Court upholds state legislative redistricting plan

SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel has upheld the legislative redistricting plan that state lawmakers approved during a special session last summer, thus leaving in place the new maps that will govern state legislative elections for the next 10 years. In their 64-page opinion, released Thursday, Dec. 30, the judges said the plaintiffs in […]

Oral arguments to begin Tuesday in redistricting cases

SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel in Chicago will begin hearing oral arguments Tuesday in three cases that could determine the makeup of state legislative maps in the Chicago area and Metro East region for the next 10 years. The panel announced during a status hearing Friday that it will go ahead with in-person […]

GOP, advocacy groups submit changes to legislative district maps in court

CHICAGO — Plaintiffs in three lawsuits challenging the new legislative district maps that Democrats pushed through the General Assembly earlier this year have submitted their proposed changes, which would create more Latino- and Black-majority districts in Cook County and the Metro East region. The latest filings, submitted to a three-judge federal court panel Wednesday night, […]

Lawsuit: New state legislative map undermines Black voters

CHICAGO — A new lawsuit seeks to block Illinois legislative district maps recently approved by Democrats from taking effect. The lawsuit filed in federal court Friday says Black residents of East St. Louis were unconstitutionally split up into multiple House districts to help white Democratic incumbents in neighboring districts win reelection. The East St. Louis […]

Champaign And Urbana Police Struggle To Diversify

Despite pledges over the years to diversify the police department, both the Champaign and Urbana police staff have remained overwhelmingly white. In 2014, the police staff in Champaign was 88% white and Urbana’s police staff was 84% white, CU-CitizenAccess reported at that time. Almost seven years later, those numbers are virtually unchanged.  In Champaign, 99 out of […]

Outside Review: Aleyah Lewis Arrest Followed Urbana Police Policy

URBANA – The Urbana City Council will hear a  presentation Tuesday night on a report from an outside firm which concludes the police officers who arrested Aleyah Lewis followed the Urbana Police Department’s use of force policy. But the study by the firm Hillard Heintze suggested possible revisions to the policy and how the department […]

Consulting Firm Launches Review Of Aleyah Lewis Arrest

A consulting firm whose founders include former Chicago police chief Terry Hillard is beginning an investigation into the the Urbana police arrest of Aleyah Lewis. Mayor Diane Marlin says she has signed a contract with security risk management firm Hillard Heintze to investigate both the April 10th arrest, and Urbana police operations and policies relevant […]

Police Reform Issues Loom Large Before Urbana City Council

URBANA — A set of shared goals and standards for police and communities of color was approved by the Urbana City Council Monday night. Council members also heard a new proposal for shifting response to mental health emergencies away from the police, and on Tuesday, made last-minute reductions to police spending in the new city […]

Champaign Unit 4 Officials Propose Swapping Elementary School Campuses

To solve a host of problems the district faces, Champaign Unit 4 Schools officials recently proposed swapping two elementary school campuses. At a Unit 4 Board of Education meeting Monday night, the district’s superintendent, Susan Zola, suggested moving the International Prep Academy (IPA), a kindergarten through fifth grade bilingual program with majority Hispanic enrollment located on West […]