County Health Department Rolls Out Four Narcan Vending Machines, Fentanyl Test Strips

From the McHenry County Health Department:

Four Narcan Vending Machines Ready for Public Use in McHenry County

MCHENRY COUNTY, IL – The McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) is taking a significant step in addressing the opioid crisis in McHenry County. Four Narcan vending machines have been strategically placed across McHenry County and are available for public use at no charge beginning September 27.

Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a life-saving medication capable of reversing opioid overdoses. These vending machines will provide wider access to this critical medication, offering hope and support to those affected by addiction.

Additionally, each machine will have fentanyl test strips available.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.

Fentanyl is highly lethal and continues to be found in various illicit drugs in the county, including counterfeit pills, even those sold as ‘legitimate prescription medication’ obtained unlawfully.

The four Narcan vending machines will be located at:

  • McHenry County College (MCC)
    • Address: 8900 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
    • On-Campus Location: Cafeteria
  • The Other Side Café & Sober Bar
    • Address: 135 Beardsley St., Crystal Lake, IL 60014
  • Community Health Partnership (Harvard)
    • Address: 62 N Ayer St., Harvard, IL 60033
  • Youth and Family Center of McHenry County
    • Address: 1011 Green St, McHenry, IL

These strategic locations were chosen to maximize accessibility to the community and provide assistance when and where it is needed most.

Each of the vending machines can hold 54 boxes of Narcan Nasal Spray, totaling 108 doses.

Educational resources, including brochures showcasing how to use Narcan, will be posted on or near the machines.

McHenry County College cafeteria soon after opening.

[Unnamed] McHenry County College leadership stated, “We believe MCC provides the space and access to many individuals and diverse populations, spreading the distribution of Narcan further across the community. We hope this initiative sets an example for other institutions and organizations. Educational institutions, especially community colleges like MCC, can share information and resources to a broader audience, multiplying the impact of countywide programs and education campaigns, and ultimately, helping more people over time.”

Bobby Gattone, Executive Director of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services (parent organization of The Other Side Café & Sober Bar), also expressed excitement about hosting one of the Narcan vending machines, saying, “We are excited to provide this Narcan vending machine to the community. It is a great opportunity to have it at The Other Side’s community room in downtown Crystal Lake, where we regularly host family support groups and Narcan trainings.”

Guadalupe Ortiz, Executive Director of Youth and Family Center of McHenry County, added, “We have seen the impacts of harm reduction and how it not only decreases drug misuse but also allows for impactful conversations about prevention and helps to foster change and growth in the lives of people who may feel hopeless. These efforts are a stride in the right direction towards a community that supports itself and collaboratively brings solutions to issues that may seem impossible to solve.”

In addition to working alongside local organizations, the MCDH is continuing to offer presentations on how to administer Narcan. Presentations can be requested here. For more information on the Narcan vending machines, please visit If you or someone you know is in need of assistance with opioid addiction, A Way Out – McHenry County offers substance use assessment and treatment placement on a 24/7 basis. For support and navigation to treatment, please visit their website, call (815) 347-0385, or email INFO@NDARS.ORG.

Audit Spotlights DCFS Deficiencies

From the Illinois Auditor General:


The Department of Children and Family Services (Department) failed to comply with several sections of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (Act) (325 ILCS 5) during the examination period.

We tested several sections of the Act and noted the following exceptions:

AJ Freund
  • The Department did not immediately communicate the investigation reports of child abuse and neglect for a newborn infant whose blood, urine, or meconium contains any amount of a controlled substance to the State’s attorneys’ offices for 17 (28%) of 60 reports tested. Specifically, we noted the State’s attorneys’ offices were notified between 218 to 920 days from report date.
  • The Department notified the Directors of DPH and HFS of the report of suspected abuse or neglect of a child alleged to have been abused or neglected while receiving care in a hospital 34 days to 885 days from the investigation date for 15 of 15 (100%) reports tested.
  • The Department did not submit to the General Assembly or Governor the fiscal year 2021 and 2022 reports on the effectiveness of the programs designed to test the most effective approaches to case management protocols for Department clients with substance abuse problems.
  • The Department was required to file four reports summarizing the number of Unfounded Review and Indicated Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect to the General Assembly during the examination period. The results of our testing indicated the Department failed to timely file 2 (50%) of the reports required. Specifically, we noted the reports due on December 1, 2021 and June 1,
    2022, were submitted to the General Assembly 8 and 104 days late, respectively.
  • The Department did not timely notify the children’s school of its final findings from an indicated report of child abuse and neglect within 10 days of completing an investigation of alleged physical or sexual abuse for 40 of the 40 (100%) indicated reports tested. Specifically, we noted the schools
    were notified 129 to 890 days late.
  • The Department did not timely notify the local enforcement personnel and the office of the State’s
    attorney of the involved county for 5 of 25 (20%) reports tested. Specifically, we noted the local enforcement personnel and the office of the State’s attorney were notified of a report alleging the death of a child, serious injury to a child, torture of a child, malnutrition of a child, and sexual abuse to a child 5 to 43 days after the required 24-hour timeframe. (Finding 5, pages 27-32) This
    finding has been reported since 2012.

We recommended the Department immediately refer all reports of child abuse and neglect for a newborn infant whose blood, urine, or meconium contains any amount of a controlled substance to the appropriate State’s attorney’s office and to update procedures and provide training to staff to accomplish compliance with the Act; notify the Director of DPH and HFS within a reasonable timeframe, when the Department receives a report of suspected abuse or neglect of a child and the child is alleged to have been abused or neglected while receiving care in a hospital; ensure the timely submission of all reports required by the Act to the General Assembly and Governor; strengthen its monitoring and procedures for investigators to ensure they provide copy of its final findings from an indicated report of child abuse and neglect to the child’s school within 10 days of completing an investigation of alleged physical or sexual abuse under the Act; ensure local law enforcement personnel and the office of the State’s attorney of the involved county of the receipt of any report alleging the death of a child, serious injury to a child are timely notified.

The Department agreed with the recommendation. Please see the full State Compliance Examination Report for further details of the Department’s response for each of the bullet points noted above.


The Department failed to comply with the School Code (Code) (105 ILCS 5/22-85(j)).

During our testing of 25 alleged incident of sexual abuse investigations, we noted that for 24 of 25 (96%) indicated investigations tested, the Department did not timely notify the relevant schools when an investigation of an alleged incident of sexual abuse was completed. Specifically, we noted the notifications were sent to relevant schools between 431 to 908 days from the investigation report date. (Finding 6, pages 33-34) We recommended the Department timely notify the relevant school of the child involved in the investigation when the investigation of alleged incident of sexual abuse is completed.

The Department agreed with the recommendation and stated it has strengthened its monitoring and procedures for investigators to ensure statutory compliance by providing a copy of its final findings from an indicated report of child abuse and neglect to the child’s school within 10 days of completing an investigation of alleged physical or sexual abuse under the Act. Further the Department stated, in September of 2022, the Chief Deputy of Child Protection and the State Central Registry along with the Deputy of Child Protection, visited all 10 subregions across the state and met with every child protection supervisor, area administrator and regional administrator, issuing a memorandum in September 2022, instructing staff of this requirement and providing clear direction on how to execute this procedure. Across the state, investigators implored change to the existing statute as they believe this requirement violates the privacy of the family by revealing (only to the public-school administrators) the private matters of the child.


The Department did not adequately document the monitoring of its provider agencies for compliance with contract terms.

The Department could not provide documentation demonstrating it had conducted monitoring of its non-substitute care service provider agencies. The non-substitute care provider agencies provide services which include, but are not limited to, counseling, habilitation, advocacy centers, system-of-care grants, and other child specific services. Specifically, we noted the Department was unable to provide documentation it had conducted monitoring, as specified in the contracts, for 12 of 60 (20%) contracts tested. Total grants expended for the 12 contracts during fiscal years 2021 and 2022 totaled $15,593,544. Due to the Department being unable to provide documentation to demonstrate it had conducted monitoring, we cannot determine whether annual reviews required to be submitted by 9 of 12 grantees were performed by Department staff. (Finding 11, pages 47-48) This finding has been reported since 2012.

We recommended the Department perform and document adequate monitoring on all contracts to ensure contract payments are for services received and program plans and performance goals of the provider agencies are achieved.

The Department agreed with the finding and stated it will ensure staff serving in the contract monitoring role are performing monitoring duties pursuant to program plans. The Department further stated it has added regional leadership roles to increase the oversight of regional based staff after facing staffing shortages during the time of this audit which was also during the global pandemic. Lastly, the Department stated it is also pursuing a new performance monitoring tool to aid in tracking and documentation of monitoring agency contracts.

County Board Will Discuss Democrat Party-Induced Tax Hikes Thursday at Ten

The precursor to the County Board’s discussion of property tax hikes tomorrow took place at the last McHenry County Board meeting.

The problem is two-fold:

  • the Biden Administration inflation’s putting pressure on the cost of everything from employee salaries to good and services and
  • the unfunded mandates passed by Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly

The increase in cost of snow plows for the Department of Transportation offers an illustration of the problem County Board members face this year.

Three more are needed, even after increasing their replacement time.

Removing snow and salting a street.

While the price used to be $350,000, now it is $500,000.

The fund to pay McDOT salaries is down to two weeks.

Normally, reserve funds should be a couple of months.

The result was increasing the county’s Motor Fuel Tax.

There were two votes. The first was on a motion from Crystal Lake’s John Reinert to raise the gas tax two cents a gallon.

It resulted in a 9-9 tie vote, which Chairman Mike Buehler broke with a “No” vote.

This vote on a motion by John Reinert was to increase gas tax 4.7 cents per gallor to 6.7 cents per gallon.

The second vote to raise the gas tax four cents a gallon passed by14-4 vote.

This vote was to increase the county gas tax from 4.7 cents per gallon to 8 cents per gallon. Three Republicans up for re-election voted “No”: Eric Hendricks, John Reinert and Mike Shorten.

So, what was the logic for raising the gas tax?

Not having listened to the tape, but having talked to some members, it seems that increasing the gas tax was a way to decrease the pending increase in the real estate tax levy.

Why the push to hike the property tax?

Besides inflation higher than any since the 1980’s, there are two obvious factors:

  • The Democrats in the legislature, with the support of local Democrats, forced the cecessation of housing illegal aliens in the McHenry County Jail. That resulted in a loss of revenue of about $6 million.
  • The Democrats passed the SAFE-T Act ending cash bail which will cost County coffers almost $2 million per year.

Here is a delineation:

Feds Get Ten Years for Carjacker

From the U.S. Attorney:

Carjacking at Suburban Chicago Gas Station Leads to Ten-Year Federal Prison Sentence

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison for carjacking a vehicle at gunpoint while a woman and her two children were inside.

The carjacking occurred on the afternoon of July 27, 2022, at Thorntons gas station in Posen, Ill.  

The woman was entering the driver’s seat of her Kia Optima when KEWAN TILLMAN approached, pointed a loaded handgun at her, and demanded the key. 

The victim was able to get the two children out of the vehicle before Tillman stole the car and drove off. 

Kewan Tillman carjacking in Posen, Illinois.

Tillman quickly lost control of the vehicle, got out, and ran back toward the gas station, where he unsuccessfully attempted to force entry into an occupied semi-truck. 

Tillman then placed the handgun in a sewer and tried to force his way into another vehicle that was parked at a gas pump. 

Kewan Tillman putting gun in sewer.

After a physical altercation with the driver of that vehicle, Posen Police officers arrested Tillman. 

The officers discovered the handgun in the sewer. 

The gun was equipped with a “Glock switch,” also known as an “auto sear,” and at the time was only capable of firing in fully automatic mode.

Tillman had arrived at the gas station in a Kia Soul that had been reported stolen in Chicago.

Tillman, 20, of Calumet City, Ill., pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal carjacking and firearm charges.  U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Bucklo imposed the sentence on Sept. 22, 2023, after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Christopher Amon, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Substantial assistance was provided by the Posen Police Department.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin Walgamuth.

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Photos from U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Police Ball Biter Still in Jail, Despite Democrats’ No Bail Law Release Ruling

Nicholas Koczor

A publication I have not run across before, Cardinal News, reports Nicholas M. Koczor is still in the McHenry County Jail, was he was released on a SAFE-T Act technicality.

This is the guy who hit one officer and bit and grabbed the testicles of another while being arrested on two counts of Harassment by Telephone and three counts of Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer.

A voicemail to his ex-girlfriend indicated indicated he was traveling to her home and knew how to dismember a body.

Lakewood Concurs with Crystal Lake on Imposing Seaweed Tax on Big Boats

The Lakewood Village Board voted 6-0 to impose an “ecology” fee on motorboats.

This fee, a tax by another name, will more than double the cost of motorboating on Crystal Lake.

This does not seem like most fees, which are user fees.

At one point, the Crystal Lake Park Board sought to ban motor boats on the 220 acre lake.

As most understand, taxing something results in less of it.

During the debate I was surprised that one Trustee did not seem to understand that passage of the Intergovernmental Agreement with Crystal Lake would mean more than the Park District’s taking over bookkeeping duties.

State Senator Syverson’s Staff Coming to Marengo and Harvard September 28th

From State Senator Dave Syverson:

State Senator Dave Syverson is hosting Traveling Office Hours Sept. 28 in two McHenry County communities to make it easier and more convenient for many constituents to receive services.

“My district office staff will be coming to Harvard and Marengo Sept. 28 to help individuals and businesses with questions about state services, as well as to gather input from them about state activities and legislation,” Syverson said. “Traveling Office Hours are an effective way to meet with local residents and get to know more about communities in the 35th District.”

District staff will be on hand to assist local residents with state services, as well as answer questions and address concerns, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at City Hall, 201 W. Diggins St. in Harvard, and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at City Hall, 132 E. Prairie St. in Marengo.

No appointments are needed, and office hours are open to all constituents of the 35th Senate District.

Crime in Chicago Focus of Congressional Hearing

From Wirepoints:

Jordan/Catanzara Hearing: Wirepoints offers data-focused analysis on Chicago crime

CHICAGO – As House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan gears up to hold a public hearing alongside Chicago FOP President John Catanzara to address crime in the city, Wirepoints is offering its extensive research on crime as analysis at the hearing or to the media.

Despite criticisms that the hearing is political theater, Chicago’s crime rates have seized the attention and concern of the nation. 

“Our research and data can offer clarity on the situation,” said Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints. “We’re available to provide analysis at the hearing or to the media in the hope that we can contribute to the conversation and – ultimately – begin to resolve Chicago’s crime problem.”

Wirepoints’ studies include national comparisons, such as: 

  • Of the nation’s 75 largest cities, Chicago has been the homicide capital of the nation for 11 straight years
  • An objective comparison of red states vs. blue cites, which cuts through partisan narratives to look at how the policies of Democratic-led cities have impacted crime rates compared to those in Republican-led states

Wirepoints’ Chicago-specific work and research has found that the handcuffs local politicians have placed on the CPD have had dire consequences for residents, including: 

Finally, Wirepoints has analyzed how the governance of Chicago leaders – such as States Attorney Kim Foxx and Chief Justice Tim Evans – has contributed to the severity of Chicago crime. 

Wirepoints encourages Congress and city officials to look closely at the research we’ve compiled to inform the discussion on Chicago’s crime problem.

The True Color of Leaves Only Visible in Fall

This snippet from State Rep. Dan Ugaste reminds me of something my wife picked up on the internet:

Fall color season gets closer

With the coming of autumn, Illinois will soon be starting up its fall color season and adjacent round of autumn festivals. 

The Illinois Tourism Board’s Enjoy Illinois website will operate its fall color map showing different sections of Illinois and the color conditions in each section.

The map differentiates between Northern Illinois, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.

Not only the dates but also the colors differ from region to region, and even from county to county.

  • In the McHenry County area, cool evenings and dry weather have started yellowing black walnut, cottonwood, and honey locust in many places.
  • The Red and sugar maples have been starting to turn red and purple.
  • Sumac is changing to a deep red.

Different soil conditions encourage trees of different species, and some broadleaf trees and shrubs generate brighter colors than other.

In Illinois, a shrub called the smooth sumac often produces bright red roadside leaves.

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What I learned for the first time is that the true color of leaves is their fall color.

This explains it:

Leaves get their brilliant colors from pigments made up of various color-creating molecules.

“During the warm, sunny months, plants use their leaves to turn sunlight into food energy, a process called photosynthesis.

“This primarily uses a pigment that reflects green light, which gives the leaves their characteristic color.”

A “Where’s Waldo?” Question As To Why Durbin and Duckworth Have Not Called for Resignation of New Jersey Goldbrick Senator Menendez

From today’s Chicago Tribune listing the Democratic Party U.S, Senators calling for the resignation of indicted New Jersey Bob Menendez:

New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker added his name to the list.
Thirteen gold bars were found in the home of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.

Why Democrats Want Trump on the Illinois Ballot

Found in a Chicago Tribune article entitled, “Use of 14th Amendment to keep Trump off 2024 ballot still under debate in Illinois.”

Rick Pearson

The article by anti-Republican reporter Rich Pearson says down at the bottom:

“Thomas Bowen a veteran Democratic political consultant, said he personally believes a 14th Amendment challenge should be mounted in Illinois — even while acknowledging that Trump’s name on the ballot in a state he has lost twice by 17 percentage points could drive Democratic turnout in 2024.

“‘It would be helpful for Democrats in Illinois to cointnue having that punching bag, but we would gladly give that up for the safety of the country and the future of democracy,’ Bowen said. [Emphasis added.]

“‘I think Democrats in Illinois would gladly have a court determination that he isn’t eligible for the crimes he committed against the people so that the Supreme Court would review it.’

“Bowen acknowledged there are questions among Democrats about pursuing an arcane section of the Constitution.”