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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Wednesday, Apr 3, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* APM Reports

The girl’s mother and grandmother brought the child to their local emergency room in Jacksonville, Illinois. (The girl and her family are not being identified because she is a victim of sexual assault.)

At Jacksonville Memorial Hospital, a doctor noted trauma to her vaginal area, records show. “My daddy touches me there,” she said during the exam, according to police records and an interview with the girl’s grandmother.

A state law enacted 48 years ago required the hospital to offer a forensic exam, often called a rape kit. A revision passed in 2018 also required the hospital to notify a sexual assault advocate on the girl’s behalf.

But neither of those things happened, state inspectors found when they arrived two weeks later in response to a complaint.

Instead, the doctor sent the girl home.

When faced with the inspectors’ findings, hospital leaders could have apologized and redoubled their efforts to treat sexual assault victims as the law intended.

Instead, they shut down services for sexual assault survivors. Today the hospital sends these patients 40 miles away to another hospital. A spokeswoman for Jacksonville Memorial Hospital declined to comment. […]

An investigation by APM Reports shows that what happened at the hospital in Jacksonville is not an isolated incident. Roughly two dozen hospitals have violated Illinois’ landmark sexual assault survivor law with few consequences.

Lawmakers also added a critical exception that undercut the premise of the law: Hospitals that found the requirements too onerous could send patients elsewhere.

In the 17 years since lawmakers created that exception, the number of hospitals transferring patients instead of treating them has more than tripled.

* Chalkbeat

Today is the first day people can collect signatures to get on the ballot for Chicago’s first school board elections. […]

Candidates must live in Chicago in the district they plan to run for at least one year. They must be a U.S. citizen, registered to vote, and cannot be a child sex offender. In order to get on the ballot, candidates have to collect at least 1,000 and no more than 3,000 valid signatures from voters in the district they’ll represent.

Signatures must be filed with the Chicago Board of Elections between June 17 and June 24.

* Sun-Times

A small number of tuberculosis cases have been detected among migrants at city shelters, the Chicago Department of Public Health confirmed.

The health department would not share exactly how many cases were found or identify shelters. But the department said there haven’t been any reports of TB in the city from an exposure to migrants positive for the infection.

TB is curable with antibiotics, and transmitting the infection to others typically requires hours of contact between individuals.

A spokesperson said about 10% to 20% of Central and South American residents have latent TB infections, meaning they’re positive for the infection but are asymptomatic and can’t pass it to others. But the spokesperson did not say which of these cases, if any, are latent infections.

* Alton Telegraph

A referendum dealing with the separation of downstate Illinois from Cook County and Chicago was approved by the Madison County Board’s Government Relations Committee.

The resolution, which is likely to have some amendments when it goes before the full County Board, would ask residents if the county “should correspond with the boards of other counties … about the possibility of separating from Cook County to form a new state and to seek admission to the Union” and would appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The committee approved the resolution 6-1, with Alison Lamothe, D-Edwardsville, who has been critical of the idea, the only “no” vote. […]

For the separation to happen, it would have to be approved by the Illinois General Assembly, signed by the governor, then approved by both Houses of the U.S. Congress, and signed by the president.

* Click here to vote. WREX

The finalists for “The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois” contest have been selected. The competition began with over 200 nominees and has been narrowed down to the top 4 contenders. These finalists are:

    - Komatsu Mining Truck manufactured by Komatsu in Peoria
    - Mullen’s Imitation French Dressing produced by Mullen’s in Palestine
    - The MQ-25 Stingray (Drone Refueler) built by Boeing in Mascoutah
    - Mod Box by Enviro Buildings made by Craig Industries in Quincy

* Here’s the rest…

    * WICS | Other cities in Central Illinois feeling impact of ambulance shortage: The Jacksonville Fire Department relies on a private ambulance company and has had situations where mutual aid partners had to come and assist, but the city is working to change that. “Echo ambulance has applied to the City of Jacksonville, the City of Jacksonville is entertaining the possibility of allowing another private entity to provide service,” said Phil McCarty, the director of Jacksonville Emergency Management.

    * WMAY | Sangamon County Historical Society slated to have ACLU’s Ken Page discuss Springfield’s historic Black Firehouse No. Five in the middle of April: The event is free and open to the public. Ken Page of the Springfield ACLU will share the history of the site and discuss the work that has been done to restore the building and acquire old log books and photos; he is also slated to lead a tour of the site.

    * Blue Star Security | Rich Guidice jones Blue Star Security as director of business development: With three decades of experience in municipal government, Rich has extensive knowledge of the City’s management and operations, and Chicago’s vibrantly diverse communities. Previously, Rich Guidice served as Executive Director of the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications(OEMC) from March 2019 – April 2023. In his role as Executive Director, Mr. Guidice oversaw a wide array of public safety programming.

    * SJ-R | Petition claims new evidence exonerates 3 suspects in 1996 murder case: “Junk science” was used in forensic comparison of cinders and concrete, clothing fasteners and dog hair, the petition claimed. “It was not, in fact, based on any real or existing science. This comparison evidence was unproven, unprecedented, and unreliable, and should have never been allowed in a court of law,” the petition stated.

    * WMBD | Tazewell County finalizes votes in contested Third District Board race : Ballots postmarked by the March 19 primary contest proved to be the difference in the Republican contest for the three representatives from the Third District for the Tazewell County Board. In final tabulations on Monday, the top vote-getters were newcomer Eric Schmidgall at 2,312 and Board Parliamentarian William “Bill” Atkins at 1,987.

    * WCIA | ‘We do not make this decision lightly’: Quaker Oats says reason behind Danville factory closure: WCIA obtained a letter from the company’s HR department saying the facility located on Voorhees Street in Danville will close June 8. The letter estimates more than 510 employees will be laid off due to the closure.

    * WBEZ | Chicago Public Media lays off 14 staffers, citing financial troubles: The job cuts coincide with the debut of a $6.4 million, state-of-the-art studio at WBEZ’s Navy Pier office and follows a double-digit-percentage pay increase for Chicago Public Media’s top executive. Additionally, other high-level executives departed the not-for-profit news organization in December.

    * Tribune | Johnson greenlights four ‘LaSalle Reimagined’ sites to build downtown residences: Together, the projects would cost roughly $520 million and create 1,000 more living units. Of those, 319 would be rented at affordable rates, if they are approved by various city panels.

    * Tribune | Attorney General Garland in Chicago, announces $78 million in new anti-violence funding: Garland, a Chicago-area native, made the announcement at the second annual summit for the Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative, a federal grant program started by the Biden administration to provide resources to local agencies and groups in tune with the needs of specific communities. Garland told the gathering of several hundred stakeholders at the Hyatt Regency hotel on East Wacker Drive that solicitations for the $78 million in grants were “going live today,” prompting applause and murmurs of excitement in the crowd.

    * Sun-Times | City officials and NASCAR unveil traffic plans for July 2024 street race: The NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series are scheduled for July 6-7, but setup and breakdown of the race course mean some road closures will begin as early as June 10 and last through July 18. The closures for setup and teardown are set to last 19 days compared with 25 days last year, according to a news release from the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

    * Crain’s | Forbes billionaires list dotted with new names — some familiar to Chicago: Newcomers to the billionaire club with business ties to Illinois include Steve Lavin, the CEO of Aurora-based meat-packing company OSI Group who ranked 809th with $3.9 billion, tying with Joseph Grendys, CEO of Kosh Foods. Don Levin, CEO of Republic Brands paper rolling company in Glenview, is new to the list with a net worth of $1.7 billion coming in at No. 1851 alongside newcomer Matthew Pritzker, who sued his family for a piece of the Hyatt fortune back in 2005. Liesel Pritzker Simmons, who sued the empire along with her brother, joins the list this year with a 2046th ranking at $1.5 billion.

    * Gizmodo | Amazon Ditches ‘Just Walk Out’ Checkouts at Its Grocery Stores: Just over half of Amazon Fresh stores are equipped with Just Walk Out. The technology allows customers to skip checkout altogether by scanning a QR code when they enter the store. Though it seemed completely automated, Just Walk Out relied on more than 1,000 people in India watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts. The cashiers were simply moved off-site, and they watched you as you shopped.


  1. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 2:38 pm:

    Jacksonville Memorial Hospital what is wrong with your leadership? You turn away a child. and then everyone who needs your help. you are helping monsters.

  2. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 2:41 pm:

    I thought doctors were mandatory reporters Doctor should be charged.

  3. - Who else - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 3:01 pm:

    The stories of hospitals turning survivors away have increased. If I were a lobbying sort of person (which it turns out I am) I would suggest that the hospitals file a bill to statutorily remove their exemption before someone comes along and does it for them.

  4. - Jocko - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==Today the hospital sends these patients 40 miles away to another hospital.==

    This reminds me of the ambulance diversion cases back in 2017-19. I guess ‘First do no harm’ is predicated on the patient’s health insurance being up to date.

  5. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 3:22 pm:

    Hey but there are more billionaires in Illinois now so everything is peachy!/s

    I appreciate WBEZ chief Moog allowing WBEZ to report on his greed. He got a raise likely equivalent to 2-2.5 staff positions. Good riddance.

  6. - Edwardsville Guy - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 3:25 pm:

    Madison County Republicans have donned their tinfoil hats in an effort to place a referendum on the ballot to separate from the State of Illinois. They are an embarrassment to the hardworking patriotic citizens of the county.

    A note to the rest of Illinois - not all Madison County residents are nuts like these board members are.

  7. - H-W - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 3:28 pm:

    === Hospitals that found the requirements too onerous could send patients elsewhere. ===

    Too onerous? If sexual assault treatment and reporting can be too onerous for a hospital, then heaven help the girls and young women of Illinois College, the girls and women of Jacksonville, and anywhere else where doctors and nurses think it is too onerous to assist sexual assault victims in Illinois. I could understand Mississippi or Alabama. But not in Illinois.

  8. - H-W - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 3:35 pm:

    Ahhh, Madison County. Perhaps they should just build a wall to keep the rest of us out.

  9. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 4:04 pm:

    Do the folks in Madison County have too much time on their hands? If they are unhappy in Illinois, move to another state where policies are compatible with their vision.

    To carve out another state from a portion of Illinois is not feasible. Did some folks fall off the combine one too many times?

  10. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 4:15 pm:

    I wonder how much money Madison County got from Pritzker’s infrastructure law, and how many jobs were created there thanks to that law.

  11. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 4:19 pm:

    ===in the 17 years since lawmakers created that exception, the number of hospitals transferring patients instead of treating them has more than tripled.===

    That exception was originally made so Catholic hospitals would not have to offer emergency contraception to sexual assault survivors; They could jsut transfer survivors to a hospital willing to do that - a compromise negotiated by then-Cardinal George.

    That was bad enough, but that the exception has morphed into a loophole for any hospital to opt out of providing any care at all is absolutely reprehensible.

  12. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 4:37 pm:

    The Jacksonville hospital is under the Memorial Health umbrella, so the religious exemption should not factor in to decision-making.

    H-W - add Petersburg, Taylorville, the Springfield metro, Decatur metro, and Sullivan to areas where females could run into issues.

  13. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 4:49 pm:

    ===The Jacksonville hospital is under the Memorial Health umbrella, so the religious exemption should not factor in to decision-making.===

    I didn’t say it did. I said the exception has morphed into a loophole for any hospital to opt out of providing any care.

  14. - Frida's boss - Wednesday, Apr 3, 24 @ 5:11 pm:

    How many times are newly elected people going to run resolutions about starting their own state?
    One- no one wants to see Mississippi right smack dab in the middle of the Midwest. We already have Kentucky.
    Two- at no point should the bottom portion of the state get their 2 US Senate votes.
    Three- is the bottom portion of Illinois wants to leave they can ask to merge with and become part of Kentucky. I’m sure Lexington and Louisville will love having to pay the bills for them just like Chicago does now.

    I could go on but I won’t.

  15. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Apr 4, 24 @ 12:14 am:

    ===Jacksonville Memorial Hospital ===

    I wonder which business management program is responsible for administrators that make pro-rape business decisions. The syllabus for that class must be interesting. If a hospital finds it too onerous to treat sexual assaults then by default they should not be eligible for Medicaid reimbursements.

    I wonder what Memorial’s views are on this pro-rape position they’ve taken… They’ve thrown their values up on their website.

    Safety — Does their pro rape stance fit under safety?

    Integrity? — I know what you’re thinking, being pro rape isn’t integrity, but they write: “We honor diverse abilities, beliefs and identities.” So obviously they must honor the abilities, beliefs, and identities of rapists.

    Quality — I guess it might fit here. They employee physicians that are unable to treat sexual assault seriously. Their staff are of such low professional integrity they can’t complete a rape kit. Hence, maybe they should stop being a hospital.

    Stewardship — Maybe it fits here. They believe in equitable care. Perhaps they think it is equitable that since not all rapists can be successfully prosecuted that none of them should be.

    Where’d these administrators come from? Was their last job running a DHS 24/7 facility?

  16. - The Dude - Thursday, Apr 4, 24 @ 5:44 am:

    Why are we not blaming the doctor directly but instead the system?

    We should their medical license suspended during investigation. If it’s true then we should have his name and criminal charges as well.

    We need to hold people accountable for failing.

  17. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Apr 4, 24 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===Why are we not blaming the doctor directly but instead the system?===

    Porque No Los Dos?

    The process for suspending a medical license and where criminal charges are filed is literally the system. If the physician isn’t being held accountable that’s literally not the physicians decision.

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