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Illinois

The Takeaway

Illinois to Set Standard For Sex Crimes DNA Testing

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law mandating police departments across the state to send rape kits to the Illinois State Police laboratory or an approved lab within 10 business days of acquiring the evidence. Illinois is the first state to pass such a law, which will go in to effect on October 1st. State officials hope that more and faster scrutiny of evidence will increase the number of arrests for such cases, which now stand at only 11 percent: The national average is 22 percent. Similar laws have increased arrests in other cities, including New York and Los Angeles. 

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The Takeaway

Day One of Former Illinois Governor's Much-Anticipated Trial

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is in court today for the first day of his political corruption trial.

Blagojevich faces a handful of charges including perhaps the most salacious one – the charge that he allegedly tried to sell President Obama’s old Senate seat.  If Blagojevich is convicted, he could be the fourth Illinois governor to head to federal prison in the past 40 years.

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The Takeaway

Illinois Looks to Clean Up Dirty Political Reputation

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Illinois has a long history of political corruption. Four of the past eight governors have been indicted on corruption charges, and dozens of other public officials have been convicted on similar grounds. In February, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, Scott Lee Cohen, stepped aside after allegations that he had abused his wife.

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WQXR News

Guantanamo Detainees May Head to Illinois

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The White House plans to announce today that the government will acquire an underutilized state prison in rural Illinois as the new home for terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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The Takeaway

Detainees: Coming Soon to a Prison Near You?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The federal government needs a place to move the detainees from Guantánamo Bay if they hope to close the detention camp, as President Obama has promised. Moving terrorism suspects onto U.S. soil is a controversial move opposed by many – especially Republicans. But there are also those who support the idea and believe it could be beneficial in a time of high unemployment. One of the places the government is considering is Thomson Correctional Center, in the small town of Thomson, Ill. We speak to Tony Arnold from Chicago Public Radio, along with Illinois state Rep. Mike Boland, a Democrat whose district covers Thomson.

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The Takeaway

Desecration at a Traditionally Black Cemetery

Friday, July 10, 2009

In a gruesome story, police outside Chicago are investigating a scheme by cemetery operators to dig up graves, dump the bodies, and re-sell the burial plots. Over 200 plots in the traditionally black cemetery of Burr Oak in Alsip, Illinois, were opened and re-sold. For more details of the story, we go to Lolly Bowean, a reporter with the Chicago Tribune, who is covering the story.

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The Takeaway

Blagojevich Back in the Headlines

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is back in the news today. His former chief of staff, John Harris, has plead guilty to fraud charges in a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago. He has also agreed to cooperate with the investigation into Blagojevich, which could be key for the prosecutor's fraud case against the former governor. For more The Takeaway turns to Rob Wildeboer, Criminal Justice and Courts reporter for WBEZ in Chicago.

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The Takeaway

Buying a Senate Seat? More Questions for Sen. Burris

Thursday, May 28, 2009

There's yet another chapter in the tale of ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Senate seat left vacant by Barack Obama. Secretly taped phone conversations between then State Senator Roland Burris and the disgraced former governor's brother were released to the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee yesterday. Burris, now a senator, still claims that he was not involved in any plan to funnel money to Blagojevich in return for the Senate seat. Rob Wildeboer is a reporter for Chicago Public Radio and he has been following the story closely.

Sen. Burris has been making adamant denials of any wrongdoing:

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The Takeaway

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich indicted

Friday, April 03, 2009

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been indicted on a number of federal corruption charges. His brother and two aides were also indicted late Thursday, April 2. We've been following the story closely for months, to see our complete coverage, click here.

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The Takeaway

A crowded race to fill Rahm Emanuel's seat in Congress

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When Barack Obama selected Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, he left an opening in the U.S. Congress. Voters in Illinois just voted in the primary to choose the Democratic candidate for the seat and there were 23 candidates. While it looks like Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley won, for some local insight on the crowded race we turn to Tony Arnold, a reporter for Chicago Public Radio.

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The Takeaway

Roland Burris fights for his rights to remain a Senator

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Senator Roland Burris is promising to fully cooperate with a new investigation into his contacts with the administration of now-ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But while he may be talking to investigators, he says he'll no longer be talking to reporters. Especially not at the Chicago Tribune. Joining us now is Robert Wildeboer is a criminal justice reporter for Chicago Public Radio.

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The Takeaway

Blagojevich tapes played at impeachment trial

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yesterday was the second day of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment trial, and state legislators got a special treat. The FBI released some snippets of the Governor’s taped conversations. There were no f-bombs and no direct references to President Obama's Senate seat. None the less, some legislators said the recordings made the Governor's alleged misdeeds more real. Amanda Vinicky of Illinois Public Radio gives John and Adaora an update on the proceedings.

Instead of defending himself in the Illinois Statehouse, Governor Blagojevich hit the media circuit. On Monday he defended himself on The View:

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The Takeaway

Blagojevich impeachment trial gets underway

Monday, January 26, 2009

Things aren’t looking good for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, whose impeachment trial starts today. His lawyer, high profile defense attorney Ed Genson, has stepped down. And a federal judge has ruled that four of the secretly recorded tapes of Blagojevich’s conversations should be released to the state Senate, which is conducting the impeachment trial. Amanda Vinicky, reporter for Illinois Public Radio, joins Adaora and Katherine with a look at the Governor’s future.

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The Takeaway

Only in Illinois: Blagojevich swears in State Senate

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There’s never a dull moment in Illinois State Politics. Today, Governor Rod Blagojevich will preside over the swearing in of the very same state senators that will later this month decide whether or not to remove him from office. The Takeaway talks to Amanda Vinicky, a statehouse reporter for Illinois Public Radio.

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The Takeaway

Roland Burris finds a little love on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Luckily for Roland Burris it appears the U.S. Senate has had an abrupt change of heart when it comes to the seating of President-elect Obama’s replacement. It's all turned to hearts and rainbows for Burris, the former Illinois attorney general, now that the Senate has said it will officially seat him. Also today Senator Hillary Clinton will be answering questions in her confirmation hearing in hopes of becoming secretary of state in the Obama administration. Todd Zwillich, intrepid reporter for Capitol News Connection, joins us from Washington, D.C.

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The Takeaway

Roland Burris finds little love on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

When Illinois Senate-Designate Roland Burris arrived on Capitol Hill yesterday, he was turned away at the door. The Secretary of the Senate claimed that his credentials lacked a required signature and his state's seal. While that may be true, the Senate leadership had made it clear that they did not want to seat Burris under the cloud of suspicion surrounding his appointment by Gov. Blagojevich. Todd Zwillich of Capitol News Connection, joins us now to mull it all over.

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The Takeaway

Rumble in the Capitol: Roland Burris fights to be seated

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The U.S. Senate’s rejection of Roland Burris is the latest chapter in a saga ripped straight from the complicated playbook of Chicago politics. Burris was turned away from the Capitol on the grounds that he did not have the right credentials following his appointment by embattled Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. For some context into the latest political spectacle out of Chicago, we’re joined by Abner Mikva, former Illinois Congressman, retired Federal Judge, former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton, and current law professor at the University of Chicago.

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Studio 360

One-Man Band

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lots of us wonder if the distractions of the modern world compromise our creativity. Songwriter Andrew Bird put that theory to the test, holing up in a barn in western Illinois near the Mississippi River. In his isolation, Bird marveled at the innovation that flowed into his ...

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Studio 360

One-Man Band

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A few years ago, the popular indie singer, songwriter, and violinist Andrew Bird moved out of Chicago to a farm in western Illinois. Out among the chickens and the soybeans, he started to write songs in which he could play all the parts by himself — replacing his ...

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