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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Paris Schutz of Fox Chicago

* Daily Herald

Illinois lawmakers including Rep. Nabeela Syed of Palatine and Rep. Dagmara Avelar of Romeoville joined consumer advocacy group Citizens Utility Board on Wednesday to call for legislative reforms designed to curb rates for customers of the state’s two private water utilities.

The proposals come as the utilities, Illinois American Water and Aqua Illinois, seek rate increases totaling $152.4 million and $19.2 million, respectively. The requests account for necessary investments such as replacing aging infrastructure, enhancing water quality and complying with local and federal environmental regulations, according to the utilities.

But with the companies estimating that the hikes would increase residential water service and wastewater bills by up to $29 a month, advocates say “frustration is mounting” among customers. […]

To address the concerns, proposed reforms include requiring shareholders — not customers — to cover the majority of costs when a private company buys a local water and wastewater system, and requiring local approval through a referendum before Illinois American or Aqua Illinois purchases a municipal system.

Under current state law, the utilities are allowed to charge their customers 100% of the cost for such acquisitions. Since 2013, the two companies have bought 59 systems totaling $402 million in acquisition costs that have been passed on to customers, according to a Citizens Utility Board analysis.

*** Statewide ***

* WTVO | 27 Illinois residents infected with dengue fever, CDC says: The CDC said 17 of the reported Illinois cases are in Cook County. More than 9.7 million cases of the disease have been reported this year, more than twice as many reported in 2023. […] There is currently no antiviral medication to treat dengue, but most cases subside within a week or two.

*** Chicago ***

* Sun-Times | Man who damaged Chicago abortion clinics gets a year of home confinement: Michael Barron, 42, told law enforcement that he hoped the damage he caused to the clinics in 2021 would prompt them to close even for a day — and perhaps interrupt a planned abortion. “I was like, you know, if I go over there and do something, you know I’m probably gonna get caught, but they might be closed for a day, you know,” Barron said in an interview, according to prosecutors. “And that might be some woman that has to cancel her appointment and, you know, second-guess her decision or something.” […] Prosecutors say he used a slingshot and metal ball bearings to damage the two clinics — in Logan Square and Rogers Park — on six occasions in May and June 2021. He damaged the glass in the windows and doors of the facilities, sometimes shattering the glass entirely.

* Sun-Times | Downtown motorists get reprieve from automated enforcement, but it won’t last: Downtown motorists have gotten an extended reprieve from the dramatic expansion of video surveillance and automated ticketing authorized by the City Council more than a year ago to make downtown streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. But it won’t last. Nor will the two-year test be shortened, simply because the program has been slow to get off the ground. In fact, it’s being strengthened. The Council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety agreed Wednesday to accommodate the bureaucratic delay by changing the end date of the downtown enforcement crackdown. It now will last until two years after the first ticket is issued — once the program starts.

* Press Release | Ameya Pawar Named Next CEO of Michael Reese Health Trust: “We are delighted to welcome Ameya to Michael Reese,” said Mally Rutkoff, Michael Reese board chair. “Through a national search with Koya Partners, Ameya stood out immediately, impressing us with his resourcefulness and time-tested ability to build coalitions and deliver impact. He brings to us a powerful and proven capability to further advance our work in grassroots and systems change. I can think of no one better to lead us through our next chapter as a public foundation and to further our impact as a leading voice in health equity in Chicago.” With fifteen years of experience in senior leadership positions across government, non-profit advocacy, think tanks, and the private sector, Pawar brings a steadfast commitment to social, economic, and racial justice, which provides a strong foundation for leading the strategic vision for Michael Reese’s long-term growth, impact in the community, and delivery of its mission. He was the first Asian and Indian American ever elected to the Chicago City Council and while in office, he focused legislative efforts around social justice, worker rights, and economic justice, including raising the city’s minimum wage, guaranteeing paid sick leave, and combatting wage theft. He also led over half a billion in economic development, including new affordable housing developments and improvements to neighborhood high schools.

* Tribune | Student barbers add reversing opioid overdoses to their list of skills: A social worker and nurse practitioner demonstrated how to administer Narcan nasal spray — a potentially life-saving treatment during an opioid overdose — to a classroom of more than a dozen barber college students on the city’s South Side on Tuesday. It was part of an initiative by Rush University Medical Center to help combat the opioid crisis in typically underserved communities.

* Tribune | Former Chicago marathon winner banned for doping and fake documents: Kenyan runner Lawrence Cherono, a former winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, has been banned for seven years for doping and trying to use fake documents to explain his failed drug test. Cherono tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine in 2022 and was suspended just before he was due to compete at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Herald | Audit reveals shortcomings that led to DuPage County cannabis tax snafu: DuPage County officials on Tuesday said they won’t risk losing millions in revenue again and will ensure proper paperwork is filed with the state — even if it means doing it themselves. The pledge came as county board members reviewed an internal audit outlining how a 2019 county ordinance establishing a 3% sales tax on all sales of recreational cannabis sales in municipal parts of the county was not initially filed with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

* Elgin Courier-News | Kane prosecutor says no details on fatal shooting by cop to be released till probe complete, which could ‘take a few months’: A person was killed Monday by an off-duty Kane County sheriff’s deputy in Elgin, but no details on the case other than when and where it occurred will be released pending an investigation, a news release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office said. […] As of Wednesday, the name, sex, age and address of the shooting victim have not been made public nor have the circumstances of what led to shooting, the name of the deputy involved, how many shots were fired, if anyone else was involved or if the deputy has been placed on administrative leave.

*** Downstate ***

* SJ-R | How many police calls were made to 3 a.m. Springfield bars since 2022? We break down the data: In a crowded city council chamber last month, Clique bar co-owner Josh Delcour spoke against an amendment for 3 a.m. bars to close two hours earlier. Delcour said 40 to 55 percent of the bar’s revenue is made from 1 to 3 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The amendment to chapter 90, article III of the 1988 city code passed on June 18 in an 8-2 vote, ending liquor sales for all bars at 2 a.m. at the price of $100 more annually to operate. […] Over 300 calls were made across the five bars in two and a half years, close to a call every 3 days.

* WSIL | Imagination Library sees over 4,000 registrations on day one: Over 4,000 local children will soon receive books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The library officially kicked off in our region on Tuesday. On that day alone, the Southern Illinois Community Foundation reports over 4,000 families signed up their children for the program.

*** National ***

* Federal Trade Commission | FTC Releases Interim Staff Report on Prescription Drug Middlemen: “The FTC’s interim report lays out how dominant pharmacy benefit managers can hike the cost of drugs—including overcharging patients for cancer drugs,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “The report also details how PBMs can squeeze independent pharmacies that many Americans—especially those in rural communities—depend on for essential care. The FTC will continue to use all our tools and authorities to scrutinize dominant players across healthcare markets and ensure that Americans can access affordable healthcare.”


  1. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Jul 10, 24 @ 3:09 pm:

    It’s great to see the private sector fund efforts to reduce crime in Chicago…

    “(Bloomberg) — Chicago business leaders, wealthy families and philanthropic organizations have raised $100 million to help fight crime, an announcement that comes days after a violent holiday weekend”

  2. - Alton Sinkhole - Wednesday, Jul 10, 24 @ 4:30 pm:

    Pawar collects jobs like some collect baseball cards.

  3. - Protocol Droid - Wednesday, Jul 10, 24 @ 5:03 pm:

    Is the DuPage County Board looking for a cookie for finally stepping up and taking responsibility for making sure that their own paperwork is properly filed?

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