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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Sep 22, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here you go…

    * NPR Illinois | Drug addiction and the end of cash bail: Illinois this week became the first state to end cash bail. Advocates say it will bring more fairness to the criminal justice system. But allowing drug offenders to leave custody may prevent them from getting the help they need, according to some local officials. In many smaller, rural areas, there are few rehab facilities. “If you want to go to drug rehab, you have to call you get on a waiting list. And sometimes the only chance you get to wants to get them in and the day they’re wanting to go, that may be the time you can’t get them in that day, then they may never go,” Cass County Sheriff Devron Ohrn said.

    * Inside Climate News | Pritzker’s signature climate law has seen slow progress on clean energy, green jobs promises: Today, renewable sources make up only 10.5% of power. That includes not only current projects but also others planned with promises they will soon come online. On the promised new “equitable” jobs in clean energy industries, the state has yet to train or help place even one worker, though training programs are being set up to be in place by next year.

    * WIFR | Trial over Illinois abortion referral law begins in Rockford: Attorneys are arguing the 2016 an amendment to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act that requires medical and counseling personnel to promote abortion regardless of their ethical or moral views. The act became law seven years ago but it’s not in effect because it’s hung up in court. Lawyers who are trying to stop it say requiring someone to go against their personal and religious beliefs violates the First Amendment of the Constitution

    * Tribune | National Association of Realtors takes additional steps to address alleged workplace issues: A new member task force will work with outside legal counsel, whose attorneys will conduct an independent assessment of company policies and practices and then make recommendations “to improve our procedures, trainings, and systems to prevent inappropriate behavior, encourage reporting of alleged misconduct, and promote an environment of transparency and accountability,” according to Goldberg’s email.

    * Daily Southtown | Indicted Orland Park pastor requests to have case severed from Trump, other defendants: Lee’s legal team, led by Illinois-based lawyer David Shestokas, has similarly filed a severance request and is waiting to hear back, Shestokas confirmed“We are of the opinion that, on a couple of levels, Pastor Lee will be prejudiced by having his trial take place with everybody else,” Shestokas said. Shestokas is working on the case with Georgia-based lawyer David Oles.

    * Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | Illinois Supreme Court disbars 12 attorneys, suspends 11: The Illinois Supreme Court disbarred 12 attorneys and suspended 11, including former ComEd CEO Anne R. Pramaggiore and lobbyist Michael McClain, in lawyer disciplinary orders since its last term.

    * ABC Chicago | Chicago treasurer denies wrongdoing in exclusive interview after IG launches ethics investigation: Conyears-Ervin repeatedly evaded questions about whether she engaged in such activity. “According to the allegations, employees were doing personal errands on city’s time. That did not occur,” Conyears-Ervin said. “Craig, I am going to speak to the allegations, and the allegation spoke to employees doing work for me on city’s time; that did not occur.”

    * WCIA | New dispensary planning for future changes to state’s marijuana law: Constructing a business plan is all about planning for the future, but what if your plans are illegal in the present? The owners of Share. — Springfield’s newest dispensary — don’t think that’s a problem.[…] The owners are already building a drive through window on the building. Drive throughs are not allowed by law now, but lawmakers have already considered the change in the past.

    * WBEZ | ‘A good place:’ Queer youth seek acceptance at state’s first foster home for LGBTQ+ teens: Nationally, about one-third of foster care youth identify as LGBTQ+, and according to researchers, they are at significantly higher risk of experiencing homelessness, physical harm and exchanging sex to meet basic needs. “It’s important that they’re doing this,” said Charles Golbert, a court-appointed lawyer who advocates for children in DCFS custody and a vocal critic of the department. But now, Golbert said, “it needs to be expanded for more than just five beds.”

    * Sun-Times | My fault Sox game not stopped after stadium shooting, interim police superintendent says: Interim Chicago Police Supt. Fred Waller told the Sun-Times the game was allowed to continue without interruption due to “miscommunication” on the protocol for notifying Major League Baseball. That issue has been addressed and won’t happen again, he said.

    * WBEZ | Johnson administration defends contract with private defense firm to prop up migrant ‘base camps’: In a brief interview with WBEZ, Johnson’s deputy chief of staff Cristina Pacione-Zayas said the city had limited options as it seeks to move people out of police stations as quickly as possible. “There’s not many companies that have this type of capability of literally standing up prefabricated structures driving 50 foot poles, creating flooring, and then staffing 24/7,” Pacione-Zayas said.

    * Tribune | Cook County chips in to help buy hotels in Evanston and Oak Park for people who are homeless; also approves water bill relief: The board voted to award a $7 million, no-interest, fully forgivable 30-year loan to Connections for the Homeless Inc. so the nonprofit can buy the Margarita Inn in Evanston. It also approved a similar $6.5 million loan to Housing Forward LLC and the Oak Park Residence Corp. for the purchase of the Write Inn in Oak Park.

    * Tribune | Chicago Plan Commission approves Fulton Market apartment tower that will reserve 30% of its units as affordable: The original plan called for reserving 20% of the units as affordable housing to comply with the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance, but after a last-minute push by 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett, city planners hammered out a new agreement with the developers, boosting that to 30% using tax increment financing dollars from the local TIF district.

    * Sateline | States and cities eye stronger protections for gig workers: Roughly 1 in 6 American adults have engaged in gig work for platforms such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, according to a 2021 report by the Pew Research Center. But while those jobs promise flexibility and a low barrier to entry, they often pay less on an hourly basis than the prevailing minimum wage and lack basic protections such as overtime, sick pay and unemployment insurance.

    * Crain’s | Oscar Mayer is renaming its hot dog vehicles, again: Just four months after rebranding as the “Frankmobile,” Oscar Mayer is calling its iconic six-car fleet of hot dog-shaped vehicles the “Wienermobile” once again. “It was a franktastic summer celebrating our 100% Beef Franks with the Frankmobile from coast to coast,” Oscar Mayer Associate Director Kelsey Rice said in a statement. “Though, like many of you, we miss our original icon. Starting this week, we’re welcoming back the Wienermobile.”

    * Sun-Times | Acorns galore: ‘Mast year’ for oak trees means massive seed production across Chicago: An abundance in acorns this fall is the result of a “mast seeding event,” a phenomenon that only happens once every few years, when oak trees produce a much larger amount of acorns than normal.

    * Crain’s | Portillo’s expansion plans just got even more aggressive: Portillo’s is boosting its growth goals by more than half, aiming to open at least 920 restaurants around the country in about 20 years. It’s the first time the Oak Brook-based hot dog and Italian beef chain has updated its growth goals since going public in 2021, when it was targeting 600 restaurants in 25 years. Portillo’s also increased its annual growth target to 12% to 15% annually from 10%.


  1. - benniefly2 - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 7:43 am:

    “Craig, I am going to speak to the allegations, and the allegation spoke to employees doing work for me on city’s time; that did not occur.”

    Cool… So she would have no problem lifting the assumed Non-Disclosure portion of the settlement with the employees involved so that they can confirm that, right?

  2. - very old soil - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 8:31 am:

    Re: Cass County Sheriff. Next line will be how the new law is depriving people of the fine cuisine in the county jail. You have to taste their chipped beef and peas on toast.

  3. - Rabid - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 8:39 am:

    Cass county sheriff thinks drug offenders should be locked up for their own good

  4. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 8:39 am:

    Indiana “accidentally” released a convicted killer. So much for how the safe t act is making us less safe, Indiana lets convicted killers go free.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 8:58 am:

    Yeah, I dunno how “kool” it is saying you aren’t requiring workers to do things for you on city time but kinda leaving wiggle room for that seemingly true thing coming out… and that’s also ok.

    Woulda been better not to face actual questions and craft a release seemingly to respond to the actual allegations… on a Friday.

    This is an unforced PR escalating that was designed for clarity?

    Yeah. No.

  6. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 9:51 am:

    “mast seeding event,”

    I have two ancient oaks that arch over my lot line The last storm caused a huge drop of acorns. The squirrels have been going crazy, I have seen a few deer with my early morning coffee.

  7. - Wyatt Earp - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 9:59 am:

    For those griping about the sheriff…. First of all, Cass County doesn’t even have a jail, they contract with other counties and have historically released low level offenders with a summons. Sheriff Ohrn is man of honor and integrity, he knows what he’s talking about.

    Drugs are the number one driver of other crimes in rural IL counties. Burglaries - almost all drug motivated; thefts - almost all drug motivates; domestic violence - many drug related; violent crimes - many drug related.

    You people just don’t get it. Work in these LE roles for a few years and you’d have a completely different perspective.

  8. - The Truth - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:00 am:

    I think I’ll be laughing at SAFE-T Act-related statements from sheriffs and state’s attorneys forever.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:10 am:

    ===You people===

    That’s not an argument towards anything.

  10. - JS Mill - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:22 am:

    =Sheriff Ohrn is man of honor and integrity, he knows what he’s talking about.=

    Yeah, he really sounds knowledgeable. I have worked with rural county sheriffs and courts for more than 20 years. I watched them release people all the time, watched them refuse to charge people that should have been charged. The volume of crime is different in rural counties versus urban and suburban, but the outcomes are the same.

    =You people just don’t get it.=

    Were you looking in a mirror when you wrote that? You should have been.

  11. - cermak_rd - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    It is true that jail is often the best available drug rehab program, but I don’t think this overweighs the other abuses of the previous bail system. For instance using it as pressure to get people to confess.
    Maybe the counties could repurpose some of their jail space to voluntary drug rehab space in order to get those wait lists down.

  12. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 11:17 am:

    re the Sox shooting incident, ok, your fault on game issues Waller but what is going on? sure, hardly anyone is going and the end of the season looms but fans…and the city…deserve answers. you cannot let a public shooting like that one, in the midst of thousands, go without an update. there’s lots of video. analyze. talk.

  13. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    Sheriff Ohrn appears to be ignorant of the fact that many persons who suffer from the disease of Addiction leave jails in forced cold turkey withdrawal… only to subsequently overdose…and die.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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