Gliniewicz booking photo released by Lake County Sheriff's Office

Murder Suspect Appears After Monday Refusal, Pleads Not Guilty
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Waukegan, IL) One day after refusing to leave his jail cell for an arraignment, a double murder suspect appeared on Tuesday, and pleaded not guilty. Timothy Triplett Jr. is facing 6 varying counts of first-degree murder in the December deaths of Carlos Rodas Perez and his wife Mercedes Rodas. The pair were found shot to death in their Beach Park garage, and Triplett was arrested and charged after an investigation. Little is still known about the circumstances surrounding the killings, but authorities did say there was no known connection between the victims and their alleged killer. The 34-year-old Waukegan man is due back in court in mid-March.

Trial Date Set in Melodie Gliniewicz Case
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Waukegan, IL) After years of delays, a trial date has finally been set in the case of Melodie Gliniewicz. Gliniewicz is accused of helping her then Fox Lake Police officer husband Joe Gliniewicz, by allegedly embezzling thousands of dollars from a youth program, and using it for personal gain. Before he could be caught, Gliniewicz staged his 2015 suicide to look like he was killed in the line of duty. Delays in the case of his widow came because of a fight over marital privilege when it came to damning text messages and emails essential to the prosecution. After several moves between courts, it was ruled those messages can be used at trial. Pretrial motions are set for March, with a current trial date of May 24th.

Covid Illinois and Lake County Latest
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Chicago, IL) Illinois’ Coronavirus numbers continue their steady decline, as more vaccinations get into resident’s arms. The state announced another 58-thousand plus vaccinations given, as those with both needed doses increased to nearly 2.5% of the state’s population. Here in Lake County, over 33-hundred doses were doled out, as the fully vaccinated population grew to 1.7%. Numbers-wise, Lake County added 97 new cases of Covid-19, with no new fatalities. Covid-related hospitalizations in the Lake and McHenry County region dropped for the 20th straight day, and regional ICU use fell to its lowest number since mid-November.

Another Waukegan Casino Delay Announced by Gaming Board
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Waukegan, IL) Another delay has been announced by the Illinois Gaming Board, on naming the company that will run a future Waukegan casino. Gaming Board officials said this week that they are still looking for an investment banker that will assist them in evaluating the three finalists. The search is expected to delay any announcements on the gambling establishment for several more months. Waukegan, and 5 other areas were awarded casino licenses back in 2019, and the city had chosen their finalists that same year. A winner was expected to be announced in late October of 2020, but the Coronavirus pandemic put that decision on hold.

Clothing Re-Saler Leaving Lake County, Dropping Over 200 Employees
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Vernon Hills, IL) An online clothing reseller is leaving Lake County, and laying off hundreds. ThredUp, which mainly focuses on women’s and kid’s clothing, said they are closing their warehouse in Vernon Hills, and leaving Illinois for more cost-effective states like Arizona. The Vernon Hills location employed over 240 people, who will be laid off come late March.

Pritzker, No Income Tax Hike in Budget, Spending Flat
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Springfield, IL) Governor JB Pritzker says despite an economic downturn from the Coronavirus pandemic, and the failure of his “fair tax” proposal, things will look relatively the same for next year’s budget. In an outline of his upcoming budget proposal, the Governor said spending will be flat, and no income tax hike will be sought. His plan does include threatened budget cuts, and moving some tax revenue to other areas…but he also said some surprising tax news from last week, left a wide projected deficit smaller than thought. Pritzker will officially announce his plans in a virtual message to be released on February 17th.

GOP, Dems ask Biden to Keep Chicago’s Federal Prosecutor
Associated Press 2-10-21

CHICAGO (AP) Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators say they are opposed to the immediate dismissal of the U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, by President Joe Biden. John Lausch was nominated by former President Donald Trump, and was asked by the Biden administration to resign, along with other Trump appointees. However, Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth want Lausch to stay on the job to conclude investigations currently underway, including the ongoing ComEd bribery investigation which has ensnared former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Several Republicans also asked for Lausch to be allowed to finish his work, saying allowing the investigation to end prematurely would let Illinois’ culture of corruption continue unchecked.

Gas Prices Increase as Illinois Prices Reach Highest in Midwest
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Chicago, IL) Gas prices are continuing to rise, as pump prices have found their way back to pre-pandemic levels. AAA says the average gallon of gas in the country currently stands at $2.46. Illinois’ average price shot up to the highest in the Midwest at an average of $2.64, with Lake County lower at $2.55. Wisconsin remains below the national average at $2.33…Kenosha County is lower at $2.28. AAA says the short term forecast shows a continued rise as the pump because of increases in crude oil prices, and rising demand for gasoline.

Illinois Makes Millions on Super Bowl Bets
Vander Tuuk 2-10-21

(Springfield, IL) Millions of dollars were bet in Illinois on Sunday’s Super Bowl, but the pandemic had most residents placing their wagers online. Preliminary numbers from the Illinois Gaming Board show that just under 46-million-dollars was bet on the big game, with nearly 43-million of that done on-line. Just over 2.5-million dollars was bet in person. Those numbers leave the state with 1.2-million dollars of tax revenue generated, this was the first Super Bowl held since legal sports gambling was approved in Illinois.