In the News ~ Sept. 29

Foes pushing to kill school funding reform – Lawmakers and school leaders in suburban Chicago are trying to kill a school funding overhaul that could help hundreds of downstate districts. Top Democrats met over a proposal to divert money from wealthy suburban districts to help poorer districts. The top Republican in the Illinois House said he’s concerned Democrats could push the issue during January’s lame-duck session. …


State schools seek carbon monoxide detectors
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/27/2014)

Some Illinois school officials who don’t want to wait months to find out if they have to install carbon monoxide detectors are taking matters into their own hands. State Sen. Sam McCann introduced legislation last week that would require school buildings to be equipped with the detectors. The proposal follows a carbon monoxide leak at North Mac Intermediate School in Girard, which sent 150 students…


Mundelein District 75 teachers authorize strike after contract talks stall
(Chicago Daily Herald © 09/26/2014)

Labor uncertainty has hit a second Lake County school district with the authorization this week by teachers in Mundelein Elementary District 75 to proceed with a strike. Results released Thursday showed the 144-member Mundelein Elementary Education Association voted 122 to 13 to authorize the action, which followed an unsuccessful mediation session Sept. 19.


Mundelein teachers vote to authorize strike date
(Mundelein Review © 09/26/2014)

Teachers in Mundelein School District 75 have voted to authorize a strike, and could be on the picket line within a month. With a 122-13 vote on Wednesday, Sept. 24 the teachers decided they are willing to strike, said Nick Ciko, co-president of the Mundelein Elementary Education Association.


District 68, teachers’ union reach tentative agreement
( © 09/26/2014)

Skokie Elementary School District 68 and its teachers’ union announced Friday the sides have reached a tentative agreement over a new contract after two days of bargaining with the help of a federal mediator. Teachers opened the school year, just as they did three years ago, without a new contract and with the old one expired, although provisions were still in effect.


Belvidere CUSD board, teachers meet
(Rockford Register Star © 09/26/2014)

The negotiation teams for the Belvidere Community Unit School District board and the Belvidere Education Association met with a mediator Sept. 23 after the teachers union filed an intent to strike Sept. 19. This is the last time the two parties will meet before presenting their final offers.


Springfield schools reported as under capacity
(WAND (NBC) 17 Decatur © 09/29/2014)

Springfield public school officials are questioning whether Illinois’ capital city has too many schools. Springfield’s public school district is the fourth largest in the state, with just over 15,000 students and 32 schools.  However, only three of those schools are located on the city’s far west side, which has seen population growth in recent years.


Officials weigh future of District 186 buildings
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/28/2014)

Amy Marx and her kids can get to Owen Marsh Elementary School in less than three minutes. They turn left out the front door and walk down Oakmont Drive, over to Sharon Drive and across the parking lot to the school. Along the way, she and her children chat about that day, and she doesn’t have to worry about them getting on a bus. Having a school in her neighborhood is one of the things Marx likes …


Washington school board to discuss monetary effects from tornado
(WHOI (ABC) 19 Peoria © 09/29/2014)

The four Washington School boards are meeting Monday night to discuss how the November tornado has impacted school funding. …


Expelled Belleville East student finds new school to attend
(Belleville News-Democrat © 09/28/2014)

A Belleville family who tried to get help from officials at Belleville District 201 for their son said they didn’t get a response until their complaint was highlighted in the Belleville News-Democrat. Sophomore Brian Crawford, 15, a former Belleville East student, was expelled by District 201 last school year, and his mother Judiette White struggled to find an alternative school for her son …


Champaign school tax increase a tough sell
(Champaign News Gazette © 09/28/2014)

With the slide show complete, Champaign school Superintendent Judy Wiegand turned to her audience for questions about the upcoming high school referendum. Sales professional Jon Rector raised his hand. He was convinced of the need to modernize Central and Centennial high schools but wanted to know one thing: Could he vote for the $149 million bond issue but not the proposed location …


School officials tell USDA they need lunch flexibility
(Decatur Herald and Review © 09/27/2014)

More than two dozen school administrators, food service directors and nutritionists from Edwardsville to Champaign met with U. S. Department of Agriculture representatives Friday in Pana at a workshop sponsored by Rep. Rodney Davis. Davis, R-Taylorville, said he called the meeting because schools in district are seeing a decrease in their school lunch program participation since new federal …


Superintendent proposes to shake up school district
(Southern Illinoisan © 09/27/2014)

A Southern Illinois school district superintendent has made a proposal affecting the way two schools operate. Murphysboro School District 186 Superintendent Christopher Grode’s proposal included John A. Logan Attendance Center and Carruthers Elementary School on Tuesday at the Murphysboro School District Board of Education meeting. Both schools currently teach kindergarten


District 86 could lose $1.76 million in annual state funding
(Hinsdale Suburban Life © 09/26/2014)

A state senate bill that would overhaul the way Illinois funds education by distributing money to school districts based on financial need would cost Hinsdale Township High School District 86 nearly $1.8 million annually, according to the district. If Senate Bill 16 is passed by the Illinois House of Representatives this fall, the district would lose $1.76 million in state funding,


Clark: Legislature’s IHSA hearing raises more questions than answers
(Lake County News Sun © 09/26/2014)

It’s finally time for Round 2 of the Illinois General Assembly vs. the Illinois High School Association. You may recall the first episode in this soap opera back in May in Springfield. That encounter between the Houses Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, and the IHSA generated more heat than light. ‘


5 Illinois colleges rank among nation’s worst
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 09/26/2014)

There’s a list out of America’s worst colleges. Illinois is – depending on your perspective – well or not well represented. Considering the costs, default rates, graduation rates, and other factors, the Washington Monthly list of the overall worst features five Illinois schools in the top (bottom?) twenty: Columbia College Chicago, DeVry University …



Dist. 299


CPS Doles Out Additional $24M – Despite Enrollment Declines


Welcome back — here’s today’s news roundup: Everyone’s excited about the Friday night announcement from CPS that schools not meeting their enrollment projections won’t be penalized even though we’re supposedly doing student-based budgeting for the second year.  According to Catalyst, this takes $24 million.  Read all about it.  Or, read about Karen Lewis and Corey Booker talking trash via Twitter, and the Tribune’s Zorn on the campaign to keep Lewis out of the mayoral race.  Plus national news including Atlanta’s cheating scandal trial finally beginning, and Miami schools enrolling unaccompanied minors.




CPS Backs Away From Plan to Slash School Budgets Based on Enrollment DNA Info: Portage Park Elementary School had been bracing for a $400,000 budget cut. But then CPS officials informed principals Friday evening that the budget ax will not fall on schools with fewer students than school officials expected.


Chicago Public Schools will get money for no-show students, again WBEZ: Instead of funding positions and programs from downtown, schools are now given about $5,000 per student on average, under a formula called “student-based budgeting.” In the letter to principals, Byrd-Bennett wrote that CPS plans to use “student-based budgeting transition contingency funds and anticipated surplus from Tax-Increment-Financing funds” to make sure schools get money based off their projections, not actual enrollment.


Ease up on school budgets permanently Chicago Sun-Times: Nearly a month into the school year, Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett opted against clawing back money from individual schools that had enrolled fewer students than the schools had budgeted for based on opening day enrollment projections.


CPS: Enrollment numbers won’t lead to school budget cuts Chicago Tribune: In letters to principals, CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett said “transition contingency funds” from the Student-Based Budgeting policy and an “anticipated surplus from Tax Increment Financing funds” will be used to ensure no schools see a drop in funding.


CPS won’t cut schools based on enrollment shortfalls Catalyst: Schools  enrolling more than the number of students projected will receive additional student-based budgeting of about $4,390 per student, according to a letter sent out by CPS. About 214 schools will get additional $24 million.




Karen Lewis and Corey Brooks duke it out over Twitter Chicago Sun-Times: A Twitter exchange between Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis grew heated today as the two traded digs on the governor’s race.


The campaign to keep Karen Lewis out of the mayoral race Chicago Tribune: Out of nowhere nearly two weeks ago, Democrats for Education Reform, a pro-charter schools organization backing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election, issued a news release demanding that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis step down.




Miller on Common Core, Teacher Evaluation, and NCLB Renewal PoliticsK12: Miller’s comments pack a special punch because he is one of the most hawkish members of Congress when it comes to accountability. Miller, an architect of the No Child Left Behind Act, said that tying test-scores to Common Core exams before teachers are ready would be repeating one of the biggest mistakes of the NCLB era.


George Miller: ‘Students are Enthusiastic’ About Meeting Common-Core Challenge State EdWatch: The retiring U.S. representative also says that politicians are attacking the standards largely to position themselves better for the 2016 presidential elections.


Teens who crossed US border alone enter schools AP: The group of mostly Spanish-speaking teenage boys with styled spiky hair and high-top sneakers enthusiastically pecks away on hand-held tablets at the G.W. Carver Education Center, pausing to alert the teacher when stumped. See also PBS: Wave of child migrants pose challenges for Florida schools, Backlog of children’s immigration cases challenges judges, lawyers and schools.


How much does mandatory extra reading time help students? PBS NewsHour:  Over 30 states that have some kind of policy to intervene, identify and make sure children get the support they need to be on grade level. They do take different forms: about 15 states require that a third grader who is not grade level will be retained. See also:  Low-performing Florida grade schools add extra reading time




Trial To Begin In Atlanta Public Schools’ Cheating Scandal NPR: On Monday, opening statements begin in the trial of 12 educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy. Originally, 35 were indicted but more than half took plea deals. See also WSJ.


De Blasio Plans Revised Code for Discipline in Schools NYT: Mayor Bill de Blasio, after a controversial crackdown on unruly institutions by his predecessor, will try to strike a balance between safety and fairness.


New CA law limits student discipline measure EdSource Today: A new law that limits the use of “willful defiance” as a reason to expel or suspend students signifies a growing commitment on the part of the state to find more positive approaches to disciplining students.



Political News


David McSweeney: Pension cost shift would lead to higher taxes
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/29/2014)

Serious efforts are underway in the Illinois General Assembly to pass legislation to shift billions of dollars in education pension obligations from the state to local schools. If proponents get their way, it could be disastrous to homeowners, who inevitably would see their property tax bills increase. Last year, House Speaker Michael Madigan made it clear that the cost shift is a top priority, and …


Pensions: Vexing Illinois Politicians Since 1917
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 09/29/2014)

The tally in the Illinois House on the pension overhaul law. Credit Amanda Vinicky The underfunding of the state’s pensions have grabbed headlines the past several years, and finally reached the political tipping point late last year when legislators passed an overhaul of the systems. It’s a recent response to a very old problem. …


Rauners give $19M to liberal, conservative groups
(Mattoon Journal Gazette © 09/28/2014)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Republican candidate for Illinois candidate, Bruce Rauner, and his wife, Diana, contributed through their Rauner Family Foundation more than $19 million from 1999 through 2012 to not-for-profit organizations, some with political agendas, both liberal and conservative. Below is a list of contributions combined by recipient: Organization Amount


Hillary Clinton to Campaign for Quinn in Illinois: Report
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 09/29/2014)

Hillary Clinton is heading home to her native Illinois to campaign for Gov. Pat Quinn, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. …


Rauner giving veers left and right
(Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 09/29/2014)

Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana, have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect abortion rights and the environment – traditionally seen as liberal causes. Rauner, a wealthy Winnetka businessman, has given similar amounts to groups that advocate the privatization of Social Security and question climate change – traditionally conservative causes…


Closer Look: Rauner Gave To Both Parties
(Harrisburg WSIL (ABC) 3 © 09/29/2014)

Bruce Rauner and his wife have given millions of dollars to causes on both ends of the political spectrum. Rauner is the GOP candidate for governor. His family’s foundation has given $19 million in the past 15 years to groups from the American Red Cross to the abortion-rights courtroom arm of the American Civil Liberties Union. Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says…


Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner campaign uses Michigan firm for calls
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/28/2014)

I have it on good authority that BRUCE RAUNER, the GOP candidate for governor, is outsourcing part of his campaign to Michigan. That’s because when I was at home Thursday, I got a call from a woman who said she was with the Rauner campaign. My clue that she was not from here was that she did not know how to pronounce “Blagojevich” and even messed up the name “Cullerton” on the first try.I did tell …

Election 2014: Even without Gloria Steinem, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn touts support from women
(Rockford Register Star © 09/27/2014)

Famed activist Gloria Steinem did not make it to town as scheduled Friday to endorse Gov. Pat Quinn, but her support allowed the Democratic governor to tout his support from women anyway. Steinem’s flight from New York was canceled by a fire at an air traffic control facility that halted all flights in and out of Chicago.


Vogel: Looking for reason to vote for Quinn? Here’s a thought
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 09/27/2014)

Are you among voters not real pleased with Gov. Quinn’s performance, but also real nervous about Republican challenger Bruce Rauner’s ‘bring back Illinois’ plans that are so skimpy on detail? If so, join me in the ‘undecided’ line. Yes, I know a lot can happen over the next 37 days that would color me gubernatorial red or blue. But for the moment, I’m scratching for something …


Election 2014: State treasurer candidate Cross pledges creativity, Frerichs reform
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/27/2014)

Republican candidate for state treasurer Tom Cross vowed that if he’s elected, he’d go as far as filing suit against lawmakers if they don’t balance the state budget, just one way he said he’d creatively and aggressively use the office. His opponent, Democrat Mike Frerichs, promised that if he wins, he’d begin an audit of the office on day one in hopes of ridding it of politics. Cross, 55,


Wage Theft Costing Low-Income Workers Billions
(WMAQ-TV (MSNBC ) Chicago © 09/27/2014)

Americans toiling away in low-wage jobs already struggle to earn a living, and a new report says these meager paychecks are winnowed down by wage theft with alarming regularity. Nearly $1 billion was recovered in 2012 by lawyers or regulatory agencies acting on behalf of workers who were paid below minimum wage, not paid for overtime or other wage and hour violations, according to a first-time


Rauner Gives $1.5 Million To His Campaign
(Progress Illinois © 09/29/2014)

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has donated an additional $1.5 million of his own money to his political campaign, according to state board of elections documents released Friday. In all, Rauner, who will go up against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the November election, has donated close to $12.6 million in personal funds to his political war chest. …


President Obama in Chicago Wed & Thurs for Quinn Campaign
(WJOL-1340 Joliet © 09/29/2014)

President Obama is stumping for Governor Quinn this week. He’ll be in Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday and will attend an event on Quinn’s behalf. Michelle Obama is also trying to help Quinn beat Bruce Rauner this November. She’s slated to headline a rally for Quinn on October 7th. 9-29 5 AM…


Tom Kacich: Rauner campaign tops $41 million
(Champaign News Gazette © 09/28/2014)

Bruce Rauner’s campaign committee released a new list of campaign donors last week, bringing his total amount of funds raised to an astounding $41.6 million since Jan. 1, 2013. That’s more than twice the $17 million raised in the same period by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. It’s also about four times as much as the 2010 Republican candidate for governor, state Sen. Bill Brady, raised in the same …


Rehab project in store for next governor
(Champaign News Gazette © 09/28/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner are having a brawl – trash-talk and all. So, it’s less likely with every gouge and grunt that either will focus on rescuing Illinois until after the election, if then.


Taxes heat up Illinois governor’s race between Pat Quinn, Bruce Rauner
(Peoria Journal Star © 09/28/2014)

A split over the future of the temporary income tax increase provides one of the starkest differences between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner in the 2014 campaign for governor. Quinn believes the income tax increase should be made permanent. Rauner thinks income tax rates should be rolled back to their pre-tax hike levels eventually. But the fate of the income tax increase isn’t the…


Finke: Political ads flood Illinois airwaves
(Peoria Journal Star © 09/28/2014)

The Center for Public Integrity said Illinois is a hotbed for political ads this year, in large part because of the contest between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner. It said there’s been a 30 percent increase in the number of TV ads from four years ago, the last time statewide officials were up for election.


Election 2014: Illinois comptroller rivals clash on approach to backlog
(Rockford Register Star © 09/28/2014)

With Illinois battling the nation’s worst unfunded pension liability, the two outspoken statewide office holders vying for its check-writing job are sparring over whether the incumbent has been open enough about how she prioritizes the multibillion-dollar backlog of unpaid bills. Democratic challenger Sheila Simon, the lieutenant governor, is trying to paint Republican Comptroller Judy …


Topinka and Simon square off for comptroller
(Southern Illinoisan © 09/28/2014)

Illinois’ comptroller is the one who oversees the purse and writes the checks. That’s a big job in a state with a gargantuan pension problem and a massive backlog of unpaid bills. On Nov. 4, two women face off for the job: Riverside Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka, 70, and Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, 53, of Carbondale. Topinka says she needs another term in office as the s…


Election 2014: Simon, Topinka spar over transparency, ethics in comptroller’s race
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/28/2014)

With Illinois’ ongoing financial problems and a continuing backlog of bills to pay, Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s office has long expedited payments to businesses and organizations most in need of getting paid for their state work. Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon thinks the process needs to be more transparent than it is.


Statehouse Insider: There are a lot of campaign ads, in case you haven’t noticed
(Springfield State Journal Register © 09/28/2014)

The Center for Public Integrity said that Illinois is a hotbed for political ads this year, in large part because of the contest between Democratic Gov. PAT QUINN and Republican BRUCE RAUNER. It said there’s been a 30 percent increase in the number of TV ads from four years ago, the last time statewide officials were up for election.


Quinn, Rauner address Illinois millennials
(WJBC AM 1230 Bloomington © 09/28/2014)

By The Associated Press CHICAGO — Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner have made their case to become Illinois’ next governor before a crowd of about 1,500 younger voters. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the candidates separately addressed what’s billed as the first statewide convention for millennials. Attendees ranged in age from late teens to about 34.


Can A Governor Really Create Jobs?
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 09/28/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn Credit Quinn campaign This story first appeared as Illinois Issues’ State of the State column in the September 2014 edition of the magazine.

Vogel: Looking for reason to vote for Quinn? Here’s a thought
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 09/27/2014)

Are you among voters not real pleased with Gov. Quinn’s performance, but also real nervous about Republican challenger Bruce Rauner’s ‘bring back Illinois’ plans that are so skimpy on detail? If so, join me in the ‘undecided’ line. Yes, I know a lot can happen over the next 37 days that would color me gubernatorial red or blue.


Illinois governor’s race dominates TV time
(Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 09/27/2014)

The Land of Lincoln ranks as one of the top five states in spending on TV ads for state races. According the Center for Public Integrity, state races have spent $26.4 million on television advertising as of September 8. 95 percent of spending comes from the two remaining candidates for governor and outside groups supporting them.


To win, Rauner must show he can lead
(Crains Chicago Business © 09/27/2014)

There’s an art to running for and then successfully performing as governor. During the campaign, you want to be an alternative to the other folks and present a positive vision without locking yourself into positions you might have to dump later. You certainly don’t want to be seen to be measuring office drapes before the advance planning. But you need to have your people and plans ready, because…


Diana Rauner Grants First Campaign Media Interview
(MSNBC Chicago © 09/27/2014)

Diana Rauner has appeared in campaign ads and news conferences to help support Republican Bruce Rauner’s campaign for Illinois governor, but on Friday she gave her first one-on-one media interview to NBC 5. …


President Obama coming to Chicago for Quinn fundraiser
(WREX (NBC) 13 Rockford © 09/27/2014)

President Obama will fly to Chicago next week to campaign for Governor Pat Quinn. The White House said Obama will attend a fundraiser and an official event on Thursday. They said the President will return to Washington afterward. Quinn said he really needs Obama’s help as he tries to defeat Republican Challenger Bruce Rauner for a second full term….


Obama to stump with Quinn
(Dixon Telegraph © 09/26/2014)

CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to be in Chicago next week to support Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s re-election bid. White House officials said Friday Obama will fly to Chicago on Wednesday night. He’s expected to attend a fundraiser and an official event on Thursday before returning to Washington. Quinn, who’s seeking his second full term, is in a tight…


Kadner: Knowing nothing as an art form
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 09/26/2014)

It often seems political leaders and business titans have all graduated from the Schultz Academy of Prevarication. Named for the legendary character Sgt. Schultz on the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes,” academy graduates can easily be identified whenever confronted with an allegation of wrongdoing. “I know nothing,” prison guard Schultz used to say to roars of canned laughter.


Rauner fighting corruption — with Chris Christie
(Crains Chicago Business © 09/26/2014)

A quick note to Bruce Rauner: The next time you try to claim that Gov. Pat Quinn is “personally” under federal investigation (an allegation that, as far as anyone can tell, is not true), it’s probably best not to say it while standing next to a different governor who actually is “personally” under federal investigation.


Illinois election attack ads: Which parts are true?
(Huffpost Chicago © 09/26/2014)

The Illinois gubernatorial election is well under way, and both candidates are putting their best arguments forward. But sometimes their best arguments for their own elections are really arguments against their opponents’ election. Attack ads from Republican Bruce Rauner and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn have flooded the television airways.


Opinion: Rauner Taps Willie Horton in Latest Campaign Strategy
(MSNBC Chicago © 09/26/2014)

For a while, it looked like it was a new day in Illinois politics. For a while, it looked like we had something wed not seen in a long time in this state: a well-funded Republican candidate for governor with a clear and compelling message that just might win him the governor’s seat. …


Simon hits Topinka on aides’ lucrative 2nd jobs
(Chicago Tribune © 09/26/2014)

Democratic challenger Sheila Simon on Thursday criticized Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka for her role as president of a federally funded nonprofit that paid two key comptroller staffers more than $50,000 a year for part-time work on top of their six-figure taxpayer-funded salaries. At issue is an organization called the Smart Women/Smart Money Educational Foundation, which Topinka said …



National News


States free to choose Common Core
(Galesburg Register Mail © 09/28/2014)

In 2009 the National Governors Association began drafting standards that would become known as the “Common Core.” All but six states have now become members of the initiative. The NGA along with the Chief State School Officers commissioned a group of experts to craft standards that “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn…



This is the hottest job sector in Chicago

Good   news for accountants and consultants. The Chicago economy is charging ahead   in at least one sector: professional and business services. Crain’s breaks down the stats.

Chicago flight delays persist as some question air traffic system

Lawmakers   are questioning how a single person armed with gasoline and knives could   bring down part of the U.S. air-traffic system. Read more and find the latest stats on   flight delays and cancellations at O’Hare and Midway.

Women cab drivers make inroads

Although   the vast majority of taxi driver licenses still are held by men, nearly 1 in   10 new taxi licenses has been issued to women this year, a record pace. Crain’s has the story.

What will take the place of Finkl steel mill?

While   demolition experts prepare to take their best shot at the hulking A. Finkl   & Sons steel mill on the North Side, real estate developers are staring   down an even sturdier foe: the planned manufacturing district. Crain’s looks at the zoning issues that   could affect the redevelopment of the site.

How this man aims to save the Chicago Stock Exchange

If   CHX Holdings new CEO John Kerin has his way, one of Chicago’s oldest   companies will be one of the city’s newest tech darlings. Read his story in Crain’s.

Critic: Walgreen’s new store redesign a welcome upgrade

The Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic   finds Walgreen’s recent redesign of its “banal, cookie-cutter   buildings” brings a bit of sophistication to the corner drugstore.

— Meanwhile, the Deerfield-based company says a court has preliminarily   approved a settlement with a group of pension-fund shareholders who sued the   company and its board last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing’s space taxi contract challenged

Another   bidder has filed a legal challenge to NASA’s award of contracts totaling $6.8   billion to Boeing and SpaceX to build commercially owned and operated   “space taxis.” Reuters has more.

GTCR trial causes political headaches for Rauner

The Tribune considers the political   repercussions for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, as he is   questioned on the campaign trail about his and GTCR’s involvement with a   troubled nursing home chain that’s now at the center of a Florida trial.

Pritzker foundation funds scholarship for students here illegally

A   foundation whose leaders include Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is   launching a partnership today with a charter school network to provide $3   million in college scholarships to 70 Chicago high school seniors whose   immigration status is undocumented, according to the Tribune.

Where employers stand on wage increases

A   poll finds that the majority of employers support raising the minimum wage,   just not as high as workers would like. Check out this video report from First Business News. (Click   on the image to launch video.)


Hong Kong Digs In

Demonstrations have grown at a speed that seems to have surprised protesters and authorities alike, with crowds continuing to occupy key areas of the city, bringing traffic to a halt. Thousands are now preparing for another night of confrontation with police


ATM Fees Surge, Survey Says

Surcharges for withdrawing cash at ATMs outside banks have ballooned 23% over the last five years, a new survey finds. Here’s how to avoid the fees


Doctors Recommend IUD Use

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended implantable rods and intrauterine devices as the best birth control for teenage girls other than abstinence


Facebook Takes Its Ad Game to the Rest of the Web

Facebook is set to share data on its millions of users with companies looking to sell targeted ads outside the company’s social network, taking its ad business to the rest of the Internet in a major challenge to Google


Wake Up! Today Is National Coffee Day

Fake marketing holiday or not, Monday is being celebrated as National Coffee Day, and that means free (or nearly so) coffee can be had at several donut, fast food and coffee specialists around the U.S. Here’s where to score an extra jolt of caffeine on the cheap


Ginsburg: Citizens United Was Supreme Court’s Worst Ruling

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in a new interview that the Citizens United ruling, which paved the way for more unfettered campaign spending by corporations, was the current court’s worst decision ever


California Adopts ‘Yes Means Yes’ Sex-Assault Rule

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he signed a bill that makes California the first in the nation to define when “yes means yes” and adopt requirements for colleges to follow when investigating reports of sexual assault


Flights in Chicago Slowly Return to Normal After Fire

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that it expects a Chicago-area air traffic control center to be fully operational in a couple weeks after a fire there Friday led to thousands of canceled and delayed flights


DreamWorks Animation Mulls Selling to a Japan Bank

DreamWorks Animation, the studio owned by film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, may have unexpectedly found a buyer in Japan’s SoftBank. The telecommunications company offered $32 per share for DreamWorks, a 43% premium to the stock’s closing price Friday


Obama Admits U.S. Intelligence Didn’t See ISIS Coming

President Barack Obama said in a new interview that the U.S. underestimated the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria and overestimated the ability of the Iraqi army to secure their country


India’s Modi Comes Full Circle at Madison Square Garden

Tens of thousands of Indian Americans turned out to welcome the visiting leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. His entrance after a series of musical and dance warm-up acts sent the audience into a frenzy


How Secret Service Bungled White House Shooting in 2011

A new report shows that the Secret Service bungled its response to a shooting outside the White House in 2011, taking four days to realize that shots had actually hit the building. An Idaho man fired at least seven bullets into the house’s upstairs residence



Meet ‘Hunter’, The American Fighting for the Ukrainian Separatists

“I’m an American. I joined an independence movement,” says Hunter, an American military vet who speaks only English, denying he sides with Russia


Tear Gas and Arrests Don’t Deter Hong Kong Democracy Protests

Reports of the violence on local TV and radio actually served to bring other members of the public out onto the streets to express their anger.


Hong Kong Protesters Take to Social Media, When They’re Not Blocked

Demonstrators post images of clashes between protesters and police in Hong Kong to social media sites that haven’t been blocked by Beijing

Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas on Democracy Protesters; Instagram Blocked


Modi to U.S. Indians: Come Home, Come Buy

The Indian prime minister tells Americans of Indian descent to follow Gandhi’s example and give back to Mother India.


France’s Far-Right Grabs First Ever Senate Seats

The left still controls the lower house, which is the dominant legislative body in France, but Sunday’s ballot underlined the unpopularity of the president and the continued rise of the anti-immigration, anti-euro National Front.



A Look Inside the ‘Closed Cities’ Where Russia Tested the Effects of Nuclear Radiation on Human Subjects

“Dust” by Nadav Kander explores the ruins of former Soviet nuclear testing facilities.


Anatomy of a Drink: Labu Kelapa Pouring Ribbons’s New Cocktail Is Fall in a Glass

“I think I’ve done and had every iteration of the boozy pumpkin pie, and I’m tired of that specific flavor profile,” Joaquín Simó says.


Annie Lennox is Red, Hot and Blue

Having traveled the world and the seven seas, Annie Lennox finds her roots in American blues and her passion in women’s causes everywhere



The Curious Case of the Chinese Chicken Import-Export Business

Despite safety concerns and little economic incentive, the U.S. is shipping chickens to China for processing 


Word of the Day  Monday, September 29, 2014

Immix  \ih-MIKS\


  1. to mix in; mingle.