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Isabel’s morning briefing

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Lawmakers trying to ensure women’s sports aren’t left out of any Chicago Bears stadium deal. Tribune

    - Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado’s proposal would require the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to issue “some bonds … to fund facilities for professional women’s sports” if any future bonds are issued for any men’s team.
    - The legislation, which faces longs odds of passage before lawmakers adjourn, is ambiguous in parts and likely to change if it comes up for a legislative vote
    - Co-sponsor Rep. Kam Buckner said the most important part is for women’s sports to be a part of the conversation.

* Related stories…

* The Illinois Office of Comptroller…

The IOC has been made aware of several instances of a fraudulent email that has been sent to vendors, requesting them to update their banking information. This email is not legitimate and is part of a phishing scam targeting vendors that may receive payments from the IOC.

The IOC will never, under any circumstances, send unsolicited forms requesting sensitive bank account information. Your financial security is important to us, and we take every measure to protect your information. If you ever have doubts about the legitimacy of a communication claiming to be from us, please reach out to our Electronic Commerce staff at (217) 557-0930.

*** Isabel’s top picks ***

* Capitol News Illinois | Nursing home industry unlikely to see much help from Springfield in tough budget year: But with a tight budget year, leaders in the General Assembly can’t promise a huge windfall for the struggling industry. House Majority Leader Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who leads a working group on Medicaid issues, told Capitol News Illinois the industry asked for $75 million to make up for increased property taxes, which the state had at one time subsidized.

* WGLT | Why Rivian never got its $49.5 million in state EDGE tax credits: Seven years ago, a mysterious startup called Rivian Automotive secured a commitment of nearly $50 million in state tax breaks to help it revive Normal’s auto plant. It never got the money. State officials confirmed Monday that Rivian has not received any of the tax breaks, part of the EDGE tax credit program, despite hiring significantly more people and investing more money in Normal than initially expected. A Rivian spokesperson said they “chose not to pursue the EDGE tax credits.”

* WTTW | Illinois Wants … Your Cicada-Themed Art for a State Fair Exhibit: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced its plan to host a cicada-themed art show during the Illinois State Fair and is seeking entries from the public, looking for interpretations of cicadas or broods. The exhibit will commemorate 2024’s historic double emergence of Brood XIII cicadas in northern Illinois and Brood XIX in the south. The two haven’t made a joint appearance since 1803, before Illinois was even a state.

*** Chicago ***

* NBC Chicago | Thousands of sexual assault cases die each year inside Chicago’s justice system: A six-month investigation by NBC 5 Investigates found that of more than 21,000 alleged sex crimes reported to Chicago Police between 2018 and 2023, police made arrests in fewer than 1,600 reports – that’s just 7 percent. From there, NBC 5 Investigates discovered hundreds of sexual assault cases died on the vine between the time they were reported to police and were adjudicated in court.

* Block Club | Lost In Translation: Migrant Kids Struggle In Segregated Chicago Schools: But the promise of housing comes with a cost: Families are moving to more affordable neighborhoods that also are some of the city’s most segregated. As a result, students are landing in schools with little to no bilingual staff or support, according to data obtained through open records requests and more than 50 interviews with families, teachers and experts.

* Sun-Times | Brother of convicted businessman James Weiss pleads guilty to lying to FBI, IRS: Joseph Weiss, brother of convicted businessman James Weiss, pleaded guilty Monday to lying to the FBI and the IRS about James Weiss’ ties to the late Chicago mobster Frank “The German” Schweihs. The charges against Joseph Weiss became public last October, revealing the alleged connection between his brother and Schweihs days before James Weiss was set to be sentenced.

* Tribune | Chicago police, city officials appear to miss goals on meeting requirement to report and review when officers point their weapons: Five years after pledging to firm up recordkeeping on incidents where police officers point their weapons at people while performing their duties, the Chicago Police Department and other city officials appear to have fallen short of goals outlined in a federal consent decree guiding reform, the Tribune has found. […] But in a response to a FOIA filed by the Tribune seeking those records during the five-year window since CPD agreed to the more stringent disclosure requirement, OEMC first provided records that indicated just 12 incidents where officers had made such a notification. Later, the office provided a spreadsheet with nearly 17,000 rows listing “firearm-pointing incident reports,” or FPIR notifications, made since early 2019.

* Crain’s | Fitch lowers the University of Chicago’s financial outlook to negative: Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook on the University of Chicago to negative from stable as the school stares down a deficit of $239 million and rising debt. In its most recent review of the university’s finances, the credit rating agency said the revised outlook reflects current “operating pressures” expected to continue in the medium term. The school has a AA+ rating with Fitch, its second-highest score.

* Crain’s | Tempus, Chicago’s biotech darling, files to go public: Tempus’ database includes 7.7 million clinical records and is used by more than 7,000 physicians across hundreds of provider networks and more than 65% of all academic medical centers in the U.S., the filing shows. Tempus’ biggest customers include pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. Tempus generated total revenue of $320.7 million and $531.8 million in the years ended Dec. 31, 2022 and 2023, but also incurred net losses of $289.8 million and $214.1 million, respectively, the filing shows. As of March 31, Tempus had accumulated a deficit of $1.5 billion, according to the filing, and the company disclosed it anticipates needing to raise additional capital to fund existing operations, develop its platform and commercialize new products.

* CBS CHicago | Chicago’s Wild Mile transforms its river into a wildlife sanctuary: Despite what the naysayers may think, the Chicago River is currently in the best shape ever. Today, it is home to 105 species of life, proving that this intervention is working. Urban Rivers earned the Parker/Gentry award from the Field Museum this year for its groundbreaking work.

* Sun-Times | Summer program adds Saturday hours for teen drivers at Chicago area DMVs: When school’s out this summer, getting into the DMV is about to get easier for Chicago area teenagers and their parents. Ten driver services facilities will be opened on Saturdays exclusively for teen drivers applying for their first licenses and permits, under a new summer program announced Tuesday by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias.

* NBC Chicago | Construction progresses on new exhibits at the Shedd Aquarium. Here’s a sneak peek in photos: The projects began in 2023 as part of a $500-million-dollar makeover dubbed “experience evolution,” which the Shedd touted as the “most significant physical transformation of its lakeside home in recent history.” Situated in arguably the aquarium’s most prominent space - its iconic rotunda - will be the Water of Wonder. Guests will be able to experience the beauty and diversity of aquatic life by walking between towering saltwater and freshwater habitats, according to a news release from the Shedd. On one side, they’ll see vibrant and colorful corals, while a planted freshwater habitat will be visible on the other.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Tribune | Northwestern hazing accusers, ex-coach lawsuits consolidated for trial: Hazing lawsuits from five ex-Northwestern football players will go to trial jointly with the suit brought by former head coach Patrick Fitzgerald, a Cook County judge ruled Monday. Both sides accuse the university of wrongdoing from different angles: The ex-players say the school and Fitzgerald allowed a culture of abusive hazing, while Fitzgerald denies any knowledge of hazing and accuses the school of wrongfully firing him after the scandal broke last year. The consolidation could put Northwestern into a tricky spot, potentially having to argue that the school rightfully fired Fitzgerald because he should have known about hazing at the same time it defends itself against the ex-players’ claims that they were abused.

* Daily Herald | Libertyville, Vernon Hills teachers call for superintendent’s dismissal: The 293-member District 128 Federation of Teachers announced the vote Monday, saying Herrmann has created a “chaotic and hostile” work environment, forced key administrators to leave, fomented distrust among educators and has been unwilling to listen to teacher concerns.

* NBC Chicago | Stunning images show scope of cicada emergence in Chicago area: From close-up shots detailing the anatomy of a cicada to images of swarms emphasizing the massive scope, images showcased the cicada emergence beginning in the Chicago area and across Illinois. It’s a scene being reported across the city and suburbs as large amounts of cicadas emerge from the ground, with more expected in the coming days.

*** Downstate ***

* KSDK | Rural Illinois town losing its ambulance service: Signs that say “EMTs needed” line the front of the Village of New Athens ambulance service headquarters. However, that won’t be the case anymore, as the town’s service officially ends on June 2. […] Behnken said when the board increased wages to attract sufficient staffing; the mayor said the village started losing money. Since September, the New Athens Ambulance Service has lost over $180,000.

* SJ-R | Springfield’s oldest flower shop abruptly closes. Here’s what we know: Fifth Street Flower Shop at 739 S. 5th St. in downtown Springfield closed on May 17, according to owners Sara and Doug Camp, who announced the closure of the business on Monday. The couple cited personal and financial reasons for the abrupt closure. […] The shop had to stop taking orders from May 10 to May 12 due to a sheer volume of orders for Mother’s Day. On May 10, Camp said the store’s manager and designer, Nicki Shaub, quit on May 10, adding to staffing issues ahead of the holiday.

* WCIA | Elvis, a famous library, and Abe Lincoln: Looking back on Ridge Farm’s history ahead of 150-year celebration: Elvis Presley stopped into the Ridge Cafe, previously called “The Hut,” many times on his drives between Chicago and Memphis. “He went back to the corner and looked at the jukebox I sat by many times in grade school and high school, he looked at her [the waitress] and said ‘You don’t have any Elvis Presley records on here,’” Goodner described.

*** National ***

* Independent | The internet is disappearing, study says: The effect means that vast amounts of news and important reference content are disappearing. Some 23 per cent of news pages include at least one broken link, and 21 per cent of government websites, it said – and 54 per cent of Wikipedia pages include a link in their references that no longer exists. Much the same effect is happening on social media. A fifth of tweets disappear from the site within months of being posted.

* Bloomberg | U.S. to deploy more than $50 million to shield private hospitals from cyberattacks: While the attacks on UnitedHealth and Ascension have served as high-profile examples of the damage caused by cyber criminals, the US health-care sector is increasingly under duress. Over the past five years, there’s been a 256% increase in large breaches reported to HHS involving hacking and a 264% increase in ransomware. “It’s Ascension today, it’ll be somebody else tomorrow, or next week, or the week after that,” [HS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm] said.


  1. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 9:25 am:

    Re: “The internet is disappearing”

    Found this link a long time ago:

  2. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 9:27 am:

    The Wayback Machine:

  3. - Two Left Feet - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 9:30 am:

    “Block Club | Lost In Translation: Migrant Kids Struggle In Segregated Chicago Schools”

    Now consider the multiple languages for the students: Arabic, Dari, Russian, Ukrainian, etc. Yes, there is a requirement that has very good reasons, but from a practical standpoint the task is nearly impossible even with additional funding. Then even if the student is proficient in English, there may be a need for interpreters for parent-teacher conferences or translation services. Yes, there are imperfect software solutions. The school system just wasn’t designed for this volume at this pace. The students will miss out on opportunities before the system adjusts.

  4. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 9:54 am:

    ===hundreds of sexual assault cases died on the vine between the time they were reported to police and were adjudicated in court.===

    It would be nice to have an option for victims to have the option to hire a prosecutor to pursue criminal charges when the State’s Attorney drops charges or offers an overly generous plea deal.

  5. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 10:02 am:

    You go Rep Delgado.

    I haven’t watched the NBA in years.

    Women’s basketball is having its moment.

    The Chicago Red Stars line up includes Dansby Swanson’s
    wife Mallory.

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 11:14 am:

    ===Found this link a long time ago:===

    Except you need a link.

  7. - Amalia - Tuesday, May 21, 24 @ 12:26 pm:

    all those Nobel winners and U. of C. having $$$ problems. wild.

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