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Afternoon videos: Brady, protesters

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* Sen. Bill Brady threw in a plug for his home-building company and a home-buyer tax credit today. He was then asked about it afterwards. Have a look


* Brady took several questions from reporters afterwards. He was asked about his refusal to release hard copies of his tax returns, WalMart, the unionization of traditionally non-union state jobs like legislative liaisons, and the so-called (by those kinda unclear on the concept) “six month budget.” Watch


…Adding… From the Tribune

Speaking to reporters after an appearance at a Sangamon County Republican luncheon, Brady was asked why he made the decision to choose Springfield for viewing his tax information instead of the much larger media center of Chicago.

“I think we’ve often criticized governors for not living in Springfield, not being in the state capital,” Brady said, referring to complaints raised about disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s avoidance of Springfield. “We picked a location–the state of Illinois’ capital.”

Brady said no reporters who viewed his tax returns said they needed more than the three hour time period he allotted. But he said those calling for him to release copies of his tax returns, as many politicians do, don’t “understand the competitive nature of my business.”

* As I told subscribers this morning, the Civic Action Network held an unusual Springfield protest yesterday. Instead of heading to the Statehouse, like everybody else does, they descended upon an office of two lobbyists for the nursing home industry. They brought mock coffins and shouted slogans, including “”Terry Sullivan, what do you say! How many seniors have to die today?” referring to one of the lobbyists.” Here’s part one


Part 2, the cops show up


Part 3, a confrontation between the protesters and the nursing home folks


By the way, I bought the interns some new video cameras. They’re still learning how to use them, but sound and video quality is improving.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


This just in… Quinn doesn’t love his own party’s remap plan - Vote fails

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* 1:52 pm - The House is debating the Democrats’ redistricting proposal at the moment. You can listen or watch here.

Gov. Quinn said today that he’s “not excited” about the Democratic plan, which is opposed by Republicans and reformers

“I’m not excited about that. It’s awfully complicated. I’m not sure it’s a reform or not, to be honest.”

More

“I just think the best way to have redistricting is to set up competitive districts that are not gerrymandered to make sure the people have the best representatives,” said Quinn after a groundbreaking ceremony in Glenview for a pharmaceutical company building its headquarters there with $4 million in tax credits. “Too often this is an exercise of protecting incumbents of both parties. I don’t think that’s healthy.” […]

“I’ve always felt that redistricting has been way too political in our state, by both parties. So if I’m governor I’m going to try and be the person who makes sure we do it right for the people and not for the politicians.”

React

The sponsor of the Democratic plan today bristled when hearing about the governor’s comments. Chicago State Sen. Kwame Raoul says Quinn has never told him he opposed the plan.

Raoul says the governor’s decision to talk to the media first would be “highly disappointing.”

* 3:49 pm - The redistricting bill failed to achieve a three-fifths majority, as expected. We’ll post some videos later.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Question of the day

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* Republican lt. governor nominee Jason Plummer…

Caption?

- Posted by Rich Miller   94 Comments      


Press release of the week and some budget news

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) wins our award…

I offer a simple alternative, in return for my support of more borrowing. I call on Governor Quinn to make $2 in cuts for every $1 borrowed.

I’ll let you know when Franks comes up with $10 billion in cuts. Simple. Right.

* The governor has been using his “cuts” to education spending as a way to win support for a tax hike. This has often backfired, with people blaming him for the cuts and trashing him for the tax hike. Senate President John Cullerton has now proposed a partial solution to Quinn’s school cuts through a cigarette tax hike. He also got in some digs at the governor’s school funding cuts. From a press release…

“On March 10, 2010, Governor Pat Quinn proposed a series of cuts to education that includes spending reductions of $613 million in General State Aid payments and $400 million in mandated categorical spending for critical programs such as special education and school transportation.

After serious assessment and discussion with members of the Senate Democratic caucus, it is evident that there remains little if any support for these cuts to schools. So, to be clear, Senate Democrats support a budget plan that holds General State Aid payments to schools at current levels.

To avoid a reduction in mandated categorical spending, a bi-partisan coalition of members of the Illinois House of Representatives must pass the cigarette tax (SB 44). Through this measure, Illinois will realize approximately $200 million that will be matched with $120 million in federal funds, relieving pressure from Medicaid costs in the budget.

Our caucus continues to maintain a serious commitment to developing a short-term and long-term approach to stabilizing the state budget. We support significant spending cuts and recognize that Illinois’ outdated revenue system is in serious need for reform. However, draconian cuts to education would drop Illinois to worst-in-the-nation status when it comes to state support for schools and will kick an estimated 20,000 teaching professionals into the unemployment line.”

They’re going to try a piecemeal approach to closing this school budget hole. The cig tax is just one of the tools. Quinn is sticking to his tax hike guns, however.

…Adding… Oy

A Carterville mom says she was denied medical care for her children because the state isn’t paying its bills. […]

“On one point, I want to be mad at the doctors because I feel like they have a moral obligation to hang in there and not bail on us when times get rough,” says [Ashley Wright of Carterville].

During a recent check-up, Ashley’s four month old son Noah was denied immunizations by his pediatrician.

The doctor said Ashley’s insurance provider wasn’t paying its bills. Ashley doesn’t know how to fight back.

“We can’t go after the doctors, they’re not being paid. We can’t go after the insurance company, they’re not being paid. But how do we fight the state?” she asks.

* Related…

* Gov. Quinn talks tax amnesty, adjournment (Part 1)

* Gov. Quinn talks tax amnesty, adjournment (Part 2)

* Live Blog: Evanston goes to Springfield

* Lawmakers Mull Budget with No Tax Hike

* Quinn angling for more education money as Obama visits Illinois

* Lawmakers Fear Deja Vu with Budget

* Herald & Review: Crisis has no bearing on senators’ decisions

* Pantagraph: Moving deadline for paying bills ignores problem

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Bullying and gay rights

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* The problems of bullying at schools has attracted much attention over the past several years, and the General Assembly has just sent an anti-bullying bill to the governor. Schools will have to adopt anti-bullying policies. It was watered down from its original format, which also required education and record-keeping.

This clause was also included

Provides that nothing in the bullying prevention provisions is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Section 3 or 4 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution.

That was probably added via an amendment because gay rights groups were helping push the bill. The definition of bullying includes the usual race, national origin, etc., but also includes sexual orientation….

“At long last, schools across the state will be uniformly required to take steps to protect vulnerable kids from bullying and violence,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s largest gay rights advocate.

“Students who are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are particularly vulnerable to bullying. And the attempted suicide rate rate among LGBT students, which is as much as three times higher than the general average, presents alarming evidence for just how urgently we need this law.”

Some on the religious Right were wary of the legislation, but it eventually passed the House unanimously and only two Senators voted against it.

Even so, Focus on the Family is not pleased

Well, it’s happened again. Another state legislature has marched lock-step to the tune of the homosexual activist agenda—and once again, it will have a direct impact on local schools.

More…

Why are the advocacy groups so excited? As we have previously explained, the problem with these laws—enumerating special protections for homosexual categories–is that activist groups are using them as the leverage they need to get things like homosexuality teaching into public school classrooms. For detailed examples, click here.

Focus on the Family believes that every student—no matter who they are or what they believe—should be protected from harm. But at the same time, laws should not be passed that can used as tools to sexualize and politicize the entire school environment. There are good alternatives that provide protection to kids, but avoid entrapment in identity politics—such as the fair and objective model anti-bullying policy language drafted by the Alliance Defense Fund.

Here’s that “model bill” language

“Bullying” means systematic, repeated, or recurrent conduct committed by a
student or group of students against another student that causes measurable physical harm or
emotional distress. Verbal expression, whether oral, written, or electronic, is included within the definition of “bullying” only to the extent that (1) such expression is lewd, indecent, obscene, advocating for illegal conduct, intended to incite an immediate breach of peace, or the severe and pervasive use of threatening words that inflict injury; or (2) District administrators or officials reasonably believe that such expression will cause an actual, material disruption of school work.

The Illinois bill which just past is far more specific on what actually constitutes bullying

“Bullying” means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
(1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
(2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
(3) substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
(4) substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Bullying, as defined in this subsection (b), may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.

It also specifies who the proposal covers…

…actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression,unfavorable discharge from military service, association witha person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in all school districts and non-public, non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools.

I can see Focus on the Family’s point about their more neutral measure, but I just don’t get how this Illinois bill will inject “homosexuality teaching into public school classrooms.” The only education component already exists in our state’s original anti-bullying statute…

[Schools] must communicate its policy on bullying to its students and their parent or guardian on an annual basis

* As we all know too well, some things just make people go off, and “homosexual rights” is one of them. Tom Roeser’s latest post is about his outrage over WTTW’s airing of a Carol Marin interview with Rep. Deb Mell and her partner about their pending marriage in Iowa. Roeser is a longtime conservative activist with a weekly radio show on WLS and didn’t much care for the WTTW program

So just remember this. Get a coalition started to be in readiness when the next `TTW fund-raiser comes `round. That’s when the solicitation airwaves will be filled with the total traditional…replays of the late Lawrence Welk where traditional family life was glorified…or re-do’s of Peter, Paul & Mary where the trio’s goal was peace toward all.

That’s when your campaign should get going. Stressing to all that just when they feel soft, tender-hearted and magnanimous, that `TTW has become an articulate instrument of the Left and the culture—for which the enthusiast Marin has become its leading advocate.

Give `em a buck and you’ll be rewarded by more Marin-gay marriage promo’d telecasts along with other exotic formulae of the Left… all sponsored by “viewers like you.”

The Tribune was far more tame

The laws of individual states are starting to reflect this evolving sensibility. Only five states allow same-sex marriage. Nine others have laws recognizing civil unions or domestic partnerships that convey most or all of the rights of marriage, and six have laws that go part of the way.

With so many people conflicted over the definition of marriage, it makes sense to claim the common ground — and secure the benefits — that come with recognizing civil unions.

* Related and a roundup…

* Sun-Times: Gay couples deserve same marriage rights

* Mell unlikely to get blessing of gay marriage opponents in Illinois

* Lesbian state rep makes plea for same-sex marriage: Gov. Quinn, though called out by Mell, said he would like to see Illinois recognize civil unions. “I think that’s an issue that we can pass in Illinois, and I hope soon. I’ve known Debbie Mell since she was knee high to a duck,” Quinn said. “I honor her decisions.” However, Mell indicated civil unions were not enough.

* Mell Engaged, Lobbies for Same Sex Marriage

* Ill. state rep announces she will marry partner in Iowa

* Lawmaker’s engagement spotlights gay marriage (AP)

* Lawmaker’s engagement spotlights gay marriage “This is an issue that the [Republican] party ought to get off of,” Beaubien said of the GOP’s traditional opposition to gay marriage. “It’s a whole different mindset than when I was young.” Beaubien said he understands the polarization of issues like abortion, which inevitably moves people in one of two directions. “But what do you care what two grown adults do?” Beaubien said. “It just makes us look more strident than we probably should.”

* Schoenburg: Many — but not all — applaud Mell’s announcement

* Gay Activists Claim Victory with Illinois School Bill

* Latino leaders call for greater state presence

* Chicago aldermen lobby for state funding

* Legislature backs Daley’s effort to crack down on gun violence

* Lawmakers approve gun measure Daley pushed

* State Senate Approves Tough New Gun Measure

* Tribune: Flush with money

* Illinois House Passes Wage Theft Bill

* Measure to extend tuition freezes gets House OK

* Ill. Republicans make final effort to force vote on redistricting plan

* Cavaletto Infrastructure Development Bill Passes Senate

* The STAR bonds debate: Where does it stand?

* Tax increase for Collinsville’s Fairmount Park track goes to Quinn

* Daily Herald: Village should have final say on slots

* Our View: It’s time to help severely ill; approve medical marijuana

* Ill. lawmakers offer break to wrongly imprisoned

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


Glass houses, stones, etc.

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* The Tribune weighs in on the issue of Sen. Bill Brady not paying income taxes for two years

As far as we can tell, Brady did nothing illegal or unethical. He took advantage of legitimate tax deductions, credits and exemptions, including the provision designed to help businesses ride out the economic storm. As far as we can tell.

But questions are going to linger as long as everyone has to rely on that three-hour peek at his tax returns. He needs to release the returns. No time limits. No conditions. Get them out there and level with voters. Answer all the questions they raise.

There will be questions. Brady is the Republican nominee for governor. He’s going to be in a robust debate with Gov. Pat Quinn about state taxes. He’s going to be hampered in this debate if folks are left wondering why he didn’t pay taxes.

And Phil Kadner tosses in his two cents

My idea of fair is that if I’m making $50,000 a year and another guy is making $119,000 a year, he should be paying more than I am in income tax.

What I’m hearing out there is that Brady should’ve paid taxes on his legislative income, regardless of his business losses. He obviously still had money in the bank because he could afford to loan his campaign tons of money over the years.

* But let’s move on from Brady for a bit. Do you remember this story from January about how Gov. Pat Quinn had kept his US Senate campaign account active since 1996?

Quinn has kept the fund alive by pumping in a series of personal loans and then soliciting political donations so he can pay himself back, at interest rates approaching 10 percent.

The end result is that Quinn has made at least $24,000 in interest from the campaign fund he controls, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Now, that’s not a lot of money in interest when stretched out over the years, as I pointed out at the time. And Quinn claims he paid taxes on that interest.

Last April, months before anyone knew about this campaign interest money story, Quinn allowed reporters to take a peek at his 2008 tax returns

Getting a peek at Gov. Pat Quinn’s taxes isn’t as easy as you might think.

Quinn didn’t make copies of them available today when he released the returns, instead requiring people to make appointments to see them at his Chicago or Springfield offices… Quinn spokesman Bob Reed said in an e-mail that Quinn prefers viewers take notes from his original documents.

Again, since we didn’t know about the interest on his campaign account, it would be tough to see if he paid taxes on that interest.

So, since Quinn has loudly demanded that Brady distribute copies of his tax returns, I’d like to suggest that the governor ought to release all of his own tax returns dating back to the first time he took an interest payment from his campaign account. It’s only fair.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


Not the media’s finest hour

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* Sometimes, bad things happen when pundits follow the mindless herd

[President Obama is] not coming home to show his love for Alexi Giannoulias…

The Quincy visit comes less than a week after Broadway Bank closed, giving the impression that Obama is wiping the flailing Senate candidate off his shoe.

He’d better give his old friend another hug for all the viewers in Iowa, Missouri — and Illinois.

Just more silliness from people who’ve been reading too much into the crackpot DC tea leaves. White House reporters even demanded to know earlier yesterday whether Obama would mention Giannoulias in his speech.

The Chicago press corps was all atwitter

Just hours earlier, Giannoulias had been facing questions in Chicago about whether Giannoulias’ late invitation to the event constituted a “snub” after months of bad press about the collapse of Giannoulias’ family’s Broadway Bank.

“There’s a lot of rumors and innuendo, but the White House is supportive of this campaign because they know we’ll stand up for Wall Street reform, move this country forward,” Giannoulias said.

They even mocked Giannoulias

Reporter: “Do you need a hug from Obama today?”

* Well, as it turns out, Giannoulias did get a hug from Obama…

And a shout-out

When Obama was introducing the Quincy mayor and Illinois officials, he gave a shout-out, referring to Giannoulias as the “soon to be senator.” Right before the speech, Giannoulias met briefly with Axelrod, Reggie Love, Obama’s body man, and Marv Nicholson, chief of advance (the latter two are part of the basketball bunch).

And then commenced a noisy round of gear-shifting

Yet there was no mistaking the political implications for Giannoulias and his relationship with the White House as Obama closed out a two-day three-state campaign-style Midwest tour with a town hall event at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center.

Obama mentioned Giannoulias’ name during his remarks. Later, the president gave a departing good-luck hug to Giannoulias, his former basketball playing buddy. Obama has been close with Giannoulias, providing a vital endorsement in getting Giannoulias elected state treasurer four years ago.

Prior to Obama taking the stage, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod summoned Giannoulias out of his seat in the audience for a private backstage meeting. Axelrod said it involved “catching up” with the candidate.

A White House background sheet on the day’s activities, noting the elected officials from Illinois planning to attend the event, listed Giannoulias at the top, even though in ranking and seniority the state treasurer is last among the statewide offices.

Crrrrreeeeeeeeekkkkk

Forget the man hug. Forget the announcement that Alexi Giannoulias is Illinois’ “next Senator.”

President Obama’s greatest gift to Giannoulias during his speech in Quincy was the speech itself. Obama ripped into Wall Street, using many of same anti-investment banking tropes Giannoulias has been employing in his campaign against Mark Kirk.

Funny

The national press corps is already in place, I noticed they had a grand buffet set up for them. Nothing for local regional press.

Instead of going off the rails, the pampered Heathers should’ve been listening to this guy all along

“Giannoulias and Obama are friends and he’s friendly with people around him,” Paul Green said. “It’s a no-brainer. He will support him when it counts.”

And this was a presidential understatement

“Now, part of the problem is, is that when I travel now it kind of causes a ruckus.”

Oh, and one more thing. I never wrote this

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax points out that he called the election even earlier: nearly a year ago, when Lisa Madigan refused to run for the Senate.

What I wrote was: “I’ve personally had this race in the ‘lean Republican’ column…” That’s not a prediction of a Mark Kirk win. I gotta wonder why that part of the piece wasn’t quoted.

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010

* News-Democrat: STAR bonds legislation: It’s alive, but why

* Report: State’s road are among worst

The Illinois Public Interest Research Group argues that potholes and cracks at highways and bridges across the state are costing motorists at car repair shops. The state ranks 10th in the nation in terms of highest number of roads in poor or mediocre condition, the study states.

* Wal-Mart OKs talks with labor in effort to push expansion: sources

The world’s largest retailer has repeatedly insisted that it would not negotiate wages and that it would only agree to pay a “living wage” if the mandate applied to all Chicago retailers….But the company just might sign a “community benefits agreement” that guarantees that as many as five new Chicago stores would be 100 percent built by organized labor and that neighborhood residents would be hired to work in those stores.

* State cancels security deal

The Illinois State Police will take over the work now being performed by V.I.P. Security & Detective Services of Matteson — a switch that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has said will save money and “provide greater protection for nursing home residents.”

The company’s contract wasn’t scheduled to expire until June 30, but the state health department sent the company a letter on Friday terminating the deal as of May 7.

* Illinois’ chief justice: Judges will assess mental health courts

* Wellcare Health to repay state $1 million

* Chicago Lags Behind National Census Participation Goal

So far 63 percent of Chicago households have mailed back the 2010 census forms. That number falls well below Illinois’ participation rate of 75 percent and the national goal of 72 percent.

* 77% of Springfield households return Census forms

* Census officials pleased with early returns; Decatur area improves over 2000

* Feds could penalize CN for underreported crossing blockages

CN reported 14 cases in November and December but the auditors found 1,457. Railroad executives apologized and explained they thought the board wanted only crossing delays caused by stopped trains not slow trains.

* Feds grill CN on rail crossing blockages

[STB Commissioner Charles] Nottingham suggested that the STB extend its five-year oversight of the sale to six years, saying CN’s failure to report these figures has cost the agency a year of working together.

* Feds chastise CN for undercounting rail crossing delays

* Metra might launch inquiry into exec’s alleged ‘bonus’

Phil Pagano, Metra’s gruff boss of commuter rail operations for the last 20 years, is under scrutiny for possible financial irregularities involving an alleged “bonus” of $56,000, officials said today.

Metra Chairwoman Carole Doris called the agency’s directors into emergency session Friday to hire an outside legal counsel who would conduct an inquiry into extra compensation reportedly being paid to Pagano, apparently without the knowledge of the directors.

Metra officials would not comment on details regarding the inquiry. If approved by the Metra directors, the inquiry will be conducted by Itasca attorney James Sotos.

* Stroger employee gets paid for county contract

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger paid $24,975 to a private company owned by new Deputy Chief of Staff Carla Oglesby just days before she started her county job, a county commissioner said.

The fee falls just $25 under the $25,000 benchmark at which contracts require approval by the Cook County Board, said Bartlett Republican Commissioner Timothy Schneider.

* Top Stroger aide’s firm got payment for Cook County contract while on payroll

Stroger’s office refused to answer questions about when the contract was awarded. The office said in a statement that the county Department of Homeland Security hired CGC to help inform 2.5 million suburban residents that the state could provide disaster relief funds to them following flooding in 2008.

* [Cook] County employee charged with workers’ comp fraud

* Classes of 35 may violate fire code

The municipal code calls for “20 square feet per person” in a classroom, which means CPS would need a 720-square-foot classroom to accommodate 35 kids and a teacher, a Fire Department spokesman said Wednesday. An additional aid or parent volunteer could require even more space.

More than 90 percent of CPS classrooms are at least 700 square feet, CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond said, with new buildings typically holding 900-square foot classrooms.

* Kane officials voice support for red-light cameras

* Kane committee questions circuit clerk hirings

If the current trend continues, the office will be over its salary budget by $350,000 when the fiscal year ends, said Cheryl Pattelli, executive director of the finance department.

* Woodridge cuts $6 million from 2010-11 budget

* Bolingbrook trustees get heat from employees and residents for approving 23 layoffs

Union representatives for village employees noted many of them have been working without a contract since 2008. They also argued village officials never made an attempt to negotiate or offer up alternative solutions — such as furlough days or pay cuts — to avoid layoffs.

* Village staffer promoted to administrator in Matteson

* N. Aurora looks at joining pension group

* Oswego village president lobbies in Washington

This week, for the second time since being elected in 2007, LeClercq went to Washington, D.C., to speak with legislators, namely U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and staff of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Although he had the same wish for a Metra station when he lobbied back in 2008, it was a different trip this time around.

* Mattoon appoints Gover mayor

City commissioners Randy Ervin, Rick Hall and Chris Rankin approved Gover’s ap­pointment Wednesday afternoon to replace Dave Cline, who resigned Monday.

Gover, a commissioner who abstained during the roll call, will serve as acting mayor until a special election in April 2011 because there were more than two years remaining on Cline’s mayoral term….Cline resigned Monday because he is moving into a new residence built outside city limits, disqualifying him from holding elected office for the city.

* Obama campaign still owes Springfield $55,457

* Charges brought in mayor’s killing; police seek suspect who has long history of arrests

St. Clair County prosecutors issued a first-degree murder charge Wednesday against a suspect in the slaying of Washington Park Mayor John Thornton.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Aaron B. Jackson, 34. Illinois State Police ask that anyone with information about his whereabouts call 911 or Crimestoppers at 866-371-8477.

Circuit Judge Jan Fiss ordered that Jackson, when arrested, be held on $1 million bail.

* Metro-east’s only underground state park closes to save bats

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   10 Comments      


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        * Deadline to file for mayor's race Monday..
        * Gov. Quinn could collect healthy pension on way.....
        * Proposed sales tax hike would fund transportati.....
        * Illiniois Pension Fix Unconstitutional..
        * What does Michael Madigan do next?..
        * Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth and Governor.....
        * STATEHOUSE REEDER: Even in defeat, be a good loser..
        * Universities get dire warning about state budge.....


        * US judge to sentence reputed drug-lord lieutenant
        * Church members each get $500 to do good for world
        * Some 30 horses die in stable fire outside Chicago
        * 2 hospitalized after Chicago building collapse
        * Judge denies bid to halt Illinois fracking rules
        * Vatican prosecutor didn't report abusive priest
        * Illinoisan among winners of Rhodes scholarships
        * Woman accused of attack using nail-studded board
        * Man dies after being shot during Missouri hunt
        * Illinois' Rauner tackles full transition agenda

        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court likely
        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court
        * Judge: Pension ruling to come Friday
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances, wants Quinn to freeze hiring
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances
        * Judge to hear pension law arguments today

        * Here's how Chicago church members are spending their $500
        * Obama's Chicago visit tomorrow will focus on immigration order
        * Chicago's neon signs shine in new book
        * AndroGel giving AbbVie performance anxiety
        * Turning the kitchen into a tech hot spot


        * Simple GOP remedy: Enact immigration reform
        * Jarrett: Obama honored Boehner's request on immigration
        * Rauner, Brooks hand out turkeys and trimmings
        * Garcia says he has 60,000 signatures for mayoral run
        * After aid papers are forged, city colleges repay $4 million
        * Our ancestors, all immigrants, are watching us now
        * Is there a way for GOP to defuse immigration issue?
        * Coalition pushing advisory vote for elected CPS board
        * Obama dismisses GOP criticism on immigration
        * Gov. Quinn could collect healthy pension on way out the door


        * 2 women, dog rescued from rubble of collapsed South Side building
        * Colder temperatures to turn rain into snow
        * 2 injured in hit and run crash on Dan Ryan
        * Man dies after single-car crash in Ashburn
        * 3 people hurt in wrong-way crash on I-90
        * 2 men and boy hurt in separate shootings
        * Police alert Ravenswood residents of two burglaries
        * Cook County Sheriff's police find missing 12-year-old girl
        * Police warn West Town residents of recent robberies
        * Most stop-for-pedestrian signs hit by drivers, city data show


        * WUIS/SJ-R Business Report: Transmission Line Meetings Planned; More Space For Senior Living
        * Part Timers & Manufacturing in Illinois Feeling a Slow Economic Recovery
        * Photographer Kari Bedford Puts "Girls In Focus"
        * Midwest Travel: Starved Rock In The Winter
        * Ears Turn To Supreme Court For Next Pensions Cue
        * Listen to State Week - November 21, 2014
        * State To Refund Retiree Health Care Money
        * Labor unions celebrate judge's ruling against Illinois pension law
        * Judge Finds Reductions In Pension Benefits Unconstitutional
        * Pension Ruling Imminent


        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 24, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Illiana project too risky for tapped-out Illinois
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Sen. Manar backs aide Watson over Cahnman, Proctor in Ward 5
        * Karen Cox: Shop for a cause
        * Andy Shaw: Protect Illinois’ FOIA law from unnecessary tinkering
        * Quote of the Day: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * Deckle McLean: Plagiarism comes with a price
        * Charles Krauthammer: The climate pact swindle


        * Neighborhood watch: Crimes of the week
        * Off the beat: Woman kills self with gun bought for Ferguson unrest
        * What’s going on at 10th Street Bakery on West Main?
        * Top of the Morning: From the archives
        * From the archives: Urbana High School Thanksgiving Dinner
        * Info meeting on immigration reform set for Dec. 2 in Urbana
        * Area Calendar 11/24/14
        * Panoramic view from Alto Pass Overlook a must see
        * Christmas parade, parties begin Saturday
        * Teen alcohol abuse materials headed to parents


        * Dawn Patrol: Snow on the way; Bears beat Bucs 21-13
        * Mount Prospect denies officer's discrimination complaint
        * Students sought for planned private high school in Batavia
        * Gusty winds, snow expected in some suburbs Monday
        * Proposed sales tax hike would fund transportation projects, more

        * Lipinski: New Mixture in Washington May Ge...
        * Lipinski Hoping for Restraint after Israel...
        * Davis retains US Congress 7th seat with ea...
        * Lipinski Welcomes Archbishop Cupich, Thank...
        * Next Generation Supercomputing Technologie...
        * Danny Davis Defeats Robert Bumpers In Illi...
        * Rehab of Affordable Housing Building in Ol...
        * Rep. Lipinski Accepting Service Academy Ap...
        * Brannigan cuts into Lipinski landslide ter...
        * Dan Lipinski re-elected to U.S. House - Th...

        * Durbin Releases Statement On EPA Decision ......
        * Supreme Court Decision Could Impact Illinois...
        * Weiss for Treasury Secretary...

        * Jackson: Menendez prods Obama over ISIS...
        * As deadline nears for Iran nuclear talks, ......

        * Republican House members propose state school funding advisory committee
        * City of Elgin, Illinois blocks Christians from witnessing to gang members
        * Illinois' Luis Gutierrez tells Republicans to 'Stop Whining'
        * Left-wing activists plan Chicago viewing party for Obama's immigration speech
        * 'Deception' alleged as Illinois abortionist obtains Indiana license
        * More Gambling in the Gates for Horse Tracks [video]
        * Rep. Kinzinger responds to Obama's immigration executive order [audio]
        * Women's Look at the 2014 Election Results and American Public Opinion [video]
        * Portrait of an Artist as a Sexual Atheist
        * ‘Star Wars’ Museum: Emanuel Got Campaign Cash From Disney, George Lucas’ Wife, Before Pushing to Donate City Land


        * Illinois Residents Asked to Put the Tobacco Down - Support the Great American Smokeout – November 20
        * Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Selection of New University of Illinois President
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Senate Committee Passage of Minimum Wage Legislation
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Installation of Archbishop Blase Cupich




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