Hey, I’m all for new members to the Capitol Fax Intern Caucus.
* We’re going to get off to a slower start today. I have a class on Wednesday nights that runs into the early morning hours. I have a couple posts lined up that I’ll try to push out by this afternoon. Until then, here’s a rundown on some of today’s headlines…
* Biss: UPDATE: Pension conference committee: This process has been lengthy, partly due to the difficult and contentious nature of the issue — even as we hone in on a recommendation, conference committee members are hashing out every aspect of the topic carefully, and many components require significant compromise from all participants. Perhaps even more importantly, we are taking very seriously the need for a robust, credible actuarial evaluation of our final product. Consequently, we are requesting very thorough — and, yes, time-consuming — studies of our ideas.
* Pension fund buys River North apartment tower: The pension fund acquired a majority stake in Kingsbury Plaza, a 47-story tower just north of the East Bank Club in River North, according to people familiar with the transaction. TRS acquired its interest from GE Asset Management, which built the 420-unit high-rise in 2007 in a joint venture with Chicago-based apartment landlord Habitat Co.
* New Chamber CEO Mintle can’t lobby till 2015
* Study: Poverty increases fast in Chicago suburbs: The number of suburbanites living in poverty had grown to 629,564 by 2011, according to a review of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Heartland Alliance, a nonprofit group that fights poverty. That’s 95 percent higher than the 1990 number, the report said. That increase was faster than the 29 percent overall suburban population growth during the period.
* ‘I’m the guy you’re looking for’: Escaped prisoner with Glen Carbon ties recaptured: Carter was spotted by local police in Palestine, Ill., on Tuesday afternoon walking down the street about seven miles from the prison. When stopped, Carter told police, “I’m the guy you’re looking for” and surrendered without confrontation, then asked for water. Carter was part of a mowing detail at the minimum-security prison, located about 110 miles southeast of Champaign near the Indiana border. While assigned to the work crew cutting grass on the prison grounds, he walked away.
* Nearly $1 million awarded in Illinois inmate death suit
* Topinka: Illinois can regain fiscal footing
* Consumer protection clinic turns to talk about state’s bills
* Jack Higgins’ on State Capitol Rehab
* Brown: Restoring majestic state Capitol is one thing, but $669,608 for doors?
* Journal Star: Roads must be maintained, but let’s face it, there’s a cost
* Push for teacher quality in Illinois takes toll on minority candidates
* Higher Ed Leader Says President’s Plan Reflects Illinois Efforts
* Report: Farmers Could Do More To Lessen Impact Of Drought: The Natural Resources Defense Council says farmers could have greatly reduced losses, if they had been working to improve soil health. The NRDC suggests that planting certain grasses and legumes, and implementing a set of soil conservation practices, could nearly drought-proof fields. That would save farmers a lot of headache and taxpayers a lot of money
* Quinn Declares September “Recovery Month”
* Illiana expressway gets red light from planning group: “The current plan for the Illiana does not demonstrate significant transportation or economic benefits in exchange for high and uncertain costs,” the council said in a statement. “MPC opposes the Illiana.”
* Whole Foods developer gets $10 million city subsidy: (Walter) Robb promised to “learn and listen” to Englewood residents, serve “what the community wants, so long as it meets our quality standards” and offer “affordable” prices. “I don’t yet know exactly how we’re gonna do that . . . But, we’ve had some experience in the last year in Detroit,” he said of the 21,000-square-foot store now exceeding expectations in Midtown, one of that bankrupt city’s more vibrant communities.
* Whole Foods coming to Englewood
* Public hearings begin for CPS master plan
* Loyola gets vacated street to create more of a campus feel in Rogers Park
* Morton College gets $4.5 million classroom addition funding
* Midway to get speedier security screening by year’s end
* Des Plaines River flood plan calls for new levees, wetlands, dam removal
* Bomb threats made against Kane County courthouses
* Rockford’s use of funds questioned by feds
* Stimulus money went for paintball, movie tickets
* Rockford may dissolve department in stimulus audit aftermath
* Houston: I’ll Start Thinking About Re-Election Next Spring: But half-way through a term he had said would be his last, Mike Houston is now hinting at the possibility of re-election.
* Panhandling Suit Filed In Springfield
* (Springfield) To Help Foot Bill For EPA Coal Tar Cleanup
* IDNR demonstrates how to reel in a healthy pond
* EIU enrollment off but freshman on the rise
* Shelbyville City Council says it’s time to tighten finances