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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Apr 5, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Ahead of solar eclipse, early forecast is clear skies for southern Illinois. Tribune

    - Early predictions indicate southern Missouri, southern Illinois and central Indiana will have clear skies and offer some of the country’s prime observing locations.
    - There is a less than 15% chance of rain for certain parts of southern and eastern Illinois.
    - The US won’t see another total solar eclipse for 20 years.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Tribune | New DCFS director in court to face questions on children stuck in emergency placements: “I don’t think there’s disagreement about the fact that there’s a lot of work to do,” DCFS head Heidi Mueller said in a Cook County juvenile courtroom. Cook County Judge Patrick Murphy, the county’s former public guardian, summoned Mueller to his courtroom to discuss what he called the “systemic” problem of children being kept by DCFS in emergency or psychiatric facilities longer than medically necessary, which often causes their condition to worsen.

    * Crain’s | Bears sit down with agency that would subsidize their lakefront stadium: The Bears met with Illinois Sports Facilities Authority CEO Frank Bilecki on April 2 at the team’s office for a “high-level” discussion about their looming request that the agency issue tax-exempt bonds to help pay for a new stadium just south of Soldier Field — a project that could cost over $3 billion. Despite the team’s own $2 billion private commitment, it was expected the Bears, like the Chicago White Sox, would look to the authority — which is still paying off hundreds of millions in debt tied to the 2003 renovations of Soldier Field — to subsidize the stadium costs

    * WGLT | State authorities are looking into release of voter data that includes McLean County: The McLean County Times, one of more than 30 websites owned by Local Government Information Services [LGIS], has published a series of articles that purportedly examine “who voted” or “how” a given precinct voted in the 2020 presidential election. But those articles provide little context or analysis of any electoral trends and instead are largely populated by identifying voter information — the release of which is being contested by the Illinois State Board of Elections [SBE].

* Make sure to put this in your calendar…

* Here’s the rest…

    * Madison-St. Clair Record | Raoul asks IL Supreme Court to dismiss cross-appeal on claim that firearm liability law violated the three readings rule: The motion to dismiss was filed April 1 by Deputy Solicitor General Alex Hemmer. He argues that Maag’s appeal was not based on a final judgment adverse to the plaintiff. Instead, he asserts the plaintiff must wait to seek further review after final judgment of the case, “as is the norm in civil litigation.” Illinois Senate Republican Leader John Curran (R-Downers Grove) told the Record that he would welcome a response from the state’s Supreme Court if they would actually weigh in and provide some guidance on the three readings rule.

    * Shaw Local | Numbers don’t lie: It’s true, Kane County has shifted blue: Now Board Chair Corinne Pierog is a Democrat. State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser is a Democrat. Sheriff Ron Hain is a Democrat. Circuit Clerk Theresa Barreiro is a Democrat. Auditor Penny Wegman is a Democrat. That leaves County Clerk Jack Cunningham, Coroner Rob Russell and Recorder Sandy Wegman as the only three current county-wide elected officials who are Republicans. Sixteen of the 24 County Board members are Democrats.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Court upholds law limiting where child sex offenders can live: In a 6-0 decision, the court found the residency restriction “does not infringe upon a child sex offender’s fundamental rights” and that there was a “rational basis” for the state to restrict where a person convicted of such a crime can live.

    * Lake County News-Sun | Judge throws out challenge to Waukegan casino-selection process; rejects discrimination claim: U.S. District Judge John F. Kness issued a summary judgment dismissing the case Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago because, he ruled, it had no right to claim discrimination under the Constitution. After the state gave Waukegan the right to have a casino in 2019, the city sought proposals from potential operators and four — the Potawatomi, Full House Resorts, North Point and Rivers — applied.

    * WCIA | Danville agencies, politicians prepare for new jobs and resources after Quaker factory closure announcement: State lawmakers including State Representative Brandun Schweizer (R-Danville) and State Senator Paul Faraci (D-Champaign) have worked with local resources to help the transition into new jobs. “I am stunned and immensely saddened by the news that the Quaker Oats factory is closing after 65 years of doing business in Danville,” Schweizer said. “This is devastating to our community, to the families that depend on the income they receive from the factory, and also to our local economy.”

    * Tribune | Girl, 5, at migrant shelter recovering from tuberculosis, her father says, as city officials confirm ‘small number’ of cases: The Venezuelan man said he had pleaded for help from staff that night at the city-run migrant shelter on Ogden Avenue where they are staying, but he was told he’d have to pay for the ambulance himself. “Because I don’t have a work permit or any money, I didn’t have any way to pay for it,” said the man who didn’t want to share his name out of fear of being kicked out of the shelter for talking to reporters.

    * Sun-Times | Johnson to Biden: Long-term undocumented immigrants deserve work permits, too: On the first anniversary of Johnson’s election as mayor, he touted a letter he signed with leaders from dozens of other cities urging the president to push harder for more work permits for immigrants. “We need the president to extend the same economic opportunities to our long-term undocumented brothers and sisters,” Johnson told a roundtable of business and immigrant advocates Thursday.

    * Crain’s | Johnson stands by Bally’s despite financial speed bumps: In a statement, the mayor’s office says it “expects Bally’s to fulfill its obligations to build, finance and open the permanent casino” on former Tribune printing plant property at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street in River West. The company has opened a temporary casino in the former Medinah Temple in River North.

    * Tribune | The popularity of women’s basketball is undeniable. It’s not an interest issue — it’s access.: All of the most-watched games included either Hall of Fame players such as Cheryl Miller, Sheryl Swoopes and current South Carolina coach Dawn Staley or future WNBA stars such as Clark and Reese. The matchups also featured some marquee coaches in Geno Auriemma, Pat Summitt, Tara VanDerveer and Stringer. But the most important common denominator was their availability on national TV. (ESPN took over as the broadcast partner for women’s college basketball in 1995.)

    * NYT | A Breakthrough in Plastic Recycling Is Coming Up Short: To get there, these companies and others are promoting a new generation of recycling plants, called “advanced” or “chemical” recycling, that promise to recycle many more products than can be recycled today. So far, advanced recycling is struggling to deliver on its promise. Nevertheless, the new technology is being hailed by the plastics industry as a solution to an exploding global waste problem.

    * Block Club Chicago | Mavis Staples Urges South Siders To Use Art As Activism In First UChicago Show In 62 Years: Staples shared a small fraction of the knowledge and experiences she’s gained in the 70 years since at a stirring University of Chicago performance Wednesday, aiming to inspire today’s young South Siders to join her in carrying forward the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement. “We can’t save the world, but we help with some parts of it,” Staples told the audience after the concert. “I wonder sometimes, but I feel like I know that our music has done some good. It has changed some things.”


  1. - TJ - Friday, Apr 5, 24 @ 8:06 am:

    If you can, enjoy Monday’s eclipse in the path of totality. The difference between full coverage of the sun by the moon and even 99% is absurdly enormous.

    And only, only, only look at the eclipse with the naked eye a) in the path of totality and b) during totality.

  2. - Back to the Future - Friday, Apr 5, 24 @ 8:58 am:

    Good reporting by the Tribune on DCFS.
    Thankful we have people like Judge Murphy and the Cook County Guardian working to help the children being abused by the state.

  3. - H-W - Friday, Apr 5, 24 @ 11:03 am:

    Re: Madison/St. Clair Record article

    I thought the state supreme court already ruled the three readings rule was not relevant in a prior appeal. If not, I cannot imagine the state supreme court overturning the law now. Am I missing something? (I read the article)

  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 5, 24 @ 11:08 am:

    ===Am I missing something?===

    Yeah, the court has indicated this might not last.

  5. - H-W - Friday, Apr 5, 24 @ 11:50 am:

    I just read the opinion of the court anew, and recall Holder-White dissent on this very issue. Indeed, I recall discussing here how much I respected Holder-White’s dissent on rational grounds. She made a compelling argument against the fuller opinion on this matter.

    Still, it was the opinion of the full court not to rule against the entirety of this law, on the basis that the enrolled doctrine procedure allows for the violation of constitutional requirements in this specific instance. And in that context, I cannot imagine the state supreme court revisting this case, on grounds of which they already ruled against.

  6. - Homer Simpson's Brain - Friday, Apr 5, 24 @ 1:29 pm:

    No more public subsidies for private sports clubs. The Bears are a highly profitable concern and should receive no public tax dollars to build their desired new stadium. Their Arlington Heights plan did not pan out, so now they are back in Chicago asking for a hand out. We the taxpayers need to say we’ve had enough of their games and just say no.

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