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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Friday, May 10, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Lake County State’s Attorney’s office…

Yesterday, a Lake County Judge granted the State’s petition to detain Jared Honegger, 24, who is being charged with four counts of child pornography.

After the detention hearing, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart stated,

“Our office is committed to protecting all children in Lake County, and I commend the Sheriff’s team and the Attorney General’s Office for their investigation. This offender is now jailed indefinitely because of our new system that does not allow him to post cash and be released. Others charged with this exact same crime have been able to post cash in the past, and those days are over.”

On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrested Honegger after locatingdozens of videos and images of child pornography while executing a search warrant in Honegger’s Lake Zurich home. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office assisted in the search.

During the detention hearing, the State argued that Honegger’s pre-trial release would pose a real and present threat to the community because the videos and images found in Honegger’s phone are a form of violence, sexual in nature, and that if it weren’t for people like Honegger consuming that content, there would not be a demand for predators to continue making child pornography and harming children.

The State further argued that Pre-Trial Bond Services does not have the ability to engage in 24-hour surveillance of Honegger’s home and would not be able ensure Honegger wouldn’t continue downloading and disseminating child pornography if he had pre-trial release.

Since September 2023, individuals who are charged with possessing or creating child pornography are no longer eligible to use cash to post bond in order to obtain pre-trial release. The SAFE-T Act prevents violent offenders and sex offenders from being able to post cash bond if a judge determines they are dangerous to the community.

Honegger’s next court hearing is scheduled for May 28 at 1:30 p.m. for preliminary hearing.

* State of Illinois…

On the eve of the anniversary marking the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declarations put in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Illinois released a playbook detailing measures the state should take to prepare for future public health emergencies as well as recommendations for future administrations that may have to navigate public health crises.

“Following a once-in-a-century event like the COVID-19 pandemic it is critical that we take the time to thoroughly study how our state responded to the emergency and seek to learn lessons that will put us in a stronger position the next time such an all-of-government response is required,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

The playbook was produced through a review of the impact of COVID-19 on Illinois residents, with a focus on health and human services outcomes; compiling lessons learned during the pandemic; and developing forward-looking recommendations to improve preparedness for future public health emergencies and non-emergency state operations.

The playbook lays out three phases of any response: establishing the response, activating the response and delivering the response. Under those headings, 14 steps the state should take are identified as it mobilizes state agencies, other branches of government, health system partners, and outside experts and stakeholders to deliver a coordinated disaster response.

The after-action report found that the strengths of the state’s response included: strong central leadership at the top, including setting out a clear vision and priorities; a data-driven approach; a focus on equity and prioritizing underserved communities in allocating resources; effective use of community relationships and public private partnerships; and effective use of executive orders that speeded up the deliver of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other resources.

The report noted that the focus on equity contributed to achieving better rates of vaccine uptake for non-white Illinoisans than non-white residents in all but one peer states.

While the report indicated that Illinois demonstrated clear strengths in the COVID-19 response, it also identified lessons learned that can improve future responses to infectious disease public health emergencies.

The key challenges that Illinois state agencies experienced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were: limited planning for a major infectious disease emergency that required a whole-of-government response; limitations on health and operational data infrastructure and capabilities; lack of real-time data needed to measure and respond to health equity needs and broader health impacts; variations in the effectiveness of community engagement; and depletion of the public health workforce due to attrition and a slow hiring process.

* Journal Courier

The Redneck Fishing Tournament, an annual quest to have fun while ridding the Illinois River of an invasive species, is ready for another run this summer.

The tournament, hosted by the 279 residents of Bath, takes place along the Illinois River, which forms the western border of the village. This year’s event will be Aug 1-3. Activities on the first day are dominated by a kids’ fishing tournament.

The tournament is a blend of fun and a serious mission. The fun is the festivities and the fishing. The serious part is fundraising and trying to reduce the number of copi, formerly known as Asian carp, in the Illinois River.

“Ugly fish, cold beer, good causes and great times. If you haven’t experienced the Redneck Fishing Tournament, you owe it to yourself to check it out,” said tournament organizer Nikki Gregerson.

*** Statewide ***

* WICS | Aetna, HSHS clarify who could be out-of-network if new deal isn’t struck: Retired State of Illinois Employees who use Medicare, a government health care system for senior citizens, won’t be effected. People on Medicaid, another government health care system for low incomes, will get to stay as well.

*** Chicago ***

* Tribune | Migrant mourns death of child, one of the many unaccounted for in Chicago: ‘Without money, you’re nobody’: The Venezuelan mother lost her 3-year-old — Luciana Valentina Suarez Calderon — at the end of April to a bacterial infection in Chicago. But without the $2,750 needed for a funeral, Calderon had to wait in mourning while her daughter’s body sat at the morgue for days. “I wanted people to be able to visit her body to say goodbye. If I had the money, I would have taken her out immediately,” Calderon said. “Uno sin plata no es nadie. Without money, you’re nobody.”

* Tribune | Cook County judge seals documents in highly-scrutinized case of man accused of stabbing child: Crosetti Brand, 37, who has a documented history of violence against women, is charged with murder, attempted murder and other felonies in a March attack he allegedly perpetrated just one day after he was released from prison where he was sent after threatening Jayden’s mother weeks earlier. The killing spurred grief and outrage in the community and raised questions about safeguards for domestic violence victims and the Illinois Prisoner Review Board’s handling of Brand’s release. […] “The People make this request out of concern that any publication of pretrial pleadings … may receive further media attention and may affect the Defendant’s ability to receive a fair trial,” the state’s motion to seal reads.

* WGN | Man opens up on alleged sex abuse from former Chicago priest known as ‘Father Happy Hands’: Larry Kubbins, 60, held a press conference opening up about the alleged abuse by the Rev. Daniel Mark Holihan, who died in 2016, and had a message for survivors across the world. “It’s been a weight I’ve had for almost 50 years,” Kubbins said. “They need to not be afraid to report it. I was not smart enough to listen to my mother and walked away from it.” […] The Illinois Attorney General’s Office said Holihan has 40 reported survivors.

* Sun-Times | Chicago Democratic convention leaders ready for anything, but see no echoes of 1968. ‘There is really … no comparison.’: With less than 15 weeks to go before a national spotlight descends on Chicago, Democratic National Convention leaders are swatting away comparisons to 1968 and trying to get ahead of worst-case scenarios. That includes combing through social media posts to prepare for what-ifs, trying to target disinformation, vetting 12,000 volunteers and meeting frequently with Chicago officials and police.

* Sun-Times Editorial Board | To save Greyhound bus service in Chicago, the city has to take the wheel: Yet the city — and the state — don’t seem to care about the very real possibility of Greyhound being evicted within months from its longtime Harrison Street bus terminal, as a scathing report by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development found. Other bus lines, including FlixBus (which now owns Greyhound), Barons Bus, Burlington Trailways and others, are at risk of being evicted too.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Shaw Local | McHenry former, current aldermen violated anti-harassment policy in comments about city worker: investigation: McHenry Alderman Victor Santi and former Alderman Shawn Strach violated the city’s anti-harassment and whistleblower policy for comments made about a city employee to other local officials, the city’s labor attorney has determined. […] The portion of the city’s personnel policy manual Kelly said the two violated states in part: “Although conduct may not rise to the level of unlawful harassment from a legal perspective, the city wants to protect its employees from abuse and to prevent conduct from becoming so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of an employee’s employment, create an abusive, intimidating or hostile working environment.”

* ABC Chicago | Wife of Lockport Township man accused in hate crime shooting de-deputized during investigation: The wife of a man accused in a hate crime shooting in the south suburbs is now under investigation too. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said she is a correctional sergeant at the Cook County Jail. She has been de-deputized while authorities look into the case. […] Prosecutors described what had been a years-long history of animosity between the neighbors, with Shadbar frequently using racial slurs toward Robertson’s two children, who are Black. That includes on May 7, the day of the shooting.

* Sun-Times | ‘I suffered a lot’: Suburban Chicago woman claiming Zantac caused her cancer takes the stand in Cook County trial: Her suit alleges that the drug’s active ingredient, called ranitidine, turns into a cancer-causing substance called NDMA as it ages. The suit, one of thousands against the drugmakers, is the first to make it to jury trial. In December 2022, a federal judge in Florida dismissed roughly 50,000 claims because “no scientist outside this litigation” concluded the drug causes cancer.

*** Downstate ***

* BND | ‘We are in bad shape.’ East St. Louis bridge closing raises concerns in community: Residents, businesses and public officials are raising concerns about safety, impeded access to their neighborhoods and other issues due to the April closing of a bridge on 26th Street in East St. Louis. […] “It has my area blocked in and a lot of my elderly people are having problems,” said Kinnis Williams Sr., Democratic precinct committeeman for the area. “ It’s an old neighborhood, and there are a bunch of elderly people living there. They are concerned and I am concerned for them.”

* WMBD | Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to deliver keynote address at Tazewell/Peoria County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner: The groups have announced that Mike Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner. The event will take place at Four Points by Sheraton in Peoria on June 1st. Tazewell County Republican Chairman Jim Rule tells WMBD’s “Greg and Dan” that Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) helped bring the Speaker to central Illinois. “When we gave him the idea that this is who we wanted, he kinda looked at me cross-eyed and said ‘Really?’ And [I] said ‘yeah’.” Rule said. “So, his team and the Johnson team worked closely together, and he was able to get this done.”

* WSIL | Saluki Recruitment Tour heads to Hollywood: After the success of SIU’s takeover of Southern Illinois, Chancellor Austin A. Lane has decided to bring the tour out-of-state to Hollywood. Lane and SIU alumni will visit the hub of filmmaking in the U.S. in continued efforts to recruit more students to the school. “Whether you’re a student, alumni or fan, this is your chance to connect with the Saluki spirit in the heart of the entertainment world,” said the school.

* WCIA | New Architecture Book Features Hidden Gems In Central Illinois: The book is a collaboration between Architect Jeffery Poss and Photographer, Phillip Kalantzis-Cope. […] The book releases on May 15, 2024. The Krannert Art Museum is hosting a Book Launch event that day from 4-6pm in the main level of the East Gallery, where the authors will be present to discuss the book and available for signing.

*** Sports ***

* Sun-Times | Bears keep it simple, smart by naming rookie Caleb Williams starting QB on Day 1: [Bears coach Matt Eberflus] and general manager Ryan Poles are facilitating Williams’ arrival in every way, giving him every advantage that Fields and Trubisky didn’t have. He will not go through the motions of starting out on second string.

* Sun-Times | Bears third-round pick Kiran Amegadjie won’t practice this offseason: Kiran Amegadjie, the Bears’ third-round draft pick, won’t practice this offseason as he recovers from a quad injury. The Bears expect him to be healthy in time for training camp in July, coach Matt Eberflus said before Friday’s rookie minicamp practice. The swing tackle played only four games for Yale last year before suffering the injury. The Bears expected they’d have to bring him along slowly when they picked him 75th overall last month.

*** National ***

* Crain’s | Gannett fires Michigan editor who shared staffing concerns: Sarah Leach, an editor who oversaw 15 Michigan dailies and weeklies for Gannett, has been fired for talking to an industry organization about Gannett operations.[…] In an interview with Crain’s, Leach acknowledged she was the unnamed source for that story, and was fired after the Poynter reporter, Rick Edmonds, sought comment from Gannett on why the company was stalling on its announcement to boost staffing.

* NPR Illinois | The FAFSA failure: This is usually an exciting time for students looking ahead to college. But trouble with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid means the dream of higher education could be in jeopardy for some students in need. We take a look at the impact it’s having.

* AP | Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson needs conservatorship because of mental decline, judge rules: At a hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gus T. May approved the petition filed by the 81-year-old Wilson’s family and inner circle after the death in January of his wife, Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, who handled most of his tasks and affairs. “I find from clear and convincing evidence that a conservatorship of the person is necessary,” May said at the brief hearing. The judge said that evidence shows that Wilson consents to the arrangement and lacks the capacity to make health care decisions.


  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 10, 24 @ 2:54 pm:

    “This offender is now jailed indefinitely because of our new system that does not allow him to post cash and be released. Others charged with this exact same crime have been able to post cash in the past, and those days are over.”

    Good. This is the type of alleged criminal who should be locked up. Glad to see the law is being applied.

  2. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, May 10, 24 @ 3:12 pm:

    Brian Wilson will always have a place in my heart…I wish him well.

  3. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, May 10, 24 @ 3:22 pm:

    “Uno sin plata no es nadie. Without money, you’re nobody.”

    This statement is an indictment of the grinding economic strategy commonly known as Capitalism.

  4. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 10, 24 @ 3:24 pm:

    Sad news about Brian Wilson.

  5. - Tallone - Sunday, May 12, 24 @ 10:55 am:

    “This offender is now jailed indefinitely because of our new system that does not allow him to post cash and be released. Others charged with this exact same crime have been able to post cash in the past, and those days are over.”

    Agreed system woks better.

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