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[30 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Re-writing a key chapter in Illinois’ death penalty history, Cook County prosecutors Thursday threw out the murder and manslaughter convictions of Alstory Simon, whose videotaped confession unraveled one of the state’s most pivotal wrongful convictions, sparking reform and ultimately the end of capital punishment in Illinois.

At a brief hearing, Presiding Judge Paul Biebel granted prosecutors’ request to dismiss Simon’s convictions and ordered him released from prison. A few hours later, the 64-year-old Simon walked out of the Jacksonville Correctional Center in central Illinois into a cold, steady rain.
“I’m not angry …

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[27 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

The rapidly expanding rides-for-hire industry in Chicago is undergoing more change Monday.

Now, the city of Chicago is preparing to enter the contest. It will implement one or more universal smartphone apps to connect riders with the closest available taxi among all cabs in the city rather than a customer going online to hail a cab from a specific company. The apps are designed to provide one-stop shopping for taxis and also “can help level the playing field” between taxis and ride-sharing services, city officials said.
Read more in the Tribune

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[6 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Loretta Durbin, 68, who said she plans to retire soon, has earned a total of at least $1.04 million in salary from lobbying since 1998, according to the senator’s annual financial disclosures. Sen. Durbin also makes his federal and state tax returns public.

The senator, 69, who is seeking his fourth term in the Nov. 4 election, said he has never helped his wife get business.
“People know the name because I’ve been around for a while,” the senator said. “But whether that helps or hurts her in attracting clients, you know, …

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[29 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

Regardless of what top U.S. military officials might advise, Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday he does not expect any American troops to conduct ground combat to take on the Islamic State as long as Barack Obama is president.

“I think the president’s premise on this is right. We cannot, should not, will not do this alone. We are not going to send in combat troops, but we will coordinate and work with a multinational group that includes Arab and Muslim states that are trying to bring peace and order to the …

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[11 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

In a report Tuesday on WGN-Ch. 9, Bronaugh said he was trying to address racism within the department and showed as evidence a picture of a monkey smoking a cigarette that had been taped to a locker.

“To see these pictures, and to draw the conclusion that there are racist firefighters working in this firehouse, (it is) something that as the fire chief here, I cannot afford nor tolerate,” Bronaugh said in the WGN report.
Bronaugh refused to answer questions about the picture Wednesday, even though members of his …

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[24 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Federal grand jury subpoenaed emails of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff and two other onetime top aides as a criminal probe into a botched $54.5 million anti-violence grant program continues ahead of the November election.

The subpoenas, disclosed by the Quinn administration in response to a Tribune open records request, shows the grand jury asking the state for the emails of Jack Lavin, who served as Quinn’s chief operating officer and later as his chief of staff until departing state government last September.
The July 28 subpoenas were requested …

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[21 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Hstess Brands said Wednesday it will close its Schiller Park bakery, where Twinkies and other iconic sweets have been produced for 84 years, affecting about 400 employees.

Union officials said they were notified of the closure on the same day they were set to start negotiating a new labor contract. About 280 of the workers had voted to unionize in May.
The plant, among only four remaining Hostess bakeries in the country and the last left in Illinois, is expected to close Oct. 19. Twinkies were invented in the Chicago area in …

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[14 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Thee University of Illinois has rescinded the job offer of a professor who wrote controversial social media posts about the war in Gaza, according to documents released by the university Wednesday.

Steven Salaita’s appointment at the U. of I.’s Urbana-Champaign campus was set to begin Aug. 16, with a tenured position in the American Indian studies program. His job offer came under scrutiny recently, however, after he posted numerous tweets criticizing Israel in its ongoing conflict with Hamas, including some that contained vulgar language.
Read more in the Chicago Tribune

Chicago »

[9 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

A group of about 30 people from organizations including the Gay Liberation Network, Northwest Indiana Veterans for Peace and Antiwar Committee Chicago met later in the afternoon at the Federal Plaza with signs of their own.

One man handed out flyers to passers by while saying, “How about no bombing of Iraq?”
Friday’s military actions, the first in the region since the U.S. pulled out of Iraq in 2011, are only an excuse for the United States to reassert its power in the region, said Jay Becker, of World Can’t Wait, Chicago.
Read …

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[29 Jul 2014 | No Comment | ]

Sen. Dick Durbin said he and other Democrats today will unveil a bill to curb corporate tax dodging.

No federal contracts would go to businesses that engage in corporate “inversions” to lower their tax bills, the Illinois Democrat said.
The measure is called the “No Federal Contracts for Corporate Deserters Act.”
Read more in the Chicago Tribune