McHenry County Coroner, Dr. Michael Rein, announced that his office was contacted on May 29, 2023 at around 4am by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death of Edgar Torres-Flores, age 39 of North Chicago.
The incident occurred at around the intersection of Wilmot Rd and Sun Dial Ln in Fox Lake.
Mr. Flores was pronounced deceased at the scene.
An autopsy was performed on May 30, 2023. Preliminary findings showed blunt force trauma as the cause of death. Toxicology is currently pending.
The Coroner’s Office is continuing to work collarborately with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office during this investigation.
Late last month, Dr. Kent Mercado (R, Bartlett) formally launched his congressional campaign to challenge 8-term Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville) in the 2024 election.
Mercado, who’s in his early 60s, plans to challenge the only physicist in Congress by bringing credentials of a medical doctor, lawyer and proven humanitarian record for 11th Congressional District (IL-11) voters to consider in 2024.
Throughout the spring, Dr. Mercado has been visiting with local Republican leaders throughout all 8 counties of IL-11. With roots within the Will County portion of Naperville, where Dr. Mercado and his wife raised their children and ran his business, Dr. & Mrs. Mercado sold their home in Will County in late 2022 and relocated (their children are grown) to Bartlett.
The IL-11 going into the 2024 election cycle has an initial rating of “safe/solid Democrat” from the two major ratings services, Cook Political Report with Amy Walter and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
Entering the final four weeks of June, which will end the 2nd quarter fundraising which will be filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Dr. Mercado launched his campaign and sent the following letter introducing himself and asking for political contributions, up to the maximum individual contribution of $3,300.
Last Friday night, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) headlined the Annual Spring Gala of the Lake County Republican Federation in Lincolnshire, and Dr. Mercado attended.
Last month, Congressman Darin LaHood (R, Dunlap) and state Senator Dave Syverson (R, Cherry Valley), both representing portions of McHenry County, had the grand opening of their joint office for constituent services. Dr. Mercado, along with his mother, attended.
Dr. Mercado posted the following on his campaign Facebook page with the pictures from the event:
“An inspiring day at the grand opening of the remarkable combined facility for Congressman Darin Lahood and State Senator Dave Syverson! Joined by my incredible mother, we witnessed a new era of constituent services, where the needs of our community are given utmost importance. Excited to contribute to this exceptional vision as we work towards a brighter future.”
Late last week, political consulting firm Cor Strategies’ founder, Collin Corbett hosted the third episode of his YouTube podcast the Smoke Filled Room (SFR) and Dr. Mercado’s campaign was brought up.
The cued video and the nearly 4 minutes of discussion of IL-11 is below:
The comments from panelists Johnathon Giesecke and Abby Oliver, along with Corbett, brings up a difference concerning Dr. Mercado’s campaign — he’s running a centrist campaign including being pro-choice though unclear if he favors abortion-on-demand, not a conservative to far right campaign.
Corbett alluded to 2022 IL-11 Republican nominee Catalina Lauf (R, Woodstock) as not being a good candidate last fall, and also brought up the “Trump effect” being a significant factor for Lauf’s 12.9 percentage points loss last year, and noting IL-11 had the greatest impact of the “Trump effect” against the Republican nominees running for Congress in the Chicago suburbs.
Whether Dr. Mercado can clear the Republican primary without a credible pro-life conservative candidate entering the Republican field remains to be seen (word-on-the-street says 2022 nominee Lauf will not run for Congress in IL-11 next year). That said, Dr. Mercado doing everything he can do to introduce himself to Republicans across IL-11.
Illinois EPA Announces $12.6 Million in Grants for Public Light-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
Grants will fund 348 new EV fast charging ports at 87 Illinois locations
SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim today announced $12.6 million is being awarded to 10 applicants for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
The grants will fund 348 new Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) ports at 87 locations throughout Illinois.
The awards are based on a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) issued in the fall of 2022 seeking publicly accessible locations in the three priority areas outlined in the Volkswagen (VW) Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP).
These grants were made possible after the Pritzker Administration committed to focus Illinois’ remaining VW Settlement allocation on electric transportation and infrastructure.
“Here in Illinois, we are proud to boast a nation-leading EV ecosystem—from EV manufacturing and tax credits for companies and customers alike to a rapidly-growing EV charging infrastructure,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
“Today, I couldn’t be happier to announce that, through our remaining VW Settlement money, we are dispersing $12.6 million to build 348 new fast charging ports up and down the state. This doesn’t just expand access for residents and visitors—it also brings us one step closer towards our mission of achieving 100% clean energy by 2050.”
“We are excited to see EV charging infrastructure expanding throughout Illinois, providing much needed access, and complementing the State’s goals to expand EVs in Illinois,” said Director Kim. “We look forward to announcing additional opportunities to fund EV charging infrastructure through the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which will further expand accessibility for Illinois residents and visitors.”
The Illinois EPA is funding DCFC light-duty charging stations at publicly accessible locations (shopping centers, retail stores, gas stations, hotels, etc.) in the three priority areas outlined in the VW BMP and specified in the initial NOFO.
Grant awards in the priority area/counties are as follows and include 42 sites in Environmental Justice areas:
Priority Area 1 = 34 Sites: Cook = 6, DuPage = 11, Kane = 8, Lake = 3, McHenry = 2, and Will = 3, Grundy County = 1
Priority Area 2 = 22 Sites: Madison = 11, Monroe = 2, and St. Clair = 9
Grant applicants were required to include a minimum of two projects in two or more of the priority areas. Applications with a minimum of three projects, one in each of the three priority areas, were prioritized for review, scoring, and funding.
As part of the VW Settlement, Illinois’ revised VW BMP focuses on reducing nitrogen oxide emissions in areas where the affected VW vehicles were registered. The revised BMP takes into consideration areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for ozone and bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden, including environmental justice areas.
Information about the two McHenry County locations follow:
1555 S. Illinois Route 31, McHenry. Hampton Inn
117 S. Randall Rd., Algonquin, The Half Priced Books shopping center in Algonquin
Chicago Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison for Surreptitiously Recording Boys in YMCA Locker Rooms
CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for surreptitiously recording thousands of videos of nude boys inside YMCA lockers rooms.
For approximately two decades, MICHAEL PORTER surreptitiously recorded videos of nude boys inside the locker room at three Chicago-area YMCAs, where Porter was a member.
Porter placed a video-recording device inside of a bag and then strategically placed the bag on the floor of the locker rooms.
Porter sexually abused at least one of the boys, capturing the abuse on video.
During the investigation law enforcement seized from Porter six recording devices, seven cameras, 30 USB drives, hundreds of cassette tapes and DVDs, and two laptops.
Law enforcement discovered in his possession
46,563 images and
44,553 videos depicting child pornography, including approximately 2,245 videos produced by Porter.
Porter, 58, pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of production, receipt, and possession of child pornography. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis on Thursday ordered Porter to pay $63,500 in restitution to victims.
The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department.
“Michael Porter was a prolific manufacturer and collector of child pornography,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristen Totten and Elly M. Peirson argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Regardless of whether these images will ever surface again, the victims will live with the trauma imposed upon them by the defendant for the rest of their lives.”
If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by logging on to www.missingkids.com or by calling 1-800-843-5678. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Chicago Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Federal Prison for Two Retail Store Robberies in Illinois and Indiana
ROCKFORD — A Chicago man has been sentenced to four years in federal prison in connection with a series of retail store robberies in Illinois and Indiana.
In 2016, YASHMINE ODOM and his co-conspirators carried out two violent robberies, using force and pepper spray to coerce store employees while stealing laptops, iPads, smart watches, and cell phones.
During the robberies, Odom or his co-conspirators physically assaulted and restrained the employees.
On Dec. 10, 2016, Odom and his co-conspirators traveled to the Valparaiso Simply Mac store in Valparaiso, Ind., and forced store employees to the back of the store.
Odom stayed in the car as the getaway driver while his co-conspirators carried out approximately $50,000 worth of stolen merchandise.
On Dec. 16, 2016, Odom traveled with eight co-conspirators to the Cherry Valley Simply Mac store in Cherry Valley, Ill.
Odom and his co-conspirators forced employees to the back of the store, pepper sprayed one of them, and stole two computers.
Odom, 38, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and robbery charges. U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard imposed the four-year sentence Wednesday after a hearing in federal court in Rockford.
The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. The Rockford Police Department assisted in the investigation. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Ladd.
Proposed by Board member Lou Ness, here is the resolution as it passed. (I am told that the version I posted was replaced with this one,)
“This proclamation was adapted from an earlier national proclamation<” she wrote. Of all the language I explored, These words, rearranged fit best the spirit of Pride Month in McHenry County.”
Whereas individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (referred to in this proclamation as (“LGBTQ+”) include individuals from, every municipality in McHenry County and unincorporated McHenry County, and
Whereas the systemic inequality that LGBTQ+ individuals face in securing healthcare, employment, and housing systems in McHenry County, leading to a disparate impact on LGBTQ+ individuals; and Whereas LGBTQ individuals in the United States and McHenry County serve, and have served, the United States Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and Marines honorably and with distinction and bravery; and
Whereas LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States serve, and have served, in positions in the Federal Government and State and local governments, including as members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries, Governors, mayors, and city council members in McHenry County; and Whereas, throughout much of the history, same-sex relationships were criminalized in many States, and many LGBTQ+ individuals were forced to hide their LGBTQ+ identities while living in secrecy and fear; and
Whereas LGBTQ+ youth in McHenry County are at increased risk of suicide; homelessness; becoming victims of bullying, violence, or human trafficking; and developing mental health illnesses, including anxiety and depression; and
Whereas LGBTQ individuals in McHenry County have achieved significant milestones, ensuring that future generations of LGBTQ+ individuals in McHenry County will enjoy a more equal and just society; and
Whereas, despite being marginalized throughout the history of the United States, LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States and McHenry County continue to celebrate their identities; Assuring that Pride Events are a celebration of visibility in spite of marginalization, the LGBTQ+ community will continue to observe this significant cultural practice; and
Whereas LGBTQ+ individuals in McHenry County remain determined to pursue full equality, respect, and inclusion for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity:
Now let it be proclaimed that the McHenry County Board supports the rights, freedoms, and equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (referred to in this resolution as “LGBTQ+”) individuals in McHenry County while acknowledging that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights to be protected by the laws of the United States and policies and practices in McHenry County .
The McHenry County Board therefore proclaims June 2023 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in order to provide a lasting opportunity for all individuals in McHenry County to explore the impact of discrimination and inequality that members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to endure.
The Lake in the Hills Police Department announces ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign numbers
Lake in the Hills, IL – On Thursday, June 1 2023, Lake in the Hills Police Department announced it issued 35 citations during the recent Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” enforcement period.
While Illinois’ 2022 seat belt compliance rate was 93%, unbelted occupants still account for more than half of those killed in traffic crashes. The “Click It or Ticket” campaign aims to change the behavior of the millions of people who don’t buckle up. Thousands of lives could be saved each year if every vehicle occupant was properly restrained when traveling.
During the enforcement period, Lake in the Hills Police Department wrote 8 citations for seat belt violations and took the following additional actions:
• 1 arrest for Driving with a Suspended License • 21 speeding citations • 2 distracted driving • 1 uninsured motorist • 2 suspended registrations
The Illinois “Click It or Ticket” campaign is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation with federal highway safety funds.
McHenry County’s State’s Attorney, Patrick Kenneally, Honored with State’s Attorney of the Year Award by the Supreme Board of the United Hellenic Voters of America
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office is proud to announce that Patrick Kenneally has been selected to be honored with the prestigious “State’s Attorney of the Year” award by The Supreme Board of the United Hellenic Voters of America.
The United Hellenic Voters of America is a nationally recognized organization that champions the values of justice, integrity, and public service within the Greek American community in the Chicago metropolitan area along with chapters in several other parts of the country.
Each year, they host an awards gala where the UHVA identifies exemplary individuals who have made significant contributions to their professions and recognizes them with the awards.
Patrick Kenneally has consistently demonstrated his unwavering commitment to his role and the pursuit of justice. Throughout his career, Kenneally has tirelessly advocated for the rights of the citizens of McHenry County, ensuring their safety and well-being.
Under his leadership, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office has been at the forefront of combating crime and protecting the community. His and the assistant state’s attorneys’ relentless efforts in prosecuting criminal cases, including high-profile and complex ones, have earned the county widespread recognition and respect from community members. He has implemented innovative initiatives to enhance public safety, promoted fairness in the criminal justice system, and addressed the needs of crime victims.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office applauds Patrick Kenneally’s outstanding achievements and exceptional leadership, which have earned him this well-deserved recognition. His dedication to the pursuit of justice
McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Daniel Kramer and Fallen Deputy Jacob “Jake” Keltner Awarded Medal of Honor
Springfield, IL – Wednesday, 136 law enforcement officers from 41 Illinois agencies were honored in Springfield by Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly for acts of heroism, bravery, and sacrifice at the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony.
McHenry County Sheriff’s Office was proud to have two Medal of Honor recipients, Sgt. Daniel Kramer and Deputy Jacob “Jake” Keltner.
The Medal of Honor is awarded to officers who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty or who have displayed exceptional bravery or heroism while performing their duties as a law enforcement officer.
Sgt. Daniel Kramer received a medal in recognition of the bravery and heroism he displayed on June 16, 2020 while executing a homicide arrest warrant in Beach Park with the U.S. Marshals Service. Lake County Deputy Thomas Sieber was also recognized for his efforts that day, in conjunction with Sgt. Kramer.
Deputy Jake Keltner was honored for the ultimate sacrifice he made on March 7, 2019. Deputy Keltner was fatally shot in the line of duty while executing a search warrant.
Sgt. Kramer accepted the award on behalf of Deputy Keltner and the Keltner family.
“The special souls we pay tribute to met the common daily challenge of enforcing our laws with uncommon bravery,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.
“The Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee and the Illinois State Police honor these heroes, some who paid the ultimate price, in the pursuit of justice and the protection of public safety.”
“When we have men and women who go above and beyond their call of duty, and show this sort of bravery and courage, it exemplifies what ‘hero’ really means,” said Robb Tadelman.
“We are very proud of Sgt. Kramer and Deputy Keltner, whom we miss terribly.”
This ceremony was the first held since 2016 and honored recipients from 2017 – 2022.
Algonquin’s Outdoor Watering Status to Change on June 5
Even/Odd restriction to be implemented as part of Village’s water conservation program
ALGONQUIN, IL – The Village of Algonquin will be changing its outdoor watering restrictions to “Even/Odd” beginning on Monday, June 5.
This restriction indicates even/odd days for outdoor landscape watering before 9:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.
Even addresses may only water on even calendar days, and odd addresses may only water on odd calendar days before 9:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.
These regulations are part of an ongoing water conservation program aimed at preserving our precious water resources.
The Village recognizes the importance of sustainable water management, as Algonquin and neighboring communities depend on underground aquifers for their drinking water supply. By implementing these watering restrictions, we ensure that water is used efficiently and responsibly, safeguarding our water sources for both present and future generations.
To stay updated on the status of the water system, residents can refer to signs posted on main streets within the village or visit our website at www.algonquin.org/waterstatus. Additionally, the Village can be reached at 847-658-2700 for any inquiries regarding the water conservation program. By working together and adhering to these restrictions, we can make a significant impact on conserving water resources.
On June 3, 2023, at approximately 12:45 a.m., the McHenry Township Fire Protection District (MTFPD) was dispatched to a reported garage on fire in the 2600 block of Myang Avenue in unincorporated McHenry. Crews arrived on the scene in six minutes and found a detached garage heavily involved in fire that was communicating to two occupied homes.
Crews quickly attacked the fire from the exterior and stopped it from entering the houses.
The main garage and a vehicle parked in the driveway were a total loss.
There was exterior damage to two houses and an adjacent garage.
There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters working on the scene.
The neighborhood where the fire was located does not have fire hydrants, so water was shuttled in using a Spring Grove Fire Department tanker.
The Fox Lake Fire Department provided coverage in the district while the fire was being extinguished.
The cause of the fire was unknown at the time of this press release, but MTFPD investigators were on the scene working to determine the cause and origin.
Sheriff’s Office Ties for First in Championship Category of the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police for their first-place tie in the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge – Championship Category.
The Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge, coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, is designed to challenge police departments to address traffic safety concerns in unique ways.
Departments are judged in the following categories:
After reviewing the individual department’s accomplishments, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police recognizes the law enforcement agencies in the state that were able to demonstrate exemplary traffic safety and enforcement programs.
The Championship Category is a grouping of all previous first place wins, regardless of agency size, competing against each other.
Deputies within MCSO’s Traffic Unit, along with civilian employees, presented a compilation of data, photographs, crash records, and information to secure a win in their category.
MCSO and other winning agencies will be presented with prizes at an awards banquet in August.
The Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic safety has also assisted the Sheriff’s Office efforts through providing grant funding in occupant protection, speed enforcement, construction zone safety, and impaired driving.
All the efforts put forth have one common goal: making the roadways of McHenry County a safer place to be for our community.