a top House Democrat cited new evidence he said appeared to show Flynn lied on a security clearance background check. With Trump himself in the Mideast on his first foreign trip as president, investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign – and allegations of Trump campaign collaboration – showed no sign of slackening in Washington. Flynn’s own defensive crouch revealed the high legal stakes he faces as investigations intensify: a U.S. counterintelligence probe of Russia, a federal investigation in Virginia and multiple congressional inquiries. As well, The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump asked two top intelligence chiefs in March to deny publicly that there had been collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Citing current and former officials, the Post said the national intelligence director, Daniel Coats, and the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, both refused Trump’s request, judging it inappropriate. Coats could face questions on the report Tuesday when he is scheduled to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Flynn’s attorneys told the Senate intelligence committee on Monday that he will not turn over personal documents sought under the congressional subpoena, citing an “escalating public frenzy” against him. They also said the Justice Department’s appointment of a special counsel has created a legally dangerous environment for him to cooperate with the Senate panel’s investigation. Hours later, Rep. Elijah Cummings, senior Democrat on the House oversight committee, said government documents he’s reviewed showed inconsistencies in Flynn’s disclosures to U.S. investigators in early 2016 during his security clearance review. Cummings said Flynn appeared to have misled authorities about the source of a $33,000 payment from Russia’s state-sponsored television network, failed to identify foreign officials with whom he met – including Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – and glossed over his firing as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration. Cummings made his points in a letter asking the committee’s chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, to subpoena the White House for documents related to Flynn. It’s unclear from Cummings’ letter whether Flynn would face legal jeopardy for his answers to security clearance investigators. But in an April statement Cummings warned that falsifying or concealing material facts on security clearance reviews are federal crimes and convictions could lead to fines and up to five years imprisonment. Flynn attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment on Cummings’ assertions. Trump appointed Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and top military intelligence chief, as his top national security aide in January, only to fire him less than a month later. The White House has said that Flynn had misled top U.S. officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russian officials, including Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Cummings and other Democrats have blasted Trump and his team for failing to more carefully check Flynn’s background before they brought him to the White House, while the Trump administration has attempted to blame the Obama administration for failing to proper[...]


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McHenry County State's Attorney's Office to offer therapy dogs for crime victims, witnessesJay Reed (left), of the Masonic Association of Service and Therapy Dogs, sits for a photo with dog, Mason, and McHenry State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally.

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office has partnered with the Masonic Association of Service and Therapy Dogs to provide therapy dogs as needed to crime victims and witnesses who may be testifying in court.

The dogs are being provided by the organization free of charge, according to a news release from the state’s attorney’s office.

The organization provides charitable and supportive services to comfort crime victims and witnesses, current and former members of the armed forces and those in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and disaster areas.

State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said that therapy animals can decrease feelings of isolation, reduce distress and boredom and help lower blood pressure. He also said that when people are able to reduce stress and anxiety in these types of situations, it is much easier to communicate and tell their story.

“Testifying or having to answer questions from lawyers regarding frightening, humiliating or intensely private circumstances of a crime is asking a lot of a victim or witness, especially if they are talking about children,” Kenneally said. “I have personally seen how disarming and soothing a therapy dog can be, offering companionship and comfort without judgment.”

Jay Reed (left), of the Masonic Association of Service and Therapy Dogs, sits for a photo with dog, Mason, and McHenry State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally.


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D-47 Superintendent Kathy Hinz receives 2.5 percent raiseCrystal Lake Elementary School District 47 Superintendent Kathy Hinz.

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The District 47 School Board voted to give Superintendent Kathy Hinz a 2.5 percent raise next school year. 

Board members voted last week, 5-0 with two abstentions, to grant Hinz the raise for the 2017-18 school year beginning July 1. 

Hinz, who has served as superintendent since mid-2013, has spent her entire 21-year career in education with the district. She was earning $177,150 during the 2015-16 school year, the most recent one for which the district has an online salary report. 

She currently is in the second year of a three-year contract extension that board members granted her in 2015. 

Board members Rob Fetzner, Betsy Les, Ryan Farrell, Eileen Paisgrove and Curt Wadlington voted in favor of the raise. Members Jonathan Powell and John Pellikan, who were just elected to the board last month, abstained.

Hinz was named interim superintendent in 2013 to replace former Superintendent Donn Mendoza, who resigned.

After six months as interim, she officially took over the top role at the beginning of 2014.

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 Superintendent Kathy Hinz.


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City Council approves weekly farmers market in Marengo

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

MARENGO – The city could see a weekly farmers market open by June.

City officials on Monday approved a request from the newly formed Marengo Action Committee to allow the group to use the municipal parking lot for the proposed event, which could take place every Saturday from June 10 to Sept. 30. The initiative has 20 to 25 interested vendors backing it, according to city documents.

The action committee is a resident-led initiative. Tom Ring, of the committee, said he wanted to use what he saw as renewed optimism as a way to bring new things to town.

“A lot of people are real excited right now. They are excited about a new chapter for Marengo,” he said. “If we can take advantage of all these people willing to help out, I think great things can happen for this town.”

The group still needs to obtain a health permit and farmers market insurance. The group is currently in the process of becoming a certified nonprofit as well, Ring said.

First Ward Alderwoman Nicole DeBoer said she was concerned that the group wasn’t yet an official nonprofit.

“My concern is that you are going to charge for those [vendor] spaces,” DeBoer said. “I know in the past we had had the farmers market done by the chamber of commerce, and the money was put toward something that would forward the community.”

Start-up costs so far have reached more than $300, but the group’s intent is to give profits back to the city of Marengo, Ring said.

“My group wants to put together something good for Marengo,” he said. “Obviously we’d be in talks with the mayor and City Council to find out what you guys need to make the city better.”

Potential trash issues and proper vendor vetting also were potential problems for 3rd Ward Alderman Matt Keenum.

“There are a lot of things in the works,” he said. “Generally its a great idea, … but we do have to make sure [concerns] are addressed.”

Council members approved the request unanimously.




Toddler killed after being struck by vehicle in Carpentersville identifiedH. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com The truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday is pulled onto a tow truck from a retention pond as police investigate the scene. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigators walk past a broken mail box Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer looks at a truck in a retention pond Monday near the scene where a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A crime scene investigator photographs the truck involved in a fatal Carpentersville crash Monday while it is pulled from a retention pond. A child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Investigators look at a truck in a retention pond near the scene where a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:14:00 GMT

CARPENTERSVILLE – The Kane County Coroner’s Office has identified the toddler killed in a one-vehicle crash Monday morning as Levi Cruz, 2, of Carpentersville. Police are investigating the incident. The coroner was called to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin about 10:30 a.m. regarding the death of the boy. An autopsy Monday showed his cause of death was multiple injuries because of being struck by a vehicle, the coroner said in a news release. Authorities were called at 9:43 a.m. to the 1000 block of Deer Creek Drive, near the intersection of Deer Creek and Rosewood drives in the Lakewood Estates North subdivision. Police immediately began trying to resuscitate the 2-year-old child, who was later pronounced dead at the hospital, Chief Michael Kilbourne said in a news release. Police cordoned off the road, as well as a portion of Rosewood Drive where a gray Ram pickup truck had driven off the road and into a wetland retention area. It was unclear early Monday afternoon whether the driver was in police custody.  Kilbourne announced in a subsequent statement that the department likely would not release any further information Monday.  Neighbor Vincente Mendez was loading items into his van when he heard a boom and saw the truck drive into the retention area after breaking another neighbor’s mailbox. He called police as he headed toward the source of the noise, where he said Levi Cruz was lying in the grass with his mother and grandmother, who he said were inconsolable. Mendez said he did not see anyone get out of the truck, but also said his focus was on the source of the commotion. Neighbor Michael Evensen, who lives several doors down, said he saw two police officers trying to do chest compressions on the child. Residents said the child was with a woman who for years has offered baby-sitting services for other children in the subdivision. Alex Hernandez, who lives next door, said the woman used to watch his sister and now watches his younger brother. “She’s always been a great baby sitter,” Hernandez said. Evensen was one of many neighbors who complained Monday that cars take Deer Creek Road way too fast to get to and from Lake Marian Road, which connects with Route 25. One home on a side road several doors down has a window sign that reads, “Slow down. This is a neighborhood. Not a racetrack.” “[Drivers] fly down this street ad nauseam. I’m afraid to walk my dog to the curb sometimes,” Evensen said. Neighbor Jennifer Alicia said the subdivision, which does not have sidewalks, is filled all day long with playing children. Carpentersville police and the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating the crash, Kilbourne said. H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com The truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday is pulled onto a tow truck from a retention pond as police investigate the scene. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigators walk past a broken mail box Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer looks at a truck in a retention pond Monday near the scene where a c[...]


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Prosecutors ask judge to reconsider ruling on emails, texts between Melodie, Joe Gliniewicz at trialJoe Shuman for Shaw Media Melodie Gliniewicz arrives at the Lake County courthouse May 11 surrounded by her legal team in Waukegan.

Tue, 23 May 2017 05:14:00 GMT

Lake County prosecutors are asking a judge to reconsider his ruling earlier this month that would not allow text messages and emails between Melodie Gliniewicz and her late husband to be introduced at trial due to protections under marital privilege laws. 

Late last week Judge James Booras scheduled a hearing on two motions for June 19 – one on a motion to reconsider his prior ruling and another for the continuation of an ongoing hearing on the defense’s motion to dismiss charges against Melodie Gliniewicz. 

A preliminary trial date also was set for July 3. 

Melodie Gliniewicz faces felony charges of money laundering, conspiracy and misusing charitable funds after Lake County authorities said she played a role in laundering money and using more than $10,000 worth of charitable funds from the Fox Lake Police Explorer Post 300 for her own personal benefit. Her late husband ran the nonprofit program for youth interested in policing.

Prosecutors charged Melodie Gliniewicz about three months after Lake County Major Crimes Task Force investigators announced Joseph Gliniewicz shot himself. Investigators said Joseph Gliniewicz, fearing that his years of embezzlement would be discovered, staged his September 2015 suicide to look like a homicide. Melodie Gliniewicz faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.

Melodie Gliniewicz’s attorney, Donald Morrison, had asked the judge to keep prosecutors from using any communication between the couple at trial. Morrison argued the statements would be protected by spousal privilege.

Booras said on May 11 that text messages or emails between the couple were protected by spousal privilege and could not be used against her. He said the marital privilege law in Illinois does not provide an exception for suspected joint criminal activity, as compared with other courts across the country.

Prosecutors previously argued that all statements should be admissible because they are not direct testimony. Communications between the couple were found after authorities searched their home, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Turk has said.

Melodie Gliniewicz’s lawyers have continued to argue that their client is being prosecuted for Joe Gliniewicz’s actions and believe the charges should be dismissed on constitutional grounds.

Joe Shuman for Shaw Media Melodie Gliniewicz arrives at the Lake County courthouse May 11 surrounded by her legal team in Waukegan.


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PHOTOS: Toddler killed after being struck by vehicle in CarpentersvilleH. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigate the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police gather on a front lawn as they investigate the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer investigates the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer looks at a truck in a retention pond Monday, May 22, 2017 near the scene where a young child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police take measurements as they investigate the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigators walk past a broken mail box Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A crime scene investigator photographs the truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday, May 22, 2017 while it is pulled from a retention pond. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday is pulled onto a tow truck from a retention pond as police investigate the scene. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.

Mon, 22 May 2017 19:30:00 GMT

Police are investigating a one-vehicle crash that killed a toddler Monday morning.

H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigate the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police gather on a front lawn as they investigate the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer investigates the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A police officer looks at a truck in a retention pond Monday, May 22, 2017 near the scene where a young child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville. H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police take measurements as they investigate the scene Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com Police investigators walk past a broken mail box Monday after a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road in Carpentersville.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com A crime scene investigator photographs the truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday, May 22, 2017 while it is pulled from a retention pond. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The truck involved in a Carpentersville fatal crash Monday is pulled onto a tow truck from a retention pond as police investigate the scene. A child was killed after being struck by the vehicle near the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Deer Creek Road.


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President Trump says he didn't mention Israel in meeting with RussiansPresident Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mon, 22 May 2017 17:48:00 GMT

JERUSALEM – President Donald Trump on Monday defended himself against allegations he divulged classified information in a recent meeting with Russian diplomats, saying alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he never identified Israel in his Oval Office conversation. At the end of his appearance with Netanyahu, Trump said that he "never mentioned the word or the name Israel" in his conversation with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador. "So you have another story wrong," he said. Various reports, quoting anonymous officials, have said Trump did share classified information with Russian diplomats about the threat posed by the Islamic State group, and several have said that information came from Israeli intelligence. But news accounts have not accused Trump of naming Israel as a source of the information. Netanyahu said that U.S.-Israeli intelligence cooperation is "terrific," attempting to dismiss concerns that the incident violated the confidentiality of an agreement with Israel. Earlier Monday, on Trump's first visit to Israel as president, he said he sees a growing recognition among Muslim nations that they share a "common cause" with Israel in their determination to counter threats posed by Iran. Arriving from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trump expressed his hope for cooperation among U.S. allies in the Middle East. Israel was his second stop on a nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Trump, who had previously suggested that it would be easier than anticipated to solve the conflict that has vexed his predecessors for decades, said that conditions were right in both Israel and the Arab world to strike what he has called "the ultimate deal." "We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people," Trump said upon his arrival in Tel Aviv. Trump's first stop was a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. In a statement following the meeting, Trump addressed his meetings the previous day with Arab and Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, and said that there is growing realization that they share a goal with Israel in their determination to defeat extremism and deter "the threat posed by Iran." Netanyahu called Trump "a true friend" to Israel and expressed optimism about the president's role in the Middle East peace process. But obstacles have emerged that may complicate the relationship between the White House and the Israel. Trump, wearing a black skullcap, on Monday became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. Trump touched it in prayer and, adhering to tradition, placed a note in a deep crevice. He also toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which by Christian tradition is where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb. On Tuesday, he is set to meet with Palestinian lead Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and deliver a speech at the Israeli Museum. But Trump may face concerns from Israelis over the new $110 billion arms deal he announced during his stop in Saudi Arabia as well as questions from Israeli officials about the revelations that he disclosed sensitive Israeli intelligence to Russian officials. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking to reporters onboard Air Force One, said the U.S. could provide clarifications to Israel about the disclosure [...]


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Authorities: Maryland stabbing of black Army lieutenant a possible hate crimePeople gather for a candlelight vigil and a moment of silence at a bus shelter at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md, Sunday, May 21, 2017, where visiting student was fatally stabbed. A University of Maryland student was charged Sunday with fatally stabbing a visiting student on campus in what police have described as an unprovoked attack that rattled the school over graduation weekend. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mon, 22 May 2017 17:21:00 GMT

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The FBI is investigating the unprovoked stabbing of a black man at the University of Maryland as a possible hate crime after a white student who belonged to a racist Facebook group was arrested nearby with a knife in his pocket, police said. University of Maryland student Sean Christopher Urbanski was charged with first- and second-degree murder, and first-degree assault. His first court hearing was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Richard Collins III, 23, was stabbed early Saturday while visiting friends at the College Park campus. He had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and would have graduated Tuesday from Bowie State University, police said. The killing was met with shock and fear on both campuses, which are nearby each other in suburban Washington. Bowie State, a historically black school, is having its commencement ceremony Tuesday in the same basketball stadium on the College Park campus where Maryland held its ceremony on Sunday. "If I'm a person of color I would certainly look at this as something that could happen to me. In fact, I know on Facebook our students are saying that," said University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell. University of Maryland President Wallace Loh led students and families in a moment of silence for Collins at Sunday's commencement. He called it a "senseless and unprovoked assault," The Baltimore Sun reported. "We are still in shock that a young man, so full of promise, should have his life cut short, so suddenly," Loh said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and with the entire Bowie State University community." Mitchell said he asked for the FBI's help after learning that Urbanski, 22, belonged to a Facebook group called "Alt-Reich: Nation," where members post disparaging material about African-Americans and others. "We are here to evaluate that as an ongoing concern with respect to whether or not this was a hate crime," Gordon Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Baltimore, said at a news conference Sunday evening. An attorney for Urbanski did not immediately return a message left at his office on Monday. A message left Sunday at a number listed for his home in Severna Park was not immediately returned. Urbanski was added to the "Alt-Reich" Facebook group by an administrator in February. The group, which was taken down after the stabbing, had about 1,100 members and included racist, sexist and anti-Semitic photos and posts. Officials said Collins was with two friends waiting for an Uber ride at about 3 a.m. Saturday when they heard Urbanski screaming and watched him approach. Urbanski said "Step left, step left if you know what's best for you," according to the charging documents. Collins said 'no,' and Urbanski stabbed him once in the chest, the documents say. Officers found Urbanski sitting on a bench about 50 feet from where Collins collapsed, with a knife in his front right pocket, the documents say. Urbanski graduated from Severna Park High School in 2013, where he made the honor roll in 11th grade, according to media reports. Urbanski was not scheduled to graduate from the University of Maryland this year, police said. Dr. Artie Lee Travis, vice pr[...]


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Harvard High School Class of 2017Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Ismael Albarran, 18, and Gerardo Contreras, 17, both of Harvard, lead graduates into the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill. Albarran will be attending McHenry County College in the fall and Contreras will be attending a seminary.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Hanna Baird, 17, watches her cap after the Class of 2017 commencement exercises Sunday at Harvard High School. Baird will be studying accounting and playing volleyball for Aurora University in the fall.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Salutatorian Alfredo Juarez speaks during the Class of 2017 commencement ceremony Sunday at Harvard High School.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Liliana Garcia, 17, adjusts her cap before the Class of 2017 commencement ceremony Sunday at Harvard High School. Garcia plans to major in biology in the future.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Senior Class President Justin Wilcox addresses graduates during the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Austin Clark (right), 18, adjusts the medal of fellow graduate Jacob Cobb, 18, both of Harvard, before the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill. Both Clark and Cobb will be attending McHenry County College in the fall.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Valedictorian Cosette Nawrocki speaks during the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:21:00 GMT

Class size: 147

Valedictorian: Cosette Nawrocki

Salutatorian: Alfredo Juarez

Graduating class motto: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. It has to come down to this.” – from the “Great Gatsby”

Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Ismael Albarran, 18, and Gerardo Contreras, 17, both of Harvard, lead graduates into the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill. Albarran will be attending McHenry County College in the fall and Contreras will be attending a seminary.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Hanna Baird, 17, watches her cap after the Class of 2017 commencement exercises Sunday at Harvard High School. Baird will be studying accounting and playing volleyball for Aurora University in the fall.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Salutatorian Alfredo Juarez speaks during the Class of 2017 commencement ceremony Sunday at Harvard High School.Daryl Quitalig for Shaw Media Liliana Garcia, 17, adjusts her cap before the Class of 2017 commencement ceremony Sunday at Harvard High School. Garcia plans to major in biology in the future.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Senior Class President Justin Wilcox addresses graduates during the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Austin Clark (right), 18, adjusts the medal of fellow graduate Jacob Cobb, 18, both of Harvard, before the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill. Both Clark and Cobb will be attending McHenry County College in the fall.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Valedictorian Cosette Nawrocki speaks during the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill.


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Woodstock High School Class of 2017Mike Greene for Shaw Media Students don their decorated caps during graduation ceremonies Sunday for Woodstock High School in Woodstock. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Class co-President Pooja Patel speaks during Sunday's graduation ceremony at Woodstock High School. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Members of the Woodstock High School senior choir perform during graduation ceremonies Sunday. Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Principal Justin Smith addresses the audience during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Kelly Read gives the senior reflection address during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Class Valedictorian Shannon Fetzner receives her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Class Salutatorian Kathryn Dawdy prepares to have her name called during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Students switch their tassels to the left during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Students toss their caps in the air during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Members of the audience clap for the graduates during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock. Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Members of VFW Post 5040 present the colors during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:21:00 GMT

Class size: 242

Valedictorian: Shannon Elizabeth Fetzner

Salutatorian: Kathryn Metta Dawdy

School motto/mission statement: Empower learners to reach their educational and personal potential.

Student quote: “Soon we will be taking the first step by graduating from high school, so all that’s left is for us to keep following our passions. We’re Woodstock Blue Streaks, and rather than settling, we should always be moving forwards.” – Shannon Elizabeth Fetzner

Mike Greene for Shaw Media Students don their decorated caps during graduation ceremonies Sunday for Woodstock High School in Woodstock. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Class co-President Pooja Patel speaks during Sunday's graduation ceremony at Woodstock High School. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Members of the Woodstock High School senior choir perform during graduation ceremonies Sunday. Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Principal Justin Smith addresses the audience during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Kelly Read gives the senior reflection address during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Class Valedictorian Shannon Fetzner receives her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Class Salutatorian Kathryn Dawdy prepares to have her name called during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Students switch their tassels to the left during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Students toss their caps in the air during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Members of the audience clap for the graduates during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock. Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Members of VFW Post 5040 present the colors during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.


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Alden-Hebron High School Class of 2017Mike Greene for Shaw Media Marisol Abrego leads her classmates through the hallways before the start of graduation ceremonies Sunday at Alden-Hebron High School in Hebron. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Brittnany Nelson helps fix a fellow classmate's cap before the start of graduation ceremonies Sunday at Alden-Hebron High School.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Tim George calms graduating seniors' nerves before the start of graduation ceremonies Sunday at Alden-Hebron High School.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Academic adviser Davina VanderPal pauses while speaking during graduation ceremonies for Alden-Hebron High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Hebron. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Emily Webber receives a hug after being recognized for receiving a scholarship during graduation ceremonies for Alden-Hebron High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Hebron. Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Tally Lalor stands to receive an award during graduation ceremonies for Alden-Hebron High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Hebron.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:20:00 GMT

Class size: 28

Valedictorian: Emily Webber

Salutatorian: Hannah Hough

Mike Greene for Shaw Media Marisol Abrego leads her classmates through the hallways before the start of graduation ceremonies Sunday at Alden-Hebron High School in Hebron. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Brittnany Nelson helps fix a fellow classmate's cap before the start of graduation ceremonies Sunday at Alden-Hebron High School.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Tim George calms graduating seniors' nerves before the start of graduation ceremonies Sunday at Alden-Hebron High School.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Academic adviser Davina VanderPal pauses while speaking during graduation ceremonies for Alden-Hebron High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Hebron. Mike Greene for Shaw Media Emily Webber receives a hug after being recognized for receiving a scholarship during graduation ceremonies for Alden-Hebron High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Hebron. Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Tally Lalor stands to receive an award during graduation ceremonies for Alden-Hebron High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Hebron.


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Richmond-Burton Community High School Class of 2017Valedictorian Abigail Leali addresses the class of 2017 during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldJessica Blaschek (center) tosses as her cap while Emily Bolash hold onto her diploma after commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldCeline Rader takes a selfie on stage after accepting her diploma during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldMatthew Briggs gestures to the crowd after accepting his diploma during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldRichmond-Burton seniors gather in the library before commencement on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldClass salutatorian Jessica Ramirez talks to her class during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest Herald

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:20:00 GMT

School name: Richmond-Burton Community High School

Class size: 192 

Valedictorian: Abigail Leali 

Salutatorian: Jessica Ramirez 

Valedictorian Abigail Leali addresses the class of 2017 during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldJessica Blaschek (center) tosses as her cap while Emily Bolash hold onto her diploma after commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldCeline Rader takes a selfie on stage after accepting her diploma during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldMatthew Briggs gestures to the crowd after accepting his diploma during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldRichmond-Burton seniors gather in the library before commencement on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest HeraldClass salutatorian Jessica Ramirez talks to her class during commencement ceremonies at Richmond-Burton High School on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Richmond. John Konstantaras photo for the Northwest Herald


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Bill Cosby jury: A look at what to expect during selectionFILE – In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, Bill Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. A crucial phase of Cosby's sex assault trial starts Monday, May 22, 2017, when lawyers gather in Pittsburgh to pick the jury that will decide if the actor drugged and molested Andrea Constand, a Temple University women's basketball team manager, at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

PHILADELPHIA – A crucial phase of comedian Bill Cosby's sex assault trial starts Monday when lawyers gather in Pittsburgh to pick the jury that will weigh his case. The jury must decide if the 79-year-old actor drugged and molested a Temple University women's basketball team manager at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. Trial consultant Howard Varinsky believes lawyers will be on guard for celebrity worshippers or jurors who may want to serve to write a book. Cosby calls the encounter with accuser Andrea Constand consensual. The felony charge carries a potential 10-year prison term, but Cosby also is focused on the court of public opinion. On the eve of jury selection, he told a talk radio host last week that he hopes to clear his name and resume his stand-up comedy career. Once known as America's Dad for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on his top-ranked "The Cosby Show" in the 1980s and '90s, Cosby said he does not expect to testify because of fears he would misspeak during cross-examination. Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill will sequester the jury during the estimated two-week trial because of the frenzied media coverage expected. Jurors will be about 300 miles from home, across the state in suburban Philadelphia. The trial starts June 5. One other accuser will be allowed to testify for prosecutors who hope to show that Cosby's encounter with Constand was not accidental but part of a broader pattern of sexual misconduct. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are sexual assault victims unless they grant permission, which Constand has done. A run-down of what to expect as a dozen jurors and six alternates are selected: Q: Why is the jury being picked in Pittsburgh? A: Cosby's lawyers sought an outside jury because the case had been a flash point in the 2015 race for Montgomery County district attorney. Former prosecutor Bruce Castor, the Republican candidate, had declined to charge Cosby a decade earlier. First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele, a Democrat whose office had reopened the case, attacked Castor over the Cosby case in campaign ads. Q: What will it be like to serve on the jury? A: In a rare move, the jury will be sequestered near the courthouse in Norristown, some 300 miles away from their homes. Court officers will keep close tabs on their cellphone use, TV time and reading material, given the huge media coverage the case will bring. The trial is expected to last about two weeks, but could go longer if rebuttal witnesses are called or the jury struggles to reach a verdict. Q: What type of jurors will the defense seek? A: The defense will likely seek jurors who are black, male, older and perhaps celebrity worshippers, in the view of jury consultant Howard Varinksy, who advised prosecutors in the murder trials of Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Timothy McVeigh and others. Black jurors may be more willing to doubt police and prosecutors, while older jurors may blame the victim for being in the married Cosby's home, he said. Celebrity worshippers may be sympathetic or try to form a connec[...]


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Huge cuts to food stamps part of Trump's budget proposalIn this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s budget would drive millions of people off of food stamps, part of a new wave of spending cut proposals that already are getting panned by lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill. Trump’s blueprint for the 2018 budget year comes out Tuesday. It includes a wave of cuts to benefit programs such as Medicaid, federal employee pensions, welfare benefits and farm subsidies. Cuts include a whopping $193 billion from food stamps over the coming decade – a cut of more than 25 percent – implemented by cutting back eligibility and imposing additional work requirements, according to talking points circulated by the White House. The program currently serves about 42 million people. The food stamp cuts are several times larger than those attempted by House Republicans a few years back and comprise the bulk of a 10-year, $274 billion proposal that’s labeled as welfare reform. The fleshed-out proposal follows up on an unpopular partial release in March that targeted the budgets of domestic agencies and foreign aid for cuts averaging 10 percent – and made lawmakers in both parties recoil. The new cuts are unpopular as well. “We think it’s wrongheaded,” said Rep. Mike Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, when asked about looming cuts to farm programs. “Production agriculture is in the worst slump since the depression – 50 percent drop in the net income for producers. They need this safety net,” said Conaway, R-Texas. Trump’s budget plan promises to balance the federal ledger by the end of a 10-year window, even while exempting Social Security and Medicare retirement benefits from cuts. To achieve balance, the plan by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney relies on optimistic estimates of economic growth, and the surge in revenues that would result, while abandoning Trump’s promise of a “massive tax cut.” Instead, the Trump tax plan promises an overhaul that would cut tax rates but rely on erasing tax breaks and economic growth to end up as “revenue neutral.” It would create three tax brackets – 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent – instead of the current seven. Trump also is targeting the Medicaid health program that provides care to the poor and disabled, and nursing home care to millions of older people who could not otherwise afford it. The House had a bitter debate on health care before a razor-thin 217-213 passage in early May of a GOP health bill that included more than $800 billion in Medicaid cuts over the coming decade. Key Republicans are not interested in another round of cuts to the program. “I would think that the health care bill is our best policy statement on Medicaid going forward,” said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the program. Details on Trump’s budget will not be publicly released until Tuesday, but Mulvaney has briefed Republicans about what’s coming and his staff has provided targeted leaks to the media. A full budget submission by the administration to Congress is mont[...]


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North Korea fires medium-range missile in latest weapon testAP photo This image made from video of an undated still image broadcast in a news bulletin on Monday by North Korea's KRT shows leader Kim Jong Un at what was said to be a missile test site at an undisclosed location in North Korea after the North boasted of a successful launch of a new type of "medium long-range" ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

SEOUL, South Korea – In its latest effort to develop its ballistic and nuclear weapons, North Korea fired a medium-range missile Sunday that appeared to be similar to one the country tested earlier this year, U.S. and South Korean officials said. The rocket was fired from an area near the North Korean county of Pukchang, in South Phyongan Province, and flew eastward about 500 kilometers (310 miles), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked the missile before it fell into the sea. White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump said the system that was tested had a shorter range than the missiles fired in North Korea's most recent tests. The missile appeared to be similar in range and maximum altitude to the missile that North Korea test-fired in February, an official from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The missile launched on Sunday reached an altitude of 560 kilometers (347 miles), said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules. The February test involved using a launch truck to fire a solid-fuel missile that North Korea calls the Pukguksong (Polaris)-2, a land-based version of a submarine-launched missile the country revealed earlier. That missile traveled about 500 kilometers before crashing into the sea, according to South Korean and U.S. officials. The February launch, the North's first missile test after Trump took office, alarmed neighbors because solid-fuel missiles can be fired faster than liquid-fuel missiles, which need to be fueled before launch and require a larger number of vehicles, including fuel trucks. Those vehicles could be spotted by satellites. In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was too early to know whether diplomatic and economic pressures being exerted on the North Korean government are having an impact in the wake of the latest missile test. "We're early in the stages of applying the economic pressure as well as the diplomatic pressure to the regime in North Korea," Tillerson said. "Hopefully they will get the message that the path of continuing their nuclear arms program is not a pathway to security or certainly prosperity. The ongoing testing is disappointing. It's disturbing." South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, held a National Security Council meeting to discuss Sunday's launch, which came hours after he named his new foreign minister nominee and top advisers for security and foreign policy. He did not make a public statement after the meeting. In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch a "challenge to the world" that tramples international efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear and missile problems peacefully. He vowed to bring up the issue at this week's G-7 summit in Italy. At the United Nations, diplomats from the U.S., Japan and South Korea said they requested a Security Council consultation on the missile test. The closed discussion will take place Tuesday. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting had not been officially announced. The launch came a week after No[...]


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Pope Francis names new cardinals for Laos, Mali, Sweden, Spain, SalvadorAP photo Pope Francis delivers his message during the Regina Coeli noon prayer Sunday in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

VATICAN CITY – In a surprise announcement Sunday, Pope Francis named new cardinals for Spain, El Salvador and three countries where Catholics are a tiny minority: Mali, Laos and Sweden. “Their origin, from different parts of the world, manifests the universality of the Church spread out all over the Earth,” Francis said, speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace to thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square. The five churchmen chosen are Monsignor Jean Zerbo, archbishop of Bamako, Mali, where he has been involved in peace efforts amid Islamist extremism; Monsignor Juan Jose Omella, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain; Monsignor Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, who became a Catholic at the age of 20; Monsignor Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos; and Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, an auxiliary bishop who works as a parish pastor in San Salvador, El Salvador. Francis will formally elevate the five to cardinal’s rank in a ceremony at the Vatican on June 28. Then the new “princes of the church,” as the red-hatted, elite corps of churchmen who elect popes are known, will co-celebrate Mass with Francis the next day, the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, an important Vatican holiday. Since being elected pontiff in 2013, Francis has made a point of visiting his flock in places where Catholics are in the minority, as well as of working to improve relations between churches and among believers of different faiths. His brief pilgrimage last year to Sweden, where Lutherans are the Christian majority, was hailed by some as instrumental in helping to improve relations between the two churches. While there, he joined Lutheran leaders in a common commemoration of the Protestant Reformation that divided Europe five centuries ago. Arborelius, who is 67, converted to Catholicism when he was 20. In 1998, when he was consecrated as a bishop in Stockholm’s Catholic cathedral, Arborelius became Sweden’s first Catholic bishop, of Swedish origin, since the times of the Reformation. In Mali, a country bloodied by Islamist extremism, Muslims constitute the predominant religious majority. Zerbo’s clerical resume reveals him to be a churchman working for reconciliation in society, a virtue repeatedly stressed by Francis. The Vatican noted that Zerbo, 73, who was named an auxiliary bishop of Bamako in 1998 and 10 years later was made that city’s archbishop, has played a role in peace negotiations. Extremists attacked a hotel in Bamako in 2015, killing 19 people. Last month, the U.N. peacekeeping chief for Mali called the security situation there alarming, warning that extremist groups operating under the al-Qaida banner were carrying out more sophisticated attacks and Islamic State militants were slowly making inroads. There has been slow progress in implementing a peace deal reached in June 2015 between Mali’s government, Tuareg separatists and armed groups in the north. In Laos, the tiny Catholic community has often struggled to persevere, including under communist-led rule. Mangkhanekhoun, 73, was ordained a priest in 1972 and has served as a bishop since 2[...]


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Graduates walk out on Vice President Mike Pence at Notre Dame commencementNotre Dame students walk out of the commencement ceremony in opposition opposed to the Trump administration's policies as Vice President Mike Pence is introduced at Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, May 21, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune via AP)

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame's commencement ceremony.

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak after Notre Dame students and faculty protested the prospect of President Donald Trump being invited to become the seventh U.S. president to give the commencement address.

Pence spoke briefly of Trump, praising his speech to the leaders of 50 Arab and Muslim nations earlier in the day in Saudi Arabia. Pence said the president "spoke out against religious persecution of all people of all faiths and on the world stage he condemned, in his words, the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians."

Trump has faced harsh criticism for his anti-Islamic rhetoric during the campaign, as well as his administration's legal battle to impose a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Earlier in the ceremony, valedictorian Caleb Joshua Pine urged a "stand against the scapegoating of Muslims" and criticized Trump's push to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Cassandra Dimaro and her parents were among those who walked out. Dimaro told the South Bend Tribune that it was a show of solidarity "for those of us impacted by the policies of the Trump administration."

Pence didn't comment on the walkout, which was expected, but he did allude to clashes at campuses elsewhere that have derailed appearances by controversial speakers, such as conservative firebrand Ann Coulter at the University of California at Berkeley.

"This university (Notre Dame) is a vanguard of the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at a time, sadly, when free speech and civility are waning on campuses across America," he said.

Notre Dame students walk out of the commencement ceremony in opposition opposed to the Trump administration's policies as Vice President Mike Pence is introduced at Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, May 21, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune via AP)


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At refugee camp, President Trump envoy Nikki Haley vows more aid for SyriansAP photo U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley inspects a food pallet Sunday in Amman, Jordan, to be air-dropped deep inside Syria. Haley said the Trump administration wants to step up help for the millions of displaced Syrians. Yet Haley's message is at odds with President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda, his planned budget cuts and his hardline position on admitting refugees.AP photo U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tours a supermarket run by the Norwegian Refugee Council and partly funded by the U.S. during a visit Sunday to the Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:15:00 GMT

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan – His skull and jaw wrapped in bandages, the young Syrian refugee stared nonchalantly into a small black box at a supermarket in this sprawling, dust-swept refugee camp. The box scanned his irises to identify him, charged his account and sent him on his way. If the boy noticed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley watching intently from just a few feet away, he didn’t show it. But Haley would later tout the iris-scanners as a fraud-cutting tool boosting efficiency for the more than $6.5 billion the U.S. has spent helping those whose lives have been upended by Syria’s harrowing civil war. Yet as Haley pledged Sunday that the U.S. would increase support, her message was diluted by Trump’s own vow to put “America First,” his planned budget cuts and hardline position on admitting refugees. “We’re the No. 1 donor here through this crisis. That’s not going to stop. We’re not going to stop funding this,” Haley said. “The fact that I’m here shows we want to see what else needs to be done.” It was a theme the outspoken ambassador returned to over and over in Jordan at the start of her first trip abroad since taking office. In her stops here and in Turkey – another Syria neighbor – Haley is witnessing first-hand the strains placed on countries absorbing the more than 5 million Syrians who have fled the Islamic State group, President Bashar Assad’s government, or both. She climbed into the trailer of an 18-wheeler staged at the Ramtha border crossing less than 0.6 miles from Syria, inspecting boxes of peas, tuna and canned meat stacked shoulder-high. The truck was to join 19 others in a convoy into opposition-held territory in Syria, carrying supplies from U.N. agencies and other groups, many U.S.-funded. “This is all in the name of our Syrian brothers and sisters,” Haley told aid workers in a nearby tent, swatting away flies in the summer heat. “We want you to feel like the U.S. is behind you.” The U.S. president’s message to Syrians couldn’t be more different. Trump, who was in Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip, once called his predecessor “insane” for letting in Syrian refugees. As president, he tried to bar them from the U.S., describing them as a national security threat. A court blocked that move, but the number of Syrian refugees admitted has nonetheless dropped, from 5,422 in the four months before Trump’s inauguration to 1,566 in the four months since, U.S. statistics show. And Trump has called for drastic cuts to U.S. funding for the United Nations and its affiliated agencies – such as those aiding people still in Syria and those who’ve fled. Trump plans to release his budget blueprint Tuesday, but his initial proposal in March called for a one-third cut to diplomatic and overseas programming while boosting the U.S. military by $54 billion. Haley told reporters accompanying her to Jordan that the U.S. was “not pulling back” and was in fact “engaging more.” She cited Trump’s stepped-up action to try to hasten a political solution to the war, including a strike punishing Assad[...]


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Crystal Lake zoning commission gets first look at proposed Thornton's gas stationShaw Media file photo The Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission was considering plans to build a Thornton's gas station and convenience store at Virginia and Rakow roads.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:14:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Planning and Zoning Commission got its first look at a proposal to build a Thornton’s gas station at Virginia and Rakow roads.

The proposal by Chicago-based Bluestone Single Tenant Properties calls for a gas station with a convenience store, truck fueling station and car wash on 15 acres on the northwest corner of the intersection. 

Wednesday’s meeting only was a conceptual review – the commission did not vote on a recommendation. The petitioners are asking for a rezoning and a special use permit to operate a gas station. 

The petitioners are working with the McHenry County Division of Transportation to locate access points along Rakow and Virginia roads, both of which are under county jurisdiction. 

Thornton’s has locations in Lake in the Hills, Cary and Algonquin. It has a total of 180 stations in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. 

Shaw Media file photo The Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission was considering plans to build a Thornton's gas station and convenience store at Virginia and Rakow roads.


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McHenry County Board hires federal lobbyist for infrastructure funding

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:11:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Board went through with hiring a federal lobbying firm to fight for funding with the new administration, despite some objections. Board members voted, 13-8, to hire Washington, D.C.-based The National Group on a one-year, $45,000 contract. Supporters argued that President Donald Trump’s desire to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure projects requires that McHenry County secure a place in line, especially since Trump has no ties to Illinois, unlike his predecessor or the Democratic candidate that Trump defeated in November. Board member John Reinert, R-Crystal Lake, said that McHenry County’s property tax burden might not be so high if it had better roads to help businesses get their goods to market. “What would our county look like if we did get federal tax dollars? Maybe it would look like Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Iowa, where all of our residents are leaving [to] because they have better infrastructure,” Reinert said. But opponents, both on the County Board and in the audience at Tuesday evening’s meeting, questioned the move both on financial and ethical grounds. Member Michael Walkup, R-Crystal Lake, said county leaders are fooling themselves if they think any federal money is coming from a Trump infrastructure plan. If anything does happen, he said, money will go to “big, big projects that he can cite as his legacy, because that’s what he’s all about.” “We’re not gonna see a penny. It doesn’t matter whether we have a lobbyist or don’t have a lobbyist. So we’re just throwing money down a rat hole here,” Walkup said. Member Craig Wilcox, R-McHenry, has expressed philosophical disagreement with spending tax money to convince other governments to spend taxpayer dollars. But to audience member Joe Monack of Woodstock, there’s another reason why the county shouldn’t hire a federal lobbyist – the federal government is wallowing in debt. “I just don’t understand why we’re trying to bring home bacon from public entities that are broke. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like trying to extort a transient,” Monack said. Having a federal lobbyist is not foreign to the County Board. It had one for much of the Obama presidency, but the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 to ban earmarks made hiring a lobbyist less and less lucrative. The County Board let the lobbyist contract expire about 2½ years ago. White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Friday that the budget blueprint to be released next week includes a big “first step” of Trump’s infrastructure plan. In a tweet, Spicer linked to an article in Bloomberg News that the president’s spending blueprint will include $200 billion in federal infrastructure funding over the next 10 years. How they voted The McHenry County Board voted Tuesday, 13-8, to hire a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm to bring back fede[...]



Crosby Elementary School students act as living art, learn about environmentRichard D. Crosby Elementary School students in Harvard School District 50 created a 100-foot-by-60-foot image of their school mascot out of natural materials and themselves as part of an Oregon-based "Art for the Sky" program.Richard D. Crosby Elementary School students in Harvard School District 50 created a 100-foot-by-60-foot image of their school mascot out of natural materials and themselves as part of an Oregon-based "Art for the Sky" program.Richard D. Crosby Elementary School students in Harvard School District 50 created a 100-foot-by-60-foot image of their school mascot out of natural materials and themselves as part of an Oregon-based "Art for the Sky" program.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:11:00 GMT

HARVARD – Richard D. Crosby Elementary School students had a chance to be part of a living art piece and learn about the environment through a nationwide “Art for the Sky” program.

Art for the Sky is a program under Oregon-based nonprofit Charitable Partnership Fund. The point of the event is to teach kids about the atmosphere through a three-day team-building project that helps students see the bigger picture, said Daniel Dancer, who leads the program.

“Our current way of seeing things is too shortsighted,” he said. “We’re trying to wake them up to seeing through the eyes of everything. That’s what we have to do if we want a future on this planet.”

The project entails students and staff getting together to create an enormous image on the ground, made from natural materials and the students themselves. Dancer then photographs the scene from above. He used the Harvard Fire Protection District’s ladder truck to get up 100 feet above the ground to take the photo, and he also sent up drones.

The Harvard Community Education Foundation gave the school a grant for the program, and local businesses and organizations in the community – including the fire district, Crosby Parent-Teacher Organization, Stratford Banquet Hall, Wolf Stone Design Co., Heritage Inn & Suite, Menards, Home Depot and Max Goin – donated to make it happen.

Principal Debra Holland said that it was a good opportunity for students to wrap up the school year with a unique and fun collaboration.

“It’s a really cool, end of the year, come together event,” she said. “It’s a combination of learning about giving back and taking care of the earth based on the assembly teaching and working to produce something they were all part of. It’s a huge picture, but they are all there somewhere. They are all in that big picture of Crosby.”

Richard D. Crosby Elementary School students in Harvard School District 50 created a 100-foot-by-60-foot image of their school mascot out of natural materials and themselves as part of an Oregon-based "Art for the Sky" program.Richard D. Crosby Elementary School students in Harvard School District 50 created a 100-foot-by-60-foot image of their school mascot out of natural materials and themselves as part of an Oregon-based "Art for the Sky" program.Richard D. Crosby Elementary School students in Harvard School District 50 created a 100-foot-by-60-foot image of their school mascot out of natural materials and themselves as part of an Oregon-based "Art for the Sky" program.


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McHenry County graduates prepare for life after high schoolMike Greene - For Shaw Media Students switch their tassels to the left during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.Daryl Quitalig - For Shaw Media Ismael Albarran, 18, and Gerardo Contreras, 17, both of Harvard, lead graduates into the Class of 2017 Commencement Exercises at Harvard High School, Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Harvard, Ill. Albarran will be attending McHenry County College in the fall and Contreras will be attending a seminary.Mike Greene - For Shaw Media Class Valedictorian Shannon Fetzner receives her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock High School Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Woodstock.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:10:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County seniors have high hopes for their post-graduation education options. As the school year wraps up, hundreds of graduates throughout McHenry County are preparing for their next steps, and future outlooks vary. Some students have been preparing for their careers through high school courses and expect to join the working world within a year or two. Others are set to head overseas for master’s programs. The majority of Illinois students – 71 percent in 2016 – will enroll in a two- or four-year college within a year and a half of graduation, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. This is slightly down from 2015 statistics that showed 73 percent of students enrolled in post-secondary education in the same time frame. In McHenry County, those numbers tend to vary. In 2016, between 20 percent and 30 percent of Harvard High School’s graduating class went on to a four-year school, while 30 percent to 40 percent enrolled at McHenry County College. Less than five students enlisted in the military, and the rest went directly into the workforce, according to Harvard School District 50. At Woodstock High School, 71.5 percent of students went on to some form of college within a year and a half of graduation, according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Of the 96 percent of students who graduated from Community High School District 155 in 2016, 62 percent went on to a four-year school, 28 percent went on to a two-year university, and less than 1 percent went to a vocational school. The remaining 6 percent were evenly split between the military, full-time work and other ventures, according to the district. Three students in 2016 traveled to study internationally, and 2017 Crystal Lake South graduate Andrew Stripp plans to do the same. Stripp will attend the University of Edinburg in Scotland to study international relations. If all goes according to his plan, he’ll receive his master’s degree in three years because of the way the education system is set up in Scotland. “My mom is a British citizen, and I’ve been going to England for as long as I can remember,” he said. “It’s always been my dream to go overseas and interact with the culture, so I decided to go over on a visa to study. When I went to visit schools, I felt most comfortable in Scotland.” Stripp said that although Crystal Lake South doesn’t offer any particular courses in international relations, he has tried to prepare for his future by engaging with a lot of history and politics courses. Fellow Crystal Lake South student Trevor Doppke also plans to get out of Illinois, but he could land in the working world quite a bit sooner than his classmate. Doppke plans to go to WyoTech college in Laramie, Wyoming, to study auto repair. It’s a nine-month program followed by a year of work before official certification. “My father’s a mechanic, and he’s been doing it for as long as I can remember,” Doppke [...]


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Woodstock High School senior class takes part in year-end community service daySarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock students Brenda Ordonez (left), 18, and Manuel Ortiz, 17, help move tables and chairs Friday at Woodstock Water Works during the 23rd annual Woodstock High School Senior Service Day. Nearly 200 students volunteered around the community.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock students Brenda Ordonez (left), 18, and Ashley Peake, 18, help move tables and chairs Friday at Woodstock Water Works during the 23rd annual Woodstock High School Senior Service Day. Nearly 200 students volunteered around the community.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock student Shannon Fetzner, 17, helps plant a row of plants Friday at the entrance of Woodstock High School during the 23rd annual Woodstock High School Senior Service Day. Nearly 200 students volunteered around the community.

Mon, 22 May 2017 05:10:00 GMT

WOODSTOCK – The Woodstock High School senior class took to the community Friday as part of a decades-long volunteer tradition to end their time in School District 200.

Senior Service Day was founded in 1994 by several teachers, including John Headley, who still is involved today. Students go out into the community and volunteer at nonprofits, other schools in the district, the library, City Hall and city parks to give back to the community that has given them so much over the course of their education.

“We give to them for 12 years,” Headley said. “It’s their turn to give back to the community and the high school and so forth.”

About 190 students – 90 percent of the senior class – participated in the event, going out to 13 different locations to volunteer despite Friday’s rainy weather. The city of Woodstock donated materials needed for cleanup of parks and roadsides.

“We worked hand in hand with public works,” senior student and organizer Kelly Read said. “Woodstock has always been awesome with working with us.”

Woodstock High School is known for its dedication to community service, and the senior class takes pride in the opportunity to give back one last time, Read said.

“It’s something where the kids can feel good about themselves,” she said. “No matter what happened in high school – whether you got an A or an F – we are here working together to make this place better.”

Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock students Brenda Ordonez (left), 18, and Manuel Ortiz, 17, help move tables and chairs Friday at Woodstock Water Works during the 23rd annual Woodstock High School Senior Service Day. Nearly 200 students volunteered around the community.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock students Brenda Ordonez (left), 18, and Ashley Peake, 18, help move tables and chairs Friday at Woodstock Water Works during the 23rd annual Woodstock High School Senior Service Day. Nearly 200 students volunteered around the community.Sarah Nader – snader@shawmedia.com Woodstock student Shannon Fetzner, 17, helps plant a row of plants Friday at the entrance of Woodstock High School during the 23rd annual Woodstock High School Senior Service Day. Nearly 200 students volunteered around the community.


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Tricky, unpopular Illinois budget at crux of Senate 'grand bargain'AP file photo Illinois Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, speaks at a meeting May 19, 2016, in Springfield. The Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" budget compromise comes down to three pieces of legislation for the state that hasn't had a budget since 2015. There's a $36.5 billion outline for spending in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The spending outline is based largely on a compromise budget introduced by Brady.

Mon, 22 May 2017 03:35:00 GMT

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate’s “grand bargain” budget compromise is made up of 11 pieces of legislation, three of which are critical to the effort to keep Illinois from entering a third consecutive year without an annual budget plan.  The three bills would provide a semblance of financial security after years of wrangling between the Democratic-controlled Legislature and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner left the state without a budget. Lawmakers have until their scheduled May 31 adjournment to approve the plan. Regardless of the outcome, it promises to play a prominent part in the 2018 race for governor.  Here are things to know about the financial portion of the grand bargain:  Three little bills  The budget is made up of an outline for spending $36.5 billion, less than what Rauner proposed in February; legislation with legal language to implement it; and the key component, an income tax increase and expansion of the state sales tax. The spending outline is based largely on a compromise budget introduced by the deputy Republican leader, Bill Brady of Bloomington. But when Senate Democrats put it up for a vote on Wednesday, it was approved 31-21 – with no Republican votes. And Democratic votes fell off when implementation language went up, falling short by three votes, 27-24. That dissuaded Democrats from making a run at the tax increase. The links on unlinked bills When Cullerton and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont hatched the grand bargain, each bill was linked, so that none would take effect unless all did. Cullerton changed that last week as he called them for votes. Each would stand alone. But de facto links remain. Despite the Senate’s endorsement of seven of 11 proposals, the effort could be for naught if Democrats and Republicans don’t come to terms on tax issues. One of the issues that has held up a budget for two years is Rauner’s desire for a permanent property tax freeze. Democrats have said that would cripple local governments, particularly public schools. Brady responds that in the name of parity, no income tax should be permanent, either. And the payback period for an approved grand-bargain plan to borrow $7 billion to pay down overdue bills should be limited to the same term, he said. Democrats set that limit at seven years currently – except they won’t budge off a maximum two-year property tax freeze. Republicans prefer four for all. “We’ve always said, if you ask the taxpayers to pay the additional taxes, we need to get them the equivalent in tax relief,” Brady said. Tax and spend (on bills) With an expected deficit nearing $6 billion at the June 30 end of the fiscal year and the pile of past-due bills ending the week at $14.4 billion, few people believe the state can dig its way out without new revenue. [...]


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Biden: It's time for America to regain unity and purposePresident David Greene, left, and commencement speaker former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Jr. smile at graduates as they receive their diplomas during Colby College commencement ceremonies in Waterville, Maine on May 21, 2017. Biden also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. (David Leaming/The Central Maine Morning Sentinel via AP)

Sun, 21 May 2017 21:11:00 GMT

WATERVILLE, Maine – Former Vice President Joe Biden gave assurances Sunday that the country's current divisiveness brought on by a presidential election that "churned up some of the ugliest realities" of society will be temporary.

Biden told graduating seniors at Colby College to resist the impulse to throw up their hands after an election that played to society's "baser instincts."

"It's time for America to get up. It's time to regain our sense of unity and purpose. It's time for us to restart realizing who in God's name we are," he said during a sunny commencement address on the library lawn.

The Democrat who served two terms alongside President Barack Obama expressed his own disbelief in the state of affairs.

"This past election cycle churned up some of the ugliest realities in our country. Civilized discourse and real debate gave way to the coarsest rhetoric and stoking of our darkest emotions," he said.

But he said the corrosive politics and us-against-them populism won't be permanent. "I assure you it's temporary. I assure you it's transitory. The American people will not sustain this attitude," he said.

He encouraged the 480 graduates from 36 states and 42 countries to resist the temptation to retreat into their own bubbles, engaging in a comfortable lifestyle and surrounding themselves by people with similar viewpoints.

Instead, he encouraged them to get out and take risks, to treat others with dignity, and to build bonds of empathy with others.

"Life can't be lived in a self-referential, self-reinforcing, self-righteous echo chamber we build for ourselves online. Living on screens encourages shallow and antiseptic relationships that make it easy to reduce others to stereotypes, to write another human being off as a bad person," he said.

Biden never mentioned Republican President Donald Trump by name but he came close when he talked about standing up to sexual harassment and sexual violence.

He made a reference to so-called sexually charged locker room conversations – referencing Trump's downplaying of lewd remarks as "locker room talk" – before telling the group: "It doesn't go on like someone said it does."

President David Greene, left, and commencement speaker former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Jr. smile at graduates as they receive their diplomas during Colby College commencement ceremonies in Waterville, Maine on May 21, 2017. Biden also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. (David Leaming/The Central Maine Morning Sentinel via AP)


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At refugee camp, Trump envoy Haley vows more aid for SyriansU.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to journalist during a visit to the Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan, Sunday, May 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh, Pool)

Sun, 21 May 2017 21:06:00 GMT

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan – His skull and jaw wrapped in bandages, the young Syrian refugee stared nonchalantly into a small black box at a supermarket in this sprawling, dust-swept refugee camp. The box scanned his iris to identify him, charged his account and sent him on his way. If the boy noticed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley watching intently from just a few feet away, he didn't show it. But Haley would later tout the iris-scanners as a fraud-cutting tool boosting efficiency for the more than $6.5 billion the U.S. has spent helping those whose lives have been upended by Syria's harrowing civil war. Yet as Haley pledged Sunday that the U.S. would increase support, her message was diluted by Trump's own vow to put "America First," his planned budget cuts and hardline position on admitting refugees. "We're the No. 1 donor here through this crisis. That's not going to stop. We're not going to stop funding this," Haley said. "The fact that I'm here shows we want to see what else needs to be done." It was a theme the outspoken ambassador returned to over and over in Jordan at the start of her first trip abroad since taking office. In her stops here and in Turkey – another Syria neighbor – Haley is witnessing first-hand the strains placed on countries absorbing the more than 5 million Syrians who have fled the Islamic State group, President Bashar Assad's government, or both. She climbed into the trailer of an 18-wheeler staged at the Ramtha border crossing less than a kilometer (0.6 miles) from Syria, inspecting boxes of peas, tuna and canned meat stacked shoulder-high. The truck was to join 19 others in a convoy into opposition-held territory in Syria, carrying supplies from U.N. agencies and other groups, many U.S.-funded. "This is all in the name of our Syrian brothers and sisters," Haley told aid workers in a nearby tent, swatting away flies in the summer heat. "We want you to feel like the U.S. is behind you." The U.S. president's message to Syrians couldn't be more different. Trump, who was in Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip, once called his predecessor "insane" for letting in Syrian refugees. As president, he tried to bar them from the U.S., describing them as a national security threat. A court blocked that move, but the number of Syrian refugees admitted has nonetheless dropped, from 5,422 in the four months before Trump's inauguration to 1,566 in the four months since, U.S. statistics show. And Trump has called for drastic cuts to U.S. funding for the United Nations and its affiliated agencies – such as those aiding people still in Syria and those who've fled. Trump plans to release his budget blueprint Tuesday, but his initial proposal in March called for a one-third cut to diplomatic and overseas programming while boosting the U.S. military by $54 billion. Haley told reporters accompanying her to[...]


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Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencementNotre Dame students walk out of the commencement ceremony in opposition opposed to the Trump administration's policies as Vice President Mike Pence is introduced at Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, May 21, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune via AP)

Sun, 21 May 2017 21:05:00 GMT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame's commencement ceremony.

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak after Notre Dame students and faculty protested the prospect of President Donald Trump being invited to become the seventh U.S. president to give the commencement address.

Pence spoke briefly of Trump, praising his speech to the leaders of 50 Arab and Muslim nations earlier in the day in Saudi Arabia. Pence said the president "spoke out against religious persecution of all people of all faiths and on the world stage he condemned, in his words, the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians."

Trump has faced harsh criticism for his anti-Islamic rhetoric during the campaign, as well as his administration's legal battle to impose a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.

Earlier in the ceremony, valedictorian Caleb Joshua Pine urged a "stand against the scapegoating of Muslims" and criticized Trump's push to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Cassandra Dimaro and her parents were among those who walked out. Dimaro told the South Bend Tribune that it was a show of solidarity "for those of us impacted by the policies of the Trump administration."

Pence didn't comment on the walkout, which was expected, but he did allude to clashes at campuses elsewhere that have derailed appearances by controversial speakers, such as conservative firebrand Ann Coulter at the University of California at Berkeley.

"This university (Notre Dame) is a vanguard of the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at a time, sadly, when free speech and civility are waning on campuses across America," he said.

Notre Dame students walk out of the commencement ceremony in opposition opposed to the Trump administration's policies as Vice President Mike Pence is introduced at Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday, May 21, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune via AP)


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Hampshire High School Class of 2017Collin Bradley waves to the crowd as they shout his name while processing in for the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com) Rachel Dumoulin slows down to pose for a picture for family after receiving her diploma during the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com) Jacob Oury salutes the crowd after his name is called to receive his diploma during the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com) Shayla Sotelo, left, and Xena Xayakham take a selfie while waiting for the start of the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com)

Sun, 21 May 2017 14:01:00 GMT

School name: Hampshire High School

Class size: 352

Valedictorian: Emily Hamman

Salutatorian: Reid Sobota

School motto/mission statement: To ensure all students are college or career ready upon graduation.

Collin Bradley waves to the crowd as they shout his name while processing in for the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com) Rachel Dumoulin slows down to pose for a picture for family after receiving her diploma during the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com) Jacob Oury salutes the crowd after his name is called to receive his diploma during the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com) Shayla Sotelo, left, and Xena Xayakham take a selfie while waiting for the start of the Hampshire High School commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. (Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com)


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Photos: Woodstock North High School 2017 CommencementAlexis Ayala prepares to receive his diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media ) Principal Darlea Livengood speaks during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media) Students listen to an address by Principal Darlea Livengood while waiting in the auditorium before the start of graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Graduating seniors join the varsity choir in a presentation of the song "Long Live" during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media) A student looks up into the crowd during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Decorated mortarboards are seen on display during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Students find their seats during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Student council members Landis Delgado, right, and Paige Delgado speak during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Valedictorian William Taylor speaks during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Salutatorian Alec Molve uses a ruler as a prop while giving his speech during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Spencer Alvarez receives her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)

Sun, 21 May 2017 13:14:00 GMT

School name: Woodstock North High School

Class size: 211

Valedictorian: William Taylor

Salutatorian: Alec Molve

School motto/mission statement: Going North and inspiring others along the way.  

Graduating class motto: Looking forward, but remembering our past.

Alexis Ayala prepares to receive his diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media ) Principal Darlea Livengood speaks during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media) Students listen to an address by Principal Darlea Livengood while waiting in the auditorium before the start of graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Graduating seniors join the varsity choir in a presentation of the song "Long Live" during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media) A student looks up into the crowd during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Decorated mortarboards are seen on display during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Students find their seats during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Student council members Landis Delgado, right, and Paige Delgado speak during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Valedictorian William Taylor speaks during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Salutatorian Alec Molve uses a ruler as a prop while giving his speech during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)Spencer Alvarez receives her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Woodstock North High School Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Woodstock. (Mike Greene - For Shaw Media)


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Photos: Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 CommencementTamur Baig (left) and Andrew Benson takes a peak at the arena before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Cirrus Lingl (center) of Algonquin waits in line before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com) Jackson Wilken puts his cap on before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com) Talia Tomson of Algonquin hugs her friend before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com) Students walk to their seats during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Wesley Zawacki watches as his classmates take their seats during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017.Jessica Kuhns waves at family members in the crowd during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)David Corbeil (center) during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Co-Valedictorian Michael Pasetes makes his speech during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Brandon Teadt listens to speeches during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)

Sun, 21 May 2017 12:52:00 GMT

School name: Harry D. Jacobs High School

Class size: 511

Valedictorians: Michael Clancy Pasetes and Jacob Anthony Sabella

Salutatorian: Samantha L. Smith

School mission statement: Ensure all students are college or career ready upon graduation.

Tamur Baig (left) and Andrew Benson takes a peak at the arena before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Cirrus Lingl (center) of Algonquin waits in line before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com) Jackson Wilken puts his cap on before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com) Talia Tomson of Algonquin hugs her friend before the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com) Students walk to their seats during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com Wesley Zawacki watches as his classmates take their seats during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017.Jessica Kuhns waves at family members in the crowd during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)David Corbeil (center) during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Co-Valedictorian Michael Pasetes makes his speech during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)Brandon Teadt listens to speeches during the Harry D. Jacobs High School 2017 Commencement at the Sears Center Arena in Hoffman Estates Saturday, May 20, 2017. (Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)


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How to read your McHenry County property tax bill1. PARCEL ID: Your property location is described two ways on the bill – your physical address and by the parcel ID number, or PIN, used by county and township government. Your address appears on the upper center of the bill under “site address,” and the PIN appears below it, just below a shaded box that we’ll get to in a minute. If you call the treasurer’s office with any questions, have your bill, and your PIN, handy – it’s easier and quicker for them to look you up by PIN than by street address. Below the PIN is a listing of your township and the code that government uses to identify what kind of property you own, and how much you owe for each installment and the due dates. For the record, the first installment this year is due June 5 and the second is due Sept. 5. Let’s keep that in mind as we go back to the shaded box above the PIN. That tells you how much your payments will increase if you don’t pay on time. Your bill increases 1.5 percent for each month after the due date. Now, let’s look at that column of numbers running down the right side of the bill, offset in the black box.2. FAIR CASH VALUE: The top half of this column explains to you how your township and county government calculated the taxable, or assessed, value of your property. The number at the top of the column is the fair cash value, or the estimated market price of your property, based on what your township supervisor of assessments concludes you could get for it. Below that, labeled “S/A [supervisor of assessments] Value,” is the basic assessed value of your house, or 33.3 percent of fair cash value. But there are more calculations to make that can either increase or reduce that value. First is labeled the “S/A Multiplier,” otherwise known as the township multiplier. In plain English, the state requires that all taxable property, by township and the county as a whole (more on that in a minute), has to be at 33.3 percent of market values. If home sales over a three-year period average higher than market values, the multiplier adds to the assessed value of your home, as does the example here – the Grafton Township assessor increased the assessed value by 5.81 percent, represented mathematically on the bill by 1.0581. If sale prices are below market values, such as they were in the wake of the housing crash a decade ago, the multiplier will decrease the assessed value. The number below the multiplier, “S/A Equalized Value,” is the equalized assessed value, or EAV, of your home. The name comes from the fact that the multiplier helps act as an equalizer to ensure that no township's residents are paying too much or too little compared to others.3. BOARD OF REVIEW: Now that the township assessor has weighed in on the assessed value of your house, it’s the turn of the McHenry County Board of Review, provided you successfully appealed the township assessor’s conclusion. If you convinced the board that you were overassessed, the value set by the board of review will appear here, and will be the value we work with moving forward. If your appeal failed, or if you didn’t appeal at all, the board of review value will be the same as the equalized value above. You can ignore the “Board of Review Multiplier” below. In McHenry County, only the township and the state impose multipliers. This number will always be 1.000. It’s only on your bill so the software used to generate your tax bill can be used by other counties that do impose a multiplier at the county level. The resulting number is the “Bd. of Review EQ Value,” in which the board of review checks off on the assessed value of your home. But there’s one more multiplier to go over. Don’t worry – after that, we start talking about ways you can bring your assessment down.4. STATE MULTIPLIER: In most tax years, like the one represented on this bill, the state multiplier is a moot point. But in years in which a lot of people appeal their assessments, like they did in the wake of the housing market crash, the Illinois Department of Revenue may impose a multiplier on the entire county to make sure it stays at that statutory 33.3 percent. In 2011, the state for the first time in 28 years slapped a multiplier on all properties in the county, and did so again in 2012 and 2013. But it hasn’t since.5. WHAT YOU OWE PRIOR TO EXEMPTIONS: Still with us? In case you got lost, this is what the government says is the total taxable value of your home. But now, you get to do a little fighting back. 6. EXEMPTIONS: Think of exemptions like income tax deductions – they reduce the taxable value of your property. The most common one by far is the homestead exemption, which is taken in this sample bill. You get to knock $6,000 off of your taxable value if you’ve lived in the home since Jan. 1. Next most common is the elderly homestead exemption, which knocks off another $5,000 for anyone 65 and older living on the property – yes, senior citizens can claim both exemptions. Senior citizens older than 65 and with less than $55,000 in annual household income can apply to freeze any increase due to inflation – that one is denoted on the bill under “Sr. Freeze Abated Amt.” This does not freeze increases in the tax rates set by taxing bodies, however. If you look higher up the column, you’ll see an exemption for home improvement. If you improve the home you live in – say, you put in a new garage, a new deck, or anything more substantial than general home maintenance – you are eligible for an exemption of up to $25,000. If you’re a disabled veteran with a service-related disability, and the federal government has approved payment to modify your home to accommodate it, you are eligible for up to a $100,000 deduction. The remaining, less common exemptions are aimed at helping people with disabilities and disabled veterans. Disabled people can get another $2,000 homestead exemption, and veterans with service-related disabilities can get a homestead exemption of either $2,500 or $5,000, depending on disability level. Veterans who are more than 70 percent disabled due to service-related injury are exempt from paying property taxes. If you have just returned from active duty in armed conflict, you can get a two-year, $5,000 exemption for returning veterans. Your exemptions are added up, subtracted from your taxable value, and the resulting number is the “Net Taxable Amount” near the bottom of your column.7. LOCAL TAX RATE: This is your total tax rate, or the percentage of your property’s EAV that you will owe in property taxes. It’s the grand total of all the tax rates charged by all of the taxing bodies listed on the left side of the bill.8. TAXING BODIES: This is the list of all the local governments lined up at your front door, palms out, and expecting. The first number, the tax rate, is the amount of money the body charges per $100 in EAV. Don’t get confused over the fact that the pension fund is broken out separately – that’s a requirement under state law. For example, District 47’s tax rate is about $4.37 per $100 in EAV, if you add up its operating costs and the pension. The next column expresses how much of your tax bill goes to that taxing body – in this case, District 47 accounts for about 40 percent of the bill overall. The next two columns are self-explanatory – you can see how much more each taxing body is asking you for this year compared to last year. 9. HOW MUCH YOU OWE: And, in the end, here’s the bad news – the total that you owe your local governments for the year, in two installments.

Sun, 21 May 2017 11:11:00 GMT

The property tax bill you received in the mail contains three parts – a detailed description of the taxes you owe and how they are calculated, and the two tear-off stubs to be mailed with both installments. For our purposes, we will refer to the description section as your bill. 1. PARCEL ID: Your property location is described two ways on the bill – your physical address and by the parcel ID number, or PIN, used by county and township government. Your address appears on the upper center of the bill under “site address,” and the PIN appears below it, just below a shaded box that we’ll get to in a minute. If you call the treasurer’s office with any questions, have your bill, and your PIN, handy – it’s easier and quicker for them to look you up by PIN than by street address. Below the PIN is a listing of your township and the code that government uses to identify what kind of property you own, and how much you owe for each installment and the due dates. For the record, the first installment this year is due June 5 and the second is due Sept. 5. Let’s keep that in mind as we go back to the shaded box above the PIN. That tells you how much your payments will increase if you don’t pay on time. Your bill increases 1.5 percent for each month after the due date. Now, let’s look at that column of numbers running down the right side of the bill, offset in the black box.2. FAIR CASH VALUE: The top half of this column explains to you how your township and county government calculated the taxable, or assessed, value of your property. The number at the top of the column is the fair cash value, or the estimated market price of your property, based on what your township supervisor of assessments concludes you could get for it. Below that, labeled “S/A [supervisor of assessments] Value,” is the basic assessed value of your house, or 33.3 percent of fair cash value. But there are more calculations to make that can either increase or reduce that value. First is labeled the “S/A Multiplier,” otherwise known as the township multiplier. In plain English, the state requires that all taxable property, by township and the county as a whole (more on that in a minute), has to be at 33.3 percent of market values. If home sales over a three-year period average higher than market values, the multiplier adds to the assessed value of your home, as does the example here – the Grafton Township assessor increased the assessed value by 5.81 percent, represented mathematically on the bill by 1.0581. If sale prices are below market values, such as they were in the wake of the housing crash a decade ago, the multiplier will decrease the assessed value. The number below the multiplier, “S/A Equalized Value,” is the equalized assessed value, or EAV, of your home. The name comes from the fact that the multiplier helps act as an equalizer to ensure that no township's residents are paying too much or too little compared to others.3. BOARD OF REVIEW: [...]


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McHenry County Conservation District to offer old-fashioned ice cream social

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:13:00 GMT

RINGWOOD – The McHenry County Conservation District is inviting the public to take a break this summer and experience an old-fashioned ice cream social.

The event, titled “Ice Cream Social of 1858,” will be from noon to 4 p.m. June 11 at the Powers-Walker House in Ringwood’s Glacial Park at Route 31 and Harts Road. The event is free to attend.

Attendees will get to enjoy fresh scooped ice cream, participate in old-time games and visit the historic Powers-Walker House. During the event, people dressed as historical characters will stop by to tell attendees about their lives, including a cavalryman and his horse heading off to defend the frontier.

For information, call the Prairieview Education Center at 815-479-5779 or visit www.MCCDistrict.org.




Dundee-Crown High School Class of 2017Mark Welsh – mwelsh@dailyherald.com Salutatorian Amy Merkelz, 18, of Sleepy Hollow delivers the senior student address at the Dundee-Crown High School Commencement Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena.Mark Welsh – mwelsh@dailyherald.com Daniel McIlvain (left), 18, of Carpentersville signs the cast of fellow classmate Bryan Campos, 18, also of Carpentersville at the Dundee-Crown High School Commencement on Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena.Mark Welsh – mwelsh@dailyherald.com Kristin Aagaard, 18, of Algonquin looks to the audience for her family as the Dundee-Crown High School Commencement at the Sears Centre Arena kicks off on Saturday.

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:12:00 GMT

School name: Dundee-Crown High School

Class size: 640

School motto/mission statement: Dundee-Crown High School inspires students to dream, persevere and achieve.

Mark Welsh – mwelsh@dailyherald.com Salutatorian Amy Merkelz, 18, of Sleepy Hollow delivers the senior student address at the Dundee-Crown High School Commencement Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena.Mark Welsh – mwelsh@dailyherald.com Daniel McIlvain (left), 18, of Carpentersville signs the cast of fellow classmate Bryan Campos, 18, also of Carpentersville at the Dundee-Crown High School Commencement on Saturday at the Sears Centre Arena.Mark Welsh – mwelsh@dailyherald.com Kristin Aagaard, 18, of Algonquin looks to the audience for her family as the Dundee-Crown High School Commencement at the Sears Centre Arena kicks off on Saturday.


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Faith Lutheran High School Class of 2017Mike Greene for Shaw Media Graduating seniors Haley Lange (left) and Terry Jo Macygin sing with the choir during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Brian Crow plays the organ during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Matthew Giesey speaks before the class remembrance video during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Kate McNicholas (left) and Natalie Borman give the introit during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Student council president Lily Stanley laughs while giving her address during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Nathaniel Ayers receives an embrace after getting his diploma during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Graduates sing a hymn during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Victoria Budek gets a hug after receiving her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media A group of graduating seniors pose for a photo before the start of graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:11:00 GMT

School name: Faith Lutheran High School

Class size: 25

Summa cum laude graduates: Stephanie Coriaci, Megan Schoenleb, Lily Stanley, Natalie Weldon

School motto/mission statement: “We share Christ’s love by equipping the Saint to be transformed both spiritually and intellectually by the Word of God.”



Mike Greene for Shaw Media Graduating seniors Haley Lange (left) and Terry Jo Macygin sing with the choir during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Brian Crow plays the organ during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Matthew Giesey speaks before the class remembrance video during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Kate McNicholas (left) and Natalie Borman give the introit during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Student council president Lily Stanley laughs while giving her address during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Nathaniel Ayers receives an embrace after getting his diploma during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Graduates sing a hymn during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media Victoria Budek gets a hug after receiving her diploma during graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.Mike Greene for Shaw Media A group of graduating seniors pose for a photo before the start of graduation ceremonies for Faith Lutheran High School on Saturday at Prince-Peace Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.


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PDC Laboratories Inc. acquires McHenry Analytical Water Laboratory

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:08:00 GMT

McHENRY – Coulter Companies Inc. of Peoria acquired the assets of McHenry Analytical Water Laboratory through subsidiary PDC Laboratories Inc.

The acquisition was effective as of Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The combined laboratories will represent a full-service environmental testing firm that specializes in drinking water, wastewater, groundwater, soil and waste characterization services, along with sampling collection, and courier and project management services.

PDC Labs plans to use existing staff and operate out of the McHenry Analytical office at 4314 W. Crystal Lake Road, Unit A.

“We believe the association with PDC Laboratories is a good fit for our employees and customers,” McHenry Analytical President Michael Tryon said in a news release.

Tryon is a former Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He represented the 66th Congressional District from 2013 to 2017.

To help with the transition, Elaine Kaufmann, a 19-year employee with PDC Labs, will serve as a laboratory manager for the location.

“I want to thank Mike Tryon and Preston Rea, the owners of McHenry Analytical, for the opportunity to build upon the legacy they started in 1986 in providing quality and dependable environmental testing services to the northern Illinois market,” Coulter Companies president Royal Coulter said in the release.

Coulter Companies is a family-owned, Illinois-based environmental services company that has been in business since 1928. PDC Labs has been a subsidiary of the company since 1981 and now will employ more than 115 scientists, technicians and support staff with the recent acquisition.

PDC Labs has provided environmental testing services to McHenry Analytical for more than 17 years, and McHenry Analytical has served McHenry, Lake, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and northern Cook County for more than 30 years.

For information, call PDC Labs vice president and chief operating officer Chris Coulter at 309-688-0760 or PDC Labs vice president of operations John LaPayne at 309-683-1750.




Crystal Lake City Council tightens parking restrictions at another District 47 school

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:08:00 GMT

CRYSTAL LAKE – For the second straight meeting, the Crystal Lake City Council imposed parking restrictions near a District 47 school.

Council members voted Tuesday, 6-0, to restrict parking for safety reasons around Glacier Ridge Elementary School. But unlike the previous restrictions, which were asked for by the district itself, the new restrictions near Glacier Ridge were requested by the city Public Works Department.

Parking at the 1120 Village Road school during the winter regularly spills over onto adjacent roads, which makes it harder for plows to keep the roads clear and increases the probability of a plow hitting a parked car, according to city reports. People also park right next to school crosswalks, which limits pedestrian visibility.

The new restrictions approved Tuesday forbid parking at least 50 feet from Village Road on both sides of Kings Gate and Moorland lanes. Also, parking is banned on the east side of Moorland Lane north of Village Road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days from Nov. 1 to April 30.

Council members at their May 2 meeting altered parking restrictions at Husmann, Canterbury, South and Indian Prairie elementary schools.




Lake in the Hills Sanitary District lowers its portion of property tax bills

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:08:00 GMT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The Lake in the Hills Sanitary District recently approved an annual budget that shows more than a 10 percent reduction in its portion of residents’ property tax bills, district manager Rick Forner said.

The district is levying for about $675,000 this year, compared with about $751,000 last year, Forner said. 

“The district has been operated efficiently for years with one of, if not the, lowest sewer use rate and minimal tax burden to its residents,” the district’s president, Shelby Key, said in a statement. “But like all taxing bodies, the district needs to review its operating and maintenance programs to see where savings can be realized without compromising our impeccable service to our customers.”

The district operates and maintains a 4.5 million-gallons-a-day wastewater treatment plant and 110 miles of sanitary sewers and pump stations, according to a news release from the sanitary district. The district’s portion of property taxes accounts for about 0.8 percent of a resident’s total tax bill, the release said. 

About 40,000 residents in Crystal Lake, Huntley and Lake in the Hills are served by the sanitary district, according to the release. The district is a separate governing body from the village of Lake in the Hills, and it was formed in 1963 through a referendum.

Earlier this year, former Lake in the Hills Village President Paul Mulcahy called on trustees to adopt a resolution to encourage the McHenry County Board to consider consolidating the sanitary district with the village; however, trustees postponed the decision.

In August, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed then-state Rep. Jack Franks’ bill, House Bill 229, that grants the McHenry and Lake county boards the power to eliminate a taxing body for which they appoint a majority of the trustees, provided its boundaries are completely within the district. The law allows the McHenry County Board to eliminate a handful of bodies, such as the Lake in the Hills Sanitary District, the Crystal Lake Rural Fire Protection District and the Greenwood and Hebron drainage districts.

Newly seated Lake in the Hills Village President Russ Ruzanski said the resolution has not been brought back before the board, and he’s planning to meet with Franks to discuss the possibility of consolidating the district.


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Lake in the Hills man one of two charged in West Dundee drug shooting

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:07:00 GMT

A Lake in the Hills man is one of two men charged for their alleged participation in an incident involving cocaine, undercover officers and shots fired on Wednesday in West Dundee.

Richy Sanchez, 25, of the 1300 block of Cunat Court in Lake in the Hills, and Marcos Rojas, 27, of Chicago, are charged with one count of armed violence, a Class X felony; one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony; and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony.

According to a news release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, Kane County prosecutors allege that on Wednesday evening, Rojas and Sanchez met with undercover officers and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations near Interstate 90 and Randall Road in Elgin to buy cocaine. During the meeting, Rojas and Sanchez fled in their vehicle with one kilogram of cocaine, according to the news release.

The vehicles stopped at Route 72 and Sleepy Hollow Road in West Dundee, but during an attempted apprehension, the vehicle moved toward an officer, who fired multiple shots into the vehicle, hitting Rojas, who was in the driver’s seat, according to the news release.

Rojas is recovering from injuries that were not life-threatening, while Sanchez was taken into custody.

“We cannot provide additional details of this incident at this time because it is a pending criminal case and an ongoing investigation,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Sanchez and Rojas would each face a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.


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Community welcomes injured Army specialist to new Spring Grove homeVolunteers surround the house during the key ceremony Saturday for the custom mortgage-free home that A Soldier's Journey Home build for Anthony Chobanov and his family in Spring Grove. Chobanov served as a Forward Observer in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result of his services, he suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and neurological injuries.For the first time, U.S. Army SPC Anthony Chobanov walks into the custom mortgage-free home Saturday that A Soldier's Journey Home build for him and his family in Spring Grove. Chobanov served as a Forward Observer in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result of his services, he suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and neurological injuries.

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:07:00 GMT

SPRING GROVE – Army Spc. Anthony “Tony” Chobanov said he was “speechless” walking up to his new, mortgage-free home in Spring Grove on Saturday. “This means we have a place to live,” Chobanov said. “ … Thank God for a Soldier’s Journey Home and the people who helped out.” The U.S. Army specialist was greeted by numerous American flags, the sound of bagpipes and more than 100 people who came to witness the Chobanov family receive the keys to their new homes. “This is just so great and hard to describe,” said Abbey Chobanov, Tony’s wife. The house was built at the 3000 block of Prairie Drive in Spring Grove over a nine-day period for a project that started eight months ago by Arlington Heights-based A Soldier’s Journey Home. The volunteer, nonprofit organization builds homes for injured veterans who have suffered severe injury to the brain, limbs or vision while serving in the line of duty. The organization consists of active and retired firefighters, police officers, active military members, veterans, educators and others looking to help out. Chobanov served in the U. S. Army as a forward observer and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. During those years, Chobanov suffered varying degrees of blast-induced concussions due to his proximity to explosions. As a result, Chobanov is diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. “I will say I became a little emotionally overwhelmed that [Thursday] morning when I pulled up there was no place to park,” Village President Mark Eisenberg said. “The streets were full. I mean, I’ve never seen so many volunteers in my life.” More than 500 people consisting of business owners, members of American Legions, veterans, community leaders and anyone looking to help in the cause recently volunteered their time to make the Chobanov’s home a reality. Volunteers came from all over the nation, including Louisiana, New York, Kentucky and Arkansas. “It was amazing that it didn’t matter what the job was,” Spring Grove Trustee Randy Vinyard said. “Whether it was taking garbage out, whether it was hauling, scrap, bricks or whatever it was, they were here, they were doing it. It wasn’t for them.” “There was no job too little for anybody,” Vinyard said. General contractors for the project were Joe and Jamie McKeown and the land was donated by First Midwest Bank. The project was also supported by many other donors. “We cannot forget our veter[...]


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Oakwood Hills family to hold blood drive in Cary, celebrate life of 9-year-old girlPhoto provided Elena Perez of Oakwood Hills was born with one lung, no esophagus and a severely collapsed airway.

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:06:00 GMT

CARY – Elena Perez was born with one lung, no esophagus and a severely collapsed airway.

The Oakwood Hills girl spent the first eight months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and she has spent hundreds of days in intensive care since then, said Lindsay Perez, her mother. 

Throughout Elena’s health struggles, she’s undergone many surgeries – including one to rebuild her esophagus from her colon – and received many blood transfusions from family members and strangers, Perez said.

“I wouldn’t have a daughter if there weren’t blood donations,” Perez said. “It’s saved her life time and time again.”

From 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Galati’s Hideaway, 800 Feinberg Court, Cary, a blood drive will be held to celebrate life by giving life, Perez said. Appointments can be scheduled by calling LifeSource at 877-543-3768, or by registering at www.lifesource.org using code 274G. Walk-ins are welcome, and those donating must show an ID.

This is the second year the family has held the blood drive, and it will take place a couple of days after the ninth birthday of Elena and her twin sister, Vanessa. 

Last year, about 50 people showed up, and enough blood was donated to save 135 lives, Perez said. 

Despite only being able to go to school part time and living with breathing and feeding tubes, Elena “exudes joy,” her mother said.

“She’s hilarious – she’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life,” Perez said. “She has such a great energy.”

By sharing Elena’s story, Perez said she hopes someone who has given blood will see the effect they can have. 

“Complete strangers have literally saved her life, and they’re people I’ll never be able to thank,” Perez said. 

Photo provided Elena Perez of Oakwood Hills was born with one lung, no esophagus and a severely collapsed airway.


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How to read and understand your McHenry County property tax billHow to read your McHenry County property taxes.

Sun, 21 May 2017 05:06:00 GMT

It’s that time of the year for homeowners – property tax bills have come in the mail. If you want to set this article down or click out of it and scream, go right ahead. McHenry County homeowners, as one study shows, have the 29th highest property tax burden in the nation, in the state with the highest burden of all 50 states. You back with us? Outstanding. We’d like to teach you how to read your bill. Like most people, you probably zeroed right in on the total amount you owe. But have you ever taken the time to read all of the small type in between? Don’t blow it off like you would the microscopic print explaining the McDonald’s Monopoly contest rules. This print explains how much each of your taxing bodies are asking for, and how your township and county government calculated the taxable value of your home. Reading your bill is easy, McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller said. For the record, don’t bombard her office with angry calls – her office only collects the money, and it has nothing to do with how much you owe. “It could be simple if they take the time. I try to educate taxpayers and walk them through it,” Miller said. The Northwest Herald will do just that. We’ll outline the bare basics here, but if you go to the online version of this story, we will go through how to read your property tax bill, step by step and line by line. Identifying you and what you owe Both the body of your bill and the tear-off stubs that you mail in with your payments contain the street address of the property being taxed and the parcel ID number, or PIN, that township and county government use. Why is your PIN important to you? Simple – if you plan on calling township or county officials for help in understanding your bill, it’s much easier for them to look it up by your PIN rather than your address. You can find how much you owe in each installment on the right-hand side of the mail-in stubs or near the bottom of the center of your bill proper. As a friendly reminder, your first installment is due June 5, and your second is due Sept. 5. That shaded box between your address and your PIN is a painful reminder of how much your bills will increase for each month you don’t pay – the penalty is 1.5 percent a month. Too late to appeal If you have a problem with how much you owe, it’s too late now to [...]


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