Jim Dey: DNA unlocking murder mysteries

When Kristy Wesselman was murdered in 1985 in DuPage County, DNA evidence was still in its infancy.

So exotic was this high-tech science then that judges routinely scheduled special hearings devoted to the question of its scientific validity.

"The court was acting as a gatekeeper to make sure the science was reliable," said Champaign County Circuit Judge Heidi Ladd.

Jim Nowlan: Can crisis force a solution?

I am going out on a limb to predict that Chicago's fiscal plight, arguably even worse than that of the state, will force Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan into serious bargaining to ink a state budget. Somebody or something has to bring them together.

Jim Dey: Blame is part of the game in fiscal fight

Give former Gov. Pat Quinn credit for consistency — he's for tax increases.

Quinn was for them when he supported a temporary 66 percent (from 3 percent to 5 percent) state income tax increase by a lame-duck legislature following his 2010 election.

Sundiata Cha-Jua: Honoring legacy of 'The Prophet'

Some friends and I were discussing perhaps the U.S.'s most vexing problem, racial and anti-Black oppression. We pondered the question, "How would you know when black folk are free?" This was before 2008. So, it's not surprising someone suggested, "When there's a black president."

Esther Cepeda: Spare the talk of an 'Asian invasion'

CHICAGO — Have you heard the news? Asians will displace Hispanics as the largest foreign-born group in the U.S. by 2055. I, for one, am thrilled — the pressure will be off.

Dan Corkery: Illinois takes environmental appeal upstream

Illinois will get its day in court — in Indiana.

Last week, the Illinois attorney general's office filed a formal objection to the Indiana water permit issued last month to a new limestone quarry.

George Will: Finding our place in the vast universe

BALTIMORE — Twinkling stars are pretty but, for astronomers, problematic. Twinkles are caused by the interference of Earth's atmosphere with light radiating throughout the breathtakingly beautiful and unimaginably violent universe.

George Will: Navy to determine U.S. place in the world

WASHINGTON — The Navy's operations, on which the sun never sets, are the nation's nerve endings, connecting it with the turbulent world. Although the next president may be elected without addressing the Navy's proper size and configuration, for four years he or she will be acutely aware of where the carriers are.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Kids are running the House


That's just what the conservative movement needs right now. Less adult supervision.

But with the fall last week of House Speaker John Boehner — more accurately, with his decision to resign because life is too short for Ted Cruz — that is precisely what conservatives now have. It is a development with sobering implications far beyond the political right.

Jim Nowlan: Entrepreneurial Schultzes

The seven children of John and Frances Schultz of Teutopolis-Effingham in south central Illinois are remarkable missionaries of entrepreneurialism.

Now in their 50s or just beyond, the four girls and three boys are all well-educated, successful and committed to the Effingham area, where all but one live.