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Capitol News

House Democratic Leader Greg Harris announces retirement plans

House Democratic Leader Greg Harris announces retirement plans

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Democratic Leader Greg Harris said Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022 and will step down from the General Assembly after eight terms in office. Harris, 66, of Chicago, is the first openly LGBTQ legislative leader in Illinois history who spent much of…

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

By ANDREW ADAMS For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Republican state Rep. Adam Niemerg grew up in a family that cared about politics, so it felt like a natural step for him when he ran his first campaign to get a seat in the House of Representatives in 2020. “There’s a lot of things that…

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

By ANDREW ADAMS For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Republican state Rep. Adam Niemerg grew up in a family that cared about politics, so it felt like a natural step for him when he ran his first campaign to get a seat in the House of Representatives in 2020. “There’s a lot of things that…

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

By MARIA GARDNER For Capitol News Illinois State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas’ friends tease her for changing the meaning of words. “Solution” becomes a verb when she says “I’m about solutioning.” Pacione-Zayas, 43, D-Chicago, has been actively “solutioning” since she took office in December when then-state Sen. Iris Martinez stepped down to become Clerk of the…

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

By MARIA GARDNER For Capitol News Illinois State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas’ friends tease her for changing the meaning of words. “Solution” becomes a verb when she says “I’m about solutioning.” Pacione-Zayas, 43, D-Chicago, has been actively “solutioning” since she took office in December when then-state Sen. Iris Martinez stepped down to become Clerk of the…

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

By TAYLOR AVERY For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Behind a window with a “Save the Byron Nuclear Plant” sign taped to the glass, Ricardo Montoya Picazo listened to a father of three wonder aloud if he would still be able to support his children in a few weeks. “If I lose this, the only…

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

By TAYLOR AVERY For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Behind a window with a “Save the Byron Nuclear Plant” sign taped to the glass, Ricardo Montoya Picazo listened to a father of three wonder aloud if he would still be able to support his children in a few weeks. “If I lose this, the only…

CAPITOL RECAP: In court documents, Democrats deny racial gerrymandering claims

CAPITOL RECAP: In court documents, Democrats deny racial gerrymandering claims

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders filed documents in federal court Wednesday, Nov. 24, denying that newly drawn state legislative district maps amount to racial gerrymandering, instead accusing the plaintiffs in the three lawsuits of trying to use race to redraw districts for their own purposes. Among other…

Democrats deny racial gerrymandering in legislative maps

Democrats deny racial gerrymandering in legislative maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders filed documents in federal court Wednesday denying that newly drawn state legislative district maps amount to racial gerrymandering, instead accusing the plaintiffs in the three lawsuits of trying to use race to redraw districts for their own purposes. Wednesday’s…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs new congressional maps into law

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs new congressional maps into law

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday, Nov. 23, signed legislation redrawing the state’s congressional district maps, saying they reflect Illinois’ diversity and preserve minority representation. Due to the state’s declining population, Illinois will have only 17 congressional seats after the 2022 elections, one fewer than it currently has. Because most…

New congressional maps signed into law

New congressional maps signed into law

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed legislation redrawing the state’s congressional district maps, saying they reflect Illinois’ diversity and preserve minority representation. “These maps align with the landmark Voting Rights Act and will ensure all communities are equitably represented in our congressional delegation,” Pritzker said in…

1 million EVs: Inside the state’s plan for electrifying the transportation sector

1 million EVs: Inside the state’s plan for electrifying the transportation sector

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – With a pair of major policy victories in hand, Gov. JB Pritzker traveled to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, at the beginning of the month and shared a vision for his home state: “Illinois intends to become the best place in North…

Capitol Cast: A discussion on redistricting controversies

Capitol Cast: A discussion on redistricting controversies

The Better Government Association’s Bryan Zarou and University of Illinois political science professor Brian Gaines talk with Peter Hancock about the redistricting process in Illinois and the upcoming oral arguments in three federal lawsuits challenging the new legislative maps. See congressional maps here:www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer…3130960460293&z=6 See IL House maps here:www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/viewer…8881118842843&z=5 See IL Senate maps here:www.google.com/maps/d/u/2/viewer…4259714843751&z=6 Capitol News…

State Supreme Court rules on pair of gun cases

State Supreme Court rules on pair of gun cases

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In its latest round of opinions Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a Village of Deerfield assault weapons ban and restored a Putnam County man’s right to a Firearm Owners Identification card over the objections of the Illinois State Police. The decision in the Deerfield case…

Illinois unemployment falls to 6%

Illinois unemployment falls to 6%

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point in October to 6 percent as employers added 40,900 jobs during the month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. According to the preliminary data, the industry sectors…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs electric vehicle manufacturing incentives into law

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs electric vehicle manufacturing incentives into law

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a tax incentives package Tuesday, Nov. 16, that state lawmakers hope will help Illinois become a manufacturing hub for the budding electric vehicle industry. The Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois, or REV, Act, passed the General Assembly with near-unanimous bipartisan support during the…

New state law bans ‘dark money’ in judicial races

New state law bans ‘dark money’ in judicial races

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new law in Illinois aims to ban out-of-state contributions and so-called “dark money” in judicial campaigns by requiring all candidates to disclose the sources of their contributions. Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday signed Senate Bill 536 into law, an omnibus elections bill that makes a…

Pritzker signs electric vehicle manufacturing incentives into law

Pritzker signs electric vehicle manufacturing incentives into law

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a tax incentives package Tuesday that state lawmakers hope will help Illinois become a manufacturing hub for the budding electric vehicle industry. The Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois, or REV, Act, passed the General Assembly with near-unanimous bipartisan support during…

Capitol Cast: Climate, Supreme Court and Redistricting

Capitol Cast: Climate, Supreme Court and Redistricting

Listen to the latest episode of Capitol Cast. Peter Hancock and Jerry Nowicki discuss Gov. JB Pritzker’s trip to the U.N. climate conference, an Illinois Supreme Court case concerning ride hailing services, and the latest developments in the legislative redistricting court cases. Capitol News Illinois · Climate, Supreme Court and Redistricting

GOP, advocacy groups submit changes to legislative district maps in court

GOP, advocacy groups submit changes to legislative district maps in court

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Plaintiffs in three lawsuits challenging the new legislative district maps that Democrats pushed through the General Assembly earlier this year have submitted their proposed changes, which would create more Latino- and Black-majority districts in Cook County and the Metro East region. The latest filings, submitted to…

State Supreme Court asked to rule in case of woman allegedly raped by Lyft driver

State Supreme Court asked to rule in case of woman allegedly raped by Lyft driver

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The rideshare company Lyft argued before the Illinois Supreme Court Wednesday that a 2014 state law protects it from being held liable for the criminal actions of one of its drivers who allegedly raped a passenger in 2017. The case centers on the constitutionality of the…

Pritzker signs Health Care Right of Conscience change

Pritzker signs Health Care Right of Conscience change

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new law in Illinois will soon 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 Health Care Right of Conscience Act, a 1977 law originally intended to…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker pushes Illinois as EV leader at UN Climate Change Conference

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker pushes Illinois as EV leader at UN Climate Change Conference

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – As global leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland, over the past two weeks to discuss the effects of and potential policy solutions to climate change, Gov. JB Pritzker made the case in a pair of speaking events that Illinois is doing its part to counteract troubling climate trends. It was…

Pritzker makes Illinois pitch at world climate conference

Pritzker makes Illinois pitch at world climate conference

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – As global leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland, over the past two weeks to discuss the effects of and potential policy solutions to climate change, Gov. JB Pritzker made the case in a pair of speaking events that Illinois is doing its part to counteract troubling climate…

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Local News

Chicago Police Department

Warn of business heists in Wrightwood, Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of early-morning burglaries of businesses in Wrightwood and Chicago Lawn has prompted police to issue a warning. Crime scene include: 7800 block of South Oakley on Oct. 19. 3000 block of West 63rd Street on Oct. 21. 8200 block of South Kedzie on Nov. 7. 7800 block of South Kedzie…

Ms. Xheraj's fifth-grade class at Wharton School. (Supplied photo)

Wharton fifth-graders take first place in math competition

By Carol McGowan A class at District 104’s Wharton 5th Grade Center in Summit recently celebrated a big win. Ms. Xheraj’s class took first place in the Region 7 Math Online Sumdog Competition. Sumdog’s free online math contests tout being a fun way to motivate students as they compete against other classes and schools, either…

Cory Kavanagh, 11, of Chicago Ridge, pretends to drive a fire truck at the Chicago Ridge Fire Department's Open House at the firehouse, 10063 Virginia Ave., Chicago Ridge. (Photos by Kelly White)

Chicago Ridge Fire Department Open House

The Chicago Ridge Fire Department hosted an Open House on October 29 at the firehouse, 10063 Virginia Ave., Chicago Ridge. At the free event, attendees were able to take photos on a fire truck, watch demonstrations, hear fire safety talks and participate in a trunk-or-treat.    

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Evergreen Park programs accelerate despite pandemic

By Joe Boyle Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke praised department leaders and local organizations that offered services and activities the past year despite the presence of COVID-19. She referred to the Evergreen Park Recreation Department, which offers a variety of programs for seniors, adults, teens and children. “They have been able to do this during…

PETA graciously donated a 3-foot-tall fiberglass duck to the Oak Lawn Children's Museum, 5100 Museum Dr., Oak Lawn. (Supplied photos)

PETA donates duck to Oak Lawn Children’s Museum

By Kelly White A staple in community, the Oak Lawn Children’s Museum recently received a donation to make them stand out even more. Thanks to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the museum, 5100 Museum Dr., Oak Lawn, now has a 3-foot-tall fiberglass duck that displays plenty of duck facts. “Whenever we have…

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School students, Edward Walsh, 12, of Oak Lawn; and Lola Cruz, 12, of Oak Lawn, were proud to celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, on Thursday, November 4 at the school, 5345 99th St., Oak Lawn. (Supplied photos)

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School celebrates Diwali Festival of Lights

By Kelly White Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School takes pride in its diversified education. Students within the school, 5345 99th St, Oak Lawn, celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, on November 4. “The thing I loved most about this lesson was learning about a different culture and learning about how amazing this festival…

Rats can and do squeeze through holes as small as a quarter. --Photo source: cdc.gov

Rat gripes surging

Infestation ‘out of control’ in Clearing, Garfield Ridge By Tim Hadac Fall is the time when pest-control companies see a surge in calls from homeowners who see mice and sometimes rats trying to get inside sheds, garages and even homes to find shelter for the winter. But this year is far worse. “Rats are out…

Stephanie Esposito, winner of the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge. --Supplied photo

Thousands tried, but she’s Top Dog

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] this second year of the pandemic, Stephanie Esposito found a fun way to safely beat solitary confinement and use her love of a challenge. The Garfield Ridge woman told me when saw a tweet about the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge,…

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St. Dan’s girls drive St. Laurence success

The St. Laurence High School varsity girls volleyball team recently captured an IHSA regionals championship at a tournament they hosted. First, the Vikings first defeated Solorio Academy 25-8, 25-7 on Oct. 26, and then advanced to the finals, where they defeated the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences 25-6, 25-15. The Vikes then moved on…

Celebrating 50 years of successfully serving the area are (from left) Kristen Bagnall, Bill Wantuck Sr., Patricia Wantuck, Bill Wantuck III and Bill Wantuck Jr. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Wantuck Comfort Solutions celebrates 50 years of service

Thousands served in Clearing, Garfield Ridge By Tim Hadac Some small businesses in Clearing and Garfield Ridge have served so many people for so long, you just have to say the family name and folks will know exactly what kind of business you’re talking about. For example, Soukal is one. Pticek is another. And of…

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