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A look inside the RNC: Photos from Milwaukee

A look inside the RNC: Photos from Milwaukee

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – The Republican National Convention officially wrapped up Thursday night with Donald Trump accepting the GOP nomination for president in 2024.  Throughout the week, Capitol News Illinois’ Andrew Adams was photographing the action, catching moments from the Illinois delegation and other attendees as well as key speeches. …

At national convention, Illinois’ beleaguered GOP portrays calm amid internal storm

At national convention, Illinois’ beleaguered GOP portrays calm amid internal storm

By PETER HANCOCK & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – Illinois Republicans appeared upbeat and optimistic as the GOP’s national convention got underway Monday, calling for unity and showing little sign of the internal party struggles that have been brewing for years. “Everybody’s got a lot of energy. We’re all really hopeful and…

State’s largest privately owned water utilities seek rate increase amid lawmaker scrutiny

State’s largest privately owned water utilities seek rate increase amid lawmaker scrutiny

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com The two largest privately owned water utilities in Illinois are seeking to raise rates for a combined 1.5 million customers around the state.  Illinois American Water, which serves 1.3 million people, is seeking a $152.4 million rate increase. That corresponds to a $24 per month increase in water…

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – In the parlance of Washington D.C. Republican strategists, deep-blue Illinois is sometimes referred to as an “orphan” state – along with other Democratic strongholds like California, New York and Hawaii. In both 2016 and 2020, Donald Trump lost Illinois in the presidential election by 17 percentage…

After years of controversy, state pauses CO2 pipeline construction, for now

After years of controversy, state pauses CO2 pipeline construction, for now

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com New safety requirements for carbon dioxide pipelines as well as a temporary ban on their construction are now in effect after Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday signed a bill that passed the General Assembly earlier this year. The law issues new regulations for carbon capture and sequestration, a…

State GOP leaders pass the torch as national convention wraps up

State GOP leaders pass the torch as national convention wraps up

By PETER HANCOCK, HANNAH MEISEL & JERRY NOWICKI news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – Illinois Republicans marked a changing of the guard Thursday morning as delegates met for breakfast ahead of the final day of the GOP national convention. State party Chair Don Tracy officially steps down this week after nearly 3 ½ years in that post, handing…

RNC Day 4 live updates from Capitol News Illinois, part 1

RNC Day 4 live updates from Capitol News Illinois, part 1

By PETER HANCOCK, HANNAH MEISEL ANDREW ADAMS & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – The CNI news team is on the scene for day four of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, of Peoria, and Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno were the speakers at today’s Illinois delegation breakfast. Donald…

Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputy charged with first-degree murder

Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputy charged with first-degree murder

BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com A Springfield woman’s call for help ended with her death and the indictment of a Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputy on first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct. Sonya Massey called police to investigate a prowler at her home in the 2800 block of Hoover Avenue near…

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – In the parlance of Washington D.C. Republican strategists, deep-blue Illinois is sometimes referred to as an “orphan” state – along with other Democratic strongholds like California, New York and Hawaii. In both 2016 and 2020, Donald Trump lost Illinois in the presidential election by 17 percentage…

Amid heavy rainfall in southern Illinois, Nashville dam system breached; hundreds evacuated

Amid heavy rainfall in southern Illinois, Nashville dam system breached; hundreds evacuated

MOLLY PARKER & BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Two days of heavy rainfall caused water to overflow and breach the dams of Nashville’s city reservoir on Tuesday, resulting in extensive flooding and the evacuation of about 200 people from their homes in the small southern Illinois town of about 3,000 residents. Initially described as…

Illinois Republicans urged to look beyond traditional base as national party courts unions

Illinois Republicans urged to look beyond traditional base as national party courts unions

By PETER HANCOCK, HANNAH MEISEL & ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – A former Republican congressman from New York told Illinois Republicans Tuesday that to win more elections in their deeply blue state, they need to reach beyond the traditional conservative voting base. “We need to challenge ourselves to get out and talk…

At national convention, Illinois’ beleaguered GOP portrays calm amid internal storm

At national convention, Illinois’ beleaguered GOP portrays calm amid internal storm

By PETER HANCOCK & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – Illinois Republicans appeared upbeat and optimistic as the GOP’s national convention got underway Monday, calling for unity and showing little sign of the internal party struggles that have been brewing for years. “Everybody’s got a lot of energy. We’re all really hopeful and…

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…

Local News

countryside police

Countryside police seek grants for tasers and solar-powered cameras

By Steve Metsch The Countryside Police Department is applying for two grants that are intended to help improve safety. Police Chief Paul Klimek told the city council at its June 12 meeting that he is seeking a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority for tasers. “The state is going to award tasers to…

The retiring owners left this message on the sign at the Saunoris Garden Center in Frankfort. (Photos by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: U-Haul buys Saunoris Frankfort location

By Bob Bong Two years after closing its Chicago Ridge location, Saunoris has closed its garden center in Frankfort. U-Haul has acquired the former garden center at 19600 S. Harlem Avenue. No price was announced, but the property had been listed for $2.5 million on real estate websites. The 6.88-acre property, now called U-Haul Moving…

Nicholas Lipinski now wears the lieutenant’s badge his father Terry, the former chief, wore for the Bridgeview Fire Department. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Son of former Bridgeview fire chief promoted to lieutenant

By Steve Metsch There were a few damp eyes and many big smiles at the most recent meeting of the Bridgeview Village Board. Yep, even firefighters get a bit sentimental, especially when family history is involved. The reason for the emotions was former Bridgeview Fire Chief Terry Lipinski pinned his old lieutenant’s badge on the…

The iconic Arby’s sign at 5656 S. La Grange Road in Countryside, will go dark forever the night of July 7. Arby’s is closing there and Jack in the Box is moving in (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Jack in the Box to replace Arby’s in Countryside

By Steve Metsch Fans of Arby’s in Countryside will have to travel to Downers Grove, Elmhurst and points beyond to get their fix of curly fries and beef sandwiches. The final day for Arby’s in Countryside is July 7, a manager said Saturday night. Arby’s will be replaced by Jack in the Box, Mayor Sean…

Ray Hanania

Orland Park once had a great mayor

How do you assess the failures of Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau? Compare him to his predecessor when it comes to helping people. In July 1996, when Dan McLaughlin was mayor, a dozen areas of Orland Park had been slammed by heavy rainstorms and extensive flooding that caused massive property damage. The Village of Orland…

Pete Fejzuloski, president of the Paisans Pizzeria restaurant chain, cuts the ribbon during the official grand opening ceremonies on June 25 at the Oak Lawn location in the Stony Creek Promenade. He is surrounded by family, employees, and members of the community. To the left of Fejzuloski is Mike Sutko, a member of the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce, Trustee William "Bud" Stalker (5th), Mayor Terry Vorderer, Natasha Miller Williams, president of the chamber; and Steve Loulousis, president of the Oak Lawn Parks Foundation. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizzeria has impressive grand opening in Oak Lawn

Local officials ecstatic about new restaurant By Joe Boyle The origins of Paisans Pizzeria were humble as immigrant Luigi Fejzuloski created the business in a small corner store in Cicero. He was making pizzas in 1985 out of a household kitchen. Soon after that, Luigi was joined by his son, Pete. They both responded to…

Jose Reyes (center) learning at an F.H. Paschen construction site at a suburban housing development. --Supplied photo

From high schooler to civil engineer

. West Lawn man’s 8-year path leads to job with top company . It’s a daunting question for any high schooler: what do you want to be when you grow up? Had anyone asked West Lawn resident Jose Reyes in 2016 when he was in high school, he might not have had a clear answer.…

The crucifix from St. Bernadette Church was put up outside on an Evergreen Park Fire Department truck before a procession to take it to St. Gianna Parish on Sunday. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Large gathering attends final St. Bernadette Mass

Emotional parishioners say their final goodbyes By Joe Boyle They arrived from the nearby neighborhood and from communities far away to attend Mass for the final time Sunday morning at St. Bernadette Church in Evergreen Park. The closing of St. Bernadette Church, 9343 S. Francisco Ave., was announced in January of 2022 as part of…

Janae Banks

Woman charged in Palos Heights robbery

From staff reports A Chicago woman was charged last month with robbery in connection with an incident in May in the parking lot of the Jewel-Osco at 12803 S. Harlem Ave. Police said Janae Banks, 26, was taken into custody on June 22 at a home in the 8800 block of South Indiana Avenue in…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said at the July 1 board meeting that those who have issues with the board should show up at meetings or identify themselves. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park’s Pekau blasts anonymous critics

By Jeff Vorva Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau used a little Independence Day history to hammer home a point about anonymous critics on social media who are hammering him and the board of trustees. At the July 1 board meeting, Pekau said attacks were unproductive. “We used to have anonymous robocalls and anonymous letters and…

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