The Illinois Department of Transportation issued a notice that all major road projects would cease operation, as of June 30, due to a lack of funding at the state level to pay for construction. The Illinois State Legislature has not passed an operating budget for three years, and the impasse was identified as the main issue.

A stop-gap budget, for a six-month duration, was passed one year ago, coinciding with the fiscal year calendar of the state (July 1-June 30), although the passage was largely an emergency measure. IDOT was given the ability to pay vendors, although a specific fund earmarked for transportation projects only, cannot be accessed, a result of the budget stalemate.

The project involving the I-90/Route 23 interchange, with overpass and access lanes, will continue, as it is being funded through a separate agency, the Illinois Tollway Authority Board, which derives it monies from toll, and I-Pass, sales. The project is expected to be completed in 2018, and is currently centering on access ramps.


McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally announced two felony charges against a 16-year old juvenile that allegedly threatened a Marengo police officer with a handgun, resulting in the officer shooting the individual. The injury to the leg was not life-threatening. In announcing the charges June 8, Kenneally said in a phone conversation, “Because the individual is a juvenile, we cannot release further information.”

An accompanying press release stated, in part, “Following its review of the investigation, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office finds that the Marengo officer was facing an imminent threat of deadly force and acted appropriately in self-defense, and in accordance with his responsibilities as a peace officer.”

The two charges, both Class 4 felonies, included unlawful use of weapons and aggravated assault to a peace officer with a firearm. The incident occurred May 13, when officers confronted the youth at a Prairie Street residence, not his own, who brandished a handgun. He told officers he would not be sent back to prison. The officer wounded him, he was then taken to the hospital for treatment, and was placed into custody.

“The officer is all right,” said Marengo Police Chief Rich Solarz. “I don’t know the particulars of the individual’s reasons for doing that (threatening the officer). He was going to be returned to a juvenile detention center, not a prison, but some centers can feel like that.”

The state’s attorney’s office also said that the sentencing will be on another scale, due to the juvenile’s age, as opposed to an adult.


Several individuals broke into the Marengo Gun Shop, and made off with an undetermined number of firearms. The June 16 incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m., when the glass doors in front of the store were smashed to gain entry. Video surveillance footage from the store, and several surrounding businesses have been gathered and are being reviewed for identification. The store, located at 20014 Grant Highway (Route 20), suffered a break-in in 2016.

“They entered about 1:30 a.m., and it was not determined how many firearms were taken,” said Marengo Police Chief Rich Solarz. “At this point, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco is heading the investigation, and we will provide support as needed. Surveillance footage was obtained and they are being reviewed. The investigation is ongoing, we have no more information at this time.”

Store owner, Dominick De Bock, was not available for comment, and was being interviewed by federal authorities.

The incident comes more than one year, after a similar robbery involving two Chicago men, Nathaniel Green, 28, and Skyler Green, 28. The Apr. 2016 incident was followed by the Marengo Police Department, when it received a tip that the store would be the target of a theft, over that particular weekend. The Federal ATF, Illinois State Police and the McHenry County Sheriff ’s Office were also involved.

Each individual charged with attempted burglary and criminal damage to property.



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