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*** UPDATED x1 - Beer tickets? *** OEIG: Rednour solicited a big gift, Bliefnick improperly accepted gifts

Monday, Jul 28, 2014

* From the Executive Inspector General…

First Deputy Inspector General Kristy Shores today discussed the results of the investigation by the Office of Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Illinois Governor (OEIG) into the solicitation and acceptance of gifts from State vendors at the DuQuoin and Illinois State Fairs. In a ruling issued on July 24, 2014 and made available today, the Executive Ethics Commission (EEC) found that DuQuoin Fair Manager John Rednour, Jr. improperly solicited a gift valued between $4,000 and $8,000 and that Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick improperly accepted gifts from a fair vendor, both in violation of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.

“The Ethics Act sets clear standards for what State employees may solicit and what they may not solicit or accept,” said Deputy Inspector General and Chief of the Springfield Division Laura Bautista, whose division led the investigation. “It is illegal to solicit or accept gifts of a certain value from a vendor, and our investigation revealed that both State employees violated the law in this regard.”

After conducting its investigation, the OEIG referred the matter to the Office of Illinois Attorney General (OAG) for prosecution. Assistant Attorney General Francis Neil MacDonald represented the OEIG before the EEC and subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment in this matter. In proceedings before the EEC, John Rednour, Jr. acknowledged that he had asked a State vendor for gifts worth between $4,000 and $8,000 in 2012 and Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick acknowledged receiving gifts from a State vendor in varying amounts worth more than $100 each year.

The EEC levied a $5,000 fine against John Rednour, Jr., which in this instance is the maximum fine available. In its decision, the EEC also noted that Mr. Rednour agreed to not seek or accept State employment for five years from the date of the EEC’s final decision. The EEC also levied a $1,000 fine against Amy Bliefnick.

Obviously, the Rednour problem is far more serious. Rednour, one of the heirs to a wealthy, connected southern Illinois Democratic family, resigned in January to take over his late father’s bank.

*** UPDATE *** This turns out to be a bit silly. I highly doubt they drank all that beer themselves. They most likely gave the tix away

Illinois State Fair manager Amy Bliefnick has been fined $1,000 by the Executive Ethics Commission after she admitted to the commission that she accepted $540 in free beer tickets from a beer vendor during the 2013 fair.

The commission also fined former DuQuoin State Fair manager John Rednour, Jr., $5,000 after he admitted he solicited up to $8,000 in free beer tickets from beer vendor at that fair.

That’s fairly standard practice in the private sector. But, whatever.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


69 Comments
  1. - downstate demo - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    So the gifts were not so bleeped golden……..


  2. - fuzzy math - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    So… acknowledged that he had asked a State vendor for gifts worth between $4,000 and $8,000 in 2012 and he only is fined 5,000. Note gifts is plural.

    Seems like he still made out of this in the black.

    And it looks like Amy is still on the payroll…

    So much from fumigation, Pat.


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Wow, you’re an heir to a bank and you’re shaking down vendors? It’s always amazing to see the great risks some will take for relatively little return.


  4. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Hats off to the EIG for this impressive probe and prosecution. Wonder how many millions got spent on this one?


  5. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    Was this just cash, or did it come in other prize forms?


  6. - BigDoggie - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Just trying to emulate their superiors??


  7. - Terrance Peterson - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    It was all about beer tickets. Looks like a vendor lost the contract and dropped a dime on Rednour and Bliefnick who asked for free beer tickets.


  8. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    IRS?


  9. - walker - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    The ethos of entitlement dies hard.

    Never criticize a watchdog for biting a burglar, even if it does eat a lot of food. It’s always a good thing, and sends a message.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    “A roll or two of beer tickets”? If his family owns a bank, he probably could have bought at least a few rounds himself.

    It sounds like this was a generally accepted, casual part of the fair’s culture based on what happened to Bliefnick. From the commission’s report

    == While Respondent Bliefnick admits that she freely received beer tickets from a prohibited source in violation of the Ethics Act, there is no evidence that she schemed to obtain the tickets. Rather, the unsolicited gift of beer tickets from the vendor to the Fair Director appears to be a long-standing, albeit unlawful, practice. ==

    That does not make it OK. That does makes one wonder if investigators are now pursuing every drink tab over $100 that may get picked up by a “friend” and not be disclosed, or if there was additional motivation for pursuing these two in particular.

    Sounds like @Terrance Peterson clarifies that for us.


  11. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    more than $4000 in beer tickets? Now that would have been a hangover. More seriously, it’s hard to know whether the Springfield issue is serious or not. She didn’t solicit apparently, so was it meals that collectively went over 100, or was it a Krugerrand, or what? Was it $101, and she had added incorrectly and she thought it was $99? I hope for her sake it was minor and accidental, but even more I hope the inspector general’s office knows the difference between corruption and bulls__t, because he ruins people


  12. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    steve schnorf continues his hot streak.

    The man just has a way with words.

    Rednour clearly seems out of line by soliciting tickets, but Bliefnick seems almost like an entrapment situation.

    “Here, have some beer tickets Amy.” Vendor loses contract. “Hey, did you hear about Amy taking beer tickets?”


  13. - Ghost of Gene Hayes - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    1,500 thirsty people……

    http://www.duquoin.com/article/20140715/NEWS/140719668


  14. - Langhorne - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    I didnt see anything where the gifts were intended to affect decisions, like the awarding of contracts. Free beer tickets likely get passed on–to volunteers, visitors, organizations, etc. she cant use state money to buy beer tickets for promotional use.


  15. - Sue - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Yawn- what a great use of taxpayer dollars investigating BS


  16. - downstate demo - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    So it was bleeping golden hops big deal.Like Langhorne said it was probably for others.


  17. - Sausage - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    Will those Beer tickets work at the cash bar for Rauner’s election party in November?


  18. - LIncoln (B)LOGger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    So if a vendor gives somebody $4000-$8000 and the recipient gives it away, then that’s ok? Better check the ethics laws. Pretty sure that one won’t be in there.


  19. - summertimeblues - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    I’m not trying to diminish the seriousness of shaking down vendors or violating the Ethics Act, but spending thousands of dollars on this investigation is kind of pointless. I have yet to see a report from the Inspector General that actually tackles real corruption or massive ethics issues. The big reports (DCFS, HFS) were all based on the work of others, not the OEIG. That office gets millions and they seem to only report on small potato items.


  20. - nadia - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Glad we got this cleared up, I was beginning to worry about where all that beer was going. Only time will tell how this impacts beer sales. Obviously when it involves beer it is not BS. Speaking of BS ever wonder who gets all the animal manure generated at the State Fairs? Now there’s another situation ripe for a real investigation, a kickback for something that’s really worth a s__t.


  21. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    Isn’t the key word here “solicit?” If the beer tickets were worth $4-$8K, that’s still real value. What he did with them is irrelevant.


  22. - Watch the clown - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Do you know how you keep people volunteering year after year to help at the fair? Or how to keep long-time visitors to continue renting trailer space for the week?

    Beer tickets. Minor infraction to keep things running at “The” State Fair.


  23. - PoolGuy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    who knew that “free beer” could be a bad thing…


  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    The real crime in all of this is charging $4 for cheap draft beer


  25. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Small potatoes. They’ve been punished, now lets move on. I would think the OEIG has more important things to do with their time than investigate beer tickets. This is why people in state government hate the OEIG. They focus on this crap.


  26. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Spillage. Ain’t no crisis bigger than spillage.


  27. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    OEIG remains a joke. Don’t we often ask private sector entities to make donations for various good causes? If these were for fair volunteers, I’m really not horrified. Is there option the state buying free beers? I think that would be worse, actually.

    These vendors make bank on the fair. I don’t think it’s ridiculous to ask them to kick in for the volunteers who make it possible.


  28. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    So the state tries to do something that the private sector does but people get in a tizzy about it.


  29. - tberry - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    That’s fairly standard practice in the private sector. But, whatever.

    In the private sector, it doesn’t involve public money. See the difference?


  30. - Terrance Peterson - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    Two state employees receive/request a free benefit from a state contract holder in which they have some sort of interest or authority. At minimum, it’s an ethics violation.

    Happens all the time in the private sector. Well this is the public sector with ethics laws, procurement rules and criminal statutes.

    And, do you think as they gave away these tickets they said they came from the vendor or from them?


  31. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    –That’s fairly standard practice in the private sector. But, whatever.–

    Yes it is and I wonder how many people who think government should be run like a business are on here complaining. The issue with Rednour seems a little more serious since he was soliciting a gift and we don’t know the specifics of his solicitation such as, what it more of a shake down and than a solicitation.

    steve schnorf’s comment is my favorite.


  32. - LIncoln (B)LOGger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    If commenters think this is a waste of time, you should give up commenting.

    This is real, and it is clearly outside acceptable. This isn’t the private sector, training is annually provided to educate you on what is and isn’t acceptable, and this happened all the same ignoring all of that.

    This matters, it has to be investigated, and when proven, warrants appropriate discipline.

    These people aren’t kids - they know better and did it anyway.


  33. - PoolGuy - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    “In the private sector, it doesn’t involve public money. See the difference?”

    the beer tickets were from a private beer vendor. how is that “public money”?


  34. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    “$200…and you fellas drank $300 worth of beer.”

    I wonder how the state ethics code is interpreted after an $8,000 bar tab.


  35. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Also - A $5k fine in exchange for what would have been be an $8k bill? You could make an argument that Rednour won even in this loss.


  36. - anon-again - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    In the private sector these two would have been
    Fired for taking money from a vendor private cos also have ethics rules this is acceptable nowhere,
    And those who think it is gives us the example in print


  37. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    In the Rednour case, if the $4-$8K in beer tickets from the vendor were for fair volunteers (were they?), put it in the contract with the state, i.e., “vendor will supply free of charge….”

    Soliciting items of value does happen all the time in the private sectors: it’s called a “kickback., i.e. “you’ll get my company’s contract if me give me X.”

    It’s illegal there, too.


  38. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    I woulda argued that the true fair market value of 120 Natty Light or PBR drafts is


  39. - anon-again - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    Wordslinger at Ford,IBM,Xerox etc you would be fired if company legal know of you scheme


  40. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    The ethics rules are not realistic.

    If you’re a state employee and your spouse has a job, that spouse is not supposed to accept any gifts either. Which sounds reasonable enough, until you realize that means that the spouse is not supposed to say yes when a client or a colleague at another company invites him/her, say, to a professional event at a skybox. (And most likely, that customer or colleague has not idea that the spouse works for the State.)

    Word, you’re right that the beer ticket donation should have been made explicit in the contract. But I cannot really blame Bliefnick for thinking that this was a donation to the State, rather than to her personally.


  41. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    ==- Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    I woulda argued that the true fair market value of 120 Natty Light or PBR drafts is==

    …$120?


  42. - Stoney - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    I fondly remember the ethics training I had to sit through as a state employee and if my memory is correct both of these would be a violation of the gift ban act.


  43. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Anon, I’m well aware of how kickbacks work in the private sector, believe me.

    The first advertising agency I worked at, a relatively small shop, the owners were masters on both ends of the equation: they’d land business by giving things of value for personal use to decision-makers off the books, and they’d demand things of value off the books for personal use in doling out business.

    You know what kind of business you could land when you had original, center-court Bulls season tickets during the Jordan Era? You pay face value, hand them off to a corporate marketing director who keeps them or peddles them for exponentially more?

    Believe me, they knew it wasn’t kosher because they went to great lengths to keep it secret.


  44. - Bibe - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Front line employees who work or volunteer at the fair have been fired for less as a result of OEIG investigations like this one.


  45. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Something happened to my post above. Apologies.

    Completing the post above, “I woulda argued that the true fair market value of 120 Natty Light or PBR drafts is under $100.”

    I think there are some good points being made here on both sides of the argument. I agree with Rich that in the private sector, heads of event venues would buy drinks for VIPs, etc. What happens at Ford or Xerox is frankly irrelevant because that’s not the right comparison to make. Having the drinks paid by a vendor to the venue, though, is a much grayer area and is not a good idea at the very least.

    As far as the OEIG, what choice did they have realistically once this was dumped in their lap?


  46. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    I know the time will probably come when I will pay big for posting these things under my own name, but….the point of the IGs I thought was to uncover corruption, and I don’t see the results. The thing today with Rednour, sure he should have been busted, but does it take a multi-million dollar ig to do that? Either, as I have believed all along, with one 6 year outlier, there isn’t nearly as much big time corruption in state gov’t as people have long thought, or our IGs are not suited to find it, because frankly what they have found is crap. Jerry Stermer (self reported)? Judy Erwin? Amy Bliefnick? That stuff surely isn’t what I envisioned an IG saving us from. How about you? Maybe there really isn’t much there that we need to be saved from.


  47. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    Is this the shop of Ricardo Meza? the husband of Carolyn Williams Meza? just trying to be sure I know about whom I am snarking.


  48. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    =Either, as I have believed all along, with one 6 year outlier, there isn’t nearly as much big time corruption in state gov’t as people have long thought, or our IGs are not suited to find it, because frankly what they have found is crap.=

    Perhaps because “big time corruption” is under the purview of prosecutors?


  49. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    Word, there is plenty of corruption. But OEIG doesn’t investigate things like “I’ll give your girlfriend a job if you’ll give my girlfriend a job.” Instead, it’s this ridiculous crap “investigated” by people with no training and no sense.


  50. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Mom, that still doesn’t seem to me to rise to the level of what people were thinking about when they thought “corruption”


  51. - Soccermom - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    Schnorf, I think there are many of us who remember Royko’s “monkey girls.” And many of us who think that people who work for the State of Illinois and who are paid well by taxpayers should have, you know, skills.


  52. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    Thank God Amy didn’t have a beer at her desk or they woulda wanted her in the slammer.

    Seriously, as always, Schnorf is spot on. As is Mom. These clowns were writing up a guy for eating lunch at his desk while a pretty good piece of grant fraud was rolling along across town. I can’t fault them for investigating this case, but the history is certainly not in their favor.


  53. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    Selling jobs, selling contracts, extorting employees or vendors, stealing from the state (and not stealing extra 15 minute breaks), no-show jobs, with the ghosts working political stuff or kicking back part of salary, etc. I never really believed this stuff happened much, at least partially because I never saw it, but this is the kind of stuff the public was led to believe went on in state government, and by God the IG will put an end to that stuff. Well, where are the results? Penny-ante, mickey mouse stuff is mostly what we see. Rednour is about the biggest catch I’ve seen, and unless he was selling the tickets for cash or influence, even his doesn’t rise to the level of corruption that I think people were expecting


  54. - x ace - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 5:17 pm:

    Agree: Seems Mickey Mouse - possible defense that tickets were merely PR Promotion for the Brand and that intent was for the Fair Officials to pass out the freebies to fair goers as Goodwill gestures.( of course, there may more facts that incriminate ? )


  55. - Penny wise pound foolish - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 6:00 pm:

    The problem with Meza’s office is that they perceive EVERY act, alledged or otherwise, as sinister, evil and corrupt. As EIG, Meza needs to have a bit of perspective and prudential judgment.

    @bibe, I feel for you as I know dedicated and honorable state employees who have been traumatized and harassed by the OEIG’s tactics.

    Not sure if and how Carolyn Meza Williams is related to Ric, but she’s the same one that worked for Kwame Kilpatrick. Ric’s sister works for Feguson at the City. Not a patronage job though because Meza doesn’t believe in patronage.

    Maybe we should send Ric to Detroit? Oh wait, the Feds already did all his work.


  56. - 4 percent - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 6:03 pm:

    So what if Rednour had accepted $4000 to $8000 of concert tickets and given them away? Or the same of amount in food from vendors?

    I feel bad for Amy but Rednour should have known better.


  57. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 6:42 pm:

    @ Penny wise, CWMeza appears to be related to Ric’s sister. CWMeza is at the CTA and used to work for State of Il. In addition to Kwame K…omg…


  58. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 6:46 pm:

    Ric and Celia Meza may or may not be the children of CWMeza, but they are probably the children of her husband, Robert Meza, who was at IDFR. No wonder CWMeza left Il. Dept. Child & Family Services.


  59. - Penny wise pound foolish - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    @Amalia — is that the same Robert Meza that now works for Cook County? If Carolyn currently works for CTA wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest for Ricardo Meza? Did he disclose this conflict to anyone? If he is related to Robert Meza when he worked at the state wouldn’t that also pose a conflict?

    Wait, I need a beer to figure this out. Where are those beer tickets?


  60. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 7:36 pm:

    I believe the only thing the OEIG investigates is complaints that are referred to them. What do you want them to do ignore the complaints?


  61. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 7:45 pm:

    George, I was thinking about that as well. Before the IG’s, we had the State Police Internal Investigations group. They were real cops and did a good job with real problems. I don’t know to what extent they coordinate with IG’s but for my money I would toss Inspector Clouseau and the timekeeping police and send the dough over to the troopers.


  62. - Penny wise pound foolish - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 8:16 pm:

    Actually if you look at the statute the OEIG can initiate their own investigations it does not have to be instigated by a complaint. How do they choose which complaints to investigate? What’s their process? Do they have a process?

    The OEIG has an annual budget of about $8 million and this is what they spend their time on? That’s the best example of waste, fraud and corruption in state government? Wow. That’s impressive.

    Thanks for the Auditor General who really roots out waste of taxpayer dollars.


  63. - Gay & Proud from Perry - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 8:41 pm:

    I for one would like to thank whoever gave me free beer tickets. I volunteered and got free beer. How much money was wasted investigating $8,000 in free beer?
    $50,000? $100,000? $250,000 more? Rich, can we get a number?


  64. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 8:51 pm:

    And that’s why we serve Blatz Light at the State Fair now, Jimmy.


  65. - Lincoln Liker - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 8:55 pm:

    They all take the ethics test for what it is worth, and until someone loses their job/livelihood on these infractions people see no need to actually adhere to the ethics teachings especially those in the highest positions. Oh yeah, and self-reporting saves your hide with this administration too. A real reformer.


  66. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 9:54 pm:

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t there a world of difference between soliciting $4k-$8k of goods from a vendor off the books, and accepting something worth $100?


  67. - Penny wise pound foolish - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:13 pm:

    David Morrsion blog under your own name.

    Anyone notice the complete turnover in Meza’s staff? Perhaps we should look at Daniel Hurtado his legal counsel. Mr. Hurtado was awarded a MALDEF award when Ric was head of MALDEF. That is patronage and I’m not going to stand for it. If Ricardo Meza is such a fierce advocate against patronage then he shouldn’t hire hacks he gave awards to when he was MALDEF’s director.

    What a hypocrite. His sister just magically appeared at the City IG’s? She purposefully omitted her time at CTA when she fell under her brother’s purview. Interesting, because all the CTA reports came out right after Celia got herself safely ensconced at Ferguson’s office. That’s good, transparent government in action.

    In fact, the boxing report came out of IDFPR after Robert Meza was safely at the County.


  68. - Penny wise pound foolish - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 10:17 pm:

    Perhaps someone needs to investigate Ricardo Meza


  69. - cornfused - Monday, Jul 28, 14 @ 11:19 pm:

    If we don’t investigate $6-8000 or $600. for more beer tickets where do we start.i am pretty hard nosed on some things. these two both need to be terminated. They should be above reproach nothing less.


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        * Illinois doctor fined over medical marijuana slip
        * Archbishop praises Obama's action on immigration
        * Firefighters rescue 4 boa constrictors from fire
        * Illinois AG files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Holiday travelers greeted by cheap gas, storms
        * Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed
        * Jobless rate falls in all 12 Illinois metro areas
        * New Lincoln museum exhibit has bed where he died
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization

        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * State begins accepting fracking applications
        * Debt rating agencies weigh in on state pension ruling
        * Lisa Madigan to ask Illinois Supreme Court to consider pensions
        * Rauner tackles transition agenda
        * Attorney general warns of immigration scams
        * State pension changes ruled unconstitutional; appeal to Illinois Supreme Court next
        * State to refund $60 million in retiree health care money

        * Most BP oil spill claims handled correctly, McGladrey says
        * Illinois AG Madigan files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian Carp move
        * Motorola Mobility loses bid to extend antitrust law reach
        * Chicago business activity is growing—but at a slower pace


        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Decatur Classical parents want to expand into old Stewart building
        * Cupich: More must be done to ‘repair our broken immigration system’
        * Norman Schoer, viola player with Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera, dies at 103
        * Charity event looks like turkey tokenism
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KOed pension law
        * Lisa Madigan appeals ruling that KO'd pension law
        * Chicago’s overnight parking ban begins Monday
        * At least five cold-related deaths reported in Cook County
        * Release Koschman grand jury records


        * Ferguson protestor, 57, charged with felony
        * 3 Ferguson-related protesters arrested in Chicago
        * Oak Lawn insurer wants out of $3M award in cop shooting
        * Judge reassigned after failing to follow contempt rules, officials say
        * 5 hurt in separate city shootings
        * Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago
        * Cupich calls Obama action on immigration a 'first step'
        * Quinn pardons 126, including 1 of Dixmoor Five
        * New dog-friendly park coming to South Loop
        * Island Lake cops recount helping at scene where 2 deputies were shot


        * Let's Talk Kids - "Love Is Love"
        * LLCC Offers Variety Of Community Education Classes
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * Another Year Of "Messiah" For Springfield Choral Society
        * Fumée Gypsy Project Plays At WUIS
        * New Exhibit On Lincoln's "Undying Words"
        * Locals Organize For Vigil In Response To Ferguson
        * Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer Over The Weekend
        * Pension Ruling "Credit Negative," But No Ratings Change
        * Tim Landis: Foreclosure Sales, CIPS Icehouse and Heritage River Trail


        * Our Opinion: Help combat hunger this holiday season
        * Eugene Robinson: On replacement, caution urged
        * George Will: Thanks, or something
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 27, 2014
        * Illinois attorney general files notice of appeal in pension case
        * Quinn grants clemency to 126 ahead of holiday
        * Illinois gives $4.5M food banks for modernization
        * Michael Gerson: The big ‘but’ on immigration
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 26, 2014
        * State begins accepting fracking applications


        * Quinn grants clemencies ahead of holiday
        * Steeple at sunrise
        * New Lincoln museum exhibit has bed where he died
        * School district wins union busing spat
        * Police Beat
        * Praying for peace
        * Santa’s busy season starts now
        * M-S wins at Lincoln; Uni High boys win; Rantoul falls
        * Looking Back (Nov. 27, 2014)
        * Illinois doctor fined over medical marijuana slip


        * Will helps Prospect repeat at York
        * Girls basketball scoreboard: Wednesday's results
        * Wrestling scoreboard: Wedneesday's results
        * Boys basketball: Wednesday's results
        * Girls gymnastics: Wednesday's results

        * Reps. Lipinski and Roskam Lead Effort to S...
        * Lipinski on track with new rail policy pos...
        * Lipinski: New Mixture in Washington May Ge...
        * Lipinski Hoping for Restraint after Israel...
        * Lipinski Welcomes Archbishop Cupich, Thank...
        * Peter Roskam Defeats Michael Mason In Illi...
        * Next Generation Supercomputing Technologie...
        * Roskam keeps 6th Congressional seat - Chic...
        * Sen. Wicker joins bill supporting Hong Kon...
        * Dold, Schneider massive GOTV drive for Ill...

        * Senate committee to hold civil rights hear......
        * St. Marys Cement considers reopening in Dixon...

        * Obama headed for defeat on Iran sanctions...

        * We're Grateful To Live In Uptown, And For You
        * Will Thanksgiving meal someday come at shopping mall food court?
        * No TIF Funds Will Be Used If Stewart School Reopens As Decatur
        * Some Lakefront Park Closures Thanksgiving Morning
        * The Better Government Association continues to spread the lie about public employee pensions.
        * In Chicago the race is on. It’s easy as ABC.
        * No justice.
        * Be like Martin Luther King.
        * Bruce still hasn’t gotten it right. Pardon who?
        * Tweeting #FergusonInClass


        * Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Help Regional Food Banks Better Serve Those in Need - Governor’s Investment Will Ensure Lower Cost and Higher Efficiency for Services Reaching Nearly 2 Million Illinois Residents
        * Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Abner Mikva Receiving Nation’s Highest Civilian Honor
        * Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with Symetra Life Insurance and Symetra National Life Insurance Company - Illinois will share part of a $1.2 million penalty against Symetra Life regarding Life Insurance policies
        * Avoid Foodborne Illness This Holiday Season




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