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WCAZ Radio News Archives for 2024-01

Board of Elections allows Trump's name to stay on ballot

Board of Elections allows Trump's name to stay on ballot

 

SPRINGFIELD – Former President Donald Trump’s name will appear on the March 19 Republican primary election ballot in Illinois, barring any extraordinary action by state or federal courts to remove him.

The Illinois State Board of Elections voted unanimously Tuesday to deny an objection based on the “insurrectionist clause” of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits former public officials who engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding public office again.

An attorney for the objectors said in an email that they would appeal the decision to the Cook County Circuit Court.

Board spokesman Matt Dietrich told reporters after the meeting that challenges similar to the one lodged against Trump are “highly unusual.” 

“We normally hear things like candidates don't have a sufficient number of nominating signatures,” he said.

The objectors in Trump’s case argued that his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol amounted to an insurrection within the meaning of the 14th Amendment.

Trump had encouraged people through social media to come to Washington, D.C., that day to protest the certification of Biden’s win in the 2020 elections. Following a rally Trump hosted outside the White House that day, thousands of protesters marched to the Capitol and stormed through barricades to enter the building, forcing Congress to delay the certification vote.

As part of their evidence, the objectors submitted findings from the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, as well as a December ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court, which disqualified Trump from that state’s primary election ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a review of the Colorado case on Thursday, Feb. 8. That’s the same day voters in Illinois can begin casting advance ballots in person and the day when local election authorities begin sending out vote-by-mail ballots.

Clark Erickson, a former Republican judge from Kankakee County who served as a hearing officer in the objection, issued a report over the weekend concluding that Trump’s actions did constitute an insurrection. But he recommended denying the objection anyway, saying that under Illinois Supreme Court precedents, the board is only authorized to enforce the Illinois Election Code and may not delve into complex constitutional issues.

But Matthew Piers, an attorney for the objectors, rejected that argument.

“There is no question under the law … that this board not only has the authority to determine an objection based on the United States Constitution, but indeed, you have the clear, mandatory duty to do so,” he said. 

Attorneys for the Trump campaign made several arguments against the objection. They denied that Trump’s actions constituted an “insurrection” within the meaning of the 14th Amendment and insisted that he had urged his supporters to protest peacefully. 

After presentations from both sides and the board’s own general counsel, board member Jack Vrett, an Arlington Heights attorney, made the motion to dismiss the complaint and overrule the objection. He said he agreed that the board has no authority to decide constitutional questions.

“If we exceeded our authority and went beyond the documents and the nominating petitions and looked at the underlying conduct that was alleged in this case, what I believe you would see is an opening of a floodgate of litigation,” he said. 

Board member Catherine McCrory, an attorney from La Grange, supported the motion, but with some apparent reluctance.

“I want it to be clear that this Republican believes that there was an insurrection on Jan. 6,” she said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he manipulated, instigated, aided and abetted an insurrection on Jan. 6. However, having said that, it is not my place to rule on that today.”

The board also turned down three objections to President Joe Biden appearing on the Democratic primary ballot, including one that also made a 14th Amendment argument.

That objection argued that various immigration and foreign policy decisions of the Biden administration have amounted to giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States.

The board voted unanimously to reject that charge on the grounds that it amounted to a policy disagreement with the candidate.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Sorensen Releases 2023 Year-End Report, Highlighting Work to Invest in Central & Northwestern Illinois

 

Sorensen Releases 2023 Year-End Report, Highlighting Work to Invest in Central & Northwestern Illinois  

Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) released his 2023 Year-End Report, highlighting his office’s work to invest in Central and Northwestern Illinois by making the region more sustainable for generations to come, keeping communities safe and healthy, and making government work for working and middle-class families.  

 

“I love where we live, and I love our communities here in Central and Northwestern Illinois. We have a special way of life and I’m dedicated to working each and every day to improves the lives of families here,” said Sorensen. “As your ‘good neighbor in Congress’, my job is to make sure that our communities are sustainable for our children and our grandchildren, that our families are safe and healthy, and that our government works for you. We have a long way to go, but I’m proud of what we accomplished in year one.” 

 

Sorensen’s report outlines how his office made progress on issues that matter most to families in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, like lowering costs, creating good-paying jobs, and building safer communities. 

 

You can read Congressman Sorensen’s full 2023 Year-End Report here. 

 

Among the accomplishments highlighted in the report, Sorensen is highlighting the following wins: 

 

Making Government Work for Illinois 

 

  • Returning $810,597 to constituents and local businesses in overdue tax returns, Social Security benefits, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and more. 
  • Resolving 818 constituent cases, helping Illinoisans with issues related to federal agencies, which include the IRS, Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. 

 

Delivering Bipartisan Results 

 

 

Being a Good Neighbor 

 

  • Responding to over 30,000 constituent messages—communicating with an average of nearly 81 Illinoisans each day. 
  • Hosting 729 conversations and meetings with constituents, stakeholders, and community leaders.  

 

State partners with Google to launch new portal for children's mental health resources

State partners with Google to launch new portal for children’s mental health resources

 

For years, parents and providers have criticized what they see as a disorganized system for finding children mental health care in Illinois. State leaders are hoping a new partnership will change that.

The Illinois Department of Human Services is partnering with Google to launch a new centralized portal for children’s mental health care, state officials announced Monday.

Gov. JB Pritzker, executives from Google Public Sector and state legislators gathered at Google’s Fulton Market office in Chicago to announce that the portal, called BEACON, is slated to launch this summer. The governor said a centralized hub will make finding behavioral health resources much easier for parents and providers.

“If you've ever had to search for these resources, it's difficult,” Pritzker said.

Beyond a central location to see what state agencies provide care, parents can “upload documents to avoid repetition when applying for all these services,” he said.

The platform will be accessible to parents, relevant health care providers and educators to monitor what services children may be eligible for from the state.

BEACON is the latest major project following last year’s Blueprint for Transformation, an executive report on children’s mental health care commissioned by Gov. Pritzker’s Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. 

That report highlighted five solutions for improving child mental health care:

  • Adjust capacity of services

  • Streamline processes of services 

  • Intervene earlier

  • Increase accountability so there is transparency in services

  • Develop agility to increase system responsiveness

Dana Weiner, lead author of the report and Chief Officer for the initiative, highlighted BEACON as a “state of the art tool” that will ease the logistical and emotional burden associated with seeking mental health care.

“Families that previously had to navigate multiple paths telling the story of their youth’s challenges dozens of times in the hope that a door to services would open now will have an option for a single centralized place to go for help,” Weiner said.

The initiative was launched in 2022 amid concern about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinois youth, a sentiment Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton echoed on Monday.

“The last few years have been harder than anything that I've seen in my lifetime. The pandemic ripped away normalcy,” she said. “Understandably, we've seen a surge of mental health struggles in our youngest community members.”

IDHS’ Division of Mental Health contracted with Google Public Sector — a division within the tech giant that partners with governments and universities — to develop BEACON. Officials said the portal will be able to connect caregivers with the myriad health resources offered by an array of state agencies including, but not limited to, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

“In this age of technology, we have enormous power at our fingertips, and we are using it to nurture our children and create a healing-centered Illinois,” Stratton said. “The BEACON portal will centralize and simplify the process of securing mental and behavioral health intervention. It will ease the burden on our care providers.”

State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago), a former social worker and chair of the House Mental Health and Addiction committee, said BEACON is a sign of progress in the state’s mental health system.

“If you've lived it, like many of us have, you know that nothing about the mental health care system is easy to navigate,” she said. “Things have gotten a whole lot better. We still have lots of hill to climb when it comes to children's behavioral health access.”

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

STRATTON: Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton speaks to reporters and advocates at a news conference announcing a new unified portal for child behavioral health programs.

Memorial Hospital Earns Prestigious 5-Star Rating from the National Rural Rating System

Memorial Hospital Earns Prestigious 5-Star Rating from the National Rural Rating System

 

Carthage, IL – Memorial Hospital, a committed healthcare provider located in Carthage,
Illinois, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a prestigious five-star rating by the
National Rural Rating System (NRRS), a program recognizing excellence in rural healthcare.
This esteemed designation is a testament to Memorial Hospital's dedication to delivering
high-quality care and exceptional patient experiences. The NRRS evaluates hospitals based
on rigorous standards, including patient satisfaction, quality of care, and overall hospital
performance.
The five-star rating reflects Memorial Hospital's ongoing commitment to meet the unique healthcare needs of the rural community it serves. This recognition highlights the hospital's success in providing outstanding medical services despite the challenges often faced by rural healthcare facilities.
Brian Lee, Chairman of the National Rural Rating System, reflects, "This award is a tribute
to their unwavering commitment, dedication, expertise, and compassionate care provided
to the community every day. In a rural setting, where healthcare challenges are unique and
often complex, achieving this level of excellence signifies clinical capabilities and a deep
connection to the community. This recognition reaffirms rural healthcare as a beacon of
health, hope, and healing."
Memorial Hospital extends its heartfelt thanks to its dedicated team of healthcare
professionals, whose tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to patient care have
made this achievement possible. 

The 5-Star Rating System ranks rural and critical access hospitals – with five stars being the top ranking and one star being the lowest. The Star Ratings are like the CMS Stars, which allow hospitals/clinics to promote their success and are used as high-quality recognitions. Most small and rural hospitals (60%) do not qualify because of the low number of qualifying i patients for the CMS Rankings but are held to the same high patient
satisfaction criteria. This new program recognizes the hard work and dedication rural and
critical access hospitals provide across the country. The rankings will include overnight
hospital stays (HCAHPS – Hospital Consume Assessment of Helthcare Providers and
Systems) and are based on data collected by certified CMS patient satisfaction vendors. For more information, visit FiveStarRatings.org.

Individuals in the photo from left to right:
Front Row: Brian Lee, CEO of Custom Learning Systems; Ada Bair, CEO; Brad Culpepper,
Director of Hospitality; Sid Thrapp, Director of Environmental Services; Raigan Brown,
Chief Nursing Officer; Chaka Batley, Director of Behavioral Health Services; Sheridan
Voshake, Medical Laboratory Supervisor; Greta Wetzel, Executive Director of Memorial
Hospital Foundation; Jackie Orr, RN; Jill Schlatter, Director of Diagnostic Imaging; and Mary
Lou Sadler, Occupational Therapy Assistant
Back Row: Ashlyn Housewright, Executive Director of Community Health & Wellness;
Sadena Jackson, Director of Emergency Services/Education; Dr. Michael Ottney, and Shellie
Mittermeyer, Executive Assistant

Capitol Briefs: Lawmakers look to ban food additives; state announces DCFS investment

Capitol Briefs: Lawmakers look to ban food additives; state announces DCFS investment

A bill in the Illinois General Assembly would ban five food additives in the state by 2027.

Senate Bill 2637, sponsored by Chicago Democrat Willie Preston, would ban companies from using certain products in food, including brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, and Red Dye 3. Preston said titanium dioxide, a food coloring agent, will be added to the ban in a future amendment. 

California passed a similar ban last year which will take effect in 2027. The European Union has already banned these additives. In 2021 the European Food Safety Authority cited concerns that ingesting titanium dioxide could potentially have damaging effects on a person’s DNA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, categorizes potassium bromate and titanium dioxide as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

“We in the state of Illinois will not allow these food additives that are putting … our children at stake to remain in the food supply,” Preston said during the news conference at the Health Lifestyle Hub in Chicago. 

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias also backed the bill. He said some of the health concerns stemming from ingestion of the substances include hyperactivity, nervous system damage, reproductive and hormonal issues, and an elevated risk of cancer. 

“I can tell you with certainty what this bill does not do: It does not ban any products or brands. It does not take food off shelves,” Giannoulias said on Tuesday. “It will, however, encourage food manufacturers to update recipes using safer alternative ingredients that are already widely available and consumed in other places around the world.” 

 

DCFS to fund new transitional housing facility for women

The Department of Children and Family Services announced Tuesday it will invest $3 million annually to help fund a transitional housing facility for young women in suburban Blue Island. 

The UP House, short for Unlimited Potential, officially opened its transitional housing residence, “Logan’s Place,” on Tuesday. Young women between the ages of 17 ½ and 23 years old can apply for residence at UP House. Those who are admitted go through 24 months of residential programming designed to help transition into adulthood. 

Once the 20 initial beds at Logan’s Place are filled, DCFS will give UP House $3 million annually to support the programming and housing it provides for its participants, Gov. JB Pritzker announced during a grand opening news conference. 

Founder Tangela Thornton said she has been sheltering young women for several years in any open room she can find, whether it was in a family member’s house or her own. After purchasing the Mother of Sorrows Convent in Blue Island, “a seed sown in 2016” turned into a “149,000 square foot campus,” Thornton said.

Newcomers to the UP House will start in Logan’s Place and have access to recreation, theater and art rooms, educational resources through partnerships with local community colleges and a personal mentor, Pritzker said. 

Thornton said the facility would like to expand its other unit, known as “Kumari’s Place,” which offers dorm-style living, further educational support and job readiness programs. 

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association. 

 

Opening Reception Jan. 26 for 'Double Vision' Show at Sandburg

Opening Reception Jan. 26 for ‘Double Vision’ Show at Sandburg

 

An opening reception for Carl Sandburg College’s first gallery show of 2024, “Double Vision,” featuring the works of Jenny Chi, will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 on the Galesburg campus.

 

The show is on display through March 18 in the Lonnie Eugene Stewart Art Gallery in Building D. Both the reception and show are free and open to the public.

 

A professor of art at Eastern Illinois University, Chi’s many awards and honors include the White House Blue Ribbon Christmas Project, artist in residence for the Duval County School Board, the Carl Steinsieck Memorial Award for Best Figure Drawing and a George Sugarman Foundation grant recipient.

 

Chi also has been featured in the award-winning documentary series “Art Now,” which airs on Urbana Public Television and highlights members of the creative community in the Champaign-Urbana area.

 

Inspired by the human figure, Chi paints in a style reminiscent of the old masters, conducting a personal, sometimes rather sly dialogue with the Italian Renaissance in particular. Her amicable appropriation of the Best of the West makes one aware of art not just as finished work but as a way of seeing, an inexhaustible language that can be learned and shared and always retains the power of saying new things.

 

A graduate of the New York Academy of Art, Chi is an active artist and educator who travels extensively in Italy. For more about Chi, visit her website, jennychi.org.

 

MEMORIAL HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT STAFF COMPLETE NON-MATERNITY SERVICE TRAINING WITH OSF

MEMORIAL HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT STAFF
COMPLETE NON-MATERNITY SERVICE TRAINING WITH OSF

Carthage, IL – Memorial Hospital is proud to announce its Emergency Department staff
successful completion of specialized training by equipping them with advanced skills and expertise in handling non-maternity-related services that correspond with childbirth. The Emergency Department nurses underwent intensive training conducted by OSF Healthcare of Peoria, Illinois, titled;Non-Maternity Service Hospital Education.


This training aimed at enhancing emergency care for expecting mothers and newborns in critical situations. During the training, the Emergency Department nurses participated in a rigorous program covering the spectrum of childbirth emergencies. The training encompassed comprehensive modules on standard newborn delivery, obstetrics complications, obstetric hemorrhage, hypertension, prenatal mental health, and usual OB complications. The training also involved hands-on experiences, including simulated deliveries, newborn resuscitation  techniques, maternal assessments during childbirth, and an in-depth understanding of the entire delivery process. This practical exposure ensures that the Emergency Department nurses are skilled at handling a wide range of emergency scenarios related to childbirth, providing adequate care for both mothers and newborns.


OSF facilitates this Non-Maternity Service Hospital Education training across the region to hospitals that may not have labor and delivery services. The training is a pivotal asset, ensuring that even non-maternity departments are refreshed with specialized skills crucial for maternal and newborn care in critical situations. This training benefits Memorial Hospital by ensuring every patient receives exceptional care, even in high-stress emergencies.

To learn more about Emergency Services provided at Memorial Hospital, visit mhtlc.org/services/emergency- services/.
Pictured in photo from left to right: C. Susie Swain, Perinatal Network Administrator at OSF; Jen Carius, Maternal Perinatal Outreach Educator at OSF; Taylor Smith, RN; Kortnie Wear, RN; Katlyn Pollock, RN; Sonya Hamilton, ER Tech; Emily Hand, RN; Chloe West, RN; and Amy Hurt, RN

Memorial Hospital Welcomes Melissa Brewer, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Memorial Hospital Welcomes Melissa Brewer, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Carthage, IL – Memorial Hospital is excited to announce that Melissa Brewer, DNP, APRN,
FNP-BC, has joined the Memorial Hospital team. Brewer specializes in Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine and began working in the Emergency Department at Memorial Hospital and Convenient Care at the Memorial Medical Building located on the Memorial Hospital campus on January 15 th .
Brewer received her associate degree in nursing (RN) from Southeastern Community College in Keokuk, Iowa, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Missouri, and her doctorate of nurse practitioner (DNP) from the University of Missouri. She is board certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Nurse Credentialing Center. Brewer is also a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, The Urgent Care Association, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Brewer began her career as a Registered Nurse in an Intensive Care Unit for nearly 20 years.
Before becoming a nurse, Brewer was a social worker for the Iowa Department of Human
Services. Brewer truly believes it is essential to provide care that is of the highest quality, as well as partner with patients to create a workable plan of care. She is excited to bring excellent care to her home county, neighbors, and friends.
Brewer has been married to her husband Alan for twenty-six years, has two children, Jake and Liz, and has three granddaughters, Elliot, Hazel, and Ruby. Brewer enjoys spending time with her three granddaughters, walking, reading, and golfing with her husband.
To learn more about Melissa Brewer, DNP, visit mhtlc.org.

Back wages totaling more than $5 million owed to thousands of Illinois workers

 

Illinoisans can claim unpaid wages using new Department of Labor website

The U.S. Department of Labor is currently holding more than $5 million in wages owed to more than 7,000 Illinois workers, and the department has launched a new website in an effort to return it.

When an employee is underpaid for the work they do, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division can launch an investigation. If it finds that the employee is owed money, known as back pay, the department collects the unpaid wages and attempts to distribute it to the employee. 

The new Workers Owed Wages website attempts to connect workers with potential unclaimed back pay.

“As you can imagine, sometimes the workers have moved or their addresses aren’t known and therefore, those are the workers, we term unlocatables, that we search for based on the best information we can. But sometimes we are unable to locate them,” Tom Gauza, district director of the U.S. Department of Labor, said. 

The Department of Labor can only hold employees’ back pay for three years. After that it is turned over to the Department of Treasury and the employee can no longer claim it. The department also cannot send money to people using tax filing information received each year since not all employees have social security numbers or live at their listed addresses, Gauza said.  

“It’s important if they are looking to see if they are owed money that they check the WOW system, and that’s why we’re trying to get the message out,” Gauza said.

Across the country over 222,000 workers can still claim more than $161.4 million in back wages, according to the Department of Labor. Gauza said the most common industries in which the department investigates and finds unpaid wages are restaurant, home health care, agriculture and construction. 

Workers who think they are due back wages can go to the Workers Owed Wages website and follow the instructions on the main page to search the database. It is available in English and Spanish. If a worker finds they are owed money, they will be directed to a Department of Labor office that can send them a check. Gauza said employees can also claim wages regardless of their immigration status. 

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association. 

Staffing agencies not exempted from antitrust law, state Supreme Court rules

Staffing agencies not exempted from antitrust law, state Supreme Court rules

Attorney General sued agencies for allegedly colluding to hold down wages

Staffing agencies – a fast-growing industry that employs nearly a million Illinoisans – are not exempt from the state’s antitrust law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled late last week.

The decision comes 3 ½ years after Attorney General Kwame Raoul sued a trio of staffing agencies, alleging they used their mutual client to coordinate no-poach agreements, which created a secondary agreement to pay temp staffers less than the market rate.

In a unanimous 20-page opinion published Friday, the justices quoted a 1979 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that said some agreements “are so plainly anticompetitive that they are conclusively presumed illegal without further examination under the rule of reason generally applied in (antitrust law) cases.”

And the case before the Illinois Supreme Court, the justices said, was no different.

“The alleged agreement falls squarely within the realm of conduct so clearly anticompetitive that it violates antitrust laws without further examination under the rule of reason,” Justice P. Scott Neville wrote for his colleagues.

The three companies at issue – Elite Staffing Inc., based in Chicago, Midway Staffing Inc. and Metro Staffing Inc., both headquartered in Chicago suburbs – all had contracted with a construction company also located in the suburbs.

Elgin-based Colony Display LLC designs and builds display models and custom furniture for commercial properties like motels, grocery stores and restaurants. While the company operates in seven states, Colony manufactures, assembles and houses most of its furniture in three Illinois facilities.

The vast majority of Colony’s workforce is temporary. According to court records, at any given time the company “employs approximately 75 to 100 full-time employees,” compared with “between 200 to 1,000 temporary workers,” the original complaint alleged.

The staffing agencies’ contracts with Colony gave the company sole discretion over hiring, firing and assigning workers. And, the lawsuit alleged, the staffing agencies began to take advantage of that setup as early as 2018, communicating with each other via Colony.

“For example, many Midway employees wanted to switch to Elite because they were ‘not happy working for Midway’; they cited ‘pay issues’ and a lack of communication and support from their employer,” according to court records.

In response, Midway Staffing allegedly asked Colony for assistance in “squashing” the transfer of employees, resulting in Colony informing Elite Staffing that hiring other agencies’ employees was “bad practice” and wasn’t allowed. Elite Staffing then produced its own policy to Colony, which the company then forwarded on to Midway Staffing, thus enforcing the no-poaching policy, according to Raoul’s office.

In a settlement reached just before oral arguments on the related cases in November, Colony agreed to pay out $1.2 million to compensate the temporary workers impacted by the no-poach agreements.

But the staffing agencies went ahead with their appeal to the court, claiming their business models exclude them from the state’s Antitrust Actbasing their legal arguments on a 1980s update to a key definition in the law.

The law prohibits “restraint of trade” that decreases competition between “persons engaged in commerce and trade,” and then further defines commerce and trade as “all economic activity involving or relating to any commodity or service.”

The staffing agencies point to that 1980s-era update that defines service as anything that isn’t a commodity. The definition also stipulates that “service” doesn’t include “labor which is performed by natural persons as employees of others.”

While the justices acknowledged the language of the law was “ambiguous,” Neville wrote that they must look back in history to determine the purpose of the exclusion for “services.”

The court looked back at 1960s-era commentary from the Chicago Bar Association’s Committee on Antitrust Law, which had a hand in drafting the Illinois Antitrust Act, as well as an article by one of the law’s big proponents, Northwestern University law professor and leading antitrust expert James Rahl. Combing through the historical record, Neville wrote, the justices found the exemption was written solely for the benefit of labor unions.

“Like the bar committee, Rahl emphasizes the need to exempt legitimate union activity from the reach of the Illinois Antitrust Act and the correlative exemption for agreements between employers in the course of negotiations with unions,” Neville wrote. “No source concerning the purpose of antitrust laws suggests that the legislature meant to leave competing employers free to collude with each other to reduce the wages they pay to their employees or to collude to prevent workers from switching to better jobs.”

In a statement Friday, Raoul praised the justices’ decision.

“The Illinois Supreme Court has confirmed that Illinois’ Antitrust Act prohibits agreements among employers to restrict worker mobility and fix wages,” Raoul said. “I am pleased with this important result. My office will continue to enforce Illinois’ statutes to protect the rights of workers to seek better employment opportunities, wages and benefits, which allow them to support themselves and their families.” 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

 

 

Closings and Delayss January 23rd

Astoria Schools

Delayed Tuesday 2 Hours Schools

Brown County School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD 170

Closed Tuesday Schools

Canton R-V School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Carl Sandburg College-Carthage

Opening Late Tuesday 10:00 AM Schools

Carthage Elementary

Closed Tuesday Schools

Central CUSD 3-Camp Point

Closed Tuesday Schools

Central Lee Community School District

Delayed Tuesday 2 HoursBuses on hard surface roads only Schools

Clark County R-1 School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Community Unit School District 4

Open TuesdayBuses on hard surface roads only Schools

Dallas ESD 327

Closed TuesdayEvening sports canceled Schools

Early Head Start Johnson & Marion

Closed Tuesday Schools

Griggsville-Perry CUSD 4

Closed Tuesday Schools

Hamilton CCSD 328

Closed Tuesday Schools

Hannibal Head Start

Closed Tuesday Schools

Hannibal School District 60

Closed Tuesday Schools

Holy Family School

Closed Tuesday Schools

Illini West High School District 307

Closed Tuesday Schools

Keokuk Christian Academy

Closed Tuesday Schools

Keokuk Community School District

Alert Through 01/26Buses on hard surface roads only Schools

Knox County R-I School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

LaHarpe Community District 347

Closed TuesdayEvening sports canceled Schools

Lewis County C-1 School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Lillian Schaper State School

Closed Tuesday Schools

Macomb School District 185

Delayed Tuesday 2 Hours Schools

Marion County R-II School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Mississippi Valley State School

Closed Tuesday Schools

Moberly Area Community College

Opening Late Tuesday 10:00 AM Schools

Monroe City R-1 School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Nauvoo-Colusa CUSD 325

Closed Tuesday Schools

North Shelby School District

Alert until further noticeBuses on hard surface roads only Schools

Palmyra Head Start

Closed Tuesday Schools

Palmyra R-I School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Paris R-II School District

Open TuesdayBuses on hard surface roads only Schools

Payson CUSD 1

Open TuesdayBuses on hard surface roads only Schools

Pikeland CUSD 10

Closed Tuesday Schools

Pleasant Hill CUSD 3

Closed Tuesday Schools

Ralls County Head Start

Closed Tuesday Schools

Ralls County R-II School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Schuyler-Industry School District 5

Closed Tuesday Schools

Shelby County R-IV School District

Opening Late Tuesday 2 Hours Schools

Southeastern School District 337

Closed Tuesday Schools

St. Mary School

Closed Tuesday Schools

St. Paul School

Opening Late Tuesday 2 Hours Schools

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School

Closed Tuesday Schools

The Crossing Preschool-Macomb

Closed Tuesday Schools

Warsaw CUSD 316

Closed Tuesday Schools

West Prairie CUSD 103

Closed Tuesday Schools

Western CUSD 12

Closed Tuesday Schools

Zion Lutheran Preschool-Palmyra

Closed Tuesday Schools

Cancellations and Delays January 22nd

Astoria  Remote Learning Day - Monday   
Beardstown  Closed - Monday   
Beardstown Christian Academy  Closed - Monday   
Bluffs  Closed - Monday   
Brown County Schools  Closed - Monday   
Bushnell-Prairie City  Closed - Monday   
Camp Point Central  Closed - Monday   
Carl Sandburg College  Closed   
Carthage Elementary  Closed - Monday   
Dallas City Elementary  Closed/No After School Activities - Mon   
Griggsville-Perry CUSD No. 4  Closed - Monday   
Hamilton  Closed - Monday   
Illini West #307  Closed - Monday   
Jacksonville  Closed - Monday   
JWCC  Closed - Monday   
LaHarpe Elementary  Closed/No After School Activities - Mon   
Liberty  Closed - Monday   
Macomb  Remote Learning Day - Monday   
Mendon-Unity Unit 4  Remote Learning Day - Monday   
Meredosia-Chambersburg  Closed - Monday   
Nauvoo-Colusa CSD 325  Closed - Monday   
Payson School District  Closed/No After School Activities - Mon   
Pikeland CUSD No. 10  Closed - Monday   
Pleasant Hill  Closed - Monday   
Quincy Public & Parochial  Closed - Monday   
Quincy University  Opening at 12:00 PM   
Routt Catholic High School  Closed - Monday   
Schuyler-Industry  Closed - Monday   
Southeastern  Closed - Monday   
Spoon River College  Closed - Monday   
St. James Lutheran School  Closed - Monday   
St. Mary's School Mt. Sterling  Closed - Monday   
Virginia  Remote Learning Day - Monday   
Warsaw  Closed - Monday   

West Prairie 

 

Closed - Monday 

 

ALL Memorial Medical Clinics will have a delayed opening. All clinics will open at 10AM

 Meals  On Wheels for Carthage and Hamilton Area

No Trash pickup in Carthage Running a Day Late

Carl Sandburg College Receives $250K Donation From Graham Health System for New Scholarship Program

Carl Sandburg College Receives $250K Donation From Graham Health System for New Scholarship Program

 

 Carl Sandburg College on Thursday unveiled a new scholarship opportunity, supported by a $250,000 commitment from Graham Health System, that will be available to students in select health programs as well as career and technical programs.

 

“This significant donation will empower us to offer additional support to current and future students and further the college’s mission and vision,” said Eric Johnson, chief advancement officer for the Carl Sandburg College Foundation. “Graham Health System’s generosity is a game-changer for the Carl Sandburg College Foundation and the entire Sandburg community. They recognize our vision and have stepped up to help us transform the lives of our students in an even bigger way.”

 

The Graham Scholars Program will cover all educational fees and is open to new and returning full- and part-time students from Illinois and Iowa. International students also are eligible to apply. To qualify for consideration, students must display financial need, maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and be enrolled at Sandburg in one of the following programs:

 

  • Accounting
  • Administrative office assistant
  • Advanced industrial maintenance
  • Basic industrial maintenance
  • Cisco networking security
  • Computed tomography
  • Computer support associate
  • Computer technician certificate
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Medical assisting
  • Medical office assistant
  • Network security
  • Nursing
  • Practical nursing

 

 

“What you see represented in this generous and profoundly appreciated gift from Graham Health System is an investment in the advancement of everybody in our community,” Sandburg President Dr. Seamus Reilly said. “Not just in the health professions, but in all of the areas that go toward enhancing the quality of our lives. It's a vision in terms of what we can control and what health care looks like in the future.”

 

Applications for the Graham Scholars Program and other scholarships awarded through the Sandburg Foundation are available at sandburg.edu/scholarships. The priority consideration deadline for the 2024-25 academic year is March 15. Students can apply through June 15 for secondary awarding.

 

“There is an old saying in life that we are all warmed by many fires we did not start over our lifetimes. We want to start a number of fires at Carl Sandburg College,” said Bob Senneff, president and CEO of Graham Health System. “We are wanting to continue to build an authentic relationship with Sandburg and the Galesburg area. We need to and want to inform and educate students on the many paths they can take in health care and then financially support those that need it as they travel that path.”

 

Founded in 1969, the Carl Sandburg College Foundation is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation organized exclusively for educational purposes to assist in developing and augmenting the college's facilities and carrying out the educational functions of Illinois Community College District 518. Contributions to the foundation expand and enhance Sandburg's programs; support students through scholarships and crisis loans/grants; and provide for the capital needs of the college.  

 

In the last five years, the Sandburg Foundation has awarded $1.1 million in scholarships to Sandburg students; $135,000 in faculty-staff innovation grants; $112,000 in textbooks and course supplies funding assistance; $74,000 in crisis grants support; and $58,000 in nursing success grants, all thanks to the support of generous donors. Make your donation to the Sandburg Foundation at any time at sandburg.edu/givenow or by contacting the foundation at 309.341.5349 or foundation@sandburg.edu.

 

A leader in health care in central and western Illinois, Graham Health System includes Graham Hospital in Canton as well as 10 clinic locations serving the Canton, Elmwood, Farmington, Galesburg, Lewistown, Macomb and Williamsfield communities. Graham also staffs six specialty clinics (general surgery; orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; obstetrics and gynecology; podiatry; and wound care) in Havana, in partnership with Mason District Hospital. Graham Medical Group specializes in family practice; internal medicine; pediatrics; general surgery; orthopedics; obstetrics and gynecology; ear, nose and throat; podiatry; urology; wound care; vascular; pain management; and breast surgery.

L-R) Jake Green, senior director of development for Graham Health System, and Graham Health System President and CEO Bob Senneff present a ceremonial check for $250,000 to Carl Sandburg College President Dr. Seamus Reilly and Eric Johnson, chief advancement officer for the Sandburg Foundation, on Thursday at Sandburg. The donation from Graham Health System will be used to start the Graham Scholars Program, a scholarship for Sandburg students in select health programs as well as career and technical programs. (BILL GAITHER/Carl Sandburg College)

 

 

Closings and Delays January 19th 2024

Closings and Delays   January 19th 2024

 

 

 

Astoria  Remote Learning Day - Friday   
Brown County Schools  Closed - Friday   
Bushnell-Prairie City  Closed - Friday   
Camp Point Central  Closed - Friday   
Carthage Elementary  Closed - Friday   
Dallas City Elementary 

Remote Learning Day - Friday 

 

Illini West #307  Remote Learning Day - Friday   
LaHarpe Elementary  Closed/No After School Activities - Fri

 

Nauvoo  Colusa    Closed Friday
Southeastern  Closed - Friday   
St. Mary's School Mt. Sterling  Closed - Friday   
Warsaw  Closed - Friday   
West Prairie  Remote Learning Day - Friday
auvoo-Colusa CSD 325 

Closed - Friday  

 

 

Memorial Hospital CEO and Two Directors Receive Prestigious Awards at International Conference

 

Memorial Hospital CEO and Two Directors Receive Prestigious

Awards at International Conference

Carthage, IL – Memorial Hospital is proud to announce Ada Bair, CEO; Jill Schlatter, Director of Diagnostic Imaging; and Sadena Jackson, Director of Emergency Services/Education, have been selected for outstanding awards that were presented at this years recent Custom Learning Systems (CLS) Conference at Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida. Ada Bair, CEO, was the recipient of the Founders Award. Jill Schlatter and Sadena Jackson were selected Summit Award Winners.

 

Ada Bair, CEO of Memorial Hospital, received the top honor in the form of the Founders
Award. The Founders Award is presented to one who best exemplifies the principles of service excellence through their actions and leadership. The Founder;s Award stands as a testament to Bairs exceptional commitment to elevating healthcare standards and fostering a culture of excellence within Memorial Hospital. Through her steadfast leadership, Bair has consistently championed the values of integrity, compassion, and innovation, steering the hospital towards new heights of patient-centric care and ope rational excellence. Her visionary approach and profound dedication to service have set a remarkable standard for our entire healthcare community.

 

The Summit Award is awarded to qualified, innovative, progressive individuals, teams, and healthcare facilities who have made outstanding progress toward improving the patient experience and staff engagement. Individuals, teams, or organizations must be nominated to be eligible for a Summit Award.


Jill Schlatter, Director of Diagnostic Imaging at Memorial Hospital, won the Summit Award for OASIS (Organizationally Advanced Service Improvement System) Team Captain. Schlatter manages the work and responsibilities through the OASIS teams throughout the Memorial Hospital organization. OASIS teams consist of leaders across departments to develop and implement organization-wide best practice projects. Schlatter displays strong leadership and organizational skills. She is very creative and puts her all into her projects by assisting team members to ensure all the goals of the project she and her team are working on are met. 

 

Sadena Jackson, Director of Emergency Services/Education, won the Summit Award for
Empowering Manager. Jackson displays outstanding characteristics, such as being incredibly present with her staff and assisting them in making decisions by taking on new responsibilities. She also loves to search for continuous learning opportunities for employees to reach their full  potential. Jackson exemplifies exceptional leadership skills, is a positive role model for staff and
peers, and constantly goes "above and beyond"

Memorial Hospital is committed to delivering outstanding healthcare. Memorial Hospital is a 501(c)(3), non-profit critical access
hospital, which employs over 300 individuals, offers emergency, surgical, imaging (x-ray), laboratory, seven clinics throughout
the region, specialty clinics, and more. Memorial Hospital has served the residents of Hancock County and surrounding areas

since 1950. For more information, find us on the web at www.mhtlc.org

 

 

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Appoints Dr. Rosalinda Campos from Memorial Hospital as a Clinical Assistant Professor

 

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Appoints Dr.
Rosalinda Campos from Memorial Hospital as a Clinical Assistant

Professor

Carthage, IL – The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford welcomes Rosalinda Campos, MD, as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Campos is a board-certified family medicine physician at Memorial Medical Clinic in Carthage, Illinois, who teaches medical students in the Rural Medical Education Program.
I am eager to help teach the next generation of physicians set to practice in rural areas. The Rural Medical Education Program recruits and trains medical students with a rural background interested in practicing in a rural area following their medical education and residency program. Iam thrilled to be part of educating future physicians right here at Memorial Medical Clinic Carthage to serve in our rural communities says Dr. Campos.
Dr. Campos graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago and
completed a residency in family medicine at Hinsdale Family Medicine Residency in Hinsdale, Illinois. The UICOMR Rural Medical Education Program is one of the oldest and largest programs in the nation and is part of the National Center for Rural Health Professions.
Memorial Hospital is the host site for the West Central Illinois Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). West Central Illinois AHEC partners with universities and healthcare organizations to promote health careers, enrich learning environments and provide professional development opportunities for students. These activities support the students goals of achieving equitable health professionals and services distributed throughout the communities and regions in Illinois  and nationwide.
If you or someone you know is interested in job shadowing, interning, or a clinical rotation at Memorial Hospital, contact Mary Jane Clark in the West Central Illinois AHEC office at (217) 357-6832, or visit mhtlc.org/careers/intern-student-application/.

Lawmakers introduce bill to create state prescription drug price oversight board

Lawmakers introduce bill to create state prescription drug price oversight board

A new bill in the Illinois General Assembly would create a board of health care experts that would have the authority to set price limits on prescription medications. 

House Bill 4472 was introduced Wednesday by Rep. Nabeela Syed, D-Palatine, and Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria.

Using a variety of information related to the medication’s market, including the number of people taking the medication and its out-of-pocket cost, the board would assess its price. If the board finds it to be unreasonable, it could limit the amount wholesalers, pharmacies and hospitals can bill insurers and consumers for the drug. 

The bill’s sponsors said it was an effort to limit health care costs across the board.

Dr. Anthony Douglas, general surgery resident at University of Chicago, said he sees patients every day who struggle to afford their medication – some of whom cut their pills or skip doses to make their prescriptions last longer. 

“I cannot effectively care for patients if they cannot afford the therapies necessary to keep them well,” Douglas said at a Statehouse news conference to introduce the bill. 

The five-person board would be appointed by the governor and work with a bipartisan 15-member council of legislators and relevant experts to address the price of medications. 

The board would be tasked with assessing high-cost drugs, like ones used to treat cancer, auto-immune disease, and diabetes, as well as other drugs that might impact the state health care system. The board members may receive compensation from a special fund created through an annual tax on prescription drug manufacturers.

The bill had not yet been assigned to committee Wednesday, although House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch signed on as a cosponsor. 

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association. 

Carl Sandburg College Announces 2023 Fall Semester Graduates

Carl Sandburg College Announces 2023 Fall Semester Graduates

 Carl Sandburg College has announced the names of students who have completed graduation requirements and graduated from the college at the end of the 2023 fall semester.

 

ASSOCIATE DEGREES

ASSOCIATE IN ARTS

Clinton, Iowa — Lillian Isenhour

Colchester — Lucas Shirey

Dahinda — Caitlin Sherman

Farmington — Destiny Ward

Galesburg — Jade Albright, Mandyson Bernard, Brandy Gregory, Gabriela Gutierrez, Cassandra Hunt, Braden Kane, Baleigh Kelley, Jeff Kipkorir, Alyssa Lujan, Elizabeth Lybarger, Dejanae Matthews, Ava Morales, Alyssa Stephenson, Kaleigh Willis

Knoxville — Ashley Cecil, Joseph Sandoval

Monmouth — Gage Chenault, Amanda Mulvey

Oneida — Fabiola Chavez

Peoria — Joseph Jockisch

Rock Island — Julian Harris

Silvis — Janet Lopez

Springfield, Mich. — Robert Lian

 

ASSOCIATE IN FINE ARTS IN ART

Galesburg — Riley Tuthill

 

ASSOCIATE IN GENERAL STUDIES

Carthage — Ashley Bergheger

Chillicothe — Cassandra Kirman

Farmington — Destiny Ward

Galesburg — Cynthia Dickson, Brandy Gregory, Gabriela Gutierrez, Haley Kubis, Alyssa Lujan, Elizabeth Lybarger, Dejanae Matthews, Ava Morales, Isaiah Mowen

Knoxville — Ashley Cecil

London Mills — Kaitlyn Pasko

Monmouth — Amanda Mulvey

Rock Island — Courtney Thomas

Stronghurst — Beth Tomson

 

ASSOCIATE IN SCIENCE

Clinton, Iowa — Lillian Isenhour

Dallas City — Tyler Courtois

Galesburg — Victoria Plue

Monmouth — Kayla Pinedo, Griselda Rico

 

ASSOCIATE IN APPLIED SCIENCE

Administrative Office Professional

Galesburg — Cindy Douglas

 

Information Technology & Cyber Security

Little York — Brandon Montooth

 

Medical Assistant

Galesburg — Dashay Burnett

 

Mortuary Science

Galesburg — Sarah Larsen, Kelsi Legge

 

Nursing

Gerlaw — Madeline Kenan

 

CERTIFICATES

Accounting

Bushnell — Dawn Parker

 

Administrative Office Assistant

Galesburg — Cindy Douglas

 

Automotive Technology

Monmouth — Raymundo Francisco

 

Basic Welding

Galesburg — Lucas Wilson

Monmouth — Deven Bushong

 

Cisco Networking Security

Galesburg — Michael Christensen, Devon Gavel, Nicholas Lombardi

Monmouth — Janet Pratt

 

Computer Support

Altona — Nate Budde

Galesburg — John Martinez, Benjamin Otten, Erik Swanson

Gilson — Nicholas McDaneld

Monmouth — Pablo Arce, Fortuna Kitambala

 

Medical Office Assistant

Galesburg — Leslye Mercado

 

Network Security

Galesburg — Michael Christensen, Devon Gavel, Nicholas Lombardi

Monmouth — Janet Pratt

 

Practical Nursing

Abingdon — Nikala Timmons

Douglasville, Ga. — Shamese Burnside

East Galesburg — Betsy Zuidema

Galesburg — Emily Bailey, Tasha Wallace

Monmouth — Callie Lantz

Peoria — Paula Burse, Shameka Pate

Roseville — Heidi Davis

Wataga — Krista Mansir

Williamsfield — Raechel Bill

 

Small Business Management

Tennessee — Arlene Novak

 

U OF I EXTENSION KRISTEN HULS

U OF I EXTENSION UPDATE FOR JANUARY FAIR BOOK COVER CONTEST AND 4-H FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

 

Carl Sandburg College 2023 Fall Semester Dean's, Honors Lists

Carl Sandburg College 2023 Fall Semester Dean’s, Honors Lists

 

Carl Sandburg College has released the names of students who qualified for the dean’s list and honors list for the 2023 fall semester.

 

To qualify for the dean’s list, a student must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours) and earn a grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale). To qualify for the honors list, a student must be enrolled full-time and earn a grade point average of 3.0-3.49.

 

The college also makes dean’s and honors list designations for students who were enrolled part-time during the semester (less than 12 credit hours) and have completed a total of at least 12 credit hours overall.

 

DEAN’S LIST

Abingdon — Michaela Simmert

Alexis — Tammy Davis, Shelbie Lair, Addison Murray, Bella Ponce Voss

Alpha — Kristopher Bloomberg, Larry Kamara

Altona — Nate Budde, Taylor Morales

Andover — Sarah Wisslead

Austin, Texas — Sammy Eisenberg

Avon — Madison Frakes

Bettendorf, Iowa — Hannah Galbraith

Bushnell — Erin Jackson

Cameron — Chase Bryant, Kamryn Penn

Canton — Garrett Shipman, Serena Smith

Carthage — Aleah Gann, Paige Gutting, Rodney Housewright, Mercedes Jackson, Brittany Snyder

Clinton, Iowa — Erin Soesbe

Coal Valley — Danielle Zayas

Colchester — Grace Vyhnanek

Colona — Hailey Dowell

Congerville — Austin Wiegand

Dahinda — Delaney Traphagan

Davenport, Iowa — Jordan Burch, Seang Dam, Avery Hasselroth, Camilla Nguyen, Iesha Ratzlaff

Downers — Grove Emma Salman

East Galesburg — Grace Donovan, Chevy Marsh

East Peoria — Jackson Dubois

Eldridge, Iowa — Myah Herrington

Epworth, Iowa — Erica Wilson

Eureka — Kaitlyn Egenes

Farley, Iowa — Karlie Fagan

Farmington — Zachary Austin, Riley Embry, Destiny Ward

Fulton — Ethan Rash

Galesburg — Bailey Adams, Daniel Albino, Ethan Alderson, James Banks, Joshue Barrera, Taylor Bell, Mandyson Bernard, Kayleigh Bertram, Natalie Burden, Jean Cabezas Ortiz, Mataya Caldwell, Chase Casteel, Michael Christensen, Allan Chu Carrillo, Breanna Conger, Murillo Costa, Ashley Cruz Lopez, Felipe Da Silva, Mathias Dickerson, Alexander Dismang, Abigail Dolen, Felipe Dos Santos, Eric Epperson, Grace Evans, Kylie Fahnestock, Dulce Felix-Lopez, Jessica Fletcher, Casey Folger, Azaria Foshay, Nayana Foshay, Alexander Galarza, Felipe Garcia, Devon Gavel, Brais Gonzalez, Brandy Gregory, Gabriela Gutierrez, Blayne Healey, Cajun Hulse, Daniel Hummel, Breno Imbuzeiro, Kizumi Jackson, Ascar Jepchirchir, Miah Johnson, Savannah Johnson, Braden Kane, Tanner Karns, Aaron Kennelly, Ava Kersh, Isabel Kersh, Damaris Kimaiyo, Meshack Kimutai, Amos Kipkemoi, Faith Kiprop, Dalton Klossing, Kaylee Krisher, Nathan Laake, Gabriel Lima, Nicholas Lombardi, Simran Malla, Libby Mayea, Molly McCants, Adelia McGee, Tyler McWilliams, Benjamin Otten, Ivy Peed, Lilian Perez, Joshua Perkins, Tucker Peters, Tiffany Peterson, Madison Potaczek, Matteo Prado, Zoe Rains, Kaylee Ross, Jonas Ryner, Vinicios Sartorello, Lorenzo Schons, Sariah Simmons, Jordyn Smith, Diego Soto, Alyssa Stephenson, Ryne Straker, Rylee Stufflebeem, Mia Sturm, Imagin Terlikowski, Carlie Thompson, Riley Tuthill, Bree Williams, Abbie Wingert, Corissa Wright, Sharon Yego

Galva — Brayden Collins

Geneseo — Dillan Bideaux, Dawsyn Hartman

Gilson — Alicia Pettett

Good Hope — Lauren Powell

Groveland — Lainey Jensen

Hamilton — Olivia Bell

Henderson — Tyler Angell, Emma Smith

Hull — Kylee Schanbacher

Kewanee — Katelynn Peasley, Ashley Welsh, Alissa Williams

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo — Manoah Wemba

Kirkwood — Zair Ruiz Velazquez

Kissimmee, Fla. — Sebastien Bornelus

Knoxville — Caden Ericson, Taylor Haga, Payton Hankins, David Hise, Cassie James, Taylor Lee, Joseph Niles, Mika Osborne, Geoffrey Paris, Emily Robison, Bryn Wright

LeClaire, Iowa — Xenazjha Stevens-Hicks

Little York — Isabella Colbrese, Payten Swenson

London Mills — Kaitlyn Pasko

Milan — Evan Bowman, Sarina Miller

Moline — Monica Ruiz-Hernandez, Gracie Sims

Monmouth — Jairo Albarran, Pablo Arce, Alexandra Arellano, Jodi Barry Osterhagen, Justin Brooks, Laney Butler, Sarah Dillard, Kathryn Douglas, Leonard Gabel, Giovanni Godina, Michelle Hernandez, Lynette Liggett, Curstin Meehan, Samantha Payne, Janet Pratt, Griselda Rico, Kadin Rogers, Darrah Stevens, Ashlyn Trulson

Nora Springs, Iowa — Mikayla Heit

Norris — Attison Saylor

Oneida — Briana Chavez, Aleesha Jones

Oquawka — Andy Lumbeck

Peoria — Madeline Mooney, Rameen Naroo

Prairie City — Karena Barker

Quincy — Nayana Satheesh Kumar

Reynolds — Delaney Peterson

Rio — Bailey Hedrick, Carli Starr

Rock Island — Bianca Brown, Lauren Dortch, Chariema Lomax

Roseville — Caitlyn Larkin

Seaton — Emma Unsworth

Stronghurst — Ashley Bowen

Tremont — David Smith

Victoria — Daniel Dickerson

Wataga — Esther Gibb, Jacob McGarry, Brendan Oneil

West Point, Iowa — Camille Kruse

Yates City — Anne Showman

 

HONORS LIST

Abingdon — Seth Austin, Sharon Hicks, Easten Schisler

Ainsworth, Iowa — Holly Allen

Alexis — Kalyn Lee, Caden Murray, Addison Olmsted, Andrew Olson

Basco — Alisza Lemaire

Bettendorf, Iowa — Alyssa Campion

Bourbonnais — Mackenzie Delby

Burlington, Iowa — Lydia Allen-Barnes, Rachael Reger, Madelyn Stutsman

Camanche, Iowa — Erin Short

Cameron — Sierra Larson

Canton — Katelynn Ferguson, Ashley Gillette

Carthage — Ashley Bergheger

Chicago — Anthony Nino

Clinton — Cameron Anderson

Clinton, Iowa — Lillian Isenhour, Samantha Jordan, Kalee Kleppe

Dallas City — Katelyn Kaminski

Davenport, Iowa — Rebecca Tague

Fishers, Ind. — Cameron Howard, Noah Wolf

Fulton — Ethan Price

Galesburg — Jade Albright, Destiny Allen, Madason Alvear, Elisabeth Bentley, Angela Bertlshofer, Faith Brill, Cheyenne Bruning, Kyle Bundza, Haleigh Burnett, Jacilyn Childers, Paige Clark, Shauna Dotson, Jose Figueroa Vargas, Alayna Fuller, Caroline Gonzalez, Megan Gordon, Heather Grindle, Rylee Harris, Cristina Heras Marcos, Hannah Hunsaker, Sharnae Jackson, Babra Jepkirui, Kaden Johnson, Frank Kelch, Brian Kipchemis, Jeff Kipkorir, Emmanuel Kiprop, Emily Klossing, Olivia Lewis, Tabitha Miller, Alexander Morris, Mario Munoz, Benjamin Nelson, Annika ODell, Grecia Ojeda Sanchez, Brianna Organista, Addyson Peasley, Rodrigo Perez, Summer Pulse, Kylee Ragsdale, Armani Revis, Abigail Sammons, Britney Schmidt, Zachary Shepler, Isaac Smith, Kadin Spencer, Jayme Stevenson, Sheri Swan, Lauren Talbott, Ryan Ullrich, Olivia Wilder

Geneseo — Kaitlyn Webster

Gerlaw — Audra Ferguson

Gilson — Jade Rickard

Keokuk, Iowa — Alexsia Campbell

Kewanee — Brittany Nimrick, Anahi Torres, Brenda Torres

Kirkwood — Kaylyn Hager

Knoxville — Kayla Broussard, Colton Harlan, Elliot Lewis

London Mills — Draven Leady

Milan — Brycen McGarry

Moline — Valeria Hernandez, Jarrin Turner

Monmouth — Francisco Arteaga, Konner Bechtel, Mary Bennett, Lindsey Bismark, Logan Bratcher, Deven Bushong, Rafael Francisco, Raymundo Francisco, Madelynn Higbee, Ryan Leary, McKenzie Nickerson, Alejandra Salgado, Delaney Stevens, Judith Tepexicuapa, Kailey Villanueva, Aiden Wells, Keegan Winking, Azenet Zartuche

Niota — Kyler Leonard

Oneida — Adam Chasteen, Gavin Gerard, Jaren Gerard, Wesley Spilman

Oregon — Ava Hackman

Orlando, Fla. — Saul Etienne

Peoria — Olivia Allen, Tiffany Atkins, Kylita Furness, Brianna Gomez, Troy Westerdahl

Rock Falls — Ellie Wasson

Rock Island — April Rosenberg

Savanna — Kyla Kampas

Sherrard — Elizabeth Karns

Table Grove — Alaina Hayes

Victoria — Elliott Watts

Woodhull — Taylor Olson

 

DEAN’S LIST (PART-TIME)

Abingdon — Gabriela Bryan, Tyler Condreay, Alany Cordle, Andrew Foutch, Asa Stegall, Mary Tucker

Aledo — Alexandra Balmer

Alexis — Cadence Brownlee

Avon — Alex Hefler, Taylor Horton, Emma Rauschert, Drew Sheckler, Reece Stenger, Madilyn Stephens

Bushnell — Dawn Parker

Cameron — Brandon Penn

Canton — Morgan Rupert

Carthage — Brooke Blanton

Dahinda — Caitlin Sherman, Victoria Wheeler

Dallas City — Tyler Courtois

Davenport, Iowa — Jodi Alagna

East Galesburg — Kendra Rogers

Galesburg — Adjowavi Afantodji, Madison Aldridge, Jessica Alvarado, Jocelyn Behymer, Kristin Bland, Madelyn Burford, Tifany Carns, Samuel Carr, Kirsten Chapman, Emily Davies, Cynthia Dickson, Mackenzie Edwards, Britney Fields, Mason Fones, Alexis Hankins, Nicole Hans, Alexandria Hess, Tabitha Johnson, Brandon Lybarger, Elizabeth Lybarger, Jolinda Mangieri, Dannica Marlin, John Martinez, Ava Morales, Jasmine Morrow, Jesus Oliver Tovar, William Peoples, Isabel Perez, Naomi Rosenberry, Richard Schlosser, Stephen Short, Jacob Vaughn, Jessica Vens, Tiara Waters, Alexia Wessels, Erika Wignall, Mary Williams, Abby Wilson, Clarisa Zavala

Galva — Katherine Magee

Geneseo — Mercy Chavez

Henderson — Tiffany McGraw

Indianapolis, Ind. — Robert Lian

Keithsburg — Ryan Westpfahl

Keokuk, Iowa — Robin Meyers

Kewanee — Graciela Quinonez

Kewaskum, Wis. — Michael Kleinhans

Knoxville — Teylar Green, Marcey Younge

LeClaire, Iowa — Jaylynn Meirhaeghe

Little York — Brandon Montooth, Aubrey Thompson

London Mills — Brandi Vance

Mackinaw — Brittany Pawlak

Media — Isabella Hibbs

Monmouth — Lindsey Carlson, Christina Cassiday, Emily Cook, Jorge Diaz, Sophia Faleafaga, Conchetta Gonzalez, Heather Montroy

Mount Pleasant, Iowa — Ryen Chrissinger

Nauvoo — Reagan Eaves

New Windsor — Jennifer Corley

Oneida — Desiree McKinney, Carson Miller

Pekin — Maddison Mann

Peoria — Brittany Mack, Miesha Reed, Allen Williams

Rio — Joseph Karjala

Rock Island — Courtney Thomas

Silvis — Sebastian Vollmer

Toulon — Samantha Weir

Warsaw — Heidi Jones

Washington — Adrianna Kemp

Wataga — Jessica Havelock, Tanner White

Williamsfield — Dylan Tucker

Woodhull — Sarah Schwartzkopf

 

HONORS LIST (PART-TIME)

Abingdon — Addisyn Anderson, Tyler Carlson Juhl, Nicholas Prescott

Burlington, Iowa — Noah Hibbs

Burnside — Johnna Cook

Carthage — Amanda Steinkamp

Chadwick — Brittney Johnson

Chillicothe — Cassandra Kirman

Dahinda — Kathryn Cruise

East Moline — Asia McMeans

Galesburg — Junior Baya, Megan Benham, Sara Blakewell, Baylee Bramlett, Haley Brooks, Paige Brooks, Rebekah Bruington, Kaci Bryant, Madeline Bryant, Cheyenne Carver, Lanette Cravotta, Taylor Deroo, Dacoya Devine, Laine Dunn, Jacob Ettinger, Jennifer Felix, Mia Haneghan, Kathryne Herslow, Daniel Hite, Jacqueline Holmes, Cassandra Hunt, Baleigh Kelley, Rebecca Kirk, Chantel Leath, Caroline Lutz, Ashlee Mechtel, Demarkius Medley, Seslie Mixon, Vanessa Morrison, Caitlin Mowrer, Jerome Mujanayi, Yolanda Nanez, Bonnie Nielsen, Dasha Paige, Victoria Plue, Nicole Raska, Alexia Rodriguez, Zander Sargent, Jenilee Smith, Kaitlyn Smith, Terryn Smith, Melissa Sparks, Brooklyn Stanley, Christine VanVelsor, Belinda Walker, Kayli Wells, Alexia Wessels, Allison Whitcomb, Erica Williams, Kaleigh Willis, Jazmin Zavala Vega

Geneseo — Nichole Clark

Gerlaw — Regan Trego

Hanna City — Alex Barrett

Joliet — Amina ElMoudden

Kirkwood — Sullivan Ross

Knoxville — Kayla Bird, Katelynne Jones, Joseph Sandoval, Kinley Scalf

Mason City — Nicholas Huckabee

Moline — Alyssa Cardenas, Danijela Senseney

Monmouth — Dzemila Ahmetovic, Jessica Ayala, Daniel Cisneros Garcia, Eloise Faleafaga, Jennifer Garcia, Sarah Gaskill, Alexandra Hofmann, Katie Holmberg, Elizabeth Kucharz, Larue Nichols, Melissa Ricca, Kaitlyn Weir, Hailey Wilkins

Oneida — Fabiola Chavez

Peoria — Garrison Geer

Rock Island — Julian Harris

Roseville — Tobi Caldwell, Lily Cundiff, Callie Schisler, Demi Welsh

Sherrard — Ella Bickle, Grace Ellen Karns

St. Augustine — Sydni Teel

Toulon — Chandler Colgan

Victoria — Whitney Godsil

Wyoming — Heather Reese

 

Illinois proposal calls for expanding vote-by-mail

State rep. proposes measure that would allow all-mail elections in some areas

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
 

As the 2024 election season draws near, voters in Illinois will once again choose whether they want to cast their ballots in person or by mail.
But one lawmaker is proposing a bill in the Illinois House that could make that decision a lot easier, making voting by mail the default option for people in counties and cities that choose to go that route.
State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, said voting by mail has been shown to be a more convenient and efficient way of running elections.
“Vote-by-mail has been proven by way of court order, as well as people's utilization of vote-by-mail – I vote by mail – that it has been safe,” she said during an interview. “There have been no problems. I have not missed a single election. And people who use it increase their voter participation.”
Voting by mail, often referred to as absentee voting, was originally intended for people who planned to be away from home on Election Day, particularly military personnel, as well as college students and people whose jobs required them to travel. That often required voters to ask their state or local election official for an absentee ballot and, in some cases, explain why they wanted to vote by mail.
In more recent years, Illinois and other states have made voting by mail an option for anyone by adopting “no-excuse” absentee voting laws, meaning anyone could request a mail ballot without giving a reason.
Illinois also gives voters the option of asking to be placed on a permanent vote-by-mail list so they can automatically receive a mail-in ballot without having to fill out a new request for one each election cycle.
And in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly passed a law requiring local election officials automatically send vote-by-mail applications to every voter in their jurisdiction, instead of requiring voters to ask for one.
During a special meeting of the House Ethics and Elections Committee Wednesday in her hometown of Urbana, Ammons said voting by mail has become increasingly popular. But she said the multi-step process of voting by mail is still inefficient because it requires voters to fill out and send in a vote-by-mail application to receive a ballot.
“But when we went back to look at the utilization of the ballots, the number that came back, and the cost associated with mailing a ballot, we realized as we talked to other jurisdictions that you would actually save the money if you simply mailed them the ballot,” she said. 
Ammons is the sponsor of House Bill 4198, which would allow county clerks and other local election authorities to make voting by mail the default option in their jurisdiction. It would give them the option of mailing ballots to all registered voters in their jurisdiction, without requiring voters to ask for one. But it would still require local election authorities to offer in-person voting as well for those who prefer to cast their ballot in person.
Currently, eight states and Washington, D.C., operate elections almost entirely by mail. William Cavecche, an election administrator in King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle, said that state passed a similar law in 2005 and immediately, two-thirds of the counties in the state shifted to vote-by-mail systems.
“Speaking to someone who has run both polling-place elections and vote-by-mail elections, I can tell you from experience that vote by mail elections are significantly easier to administer,” he said.
Among other benefits, Cavecche said, in a vote-by-mail election, there is no need to worry about problems that commonly occur at in-person polling places such as running out of ballots, voting machines breaking down or poll workers failing to show up.
He also said vote-by-mail elections are more secure because all ballots can be counted in a centralized location. He said ballot counting can also be livestreamed on the internet to provide more public transparency.
Wednesday’s meeting was a subject matter hearing, meaning the committee only heard testimony and did not take action on the bill. But Rep. Maurice West, D-Rockford, who chairs the panel, said he intends to hold additional hearings during the upcoming legislative session, which begins Tuesday, and it’s possible lawmakers could vote on the measure in time to take effect for the 2024 general election in November.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Memorial Hospital Welcomes New Program Therapist, Jesse McKeown, LSW to the Evergreen Center

 

Memorial Hospital Welcomes New Program Therapist,

JesseMcKeown, LSW to the Evergreen Center

 Carthage, IL – Memorial Hospital is pleased to welcome Jesse McKeown, LSW, as a Program Therapist to the Senior Life Solutions; Evergreen Center. McKeown provides therapeutic services for patients utilizing group, individual, and family therapy sessions. Her primary focus is centered around quality patient care and providing services that a physician may order.

Senior Life Solutions Evergreen Center is an intensive outpatient group therapy program. It is designed to meet the unique needs of seniors struggling with age-related depression, anxiety, difficult life transitions, a recent health diagnosis, or the loss of a loved one. Family members, physicians, self-referrals, or other health professionals can refer individuals to the program.

Memorial Hospitals Senior Life Solutions; Evergreen Center is located at the Memorial Medical Building on the Memorial Hospital campus at 1450 N. Co. Rd. 2050 in Carthage, Illinois. For more information, visit mhtlc.org/services/evergreen/ or call 217-357-6516.

ABOUT SENIOR LIFE SOLUTIONS
Founded in 2003, Senior Life Solutions; Evergreen Center is managed by Psychiatric Medical Care (PMC), a leading behavioral healthcare management company. Focused on addressing the needs of rural and underserved communities, PMC manages inpatient behavioral health units, intensive outpatient programs, and telehealth services in more than 25 states. The companys services provide evaluation and treatment for patients suffering from depression, anxiety, mood disorders, memory problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other behavioral health problems. For more information, visit psychmc.com.

 

 

Closings for Jan 16th 2024

Abilities; Hannibal

Closed Tuesday Clubs and Organizations

Astoria Schools

Opening Late Tuesday 2 Hours Schools

Brown County School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD 170

Closed Tuesday Schools

Canton R-V School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Carl Sandburg College-Carthage

Closed Tuesday Schools

Central CUSD 3-Camp Point

Closed Tuesday Schools

Clark County R-1 School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Community Unit School District 4

Virtual Learning Tuesday Schools

Dallas ESD 327

Closed Tuesday Schools

Early Head Start Johnson & Marion

Closed Tuesday Schools

Gene Grawe Fund Office; Quincy

Closed Tuesday Social Services

Griggsville-Perry CUSD 4

Closed Tuesday Schools

Hamilton CCSD 328

Closed TuesdayEvening sports canceled Schools

Hannibal Head Start

Closed Tuesday Schools

Hannibal School District 60

Closed Tuesday Schools

Illini West High School District 307

Virtual Learning Tuesday Schools

John Wood Community College

Closed Tuesday Schools

Keokuk Christian Academy

Closed Tuesday Schools

Keokuk Community School District

Closed Tuesday 01/16Evening sports canceled Schools

Knox County R-I School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

LaHarpe Community District 347

Closed TuesdayEvening sports canceled Schools

Lewis County C-1 School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Liberty CUSD 2

Closed Tuesday Schools

Lillian Schaper State School

Closed Tuesday Schools

Macomb School District 185

Virtual Learning Tuesday Schools

Marion County R-II School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Mississippi Valley State School

Closed Tuesday Schools

Nauvoo-Colusa CUSD 325

Closed Tuesday Schools

North Shelby School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

OATS in Hannibal

Not running Tuesday Community

Palmyra Head Start

Closed Tuesday Schools

Palmyra R-I School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Paris R-II School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Payson CUSD 1

Closed TuesdayEvening sports canceled Schools

Pikeland CUSD 10

Closed Tuesday Schools

Pleasant Hill CUSD 3

Closed Tuesday Schools

Practices at Clemens Training Facility, Hannibal

Activity Canceled Through Tuesday Clubs and Organizations

Quincy Public School District 172

Closed Tuesday Schools

Ralls County Head Start

Closed Tuesday Schools

Ralls County R-II School District

Closed Tuesday Schools

Schuyler-Industry School District 5

Closed Tuesday Schools

Scotland County R-1 School District

Closed Tuesday 01/16 Schools

Shelby County R-IV School District

Closed Tuesday 01/16 Schools

Southeastern School District 337

Closed Tuesday Schools

Spoon River College

Closed Tuesday Schools

St. James Lutheran School

Closed Tuesday Schools

St. Mary School

Closed Tuesday Schools

St. Paul School

Closed Tuesday Schools

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School

Closed Tuesday Schools

The Crossing Preschool-Macomb

Closed Tuesday Schools

Warsaw CUSD 316

Closed Tuesday 01/16 Schools

West Prairie CUSD 103

Virtual Learning Tuesday Schools

Closing and Delays for January 13th and 14th

 

 

The Eagles Breakfast; Carthage

Canceled Sunday  

 

St. Paul Lutheran; Bowen

ALL Services Canceled TomorrowOnline service on their website  

Terre Haute Community Church; Lomax

Services Canceled Sunday

Salem Lutheran; Mendon

Services Canceled Sunday

 

First Christian Church; Carthage

Services Canceled Sunday   

 

Golden's Point Church; Hamilton

ALL Services Canceled Tomorrow  

Hamilton United Methodist Church

Services Canceled Sunday

 

First Christian Church, New London

Worship canceled  

First Christian Church; Carthage

Services Canceled Sunday

 

Faith Assembly of God; Hamilton

Services Canceled Sunday  

Faith Lutheran Church; Augusta

Services Canceled Sunday

    

Blandinsville Christian Church

ALL Services Canceled Tomorrow

Durham United Methodist Church; Dallas City

Services Canceled Sunday

Closings and Delays for January 12th

 

 

 

Hancock County Basketball Invitational                 Postponed

First Baptist Church Carthage                     No services Sunday  Jan 14th

First Christen Church Carthage                   No Services Sunday Jan  14th

 Hancock County Courthouse at noon today  and will be closed Monday for MLK Day

Carthage Library                           Closed

Carl Sandburg College                Closed

Western Illinois University           Closed

Bushnell-Prairie City  Closed - Friday   
Camp Point Central  Closing at 12:30 PM   
Carl Sandburg College  Closed   
Carthage Elementary  Closed - Friday   
Dallas City Elementary  Remote Learning Day - Friday   
Hamilton  Closed/No After School Activities - Fri   
LaHarpe Elementary  Closed/No After School Activities - Fri   
Liberty  Closing at 12:15 PM   
Macomb  Remote Learning Day - Friday   
Nauvoo-Colusa CSD 325  Closed - Friday   
Southeastern  Closed - Friday   
Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School  Closed - Friday   
Warsaw  Closed - Friday   
West Prairie  Remote Learning Day - Friday 

 

Closings and Delays

Hancock County Boys Basketball Games 1/10/24- Postponed

Closing and Postponements for January10TH 2024

The Hancock County Building and Grounds Committee will not meet this evening.  The meeting will be Jan 16, 2024 at 6 in the Hancock County Board room prior to the full board meeting at 6:30.

NO MEALS ON WHEELS FOR Carthage and Hamilton 

Abilities

Closed Wednesday Clubs and Organizations

Astoria Schools

Delayed Wednesday 2 Hours Schools

Bushnell-Prairie City CUSD 170

Closed Wednesday Schools

Canton R-V School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Carl Sandburg College-Carthage

Closed until 10 a.m. on Wednesday Schools

Carthage Elementary

Closed Wednesday Schools

Central CUSD 3-Camp Point

Closed Wednesday Schools

Central Lee Community School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Clark County R-1 School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Community Unit School District 4

Virtual Learning Wednesday Schools

Dallas ESD 327

Closed Wednesday Schools

Early Head Start Johnson & Marion

Closed Wednesday 01/10 Schools

Ewing Nutrition Center

Closed Wednesday Community

Hamilton CCSD 328

Closed Wednesday Schools

Hannibal Head Start

Closed Wednesday Schools

Hannibal School District 60

Closed Wednesday Schools

Holy Family School

Closed Wednesday Schools

Illini West High School

Virtual Learning Wednesday Schools

Illini West High School District 307

Virtual Learning Wednesday Schools

Keokuk Community School District

Closed Wednesday 01/10 Schools

Knox County R-I School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

LaHarpe Community District 347

Closed Wednesday Schools

Lewis County C-1 School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Liberty CUSD 2

Closed Wednesday Schools

Marion County R-II School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Monroe City R-1 School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Nauvoo-Colusa CUSD 325

Closed Wednesday Schools

Oats Transit Hannibal

Not running Wednesday Community

Palmyra Head Start

Closed Wednesday Schools

Palmyra R-I School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Paris R-II School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Quincy Kennel Club

Morning Services Canceled Today Social Services

Ralls County Head Start

Closed Wednesday Schools

Ralls County R-II School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Schuyler-Industry School District 5

Closed Wednesday Schools

Scotland County R-1 School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Shelby County R-IV School District

Closed Wednesday Schools

Southeastern Schools

Closed Wednesday Schools

St. John Lutheran School

Closed Wednesday Schools

St. Mary School

Closed Wednesday Schools

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School

Closed Wednesday Schools

Warsaw CUSD 316

Closed Wednesday Schools

West Prairie CUSD 103

Virtual Learning Wednesday Schools

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Closings/ Delays

January 8th 2024 

 

Hancock County Boys Basketball Tournament 1/8/24- Postponed

Carl Sandburg College closed until 10 a.m. Wednesday

West Prairie  Remote Learning Day - Tuesday  Jan 9th

 LaHarpe CSD #347                                                    Closed Tuesday  1/9 2024

Illini West High School                                             E- Learning Day   -  Tuesday Jan 9th 

Warsaw CUSD 316                                                        Closed    Tuesday Jan 9th 

Dallas ESD 327                                                              Closed Tuesday    Jan 9th

Carthage Elementary                                                     Closed Tuesday   Jan 9th

St Peters and Paul Catholic School                             Closed Tuesday Jan 9th

Hamilton CCSD 328                                                         Closed Tuesday Jan 9th

Nauvoo Colusa CUSD 325                                               Closed Tuesday Jan 9th

 

 

 

Amid record overdoses and drug counselor shortage, workforce expansion program aims to fill gap

Amid record overdoses and drug counselor shortage, workforce expansion program aims to fill gap 

Amid five straight years of record overdose deaths in Illinois, a new state program aims to alleviate a shortage of professionals who work to prevent substance use disorders.
Illinois’ behavioral health counselor workforce “is aging while new entrants are declining,” according to a 2019 report to the General Assembly; 56 percent of certified substance use disorder workers in the state were over the age of 50 at the time. According to the Behavioral Health Workforce Center’s latest data from 2023, 81 of Illinois’ 102 counties have fewer than 13 licensed professional counselors per 60,000 residents, straining those counselors tasked with servicing a large portion of the state.
To alleviate the workforce shortage, the state’s Department of Human Services has partnered with the Illinois Certification Board to offer stipends to lessen the financial burden for those working toward certification in substance use prevention and treatment.
The 2019 task force report also found the state’s “already below-national-average” number of behavioral health professionals dropped 23 percent between 2016 to 2018, coinciding with a two-year period in which social services funding was slashed as lawmakers and the governor failed to approve a state budget.
While the state’s human service funding has increased in recent years, an analysis from the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, a nonprofit think tank, found that the current fiscal year marks the first since FY 2000 in which the increase outpaced inflation.

Workforce expansion
The Illinois Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Workforce Expansion program launched in May and is currently set to run through June 2024. It offers aid in the form of scholarships, tuition payments, internship stipends, application fees and $1,000 upon hire with a state-licensed provider, following graduation from an ICB accredited training program.
Adriana Trino-Pujals, executive director of the Elgin-based Latino Treatment Center, said the challenge to find, hire and retain workers in behavioral health has remained difficult, mainly due to economic constraints that can push students to consider other career paths. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzing 2022 payrolls, the median salary for a behavioral health counselor in Illinois is about $48,000.
Some students who start classes to obtain a certification can’t afford to finish, Trino-Pujals said. 
“And then you're going to take that same person and I'm going to tell them that we're going to pay them 30-grand a year. Well, at that point, I'd rather go work at Walmart,” she said.
The new workforce expansion program is a partnership between the ICB – an independent organization that credentials several human services positions in the state – and the IDHS Office of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery.
Chris Boyster, executive director of the ICB, said the workforce expansion program aims “to ensure that there's absolutely no barriers for completion.”
“Let's say you want to become a CADC, but that class is taught on Monday nights and Monday nights you don't have anybody to watch your child. It will cover day care,” Boyster said.
The CADC Workforce Expansion program will also provide internship stipends up to $7,500, providing some reimbursement for work that might otherwise have been unpaid. It can also be used to pay for application and initial certification fees, along with transportation and course costs. Fees associated with enrolling and studying to become a CADC run at least $500, according to the ICB Schedule of Fees.
To qualify for the program’s $1,000 hiring stipend, a student must be in the process of getting credentialed as a CADC and agree to a two-year employment period with a state-licensed facility.
Information on how to apply to participate in the program can be found at ilcadcworkforce.org.
The workforce expansion program received a $3 million appropriation in the current-year budget. IDHS spokesperson Daisy Contreras said in an email the program’s continuation in future fiscal years is “pending the availability of funds and program performance indicators.”
Contreras said that while it’s too early in the program’s implementation to track significant trends, IDHS saw an “initial increase of approximately 30% in new applications” for the first half fiscal year 2024, which began in July. That followed a dip in the number of CADC applicants coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

Rising toll
During 2021 – the latest year for which comparable data is available – more than 3,000 people died of an opioid-involved overdose in Illinois, while 1,995 in the state were killed by firearms, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health Opioid Data Dashboard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That same year, 1,611 people in Illinois died of alcohol-induced deaths – more than the number of people killed in traffic accidents, according to KFF, formerly known as The Kaiser Family Foundation.

CADCs offer support and try to assess the needs of individuals who seek treatment.
Jen Andel, who works as overdose prevention manager at Chicago Recovery Alliance, said that in addition to working hundreds of hours in unpaid internships to qualify for her CADC, she had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. She became certified in 2018 and said her coursework focused heavily on abstinence and relapse prevention.
“Abstinence is the goal,” Andel said. “There was not really any sort of harm reduction education, or what do we do with a client who is continuing to use. How do we help that person identify their own goal, which may not even be abstinence?”
Andel said she left her job in traditional substance use treatment because she saw an opportunity to help more people, and in a more direct way.
Trino-Pujals, who also serves as the ICB’s treasurer, said the program is a step toward keeping more students engaged in the field of substance use treatment and harm reduction.
“We have a horrible shortage,” she said. The lack of CADCs “has hindered us to be able to continue to progress in our field.”

‘Too little, too late’
Trino-Pujals said she was inspired to become an alcohol and drug counselor partly because both of her parents worked in substance use treatment, and she saw her father recover from alcoholism.
“Once I took the test, it not only propelled me professionally, but it also helped me to understand a lot more of the fields, theories and different processes regarding (substance use treatment),” she said.
The ICB expanded its reach in November by naming eight universities, public and private, as accredited training programs, including Loyola University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The move will make CADC courses more readily available to college-age students interested in recovery and treatment work.
The program is one of three IDHS initiatives aimed at addressing the shortage of behavioral health workers in the state, with the others being a loan repayment program and another workforce incentive program focusing on certifying people who have lived experience as peer support specialists.
Still, many advocates say the recent state efforts are not nearly enough. Andel, for example, said she fears the hiring stipend is still too low to incentivize people to pursue a certification.
“Two years for $1,000? I’m going to keep it real here, come on,” Andel said.
John Werning, the executive director of Chicago Recovery Alliance – a harm reduction organization founded over three decades ago – said he is skeptical of state investment in an overdose program that isn’t directly aimed at slowing the state’s death toll.
“People who use drugs far outnumber the amount of people who are seeking or treatment or who qualify for a substance use disorder diagnosis,” he said. “We've never seen a reduction in the demand for drug use in this country and we've only seen overdose rates climb.”
Werning said there remains a need for investment in more social service programs such as overdose prevention sites because a diversity of options expands what people can utilize, hopefully saving more lives.
“It might also be too little, too late,” he said, “we need broad, really tremendous investments in social services across the board, not just treatment modalities.”

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Whitsitt Appointed to Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees

Whitsitt Appointed to Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees

 Jeff Whitsitt, who possesses more than three decades of experience working in public education, was sworn in as the newest member of the Carl Sandburg College Board of Trustees on Dec. 21 during the board’s regular monthly meeting.

 

Whitsitt was appointed to take the spot of Bruce Lauerman, who retired from the board in November after having first been elected as a trustee in 1990. Whitsitt will complete the remainder of Lauerman’s six-year term, which expires in 2027.

 

Whitsitt currently serves as the superintendent of United School District 304 and will retire from that position at the end of the school year. He has held that role since the district was formed in 2004. During his tenure, Whitsitt led the transition of the district following the vote to consolidate, oversaw the inclusion of a third district three years after United’s initial consolidation and has spearheaded multiple building projects.

 

Whitsitt also was superintendent at United during the rollout of the Sampson Promise program, a scholarship opportunity that allows graduates from the United and Monmouth-Roseville school districts to have up to 100 percent of their tuition to Sandburg covered.

 

“Education has been my life’s passion, and while I’m retiring from my superintendent position, I still wanted to find a way to be involved and make a difference for students,” Whitsitt said. “When this opportunity came about, it felt like a perfect fit at this stage of my career. I’m excited to be part of the board and helping Sandburg continue to change lives in our area.”

 

Prior to his tenure as superintendent, Whitsitt was the principal of Alexis Junior/Senior High School from 1998-2004. He also taught business education and coached at ROWVA from 1991-98.

 

A Knoxville native and 1986 Knoxville High School graduate, Whitsitt earned his bachelor’s in business education from Illinois State University. He received his general administrator and superintendent licenses through the master’s program at Western Illinois University.

 

In addition to his position at United, Whitsitt is president of the Knox-Warren Special Education District, on the board of directors for the Warren County YMCA, professional development chair for the Illinois Association of School Administrators and a member of the Monmouth Rotary Club.

 

“Jeff’s experience and qualifications, both professionally and personally, really stand out and make him an exceptional addition to our board,” said Tom Colclasure, board chair. “With his background, he certainly values and is a great proponent of education in our community, and we’re thrilled to welcome him as our newest trustee.”

 

Whitsitt and his wife, Kelley, reside in Alexis and have four adult sons: Riley (a 2016 Sandburg graduate), Jack, Toby and Cade.

 

Trump faces ballot challenge in Illinois minutes after filing his petitions

Trump faces ballot challenge in Illinois minutes after filing his petitions

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is now among the growing list of states in which former President Donald Trump will have to fight to have his name appear on the 2024 election ballots.
A group of five voters filed a joint objection to Trump’s candidacy Thursday, arguing that Trump should be disqualified under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits anyone who took part in an insurrection against the United States from holding federal office.
The objection alleges that Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections, including his involvement in events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, amounted to an insurrection. 
“Consequently, Donald J. Trump is disqualified from, and ineligible to hold, the office of President of the United States,” the objection states. “Accordingly, his nomination papers are invalid under Illinois law because when Trump swore he was ‘qualified’ for the presidential office, as required by (state statute), he did so falsely.”
Thursday was the first day for presidential candidates to file petitions for the March 19 primary ballot. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website, the Trump campaign filed its petitions at 8 a.m., along with fellow Republican candidates Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Texas businessman Ryan L. Binkley.
On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden’s campaign filed petitions, along with Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson.
As of Thursday evening, Trump was the only candidate facing an objection. The deadline for filing objections is Friday, Jan. 12.
Similar objections have been filed in multiple other states. So far, however, they have only been upheld in Colorado and Maine. The Trump campaign has filed appeals in both of those cases, including a direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Colorado case.
Matthew Piers, a Chicago-based attorney who filed the Illinois objection, said in an interview that the cases highlight the differences in election laws among the various states.
In some states, he said, primary elections are considered operations of political parties, not the states themselves, and therefore are not subject to rules set by the state. But in Illinois, he said, state law specifically requires candidates to state on their nominating petitions that they are qualified for the office they are seeking.
Article II of the U.S. Constitution requires presidents to be “natural born citizens” who are at least 35 years of age and who have been residents of the United States for at least 14 years.
But the 14th amendment – enacted in the aftermath of the Civil War – adds more conditions, barring any former public officials who previously took an oath to support the Constitution from holding certain public offices in the future if they ever engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or gave aid or comfort to its enemies.
The objection cites numerous other government agencies and officials who have concluded that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, were an insurrection, including decisions of the Colorado Supreme Court and the Maine secretary of state to keep Trump’s name off the ballot in those states.
The objection also cites several recent court rulings, including some involving people convicted of crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol.
Legal challenges to a candidate’s qualifications for office are not uncommon in Illinois. Dozens of them are currently pending at the Illinois State Board of Elections against candidates for the General Assembly and various judicial positions, mostly based on claims that petition signatures were invalid or insufficient.
In 2016, a challenge was filed against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton based on her petition signatures. And in 2012, Democratic President Barack Obama faced three nearly identical challenges to his candidacy based on false allegations about his citizenship.
State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said in an email the objection to Trump’s candidacy will be investigated by a hearing officer who will make a recommendation to the board’s general counsel. The full, eight-member bipartisan board will consider the challenge at a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Bowen paper poses question that some would say is still relevant

 

Bowen paper poses question

that some would say is still relevant

 

A long-gone Hancock County newspaper offers proof that conspiracy theories are nothing new.

   The Bowen Chronicle questioned government overreach more than 90 years ago.

   An editorial posed a thought-provoking question on January 5th, 1933. It came just two months before Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated after whipping Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover the previous November.

   Though it was during the Great Depression, some would argue that the inquiry could be made today.

   The question was, “Who will pay the taxes after all property has been confiscated and all capital has at last found its ways into the coffers of the government?”

   Alas, the Chronicle would not survive to comment on other conspiracy schemes. The weekly newspaper folded in 1937.

 

CUTLINE FOR PHOTO: One of the signs noting Bowen, Ill., as the home of former U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater's mother, Josephine Williams.

Governor names new DCFS director

Governor names new DCFS director

By BETH HUNDSDORFER 

 

The troubled state agency charged with the protection of abused and neglected children will have new leadership in the new year. 
Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday that Department of Juvenile Justice Director Heidi Mueller will take over the embattled Department of Children and Family Services starting Feb. 1. 
“The work Director Mueller has done at the Department of Juvenile Justice over the last several years has been transformative for the juvenile justice system in Illinois, and I am thrilled that she will bring her unique experience and talents to DCFS,” Pritzker stated in a news release on Wednesday. 
Mueller will be the 15th director to head DCFS in the past two decades.
“As someone who has devoted my career to supporting children and families, I am honored and humbled to be entrusted by Governor Pritzker with the responsibility of leading DCFS,” Mueller stated in a news release. 
Mueller has served as IDJJ Director since 2016, overseeing youth adjudicated as juvenile offenders. Mueller developed a close-to-home model for youth offenders and built a system of community care, according to the release. 
“The DCFS director has arguably the hardest, and most important, job in state government,” said Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert, who has been one of agency’s critics. “Heidi Mueller has an outstanding reputation as a reform-minded manager and brings substantial child welfare experience to the task.”
Heidi Dahlenberg, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois and the lead attorney in a lawsuit against DCFS that has been ongoing since 1988, said Mueller takes over at a “crucial moment” marked by a need for placing youth in proper settings.
“DCFS also must provide services to meet children’s individual needs and turn away from the use of large impersonal, institutional settings. This is a challenging job that requires a leader with vision and a commitment to transformational change,” Dahlenberg said. 
ACLU’s lawsuit, known as B.H. v. Smith, resulted in a consent decree that mandates reductions in caseloads, protection of agency funding, implementation of better training for caseworkers and private agency staff, and a reorganization of DCFS systems of supervision and accountability. Three decades after the consent decree, many problems, including understaffing, persist. 
The news of Smith’s replacement came within hours of an email sent to DCFS employees on Tuesday afternoon, letting them know that Director Marc Smith would stick around past his stated Dec. 31 resignation date. He announced in October that he would step down at the end of 2023, but he will now stay on until the end of January “to provide ongoing continuity" to the agency, according to a statement from the agency.
Smith has headed the agency since 2019. For years, critics had called for Smith’s ouster, amid legislative hearings, contempt citations, a murdered child protection investigator and the highest number of children who died after contact with the agency in 20 years.
Last month, DCFS and its watchdog released two reports detailing failures of the agency to properly place children in appropriate settings and how failures to follow the law and the department's own policies compromised child safety. 
DCFS released its annual “Youth in Care Awaiting Placement Report” to the General Assembly on Friday. The report showed 1,009 state wards were in emergency placements for more than 30 days, housed in psychiatric units beyond medical necessity, stayed in hospital emergency rooms for more than 24 hours, held in juvenile detention facilities after their schedule release dates, or placed in out-of-state treatment facilities.
In 330 cases, involving 296 children, DCFS forced children in state care, some as young as four years old, to remain in a locked psychiatric hospital after they were cleared for discharge. The report stated that more than 40 percent of these children were held in locked psychiatric hospitals for more than three months.
Last year, a Cook County judge cited Smith personally a dozen times for contempt of court for failing to put abused children in appropriate placements. 
An appellate court vacated the contempt citations because Smith was not willfully disobeying the order but could not comply with the court order because DCFS did not have enough beds in group homes, shelters, or specialized foster placements. Some of the contempt citations were purged when the agency found the children appropriate placements.
The Office of the Inspector General, the agency’s internal watchdog, also released its annual report for fiscal year 2024 last month. The report detailed the deaths of 160 children who had been under the care of DCFS within a year of their deaths. The OIG investigated the deaths of 171 children in fiscal year 2023 – the highest number of deaths in two decades.
The report outlined new details in the death of 8-year-old Navin Jones, of Peoria. Though the reports are anonymous, the children are identifiable by the dates and circumstances outlined by the OIG. 
Navin was unresponsive and weighed just 38 pounds when an ambulance was called to his Peoria home on March 29, 2022. Despite a history that included domestic violence, drug use, child abuse and neglect, that went back to Navin’s birth, the agency allowed Navin to remain in the custody of his parents, even though his grandmother had legal guardianship of the boy. 
Six weeks before Navin’s death, a DCFS investigator interviewed him after receiving a hotline call reporting the child had black eyes and bruises, according to the annual report. The family put investigators off for eight days, dodging knocks at the door and skipping appointments. 
During the interview eight days after the call, the report stated Navin denied anyone hurt him, but the worker acknowledged the parents were present for parts of the interview. The investigator also did not ask about the black eyes or bruises because Navin reported that he felt safe. She also failed to examine Navin for injuries. The entire interview was conducted with Navin in bed, wearing a hoodie and covered in a blanket. 
The investigator told the OIG that Navin was clean, but “sickly and thin.”
The worker documented concerns about Navin’s weight, but Stephanie Jones, Navin’s mother, said Navin “ate all the time but did not gain weight.” 
Brandon Walker, Navin’s father, and Jones told the investigator they could not take the child to the doctor because the paternal grandmother still had guardianship, so the worker focused on getting the guardianship transferred from the grandmother back to the parents. The grandmother told workers that she did not think returning guardianship was a good idea. The worker did not follow up on the reasons for the grandmother’s concerns. 
When emergency responders were called to the home, Navin was unresponsive. A pile of urine-soaked sheets was found near his bed. His door was tied with rope. An exam revealed the 8-year-old weighed 38 pounds. He had ligature marks, a sign of restraint. He had bedsores on his back.
He later died at a Peoria hospital.
The coroner said it was the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen.
Walker was convicted of first-degree murder last month. Jones pleaded guilty to murder charges. Both are expected to be sentenced later this winter. 
The report found that the supervisor failed to direct intervention to save Navin. The supervisor will face discipline for failing to ensure an adequate investigation and allowing a delay in seeing the child.
The worker who interviewed him in the weeks before his death was disciplined for failing to conduct an adequate investigation and seeking medical attention for Navin. The worker received an oral reprimand.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association

Madigan trial delayed until October for SCOTUS review of bribery statute


Madigan trial delayed until October for SCOTUS review of bribery statute


By HANNAH MEISEL
Capitol News Illinois

 

CHICAGO – Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan won’t be spending his 82nd birthday in a federal courtroom this spring after a judge on Wednesday granted his request to delay his bribery and racketeering trial originally set to begin April 1.
Madigan claimed the small victory while appearing in court for the first time since he was indicted nearly two years ago, opting to show up in person to a hearing at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse Wednesday afternoon despite having been granted permission to appear via videoconference. Sporting a black suit and royal blue tie, the former speaker spoke only once during the hearing.
“Yes I do, your honor,” Madigan said in reply to U.S. District Judge Robert Blakey’s question as to whether he consented to the trial’s rescheduling to Oct. 8.
The trial is now scheduled for several months after the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the case of a northwest Indiana mayor convicted under the same federal bribery statutes at play in Madigan’s case. Attorneys for the former speaker and his codefendant argued the high court’s ruling could affect the outcome of Madigan’s case.
Blakey agreed during the hourlong hearing, likening the risk of going to trial prior to the Supreme Court’s expected June ruling to stepping on a Lego brick.
“I’d go, ‘George! I thought I told you to pick up the Legos!’” Blakey said, recounting telling his then-young son to clean up his toys. “And he’d say, ‘Eh, I picked up most of them.’”
Blakey acknowledged that while only a third of the 23 charges Madigan is facing could be affected by the high court’s ruling and posited that no parties involved want to “walk into a dark room with no shoes on” and be thrown a Lego by the Supreme Court. 
Most critically, Blakey said, delaying the trial until after the Supreme Court’s ruling would avoid the possibility of having to redo the entire trial, which he said would be a waste of everyone’s resources. Government prosecutors opposed the delay, but in a filing Tuesday evening offered that they’d be willing to reevaluate jury instructions if the high court had not ruled by the time the case was nearing a close in late spring.
But Blakey rejected that solution, saying the “critical juncture” for clarity on what the federal bribery statute says does not occur during jury instructions. Rather, he said, it occurs even before opening statements begin, as attorneys on both sides prepare for trial.
“You’re absolutely right: there’s a bunch of the case that won’t be affected,” he said. “But there’s enough of the case that’s going to be affected that it might require retrial.”
The case at issue on the Supreme Court’s docket is a review of a 2021 conviction of a northwest Indiana mayor who accepted $13,000 from a company that had recently won contracts to sell garbage trucks to the city. The high court accepted the case last month and is expected to clarify whether “gratuities” are the same as bribes, even if there’s no quid pro quo agreement in place.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu pointed out that prosecutors in the Northern District of Illinois are overseeing that case, which stems from Portage, Indiana, about 20 miles east of the Illinois border. 
“When you corruptly solicit a payment…an actual quid pro quo isn’t required,” Bhachu maintained during Wednesday’s hearing. 

But Federal appeals courts have split on the issue, and Madigan has already attempted to have the case dismissed on similar grounds, though Blakey has yet to rule on that motion from last year.
Madigan was forced out of his 36-year reign as House Speaker in early 2021 as pressure grew from his own Democratic caucus after he was cited as “Public Official A” in federal charging documents against electric utility Commonwealth Edison and former top lobbyists and executives at the company.
Prosecutors alleged ComEd bribed Madigan with jobs and contracts for his political allies in exchange for favorable legislation in Springfield. ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine as part of its resolution of the legal action against it, while the company’s former CEO and three ex-lobbyists fought the charges in a seven-week trial last spring. All were ultimately convicted by a jury. 
Read more: ‘ComEd Four’ found guilty on all counts in bribery trial tied to ex-Speaker Madigan 
The four are still awaiting sentencing, which was originally scheduled for January before being delayed due to court scheduling conflicts. Also awaiting sentencing is the former ComEd executive who wore a wire against his colleagues and became the government’s star witness in last year’s trial.
Read more: One year after Madigan’s indictment, former speaker’s allies prepare for trial 
Madigan wasn’t indicted until March 2022, more than a year after he’d stepped down from nearly every public office he’d held, including as head of the state’s Democratic Party and the legislative seat he’d kept for 50 years representing Chicago’s southwest side.
Read more: Ex-Speaker Madigan indicted on 22 public corruption counts
The indictment was largely a repackaging of allegations from the ComEd cases, claiming Madigan and his codefendant – ComEd’s longtime top outside lobbyist Mike McClain – ran a “criminal enterprise” via the power Madigan had accumulated from his positions as both a political power broker and name partner in a Chicago-based property tax law firm. 
In October 2022, the feds added an additional count alleging telecommunications giant AT&T Illinois had been part of a bribery scheme similar to ComEd’s, wherein the company allegedly gave jobs and contracts to Madigan allies in exchange for favorable treatment in Springfield.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

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