SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a plan to allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public.
The proposal adopted Friday was brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan, but it's opposed by several of his fellow Democrats, including the governor.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is lashing out at lawmakers after the House approved the concealed carry bill that he says "puts public safety at risk." Quinn says he opposes the plan because it would wipe out local gun ordinances - including Chicago's ban on assault weapons. Quinn issued a statement minutes after the House passed the bill on Friday. He says that Chicago and other local communities should be able to keep their gun-control ordinances on the books.
Quinn is vowing to do all he can to prevent the bill from passing in the Illinois Senate.
Senate President John Cullerton, another Chicago Democrat, also opposes the measure.
State Representative John Cavaletto supported the legislation as a good compromise.
Illinois is the only state in the country without a concealed-carry law. A federal appeals court says that's unconstitutional and has ordered the state to enact such a law by June 9.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a plan to allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip together has been charged with possession of heroin and guns.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook pleaded not guilty during a court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. A criminal complaint accuses Cook of using a controlled substance while in possession of firearms. A judge ordered him freed on his own recognizance.
Authorities say Cook and newly appointed St. Clair County Judge Joe Christ were staying at the Cook family's hunting lodge in western Illinois' Pike County on March 10 when Christ was found dead. A coroner said Friday that Christ died of a cocaine overdose.
Cook has not been charged in Christ's death.
Mark Beckmeyer, Sue Settle, and Don Walker (left to right), with their plaques from the Board of Education. Settle is also holding a special plaque for creating the stained glass Oprhan window. Photo by Tim Ferguson.
Superintendent Chuck Lane presented this plaque from the Board of Education to Sue Settle in appreciation of her creation of the stained glass Orphan window. Photo by Tim Ferguson.
The end of the school year normally brings thoughts of summer vacation and time away from school for both students and faculty, but, for three Centralia High School teachers, with a combined total of 104 years in education, the end of this particular school year also marks the end of their career.
Centralia High honored Math teacher Mark Beckmeyer, History teacher Sue Settle, and Driver’s Education instructor Don Walker at it’s annual retirement reception Wednesday. Beckmeyer is retiring after 35 years in education, the last 28 at Centralia; Settle is finishing a 34 year career in teaching, spending the last 18 at Centralia, and Walker is retiring with 35 years in education, 24 of which has been at CHS.
Leaving a profession they know and love is hard for all three as they all indicated during their chance to address the group.
Beckmeyer noted that he has always felt teaching is a calling. “I think teachers are a very special breed,. I think teachers are called into this profession. No, this isn’t just a job. I think we are a, hopefully, we are all a dedicated group of people that believe in service and sacrifice. One adage I’ve always hated to hear is, and I won’t repeat all of it because I’ve always hated it, ‘those who can do and….’ you can fill in the rest, because I really feel it should really go something like this: ‘Those who can do, and those who want others to be able to be able to achieve great things and make the most of their lives, teach,” said Beckmeyer.
Settle isn’t sure yet what she is going to do after retirement, and thanked the high school as well as the faculty and staff for the opportunity to grow and excel but wasn’t sure how to answer the retirement question. “What are you going to do when you retire? And I don’t know. All I’ve ever done is go to school, and finally after fifty years, I’m out. But, I’m going to miss the comadradrie of the staff here at CHS. If felt like I got a chance to be an adult teacher here. I spent a lot of good years at Sandoval. I’m really looking forward to doing something that doesn’t involve school,” said Settle.
Walker thanked one of his own high school counselors, who was in attendance, for guiding him into teaching and coaching, noting that a teacher many times will never know the positive effect they have on students. “Counselors, teachers, all of you guys here, you never know, you never one that one word, that one thing that you say to that one boy or girl here that’s going to propel them in their life, and Rich (Richard Rich) did that for me,” said Walker.
Beckmeyer, Settle and Walker have yet to decide what they will do in retirement but realize that when August comes, not going back to school will be hard. Beckmeyer’s wife, Debbie, is also retiring this year from Central City Grade School, while Walker’s wife, Mary, will be retiring from Salem Community High School.
Superintendent, Chuck Lane, also revealed a special plaque at the reception, entitled “Up and In”, from the Board of Education, recognizing Sue Settle for the replica Orphan stained glass window she created and is now hanging in the lobby of the CHS Sports Arena. The original Orphan stained glass window could not be moved to the new high school when it opened, and Settle created the replica as a thank you to the school for her time there.
A Federal Court Judge in Chicago has barred the state from moving any additional Murray Developmental Center residents into CILA's or other group home facilities until May 30th. Judge Rubin Castillo made the decision at a Thursday morning hearing on the Murray Parent Association's request for a temporary restraining order.
The Association's President Rita Winkeler is pleased with the judge's ruling. "He listened to our attorney and all her concerns or fears about the big rush of moving people out of Murray without the safety net in place. He ruled they cannot move anyone out until after May 30th when Judge Aspen is going to meet with them and then they will take a look at this again. So we have a really good reprieve to keep the people at Murray safe," said Winkeler. She is hoping the regular judge will grant the temporary restraining order on a more permanent basis at the May 30th hearing.
Department of Human Services Spokesman Januari Smith said the attorney for the State did not disagree with the decision in order to show good faith until the judge assigned to the case returns. She added the department did not have plans to transfer a large number of residents out next week.
Smith says the 35 to 50 number may be being confused with the number of residents who have plans developed for their move out of Murray Center. She reports most could be moved by the end of June, but that is dependent on their new group housing being available. Smith says the department is still targeting a late fall date for the closure of Murray.
The Murray Parents say the state is rushing resident through the transition process, ignoring the professional opinions of Murray staff familiar with the residents, excluding Murray staff from participating in the transition process, disregarding the residents' needs and completely failing to even inspect the homes, let alone allow the pre-transitional visit process to unfold.
The motion for a temporary restraining order points to 12 specific incidents they say have 'shocking revelations' of the Community Resource Associates process for transitioning residents.
1) Pairing of a wheelchair bound, passive resident with a very aggressive and violent resident, despite the protests of several Murray employees. The pairing did not even make it out of the driveway before the aggressive resident tried to attack the wheelchair bound resident.
2) Residents not being provided temporary pre-placement visits, but instead being completely moved into a new home with all of their belongings, regardless of the transition shock to the resident.
3) Residents being transferred to a group home with a history of water damage, as well as a weak floor likely attributed to such damage.
4) Residents being transferred despite the Murray employee inter-disciplinary team not being given notice of transfers until within 24 hours of the transfer happening, not giving Murray employees enough time to prepare for all information related to assessing whether the transfer is proper.
5) A transition meeting being schedule despite the fact that the resident was still waiting for his electronic communication device to be repaired and returned to him and could not communicate without it.
6) A resident's belongings taken (as well as a plan to take the resident that same day) to a group home that was still under construction and with construction materials spread throughout the inside and outside of the house.
7) A resident being planned to move to a home despite the OSG Representative admitting that she had never visited the home.
8) Aggressive residents, who have a history of running, being placed in group homes next to busy roads over Murray employee objections and without any planning as to how to protect the resident's health and safety.
9) Aggressive residents being placed in group homes that did not have 1 on 1 care, despite such care being necessary for the resident.
10) A resident being moved to a home three hours away from Murray, even though he (as well as the Murray staff who worked with him) had not previously visited the home or met the staff.
11) Homes that are not being inspected, in violation of the law.
12) Murray employees who dare raise concerns to this expedited process have been threatened with punishment and even discharge, or otherwise stripped of their duties.
As far as the allegations that are made in seeking the temporary restraining order, Smith says the Department of Human Services does not comment on pending litigation. However, she says generally speaking, Illinois has relied on an outdated system of care for people with developmental disabilities for far too long.
In the prepared statement, Smith adds the Quinn Administration is committed to improving the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities by increasing community care options in the state of Illinois and they are continuing to move forward to uphold their legal obligations as outlined in the Olmstead U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Smith says the Illinois Department of Human Services is working closely with families and guardians on a person-centered planning process to ensure safe transitions for Murray residents. She says the process of transitioning individuals out of state operated developmental centers has been and will continue to be careful and deliberate.
(Springfield, IL) -- A new concealed carry bill is expected to clear the House Friday.
Brandon Phelps explains why the compromised bill does not give home rule communities the ability to make changes to the law. "So if we are traveling in our car, we're not going to know from one town to another what is expected of them. If they get pulled over or have a flat tire and then find out their gun is transported illegally, they go to jail. That's not right. If we have one law everyone knows what is expected," said Phelps.
If the bill becomes law, people would not be allowed to carry loaded guns on busses, Els, or other forms of public transportation. This was a major score for Chicago lawmakers who didn't want to budge on that. They did agree to allow people to carry the gun on public transit systems if it's unloaded and in a backpack or briefcase.
The bill also establishes a bi-partisan review board would be in charge of looking at any application that's rejected. People who want to carry would have to clear mental and criminal background checks and they'd have to pay 150-bucks to get a carry license.
Governor Quinn Opposes House Compromise
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn opposes the compromise gun-carry legislation that the Illinois House is readying for a floor vote on Friday.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the legislation is "a massive overreach" because it would overturn all existing local gun laws on the books. Those include a Chicago ban on assault-style weapons. Anderson says that would endanger the public.
A federal appeals court ruled that the Illinois ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional.
The bill is SB2193. More information is available online: http://www.ilga.gov