Lake County News: July 2018

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Sandy Hart Banner

July 20, 2018

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Dear Neighbor,

There is so much happening in Lake County! Yesterday I attended the ribbon cutting for the new 200,000 sq. foot Lake County Court Tower and Audrey H. Nixon pedestrian bridge in Waukegan, a project that has been underway for several years. This eight-story building will be operational on July 30th and houses 12 new courtrooms (and room for six more), jury assembly space, and offices.  Last week we toured the new Zion Health Center, now housed in a building donated to us by Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The site was fully renovated to greatly expand health services for the residents of the northeastern area of Lake County. Two weeks ago I attended the grand opening of the Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee. Over 600 people are employed at the indoor waterpark, which does not include the people who worked on the $65 million renovation. Another exciting project is also nearly completed: most of the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve has been reopened after a major renovation project (read more below).

I often write about the challenges faced by people living with serious mental illness, and I am particularly interested in how we can break the cycle for those who end up in the criminal justice system. When someone is in crisis, sometimes the police are called, and in Lake County, there are very few options for law enforcement if the person needs to be removed from the area. They can either be taken to an Emergency Room (very time-consuming for the officer), or to the jail. The latter is often the answer, since the person often has a chargeable offense due to his/her illness. Unfortunately, we know that people with serious mental illness stay longer in jail, and the costs are higher due to their medical needs.  In response to this national problem, many communities have opened Crisis Centers, a 24-hour facility that accepts people in crisis, giving them a place to to stabilize and meet with medical staff. If the person needs more care, they can be transitioned to an adjoining facility or transferred to a hospital. Communities who have implemented Crisis Centers have seen savings in jail and court costs. For example, if an individual on Medicaid enters our jail, Medicaid does not cover his/her medical costs; those are paid for by the residents of Lake County. However, if the person enters a Crisis Center, Medicaid would be billed for their care. Even if someone visits a Crisis Center multiple times, this is far more effective, ethical, and less expensive than having them cycle through our jail (as one person did, 17 times in 2016). Other programs have been implemented to divert people before arrest or incarceration, such as Crisis Intervention Training, intensive case management for "Familiar Faces" in our jail, and A Way Out (read below). I am proud to be working with several leaders throughout Lake County who share my passion for this important issue that affects every community.

In addition to serving on my other committees, I also serve on the Lake County Workforce Development Board (LCWDB). Workforce Development administers employment and training programs, giving dislocated workers, veterans, and people entering or returning to the workforce support to find employment. I love to read their newsletter about the successes people have had after getting connected to resources through the Job Center of Lake County. I hope you find it inspiring too!

Lastly, thanks to the volunteers who organized the Gages Lake Block Party on the Water last weekend! The creativity that went into decorating the boats was awesome (the winners were a dragon, a football field, and an ice cream truck), with all proceeds going to the Gages Lake Conservation Committee to remove invasive species from the lake. Many thanks for including me and for creating a wonderful community event.

As always, it is an honor to represent you on the Lake County and Forest Preserves Board. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you may have.  I hope you have a great summer; there's lots to do in Lake County

Sandy Hart Signature

Lake County job openings

Lake County Is Hiring!
Lake County is currently hiring for a variety of positions, including nurses, counselors, maintenance workers, and court security officers. View the job openings!

LB Criterium

Lake Bluff Criterium and Block Party this Saturday!

This Saturday is the 7th annual Northwestern Medicine Lake Bluff Criterium and Block Party Fast-paced bicycle racing starts at 9:00 am, and the world-class pro racers start at 5:15 pm with the Pro women and 6:35 pm with the Pro men. The family friendly Kids Fun Races presented by Lake Forest Bank & Trust Co. start at 4:45 pm.

There’s more family fun at the Block Party on the Village Green, where spectators can view the racing and enjoy food from several local restaurants, libations and live music. New this year, the Lake Bluff Community Church will be pouring Goose Island craft beer with net proceeds to benefit World Bicycle Relief. The Block Party runs from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm with School of Rock House Band playing from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, and local favorite Stayin’ Late playing from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Also new this year is the Chris Clark Bicycle Stunt Show. Watch national champion Chris Clark do amazing tricks on a bicycle. Performances at 3:45 pm and 7:05 pm. A brand new Schwinn Ranger mountain bike will also be raffled from the Community Church booth, with proceeds to benefit World Bicycle Relief.


Volunteer with Veterans on July 28 and September 29!

On two upcoming Saturdays, 9am - 12pm, join veterans and volunteers from Lake County Veteran & Family Services and Lake Bluff Open Lands to remove the last stand of buckthorn in the Skokie River Prairie! This is a great opportunity to work side by side with local veterans, making a difference in our landscape and capping off a monumental achievement. Sign up here. Refreshments (and tools!) provided.

LCFPD Fort Sheridan opening

Fort Sheridan Reopens with Lake Michigan Overlook

I am pleased to announce the reopening of Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve! The new and improved features provide greater access to the site’s natural beauty and rich military history. After a year of construction, visitors can enjoy access to the Lake Michigan shoreline and portions of the preserve’s scenic trails. Improvements include:

  • Three scenic observation areas, including a 70-foot overlook of Lake Michigan, with new and relocated educational exhibits that tell the story of the area’s unique history and information about the Lake Michigan Bird Flyway. 
  • Nearly a mile of new accessible paved trails and conversion of the woodchip section of the Hutchinson Trail with new bridges and boardwalks.
  • Redesigned main entrance leading to a new 45-car parking lot with five accessible spaces and an evaporator toilet building (an innovative waste disposal method that is odor free and saves water). 
  • Improved north parking lot with new paved trailhead and an evaporator toilet building.
  • Restored shoreline with native plantings.
  • Areas restored with native plantings. 

 Public access to the restored 1.8-mile mowed grass trail will remain closed until summer 2019 to allow time for the grass surface to become better established for foot traffic. Management and monitoring of the 73-acre woodland, prairie and savanna portions of the site will continue in perpetuity. Learn more

Provide Your Feedback on Route 53/120 at Upcoming Open House on July 25
The public is invited to attend an open house 4pm-7pm on July 25 at Countryside Banquets in Lakemoor, The Tri-County Access (TCA) Project, formerly the IL Route 53/120 project, is a comprehensive regional study being conducted by the Illinois Tollway to study how to ease traffic congestion in Lake, northern Cook, and eastern McHenry counties that is environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible. Public meetings are held to provide a forum for public input, including concerns and comments regarding project alternatives.  Learn more


Insect-borne Viruses in Lake County

West Nile Virus  

A batch of mosquitoes in Highland Park tested positive for West Nile virus in June and is the first confirmed indicator of virus' presence in Lake County this year. To report areas of stagnant water, locations of dead birds, and obtain more information on the signs and symptoms of West Nile virus, call the hotline: 847.377.8300 Learn more

Lyme Disease
Ticks are very active during the summer and can carry many diseases. To help protect yourself from exposure to ticks:

  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Wear light-colored protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, closed-toe boots or shoes, and a head covering or hat.
  • Clear leaf litter, mowing grass, cutting back weeds, and keep the ground clean under bird feeders.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick. Watch this video to learn more  

solicitors rules

Know the Rules for Solicitors Working in Unincorporated Lake County

Solicitors going door to door must carry a solicitor’s certificate and are only allowed to work 11am -7pm. If a solicitor comes to your door, ask to see the certificate before conducting any business. You may report unregistered vendors to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office by calling 847-549-5200.

This ordinance applies only to unincorporated Lake County and provides exemptions for religious groups, candidates, and minors under age 18 who participate in fundraising activities. If you live in a municipality or village, check with your local government office Learn more

scam alerts

Sheriff’s Office Warns of Misleading Telemarketers
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has received calls from the public stating telemarketers are identifying themselves as calling on behalf of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and soliciting for donations and/or pledges. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office does not make phone calls soliciting money from the public. Learn more

Jury Duty Scam
Lake County has been notified of several occurrences where a male, identifying himself by phone as a Lake County Deputy Sheriff, tells residents they had failed to appear for jury duty and need to proceed to the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan immediately. The Circuit Court does not contact any potential juror by telephone. Remember these precautions to protect yourself.

Taking A High-Tech Approach to Fight Repeat Drunk Driving
To improve public safety and reduce repeat offenses, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office has launched a new program to monitor high-risk DUI offenders 24/7 to ensure they aren’t drinking. As a condition of bond, drunk driving offenders who cause a crash with serious injuries, those with multiple DUIs and those who are arrested with a high BAC will be required to stay sober and wear a high-tech anklet known as the SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring. Also known as SCRAM CAM, this anklet automatically tests the wearer’s perspiration every 30 minutes for alcohol consumption. Find Out More

SAO Update

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
The Lake County Opioid Initiative is working to combat the increasing opiate problem across many fronts. Hear from Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim and Bill Gentes in this video as they discuss the epidemic and the details about what LCOI has been able to accomplish primarily through the work of volunteers. . Watch Now

A Way Out’ Program Continues Its Expansion
Those who struggle with substance abuse now have two more locations they can go to seek help 24/7 as part of the “A Way Out” Program. With the additions of Waukegan Police Department and Lake Zurich Police Department, there are now 13 “A Way Out” police entry points in Lake County. Individuals, who possess narcotics or paraphernalia, enter a participating police department and tell an officer they are requesting help will avoid criminal charges as long as the participant seeks assistance. Learn more

Save the Date
The Lake County Opioid Initiative will be hosting its first Annual “Save a Life” fundraising event on Sept. 14 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Mundelein. Join us to support a significant cause and to continue our battle the against the opioid/heroin epidemic.  

Save on Prescriptions, Health and Dental Care
Lake County is one of many counties nationwide that participates in the National Association of Counties (NACo) Live Healthy Prescription, Health and Dental Discount program, which helps residents better manage the cost of prescription medications and health and dental services. There are no income requirements or age requirements, and it is open to residents with or without insurance. Residents have saved over $2 million on prescriptions over the past 13 years with this program! Learn more

drug disposal

Dispose Your Unwanted Prescriptions Safely

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies provide drug disposal boxes at locations across Lake County where your unwanted and expired prescription drugs can be disposed safely. Find a drug disposal box near you

Recycle First, Trash Last
Curbside recycling keeps so much out of our landfills, but there are items that you should not put in your recycling bin such as plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. Before you add items to your recycling bin, check these guidelines from the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County. For many other items that can't go in your curbside container, SWALCO offers many options to recycle your electronics, household chemicals, shoes, clothing and textiles. 

Electronics icon

Electronics: Lake County residents can bring electronics free of charge to four locations across Lake County. View the complete list of locations, and view acceptable and unacceptable items.

Shoe icon

Reuse-A-Shoe: Don't throw away your unwanted shoes! Make sure they get recycled or reused! Drop off your shoes at one of several locations across Lake County. View Drop-Off Locations

T-shirt icon

Clothing and textiles: Bring your new, gently used, and used clothing to be reused or recycled. Even clothes with stains or holes will be taken. Learn more, including what is acceptable and where to drop off your items.

aerosol icon

Household chemical waste Chemical waste in our landfills can potentially leach into the soil and pollute the surrounding groundwater. View acceptable and unacceptable items. Schedule an appointment to drop off your household chemicals. 

Next adventure in Lake County

Plan your Next Adventure in Lake County
Summer is here, and there is so much to do right here in Lake County. In this video, get a sneak peek inside the new Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee and find out all of the “Must-Do’s” in Lake County this summer. Also, learn how tourism is big business with more than 10,000 tourism-related jobs and adding more than $1 billion to our local economy annually. Watch now.

Events in the Plaza

Events in the Plaza Summer Concert Series
Events in the Plaza is Independence Grove's outdoor summer concert series featuring live music. Performances will be held Tuesday evenings to Aug. 7. View the 2018 entertainment line-up.

Gospelfest 2018

Be inspired by Lake County’s gospel voices on July 29 at the Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago. This annual favorite feature choirs, solo performances and praise dancers that bring you to your feet. Children can also enjoy fun nature activities during the event. Learn more

Dunn Museum opening

Visit the Dunn Museum 
The Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County in Libertyville is now open in its new home! The Dunn Museum provides a chronological walk through Lake County’s history from prehistoric times to the present using a balance of authentic artifacts, interactive exhibits, reproductions and audiovisual displays. Exhibits include Prehistoric Lake County, The First People, An American Frontier, Innovations and Preservation and Woodland Theater. There is also space for special exhibits on topics touching on art, history and popular culture. Visit the Dunn Museum today.

Boating in Lake County

Check Out Boating Lake County
Boating is one of the most popular activities in Lake County, and it’s no surprise as the area has over 170 lakes, rivers and waterways to visit. Check out as your resource, including maps of all the county’s public boat ramps, lakefront dining, upcoming events and more.

Bike Lake County app

Let’s Go Biking, Lake County!
It's a great time to go for a bike ride! Lake County has more than 550 total miles of trails and bikeways, connecting forest preserves and communities. Discover bike paths near you by using our Bike Lake County application.

lcfpd Lunchtime tours

Lunchtime Tours: Civil War Stories
Tour the exhibition galleries of the Dunn Museum in Libertyville and hear stories of how men and women from Lake County were involved in the American Civil War: The tour will be offered at noon July 20. Learn more

LCFPD Family fishing

Family Fishing

Drop a line and see if the fish are biting. You could catch bluegills, largemouth bass and channel catfish. We’ll supply the poles, bait and tips on getting started. The program will run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. July 26 at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. A valid Illinois fishing license will be required for those ages 16 and older. This is a drop-in program, so no registration is required. Meet at the North Bay Pavilion. Learn more

Rx for Health

Rx for Health: Walking in Nature
Join a health professional and an educator on this 1.5-mile walk to explore the preserve as we improve our health. The walk will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. July 21 at Lyons Woods Forest Preserve in Waukegan. The program is free, and no registration is required. The entrance is on Blanchard Road, west of Sheridan Road. Learn more

LCFPD green youth farm 2018

Green Youth Farm Thrives, Thanks to Donors
Early summer lettuces and kale, beans and squash are ripening at the Green Youth Farm in Lake County, thanks to donors to the Preservation Foundation. Among the farm’s supporters in 2018, we are pleased to thank Lake Forest Bank & Trust and Libertyville Bank & Trust. The company’s $10,000 grant helped provide a paid summer job for North Chicago and Waukegan high school students, who sow, tend and harvest fresh, healthful food as they gain valuable work experience. Learn more

LCFPD bald eagles

Bald Eagles Are Here!

We’ve confirmed a few local nests in recent years, including this one photographed in April in southwestern Lake County.You’ll find bald eagles soaring high in the sky, slowly flapping over water, perched in trees, or even on the ground. Look for them near rivers, lakes, marshes and shorelines. Bald eagles mainly eat fish, but also hunt mammals, waterfowl and carrion. Young eagles attain their white head feathers after about five years, so don’t rule out the possibility that giant brown bird overhead is a baldy. Look for a bright yellow, hooked bill and mottled white feathers on the body. Nests are built near the trunk, high in the tree but below the crown. The diameter of a nest is typically 5 to 6 feet; height ranges from 2 to 4 feet. The nest may be reused (and added to) for years.  Send us an email and let us know if you see an active nest while out exploring your preserves. 

LCFPD annual fund spotlight

Spring Bluff and Adopt A Turtle
Once a year we take a field trip and hold our monthly forest Preserve meeting at one of our preserves. Last week we visited Spring Bluff in Winthrop Harbor. We were able to tour the area and see the extensive restoration work that has taken place in this RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance. The viewing station should be up soon; visitors will be able to see the wetlands and Lake Michigan when it's complete. We also met with biologists who spoke to us about the Blanding's Turtle Recovery Program-Adopt A Turtle! The Preservation Foundation board recently approved a $24,000 grant from the Annual Fund to monitor the population and health of Blanding’s turtles this summer.

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Lake County Passage

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