Category Archives: News

assetforfeiture

Civil Asset Forfeiture Critics Complain Innocent People Pay

Illinois Issues, February 16, 2017 — The police took away a 70-year-old Moline woman’s car when her grandson drove it with a revoked license. “Why am I being punished?” Judy Wiese asked a reporter last year at the Rock Island County courthouse. After the story made headlines, a lawyer stepped forward and helped her out, pro bono — and the grandmother got her Jeep back. “There’s no way you can’t hear those stories and think something’s wrong with the system,” says Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat, who has introduced a bill in the Illinois House that would overhaul the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws. Read the article and hear the Illinois Public Radio story at Illinois Issues.

electionnight

Election Night 2016

Letter from Chicago: Misery engulfed Clinton supporters as outcome became clear

London Evening Standard, November 9, 2016 — In this overwhelmingly Democratic city, many of the people who’d gathered in downtown bars to watch election results grew sullen and angry as the night went on. “How is it close?” asked Rachael Smith, a DePaul University student wearing a T-shirt labeled “The Future is Female,” as she watched the TVs in the historic Miller’s Pub in the Loop. Read the rest of the article at the London Evening Standard.

flooding

Urban Flooding in Illinois

Illinois Issues magazine, September 10, 2015 — Heavier rainfalls and sprawling development have left outdated sewers struggling to keep water out of streets, businesses and homes. Big rainstorms are hitting Illinois more often. In many cities and towns, the sewers can’t always handle heavy downpours. Without anywhere to go, the water fills streets, yards and basements. The result? At least $2.3 billion in damage from 2007 to 2014. That’s the total that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources calculated in a report this summer, tallying up insurance payouts for flooding damage in the state’s urban areas. And the report warned that the problem could get worse. Read more at the Illinois Issues website — including audio of my interview with Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn about the story.

Photo: Center for Neighborhood Technology

monarch

Environmental threats shrink the numbers of Illinois’ beloved state insect, the monarch butterfly

Illinois Issues magazine, July-August 2014 — Urbana resident Alex Wild kept an eye out for monarch butterflies last year. He was alarmed by what he saw. Or rather, what he didn’t see. “I saw two the entire season,” says Wild, a biologist and photographer who specializes in taking close-up pictures of insects. “That was it — and I was looking for them.” Read my story in Illinois Issues.

lorimer

When another Senate seat was up for sale

The Huffington Post, February 6, 2009 — A hundred years ago, political tensions were running high in Illinois. Everyone wanted to know the answer to one suspenseful question: Who would be the new U.S. Senator from Illinois?

The struggle to answer that question would stretch on for four years, as charges of bribery and corruption rocked Springfield and Washington. It seemed that a U.S. Senate seat was up for sale. The resulting scandal continues to echo a century later, as Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich faces charges of putting a price on the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. Read my story at the Huffington Post.

Photo of William Lorimer: Wikipedia