Lee Filas

Staff Writer
  • Phone(847) 680-5506
  • Emaillfilas@dailyherald.com
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Lee Filas was named the Daily Herald's first early morning web reporter in July 2008 after working for eight years as a staff writer. In his Dawn Patrol position, Filas searches for and posts early-morning breaking news stories and alerts to the dailyherald.com website. He also covers local government beats in Fox Lake, Lakemoor and Volo.

During his reporting career, he has covered local government beats in Fox Lake, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Villa, Volo, Lakemoor, Wauconda, Island Lake, Hanover Park, Streamwood and Bartlett at various times throughout his 10 years at the Daily Herald. Filas was part of a team of journalists awarded a Peter Lisagor Award in 2010 for breaking news coverage of the escape, manhunt and capture of convicted robber Robert Maday. He was also nominated for a second Lisagor for his role in the coverage after three members of the Finnerty family perished in a suicidal blaze in Arlington Heights. He has also participated in coverage of the arrest of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in December 2008, the sudden closure of Bennigan's in the United States in July 2008, and the murder of Marina Aksman in April 2010 that led to a nationwide manhunt for the suspect.

Prior to joining the Daily Herald, Filas worked has served stints at the Northwest Herald, the Chicago Tribune, Pioneer Press and Lakeland Newspapers. He was a frequent guest on the morning show at WXLC 102.3 to discuss breaking news stories. Filas graduated in 1993 from Columbia College in Chicago with an English major and film minor.

Filas spent his early life in Niles before moving to Wonder Lake in his teen years. He is married with two children, and is living in unincorporated Lake County. His passion is building haunted houses, and is the co-creator and general manager of X-Treme Haunting's Haunted House in Fox Lake, a venture he started in 2002 with a friend. The business has been named one of the top haunted houses in Illinois by hauntedillinois.com since 2007.

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Dawn Patrol: Aurora mayor urges alderman to resign; Crystal Lake police hunt bank robber

Mar 31 2015 | 5:53 am - Aurora mayor urges alderman to resign. Volo woman faces federal charges in bank robbery case. Crystal Lake police search for bank robber. Elgin man gets 18 years on drugs, weapons charges. Blackhawks beat the Kings in a key game. Imrem says Baez...

One person found shot at Lake Villa area bar

Mar 31 2015 | 2:20 pm - Police are searching for a person who shot a 22-year-old McHenry man in the arm and torso late Monday.

Grandwood Park man drops attempt to rescind guilty plea in 2012 sexual assault case and faces prison sentence

Mar 31 2015 | 12:11 pm - A Grandwood Park man who pleaded guilty to molesting a 7-year-old girl in 2012 and later said he wanted to rescind that plea, has again changed his mind. Nyasha Mbawa, 21, decided Tuesday to accept a plea deal and be sentenced to prison in the case.

Volo village president candidates differ on issues facing community

Mar 31 2015 | 12:20 am - Candidates running for village president in Volo have different opinions on what is the most important issue in the next four years. Village trustee Stephen Henley said bringing Lake Michigan water to residents and businesses is the top issue, but...

Dawn Patrol: Final Four field is set; Elgin man loses arm

Mar 30 2015 | 5:55 am - Michigan State earns trip to Final Four; Duke back in Final Four after 66-52 win over Gonzaga; troubles grow for Campton Hills man accused of Geneva hospital assault; alternative schools experience March Madness; Elgin man loses arm after accident...

Another delay in sex abuse trial of former Chicago Bulls player

Mar 30 2015 | 11:24 am - The trial for a former Chicago Bulls player and coach accused of trying to sexually assault a massage therapist has been delayed again. Defense attorney Stephen Simonian requested the trial of Eric “Rick” Brunson, 42, of Vernon Hills,...

State budget mess prompts trial delays, layoffs at suburban courthouses

Mar 23 2015 | 8:44 pm - Chief judges are starting to impose furloughs and delay trials at suburban courthouses in response to state funding running out for court reporters next week.

Fox Lake fire district seeks tax increase April 7

Mar 23 2015 | 5:44 am - Citing concerns about aging equipment and adequate manpower at fire stations in unincorporated areas, Fox Lake Fire Protection District officials are going to voters with a tax increase proposal. At issue, Chief Ron Hoehne said, is a need to add at...

Dawn Patrol: 2 hurt on Route 53 up north; Elgin mom, child escape fire

Mar 19 2015 | 5:44 am - Rookie Mirotic’s outstanding month continues in win over Pacers. Two injured in Route 53 semi crash. Elgin mother and child escape house fire. Westmont woman pleads guilty to fatally stabbing husband. Would harder to crush pills help curb...

Defense requests psych exam for Des Plaines man accused of stabbing Vernon Hills woman in movie theater parking lot

Mar 19 2015 | 1:52 pm - The attorney for a Des Plaines man accused of repeatedly stabbing and slashing a co-worker outside of the Deer Park movie theater this year said he is considering whether to pursue an insanity defense in the case. Attorney Ian Kasper was granted a...

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