Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

Enaam Arnaout, head of the Chicago-based Islamic charity Benevolence International Foundation, is shown in this undated photo distributed by the U.S. government. | File photo.

Alleged bin Laden associate should lose citizenship, U.S. says

John Thomas leaves the Dirksen Federal Building in April. File Photo. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Con man: Let me out of prison to fix mess from crime I committed

Serial con man John Thomas has been locked up for two months since he pleaded guilty to a $370,000 scam that ripped off Riverdale taxpayers and left the south suburb’s blighted marina in ruins. But now the 52-year-old former federal mole and real estate developer says he’s the only person who can fix the mess he made — so he’s asking a judge to temporarily release him from prison.

Illinois High School Association Executive Director Marty Hickman speaks with reporters before testifying at a House committee hearing at the state Capitol in Springfield in May. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman.)

BGA lawsuit aims to lift veil on IHSA finances

The not-for-profit group that oversees high school sports in Illinois should be subject to state open-records law because it “performs a governmental function” and generates income “from events involving predominantly public schools,” a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Better Government Association contends. The government watchdog group’s case, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, aims to force the Illinois High School Association to disclose details about its sponsorship deals, vendors, pension expenses and other aspects of its $11-million-a-year budget.

 

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.

Gov. Pat Quinn, surrounded by workers, speaks during a signing ceremony in Chicago on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 for an approximately $1 billion capital spending plan intended to create jobs and help repair Illinois roads and bridges after a harsh winter. (AP File Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Bond-rating agency shifts state financial outlook to negative

SPRINGFIELD-A top Wall Street bond-rating agency Wednesday raised the prospect of a downgrade on state bonds because of concerns over the newly implemented state budget and a recent court ruling on retiree health benefits.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) at a Chicago City Council meeting in May. File Photo| Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Aldermen crack down on stolen cell phones

Chicago Police would have another tool to track cell phone thefts that account for 30 percent of all thefts citywide, under a crackdown advanced Wednesday.

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka attends an Equality Illinois event at JW Marriott Chicago last month. | File Photo by Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Topinka has more cash; Simon spends more in Comptroller race

Even though Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has more cash in her campaign warchest than opponent Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Simon is a bigger spender according to the most recent campaign finance reports.

Targeting civilians is Hamas strategy

It’s pretty clear that the Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine didn’t deliberately target a civilian jetliner; they thought they were shooting at a Ukrainian military plane. It’s crystal clear that Hamas is aiming rockets at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, and a missile hitting an airliner taking off, landing or on the ground would be a deliberate attack on a civilian plane.

West Side Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) talks to reporters after Wednesday's License Committee meeting about her watered-down to exempt restaurants from her crackdown on BYOB's. Photo by Fran Spielman.

Watered-down BYOB crackdown advances with restaurants exempt

Bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant is a Chicago tradition that customers like and restaurant owners and their local aldermen want to keep. West Side Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) finally understands that — albeit eight months late. On Wednesday, Graham convinced her once recalcitrant colleagues on the City Council’s License Committee to go along with a watered-down ordinance that exempts restaurants, but still allows aldermen to strip BYOB privileges from parts of their wards.

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.

Board of Education President David J. Vitale talks at the Chicago Public School Board meeting on Wednesday. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Chicago Board of Education passes $5.76 billion budget

The Board of Education unanimously passed on Wednesday a $5.76 billion operating budget for Chicago Public Schools that banks hard on pension solutions from Springfield and depends on 14 months of revenue to pay for 12 months of spending — a move watchdogs have described as “gimmicky."