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Monday, Mar 4, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* What’s going on in your part of Illinois?…

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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Mar 4, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Downstate congressional race highlights the GOP’s hard move to the right. Tribune

    - Trump scored nearly 71% of the vote in 2020 in the deeply red 12th Congressional District.
    - Congressman Mike Bost and Darren Bailey share the same conservative ideologies — support for gun rights, opposition to abortion and assailing Biden over immigration policy while vowing to push to close the nation’s borders.
    - But Bailey, aligning himself with the Freedom Caucus, rips into Bost as a “establishment” Republican.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

Governor Pritzker will be at U of I at 9:30 to celebrate Illinois Regional Tech Hub designees. Click here to watch.

    * Daily Herald | 49th District state House GOP hopefuls discuss being effective within Democratic majority: Hannah Billingsley of West Chicago and Aris Garcia of Streamwood are business owners who will face each other in the Republican primary on March 19.[…] [Garcia] said a key difference between conservative voters and Democrats is that conservatives won’t show up for a Republican candidate they don’t like while Democratic voters will show up for every Democratic candidate.

    * BND | Prenzler and Slusser started as allies. Now they’re fierce primary opponents: They were once Republican allies. Slusser supported Prenzler in his successful bids to become treasurer in 2010 and 2014, and Prenzler appointed Slusser to replace him in 2016, when Prenzler was elected board chairman. But in recent months, both campaigns have leveled sharp criticism at the other, including claims of incompetency, corruption, dishonesty and political “dirty tricks.” The primary election is March 19.

    * WBEZ | Unions target far-right Illinois state representatives: Wilhour’s opponent is Matt Hall of Vandalia is a former member of the Vandalia School Board. His campaign committee had $1,100 available at the end of 2023. But through the middle of February, State Board of Elections data show unions have donated $93,500 in cash and contributed roughly $63,000 in advertising and consulting services. Niemerg’s opponent is Jim Acklin – the acting mayor of Ogden, interim superintendent of Edgar County CUSD #6 and a former candidate for state representative. His campaign committee – Citizens for Jim Acklin – was created on February 8, 2024 and received $98,500 in contributions the following week – a majority of that from the IEA.

    * Daily Southtown | Low tax collection rate in south suburbs shows need for development, changes in Springfield: Only 86.4% of billed taxes owed by residents were collected by local governments in the south suburbs, according to the analysis of the recently concluded 2022 tax year, far below the average tax collection rate in Cook County of 96%. That means Southland towns are losing out on $185 million in funds for services such as public safety, education and infrastructure.

    * Tribune | Despite legal limbo, Bring Chicago Home’s champions, foes continue messaging battle in final weeks before March primary: Despite the fresh need to cut through voter skepticism over the ballot question’s relevance, Bring Chicago Home leaders maintain they are more animated than ever to win and are making the moral case to voters about the necessity of the measure. Standing in their way is the city’s powerful real estate and construction lobby, which has sought to attack the campaign’s credibility by arguing the tax increases would stifle the city’s growth with no guarantee homelessness would improve.

    * Madison-St. Clair Record | Fourth District: Constitutional challenge to Pritzker’s COVID-19 emergency orders declared moot: The appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by dozens of Illinois school district employees, finding that the allegations are moot and no exceptions to the mootness doctrine apply. The plaintiffs’ case was consolidated with other similar cases filed by school employees from Kane County, McLean County, Peoria County, Piatt County, Vermillion County, Williamson County and Effingham County, according to the case docket.

    * Sun-Times | Pritzker appoints former deputy governor Christian Mitchell to McPier board: Mitchell left the governor’s administration in January 2023 to become vice president for civic engagement for the University of Chicago. Under Pritzker, Mitchell oversaw environment, infrastructure and public safety since the beginning of the governor’s first term in 2019.

    * Tribune | Former patients of Fabio Ortega say Endeavor Health failed to protect them from an abusive doctor: As Victoria stepped into Dr. Fabio Ortega’s exam room in the summer of 2017, she had no idea the gynecologist’s career was hurtling toward destruction. […] Nor was Victoria aware of Ortega’s previous history, including a patient who public records show had complained to Endeavor back in 2012, contending he had behaved inappropriately during an appointment.

    * WaPo | Health-care hack spreads pain across hospitals and doctors nationwide: The Feb. 21 cyberattack on Change Healthcare, owned by UnitedHealth Group, has cut off many health-care organizations from the systems they rely on to transmit patients’ health-care claims and get paid. The ensuing outage doesn’t appear to affect any of the systems that provide direct, critical care to patients. But it has laid bare a vulnerability that cuts across the U.S. health-care system, frustrating patients unable to pay for their medications at the pharmacy counter and threatening the financial solvency of some organizations that rely heavily on Change’s platform.

    * Sun-Times | Early voting for March 19 primary expands Monday across Chicago, Cook County: Beginning Monday, early voting sites will open in each of the city’s 50 wards, while 53 sites will open at dozens of village halls, courthouses, community centers and other venues across the suburbs. Chicago residents can vote early at any site in the city, and suburban residents can do so at any site in the county, regardless of their addresses. That changes on Election Day, when residents voting in person must do so at their home precincts.

    * Tribune | With ShotSpotter staying in Chicago for the time being, dispute continues over the system’s usefulness: What’s more, Piza and the other investigators found, CPD officers dispatched via ShotSpotter alerts arrived at shooting scenes about 10 seconds faster than officers who responded to shootings with only 911 calls. But none of that necessarily led to safer streets, Piza said. “Gun violence did not change in ShotSpotter areas following installation of the software, shootings were not any more likely to be solved by police after the software was introduced.”

    * Sun-Times | Unseasonably warm weather greets thousands taking the annual Polar Plunge: Over 5,000 people took a dip Sunday to benefit Special Olympics Chicago and Special Children’s Charities programs. Organizers said it was the largest attendance in the event’s 24-year history, raising $1.9 million.

    * Tribune | Eclipse chasers head to southern Illinois for 2nd total solar eclipse in 7 years: ‘You get hooked’: This year’s eclipse will also be all the more special as other planets line up next to the celestial protagonists: Jupiter will be visible to the upper left, and Venus to the lower right. Others might be visible but dimmer, including possibly Saturn, Mars and Mercury.

    * Lake County News-Sun | Highland Park native, wife donate $1M for permanent parade shooting memorial; ‘It’s always been the place I consider home’: The donation by Jon and Mindy Gray, current residents of New York City, is the first private contribution to the city’s endeavor to create a trauma-informed memorial. In addition to the donation, the Grays provided support to the Highland Park Community Foundation for immediate relief efforts after the shooting.

    * Sun-Times | Statewide tornado drill set for Wednesday morning: The tornado drill will be conducted by the National Weather Service at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The event will include use of emergency signals on radios, according to the weather service. Sirens aren’t expected to be used, though they will be Tuesday during monthly siren testing.

    * Evanston Round Table | Frank Cicero Jr., attorney who helped write the current Illinois Constitution, dies at 88: First in his family to go to high school or college, Frank was born in Chicago in 1935 to first generation Italian-American parents, Frank, Sr. and Mary Balma Cicero. His two sets of grandparents emigrated from Italy; one couple were Protestant Waldensians from the Alps and the other were Catholic Sicilians. In his retirement years, Frank devoted himself to understanding his parents’ different backgrounds–both Italian, but very different. With the curiosity of a trial lawyer making a case, he dug into his heritage and exploration of Italian Protestants. As such, he enjoyed his period as a trustee of the American Waldensian Society, and he completed his first book, Relative Strangers: Italian Protestants in the Catholic World (Academy Chicago Publishers, 2011).

    * NBC Chicago | Casimir Pulaski Day is Monday in Illinois, but what does it celebrate?: Born in 1747, Pulaski fought for Poland’s freedom from Russia until 1771, when he was exiled to France, according to the Library of Congress. In Paris, he met American envoy Benjamin Franklin, who influenced him to help Americans fight for their independence and recommended that he be appointed a brigadier general in the Continental Army.

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Monday, Mar 4, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Monday, Mar 4, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

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