3-Year Old Killed When Struck by School Bus in Cary

From the Cary Police Department:

Cary Police Department Fatal Traffic Accident

On Monday May 16, 2022 at approximately 3:39 p.m. the Cary Police Department and Cary Fire Protection District were dispatched to the area of Cherry St. and Hill St. for a report of an accident involving a child pedestrian and a school bus.

From WLS-TV.

Emergency personnel arrived on scene and found a young child had been struck by a school bus.

The child was pronounced deceased at the scene.

At the time of the incident there was one student on the school bus in addition to the driver.

Neither the driver nor the student on the bus were injured.

The Cary Police Department is investigating the incident and is being assisted by the multi-jurisdictional Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT).

IL-11 UPDATED: Mid-May Revised Rankings of Republican Candidates Shows Susan Hathaway-Altman Continuing to Rise

UPDATE 5/18/22, 7:07AM CDT: McHenry County Blog has learned two additional campaigns have requested extensions to file their Financial Disclosure statements (FD) with the U.S. House clerk’s office after this past Monday’s deadlines.

Thus far, only Susan Hathaway-Altman has filed her report, and it’s generating questions which McHenry County Blog researching.

The extensions for FDs, due no later than May 29, are:

  • Catalina Lauf
  • Jerry Evans
  • Mark Carroll
Chuck Edwards

No word if Cassandra Tanner Miller has filed an FD or an extension, but Monday was extra special for CTM — the birth of her and husband Brady Johnson’s son, Clayton Colt late Monday afternoon.

Finally, while Catalina Lauf’s endorsed candidate Bo Hines won Monday night in the Republican primary for the open NC-13 U.S. House seat, Lauf’s first congressional endorsement from last July, Congressman Madison Cawthorn, 26, lost his renomination bid to 3-term 62-years-old state Senator Chuck Edwards in NC-11.

Edwards started his business career behind the counter at a local McDonald’s in 1976, and today, is a franchise owner of 7 McDonald’s restaurants in western North Carolina, in addition to serving as a state senator.

Edwards’ victory was helped significantly by the endorsement and financial backing of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R, NC). The AP called the race at 10:09PM CDT, and Congressman Cawthorn conceded defeat by 9:30PM CDT.

In NC-13, which is rated a toss-up district, the 26-years-old Hines will face 2-term state Senator Wiley Nickel, 46, on November 8.


Third rankings, including the Daily Herald editorial endorsement interview, the League of Women Voters (LWV) candidates forum and other developments over past month.

The new rankings of May 15, 2022 are as follows with April 16 ranking in “( )”:

  1. Catalina Lauf (1) — skipping Daily Herald editorial endorsement interview & candidates forum questionable as she continues trouble to consistently tell the truth, but Elise Stefanik endorsement keeps Lauf in lead as no primary opponents launched mailers, digital ads or TV commercials in the past month
  2. Jerry Evans (2) — slight win in editorial endorsement interview, but no mailers, digital ads or TV commercials, which will be needed to overtake Lauf and win the primary
  3. Mark Carroll (3) — solid candidates forum performance, but no mailers, digital ads or TV commercials, which will be needed to overtake Lauf and Evans and win the primary
  4. Susan Hathaway-Altman (5) — showing her strength with supply chain issues and leading baby formula drives in Kane County while participating in editorial endorsement interview and candidates forum.
  5. Andrea Heeg (6) — signage beginning to appear in central Kane County and launched her website.
  6. Cassandra Tanner Miller (4) — campaign for all practical purposes over, as her FEC filing shows her campaign at end of March is under water and in debt

Through mid-May, none of the national committees or super PACs have purchased TV advertising time in the “Likely Democrat” rated 11th District. Media buys for the fall can change at any time, but thus far, the national focus backed up with outside campaign spending in Illinois is in the 17th District.

The Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC issued a press release at the end of April announcing its initial fall TV advertising reservations and no Chicagoland media buys included.

Approved Congressional Map 10/29/21

Immediate dates to watch for in the 11th District primary include the following:

  • From May 16 through May 29, candidates must file their Financial Disclosure statements with the U.S. House clerk in compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, with only limited ability to file an extension given the date of the primary
  • May 19, first day vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots will hit-the-street for voting by mail, with in-person early voting at the county clerks’ offices.
  • Early-to-mid June candidates forums scheduled, with more details to be announced later:
    • McHenry Township Republicans June 4 in Spring Grove
    • Plainfield (Will County) June 5
    • Sun City Civics Committee Candidates Forum in Huntley June 14
  • June 16, pre-primary reports filings due to the Federal Election Commission (FEC)

With balloting beginning Thursday, the candidates should have had at least a mailer and TV commercial published by now.

From my latest observations including feedback shared by multiple friends of McHenry County Blog, here is the revised rankings of the 6 Republican candidates competing for IL-11’s Republican nomination.

These rankings will likely change as additional information is published, or the candidates reach out to voters through grassroots campaigning, mailers, digital and/or TV commercial advertising.

#1: Catalina Lauf of Woodstock, the nominal frontrunner who had a mixed month but could breakout due to North Carolina Republican primary if her endorsed candidate wins

Lauf’s questionable decisions to miss the Daily Herald editorial endorsement interview and the LWV candidates forum, in spite of her lame excuse could cost her more than an editorial newspaper endorsement from the Daily Herald and Shaw Local Media.

Additionally, McHenry County Blog shared Lauf had lost her endorsement from Turning Point Action.

Yet last Wednesday, Lauf was endorsed by House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R, NY-21) through the Elevate PAC, joining 21 other Republican women being endorsed. E-PAC endorsed candidates, going into Tuesday’s primaries in Pennsylvania, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and North Carolina, are currently 3-0 winning primaries.

Speaking of North Carolina, last August, Lauf endorsed congressional candidate Bo Hines (R, NC-13) in the crowded primary field for the open House seat, which is rated a toss-up district. Along with former President Trump and the Club for Growth Action super PAC, Lauf backed the 26-years-old former collegiate football player who’s worked as a congressional staffer and a gubernatorial staffer in different states.

Like Lauf, Hines has few significant life experiences given his age, though Hines is married.

Should Hines win the nomination outright on Tuesday, and in North Carolina, the top vote getter must receive at least 30% of the primary vote to avoid a runoff, Lauf’s early endorsement may convince Trump and/or the Club for Growth to back Lauf pre-primary. The fact IL-11 is not a toss-up, but a “Likely Democrat” rated district may prevent Trump or Club for Growth from backing Lauf prior to June 28.

Lauf is still challenged telling the truth, and she tried to extend her Financial Disclosure statement filing until mid-August, well after the primary. The U.S. House clerk rejected her mid-August extension request, and Lauf’s new due date is May 29.

Jerry Evans

#2: Jerry Evans of Warrenville

While Jerry Evans continues to win local endorsements from local elected officials and Republican organizations, Evans won the prestigious McHenry County GOPac endorsement.

While Evans has more endorsements, and a win in the Daily Herald editorial endorsement interview, Evans’ performance at the LWV candidates forum was not his best, and in my honest opinion, Evans finished a close 2nd in Batavia.

Evans had a solid interview on WIND’s Black and Right on Saturday, and he’s still seen as the main threat to Lauf winning the primary. That said, Evans’ campaign must begin getting his message out in a mailer, digital marketing and/or TV commercial, or Lauf could begin to cruise.

Mark Carroll

#3: Mark Carroll of North Aurora

North Aurora Village Trustee Mark Carroll had a very active month, which included several endorsements, including from the Board of Directors of Illinois Family Action and the Lake County Republican Central Committee’s executive committee.

But the biggest highlight for Carroll was his late April visit to Mar a Lago to attend Congresswoman Mary Miller (R, IL-15) fundraising event with special guest former President Trump.

Carroll attended the Miller event with gubernatorial candidate, state Senator Darren Bailey (R, Xenia) and congressional candidate, Kendall County Republican Chairman Jim Marter (R, Oswego).

He’ll be sharing the stage with Bailey and Marter at Tuesday afternoon’s Illinois Family Action reception in Glen Ellyn.

Carroll had a slight win in the LWV candidates forum, and has openly criticized frontrunner Lauf for missing the event. Additionally, three of his supporters attending the LWV forum in Batavia last week were told to turn their “Mark Carroll for Congress” t-shirts they were wearing inside-out for the taping of the forum, which was, in my honest opinion, the worst act the LWV did at its candidates forum last week.

Susan Hathaway-Altman

#4: Susan Hathaway-Altman of unincorporated Geneva

After participating in the Daily Herald editorial interview and the LWV candidates forum in Batavia plus appearing at the McHenry County Republicans’ social event on May 4 in Crystal Lake, Susan Hathaway-Altman successfully began introducing herself to voters.

While she had good performances at the two candidates events, the LWV forum was where she started highlighting her business record of working in the supply chain over her 30-years career in business.

She also showed she can push back against one of her opponents (Carroll) and object when Carroll made the claim he was the only candidate to publish his platform, which Hathaway-Altman pointed out was inaccurate.

Entering early voting, Hathaway-Altman is the top of the 2nd-tier candidates, but her work to address the baby formula supply chain shortages is giving her visibility.

Andrea Heeg

#5: Andrea Heeg of unincorporated Geneva

Andrea Heeg, like frontrunner Lauf, skipped both the Daily Herald editorial endorsement interview, and was pro-active over her decision to miss the LWV candidates forum in Batavia.

Heeg launched her campaign website, and I have seen Heeg signs popping up in central Kane County, particularly in Campton Township and the village of Elburn.

Cassandra Tanner Miller

#6: Cassandra Tanner Miller of Elgin

For all practical purposes, Cassandra Tanner Miller’s campaign is dead.

The attendance at her Geneva fundraiser at the end of April was very small, and if she raised enough to pay off her vendors her FEC filing showed she owed at the end of March, then it was a success, but nothing more to influence the race.

What do you think of the 11th Congressional District Republican primary field May 15 revised rankings? Are they valid? Please discuss in comments, and please keep all comments on the points raised in this article.

IL-11: Republican Candidates Weigh-in on Baby Formula Shortage

Over the past week, three of the six Republicans in the primary to run against Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville) have weighed-in on the baby formula shortage through press releases or social media posts.

McHenry County Blog shares where the candidates stand, in chronological order of their respective statements.

Mark Carroll

Mark Carroll, May 11

From a press release reported by Local Government Information Services publication Kane County Reporter, North Aurora Village Trustee Mark Carroll:

There are a lot of problems around the world and a lot of problems here in America but one that Mark Carroll For Congress never figured to see, let alone go unanswered, currently stands out.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published an article talking about our Nation’s baby formula shortage. To ease the shortage, “AAP advises buying no more than a 10 day to 2-week supply of formula.” The Academy also goes on to suggest switching to almost any other formula, even one that is not initially pediatrician recommended.

Mark Carroll’s response:

“As my wife and I learned with our boys, it is not easy to switch between available brands and formulas, especially if your child has reflux or may be allergic to a particular ingredient. Our children faced both issues.

“Being parents of three boys, my wife and I understand the impacts these shortages create financially. They create extra anxiety in making sure your infant is getting what he or she needs.

“When our kids were young, my wife and I both worked as we do today. With those stressors, plus the potential of child care choices and reliable transportation, it was tough enough to stay sane. If you add on not being able to find supplies of the right formula for your child, it can quickly become too much.

“This is yet another example of the failed policies of the Biden administration harming lower and middle class consumers. One would think that this internal issue should and would be handled before we decide to take care of the rest of the world. This is most definitely not the case and needs to change.

“We need to elect someone like me who understands these struggles firsthand.”

Mark Carroll, from Kane County Reporter, May 11
Susan Hathaway-Altman

Susan Hathaway-Altman, May 14

Per May 14 press releases from the past weekend announcing baby formula collection drives she spearheaded in St. Charles and Batavia:

Susan Hathaway-Altman (R, unincorporated Geneva) demanded the Biden Administration take action in three areas:

  1. Order the FDA to immediately authorize the entry into the country of Formula from Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand.
  2. Cut the red tape and regulations so we don’t have to buy 40% of our baby formula from China, but produce it locally in the US. It is time for the US to become Food Independent.
  3. Release the baby formula immediately hoarded in the government stockpiles held for noncitizens and put American Citizens FIRST!

Ms. Hathaway-Altman also reached several formula manufacturers and offered to help solve their supply chain issues utilizing over 30 years of experience conducting business in Corporate America. Her expertise could also help them get production back online quickly.

Catalina Lauf

Catalina Lauf, May 17

Yesterday in an Instagram post, Catalina Lauf (R, Woodstock) posted the following concerning the baby formula shortage:

The baby [formula] shortage is the government’s fault and your members of Congress should be asking the FDA some serious questions. LIKE:

1. Why did it take so long for the FDA to investigate, recall then allow production again?

2. If you knew that one of the major players was going to be out, what did you do to get ahead of it?

3. What was the government doing to address the supply chain issues? Did they work with private companies (logistics, shipping) to speed up supply chain?

4. Why is there billions of dollars worth of formula at the border and why isn’t that going to American babies?

5. What changes are going to be made so this never happens again?

So which candidate distinguished themselves the best on the baby formula shortage? Please let us know in comments, and please keep comments relevant to what IL-11 Republican candidates said/done on the baby formula shortage.

2022 Primary Election Will See Six Write-In Candidates for Office

Here are the people running Write-In campaigns for Republican Precinct Committeeperson:

  • Precinct CORAL 1 – Seth C. Damisch
  • Precinct GRAFTON 9 – Karen Langhenry
  • Precinct GREENWOOD 5 – Michael J. Mccleary
  • Precinct HARTLAND 2 – Lenora Calzavara
  • Precinct MARENGO 4 – Martin Mohr
  • Precinct ALGONQUIN 23 – Sharon L. Fetting
This map shows where townships are in McHenry County.

No one is running a Write-In campaign in the Democratic Party.

Illinois GOP Supreme Court Race Now Back to Four Contestants

A Cook County Circuit Court Judge has reversed the Illinois State Board of Elections decision that two of the four candidates running for the Republican nomination for Supreme Court could not stay on the ballot

From the Chicago Tribune: Which female candidate do youthink the Tribune will endorse?

Appellate Court Justice Susan Hutchison and former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran were returned to the ballot with a decisiion that basically upheld the recommendation of the Election Board’s Hearing Officier, with which the Board’s General Counsel agreed.

Now there four on the ballot:

  • John A. Noverini
  • Daniel B. Shanes
  • Susan Hutchison
  • Mark Curran

Colatorti Wins Administrative Review Court Case, Decision Immediately Appealed, Plus Tadelman Reaction

From prospective Republican McHenry County Sheriff’s candidate Tony Colatorti:

Colatorti wins appeal. Tadelman surrogates fail in attempt to disfranchise voters

using Democrat lawyers tied to Democrat Speaker.

“I am grateful that the judge ruled in our favor and will let the voters choose our next sheriff. After my opponent
and his two supporters were shut down in a unanimous decision by the electoral board, they continued to
disenfranchise voters and waste taxpayer’s money. An electoral board consisting of three experienced attorneys,
and now a circuit judge have unanimously ruled me qualified.
My opponent insists on trying to steal this election so that he runs unopposed. My opponent knows he will lose if he
has to run in a free and fair election against me. I will always stand for election integrity and your constitutional
rights, and I call on my opponent to stop trying to steal this election away from the voters. It’s time for a change.”

= = = = =

This sentence of the court decision stood out to me:

= = = = =

The chalengers to Colatorti’s candidacy filed notice of an appeal:

= = = = =

From the Robb Tadelman campaign came this response:

Statement from Robb Tadelman on the court’s decision in the Colatorti Objection

McHenry County: I disagree with the judge’s decision in this case but that is his job and his interpretation of a brand-new law. I understand the complexity of this issue because in a similar case in a neighboring county, the judge interpreted the same law differently. I continue to support the objectors in this case and their decision to challenge the qualifications of my opponent to run for this office based on the law.

While the objection tends to get most of the media attention the campaigns of both my opponent and I have continued on, and ultimately the voters will decide on June 28th. This campaign is indeed about qualifications and integrity, and I look forward to continuing to inform voters about the facts, above the clatter and noise that surrounds campaigns.

In an effort to inform the public about what is at stake our campaign continues to unearth more information that gives us a clearer picture of the record.

Recently we let the public know about some details about my opponent’s experience.

The fact that as a part-time law enforcement officer, in his various agencies in McHenry County, he was involved in only three felony and misdemeanor cases flies in the face of his supporters claims that their support is based on Tony’s “investigative experience”.

There are also a lot of inconsistencies in my opponent’s story about the circumstances surrounding his departure from his job as Chief of Police in Prairie Grove.

Tony claims he resigned but new results from a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests shows that he was asked to resign, or he would be terminated. This is important because it is part of Tony’s record and speaks to his management experience. I am attaching some of the new documents but I would urge you to follow me on Facebook for more information.

My campaign will continue to bring this information to the public and we will continue to point out the differences between myself and my opponent.

= = = = =

Included were the first two emails, found here, plus new responses for FOIA requests from Prairie Grove, which will be posted separately.

IL-11 UPDATED: Susan Hathaway-Altman Organizing Baby Formula Collection Drive in Batavia for Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry on Sunday

Susan Hathaway-Altman

From NEW press release from Susan Hathaway-Altman (R, unincorporated Geneva) congressional campaign:

Susan Hathaway-Altman is taking action as part of her Solutions Campaign by organizing a food rally asking her constituents and neighbors to donate Baby Formula to the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.

Her heart breaks to see her neighbors unable to feed their babies, and this donation will go far to help feed those babies in need.

During the rally, she demanded the Biden Administration take action in three areas:

  1. Order the FDA to immediately authorize the entry into the country of Formula from Europe, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand.
  2. Cut the red tape and regulations so we don’t have to buy 40% of our baby formula from China, but produce it locally in the US. It is time for the US to become Food Independent.
  3. Release the baby formula immediately hoarded in the government stockpiles held for noncitizens and put American Citizens FIRST!

Susan Hathaway-Altman also invited the general public to attend Sunday her second drive, this one held at “Dance Dynamics,” 79 S Randall Rd, Batavia IL.

Ms. Hathaway-Altman also reached several formula manufacturers and offered to help solve their supply chain issues utilizing over 30 years of experience conducting business in Corporate America. Her expertise could also help them get production back online quickly.


Hathaway-Altman is the mother of 3 daughters (1 adopted) and one granddaughter.

What If the Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices Lived in Illinois

It’s hard to find people who think U.S. Supreme Court Justices’ homes should be picketed.

If their homes were in Illinois, the following non-picketing law would apply:

(720 ILCS 5/) Criminal Code of 2012.

    (720 ILCS 5/Art. 21.1 heading)ARTICLE 21.1. RESIDENTIAL PICKETING
    (720 ILCS 5/21.1-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 21.1-1)
    Sec. 21.1-1. Legislative finding and declaration.
    The Legislature finds and declares

that men in a free society have the right to quiet enjoyment of their homes;
that the stability of community and family life cannot be maintained unless the right to privacy and a sense of security and peace in the home are respected and encouraged;
that residential picketing, however just the cause inspiring it, disrupts home, family and communal life;
that residential picketing is inappropriate in our society, where the jealously guarded rights of free speech and assembly have always been associated with respect for the rights of others.

For these reasons the Legislature finds and declares this Article to be necessary.
(Source: Laws 1967, p. 940.)
    (720 ILCS 5/21.1-2) (from Ch. 38, par. 21.1-2)
    Sec. 21.1-2. Residential picketing. A person commits residential picketing when he or she pickets before or about the residence or dwelling of any person, except when the residence or dwelling is used as a place of business. This Article does not apply to a person peacefully picketing his own residence or dwelling and does not prohibit the peaceful picketing of the place of holding a meeting or assembly on premises commonly used to discuss subjects of general public interest.
(Source: P.A. 97-1108, eff. 1-1-13.)
    (720 ILCS 5/21.1-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 21.1-3)
    Sec. 21.1-3. Sentence. Violation of Section 21.1-2 is a Class B misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 77-2638.)

Ugaste Provides Deep Dive into Quincy Veterans Home Gross Negliance

From State Rep. Dan Ugaste:

Audit slams Pritzker Administration for failed response to deadly COVID outbreak at LaSalle Veterans Home.  In total, 36 residents of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home died due to COVID-19. The deaths occurred between November 7, 2020, and January 1, 2021. By November 15, 2020, 17 residents had lost their lives from COVID-19 at the LaSalle Home.

Multiple legislative hearings in response to the deaths at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home uncovered lack of management and health protocols to keep veterans safe in the Home and a lack of response from the Governor and his Administration. In response to the unanswered questions about the tragic deaths and the lack of response by Governor Pritzker’s Administration, House Republicans filed HR 62 (Welter). The resolution directed the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of the State’s response to the management of the COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. On April 28, 2021, the House adopted HR 62.

On May 5, 2022, the Office of the Auditor General released the report of its Performance Audit of the State’s response to the COVID-19 Outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. The audit report contains seven key findings and three recommendations. Two recommendations were directed to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and one was directed to the Department of Public Health. The Departments agreed with the recommendations.

Key Findings:

Although the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials were informed of the increasing positive cases almost on a daily basis by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Chief of Staff, IDPH did not identify and respond to the seriousness of the outbreak. It was the IDVA Chief of Staff who ultimately had to request assistance. The IDVA Chief of Staff inquired about a site visit and about rapid tests (November 9th), and inquired about getting antibody treatments (November 11th) for LaSalle Veterans’ Home residents. From the documents reviewed, IDPH officials did not offer any advice or assistance as to how to slow the spread at the Home, offer to provide additional rapid COVID-19 tests, and were unsure of the availability of the antibody treatments for long-term care settings prior to being requested by the IDVA Chief of Staff.

  • The outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home occurred at a time when COVID-19 cases were trending up statewide. Positive cases in Region 2 (where the LaSalle Home is located) increased from 12,108 in October 2020 to 37,825 in November 2020, an increase of 212.4 percent. Also, the outbreak occurred prior to the COVID-19 vaccine. Prior to the 3 outbreak that began at the end of October 2020, only six staff members had tested positive for COVID-19. Even though the LaSalle Home had designated areas for isolation and quarantine, once the virus entered the Home, it spread very rapidly.
  • The time it took to receive staff COVID-19 testing results from the IDPH lab was lengthened by the collection method used by the LaSalle Home. The Home tested staff over a three day period. As a result, new tests of staff collected on November 3rd, 4th, and 5th were not delivered to the IDPH lab until Thursday, November 5th, even though the first two staff members from the outbreak were found to be positive by Sunday, November 1st. The IDPH lab published the majority of the test results on either Friday or Saturday. Therefore, the delay in getting testing results was primarily due to the collection method used by the LaSalle Home. Additionally, the testing method, collecting tests over three days, was not in compliance with the facility’s policy, which allowed for testing over two days.
  • IDVA provided auditors with new infection prevention policies on June 17, 2021, which were drafted with the assistance of IDPH, which were officially implemented on April 23, 2021. The purpose of these policies was to establish a comprehensive and integrated infection prevention and control program at all Illinois veterans’ homes. A system-level Infection Prevention and Control Committee was tasked with standardizing policies and procedures and was required to oversee infection prevention at the Illinois veterans’ homes. These policies also updated infection prevention training requirements for staff at Illinois veterans’ homes.
  • The LaSalle Veterans’ Home implemented several infrastructure improvements during FY20 and FY21 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and outbreak at the Home. Prior to the outbreak, external firms were commissioned to design and build airborne infection isolation rooms at IDVA Homes, including the LaSalle Home. The construction of the isolation rooms was initiated in March of 2020 and operational by May 23, 2020. Payments made for the construction of the isolation rooms totaled $1,057,470. In total, the cost for all infrastructure improvements from March 2020 through June 2021 totaled $1,162,719.
  • The State expended approximately $3.4 million between FY20 and FY21 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. According to documentation provided by IDPH and IDVA, expenditures included PPE, infrastructure improvements, and COVID-19 testing for both the COVID-19 pandemic as a whole and the outbreak at the LaSalle Home that began in late October 2020. Auditors concluded that the outbreak did not significantly add to the Home’s overall COVID-19-related costs during FY20 and FY21.
  • The Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG) investigation reported that the significance of the outbreak was not being meaningfully tracked by the IDVA Chief of Staff. In fact, auditors found the Chief of Staff provided detailed information to IDPH that was used by the Director of IDPH in her daily COVID19 briefings. IDPH and the First Assistant Deputy Governor for Health & Human 4 Services were provided detailed emails of COVID-19 positive cases and related deaths for each of the four State veterans’ homes by IDVA on November 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 12th, and 13th. The primary finding of the DHS OIG report, which indicated the “absence of any standard operating procedures in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak,” was flawed. Auditors identified hundreds of pages of guidance provided by IDPH and by the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, COVID-19 policies were formulated by IDVA specifically for the LaSalle Veterans’ Home as well as a Continuity of Operations Plan that was reviewed by Illinois Emergency Management Agency and was provided to IDPH back in March 2020.

Key Recommendations:

  • IDVA should ensure each of its Veterans’ Homes have policies and procedures in place that mandate timely testing of its residents and employees during COVID-19 outbreaks, and should ensure that residents and employees are tested according to the policy.
  • IDPH should: (1) clearly define its role in relation to monitoring COVID-19 outbreaks at Illinois Veterans’ Homes; and (2) develop policies and procedures that clearly identify criteria which mandate IDPH intervention at Veterans’ Homes during an outbreak of COVID-19.
  • IDVA should ensure that: (1) the IDVA Director works with the Department of Public Health and the Governor’s office during COVID-19 outbreaks to advocate for the health, safety, and welfare of the veterans who reside in the Homes under IDVA’s care; and (2) the Senior Home Administrator position is filled and the duties of the position include monitoring and providing guidance to the Veterans’ Homes during COVID-19 outbreaks.

Illinois House Republican Conference Chair Rep. David Welter issued the following statement in reaction to the Auditor General’s findings on the Pritzker Administration’s response to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home in the fall of 2020 that claimed the lives of 36 of our state’s heroes:

“The Governor’s Office previously testified how the IDVA Director duped them regarding the outbreak’s severity. Today’s report from the Auditor General proves Governor Pritzker was the one who deceived us. His office had information from day one and failed to act. The Governor’s investigation into the matter was flawed, too narrowly focused, and purposely removed him and IDPH’s leadership team from scrutiny until today’s independent findings. The Governor can no longer cover up the truth, and he must be held accountable for his collapse of competence. Legislative hearings must be scheduled to determine how the administration failed so greatly in protecting our state’s heroes.”

IL-11 UPDATED: Catalina Lauf, Sub-30 Youth and Serving in Congress

Catalina Lauf

Congressman Madison Cawthorn faces voters for 1st time for reelection Tuesday and in spite of only needing 30% of the primary vote to win outright, some believe he may be forced to a runoff

UPDATE May 14, 2022, 5:43AM CDT: Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R, Channahon) will be hosting a virtual “Defeat Party” to watch Congressman Madison Cawthorn possibly lose, or be forced into a runoff on Tuesday night:

“This coming Tuesday, May 17th, is the primary election in North Carolina, and Country First has made bold moves to defeat one of the most toxic and ineffective members of Congress: Madison Cawthorn (you may have seen some rather unfortunate videos of him in the news lately…).

“All of our polling is showing that the media, mail, texting, and grassroots outreach we’ve done in the race is working — Cawthorn’s numbers have cratered!  But in a crowded field, it’s going to come down to the wire, and we’d love for you to virtually watch the results come in with us.

“We’ll discuss the race, get updates as the numbers come in, and hear a preview of the other important races and states we’re targeting.  It’s possible we won’t know the winner by the time we wrap things up, but it’s still a good excuse to get together and connect as a movement.

“I hope you can make it on Tuesday, May 17th at 8:30 pm Eastern / 7:30 pm Central / 6:30 pm Mountain / 5:30 pm Pacific.

“Our efforts will continue through Tuesday and beyond, so if you would like to assist as a volunteer and/or financially, please don’t hesitate to get involved!

“Hope to see you Tuesday. Fingers crossed for a great win!”

Congressman Adam Kinzinger Country F1rst PAC email

===== END OF UPDATE =====

IL-11 Republican primary voters should take heed concerning frontrunner Catalina Lauf (R, Woodstock) and the youngest member of Congress who’s close friends with Lauf, Madison Cawthorn (R, NC-11) as parallels go beyond youth.

“Cawthorn…is an immature college dropout with a thin work resume, a scofflaw and serial embellisher who was neither qualified nor prepared for the responsibility and the scrutiny that comes with the office he holds.”

“‘He’s Not OK’: The Entirely Predictable Unraveling of Madison Cawthorn”, 5/13/22, POLITICO


With the exception of “college dropout”, everything describing Cawthorn from today’s POLITICO feature article matches Catalina Lauf.

The only life experience Cawthorn had when he entered Congress Lauf does not have, marriage, did not last a year.

Check out Cawthorn’s burn rate, April 1 through April 27:

With 3 weeks to go before the May 17 primary, Cawthorn had less than $138K in the bank.

He’s off the air (“dark”) without TV advertising 3 weeks before the primary.

From the desk of John Lopez: Unlike Cawthorn’s NC-11, the IL-11 is not a “safe Republican” district. IL-11 has a 7-term Democratic incumbent who will have nearly $5 million in the bank by the end of June to highlight all of Lauf’s inexperience, immaturity and especially her lack of honesty should she win the primary.

Put another way, the worst thing that could happen to Lauf is her winning the primary. The Democrats will show Lauf no mercy.

The full feature article from POLITICO about Cawthorn can be viewed here.

IL-11: Meet & Greet with Illinois Family Action Endorsed Candidates in Glen Ellyn

Tuesday (May 17) in Glen Ellyn 4-6PM CDT

Illinois Family Action, the political arm of the Illinois Family Institute, is hosting a meet & greet with their endorsed gubernatorial candidate, state Senator Darren Bailey (R, Xenia) and their three endorsed congressional candidates in competitive suburban congressional districts, including IL-11 which includes most of McHenry County.

While the event is free, registration required and can be completed here.

On May 1, the IL-11 endorsement, as determined by the Board of Directors of Illinois Family Action, was announced for North Aurora Village Trustee Mark Carroll.

Note from John Lopez: While I have the honor to be a paid freelance writer for Illinois Family Action, I had no input into any endorsement decisions for the 2022 primary election. Endorsement decisions were made by the Board of Directors.

Pritzker Quantifies Abortion Tourism

From JB Pritzker:

Governor JB Pritzker Calls on Federal Lawmakers to Protect Women’s Rights with Roe v. Wade Under Threat

Remarks As Prepared For Delivery* Wednesday in Fairview Heights:

Thank you, and good morning. With the Supreme Court’s anti-choice majority poised to further restrict reproductive rights and overturn Roe v. Wade, the nation is on the precipice of eliminating a federal right that has been the law of the land for 50 years. It’s shameful and wrong.

Lt. Governor Stratton, our partners in the statehouse, and I want to thank Planned Parenthood for hosting us this morning, but more importantly for the truly lifesaving and life-changing work for patients here in Illinois and throughout the United States. 

We joined together to mark the regional logistics center’s opening in January, on the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, knowing that Roe’s guarantee of a woman’s right to choose might not make it to its 50th.

In the months since, hundreds of patients from other states throughout the South and Midwest have been cared for in this very room: recovering not only from their medical procedure as any patient would, but recovering from the odyssey that forced them to seek refuge here.

More than 75% of this clinic’s patients are from out-of-state – coming from places like Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, and Kentucky, sometimes travelling eight plus hours and hundreds of miles to get basic reproductive care.

Often these patients have struggled to get the necessary childcare, lodging, and time off work. They’re patients who’ve struggled to find enough money to travel this far. Patients who’ve had to answer personal questions to their employers or had to invent a reason to be gone for days. Patients who’ve faced hurdles at every turn in the pursuit of basic healthcare. And let’s be crystal clear about this point: abortion is healthcare.

By the time many of these out-of-state patients make it to Fairview Heights, Illinois, they have traveled further than anyone should have to – physically and emotionally.

People should not have to endure trauma after trauma to be in control of their own bodies – but that’s exactly the burden that this right-wing Supreme Court and anti-choice governors and state legislatures increasingly put on the backs of millions more women.

Since 2015, the number of out-of-state patients coming to Illinois to make their own decisions about whether, where, and how to be a parent has tripled – and without action from Congress, it’s set to soar.

Let me make this clear: Illinois is a pro-choice state, and as long as I’m governor and we retain a pro-choice legislature, we will support every woman’s right to reproductive freedom. When women come here to this state, you are welcomed. You are supported.

You are safe.

You won’t need to suffer additional trauma; you will be treated with dignity, empathy, and compassion.

To the US Senators who are voting today on whether to safeguard a woman’s right to choose: there is no archaic rule, no parliamentary maneuver, no matter that is more critical than protecting the lives and bodily autonomy of more than 160 million people. It’s long past time for this nation to codify Roe v. Wade into law. If it takes overhauling the filibuster, then overhaul the filibuster. If it requires countless hours of pleading and deliberation, then get to work. If it takes courage, find it.

My mother fought for women’s liberation and reproductive rights, and she showed me how protests can change the minds of politicians who are stuck in the past and how important it is to turn protest into action.

Right now, women are under siege. Basic rights to privacy, to healthcare, to the rights of women to control their own bodies are about to be stripped away. The world is watching.

Here in Illinois we trust women.

To the US Senate we say, Be Like Illinois. Thank you.

GOP Treasurer and Comptroller Candidates Call on Incumbents Not to Use Checks to Promote Their Candidacies

From Shannon Teresi and Tom Deemer, both running for statewide office:

Tom Demmer and Shannon Teresi call on State Officials Not to Campaign on the Taxpayer’s Dime

Crystal Lake, IL – It’s no secret this year’s budget is filled with election year gimmicks, including some blatant attempts to buy votes with tax rebates featuring the names of statewide elected officials.

“Today, Treasurer candidate Tom Demmer and Comptroller candidate Shannon Teresi are calling on Michael Frerichs and Susana Mendoza to display they are opposed to the corrupt practice of campaigning on taxpayer dollars by keeping their names off of these checks and any other communications or promotional materials associated with this election-year gimmick.

Tom Demmer called on Michael Frerichs to come clean on his support of a tax on retirement income and the $275,000 he’s taken from Madigan-committees.

After supporting Gov. Pritzker’s radical income tax increase plan and then even going a step further and proposing a tax on retirement income, Mike Frerichs is the very last person in Illinois who should be talking about tax relief–even if it’s fake tax relief. The simple fact is that Mike Frerichs, enabled by over $275,000 in campaign cash from indicted former Speaker Michael Madigan, has used and abused his positions in state office to raise taxes at every turn and using taxpayer dollars to add his name to election-year gimmicks takes his hypocrisy to its tallest level.”

Comptroller candidate Shannon Teresi highlighted her own experience rooting out this exact corruption as McHenry County Auditor:

“I was elected as Auditor to stop corrupt waste of taxpayers dollars exactly like this. We ended the practice of campaigning on taxpayer dollars in McHenry County, and I plan on ending it statewide as the next Comptroller. Illinois’s net position worsened by billions during Gov. Pritzker’s administration and yet the state’s chief accountant is fine with distributing checks with her name on it to taxpayers? That is a dereliction of her duty, and exactly why we need a real accountant to replace her as Comptroller.”

= = = = =

When I was running against incumbent State Comptroller Roland Burris for State Comptroller in 1982 , he had his state chauffeur drive him to a joint event in Peoria in his state car.

Murder Solution Earns McHenry County Sheriff Sgt. Trent Raupp Top Investigative Honor

From the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police:

Sgt. Raupp of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office named officer of the year  

Sergeant Trent Raupp of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in Woodstock, Illinois, has been named the 2022 Most Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Sheriff Bill Prim nominated Raupp for the annual award citing his outstanding achievements as an investigator and his dedication to protecting the community and bringing justice. 

Raupp has held several roles in law enforcement including his first role as a correctional officer in 2007, and later as deputy sheriff and detective.

He has been with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years and was promoted to sergeant in early 2022.

In his nomination, Prim cited the critical role that Raupp played in investigating the disappearance of Michelle M. Arnold-Boesiger who was reported missing to the Holiday Hills Police Department in early January 2021.

Along with a team of officers, Raupp’s diligent work and thorough investigation led to the discovery of Arnold-Boesiger’s body and the arrest of her boyfriend for her murder.Raupp joined the investigation when the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division was asked to assist in the case.

Despite numerous dead ends tracking Arnold-Boesiger’s whereabouts, Raupp continued to analyze her social media accounts, cell phone data and previous police interactions to develop a victimology.

Outreach to law enforcement agencies in and around Illinois uncovered that the FBI was investigating a missing persons/child abduction case in Wisconsin which involved Arnold-Boesiger’s current boyfriend, Jonathan J. Van Duyn.

Trent Raupp

He had abducted his biological daughter from Wisconsin and later located by the FBI living in a camper trailer in Hartsville, Indiana, and driving Arnold-Boesiger’s vehicle.

Raupp worked closely with the FBI and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations to analyze the data obtained through subpoenas on

  • vehicles,
  • cell phones,
  • social media,
  • bank records and
  • I-PASS accounts.

He helped to plot the movements of Arnold-Boesiger and Van Duyn during the latter part of 2020 when he noticed a place in Roscoe, Illinois, frequently visited by the couple.

The location was identified as a storage unit.

After obtaining a search warrant, law enforcement located Arnold-Boesiger, deceased within Van Duyn’s vehicle housed in the storage unit.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office was notified and responded to the scene to collect evidence.

Following months of interviews, additional search warrants, the coroner’s report, and a review with the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, Van Duyn was arrested and charged with the homicide of Arnold-Boesiger in August 2021.

Around the same time, Van Duyn pleaded guilty to kidnapping his 10-year-old daughter, an incident that reportedly happened a month after the murder of Arnold-Boesiger.

ILACP Executive Director Ed Wojcicki said that the persistence displayed by Sgt. Raupp throughout the investigation and his overall outstanding work led to him being chosen as Officer of the Year. 

“Sheriff’s offices and police departments often collaborate,” Wojcicki said.

“Our communities are always safer when we bring our resources together, as illustrated in the solving of Michelle Arnold-Boesiger’s gruesome killing near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.’

Raupp said he is “truly honored and humbled” by the recognition he has received from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Administration and ILACP.

He also credited the team of law enforcement professionals he has worked alongside. 

“Thank you to my fellow investigators, supervisors and deputies who assisted untold hours to bring the case to a close, as I could not have done it without them,” he added.

“Finally, I’d like to thank my family for their never-ending support throughout my career.”