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Richard S. Pepper, from left, Sister Catherine M. Ryan, Roxelyn Pepper and Richard Devine are shown in this 2017 photo after the Peppers were honored by Maryville’s Center for Children with a Guardian Medallion Award. (COURTESY OF Maryville’s Center for Children)

Richard S. Pepper, the Barrington construction executive known for his love for the industry and many civic contributions, died Thursday.

Pepper, 90, was executive of The Pepper Companies. He died peacefully surrounded by his family at the Pepper Family Hospice Center in Barrington, the company stated.

Pepper and his wife Roxelyn, known as Roxy, are a Barrington institution.

They were major financial backers of the Barrington Historical Society and helped launch the Pepper Family Tree House at Citizens Park, among many other things.

They were honored in 2017 for supporting Maryville’s Center for Children. They were recognized in 2006 by the Illinois Humanities Council with a Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. They both graduated from Northwestern University and were the first couple to be awarded the university’s Medal of Honor in 2001.

The Pepper Companies owns Pepper Construction Group, headquartered in Chicago and with offices in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. The company was formed in 1927 by Richard Pepper’s father, Stanley Pepper.

Read on here, or read the tribute published by Davenport Family Funeral Home here.

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District 220 statement: 

Due to severe weather Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 will be a Distance Learning day in Barrington 220 and all buildings are closed. All teachers and students will follow their current schedule via zoom. All PreK-12 teachers will conduct their classes from home following the daily schedule. As a result, Barrington 220 will not have to make up this emergency closure day at the end of the school year.

Although the district plans to follow as close to the daily schedule as possible, instructions and expectations may look different throughout the day. Please keep in mind that teachers are working at home and may have unforeseen circumstances that arise. We ask that you be flexible and patient during this emergency day.

We acknowledge the inconvenience closing school may cause and we appreciate your understanding of our need to put the safety of students and staff first. For recorded information on athletic and co-curricular activities, please call 847-842-3292. Thank you.

District 300 statement:

In keeping with our commitment to student and staff safety, District 300 schools will not hold in-person instruction on Tuesday, January 26. All classes will resume remotely and all students in grades pre-K through 12 will receive remote synchronous instruction. 

For complete details, please click here.

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Restaurant owners aren’t giving up. They’ve struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, retrenching to stay in business, investing in safety protocols, re-imagining their menus to offer takeout and delivery fare. They’ve shown indomitable spirit. Most have played by the state’s strict rules. Now it’s time for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to give them a reasonable break.

Governor, reopen the dining rooms.

Pritzker shut down indoor dining in October when the coronavirus outbreak spiked, renewing hardships on a crucial jobs sector. That spike has now tapered. Takeout food is an option for customers, but it’s not the same draw for cooped-up residents, many of whom would be eager to go out to eat, assuming all proper social distancing and hygiene rules are in place.

This is a matter of being fair, reasonable and protective of the economy. “The rules are lopsided against restaurants,” chef Brian Jupiter of Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods told the Tribune. In December, we saw shopping malls bursting at the seams and that wasn’t an issue. We are sanitizing the living s— out of everything. Wearing masks. But we still can’t operate.

Read more of the Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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Sounds Like Christmas

ILLUSTRATION BY ROBERT RISKO

In Barrington Hills this Christmas Eve, you’d be able to find outside—rain or snow—Pastor Todd Berge at the barbeque grilling steaks for his family’s dinner. Pastor Berge comes from a family of six children and his wife, Jeanne, is one of four siblings; together they have continued the Christmas traditions started by their own families and created more as the years have gone by.

With four children of their own now, and one grandchild, the days leading up to the holiday are full of treasured traditions. Despite busy schedules all around, after Thanksgiving Jeanne finds a time for family to join in the Christmas tree decorating while singing Christmas carols. And just like many families, their ornaments are full of memories of holidays past. The Berge’s have a tradition of bringing home an ornament from each of their travels, “We have ornaments from Israel, Africa, Disney World— it’s a retelling of our marriage as we put them on the tree,” says Berge. Berge’s mother would always “put an orange in the tree of our stocking,” says Berge, a tradition that he and Jeanne continue.

On Christmas Eve the family join together to attend Church, celebrate the holiday over dinner, and open large presents, with Jeanne gifting pajamas to any family opting to stay overnight. At times, the family gathering can reach 50 people with everyone singing and playing games, like trivia, as a jovial, festive atmosphere pervades throughout the house.

Read more of the Quintessential Barrington article here.

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Officials at New Trier High School are planning to double the number of students attending classes on campus by the start of the new semester in late January of 2021.

The timeline for the expanded COVID-19 reopening plan, that will increase from the current model of one “track” of students attending classes in-person each day, to two tracks, was approved by the board of education at a special meeting Tuesday night, New Trier spokeswoman Niki Dizon said.

In addition, officials hope to offer an enhanced additional track for the next several weeks that will be available to some students who are struggling, and who have been identified as needing additional in-person support for social emotional needs, Dizon said.

The high school is also aiming to increase the numbers of students participating in a new $1.3 million saliva screening program in the coming weeks, which is currently at a rate of about 88%, officials said.

Read more here.

Editorial note: Yesterday, District 220 announced, “Board not considering COVID-19 testing at this time.” We’ll have more on this topic tomorrow.

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Illinois Facebook users have until Monday to claim their share of a $650 million class-action settlement over alleged violations of the state’s biometric privacy law.

Nearly 1.4 million people had filed a claim as of Wednesday, which would make the expected payout about $400 each, Chicago attorney Jay Edelson said.

Illinois Facebook users can file a claim through Monday at a website created for the biometric privacy class-action settlement.

Read on here.

Related:Facebook may pay Illinois users a couple of hundred dollars each in $550 million privacy settlement– January 29, 2020

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McHenry County Board Chair Jack Franks

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, an incumbent Democrat, conceded his bid for re-election to his Republican opponent, Mike Buehler, at a meeting of the County Board Thursday morning.

Franks – who trails Buehler by over 9,000 votes, nearly six percentage points – said he thought it was time to acknowledge that McHenry County voters have spoken in choosing Buehler to lead the County Board through the next four years.

Read on here.

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“Dear Barrington 220 Community,

We are now six days into our adaptive pause of the Hybrid mode and while Barrington 220 desperately would like to return to Hybrid on Monday, Nov. 9, we wanted you to know that as of today we will most likely be extending the pause until Monday, Nov. 16. A final decision will be made later this week, after further discussion at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4. 

We have been reviewing the data from the Northwestern Medicine dashboard, as well as the situation at each of our school buildings. As of today, the number of new cases (Metric #1) per 100,000 persons for each of our zip codes except 60021 continues to exceed our Step 3 (Hybrid) threshold of 200. In addition, our positivity rate (Metric #2) is moving in the wrong direction for two of our zip codes. Here are the latest numbers as of 11/1/2020:

Our COVID-19 dashboard shows the daily number of positive cases and quarantine cases among students and staff at each building in the district. 

  • A positive case is counted on the day it is reported. Every day after, it is placed in the quarantine category. 
  • Quarantine cases are students and staff not attending school due to testing positive or exposure to a positive case.” 

To view the “D220 Metric Status,” click here.

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A blue moon will light up the night sky this Halloween. This only happens once every two and a half years, on average, NASA’s National Space Science Data Center reports.

October’s first full moon, also referred to as the harvest moon, appeared on the first day of the month, the blue moon, or the second full moon, can be seen on October 31st. We have not seen another blue moon occurrence in the Americas since March 2018, CNN reports.

Every month has a full moon, but because of how the lunar cycle and the calendar year aren’t entirely synced, we end up with two in the same calendar month every three years or so.

It is called a blue moon because it’ll be the second of two full moons that occurs in a single calendar month.

One interesting fact is that this is the first time a Halloween full moon has shown up for all time zones since 1944, the Farmers’ Almanac references. The last time a Halloween full moon showed was for the Central and Pacific time zones in 2001, CNN reports.

Another interesting fact is that when the phrase “once in a blue moon” was first used, it described something so rare, you wouldn’t believe you’d see it in your lifetime, NASA reports.

Read on here.

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This is the Tribune Editorial Board’s second installment of endorsements for contested Illinois House races in the Nov. 3 general election.

52nd District

Think it’s tough trying to get things done in Springfield? Try Barrington Hills.

When Republican Marty McLaughlin became mayor in 2013, the Village Board split on issues was 5-2 and McLaughlin was one of the two minority votes. Still, he got his initiatives through, including a consolidation of 911 services that saved taxpayers millions of dollars. As an investment manager, he knows money.

And he knows that because of the pandemic, revenue from state taxes will be a sliver of what they were before. Other states, he says, have decided to slash spending to brace for less money coming in. That’s the course Illinois should take as well, McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin says. His opponent, Island Lake Democrat Marci Suelzer, is a business executive and a licensed mental health counselor. Her skill set is extensive, but McLaughlin is endorsed.

Read the rest of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board’s endorsements here.

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