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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Jun 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Businesses closed into next week after fire on East Adams Street in Springfield. SJ-R

    - The 400 block of East Adams will remain closed indefinitely until remains of the building are demolished, final demo is set for Tuesday.
    - The cause of the fire is still undetermined.
    - All businesses – save for Buzz Bomb Brewing Co which has a separate side entrance – will be closed for the following week at least for the building’s demolition.

* Related stories…

The fire also left an IMA employee without a home or belongings. Click here for her GoFundMe.

* Jake Lewis

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* Sun-Times | Illinois a blue haven for gender affirming care, but LGBTQ+ advocates say housing, safety still a concern: An effort is also underway to waive or minimize filing fees for transgender people as they request a legal name change — and allow the petitioner to request that a court seal the name change if public disclosure may harm their health or safety. The bill is aimed at protecting other vulnerable populations, including survivors of violence and refugees. Legislation stalled in the Illinois Senate this spring. “Obviously, we have to think about the whole state. And here in Chicago, you can live relatively anonymously. But, you’re living in a small town and you have to publish in your local newspaper that you’re transitioning, that’s going to put you at significant risk,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago.

* The Atlantic | The Truth About America’s Most Common Surgery: Despite the C-section being the country’s most common surgery, many expectant parents are not encouraged to seek out information about the specifics. This leaves mothers poorly equipped for the procedure’s aftermath, especially when the surgery is unplanned. At the beginning of the book, Somerstein recounts her own emergency C-section, during which the anesthesia failed and the obstetric staff disregarded her anguish. “I felt it all: the separation of my rectus muscles; the scissors used to move my bladder; the scalpel, with which he ‘incised’ my uterus,” she writes. “Yet the operation continued. I was expected to bear the pain.” Invisible Labor follows her search for context about this traumatic experience, and her desire to understand why women’s pain is so often treated as psychological rather than physiological.

* WaPo | Reggie Jackson shares searing stories of racism at Negro Leagues tribute: As a young member of the Athletics’ organization in 1967, just before the major league club moved from Kansas City to Oakland, Jackson played for Birmingham at Rickwood Field and other ballparks in the South. On Thursday, he said returning to Birmingham was “not easy.” “The racism, when I played here, the difficulty of going through different places where we traveled — fortunately, I had a manager and I had players on the team who helped me get through it,” he said.

*** Statewide ***

* Daily Herald | State Republican Party chair quits, Del Mar hopes to fill void: Palatine Republican and former lieutenant governor candidate Aaron Del Mar announced Thursday he will seek the chairman’s job. “Moving forward, if my peers believe in me and give me the opportunity to lead this party, the Democrats better be ready. I’m no milquetoast,” said Del Mar, a State Central Committee member.

* WGEM | SkillsUSA Illinois leader excited about funding increase for career and technical education: Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in Illinois are getting a boost new state budget. The fiscal year 2025 budget will invest $58 million in CTE programs, a $10.3 million increase. […] SkillsUSA Illinois Executive Director Eric Hill said the money will allow it to expand in underserved rural areas and connect more students with real-world learning experiences.

* AGRINEWS | Illinois Soybean Association celebrating 60 seasons of success: The Illinois Soybean Association will observe its 60th anniversary with special events and commemorations throughout the year. Over those six decades, ISA has worked, in tandem with farmers and industry, to help Illinois’ soybean farmers grow better soybeans and find new markets for their products.

*** Chicago ***

* ABC Chicago | Democratic National Convention officials tour LGBTQ+ businesses ahead of Chicago DNC: “Part of our job as a hosting is to make sure that that is equitably distributed, especially to growing businesses,” DNC Senior Director of Community and Civic Engagement Mo Green said. Side Track, a bar that has been welcoming the LGBTQ+ community for over four decade, is ready.

* Sun-Times | Pilsen ‘serial polluter’ Sims Metal should not get city permit, groups say: Ahead of a community meeting Friday night, multiple organizations are warning Chicago’s public health department that Sims Metal Management should not receive a new permit because it hasn’t yet built and tested pollution controls required after a state lawsuit. In addition to the pollution controls, some community members are asking for a health impact study that would take into account other sources in the area that contribute to poor air quality.

* Sun-Times | White Sox lose for 15th time after leading in seventh inning:
“We let one get away from us,” manager Pedro Grifol said. So it goes for the Sox, who fell to a major-league-worst 20-56 despite six innings of one-run ball from Flexen and RBI from Luis Robert Jr. (double), Andrew Vaughn (single) and Andrew Benintendi (sacrifice fly) against Spencer Arrighetti in the fifth inning.

* Sun-Times | Angel Reese makes WNBA history as first rookie with seven consecutive double doubles: On Thursday, as the Sky (5-9) snapped their four-game losing streak with an 83-72 victory over the Wings, Reese made history with her seventh consecutive double-double. It’s the longest double-double streak by a rookie in WNBA history and the third-longest streak by any player. With it comes a message: Not only is Reese’s game translating just fine, but she’s proving to be the biggest steal of the draft, with a very strong case for Rookie of the Year developing.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Herald | ‘This is not a moment of pride for anybody’: McHenry County Board scales back Pride Month resolution: The scaled-back version includes language such as “Pride Month offers a unique and significant opportunity to affirm and uphold the rights of all to freedom of choice in sexual orientation” and “Pride Month further upholds the ideal that LGBTQ+ residents of McHenry County, as all residents, have the right to live their lives with freedom from fear of harassment; exclusion; educational, housing or employment bias.” The original proclamation included language referencing LGBTQ people serving in government and the military, as well as those who are “forced to hide their identities and live in secrecy and fear due to the criminalization of their relationships,” among other things.

* Daily Southtown | Will County Board members question vote on Pride month resolution: The Will County Board voted Thursday to approve a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, but not before some board members questioned why the proclamation was on the agenda. “I would like to know where’s the representation for the traditional family,” said Julie Berkowicz, a Republican from Naperville, who was one of two Republicans questioning why the board was voting on the Pride proclamation.

* Lake County News-Sun | Robert Crimo III expected to change not guilty plea in Highland Park July 4th mass shooting: Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart confirmed Thursday night that Crimo, who had pleaded not guilty to 117 felony counts, is expected to change his plea at a Wednesday hearing before Judge Victoria Rossetti. Rinehart declined to discuss specifics of the plea change, other than making a brief statement. “We have been continuing to work with victims and survivors as the situation develops,” he said.

* ABC Chicago | Rescheduled Thornton Township meeting devolves into chaos as residents complain to Tiffany Henyard: As public comment began, people were upset initially over the amount of time allotted for public comment. “This has got to stop,” a resident said. “Stop shutting down the voice of the people, and you won’t have a problem, because we are going to speak whether you want us to speak or not.”

* The Root | All The Alleged Schemes, Scandals and Shenanigans That Keep This Chicago-Area ‘Super Mayor’ In The News: On top of a recent lawsuit from a previous employee claiming wrongful termination for refusing to aid in her alleged “political schemes,” Henyard’s reputation has been smacked left and right by claims of corruption. She’s denied most if not all of the claims stacked against her, claiming she’s got receipts to prove “fact over fiction.” If you want to keep track of the legal battle, here’s 15 allegations Henyard is going up against.

* Sun-Times | Michelle Mbekeani leaving Cook County state’s attorney’s office 6 months after taking new role: The website,, also drew the ire of a judge at the courthouse, who believed her involvement with the organization conflicted with her role in the prosecutor’s office. Judge Michael McHale ordered Mbekeani banned from his courtroom in January after holding a conflicts hearing in the case of Dante Brown, who is fighting to overturn his double murder conviction. She told the judge the website was a “class project” and “not a real business,” according to the judge’s order. When McHale learned that Mbekeani had registered the business with the Illinois secretary of state and asked her to explain, he said he found her answers “duplicitous, incomplete, evasive and untruthful.”

*** Downstate ***

* Door County Pulse | Craig Blietz Painting Hangs in the Illinois Governor’s Mansion: A call from an architect friend in Chicago made Door County artist Craig Blietz aware that a painting of his was featured on the opening page of a book by M.K. Pritzker, wife of Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker. “My friend received the book as a present from his wife and had no idea anything of mine was in there,” Blietz said.

*** National ***

* ProPublica | How a Network of Nonprofits Enriches Fundraisers While Spending Almost Nothing on Its Stated Causes: ProPublica identified a group of connected political nonprofits — with names like American Breast Cancer Coalition and National Coalition for Disabled Veterans — that appear to be funneling more than 90% of donations to fundraisers.

* ABC Chicago | Why millions of student loan borrowers will have lower payments starting in July: For most borrowers, the SAVE plan requires a lower monthly payment than other federal student loan repayment plans, and it cancels student debt for some borrowers after they make as few as 10 years of payments. More than 8 million people have enrolled in the SAVE plan to date.


  1. - Steve Polite - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 9:28 am:

    “the Democrats better be ready.”

    Rather than always attacking the Democratic Party, Illinois Republicans need to be more concerned with creating a platform that resonates with a majority of Illinois voters. Their current platform positions aren’t working.

  2. - Leslie K - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 9:47 am:

    Still trying to process the Adams St fire. Prayers to all in the recovery

  3. - Aaron B - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 2:28 pm:

    Maybe Shotspotter isn’t the right tech for the largest cities but can help in smaller cities? It was reported in The Daily Journal on 6/19/24 in the article titled “Curtis, Kidwell and alderman comment on recent shootings” that the Chief of Police believes that the tech is helpful to the officers in conjunction with the cameras in the city which allows them to track suspects/cars through the city. It definitely makes logical sense to me that it might be more effective in smaller cities versus the largest cities like Chicago.

  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 2:30 pm:

    ===the Chief of Police believes that the tech is helpful ====

    Chicago’s police superintendent believes the same thing. So, citing that chief really doesn’t mean much.

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