TribLocal - Gurnee /gurnee TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:54:18 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Lake County Board member Aaron Lawlor selected as Edgar Fellow /gurnee/2012/06/27/lake-county-board-member-aaron-lawlor-selected-as-edgar-fellow/ /gurnee/2012/06/27/lake-county-board-member-aaron-lawlor-selected-as-edgar-fellow/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 18:27:23 +0000 Brian L. Cox /mundelein/?p=26524

Lake County board member, Aaron Lawlor, said that in his travels around the country he has heard many jokes and snide remarks about government corruption in Illinois.

“Illinois has definitely had its problems,” Lawlor said. “When I’ve participated in programs with elected officials from around the country, they really do kind of laugh. The folks, even from states with colored pasts like New Jersey, laugh about Illinois being one of the more corrupt states in the union.”

Lawlor, 29, who was recently selected to participate in the inaugural “Edgar Fellow Program,” said he hopes to bring up the topic of corruption and other pressing issues when he meets with others in the program in August.

“It’s something I hope we talk about,” said Lawlor, who was invited to participate in the program as one of “40 emerging Illinois leaders.” “If you don’t have a government people have faith in, you really can’t begin to face the other issues we’re facing.”

The Edgar Fellow Program was designed by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar to promote responsible and responsive leadership in government. The 40 leaders will gather from Aug. 19‐22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign to launch a “forward‐looking enterprise” led by former Gov. Jim Edgar and the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), according to a release.

According to the release, the objectives of the Edgar Fellows initiative are to “enhance leadership skills and promote understanding, networking and cooperation across regional, partisan and ethnic lines as these young men and women move ahead in their public‐service careers.”

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity for these outstanding women and men to further develop their abilities and encourage them to become the leaders our state will need to meet the great challenges of the 21st Century,” Edgar said in a written release.

“Just as importantly, this program offers a chance for them to broaden their perspectives and to become acquainted with each other, so they can work together effectively for the good of our state as they assume additional responsibility,” Edgar said.

Lawlor said he plans to talk to his colleagues in the program about steps the Lake County board has taken in the areas of ethics reform.

“What we’ve done in Lake County is to really strengthen our ethics ordinance,” he said. “Commissioners have never been involved in direct hiring, other than our administrator.”

“We made a more stringent ethics ordinance that we passed last year which basically says commissioners won’t even inquire about the status of a [job] application,” he added. “Instead we just refer the individual to the HR department. It completely takes us out of the equation from any possibility or perception of impropriety.”

Another hot button issue Lawlor said he plans to bring up during the meeting is property taxes. He said that from “a local level” property taxes are continuing to increase both from school districts and local governments and the increases are “becoming unsustainable” for residents of Lake County and the surrounding areas.

“It’s the fundamental issue that we face on the county board,” he said. “While we’re responsible for about 10 percent of the tax bill, people think we have more control over it than we do.”

“The real control is rooted in Springfield where they set the law related to property taxes,” he added. “I think what we’re going to see in coming years is that people are going to be increasingly upset about their property tax bills. It’s an issue that needs to be dealt with at the state level.”

Lawlor, who worked as a political director for Ill. Senator Mark Kirk, before being elected to the Lake County board, also said heath care will be on the top of his list of important issues when he travels downstate in August.

“When you look at the issues the state is facing almost all of them are budgetary and many of the budgetary issues fall under the realm of healthcare, whether its Medicaid, Medicare pensions, employee health benefits and that sort of thing,” he said. “If we’re going to work to solve some of the problem of our state, those are areas that really touch the core problems we’re facing.”

While wasteful spending is a concern, Lawlor cautioned against “short sighted budget cuts.”

What I’m excited to learn about is when we talk about cuts, which are absolutely necessary, we also need to look at the long term impacts on our state and our communities,” Lawlor added.

He also said the state cannot keep pushing obligations and unfunded mandates on local governments while taking away revenue streams.

“Local government is stretched really down to the bone,” he said. “At the end of the day local government, I believe, touches peoples lives more closely than pretty much any other level of government.”

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Skilling: Pleasant end to the work week /gurnee/2012/06/22/skilling-pleasant-end-to-the-work-week/ /gurnee/2012/06/22/skilling-pleasant-end-to-the-work-week/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 13:14:05 +0000 Kara Silva /barrington/?p=31890

The work week ends with sunshine and warmth but without the humidity that smothered the first half of the week.

Friday is to deliver 85-degree warmth for the 25th time this year in a month running a solid 5 degrees above normal — the ninth consecutive month to produce a temperature surplus here and the warmest June of the past quarter century.

Read more at chicagotribune.com.

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Visit Lake County Wins a Bronze Telly Award /gurnee/community/stories/2012/06/visit-lake-county-wins-a-bronze-telly-award/ /gurnee/community/stories/2012/06/visit-lake-county-wins-a-bronze-telly-award/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 08:39:12 +0000 Anthony Haag /gurnee/?post_type=community_post&p=32699 Visit Lake County Wins a Bronze Telly Award
33rd Annual Telly Awards honors the very best commercials, videos, films and Internet work

Lake County, IL, June 14, 2012 – The winners of the 33rd Annual Telly Awards have been announced, with Visit Lake County taking home a statuette for their “Let The Ride Take You” TV spot. The spot won a Bronze Telly (second place) in the Travel/Tourism category. With nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this year’s Telly Awards has been one of the most successful and competitive in the long history of the Telly Awards.

In “Let The Ride Take You”, produced by ad agency Davis Harrison Dion, Lake County spotlights the variety of attractions and destinations that are “just a short ride away” in Lake County. Focusing on “the ride” the television spot featured rides through Lake County via different vehicles including a classic red convertible, a canoe, golf cart, waterslide and roller coaster. “The Ride” targeted a broader audience focusing on the variety of offerings Lake County has during the summer for kids and the whole family.

"We are extremely excited to have received this prestigious recognition," said Maureen Riedy, president, Visit Lake County. "The TV spot was the cornerstone to a tremendously successful ad campaign last year, and is so visually engaging, that we have expanded the concept for this summer’s campaign to include even more rides you can take in Lake County.”

For additional information, or to find out more about Lake County, please visit our website at www.visitakecounty.org.

About Lake County
Visit Lake County serves as the champion for tourism and the official destination marketing organization for Lake County, Illinois and represents municipalities, hotels, attractions and hospitality related businesses throughout the county. The agency provides travel resources and services for visitors and event planners to enhance the economic impact of travel spending in the county.

About The Telly Awards

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

http://youtu.be/2tKL8yLv65o

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Winners and losers: Chicago-area casinos 20 years later /gurnee/2012/06/21/winners-and-losers-chicago-area-casinos-20-years-later/ /gurnee/2012/06/21/winners-and-losers-chicago-area-casinos-20-years-later/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2012 11:52:42 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /des-plaines/?p=45493

The first suburban Chicago casino opened 20 years ago this month, bringing with it hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in taxes, but also stories of gambling addiction and hardship for some area residents.

Joliet’s Empress Casino, which was renamed Hollywood Casino Joliet in 2010, welcomed its first customers in June 1992. Over the next two years, casinos opened in Joliet, Aurora and Elgin. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines opened last July, and gambling expansion talks in Springfield could put new casinos in the north and south suburbs and downtown Chicago.

During the past two decades, the fissure between casino supporters and opponents has remained deep.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Skilling: Warmest June in 25 years, but relief in sight /gurnee/2012/06/20/skilling-warmest-june-in-25-years-but-relief-in-sight/ /gurnee/2012/06/20/skilling-warmest-june-in-25-years-but-relief-in-sight/#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 13:48:39 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /arlington-heights/?p=49943 The Chicago area will swelter through a third straight day of 90s Wednesday, making June the warmest here in 25 years.

But relief is in sight. The highs will simmer down to the low 80s or even upper 70s Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then the middle 70s on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday’s high is expected to be around 94, and that means June will have eight 90s on the books when the summer solstice arrives this evening. The average temperature of 71.9 degrees so far this month is 5 degrees above the norm and the warmest June 1-20 period since 1987.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Lifeguard on duty: Swim at your own risk /gurnee/2012/06/20/lifeguard-on-duty-swim-at-your-own-risk/ /gurnee/2012/06/20/lifeguard-on-duty-swim-at-your-own-risk/#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 12:04:01 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /arlington-heights/?p=49936

Lifeguards at Pioneer Park pool in Arlington Heights always have to be on alert — for swimmers in trouble, but also for the lifeguard certification agency that could show up at any time to videotape them on duty, conduct a simulated drowning or quiz them on proper rescue techniques.

Pool managers also perform unannounced drills. At one drill Tuesday, a pool manager tossed a baby mannequin into the deep end from outside the view of the lifeguard on duty. The guard calmly but quickly stood up, blew her whistle three times, jumped in and fished out the doll in a matter of seconds.

In response to drowning deaths, lawsuits, improved training and rescue techniques and the proliferation of risk managers, lifeguards at public pools and beaches in the Chicago area appear to receive more rigorous training than ever before.

Many area park districts rely on national certification agencies like the American Red Cross and Jeff Ellis & Associates that focus on constant vigilance to prevent drownings. The training regimens may require off-season instruction, weekly refreshers during the summer and the passage of surprise drills and inspections. Park district insurance companies also typically require audits and intense oversight of lifeguards.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Skilling: We’re on a hot streak not seen since 1977 /gurnee/2012/06/19/skilling-were-on-a-hot-streak-not-seen-since-1977/ /gurnee/2012/06/19/skilling-were-on-a-hot-streak-not-seen-since-1977/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 13:50:30 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /arlington-heights/?p=49902

A second uncomfortable day lies ahead, potentially hotter than Monday, with highs in the middle to upper 90s.

The reading would mark the 12th time this year that the Chicago area has been visited by a 90-plus temperatures. Only one other year — since official weather records began in 1871 — has logged more 90-degree or higher readings by June 19. The year was 1977 and there were 13 days in the 90s by this date.

The warm air covering the Midwest has discouraged the formation of clouds and rain. The brutally hot and often bone-dry summer of 1988 serves as a benchmark for hot summers in the Chicago area. That year produced more 90 and 100-degree temperatures than any other on the record books here — 47 and 7, respectively.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Monday could be hottest day so far this year /gurnee/2012/06/18/monday-could-be-hottest-day-so-far-this-year/ /gurnee/2012/06/18/monday-could-be-hottest-day-so-far-this-year/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 13:48:16 +0000 Heather Leszczewicz /arlington-heights/?p=49873 Monday is shaping up to be one of the hottest days of the year so far — if not the hottest — with high humidity and winds from the south.

The Chicago Weather Center is predicting a high of 97, which would match the hottest day we’ve had this year, 97 degrees on May 27. The record high for this date is 98 set in 1954.

The high humidity could make it feel like 103 degrees in some places in the Chicago area.

High winds out of the south/southwest will contribute to the day’s high heat, and will be strong enough that the National Weather Service has issued a gale warning and a small craft advisory for Lake Michigan and a wind advisory for McHenry and Lake counties.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /gurnee/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /gurnee/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/#comments Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:53:27 +0000 Jeff Vorva /geneva/?p=30557

Time will tell if fans will be watching future Major League impact players such as Albert Pujols or Greg Maddux play Tuesday, June 19 in Geneva.
The Kane County Cougars host the Midwest League All-Star game at 6 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark and more than 65 players have been invited. In the past, stars such as Maddux, Pujols, Prince Fielder and several other major league stars played in the game.
When the Cougars last hosted the game in 2007, Clayton Kershaw was on one of the rosters and worked his way to the majors and won the Cy Young Award in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This year’s marquee players include Cleveland Indians’ top prospect Francisco Lindor and Minnesota Twins minor league standout Miguel Sano.
Kane County’s coaching staff, led by manager Brian Buchanan, will lead the Eastern Division team.
Cougars invited to the game are outfielders Lane Adams, Jorge Bonifacio, infielder Danny Mateo and pitcher Matt Ridings.
The Cougars will host a Fan Fest at 11:30 a.m. leading up to the game.
The event will feature a variety of fun including music, food and drink, and opportunities to take batting practice and play catch on the field from noon to 2 p.m. A rock-climbing wall, trackless train and plenty of kid-friendly attractions such as face painters, jugglers, magicians and balloon artists will all be part of the event. The first 1,500 fans through the gates that day will receive a commemorative All-Star Game aluminum sports bottle.
Before the game, there will be an autograph session from 5:10 to 5:40 p.m. and will feature both All-Star rosters.
Entertainment that will be featured during the game includes in-game performances by the Zooperstars, live organ music during the game by former Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, music by the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band, a post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers, and a fireworks show. Wayne Messmer will perform the National Anthem before the game. Fans may run the bases after the game.
Tickets for the Midwest League All-Star Game includes admission to that day’s Fan Fest. A limited number of tickets remain for the contest. Fans may call 630-232-8811 or visit kccougars.com for more information.

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Statues stolen from library melted for scrap, 1 arrested /gurnee/2012/06/14/statues-stolen-from-library-melted-for-scrap-1-arrested/ /gurnee/2012/06/14/statues-stolen-from-library-melted-for-scrap-1-arrested/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 22:18:07 +0000 Kara Silva /gurnee/?p=32590 Despite the arrest of one of two people suspected of stealing two statues from the Waukegan Public Library, police today said the artworks won’t be recovered because they have been melted down for scrap.

“Little Scholar” and “Imagine That,” which portrayed children reading books, were stolen from the library sometime overnight May 29-30, according to a release from the Waukegan police.

Read more at Chicagotribune.com.

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