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Bryant 'cautiously optimistic' as she takes oath of office to begin fourth term in office
Other
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Article  |   Anna Gazette-Democrat
Legislature (56) Bryant, Terri--State House, 115
State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, took the oath of office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, as she was sworn in for a fourth term  in office.

Bryant represents the 115th District in Southern Illinois. Part of Union County is in the district.

Bryant was reelected in November 2018 and began work in the 101st General Assembly on Thursday, Jan. 10.

“Inauguration Day is always a joyous and hopeful occasion,” Bryant said in a news release. 

“I am deeply honored and proud to serve the people of Southern Illinois as their state representative. 

“I want to thank the many friends, family members and supporters who made the trip to Springfield to watch the ceremony. 

“I sincerely hope that the good feelings that come about as a new legislature is seated will continue into the session and that we can work cooperatively as a body.”

Bryant said she took office “as the balance of power in Illinois government radically shifts toward Democratic control.” 

Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate and will occupy all six constitutional offices, including the governor’s office. 

For her part, Bryant said she is “cautiously optimistic that Democrats will work across party lines.”

“The incoming governor has signaled a willingness, at least for now, to listen to ideas from Republicans and to work cooperatively,” Bryant said. 

“I have been encouraged by some of the personnel moves he has made already, but I will be watching closely when policy items begin to move in the House. 

“We might have a new governor, but we are still facing enormous challenges. 

“Property taxes are too high and people are leaving the state. We have to rebuild our infrastructure, and we must take steps to stop the out-migration of our citizens to neighboring states. These are enormous challenges that will require good ideas from both sides.”

The 115th District is located within the boundaries of all of Jefferson County, and parts of Jackson, Union, Washington, and Perry counties. 

Bryant has offices located in Murphysboro and Mt. Vernon. Constituents can visit her website at www.RepBryant.com.


State Senator Steve McClure
Other
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Commentary  |   WFMB 1450
Legislature (56) , Pritzker, J.B. McClure, Steve--State Senate, 50
Senator McClure talks about his first days on the job and his views on the newly installed Pritzker Administration http://www.sportsradio1450.com/podcast-am-springfield/

The Illinois Manufacturers Association on the new Illinois Governor
Other
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Commentary  |   WTAX 1240
Business (10) , Pritzker, J.B.
Joey talks with President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA), Mark Denzler on what the manufacturing landscape looks like under Governor Pritzker. https://wtax.com/podcasts/the-illinois-manufacturers-association-on-the-new-illinois-governor/

The Spin: Mayoral candidates respond to police acquittal | Tom Ricketts blasts Ald. Tom Tunney | Pritzker signs gun bill
Chicago Tribune
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Article  |   Lisa Donovan
Chicago--Politics (17) , Pritzker, J.B.

A handful of candidates running for Chicago mayor were sitting before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Thursday afternoon when the news broke: A Cook County judge acquitted three Chicago police officers charged with lying in police reports and conspiring to cover up the controversial 2014 police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

 

Former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired over the shooting and is now running for mayor, was there. He told the editorial board he respected the decision.

 

The next mayor, who as boss of the police superintendent must absorb criticism over crime and officer conduct, will have to deal with the continuing fallout from 2014 killing, which prompted a scathing U.S. Department of Justice report and a consent decree that will guide police reform.

 

Welcome to The Spin.

 

Mayoral candidates react to officers’ acquittal in ‘code of silence’ trial

 

Mayoral candidates Jerry Joyce, from left, Lori Lightfoot, Garry McCarthy and Amara Enyia appear before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Jan. 17, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

From the Tribune politics team: “Former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he respects the acquittal of three officers accused of conspiring to cover up the 2014 fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, as he and three other mayoral candidates reacted to Thursday’s ruling.

 

“I respect the system and the verdict,” he said.

 

Southwest Side attorney Jerry Joyce said only that he respected the judge’s ruling and did not elaborate, while the two remaining candidates at the forum, one of three small-batch mayoral question-and-answer sessions hosted by the editorial board, expressed disappointment.

 

*Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot: “I am not terribly surprised at the verdict. It absolutely disappoints me because I think it’s a terrible statement about the need for accountability and change.”

 

*Public policy consultant Amara Enyia: “Verdicts like this continue to send a message to many who have been harmed because of police misconduct that there will be no justice.”

 

Read the full story here.

 

The court case: The stunning verdict and the reasons behind it are laid out by the Tribune’s courts team of Megan Crepeau, Christy Gutowski, Jason Meisner and Stacy St. Clair here. The case had been seen as a referendum on a so-called code of silence within the Chicago Police Department designed to protect fellow officers from accountability for wrongdoing.

 

Sentencing Friday for officer guilty of murder: Jason Van Dyke, the officer who shot and killed the teen and was later found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery, is set to be sentenced Friday. A few of the jurors who sat through hours of testimony before reaching their verdict in October talk about what a just sentence looks like. Read the compelling piece by Gutowski and Crepeau here.

 

Mayoral candidate drama with a side of ‘Hollywood Hendon’

 

Rickey Hendon, left, a retired state senator, speaks at City Hall's fifth floor in Chicago as mayoral candidate Willie Wilson listens in. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune)

From the Tribune’s John Byrne: “The byzantine fight among candidates to get on the Chicago mayoral ballot took a bizarre turn Thursday. Businessman Willie Wilson announced he no longer wants to prevent tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin’s name from appearing before voters. Too late for that, the hearing officer overseeing the case said.”

 

That sent Wilson campaign adviser and former state Sen. Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, known for his dramatic flair (and potty mouth) into orbit. Security had to escort him out of the hearing. Read about the bizarre turn of events and the separate ballot challenge that could knock another mayoral candidate, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, off the ballot here.

 

Mendoza, Preckwinkle tied for first in newest poll: By now you’ve read that the city’s crowded mayor’s race will likely lead to a runoff, and a new poll out of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s campaign only serves to reinforce that. It shows that she and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle are in a virtual dead heat, with each garnering 11 percent. Bill Daley, onetime chief of staff to President Barack Obama, is shown in third place with 9 percent.

 

The Mendoza camp used the poll’s release to attack Preckwinkle, saying she “has lost her edge.” But it didn’t release anything beyond the results, which were part of a memo from the polling firm. The question posed, methodology and crosstabs were not made available.

 

“In December, Preckwinkle held the lead in the multi-candidate race with 19% of the vote, with Mendoza in second with 11%. But Preckwinkle has lost her edge and is now tied with Mendoza for the top spot at 11%,” according a statement from the Global Strategy Group, the New York-based firm that conducted the poll for Mendoza.

 

The poll of 600 likely city voters suggested Mendoza would finish first with 43 percent of the vote vs. Preckwinkle’s 30 percent, according to poll results. The margin of error is 4 percent.

 

Preckwinkle’s campaign did not immediately comment.

 

Promises, promises: Free City Colleges tuition, free CTA rides backed by five Chicago mayoral candidates at Wednesday forum. Read the story here.

 

Tom Ricketts blasts Tunney in ongoing aldermanic wars

 

Ald. Tom Tunney, from left, Ald. Pat O'Connor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and baseball Commissioner Allan "Bud" Selig attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wrigley Field restoration. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune 2014)

The Cubs vs. Ald. Tom Tunney grudge match continues, this time with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts sounding off on sports talk radio on Thursday morning. He’s ticked off over

development feuds and a nearly 6-year-old “vulgar” comment the alderman made on the floor of the City Council, a comment the alderman has apologized for.

 

That’s unlikely to change minds. As the Feb. 26 city election looms, the Ricketts family — the majority owner of the team — is campaigning against Tunney.

 

Last week, Laura Ricketts — a high-profile Democratic fundraiser and sister to Tom Ricketts — penned a piece in Crain’s about how “it’s time for change in the 44th Ward,” painting Tunney as an old-school politician who “rubberstamps” the mayor’s agenda.

 

Read about Tom Ricketts’ comments, Tunney’s reaction and who’s lined up to run in the 44th Ward aldermanic race here.

 

Rickettses to skip Cubs Convention panel this year: The sibling majority owners say that people just weren’t that interested in hearing what they had to say during a panel last year, so they’re pulling the plug. Read here.

 

Women’s March Chicago may be canceled, but you can still take a stand (if you want).

 

Demonstrators march near Federal Plaza on Dearborn Street during the Women's March Chicago on Jan. 20, 2018. (Lou Foglia/Chicago Tribune)

Check out these Saturday events in the city and suburbs, if you like, here.

 

Pritzker signs gun bill, school strike looms in Chicago

 

 (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

As expected, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a measure requiring gun stores to get state licenses, a move that gives the state more oversight over gun dealers, the Tribune’s Mike Riopell reports.

 

“Under the new law, it would be illegal for retailers to sell guns without being certified by the state. To qualify, stores first must be licensed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Then, they would have to submit a copy of that license to the Illinois State Police, along with an affidavit declaring it remains valid. Shop owners would have to install surveillance equipment, maintain an electronic inventory, establish anti-theft measures and require employees to undergo annual training. a move that supporters contend could reduce gun violence because federal regulators are stretched too thin to adequately handle all the shops operating in Illinois.” Read the full story, including details on the Illinois State Rifle Association threatening to sue, here.

 

Here are the 5 ideas being proposed for O'Hare's massive expansion: Chicago officials unveiled the plan, and you can read about it and eyeball the designs here.

 

Teachers at four charter schools in Chicago set Feb. 5 strike date: “Teachers affiliated with the Chicago International Charter School network say they will go on strike Feb. 5 unless there is a breakthrough in contract negotiations, a move that would affect about 2,200 students at four of the organization’s campuses,” the Tribune’s Juan Perez Jr. reports. Read about the schools affected and what the teachers are asking for here.

 

LIUNA endorses after writing big check to Mendoza: LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) Great Lakes Region, which represents a swath of construction and municipal workers in Chicago and beyond, endorsed Mendoza for Chicago mayor this week. As the Tribune reported earlier this week, LIUNA Chicago Laborers’ District Council PAC kicked in $250,000 to her campaign, records show.

 

Mendoza’s snagged a few other union endorsements, including labor movement leader Dolores Huerta, who along with Cesar Chavez co-founded the famed National Farm Workers Association. This week, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1546 also announced it is backing Mendoza. But she hasn’t racked up some of the other key high-profile union endorsements Preckwinkle has. The Chicago Teachers Union along with several Service Employees International Union affiliates are backing Preckwinkle. The backing of these powerful unions is important as they can write big checks to help candidates get on the air and their membership, many who live in the city, not only vote here but can pitch in and get out the vote.


Illinois confronts cancer burden State residents are more likely to die from cancer than the average American, but increasing access to care through Medicaid expansion and multi-specialty outpatient clinics could change that.
Crain's Chicago Business
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Column  |   Stephanie Goldberg
Health (49)

Illinoisans are more likely to die from cancer than the average American, but Medicaid expansion and more multi-specialty outpatient clinics could change that.

 

Cancer incidence rates and deaths per 100,000 people in the state are higher than the national average, according to the American Cancer Society. The group’s recently released Cancer Facts & Figures 2019 report also estimates Illinois will have more than 68,000 new cancer cases this year.

 

With timely screenings, many of those cases could be prevented or detected early, which increases the success of treatment. Experts say screening helps reduce mortality for cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate and—among current or former smokers—lung. But access to care is key.

 

“Anytime you can increase the level of preventive care you provide patients, you’re going to end up with increased early detection of malignancies, and you’re going to resultantly decrease the mortality and morbidity,” said Dr. Shikha Jain, a hematology and oncology physician at Rush University Medical Center.

 

Despite Illinois being a Medicaid expansion state, enabling 600,000 people to gain coverage, health insurance is still a barrier. Nearly 8 percent of Illinoisans are uninsured, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

Even people with access to health insurance and preventive care don’t always get screened due to “the whole fragmented system of health care,” said Dr. Karen Kim, who specializes in the prevention, screening and early detection of colorectal cancer at UChicago Medicine. For example, if a test is not provided by the health care location ordering it, “it becomes the patient’s responsibility to get screening completed” at another time and place, she added.

 

The multi-specialty outpatient clinics that are popping up around the Chicago area and beyond should help close the gaps.

 

“If everybody works within same system and speaks the same electronic medical record language, then that bidirectional communication between primary care physician and specialist” can facilitate cancer screenings and, ultimately, prevention or early detection, Kim said.

 

 

Social determinants of health also come into play, especially in Illinois. Death rates in the state from cancers that are heavily impacted by social and environmental factors, such as smoking and obesity, exceeded the national rate between 2012 and 2016, the American Cancer Society reported.

 

The state’s death rate for colon and rectum cancer was nearly 11 percent higher for men and more than 7 percent higher for women. Meanwhile, the death rate for lung and bronchus cancer was 9 percent higher for women and 7 percent higher for men.

 

Regardless of race and ethnicity, people with lower socioeconomic status nationwide have higher cancer death rates, the American Cancer Society found.

With nearly one in five cancers caused by excess body fat, alcohol consumption, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle, the organization contends that “policy and environmental interventions across national, state and local levels” could go a long way toward reducing the cancer burden.

 

Cancer screening: How does Illinois compare?

 

Breast cancer: 72.4 percent of women 40 and older in Illinois reported getting a mammogram, which mirrors the national prevalence. Still, the state ranks 26th nationally.

 

Colorectal cancer: Nearly 65 percent of Illinoisans 50 and older reported getting a stool test/endoscopy, compared with 69 percent nationwide. The state ranks 42nd in this category.

 

Cervix cancer: About 86 percent of women ages 21 to 65 reported getting a Pap/HPV test, compared with 84 percent nationwide. The state landed at No. 10.

National percentages are median figures.


IDOT urges avoiding trips, Icestravaganza still planned in Davenport
Quad City Times
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Editorial  |   Editorial Board
Transportation (91)

The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning people a winter storm arriving Friday evening will make travel a challenge throughout much of Illinois, with some areas possibly receiving up to 8 inches of snow.

 

Organizers of the Saturday's Icestravaganza in Davenport said the event will go on, regardless of the weather.

 

In its seventh year, the event is planned 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Freight House in downtown Davenport where 24,000 pounds of ice will be turned into sculptures.

 

Jason Gilliland, Director of Events for the Downtown Davenport Partnership, said current weather predictions estimate the snow will end at 6 a.m. Saturday with only a 5 percent chance of precipitation during the day.

 

"We will be clearing the boardwalk at the Freight House and areas where the public will be walking prior to the start of the event," he said in a release Friday morning. "There will be kids’ activities inside the Freight House, including Davenport Public Library’s Story Time, cookie decorating, balloon animals and a few guest appearances from lovable characters."

 

The Illinois DOT said motorists should be prepared for high winds and colder temperatures persisting through the weekend, causing drifting and icing even on treated surfaces.

 

"The IDOT snow-and-ice teams will be working throughout the weekend making roads as safe as possible," said Illinois Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Omer Osman. "The public is advised to plan ahead and ask if their trip is necessary before heading out. Please, if you are driving, slow down, anticipate much longer travel times, increase your distance between other vehicles and exercise caution when sharing the road with our plows.”

 

On Friday, IDOT crews throughout the state were pretreating bridges, overpasses, ramps and other areas susceptible to icing. During the storm, IDOT will have more than 1,700 trucks and equipment available statewide, applying salt and treating roads.

 

The National Weather Service is forecasting snow to begin this evening across northern and central Illinois, with totals of 2 to 8 inches by Saturday evening. The southern part of the state is expected to see a mix of precipitation with the potential for icing.

 

Gusty winds and low temperatures the remainder of the weekend will create blowing and drifting, reducing visibility to whiteout conditions at times and limiting the effectiveness of salt. Motorists should expect slick conditions and remain extra cautious at all times.

 

For up-to-date conditions, visit GettingAroundIllinois.com. IDOT also suggests motorists fill their gas tanks, pack winter weather essentials and make sure someone is aware of travel routes and schedules. People involved in a crash should remain inside their vehicles.

 

Love


Gov. Pritzker names new directors, deputy governor
State Journal Register
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Article  |   Doug Fink
Pritzker, J.B.

Three new agency directors and another deputy governor were named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker Thursday.

 

Pritzker appointed Sol Flores as a deputy governor. Flores is founder of La Casa Norte in Chicago, a non-profit organization that has helped 30,000 youth and families confronting homelessness. The organization also provides assistance to single parents, domestic violence victims and abandoned youth. Flores, who was recognized by former President Barack Obama, also serves on the boards of the Latino Policy Forum, Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, Community Renewal Society, Hispanic Housing Development corporation and Kuumba Lynx.

 

Flores will join Dan Hynes, Christian Mitchell and Jesse Ruiz as deputy governors in the Pritzker administration.

 

Pritzker named John Kim, a 25-year veteran of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, to head the department. He is currently chief legal counsel for the agency, but has also served as director, interim director, ethics officer and project manager for an IEPA-China pollution prevention project.

 

Kim, who has a law degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, has also been general counsel at the Department of Agriculture and an assistant attorney general.

 

A member of the city of Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame has been appointed director of the Department of Human Rights. Jim Bennett has served as Midwest regional director of Lambda Legal, the largest legal organization dedicated to securing full civil rights for the LGBTQ community. In 2013 he chaired Illinois Unites for Marriage, the coalition that worked to bring same-sex marriage to Illinois.

 

Bennett holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois Springfield.

 

Pritzker named Michael Kleinik to serve as director of the Department of Labor. Kleinik is currently executive director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois. He previously was executive director of the Chicago Laborers’ District Council’s labor management cooperation committee. Kleinik also served two terms as Fayette County sheriff.

 

Kim, Bennett and Kleinik must all receive Senate approval.

 

Pritzker has now filled 12 of the 27 agency director positions.


JFK photo exhibit opens Feb. 15 at ALPLM
State Journal Register
Friday, January 18, 2019  |   Article  |   By Staff Report
Abraham Lincoln, Presidential Library and Museum (50)

An exhibition of photographs tracing John F. Kennedy’s life opens at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Feb. 15. Some are iconic images of Camelot, while many have rarely been seen before.

 

“American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times,” one of the most exhaustively researched collections of Kennedy photos ever assembled, runs through May 19.

 

There is no extra fee to see the exhibition. It will be included in regular ALPLM admission prices.

 

The exhibit was organized and curated by Lawrence Schiller of Wiener Schiller. Schiller, a noted photographer, writer and director. He will take part in a special preview Feb. 13. The free preview, which runs 6:30-8:30 p.m., is open to members of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. To become a member, visit www.ALPLM.org.

 

Another special event takes place Feb. 19. In “Fact vs. Fiction: Lincoln and Kennedy,” two historians will examine the supposedly “eerie” coincidences between the assassinated presidents and explain which ones have some significance, which are random chance and which have simply been made up.