Jim Dey: Time is on the IRS' side

It's one of those things that probably seemed like a good idea at the time. But time — and circumstance — change.

That's why Champaign's Michael Fogerson faces the prospect of doing time for income tax evasion.

Jim Dey: Group adds twist to state budget politics

Budget politics are complicated this year as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic Legislature face off over what to do about the bankrupt status quo.

Dan Corkery: New life for an old tree

Joyce Kilmer never saw a poem as lovely as a tree.

But how about a commemorative bench made from that tree? Or a conference table?

Those are two of the few proposals Urbana will consider over the next year as the city decides what to do with the wood from the giant hackberry tree that lived for 150 years or more at the corner of High Street and Coler Avenue.

Stereotypes too saucy

CHICAGO — The Economist's recent special report on Hispanics has stoked Latino ire with a cover featuring the stars and stripes composed of denim, stars and red hot chili peppers.

Talk over coffee? Can I take test instead?

WASHINGTON — I'm standing in the Starbucks line behind 10 other sleepyheads waiting to order my tall skinny cappuccino, otherwise known as a shot of coffee described as I wish to be.

Absolutely no one is talking about race.

In fact, no one is talking at all except to mumble an order while checking email.

Is Illinois walking away from higher education?

"Illinois is slowly walking away from higher education," laments one long-time state government insider.

For the coming year, Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed cutting direct appropriations for our public colleges and universities by almost $400 million, or about 20 percent.

George Will: Kasich waits in the wings

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ideas fly from Gov. John Kasich like sparks from a flint. While explaining his prison reforms, he interrupts himself midsentence — his sentences, like some E. E. Cummings poems, are unpunctuated — to praise a Delaware church that buys prom dresses for low-income high school girls.

Jim Dey: Misconduct leads to one-year suspension

Lee Smolen was a top business student at the University of Illinois and a graduate of the University of Chicago law school who started practicing in 1985.

At his peak, he earned $3.5 million a year at the hot shot Chicago firm Sidley & Austin and had liquid assets between $7 million and $10 million.

Jim Dey: Maybe school funding rewrite will happen after all

Hear more from Dey Wednesday at 10 on WDWS.

Like a snowball slowly growing in size as it rolls down a hill, legislation to rewrite Illinois' school-funding formula continues to build momentum.

Esther Cepeda: The mirage of the rainbow coalition

CHICAGO — Hispanic pundits are wondering whether the killing of Antonio Zambrano-Montes by Pasco police in Washington state will truly be what The New York Times called Hispanics' "'Ferguson' moment" — a national protest against police aggression toward Hispanics.