NOTE: One thing you said you wanted to see more of in Between the Bylines was insider-type information and bloopers. Remembering your request Courier-News reporter Katie Anderson used her camera phone this week to capture an insider moment exclusively for our Courier-News blog.
That's a City of Elgin mini bus parked in a spot reserved for Kane County Court officials only -- in fact, it's the judges usual spot!
In today's post, Katie talks about what goes into the police reports section of the Courier-News and the blooper featured in the picture.
One of the most popular sections of both the print and online Courier-News is the police reports. This is the part of the paper where we list any serious accidents, arrests or crimes reported by local police departments each day.
Some content for the section comes from press releases. Other items come from incident reports we collect at individual police stations. Circuit clerk records and interviews with cops also provide us with the information we put into the section reporters lovingly call "blotter."
Many of the most interesting stories in the police reports section however, come from bond court.
Get the insider scoop on how we gather info for blotter and more on that bus picture, after the jump.
Kane County has more than one bond court location, but the Courier-News typically only covers one. The Elgin bond court call takes place at 8 a.m. every Monday through Friday in the Kane County branch court courtroom on the second floor of City Hall. You may have been in this courtroom before. Traffic court calls take place there at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on most days of the week.
Anyway, during bond court, people who were arrested by the Elgin, South Elgin, Carpentersville, East and West Dundee police on misdemeanor and felony charges the day before are brought before a judge. These people are usually physically in a jail either across the street at the Elgin Police Department or in Carpentersville at the police station there. They "appear" before the judge on a television screen via a closed-circuit connection.
One at a time the judge reads each person his rights, advises that person what he is accused of and then sets a bail amount. It is during this exchange between the judge and the arrested that we usually get the best information for the newspaper.
And now, dear readers, you know some of the juicy details behind the blotter!
Oh and I almost forgot!
The story behind the picture: Presiding Elgin bond court judge the honorable Bruce Lester was surprised Tuesday when he arrived to work at Dexter Court and found his parking spot taken by a mini bus! The good-natured judge took the situation in stride and after parking his vehicle somewhere else he joked with his courtroom colleagues, "Where is the Partridge Family? Did you see they parked in my spot!"
- Katie Anderson, staff writer