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Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com A controversial proposal that would grant electric utilities more control over the construction of transmission lines is being revived in Springfield.  Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood, who chairs the Public Utilities Committee in the Illinois House, was behind a push last year that would have granted a temporary “right…

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

BY JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Republicans in the Illinois Senate indicated Tuesday that their sticking point for budget negotiations this year will be the same as it was last year – state spending on programs for noncitizens and recent arrivals from the country’s southern border.  In what’s been a rarity over the past…

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker will give his sixth state budget address this week, laying out his plan for a fiscal year that government forecasters in November predicted is on pace for a near-$900 million deficit unless corrective action is taken.  Those same fiscal forecasters in the Governor’s Office of…

Capitol Brief: Lawyers hope for Illinois Supreme Court answer to Trump ballot question

Capitol Brief: Lawyers hope for Illinois Supreme Court answer to Trump ballot question

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO — Lawyers representing Donald Trump and five Illinois voters hoping to see the former president removed from next month’s primary ballot sparred in a downtown Chicago courtroom on Friday.  The case, which began last month when the Illinois State Board of Elections declined to disqualify Trump from…

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After suddenly pleading guilty as his federal corruption trial was wrapping up this week, former state Sen. Sam McCann won’t be released to await sentencing, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless ruled Friday. McCann has been held at Macon County Jail since last Friday, when Lawless ordered…

With influx of state and federal funding, Illinois looks to add enough chargers to support 1 million EVs

With influx of state and federal funding, Illinois looks to add enough chargers to support 1 million EVs

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois’ electric vehicle charging infrastructure is on pace to double this year, buoyed by an influx of state and federal dollars. The investments are aimed at supporting both federal and state environmental goals. The Biden Administration set the goal of EVs making up half of all U.S. vehicle…

Pritzker commits another $182 million to migrant response, details to come next week

Pritzker commits another $182 million to migrant response, details to come next week

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – The state and Cook County announced Thursday a roughly $250 million plan to provide shelter, health care and other services for recently arrived migrants. But according to their own plan, there’s still a roughly $70 million funding gap for the rest of 2024.  That missing money…

In last-minute reversal, former Sen. Sam McCann pleads guilty to corruption charges

In last-minute reversal, former Sen. Sam McCann pleads guilty to corruption charges

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com This is a breaking news story and will be updated. As federal prosecutors were preparing to rest their case Thursday in the corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, the one-time gubernatorial candidate had a change of heart. His attorney announced McCann would reverse his position…

Customers pay for utilities' lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

Customers pay for utilities’ lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinoisans pay tens of millions of dollars each year to utilities to cover costs they accrue for lawyers, belonging to trade groups, making charitable contributions and purchasing advertisements meant to boost utilities’ public image.  Consumer advocates are pushing for a change to state law that would bar utilities…

Transportation workers rally for new contract amid negotiations with state

Transportation workers rally for new contract amid negotiations with state

By ALEX ABBEDUTO   Capitol News Illinois  abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com  Groups of Illinois Department of Transportation workers represented by local Teamsters unions rallied at facilities in Collinsville and Springfield Wednesday after recently passing a strike authorization and filing complaints against the state.  Teamsters Local 916 President JP Fyans said negotiations have been ongoing since before the contract expired…

In day 2 of trial, prosecutor’s detail former lawmaker’s alleged RV rental scheme

In day 2 of trial, prosecutor’s detail former lawmaker’s alleged RV rental scheme

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com This story will be updated with further details from the trial. Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann was back in federal court on Wednesday for day two of his trial for alleged misuse of campaign funds. Prosecutors delved into McCann’s alleged scheme to rent out a motor home…

Feds accuse ex-lawmaker of ‘greed, fraud and arrogance’ in misusing campaign funds

Feds accuse ex-lawmaker of ‘greed, fraud and arrogance’ in misusing campaign funds

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Bass pulled no punches in describing former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann on the first day of his federal corruption trial on Tuesday. “This case is about greed, fraud and arrogance,” Bass said. “Greed for a lifestyle far beyond his means…fraud in…

Ex-Madigan aide sentenced to 30 months in prison for obstruction of justice attempt, perjury

Ex-Madigan aide sentenced to 30 months in prison for obstruction of justice attempt, perjury

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – For most of his adult working life, Tim Mapes only had one boss: former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. And for the more than 25 years he served as Madigan’s chief of staff, Mapes was known for his extreme loyalty to the powerful speaker. His office…

Gun rights groups ask SCOTUS to review Illinois’ assault weapons ban

Gun rights groups ask SCOTUS to review Illinois’ assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In a long-expected move, national gun rights organizations are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Illinois’ ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. In separate petitions filed Monday, the Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights and the Nevada-based Firearms Policy Coalition asked the nation’s…

McCann trial delayed another day as he cancels plan to represent himself

McCann trial delayed another day as he cancels plan to represent himself

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The federal corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann was delayed again on Monday, but this time for only one day to allow a court-appointed standby attorney time to take over his defense. McCann’s trial has been delayed numerous times since his February 2021…

Former lawmaker taken into custody amid delays to his corruption trial after sudden hospitalization

Former lawmaker taken into custody amid delays to his corruption trial after sudden hospitalization

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann, a onetime third-party candidate for governor, was taken into custody Friday morning ahead of his federal corruption trial on charges he misused campaign funds. The arrest caps a bizarre week that was supposed to have seen his corruption trial begin…

Misdeeds by Carlinville funeral home director spur legislative proposals

Misdeeds by Carlinville funeral home director spur legislative proposals

By BETH HUNDSDORFER   Capitol News Illinois  bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com  The wrong cremains were buried in a national cemetery. Bodies cremated under the wrong name. The wrong ashes returned to families from coast to coast.  An investigation into the mishandling of human remains has affected at least 80 families so far and continues to ripple out from…

Capitol Briefs: IDOT workers authorize strike; attorney general warns of AI election scams

Capitol Briefs: IDOT workers authorize strike; attorney general warns of AI election scams

By ANDREW ADAMS & JENNIFER FULLER  Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Several Teamsters unions representing thousands of state highway workers have authorized strikes as contract negotiations between them and the state’s Department of Transportation continue.  The eight local unions that authorized strikes are spread throughout Illinois and represent around 3,800 employees, including drivers, highway maintainers and…

In crisis, she went to an Illinois facility. Two years later, she still isn’t able to leave

In crisis, she went to an Illinois facility. Two years later, she still isn’t able to leave

By MOLLY PARKER  & BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois mparker@capitolnewsillinois.com bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois.  Kaleigh Rogers was in crisis when she checked into a state-run institution on Illinois’ northern border two years ago. Rogers, who has cerebral palsy, had a mental health breakdown during…

Capitol Briefs: Tax credits for children, manufacturers among new legislative proposals

Capitol Briefs: Tax credits for children, manufacturers among new legislative proposals

By ANDREW ADAMS  COLE LONGCOR & ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com After failing to pass a child tax credit last year, advocates returned to Springfield Wednesday to propose a scaled back version of the policy which they say would still reduce child poverty and spur economic growth.  The proposal, contained in House Bill 4917…

Trump’s Illinois ballot challenge to move forward

Trump’s Illinois ballot challenge to move forward

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A Cook County judge ruled Wednesday that a case seeking to bar former President Donald Trump from the March 19 Republican primary ballot in Illinois will move forward independently of a similar case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Following a brief hearing conducted by videoconference,…

Capitol Briefs: Lawmakers introduce police reform measures, advocates look to end tipped wage

Capitol Briefs: Lawmakers introduce police reform measures, advocates look to end tipped wage

By ANDREW ADAMS & ALEX ABBEDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO — Families of gun violence victims are asking the state legislature to reform how police handle unsolved murder investigations through legislation introduced this week. House Bill 4753, sponsored by Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, would establish a procedure for families to request a review of…

Day in court postponed for former lawmaker who checked into hospital on eve of corruption trial

Day in court postponed for former lawmaker who checked into hospital on eve of corruption trial

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – On what was supposed to be the third morning of a weeklong corruption trial of former State Sen. Sam McCann, the onetime third-party candidate for governor instead videoconferenced into U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless’ courtroom from his hospital bed.  McCann, who checked himself into Missouri Baptist…

Indicted former lawmaker’s corruption trial up in the air after hospitalization forces delay

Indicted former lawmaker’s corruption trial up in the air after hospitalization forces delay

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Sporting a 5 o’clock shadow and a slight grimace, former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann held his phone very close to his face as he videoconferenced into a federal courtroom from his hospital bed in St. Louis late Tuesday afternoon. McCann’s sudden hospitalization has muddied the…

Local News

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New Warsaw saga continues

. Neighbors to have a second say about banquet hall . By Dermot Connolly and Tim Hadac Several dozen Clearing residents interested in the future of the shuttered New Warsaw Restaurant & Banquets property, 6250 W. 63rd St., had their say last week. More than 50 people turned out on Feb. 14 at the Clearing…

One man was shot to death and another was critically wounded early Saturday outside this McCook tavern. A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

McCook police arrest Chicago man in fatal shooting

By Bob Bong A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in Saturday’s early morning shooting outside All Star Bar, 7949 W. 47th St. in McCook, which left one man dead and a second man wounded. Sisto A. Brito, 32, was charged Monday with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted…

Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty presents Desmond Zuro a Standing Tall Award. Zuro, a sophomore at Morton West High School, placed 19th in the IHSA state bowling championship. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Lyons awards outstanding Morton high school bowler

By Steve Metsch Desmond Zuro has loved bowling since the first time he sent a ball toward the pins at Bowlero Lyons on 47th Street. Six years later, the Lyons resident is one of the best high school bowlers in the state. A sophomore at Morton West High School, Zuro placed 19th of 180 bowlers…

Summit firefighters clean up a chemical spill on Interstate 55 on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Summit Fire Department)

Chemical spill on I-55 shuts down traffic for hours

By Carol McGowan Chemicals leaking from a semi-trailer truck that was stopped on the right shoulder of Interstate 55 near LaGrange Road in Summit caused the expressway to be shut down in both directions for most of the day last Friday, and caused traffic headaches in the surrounding area. All lanes were closed from just…

Township of Lyons trustees Donna McDonald (left) and Colleen Kelly discuss an issue at the Jan. 9 board meeting. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Renting copiers pays off for Township of Lyons

By Steve Metsch The Township of Lyons is actually saving money by renting four copiers instead of buying them. At its January meeting, the township board unanimously approved renewing a contract with Proven-IT for four new multi-function copiers. The township has worked with the company for five years, Township Supervisor Christopher Getty said. “It’s an…

Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch via Zoom at a recent Village of Stickney board meeting. (Supplied photo)

Speaker Welch joins in on recent Stickney board meeting

From staff reports The Stickney Village Board welcomed Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch to a recent board meeting for a special briefing on the state legislature’s local government priorities for the spring session. Speaking from his Capitol office in Springfield via Zoom, Welch talked about key issues impacting municipalities, emphasizing fiscal stability, infrastructure support,…

Evergreen Park senior guard Nolan Sexton moves the ball up court against Providence on Feb. 14. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Boys Basketball | Stagg tops Bradley to clinch program’s first conference title

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Stagg came into this season looking for their first winning campaign since 2016.  The Chargers did better than that. In addition to being assured of finishing over .500 for the first time under coach Marty Strus, Stagg won the first conference championship in program history. The Chargers (19-11, 5-3 SouthWest Suburban…

Officer Alberto Valadez supervised hands-on training to pack a wound that was 'bleeding.' (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Stop the Bleed lessons taught at Argo, Summit Library

By Carol McGowan  Argo High School’s Student Resource Officers, Michael Snee and Wagner Antoine, have not only been busy with making sure the Summit school is safe, but have been training staff in how to Stop the Bleed. Snee has been with the Summit Police Department for approximately seven years, and at Argo High School…

Michael Wickman, a member of Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps at Richards High School, 10601 Central Ave., Oak Lawn, was recently awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award. (Supplied photo)

Richards student awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award

By Kelly White Richards High School senior Michael Wickman has set his educational bar high. Wickman, a member of Navy Junior Reserve Officers Corps at the high school, 10601 Central Ave., Oak Lawn, was recently awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award for his outstanding achievement in the NJROTC. “Being Awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze…

Evergreen Park Community High School held a food drive to help the animals in need after a fire broke out last month at PAWS animal shelter, 8301 W. 191st St., Tinley Park. (Supplied photos)

EPCHS students help PAWS recover from fire

By Kelly White Dozens of cats and dogs were rescued after a fire broke out at PAWS last month. On the evening of Wednesday, January 17, firefighters responded immediately to a large dryer fire at the animal shelter at 8301 W. 191st St. Fire crews and volunteers evacuated 55 cats and 42 dogs from the…

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