In the News ~ Dec. 16

Tentative Agreement in Mt. Olive

( – Dec. 16, 2013)

The teachers’ strike in the Illinois community of Mt Olive may be over. Representatives from both sides met for nearly 5 hours Saturday and then jointly announced they had reached a tentative agreement.


Students, teachers return to class after weeklong teachers’ strike in Macoupin …

(The Republic – Dec. 16, 2013) Classes are resuming in Macoupin County’s Mount Olive schools after educators ratified a new contract after a weeklong teachers’ strike. Mount Olive’s school board and the teachers’ union met for five hours Saturday


Mount Olive teachers, board reach agreement; strike ending

(KSDK‎ – Dec. 16, 2013) ‎

A teacher’s strike in the Mount Olive School District has reached its end. The district’s board of education …


Classes resume after Mount Olive teachers’ strike

( – Dec. 16, 2013)

Classes are resuming in Macoupin County’s Mount Olive schools after educators ratified a new contract after a weeklong teachers’ strike. Mount Olive’s school board and the teachers’ union met for five hours Saturday and announced the agreement in the …


Mount Olive School District teachers end strike

(KSDK - ‎ – Dec. 16, 2013) ‎

It’s back to school for students in Mount Olive Monday morning. Teachers and the school district have come to a tentative agreement ending a week-long strike. Teachers ratified it Sunday afternoon. The school board votes on it Wednesday, …


Tentative deal to end weeklong teachers’ strike in Macoupin County’s Mount Olive

(The Republic - ‎Dec 15, 2013‎)

MOUNT OLIVE, Illinois — Classes could resume Monday in Macoupin County’s Mount Olive schools after educators and school administrators reached a tentative deal that may end a weeklong teachers’ strike. Mount Olive’s school board and the teachers’ …


Mt. Olive teachers and school board reach tentative agreement

( - ‎Dec 14, 2013‎)

Classes will resume Monday in Mount Olive, IL. During negotiations Saturday, the Mt. Olive Board of Education and the striking teachers’ union reached an agreement. Details of the deal have not been released. The union is meeting …


Teachers vote no confidence in superintendent, principal
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 12/15/2013)

MINOOKA, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) – A vote of no confidence in the District 111 superintendent and principal by Minooka High School teachers union has added another major issue to an already overwhelmed board of education. Minooka Education Association President Dennis Grosskopf presented the no confidence vote by high school educators to the board in front of a crowd of nearly 1…


Unit 40 to vote on proposed tax Monday
(Effingham Daily News © 12/16/2013)

After months of consideration and conversation at school boards throughout Effingham County, it’s time for a vote at tonight’s Unit 40 School Board meeting to place a proposed sales tax increase on the upcoming election ballot. If approved, the issue of increasing sales tax in Effingham County while simultaneously abating property taxes will appear on the March 18 ballot.


In Illinois, what has and hasn’t changed since Newtown
(WBEZ 91.5 (Chicago) © 12/14/2013)

The massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December sparked national debates about guns, mental health, and school safety. In the year since 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself, Illinois has seen its share of legal and policy changes. The parents of some Sandy Hook victims traveled across the nation to meet with politicians,…


Schools make safety changes after Sandyhook shooting
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 12/16/2013)

One year ago on Saturday December 14th a gunman shot 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut. After the shooting at Sandyhook many schools across the country took a second look at security. One in Central Illinois is still making changes. The Charleston School District has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars beefing up security.


New training rethinks actions in school shootings
(Champaign News Gazette © 12/15/2013)

All they could do was curl up. Some hid under desks. Others sat stoically, waiting for the man portraying a shooter to come into the classroom. It was silent in between each of the 32 shots. No one resisted. No one tried to run. No one even thought to call 911. After 1 minute, 6 seconds, the simulated school shooting was over. The training instructor yelled “Safety! Safety! Safety!…


US Education Secretary Returns to Chicago Monday
(Chicago Press Release Service © 12/16/2013)

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will visit Chicago for a pair of events on Monday. Duncan will visit Benito Juarez Community Academy and take part in a round-table discussion with staff from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.


US education secretary to make Chicago stop
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 12/16/2013)

U.S. Education Secretary Arne (AR’-nee) Duncan is set to visit Chicago with a stop at a city school. Duncan will visit Benito Juarez Community Academy on Monday and participate in a discussion with staff from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The topics will include work at the academy and progress toward increasing graduation rates, as well as access


University statement on presidential compensation
(University of Chicago © 12/16/2013)

The University of Chicago released the following statement on Dec. 15, 2013 in response to questions about presidential compensation: As president of the University of Chicago, Robert J. Zimmer is responsible for one of the world’s great research universities, which includes a comprehensive academic medical center, as well as the operation of three affiliated laboratories with global reach.


University Of Chicago President Highest Paid In Nation
(WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 12/16/2013)

The president of the University of Chicago is the highest-paid president of America’s elite private universities. That’s according to a survey of tax information collected from 500 private schools with the largest endowments. The Chronicle of Higher Education released that data Sunday using federal tax information from 2011, the most recent available. Robe…


Report: U of Chicago president earned $3.4M; many private college presidents make $1M
(WHBF (CBS) 4 Quad Cities © 12/16/2013)

The president of the University of Chicago is the highest-paid president of Americas elite private universities. That’s according to a survey of tax information collected from 500 private schools with the largest endowments. The Chronicle of Higher Education released that data Sunday using federal tax information from 2011, the most recent a…


Tuition breaks will hurt Illinois
(Belleville News-Democrat © 12/15/2013)

IT was recently reported that Southern Illinois University Edwardsville intends to offer the same reduced tuition rates of in-state students to non-resident students from seven nearby Midwestern states. Now Illinois students pay $7,296 per year and out-of-state students pay $18,240. Neither of these rates begins to pay for the real cost of educating SIUE students when expenses of buildings


CPS announces charter school plans
(Chicago Sun Times © 12/15/2013)

The Chicago Public Schools on Friday announced nine charter school operators want to open or expand a total of 21 charter schools over the next two years. Some of neighborhoods that may see these charters include Belmont Cragin, Chatham, McKinley Park/Bridgeport, Austin and South Shore, said Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.


Pension cuts in an era of robber barons
(Chicago Sun Times © 12/14/2013)

Karen Lewis – Legislators make laws to benefit all of us, but I was surprised and repulsed by the sight of Illinois legislative leaders congratulating themselves after voting for deep cuts in public worker pensions earlier this month. Imagine watching hunters, guns still smoking, as they congratulate each other over their kill. Imagine you’re the endangered creature they just shot! 


Political News


Educators the losers in pension deal
(Chicago Daily Herald © 12/15/2013)

The new Illinois pension reform law was passed in the same cowardly manner that has become synonymous with Illinois politics. Lawmakers delayed voting on the measure until the day after the filing deadline for 2014 candidates; they rushed it to the floor before anyone had time to read or digest the complex bill, they allowed no opportunity for public hearings or input from those affected by the la…


Pension hater
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 12/15/2013)

To the Editor: On Thanksgiving Day, Scott Reeder of the Illinois Policy Institute (a conservative think tank) recommended that public employees be switched from pensions to 401(k) type plans. He said that 80 percent of “… private sector employers have embraced 401(k) plans.” He touts that employees can control their own retirement savings.


Kwame Raoul could go for Senate
(Chicago Sun Times © 12/15/2013)

Kwame Raoul for the U.S. Senate? Why not? He’s looked at everything else. Seriously, State Sen. Kwame Raoul could be a formidable challenger to Mark Kirk in the 2016 Illinois U.S. Senate primary. That’s three years away, but in politics, there’s no such thing as early.


Editorial: Delay on ADM decision unfair to company, state
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 12/15/2013)

The Illinois General Assembly learned the hard way that businesses operate on a different time schedule than legislative bodies. The lesson means that the state will lose some important jobs to Florida. It remains to be seen whether the lesson will extend to the location of Archer Daniel Midland’s new world headquarters outside of Illinois. Office Depot announced on Tuesday that its newly formed…


Erickson: ADM decision leaves question of motive
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 12/15/2013)

In a move that could endanger efforts to keep Archer Daniels Midland from moving its top executives and support staff out of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan last week said he wants to review how the state decides which companies get state tax breaks. Rather than taking up proposals for tax incentives on a company-by-company basis, the powerful Democratic leader from Chicago suggested the …


National News


Bells toll as nation marks anniversary of Sandy Hook school shooting
(Chicago Tribune © 12/14/2013)

From the steepled churches of Newtown, Conn., to the state Capitol in Hartford, bells chimed 26 times Saturday to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which sparked a debate on gun laws that continues to divide the nation. While the small New England city marked the one-year ann…


Editorial: Common Core has invaded
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 12/16/2013)

Parents of school-age children, it’s time for you to get educated. Common Core is an effort to standardize curricula across this country and to institutionalize a “one-size-fits-all” cookie-cutter approach to educating our children. Instead of encouraging their diverse talents, they want to turn them into robots where they won’t be able to think for themselves.




Concessionaires have been waiting 18 months for the chance to land O’Hare’s biggest contract ever, but as Crain’s reports, it looks like they’ll be waiting a lot longer. Sources say no bids will be awarded at O’Hare until after Chicago’s next mayoral election.


Anthony Brown was the “patent troll” for whom the phrase was coined. Now 66, he’s back in business, suing the likes of Motorola Mobility, Walgreen and the Big Ten Network. Read Crain’s profile here.


Hostway Corp., which hosts and builds web pages for small and mid-sized companies, has been bought by private-equity fund Littlejohn & Co. While details of the deal weren’t disclosed, the price is thought to be at least $200 million. Crain’s John Pletz has the exclusive.


With compensation reaching nearly $3.4 million, University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer is the top-paid leader of the nation’s private universities, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Crain’s has more.


In a jarring and starkly symbolic move, Urban Partnership Bank is selling the old converted movie theater in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood that for decades served as home to ShoreBank. What does it signal for the bank’s future and the vision ShoreBank co-founders had for the area? Crain’s takes a look.


The soccer facility, expected to cost up to $20 million, will be built along the north branch of the Chicago River in the North Center neighborhood. Crain’s Danny Ecker has more on plans for the center to help expand the team’s recreational leagues and broaden its fan base in the city.


University of Illinois Board Chair Chris Kennedy is sounding an alarm, worried that a bid by the school and its partners for a $70 million federal grant may be influenced by a senator’s clout — and end up in Huntsville, Ala., instead of with UI Labs in Chicago. The Sun-Times story is here.


Illinois has joined with 14 others states to urge the top environmental regulator to adopt their carbon-cutting policies. They want it to be a template for future federal rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the country’s largest source of pollution. Reuters details their push.


Apparently, not much, according to Fortune. Pointing to recent tax credits pushed for ADM, Fortune outlines how Illinois is another example of a cash-strapped and job-hungry state forking over tax incentives in exchange for the promise of new headquarters and factories that rarely spark the desired economic and employment growth.


Goose Island has worked hard to maintain its street cred since being acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2011. Will its first ad campaign, under its first ad agency, Chicago-based VSA Partners, help its cause? AdAge reports.


Autopilot Engaged
House   GOPers think everything’s perfect for them right now, so they’re treading   lightly ahead of the midterms
Colorado Shooting Victim Still in Coma
Claire   Davis has been in critical condition after being shot in the head during   Friday’s standoff at Arapahoe High School
Brian’s Back! Family Guy Dog Wasn’t Dead   for Long
The   Griffin pooch lives to sip another martini as show creator Seth MacFarlane   offers a ‘warm, fuzzy’ holiday treat
Acting Legend Peter O’Toole Dies at 81
The   British actor, best known for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, retired   last year
Today’s the Post Office’s Biggest Day of the Year
600   million pieces of mail will be dispatched today, yet we still talk about   scaling back the USPS
Syrian Refugees Will Get Ikea Housing
After   a long delay, the housewares giant will offer temporary housing — but Lebanon   officials worry it’s not quite temporary enough



The Washington Post

After Senate budget vote, few hopes for a productive 2014

The bipartisan budget compromise that passed the House by a wide margin last week has inspired House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to blast outside conservative groups that he said were using Republican members of Congress for their own gain. It has inspired kind words between the two legislators — Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — who hammered out the deal.
Companies turning again to stock buybacks to reward shareholders

Battered by months of dis­appointing sales, networking giant Cisco needed a way to give its shareholders a pick-me-up. So the San Jose-based firm did what has become routine for many big U.S. companies in a slow-growing economy: It announced last month that it was buying back shares of its stock.
Joan Fontaine, Academy Award-winning actress from the 1940s, dies at 96

Joan Fontaine, an Academy Award-winning actress whose delicate beauty made her a movie star in the 1940s and who excelled at portraying romantic vulnerability in such films as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion” and “Rebecca,” died Dec. 15 at her home in Carmel, Calif. She was 96.
Is Paul Ryan prepping for a 2016 presidential run? Probably not. But he’s not saying.

Paul Ryan is on a roll.

Last week, the Republican congressman from Wisconsin helped steer a budget compromise — one that will avert the sort of brinkmanship that has dominated Congress of late — to passage largely on the strength of his personality and reputation for conservatism within his conference.
Independent bookstores turn a new page on brick-and-mortar retailing

Bookstores are terminally ill. Borders? Dead. Barnes & Noble? Life support. Amazon is king. E-books are the present and the future. Have tablet, will read.


Budget deal in Congress raises White House hopes on other priorities

A round of successful deal-making on Capitol Hill has altered the political dynamic in Washington, raising hopes within the Obama administration that stalled second-term priorities such as immigration might still have a chance at success.
By cracking cellphone code, NSA has capacity for decoding private conversations

The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means todecode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day.
Ordinary Afghans’ anxiety about future grows as security deal with U.S. remains in limbo

Habibullah Hassanzada, a father of six, made a decent living running a grocery store. During the past decade of war, he only fleetingly contemplated leaving Afghanistan. But in recent months, his calculus has changed. A personal dispute with powerful warlords made him feel increasingly unsafe in his home town.
Not just Newtown: Criminal homicides by gun claimed 91 children age 10 or under in 2012

The man with the gun burst into the apartment and opened fire. The first victim was a young woman, dead at 21. The second victim was her 25-year-old roommate. But it was the third victim who would cause the most anguished screams when the bodies were discovered. Shot in the head, he was a 6-month-old boy.
The new mortgage rules that are likely to affect your next home purchase

If you’re planning to buy a house next year — and unless you’re in a position to make an all-cash offer — chances are you’ll be affected by some significant changes occurring in the mortgage application process beginning in January.


Word of the Day for Monday, December 16, 2013

klaxon \KLAK-suhn\, noun:

a loud electric horn, formerly used on automobiles, trucks, etc., and now often used as a warning signal.