Jack Franks Did Nothing Sneaky re Valley Hi Nursing Home

The Daily Herald ran an article today on Tuesday’s McHenry County Board meeting.

That was the meeting where Board Chairman’s secret move to get proposals from agents abouit leasing the Valley Hi Nursing Home got reversed.

‘”Isn’t that special?”

[See “Jack Franks Backs Down on Leasing, Perhaps Privatizing Valley Hi“]
Franks’ normal allies, including the only Democrat, Paula Yesen, did not rise to his defense.

Two Franks’ quotes in the article say,

  • “Education is key here,”
  • “As long as we’re having a discussion on the future of Valley Hi, that’s the most important issue.”

But Franks didn’t care to share what he was doing before he did it.

And Craig Wilcox, Chuck Wheeler and Jeff Thorsen called Franks out on his actions.

Joe Walsh Speaking at Craig Wilcox McHenry VFW Fundraiser Tonight

An email entered my computer saying the following:

Former Congressman Joe Walsh, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host will be speaking Thursday, September 21st, at a campaign kick-off dinner for one of his endorsed candidates, Colonel Craig Wilcox.

Craig is running for Illinois State Senate District 32.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

All are welcome.

Coincidentally, McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady has an article in the Northwest Herald today announcing her candidacy for the same State Senate seat. (I have asked for her press release.)

Two Dems Launch Attorney General Campaigns

Two Democrats have announced that they would seek the Democratic Party nomination for Illinois Attorney General, but one of them is not McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks.

The first out of the box was State Rep. Scott Drury.

Drury is the Democrat that made bold moves in the Illinois House that Jack Franks followed.

Drury is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with the guts to vote against Mike Madigan for House Speaker.

For inexplicable reasons he was running for the Democratic Party nomination for Governor before Lisa Madigan announced that she was not running for a fifth term.

Drury says Lisa Madigan has done a good job on the civil side, but not on the criminal side of the office.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul was the second to announce.

He was an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney before taking Barack Obama’s State Senate seat in 2004.

Raoul also gave credit to Madigan for her civil law activity and said he would do more on the criminal side.

The Republican candidate is Harvard Law School graduate Erika Harold.

Chuck Wheeler Asks for Equal Treatment for Republicans

Under member comments at Tuesday’s McHenry County Board meeting, McHenry’s Chuck Wheeler said the following:

Thank you Chairman Franks.

Chuck Wheeler

A few weeks our governor signed and placed into law the Trust Act.This bill is one of those things that was hastily drafted and riddled with “unintended consequences” Not only was it a bad idea but our sheriff’s office budgets over $8.2 million annually to the feds for holding federal detainees.

I believe our Sheriff Bill Prim and States Attorney; Patrick Kenneally should be commended for challenging this law and as the County Board I think we should draft a resolution in support of their actions along with supporting resolutions co-sponsored by our State Reps David McSweeney & Allen Skilkorn repeal laws of the Trust Act.

I would urge our citizens to call the governor to work on a compromise so that we will not have to raise taxes.

Our budget will be impacted negatively, and the citizens of McHenry County need to be sure that criminals are not out in our streets when they belong behind bars.

I would respectfully request that Law & Justice take up the matter and offer our officials support.

After all, Federal law trumps State law when there is a conflict.

Jesse White speaking to the McHenry County Board.

I would like to thank the chairman for inviting our Secretary of State to discuss with us the importance of us working together.

I think that that is important both across the aisle and within this aisle.

I feel that while we don’t have to agree with each other all the time but we can refrain from name calling and treat each other with respect and dignity.

I would also like to add that we are a public body beginning in an election cycle and in fairness we should extend the invitation to the other side to address the same topic in the near future.

Fair Is fair.

Thank you Mr. Chairman!

Susan Handelsman Provides Cost-Benefit Info on Clay Academy D200 Did Not

Susan Handelsman, who has been bird-dogging Woodstock School District 200 for several years is presenting the following information on Clay Academy to make sure it is on the public record.

Public Comment to the Woodstock School Board

Clay Academy

Facility review committee was given incomplete information about the costs of running Clay Academy. Clay building has operating capacity for 300 students.

It currently hosts enrollment of 70, and only 11 (or 16%) of those students are from our own D200 taxing district.

The tuition these other 59 students pay does not begin to cover the cost of their enrollment.

D200 Taxpayers must pay for all additional costs to educate out-of-district students.

Rather than debating the Clintonesque interpretation of the word ‘operates’ in the Superintendent’s assertion that Clay ‘operates’ at a breakeven, let’s attempt to quantify all the costs to D200 taxpayers which were NOT included in the equation underlying that ‘operational’ breakeven assertion:

  1. Costs of the building.

Unless Clay classes are held in public parks and alleys, the costs of keeping Clay building compliant with life&safety standards must be factored in to the costs of maintaining a discount rate tuition-based school for other districts’ taxpayers’ benefit.

There is over $2 million demanded in improvements for the next ten years for Clay building, and the $10.5 million Life&Safety bond issued in 2010 described in large part Clay building projects as needed basis of debt.

We can assume a minimum of $200,000 per year just to keep old, according to administration zero value real estate, up to code.

  1. Costs of Exterior Maintenance.

Figures distributed to FRC included $2 million annual budget for exterior maintenance.

There are 12 school buildings.

Assuming the two high schools cost half the total exterior maintenance budget ($1/2million each), splitting the remaining $1 million over the remaining 10 schools allocates $100,000 per year exterior maintenance budget to Clay building.

  1. Costs of liability (insurance).

Tort fund taxes $700,000 per year. Some portion can be attributed to Clay. On a straight percentage of enrollment basis, that is 1% or $7000 per year.

  1. Use of District Resources.

Does Clay operate as an island without any use of D200 IT workforce, or software, or hardware, or infrastructure? Does Clay command any portion of the work-time of the District-wide Special Ed Administrators employed at D200 taxpayer expense? What about Superintendent and Financial managers of the District? What about Clay building share of the hundreds of thousands of tax dollars in consultant fees paid for mandatory building inspections and other consultations?

Conservative estimates indicate minimum $100,000 per year of annual workforce time value/ assets and resource value attributable to Clay.

(It is tempting to say it is ‘free’ because it is ‘surplus capacity’ (time, resources, etc’).

That is false logic. Start deleting those time/resource allocations and see whether D200 could eliminate even just 1 FTE…that would equate to $100,000 present value annual taxpayer dollars right there.

OR, answer this: what OTHER uses of these resources which might benefit in-district student are being neglected because those resources are given away for free to Out-Of-District –Discount-Tuition-Students?).


Even before the 2017 Illinois Law was passed which shifts all pension burdens to local taxpayers, D200 was assuming the first priority guarantor liability of OPEB: which stands for Other Post Employment Benefits. Right now, D200 taxpayers pay about half a million dollar$$ a year for OPEB.  That is a cost in part to pay for $6600 per year health insurance premiums every year from when a TRS employee retires at age 53 until they turn age 65. The current premium rate is determined by State agency which has posted a 5% increase per year for near future years.

How much of that $500,000 per year is attributable to some of the 35-40 Clay Academy employees? How will that $500,000 grow in the future?

But OPEB is peanuts compared to PENSION LIABILITY and ACTUARIALLY DETERMINED UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY which has now been shifted from being an ILLINOIS STATE TAX liability to being a local property tax liability.

38% of salary is now local taxpayer responsibility, which is in addition to current local taxpayer responsibility to contribute 8% OUT OF THE 9% STATE REQUIRED EMPLOYEE PENSION CONTRIBUTION.



AND, THEY ONLY PAY 10% OF insurance premiums, and Zero% after they retire at age 53.

Illinois now has the right to demand that at any time in the future the actuarial defined unfunded liability of the pension fund exceeds 90% of funded value, the difference will be demanded from local taxpayers.

Let that sink in. IF the stock market ever crashes again, OR the pension managers make bad bets or even if the pension managers engage in fraud…LOCAL TAXPAYERS MUST BAIL THEM OUT.

How can we determine the quantifiable value of this encumbrance?

Clay has 35-40 employees for 11 in-District enrollment. Would Clay need this many employees if 59 of other Districts’ taxpayers’ students  were NOT HERE?

Let’s assume that 11/70= 15.7%= the proportion of Clay TRS employees to whom local taxpayers would be obligated to pay OPEB and constitutionally guaranteed pension benefit entitlements.

Are half of Clay employees TRS entitled?

35/2 X .16 = 2.8

That is, ordinarily D200 taxpayers would be on the hook to guarantee, with their homes as collateral, 2.8 TRS employees’ pension benefit entitlements for our 11 students?

That leaves 14.7 employees for whom the taxpayers of D200 are being required to guarantee pension contributions AND to guarantee that when the stock market crashes or poor judgment or fraud by pension fund managers occurs in the future, our home value should serve as collateral to guarantee these pension and benefit entitlements for benefit of teachers teaching other districts’ children .

Let’s assume that the guarantee of multimillion dollar present-value benefits for which State of Illinois used to pay 38% of salary, AND OPEB which was always locally guaranteed,  are valued at payment of $10,000 per year per employee.

That indicates a total $147000 per year contribution obligation for D200 taxpayers.


$554,000 per year tax burden solely on D200 taxpayers, THE FIRST YEAR. (amortized over 11 D200 students).

That is, $50,000 per in district Clay Student is the additional cost charged to D200 taxpayers in order to run Clay Academy as a discount tuition choice for other districts taxpayers.

Look at this another way:

if another District offered D200 the choice to send its own 11 students to that school for a net cost of $16,000 per each student per year, WOULD YOU ON THE SCHOOL BOARD OBJECT? That is what Clay is offering to the 59 out-of-district students enrolled, at a cost of at minimum $300,000 per year to your community, rising annually in excess of rates of inflation and limitless in terms of future liability.

Contracts, as you know, contain inflationary escalation, so the costs next year will be 4-5% higher (=$576,160…the next year, $599206).

So whatever the cost per each of  11 D200 students Superintendant Moan asserted, add $554,000 divided by 11 students, which is over $50,000 per D200 student.

Now you school board members know the magnitude of the taxpayer liability which YOU are responsible for inflicting on local taxpayers in order to maintain a discount alternative for other wealthier districts’ tuition students, if you choose to ignore it.

This Board should actively, not passively, decide whether it is a good forced allocation of D200 taxpayers’ limited Special Ed Funding to subsidize other district’s students when so many good alternatives exist

Here are alternatives which should be discussed by this Board:

  1. Give Clay building to Allendale School, which is one of many Clay competitors.

(D200 has listed a great many schools which offer special education services in your FRC report online.  Time for School Board Members who sought election to responsibly oversee a $100,000,000+ budget to do some research on cost efficiencies being willfully overlooked).

Allendale could takeover Clay Academy operations intact.

  1. A parents group may form a charter school operation to take over operating Clay Academy.
  2. Send 11 D200 students to Allendale, or to SEDOM. The tuition minus State reimbursements total a big savings for D200 taxpayers.

(Compare the total costs to the other districts’ taxpayers sending their children to Clay, at a net cost to those taxpayers of about $16,000 per student. If those 59 students were absorbed by Allendale or SEDOM, they may lower the overall tuition costs for all students there.)

17-Year Old Harvard Teen Arrested at High School for Strangling 17-Year Old Family Member

From the Harvard Police Department:


On Wednesday 09-20-2017 at about 1014 hrs, Police responded to the Harvard High School for a report of adomestic battery that happened in the 900 block of N. Jefferson earlier in the day.

Upon investigation a Harvard youth (m-17 yoa) was arrested for

  • aggravated domestic battery (strangulation)
  • domestic battery
  • unlawful restraint against a family or household member (f/17 yoa)

The Youth was processed and detained at the Kane county Juvenile Detention Center.

Nurses Get More Practice Authority

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Gov. Rauner expands registered nursing practice authority

Legislation will increase access to healthcare for Illinoisans and empower nurses

Centegra’s McHenry Hospital

DOWNERS GROVE (Sept. 20, 2017) – Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed HB 313, which will grant greater authority to registered and licensed nurses in administering health services and lift burdensome licensing regulations.

“This will empower nurses to administer the services that they are fully equipped and educated to perform,” said Gov. Rauner.

“I’m happy that Illinoisans across the state will be able to rely more on highly qualified and skilled nurses to deliver care when access to a physician may be inhibited due to costs or geographic barriers.”

After the successful completion and notarized attestation of 250 hours of continuing education or training, and at least 4000 hours of clinical experience working with a physician or in a hospital, advance practice registered nurses would qualify for full practice authority. For example, APRNs will now have ability to prescribe certain controlled medications. The expansion of nursing practice authority aligns Illinois with the policies of 25 other states. Furthermore, the overall modernization of this law will increase regulatory efficiency and decrease licensing processing times.

“These men and women have completed extensive training and are already performing lifesaving services for Illinoisans,” Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “It is only fair that they should be granted full authority over their practice.”

“Extending full practice authority to advanced practice nurses is a commonsense approach to address the growing shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas,” Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said. “This legislation includes safeguards to protect patients and ensures that advanced practice nurses have extensive clinical experience before they are given full practice authority. With this new law, Illinois joins over 20 states that have already granted full practice authority to advanced practice nurses.”

Illinois has many outstanding nursing education programs, and HB 313 will allow nurses to more fully utilize their educations to the benefit of all Illinois residents.

HB 313 received wide support from the healthcare community, nursing associations, and legislators.

Jenner & Block Pulls Out of Illegal Alien McHenry County Jail Domestic Battery Case

Niceforo Macedo-Hernandez from 2017.

On Monday, the powerhouse firm of Jenner & Block filed a motion withdrawing its representation of Niceforo Macedo-Hernandez, believed by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and ICE to be an illegal alien.

The firm filed a 93-page brief Friday, September 8, 2017, in defense of the Crystal Lake resident, who was arrested for domestic battery.

The likelihood of this being a test case for the recently-signed TRUST Act has now greatly diminished.

During the Public Comment period of the Tuesday night County Board meeting, several people spoke in opposition to the way that Sheriff Bill Prim had handled the domestic battery case of Niceforo Macedo-Hernandez.

Carlos Acosta

One was Democratic Party official and District 5 County Board candidate Carlos LaCosta.

During the recess when a motion about the Valley Hi Nursing Home was being worked out, I asked Acosta for his reaction to Jenner & Block’s having withdrawn from the court battle.,

He said he was unaware of it.

“I think the criminal matter is still relevant,” he continued.

The issue of the Sheriff’s not following the law is still pertinent.

“I think Mrl Macedo-Herandez’ defense attorneys are still pursuing his release.

After the regular County Board meeting’s public business was completed, Sheriff Prim and representation from the State’s Attorney’s Office went into Executive Session to discuss the case.

The Jenner & Block withdrawal is below:

Jack Franks Backs Down on Leasing, Perhaps Privatizing Valley Hi

In a McHenry County Board meeting that could charitable be described as chaotic, Board members forced Chairman Jack Franks to back down from his effort to obtain Requests for Qualifications from potential Valley Hi Nursing Home leasing agents.

With the RFQs due Wednesday afternoon, the Board considered a resolution drafted by Craig Wilcox, the Board’s liaison to the Valley Hi Operating Board.

It would have set up a committee to evaluate the submissions.

Donna Kurtz

Out of the box, Donna Kurtz moved to amend the resolution to rescind the RFQ and refer a discussion of the future of Valley Hi to the Public Health and Community Service Committee, chaired by Chuck Wheeler.

What followed were impassioned arguments to leave Valley Hi as it is.

Mary McCann sought an amendment that would mandate the Public Health Committee to perform or contract for “an administrative assessment…to tell us where we are in the scheme of things.”

[Whether the 2016 WIPFLI consultant’s market analysis report supplied what she desired is unclear.  One can find articles on that report below:

McCann’s effort eventually died.
Mike Skala entered the debate by suggesting, as stated by Franks, that the Public Health Committee be allowed to evaluate the FRQs.

Kurtz accepted Skala’s suggestion as a friendly amendment, but, after it passed by a voice vote of something to three, members seemed to have no idea what they had just passed.

Franks stated that the staff would still evaluated the RFQ.

“Mr. Franks, that was not my intent of what I said,” Skala stated.

“If the committee as a committee decides to let the staff do with what they want to do,” he continued.

Veteran member John Hammerand entered the discussion for the first time saying, “I’ve listened for an hour and I’m not sure what we voted upon.”

Jim Kearns moved to re-consider the vote, which was seconded by Jeff Thorsen.

At that point one of the Edgar County Watchdogs shouted, “Who voted “mo?”

“Sit down,” Franks shouted.

“Sit down,” McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks yelled at one of the Edgar County Watchdogs who had previously said Franks had committed a criminal act.

“We are not going to turn this into a circus.”

“It already is” the same audience member replied loudly.

Donna Kurtz and Mike Skala work out the wording of their amendment to Craig Wilcox’ motion.

At that point a recess was called so that Kurtz and Skala could agree on the wording of the amendment to Wilcox’ resolution.

Language of the amendment worked out by Donna Kurtz and Mike Skala.

The amendment passed.

Wilcox then made a motion to rescind the Request for Qualifications.

Roll call on Craig Wilcox’ motion to rescind the Valley Hi leasing Request for Qualifications.

It passed 14-8, although the electronic tote board continued to malfunction because Mike Walkup’s vote was not recorded.

Wilcox now Kurtz-Skala-Wilcox amended resolution then passed 22-0.

So, what began as an effort by Jack Franks to perhaps privatize Valley Hi in a move about which no one on the County Board was consulted, ended with the RFQ killed and the issue of what, if anything to do with Valley Hi, given to the Public Health and Community Service Committee for consideration.

Public Commenter Carl Kamienski Chides Those Who Missed the First Two Special Meetings

Here’s what Johnsburg’s Carl Kamienski had to say to the McHenry County Board this evening:

I’d like to address the board and especially the 15 board members that failed to be at there appointed place of duty on 23rd of Aug 2017.

You all stepped forward and asked us for our support, and our vote, so you could represent us as board members.

As citizens and tax payers witch makes us your employer and you are the employees, you have a responsibility to be at, and on time ready for work, for all county government matters.

In the private sector failure to do so does result in pink slips or that your fired.

We citizens employers can’t do that with you all as easy as that, but we do have the say so at the ballet box next election.

As we go forward I hope you all have taken the necessary action to ensure that this will not happen again and that you will be at your appointed place of duty on time and working when the roll call is taken.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Law Tightened

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Gov. Rauner enacts civil asset forfeiture reform

Makes important changes to protect Illinois residents from unjust property forfeiture

CHICAGO (Sept. 19, 2017) – Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed HB303, bipartisan legislation aimed at reforming Illinois’ asset forfeiture system.

The reforms will increase transparency and shift burdens of proof to protect innocent citizens while maintaining the proper use of asset forfeiture as a tool for law enforcement. Gov. Rauner was joined by Illinois State Police (ISP) officials, ACLU members, legislators, and advocate organizations.

“Illinois residents should be protected from the unfair seizure of their private property,” Gov. Rauner said.

“This legislation will enact needed reforms to prevent abuse of the civil asset forfeiture process, while maintaining its importance as a critical tool for law enforcement to make our communities safer.”

When properly applied, asset forfeiture strikes at the economic foundation of criminal activity. The seizure of monetary assets has been utilized as an effective method to disrupt the business activities of drug trafficking organizations and bring down high-level drug distributors.

However, if asset forfeiture is misused, it can have major economic ramifications on Illinoisans who may be innocent of any wrongdoing. The forfeiture of cash, a vehicle, or even a home can also affect their family members and exacerbate financial insecurity.

This important piece of legislation will provide for greater public transparency in Asset Forfeiture proceedings through the collection and publicly accessible reporting of forfeiture data, as well as additional sanction authority for abuse and violations of forfeiture rules by the ISP.

HB 303 also shifts the burden of proving guilt to the government, and increases the burden of proof to mirror that of the federal government in forfeiture cases from probable cause to a preponderance of the evidence, a fair and equitable standard. It also makes a number of other changes such as eliminating restrictive bonding requirements and adjusting the threshold amounts of money subject to forfeiture as well as the levels of cannabis and controlled substance possession that can lead to forfeiture proceedings as a way to thoughtfully limit the use of this system to its intended purposes.

Funds received through the Asset Forfeiture Program support the costs of law enforcement overtime and wire intercepts for major investigations, training, intelligence centers, prevention programs and investigative equipment.

“I am glad Illinois has taken this dramatic step forward, especially while the federal government seems poised to go backwards on this issue,” said state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “It’s a simple concept – the government should have to prove that it has a right to take your property, not the other way around.”

“Asset forfeiture laws target the heart of much criminal activity – the financial gain. However, as with any law, we need to make sure it does not unduly burden those who may be innocent,” said state Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), a cosponsor of the law who served more than 32 years in law enforcement, 20 years as Lee County Sheriff. “House Bill 303 makes sure that the spirit of civil asset forfeiture is not abused.”

“We must strike the proper balance between targeting criminal enterprises and safeguarding the rights of innocent property owners,” said state Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville). “The Institute for Justice gave Illinois a D- for our current civil forfeiture laws. The law signed today seeks to improve the current system by providing increased protections for property owners and requiring greater accountability from law enforcement.”

“Civil asset forfeiture in Illinois and across this country is out of control—Americans lose more of their property each year to forfeiture than to burglary,” state Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) said. “This landmark bill gives Illinoisans some of the strongest protections against unjust forfeitures in the country, and it’s a crucial step in restoring faith between civilians and law enforcement.”

“Civil asset forfeiture reform is an important step to ensure the Constitutional rights of Illinoisans are being protected,” said state Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Rochelle). “This law protects property rights, reduces the chance for abuses of power, and defends the rights of the individual. I’m proud to support this bipartisan initiative.”

Ex-Huntley Man Indicted for Bankruptcy Fraud

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:


ROCKFORD — A former Huntley, Ill. man was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of bankruptcy fraud. TRACY L. SUNDERLAGE, 71, was charged with one count of making false statements in a bankruptcy case and one count of making false statements under oath in a bankruptcy proceeding.

As alleged in the indictment, Sunderlage filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Petition on Aug. 12, 2011, and on Aug. 30, 2011, Sunderlage filed various bankruptcy schedules and a Statement of Financial Affairs, both signed under penalty of perjury.

According to the indictment, Sunderlage made false statements on his Statement of Financial Affairs, concealing

  • fraudulent transfers of 100,000 shares Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Ltd. and approximately $63,242 and $109,493 to a relative,
  • his receipt of $241,000 of income from the sale of ownership interest in Gulf Keystone Petroleum,
  • his receipt of $25,000 of income from the sale of ownership interests in other companies,
  • his personal property interests in various financial accounts, and
  • his 2002 Jaguar vehicle.

It is further alleged in the indictment that on May 14, 2012, Sunderlage falsely testified under oath at a meeting of creditors, fraudulently concealing assets from the bankruptcy trustee, creditors, and the United States Trustee, including complete information on a transfer of $63,242 Sunderlage made to a relative.

Each charge in this case carries a maximum potential penalty of

  • up to 5 years in prison,
  • a term of supervised release of up to three years following imprisonment, and
  • a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross gain or gross loss resulting from that offense, whichever is greater.

If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The indictment was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; James Vanderberg, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Jeffrey A. Monhart, Director for the Chicago Region of the U.S. Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration; and Michael Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

State Rep. Barb Wheeler Endorses Tom Weber as Successor

A communication from State Rep. Barbara Wheeler:

Tom Weber for State Rep

Barb Wheeler

As I previously announced, I will not be seeking re-election to the Illinois House in 2018.

Instead, I encourage all of my supporters to support the candidacy of Tom Weber for State Rep.

I released the following press release today regarding the race for District 64 State Representative and I wanted to share it with you:

Tom Weber

CRYSTAL LAKE – State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) announced today that she has endorsed Lake County Board Member Tom Weber to replace her as State Representative in District 64 for the term beginning in January 2019.

“I am very proud to support the candidacy of Tom Weber for State Representative,” said Wheeler.

“Tom grew up in and has been a lifelong resident of Lake County where he has raised his family and made a huge impact as both a community member and public official.”

“Tom is a hard-working small business owner doing business in both Lake and McHenry counties since 1994, said Wheeler. “He also represents a significant portion of District 64 in his current position on the Lake County Board and as a result is keenly aware of many issues facing its residents.”

“Tom has been a fantastic leader and advocate for his constituents on the County Board. District 64 needs someone like him at this critical time for the State of Illinois,” said Wheeler. “I look forward to helping Tom become our next State Representative and I hope you’ll join me in this effort.”

Weber Said: “I consider it a high honor to have the endorsement of Rep. Wheeler. I am thankful for her confidence in me and look forward to earning the trust of the people.”

I will vigorously use my remaining time to serve the residents of District 64 in the next spring session and fight the anti-taxpayer agenda being pushed in Springfield. Thank you again for your continued support and kindness. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Althoff Business Incentive Bill Signed

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

EDGE tax credit overhaul gets Gov. Rauner’s signature

Bipartisan legislation an important tool for job growth in Illinois

CHICAGO (Sept. 18, 2017) – Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed legislation (HB162) that overhauls the EDGE Tax Credit Program and provides much-needed transparency and taxpayer protections.

“The EDGE Tax Credit Program overhaul is a bipartisan job creation program that is innovative and competitive for businesses,” Gov. Rauner said. “This legislation is another tool to use in our quest to bring high-quality and good-paying jobs to Illinois.  It is crucial for the future success of our state that we make Illinois a more business friendly environment through pro-growth measures.”

The EDGE tax credit program is a critical local economic development tool that incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state. The new law extends the program until June 30, 2022.

Among the key components in the EDGE tax credit overhaul is that incentives will encourage companies to expand or move to underserved areas in the state, and eligibility thresholds will be lowered to allow more small businesses to grow in Illinois. The overhaul also implements a Gov. Rauner transparency measure, requiring all EDGE agreements be posted within 10 days of the project being secured in Illinois.

“Thank you to Governor Rauner for signing HB 162 and renewing the EDGE Tax Credit Program,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. “This is a critical local economic development tool that incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state. We look forward to working together with companies – large and small—to move, expand and invest here in Illinois.”

“It’s important for us to have every tool available to attract and retain businesses in Illinois and ensure we can offer incentives that allow us to compete with neighboring states,” State Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said. “I represent an area that borders Wisconsin. The EDGE program is essential in helping border communities like mine stay competitive.”

Pam Althoff at a Fox Lake fundraiser.

“Businesses in Illinois have been able to take advantage of the EDGE program for years,” said State Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry).

“Wisconsin, which is just a stone’s throw away, frequently solicits employers in this region to move across the border.

“But because of the EDGE program, our businesses are staying, providing jobs for thousands of our residents.

“Extending the EDGE program is especially important in today’s Illinois economy as jobs are already leaving in record numbers.”

“Representing a district on the Illinois-Iowa border, I know how important it is to support policies that make Illinois competitive in attracting new job-creators, and keeping established businesses within our borders. By extending the EDGE program, we’re keeping a pipeline for Illinois jobs open,” said State Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia).

“Reforming and extending the EDGE tax credit is an important step toward growing new jobs in Illinois and I’m grateful Governor Rauner is signing HB162 today.​ I look forward to working with the Governor’s office and my colleagues on future efforts to stimulate economic growth for our citizens.” State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside), primary sponsor.

“This is about bringing good jobs to our communities. To compete with our neighboring states we absolutely must make Illinois a more attractive place to do business and renewing EDGE will help us do that,” said State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville).​

“Enacting these incentives makes Illinois significantly more competitive with neighboring states in attracting and retaining good-paying jobs for Illinois families,” said Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego). “This is the type of bipartisan achievement everyone can be proud of.”

“Working together on a bipartisan basis, we are now able to provide incentives that will enable job creators and entrepreneurs to flourish and expand opportunity for families all across Illinois,” said Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale). “Growing our economy and creating jobs must continue to be among the State’s top priorities.”​

Rabid Bat Found in Crystal Lake

A press release from the McHenry County Health Department:


Dead bat being held by McHenry County Animal Control Officer.

WOODSTOCK IL – A rabid bat was found outside a Crystal Lake home on September 11.

Test results for the bat, reported to McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) on Friday, September 15, confirmed that the bat was positive for rabies.

No human exposure was reported, although potential exposure to a dog who was outside when the bat was found is being taken into consideration.

Keeping pets (even those who stay indoors) up to date with vaccinations will not only keep them from getting rabies but also provide a barrier of protection for people if a rabid animal bites a pet.

Keely isn’t afraid of bsts. He remembers his successful fight agaist the McHenry County Republican Party Cat Tax ten years ago. He knew then it was just to pry more money out of those big people’s pockets which could otherwise have gone for treats.

If a bat is found, whether it is inside or outside your home, do not touch it directly.

The home owner in this instance handled the bat with a shovel and plastic bag, ensuring no direct contact.

If a bat is found in the home, contain the bat in a room by closing the door.

If you find a bat outside the home and think there has been exposure to a person or pet, or if the bat is injured, place an upside down bucket over the bat if it is possible.

In both cases, immediately call Animal Control (815-459-6222). In order to test bats for rabies, it is important the bat be in good condition (i.e. head is intact) – either alive or recently  deceased.

Only in cases of confirmed exposure are bats submitted for testing. Specimens in good condition that test negative for rabies eliminates the need for rabies treatment following human exposure.

Statewide, 46 rabid bats have been reported positive for rabies so far in 2017, with approximately 43 of those found in northeastern Illinois.

Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, only confirmed by
laboratory testing.

The best way to avoid rabies is to avoid exposure.

A bat that is active by day, found in a place where bats are not usually seen (such as in your home or on the lawn) or is unable to fly, is potentially rabid.

People should take a “hands off” approach to all wild animals to reduce their risk of exposure.

Children should also be educated to avoid handling wild animals. Bats are a protected species and part of the natural habitat.

If you have questions about exposure, call MCDH’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500.

To learn more about rabies prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

Lily Lake Accident Deaths Identified

Press releasse from McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski:

9-18-2017 Follow Up Lily Lake Road Crash @ 5:45PM

The driver of the vehicle involved in this single vehicle crash is identified to be Allan Javier Sanchez Gamez, 31, of Crystal Lake Illinois.

Autopsy today revealed that he died from blunt trauma of the head and chest.

The passenger who was ejected from the vehicle is identified to be Timoteo Guzman Mejia, age 33, also of Crystal Lake Illinois.

He died from blunt trauma to the head, chest and abdomen.

Toxicology testing is pending.

The crash remains under investigation by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police Accident Investigation Unit and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

Lily Lake Road Fatalities 9-17-17

McHenry County Coroner, Dr. Anne Majewski, announced this morning that her office is investigating the deaths of two males killed earlier this morning in unincorporated McHenry.

A 911 call was made at 11:48 pm last evening 9-16-17 for a single vehicle crash at 1402 Lily Lake Road in unincorporated McHenry, Illinois. McHenry Fire and Rescue and McHenry County Sheriff’s Police responded.

1402 Lily Lake Road, McHenry

Two males were found deceased, one having been ejected from the vehicle and a second requiring extrication from the vehicle.

Both were pronounced deceased at the scene at 00:05 am this morning. A third male was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Autopsies will be performed Monday afternoon in the Coroner’s Office.

Release of the names of the deceased is pending positive identification of the two males and notification of family members.

Crash details are best outlined by the MCCSP Accident Investigation Unit.

Eligibility for Child Care Raised to 185% of Poverty Level

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner, recently back from China:

Governor Rauner Broadens Access to Child Care Assistance Program

SPRINGFIELD (Sept. 18, 2017) – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced that the state’s Department of Human Services (IDHS) will broaden access to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The move fulfills an agreement made with the legislature in 2015 to raise the income eligibility criteria to 185% of the federal poverty level from 162%. It means 16,000 more children will receive child care each month, for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018.

Rauner included the funds to boost the levels in his proposed budget and stressed that the CCAP funding decision was made to ensure that parents can continue working without worrying about how their children will be cared for. “I am proud to stand with families who are working two or three jobs just to make a living,” he said. “Many of them are already struggling, and now they’re taking an even deeper cut in their income thanks to the 32% increase in income taxes the legislature passed in July.”

Even with the massive tax hike, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget estimates the state budget is at least $1.7 billion out of balance. Rauner is asking the legislature to work with him to identify additional spending reforms and bring the budget into balance.

Criteria for CCAP eligibility are determined through the administrative rule making process, which is overseen by the bipartisan, legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. IDHS plans to implement the new criteria through emergency rulemaking, ensuring more families can receive child care as quickly as possible. The Department will also continue working with the child care community to closely monitor the availability of funds and make adjustments, when necessary, to ensure the state is meeting the needs of families while still being fiscally responsible.

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Sheriff Reports on Fatal Lily Lake Road Crash

A press release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office:

Sheriff’s Office Investigates Fatal Traffic Crash

Two men were pronounced dead following a single vehicle traffic crashof a 2001 Ford Explorer in nincorporated Nunda Township.

The investigation indicates that at 11:48 p.m., on September 16th, a 2001 Ford Explorer was traveling southbound in the 1400 block of S. Lilly Lake Road when it ran off of the roadway and struck a tree.

The driver, a 29-year-old male, was entrapped in the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

Lily Lake Road, McHenry

The rear seat passenger, a 33-year-old male, was rjected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

The front seat passenger, a 23-year-old man was transported to Centegra Hospita lMcHenry for non-life-threatening injuries.

All occupants of the Ford , males  (33,  29 and ) were from Crystal Lake.

The front seat passenger and the driver had been wearing their seat belts.

The rear passenger had not been wearing his seat belt.

Airbags did deploy in the vehicle.

At this time the cause of the crash is undetermined.

The investigation is ongoing by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Traffic Crash Investigations Unit  and McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

Members of the McHenry Township Fire Protection District provided patient care.