In the News ~ Dec. 4

U High ranked 55th in nation by education startup – University High School is Illinois’ 13th best public high school and the 55th best in the nation, according to education startup Niche. The school earned an A+ in 2015 grades released by the company on its website, niche.com. ISU spokeswoman Rachel Hatch said she did not know how U High performed in Niche rankings or similar systems in previous years.

 

Hononegah educator recognized for contributions (Rockford Register Star © 12/03/2014)

Elizabeth Eiss, an educator at Hononegah High School, was recognized at a recent Board of Education meeting for contributions made to the Spanish Club, Cafe Ole and the Pulsera Project. Eiss was recognized for her work with students to relate to Hispanic culture with monthly dinners, Christmas caroling in Spanish, working concessions at athletic events and raising funds for the community….

 

U-46 seeks adults to mentor students (Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 12/04/2014)

Game Changers is looking for volunteers to mentor at all Elgin Area School District U-46 middle and high schools. Mentors must commit to working one hour per week with a student. Potential mentors who are not U-46 employees will undergo a background check and receive training on mentorship, and the district’s policies and procedures. Students will be paired with adults of the same gender….

 

RPS Superintendent Headed to Washington D.C. for White House Summit (WIFR (CBS) 23 Rockford © 12/03/2014)

The superintendent of Rockford Public Schools is headed to Washington D.C. to talk education with the President. Dr. Ehren Jarrett was selected to help represent the Northern Illinois Regional P-20 Network at the White House College Opportunity Summit tomorrow. President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Joe Biden will be there…

 

NIU, RPS Leaders To Discuss Education With The President (WTVO ABC 17 Rockford © 12/03/2014)

A delegation representing Northern Illinois will travel to Washington, D.C. to find new ways to get students college-bound. The delegation consists of NIU President Douglas Baker and RPS Superintendent Ehren Jarrett, as well as representatives from Elgin Community College and the Illinois Workforce Investment Board.

 

Monticello board to consider facilities future (Champaign News Gazette © 12/04/2014)

The Monticello school board will hold a special meeting Dec. 15 and is inviting members of the community to weigh in on the future of the district’s facilities, including the fate of the White Heath and Lincoln Elementary buildings.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Monticello High School, and will also include board discussion regarding future building plans,

 

Reconfigure Unit 4 into fewer sites (Champaign News Gazette © 12/04/2014)

In the 1920s, my father attended a one-room schoolhouse in rural Mahomet. Then, because most children walked, they tried to place the schools in mile intervals. Today, by a combination of private automobile, mass transit and school buses, a majority of public school students do not walk but rather ride to school.

 

University High School Recognized (WMBD CBS 31 Peoria © 12/04/2014)

NORMAL – A Twin Cities high school is recognized as one of the top in the nation. The education ranking firm niche has named University High School in Normal as the 13th best public high in the state. All of those that rank above U-High in Illinois are from the Chicagoland Area.

Illinois Connection, Student Alumni Ambassadors host letter-writing campaign at Illini Union (Urbana Daily Illini © 12/04/2014)

Rebecca Wilson (right), junior in LAS, shows Jakia Hussian, freshman in LAS, a list of potential topics to write to the Illinois State Legislature during the Student Alumni Ambassadors letter writing campaign at the Illini Union on Wednesday. As freshman Jason Selling walked into the Illini Union Wednesday afternoon, he…

 

 

CPS releases new school ratings (Chicago Sun Times © 12/04/2014)

After changing its rating system for schools several times, Chicago Public Schools on Wednesday released its new school ratings from the 2013-14 school year. But the changes – from three levels for rating schools to five levels – complicate comparisons over last year for all schools including charter and contract schools but excluding special education schools.

 

CPS releases school quality ratings as overall attendance, graduate rates improve (CLTV-Chicago © 12/03/2014)

Speaking at a lecture Wednesday at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said this year, CPS invested in early education, offering free pre-school and full day kindergarten citywide. CPS also expanded the STEM program, and put 20,000 new laptops and iPads into the hands of students.

 

 

Political News

 

House leaves early without debating minimum wage (Champaign WCIA (CBS) 3 © 12/04/2014)

The Illinois House closed veto session a day early leaving some big issues still on the table. House members are not expected to come back until the new assembly is sworn in leaving the fate of the minimum wage bill passed Wednesday by the Senate on thin ice. House Deputy Majority Leader Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) said the decision by Chicago to go ahead with its own minimum wag…

 

Sneed: Quinn still wants $10-an-hour minimum wage passed (Chicago Sun Times © 12/04/2014)

Gov. Pat Quinn is gobsmacked. Why not. Sneed hears that powerful Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s decision Wednesday not to call the state’s minimum wage bill during this week’s veto session – which Quinn wanted big-time – was intended to do Mayor Rahm Emanuel a favor.

 

Lame-duck session closes, setting up Rauner-Madigan in 2015 (Chicago Tribune © 12/04/2014)

In gaveling an end to the session Wednesday, House Speaker Michael Madigan ensured plenty of opportunities for the Democratic-led legislature to spar with Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner next year. Lawmakers did nothing to extend the 2011 income tax hike, which means Illinois residents will get a big tax cut come Jan. 1, when the personal rate rolls back from 5 percent to 3.75 percent, even as…

 

Illinois House fails to act on minimum wage, will wait for Rauner (Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 12/04/2014)

The State of Illinois will not raise its minimum wage, at least not before new Governor Bruce Rauner takes office next month. In a victory for Rauner, the Illinois House adjourned Wednesday without acting on a measure approved by the State Senate. It would have raised the state minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $11. The House plans to reconvene on…

 

Senate passes Illinois minimum wage bill, but House adjourns (Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 12/04/2014)

Illinois lawmakers began wrapping up their annual fall veto session Wednesday, pushing off some of the state’s business until Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner and a new General Assembly take office in January. Without the votes in hand to pass minimum wage legislation, the House announced it was done for the year. But the Senate passed the measure that would raise the state’s wage…

 

Our View: No lame-duck session is good news (Crystal Lake Northwest Herald © 12/04/2014)

There is good news and bad news regarding state government this week. The bad news, of course, is that our state is still in shambles. The half-hearted pension reform legislators passed is expected to be ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. The unfunded pension liability now stands at $111 billion. There’s another $6 billion remaining in unpaid bills. The good news? It appears t…

 

Income tax likely rolling back with House adjournment (Decatur Herald and Review © 12/04/2014)

Illinoisans will begin seeing slightly bigger paychecks after the New Year thanks to the rollback of the state’s temporary income tax increase. By adjourning for the rest of the year Wednesday, the Illinois House virtually guaranteed the tax rate would drop from its current level of 5 percent to 3.75 percent as was written into the controversial law that put the higher income tax …

 

House adjourns as Senate OKs minimum wage bill (Joliet Herald News © 12/04/2014)

Illinois lawmakers began wrapping up their annual fall veto session Wednesday, pushing off some of the state’s business until Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner and a new General Assembly take office in January. Without the votes in hand to pass minimum wage legislation, the House announced it was done for the year. But the Senate passed the measure,

 

OUR VIEW: Brace yourselves for budget battle in Springfield (Streator Times-Press © 12/04/2014)

THE ISSUE: Rauner says state budget ‘worse than discussed’ OUR VIEW: Rubber about to meet road, painfully so Illinois voters elected Bruce Rauner to be governor based on his campaigning as an outsider — he’d never even run for political office — who had an extensive, successful career in private business. In simpler terms, he was a guy who earned himself millions of dollars but in theory no…

 

Rauner to meet Illinois delegation in Washington (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 12/04/2014)

Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner plans to spend the day in Washington. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s office says he will host the incoming Republican governor and members of the Illinois congressional delegation for a bipartisan lunch on Thursday at the U.S. Capitol. Kirk’s office says the lunch will be the first post-election delegation meeting with Rauner. Rauner

 

Veto Session Over; Quinn Still Fighting for Min Wage Increase (WJOL-1340 Joliet © 12/04/2014)

Governor Quinn says he’s still fighting to get the minimum wage raised even though state representatives wrapped up veto session without a vote. It could be Quinn’s last hoorah as governor. He’s been pushing to get the increase for several years now and vowed to get it done before he leaves office.

 

State tax hike likely to roll back as planned (Bloomington Pantagraph © 12/03/2014)

Illinoisans will begin seeing slightly bigger paychecks after New Year’s Day thanks to the rollback of the state’s temporary income tax increase. By adjourning for the rest of the year on Wednesday, the Illinois House virtually guaranteed the tax rate would drop from its current level of 5 percent to 3.75 percent as was written into the controversial law that put the higher income …

 

Quinn wants lawmakers back to pass minimum wage hike (Chicago Tribune © 12/03/2014)

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn told the Tribune on Wednesday that he hasn’t given up hope on lawmakers coming back to Springfield to pass a statewide minimum wage increase, though it’s likely to end up being a symbolic gesture for the outgoing chief executive. > It’s not over until it’s over, and it isn’t over, Quinn said by phone. We’re going to keep working hard with the members of the…

 

Lawmakers pass jury duty pay increase, tougher penalties for ‘revenge porn’ (Chicago Tribune © 12/03/2014)

As the General Assembly’s fall session wound down, state lawmakers sent the governor measures Wednesday that would raise jury duty pay, increase penalties for so-called revenge porn and expand early voting in Illinois. > c The Senate approved legi…

 

Rauner Blasts Illinois Budget’s ‘Accounting Gimmicks’ (Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 12/03/2014)

Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner frequently griped about Illinois’ unbalanced budget on the campaign trail. Weeks away from his official swearing-in, the Republican venture capitalist-turned-political rookie is wringing his hands over lawmakers’ 2014-2015 fiscal plan, dubbing it a bigger mess than he thought possible. …

 

Rahm and Rauner Go to Washington (Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 12/03/2014)

They might not always see eye to eye (see: the minimum wage), but Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Rauner go way back to the days when the Chicago Mayor temporarily left public service to reap millions as an I-banker. …

 

Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase for Illinois | NBC Chicago (MSNBC Chicago © 12/03/2014)

Just one day after the Chicago City Council approved a minimum wage of $13 per hour by 2019, the Illinois Senate approved a plan to raise the minimum wage across the state. …

 

Chuck Sweeny: Will lame-duck Legislature retain the 5 percent income tax? (Rockford Register Star © 12/03/2014)

Don’t let Bruce Rauner’s defeat of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn mislead you: Illinois remains a blue state Democrats kept their veto-proof majority in the House, and they’ll have 39 of 59 seats in the Senate. Still, Republican Rauner won by a larger-than-expected margin, indicating a sense of unease with the states economic condition. Illinois has the nations largest unfunded pension liability $100 bil…

 

House Adjourns As Senate Passes Minimum Wage Bill (WBBM TV CBS 2 Chicago © 12/03/2014)

Illinois lawmakers began wrapping up their annual fall veto session Wednesday, pushing off some of the states business until Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner and a new General Assembly take office in January. Without the votes in hand to pass minimum wage legislation, the House announced it was done for the year. But the Senate passed the measure that would raise th…

 

Lawmakers conclude veto session without voting on minimum wage (WEEK (NBC) 25 Peoria © 12/03/2014)

It appears any plan to increase the minimum wage in Illinois will have to wait. Lawmakers have cut the fall veto session short and are expected to wrap up business Wednesday without a vote on a plan. …

 

Illinois Senate moves to increase minimum wage to $11 an hour (WEEK (NBC) 25 Peoria © 12/03/2014)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Senate has passed a bill to raise the minimum wage. The bill would raise minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2019. Clic…

 

Restaurant owners weigh in on minimum wage increases (WGEM Quincy (NBC) 10 © 12/03/2014)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he wants the House to vote on a minimum wage increase by Christmas after the senate passed a bill late Wednesday afternoon. If the legislation passes, it would raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2019, but not all restaurant owners support the plan. College Student Deangelo Dean is a cook at Spuds Restaurant here in …

 

Local workers walk out of jobs in the ‘Fight for 15′ (Chicago WFLD (Fox) 32 © 12/04/2014)

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – A little more than two years ago, the Fight for 15 movement kicked off in New York City when a couple hundred fast food workers demanded higher wages and the right to unionize. The movement soon spread across the country. Thursday morning in Chicago, workers walked off their jobs. Participants say the movement is an organized rally, not a strike.

 

Senate Advances Minimum Wage Bill (WGIL AM Radio 14 (Galesburg) © 12/03/2014)

The Illinois Senate is debating legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage and will call it for a vote even though the House has adjourned for the year. The bill sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood would by 2019 increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $11 an hour for workers 18 and older.

 

Legislature overturns Quinn veto on speed limit (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 12/03/2014)

Illinois lawmakers have overturned the governor’s veto of legislation aimed at increasing the speed limit to 70 mph on the state’s toll highways. The House voted 100-11 Wednesday to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of the legislation sponsored by Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis. A bill passed in 2013 increased the speed limit to 70 miles on interstates, but kept the…

 

Senate advances minimum wage bill Wednesday (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 12/03/2014)

The Illinois Senate is debating legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage and will call it for a vote even though the House has adjourned for the year. The bill sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood would by 2019 increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $11 an hour for workers 18 and older. The bill won’t impact Chicago’s decision to …

 

Senate passes minimum wage bill Wednesday (WICS ABC 20 (Springfield) © 12/03/2014)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has passed legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage. The bill passed the Senate by a 39-18 vote, which came after Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned the House on Wednesday. Sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Kimberly Lightford of Maywood, the legislation would by 2019 increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $11 an hour for workers 18 a…

 

 

National News

 

New Illinois law enrolls 2.5 million workers in retirement plans

Illinois lawmakers have approved a bill that would automatically enroll 2.5 million private-sector workers in a retirement savings program, unless they specifically opt out. Crain’s Greg Hinz reports that no other American state has anything quite like this program.

Developers fret as affordable housing policy changes loom

Real estate developers are gearing up for a fight: A task force convened by the Emanuel administration wants the City Council to tighten a key affordable-housing law. Chicago Real Estate Daily explains why developers argue new rules could kill off new projects.

Old Main Post Office up for sale

Two months after a partnership to redevelop the Old Main Post Office fell apart, the British developer who owns the colossal West Loop building is putting it up for sale. Chicago Real Estate Daily looks at the possibilities.

AvantCredit scores $225 million from A-list backers

Al Goldstein’s two-year-old online lender, AvantCredit, has raised $225 million in one of the largest venture rounds ever for a Chicago startup. The list of backers is almost as eye-popping as the total. Crain’s John Pletz has the details on the investors.

Illinois to miss out on federal health-care dollars

An estimated $270 million in federal funding was left on the table when Illinois lawmakers didn’t vote yesterday on a measure to create a state-run health insurance exchange. The Tribune considers what it means for Illinois.

Here’s what worries the Fed’s Charles Evans

The New York Times has a Q & A with Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and learns more about his fear that prices are not rising fast enough.

Why hipsters love this bike (and coffee) shop

Crain’s has the backstory on Heritage Bicycles in Lakeview, where the owner has found success through a combination of vintage design and made-in-Chicago craftsmanship that has attracted customers like Beyonce and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Oh, and there’s coffee, too.

The frightening realities facing troubled youth in Illinois

The Chicago Tribune takes an in-depth look into taxpayer-funded residential centers for troubled youth and finds the state keeps sending kids to places where they are being beaten and sexually abused, leading them out to the streets.

Emanuel goes after petitions of rivals

After examining the election petitions submitted by mayoral challengers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign claims it has uncovered “an astonishing pattern of deception.” The Sun-Times has more.

Hey, we’re all human

Even those who’ve reached the pinnacle of their careers can blank in front of the camera. Or get tongue-tied. Here are a few of our favorite unscripted moments from this year’s 40 Under 40 project, compiled in one silly-but-safe-for-work blooper reel.

 

 

TIME.com

 

No Charges for Chokehold Cop

Wednesday’s announcement that a grand jury declined to indict a New York cop in the death of a man, by apparent chokehold, prompted protests around the city overnight and Attorney General Eric Holder to announce the opening of a federal civil-rights inquiry

Protests Erupt After Cop in Eric Garner Chokehold Death Not Indicted

Attorney General Eric Holder Plans ‘Institute of Justice’ to Address Protest Concerns

Behind the Video of Eric Garner’s Deadly Confrontation With NYC Police

 

Live: NASA’s Orion Launch

NASA on Thursday morning is attempting the first launch of its new Orion spacecraft, designed to carry astronauts to deep space

 

3 Cosby Accusers Step Forward

L.A. attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the accusers, demanded Cosby place $100 million in a fund for his alleged victims

 

Gun Battle Leaves 19 Dead in Chechen Capital

Militants attacked a checkpoint early Thursday in the capital of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, leaving at least ten police officers and nine gunmen dead. The violence erupted hours before Vladimir Putin began his annual state of the nation address

 

Your Flu Shot May Not Work This Year

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory to doctors Wednesday saying a sample of flu cases so far this season shows that the current flu vaccine may not be effective against the most common strain

 

Al Qaeda Threatens to Execute U.S. Hostage

Militants in Yemen have released a video threatening to execute Luke Somers, a 33-year old photojournalist and interpreter, in three days if its demands to the U.S. government are not met, according to a company that monitors terrorist groups

 

New James Bond Film Gets Title and Cast

The 24th James Bond film will be called Spectre and will include new cast members Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott and Monica Bellucci. Daniel Craig will be reprising his role as James Bond

 

U.S. General Optimistic on Liberia’s Battle With Ebola

General David M. Rodriguez, the U.S. military commander for Africa, says he might be able to scale back operations in Liberia by next month. He said U.S. troops deployed there might be moved if progress reports continue to encourage optimism

 

‘Serial’ Listeners Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

More than half a million users have accessed the Reddit discussion about the wildly popular podcast Serial, where some fans are attempting to answer questions about the true-life mystery that are so-far unanswered in the podcast

 

Obama Issues Warning Over Xi Jinping’s Growing Power

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday gave a stern assessment of what he called Chinese President Xi Jinping’s quick consolidation of power, expressing worries about the nation’s dubious human-rights record and insistent nationalism

 

House Passes Bill to Help Disabled Save for Living Expenses

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday that will help the disabled pay for a host of expenses — including education, housing, transportation and health — by cutting Medicare payments for penis pumps

 

Toyota Recalls Cars in Japan, China for Air Bags

Toyota is recalling 185,000 vehicles in Japan and 5,000 in China for possibly defective air bags supplied by Takata, the Japanese manufacturer at the center of an unfolding safety scandal. Some 14 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide over Takata air bags

 

 

NEWSWEEK.com

 

WORLD

Axis of Easel: Churchill and Hitler’s Painting Duel

Churchill and Hitler are continuing their titanic duel through their works of art.

Watercolor Painting by Adolf Hitler Sells for $161,000

 

Al-Qaeda Threaten to Kill British-Born American Hostage

The group have released a video which shows a man who identifies himself as journalist Luke Somers

RELATED: Report: ISIS Reaches Agreement With Al-Qaeda

 

Jerusalem’s New Holy War

As Jerusalem slides towards religious war, one young woman is emerging as a powerful new Palestinian voice

RELATED: Suspected Palestinian Attackers Stabs Two in Israeli Settlement Supermarket

 

U.S.

Thousands of New Yorkers Protest Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

Protests included a ‘die-in’ in Grand Central Terminal and blocked streets in Midtown.

RELATED: Justice Department Investigating Garner’s Death at Hands of Police

 

Justice Department Investigating Garner’s Death at Hands of Police

Eric Garner died after police applied the chokehold while trying to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes in New York.

RELATED: Thousands March in New York City to Protest Police Chokehold Death

 

WORLD

Rouble Falls As Putin Warns of Russia’s Enemies in Keynote Speech

The Russian president said that Russia would not be broken up like the former Yugoslavia

RELATED: Putin Under Pressure To Address Russia’s Economic Ills in State of the Union Address

 

U.S.

Texas Leads 17 States in Suing Obama Over Immigration

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican and the Texas governor-elect, said the lawsuit is not asking for monetary damages but is seeking to have the order declared illegal.

RELATED: Republican Boehner Tries to Avoid Shutdown Fight on Immigration

 

CULTURE

Our Favorite Books of 2014: Newsweek Staff Picks

Though far from exhaustive, this twenty-book list is a small glimpse at the books we read and loved in 2014.

RELATED: Author of ‘The Nazis Next Door’ on Post-War America as a Haven for Perpetrators

 

24th Bond Film to Be Called ‘Spectre’, Hinting at Return of Old Foe

Character to be portrayed by Christophe Waltz remains unnamed, hinting at return of arch-nemesis after long legal battle

 

U.S.

Hours Before Controversial Execution of Scott Panetti, Court Grants Stay

Texas attorneys have another opportunity to argue that it is unconstitutional to execute the mentally

 

Word of the Day Thursday, December 04, 2014 

Wanion  

\WON-yuhn\ 

noun;

  1. Archaic. curse; vengeance.