With generous terms and at a time of unprecedented panic as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns crippled the economy, 202,157 Illinois employers received federal Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans.

From Atlas Financial Holdings — incorporated in the Cayman Islands with its “principal executive offices” in Schaumburg — to the Joffrey Ballet to Kivvit, the public affairs firm, to Motor Werks of Barrington, Inc., all kinds of Illinois companies, museums, schools, religious-based organizations and nonprofits took out the loans.

There was little incentive not to apply, since the loans don’t have to be repaid if used to meet payrolls, retain workers and cover some overhead. The loan amounts were based on the number of employees. Employers had to certify on the PPP application that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.”

For loans under $150,000, the top ZIP codes in Illinois include 60010, around Barrington, with $43.7 million.

Automotive: $5 million to $10 million — Patrick Schaumburg Automobiles, 130 jobs; Motor Werks of Barrington, 346 workers.

Read more from the Sun*Times here.

It was long considered illegal to leave your horse unattended on the streets of Arlington Heights without having it securely fastened somewhere.

How long ago? Until this week.

The village’s lawyer found the antiquated rule on unattended equines and other “draft animals” when she went to update village code about negligent and distracted driving, a far more common occurrence in 21st-century suburbia than horses running loose through the streets.

“I think this may be the last vestige of something that’s truly, truly, truly old,” said Robin Ward, the village’s in-house counsel.

Ward was surprised when she found the old section of municipal code because much of it had been cleaned up during a re-codification in 1995. Before that, the code was updated in the 1960s. But the horse rule likely predates that, into the 1920s, Ward said.

Read more here.

Beginning tomorrow, July 8th, Bolz Road will be closed to traffic between Sandbloom Road and the entrance to the stone quarry for 8 to 10 weeks, weather permitting, to allow construction crews to safely and efficiently construct the new Bolz Road roadway realignment and install new watermain and storm sewer. Traffic will be routed around Bolz Road using Sandbloom Road, IL 62 and IL 25 as shown below:

Motorist are advised to watch for construction workers, construction vehicles entering or leaving the closed roadway, and obey flaggers and other traffic control devices bordering the work zone.

The full KDOT press release can be viewed and downloaded here.

Barrington, from left, Emmie Iardella, 2, left, and sister, Audrey, 5, drove their kiddie car down Cook Street in Barrington July 4, 2020. Amid public health officials’ calls for social distance due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Barrington was among the municipalities that canceled traditional Fourth of July celebrations this year. Barrington instead held “Take the Parade to the People,” with village vehicles rolling through town for a patriotic celebration. (Karie Angell Luc / Pioneer Press)

The Fourth of July parade in Barrington came to the people Saturday instead of the spectators lining a parade route.

With the traditional July Fourth parade and fireworks canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrinton turned to “Take the Parade to the People” for residents.

Some neighbors and visitors didn’t know about the parade until they heard the loud music coming from a Public Works vehicle, pumped out by Bob the DJ disc jockey.

The village’s parade route around Barrington began at 10 a.m. and concluded at about noon. Village officials also let residents hold their own neighborhood parades during those two hours.

Read more here.

Work to rehabilitate the Higgins Road (Route 72) bridge over the Fox River in East and West Dundee is set to begin Thursday, July 9, weather permitting, the Illinois Department of Transportation said.

Higgins Road from Third Street to River Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction, with lane widths reduced to 10.3 feet. In addition, left turns from Higgins Road onto Water and River streets will not be allowed. A recommended alternate route is Van Buren Street.

Access to businesses within the work zone will be maintained during construction.

Editorial note: If you attended Barrington High School prior to 1990, chances are you went to Phil’s Beach at one time or another.

The Bluesmobile makes its way down Phil’s Beach in Wauconda during the filming of “The Blues Brothers” in 1979.

After a lengthy wait prolonged by the COVID-19 crisis, Wauconda’s iconic Phil’s Beach is set to reopen to the public Wednesday.

Located on the western shore of Bangs Lake near downtown Wauconda, the beach formerly was a privately run attraction that had drawn customers from across the Chicago area for decades. The Wauconda Park District owns the site now, and in 2019 launched a $3 million renovation that wrapped up earlier this year.

A grand opening bash on Memorial Day weekend initially was envisioned, but the beach remained closed this spring because of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order.

Now that Illinois is in Phase 4 of the state’s recovery plan, the beach can welcome visitors.

“Our community has embraced this project from the beginning, and we are thrilled to finally be able to open,” park district Executive Director Nancy Burton said.

Read more here.


Plants are often chosen based on their beauty and garden performance, but pet owners should also add “poisonous to dogs” on their list of attributes to consider before heading to the garden center.

Many plants commonly found in backyards are toxic to our canine friends. Some may be mildly toxic while others may be dangerous enough to cause death.

These are just a few toxic plants. Be sure to research plants before purchasing, especially if your dog is known to graze in the garden.


Tomato plants contain solanine, which is harmful if eaten in large quantities. Solanine is concentrated in the green parts — the stems, leaves and in unripe green tomatoes. Observable signs of tomato poisoning include excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, loss of coordination, confusion and tremors or seizures.

Any vegetables in the onion family are toxic. Just as pet owners should not share the chives, garlic, leeks or onions found on their dinner table with their dogs, they should also keep dogs away from them in the garden. Symptoms to watch for if you suspect your dog ate too much of a member of the onion family is excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, muscle weakness and pale gums.

Read more here.

Find a shady spot and have a picnic, take a dip in the pool, light some fireworks tonight (the legal kind, of course) and take lots of pictures. We’ll likely and hopefully never experience a 4th of July like this one again in our lifetime, so do your very best to make it as festive, safe and memorable as you can!

Happy 4th of July!!!

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District officials want to build a new station on this unincorporated Cook County property at 1004 S. Hough St. It would be just outside Barrington and Barrington Hills village limits.

Citing concerns about increased noise and traffic, several homeowners are opposing Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s second attempt to build a new station.

Fire Chief James Kreher said the proposal is part of the district’s longtime desire for a third station that would improve response times for residents in Inverness and nearby areas.

However, Barrington Hills resident Thomas McGrath said about 50 village residents — representing nearly all homeowners living in the area immediately surrounding the site where the station would be built — have signed a petition against the fire district’s plan that will go before the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals.

“The 24-hour operations with increased noise, emergency vehicle traffic and 24-hour lighting is absolutely out of place for a residential area,” said McGrath, whose Hawthorne Road house is on the western border of where the fire district wants to build.

Before construction can occur, Barrington Countryside must start with an online public hearing before the zoning panel at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The district needs a special-use permit for the firehouse because the Hough Street land is zoned for single-family homes.

Read more here.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 will be giving its students the option to return to school for the 2020-21 school year with in-person learning on campus or opt out and continue to do remote learning from home.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proposing two options for how students can attend classes in the 2020-21 academic year.

Similar to other school systems, District 220 officials this week announced a plan that would feature flexibility for students and families. The district is made up of eight elementary schools, two middle schools and Barrington High School.

The plan, set to be presented to the school board at a July 14 meeting, is based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health, district officials said.

While District 220 intends to hold in-person learning on its campuses this fall, a key component of its “Roadmap to Reopening” would allow also students to opt out and instead choose to continue remote learning, as was required during the statewide lockdown this spring.

District 220 board President Penny Kazmier said the proposal was formed after officials heard concerns from both sides.

Read more here.

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