PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday February 5th, 2016, 5:31pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in local and national news and politics (February 1, 2016 - Febrary 5, 2016).

Chicago & Cook County News:

Activists pushing for the "Cook County Responsible Business Act" stepped up their campaign Monday morning by protesting in support of the proposal at a Walmart in Bedford Park.

Chicago saw 280 shootings and 50 homicides just in the last month. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) wants Gov. Bruce Rauner to declare a state of emergency in Chicago and Cook County because of gun violence.

Black Lives Matter Chicago filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city's Independent Police Review Authority over an open records request for documents about Dante Servin, the police officer responsible for Rekia Boyd's death.

Sixty-three percent of registered Chicago voters gave Mayor Rahm Emanuel a negative approval rating in a poll released Monday.

The Chicago Teachers Union's Big Bargaining Team shot down a four-year contract offer from the Chicago Public Schools on Monday.

South Side Ald. Will Burns (4th) is stepping down from the Chicago City Council to work at the room letting website Airbnb.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez maintained a lead over her challengers in a new poll this week.

One day after Chicago Public Schools officials announced $100 million in proposed budget cuts, the Chicago Teachers Union closed its Bank of America account on Wednesday in protest over the controversial interest rate swap agreements held between the bank and school district.

The school district took out a massive $725 million loan Wednesday at a higher interest rate than a scheduled bond issuance they canceled last week. 

The Chicago Teachers Union held a massive downtown rally Thursday evening, during which 16 people were arrested for protesting inside Bank of America.

Chicago State University declared itself in a financial state of emergency Thursday, increasing the chances that the school will resort to layoffs and cuts in order to survive the ongoing budget stalemate.

City Colleges of Chicago faculty issued a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Cheryl Hyman at Thursday's board of trustees meeting. 

The legal battle over lakefront property will continue as a federal judge has allowed the lawsuit filed by the Friends of the Parks to move forward.

The Chicago Police Department will soon see 780 new tasers added to their arsenal, taking the total number of stun guns in the department up to 1,481.

Representatives from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago will deliver 36,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan residents on Saturday.  

The Democratic primary race for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court is heating up, with candidates sparring over ethics and who is best equipped to modernize the office and make it more efficient.

State News:

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is getting ready for a potential state takeover of the cash-strapped Chicago public school system as the district announces plans to make $100 million in cuts.

A Chicago-based home care service agency is on the verge of having to cut payroll costs in half for its 250-member workforce as a direct result of the ongoing state budget impasse.

Meanwhile, a rape crisis center serving counties in East Central Illinois had to slash its workforce's hours and pay by 20 percent on Monday due to the state budget stalemate. 

The Joliet Police Department will soon have 50 new camera-equipped Tasers, after the city council approved their purchase on Tuesday.

Troubling racial disparities persist in Illinois across a range of quality-of-life measures, shows a new report from the Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center.

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) has formed a task force to address the issue of school funding in Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is proposing a public-private partnership as a means to expand Interstate 55 near the Chicago area.

Local leaders and community organizers rallied behind the opponent of State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) in Illinois' 5th district.

National News:

The latest poll out of Iowa showed a neck-and-neck race between Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders heading into Monday's caucuses in the state.

U.S. Ted Cruz (R-TX) won the battle on the Republican presidential nomination side in the Iowa caucus.

The race is too close to call Monday night between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), but Clinton eeked out a slight win in the end. Young voters, aged 17 to 29, showed up to participate in the Iowa caucus in record numbers.

Former congressman Brad Schneider received the unanimous endorsement of the Waukegan Township Democrats in the 10th congressional district race.

Despite last year's historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, LGBT Americans still lack inclusive civil rights protections in most states, shows a new national report.

An undocumented 32-year-old mother of three living in Valparaiso, Indiana who was deported to Mexico earlier this week will soon return to the United States after immigration officials reversed their decision to deport her, immigrant advocates said Thursday. Lesly Sophia Cortez-Martinez's case is far from settled, however, as she is expected to face deportation proceedings when she returns to the United States.

The U.S. economy added a less-than-expected 151,000 jobs in January, and the nation's unemployment rate ticked down to an eight-year low, according to the Labor Department. 

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