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Isabel’s morning briefing

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: In Chicago, Ukrainian prime minister seeks urgent military aid from Congress, Illinois investment. Sun-Times

    -Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal joined Gov. Pritzker and White House Ukrainian envoy Penny Pritzker on Tuesday to help encourage American investment in Ukraine.
    -Later, the prime minister met with the governor and Penny Pritzker for a 30-minute meeting about what Illinois can do to help Ukraine’s economic recovery and how to help pressure Congress to send more aid.
    - Illinois has already helped provided aid to Ukraine. The state’s National Guard deployed to Poland to help Ukrainians seeking refuge, while the state and private businesses have sent a combination of body armor, face shields, helmets, ambulances and fire trucks.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

* Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association…

The Madison County Board will meet tomorrow to debate whether to put forth a referendum this fall for voters to decide if Madison County should secede from the state of Illinois. Madison County Democratic Party Chair Randy Harris and Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association Mark Guethle released the following statement opposing this plan:

“Madison County Republicans do not care about finding solutions to problems, they only seem to care about sowing divisions in our community and our state,” said Randy Harris, Chair of the Democratic Party of Madison County. “Illinois and Madison County are stronger together. This proposal for Madison County to secede from Illinois will send a signal to leaders in our state and in the business community that we as a county don’t want to be here and we’re not serious about helping people. It’s silly, reckless, and just plain dumb. The board should not even call this resolution for a vote.”

“Illinois is the greatest state in the nation. said Mark Guethle, President of the IDCCA. Voting to secede is unpatriotic, and damn near Un-American. This non-binding referendum won’t accomplish anything, and instead of working to better the lives of their residents, Republicans in Madison County are telling voters they want to ‘take their ball and go home.’ Board members should reject this proposal.”

Earlier this month the Madison County Board Government Relations Committee approved a resolution to submit an advisory referendum to the voters of Madison County regarding separating from Illinois to form a new state. The full board is supposed to meet on April 17 to debate and approve this resolution.

* Here’s the rest…

    * Sen. Dan McConchie | Illinois Senate should reject Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ICC appointments: As pending ICC appointees near the deadline for confirmation, members of the Illinois Senate must consider the potential impact of this commission’s actions to date — including decisions that pose real public safety risks. Fortunately, senators have a record of recent decisions by these board members to help inform their deliberations. The members of the Senate, as well as the general public, deserve to know why Pritzker’s hand-picked ICC is making questionable decisions that increase public risk rather than prioritizing safety and reliability. We can’t expect our state to grow when we have outdated and potentially dangerous utility infrastructure.

    * WTAX | Thousands attending Illinois March for Life Wednesday: Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, will celebrate Mass with other bishops and priests from Illinois and hundreds of Catholics, the vast majority being students. […] The Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, April 17 at 10 a.m.: Mass at the Sangamon Auditorium. 1,700 people are registered, which is the max the Auditorium allowed, followed by a noon Rally and a 1 p.m. march at the Lincoln statue area outside Illinois statehouse.

    * Rockford Register Star | ‘See orange, slow down’: Illinois sees nearly 150 work zone fatalities in four years: Of the 148 work zone fatalities between 2019 to 2023, six were worker fatalities. The rest were motorists. […] In recognition of Work Zone Awareness week, IDOT along with the Illinois Tollway, the Illinois State Police and Laborer’s Local 32 held a joint news conference Tuesday to officially announce the beginning of another year of road construction and to emphasize work zone safety awareness.

    * Cook County Record | Unopposed Cook County judge candidates appointed by IL Supreme Court to Cook bench early: All of the new appointees will take the bench, for now, under temporary terms that will end Dec. 2. Ten of the appointments will be effective April 29. Two of the appointments will begin June 11.[…] According to a statement from the Illinois Supreme Court, the appointments were made to address a shortage of judges needed to handle ever growing caseloads in Cook County’s courts.

    * Cook County Record | Judge: Title IX plaintiffs can use IL law to retroactively demand ‘emotional distress’ damages: In the ruling, [U.S. District Judge Marvin E. Aspen] specifically declared that the new Illinois law, known as the Civil Rights Remedies Restoration Act (CRRRA), should allow Pogorzelska and other similar plaintiffs to demand schools and other institutions which receive federal funding under Title IX pay damages for emotional distress. And the judge said those demands can be applied retroactively, to lawsuits filed before the law took effect, even though the law doesn’t specifically say they should.

    * Lake County News-Sun | Highland Park plans scaled-down Fourth of July celebration 2 years after shooting; ‘We are coming together on this special day’: This year’s schedule — which includes a remembrance ceremony, parade and community festival — is intended to, “balance the diverse needs of the community by providing space for remembrance and also familiar community traditions,” City Manager Ghida Neukirch said. City staffers sought feedback from the City Council, public, community and government partners, in planning the July 4, 2024 events.

    * NBC Chicago | Target hit with class-action lawsuit claiming it violated Illinois’ biometric privacy law: The lawsuit, filed March 11 in a Cook County Court, alleges Target’s surveillance systems “surreptitiously” collects biometric data on customers without them knowing. “Target does not notify customers of this fact prior to store entry, nor does it obtain consent prior to collecting its customers’ Biometric Data,” the lawsuit says, adding at the retailer is outfitted with “top of the line” facial recognition throughout its stores as part of anti-theft efforts.

    * Tribune | Referendum draft proposes bringing Forest Preserve District back under DuPage County Board control: The Village of Oak Brook has been a hotbed of conflict with the Forest Preserve District over the last couple of years; in 2020 the district approved the removal of the Graue Mill Dam near the Graue Mill and Museum, a National Historic Landmark of the Forest Preserve restored to operating conditions in 1934. According to Forest Preserve officials, the decision to remove the dam was made to improve water quality and biodiversity along the Salt Creek stream; the decision was met with ire from the Graue Mill Museum staff and board members, and of the Fullersburg Historic Foundation, who believe removing the dam would stop the water flow used to help turn the large outdoor mill wheel.

    * Crain’s | How Oberweis Dairy wound up in bankruptcy court: Joe Oberweis, son of former CEO and perennial GOP candidate Jim Oberweis, was named CEO in 2007 and oversaw the rollout of burger and pizza restaurants as companion brands to the Oberweis Dairy chain of stores, as well as the expansion of home delivery to Virginia and North Carolina. In 2019, the company also added a production line of organic milk. During his tenure, the company “made a series of business decisions that, viewed in hindsight, may have sown the seeds for its present financial distress,” the filing states, going on to describe insufficient investment in modernization of its manufacturing plant, reliance on managers who lacked industry experience, and “maintaining the books and records of the debtors in a suboptimal manner.”

    * Rockford Register Star | General Mills opens 1.3 million square-foot distribution center in Belvidere: General Mills held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday to officially dedicate the facility at 1210 Irene Road, which is expected to employ 55 to 75 people. Phill West, senior director of planning, logistics and customer fulfillment for General Mills, said the distribution center is a key site for the company.

    * NBC Chicago | Legal troubles mount in Dolton as senior administrator charged in federal court: The indictment alleges that Freeman made several materially false statements and omissions in the document, including knowingly under-reporting income he derived from his employment as both the village administrator for Dolton and municipality manager for Thornton Township, as well as fees he received from his private consulting business.

    * Tribune | New leader of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH steps down less than 3 months on the job: The Rev. Frederick Haynes III told The Associated Press that he submitted a letter with his resignation as head of the Chicago-based Rainbow PUSH Coalition, effective immediately. […] Haynes, 63, said he felt it was “necessary” to move on in light of “challenges that continue to exist,” but declined to elaborate further. His resignation letter, written on Rainbow PUSH letterhead, also did not go into details about his decision.

    * Crain’s | As Vocalo preps to go off the air, some staffers lament what could have been: “I’m not surprised because they told me a year ago that they were looking into stopping the broadcast,” said Ayana Contreras, former content director, host and founding member of Vocalo, who acknowledges that the audience hasn’t been large — but she believes that is, in part, because management never made the fledgling, experimental station a high priority.

    * The Atlantic | The Myth of the Mobile Millionaire: The idea of millionaire flight is one of America’s most persistent beliefs. Expert consensus holds that “redistributive policies should be undertaken by the most central level of government rather than state or local governments,” as one academic summary puts it. In other words, rich people can’t avoid high federal taxes, short of leaving the country, whereas if a state tries to impose a progressive tax code, its millionaires will decamp for lower-tax jurisdictions. And, indeed, state tax codes, which bring in about one-third of U.S. tax revenue, largely reflect this received wisdom. Unlike the federal system, which is fairly progressive, state and local tax systems on average shift money from poorer households to richer ones. According to a recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “forty-four states’ tax systems exacerbate income inequality,” with the poorest 20 percent of households paying the highest effective tax rates.

    * CBS Chicago | Rev. Walter “Slim” Coleman, Chicago activist and community organizer, dies at 80: The Rev. Walter “Slim” Coleman, a Chicago activist whose advocacy for Civil Rights and social justice causes dated back more than half a century, died Tuesday morning. Coleman was 80. His passing was announced Tuesday by Healthy Hood Chicago, the nonprofit community organization operated by daughter Tanya Lozano.

    * Tribune | Chicago Sky ticket sales soar after WNBA draft: ‘These women are worth the money’: With the No. 3 and No. 7 picks, the Sky added South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso and LSU forward Angel Reese to its roster. In the second round, the Sky selected Gonzaga guard Brynna Maxwell with the 13th pick. “If you’re not going to a Sky game this year, I don’t know what you’re doing,” said Karli Bell, the Chicago Sky reporter for Marquee Sports Network. “This is going to be that new generation that’s going to bring in those fans.”


  1. - Felix - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 8:07 am:

    At the end of that Tribune op-ed from Senator McConchie I see he’s identified as, among other things, a “renewable energy consultant.” Who knew?

  2. - North Park - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 9:38 am:

    I will miss celebrating Jim Oberweis’s election losses with a scoop of their ice cream.

  3. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 9:44 am:

    “Referendum draft proposes bringing Forest Preserve District back under DuPage County Board control”

    They kinda give the game away at the end: “the residents of DuPage County do not appreciate the strong arm Chicago style political tactics from the new forest preserve board”

    Forest preserve bosses? Uh huh. You bet.

    The fact is that DuPage Republicans are tired of having to compete in so many elections, so they want to re-concentrate power (and their attention) in the county board.

    They liked all the layers of government (and patronage) when they were under the exclusive control of their party.

    Much less so now.

    – MrJM

  4. - Torco Sign - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 9:52 am:

    @Felix The bio on the gov website has McConchie listed as a consultant for Verde Solutions. He’s not on the company website but I wonder if he had anything to do with the College of Lake County project listed on their portfolio.

  5. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:09 am:

    Slim Coleman. the 80s on the north side were interesting.

  6. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:14 am:

    I am genuinely bummed out about Oberweis and fear they will be gobbled up by a conglomerate that will lower the quality of their product. I am not sad for the family, I am sad for the consumer.

    =They liked all the layers of government (and patronage) when they were under the exclusive control of their party.

    Much less so now.

    – MrJM=

    MrJM’s comments are always on the money.

  7. - low level - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:17 am:

    ==They liked all the layers of government (and patronage) when they were under the exclusive control of their party.==

    Truly. Then you’d see Republicans who had government jobs their entire careers get together to watch or listen to Rush Limbaugh.

  8. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:22 am:

    Sorry to hear the news on Slim Coleman. Hard to believe he was 80. Time really does fly by.
    He left the city in much better shape than he found it.

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 10:39 am:

    ===MrJM’s comments are always on the money. ===

    Yes. I’m so glad he’s back.

  10. - Friendly Bob Adams - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:05 pm:

    I’m so old my family used to get Oberweis milk delivered to the house twice a week.

  11. - Mr Ed - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 1:32 pm:

    Slim Coleman was an early Harold Washington supporter during his monumental win in the 1983 Primary over Jane Byrne and Daley II. He appeared in a lot of Washington new conferences and media events during that election. An interesting character.

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