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Former Lake County Man Freed from Prison After His Murder Conviction Gets Overturned

Former Lake County Man Released, After McHenry Murder Conviction Overturned
Vander Tuuk 5-7-21

(McHenry, IL) A former Lake County man three times convicted of a McHenry County murder, is a free man. Kenneth Smith walked out of prison Thursday, after his conviction was overturned a 3rd time earlier this year. Smith and three others were charged for their alleged roles in the 2001 death of restaurant owner Raul Briseno. Those charged with the 45-year-old were either found guilty, or pleaded guilty to their roles in the crime….though one, a Round Lake woman, is also appealing her conviction. There is a possibility that Smith faces a 4th trial, as prosecutors and police still believe that the former Park City man was involved with the crime. That decision has not yet been made.

Governor Pritzker Sets Bridge Phase Date, Cautious Phase 5 Date
Vander Tuuk 5-7-21

(Chicago, IL) Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says the state will enter his “bridge phase” of Coronavirus relaxations soon, and announced a cautious date for a full state re-opening. The Governor on Thursday, said the “bridge phase” which relaxes capacity limits, and allows for larger gatherings will start on May 14th. The Governor also said that the state could open to 100% capacity by June 11th. Pritzker did warn that the date of full reopening is fluid, and depends on metrics set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In the meantime, the Governor said vaccine supply continues to outstrip demand, and urged residents to get a shot, to end the restrictions as quickly as possible.

Lake County Jail Covid Outbreak
Vander Tuuk 5-7-21

(Waukegan, IL) An outbreak of Covid-19 is currently being monitored at the Lake County Jail. The first reported cases came on April 30th, with subsequent positive tests on May 2nd, 4th and 6th. Eleven inmates in total have tested positive during the outbreak, and all are either asymptomatic, or have mild symptoms. All inmates have also been offered vaccinations, of which nearly 80 have consented to. The Jail and Lake County Health Department are continuing to monitor the situation.

Coronavirus Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 5-7-21

(Chicago, IL) Illinois Health officials announced under 18-hundred new cases of Coronavirus on Thursday…the lowest amount since March 29th. State officials also announced 40 new deaths, the highest amount since April 15th. Of those, 88 cases and one fatality came from Lake County. In Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry County, covid-linked hospital admissions bumped up by one bed, while ICU numbers fell back a bit. Regional positivity remains low at 3.7%

Ravinia Announces 2021 Schedule
Vander Tuuk 5-7-21

(Highland Park, IL) After the cancelation of the entire 2020 season,. Ravinia has announced their schedule for 2021. Headline acts include several nights of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Beach Boys, Train, Willie Nelson and Gladys Knight. Tickets will be sold in two separate events, July 1st through August 15th shows will go on sale June 16…shows after those dates will go on sale on July 21. The concert venue will also have updated policies because of Covid-19. For that information, and more on the schedule, you can visit

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