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State lawmakers consider lifting ban on betting on in-state colleges, universities

State lawmakers consider lifting ban on betting on in-state colleges, universities

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinoisjnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – State lawmakers are considering a number of changes to Illinois gambling laws, including a measure that would lift the prohibition on gambling on in-state colleges and universities. Other measures discussed by the House Executive Committee Wednesday would legalize and regulate certain internet gambling programs, or I-gaming, and…

State invests $15 million to fuel two new manufacturing programs downstate

State invests $15 million to fuel two new manufacturing programs downstate

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News Illinoisgbarbic@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday the state was distributing funds to two downstate Illinois community colleges for electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy generation training programs. Pritzker made the announcement at Heartland Community College in Normal, where one of the new programs will launch. “I’m committed to…

GOP calls out Pritzker for backtracking on independent maps

GOP calls out Pritzker for backtracking on independent maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinoisphancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate Republicans on Wednesday harshly criticized Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, accusing him of breaking a campaign pledge to support an independent commission to redraw congressional and legislative district maps. “What I want to say is, the gerrymandering train is on the tracks,” Senate Republican Leader Dan…

Officials provide vaccination update as doses administered top 9 million

Officials provide vaccination update as doses administered top 9 million

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Public health officials gave an update on the status of the state’s vaccination efforts Tuesday as the number of vaccines administered in Illinois topped 9 million. Speaking in a joint hearing of the House Human Services and Health Care committees Tuesday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director…

Pritzker signs health care reform measure backed by Black Caucus

Pritzker signs health care reform measure backed by Black Caucus

By TIM KIRSININKAS & RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.comrtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker declared health care “a right, not a privilege” Tuesday as he signed a massive reform bill backed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the last of four policy pillars introduced as part of an anti-racism agenda last year. The “Illinois Health…

Trial date set for state senator charged with embezzlement

Trial date set for state senator charged with embezzlement

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Tom Cullerton, who was indicted in 2019 on charges of embezzlement, is set to go to trial in February next year, a federal judge said on Tuesday. Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park, is scheduled to be tried in the U.S. District Court in Chicago,…

Illinois to lose congressional seat based on 2020 census

Illinois to lose congressional seat based on 2020 census

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday Illinois will lose a seat in Congress based on the results of the 2020 census. Illinois will move from 18 to 17 seats in the U.S. House, an expected result after some advocates had warned that an undercount could lead to…

New state program aims for ‘one-on-one connections’ in communities to combat COVID-19

New state program aims for ‘one-on-one connections’ in communities to combat COVID-19

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new state program Monday that aims to increase vaccine access in low-income, vulnerable communities and to connect residents across the state to COVID-19 assistance programs for transportation, food, utilities or other resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic Health Navigator Program serves areas of the…

Illinois General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session end approaches

Illinois General Assembly passes hundreds of bills as session end approaches

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — The state Senate and House passed more than 750 bills between them last week, addressing isolated timeouts in schools, youth vaping, teaching Muslim history, the commemoration of Juneteenth and automatic voter registration in prisons, among other topics. Friday was the deadline for the General Assembly to pass…

CAPITOL RECAP: Revenue discussions progressing at Capitol

CAPITOL RECAP: Revenue discussions progressing at Capitol

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Members of an Illinois Senate committee on Friday, April 23, sparred with officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration Friday in a hearing on tax changes proposed by the governor in an effort to balance the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. In his budget proposal released in February,…

Bills creating liaisons for homeless college students, addressing dental care in schools advance

Bills creating liaisons for homeless college students, addressing dental care in schools advance

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News Illinoisgbarbic@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate advanced several bills to the House Wednesday, including one establishing a housing insecurity liaison for homeless college students and another allowing routine dental care to be provided at schools. Senate Bill 190, sponsored by Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton, D-Western Springs, would require higher education…

House passes bill to reclassify small-amount drug possession as misdemeanor

House passes bill to reclassify small-amount drug possession as misdemeanor

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — A bill to lessen penalties for possessing and selling small amounts of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, narrowly passed out of the state House of Representatives Wednesday after a contentious debate. The discussion over House Bill 3447 provoked strong emotions on both sides of the aisle, passing…

CAPITOL RECAP: Lawmakers begin review of state monuments

CAPITOL RECAP: Lawmakers begin review of state monuments

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD  – A House committee tasked with reviewing statues and monuments on state property held its first meeting Wednesday, April 21, hearing from historians and state government associations on what steps are being in other states and what frameworks can be established to guide the review process. Rep. Tim Butler, a…

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinoisrtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A bill allowing a person who must register with a state agency due to a criminal conviction to change their name under specific circumstances passed the Illinois House on Thursday with bipartisan support. House Bill 2542, introduced by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, amends several state statutes…

House passes leadership term limits, source of income protections for renters

House passes leadership term limits, source of income protections for renters

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House advanced several bills Thursday, including one which would implement term limits on leadership positions in the General Assembly and another that would create additional protections for tenants’ sources of income. House Bill 642, introduced by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, would bar any individual…

Lawmakers question Exelon audit

Lawmakers question Exelon audit

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinoisphancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Members of a state Senate committee sharply criticized a recent audit of Exelon’s nuclear power plant operations that suggested ratepayers may need to subsidize two of those plants by as much as $350 million over the next five years. Gov. JB Pritzker’s office and the Illinois Environmental…

Illinois House OKs bill to license professional midwives

Illinois House OKs bill to license professional midwives

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois smansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — The certified professional midwife profession in Illinois moved one step closer to becoming an officially licensed occupation on Thursday with the passage of House Bill 3401. HB 3401 creates the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which would license individuals who perform out-of-hospital births and have…

Springfield Republican calls out Democrats for placing bill 'on review'

Springfield Republican calls out Democrats for placing bill ‘on review’

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois smansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — Republican Rep. Tim Butler on Thursday accused the new Democratic leadership in the state House of Representatives of preserving practices from previous leadership which Republicans say unfairly benefits the majority party. “So, what the speaker said back in January about this place being different and running…

House passes bill reducing barriers to telehealth

House passes bill reducing barriers to telehealth

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News Illinoistkirsininkas@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House passed a bill Friday which would make COVID-19-related expansions to telehealth services permanent through state statute. House Bill 3498, introduced by Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, aims to reduce barriers in access to virtual and telehealth services and would bring standards for virtual care…

Lawmakers, Pritzker administration spar over projected fiscal year revenues

Lawmakers, Pritzker administration spar over projected fiscal year revenues

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News Illinoisrtroncoso@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Members of an Illinois Senate committee sparred with officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration Friday in a hearing on tax changes proposed by the governor in an effort to balance the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The Senate Revenue and Appropriations committees held the joint…

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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