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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Apr 8, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: It’s eclipse day! …

* Here’s a bunch of eclipse related stories for y’alll…

Governor Pritzker will be in Carbondale to celebrate the total solar eclipse. The governor will hold a media availability following totality at 1:59 pm. Click here to watch.

* Isabel’s top picks…

* Some news from Mary Ann Ahern

* Here’s the rest…

    * Tribune | Number of students receiving Invest in Kids tax credit scholarships soared in program’s final year, according to state data: The program supported more than 15,000 students with scholarships in the 2023-24 academic year, a 56% increase from the previous year, according to Department of Revenue data obtained by the Tribune. Financial contributions totaled more than $90 million for the program’s final year, up from $75 million last year. However, the number of contributions decreased by about 500 to a total of 4,700 donations. That’s roughly an average donation of $19,400 for the 2023-24 year.

    * Center for Illinois Politics | Illinois Politics: Always interesting, sometimes stranger than fiction: Every political campaign worries about spies or moles infiltrating their ranks. But Poshard’s campaign for governor of Illinois really did have a certified spy – though Poshard’s campaign was never the target. The shadowed name in this story is Dave Rupert, a Chicago trucker recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a militant offshoot of the Irish Republican Army that was trying to blow up the peace process in Northern Ireland.

    * LA Times | The perfect heist? Inside the seamless, sophisticated, stealthy L.A. theft that netted up to $30 million: They targeted a Gardaworld building on Roxford Street in Sylmar, accessing a vault where huge sums of cash were stored. … Gardaworld describes itself as a “global champion in security services, integrated risk management and cash solutions, employing more than 132,000 highly skilled and dedicated professionals.” Among its businesses is cash management and vault services.

    * South Side Weekly | Mayor Johnson to Delay Picking New Public Safety Commissioners: On Thursday, however, word came down from the Fifth Floor: April’s meeting will not be the interim commissioners’ last. With approximately seventy-two hours until the deadline, the mayor’s office had not even done background checks on the fifteen candidates, let alone interviewed any of them. The interim commissioners would have to wait another month for the end of their term.

    * Sun-Times | 300 migrants to be housed at shuttered Catholic church on Northwest Side: The Archdiocese of Chicago will lease St. Bartholomew Catholic Church at no cost — months after church officials offered to house new arrivals rent-free at the church. In turn, the city will sub-lease the building to the Zakat Foundation, which provides emergency relief and aid, to care for 300 new arrivals starting later this month, Johnson’s office said.

    * South Side Weekly | Which Wards Have ShotSpotter?: On Monday, the City Council Committee on Police & Fire advanced an ordinance that would place the decision to keep ShotSpotter at the ward level, with individual alderpersons choosing whether or not to retain the controversial gunshot-detection technology. The legislation, sponsored by 17th Ward alderperson David Moore, openly defies Mayor Brandon Johnson, who fulfilled a campaign promise by announcing in February that he would end the city’s contract with ShotSpotter in September.

    * Tribune | One year in: Chicago police district councils face discord amid slow steps toward community oversight: Lee had only served on the brand-new civilian council for the 2nd Police District for seven months, which was meant to represent the civilian voices of Hyde Park and Kenwood residents in the affairs of the Chicago Police Department. But rifts among council members over workload and meeting attendance quickly deteriorated into accusations of lying, public condemnation and rumors of resignation. An attempted no-confidence vote was one of the flashpoints punctuating an early meeting.

    * Sun-Times | Gun cases in Chicago turned down by feds at higher rate than in most cities: Federal prosecutors are less likely than those in most other places — including New York and Los Angeles — to approve gun charges. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is taking up some of those rejected cases.

    * Daily Herald | ‘Least-hairy option’: School leaders believe Arlington Heights Bears stadium still in play: The superintendents of Northwest Suburban High School District 214, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 and Palatine Township Elementary District 15 spoke about their closed-door meetings with Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren that took place in January in the lead-up to the Cook County Board of Review’s ruling on the 326-acre former racetrack’s property value.

    * Tom Kacich | Dearth of election judges bodes ill for November: And Champaign County Clerk and Recorder Aaron Ammons is already worried about not having enough election judges to staff a full complement of 66 polling places for the general election. It was enough of a problem for the just-completed primary that 15 voting centers — eight in Champaign-Urbana and the rest scattered around the county — weren’t opened.

    * WGN | First all-minority, LGBTQ-owned dispensary set to open in Illinois: “Sway is a feeling, it’s a vibe,” said Edie Moore, co-owner of Sway. “It’s the culmination of Black and Brown communities and LGBTQ communities … coming together for cannabis.” Moore is not only a co-owner of the soon-to-be dispensary, but also an advocate for modernizing laws involving cannabis.

    * WGEM | $1.5 million from opioid settlement coming to Adams County: Public health administrator Jerrod Welch said the county is expected to receive $1.5 million or more over the next decade to address the impacts of the epidemic. It’s all part of the national opioid settlement. The county can put that money toward many avenues such as educating the schools and workplace.

    * Daily Herald | Bus company owner cited after unlicensed driver transported Wauconda students: In the wake of a group of students being transported to Wauconda Middle School by an unlicensed bus driver, the company’s owner has been cited for allowing the employee to make trips, Lake County officials said Saturday. Just after midnight on March 28, a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a bus in North Barrington for improper lane usage. The bus was traveling from O’Hare International Airport to Wauconda Middle School with 50 children aboard returning from a field trip.

    * Tribune | Eileen O’Neill Burke: How she won and what it might mean for the office of Cook County’s top prosecutor going forward: Should O’Neill Burke ultimately win, she would quickly face formulating her own reform agenda, making cases to tamp down Chicago’s persistent gun violence, and running an office struggling with morale issues. “As much as numbers have gone down, the amount of street crime is extraordinarily high and has a tremendous impact on the community,” said Richard Kling, a clinical professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

    * Herald & Review | Car crashes into Decatur home’s living room; intersection called dangerous: Chavez said one of her neighbors has tried in the past to persuade the City of Decatur to put in stop signs, and she fears the crashes will keep on happening unless something is done.

    * WBEZ | Major funder for Chicago Public Media ‘saddened’ by layoffs but still optimistic Sun-Times, WBEZ merger will succeed: Those cuts mean the elimination of WBEZ’s podcast unit and the conversion of the WBEZ-run Vocalo radio station — which has offered R&B, jazz and Spanish-language programming — into a streaming-only service. Four nonunionized Sun-Times staff members also were among those laid off.

    * Sun-Times | Giant sculpture to be moved from Thompson Center by end of April: ‘Monument with Standing Beast’ — nicknamed “Snoopy in a Blender” — has stood in front of the former state office building for decades. But Google, the building’s new owner, has begun an extensive renovation.

    * Sun-Times | ‘I don’t know how I can live without him’: Chicago cop who died by suicide was devoted family man: In recent years, the police department has grappled with a troubling rise in suicides and stinging criticism of its efforts to provide mental health support to officers to prevent them from burning out. But even before then, a U.S. Justice Department report in 2017 found the suicide rate of Chicago cops was 60% higher than the national average for law enforcement officials.

    * Sun-Times | CTA adding more L service throughout spring, summer: The CTA anticipates adding up to 67 newly trained rail operators by the summer, the agency said. New trains will be added to schedules as operators become available.

    * Angie Leventis Lourgos | When an abortion clinic became the last one standing in Missouri: “There was no top to the head, there was no top to the brain,” said the man in the baseball cap, his sunglasses now clipped to his shirt and no longer concealing his eyes, which welled with tears. “The options were to either carry this child who had a death sentence. Or to terminate the pregnancy.” […] The pregnant patient’s physician referred her to Hope Clinic, which performs abortions at up to 24 weeks’ gestation. The couple were confused and dismayed: They couldn’t understand why they couldn’t terminate the pregnancy in the same state where they received prenatal care. Although they lived nearby in southern Illinois, the young woman was treated throughout her pregnancy by doctors and nurses in Missouri and planned to deliver at a hospital there. In her time of grief, she said, it was difficult to understand why she had to find a new medical provider to terminate the pregnancy as they faced the worst possible outcome.

    * WSIL | Little Resource Center looks to expand access to books in Carbondale: The Little Free Library program brings small box structures to communities across the US. The structures are then filled with books. The idea is that residents will go to the libraries and switch out a book for one that is already there. According to the Little Free Library website, Carbondale currently has five libraries scattered across the city. The Little Resource Center hopes to open the city’s sixth location in the Tatum Heights neighborhood.

    * QC Times | South Carolina beats Iowa 87-75 to win NCAA championship: Clark did all she could to lead the Hawkeyes to their first championship. She scored 30 points, including a championship-record 18 in the first quarter. She will go down as one of the greatest players in NCAA history. She rewrote the record book at Iowa (34-5), finishing as the career leading scorer in NCAA Division I history with 3,951 career points.


  1. - Jocko - Monday, Apr 8, 24 @ 9:01 am:

    ==the mayor’s office had not even done background checks on the fifteen candidates, let alone interviewed any of them.==

    Despite being given the names a month ago ::facepalm::

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 8, 24 @ 9:16 am:

    ===Despite being given the names a month ago ===

    They’re still reviewing the applications of the people who will be reviewing the applications.

  3. - John Lopez - Monday, Apr 8, 24 @ 10:44 am:

    ===The publication of that [PII] information on LGIS websites is a possible violation of a statutory prohibition on the use of voter identification other than for “bona fide political purposes,” the elections board said.===

    Could LGIS be hit with civil lawsuit(s) for publishing the personally identfiable information (PII) under Illinois’ new Civil Liability for Doxing Act (740 ILCS 195)?

    Wonder if the political committee who obtained the voter data can be held accountable for passing the PII data to LGIS who in-turn published the data on their website(s).

  4. - JoanP - Monday, Apr 8, 24 @ 11:13 am:

    @ John Lopez,

    Much as I’d like to hit them with a lawsuit, just publishing the information is not doxxing as defined by that Act.

    I think it would be difficult to prove that the info was published “with the intent that it be used to harm or harass the person whose information is published AND with knowledge or reckless disregard that the person whose information is published would be reasonably likely to suffer death, bodily injury, or stalking;”
    AND that it caused someone to “suffer significant economic injury or emotional distress or to fear serious bodily injury or death of the person or a family or household member of the person” or “substantial life disruption”.

  5. - VK - Monday, Apr 8, 24 @ 11:16 am:

    Established communications staffers and operatives publicly decrying the work of an elected official and their staff is one of those red flags that *should* be a wake up call.

    The call is coming from inside the house.

  6. - low level - Monday, Apr 8, 24 @ 1:18 pm:

    ==The call is coming from inside the house.==

    Im sorry but what are you referring to?

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