News of the Northwest Suburbs is my focus on Joe and Tina’s Show in the morning on STAR 105.5 FM. I’ll give you a comprehensive look at McHenry County news, Chicagoland’s top stories, Illinois news, top national stories, and sports. I’ll assist Tina in providing traffic in the northwest suburbs. All of this information in a couple of minutes each hour. Just as Joe and Tina keep you entertained with great music and their funny banter, I’ll keep you in touch with what’s going on. Stew’s News on STAR 105.5 Monday through Friday from 6am to 8am. We’ll give you ten traffic reports throughout the morning.
I’ve been finding important issues and events to expand our focus from the shorter newscast length to the longer form public affairs show. The program is called Northwest Spectrum, airing every Sunday 6am for 15-minutes. Northwest Spectrum allows for more time to open up an issue and examine it thoroughly.
I’m in my fifth decade of providing news in the morning, public affairs and public service. Thank you for listening to me.
Under legislation recently filed by State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) and State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield), motorists would have the option to register their vehicles for more than one year at a time. Although McConchie’s and Batinick’s bills differ slightly, the underlying concept remains the same.
Sen. McConchie’s legislation, Senate Bill 2293, would allow motorists, beginning in 2020, to register their vehicles for one or two years. It would also allow those who purchase a new vehicle to register their vehicle for one, two, or five years. The price per year would be the same but an individual would be able to pay it up front and not have to change their sticker every year.
Rep. Batinick’s legislation (House Bill 4259) differs somewhat. Under HB 4259, and beginning with the 2019 registration year, motorists would have the option to register their vehicles anywhere between one to five years at a time. If a vehicle owner chooses between two to five years, there would be an additional $10 fee for every registration year that is more than one year. The money from that fee would be deposited directly to the Road Fund. Likewise, trailer owners would also have an option to register their trailer for one, two, three, four, five, or ten years.
Although the versions of the two bills differ, both legislators agree that the concept of the legislation is a good idea, and that they just have different ideas on how to implement it. Both McConchie and Batinick say they look forward to having a constructive debate on the specifics.
“Both pieces of legislation provide a convenience to those who are able to pay more than one year at a time, and alleviates the burden of renewing it year after year.” said Sen. McConchie. “I look forward to hashing out our differences and coming up with a uniform bill that makes life easier for Illinoisans.”
“There’s no good reason not to do some version of this. My plan allows taxpayers to keep the status quo. Or, they can simply pay a small convenience fee to receive multi-year registration,” Batinick stated. “I’ve spoken to businesses that would love the ability to buy a 10 year plate for their utility trailers. It’s efficient for them and should save the state money too.”
Currently, ten states give individuals the option to register their vehicle for longer than one year.
Spring semester is right around the corner and the McHenry County Community Foundation is reminding veterans who have returned from service and are heading to McHenry County College that they can take advantage of grants to help save money on the tools and books they’ll need for a successful academic career. With Spring semester classes beginning January 12, 2018, the Foundation, along with the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation are encouraging veterans to apply for grants to cover the cost of a new laptop or book rentals.“We are grateful to veterans and to their sacrifice. We also want to encourage them to seek their degree or certificate close to home,” said Robin Doeden, Executive Director of The McHenry County Community Foundation. “We’ve partnered with McHenry County College to ease student veterans’ transition back to school by encouraging them to apply for the Student Veteran Laptop Grant and the Pay-It-Forward Book Grant,” she added.
Educators suggest that having a laptop computer is critical to improved academic performance and encourages retention and persistence when veterans return to school. Thanks to the generosity of local donors, the Community Foundation provides $500 grants in the form of direct deposit into students’ bank accounts. In the 2016-2017 school year, 34 veterans received laptop grants. Recipients volunteered for college and community events, veteran celebrations, fundraisers and other “thank you” efforts.
Student veterans receive the funds to pay for books in time for the first week of class by applying for the Pay-It-Forward Book Grant. Students repay the grant directly to the fund when they are able to return their books to the MCC Student Veterans Resource Center. The books are then lent to future students. In exchange for receiving a laptop grant, student veterans are asked to volunteer their time at activities and events that deepen their connection to local communities and to other veterans. Students receiving a book grant have the option of providing volunteer service if they are unable to payback their book rental fees. In the 2016-2017 school year, a total of 19 Pay It Forward Book grants were awarded to veterans, with an average value of $255.
“The Friends of McHenry County College Foundation expresses our gratitude to the donors who contributed to the McHenry County Community Foundation, which continues to support our county’s student veterans,” said Brian DiBona, Executive Director of the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation. “Many men and women returning from overseas deployments often lack access to the technology that plays such a key role in college success,” said DiBona. “Having a laptop computer and textbooks in time for the first day of class are critical to their success and encourages them to stay in school and work hard toward fulfilling their dreams,” he added. The laptop and book grant programs have been offered to MCC student veterans since 2014. During the last school year, 285 student veterans took advantage of their educational benefits at MCC. Grant recipients have donated an average of 20 hours of volunteer service, including participating in student government, and volunteering for events, organizations and fundraisers.
Many veterans have commented on the impact these grants have made in their lives. “The beginning of a semester is always rife with financial challenges and being faced with [staggering] book costs can be daunting to say the least. Thank you once again for easing that stress with your timely and generous gift,” wrote Alicia Sutherland, veteran, U.S. Air Force. “This gesture of kindness is greatly appreciated. To all of you who took the time and donated what you could to further my life’s ambitions is a deed this card cannot repay. My dedication to success is solidified, and your contribution to my success is now permanently etched,” Timothy D. Miller, veteran, U.S. Air Force.
For more information on the Laptop and Pay-It-Forward Book Grants, veterans are invited to contact or visit the MCC Student Veterans Resource Center, online at http://www.mchenry.edu/financialaid/veterans.asp or in person at 8900 US Highway 14, Room C122, Crystal Lake, IL 60012.
The McHenry County Community Foundation is a trusted community leader, sponsor and participant encouraging philanthropy and welcoming partnerships to create a positive difference in the quality of life in all of McHenry County.
The McHenry County Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people of McHenry County. We work with you to help you fulfill your charitable interests and goals. We play a key role in addressing community needs, opportunities and dreams – now and in the future – in order to help make giving as effective as possible.
For more information please contact the Foundation at 815.338.GIVE (4483) or connect with us: www.mccfdn.org.