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Performance artist. Visual artist. World's Best Dishwasher.

These are just a few of the things Jesus Correa lists on his website. He also ran for Mayor of Rockford, getting nearly 400 votes in 2009.

More recently, Correa released a book of poetry after a successful Kickstarter campaign. The collection, Iced Cream, is published by Zombie Logic, a firm that bills itself as "The most dangerous small press in America."

Illinois Department of Corrections

DNA helped exonerate more than 300 people in the U.S. Among the most recent was Christopher Abernathy, who was freed last week from a northern Illinois prison. He served almost 30 years for rape and murder. 

The Illinois Innocence Project, based at the U of I Springfield, provided DNA testing in that case. Its founder, Larry Golden, says he's seen a change in how people view the justice system and its mistakes in the past two decades.

American Civil Liberties Union Takes DCFS To Court

Feb 16, 2015
Wikipedia

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Illinois’ child welfare system for not effectively monitoring children in its care.

The ACLU has been overseeing how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services cares for kids for more than 20 years. They have federal court authority to do that.

Lucas Koprowski / The Courier

Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will present his budget for the financially struggling state this week. Many Democrats are concerned he will propose big cuts to social service agencies. 

Greg Harris is a Chicago-based state Representative. He heads a committee that appropriates money to agencies that manage public health, child welfare, and mental health programs.

"All that takes revenue and right now the state is facing a $6 billion dollar loss of revenue next year and I just don’t think that’s sustainable."

DeKalb County Jail

An Illinois appellate court has upheld the murder conviction of Jack McCullough.  Assistant Deputy Defender Paul Glaser confirms to WNIJ that the court vacated the kidnapping and abduction convictions. 

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McCullough was sentenced to life in prison for the 1957 death of Sycamore's Maria Ridulph.

Flickr user Marcin Wichary / "...and this time we mean it" (CC BY 2.0)

Some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to ban red-light cameras across the state. 

Towns carry the cameras as a way to make intersections safer, but opponents say the cameras are easy money-makers for communities and can cause more crashes in some cases with shortened yellow light times. 

Another measure introduced by state Representative La Shawn Ford would halt Chicago’s red-light camera system until officials submit a report to the General Assembly. It would detail how Congress would address red light safety problems, including shortened yellow light times.

NIU

The problem of concussions in youth athletes is getting more attention than before, but it’s unclear whether coaches and parents really understand how to handle the injury. Northern Illinois University’s kinesiology department head is looking for financial help in addressing the issue.

A new plan to change the school funding formula is emerging in the legislature. Jason Barickman, a Republican state senator from Bloomington, plans to introduce a bill, which he believes will be supported by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“Think about something else he said yesterday, in the context of his criminal justice reforms. In announcing those reforms, the governor embraced an evidence-based model, and that’s what this is.”

HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded nearly $116 million to public housing authorities in Illinois.  The department says the funding will allow agencies to make major large-scale improvements to their public housing units.  The Rockford Housing Authority was awarded nearly $3 million, LaSalle County's authority 1.3 million, Aurora's a little more than $1 million, Freeport's nearly $675,000, Whiteside County's more than $429,000 and DeKalb's close to $395,000. 

You rise at 5:00 every morning, hoping for an hour of creativity before the kids awake. You fire up your laptop and stare at the blank Word .doc, straining to write the greatest opening line since Anna Karenina.

Bust.

Happy writers are all alike. Each unproductive writing session is unproductive in its own way.

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