Similar to how sports teams have created premium seating with exclusive benefits for fans willing to pay extra, one suburb is offering commuters a chance to buy guaranteed parking in the best spaces at its Metra station.

Applications became available Tuesday for Barrington’s new premium commuter parking permit that will cost $1,200 a year for a space. A quarterly permit for a first-come, first-serve space will be $200, or $800 a year, as of Oct. 1, and the daily fee will rise 50 cents to $3.50, also on Oct. 1.

About 90 premium spots are expected, but that will depend on demand, said Patty Dowd Schmitz, the village’s director of communications, marketing and events. The premium spaces will be those closest to the downtown Barrington Metra station.

Read more here. For further information on parking in Barrington’s Metra lot, click here.

A plan to legalize recreational marijuana leaves some Illinois lawmakers on a collision course with many cops and prosecutors tasked with catching stoned drivers.

“It’s a nightmare,” McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said of legislation under debate in Springfield. He and other local law enforcement experts worry legalization will embolden more people to drive while high and raise crash rates.

Proving a driver is impaired by marijuana beyond a reasonable doubt is no slam dunk for law enforcement.

While Breathalyzers provide an exact measurement of how drunk a driver is, “the technology doesn’t exist” yet for precisely capturing marijuana impairment, Kenneally contends.

And training officers to conduct flawless sobriety tests for weed or buying experimental pot-detection devices is expensive, police say.

“I think some of the lawmakers are out of touch with reality,” Des Plaines Police Chief Bill Kushner said.

Read more here.

Related: “Legalize pot? No way, says leader of state police chief association”

The annual Animal House Shelter Dash for the Dogs 5K Run/Walk will be at Barrington’s Citizens Park off Lake Zurich Road on Sunday, May 19. Registration will begin at 6:15 a.m. Dash for the Dogs allows the shelter to raise funds necessary to cover the cost of the animals’ medical expenses and overall care. Animal House Shelter is a nonprofit, no-kill shelter in Huntley.

For more information, including run times and distance, registration or to make a donation, click here.

The Barrington Hills Park District issued the following statement to residents last evening via email: “The Riding Center will be closed on Friday at Noon through Sunday for the Fox River Vally Pony Club’s annual Mini Event and Combined Test. Spectators are welcome and admission is free.”

The Barrington Art Festival returns for its 10th annual event over Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26, from 10 AM to 5 PM each day. The Festival runs along Cook and Station streets in charming downtown Barrington. Enjoy this shoppable art festival with the entire family.

“The Barrington Art Festival has become a community treasure during the last ten years,” says Amy Amdur, president of Amdur Productions. “Adding art to Barrington’s already charming downtown, which is filled with fantastic café’s, boutiques and restaurants, only enhances the Village’s appeal as a must-visit, must-see weekend destination.”

Free and open to the public, the Barrington Art Festival will showcase the work of more than 130-juried artists from around the world in a variety of mediums. Discover artists offering ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, sculpture, leather, furniture and more. Find a unique piece of art to add to your own art collection, home, office or even your wardrobe.

In addition to the incredible artwork available for purchase, attendees will be able to interact with artists through demonstrations and booth chats. Live music and kid-friendly activities, such as the graffiti wall, as well as epicurean delights offered by Lisa’s Italian Ice, McGonigal’s Beer Booth, Drift, El Campeon, Taquizas el Poblanito and more!

For more details or for a list of artists, click here.

Leaders of Barrington’s cultural community are floating ideas on how to boost business at the landmark Catlow Theater in the village’s downtown.

Catlow owner Tim O’Connor has made public the 92-year-old theater’s financial struggles and is asking for more business to keep it going. The Tudor Revival-style, one-screen theater has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989.

Aware of the Catlow’s situation, Barrington Cultural Commission members are suggesting events or other ways to improve the theater’s financial standing. The 12-member volunteer commission is a branch of village government that coordinates and co-sponsors activities like the Barrington Independent Short Film Festival that was held Saturday at the Catlow.

Read more here.

The suburban police chief recently elected president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police says he’s making it a top priority to fight the legalization of recreational marijuana use here.

“It is a disastrous move,” Chief Steven Stelter said, ticking off more than a half-dozen reasons the association opposes the proposed Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a plan last week that would legalize recreational use for those 21 and older. If passed, Illinois would become the 10th state to legalize.

But several provisions of the proposal have raised red flags for Stelter and others in law enforcement — from a provision allowing people to grow up to five marijuana plants at home to the lack of measures preventing a user from purchasing large amounts by visiting multiple dispensaries.

“I’m sure everybody that wants to grow is going to stick to five plants,” he said with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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