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Morning briefing

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* STAT | These 8 states are doing the worst job of treating hepatitis C in prisons: Illinois agreed in 2019 to revamp its entire prison medical program, as part of a civil rights settlement. But it’s still falling woefully short — and the Department of Corrections’ own documents indicate that people are still unnecessarily dying of hepatitis C. An independent review of one such death found that a 56-year-old man had been referred for hepatitis C treatment in 2017 but was never formally considered for the treatment until a few months before his death in November 2021.

* NYT | How a Sprawling Hospital Chain Ignited Its Own Staffing Crisis: At a hospital in a Chicago suburb last winter, there were so few nurses that psychiatric patients with Covid were left waiting a full day for beds, and a single aide was on hand to assist with 32 infected patients. Nurses were so distraught about the inadequate staffing that they banded together to file formal complaints every day for more than a month.

* Crain’s | Working parents are overwhelmed as kids get sick again and again: Parents are facing a triple avalanche of influenza, Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), valiantly meeting work deadlines while struggling to fulfill return-to-office requirements. All three viruses are expected to keep doctor’s offices hopping for the coming months, alongside the spread of old standbys like strep throat and common colds.

* Sun-Times | Pritzker, unions herald adoption of Workers’ Rights Amendment: The celebration with union leaders included several references, veiled or explicit, to former Gov. Bruce Rauner, who tried to roll back union power by encouraging right-to-work laws. Right-to-work refers to allowing people to skip paying union dues as a condition of employment.

* Tribune | Secretary of State re-appoints Umair Qadeer to Niles Library Board: Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has reappointed Umair Qadeer as the seventh, tie-breaking trustee on the Niles-Maine District Library Board after a protracted legislative and legal process.

* WGLT | Bloomington’s new state Rep. Dan Caulkins talks about gun control, SAFE-T Act, and post-election resignations: Caulkins is part of the conservative Illinois Freedom Caucus, which touts itself as advocates for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government. And after the election, Caulkins is now part of an even smaller Republican super-minority in Democrat-controlled Springfield. In this interview with WGLT, Caulkins talks about a range of policy issues, including recent tweaks to the SAFE-T Act, a proposed assault-style weapons ban, and ethics reform.

* WTTW | García Backs Proposal to Use $10M in Federal COVID-19 Relief to Help Homeowners Struggling With Property Tax Hikes: Officials should use $10 million in federal relief funds designed to help Chicagoans struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to aid residents dealing with significant increases in their property tax bills, according to a proposal backed by mayoral candidate U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García.

* STL Today | Former Metro East power broker Tom Lakin dies at 82: Tom Lakin, a once-prominent Metro East trial lawyer and Democratic Party power broker later sentenced to prison on federal drug charges, died Monday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 82. Lakin, who headed the influential Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, established himself by the 1990s as one of the top attorneys in the metro area, winning millions of dollars in class action and personal injury claims. … In 2011, he pleaded no contest to a state charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse related to the earlier case but was given no additional prison time beyond his six-year federal sentence.

* WBEZ | Chicago’s NASCAR deal: Fast, furious and full of unanswered questions: Critics want to know who will pay for security and physical damage to downtown. But the bigger question is: Is anyone clamoring for this?

* Vox | The most successful strategy for ending homelessness is under attack: Advocates and researchers have never had stronger evidence about the best way to most effectively house people who need it: a model known as “housing first.” As the name suggests, its focus is getting people into permanent housing and offering them support services, rather than requiring them to address mental health conditions, substance abuse, or job training first.

* Fortune | Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduces a bill to protect IVF in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade’s reversal: Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s journey to parenthood took a decade. After she returned wounded from her service in Iraq, she spoke to her OB/GYN at her Veterans Affairs hospital about trying to have a child. She was referred to a fertility specialist, who came to the waiting room rather than meet with then-39-year-old Duckworth for an appointment. “She told me, ‘You’re too old. There’s no way you could ever get pregnant through reproductive medicine. You just need to go home and enjoy your husband,’” Duckworth remembers.

* WTTW | Callery Pear on List of Species Illinois Assessing as Invasive. Here’s What That Means: Illinois is now conducting assessments of 10 plants to determine whether to recommend the addition of any or all of them to the state’s lists of “noxious” and/or “exotic” weeds, decisions that would make the purchase or sale of the plant illegal.

* Sun-Times | Chicago police officer faces dismissal in alleged beating, wrongful arrest of woman at George Floyd protest: The recommendation from Police Supt. David Brown comes four years after the officer, James Hunt, was suspended for yelling, “I kill motherf——,” an apparent reference to a 17-year-old boy Hunt fatally shot while on duty.

* Crain’s | Farmers say Deere’s repair restrictions violate Clean Air Act: Nonprofit organizations in the “right to repair” movement, including Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), and iFixit, want the EPA to sanction Moline-based Deere for limiting repairs of its machines to authorized Deere dealerships. Farmers want access to software so they can diagnose and handle their own repairs or use an independent mechanic, thereby avoiding high costs and service delays at dealers.


  1. - JoanP - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    That NASCAR race is completely insane. There’s a three-week set-up. Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive, and Lake Shore Drive will be shut down. No one will be able to get anywhere near downtown. The museums are estimating millions of dollars in losses. I feel so sorry for people who live downtown or in the South Loop.

    It’s going to be miserable. I already have planned to get out of town.

  2. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 9:42 am:

    ? on the City of Chicago and the new gun ordinance….that will go into effect TEN DAYS after passage, so next week… will it work? do they have to get the CCSAO to say no before they write an ordinance ticket? that part seems to be silent and poorly thought out.

  3. - Near West Side - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 9:53 am:

    Just a quick shout out, I really appreciate these round-ups from Isabel!

  4. - Near West Side - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    Sorry, I used prohibited punctuation.

  5. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    ==That NASCAR race is completely insane. There’s a three-week set-up. Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive, and Lake Shore Drive will be shut down.==

    I know a better place for the NASCAR race instead of downtown. Joliet Speedway. It’s basically been unused the last couple years.

  6. - Red Ketcher - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 10:32 am:

    Race Up I-55 from Springfield to Chicago & back
    ( a few Drivers with Spec Plates could qualify )

  7. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 10:41 am:

    Maybe LL thinks the people taking over city intersections to do donuts is a cry for NASCAR races. Somehow I don’t think those folks are going to be bringing big bucks Downtown.

  8. - Anon221 - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    If you ever drive by Lake of the Woods near Mahomet (IL) in the spring and see the waves of white flowering trees… those are mostly Callery pears. May be pretty, but very, very invasive once they get started in a natural landscape. Survey from almost 20 years ago, and the fight to control this species at Lake of the Woods continues to this day.

  9. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    ==Race Up I-55 from Springfield to Chicago & back
    ( a few Drivers with Spec Plates could qualify )==

    That’s been going on at least since 66 was upgraded to 55 in the mid 70s. If not before during the 66 heyday.

  10. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 11:58 am:

    It’s hidden behind paywall but SJR is reporting that the USPS is looking into a new site for Chatham post office. Its current location is about 50 years old or so and a relic of when the village had a couple thousand people. Now at least 12,000 and counting.

    I’ve always thought the southeast corner of the vacant lot on Walnut and Park would be a great site for a new Chatham post office. Will be interesting to find out what the USPS has in mind. Hopefully the Clarion will have something in next Thursday’s issue, because I refuse to give one penny to Gatehouse.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 16, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===I’ve always thought the southeast corner of the vacant lot on Walnut and Park would be a great site for a new Chatham post office.===

    So does the “Chatham Patch”?

    I kid, I kid.

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