Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category


BARRINGTON, IL, February 28, 2023 Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT), a charitable organization that preserves Barrington Area’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations,  has been working with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC), The Conservation Foundation (TCF) and other stakeholders to negotiate a Conservation Easement Agreement for the Horizon Farm preserve.

“BACT has demonstrated its ability to professionally administer Conservation Easement agreements, as it has been involved with Horizon Farms since 2002. These agreements, known as “Conservation Easements,” run with the land, and remain in force regardless of who owns the property, including municipal entities,” said BACT Board Vice President Matthew Wilkens.

This agreement expands the natural areas and preserves the open space and equestrian character of the preserve. BACT, FPDCC and TCF have had a productive working relationship throughout this process. The Horizon Farm preserve is now open to the public, as announced by FPDCC.

About Barrington Area Conservation Trust

BACT fills an important niche in the local community as the only land trust conservation organization accepting conservation easements in the area. BACT permanently preserves open spaces through conservation easements and land donations, restores natural habitats and inspires conservation stewards. We achieve our goals through the generous support of individuals, family foundations and business organizations that embrace our vision of a sustainable, beautiful environment.  Please visit http://www.bactrust.org/ to learn more.


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Scott Motisi

Scott Motisi


The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District has its next fire chief lined up.

Trustees have chosen Deputy Chief Scott Motisi to take over when current Chief James Kreher retires later this year, the fire district announced Monday in a news release.

A 19-year department veteran, Motisi rose through the ranks and is the fire district’s director of training, safety and emergency medical services.

“It has been my privilege to work alongside the outstanding professionals who serve this department and district on a daily basis. Now, it is my honor to lead this dedicated group,” Motisi said in the news release. “It is an opportunity like no other.”

Motisi has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama, and a master’s degree in public safety and homeland security administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Read more here.

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Public can enjoy miles of trails for walking, biking, equestrian use and more

The Forest Preserves of Cook County has fully opened Horizon Farm preserve in Barrington Hills for public use, including the introduction of several official trails available for pedestrian, biking and equestrian use. In 2023, the Forest Preserves will continue to gather input and present a long-term comprehensive plan for the nearly 400-acre site.

The northernmost section of Horizon Farm, approximately 40 percent of the property, has been open to visitors since November 2021. Since gaining full possession of Horizon Farm in 2019, the Forest Preserves has created new trails and addressed maintenance and safety issues for public use, including demolition of more than 20 buildings that were beyond their useful life—in some cases in deep disrepair.

“Every decade for more than 100 years, the Forest Preserves of Cook County has added to its holdings of public lands that are a home for native plants and wildlife and a resource for the people of Cook County. We are pleased to announce that now, the public can fully explore Horizon Farm. Our long-term plans for the site are still a work in progress, but now visitors can go further and do more,” said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County

A former equestrian estate, the Horizon Farm property is the largest purchase of land by the Forest Preserves since 1968. The site features meadows, wetlands and small streams, as well as open habitat for grassland birds. As of December 30, 2022, Horizon Farm is available sunrise to sunset for activities like hiking, birdwatching, photography, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

In addition to opening the southern section of the property, the December 30 opening includes a new 1.2-mile loop trail and a spur connection to the Riding Club of Barrington Hills trail to the west. With the introduction of official Forest Preserves trails, equestrian use is now allowed in Horizon Farm. Some segments of the site will occasionally be closed for further trail improvements in 2023. The buildings that currently remain on the property include a garage for Forest Preserves maintenance needs, a barn at the main parking lot and a small corn crib that was once used as an office by a previous owner.

The Forest Preserves process to create a master plan for Horizon Farm will reconvene with key stakeholders in early 2023 with the goal of completing a draft for presentation to the public in the summer of 2023. The master plan will include plans for the remaining facilities on the site and a completed trail system, as well as strategies for investment in visitor amenities, promotion of ecological restoration efforts, and how to expand and deepen partnerships with local stakeholders.


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MM State House

Martin McLaughlin, 52nd House District State Representative

For Immediate Release December 15, 2022
Contact: Martin McLaughlin @ (217) 782-0583
Email: mclaughlin@ilhousegop.org 

State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) released the following statement after finding that numerous local taxing bodies in communities across the 52nd House District are requesting 4.90% increased tax levies.

“Bah 4.90%; Humbug! Taxpayers should prepare for a big lump of coal in our stockings this year courtesy of our local elected and appointed officials… 4.90% tax increase. What is the magic behind this number?

“Why are so many elected bodies across my district asking for a 4.90% increase in their tax levies?  School districts, fire districts, villages, libraries, community colleges, townships, and many other taxing bodies all together make up our property tax bills and each one is asking for the exact same increase.

“Just an unlucky coincidence?

“Nope! If they ask for 1/10 of a percent more – or 5.00% – they have to officially announce it to the public and ask the public for a referendum regarding what they plan on doing with their money.  Asking for more than 4.90% would put the spending increases on the front page of every newspaper and the taxpayers might actually know what’s going on. 

“Some of these taxing bodies already carry 24 months of cash reserves and many of our local bodies just issued referendums asking our taxpayers to shoulder hundreds of millions of dollars for construction projects.

“This situation is more laughable when many of these elected and appointed officials run on fiscal responsibility, transparency, and controlled spending.  As an elected official myself who actually reduced my village’s levy seven times in a row by over 25%, I know how difficult it is to restrict spending and control budgets.  It can be done, but only when you decide to run bloated governments like a business accountable to the owners … the taxpayers.

“The annual desire of so many of our taxing bodies continually increasing our property taxes makes me want to send each of them a small piece of coal for their stockings this year, or maybe a carbon tax debit instead? If we keep taxing residents out of their homes and our state, the Cratchit family and Tiny Tim will soon be renting a U-Haul and heading out of the State of Illinois.  out sooner rather than later.”


Related:Barrington’s $46.1 million budget: Water rate hike, lots of infrastructure improvements (increases levy 4.9%)”

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BARRINGTON — Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie, the 33-year old, family-owned gourmet bakery at 710 W. Northwest Hwy, Barrington, is now under new owners. Co-founder Deborah Rivera has sold the gourmet bakery destination to Ambrosia’s long-time assistant manager and its husband-and-wife chef team.

These three new owners have collectively more than 45 years of experience serving Ambrosia’s customers in Lake and McHenry counties and from all over the Chicago metro area. Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie has tens of thousands of devoted fans, many of whom travel long distances to enjoy the patisserie’s famous bakery, pastry and specialty items such as Ambrosia Rolls, buttery sweet and savory croissants, pecan rolls, delicious and elegant wedding and celebration cakes as well as coffee and specialty beverages.

Rivera, who co-founded Ambrosia with her late husband Richard Rivera in 1989, said she is happy that the devoted leaders on her staff will continue the Rivera legacy for excellent customer service and superior gourmet products.

“It’s time to pass the baton of ownership and allow Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie to continue to evolve under a new generation of leadership. You have likely seen and spoken to the devoted manager and chef-bakers who are your new owners. These familiar faces care passionately about the future of Ambrosia. Already, they’ve introduced many creative techniques and bakery items to you, while honoring the recipes and commitment to quality ingredients that have made Ambrosia a Chicagoland destination,” said Rivera.

The employees who assumed ownership of Ambrosia are:

  • Ben Sigler, Ambrosia’s Chef and Kitchen Manager for more than 12 years.
  • Elise Gibbons Sigler, Manager and Pastry Chef for more than 8 years.
  • Melanie Duke, who has provided high quality customer service and has served as Assistant Manager for more than 25 years.

Ambrosia Euro-American Patisserie is a highly acclaimed Barrington destination for gourmet bakery, pastry and dessert lovers. The patisserie has more than three decades of service and giving back to the community. Rivera says she is grateful to the passionate and devoted customers and employees, who helped the bakery survive during the Covid pandemic, and whose loyalty has helped Ambrosia emerge from it even stronger.

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BARRINGTON HILLS: Businessman and fiscal hawk, State Representative Martin McLaughlin, announces his candidacy for the 2022 election to the 52nd district. Mclaughlin, a Republican is halfway through his first term which ends in January 2023. McLaughlin is noted as an outspoken advocate for his constituents and for his limited government approach.

McLaughlin was Mayor of Barrington Hills from 2013 to 2021 where he was able to bring business reforms to the government and lower the tax levy 8 times. He has a 30-year career running pension businesses and helping businesses and governments close their funding gaps and taking the pressure off workers and taxpayers.

Mclaughlin who has been recognized for his direct leadership skills by both sides of the aisle is looking to forward to bringing sensible reforms and legislation addressing public safety, property taxes, and pension reforms desperately needed to fix a broken Springfield legislature. McLaughlin has provided an independent voice to the legislature reaching out to both sides of the aisle and working for solutions.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of the 52nd district and with the assistance of a great staff, we have provided solid constituent service to thousands of people in our community. Much of that service has involved navigating the myriad of government rules, regulations, and sometimes an incompetent bureaucracy. In our system of government, the people are in charge not the other way around,” said Representative Martin McLaughlin.

“Much of what I do in Springfield involves trying to bring some common sense to the legislative process by pointing out the consequences of some of the legislation that is being put forth. I am an advocate for more transparency and assessment of proposed legislation so that we don’t have to spend the next legislative session cleaning up poorly-written bills that have had unintended consequences on our constituents,” said McLaughlin.

Martin McLaughlin is married to his wife Kathleen for 30 years and they have five daughters ages 28 to 15.  He has participated in many philanthropic and social organizations including the Lions Club, Barrington Area Council of Governments, MCOG LCML League as well as coached youth sports in Cary, Elgin, and Barrington.  For more information about his campaign please contact him at Martyforillinois.com.”

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Signal Hill, NSDAR

U.S. 6th District Congressman Sean Casten addresses those gathered at Evergreen Cemetery for Wreaths Across America Day, sponsored locally by Signal Hill, NSDAR, of Barrington.

Submitted by Jacqueline Marcus

On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Barrington community and members of the Signal Hill Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution honored the more than 730 veterans at rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Barrington.

Following brief remarks from several dignitaries, including U.S. Congressman Sean Casten, representatives from former VFW and American Legion posts, Veterans of Lake Barrington Shores, a representative of Children of the American Revolution, and members of NSDAR, the speakers joined the attending community to place wreaths on previously identified graves throughout the cemetery.

The Signal Hill Chapter members worked at underwriting the purchase of wreaths for this year’s event by raising donations from private individuals, chapter members, and other sources so that members of the Barrington area could participate in this national event.

Nearly 200 individuals registered to attend the ceremony, and a good percentage of that number came to honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military members.

Wreaths Across America Day is a national event, with more than 3,000 participating cemeteries throughout the country. Many civic, religious and philanthropic groups gather volunteers and financial support to participate. This was the third year that Signal Hill, NSDAR, sponsored and organized the event.

For information about the Signal Hill, NSDAR, visit signalhilldar.com. For information about Wreaths Across America, visit WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

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Press Release:

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the unions representing teachers and support staff in 52 school districts across Illinois will file a motion to intervene in a Sangamon County lawsuit in an effort to protect the safety of the workplaces and the health and lives of students and employees by keeping the governor’s student mask mandate in place.

In October, attorney Tom DeVore filed a lawsuit against 145 school districts across the state on behalf of parents and their children at a price of $5,000 per district, plus filing fees. Those cases have all been consolidated into one in Sangamon County in front of Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow.

The suit asks that the students not be required to wear a mask or be excluded from campus, and that students not be excluded from campus if they were “close contacts” with a COVID positive person, without the local health department weighing in on each individual case.

The court filings today were made on behalf of 75 IEA-affiliated locals, which represent more than 29,000 members of the Illinois Education Association who serve more than 214,000 students. Each of those locals made the independent decision to intervene in the lawsuit.

“Almost all of our members are vaccinated or complying with the vaccinate-or-test order. We are all wearing masks. We want students to wear their masks and stay home if they were close contacts of someone with COVID. We believe in keeping staff, students, all of the families of our staff and students and all of our communities safe,” said Andrew Frey, president of the Triad Education Association. “Things were looking good for a while, but here we are again. This is a worldwide pandemic. We are not immune in Illinois just because we want to turn our heads. So, we won’t. And, we’ll work to keep our schools safe.”

A status hearing is set in the case for next week. Should the judge grant the IEA locals’ motion, they would be able to take part in that hearing and in court proceedings going forward.

“We have been saying all along that it is our goal to keep students and staff in buildings as long as it is safe,” said Kathi Griffin, president of the IEA. “Our locals are respectfully asking the court to respect the educators’ wishes who have asked their local to intervene on their behalf, to ensure that we can continue in-person instruction in a safe and healthy environment. We believe the governor has worked hard to provide a safe educational environment for students and that districts have been following his executive orders because they are guided by science and are focused on keeping our students and staff safe. That’s the best we can ask under these circumstances.”

As of Dec. 9, nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, of which nearly 400,000 are under the age of 20. There have been 30,000 confirmed or probable COVID deaths. At least four Illinois public school employees died of COVID during the 2019-20 school year, at least eight in the 2020-21 school and at least one this school year. Currently, there are 163 active “youth outbreaks” in the state. Between June and August of this year, the Delta variant resulted in a five-fold increase of child hospitalizations, and between July 3 and Oct. 30, the case rate for those under age 20 increase from 17 per 100,000 to 142 per 100,000.

As of Dec. 9, all 102 counties in Illinois are coded red for high transmission on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Community Transmission Map – the most critical rating.


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Please visit suburbanactionpac.com to learn more.

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BARRINGTON HILLS… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) released the following statement in response to Governor Pritzker issuing a statewide mask mandate in Illinois schools: 

“The Governor’s mandate is overreach on parents’ rights. 

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the greatest documents ever written for the recognition of the rights of individuals.  These rights are never to be diminished or taken away in order to protect the people from their Government.  

The latest overreach from the Governor’s office, based upon his politics, is disappointing. It is obvious Governor Pritzker believes he has power and authority to blow past the co-equal branches of government and issue executive mandates on the people. This executive overreach is an injustice to Illinoisans, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. 

Where is the safety for business owners or the safety for our children who have struggled in isolated environments and have had psychological and sociological development issues? We need to open up our schools, state, and country again.  Mask mandates, vaccination mandates, and shutdowns are not the answer. We can walk and chew gum at the same time safely in the State of Illinois. 

At some point, we should trust parents to make the best decisions for their children. Individual liberty is a cornerstone of this country that should be valued and balanced against the desire of some in government to control the population by decree. It is time to stop this big government charade that is attacking the fabric of common sense in America.”

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