In the News ~ March 5

ISAT testing with Common Core questions begins for QPS students
(KHQA (CBS) 7 Quincy © 03/05/2014)

Some Quincy Public Schools students began important testing Tuesday.  Every year, the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, or ISAT, is given to students at several different grade levels. But this year’s test isn’t like any other that’s been given before. Testing this year is under new, rigorous performance levels implemented by the State Board of Education. That also means 100 percent of the …

 

Snow Days Delay ISATs for Franklin County Schools
(Harrisburg WSIL (ABC) 3 © 03/05/2014)

Almost every school district in our region has been out the past two days and it’s adding up to a lot of lost instructional time. However, one administrator says snow days are the least of their worries.  Superintendents Chris Grant of Thompsonville and Kelly Clark of Akin spent Tuesday afternoon checking the roads, in hopes their students won’t have to miss another day o…

 

School officials object to single funding formula
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 03/05/2014)

Educators are asking Illinois lawmakers to be judicious as the state’s school funding formula is re-examined this year. An Illinois Child Care Association official and others told a House appropriati…

 

Springfield School Board approves $5.5M in budget cuts

The Springfield School Board didn’t waste any time Tuesday approving reductions of more than $5.5 million for the next school year. Whether that will be enough to balance the budget won’t be known until later this year.

 

Decatur School Board Considers $3.5M in Cuts
(WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 03/05/2014)

Keep the cuts away from the classroom. That seems to be the consensus among teachers and school board members in Decatur. But that could be a tall order as the district scrambles to close a $3.5 million budget gap. Jefferson Middle School guidance counselor Paula Luckenbill holds one position that could be cut should a money-saving proposal go through. “You know we do scheduling, personal ..

 

School construction projects could feature job training
(Rockford Register Star © 03/05/2014)

ROCKFORD – Rockford School District leaders unveiled plans to launch an innovative jobs program Tuesday night that would create about a dozen paid internships at school construction sites.The pilot program would be a partnership between the district and area contractors and construction trades unions.

 

District 57 teachers to see 6-figure salaries
(Trib-local Northfield © 03/05/2014)

Following a tumultuous year of contract negotiations, Mount Prospect School District 57 has a new deal under which teacher salaries will hit six figures while a retirement incentive program and three school days are eliminated. School board President Karen Nejdl said the dist…

 

Schaumburg schools supt. guilty of reckless driving in DUI case
(Trib-local Skokie © 03/05/2014)

Schaumburg schools Superintendent Andrew DuRoss pleaded guilty today to reckless driving stemming from his DUI arrest last month. DuRoss received court supervision and agreed to do alcohol counseling, wear a alcohol monitoring anklet for six months and pay $2,500 in fine and …

 

Michigan educator to head Unit 5
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 03/05/2014)

NORMAL — The excitement in Mark Daniel’s voice was clearly evident as he spoke by telephone Tuesday about being recommended to head McLean County Unit 5 schools. “I am thrilled. I am extremely honored,” he said. “I’m looking forward to July 1.” The school board is expected to approve Daniel as the new superintendent during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the district office

 

I-TEAM: Taxpayers Hit With Extra Retirement Costs
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 03/05/2014)

Decatur – Superintendent Gloria Davis was scheduled to retire in June after the end of the school year.  In February, she announced she would retire two months earlier.  “My last day as superintendent is March 21st,” Davis told WAND News. Leaving two months early will cost taxpayers additional money.  That’s according to a binding “Retirement Agreement” reached between Davis an…

 

Opt-outrageous
(Chicago Now © 03/05/2014)

So unless you’ve been in solitary confinement you know it’s ISAT week, or weeks, and that CPS schools are the present battleground in the revolution against testing corporations being staged by parents and teachers. Parents, desiring to regain control of their schools and remove the endless string of standardized testing that structures curriculum, are choosing to skip one of these tests this ye…

 

Evaluation of standardized testing a good thing for CPS
(Chicago Sun Times © 03/05/2014)

Want to know what the boycott of the ISAT tests in elementary schools across Chicago this week is really about? (Or, perhaps, what it should be about)? It’s less about that particular state test itself — which is being phased out next year, rendering it far less meaningful this year — than it is a chance for parents, teachers and activists to air a legitimate gripe about over-testing in public s…

 

Teachers who boycotted ISAT allowed to remain in classrooms
(Chicago Sun Times © 03/05/2014)

Chicago Public Schools officials were the first to blink Tuesday in a showdown that pitted teachers who refused to administer a state-mandated test against school officials who threatened to kick them out of the building, or worse, if they didn’t. More than 20 teachers at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy in the Little Village neighborhood who refused to give the test were allowed to tea…

 

Students begin taking ISAT with no major disruptions
(Chicago Tribune © 03/05/2014)

Some Chicago Public Schools parents continued to complain Tuesday about how the district is administering the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, but officials reported no major disruptions at schools as the multi-day exam got underway. Some parents who didn’t want their children to take the test said they understood that teachers still had to hand out ISAT booklets and read instructions in…

 

Battle Between CPS, CTU Over ISAT Tests Continues
(Chicago Chicagoist © 03/05/2014)

The battle between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union over administering the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) continues. Teachers at Maria Saucedo Academy in Little Village made good on their promise to not administer the ISAT Monday. Sarah Chambers, who teaches special education at the school, told the Sun-Times all the teachers were still in their classrooms

 

 

Teachers join parents to boycott ISAT, but ISBE says no right to opt-out
State testing begins this week and at least a thousand parents reportedly signed opt out letters, while teachers at two schools said they will not give out the test. Meanwhile, state officials declared that parents who opt their children out are “breaking the law.”

Fiscal crisis takes center stage

CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett warned at the February board meeting that changes are needed to teacher pensions in order to avert yet another massive deficit. Meanwhile, parents told board members that their schools can’t survive more budget cuts.

Don’t put down teachers who choose charters
A teacher who was laid off from a district-run school explains why she and other teachers who choose to work in charters should be supported for staying in the profession. 

 

 

ISAT Wednesday

By Alexander Russo, today at 9:42 am

Today’s news: ISATs begin. Teachers teach. Curie falls. Commenters comment (pro and mostly con on testing). Elsewhere: Cuomo and De Blasio face off over charter schools in NY. TFA announces pilot effort to expand training period.

ISATS

CPS administers ISAT after talks of boycott Tribune: Some Chicago Public Schools parents continued to complain Tuesday about how the district is administering the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, but officials reported no major disruptions at schools as the multi-day exam got underway.

 

As a Test Gets Phased Out In Chicago, Some Boycott Its Final Year NPR: In Chicago, a boycott has begun to protest the extent of standardized testing. Parents and teachers are saying that a recent test is useless, so hundreds are opting out or refusing to administer it. See also Catalyst

 

CPS teachers hold line in ISAT boycott ABC7: “We think these teachers are taking a principled stand on this issue and we think it’s somewhat courageous and they should be supported,” Jesse Sharkey, Chicago Teachers Union vice president, said.

 

Teachers who boycotted ISAT allowed to remain in classrooms Sun Times: More than 20 teachers at Maria Saucedo Elementary Scholastic Academy in the Little Village neighborhood who refused to give the test were allowed to teach students who opted not to take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test.

 

Teachers & Parents Boycott ISAT Test Chicago Tonight: The majority of Chicago Public Schools students in 3rd-8th grade are taking the ISAT test this week, though parent groups who oppose the test say the number of students who have opted out of the test continues to rise. Elizabeth Brackett reports. Watch a web extra video interview with Sarah Chambers, a teacher at Saucedo Scholastic Academy.

 

Chicago teachers boycott standardized tests Al Jazeera America: The test was reportedly given to students, although it was unclear which faculty members distributed them.

MISC

Photos: Chicago’s endangered buildings Crain’s Chicago Business:  A Catholic church, a theater and one of the nearly 50 schools closed by Chicago Public Schools last year are among the most endangered buildings in the city, a local preservation group said today.

 

Death of Hitch Elementary Principal a ‘Devastating’ Loss DNA Info: Deborah “Debby” Reese died of cancer, several weeks after taking a medical leave of absence.

 

Curie prep team falls in playoffs hours after coach, team reinstated CLTV: Curie, which entered the tournament officially 0-25 yet the No. 1 seed in the Marist Sectional, played without brothers Joseph and Joshua Stamps, who were rumored to have been among the ineligible students identified in a CPS investigation. Star power forward Cliff Alexander fouled out in the fourth quarter, and Curie could not overcome a hot DuSable team in overtime.

OTHER CITIES

Cuomo Vows to Defend Charter Schools, Setting Up Another Battle With de Blasio NYT: Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, at a rally in Albany, offered a sharply different vision for charter schools than Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has vowed to slow the growth of such schools. See also WNYCChalkbeatNY

 

De Blasio and Builder of Charter School Empire Do Battle NYT: Eva S. Moskowitz, who built a chain of charter schools during the Bloomberg administration, saw plans for three more canceled by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

 

Obama announces budget at D.C.’s Powell Elementary WP: President Obama announced his fiscal 2015 budget on Tuesday morning at Powell Elementary in the District’s Petworth neighborhood, highlighting the school’s early childhood education program as a model for the nation. See also HuffPost

 

Viral Post Draws Attention to Plight at a Brooklyn School NYT: A parent’s protest on the website Humans of New York was widely shared, drawing attention to students without a much-needed foreign language teacher. See also ChalkbeatNY

NATIONAL

Should Kindergarteners Stop Finger Painting And Start Learning French? NPR: Teachers and parents are wondering how early is too early to focus on academics in school. This week’s parenting panel looks how the classroom is changing for young children.

 

Can Playing Minecraft Teach Kids To Code? NPR: While young Minecraft players are building virtual castles or protecting themselves from monsters, they could also be learning about technology. Tell Me More looks at lessons from the game.

 

How a High Schooler Turned
Multiple Sclerosis Into an Athletic Advantage
 Atlantic Wire: 18-year-old Kayla Montgomery is one of the best runners in the country. She also suffers from multiple sclerosis. Those two facts are not unrelated. Montgomery’s story is a fascinating look at how a medical issue can become an advantage in sports.

 

Worker takes fake bomb to New Mexico school AP:A southern New Mexico school district says it’ll be taking disciplinary action against an employee who took a fake bomb to an elementary school for training purposes, leading to an evacuation of the school….

 

 

Political News

 

One big case
(Champaign News Gazette © 03/05/2014)

Less is more in the case of public employees and retirees challenging changes to their pensions. Before the Illinois courts can make a decision on the constitutionality of last year’s controversial pension reform legislation, they had to get procedures straight. The Illinois Supreme Court addressed that issue earlier this week when it consolidated four lawsuits challenging the new pension law …

 

Suburbs could pay more under graduated income tax
(Chicago Daily Herald © 03/05/2014)

A growing campaign for a graduated income tax in Illinois could push more of the total tax burden onto some areas of the suburbs, where median incomes far outpace state averages, critics say. But supporters argue middle-class Illinoisans, no matter where they live, could see a tax cut under the plan as they try to raise taxes on the wealthiest people to make up for it. Some Democrats support a…

 

Watchdog group: State should reduce income tax but tax retirees

Chicago Sun-Times - ‎Mar 3, 2014‎

Illinois should freeze its income tax rate one year then lower it 20 percent during a three-year ramp-down and begin taxing retirement income like Social Security, IRAs and pensions, a government finance watchdog is recommending.

 

Should Illinois Tax Retirement Income?

WSIU - ‎Mar 4, 2014‎

As more baby-boomers retire, Illinois is increasingly missing out on a revenue source. Of the 41 states with an income tax, Illinois is one of only three that exempt ALL pension income. Amanda Vinicky reports on an effort to change that. Illinois retirees’ would …

 

Our view: Debt

Jacksonville Journal Courier - ‎March 5, 2014‎

“Out of the 41 states that impose an income tax, Illinois is one of only three that exempt all pension income and one of 27 that exclude all federally taxable Social Security income,” according to the study. The Civic Foundation is no fly-by-night group and it’s …

 

AFSCME, largest Ill. public workers union, backs Dillard
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 03/05/2014)

CHICAGO (Associated Press) – The state largest public employees union is endorsing state Sen. Kirk Dillard to be the Republican candidate for governor. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 says Dillard has a long record of public service and understands state government, making him the best choice. AFSCME director Henry Bayer said in a written…

 

State’s largest public workers union backs Dillard
(Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 03/05/2014)

CHICAGO (AP) – The state largest public employees union is endorsing state Sen. Kirk Dillard to be the Republican candidate for governor. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 says Dillard has a long record of public service and understands state government, making him the best choice. AFSCME director Henry Bayer said in…

 

Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off In Forum
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 03/05/2014)

During a candidate forum that covered topics ranging from minimum wage to charter schools to same-sex marriage, Illinois’ Republican gubernatorial candidates agreed Tuesday that the state’s pensions and its overall business climate need to change. …

 

Dillard to ‘campaign like crazy’ for governor
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 03/05/2014)

CHICAGO – Republican candidate for Illinois governor Kirk Dillard says he plans to “campaign like crazy” in the final weeks before the March 18 primary. The state senator from Hinsdale spoke during a news conference Tuesday where he also discussed his plan to improve Illinois’ economy. The proposal includes capping state spending at this year’s levels “for the foreseeable future,” reducing the sta…

 

Dillard Releases His Plan To Improve Illinois Economy
(Progress Illinois © 03/05/2014)

GOP gubernatorial hopeful State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) released details about his economic blueprint for Illinois on Tuesday. His proposal to boost Illinois’ economy includes getting rid of the state’s estate tax as well as the five percent utility levy for manufacturers. Dillard said he also wants to make changes to workers’ compensation, give tax credits to firm…

 

‘No clear winner’ in governor debate, experts say

(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 03/05/2014)

Despite some pointed questions and critical remarks, there was no knockout punch in Tuesday’s televised candidate forum featuring the four Republicans running for governor, experts said. With time running out until the March 18 primary, Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner, state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, and Treasurer Dan Rutherford are all seeking to resonate with voters. “There …

 

GOP governor hopefuls talk social issues in debate
(Chicago Daily Herald © 03/05/2014)

The four Republicans running for Illinois governor delved into social issues during a televised debate Tuesday, a shift in the increasingly intense primary campaign that has focused largely on the state’s financial issues. All the candidates — state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, businessman Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford — said they would …

 

Dillard: “I Will Be Able to Tell Mayor Rahm Emanuel No”
(Chicago Press Release Service © 03/05/2014)

Sen. Kirk Dillard rips on Bruce Rauner’s relationship with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and discusses his own relationship with the mayor…

 

Bill Brady Compares Bruce Rauner to Blago
(Chicago Press Release Service © 03/05/2014)

Bill Brady said Bruce Rauner sounded like Rod Blagojevich during the GOP gubernatorial candidate forum. Rauner Calls ISATs an “Abomination” Bruce…

 

Rivals rip Rauner during Republican governor debate
(Chicago Tribune © 03/05/2014)

Republican governor candidates Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady on Tuesday sought to sully front runner Bruce Rauner, contending the wealthy venture capitalist was spending an “obscene” amount of money and risked gridlocking Springfield like ex-Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But Rauner continued to attack his rivals as “career politicians” and said his proposed constitutional…

 

3 governor candidates target Rauner in 2nd Republican debate
(CLTV-Chicago © 03/05/2014)

With two weeks until the primary election, Republicans vying for the governors mansion chose their target carefully tonight at the second of three debates.  All of them seemed determined to take down Bruce Rauner. There was 90 minutes worth of civil debate with questions from the audience. Topics included education and the current ISAT debate making headlines lately, pension problems and soci…

 

Rauner Pours Record Money Into Gubernatorial Campaign
(WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 03/05/2014)

(CBS) Its been an advertising blitz almost from the get-go, but now, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner seems to be on the air more than ever. But experts say he may end up buying the election simply because his opponents State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard dont have the cash to compete. “There is no question he has bought name identification …

 

FEMA Denies Appeal for Illinois Communites hit by Tornadoes
(Moline WQAD (ABC) 8 © 03/05/2014)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had denied the Illinois appeal for public assistance that would have gone to the Illinois communities hit by the November tornadoes. Back in January, cities like Washington, IL found out that FEMA had denied their request for public assistance. After that, the state sent in an appeal to FEMA, asking them to review their decision. On Tuesday, March 4…

 

 

FEMA denies disaster aid again, Quinn announces millions in state aid for areas hit by tornadoes
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 03/05/2014)

Governor Quinn is releasing a $45 million dollar relief package for areas affected by the November tornadoes. This, after FEMA denied Illinois disaster aid for a second time. Nine counties applied for help, but were denied aid in January. Area leaders appealed that decision, but it was denied again Tuesday night. FEMA says those areas didn’t meet its damage threshold amount. Now, Go…

 

Quinn to Announce State Relief for Tornado-Stricken Areas
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 03/05/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn’s Wednesday schedule includes a visit to several Illinois communities that were hit by deadly tornadoes. …

 

State To Provide $45M In Relief Funds For Tornado Damage
(WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 03/05/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn said the state is stepping in with $45 million in disaster relief funds to help local governments recover from last November’s tornados, after the federal government turned them down. WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports the funds will help local governments in towns hit by the tornados pay for cleanup, including Washington, which was hardest hit by the twisters, with 1,…

 

FEMA denies appeal to tornado stricken governments in Illinois
(WHOI (ABC) 19 Peoria © 03/05/2014)

FEMA has denied an appeal from Governor Quinn that would have given financial aid to nine counties in Illinois affected by the deadly tornadoes on November 17. …

 

Tribune endorsements for the Illinois House
(Chicago Tribune © 03/05/2014)

Only three Republicans in the Illinois House supported same-sex marriage when it was approved last year. Two of those Republicans face primary challenges, largely because of that vote. They are Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein. Their votes caught many same-sex marriage opponents by surprise. Sandack and Sullivan voted in 2010 against legislation that allowed civ…

 

March Primary: Rematch set for 39th District
(CLTV-Chicago © 03/05/2014)

As the March 18th primary draws near, WGN News takes a look at the tough rematch is  in the race for the Illinois House 39th District. The 39th District includes parts of Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Belmont-Cragin and Portage Park.  55% of the residents are Latino and many hard working middle class families.  There are also young hipsters, many of them new to Chicago, who may care little …

 

Our View: Investigate Quinn’s wasteful program
(DeKalb Daily Chronicle © 03/05/2014)

State regulators must dig deeper into the $55 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program created by Gov. Pat Quinn just months before the 2010 gubernatorial election. It is a program characterized by questionable spending, minimal results, and improper accounting, funded by the state but run by Chicago’s aldermen and their surrogates. That’s not just us talking: Those were the findings of …

 

Our View: More waste in Springfield
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 03/05/2014)

State regulators must dig deeper into the $55 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program created by Gov. Pat Quinn months before the 2010 gubernatorial election. It is a program characterized by questionable spending, minimal results and improper accounting, funded by the state but run by Chicago’s aldermen and their surrogates. That’s not just us talking: Those were the findings of the stat…

 

Governor, you were warned
(Streator Times-Press © 03/05/2014)

Some Illinois Legislative Black Caucus members are saying “I told you so” in the wake of a stunning state Auditor General’s investigation into misspending, waste and possibly even fraud in an anti-violence initiative hastily created by Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn created the program in August of 2010, a few days after meeting with ministers from Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood about rising violence. In…

 

Radogno Wants Feds To Investigate Quinns Anti-Crime Program
(Progress Illinois © 03/05/2014)

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) is calling for a federal investigation into an anti-crime program that was found to be ‘inadequate’ by a recent state audit.   “I think there are significant questions. We are actually going to be asking the auditor to forward his findings to the inspector general as well as to the federal prosecutors to take a look …

 

AFSCME wants $2.8 million in back pay for local members
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 03/05/2014)

The state owes $2.8 million in back pay to 463 state employees in the Quad-Cities region, according to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union. In 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn suspended pay raises that had been part of union contracts. AFSCME says Illinois owes $112 million to 24,000 state employees for pay increases withheld in fiscal years 2011 and 2012. G…

 

I-TEAM: Taxpayers Hit With Extra Retirement Costs
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 03/05/2014)

Decatur – Superintendent Gloria Davis was scheduled to retire in June after the end of the school year.  In February, she announced she would retire two months earlier.  “My last day as superintendent is March 21st,” Davis told WAND News. Leaving two months early will cost taxpayers additional money.  That’s according to a binding “Retirement Agreement” reached between Davis an…

 

GOP governor candidate Rauner not chosen for jury
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 03/05/2014)

CHICAGO – Republican candidate for Illinois governor Bruce Rauner spent much of the day at a Chicago courthouse without being chosen for jury duty. A campaign spokesman said Rauner took a break from campaigning Tuesday after being summoned for jury duty at Cook County’s Richard J. Daley Center Courthouse.

 

Lawmaker Proposes Bill to End Student Loan Interest
(WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 03/05/2014)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois state lawmaker says he’s sponsoring legislation that would give what could amount to interest-free loans to college students. Democratic state Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea tells the Belleville News-Democrat that House Bill 5323 would direct the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to study a pay-it-forward type of loan program.

 

 

National News

 

Fair or outrageous? New Jersey teen sues her parents to pay up for college

(CNN) — It’s another one of those “you can’t make this kind of stuff up” stories. A New Jersey high school senior sued her parents, accusing them of tossing her out of the family home when she turned 18 and refusing to pay for her private high school and 

 

 

1. Moody’s cuts Chicago credit rating

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Chicago’s credit rating one notch to Baa1 with a negative outlook, putting it only three notches above junk-bond status. Crain’s explains what it means for the city.

2. Exelon loves free markets — until it doesn’t

Exelon has the power to roll back the market forces that are pummeling its bottom line. How? The same way it got the market deregulated: twisting arms in Springfield, writes Crain’s Joe Cahill.

3. Emanuel considers adding Soldier Field seats

Expanding Soldier Field by 5,000 seats could bolster Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s long-shot bid to host the Super Bowl and increase capacity for other revenue-generating events. Read more from the Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.

4. Feds slap Evergreen Bank over motorcycle business

Oak Brook-based Evergreen Bank Group’s unusual and highly successful national motorcycle lending business has led to a rare regulatory rebuke for violating the federal Community Reinvestment Act. Crain’s reports.

5. Blue Cross parent expecting losses due to Obamacare

Annual net income for the parent company of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois fell well below the $1 billion mark for the first time since 2009, in part because it is setting aside money to offset expected losses from the troubled rollout of Obamacare. Chicago Health Care Daily has more.

6. Timing is right for developer near Goose Island research center

Chicago Real Estate Daily talks with South Street Capital about how the $320 million digital manufacturing lab planned for Goose Island, near an industrial building the firm just bought, may help attract tenants to the office space it plans there.

7. Madigan wants $100 million for Obama library

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan wants $100 million to help land the presidential library and museum of President Barack Obama for the city and state where he got his political start. The Chicago Tribune has more.

8. Imerys revises offer for Amcol again

For the second time in less than a month, French industrial materials company Imerys has raised its offer to acquire Hoffman Estates-based Amcol International. More from the New York Times.

9. Ford introduces truck without Navistar, Cummins

Ford debuted new versions of two medium-duty commercial trucks yesterday that for the first time in years will be built without the help of Cummins or Lisle-based Navistar. Instead, the trucks feature chassis and engines all built in-house. Reuters reports.

10. New Wi-Fi hot spot may be at your neighbor’s house

Comcast is turning hundreds of thousands of Chicago-area homes into Wi-Fi hot spots, sending a separate Wi-Fi signal from Comcast-issued home equipment, enabling anyone within range to get online. The Tribune has more.

 

 

TIME.com

 

Inside the Standoff at Belbek
How   one Ukrainian commander stared down Russian forces occupying Crimea and   avoided bloodshed, at least for one day
Wendy Davis Wins Texas Primary
The   Democrat who shot to fame last year after a long filibuster against an   anti-abortion law in the state senate wants Gov. Rick Perry’s seat
Pope Francis: I’m ‘Normal,’ Not Superman
In   a new interview, he expresses discomfort with the idolization around his   leadership and claims to be just ‘a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and   has friends like everyone else’
Gay Marriage Support Hits Record-High
A   new poll finds that 59 percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage while   34 percent are opposed. The figures are a reversal from just a decade ago
Los Angeles Extends Smoking Ban to E-Cigs
City   council members voted to treat the electronic devices just like regular   cigarettes by banning them in parks, restaurants and most workplaces
China: Let’s ‘Declare War’ on Smog
In   the highest-level acknowledgement yet on the matter, Premier Li Keqiang used   his speech at the opening of the National People’s Congress on Wednesday to   say China will boost efforts to combat its big pollution problem

 

 

The Washington Post
Europe divided over Russia as NATO meets on Ukraine crisis

BERLIN —NATO members held emergency talks about the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday and pledged their “solidarity,” but there were signs of division in Europe over how to respond to Russia’s intervention in Crimea.
Putin defends Ukraine stance, cites lawlessness

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a vigorous defense of his country’s intervention in Ukraine, saying Tuesday that the pro-Russian former government in Kiev was illegally overthrown and that the man he regards as Ukraine’s legitimate president asked him for military help.
The last casualties: As a long war ends, risks still prove real

Shortly after midnight on this frigid night, Capt. Nicholas Ingham arrived at this massive air base, in the belly of an Air Force C-130. As the back door swung open, flooding the cabin with light, the heavily sedated Marine, strapped onto a stretcher, blinked away a tear. An American flag tattooed on his chest rose and fell gently as a ventilator pumped air into his collapsed lung.

 

Obama sends $3.9 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2015 to Congress

President Obama sent Congress a $3.9 trillion budget blueprint Tuesday that seeks fresh spending to boost economic growth but also aims to tame the national debt by raising taxes on the rich, squeezing payments to health-care providers and overhauling immigration laws.

 

Word of the Day for Wednesday, March 5, 2014

cockalorum \kok-uh-LAWR-uhm, -LOHR-\, noun:

a self-important little man.