WBEZ | Waukegan http://www.wbez.org/tags/waukegan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lake County reconsiders 4-year-old ban on video gambling http://www.wbez.org/news/lake-county-reconsiders-4-year-old-ban-video-gambling-108330 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Lake Co. Ban_130807_AYC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Lake County officials today reconsidered a four-year-old ban on video gambling.</p><p>The ban has drawn criticism because many bars abut Waukegan, North Chicago and Lake Villa, where video gambling is allowed.</p><p>In 2009, County Board Member Diane Hewitt was on the majority side of the 18-4 vote that banned video gambling in unincorporated areas.</p><p>But Hewitt said she will vote for it this time because she thinks all businesses should have a fair shot at the possible revenue generated by video gambling.</p><p>&ldquo;There is no reason why some establishments are allowed to have video gaming, and use that as an added draw or income for their businesses, and others maybe just across the streets cannot,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>She said the board needs to fix the situation because local businesses are suffering from a decision that might now be outdated.</p><p><br />If approved, businesses with liquor licenses could have up to five machines, and would be subject to a 30% tax on revenue.</p><p>The board will make a final decision on Tuesday, Aug. 13.</p><p><em>Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her at @AimeeYuyiChen.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lake-county-reconsiders-4-year-old-ban-video-gambling-108330 Suburban YMCA centers get creative to keep doors open http://www.wbez.org/news/suburban-ymca-centers-get-creative-keep-doors-open-103580 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ymca.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>YMCA facilities in north suburban Vernon Hills and Waukegan have found a way to stay open--at least through the end of the year.</p><p>The two Lake County centers were <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/two-lake-county-ymca-facilities-set-shut-down-102882">set to shut down</a> at the end of October.&nbsp;Now in Vernon Hills, there is a plan for the YMCA to stay open until the Village Park District to takes over the facilities in January.</p><p>And Anne O&rsquo;Connell from the Lake County YMCA said community support has bought the Waukegan center some time, too.</p><p>&ldquo;In Waukegan we have just announced that we have two more months to try to further develop our financial partners and look at long term sustainability in that community,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Connell said. &ldquo;So it&rsquo;s good news, all in all.&rdquo;</p><p>Hal Catz is CEO of the Lake County Family YMCA and runs the two facilities in the Chicago suburbs.</p><p>He said in October that declining membership and budget shortfalls are to blame for the closures.</p><p>&quot;These issues have been plaguing the Y for the last several years,&quot; Catz said. &quot;The board has been very much aware of them and taking action in a variety of ways to see if there might be a way to change the direction of the YMCA.&quot;</p><p>The struggling Lake County YMCA is not alone in the Chicago area this fall.</p><p>A YMCA in the northern suburb of Grayslake closed in September.</p><p>The Chicago Metro YMCA also <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/sore-feelings-over-austin-ymca-closure-103084">closed a facility</a> in the Austin neighborhood this fall in response to declining membership at that location.</p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 17:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/suburban-ymca-centers-get-creative-keep-doors-open-103580 ICE nabs 29 in Chicago-area sweep for gang members http://www.wbez.org/news/ice-nabs-29-chicago-area-sweep-gang-members-98557 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ICE_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is talking up 29 Chicago-area arrests that were part of a national operation targeting transnational gangs.</p><p>Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of ICE’s Chicago-area Homeland Security Investigations, said the operation began April 9 and lasted three days. He said police in Wheeling, Waukegan, Joliet and Elgin took part.</p><p>“I don’t have the time and resources to just go round up everybody who happens to be in the country illegally,” Hartwig said. “Our job is to focus our resources on criminal gangs and criminal organizations — in this case, transnational gangs — who are operating in our communities and making our streets unsafe.”</p><p>As a result of the Chicago-area arrests, ICE says, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen and two foreign nationals face criminal charges. Officials say the other 26 detainees are in deportation proceedings.</p><p>An ICE statement says the operation, dubbed Project Nefarious, led to more than 600 arrrests nationwide. The statement says the operation spanned 150 U.S. cities and reached Honduras. The operation’s impetus, the agency adds, was a 2011 federal report that identified gangs tied to human smuggling and trafficking.</p><p>The victims of those crimes include foreign nationals in the United States, but some immigrant advocates are withholding praise for the operation.</p><p>“We support ICE’s efforts to target criminal enterprises rather than immigrants whose only crime is working to support their families,” said Chuck Roth, litigation director of the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center. “But past ICE actions have usually turned out to involve more arrests of bystanders and family members than of individuals actively engaged in wrongdoing.”</p></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ice-nabs-29-chicago-area-sweep-gang-members-98557 An Illinois governor goes on trial http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-04/illinois-governor-goes-trial-98244 <p><p>The governor of Illinois was on trial for stealing state funds.&nbsp;</p><p>That was the big story on this date 90 years ago. Our governor, a defendant in a political corruption case? That had never happened before!</p><p>Len Small, a Republican from Kankakee, had been elected governor in 1920. He was celebrated for his ambitious road-building program. He was also involved in a political feud with another Republican, Illinois Attorney General Edward Brundage.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/04-27--Small%20and%20wife%20with%20grandchildren%20%28CDN-LofC%29_0.jpg" title="The governor, Mrs. Small and their grandchildren. Small made news as an Illinois govern accused of financial wrongdoing. (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)"></div></div><p>Small had previously been state treasurer. In the summer of 1921, Brundage charged that Small had used that office to operate a money-laundering scheme. A downstate grand jury then indicted Small for embezzlement.</p><p>The governor yelled that his enemies were playing “grand jury politics.” He toyed with the idea of calling out the National Guard and declaring martial law. He finally decided to take his chances in court.</p><p>Small’s attorney obtained a change of venue, to Waukegan. The trial opened on April 24, 1922.</p><p>As treasurer, Small had deposited state money in a bank owned by a friend—which wasn’t illegal, and certainly wasn’t unprecedented. But did this bank pay the best-possible interest to the state? And had Small received kickbacks from the bank?</p><p>The trial lasted two months. Small was acquitted in 90 minutes. Later that same evening, his wife dropped dead from a heart attack.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/04-24--Brundage_0.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Attorney General Brundage (State of Illinois photo)">And Small’s legal problems were not over. As O.J. Simpson learned, just because you beat the criminal case, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Now Brundage brought a civil suit to recover $1 million that Small had allegedly pocketed.</div></div><p>Small eventually agreed to pay the state $650,000. Included in the deal was an official statement that Small had not gotten any money that should have gone to the treasury. Presumably, he was giving the state that $650,000 because he was a nice guy.</p><p>In any event, Small didn’t have to come up with the money himself. He simply took it out of the paychecks of state employees as a “political assessment.” That was another maneuver that wasn’t illegal, and wasn’t unprecedented.</p><p>Len Small was re-elected governor in 1924. He tried for a third term in 1928, but lost in the primary. He died in 1936.</p><p>For years afterward, rumors persisted that the Waukegan jury which acquitted Small had been fixed. Nothing was ever proven. The fact that four jurors later obtained state jobs is probably just a coincidence.</p></p> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-04/illinois-governor-goes-trial-98244 North suburbs call ComEd to account for power outages http://www.wbez.org/story/north-suburbs-call-comed-account-power-outages-89232 <p><p>Officials in Chicago’s northern suburbs are calling power provider ComEd to account for frequent and long-lasting blackouts. A storm last Monday left many customers without electricity, some for the entire week.</p><div><div>In Evanston, strong winds toppled dozens of trees, taking down lines to more than 12,000 thousand customers. But Evanston Alderman Jane Grover says that during other outages this summer, electricity was unavailable even when the lines remained up.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>“Evanston is still very much concerned about the ComEd infrastructure issues,” said Grover, ”as well as their response time for restoration of power, and their ability to pump information out into the community about preparing for a longer outage.”</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Grover and her fellow aldermen will grill ComEd representatives at a city council meeting Monday night. The power company faced Park Ridge officials and residents at a meeting last Thursday. Highland Park has invited the company to answer questions at its July 25 council meeting.</div></div></p> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/north-suburbs-call-comed-account-power-outages-89232