Zion-Benton News

Stories from the October 23, 2014 Issue

Salinas-Corona sentenced to 23 years for son's murder

By Ginny Skweres
Zion-Benton News staff 

Victor Javier Salinas-Corona, 18, appeared in court Monday for sentencing by Judge Mark L. Levitt. Salinas had pled guilty to the murder of his 5-month-old son, Ayden, on Feb. 28, 2013. In a plea agreement, sentencing was required to be between 20 to 30 years.

Ayden had been crying non-stop and Salinas, then 17 years old, could not cope. Through testimony it was learned he picked up Ayden, squeezed his head with one hand and punched him with the closed fist of the other. He then slammed the baby's head into the rail of the crib. Salinas and his mother, Aurora Escamilla, took him the emergency room, where he was declared dead.

This force caused a fracture nearly an inch long in Ayden’s skull, according to Dr. Manual Montez, a forensic pathologist contracted by the Lake County Coroner’s office to do the autopsy. He said Ayden died in less than a minute. "In my opinion it is very clearly non-accidental head trauma," Dr. Montez said.

Jason Ness, PhD., witness for the defense, was asked to explain the possible connection between Salinas's action and a beating he himself suffered when he was 15. He had been beaten by about 20 teens from a rival gang and the video tape was posted on U-tube and a news show. Ness said Salinas suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, but he did not find brain injuries that compromised his abilities. More...

N & T’s Restaurant may relocate

By Mona Shannon

Zion-Benton News staff 

For over 60 years, Rook’s Restaurant was a mainstay at the corner of 33rd Street and Sheridan Road, where families came for a home-cooked meal. After it closed, a number of restaurants have located there and all have failed for a variety of reasons.

A successful family restaurant may soon be returning to that prime corner thanks to an economic incentive agreement between the City of Zion and the owners of N&T’s Restaurant, currently located in the Shiloh Mall.

Recommended for approval by the TIF Board, the city plans to purchase the property for $312,000 and then use a $45,000 tax increment financing grant to make improvements. The total cost would be $357,000. The city would then sell the property to Ted and Nit Behlund and their daughter Lola Durkin, owners of N&Ts for $257,000 with a mortgage at 0 percent interest.

Commissioner Al Hill reiterated his stance that the city should not be a landlord but said he supports economic incentive. “I can’t think of a better business I would want there.”
The council approved entering into a purchase sale agreement with owner Steve Kravitz, contingent on the city entering into a contract with N&T’s and approval of the economic incentive. Finance Director David Knabel said he has had informal discussions with Kravitz. More...

Photo of the Week

Hannah Kroll puts more pumpkins in a row for guests at Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm, 13236 W. Townline Road, Waukegan. Kroll’s has been selling pumpkins for 20 years. They also have a corn maze, fall decorations, educational
hayrides, farm animals, a picnic area and bonfires.


District 60 still on strike

Striking teacher and supporters picketed in front of the District 60 Administration Building recently. Despite negotiating for 13 hours on Tuesday, they were not able to resolve issues. The two sides remain at odds on financial items, including salary increases.

School News

North Prairie Junior High students took part in “What would you do?” from Oct. 6-Oct. 9. a week in which North Prairie students participated in events that explained the importance of standing up for yourself, becoming an ally, and eliminating bullying. Tristen Cook, Whitney Lawler, Sarah Riley, Hayley Stephens, Alex Rivera and Danielle Porter are placing an experience they wrote down that they are ready to ‘let go of’ in a metal bin that was later lit on fire to signify them moving on, and growing stronger because of that experience.


Jeremy Schwab is the first Zee Bee in over a decade to go down state for boy’s golf.