Government

Government and Legislature

Jenna Dooley

Sewage treatment plants clean what comes down northern Illinois pipes under strict regulation from the Illinois EPA. But, as regulatory standards rise, plants in cities like DeKalb are forming “reclamation districts” to help spread out the cost of mandatory upgrades among small communities.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

One man’s prairie is another man’s patch of weeds. That’s the debate that is unfolding in DeKalb over a proposed rewrite of the city’s “weeds ordinance.”

About 20 people spoke out about native plants, property rights, and good neighbors at Thursday’s hearing of DeKalb’s Citizens Environmental Commission.

Paul Soderholm of Mt. Morris spoke about his own nature preserve in neighboring Ogle County and the benefits of native plants. He said they “support native insects, support native birds.”

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A libel case involving the DeKalb police chief has been continued, with another hearing scheduled at the end of next month.  

DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery sued a Crystal Lake man in 2016 for saying what Lowery calls untrue things that could have cost him his job. Lowery is asking for $300,000 from Tom Salvi, who called Lowery an “aggressive thug” and a “fraud” in emails to then-mayor John Rey, who said he didn’t believe the allegations.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A status hearing for a libel case involving DeKalb’s police chief starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

DeKalb police chief Gene Lowery sued Tom Salvi in 2016 for saying what he calls untrue things that could have cost Lowery his job and is asking for $300,000 from Salvi.

Salvi, a physician and former state Representative candidate, was arrested in Crystal Lake in 2010 for disorderly conduct after allegedly asking if he could undress a woman in a parking lot. Those charges were later dropped. 

Lowery was deputy police chief there at the time.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says if legislators fail to send him a budget by Friday, he'll extend a legislative special session until they “get the job done.''

A statewide property tax freeze demanded by Rauner as part of a deal to end the budget stalemate failed in the House during the eighth day of the special session.

It would have created a four-year freeze on the nation's next-to-highest property taxes. It would have exempted Chicago, the city's school system and 17 other financially distressed school districts.

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