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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Mar 24, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Personal PAC’s latest mailer…

* Trouble at EIU…

* More disturbances at Pontiac’s prison

Two officers at Pontiac Correctional Center were attacked earlier this week, marking the third assault on staff at the facility in just five months.

According to Will Lee, President of AFSCME Local Chapter 494, two inmates jumped on the officers in the law library Wednesday morning. Both officers were taken to the hospital, with one released the same day. The other required additional treatment, and was taken to a different hospital to have more work done. There’s no word on his condition, per privacy reasons.

Both of the inmates are identified. Their names are confidential, pending more information from the Department of Corrections. It’s unknown if they’re facing charges.

The latest in a string of attacks at Pontiac, Lee says not much has changed since their demonstrations last fall calling for additional security measures at the facility. He points to a continued lack of staffing as the primary reasons. For now, the union has monthly meetings with facility management, with union members bringing up consistent issues.

* Pantagraph story about a teacher who quit after parental rage

A Heyworth teacher has resigned following public backlash over a sex education book in her classroom.

The Heyworth school board approved a separation agreement at a special meeting Thursday with eighth grade English teacher Sarah Bonner. The vote came after a closed session and more than an hour of public comment, generally in her favor.

Bonner declined a request for an interview with The Pantagraph following the meeting.

The book in question was Juno Dawson’s “This Book is Gay,” a young adult nonfiction work on sexuality and gender. It was not in the school library but was Bonner’s own book in her classroom, Superintendent Lisa Taylor said.

Parent Jeff Klawitter, who spoke twice, said the issue had nothing to do with Bonner’s teaching style but he believed the book was inappropriate and was brought into the classroom without his or other parents’ knowledge.

* For no reason in particular, here’s the Illinois unemployment rate since 1976

* ICC…

Chicago, IL – The Illinois Commerce Commission released its annual report on accidents and incidents involving hazardous materials (hazmat) on Illinois railroads. Of the 8,549 rail cars inspected in 2022, the ICC found violations in just 1.3 percent of all inspections. When these inspections first started in 1981, violations topped 12 percent.

“The disaster in East Palestine has rightfully turned attention to our nation’s rail safety efforts. Our hazardous materials report is an important resource for understanding the kinds of incidents that occur on Illinois railways and helps the Commission to inform its ongoing safety measures,” said ICC Chairman Carrie Zalewski. “Investigating these incidents when they occur is critical, but the goal of routine inspections is ultimately to minimize and prevent these disasters from occurring in the first place.”

To help prevent hazmat disasters, ICC inspectors conduct frequent field checks to evaluate signals, track structure, operating practices, and hazardous materials transported by rail. In cooperation with Federal Railroad Administration inspectors, ICC inspectors focus on railroad mainline tracks, rail yards, and the industrial facilities of shippers and consignees of hazardous materials. Any violations or defects discovered, regardless of severity must be corrected to prevent serious incidents.

In addition to routine inspections, the ICC’s Hazardous Materials Safety Program includes technical assistance to shippers, consignees, and rail carriers; the inspection and escort of nuclear materials; and education and outreach activities. To keep communities safe in the event of a derailment, ICC works with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to provide technical aid to local emergency responders and investigate the cause of hazmat incidents.

The ICC is required by law to prepare a report on hazmat accidents for the General Assembly including the location, substance involved, amounts involved, and the suspected reason for each accident, as well as the rail line and point of origin of the hazardous material involved in each accident. Three categories of information contained in the report have also been added by the ICC’s Railroad Safety Section to make the report more useful. These include the type of equipment involved, date of incident, and the amount of hazardous material released in the accident. “Amount Released” is distinct from the required “Amount Involved.” “Amount Involved” is simply the quantity of commodity that was being transported; the “Amount Released” into the environment by an accident is far more critical.

To read the report on accidents and incidents involving hazardous materials on railroads in Illinois click here.

* “Entry is free for high school and college kids”…

Looks like grooming /s.

…Adding… I forgot about a pic I had. This press release reminded me…

Last night, Illinois State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro (R-Bloomingdale) celebrated the unanimous passage of her first bill through the House of Representatives. The legislation – HB2094 – aims to protect homeowners from deceptive mortgage marketing practices. The bill cracks down on bad actors who take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners, specifically those who are new to the home buying process and seniors who may be more vulnerable to deceptive marketing tactics.

She was wearing a red jacket loaned to her by former Rep. Randy Ramey. It used to be, freshmen were compelled to wear Ramey’s red jacket during floor debate on their first bills. But like most other freshman hazing rituals, the tradition was (thankfully) abandoned…

That’s just a wee bit big on her.

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:23 pm:

    Can’t imagine why there’s a teacher shortage.

    A teacher is supposed to get parental permission before bringing personal items into class?

    Get over yourself, Goober.

  2. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    Um, repeating things over and over again is not a good political strategy. See Mayor Lightfoot.

  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===repeating things over and over again is not a good political strategy===

    It’s actually the opposite of that.

  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==but he believed the book was inappropriate==

    “He” believed. And because “he” believed then he thinks he should have the right to make decision for everyone else. This trend that we are seeing where one person or a few people find something objectionable therefore we should jump through hoops to make them happy has got to stop. These book banners have got to be stopped.

  5. - Jocko - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:44 pm:

    ==Parent Jeff Klawitter, who spoke twice, said the issue had nothing to do with Bonner’s teaching style but he believed the book was inappropriate==

    How much do you want to bet that Klawitter never read the book?

  6. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==A newly-proposed healthcare ban in Florida could effectively ban gender-affirming care for people of all ages==

    I LOL every time I hear someone say that the Republican party is about freedom from the government. They don’t believe in any such thing.

  7. - Jerry - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 2:56 pm:

    Wow, a teacher who sent an email EVERY week detailing the curriculum and included student insight. Sounds like a good, no great teacher to me.

    I guess the “woke mob” (DeSantos, 2023) got rid of her.

  8. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 3:21 pm:

    Parents who are concerned about books and materials should choose home schooling for their children. Then, parents can control the currricula from 8:30 to 3:30 everyday.

    Heaven forbid that the class would take a field trip to the Art Institute. They’d have to drape the statue of Michelango’s David.

  9. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    Rich - Sure does look like grooming. Free entry for high school and college kids and there’s pints involved? DeVore is right about the part where he’s doing a good job of screwing up their future though.

  10. - Steve - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    -A white co-worker said it was part of a joke having nothing to do with race-

    I just don’t find any of this funny. Don’t people have any common sense in the 21st Century? A state agency should be a professional place not a comedy club.

  11. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    Excuse the typo…Michelangelo.

  12. - Uni Labor - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 3:50 pm:

    I think faculty unions at three public universities have filed intent to strike notices in the past 2 days: CSU, EIU & GSU
    All are represented by UPI (IFT)

  13. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===marking the third assault on staff at the facility in just five months.===

    How many vacancies/unfilled positions are there at Pontiac or corrections in general?

    Is the Governor’s failure to be able to hire causing staff assaults?

  14. - Proud Papa Bear - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 4:04 pm:

    The indignant dad said: What happens in my household, that’s my son. It’s not the school’s son, it’s not the teacher’s son, and most importantly it’s not the teacher’s union son.

    Yes, Goober, in your home you can ban all you want. And when your adult child won’t speak to you in 10 years because he wasn’t accepted by dad you’ll have only yourself to blame.

  15. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 24, 23 @ 4:35 pm:

    ==Is the Governor’s failure to be able to hire ==

    I wish hiring were as easy as you apparently think it is. I generally enjoy reading your comments but when it comes to topics such as this you really are way off base.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally abruptly aborts reelection bid without explanation
* Question of the day
* It’s just a bill
* Protect Illinois Hospitality – Vote No On House Bill 5345
* You gotta be kidding me
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* Moody’s revises Illinois outlook from stable to positive (Updated)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* *** UPDATED x1 - Equality Illinois 'alarmed' over possible Harris appointment *** Personal PAC warns Democratic committeepersons about Sen. Napoleon Harris
* Yesterday's stories

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