Cheer up, everyone. We’re talking about the Blackhawks. They aren’t exactly the Cubs offense in New York or Chris Sale’s bullpen support in the ninth. IT’S THE MOTHER FLIPPIN’ BLACKHAWKS! RALLY CAP TIME, CHICAGO!
* Illinois unemployment drops to 5-year-low
* 25 BEST AND WORST ILLINOIS COUNTY FEBRUARY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES, MAPPED OUT
* Delay in Ruling on Rutherford Lawsuit
* Analysis: Pension reforms to cost workers $55 million by 2025: The Anderson Economic Group also calculated the cost to Chicago taxpayers that Emanuel hopes to offset with a $250 million property tax increase if Gov. Pat Quinn agrees to sign the pension reform bill. The city will be required to contribute $530 million by 2025. That’s 9 percent of overall city revenues and $450 million more than the city would otherwise be required to contribute without pension reform. But the cost of waiting even five more years to confront the city’s pension crisis was even worse. It was pegged at $310 million because of lost investment returns.
* Sneed: Cardinal George may preside over his last Easter Mass on Sunday: George’s third and final dose of chemotherapy for his third bout of cancer is Monday, the day after Easter. “Then we’ll see what comes next,” said Dolan. Sneed is told the cardinal’s request a week ago that the Papal Nuncio begin his replacement process was based on more than just his deteriorating health. George, who replaced Cardinal Joseph Bernardin five months after his death, regrets missing the opportunity to seek Bernardin’s opinion and “ask questions,” said Dolan. “He’d like to give his replacement that opportunity.”
* IDNR fires Tony Mayville: The 58-year-old Du Bois resident said officials claimed he began campaigning for the seat before he was cleared to run by IDNR chief Marc Miller. He said his handling of campaign donations from a coal company also played a role in his firing. “I still contend I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Mayville, who was earning $92,642 annually before his ouster.
* USGS prelim report shows M2.1 earthquake near Ina, IL
* Illinois farmland values stabilizing
* Environmental groups file suit to stop $1.3B Illiana toll road proposal
* State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization
* State officials drop proposed medical pot gun ban
* Brown: Odds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: In particular, the most important new wrinkle — giving ownership of a Chicago casino to the State of Illinois, which would then split the revenue 50-50 with the city — bore the fingerprints of a solution crafted by Madigan to resolve the city’s problematic demands for public ownership.
* Vanecko attorneys seek to dismiss lawsuit by David Koschman’s mother
* Carrier Sues Illinois Over Rolling Stock Tax Exemption
* Madigan’s Office Investigating Herbalife Pyramid Scheme Allegations
* Emanuel rings up frequent flier tab
* Raises for Will County officials off the table
* Macoupin County Board blocks sheriff’s hirings
* Kadner: A $17,000 tax error to be corrected
* Beaman files new lawsuit against former Normal police officers: Beaman served more than 13 years in prison for the 1993 death of Jennifer Lockmiller of Decatur before the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the conviction in 2008.
* Family wants answers in SIU student’s death
* Krejci named interim provost at Illinois State University
* ISU Students continue to ask questions about Flanagan resignation: Members and supporters of the group I Paid For Flanagan met in Schroeder Hall Wednesday night to lay out exactly what they the university to answer. Organizer and Senior Sociology Major Chris Roehl said it starts with answering where the money for Flanagan’s $480,000 severance package comes from.
* ISU officials respond to I Paid For Flanagan
* UIC, faculty union reach tentative agreement
* (Macon) County Democrats, Republicans elect leaders
* (Decatur) commission urges hiring new Human Rights Officer