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A Rolling Meadows man was sentenced to probation Thursday in connection with a single-vehicle crash that killed a Lake Barrington High School student.

More than two years after Matthew Zeek lost control of his vehicle while speeding in a 25-mph zone, the 25-year-old accepted an offer from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to reckless homicide.

McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge sentenced Zeek to 2½ years of probation in connection with the March 3, 2017, crash that killed 18-year-old Rebecca Soderman and injured a 16-year-old passenger.

Zeek, of the 2400 block of Sigwalt Street, was driving 93 mph in a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu that was traveling west on Plum Tree Road in Barrington Hills when the crash occurred.

Read the full Northwest Herald story here

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Fred Fest is returning to the Fox River Forest Preserve in Port Barrington from 12–6 PM on Saturday, Aug. 17. The event features a diverse lineup of local bands, food and drinks for purchase, and family-friendly activities. There is no rain date.

Fred Fest is a fundraiser for the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves, the charitable partner of the Lake County Forest Preserves. The festive event raises funds for the restoration and management of Grassy Lake Forest Preserve in Lake Barrington. Efforts include restoring nearly 100 acres along the Fox River to its pre-settlement condition by removing invasive species and planting native species. This year’s fundraiser features performances by these local favorites:

  • 12 PM – Sons of Bildor, an acoustic rock duo comprised of Barrington brothers Rob and Charlie Knapik. 
  • 1 PM – Pat McKillen performing renditions of folk, pop and rock.
  • 2:15 PM – Wichita Jacks will perform songs by the Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker to John Mellencamp and the Grateful Dead.
  • 3:30 PM – The Gritland Band, a mix of genres — classical with bluegrass, country with rhythm and blues, and classic rock with serious fiddle.
  • 4:45 PM – Expo ’76 and the Total Pro Horns, cover band to play songs you haven’t heard in years and new favorites you’ll hear for the first time.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, or $25 for families. Parking is free. Purchase tickets at the event or online at LCFPD.org/FredFest. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase from Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Co. of Wauconda and Highland Park, and Kookers of Lake Zurich. Desserts are available from My Flavorite Place.

The family-friendly event includes kids activities from 12–4 PM, including face painting, a bubble show and hands-on projects such as insect netting. Limited, first-come, first-served seating is available under the pavilion. Arrive early to secure a spot. Lawn space is also available. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the main event space for your use and enjoyment.

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Some already looking at bans: ‘It’s just not for us’

Barrington area municipalities are starting to discuss whether to allow recreational cannabis-related businesses within village limits and if so, what regulations to impose ahead of the law allowing the sale and cultivation of marijuana in Illinois taking effect Jan. 

Lake Barrington officials are looking to adopt village legislation banning recreation marijuana-related businesses. Barrington is also leaning against having them, while both Barrington Hills and South Barrington are starting discussions.

Barrington village trustees and Village President Karen Darch are expected to start discussing in September what Barrington will do, officials said. Village spokeswoman Patty Dowd Schmitz said municipal leaders are leaning against allowing any kind of marijuana-related business.

Read more from the Barrington Courier-Review here.

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State Rep. David McSweeney

Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, sponsored a bill signed Friday by Gov. JB Pritzker that gives the voters of McHenry County the power to dissolve the 17 townships that currently comprise the county.

The synopsis as introduced in House Bill 348 reads as follows:

“Amends the Township Code. Provides that the board of trustees of any township located in McHenry County may submit a proposition to dissolve the township to the township electors or township electors may petition for a referendum to dissolve a township. Provides for the transfer of real and personal property, and any other assets, together with all personnel, contractual obligations, and liabilities of the dissolving township to McHenry County.

Provides that all road districts wholly within the boundaries of the dissolving township are dissolved on the date of dissolution of the dissolving township and the powers and responsibilities of the road district are transferred to McHenry County, and provides that municipalities within the dissolving township may elect to assume the duties and responsibilities of the road district or road districts.

Limits extensions of specified property tax levies to 90% of the original property tax levy and within the boundaries of the dissolved township. Amends the Election Code and Counties Code making conforming changes.

Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that any township in Lake County or McHenry County shall abolish a road district of that township if the roads of the road district are less than 15 miles in length.

Provides that the road district is abolished on the expiration of the term of office of the highway commissioner of the road district facing abolition following the determination by the county engineer or county superintendent of highways. Provides that the township board of trustees may enter into a contract with the county, a municipality, or a private contractor to administer the roads added to its jurisdiction.”

House Bill 348 took effect immediately upon signing and can be viewed here.

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Hoffman Estates officials have scheduled a pair of meetings for local governments and the public to weigh in on a proposed tax incentive to encourage development on the north corners of the intersection of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

The village is proposing the tax increment financing district for 24 acres at the northeast corner and 16 acres at the northwest corner, independent of any existing development plan — including the Plums Farms concept that’s been stalled for two years.

Including adjacent right of way, the proposed TIF district would cover 64 acres. Initial revenue from the TIF would pay for public utilities on the land.

A Joint Review Board made up of the local governments that would see their tax revenues affected by the TIF district is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Hoffman Estates village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

Read more here.

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Tucked on the outer edges of southern Cook County, suburban Park Forest was built to help answer a housing shortage in the 1940s as GIs flooded home from World War II. Before long, it became a model of suburban living, featuring enviable public schools and an attractive downtown shopping center anchored by a Marshall Field’s.

Today, the legacy department store is long gone. The high school, Rich East, is facing such low enrollment that it is being considered for closure. And, as of 2017, financially strapped homeowners were stuck with the second-highest property-tax rate in Cook County.

Among them is Ryan Dupée, who is being billed more than $3,800 in property taxes for a modest, ranch-style home he and his wife bought under foreclosure four years ago for just $25,000.

“It’s a shocker and it’s disappointing because your money could go to other things,” Dupée said, adding that while they aren’t paying a mortgage the property taxes are difficult for them to handle, especially since he’s between full-time jobs as a quality assurance auditor.

Read the full Better Government Association investigation here and realize what we already knew – it’s not just Barrington Hills. 

This story was co-published with Crain’s Chicago Business, as part of a Crain’s Forum project on affordable housing.

 

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The village of Barrington Hills is making plans to improve the 5-mile stretch of Algonquin Road between Routes 25 and 68. 

Algonquin Road, also known as Route 62, is being studied to determine whether it should be widened.

The project is in Phase 1, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Phase 1 should cost about $3.5 million, said Guy Tridgell, director of communications for the Illinois Department of Transportation.  

The improvements are in response to the construction of the Longmeadow Parkway Tollway Bridge, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said. The bridge will span the Fox River and connect Randall Road in the west to Algonquin Road in the east, increasing traffic by about 8,000 cars on Algonquin Road.

Read more from the Northwest Herald here.

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