News Around Illinois - January 14, 2020

 
Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Today's headlines come from WNIJ, Peoria Public Radio, NPR Illinois and the Associated Press. Get news updates from across the state 24/7 at illinoisnewsroom.org.

Sullivan Resigns Over 'Rape' Email

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker's agriculture director has resigned after acknowledging that he received, but did not act on, a lobbyist's email seven years ago which referenced an alleged rape cover-up and illegal hiring practices. The email was originally obtained by Chicago public radio station WBEZ. John Sullivan said in a statement Monday that he did not read the email thoroughly at the time but said, “I accept responsibility for what was truly an unintentional oversight and the subsequent inaction.” The July 2012 email from Michael McClain sought leniency from gubernatorial aides for a “loyal” state employee who "has kept his mouth shut on ... ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items.” - Associated Press

Northern Illinoisans Planning For Women's March

ROCKFORD - Women’s March Rockford is preparing for this weekend’s event. Organizers recently held a sign making party at Womanspace. Julie Thompson was one of the first to arrive. Her sign said, “Liberty – Equality -Diversity.” “My sign means that this is a country made of immigrants and that we all can achieve according to our effort and that everybody is welcome," said Thompson. "I just think that the more women who stand up for women’s rights, the better.” Saturday is the fourth year for planned marches around the country including a larger march in Washington D.C. - Connie Kuntz, WNIJ News

Food Company Pursuing Switch To Cannabis

EAST PEORIA - The owner of an East Peoria food distribution company wants to start up a craft cannabis operation in his building. Roy Sorce says he never intended to become a cannabis grower. But with severe truck driver shortages hampering growth in his industry, he says he needs to expand to something new to stay in business. Sorce's business is located on an industrial stretch of Illinois Route 116. He employs about 20 people. The East Peoria zoning board of appeals approved his request Monday. If the full council approves, Sorce can apply for a state permit to begin operations. - Tim Shelley, Peoria Public Radio

Durbin Criticizes SNAP Benefit Changes

SPRINGFIELD - Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is criticizing the change that's putting tens of thousands of Illinoisans are at risk of losing food aid over work requirements. The work requirements apply to able-bodied adults, under 50, and without dependents. Such people will be limited to three months of assistance in a three-year period. Durbin says he’s OK with incentivizing people "to move toward jobs, but not by withholding their food.” The requirements have existed for years, but states could get exemptions. A recent change from the Trump administration is expected to make that less likely. - Brian Mackey, NPR Illinois

23 Apply For Chicago Police Chief Vacancy

CHICAGO  — The Chicago Police Board says it has received applications from 23 people who want to become the city’s next police superintendent. Board president Ghian Foreman says the applications were sent in by job seekers from across the nation as well as locally. The superintendent post became vacant in December when Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Eddie Johnson. She said Johnson lied about an October drinking-and-driving incident. Former Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck is serving as interim Chicago police superintendent until a permanent replacement is picked. - Associated Press

UIC Proposes $191M Outpatient Care Center In Chicago

CHICAGO — The University of Illinois' health system has proposed a $191 million outpatient care center next to its hospital on Chicago's West Side. The proposed six-story 200,000-square-foot building would be connected to the main hospital through a bridge. An application for the project says it would be funded through a public-private partnership. A hearing is planned for April 7.  Mike Zenn is CEO of University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics and says it could be finished by 2022, pending state approval. - Associated Press

Story source: Illinois Newsroom