Thumbs-up: To the four Marengo Police Department officers and sergeants named officers of the year. The McHenry County Chiefs of Police Association recognized Sgt. Adam Boyce, Sgt. Paul Fritz and officers Andrew Kjellgren and Jerry “JR” Rotkiewicz for their involvement in two different instances in 2017. Rotkiewicz was honored for his response to a juvenile suspect who threatened to shoot him in May. Rotkiewicz shot the teen in the chest, and the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office found the shooting justified because the officer was facing an imminent, deadly threat. Boyce, Fritz and Kjellgren carried a man out of a burning home during a
Nov. 6 house fire. We’re thankful to have these brave officers protecting our community, and for the work all police do every day.
Thumbs-down: To the unintended consequences of the new tax law. We’re concerned about the law’s effect on property values in McHenry County. Homes here could see an estimated 8.4 percent decline in value, according to Moody’s Analytics. Along with Lake, Will and DuPage counties, McHenry County is one of the 30 U.S. counties the Manhattan-based research company said will lose the most home value under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a law that caps homeowners’ property tax deductions at $10,000 for 2018. We hope lawmakers can find a solution before more people move out of McHenry County and Illinois.
Thumbs-up: To the trio of Norge Ski Club members for making the Olympic men’s ski jump team. Michael Glasder, 28, of Cary; Kevin Bickner, 21, of Wauconda; and Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington officially were named to the team Thursday and became Norge’s first Olympic participants in the club’s 113-year history. The three will begin competition Feb. 8 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the area will be excited to root for the three local jumpers, along with Carpentersville figure skater Bradie Tennell.
Thumbs-up: To the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and the Johnsburg Police Department. The agencies recently responded to a swatting incident. Swatting is when someone makes a false report about a serious emergency incident – such as a bomb threat, killing or hostage situation – to get authorities to send police or SWAT teams to another person’s address. A man called 911 at 10:18 p.m. Tuesday and said he was holding three people hostage with a gun at an unincorporated McHenry home in the 2800 block of North Magellan Drive, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. The man provided an address and a name – and demanded a ransom. If he didn’t get his money, he said, he would start shooting people. The incident, which investigators later determined was a hoax, tied up 15 deputies and officers from the Johnsburg Police Department for two hours. Both agencies handled the disturbing call with the professionalism we expect from our law enforcement. Swatting isn’t a prank – it is a crime that puts people in danger and ties up first responders, possibly putting people who actually need help in jeopardy.