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*** UPDATED x2 - Subpoenas approved - Live audio *** Barickman wants subpoena power

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

*** UPDATE 2 *** Subpoenas were approved on a vote of 10-1, with Rep. Mautino as the lone “No” vote.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Click here to listen to live audio of the Legislative Audit Commission hearing.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* Sun-Times

A co-chairman of a legislative audit panel on Tuesday plans to seek authority to issue subpoenas for records and witnesses in a probe of the troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative in what could become a lingering — and potentially more of a public — headache for Gov. Pat Quinn.

State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, on Monday first told the Sun-Times political portal Early & Often that he will move to formally ask for the authority to subpoena records and witnesses from the anti-violence program that the state’s auditor slammed as riddled with mismanagement. […]

Barickman is a co-chairman of the Legislative Audit Commission, which is made up of six Republicans and six Democrats. He plans a morning news conference following the commission meeting.

I wrote about this issue in today’s subscriber edition. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman e-mailed this to me after reading what I wrote…

I think the Senator [Barickman] is about to learn the Auditor General already has subpoena power

* Meanwhile, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Sun-Times again

Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown had a direct managerial role in a not-for-profit group that got an anti-violence grant from Gov. Pat Quinn’s now-disbanded Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, state records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

The group, Dream Catchers Community Development Corp., was founded by Brown’s husband, Benton Cook III. It was asked to return unexpended grant money after having its contract terminated in 2011 by Chicago Area Project, a larger not-for-profit that had been overseeing organizations that had received money through the Quinn anti-violence initiative.

Dream Catchers was supposed to be paid as much as $10,000 by Chicago Area Project to distribute anti-violence literature between February 2011 and November 2011.

The group initially was awarded $3,333 of the $10,000. But Chicago Area Project ended the deal after only a few months, in May 2011, saying it learned of the potential conflict of interest posed by Cook also being paid tens of thousands of dollars by Chicago Area Project to oversee other Neighborhood Recovery Initiative programs.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


60 Comments
  1. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    From our recent poll… I went with a 4… Then ammended to Toast for PQ… I apologize to all the toast everywhere I ment no offense to comparing a favorite breakfast treat by many.


  2. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    meant..


  3. - PublicServant - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    Barickman is a tea party protege of Bill Brady who is shooting to become the Darrell Issa of Illinois. Dude, the feds have it covered. Why initiate an expensive, duplicative state level process?


  4. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:46 am:

    This keeps up and Barickman won’t need subpoena power.


  5. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    A guy… You are on it…


  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    ===I think the Senator [Barickman] is about to learn the Auditor General already has subpoena power…===

    I get the optics and the political to this.

    There is something to letting the US Attorney’s Office do their job, maybe call upon the Auditor General to testify about the forwarded report, (though you may face the ‘can’t comment on an ongoing Federal investigation), but I also recall the Feds and Blago, and taking on an evidentiary stance for an impeachment, not opening an investigation, and how that went.

    Senator, if you can get everyone to “sign off”, that would be miraculous. If its political one way, there is always a political opposite to it too.

    Built-in cover for a “no”, but ya haveta ask I guess.


  7. - Walker - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    The political posturing will continue by those not really interested in fixing anything.

    The Auditor has earned a very high level of credibility in the state, and has subpoena power. Of course, the Auditor’s report in total is already available to the Senator. Shortfalls occur when Legislators and Executive officers don’t pay attention to his office’s work, and underfund his efforts.

    This will stick to Quinn for weeks or months, whether or not Barickman jumps on the bandwagon and toots his own horn.


  8. - Quick Nick - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Why doesn’t Barickamn just wait for the Attorney General’s Office to do it?


  9. - Walker - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Ok. Some details of the scandal begin to emerge.

    $3300 out of $54Million might have been due to be misapplied, with a link to Dorothy Brown. Wow!

    Come on people — come up with something significant!

    I do expect more substance, to go along with the outrage and innuendo.


  10. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Dear Cook County GOP: Please get someone, anyone, maybe a hamster, to run against Dorothy Brown.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Legislative oversight is good. Reading the audits is probably a good start.

    It’s an election year, and obviously the program is more than fair political game, you just don’t want to see showboating senators step on already existing investigations.


  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Yup. No waste in government. Nothing. Just a very costly botched roll out run by a bunch of incompetents.

    I would love to see which other politically connected types drew salaries here. But with independent contractor groups out there, subpoena power is necessary. Does the Auditor General have the subpoena authority to force disclosure with how outside contractors spend monies on salaries? Or is that layer somehow buffered and protected?

    Crumbs to the victims. Prime rib and lobster to the politically connected.


  13. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    =Dear Cook County GOP: Please get someone, anyone, maybe a hamster, to run against Dorothy Brown.=

    Wouldn’t make any difference. The people of Chicago and Cook County have a history of electing, and re-electing, Dem felons. In this case the candidate didn’t do anything allegedly felonious, it was just her spouse.

    Dorothy Brown isn’t the brighest bulb in the box, but she’s been annointed patronage chief for the Cook recorder of deeds office. She was elected to find ways to dole out jobs and contracts to the politically connected, and she does it well.

    She’s a minority woman with the support of the Chicago and Cook patronage machine. You could have a resurrected St Francis of Assisi running against her and she’d get re-elected.


  14. - Walker - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    @Louis G. Atsaves: Good comments and questions. Let’s see it, whatever it is. I’m with you.

    I’m just trying not to assume I already know it.


  15. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Barickman wants to become famous, and that’s fine - it’s fair game politically. However, Steve Brown once again demonstrates why he is a living legend!


  16. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    === low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Barickman wants to become famous, and that’s fine - it’s fair game politically. However, Steve Brown once again demonstrates why he is a living legend!===

    We agree about Brown’s legendary status, but I don’t think this contribution was any real demonstration. Legislative oversight is different, unique and legendary in a lot of cases. I’d relegate what Steve said today as a “clever quip”, nothing more.


  17. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    You wonks might like the gamemanship here, but the reality is Barickman has a valid point and the public should know NOW what happened and not 3 years from now. I know for a fact that the Auditor General cant get into the great details on some of these questions. Just be honest they dont want this because it will embarass one of the political parties and several of the high and mighty Chicago politicians.


  18. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Party line vote is coming


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    === Just be honest they dont want this because it will embarass one of the political parties and several of the high and mighty Chicago politicians.===

    George Ryan was from Kankakee. Corruption can happen anywhere.

    You think the US Attorney is worried about perception? Good luck with that.

    It’s like everyone thinks an Auditor General report forwarded to the US Attorney is a coverup. News flash; it’s quite the opposite in the rule of law.


  20. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Great surprise on vote. I was hoping Andy Manar would vote yes.


  21. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Audit Pro - yes, the public is learning NOW thanks to the Auditor General and practically every news outlet in the state.


  22. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    And tell me in what timely manner the US Attorney will have results. 2 years? 3 years? This is Illinois, I know things get buried in all kinds of places. Don’t think any of these folks are independent. This is why this state is bankrupt.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    ===And tell me in what timely manner the US Attorney will have results. 2 years? 3 years?===

    When the US Attorney is ready. If they are “ready” and act, they are well over 90% conviction rate. They seem to know what they are doing. “First we’ll hang ‘em, then convict them”.

    ===This is Illinois,===

    The US Attorney is federal. Illinois has nothing to do with it, except your “Look at me, I’m a victim” mentality.

    ===I know things get buried in all kinds of places. Don’t think any of these folks are independent.===

    Evidence? What gas gotten burued on Quinn and this report, specifically? Example?

    You saying Bill Holland is a conspirator against you, personally, too. Yikes.

    ===This is why this state is bankrupt.===

    And… there it is, the drive-by!


  24. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    My auditing friend: shall we do a performance audit on say, the US Attorney’s office vs. the Illinois Legislature? I’ll predict the US Attorney’s office gets higher marks.


  25. - circularfiringsquad - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    Now we can listen to Jason ‘plain


  26. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:50 am:

    ==Shortfalls occur when Legislators and Executive officers don’t pay attention to his office’s work, and underfund his efforts.==

    You can’t unwind time, so there’s no legitimate reason to go hounding this issue if the Auditor General’s report is adequate. So, this is just posturing unless you want a serious overhaul of the state grant and contracting process. What are you going to do there, have the legislature pass a bill for every grant and contract? This is all political posturing by Barickman. If there’s a fire, the U.S. Attorney will be on it.


  27. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Oswego Willy - I have worked in all three branches of government in this stste and I am sure I know alot more than you on real items that have never seen the light of day. I have seen politics influence decisions by Inspector Generals, US Attorneys and yes the Auditor General. I can give you great details but it would all be called heresay because that is how things it hidden in this state. I am not saying it is one party or the other. I have seen egerious by both parties. The problem is a lack of ethics of leadership in this State at all levels.


  28. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    ==She’s a minority woman with the support of the Chicago and Cook patronage machine. You could have a resurrected St Francis of Assisi running against her and she’d get re-elected.==

    Those got dang minorities! You just can’t stop ‘em! Especially not with 66% of Cook County being white people! LOL.


  29. - NW Illinois Dem - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    If they get subpoena power on the IDOT hiring scandal to add to this … trouble for Dems.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===Oswego Willy - I have worked in all three branches of government in this stste and I am sure I know alot more than you on real items that have never seen the light of day…===

    I take you at your word; you know alot more than me.

    Did ya ever report all the shenanigans?

    ===I have seen politics influence decisions by Inspector Generals, US Attorneys and yes the Auditor General. I can give you great details but it would all be called heresay because that is how things it hidden in this state…===

    Wow. Just wow. Do you have the “secret files” too? Did you ever report any of this alleged corruption?

    You seem to have me beat;

    You know all, seen all, I am guessing became the biggest whistleblower in Illinois history.

    Still… Last 2 governors served time, “Safe Roads” nabbed “one or two” corrupt people, Cellini, Vrdolyak, Levine, Fawell, …

    I am just not as verse as you, I guess.

    If Bill Holland and the US Attorney are in cahoots, I will leave that with you. You “know better”


  31. - Southwest Cook - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    ==Especially not with 66% of Cook County being white people!==

    Actually, whites are down to 44% as of 2010 census.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cook_County,_Illinois#Demographics

    Dorothy Brown isn’t up until 2016 anyway. We’ll see if the Democrats force her to retire or if somebody primaries her. GOP won’t have a shot.


  32. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Rich - delete this if you need to, but I just have to call
    B.S. on Audit Pros statement he’s worked in all 3 branches of government and has seen cover ups, etc etc.

    Especially, with the lack of ethics, ethical violations are everywhere, that is why the state is broke stuff.

    You know, dude - if you actually HAD worked in government at all those levels you would know that the vast majority of state workers are committed, hardworking, often underpaid - and their ethics are beyond reproach. You sound exactly like Rauner’s attempts to win by tearing down state government as a whole.


  33. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Sounds like someone’s wearing a tinfoil eyeshade, OW.


  34. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    OW - Exactly and very well put. My sentiments exactly.

    I was about to put the phrase that starts with “bite ..” but it’s much better to leave that phrase to Rich.


  35. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Oh - vote was 10-1. So much for the party line vote, “embarrass Chicago politicians” stuff.

    Must be a dull day at Bruce’s HQ. Or new folks should be hired to post. Maybe Rauner needs to put more cash into it and get better quality of astroturfer.


  36. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Congratulations to the 10 voting in favor of the subpoena power.


  37. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    Sorry guys just telling you the truth. I am not disparaging the regular state employees in any of these statements. I am talking about the folks running the places. I have turned things into Inspector Generals as required by law in my former positions and sorry if you think eveything that is wrong makes it out to the public, but it does not in this State. Even the Inspector General will admit they can’t investigate everything due to the statute of limitations imposed on him. Don’t believe me if you want but look at the hearing last year when the Inspector general wanted to expand the timeframe for statue of limitation and the committee voted it down. You outsiders really dont see what happens until you are inside. LOW LEVEL - If you are a long time state employee, are you telling me you have not seen things covered up???


  38. - Cassandra - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    I’m with Walker. Although I’m no apologist for Brown, for whom I have never voted, the amount of “problem” money associated with Ms. Brown and her husband is pretty small. Plus, some of it was given back, right. And the husband’s salary as program coordinator–nonprofit management salaries are pretty generous in general right. A veritable feast at the state grant trough, but hardly limited to Mr. Cook. And that’s the real problem.


  39. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    At this point, it’s all political theatre.

    They will ultimately drag “witnesses” in front of the media during public hearings for the sake of spouting off, beating up the Governor and getting their faces on tv. This is unlikely to add anything to the investigative process, unless they do some real work behind closed doors.

    Most likely, they would be better off spending time on other issues facing our state right now.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    ===Oh - vote was 10-1. So much for the party line vote, “embarrass Chicago politicians” stuff.===

    I just thought having Holland testify could be dramatic enough, this will be interesting to see over the Summer.

    I’m impressed by All, Sen. Barickman, especially.

    For Quinn, “the hits just keep on coming”

    - AA - & - low level -, some just know more, I hope he/she write a book, fiction is fun.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    === You outsiders really dont see what happens until you are inside===

    That might be my favorite; condescending and oblivious.

    I said you know more than me, what more of you want? You know. This blog is full of outsiders, glad you can straighten me out.


  42. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    You political wonks can say what you want, but I have seen it all happen and inmy position had more access than you could imagine. I am not invovled with any politician; I just see this state getting ran into the ground. I hope for true leaders to bring this state back and I don’t see them in either of the candidates for Governor this time around. We need more Fred Crespos and Andy Manars influencing this State


  43. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    OW spot on… If in 3 years and it were Gov Rauner…Would we see the same amount of nothing to see here comments? No matter party lines, I for one want more sunshine than less..You can’t defend Illinois one day, and then trash a vote like this the next… Credibility matters for all.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===You political wonks can say what you want, but I have seen it all happen and inmy position had more access than you could imagine…===

    I have a pretty good imagination. Now, I never had access likf you, so I don’t know who you are trying to convince. You know more. I said so. You know, got it.

    I am sure Mr. Crespos and Mr. Manar are glad you are in their corner.


  45. - 100 Miles West - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    I hope the committee will also look at all the construction contractors. All this press for Dorothy Brown, while the McHugh Construction $12 million fine wasn’t given nearly as much attention.


  46. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    OW agree this was a good day for Illinois by the Audit Commission and sunshine is the best cure for our ills. Not for or against anyone just want better leadership and stating things I know that have happened in this state over the past 20 years.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    - Audit professional -,

    You would know a “good day” not me. You would know.

    ===…and stating things I know that have happened in this state over the past 20 years.===

    You know, so know. I am happy for you.


  48. - Audit professional - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    OW, you are so smug and over confident in your own knowledge. Good for you. I say Fred Crespo and Andy Manar are great guys because they care about this State and I have personnally worked wih them on state issues. I have done my years of testifing in front of committees and we all know different people, worked in different environments and have specific knowledge and sorry sharing some of that knowledge offends you.


  49. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    @Audit Professional:

    If you truly are an auditor you are a crappy one if you know of all of these “illegal” things taking place and haven’t done anything about it.

    I’ve been around for a long time too and apparently haven’t been exposed to the rampant corruption where you work. Call the cops. Do something. Do anything. If you’ve got the goods then prove it.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    - Audit professional -,

    Who are you arguing with, yourself? I said you know more. Geez Louise. You. Know. More.

    Congrats.

    To the Post,

    Just speaking to timing, do you roll this all out after the 4th of July? Summer is a slow time so it could get more play before anything else heats up? If you are requested to testify, and you are part of the Federal probe, you have to plead the 5th, right? The Feds would love open testimony I am sure.


  51. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Says OW: Senator, if you can get everyone to “sign off”, that would be miraculous. If its political one way, there is always a political opposite to it too.

    Well, he got all but one. Still miraculous OR there’s a deeper crack in the concrete than we thought OR it’s every Governor for himself OR no roads lead to MJM but all lead to the Manse.


  52. - fed up - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    Dorthy brown and her husban seem to have plenty of experiance turning a profit out of Govt jobs.

    FOX 32 News & Better Government Assoc.) - How would you like to have a piece of property handed to you for free and then turn around and sell it for $100,000? Sound too good to be true? Not if you’re one of Cook County’s most powerful Democratic politicians.

    FOX 32 and the Better Government Association have uncovered a complex series of property transactions involving Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown that’s raising some tough questions for the veteran politician.

    What makes all of this even more curious is that the property was handed over for free by one of Clerk Brown’s top campaign contributors, who has family working in the clerk’s office


  53. - Barney - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    here’s the recurring problem for Quinn, he can’t stay on a single message.

    Message #1: i found the corruption and put an end to it. False-Senate R’s found it first.

    Message #2: it’s all politics. False-Bipartisan group of legislators just called for investigation.

    stay tuned for message #3


  54. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    - A Guy… -,

    Please read before commenting;

    ===I just thought having Holland testify could be dramatic enough, this will be interesting to see over the Summer.

    I’m impressed by All, Sen. Barickman, especially.

    For Quinn, “the hits just keep on coming”===

    To your questions, I would respond, but it appears you don’t read.


  55. - Bigtwich - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    After reading Audit professional’s comments I expect he is at the top of the list of everybody having Subpoena power.


  56. - A guy... - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    OW, loosen your sans a belts. I was in agreement with your earlier observation. It is miraculous. More is going on here, because miraculous means calculated around here. I wasn’t asking a question. If I was, you should be more flattered. lol


  57. - low level - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Political wonks? Actually, it’s more “policy wonks” who are often at odds with the political types.


  58. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    ==- Southwest Cook - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 12:11 pm:==

    Try reality for a change.
    http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/17031.html

    “White alone, percent, 2012 (a) 65.9%”


  59. - Walker - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 5:55 pm:

    Audit Pro: Thanks for you comments.

    I will agree that Manar and Crespo are the kind of people who can help lead this state into better financial and ethical grounds.

    My problem is your broad brush. I can name at least thirty others in the public eye currently at work with those same skills and standards, who seem to have escaped your notice. And, as I am sure you would know, most in government out of the public eye are in fact honest, underappreciated, and hardworking. The bad ones do spoil the whole barrel.

    Your comments on the limits of the State
    Auditor’s scope and real powers, if accurate, are concerning. I already knew his work has not been as fully appreciated as it should.


  60. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 6, 14 @ 6:45 pm:

    Um, Precinct Captain, I have to go with Southwest on this one, since you referenced “minorities.”

    That 66% you cite is for both non-Hispanic and Hispanic whites. Typically, in the context of electoral politics, the term “white” excludes Latinos.


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        * State budget cuts to hit students, sickle cell .....
        * Illinois GOP targets political hiring; Democrat.....
        * Springfield can be speedy when it wants to..
        * Constituent Reaction to Kotowski Townhall..
        * Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in a word: .....
        * Illinois lawmakers consider ban on crib bumper .....
        * CBOF Celebrates 48 in Chicago..


        * Goodell: Emanuel delivered in bringing NFL draft to Chicago
        * Illinois lawmakers consider ban on crib bumper pads
        * Chicago mother of earthquake survivor worries of his return
        * Swansea school district settles civil rights complaint
        * ISP investigates East St. Louis Housing Authority shooting
        * Illinois GOP targets political hiring; Democrats wary
        * U of Illinois spends $30K for Biden speech on sex assault
        * 1 firefighter injured in suburban warehouse fire
        * 'To Kill a Mockingbird' play to go on under Harper Lee group
        * 2 sentences reduced in St. Clair courthouse drug scandal

        * Illinois GOP targets political hiring; Democrats wary
        * Crib bumper bills bump heads in General Assembly
        * New state school superintendent says funding fix could take years
        * Statehouse Insider: Rauner's story of unions stifling innovation "sounds like pure fiction," union says
        * New schools chief says funding fix could take years
        * State budget fix includes $106M in Medicaid cuts
        * House passes bill to create high-speed rail oversight panel
        * Bill would allow students to opt out of state tests
        * Illinois House OKs time limit on storing license plate data
        * House passes bill to create high speed rail oversight panel

        * The opportunity in boomers and their aching backs
        * Here's how Method's new Chicago factory went green—and how much it cost
        * Up on the roof, it's green as can be
        * Getting to Platinum LEED requires lead time
        * Letters to the editor


          * Naperville woman critical after falling 25 feet in Starved Rock
          * No bail for 2 men charged with shooting at off-duty police officer
          * West Side shootings leave 1 dead, 3 wounded
          * Franklin Park man killed while bicycling on Mannheim
          * Boys hospitalized after being struck by vehicle in Humboldt Park
          * Lockport man dies in crash
          * Police: Dog that 'came at' officers fatally shot
          * Missing U of Colorado student from Western Springs located
          * Burglars try, fail to break into Mag Mile store
          * Firefighters battle blaze at candle warehouse in Batavia


          * Illinois prisons chief says union contracts causing problems
          * Sheriff Dart to investigate unlicensed rehab centers
          * Rauner's first 100 days: The fight between unions and Rauner
          * Large provider of Chicago mental health services, C4, is closing
          * After detective’s acquittal in fatal shooting, prosecutors face criticism
          * Mayor Emanuel taps CTA director to be chief of staff
          * Portage Park church mourns 'favorite son' Cardinal George
          * Lawmakers fast-track bill on Obama library, Lucas museum
          * Emanuel announces more FAA meetings on O'Hare noise
          * Cook County prosecutor to try new approach to drug crimes


          * Illinois GOP targets political hiring; Democrats wary
          * Crib bumper bills bump heads in General Assembly
          * New state school superintendent says funding fix could take years
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Downstate representation gone from Illinois Commerce Commission
          * Statehouse Insider: Rauner's story of unions stifling innovation "sounds like pure fiction," union says
          * Statehouse Insider: Rauner's story of unions stifling innovation "sounds like pure fiction," union says
          * Our Opinion: The promise and the perils of YouTube
          * Andy Shaw: Preserve police conduct records to better serve and protect
          * Angie Muhs: Reader panel will help connect Springfield to its newspaper
          * Deckle McLean: Independent voters the new political wild card


          * Boil order issued
          * Collinsville woman dies in house fire Sunday
          * Two men arrested following armed robbery in Rantoul
          * Belleville car lot to be reoccupied
          * What’s going into the former Savannah Motors lot in Belleville?
          * What’s moving into the former Savannah Motors lot in Belleville?
          * Dress for Success hosts Recycle the Runway
          * 1 firefighter injured in suburban warehouse fire
          * Civil War Timeline: Logan at Raleigh
          * Divorces


          * Images from area Special Olympic Spring Games
          * Russell leads Cubs over Reds 5-2
          * How suburban schools get kids ready for kindergarten
          * Juventus beaten 2-1 by Torino in derby marred by violence
          * Blues pull Allen in 2nd period after 2nd goal by Wild

          * Armenian-American judge marks WWI-era kill...
          * Letter: Referendum a step toward reclaimin...
          * Instapundit shares shocking claim of sexua...
          * Biden: 'This is within our power'
          * Republicans back bill letting illegal immi...
          * LIVE: Biden speaks on supporting survivors
          * Hariri from US: moderation key to fighting...
          * Will Urban League's Zopp enter Senate race...
          * Armenian-American judge marks centennial o...
          * Study: Life Expectancy Determined on Your ...

          * Northbrook Boy Continues Quest for Diabete......
          * 37 US Senators call on EPA to stand tough ......

          * 37 US Senators call on EPA to stand tough ......
          * Battle Buddies share persistence...

          * Opt out courage, threats and cowardice.
          * Union democracy by push polls.
          * Broadway is Open!
          * We almost beat Representative Christian Mitchell last year and he won’t let it go. Wait until we beat him next time.
          * Raunigan.
          * Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
          * Chiraq
          * I got a nice note from my colleague Curtis House. “You can’t represent sitting on your assets.”
          * Here are the undecideds on the opt out HB 306. Make the call.
          * My afternoon at the Network for Public Education Chicago conference.


          * IDPH Moves to Eliminate Meningococcal Meningitis - New Vaccination Requirements for Adolescents
          * YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! kicks off statewide as preparations begin for new server training law
          * Emergency Management Officials Launch Weather Alert Radio Contest - ‘Weather Alert Radios Save Lives’ contest promotes awareness; 100 radios to be awarded
          * IDOT Launches Statewide Listening Tour to Discuss Illinois Infrastructure Needs, Priorities
          * Illinois Student Assistance Commission Encourages Families To Learn About Personal Finance During Money Smart Week Event





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