Harvard Policeman Mike Vest Trained in Protecting Children

A press release from the Harvard Police Department:


Specialized course about resources available to Harvard PD teaches valuable tactics in protecting and saving children

Harvard, IL, July 25, 2014 – | Mike Vest, Supervisor of Telecommunications for the Harvard Police Department, just returned from the prestigious Chief Executive Officer Training Seminar, held just outside of the nation’s capital, at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) located in Alexandria, VA.

After receiving an invitation to attend the specifically designed training seminar for Law Enforcement Executives, 911 Emergency Center managers and Clearinghouse Managers, Mike Vest attended the program on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 22-23, as a guest of the NCMEC.

Harvard Police training DC 7-14

These law enforcement officials were trained by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Mike Vest is in the fifth row up in the middle wearing the black and gray horizontal striped shirt.

Mike Vest joined 41 other Chiefs, Sheriffs, and 911 Emergency Managers who were also selected and invited, to attend the 153rd saving children session of the CEO course, and Vest is now one of nearly 6,000 who have completed this The Missing & Exploited Children Seminar for Chief Executives was designed to provide attendees like Supervisor Vest a better understanding of the issue of missing and sexually exploited children – and how to specifically deal with the situation of a child who’s been reported missing – when time is critical.

“This has been one of the most valuable experiences for me in my 14 years working in Public Safety,” said Vest.

“To have been selected in itself, was an honor, but to be able to bring this knowledge home and put it into practice, is a plus for the citizens of Harvard.”

Created in 1997 and funded by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency (OJJDP), the CEO training discusses the needed steps in implementing best practices for call takers, responding officers, investigators, and Command Staff.

Once candidates are selected to attend, all travel and lodging expenses during training are covered by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children through a grant by OJJDP.

Bull Valley Speed Trap on Route 120

There is probably more than one place on Route 120 that Bull Valley Police use to raise revenue for the sales tax-starved municipality.

Rt 120 + Greenwood Rd,+ Chatham

A bit east of the intersection of Greenwood Road and Route 120 where 120 turns east is a street called Chatham Lane. It is shielded by trees where it enters Route 120, a perfect location for the Bull Valley Police to lie in wait for speeders.

But twice this month I have seen a car using Chatham Lane, a street from a subdivision that enters Route 120 from the south not far from the intersection of Greenwood Road and Route 120 as a place to check speeds of vehicles on Route 120.

BV Police Stopon 120  from Chatham

This truck must have been going over the 55 MPH speed limit.

Roskam Warns of Danger to Mideast Christians

A press release from Congressman Peter Roskam:

Roskam Speaks in Solidarity with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) spoke on the House floor in solidarity with the thousands of Christians being persecuted throughout the Middle East.

Click here or the image below to watch the full video.

“Radical Islamists have a phrase: ‘First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.’ Those who call for Israel’s destruction are the same radicals who are persecuting Christians throughout the Middle East.”

“Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith doubled worldwide [in 2013] from the previous year. Others have been kidnapped, forcibly converted, or exiled, while churches and holy sites have been destroyed.”

Roskam Israeli Christian Minutte 7-25-14

Congressman Peter Roskam displays the symbol put on Christian houses in Syria.

“Iraq’s Christian community has dropped from 1.5 million people in 2003 to only 200,000 today. And in Mosul—home to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities—ISIS militants have overrun the city and they’re using this Arabic symbol, painting it on homes to identify Nazarenes, or Christians. They’re told to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or be executed. And now, almost no Christians remain in Mosul—a city with a 2,000-year relationship with the Christian faith. And the situation is dire in Syria and elsewhere.”

“Middle East Christians need our prayers, our support, and our voices, and I’m proud to stand with those who follow the Nazarene.”

CL Townshouse Double Murder Attempt Results in 38-Year Sentence

A press release from McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi:


Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announces that thirty one year old Jimmy Bell Jr. was sentenced to serve a period of 38 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for his convictions on two Attempt Murder charges and two Armed Violence charges.

The attacks took place on July 2, 2013 approximately one year after Bell’s long term relationship with one of the victims ended.

Bell’s former girlfriend had recently begun dating an Aurora man at the time of the crimes.

Bell broke into a basement window of the Crystal Lake townhouse he used to share with the female victim.

He brought his own folding knife in and added a butcher knife from the victim’s knife block before breaking into the locked master bedroom where both victims were asleep at 4:15 AM.

Bell stabbed his ex-girlfriend 9 times, and the Aurora man 14 times before the male victim was able to fight off Mr. Bell and cause him to flee from the scene.

Both victims were whisked to hospitals in critical condition and both survived only after many hours of level one trauma surgery.

The case was investigated by the Crystal Lake Police Department with assistance from Major Investigation Assist Team members.

The charges were prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys David Johnston and Robert Zalud.

Argument for Putting Tax-Financed Not-Profits Under the Freedom of Information Act

Since the 1970′s I’ve been promoting putting not-for-profit organizations financed with taxpayer dollars or controlled by governments under the Freedom of Information Act.

A quote from the

A quote from Terry Mutchler, head of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records.

Now the head of the Freedom of Information enforcement agency in Pennsylvania tells the Chicago Sun-Times it is the expectation in her state.

This quote appeared in a story about the Illinois High School Association (whose Director in years past, used to live near Crystal Lake Community High School on Walkup Avenue).

The Sun-Times article compares transparency polices in various states.

The Sun-Times article compares transparency polices in various states.

Other states open the books for tax supported axillary organizations.

Illinois should, too.

Shoveling Sh*t for the Elephant

Elephant poop shoveling

Who is that skinny guy using the snow shovel to scoop up elephant poop?  I can’t pull the name of the girl on the left out of my memory, but the one above her looks like Anne Simcox.  To her left is Sue Kerr.  The two guys are Bill Woodward and Stan Dobrin.

I went to the second most liberal college in Ohio–Oberlin College.

Besides its quality (ranked first in co-ed colleges by the Chicago Tribune in 1959) and manageable size (something over 2,000), it created the Mock Political Convention.

I considered Northwestern, which also had a Mock Convention, but Oberlin won out.

My goal was to make Oberlin’s 1964 (my senior year) Mock Convention Republican.

It seemed only right that one year out of four there ought to be some Republican speakers invited to campus.

The Student Council make the decision and selected the Convention’s Chairman.

We in the Young Republicans formed a campus political party called SCOPE. (Because our leader Sandy Campbell had the first two initials of the party’s name, the liberals–or did they call themselves “progressives”–said they stood for “Sandy Campbell Opposes Practically Everything.)

The first year we ran a slate, we were not wise in the ways of vote stealing.  We did not have watchers.

Based on that experience, the next year we did have watchers.

The Council had twelve members.

We had six Young Republicans (now called College Republicans) on the ballot.  Some were running as members of our party, some weren’t.

We won six seats and one of our more liberal members wanted to be President of the Council.

Fine by those of us whose goal had nothing to do with anything else the Council might do other than pick the party and the chairman of the Mock Convention.

Somehow he convinced one of the liberals to vote for him and we were set to control the Convention.

And I got selected Chairman of the Republican Mock Convention.

We brought Republicans to speak.

  • William Rusher of the National Review
  • Congressman Bob Wilson (R-CA), Chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee
  • U.S. Senator Hugh Scott (R-PA)  Scott spoke in Finney Chapel.  (The liberals started hissing. Scott broke them up in laughter by commenting on the radiator problem the building seems to have.)
  • Former Illinois Governor Bill Statton (He even came to see me in the hospital.)
  • U.S. Senator Jacob Javits was the Convention’s Keynote Speaker
  • Congressman Robert Taft, Jr.

In the run-up to the convention, a circus came to Cleveland.  Our excellent PR guy convinced the circus that bringing an elephant to Oberlin would be mutually beneficial.

The man behind the horses.

The man behind the horses.

So, the elephant was unloaded in front of the house that the College allowed us to use as Convention headquarters, the TV cameras rolled, photos were taken and…the elephant took a dump.

We still had a snow shovel on the porch, so I, being the consument introvert, got the shovel and and this photo resulted.

Some people carry water for the elephant, others do more heavy lifting.

I was reminded of this at the Milk Day Parade this year.

Mexican horses were at the end of the parade.

A man with a wagon and a snow shovel followed scooping up the horse manure.

Forty-some years earlier, I had followed a teenage elephant down Ayer Street with a snow shovel…just in case.

I was President of the McHenry County Young Republicans and we convinced owners of Tuff-Coat Paint, a Woodstock firm, to allow Tuffy to come to parade with his trainer.

Tuffy also made an appearance at the McHenry County Fair that year.

We sold peanuts that fairgoers could feed her.

Jack Franks Fuels Campaign with Chicago Money

Missed during May was Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks invitation to a Downtown Chicago fundraiser.

Jack Frank's invitation to his June 25th fundraiser at Moe's Cantina.

Jack Frank’s invitation to his June 25th fundraiser at Moe’s Cantina.

Headliners for the June 25th West Kinzie Street fundraiser at Moe’s Cantina were

  • Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White
  • Chicago Alderman Ed Burke
  • Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

The price range is clearly above what those in his McHenry County District would be expected to contribute:

The minimum suggested contribution is $500 for Jack Franks' fundraiser.

The minimum suggested contribution is $500 for Jack Franks’ fundraiser. The maximum is $5,000.

Readers probably don’t have $500 to spare, so seeing the invitation a bit late probably won’t do any harm to Franks’ fundraising efforts.

Two Arrested for Vehicular Burgulary in Four Colonies

A press release from the Crystal Lake Police Department:

Crystal Lake Police Arrest Two Suspects for Criminal Trespass and Burglary to Vehicles

Crystal Lake Police have arrested two subjects believed to be responsible for several acts of trespass and burglary to vehicles in a residential area of Crystal Lake area.

At approximately 3:50, police officers on patrol observed two subjects acting suspiciously, walking in the 600 block of Greenbrier Lane.

Greenbrier Lane in Crystal Lake.

Greenbrier Lane in Crystal Lake.

Officers continued surveillance of the subjects as they were observed approaching vehicles parked in driveways.

Believing the subjects had, or were about to commit unlawful entry to vehicles, officers approached and were able to apprehend both subjects.

A subsequent investigation revealed that several vehicles in the area had been entered, and items stolen from within.

In all cases identified, the vehicles entered had been unlocked.

Arrested in this case were:

Robert Fleenor

Robert Fleenor

Ryan Vette

Ryan Vette

• Robert A. Fleenor (21) of Lake in the Hills, IL – Charged with one count of Criminal trespass to Vehicle (720 ILCS5/21-2 – Class A Misdemeanor) and one count of Burglary (720ILCS5/19-1-A – Class 2 Felony)

• Ryan N. Vette (23) of Crystal Lake, IL – Charged with two counts of Criminal trespass to Vehicle (720 ILCS5/21-2 – Class A Misdemeanors) and one count of Burglary (720ILCS5/19-1-A – Class 2 Felony)

As this arrest involves felony offenses, both subjects were transported to the McHenry County Jail where custody was transferred, and bond will be set by a presiding Judge.

As this matter continues to be investigated, additional charges may follow.

Crystal Lake Police wish to remind citizens and guests to not leave valuable items within their vehicles overnight or while unattended, and to lock their vehicles when not in use.

= = = = =
*Suspect(s) listed are considered innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law

Algonquin Fire Department Rescues Canoeist Before They Go Over Dam, Three Minute Response Time

A press release from the Alqonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Department:

Fox River Dam, Algonquin, Illinois, Water Rescue Incident

At 7:18 a.m., July 25, 2014 the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District
responded to a report of a boat sinking nearing the low head dam on the Fox River at the Route 62 Bridge, in Algonquin.

Can you figure out where the Algonquin Dam is under the Fox River.

Algonquin Dam at flood stage.

Fishermen on the shoreline notified the 911 dispatch center of a canoe and a male victim in the dam.

First responding emergency personnel arrived on the scene within three minutes at 7:21 a.m. and found the overturned canoe with one victim hanging on to it in the boil of the dam.

Firefighters quickly dropped ropes and a lifesaving buoy to the victim, and pulled him safely to shore.

The victim was on shore within 8 minutes of the fire departments arrival.

He was evaluated for injuries and released at the scene. No civilian or fire district injuries were reported.