Peoria Journal Star—Federal panel says workers were fired by Blagojevich reps for being Republicans, “A federal jury found Thursday that 16 former workers with the Illinois Department of Transportation were fired seven years ago by representatives of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich because they were Republicans.”
- State Journal Register—Quinn plan targets more than 500 school districts for merger, “The state offers financial assistance to districts that consolidate, including guarantees of no loss in state aid, help in covering disparities in teacher salaries between the merging districts and an extra $4,000 for each certified staff member for three years.”
- (AP) Bloomington Pantagraph—Quinn’s budget calls for 950 new state workers, “The administration said adding some jobs will actually save money because some state agencies, particularly the Corrections Department, are spending huge amounts on overtime as guards work long hours to make up for a staff shortage.”
- SouthtownStar—Sheriff ‘appalled’ at cemetery’s treatment of bodies, “Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart called for a review of its contract with the cemetery at a news conference in which he criticized the operation for haphazard practices and restated his belief the state needs legislation requiring DNA collection on all unidentified bodies.”
- Chicago Tribune—State crime lab reports more than 4,000 untested rape kits in Illinois, “The new law came after a Tribune investigation found that Chicago-area police and prosecutors had placed many unexamined kits in storage, robbing the state of the ability to solve crimes, exonerate the wrongfully convicted and bring closure to victims.
- Chicago Sun-Times— Feds: Company gave phony physicals to police, fire applicants and workers, “The company’s contract with the city required that board-certified specialists review the tests. But the firm simply used signature stamps of specialists to sign letters indicating they had reviewed the tests…”
- The Southern—Poverty hits children hard, “The child poverty rate in Illinois jumped from 17 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2009, which was the highest level since 1993…”