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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: CPS meeting with Pritzker marked by tension over migrant funding. Crain’s

    - Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said the request for $55.2 million to support migrant students that made the governor’s team bristle.
    - The governor’s office painted a more cordial picture of their meeting with CPS and pointed to $500 million in state support for new arrivals.
    -Not on the table at yesterday’s meeting with lawmakers: a contentious bill placing a moratorium on significant changes to Chicago Public Schools’ selective enrollment schools.

* Related stories…

Governor Pritzker will be at Enos Elementary School in Springfield at 10:30 to announce new programs to combat child hunger. Click here to watch.

*** Isabel’s top picks ***

* Streetsblog | Silver lining playbook: Could a new transit gig be a graceful way out for apparently doomed CTA chief Dorval Carter Jr.?: We can’t read the mayor’s mind on that subject. But one thing seems clear. Johnson would much prefer if Carter, whose achievements including helping to line up the Red Line Extension, doesn’t leave the job in disgrace, but instead gets a soft landing. Yesterday morning there was hope that such a scenario might materialize, as President Joe Biden was reportedly considering tapping Carter as the next federal Surface Transportation Board chair. A Chicagoland transit advocate spoke positively of that possibility.

* Tribune | More than 112,000 Illinois residents have lost the right to own guns. The state doesn’t know if 84,000 still have them, sheriff says: And despite several deaths at the hands of gunmen with revoked FOID cards, the number of unchecked revokees continues to grow. Between October 2023 and March 2024, the state’s total number of noncompliant revoked gun licenses grew by more than 1,000, according to the study. Felony indictments are the most common reason for a resident’s card to be revoked, followed by mental health concerns and domestic violence-related infractions.

*** Statehouse News ***

* WAND | Illinois bill could allow liquor inside Treasurer’s downtown Springfield office for receptions: Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has asked lawmakers to pass a plan this spring to allow his downtown office to have liquor delivered, sold or dispensed. Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero) said Wednesday the building is an optimal space for hosting receptions due to the large first floor atrium and historic significance as Abraham Lincoln’s bank.

*** Chicago ***

* ABC Chicago | New policy would overhaul long-criticized Chicago Police Dept. traffic stop-and-search tactic: Critics have long labeled the CPD tactic as underhanded and unconstitutional. But the use of routine traffic stops as a way to search vehicles could become history under a new plan now being pushed by outgoing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. According to a draft policy document obtained by the I-Team, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office would “decline to prosecute” cases that are “solely the product of a non-public-safety traffic stop.”

* AP | Indigenous consultant accuses Chicago Blackhawks of fraud, sexual harassment: Nina Sanders filed the civil action late Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court. She alleges in the lawsuit that the Blackhawks were facing intense public pressure to change their name and logo in 2020. The team’s CEO, Dan Wirtz, hired her that year to serve as a tribal liaison. Wirtz promised that he would create positions for American Indians, buy land to give to the Sac and Fox Nation and change the team’s logo if she decided to accept the job, according to the lawsuit. She took the job based on those promises, but Wirtz never followed through on any of it, the lawsuit alleges.

* ABC Chicago | Field Museum explains loud noise of cicada calls amid Illinois emergence: “Only the males sing, and the females, they recognize the specific song of their own species, so they know how to find the males of their own species,” said Dr. Maureen Turcatel, Field Museum Insects Collection Manager. Blame the noise on the men. Dr. Turcatel says to be ready, because billions, or even trillions, of bugs are coming our way, emerging from their longtime lodgings underground this week. The 17-year and 13-year cicada broods are overlapping in some areas downstate.

* Sun-Times | Thompson Center artwork — Where did it all go?: A couple places, it turns out. Per state spokesperson Jayette Bolinski, Hunt’s “Illinois River Landscape” ended up in the Springfield headquarters of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), which administers all art owned by the state, including the pieces in the Thompson Center. Henry’s “Bridgeport” is on joint loan to three Rockford institutions: its Art Museum, Convention & Visitors Bureau and the city itself. Still others are now in the collections of the Illinois State Museum and “successor facilities” to the Thompson Center at 555 W. Monroe and 115 S. LaSalle streets. But the future of “Monument with Standing Beast” is, for now, about as ambiguous as the tangled sculpture itself. Disassembly began several weeks ago and is scheduled to wrap by the end of the month. After that, the work will be transported to a state warehouse, where it will be stored until the state finds “a suitable and prominent home” for the statue, Bolinski said.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Crain’s | Northbrook leaders have ‘many concerns’ about DuPage Water Commission purchase:
Speaking at the village’s first board of trustees meeting since the water commission paid $80 million on May 6 for the 127-acre former country club and golf course — a step toward the potential redevelopment of the site with a water treatment facility — Northbrook Village President Kathryn Ciesla said local elected officials were blindsided by the property sale and remain worried about its implications.

* CBS | New Cicero, Illinois ordinance bans alcohol sales after midnight: The new measure applies across the board – not only to liquor stores and retailers, as has been in the case in the city of Chicago for the past few years – but also to restaurants and bars. The Town of Cicero said liquor licenses allow for the sale of alcohol until 1 or 2 a.m. at bars and restaurants, but the new ordinance will require them all to stop sales at midnight.

*** Downstate ***

* Shaw Local | Ex-Savanna woman gets 3 years in prison for harassing witness in race-based case: The duo’s alleged harassment is detailed in the state’s first civil hate-crime lawsuit, filed in 2022 by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, that accuses the Hamptons of lynching an effigy of the neighbor in plain view of his home in order to intimidate him.  In addition to accusations that the yard was damaged, the suit also alleged that the pair hung an effigy of their neighbor, bound in chains, in a tree a few feet from his property, hung a Confederate flag, displayed a racial slur in a window facing his home, and painted swastikas on their garage, which also faced his property.

* 25 News Now | Peoria’s Black Business Alliance receives part of $2.5M state grant: Peoria’s Black Business Alliance is among 10 groups awarded a share of $2.5 million from the State of Illinois, part of Gov. JB Pritzker’s goal of helping minority-owned businesses. The local organization is receiving $250,000 in public money, according to a governor’s office release. This initiative aims to provide essential training and resources to entrepreneurs from historically disinvested communities.

* Illinois Times | City launches program to rehab east-side homes: The city of Springfield is launching a pilot program geared toward helping first-time homebuyers by rehabilitating dilapidated properties on the city’s east side. “On the east side of Springfield, we own properties as a city, and we’re not doing enough to revitalize the neighborhoods,” said Ethan Posey, Springfield’s director of community relations. “We own a lot of property, and we’re not selling it and we’re not demolishing it quick enough. So, we came up with the My First Home initiative.”

*** National ***

* Bloomberg | Google’s New Search Engine Is Bad News for the Web Economy: Rolling out in the US this week, and in much of the world by the end of the year, AI Overviews is a troubling development for the wider web economy. Think of Wikipedia as a canary: When Google started sourcing its information directly in search results, traffic plummeted because of what analytics firm SimilarWeb called the “zero click” effect — users obtaining the information they were seeking without needing to click through to the source. Every “zero click” is a blow to web publishers. Already suffering huge drop in traffic from social media companies less interested in carrying current affairs, publishers will be similarly deprioritized by Google as it strives to compete head-on with know-it-all AI tools like ChatGPT and The outlook is bleak: Gartner predicts a 25% drop in search engine traffic by 2026, an estimate that seems conservative. An SEO expert told the Washington Post that publishers are expecting to be “bludgeoned.”

* Crain’s | Blue Cross Illinois parent expands corporate presence in Texas: Health Care Service Corp., the Chicago-based parent company of five Blue Cross & Blue Shield plans, is expanding its corporate presence in Texas with a new office building in southwest Houston. The 132,000-square-foot office will open as soon as January 2025, according to a statement announcing the expansion. HCSC already has a corporate office in Richardson, Texas.


  1. - Rabid - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 10:01 am:

    Medical weed gets your FOID revoked. FOID owners get to buy recreational weed. What’s up with that

  2. - ChicagoBars - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 10:06 am:

    Cicero cut the hours all their bars and restaurants can sell alcohol? Cicero?

    It was just two - three months ago when their Mayor and elected officials were talking up raising the tipped minimum wage to help those same workers at those places and help them compete with small businesses in Chicago.

  3. - Jerry - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 10:23 am:

    Please have President Dorval ride the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line a few times before he transfers.

  4. - Blitz - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 11:36 am:

    I have been happily phasing Google out of my regular computer habits. Currently using Mozilla Firefox as the application and Brave as the search engine. I recommend others start looking elsewhere as well as Google planning to increase ads while dropping a lot of the malware protections related to them.

  5. - ThePAMan - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 11:38 am:

    With Cicero closing bars early glad Berwyn is still a thing with 3AM Fri/Sat closing times.

    And yes, Jerry, it would be nice if President Dorval felt our Blue Line pain. Only had to switch train cars due to cigarette smoke once today. Small steps….

  6. - Benniefly2 - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 11:46 am:

    “Northbrook Village President Kathryn Ciesla said local elected officials were blindsided by the property sale and remain worried about its implications.”

    Moral of the Story: I guess sometimes previous NIMBY actions will in fact come back to haunt you.

  7. - @misterjayem - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 11:50 am:

    “Thompson Center artwork — Where did it all go?”

    In the spirit of compromise, I propose that, in lieu of any financial assistance whatsoever, the state of Illinois offer “Monument with Standing Beast” to the Chicago Bears.

    – MrJM

  8. - TJ - Thursday, May 16, 24 @ 12:10 pm:

    C’mon, let people drink when they want, Cicero. The sauce hits the best after midnight, too.

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