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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

This afternoon’s top stories

Shelby County Board member Teresa Boehm is being prosecuted by Shelby County State’s Attorney Robert Hanlon for previously serving as an appointed Rose Township Cemetery trustee while also serving on the county board. Boehm had resigned as trustee after Hanlon intervened. The state’s attorney said at the time that he wanted to avoid filing criminal charges, then reversed himself. Boehm points out she’s the only Democrat on the county board. Herald & Review reporter Tony Reid has the details.

Centreville Citizens for Change is asking the federal government to investigate why St. Clair County spent nearly all of its COVID-related relief funds in largely white communities while the predominantly Black, low-income city of Cahokia Heights faces an ongoing health crisis with floodwater and sewage spilling into homes. Belleville News-Democrat

Healing Illinois, a statewide initiative that gives anti-racism grants to nonprofits, will give out grants as large as $30,000 to fund racial healing and equity work by various nonprofits. The program is funded by the Field Foundation of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services, writes Scott Reader for the Illinois Times.

Around 92,100 people in the US traveled out of state to receive abortions in the first half of 2023, according to new data — more than double compared with three years ago. Illinois saw 18,870 out-of-state patients between January and June 2023. Bloomberg.

What’s up in the Windy City?

    * Chicago Reader | Johnson administration’s early days marked by lapses in transparency: Since taking office, Johnson moved largely outside public view to erect a now-scrapped tent encampment for newly arriving migrants on contaminated land, he and his Rules Committee chair walled off parts of council chambers—and entire floors of City Hall—from the public, and he has often evaded key questions on the future of surveillance technology he unabashedly rebuked on the campaign trail.

    * Crain’s | Friends of the Parks: No new Bears stadium on lot south of Soldier Field: A report yesterday that the Chicago Bears are exploring the idea of building a new stadium on a parking lot south of Soldier Field has prompted a firm response from a powerful parks preservation group: Not on our watch. “Our board is calling our lawyers as we speak,” said Juanita Irizarry, the executive director of Friends of the Parks, a nonprofit advocacy group well-known for battling new commercial development along the lakefront.

    * Sun-Times | Chicago is seeing largest spike in robberies in over 20 years, analysis shows: Nearly 4,900 robberies happened between July 1 and Nov. 26, a more than 55% increase compared to the previous five months. That’s the largest percentage increase in robberies between consecutive five-month periods since at least 2001.

    * Sun-Times | Hot tub boats offer a toasty spot to chill on the Chicago River: The boat company’s co-founder, Ron Silvia, called the new attraction a BYOB, “float and socialize” city experience that allows customers to drive themselves in a hot tub transformed into a boat. “It’s not a long-distance cruise. It’s to hang out within a few blocks of our main location at Marina City,” Silvia said in a statement.

Here’s the rest!

    * Rockford Register Star | In an age of pay apps and plastic, some Rockford businesses remain cash-only: At the end of the day, business owners say fees associated with credit and debit card payments add up. With processing fees at 1.5% to 3.5%, a business could see a cost of $1.50 to $3.50 on $100 tab. “A lot of places will adjust their prices to make up for those fees,” said Erica Colombi, who owns CJ’s Public House in Rockford and Sips in the Park in Loves Park with her father, Bobby.

    * Bloomberg | Mortgage rates fall for sixth week, dropping closer to 7%: The average for a 30-year, fixed loan was 7.03%, down from 7.22% last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday. Mortgage rates have retreated in recent weeks, bringing slight relief to homebuyers who have been facing the highest borrowing costs in years. The housing market still remains tough, with a limited supply of homes for sale helping to prop up prices and squeeze affordability even more.

    * Fox 32 | Former Bears star Robbie Gould retires after 18-year career: Gould announced his retirement on The Player’s Tribune on Thursday. Gould had been a free agent after the San Francisco 49ers opted not to bring him back for a seventh season. Gould spent 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears and one with the New York Giants.

    * Block Club | The Earliest Sunset Of The Year Is Thursday — And It Won’t Even Hit 4:20: Even as the sun starts to set later — and by later, we mean 4:28 p.m. — the days will get shorter until Dec. 21. That day will have nine hours and 11 minutes of sunlight, making it the city’s “shortest day” of the year.

    * Sun-Time | Shedd Aquarium welcomes orphaned 8-week-old sea otter pup: “With this newest addition to our rescued population of sea otters, we’re committed to his long-term care and continuing to create connections for Chicagoans to this important keystone species,” Peggy Sloan, chief animal conservation officer at Shedd Aquarium, said in the release. Shedd staff members traveled to Alaska to bring back the otter. He arrived Nov. 29 and is being bottle fed while eating small portions of clam a few times throughout the day.

    * The Southern Illinoisan | Poshard Foundation hosts toy give away to help provide Christmas gifts for children: Each year the foundation hosts a toy giveaway. Social service agencies identify children who are unlikely to receive other Christmas gifts, then the agents come to the two-day event to choose gifts for those children. More than 2,000 gifts will be distributed in total during this year’s giveaway. Each child will receive three gifts, along with socks, blankets, hats and gloves.


  1. - Siualum - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    Maybe the Shelby County State’s Attorney should insist on Ms.Boehm being held in jail until trial. She could be a flight risk, since she evidently is in Florida at the moment. Unbelievable, but I guess the SA is a member of the law and order party.

  2. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:05 pm:

    The Shelby County State’s Attorney is a guy who was in private practice in Woodstock.

    He was recommended by the Shelby County Republican Party for appointment to the State’s Attorney position. And the County Board went ahead and appointed this fellow from Woodstock to be the Shelby County State’s Attorney.

    But Soros Soros Soros . . .

  3. - H-W - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:09 pm:

    Re: Shelby County State’s Attorney

    Holy Cow. It is a felony offense to serve on a cemetery board and a county board. Think about that. Seriously thing about that.

    If it is true Ms. Boehm was invited to serve on the cemetery board, then it is only right that the S.A. go after the party who invited this evil act.

    Alternatively, perhaps the S.A. could seek to modify the law that says people who serve on cemetery boards are not performing some sort of evil if they serve on “the” county board.

    The idea that this action is necessary to bring about compliance is a falsehood on multiple levels. Ms. Boehm indicated she did not know county board members serving simultaneously on local cemetery board was improper and dangerous to county governance writ-large. She stepped down. End of story in the rest of America.

    Apparently, Shelby county is not like the rest of America. They fear people serving on cemetery boards, and need to keep them isolated from county business. Dead people, you know.

    It wonder if it has anything to do with that huge, gargantuan, enormous polished cross they have at the intersection to the two interstates to ward off non-fundamentalist, evangelical Christians.

  4. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:34 pm:

    I doubt that the felony charge in Shelby County will hold up. It clearly exceeds the level of offense (if there even was an intentional offense).

    But it goes to show you the level of extremism that keeps building up in the red part of the state. It is quite worrisome.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:36 pm:

    I think the whole state can agree that Illinois and Chicago have the greatest two sports owners in the world. Bears now looking at a parking lot Sox looking at Nashville how lucky and fortunate can Chicago fans be?

  6. - SteveM - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    Long-time Bears season ticketholder. Spent many a Sunday or Thursday or Monday night crawling through traffic to get to Soldier Field. Needless to say the stadium revamp was a terrible plan, but the idea of taking a hard to get to stadium without enough parking and plunking another one down on it’s largest parking lot is ridiculous. Soldier is landmarked, it’s not going anywhere. I’m for the Arlington site, but any other location in Chicago would also be better than on the South Lot

  7. - The Truth - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:05 pm:

    It wonder if it has anything to do with that huge, gargantuan, enormous polished cross they have at the intersection to the two interstates to ward off non-fundamentalist, evangelical Christians.

    [pushes glasses to bridge of nose with index finger]

    technically that’s in Effingham County

  8. - fs - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    == Soldier is landmarked, it’s not going anywhere.==

    I could be wrong, but I thought its landmark status was revoked after the, uh, “renovation” 20 years ago

  9. - TNR - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:08 pm:

    The “Friends of the Parking Lot” strike again.

  10. - JoanP - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:09 pm:

    = Soldier is landmarked =

    No, it’s not. It was never designated a Chicago landmark, and lost its national landmark designation status when the space ship landed inside.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    I often thought that building that thing inside Soldier Field was a clever plan to have it delisted as a landmark in order to take whole thing down and rebuild a great stadium. But then I realized that would take planning and foresight so the Bears nevder would have come up with that

  12. - bob - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    ok find a spot in the city that allows for an eastern approach not using a boat.Then put a dome or retractable roof on the building.

  13. - jackmac - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:46 pm:

    Trump carried Shelby County by 57 points in 2020 and Darren Bailey beat J.B. Pritzker by nearly 60 points in the 2022 governor’s race. First, how did a Democrat sneak onto the County Board against that kind of headwind? Secondly, if a conviction forces her off the County Board, that wipes out any elected Democratic representation in that county. So what’s next? Shelby County Republicans may decide there’s no need for future elections since they’ll declare it a felony to be a Democrat.

  14. - SteveM - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 6:15 pm:

    Thanks to those who set me straight on the Soldier Field landmark status

  15. - tallone - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 8:31 pm:

    “It wonder if it has anything to do with that huge, gargantuan, enormous polished cross they have at the intersection to the two interstates to ward off non-fundamentalist, evangelical Christians.”

    nah the cross keeps the town vampire-free.

  16. - H-W - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 9:56 pm:

    @The Truth

    Oh. Thanks for the correction. My attempt at sarcasm was misplaced. It’s the Lake People. It’s been awhile since I roamed Central Illinois proper. My mistake.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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