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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* NBC Chicago

Illinois is now home to a federally recognized tribal nation for the first time after a decision from the U.S. Department of Interior placed portions of Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation’s northern Illinois reservation land into trust, officials said.

The decision placed portions of the Shab-eh-nay Reservation land into trust for Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, coming 175 years after the U.S. government illegally auctioned off nearly 1,300 acres of Prairie Band’s Reservation land in northern Illinois.

The auctioning occurred when Chief Shab-eh-nay traveled from his home Reservation in what is now DeKalb County to visit his family in Kansas.

According to a press release, the legal title of the land is transferred to the U.S., which holds it in trust for the Prairie Band. This move confirms the land as “Indian country,” ensuring the Nation can exercise sovereignty over the land.

HB4718 from Rep. Mark Walker

Authorizes the Director of Natural Resources to execute and deliver a quitclaim deed to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation for specified real property located in DeKalb County, subject to specified conditions. Effective immediately.

The bill has been stuck in Rules Committee.

* Ben Szalinski

* CEO of Personal PAC Sarah Garza Resnick…

“We at Personal PAC are thrilled by the passage of the Birth Equity Initiative (HB5142) in the House, and applaud chief sponsor Rep. Robyn Gabel, Governor Pritzker, and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton for their work. This initiative is an incredible step towards addressing the disparities in maternal mortality between Black women and other new parents in our state, and will end cost-sharing for essential healthcare services including abortion. We are excited to work with the Senate to pass this crucial legislation and send it to Governor Priztker’s desk as soon as possible.”

* Sun-Times

A Chicago investment firm lent millions to a South Florida real estate company that’s now being sued by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul for enticing struggling homeowners to sign 40-year contracts he says were designed to grab their homes’ equity. […]

According to Raoul’s lawsuit and bankruptcy documents, the business worked like this:

MV Realty offered “financially distressed” homeowners a onetime cash payment if they signed an “MVR Homeowner Benefit Agreement” designating the company as the exclusive real estate listing agent when the homeowner decided to sell.

Upfront payments were about 0.3% of a home’s value — as low as $365 to a couple of thousand dollars.

But there were a few big catches:

    - If the homeowner died, the complicated, 40-year listing agreements extended to the homeowner’s heirs.
    - Also, if the homeowner or the heirs listed the home with another agent, that violated the deal, and MV Realty was entitled to 3% of the home’s sale price.

*** Statehouse ***

* Capitol News | Pritzker’s health insurance reforms targeting ‘utilization management’ clear House: The bill also would not apply to the state-funded health care programs for noncitizens – Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults and Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors – which provide benefits similar to those under Medicaid but which are not strictly part of the Medicaid program.

*** Chicago ***

* Crain’s | Chicago’s D.C. lobbyist departs, leaving office empty: Christopher Hoey, Chicago’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C., has departed, leaving the city’s post in the U.S. capital empty until the role is filled within the coming weeks. The mayor’s office told Crain’s the search is on for a new director of federal affairs, but the Johnson administration has not filled that position permanently for over a year now.

* Crain’s | Police oversight chief defends herself amid criticism from Snelling: Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling told reporters last week it was irresponsible for Andrea Kersten, chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, or COPA, to raise questions in a private letter to his office and in media interviews about the initial justification five officers provided for why they pulled over an SUV before the driver allegedly shot an officer and was subsequently killed by officers returning fire. Kersten read a statement at a meeting of the Chicago Police Board yesterday, arguing that raising preliminary questions about the veracity of the claim that officers stopped 26-year-old Dexter Reed in Humboldt Park for an alleged seat belt violation is a core part of her responsibility as the head of the independent agency.

* Crain’s Editorial Board | Yes, CTA chief Carter needs to go. But that’s not all: When prodded by a reporter for Capitol Fax to clarify whether “an evolution of leadership” meant Carter should be fired for his handling of a service that’s struggled for years with crime, cleaniness and understaffing, Pritzker sidestepped: “As you know, I have appointments at CTA but they’re not a controlling majority. But the people that we appoint, of course, we’ll be working with the others on the board to evaluate and make changes in management.” Which should make Carter and anyone else in his orbit nervous — except that, inexplicably, Carter and his team have remained in charge at the beleaguered public transit agency despite its shambolic state under his leadership and despite the election of a new mayor — an event that created an opening to reassess whether leaders with better ideas should be put in charge of Chicago’s network of buses and trains.

* NBC Chicago | Man behind effort to recall Chicago’s mayor says he’s not ‘some dude from the suburbs’: Boland lives in Lakeview, where he is currently unemployed. He said he doesn’t want the mayor’s 5th floor City Hall office, but he would consider it if no other opportunities materialize. […] Boland will kick off his petition drive next week with a news conference. He said he is thinking about asking the mayor to attend. […] Even if the signatures are enough to put the measure on the fall ballot, it will not automatically trigger a recall. That would require another round of petitions and a vote conducted through a special election.

* Tribune | Chicago Public Schools launches a new, ‘more equitable’ funding model: The new approach will protect the robustness of the city’s “strongest schools,” while ensuring those in high-poverty areas aren’t starved of resources that helped produce recent academic gains, district CEO Pedro Martinez told the Tribune last week. But, with a $391 million deficit projected, something will have to give. And, central office expenses, such as vendor payments which surpassed $2.8 billion this school year as of March 15, according to CPS procurement data, are currently under review, Martinez said.

* Sun-Times | Catholic priest accused of sex abuse served in 9 church jurisdictions, including Chicago. So why is he on just one abuser list?: The Catholic church’s transparency on accusations of sexual abuse by clergy members, including the Rev. Mark Santo, remains inconsistent and lacking across the United States, clouding the extent of the crisis more than 20 years after it exploded into view.

*** Downstate/Suburbs ***

* The Telegraph | Chairman wants Madison Co. Board to revisit Illinois, Chicago split: Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said Friday he will ask the county board to reconsider Wednesday’s approval of placing a non-binding referendum on the November ballot that proposes separating Chicago and Cook County from the rest of Illinois on the November ballot. […] “County board members don’t need the voters to tell them to talk to other counties,” he stated. “They can do that today — without a resolution. Just pick up the phone.” “Second, creating a new state is simply unrealistic,” he said. “The United States Congress will not put a 51st star on the flag for a ‘New Illinois.’ Congress is more likely to add a star for Puerto Rico or Guam.”

* WICS | Several lawsuits filed by the families of the victims of the Teutopolis crash in September: We have learned that several lawsuits have now been filed by the families of the victims. We know that seven lawsuits were filed against Prairieland Transport, Jacob Bloemker, the driver of the semi, and Ohio resident Hailey Case. Case was driving the vehicle behind the tractor-trailer that was trying to pass it. So far, we have only received six of the cases. But of the six lawsuits we have, four were filed on behalf of the people who died and two of those who were injured.

* Tribune | Glenda Miller, former McHenry County treasurer, dies at age 68: Miller, 68, died on April 17 in her home in Harvard of complications from a stroke she suffered in late January, her family said. Donna Kurtz, Miller’s successor as treasurer, said she met Miller at a victory party when Kurtz’ mother, Rosemary, won a seat in the Illinois House. She was quickly struck by Miller’s “spirit of fun and happiness and optimism.”

* 21st Show | Appreciating the bats of Illinois: You’re in luck if you missed out, as on today’s show we’ll be hearing about all the native bat species in Illinois, myths associated with bats, and when’s the best season to see bats. We’ll be learning all this from Macon County Conservation District’s Ashton Nunn, who’s also hear to talk about the upcoming “Going Batty” event that’s happening tomorrow in Decatur.

* Daily Herald | ‘Something positive is happening’: Buildings torn down at Arlington Heights gateway to make room for apartments and retail: It’s a revitalization nearly two decades in the making. Chicago-based real estate firm Bradford Allen acquired the offices and drive-through bank in 2006, before purchasing the two smaller neighboring properties. Combined, those sites encompass the 3.85 acres on which Bradford Allen and architect/developer Moceri + Rozsak will soon break ground on their joint venture mixed-use project.

*** National ***

* Pew | It’s Time to Fix Housing in America: Start With Financing and Zoning: For nearly a century, homeownership has been the largest source of wealth for most American families. Safe, traditional mortgages have been pivotal to achieving financial security and independence. But as home prices and rents skyrocket — and because outdated policies make small mortgages expensive for lenders and often unavailable for borrowers seeking low-cost homes — many families are struggling to afford reliable housing. This is a serious problem for people across all demographics, but Black, Hispanic, rural and Indigenous households are particularly affected. And some have turned to riskier and more costly alternative financing arrangements, such as land contracts, seller-financed mortgages, lease purchases and personal property loans.

*** Sports ***

* Globe and Mail | As sports teams grab billions in taxpayer funding for stadiums, Blue Jays president explains the strategy behind Rogers Centre renovations: Shapiro and I had first met last April, just before the club unveiled the first phase of the renovations, and he’d walked me through some of the math behind the project. I was curious about the numbers in part because the club was known to be exploring the idea of building a replacement stadium. How could a renovation – which last year was pegged at a little over $300-million before cost overruns pushed it closer to $400-million – make sense? He ticked off some of the revenue categories in which he expected improvements. “Ticket prices, sponsorships, F&B [food and beverage] – all the different areas that could be impacted,” he replied. “There’s a sophisticated [business] model, and it’s safe to say … it’ll get paid back long before we have to think about a new ballpark.” He figured a new stadium might be at least 10 or 15 years away; he expected the investment to be earned back in about half that time.

* WCIA | U.S. Dept. of Education announces rule clarifying athletes can’t be suspended during sex misconduct investigations: The U.S. Department of Education announced a rule that Terrence Shannon Jr. and the University of Illinois already litigated in court. The rule, part of the changes to Title IX, prevents colleges and universities from suspending students-athletes while investigators affiliated with their college conduct investigations into claims of sexual misconduct against them.

* Tribune | Tim Anderson looks ahead with Miami Marlins after time with Chicago White Sox: ‘I’m back on my journey’: Anderson is hitting .267 in 17 games as he looks to bounce back after batting .245 in 123 games last season. For years, the notion was “As Tim Anderson goes, the Sox go.” The shortstop doesn’t feel that needs to be the case with the Marlins. “I’m glad that’s definitely gone because it definitely takes a whole team to win,” he said. “To be from under that umbrella, now I can play the game free and just play my role.”

* AP | How Paris is preparing for the Olympics, from the venues to transportation to security: But behind the romantic veneer that Paris has long curated, mounting security concerns already have had an impact on the unprecedented open-air event. In January, the number of spectators allowed to attend the ceremony was slashed from around 600,000 to around 320,000. Tourists were told they won’t be allowed to watch it for free from riverbanks because the French government scaled back ambitions amid ongoing security threats. Then, on March 24, France raised its security readiness to the highest level after a deadly attack at a Russian concert hall and the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility.


  1. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 3:09 pm:

    I’m liking Isabel’s revised format.

  2. - JoanP - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 3:09 pm:

    I like this new format, Isabel.

  3. - H-W - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 4:02 pm:

    I like it too. This will work especially well after the impending secession of Downstate/Suburbs.

  4. - Just a Citizen - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 4:06 pm:

    I like the revised format as well

  5. - Frida's boss - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 4:17 pm:

    Nice new format.

    Quick question isn’t Johnson pounding the Federal Govt for money and resources for the illegal immigrants? Who exactly is doing that now and who have they met with in DC in the past about this subject?

  6. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 4:20 pm:

    Im not sure I like being lumped in with “downstate”


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