In the News ~ Dec. 3

Nine sessions, no teacher contract in Oakwood – When the Oakwood 76 Education Association entered into contract negotiations with the school board last February, union representatives were hopeful that members would have a new deal by the end of the month. But five months after the old contract expired and nearly halfway into the school year, the association is considering a walkout if a settlement isn’t reached soon.


Illinois Set To Test Common Core Standards (WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 12/03/2014)

Illinois students are scheduled to take the new Common Core test this spring, despite a growing chorus of parents and educators opposing it. To get some idea of how controversial the test is, consider this: The number of states that have legalized marijuana use — 23 — is double the number of states that have agreed to use this test — just 11.


$33M in grants awarded for after-school programs (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 12/03/2014)

The Illinois State Board of Education has approved $33 million in federal grants for before- and after-school programs at schools and organizations around the state. The board said in an announcement Tuesday that those programs serve nearly 70,000 students each year.


Effingham High School offers new class (Alton Telegraph © 12/03/2014)

It’s been a challenge learning all the equipment in the new “Manufacturing Skills” class at Effingham High School. But students have become increasingly proficient, so teacher Ty Totten sometimes likes to throw them a curve. Austin Ashbaugh, a junior, was connecting a positive and a ground to turn on a light bulb at the electrical circuit station on


Education office finalizes maintenance fund (Mattoon Journal Gazette © 12/03/2014)

The Regional Office of Education 11 now has a way to provide for itself in the future if its building should need emergency repairs. The journey to a major maintenance fund wrapped up at Monday night’s ROE 11 meeting, more than eight months after a storm damaged the building’s roof and the office needed emergency funds to fix it. ROE 11’s districts together will contribute a total


School District 709 raises 2014 tax levy in Morton (Peoria Journal Star © 12/03/2014)

MORTON District 709 School Board members Tuesday approved a 2014 tax levy of $26.8 million, a 3.14 percent increase over the 2013 levy of $26 million. Because Tazewell County is a tax-capped county, the district could raise the levy from current property owners a maximum of 1.5 percent, the 2013 rate of inflation.



Editorial: Find middle ground on adjuncts who are retired (Chicago Daily Herald © 12/03/2014)

When the school year ends, Oakton Community College plans to dismiss dozens of adjunct instructors who are retired and collecting a state pension. The school recently was fined $150,000 for violating a new law limiting how much those retirees’ can earn. One can hardly blame Oakton, which has campuses in Des Plaines and Skokie, for letting the instructors go


Staff Editorial: Striking down the pension law will bring better ideas (Charleston Daily Eastern News © 12/03/2014)

If were being honest, we all knew the pension reform law didn’t stand too much of a chance once the lawsuits started pouring in. If were being really honest, the pension reform bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a year ago shouldn’t ever have happened. Instead it acted as an instigator fueled by angry state employees over the fact that, essentially, their money …



Political News


Rauner checks out General Assembly before term begins (Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 12/02/2014)

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is in town for the last few days of the fall veto session. Tuesday, he addressed the state’s looming budget issues. He says the budget Governor Quinn signed is worse than most people realize. Rauner says Quinn has borrowed a lot of money from special purpose funds which now has to be repaid.


Rauner says state budget ‘worse than discussed’ (Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 12/02/2014)

Illinois’ Republican governor-elect says he’s finding the state budget is “worse than has been discussed” as he learns more about it. Bruce Rauner says he’s spending Tuesday and Wednesday at the Capitol in Springfield. He is meeting with lawmakers and budget experts to get a better handle on the budget situation.


Illinois House approves employee retirement savings plan (Springfield State Journal Register © 12/02/2014)

A proposed retirement savings plan that supporters said would help many lower-income workers was approved Tuesday by the Illinois House. Senate Bill 2758 is designed to give workers with no access to a company-sponsored retirement savings plan an opportunity to put away money for the future. “This bill encourages savings,” said Rep. Jerry Costello II, R-Smithton.


Governor Quinn Statement on Chicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance (eNews Park Forest © 12/02/2014)

Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding the Chicago City Council’s approval of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s five-year plan to raise the city’s minimum wage from $8.25 in 2014 to $10.00 in 2015, to $10.50 in 2016, to $11.00 in 2017, to $12.00 in 2018 and $13.00 in 2019:


Rauner says Chicago minimum wage hike could make city less competitive (Chicago Tribune © 12/02/2014)

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner warned Tuesday that approving minimum wage hikes without enacting business reforms could hurt Chicagos competitiveness and worsen unemployment. As he sought to draw a dark picture of the states finances before he takes office next month, Rauner steered around questions at the Capitol about how to address minimum wage increases advancing in Chicago and Springfiel…


Windy City takes first steps to raise minimum wage (Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 12/02/2014)

The minimum wage debate continues circling the state. The Chicago City Council approved a 5-year plan to raise the city’s minimum wage from $8.25/hour to $10/hour in 2015, then up to $13/hour by 2019. This, as lawmakers consider changing the state’s minimum wage. Governor Quinn released a statement: In the November election, people across Illinois spoke out overwhelmingly on behalf of…


Things to Know on Chicago’s New $13 Minimum Wage | NBC Chicago (MSNBC Chicago © 12/02/2014)

Chicago’s minimum-wage workers will earn $13 an hour by 2019 under a plan the City Council approved overwhelmingly on Tuesday. Pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the change makes the nation’s third-largest city the latest to raise its rate. Still, opponents worry about the impact on business. …



National News


Biopharma startup Naurex raises $80 million

The monster investment will enable Naurex, a drug company spun out of Northwestern University, to pursue the final phase of clinical trials for its depression drug. Crain’s John Pletz has the story.

Cubs trim Wrigley signs to win federal tax credit

The Chicago Cubs are heading back to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks tomorrow to change the team’s plan for outfield signs in the renovated Wrigley Field. The unexpected move is being made in hopes of winning a federal tax credit said to be worth $75 million. Crain’s Danny Ecker has more.

Madigan: Vote on statewide minimum wage will have to wait

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan informed lawmakers that any effort to raise the minimum wage statewide won’t happen in the fall veto session that ends today, and probably will be delayed until the state’s new Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, takes office. Crain’s Greg Hinz reports.

Medline threatens to move and our governor caves—again

Outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn awarded Medline a state tax credit of nearly $18 million to keep it from moving. Crain’s Joe Cahill points out that it’s at least the fourth time since 2001 that the medical supplies firm has made threats about leaving Illinois to land a deal, even though it has solid business reasons to stay put.

Wacker Drive office tower hit with $135 million foreclosure suit

It’s one of the biggest foreclosure suits filed in Chicago since the crash, showing that the city has yet to purge itself of bad bubble-era debt. Chicago Real Estate Daily has details.

Wilson cashes in on Allstate recovery

Allstate CEO Tom Wilson has cashed out his recession-era winnings, netting $33 million pre-tax in the transactions. Crain’s reports.

CME boosts offer for GFI

CME Group has increased the value of its agreement to buy broker-dealer GFI Group, which is facing a rival bid from brokerage firm BGC Partners. The Wall Street Journal has more.

Moto gets cheeky with its first smartwatch ads

Ahead of the holidays, Motorola Mobility is launching a campaign for Moto 360, its computerized wristwatch, presenting ads that parody the solemn marketing of the luxury watch industry. Ad Age takes a look.

Why Jeanne Gang is using crystals to talk climate change

The New York Times talks with Chicago architect Jeanne Gang about her new design installation in Miami. Commissioned by Swarovski, it aims to connect environmental changes happening in remote locations to places closer to home.

How the pros deck their halls

Think holiday decorating is limited to twinkling lights and tinsel? Think again. How about a little rustic elegance or a more simple, classic approach? Crain’s asks Chicago designers for tips to elevate your holiday displays.


Honda Expands Airbag Recall

Honda is expanding a recall of driver’s side air bags made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. to all 50 states. The move comes after the U.S. government demanded Takata extend the recall of its airbags, which can explode and shed shrapnel, but the supplier refused

What You Should Do About the Massive Airbag Recall

Owners of Nearly 8 Million Cars Warned to Replace Airbags Immediately

Toyota Announces U.S. Recall Over Faulty Passenger Airbags


New Cosby Accuser Files Suit

A California woman sued Bill Cosby on Tuesday, claiming the comedian molested her around 1974 when she was 15 at the Playboy Mansion


Israel to Dissolve Parliament

Israeli lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a motion on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset in a preliminary vote, paving the way for early elections


Lady Gaga Says She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Producer

The singer said in a new interview Tuesday that she had been raped by an older man when she was a “very naive” teenager. Gaga had not publicly spoken about the assault before, and said that she didn’t “want to be defined” by the incident


Iran Launching Airstrikes Against ISIS, Pentagon Says

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said he has seen “nothing that would dispute” reports that Iran has carried out airstrikes against ISIS in eastern Iraq, adding that the U.S. was “not taking a position” on the matter


Cyber Monday Smashes Sales Record

Cyber Monday sales hit $2.04 billion, up 17% from last year, making it the biggest online shopping day ever, and the first to surpass $2 billion in sales. The figures come as a welcome tonic for retailers after news that sales over the holiday weekend were a bust


Charles Barkley Stands By Ferguson Comments

Charles Barkley isn’t retreating from recent comments in which he called people rioting in Ferguson, Mo. “scumbags,” defending the police in a new interview and dismissing as “ridiculous” the notion that they’re “just killing black people”


Feds Say Students’ Gender Identity Must Be Respected

A new Department of Education memo on school requirements for single-sex classes articulates a clear stance on gender identity, saying transgender students in public schools should be in classes that align with how they live their lives day-to-day


Decision in Chokehold Case Imminent

A decision is expected soon on whether or not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo over the death of Staten Island man Eric Garner. Garner died in July after being put into what appeared to be a banned chokehold by Pantaleo


California Braces for Heavy Rain, Flooding

Drought-stricken California is due for a fresh deluge of rain on Wednesday, with forecasters warning of possible floods and mudslides. Wet blasts since Sunday have set off flooding, knocked out power and sparked mandatory evacuation orders for parts of the state


The Half-Mad Mind

Lena Dunham is living with it. John Kelly couldn’t. Obsessive-compulsive disorder isn’t funny, and it’s finally emerging from the shadows.

Woman on the Ledge



Ka-Ching! The Madness and Common Sense of Handing Millions to College Football Coaches

The term “Pay Freeze?” assumed an entirely different meaning in the Magnolia State late Monday night.

RELATED: Eight-Man Football: The Biggest, And Only, Game in Town



The Reality TV Show That Interrogates ISIS Prisoners on Camera

‘In the Grip of the Law’ is a controversial primetime reality TV show that confronts captured jihadists with their victims

RELATED: Would-Be Jihadists’ Letters Home Reveal Unhappy, Mundane Life in ISIS



Torture Report Leaks May Reopen CIA Rendition Case

Attorneys hope case will expose wrongful detention at Djibouti black site and hasten the release of the Senate’s CIA torture report.

RELATED: Sen. Mark Udall Contemplates Revealing CIA Torture Report



China and Turkey Fall Behind in Global Corruption Index

North Korea, Sudan, Afghanistan and South Sudan were the worst countries, while Denmark came out on top

RELATED: Former Portuguese PM Held in Shock Corruption Arrest


New Defense Chief Will Hit the Air Running

Likely nominee Ashton Carter faces Pentagon budget cuts and demands for more military operations.

RELATED: Obama Expected to Nominate Ashton Carter to Lead Pentagon: Sources



Hong Kong Occupy Leaders Surrender as Pro-Democracy Protests Appear to Wither

Three founders of the movement turned themselves in a day after calling on students to retreat from protest sites

RELATED: Hong Kong Protests Waver as Student Leader Starts Hunger Strike



Israeli Legislators Set Date for Snap Election After Ministers’ Sacking

The government, only formed last year, unravelled over a range of issues, leading to the firing of two ministers

RELATED: French MPs Vote to Recognise Palestinian State


Word of the Day Wednesday, December 03, 2014 

Zoanthropy \zoh-AN-thruh-pee\


  1. Psychiatry . a mental disorder in which one believes oneself to be an animal.