July 4, 2012

What the tech? Social media for fun, work, fighting crime

(Photo illustration by Ted Schnell • BocaJump)

First in a series

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Monday, July 2, 2012

It’s no secret that since at least 2007, criminals have been using Facebook, Twitter and other social media to plan burglaries, to stalk ex-girlfriends, and even, in one extreme case in 2007, to bully a child badly enough that she committed suicide.

What the tech? EPD is online to fight crime

Elgin police Detective Mark Whaley looks over a
Facebook page. Police have added social media
to their arsenal of investigative tools used to solve
crime. (Ted Schnell • BocaJump)

Second in a series

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When someone vandalized two memorials on Elgin’s downtown riverfront last week, it was social media that eventually called police attention to the incident. Within a matter of hours, city crews had cleaned up the damage.

What the tech? Protecting yourself online

(Photo illustration by Ted Schnell • BocaJump)

Third of three

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Wednesday, July 4, 2012

That waterskiing photo you posted to your Facebook page — the pic from the Wisconsin Dells — seemed like a fun idea at the time. You let all your friends know just how much fun you’re having on your vacation.

June 29, 2012

Elgin Firefighters Memorial graffiti sparks outrage

Vandals also hit Pioneer Family statue

Elgin Public Works employees Dave Christensen,
left, and Liz Price work to remove graffiti from the
Elgin Firefighters Memorial early Friday evening
as co-worker Katie Thrun steps out of the picture
to grab gear from the van. (Ted Schnell • BocaJump)

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Friday, June 29, 2012

“Nice,” was the comment of a passerby, her voice dripping with sarcasm Friday afternoon as she stopped for a moment to see what a photographer was taking a picture of on Elgin’s downtown riverfront.

June 16, 2012

Elgin tax, fee changes win thumbs-up from bond-rating agencies

Two of the “Big Three” bond-rating agencies have
endorsed Elgin’s 2012 budget and the restructuring
of the city’s revenue streams to make them more
diverse. (Illustration/Ted Schnell • BocaJump)

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Saturday, June 16, 2012

A long-anticipated comprehensive evaluation of Elgin’s finances in 2011 refutes criticisms of the city’s handling of its economic crisis heading into 2012, and while skeptics may try to dismiss the report’s assessment, two of the world’s financial powerhouses have not.

Council awaits Gilliam’s return to review finance report

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Saturday, June 16, 2012

City officials will wait until June 27 to review the comprehensive annual financial report on Elgin’s 2011 finances, a report City Hall believes will dispel critics’ claims about the city’s budget, which saw the addition of new taxes and fees and an increase in the city’s sale tax.

May 17, 2012

Sustainable Elgin looks to dam for power

Elgin is considering the feasibility of adding a small
hydroelectric power plant on the eastern end of the
Kimball Street dam, in the general area of that fence.
(Ted Schnell • BocaJump)
By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Thursday, May 17, 2012

For some it may seem like a dream beyond the city’s financial grasp, especially after Elgin started 2012 with layoffs, budget cuts, several new taxes and fees, and continued questions about the economic stability of the region.

Area firefighters salute their fallen

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Saturday, May 12, 2012

With an American flag suspended between two aerial ladders leaning up toward the sky above them, residents and family members gathered with firefighters and paramedics from around the area Saturday to honor emergency crews who died in the line of duty in the past year.

April 14, 2012

Hundreds gather to honor slain Marine

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Friday, April 13, 2012

Hundreds of people, many bearing American flags of different sizes, lined up along two downtown Elgin streets on Friday afternoon to show their respect for a slain Elgin Marine and support for his family as his remains returned home from overseas.

March 28, 2012

| Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Welcome to BocaJump's Elgin road construction update, an interactive Google map of construction work scheduled this summer on Elgin roadways. Click on the map pins/shaded areas for more details.

View Elgin road construction projects, 2012 in a larger map

March 5, 2012

3 years of pain starts at Route 20-McLean

Intersection reconstruction to run through 2014

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | March 5, 2012
For the next three months, construction crews will be working hard at Route 20 and McLean Boulevard essentially just to get ready for a massive, $40.6 million project, whose construction is expected to run through 2014.

March 2, 2012

McLean/Route 20 work begins next week

Traffic changes on Walnut, South and Lillian

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | March 2, 2012
City officials ramped into high gear this week after receiving short notice that the state next week will shut down the eastbound ramp from McLean Boulevard onto Route 20 for as long as 90 days as a massive, three-year, $40.6 million reconstruction of the intersection gets into gear.

Center City area also facing road projects this season

This is a rendering for the city of Elgin of the
Riverside Drive Promenade as envisioned
by Hitchcock Design Group.
By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | March 2, 2012
Expect Elgin’s Center City to be a busy place as the weather turns warmer — there are a handful of road construction projects on the way, both directly downtown and in the immediate area.
Featuring prominently in the work will be the $10 million Riverside Drive Promenade project, which includes demolishing the Riverside Drive parking deck and transforming that section of riverfront into the Riverside Drive Promenade. City engineer Joe Evers said Thursday work on the project should get under way in June or July and extend into 2013.

January 20, 2012

Two Batavia men charged in Elgin bank heist

These Elgin State Bank security photos were posted
on the FBI's http://bandittrackerchicago.com website.
By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Jan. 20, 2012

Federal charges were filed Friday against two Batavia men accused of concealing their faces and brandishing handguns to rob an Elgin bank on Wednesday evening.

Douglas Kelley, 27, and Lucas G. Marin, 29, both of Batavia, were each charged with one count of bank robbery, a felony, in a criminal complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

January 19, 2012

OCTAVE errs on chamber accusation

Defends other criticisms of business license

By Ted Schnell • BocaJump | Jan. 19, 2012

Insinuations that the Elgin Chamber of Commerce somehow concealed about 130 member businesses from the city administration when it began its business license program are false, BocaJump learned Wednesday afternoon.

The special interest group Elgin OCTAVE has been pressuring the City Council to dump the business license and publicly has offered a litany of criticisms of the program. But on Tuesday morning, Chuck Keysor, one of OCTAVE’s founders, wrote in an email to supporters and other interested parties that a Freedom of Information Act request he filed with the city revealed documents indicating “the chamber of commerce provided the original list of Elgin businesses to the city, around which the business license program was built. But amazingly, that list was missing about 130 of the chamber's own members! And not only were they not on the first list; they are still not on the newest list received two weeks ago!

“Are you shocked and disturbed yet?!”