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If you listen closely to what Democratic state Reps. Sam Yingling and Jonathan Carroll are saying in public about their opposition to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's graduated income tax proposal, they appear to believe that Pritzker's proposed tax rates aren't high enough.

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The Chicago Police Department reported last week that the number of people murdered in the city fell ten percent during the first four months of 2019 compared to last year during the same period.

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There's probably never a good time for a news story about how a source claims you, your wife and your brother-in-law are under federal investigation. But when that report is aired just days before what is likely the most consequential five weeks of your entire governorship, that's definitely…

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Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) spent more than a year holding hearings and overseeing negotiations which eventually produced SB1829, a massive omnibus bill on sexual harassment.

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Freshman Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) was reportedly none too pleased when Think Big Illinois began running TV ads in her district.

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We were quite surprised to see the press release sent to area media outlets last week regarding the new duties of Shawnee Community College (SCC) President Dr. Peggy Bradford effective June 15. The joint statement from her and the Board of Trustees stated the resignation was her idea and she…

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Things change in this old world — that’s just a given.  The print journalism industry has taken some knocks and changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years.  I don’t think newspapers suffered right when the Internet became “a thing.”  But definitely after the introduction of Facebook and Twit…

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We were quite surprised to see the press release sent to area media outlets last week regarding the new duties of Shawnee Community College (SCC) President Dr. Peggy Bradford effective June 15. The joint statement from her and the Board of Trustees stated the resignation was her idea and she…

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Things change in this old world -- that's just a given. The print journalism industry has taken some knocks and changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years. I don't think newspapers suffered right when the Internet became "a thing." But definitely after the introduction of Facebook and Twitte…

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Are things getting worse, or better? That question bedevils me of late. I say worse, though I will note below that other respected sources say better.

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Now that the Ohio River levels are hopefully continuing to drop and the worst of the flooding appears to be over, local officials can take stock in the things that went well and things that did not go so well and plan for the next time.

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Both Illinois State Senator Dale Fowler and Illinois State Representative Patrick Windhorst voted against Senate Bill 1 due to the effects it could have on small business owners and

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Both Illinois State Senator Dale Fowler and Illinois State Representative Patrick Windhorst voted against Senate Bill 1 due to the effects it could have on small business owners and

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Based on what I hear from atop my perch in rural central Illinois, I worry that my farmer friends may become but serfs to Big Agriculture. That is, farmers provide the labor, soils and risk in service to a very few global chemical and other ag companies. The farmers must buy their inputs fro…

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We’ve known for weeks now that the FBI recorded Chicago Alderman Ed Burke’s mobile phone conversations over a period of eight months, listening in on 9475 calls. And then we discovered that the feds had wired up Chicago Alderman Danny Solis during his own conversations with Burke.

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Twenty-nineteen is the golden anniversary of the last Illinois Constitutional Convention, in 1969. This year also notes the half-century mark in elected office for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, whose served as a delegate to the convention.

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This past week, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) proposed doubling 2019-20 state school funding, from $8 billion to almost $16 billion, the equivalent of raising the individual income tax rate from 5 to 7 percent. Should the money be available, which it won’t be, the challenge wo…

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Here is a column from 1997 that falls into the “what goes around” category.  It is about Rae Oliver Davis, who is making the news now due to being named inspector general of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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I hate to play the skeleton at the feast, because Gov.-elect J. B. Pritzker has an apparently strong desire to do more and better for the state of Illinois. Yet, he must face the harsh realities of having inherited a fiscal system that is broke, deep in debt and bankrupt in the sense that Il…

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We’ve seen a big push over the past few weeks for an Arizona-style pension “fix” here. That state’s voters have twice approved constitutional amendments to limit future benefits for public employees — once in 2016 and then again last month.

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Gov.-elect J. B. Pritzker has begun the typical minuet of transition to office in January, creating committees to look, respectively, at how he can improve education, infrastructure, social services, what-have-you.

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I had the pleasure of meeting several Democratic women candidates from Lake County during the Illinois State Fair last summer. Sen. Melinda Bush was showing them around town and brought them to a reception I was attending. We chatted for a while before they went on their merry way.

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Over the past several weeks, we have had different questions arise about our policies here at the Metropolis Planet. Some of these are printed each week in the newspaper, while others are not. We hope this editorial will help our readers understand our procedures better.

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When NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope into deep space in 1990, the New York Times magazine published a story with the headline that went something like, “Looking back to look forward.” The reference, of course, had to do with the scope’s ability to “see” light long before it reached …

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How many times have you heard: “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.” When I’ve taken photos on the scene of a fire, I’ve often wondered if I have what it takes to be a firefighter. On Nov. 3, I was fortunate enough to be able to walk about six hours in the boots and gear of a f…

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As a result of the election Tuesday, Democrats are totally—I mean totally—in charge of Illinois government. Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker won a resounding victory and his party achieved more than  three-fifths majorities in both the House and Senate. And the Illinois Supreme Court continues t…

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The media often receives a bad rap. Some people may think there is too much negative news and not enough positive, while others might feel there is too much “fluff,” and not enough hard news.

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In 2000, a national group that knows about such things declared Illinois to have the best higher education offerings among the states for quality and affordability. Today, in contrast, nearly half all Illinois high school grads headed to college flee to institutions out of state. This can be…

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There are times when everyone wishes they had a magic wand to wave and make problems disappear.  Metropolis has a lot of problems, which is why two city residents, Tish Lewis and Marla Mitchell, who are neighbors on Market Street, had set up an appointment with Metropolis Mayor Billy McDanie…

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Beyond the noise of the Beltway and the daily vilification of national media outlets, are community newspapers serving cities, counties and regions throughout the U.S.

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For some reason, I have spent nearly all of my life living along rivers. And in the Midwest, where there are rivers, there are dams.

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Here is a Massac Memo to take us away for all the craziness we have in today’s politics.  Oh, to return to the days when scandals were few and far between.  And, Democrats and Republicans worked across the aisle and usually treated each other with dignity.  They even played poker and drank t…

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I’ve told you about the non-binding referendums to be held in dozens of downstate counties designed to entice pro-gun voters to the polls, but that’s not the end of the story.   

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I used to enjoy writing columns, but honestly, one time I came across my name on a website called Topix and, the comments about me referenced a column I had written back in 2007.  They weren’t exactly nice words.  So after that, I consciously pulled back from writing too many personal columns.

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After information provided to Massac Unit One school board at Monday night’s meeting, the school board members sitting on the board now and future board members, will face some very challenging decisions in dealing with whether or not to spend more money on the district’s oldest school build…

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How many times have you read the Police Reports in the Planet and counted the number of incidents involving drugs and/or alcohol?  According to Metropolis Police Chief Harry Masse, almost all the incidents involving thefts, domestic violence calls, fights or disturbances can be linked to dru…

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From reading last week’s column, people may have gotten the impression the trip Carolyn and I took to Portland, Oregon was all fun and games.  The sightseeing was great, but there was also work and study involved.