Articles filed under Niles

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  • Convicted sex offender pleads guilty to new charges May 27, 2014 8:55 PM
    A man sentenced in January for molesting an 8-year-old child with special needs at a suburban church pleaded guilty Tuesday to two additional charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, prosecutors said. Robert Sobczak, 20, admitted to assaulting a Schaumburg teen who is autistic, blind and developmentally disabled between December 2012 and March 2013.

  • Niles man also faces charges in McHenry County May 10, 2014 5:34 PM
    A 19-year-old Niles man who is being held in Lake County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail as the third suspect in a Wauconda apartment break-in and shooting that wounded a man last Sunday also is facing charges in McHenry County.

  • Third suspect in Wauconda shooting held on $500,000 bail May 9, 2014 5:59 PM
    A 19-year-old Niles man is held in Lake County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail as the third suspect in a Wauconda apartment break-in and shooting that wounded a man Sunday night. John Nava appeared in Lake County bond court Friday before Judge Joseph Salvi.

  • Police charge three men in Sunday’s Wauconda apartment break-in, shooting May 8, 2014 6:15 PM
    A 26-year-old Chicago man was surrounded, slashed at and eventually shot by three opposing gang members who had burst into his girlfriend’s Wauconda apartment Sunday night and attacked him in bed, authorities said during a Lake County bond hearing Thursday. The victim survived the attack, authorities said.

  • Robber who was homesick for prison gets 3½ years Apr 17, 2014 8:13 PM
    An ex-con who spent most of his adult life in behind bars on Thursday got what he said he wanted for robbing a Niles bank. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home — prison. Telling Walter Unbehaun he frightened a teller by showing her a revolver tucked in his pants during the 2013 heist, a federal judge imposed a 3½-year prison sentence, citing the man’s lengthy rap sheet that includes crimes from home invasion to kidnapping. “This is not the first time you’ve inspired fear,” Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said, repeatedly scolding the high-school dropout and part-time bathtub repairman. As he had on the day he robbed the bank, Unbehaun gripped a cane as he hobbled to the podium to make a brief statement. He didn’t withdraw his wish to go to prison, though he said, “I don’t want to die in prison.” “My crime is bad, there ain’t no doubt,” he said in a strong voice. “I just wanna be like everybody else.” Boredom and loneliness, defense filings said, had partly led Unbehaun to conclude that a life on the inside was preferable to struggling to cope on the outside. No family or friends of Unbehaun attended Thursday’s hearing, and no letters of support were posted on his docket. Listening to the proceedings, Unbehaun fidgeted and rubbed his forearms, both of which sported tattoos. He occasionally nodded as his lawyer spoke. On Feb. 9 of last year, he walked into the bank with a cane but no disguise, displayed a loaded revolver in his waistband and told the teller, “I don’t want to hurt you.” With $4,178 in loot shoved in his pocket, he drove to a nearby motel and waited for police to arrive. Confronted by authorities in the motel parking lot, the bald, portly Unbehaun dropped his cane, raised his hands and startled police by his apparent joy at getting nabbed. At his initial court appearance, he also bewildered his appointed lawyer. “His first words were, ‘I just want to go home,” that same attorney, Richard McLeese, told the court Thursday. For a minutes, McLeese recalled, he thought Unbehaun was saying he hoped to get bond. Then, it dawned on him what Unbehaun meant. “It is, without a doubt, one of the saddest and most disturbing cases I’ve dealt with,” he said. Lead prosecutor Sharon Fairley conceded the judge faced a dilemma: Sending Unbehaun to prison could be seen as more reward than punishment to him, but setting him free would risk him committing another serious crime. Unbehaun’s unusual case also raised broader societal questions, she said in one filing. “Did the system fail Mr. Unbehaun? Or was his inability to stay out of jail the result of his own free will?” she asked. “We may never know. But what we do know, clearly, is Mr. Unbehaun lacks the desire to lead a law-abiding life outside of prison walls.” The Chicago-born Unbehaun first went to prison at 23 for transporting a stolen car. His record includes more than half a dozen convictions, including — ironically — escaping from prison. Media accounts from 1970 describe how he kidnapped a 19-year-old girl and left her bound to an Ohio motel bed as fled in her car. For that, he was sentenced to 25 years. His most recent decadelong prison term, for bank robbery, ended in 2011. Unbehaun pleaded guilty in September to the 2013 bank robbery in Niles. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of about seven years; the defense asked for three. Unbehaun’s third wife died while he was behind bars. Following his 2011 release, his sister and her husband bought Unbehaun, a childless widower, a trailer home in rural Rock Hill, S.C., the couple said Wednesday. Bored and alone, Unbehaun spent his days watching television or drawing and painting. “He was living like a hermit,” McLeese said. “The analogy he drew was that it was like living in solitary confinement.” McLeese told the court Thursday the onset of mild dementia may have contributed to his client’s decision to rob his way back into prison. And he said the last judge who sentenced him had failed to ensure he had adequate mental health treatment. Coleman said Unbehaun would also serve three years of closely monitored probation and that mental health services should be readily available to him. As the hearing ended, Unbehaun requested he be sent to FCI Greenville prison in southern Illinois, walking her through the various benefits of the facility, including good work programs. Coleman agreed to recommend that prison. She then shook her head. “It’s sad,” she said, “to have a defendant who knows the facilities and knows which ones to go to.”

  • MFRI sees 34 precent sales gain in 2013 Apr 15, 2014 10:07 AM
    MFRI, Inc. said net sales for 2013 rose 34 percent as a result of growth in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  • UOP in Des Plaines sponsors chemistry competition Apr 4, 2014 2:03 PM
    UOP volunteers and $10,000 in grant money from Honeywell Hometown Solutions recently helped more than 3,000 students from Chicago-area middle schools learn more about science through the Chemical Educational Foundation’s You Be The Chemist program. “The You Be The Chemist program is a terrific annual event that aims to generate enthusiasm for science in the critical middle school age group,” said Doug Nafis with Des Plaines-based UOP.

  • Generations run Volo’s Fish Lake, while generations have returned Mar 24, 2014 4:58 AM
    Kukec's People features Volo's Fish Lake Resort and how five generations have kept it moving ahead for 75 years.

  • Fox Valley police reports Mar 17, 2014 6:09 PM
    [No Paragraph Style]NewsJavier Diaz, 42, of Hanover Park, was charged with obstructing identification after he gave police a false name and date of birth after he was identified as the driver of a vehicle that hit a pedestrian Sunday in the 800 block of North State Street, according to a police report. Diaz was also wanted on a Cook County warrant.

  • Displaced animal shelter closer to new home Mar 10, 2014 7:03 PM
    Wright-Way Rescue, a no-kill shelter that had to abandon its Niles location after a bus crashed into it last October, said Monday it’s on track to open its new Morton Grove adoption center in late spring.

  • Convicted sex offender faces new charges Feb 15, 2014 12:37 PM
    A former church volunteer who recently pleaded guilty to molesting an 8-year-old boy at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington faces new sexual assault charges. A Cook County judge set bail at $500,000 Thursday for Robert Sobczak, 20, who has now been charged with sexually assaulting a Schaumburg teen who is autistic and developmentally disabled. The latest charge has no connection to Willow Creek, officials said.

  • Attend a free College Transfer Fair Feb 7, 2014 1:20 PM
    If you’re looking for information about higher education, you won’t want to miss a free Transfer College Fair from 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Oakton Community College, Room 1604, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des

  • Foster: Stop cutting heroin addiction help Feb 7, 2014 4:11 PM
    U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, took to the House floor this week to criticize cuts to federal money used to fight heroin abuse in the same week award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from an apparent overdose this week.

  • Rare disease traced to buffalo fish sold at Niles supermarket Feb 4, 2014 9:36 PM
    Shoppers who purchased a specific type of fish from a northwest suburban Niles supermarket are being warned by the Illinois Department of Public Health not to eat it, or risk getting a rare disease. Buffalo fish sold after Jan. 30 at Fresh Farms International Market, 5740 W. Touhy Avenue, have been linked to Haff disease, according to a health warning issued by the department on Tuesday.

  • Maine East students win video contest promoting teen voting Feb 4, 2014 4:17 PM
    Maine East High School students Andrea Garneata and Veronica Malesinski won a video contest sponsored by the Cook County Clerk to draw attention to the change in the law allowing 17-year-olds who will be 18 by the November 2014 general election to register and vote in the March 18 primary. “Veronica and Andrea produced a wonderful video that conveys the excitement 17-year-olds have about getting to vote,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said in a news release.

  • Stage is set for Saturday's state dance championships Feb 1, 2014 11:20 AM
    Plenty of suburban high schools have made the finals of the IHSA state competitive dance championships, which will be held Saturday in Bloomington. Ninety teams qualified to go downstate, but now only 30 remain.

  • Cold won't stop 88-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer Jan 28, 2014 5:35 AM
    Samuel Grimes plans to be on his Meals on Wheels route Tuesday morning, just like any other day, even though temperatures are expected to remain well below zero. Completing his deliveries in the extreme cold is possible -- and it's something the 88-year-old Des Plaines man's clients, like Penny Jaworski, are grateful for. "I appreciate it, especially in this kind of weather, that they can get out.”

  • Remarks about God were misconstrued Jan 27, 2014 5:00 AM
    A Niles letter to the editor: Words were misconstrued from my interview with the Daily Herald when put in print. As a candidate for Congress in the 9th District,

  • 18-year-old charged in fatal Glenview crash Jan 26, 2014 1:14 PM
    A Des Plaines area man is facing DUI charges in a fatal crash in Glenview. Dustin Aranda, 18, was charged Thursday with aggravated driving under the influence causing death and possession of cannabis with intent to deliver after his car struck a 65-year-old pedestrian on Jan. 17. Aranda tested positive for THC and Benzodiazepine, police said.

  • Images: IHSA competitive dance sectionals Jan 27, 2014 2:50 PM
    IHSA competitive dance sectionals took place at Glenbrook South High School and Huntley High School Saturday.

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