Joy Lutheran Church Volunteers Build a Ramp for Matt

Matt Smith

Joy Lutheran Church Volunteers Build a Ramp for Matt

When members of Joy Lutheran Church in Gurnee heard about Matt Smith‘s plight, in being unable to get from his house to his garage for trips to the doctor’s office, they decided to help.

Late last year, Matt was on a vacation at his hometown in Ohio where he developed an E-coli infection in his left foot necessitating a one week stay in the local hospital. One day after his return to Illinois, he was admitted to Condell due to the spread of the infection. After another week of treatment, it was determined that the infection had entered the bone and amputation would be required.

Matt is your typical hard working guy who bought a house for his family here in Round Lake Beach, got up in the wee hours every morning, and spent an hour and a half in traffic commuting to a job in Batavia that paid more for his advanced skills. But now Matt is facing a financial crisis and needs your help and prayers.

Due to an FLMA error on the part of his employer, his salary continued while a dialogue ensued with the insurance company. The payment for disability insurance was withheld every week from his paycheck but the paperwork was not completed. The day after the insurance company denied his claim, his employer sent out a letter of termination.

Due to the lack of insurance, he is now paying full price for prescriptions and doctor visits, the family’s savings are all but wiped out. His wife, Jennifer, works but her hours are limited due to her own battle with cancer. COBRA insurance coverage of around $1,000/month would cost more than what she brings home in pay.

They were able to install some handicapped accessible devices in the house but they didn’t have the resources for an access ramp. That was before four volunteers from Joy Lutheran Church stepped in. They were Gary Koehler from Wadsworth, Steve Shaffer from Wildwood, along with Greg Steele and Doug Bailey from Gurnee.

This family is in urgent need of financial help from month to month until such time that Matt’s leg is fitted, subsequent therapy is complete, and a return to the workforce can happen. Matt has a quote to be fitted with a prosthetic leg but due to the lack of insurance the process is at a standstill as he is considered a ‘pre-existing condition.’ The cost of it alone is $13,200.00 which once fitted, would allow him to return to the job market and regain an income stream.

He has already lost his truck but was able to make his March mortgage and wife’s car payment with donated funds. With your prayers and donations, Matt would like to begin supporting his family again with full time employment by August 1, 2018.

Please consider donating to his GoFundMe page at:

Dakota Koch

Stolen Shoes Land Round Lake Suspect in Jail

The victim knew the shoes were his, as the shoes had unique markings.

Lake County Sheriff’s officials report a Round Lake man was arrested and charged with residential burglary this week after the owner of the residence called police to report seeing shoes stolen in the burglary on the feet of a patron at a Round Lake Beach restaurant.

The statement added that on Thursday, “the victim of the burglary was at a dining establishment in Round Lake Beach. He saw an individual wearing a pair of his shoes stolen during the residential burglary. The victim knew the shoes were his, as the shoes had unique markings.”

The victim called Round Lake Beach Police to report he spotted the shoes, according to the statement, which added that officers responded to the scene and notified sheriff’s deputies. On arrival, the deputies arrested Dakota R. Koch, 23, of the 0-100 block of North High Point Road in Round Lake, according to the statement.

Sheriff’s Detectives subsequently recovered the .40 caliber firearm and electronics stolen by Koch during the burglary.

Kock was charged with felony counts of residential burglary and theft, the sheriff’s office said. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $25,000 bail and his next court date was set for Feb. 28.

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Darrin S. Reed

Heroin Overdose Death Leads to 18 Year Prison Term

Darrin S. Reed, 33, will receive day-for-day credit while serving the sentence handed down by Judge Daniel Shanes on Wednesday afternoon, said defense attorney Greg Nikitas.

Reed pleaded guilty in November to a charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

As part of the plea agreement, Lake County prosecutors dismissed charges of drug-induced homicide, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a stolen firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing police.

Joseph Bond, 25, was found dead June 13, 2016, on the 26000 block of West Catalpa Road of unincorporated Lake County in Antioch Township.

Police said an investigation showed Reed was responsible for selling Bond the heroin that led to his death.

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Maksym “Max” Polishchuk of Round Lake, Illinois

Loyola Student Among Winners of International Art Contest

Hollywood Trip, Workshop and Awards Ceremony to Come

Hollywood, CA – Maksym “Max” Polishchuk of Round Lake, Illinois, has been officially announced as a winner in the Illustrators of the Future Contest. The contest, one of the most prestigious illustration competitions, is in its 29th year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction. Maksym, a Lviv, Ukraine native, is a 2017 graduate of Grant Community High School in Fox Lake and currently attends Loyola University Chicago.

Mr. Polishchuk‘s winning illustrations have earned him a cash prize, a trip to Hollywood for a week-long intensive workshop, a gala awards ceremony which draws in excess of one thousand attendees as well as a shot at winning the Golden Brush Award and $5,000 cash prize. His art will be published in the annual bestseller, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 34.

Writers of the Future Volume 34

Writers of the Future Volume 34

Maksym  Polishchuk was born in 1999 in Lviv, an ancient Ukrainian city located at the crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe. Lviv, with its diverse culture and rich history, ultimately became one of the primary sources of Maksym’s inspiration, who was always fascinated by the history concealed behind each ancient structure.

Such fascination with history, coupled with the discovery of texts of Tolkien and J.K. Rowling is what ultimately ignited Maksym’s interest in illustration. Art was the only way of transforming the stories and worlds he saw in his imagination into something more tangible. In order to help him achieve his dreams, his mother sent him to an art studio, which he attended almost daily over the span of six years, and which helped him nurture his talents and skills.

Maksym moved to the US just before his freshman year of high school. Even though his world was transformed completely, the one thing that remained constant was art. Today, Maksym studies political science and international relations at Loyola University Chicago in hopes of creating a better world that is not limited solely by the boundaries of the canvas.

At the window Library


The Illustrators of the Future Contest judges include some of the top names in illustration including coordinating judge, Echo Chernik, whose clients include Celestial Seasonings Tea, Disney, NASCAR and Proctor & Gamble.

Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, and recently released in as a bestselling 21st Century trade paperback and audiobook, L. Ron Hubbard created The Writers of the Future writing contest ( in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writing Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was created in 1988.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 392 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 838 novels and nearly 4,000 short stories. They have produced 27 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 50 million copies.

The 322 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, graced 594 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 36 TV shows and 46 major movies.

The Writers of the Future Award is the genre’s most prestigious award of its kind and has now become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction. Since inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 33 anthology volumes and awarded a nearly $1,000,000 cumulatively in cash prizes and royalties.

Hundreds of winners have had successful careers in art and illustration following their win and publication in the anthology.

For more information about the contest, go to

Marilyn Hartman from Grayslake

Sunday Morning Arrest of Grayslake’s Serial Stowaway

Marilyn Hartman was detained at about 1:30 a.m. by police responding to a disturbance call about a woman refusing to leave the airport

Marilyn Hartman, 66, a Grayslake woman with a long history of boarding planes without a ticket, was arrested again Sunday about 1:30 a.m. by police responding to a disturbance call at O’Hare.

When officers arrived at the scene of the disturbance, the woman was gone. Police later found Hartman in Terminal 3 and charged her with misdemeanor criminal trespassing to state land and violating her bond.

The new allegations come just 10 days after Hartman was arrested at O’Hare Jan. 18 on charges she slipped past security and boarded a British Airways flight to London. The airline later realized Hartman didn’t have a ticket and returned her to Chicago.

On Thursday, a Cook County judge ordered Hartman released from custody on her own recognizance, but ordered her to undergo a mental health evaluation and warned her to stay away from airports.

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Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith

RLASD-116 Part of Competency-Based Graduation Pilot Program

While some students need more time, others need less, so classroom structures and instructional practices need to change, said Susan Center, District 116 director of teaching and learning.

Algonquin-based Huntley Community School District 158 and Round Lake Area Unit District 116 are among 10 school districts chosen for a pilot program to test competency-based graduation requirements. Competency-based learning means educators assess and advance students based on demonstrated mastery of specific skills, abilities and knowledge instead of merely classroom time.

“It’s not about going faster,” State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said. “We are talking about deepening their experiences. For some kids, it may mean that they finish high school in less time, but for all children we hope that they will have more opportunities when they leave high school.”

Participating districts last week shared how far they have come in developing plans for next school year.

This fall, officials aim to begin developing personalized learning plans for students starting in sixth grade, provide more flexible class scheduling, and develop extensive internship, job shadowing and service partnerships

Round Lake High School began using standards-based grading and mastery learning about seven years ago as part of an overhaul to boost lagging student achievement.

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Village of Gurnee

Zoning Update for Number of People Occupying Gurnee Dwellings

The Gurnee Village Board voted this week to add a definition of “family” to its zoning code

The board voted Monday to adopt the following definition of “family,” as recommended in a memo from Gurnee Associate Planner Clara Schopf: “One or more persons related by blood, marriage, legal adoption or guardianship, or not more than four persons not so related, living together on the premises as a single housekeeping unit.”

The definition added that the term “family” does not include “and shall not be interpreted to include the following facilities addressed in this and other sections of this regulation: residential care facilities, community residences (large or small), fraternities, sororities, or dormitories.”

The zoning text will also define the term “single housekeeping unit” as recommended in Schopf’s memo: “Any household whose members are an interactive group of persons jointly occupying a dwelling unit.”

The memo added that the definition of occupying a dwelling unit includes, “joint access to and use of all common areas including living, kitchen, and eating areas, (and) sharing household activities and responsibilities such as meals, chores, expenses and maintenance, and whose makeup is determined by the members of the unit rather than by the landlord, property manager, or other third party.”

Schopf stated that a consultant advised the village to avoid defining the word “family” in its zoning ordinance because of a lawsuit filed against Waukegan two decades ago.

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Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee

Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee Now Taking Reservations

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The Great Wolf Lodge team in the greater Chicago area is dedicated to ensuring every family getaway provides special memories that will last a lifetime. Take advantage of great offerings on spacious suites and indoor water park rides only a short road trip away, and book your stay at the Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee today.

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Pace Bus

Identifying Transportation Options Goal of Paratransit Meetings

Recommendations included hiring a full-time mobility manager to help people with transportation issues; establishing a late-night employment transportation pilot program; creating a countywide paratransit system; and working with private companies such as Uber and Lyft to create a subsidy program for rides for people in need.

Public and representatives of different agencies and governmental bodies in the county met at one of four meetings hosted by the Lake County Division of Transportation. There they offered opinions and viewed the results of a year-long study on paratransit issues in Lake County, which included suggestions such as creating a countywide system and working with new stakeholders.

For more than a year, various county stakeholders have been studying the flexible transportation needs of seniors, disabled persons and, in some cases, the general public. Residents and stakeholders were invited to review the study’s results, as well as options to improve the system, and offer input at various meetings scheduled this week in Barrington, Round Lake Beach, Gurnee and Highland Park.

Paratransit services are geared toward individuals with mobility limitations that prevent them from accessing scheduled bus service, and/or live outside of an area served by scheduled bus services.

Government services available now offer curb-to-curb dial-a ride transportation via Pace buses, and nonprofit organizations also offer transportation for seniors and those with disabilities. For some services, reservations need to be made 24 hours in advance, and a nominal fee is charged. Fixed routes for pickup are also spread throughout the county, and a schedule is posted online.

But as Linda Soto, executive director of the Lake County Transportation Alliance, said at the Round Lake Beach meeting, “There are transportation issues galore,” and the county’s study and public meetings can lead to solutions.

“Production is an important issue,” Grant said. “We need to tie up loose ends. This effort by the county can help identify those areas.”

Some of the recommendations included……Read more

St. Peter Parish in Antioch

Two Lake County Catholic Parishes Will Be Combined

St. Bede parish in Ingleside and St. Peter Parish in Antioch will be combined as part of a continuing restructuring by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Two other Catholic parishes in northern Lake County — Prince of Peace in Lake Villa and St. Raphael in Old Mill Creek — will remain unchanged for now, according to the Archdiocese, which announced the moves Monday night.

The union of the two will have a new name to be determined after a pastor is identified, according to Anne Maselli, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese.

“The Archdiocese’s Priest Placement Board will work with the community to identify a pastor to lead the new parish formed by St. Bede and St. Peter,” Maselli said. “The current pastors can apply for the pastor position for the new parish.”

The two parishes will combine resources to create “a vital life-giving parish,” according to the Archdiocese but what that means for parishioners or employees was not immediately stated. Both churches referred questions to the Archdiocese.

Maselli said the pastor of the new combined parish will determine staffing needs for the churches at St. Bede and St. Peter. Mass times for the new parish and those two worship sites also are being determined, she added.

Once the moves are in place, leaders of the new parish will collaborate with Prince of Peace and St. Raphael to “make disciples, build communities and inspire witness,” which is regarded as the Renew My Church vision.

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