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Breach reported by attorney general confirmed to be ransomware attack

Breach reported by attorney general confirmed to be ransomware attack

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A data breach reported by Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office nearly three weeks ago was a ransomware attack, according to a Thursday news release. Raoul’s office has launched a new hotline to provide information to residents following the data breach first reported on April 10. A Thursday…

Maternal mortality report finds Black, rural, Medicaid mothers more likely to die after childbirth

Maternal mortality report finds Black, rural, Medicaid mothers more likely to die after childbirth

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday issued its second report on maternal mortality rates in the state, which found there were 103 pregnancy-associated deaths in Illinois in 2017 – the highest number of any year in that decade. The report looked at deaths during or…

Maternal mortality report finds Black, rural, Medicaid mothers likelier to die after childbirth

Maternal mortality report finds Black, rural, Medicaid mothers likelier to die after childbirth

By RAYMON TRONCOSO Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday issued its second report on maternal mortality rates in the state, which found there were 103 pregnancy-associated deaths in Illinois in 2017 – the highest number of any year in that decade. The report looked at deaths during or…

Emergency housing assistance bill will head to governor

Emergency housing assistance bill will head to governor

By TIM KIRSININKAS Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to pass House Bill 2877, which aims to extend emergency protections to renters and homeowners financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It needs only a signature from Gov. JB Pritzker to become law after passing the House last week.…

Pritzker releases new plan for spending multi-billion dollar Volkswagen settlement

Pritzker releases new plan for spending multi-billion dollar Volkswagen settlement

By GRACE BARBIC Capitol News [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration released a revised plan for how to spend the state’s share of a multi-billion dollar Volkswagen settlement, which found the vehicle manufacturer in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. Illinois initially received approximately $108 million from the settlement. The plans that were…

Ethics commission finds ex-Exelon lobbyist sexually harassed colleague

Ethics commission finds ex-Exelon lobbyist sexually harassed colleague

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — A state ethics commission has found a former Exelon lobbyist sexually harassed one of his female colleagues on two separate occasions in Springfield, in violation of the Lobbyist Registration Act. David Fein, formerly Exelon’s senior vice president of state governmental and regulatory affairs, will have to…

CAPITOL RECAP: Governor's office unveils energy overhaul bill

CAPITOL RECAP: Governor’s office unveils energy overhaul bill

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s office unveiled a 900-page energy overhaul bill Wednesday, accelerating a yearslong process which advocates hope will end in a comprehensive clean energy platform as the session nears its final month. The stated goal of the bill is to drive Illinois to 100 percent “clean” energy by 2050.…

Judge finds firearm ownership card law invalid – as applied to one Illinois woman

Judge finds firearm ownership card law invalid – as applied to one Illinois woman

By SARAH MANSUR Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD — For the second time, a county judge in southern Illinois has ruled the state’s Firearm Owner Identification Card law unconstitutional, as applied to one state resident, Vivian Brown. The ruling from Judge T. Scott Webb means the Illinois Supreme Court will, also for the second time,…

Pritzker unveils energy plan amid session’s final stretch

Pritzker unveils energy plan amid session’s final stretch

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s office unveiled a 900-page energy overhaul bill Wednesday, accelerating a yearslong negotiating process which advocates hope will end in a comprehensive clean energy platform as the session nears its final month. The stated goal of the bill is to drive Illinois to 100…

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]@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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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…

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Local News

Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Teen helps others despite brittle bone disease

Family toy drive benefits Comer Children’s Hospital By Kelly White Early on in her life, Madelyn Rodrigues was diagnosed with Osteogeneis Imperfects, a brittle bone disease that has already resulted in more than 70 bone fractures in her 14 years of life. As a freshman at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, Madelyn’s inner strength…

The late CPD Officer Ella French.

‘They tried to taint Ella’s legacy’

Aldermen furious with mayor, COPA chief By Tim Hadac The three aldermen representing Clearing and Garfield Ridge are among 20 City Council members opposing the appointment of Andrea Kersten as the next Chief Administrator of Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Kersten, the current interim chief of COPA, came under fire recently for releasing a report…

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Roadrunners are state volleyball champs

Snack With Santa is an event founded by longtime Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Dybala near 40 years ago. It offers a bit of Christmas cheer for children and underscores the local business community’s commitment to the neighborhood. --File photo

Holiday warmth is straight ahead

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday of the year. I look forward to it because it’s all about family, whether it’s family of blood or heart or both. People actually slow down and catch up with each other. It’s not about…

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Pushback over ‘conscience’ law change

Measure would close vax loophole By Peter Hancock Capitol News Illinois and Tim Hadac A number of Southwest Siders are pushing back against a new state law designed to clear the way for employers to enforce vaccination, testing and other mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure, Senate Bill 1169, amends the Illinois…

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Back in their dancing shoes

  After the pandemic forced them off the stage for more than 20 months, the boys and girls of Ballet Folklórico Estrella del Mar donned their costumes and dancing shoes last week and performed for Big Shoulders Fund representatives visiting St. Mary Star of the Sea School in West Lawn. Founded in 2015 at the…

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