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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Emergency dispatchers, phone companies, and lawmakers from both parties were in agreement. The fee on cell phone bills needed to increase - to keep 911 services going and to add new technology mandated by Illinois," NPR Illinois reports.

Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, says he was not part of the talks, but he was ready to lend his support when talks broke down.

"My understanding of where it bogged down was this notion that there were perhaps disagreement between the City of Chicago and others," Hays said.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, says the "others" was the governor's office - and industry members in the negotiations say that was indeed the reason the agreement disappeared.


The nixed deal involved letting Chicago increase its fee per phone from $3.90 to $5. All other cell phone bills in the state would see an increase of $1.50 from 87 cents.

"Evidently the way I'm understanding is that the governor pretty much pulled the Republicans and said 'We don't want to give Mayor Emanuel any more money,'" Phelps said.

Bruce Rauner, you are Today's Worst Person In Illinois.

But then, you've pretty much become that every day.


From WFIE on Tuesday:

The law funding 911 expires on June 30, but lawmakers are looking to adjourn Wednesday, which means come July 1, if you need to call 911, you might have trouble getting through.

"It would be devastating to us," said Wabash County 911 Coordinator Kyle Smith.

Smith tells us, it takes about $30,000 to fund the service in the county each month. The 911 surcharge on your phone bill is not enough to keep the phone lines open.

So, what if 911 centers are forced to shut down?

"If people had an emergency, they would have to get that family member into their personal vehicle and get them to their closest medical facility, and whether the patient makes it or not, you don't know," one local paramedic told us, who asked to keep his name anonymous. "We may have to cut from having two dispatchers on certain evenings, like on Friday nights or Saturday nights when it's busy, to just one. And if there's one dispatcher, you know, a 911 call comes in, and the phone may just ring and ring and ring because that dispatcher is on another 911 call and can't answer."

Even though Wabash County officials say they have the money in a reserve fund, many other counties we are told, may not have enough to stay afloat.

Saline County's 911 director sent out a statement Tuesday asking Southern Illinois residents to call the governor's office, to ask them to fund 911 centers.

And the band played on.


"We are probably approaching that point of impaired ability to function at basic level," said John Humphrey, the Chicago-based head of credit research for Gurtin Municipal Bond Management, which oversees about $10.1 billion of state and local debt and has steered clear of Illinois. "We've already probably passed that point. We haven't seen this in a modern state before."

Rahm Is Right!
Via Natasha Korecki's Politico Illinois Playbook:

From CNN's interview with Emanuel on whether Hillary Clinton should run in 2020:

Emanuel: "Well look, you're asking something that we're not even through the midterm election. She hasn't even declared."

CNN's Dana Bash: "I know, but I asked the question. Do you think she should?"

Emanuel: "Well it's not - I love you. It's not a good question, OK."

Bash: "Why not?"

Emanuel: "It's not a good question . . . We have a lot of time between now and the presidential election of 2020."

Rahm is right - it's not a good question.

Why not, as Bash wondered?

Because it's a waste of time! A speculative question about an extremely unlikely event almost four years from now is just unsubstantive parlor game political reporting. And there are literally a hundred better questions to ask of the man.

Chris Kennedy 2.0
"His 30-plus minute talk was variously wonky and filled with soaring Kennedy-esque rhetoric," Mark Brown writes for the Sun-Times.

"One minute he was talking about 'granularity of the data,' and the next he was saying: 'Everyone, everywhere should be able to wake up on a hot, sunny summer day and look forward to it rather than see that gift of nature instead as a dark omen of a violent night to come.'"

That certainly isn't the Chris Kennedy we've seen up to now, so my question is: Who wrote the speech?


Are Esports The Next Major League Sport?
"In late 2016, a sports championship event was held in Chicago, drawing 43 million viewers during the series finals. That was 12 million more people than watched the 2016 NBA Finals.

"It wasn't soccer, or football, or even the World Series of Poker. Instead, it was the League of Legends World Finals, an esports competition.

"Video games have been popular for more than 30 years, but competitive gaming, or esports, has recently emerged as a spectator activity that can draw thousands of attendees and viewers. Major sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Advanced Media and the Big Ten Network have started broadcasting esports competitions, often partnering with major gaming companies like EA Sports, Riot and Blizzard. What is driving this phenomenon, and where is it taking us next?"



Oreo Parent Mondelez Pays Exec Almost $900K To Leave Company.


Chicago Candy Heir Nello Ferrara's Long, Strange Hockey Trip.


Al Franken Finally Telling The Jokes He's Suppressed As A U.S. Senator.


A sampling.


"Everyone does it," says candidate selling civic virtue, leadership and progressive change.



The Beachwood Tronc Line: Coffee, tea or me.


Posted on May 31, 2017

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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