WLIP Voice of Lake County

Coroner Adds New Dog Into Service
Vander Tuuk 2-14-18

(Waukegan, IL) The Lake County Coroner’s Office is adding a new employee in the form of a cadaver dog. Bones, a 1-year-old K9, is still in training, but will be one of only three cadaver and tracking dogs in use by a Coroner’s office in the country. Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper says bones will also be used to provide some emotional support for families. The dog’s purchase and training was provided through a grant from a charitable organization, and the animal will stay in the home of chief deputy coroner Jason Patt.

Senate president Cullerton urges Rauner to balance budget
Associated Press 2-14-18

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to propose a budget plan that’s balanced. The veteran Democrat told reporters Tuesday that the first-term Republican has never introduced a spending plan in which spending matched revenue. Rauner says he has and promised last month that he would deliver another. Rauner will unveil his 2019 budget proposal later today (Wednesday). He’s coming off the first yearlong budget since taking office in 2015. Lawmakers sent it to him last summer after voting to override his veto of an income-tax increase. Cullerton pointed out that the governor’s plan last year included $4.7 billion in revenue contingent on the Senate’s so-called grand bargain to end a two-year budget impasse by giving ground on Rauner’s business agenda. The talks, however, collapsed and the grand bargain never went through.

Democratic campaign worker alleges harassment by supervisor
Associated Press 2-14-18

CHICAGO (AP) A campaign worker for Illinois Democrats says it took party officials too long to respond after she reported sexual harassment by a male supervisor last year. Alaina Hampton addressed reporters Tuesday, a day after House Speaker Michael Madigan dismissed political consultant Kevin Quinn after an investigation found Quinn sent inappropriate text messages. Text logs shared with show Hampton asked Kevin Quinn several times to stop asking her out and sending suggestive texts, which started in 2016. She reported the behavior in February 2017 to Quinn’s supervisor. In November, she wrote Madigan who had an attorney investigate. Hampton feels her harasser was protected as months passed without follow-up. She’s filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint.

Madigan defends conduct in sex-harassment review
Associated Press 2-14-18

CHICAGO (AP) Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan denies that a long-time campaign worker wouldn’t have been fired for sexual harassment had his accuser not gone public. The veteran Democrat spoke to reporters Tuesday in Springfield, a day after he announced that he dismissed political aide Kevin Quinn for sending inappropriate messages to campaign subordinate Alaina Hampton. Madigan says he first learned of Hampton’s complaint in a letter sent to his home in November 2017. Heather Wier Vaught, an attorney for Madigan’s campaign committee, says Madigan asked her to investigate. Vaught says it took nearly three months because investigations need to be “fair and balanced.” Madigan also dismissed calls for him to step down as state Democratic Party Chairman or as the nation’s longest-serving state House speaker.

New Six Flags Coaster Gets Name
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 2-14-18

GURNEE, Ill. (AP) A record-breaking roller coaster set to open this year in Gurnee now has a name: Mardi Gras Hangover. Six Flags Great America announced the name Tuesday, and also said the loop coaster will open in the park’s Mardi Gras-themed area, which will include a new Mardi Gras Festival in late summer. The festival is expected to include nightly shows, floats, beads and fireworks. The 100-foot-tall coaster, meantime, will take riders forward and backward on a giant loop. Great America President Hank Salemi says riders “will experience multiple moments of hang-time.” He says along with the festival, the name is “the perfect fit.”

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