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updated: 6/27/2012 8:44 AM

Dawn Patrol: Cook County taxes, Schaumburg sludge

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  • Susan Lechner of Lombard holds Lance, the family's African spurred tortoise, who recently escaped and is now back home in a reinforced backyard habitat. Extra wood added to the outdoor pen should prevent Lance from escaping at the corners like he did, Lechner said.

       Susan Lechner of Lombard holds Lance, the family's African spurred tortoise, who recently escaped and is now back home in a reinforced backyard habitat. Extra wood added to the outdoor pen should prevent Lance from escaping at the corners like he did, Lechner said.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer


Cook County taxes jump due to falling home prices

Due to declining commercial and residential values, nearly all suburban Cook County taxing entities are raising their rates by double-digit percentages. The list of rates on municipalities, schools and park districts was released yesterday. "Here, the rates adjust itself. If (home) values drop the rates go up," said Bill Vaseloupulos, director of tax extension. Full story.

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1.8 million gallons of sludge leak after Schaumburg pipe fails

Partially treated sludge leaked from a Schaumburg-area water treatment plant three weeks ago, officials confirmed yesterday. An aging pipe sprang a leak June 5 and 1.8 million gallons of sludge leaked. Officials said there does not appear to be a threat to the drinking supply, but they are continuing their investigation. It could take weeks or months, according to an Illinois EPA official, to complete the study. A main concern is toxicity to aquatic life. Full story.

Lance the Lombard turtle back home safely

A 45-pound African tortoise named Lance is back at his Lombard home thanks to a 10-year-old St. Charles girl who kept Lance in her empty backyard swimming pool after finding him in a Lombard apartment complex parking lot more than a week ago. The turtle went missing June 17, and the girl emailed Susan and Andy Lechner on Saturday saying she was "99 percent sure" the turtle she had been caring for was Lance. Full story.

Elgin library trustee deemed unfit for trial

An Elgin Library trustee banned from the library because of aggressive behavior toward staff members was deemed unfit to stand trial on charges that he battered his elderly parents. Randall Hopp, 61, will be prescribed a treatment plan with hopes he will be fit for trial within a year. Hopp, whose term runs through April 2013, was also banned from the library at Judson University. Full story.

Alexian Brothers starts construction on $7.5 hospice center

Alexian Brothers Health System broke ground on a $7.5 million hospice residence yesterday that will feature 16 patient rooms along with common rooms in a homelike setting. The residence will be one of just 12 in the state with a license to operate as a free-standing hospice facility. Full story.


Hot is the best word to express what today will bring. Temperatures will reach 93 degrees before the end of the day today, and in addition, it'll be another day without rain. It will only be about 60 degrees when you step out the door this morning, then drop back to about 71 degrees overnight tonight. Thunderstorms and 101 degrees are expected tomorrow. Full story.


Route 59 and Forest Avenue near Wheaton has been shut down because of an accident with injuries, while delays are being reported at Route 120 and Almond Road near Gurnee for a crash. Construction on Pingree Road between Cog Circle and Grandview Drive in Crystal Lake continues to be closed until mid-October. Motorists are urged to use IL-31 between US-14 and Crystal Lake Avenue for a detour around the construction delays. Full story.

Rizzo knocks in go-ahead run in Cubs debut

The Wrigley Field debut of Cubs first baseman of the future Anthony Rizzo was a success as he drove in a run with a double to give the team the lead in the fourth, which the Cubs pitching staff was able to preserve. Rizzo went 2 for 4 and had the 1 RBI while batting third in the Cubs' 5-3 victory over the New York Mets. In his first at bat, Rizzo reached on an infield smash to short that Ruben Tajada couldn't handle. Full story.

Sox down Twins

Gavin Floyd has spent the better part of the last three years getting pounded by the Minnesota Twins. He finally hit back on Tuesday night. Floyd struck out nine in seven shutout innings and Alex Rios homered to help the Chicago White Sox to a 3-2 victory, giving the right-hander his first win over the Twins since July 11, 2009. Full story.

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