August 10, 2007
Gov. Blagojevich opens 2007 Illinois State Fair
Governor’s and First Lady’s tents open today
SPRINGFIELD – Keeping up with Illinois State Fair tradition, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, along with First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, today cut the ribbon at the Main Gate of the Fairgrounds to officially open the 10-day event. The 155th Illinois State Fair began today and runs through Sunday, August 19th. The theme of this year’s Illinois State Fair is “Celebrate and Educate.”
“The Illinois State Fair is a summertime tradition that my family and I look forward to every year. With top notch entertainment, fantastic food, and fun rides, the Fair has something for everyone in the family to enjoy,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
The Governor’s tent is located near the main entrance of the Fairgrounds on the corner of Main Street and Brian Raney Avenue, and it highlights many of the administration’s initiatives and accomplishments in healthcare, economic development, and public safety. Displays highlight the healthcare programs currently available through the state, the ways Illinois is tackling global warming, prescription drug programs available to seniors, the $1 billion FutureGen clean coal-to-energy project, and feature films that have been brought to Illinois.
The First Lady’s tent focuses on women’s and children’s health through a variety of interactive and informational displays. In the tent, visitors can find information on ICHIP, a state program that provides an insurance-like benefit for Illinois residents who qualify; members of the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization will offer information on their free services for breast cancer patients; and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will provide blood pressure screenings and offer information about child safety seats.
The First Lady’s tent also features interactive and informational activities provided by the DuPage Children’s Museum, Kohl’s Children’s Museum of Glenview, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, including a small plane painted to appear like a giant fish that children are able to climb into. And, Prevent Blindness America will provide information on common childhood vision disorders and the four major adult aging eye diseases.
The Governor’s and First Lady’s tents are open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
State fair open
Other interesting news, Dick Devine, Cook County States Attorney is not going to run again, so we have a lot of interested Cook County Commissioners ready to run, Larry Suffredin -D, Mike Quigley - D and Tony Peraica -R, but will they be able to focus on running Cook County as they run for States Attorney? Rumor has it even Sheriff Tom Dart -D may run.
Devine won't run again, cites economic reasons
By Mickey Ciokajlo | Tribune staff reporter
1:39 PM CDT, August 10, 2007
E-mail Print Single page view Reprints text size: Saying it was time to "turn a page," Cook County State's Atty. Richard Devine announced today that he will not seek re-election next year.
Devine, 64, said economics weighed heavily in his decision and that he will be looking for a job that could help him provide more financial security for his family than his $167,000 salary provides.
Devine, a Democrat, worked in the private sector for more than dozen years before winning the office in 1996 by beating incumbent Republican Jack O'Malley. Devine plans to complete his term, which ends in December 2008.
"I doubt that whatever I do, anything will be quite as rewarding and challenging as the years I've spent as state's attorney," Devine told reporters at a press conference.
Calling it "kind of a melancholy day," Devine told reporters of his decision shortly after a meeting during which he informed his top staff.
"It's time to turn the page and begin a new chapter, whatever chapter that is," Devine said. "It's essentially an economic decision. I am 64. I have not over the years salted a great deal away."
Devine said he "feels great" and he's working as hard as he ever has, but then added, "Who knows how many years of that are left and you have to provide a little bit of security down the road for yourself and your family."
Devine said he didn't have a job lined up, joking, "I don't even have lunch lined up."
"I'm just going to see what comes down the road," he said, adding with a laugh, "I suppose I could go out and be a first-year associate at a big law firm and earn more than I do now."
Devine spoke of his admiration for the men and women who work in his office. He cited a number of prosecutions, from his cold-case team's work on the Brown's Chicken Massacre to public corruption investigations such as the one that led to the conviction of Thomas Ryan, the former Sauk Village school superintendent.
When pressed about why he wouldn't stick around for another term, Devine said the office is bigger than him.
"The reality is that a place like the state's attorney's office goes on," Devine said. "It's bigger than any individual and no one should ever stand here and think that they're not replaceable."
More than a half-dozen local Democratic politicians are expected to jockey for Devine's job.
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) has announced he will run for the post, but the rest of the contenders were waiting to hear a decision from Devine, who is closely allied with Mayor Richard Daley.
Among the list of potential Democratic contenders are Sheriff Tom Dart, Ald. Thomas Allen (38th), County Commissioners Mike Quigley and Larry Suffredin, and Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr.
Devine's two top aides in the office, Bob Milan and Anita Alvarez, are also interested if Devine retires.
On the Republican side, Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica is expected to announce his candidacy next week. Peraica lost to Todd Stroger in last fall's election for County Board president.
Devine, the former first assistant to Daley when he was the state's attorney in the 1980s, was in private practice for more than a decade before he was elected to the office in 1996, upsetting Republican Jack O'Malley. He has had only nominal opposition in the two elections since.
Shortly after becoming mayor, Daley appointed Devine to be president of the Chicago Park District Board, where he served from 1989 to 1993.
Earlier this year, Devine personally led the prosecution of Brown's Chicken and Pasta killer Juan Luna, who was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.
Just last week, Devine won a big pay raise for the prosecutors in his office following months of negotiations with Stroger.