* Illinois schools get waiver from No Child Left Behind progress mandate: Going forward, the state’s lowest-performing 10 percent of schools will receive extra services as “focus schools,” and the lowest half of those will get even more help as “priority schools,” Vanover said.
* Southern Illinois HIV Cases at Decade High
* Sun-Times: Casino bill must include Chicago — and safeguards: We’d be fine with a Chicago-only plan, because the city, which already draws many visitors, is the best place in the state to plunk down a new casino — or any casino. A city casino would not only encourage current visitors to spend more money while they are here, but also draw additional travelers and conventioneers, people who would spend money in restaurants, hotels and stores. Facing serious financial problems, Chicago needs the financial boost. We share the concerns of critics that casinos bring problems, such as binge gambling and crime, but that’s already here, just past the city limits and over the state line.
* Transit shake-up not on fast track, key lawmaker says: An issue as complicated as how the different transit agencies are governed and funded requires a lot more legislative work and thought, Riley said Monday. He doubted bills about them could be crafted or passed this legislative session.
* Watchdog to lawmakers: Move swiftly on transit reforms
* Arlington Heights girls’ puppy mill bill passes House
* Kane Co. officials urge school closings on election days
* Authorities file objections to some concealed carry permits: The Illinois State Police have received 1,669 objections from law enforcement agencies across the state, with about half of those coming from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. That’s compared to 33,207 licenses that have been granted since Illinois first began approving licenses earlier this year…Ben Breit, Cook County Sheriff Department communications director, said the agency has filed more than half of the objections sent to the state police, with 839 for Chicago and suburban Cook County applicants.
* I-Team: New gun laws would save lives?: One hundred and eighty days is about the time the average simple gun violator in Chicago spends in jail under current law, and 930 days would be the number for the same gun possession crime if proposed legislation becomes law. With the casualty toll after Easter weekend in double digits, it is the remedy police and politicians count on.
* Feds create new Chicago teams targeting cybercrime, securities fraud
* Cook County Sheriff reopens investigation of priest
* Emanuel defends taxpayer-funded travel
* Mayor Emanuel urges people to stand together against violence
* Mayor decries weekend violence: ‘It’s whether you have values’
* Mitchell: People in violence-plagued areas have to ‘stand up’ to stem the problem: Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says he intends to put more bike patrols in 19 zones on the South and West sides that have a history of high violence. Given the carnage that occurred over Easter Sunday when another 37 people were wounded and eight others killed, there isn’t likely to be any reduction in the amount of police overtime either. But in certain neighborhoods, a squad car would have to sit on just about every corner to stop the brazen shootings.
* Community values, new cops called key in fighting city’s violence
* Marin: Fire cops in Koschman cover-up
* Former Cook sheriff, judge Richard Elrod dies
* Former Cook County sheriff dies at 80
* Preckwinkle names new Cook County CIO
* Cook County recorder’s hiring practices questioned
* Bill seeks to monitor defendants posting bail
* Shaw: Illinois morbidly obese with thousands of governments
* Lawyer: No more appeals for ex-Dixon bookkeeper
* Remap leaves two incumbents fighting for Englewood Council seat: Foulkes has told colleagues she will give up her 15th Ward seat, which was redrawn to give it a 68 percent Hispanic majority, to try to unseat Thompson in a ward that is now the home of many of her former constituents, sources tell me. I couldn’t get Foulkes to the phone to discuss her decision. Thompson said she was disappointed but not surprised.
* Sneed: Rahm orders air conditioning for every classroom within five years
* Lights, cameras but no action on video in Cook County courtrooms
* Apparent inmate suicide investigated at Lake County Jail
* Ex-Bensenville employee on work-release after pleading guilty to theft
* Past government mole arrested on federal charges
* State to spend $10 million on Cook County projects
* Governor announces Lake, McHenry projects
* Money for Lake Michigan shoreline projects
* City, county face lawsuit by Farmers Insurance for April 2013 flooding
* Daily Herald: Potential for train service is welcome news
* Average Kane County tax bill to fall for first time in recent history
* State wants Island Lake to return $239,000 grant: The grant was awarded in 1992 to help the village purchase about 12 acres called Greenleaf Woods. The sum covered half of the estimated $478,000 purchase price, documents show.
* Rock Island prepares for Mississippi flooding
* RI council changes course and OK’s sale of vacant lot to Arc
* Moline seeks land for parking
* (Quincy) City reaches deal with firefighters to prevent temporary station closures
* Quincy retail sales hit record in 2013, though sales fell off in December
* Peoria Councilman Jim Montelongo says Mayor Ardis should explain response to Twitter parody
* Bloomington mayor vetoes city budget
* Danville considers letting people raise chickens
* (Carbondale) new firehouse nearly ready for staff
* Bucky dome restoration project lifts off — finally
* Williamson County Regional Airport eyes new terminal building