In the News ~ July 10

State Pays Schools On Time – Illinois has broken its streak of late grant payments to schools for the first time since 2007. State Superintendent Christopher Koch praised the news in a letter to school officials dated July 1. But Koch warned them not to bank on the same thing happening next year. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s office says timely payments for specialized grants …

 

Illinois sends schools checks on time, a rare move
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 07/10/2014)

Illinois schools have received promised grant payments from the state on time for the first time since 2007 – but in another sign of the state’s precarious financial situation, a top education official has warned schools not to expect the pleasant surprise to become a permanent habit. The state cited higher income and sales tax revenues and court settlement proceeds among the factors in…

 

Unit 5 superintendent realigning top officials
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 07/10/2014)

McLean County Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel has lost a member of his Cabinet and looking at changing the responsibilities of other key administrators as a possible way of replacing him. As he was preparing for his first Unit 5 school board meeting Wednesday, the new superintendent announced Nate Cunningham Jr., who had been assistant superintendent of human resources for five year…

 

Illini Central coach stepping down
(Pekin Daily Times © 07/10/2014)

John Giesler, who coached Mason City Illini Central High School to the Class 1A boys state basketball championship in 2013 and third place in 2012, said Monday he is retiring immediately as a teacher, athletic director and coach at Illini Central. Giesler, 61, said Monday he made his decision after being informed of a new daily time structure for his jobs as athletic director and history teacher…

 

 

Political News

 

Topinka: Income tax rollback means ‘$2B collapse’
(Joliet Herald News © 07/10/2014)

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is warning of a $2 billion collapse next year when the states temporary income tax increase begins to roll back. The Republican seeking re-election made stops in Quincy and Jacksonville on Tuesday. Lawmakers approved a temporary income tax hike in 2011. But it is set to decrease from 5 percent to 3.75 percent in January leaving a big budget hole.

 

Quinn: Too soon to jump to conclusions about pension ruling
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 07/09/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn said he doesn’t believe the recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court on health benefits for retired state workers provides clues to how the court will rule on the pension reform law signed last year.

 

Editorial: Why union gloating over pension reform is premature
(Desplaines Valley News © 07/09/2014)

Be careful what you wish for. That sums up our reaction to the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Kanerva v. Weems that a 2012 law altering state retirees’ health insurance benefits violated the Pensions Clause of the Illinois Constitution. The ruling is important in its own right. But it is even more important as a predictor of future cases, including Senate Bill 1, which was last year’s

 

Editorial: If pension reform dies
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 07/09/2014)

A lawyer representing state workers and retirees says the Illinois attorney general is “whistling past the graveyard” if she believes the state Supreme Court did not sound the death knell for public pension reform. The imagery John Meyers employed for the Sun-Times was well chosen if the court’s 6-1 ruling declaring unconstitutional a law reducing health care benefits for state retirees means …

 

Quinn Slams Rauner: “We Don’t Need a Loophole Governor’
(Chicago Press Release Service © 07/09/2014)

The worst thing to happen to Bruce Rauner’s campaign is a gift to the re-election efforts of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. The Democratic governor, on shaky turf amid a federal and state investigation into his scandal-plagued anti-violence program, was basically handed a political lifeline — we’ll see how temporary — when his Republican rival released tax returns that revealed…

 

Rauner company won Cook County contract, donated to Stroger, Madigan July 09, 2014
(Crains Chicago Business © 07/09/2014)

If you put together a list of Illinois politicians that Bruce Rauner would be least likely to funnel campaign cash to, Chicago’s Stroger clan and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan would be right at the top. The late John Stroger and his son Todd Stroger pretty much left Cook County government a financial wasteland after their respective terms as president of the county board. Mr. Madigan…

 

Rauners Company Reportedly Engaged In Pay-To-Play Tactics
(Progress Illinois © 07/09/2014)

A company owned by GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s GTCR LLC reportedly took part in “pay-to-play tactics” by way of campaign contributions to Cook County officials just as the firm was vying for a multimillion dollar contract with the county. According to a report in Crain’s Chicago Business, GTCR owned HealthRev, which sought to get a contract to do Medicaid collect…

 

Anti-patronage lawyer says Quinn administration should face federal scrutiny
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 07/09/2014)

In a federal-court filing on Tuesday, anti-patronage lawyer Michael Shakman said Governor Pat Quinn’s administration should face federal scrutiny to ensure that it complies with rules barring political hiring for non-political jobs. Shakman’s request is a response to Quinn’s own recent filing in the civil case.

 

Lawmaker: Panel should consider suspending probe
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 07/10/2014)

An Illinois legislative panel is considering temporarily suspending a key part of its investigation into Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled anti-violence program after it received a request to do so from the U.S. Department of Justice. State Sen. Jason Barickman, co-chair of the Legislative Audit Commission, released a statement Wednesday evening detailing a Justice Department request

 

Feds ask Illinois lawmakers to leave NRI probe alone
(Southern Illinoisan © 07/10/2014)

The U.S. Department of Justice wants a panel of state lawmakers to drop key parts of its investigation into problems with a flawed state anti-violence program. Just days after the co-chairmen of a special legislative panel said they hadn’t been warned off the case, federal officials asked the Legislative Audit Commission to back down.

 

Feds To Lawmakers: Stop Calling For Quinn Staff To Testify
(WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 07/09/2014)

(CBS) Published reports say the Justice Department has asked Illinois lawmakers to back away from calling former members of Governor Quinn’s top staff to testify about a failed anti-violence program because it might interfere with a federal investigation. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the governor is shrugging off the news.

 

TALKING POINTS: Illinois: Land of laughable
(Streator Times-Press © 07/10/2014)

The staffs of both candidates for Illinois governor must be proud of their fake press releases against campaign opponents this summer. According to press reports, Gov. Quinn’s people started the silliness with a news release purportedly from Republican rival Bruce Rauner’s campaign saying Rauner would ‘emerge from hiding’ to discuss whether he used clout to get his daughter into an …

 

Don’t be distracted by shiny baubles
(Alton Telegraph © 07/09/2014)

With the spin coming out of Springfield lately, it’s a wonder the centrifugal force hasn’t relocated half the state’s population to Indiana. Which might be a blessing, since a Gallup poll shows nearly 50 percent of Illinois residents would move if they could. Some of this is typical election-year banter and self-back patting, but as the race for governor heats up,

 

Texas Guv to Illinois: Stop Reckless Spending on Social Programs
(Chicago Press Release Service © 07/09/2014)

Failed presidential candidate and current Texas governor Rick Perry has some advice for the state of Illinois: stop caring about your people so much.   That’s the only conclusion one can draw from an editorial Perry wrote in today’s Chicago Tribune. Perry, who’s on a multi-year national tour to help steal jobs away from other states for his home state of Texas,

 

 

National News

 

Why Collective Bargaining Is a Fundamental Human Right
(Huffpost Chicago © 07/09/2014)

The ability for ordinary working people to organize and collectively bargain over their wages and working conditions is a fundamental human right. It is a right just as critical to a democratic society as the right to free speech and the right to vote. Over the last 30 years many in corporate America and the big Wall Street banks have conducted a sustained attack on that human right.

 

Next NEA leader’s first task: Win back public

Politico

The new president of the largest teachers union in the country will become the voice of roughly 3 million teachers at perhaps the most critical moment in the National Education Association’s history.  First item on the agenda: Win back the public.

 

From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 07/10/2014)

In the weeks since a California judge overturned the state’s rules governing teacher tenure, the political noise has only

 

 

How did ComEd do during the recent summer storms?Last   week’s intense storms, featuring seven tornadoes, were Commonwealth Edison’s   first true test of its power-grid improvements. Crain’s has a review   of how the utility performed in getting the power back on for 440,000   customers.
U of I nets $19.6 million to test medical modelThe   University of Illinois has won a $19.6 million federal grant to test a   “medical neighborhood” care model focusing on low-income children and young   adults with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Chicago Health Care   Daily has details.
Will County is a hot spot for home salesWill   was the only county in the Chicago area where home sales have risen this   year, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors and Midwest Real   Estate Data. Chicago Real Estate   Daily reports.
Chicago Fed: Curb high-frequency tradingThe   Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is entering the debate over whether financial   markets are fair, proposing limits on high-frequency trading firms as well as   incentives to bring more buying and selling into public view. More from Bloomberg.
A health insurance shopping site for Round 2 of ObamacareCrain’s profiles   the innovator behind PlanMatcher, a website that enables health insurance   shoppers to compare prices and coverage based on their own health conditions.
McDonald’s franchisees say company breaking rule in Puerto Rico McDonald’s   franchisees in Puerto Rico say the company broke a Federal Trade Commission   rule by selling its restaurants there to Latin American restaurant operator   Arcos Dorados Holdings. Bloomberg has more.
Boeing forecasts $5.2 trillion jet marketBoeing   says the world will need 36,770 new planes worth $5.2 trillion by 2033. The   company’s annual projection is up 4.2 percent from its 2013 forecast, and it   predicts beating rival Airbus in the lucrative market for twin-aisle planes. Reuters reports.
FTC (sort of) weighs in on A-B InBev vs. MillerCoors can dispute Does   MillerCoors’ Coors Light really come in the “world’s most refreshing   can?” We may never know. Ad Age explains.
CTA hits the digital acceleratorTransit   officials are set to announce today that the Red and Blue line tunnels will   be upgraded to 4G cell service next year, a step up from the 2G technology   installed in 2005 before many smartphones, tablets and social networks were   introduced. The Chicago Tribune has   more.
Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition: 35 years laterChicago   radio legend Steve Dahl recounts the tale of his infamous Disco Demolition,   and puts it into perspective for 2014. Check out his op-ed and   a slideshow of what he calls his “defining moment.”

 

 

TIME.com

 

Houston Shooting Kills 6

Two adults and three children were found dead at a home in the suburb of Spring, and another child died after being airlifted to a hospital, in what authorities said was a domestic issue gone awry and prompted a car chase before the suspect surrendered.

 

Israel Ramps Up Gaza OffensiveAn IDF spokesperson tells TIME that rockets fired from Gaza are entering Israel at a rate of about six an hour, prompting a heavy and deadly retaliation

 

Military Scouts TwitterverseThe Pentagon wants to learn how to mold social media to prevent “adverse outcomes” and be able to use it as an early warning system of trouble brewing

Obama Seeks $4 Billion Nod for Immigration Crisis

The President called on Congress to swiftly approve nearly $4 billion in supplemental funding to deal with the influx of unaccompanied minors at the southwest border on Wednesday, saying lawmakers need to set aside politics to solve the problem

Donald Sterling Vows to Avoid Clippers Sale ‘Until I Die’

The embattled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers lashed out against his wife, her lawyers and the NBA from the witness stand on Wednesday, saying he will never sell the team and vowing a lifetime of lawsuits against the league

TIME Chats With International Space Station Crew

We got a rare chance to talk via video downlink on Wednesday with three of the space station’s six astronauts, who shared a little bit about their schedule, their work, what they miss on Earth—and about following the World Cup from 230 miles up in space

Colorado Sells More Than 10 Tons of Pot Each Month

The first post-legalization study of Colorado’s market, released by state regulators, used actual sales data to draw up the figure rather than rely on survey responses as studies have done in the past, showing some previously held assumptions were false

Utah Will Appeal Gay Marriage Ruling With High Court

The office of Utah’s attorney general said it planned to bypass a full appeals court and instead take the gay marriage case to the Supreme Court after a June 25 ruling that found it unconstitutional to deprive same sex partners from marriage

 

New Orleans Looks to Turn Page After Nagin Era

Ray Nagin was elected mayor by a coalition eager to see him tackle graft, but his conviction for handing out the very favors he aimed to halt has earned him 10 years in prison, a judgment local political observers say will help the city move away from its corrupt past

Survey: Colleges Are Breaking the Law on Sex Crimes

A new survey of 236 schools released by a top lawmaker this week finds that many U.S. colleges and universities are neither properly investigating reports of sexual assaults on campus, nor following even the most basic rules required of them

I’m a Muslim-American Leader, the NSA Spied on Me

Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest nonprofit Muslim civil rights organization in the United States, writes that it’s time to check and balance the government’s sweeping surveillance

Argentina Will Play Germany in World Cup Final

Argentina advanced to the World Cup final on Wednesday after beating the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout, pitting forward Lionel Messi and his squad against Germany in Sunday’s final battle at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro

 

 

The Washington Post

 

Hackers may have breached OPM network

Chinese hackers penetrated the database of the Office of Personnel Management, according to a report. The Department of Homeland Security said it had not found any loss of “personally identifiable information.”

 

Obama defends decision not to visit border in Texas

After meeting with Gov. Rick Perry, the president said he was “not interested in photo ops.”

 

And the Emmy nominees are …

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” landed the most nominations with 19, followed by FX’s “Fargo,” which picked up 18 nominations.

 

Death toll in Gaza doubles to 80 as Israeli airstrikes enter a third day

Hamas and other militant factions also continued firing rockets at Israeli population centers.

 

As rockets fall, Israelis cling to normalcy

Should drug sales representatives be able to tout ‘off label’ uses?

The FDA reviews limits on data distributed by drug firms, confronting issues of free speech.

 

FDA to weigh risk of fibroid treatment

The saga of slain sniper Chris Kyle vs. Jesse Ventura gets day in court

The SEAL-turned-author said he punched a celebrity — the former wrestler — while mourning a death.

 

Hobby Lobby stunt: Protest or prank?

A New York activist’s in-store “pro choice” display gets widespread Internet attention, if not results.

 

Argentina defeats Netherlands in shootout to reach final vs. Germany

After 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, the semifinal comes
down to penalty kicks.

 

Researcher works to define what many thought D.C. didn’t have: A dialect

Pronunciation differs along with the use of words such as “bama” (unkempt) and “cised” (excited).

 

Word of the Day  Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grok

verb;

1.to understand thoroughly and intuitively.

2.to communicate sympathetically.