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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Thursday, May 9, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Ben Szalinski

* Brenden Moore

* Press release…

Today, Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) awarded $1.7 million in grant funding to 40 small and mid-sized manufacturers across the state through the Made in Illinois Grant Program. The Made in Illinois program provides up to $50,000 in matching grant funding to local Illinois manufacturers to support innovation and strategic advancements in manufacturing. IMEC served as grant administrator for this program.

“Manufacturing is on the rise in Illinois and my administration is providing local manufacturers with the resources they need to compete in the future,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thanks to this grant, 40 diverse recipients across the state will receive the capital they need to advance innovation in their field.”

The program originally allocated $1 million in funding and was increased to $1.7 million due to resounding interest in the program from Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturers. The Made in Illinois program underscores the State of Illinois’ commitment to strengthening its manufacturing base which is a vital component of the state’s economy. By providing financial support to local manufacturers, the program encourages innovation and advancement within the industry while contributing to job creation and economic prosperity throughout Illinois communities.

*** Statehouse News ***

* Illinois Times | Future of Logan Correctional Center uncertain: The price tag for doing this would be about $935 million, Alex Gough, a spokesman for Pritzker said. State Rep. Bill Hauter, R-Morton, said this estimate likely understates the cost of building a prison in the Chicago suburbs.

* Triibe | Prison educators and abolitionists have mixed feelings about Pritzker’s proposal to rebuild Stateville and Logan correctional facilities: “I give him [Pritzker] credit for saying these buildings are terrible, and we need to just tear them down. I’m gonna give him credit for that,” Avalon Betts-Gaston said. She’s the executive director of the Illinois Alliance for Reentry & Justice, which aims to create alternatives to incarceration, reduce recidivism, and end mass incarceration. However, Betts-Gaston disagrees with state officials building new multi-million dollar carceral facilities while the root causes of crime and violence still aren’t being addressed.

* Illinois Times | Legislation would support local journalism: The number of journalism jobs at Illinois newspapers has dropped 86% since 2005, but press advocates see signs of hope in proposed college scholarships, state tax credits, scholarships and other subsidies to benefit local news outlets. “I’m cautiously optimistic we will see something,” Sam Fisher, former president of the Illinois Press Association, said as the scheduled May 24 adjournment of the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session approaches.

* Daily Herald | ‘Time for action is now’: Wheaton residents call for pedestrian traffic light on Roosevelt Road: Wheaton residents and educators implored state lawmakers to help save lives and fund a stoplight on a perilous stretch of Roosevelt Road at a Wednesday hearing in Springfield. “The time for action is now,” said resident Debbie Suggs, 77. “Every day of inaction brings us closer to another tragedy.” Community members, including Marian Park apartment dwellers and St. Francis High School leaders, are seeking help to pay for a traffic light at Roosevelt, east of County Farm Road.

*** Statewide ***

* NBC Chicago | Ascension hospitals report ‘disruptions’ to clinic operations following suspected cyber attack: The hospital system announced the disruption Wednesday, saying it had “detected unusual activity on select technology systems.”"At this time we continue to investigate the situation,” the hospital operator’s statement read in part. “We responded immediately, initiated our investigation and activated our remediation efforts.”

* Chalkbeat | Not just oppression: Lessons from one state on how schools can get Asian American history right: The work happening in Illinois offers insight into what can help. It’s common for teachers to feel overwhelmed and think: “I need to teach this, I don’t even fully know this yet,” said Ouk, the visiting inclusive education director at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s College of Education. To address that, teacher trainers say they’re modeling lessons, showing teachers where Asian American voices and experiences naturally fit within existing curriculum, and sharing strategies that are useful for teaching the history of many marginalized groups.

* NPR | Their first baby came with medical debt. These Illinois parents won’t have another: The first-time mother, a high school teacher in rural Illinois, had developed high blood pressure, a sometimes life-threatening condition in pregnancy that prompted doctors to hospitalize her. Then [Heather Crivilare’s] blood pressure spiked, and the baby’s heart rate dropped. “It was terrifying,” Crivilare said. She gave birth to a healthy daughter. What followed, though, was another ordeal: thousands of dollars in medical debt that sent Crivilare and her husband scrambling for nearly a year to keep collectors at bay.

*** Chicago ***

* WTTW | Johnson’s Senior Leadership Team More Diverse Than Previous Mayors’ Cabinets: Analysis: In all, the 34 appointments Johnson made between May 2023 and April 2024 that require confirmation by the Chicago City Council reflect the city’s racial diversity, as measured by the 2020 census, more closely than the appointments made by his two predecessors, former Mayors Lori Lightfoot and Rahm Emanuel. The second Black man elected Chicago mayor, Johnson tapped more Black Chicagoans to serve in positions of authority than Chicagoans of other races, according to WTTW News’ analysis.

* Block Club | Police Rapidly Caught A Cop Killer. Families Of Slain Chicagoans Wonder: What About Us?: The group rallied Tuesday afternoon outside Chicago Police Area 1 Homicide Department, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave., to demand police resolve the investigations into their loved ones’ deaths with the same urgency as they did the fatal shooting of Officer Luis Huesca. A third of all murders recorded in 2023 in Chicago happened within the Area 1 boundaries, Chicago Police Department data shows. “Some of these mothers have been waiting for two years for justice. Officer Huesca’s mother, all she needed was 10 days,” said Baltazar Enriquez, director of Mother and Families United for Justice Committee of Chicago, a committee of the Little Village Community Council.

* WTTW | Disgraced Detective Reynaldo Guevara Collecting $91K Annual Pension as Cost of His Misconduct Hits $62.5M With 33 Lawsuits Pending: In all, Guevara has banked more than $1.4 million in pension payments since he retired on June 15, 2005, having spent 32 years, two months and 27 days as a police officer and an employee of the Chicago Park District, according to records obtained by WTTW News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

* Block Club | CHA Residents Rip CEO At Hearing: ‘We Need Something Much Better Than This’: Scott faced withering criticism and calls to resign from residents and even a member of the CHA’s governing board. They said the agency has let its properties deteriorate while failing to build additional homes during a citywide affordable housing crisis. Several resident leaders ripped Scott for rarely visiting CHA properties.“Tracey Scott, you seem to have forgotten that you are a guest here at CHA — you have outstayed your welcome,” said Francine Washington, speaking directly to Scott. Washington, a longtime CHA resident, has served on the CHA board since 2014.

* Chicago | Frustrations rise after 9-year-old girl attacked by unleashed dog in Horner Park: ‘She was traumatized’: The attack has left some residents with mounting frustrations toward unleashed dogs in public. Just a few hundred feet from the attack is a gated, 25,000-square-foot designated dog park. “There’s no reason this should have happened,” Sieracki said. “A kid should be able to go play on the grass and do cartwheels and not have to worry about being attacked by dogs.”

* WBEZ | You don’t have to be famous — or even from Chicago — to get an honorary street sign: Chicago started commemorating people who left their mark on the city through honorary street signs starting in the 1960s. It was an easier way to celebrate notable people without the logistical nightmare of officially changing a street name. The system was formalized in 1984 and has been in place since, with some tweaks over the years to try to slow down overzealous alderpeople. Today, you’ll find the little brown signs in every ward of Chicago, informally paying tribute along one or two designated blocks.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Herald | Republican leaders slating legislative candidates despite new law banning it: Suburban Republican Party leaders are slating candidates for state legislative races that didn’t draw primary contenders despite a new law designed to prevent such aspirants from being considered by voters. The action is being encouraged by the Illinois State Board of Elections, which has said it will accept petitions from such candidates by a previously set June 3 deadline. The board then will consider any challenges to those petitions filed by June 10 — again, as scheduled.

* Daily Herald | Campton Hills trustee resigns amid legal fight with state’s attorney: After barely serving a year, Campton Hills Trustee Timothy Morgan resigned at the end of Tuesday’s village board meeting. He said he was tired of fighting the Kane County state’s attorney’s office to keep his seat. Morgan was elected last year, but a 2002 felony DUI conviction in Michigan dogged his ability to keep his seat.

* Pioneer Press | Arlington Heights School District 25 nurse fired over allegations of mishandling students’ meds: The Arlington Heights School District 25 Board of Education voted to fire the nurse at the center of a case the district has called a misuse of prescription medications, with the board president calling the situation a “breach of trust” that is “distressing and concerning.” The board voted 6-0 at a special meeting Wednesday night to fire registered nurse Tory Eitz, who had been the nurse at Westgate Elementary School for five years. Westgate is one of nine schools in District 25 and enrolls nearly 600 students in grades K to 5.

*** Downstate ***

* Illinois Times | Renovations, repairs ramping up at state fairgrounds: “Spring means construction here on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. And we’re still in the middle of a $58 million economic investment in the fairgrounds to address years of deferred maintenance,” said Rebecca Clark, Illinois State Fair manager. After completing the Coliseum roof overhaul in 2019, the crew now tackles a $16.8 million transformation.

* WCIA | Springfield rolls out new crisis plan for severe weather, other emergencies: City officials said the plan was developed using lessons learned from last year’s derecho, which wreaked havoc on Springfield’s power grid. The crisis highlighted the need for effective communication during such an emergency; since then, officials worked to create a robust crisis communication strategy that ensures timely and accurate information when people need it most.

* SJ-R | Ace Hardware acquires local franchise Bishop Ace across central Illinois: On May 9, a division of the Ace Hardware corporation announced the agreement to acquire Bishop Ace Hardware, a local 13-store chain in central Illinois which partnered with Ace in 1960. Bishop Ace owns and operates the Ace Hardware store in Chatham on North Main Street and two Springfield Ace Hardwares on North Walnut Street and Wabash Avenue. The buyout will be completed on July 28 of this year with the transition.

* WCIA | 12 construction projects underway, starting soon in Macon Co.: 12 major construction projects are either underway or scheduled to begin in Macon County over the coming months, IDOT announced. Officials said the upcoming construction season is expected to be one of the busiest ever. The 12 projects, all under the scope of the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, will represent a state investment of nearly $195 million to improve safety and mobility.

*** National ***

* Yahoo | Healthcare: Latinos still ‘experience particularly high uninsured rates,’ new data shows: Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made significant strides in healthcare coverage since it became enshrined into law in 2010, there are still racial and ethnic groups with high uninsured rates. According to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) exclusively shared with Yahoo Finance, the Latino uninsured rate in the US stands at 18%, twice as high as the US average.

* AP | Guns are being stolen from cars at triple the rate they were 10 years ago, a report finds: The rate of stolen guns from cars climbed nearly every year and spiked during the coronavirus pandemic along with a major surge in weapons purchases in the U.S., according to the report, which analyzes FBI data from 337 cities in 44 states and was provided to The Associated Press. The stolen weapons have, in some cases, turned up at crime scenes. In July 2021, a gun taken from an unlocked car in Riverside, Florida, was used to kill a 27-year-old Coast Guard member as she tried to stop a car burglary in her neighborhood.

* NYT | Cass Elliot’s Death Spawned a Horrible Myth. She Deserves Better.: Elliot was a charismatic performer who exuded infectious joy and a magnificent vocalist with acting chops she did not live to fully explore. July 29 is the 50th anniversary of her untimely death at 32, a tragedy that still spurs unanswerable questions. Might Elliot, who was one of Johnny Carson’s most beloved substitutes, have become the first female late-night talk show host? Would she have achieved EGOT status? […] For years, the origin of the story that Elliot died from choking on a ham sandwich — one of the cruelest and most persistent myths in rock ’n’ roll history — was largely unknown. Then in 2020, Elliot’s friend Sue Cameron, an entertainment journalist, admitted to publicizing it in her Hollywood Reporter obituary at the behest of Elliot’s manager Allan Carr, who did not want his client associated with drug use. (Elliot died of a heart attack, likely brought on by years of substance abuse and crash dieting.)

* Poynter | Gannett fired an editor for talking to me: Sarah Leach, an experienced editor overseeing 26 Gannett community papers in four states, was fired via video conference first thing the morning of Monday, April 29. She was accused, she said, of “sharing proprietary information with (a reporter for) a competing media company.” […] Lyons did not say how the company identified her as a source. As best Leach and I can figure, they must have tapped into her office email. “That’s the only way I can think of that they could have known,” she said.


  1. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 9, 24 @ 2:50 pm:

    “By providing financial support to local manufacturers”

    It’s awesome to have a state friendly to both business and labor interests.

  2. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, May 9, 24 @ 2:55 pm:

    - to demand police resolve the investigations into their loved ones’ deaths with the same urgency as they did the fatal shooting of Officer Luis Huesca. -

    I had the exact same thought when they announced the arrest. Good on these folks for speaking out.

  3. - Anon 318 - Thursday, May 9, 24 @ 3:18 pm:

    By “diverse” leadership team, is the Davis-Gates-Johnson administration talking about having more CPS employees there than in previous administrations?

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