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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Friday, Jan 26, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Be safe out there. Sun-Times

Residents of Wilmington were warned of “life-threatening” flooding as the Kankakee River rose to dangerous levels in Will and Grundy counties Friday morning.

The National Weather Service urged people in Wilmington to move to higher ground because of flash flooding that could occur in parts of the town.

An ice jam has formed on the river from the extreme cold last week, according to weather service meteorologist Kevin Doom. When the ice jam breaks, flooding could happen quickly and without warning. […]

After rising around 3 feet in the course of an hour, the Kankakee River was recorded at 4.32 feet around 5:45 a.m. Friday. The flood level is considered 5 feet, according to the weather service.

* Rep. Maurice West filed HB4591 today

Amends the Lobbyist Registration Act. Provides that the Secretary of State may (1) revoke or suspend for a maximum period of one year, or bar from registration for a maximum period of one year, the registration of an individual under the Act for the failure to file specified reports or to pay a specified penalty; (2) investigate the activities of any person who is or who has allegedly been engaged in lobbying and who may be in violation of the Act; and (3) require any registrant or entity registered under the Act to produce documentary evidence that is relevant or material or to give testimony that is relevant or material to an investigation. Provides that each person required to register or file a report under the Act shall maintain the records relating to the report for a period of at least 3 years. Provides that the Secretary of State may request to examine or cause to be examined the books and records of a registrant or an individual renewing his or her registration under the Act to the extent that those books and records relate to lobbying. Provides that documents and evidence produced or collected by the Secretary of State during the course of an investigation shall be exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. Provides that the Secretary of State may revoke or suspend the registration of a registrant or an individual renewing his or her registration under the Act if that individual fails to comply with a request from the Secretary of State to furnish the specified information. Makes changes in provisions concerning definitions; persons required to register; lobbyist registration and disclosure; and reports. Amends the Freedom of Information Act to make a conforming change.

* Center Square

A Chicago state representative has called on the state to refuse to host the Democratic National Convention until the city receives federal funding for migrant care. Mayor Brandon Johnson is not on board with that idea, however. […]

“If Chicago doesn’t get federal help for its housing crisis, it should pass on hosting the DNC,” Buckner wrote in the Chicago Tribune. “I realize this is a bold and unprecedented suggestion, but our situation is also unprecedented, and we must act with that in mind.”

Johnson seemed to shoot down the idea Wednesday.

“Whether you have the DNC coming to your town or not, the DNC isn’t going to New York,” Johnson said. “They have just as much as a right to federal funds as the city that will host the DNC.”

* Background is here if you need it. Jeanne Ives’ campaign committee to put a non-binding statewide referendum about trans kids on the ballot has filed its state paperwork, and it misspells her own name

* Press release

Illinois anglers who chase walleye, sauger or saugeye are invited to participate in the virtual Midwest Walleye Challenge in 2024. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has teamed up with other states, provinces, and developers and researchers at Anglers Atlas to launch this year’s competition.

Information gathered through the competition will assist Illinois in providing anglers with important data and add to biologists’ knowledge of various waterbodies.

“Competitions like this are incredibly valuable to our understanding of the Illinois fishery,” said Kevin Irons, assistant chief of the IDNR fisheries division. “And not to worry, anglers - we’ll never know the exact location of your favorite secret fishing spot. Our biologists will only see information about the water body.”

The Midwest Walleye Challenge uses the mobile app MyCatch to record the length of each fish caught. Anglers take a picture of the fish on a measuring device using the app, and once the fish is reviewed by the catch team and meets the rules, it appears on a live leaderboard where anglers can see who is in the lead.

Anglers can go online to view the rules and sign up to participate.

* Here’s the rest…

    * WCIA | Bill would limit eminent domain power for CO2 Pipeline companies: Republican Senator Steve McClure filed a bill in the statehouse to give property owners an even bigger say in the process. “It’s gonna discourage anybody from coming into the state of Illinois to try to take someone else’s private property against their will for a CO2 pipeline,” McClure (R-Springfield) said. “There’s a couple of issues here, number one, people are still concerned about the safety of CO2 pipelines. And number two, most landowners don’t want CO2 pipelines on their property. So this is a way to try to give protections to landowners so that the property is not taken away from them for a CO2 pipeline.”

    * WTAX | Biden challenge fizzles: That’s how an Illinois State Board of Elections hearing officer summed up his reasoning for rejecting an objection fronted by Arthur Jones of Lyons. […] Hearing officer David Herman: “Let’s move on to your next argument.” Jones: “… and plunge this country into depression, sir!” Biden lawyer Kevin Morphew: “All of this is hearsay.” Jones: “It’s not hearsay! It’s facts that’s going to take place if we allow this idiot to be on the ballot!”

    * Marc Poulos | Illinois, let’s re-invest in working families with a state child tax credit: If the state passes the proposed child tax credit, it would provide $300 per child to families who earn at or below the median income. Unions like ours at International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 have been fighting for Illinois families for years. And as the cost of living continues to rise, that extra bit of supplementary help from policies like the child tax credit are precisely what our membership, and parents across this state, need right now to thrive.

    *SJ-R | Homicides down in Springfield for third consecutive year: The Springfield Police Department handled five cases in 2023, though there were two other homicides with Springfield addresses investigated by Sangamon County Sheriff’s Deputies. There was one murder-suicide in the Village of Southern View, also investigated by the sheriff’s department.

    * Daily-Journal | Illinois DCFS offers post-secondary scholarships to current, former youth in care: The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is accepting applications for the 2024 DCFS Scholarship Program. Through the program, a minimum of 53 academic scholarships will be awarded to current and former youth in care for the upcoming school year, with four awards reserved for the children of veterans and two reserved for students pursuing degrees in social work in honor of Pamela Knight and Deidre Silas, two DCFS caseworkers who succumbed to injuries sustained in the line of duty.

    * WREX | Hard Rock Casino Rockford announces potential opening date: During Labor Day weekend, the Hard Rock Casino will potentially open its doors and welcome a 101-year-old Rockford woman nicknamed “Queen Antoinette” as the first visitor to walk into the building. As of January 26, the casino remains under construction, but is on track to open for the holiday weekend.

    * Block Club | South Side Food Desert Still Waiting On Grocery Store After Developers Snagged $5 Million City Grant: City officials approved nearly $5 million in community development grants last year for Save A Lot operator Yellow Banana to build a store at 13016 S. Rhodes Ave. The site is located near the Altgeld Gardens public housing development, which — along with the broader Riverdale community area — has not had a grocery store since the Rosebud Farm Stand closed in 2018.

    * Block Club | How Many People Experience Homelessness In Chicago? Annual Count Aims To Boost Services: A total of 6,139 residents experiencing homelessness were counted in 2023 — 5,149 of them living in homeless shelters and 990 either on the street or “other locations not meant for human habitation,” according to city data. Of last year’s population, the city counted 2,196 asylum seekers. Sixty-nine percent of the non-asylum seekers counted in 2023 were Black and 62 percent identified as male.

    * Triibe | Is the Johnson Administration listening to gender-based violence support groups? : With City Council’s approval of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s 2024 budget in November 2023, the CPD received a nearly $90 million increase for salary increases, to hire more detectives and add 400 new civilian positions, including 44 crime victim advocates and domestic violence advocates as part of an expansion of its Crime Victim Service Unit. However, gender-based violence advocates pleaded with Johnson’s administration and Chicago City Council members to amend the budget and redistribute those dollars to community-based organizations that are already working with survivors and victims and connecting them to resources and services.

    * Crain’s | Apartments near Bally’s casino site sold for $42 million: Mondial was one of more than a dozen multifamily buildings in and near downtown Chicago that hit the market last year. But high interest rates have made it difficult to put together a deal, and many of those properties didn’t trade. Those that did felt the impact of the cooling investment climate on values: North Water Apartments in Streeterville sold at a 28% loss in June, and the developers of Lake & Wells in River North took about a 20% hit in that building’s sale in April.

    * WBEZ | Don’t take away dollar stores without ‘backup plan,’ community members say: In a statement to WBEZ, a spokesperson for Dollar Tree Inc. said neighborhood “small-box” stores provide household goods at affordable prices. “As many ‘big box’ and full-service grocery retailers have exited Chicago neighborhoods in recent months, a moratorium or overreaching restrictions on new retail that fill a critical void in these neighborhoods are not the solution to the problems the ordinance seeks to solve,” the statement said.

    * Chalkbeat | Chicago Board of Education renews contracts for 49 charter schools: The board extended contracts for all of the schools up for renewal. It renewed most of the contracts by either three or four years, starting this July. The maximum extension allowed under state law is 10 years. Each renewal came with a set of conditions, ranging from monitoring services for students with disabilities and students learning English as a new language to improving facilities, financial compliance, and accuracy of teacher licenses. Those conditions were a result of “issues that were identified during our comprehensive review,” said Zabrina Evans, executive director of the district’s Office of Innovation and Incubation in the Office of Portfolio Management.

    * Block Club | Mining On The Southeast Side? As Alderman Pushes To Overturn City Ban, Environmentalists Fight Back: Representatives from Southeast Side community groups criticized an ordinance from alds. Peter Chico (10th) and Gilbert Villegas (36th) to change city zoning law to allow mining in certain areas. The legislation was introduced into City Council on Wednesday. Organizers believe it could be an avenue to help the Invert project, a years-old endeavor from cement company Ozinga to build a 6-million-square-foot underground mining warehouse on a former steel site near 112th Street and the Calumet River.

    * SJ-R | Longtime Sangamon County Board member George Preckwinkle resigns: Preckwinkle, who splits time between Springfield and his home in Florida, owns 13 central Illinois Ace Hardware stores with his sister, Lucy Stafford of Pleasant Plains. The decision to step down was bittersweet, he said. “I’m elected to serve the people and my business and personal schedules have just gotten to where I can’t hardly do my role as a county board member,” said Preckwinkle, reached by phone Thursday. “It was a challenge last year and it’s just off the charts this year.

    * WBEZ | In Chicago, a new music series is a ‘turning point’ for sober musicians and audiences: As a bassist, Matt Ciarleglio had played in bars all his life — which was good for his growth as a musician. But as someone struggling with addiction, playing in bars created challenges that could derail his life. “I had been struggling with substance abuse in some form or another most of my adult life,” he said. Last year, it dawned on him: “Why?”

    * Columbia Journalism Review | The Death of the Washington Bureau: This worsens polarization. Without local coverage, the only times most Americans hear about their representatives is from campaign ads or when they’re on national news talking about partisan issues. That makes it harder for politicians who break with their party to get something done to survive politically—and it makes it harder for issues of local importance that might have crossover appeal to gain any traction. If the only way to gain attention (and raise money) is to talk about national issues on Fox News or MSNBC, why bother taking a political risk to cross the aisle and try to solve problems that actually matter to your district?

    * Tribune | ‘He was such a sweet soul.’ A community grieves the loss of its neighbor Pete, who lived quietly in a big, orange tent: He had a kind heart and a wry sense of humor. (He placed a FOR RENT sign outside his tent.) He was quick to lend a hand, and he made friends easily. He was known, in part, for carrying around a stuffed Alf — furry star of the briefly, wildly popular ‘80s sitcom.

    * Sun-Times | Wildfire smoke like what Chicago now gets worsens indoor air quality in long-term care facilities, research finds: Affected residents include seniors in long-term care facilities, many of them at-risk for smoke exposure because of respiratory or cardiac diseases. “An astonishing amount of smoke gets inside these facilities,” said Luke Montrose, an environmental toxicologist and researcher at Colorado State University.


  1. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 2:50 pm:

    Kevin Doom–what a great name for a meteorologist.

  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 2:53 pm:

    –misspells her own name–

    It’s a fun trick some less than ethical politico types have been known to do deliberately, to cause difficulty for others searching for documents.

    I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m just saying.

  3. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 3:01 pm:

    Apparently the Yes On Right to Parent Committee never taught their kids the old English riddle “As I was going to St. Ives”.

  4. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 3:08 pm:

    The MAGA GOP hate campaign continues.

  5. - Phineas - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 3:12 pm:

    Just send signatures here:

  6. - NotRich - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 3:21 pm:

    If Rep West was a real ethical reformer he should amend his bill to prohibit legislators from taking donations from lobbyists.

  7. - Eire17 - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 4:09 pm:

    West? What a joke. Agree with the above. Stop taking money from lobbyists. Sandavol? Acevedo? Burke? Madigan? Tom Cullerton? Link? Not an even a complete list but the most recent. But let’s mail the lobbyists more.

  8. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 26, 24 @ 4:12 pm:

    Please please please ban lobbyists from making political contributions.

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