Capitol News

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 I[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]sillinois.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 [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

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2 Dead, 4 hurt In LaGrange Road crash

By Bob Bong Two people were killed and four more injured in a traffic crash Sunday afternoon on LaGrange Road in unincorporated Palos Park. Cook County Sheriff’s Police said a 56-year-old man died at the scene and a 54-year-old woman died of her injuries at an area hospital. Police said they responded shortly after 4…

Among local candidates filing petitions on the first day of filing was 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, expected to run on a record of economic development, support for public safety and delivery of services to constituents. --File photo

Political sands shifting

Lopez mayoral exit leaves question marks By Tim Hadac The political sands of mayoral politics shifted last week, leaving many in Clearing and Garfield Ridge asking “What next?” questions. Garfield Ridge native Lopez worked the neighborhoods hard since he announced his mayoral candidacy back in April. His law-and-order stance and sharp criticism of Mayor Lori…

Officers Verta and Harrison

Godspeed, Officers Verta and Harrison

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] It’s always good to know that even in these challenging times, there are men and women are willing to step forward to brave those challenges. And leave it to Garfield Ridge and Clearing to lead the way. I say that as I…

Virginia Wrobel (from left) and Dorothy Novotney, of the Evergreen Park Senior Citizens Council, present checks to Mayor Kelly Burke from proceeds from the annual "Memories to Go" village-wide garage sale. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Evergreen Park honors longtime employee

By Joe Boyle The Evergreen Park Village Board took care of some local business before Thanksgiving Day meals will be served. James Bender, a 27-year employee of the Evergreen Park Public Works Department, was selected as the “Employee of the Quarter” and honored at the village board meeting on Monday night. Mayor Kelly Burke recognized Bender…

Police Chief Dan Vittorio holds up the badge as officer Robert Carroll has Thor, the department's new canine officer, on a leash during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn officials say pension relief will not hinder homeowners

By Joe Boyle Oak Lawn Village Manager Tom Phelan said the finances of homeowners need to be addressed while paying off pension deficits. Phelan said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on November 22 that making budget adjustments for next year has to keep residents in mind due to rising inflation. “We may be…

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2 men arrested for Lyons carjacking were out on bond

By Bob Bong Lyons police on Thursday arrested two men suspected of being involved in an attempted carjacking in the 7700 block of 45th Place around 2 p.m. on November 29. Justin Lebron, 20, of Cicero, and Cesar Lopez, 18, of Waukegan, were captured after a foot case, police said. Police Chief Tom Herion said…

Ryan Plowman’s parents, Dan and Jen, receive hugs from the players before Monday night's game. Many knew Ryan from grade school. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Shepard, Stagg teams honor Ryan Plowman

Varsity girl basketball teams from Stagg and Shepard took time out before Monday night’s contest to pay tribute to Shepard student Ryan Plowman, who died earlier this year of complications from mononucleosis. Proceeds from the concession stand were donated to a gofundme campaign in Ryan’s name.  

Paul Stein (at left) and Odysseus Tsarouhis, co-owners of Reichman Jewelers, will be closing the store that has been at 4439 W. 95th St. In Oak Lawn since 1984. (Photo by Dermot Connolly )

Reichman Jewelers to close Oak Lawn store

July shooting of co-owner was deciding factor By Dermot Connolly Violent robberies at their own store and others in the area have led the longtime owners of Reichman Jewelers in Oak Lawn to close their business, which has been located at 4439 W. 95th St., since 1984. Reichman Jewelers dates back to 1908, and was at…

Christmas tree lights that were put up at Veterans Memorial Park in Worth were damaged over the weekend. Lights were cut and ripped off a couple of trees. A police report has been filed. New lights were being put up to replace the damaged ones. (Supplied photo)

Christmas tree lights damaged at Worth Veterans Park

By Joe Boyle Damage took place sometime over the weekend to the Christmas tree lights that were put up at Veterans Memorial Park in Worth. Bob O’Shaughnessy, supervisor of the Worth Park District, said they noticed that the Christmas tree lights were cut by an individual or individuals. O’Shaughnessy and employees noticed the damage after…

Worth Village Clerk Bonnie Price stands alongside the Mitten Tree, which can be found in the Worth Village Hall. Residents can drop off gloves, mittens, hats or scarves for those in need this holiday season up until Dec. 12. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Mitten Tree returns to Worth Village Hall

By Joe Boyle The holiday season is not always warm and bright for some residents who are experiencing hardship. But providing some hats, gloves and mittens can at least give those a helping hand as Christmas approaches. The Mitten Tree has returned to the Worth Village Hall, 7112 W. 111th St., and with it is…

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