* Reports says state’s juvenile defense system stretched too far
* Study finds lack of justice for juveniles
* Recieiver hikes hotel profits
In the first six months after Hostmark Hospitality Group began running it, the hotel showed a profit of more than $927,000.
During the same six-month period in 2006, the hotel showed a profit of only about $126,000, said Scott Burnham, spokesman for Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
Profit margins are important because the hotel was built with the help of a state-backed loan. Under a refinancing deal, the hotel’s owners had to make payments on the state loan only when the facility showed a profit. Giannoulias’ office said the hotel had made only two payments on the loan since 1998 and none in the past four years.
* Whistleblower accused of leaking report fights to keep state job
* Don’t extend Ryan’s bail, says Fitzgerald
* Editorial: Ryan has avoided prison for far too long
* Did Illinois students do too well on tests?
“That has to make you ask questions,” said Jack Jennings, head of the Washington-based Center on Education Policy. “It could be the schools are just highly focused — and that can be a problem if all they’re doing is preparing kids for the test. Another possible explanation is the test is too easy.”
Illinois education officials deny that’s the case, saying coursework closely tracks the concepts tested, giving teachers a clear roadmap — and better results.
* Girls outpace boys on state tests
* Nearly a tenth of Illinois schools are ‘dropout factories’
* State test scores plunge at high school level
* Student test scores: some up, some down
* School report on time this year
* Chicago’s student achievement gap
For students shut out of the selective college preps like Payton, it can be like a “death sentence,” one activist said.
“Either you get into those schools or you’re in schools where you’re more likely to end up in prison than in college,” said Madeline Talbott, head organizer for Illinois ACORN.
The news of the growing achievement gap comes six years after passage of the federal No Child Left Behind law, which explicitly aims to narrow this gap. The law is up for re-authorization
* Chicago Public Radio: City plans to expand its surveillance system
* Illinoize: No the Christian right doesn’t drive up the abortion rate, but thanks for asking
* More ‘quality hiring’ by county
Stroger can fill about 500 jobs at will, and spokesman Ibis Antongiorgi said he’s left dozens vacant and can fire anyone from those jobs at any time.
He did that this month when the Sun-Times revealed he had hired Patty Young, girlfriend to his ally, Commissioner William Beavers. Stroger called that hiring “a red herring” that didn’t reflect actual hiring patterns.
* Carol Marin: Why is city hiding scandals?
* Sen. Brady decries inaction on health board
* State set to review bids for $27 million military center
* CPR: Chicago pushes for more expensive beers
When you crack open and pour a beer you’ve already paid the city 9 cents for your six pack. If the mayor has his way, you’ll pay 17. The city wants to raise its taxes on beer more then 80 percent. The tax on wine and liquor would jump 50 percent. The city hopes to bring in an additional 13 million dollars.
* DuPage Co. likely to see flooding because of budget cutbacks