Chicago police arrest suspect in Wheeling carjacking, kidnapping

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:49
Leon Spektor, a 38-year-old homeless man known to frequent Wheeling and the North Side of Chicago, was arrested about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on the 300 block of West Chicago Avenue.

Naperville's Thanksgiving Turkey Trot grows into fun for families

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:17
The Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot 5K has been expanding just like an extended family's table and could welcome as many as 8,000 runners for its 20th year.

Prosecutors want higher bail for Geneva rape suspect

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:14
Prosecutors want a judge to increase bail for a Geneva man accused of rape, saying the man has been contacting the victim online.

Dailly to run for Schaumburg mayor; Larson's plans uncertain

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:06
Longtime Schaumburg Trustee Tom Dailly has announced his bid for mayor in 2019, while 30-year incumbent Al Larson is leaving his options open.

Facebook Shops Around for Its Next Business Endeavor: Rental Listings

Real Estate News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:52

Once touted as the most popular and innovative internet community of its time, Facebook is now pushing to compete with trendy social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. As part of its rebranding efforts to become an all-in-one service, Facebook recently added payment capabilities to its messaging service, along with various filters to its camera settings to mimic Instagram’s photo editing settings. It is now making a move into the real estate industry by adding apartment and home rental listings onto its existing Marketplace storefront, which so far only included household items, job postings and car listings.

Adding a social media twist to a popular Craigslist service, Facebook is transforming apartment searching into an interactive experience by providing 360-degree photo capabilities and using social media profile information to reduce the chances of scams and unsafe transactions. And while consumers will be able to search for properties based on location, price, size, bedroom number and animal restrictions—information that is provided by landlords and leasing companies—a real estate agent is nowhere in sight. So, how is this going to be impact the industry?

For many real estate agents, being fully entrenched in the rental business is a great way to transition into buying and selling. This is especially true for greener agents that don’t yet have the real estate experience, and need to build business by working primarily with renters. After all, it’s safe to assume that many of those renters will become buyers someday. Not only is it a great way for agents to familiarize themselves with the industry, but it’s vital to building a contact database that they can grow.

Not only is Facebook looking to list its consumers’ properties using Marketplace, but it is also pulling property information from partnered sources—Apartment List and Zumper—which will integrate hundreds of thousands of listings. Although only in the early stages of adoption, the industry could see this as a direct challenge to Zillow and other popular home search sites. Unless Facebook decides to go the lead marketing and agent branding route with brokerages, as Zillow does, the real estate industry may see this as an unwelcome addition. So far, it doesn’t sound great for the industry overall. But here’s why it won’t be an overnight success:

Consumers Want Simple
The more capabilities are added onto an app, the more complex it will become. Yes, consumers expect a one-stop shop for services that make sense together, such as ordering food and getting it delivered; however, Facebook is primarily a social media site, and that’s what it will always be known for. While some community aspects like groups and neighborhood tag sales are successful, trying to condense an entire rental industry into an app’s subcategory may be a stretch.

It’s Free, but at a Cost
While Facebook maintains that the service is free of charge, putting a rental listing on the market is well worth the commission paid. When using a real estate agent, the rental commission goes toward listing services, such as photography and staging, as well as marketing, consulting and vetting renter prospects. While working with a real estate agent may be more expensive, the money paid goes further in providing clients with piece of mind and ensuring a quick and smooth transaction. And while the partnered companies say they are relying on brokers, agents and other property managers to fill out the housing section, Facebook has not yet clarified how it plans to involve industry professionals in the process.

Transactions Won’t Be So Easy
The problem with marketing a rental outside a multiple listing service is visibility. A brokerage will be able to promote the listing, making it visible to its own set of renters, as well as the clients of other brokerages. By using the Marketplace platform, landlords will have to settle with renters who are primarily on Facebook, which may lengthen the renting process. There is also no vetting by an experienced agent involved. Landlords will have to deal with all credit types, and will have to request and go through references and rental histories on their own. Unless landlords find renter candidates from their own friends list, they will still be interacting with strangers, regardless of being members of the same social media site.

It will be interested to see how Facebook fares in its latest endeavor. But the industry will have to keep a watchful eye for signs of this social media enterprise involving itself in buying and selling real estate.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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Appraisals Better Match Owner Perceptions

Real Estate News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:48

Appraisals better matched owner perceptions in October, coming in only 0.99 percent lower than expected, according to the latest Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). The latest Quicken Loans National Home Value Index (HVI) shows appraised values rose 4.76 percent year-over-year.

A summary of the HPPI:
Owner’s estimates of their home’s value rose above the actual appraised value by an average of 0.99 percent, according to the National HPPI. This marks the fifth consecutive month the gap between the two value opinions narrowed. Also, the HPPI is now the closest to equilibrium it has been since April 2015. The trend of appraisals surpassing homeowners’ estimates in Western cities continued in October, with appraisals as much as 3.13 percent higher than expected in Dallas. On the other hand, Eastern and Midwestern cities were more likely to have an appraisal below the owner’s estimate.

“Based on the HPPI, it appears homeowners in the markets where prices are rising faster than the national average—like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco—are continuing to underestimate just how quickly home values are rising, so the average appraisal is higher than the homeowner estimate,” says Bill Banfield, executive viec president of Capital Markets for Quicken Loans. “On the inverse of that, homeowners in areas where the values aren’t rising as fast may think they are rising faster than they are, leading to the appraisal lagging the estimate.”

A summary of the HVI:
The HVI, the only measure of home value change based solely on appraisal data, showed values increasing at a measured pace month-over-month and making larger strides on an annual basis. Nationally, appraised values rose 0.71 percent from September to October and jumped 4.76 percent year-over-year, according to the HVI. All regions had similar annual growth; however, the Midwest and the West had slight dips in monthly value.

“As we enter the traditionally slower demand season in the home purchase market, persistent supply constraints may keep home prices elevated,” Banfield says. “Compared to the previous year, our economy continues to improve and attract homebuyers who may have been on the sidelines during the past few years. This will add additional demand to the equation.”

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Mokena woman reported missing

Plainfield News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:26
JOLIET – A 24-year-old Mokena woman has been missing since early Monday morning.

At 2:45 p.m., Katie Kearns, 24, was reported missing to Joliet police, who have passed the case along to the Will County Sheriff’s Office, as it is in their jurisdiction.

Lt. Dan Jungles of the Will County Sheriff’s Office said Kearns was last seen about 1:30 a.m. Monday near Woody’s Bar in Joliet. Kearns works as a bartender at the 1008 E. Washington St. tavern.

Kearns was in her Jeep Cherokee and her license plate is ZX33462.

The Cherokee also has yet to be located, according to police.

Jungles said Kearns is 4-foot-11 and 95 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair, a tattoo of the word “Warrior” on her left forearm in black-and-red lettering, and a tattoo of a cross on her neck, he said.

Shorewood board talks water and sewer rate hike

Plainfield News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 15:21
Although no action was taken on the sewer and water hikes at the Village of Shorewood's board meeting, information was provided for a first read and the increases will go to the board for final approval at the next read.

Currently, the residential water flat fee inside the village runs at $3.47 per 1,000 gallons and the recommended rate will change to $3.88 per 1,000 gallons, an 11.8 percent increase. The residential flat fee outside of the village remains at $5.20 per 1,000 gallons.

The residential sewer flat fee currently runs at $11.98 with the inclusion of the first 1,000 gallons. The change was to remove the inclusion of the first 1,000 gallons and raise the rate to $12.55.

Trustee Dan Anderson, who at the meeting was voted to chair the meeting in the absence of Mayor Rick Chapman, said that these changes follow a water and sewer rate study performed by Ehlers & Associates. Anderson also stated that the sewer was run through the city of Joliet and when its charges increased, the village has absorbed some of those costs, but now it needs to pass along those increases to the residents of Shorewood.

This ordinance change also means that whennJoliet increases rates, the rates will be reflected in Shorewood residents' bills as well. Trustee Cookie Kirkland reminded the board and public that the village has not raised rates on water and sewer since March 2015.

Anderson gave updates on construction around Shorewood. He said the Black Road resurfacing project was complete and the Route 52 work took longer than expected due to inclement weather, but it’s finishing up.

The Ash tree replacement has been completed by 90 percent and Anderson encouraged owners of the new trees to water five to 10 gallons per week for the next couple of weeks.

Many leaves have fallen in the past few days and crews will come by to remove leaves. Anderson encouraged residents to place leaves in a row in the yard, alongside the curb, and to make sure piles were free from garbage as that damages machines.

At the Nov. 28 meeting, the village will celebrate its 60 year anniversary as well as host the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. before the 7 p.m. village meeting.

Public works supervisor Chris Drey said the 4,400 pound tree was donated by Jack and Rose Demask and was delivered to the village by Arbor Tek and Chellino Crane, who donated their services.

Suburban restaurants that do the Thanksgiving cooking for you

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:48
Don't feel like cooking this year for Thanksgiving? Suburban restaurants serving turkey dinners offer a respite from the shopping, the prep, the cooking, the guests and the dreaded clean up after the big meal.

Police: Two people carjack man who was trying to sell them a vehicle

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:37
An 18-year-old was being held on $1 million bail after his arrest Monday on charges he and another person carjacked a man at knifepoint in Elgin.

JJC awarded National Science Foundation grant

Plainfield News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:36
JOLIET - Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, announced Tuesday that Joliet Junior College was awarded a National Science Foundation grant worth $649,901, according to a press release from Foster's office.

The money will go to the Supporting Science Students through Scholarships, Academic and Social Activities and Reflective Journaling project, a program designed to address the ever-increasing need in Illinois and surrounding areas for highly qualified professionals in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

This includes a structured research study that will be used to determine the impact of course specific tutoring, mentoring and reflective journaling among students in STEM courses.

"I am proud to announce that this award for Joliet Junior College will go towards enhancing STEM education for students," said Foster in the press release.

"For America, to remain competitive in a global economy, that is increasingly STEM-based, we must continue to invest in expanding opportunities for students to explore STEM subjects in the classroom and the career paths that follow," he said. "Joliet Junior College is laying the foundation for our country to continue its leadership in science and innovation."

Gutierrez among House Democrats to introduce impeachment articles against Trump

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:34
A half-dozen Democrats on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice and other offenses, in a long-shot effort that stands little chance in the Republican-led House.

Constable: Is there an ethical way to get a mouse out of your house?

Daily Herald - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:29
The goal is not to build a better mousetrap, as lots of them work. The trick is in satisfying all the ethical and moral complications of getting a mouse out of your house.

Neighborhood Joint: The Old School of the New Age

At Quest, the New Age isn’t exactly new. This esoteric bookshop has roots that go back to the 19th-century Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky.

JJC to host 'Latinx Student Empowerment Conference'

Plainfield News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:57
Joliet Junior College will host the seventh annual Latinx Student Empowerment Conference on Friday.

"The purpose of this conference is to inform and inspire our local high school students that you can go to college, regardless of any barriers in their way," said Conference Coordinator and Multicultural Pathway Coach Martha Villegas Miranda in a press release. "JJC is a welcoming institution for all students including those who are undocumented and is an excellent choice for any student to start their college and career path."

Over 300 local high school students from Bolingbrook, Joliet West, Morris, Plainfield North, Joliet Central, Lockport, Plainfield East and Romeoville are expected to attend the conference. The event's keynote speaker is Ceasar Vargas, New York's first openly undocumented attorney, according to the press release.

Vargas was an undocumented law graduate from CUNY Law School and led the fight for equal opportunity and access to the practice of law. He made history in February 2016 as the first undocumented lawyer in the state of New York after a lengthy battle. He also worked for Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign as the National Latino Outreach strategist.

The conference begins at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony to honor Native American Heritage Month, a welcome from JJC President Judy Mitchell and workshops on empowerment.

Vargas will speak at 11 a.m. and the public is invited to come to his presentation.

'Obamacare' sign-ups 45 percent ahead of last year's pace

Plainfield News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:43
WASHINGTON – Sign-ups for Affordable Care Act health plans are running more than 45 percent ahead of last year's pace, according to government data released Wednesday.

The numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services come as Republican senators are pushing to pay for tax cuts by repealing the "Obamacare" requirement to carry coverage.

The new figures show that nearly 1.5 million consumers picked a plan through Nov. 11, compared to just over 1 million from Nov. 1-12 last year, a period that had included one additional day for consumers to enroll.

The latest data cover 39 states served by the website. The overall number of sign-ups is higher because states running their own health insurance markets are not counted in the data.

The share of new customers for 2018 coverage stayed at about 23 percent, the report said.

The Obama-era health law offers subsidized private insurance for people who don't get coverage on the job. Sign-ups this year are being closely watched because of efforts by the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress to do away with the law.

At same time, consumers who are eligible for financial assistance are seeing more low-cost plans available. Even though premiums have gone up, that's been offset by increased subsidies.

If Congress repeals the requirement that people buy health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 13 million more people would be uninsured by 2027.

This year's sign-up season is only half as long as last year's. It ends Dec. 15.

Cortland Capital purchased by big European firm

Chicago Real Estate - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:36
Chicago-based Cortland Capital Market Services, founded in 2008 by four former LaSalle Bank executives and now with 400 employees, is being acquired by Alter Domus of Luxembourg.

The GOP's Obamacare threat is doubly painful for insurers

Chicago Real Estate - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:22
Why are Chicago's Blue Cross Blue Shield Assn. and American Medical Association speaking out against the bill? Because it's ugly news for insurers and hospitals in at least two ways.

Local Radon Mitigator Encourages Action Against The Radioactive Gas -

Radon Testing News - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:00

Local Radon Mitigator Encourages Action Against The Radioactive Gas
Titchkosky said the winter months are the best time to test for radon in our homes, as they are much more closed off and there is a lot less ventilation. "Also when we're heating, that heat wants to rise and creates a pull on your basement floor, so ...

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That bitcoin exchange that CME plans to use for futures? It's down.

Chicago Real Estate - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 13:00
This is exactly what the naysayers have been warning about.


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