News

RuizDeputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz    An investigation by a pair of news agencies on the reported seclusion of students in timeout rooms by school districts has prompted the state to file complaints on behalf of children named in that investigation.
    Deputy Gov. Jesse Ruiz on Nov. 20 filed nine complaints against districts, among them the Kaskaskia Special Education District 801.     
    The joint reportage by ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune included eight districts.
    The district is a special education cooperative which is based in Centralia and is partners with 30 member school districts in Clinton, Marion and Washington counties.
    KSED operates the Bridges Learning Center in Centralia, one of the schools named in the investigative report, which was said to have used isolated time-outs 1,288 times in 15 months, according to information obtained in the investigation.
    In addition to KSED, complaints were filed against the Kansas Treatment and Learning Center, the Black Hawk Area Special Education District, Lincoln-Way Special Education, Northern Suburban Special Education District, Tri-County Special Education, the Vermilion Association for Special Education, and the Special Education District of Lake County.
    The filing of complaints from the governor's office will require a report to be returned within 60 days of the notification. 
    The Illinois State Board of Education would determine if the educational entity violated federal or state special education requirements.
    ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom whose reporters investigate abuses of power.
    Reporters conducting the investigation looked at 50,000 pages of records chronicling 20,000 incidents of isolated time out from September 2017 to December 2018, finding students were placed in isolation daily for reasons which violated state law.

    A number of individuals have filed papers for local, state and national offices for the March 17, 2020, primary election.
    Three have announced their intent to run for Clinton County's state's attorney, all on the Republican ballot.
    Clinton County Assistant state's attorney David Fields of Damiansville, New Baden attorney Doug Gruenke, and Centralia attorney B. Marshall Hilmes will eye filling the seat being vacated by John Hudspeth.
    Hudspeth announced in early November he would not seek re-election next year, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
    County clerk and recorder Vicky Albers said there will be a lottery drawing on the morning of Dec. 9 in her office, to set the ballot.
    The last day for filing papers was this past Monday.
    Incumbent Democratic coroner Phillip Moss of Breese has filed to rerun for that office.
    County circuit clerk Rod Kloecker of Breese has filed to rerun for that office, on the Republican ballot.
    Six have filed to run for Clinton County Board. 
    On the Democratic ballot, Incumbent Dennis Middendorff of Carlyle is running for District 2, Robert Brandkamp of Breese for District 3, and Larry Green of New Baden for District 5.
    On the Republican ticket, incumbent Keith Nordike of Aviston has filed for the District 4 seat, Michael Strieker of Breese will run for District 3, and Bruce Rapien of New Baden will run for District 5.
    Ten have filed to run for precinct committeeman.
    They include Democrats Matt Cain of Carlyle for East Fork, Ken Monken of Trenton for Sugar Creek 3, Dale Haukap of Aviston for Sugar Creek 5, Green of New Baden for Lookingglass 1, and John B. Wilken of Bartelso for Santa Fe.
    The Republicans are Jason Meentemeyer of Carlyle for Carlyle 3, Cindy Hubert of Albers for Lookingglass 4, Gruenke of New Baden for Lookingglass 1, Marc Hoffmann of New Baden for Lookingglass 6, and Ann Schroeder of Germantown for Germantown 1.
    Democrat Kacie Weicherding of Hoyleton and Republican incumbent Charlie Meier of Okawville have filed to run for 108th District representative. Weicherding and Meier both filed papers on Nov. 25.
    Ten candidates have filed papers with the Illinois State Board of Elections as candidates for the 15th Congressional District.
    They are Democrats Kevin Gaither of Charleston, Craig Morton of Salem, Erika Weaver of Mattoon and John Hursey Jr. of Collinsville, and Republicans Mary Miller of Oakland, Darren E. Duncan of Rossville, Kerry A. Wolff of Altamont, Charles Ellington of Camargo, Kimberly Wade of Grafton and Kent Gray of Leland Grove.
    Congressman John Shimkus (R-15, Collinsville) announced in August he would not seek re-election to the office he has held since 1997. 
    Democrat David Seiler of Effingham has filed to run for the 107th District state representative as has incumbent Republican Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City.
    The district covers northeastern portions of Clinton County. The two ran against one another in 2018.
    Six have filed papers for United States Senate, including incumbent Democrat Richard J. "Dick" Durbin of Springfield.
    Republicans Peggy Hubbard of Belleville, Mark C. Curran Jr. of Libertyville, Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge, Casey Chlebek of Glenview and Tom Tarter of Springfield will run for the nomination.
    Three have filed for the Fifth District of the Supreme Court seat that will be vacated by the retirement of Justice Lloyd Karmeier of Nashville.
    They are justices David Overstreet of Mt. Vernon, Judy Cates of Swansea, and John Barberis Jr. of St. Jacob.
    Karmeier's retirement is effective Dec. 6, 2020.

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