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Local News

Northwest Herald Recent news from Northwest Herald

  • Richmond-Burton D157 board to consider not renewing Pat Elder's positions
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    RICHMOND – Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157 will meet Wednesday night to consider Pat Elder’s contract. Elder has served as the high school’s head football coach and athletic director since 2006, and is facing a felony charge stemming from an alleged aggravated driving under the influence incident. Elder was charged July 15 with driving under the influence after Spring Grove police pulled him over on Route 173 as he drove east from Clark Road. Elder refused to take a breath test and was unable to complete field sobriety tests, according to police reports. Assistant coaches Tad DePorter and Brett Zick acted as co-head coaches for the 2017 season as of August. Elder continued his athletic director duties. He faces up to seven years in prison or probation if convicted, according to state law. If Elder were to be convicted and get probation, he would be required to serve at least 10 days in jail or complete 480 hours of community service. He also could lose driving privileges for at least 10 years, according to state law.Elder was previously found guilty of DUI in connection with incidents in 1991 and 1995 in McClean County. He was also convicted on a felony theft charge from a 1991 incident. His next court appearance is set for March 1. The school board will gather for its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the high school library, 8311 State Route 31. The board is scheduled for a closed session with actions after including the non-renewal of the head football coach for the 2018-19 football season and non-renewal of the athletic director for the 2018-19 school year. Authorizations to post openings for the two positions are also on the post-executive session agenda. Superintendent Tom Lind couldn't be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.
  • 'I am not a crisis actor': Florida teens fire back at right-wing conspiracy theorists
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    Welcome, Parkland shooting survivors, to the ugly world of politics in 2018. In the aftermath of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, some of the most powerful testimonies have come from the teenagers who survived the rampage. They have repeatedly detailed their harrowing experience to national news networks, many calling for stricter gun control laws while decrying President Donald Trump for not doing enough to protect students. Others have merely wept with grief while telling their stories again and again. The students have become a mobilizing force unlike any seen after previous mass shootings, planning marches and rallies in Florida and Washington, D.C. - all while mourning the friends they've so recently lost. They have also become a target of right-wing smears and innuendo. Some prominent figures in the right-wing media are suggesting that the students are making it all up, or that the children are paid actors or that their talking points have been manufactured by public relations experts on the left. An aide to a Florida legislator was even fired Tuesday after claiming two survivors who spoke to CNN were not students, but instead "actors that travel to various crisis when they happen." While these claims have no basis, they spread quickly in conservative circles on social media and among popular right-wing commentators. The students proved quite capable of defending themselves Tuesday. "I am not a crisis actor. I'm somebody who had to witness this and live through this and I continue to have to do this," 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "The fact that some of the students at Stoneman Douglas high school are showing more maturity and political action than many of our elected officials is a testament to how disgusting and broken our political system is right now in American. But we're trying to fix that." He was quickly backed up by fellow students. Sarah Chadwick, for example, tweeted that Hogg "can't act to save his life. The fact that some people think he is being payed to is hilarious." Hogg, the high school's student news director, has been among the most vocal students. He interviewed his classmates during the shooting, and has spoken passionately to various news outlets in the days since. But right-wing media websites, such as Infowars, have attacked Hogg for becoming an "overnight celebrity" of the left. Hogg has described his father as a retired FBI agent - a detail that right-wing commentators have jumped on. An Infowars story called it a "peculiar coincidence" that his father is a retired FBI agent, as "the FBI has come under fire for not preventing the Parkland massacre despite being warned about suspected killer Nikolas Cruz repeatedly beforehand." The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., liked two tweets disseminating conspiracy theories about Hogg. One tweet linked to a story in Gateway Pundit that accused Hogg's father of coaching his son in peddling "anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation," claiming the FBI is using Hogg as its pawn. The other tweet linked to a story in True Pundit that described Hogg as "the kid who has been running his mouth" about President Trump and Republicans. "If Hogg knew the shooter would snap - as he and other students have professed - perhaps he could have told his father about it," the story charged. These conspiracy theories attacking the FBI parallel similar rhetoric from right-wing groups - and Trump - who have claimed the FBI is tainted with political, anti-Trump bias. Gateway Pundit and Infowars both criticized Hogg and other students for smiling for a photograph on the set of a CBS interview, claiming that instead of grieving they are "acting and being feted like rock stars." Infowars' attack was no surprise. Its founder, Alex Jones, claimed the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 that claimed the lives of 20 small children and six adults, was a false flag operation perpetrated by the United States government. "Sandy Hook is a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured," he said on his radio show in Jan. 2015. Some, like conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, mocked the Florida teenagers. "How interesting to hear students who can't support themselves for one day giving us lectures about American social policy," he tweeted early on Tuesday. It was liked more than 22,000 times. A few hours later, he tweeted a video interview with 17-year-old Delaney Tarr, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who has emerged as one of the loudest voices calling for gun control in the wake of the shooting. In the video, she directly addressed Trump and requested greater restrictions on the purchase of semiautomatic weapons, such as mental health checks. D'Souza said Tarr appeared "coached and also a bit deranged," adding, "Trump's (sic) should ignore these media-manufactured theatrics." And when the Florida House rejected a motion to consider a bill that would ban the sale of assault rifles, he tweeted, "Adults 1, kids 0." He followed that with a photo of students reacting to the decision. The students are stone-faced in the photograph, and one has a hand to her mouth, as if to hold in crying. "Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs," D'Souza tweeted. Hours later, he added, "Genuine grief I can empathize with. But grief organized for the cameras - politically orchestrated grief - strikes me as phony & inauthentic." Armond White, the National Review's film critic, drummed up a Trumpian nickname for the students: "Parkland Puppets." "Why their ubiquitous presence on TV news shows? Who's their publicist?" he tweeted, along with a photograph of Hogg and 18-year-old Emma Gonzalez. "Obviously not just being picked up off the street, no 16-year-old has quick access to network news producers. Clearly, some PR exec is handling these Alt-Left kids." (Neither student pictured is 16 years old.) Bill O'Reilly, the former Fox News host, disgraced by a sexual abuse scandal, criticized the media for broadcasting interviews with teenagers "who are in an emotional state and facing extreme peer pressure." "The national press believes it is their job to destroy the Trump administration by any means necessary," he wrote on his website. "So if the media has to use kids to do that, they'll use kids." Former Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., on Sunday tweeted a USA Today story about the student organizers helping lead a nationwide student walkout in protest of America's gun laws, adding the message: "O really? 'Students' are planning a nationwide rally? Not left wing gun control activists using 17yr kids in the wake of a horrible tragedy?" Kingston then appeared on CNN's "New Day" Tuesday and doubled-down on his remarks. "Do we really think - and I say this sincerely - do we really think that 17-year-olds on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally?" Kingston said, adding, "They probably do not have the logistical ability to plan a nationwide rally without it being hijacked by groups that already had the preexisting anti-gun agenda." The show's co-host Alisyn Camerota fiercely disagreed. "I talked to these kids before they knew the body count of how many of their friends had been killed. No one had talked to them yet," Camerota said. "They hadn't been indoctrinated by some left-wing group. They were motivated from what they saw and what they endured." Brandon Abzug, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior who survived the shooting, then appeared on CNN and said of the former representative's comments, "I think it's very despicable . . . to say that just because we're young we can't make a difference is not right and he should apologize for that." Kingston began backtracking on Twitter, saying that "not only do I respect their right to protest & their resolve to look for answers, I admire it" and that's "why it's sad local gun control activists would hijack the tragedy to drive their own agenda."
  • Algonquin Township parodied in reprogrammed phone system: 'For patronage employment information, press one'
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    ALGONQUIN TOWNSHIP – Someone reprogrammed Algonquin Township's phone system Wednesday to replace its voice mail greeting with a new message poking fun at Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser and the township's recent in-house turmoil. From 10 a.m. until about noon Wednesday, when the township removed the message, many residents called Algonquin Township's main line at 847-639-2700 and pressed zero. When they pressed zero, they didn't get connected to an operator. Nor did they get connected to a live person. They heard this message: "Thank you for calling the Algonquin Township," the message said. "Our offices are currently closed. For patronage employment information, press one. For information to learn more about how we are wasting taxpayer dollars, press two. To contribute to our legal defense fund, press three. For more options, or to reach gasbag, press five." The voice message is a clear jab at recent turmoil inside McHenry County's most populous township, where in-house lawsuits, astronomical legal fees, numerous corruption allegations at the highway department and claims of a patronage and cronyism have engulfed the community's consciousness in recent months. "It's horrible that somebody would go and tamper with our phone system to make the township look bad," said Algonquin Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow. "We've had a heck of a lot of struggle in the last couple months." Lutzow, who claimed he hadn't heard about the message until the Northwest Herald called him to ask questions about it, said had no idea who altered the phone system greeting. The supervisor said he made some calls and learned that a senior resident notified officials about the message around 10 a.m. Wednesday, when the greeting notified her the township was closed. The phone system is attached to a computer in a basement room inside the township – a place where very few people have access, according to the supervisor. "We don't know who did it," Lutzow said, "and we're going to have some type of internal investigate it." Lutzow said he plans to have the township's IT contractor look into the matter. As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Lutzow was unsure if he would get authorities involved. Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser, a target of the hacked message, said he has no idea who broke into the phone system. "I know it wasn't anybody in my office,” Gasser said. “It wasn’t me." Gasser speculated on who those hackers may have been aligned with. The nickname "gasbag," he said, was a nickname given to him by his predecessor's wife and former secretary Anna May Miller. The former McHenry County Board member and Algonquin Township politico was not available for comment on this story. "This is the kind of unethical and childish behavior that got me elected,” Gasser said. "This is a form of government not a fiefdom." "This is bizarre," Lutzow said.
  • 3 things to know about furnace installations
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    The last thing anyone wants during these frigid winter days is a broken furnace.  Sometimes the repair can be a simple fix, while other malfunctions may require completely replacing the inoperable equipment with a new state-of-the-art furnace. When considering replacing a faulty unit, homeowners should examine three things: 1.  Get an estimate in writing for repairs, and compare it to the cost for a new system.  If the repairs will cost more than one-third of a new unit, buying a new energy efficient system may make the most sense. Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin, states, “Heating and air-conditioning systems are the biggest users of energy in the home, responsible for up to 75 percent of the utility bill.  A new high-efficiency furnace can save up to 50 percent in operating costs over a 10-year-old furnace.” However he adds that often simple repairs can allow an older system to provide a few more years of reliable service.  Furnaces on average last 15 to 20 years.  But when safety issues arise, such as a cracked heat exchanger which may leak toxic carbon monoxide gas, replacement is recommended. 2.  Examine the new furnace’s warranty provisions, including length of coverage for main components and parts.  Many furnace brands provide “20 years to limited lifetime” warranties on the heat exchanger, and for certain parts. 3.  Make sure heating professionals – trained to properly install equipment -- take time to completely evaluate the space to be heated completely, to determine the best size unit.  Sometimes replacing the existing furnace with an identically sized model may not provide optimum heating, due to new equipment advancements. Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/  
  • Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions, dies at 99
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    MONTREAT, N.C. – The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died Wednesday. He was 99. Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina, spokesman Mark DeMoss told The Associated Press. More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the United States. His leadership summits and crusades in more than 185 countries and territories forged powerful global links among conservative Christians, and threw a lifeline to believers in the communist-controlled Eastern bloc. Dubbed "America's pastor," he was a confidant to U.S. presidents from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush. In 1983, President Reagan gave Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. When the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated in 2007 in Charlotte, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton attended. "When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel he's praying for you, not the president," Clinton said at the ceremony. Beyond Graham's public appearances, he reached untold millions through his pioneering use of prime-time telecasts, network radio, daily newspaper columns, evangelistic feature films and globe-girdling satellite TV hookups. Graham's message was not complex or unique, yet he preached with a conviction that won over audiences worldwide. "The Bible says," was his catch phrase. His unquestioning belief in Scripture turned the Gospel into a "rapier" in his hands, he said. A tall, striking man with thick hair, stark blue eyes and a firm jaw, Graham was a commanding presence at his crusades. He would make the altar call in his powerful baritone, asking the multitudes to stand, come down the aisles and publicly make "decisions for Christ," as a choir crooned the hymn "Just As I Am." By his final crusade in 2005 in New York City, he had preached in person to more than 210 million people worldwide. No evangelist is expected to have his level of influence again. "William Franklin Graham Jr. can safely be regarded as the best who ever lived at what he did," said William Martin, author of the Graham biography "A Prophet With Honor." Born Nov. 7, 1918, on his family's dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina, Graham came from a fundamentalist background that expected true Bible-believers to stay clear of Christians with even the most minor differences over Scripture. But as his crusades drew support from a widening array of Christian churches, he came to reject that view. He joined in a then-emerging movement called New Evangelicalism, that abandoned the narrowness of fundamentalism to engage broader society. Fundamentalists at the time excoriated the preacher for his new direction, and broke with him when he agreed to work with more liberal Christians in the 1950s. Graham stood fast. He would not reject people who were sincere and shared at least some of his beliefs, Martin said. He wanted the widest hearing possible for his salvation message. "The ecumenical movement has broadened my viewpoint and I recognize now that God has his people in all churches," he said in the early 1950s. In 1957, he said, "I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the Gospel of Christ." His approach helped evangelicals gain the influence they have today. Graham's path to becoming an evangelist began taking shape at age 16, when the Presbyterian-reared farmboy committed himself to Christ at a local tent revival. "I did not feel any special emotion," he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, "Just As I Am." ''I simply felt at peace," and thereafter, "the world looked different." After high school, he enrolled at the fundamentalist Bob Jones College, but found the school stifling, and transferred to Florida Bible Institute in Tampa. There, he practiced sermonizing in a swamp, preaching to birds and alligators before tryouts with small churches. He still wasn't convinced he should be a preacher until a soul-searching, late-night ramble on a golf course. "I finally gave in while pacing at midnight on the 18th hole," he said. "'All right, Lord,' I said, 'If you want me, you've got me.'" Graham, who became a Southern Baptist, went on to study at Wheaton College, a prominent Christian liberal arts school in Illinois, where he met fellow student Ruth Bell, who had been raised in China where her father had been a Presbyterian medical missionary. The two married in 1943, and he planned to become an Army chaplain. But he fell seriously ill, and by the time he recovered and could start the chaplain training program, World War II was nearly over. Instead, he took a job organizing meetings in the U.S. and Europe with Youth for Christ, a group he helped found. He stood out then for his loud ties and suits, and a rapid delivery and swinging arms that won him the nickname "the Preaching Windmill." A 1949 Los Angeles revival turned Graham into evangelism's rising star. Held in a tent dubbed the "Canvas Cathedral," Graham had been drawing adequate, but not spectacular crowds until one night when reporters and photographers descended. When Graham asked them why, a reporter said that legendary publisher William Randolph Hearst had ordered his papers to hype Graham. Graham said he never found out why. The publicity gave him a national profile. Over the next decade, his massive crusades in England and New York catapulted him to international celebrity. His 12-week London campaign in 1954 defied expectations, drawing more than 2 million people and the respect of the British, many of whom had derided him before his arrival as little more than a slick salesman. Three years later, he held a crusade in New York's Madison Square Garden that was so popular it was extended from six to 16 weeks, capped off with a rally in Times Square that packed Broadway with more than 100,000 people. The strain of so much preaching caused the already trim Graham to lose 30 pounds by the time the event ended. It remains his longest revival meeting ever. As his public influence grew, the preacher's stands on the social issues of his day were watched closely by supporters and critics alike. One of the most pressing was the civil rights movement. Graham was no social activist and never joined marches, which led prominent Christians such as theologian Reinhold Niebuhr to publicly condemn Graham as too moderate. Still, Graham ended racially segregated seating at his Southern crusades in 1953, a year before the Supreme Court's school integration ruling, and long refused to visit South Africa while its white regime insisted on racially segregated meetings. In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, before his final crusade which was held in New York, Graham said he regretted that he didn't battle for civil rights more forcefully. "I think I made a mistake when I didn't go to Selma" with many clergy who joined the historic Alabama march led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "I would like to have done more." Graham more robustly took on the cause of anti-Communism, making preaching against the atheist regime part of his sermons for years. As America's most famous religious leader, he golfed with statesmen and entertainers and dined with royalty. Graham's relationships with U.S. presidents also boosted his ministry and became a source of pride for conservative Christians who were so often caricatured as backward. But those ties proved problematic when his close friend Richard Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal, leaving Graham devastated and baffled. He resolved to take a lower profile in the political world, going as far as discouraging the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a founder of the Moral Majority, from mixing religion and politics. "Evangelicals can't be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle, to preach to all the people, right and left," Graham said in 1981, according to Time magazine. "I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will in the future." Yet, in the 2012 election, with Graham mostly confined to his North Carolina home, he all but endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And the evangelist's ministry took out full-page ads in newspapers support a ballot referendum that would ban same-sex marriage. His son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, who runs the ministry, said his father viewed the gay marriage question as a moral, not a political, issue. Graham's integrity was credited with salvaging the reputation of broadcast evangelism in the dark days of the late 1980s, after scandals befell TV preachers Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. He resolved early on never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. Instead of taking a share of the "love offerings" at his crusades, as was the custom, he earned a modest salary from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His ministry was governed by an independent board that included successful Christian businessmen and other professionals — a stark departure from the widespread evangelical practice of packing boards with relatives and yes-men. "Why, I could make a quarter of a million dollars a year in this field or in Hollywood if I wanted to," Graham said. "The offers I've had from Hollywood studios are amazing. But I just laughed. I told them I was staying with God." While he succeeded in preserving his reputation, he could not completely shield his family from the impact of his work. He was on the road for months at a time, leaving Ruth at their mountainside home in Montreat, North Carolina, to raise their five children: Franklin, Virginia ("Gigi"), Anne, Ruth and Nelson ("Ned"). Anne Graham Lotz has said that her mother was effectively "a single parent." Ruth sometimes grew so lonely when Billy was traveling that she slept with his tweed jacket for comfort. But she said, "I'd rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man." She died in June 2007 at age 87. "I will miss her terribly," Billy Graham said, "and look forward even more to the day I can join her in heaven." In his later years, Graham visited communist Eastern Europe and increasingly appealed for world peace. He opened a 1983 convention of evangelists from 140 nations by urging the elimination of nuclear and biological weapons. He told audiences in Czechoslovakia that "we must do all we can to preserve life and avoid war," although he opposed unilateral disarmament. In 1982, he went to Moscow to preach and attend a conference on world peace. During that visit, he said he saw no signs of Soviet religious persecution, a misguided attempt at diplomacy that brought scathing criticism from author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, among others. "It's worth taking a risk for peace," Graham contended, although he was clearly stung by the controversy. Graham's relationship with Nixon became an issue once again when tapes newly released in 2002 caught the preacher telling the president that Jews "don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country." Graham apologized, saying he didn't recall ever having such feelings and asking the Jewish community to consider his actions above his words on that tape. Health problems gradually slowed Graham, but he did not cease preaching. In 1995, his son, Franklin, was named the ministry's leader. Along with the many honors he received from the evangelical community and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Graham received the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1982 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996. Graham will be buried by his wife, Ruth, at the Billy Graham Museum and Library. "I have been asked, 'What is the secret?'" Graham had said of his preaching. "Is it showmanship, organization or what? The secret of my work is God. I would be nothing without him."
  • Crystal Lake man involved in 2-car crash caused by foggy conditions, police say
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    MAPLE PARK – A two-car crash Monday morning at the corner of East County Line and Keslinger roads might have been the result of foggy conditions, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. About 8 a.m., 22-year-old Jordan Kitoko, of the 1100 block of West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, was traveling west on Keslinger Road when he drove his 2008 Lexus through a stop sign at the County Line Road intersection, according to the release. Kitoko’s vehicle then struck a 2010 Suzuki Kizashi traveling south on County Line Road driven by 60-year-old Michael Wilson, of the 1300 block of Knollwood Circle, Crystal Lake. Kitoko claimed that he did not see the stop sign because of fog, the release said. Both vehicles ended up in the southwest field, but Kitoko’s vehicle also hit a utility pole. No injuries were reported. Kitoko was cited for disobeying a stop sign, according to the release.
  • Judge won't dismiss drug-induced homicide charges against McHenry man
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    McHENRY – More than a year after police found an unresponsive man in the restroom of a McHenry gas station, the man charged with delivering the fatal dose of heroin maintains that jurors indicted him based on “erroneous, contradicting and completely false evidence.” On March 20, Glen Miculinic will make a court appearance for the first time since a judge denied his request to dismiss the charges alleging that he dealt the heroin that killed a man who police found unresponsive last year. Defense attorney Matthew Haiduk argued Feb. 14 that a grand jury indicted Miculinic, 66, on drug-induced homicide charges based off false testimony from police at the time. At 7:35 p.m. Jan. 11, 2017, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from a gas station at 2022 W. Route 120, McHenry, where a person reportedly was in the business’ restroom for about an hour. Police forced their way into the bathroom and found 55-year-old Erik K. Fredricksen unresponsive. Attempts to resuscitate Fredricksen were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was found with a heroin-loaded syringe, a needle cap, spoon and a shoestring, according to a motion filed Nov. 16 in McHenry County court. Officers later searched Miculinic’s home in the 1200 block of Clover Lane, McHenry, on the belief that he had dealt the heroin on which Fredricksen overdosed. At the home, investigators found a number of straws with “white, powdery residue,” later found to be cocaine, according to Haiduk’s motion. During testimony before a grand jury, which has the ability to officially indict a person on the charges filed against them, a McHenry County Sheriff’s detective told jurors that “we found some straws with heroin residue inside,” according to a partial transcript of the testimony. Haiduk argued that because the man died of a heroin overdose and police only found cocaine in Miculinic’s home, there wasn’t enough physical evidence to formally charge Miculinic with drug-induced homicide – a felony that, if convicted, could land him as many as 30 years in prison. Haiduk went on to say that jurors likely believed the heroin, which wasn’t heroin at all, found in Miculinic’s home was linked to the heroin that killed Fredricksen. “[The detective’s] testimony led jurors to believe that heroin was found in [Miculinic’s] home, when clearly that was not the case, leading them to believe that [Miculinic] had delivered heroin to the deceased,” Haiduk wrote in the Nov. 16 motion. Attorneys agreed that the detective misspoke, but jurors had more convincing evidence to base their decision on, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs said in a Dec. 8 response. “The people presented evidence that Erik Fredricksen died as a result of a heroin overdose. [The detective] testified that he looked through [Fredricksen’s] cellphone and saw multiple calls from an individual named ‘Glen,’ ” Combs wrote in his response. “Further evidence presented to the grand jury was that a third party identified [Fredricksen’s] drug dealer as ‘Glen.’ ” “Glen,” described by a man who told police he’d driven Fredricksen to “his guy’s” house, also was described as being in his 60s and living in a house similar to Miculinic’s, attorneys said in court Feb. 14. “How many old guys named Glen are there in McHenry?” Haiduk said during the Feb. 14 hearing, suggesting that the “Glen” in his 60s wasn’t necessarily Miculinic. McHenry County Judge James Cowlin refused to dismiss the charges, and he said he didn’t believe that the McHenry County Sheriff’s detective misspoke before the grand jury to sway its decision. Miculinic is due in court March 20. He and his attorney have talked about plea deals, but it wasn’t clear whether an offer is on the table, Haiduk said Tuesday. In the meantime, Haiduk will meet with prosecutors to determine how they’ll move forward. “We are formulating a plan,” Haiduk said. Miculinic remained at the McHenry County Jail on Tuesday evening on a $250,000 bond.
  • Crystal Lake man accidentally shoots himself in hand, police say
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    CRYSTAL LAKE – A Crystal Lake man shot himself in the hand by accident Monday afternoon, police said. Crystal Lake fire and police personnel were dispatched about 3:45 p.m. Monday to the 300 block of McHenry Avenue in response to a report of an “unintentional” gunshot wound to the hand. Emergency crews took the man to an undisclosed hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, Crystal Lake Police Sgt. Ryan Coutre said Monday night. “It was, in fact, an accidental discharge,” Coutre said. Crystal Lake police and fire officials could not be reached Tuesday for details about the incident.
  • Woodstock North High School student arrested in connection with gun picture, threat
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    WOODSTOCK – A Woodstock North High School student was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly sent a threatening message and picture of a gun to a classmate via social media. A Woodstock School District 200 parent informed high school officials of the message Tuesday morning, according to a news release from the district. High school officials contacted the Woodstock Police Department’s school resource officer, who worked with detectives to find and interview the student and his guardian. Police completed a comprehensive threat assessment and searched the teen’s home. The investigation revealed that the teen had sent a photo from the internet and never actually had a gun or any other weapon, Woodstock police said. Police charged the 17-year-old boy with disorderly conduct and released him to his guardian’s custody. The name of the alleged offender has not been released because of his age. “In an effort to make juveniles fully aware of the consequences that could occur, the Woodstock Police Department strongly recommends that parents discuss with their children the effects of conducting alarming or disturbing actions,” Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb wrote in a statement. The student has been removed from the school pending disciplinary proceedings that could result in suspension or expulsion, District 200 officials said. “There is never a time when school threats are appropriate,” District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said in a statement. “But obviously there is a heightened sense of concern among staff, students, police and parents following last week’s tragedy in Parkland, Florida. We took appropriate actions as quickly as possible to ensure student safety.”
  • Deadline approaching to enter Miss Cary-Grove Business Scholarship Pageant
    published on February 21st, 2018 at 02:30 PM
    CARY – The deadline is approaching to enter the Cary-Grove Area Chamber of Commerce’s Miss Cary-Grove Business Scholarship Pageant 2018. The winner of the pageant, which will be May 14 at Cary-Grove High School, receives a $2,000 scholarship. “We have had so many amazing young women from our community involved over the years,” pageant director Lisa Raupp of Mary Kay cosmetics said in a statement. “Each year, they benefit from working with the female business leaders in the community who serve on the pageant committee. Our goal is to help these young women develop confidence and enhance their professional skills that will help them get into college and to pursue successful careers.” The pageant focuses on leadership, professionalism and public speaking, according to a news release from the Chamber. Leading up to the main event, contestants formally are introduced to the business community and area leaders, participate in community service events and receive speaking and presentation skills training. On the night of the pageant, women participate in an evening gown competition and an interview session, and they give a presentation to their business sponsor. Women ages 16 to 21 who live in Cary or Fox River Grove are eligible to apply, and the deadline to turn in applications is Friday. For an application or information, call the Chamber office at 847-639-2800 or visit www.carygrovechamber.com. Chamber members who are interested in sponsoring a pageant contestant also are needed.

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