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A $40 million exorcism

Friday, Feb 29, 2008

* Despite the uproar in the media, the plan to spend $40 million to knock down Cole Hall and build something else has picked up another important supporter

House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) said he supports the bill to allocate $40 million for the demolition of Cole Hall and the construction of Memorial Hall.

Senate President Emil Jones is also on board.

* But, man, that uproar is certainly picking up steam. The Tribune editorial page quotes one of its own readers today in a piece entitled “Time heals … not bulldozers”

I think we can all agree 100 percent that there should be a memorial in or near Cole for the fallen victims, but is tearing the whole thing down letting Steven Kazmierczak win? Didn’t he want to instill fear in all of us?

* And WIU’s student newspaper jumps into the fray

[Northern President John Peters] may say “an act of violence does not define” Northern, but we don’t think it’s appropriate or fair to let an act of violence finance them, either.

* This Belleville News-Democrat editorial gives new meaning to the word cynical

It’s nothing new for Gov. Rod Blagojevich to latch onto the news of the day and play politics with it. But his political opportunism over the Northern Illinois University tragedy is a disgusting, potentially expensive ploy. […]

Of course, doing something for NIU never was the point for Blagojevich; he just wanted another headline.

* The Daily Herald might’ve even one-upped the BND…

Either the governor thinks he’s running for some future office again or he’s working on burnishing a legacy tarnished by pay-to-play corruption allegations and the coming trial of his prolific fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Governor, your legacy would be much improved if you would stop handing out our money quite so easily.

* Meanwhile, possible copycat threats have been issued at Lincoln Land Community College and Illinois State.

* I’m thinking we’d be better off spending state money on something besides what Phil Kadner called a “$40 million exorcism.”

* This ought to give us all some perspective

In 1988 — 20 years ago this May — a deranged woman named Laurie Dann walked into Winnetka’s Hubbard Woods Elementary School and shot six kids, killing Nick Corwin, 8, a fine soccer player.

No one felt compelled to tear down Hubbard Woods. Just the opposite. Dann terrorized the school on a Friday. The next day — the very next day — those schoolchildren were brought back to the school, even though it was a Saturday.

“We want parents and children to get a reconfirmed feeling that the school is a safe place,'’ Winnetka School Supt. Donald Monroe said then.

How can it be that we don’t even consider asking college students of today to show the fortitude that we once expected of 6-year-olds?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


48 Comments
  1. - Wumpus - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:38 am:

    A repainting could have been done cheaper.


  2. - Shelbyville - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:40 am:

    I had wondered to myself, if this was just a way to justify demolishing a building that was scheduled to be replaced, anyway?

    $40M replacement cost? For 2 classrooms?

    My sympathies to all that were killed and injured and affected in anyway. I see there was a threat at my alma mater, ISU, yesterday.


  3. - Doug Dobmeyer - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:40 am:

    There should be a memorial built within the renovated Cole Hall. It can be renamed Memorial Hall, but the cost of $40 million, which will surely go higher as time and any construction goes on is a complete waste.

    I think a more fitting tribute is for the building to remain as a reminder of what happened so students don’t forget.

    Doug Dobmeyer


  4. - Napoleon has left the building - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:40 am:

    Sadly, I think much of the criticism of this move is justified. Blago’s history of attaching money promises to things in the news gives him little credibility. Remember the Pilgrim Baptist Church fire $1 M promise? Surely there have been other church fires. What about the search for the Lane Bryant killer? Has Blago secured emergency state funding to pump up that investigation?

    He jumps in front of the cameras too much. NIU should have thought about this a while longer before accepting this offer from a man who tarnishes everything he touches.


  5. - K to the 3 - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:40 am:

    Has anyone thought to ask the students what they want? After all, they are the ones who endured the tragedy.


  6. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:45 am:

    I might be a bit cynical, but the Governor has once again successfully changed the story from his being Official A and speculation as to how long it will be until his own indictment is handed down to a emotional debate on replacing a building at NIU.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:49 am:

    It was too soon. The governor’s office and university administration should have observed a dignified passage of time before making any sweeping decisions.

    I grew up in DeKalb. The campus was my playground. I graduated from Northern and spent a lot of time in Cole Hall. I hate the idea of tearing down the building because we can’t get over the fear. We’re made of sterner stuff. I hate the shooter winning. And I hate the political football it’s become.

    Let’s slow down. Everything else in state government and at universities require committees and study. Let’s do that.


  8. - Macbeth - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    I agree with Commonsense. The governor’s spin machine scores yet another victory.

    This debate — the yes we should tear it down, no we should not — has shifted focus (yet again) from the real issue: corruption within the current administration.

    Blgojevich is Public Official A. I’m not sure anymore needs to be said. That’s enough.


  9. - Ghost - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:55 am:

    ====[Northern President John Peters] may say “an act of violence does not define” Northern, but we don’t think it’s appropriate or fair to let an act of violence finance them, either. ====

    WHat a great comment from the stuident paper. Gives me hope for the future generation of reporters. The problem here is not that we are spending 40mil for a new school building; the problem is that today, in Illinois, if a school hopes to get any kind of capital funding for needed improvements or upgrades they must exploit tragedy. NIU, like many schools, has been waiting for promised funds for other projects for some time, which never materialize. The real story that has been lost by the media is the need to force the gov and the legislature to release the money already promised and allocated for school repairs and improvements across the state.


  10. - Bookworm - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 9:58 am:

    The article on the Dann case supports a point I made yesterday: it’s possible that some students might WANT to visit Cole Hall at some point and confront what happened in order to “get it out of their system”, so to speak, instead of trying to avoid or repress all reminders of the tragedy. I would suggest giving them an opportunity to do so, before making any final decisions about demolition or remodeling.


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:00 am:

    Here’s another thing that bothers me. Instead of working with students, faculty, staff and the Illinois legislature, the governor and the NIU prez just announces this $40 million idea and that’s that. No debate. No thought. Just a spur of the moment thing. And an implied threat that if you oppose him he’ll claim you’re insensitive to the massacre victims.

    It’s exactly what is wrong with his entire administration.


  12. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:01 am:

    I’m tired of people getting stuff by playing victim. This is one of those times. Talk a visit to most anywhere on Earth and you don’t find cultures tearing down stuff because sad things happened there.

    It is time to stop this self-pity. Enough already!


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:04 am:

    VM, speaking as someone married to an Iraqi, I tend to agree with your point, if not your tone.


  14. - Gus Frerotte's Clipboard - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:11 am:

    Sad to say, the university would have been better off not getting the Governor’s office involved. Clearly there’s some sentiment for this in the community — and Sen. Burzynski and Rep. Pritchard are not exactly known for being in the Governor’s pocket. If this had come exclusively from the community, rather than from the Governor, there would have still been pushback, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been nearly as vitriolic as it has been.

    I’m honestly not sure what I think of the merits of the idea; I’ve been fortunate to never have been touched by a tragedy of this type. My primary instinct is that the affected community — the University and the people of DeKalb — should lead the decision. But now it’s probably too late for that.


  15. - yinn - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:14 am:

    NIU student journalists are weighing in on this very question at a new blog: http://niuneedsanswers.com/

    You will not find self-pity there: “Just because we’re bereaved, doesn’t mean we’re saps.”

    They also brought up the as-yet-unfinanced Stevens building remodeling plan.

    I am so proud of them.


  16. - Macbeth - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:21 am:

    My question — and maybe it’s a dumb one — is why has this become so *quickly* political? Why after only two week is the 40 mil essentially committed?

    I understand memorials are all political to some degree. That’s the nature of cultural memory and its desire to enforce remembrance.

    But what I don’t understand the speed here and the willingness to overcommit the funds. I said this yesterday, but I understand that the “fiscal pragmatist” approach may not be the best line here. There’s more here than simply disbursement of public funds.

    But I’m confused as to why Blagojevich is on top of this so suddenly and with such ferocity. I know the cynical explanation is to deflect the Rezko stuff — but is that it? Is there something else here? Or is this simply stupidity on the governor’s part? (In other words, is the simplest explanation the best explanation here?)


  17. - PhilCollins - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:27 am:

    Within the past 25 years, I’ve heard of at least five school shootings and at least five post office shootings, and this is the first time that I’ve heard of anyone replacing the site of the shootings. For about 18 months, I lived in Edmond, OK, the site of the Aug. 1986 post office shooting in which 15 people were killed. I never heard anyone say that the post office should be replaced. This proposal is more proof that Blago. likes wasting money.


  18. - ELSALSA - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:32 am:

    Instead of the media demanding what be done, the leadership of the state left it up to NIU faculty and students. Is their decision.

    Why doesnt the media repspect the school and students wishes and back off.

    They are out to get the governor and want to take any opportunity to creat contreversy no matter the issue.


  19. - Garp - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:34 am:

    Blogo’s initial grandstand on this massacre was his press conference announcement that the state would pay for the emergency services that the town incurred as the result of the tragedy. That was nauseating enough, but apparently he has an insatiable need to make any issue, even if it is a slaughter, his issue. What a statesman.


  20. - Some Guy - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:43 am:

    Instead of the media demanding what be done, the leadership of the state left it up to NIU faculty and students. Is their decision.

    When were the students consulted? Classes re-opened -what? - 2 days before the announcement. Maybe 3? There’s no evidence in any of this that the faculty, staff, or students were consulted in anyway.

    Given the way NIU’s administration has run things over the last decade-plus, I find it wildly doubtful that they were consulted, or even that anyone even thought to consult them.

    I remember when they built the Convocation Center about a decade ago. The funding for it was so high, that it triggered some official university rule mandating that the institution could only OK the project with some sort of OK/approval from the students or the student government. (Don’t remember exactly what it was, but I think the cost causeda bump in tuition). The university violated the rule & got away with it because the administration didn’t care, the state didn’t care, and not enough students cared to sign a petition against it (oh, the advantages of running roughshod over the rules at a commuter school).

    I have no idea what the interests/wishes of the students and faculty are on this one. But I guarantee it has nothing to do with the decision. This was a decision made by the school only if you define the school as Peters & a handful of higher-ups.


  21. - SockPuppetExpress - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 10:46 am:

    Hmmm…Cross backs a President Jones’ backed plan….what was he thinking?

    Is this part of Chairman Andy’s grand plan?

    Is TC angling to get the Chicago State prexy gig?


  22. - Anon - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:04 am:

    Okay, let me see if I understand this. . . A shooting at the Capitol, killing a security guard, it is still standing. . . (while Blago was governor). . . The Stratton Building, Armory, and Fairgrounds are all falling apart before our eyes due to no Capital Budget and the CDB (Can’t Do Boys) does not have the funding to do anything about the hazards in these buildings, but Blago can pull $40 million out of his pocket for a perfectly good (maybe out-of-date) building at NIU. . . Ulterior motives 101 will be taught at Memorial Hall, guest lecturer Blago.


  23. - Fan of the Game - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    Lots of good thoughts here and in the newspapers. probably won’t make a whit of difference in what the governor does, however.


  24. - Downstater - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:18 am:

    I think Cole Hall should remain as a tribute to Daniel Parmenter. This courageous NIU student got down on the floor and covered the body of his girlfriend. She lived. He died.

    The building should stand as a memory of courage and integrity, not unlike places like the Alamo and Pearl Harbor.


  25. - Cornflake Girl - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:20 am:

    Just another one of Blagojevich’s bogus attempts to deflect attention from and the inevitable doom that faces him.
    Cheap feel good publicity at the expense of others. Rod, go back to your bunker until the Feds give you a call.


  26. - Willie Stark - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:39 am:

    Two points:

    1. Once again, Speaker Madigan is the voice of reason when everyone else is losing their heads. The Sun-Times reported that he was interested in hearing from the “university community” to make sure that was really what people wanted before moving forward on such a plan.

    2. Immediately after the shootings at the Kirkwood City Hall they got busy and completely repaired, painted, and redecorated the meeting room where the shootings occurred. The city council met there again last week. So, add that to the list of places where terrible events occurred and people chose to not let violence forever define the space.


  27. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:48 am:

    ELSALSA — If NIU, its students and alumni could raise tuition, student fees and hold fundraising drives to pay for this. And if they did, you’d be correct to criticize others. But when NIU asks everyone in the state to pay for this for the next 20 to 30 years (the state’s borrowing the money) then everyone gets to have an opinion and. unfortunately, you can’t avoid current fiscal and political realities.
    Crumbling schools promised state help years ago so their children wouldn’t go to class every day under leaking roofs keep being told to wait til next year. The deplorable conditions at VA centers has been well documented. And the list goes on and on.
    These are all tragedies.


  28. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 11:54 am:

    DD, I know that was sarcasm, but let’s not post stuff like that. Thanks.


  29. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 12:26 pm:

    Bloggers at the DeKalb Daily Chronicle are mixed as well. I’m struck by the writer who thinks the idea originated with the General Assembly.

    http://www.daily-chronicle.com/articles/2008/02/27/news/news01.txt


  30. - Bookworm - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 12:31 pm:

    Anybody notice that SIU is planning to raise tuition 12 percent next year? Same old song…all over the state, universities long starved for funding are raising tuition and fees, driving students and/or parents even farther into debt to pay for an education.
    And don’t forget that the state has been running late paying the Illinois Veterans Grants — placing another financial burden on state universities.
    No wonder Blago’s grand plan to give $40 million to ONE school for ONE facility is inspiring such outrage!


  31. - bankman - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    Seems to me the plan is to spend out of general revenues 40 million and the budget has holes in it.

    I see crumbing brides, delayed repairs on our roads, (probably cost more the replace 1ater) school buildings that are beyond their useful live. DNR being staved out existence by this Governor and our pharmacies going out of business because the State can’t pay its bills.

    Is the governor saying ” we don’t have any money to fix your bridge but if you will take some pot shots at your bridge, I will come to the rescue riding on a white horse or airplane if you have an airport”.


  32. - plutocrat03 - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 12:55 pm:

    When confronted with a new and emotional situation, we all are aware that rash decisions are rarely the best course of action.

    First, above all else, those most deeply involved must be allowed to grieve.

    Second, After an appropriate time, a committee should be formed of interested parties. Administrators, students, alums and local residents. These are the folks to decide on what should be done.

    Since the Lauri Dann shooting victims at age 6, were expected to go into the classes the next day after that tragedy, we can learn from their experiences as to whether that approach is problematic.

    When the going gets tough, the quality leaders come forward (if they are there).


  33. - Michael - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 1:22 pm:

    I agree with comments reminding those to look at past NIU projects for a guide. Money gets wasted in DeKalb. There is a building called Stevens nearby that has been needing replacement for 10 years. Blago already promised replacement of that building. The man will say anything in a moment for political gain but then doesn’t back it up.
    We are going to stay on him.
    www.niuneedsanswers.com


  34. - Cassandra - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 1:37 pm:

    I’m not terribly interested in the NIU building, but, as I’ve said before, I am very interested in how Blago came up with 40 million with a wave of the gubernatorial wand so to speak.

    This says to me that the state’s fiscal problems
    can’t be that bad and that a whole lot of money
    could be applied to other, more important issues, without raising our taxes, should the guv and our fearless legislators care to wave those magic money-finding wands again.

    Maybe 40 mil isn’t much in the eyes of our uber wealthy political leaders. But to little old
    middle class taxpayer me, it’s a whole lot.


  35. - Jaded - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:13 pm:

    Sorry, but I can’t blame the Governor for this one. Everyone knows he is an opportunist, but by all accounts NIU developed this plan and Burzynski and Pritchard were involved.

    Of course Blagojevich agreed because its probably $40 million that never gets spent. This is a separate $40 million bond authorization and supplemental bill. Thirty-five other Senators and 70 other House members will have to support the authorization for it to pass. I really don’t see that happening unless it is part of a larger bond scheme and everyone gets something. Besides, this is not the first murder that has taken place on an Illinois college campus. It is a terrible event, but we will run out of money fast (actually we are already out of money but that is beside the point) if we start tearing down buildings everytime they are the scene of senseless violence.


  36. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:32 pm:

    Was Columbine High School demolished, or did I miss that story?

    Count me among those who think NIU officials are shamelessly trying to exploit this tragedy.

    How long before we hear Blagojevich argue that we must pass a gaming bill so we can get a capital bill so we can tear down this building and rebuild it again.

    Someone get the Governor a big box of Legos so he can do all of the tearing down and rebuilding he wants to.


  37. - Skirmisher - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:35 pm:

    I am going to disagree with Plutocrato3 on this. It should not be left up to a committee of students, residents, etc. etc. to decide whether or not to spend $40 million on a replacement buidling, unless of-course they also intend to pay for it out of their pockets. Of-course the people pushing for this monument to delicate sensibilities are proposing that us taxpayers do the paying. No thanks, says this taxpayer. I would rather see the money spent to pay the state’s overdue bills, properly staff state agencies, repair roads and bridges, or even to reduce the staggering tuition that our kids must now pay at our public universities. “Sensitivity” might sound lovely within the ivory covered halls of higher education but it usually comes at a very high cost to the taxpayers and no amount of “senitivity” is worth $40 million. Sorry if that offends you, but there it is. Of all the irresponsible stuff I have seen come out of the state capitol the last few years, this is probably the stupidist thing yet. Shame on Tom Cross for jumping on the pandering bandwagon! I had thought better of him.


  38. - Bookworm - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:41 pm:

    No, YDD, Columbine was not demolished. The library where the majority of the victims died was removed; it was on the second floor above a cafeteria, so that space was simply opened up into a 2-story atrium. A new library was built elsewhere on the grounds. A memorial was built some distance away at a park — off school grounds, so as not to attract disruptive sightseers.
    Apparently, some thought was given to demolishing the entire school and rebuilding from scratch, but according to the principal, that was rejected on the grounds it would mean that the killers “had won.”
    (Columbine’s principal — still there 9 years later — was quoted in a recent Rockford Register Star article concerning how other insitutions dealt with violent deaths on the premises)


  39. - 312 - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 2:54 pm:

    As an NIU alumni, I suggest that Governor PressRelease take $5 million to revamp Cole Hall into Memorial Hall — Then use the building, and its additional $35 million, for more intensive counseling and psychological services for students, to help prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.


  40. - kimsch - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:01 pm:

    Even at Virginia Tech, all they are doing is repurposing the building from classrooms to labs, not tearing it down.

    Should we tear down Evanston Hospital or just close the room that my father died in? If he had died at home, should we have torn down the house so no one could ever live there again? To what purpose? Memorial plaques, statues, etc are fine, but don’t tear down perfectly good buildings. (The Murrah building is different, the building was not safe following the bombing, and the WTC was completely demolished. The Towers weren’t torn down in 1993…


  41. - Aaron Slick - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:34 pm:

    I am surprised that Tom Cross would go along with this example of $40 million of stupidity? I guess that this is an example of what has happened with the “new” Republican Party versus the “old” Republican Party. The old GOP membership would say, “This is stupid! We refuse to be intimidated and painted into a corner for fear of not being “politically correct” or the fear of Rod making us appear to be insensitive to those 15% of the voters who want to save a whale, hug a tree, make United Gays & Lesbians the new Illinois official “state organization” right alongside the Cardinal as the “official state bird”. The current GOP leadership seems to lack a spine much like a jelly fish. Tommy my lad, you sorely disappoint many of us who chose to support you. Emil Jones would kiss a warthog if Blagojevich told him to so Emil’s response and opinion is always meaningless. Let Tom Cross and the other “politically correct” politicians that are afraid to stand for fiscal conservatism know that they can feel free to pull out “their own wallets” to make a $40 million contribution for “today’s feel good message” for the voters. I am beginning to wonder if Tom really is a Republican? Anymore, he seems to be more invested in being just another career politician down in Springfield.


  42. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 3:44 pm:

    Lots of good comments here. It would be a great (and probably successful) experiment to send all the legislators and governor home and have the CapFax Bloggers run the state for a day.


  43. - My NIU grad - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:14 pm:

    child told me that it would be sad to have the building destroyed because there are too many folks that have fond memories of going to classes there.


  44. - amy - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 4:40 pm:

    I don’t believe that tearing down the building is a good idea.

    But the comparison to the school shooting in Winnetka 20 years ago has aged poorly….students in the early grades now, and probably those kids in college, are pampered and trophied and taught that they are special in way too many ways.

    the quick return to the school would probably not happen now. the things that parents claim affect their children negatively are so many that a shooting would put parents over the edge.

    the truth is, we do need more counseling than would have been provided years ago, but children are more resilient than parents understand. the trouble with so many children today is parents.


  45. - kimsch - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 5:05 pm:

    the trouble with so many children today is parents.

    Amy, you said it. I had forgotten about Laurie Dann until I read that part of the post. But then children were promoted based on learning the material, not just socially. And there was more of a sense of taking responsibility for one’s own actions than there is now. Now it’s always someone else’s fault…


  46. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 5:48 pm:

    Kimsch said….

    “And there was more of a sense of taking responsibility for one’s own actions than there is now. Now it’s always someone else’s fault…”

    So sad, so true. We witnessed one profile in courage and dozens of others’ ‘nads checked at the door that tragic day. Dan Parmenter should have something named after him, or the instructor who walked right back in there and started teaching again on Monday. There’s more “TV” right there than Blagojevich ever hoped to have, that preening, opportunistic jerk.

    For those of you you find ROTC on campuses morally objectionable, consider that one student with military (or police, for that matter) training could have stopped the carnage. I’m not getting into the pistol-packing student argument.

    Honor the heroes, keep the building. Spend the money for counseling.


  47. - plutocrat03 - Friday, Feb 29, 08 @ 6:30 pm:

    Skirmisher,

    I never expected that there be an open open pocketbook for any solution the committee may come to.

    I am suggesting that the local community decide on a path which includes a funding mechanism. The state needs to tend to its primary business, not play the rich uncle on a whim.

    Even if the state were to participate, 40 million seems excessive to replace 2 classrooms and add a memorial.


  48. - anon - Saturday, Mar 1, 08 @ 3:34 pm:

    Why is it that Madigan seems to be the only leader with any kind of commmon sense? I’m still not sure if he is for it, but at least he is not fully committing to it. Our economy is in turmoil,the state just doesn’t have the money, and the University Community was never consulted. I can’t believe Leader Cross who is supposed to be a Republican, would be for this shameless act of showmanship by this corrupt Democratic Governor.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Gov. Quinn responds to charges of political hir.....
        * WIU to build $72 million performing arts center..
        * GOP Leaders Introduce Illinois Term Limits Amen.....
        * A 'remarkable day for cultural life'..
        * Drug Treatment Programs At Risk of Cuts if Tax .....
        * Quinn says he has no tolerance for improper hiring..
        * Kredo Discusses Story on Quinn Tweet Endorsing .....
        * Illinois hospital group favors current tax rate..
        * State earmarks funding for two Skokie roadway p.....
        * Rauner latches onto term limits proposal..


        * Rauner wants Quinn to release hiring documents
        * WIU to build $72 million performing arts center
        * Thomson prison jobs come with tough hiring process
        * Caterpillar 1Q profit climbs 5 pct, forecast rises
        * Bronze statue of Roger Ebert to be unveiled
        * Police search for 3 men in Wal-Mart iPad theft
        * S. Ill. man sentenced to 100 years for '13 killing
        * Chicago Bears begin season against Buffalo Bills
        * Ex-ISU president pleads not guilty to misdemeanor
        * Quinn says he has no tolerance for improper hiring

        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Remap group says it is not political
        * Quinn clout hiring faces scrutiny
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * Judge OKs use of lawmaker's post-arrest statement
        * State prisons to use costly drug for hepatitis C
        * Bill would get state police cruisers on road
        * DNR mining-oversight official fired
        * Patronage allegations give Rauner fodder in race against Quinn

        * Investors reward boost in net sales at Mead Johnson
        * Polar vortex clips United's wings in 1Q — while rivals stay aloft
        * Huron to acquire Wisconsin health IT firm
        * Caterpillar beats estimates, boosts forecast
        * 'Historic severe' winter hits United results


        * Robo-calls on pension reform bill raise Rauner-Rahm rift
        * Truck fatally strikes semi driver taking picture of accident
        * Semi fatally strikes pedestrian in Noble Square
        * Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by semi in Noble Square
        * Editorial: How to improve graduation rates
        * Gary killer’s warning: Divorce ‘not going to be pretty’
        * Maine West principal reported early hazing to ex-superintendent: officials
        * DNA solves murder of man missing since 1978, mistakenly feared to be Gacy victim
        * Judge, citing possible innocence, orders release of Hickory Hills woman in shaken baby case
        * Despite pleas, CPS hands three schools to private operator


        * Chicago doctor among 3 killed in Afghanistan. 'Our hearts are broken'
        * Jury starts considering whether Jorge Torrez should die
        * Metra cancels 4 trains after injured man found near tracks
        * Driver fatally hit by truck while taking photos of accident damage
        * South Side man charged in chase, crash that left pedestrians injured
        * Two wounded in overnight shootings
        * Crews control fire in Chatham apartment building
        * FDA to begin regulating e-cigarettes
        * Golden Gloves spending scrutinized
        * Group claims religious display at Daley Plaza was vandalized


        * A Band Called Old Shoe Pays Tribute To 'The Band'
        * Top Republicans Propose Term Limits For Governor, Other Executive Officers
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * 7-Eleven warns Chicago franchisee who criticized company
        * State Police Investigating Lincoln Officers Involved In Shooting
        * House Holdup On Tax Hike, Minimum Wage
        * Initial Obama Library Vote A "Misunderstanding"
        * Legislator Protests Madigan As Party Chair, Won't Say Why
        * Tax Returns Revealing ... But Not Revealing Enough
        * Quinn Releases Tax Returns; Rauner's Waiting


        * Rauner wants Quinn to release hiring documents
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Barr borrowed late in sheriff campaign to keep ads flowing
        * Cristal Thomas: Protecting Illinois’ pregnant workers shouldn’t be a heavy lift
        * Remap group says it is not political
        * Quinn clout hiring faces scrutiny
        * Judge OKs use of lawmaker's post-arrest statement
        * Bill would get state police cruisers on road
        * Patronage allegations give Rauner fodder in race against Quinn
        * Our Opinion: Top Teen making Springfield a better place
        * Our Opinion: Computer lab a boost for the homeless


        * Police identify victims of Tuesday crash
        * WIU to build $72 million performing arts center
        * Update: Herrin lifts water conservation order
        * Super Gyros serving Greek food and more in Belleville
        * Coal miner Peabody's 1Q loss more than doubles
        * Art on the Square unveiling 2104 show poster on Friday
        * Russia's Putin calls the Internet a 'CIA project'
        * Shimkus discusses disaster issues
        * Palmer pleads not guilty to teen's murder
        * Edwards a top priority for Illini


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Chuck Sweeny: Adam Kinzinger, Aaron Schock...
        * In immigration news: Republicans for refor...
        * Heterosexual GOP Congressman Aaron Schock ...
        * Illinois Republicans warm to legal status ...
        * GOP 'Congressman with Abs' Aaron Schock Ha...
        * Illinois Republicans Call for Immigration ...
        * Rep. Aaron Schock in Japan, China, South K...
        * Lewis lauds Dirksen's role in civil rights...
        * Civil rights icon John Lewis says next gen...
        * Schock opponent Darrel Miller speaks to te...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * The [Monday] Papers
        * The Top 3 Reasons Why Obama's New Clemency Initiative Sucks
        * Quinn claims zero tolerance for patronage hiring
        * Lawmaker not surprised Illinois paying millions in Medicaid for dead people
        * Non-Profit Led By Rauner's Wife Gets Funding From Quinn
        * New poll finds majority of Republicans support traditional definition of marriage
        * Quinn Campaign Tweets: Black Republicans Like Jewish Nazis
        * Poll finds majority of Republicans support traditional definition of marriage
        * Today is Tax Freedom Day ... for everyone but Illinois
        * Yes. Dan Biss is an idiot. But the problem isn’t the typo. The problem is what they did on purpose.


        * Governor Quinn Proclaims “Wrigley Field Day” - Home of the Chicago Cubs Turns 100 Years Old Today
        * Governor Quinn Promotes Welcome Home Illinois Program at Annual Affordable Housing Conference - Addresses Industry Leaders on State’s Improving Housing Market and New Program for First-Time Homebuyers
        * IEMA Encourages Participation in ‘America’s PrepareAthon!’ on April 30 - First National Day of Action Expected to Draw Millions of Participants
        * Redeploy Illinois Program Diverts Thousands of Youth From Prison System, Saves State $60 Million - New analysis of prison diversion initiative shows 54 percent reduction in juvenile incarceration
        * Illinois EPA Recognized for 40 Year of Graduate Public Service Internship Partnership with University of Illinois at Springfield - Agency Internship Programs Help Students Gain Real-World Knowledge of Environmental Protection and Regulations




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