Thursday, May 9, 2013
Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing for 11 Illinois counties to be named major disaster areas.
Thursday, May 9
Governor Pat Quinn today asked President Barack Obama to declare 11 Illinois counties major disaster areas following the storms and heavy rainfall that moved through the state in mid-April. If the governor’s request is approved, residents in those counties will be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest federal loans to help recover from the historic flooding. Counties included in the request are Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will. “We must do everything possible to help families impacted by this historic flooding as they rebuild their lives,” Governor Quinn said. “Today we are making a strong case to President Obama to help expedite the review and approval process so the people of …
The Fox River in McHenry and Algonquin has finally dipped below the flood stage.
At least 800 homes in McHenry County were affected by floodwaters last month, according to the Northwest Herald. Preliminary Federal Emergency Management Agency assessments found that none of the homes could be categorized as having major damage or worse but more than 200 homes did sustain minor damage, according to the Northwest Herald. Of those homes, 56 were in McHenry and 45 were in Port Barrington, according to the article. McHenry County was declared a disaster area following the flooding, which allows the state to provide assets for assistance to the county. FEMA's website has more information on how to qualify for disaster assistance and the steps you need to take to apply for assistance. The Fox River in McHenry reached record …
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
When Nunda Township sent out a call for help, 25 players from the Prairie Ridge High School Varsity Football team answered.
Last month's flooding impacted many McHenry County residents, particularly those living along the Fox River. Nunda Township workers and volunteers worked for days making sandbags to help protect homes from rising waters. The township issued a robocall and press releases seeking volunteers to help fill the bags. A plea for help was included in the morning announcements at Prairie Ridge High School, 6000 Dvorak Dr., located not far from the Nunda Township headquarters. Head varsity football coach Chris Schremp knew he had the right guys for the job. Several football players were already planning to hit the gym for weight lifting that day so Schremp suggested a variation to the routine. "The players skipped the weight lifting and went to fill…
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The Illinois House approved sweeping pension reform this week. The legislation will now move on to the Senate.
The Illinois House approved a pension reform bill that could eliminate the state's $96.8 billion funding shortfall over the next 30 years, Reuters reported. The legislation was approved by a vote of 62-51 and would impact Illinois teachers outside of the Chicago Public School system, state university employees and the Illinois General Assembly, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The bill still must be approved by the Senate. The Chicago Tribune reported that the bill would increase the retirement age for employees 44 and younger. Employees also would contribute 2 percent more of their paychecks to their retirements. The state would no longer give out compounded 3 percent bumps on the entire pension amount every year, the newspaper reported. …
McHenry, Kane, Cook, and DuPage counties are all along the declared disaster areas; businesses impacted by the flood are encouraged to contact the comptroller’s office.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka released a statement Wednesday pledging that state payments will be highly prioritized towards flood recovery efforts in counties declared disaster areas, including McHenry, Kane, Cook, and DuPage counties. “Recent storms and flooding have destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of residents in every part of our state,” Topinka said in a press release. “Many of those hit by this ‘once in a lifetime’ flood are struggling with what to do next, and in need of immediate help to rebuild and recover. “To that end, the Comptroller’s Office stands ready to work with business impacted by this natural disaster to prioritize delayed state payments. Likewise, the office will prioritize state payments for …
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Sen. Kirk and Sen. Durbin make first joint appearance in state at Great Lakes school along with Rep. Schneider.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Springfield) made their first joint public appearance in Illinois since Kirk returned to full time duty in the Senate in January at a Great Lakes charter school they helped create which is now being hurt by the Sequester. Durbin, Kirk and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) met with students at the Learn Public Charter School, a North Chicago public school on the Great Lakes Naval Base, to see the new institution and listen to the students. “This is our first public appearance in Illinois since Sen. Kirk returned to the Senate (in January after suffering a stroke a year before),” Durbin said. “We wanted it to be here because it is something we worked on together.” Sequester Reduces …
Monday, April 29, 2013
Village leaders oppose plans for a continuous flow intersection at Randall and Algonquin roads.
Monday, April 29
Lake in the Hills Village Board members were not pleased when the McHenry County Board's Transportation Committee added a last-minute agenda item for its meeting last Wendesday. The item called for bids for a continuous flow intersection at Algonquin and Randall roads, the First Electric Newspaper reports. The last-minute agenda item called for Phase II design proposals to rebuild the clogged Randall-Algonquin roads intersection to improve traffic flow, FEN reports. LITH leaders oppose the continuous flow intersection proposal as they fear it could hurt local businesses.
Algonquin officials’ emergency training last month provided experience in handling flood.
The National Weather Services flood warning for the Fox River tailwaters at Algonquin served as a call to action for Algonquin officials, who began figuring out what type of emergency action will be needed. An emergency operations center, consisting of department heads from police, public works and the administration, was set up and Algonquin went into emergency mode on a Wednesday. “It was phenomenal, it was seamless,” Mayor John Schmitt said of the operations center. By that night, Public Works crews were filling up sandbags and Algonquin police had canvassed the neighborhoods expected to flood, talking to residents and providing information. As the flooding unfolded, Schmitt declared a state of emergency allowing the village to obtain…
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The water level on the Fox River remained high Wednesday.
It was much of the same story Wednesday when it came to flooding issues in Algonquin. The Fox River remained at the same level as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday as it was on Tuesday: 12.55 feet, according to the National Weather Service. The flood stage of the river is 9.5 feet. Also, the same roads near the river in downtown Algonquin remained closed Wednesday because of localized flooding: The above information was updated at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. -------------------- Flooding continues to be an issue for Algonquin. The Fox River — from the Wisconsin/Illinois state line to the Montgomery dam – remained closed to boating traffic on Tuesday. Boating restrictions were placed on the Fox River on April 17 as swift currents, floating …
The House just voted in favor of a bill presented by Rep. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills to allow 17-year-olds the right to vote in primary elections. The Senate had its first reading of the bill Thursday.
A bill proposed by State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to allow 17-year-olds the right to vote in primary elections if they will be 18 by the next general election cleared the House last Wednesday, reported the Daily Herald. The House voted 95-22 in favor of House Bill 226. The Senate had its first reading last Thursday. On her website, Sente states that a group of students from a political science program at Stevenson High School has advocated for this initiative for several years, beginning with her predecessor Kathy Ryg. "Over the next few weeks, myself and Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) are planning to speak to students to get them involved in all aspects of passing this bill," stated Sente. "I am hopeful that through our bi-…