29

Jun

2018

New grass-roots I-80 Coalition seeks to speed up road improvements

Author: Editor

A new grass-roots effort, known as the I-80 Coalition, has been launched by the Will County Center for Economic Development to hasten needed improvements to I-80.

Several government, business, construction and labor officials met for the first time Thursday to lay the groundwork for a strategy to create and fund a public awareness and lobbying campaign to rev up the state’s “I-80 Project.”

Earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Transportation laid out its $1 billion plan to improve interchanges, repair bridges, and add auxiliary lanes on the interstate from Ridge Road in Minooka to U.S. 30 in New Lenox, but without funding, officials said it may take 15 to 20 years to complete.

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17

Jun

2018

‘America is better than this’: What a doctor saw in a Texas shelter for migrant children

Author: Editor

The small shelter along the Texas border to Mexico held 60 beds and a little playground for children. Rooms were equipped with toys, books and crayons. To Colleen Kraft, this shelter looked, in many ways, like a friendly environment for children, a place where they could be happy.

But the first child who caught the prominent pediatrician’s attention during a recent visit was anything but happy. Inside a room dedicated to toddlers was a little girl no older than 2, screaming and pounding her fists on a mat. One woman tried to give her toys and books to calm her down, but even that shelter worker seemed frustrated, Kraft told The Washington Post, because as much as she wanted to console the little girl, she couldn’t touch, hold or pick her up to let her know everything would be all right. That was the rule, Kraft said she was told: They’re not allowed to touch the children.

“The really devastating thing was that we all knew what was going on with this child. We all knew what the problem was,” Kraft said. “She didn’t have her mother, and none of us can fix that.”

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13

Dec

2016

The Trump Promise Tracker

Author: Editor

The Fact Checker is pleased to announce the launch of its very first presidential promise tracker: the Trump Promise Tracker.

Since the Fact Checker was relaunched in 2011, we had missed the start of President Obama’s term, and so it was too late to track his 2008 promises. But, with a new president, we can start afresh.

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump made more than 280 promises, though many were contradictory or just uttered in a single campaign event. So that posed a conundrum: What would be a good list of promises to track that Trump was really serious about? We did not think it would be fair to rate a promise that might have been tossed out without much serious discussion by the candidate and his staff.

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14

Feb

2015

A War on Workers in Illinois

Author: Editor

As one of his first official acts, the new Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, issued an executive order this week that would weaken state unions by barring them from assessing fees on some of the workers they represent in collective bargaining. Worse, the damage from the order could reach far beyond Illinois.

At issue are so called “fair share” fees. In a unionized workplace, a union must extend collectively bargained pay raises and other benefits to nonmembers. The nonmembers — about 15 percent of unionized state employees in Illinois — do not have to pay union dues or contribute to the union’s political activities. Instead, under the law in Illinois and in many other states, they must pay the union a fair-share fee, which is less than full dues, to cover the cost of collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf.

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11

May

2014

The Real Vote Fraud

Author: Editor

Many years ago, as a college Republican, I spent one summer in Austin working for a candidate in a special election for the Texas senate. My hometown was a liberal enclave with many college students -- unwashed, longhaired, pot-smoking students, it seemed to me -- who were predominantly Democrats. The more students who came out to vote the less likely our candidate was to win.

But our campaign strategists came up with a plan. They sent mailings to all the registered voters in precincts near the campus. Many cards came back because the addressee had moved, as college students often do. Voters no longer at the address on file with election authorities were not eligible to vote.

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