ID’s Made in Fatal Warren Township Fatal Crash
Vander Tuuk 3-9-21

(Waukegan, IL) The identities of two men killed in a weekend crash near Lindenhurst have been released. The Lake County Coroner’s Office says both 23-year-old Silvano Aldana-Macias of Waukegan and 23-year-old Gerardo Cruz of Hainesville died of blunt trauma sustained in the Saturday night crash. Lake County Sheriff’s officials say the car was traveling at a high rate of speed on Stearns School Road east of Route 45, when the driver lost control and hit a guardrail. Toxicology is pending, and the crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.

Another Defendant in Sports Gambling Case Pleads Guilty
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 3-9-21

CHICAGO (AP) A guilty plea has been entered by another defendant in the sports gambling case involving a pardoned Lake County mayor. Matthew Knight pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy charges. Federal prosecutors alleged the 47-year-old collected gambling losses or paid off winnings for the multimillion-dollar sports gambling ring. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Kinney told U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that evidence in the case is made up of several secret recordings, as well as “surveillance evidence” of Knight meeting with gamblers, either to pay them or accept money from them. Then President Donald Trump decided in January to pardon Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher, who was accused of working as an agent for the ring.

Coronavirus Metrics Continue Declines, Despite Slight Rise in Cases
Vander Tuuk 3-9-21

(Waukegan, IL) Despite an uptick in Coronavirus cases, other key metrics continue to drop in Lake County. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 82 confirmed and probable cases of the disease on Monday, with no new fatalities. Covid-linked hospital admissions continued their nearly two-month long decline, while ICU patients fell again, with the Lake and McHenry County Region sitting at 61% capacity. Test positivity remained 3.4% in the region for the 2nd straight day.

Vaccine Update
Vander Tuuk 3-9-21

(Chicago, IL) Covid-19 vaccinations fell sharply in Illinois, though the state is inching its way to a small milestone. Health officials say just under 30-thousand doses were given out in the Monday update, down about 69-thousand from Sunday. About 3.4-million doses have been administered to Illinois residents so far, with around 9.1% of the state’s population considered “fully vaccinated.” In Lake County, that number grew slightly to 7.3%.

Gas Prices Continue Increase, Several Reasons Laid Out
Vander Tuuk 3-2-21

(Chicago, IL) A myriad of problems are being cited, as gas prices continue their recent climbs.. AAA says the average price for a gallon of gas in the country is currently $2.77, up 5 cents from last week. In Illinois, those prices are significantly higher, coming in at an average of $2.93…with Lake County lower at $2.87. Wisconsin remains below the national average at $2.64, with Kenosha County coming in 4 cents cheaper. AAA officials say an increase in crude oil prices, increased demand, lower supply and tensions with Syria are just some of the reasons given for the continuing upward trend in prices at the pump.

Court Rules in Madigan’s Favor in Dirty Tricks Allegation
Associated Press 3-2-21

CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in a case involving former Illinois House speaker Michael Madigan, that it doesn’t have the authority to penalize a politician for a “shady strategy that voters tolerate.” Jason Gonzales contended in a lawsuit that Madigan planted sham candidates on the ballot to ensure he would defeat Gonzales’ challenge in the 2016 Democratic primary. Madigan received 65% of the vote despite that allegation. In a written opinion, Judge Frank Easterbrook said Gonzales suspected trickery by Madigan from the start and made it known, and the electorate voted for Madigan anyway. Madigan has denied he had anything to do with putting the additional candidates on the 2016 ballot.