Archive for the ‘Richmond’
CHARGES FILED IN CONNECTION WITH FBI SHOOTING INCIDENT
Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced the filing of charges against two individuals involved in an incident that led to the fatal shooting of a third individual.
AARON RUSSELL, 40, of 9200 Hunter Drive, Orland Hills, IL, and ROBERTO FAVELA, 34, of 5547 South California Avenue, Chicago, were charged in a criminal complaint filed late yesterday in US District Court in Rockford with one count of Attempted Bank Robbery, a felony offense.
According to the complaint, FBI Special Agents have been investigating Russell and others in connection with a number of armed robberies of Chicago area jewelry stores as well as the armed robbery of a bank that occurred February 2, 2013, in Poplar Grove, IL.
The complaint alleges that yesterday morning law enforcement observed Favela driving a Chevy Tahoe and TONY STARNES, 45, of 7836 South Marquette Avenue, Chicago, driving a Honda Civic that had been reported stolen to Chicago Police Department late last year.
A license plate observed on the Honda Civic had also been reported stolen.
The complaint states that the two vehicles were seen traveling from the Chicago area to a location just across the Illinois-Wisconsin border.
At that location, Russell was seen getting out of the Tahoe driven by Favela and getting into the back seat of the Honda Civic driven by Starnes.
The two vehicles were then seen driving to Richmond, Illinois, and ultimately to a parking lot in front of the Associated Bank at 10910 North Main Street in Richmond, Illinois.
The complaint alleges that shortly after the Honda Civic pulled into the parking lot, it was surrounded by Special Agents who identified themselves as law enforcement.
The complaint further alleges that the Honda Civic then rammed an Agent’s vehicle, and that law enforcement then shot and killed the driver, Starnes.
Russell, allegedly wearing gloves and a face mask around his neck, was removed from the back seat of the Honda Civic and taken into custody.
Favela, who was still in the driver’s seat of the Tahoe in another area of the parking lot, was arrested by law enforcement at the same time.
Both men appeared this morning before US Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason, at which time they were formally charged and ordered held pending their next court appearance, scheduled to take place next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in US District Court in Rockford.
In announcing the charges today, Mr. Nelson acknowledged the many law enforcement partners who lent resources and provided invaluable assistance during the course of the investigation and especially following yesterday’s events.
He thanked the Chicago, Richmond and Spring Grove (Illinois) Police Departments, the Richmond Fire Department and the McHenry County, Will County and Boone County Sheriff’s Offices.
If convicted of the charges filed against them, Russell and Favela each face a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt, and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On Sunday, March 17th, the Sunday Chicago Tribune features Richmond-raised Andy Turco, an oil-field worker in North Dakota.
Why is he there?
Inadequate job opportunities in McHenry and nearby counties.
The story tells of his having dropped out of Richmond-Burton High School, then trying to support himself staining decks and plowing snow.
A buddy in North Dakota told him of employment opportunities in the fracking fields.
Less than 1% unemployment. Illinois is 9.5%.
Now, he is working his head off (90 hours a week) on a drilling rig, the article by Ted Gregory says. Almost $100,000 a year.
He has broken out of what he calls “a teenage dropouot lifestyle.”
Illinois is now considering allowing fracking in Southern Illinois.
Richmond guys might someday get a job in Illinois.
And it is unlikely that the cost of living would be as high in Southern Illinois as it is in Williston, N.D., the center of the fracking boom.
But Democrats are determined to make sure all the job holders pay union dues.
Turco is not the only local resident who has left Illinois to find a job.
The article also mentions Ian Hernandez, his roommate.
Libetyville, North Aurora and Naperville young people have also deserted Illinois for the fracking fields.
The young woman from Libertyville found a teaching job in less than a week.
And, it’s not just people moving to North Dakota.
Talk a look at United Van Lines experience in Illinois.
= = = = =
Thanks to the Illinois Policy Institute’s Diana Rickert for pointing me to the United Van Lines information.
The following was received from Richmond Village Clerk Karla L Thomas in reply to McHenry County Blog’s Freedom of Information Request for information about the Village of Richmond’s Police Pension Fund:
“The Village of Richmond’s population does not require us to fund the Police Pension Fund separately.
“All eligible municipal employees are covered by IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund).”
I found the following information on the Chicago Tribune’s Real Estate page on the internet.
It has an interative map of McHenry County (and all other parts of the six-county Chicago metropolitan area) that tells what has happened to real estate values in municipalies with enough sales from which to pull statistics.
In McHenry County, I was surprised that homes in my village of Lakewood (a suburb of Crystal Lake) have held their value better than anywhere else.
- Lakewood: +17.65% with current median value at $353,250. (Our home is a bit below average.)
- Crystal Lake: -32.98% with median value at $157,500
- Huntley: -39.59%, median at $193,000
- Lake in the Hill: -34.08%, median at $147,000
- Algonquin: -25%, median at $147,000
- Cary: -39.77%, median at $156,000
- Fox River Grove: -42.609%, median at $154,750
- Oakwood Hills: -18&%, median at $164,000
- Island Lake: -30.06, median at $114,000
- Holiday Hills: -100%, but median given at $0, so obviously there is a glitch in the data
- Woodstock: -42.14$, median at $136,000
- McHenry: -31%, median $138,000
- Lakemoor: -29.37%, median $117,250
- Johnsburg: -48.38, median $175,000
- Wonder Lake: -27.13%, median $119,500
- Ringwood: -19,2%, median $201,000
- Richmond: -36.45%, median $197,000
- Spring Grove: -33.52, median $232,500
- Marengo: -42.65%, median $117,000
- Union: -1.59%, median $310,000 (something seems a bit wonky with the median average number)
- Harvard: -50.5%, median $99,000
- Hebron: -31.03%, median $130,000
Other communities have no information.
A press release from the McHenry County Department of Transportation:
Hill Road Bridge Closed Beginning January 31, 2012
WOODSTOCK, IL – The McHenry County Division of Transportation (MCDOT) will close the Hill Road Bridge over North Branch Nippersink Creek just east of the Village of Richmond in Richmond Township.
The closure is due to a loss of structural integrity of several bridge deck beams and significant pile deterioration. Local residents are advised to use US 12/ IL 31 south to US 12 the east to North Solon Road then north as the recommended detour.
The McHenry County Division of Transportation is currently in Phase II design working towards the actual bridge replacement. The duration of the closure is indefinite at this point in time; however, the bridge has been programmed for replacement in the McHenry County Division of Transportation’s Five Year Highway Improvement Program.
Inspections are accomplished on a routine basis and intermittently on all County Highway bridges throughout McHenry County. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) sets the inspection interval. The MCDOT is responsible for overseeing these inspections and reporting them to the IDOT District 1.
The Hill Road Bridge is located east of Richmond village limits east of the public library. Hill Road has its western terminus at US 12/IL 31 and its eastern terminus at North Solon Road.
The Sunday Chicago Tribune last week had a data base of Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s contributors.
Just for fun, I thought I’d look up those from zip codes covering parts of McHenry County.
Here’s what I found. They are in order of zip code with contributions within each in descending order. Barrington, which has the most, but only a part of Barrington Hills and Barrington Shores in McHenry County is first.
Cary is next, with two people donating. Danny Warner and Donny Fitzgerald are listed.
Crystal Lake has one contributor, John Major.
Because Lakewood Village Board members decided to require residents to pay off the last year of the golf course purchased the year before the Property Tax Cap went into effect, Lakewood has the highest percentage tax rate increase of any municipality located in whole or part in McHenry County.
Right behind Lakewood was Port Barrington, another small town that used to be called Fox River Valley Gardens. Its tax rate is a mere 25 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, while LaLakewood’s is $1.15.
Other double digit increases were seen by
- Harvard – 14.8%
- Huntley – 14.6%
- Barrington Hills – 14.3%
- Lake in the Hills – 13.4%
- Marengo – 11.4%
- Lakemoor – 10%
Only one municipality, Richmond managed a 1.3% cut in its tax rate.
Now, the big question.
Why did the rates increase?
You may remember the salad days when assessed valuation, a proxy for property values, increased more than the Consumer Price Index, which governs the amount of extra money that a tax district can get.
When real estate inflation exceeded the CPA, tax rates were forced down.
The result is that most, if not all, tax districts with statutory tax rates are well below those levels.
That means if the real estate assessment base increases less than the rate of general inflation or–as it the case now–it actually decreases, tax districts can still get what they got last year, plus whatever the CPI went up.
They do that just by asking for the money from the McHenry County Clerk’s Office where the tax rates are determined.
As long as that maximum amount can be obtained by multiplying a tax rate less than the statutory maximum times the assessed valuation equalized by the Illinois Department of Revenue, the tax district gets that amount.
The tax districts do not have to act like families and businesses yet.
They don’t have to cut back.
As has been noted on McHenry County Blog, public officials in at least Grafton Township, Huntley School District 158 and McHenry Grade School District 15 tried to get fellow board members not to ask for an increase.
One further observation.
You may be tempted to compare tax rates for different cities or villages.
For example, you could compare Crystal Lake to Woodstock.
The problem with that is that Crystal Lake’s rate includes fire protection and the city library, while Woodstock has additional tax rates for its fire protection and library districts. Conversely, Woodstock pays for its park system with city taxes, while Crystal Lake residents have a separate park district.
There are problems like this all over the place.
In each of the three instances, the prospective tax cutters lost to the tax hikers.
In one case a school board member was told he just didn’t know enough about school finance, that the district would “lose” millions of dollars if the maximum were not taken this year.
In the case of Grafton Township, the Trustees pointed out that it was just pennies per household, that no one would notice.
No elections until next year and the real taxing districts–the schools have no elections until 2013, but now is as good a time as any to suggest that those who are willing to wave a sign on Route 14, Randall Road or Route 62, need to think about doing some heavy lifting by running for office.
With the low turnouts at elections held on the odd-numbered years, anyone can win…if they start writing down the names, phone numbers and emails of acquaintances who agree with them on spending and tax issues.
If those so inclined do not do that, rest assured the candidates backed by the teacher unions will win every school board, as they probably did this year everywhere but McHenry.
The only way to know for sure, of course, would be for people in the various IEA and IFT locals to share endorsements–formal or informal–for school board.
Lacking that, just assume the vast majority of the winners for school board were backed by the employees of each school district.
You can find school district tax rates here.
On a slow Memorial Day Weekend, I thought you might be interested in the early May press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Milwaukee:
Five People Charged in $14 Million Mortgage Fraud
Acting United States Attorney Michelle L. Jacobs announced today that a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a twenty four count indictment charging five people with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.
- Paul J. Zaleski, 60, formerly of Richmond, Illinois;
- Michael Pembroke, 45, of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin;
- John F. Hochrek, Jr., 48, of Spring Grove, Illinois;
- Patricia Lynn Kay, 47, of Kenosha, Wisconsin; and
- Robert Farrell, 29, formerly of Richmond, Illinois.
According to the indictment Zaleski, is alleged to be the leader and organizer of the scheme. He is charged with 17 counts of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and five counts of money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956 and 1957.
Pembroke and Kay are each charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Hochrek is charged with seven counts of wire fraud, and Farrell, with six counts of wire fraud.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud offense and up to 30 years in prison for each money laundering offense.
The indictment alleges that Zaleski orchestrated the purchase of at least 40 real estate properties by straw buyers who were led to believe that they were acting as members of an investment group.
In order to secure mortgage loans, Zaleski and Farrell, working as loan originators at First Security Financial Services in Kenosha, Wisconsin, prepared fraudulent loan applications in the names of the buyers.
The applications contained, among other false representations, inflated appraisals, some of which were prepared by Hochrek.
The purpose of the scheme was to funnel mortgage funds to Silver Creek Investments, Northpointe Development and Lakeside Property Management, all shell companies that were controlled by Zaleski, Pembroke and Kay.
The indictment also alleges that fraudulently obtained funds were subsequently laundered in transactions that involved the inducement of straw buyers and the purchase of additional properties.
Over the course of a two year period, numerous mortgage lenders advanced more than $14 million in fraudulently procured funds, at least $2 million of which was deposited into accounts for the shell companies. The loans subsequently went into default and foreclosure.
An initial appearance for Pembroke, Hochrek and Kay has been scheduled for May 14, 2009 before Judge William E. Callahan, Jr. Zaleski and Farrell have been arrested in California and are awaiting return to Wisconsin.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol L. Kraft.
According to Acting United States Attorney Michelle Jacobs “this case, and others like it, have serious ramifications not only for the defrauded lenders but also for the residents of the neighborhood where the properties are located. This demonstrates the commitment we all share to protect consumers from fraud and help to ensure the integrity of the mortgage market and other credit markets”. She also commended the work of the law enforcement agencies involved in this lengthy investigation.
It should be noted that an indictment is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute inference of his or her guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
3-7 this Wednesday, April 28, 2010, afternoon at Memorial Hall, 10308 Main St Richmond, the plan will be presented to the public. No formal presentation, but I would imagine that engineers will be present to answer questions.
Here are the options being presented, according to information on the web site:
The seven corridors were analyzed and compared based on their constraints and impacts on the Village. The following is a brief explanation of constraints for each corridor.
Keystone Corridor. The Keystone Corridor uses portions of the existing Keystone Road and has relatively few significant environmental impacts. However, it is relatively costly due to its length and rights-of-way (ROW) acquisition. It will take the greatest amount of agricultural land out of production and affect numerous farms. A significant flaw is the additional travel distance relative to other bypass options. The northern extension of Keystone terminates in the center of Genoa City, Wisconsin, essentially forcing the alignment to swing back east and use of a portion of the FAP 420 alignment. If constructed on the same alignment as Keystone Road, it would remove Keystone, an important north-south road, from the local transportation network.
FAP 420 Corridor. The FAP 420 Corridor utilizes a significant portion of the right-of-way corridor purchased by the Illinois Department of Transportation in the 1960’s for a highway. The FAP 420 Corridor has relatively few impacts on the environment or existing homes and businesses except wetlands at the northern end. Because most of the right-of-way is owned by IDOT, the land has been preserved from development. In addition, it is the least costly bypass option to develop.
Solon Mills Corridor. The Solon Mills Corridor diverts traffic from US 12 well before Richmond is reached, thereby functioning well as a bypass. However, it will likely remove desirable tourism traffic for downtown Richmond. It has significant topographic and environmental barriers and requires the removal of several homes and businesses. It is a long corridor that requires numerous structures, including two crossings of the Nippersink Creek.
Railroad Corridor. The Railroad Corridor creates a bypass parallel to an existing railroad corridor before connecting to the FAP 420 ROW. This is the shortest corridor and potentially affects few homes and businesses. Negative environmental impacts include unstable soils and relatively steep, forested slopes. The southern terminus is affected by wetlands and floodzones, as well as business impacts.
Couplet Corridor. The Couplet Corridor proposes a new one-way parallel road for northbound US 12 traffic around the downtown and uses existing US 12 for southbound traffic. However, because of existing constraints, it would not remove traffic from the two key intersections that experience the most significant traffic delays. It would require significant amounts of housing removal and conversion of a portion of the Hunter Country Club.
Near East Corridor. The Near East Bypass Corridor is east of downtown Richmond and designed to avoid existing and planned developments. It has significant negative environmental impacts, with numerous segments located in wetlands and floodzones. It does not connect efficiently with US 12 in Wisconsin, which reduces its regional transportation effectiveness.
Far East Corridor. The Far East Bypass Corridor is an alignment between Solon Mills and the intersection of US 12 in Wisconsin with a southern leg to IL 31. The corridor is very long, costly, and does not connect well to US 12 in Wisconsin. It has significant negative environmental impacts near Elizabeth Lake.
No-Build Option. The “No-Build” option does not address the current capacity deficiencies of US 12. Delays would only increase with the increase in local population and increased use and demand for regional travel.
The recommendations by “stakeholders” follow:
The seven aforementioned bypass options were presented to the project stakeholders and the public during the Public Involvement process. Based on their feedback, two preferred corridors emerged:
- the FAP 420 Corridor and
- the Railroad Corridor.
Although both corridors meet the aforementioned goals of the study, the FAP 420 was preferred for several reasons:
- It is the clear preference of the public based on voting at public meetings.
- It has fewer environmental impacts than the Railroad Corridor.
- It does not place as many limitations on TOD development around the future Metra station.
- It requires less property acquisition; it impacts fewer property owners.
- It does not pose a barrier to north-south movements in the planned Tamarack development.
At its northern terminus, the bypass connects to US 12 in Wisconsin, which is a four-lane divided freeway with limited access.
The southern terminus of the proposed FAP 420 bypass is US 12 south of Richmond.
The recommended bypass design should provide continuity of design to the existing roads and provide a transition from the higher speed roadway to the lower speed roadway.
Therefore, a combination of design standards and a transition area should be applied to the new bypass design.
In the north, beginning at US 12 in Wisconsin, a freeway or a four-lane divided facility is the applicable design standard.
Applicable intersection types are interchanges, with interchange locations recommended at Old US 12 and IL 173.
At or near Nippersink Creek, the bypass should begin to transition from a four-lane freeway to a parkway.
A parkway was selected as the preferred design standard of the public and technical advisory group during public meetings. A parkway provides essentially the same traffic capacity as a freeway, and both freeways and parkways limit access to maintain traffic flows. Parkways, however, are considered more environmentally sensitive and use context sensitive design elements.
In addition, parkways use significant amounts of native landscaping and limit signage to maintain natural vistas.
At the southern terminus, the roadway transitions from a parkway into the existing arterial configuration of US 12 and IL 31.
Several interchange or intersection options could be applicable at this location, including a roundabout. A roundabout could provide smooth traffic flow and a key Gateway opportunity to bring visitors into the Village. However, a roundabout must be proven effective with an intersection design study before it can be implemented.
The project will not be cheap. $81 million for FAP 420 and $98 million for the route paralleling the railroad.
Scanning the report, I didn’t see a source of financing or a time line for construction.