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President Barack Obama announces Penny Pritzker as his nominee for secretary of commerce on May 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C. | Getty Images

Big profit for Pritzkers on costly Chicago FBI deal

Cartoonist Jack Higgins on Daley development deal

Three years after leaving City Hall, former Mayor Richard M. Daley has gone after a government contract in Chicago, apparently for the first time, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show. 

Here's editorial cartoonist Jack Higgins' take on it:

Crowds lined 26th Street for the annual Mexican Independence Day parade, which drew a slew of politicians. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Mexican Independence Day parade draws plenty of politicians

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not grimace after downing shots of tequila that were handed to them Sunday afternoon by the hosts of the Mexican Independence Day parade in Little Village.

Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's education plan, unveiled last week, suggests tying "student academic growth to teachers' compensation." | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Rauner's schools plan raises eyebrows

Ideas introduced last week as part of Bruce Rauner's 26-page education blueprint, did not offer many details — but they raised some flags among reform campaigners and educators, who question whether the state needs to be immediately tinkering after the passage of other significant reforms in recent years and while education budgets remain tight.

Provided photo shows a dead reat at a Southwest Side elementary school said to be having problems with rodents and roaches since janitorial services were privatized.

Chicago Public Schools contractor to lay off 476 custodians

The move to lay off nearly 500 privately contracted custodial workers who clean Chicago Public Schools will make it harder to keep classrooms tidy, the union representing the custodians said Sunday. “Scheduling and other changes that are causing the problems we are seeing now will only be exacerbated,” SEIU Local 1 spokeswoman Julia Valentine said in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

 

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.

Hillary Clinton headlines Sen. Tom Harkin's annual steak fry fundraiser in rural Indianola. | Getty Images

Hillary Clinton in Iowa stirs 2016 speculation

INDIANOLA, Iowa — With speculation on a White House run in overdrive, Hillary Rodham Clinton returned to Iowa Sunday to pay tribute to the state's retiring Democratic senator as anticipation builds over the possibility of another presidential campaign.

Ann Callis | AP file photo

Illinois congressional candidate's residency under scrutiny

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois congressional candidate Ann Callis' previous out-of-state residence has come under scrutiny, with a published report Sunday saying she signed mortgage documents while a judge in Illinois that listed her home as in Missouri.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan | AP file photo

Illinois' Mike Madigan problem can’t be ignored

I do not believe Madigan is as evil as his critics contend. But when one person accumulates as much power and influence as he has over three decades, that is not a good thing.

Summit Mayor Joe Strzelczyk in 1999. | Sun-Times file photo

No degree, no references — town mayor’s nephew still got top job

Chester “Chet” Strzelczyk abruptly resigned this past month as village administrator in Summit amid revelations that he gave himself a taxpayer-backed loan —  a no-interest $2,800 pay “advance” — apparently without approval of the village board. Now, village officials are hiring an auditor to dig through the books to see how this all went down, and whether other financial irregularities exist. While that’s played out, we decided to look at why Strzelczyk was hired in the first place. He’s the nephew of Mayor Joe Strzelczyk, so was this an instance of straight-up nepotism?

University of Illinois students holds signs as they listen to discussion by members of the university’s board of trustees at their meeting Thursday in Urbana. The trustees on Thursday voted 8-1 not to hire Steven Salaita, a professor whose anti-Israel Twitter messages were deemed anti-Semitic by some, raising the likelihood of a lawsuit and further campus protests. | AP Photo

Problem isn't would-be U of I professor; it's all those like him

With anti-Israel protests already common on college campuses, Steven Salaita would have been just another academic preaching to the choir. But education shouldn't echo what kids already believe. It should challenge those beliefs.

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.