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Mayor Rahm Emanuel presides over a City Council meeting in 2013. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Emanuel super PAC makes first move to elect friendlier aldermen

Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks to reporters after the Chicago Public Schools Annual Back to School Inter-Faith Breakfast at the New Life Community Church, 5101 S. Keeler, on Tuesday. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Plan to turn 311 into two-way street could help Rahm

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is forging ahead with his plan to turn a 311 non-emergency number that fields 3.4 million calls-a-year into more of a two-way street in a way that could benefit him politically. One year after issuing a request-for-proposals to develop  “constituent relationship management modernization software” for a 311 system virtually unchanged since its launch 15 years ago, City Hall has narrowed the competition to two and will begin contract negotiations with both bidders.


Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett at the Chicago Board of Education meeting on Wednesday. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Chicago Board of Education changes how it ranks schools

Chicago’s Board of Education unanimously changed how it ranks its schools Wednesday, introducing minimums that will benefit the highest-performing schools and potentially lessen the number of schools at the bottom.

Jackie Robinson West Little League players at the rally at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Wednesday. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Emanuel plans funding for city youth baseball, including JRW team

Play ball! Watch for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make a major announcement soon on government funding to finance city youth baseball — including the city’s Jackie Robinson West Little League Team. Sneed hears it could be part of a broader strategy for keeping inner-city kids out of street gangs and giving them the chance to experience all the life lessons taught when participating in our country’s national pastime. 

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jim Oberweis talks to reportes at the Illinois State Fair on Republican Day, Aug. 13, in Springfield. | Jessica Koscielniak/Sun-Times

Oberweis pushing for debates with Durbin

WASHINGTON — GOP Senate nominee Jim Oberweis is trying to pressure Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to participate in seven televised debates before November — as his campaign is focusing on African-Americans on the South Side of Chicago, an untraditional place to seek Republican votes.


Three Ways ACA is affecting Business

More often than not, when healthcare reform is brought up, the impact and the interests of businesses are lumped together, as if each faces with the same challenges as the next.

A sign hangs on a Tim Horton's cafe in Manhattan on Monday. (File Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Fixing tax code beats bashing execs

Burger King is the latest company to find itself in a harsh spotlight for making a reasonable business decision to relocate its headquarters out of the country. Democrats have responded to this corporate tactic with super-heated rhetoric rather than any commitment to work with Republicans to fix a complex, Byzantine, out-of-date tax code that encourages a few executives to seek more business-friendly environments.

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is greeted by state Sen. Jim Oberweis, right, candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert, left, as Rauner arrives at the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable forum in Bloomington Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Pantagraph, Lori Ann Cook-Neisler)

Downstate spread proves fertile ground for political pandering

BLOOMINGTON —The state’s top farm groups gathered here Wednesday on Tim Bittner’s 3,000-acre spread to give the four major candidates for U.S. Senate and governor a workout on the issues of interest to the agriculture community. And guess what? Nobody asked them about releasing their tax returns or a patronage scandal in the Illinois Department of Transportation, except for the pesky reporters who were given their turns later under a walnut tree.

Members of 'team Red' work on laptop computers during a mock cyber attack scenario in London in March. (AP File Photo/Alastair Grant)

10 ways to fend off cyber-attacks

Given the growing number of cyber hacks and security breaches, people question whether they can really do anything to secure their personal and financial information. The truth is you can do a lot.

Who is benefiting from the Lawndale Diabetes Project?

Gerry Allen, a resident of North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side, suffered for years with unmanaged diabetes. But, thanks to an expanded community health initiative launched in April 2012 between a local hospital  and an insurance provider, he did something he thought he’d never do.

Earth-moving tractors and equipment made by Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. are seen in Clinton in 2012. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Blowing smoke on corporate taxes

American corporate leaders love to complain about the nation’s high corporate tax rate, one of the highest in the world. This rate, they say, is stifling business investment and encouraging U.S. corporations to move their headquarters to other countries. It sounds logical. But it may not be true.