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Empty rhetoric

Monday, May 13, 2013

* Whenever something bad happens in the Loop, politicos quickly try to “do something.” I dunno if this bill will work, but it certainly falls into that aforementioned category

Illinois legislators weren’t thinking about harmless flash mobs, like countless renditions of the Harlem Shake or over-the-top marriage proposals, when crafting new legislation recently.

A bill which passed the state assembly on Friday and the state Senate earlier would allow judges to “impose an extended term sentence” when new-age “mob action” involves “electronic communication.”

Democratic state Rep. Christian Mitchell, sponsor of the legislation, said he expects it to act as a deterrent to those considering participating in a flash mob attack like several along Chicago’s prestigious and bustling Magnificent Mile, a popular downtown shopping area.

* But whatever the case, this reaction was way, way over the top

“Would this bill have stopped the murder of Hadiya Pendleton?” [Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago)] demanded of Mitchell. “The question, sir, is are children’s lives as valuable as the merchants on Michigan Avenue…Would this bill stop the murders of black boys and girls on the South and West Sides of Chicago, and if it doesn’t do that you should be ashamed of yourself.”

* Rep. Monique Davis has sponsored four crime-related bills this session. Here’s one

Provides that an obligor is not required to make child support payments, nor shall interest accrue on any outstanding child support balance due, from the date the obligor is incarcerated or ceases employment until he or she is released or secures new employment.

Heck, you could easily make an argument that Davis’ bill would actually make matters worse for kids.

So, I’m not sure how that crime-related bill “stops the murders.” Nor this one, or this one, or this one.

In other words, where’s your plan, Rep. Davis?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


63 Comments
  1. - Empty Chair - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    Seems like the bills in reaction to Mich Ave “flash mobs” are more about assuaging tourists and merchants, and less about actual safety. You think these “roving street gangs” are going to discuss extended term sentences for their crimes over “electronic communication” while planning their flash mob? I am really amazed when even liberal elected officials continue to think that harsher sentences will prevent crime.


  2. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    So, if people are exercising their right to assemble, and they use those tubes that make up the internets to do organize their assembly, and something bad happens, you get an enhanced sentence? Ahhh, freedom….


  3. - Wumpus - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    How about a capitolfax Harlem Shake edition?


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    –Democratic state Rep. Christian Mitchell, sponsor of the legislation, said he expects it to act as a deterrent to those considering participating in a flash mob attack like several along Chicago’s prestigious and bustling Magnificent Mile, a popular downtown shopping area.–

    I don’t recall “several” “flash mob attacks” along Michigan Avenue. I do recall the first day on spring break where a couple dozen teenagers were bumping and people on the street.

    There were no reports of assaults or robberies and the coppers shut it down and made arrests within about 20 minutes. There was a separate incident where a woman was beaten and robbed on the el, but the coppers made immediate arrests, too.

    Anything that happens on Michigan Avenue gets huge coverage. It’s not just the tourists, but that’s where the Trib and Channel 5 are, and Channels 2 and 7 are not too far away.

    There’s a lot more danger in the stands at your average Bears game, much less Division Street at closing time.


  5. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    I applaud Christian for at least doing something. If tourists stop coming to Michigan Avenue, how does Monique Davis think that’s going to help with our state and city revenues? Amazes me when folks think that attracting businesses and tourists is only what rich people should care about.


  6. - Because I said so... - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    And you’re surprised Rep Davis doesn’t have a plan because?


  7. - Anonymous - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    Always interesting hearing Monique Davis demand that her people be treated equal.

    Meanwhile, she’s not big on equal treatment for certain other people.


  8. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:16 am:

    Anon 11:15 was me. Sorry about that.


  9. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Somebody out to tell Davis that laws against bank robbery won’t prevent murder, but yet we still have those laws.

    Not every law will solve every problem.


  10. - Esquire - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    Over the course of her political career, State Representative Monique Davis (D- Chicago) has given all of us much to be ashamed of. Her routine is becoming tiresome.


  11. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Word,

    It’s not a simple safety question - it’s about how we’re perceived.

    There were multiple incidents last year and the first nice day this year we had a significant event. Also, I can’t recall seeing the kind of tagging on Michigan Avenue since before Millennium Park. Again, we need to keep the tourist $$ coming in and these things matter.


  12. - walkinfool - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    Of all the things the GA deals with, they do the worst job on criminal justice — and that’s saying something!

    If we ever get our fiscal house in order, that should be the next priority.


  13. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Tagging Chicago Cynic? I’m on Michigan Ave. nearly every day and I almost never see tagging. Where have you seen tagging?

    Walking along Michigan Ave., I never feel unsafe. On some of the side-streets to the east or west? You have to keep your eyes open, but that’s true everywhere.

    But reality doesn’t really matter. What matters is perception.

    If people who do not live here start believing that Michigan Ave. (and downtown) are not safe, then they will stop coming here, businesses will start moving out, and an ugly spiral will begin.

    Like it or not, Michigan Ave. and downtown drive the city. If they are not healthy, the neighborhoods suffer.

    Is this the right answer? Probably not. More POs on the Avenue is the right answer. But I give Christian credit for at least trying to do something.


  14. - wishbone - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    The reason the Loop and Michigan avenue tend to be safe, and many areas on the south and west sides are not is that there is no “code of silence” there that prevents people from dialing 911 when crime occurs, and then working with police to catch the bad guys. The politically incorrect truth is that murders in Chicago would drop like a rock if citizens on the south and west sides viewed crime as unacceptable. Until they do, Jesse Jackson, Father Pfleger, the mayor and police chief McCarthy are just blowing smoke up the public’s you know where.


  15. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    I work on South Michigan Ave. and see it all the time on mailboxes, the parking garage elevator, etc. It takes the City weeks and sometimes longer to clean it up. Again, I don’t fear for my safety (and I sometimes work very late hours) - more concerned about perception. Flash mobs can change perceptions fast.


  16. - Hank - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    1) Rahm and Garry deny that there has been any mob action or wildings
    2) Gary denied that elec media had anything to do with the Easter event when asked directly
    The rep needs to get with the program


  17. - Ghost - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    Wishbone I thinks thats a little too simplistic. One of the several reasons folks do not report crimes is out of fear. The police presence and protection in those areas is low as is response time. Not reporting keeps you safe. If the police presence and response times were such that the people felt they would be safe if they reported crimes, then reporting would increase.


  18. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    I don’t want to give people extended prison terms for the sake of “perception.” Nor can I afford to pay for prison beds to keep the Mich Ave merchants in business.

    The flash mob bill sponsors should be ashamed of themselves. It’s pointless pandering, bad law, and bad business for the state.


  19. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:22 pm:

    For those curious about Chicago tourism numbers, Shifflet is the source for year-to-year, apples-to-apples.

    Note the dips in 2001 (virtually all business/leisure travel stopped after 9/11) and the economic crash of 2008.

    http://www.choosechicago.com/includes/content/docs/MEDIA/2010ChicagoTravelStatistics.pdf?rand=4757702


  20. - Ghost - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    I just like that the GA is running bills to guarantee that former criminals get jobs and their convicitons not be held against them, while working to make as many of us criminals as possible.


  21. - Chris - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:45 pm:

    “If the police presence and response times were such that the people felt they would be safe if they reported crimes”

    Do you think that a 24/7 stationed patrol per every 1000 residents is enough to overcome ’snitches end up in ditches’ (and similar), or do we need that patrol serving only 500? Do the cops get to do something other than just look after people who might call 911 sometime?


  22. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    Crazy,
    You don’t seem to get that if those Michigan Ave. businesses close, all the businesses in the city close.
    Without a thriving Michigan Ave. and downtown, nobody with any option is going to want to live in the City.


  23. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    Actually, HenryVK, I get it plenty. I’d just prefer that if my tax dollars are going to support Mich Ave they be used to support tourism directly, not BS criminal justice practice in the name of “perception.”


  24. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    –You don’t seem to get that if those Michigan Ave. businesses close, all the businesses in the city close.–

    Kind of getting pretty far down the road there, aren’t we?

    We’re all aware that people who can afford to live anywhere in the world spend millions of dollars to purchase apartments on or near Michigan Avenue, right? Not houses — apartments.

    Factor that when considering the stories of rampant “wildings” and “flash mobs” there.


  25. - Chris - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:09 pm:

    “It’s pointless pandering, bad law, and bad business for the state.”

    Dunno about bad biz, and not sure the pandering (which is obv) is pointless.

    But it is horrible, horrible law. If it’s passed, it will be used (at trial at least) more often in suppression of legit 1A activity than against criminal activities. The biggest ‘legit’ use will be as added leverage in plea bargaining.


  26. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    So as long as you don’t have a job your not on the hook - ever - for child support. Where do they come up with this junk?


  27. - Norseman - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:27 pm:

    This is a historical problem with legislative bodies. An bad thing happens and a plethora of legislators want to have their name on bills to address the bad thing. Most of the time, the bills don’t add anything substantive to prevent or correct the bad thing.

    The flash mob bill is a perfect example. When I say the bill, my first reaction was to wonder whether prosecutors have expressed a need for additional legal authority to deal with this crime before the bill was introduced. I suspect that Raul and Mitchell could get a favorable position paper from a states attorney as a political favor, but I doubt this was truly a legal problem. It just adds more garbage to the statutes.


  28. - Cook County Commoner - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    These are junk bills solely for the purpose of re-election resume enhancement.


  29. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Given that in Illinois, we are not big on locking up felons, part of me is wondering why they bother making up new crimes.

    The result is going to be that people will be charged with this crime, they will be convicted, and then they will be let out after serving almost no time.

    That’s the way it works here.


  30. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    @Henry:

    I hope you were kidding. That’s not at all what happens.


  31. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Really Demoralized? Are you new here?

    We don’t really lock up felons here. Most get short sentences and are out to do it again.


  32. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    No, I’m not new. I don’t agree with you. It’s pretty simple. You don’t have to agree with me. It’s a free country.


  33. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    Word,

    Right now I don’t think anybody is moving.
    But if things get worse (or the perception becomes that it is dangerous), do you really think people are going to pay millions for a condo? Heck, do you think they are going to pay $400,000 for a condo?

    A few years ago, I was having lunch at an outdoor cafe in Mexico City and was very concerned for my safety. There had been a lot of incidents where tourists/businessmen were targeted and then robbed or kidnapped. I had business to do, but I was relatively uncomfortable anyplace but my hotel room.

    A few weeks ago, I walked past the Hotel W on Lakeshore Drive (at Ontario) and noted that people sit at that outdoor cafe without the slightest concern for their safety.

    That is part of the reason that Chicago is a far superior location for both business and vacations than Mexico City. Or Detroit. Or a long list of other places.

    We keep hearing people say “stop paying so much attention to downtown/Michigan Ave.” Those people just don’t seem to understand that if the perception becomes that you can’t sit at a cafe or walk down the street, nobody is going to want to be here.

    If it is perceived as dangerous, business will move. People will move out. And then the neighborhoods will crumble.

    Like it or not, downtown and Michigan Ave. drive the city. If they fail, the city fails.


  34. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:47 pm:

    Henry, all I can say is that the perception must be good, because the downtown has been booming for years.

    And the reality is, despite the histrionics of some columnists and headline writers, violent crime in Chicago is on a long-term decline, as it is in most big cities.

    –The hottest urban center in the U.S. — Chicago’s mega-Loop
    By Greg Hinz March 04, 2013–

    Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130302/ISSUE01/303029987/the-hottest-urban-center-in-the-u-s-chicagos-mega-loop#ixzz2TChZ5ao4
    Stay on top of Chicago business with our free daily e-newsletters


  35. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    What is that Word? Things are fine now? Well then gosh darn it, let’s not worry! Stay the course! Not need to make any changes!

    We have attitudes like that, with a complete lack of planning, and then we wonder why Illinois is last in just about every category.


  36. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    Henry, I’m not sure what your point is.

    You speak in gauzy terms of “perception” and that Michigan Avenue is closing down.

    I’m just pointing out that people are voting with their feet and capital to live downtown.

    Read the linked article, for crying out loud. There are facts in it. Perhaps they will add to your perception.


  37. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 3:01 pm:

    No Word, actually I did not write that Michigan Ave. “is” closing down.

    Things work best here when people respond to things that have actually been written.

    This conversation would be much more interesting if you decided to respond to what I actually wrote.


  38. - crazybleedingheart - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    So just to be clear the problem Henry wants to address with prison isn’t even perception. It’s “preemptive perception.”

    Oh, okay.

    Most of us probably don’t want to lock up Americans because you felt weird in Mexico City.


  39. - Jaded - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    I think concealed carry is the best way to handle the flash mob issue. Just sayin…..


  40. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    Ok, let’s try this again. I think we can all agree that Millennium Park and some other factors have increased tourism in Chicago. I think we can also all agree that tourism is a good thing and that tourism dollars have been very very beneficial for ALL of Chicago.

    So my point is pretty simple. IF flash mobs continue, the perception (it’s not a gauzy concept - just a basic driver) will rise among tourists that downtown is a potentially dangerous place to go. If that happens (and remember, that used to be the case), that likely will, over time, reduce tourism in Chicago. If we reduce tourism, we reduce revenue. Reduced revenue from tourism means they have to get more from us. This isn’t some ephemeral concept.

    I’m not saying Mitchell’s bill is the right idea. I’m just glad someone in Springfield is exploring ideas to reduce the threat.


  41. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    What Chicago Cynic said, although I would add that it is not just tourism but local business too.

    If companies have that perception, they will pack up and move to Naperville.


  42. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==If companies have that perception, they will pack up and move to Naperville. ==

    Any more sky is falling observations? I’m sure flash mobs will cause businesses to rip up stakes and move along. It’s one thing if there were flash mobs every day. There aren’t.


  43. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:16 pm:

    Demoralized, that last comment was perfect “Illinois-ese.”

    It sounded like “You know, what’s one missed pension payment?”

    Other areas look at current conditions and plan for the future.

    In Illinois, we stick our heads in the sand and just sort of hope for the best.


  44. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    @Henry:

    If this were a big epidemic then I might agree with your observation. It isn’t so I don’t. I’m sorry that I don’t see the imminent danger here. That doesn’t mean I have my head in the sand. If you have some evidence to the contrary I will gladly reconsider my position.


  45. - d'Allemagne - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    raże zostały w środku
    przed. Zobligowany mieć na myśli w tym momencie tylko, d’Allemagne ażeby nieostrożnie nie zbudzić bestii. Spanie smoków był przysłowiowo lekki. Klął z bezpieczna,
    kiedy w wzniosłej trawie natrafiał coraz to systematyczniej na.


  46. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:27 pm:

    “Yeah, what’s a few events? Nothing to worry about. No need to take any action at all. Let’s wait until it is a daily thing, then we can take a look at it.”

    Again, that sums up perfectly the attitudes of so many in Illinois government on so many issues.

    Other states fix problems (or take action to prevent things from becoming major problems).

    In Illinois, we are really good at acting shocked when things get bad.


  47. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    –It sounded like “You know, what’s one missed pension payment?”–

    When did that happen?

    When is projected to happen?

    Maybe there should be some discussion on this pension issue.

    “If” is a pretty powerful word. “If” my aunt had Testicular Virility, she should be my uncle.

    But you keep on working for those plans for the scourge of “flash mobs.”


  48. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:30 pm:

    “Yeah, I’m right and I’ll stomp my feet until everybody agrees with me. These simpletons just don’t get it.”

    Sometimes your arrogance gets in the way of what you are saying.


  49. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:32 pm:

    –”Yeah, what’s a few events? Nothing to worry about. No need to take any action at all. Let’s wait until it is a daily thing, then we can take a look at it.”–

    What are you talking about? Are you aware of a police department?

    Are you suggesting this silly bill would serve as crime prevention?


  50. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:32 pm:

    Christian’s proposal will provide an enhanced sentence if people use social media to plan criminal events.

    From the comments, you would think he’s proposing locking up all Twitter users.

    It is a reasonable and measured response to a problem.

    And yet people like Demoralized seem outraged.


  51. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:36 pm:

    @Henry:

    I wish you would follow your own advice and stop attributing things to people that they didn’t say. I could care less frankly. And you’ve ignored or failed to see my point. I’ve asked you to provide evidence that this is some huge epidemic that is creating a big danger of companies “picking up and moving to Naperville.” You haven’t. I’m all ears if it’s a problem. Instead of being condascending and arrogant maybe you could address the issue I have raised. If you feel it’s a big problem then fine, support the legislation. I don’t really care one way or the other. I just don’t see the point of the bill. Sorry if you think otherwise. Next time I need an opinion I’ll be sure to ask you first.


  52. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    Jeez Word, now you sound like the gun nuts who say we shouldn’t have any gun laws because the bad guys don’t follow the law.

    Yes Word, this will not solve all of our problems. But it may make things marginally better, and that’s good.

    There is no magic bill that will solve all of our problems. But we shouldn’t stop that from working on solving some of our problems.


  53. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:38 pm:

    Dude, you’re trolling.


  54. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:40 pm:

    Demoralized,

    Your point seems to be “this is not a major problem now, so let’s not do anything at all.”

    I disagree and think a measured response is a good idea.

    Am I missing some nuance to your argument?


  55. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    No Word, just seeking to understand your position.

    You wrote the following, right? “Are you suggesting this silly bill would serve as crime prevention?”

    How is that substantially different from the pro gun people saying that since bad guys won’t follow the law, we should not have gun laws?

    Word, don’t blame me because you took their approach.


  56. - Demoralized - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    @Henry:

    No you apparently haven’t missed my point and I’m glad. But that is far from the equivalent of sticking my head in the sand. I can’t ignore a problem that I don’t believe exists. If passage of the bill makes you feel better that’s ok. I’m not on some mission against it. All I’ve said is I don’t think it’s necessary, but that’s never stopped anybody from passing a law before.


  57. - Esquire - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    State Representative Davis: Forget about the “Michigan Avenue merchants.” How about the merchants at the Chicago Ridge, Evergreen Park and Ford City malls and shopping centers. Flash mobs have not been confined solely to the Magnificent Mile or the Gold Coast.


  58. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:50 pm:

    Man D, for a guy who doesn’t care about the issue, you sure do post a lot about the issue.

    In contrast, I post on the issue because I think it is pretty good idea. I think it is a measured response that, while not solving all of problems, may make things better. I admit I care. When it comes to stuff I don’t care about, I don’t post.

    At least that’s my general approach.


  59. - wordslinger - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 4:58 pm:

    Henry, your cannon is unmoored and rolling across the deck from “perceptions,” to “Michigan Avenue businesses closing” to “moving to Naperville” to “missed pension payments” to something about “gun nuts” (not a phrase I use).

    Yet you feel safe on Michigan Avenue.

    I’ll let you work it all out in your own mind.


  60. - HenryVK - Monday, May 13, 13 @ 5:02 pm:

    Is that really that confusing, W?
    1. There is not a major problem now;
    2. If the problem becomes major, businesses and tourists will leave;
    3. Christian’s bill is a measured response that will prevent this from becoming a major problem.

    Now Word, what do you find so boggling about that analysis?

    4. Word, YOU raised the issue that the bad guys will not follow the law, and I responded by saying that it the same logic used by the pro-gun people.

    Is that really “unmoored”?

    It seems pretty straight forward to me.


  61. - Chris - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 7:39 am:

    “bill is a measured response that will prevent this from becoming a major problem”

    Really? It will *prevent* what exactly? Do you actually believe that the little mooks doing this stuff are contemplating the consequences at all? Do you think that a ’sentence enhancement’ is even going to enter into it?

    Oh, and don’t think that concealed carry will end it, either (again, bc of teenage mooks not thinking thru consequences). But that’s much, much, much closer to a ’solution’ than this ridiculous ‘doing something’ bill.


  62. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 8:38 am:

    ===are contemplating the consequences at all? ===

    Most of those folks were just kids and not hardened criminals. And if you insist that a new law is worthless because some people will violate it, you’re on the wrong planet.


  63. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, May 14, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    No, but a new criminal law is worthless if it purports to deter a specific group (agreed, mostly “just kids”), yet does not and cannot deter that group, but does result in longer, costlier sentences without a clear public safety benefit.

    Perhaps “worthless” is the wrong word. This one can be expected to deter some people, though not the kids it claims to target. It happens to deliver a chilling effect to demonstrations, like those against NATO or in support of the CTU.

    Remember when NATO protestors tweeted each other about the existence of spontaneous gatherings outside of the primary, centralized/permitted demonstration, at other points during that week? Peaceful marches, but not necessarily legal.

    Bang.


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        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws..
        * Redrawing the map..
        * Politicians show off with taxpayers’ money..
        * Shribman: Races to watch in 2014..


        * Boeing to give California workers $47M in back pay
        * APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
        * Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws
        * Illinois prisons to use costly hepatitis C drug
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * Federal lawsuit over western Md. wind farm ends
        * University: Ill. pension reform had costly mistake

        * U of I officials seeking to prevent retirement rush
        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * 2015 tax rates still far from settled
        * Strip club tax brings in much less than expected
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * House bill urges schools to make digital emergency plans
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Rutherford's lawyers ask judge to dismiss sexual-harassment lawsuit

        * Census: People are leaving all six Chicago-area counties
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Medicaid paid $12 million for Illinois dead
        * Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
        * Emanuel names task force to find site for Lucas museum


        * Part of man’s ear bitten off by underage girlfriend’s brother
        * City sends bike cops into high-crime neighborhoods
        * Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate
        * Rapper Big Glo laid to rest; father vows better life for children
        * 1 dead, 7 wounded in shootings since Friday evening
        * Analysis: Pension reform to cost workers $55 million by 2025
        * Painful North Side CTA bypass is right move for the future
        * Cardinal’s  exemplary courage, grace
        * PAINFUL N. SIDE CTA PLAN IS RIGHT MOVE FOR THE FUTURE
        * Woman in serious-to-critical condition after being pulled from Lake Michigan


        * West Town car chase ends in shooting, 9 others shot across city
        * Woman who suffered stroke awarded $14 million in birth control case
        * Lake County Jail inmate commits suicide
        * Past government mole arrested on federal charges
        * Mom: 15-year-old son killed in North Chicago
        * Boston Bound: Chicago couple determined to run and remember
        * Illinois legislative watchdog recommends greater transparency
        * Illinois legislative watchdog recommends greater transparency
        * Boy, 15, pulled from pond in Woodstock dies
        * City parents can take part in a "mini-shopping spree" for new playground equipment


        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake
        * Fish fry dinners bring food, community to Catholics during Lent
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Murray Center Advocates Win Appeals Decision
        * Employment Improves, But Illinois Still Lags U.S.
        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization


        * U of I asks state legislators to prevent retirement rush; could affect 200 at UIS
        * Quinn grants 43 clemency requests
        * Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
        * Illinois Medicaid paying for dead clients
        * Democrats: Illinois schools could face major cuts
        * State prisons to use costly drug for hepatitis C
        * University: State pension reform had costly mistake
        * DNR mining-oversight official fired
        * Clock ticking for states to adopt health exchanges
        * GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library


        * Top of the Morning, April 19, 2014
        * Daily Digest 4/19/14
        * Earth Day event taking place in Makanda
        * Earth Day topics: House booklet, talks on climate, plants
        * Art exhibition expresses spiritual themes
        * GFWC District 25 hosts annual convention
        * Dinner to benefit fire department
        * New business to host grand opening
        * SIU Annuitants Association to meet
        * William Blankenship Sr.


        * 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

        * Schakowsky in Tokyo for Aspen Institute co...
        * Schakowsky on pre-Passover Kansas Jewish C...
        * On Equal Pay Day, Rep. Schakowsky Calls fo...
        * Statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Suprem...
        * Northwestern unionization leaders turn eff...
        * The Affordable Care Act's Successful First...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky: The Republican Ryan B...
        * Rep. Jan Schakowsky: The Affordable Care A...
        * "Is The New GM Responsible?": Barra Fields...
        * Schakowsky hits 'mean' Congress - San Dieg...

        * 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......

        * Mayor Promises Millions More To Repave Pothole Pocked Streets
        * Major Northside Streets Temporarily Closed To Move Bridge Saturday Morning
        * Anti-Speed, Red Light Camera Groups Plan Saturday Protest
        * GOP upset they didn’t get a chance to vote “No” on something Obama-related
        * Democratic National Committee Executive Committee meeting in Chicago June 8
        * Emily's List hits Chicago June 27: Sebelius, Lisa Madigan, Neely, Finney to speak
        * Feinstein, Chambliss defend phone data snooping to "keep the homeland safe." Durbin has concerns. UPDATED
        * President Obama official schedule and guidance June 6, 2013. North Carolina, California
        * Verizon phone records secretly collected by the National Security Agency
        * Obama to tap genocide fighter, Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power to become new United Nations Ambassador


        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Proposed Rules for Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act Filed
        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning
        * Illinois filmmakers invited to enter state’s Shortcuts competition - 7th year for Illinois Film Office contest honoring local talent




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