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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Sportshandle

The Illinois Gaming Board reported nearly $92 million in adjusted gross sports betting revenue for April on Thursday, while handle topped $1 billion for the eighth consecutive month.

Operator winnings were up 2.7% from April 2023, which lagged behind the 22.8% surge in handle to $1.1 billion. Last year’s hold was just shy of 10% compared to this year’s 8.3% win rate. Handle dipped 12.7% compared to March’s $1.26 billion, while revenue was 7.5% lower.

Illinois became the fourth state along with New Jersey, New York, and Nevada to surpass $35 billion in handle in the post-PASPA era. April marked the 13th time the Prairie State reached $1 billion in monthly wagers, trailing only New York (26) and New Jersey (19).

* Injustice Watch

Eighteen people died while incarcerated at the jail in 2023, the most deaths at the jail since 2013, when the daily population was twice as high. It marked the jail’s highest mortality rate since at least 1995, according to an Injustice Watch analysis of public records and historical jail death figures compiled by University of Illinois researchers.

A review of thousands of pages of internal jail records, police investigations, and autopsy reports found inadequate supervision and medical care preceded at least half of those deaths, almost all of which have gone unpunished.

There was the 26-year-old with an undiagnosed brain tumor whose repeated complaints about severe headaches were ignored; the 28-year-old whom officers failed to check on for more than an hour only to end up brutally murdered by his cellmate; and the 33-year-old found hanging in his cell while the understaffed jail’s medical wing personnel failed to check on detainees every half-hour as required.

Sheriff Tom Dart — who’s overseen the jail for close to two decades — failed to properly inform state regulators and the deceased’s family members of the troubling circumstances behind the deaths in his custody, despite Illinois law requiring his office to provide them with those answers.

*** Statehouse News ***

* Pantagraph | Two Illinois journalism bills made it to Pritzker’s desk, with one already signed into law: One measure that made it into the state’s budget package involves tax credits to local news organizations that are not publicly traded and have no more than 5% ownership by a publicly traded company. House Bill 4951, the revenue bill in that package, passed through both chambers around Memorial Day and was signed into law by Pritzker on June 7.

*** Statewide ***

* WMBD | Illinois Secretary of State’s Office Mobile DMV offering service on the go: According to Giannoulias, the first electric-powered mobile DMV will launch later this month in Chicago, with three more coming later this summer that will hold events around the state. “Since taking office, it’s been our mission to make it easier and more convenient for Illinois residents to access government services without having to wait or travel to a DMV facility,” Giannoulias said. “Our DMV on Wheels program will build on the success of our digital programs, saving time by offering efficient ways to do things like renew your driver’s license or get a vehicle sticker without leaving their communities.”

* WTTW | Cicada-Induced Vitamin Deficiency Linked to Mystery Disease in Illinois Birds: The current theory is that baby birds are harder hit by the lack of vitamin A because they have a higher need for it and lower body storage than adults. But there’s no rhyme or reason regarding why the affected species are almost exclusively blue jays, grackles, starlings, cowbirds and sparrows, Reich said. The good news is that with the threat of infectious disease off the table, the sick birds can be treated rather than euthanized. A number of birds have turned around after being given vitamin A and eye medications, Reich said. So far, more than 50 birds have been brought to the center with telltale symptoms.

*** Chicago ***

* Tribune | Rule curtailing lobbyist donations to Chicago mayors stalled amid Johnson pushback: The ordinance to fine or suspend lobbyists who make contributions to a mayoral candidate’s political fund was blocked by two aldermen during a City Council meeting via a parliamentary tactic. The legislation, crafted in an apparent rebuke of how Johnson handled lobbyist donations his political committee received, could come up for a vote at the next council meeting.

* NBC Chicago | Bally’s says it’s on track for Chicago casino despite Johnson comments: A spokesperson for Bally’s said plans for a permanent Chicago casino in the River West neighborhood are still on track despite comments by Mayor Brandon Johnson this week published in the Chicago Sun-Times. In that interview, the editorial board asked the mayor if he believes the permanent casino will ultimately be built. Johnson was noncommittal, saying that was “still to be determined.”

* Block Club | Bronzeville Was Promised A Grocery Store. 6 Years Later, The Land Is Still Empty: A plan to build a Pete’s Fresh Market dates to 2018. Ald. Pat Dowell says it’s still “under consideration,” but the Mayor’s Office, a developer attached to the project and the grocer won’t say if they are still committed to the store.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Sun-Times | Lawyer was handcuffed to chair after Cook County judge ordered him removed from courtroom, sparking state inquiry: A lawyer at a top Chicago law firm was handcuffed to a chair after a judge ordered him removed from her courtroom last month, touching off an inquiry by the state’s judicial oversight agency. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans signed an order Friday referring misconduct accusations against Judge Kathy Flanagan to the Judicial Inquiry Board, which will decide whether to file charges. Flanagan is the acting presiding judge of the Law Division.

* Daily Herald | ‘This plan is completely unnecessary’: Kane County OKs climate action plan over objections from some board members: But at least nine members disagreed and voted against it on Tuesday. Board member David Young was the most vocal critic, detailing at least 20 statements or goals in the 144-page plan with which he disagreed. […] The vote was 13-10 in favor.

* Daily Southtown | Harvey residents, business owners protest fines, water rates and withholding of business licenses: Business owners said their licenses were not being issued if they did not pay at least $2,500 in fines for delinquent property taxes, pastors were outraged over a Harvey law requiring churches to obtain business licenses and residents protested a water rate hike. Protesters marched from Transformation Community United Methodist Church to the municipal building before the monthly City Council meeting.

* Lake County News-Sun | Zion, school districts at odds over how to divide $330M in compensation funds; ‘We … regret we trusted everybody to do what we agreed to do’: A provision of Illinois’ 2021 Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) designed to provide relief to Zion taxpayers now has the intended beneficiaries fighting for what they believe is their fair share of about $330 million in environmental compensation over the next 22 years. State Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, who crafted the part of the law affecting Zion, said figuring out how to compensate those who sustained economic losses after the Zion Nuclear Power Station closed in 1998, leaving the fuel rods buried there, was complicated.

* Shaw Local | Prosecutors seek to revoke ex-Joliet housing official’s pretrial release: Prosecutors are requesting a former Joliet housing official return to jail over allegations that he violated the conditions of his pretrial release in two felony drug cases. On Tuesday, prosecutors filed a petition to revoke the pretrial release of Robert Hernandez, 62, of Joliet, who was arrested twice earlier this year on felony drug charges. Hernandez is a former commissioner for the Housing Authority of Joliet.

*** Downstate ***

* Daily Journal | Judge releases Shapiro defendant following detention hearing: A Shapiro Developmental Center employee charged with battering a resident last year was released Monday from jail. Natalie J. Rose, of Gilman, was released following a detention hearing before Circuit Judge William Dickenson. […] Rose must report to pretrial services, wear GPS monitoring devices and have no contact with Shapiro Developmental Center, the victim or a witness.

* WAND | Helping Paws reunites Logan Correctional Center inmates with mobility service dogs they trained: Helping Paws, an Illinois Correctional Industries Program at Logan Correctional reunited women in custody with mobility service dogs they trained. “They put so much time and energy into training the dogs, so it’s really neat to bring them back together,” said Michelle Yuen, Director of Animal Intake and Care for Paws Giving Independence.

*** Sports ***

* Tribune | Chicago Red Stars forced to move Sept. 21 match because of Riot Fest relocation to SeatGeek Stadium: ‘It is unfair and unfortunate’: The Red Stars have played at SeatGeek since 2016. The stadium’s distance from the city center and lack of transit access have been key points of criticism for the franchise as the team continues to slip behind competitors in fan attendance. The Chicago Fire in 2019 paid more than $60 million to leave SeatGeek for Soldier Field. The Red Stars’ SeatGeek lease will expire at the end of 2025. New ownership helmed by Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts has made it clear that relocating the franchise to a stadium inside the city limits is a driving goal for the organization.

* Lake County News-Sun | Chicago Bears training camp to feature 9 public sessions at Halas Hall in Lake Forest: Specific times will be announced later, according to a team spokesman, who cautioned the times and dates of individual sessions can be changed with little notice. In 2023, attendance ranged between 1,300-1,700 people during every public training camp session, according to the team. However, while intense interest is expected this year due to the presence of Williams, the top pick in the 2024 NFL draft, capacity will remain limited to 1,700 people per session.

*** National ***

* WaPo | Hundreds of police have sexually abused kids. How do they avoid prison time?: Child sex crimes are among the most difficult cases to investigate and prosecute. Kids are often frightened and embarrassed. They may have been groomed to feel protective of those accused of exploiting them — or may fear for their safety if they admit what has happened. The hurdles are even higher when the abusers are members of law enforcement wielding the power of their badges and guns. The Post identified dozens of officers who were charged with trying to thwart investigations, destroy evidence or intimidate victims and their families.

* Prospect | Administration Playing From Behind on Domestic Solar Production: Last Friday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) voted unanimously to advance investigations of solar imports from Chinese-headquartered companies in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, stating that “there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured” by the shipments. Though the Southeast Asian companies claim to engage in actual manufacturing at these sites, U.S. solar manufacturers allege that Chinese components are merely routed through there to avoid tariffs and restrictions.


  1. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Jun 12, 24 @ 3:56 pm:

    ==* Sportshandle…==

    So it turns out the sports betting companies aren’t about to go out of business lol.

  2. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jun 12, 24 @ 4:18 pm:

    “Eighteen people died while incarcerated at the jail in 2023, the most deaths at the jail since 2013, when the daily population was twice as high.”

    Tom Dart’s ability run the county jail without any of its many scandals sticking to him is a phenomenon that would baffle even our nation’s greatest political scientists.

    – MrJM

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