Associated Press

School officials in a suburban Chicago district may back out of a deal with the U.S. Department of Education allowing a transgender student to use a girls' locker room.

Authorities will decide next week whether to release frozen funds to the widow of a northern Illinois police officer who officials say killed himself after embezzling from a youth program.

The move was delayed after a Lake County judge in the case involving Melodie Gliniewicz had to leave the courthouse yesterday. An attorney declined to say how much will be released.

Authorities say Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz staged his suicide to look like a homicide because he feared discovery of the embezzlement.

Federal authorities say an online threat against the University of Chicago appears to have been motivated by the 2014 Chicago police shooting of a black teenager of which a video was released last week.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to save taxpayers money by eliminating some of the state's nearly 7,000 units of government.

Now, a task force is preparing its final recommendations.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti is the commission's chairwoman. She says its suggestions could make government more efficient and effective if the Legislature and Rauner choose to implement them.

The suggestions include letting voters decide whether a unit of government should be eliminated.

“At the end of the day, the savings are going to be huge,” Sanguinetti said.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

Chicago is expanding a program to provide body cameras to police officers.

The announcement Sunday from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office follows the release last week of a squad-car video showing an officer fatally shooting teenager Laquan McDonald. The officer wasn't wearing a body camera.

The city will expand the program into six more police districts next year. Emanuel says in a statement that the expansion into one-third of the city will “strengthen the fabric of trust” between officers and residents.

Hundreds of protesters are blocking entrances to stores in Chicago's high-end shopping district on Black Friday to draw attention to the police shooting of a black teenager.

Some of the demonstrators linked arms to form human chains in front of main entrances to stores on both sides of Michigan Avenue for more than three blocks.

The largest is a peaceful group led by Rev. Jesse Jackson, who delivered a prayer from the steps of Chicago's historic Water Tower.

Rev. Jackson was in the middle of the crowd shouting, "What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!''

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says his moratorium on Syrian refugees resettling in Illinois is simply a request for the Obama administration to “take a deep breath.”

Rauner says the request is to tighten the review process to make sure Washington shares necessary information with the states.

Refugee-resettlement groups say Rauner has no authority to stop incoming Syrians. They say U.S. screening is exacting, and there's very little chance a terrorist will sneak through.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has invited ministers and community activists to City Hall to discuss the upcoming release of a police car dashcam video that shows a white officer fatally shooting a black teenager last year.

Seventeen-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times. Police have said he refused to drop a knife.

There is growing concern in the community about what could happen when people see the incident for themselves. A judge last week ordered the video released no later than Wednesday.

City of DeKalb

The DeKalb City Council is debating whether its members should get a pay raise.

The Daily Chronicle reports Alderman Dave Baker wants to increase council members' pay from $5,400 per year to at least $12,000. He says paying more would encourage more candidates to run for the positions.

The council is expected to discuss the proposal at its meeting Monday.

flickr user / Michael Coghlan "Prison Bars" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The number of Illinois inmates released on parole has increased as lawmakers look to reduce the prison population.

But funding to help parolees stay out of trouble has dropped dramatically because of the state budget crisis.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the number of parolees has grown 14 percent in the past four years, to more than 28,000.

The newspaper reports the largest concentration of parolees is living on Chicago's west side.

Flickr user / Milica Sekulic "Mobile Phone" (CC BY 2.0)

State data show that about half of Illinois households only have wireless phone service.

The Illinois Commerce Commission says 48 percent of households in the state relied on wireless-only service at the end of last year.

Landline use has dropped 36 percent in Illinois from 2005 to 2014. There are about 5 million landline users in Illinois, including Internet- and cable-based lines.

The state has about 13 million wireless subscribers, the commission estimates.

Lee County state's attorney has been charged with driving under the influence after the sheriff says the van she was driving struck a parked car.

Federal prosecutors handed former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock a second subpoena for financial records, texts and emails. That’s part of a grand jury probe into spending by the Peoria Republican.

The new subpoena was disclosed as prosecutor Timothy Bass appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough. Bass says it's “utter nonsense” Schock hasn't fully complied with a grand jury request issued months ago.

Prosecutors also object to claims of privilege that Schock's attorneys made over some documents being reviewed by Myerscough.

Fox Lake Police Department

Investigators are looking into the wife and son of an Illinois police lieutenant who killed himself during a probe of a youth program he oversaw. They are allegedly two of the individuals with whom he exchanged incriminating text messages, according to an official.

Authorities investigating the September death of Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz released documents containing some texts and Facebook messages he shared with others weeks before he died. The documents identify two of the recipients as Individual 1 and Individual 2.

100 Club of Chicago

An organization that assists survivors of officers killed in the line of duty is asking the family of an Illinois police lieutenant who staged his suicide to return its donation.

100 Club of Chicago CEO Joe Ahern presented a check to Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz's widow for $15,000 when he was found dead two months ago. Ahern said the decision to ask for the funds back came after authorities announced Gliniewicz, of Fox Lake, took his own life amid fears his criminal activities were about to be revealed.

Chicago police say the dismembered toddler found in a lagoon was 2-year-old Kyrian Knox of Rockford.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is crediting Chicago's workforce and its transportation networks for the decision by Kraft Heinz to move Oscar Meyer's headquarters to the city.

Kraft Heinz announced Wednesday about 250 corporate jobs will be relocated from Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, where Oscar Meyer was founded in 1883.  

The announcement came as the newly-merged company announced it will close seven plants in the U.S. and Canada over the next two years and eliminate 2,600 jobs.


Insurance prices in northern Illinois are spiking by more than 20 percent on the marketplace that's a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act.

The Illinois Department of Insurance released today a detailed look at health insurance prices for 2016.  18 counties in northern Illinois* are seeing price increases (for the cost of a mid-range Silver Plan policy) of more than 20 percent - in some cases close to 30 percent.

In the state, only Chicago/Cook County saw decreases.

Wikimedia Commons

A suburban Chicago school district is violating the rights of a transgender student by refusing to allow the student to use the girls' locker room.

That’s according to the U.S. Education Department.

The student is asking for unrestricted access to the locker room in a federal complaint against Palatine Township School District 211.

The district proposed a compromise allowing access, but it would require the student to change and shower in a separate area.

NIU Today

Lake County officials are pushing to train local police officers to help reduce the number of repeat criminal offenders among those with mental illness.

The county board is expected to set aside $35,000 for a police training program at College of Lake County. The county also received a $1 million substance abuse and mental health grant to focus on early police intervention to stem repeat criminal behavior among mentally ill offenders.

Three insurers have sued Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs over an attempt to seek records on life insurance policies.

Frerichs said Monday an audit was sought to find unpaid death benefits because returning unclaimed property is part of his office's mission. 

Frerichs says beneficiaries might be unaware policies exist. The information received would be checked against a federal death database.

The lawsuit filed last week in Sangamon County argues the treasurer doesn't have such authority; it says the companies pay benefits if there's a claim and proof of death.

A portrait of former Speaker Dennis Hastert has been removed from a hallway outside the House chamber. Just last week, the Illinois Republican pleaded guilty to breaking banking laws in a hush money scheme.  
 The portrait has hung for years in the Speaker's Lobby, a plush area just outside the chamber where lawmakers and reporters congregate. 

Spokeswoman AshLee Strong says new Speaker Paul Ryan felt it was time to ``rotate in a different portrait.''  

State of Illinois

The state of Illinois is more than $181 million behind in distributing monthly motor fuel tax revenue to municipalities, counties and other local governments amid the ongoing state budget impasse.

Records from the Illinois comptroller's office show more than $89 million is owed to municipalities and $63.6 million is owed to counties.

The State Journal-Register reports another roughly $29 million hasn't been given to smaller townships and road districts, and many rely on the funding for most of their maintenance and repair budgets.

A customer with a concealed-carry license shot and killed an armed man attempting to rob a neighborhood store, Chicago police said Sunday.

A masked man walked into the store and currency exchange about 7 p.m. Saturday in southwest Chicago, a police spokesman said.

e displayed a handgun and announced a robbery to one employee then pointed his weapon at another employee and forced her to the back of the store.

The armed customer then fatally shot the man.

DeKalb County Jail

A judge is giving a 75-year-old man more time to make a case he deserves a new trial after being convicted of murdering a northern Illinois girl in 1957.

Jack D. McCullough was convicted in 2012 of killing 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. An appellate court upheld his conviction in February.
A DeKalb County judge who denied McCullough's handwritten request for post-conviction relief last month has given him until Nov. 30 to build a
stronger case.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

The nation's police chiefs are calling for universal background checks for anyone trying to purchase a firearm.

At a gathering in Chicago of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the top cops agreed the checks will help keep guns from people who shouldn't carry them.

The call that such checks for all purchases and not just those from licensed gun dealers is not new.

But in the past, law enforcement officials have included such a call as part of a wider effort that included calls for longer prison sentences for those convicted of gun crimes.

Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Classes will start 25 minutes later next year at one northern Illinois school. That’s so students have more time to sleep.

The Stevenson High School board approved the change, and it will take effect in August 2016. The Lincolnshire school's day will begin at 8:30 a.m. instead of 8:05 a.m.

Classes and passing periods will be shortened, because the school day will still end at 3:25 p.m.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The Moody's credit rating agency has downgraded $26.8 billion in Illinois's general obligation bonds, saying the move was due to the state's weakening financial position during the year.

In lowering the bond rating to Baa1 from A3 on Thursday, Moody's Investors Service said its expectation is that the ongoing stalemate on the budget due July 1 will lead to further deterioration of the state's finances.

Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded its rating on the state's outstanding bonds for the same reason.


Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration says it has reached tentative agreements on labor contracts with three unions representing state workers.  


Officials of a northern Illinois school district say controversial bleachers built in violation of local zoning laws will be coming down this month.

Homeowners who live near the Crystal Lake South High School football field sued Community High School District 155 after 55-foot-tall bleachers were built two years ago. They claimed the bleachers were erected without proper permits from the city, were too close to property lines and invaded their privacy.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled last month the bleachers must come down.