Dawn Patrol: Ex-COD radio engineer charged; fire in Gilberts

  • John Valenta

    John Valenta

Updated 2/20/2015 5:53 AM

Dangerous wind chills this morning

The National Weather Service's wind chill warning is in effect until 8 a.m. today. Wind chills in the suburbs could hit minus 30. Today's high temperature is predicted to shoot all the way up to around 20. Full story.


$400,000 bail for former COD radio engineer charged with theft

A former part-time College of DuPage employee is being held on $400,000 bail after being charged with stealing more than $200,000 from the campus radio station in a seven-year span. John Valenta, 65, of Wheaton was charged Thursday with felony theft stemming from a portion of his time as a radio engineer at WDCB 90.9-FM. COD Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs Lynn Sapyta defended the college at its board meeting last night. "I want the take-away to be here tonight that this fraud went on for 16 years," Sapyta said. "It was caught in 2013 under this team, not the team back then." Full story.

Gilberts industrial building catches fire

Firefighters worked last night to extinguish a fire in an industrial building in Gilberts, authorities said. Crews from the Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District and other area departments were dispatched at 8:25 p.m. to the blaze on the 100 block of Industrial Drive, near Route 72 and the Jane Addams Tollway. Flames and a giant plume of smoke could be seen coming from the building. Full story.

Rauner plan could charge schools bigger pension penalties

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to change a state law that makes local school districts pay penalties if they give big end-of-career pay raises to teachers and administrators. School districts can still give the pay raises, but the state says local officials have to pay for the pension consequences. Mike Riopell has more in this week's Suburban Political Recount.

Man pleads not guilty to attacking woman for "annoying" him

A Des Plaines man accused of repeatedly slashing and stabbing a co-worker outside the Deer Park movie theater because she "annoyed" him has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges. Daniel Dion, 18, is accused of attacking Katherine M. King, 24, of Vernon Hills on Jan. 8 in the parking lot of the Century Theater at Deer Park Town Center. Authorities say he slashed her more than 20 times in the face and neck with a 4-inch serrated blade. Full story.

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Leave continues for Mount Prospect Village Manager Janonis

Mount Prospect Village Manager Michael Janonis' unexplained leave of absence continues, and there is no clear indication of when, or if, the longtime village official will return to work. Although elected village leaders have refrained from commenting about Janonis' situation or the reasons behind his leave, made public Dec. 2, the village did confirm this week that Trustees Paul Hoefert and Michael Zadel met with Janonis recently. Full story.


Partly cloudy and 1 degree this morning. Temperatures will climb to 20 degrees this afternoon. Some snow is expected later this afternoon. Full story.


Roundabout construction continues at the intersection of Roberts & River roads in Lake Barrington. Restrictions will last until June. Full traffic.

Cubs announce several tributes to Ernie Banks

The Cubs will honor the memory of Ernie Banks throughout the 2015 season, wearing commemorative No. 14 patches on their home and away jerseys, and opening the Cactus League season by wearing No. 14 hats during both of their split-squad games on March 5. Banks, known as Mr. Cub, died Jan. 23. Pitchers and catchers reported to Cubs spring-training camp Thursday, but there were many position players also there. Bruce Miles' full story.

Spring training preview: White Sox roster battles

White Sox pitchers and catchers, meanwhile, report to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona this morning. With one of the most productive offseasons in the major leagues, the Sox view themselves as contenders, said general manager Rick Hahn. Scot Gregor breaks down the positions up for grabs as the Sox open Spring Training.

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