Harvard Police Blotter

For those who think Harvard Police only arrest Hispanics, take a look at the defendants below:

DOMESTIC BATTERY

On 08-05-18 at 0322hrs, Clifford E. Powell (m-54yoa), 28 1⁄2 #2 N. Ayer St., Harvard was arrested on two counts of Domestic Battery after he allegedly grabbed and struck a household member causing injury. Powell was transported to the County jail in lieu of bond.

IN STATE WARRANT

On 08-08-18 at 1024hrs, Trina M. Bruhnsen (f-41yoa), 69 1⁄2 N. Ayer St, Harvard was arrested on a warrant for Retail Theft after Police had contact with her for a rescue call. Bruhnsen was not able to post the $150.00 for bond and transported to the County jail.

IN STATE WARRANT

On 08-09-18 at 0156hrs, Brian H. Martin (m-45yoa), 10410 Fair Ln, Huntley, IL, was arrested on a warrant for Retail Theft after Police observed him driving near the intersection of N. Division St. and N. Johnson St. Martin was able to post the $150.00 bond and was released with a court date of 08-22-18 at 1330hrs at the County Courthouse

IN STATE WARRANT/DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED

On 08-09-18 at 1557hrs, Timothy J. Meijer (m-30yoa), 805 Garfield St, Harvard was arrested on a warrant for Retail Theft and a warrant for Driving While License Suspended after he was observed driving a Beige Honda in the 1000blk of University St. Meijer was also issued citations for Driving While License Suspended, Operate Uninsured Motor Vehicle, Driving with Expired Registration, and Failure to notify Secretary of State of Address Change. Meijer was able to post the $300.00 bond for the warrants and was released with a court date of 08-29-18 at 1330hrs at the County Courthouse. Meijer was also able to post the $150.00 bond for Driving While License Suspended and was released with a court date of 09-12-18 at 1330hrs at the County Courthouse.

Route 31 McHenry Township Road District Consolidation Supporters Threatened

From Republican Precinct Committeeman Jamie Grubich:

Demonstrators threatened with arrest by city alderman

Not only is the consolidation group writing letters to the editor, but it is demonstrating on Route 31.

On Sunday, August 12, 2018, after church, fourteen friends, family members and pets gathered for a one hour peaceful demonstration to create additional awareness among McHenry residents for the group Citizens for Consolidation whose aim is to get more taxpayers involved with local initiatives for better governance through consolidation measures to eliminate redundant, inefficient, layers of government .

With 10 minutes left of our planned demonstration, McHenry City Alderman Andy Glab arrived at our location on North Richmond Road and Blake Boulevard in front of Meijer Foods with I-pad in hand and proceeded to walk among us taking pictures of everyone in our group and all of our signage telling us

  • that we were not allowed to be there,
  • that our signs were not allowed in the right of way in the public easement and
  • threatening us with arrest for violating the law.

Earlier that hour a policeman drove by on his way into the nearby gas station and did not stop at all to question us about our peaceful demonstration so we were surprised by the threatening behavior of Alderman Glab.

Dogs for consolidation?

His photographing of every individual in our group left one of our seniors very distraught and one of the children in tears which then upset the dogs.

We left the area at the planned time of 11:00. Alderman Glab waited nearby in his car at the edge of the Meijer parking lot and watched as our group departed the area.

As a McHenry resident and a taxpayer, do I not have a First Amendment right in McHenry?

The Question of Who Can Enter the Algonquin Highway Department Office

Reprinted from Illinois Leaks with permission:

Algonquin Township – “How about you just physically spit in my face Chuck.”

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Let the unprofessional behavior and infighting begin!

In yet another stellar example of arrogance and total disregard for even the slightest amount of professionalism,

Karen Lukasik has once again set the bar even lower, if that is possible.

It all started with one email from Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow:

Hello,
“FYI, Andrew fired his assistant Dorothy this am.  I am allowing Ryan access today so he can train Colleen.  He will enter and exit thru Andrew’s side door.”

Charles A. Lutzow, Jr.
Algonquin Township Supervisor

Lutzow fails to realize he has no power to ban a person from a public building.

Such action is what Courts are for.

Lutzow’s ban is meaningless without a court order restraining a person from entering into the public building, which we understand has not occurred.

Lifting that self-imposed ban has hit some real nerves in the Township.

When Lutzow emailed his communication to Lukasik, all the trustees, and the Road District Highway Commissioner, the infighting began with an email from the Township Clerk, Karen Lukasik.

The content of the email appears to imply this action is the beginning of something to come.

“How about you just physically spit in my face Chuck.  Thanks appreciate that.  You made your decision. You are stupid if you think this is the end.  It’s just the beginning of more hell.  You have no integrity”

Email exchange between Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and Supervisor Chuck Lutzow.

Why is permitting a Road District employee into a public building so dramatic?

How does Lutzow’s action point to him having no integrity?

Integrity? 

Is this Clerk actually going to question others integrity?  If you don’t think that is the pot calling the kettle black, review the history we exposed relating to Clerk Lukasik at this link.

According to Trustee Victor, she has called for Lutzow to step down, although for different reasons than ours.

Victor claims Lutzow has gone back on his word and also does not enforce motions the trustees vote on nor hold any control at the meetings.

She closed out her Facebook rant with “Please do the right thing and resign”

Right Thing? 

Would doing the right thing include complying with the law?

The very person calling out others and demanding they do the right thing, Melissa Victor, a sitting Algonquin Township Trustee filed a false and incomplete SEI with the County Clerk in April of 2018.

We exposed that in this article.

Was that the right thing Ms. Victor?

While this group of Clowns continues to provide a true three-ring circus to the local taxpayers, may we suggest they all take a hard look in the mirror before they go public with their demands of others?

Stay tuned for the breaking story from under the Big Top on Attorney Kelly’s needless motion to the courts.

Our work is funded entirely thru donations and we
ask that you consider donating at the below link. 

Skillicorn CL Chamber of Commerce Open House This Afternoon

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

Representative Skillicorn Hosts a Multi-Chamber Mixer

Crystal Lake, IL – Representative Allen Skillicorn invites you to stop by the District Office at 1500 Carlemont Drive, Suite D, in Crystal Lake tomorrow evening from 5pm – 7pm for a Multi Chamber Mixer. Refreshments and food will be served. Come meet area business people and talk with the Representative in a casual atmosphere of food, fun and conversation.

How to find Allen Skillicorn’s Crystal Lake office.

Congressman Randy Hultgren’s Woodstock Town Hall Meeting

People signed in at the Town Hall meeting. Woodstock Police officers were in attendance.

This election cycle Democrats have had the reputation of disrupting Republican Congressional Town Hall Meetings.

That did not occur at Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren ‘s Monday night Town Hall Meeting at the McHenry County Administrative Center.

Hultgren opponent Lauren Underwood’s supporters for the most part were civil.

The guy sitting behind me shouting every once in a while distracted me, but did not seem to faze Hultgren.

The forum was handled as the League of Women Voters conduct candidates’ nights.

Questions were written in advance,then grouped and screened by McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally.

“We don’t want to spend the time yelling at each other,” Kenneally said before he read the first question.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally organized and asked the questions that Congressman Randy Hultgren answered.

With Underwood having served in the Obama Administration in some health care capacity, there were predictably a lot of questions on the subject.

The first question, for instance, concerned the cost of health care.

Hultgren, who does not favor the single payer plan promoted by Underwood, said he wanted to make sure that patients can decide on appropriate care, not government or insurance companies.

He supported several free market alternatives–pooling risk for smaller entities, purchasing insurance across state lines (as with auto insurance).

The Congressman also said he supported insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.

With regard to immigration, Hultgren touted his work with refugee programs.

He criticized the “significant” decrease in the number of refugees being allow in the country over the last three years and the great increase in background checks.

Hultgren said there was a proper way to gain permission to enter the United States (through embassies) and an improper way:  coming to the border and saying, “We want asylum.”

He said he was “absolutely” in favor of keeping families together.

The Violence Against Women Act was brought up.

Hultgren said there were two votes to protect women, one of which he voted for, that he “will vote for the Violence Against Women Act.”

Randy Hultgren

Then, he told of his fight against human trafficking.

“I’ts a blight on our nation and our world.

“There are more enslaved today than when Lincoln was in office’

He was a co-sponsor of recent legislation that allowed charges to be filed against those using the internet for sex trafficking.

It has resulted in an 80% decrease in such activity, he said.

Asked about the Defense of Marriage Act, Hultgren said he would support the state laws and court decisions, but, “I’m in support of traditional marriage.”

There were outcries of disapproval.

Judge Robert Wilbrandt asked about long-term care beds for heroin and related addictions, none of which exist in McHenry County.

Hultgren reported the “largest funding increase” had been passed for long-term beds.

“Should Rod Rosenstein be impeached?”

“I want people to follow the law,” Hultgren replied.

“I think it’s a distraction.

“If people acted inappropriately [they should be] held accountable.”

Asked about the “inappropriate behavior” by President Donald Trump with regard to Vladimir Puten, Hultgren replied, “Russia is not a friend of democracy.  He hates democracy.”

He pointed to larger international problems in North Korea (no longer a threat for an intercontinental ballistic missile), Iran (“a real threat”) and Syria.

“You have to pick your spots where you’re going to [engage].”

Bob Fisher asked about the tempter of the times.  “What are you going to do to get both sides talking?”

“We need to learn to disagree without hating each other,” the Congressman replied.

“We have not done a very good job working together.

Hultgren told of his “Common Ground” initiative, which has taken place “dozens of times.”

Randy Hultgren

For forty-five minutes his staff and a Democrat’s staff have coffee and donuts.  They introduce each other.

Hultgren’s instructions to his staff is to “meet someone and don’t leave until you find something you can agree on.”

He pointed out that 70-80% of legislation is bipartisan.

“For things to last,” he said, “things have to be bipartisan.”

A person asked, “What are you doing to encourage Freedom of the Press?”

He encouraged people to “get information from various different sources.

“Try to find the other side?

“Why did you vote to give tax reform to the rich at the expense of the rest of us?” was the next question.

Applause greeted its reading.

Hultgren spoke of how the economy has improved since he was elected in 2010.

Then, he pointed out, unemployment was 8% in Illinois.

Almost every seat of the audience section of the McHenry County Board room was filled.

“Now, so many people are working.”

“The average family income has increased $1,600 a year” as a result of the tax reform bill.

Shouts of “No” rang out.

Someone claimed in a question that in a firm with fifty employees no one had seen an increase in their pay checks.

“If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m surprised,” Hultgren said.

“Will small farmers be getting a bailout?” was the next question.

“They’re not looking for a bailout.  They want to be able to sell their soybeans,” Hultgren replied.

He said he disagreed with the tariff impositions.

He added that one local manufacturer cannot purchase the type of steel needed in America.

The next question:

“Why have Republicans abandoned unions?”

Another views of Congressman Randy Hultgren’s Town Hall Meeting audience.

The best thing for the trades is opportunity and growth.

He told of visiting the training facility of Local 150 of the Operating Engineers at the southern edge of his district.

“I’ll continue to fight for them

“I ‘m a supporter of the Davis-Bacon Act,” he added.

Hultgren did criticize public employee unions, however.

With regard to Social Security and Medicare being “plundered to pay for undeclared wars,” a question asked by David Truss, Hultgren said nothing had been done to change either.

“I think the benefits have not grown with the cost of drugs.”

Somehow a question mixed the single payer health care proposal with financing wars.

Hultgren said the highest cost of wars is the “loss of life.”

He pointed out that eighty men and women had lost their lives in training accidents, which he blamed on inadequate equipment.

Then, another question about changing to a single payer health care system.

He argued that a single payer system would mean people would not be able to make decisions and choices about their health care.

“I want choices.

“It shouldn’t be one size fits all.

“We need more price transparency.”

A constituent asked for more financial support for Alzheimer’s research.

“We’ve seen significant increases,” Hultgren replied. “I’ll continue to be very supportive of the NIH (National Institute of Health).  It’s money well spent.”

David Truss asked another question, this time about the “right to choose.”

“I’ll support the Supreme Court and the law of the land.”

Continuing, the Pro-Life Congressman argued for freedom of belief and freedom of conscience for medical providers.

He said he opposed” taxpayer funding of abortion.”

I have “boo” in my notes at this point.

A questioner wanted to know what Republicans were not talking about fiscal responsibility.

“I am one who wants to see our debt turned around,” Hultgren replied.

He advocated doing so by controlling spending and growing the economy, which he argued the Tax Reform law is doing.

“I haven’t voted for a perfect bill year.”

He said that the individual tax rate reductions need to be made permanent.

Gun violence in schools was the next topic in the hour-long meeting.

Hultgren said that a Federal grant program had passed the House.

“There ought to be a larger discussion about violence.”

He pointed to the seventy-one shootings in Chicago in sixteen hours the weekend before last.

He said that the authorities were not so good at getting guns away from criminals.

He also pointed to increased mental health funding.

A question about criminal justice reform brought the admission that he regretted having supported mandatory minimum sentencing.

“I think it is important for our judges to have discretion.”

He praised Veterans Courts.

The man behind me yelled, “Do you even sense the rage in the room?”

After the end of Congressman Randy Hultgren’s Town Hall Meeting, I got this picture of the many who was shouting behind me speaking to the man who had asked him to be quiet several times.

Hultgren told of Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams’ telling of his brother’s being incarcerated in a Maryland prison for ten years because of stealing $200 to feed his habit.

“No treatment,” Hultgren reported the Surgeon General said in a visit to his Congressional District.

Hultgren also praised a Lake County program in which those with drugs or paraphernalia could given them to law enforcement personnel without getting arrested. He said he didn’t think it would work when heard about it, but that it had hundreds of times.

A question about what is being done about clean air and clean water had Hultgren relying on making “sure we enforce the laws on the books.”

He pointed out, “We don’t have the answer of what is the next big important energy source, [but] we want to leave this earth better than we found it.”

In answer to a question about global warming, Hultgren said, “I’m a believer in climate change.”

He then told of visiting a 14th District manufacturer where “the air coming out of the factory was better than the air coming in.”

Hultgren said he was looking at hydrogen and supporting Argon’s attempts to build a better battery, but he “hasn’t seen” that significant break through yet.

Asked if he thought the Special Counsel’s investigation was “a witch hunt,” the Congressman replied, “No, I don’t.”

However, he added, “It’s frustrating to me it’s taking such a long time.”

Asked about President Trump’s behavior, Hultgren said, “I just wish some of the personal attacks didn’t happen.

“I love how the economy is gonig.

“[I wish we could] agree to disagree without hating each other and without attacking each other.”

And the Town Hall Meeting ended.

= = = = =
Here’s another take on the meeting:

‘Are you better off now?’ Hultgren asks audience about tax cuts. ‘No,’ most say.

Congressman Randy Hultgren stood firm in his support for the federal tax overhaul despite fervent booing from more than 150 constituents in a forum at the McHenry County Administrative Building Mondaynight. Full Story

Another version:

Hultgren hosts town hall meeting in McHenry County

A crowd gathered Monday at the McHenry County Administration Building in Woodstock to ask questions during a town hall meeting hosted by U.S. …

Cold Case Arrest for 1990s & Early 2000’s Sexual Assaults of Juveniles

A press release from the Woodstock Police Department:

Arrest – Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child

On January 1st, 2018, the Woodstock Police Department’s Investigations Division was made aware of several alleged Criminal Sexual Assaults perpetuated by the same suspect on numerous victims, which had allegedly all occurred in Woodstock in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

An extensive eight month investigation was conducted into the allegations.

The legal guidance of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office was heavily relied upon during the investigation due to a recent change in Illinois law that extended the statute of limitations in sexual assaults to juvenile victims.

Richard Wachter

The Delafield, Wisconsin, and San Diego, California, Police Departments also assisted in this investigation.

On Thursday, August 9th, with the approval of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, arrest warrants were obtained for the suspect, Richard F. Wachter.

Wachter was arrested without incident at his home on Friday, August 10th, and he remains in custody at this time.

Due to all the victims being juveniles at the time these crimes occurred, no further information will be released.

Arrested Person:  Richard F. Wachter (M/W/53), 314 Raffel Road, Woodstock, IL 60098

314 Raffle Road, Woodstock

Charges:

  • 1 Count – Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child (Class X Felony)
  • 3 Counts – Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault (Class X Felony)
  • 3 Counts – Criminal Sexual Assault (Class 1 Felony)
  • 4 Counts – Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (Class 2 Felony)

Court Date: 08-16-18 @ 9:00 A.M.

Bond: $1,000,000 (10% Applies)

The public is reminded that an arrest is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case
are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Jack Franks’ Friends Follow Rahm Emmanuel’s Distraction Technique

On August 23rd, Judge Costello will hold a hearing on McHenry County Clerk candidate Joe Tirio’s suit against the so-called “Illinois Integrity Fund.”

This is the group that sent scurrilous mailings against Tirio and six Republican Party County Board candidates up for election who were most active in opposing Board Chairman Jack Franks’ patronage hires and other pet projects.

Jeffrey Litche was on the Jack Franks’ clean-up crew at the Franks’ McHenry Town Hall Meeting.

It is not an understatement to say that Jack Franks’ supporters tried to disrupt the Republican Party Primary Election

It’s a different version of running an invisible candidate, his parade driver Jeff Litche, in 2016 against the real Republican candidate Steve Reick.

(Here’s a sample of the over $50,000 or so  allies of Jack Franks spent for direct mail, robo-calls, and radio ads the week before the election in an attempt to give Jack Franks no real GOP opponent when he ran for re-election as State Rep.  Franks was following Mike Madigan’s example. And, yes, Franks was running for re-election two years ago before he decided to run for County Board Chairman.)

Now Jack Franks cat’x paw Ronald Eck has filed Illinois State Board of Elections’ complaints against Joe Tirio and the Republican Party concerning the financing of the suit eing heard on August 23rd.

That is so reminiscent of the way Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel pulls projects out of the hat when the street murder issue gets hot.

Eck is the same one who filed complaints  against Mike Walkup, Jack Franks’ Republican Party opponent last year.

Carpenters Union official Eck has lent his name to Jack Franks Host Committee and filed the complaint against Steve Reick’s petitions when he was running against Jack Franks for State Representative in 2016.

Links to previous articles on the dirty tricsk:

Redtail Golfer Comments on Letting Go of Golf Pro

Received this from a Lakewood resident who has read the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting:

Lakweood’s RedTail Golf Club.

Just a note to pass along.

Tomorrow night’s Village of Lakewood board meeting includes the termination of TR Remke without much fanfare.

The Village seems to be want to sweep this under the rug.

I think after so much negative controversy surrounding TR Remke’s hiring as the General Manager of Redtail Golf Club that they are trying to quietly make this go away.

Remke was suspended after the last board meeting and is now being terminated.

The  meeting starts Tuesday night at 7 PM.

Bob Anderson Continues NWH Drumbeat for Township Consolidation

The following letter from McHenry Township Trustee Bob Anderson was published in the Northwest Herald and is reprinted her with his permission:

Passage of McHenry Township Consolidation Referendum Would Eliminate One Unit of Local Government

Wake up Illinoisans, you are no longer living in “The Land of Lincoln’ you are living in the ‘Land of 7,000 Governments’, which is, by far, the most in the nation.
Most of Illinois residents know of some one who has fled Illinois.
Last year, alone. Illinois lost more than 33,000 net people and has moved behind Pennsylvania in population to be come the sixth most populous largest state.

Not only is the consolidation group writing letters to the editor, but it is demonstrating on Route 31.

Illinois  has had a net population loss four years in a row. Because of this, Illinois is on tract to lose two congressional seats.
Not a good thing when it comes to representation in Washington.
To support these 7,000 governments, Illinois residents pay the highest combined income tax, property tax and sales tax burden in the nation.
Citizens of Illinois also pay the second highest property tax in the U. S.

The proponents of consolidating the McHenry Township Road District with the Township have two types of yard signs.

There are over 3,000 counties in the nation. McHenry county home owners pay the 29th highest property tax of all counties.

The average property tax bill in McHenry county is $6,783, that’s about double of the national average.
Minimize your tax bills by minimizing government cost.
Support all efforts of government consolidation.
Why?
Because consolidation saves money, your money.

Dogs for consolidation?

There will not be any tax relief in Illinois until taxpayers take action at the ballot box to reduce the size and cost of its nation leading 7,000 units of government.

Vote yes in McHenry Township for road district consolidation.
Get the ball rolling for government consolidation.

McSweeney Bill Prohibiting Tax Dollars for Legislative Sexual Harassment Payouts Signed

A press release from State Rep. David McSweeney:

McSweeney Bill Prohibiting State-Funded Sexual Harassment Payoffs Now Law

Springfield, IL –Taxpayers in Illinois can now rest easy knowing state money will not be used to protect state legislators from sexual harassment allegations.

HB 4243, introduced by State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), was signed into law Friday and prohibits the use of state funds to pay for silence or inaction related to an allegation or investigation of sexual harassment against a member of the General Assembly.

This includes the district office allowances given to members to use largely at their discretion.

The legislation was prompted by news reports over the past year that revealed the existence of a federal fund financed by U.S. taxpayers that was used by Congressmen for payments to persons making allegations of harassment against members of Congress and staff.

David McSweeney

“Under no circumstances should taxpayer funds be used to silence sexual harassment cases involving elected officials,” McSweeney said.

“This is an important and proactive step given the troubling culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. Illinois taxpayers will not have their hard-earned money spent on covering up incidents of harassment and abuse.”

HB 4243, now a law, passed both the House and Senate unanimously. It was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park). It is effective immediately.

Crop Walk Fundraiser at Lou Malnati’s Tuesday

Want to help fight hunger in McHenry County and beyond?

You can do so by eating pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in Lakewood on Tuesday.

Here are the details:

End Hunger. Order Pizza.

If you were looking for another excuse to get pizza, this is a good one!

Support the CROP Walk for Hunger via the event outlined in the flyer below.

You don’t need to show the flyer to donate, but you must mention it at the time of ordering.

Visit their Facebook Page to see how else you can get involved.


And if you know someone or a family who needs food, don’t forget the Friday food distribution at the Nunda Township Hall sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake.

Coming about 1 is early enough.

Where the Nunda Township Hall is located.

(There will, however, be no distribution on the 24th. Key people are on vacation.)

Carl Davis to Lead Lakewood

Carl Davis

Long-time Village Trustee Carl Davis was sworn in to replace recently-departed Village President Paul Serwatka Friday, according to Village CEO Jeanne Smith.

Davis’ mild-mannered approach to governance could not be much farther from the approach of his predecessor.

He is one of only two members of the Village Board to live on the east side of town near Crystal Lake.

Davis’ selection was made by the Village Board at a special meeting on Friday night.

The vote was unanimous.

Reick Goes after Pensions of Sex Abusing Teachers

Found on State Rep. Steve Reick’s web site:

Rep. Reick Files Legislation to Strip Teachers who Sexually Abuse Students of their Pensions

At a recent joint meeting of the House and Senate K-12 Education Committees, a former Walter Payton College Preparatory student testified that the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) teacher who sexually abused her at school when she was 14 is now collecting a taxpayer-funded pension.

Outraged by her testimony, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has filed legislation that would strip teachers who molest school children of their public pensions.

Steve Reick at a committee hearing.

“I was shocked to learn that there was no provision in Illinois law to take these child predators’ pensions away,” said Reick.

“School is a place where students should feel safe, and we’ve learned of numerous instances where the teachers charged with protecting kids have actually been sexually abusing them.

“And this is not just limited to CPS. There are cases right here in McHenry and Kane Counties alleging sexual misconduct by teachers toward students.

“It’s sickening.”

HB 5929, filed July 9 in Springfield, would amend the Chicago and Downstate Articles of the Pension Code to allow the forfeiture of pension benefits of any teacher who is found through an administrative hearing to have sexually abused a student.

“This legislation puts Illinois teachers on notice that when they sign up for a public pension, they do so knowing that the benefit will be taken away if they violate a child,” Reick said.

“It’s a real shame that we even need to legislate this. In the case of former Walter Payton College Prep student Morgan Aranda, it’s as though her abuser was rewarded for his despicable acts.”

While Reick said he would have preferred to write legislation that would retroactively remove pensions from child abusers, the pension guarantee written into the Illinois Constitution prohibits it.

His bill would apply to any teacher hired after the effective date of the bill. Reick expects wide, bipartisan support of his legislation and hopes it will be heard during the legislature’s upcoming fall veto session.

If passed and signed into law, the provisions of HB 5929 would take effect immediately.

Message of the Day – A Tee Shirt

Another tee shirt from our trip on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.

“Strength, Isaiah 40:31” is the sugject of this T-shirt.

The verse the tee shirt cites reads like this in the NIV Bible:

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

I didn’t see any eagles, but there were nesting swallows.

Baby swallows were sticking their heads out of these nests at the cafeteria entrance.Tthere was a herd of antelopes.

There was a herd of antelope that seemed spooked by the coal-fired train.

Antelope seen across the headwaters of the Arkansas River.

Halfway through the four-hour excursion from Chama, NM, to Antonito, CO, trains stop for a meal.

Trains start at both ends of the railroad trip, meeting near the center of the trip to feed passengers.

It is served in a specially built cafeteria.

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad operates a cafeteria about midway through the four-hour trip.

That’s where I found the tee shirt above.

Hultgren Town Hall Meeting at the County Building Monday Night

From McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Diane Evertsen:

Congressman Hultgren Townhall

Randy Hultgren

Just a heads up to let you know that Congressman Randy Hultgren will be having a Townhall meeting at the County Administration Building on Monday, August 13, 7:00 pm.

All of us have worked very hard in the past to help get the Congressman elected and it’s very important that we continue to have input when the opportunity presents itself.  There’s no doubt that Randy greatly appreciates your work and your support and looks forward to having as many of us with him Monday evening as possible.

Governor Signs Education Bills

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Governor Rauner signs education package to reduce teacher shortage in Illinois

Springfield — On Kids’ Day at the Illinois State Fair, Governor Bruce Rauner continued his commitment to improve educational outcomes for students across the state, signing legislation to address Illinois teacher shortage, cut red tape for educators and provide military spouses with more teaching opportunities.

“This legislation represents true bipartisan collaboration to improve our education system for children, teachers and families across Illinois,” Rauner said. “We want our teachers focused on enriching, challenging and encouraging the minds of our youth, not licensing paperwork. These bills cut red tape without lowering our expectations for quality instructors.”

Rauner also signed House Bill 5202, creating a Youth Budget Commission to produce an annual fiscal analysis of enacted state budget items that directly impact children and adolescents.

Senate Bill 1829 and Senate Bill 3536 work together to expand the early childhood educator pipeline by working to align the career pathway for educators.

SB 3536 remediates an existing oversight in the licensure process and ensures that state laws are more closely aligned with the actualities of Illinois’ childcare system.

“SB 3536 is an important bill that would afford Gateways Level 5 teachers in a community-based PFA program the chance to earn a PEL through an alternative licensure program while staying at their current jobs,” said Representative Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez (D-Cicero), who sponsored the bill.

“To mitigate the rising teacher shortage, we need to take every action available to make it easy for those willing to expand their professional skills. I’m proud to have sponsored the bill, which will allow more mobility for education professionals to secure additional professional licenses.”

SB 1829, signed earlier, targets underserved communities and increases the number of eligible childcare professionals without lowering the standard of certification.

“We know the importance of ensuring that every child from every zip code has access to high-quality preschool programs.

“Data confirms that access to these vital programs can have lifelong positive effects, leading to lower chances of becoming a teen parent or being arrested for violent crime and leading to higher rates of high school graduation and college attendance,” said Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), who sponsored the legislation.

According to a 2017 Teacher Shortage Survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 78 percent of the districts surveyed identified either a minor or serious problem with teacher shortages and over half indicated a serious problem with substitute teacher shortages.

Senate Bill 2658 extends the validity of a Professional Educator License with Stipulations from two years to three years for service members and their spouses.

“This law makes it easier for military spouses to secure work in Illinois as a teacher,” said Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo), who sponsored the legislation in the Senate.

“It not only addresses our teacher shortage, but helps ease the burden on military families by permitting a spouse of an active duty military member to work for up to three years.

“This is very helpful, as our service members and their families are often in transition, but this offers some stability and peace of mind.”

“It is fitting that the governor would highlight SB 2658 as we celebrate Illinois children at the State Fair,” said Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), who sponsored the legislation in the House.

“This bill helps ensure we have quality teachers in our classrooms. It also works to make certain that when our service members and their spouses return to civilian life and the workforce, meaningful employment is within reach.”

House Bill 4742 allows school districts experiencing severe teacher shortages to contract with a third party recruiting firm to supplement their substitute teaching search. This bill empowers local school districts to positively impact the teacher shortage they face, while also protecting existing school staff.

The governor also signed House Bill 5771 that requires programs receiving Preschool for All or Preschool for All Expansion funds to collect and review chronic absence data which will be made public in 2020.

The data will help determine the support and resources needed to engage families and lower the chronic absenteeism seen in many communities.

House Bill 5196 will decrease the fees teacher’s aids must pay to become licensed from $50 to $25.

“This legislation will ensure that the process is not cumbersome for those individuals who are qualified,” said Representative LaToya Greenwood (D- East St. Louis), who sponsored the bill.

HB 5196 will address current obstacles that have prevented individuals from maintaining and obtaining employment in our State.

These bills, along with House Bill 5627 that the governor signed earlier this summer, work together to cut some of the red tape for educators in Illinois.

“The key to a brighter future for our kids is education.

“As such, we need to make sure our schools have enough teachers to teach the many different kinds of courses and programs for all ages and all schools across our state,” said Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria), who serves as Republican spokesperson on the Senate Education Committee.

“These new laws provide good, common-sense, bipartisan changes that will help ease the teacher shortage.”

The bills are a product of over a year of consultation and discussion between the Illinois Early Learning Council, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth, and a broad array of education experts and stakeholders.

State Rep. Candidate Tom Weber Polls

Tom Weber told the Crystal Lake crowd on a loud speaker that he was running to take State Rep. Barb Wheeler ‘s place and then introduced his wife.

Typing an article Saturday afternoon, I received an automated poll from, I would guess, Republican State Rep. candidate Tom Weber.

Here are the questions/topics:

Voting likelihood

Party affiliation

Nancy Zettler is on the right hand side of the street in the Crystal Lake Parade.

Satisfaction with direction state is taking

Favorability of following candideates

  • Bruce Rauner
  • JB Pritzker
  • Michael Madigan
  • Tom Weber
  • Trisha Zubert

Gender

Age

Any connection to Spanish speakers

Race

How would you vote today?

  • Governor, Rauner, Pritzker or some other candidate
  • State Rep. if Republican, Democrat and Green Party candidate on the ballot

Most important issue for Governor and State Rep.

  • Jobs and economic development
  • Budget, state’s financial condition
  • Education
  • Gun congrol
  • Health care
  • Corruption
  • Taxes
  • Other

There may have been more to the survey, but I got cut off.  Guess I didn’t answer the issues question fast enough.

Dillon’s Rule May Decide McHenry Township Challenge

Dillon’s Rule is a legal concept originating in Iowa which says that a local government can’t do anything it is not authorized to do by state law.

Now comes opponents of consolidating the McHenry Township Road District starting in 2021 with the part of McHenry Township rules by the Township Board, thus giving the Township Board control of the Highway Department.

I didn’t attend the McHenry Township meeting last Thursday, so I don’t know the details, but reading the article referenced below from the Northwest Herald should provide them:

McHenry Township residents threaten legal recourse over consolidation cost study

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, a former state representative, said the bill never got a hearing because it was such a “Looney Tune” …

The question to be considered by the Court would seem to be whether electors at an annual township meeting can order the township board to conduct a cost-benefit study.

Reading the articles below will give some idea of the power of voters at an annual township meeting:

Thanks to State Rep. Allen Skillicorn for commissioning the above study by the Illinois Legislative Research Unit.

Northwest Herald “Reporter” Ed Komenda Praised for Unflattering Photography on Private Facebook Page

It is no secret that the Northwest Herald has it in for Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser.  The local rag has put Gasser on the cover no less than eight times with drama filled headlines, click bait bylines, and pictures of Gasser that are less than flattering.  Gasser has complained about this before to Komenda.

“I talked to Ed when he took the pictures of us in flood operations.  While most people had pictures of themselves throwing sandbags there was a picture of me operating a forklift looking like I was lost.  I was like what the hell, Ed?” said Gasser.

Now on what Gasser calls the private Gasser Facebook hate group page “Citizens of Algonquin Township” a post has appeared congratulating Komenda for utilizing pictures that frame Gasser negatively.

Komenda and Hannah Prokop belong to the group which was allegedly formed by Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik and Jennifer McCrackken after Gasser defeated 24-year incumbent Bob Miller.  Trustees Melissa Victor and David Chapman also belong to the group and often post negative comments about Supervisor Chuck Lutzow and Gasser.

“I do not have access to that page,” said Gasser.  “They are all Fake News.  They feed the Northworst Herald and there is not a shred of credibility left in that paper.  Compare pictures of any conservative or politician to that of Jack Franks.  I wonder if the Northworst Herald sends in a makeup guy for Jack before they take the pics.”

Gasser has been one of the only Republicans to stand up to Franks and the guile Political Class of McHenry County.  He often posts images of what he believes to be the best representation of the Northwest Herald.