Village of Barrington sues Barrington-Countryside fire protection district in pension dispute
The Village of Barrington is suing the Barrington-Countryside Fire Protection District for allegedly failing to pay more than $2 million in pension funds and other worker benefits.
Filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the 128-page lawsuit stated the village issued pension liability invoices to the district, which has refused to pay them for about a year.
The lawsuit seeks relief for damages, for breach of contract and for the unfunded pension.
"We believe the District is trying to irresponsibly free itself from an obligation it has to our community," said Jeff Lawler, Barrington's village manager, in a statement.
The fire protection district offers emergency services to a consortium of area towns, including Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Lake Barrington and Iverness, as well as unincorporated portions of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.
In 2005, Barrington and the district formed an intergovernmental agreement whereby the village would provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the district, stated the lawsuit.
However, disagreements over personnel levels and firefighting equipment terminated the agreement, and both parties let it expire on Dec. 31, 2013.
For 19 years, both the village and the district provided services to a 45 square mile area around Barrington.
But after the termination, the village issued the pension invoices based on the agreement's terms before it ended.
The release also said for 19 years Barrington and the district agreed to use one actuarial method in calculating the village's portion of the firefighters' pension fund.
Illinois Fire Service Institute: Study to examine cancer, heart risks for firefighters
It's easy to imagine that in the risky job of firefighting, such events as collapsing buildings and explosions would cause most firefighter deaths.
But sudden cardiovascular events are what cause most firefighter fatalities in the line of duty. And right along with them is another concern: an emerging link between firefighting and some cancers.
A study launching next month at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute is poised to find out more about heart and cancer risks for firefighters by taking a rigorous, scientific look at how working in a realistic fire environment affects the body.
"We're looking at the types of exposure that firefighters face on the fire ground," said Gavin Horn, director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute Research Center.
How researchers plan to go about that: They will send 36 firefighters, some local and some not, into 12 different burn scenarios at a 1,200-square-foot ranch-style house on the Fire Service Institute campus from June 14-30.
The structure was built specifically for this study, Horn said.
"From the outside, it looks just like a house without any siding on it," he added.
The firefighters will be tested and monitored before, during and after the fires, Horn said.
Police: Two dead in possible home invasion, arson in Chicago
Police think a Southwest Side home where two people were found dead Thursday afternoon may have been invaded and set on fire.
Carlos Herrera, 22, and 48-year-old Maria Herrera were found at the home in the 3600 block of West 55th Place about 2:50 p.m., police and the Cook County medical examiner's office said. They both lived in the same block.
A source said the incident was initially reported as an explosion. Authorities later found no explosion had taken place, but that there had been a fire at the home.
Detectives are investigating the incident as a home invasion and think someone may have set the home ablaze before fleeing, police said. The victims' specific injuries were not known early Friday.
Fire officials could not provide details on the incident.
WFLD-TV MyFox 32 Chicago
Naperville Contractor Pleads Guilty To Setting Fire At FAA Radar Center In Aurora
A 37-year-old contractor from Naperville has pleaded guilty to setting a fire at an Aurora radar facility last fall, crippling Chicago’s two airports, and disrupting air traffic all across the U.S.
Brian Howard, 37, entered his plea in federal court Thursday morning. He had been charged with willfully setting fire to, damaging, destroying or disabling an air navigation facility and using fire to commit a federal felony.
He will face at least 10 years in prison, under a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
Howard’s attorney, Ronald Safer, said he agreed to plead guilty so he can be sent to a prison capable of treating his mental health issues.
Howard was working as a contract employee for the Federal Aviation Administration at the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora last September, when he allegedly cut several cables in a basement telecommunications room, and then lit several fires, and tried to kill himself. He suffered burns on his body, and self-inflicted stab wounds on his arms.
The damage he caused forced the FAA to shut down the Chicago ARTCC for more than two weeks, and halt all flights out of O’Hare and Midway airports for several hours until they could get a backup system running. The two airports were not able to resume normal operations for more than a week, and thousands of flights were canceled in Chicago as a result.
Update: Man beaten before Ashburn home set on fire, source says
Officials said someone set a fire at an Ashburn home to cover up a violent attack.
Tyrone Lowe, 50, was beaten in a home in the 3300-block of West Columbus Avenue before it was set on fire, sources said. His family said he is in critical condition at a local hospital.
"I got a call at 5:30 this morning. It was a detective, and he let me know that the house had caught on fire and that my uncle was rushed to the hospital," Heaven Campbell said. Campbell said Lowe was staying at her mother's home to watch the family dog while she was away.
"They say the dog got out, but the dog tried to help my uncle first. I guess he tried to wake him," Campbell said. The family dog survived.
Sources said Lowe was found in a bedroom around 4:30 a.m. and the kitchen oven had been rigged to catch fire. That fire was struck by 6:30 a.m.
"There's a lot of rumors. A lot of questions. And not enough answers," neighbor Jaime Alonso said.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago