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Orland Park police have released the audio of a 911 call made by a shooting victim's fiance who called police after a home invasion and shooting at her home on Antelope Lane at 2:50 a.m. on Friday. The woman's fiance was shot but got into his vehicle and chased the home invaders.

Listen to the 911 call here:


Severe cold weather can be perilous for drivers and motorists need to take precautions as the area braces for an arctic blast that will send temperatures into negative figures for a few days.
Somethings are obvious, like checking fluid levels, making sure your battery is fully charged, etc.
But other things are not as obvious. Coldness can zap air from tires and underinflated tires can be a real hazard.
Starting Tuiesday night Illinois Tollway users can get help if they run into problems because the deep freeze.
The Tollway is implementing its Zero Weather Patrol with dedicated hourly patrols to search for motorists stranded in disabled vehicles or in response to calls made to *999, Tollway dispatch or Illinois State Police District 15.
The patrols are activated at 8 p.m. Tuesday until Wednesday morning, when temperatures are expected to rise above zero. The Zero Weather Patrols are expected to be implemented again overnight on Wednesday, as temperatures are again expected to drop below zero overnight.
"With temperatures dipping well below zero tonight and tomorrow night, we want to assure customers that that we'll be there to help with a tire change, jump start or call for service," Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said in a press release.
Here's more: "There are a minimum of 11 Zero Weather Road Patrols, at least one from each maintenance garage section. The Zero Weather Patrols consist of crew cab trucks equipped with arrow boards for directing traffic around accidents or stranded vehicles and enough room to accommodate up to five passengers if motorists need to be transported to a Tollway maintenance garage, toll plaza or Tollway oasis.

"Motorists who do get stranded should turn on their emergency lights and stay in their vehicles until help arrives. Cell phone users should call *999 for roadway assistance or to report other motorists pulled over on the side of the road."

Slip sliding away

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We got our first dose of winter weather last week and drivers need to get their slick-driving muscles back in order.
Travel was noticably slower with the snow but we haven't seen the worse that Ol' Man Winter can dish out. A few inches of snow is one thing but wait until the heavy stuff hits along with sleet or freezing rain, now that will be a true test of Midwest driving skills.
Transportation officials have released the requisite warnings about the dangers of winter driving and while it may seem a bit paternal, one would be wise to listen up.
The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Tollway have started their "Ice and Snow-Take it Slow" campaign, reminding motorists to reduce speed, bluckle-up safety belts and ditch the distracted driving during bad weather (not bad advice during more pleasant conditions, too).
Here are some other safety tips:
Other safety tips include:
• Don't crowd the plow - a snowplow operator's field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
• Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear but can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, and shady areas - all are prone to black ice.
• Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle's fuel line from freezing.
• Do not travel unless absolutely necessary - if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
• Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
• Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance.
• Always wear a safety belt.
• Motorists are urged to check travel conditions before any trip. You can get interstate condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the "winter road conditions" icon.

The Getting Around Illinois website was recently redesigned and relaunched and officials say it makes it easier to get updates on travel information.
Just remember not to access it while behind the wheel and moving.


A Sun-Times story (found here) by transportation writer Mary Wisniewski points out that legislation to curtail free transit rides for seniors could emerge in Springfield either in the veto session or spring session.

It's about time.

The old saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch doesn't apply in Illinois. Anyone in the state who has logged 780 months on this planet gets to keep the ol' pocketbook squeezed shut when using public transportation.

According to the story, a recent study, conducted by the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago for the RTA, found that free rides for seniors and people with disabilities cost the CTA, Pace and Metra between $37.7 million and $116.2 million in lost revenue in 2009. Plus, more than on olne-in-four of those who are riding gratis make more than $55,000 a year.

The study found that 28 percent of those surveyed who use free rides make more than $55,000 a year.

Yes, many seniors are on fixed incomes, and yes, those of us who have been around for 65 years have paid our fair share of taxes. But giving ALL seniors a free pass, regardless of their ability to pay, is costing every taxpayer a boat load of money we can't afford.

Leaders are looking at altering the program to limit it to low-income seniors only. But it begs the question why only low-income seniors should enjoy the free rides. What about students who need to use public transportation? And why is transportation singled out as the free gift. Why not free water? Or how about free garbage pick up, or better yet, how about free ambulance rides?

Seniors who can pay their way to ride public transportation should do so.

Pay attention

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I cannot tell you how many times over the past few weeks I have been had the bejesus scared out of me traveling down the tollway. Seeing a car drift slightly to the right or left of the lane or slightly below the speed limit seems to be a tip off that the driver is not paying attention. The driver seemds drunk.

And nine-times-out-of-ten I see the driver looking down for extended periods of time and then glancing up, sometimes just in time to hit the brakes as the car in front slows in traffic. A quick look into the car shows the driver with a hand-held device between their hands.

C'mon people, is it too much to ask that you don't text and drive at the same time? Driving while on a cell phone is distracting enough but texting is downright dangerous every time out of the box.

Sun-Times Media reporter Mike Danahey wrote an excellent story recently about distracted driving at high speeds and the trouble it causes. Read it here.

Driving takes a lot of concentration and being distracted by texting doesn't make any sense. I mean OMG, WTF, if you can't wait to communicate, IDK, you're an idiot.

If you use Van Dyke Road and travel over the Canadian National railroad (justnorth of 143rd Street) in Plainfield you had better plan on finding another way starting next Monday (Oct. 11),

The crossing crossing on Van Dyke Road crossing will be closed for repairs and upgrades beginning at 7:30 a.m. that day and continue to be closed unto 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15.
The work is being done by the Canadian National Railroad and includes track, crossing, and signal upgrades and pavement patching. The posted detour route for local traffic only will be 143rd Street to Route 59 to 135th Street.

Route 30 closures

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Route 30 will be reopened to through traffic from Union Street to Route 59 on Monday, Oct. 4, simultaneously, the east leg of Lockport Street at Route 59 will be closed to all through traffic to allow for the construction of permanent pavement in conjunction with the Route 59 reconstruction project. The closure will continue until Thursday, Oct. 14 at 5:00 p.m.
Detour signs will be posted while the work is being performed and the detour route will use Route 59, Renwick Road, and Weber Road. Access to local businesses and residences will be maintained via the detour route and local streets.

Naper Blvd congestion

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If you drive down Naper Boulevard in Naperville get ready for some inconvenience. Resurfacing work started on the road Tuesday (Sept. 28) between Hobson Road and 75th Street reducing traffic to one lane in each direction between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The good news is that the project is expected to be completed by mid-October. Click here for a link to the Naperville city Website's traffic updates.

Road closed

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Be fore warned: Union Street in Plainfield, on both sides of Route 30, will be closed to all traffic starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16. The roadway will remain closed until the intersection improvements at Route 59 and Route 30 are completed.

Illinois alchemy

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Motorists will experience a little Illinois-style alchemy starting on Sept. 15, when new traffic fines will turn lead feet into gold.

The state legislators upped the fine amounts for some minor infractions, including speeding, which will cost an additional $54.

With decreasing tax revenue the state, as well as other governing bodies, have been looking to quasi-criminal fines to pad the 'ol coffers.

The Sun-Times outlines the issue here.

So be forewarned.

Having a lead foot will mean less gold in your pocket.

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