Chicago News Edition of Continental Newstime
Continental Features/Continental News Service
501 W. Broadway, Plaza A, PMB# 265
San Diego, CA 92101
* Governor’s Office News Briefs … Governor J.B. Pritzker confirms that he has been appointed to the 10-member Council of Governors, which, since 2008, has coordinated with the President's counter-terrorism and other emergency-services advisors, the Defense and Homeland Security Secretaries, the Commander of the U.S. Northern Command, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to address threats to the nation and to ensure emergency preparedness. Having already attended his first meeting of the Council, which is co-chaired by Hawaii Governor David Ige and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Governor Pritzker observes, "As the largest state in the Midwest, and as a state with a strong National Guard, Illinois plays a critical role in keeping our country safe, and we will be an important voice on the Council of Governors." Pritzker reminds that he has "appointed highly-skilled leaders in several public-safety roles" and that the Council also makes recommendations concerning the benefits and compensation National Guard members are to receive. In the same vein, the Governor and the Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Alicia Tate-Nadeau, have met with local leaders and emergency-management officials in Alexander and Massac Counties as communities in southern Illinois prepare for rivers to crest this coming weekend. The Governor has ordered the Springfield- based State Emergency Operations Center into action to monitor flood conditions in the area and to quickly respond to local requests for aid by sending state personnel and equipment. So far in Alexander County, a crew from the Illinois Department of Corrections has begun filling sandbags, and sandbags and pumps have been distributed in both Alexander and Massac Counties. Then, too, IEMA staff members are on the scene to help local emergency-management officials determine what state assistance is necessary, and an American Red Cross presence is also visible. The Pritzker Administration warns motorists to avoid taking the life-threatening risks of ignoring road-closure signs and driving into flood waters, while advising residents in flood-prone areas to have essential documents, photos of valuables needed to support any damage claims, and emergency supplies packed should they have to evacuate at a moment's notice. Just as the state has committed to assist communities in northern Illinois recently impacted by flooding, Pritzker anticipates that coordination will be necessary in the "days and weeks ahead to keep families safe and protect our communities." Governor Pritzker acknowledges, as well, that he supports the decision of the Illinois State Board of Education to appoint Dr. Carmen I. Ayala as State Superintendent of Education, saying her wide experience as Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent at school districts around the state has demonstrated her commitment to students receiving the high-quality education "important to the future of our state and our economy." Indeed, the Governor views Dr. Ayala, the first woman and first person of color to become State Superintendent, as a partner in his Administration's delivery of extra budget resources for early-childhood education and meaningful educational investments even in challenging budget times. Citing Dr. Ayala's 30-plus years of local service, Pritzker adds, "I'm thrilled that families across Illinois will now benefit from her leadership." Pritzker, likewise marking Black History Month, has honored the leaders of the Black Fire Brigade; the homeless-services group, Featherfist; and Family Rescue. Asserting "the cultural impact, political leadership and social-justice advocacy of African-Americans are intrinsic to our history as a city and as a state," the Governor recalled that Ida B. Wells paved the way for many others by her exertions for "black equality in the women's suffrage movement, [by] speaking out on racial segregation in our schools—a dangerous thing to do ... [a century ago] and [by] helping elect the first black alderman to the Chicago City Council." Now, the Governor noted, Ida B. Wells Drive is the "first downtown street named for an African-American woman." And in her wake, two African-American women became run-off candidates this month for Mayor of Chicago. In addition, the Pritzker Administration has touted the state's 30-percent Film Production Tax Credit as an economic engine of sorts in producing and sustaining economic opportunities for local vendors, crew members, and film makers. Not only have new productions located in Illinois, the Governor records, but "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago Med" are just some of the network primetime programs which have returned to Illinois to film new seasons. Taken together, total estimated industry payroll and spending of $473.9 million represented a 12-percent increase over 2017, with 332 television, film, digital and commercial-advertising projects providing business for almost 4,000 state and local enterprises and job creation for 13,848 skilled workers, many trained at DePaul, Northwestern, Columbia and Flashpoint Chicago Digital Media Arts College.
* County Government News Briefs … Cook County Commissioners have supported legislation co-sponsored by State Representatives Theresa Mah and Justin Slaughter providing, with public posting, that individuals, upon detention by police, are entitled to complete at least three telephone calls to an attorney, relative or acquaintance, the bill assigned to the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee on February 13. Previously, joined by Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli and First Defense Legal Aid Executive Director Eliza Solowiej, Board President Toni Preckwinkle spoke to the prevalent Constitutional violations of those detained by police. Insisting "(t)he denial of access to a phone not only results in the violation of the right to an attorney, but deprives family members and others from knowing what happened to their son or daughter, niece or nephew," Preckwinkle offered this reminder: "In the United States, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty." The County Public Defender, in turn, declared, "In order to guarantee the right to counsel, every person who is arrested must be given access to a phone before any questioning or interrogation begins." Despite the fact that Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, by administrative order, has ruled that the Public Defender's Office is the appointed counsel for anyone in the County who is arrested and detained by law enforcement, it has been pointed out that only 1.5 percent of all arrestees in Chicago had an attorney present during questioning or at any time during their first three days in any police station last year. This circumstance has led Commissioner Stanley Moore to comment: "We must protect their most basic civil rights and we have an opportunity with this bill to do so." On his part, State Representative Justin Slaughter said, "This is about ensuring due process and protecting the rights of residents." Public Defender Campanelli concluded that without phone access to an attorney, "Time and again, this has resulted in false and coerced confessions, which were used to wrongfully convict innocent people. This bill seeks to stop this abusive practice and violation of all our rights." Further, County Commissioners have okayed four proposals made by the Bureau of Economic Development designed to furnish businesses in the County with tax incentives. Described as Class 6b, the ten-year renewable incentives involve assessment of industrial property at 10 percent for 10 years, 15 percent for the 11th year, and 20 percent for the 12th year, and businesses in Chicago, Calumet City, Des Plaines, and Elk Grove Village will benefit, while preserving approximately 147 full-time jobs, supporting 55 construction jobs, and creating 31 new private-sector, full-time jobs.
* City Government News Briefs … Mayor Rahm Emanuel, together with Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Karen Tamley, has announced release of recommendations by the associated Mayoral Task Force that call for improved contracting opportunities for businesses owned by people with disabilities, a stronger commitment to placement services following education and training, heightened participation in higher-education careers, and a review of City policies tending to discourage or promote employment of people having disabilities. Also, the Mayor has pledged to open 30 new internships in City government to City Colleges of Chicago students with disabilities. Only yesterday, the Mayor, joined by Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, capped the City's completion of a two-year plan to hire 970 new officers, by participating in the admission of 66 new police recruits, 63-percent minority and 36-percent women, to the Training Academy. In a period in which homicides have decreased 44 percent and shootings 24 percent, the Mayor notes that the recruits "represent part of a larger effort to improve public safety and spur a brighter future in every neighborhood that includes after-school programs, summer jobs, mentors, and economic opportunity." Then, Alderman Ariel Reboyras affirmed, "And the City is committed to ensuring that these young men and women will receive the support, training, and resources they need to be successful partners in the community." Next, the Mayor has addressed appointment yesterday of an independent monitor by U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., to track Department compliance under a Consent Decree requiring reforms in such areas as impartial policing, crisis intervention, use of force, supervision, officer wellness and support, and accountability and transparency. Mayor Emanuel stated, "This agreement, which is the result of the changes we sought and agreed to, will ensure a better City, a better CPD [Chicago Police Department], and safer streets." In other developments, the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate plans a 10 AM meeting on March 5, in City Hall Room 201A, with the Committee on Public Safety due to meet at 11:30 AM in Council Chambers. The City Council as a whole is scheduled to meet again on March 13, beginning at 10 AM in Council Chambers.
* School District News Briefs … The Chicago Public School District informs that its March School Board Meeting is set for the 27th between 10:30 AM and 5 PM, at the CPS Loop Office (42 W. Madison Street, Garden Level, Board Room) and that April 5 is a School Improvement Day, with no classes scheduled. Next, Spring Vacation begins on April 15 and continues to April 19, to be followed by the School Board's April monthly meeting on the 24th, from 10:30 AM to 5 PM. Meantime, Dr. Janice K. Jackson, the Chief Executive Officer, reports that the high-school graduation rate was 78.2 percent in 2018, with graduates earning $1.33 billion in scholarship money. As of the 2017-2018 school-year, 89.4 percent of freshmen were on track to graduate. Besides, all student sub-groups are progressing academically.
* Weather … The National Weather Service reports that current conditions at Chicago Midway Airport, as of 2:53 PM, are overcast, with a temperature of 33 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity of 48 percent, barometric pressure of 30.25 inches, winds out of the north at 8 miles per hour, visibility of 10 miles, a wind chill of 26 degrees, and the dewpoint standing at 15 degrees. The forecast for this afternoon calls for cloudy skies, north wind of about 10 miles per hour, gusts up to 15 miles per hour, and a daily high temperature of around 32 degrees. Tonight is also expected to be cloudy, but with a low temperature of about 20 degrees, north wind of 5 to 10 miles per hour, and gusts as high as 15 miles per hour. On Sunday the Weather Service forecasts cloudy skies, a daily high temperature of about 23 degrees, north-northwest wind of 10 to 15 miles per hour, gusts up to 25 miles per hour, and a chance of snow or snow flurries before 1 PM, followed by a chance of snow from 1 to 3 PM. Overall, a 30-percent chance of precipitation is anticipated.
* Sports … The National Hockey League (NHL) reports that the Blackhawks (27-28-9), coming off their 4-3 victory over Anaheim on February 27, presently trail the Kings 0-3 at the end of the first period, back in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, over in the NBA, the Bulls (18-45), seeking to extend a two-game winning streak, host the Atlanta Hawks (21-42)—who have lost 7 of their last 10 games—at 12:30 PM tomorrow. And in pre-season baseball, the Cubs currently trail the Brewers 1-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Travelers’ Checks By Ann Hattes
For travel reading year-round for children, there’s All Aboard! The Christmas Train (Abrams Appleseed), an accordion-style book that folds out car by car. Passengers of this train include Santa Claus, a snowman, reindeer, elves, penguins, and other festive characters. Each car also has a handful of objects to seek and find. For explorers aged 9 – 12 and adult travelers, as well, The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid (Workman Publishing) is a passport to mysterious wonders, 100 real destinations in 47 countries on every continent. Witness the massive migration of blue whales in Iceland; enter the world’s largest cave in Vietnam; sweat it out in the hottest town on earth in Ethiopia; scale towering tree houses in Tennessee; and find rare animal islands in Australia. There’s a handy packing list, a world map, and useful travel advice too.
Over 100 years ago, Frank Bennett Fiske photographed, from 1900 to 1915, members of the Sioux people in his studio at Fort Yates, North Dakota. The men and women he portrayed were his friends and neighbors, Native Americans living on the reservation. With a big camera, he made photos that have great depth on glass negatives, seldom shown to the public. Now for the first time, these photos have been published in The Standing Rock Portraits (Lannoo Publishers), a world premiere of Fiske’s work and an artistic vision of a proud people.
Copyright @ Continental News Service. All rights reserved.
VOLUME VI NUMBER 1 MARCH 2, 2019
of Continental Newstime newsmagazine
Chicago News Edition
Continental Features/Continental News Service
"The newspaper-feature super-channel"