The committee didn’t make a final determination about a statue of Reagan. State Rep. Mary Flowers said the panel she chairs is not at the decision-making stage yet and is focused on listening to “what everyone has to say.”

Reagan 86

President Ronald Reagan attends the Illinois State Fair in Springfield in 1986 with Gov. James Thompson. Reagan is holding a 4-day-old goat belonging to Carry Marshall, 16, of Decatur. – Nancy Stuenkel/Sun-Times file

As statues of controversial figures are being torn down across the nation, an Illinois House panel on Wednesday discussed putting a new one up in Springfield of Ronald Reagan, the Illinois native who went on to become the nation’s 40th president.

House members on the Statue and Monument Review Task Force debated the pros and cons of “The Gipper’s” legacy, and the propriety of memorializing him on the Capitol grounds, but didn’t come to a decision.

The South Side Democrat who chairs the panel said in weighing the former president’s flaws with his legacy there has to be a recognition that “whether we agree with his policies or not … he had a profound impact on the direction of this country.”

Reagan spent his early years in northwestern Illinois — born in Tampico and raised in Dixon — before heading west to launch his acting career in Hollywood, playing Notre Dame football player George Gipp and others, and eventually his political career as governor of California.

He died in 2004 at the age of 93.

Josem Diaz, the vice president for Institutional Advancement at Reagan’s alma mater Eureka College in the Illinois city of the same name, would like to see a statue of a young Reagan on the state capitol grounds.

Read more here.

State Rep. Mary Flowers’ contact information can be found here.

220 AdminThe 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

Too, “Big brother is watching,” or is it time to consider this?


Flock Safety says its license plate readers reduce crime. The system uses a proprietary algorithm to identify a license plate, vehicle make, type and color.

After being suspended a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Libertyville police have rebooted the process to install a license plate reader system.

Village officials recently approved an agreement with Atlanta-based Flock Safety to place cameras at five locations for a 60-day pilot period.

“It’s in the permitting process with the Illinois Department of Transportation,” said police Chief Ed Roncone, adding that it will be two to three months before the system is up and running.

The readers serve legitimate purposes, such as alerting police to the location of a car associated with a criminal investigation, Roncone said.

“It’s just another tool we’re using to locate missing people, solve crimes” and make the community safer, he said.

Libertyville will join a handful of other suburban departments, including Vernon Hills’ and Elmhurst’s, in using the fixed camera technology as a crime-fighting tool.

Illinois State Police also have begun installing license plate readers on Cook County expressways to try to solve roadway shootings. The agency plans to install about 300 cameras.

Read on here.

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.

First listed 8 years ago, 17.5K sf home on 8.5 acres is in contract asking $7.5M

Empire Estate

The home of Terrance Howard’s character Lucious Lyon on “Empire” (Getty, @properties)

A 17,500-square-foot Barrington Hills mansion featured on the Fox TV series “Empire” may finally have a new owner after eight years on the market and a 53 percent price cut from its original ask.

Sitting on 8.5 acres at 45 Lakeview Lane, the mansion was listed at $7.5 million when it went under contract on Sept. 3, according to Crain’s, which reported that the sale is subject to an unspecified contingency.

Sellers Sam and Geralyn Cecola, owners of the Admiral Theater strip club on Chicago’s North Side, built the home in 2008 and initially listed it for $15.9 million in 2013. Successive price cuts had shaved the ask down to $9.5 million by 2019 and $7.5 million in May of last year.

Starting in 2014, the estate was featured as the home of lead actor Terrance Howard’s character Lucious Lyon on “Empire,” which concluded with its sixth season last year. Located between Keene and Heather Lakes, the home has six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a large outdoor pool, boat slip and garage parking for nine cars, according to the listing with eXp Realty’s Michael LaFido.

Read more here.

Related: “‘Empire’ mansion owner slashes $2 million from asking price, placing 5-bedroom Barrington Hills home at $7.5 million,” “They’re finally marketing the ‘Empire’ mansion as the ‘Empire’ mansion


Barrington High School alumnus and official FDNY ground zero photographer Gary Marlon Suson will be on display at Barrington High School, with tours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, Sept. 11, Oct 2, and Nov. 6.

Here’s a partial list of 9/11 remembrances taking place this week:

  • Rare artifacts and images from ground zero: Artifacts and images taken by Barrington High School alumnus and official FDNY ground zero photographer Gary Marlon Suson will be on display at Barrington High School, with tours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, Sept. 11, Oct 2, and Nov. 6. This will mark the first public display of the Islamic Steel Crescent & Moon, a 120-lb artifact cut from World Trade Center steel in 2001 in honor of the Muslim office workers who perished in the collapse. Reserve free tickets at arts-people.com/index.php?show=129461.
  • Barrington 9/11 Ceremony: 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 11, at Memorial Park, 610 Dundee Ave., Barrington. The village of Barrington commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony. For information, barrington-il.gov.
  • American String Quartet in Barrington: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, Barrington’s White House, 145 W. Main St., Barrington. The string quartet will perform Robert Sirota’s Triptych, written to commemorate the victims of Sept. 11, 2001. For tickets and information, click here.
  • Men’s Breakfast — 9/11 20th Anniversary Memorial Ride: 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at Willow Creek Community Church, 67 Algonquin Road, South Barrington. HighRoad Riders host the memorial ride, starting in Willow Creek parking Lot E. Event will include a brief devotion, ride to Rockford for breakfast at the Stockholm Inn, and visits to the 9/11 Emergency Responders Memorial and the Heroes of Freedom Memorial in Wauconda. The ride ends at the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Firefighter’s Memorial. Total distance is 150 miles. For information, click here.

An expanded list can be found here.


Police from Barrington Hills, and firefighters and paramedics from Barrington-Countryside Fire Protection District responded about 12:50 a.m. Saturday, September 5, 2021 to a report of a head-on crash with injuries at Algonquin Road and Helm Road in Barrington Hills.

Police, firefighters and paramedics on arrival discovered at least three vehicles involved with two vehicles with severe damage from a head-on collision. Firefighters immediately went to work on extrication and initially reported at least four people were injured. One vehicle left the roadway.

Two additional ambulances were requested by 12:59 a.m. A total of five ambulances were dispatched to the crash scene — two ambulances from Barrington-Countryside FPD, one ambulance from Palatine Fire Department, one ambulance from Barrington Fire Department, and one ambulance from Palatine Rural FPD. Hoffman Estates firefighters were also assigned to the call to work with Barrington-Countryside firefighters on extrication.

Five people were transported to area hospitals and one person refused medical transportation.

Read on here.


In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, rare artifacts and images taken by Barrington High School alumnus and official FDNYGround Zero photographer Gary Marlon Suson will be on display in the Clair E. Smith Gallery at BHS until early November.

The exhibit will feature 100 Images and artifacts along with BOSE audio stories narrating the history behind each display. It is a recreation of Suson’s 9/11 Museum Workshop in New York, a two-time winner of Trip Advisor’s prestigious “Top 25 Museums in the USA” Award. The exhibit will be open to the public on the dates below.

Tours will take place in half hour increments. Space will be limited and all COVID protocols will be followed.

  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 9 AM – 1 PM
  • Saturday, Oct. 2: 9 AM – 1 PM (prior to Homecoming football game)
  • Saturday, November 6: 9 AM – 1 PM

Click here to reserve your free tickets.

Labor Day

A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country.

The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation. Alaska and North Dakota took the top two spots as the hardest working states. New Mexico came in at No. 50.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said workers in downstate Illinois likely helped the state’s ranking.

“That is where we see a leveling of the work week,” Gonzalez said. “In Chicago, we typically are seeing a shorter work week, and places where they are heavily relying on agriculture, we see a longer work week.”

Americans put in an average of 1,767 hours per year as of 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. That is 435 hours per year more than Germans work, but 357 fewer than Mexicans do.

Alaska has the longest hours worked per week at 42, which is 14% longer than in Utah, the state with the shortest week at 37 hours.

The category that pushed Illinois down in the rankings was the lowest annual volunteer hours per resident, in which Illinois ranked 47th in the country.

Read on here.


The Barrington Hills Country Club members will be celebrating their club’s centennial this evening (as witnessed at The Catlow Theater early this morning).  Congratulations on one hundred years!

Also, the significant time and effort spent improving the club’s website this year have not gone unnoticed.  Our complements to all involved for their fine work!

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