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Bat

Health officials say a Lake County (Spring Grove) resident in his 80s died after being exposed to a rabid bat last month. It is the first human case of rabies in Illinois since the 1950s.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the diagnosis after testing at its lab.

A man in his 80s, who resided in Lake County, awoke to a bat on his neck in mid-August, according to the Lake County Health Department.

The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies, health officials said.

Wildlife experts also found a bat colony in the man’s home.

The man was advised he needed to start postexposure rabies treatment, but he declined.

One month later, the man started to experience symptoms consistent with rabies, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness and difficulty speaking, health officials said.

Read more here.

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BC

Outdoor concerts at Buffalo Creek Brewing will include the Lake County Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 17.

Buffalo Creek Brewing and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra are proud to announce ongoing concerts in historic downtown Long Grove.

On the heels of the success of the July 3 “American Salute,” where the spacious Buffalo Creek Brewing beer garden was packed full, the Lake County Symphony Orchestra will open its regular season at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, with “Broadway & Hollywood Blockbusters.”

Featuring the music of “West Side Story,” “South Pacific,” “Wicked,” “Porgy and Bess,” “The Sound of Music,” and John Williams’ premiere orchestral suite from “Star Wars,” music will fill the evening sky for the whole family. Musical theater singers Chris and Donna Engelhardt, will be featured in the Broadway medleys.

Guests can enjoy food from Smokin’ T’s, freshly hard-crafted Buffalo Creek Brewing beer, and Lake County’s only professional orchestra.

Tickets are $20; free for children 12 and younger. Purchase tickets at www.lakecountysymphonyorchestra.com.

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53 Greenway

First came the Illinois Prairie Path, one of the first rail-to-trail conversions in the United States. Later, The 606 trail in Chicago attracted crowds of bikers and runners and led to skyrocketing nearby property values. Now, a group of conservationists and elected officials in Lake County are pushing to turn a former proposed tollway corridor into a greenway — a trail through a long, narrow nature preserve.

Illinois lawmakers recently approved a resolution calling for a task force to study alternate uses for the proposed extension of Illinois Route 53 in the northwest suburbs. The effort picks up where Illinois tollway officials left off in 2019 when they dropped plans for the road.

Believers in the project cite it as an example of a popular trend away from highways and greenhouse gas emissions, and toward preservation of natural areas. Critics see it as a boondoggle for a relatively small number of people, rather than a project that could have served 100,000 drivers a day and spurred economic development.

While Republicans traditionally have supported road projects, the resolution passed unanimously in both chambers, suggesting growing bipartisan support for nature paths.

“These become beloved spaces where diverse residents, young and old, flock to get fresh air, walk, bike, and share a moment with each other,” said Gerald Adelmann, president and CEO of the nonprofit Openlands conservation group. “This is our moment to create that kind of legacy for our communities.”

Road builders see it differently. Mike Sturino, president of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, cited widespread past support for the expressway.

“The majority of working people suffer when you pull the plug on needed infrastructure,” Sturino said. “I like bike lanes, but we have to be realistic. It’s shocking when respectable officials are browbeaten by a radical fringe to go along with this reckless move.”

Read more here.

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REAs people spent more time at home for the past 14 months and some segments of the economy fractured, residential real estate in Lake County began to experience a boom which continues as buyers scramble to find the right home.

“We had our best month in history in June, and it’s been uphill since then,” said Lynn Kosner, the managing broker of Baird & Warner’s Highland Park office.

“We’re getting between five and eight multiple offers on average, and the homes are selling above list price,” added Marty Golden, a broker with HomeSmart Connect, focusing on Waukegan, Gurnee, Zion and Wadsworth.

Single-family home values have increased 16.2% across Lake County for the year ending April 30, as people both move from Chicago or seek bigger suburban homes. Both want room to both work and recreate at home because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey of 16 Lake County towns — from Barrington to Zion, and Highland Park to Wauconda — showed the value of a single-family home in the county rose from $357,440 to $426,640, according to a report from the North Shore Barrington Association of Realtors.

Reasons given for the boom by real estate brokers in various parts of the county — whether buyers are spending more than $1 million on average in Lake Forest, $624,657 in Barrington, $386,470 in Buffalo Grove or $166,917 in Waukegan — are similar.

Read more here.

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Darch

Barrington officials are ready to weigh in on the idea of Lake County allowing the sale of recreational cannabis in unincorporated parts of the county.

The Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to hold virtual public hearings April 19 and April 21 to provide information and gather feedback about the possibility of allowing recreational cannabis dispensaries in unincorporated areas, Barrington officials discussed during the April 5 Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting.

The county issued a one-year moratorium in February 2020 prohibiting all cannabis-related businesses in the county’s unincorporated areas. The temporary ban expired Feb. 10. – around the time discussions on the subject began again.

County board members approved a resolution at their Feb. 9 meeting to begin the public hearing process to get input on potential regulations to allow recreation use cannabis businesses, including growers, distributors and retail establishments in unincorporated Lake County – with certain restrictions, according to a recent news release.

Barrington Village President Karen Darch is not sure the county currently can allow cannabis dispensaries. However, “I know they say they want to talk about,” she said. There is a state bill pending that could allow it, she said.

She said the reason she brought up the issue at the Committee of the Whole meeting was to get trustees’ feedback on issuing a statement about the idea. Barrington’s zoning ordinances don’t allow recreational cannabis dispensaries, but the village is adjacent to unincorporated Lake County areas where the county could end up allowing those uses, Darch said.

Read more here.

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OBH 1

The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses Brian Cecola for Village of Barrington Hills President, as well as David Riff, Tom Strauss and Laura Ekstrom for Village Trustees in the April 6th Consolidated Election.

Early voting starts this morning for the April 6, 2021 Consolidated Elections.  For information on where to cast your ballot between now and Election Day, click on your county below:

We’ll be publishing our official endorsements soon. In the meantime, feel free to use and share the sample ballot below noting our recommendations:

Sample Better

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Illinois households pay nearly $9,500 on average in state and local taxes, which at 15% of their income is the nation’s highest. WalletHub finds gasoline taxes pushed Illinois to No. 1.

Illinois households spend 15% of their income on state and local taxes, according to a new analysis by personal finance website WalletHub.

The cost is $9,488 in Illinois state and local taxes applied to the median U.S. household income of $63,218. Illinois also ranked as having the second-highest property taxes and third-highest gas taxes.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said it was those gas taxes, which the state doubled in 2019, that pushed Illinois to the top tax spot.

“I think so because now Illinois has the third-highest gas taxes in the country, and that’s five times higher than Arizona, or New Mexico or Mississippi,” Gonzalez told The Center Square.

Illinois in 2019 doubled the state gasoline tax, but also authorized certain counties near Chicago to increase or establish their own gas taxes. Lake County was the latest to use that law and just hiked taxes by 4 cents per gallon, effective July 1.

July 1 is also when the state’s gasoline tax is set to automatically increase by as much as a penny a gallon. It is currently 38.7 cents per gallon after initially doubling from 19 cents a gallon in 2019.

Read more here and see state-by-state comparisons.

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Prices at the pump will increase July 1st at Lake County gas stations such as this Speedway on Northwest Highway in Lake Barrington.

The Lake County Board approved an ordinance that will add a four-cent-per-gallon gas tax to address a $1.7 billion transportation project backlog in the county.

The new ordinance will provide an estimated $10 million dollars each year in new transportation infrastructure investments.

Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart said the investment will allow the county to address “critical transportation needs” that residents have been asking about.

Those include railroad grade separations, road widenings, safer turn lanes and other improvements which will aim to reduce congestion, carbon emissions and improve traffic safety.

“Many of these projects, if left unaddressed, pose significant traffic congestion and safety issues,” Hart said.

The ordinance goes into effect July 1 and all of the revenue will stay in Lake County. It is required to be solely dedicated to improving the county’s transportation system.

In 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which included doubling the gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents per gallon.

Read more here.

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The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Approving the Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Cook County for the Donlea Road Drainage Investigation Resolution 20 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of ALPR Equipment and Related Services and Software for use by the Village Police Department Resolution 20 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to the Existing Special Use Permit for an Expansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorne Road Ordinance 20 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Adopting by Reference of the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance 20 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Consenting to an Amendment of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Easements for Hurstbourne Subdivision Resolution 20 –
  • [Vote] Resolution of Proclamation Congratulating Janet Agnoletti Upon Her Retirement From the Barrington Area Council of Governments Res 20 –

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. Those wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

Related: Mosque replica planned for 160 Hawthorne Road?,” “Cook County to investigate Donlea Road flooding problems

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We searched on Barrington Hills for the results of the presidential election, and the results are depicted above.

Joe Biden won Illinois by nearly 17 percentage points, Sen. Dick Durbin sailed to reelection over Republican challenger Mark Curran and the graduated-rate income tax amendment fell by a wide margin.

The statewide results were mirrored in final tallies from Chicago and the collar counties. Biden defeated President Donald Trump in those areas by a 57.4% to 40.7% margin; Durbin had 54.5% of the vote to Curran’s 38.8%; and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed income tax amendment fell 53.4% to 46.6%.

But break down the vote behind those apparent landslides into the smallest electoral pieces — precincts — and a more nuanced picture emerges. Solidly Democratic precincts in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood saw the tax amendment fall by a wide margin. Same story in parts of Libertyville. Pockets of Niles went for Trump but saw Durbin finish ahead in the race for U.S. Senate. Parts of Lake Forest went for Biden but not for Durbin.

Search (HERE) for your address, ZIP code or town to see how your neighborhood compares. The buttons above the map allow you to switch from the race for president, U.S. Senate and the tax vote.

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