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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, Apr 11, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: After balking earlier, Johnson to ask City Council to spend $70M on migrant services. Tribune

    -This week, the mayor’s office began briefing City Council members on plans to push through the item as a means to keep afloat the city’s response to asylum-seekers.
    -Sources familiar with the briefings said his team hopes to allocate the $70 million from previous city surpluses
    -Johnson’s budget chair Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, confirmed the likelihood of the spending item facing a vote next week.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * ABC Chicago | Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard, village trustee Andrew Holmes named in sexual assault lawsuit: The lawsuit alleges Dolton Village Trustee Andrew Holmes sexually assaulted a village employee during a trip to Las Vegas, and also claims Mayor Tiffany Henyard retaliated against the employee and a police officer when she learned of the allegations. The allegations are stunning in that they include Holmes, a well-known victim advocate, who also serves as a trustee in Dolton. While no criminal charges have been filed against him, Las Vegas police confirmed they do have an open investigation into the claims.

    * Crain’s | Springfield bill takes aim at racial disparities in CPS teacher evaluations: The proposal would give the Illinois State Board of Education the ability to examine teacher evaluation procedures and determine if racial, ethnic, socioeconomic or geographical factors undercut how CPS teachers are rated. Then, the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union would negotiate to create a new evaluation system to remedy those disparities. If passed, the new evaluation would be implemented by Aug. 15, 2025.

    * WTAX | State legislative leaders give IL Chamber contrasting views: Welch has made “The Infinite Game” his theme for 2024, saying, “I can guarantee you there will be a 71st speaker, there will be another Black speaker. Illinois will go on for another 200-plus years. […] Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), saying state government should be boring (“I want it to model itself after me!”) and get out of the way, praised Gov. JB Pritzker’s cheerleading for Illinois, but Senate Minority Leader John Curran (R-Downers Grove) said Democrats are messing everything up: “The recent announcement that a large (Quaker Oats) plant in Danville will be closing its doors, resulting in more than 500 lost jobs in an area of the state that has a higher than average unemployment rate already, is a prime example of how we have to do a better job of taking care of our current employers here.”

* April 10th is now Lee Milner day in illinois

* Here’s the rest…

    * WGEM | Illinois lawmakers discuss potential $300 child tax credit:
    Though lawmakers filed a bill proposing the tax credit, lawmakers would pass it through the state budget. To qualify for the full $300 credit, joint filers would need to make less than $75,000 the previous year, $50,000 for single filers. Families who make slightly above the threshold could still be eligible for the tax credit on a sliding scale meaning their credit would be smaller.

    * Fox Chicago | AARP pushes for Illinois Caregiving Portal legislation: The portal would be managed by the Illinois Department of Aging in coordination with other state agencies. Supporters say it would help keep people from having to turn to Google to find what they need.

    * Shaw Local | Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility: The ICC launched a process dubbed the “Future of Gas” last week that will inform the governor, legislature and other policymakers on potential policy changes. The process was initiated by the ICC after they tamped down requests for rate increases from all of the state’s major gas utilities.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’: The truck was one of more than 200 entries in the 5th annual contest hosted by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and sponsored by Comcast Business. The bracket-style contest lasted eight weeks and collected almost 315,000 votes for the products entered, narrowing them down to the top 16, then to the final four, which were recognized Wednesday. The truck, made by Komatsu in Peoria, has a hauling capacity of up to 400 tons and has “new innovations in suspension transmission, electric drive technology and autonomous operation,” according to Komatsu. The 980E-5 truck weighs more than 1.3 million pounds.

    * Oak Park Journal | Cosgrove edges out Przekota in race for judge: According to final, uncertified results Cosgrove defeated prosecutor Kim Przekota by the razor thin margin of 338 votes. Cosgrove has 13,468 votes, or 50.6% of ballots cast, to 13,130 for Przekota, who comes in 49.4% of the vote.

    * Shaw Local | Keep pressing on full costs of proposed new early childhood agency: When revisiting an Oct. 26 column on Gov. JB Pritzker’s plans for a new state agency that would administer every service under the umbrella of early childhood, my main concern was whether consolidation would further eradicate local control and how the agencies that stand to lose responsibilities would adjust. There is appeal in “a more equitable, integrated, and holistic system of services for young children and families,” as the governor’s office pledged, but Pritzker still bears a burden of proof: that a new agency is up to the task and that those currently overburdened actually end up more efficient.

    * WCIA | Danville’s Village Mall set to be auctioned off, leaving locals concerned: Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said he’s frustrated with the situation and doesn’t know why the owners of the decades-old mall are selling, and communication with them has been difficult. […] Mayor Williams said they offered a $100,000 market study to explore possible options for the mall but the owners were not interested. WCIA 3 reached out to the company, but has not received a response.

    * Elgin Courier-News | Bartlett High School principal removed from post but allowed to return as teacher: Demovsky was placed on administrative leave in March during the probe, the details of which have not been made public. “I just want to say to the community that I understand it seems like a lot of things happen in private,” board member Dawn Martin, a Bartlett resident, said during the meeting. “I want to remind the community that personnel matters are discussed in closed (sessions). It’s not about hiding things from our community or not being transparent.

    * Sun-Times | Killing of Dexter Reed raises questions about Chicago police reform. ‘The message is, go in guns blazing.: Alexandra Block, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said the Chicago police department’s approach to reform has amounted to “a box-checking exercise,” and the promises of overhauling the culture haven’t been kept.

    * Chalkbeat | From ‘winning the lottery’ to ‘leaner schools’: How the end of federal COVID money could impact Chicago schools: At one school, where nearly all of the students came from low-income households, the additional money meant more after-school programs for everyone, tutoring for struggling students, open gym, and even a staff-created crafting class where students could get additional social-emotional support. Test scores went up and staff noticed fewer fights, said a former school administrator who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly.

    * Sun-Times | Amazon owes Chicago-based tech company $525 million for patent infringement, jury rules: Kove is a Chicago-based company that specializes in computer storage and data management technologies. The West Loop firm owns three data storage patents and accused cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services of infringement, filing a lawsuit against the Amazon-subsidiary in December 2018. The three patents — invented by Kove CEO John Overton and Stephen Bailey — relate to systems and methods for managing the storage, search and retrieval of information across a computer network, according to the lawsuit.

    * AP | Internet providers must now be more transparent about fees, pricing, FCC says: Following the design of FDA food labels, these broadband labels will provide easy-to-understand, accurate information about the cost and performance of high-speed internet service to help consumers avoid junk fees, price hikes, and other unexpected costs. Internet service providers selling home access or mobile broadband plans will be required to have a label for each plan beginning April 10.

    * Sun-Times | Northwestern to play most home football games in temporary on-campus stadium the next 2 years: The school announced Wednesday that it will build a temporary structure attached to Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium, the home of its lacrosse and soccer teams, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Northwestern is working with InProduction, which built seating for last summer’s NASCAR race downtown as well as at Hawaii and Florida State. Construction will start this summer, and the facility will be open for the next two football seasons.

    * WTTW | CTA Says Red Line Extension a ‘Top Priority’ for Biden Administration, on Track to Begin Construction Next Year: Carter told the board he met with the head of the FTA on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., who assured him the Red Line Extension is a “top priority project” for President Joe Biden’s administration. The president’s fiscal year 2025 budget proposal includes an initial round of $350 million in funding for the ambitious effort. FTA officials are “very upbeat about our project and very upbeat about the timeline for getting the full funding grant agreement … in place by the end of this year,” Carter said. “By all accounts, we’re on target to accomplish that.”

    * Crain’s | Uber is adding taxis to its app in Chicago. Yes, you read that right: Why is Uber giving its customers the chance to take a traditional cab? “We continue to believe that there is no world in which taxis and Uber exist separately — there is simply too much to gain for both sides,” the company said in a statement.

    * Tribune | The most infamous serial killers all seem to have something in common — they’re from around here: What is it about the Midwest that breeds so many serial killers? What is in the soil that grows the sort of grisly murderers who launch a million headlines? Adam Rapp has wondered for a long time. He was born in Chicago and raised in Joliet in the 1970s, when Joliet was not the best place to grow up. Gangs proliferated. There were rumors of white vans whose drivers offered neighborhood boys a peek at a Playboy. You couldn’t escape to Chicago — killer clown John Wayne Gacy and nurse killer Richard Speck came out of there.

    * Tribune | University of Illinois, citing insufficient evidence, closes internal probe of basketball player Terrence Shannon Jr: In a notice dated Friday, the director of the university’s Office for Student Conflict Resolution wrote that the investigator in the probe did not have access to the complainant, the complainant’s witness or the complete file from the police department in Lawrence, Kansas. “The complainant has not indicated an intent to participate in a hearing before a hearing panel at this time,” the director, Robert Wilczynski, wrote in the letter. “As a result, the process has concluded.” No disciplinary action will be taken at this time, he added.

    * Tribune | Yoán Moncada — out 3-6 months — joins Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez on the IL for Chicago White Sox: The Chicago White Sox third baseman’s 2024 took a dramatic turn for the worse when he suffered a left adductor strain during Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians. Wednesday, he learned he would be out an estimated three to six months as the Sox placed him on the 10-day injured list.

    * Chicago Mag | The Sox’s New Voice: The biggest thing it takes is belief. Because there’s only 30 jobs in Major League Baseball, and there’s so many people telling you it’s not possible. So you need confidence in yourself — and good people in your corner. When I was at Dartmouth, my middle sister was at Howard, and she told me to come there for a transfer semester. I studied journalism in their school of communication, then got an internship at [Pardon the Interruption] at ESPN. It just snowballed from there.

    * >WSIL | Some businesses in Cairo, Illinois say saw more sales from the Solar Eclipse: Businesses on Route 51 had a front-row seat to the action, including the Smokey Hill BBQ food truck. “There started to be a Jam from Kentucky to the center of Cairo,” owner Tim Koch said. […] The owners of G&L Clothing told us in a phone call that they saw a 75% jump in sales during the eclipse weekend.


  1. - Leap Day William - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 9:05 am:

    == Senate Minority Leader John Curran (R-Downers Grove) said Democrats are messing everything up: “The recent announcement that a large (Quaker Oats) plant in Danville will be closing its doors, resulting in more than 500 lost jobs in an area of the state that has a higher than average unemployment rate already, is a prime example of how we have to do a better job of taking care of our current employers here.” ==

    Did the Democrats cause the facility to produce a bunch of products contaminated with salmonella that forced a recall and the plant to be shut down since December 2023? Did the Democrats make the cost of cleanup, decontamination, and modernization of a 55-year old facility too much?

    To be clear, not blaming the workers for this in any way. PepsiCo made their decision, and the Democrats have nothing to do with it.

  2. - Old time Independent - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 9:11 am:

    So what’s been lost in this story about Dolton and Andrew Holmes is his personal and business relationship with Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison who’s also the Chairman of the Cook County GOP. This is the second serious sexual allegation that involves someone inside Morrison’s inner circle. It will be interesting to see what his take on the situation is.

  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 9:37 am:

    Thanks, Leap Day William. I entirely missed that angle.

  4. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 9:46 am:

    re Dolton etc, GEEZUZ what the… there are so many problems in the south of Chicago suburbs but this one is major and awful

  5. - Retired and Still in Illinois - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 10:06 am:

    I can’t be the only one who wonders why a mayor of a suburban town of around 20,000 has or needs a “security detail” of police officers. Reminds me of the E St Louis mayor in the 90’s who had uzi toting police officers for his security detail. More of status symbol to make them look important then a need to address a threat.

  6. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 10:11 am:

    Did the Democrats make the cost of cleaning and modernizing the plant too high? No, but did they offer any tax breaks or assistance to help with the cost as they have done to try to lure new manufacturers to the state? Also no.

  7. - Leap Day William - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 11:10 am:

    == Did the Democrats make the cost of cleaning and modernizing the plant too high? No, but did they offer any tax breaks or assistance to help with the cost as they have done to try to lure new manufacturers to the state? Also no. ==

    So, the state is supposed to be responsible for the cleanup of a business failing to keep their food production facilities clean and free of outbreaks and recalls? Okay.

    Where was Vermillion Advantage or Danville on this request for assistance? How about the Vermillion County Board, with its 22/27 Republican members? What about Adam Niemerg, Chris Miller, or Brandun Schweizer (or Mike Marron before him), who all represent parts of Vermillion County? Did any of them make any efforts on PepsiCo’s behalf to get help modernize and clean the plant and save these jobs? I guess I missed all of those press releases after plant’s initial closure in December. Perhaps all of these local elected officials were too busy and this slipped through the cracks because it wasn’t as pressing as making sure no abortion clinic opens up in the county.

    If you’re looking to blame Democrats at the state level for a business deciding that fixing their problem and retaining those jobs wasn’t worth it, be sure to look all around and ask where were any of the locals on this matter.

  8. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 11:14 am:

    = they offer any tax breaks or assistance to help with the cost as they have done to try to lure new manufacturers to the state?=

    Except the factory has been running for decades - the owners had ample time to make the updates necessary, but chose not to. Wonder why that is

  9. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 11:28 am:

    ===but did they offer any tax breaks or assistance to help with the cost as they have done to try to lure new manufacturers to the state? Also no.===

    Did the company ask?

  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 11:35 am:

    …The reason I bring that up is because it’s a very old plant with some very real problems. The company may have believed their facility wasn’t worth fixing up.

  11. - Dotnonymous xv - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 2:12 pm:

    Tiffany has seen too many Gangsta movies.

  12. - CHIVIEW - Thursday, Apr 11, 24 @ 3:41 pm:

    Dear ACLU, the primary message of the tragic killing of Dexter Reed is: if there is an actual, widespread problem with pretextual police stops, lobby your legislators for change, rather than shooting policemen.

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