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Live updates from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee

Live updates from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee

The CNI news team is on the scene at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Check back frequently for the latest developments:   RNC Day 1: Live updates from Milwaukee 10:45 a.m. – Former primary rivals say they’re united to elect Trump The Republican National Convention is underway in Milwaukee, and Illinois’ delegation kicked of…

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Abortion remains legal as an emergency medical procedure in Idaho, for now, after a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court ruling, while a bill that would cement those protections in Illinois law awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.  The 6-3 decision saw the three liberal justices concur with the order. Three…

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Changes to primary election fundraising, the electoral college and the state’s voter registration database are now law after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a wide-ranging bill on Monday. The legislation, containing several unrelated election measures, passed near the end of the legislature’s spring session on a vote of 68-38 in…

National Committeeman Richard Porter looks ahead to GOP convention as party names new state chair

National Committeeman Richard Porter looks ahead to GOP convention as party names new state chair

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Republicans will gather in Milwaukee next week for what promises to be a historic national convention. Former President Donald Trump will be nominated for the third consecutive time as the party’s presidential nominee, the first major party candidate to win nomination that many times since Franklin…

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is urging a Cook County judge to dismiss a lawsuit members of his staff filed against him last month seeking to force recognition of their union. In a new filing Monday, attorneys for Welch argued the Illinois Legislative Staff Association has no…

The U.N. calls restraint chairs torture. Illinois jails use them every day.

The U.N. calls restraint chairs torture. Illinois jails use them every day.

by GRACE HAUCK ILLINOIS ANSWERS PROJECT Warning: The following article includes mentions of self-harm and profanity. This is the first in a series of stories. McHENRY, Ill. – Vernon L. Brooks Jr. was distraught. Forced into a chair in a jail cell with a black mesh hood over his head, he panicked as he felt…

Pritzker signs health insurance reform measures

Pritzker signs health insurance reform measures

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday that puts new controls on the state’s health insurance industry, including bans on certain practices companies have used to reduce costs by controlling the amount of health care services a patient receives. The Health Care Protection Act, House Bill 5395,…

Transit heads again ask state for funding help, reject proposals for oversight reform

Transit heads again ask state for funding help, reject proposals for oversight reform

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – It was standing room only in a downtown Chicago committee hearing Tuesday as activists, transit experts and lobbyists hung on the words of the region’s transit agency chiefs.  Public transit has become an increasingly contentious issue in Chicagoland as the Regional Transportation Authority – the funding…

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday narrowed the scope of a federal bribery law prosecutors have relied on in their cases against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and several of his allies convicted of bribing him. A jury last spring found those allies – former lobbyists and…

Former GOP state lawmaker, candidate for governor sentenced to 42 months in prison

Former GOP state lawmaker, candidate for governor sentenced to 42 months in prison

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Former Republican State Sen. Sam McCann on Tuesday was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $700,000 in campaign funds and attempting to conceal his theft with false reports to state election authorities. In February, McCann pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire…

Menard prison staff picket, citing unsafe working conditions

Menard prison staff picket, citing unsafe working conditions

By MOLLY PARKER Capitol News Illinois   mparker@capitolnewsillinois.com Hundreds of Menard Correctional Center employees and their supporters staged a rally alongside a busy street in Chester on Monday, highlighting what they described as perilous working conditions at the state’s largest maximum-security prison.   The problems at the southern Illinois facility stem from low staffing levels, said…

Pritzker ‘all in’ for Biden following visit to White House last week

Pritzker ‘all in’ for Biden following visit to White House last week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker said Tuesday he is “all in” for President Joe Biden after visiting the White House last week with other Democratic governors.  He headed to Washington, D.C., to meet with the president and members of the Democratic Governors Association last Wednesday on the heels of Biden’s…

Illinois switching to ACT exams for state assessments

Illinois switching to ACT exams for state assessments

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – When Illinois high school students sit down to take their annual state assessments next year, they will take a different exam than in recent years. The Illinois State Board of Education recently announced that starting next spring, it will use the ACT exam rather than the…

Pritzker to meet with Biden, Dem governors concerned about president’s campaign

Pritzker to meet with Biden, Dem governors concerned about president’s campaign

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker traveled to the White House to meet with President Joe Biden and his fellow Democratic governors on Wednesday amid rising worry within the party about the president’s ability to continue running for a second term. Pritzker – whose name had been floated by the pundit…

State ends fiscal year with nearly $5B cash on hand

State ends fiscal year with nearly $5B cash on hand

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois entered a new fiscal year Monday with a bit of a financial cushion as the prior year’s revenues exceeded final projections by about $123 million.  The state ended fiscal year 2024 with about $4.7 billion cash on hand, or about 9 percent of the allocated spending for…

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

Pritzker signs election bill to increase party power in primary elections

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Changes to primary election fundraising, the electoral college and the state’s voter registration database are now law after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a wide-ranging bill on Monday. The legislation, containing several unrelated election measures, passed near the end of the legislature’s spring session on a vote of 68-38 in…

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, for now

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, for now

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com The Illinois ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines will remain in place, at least for now.  The U.S. Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will not take up any of the pending challenges to the law until the cases have been fully heard in lower courts.  Illinois lawmakers…

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com With fiscal year 2025 slated to begin Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker continues to tout available state tax incentives and promote Illinois as a site for business development. On the season finale of “Illinois Lawmakers” this week, Pritzker pointed to a pair of developments in East Alton and Normal…

After 9 months, state data begins to detail new pretrial detention system

After 9 months, state data begins to detail new pretrial detention system

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Nine months after cash bail ended in Illinois, the state is taking its first steps in publishing the data that crafters of the bail reform law saw as essential to judging its effectiveness. The data shows that judges in the 75 counties served by the Illinois Supreme Court’s…

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS: Pritzker keeps economic development at forefront in exclusive interview

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com With fiscal year 2025 slated to begin Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker continues to tout available state tax incentives and promote Illinois as a site for business development. On the season finale of “Illinois Lawmakers” this week, Pritzker pointed to a pair of developments in East Alton and Normal…

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

Pritzker calls SCOTUS emergency abortion ruling ‘small respite’ as state protections await his signature

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Abortion remains legal as an emergency medical procedure in Idaho, for now, after a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court ruling, while a bill that would cement those protections in Illinois law awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.  The 6-3 decision saw the three liberal justices concur with the order. Three…

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com LINCOLN – On the eve of a scheduled vote to advise Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on plans to close and rebuild a pair of dilapidated state prisons, hundreds filed into a junior high school gymnasium Thursday evening clad in matching green T-shirts. Printed on the shirts was a…

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

SCOTUS ruling could upend federal corruption cases for Madigan, allies

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday narrowed the scope of a federal bribery law prosecutors have relied on in their cases against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and several of his allies convicted of bribing him. A jury last spring found those allies – former lobbyists and…

Quantum technology companies set for big tax incentives under new law

Quantum technology companies set for big tax incentives under new law

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday gave final approval to a plan to bolster the state’s tech industry, including an incentives package – backed by $500 million in the state budget – aimed at making Illinois the nation’s leader in quantum computing.  The package also expands tax…

Local News

Stagg’s health team poses with the District 230 board at it was honored for winning its fourth straight Blue Ribbon award. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Stagg health team earns fourth straight Blue Ribbon award

By Jeff Vorva  District 230 Supt. Robert Nolting likened the Stagg Health Education department to the New England Patriots. For the fourth straight year, Stagg won the Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Education from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Staff members said Stagg was the first school in Illinois…

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz said it will be up to businesses in his city to comply with new mandate set by Cook County. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights: Business owners must choose whether to comply with mandates 

By Jeff Vorva  Palos Heights is not cracking down on businesses that violate Cook County COVID-19 mandates regarding proof of vaccinations. But the city will help if asked. Among the mandates, which started Monday, businesses including restaurants and gyms must have patrons show proof of vaccinations, which is a controversial topic for some. The Village…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau reads part of a scathing email that wished bad things on him and his family on Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Mayor reads hate mail before diving into COVID and crime issues

By Jeff Vorva  Before Tuesday’s village board meeting, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said he received a disturbing email. The mayor, who shoots from the hip when it comes to his beliefs is a controversial public figure and figures to get hate mail. This one was especially nasty. “I figured that since I got this…

Brandon Kizer

Stepson charged in Evergreen Park murder

By Bob Bong  A 24-year-old Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in the New Year’s Eve shooting of his stepfather in Evergreen Park. Brandon K. Kizer, 24, of the 8100 block of South Loomis in Chicago, was charged Sunday with first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Young, 52, on the morning of…

Mary Fabis (right) shows her award from Anita Cummings. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Dermot Connolly

Honored for service to business

Fabis earns UBAM award  By Dermot Connolly The United Business Association of Midway recently honored founding member Mary Fabis with a Lifetime Membership Award for Outstanding Service for her 35 years of work with the business organization she continues to serve as a board member. Fabis, now 92, has owned and operated Archer Travel agency…

With a long and colorful life, Mary Ellen St. Aubin had no shortage of good memories. --Supplied photo

She was a ‘Munchkin by marriage’

Mary Ellen St. Aubin dies at age 101 By Joan Hadac Mary Ellen St. Aubin once said that if her life could be summed up in a movie title, it might be It’s a Wonderful Life. That life came to a conclusion late last month. Mrs. St. Aubin was 101 years old. “I’ve enjoyed my…

GSWNHFireAndIce_010722

Fire and ice

December was unseasonably dry and warm, but it was cold enough late in the month to form icicles on a Bedford Park Fire Department truck– even after it returned from a blaze that gutted a warehouse in the 6500 block of South Lavergne, just steps south of Clearing. The weather forecast for this weekend calls…

GSWNH_OverwhelmedFedExBox_010722

‘They made us look like fools’

Parents furious over one-two stumble by CPS By Tim Hadac As Chicago Public Schools were set to re-open earlier this week, parents of CPS students were still fuming over what most seemed to see as a two-part stumble by district administrators. “We did exactly what they asked of us, and they made us look like…

Joan Hadac

Toasting 2022 with champagne and herring

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com Hello everyone. So, the holidays are over. How did you celebrate? I love Christmas because I get to see family, some of whom I haven’t laid eyes on since Christmas 2019. New Year’s is a much quieter celebration. I have to admit,…

Richards High School Principal Dr. Mike Jacobson and several staff members at the high school, 10601 Central Ave., Oak Lawn, walked for 24 hours on a treadmill to raise money for student scholarships starting bright and early on New Year's Day. (Supplied photos)

Richards principal walks 24 hours for a cause

Raises $20,000 for student scholarships By Kelly White Most people spend New Year’s Day relaxing. Richards High School Principal Dr. Mike Jacobson spent it on the treadmill. For the second year in a row, Jacobson inspired generous donations of more than $20,000 on New Year’s Day by walking 24 hours on a treadmill without stopping.…

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