An employee at Richards High School in Oak Lawn has been accused of secretly video-recording a female student changing clothes in the girl’s locker room after a physical education class.
Raymond W. Van Syckle, 31, of the 800 block of Shorewood Drive, Joliet, appeared before Cook County Judge Michael J. Kane on a charge of unauthorized video recording.
According to prosecutors, Van Syckle approached the 14-year-old girl before p.e. class on Oct. 30 and instructed her to leave class early to deliver some contracts for him to the high school athletic director.
Van Syckle is the pool equipment manager at Richards and assists the teacher during physical education class. Before the class ended, Van Syckle approached the student and asked about her Halloween plans and whether or not her parents would be at home, prosecutors said.
According to the charges, when it was time for the student to leave to deliver the documents, Van Syckle excused her from class. He warned her not to change in the stall area of the locker room because the floor had recently been treated with chemicals that would burn her feet.
While changing in the girl’s locker room, the student noticed a cell phone camera above some curtains of a window to a storage area directly across from where she was dressing, prosecutors said.
The student saw Van Syckle allegedly leaving the area. She wrapped herself in a towel and waited in a stall for the rest of the class to return.
After she changed back into her clothes, prosecutors said, she confided to a friend. When she heard Van Syckle calling her name, the students ran to the dean’s office, prosecutors said.
Richards High School administrators as well as the Oak Lawn police officer assigned to the high school, asked Van Syckle to come to the office. Prosecutors said he voluntarily turned over his cell phone, but changed his mind later that day.
A search warrant was obtained. Police found that a video had been deleted, but a photographic image of the partially clothed student remained, prosecutors alleged.
Van Syckle was taken into custody on Nov. 1 and transported to the Oak Lawn police station for further investigation.
Van Syckle allegedly admitted to asking the student to leave class early to deliver some documents, and warning her about chemicals on the floor of a certain area of the locker room. Prosecutors said he also admitted to being in the storage area at the time the student was changing to turn on the showers.
School administrators later told investigators the area of the girl’s locker room had been treated with chemicals after an earlier sewage problem, but it had been resolved prior to Oct. 30, the day of the alleged incident.
Van Syckle’s attorney objected to some of the details of the criminal complaint, but the prosecutor told the judge it was essential for setting bond.
The defendant’s attorney told the judge that Van Syckle was a graduate of Shepard High School, another D218 school in Palos Heights.
Bail was set at $75,000 along with special conditions bond. Van Syckle is not to have contact with children under age 18 except for family members. He is also banned from school grounds and from having any contact with Richards students, faculty and staff.
Arguing that while he didn’t have a problem with Van Syckle being prohibited from the Richards campus, Van Syckle’s attorney stated that Richards faculty and staff were his client’s “friends and colleagues.”
“I can’t image his friends and colleagues wanting to have contact with him right now,” Judge Kane said.
Dist. 218 Superintendent Ty Harting said in an email that Van Syckle was suspended without pay on Monday. Van Syckle has not been terminated, but Harting said the district is talking to legal counsel “about all options available to the district.”
Prior to the accusations, Harting said that Van Syckle has a clean disciplinary record during his eight years as an employee Community High School Dist. 218.
Harting also issued a written statement on behalf of Dist. 218:
“I can confirm there is an ongoing investigation and a staff member has been arrested and charged with unauthorized video recording. We are working in cooperation with the Oak Lawn police department and need to respect the privacy of the victim and let the investigation run its course. There is no immediate risk to our students. Any questions should be directed to the Oak Lawn police department. We have no further comments on this matter.”
Van Syckle’s next court hearing is Nov. 30 in Bridgeview.
80 Million Stimulus Check Direct Deposits Have Been Processed. When Will They Arrive?
Americans will start to see their stimulus payments this week, a centerpiece of the $2.2 trillion rescue package meant to provide a buffer against the coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered much of the U.S. economy.
The Internal Revenue Service has begun sending $1,200 payments to middle and lower income adults, plus $500 for their minor children, though it could take until September for every eligible person to get the money.
The first payments “should be deposited directly into individuals’ bank accounts; the precise date you will see payments in your account depends on how long individual banks typically take to process direct deposits,” according to a press release from House Ways and Means Committee Republicans.
The IRS will first send the money to individuals for whom the agency has direct deposit information. The remainder will be mailed as checks. That process is expected to begin April 20 but could take until the fall to complete.
The IRS processed more than 80 million payments on Friday that should be available in bank accounts early this week, Sunita Lough, the IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, said in a video conference Monday.
Payments will be made first to those earning the least.
The IRS has launched a tool for non-tax filers, such as those who had income under $12,200 last year and weren’t required to file a federal return, to enter direct deposit information to get their payments.
The agency plans to have a second website up by April 17 that will show people the status of their payments, including the date the money is scheduled to be deposited or mailed. That tool will also let people who’ve typically gotten their tax refund in the mail to provide their bank account details to get their stimulus payment more quickly.
The IRS is using information from 2018 and 2019 tax returns to process the payments. It says taxpayers who’ve yet to file a return this year should do so as soon as possible, and elect to receive the refund via a direct deposit. The information can then be used to distribute the stimulus payments. Social Security and disability recipients will receive their payments automatically.
The tax deadline was extended to July 15 from April 15 to give people more time to file and pay during the pandemic.
Taxpayers who don’t need extra time and who expect to get a stimulus payment should file as soon as possible so the agency has their most up-to-date details on file, said Christina Taylor, head of operations for Credit Karma Tax.
“The quicker, the better,” she said.
Americans earning $75,000 or less, or $150,000 and below as a couple, are eligible for the full $1,200 payout per adult, plus $500 for each child under 17. Those amounts are reduced for people with higher incomes, and people who make $99,000 or more in earnings (or $198,000 for a couple) get nothing, even if they have children. Individuals must have a Social Security number to receive a payment.
A Case of Hantavirus Has Been Reported in China. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry.
A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming…
A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming.
Hantaviruses are a family of virus that spread through rodents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Yunnan Province, a man died on his way back to Shandong Province, according to Global Times, an English-language Chinese news outlet.
“He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested,” the news outlet tweeted.
The tweet, sent amid a pandemic caused by a new coronavirus, has been shared more than 15,000 times.
Though countries across the globe are on high alert due to uncertainty around the coronavirus, there is no indication that the hantavirus poses a global public health threat.
According to the CDC, hantavirus cases are rare, and they spread as a result of close contact with rodent urine, droppings or saliva.
Certain kinds of rats and mice in the United States can carry the virus, which is transmitted when someone breathes in contaminated air.
“The hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another,” the CDC says on its website. Rare cases in Chile and Argentina have seen person-to-person transmission when a person is in close contact with someone sickened by a type of hantavirus called Andes virus, the CDC says.
In the U.S., the virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. Coughing and shortness of breath can occur later in the disease as the lungs fill with liquid, the CDC says,
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, found mostly in Europe and Asia, can also occur, which causes pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision, the CDC says. More serious symptoms include acute kidney failure.
Cases in the United States have typically been concentrated in the western and southwestern states.
From 1993 to 2017, there were only 728 confirmed hantavirus cases in the United States, with most being non-fatal, according to CDC data. In comparison, since late January, when the first known coronavirus case was identified in the U.S., there have been 46,805 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
In May 1993, a hantavirus outbreak occurred in an area between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. A 2012 outbreak in Yosemite sickened 10 people. In seven states, 17 people were infected in a 2017 outbreak.
Developments in Presidential Race, Trump does Terribly at Forum as Clinton shines
November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States…
November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States.
First of all, Donald Trump, according to Kristina Vong’s article at Thehill.com, wrongly corrected a veteran Marine during a forum. The veteran, a woman named Rachel Fredericks, asked Mr. Trump how he plans to stop 20 veterans from committing suicide, daily. Trump tried to correct the woman, who needed no correction. He said it is actually 22, trying to emerge correct, when he was essentially incorrect.
Mr. Trump also does not have a real plan to defeat ISIS, as “his plan is to have a plan” according to Igor Bobic at the Huffington Post. He also insulted military leaders calling them embarrassments to the country when they were under President Obama. He wants to give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. Of course, this even makes it more obvious that Mr. Trump does not have a plan to defeat ISIS. Why, then did he call our current president the founder of ISIS? How can you give your vote to someone so unprepared and unfit for the presidency that constitutes a whole country? Sorry to say, but Donald Trump is not someone to vote for, at least not as US President!
According to Sean Colarossi at PoliticusUSA.com, a presidential forum highlighted how prepared Trump and Clinton are compared to each other, with Clinton appearing as the more prepared one, very easily. Clinton was engaged with questions, expressed gratitude, and was very prolific and intelligible in her responses. To reiterate, Trump has not a plan to defeat ISIS, where Hillary has a well thought-out plan. She outlined her plan, entailing it could take any form and she iterated and supports the idea that terror suspects should not be able to purchase firearms. Clinton also covered issues like mental health, illuminating the fact that it is overlooked, and mental health should no longer be stigmatized and victims of mental disorders should have access to resources. On the other hand, Trump gave generic answers like that he knows what is going on in the world. Also according to Colarossi’s article, Trump showed as an “empty suit” and “showed he is not prepared to be commander-in-chief” and that the contrast between him and Clinton could not be clearer”; this essentially means Clinton showed to be immensely more prepared to lead and did not focus on attacking others, like Trump’s approach does.
Lastly, Donald Trump has insulted women, children, ethnic groups, religious groups, his opponent, our current president, the military, and the list goes on. He is patronizing and unprepared to preside over our country as well. He constantly attacks others, with no action in mind. Consider if you want to have him as president, seriously!
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