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Since the first episodes of the hit Fox series in 2014, the Barrington Hills giant has been a set for the show while also lingering on the for-sale market. With the TV show’s last season coming, the seller “is allowing us to leverage that,” the listing agent said.

The for-sale listing for a 17,000-square-foot mansion in Barrington Hills, which has played the role of of Lucious Lyon’s baronial mansion on the Fox series “Empire” since 2014, at last makes reference to the TV show.

The house, on 8.5 acres on Lakeview Lane in the northwest suburb, has been on the market much of the time since June 2013, when it listed for $15.9 million, and separately has become familiar to fans of the television series. But until Monday, the real estate listing never mentioned “Empire.”

“The seller was hesitant, but now he’s allowing us to leverage that,” said Michael LaFido, the @properties agent who is representing the house. The new listing appeared Monday afternoon, after the home had been officially off the market but still offered on private agent networks since April 2018. Along with the new mention of “Empire,” the listing brought a $3 million price cut. The asking price is now $9.5 million, down from $12.5 million.

Read more from Crain’s Chicago Business here.

Concerns about traffic, noise and the suitability of a South Barrington site proposed as home to a new national veterans cemetery are being taken into consideration as studies on the idea continue, according to the federal agency driving the effort.

But in the meantime, South Barrington leaders who see the proposed location as incompatible for a cemetery are instead suggesting other potential sites in town.

Under what’s called an urban initiative, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wants to acquire 15 acres on the southwest corner of Mundhank and Freeman roads for a columbarium cemetery to serve the Chicago area. It would be an extension of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, about 57 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.

South Barrington Mayor Paula McCombie stresses she and other village officials welcome the proposed veterans cemetery, but they say the VA’s location is not the best possible spot.

“Let’s find another location in town,” McCombie said. “Let’s look a little bit instead of just sticking people back over in a corner there.”

Read the full story from the Daily Herald here.

Responding to public demands, Barrington officials have worked to add 67 more parking spaces at the Metra commuter station in the village’s downtown area.

Barrington owns the commuter lots at 201 S. Spring St., where there are currently 905 parking spaces.

An advisory referendum question on the November 2018 ballot asked if the village should “provide a preference to village residents at specific locations in the village’s commuter parking lots which are used by residents of other communities?”

About 75% of voters responded “yes” to the referendum question, according to results from the Lake and Cook county clerks’ offices. Barrington is divided between the two counties.

Barrington officials said spaces are needed as more people are finding jobs and require transportation in the Chicago area.

To read the Barrington Courier-Review coverage of the Metra commuter parking story, click here.

Illinois’ law banning driving and texting is now five years old, and drivers caught violating it will face a stiffer penalty as of July 1.

Scofflaws who text, talk or use any hand-held devices behind the wheel will receive a ticket for a moving violation. Three moving violations in a 12-month period will lead to a license suspension.

Lawmakers tightened the law in 2018, removing a provision giving first-time offenders a free pass.

The tougher stance reverts back to what Secretary of State Jesse White “wanted in the original bill, and it was negotiated down,” spokesman Dave Druker said. “There was a lot of feeling it was a little harsh.”

Being nice, however, wasn’t working, authorities found. White and Illinois State Police “felt it wasn’t making a dent,” said Elgin Democratic Sen. Christina Castro, who sponsored the change.

Read more here.

A performance by the 44th Army Band Five Star Brass will kick off Algonquin’s 12th annual Art on the Fox at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at Towne Park, 100 Jefferson St.

The two-day juried art show, which is at a new location this year, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It will feature more than 40 artists, art demos, children’s tent and music.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, McHenry County College will host art demonstrations and there will be free kids activities in the Picasso Zone. From 1:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, there will be an “Art Battle” by H2O Church.

On Sunday, chef Robert Childers will offer a culinary art demo. At 10 a.m., there will be a book readin by author Michele May. At 11 a.m., JTC Turning will offer wood turning demos. At 1 p.m., Phil Munton will perform oldies music, followed by Fingers & Strings by Merv Collins at 2 p.m.

Admission is free. For information, click here.

“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

— Winston Churchill

State Rep. David McSweeney, Barrington Hills

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, after signing the largest budget in Illinois history, declared that the Land of Lincoln is back, but he failed to complete the rest of that sentence. Illinois is back to the failed policies of more tax increases and out of control spending. Republican “leaders” who supported Pritzker’s big government fiscal policies should be ashamed of themselves. I voted an emphatic “no” on the Pritzker budget and tax increases.

The $40 billion Fiscal Year 2020 unbalanced budget that the governor signed contains more spending than the budget he originally proposed and includes no spending reforms. The budget also includes tax increases on health insurance and online purchases. The Illinois Constitution requires “appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.” The General Assembly did not pass a revenue estimate so this budget cannot be truly balanced. Also, overly optimistic revenue forecasts unrealistically assume that one-time revenue gains will be sustainable.

As egregious as the additional spending is, the real story of the 2019 spring session is taxes, taxes and more taxes. The progressive income tax constitutional amendment is the linchpin for massive future tax hikes and new state spending. Fortunately, voters will have the final say on the progressive income tax constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in the general election next year. I’m confident that 60% of Illinois voters will not support massive tax increases that will eventually hit the middle class. Do you really trust Illinois political insiders to set your tax rates under a progressive tax system?

Read the full David McSweeny opinion piece in the Daily Herald here.

At its June 5 meeting, the District 220 Board of Education approved the purchase of the residential property located at 36 East Dundee Road, which sits between the Early Learning Center and BMS-Prairie.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is selling the property to the district. BCFPD had proposed a fire station for the site, however the Cook County Board did not approve the proposal.

It’s reported that District 220 will be paying an estimated $562,800 for the 1,462 square foot ranch-style home built in 1955. Records indicate the roughly 1-acre parcel last sold for $500,000 in December of 2016 to the BCFPD.

“The district expects the land to be used to improve traffic flow and parking at the two campuses,” a recent 220 press release states. The way District 220 has been managed in recent years, we expect this will likely be over a million-dollar expenditure before it’s all said and done.

Related: County board denies plans to build fire station near two Barrington schools

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