Arson Charges | Drag Racing Concerns | New “Brewcade”

Arson Charges

A Bolingbrook man has been charged with arson after allegedly setting fire to a Naperville martial arts studio he once attended, leaving it uninhabitable. Yesterday a $400,000 bond was set for Andrew Wagner, 28. The fire was set on March 26. Naperville police officers arrived at the United Martial Arts studio at 1260 Chicago Avenue shortly after 9:40 p.m. after being alerted by an alarm, and found a fire department crew already there, battling a fire on scene. Through an investigation, Naperville police say they identified Wagner as the arson suspect who had allegedly broken in and set the fire. He voluntarily came to the police for questioning and was taken into custody without incident.

Back in Chambers

On the anniversary of Naperville City Council’s first virtual meeting, four council members returned to council chambers to try out a new hybrid model. The other five council members continued to participate via Zoom, while those in person were spaced apart on the dais with plastic barriers between them. There was also one in-person speaker at the meeting for the first time in over a year. However, the model could be short-lived, as Mayor Steve Chirico said it was difficult to manage the meeting with some members on Zoom and others in-person. He asked city staff to return with a schedule for when the council can return to full in-person meetings.

Drag Racing Concerns

In other council news, two speakers in public forum brought up concerns over what seems to be drag racing on Naperville streets. Police Chief Bob Marshall said they’ve seen massive increases in drag racing, fleeing police during traffic stops, and other dangerous driving behaviors since the pandemic left Naperville streets less congested. He said downtown, in the parking decks, and on Aurora Avenue are the most common sites and suggested some of the incidents could be gang-related. Council and Marshall discussed ideas like installing speed bumps, closing the top level of parking decks at night, and raising fines, though the city attorney said those fines are usually set by the state. City staff will bring more detailed ideas to a future council meeting.

Continue COVID Precautions

With the Region 7 rolling average positivity rate now at 5.1%, Will County health officials are reminding the public of the importance of following COVID-19 safety precautions as the weather gets warmer and more people start getting outside. It’s a message echoed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which reported 3,790 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, the highest daily count for our state since late January. The Will County Health Department says recent wedding events were the cause of over 20 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, emphasizing that the public cannot let their guard down. The positivity rate for Region 8, which includes DuPage and Kane counties, is now at 7.1%. The good news is, vaccination progress continues, with the DuPage County Health Department reporting that one in three DuPage County residents have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. One in five are now fully vaccinated. In Will County, nearly 17% of residents are fully vaccinated.

New “Brewcade”

A new brewery arcade combo has opened just over the south Naperville border. Khaos Brewcade and Kitchen can be found at 12337 S. Route 59 in Plainfield. It serves up house-made brews and food – but the big draws here are the 40 vintage and current arcade games, pinball machines and sports action games available for play.

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