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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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On a cold and rainy Veterans Day, a handful of men, women and children showed their respect for the men and women of the military, at the monument’s rededication at 63rd and Kenneth. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photos by Kelly White

Decades later, they still remember

Grateful SW Siders rededicate a refurbished military monument on 63rd Street By Kelly White The monument at the northwest corner of 63rd and Kenneth, which honors the men and women who served in the nation’s military, was dedicated in 1948—when World War II was still a fresh and often painful memory for millions. Seventy-three years…

Lyons resident and veteran Victor Mejias watches as Marines present a patriotic wreath. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Lyons salutes its veterans

By Steve Metsch Lyons resident Victor Mejias wasn’t about to let a little rain ruin his Veterans Day. Mejias was among about 100 people who gathered Nov. 11 in the community room at the Lyons Village Hall for a ceremony forced indoors by inclement weather. “Veterans Day means a lot to me,” Mejias, 84, said.…

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Richards student latest one charged in school threats

From staff reports A fourth student has been charged by Oak Lawn police for his role in a series of threats of violence made against local schools on social media and in text messages. Division Chief of Investigations Gerald Vetter said in a release that a 16-year-old student at Richards High School in Oak Lawn…

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Richart Detective Agency offers experience, expertise, results

Garfield Ridge sleuth uses “just the facts” approach to uncovering the truth By Tim Hadac In a world filled with deception, half-truths and outright lies, Jose Richart seeks the truth, the facts. And he finds it. A private detective who launched the Richart Detective Agency earlier this year, Richart is steadily building a business useful…

The Misericordia Best Baker Crew gets in the holiday spirit while preparing for the Christmas Pop-Up Show at the Beverly Arts Center on Friday, November 19-Sunday November 21. (Supplied photo)

Misericordia’s Christmas pop-up shop returns to Beverly Arts Center

From staff reports During the weekend before Thanksgiving, South Siders can shop early for Christmas treats or add something special to the Thanksgiving feast thanks to 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea, who is hosting Misericordia’s Christmas pop-up shop at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. in Chicago. This year, women in St. Cajetan…

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3 youths charged with recent school threats

From staff reports Over the past several weeks, schools in Oak Lawn, Palos Hills and surrounding communities have received several threats of violence via text messages and social media. The Oak Lawn Police Department, with the assistance of the FBI, has identified and charged three minors for making the threats. One of the students attended…

Frank Brzezeck, a World War II veteran who lives in Evergreen Park, views the EPCHS Military Wall that was completed last year in honor of all veterans who attended Evergreen Park Community High School. (Supplied photos)

EPCHS hosts local veterans for free breakfast

From staff reports Dozens of Evergreen Park veterans and relatives of current Evergreen Park Community High School students were treated to a free breakfast in the school cafeteria last Friday morning. Members of the EPCHS’ National Honor Society and Ben Nesler, the NHS faculty sponsor, organized the yearly event that returned to an in-person format…

Preschoolers at Koraes Elementary School in Palos Hills salute veterans on Veterans Day. (Supplied photos)

Preschoolers honor veterans at Koraes School

From staff reports Preschoolers in the 4-year-old classroom at Koraes Elementary School in Palos Hills did an art project last week in honor of Veterans Day. The teacher, Mrs. Sonia, started the lesson with, “Today is Veterans Day and we are going to do an art project to honor the veterans.” Before she could get…

Thanks to Stagg’s Student Council Veterans Luncheon on Friday afternoon at the school, 8015 W. 111th St., Palos Hills, students and veterans alike were able to enjoy an afternoon filled with good food, heartfelt stories, and each other’s company. (Supplied photos)

Stagg welcomes 19 veterans for luncheon

By Kelly White In honor of Veterans Day, local area teens took time to reflect on our nation’s heroes. Thanks to Stagg’s Student Council Veterans Luncheon on Friday afternoon at the school, 8015 W. 111th St., Palos Hills, students and veterans alike were able to enjoy an afternoon filled with good food, heartfelt stories, and…

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Bridge Teen Center students try their hand at racquetball

From staff reports Middle school and high school students from The Bridge Teen Center traveled to Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park last month for the unique opportunity to learn and play racquetball. Although many of the students had heard of the sport before, few actually had the opportunity to play it. “I signed…

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