Stephen Di BENEDETTO, Northwest Herald


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Past articles by Stephen:

McHenry County companies look for opportunities to keep Millennials

CRYSTAL LAKE – When searching for a job after college, Kyle Swenson didn’t want location to determine where he would begin his career, a decision he admits not many of his friends would make. → Read More

Manufacturer Vo-Tech doubles its space with Crystal Lake move

CRYSTAL LAKE – The strategies that helped Vo-Tech, a midsized manufacturer in Crystal Lake, grow revenue during the past five years won’t change even though the company recently more than doubled its space. → Read More

Centegra Health System may merge with Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

CRYSTAL LAKE – Centegra Health System on Tuesday announced plans to explore an affiliation with Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, the parent corporation to a nationally top-ranked academic medical center hospital in Chicago. → Read More

Former Motorola campus in Harvard to be auctioned off online

HARVARD – Local officials simply want any owner of the 1.52 million-square-foot former Motorola campus committed to bringing jobs to Harvard, expressing renewed opportunity as the site soon could change ownership for the first time in eight years. → Read More

New Japanese restaurant to offer hibachi, sushi near Algonquin Commons

Facing Randall Road in front of the Algonquin Commons, Yo Shi Japanese, 2523 N. County Line Road, features six hibachi cooking tables, a sushi bar, a full-service bar and an all-day menu with authentic dishes, said Frank Lena, who started working with owners Simon and Yuki Shi after the couple opened their first restaurant in Delavan, Wisconsin, in 2004. The couple made the Algonquin location… → Read More

Illinois Blower expands in Cary to meet increasing industrial fan demand

Manufacturer Illinois Blower nearly is finished with renovations to a building at 740 Industrial Drive, Cary, that gives the company about 30,000 extra square feet for manufacturing operations, said Rick Bursh, vice president for business development. Illinois Blower has been headquartered at a 45,000-square-foot building, 750 Industrial Drive, since the mid-1980s. The expansion helps Illinois… → Read More

Experts: Housing demand slow to recover in McHenry County

After breaking ground in 2002, the McHenry-based company planned to complete the 208-unit Patriot Estates development, featuring single-family homes and duplexes marketed toward the 55-and-older demographic, by the late 2000s. By then, the housing bubble popped and the Great Recession followed, putting Patriot Estates and other unrelated housing projects on hold. In the post-recession market for… → Read More

Centegra eyeing late April for new West Dundee health center

Centegra is close to opening its fourth immediate care center, renovating four vacant suites inside the Tartans Crossing shopping center along Huntley Road in West Dundee into a 10,000-square-foot facility that will provide primary health services to patients in the area, said Matt Carlen, vice president of health and wellness. The local health care provider looked at ways to provide additional… → Read More

Life Spine in Huntley sees sales increase 45 percent in past 6 months

Employing 50 people from a 58,400-square-foot facility near the Route 47-Interstate 90 interchange, Life Spine reorganized its sales team and focused on exclusive distributorships to help boost sales, Joe Loy, executive vice president of sales, said in a statement. Life Spine designs, manufacturers and markets health care products used by surgeons to treat spinal disorders. "It is truly an… → Read More

Median home price in McHenry County rises 18.2 percent

Both signs suggest a favorable housing market for sellers heading into the spring, even though total sales last month remained relatively flat from the same time a year ago. Wayne Kurchina, board president of the Heartland Realtor Organization in Crystal Lake, said the area recently has seen positive market momentum largely based off an upward trend in home pricing. The latest countywide housing… → Read More

McHenry County unemployment climbs from December numbers

The latest metro unemployment figures released Thursday from the Illinois Department of Employment Security does show some positive signs for the county and the broader Chicago area. Year-over-year unemployment in the county decreased less than a percentage point, going from 6.6 percent in January 2015 to 6.3 percent last month. The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights region, which includes… → Read More

Berries and Greens organic juicery in Crystal Lake touts healthy lifestyle

Owner Jill Kaptur realizes she will have to both educate and entice consumers to try her lineup of 100 percent organic juices, smoothies and gluten-free snacks, as she works to make the trendy, health-focused juice business into a permanent fixture within the city. “One hundred percent organic is what heals your body. You can’t be doing organic and have pesticides with it. If you want to reverse… → Read More

Butcher on the Block working on expansion in Lake in the Hills

For customers located close to the Lake in the Hills butcher, the business also could soon start delivering sandwiches directly to their doorsteps. The changes are a part of a proposed expansion that nearly would double the size of Butcher on the Block, 4660 W. Algonquin Road, giving owners Thomas and Jill Yucuis 4,300 square feet to work with. "What built our business was the meat and deli. We… → Read More

Wilmot Mountain ski area getting $13M makeover under Vail Resorts ownership

The national resort operator recently announced the multi-million dollar investment to renovate the historic Wilmot Mountain, located 6 miles northeast of Spring Grove, after acquiring the wintertime resort in January for an undisclosed amount. Upgrades slated for Wilmot Mountain include three new ski lifts, refurbished lodges, expanded snow-making capabilities and a redesigned restaurant… → Read More

Union-based INTREN expands national reach eastward with PECO deal

With work underway throughout Pennsylvania, Union-based INTREN opened an office in Philadelphia and transplanted some staff from McHenry County to handle the new contract, as it plans to hire additional workers from the Philadelphia area. The move permamently puts INTREN near the East Coast for the first time, positioning the company for more business in future years, said Executive Vice… → Read More

Aesthetics retail boutique moves to new location in McHenry

The “ladies,” as owner Connie Perez likes to call her customers, wanted easier access to Aesthetics and longer hours on the weekends. Perez said she often listens to her customers, who have a formal say on what brand clothes and accessories will be available for sale at Aesthetics. So, she believes her new store at 404 S. Route 31, next to the popular Brunch Cafe in McHenry, will bring the… → Read More

After confusion, U-Haul closes deal to acquire former McHenry Walmart

The ordeal over the redevelopment surfaced in early February when Doug Martin, economic development director for McHenry, published in a blog he manages to inform McHenry residents of business activity that U-Haul had backed out of the project a few weeks after City Council members approved its zoning request. Martin wrote that the real estate broker representing Wal-Mart, which owns the… → Read More

Palatine manufacturer Container International moving to Crystal Lake

As part of the move, Container International will build a 26,125-square-foot addition to an industrial building at 176 W. Terra Cotta Ave., a site the company for years rented to store its container products made for businesses in numerous industries, President Richard Brandt told the Northwest Herald. The addition will accommodate expanded manufacturing activity at Container International,… → Read More

Conscious Cup to mark 10th anniversary in Crystal Lake with coffee events

Ten years later, the local coffeehouse, which sources its products from equally conscious producers located across the world, celebrates its decadelong success. “We’ve set ourselves up from day one to buy premium coffee from small producers in countries all over the world,” Michael Shipley, a Conscious Cup owner, said. “Bringing it to Crystal Lake, making it accessible to people is the really… → Read More

Stride Rite in Algonquin Commons to close specialty children's shoe store

Kid footwear chain Stride Rite, 1636 S. Randall Road, will close by early April, employees at the Algonquin location told the Northwest Herald. Once the business closes, customers in the McHenry County area will not have another nearby specialty retailer that sells kid shoes and accessories, they said. A final, closeout sale – with all items discounted 50 percent – is ongoing until the store… → Read More