Monday, January 23, 2012

Burial problems found at VA cemeteries


VA officials said the problems at seven of its national cemeteries were largely the result of sloppy work during renovations. Headstones and markers were temporarily removed from the ground and reinserted in the wrong places.

Click on the following to read the entire story:

Newt Gengrich’s contract with Freddie Mac

The short contract is available on line at:


What is being requested by many now is on page 2, monthly description of Services performed.


Two Boone County Board Members leaving


Click on the following to read the story:

Tricia Smith’s resignation also reported by Rockford Register Star,  available at:

Newt Gingrich’s 1994-1997 Ethics Investigation


Click on the following to read this 800+ page report:

Interactive: Gay marriage laws in the U.S. by state

The changing nature of gay marriage/civil unions is shown for various years by clicking on the following link:




Illinois Supreme Court gives OK for cameras in trial courts

By Scott Reeder | Illinois Statehouse News

The new policy includes some restrictions:

• Jurors and potential jurors may not be photographed.

• Cameras and recording devices will not be allowed in juvenile, divorce, adoption, child custody and evidence suppression cases.

• No more than two television cameras and no more than two still photographers will be allowed in a courtroom at one time.

• Victims of violent felonies, police informants and relocated witnesses may request that the judge prohibit them from being photographed.

Although the policy goes into effect Tuesday, the chief judges of Illinois’ 23 circuit courts are responsible for implementing the policy. Once a chief judge of a circuit court applies and is approved by the Supreme Court, news media may request to cover eligible cases electronically in that circuit court.

Members of the news media are responsible for applying for electronic coverage each time they want to cover a particular case. Specific details of the application process will be released Tuesday.

Read the entire story by clicking on the following:

Sun-Times no longer makes political endorsements

The Chicago Sun-Times said in an editorial published Monday that it will no longer make endorsements in the upcoming election.

The following is taken from:


Seimageventy-one years ago, Mar­shall Field III founded this newspaper to create a bully pulpit, on the editorial page, for America’s entry into the war in Europe and for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s domestic agenda, the New Deal.

Somebody in the Midwest, Field believed, had to stand up and counter the isolationist and anti-Roosevelt fulminations of Col. Robert McCormick and his Chicago Tribune.

It was an era, even then drawing to a close, when many American newspapers were unabashedly partisan, and not necessarily only on the editorial page. Not unlike news shops on cable TV and the Web today, they catered to a core of readers who thought very much like them.

Those days are gone. Most good newspapers today attempt to appeal to the widest possible readership, including people of every political persuasion, by serving up the best and most unbiased news coverage possible. They want to inform you, not spin you.

With this in mind, the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board will approach election coverage in a new way. We will provide clear and accurate information about who the candidates are and where they stand on the issues most important to our city, our state and our country. We will post candidate questionnaires online. We will interview candidates in person and post the videos online. We will present side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ views on the key issues. We will post assessments made by respected civic and professional groups, such as the Chicago Bar Association’s guide to judicial candidates.

What we will not do is endorse candidates. We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before.

Research on the matter suggests that editorial endorsements don’t change many votes, especially in higher-profile races. Another school of thought, however — often expressed by readers — is that candidate endorsements, more so than all other views on an editorial page, promote the perception of a hidden bias by a newspaper, from Page One to the sports pages.

In keeping with this effort to go the extra mile to reassure you of our commitment to nonpartisanship, we also have decided to extend to our senior management the journalist code of ethics ban on making contributions to political campaigns.

We pride ourselves in offering a smart editorial page that is deeply engaged in vital civic issues, and we will continue on that course. We have in the last year singled out for special attention a handful of issues on which we believe great progress must be made for the sake of Chicago’s future, beginning with the quality of our public schools, the health of our local economy, the city’s and state’s shaky finances, the crying need for alternatives to prison for low-level nonviolent offenders, and the integrity of our political system. We want a cleaner lake and a cleaner river. We want safer parks and streets. We want an end to daily traffic gridlock.

We’ll keep pushing.

But our goal, when we’re not too much on our high horse, is to inform and influence your thinking, not tell you what to do.

Especially with respect to endorsements.

As many of you have told us, you can make up your own mind, thank you very much.

We endorse that opinion.

John Barron


Tom McNamee

Editorial Page Editor

Illinois Sen. Kirk suffers stroke

spokesperson for Sen. Mark Kirk says the Illinois Republican has suffered a stroke and has undergone surgery.

Read more by clicking on the following:

Chicago Tribune coverage:  "Due to his young age, good health and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the Senator's recovery over the weeks ahead.  Click on the following for more details:  ",0,6664285.story