Latest news from The Southtown Star Online en-us Wed, 28 Jul 2010 14:10:16 PDT Southtown Star logo 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Abuse of women is not just an NFL problem ]]> Lead story image

I keep listening to all the stories about NFL players and domestic violence and wondering, “How is this helping anyone?” There’s been a lot of talk about the athletes and what they did and very little about their victims. Criticism of the NFL for how it has handled the issue has been loud and nearly unanimous. But I can’t help wondering how many businesses and corporations would have handled the situation any better. You think the average chief executive will take a phone call from a wife or girlfriend of an employee who claims she has been beaten by her … ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:08:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Two big settlements on the table for Crestwood ]]> Lead story image

Crestwood would pay a $50,000 fine but admit no guilt for the tainted drinking water scandal that has resulted in dozens of lawsuits under a tentative settlement with the Illinois attorney general’s office, according to Mayor Lou Presta. Presta said the village board will vote on the settlement offer at a meeting at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Crestwood Civic Center, 14025 Kostner Ave. “I can confirm we have reached an agreement in principle with the village of Crestwood,” said a spokeswoman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan. In another matter, the village has also reached a tentative agreement with Cook … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:22:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: North Riverside suit could have big impact for south suburbs ]]> Lead story image

In a lawsuit that could have repercussions in several south suburbs, North Riverside is seeking to terminate a firefighters union contract to privatize its fire department. The lawsuit, filed by Evergreen Park attorney Burton Odelson on behalf of the village, contends that North Riverside no longer can afford to make payments into a municipal pension system as required by law. It’s the first such lawsuit filed in Illinois, he said. North Riverside faces “devastating financial consequences” if it maintains a fire department staffed by “full-time, pension-eligible municipal employees,” states the lawsuit, which was filed in Cook County Circuit Court on … ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:10:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Think you know football? Don’t bet on it ]]> Lead story image

The Chicago Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-20 on Sunday night. And that’s why you have to be demented to bet big on NFL games. Early last week, with the 49ers favored to win by 6.5 points over the Bears, I told friends I had never seen such a sure thing. The Bears were going to lose all right, but they were going to lose big. Some oddsmakers were setting the over-under, the prediction of total points scored by both teams, at 48. I figured that would be about right — with San Francisco scoring 48 points and the … ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:52:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Mike Madigan problem can’t be ignored ]]> Lead story image

What does Gov. Pat Quinn suggest we do about the Mike Madigan problem? Of all the questions that have been asked so far in this campaign for governor, that may be the most important, yet it goes unaddressed. Madigan was first elected speaker of the House in 1983 and, with the exception of two years (1995-96) has served in that position since. As the leader of the Illinois Democratic Party, he has become the most powerful politician in the state. He tells governors what they can and cannot do. Most important, the people of this state have no ability to … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:10:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ MWRD to address flooding in Burbank ]]> Lead story image

Hundreds of residents packed into the Burbank City Hall to voice their anger and frustration over decades of flooding that they claim has gotten worse in the last five years. People said they had been forced to vacate their homes, described extensive damage to personal possessions and some even told stories of having multiple cars destroyed multiple times. Several officials from the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago were on hand Wednesday night to hear residents and elected officials demand improvements to a local reservoir that often overflows turning their streets and yards into “lakes.” Ed Andrak, speaking in a … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:10:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Hope blooms in a field of quicksand ]]> Lead story image

This state is a mess, and I doubt that either candidate for governor can do much about it. That’s my take after watching an online video of Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, go at each other during a Chicago Tribune editorial board meeting. My guess is that voters who have made up their minds about which one they’ll vote for in November came away feeling good about their guy. That’s the way it usually goes in such confrontations. I keep hearing Rauner say that he’s going to cut taxes, but then he talks about “phasing out” … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:09:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Judge says election board can’t hear term-limits challenge ]]> Lead story image

Mayors, aldermen and other locally elected officials cannot rule on challenges to referendums that are placed on the ballot by a vote of a city council or village board. That was the ruling of Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva last week in a case involving a term-limits referendum in Country Club Hills. Two residents filed objections to the Nov. 4 referendum, which could result in the ouster of Mayor Dwight Welch if voters passed the measure. The referendum was placed on the ballot by three of the five city council members (all three are opponents of Welch). Under … ]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:21:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Quinn whiffs on pension question ]]> Lead story image

It seemed like a simple question for the governor of Illinois. Tony Denovellis, market president for Midland States Bank in New Lenox, said his wife is a retired schoolteacher and is worried about her pension. Could the governor say something that would make her stop worrying so much? Gov. Pat Quinn, speaking at a Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce luncheon, replied that his mother, 96, is a retired teacher who lives on a small pension. “She was born before women had the right to vote,” Quinn said, although that seemed irrelevant to the issue at hand. Then he said the … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:38:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Rauner’s outreach to black ministers ]]> Lead story image

By the time I arrived at the meet-and-greet between Bruce Rauner and African-American ministers in Harvey, the Republican candidate for governor had left the building. I wasn’t surprised because I had gotten a late notice about the Thursday morning gathering. “Rauner didn’t put out a news release,” one man who attended the event told me. “We didn’t distribute any fliers. How did you find out about it?” A tip from a source. That happens a lot during election season. I was interested to know what Rauner was doing in one of the poorest suburbs in Cook County and what he … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 02:10:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Oak Forest marijuana shop gets initial approval ]]> Lead story image

Despite vocal objections from a few businessmen and residents, Oak Forest’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 on Wednesday night to grant a special-use zoning permit to allow a medical marijuana dispensary in the city. The city council will vote Tuesday night on both the special-use permit and a zoning recommendation to allow a dispensary in the city’s central business district. The proposed dispensary, which would be named the Happy Health Wellness Center, has yet to receive a state license to operate. The owners hope to purchase a vacant, two-story building at 15300 Cicero Ave., but their attorney told the … ]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 02:09:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: The privileges of membership in the club ]]> Lead story image

(A conversation at a wine club somewhere in Napa Valley, California). “I say, this is a fine proprietary red.” “I believe it’s the 2006. A blend of power and elegance.” “You still raising cattle out in Wyoming or was it Montana?” “Actually, I have a little property in both places. Nothing major.” “A place to burn a steak and have a beer, hey?” “Precisely.” “By the way, didn’t I see something about a financial crisis in Illinois? You live there, as I recall.” “It’s taxes. They just keep raising income taxes, property taxes ...” “Socialists.” “Cigar?” “Yes, thank you.” “It’s a … ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:47:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Company seeks to open marijuana store in Oak Forest ]]> Lead story image

Oak Forest’s planning and zoning commission tonight will consider granting a request to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a vacant two-story building at 15300 Cicero Ave. The building is just south of Oak Forest Bowl, next to a dentist’s office and about a half-block from homes. The request for the special-use zoning permit is from H2D Solutions LLC, which lists an address of 106 W. Burlington Ave., La Grange. The name of the “agent” for H2D Solutions on the Illinois secretary of state’s corporate filing report is listed as Richard A. Duffin, an attorney whose law office is at … ]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:56:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Suburban term limits battle goes to court ]]> Lead story image

Lawyers representing three aldermen in Country Club Hills went to court Friday to stop the city election board, headed by Mayor Dwight Welch, from potentially throwing a term-limits referendum off the November ballot. The referendum measure, if passed, could force Welch (who has been mayor for 27 years) to step down as mayor immediately and would definitely prevent him from seeking re-election. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Mikva set a hearing date for Thursday to give attorneys for the election board and the two city residents who filed objections to the referendum time to respond. However, according to a … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:08:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: New tests to challenge students ]]> Lead story image

Just mention the word “test,” and my brain stops working. That’s the result of 12 years of pop quizzes, weekly exams and standardized testing as a public school student decades ago. It’s not something I want to talk about or relive, even if offered free time on a psychologist’s couch. So I winced in pain when, while covering a local school board meeting, the topic of new standardized state tests came up. Common Core is the generic name, although the tests are properly referred to as PARCC, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. If … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:38:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Officials at odds over 911 call center claims ]]> Lead story image

Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury wants Trustee Bob Streit (3rd) to produce the dates and times and names of people who have had problems with the village’s emergency dispatch center. “His accusations (about the center) have been reckless and irresponsible,” Bury told me. “If he has any evidence of problems with the dispatch center, produce them so they can be examined.” At a recent village board meeting, Streit claimed that people have had problems with the 911 center, and he was supported by Trustee Carol Quinlan (5th). I subsequently wrote a column calling for a public hearing into the issue. … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 19:57:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Sounding alarm on proposed school funding bill ]]> Lead story image

A Hickory Hills woman has launched a social media campaign to try to stop proposed legislation this fall that would change the way Illinois funds its public schools. Debbie Chafee, who has two children in North Palos School District 117 and is a business analyst and project manager for a national financial institution, contends that many school districts across the state will be financially harmed if a measure that alters the Illinois school funding formula passes. Senate Bill 16 passed out of the state Senate last spring, but the House has yet to vote on it. “People need to contact … ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:50:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kadner: Time to reform local election boards ]]> Lead story image

“Here comes the kangaroo court,” someone said as Country Club Hills’ election board assembled Monday morning. People in the suburbs are always shocked to learn that the officials who rule on matters such as the legality of election petitions filed by candidates and whether a referendum can be placed on the ballot are often the same elected officials they’re trying to depose. In the case of Country Club Hills, aldermen have voted to place a term-limits question on the Nov. 4 ballot, a measure aimed at immediately disqualifying longtime Mayor Dwight Welch from holding office if passed. Welch is chairman … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:52:02 -0500