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Connor Combats Child Abuse with Push for Greater Enforcement

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Press Release | John Connor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is battling child abuse with the passage of legislation to streamline the Department of Children and Family Services’ (DCFS) handling of suspected child abuse or neglect.

“Child abuse is a terrible tragedy and we need to do everything we can to end it,” Connor said. “People trained to prevent this need to be in constant contact in cases where children are being neglected or mistreated. Bureaucracy and procedural red tape cannot get in the way of taking care of kids.”

Connor passed House Bill 831, now signed by the governor, which requires the DCFS to report any findings regarding suspected mistreatment of children to the Department of Public Health and the Department of Health and Family Services within 10 days of their discovery. The bill also removes a requirement that the director of the DCFS has to approve the release of these records.

Child abuse affects tens of thousands of Illinois children every year. In 2018, an average of 222 child abuse reports were filed every day. Ensuring that these reports make it to the right people is critical to tackling this problem.

“Unfortunately, sometimes kids in dangerous environments fall through the cracks and end up forgotten about by the people who are in charge of protecting them,” Connor said. “After attending a joint committee hearing into DCFS’ handling of the Semaj Crosby case two years ago, and hearing, among other things, how the computer systems didn’t allow different DCFS investigators investigating the same incident to share information between each other in an organized manner, it was clear that changes were needed. This legislation is the product of those inquiries into how investigations could be handled better.  It is unfortunate that it took a wakeup call like Semaj’s death to begin to address the problems on a wide scale.”

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Politics

The Clock Begins To Find Permanent Joliet City Manager

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By WJOL

The Joliet City Council voted 5 to 3 last night to retain Steve Jones as Interim City Manager until he retires in February of next year. Jolie City Councilman Pat Mudron believes that within 6 months the City Council can hire a permanent City Manager.

It’s unclear if the City Council will hire GovHR to handle the screening of candidates following the last hire of David Hales who left the position after less than a year.

The Joliet City Manager position has been influx since October of last year when Hales left. Jones was the Deputy City Manager but didn’t want the job, so Marty Shanahan who is the Corporation Counsel for the city, stepped into the job until the City Council ousted him in June with the idea that they needed to do a formal search for a permanent City Manager. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk says all this shuffling of managers is hurting the city. O’Dekirk says there’s been three investors who may pull out or put their plans on hold.

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Politics

Joliet City Council stays divided, but has Jones on the job for now

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By Bob Okon | The Herald-News

The City Council divide stayed wide a day after a human resource specialist advised some unity was needed to attract city manager candidates.

The council on Tuesday cast a now familiar 5-3 vote for an employment agreement that locks in Steve Jones as interim city manager for six months but opens the door for what one council member repeatedly called “double dipping” after that.

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Business

Plainfield moves closer to Costco approvals, including incentive

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Special meeting of the Village Board to be held Monday

By Sarwat S. Ahmad | The Herald-News

A new Costco Wholesale on the border of Plainfield and Joliet is closer to becoming a reality.

Plainfield trustees Monday night moved two measures forward for a large-scale development on about 
54 acres at the northwest corner of the Interstate 55 and Route 30 interchange that Costco will anchor.

Village trustees agreed to allow ordinances to be prepared for an updated annexation agreement for the property as well as an ordinance granting approval of the special use request for the proposed Boulevard project.

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