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: Sleepy I-88 trucker convicted; MCC student killed

Feb 27 2015 | 5:55 am - Trucker found guilty of most charges in fatal I-88 crash. Elgin man charged in break-ins. MCC student killed in crash with commuter train. Farnham sentencing won’t be delayed despite illness. Fire destroys van in Palatine. Island Lake cop...

Area under lake effect snow warning until 6 p.m.

Feb 26 2015 | 11:19 am - The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for the area that will last until 6 p.m. An additional 1-3 inches of snow could fall today, according to the weather service. Snow totals will vary considerably due to the...

Former Lake County YMCA in Waukegan to reopen Sunday as Church of Joy

Feb 26 2015 | 7:40 pm - The building that housed the Lake County YMCA until financial troubles forced it to close in 2012 is set to reopen as a house of worship. The Church of Joy will celebrate a grand opening Sunday of its new ministry headquarters in the renovated...

Dawn Patrol: Fatal crash slows trains; trucker’s trial could end today

Feb 26 2015 | 5:53 am - Fatal accident, other problems slow commute on Metra. Important ruling today in trucker's trial. School bus rolls over in Lindenhurst. Another measles case in Cook County. Newly discovered film footage shows horrors of Eastland disaster. Thibodeau...

Waukegan man accused of hacking radios to issue Gurnee Mills bomb threat

Feb 26 2015 | 7:35 pm - A Waukegan man with a criminal history of tapping into and taking control of others’ electronic communication devices faces new charges alleging he caused a false bomb threat at Gurnee Mills shopping center Jan. 29, authorities said. Raymond...

Police release photos, video from Fox Lake bank robbery

Feb 25 2015 | 1:45 pm - Authorities have released photos of a Fox Lake bank robbery suspect and a video showing what may be the van used in the escape.

No injuries in Wheaton blaze

Feb 25 2015 | 5:13 pm - No injuries were reported in a blaze in the 100 block of West Madison in Wheaton, authorities said. Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a single-family home at 12:52 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said. On arrival, authorities said crews found...

Attorney: Teacher didn't believe colleague's sex abuse claims

Feb 25 2015 | 7:01 am - Michael Vucic told another Gavin South Middle School teacher about his sexual relationship with a student, but the female colleague didn't report it because Vucic had a reputation for “tall tales,” her attorney said Tuesday.

Dawn Patrol: Rosemont rebated Garth Brooks $1M; Breuder responds

Feb 24 2015 | 5:42 am - Rosemont rebated Garth Brooks more than $1 million. Breuder: COD union’s accusations are ‘irresponsible and unfounded.’ Speed likely a factor in fatal Elgin crash. Woodfield, Schaumburg police say they’ll remain vigilant.

Dawn Patrol: Oscars anything but dull; brutal cold this morning

Feb 23 2015 | 5:53 am - Oscar was predictable, but he wasn't dull. Suspect charged in lottery ticket thefts. Brutal cold expected this morning. Naperville candidates explore traffic solutions. ESO celebrates Oscars with movie music. Logano wins his first Daytona 500. Three...

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