Fittest loser

Lee Filas

Staff Writer
  • Phone(847) 680-5506
  • Twitter@lfilasDH

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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Dawn Patrol: Bulls lose in OT; Carol Stream sex abuse guilty verdict

Apr 23 2014 | 5:51 am - Carol Stream man found guilty of all sex abuse charges; legislation would give firefighters a say in staffing levels; Elgin World War II veteran dies; Elgin man charged with sex assault in Woodstock; more homeless children in DuPage County;...

Aurora teen mother, baby found safe

Apr 22 2014 | 6:29 pm - A 17-year-old Aurora girl and her 9-month-old baby have been found safe and returned to Aurora police headquarters, authorities said Tuesday afternoon. Police said they were following leads throughout the day Tuesday until reporting Marisol and...

Judge rejects sex abuse plea deal for 75-year-old man

Apr 22 2014 | 4:18 pm - A judge rejected a plea deal with a sentence that included 30 days in jail for a 75-year-old Lake Villa man accused of sexually abusing a child.

Former Lake Forest High School theater adviser pleads guilty to sex abuse charges

Apr 22 2014 | 5:22 pm - A former Lake Forest High School theater adviser pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in front of Judge Daniel Shanes at the Lake County courthouse. Benjamin Davidson was sentenced to 30 months of probation and...

Dive teams remove car from Fox River in Elgin

Apr 22 2014 | 5:13 pm - Divers removed a partially submerged car from the Fox River after it was reported stolen Tuesday morning, officials said. The 2004 Cadillac was spotted in the river near Duncan Road just south of Interstate 90 in Elgin.

Dawn Patrol: 2 injured in Starbucks crash; Mayors push pension reform

Apr 22 2014 | 5:49 am - Two customers injured when car plows into Schaumburg Starbucks. Sale of magnetic CTA cards stops Thursday. Arlington Heights mayor finishes 10th Boston Marathon. Mayors join push to cut Illinois pensions. South Elgin honors three officers. 21 apply...

Testimony begins in second trial of 1994 murder of Waukegan appliance store owner

Apr 22 2014 | 5:24 pm - Testimony is under way in the murder trial of Hezekieh Whitfield, who is accused of killing Waukegan appliance store owner Fred Reckling of Libertyville in 1994.

Man gets 42 months in beating death of dog

Apr 22 2014 | 9:57 pm - After apologizing to a Lake Villa woman for beating her dog to death, a Kenosha, Wis. man pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of animal torture and will spend 42 months in an Illinois prison. Martin Keller, 37, told Lake County Judge James Booras he...

Dawn Patrol: Witnesses help save man; Fox River dams ‘deadly’

Apr 21 2014 | 5:54 am - Witnesses, police help save Mount Prospect man after heart attack; Fox River low-head dams ‘notoriously deadly,’ expert says; shots fired in Elgin, no injuries reported; DuPage Leadership Team members volunteer at homeless shelter;...

Second trial in Waukegan business owner's 1994 murder set for trial

Apr 22 2014 | 5:19 am - The 1994 murder of a Waukegan business owner goes to trial for a second time starting this week. Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of Hezekiah Whitfield of Chicago. Whitfield, 44, is accused of killing Fred Reckling, 71, of...

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