News Local/State

News Around Illinois - January 10, 2020


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Today's headlines come from WILL, WBEZ and the Associated Press. Get news updates from across the state 24/7 at

Michael Madigan’s Friend Dodges Questions About ‘Rape’ Comment In An Email

Consummate Illinois Democratic insider Michael McClain dodged questions Thursday about an email in which he sought leniency for a state worker in a disciplinary case, having argued that the man was politically loyal and had stayed silent about “the rape in Champaign.” In his first public comments since FBI agents raided his home last May, the former Springfield lobbyist and close confidant of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan said he would consult with his lawyer before deciding whether he could explain what he was referring to in the cryptic, 2012 email. - Dan Mihalopoulos and Dave McKinney, WBEZ

Carle To Acquire Advocate Hospitals In Normal & Eureka

URBANA  – The Carle health system is promising no impact on patient care, as it acquires hospitals in Normal and Eureka from Advocate Aurora Health. Carle will take over Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, and Advocate Eureka Hospital in Woodford County, as well as affiliated sites in central Illinois. According to the Pantagraph, Carle President James Leonard said the two hospitals will be a good fit for them. He says that’s due to their devotion to patient care and because the hospitals are close to Carle’s home base in Urbana. Most other Advocate Aurora hospitals in Illinois are located in the Chicago area. Terms of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, are not being disclosed. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Champaign County Board Committee Sends Two Cannabis Proposals To Public Hearing

The Champaign County Board’s land use committee has sent two compromise proposals to allow cannabis-related businesses in unincorporated areas over to a zoning board for a public hearing. The stricter of the two plans would limit cannabis businesses in unincorporated Champaign County to a mile-and-a-half-wide buffer around Champaign and Urbana. The second plan would, in addition, allow cannabis businesses like growers and transporters -- but NOT dispensaries -- in much of the county’s unincorporated areas. The two proposals now go to Champaign County’s zoning board for public hearings, before coming back to the land use committee. - Jim Meadow, Illinois Newsroom

University of Illinois Police Chief Moving To Ohio

URBANA – The police chief of the University of Illinois is leaving. The university announced Thursday that Craig Stone is moving to Columbus, Ohio to become that city’s Deputy Director of Public Safety. Chief Stone joined UIPD in June 2018. Since then, the department filled 20 new or vacant positions, added a third K-9 unit and a crime analyst. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois, Stone served as police chief at Ohio State and Cleveland State Universities. Chief Stone’s last day will be January 15. Deputy Police Chief Matt Myrick will serve as interim while the university searches for a new chief. – Reginald Hardwick, Illinois Newsroom

Pritzker Wants Cash Bail To End

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says he wants to end the use of cash bail throughout the entire state. Pritzker says judges should decide whether a person should be free while awaiting trial based on their danger to the community. He says he believes cash bail will be eliminated in Illinois during his time as governor. Pritzker announced his priorities for criminal justice reform at an event Thursday. Besides ending cash bail, the governor says he wants to get rid of most mandatory minimum prison sentences and make sure drug users get sent to treatment instead of prison. – Patrick Smith, WBEZ

Chicago Coyote Captured After 2 Suspected Attacks Reported

CHICAGO - Authorities on the hunt for coyotes in downtown Chicago after two reported attacks, including one where passersby said they had to pull a wild canine off of a 6-year-old boy who was bitten in the head, captured one animal Thursday night on the city's North Side. One expert says that if a coyote was indeed the culprit, it would mark the first time in the state that the animals have attacked humans. The attacks come at a time when there has been a flurry of sightings of coyotes in the city and even a rescue of a young coyote from Lake Michigan. Neither the boy nor a man who showed up at a hospital with what he said was a coyote bite suffered life-threatening injuries. – Associated Press