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  • Mel Thillens faced DUI, property destruction charges Oct 17, 2014 6:05 PM
    A Republican candidate for the state House admits to “youthful indiscretions” some 15 years ago when he was charged with driving under the influence and destruction of property in two separate incidents. Mel Thillens, now 43, is the Park Ridge park board president running for the 55th District House seat in the state legislature.

     
  • Endorsements: Nowak, Chirikos, Gottemoller, Schmidt, Jung, Yensen for McHenry County Board Oct 17, 2014 11:20 AM
    Experience is the key factor in the Daily Herald's endorsements for McHenry County Board districts 1, 3 and 5.

     
  • Senate hopefuls at odds on minimum wage Oct 17, 2014 5:30 AM
    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin didn't buy any meatballs or bookshelves at Ikea in Schaumburg Thursday but he did tout the retailer's move to a higher minimum wage. His opponent in the November election Jim Oberweis has his own plan for low-paid workers.

     
  • Michael Madigan son-in-law Jordan Matyas to exit RTA chief of staff post Oct 17, 2014 5:45 PM
    Controversial RTA executive Jordan Matyas will leave his post at the end of the month. The son-in-law of House Speaker Michael Madigan was the subject of questions about whether his hiring was political. Matyas' resignation comes with new leadership at the agency.

     
  • Endorsement: Yes to Villa Park roads Oct 17, 2014 1:01 AM
    The Daily Herald recommends Villa Park residents vote yes to a tax increase to provide funding for much-need road repairs and maintenance.

     
  • Endorsement: Yes to Glen Ellyn pool Oct 17, 2014 1:01 AM
    The Daily Herald recommends a yes vote on the Glen Ellyn Park District's request for $13.5 million to add an aquatics center to its Ackerman sports complex.

     
  • Endorsement: Yes on Butterfield Park District site purchase Oct 17, 2014 1:01 AM
    The Daily Herald recommends voters in the Butterfield Park District approve purchase of a site that otherwise will be open to commercial development.

     
  • SPIN METER: Shaky claims on Ebola budgets Oct 17, 2014 10:10 AM
    Less than three weeks before the midterm elections, Washington’s Ebola blame game has spread to the arcane world of the federal budget. Republicans claim credit for boosting the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year while charging President Barack Obama with trying to cut it now. Democrats counter that the GOP-controlled House is behind cuts to the National Institutes of Health, which researches drugs to fight Ebola and vaccines to prevent it.

     
  • Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers Oct 17, 2014 5:42 PM
    State lawmakers crafting legislation that would govern the use of body cameras by police officers got a glimpse Friday of a complicated debate as proponents of the devices in and out of law enforcement raised questions about issues ranging from privacy to cost to public trust.

     
  • Quinn: Bill Clinton expected in Chicago next week Oct 17, 2014 5:40 PM
    Gov. Pat Quinn says former President Bill Clinton is coming to Chicago next week. Quinn told reporters Friday that he and Clinton share an alma mater of Georgetown University. He says Clinton will talk about what they learned there about growing an economy by investing in people and taking “care of everyone.”

     
  • Bar associations release Cook County judicial evaluations Oct 17, 2014 4:48 PM
    The Alliance of Bar Associations releases its judicial screening findings in advance of next month's election.

     
  • Schneider, Dold to debate -- but only on TV Oct 17, 2014 1:57 PM
    Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and Republican challenger Robert Dold will discuss the issues facing the nation and the 10th District in two televised debates this week. The matchups are the only instances Dold, of Kenilworth, and Schneider, of Deerfield, will debate face-to-face before the Nov. 4 election. They've appeared at the same events but never on a stage simultaneously.

     
  • GOP puts big money into 5 suburban races Oct 17, 2014 11:00 AM
    The election is 20 days away, and voters can start voting early in person next week, so the tallies of campaign spending released this week can give clues to where in the suburbs the toughest battles for seats in Springfield are being waged. Here are five races in the suburbs with some of the biggest fundraising.

     
  • Crespo, Juarez split on how to raise minimum wage Oct 19, 2014 2:35 PM
    State Rep. Fred Crespo and his opponent in the race for the Illinois House 44th District seat agree on raising the minimum wage in Illinois, but have different ideas on how the increases would be structured. Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, thinks future increases should be tied to inflation, while Republican challenger Ramiro Juarez says the state should take steps to reduce the cost of living in Illinois.

     
  • Gay marriage developments: Alaska couples wait Oct 16, 2014 1:20 PM
    It’s been more than a week since a flurry of gay marriage developments began with the Supreme Court’s denial of appeals from five states, allowing for expansion of marriage rights. Shortly afterward, a federal court in the West struck down bans in Idaho and Nevada. Recent developments on same-sex marriage around the country: ALASKA The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked gay marriage in Alaska while the state asks the U.S. Supreme Court to restore its ban. Unless the high court acts, the federal appeals court’s block will dissolve at 11 a.m. Friday, at which point gay marriages would be allowed to go forward. U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday struck down Alaska’s 15-year-old same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. Gay couples began applying for marriage certificates Monday, beginning a three-day clock to when ceremonies could be held. Some couples, however, received waivers and have already married. ARIZONA A federal court has again been asked to strike down Arizona’s ban on gay marriage and clear the way for legal same-sex unions in the state. Lawyers representing plaintiffs in one of two lawsuits challenging Arizona’s gay marriage ban said that same-sex marriages are now being performed and recognized in 30 states and “the same should finally come true in Arizona.” Arizona lawmakers approved a state law barring same-sex marriages in 1996. Seven years later, an Arizona appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the law. FLORIDA State Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has repeatedly called it her duty to defend the state’s ban on gay marriage, now wants the state’s highest court to decide whether it’s legal. Her office filed a request late Monday with the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami that asks the court to immediately send two consolidated cases to the Florida Supreme Court for a decision. In both cases, judges declared the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. It’s not clear how soon the court could rule if it takes up the cases. There also is a separate federal case that could be decided before then. IDAHO Idaho gay couples celebrated across the state as county clerks began issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 9 a.m. Pacific Wednesday morning. Idaho leaders warned, however, that the fight over allowing gay marriage in one of the nation’s most conservative states is not over. While Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said he would not appeal the 9th Circuit Court decision to lift the state’s ban on gay marriage, he later promised that he would not give up defending Idaho’s constitution which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. KANSAS The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal court to order Kansas to allow same-sex couples to wed while the group’s lawsuit against the state constitution’s ban is under review. The group argued in its filing in U.S. District Court in Kansas City that it is likely to prevail. It also said that denying the right to marry even for a short period would do irreparable harm to the two lesbian couples represented by the ACLU in the case. The group wants to immediately block the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban. Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s spokeswoman did not immediately return messages seeking comment. MONTANA Couples challenging Montana’s ban on gay marriages asked a federal judge Wednesday to decide the issue without going to trial. ACLU Montana legal director Jim Taylor says the 9th Circuit’s recent decision to strike down similar bans elsewhere in the West should convince U.S. District Judge Brian Morris to rule in their favor. Montana is part of the 9th Circuit and district judges use decisions from the appellate court as precedents for their rulings. NEVADA Gay marriage opponents filed a request Monday asking the full 9th Circuit to hear their case against same-sex unions in Nevada. In documents calling the issue “a question of historic importance,” the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage claimed bias by a three-judge panel of the court that last week struck down a 2002 Nevada constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage. The coalition said a review before the full court is necessary because judges who were “favorably disposed to arguments for expanding the rights of gay men and lesbians” were assigned to the case. A spokesman for the appeals court has declined to comment. NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina magistrates have been directed to perform civil marriages for same-sex couples or face suspension or dismissal from their state jobs. A memo to state magistrates Wednesday said they would be violating their oaths of office if they refuse to marry gay or lesbian couples. The directive came after a magistrate in Pasquotank County on Monday refused to marry two men, citing religious objections. Some magistrates in Alamance County also said they wouldn’t marry gay couples. A federal judge last week struck down North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. SOUTH CAROLINA A second federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday in South Carolina asking for a judge to declare the state’s constitutional ban illegal. The case was brought by a Charleston couple who applied for, but did not receive, a marriage license. Another case before a federal judge in Columbia wants South Carolina to recognize a gay marriage performed elsewhere. Gay marriage appeared imminent last week until the state Supreme Court ruled that South Carolina must wait for a ruling in the recognition case, which is advancing again after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal of a ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Virginia by a federal appeals court that also has jurisdiction over South Carolina.

     
  • Voter registration period extended: Oct 16, 2014 4:33 PM
    Grace period voter registration has been extended to 7 p.m. on Election Day for those not currently registered to vote in the Nov. 4 general election.

     
  • Ebola outbreak sparks finger-pointing in Senate race Oct 16, 2014 6:44 PM
    The Centers for Disease Control officials are learning on the job as the agency confronts cases of the deadly ebola virus in the U.S., U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Thursday. O'Hare started screening passengers but Durbin said banning flights from west Africa could be counter-productive. His election opponent Sen. Jim Oberweis countered that Durbin and the feds were "asleep at the switch."

     
  • Minimum wage divides 14th Congressional candidates Oct 16, 2014 10:06 PM
    Candidates for the 14th Congressional District have opposing views on increasing the minimum wage. Incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren fears it would kill jobs. He wants to create more non-entry level jobs via tax reform. Challenger Dennis Anderson, a Democrat, believes an increase would spur spending and fuel economic growth.

     
  • Endorsements: Murphy, Burns for DuPage forest preserve board Oct 16, 2014 1:01 AM
    For DuPage Forest Preserve Commission, the Daily Herald recommends Republican Barbara Murphy in District 1 and Democrat Shannon Burns in District 6.

     
  • Endorsement: Yes to electrical aggregation in Maine Township, Des Plaines Oct 16, 2014 1:01 AM
    The Daily Herald recommends a yes vote to expand electricity purchasing options in Maine Township and in Des Plaines.

     
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