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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Three years ago, after learning that numerous police departments were failing to take a basic first investigative step and analyze DNA evidence from reported sex crimes, Illinois became the first state to mandate testing, even in older cases in which rape kits had sat untested for years," the Tribune reports. "Advocates called the sweeping law 'landmark.'

"As of last month, the Illinois State Police had completed analysis in all of the 4,000 reported rape cases in which DNA evidence had previously gone untested, a massive undertaking that required federal grants to pay for outsourcing the work and included one case dating back more than three decades.

"Of the 4,000 profiles, 927 were matched in the national DNA database, providing a potential key lead in cases that might be stalled."

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"The issue of untested evidence came to light after a Tribune report in 2009 documented how many rape kits were being shelved at local departments, reducing the chances to solve cases.

"The Tribune's review found that in a two-year period, large suburban departments had stored untested rape kits from nearly 100 alleged victims of sex crimes . . . In addition, the state crime lab sometimes refused to analyze kits, the newspaper review found."

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From that report:

"By allowing a nurse to secure semen, saliva and other potential DNA samples - an invasive exam that can take up to eight hours - these Chicago-area residents provided police with potentially valuable forensic evidence," the paper reported four years ago. "DNA testing of rape kits has identified sexual offenders, linking some predators to numerous attacks.

"But in these and nearly 100 other sexual assault allegations handled over the last two years by some of the largest suburban Chicago police departments, including Naperville, Evanston and Aurora, police never had the kits tested, according to records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

"Most of the 13 law enforcement agencies reviewed by the Tribune don't require that every kit be tested -- a notable exception being the Chicago Police Department.

"In fact, some departments have placed most of the kits in storage, according to the newspaper's review, a finding that prompted outrage from victims advocates and the offices of Cook County State's Atty. Anita Alvarez and Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan."

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One month prior, the Trib had reported that "The number of DNA samples from rapes and other serious offenses that sit untested at the Illinois crime lab for more than 30 days remains alarmingly high four years after former Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared the problem had been eliminated."

CPS Moving, Shaking
"Facing steep fiscal challenges, Chicago Public Schools plans to downsize central office operations by next fall," the Tribune reports.

Here we go again.

"The district is considering moving its downtown offices, at 125 S. Clark St., a few blocks away, to 1 N. Dearborn St., the site of the current Sears flagship shop, according to a CPS official."

Why not sell naming rights, then - and not just for the building. The Sears Board of Education Sale - 50 Schools 50% Off!

I'm just not sure which institution would be more embarrassed to be associated with the other.

"Members of Chicago's Board of Education will consider the lease in closed session during the district's monthly board meeting Wednesday. They will then vote on authorizing the signing of the lease, the official said."

Maybe the board could save money by not having fake meetings in order to hold fake votes.

"District officials say they hope the move will ultimately save the district $60 million over 15 years."

By current CPS math, that means the move will ultimately cost taxpayers $90 million.

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From the Trib, 1998:

In other board matters, the renovation of its new headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. has run $7 million over its $19 million budget, a 38 percent increase, because the board has installed a $3.5 million emergency generator and made technological upgrades.

Board officials denied that bad management caused the increase.

"It would be wrong to say the CPS office (renovation) affects the capital-improvement program in the schools," said chief operating officer Tim Martin.

"It's not bad planning," said board President Gery Chico. "In life, you don't get anything in neat packages."

Except the money a lot of adults make off of CPS.

*

"Chicago's board of education will consider yet another significant increase in what it is paying to empty out Chicago's closed school buildings," Linda Lutton reports for WBEZ.

"In September, the district quietly doubled the amount of the contract, to $18.9 million. Chicago Public Schools' closing czar said the reason for the overrun had to do with the volume of stuff movers found in the 43 shuttered buildings they are emptying out.

"Now, the agenda for Wednesday's school board meeting shows the board will vote on another increase, this time to $30.9 million, more than tripling the amount of the original contract with GWS.

"A CPS document says the hike is necessary to board up, fence, and install security posts around 30 buildings."

So GWS underestimated how much stuff they'd have to move by $10 million and then forgot to estimate the cost of boarding up the schools they were emptying out, which they say will cost $11.1 million - more than the original bid for the entire job.

See also: "That's more than an underestimate, it's moving malpractice," in The [Friday] Papers.

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The NSA Is Coming To Town
You better watch out,
You better not Skype,
You better log out,
Yeah, you better not type.

'Twas A Bloodshot Christmas
Based on a complete fabrication.

Trend Forecast 2014
March Economic Madness, Global Chinatowns & Trouble in Slavelandia.

Fantasy Fix: Charles In Charge
But Forte coming up the backstretch.

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From Our Facebook Page
* Merkel Compares NSA To Stasi In Heated Encounter With Obama.

* Limbs 50% Longer.

* Dial-A-Carol A Holiday Tradition At U of Illinois.

* Was Sammy Sosa Really All That Great?

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Scratch that itch.



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Posted on December 18, 2013


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Can Anyone Stop Sinclair?
POLITICS - Grade Inflation For The Rich.
SPORTS - Chicago's Table Tennis Festival.

BOOKS - How Subversive Artists Made Thrifting Cool.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - How To Raise A Pizza.


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