In the News ~ Dec. 1

Illinois aims to get more kids walking to school – With the help of federal funding, Illinois is trying to get more children to walk and bike to school with projects including new and better sidewalks. The $5.9 million will go toward 58 projects around the state in what’s being dubbed the Illinois Safe Routes to School program.

 

State group pushing to overhaul civics education (Chicago Tribune © 12/01/2014)

With a few adjustments, the classroom at Bartlett High School became a political stage, with a lectern, microphone and students debating over taxes, education, guns and same-sex marriage. The seniors in civics teacher Larry Pahl’s class had studied the stances of the main candidates in the Illinois governor’s race and were arguing those views.

 

GUEST COLUMN: Reverse state’s antiquated school aid formula (Streator Times-Press © 12/01/2014)

As the Illinois General Assembly returns to the State Capitol, the issue of education funding remains a hot topic. A massive rewrite of the state’s current school aid formula pending in the House of Representatives – Senate Bill 16 – has generated a great deal of interest and controversy. School districts across the state are energizing to oppose the legislation in its current form, …

 

State needs to move carefully on education cuts (Decatur Herald and Review © 11/30/2014)

Illinois state agencies may have received a taste this week of what life will be like with Bruce Rauner as governor after a direct budget warning from the state’s higher education czar was sent to state university presidents. In an email obtained by the Lee Enterprises Springfield Bureau, Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director James Applegate warned university presidents

 

Board gets update on state finances (Edwardsville Intelligencer © 11/29/2014)

With the state of Illinois nearly three months behind in its payments to the Edwardsville Community District 7 and with those payments currently totaling $1.3 million for the 2014-15 school year, Edwardsville District 7 Superintendent Ed Hightower reminded the board during its general meeting Monday night to be mindful of the state’s financial situation because it continues to affect the …

 

Former QB files suit against IHSA over head injuries (Bloomington Pantagraph © 11/30/2014)

A former high school quarterback followed in the steps of one-time pro and college players Saturday by suing a sport’s governing body — in this case the Illinois High School Association — saying it didn’t do enough to protect him from concussions when he played and still doesn’t do enough to protect current players. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Cook on the same day Illinois …

 

  1. of I. rehiring of controversial prof imperils donor funds (Chicago Tribune © 11/30/2014)

Two academic programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have begun the process of rehiring controversial professor James Kilgore a decision that could have financial implications for the public university system. Kilgore, who spent about five years in prison for his part in a 1970s murder, worked as a lecturer and researcher at the U. of I. from 2010 until earlier this year.

 

Incoming U of I president more than just scientist (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 11/29/2014)

Much has been said in the past week about the incoming University of Illinois president’s extensive scientific background. But Timothy Killeen is also a classical guitarist and art aficionado, and he once played cricket, soccer and rugby in his native Wales.

 

Faculty apply for next Eastern president (Charleston Daily Eastern News © 12/01/2014)

Four faculty members decided to collectively apply to be Eastern’s next president, but are no longer being considered for the position by the presidential search committee. John Allison and Lucinda Berry, both English professors; Jonathan Blitz, a chemistry professor; and Charles Delman, a mathematics professor,

 

 

Dist 299

 

On break until Dec. 8

 

 

Political News

 

Springfield Fall Veto Session Kicks Off (WTTW Chicago © 12/01/2014)

Before Governor-elect Bruce Rauner officially takes over in Springfield, Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers have some unfinished business to attend to. Protests and press conferences in Chicago and Springfield today aimed to pressure the General Assembly to act on a minimum wage hike, a reform to the way the state funds education

 

Durbin Calls On Lawmakers to Pass Minimum Wage Bill (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 11/30/2014)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will call on state lawmakers to pass the minimum wage bill during the veto session. The Senator will have a telephone press conference Monday afternoon with members of Raise Illinois Coalition and Main Street Alliance. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has urged lawmakers not to take action on the bill until he takes office in January.

 

Minimum wage question looms over lawmakers’ final session (Springfield State Journal Register © 12/01/2014)

The biggest issue hanging over Illinois lawmakers in a final three-day veto session this week is whether they can muster the votes to approve a minimum wage hike — an uphill climb that proponents are continuing to pursue amid behind-the-scenes maneuvering in both Springfield and Chicago. Passing the increase would be a capstone on Gov. Pat Quinn’s decades-long political career,

 

Erickson: Time for Team Rauner to be professional (Bloomington Pantagraph © 11/30/2014)

After a rough and tumble election season, it can be tough for some campaign workers to toggle down the intensity level. So, given that it’s been less than a month since Team Rauner won a contentious race for governor, we’re going to give them some slack for their behavior last week.

 

2015 won’t be pretty (Champaign News Gazette © 11/30/2014)

The Land of Lincoln is about to come down with a severe case of the budget blues. As Illinoisans prepare for a new year, they should bear two dates in mind — Jan. 1 and Jan. 12. On Jan. 1, the state’s temporary 5 percent income tax is scheduled to fall back to 3.75 percent. On Jan. 12, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will be sworn into office, Illinois’ first Republican chief executive since Gov. Ge…

 

The weight of the state falls on Rauner (Crains Chicago Business © 11/30/2014)

Illinois’ public pension problem now is Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner’s problem, after a judge rejected last year’s reform, calling it unconstitutional.

 

Time for Team Rauner to relax, govern (Decatur Herald and Review © 11/30/2014)

After a rough-and-tumble election season, it can be tough for some campaign workers to toggle down the intensity level. So, given that its been less than a month since Team Rauner won a contentious race for governor, we’re going to give them some slack for their behavior last week.

 

Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner foundation gave out more than $3 million in 2013 (Springfield State Journal Register © 11/30/2014)

The foundation that carries the last name of the family of Illinois’ next governor continued donating to a variety of causes in 2013.The tax return for the nonprofit Rauner Family Foundation for last year was due, after an extension, on Nov. 15. And the return shows that the foundation of Gov.-elect BRUCE RAUNER and his wife, DIANA, helped out various charities, educational institutions and groups…

 

Our Opinion: Further weakening of Illinois’ sunshine laws unacceptable (Springfield State Journal Register © 11/30/2014)

The Illinois legislature is once again poised to hack away at people’s access to taxpayer-funded government documents and information. Two troubling efforts pending in the General Assembly could weaken the state’s sunshine laws — one by further constricting the definition of what is considered public information, the other by enabling government to charge higher fees for public information.

 

More outgoing politicians, more pensions in Illinois (Sterling Sauk Valley News © 11/30/2014)

While Illinois politicians wrestle with how to tame the state’s ballooning pension shortfall, some of those leaving elected office in January will contribute to the problem by drawing large pensions of their own.

 

STATEHOUSE REEDER: Next round in pension fight a crucial one (Streator Times-Press © 11/29/2014)

A Sangamon County judge just snapped the first buckle on the state’s straightjacket last week. Despite this, expect Illinois’ leaders to struggle to deal with the state’s crushing pension debt. Circuit Judge John Belz ruled that a plan championed by House Speaker Mike Madigan and Gov. Pat Quinn was unconstitutional. The measure almost certainly will next be considered by the state…

 

 

National News

 

Meet Crain’s 2014 40 Under 40

There’s a ton of young talent to choose from in Chicago—from a medical tissue engineer to financiers with the Midas touch. But one quality binds them all: There’s not a slacker in the bunch. Check out Crain’s special package.

Achatz, Kokonas taking restaurant ticketing system national

The pioneering restaurant ticketing system developed by Nick Kokonas and his partner Grant Achatz for their fine-dining destinations Alinea and Next will roll out nationwide in early 2015 under a new company called Tock. Crain’s has the story.

Will this be the end of trading pits at CME?

What little action remains on CME Group’s downtown trading floor emanates mainly from one corner: the eurodollar options pit. But how much longer will the floor stay open? Crain’s takes a look.

Please don’t call them stores

These modern retailers aim to be “hangouts.” Crain’s has more on the new community venues being opened in Chicago by a trio of hip retailers.

Illinois punishes companies for poor Medicaid patient care

Two companies that control two-thirds of the managed-care market for Chicago-area Medicaid recipients have been barred from automatically receiving patients because they have been providing low-quality care. Crain’s explains the state’s action.

Earlier Black Friday promotions backfire on retailers

Total spending dropped an estimated 11.3 percent over the Thanksgiving weekend compared with last year. The National Retail Federation attributed the drop in large part to retailers starting their promotions earlier in the season. More from the Chicago Tribune.

AbbVie joins shared patent pool for kids’ AIDS drugs

North Chicago-based AbbVie has added two HIV medicines for children to a shared patent pool. It’s part of an initiative that should speed the development of cheap new pediatric formulations for use in poor countries. Reuters reports.

Coeur Mining looks to expand in Mexico

Coeur Mining, the biggest U.S. producer of silver, is in advanced negotiations to acquire Paramount Gold and Silver Corp., sources tell Reuters, as the Chicago-based company seeks to expand its mining footprint in Mexico.

Chicago donor may revoke U of I support over prof rehiring

If the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rehires a controversial professor who spent about five years in prison for his part in a 1970s murder, at least one major university donor has said he will withdraw his pledged $4.5 million support. Here is the Chicago Tribune’s story.

State agency buys land it could have gotten for free

The Sun-Times finds the Illinois Medical District Commission spent $8.8 million to buy back an abandoned property, even though it had plenty of chances to reacquire the land for free.

 

 

TIME.com

 

Trouble In-Store

Spending this four-day holiday weekend is expected to fall from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion, an 11% decline from last year. Per-person spending is expected to hit $380.95 for the weekend, a 6.4% drop

Black Friday Chills Out

Big Black Friday Stakes

The (Recent) History of Black Friday Shopping

 

Amazon’s Robot Army

A workforce of advanced robots at the core of Amazon’s fulfillment centers is helping the retail giant get your stuff home on time

 

Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent

The night marked a major reversal in direction for what student leaders have long maintained was a movement principled in nonviolence

 

Janay Rice: Ray Told the Truth

The wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice reaffirmed her support for her husband, claiming that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t tell the truth when he said Rice was “ambiguous” about hitting her in an elevator

 

U.N. Mission Warns That Ebola Still Poses Global Threat

The head of the U.N. Ebola mission in West Africa says there is a “huge risk” of the Ebola outbreak expanding beyond the hard-hit countries there. “That is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible,” he said

 

You Can Now Buy Girl Scout Cookies Online

For the first time in nearly 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA will allow its young go-getters to push their wares using a mobile app or personalized websites. But only if their scout councils and guardians say O.K.

 

St. Louis Cops Slam Rams’ ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Gesture

Five St. Louis Rams players took the field for Sunday’s home game against the Oakland Raiders with a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose that has been used by protesters in Ferguson, Mo., and across the country recently

 

Republican Governors Start Slow on White House Campaigns

While 2016 presidential hopefuls such as Senator Rand Paul and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are moving ahead with White House runs, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and other Republican governors are biding their time

 

Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Resigned After ‘Credible Threats’

An attorney for Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson cop involved in the August shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, said it took Wilson “two minutes” to resign after being told of threats against the police department and officers

 

Body of Missing OSU Player Kosta Karageorge Found

The body of an Ohio State University football player who had been missing for five days was found in Columbus on Sunday, according to school officials. Kosta Karageorge, a 22-year-old OSU defensive lineman and wrestler, went missing early Wednesday

 

Watch the New Better Call Saul Teaser Trailer

Viewers watching The Walking Dead mid-season finale on Sunday evening were treated to the first teaser trailer for AMC’s new show Better Call Saul. The Breaking Bad spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk will debut over two nights beginning Feb. 8

 

Safety Conversation Gets Louder With Two Cricket Fatalities

Two days after the demise of Australian cricket star Phillip Hughes, an Israeli umpire was also killed after getting hit by a cricket ball, further throwing the safety of the sport commonly known as the “gentleman’s game” into the international spotlight

 

 

NEWSWEEK.com

 

After 30 Years, Bhopal is Still Simmering

Will Modi clean up the toxic Union Carbide plant? And welcome new foreign investment?

 

U.S.

NFL Players Clash With Police Association Over Ferguson

Several St. Louis Rams players entered the field on Sunday night displaying the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose.

RELATED: Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Force

 

Supreme Court to Tackle Rap-Inspired Online Threats

A Pennsylvania man who made online threats inspired by rap lyrics against his now ex-wife claims they were just a joke.

 

WORLD

Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Jailed for Insulting Court a Day after Mubarak Verdict

The group has received lengthy jail terms in mass trials criticized by human rights groups.

 

China Refuses to Let British Lawmakers Visit Hong Kong

The MPs were denied visas to travel to the territory to look into the progress of democracy amid the protests

RELATED: Hong Kong Protestors Clash With Police Near Heart of Financial District

 

MH17 Wreckage to Be Reassembled in Netherlands for Investigation

There are still questions regarding how exactly the plane was shot down

RELATED: Dutch Experts Help Recover MH17 Crash Items Despite Nearby Clashes

 

Israel PM to Decide Whether to Call Early Election Soon, Says Adviser

The government is split on a range of issues, prompting speculation of an early national election

RELATED: Israel On Brink of Passing Divisive ‘Jewish Nation-State’ Bill

 

Ebola Death Toll Climbs to Nearly 7,000: WHO

Latest statistics from the World Health Organization reveal the sheer scope of the deadly virus.

RELATED: Trial Of 15-Minute Ebola Test To Start in Guinea

 

TECH & SCIENCE

Boxer Rebellion: A Pocketed Cellphone May Be Behind Your Infertility

New radiation-shielding briefs may just save your sperm

RELATED: iPhone 6 Bendgate: Apple’s Instructions Say Not to Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket Anyway

 

Word of the Day Monday, December 01, 2014 

Nosophobia \nos-uh-FOH-bee-uh\

noun; 

  1. Psychiatry – an abnormal fear of disease.