The week that was in Illinois news and politics (August 19, 2013 - August 23, 2013).
Chicago and Cook County News:
Pilsen community members held a Saturday afternoon vigil outside Whittier Elementary to mourn the loss of the school’s fieldhouse, which was completely demolished earlier that morning due to safety concerns cited by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
About 200 parents, students, teachers and elected officials rallied Sunday in Logan Square, calling on the mayor to declare a TIF surplus and restore school budgets to their original levels.
Local elected officials, faith-based leaders and community stakeholders participated in a meeting Monday focused on the threatened closure of Roseland Community Hospital and the need for increased access to health care in the area.
Workers at Clyde’s Delicious Donuts say they are outraged that the company plans to withdraw from its employees' pension fund and move workers into a 401K-style plan starting this September.
The Emanuel administration was apparently aware of the allegations against former Chicago comptroller Amer Ahmad, who was indicted on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and bribery in Ohio last week.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a shooting that left five injured along a CPS Safe Passage route on the North Side an "early warning sign".
On Tuesday, Emanuel said the demolition of Whittier Elementary School's fieldhouse was "exactly the right thing to do", despite community outrage.
Protesters took to a downtown Bank of America branch and Fannie Mae’s corporate offices in Chicago Tuesday to urge one of the nation’s largest home mortgage servicers and the largest home mortgage investor to change their lending and foreclosure policies. Progress Illinois was there for the action.
A $53.7 million contract to build the Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago was awarded to Walsh Construction Company II LLC, the city's Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
The city-state owner of McCormick Place, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, headed to court Tuesday on an eminent domain lawsuit it filed as a means to acquire a piece of land located near the planned site of a new DePaul basketball arena and 500-room hotel.
Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the population of food deserts in Chicago declined 21 percent over the past two years thanks to 15 new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts. But those working on the ground to combat food-access issues in Chicago say the new numbers are not as sweet as they appear.
Privatization plans for Midway Airport could negatively affect both nearby residents as well as airport workers, according to Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd).
Affordable housing activists and tenants of the Astor House on Pratt Boulevard held a prayer vigil and protest outside Ald. Joe Moore’s (49th) office in Rogers Park Wednesday evening.
A group of Chicago education activists are hoping thousands of students take part in an August 28 boycott of a school system, they say, is acting as a destabilizing force in low-income communities of color.
Chicagoans from across the city rallied downtown Thursday afternoon to “out” General Electric as a corporate tax dodger and to call upon U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to take charge and make corporations pay their fair share.
The ultra-conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch will not purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, according to reports.
Emanuel announced the creation of a 13-member advisory committee on Thursday that will recommend ways to reuse the city's 50 shuttered neighborhood school buildings in order to turn them into community assets.
A former clerk in the Cook County Assessor's office has been arrested for fraudulently collecting some $112,000 in property tax refunds.
The more than 150 activists and Chicago public service workers who are set to take part in Saturday’s “Realize the Dream March And Rally” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington say their message will be the same as the thousands of people who rallied at the nation’s capital in 1963: jobs and justice.
Anyone in Illinois looking to purchase a gun in the state must undergo a required background check and report when firearms are lost and stolen under a new law Gov. Pat Quinn signed Sunday.
State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) told reporters on Sunday at an unrelated press event that he would make a final decision on whether to run for Illinois governor in "10 days or so."
Gov. Quinn signed a bill Monday that will raise the interstate highway speed limit from 65 to 70 mph.
A new deal between the Springfield teachers union and the school district will not include a districtwide pay raise.
An audit of Metra by the Regional Transportation Authority shows that the agency made consistent attempts to mislead the public about the large severance package given to former CEO Alex Clifford.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) passed a resolution Wednesday that labeled the $871,000 severance package for former Metra CEO Alex Clifford as "not financially prudent".
Former Metra CEO Alex Clifford, who blew the lid off alleged patronage and shady hiring practices within the agency, says he might be interested in rejoining the company depending on the circumstances.
For the first time since the 1980s, there will be a black Republican in the Illinois General Assembly. GOP leaders named John Anthony, 37, a Kendall County sheriff's deputy, as successor to the exiting State Rep. Pam Roth of Morris.
Millionaire venture capitalist and Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner has created a political action committee focused on term limits for state lawmakers
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) greenlighted most of Ameren's new 375-mile power transmission line, which would stretch across 19 counties, possibly impacting some 8,400 landowners.
The Affordable Care Act will bring some 800 temporary jobs to Illinois.
Illinois House Leader Tom Cross is stepping down from his leadership position to consider a possible run for state treasurer.
Republican State Reps. Raymond Poe of Springfield and Jim Durkin of Western Springs are rumored to be the top picks for Cross’ job.
Gov. Quinn signed a law Wednesday that will protect renters if the property they live in goes into foreclosure.
Local unemployment rates fell in seven of 12 Illinois metro areas in July, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
Recent federal proposals to slash billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are something that U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D, IL-8) says she takes personally. The congresswoman held a roundtable discussion today to talk about the potential cuts.
David Green is the third Democrat to jump in the 13th congressional district race. Green is a social policy analyst at the University of Illinois' Center for Prevention Research and Development.
While U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) attended a town hall meeting in Naperville on Wednesday, a group of protesters, upset with the congressman’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and several immigration reform proposals, held a demonstration outside.