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Lee Filas

Staff Writer
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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 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 since 2007.

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Waukegan man accused of attacking jogger on bike path pleads not guilty

Aug 20 2014 | 1:15 pm - A Waukegan man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the June 15 attack on a female jogger on the North Shore Bike Path near Libertyville. Denilson J. Martinez-Rodriguez, 21, remains held in Lake County jail on $500,000 bail.

Dawn Patrol: U-46 deals official; DUI charges after vehicle on playground

Aug 19 2014 | 5:54 am - U-46 leadership, teacher deals approved. Aurora man faces alcohol-related charges after driving onto playground. Man found on CTA tracks was electrocuted. Data breach might affect Vista patients. Arlington Heights OKs downtown apartments.

Stratton Lock and Dam getting $16 million renovation

Aug 19 2014 | 6:13 pm - The Stratton Lock and Dam in McHenry will receive a $16.7 million facelift that should significantly cut the time boaters wait to travel between the upper Fox River and Chain O’ Lakes and the lower Fox River in Algonquin. However, officials...

No injuries, one displaced in Waukegan high rise fire Monday night

Aug 19 2014 | 9:41 am - No injuries were reported in a fire on the eighth floor of a Waukegan high rise Monday, authorities said. The fire in the 200 block of Martin Luther King Drive was confined to the single apartment, authorities said. The fire remains under...

Vernon Hills police looking for man who may have tried to lure boys into car

Aug 18 2014 | 6:47 pm - Vernon Hills police said they are investigating whether a man tried to lure two boys into a car. The 10-year-old boys were riding bicycles on the sidewalk near Lexington Drive and Elm Tree Lane about 6:15 p.m. Friday when a man driving an older...

Grant High votes to join new athletic conference despite coaches’ opposition

Aug 15 2014 | 4:33 pm - Over objections from several youth sports coaches, Grant High School District 124 board members voted Thursday to leave the North Suburban Conference and particpate in a new, unnamed conference. The local youth sports coaches said the decision would...

Police looking for driver who fled Elgin-O’Hare Expressway crash

Aug 14 2014 | 11:10 pm - A police search continues for a driver who caused an accident that injured two construction workers early Thursday morning on the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, authorities said. The unidentified driver was headed westbound about 4 a.m. when he...

Trial set for Lake Villa Township man accused of shooting neighbor while showing off guns

Aug 14 2014 | 4:25 pm - A Lake Villa Township man charged with shooting a neighbor while showing off his handguns almost a year ago is set to go to trial Sept. 15, Lake County officials said Thursday.

N. Chicago woman accused in carjacking pleads not guilty

Aug 14 2014 | 4:27 pm - A North Chicago woman has pleaded not guilty to charges she carjacked a vehicle after causing six hit-and-run accidents near Route 132 in Gurnee in June. Tiffany R. Thomas, 33, of the 2100 block of Dickey Avenue, faces multiple charges included...

One injured, road closed following accident on Route 31 near St. Charles

Aug 13 2014 | 1:57 pm - Route 31 was closed for 90 minutes near St. Charles Wednesday after a vehicle hit a utility pole and knocked down power lines, authorities said. The driver was taken to a hospital for nonlife threatening injuries. The incident remains under...

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