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What’s the story behind that car in the pond?

Published: Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

In July, construction workers found a car while draining a pond on the campus of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. It was a hospital security car that went missing in 1997.

That’s a quirky story. So many reporters covered it, including Suburban Life reporter Tarah Thorne. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department said it would look into it.

Authorities often tell us their investigations are “ongoing.” And we go on our merry way and promptly forget about it, distracted by other news. I’m guilty of that.

On this one, though, Thorne kept the story on her list. After all, how did hospital security – the folks who are supposed to protect life and property – lose track of a car?

Of course, something worse could have happened – someone could have stolen it and then let it roll into the pond.

Thorne called Sara Balmes, the spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, who said her agency found nothing suspicious. But Balmes also said the hospital never filed a report that the car was stolen or missing.

The hospital said its public safety management team is sure a report was filed at the time and that it would be in contact with the Sheriff’s Department – something worth following up on.

In Thorne’s interview, Balmes said the car may not have been placed in park and rolled into the pond. Because of the car’s condition, though, detectives could not determine which gear the car was in.

Let’s assume the hospital failed to file a report. Did a security officer simply tell his boss he couldn’t find his car – a precursor to the 2000 comedy, “Dude, Where’s My Car?” And, if so, did the boss respond, “Not a big deal. We can buy a new one?”

If that all happened, I want to know where I can find a boss like that.

If the Sheriff’s Department is right that no report was filed, the plot thickens. As Ricky Ricardo would say, someone somewhere has some ’splainin’ to do.

Negative mailings in Lake County?

Republican Rep. Sheri Jesiel is facing Democratic Rep. Loren Karner in the November election for the 61st House District, which covers much of northern Lake County, including Antioch, and dips into Gurnee.

Jesiel got a boost over the summer when Rep. JoAnn Osmond, R-Antioch, resigned a few months early; the Republican party apparatus picked Jesiel as her replacement.

On Aug. 4, Jesiel posted advice to voters on her campaign Facebook page.

“When evaluating which candidate to vote for in November’s election, please do not rely on TV commercials (negative mail pieces aren’t any better),” she wrote. “These are always distortions of the truth, if there is any truth at all, and they are only going to get worse. Your best bet is to meet candidates at forums like we had this morning where they can explain their positions and where you can ask questions.”

I messaged her on Facebook: “Does your message on negative mailings mean you will have none? Does it also mean that you will disavow any negative pieces done by the GOP or any other organization that is supporting your campaign?”

She did not respond, nor did she return a call I left with her office.

The story behind Reardon Drive

For some time, I wondered about the portion of Reardon Drive just north of Garland Road in Wauconda. The public has no access to the curbed street, which has a “road closed” sign. The land along it is undeveloped.

I wondered how motorists could be denied access to a public road. When I called Village Hall, I found out it was private and part of an island of unincorporated area in Wauconda.

“It’s a four-lot subdivision,” Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner said. “They were going to develop it when the economy was going in the tank. I don’t know what their plans are for it. It’s a private roadway. It probably hasn’t been accepted by the county.”

David Giuliani is news editor of Lake County Suburban Life. He may be reached at 847-231-7524 or dgiuliani@shawmedia.com.

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