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The [Friday] Papers

"Nearly one year after Illinois child welfare officials revealed under pressure that more children had died from abuse or neglect than earlier reported, new state statistics show the disturbing high rate has continued," the Tribune reports.

"The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reports that 87 of the 210 child deaths investigated during the fiscal year that ended June 30 involved credible evidence of abuse or neglect. With 29 similar fatalities still awaiting an official ruling, Illinois appears likely to again tally one of the highest totals since the state began tracking the statistic in 1981."

I suppose DCFS had to be pressured to release such data because it was embarrassed by its performance, but you'd think the horrific numbers would help build a case for additional funding for its historically overloaded case workers.

I mean, if it really is about the children, pols would be jumping all over each other to deliver more money and other kinds of support to DCFS.

And wouldn't it be refreshing to see a gubernatorial candidate put forth a Children First budget? Let's ask Pat Quinn, under whose watch this has occurred, and Bruce Rauner, who wants to gut the state's payroll even further than it's already been gutted, about this.

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"The information was released this week after repeated requests from the Tribune, which sought the child death data after the agency removed it last winter from its online statistical summaries."

Even in (pseudo-) democracies, public officials have a predilection towards secrecy. I'll never understand it.

"DCFS removed the information 'temporarily' after launching a review 'to address concerns surrounding data collection and the efficacy of our accounting system,' according to a statement Thursday from spokeswoman Karen Hawkins."

That's former AP reporter Karen Hawkins, and that's hardly believable.

"Benjamin Wolf, assistant legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said there's 'no excuse' for a child welfare system not accurately tracking and disclosing such important records.

"I think the department has suffered from a revolving door of leadership in recent years," said Wolf, who monitors DCFS under a federal consent decree. "It remains a problem."

That's true - and that's on Quinn.

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See also: The Sad Saga Of Arthur Bishop.

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"The blackout on child death data followed a heated Illinois Senate committee hearing last year during which DCFS officials said they had underreported 11 fatalities over a five-year period. The revelation prompted a call for resignations from one stunned lawmaker."

I'll provide the link to the Tribune article about that that the Tribune won't: Senate Panel Grills DCFS Over Child Death Data.

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"The continued public scrutiny of the state agency comes during a hotly contested gubernatorial race, repeated budget cuts and abrupt leadership changes at DCFS, which has had four different directors since November 2013."

Again, that's on Quinn.

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Go read the rest. It's behind a paywall, but you can get to it through Google.

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Friends Of The Empire Strike Back
"A group calling itself 'Friends of the Lucas Museum' has formed to 'outline the potential benefits Chicagoans can expect from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art coming to Chicago' ahead of upcoming public hearings on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's controversial decision to give Star Wars film maker George Lucas lakefront land to build a structure to house his collection of movie memorabilia and artwork," the Tribune reports.

"With open-space advocates Friends of the Parks threatening a lawsuit to stop the museum from being built south of Soldier Field, Friends of the Lucas Museum says it will work to point out "the tremendous impact" the museum will have on the city's 'arts and cultural scene, surrounding educational institutions and the region's tourism and economic climate.'"

I think we all know which "Friends of . . . " group is the Death Star and which is the Rebel Alliance.

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The Beachwood Radio Network
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #17: Panic At Bear Mountain.

Jay is for Jerk, The Bills Were Due, Carl's Wild Card Weekend Fishing Trip Is Back On, How Not To Talk About Ray Rice, and The Sky Is Falling.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #23 is in pre-production!

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master
Out of Dodge.

The College Football Report: Chips & Chalk
Don't call it a comeback! No, really. Don't call it a comeback. But we're calling for the Big Ten royalty to vent on a series of tomato cans on Saturday.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Wray, The War on Drugs, The Dismemberment Plan, Hushdrops with Nora O'Connor, Tarnation, Rat Columns, Bombino, Rise Against, Trombone Shorty, and Sole and DJ Pain 1.

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BeachBook
* Cardinal George Compares Forcing Of Sexual Agenda To Sharia Law.

* Fear And Loathing In America.

9/12 By Hunter S. Thompson.

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TweetWood

Prince!

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Keep affiliation with Carrot Top, though.

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The Beachwood Reporter Tip Line: Read your vegetables.



Permalink

Posted on September 12, 2014


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Trailer: Swing District.
SPORTS - Ryan Pace's Narratives Are Killing Us.

BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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