Today’s headlines — Saturday, Dec. 14

College friends Pavan Bapu and Jeff Parrish were walking through Wicker Park when they passed an antique store and saw a 1920s Magnavox R3 gramophone in the window. “We both did a double take,” said Parrish, 28. “We ended up tracking them down on eBay and bought one to play around with it.” The result is the Gramovox, a Bluetooth receiver within a sleek wooden base, attached to the gramophone
The charitable arm of the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet is ending 2013 on a high note, with nearly $350,000 in donations to local charities. The funds were distributed to local charities through the Speedway, Route 66 Raceway and the Speedway’s concession partner, Levy Restaurants. The businesses’ foundation, RACE, donated $30,000 alone in grants to six area charities at a luncheon Tuesday.
It doesn’t look like there’s much hope for Ag giant ADM getting a tax break and that’s okay with Republican State Senator Kyle McCarter of Lebanon. Republicans have been calling for a more fair tax climate in Illinois for several years.  They say…
Chicago transit officials are on the lookout for artists to create public works of art for three rail stations along the Blue Line.
River otters have made one of the biggest comebacks in the state’s endangered species history. Their ranks have gone from only 100 in pockets of extreme southern and western Illinois in the late 1970s to 15,000-plus statewide today. DANVILLE — As a sixth grader in 1997, Josh Gabehart opened one of the pens that held 15 river otters being released at Kennekuk County Park in an effort to reint
The latest round of snow started falling in the Chicago region last night and continued Saturday morning.
Follow me @RepChrisWelch and help me hit 700 followers.
Great week of campaigning. Very optimistic about our future. Thanks for all the feedback – even the negative stuff – I’m learning!
ILGA — House Bills in Senate.pdf 
ILGA — Senate Bills in House.pdf 
I’ve always been fascinated by ComEd’s faux buildings, hiding substations. Digg highlighted this story. 
Illinois State typhoon tees fundraiser collects 5,800 shirts for Philippines 
Attorney General Lisa Madigan Monday sued the founder of a South Side human services provider in a bid to collect more than $8 million in state funds allegedly misspent on sports tickets, trips, concerts and payments to himself and a former Illinois legislator.
Chicago Daily Herald – Found 1 hour ago… is Bruce Rauner. While it may be even before the Republican primaries, I have been researching this race extensively, and believe Rauner is by…
Very happy to join the Village of South Jacksonville at a well-attended Christmas Party. #MerryChristmas Davidsmeyer (@RepCD) posted a photo on Twitterpic.twitter.comGet the whole picture – and other photos from C.D. Davidsmeyer
Will Co Government League’s Holiday reception in Joliet
On this snowy Friday night, how about this cool Flashback Friday photo of downtown Naperville? Stay warm, everyone! Timeline PhotosFlashback Friday time! Shopping in snowy downtown Naperville in a one-horse open sleigh…
In response to today’s published remarks by House Speaker Mike Madigan, State Representative Tom Morrison has issued the following statement: “I find Speaker Madigan’s sudden concern for the taxpayers of Illinois to be very interesting. This is the man who, through absolute control of the Illinois House of Representatives for 28 years, has done nothing but overburden Illinois taxpayers. “Mike Madi
Quad City Times December 13, 2013 Kurt Erickson Times Bureau SPRINGFIELD — Illinoisans soon will be able to apply for permits to carry loaded weapons in public, but the application process will be online only. read more
CENTRALIA… The Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) toured the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center and two local Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA’s) with State Representatives Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and John Cavaletto (R-Salem).  Meier and Cavaletto have been fighting continuously to save Murray Center since it was announced that the Governor planned
In their training, teachers and staff in O’Fallon School District 90 have faced the sound of gunfire and plain clothed officers showing up unannounced to put new …
This Illinois school with a bullet-resistant window is one of several trying to balance safety with normality.
Appeals court vacates ban on US horse slaughterKSDKAssociated Press 8:50 p.m. EST December 13, 2013. gavel generic. A southwestern Illinois township will pay $60,000 to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed it charged a nonprofit group quadruple what it normally collects to install a sewer hook-up …
Philip Laible, Argonne National Laboratory: endurance bioenergy reactor. An endurance bioenergy reactor. Huh? Most of us have seen one — in a movie.
Endorsements made in GOP raceNorthwest Herald“McHenry County is pretty important – we’re always on the list for potential candidates to visit,” county Republican Party Chairman Mike Tryon said. But unlike other Republican-heavy areas like DuPage County and suburban Cook County townships, McHenry …
A recent letter suggests that the Tollway is behaving “negligently” by taking a measured approach to the new Illinois speed limit law. We appreciate the author’s …
National Catholic RegisterBishop Paprocki Defends Faith and Family in the Land of LincolnNational Catholic RegisterOn Nov. 20, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed same-sex “marriage” into law using President Abraham Lincoln’s desk and incorrectly citing Pope Francis. Simultaneously, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., performed a minor exorcism at the Cathedral …
candidacy: Matt Donkin has announced his intention to run for the role of superintendent for the newly drawn Regional Office of Education No. 21. As part of the …
Pat Quinn’s Office of Early Childhood Development, which was created in 2009, blamed the economic downturn for the funding decline. But she said Illinois …
Illinois was affected by a line of twisters that passed through our State on Sunday, … CCL website overview at
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Ottawa Friendship House are collaborating on the Let’s Go to Work! program that provides employment in a …
Local lawmakers divided on federal budget dealChicago Daily HeraldRandy Hultgren of Winfield, are still reviewing the proposal. Some conservative groups have criticized the plan for not dealing with the country’s debt in a more substantive way. And some Democrats could keep looking for action on unemployment benefits.
A Kirk Dillard spokesmen had the following response to Illinois Review’s article referencing the Champion News article about Dillard donating to Barack Obama.
Some residents assembled at a recent Kaneland School District 302 Board meeting applauded when board member Tony Valente strongly criticized fellow board members for what he said was a “tax to the limit” mentality. But it’s unfortunate that Valente’s continued comments throughout the night veered off topic, distracting from a vital conversation that affects so many in the community.
Unfortunately, when the fracking bill was negotiated in Illinois, and when the law was to be interpreted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, …
Fogarty, the attorney, returned a phone call two days after the Morris Daily Herald made an initial call earlier this week, but did not immediately return a call …
After a lifetime of accomplishment in education and politics, Bob Kustra was confronted this week with one of the biggest jobs a college president can face these days — hiring a football coach.   Sometimes the man meets the moment, and Bob Kustra hopes this is one of those occasions. After a lifetime of accomplishment in education and politics, Kustra was confronted this week with one of the
The U.S. Postal Service in Chicago plans to deliver packages on the two Sundays before Christmas to make sure packages arrive on time for the holiday.
Alsip factory closing to eliminate 480 jobsSouthtownStarBy Mike Nolan December 12, 2013 10:12PM. An aerial view Berry Plastics plant Alsip thwill be closed costing 480 workers their jobs. An aerial view of the Berry Plastics plant in Alsip that will be closed, costing 480 workers …
Belleville fire chief to retire in FebruaryKSDKBELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – The fire chief of southwestern Illinois’ Belleville is retiring after nearly three decades with the department. The Belleville News-Democrat ( says 53-year-old Scott Lanxon will step down Feb. 3, having …
Ex-Gov. Ryan to speak on Mandela at Cong. Rush’s church 
CENTRALIA… The Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) toured the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center and two local Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA’s) with State Representatives Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and John Cavaletto (R-Salem).  Meier and Cavaletto have been fighting continuously to save Murray Center since it was announced that the Governor planned
Pat Quinn’s office, but the no-paper philosophy has not yet changed. Officials expect as many as 400,000 people to apply for the new weapons permits.
Stopped by the Heartland Techical Academy at Richland Community College today in Decatur. Great interview with… 
Today I spoke w/ @MaryAnnAhernNBC on @OfficeMax & @officedepot merge/move to Florida. It’s time to #makeILworkagain!
I toured the Almost Home Kids facility today. A BIG thank you to Deborah Grisko and all of her talented and… 
What a privilege it was touring Almost Home Kids today! A special place where special children are cared for by… 
Thank you to Diane & Larry Watters for opening up your beautiful home & hosting a fantastic meet & greet for me!
The Bartlett village tax levy, approved recently by the village board, will drop 5 percent, or $500,000, to $9,390,955. The portion of the levy going to the general corporate fund and for police pensions fell 7.67 percent, while the portion going to debt service rose somewhat, Village Administrator Valerie Salmons said at a public hearing last month on the levy.
Journalists hear frequently from colleges and universities touting the resident experts in their stables. They know that reporters like to punch up stories with the tony pronouncements of a genuine scholar.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
The governor collected more than $70,000 in uncashed paychecks held since last summer by Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka at his request in a move originally …
CICERO – Cicero power users started getting smarter by the minute this month as ComEd began the installation of its new smart meters as part of a 10-year, $2.6 billion grid modernization program.
Chicago Sun-Times – Found 31 minutes agoSun-Times story: “Pension Vote Pleases Wall Street.” It is ironic when wealthy local politicos like Bruce Rauner — he owns nine homes…
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Geneseo, Ill., native Bradley Rink still remembers the words, “Mr. Mandela will see you now.”
To help increase community awareness about the dangers of drugs, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, hosted a panel discussion with the Illinois State Police and several local organizations on Thursday that drew many area residents and focused on
Local school districts are having a hard time planning ahead with little indication on how much money they will get from the state this coming year.This past year the state was only able to hand out 89% of the money each district was entitled to. And as government officials warn this coming year that percentage could be even lower local school officials are scratching their heads coming up with wa
Mayor Emanuel told FOX 32 News he’s still hopeful that one of Illinois’s largest corporations will move its headquarters to Chicago, rather than other cities it’s considering.
Miller: Big money pours into Rauner campaign, thanks to rich palsJoliet Herald NewsRon Gidwitz, long known in GOP circles for being the gateway to big-time cash from the wealthy, has fully joined in with Rauner, as has the richest man in Illinois, Ken Griffin. Gidwitz was with state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, in the 2010 …
Looking forward to celebrating Mary Todd Lincoln’s 195th birthday tonight. It’s gonna be insane …
The village of Niles found Green Bliss clinic did not have proper zoning for doctors to see patients seeking medical marijuana. It’s looking to relocate in Niles or Morton Grove, reports say.
The following is a press release from the office of State Representative Carol Sente with details regarding a recent interfaith meeting with local religious leaders.
Severson filed for the GOP nomination along with John Anthony, of Joliet, who was appointed to Pam Roth’s vacated House seat in August. Severson filed his …
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The presidential search committee for Southern Illinois University hopes to have a list of candidates to bring to the university’s board …
Former gov’s shot at getting out of jail RT @Msjournalist: Audio transcript of Blagojevich appeal hearing/ 12/13/2010 
Missed a verb in first tweet 🙂 RT .@GovernorQuinn DROPS his lawsuit vs.legislative leaders before #IL Sup. Court. over leg. pay veto
A look at weird crime in the Chicago area this week.
Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Robert F. Flider was at Kaskaskia College to formally sign documents that turned over the building that formerly housed the state’s animal disease lab, located on the College’s main campus, to KC. The College plans to utilize the 48,000 square foot structure to house KC’s expanding Agriculture program.
Firefighters this afternoon were on the scene of at least two explosions at a chemical plant on the border between Alsip and Blue Island that resulted in at least …
EDITORIAL: Leave it to Illinois to be a Yuletide buzz kill. If you are one of the few lucky techsters to be given that new Google Glass invention for the holidays, the Legislature is aiming to stop you.
* Keeeeeeeeffff!!!!…. All I want for Christmas is a Rock and Roll electric guitar
* 4:30 pm – The governor’s office informs me that Gov. Pat Quinn has dropped his appeal of the legislative pay lawsuit and has accepted his paychecks. Quinn was appealing an unfavorable lower court ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court. Quinn had vetoed legislative salaries from the state budget, saying members shouldn’t be paid until […]
Chicago Public Schools on Friday publicly released the proposals for six new charter schools. Two of the proposed charters would be opened on the Northwest Side and one would be opened on the South Side, according to community members who have reviewed the proposals. Details for the other three were not immediately available. “I encourage all of our stakeholders to take the time to review the
Caroling at Laurie Children’s Hospital with my talented colleagues. Robert Martwick for State Representative & Rep Dan Burke. Thanks for the invite to sing
I’m hosting a meet & greet at The Scrumptious Pantry tomorrow – Saturday, Dec. 14th and awarding the 39th District Homegrown Business of the Month Award from 11am – 12:00pm. Join us
At the last Edwardsville Township Board meeting, Trustees unanimously approved the formalization of Edwardsville Township’s General Assistance and Emergency Assistance Programs to meet the guidelines
Former treasurer bound for 30 months in prison
Houston taps former Bloomington city attorney for Springfield job Personnel File Misc. Entertainment Judges hear arguments in Blagojevich appeal Houston taps former Bloomington city attorney for Springfield job Judges hear arguments in Blagojevich appeal Weather-related high school sports postponements Hillsboro wins 7th-grade girls basketball state title Weather-related high sc
Prosecutor moves to cut off pension benefitsAlton TelegraphIllinois Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, has introduced a bill to cut off pension benefits as soon as public officials are convicted instead of when they are sentenced. Bathon’s guilty plea Feb. 5 was a conviction, so under Kay’s bill he would have …
Ahern: Beverly business allows women to express their sexualitySouthtownStarSydney Seymour manages the Bombshell Movement Studio in the Beverly community of Chicago. The studio teaches woman pole and lap dancing as a way to improve their self-esteem and embrace their femininity. Patti Ahern ~ For Sun-Times Media.
CHICAGO, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For Illinoisans needing access to affordable healthcare, 2013 has been a good year –the federal …
With five days left before Monday’s auction of the NBA Hall of Famer’s Highland Park home, take a tour of the former Chicago Bull star’s abode.
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by officials from the University of Illinois and UI LABS to launch the Illinois Manufacturing Lab (IML) – a key initiative to increase the competitiveness, productivity and profitability of Illinois’ manufacturers. Proposed by the Governor in his 2013 State of the State address, the IML is launching its initial efforts today with pilot projects at ten
Sending best wishes to Bob Murray and his family. Bob Murray leaving WTAX; health concerns Murray, a veteran broadcaster who has been with WTAX-AM in Springfield since 2003, is leaving his job due to health concerns, according to a station official.“Bob is truly the epitome of the best in the business — hard worker, a pleasure to work with,” said Alex Degman, news director/bra
The CTA on Friday said Ventra performance — including wait times at its call … of “legacy” cards, like disposable cards, Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus, has …
San Francisco ChronicleBlago hearing focuses on what’s legal politicsWJTVCHICAGO (AP) – U.S. appeals court judges considering an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich focused their questions during oral arguments Friday on what constitutes run-of-the-mill politics and what crosses into political corruption.Judges hear arguments in Blagojevich appealJudges to hear arguments in B
CHICAGO – If you’re a Republican that lives in Cook County and would like a say in how the Cook County GOP will endorse for next March’s GOP primary, you have just a few more days. Cook County GOP Chairman…
* Heh… UPDATE x1: Dillard’s attendance at Obama’s 2009 inauguration stirs controversy UPDATE x1: This story has generated a surprising amount of reaction. Rich Miller at CapitolFax thought the accusation about Dillard attending the 2009 Obama inauguration was the “pot calling the kettle black” given Rauner’s history of contributions to Democrats. The Dillard campaign reacted as well. A spokesman [
CHICAGO, IL — (Marketwired) — 12/13/13 — Gold Eagle Co. : .., an industry pioneer of aftermarket fluids and additives and manufacturer of best-selling brands including STA-BIL® and 303® Products …
Have you ever wondered where the amazing-looking holiday decorations and lights are in your town?  There is now an app for that. has a Christmas Display Locator app that is available for download on the iPhone and Android and all
Glenwood at Lincoln tonight is postponed as well.
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois coal plant operator says it’s eager to address an … judge lifted a stay on a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Law & Policy Center.
Last week, the General Assembly met in special session to address legislation regarding the state pension systems.  Today, the unfunded pension liability in Illinois exceeds $100 billion. From last year to this year, our required pension payment increased by $936 million. We now spend more than 20% of General Revenue–more than $6 billion per year, or nearly as much as we spend on all K-12 educati
Alarm gets tripped twice — once due to the frozen sprinkler and again during the re-set. Students are outside for less than five minutes for each evacuation.
Mike Jacobs, Dan Kotowski, Daniel Biss, Heather Steans, Kwami Raoul, Don Harmon, Pam Althoff and John Cullerton; and Reps. Mike Zalewski, Fred Crespo …
Illinois issues first batch of TV spots for @CoveredIllinois #Obamacare …
THE SOUTHERN December 05, 2013 BY PETE SPITLER   A day after a landmark vote in the state’s $100 billion pension crisis, state representatives from across Southern Illinois continued to voice their reaction to the passing of the bill. Several believe it will not withstand a challenge in the courts. read more
The Southern December 04, 2013 Pension overhaul passes: Locally, only Bradley voted for bill SPRINGFIELD – Setting the stage for a battle in the courts, the Illinois General Assembly narrowly approved a plan Tuesday to alter pension be… Read more Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton: No Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville: No Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg: No Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion: Yes read more
Illinois lawmakers have finally come to accept what most taxpayers in the state have known for years. “Illinois pension systems are just too rich to be afforded,” Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan said Tuesday as lawmakers began on a path to pension reform… That bill has come due, and lawmakers are now listening to taxpayers. “The public is pushing us to do something. They want something don
By Charles Thomas, ABC 7 (NAPERVILLE, Ill.) (WLS) — Illinois lawmakers who sponsored legislation offering tax incentives for companies like newly merged OfficeMax and Office Depot say they’re disappointed the company is moving its corporate headquarters to Florida. The two merged last month under the name Office Depot. OfficeMax was based in suburban Chicago and Office Depot in Boca Raton, Fla. C
State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) presented a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives to St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights in  recognition of the school being named a “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence” by the US Department of Education for 2013.  
Please join State Representative Jeanne Ives and her colleagues for a panel discussion of the recent passage of the “Pension Reform” legislation known as SB1.
Pekin, IL….. State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) is pleased to announce another opportunity for constituents to meet with him outside of his District Office during the month of December.   Unes will be available in Fulton County for traveling office hours on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the following times:
Wendesday Journal Newsroom Dec. 13, 2013 From: Wednesday Journal Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 04:07 More in News & Politics
Only 54.2 percent of students who start college graduate in six years.Graduation rate about flat, new figures show | Hechinger Reporthechingerreport.orgInforming the Public about Education through Quality Journalism
(CBS) The Chicago Cubs officially announced the hiring of Ron Coomer as the color analyst for their radio broadcasts. Coomer, a Lockport Township High School graduate, played for the Cubs in 2001 and spent nine years in the majors. Most recently, the 47-year-old Coomer served as an in-studio analyst for Twins games on Fox Sports North. “What a great homecoming for Ron,” said Crane Kenney, Cubs Pre
By Benjamin Yount – SPRINGFIELD, IL – There’s no question few people are signing up for Obamacare in Illinois, just 7,043 have selected a plan. But are Illinois’ uninsured signing up for coverage? “All they’re doing is just re-enrolling the…
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced, weather permitting that the Kennedy reversible lanes will be closed due to work on the Ohio Street Bridge Project Saturday, December 14, 2013.
Little state support leaves county jails struggling with costsChillicothe Constitution TribuneNeither Illinois nor Kansas participate in any sort of reimbursement plan. Kansas DOC Communications … “Every year we go to the state legislature and lobby to try to get them to increase that because it’s not enough. The other issue is that we don’t …
Rep. Brian Stewart: Christmas season keeps legislators busy in their home …Freeport Journal-StandardTim Bivins and I attended the 21st annual Community Development Fund of Galena at the DeSoto House in Galena. This event brings together members of Galena and Jo Daviess County governments and business leaders. This event was led by various …
The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is home to a wealth of fond and familiar traditions, first and foremost being the promotion and support of agricultural and farming …
The Democrat, who recently led an effort to place a moratorium on approving virtual charters, has asked Republican Bob Pritchard to co-sponsor the new …
Illinois the loser on corporate “Let’s Make a DealPatch.comA top union official says Michael Madigan’s crackdown on corporate tax breaks is welcomed, but isn’t enough to atone for the pension reform bill. (Chicago Sun-Times); 4. A dozen Illinois companies are warning of nearly 1,800 layoffs over the next two …My View: Watchdogs have few best friends
WTAX’s Dave Dahl talks with U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) They discuss the budget and the pending farm bill action that needs to take place. NYC SantaCon aims to curb ho-ho no-no’s Complaints about boorish, bar-hopping St. Nicks have gotten the attention of city officials. Doritos pizza, chicken wings could be coming soon Chicken wing chain BW3’s is teaming up with the company behind
ALGONQUIN – Fuddruckers opened Friday in Algonquin Commons, replacing Cheeseburger in Paradise.
DuPage County Stormwater Management is accepting grant proposals for projects aimed at improving the water quality around the county, according to a county news release.
State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz Chosen As AARP Illinois’ Legislator of the YearPR Newswire (press release)Both milestones are the result of the hard work and leadership of dozens of advocacy organizations and legislators. State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-12) was a key leader in the General Assembly, fighting to ensure passage of Senate Bill 26 …
Lincoln High’s athletic director says he considers the safety of players, cheerleaders & fans when deciding whether or not to cancel a game.
PoliticoRod Blagojevich case, and media, back in courtPolitico… Korecki started covering the saga at the beginning while on the courtroom beat and wrote “Only in Chicago: How the Rod Blagojevich Scandal Engulfed Illinois; Embroiled Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and Jesse Jackson, Jr.; and Enthralled the Nation.”.
* Last March, Stephen Bona left this message on State Rep. Jeanne Ives’ voice mail… “Your Tea Party brethren Sarah Palin put up a map that included the names, locations, and faces of Democratic candidates and put them in the cross hairs of a gun…perhaps we should do the same for you. We know where […]
* The 2013 Steve Brown Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Spokesperson goes to Patti Thompson… I’d like to nominate Patti Thompson, the PIO for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She has one of the most chaotic jobs a spokesperson can have dealing with the amazing flood of inquiries that come with disasters in the national […]
* From WQAD TV… “I want to run this state like a business,” said Rauner. * From the Quincy Herald Whig… “We need to run the state like a business,” [Sen. Kirk Dillard] said. * Treasurer Dan Rutherford… “Illinois should manage like a business and strategically plan.” * From the 2010 campaign… We’re adding Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady to our […]
.@danag246 I strongly support new sensible measures to curb gun violence, including universal background checks. We simply have to do more.
.@FranPuchli We simply have to do more, and I’ll keep working until we do. We need sensible gun measures like universal background checks.
Watch our new slideshow – Inside out: how the Capitol’s holiday lights shine 
Check out my ideas on how to create jobs in #Illinois and grow our economy. … #twill
W/Israel Smith,his wife Mairim&son Grant at Bremen Twp holiday party @cityofoakforest @israeljsmith #Twill @BTROgop
Who got up there to snap these!!?!? Very cool 👍 RT @ILSenDems: Inside out: how the IL Capitol’s holiday lights shine 
W/Peter & Angela Bartzis, along with Lt. Governor candidate Steve Kim at Parthenon Restaurant in #Chicago #twill
Good investigation, good journalism from the #SunTimes on Rep. Rush’s shady dealings …
Our photographers and state workers scaled dizzying heights hanging lights on the Capitol.
UPDATE: Because of the very important hard work remaining in assisting tornado stricken Washington, IL we don’t wish to spend a great deal of additional time on this issue, as it already has been a regrettably time consuming distraction. But, I wanted to give you a brief update on our current situation with the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Our foundation president Jon Folbrech
CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of Chicago Public School students are getting and giving the gift of music thanks to the Salvation Army. play pause Salvation Army Musical Gift WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding At many schools, there would be no music classes for students if members of the Salvation Army Band wasn’t there to assist. The “Let The Music Begin” program has been
 SAVE THE DATE!St. Patrick’s Day PartyMarch 13, 2014 Alexander’s Steakhouse, Normal Email: Home   |  Meet Dan   |  Events   |  Issues   |  Photos   |  Donate This post has been generated by Page2RSS
New Advantage owner John Simmons says he simply wants a better newspaper for the community.  What would make a better newspaper?More news – 41%More coupons, honesty and itegrity, competition, lower ad costs, new format, the right staff, a legal…
The forecast for a wintry mix of precipitation overnight has caused the Alton School District to cancel the planned ACT Testing scheduled for Saturday.  Per the administration: ‘The December 14, 2013 administration of the ACT,scheduled to be…
RT @CLTVnews: Blue Island chemical plant explosion. 2 sent to hospital. Watch Live
* The 2013 Steve Brown Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Government Spokesperson goes to Patti Thompson… I’d like to nominate Patti Thompson, the PIO for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She has one of the most chaotic jobs a spokesperson can have dealing with the amazing flood of inquiries that come with disasters in the national […]
Rep. Randy Hultgren released the following statement after he voted in support of the budget agreement that passed the House 332-94: “This budget agreement preserves fiscally conservative principles, ensures our military readiness and makes
by Illinois RealEstateRama. Government and … SBA can help renters replace their essential items. … For the latest information on Illinois’ recovery from the Nov.
Too bad Gov. Quinn doesn’t have a Heisman vote… …
Casinos carry long-term costs to societyIndianapolis StarThat revenue likely will decline as Illinois and Ohio goes deeper into the gambling business on the state’s borders. Indiana needs to look at more productive kinds of economic development, instead of plunging into casinos in the central part of the state.
* Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyer’s are arguing their appeal of his conviction today. Main dot points from the AP… – Blagojevich had engaged in legal, run-of-the-mill “political horse-trading” as he sought a Cabinet seat, an ambassadorship or some other high-paying job for himself in exchange for appointing someone to the U.S. Senate seat Barack […]
* Maybe the screaming headlines will finally begin to subside a bit. From the Daily Beast… Chicago logged 506 murders in 2012. That’s more than the nation’s two largest cities (New York and Los Angeles), and the number invited media attention that made people think that maybe Chicago, far from being a picturesque city for […]
* Meh… A $4,800 contribution to the Cross for Treasurer campaign from Chicago gay rights activist Clark Pellett is raising questions about Cross’ critical vote last month to legalize gay marriage. Up until the day of the vote, Cross’ staff consistently assured conservatives that Cross would be a solid “no” vote. Pellett, who is in a same-sex […]
* Bloomberg… Less than two weeks after Illinois lawmakers broke through decades of gridlock and passed a bill to bolster the worst-funded U.S. state pension system, taxpayers are already seeing the benefits. The state sold $350 million of taxable general-obligation bonds yesterday to pay for work on roads, bridges, schools and public transportation. Debt due in December […]
* The Sun-Times has a very long and very good story today about the intersection between politics, corporate lobbying and not-for-profits… In 2000, in the midst of a bruising but ultimately victorious Democratic primary battle against then-state Sen. Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) launched the Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp. Funded with a $1 […]
[trib_ndn vid=25440098] 50 Wards in 50 Days: Ald. Rey Colon, 35th Ward
.@GovernorQuinn agrees with Spkr Madigan: “Take a step back” on Corporate tax breaks. #twill
I will be hosting Office Hours in Canton on Tuesday afternoon. Feel free to stop in to talk with me about any state issues you have or to just say hello! More details at:
The Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative was announced Thursday. It’s a three-year effort organized by the state chapters of the American College of Surgeons, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Northwestern Medicine. Data about …
Firefighters were on the scene of a petrochemical plant fire in Blue Island on Friday. (CBS) CHICAGO (CBS) — A petrochemical plant explosion in Alsip injured two people on Friday. The blast caused by a chemical release led to a large fire at the Blue Island Phenol, 3350 W. 131st St.; one building was destroyed and another was damaged. The fire, which started shortly after noon, was extinguished a
By Jacob Huebert – One of the biggest flaws in the pension “reform” proposals that have come out of Springfield has been “pension-funding guarantees” – provisions that would contractually obligate the state to fund public pension systems. The problem with…
Dave Plier talks with Paul about the last days of the year in Springfield and Washington, the end of your healthcare, and Hanukkah at the White House. (L-R)Dave Plier and Paul Lisnek
South Carolina Enquirer-Herald – Found 1 hour agoPat Quinn is among those who are expected to attend an evening memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Rush Bill HR 3709 would curb drug patent settlement agreements, says HP&M …The Pharma LetterThe silence from Capitol Hill was broken earlier this week when Representative Bobby Rush (Democrat, Illinois) introduced “new” legislation: HR 3709, the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2013. This aims to prohibit brand name drug …Hyman, Phelps, & McNamara, PC | Breaking the S
DIXON — The president of a performing arts school who is charged with failing to report sexual abuse allegations is expected to turn himself in next week, police said Thursday.
(MCT) — Scammers trying to frighten businesses with threats of “pay up now” or they will cut their utilities are hitting the St. Louis area, with success at least once in Southern Illinois.
Guessing Patti Blagojevich might be a little hopeful. Judges questions indicate #blagojevich trading not different tha politicians in past
By Nancy Thorner – Late yesterday afternoon the House approved the bipartisan Ryan/Murray budget proposal clearing the way to have it approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama. The final vote was 332-94. Clear majorities of…
Unbelievable: where all the stuff from Chicago’s 50 shuttered schools has gone:  HT Linda Lutton @WBEZeducation
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Republican State Rep. Bill Mitchell is pitching Chicago-based Boeing to locate a manufacturing plant in Decatur to build its new 400-seat 777X jetliner. Boeing is looking at a $7 billion to $10 billion plant that would start…
Have you noticed that we have added a new columnist to LDN. Jim Killbrew is now writing regularly. His articles are on the TOP page under PERSPECTIVES. We are also running single frame political cartoons under that same section. Be sure to check those out as well!LDN –”It is magnificent to be an angel,” said the first angel to the second. “
* Bloomberg… Less than two weeks after Illinois lawmakers broke through decades of gridlock and passed a bill to bolster the worst-funded U.S. state pension system, taxpayers are already seeing the benefits. The state sold $350 million of taxable general-obligation bonds yesterday to pay for work on roads, bridges, schools and public transportation. Debt due in December […]
The Will County Electoral Board ruled that Greg Sage did not have enough signatures on his primary nominating petition.
The wife of imprisoned former governor Rod Blagojevich is attending a Chicago hearing to hear oral arguments in her husband’s appeal. This is likely his last chance to win his freedom.
In all of the states which made major changes to their gun laws, one party controls … some gun restrictions and cleared the way for armed volunteers to guard schools. … Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable …
Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has been tabbed for the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the organization announced this week. Before Martin was a college coach, a professional basketball player and a decorated college …
* Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawyer’s are arguing their appeal of his conviction today. Main dot points from the AP… – Blagojevich had engaged in legal, run-of-the-mill “political horse-trading” as he sought a Cabinet seat, an ambassadorship or some other high-paying job for himself in exchange for appointing someone to the U.S. Senate seat Barack […]
* Maybe the screaming headlines will finally begin to subside a bit. From the Daily Beast… Chicago logged 506 murders in 2012. That’s more than the nation’s two largest cities (New York and Los Angeles), and the number invited media attention that made people think that maybe Chicago, far from being a picturesque city for […]
Graphic: Speeding tickets in 55-mph zones on #Chicago-area interstates 
Editorial: America’s post-Sandy Hook report card — F. …
State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) presented a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives to St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights in  recognition of the school being named a “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence” by the US Department of Education for 2013.  
Nicholas Pearce, Clinical Assistant of Management at Northwestern University
Great event last nite despite cold/nasty weather! Thanks to all who turned out, especially @dgareachamber , @illinoispolicy & @afpillinois
Are We Trying to REALLY Kill the ILGOP?!? 
Successful Illinois Bond Auction Vindicates Pension Reform, @Bill_Brady Says …
Too fun!! …
14 New Illinois Laws for 2014 – with puppies. 
After mtg w @Fast4Families, advocates 4 #immigrationreform thru hunger strikes, I’ve decided to participate in a fast
I will be hosting Office Hours in Canton on Tuesday afternoon. Feel free to stop in to talk with me about any… 
Holiday Fundraiser next Wednesday, Dec. 18. Come hang with @EdSullivanforIL & me for some seasonal cheer!! …
On this date in 1818, Mary Todd Lincoln was born in Kentucky. @ALPLM @Abe_Lincoln @Mr_Lincoln #LegResUnit #TIH
Due to a large Sunday paper this coming weekend, Dec. 15, the News-Democrat is moving up circulation deadlines.Click to Continue »
Representative Christian Mitchell and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle visiting with folks at Prince Hall Masons
Public-private partnership to encourage minorities in engineeringThe State Journal-RegisterThe city of Springfield, Sangamon County and a local engineering firm are partnering to create a program designed to encourage minority students to pursue careers in engineering and related fields. As part of the “minority participation plan,” Hanson …
Attorneys for Rod Blagojevich will take what’s likely their last realistic shot at overturning the disgraced former governor’s conviction Friday morning when they make an oral argument before the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor, Rita Cheng has been named to an NCAA board subcommittee..
Jay Cutler has the talent. Josh McCown has the brains. Unless Bears head coach Marc Trestman develops Dr. Frankenstein-type surgical skills, that leaves the Bears without a quarterback capable of taking them to the Super Bowl. Right now, Bears fans aren’t interested in such a lofty goal. They just want their team to beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and get to the last game of the season, a
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois lawmaker says he wants Boeing Co. to build a new manufacturing plant in Decatur. The Springfield bureau of Lee …
Legislators faced two tough votes as the Illinois GA wraps up 98th sessionJewish United FundState Senator Daniel Biss (D-9th) told members of the Government Affairs Committee that the final version of SB 1 was “a piece of legislation that had commonality with the initial legislation … but was tailored to protect those with the smallest …
One of the many benefits of being a member of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is the “E-Blast” program.  President and CEO of the Chamber, Patty Hornbuckle explains: [audio:pattyeblast121313.mp3]comment here[/audio] The E-Blast rec…
NAPERVILLE – State Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) released the following statement today after Office Depot announced they have chosen Boca Raton, Florida over Illinois to locate their new global headquarters. This decision comes after the Illinois House, led by Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), failed to approve tax incentive legislation on December 3 already passed by the State Senate to
Fox News By Ben Yount December 12, 2013 Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn can pretty much forget about getting any more money from the state’s public employee unions, after signing a landmark pension overhaul. Unless, maybe, conservative Republican Bruce Rauner wins the GOP primary. read more
Conference Committee Pension Reform Proposal (SB 1) Executive Summary The Conference Committee on Pension Reform was created to address the growing $97 billion unfunded pension liability, the ever increasing General Revenue funds that must be used to meet pension obligations, and the “crowding out” effect that it was having on funding for other state services. After months of negotiations the Conf
My staff just met with FEMA representatives regarding the FEMA programs for Disaster Recovery. The critical thing all effected homeowners/renters need to do is register with FEMA for assistance. This can be done in person at the Disaster Recovery Center (Festival Building, East Peoria), by phone at 800-621-3362, or online at All effected persons should do this regardless of
Be prepared for extreme winter weather this season. Whether at home or traveling, our Winter Weather Preparedness Guide has helpful facts and resources to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Credit to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) for publishing the guide; and special thanks to the City of Naperville for posting the link on their website! Please call Rep. Senger’s Naperville
We want to express our sincere thanks to all the local residents who donated items to our recent USO holiday drive collecting items to be sent with care packages to U.S. military personnel serving overseas this holiday season. The outpouring of support for our troops and the kindness and generosity of so many is really heartwarming. I would particularly like to thank the students from Hinsdale Cen
“It’s Christmas for all at Murray Center.  It’s been a great day in Clinton County.  Our families and residents are safe and warm in a loving, caring, small village inside the city limits of Centralia that they can call home.” -State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) On Wednesday, Clinton County Judge Becker ruled that the Department of Human Services cannot transfer residents of Murray C
Sidley Austin LLP has elected 24 new partners effective Jan. 1, 2014, across nine of the firm’s offices – six in the U.S. and three international offices.
Springfield children’s home has plan to fix issuesBelleville News DemocratSPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A Springfield facility that houses children and young adults with developmental disabilities says it has drawn up a plan to correct problems identified by state investigators. Illinois child welfare officials and Springfield police …
Did Bruce Rauner set up Illinois Policy Institute’s meeting with Rahm?ChicagoNow (blog)The SJR’s Bernard Schoenburg recently reported that Rauner has contributed more than $500,000 to the Institute over the last five years. Until a few weeks ago, Robert Costello, a board member with IPI’s sister organization, Illinois Opportunity Project …
ADM is asking for $22 million to keep their top executives in Illinois. They probably already decided to move to Chicago long ago. Many of the executives likely have condos in Chicago and spen…
A county sheriff in far-southern Illinois says he’ll be retiring after spending 40 years at the post.
Share on Facebook Retweet this Submit this to Stumble this (Chicago) – A $350 million Illinois general obligation bond auction on Thursday, which witnessed a penalty decrease of 29%, vindicates the new pension reform legislation, says State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) The cheaper interest rate on the first bond sale since the Illinois General Assembly passed pension refor
IL Treasurer Dan Rutherford at 7:20am on Pensions and Bond sales.
Another day, and it’s another outrage in state government.   Another day, and it’s another outrage in state government. State taxpayers have another reason to be angry with how their tax money is spent following an eye-opening news report in the Chicago Sun-Times. read more
Friday morning Metra’s board will hear that only 40 percent of its trains will be equipped with PTC technology, “Positive Train Control,”  by the federal deadline of 2015.