Mundelein False Police Report Update

Vander Tuuk    5-8-19

(Mundelein, IL)  An employee of a Mundelein business, accused of calling in a hoax report of a man with a gun, was allegedly trying to get out of work. Antonio Fletcher is facing a felony disorderly conduct charge, after reportedly calling police Monday, claiming a man was threatening employees of the Ruprecht Company with a gun. The business was evacuated and searched, but no gunman was found, and no one else could confirm the story. Fletcher was eventually tracked down, and reportedly told investigators he was trying to get out of work early. A bond amount for the 37-year-old is unknown.

Autopsy Results on Those Killed in Waukegan Explosion

Vander Tuuk   5-8-19

(Waukegan, IL) Autopsies on two men found dead after a factory explosion in Waukegan, haven’t shed any light on the official causes of those deaths. Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper says toxicology and other test results will need to come in before establishing a cause of death for 56-year-old Jeff Cummings and 53-year-old Byron Biehn. The other identified casualty of the Friday night explosion, 29-year-old Allen Stevens, was autopsied in Cook County. One person remains unaccounted for in the rubble, and officials say they will continue the search until he is found. The blast remains under investigation by Waukegan Fire, the Illinois Fire Marshal, OSHA and other agencies.

Gurnee Takes Interim Tag off Police Chief

Vander Tuuk  5-8-19

(Gurnee, IL)  Gurnee officially has a new police chief. The interim tag has been taken off Brian Smith. Smith will now officially take over for former chief Kevin Woodside who retired at the end of last year. During the swearing in ceremony on Monday, Jesse Gonzalez was also honored, and made Smith’s Deputy Chief.

Audit: Child-welfare agency falters while abuse claims jump

Associated Press    5-8-19

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)  An audit finds that there was an 11% increase in child-abuse and -neglect investigations from 2015 to 2017 while the state’s timeliness in responding to complaints and in completing investigations slowed…and investigators’ caseloads violated a federal consent decree. The review of the Department of Children and Family Services released by Auditor General Frank Mautino made 13 recommendations for improvement. It covered the period from 2015 to 2017 but DCFS is again facing withering criticism for its role in the deaths of three children since January, including 5-year-old AJ Freund of Crystal Lake. His parents have been charged in his murder.

April tax-revenue windfall alters Illinois budget picture

Associated Press    5-8-19

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)  An unexpected tax-revenue windfall has bolstered Illinois finances, and allowed Gov. J.B. Pritzker to nix a plan to reduce pension-payment obligations next year. A letter to lawmakers Tuesday from the Pritzker administration reported $4.1 billion in individual and corporate income tax revenues in April. That’s up 38% from 2018 and $1.5 billion more than initially projected. The letter credited the economy, federal tax-law changes and more. It says the increase will cover an expected $1.6 billion shortfall in this year’s budget. And it bumps up by $800 million the projected income-tax revenue for the budget year that begins July 1. Pritzker will apply it toward the required $9.1 billion payment to the state’s underfunded pensions. He originally wanted to borrow money and delay the payoff schedule by seven years.