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Isabel’s morning briefing

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: The Chicago Bears could get break on property tax valuation for former Arlington Park, but wouldn’t get cut on tax rate. Tribune

    -The Chicago Bears got a preliminary split decision on their property tax appeal for the former Arlington International Racecourse Tuesday.
    -The tax appeal board valued the racecourse property at $138 million, down from the $192 million market valuation by the Cook County assessor.
    - The board also ruled that the land should not be classified as vacant for 2023, because its grandstand was not completely demolished until December.

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * WCMY | IL farmers take legislative concerns to Springfield: Illinois Farm Bureau president, Brian Duncan, says the organization is closely watching numerous legislative proposals this spring… “But we’ve got to watch them because you never know.” He says, “I mean, whether it’s truck regulations, looks like it may be headed for a battle and some of the bans on pretty valuable crop protection products that I hope don’t see the light of day.

    * Bloomberg | Supreme Court leaves elite school’s diversity policy intact: A divided US Supreme Court refused to question an admissions policy at a competitive Virginia public high school, turning away contentions that the program was designed to reduce the percentage of Asian-American students. […] Illinois’ big schools, including the University of Illinois and University of Chicago, had been preparing for the worst case scenario to preserve their diversity initiatives after the court struck down affirmative action last year.

* Mariyana Spyropoulos is out with a new ad for Cook County Circuit Court clerk


Click here to watch Governor Pritzker’s State of the State and Budget Address at noon.

* Here’s the rest of your morning roundup…

    * STL PR | Trump endorses incumbent Bost over Bailey in heated race for southern Illinois House seat: Trump is the latest in a slew of establishment Republicans to endorse the sitting congressman. Others include House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Bailey has won the support of one of the two other GOP members of Illinois’ congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Hindsboro, as well as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida.

    * Fox Chicago | Illinois AG halts Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard’s charity donations: The charity, called “Tiffany Henyard Cares,” failed to register with the Attorney General’s Office or disclose how much money it raised and how the money is being spent.

    * Rockford Register Star | Winnebago County leaders debate use of funds to help newly arrived migrants: A Winnebago County Board committee is considering a resolution to not provide financial support to any newly arrived migrants outside of transportation out of the county. “We want to make sure the asylum seekers, migrants are able to get to the landing zone of Chicago safely,” said Operations Committee chair Keith McDonald, R-6.

    * WSPY | Resolution for non-sanctuary migrant status for Sandwich offered: The resolution states that the city does not possess sufficient financial funds or infrastructure to accommodate the many possible needs of illegal immigrants. In addition, the resolution to prioritize Sandwich citizens’ safety and prosperity. No action was taken on the resolution by the city council.

    * NPR Illinois | Illinois Comptroller provides portal to track migrant-related spending: Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said she wants to give taxpayers more information about state expenditures on the asylum seekers who have been arriving in Illinois. Mendoza has opened a portal on her office website. “While the state is incurring expenses that, frankly, should be paid by the federal government, I want to make sure that taxpayers know exactly what the state is spending money on when it comes to the arrival and care of asylum seekers,” Comptroller Mendoza said.

    * Crain’s | After altercation, City Council member calls on colleague to resign leadership posts: In a text to Crain’s, Yancy said Mitchell “became aggressive and attacked me unprovoked” during a conversation about Mitchell’s opposition to a South Shore Housing Preservation ordinance Yancy introduced in the fall. “No punches. He grabbed me around the head and shoulders in what felt like an attempt to wrestle me to the ground. We had to be separated,” Yancy told Crain’s.

    * WBEZ | Mayor Brandon Johnson pitches borrowing $1.25 billion for housing and development: In a major shift away from how the city currently funds development, Johnson plans to pay for the massive borrowing package by knocking out another priority: letting dozens of the city’s controversial tax increment financing, or TIF, districts expire. TIF districts siphon tax dollars away from the city’s general funds to pay for local development projects, and Johnson plans to use the recouped tax money from expiring TIFs to pay for the debt.

    * Sun-Times | Chicago sues five giant oil companies, accusing them of climate change destruction, fraud: Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday that names BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell, accusing the companies of discrediting science and misleading the public as the climate crisis continued to wreak havoc on the planet. The city is also suing the trade group American Petroleum Institute, which it accuses of conspiring with the companies to deceive consumers through disinformation campaigns even as the industry acknowledged internally that climate change was real.

    * Tribune | Dollar store restrictions to get Chicago council vote: The so-called small-box retailer ordinance would prohibit store operators from opening at new sites within one mile of preexisting locations. It would require new stores to display placards with maintenance and emergency information. The legislation seeks to rein in the businesses sponsor Matt O’Shea says have hurt access to healthy food in poor neighborhoods and left stores across the city unkempt.

    * Chalkbeat | Chicago’s school board wants to remove police from all schools starting next school year: The resolution directs CPS CEO Pedro Martinez to come up with a new policy by June 27 that would introduce a “holistic approach to school safety” at district schools, such as implementing restorative justice practices, which focus on resolving a conflict instead of punishment,

    * Crain’s | At City Club event, CPS CEO keeps the door ajar for charter schools: “We’ve been very clear that we want options for all of our children across the city,” Martinez told Crain’s after a Feb. 20 City Club of Chicago event. “I believe we have some of the most amazing choices with our magnet schools, selective enrollment, our charter schools — and, in the meantime, we’re going to continue to strengthen our neighborhood schools. So it’s not an ‘either-or’ for me. It’s an ‘all of the above.’ ”

    * Naperville Sun | Yet another gun-related arrest at Naperville TopGolf, sixth since September: Over a two-month period last fall, police made four separate, but similar gun busts there — all resulting from an officer spotting a gun through a car window while doing a foot patrol of the venue’s parking lot. After the fourth bust, police said they were working with TopGolf to keep a close eye on safety.

    * WGN | Illinois eclipse map: Which cities will have the best view?: The path of totality, or the thin track across the U.S. from which the sun will appear totally obscured, starts in Texas and continues northeast through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Unlike in past years, 2024’s solar eclipse will be at least partially visible throughout all 48 contiguous states.

    * Sun-Times | Manteno man admits shoving officer, tossing mug at police during Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot: Quinn Keen, 36, of Manteno pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting or impeding officers. Federal sentencing guideline estimates call for Keen to spend more than two years in prison, according to his plea agreement. Keen’s sentencing has been set for June 27.

    * Crain’s | Nearly 200 staffers to be laid off from Tribune printing plant: There is no word on what positions are affected, but the scheduled layoff of 198 employees is set to take place on April 22, according to a WARN report filed Feb. 15 with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. The layoffs come as Freedom Center, where the Chicago Tribune is printed, is set to become the location of the permanent Bally’s casino. Bally’s bought the 30-acre riverfront site for $200 million last year to redevelop it as a 1 million-square-foot casino and hotel. In the deal with Bally’s, Tribune Publishing agreed to terminate its lease and move operations by July 5.

    * Tribune | Chicago Bears are hiring Jennifer King, the first woman assistant coach in team history: King, 39, has been the Washington Commanders assistant running backs coach the last three seasons. Washington hired her full-time in 2021 — making her the first Black woman assistant position coach in NFL history — after she was a full-season coaching intern a year earlier.

    * Crain’s | Lab-grown meat company puts plans for Glenview plant on hold: About five months after it announced it would open its first commercial-scale cultivated-meat production plant at the industrial park Dermody Properties is developing on the site, Upside, citing cost-effectiveness and efficiency, will first expand operations at its existing facility in California before continuing with the buildout of the Glenview project.


  1. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 8:45 am:

    Re: STL PR story

    === Trump is the latest in a slew of establishment Republicans include Johnson, Jordan, Miller, Gaetz ===

    Congratulations, Republican Party. The Tea Party revolution is complete. Your new establishment is no longer republican.

  2. - BigLou - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 9:37 am:

    I think the commercial was good, puts Iris in a bad light wth just news stories. Good imagery for a negative add

  3. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 10:09 am:

    ==Chicago sues five giant oil companies, accusing them of climate change destruction, fraud==

    You go where the money is…

    “Lawyers for the city compare the tactics used by the industry as similar to tobacco companies’ past claims that their cigarettes were less harmful. That industry was also sued by many states, and settlement money in the late ’90s went toward various uses from health-related programs to filling budget holes”

  4. - Shytown - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:04 am:

    Re the ad, I give it a C. Feels like an ad voters have seen a million times. Unless they’re putting 800 points a week into it I don’t see how they breakthrough.

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:08 am:

    ===I give it a C===

    I couldn’t figure out why I thought it felt so draggy and slow. So I turned off the sound and watched it again. I realized it’s the slow-motion video at the beginning. Just made me say, c’mon, let’s get to the point, even though it’s only a :30 ad.

  6. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 1:22 pm:

    Golf is now apparently the sport of outlaws.

  7. - Dotnonymous x - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 2:24 pm:

    Test tube Number One to Test tube number two?…You could’ve been a meat eater, Kid.

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