Archive for the ‘Public Safety’ Category


NEW YORK — AT&T and Verizon will delay launching new wireless service near key airports after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.

The decision from the telecommunication companies arrived Tuesday as the Biden administration tried to broker a settlement between the telecom companies and the airlines over a rollout of new 5G service, scheduled for Wednesday.

Airlines want the new service to be banned within two miles of airport runways.

AT&T said it would delay turning on new cell towers around runways at some airports – it did not say how many or for how long – and work with federal regulators to settle the dispute.

A short time later, Verizon said it will launch its 5G network but added, “we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports.” It blamed airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration, saying they “have not been able to fully resolve navigating 5G around airports” although it is working in more than 40 countries.

The announcements came after the airline industry issued a dire warning about the impact a new type of 5G service would have on flights. CEOs of the nation’s largest airlines said interference with aircraft systems would be worse than they originally thought, making many flights impossible.

“To be blunt, the nation’s commerce will grind to a halt” unless the service is blocked near major airports, the CEOs said in a letter Monday to federal officials including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has previously taken the airlines’ side in the matter.

More here.

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Barrington Village President Karen Darch is pictured here at the intersection of Main and Hough Streets in the center of downtown Barrington. Restaurants behind her, such as Egg Harbor, Shakou, Neoteca, etc., are now required to ask patrons for written proof of vaccination since they are in Cook County. In Lake County, where she is pictured standing, eateries such as Chessie’s, Ciao Baby, PL8, etc., have no such requirement.

Waukegan, North Chicago, Buffalo Grove and Barrington have no plans to join Highland Park as Lake County’s only municipality so far to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to dine in restaurants, while Deerfield takes a wait-and-see attitude.

The five municipalities reached their conclusions by Monday after their legislative governing bodies achieved a consensus on a course of action, either through formal or informal means, in the wake of Highland Park’s decision Wednesday to implement a mandate effective this Friday.

Highland Park acted after the city of Chicago and Cook County required restaurants, bars and fitness centers in late December to limit service to patrons who are fully vaccinated. The Chicago and Cook County mandates were effective Monday.

Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor and North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham, Jr., talked to their cities’ aldermen before scheduled meetings Monday and received a consensus there was little or no interest in a mandate requiring diners to show proof of vaccination.

Taylor said after Waukegan’s City Council meeting Monday she talked to the city’s aldermen and heard little interest in imposing a mandate on bars and restaurants. The feeling was it would be too much of a burden on those who have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Barrington Village Manager Scott Anderson said in an email, throughout the pandemic the village has assumed the role of lead communicator sharing information with its residents about ways to remain safe during the pandemic and assure a continuity of services. That will not change.

“The village will not be shifting its primary objectives to the community nor will it seek additional authority to intervene in the operation of local businesses,” he said in the email.

Read more here.

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Barrington Village Hall

The Barrington Village Board recently approved a $39 million budget for the village’s fiscal year 2022.

Trustees voted 6-0 at the Dec. 13 board meeting to approve the spending plan, after a public hearing on it was held the same night. There were no public comments at the hearing, and Trustee Emily Young was absent.

The budget will be effective on the first day of the new year, as the village’s fiscal year runs Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

“This budget, I believe, is fiscally responsible as well as responsive to the service needs of the community,” said Village Manager Scott Anderson. “The spending plan is well aligned with the vision set forth by the elected board and its strategic plan. While this budget is best considered a maintenance budget, commitments are made to continuing, and in some cases, improving our current service levels. At the same time, there is a significant investment in the village’s infrastructure that will occur next year.”

Anderson explained there are 10 independently budgeted funds that roll into to the spending plan, but most of the village’s operating expenses come from the general fund – including police, fire and public works. He noted an uptick in expenses for the village-owned Barrington White House, with a $544,841 appropriation that he said represents the support of programming in the historic downtown venue.

“Programming is opening up now and we’re having more in-person performances which is driving some of that expenditure,” Anderson said.

Read more here.

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Longmeadow Signs

New traffic signals at the intersections of Longmeadow Parkway and Route 25 and Longmeadow Parkway and Bolz Road have been activated by the Kane County Division of Transportation.

Both sets of lights are part of the 5.6-mile Longmeadow Parkway, which begins at Huntley Road in Huntley, crosses through Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills, and ends at Route 62.

Some of the parkway is now open to traffic, but the toll bridge over the Fox River to Route 31 and the section of road from Route 31 east over the river to Route 25 remain under construction.

In October, Division of Transportation officials said delays have occurrec because of steel and semiconductor shortages, price increases for materials, and the removal of lead-contaminated soil found east of the bridge site, where an outdoor shooting range once was located.

Construction on the $115 million project began in early 2016 and the entire corridor is now planned to be open sometime in early 2022, according to the county transportation division website, kdot.countyofkane.org.

Read more from the Elgin Courier-News here.

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Darch EJEA suburban mayor who has spent years trying to mitigate the effects of more freight train traffic in her community said that for towns facing that same situation now, it’s all about getting ahead of the problems.

Karen Darch was elected mayor of Barrington in 2005, only two years before the merger of the Canadian National and EJ&E that would increase the freight traffic in Barrington from three trains to up to 20 each day. She understands what worries Roselle and other suburbs along the Canadian Pacific line, as CP and the Kansas City Southern pursue a merger.

The merger could bring six to eight more freight trains a day through Roselle, Itasca, Wood Dale, Elgin, Bartlett, Schaumburg, Hanover Park and Bensenville. Leaders in those towns are concerned about potential traffic backups, emergency vehicle delays, additional noise and more pollution, as vehicles idle for longer.

Darch became the face of the fight between the suburbs and the railroads and the Surface Transportation Board, which approves or rejects mergers. The Surface Transportation Board also has the ability to keep railroads under oversight to make sure they are making the agreed-upon steps to keep crossings unblocked, limit the noise and more.

“Potential mitigation is the name of the game,” Darch said.

Darch said keeping a strong spotlight on the communities’ issues has to be the priority.

“It’s always a balancing act between what communities need and the train companies,” Darch said. “I think the communities have found their voice.”

Read more here.

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A Flock Safety license plate reader camera uses a proprietary algorithm to identify a license plate, vehicle make, type and color.

Lake County officials want to know more about how data is used before determining whether automatic license plate readers should be allowed on county-owned highway rights of way.

Members of the county board’s public works, transportation and planning committee agree high-speed cameras can help law enforcement but are wary of unintended consequences involving potential privacy issues.

“There are some concerns of who has access to this information and when,” said committee member John Wasik of Grayslake.

“Our responsibility is things are not always used as intended,” said committee member Ann Maine of Lincolnshire.

The high-speed, computer-controlled cameras capture license plate numbers, location, date and time, a photograph of the vehicle, the driver and/or passengers.

In early October, the county staff was directed to study the possibility of allowing readers to be installed along several county highways in Zion’s municipal limit. The city already has readers in its jurisdiction and wants to add more.

“The push to our community is to improve the safety of citizens by using technology,” Zion police Chief Eric Barden told the committee.

Several other communities also have notified the Lake County Division of Transportation they are considering using the readers, according to Shane Schneider, director of transportation and county engineer.

Read more here.

Related:Libertyville police planning license plate readers at five locations

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Plum Farms

A proposal for six three-story apartment buildings with 310 unit sand some ground-floor retail space will be the subject of a courtesy review by the Hoffman Estates village board next Monday, Nov 8. The site is the northwest corner of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

Six apartment buildings with 310 units and retail businesses on the ground floors of the three of them could be what kicks off construction of the long-delayed Plum Farms development in Hoffman Estates.

The village board is scheduled to grant a courtesy review of the proposal by Carmel, Indiana-based CRG Residential next Monday night.

The planned three-story buildings would be constructed in two distinct styles on the northwest corner of Higgins and Old Sutton roads, said Hoffman Estates’ Director of Development Services Peter Gugliotta. One of those styles would feature 20,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, he added.

The project would be within the 40 acres of a tax increment financing district approved in January 2020 to reimburse the cost of bringing utilities to the northwest and northeast corners of Higgins and Old Sutton. Including right of way, the TIF district totals 64 acres.

Excluding that right of way, the Plum Farms property totals 185 acres stretching from the northwest corner of Higgins Road and Route 59.

The Plum Farms annexation agreement with Hoffman Estates allows for a total of 1,250 dwelling units of various types. Gugliotta said there could be more multifamily units than the 310 CRG Residential is seeking, but single-family homes also are expected to make up a significant part of the Plum Farms development.

Read more here.

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The Longmeadow Parkway Bridge over the Fox River is built and being partially used but completion has been delayed by the pandemic and soil issues found at the site, officials said. The parkway starts in Huntley, crosses through Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills, and ends at Route 62. (Gloria Casas / The Courier-News)

Longmeadow Parkway Bridge over the Fox River is partially open to motorists but its completion has been delayed by steel shortages and the removal of lead-contaminated soil found at the site, Kane County officials said.

The $115 million, four-lane toll bridge links the two sides of a four-lane roadway corridor built to alleviate traffic congestion in northern Kane County. It begins at Huntley Road in Huntley, crosses through Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills, and ends at Route 62.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a steel shortage, which delayed some signal improvements needed at Route 25, said Tom Rickert, deputy director of transportation for the Kane County Division of Transportation.

Shortages of other items, including semiconductor chips, and increased prices in materials have also played a role in the project not being completed earlier this year, Rickert said.

It’s projected the traffic signal improvements at Route 25 should be finished in late November, he said.

Read on here.

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220 Safety Week

Barrington 220’s Third Annual Safety Week kicks off on Monday, Sept. 20. During a crisis situation, it is important for our district stakeholders to work together and we want to make sure we’re providing our community members with the appropriate information to facilitate that.

Throughout the week, all schools will participate in safety drills that are mandated by the State of Illinois, including fire drills, tornado drills, lockdown drills and bus evacuation drills. In addition, each day students will view a short video that has a “Safety 220 Tip of the Day”. Each tip corresponds with a safety theme for that day of the week. The topics for each day include:

  • MONDAY, Sept. 20: Welcome to Safety Week
  • TUESDAY, Sept. 21: Weather Emergencies (tornado drill)
  • WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22: Run, Hide, Fight (lockdown drill)
  • THURSDAY, Sept. 23: School Evacuations (fire drill)
  • FRIDAY, Sept. 24: Transportation Safety (bus evacuation drill)

To view this week’s welcome message from Austin Johnson, Barrington 220’s Director of Safety and Security, please click on the video link here.

To visit the Safety 220 webpage, click here.

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bhpd-logo-2-2021The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in-person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Outdoor arena bid status
  • Review of IGA/Horizon Farms status, and
  • Review final draft of Fox River Valley Hunt’s Cooperative Agreement with the Park District

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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