Lemont Mayor John Egofske to Replace Durkin in 82nd District

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

February 6, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Lemont Mayor John Egofske to replace Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin as the new Illinois 82nd District State Representative.

“After 27 years in corporate business as a job creator, I look forward to working with anyone, from any party, who shares my goals to lower property taxes, address crime, and keep jobs in Illinois.” Egofske said in a statement.

Durkin announced his resignation after November’s election but refused to blame his leadership for the dismal election results.

Egofske has served as the mayor of Lemont since 2017.  The 82nd District includes areas of Cook, Will, and DuPage Counties.

Chicago Man Charged in Robbery of Naperville Portillo’s

By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

January 26, 2023

NAPERVILLE, IL – A Chicago man was charged in the robbery of a Naperville Portillo’s back in July.

Naperville police said, around 11:36 pm on July 20, 2022, Solomon Marshall, 21, of the 3400 block of W. Fulton Boulevard, allegedly approached two female employees of Portillo’s on foot as they were working in the drive-through lane of the restaurant.  Marshall allegedly indicated he had a firearm in his pocket and demanded money from the victims.  Marshall then allegedly ripped company fanny packs containing approximately $680 from the victims.  According to the victims, Marshall shouted at them to “Hurry up, I don’t want to have to do this!”  Marshall then fled the scene on foot.  Naperville police later identified Marshall as the suspect in the robbery.

Solomon Marshall

On January 23, 2023, Marshall was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Denver, Colorado and was then charged with the Portillo’s robbery on January 24th.

“The allegations that this defendant robbed two girls while they were working the drive-through lane at a local restaurant are very disturbing.  While Mr. Marshall may have not had a real gun with him, the paralyzing fear these girls experienced, believing Mr. Marshall to be armed, was real. Thankfully, neither of the victims was physically harmed. I commend the Naperville Police Department for their efforts not only on this case but for their continued efforts in protecting our residents and our businesses. I thank Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Elsner for his efforts in preparing a strong case against Mr. Marshall.” said DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin in a statement.

“This case is a great example of our detectives’ dedication to this community and their determination to hold people accountable for crimes committed in our town.  I want to thank our Naperville Police Department personnel for their tireless work as well as State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his office for their assistance in this case.”  said Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres in a statement.

Marshall has been charged with one count of aggravated robbery.  Marshall is expected in court for an arraignment hearing on February 21, 2023 in front of Judge Margaret O’Connell.

Illinois Judge Pauses Pritzker’s Assault Weapons Ban

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

January 21, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, IL – An Illinois judge in Effingham County granted a temporary restraining order Friday to pause the state’s recently enacted assault weapons ban as new lawsuits are filed to challenge the constitutionality of the law.

Tom DeVore, former Republican nominee for Illinois attorney general, filed a lawsuit on behalf of citizens and businesses across 87 counties to overturn the law.  The lawsuit focuses on four key issues that invalidate the law, one of which is the controversial Equal Protection clause, which carves out exceptions to the law for certain people.  Two other lawsuits were also filed, one in an Illinois court and the other in a federal court by the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Gov J.B. Pritzker

Governor J.B. Pritzker, recently returned from a “personally financed” jet setting trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, issued the following statement:

“This decision is not surprising. Although disappointing, it is the initial result we’ve seen in many cases brought by plaintiffs whose goal is to advance ideology over public safety. We are well aware that this is only the first step in defending this important legislation. I remain confident that the courts will uphold the constitutionality of Illinois’ law, which aligns with the eight other states with similar laws and was written in collaboration with lawmakers, advocates, and legal experts.

Illinoisans have a right to feel safe in their front yards, at school, while eating at bars and restaurants or celebrating with their family and friends. The Protect Illinois Communities Act takes weapons of war and mass destruction off the street while allowing law-abiding gun owners to retain their collections. I look forward to the next steps in this case and receiving the decision this case merits.”

Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.

Two Illinois Paramedics Charged in Death of Patient

By Janice Cameron, The Chicago Times

January 21, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, IL –  Two Illinois paramedics have been charged in the death of a patient they strapped faced down on a stretcher.

According to prosecutors, Peggy Finley, 44, and Peter Cadigan, 50, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Earl Moore.  It is alleged that Finley and Cadigan strapped Moore face down on a stretcher leading to his death.  

Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan

Prosecutors argue that Finley and Cadigan had the training and other knowledge to know that Moore could have been killed by being strapped faced down on a stretcher.  According to Illinois law, a first degree murder charge is warranted if a defendant knowingly acts to increase the probability of death or great bodily harm to the victim.

Moore’s family have filed a wrongful death suit against Finley and Cadigan and their employer LifeStar Ambulance Service.

If convicted, Finley and Cadigan could each face up to 60 years in prison.

Lake County Man Charged in Murder of Cousin

By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

January 13, 2023

WADSWORTH, IL – A Lake County man has been charged in the murder of his cousin who he resided with in a home in suburban Wadsworth.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said 27-year-old Quentin Harvell was taken into custody on Wednesday after the body of his 47-year-old cousin Monica Green was discovered after a wellbeing check.

Quentin Harvell. Photo: Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Sheriff’s office, Green’s family had plans to pick her up for an appointment at her home in the 13100 block of Shenandoah Trail.  When Green failed to answer the door or her phone, Harvell came out and told the family member that Green was not at home.  Finding that suspicious, the family member requested a wellbeing check.

When deputies arrived on scene, Harvell exited the home and was found to have what appeared to be dried blood on his arms.  Harvell was placed into custody and deputies later found Green’s body in a wheelbarrow near the back line of the property.  Green’s body had multiple sharp-force injuries and cuts.

After a warrant was granted, Sheriff’s detectives searched inside the home and found a knife with what looked to be fresh blood on the blade.

Harvell is being held in the Lake County Jail and is expected to be in court for an initial hearing on Thursday.

Metra to Rollout Train-Tracking Site

By Jeff L. Tucker, The Chicago Times

January 11, 2023

CHICAGO – Metra announced the rollout of metratracker.com, a new real-time train-tracking website that lets passengers see where their trains are and when they will reach their destination.  The new site is expected to make it easier to view schedules and plan trips on Metra.

“This new train tracking system is a major upgrade and will be a dramatic improvement in our communications to My Metra customers,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “It enables us to do a better job of tracking trains and conveying timely, accurate information, and also includes a variety of interactive new features.”

The metratracker.com site, which can also be accessed via metra.com, features three grey bars on the menu that provide the site’s main functions:

Station Times – This option allows customers to check for train departure times from their selected station. When they pick this option, they will be asked to select the line they use and their origination and destination stations. Once they’ve made their selections and click “Continue,” the next page will show all trains scheduled to make that trip in the next two hours, with the train numbers and predicted or scheduled departure times.

Real-Time Map – This interactive map allows customers to see the location of trains along the line or lines that they select, so they can see exactly where their train is and how soon it will reach their station. Customers can click on stations or trains on the map to see real-time information about trains and schedules.

Trip Planner – This option allows customers to plan a trip using Metra and other modes of travel between addresses or locations that they select. They can request the “Best Route,” “Fewer Transfers,” or “Less Walking” and choose “Leave Now” or enter their preferred departure or arrival time.

According to Metra, the $26.7 million train tracking system from Clever Devices of Woodbury, N.Y., required the installation of new GPS tracking devices and other network equipment on more than 1,000 railcars and in 238 stations.  Metra said the tracking system is fully operational on the Metra Electric, Rock Island, Heritage Corridor, North Central Service, Milwaukee District North, and Milwaukee District West lines.