Mary's Feed
May 14, 2015

Illinois lawmakers reject right-to-work, send message to governor

By Fiona Ortiz and Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – Illinois Democratic lawmakers rejected their own
right-to-work bill on Thursday in a symbolic vote meant to send
a message to Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who says he wants
union membership to be voluntary.

Powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan sponsored the
designed-to-fail bill, which House Republican Leader Jim Durkin
decried as a “sham” aimed at undermining Rauner’s call for
bipartisan solutions to Illinois’ deep financial crisis.

May 14, 2015

Filmmaker Spike Lee defends his planned film on Chicago violence

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Movie director Spike Lee, known for films that deal frankly with racial issues, appeared in Chicago on Thursday to defend his planned movie about the city, after its reported title, “Chiraq,” was criticized by local politicians.

Speaking at a South Side church and surrounded by African-American mothers carrying pictures of children killed in street violence, Lee said artists hold up a mirror to society and are not afraid to tell the truth.

May 13, 2015

Missouri passes right-to-work bill, but governor’s veto expected

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – Missouri Republican lawmakers passed a bill on
Wednesday that would stop workers from being required to join a
union or pay dues, but without enough votes to override an
expected veto by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

By a 92-66 vote, the Missouri House of Representatives
approved the measure that would allow Missouri to join 25 other
states with “right-to-work” laws.

May 12, 2015

Obama presidential library will be built in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Barack Obama’s presidential library will be built in his hometown of Chicago, the Obama Foundation announced on Tuesday.

Chicago beat out proposals by New York City and Hawaii to host the facility.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization that conducted the site-selection process and will oversee the development and building of the library, has not decided on its exact location, but it is expected to be in one of two parks near the University of Chicago’s main campus.

May 8, 2015

U.S. appeals court overturns sabotage conviction against nun

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A U.S. appellate court on Friday overturned
sabotage convictions against an elderly nun and two other peace
activists for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear defense facility
in 2012.

Megan Rice, 85, was sentenced to three years for the
break-in at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, an
incident that embarrassed U.S. officials and prompted security

May 5, 2015

Chicago asks school teachers to take 7 percent pay cut: union

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three years after a public school strike, Chicago teacher contract talks are off to a rocky start, with the debt-burdened district demanding a 7 percent pay cut, union officials said on Tuesday.

The Chicago Teachers Union said in a statement it was “highly insulted” by the district’s demands, which include increases in health insurance premiums. The current contract expires on June 30.

May 1, 2015

Missouri lawyer said former hospital may have stolen black babies

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A lawyer for a long-separated mother and daughter said on Friday he is investigating whether staff at a now-closed St. Louis hospital may have taken babies from impoverished young black women to put them up for adoption.

Melanie Gilmore was reunited with her mother, gospel singer Zella Jackson Price, after 49 years in March in an emotional video that has been seen by almost 300,000 people on YouTube. Price was told by a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis in 1965 that her baby had died, said family attorney Albert Watkins.

Apr 29, 2015

Illinois teen admits to stealing guns to sell in Ferguson, Missouri

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A southern Illinois teen pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal firearms charges in a plot to sell guns and loot businesses in Ferguson, Missouri, which had been the site of sometimes violent protests over a fatal police shooting.

Dakota Moss, 19, of Centralia, admitted in federal court to burglarizing a farm and home supply store and stealing 39 guns in November of last year. Moss and a juvenile accomplice stole the guns in order to sell them in Ferguson, prosecutors said.

Apr 29, 2015

Former Illinois Gov. Daniel Walker dies, 92

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former Illinois Governor Daniel Walker, a Democrat who walked across the state talking to voters before his 1972 election and later went to prison for bank fraud, has died at the age of 92, the state’s current governor said on Wednesday.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, expressed his condolences to Walker’s family and friends in a statement, saying he and his wife Diana were “saddened” to hear of Walker’s passing.

Apr 22, 2015

One dead, 23 others sick from suspected botulism at Ohio church

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A woman has died and 23 others were sickened by a suspected botulism outbreak after a potluck lunch at an Ohio church, health officials said on Wednesday.

Fifty to 60 people attended the Sunday lunch at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, about 30 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, said Jennifer Valentine, a spokeswoman for the Fairfield Department of Health. Most began getting sick on Tuesday, Valentine said.