PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday December 4th, 2015, 9:51pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (November 30, 2015 - December 4, 2015).

Chicago and Cook County News:

The Chicago Police Department's body camera pilot program will be expanded to six more police districts by the middle of next year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Sunday.

The Chicago Teachers Union will reportedly hold a strike authorization vote on December 9, according to NBC 5.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke left Cook County Jail Monday after having posted a $150,000 bond just hours after a $1.5 million bail was ordered by Judge Donald Panerese Jr.

Chicago Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) has filed to run against Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown next year.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Chicago Latino aldermen called for the resignation of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez on Monday over her handling of the Laquan McDonald case.

Chicago Public Schools district officials released a proposed list of school closings and consolidations Tuesday for the 2015-2016 school year as the teachers union prepares to take up a strike vote next week.

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was fired from his post. McCarthy received a call by Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday morning requesting his resignation. The mayor also announced the creation of a police accountability task force Tuesday.

Democracy for America joined the growing chorus of calls for the resignations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

An advisory zoning committee for Chicago's 46th Ward has approved plans for a controversial housing complex proposed for the former Columbus Maryville Academy site in Uptown near the city's lakefront.

As the Laquan McDonald case unfolds in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called off his visit to Paris this week for the global climate change summit.

Kim Foxx gained several new endorsements Wednesday in the race for Cook County State's Attorney.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez responded Tuesday to demands for her resignation over her handling of the Laquan McDonald case, telling Phil Ponce of WTTW's Chicago Tonight that she has no plans to step down from her post.

After it was reported by Politico that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated that he did not see the need for a federal investigation of the Chicago Police Department, despite Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's request for one, the mayor "clarify[ed]" his position on the issue.

The city of Chicago will release the police dash-cam video of the shooting of 25-year-old Ronald Johnson next week, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Protests over the Laquan McDonald case continued in Chicago on Friday. Local elected officials and the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. called for a federal probe into the handling of the McDonald case by the offices of the mayor and Cook County State's Attorney. Another set of activists were there to push for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council in Chicago.

Palatine Township High School District 211 and the U.S. Education Department reached an agreement Thursday to provide a transgender student with access to a gender-appropriate locker room.

The Chicago Teachers Union is set to hold a three-day strike authorization vote next week from December 9 through December 11.

State News:

The state of Illinois must make $13 million in payments to the health fund for home health care workers, a St. Clair County judge ruled Monday.

Some of Illinois' best public spots for hunting, fishing and hiking could be at risk of losing about $54 million in federal support because Congress can't agree on the future of a program that funds public conservation and recreation projects.

The number of children being committed to prisons or other detention facilities has dropped by about 53 percent across the country.

Now that the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is winding down, the focus Tuesday will be on charitable causes.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state's four legislative leaders participated in a budget meeting Tuesday, the first such gathering between the officials since May, although not much progress was made. However, a deal was reached on legislation to disburse $3.1 billion in funds for municipalities, lottery winners, emergency dispatch centers, domestic violence shelters, the Secretary of State's office and Choose Chicago, which handles the city's tourism efforts.

A threatening note was left on the door of the Planned Parenthood in Champaign, Illinois earlier this week, just days after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado.

National News:

President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver his last State of the Union speech on January 12.

Congressman Danny Davis & Environment Illinois scribed about the importance of preserving the nation's waterways via implementation of the Clean Water Rule, which was delayed in October.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called for a federal probe into the Chicago Police Department's practices.

On Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined the calls for an independent federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department following the release of the dash-cam video of the Laquan McDonald shooting.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL-11) took to the House floor Wednesday to offer some words of observation on the Laquan McDonald case.

Declining wages among men drove 40 percent of the progress in closing the U.S. gender wage gap over the past 35 years, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch after a White House meeting on criminal justice reform to request a federal probe of the Chicago Police Department's policy and practices, according to the lawmaker's staff.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley joined calls on Thursday for an outside, independent investigation of the Chicago Police Department after last week's release of dash-cam video showing Laquan McDonald's shooting death.

Progress Illinois looked at the debate surrounding genetically engineered salmon now that it has been approved for human consumption in the United States.

The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November, and the nation's unemployment held steady at 5 percent, according to the Labor Department.


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