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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Friday, Feb 16, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller


Financial turmoil continued to unfold in south suburban Dolton Thursday after a bank said the village failed to make a payment worth tens of thousands of dollars, which may result in police cruisers and other public works vehicles being repossessed.

According to a letter dated Feb. 14, 2024, representatives from KS StateBank are threatening to take possession of more than a dozen village vehicles, which includes six police cruisers, after the village failed to make a payment of more than $76,000 on the vehicles’ loan some nine months ago.

Lawyers for KS StateBank said in the letter, that the village and the bank entered into a Government Obligation Contract in May 2019, when the village financed 13 vehicles, for the principal amount of $332,761.50.

“Due to failure to maintain current payments, the Contract is now in default. As of the date of this letter, the amount past due is $76,138.00 with interest accruing thereon,” the letter stated. […]

Several trustees who spoke with WGN-TV, and Burt Odelson, legislative counsel for the Village of Dolton Board of Trustees, said the payment was authorized by the board in May 2023 and they were not aware it hadn’t been made.

* Hannah Meisel’s update on the McCann trial

* Cook County Commissioner Anthony Quezada…

In a recent campaign ad titled ‘Truth over Lies,’ 20th District State Senator Natalie Toro falsely claims that she rejected the endorsement from the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. Contrary to her assertions, and as reported by the press, Senator Natalie Toro accepted the FOP’s endorsement. Toro was on digital materials and mailpieces from FOP-funded PAC “United Working Taxpayers” weeks and days before the Democratic Primary for 8th District County Commissioner held on June 28, 2022.

“Natalie Toro’s misleading statements are a blatant affront to the principles of accountability and integrity that should guide political discourse in elections. Twenty months ago, Toro campaigned alongside FOP President John Catanzara as the FOP-endorsed candidate, benefitting from FOP funds. Now she has the gall to lie to northwest side residents that she ‘rejected the FOP endorsements’ in an ad where she extols us to tell the truth.

“Voters deserve accurate information to make informed decisions at the ballot box. In an era of widespread political disinformation, the need for elected officials who embody transparency and ethical conduct has never been more pronounced. Senator Natalie Toro owes the voters of Chicago an apology and needs to set the record straight.”

* Here’s the rest…

    * Capitol News Illinois | With influx of state and federal funding, Illinois looks to add enough chargers to support 1 million EVs: In Illinois, several agencies are part of the effort to ensure EV charging infrastructure gets where it is needed, but the drive is coordinated by Megha Lakhchaura, the state electric vehicle coordinator at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. “We expect that we will need 36,000 public charging ports to support one million EVs. Most of these will be level two chargers, but we will need close to 7,000 fast charging ports by 2030,” Lakhchaura said in an email statement. “We expect to have over 2,000 fast charging ports by the end of 2024 if the chargers are installed on time.”

    * Sun-Times | Sex abuse lawsuit against ex-top cop Eddie Johnson includes new allegation of lewd bet: Former Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson proposed a wager during a Bears game in London that he would get his female driver’s underwear if the team won, according to a filing in a lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse and harassment. The driver, Officer Cynthia Donald, sued Johnson and the city of Chicago in 2020, saying he had subjected her to unwanted sex in his office at police headquarters and on work trips to New Orleans, New York and Springfield. She joined his security detail in 2016 and became his personal driver six months later.

    * Daily Herald | Several area legislators strongly support $95 billion foreign aid package awaiting House vote — but some don’t: Both of Illinois’ U.S. senators, Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates and Dick Durbin of Springfield, stood with the 70-member majority in support of the bill. But the congressional delegation serving the Chicago suburbs is fractured on the issue. U.S. Reps. Sean Casten of Downers Grove, Raja Krishnamorthi of Schaumburg, Brad Schneider of Highland Park and Bill Foster of Naperville say they’ll support the plan if a House vote is called.

    * WBEZ | Independent pediatricians who can’t bill patients during Lurie Children’s outage can apply for loans: Since Lurie went offline, community pediatricians plugged into the hospital’s network also don’t have access to their patients’ medical records. They have been asking parents for patience and are encouraging them to call in. […] On their website, Child & Adolescent Health Associates near the Gold Coast tells parents they can provide paper prescriptions for medication and that they have another workaround while their patients’ medical histories are inaccessible. The practice has access to most vaccine records for children who were born at Prentice Women’s Hospital, which is connected via two bridges to Lurie. Prentice is part of Northwestern Medicine.

    * Sun-Times | Will ShotSpotter end in Chicago on Friday? Mayor dodges questions as firm indicates there’s no deal: In a statement Thursday, the Silicon Valley firm said it spent much of last year trying to engage the city in contract talks. As recently as December, the firm presented officials with a memorandum of understanding for a 12-month extension.

    * Tribune | Hazmat spill closes I-55 southbound lanes in southwest suburbs, officials say: The State Police said a disabled semi-truck on the right shoulder was leaking hydrogen peroxide from its trailer a quarter of a mile north of LaGrange Road near Hodgkins. The leak began about 8:07 a.m. Fire service agencies and a hazmat clean-up crew were on scene, authorities said.

    * Center Square | Expert offers ways to revitalize downtown areas in rural Illinois: A recent webinar by the University of Illinois Extension offered strategies that communities can utilize to develop vibrant downtown areas. Pam Schallhorn, University of Illinois Extension specialist in Community and Economic Development, said downtown events will lure people to town.

    * Times-Tribune | Prenzler Chosen as Gateway Vice-Chair: Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler has been selected to serve as vice-chair of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, a regional agency covering the City of St. Louis, four St. Louis area counties in Missouri and three in Illinois. Prenzler’s selection for this position puts him in line to be chairman of the EWGCG board in 2025, succeeding the elected official currently holding that seat, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. That chair position rotates annually.

    * WBEZ | An unresolved glitch keeps students with immigrant parents out of the new FAFSA: Federal officials have known about the problem for weeks and say they are working on it but have yet to implement a fix. WBEZ heard from three Chicago-area high school seniors who fear the issue may jeopardize their ability to afford college.

    * Crain’s | U of I president getting contract extension: The proposed extension will take effect on July 1 and Killeen’s salary of $916,000 will remain the same, according to the release. “The proposed extension reaffirms the board’s confidence in President Killeen’s continued leadership of the university system and its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield,” Board Chairman Don Edwards said in a statement.

    * SJ-R | Community Gardens are cropping up across Springfield with the Motherland Project: Since 2021, Illinois Army National Guard (92Y) and founder of Motherland Community Garden, Doumen has been cultivating the Motherland Community Garden, a non-profit which targets areas primarily on the east side with high apartment/rent rates and difficult access to fresh produce in Springfield. Doumen holds a bachelor’s degree in geography science from the University of Duoala and a bachelors of AG Business from Lincoln Land, on top of his title as an Illinois National Guard, which he uses to target food deserts, or urban areas where buying fresh food is hard.

    * Sun-Times | Would you buy a house with friends? These Chicagoans are living the co-op lifestyle: When Amy Jewel and her husband, Toby Mitchell, moved from California to Chicago 10 years ago, they kicked around the idea of starting a cooperative apartment building. By pooling their money together with other like-minded families to purchase a building, the couple thought they could more easily afford to stay in the city and build a close-knit community with their neighbors.

    * Tribune | ‘Doozy’ of a career: After nearly a half century on air, Tom Skilling nears his final forecast: The cult of Skilling runs so deep, just about everybody does an overly-cheerful impression of Chicago’s longest-tenured weathercaster. What they may miss, however, goes on behind the scenes, where Skilling is far more complex than his caricature: a diligent, almost obsessive meteorologist who spends 15 hours a day glued to computer screens, analyzing reams of data in an endless quest to accurately predict the Windy City’s capricious weather.

    * NYT | Amazon Argues Labor Board Is Unconstitutional: The move followed a similar argument by SpaceX, the rocket company founded and run by Elon Musk, in a legal complaint in January, and by Trader Joe’s during a labor board hearing a few weeks later. The labor board consists of a prosecutorial arm, which issues complaints against employers or unions deemed to have violated federally protected labor rights; administrative judges, who hear complaints; and a five-member board in Washington, to which decisions can be appealed.

    * WaPo | Sinclair’s recipe for TV news: Crime, homelessness, illegal drugs: Every year, local television news stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting conduct short surveys among viewers to help guide the year’s coverage. A key question in each poll, according to David Smith, the company’s executive chairman: “What are you most afraid of?”

    * Mashable | The majority of traffic from Elon Musk’s X may have been fake during the Super Bowl, report suggests: According to CHEQ, a whopping 75.85 percent of traffic from X to its advertising clients’ websites during the weekend of the Super Bowl was fake.

    * Sun-Times | US 99 joins small group of country stations playing Beyoncé’s new music: That decision is noteworthy, as country radio stations reportedly have been slow to play the new songs. In the roughly 24 hours after Beyoncé released “Texas Hold ‘Em” and the ballad “16 Carriages” to music streaming platforms during the Super Bowl, Billboard tracked the playlists of nearly 150 stations and found only eight had played “Texas Hold ‘Em.” There were no spins at all for “16 Carriages.”

    * PJ Star | Popular steakhouse will close one of its Illinois locations after almost 40 years: Alexander’s Steakhouse is set to close its Springfield location after a final day on Feb. 29. Mercedes Restaurants, Inc. President Ron Helms announced the coming shutdown in a Feb. 16 Facebook post. Helms attributed the closure to rising costs across the board, as well as an increase in competition. He said the business worked to adapt but was ultimately unable to “turn things around.”

    * Fox Chicago | Black Kitchen Initiative fueling growth for Chicago restaurants: In a FOX 32 special report, Anita Blanton takes a look at how the Black Kitchen Initiative grants have benefitted some restaurants in Chicago. […] Working at Cleo’s Southern Cuisine is a labor of love for owner and founder Kristen Ashley. “So with Southern food, a lot of people always sit down and talk about how you really get that family kind of feel,” Ashley said. “The fried catfish, people fall out of their seats for that. Everybody loves our chicken sandwich.”


  1. - NIU Grad - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:41 pm:

    After watching a few minutes of that video…it’s very possible that he does not recall making that and he’s slipping off the rocker a bit…especially the end.

    A part of me wonders if he was trying to record a video to send to others and didn’t realize he was on Instagram…

  2. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===McCann claimed through his atty that he didn’t remember making a 13-min video while driving to court last Fri before his arrest===

    Setting up insanity defense?

  3. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:00 pm:

    Looks like Sam McCann forgot this piece of advice—If you can’t do the time, don’t commit the crime.

  4. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Feb 16, 24 @ 3:00 pm:

    “Setting up insanity defense?”

    And / or addiction problems? Scott Fawell advised Blagojevich to tell the Feds you had drug problems, you’d get better treatment.

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