Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


An Amazon delivery truck got stuck under the Long Grove covered bridge Sunday night, in what was the 45th collision since the bridge reopened in 2020. (Courtesy of Lake County Sheriff’s Office)

It’s happened again: Long Grove’s historic bridge has been struck.

Around 7:40 p.m. Sunday, an Amazon delivery truck just over 9 feet tall got stuck under the Robert Parker Coffin Bridge, which has a clearance of 8 feet 6 inches.

It marks the 45th time the bridge was struck since it was reopened and rededicated in August 2020.

Lake County sheriff’s deputies, who have jurisdiction in Long Grove, have responded each time, and been keeping a running tally.

“There are numerous signs informing drivers of the height restriction and signs prohibiting trucks and buses from using the bridge,” Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said Monday morning.

The Amazon driver, Enrique Rivera, 24, of the 2400 block of Glendale Terrace in Hanover Park, was cited for disobeying a traffic control device and driving a prohibited vehicle over the bridge. He told deputies he thought the truck would meet the height clearance, Covelli said.

A towing agency responded and removed the truck from the bridge, and the roadway was closed for about an hour.

Read more here.

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A bison grazes in 2013 in a forest in eastern Poland. Kane County Forest Preserve Commissioners approved a plan this week to bring bison to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve. (Associated Press)

It’s been 200 hundred years since bison roamed the prairies of Kane County, but a new plan to reintroduce them into a local forest preserve may turn back the clock.

Kane County Forest Preserve commissioners approved a plan this week to bring a handful of bison to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve. The plan centers on one of the main ecological goals of restoring tallgrass prairie to the county’s preserves. Before the surrounding area developed, fire and the grazing habits of wild animals, such as bison, provided natural management of the grasslands. Preserve officials reintroduced controlled burns to the preserves many years ago.

Executive director Ben Haberthur told commissioners now is the time to reintroduce bison to restore the grazing aspect of grassland management. Up to 90% of the diet for bison is grasses.

“The grasses evolved with grazing,” Haberthur said. “So it actually promotes the soil microbiome to grow more. Bison are native to Illinois, and they are definitely native to this county. They will bring a big component back to the ecosystem, namely fertilizer.”

District officials experimented with the benefits of animal grazing in the preserves with cattle in the Aurora West Forest Preserve. That experiment resulted in the flourishing of the restored grasslands in the preserve. Officials see bison as the next step in returning the grasslands to their most natural state and care.

The Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve is in the Pleasant Valley Conservation Alley north of Huntley and in the northwest portion of the county. The plan calls for two paddocks of 30 acres each with an additional 89 acres seeded for pasture. For the safety of the animals and the public, the areas containing the bison would be fenced, which accounts for the bulk of the initial cost of the project.

Read more here.

Editorial note: As we’ve suggested before, there is ample acreage at Horizon Farm for the Forest Preserves of Cook County to consider such an endeavor.

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Students are invited to apply for The Land Conservancy of McHenry County’s CLIP program for the summer of 2023. The program gives underserved high school and college students the skills to navigate the conservation field as a professional. (Courtesy of Kim Elsenbroek, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County)

Submitted by The Land Conservancy of McHenry County

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County has opened its Conservation Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) to applicants for the summer of 2023, which will be the third year of the program.

The application period is open now through Feb. 27. Students can learn more and apply at conservemc.org/clip/.

CLIP is a paid, hands-on learning experience designed to give students the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the conservation field as a professional.

No experience is needed to apply for CLIP, and it is open to high school juniors, seniors and college students. Participants must be able to work in extreme weather conditions and on adverse terrain.

The program takes place 40 hours per week from June-August 2023, and the pay is $15 per hour, or college credit.

The internship provides underserved communities such as women, BIPOC, first generation and LGBTQIA+ students/youth with hands-on professional training in the field of conservation.

Participants will gain experience areas such as: plant identification, land management, GIS/GPS training, prescribed fire training, herbicide use, rare plant monitoring, wildlife/stream surveys, sustainable farming techniques, land preservation techniques, field safety, scientific research/experimental design, art in the natural world, career development and professional networking.

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Illinois state lawmakers are looking to give themselves a $12,000 raise with a bill that spends more than $1.7 billion of taxpayer money.

Just before 9 p.m. Friday, the Illinois House approved an amendment to Senate Bill 1720. The measure now goes to the Illinois Senate, which returns Sunday evening.

Alongside giving pay raises to state legislators, constitutional officers and executive agency directors, the measure puts $850 million into the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund known as the rainy day fund, gives hospitals statewide a one time $460 million payment to help with the increased cost of nursing, puts $400 million into the Large Business Attraction Fund and deposits $72 million into the Disaster Recovery Fund, among other things.

“A hundred and seventy-four pages on a Friday night, the audacity of what we are doing,” state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said in opposition. “Pay increase, Christmas in January, for legislators.”

In the 102nd General Assembly that ends Jan. 10, base pay for legislators is $72,906 a year. Legislative leaders get extra stipends ranging from committee chairman and minority spokesman receiving an additional $11,098 to the Senate president and House speaker getting an additional $29,530 a year. If Senate Bill 1720 as amended is approved by the Senate and is enacted by the governor, starting with the 103rd General Assembly that begins Jan. 11, the base pay for part-time state legislators will increase to $85,000.

The measure also increases the salaries of the governor from $181,670 to $205,700, the lieutenant governor from $140,000 to $160,900, the secretary of state from $161,500 to $183,300, and the attorney general from $161,000 to $183,300. The comptroller and treasurer would each get their salaries increased from $140,000 to $160,900.

More here.

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BHPD New Masthead

The Barrington Hills Park District Advisory Committee meets this evening at 7PM. The primary topic of discussion is, “Explore possibility of a better time for Riding Club on weekends (as opposed to?).”

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.  Instructions for attending the meeting via Zoom can be found here.

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O Holy Night



By John Kass
December 24, 2022

For all the children who should be loved always, but especially on this night, with our arms wrapped around them and a long goodnight kiss on the temple, a kiss more precious than anything wrapped in a box.

For every parent who stands quietly in the darkened doorways of the bedrooms, watching those small, sleeping shapes.

For all the babies who aren’t loved enough and grow up with a hard crust around their hearts because there was no one near to plant those kisses and give those hugs. And for every couple so full of love, that they adopt a child and save that life.

And for every young mother who has given her baby up for adoption, to save that life growing inside of her. For all those who couldn’t have children of their own. For those who’ve lost their children. For all who’ve lost their moms and dads. For the moms and dads who give everything to keep their family close.

For those crazy uncles who always drink too much tonight, then sneak outside to put on the red suit in the driveway, hopping on one leg, falling in the snow, laughing out there in the cold, before coming back in to surprise the kids.

For those wise aunts who make sure that coffee is strong and black, to help those crazy uncles sober up.

And for everyone in every choir in the world. They’ve been practicing for weeks in cold, empty churches. And so tonight is their night too, their beautiful voices lifting us up with song, inviting us to humble ourselves as we ask for help in scraping away any bitterness that has grown like a hard bark around our hearts.

Read on here.

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BAL Closed 1 pm

“Due to the forecast of extreme winter weather, the Barrington Area Library will be closing early, at 1 PM, on Thursday, December 22.

Please check our website and social media accountsfor any updates on hours and services.

Stay safe on the roads.”



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Hart Pooch

“Do you know who this beautiful puppy belongs to? She was found near Hart Road and Route 14. Contact Animal Care Center of Barrington with information at 847-381-4100.” (Posted at midnight)

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The Land of Lincoln is failing its children and covering it up.

No one thought Illinois schools were a shining beacon in the education landscape, but we didn’t know how truly awful so many of them are. A new report by Wirepoints using the state’s data shows that an epidemic of indifferent instruction and social promotion has left children unable to perform at even the most basic educational level.

Statewide, in 2019, 36% of all third grade students could read at grade level. That’s an F, and that’s the good news. That number drops to 27% for Hispanic students and 22% for black students statewide. In certain public school systems, the numbers plummet to single digits. In Decatur, 2% of black third-graders are reading at grade level and only 1% are doing math at grade level.

We aren’t often speechless, but the extent to which that performance is betraying a generation of schoolchildren is hard to put into words. Third grade children are eight years old, full of potential with minds like sponges to absorb what they are taught. Third grade is the year that children need to achieve a level of reading fluency that will prepare them to tackle more complex tasks in upper elementary grades that require comprehension.

A child who can’t read in third grade can’t do word problems in fourth or science experiments in fifth. Promoting Decatur children to the fourth grade when 99% are below grade level in math condemns them to future failure. By 11th grade, 5% of Decatur’s students are reading at grade level and 4% are on par in math. Why shouldn’t every single adult presiding over the Decatur schools be fired?

Wirepoints shows that in 2019 7% of black third-graders in Rockford were reading at grade level, 11% of Hispanic third-graders in Elgin and 8% of black third-graders in Peoria. Chicago’s 30% of black third-graders reading at grade level almost seems a triumph by comparison. Statewide, the system records a 30 percentage-point achievement gap between black students and white students. If you want to discuss “systemic racism,” start here, yet black Illinois politicians protect this indefensible system.

The opinion piece continues here.

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Chicago private-equity veteran Bryan Cressey and his wife have been identified as the buyers who paid $20 million in March for the full-floor penthouse on the 89th floor of Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago private-equity veteran Bryan Cressey and his wife, plastic surgeon Iliana Sweis, have been identified as the buyers who paid $20 million in March for the five-bedroom, 14,260-square-foot full-floor penthouse on the 89th floor of Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The sale of the unit was the third-highest-priced sale on record of any kind of home within Chicago’s city limits. A real estate source in the Trump Tower confirmed that Cressey and Sweis were the buyers.

Cressey, 73, is the co-founder of private equity firm Golder Thoma Cressey, which teamed up with future Gov. Bruce Rauner to become known as GTCR. Cressey then cofounded another private equity firm, Thoma Cressey, followed by Cressey & Co.

Cressey and Sweis are familiar with the Trump building, as Sweis bought a lower-floor unit in the building for $2.7 million in 2009. And Cressey, a longtime Barrington-area resident, purchased one of the hotel condos in the building in 2015 for $1.68 million.

The couple bought the $20 million penthouse through an opaque Delaware limited liability company whose name is a variation on the couple’s wedding date and location.

Chezi Rafaeli, the real estate agent who represented the couple in their purchase, declined to confirm the couple’s ownership. Lawyer Judy DeAngelis, who represented the couple in the purchase and who also receives the unit’s tax bill, asked a reporter “where you got those names” before declining to comment further.

Cressey did not respond to a request for comment, while in a phone interview, Sweis denied buying the unit.

Read more here.

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