The late Judy Baar Topinka was no stranger to the dizzying world of Illinois politics. The state comptroller had also been state treasurer, served in the legislature and lost a race for governor to Rod Blagojevich. So it's easy to imagine that Topinka would not be surprised at the ongoing furor and partisan divide over how to replace her.
A University of Illinois task force on sexual assault has started meeting and plans to survey the school's three campuses to assess the situation at each.
University spokesman Tom Hardy says the new task force met for the first time Wednesday. The group is supposed to finish surveys at the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses by the spring.
University President Robert Easter created the group in late October. He said in a letter at the time that the task force was started because ``issues concerning sexual violence on college campuses have been in the national spotlight.''
Sexual violence in college and the military has become a prominent national issue.
Hardy says the task force has about 18 members. They include students as well as public-safety officials, student-services staff and others.
President Obama's announcement that the U-S will start talks on normalizing relations with Cuba includes plans to allow more exports to that country. That could offer new opportunities for Illinois farmers and businesses.