Jim Dey | Former UI professor was always a legal scholar

A few weeks ago, a postcard arrived in The News-Gazette newsroom that was more marketing device than missive.

Its cover featured a portrait of John Marshall, the longest serving (1801-1835) chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jim Dey | Assessing the Cook County assessor's race

Voters will put the finishing touches Tuesday on this year's primary elections, and there are a slew of big state and local races on the ballot.

But it's a fair bet many readers in East Central Illinois are not familiar with one of the biggest — the fight for the Democratic Party's nomination to run for Cook County assessor.

Who'd a thunk it?

George Will | Free speech includes the right to remain silent

WASHINGTON — Governments routinely behave badly, but sometimes their mean-spiritedness comes to the Supreme Court's attention. On Tuesday, it will hear oral arguments concerning the constitutionality of measures that California's government has taken to compel pro-life entities to speak against their own mission.

Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk | More movement: 'People in the streets'

In Wilson, N.C., an African-American sophomore, Justin Blackman, was the only student to walkout at Wilson Preparatory Academy. A white American freshman, Aubrey Whalen, was the only student to do so in Tolono. These two brave adolescents were anomalies. Not that they walked out of school, but that they did so alone.

Dan Corkery | From our readers, including Michael B. Hari

As the past week's stories by Ford County Record Editor Will Brumleve show, Michael B. Hari was not shy about talking with the press.

Hari is among four men from Clarence, a small town in southeastern Ford County, who were accused last week of possessing machine guns.

Jim Dey | A break from nasty election ads? If only

In five days, it will all be over — radio and television commercials featuring political candidates vilifying each other will fall silent for a few months until the November election campaigns heat up.

If only it were true.

But it's not.

Under ordinary circumstances, the early March primary would provide a bit of a respite.

Jim Dey | Judges in parachute case jumping into unknown

In 2010, New York sky-diving instructor Donald Zardo was preparing to do a jump attached to a female client.

Sensing she was uncomfortable being strapped so closely to him, Zardo assured the woman he had no sexual interest in her. He explained he was homosexual and had "an ex-husband to prove it."

Tom Kacich | Madigan treating Democratic committeewoman hopeful like foe

Pamella Gronemeyer, who is running for the low-profile position of Democratic state central committeewoman in the 13th Congressional District, hasn't promised to try to unseat longtime Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan.

Jim Dey | Democrats aiming to turn Quinn's strength into weakness

The prospect of longtime Democratic politician Pat Quinn winning his party's nomination for attorney general continues to give his party rivals heartburn, most especially Chicago state Sen. Kwame Raoul.

Austin Berg | It's time for school districts to get creative


Primary season is just around the corner, and your local school district might be asking your family for more money at the ballot box.

Later this month, there will be at least four school district property-tax increases and 14 bond issues up for a vote across the state, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.