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Archive for the ‘Community Alerts’ Category

Work on the Northwest Highway (Route 14) bridge over the Fox River in Cary and Fox River Grove will begin, weather permitting, Monday, March 15.

Northwest Highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Ebert Drive to Opatrny Drive. In addition, left turns from southeast bound Northwest Highway onto River Road and to 215 Northwest Highway (The Arlington Club) will not be allowed. Motorists should follow the posted detour.

The project consists of deck and joint repairs and a new deck overlay. It’s expected to be completed in late September. Find traffic and road conditions at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

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State officials have said the rise in unemployment fraud is likely due to large corporate data breaches, such as one in 2017 involving Equifax that exposed the personal data of millions of people.”

State and federal officials are encouraging Illinoisans to stay vigilant as reports of unemployment insurance fraud swell.

From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, fraudulent claims have been an issue as a record number of Illinois residents file for benefits and Congress provides additional jobless aid. Illinois has stopped more than 350,000 fraudulent claims since March 1, according to the state’s Department of Employment Security.

Reports of fraud have been so widespread — often inundating local police departments — that the FBI, IRS and several state agencies launched a task force to tackle the problem.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office has received more than 1,400 complaints since June from people who allege someone else filed an unemployment insurance claim in their name, spokeswoman Tori Joseph said.

Here’s what to be on the lookout for and what steps to take.

  • How do I know if I’m a victim of fraud?
  • Why did I receive a debit card?
  • What steps should I take to protect myself?
  • How do I avoid becoming a victim of fraud?
  • Am I responsible for funds paid to fraudsters?
  • What if I need to file for benefits?

Read the answers to these question in the Chicago Tribune here.

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“The Winnetka Police Department received 214 reports from residents during the past six months whose personal information was used for fraudulent unemployment claims, Winnetka Police Chief Marc Hornstein said.”

River Forest resident Joe Marrazzo phoned his local police department this week to file a report, but even before he had a chance to explain his problem, the dispatcher swiftly interjected: “Is this about a fraudulent unemployment benefits claim?”

“I was already on the lookout when this happened to me, because it had already happened to my mother and brother,” said Marrazzo, 49, a video editor who is among the more than 350,000 individuals across Illinois whose personal identities have been used for fraudulent unemployment claims in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What’s really crazy is, this is happening to everyone, so why have we not heard more about this?” Marrazzo added.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, suburban Chicago law enforcement officials say their departments have been bombarded with surging numbers of fraudulent unemployment benefit reports. At times, they are fielding dozens of nearly identical calls from frustrated residents in a single day. In some suburbs, the number of reports taken since March now stands in the hundreds.

In most cases, the target discovers the scam when their employer alerts them that a claim has been filed in their name despite still being employed. A letter then arrives from the state detailing the unemployment benefits, and often times, a debit card is included in the mailing.

The investigation into the spiraling number of fraudulent claims is being handled by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, a state agency already overwhelmed by a record number of legitimate unemployment compensation claims filed by workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

If this has happened to you, read on hereTo report unemployment insurance identity theft fraud, click.

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Speed cameras located near schools and parks in Chicago will begin ticketing drivers for going 6-10 miles per hour over the limit starting in March, officials said Monday.

Beginning January 15, drivers spotted going 6-10 mph over the limit in so-called “Children’s Safety Zones” will receive a warning by mail. This “warning period” lasts until March 1, after which speeding drivers will get a $35 ticket in the mail instead.

Areas which have a speed camera are marked by signs and usually have a limit of around 30 mph, with those found near schools generally enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. while those in park zones are often active from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., 365 days a year.

Cameras use 3D tracking radar to identify any cars traveling faster than the posted speed limit before capturing an image of the vehicle.

Previously, drivers would only receive a ticket for going 10 mph over the limit, while those found going 11 mph or more over the limit will continue receiving a $100 ticket.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot included “enhanced fine enforcement” changing the cameras’ limits as part of a budget which aimed to address the city’s $1.2 billion shortfall.

Read more here.

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“The Barrington Hills Police Department has been notified by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways that Bateman Road, between Bateman Circle North and South, will be temporarily closed to all traffic to facilitate the replacement of a failing culvert.

The closure is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, Wednesday, December 2nd and the roadway is tentatively planned to be re-opened on Friday, December 4th. During this period, through traffic should avoid this area and utilize alternative routes, such as the posted detour. Your cooperation and patience is appreciated.”

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Effective Tuesday, all driver’s license offices in the state will be closed through December 6th.

Illinois’ drivers services facilities will close for in-person business for three weeks starting Tuesday because of the statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

Secretary of State Jesse White’s office announced the statewide closures of the state’s Driver Services facilities on Friday and urged the public to take advantage of online services.

The closures for in-person business will begin Tuesday, with the locations set to reopen December 7th in an effort to help protect staff amid the ongoing increase in coronavirus cases.

For more info visit CyberDriveIllinois.

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U.S. Census Bureau workers have begun going door-to-door in the Chicago area to count people who didn’t respond to earlier communication attempts

The work is part of the census bureau’s constitutionally mandated, once-a-decade mission to count everyone living in the country.

Census workers hit the streets here and in parts of some other states and Puerto Rico starting last month, according to the bureau. Attempts will begin in the rest of the country next week.

Field data collection is scheduled to conclude by Sept. 30.

The data will be used to draw county, state and federal legislative districts, among other purposes. It’s based on people living in households as of April 1.

All census takers will have government ID badges with their photographs, U.S. Department of Commerce watermarks, and expiration dates. Census workers may also carry census bureau bags and other equipment with the bureau’s logo.

To confirm a census taker’s identity, you can call the regional census center in Chicago at (312) 579-1500.

Read more here.

Editorial note: Do yourself a favor and fill out the form. It takes less than ten minutes to complete and it’s one less person knocking on your door.

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The Barrington Hills Police Department is investigating recent reports of burglaries to motor vehicles, throughout the Village.  The offenders, are also believed to be responsible for other burglaries to motor vehicles, as well as the theft of several vehicles, in other surrounding communities.

The Department would like to remind residents to always lock their vehicles, whether parked outside or in the garage, and to never leave the keys inside the vehicle, when parked. Residents are also encouraged to always promptly report any suspicious activity to Police by dialing 9-1-1. Thank you.

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The Village of Barrington issued the following rally update via Facebook:

RALLY SITE CHANGED TO CITIZENS PARK

Yesterday we let our community know about a peaceful rally planned for Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. In order to accommodate the rally safely, the organizers have changed the location to Citizens Park.

As we stated yesterday, the Barrington Police Department is in ongoing, positive, and constructive dialogue with the organizers, who are current and former Barrington High School graduates. They have assured us that the intent is to host a contained, peaceful rally during a closed timeframe. While we realize that there is always a chance of outside influencers infiltrating rallies such as these, we have been heartened to see in recent days that peaceful rallies have indeed occurred in other similar communities near us, including in Lake Forest and Lake Geneva last evening. We also believe that the chances of escalation are lower due to the event being held during a contained timeframe in the afternoon.

As we also indicated yesterday, it is important for our community to know that the Barrington Police Department is fully prepared for the rally and has put robust plans in place to monitor the event and to ensure that the rally remains peaceful at all times.

The plan includes significant police resources that will be on site and throughout the community, with backup resources in place that can be called upon to immediately protect the community and businesses should the event unintentionally escalate. At this point there is no reason to believe that this daytime, contained rally at Citizens Park will escalate. We will of course provide updates should the situation change.

Please also be aware that there are other rallies happening in other communities on Saturday as well.

We continue to encourage everyone to maintain a peaceful mindset at all times on Saturday and in the days leading up to the rally”.

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Peaceful Rally Planned for Memorial Park on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The following release was posted to the Village of Barrington Facebook page:

“A Message from Karen Darch:

We would like to let our residents and our businesses know that we are aware of a peaceful rally planned for Memorial Park on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Barrington Police Department has been in touch with the organizers, who have assured us that the intent is to host a contained, peaceful rally during a closed timeframe. There has been ongoing dialogue between the BPD and the organizers, which has been very positive and constructive.

It is important for our community to know that the Barrington Police Department is fully prepared for the rally and has put plans in place to monitor the event and to ensure that the rally remains peaceful at all times.

The plan includes significant police resources that will be on site and and throughout the community, with backup resources in place that can be called upon to immediately protect the community and businesses should the event unintentionally escalate. At this point there is no reason to believe that this daytime, contained rally will escalate. We will of course provide updates should the situation change.

It is also important to note that this rally is similar to other peaceful assemblies that were or are being held in similar communities, including Buffalo Grove, Grayslake, Addison, Lake Zurich, Elk Grove Village, and others. We encourage everyone to maintain a peaceful mindset at all times.”

Thank you,

Karen Darch
President, Village of Barrington

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