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Report: Alderman Richard Mell To Resign
(Chicago, -color:yellow">IL) -- One of Chicago's most powerful aldermen is reportedly getting ready to resign. The "Chicago Sun-Times" reports Alderman Richard Mell is planning to resign in the next couple of months. Sources say he's already told Mayor Rahm Emanuel to appoint his daughter, state Representative Deb Mell, to replace him. Richard Mell has been at City Hall for 38 years and declined comment on the report.
Senate Takes No Major Action On Pensions
(Springfield, IL) -- State senators wrapped up their week in Springfield last night, without much action on pension reform. Senate President John Cullerton wants the House to vote on a bill that makes changes to just two of the state's five pension systems. Senators passed the bill back in May and Cullerton says it's still the best option on the table. The proposal gives state workers and lawmakers a choice to give up their compounded cost of living adjustments and get guaranteed health care and raises in retirement. Or, the workers could choose to keep their current COLA adjustments and forego the free health care and raises.
Religious Community Divided On Gay Marriage
(Springfield, IL) -- The religious community is divided when it comes to supporting gay marriage. Leaders both for and against the idea testified in a Senate committee hearing yesterday. The Catholic Conference of Illinois argued that allowing gay couples to marry undermines the natural order of family. But a heterosexual pastor from the United Methodist Church says
scripture allows same sex marriage. She says all people were created equal in God's eyes, regardless of their sexual preference. She and asked lawmakers to make it the same way under Illinois law.
State Upgrading Medicaid Eligibility System
(Springfield, IL) -- The state wants to eliminate fraud within the Medicaid system. They've partnered with an outside vender to help clean up the rolls, making sure everyone receiving benefits is actually entitled to them. Illinois Department of Human Services spokesperson Mike Claffey says they'll use new verification technology to confirm the income of Medicaid recipients. He says it's all about safeguarding the integrity of the program.
Belleville Denny's Offers Free Food To Cops
(Belleville, IL) -- A Denny's restaurant in Belleville is trying to make amends with police after five detectives were put out because they were carrying guns. It happened New Years Day after a customer complained that the officers were armed. The manager confronted one of the officers and asked her to either put her gun in the car or leave - all five officers chose to leave. Police Chief Bill Clay had ordered his officers not to eat at the restaurant, but that order has been lifted. And, officers within the department can grab a free meal today between 7:00a.m. until 10:00p.m. at 1130 South Illinois Street.
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