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Reader comments closed for spring break

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We’ll be back a week from Monday. Enjoy! I asked Isabel to pick a song

Got my historic places to get

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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Treasurer Frerichs and his spouse have baby twins because of IVF


A group of four House Republicans sent a letter to the Biden administration Wednesday protesting a policy to expand access to in vitro fertilization, or IVF, for veterans.

The letter, addressed to Denis McDonough, the secretary of veterans affairs, was signed by Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Mary Miller of Illinois, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma and Bob Good of Virginia, who said they had “a plethora of ethical concerns and questions” about the policy.

“IVF is morally dubious and should not be subsidized by the American taxpayer. It is well known that IVF treatments result in a surplus of embryos after the best ones are tested and selected. These embryos are then frozen — at significant cost to the parents — abandoned, or cruelly discarded,” the lawmakers wrote.

Here’s the letter.

* Press release…

Today House Republicans filed the Citizen Law Enforcement Act, HB 5790, to clarify any confusion around illegal immigrants and the right to lawfully carry firearms. The decision to file this measure came in response to the irresponsible court decision out of the Northern District of Illinois, which granted an illegal immigrant the right to carry firearms.

While that ruling is slated to be appealed and only applies to one person, House Republicans stand united in their effort to back the rights of citizens, support public safety, and prevent any further confusion with existing state statute as it related to non-citizen law enforcement officers.

“The recent court decision issued by a radical activist judge will be appealed, but has caused unnecessary confusion that as lawmakers, we want the legislative intent to be clear: illegal immigrants do not have the right to possess firearms PERIOD,” said Assistant Minority Leader John Cabello (Machesney Park).

House Bill 5790 was filed today in the Illinois House. Assistant Minority Leader John Cabello and State Representative Dennis Tipsword (Metamora), who also serve as acting law enforcement officers, are the chief sponsors of the legislation.

* Yeesh

A taste of some replies

* Subscribers know more. Press release…

Today, Healthy School Meals for All Kids, a coalition dedicated to ensuring all Illinois students have access to free school meals, released a new poll showing strong support for providing free breakfast and lunch among voters. The poll found that funding free school meals in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget is the top priority for Illinois voters when compared with other legislative budget priorities proposed this session, with a majority of respondents saying it was either their first or second funding choice.

The poll found that funding free school meals for all students received the majority of support across Illinois and among all ages. 64% of all Illinoisans support it, including 84% of those in the City of Chicago, 62% of those in the Collar counties, 56% of those downstate, and 74% of those between the ages of 18-44. Funding healthy school meals for all kids receives bipartisan support, with 81% of Democrats, 55% of Independents, and 52% of Republicans. 60% of voters said they’d be more likely to vote for their legislator if they support funding the initiative. […]

The Illinois General Assembly recognized the importance of ensuring students can get free meals at school and passed the Healthy School Meals for All law in Spring 2023, which set the framework for providing free breakfast and lunch to all students who want it in the state. However, while the legislation passed with strong, bipartisan support, it did not receive the appropriation needed to pay for it. This year, State Senator Laura Ellman and State Representative Maurice West both filed appropriations bills to provide $209 million in the Fiscal Year 2025 budget to fund the program.

Eight other states, including neighboring Minnesota and Michigan, already have universal school meals. Additional states, including New Jersey and New York, are building up to it in the next few years. Food insecurity is a problem facing communities all across Illinois – whether urban, suburban, or rural, and making free school meals available to all students will help those in every corner of our state. It will advance racial equity and reduce disparities in health and education outcomes, as Black and Latine children are twice as likely to experience food insecurity as white children. It will also help reduce stigma, which is a significant barrier to school meal participation for students who currently qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Click here for a brief polling memo.

* Daily Southtown

Four Dolton trustees and the village clerk called Thursday for an outside investigator to look into a recent trip to Las Vegas spearheaded by embattled Mayor Tiffany Henyard.

The leaders also discussed the village’s financial situation, saying they receive calls from contractors who have not been paid, despite the Village Board voting months ago to approve the payments.

“If you’re not paying the bills, what are you paying?” said Trustee Tammy Brown. “My grandad used to say, ‘We in a mighty bad way.’” […]

Trustees, after discussing the village’s debt, voted to ask the Illinois General Assembly to ensure the vendors receive the money they are owed.

If you didn’t know, Henyard released a 30 minute podcast this week. Click here if you want to watch it, but I don’t blame you if you skip it.

* Here’s the rest…

    * WICS | Ex-Iroquois County health admin faces charges for $100k fake timesheet claims: Raoul’s office charged Dee Ann Schippert, 57, of Watseka, with two counts of theft of government property, Class X felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison; six additional Class 1 felony counts of theft of government property, each punishable by up to 15 years in prison; eight counts of forgery, Class 3 felonies punishable by up to five years in prison; and 17 counts of official misconduct, Class 3 felonies each punishable by up to five years in prison.

    * WSIL | Former Southern Illinois State’s Attorney Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge: A former Williamson County state’s attorney in southern Illinois is in legal trouble and facing the possibility of jail time after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge. A document was filed on March 21, 2024 with the United States District Court Southern District of Illinois for the United States of America vs Brandon Zanotti case, which states a plea agreement was made in regards to one count of false entry in bank records. … The charge stems from a transaction involving several commercial rental properties and a local bank.

    * Effingham Daily News | Effingham County suspends solar project: The Effingham County Board Monday called a halt to a project to install solar panels on the roof of the County Office Building. The decision came after a board member learned that they could get the windows for half the price they had been quoted. Building and Grounds Committee Chairman Tim Ellis said that County Board Chairman Josh Douthit asked for a price from a vendor for replacement windows for the second through fourth floors of the Office Building. The price Douthit received was $150,000. That is half the price the Board had been given as part of the solar project. Ellis said the difference in price made moving ahead with the combination solar panel and window replacement unnecessary.

    * SJ-R | Postal Service: Upcoming changes won’t impact service in Springfield: As the Postal Service continues to review its local operations, I want to lay out the facts of what we are doing. First, we are not closing the Springfield processing and distribution center. We will convert it into a local processing center and the Postal Service intends on investing between $5 million and $8 million into it. These investments include $1 million for a brand-new sorting machine that will help improve delivery services and $5.1 million for modernization efforts and deferred maintenance.

    * Crain’s | Johnson to pick former Housing Department official as city’s first chief homelessness officer: Johnson will soon announce the appointment of Sendy Soto to the position, according to sources familiar with the hire. Soto served as a managing deputy commissioner in the city’s Housing Department from 2020 to 2022 and is currently the senior director of community impact at The Chicago Community Trust, a nonprofit connecting donors with community organizations.

    * Tribune | Chicago ranked 2nd for worst air pollution in 2023 among major US cities, global report says: At one point last summer, Chicago had the poorest air quality recorded among 95 cities in the world. Experts say a major recurring issue and leading cause was pollutants carried by winds across borders and contaminating air elsewhere — such as smoke from forest fires in the Canadian province of Quebec, which blew into Chicago and other U.S. cities.

    * Sun-Times | City Hall got $1 million in fees after Sun-Times asked promoters, teams: Why haven’t you paid up?: Mayor Brandon Johnson’s finance department won’t release details on traffic violators and many scofflaws, but it agreed to release data on $1.3 million in traffic control bills owed by the city’s sports teams, concert promoters and organizers of special events like the 2014 TV show “The Biggest Loser.” And then a funny thing happened once Chicago Sun-Times reporters began calling those businesses: They began paying up. One million dollars of the $1.3 million in unpaid traffic control bills got paid, City Hall records show.

    * WaPo | Lawmakers see rise in threatening messages as TikTok users swarm Congress: The exact abundance of such calls is unclear, but one Senate aide said their office has received roughly a dozen violent threats since TikTok began urging users to contact members of the chamber, while a House aide said their office has received multiple calls from people suggesting they will commit self-harm if Congress passes legislation targeting the app. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the nature of the outreach.

    * Tribune | Mitski kicks off sold-out four-night stand at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre: Offering a refreshing rebuke of now-customary projection screens, Mitski incorporated imaginative lighting, moody colors and a few basic props to frame her singing and pantomiming of 25 songs. Wearing a white dress shirt and ankle-length pants, she spent nearly all her time on a raised circular platform center stage. Pushed toward the rear, and off to the sides, the band members assumed an anonymous disposition.

    * Fox Chicago | Illinois Girl Scout sells her 100,000th box of cookies: Bristol Sjostrom, 12, of Gardner, has been dedicated to the Girl Scouts for seven years and reached the significant milestone on Wednesday, just days before cookie season ends, which is March 26. During cookie season, Bristol dedicates over 40 hours per week to travel across a seven-county radius alongside her mother, who was also a Girl Scout.

    * Block Club | Cleaning Up Chicago River’s Trash After St. Patrick’s Day: Meet The ‘Paddle Rat Collective’: The Paddle Rat Collective teamed up with their counterparts in Cleveland, TRASHFISH, to throw their own St. Patrick’s Day party right on the river, marking the occassion by filling up garbage bags full of its trash. […] “We grab as much as we can, but to make a dent you would really need a dumpster,” he said. “You paddle by something that should be a spawning salmon, and instead it’s a sparkling Sprite can.”


Question of the day

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Spring break plans?


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Election stuff

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to today’s edition

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

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It’s just a bill

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* SJ-R

Healthcare insurers could face more stringent regulations and severe fines through legislation advancing in the Illinois General Assembly.

The state’s Network Adequacy and Transparency Act requires insurers to keep an up-to-date provider directory, listing healthcare professionals that are in-network for its customers. However, these directories sometimes list providers no longer taking new patients, who have moved or are no longer in practice creating what are called “ghost networks.”

Legislation pushed by Gov. JB Pritzker would buttress the 2017 law by ensuring provider-per-patient ratios, maximum travel time and distance and appointment wait time standards adhere to federal law. More severe penalties would also be levied for issuers not adhering to the law. […]

The language of Pritzker’s proposal is listed in House Bill 5395, which advanced out of a House committee Thursday. It will return with further amendments before a full floor vote.


The legislation could also crack down on ghost networks by forcing insurance companies to follow strict network adequacy and transparency standards. House Bill 5395 states that insurers would need to complete internal audits every 90 days to ensure their directories reflect the healthcare available to patients in those networks. […]

“It’s not just making sure that rates aren’t too high,” said Emily Miller, Senior Policy and Legislative Affairs Advisor for the Pritzker administration. “It’s also making sure that rates aren’t too low. You don’t want to have a situation where an insurer goes under and then people don’t have the coverage that they signed up for. So, that is also a reason to do it.” […]

The Illinois Life & Health Insurance Council currently opposes the bill language. While President Laura Minzer said she appreciated that Moeller and Miller will continue to negotiate changes, she stressed that the plan could lead to higher insurance costs and reduced access to medical care.

* Tribune

Illinois lawmakers are considering two bills aimed at blocking children and teenagers from obtaining and concealing electronic cigarettes.

One bill would ban e-cigarettes that are designed to look like objects commonly carried by schoolchildren, such as highlighters and markers, and therefore not spotted for what they actually are by adults. […]

A second bill would prohibit e-cigarettes from being purchased remotely by anyone other than a distributor or seller.

Both bills passed out of the Senate executive committee earlier this month and are awaiting a vote by the full chamber.

* Center Square

[Sen. Julie Morrison] said educators have complained to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services about finding e-cigarettes on school property that are designed to look like school supplies such as highlighters and pencil sharpeners.

“This measure will prohibit tobacco companies from pulling the wool over the eyes of the adults whose job it is to keep our children safe,” said Morrison. […]

Elizabeth Hicks, spokesperson with the Consumer Choice Center, said continued restrictions on vaping may prompt some smokers back to regular cigarettes.

“If consumers are pushed back towards smoking combustible tobacco, then taxpayers could end up footing an even higher bill,” said Hicks.


Senate Democratic staff explained Morrison’s plan would be enforced by the Illinois Department of Revenue, Attorney General and local law enforcement. […]

“It’s important for us to continue to put guardrails in place to prevent kids from easily getting and accessing vapes and e-cigarettes,” said Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “We have to do what we can to protect our youth from this high risk to their health.” […]

This change could be enforced by the Department of Revenue and law enforcement.

Both bills have passed unanimously out of the Senate Executive Committee and await votes on the Senate floor.

* SJ-R

The End-of-Life Options Act, contained in Senate Bill 3499, creates an option for terminally ill patients to request and take medication that would allow them to end their lives in a peaceful manner. Those who have the “right-to-die” would specifically apply to patients older than 18 with an irreversible illness and have six months left to live and make an oral and written statement on the decision.

Once a patient makes this request then the attending physician must inform the patient of all of their other options including hospice and palliative care before going through the process. It is also written in the bill that a healthcare professional cannot be held liable for prescribing or refusing the treatment. […]

For bill sponsor Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, her dad was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was a teenager. Only 49, the disease “macerated” him over the course of three months before his death, according to Holmes. […]

The bill is currently still sitting in a Senate subcommittee.

* Sen. Rachel Ventura…

State Senator Rachel Ventura, along with several mental health advocates and professionals, spoke to the Senate Executive Committee to outline their support of legalizing psilocybin, commonly known as “magic mushrooms” during a subject matter hearing.

“With today’s subject matter hearing we heard from numerous advocates and medical professionals detailing their own struggles with the current lack of effective treatments available. Psilocybin has so much potential to help Illinoisans from any walk of life,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “My aspiration is for plant medicines to shed its stigma and be recognized for its safe and beneficial qualities. The CURE Act is dedicated to bringing relief to those suffering with mental illnesses, PTSD, substance abuse and more and offers a real-life changing solution to the mental health epidemic our state is suffering from.”

Senate Bill 3695 known as the CURE Act – or the Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act – aims to tackle treatment-resistant conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions. Additionally, it facilitates research into the safety and efficacy of psilocybin through medical, psychological, and scientific studies.

“Law Enforcement Action Partnership recognizes this bill as nothing short of life saving. Providing a proven means for people to work through their traumas and live happier, healthier, and more productive lives,” said Dave Franco, retired police officer and speaker for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership. “The benefits for mental and behavioral health can also have a sizable impact on community and public safety.”

An estimated 6.8% of Americans will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Preliminary research of psychedelic programs by King’s College in London suggests that over 80% of veterans experience significant improvement after participating in just one psychedelic program. […]

Under Senate Bill 3695, psychedelic therapies would be administered in controlled, supervised settings to ensure safety and treatment effectiveness. Retail sales of these medicines would be prohibited and could only be used under supervision at designated service centers.

“Psilocybin and other psychedelic medicines have demonstrated the potential to allow people to deeply process trauma and grief and heal from anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders,” said Katie Sullivan, MSN, APRN, FNP-C and co-founder of Modern Compassionate Care. “The CURE Act was crafted with the input of healthcare providers and advocates to provide a framework to deliver this breakthrough therapeutic option safely and ethically, while centering the needs of patients and our communities. My hope is that our legislators will consider this a vote of conscience and allow our citizens access to this life-changing treatment.”

The bill would also establish the Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board under the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation which would create a training program, ethical standards, and licensing requirements. […]

Ventura looks forward to continuing conversations with colleagues, advocates and stakeholders with the goal of moving this historic legislation forward.


Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) told reporters Thursday that she wants Illinois families with children between the ages of 3 and 5 who attend preschool programs to receive an early childhood education tax credit of up to $1,500 per child.

“While there are various credits to help parents cover costs for K-12 students, there is nothing for parents of pre-K aged students,” Rezin said. “It’s a significant gap in the support we provide to parents.”

Senate Republicans are also calling for a tax credit to help families paying for childcare services. Qualifying families would receive a state tax credit equal to 25% of the current federal childcare tax credit for each of their children.

Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) said she hopes her plan will gain bipartisan support to help many Illinoisans struggling to keep up with the state’s high cost of living. Tracy noted that the tax credit of up to $500 per child could also help more people get back to work.

* Rep. Jed Davis…

Yesterday, House Bill 5434, filed by State Representative Jed Davis (R-Yorkville), passed the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee with a vote of 15-0.

“Yesterday’s committee passage of House Bill 5434 was a huge win for children across Illinois,” said Rep. Davis. “This bill will protect kids by ensuring no student falls through the cracks of our education system.”

House Bill 5434 will require schools to await official documentation of a student enrolling at another school before releasing them from their roster. This requirement will ensure continuity of education and also deter kids from disappearing into horrific situations like trafficking.

Rep. Davis continued, “Right now, schools can take the word of a parent or guardian when removing kids from their roster. This bill will hold everyone accountable to these students, ensuring no child is left behind. I want to thank Plano Community Unit School District 88 Assistant Principal Faith Skinner, who brought this initiative to me. I look forward to seeing this bill receive bipartisan support on the House floor.”

This bill is one of five bills included in the Protecting Kids legislative package filed by Representative Davis.


Caption contest!

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted this week that he’d recently visited Shedd Aquarium’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II. From the aquarium’s website

The aquarium’s seagoing satellite is based in Miami, but for much of the year it’s a familiar sight throughout the Bahamian archipelago. For more than two decades, the boat has given Shedd researchers and teams of volunteer community scientists access to far-flung cays in the Bahamas to study critically endangered rock iguanas.

The ocean-going vessel also enables our scientists to conduct open-water studies, including population surveys of the economically and ecologically important queen conch and nassau grouper; studies on coral health and resiliency to climate change; and shark demographic studies. Our research projects are conducted in collaboration with the Bahamian government and local conservation organizations.

Each year the boat also takes Chicago-area college and high school students enrolled in both the ACCA Marine and Island Ecology of The Bahamas and Teen Science Expedition program to nature’s classroom in the Bahamas, where they study reef and island ecology in the water and in a lab on deck.

* Anyway, a pic

Hope he didn’t get busted for speeding again.


Bailey hints at Bost rematch

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Darren Bailey’s live Facebook video yesterday

So we got work to do. Stay tuned. We look forward to seeing many of you across the district and the state.

Across the district. If you’ve got signs out there, if you see signs, gather them up, throw them in your vehicle, take them somewhere and… send me the address. Most of you have my cell phone by now, most of you have my email. Send a personal message on the Facebook here.

Let me know an address. We’ll come by and pick up signs, we will collect those and put those in storage.

He’s putting his yard signs in storage?



Open thread

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* It’s Friday! What’s going on in your part of Illinois?…


Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Eileen O’Neill Burke’s lead slips slightly in race for state’s attorney as mail-in ballots begin to be tallied. Tribune

    - Unofficial results showed O’Neill Burke with a 50.8% to 49.2% lead over Clayton Harris III.
    - O’Neill Burke’s total vote count decreased to just 8,152, down from the roughly 8,800 vote lead she held a day earlier.
    - Both campaigns have their eyes set on results expected to be counted Friday evening by Chicago election officials as they begin tallying roughly 26,000 mail-in ballots delivered to the city election offices on Tuesday and Wednesday.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Bloomberg | Can’t Have it Both Ways: Sen. Duckworth on GOP IVF Hypocrisy: Democratic Senator of Illinois, Tammy Duckworth, discusses her legislation aimed at protecting In Vitro Fertilization that was ultimately blocked by her Republican colleagues, and shares her insights on whether or not the Republican party shares her same views on IVF as former President Trump embraced it along with Senator Katie Britt (R) Alabama who spoke in favor of this topic during the formal Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address. Senator Duckworth speaks with Kailey Leinz and Joe Mathieu on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.”

    * NBC | ‘Morally dubious’: 4 House Republicans protest Biden’s IVF expansion for veterans: The letter, addressed to Denis McDonough, the secretary of veterans affairs, was signed by Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Mary Miller of Illinois, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma and Bob Good of Virginia, who said they had “a plethora of ethical concerns and questions” about the policy.

    * Sun-Times | Illinois pours it on in second half to beat Morehead State in first round of NCAA Tournament: Illinois is on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after an 85-69 win against Morehead State. The No. 3-seeded Illini (27-8), who will face No. 11 seed Duquesne (25-11) on Saturday, are taking enough winning possibilities with them to jam-pack an Omaha Steaks truck.

* Subscribers were told about this yesterday. Politico

State Rep. Adam Niemerg, a Republican from Dieterich, defeated Jim Acklin, a Republican write-in candidate supported by the Illinois Education Association. The race was decisive, with Niermerg get 85 percent of the vote, via election results from WTHITV.

Governor Pritzker will speak at the Illinois Sustainable Aviation Fuel Conference at 9 am at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lisle Naperville. Click here to watch.

* The Governor released his NCAA brackets

* Here’s the rest…

    * Block Club | Judge Denies Appeal From Social Justice Groups To Protest Near Democratic National Convention: A decision handed down Wednesday by the Department of Administrative Hearings said the city proved it could not properly staff the groups’ protests and that the proposed alternate route would have been comparable.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Insurance reforms advance as Pritzker announces California trip: The proposals are contained in House Bill 5395, dubbed the Health Care Protection Act. Among its significant elements are a ban on requirements for prior authorization from an insurance company before a patient can receive in-patient treatment at a mental health facility, and a ban on the use of “step therapy” in prescription drug coverage.

    * Crain’s | Political foes reconcile as Gutierrez joins Reyes’ consulting firm: In an announcement being made today, former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, is going to work as a senior adviser for a law firm and related government-relations companies headed by veteran City Hall insider Victor Reyes: Reyes Kurson, Roosevelt Group and Iluminara Public Affairs.

    * Block Club | Anti-Gentrification Law Protecting Homes Near The 606, Pilsen Extended Through End Of Year: City Council approved on Wednesday the second extension for a demolition surcharge ordinance originally passed by the council in 2021. It imposes up to $15,000 in fees on developers who tear down single-family homes and multi-unit buildings in parts of Humboldt Park, Logan Square and Pilsen, which have seen rapid gentrification and displacement in the past decade.

    * Chalkbeat | Chicago Public Schools ending student-based budgeting in favor of set staffing levels at all campuses: The change, announced Thursday at a Chicago Board of Education meeting, is part of a revamp of the district’s funding formula and delivers on a promise Mayor Brandon Johnson made during his mayoral campaign to end student-based budgeting. The district had already started to move away from a student-based approach in the previous two budget cycles, as it funded more positions – such as social workers – centrally. The current formula also accounts for student needs, such as how many students with disabilities need additional support.

    * Crain’s | NASCAR knows it has a perception problem — and coming to Chicago is part of its solution: Just three Black drivers have ever won at the sport’s highest level, and even one of those wins was doused in racist rejections of the results. The motorsport’s governing body is racing to rewrite that narrative. “Over the last four or five years, we’ve been much more accountable and specific of what we want to achieve in terms of new fans and what those new fans and customers look like,” NASCAR chief marketing officer Peter Jung told Crain’s in an interview at the sport’s Florida headquarters last month.

    * Daily Herald | Naperville mayor says city won’t adopt cease-fire resolution: “To be clear, the city council does not intend to initiate a cease-fire resolution,” [Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli] added. “The situation is clearly outside the scope of our local municipal government. That said, we all mourn the loss of human life and hope for peace to prevail soon.”

    * Daily Herald | ‘Our hearts are shattered’: Archdiocese to close St. Bede School: He also cited the discontinuation of the state’s Invest in Kids scholarship program as a factor in the school’s struggles. The program gave tax credits to donors who support scholarships for private school students. […] Greg Richmond, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said about 15% of St. Bede students have been receiving a state Invest in Kids scholarship.

    * Tampa Bay Times | Florida tops nation in teacher vacancies, report says. Officials say no way.: In a series of charts, the publication asserts that Florida has the largest number of vacancies, and one of the lowest levels of teachers per 1,000 students. After the story came out, officials in the Florida Department of Education raised questions about the numbers. It issued a statement calling the USA Today article “a media-driven narrative based on incomplete, low-quality data.”

    * Crain’s | Bears’ stadium plans include $1B overhaul of Museum Campus — and a new lakefront hotel: The public infrastructure investments needed to support a new lakefront stadium for the Chicago Bears would likely cost more than $1 billion. The team has publicly committed $2 billion in private investment to make a domed stadium capable of providing 365-day programming a reality in Chicago. But the overall development would include an overhaul of the city’s Museum Campus and improvements to make the site more accessible from DuSable Lake Shore Drive and the city streets that sit on the other side of an expansive rail network.

    * Tribune | Chicago Rat Hole filled in with cement (again) and dug out by devoted fans (again): “It was just a big splat of cement on top,” said Gabrielle Plascak, 31, who lives next door. “They didn’t even fill in the tail. I was like, ‘You couldn’t at least smooth this out for us?’” But by midafternoon, Rat Hole loyalists had apparently dug the cement out of the hole. Neighbor Emma Cheski, 25, said she saw a few people scooping it out with spoons and license plates.

    * Tribune | Chicago Botanic Garden to rebrand: “We have grown so much, in so many ways over the last five decades,” Garden President and CEO Jean Franczyk said in a statement. “The refreshed branding recognizes that growth and provides a new way of seeing the Garden by elevating the full breadth of its work.”

    * Daily Herald | Cook County jail program is rescuing dogs and detainees. And now it’s expanding: The scene Thursday was the jail’s Tails of Redemption program in action. Since launching in 2018, the program has helped 167 unwanted pooches become suitable for new homes, and taught the detainees who train them about compassion, patience and discipline.


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Live coverage

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* You can click here or here to follow breaking news. It’s the best we can do unless or until Twitter gets its act together.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Man arrested for threatening Rep. Keicher (Updated)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Caption contest!
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* US Reps. Sean Casten, Chuy Garcia call on President Biden to drop out of race (Updated)
* How the CrowdStrike outage is affecting Illinois (updated)
* Abbott says he will resume migrant busing to Chicago ahead of DNC
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Yesterday's stories

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