Capitol News

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme involving a red light camera company. Jones, 44, is a Chicago Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2009. He is also the…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the Senate since 2009…

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

Treasurer’s Race: Frerichs touts investment gains, Demmer sees opportunity for GOP check

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In Illinois, the role of state treasurer is that of chief investment officer. Treasurer Michael Frerichs has held that position for two full terms, winning by less than 10,000 votes in 2014 before cruising to an 18 percentage-point victory in 2018. He boasts that Illinois has…

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

Sen. Emil Jones III charged in bribery scheme

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the…

Capitol Briefs: State Fair sets record; jury awards $363 million in Sterigenics lawsuit

Capitol Briefs: State Fair sets record; jury awards $363 million in Sterigenics lawsuit

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The 2022 Illinois State Fair set an all-time attendance record with more than 636,700 visitors. Weekend attendance increased by 95,000 from one year ago. Attendance topped 2021 overall by more than 160,000 and 2019 by more than 127,000. There was no fair in 2020 for the…

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday, Sept. 16, to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme Court…

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

CAPITOL RECAP: Vice Presidet Harris visits Chicago; tax rebates coming

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday, Sept. 16, to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme Court…

CAPITOL RECAP: VP Harris visits Chicago

CAPITOL RECAP: VP Harris visits Chicago

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday, Sept. 16, to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme Court…

In visit to Illinois, VP Harris rallies voters around abortion rights

In visit to Illinois, VP Harris rallies voters around abortion rights

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Vice President Kamala Harris came to Chicago Friday to rally voters who support abortion rights and urge them to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections. Speaking at a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights at the University of Illinois Chicago, Harris said the recent U.S. Supreme…

What happens when cash bail ends?

What happens when cash bail ends?

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, cash bail will be abolished in Illinois. The measure that will eliminate it has been on the books since early 2021, giving the justice system two years to plan for the major overhaul of the state’s pretrial detention system. It’s also given…

National Guard to assist migrant welcoming effort as Pritzker declares disaster

National Guard to assist migrant welcoming effort as Pritzker declares disaster

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday that Illinois will continue to welcome migrants bused here from Texas as he blasted that state’s governor for relocating them to other cities without sharing information or providing resources. Pritzker said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his agencies have been providing…

At a remote mental health facility, a culture of cruelty persists despite decades of warnings

At a remote mental health facility, a culture of cruelty persists despite decades of warnings

By MOLLY PARKER Lee Enterprises Midwest BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois and Lee Enterprises. Over a year ago, the security chief at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in southern Illinois sent an email to the head of the state…

Chief Justice Anne Burke to retire from Illinois Supreme Court in November

Chief Justice Anne Burke to retire from Illinois Supreme Court in November

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected]s.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne M. Burke announced Monday she will retire from the bench effective Nov. 30. She has served on the state’s high court since 2006 and has been chief justice since 2019. “The decision to retire was not an easy one,” Burke,…

Tax rebate checks begin going out this week

Tax rebate checks begin going out this week

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that Illinois taxpayers will soon start receiving rebates of their income and property taxes, either in the mail or by direct bank deposits. Speaking at a news conference in Chicago where he was flanked by other state officials and Democratic leaders…

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected]linois.com SPRINGFIELD – As voters in Illinois prepare to decide on a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee workers the right to organize, a new study shows union membership in the state grew last year for the first time in four years. The study also showed, however, that the…

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – As voters in Illinois prepare to decide on a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee workers the right to organize, a new study shows union membership in the state grew last year for the first time in four years. The study also showed, however, that the…

CAPITOL RECAP: Gun rights group suing Highland Park

CAPITOL RECAP: Gun rights group suing Highland Park

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – A gun rights group is challenging the city of Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like the ones used in a mass shooting there on July 4. The National Association for Gun Rights, based in Loveland, Colorado, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal district court in…

Gun rights group sues Highland Park

Gun rights group sues Highland Park

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A gun rights group is challenging the city of Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like the ones used in a mass shooting there on July 4. The National Association for Gun Rights, based in Loveland, Colorado, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal…

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

Ahead of amendment vote, union membership grows in Illinois

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – As voters in Illinois prepare to decide on a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee workers the right to organize, a new study shows union membership in the state grew last year for the first time in four years. The study also showed, however, that the…

Pritzker calls for changes after “awful” reports of abuse at developmental center

Pritzker calls for changes after “awful” reports of abuse at developmental center

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois MOLLY PARKER & BRENDEN MOORE Lee Enterprises Midwest This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Lee Enterprises, along with Capitol News Illinois. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called patient abuses at the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in rural Anna “awful” and “deeply concerning,”…

State announces first REV Act tax credit to Decatur manufacturer

State announces first REV Act tax credit to Decatur manufacturer

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The state on Tuesday announced the award of the first electric vehicle manufacturing-targeted tax incentives made possible by a law signed by Gov. JB Pritzker last year. The incentives come from the Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act, which passed nearly unanimously and became law in November, and…

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A labor of love

  Stained glass entry glows with inspiration at St. Richard Church By Tim Hadac For many years, the north wall of St. Richard Church offered parishioners inside a distracting view of 50th Street. These days, it offers a glimpse into eternal salvation. The clear glass in the windows and doors of the church’s main entrance……

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St. Francis of Assisi in Orland Park to Host Blue Mass on Sunday

Hundreds of police officers, firefighters, emergency services personnel and their families are expected to attend the annual Blue Mass at noon on Sunday, Sept. 25, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Orland Park. Hosted by St. Francis of Assisi Parish and the Knights of Columbus Council 16369, the Blue Mass is a Catholic tradition……

Chicago Police Department

‘That’s more like it’

Neighbors praise police for confronting rowdy crowds By Tim Hadac A year ago, crowds of Mexican Independence Day revelers trashed Pulaski Road—mostly between the Stevenson Expressway and Archer Avenue. In 2022, the partiers were back, but this time they appeared to be met by a more robust and coordinated police response—much to the satisfaction of……

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Spirited soccer struggle in Scottsdale

After several tries over several years, a soccer squad put together by the Scottsdale Neighborhood Watch defeated a Chicago Police Department team in a match at Durkin Park. SNW President Jason Huff said while the victory was sweet, both sides actually won, because the purpose of the match was to draw police and the community……

Martin Franek, of Oak Lawn, and his partner dance to the sounds of Electricland during the village’s Fall Music Festival. (Photos by Dermot Connolly)

Positive reviews for new Oak Lawn Fall Music Fest

By Dermot Connolly A little rain on Sunday afternoon was the only damper on Oak Lawn’s three-day annual festival, which was renamed Oak Lawn Fall Musical Festival this year. Fifteen of the top local bands, from American English to Radio Ga-Ga, played a variety of music genres on three stages over the three days from……

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Evergreen Park mayor praises Labor Day celebration

By Joe Boyle Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke said activities marking this year’s Labor Day holiday were impressive and memorable. “I want to thank everybody for the wonderful concert and fireworks show we had on Labor Day,” said Burke during the Evergreen Park Village Board meeting on Sept. 6. “It was a huge success. It……

Rich Matokar, who opened his first Arrenello’s 50 years ago in Glenwood, stands inside the Tinley Park location. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Arrenello’s Pizza celebrates 50 years

By Bob Bong Fifty years ago, Rich Matokar had to choose between buying a house or opening a business. He chose to quit his job at U.S. Steel South Works and open Arrenello’s Pizza in Glenwood and the rest, as they say, is history. “I did it on a whim,” he said. “A friend was……

Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed said at Monday's council meeting that the payment system for residents needs to be upgraded. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park to offer online payment system for residents

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park Commissioner G. Darryl Reed introduced a resolution upgrading an enterprise resource planning system at Monday’s village council meeting. He said the last upgrade came in 2013 and the system is outdated. “We want the dinosaurs out of here and make room for the Jetsons,” he said. So, the council is……

Orland Park Trustee Joni Radaszewski, shown at a June 20 meeting, participated via phone at the Sept. 6 meeting. It was her first board meeting since being involved in a serious auto accident. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland trustee back on call after horrific accident

By Jeff Vorva Orland Park Trustee Joni Radaszewski phoned it in on Sept. 6. And the rest of her teammates on the board couldn’t be happier. Radaszewski was seriously injured during an accident in Homer Glen on June 21 which killed her parents, Adrian Spaargaren and Kathleen Repsis, who were passengers in the car. The……

Shepard High School's U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held a 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony September 9 at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

Shepard cadets pay homage to fallen heroes

By Kelly White Shepard High School students took time to remember fallen heroes during a 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony last week. For the seventh year in a row, the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held the ceremony at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights, on September 9. The school has been……

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