Courier News Latest news from Courier News Online en-us (Editor) Courier News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ After 10,000 autopsies, well-known suburban Chicago pathologist retiring to work with young ]]> Lead story image

GENEVA — After exploring dead bodies for 34 years, Dr. Larry Blum is leaving his career working with the dead so he can work with young people, as a 69-year-old dad and teacher. Blum, a freelance forensic pathologist who lives in Rockford, has done many of the autopsies in the collar counties around Chicago since the 1980s. Three days a week, he could be found in the morgue of the Kane County Coroner’s Office in Geneva, using his scientific skills to unearth the truth behind another mystery death. But he said he plans to retire from most of his jobs, … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:35:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wandering bear draws crowds in west Ill. ]]> Lead story image

MOUNT MORRIS, Ill. — A young black bear which has been roaming northwestern Illinois this spring drew dozens of curious onlookers when he took refuge in an oak tree after ambling through the small Ogle County town, prompting fresh pleas from wildlife officials to leave the youngster alone. The latest sighting was on Wednesday, when the bear — which has inspired his own Facebook page — climbed a tree on Suzanne Felker’s farm outside of Mount Morris to take a snooze. Felker, who lives in nearby Rochelle and leases her property, said she hurried over after receiving a call from … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:34:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Prostitution charges vs. three after undercover operation in Elgin ]]> Lead story image

ELGIN — Three Elgin women were charged with prostitution Wednesday as a result of an undercover operation, police said. According to police, members of the Elgin Police Department Special Investigations Division conducted an undercover operation in the area of Grove Street and National Street in Elgin, in response to several citizen complaints of prostitution occurring in the area. During the course of the two-hour operation, undercover officers had contact with three subjects who offered a sexual act in exchange for money. Charged were: Cheri L. Bookman, 46, of the 0-100 Block of North Commonwealth Avenue, Elgin; Simone Hardy, 46, of … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:35:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kane County has new pathologist but morgue may have to go, coroner says ]]> Lead story image

GENEVA — When Larry Blum retires as Kane County’s main autopsy-doer on June 30, a replacement is already lined up for him. But the entire 24-year-old morgue in the Kane County Government Center also may have to be replaced, Coroner Rob Russell says. “Dr. Mitra Kalelkar has been doing some autopsies for us and will become our head forensic pathologist,” Russell said. “We’ll probably also be doing an RFP (Request for Proposal) to get a couple more pathologists lined up to fill in when she is unavailable.” Russell said Kalelkar, an Oak Brook resident, worked for 30 years for the … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:36:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hearing Monday on Elgin charter school plan ]]>

ELGIN — After years of planning, a proposal for an Elgin charter school will be presented to the public for comment as the District U46 board holds a public hearing Monday. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of the district’s Educational Services Center at 355 E. Chicago St. However, anyone interested in speaking that night should register in the ESC lobby between 5:30 and 6 p.m. The school board then must decide whether to approve the proposed academy. Developed by a nonprofit group called the Elgin Charter School Initiative, the school would be called the … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:34:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Paddlewheel Riverboat Cruises keeps rolling along ]]> Lead story image

ST. CHARLES — To paraphrase an old song, those riverboat cruises aboard the Fox River Queen and the St. Charles Belle from Pottawatomie Park toward the Red Gate Road Bridge and back a time or two just keep rolling along. Rich Anderson is the man who makes sure of that. Anderson’s father, Chet, started the Paddlewheel Riverboat Cruises business in 1945, and Anderson took the company helm 28 years ago. “My father was a concessionaire in Pottawatomie Park when he got the idea for the cruises and bought his first boat,” Anderson said. Over time, the family has had six … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:30:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Elgin Festival Park concert season starts this weekend with ‘popera’ ]]> Lead story image

ELGIN — While an opera might not be over until the big lady sings, a second summer of concerts in Festival Park gets underway Friday when three svelte Italian guys croon — and continues Sunday with a flashback to the height of the hair metal era. Friday evening’s show stars Il Volo, a trio of young tenors that formed on an Italian television talent contest, has been featured on American Idol, performed with Barbra Streisand and — naturally — has a PBS special sometimes repeated during pledge drives. The lads are on an international summer tour, and the Elgin Symphony … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:01:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Morning crash shuts down I-90 ]]>

A crash Thursday morning that left a semitrailer leaking diesel fuel shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 for nearly two hours, officials said. Two semitrailers, a box truck and a small SUV were involved in the 8:25 a.m. crash, officials said. The crash occurred between Randall Road and the toll plaza in a construction zone — shutting down all three lanes of construction, officials said. Firefighters from the Elgin Fire Department, along with officers from the Illinois State Police District #15 responded to the accident. According to Elgin Fire Department Deputy Chief David Schmidt, one semitrailer rear-ended the … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:35:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Planned West Dundee restaurant set to get money assistance from village ]]> Lead story image

WEST DUNDEE — A restaurateur has gotten the nod from West Dundee officials for some financial support to open up the Bootleggers Kitchen and Pub. George Arsoniadis will open the restaurant at 629 S. 8th St., in West Dundee, the site of the former West End Restaurant and Bar. He said his restaurant will offer a mid-scale casual dining experience with fare including chicken, steaks, ribs, pasta, fresh seafood and salads, burgers, melts, desserts, as well as alcoholic beverages. In order to open the restaurant, Arsoniadis said he needed some financial backing to renovate the interior and exterior of the … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:35:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Speak Out: Improper pat-down of soldier ]]>

Improper pat-down: I watched the video that was released about the U.S. Army soldier being picked up from the Taliban by our people. I find it interesting that they only did a full pat-down of him right before he got in the chopper. If he was wearing a suicide vest, what good would it do at that point? Take out the entire Blackhawk helicopter with all the other men inside it? Why didn’t they check him out when they were 50 to 100 feet away? Go figure. Perplexed about police: Just an observation. I was just at the construction zone … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:36:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ District 301 slates School Funding Community Meeting ]]>

BURLINGTON — Central Community Unit School District 301 area residents who want to know how the district is being funded are welcome to attend an informational meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8, at Central High School, 44W625 Plato Road in Burlington. Last month, a group of local area homeowners, many of them from the Highland Woods subdivision on Elgin’s far west side, came to the district’s monthly meeting to ask why property taxes continue to increase and what can be done to decrease the tax rate. The group asked these questions again that same night at the … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:46:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ City of Elgin’s diversity consultant says efforts are not about affirmative action ]]> Lead story image

Phil Reed says that having a goal of diversity and inclusion is not about affirmative action. “It’s about having a process in place, then keeping that lens in focus,” Reed said. To that end, by a 6-3 vote June 11, the city council approved paying Reed, owner of SNAP Consulting and Associates, $30,000 for consulting services related to the city’s diversity program. Reed, of Hoffman Estates, consulted for the city last year, and was paid about $20,000 to help develop matters of inclusion and diversity as part of Elgin’s strategic plan — or, as Reed put it, “creating a vision … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:30:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Why ads for Elgin’s summer events have a ‘Ghostbusters’ theme ]]> Lead story image

ELGIN — Spooky cartoon illustrations on a billboard for a free summer concert series in Wing Park that also are being used on materials promoting other city-sponsored seasonal activities have left some people perplexed about what such signs are about. “At first glance I thought it was an advertisement for Halloween, but sadly no,” Councilwoman Tish Powell posted on a Facebook thread about the poster art as it appears on a billboard near Wing Park. The “Ghostbusters” — themed pieces feature bullhorns, a slimy green monster, a car, and a big white ghost standing behind a building. None of the … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:29:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carpentersville would be ‘unfriendly’ to medical marijuana growers ]]>

CARPENTERSVILLE — While Carpentersville cannot say no to allowing medical marijuana facilities into the village, trustees have approved making it “unfriendly for them to come here.” At Tuesday’s board meeting, trustees voted in favor of relegating cultivation centers and distribution facilities to industrial areas, but only with special use permits. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act signed into law last August strips local municipalities of their power of outlawing them altogether, though it does allow them to adopt stricter rules than those laid out by the state. “It’s not a secret that this board is not interested … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:29:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ East Dundee going to the dogs ]]> Lead story image

EAST DUNDEE — Sleepy Hollow residents Bob and Karen Mattoon already spend a lot of time in the East Dundee downtown walking their Polish Tatra Sheepdog, Misio. So when they heard about the Tail Waggin’ Tuesdays kickoff for people and their four-legged friends, it was another fun excuse to come back to the village while getting Misio some exercise at the same time. “Our neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks so we’re down here pretty much every night,” Karen Mattoon said. As for Tuesday’s event, “we love it,” she said. “We’ll definitely come back.” Held at The Depot, 319 N. River St., … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:32:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ U46 eyes new policies on pot, guns & school names ]]>

ELGIN — The state General Assembly may have legalized medical marijuana and the concealed carry of guns. But the schools in Elgin District U46 may remain marijuana- and gun-free zones. A committee composed of 10 school board members and administrators on Monday submitted five proposed new official policies. They cover the topics of medical marijuana, firearms, naming schools, racial and ethnic equity and use of dual languages. The school board is expected to discuss the proposed new policies more and vote whether to make them official on July 7. Marijuana The recently approved Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:30:22 -0500