PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday January 29th, 2016, 5:28pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (January 25, 2016 - January 29, 2016).

Chicago and Cook County News:

Charles Ramsey, a former police chief in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., will serve as a senior advisor to the Chicago Police Department, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced Sunday.

Crisis intervention services aimed at helping runaways and at-risk youth in Chicago's Englewood and West Englewood communities are expected to be suspended on February 15 due to the state budget impasse. 

AFSCME Council 31 endorsed Kim Foxx for Cook County State's Attorney on Monday.

Chicago's youth are facing some of the highest rates of joblessness in the nation, according to a new report.

John Bills, a former top official in Chicago's Department of Transportation, was convicted on each of the 20 counts he faced for receiving bribes to help Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. obtain a $100 million red-light camera contract with the city.

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district wants to recover roughly $10 million from disgraced ex-schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who pleaded guilty in October to her role in a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.

The Chicago Police Accountability Task Force (PATF) is holding four community forums next month in order to gain insight from the public before sending the mayor recommendations on what changes need to be made within the city's police department.

The Chicago Teachers Union is considering a "serious offer" made by Chicago Public Schools officials, according to a statement released by the labor group Thursday evening.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expanding training for police and 911 operators on how to respond to mental health crisis situations.

Emanuel also tapped the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) acting CEO to permanently fill the position. 

A Chicago police officer plans to file suit against the estate of the 19-year-old he allegedly shot and killed last month.

State News:

Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said he wants school funding reform tied to the state budgeting process

Most economists agree that the U.S. is recovering from the Great Recession, but researchers also find many families are still struggling financially.

Super PACs have started making their play in Illinois' upcoming March 15 primary election. 

Illinois' unpaid bill backlog reached $6.6 billion at the end of the 2015 calendar year, according to a report released Tuesday by Moody's Investors Service.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his second State of the State address Wednesday, during the seventh month of the state budget impasse. Progress Illinois provided highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

The appointment of attorney Don Tracy to the Illinois Gaming Board has been delayed due to "some lingering questions," according to a spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).

The Urbana-based Carle Foundation Hospital system plans to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court on a ruling involving the taxation of hospitals.

The unemployment rate has increased in most of Illinois' metro areas when compared to December 2014, according to new numbers by the Department of Employment Security.

A retirement savings nest will soon become a reality for many Illinoisans who currently lack access to a workplace plan thanks to a bill signed into law last January. 

Illinois' Arab American community is making a formal entry into the political world via its own political action committee.

Community organizers scored a major victory last month when the University of Chicago Medicine announced plans to reopen a Level 1 adult trauma center at its Hyde Park campus. Progress Illinois looks at what comes next for the project and the activists who led the five-year trauma center campaign.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit last month against Stone Ridge Dairy, the biggest dairy in Illinois located near Bellflower, for allegedly contaminating nearby waterbodies with sewage runoff on three separate occasions.

Illinois Republicans are balking at a Democrat-backed plan to provide $721.5 million in state funding to community colleges and the Monetary Award Program

President Barack Obama is slated to give a speech before the Illinois legislature next month.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration on Friday shot down an advisory board's recommendation to include eight new health conditions eligible for treatment under Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program.

Former Illinois Senate President Philip Rock, who served as the chamber's Democratic leader from 1979 to 1993, died Thursday

National News:

A United Nations "Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent" is in Chicago this week as part of a multi-city, fact-finding visit to the United States to gather "first-hand information about the current human rights situation of African Americans."

Brad Schneider, Democratic candidate in the 10th congressional district race, released his debate schedule Tuesday.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump opted out of Thursday's GOP debate hosted by the Fox News Channel and picked up two controversial endorsements this week.

Sentencing for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been pushed back to April 8 after a federal judge granted a request from the ex-lawmaker's lawyers Thursday.


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