McHenry County, IL12/5/2011


McHenry County e-News
A message from the Chairman... 

Ken Koehler  County Board Chairman


Dear McHenry County Resident:  


After nearly two years of planning, the Twenty Second Judicial Circuit Drug Court Program began on Thursday, December 1st with Associate Judge Michael W. Feetterer selected to preside over the Drug Court call.


Earlier this year it was announced that the Twenty Second Judicial Circuit Drug Court Program would be receiving funding from the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance FY 11 Adult Drug Court Discretionary: Implementation Grant Program in the amount of $305,717 to fund the program for a period of three years.  The grant was awarded by competitive process to jurisdictions which have completed a substantial amount of planning and are ready to implement an evidence-based adult Drug Court Program. 


A Drug Court Program is a highly specialized, multifaceted collaborative effort, overseen by the court to divert individuals who commit crime and are addicted to drugs or alcohol, from the traditional criminal justice system.  These individuals will be identified early, screened, and upon acceptance placed into an intensely supervised and highly structured program.  The program will target individuals who have a high risk of committing new offenses and a high need for treatment and other services to address the participant's individual issues.  Participants referred to the program must be involved in the program within 60 days of their first appearance with counsel or they will not be considered.


Drug Court Programs are specifically designed to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among nonviolent substance abusing offenders and to increase the offender's likelihood of successful rehabilitation through early, continuous and intense judicially supervised treatment, mandatory random drug testing, community supervision and use of appropriate sanctions and other rehabilitation services.


Referrals for Drug Court are expected to come from probation officers, public defenders, private attorneys and police officers. Defendants being assessed for the program must meet program eligibility criteria including McHenry County residency, age of 17 years or older at the time of the offense, a current felony  offense and alcohol/drug dependence, as well as statutory eligibility outlined in 730 ILCS 166/20. DUI charges will not be accepted into the Drug Court Program. If general eligibility requirements are met, defendants will undergo evaluations to determine their level of criminogenic risk/needs and substance use.




Kenneth D. Koehler

County Board Chairman

County Board Member Spotlight:
James L. Heisler


James Heisler was elected to the McHenry County Board in November 1996 and currently resides in Crystal Lake.  Mr. Heisler is Chairman of the Legislative & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and is a member of the Planning & Development, Law & Justice, and Finance & Audit Committees. Mr. Heisler is also one of the County Board liaisons to the Valley Hi Nursing Home Operating Board, the County Board liaison to the Farmland Preservation Commission, McHenry County Youth Council, the McHenry County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is a member of the Community Development Block Grant Commission.  Click here to learn more about Mr. Heisler.

McHenry County Sheriff's Office Update


Holiday Safety Tips

The McHenry County Sheriff's Office would like to share with you some crime prevention tips for a safe holiday season.


Shopping Safety Tips:

  • Shop during daylight hours when possible. Consider coordinating shopping trips with a friend and park in well lit areas.
  • Lock your vehicle and put packages and gifts in your trunk or out of sight.
  • Only carry the personal identification, credit card/debit card, checkbook, or cash that you will be using during that trip.
  • Do not overburden yourself with carrying a lot of packages. You want to be able to still be observant of your surroundings and to be able to get to your cell phone and keys if needed.
  • Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated. Also educate them to never go into a parking lot alone.
  • Educate your children of the dangers of strangers and to go to a safe, trusted person when they are scared and not close to you.


Traveling Safety Tips:

  • Travel with warm clothes and plenty of fuel. Consider bringing a flashlight with you. Bring emergency supplies with you, including a charged cell phone, in case you become stranded.
  • Keep snacks and drinks in the vehicle.
  • When stopping for a break, do not leave valuables in view of others.
  • Park or rest in well lit and traveled areas.
  • Let others know your travel or shopping plans and update them if they change.
  • Like always, do not drink alcoholic beverages and drive. If you host a holiday party, serve non-alcoholic beverages for those driving or provide alternative transportation.


Sheriff Keith Nygren and the McHenry County Sheriff's Office wish you a safe and happy holiday season. 

McHenry County Department of Health 


Quit Smoking Classes Begin January 12

Start the New Year off by being smoke-free! McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) and Centegra Health System are partnering to offer a 7-week quit smoking class for adults beginning on Thursday, January 12. Classes will be held at Centegra Health Bridge Fitness Center in Huntley, located at 10450 Algonquin Road, every Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. A $25 course fee, payable at the first class, is refundable if all seven sessions are attended. Class members will also receive a free 3-day pass to the Health Bridge Fitness Center.


The class will teach practical ways to end nicotine addiction through group support and behavior modification. It will also review nicotine replacement products that are currently on the market. Instruction is provided by MCDH staff that are trained in the American Lung Association's "Freedom from Smoking" program.


For more information, and to register, call 1-877-CENTEGRA, or visit To speak with a counselor immediately, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 1-866-QUIT-YES.

Division of Transportation Update



Rakow Road Reconstruction - The project is currently about 40% complete. All traffic for the entire length of the project has now been shifted to the new pavement, being the future eastbound lanes.  Please remain alert and use extra caution throughout the winter.


Removal of the old pavement is underway. Efforts will continue on earthwork, storm sewers, and the pedestrian bridge for as long as the weather allows.


We appreciate your patience and extra care in driving through the construction zone this year. We are proud to announce that no construction worker vs. vehicle accidents or injuries occurred, and wish to thank all the motorists, as well as Crystal Lake and Lake in the Hills Police Departments for helping to keep everyone safe!


Sign up for email updates on or follow us on Twitter @RakowRoad.


Blivin Street Bridge Replacement - Blivin Street will remain open to local traffic only up to the bridge, but the bridge will remain closed for the duration of the construction.  


Due to difficult utility relocations early on in construction, it was not possible to open the bridge to traffic by the milestone date of November 15. All efforts are being made to open the bridge to traffic at the earliest possible date, with final completion to occur in the spring of 2012. The contractor has been authorized to work extra hours and weekends to expedite the project.


Watch for notices of road closures, detour maps, and schedules for these projects at


Visit and check out the interactive Construction Map for the latest information or links to a specific project.

Division of Water Resources Update 



Do not forget to Like the McHenry County Division of Water Resources on Facebook!

County Appointments


The McHenry County Board is currently accepting applications for appointment to the following boards and commissions:

  • McHenry County Housing Commission
  • McHenry County Agricultural Conservation Easment & Farmland Protection Commission
  • McHenry County Senior Services Grant Commission
  • McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals - Alternative Member

Click here to view board and commission descriptions and to obtaining an application.


In This Issue
County Board Spotlight
Holiday Safety Tips
Quit Smoking
Construction Projects
Water Resources

McHenry County Board


District 1

Anna May Miller 

District 1

Bob Bless 

District 1

Marc Munaretto 

District 1

Bob Nowak 

District 2

Scott Breeden 

District 2

Jim Heisler 

District 2

Donna Kurtz 

District 2

Ken Koehler 

District 3

Nick Provenzano 


District 3

Kathleen Bergan Schmidt 

District 3

Barbara Wheeler 

District 3

Mary L. Donner 

District 4

Sue Draffkorn 


District 4

John D. Hammerand 

District 4

Peter J. Merkel 


District 4

Sandra Fay

District 5

Tina Hill 

District 5

Paula Yensen 

District 5

John Jung, Jr. 

District 5

Virginia Peschke 

District 6

Randy Donley 

District 6

Mary T. McCann 

District 6

Diane Evertsen 


 District 6 

Ersel Schuster 

McHenry County Employment Opportunities 

Click here!


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