Area police departments launch ‘no refusal’ DUI policy
A county report stated that the Algonquin, Cary, Harvard, Huntley, Johnsburg, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Spring Grove and Woodstock police departments, in collaboration with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, recently instituted a policy whereby a warrant for a blood draw will be obtained for any DUI suspect that refuses breathalyzer testing. While DUI suspects face severe civil penalties, such as suspension of driving privileges, if they refuse breathalyzer testing, police cannot generally require or physically force a suspect to submit. Therefore, many DUI suspects often attempt to obstruct a DUI investigation by refusing to submit to breathalyzer testing. This has proven to be especially true of repeat DUI offenders. The new policy will no longer allow DUI suspects to undermine criminal prosecutions in this way. Under the new policy, if a DUI suspect refuses breathalyzer testing, a warrant will be sought in order to draw the suspect’s blood. The new policy will ensure that prosecutors are equipped with the strongest possible evidence in court to hold all DUI offenders fully accountable. For more information, call 815-334-4159 or visit www.co.mchenry.il.us.
Dept. of Health offers low-cost radon test kits
In observance of National Public Health Month, the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) is offering short-term radon test kits for the reduced price of $5 each. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless gas. It is harmless when dispersed in outdoor air, but it can be harmful in buildings if it reaches elevated levels. Radon is also the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. McHenry County has been classified as a Zone 2 — or medium risk — for radon, but all homes should be tested regardless of classification. Homes with elevated levels of radon can often be fixed fairly inexpensively, but cost may depend on the type of home construction. For more information, call MCDH’s Division of Environmental Health at 815-334-4585 or visit www.mcdh.info.
MCC nets lofty grant to promote STEM careers
McHenry County College (MCC) announced that it has been awarded a $650,000 federal grant to provide substantial scholarships and inventive programming for students interested in pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the goal of the grant is to increase the number of academically talented students with significant financial need to have the opportunity to obtain degrees in STEM fields, and to improve the education of future scientists, engineers and technicians through innovative partnerships and student programs. In addition to financial support, MCC students accepted into the STEM scholarship program will receive one-on-one guidance from a faculty member, personalized tutoring, a professional mentor working in one of McHenry County’s STEM industries, and opportunities for research and internships. Over the next five years, the program will provide up to $10,000 in scholarship support per student to at least 40 students attending MCC. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities and first-generation college students are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information, call 815-455-3700 or visit www.mchenry.edu.
Village offers free spring clean-up program
The village announced that it is sponsoring a village-wide spring clean-up program, in collaboration with Groot Industries, for single-family residences and town homes that currently receive residential refuse and recycling services. The program is intended to encourage residents to reduce fire hazards in their homes and “spruce up” their neighborhoods. Stickers are not required for this special pick-up. Typical discarded items include toys, old clothes, couches, beds, dressers, grills and patio furniture. Items that will not be collected include (but are not limited to) automobile parts, landscape waste, white goods, electronics and construction materials such as broken concrete and large amounts of lumber and brick. All discarded items should be placed curbside by 7 a.m. on regularly scheduled collection days. For residents with regular pick-up on Thursdays, spring clean-up day is April 21. For those with pick-up on Fridays, spring clean-up day is April 28. For more information, call 847-658-2700 or visit www.algonquin.org.
Library to host special science/genealogy program
The Huntley Area Public Library, 11000 Ruth Road, will host Pushing the Limits: Science Cafe, a special program for adults (ages 16 and up), from 1:30-3 p.m. April 22. Pushing the Limits is a reading, viewing and discussion program made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The subject of this session is, “Heritage.” Topics include genealogy and information resources, DNA testing for genealogy and pharmacogenomics, and more. The program will feature a few short videos and a discussion facilitated by Cindy Fuhrer, Huntley High School Science Department Chair. Admission is free. Registration is required. To sign up, and for more information, call 847-669-5386 or visit www.huntleylibrary.org. –
School Board to seek second high school resource officer
Woodstock Community School District 200 reported that the Board of Education has approved Superintendent Mike Moan’s request to negotiate with Woodstock city officials concerning the addition of a second school resource police officer to staff both Woodstock and Woodstock North high schools on a full-time basis. Woodstock Police Officer Josh Rapacz’s responsibilities in the role have been shared between the two schools, and the Board of Education believes it is time to consider adding a second officer as a means to address concerns about school safety raised by students and parents in response to recent national events. The Board unanimously approved a motion to continue pursuing such an agreement. For more information, call 815-338-8200 or visit www.woodstockschools.org.
–McHenry County News Briefs–