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Lawyers cite support, law and health in last-ditch bid to help Cellini stay out of prison

Friday, Sep 28, 2012

* Lawyers for Bill Cellini sent out a press release quoting from some of the hundreds of letters they’ve collected on their client’s behalf. Some were from major players, others were from small fry. But they all praised the man, who faces sentencing on a federal corruption conviction. The press release is here.

* Jim Edgar

“On many occasions I did not agree with Bill’s position on an issue and I would often take action which was contrary to Bill’s position. In all of this time and in all of these issues, I never personally saw nor did I hear on any of those occasions that Bill acted improperly in any manner. Bill never asked me to take any action which I deemed inappropriate.?

* Gene Callahan, who was Alan Dixon’s top guy…

“Never and I repeat N-E-V-E-R did Bill Cellini ever ask me to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. Nor have I heard of anyone I respect say that Bill Cellini was anything less than honest.”

* The SJ-R has more. Former Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara

“Bill never once asked me to take any action that was not ethical, honest, or in the best interest of my constituents.”

* Back to the Cellini press release

Citing the trial record and jury verdict, the lawyers said that the government’s theory of his presumed political influence was rejected by the trial jury that acquitted Mr. Cellini on the two counts of the charges related to the widespread corruption alleged during the terms of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. They argued it would be a legal impropriety to allow that theory to infect the sentencing and it would be fundamentally unfair. […]

[Cellini’s attorneys] also said the nature and circumstances of the offense support a probationary sentence.

“…Mr. Cellini stands convicted of some participation in a conspiracy to extort Tom Rosenberg, but it is undisputed (and likely almost without precedent in cases involving comparable facts) that Mr. Cellini was never even informed of and did not participate in the most critical aspects of that conspiracy, including the actual decision, planning, and alleged attempt to extort Rosenberg by providing him a choice between paying a kickback and making a campaign contribution. Indeed, it is uncontroverted that at least for a time, Mr. Cellini actively attempted to aid Rosenberg and defeat the extortion efforts of the mastermind of the conspiracy, Stuart Levine…Against that background, the evidence at trial and jury’s verdict established that Mr. Cellini did no more than act as a middle man for the purpose of smoothing out a situation he knew little about involving corrupt individuals with unknown plans and ulterior motives.

* And Cellini’s lawyers are also playing up the health angle

In addition to a recent heart attack and persistent heart disease, they wrote, Cellini, 77, has had prostate cancer and is treated for “a frequently crippling neurological disorder, cervical spinal stenosis, that has twice resulted in his losing feeling in his arms and hand and needing to undergo emergency evaluation as to whether he had actually had a stroke.”

He has also been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis, another degenerative disk disease “that can result in weakness or numbness in the limbs and difficulty walking,” the memo says.

Cellini suffered a heart attack June 4 while undergoing a heart catheterization, the document says. Tests showed afterward that his heart had been seriously damaged, it states.

“Mr. Cellini has not been able to commence full cardiovascular rehabilitation as yet … because following the heart attack and stent implanting, an acute (blood) clot was discovered in his leg and groin, which was deemed by his physicians to be a life-threatening health risk,” the lawyers write.

“Medications have contained the clot in the area, but a doctor has told Cellni that ‘he has a propensity for clots for form, which can be deadly,’ and if there are any symptoms of clotting, ‘Mr. Cellini must immediately obtain emergency treatment or risk the possibility of a stroke or death.’”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


50 Comments
  1. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 5:43 am:

    Bill should have cashed his chips in when Ryan left office. He knew that Rezko, Levine, and the rest were crooks yet he dealt with them any way.

    I liken his situation to that of Joe Paterno. Good man, did great things, helped some people along the way. But tolerated and covered up misdeeds by others. Sorry about his poor health but time to pay for bad decisions.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 7:13 am:

    Loyalty from many whom benefitted from Mr. Cellini. He did much good, no doubt, and the sentence should reflect his good works as well as the bad. But he is a convicted felon, no?


  3. - Gregor - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 7:22 am:

    Nobody is above the law. Especially people who manipulated it all their lives.


  4. - Anonymous45 - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 7:28 am:

    Special treatment for a man who abused his power for many many years? Why? Proceed to jail. Actions have consequences.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:17 am:

    It’s a tough call, but ultimately I don’t see the point of putting a sick old man in prison for a non-violent scheme that never went down.

    He’s a felon, but one convicted on the word of Levine, who’s been rolling on everyone for six years to try and save his skin. There are alternative punishments to sending Cellini to the very expensive federal prison hospital.

    But the babe-in-the-woods act from Webb is ridiculous and off-putting. So are the Sgt. Schultz “I saw nothing” testimonials from the insiders.

    Cellini might be the face of a Springfield insider gaming the system — with the jobs, the lousy state leases, the hotel deals, the casino license, the contracts and who knows what else — but he wasn’t convicted of any of that.

    It should be noted that during much of the time when Cellini was working his influence, his attorney, Webb, was a bigfoot in the Justice Department while his sentencing judge, Zagel, spent a lot of time as a criminal prosecutor and head of the Illinois State Police. They apparently didn’t see anything, either.


  6. - Sunshine - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:20 am:

    When the politically powerful are your highlighted pleaders, it would make me judge the fellow more harshly. What about those others who wrote letters, the commoner and the average citizen. That to me would carry much more weight.

    To highlight the politically important is a mistake in my opinion, especially when you are asking for the mercy of the court. This Judge isn’t impressed with the politically well known’s.
    He sees himself as a champion of the people, not the champion of the politically influential.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:21 am:

    The bottom line in all this:

    The tune was played, the Piper is looking to get paid …

    One way or another.


  8. - Judgment Day - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:45 am:

    How about a fair trade…

    Cellini got indicted, and then convicted. So, he’s a felon. He’ll probably spend most of his time in a prison hospital. It’s not like he’s going to be an escape risk.

    So, if he dies in prison (after all this health testimony), how about having the lead prosecutor have to fill out the remainder of Cellini’s sentence.

    You as prosecutor got the scalp, why should taxpayers have to pay and keep paying for your personal gratification in having ‘got’ some bad guy. Particularly if you knew they were sick and on the downhill slide from the start, and we taxpayers now get to pay for their medical care in prison.

    Some of these prosecutors might take a little different look at things if they had a little bit of their own skin at risk.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:48 am:

    ===You as prosecutor got the scalp, why should taxpayers have to pay and keep paying for your personal gratification in having ‘got’ some bad guy. Particularly if you knew they were sick and on the downhill slide from the start, and we taxpayers now get to pay for their medical care in prison.===

    With that thinking … “Heck, I have ‘X’ … let me Lie, Cheat or Steal, it’s not like I can go to jail or anything!”

    Justice is blind, and justice is not a doctor … not even one on TV.


  10. - Wondering - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:49 am:

    Judgement Day… huh??


  11. - Tom Joad - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 8:56 am:

    If you area middle man, aren’t you in the middle of the conspiracy. He took a substantial step in furthering the deal. That’s what creates a conspiracy. Sorry.


  12. - Wensicia - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:16 am:

    So, Cellini didn’t do any improper according to a select number of friends and politicians. This absolves him of punishment including incarceration?


  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:17 am:

    The public’s faith in the Justice System is severely undermined when there are over 9,000 Illinoisans in jail for nonviolent drug offenses but the well-connected are given special treatment.

    I was reminded of this the other day when I saw a protest sign pointing out that Goldman-Sachs defrauded millions of middle class Americans and weren’t even indicted.

    But Bernie Madoff ripped off a relative handful of the uber-wealthy and got 150 years.

    BTW, those nonviolent drug offenders are suffering plenty of hardship, and costing taxpayers about $400 million a year. Their kids are suffering, their spouses are suffering and if they have homes they probably lost them…they certainly lost their jobs.


  14. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:47 am:

    This is a relatively minor first offense with a couple of mitigating factors. Aren’t we looking at 12 months, tops?


  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    Cincy, you crack me up.

    Conspiracy to commit extortion. Aiding and abetting the solicitation of a bribe. Both felonies. No such thing as minor felonies.

    Max sentence: 30 years.


  16. - Loop Lady - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 9:57 am:

    Word: So where do you stand on this? Your posts seem contradictory.


  17. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    It’s not about Cellini’s health, it’s about sending a message to the next Cellini. Zero tolerance for public corruption. This is Illinois. We can either send a strong message or go on with business as usual.


  18. - Soccertease - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:09 am:

    Cellini was way ahead of the old-time politicians with the wink and nod (and that’s all) for quid-pro-quo deals. Still, I hope that common sense prevails and he’s granted some leniency.


  19. - Judgment Day - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:10 am:

    Seen a few too many prosecutors who turn into ‘cowboys’ in doing prosecutions. And in their cases, it almost always becomes all about “Sending a Message”.

    It turns into something far different than “Justice”. At a certain point I’ve seen prosecutors act where it just becomes “savage” and “revenge”, not justice.


  20. - Knome Sane - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    Like the country song goes: “Ain’t no right way to do the wrong thing” and that is what plagues Illinois’ political spectrum, even to this day. But I agree with those who don’t see the upside to incarcerating the man. The cost alone should warrant house arrest for four years. And house arrest in Decatur, not Boca Raton. (Yes I know he lives in Springfield).


  21. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    - This is a relatively minor first offense -

    I suppose you feel the same way about Derrick Smith? After all, he was only looking for $7k, a few less zeroes than the scheme Cellini was involved in.

    I’m with YDD, if Cellini doesn’t serve some time it sends a message that the rich and powerful can get away with this kind of thing in Illinois.

    And for the record, if Smith is convicted he should go see the inside of a cell as well.


  22. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:22 am:

    I don’t get this leniency garbage. The question is whether Cellini was involved with public corruption for private gain. Apparently the jury thought so.

    He needs to serve his time like Gov. Ryan.

    The perps need to know there is a piper to pay. If the crimes are committed when one is old or sick does that mean there should be no prison term?


  23. - cermak_rd - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    ankle jewelry. Then he can keep paying for his own health care.


  24. - Judgment Day - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    “The perps need to know there is a piper to pay. If the crimes are committed when one is old or sick does that mean there should be no prison term?”

    First off, the person is convicted of a felony, or it’s a plea bargain. They have taken an enormous financial hit (if there’s even any assets left). Their career, business, way of making a living is normally in shambles, if it still even exists. We tend to be talking “Scorched Earth” here.

    So, now we’ve got to pay for housing some poor, sick person in a federal criminal institution. And the odds are they are just going to get sicker.

    What are we going to do? Start buying hospitals and turning them into prisons?

    How does this benefit our society? Are we out for “justice”, or are we out for “revenge”?

    When you are on the outside looking in at the justice system, it must look pretty clear cut. But when you have been working on the inside looking out, it’s not always quite so clear.


  25. - Colossus - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    JD: I understand your point, but I think you’re hung up on the cost aspect. Are we going to a CBA every time we try to convict someone? Lots of people take hits, having economic setbacks isn’t the same as criminal justice. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the cost of housing nonviolent drug offenders (below trafficking, I consider intent to distribute horsepucky). Consistency is a hassle.


  26. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    “if there’s even any assets left”…”are we out for “revenge”

    I am unconvinced that Cellini is anywhere near broke. The little guys like Smith will be as poor as church mice after a tangle with the legal system even if found not guilty. Even Blago seems broke. Big boys lose some $$, but remain big boys. Merely a bump in the road for them.

    We need to be able to display a deterrent for ‘future’ criminals. House arrest seems like a good option, but when you live in tony digs, the sense of punishment is muted.

    Arguing to contain medical costs for the state for WC ignores the other unnecessary cost the state incurs with other far less famous (notorious) criminals. Looking the other way sends a bad message.


  27. - Shore - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:31 am:

    Edgar continues to embarrass himself. The taxpayers don’t get denied justice because some guy has a health issue. There are plenty of people in jail with mental health problems or other sorts of issues and there’s no special treatment because you’re connected.

    Addios bud, and Jim Edgar, if you want your old buddy dillard elected in 2014, you might want to drop this kind of bs.


  28. - steve schnorf - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    Boy, once again lots of holier-than-thou from people unwilling to use their own names…


  29. - just sayin' - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    Every prison in the world would be empty if all a convicted felon had to do was to produce letters from friends and associates saying “the guy is wonderful.” Absolutely ridiculous.


  30. - Louis Howe - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    I’ve seen Cellini around Springfield a half dozen times over the last two months, in grocery stores (Schnucks) pushing a cart and restaurants (Saputo’s)having a meal. He looks unimpeded by health issues. Cellini made a career of “working the system” and getting inside deals when other contenders couldn’t get in the front door. His conviction is a direct result of staying in the game when the game as he played it was over. He needs to serve some down time.


  31. - Roadiepig - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    Reading those testimonials from the powers that be, both past and present, somehow brought to mind those local news interviews of a typical gang member’s mom, who after being asked by the reporter if her son could have pulled the trigger on the gun that killed other rival gan members alway says, ” My baby is a good boy. He would neve do something like that”. Same defense, and equally unbelievable because the speaker is lying to help their family member.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    Even Vrdolyak did time for what some thought should have been parole, (which is what it WAS at first, if you remember) …Cellini needs to wear “the jumpsuit”, maybe do some “gardening”, “clean a bathroom” … the Cellini family ain’t gonna starve, so … not feeling any ounce of sympathy.


  33. - quincy - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:06 pm:

    Burn Baby Burn He’s. He another George Ryan


  34. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    You don’t have to be soft on crime to consider alternatives to prison to non-violent offenders, especially those who are old, sick and not a threat to society.

    How about costs? The United States has 5% of the world population but 25% of the world’s prisoners. The incarceration rate is off the charts compared with the rest of the world.

    Cellini’s are federal crimes, but consider the states: money for prisons takes from every other productive sector.

    Some states now spend more on prisons than they do on higher education. That’s insane.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===You don’t have to be soft on crime to consider alternatives to prison to non-violent offenders, especially those who are old, sick and not a threat to society.===

    I get ya, - wordslinger-, but sometimes … sometimes … putting “the old, sick and not a threat to society.” away makes the rest of the Dopes think twice … they too might have to enter prison, with the strip search, humiliated emotionally and physically …

    Sometimes you have to follow through and put those “away”, to keep the thought of prison foremost in the minds of others.

    Now,

    Does Cellini need 20 years? 10 years? … Even the 8 years the “G” wants?

    How about the year and a day Eddie V. got … you humiliate Cellini, starting on the first day … that might be enough of the “pound of flesh” some may need.


  36. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    LL, in two posts I said there should be an alternative to prison based on age, sickness and non-violent threat to society. That’s what I think.

    In another, I pointed out to Cincy that the convictions were not “relatively minor,” but felonies, and he could by law get serious time.


  37. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    If all of the “good” Cellini did for Callahan, Hasara, and Edgar over the years is to be considered, the portion of the state’s debt that could be attributable to his insider schemes and deals over the years should also be considered. We are all being punished in part for the cost of his schemes as a purported upstanding super citizen.


  38. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    ===the portion of the state’s debt that could be attributable to his insider schemes and deals over the years should also be considered===

    OK, but then you’d have to factor in the revenues, like from his casino.


  39. - nino brown - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    I hope he walks. He is dreamer and non hater. Some people hate him because he made his dreams come true. That is uncool.


  40. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    CrimeFighter, since you seem to be an expert, could you elaborate on these “insider schemes and deals” and how they added to the State’s debt?


  41. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    Ankle bracelet, home confinement, travel restrictions. We already have too many non-violent felons incarcerated for no good reason…why one more?


  42. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    When egotistical defendants like Ryan, Blago, and Cellini refuse to plead out despite strong evidence of guilt and make the taxpayers spend millions to prosecute them, their post-conviction pleas for leniency do not move me.


  43. - springfield native - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    If we count the Casino revenues, he should be in prison for life.
    According to the Peoria Journal Star, Cellini paid $50,000 for the Alton Casino license and ended up selling all of his stock for $68 million. Gov. Edgar can say he Cellini never asked him to do anything unethical, but it looks like he didn’t need to ask.


  44. - springfield native - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 2:04 pm:

    Arthur Anderson, I’ll jump in on crimefighter’s behalf with just a couple of schemes that made Cellini and friends a fortune at the state’s expense.
    1. Concordia Seminary - was bought by him in 1979 for a about $5 million (not sure about the exact amount) and rented to the state for $1 million a year. More than $70 million in rent to date.

    2. His power base is the asphalt association. Tests were rigged so that asphalt became the dominant material for roads and we pay a higher amount than our neighboring states for asphalt. The state employee who refused to rig the tests was demoted and his career was ruined. His underling that faked the tests went on to work for the asphalt assocation.


  45. - Judgment Day - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    “I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the cost of housing nonviolent drug offenders (below trafficking, I consider intent to distribute horsepucky). Consistency is a hassle.”

    I realize there is no perfect answer. But what we are doing now isn’t working. Doubling down (and we have doubled down, if not tripled down) has not worked, criminalizing what should be civil cases certainly has not worked, so maybe the answer is to go in a different direction.

    Treatment of non violent drug offenders in the federal courts system as it happens is just insane. I make a difference between the folks carrying weapons (and ready to use them) and the small time folks just dealing. Didn’t use to think so, but I’ve seen too much. And the simple fact is, our current approach is not working.

    And making it worse, once you are convicted (normally a plea deal with federal prison time) with a felony on your record, how are you going to re-start your life? In this economy?

    I’m still haunted by the looks I see in people’s eyes after they finally realize that they are totally at the mercy of the almighty federal justice system. I’m completely amazed we don’t even have more people committing suicide than we do.

    IMO, we’ve let our desire for retribution run wild within our justice system (this thirst for retribution crosses political ideologies, btw) to a point where there’s virtually no chance of recovery for those poor folks who get caught up in our federal justice system.

    It’s not a politically popular viewpoint.


  46. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==CrimeFighter, since you seem to be an expert, could you elaborate on these “insider schemes and deals” and how they added to the State’s debt?==

    If you deem an “expert” as someone who follows the news and has worked in public service, so be it.

    Unnecessary leases, hotel loans, sponsorship of many belligerents within state government and retirement systems, casino licensing, construction deals, etc.. - But I’m sure anyone could have won those bids and it would have cost more anyway.(snark)
    Those who are writing in support are probably the real experts.


  47. - Colossus - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    JD -

    Thanks for the response. I’m more in agreement with you than I thought I would be. I’ve got some thinking to do.


  48. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 2:58 pm:

    ==The state employee who refused to rig the tests was demoted and his career was ruined. His underling that faked the tests went on to work for the asphalt assocation. ==

    Springfield Native makes an excellent observation about a part of the human cost of these “harmless” activities. This kind of thing goes on today (see Quinn’s health insurance bid misconduct as an example). There is a view by agency heads that bidding, testing, and purchasing laws are technicalities that get in the way of their unseemly goals. What do think happens to employees who insist on following the rules? They stand no chance against the administration and the attorney general unless they are in the union.

    Contrary to all of the rationalizations presented, corruption is not cute or harmless. It continues to be costly in its human and financial toll to this state.


  49. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 3:32 pm:

    To CF and Native:
    I couldn’t agree with you more about the debilitating effects of corruption in government. However, neither one of you can still provide an example of a Cellini “insider scheme or deal” that fits a reasonable definition of the word.
    Cellini and Co. sold Concordia years ago. His leases with the State, while maybe lucrative, were negotiated at market rates and they provided quality buildings to the State. No one ever howled about Springfield’s Jewish Mafia charging about the same price for lousy firetraps that housed State offices for decades. (Not to mention some of the State’s own buildings that were worse.) The hotel was a lousy deal for all concerned. Agreed. The State never should have been in the real estate lending business and an expensive lesson was learned. Cellini was no different than Todd Renfrow or a large handful of other political leaders that rewarded political workers with public jobs when they could.

    I say let him live his remaining days in the comfort of his family and let the Judge upstairs render final sentence.


  50. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Sep 28, 12 @ 3:38 pm:

    @ AA - Seriously?


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        * Here are 11 Proposed Tax Increases in the Illin.....
        * Phone App created for drunk drivers..
        * Rauner names 4 to tollway board..
        * 'Summer of Faith and Action' kicks off in Chicago..


        * Democrats giving no hint of compromise with Rauner on budget
        * Rauner names 4 to Illinois Tollway Authority
        * Murray Energy expects more than 1,800 coal mine layoffs
        * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
        * Illinois mom takes son's place at graduation after he dies
        * Drew Peterson granted trial delay in murder-for-hire case
        * Sand dune along Lake Michigan to remain closed this summer
        * Military: Army infantryman from Illinois AWOL in Colorado
        * Gov. Rauner to put pro-business bills before Legislature
        * Chicago man accused of killing mother, beating brother

        * Rauner agenda surfaces at Capitol
        * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
        * House Democrats vote down workers comp bill
        * Langfelder talks DNR lake partnership
        * U of I bracing for 'very damaging' cuts, new president says
        * State report says Illinois college chiefs enjoy lavish perks
        * Millionaire tax falls short in Illinois House
        * Gov. Rauner softens some 'turnaround agenda' demands amid ongoing budget battle
        * Illinois State Board of Education promises shorter PARCC exam next school year
        * Union bulletin: Gov. Rauner wants wage freeze, vacation and holiday time reductions

        * First look: Hotel Allegro's $15 million renovation
        * Need a job? China Inc. is coming to Illinois—and it's hiring
        * Rauner to put pro-business bills before Legislature
        * Alma Mater vandals, you're on camera
        * Smiling cookie spat goes to court


          * Police: 2 shot in West Englewood including girl, 4
          * Rauner names 4 to tollway board
          * Prairie Crossing Charter School, state face new lawsuit over funding
          * Cop purportedly sleeping on video gets suspension
          * Illinois bill aims for local police to investigate college campus sexual assaults
          * 606 trail inspires excitement, fear from neighbors
          * CTA Yellow Line to remain closed several more weeks
          * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
          * Rauner agenda unveiled, splits Democrats and Republicans
          * Wisconsin could make it legal for deer hunters to wear pink


          * Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal
          * Sheriff calls on feds to investigate Puerto Rican agencies that send addicts to Chicago
          * Sheriff names clinical psychologist to run Cook County Jail
          * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
          * Obama library foundation raised $5.4 million in 2014
          * Illinois moves to downgrade pot possession to a fine
          * Emanuel calls on Chicagoans to prevent 'lost generation'
          * Grand Jury Indicts 6 Baltimore Officers In Freddie Gray's Death
          * Inauguration Day: New City Council faces serious financial problems
          * Avian flu outbreak takes poultry producers into uncharted territory


          * Proud of WWII service, they opposed Vietnam War
          * Paul La Schiazza: Illinois' landline law stuck in the past
          * Charles Krauthammer: You want hypotheticals? Here's one
          * Rauner agenda surfaces at Capitol
          * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
          * House Democrats vote down workers comp bill
          * Langfelder talks DNR lake partnership
          * U of I bracing for 'very damaging' cuts, new president says
          * State report says Illinois college chiefs enjoy lavish perks
          * Dave Root: Illinois unwisely outsourcing PARCC assessments


          * LIVE! Big Ten Tournament (Michigan State)
          * Community closes the book on Moline school
          * Hiltzik reaches quarterfinals
          * Championship Saturday on tap
          * STM's Ward aims for more
          * Upcoming Services
          * SportsTalk 05-22-15
          * Lawmakers vote Murphysboro BBQ Capital of Illinois
          * Terry Wallace
          * Murray Energy expects more than 1,800 coal mine layoffs


          * Conant makes a winning memory in comeback against Batavia
          * Konerko's No. 14 set for retirement
          * James leads Cavs to 94-82 win over Hawks, 2-0 series lead
          * Slumping Marlins lose to Orioles 8-5
          * Lundqvist stands tall, Rangers beat Lightning 5-1 in Game 4

          * Democrats’ path to victory in the House: I...
          * Ryan Mullen makes move as Rás opens up
          * Monument to honor LGBT veterans in nationa...
          * Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Both p...
          * Emmer named to House Financial Services Co...
          * Congresswoman Bustos Fights for Veterans i...
          * Andrea Zopp Decides To Run For Kirk's Sena...
          * Combined Insurance Hosts First Military Hi...
          * Bustos introduces bill to honor veterans
          * Congresswoman Robin Kelly Statement on the...

          * Obama’s Strategy Against Islamic State Und......
          * Senate advances Obama’s trade bill ‌...
          * Sen. Dick Durbin pushes legislation to add......
          * Senators urge Obama administration to bloc......

          * Senate advances Obama’s trade bill ‌...
          * Up All Night: Senate Waits to Vote on Patr......
          * Poll: Duckworth Zaps Zopp in U.S. Senate D......

          * EXTRA: Blagojevich inactivity on clemency lingers into Rauner years
          * 350 Springfield drivers to save $.55 per gallon in fuel taxes Friday morning
          * UPDATE: 350 Springfield drivers saved $.55 per gallon in fuel taxes Friday morning
          * Local Book Notes: Secret Hospital Rooms Of The 1%
          * The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #52: The Blackhawks' Biggest Problem
          * Meet The 19th District's New Police Commander
          * Four More Years, According To Ald. Cappleman
          * Rep. Kinzinger: Not Letting Illegals Serve In Military Comes From "Very Ugly Place" In GOP
          * Pawn Star's Rick Harrison picks Rubio for prez
          * Illinois opt out bill is now headed for the Senate.


          * The Illinois Department of Public Health Urges Illinoisans to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus - Illinois Department of Public Health offers tips for avoiding mosquito bites
          * IDOT Suspends Non-Emergency Road Work for Memorial Day Holiday Weekend - Lanes Opened to Improve Traffic Flow
          * Illinois State Fire Marshal Recognizes EMS Week
          * IDOT, ISP: Drive Safe, Drive Smart Over Memorial Day Weekend - Click It or Ticket Campaign Continues, New “Driving Dead” Episode Debuts
          * Breakfast Club Fans Can Take Home Movie Memorabilia with Special 30th Anniversary Auction - Theater Chairs from Set of Iconic Movie Up for Sale




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