Press releases and more news from Zion, Waukegan, & Winthrop Harbor.
One-in-a-trillion DNA match leads to suspected serial killer
July 29, 2020 — A collaborative effort with multiple law-enforcement entities, suspected serial killer Samuel William Legg III, 52, of Chandler, Arizon, was arrested, announced Sheriff John Idleburg. The investigation into the case by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office stemmed from the 1997 murder of Julie A Konkol, when Konkol was 39 years of age.
On October 23, 1997, Julie’s body was discovered behind an abandoned truck stop located on Old US Route 41 and Russell Road, in Russell, Ill. At the time of the initial incident, the abandoned truck stop was known as “Senter’s” located at 43067 Old Route 41, Russell. Following an autopsy, Konkol’s death was ruled a homicide caused by asphyxiation by manual strangulation. The sheriff’s office conducted an extensive investigation and after all leads were exhausted, her case went cold.
In 2006, the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) linked DNA collected from Konkol’s homicide with a 1996 homicide in Wood County Ohio, and again in 2012, with a 1992 homicide in Mahoning County, Ohio. At that time the DNA was said to have been from an unknown male. Legg’s DNA was not logged in CODIS because he had not been arrested in or convicted of a felony since collecting began, which resulted in the collected DNA samples being labeled as that of an unknown male contributor.
In 2018 the unknown male contributor’s DNA was tested looking for a familial or a direct connection. A familial connection was found and the link steered investigators to a break in these cases, which led to Legg being identified as the primary suspect. Legg was subsequently found to be a one-in-one-trillion match as being the source of the DNA found on Konkol.
At the time of these homicides, Legg was an over the road truck driver primarily working in the Midwest and living in Ohio.
In January 2019, Medina, Ohio, authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Legg for a separate 1997 sexual assault case. At this time, Legg was living in Arizona, where he was arrested and subsequently extradited to Ohio where he was interviewed by Lake County Sheriff’s Detectives and Ohio authorities regarding the homicides.
After reviewing the facts and evidence in the murder investigation of Konkol, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved two counts of first-degree murder for Legg On July 29 of this year, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit appeared in Lake County Court where a Judge approved the arrest warrant for Legg and set a bond amount at $3 million.
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “We are so thankful we were able to take the first steps of providing justice to Julie Konkol and her family. We always strive to be the voice of those who cannot speak anymore and always stand with victims as their advocates to ensure they can achieve justice. Even if investigative leads on a case begin to go cold, we will never allow a victim’s case to collect dust on a shelf, our Cold Case Unit regularly looks at them in our relentless pursuit of justice for victims.”
“This is a great example of what can happen when law enforcement agencies work together,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim. “This case has been a dark cloud hanging over Lake County for nearly 25 years. But, through the gallant effort and tenacity of numerous law enforcement agencies and people involved, a murderer will finally answer for his crime. My thanks go out to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, several law enforcement agencies in Ohio and employees from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office for seeing this investigation through.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Chicago Field Office, Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI), authorities in Medina County, Wood County, Lorain County, and Mahoning County Ohio, collaborated and worked closely together throughout the extensive investigation.
Legg is currently being held in the Medina County, Ohio, Jail. He will eventually face extradition to Lake County on the charges of murdering Konkol.
Lake County Board Passes $75 Million Appropriation for COVID-19 Recovery
$105 Million Committed to COVID-19 Recovery in Past Three Months
July 27, 2020 — Monday, the Lake County Board passed a $75 million emergency appropriation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds to support Lake County residents, communities, taxing districts, businesses, and countywide services in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to previous allocations, the Lake County Board has now committed $105 million for COVID-19 recovery in Lake County.
“The Lake County Board and our staff have been working together with municipalities, townships, non-profits, local businesses and residents to make sure that these relief dollars are reaching as many residents as possible, in the most efficient way possible,” said Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart. “I thank all the board members for the time they’ve spent ensuring that critical needs will be met across Lake County as we move forward together towards recovery.”
In April, Lake County received $121.5 million as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress. The Lake County Board created a Special Committee dedicated to providing guidance and direction on CARES Act funding used to develop programming and service opportunities to help the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lake County government is allocating funding towards the following programs:
• $35 million municipality, fire protection district, and other taxing body reimbursement for municipal and local essential services
• $20 million small business assistance
• $18 million food, rental, utility, housing, employment and other resident support and assistance
• $15.3 million Lake County COVID-19 expenses
• $13.7 million contact tracing, education, vaccination, behavioral health services, and other public health support and assistance
• $3 million personal protective equipment
The Lake County Board also voted today to extend its coronavirus disaster proclamation through August 11, 2020. This proactive measure allows Lake County to continue to access additional state and federal funding and resources for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
District 121 plans reopening
July 27, 2020 — District 121 Superintendent, Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez, announced that District 126 leaders have taken time to re-evaluate the school re-opening plans. Reopening schools will be a complex and challenging process and the staff will be taking the utmost care to protect the safety of our students, families, and educators while striving to provide the balance of rigor and support that will best serve the students.
Dr. Rodriguez said, ” I want to emphasize that this decision weighs heavily on all of us. We recognize that this decision will present challenges to our students, families, and staff.He hopes hope that by informing you now, you will be able to make necessary adjustments to your plans for the fall.We consulted with the health department and other area superintendents regarding health and safety considerations of our Return-to-School Initiative. Feedback from staff, parents, students, and community members has highlighted the need for a plan that provides continuous education, support systems for students,and increased levels of engagement between school/home.
“The back-to-school plan aligns the data findings tour commitment to provide the best possible education to all students.District 126 proposes an Interactive Remote Learning Plan in which students will learn remotely five days a week,aided by virtual support systems as well as optional in-person resources for families who need to come into our buildings. The District will coordinate this in such a way that the amount of people in the school at any one time will be minimal, allowing the in-person interactions to occur in larger spaces that facilitate social distancing.The online instruction will be mostly synchronous, which will provide the structure that is developmentally appropriate and more conducive to consistent student engagement. Instruction will be supplemented by virtual office hours and coordinated communication from teachers and support staff.
“Everyone – staff, students, and visitors – must wear a mask and practice social distancing while on school property. Staff will be trained in new health and safety protocols, and we will establish new patterns and procedures for entry, exit, and movement within the buildings, which we will communicate to students, parents,and visitors.Our plan prioritizes the health and safety of our students, families, and staff while maintaining our commitment to providing an education that centers on active engagement, rigorous instruction, and intentional support systems for students. Our community has clearly communicated a need for safety and wellness alongside – not at the expense of – innovative educational experiences for our students,” Rodriguez said.
Waukegan man wanted for robbery is apprehended
July 27, 2020 — Members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Team apprehended Cory R. Cooper, 22, wanted for robbery, stemming from an investigation conducted by the Mundelein Police Department. he was also wanted on felony theft from a Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigation. The bond amounts on the warrants totaled $110,000. Cooper was previously convicted of pointing a firearm at police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Members of the Sheriff’s Warrants Team developed information Cooper was living at a family member’s home in the 500 block of Cummings Avenue, Waukegan. The residence is a single-family home, subdivided into two apartments.
On July 24, at about 9 a.m., members of the Sheriff’s Warrants Team conducted surveillance at the residence and observed Cooper come outside briefly, before going back inside. Warrants deputies approached the house and Cooper attempted to flee out a bathroom window but retreated back into the house when he saw deputies and Waukegan Police Officers in the back. Warrants deputies made entry into the home and Cooper left his apartment and used an access door to hide in a second-level foyer leading to the other apartment.
Cooper concealed himself under blankets in the foyer and initially refused to exit from his hiding spot.
Sheriff’s Canines Dax and Duke arrived and began aggressively barking at Cooper, who then surrendered without incident and was taken into custody due to the collaborative efforts of Waukegan Police and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Cooper is currently being held at the Lake County Jail pending an initial court hearing.
Mora charged with murder
Zion man arrested in Wadsworth robbery
Homicide investigation in Zion
July 20, 2020 — A 23-year-old Waukegan man was found lying in the street in the 2600 block of Gilboa Avenue early in the morning of July 20. He had a puncture would in the chest and Zion Police Officers began CPR while an ambulance was called.
The man was taken to Vista Medical Center East where he was pronounced dead at 5:37 a.m. The Zion Police Department will not release his name until family has been notified by the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
The Zion Police Department will be conducting the investigation into this incident, and the Lake County Major Crime Task Force will assist with evidence collection. This is an active investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call the Zion Police Department at 847-872-8000 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
Arrest in fatal accident
July 20, 2020 — Linda J. Ray, 47, of Zion, surrendered herself to Waukegan Police on July 15 for her role in a June 4 fatal crash. On that date, Police found a man lying in the road in the 3600 block of Lewis Avenue. Chad Aiello, 37, of Kenosha Wis., had been hit by her car while riding a bike.
She is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and causing death. She was held on $100,000 bond and appeared in court on July 20.
Traffic crash with injuries in Wadsworth
July 20, 2020 — There was a traffic crash at Route 173 and Green Bay Road, Wadsworth, on July 17. Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located four vehicles involved.
The preliminary investigation shows a 2018 Ford cargo van traveling east on Route 173 struck a 2013 Hyundai stopped in traffic, causing the Hyundai to strike a 2005 Range Rover also stopped in traffic. The impact with the Hyundai caused the Ford van to go into oncoming traffic and strike a 2009 Toyota traveling west on Route 173.
A juvenile passenger from the Toyota was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The juvenile driver and a second juvenile passenger were transported for minor injuries.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team.
Winthrop Harbor passes balanced budget
By Ginny Skweres
July 14, 2020 — Before the virtual board meeting on July 7, there was a public hearing on the 2020-2021 annual budget, which the Board approved in the meeting. The budget of nearly $6.7 million is balanced, but the village’s anticipated revenue is uncertain due to possible affects of the Corona virus. For this reason, Village Administrator Gregory Jackson said the budget will be closely analyzed on a monthly basis. Similarly, the Board also approved the annual appropriations ordinance as well as the annual wage policy.
The board approved accepting a reimbursement grant of $21,549 for police squad car cameras. It comes from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Department. The cameras were installed in January.
A Winthrop Harbor employee was confirmed to have been infected with the Corona Virus, after reporting minor symptoms. The employee is in good condition and is isolated. That person had limited interaction with the public. Other members of the department were tested and all of their tests came back negative. The village completed a deep cleaning of the work area.
“The Village of Winthrop Harbor handles each case with respect of privacy, while also informing potentially affected staff and taking swift measures to mitigate spread of the virus,” stated Village Administrator Gregory Jackson. “Please understand that out of that respect there are details about this that we will not be able to share.”
The village continues to take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of infection among its workforce. These steps have included encouraging sick employees to stay home, masking, increasing the frequency of cleaning Village facilities, canceling large meetings and staff travel, and encouraging social distancing and other preventive measures.
BP trustees approve plan for culvert replacement
By Ginny Skweres
July 14, 2020 — At last week’s virtual board meeting, Beach Park trustees approved an agreement with RHMG engineers to design a plan for a replacement culvert to be installed at Manor venue and the south branch of Bull Creek, for no more than $50,120. The funds will come from the Motor Fuel Tax fund. This will allow the extension of Manor Avenue over Bull Creek, connecting Beach and York House roads.
Before the meeting ended, Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Chris Covelli introduced himself as the Beach Park liaison. He is also the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office.
Jubilee Days is cancelled this year
By Ginny Skweres
July 14, 2020 — City Administrator David Nagle suggested to the Zion City Council that they cancel Jubilee Days this year because of the health risk of the Corona virus. Financial reasons were also considered since revenue from the hotel/motel tax is down due because the businesses contributing to this fund were impacted by the virus.
Members of the Jubilee Days Commission agreed that was a good decision. The Council voted unanimously to cancel it this year, but are anticipating a celebration next year.
The meeting began with a public hearing before voting on an Appropriation Ordinance. Following that, the Council approved the ordinance to fund the budget. The total of all funds within the city are $43,337,648. The estimated total revenue expected to come into Zion is $43,396,010. Administrator Nagle explained the various funds and the Council approved the budget unanimously.
Zion Police Chief Kirk Henderson requested the purchase of two training sessions for all sworn officers, at a cost of $2,880. The course would cover procedural justice, human rights, cultural competency and the proper use of law enforcement authority. The cost will be covered by changing the purchase of ammunition to a different fund in the Police Department, and not affect the City Budget. It was approved unanimously.
The Council approved a bid of $661,458.90 for the 2020 Road Program to the low bidders, Payne and Dolan. Parts of seven streets and one alley will be improved. The cost will be paid from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund.
Bond set at $200,000 for shooter
July 7, 2020 — Members of the Lake County Special Investigations Group were in Zion conducting an unrelated investigation at about 7:30 p.m. on June 30 when they witnessed a subject fire a gun out of a vehicle. The vehicle was traveling west on Salem Boulevard near Joppa Avenue when the driver, Royland Boyles, 30, of Zion, fired a round out the vehicle’s sunroof.
SIG Detectives coordinated a stop of the vehicle with marked squad cars from the Zion Police Department. Boyles was taken into custody and a Ruger 9mm handgun was recovered. Officers also recovered a spent 9mm casing near the intersection of Salem Boulevard and Joppa Avenue.
Boyles was charged with Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, Unlawful Possesssion of a Weapon by Felon, and two counts of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. He was taken before a Bond Court judge on Wednesday, July 1, where his bond was set at $200,000
Zion teen shot
July 6, 2020 — The Zion Police Department is investigating a shooting that has left a 17-year-old male from Zion in serious condition. Zion Police Officers were dealing with a fight from a large party at the Hebron Townhouse Apartments at 10:16 p.m. on July 4 when they received a report of another fight near the intersection of 27th Street and Galilee Avenue.
Officers located the seventeen-year old victim suffering from a single gunshot wound to the neck. Officers administered first aid and the Zion Fire & Rescue Department took him to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, and was later transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. He was scheduled to undergo surgery later that day.
Officers located at least six spent shell casings and recovered a loaded 9mm handgun. The crowd size at the party is estimated at over 200 people.
This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Zion Police Department at 847-872-8000 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
Lake County Jail accepts credit cards for bond
July 6, 2020 — Effective immediately, the Lake County Jail will accept credit/debit cards for the posting of inmate bonds. Inmates and those posting bond for an inmate can now do so with the following debit/credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover.
If wishing to post bond for an inmate, visitors should come to 29 South Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Waukegan. A member of the jail will verify the inmate’s eligibility and bond payments must be made on-site.
Shots fired in Zion
June 30, 2020 — The Zion Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place in the 1900 block of Joppa Avenue on Saturday,June 27, at about 1 p.m. Officers recovered 15-spent 9mm casings in the road.
Surveillance cameras captured a black four-door vehicle with a light skinned black or Hispanic male firing a handgun from the front passenger seat at a black pedestrian. The surveillance video shows pedestrian pulling a handgun and returning fire.
Witnesses described the vehicle as possibly being an older model Toyota with tinted windows. The witnesses confirmed both subjects fired at each other.
There were no injuries. The Zion Police Department is seeking your help with this investigation. Please call 847-872-8000 if you have any information on the vehicle or either subject. You may also contact Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
Jail resumes on-site video visits
June 30, 2020 — Beginning Monday, July 6, on-site jail video visitation will resume normal operations. Individuals can come to the Lake County Jail for a video visit with an inmate at no cost. The public will still be able to
have remote video visitation with inmates as well. Additional information can be found on the Lake County Sheriff’s Office webpage or by clicking here: https://go.usa.gov/xwMz3
BP approves expenses
By Ginny Skweres
June 29, 2020 — The Beach Park Board approved the purchase of a 2020 Peterbilt truck with a snow plow and spreader from JX Truck Center in Wadsworth, at their virtual meeting on June 25. The truck will be used on a daily basis by the Public Works Department. The cost is not to exceed $175,279, and had been budgeted for $190,000. It replaces a 2000 International truck. The vendor is part of a cooperative purchasing program.
The board also approved the purchase of rock salt for the next winter season from two vendors, which increases the likelihood that at least one of the vendors could deliver more salt during the season if it is needed. The purchase includes up to 1,080 tons of rock salt for $81.15 per ton from Compass Minerals American, and up to 720 tons of rock salt at $66.06 a ton from Morton Salt.
Additionally, the board approved spending $12,500 on the sidewalk removal and replacement program, which includes the installation of ADA handicap ramps. Chen’s Concrete of Waukegan will do the work.
Wadsworth Road closure
The Lake County Division of Transportation will close eastbound Wadsworth Road at the Des Plaines River bridge to all traffic beginning Tuesday, July 7 at 7 a.m. The road will be closed for 28 days for bridge repairs. Westbound Wadsworth Road will remain open to traffic.
Lakeshore Connectivity Plan
The Northern Lakeshore Connectivity Plan will have a Virtual Open House on Tuesday, July 7 from 6-7 p.m. To learn more about the plan and give your feedback, register via Zoom below, and learn more on the project website, www.ConnectTheNorthernLakeshore.com . The Zoom connection is :https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/7715923258026/WN_2QY675AzRn6LodCZcApv8w
BPFD path clean up
The Beach Park Fire Department is sponsoring a clean-up of McClory Bike Path, between Wadsworth and Yorkhouse roads, on July 18. Volunteers are asked to meet at Fire Station One, at 3233 Lewis Avenue at 8:30 a.m. They will head to the path at 9 a.m. Volunteers are asked to bring a mask. For more information, call 847-662-2642.
Lake County recognized for fighting drugs
June 23, 2020 — Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg and Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim are pleased to announce that Lake County has been chosen for inclusion in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, operating under the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. This program provides federal support to law enforcement agencies in designated counties with coordination, equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug production and trafficking.
The funds will aid the collaborative effort between the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group (SIG) and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office in combating Lake County drug trafficking. To be considered for HIDTA designation SIG showed the disruption and dismantling of organized crime, conducted long-term investigations focused on drug trafficking leading to arrests and convictions, and partnered with municipal as well as federal agencies to combat drug trafficking.
“This is a huge opportunity for the people of Lake County to reduce the effects of drugs in our community,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim. “This designation is a real game changer for us and it will expand our strategy of aggressively targeting the drug supply that has crippled areas of Lake County, while at the same time working to compassionately reduce demand by stressing education, treatment, and harm reduction practices.”
Last year SIG seized $110,256 worth of heroin, $1,200,313 worth of cocaine, seized 55 guns and conducted 22 presentations to connect and better educate the community on human/gun/drug trafficking. Since January of 2020, SIG seized $117,300 worth of cocaine, $108,710 worth of crack cocaine, $8,676 worth of heroin, $41,280 worth of meth, $2,880 worth of prescription pills, $1,640 worth of ecstasy, $5,100 worth of fentanyl, conducted 10 presentations and charged 61 felonies.
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “Being selected as a recipient for a HIDTA grant is a significant accomplishment and the collaboration between the sheriff’s office, state’s attorney’s office, our municipal and federal partners, as well as our community, were crucial components for being selected. With Lake County being positioned between Chicago and Milwaukee, it is a hub for drug trafficking. The Lake County community will see great benefits with the additional resources to target drug traffickers. We expect to see an increase in the arrest of drug traffickers and a decrease in the number of overdose deaths afflicting our community.”
SIG currently consists of Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County States Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Zion Police, Park City Police, Grayslake Police, North Chicago Police, Lake County Forest Preserve Police, Round lake Beach Police, Lake Villa Police, Wauconda Police, Lake Forest Police, and is expanding.
Homicide investigation in Zion
June 22, 2020 — The Zion Police Department is investigating a shooting that fatally injured a 44-year old man from Zion on Sunday, June 21. At about 11p.m., a Zion Police Officer was flagged down in the 2800 block of Galilee Avenue for a report of a subject possibly passed out. Officers found the man in a grassy common area and saw that he had several gunshot wounds to his lower body.
Officers began administering first aid and requested an ambulance from the Zion Fire & Rescue Department. The victim was taken to Vista Medical Center East. He passed away shortly after 12 a.m.
The Lake County Major Crime Task Force was activated to assist in this investigation. Anyone with information on this crime is urged to contact the Zion Police Department at 847-872-8000 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
Officer involved shooting
June 16, 2020 — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Team along with the U.S. Marshals Service attempted to apprehend a man wanted on a first-degree murder warrant on June 16. The warrant was from a 2018 homicide in Zion.
USMS-GLRFTF developed information the wanted subject was at a residence in the 38500 block of North Green Bay Road, Beach Park. Preliminary information shows at approximately 12:30 p.m., as USMS-GLRFTF approached, the 24-year-old man exited a vehicle in the driveway of the residence armed with a pistol. The man began shooting at the warrants apprehension unit. Two members of the warrants team returned fire, and the man was shot.
Members of the warrants team immediately began life savings efforts until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to Vista East Hospital in Waukegan where he was pronounced deceased. As per officer-involved-shooting protocol, the Lake County Major Crime Task Force
Fourth of July traffic safety campaign
June 16, 2020 — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will partner with other area local law-enforcement for an Independence Day traffic safety campaign. From June 15 through July 6, to encompass three summer weekends leading up to and after Independence Day, extra sheriff’s deputies will be on patrol to keep our roadways safe.
“As with any other holiday, we ask our residents and visitors to celebrate Independence Day safely,” said Sheriff John Idleburg. “We see so many tragic fatal and serious traffic crashes where drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor. If you are intoxicated, don’t get behind the wheel of a car.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will join the Illinois State Police and more than 200 local police and sheriff’s offices for safety campaign.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs are made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The enforcement period runs concurrently with a media campaign reminding motorists that impaired driving has “Life or Death” consequences.
New Jail visitor entrance/inmate release
June 15, 2020 — With the completion of the latest phase of renovations at the Lake County Jail, the new permanent public entrance is now located on the south side of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 25 South Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Waukegan. The previous entrance at 20 South County Street, Waukegan is no longer in service.
Inmates being released from custody will be released at the new entrance. Any professional visitors (attorneys, etc.) coming to the Lake County Jail (when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted) and those coming to post bond, should utilize the new entrance.
Visitors who come to the jail to use video visitation will continue utilizing the entrance at 15 South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
Boil order affected parts of BP
By Ginny Skweres
June 15, 2020 — Trustee Mark Otterson explained at Thursday’s Beach Park virtual board meeting that residents who had water from Zion were had been under a boil order recently. He said Zion suffered 17 water main breaks which resulted in a loss of pressure, creating the need to boil water if it was used. It affected a handful of streets in Beach Park in addition to Zion residents.
The Village Board approved spending $927,456.40 for street improvements this summer with work to be done by Schroeder Asphalt Services. The money will come from the Motor Fuel Tax fund, and the streets involved will be posted on the village’s web site.
Beach Park’s new Fire Chief, Tom Stahl, introduced himself to the Village Board at the meeting. He became the chief on May 9, and said he wants a good working relationship with the village. He has been a member of the BPFD since 2003.
Intersection closures to come in Wadsworth
June 15, 2020 — In the very near future, Lake County will begin two important intersection improvement projects along Wadsworth Road. Just east of the Wadsworth Road/US HWY 41 intersection, a new frontage road will be constructed along the north side of Wadsworth Road. This road will allow for the relocation of the existing Wadsworth Crossing access further to the east to help with safety-related traffic issues in said area.
Along with this project, the bridge over the Des Plaines River will receive new joints. A 28-day detour for eastbound Wadsworth Road traffic will be necessary while the new joints are being installed. Bike lanes along Wadsworth Road will be added to provide connections to the Des Plaines River Trail.
The timeline depends on construction scheduling and the delivery of bridge materials. The public will be kept informed once timelines become firm.
Additionally, at the existing two-way stop intersection of Dilleys Road and Wadsworth Road, in Wadsworth, a roundabout will be constructed as a safety upgrade. A 90-day closure of this There will be a one-way detour (28-day closure beginning in July) for eastbound Wadsworth traffic over the Des Plaines River Bridge to make repairs. Work on the new frontage Rd is expected to begin the week of June 15. This work will include installing erosion control fencing, excavation and the prepping of the new stone base.
The County has created web sites for each project which will be updated as the construction continues.
Wadsworth Farmers’ Market
June 15, 2020 — Wadsworth is planning to have a farmers’ market this year beginning Wednesday, July 8, while following State of Illinois COVID-19 guidelines. The market will take place each Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. through the end of September. The vendor listing will be posted on the Wadsworth website before July 1.
Railroad crossing to close June 17
June 15, 2020 — The Union Pacific Railroad will close its crossing on Wadsworth Road, east of Delany Road, for emergency repairs. The closure of the crossing will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17 and is scheduled to reopen by 5 p.m.
The signed detour route for this road closure will be Delany Road, to York House Road, to Green Bay Road.
Local traffic will be allowed on Wadsworth Road, from Delany Road to the railroad crossing and from IL 131 (Green Bay Road) to the railroad crossing.
The railroad crossing will be closed to all traffic.
This past Thursday & Friday volunteers both young and older along with the American Legion Zion-Benton Post 865 & Homer Dahringer Post 281 honored veterans by placing flags at their gravesites at several local cemeteries including MT Olivet, Pine View, Benton Greenwood, Oakdale & Lake Mound to name a few. Photo By: Gibbie Buchholtz
It was a social distancing parade and birthday celebration she will remember forever! On Tuesday May 12, 2020, over 35 vehicles lined up to surprise this little girl on her birthday. Ava Marabella turned 6 years old!!! Family and friends came from as far as Milwaukee, and all over Lake and Kenosha counties to show their love. The lineup was led by Winthrop Harbor Fire Department and the crowd included family and friends, neighbors, CYC cheer friends, Our Lady of Humility school friends and even a former teacher. Many past and present Winthrop Harbor Queens and Lindenhurst Queen too were also amongst the crowd. Vehicles were decorated, honking horns, lots of signs and gifts galore truly made this little girl’s day so special. When asked how Ava liked her birthday surprise parade she said “it was the best birthday ever!” Photo By: Gibbie Buchholtz
_______Graduation is a special time in our lives when we celebrate our accomplishments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Some of our hardworking graduates weren’t able to walk the stage and receive the proper acknowledgement they deserve. Due to this, your local Zion Walmart held a Graduation ceremony for their 2020 Walmart Associate Graduates. Graduates walked throughout the Zion Walmart store, while their community, including parents of the graduates and their fellow Walmart associates cheered for them in congratulations. In conclusion, the Graduates were rewarded with a Walmart Graduate pin, a Walmart diploma, a Cake and a Goody bag. Photo By: Gibbie Buchholtz
______Harbor Brewing Company opened two years ago on 8th & Sheridan. After a successful summer hosting pop-up events at North Point Marina, we opened Harbor Brewing Company’s Lakefront Biergarten. Featuring local craft beers, wines & spirits PLUS live music & events every weekend! We have socially distant seating for over 200 guests plus lawn seating where you can bring your own folding chairs or blankets to set up and watch the bands! We have Yacht Dawgs & The Sweet Stop at the Biergarten regularly supplying great food options! Photo By: Gibbie Buchholtz
Sunday, May 31st, Youth for Christ in Zion hosted a Zion Benton High School Graduation Drive Thru Party at their building called The Bridge. The hope was to let all our ZB grads know that the School Staff and the Christians in the Zion Community care. Joining Youth for Christ were The Sweet Life Donut truck, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, My Father’s Business, and Youth Pastors from Trinity Christian Center, New Song, North Point and Christ Community Church. Thank you to all the school staff that showed up with posters and Loud cheers! As the students and their families entered the long driveway to circle around the Bridge building the ZB staff could be heard. Fresh popcorn was tossed to the students in the Carsten start. Then as they made the first turn My Father’s Business gave each Grad a custom one of a kind ZB t-shirt. Making the next stop turn local Youth leaders and their staff gave a super loud roar offering congrats to each student. Also making a special appearance was the ZB mascot the BEE who rumors have it did a great job making everyone smile. As the cars rolled through past the youth leaders you could see two amazing graffiti paintings congratulating the seniors. The paintings were painted ( with permission! ) by Mezo and Sabs. Fellowship of Christian Athletes greeted the students with free books and bibles if they wanted. Sorry to those who did not receive one; the response was incredible. As the vehicles made the last left turn they were greeted by staff from Youth for Christ ( Campus Life ). Goodie bags were given out here which included, $ 5 gift card, ZB sticker, ZB button or magnet, chips, candy, chocolate and a book called “Life” book. As they proceeded out the drive to leave The Sweet Life donut truck handed out a bag of fresh and delicious donuts! Lastly at 8:00 PM we did a live raffle for all the students that came through during the day. As students entered that afternoon they were entered into the raffle. 308 ZB grads were entered! The top prize was a $100 dollar bill! Thanks to the winners and Trinity Christian Center for hosting. Photo By: Gibbie Buchholtz
A message from Sheriff John D. Idleburg
June 9, 2020 — ”I would like to take a moment and thank the thousands of Lake County residents who have peacefully protested over the last two weeks. There is nothing more resonating than thousands coming together peacefully, to express a message. To the peaceful protestors: we see you, we hear you, and we understand you.
Law-enforcement is nothing without the support and trust of the community. Pinning on the badge comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility and trust, and we must always earn our trust from the people we serve. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is service-oriented. We have embraced the concept of being guardians of the community that we serve. We have been working very hard to build new bridges with the community. I believe transparency is absolutely paramount in law-enforcement and it needs to be much more than a ‘buzz word.’ We are in this together with you Lake County, we are your partners.
Since taking office as your sheriff in 2018, I have made changes to organizational structure and policy to better hold ourselves accountable to the community. One of these items included expanding our Office of Professional Standards. The Office of Professional Standards is responsible for investigating any complaint made on our staff, reviewing every use of force incident our staff is involved in, and conducting random audits/inspections to ensure our staff is in compliance with policy and procedure. I added personnel to the unit to ensure we are holding ourselves accountable. It is an absolute must that we are accountable to the community.
Last year, I requested funds from the Lake County Board to purchase software to better track various performance metrics of employees, use of force incidents, and investigations conducted by the Office of Professional Standards. This year we purchased the software and are in the final stages of implementing the new program. This data-based system, also known as an early warning system, will assist us in identifying potential performance issues of our staff before those issues become a significant problem. Early warning systems are shown to have a profound positive impact on accountability.
All of our Highway Patrol cars are equipped with video cameras and all of our deputies wear body worn cameras which are utilized while interacting with the public. We do this for transparency and accountability. Our deputies understand all of their interactions with the public are evaluated. Not only does this provide increased public transparency, but it also helps us identify when one of our employees or our entire staff can benefit from training.
I’ve worked with our Training Division to ensure we are providing a very robust training program to our staff. All of our personnel go through extensive continued de-escalation training, human rights training, civil rights training, cultural competency training, harassment training, bias training, use of force training, and we are nearing every employee being certified as a crisis intervention officer. We go above and beyond minimum state training requirements and are always seeking additional training opportunities, to ensure our staff are extremely well-trained and well-rounded.
Every sheriff’s office division has front-line supervision. Our sergeants, lieutenants, and deputy chiefs have all received significant training in front-line supervision, use of force investigation, and nearly every supervisor has attended Northwestern University’s ten-week Staff and Command training program. There are numerous front-line supervisors working at all times and our supervisors are held accountable for not only their actions, but the actions of those they supervise.
We embrace the principals of procedural justice and legitimacy. We are keenly aware racism exists today, even though it has no place in our society. We know every single person has their own views of law-enforcement based on their own experiences, the experiences of family members, or the experiences of friends. We always remember this when we interact with the community. While it is our responsibility to enforce the law, we understand everyone views us differently and we must always be very consciousness of that.
I have added a standard in our use of force policy that each member of our staff has a mandated duty to intervene, if they witness any member of our organization using excessive force. Nobody is allowed to idly stand-by if there is a situation where excessive force is being used. It is the philosophy of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to always use de-escalation skills and using force is only used as a last resort. We have dozens of success stories where we have responded to very unstable situations where someone was in crisis which ended successfully, without using force, because of communicating effectively.
I pledge to you Lake County that I, along with my staff, will always treat the members of our community with the utmost respect. We will always be here to work with you and never against you. We will always be open to hearing your feedback and will always be accountable to you, the people of Lake County. We will always have an open door and be transparent in everything we do – even when we do make a mistake. We too are human, and we make mistakes. I can assure you we learn from our mistakes and we will always have robust training to be the best we can be. Racism, hate, corruption, and excessive force are some of the things which have no place in our society and I certainly will not tolerate them within the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
I have attached our use of force policy to this message, so you can see the standards our staff are held to.
If you ever wish to reach out to me or my administration directly, please call me at: 847-377-4000 or email me at: email@example.com.
I would like to close this letter by reaffirming to you that the reason I got into this profession in 1977 was to serve the community and that is the same reason I am here in 2020 – to serve. When I hire new deputies, I look for those with that same service-oriented drive, I look for candidates who are getting into this to be a part of the solution, not for self-gain, and not for power. Law-enforcement is supposed to be the most noble of professions and we simply cannot accept any behavior in the ranks that is not consistent with our core values: integrity, respect, and professionalism.
Thank you for your support, Lake County. I will always be willing to be a part of the conversation and will always strive to provide the highest level of service to the people of Lake County. It is a true honor and privilege serving you,” stated Sheriff Idleburg.
Zion makes changes in liquor ordinances
By Ginny Skweres
June 9, 2020 — City Administrator David Knabel told the Council he would like to propose some changes to Zion’s Liquor Control Regulations. To begin, he added definitions to some terms, such as banquet halls and others, to clear up any confusion.
In an ordinance, a new license, A2, was created for establishment with seating for no less than 50, or more than 74. A Class B license is for room service in hotels. A Class E license is needed for Shepard’s Crook and Shiloh Park golf courses.
A Class L license allows for the retail sale of beer and wine at gas stations. Class X licenses were eliminated since doesn’t apply to any license holders.
Some of these changes were made to make the Zion businesses competitive with other municipalities. All were approved by the Council.
A temporary ordinance permitting outdoor dining in Zion was created to ‘catch up’ to Phase Three reopening of the state. There are some restrictions where dining can take place, including sidewalks along Sheridan Road. Since restaurants already have a business, no permit fee was added. This ordinance was approved.
Commissioners also approved extending existing liquor licenses until Sept. 30, rather than the end of June. At that time, liquor licenses can be renewed for nine months at a prorated cost. The Council approved this ordinance in an effort to give the businesses a chance to earn money after being required to stay closed.
Zion is installing a new notification system online that will allow residents to receive timely announcements either by email or telephone. Instructions to sign up are on Zion’s web page, and can be done online.
Winthrop Harbor reopens Village Hall
By Ginny Skweres
June 9, 2020 — The Winthrop Harbor Board had a virtual meeting on June 2. The Village Hall is now open from 8 am. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Staff is available by phone on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Masks and social distancing are required in Village Hall.
Mayor Michael Bruno renewed the county-wide emergency, which follows state guidelines. Each renewal is good for 30 days, and this is the third renewal.
As of April 29, restaurants and bar are open in the village, and Village Administrator Gregory Jackson said all has been going well.
Mayor Bruno is the village’s Director on the board for the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County and at last week’s meeting, he appointed Village Administrator Jackson as the Alternate Director of SWALCO.
Coops and Sheds
The Board approved a variance to an ordinance that require a four-inch concrete slab for chicken coops and sheds, to the owner of property in the 1400 block of Sheridan Road. The coop has a four-inch gravel base. It was approved unanimously. Pat DiPersio, Director of Community Development, will revisit the ordinance.
North Shore Gas Settlement
The village accepted a settlement offer of $6,368 from North Shore Gas following an audit that indicated the village was owed money for back taxes and increased revenue.
Stolen Vehicle Crashes into Beach Park Home
June 4, 2020 — A car crashed into a house in the 37600 block of North Sheridan Road, Beach Park, in the early morning hours of June 4. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and found both a vehicle and a home with major damage.
Preliminary investigation shows a 2008 Chevrolet Impala was occupied by three males, an 18-year-old of Zion, a 16-year old of Zion, and a 14-year-old of Beach Park. The vehicle was traveling southbound on Sheridan Road, when for an unknown reason, the driver lost control and struck the front of a home. Nobody inside the home was injured.
One of the three occupants was able to escape from the vehicle, while two others remained trapped and required extrication by the fire department. The three occupants of the vehicle were taken to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan with non-life-threatening injuries.
Kenosha Police Department responded to the scene to process the vehicle for evidence. The crash remains under investigation and criminal charges are pending at this time.
The Waukegan Police Department responded to looting and civil unrest
June 3, 2020 — Throughout the night and into June 1, Commander Joe Florip of the Wukegan Police Department released a staement Wednesday that stated the WPD responded to about 50 business lootings. Some businesses were looted multiple times. WPD officers also responded to over a dozen calls of shots fired during the night, and, one subject showed up at an area hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. Those details are still under investigation, but the subject was treated and released that evening.
A majority of WPD personnel were centered on the Glen Flora Avenue and Lewis Avenue area for a concentration of violent rioters. WPD personnel reported no injuries. The WPD also had two police squad cars damaged, but still drivable.
The following individuals were arrested during the evening:
Arroya, Jessica, 24, of Grayslake for Looting by an individual.
Bradley, Victoria, 49, of Waukegan for Resisting a Peace Officer, Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License, and Fleeing and Eluding.
Brown, Jodaviess, 34, of Waukegan for Burglary.
Flores, Ernesto, 21, for Trespass, no address given.
Hyatte, Modestey, 20, of Park City for Burglary. Identified Female, 25, of Waukegan for Looting by an individual (Arrest pending).
James, Jasmaine, 28, for Disorderly Conduct, no address given.
Johnson, Davel, 28, of Waukegan for Burglary and Looting.
Mathews, Julius 18 years old of Waukegan for Looting by an individual.
Miller, Destini 27 years old of Waukegan for Looting by an individual.
Moreino, Michael 44 years old of Waukegan for Criminal Trespass and Resisting Arrest.
Pritchett, Dwight 46 years old of Zion for Criminal Damage, Criminal Trespass to property, Obstructing, and Resisting a Peace Officer
Ruiz, Xania 19 years old of Waukegan for Disorderly Conduct
Urbine, Melinda 26 years old of Waukegan for Looting by an individual.
Wilson, Albert 29 years old of Zion for Theft
Zapata, Santiago, 21, of Waukegan for Disorderly Conduct.
Finally, The WPD would like to send a sincere “Thank you” to the men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the North Chicago Police Department and the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) for helping to protect our community.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty
Zion Police prepared for problems
June 2, 2020 — Chief Kirk Henderson stated that on last Sunday the Zion Police Department called in additional officers and doubled the number of officers on the street, had additional members on standby, and activated their mass arrest plans should any large-scale criminal activity take place.
The City of Zion and the Zion Police Department will continue to protect the 1st amendment rights of all citizens to peacefully protest of the murder of George Floyd. Furthermore, the Zion Police Department wishes to add our voice to the chorus in condemning the actions of those officers, he said.
The Zion Police Department has been moving to improve their relationship with the minority members of our community over the past several years. We recognized that our relationship with ALL members of the community needed to be one of policing FOR the community and not OVER the community. We have done this through such programs as Bridge Builders, involvement in the Coalition for Healthy Communities, the Community of Character Walk, the Zion Police Department Citizen Advisory Committee and Shop with a Cop.
In January they made a significant change and adopted Neighborhood Policing as our core strategy in policing FOR our community. A key part of Neighborhood Policing is having officers assigned to the same district or beat every day. Chief Henderson wants officers to know the residents in each district/beat and the residents to know the officers that patrol their neighborhood. It is a fact that fear and distrust disappear when people get to know one another. We are committed to growing in this area as a department and as individual officers.
Overnight looting in Lake County
June 2nd, 2020 — On Sunday, peaceful marches and protests initially took place throughout Lake County. Unfortunately, following the peaceful protests there was a transition to looting and rioting during the evening and overnight hours.
Dozens of sheriff’s deputies responded to Waukegan to assist Waukegan Police Officers with hundreds of looters. Numerous businesses were looted and a large amount of property was damaged. Businesses in Beach Park were also burglarized. Five Lake County Sheriff’s Squads sustained significant damage from individuals who intentionally damaged the cars. Sheriff’s deputies assisted in multiple arrests in Waukegan. Fortunately, no sheriff’s deputies were injured.
The members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will continue increased countywide patrols to protect the safety of our residents and businesses. The sheriff’s office will continue working closely with our local and regional law-enforcement partners.
“I am beyond grateful for the men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and all of our area law-enforcement personnel who are working diligently to keep the community safe. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to protect the people and property of Lake County,” said Sheriff John Idleburg.
Beach Park virtual meeting held May 28
By Ginny Skweres
June 1, 2020 — After approving the minutes from the last meeting and paying the village’s bills, Trustee Regina Miller thanked the members of Our Lady of Humility for cleaning up debris on the side of the road along North Avenue. She said they were charitable people who couldn’t know what they were picking up during this pandemic.
Village Administrator Marc Huber told the board that the village staff would be back in the building, as of last Monday. The building is still closed, but would be open for appointments.
The Village Board approved a resolution granting the Illinois Department of Transportation a temporary easement to the property at 9975 West Paxton Drive, along Sheridan Road. Trustee Mark Otterson explained the land will be used to park equipment and materials when IDOT works on a construction project on Sheridan Road over the Bull Creek culvert. The easement will last for five years and IDOT has offered the village $350.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has offered a management program to Beach Park, which includes assigning staff and a consultant to work to guide future maintenance and rehabilitation projects. They will assess the deterioration of pavement in the village and evaluate possible treatments. The consultant will develop a five-year pavement program. There is no cost to the village and trustees approved the resolution.
The board also approved an agreement with Go Painters Inc. to sandblast and paint fire hydrants in the village at a cost not to exceed $31,000, which is $70 per hydrant. The bid was obtained through the Lake County Cooperative Purchasing program, and includes all hydrants. The budget had been for $30,000 but hadn’t included all hydrants.
There are 15 retention ponds in Beach Park, 10 of which are in the Cambridge subdivision. There are two on Public Works property, one at Founders Park and two others on village property. All 15 need to be maintained and the board approved a bid from Return to Native for $16,152, the same cost as last year. The cost includes twice-a-month inspections, clearing obstruction from inlets and outlets, erosion, collecting trash, applying algaecides and herbicides and more.
The board also approved an ordinance to amend the village’s fee schedule. Trustee Don Jensen said the changes were necessary so the village could recover its cost. For example, Waukegan increased the water rate, which the village needs to pass on to residents.
The board approved the final payment of $24,735.12 to Chicagoland Pavement for the work they completed on the Sheridan Road Recreational Path.
The Village of Beach Park 2020 residential Spring Clean-up has been scheduled as follows:
Saturday June 20: All Beach Park residential areas west of Lewis Avenue (including Cambridge Subdivision).
Saturday June 27: All Beach Park residential areas east of Lewis Avenue (including Mobile Home Parks).
Material should be ready for pickup by 7 a.m. and must be manageable by two persons and no longer than five feet.
Not collected: Automotive batteries, oil, liquids, hazardous materials, concrete, yard wastes, insecticides, construction debris in excess of one cubic yard and tires will not be collected.
Public Works dumpster: A dumpster for appliances, electronics and tire drop-off will be available at the Public Works Facility from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 22; June 26 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the same Saturday as your pick up from 8 a.m. to noon only. All rims must be removed from the tires and a limit of 10 tires.
For more information, call 847-746-1770.
Wadsworth Road closed
The Lake County Division of Transportation closed Wadsworth Road underneath the Robert McClory Bike Path overpass to all traffic. The road is scheduled to reopen late in the afternoon Tuesday, June 9. This closure is necessary for storm sewer drainage repairs.
A Message from Sheriff John D. Idleburg
May 28, 2020 — “Over the last several days, I have been reflecting on the death of George Floyd, who unnecessarily died while in the custody of the Minneapolis, Minnesota Police Department. I am not one to ordinarily jump to conclusions, but the video of this tragic incident should shock the moral consciousness of every member of our society. What happened to Mr. Floyd is a tragedy that never should have happened.
As your sheriff, I believe it is important to address this matter with the community we serve. This is the year 2020 and law-enforcement across our nation should understand we are guardians of our community, we are protectors of our community, we serve our community, and we are nothing without the trust and support of our community. What tragically happened to Mr. Floyd at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect creates a significant hole in the moral fabric of the relationship law-enforcement has built with our communities.
Honestly speaking, there is no doubt the incident in Minneapolis creates tension and anxiety in every community across our country, especially in communities of color. It is important that everyone in Lake County knows the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is here to work with them – not against them. The men and women serving at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office are true professionals. Our staff is trained to deescalate situations, communicate effectively and efficiently with the community, not use force unless absolutely necessary, and when using force – using the minimum amount necessary. Our staff understands the philosophy that justice is served in a courtroom, not on the street.
We take the trust and faith you instill in us very seriously and we believe and apply the concepts of procedural justice and legitimacy. We hold ourselves to a high standard, hold ourselves accountable, and it is only fair the community hold us to those same standards. I am proud of the men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and I certainly hope you are as well.
We understand how upsetting and hurtful this incident is to our communities across the country. Speaking, marching, or protesting are completely acceptable ways to express oneself, but we have to remember doing this peacefully is paramount. Rioting, causing damage, personal injury, and destruction is no way to deliver a message. Governments across America should always be willing to listen to the people, but it is so important messages are delivered in a peaceful, nonviolent manner, or the message is likely to go unheard.
Mr. Floyd’s death will not be in vain and will serve a pivotal piece in emphasizing the importance of police accountability. The Floyd family has the deepest condolences of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.”
Beach Park traffic crash with critical injuries
May 28, 2020 — A 2013 Nissan Altima, driven by a 33-year-old man of Waukegan, was traveling northbound on Green Bay Road approaching Chaplin Avenue, Beach Park, at 10:20 p.m. May 27. For an unknown reason, the driver of the Nissan crossed into the southbound lanes of traffic hitting a south-bound 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier head-on.
Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies responded, and the driver of the Chevrolet was taken to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan with serious injuries. One passenger, a 27-year-old female of North Chicago, was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected out of the front windshield. Another passenger in the Chevrolet, a 35-year-old male of Waukegan, had minor injuries. Both were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center.
The driver of the Nissan was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with critical, life-threatening injuries. Alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash, and an investigation is ongoing.
Memorial Day Traffic Safety Campaign Results
May 27, 2020 — Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested four people for driving under the influence and issued a total of 152 citations during the recent Memorial Day traffic safety campaign. Deputies cited five people for driving with a suspended/revoked driver’s licenses, issued 16 citations for individuals operating vehicles without insurance, and issued 54 speeding citations.
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “We’ve recently seen an increase in people excessively speeding and driving recklessly. Our deputies will be out throughout the summer months ensuring those who take to our roadways can travel safely. Please do your part and follow all traffic laws.”
Winthrop Harbor Village Hall to open to public June 1
By Ginny Skweres
May 26, 2020 — The Winthrop Harbor Board had a short meeting on May 19, and is planning to open Village Hall to the public on May 1. The plan for reopening is ongoing, but the village is considering increasing to three the number of days that Clean and Green Cleaning Services comes to Village Hall. They would disinfect high-touch surfaces in high traffic areas. The decision will be made when re-opening procedures are finalized.
The board approved a resolution to endorse the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus’ Greenest Region Compact. The Caucus aims for high quality of life for residents, protection and stewardship of the environment and sustainable economic vitality.
The board also approved spending an additional $33,000 from the Motor Fuel Tax fund to cover the greatly increased cost of salt to be used for snow and ice control. The village buys the salt from the Illinois Department of Transportation, which goes out for bids for many municipalities.
The board has recently discussed creating the position of Mayor Pro Tem to fill in for the mayor if he is absent. Last week, Trustee Robert Marabella was unanimously approved for the position.
Zion Council approves deficit budget
By Ginny Skweres
May 26, 2020 — The Council approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 with a deficit of $1.8 million at their May 15 Council meeting. City Administrator David Knabel said the city has been cutting expenses and will continue to do so. He said Zion is seeking Lake County funding for Covid expenses and continues to work to obtain federal funding in regard to the Nuclear Stranded Act.
Mayor Billy McKinney said the city is counting on positive data from the 2020 Census, and is looking for capital funding from state representatives. McKinney also sent a letter to the Lake County Board asking for help for Zion, which he said has been under funded for many years. These are the some of the things that could reduce the amount of money the city might need to borrow to cover the gaps in the future.
The Zion Council approved ordinances that: renew a play ground lease for Martha’s Nursery and Day Care at 1227 27th Street; and to allow variances for property at 2621 Elim Avenue that will continue to allow it be used as a single-family residence, and to put in a driveway. It is zoned central business.
The Council also approved the lowest responsible bids for fuel and construction materials. In addition, the Council approved using Chicagoland Paving Contractors Inc., Lake Zurich, for the 2020 patching program. They approved spending $156,000 to come from the Motor Fuel Tax fund.
An eight-inch water main just west of Sheridan Road between 21st and 23rd streets that was installed in 1928, needs to be replaced. The board approved spending $69,990 for engineering services on the project. Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., will do the work. It is a budgeted item in the water fund.
The Council approved an installment agreement with Municipal Funding Solutions to borrow $337,362 to purchase Star Com Radio Equipment for the Police Department. The equipment will also be used by the Fire Department. This is the same equipment used by municipalities throughout Lake County and the state.
Department heads and City Officials were re-approved by the Council.
Liquor licenses discussion
Administrator David Knabel brought up for discussion delaying the required renewal of liquor Licenses for the cafes and restaurants that sell liquor, but have been closed due to Covid 19. The $2,500 fees are usually due on June 30, but he suggested delaying it to Sept.30 and charging them a fee for a nine-month period. Mayor Billy McKinney said it was a tremendous idea, as did other members of the Council. They encouraged Knabel to move ahead with the idea which would come up for a vote at a future meeting.
Construction expected to begin on Casey’s General Store
By Ginny Skweres
May 19, 2020 — The Beach Park Village Board met May 14 via Zoom in order to maintain village business. They approved the final plat of subdivision for Casey’s retail company ay 39131 Sheridan Road. The project for the gas station and general store began nearly two years ago, and needed approval by other entities in addition to the village.
According to Chad Wallace who represented Casey’s, the company is ready to go forward and purchase the property. It is unknown when construction will begin, but Wallace said the company is eager to do so.
Trustee Linda Sittig clarified that the Beach Park Village Clean-up was postponed and not cancelled, and expects that it will take place at the end of June. Meanwhile. Advance has begun to pick up large items.
Trustee Mark Otterson gave a shout out to the Public Works Department. In order to keep their distance as required, they’ve been working 12-hour shifts, including over the weekends. “It’s different, but it’s working out so far,” Otterson said.
Fire in Zion damages residence
May 11, 2020 — There was a structural fire May 6 in the 1800 block of Hermon Avenue in a duplex unit. When firefighters arrived, all of the residents were out of the home. There was heavy fire from the back and they used multiple hose lines to contain it.
Beach Park, Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and Winthrop Harbor Fire Departments assisted with the fire, and Libertyville and North Chicago Fire Departments covered Zion Stations.
The structure was uninhabitable after the fire and damage was estimated at $20,000.
K9 Deutsch to be missed
Winthrop Harbor to adhere to governor’s emergency rules
By Ginny Skweres
May 11, 2020 — The Winthrop Harbor village Board held a virtual meeting May 5 and renews an ordinance that said the village will follow the emergency rules for Covid put in place by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and will continue until the threat is bated.
The board also approved an ordinance to create the position of a president pro tem who will chair meetings and/or fulfill the duties of village president until the elected mayor returns or is able to take over the responsibilities.
The board approved an extension of benefits for employees who had to cancel time off during the Covid emergency. They will be allowed to take the time after the usual time period has ended.
The following people were appointed to various board and commission:
Margo Nelson, Planning and Zoning Board member through 4/30/25
William Stried, Planning and Zoning Board member through 4/30/25
Margo Nelson, Chairperson Economic Development Commission
Fred Seamon, Vice Chairman Economic Development Commission
Gary Powell, Member Economic Development Commission through 4/30/23
Robert Long, Member at large, Economic Development Commission
The Board also approved the renewal of an intergovernmental agreement with Benton Township, regarding snow and ice control, and adding pot hole patching. The village will perform this service through 2016 at the agreed upon hourly rate.
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Waukegan
May 5, 2020 — The former Waukegan emissions testing site is now being used as a COVID-19 testing facility at 2161 Northwestern Avenue.
Anyone with symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) at no cost. A photo ID is needed.
People with or without symptoms can be tested if:
- they were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 cases
- they have compromised immune systems and/or chronic medical conditions
- they are healthcare workers
- they are first responders
- they are employees who support Critical Infrastructure (grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation)
- they are slated to receive elective surgery within 72 hours
The facility is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until 500 tests are completed daily. Illinois National Guard Soldiers will be conducting tests and test results can be expected within four to seven days. High demand for this service is anticipated and as a result, long wait times are possible.
Speeder charged with DUI
May 5, 2020 — Luis Ariel Caceres Matute, 26, of Kenosha, Wis., was stopped around 7:30 a.m., May 3, in the 2100 block of Sheridan Road after police clocked his vehicle going 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.Caceres-Matute also was driving without a valid driver’s license and showed obvious signs of being under the influence of alcohol.
BP Fire Chief Tierney retires
By Ginny Skweres
May 4, 2020 — The Beach Park Fire Department honored Fire Chief Paul Tierney, who retired April 30, by driving past Station One with lights and sirens. He was also presented with a plaque which pictured a flag with his name and a fire fighters’ symbol on it. Deputy Chief Fred Friedl gifted him with two Challenge Coins on behalf of firefighters.
After the presentations, Chief Tierney told the group, “I have no more words. I love you all.”
He began his career with the Buffalo Grove Fire Department in 1975, and rose through the ranks until he left in 2009.
Chief Tierney joined the Beach Park Fire Department in 2002 as a part-time fire chief, and was made full-time in 2008. He led several professional groups including: President of the Lake County Fire Chief’s Association; President of the Beach Park Firefighters Pension Board; Treasurer for the Lake-McHenry Counties Specialized Response Team; a member of the Illinois and Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association; and assisted with the creation of the Lake-McHenry County Wildland Task Force.
During his retirement announcement to the Board of Trustees and Department membership, Chief Tierney stated, “I have had the honor of working with so many professionals and outstanding firefighters over my 45-year career. However, some of my most proud moments have occurred here at the Beach Park Fire Department.
“Over the last 18 years I have had the opportunity to see this organization grow from a fledgling department with an ISO rating of a 9 to the professional ISO Class 3 organization it is today! This accomplishment was only successful due to the team effort and dedication of our membership to the Fire Protection District. The residents of our community have certainly benefited from all of your endeavors, dedication, and commitment.”
According to the Board of Trustees, Tierney is most proud of the transition from a part-time paid on-call department to a full-time combination Fire Rescue Department; an updated and modernized EMS, Firefighting fleet and equipment; a remodeled and expanded Station No. 1 on Lewis; opening a second Fire Station to better serve the West portions of the Fire Protection District; increasing training certification standards; and was responsible for receiving over $2.6 million in federal grant funds for the Department.
County crashes last Saturday
May 4, 2020 — There were two serious crashes in the evening of Saturday, May 2 to which Sheriff’s Deputies responded.
Shortly after 6 p.m., a 55-year-old Wadsworth man riding a Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle was traveling in parking lot in the 25900 block of Riverwoods Road, Mettawa. He accelerated, which caused the front wheel to rise from the roadway. He lost control and crashed. He was not wearing a helmet, was critically injured and was taken to Advocate Condell Hospital in Libertyville.
In beach Park a Chevrolet Impala, driven by a 22-year-old male of North Chicago, was traveling southbound on Sheridan Road around 8:45 p.m. and crossed into the northbound lane. He hit a Nissan Rogue, driven by a 37-year-old man of Waukegan, head-on.
Both drivers were taken to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan. The driver of the Chevrolet was in critical condition and the driver of the Nissan had minor injuries.
Both crashes remain under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.
Good news for boaters
By Ginny Skweres
April 28, 2020 — The North Point Marina will be open for the 2020 boating season as of May 1. However, making it so wasn’t easy.
In a response to local mayors, Rep. Joyce Mason and others have been working with the Governor’s Office and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to make it happen. Since the marina in Kenosha, Wis., will be open, North Point and area businesses would have lost a lot of business.
Boats in a slip are like cars in a parking lot, so people will be allowed to put their boats in. However, people will be required to maintain social distancing and follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control.
“I’m so happy to think our boating season might have just been saved,” Mason said.
Currently only two people will be allowed on a boat at a time, but Mason is working to change that so an entire family that lives together can be on a boat at the same time. Municipalities will be in charge of enforcement, she said.
While the bathrooms will be open for use, the swimming pool and concession stand will not be open since social distancing in those locations could not be maintained.
The marina stated that all facilities are undergoing a thorough deep cleaning and disinfecting before opening for the 2020 season. During the 2020 season, all restrooms, bath houses, public access areas, keypads, doorknobs and handles and touch points will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
They encourage guests to take appropriate hygiene measures, including washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and staying home if they are ill.
Man dies in fatal crash in Wadsworth
April 28, 2020 — A man driving a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am west on Wadsworth Road died after hitting a traffic signal at Delaney Road at a high rate of speed on April 25.
Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies found the car with extensive damage, and determined the vehicle was occupied by only the male driver, who was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Preliminary investigation shows the Pontiac was traveling westbound on Wadsworth Road approaching Delany Road, at a high rate of speed. The driver of the Pontiac lost control of the vehicle and left the roadway to the north. The Pontiac likely rolled before striking a traffic signal pole at the intersection. Due to the speed, the Pontiac wrapped around the traffic signal.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene and have scheduled an autopsy for the driver on Monday.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.
Woman killed by gunshot in Zion
April 28, 2020 — A 21-year old Zion woman was shot outside in the 2300 block of Jethro Avenue, on Sunday, April 26.
Officers responded to Vista Medical Center East shortly before 4:30 AM after the woman was brought into the ER. She suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, and her injuries were considered serious. She died Monday afternoon.
Officers and detectives have located and collected evidence related to this crime. The Lake County Major Crime Task Force is investigating.
Zion Police Chief Kirk D. Henderson asked that anyone with information on this crime to contact the Zion Police Department at 847-746-4110 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
Letter to the editor:
(Editors note: The views and comments expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of this publication, Letters to the Editor can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Enduring life-altering trials like COVID-19 evolves one’s understanding of life. It shows how much we should be grateful for, how innovation grows from limitation, and ultimately how much of our lives we actually don’t control. Reflecting on this, we hope to be drawn closer to The All-Powerful Source Who governs all and plans for our growth. However, we still may question why there’s suffering in the world, as did Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, before us.
The Holy Quran says “Blessed is He in whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things; It is He Who has created death and Life that He might try you—which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Most Forgiving” (67:2-3).
The founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, says, “A true believer should not be saddened at times of tribulation…at times of difficulty a fountainhead of love starts.”
So, as an Ahmadi Muslim, I’m reminded that God has not left us hopeless. In fact, it is His design that puts in us an endless capacity for love and service that, if used, will ultimately see us through this trial and is the remedy for the immense pain that has gripped many of our neighbors, friends and families during this epidemic.
We believe that God’s fundamental attributes are Grace and Mercy, let’s emulate those qualities in ease and in hardship. The gravity of this moment will be different for all of us but how each of us responds will determine how well we recover when it ends.
THANK YOU to all frontline workers and all of those who have selflessly sacrificed for the safety of all.
WH mayor agrees with Rep. Schneider
April 27, 2020 — U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D) released a statement in regard to federal funding on April 21 in which he acknowledged his appreciation for the $349 billion fund approved by the White House.
He also stated, “Many of my constituents also remain in the dark about the status of their EIDL applications and deserve answers from the SBA. The Trump Administration owes it to the American people to do a much better job administering this second phase of CARES Act relief to ensure those most in need get the help they deserve.
“I also applaud the funding for our hospitals, and the resources for expanded testing, which will be necessary to ensure our communities are prepared to re-open.
“I am disappointed that the White House and congressional Republicans stonewalled our attempts to secure help for the states and local governments on the front lines of this crisis. I will redouble my efforts to secure this funding in the next package, because we must find a path forward to provide federal resources to the states and local governments facing catastrophic economic realities created by this pandemic.”
“…The Trump Administration failed to set clear guidelines on PPP for lenders and to communicate with applicants, which allowed larger, more sophisticated companies with existing banking relationships to jump the line to get preferential access to the money that was intended for small Main Street businesses.
“Many of my constituents also remain in the dark about the status of their EIDL applications and deserve answers from the SBA. The Trump Administration owes it to the American people to do a much better job administering this second phase of CARES Act relief to ensure those most in need get the help they deserve.”
After reading Schneider’s letter, Winthrop Harbor Mayor Dr. Michael Brunio wrote a letter to Mandi Florip, Executive Director of the Lake County Municipal League, and asked what he could do to bring support to the local community.
He wrote: “Since the COVID outbreak we in the northeast corner of the county have developed a regional partnership, quasi coalition if you will, consisting of municipalities, townships, school districts and special purpose districts as a tool for pooling resources and information. One of the group’s most recent conference calls included Congressman Schneider. We shared with both him and his staff our concerns regarding revenue loss. This week this same group lobbied Representative Mason to push the issue with both Congressman Schneider and Congresswomen Underwood. Don’t get me wrong, both of our U.S. Representatives have been strong supporters of our communities, but something is not working. And though I know politics and policy are almost always intertwined, this is not the time for politics. Locally, or through the IML is there a “Plan B” being formulated to respond to this serious lack of support for local units of government.? Should we as local leaders be formalizing in writing or presentation our new and even more urgent concerns to Senator’s Duckworth and Durbin and or to the White House? Do we know what our colleagues in other COGs throughout the country are doing, if anything?
“In no way do I believe we’ve been given that answer. Tell me what I can do, if anything, to rally our colleagues, the boots on the ground. As I look at the numbers the writing on the wall tells me after being knocked down by this pandemic our Village, my home, is going to struggle to get back on its feet. It appears that this is all a result of the seemingly obtuseness at the federal level. I need to make sure we come back stronger than ever. It is my obligation; it is unwritten but understood as part of the oath I took. Republican, Democrat, Independent none of this matters. I am the Mayor of a small community of less than 10,000. Not a Chicago not a New York, but just a small community. These are our friends, neighbors and family. I and our Village Board stand ready, please let me know what we can do.”
Winthrop Harbor hires part-time officer
By Ginny Skweres
April 27, 2020 — At a short Winthrop Harbor Village Board meeting Tuesday, April 20, the board approved hiring Erik Waring as a part-time police officer. He fills a spot left empty when a former part-time officer left for a position elsewhere.
The board also approved the purchase of a Village Hall boiler pump at a cost of $5,375. The old pump was about 25 years old, and repairs would cost more than half of a replacement, with no guarantees. The village went out to bid for this purchase and received one other bid which was higher.
The board also approved the purchase of a utility vehicle at a cost not to exceed $16,000. It replaces a 19-year old model that would cost between $3,000 to $4,000 to repair. It will be used by the Parks and Recreation Department to maintain village parks.
The board approved a policy to be followed in the case of a concussion in a Parks and Recreation participant. The first action is to educate coaches, parents, athletes and program staff. Staff and coaches will be required to successfully complete online training.
If a player is thought to have suffered a concussion, he or she will be removed from play, and parents will be notified. If unconscious, 911 will be called. In order to return to play, the participant will need a doctor’s written note.
Beach Park balanced budget approved
By Ginny Skweres
April 27, 2020 — The Beach Park Village Board began its April 23 meeting with a public hearing on the proposed annual budget. Even though this was a virtual meeting, residents were invited to join online or via telephone. There were no questions from residents or board member, and the public hearing was closed.
In the meeting, the board approved the 2020-2021 budget, which was balanced, as it has been for more than 30 years. However, Mayor John Hucker did point out that that revenue is expected to be down this year due to Covid 19. It is likely to impact sales tax, income tax, video gaming tax and more, he said. The village will keep an eye on revenue and expenses and have daily discussions, he said. The board will consider the current situation when they vote on street improvements, which is funded by the motor fuel tax, and they will postpone capital expenditures.
Trustee Don Jensen, head of the Finance Department, thanked Finance Director Peggy McHugh and the staff for the hours and hours of work they put into it. The rest of the board members also expressed their appreciation.
The board also approved a raffle license for Our Lady of Humility School. Their raffle will run from April 24 to May 16. Raffle tickets will be sold online, and the prize will be $10,000.
Trustee Linda Sittig encourages residents to continue following the guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control, now that Gov. Pritzker has extended the ‘Stay at Home’ ruling until late May.
During Citizen Comments, resident Bob Johnson asked the board to consider a ban on open burning of leaves and wood during the remainder of the Covid 19 outbreak. He said it impacts those suffering from the virus and others who have breathing problems.
Two arrested for armed robbery
April 27, 2020 — Two men were arrested April 24 for an armed robbery at the Zion McDonald’s on March 31. Both men had handguns that they pointed at employees, and wore surgical masks.
Jerry T. Thomas, 19, of Chicago and George C. Johnson, 24, of North Chicago were charged with Class X Felony armed robbery and Class 1 Felony aggravated armed robbery. Bond was set at $750,000 each, and each was alleged to have been in three other robberies in Waukegan and one on Roselle.
Thomas is being held at the DuPage County Jail. Johnson is being held in the Lake County Jail.
Zion District 6 holds virtual meeting
By Ginny Skweres
April 21, 2020 — The Zion district 6 School Board held its first virtual meeting Monday evening since the Covid 19 virus broke out. Members of the public had been invited to observe the meeting via Zoom. The first action was to approve virtual meetings, which was unanimous.
The board also approved adding one full-time nurse whose role would be administrative, and would over-see all nurses and health aides who work in the schools.
Superintendent Dr. Keely Robert was enthusiastic in thanking everyone who helped in providing meals for the ‘Grab and Go’ program. It’s a group effort with many generous supporters in the community, she said. The district has been providing between 1,400 to 1,500 meals a day, and has been working hard to keep the program going.
The open meeting lasted about 15 minutes, and the board broke off for the closed portion of the meeting.
Wadsworth loses two who served the village
April 20, 2020 — The Village of Wadsworth mourns the recent passing of two gentlemen who provided many years of public service to our local and surrounding communities.
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, former Village President Ed Tomkowiak passed away. Ed served the Village for about 26 years: 16 as Village Trustee (1967-1983): eight as Village President (1983-1991): and for two years as a member of the Village Comprehensive Plan Update Committee (2012-2014).
Just last week, on Friday, April 10, 2020, current Village Trustee Ken Harvey passed away. Ken served the Village as Trustee from 2007-2020. Prior to his service as a Wadsworth Trustee, Ken had a distinguished 28-year career with the Waukegan Fire Department.
We ask that the Wadsworth Community keep the Tomkowiak and Harvey families in your thoughts during this time. Their obituaries can be viewed at the web sites for Congdon’s Funeral Home and the Gurnee Salata Funeral Home.
The Village values the service that both Ed and Ken provided our citizenry. They will truly be missed.
New jail inmate tests Positive for COVID-19
April 21, 2020 — A female in her 30s, who had been arrested by North Chicago Police Department on a failure to appear arrest warrant for felony retail theft and felony theft was traken to the Lake County Jail on April 20. She was also charged with obstruction of justice and possession of drug paraphernalia. She arrived at the jail at about 10:30 a.m. and attended an electronic bond hearing. She was remanded to the jail with a bond amount of $250,000.
At about 1:30 p.m. she was taken to Vista East Medical Center because she is pregnant and appeared lethargic. There, she was diagnosed with a non-COVID-19 medical issue and released back into the custody of the Lake County Jail at approximately 6:35 p.m., but was placed in the medical unit of the jail upon her return. The following day she was tested by the jail medical provider for COVID-19, because she was going through withdrawals, and her withdrawal-type symptoms were similar to COVID-19 symptoms. On April 21, the jail was informed the female’s COVID-19 test was positive.
The female remains housed in the medical unit and not in general population. No other inmates or correctional staff have tested positive. The jail continues to work closely with the Lake County Health Department.
Jail continues COVID-19 mitigation efforts
April 20, 2020 — After a previously released male inmate tested positive for COVID-19 on April 16, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office continues to follow protocols. They received confirmation from the Lake County Health Department that the man tested positive for novel coronavirus COVID-19. He is a 28-year-old male of Des Plaines, and was remanded to the Lake County Jail on Feb. 27 and discharged on April 13 following a plea agreement.
Beginning April 8, the inmate complained of flu-like symptoms, and was seen several times by the jail’s medical provider and his mild symptoms stabilized. When the inmate was discharged on April 13, his temperature registered normal, and he didn’t have or report any sickness symptoms. On April 15, the inmate checked into a Cook County hospital and was tested for COVID-19, the test came back positive. The inmate was discharged from the hospital shortly after receiving the test results.
A number of protocols have been enacted since February to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 entering the jail as well as enhanced mitigation procedures should inmates feel ill. Thus far, these mitigation procedures have been overall successful. These include:
* Enhanced medical screening for inmates and employees entering the jail
* Increased cleanings of jail pods
* Minimization of inmates moving from pod to pod
* Establishing a medical segregation area for inmates with mild illness symptoms
* Any inmate experiencing illness wears a mask while quarantined
* Worked with Courts & criminal justice partners to establish electronic bond hearings, versus in-person hearings
* Inmates who receive a recognizance bond at their initial hearing never enter the jail’s general population area
* Utilizing PPEs for all jail staff
* Utilized vacant housing pods to spread the distance between inmates
* All newly remanded inmates are housed out of general population for 14 days for medical evaluation before being moved to general population
There are ten other inmates who were housed in the same pod of the former inmate who tested positive. None of those inmates are currently experiencing any symptoms of illness, however, they are being closely monitored by medical staff.
Currently, there are three inmates housed in the medical unit. Two of those inmates were remanded to the jail on April 16, 2020, one of them has been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and the other had a slightly elevated temperature. The other inmate was a previously housed inmate who complained of stomach pains. Those inmates are in good condition.
No other current jail inmates are experiencing a fever or any other symptoms of illness. Per the guidelines of the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health, COVID-19 testing of a symptomatic individuals is not recommended.
If an inmate’s health begins to significantly decline, an inmate experiences a medical emergency, or their medical care is beyond the capabilities of the medical provider, the inmate would be immediately transported to an area hospital for treatment.
The Lake County Jail continues to follow all CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Lake County Health Department guidelines. The jail’s medical provider continues to work closely with the Lake County Health Department.
Lake County Police Memorial postponed
April 20, 2020 — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is postponing the Annual Lake County Police Memorial due to continued COVID-19 concerns.The annual event, scheduled to take place in May, will be postponed until the late summer or early fall.
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “While it is disappointing … it is a step we can take to avoid spreading COVID-19 at a large gathering. Those killed in the line-of-duty deserve our respect, gratitude, and recognition, so we will announce a new date for late summer or early fall.”
Beach Park Village and Fire Department to share fuel resources
By Ginny Skweres
April 14, 2020 — The Beach Park Board met April 9 via video and audio conference. Members of the public were able to watch the proceedings.
In addition to approving the bills to be paid, the board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Beach Park Fire Department. The Fire Department is now able to fill up their vehicles gas tanks and buy related petroleum products at the Beach Park Public Works Building.
The Fire Department will pay an additional 8 cents per gallon to defray the administrative costs. This allows the Fire Department to pay less for gas, and helps lower overhead expenses for the village.
The village’s Finance Department has been working on the annual budget, and it will come before the board at the next meeting, which is scheduled for April 23rd.
Lake County’s K9 Diesel captures Crystal Lake man
April 14, 2020 — Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call on April 8 for a trespasser in the unincorporated area of the town of McHenry (in Lake County) where a man was breaking into a relative’s home.
Robert B. Hunter, Jr.,33, of Crystal Lake threw a glass container at officers and tried to barricade himself in the bathroom. When he refused to leave, deputies unleashed Diesel who bit Hunter on the arm. Hunter hit the K9 with a lead pipe and Diesel bit him again. Deputies took Hunter into custody and took him to Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, where he received treatment for the dog bite. Following the treatment, he was released into the custody of sheriff’s deputies who took him to the Lake county Jail.
K9 Diesel was not injured by the hit with the pipe.
Hunter was charged with Class 4 assault with a weapon, resisting arrest, criminal trespass and misdemeanor striking a police dog and violating an order of protection. He was held for Bond Court.
Fatal crash in Waukegan
April 14, 2020 — Waukegan Police Officers located a serious crash that had been reported at Lewis Avenue and Laurel Avenues on April 11. Based on the severity of the crash, the City’s Major Crash Unit was called to investigate.
Investigators believe a red Honda SUV was going north on Lewis Avenue, crossed into the southbound lane and hit a red Chevrolet SUV, which had been southbound on Lewis.
The driver of Honda was taken to an area hospital where she later passed. She was identified as a female in her 80s from Waukegan.
The driver of Chevrolet was a Waukegan woman in her 40s who was released on-scene without being transported. No citations were issued at the time.
Indiana man arrested in Waukegan
April 7, 2020 — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Gregory Vaughn Jr., 32, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was wanted on Fort Wayne warrants for attempted murder, robbery, theft, invasion of property, and interference with the reporting of a crime. On March 2, Vaughn allegedly entered a residence in Fort Wayne where his children reside with their mother. Vaughn stabbed the mother of his children, in front of his children. The following day he returned to the residence and shot an acquaintance of the mother of his children and fled.
The Marshal’s Service asked for assistance from the sheriff’s Office since they thought Vaughn was in Lake county. They found him in the 3100 block of West Grandville Avenue, Waukegan and took him into custody without incident. He has been held in the Lake County Jail on $1,000,000 bail.
Zion held emergency meeting last week
By Ginny Skweres
April 7, 2020 — The Zion City Council met April 3 for an emergency meeting to organize a personnel plan that includes safe distancing as well as meeting the needs of resident. City Hall is closed, but the phones are monitored, and messages that are left will be answered.
Employees of each department will take turns manning the phones and handling business. Each department is set up to take voice messages. Department phone numbers are listed on the city’s web site.
The Zion Police and Fire Departments will operate as usual, but administrative employees will rotate their presence in the offices.
It is possible to get building permits, which will be handled on a case by case basis. The department will do inspections via pictures, rather than going to the site.
Rental inspections have been postponed, but requirements must still be met.
These changes were approved through April 30.
Mayor Billy McKinney encourages all residents to practice safe distancing to limit exposure and infection. It’s important to shelter in place, he said.
The next Council meeting is at 3:30 p.m., April 14.
Suspicious car yielded weapon
April 7, 2020 — Zion Police Officers received a complaint about a suspicious vehicle in the 3000 block of Sheridan Road at 9 a.m. Friday, April 3. Officers conducted a traffic stop and found a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle.
Alan F. Green, 31, North Chicago, a passenger, was charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and resisting a peace officer. Green is on parole and a parole violation warrant was issued for him. He was held for Bond Court.
The driver, Ebony Johnson, 36, of Grayslake, was arrested and charged with DUI, given a court date, and released.
Armed car-jacking on Sheridan Road
April 1, 2020 — A 24-year old man entered his silver2007 Infiniti G35 parked in the 2600 block of Sheridan Road around 1 p.m. Tuesday when he was approached by a group of five black men. One of them grabbed the driver’s side door as the victim was attempting to close it, pointed a black semi-automatic handgun with a gray slide at him and demanded the victim get out of the car and give him the keys.
The victim complied, exited the vehicle, and the offender demanded the victim’s cell phone but the victim took off running. The five offenders entered the victim’s vehicle, a:
The offender with the gun is described as thin, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, in his late teens or early 20s with a dark complexion and scruffy facial hair. He and the others were wearing black hooded sweatshirts of coats.
The Infiniti has noticeable cracks on the front bumper, a rosary necklace hanging from the rear-view mirror and a visible white scuff mark on the rear bumper. The license plate number is AN 22 568. The vehicle was last seen driving north in the 2600 block of Elim Avenue, and has not been recovered at this time.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to contact the Zion Police Department at 847-746-4110 or Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
Sew masks for patients and make a difference
Zion McDonald’s Robbed
BP board handles business in spite of virus
By Ginny Skweres
March 31, 2020 — Beach park Mayor John Hucker concluded the March 26 board meeting by saying it had been the strangest meeting ever. That’s because trustees participated virtually from various locations, due to the Corona virus. However, since bills need to be paid and business needs to be handled, the open meeting was held online.
Trustees want residents to know that there are phone numbers on the village Website about who to contact for assistance. For a specific question, residents can email trustees or staff. Face Book also has some links to various programs.
The first thing the board tackled was approving an ordinance that gives the village president the authority to declare an emergency. This provides the mayor with maximum flexibility to take timely action and provide for expenditures in case of an emergency or disaster when a quorum of the board cannot act. This declaration continues for the duration of the emergency, but expires at the end of the mayor’s term. It can be put in place again for a new mayor.
The board also approved an ordinance that allows the village to not enforce water disconnections due to failure to pay water bills. No water will be initially turned off during the current situation. This action was requested by Gov. Pritzker.
Payment for the water, plus interest, will be due following the emergency. Software is tracking delinquent accounts and residents will be billed.
The board waived competitive bidding for upgrades to the Green Bay Road elevated tank, Lynch Booster station and the Aberdeen Lift Station in an amount not to exceed $53,905. The bid will be given to Metropolitan Pump Company, which already has installed software for the balance of the project they began. Their bid came in under budget.
The board approved hiring Brightview to handle the landscaping in Heatherstone subdivision this season at a cost of $34,213. They have been doing the work previously.
The board approved a purchase of multi-media equipment for the board room at a cost of $19,661, which had been budgeted for $40,000. The old system has not been working and this upgrade will allow the village to record and stream information in real time.
The board approved vacating a portion of Paxton Drive that will be used for the development of Casey’s Retail which will use the property to get in and out of the location. The land will be turned over to the contract purchaser (Casey’s). The entrance to Paxton Drive will be along the south side Wadsworth Road. This is a hurdle that brings the development closer to construction, according to the board.
The board also approved a resolution for the updated 2020 Village of Beach Park Zoning map.
SEDOL paraprofessional charged with battery
March 31, 2020 — Justin Cole, 35, of the 2400 block of 82nd Street, Kenosha, Wis., was arrested on a warrant for misdemeanor battery issued March 27. This stems from an investigation of Cole as a paraprofessional at the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) when he used excessive force while with a seven-year-old student.
The seven-year-old pushed Cole and Cole responded by picking up a pillow and struck the seven-year-old in the head, using the pillow as a barrier between the boy’s head and Cole’s hand. This caused the boy to fall to the ground and begin crying.
SEDOL administration terminated Cole’s employment.
Health Department Coronavirus update
March 25, 2020 — The total number of Lake County residents testing positive for Coronavirus is 115, as of March 24, since the first Lake County case was identified on March 11.
The Lake County Health Department again urges the community to stay home unless leaving is absolutely necessary. If you must leave the house, it is very important to practice social distancing and keep six feet between yourself and others.
“It is really imperative the community take the stay at home order seriously,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department. “The novel coronavirus is easily spread human to human, and we all need to take it upon ourselves to protect one another by keeping our distance.”
It is critically important that the community follow prescribed preventative measures such as social distancing and the 3 C’s to avoid getting sick:
1. Clean hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
2. Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow; and
3. Contain illness by staying home if you are sick.
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.
• Check with your healthcare provider about tele-health options.
What to do if you are sick:
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, stay home and call your doctor. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, you have difficulty breathing).
Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor should refer you to a COVID-19 testing site
Residents who do not have a primary care provider can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center at(847-377-8800 to schedule an appointment.
Zion approves renewal of electricity aggregation
By Ginny Skweres
March 25, 2020 — The Zion Council met on March 17, but seats for commissioners and the audience were all placed at least six feet apart. Attendance was light.
The Council approved renewing an aggregation program for electricity in Zion for one year. The rate will remain the same, but the city will receive a civic contribution. Commissioners also approved using 25 percent of its energy from green sources and will be named an EPA Green Power Partner community.
Commissioners also approved a special use permit from Liberty Temple Zion, to operate a ministerial training center at 2200 Sheridan Road. The permit requires weekend parking, between 8 a.m. and noon, to be limited to the five permitted spaces in front and the two in the back.
A tax anticipation warrant, not to exceed $1 million, was approved to provide cash flow until the city receives property taxes. Administrator David Knabel said that the city has bills coming in faster than revenue at this time of the year. These funds won’t be used until the money in the City’s cash reserve of about $1 million has been spent.
“It’s not a good situation to be in…but it helps us bridge that gap,” Knabel said.
The Zion Police Department is a member of the Major Crash Assistant Team, and the intergovernmental agreement was amended to reflect changes in the use of Drug Recognition Experts and the Drone Incident Response Team. The changes are necessary because of the anticipated increase of impaired driving due to the legalization of cannabis, according to Police Chief Kirk Henderson.The Council approved the agreement.
Winthrop Harbor allows alcohol to be sold curb-side
March 24, 2020 — The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has issued a directive allowing local liquor commissioners to permit the alternative sales of alcoholic products in an effort to provide some relief to local establishments that have been ordered closed to on-site sales.
These rules are also intended to promote healthy social distancing. In an effort to offset some of the inevitable sales and revenue losses attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak Mayor Michael Bruno, as Local Liquor Commissioner, has issued an order providing temporary relief to liquor license holders.
“If I as Mayor and Liquor Commissioner have the latitude from the State of Illinois to reduce the negative impact COVID-19 on our business community I feel I am obligated to exercise the powers granted to me,” said Mayor Michael Bruno. “An expiration extension of existing licenses and the granting of Temporary Delivery Licenses will offer some financial benefit to licensees.”
Each retail liquor Licensee within the Village of Winthrop Harbor is granted a Temporary Delivery license that allows the following sale and deliveries of packaged products that the Licensee’s original license allowed it to sell: Package sales: “to-go” sales; Curbside sales; and Home delivery sales.
•All sales must be made only to persons age 21 years and older, and if a purchaser cannot provide proof of age at the point of sale, the alcoholic products must be returned to the Licensee and a full refund given to the purchaser.
•TDL sales must be in original packages. Pre-mixed cocktails or other concoctions are expressly prohibited. Growlers may be sold under a TDL by a brew pub, but only in original containers and not refills of customers’ containers.
•DL sales may be delivered by using third parties, but the Licensee shall remain fully responsible to ensure sales are allowed only as provided for in this Order. Violations of sales rules will subject Licensees to the same penalties as usual.
•The specific licensees granted this relief are the following: Bars, taverns, restaurants, package goods sellers, brew pubs, distillation pubs and wineries.
•TDLs do not expand the range of products the Licensees may sell. For example, if a Licensee has a license to sell beer and wine, it cannot use the TDL to sell whiskey.
•The liquor licenses currently in effect shall be extended to July 31, 2020.
•The Village Clerk, acting as administrative assistant to the Local Liquor Commissioner is directed to provide copies of this notice to all Licensees in the most expeditious way possible, given the nature of the current viral emergency.
•These rules are temporary and will last only until the COVID-19 emergency has been rescinded by the Governor.
ZB Library closed, but offers options
March 24, 2020 — The Zion-Benton Library is issuing temporary library cards to those without them so they can check out eBooks, learn a new language, or read favorite eMagazines!
Apply now! Visit zblibrary.info for more information. This card will enable usage of the library’s online resources such as down-loadable and other resources.
Once the Library reopens, please go to the library at 2400 Gabriel Ave., Zion, with proof of address to extend your usage of the card.
The library is closed until further notice.
Resources for kids
Storyline Online is a FREE literacy resource where the world’s best storytellers read to children. Visit www.storylineonline.net to learn more.
Sheriff’s Office and ATF arrest convicted felon
March 24, 2020 — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Chicago Field Division concluded an undercover operation resulting in the arrest of Malcom J Brown, 31, of Chicago, a convicted felon, and documented street gang member, who sold cocaine and purchased firearms from undercover detectives/agents.
Brown was suspected of dealing drugs in numerous counties in northern Illinois, and sold undercover detectives over 60 grams of cocaine at a location in Lake County. On another occasion, he met undercover detectives at a location in Will County, where he sold over 65 grams of cocaine. Finally, on March 19, he sold over 75 grams of cocaine and purchased three firearms from an undercover ATF agent, again in Will County.
He was arrested at that time and was found to be in possession of an additional nearly 140 grams of cocaine. Since Brown committed crimes in more than one county, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office agreed to lead the prosecution. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office approved the following charges:
Three Counts of Class X Felony Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute; six counts of Class 2 Felony Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon; and Class X Felony Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun by a Felon. Additionally, as he was on parole, the Illinois Department of Corrections issued a parole violation warrant for Brown.
Following an initial court hearing in Will County, Brown’s bond was set at $1,000,000. He is next due in Will County Court on April 2. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office will be co-prosecuting the case with the Attorney General’s Office.
Sheriff John Idleburg said, “This is what our Special Investigations Group is all about, collaborating with other local, regional, and federal law-enforcement to keep drugs off our streets and firearms out of the hands of dangerous felons. Kudos to all of our first-responders who continue to work, keeping the community safe amid the Coronavirus pandemic.”
All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Zion Police Department made arrest in a fatal hit and run accident
March 24, 2020 — Zion Police Officers had been called to the 2200 Block of Elisha Avenue on Saturday, Dec, 7 for a report of a personal injury crash Investigation revealed that Kevin Lancaster, 17, of Zion, allegedly, while driving a stolen vehicle, struck Nancy Ezell, 63, of Zion, causing serious and traumatic injuries to her. She was removed from life support and died on Dec. 13. Lancaster fled the area and abandoned the stolen vehicle several blocks from the scene.
Officers and detectives conducted interviews and gathered large amounts of physical evidence, and on March 21, North Chicago Officers arrested Kevin Lancaster on a warrant for leaving the scene of an accident (Class 1 felony) and reckless homicide (Class 3 felony).
Bond has been set at $500,000. Zion Police Detectives, working with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, had obtained an arrest warrant for Lancaster, a juvenile, charging him as an adult in this case.
Police need information on aggravated battery
March 24, 2020 — Zion Police Officers responded to a report of shots fired at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23, in the 2100 Block of Gideon Avenue. Early reports indicated five or six gunshots heard.
Officers later located two victims who had been struck by the gunfire, one adult female and one juvenile male. The adult female suffered a single gunshot wound to the arm and the juvenile suffered a single graze wound to the head.
Both victims were transported by the Zion Fire Department and treated at the Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Fortunately, doctors at Condell Medical Center classified both injuries as minor.
Detectives believe there is no threat to the general public and that this was a targeted attack over an ongoing dispute.
Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Zion Police Department, Det. Richards at 847-872-8000 or the Lake County Crime Stoppers at 847-662-2222.
The Zion Police department continues to investigate this case.