In Illinois, members of the public have a right to request information about the actions that government entities, public employees and other officials undertake. The state’s Freedom of Information Act gives people the power to seek records and other relevant information from any of these parties. Under the Act, The Chicago Tribune recently sued College of DuPage to obtain financial records relating to potential misconduct. The community college, which receives about $165 million per year from property taxes and other state financing, is currently under investigation for various actions. Since 2009, the college’s president and administrators have reportedly charged the school over $190,000 for food and alcohol consumed at one campus establishment. The college’s foundation has also allegedly given non-competitive contracts to its own members. A federal grand jury and a DuPage County grand jury have both issued subpoenas seeking documents relating to these practices. The Tribune recently requested the release of similar documents and the subpoenas. However, the college declined the request on the grounds that the college’s foundation holds many of the relevant records. According to college representatives, the foundation is not a governmental entity and therefore is not required to honor requests for information. The Tribune maintains that the college must comply because public college employees oversee the foundation, which frequently performs governmental duties for the college. Through the recently filed lawsuit, The Tribune is seeking the immediate release of the requested documents. State and federal authorities are also still investigating the college’s actions, spending and internal oversight. If administrators do not consent to cooperate with a state audit, the college could ultimately face withholding of state funding. The potential misuse of public college funding is a significant concern today, given the increase in tuition costs and associated student debt. Public funding cuts are often cited as a reason for these growing costs. However, The New York Times recently reported that the public funding colleges and universities receive has actually increased over several decades. Per capita funding has dropped slightly, but this cannot explain sharply rising tuition costs. Increases in administrative expenses, however, may help account for these cost changes. According to data from the Department of Education, the number of administrative positions at colleges and universities across the country rose 60 percent from 1993 to 2009. This was more than 10 times the rate of growth that faculty positions underwent during the same time. The creation[READ MORE…]
Victims of car accidents and other emergency events will now be able to receive medical aid faster than before with the opening of Chicago’s first vertiport. Vertiports offer an efficient new alternative to emergency ground transportation by providing a space for aircraft to vertically take off and land. Vertiport flights can streamline travel from crowded downtown areas to nearby airports or medical centers. This means first responders can access injured victims much more quickly, improving survival rates and potentially lowering the risk of medical complications. Vertiport Chicago, which is currently the largest vertiport in the U.S., is situated 3.5 miles from downtown Chicago. The 10-acre facility includes a terminal, a hangar, space for eight parked helicopters and one spot for takeoff and landing. The vertiport officially opened in late April, making the new takeoff and landing zone available to paying clients and local emergency responders, including paramedics, police and firefighters. Since Vertiport Chicago is built on land that belongs to the Illinois Medical District, the facility will give medical helicopters top priority. These helicopters will be able to take off or land before all other air traffic without paying any landing fees. This arrangement should enable local medical professionals to more efficiently deliver organs and move trauma patients to medical centers where they can receive needed care. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012 found that trauma patients experienced markedly better outcomes when they were transported to the hospital via helicopter. These patients were 16 percent more likely to survive than patients transported by ambulance. The patients who were moved by helicopter also had a higher chance of progressing to rehabilitative treatment, rather than requiring ongoing assisted care. This study did not determine why air transportation might offer such distinct benefits for trauma patients. However, people who are taken to the hospital via ambulance may be at risk for delays and additional injuries. Eliminating these issues may make a critical difference for people who have been seriously injured in car crashes, workplace accidents and other traumatic incidents. The new vertiport will also serve the community by creating jobs, attracting businesses and drawing in tourists. Already, the vertiport is allowing logistics company DHL to expedite daily deliveries to clients in downtown Chicago. The availability of chartered vertiport flights, which will allow executives to travel to O’Hare International Airport in 10 minutes, may give more businesses[READ MORE…]
Ankin Law Office LLC is thrilled to announce that its owner and partner, Howard Ankin, has been honored as a Super Lawyer. This honor is bestowed to only those attorneys who have the highest legal ethics, professional achievements and peer estimation. In the state of Illinois, just 5 percent of attorneys have received this rating. Mr. Ankin is honored to have been selected as a Super Lawyer and credits his success to the lessons he learned from his father and grandfather, who were also attorneys. As a young boy, Mr. Ankin would travel to court with his father and grandfather, watching them passionately advocate for the rights of others. He gained a personal love of the law and decided to follow in their footsteps. After graduating from The John Marshall Law School with a Juris Doctor, he eventually founded Ankin Law Office with his father. Today, Mr. Ankin keeps alive the family tradition of providing outstanding legal representation to people who have experienced a workplace injury, have been harmed through negligence or are seeking disability benefits. In his meetings with clients, Mr. Ankin takes the time to understand their situation and explain to them how Illinois law will apply to their case. He treats his clients with compassion, knowing that the road to recovery can be a long and arduous one filled with physical, emotional and financial complications. Fueled by a commitment to clients, Mr. Ankin is a fierce advocate for them. Whether he is in the courtroom litigating or behind closed doors negotiating a settlement, he keeps a client’s best interests in mind. As a tenacious and goal-oriented attorney, Mr. Ankin has consistently obtained favorable verdicts and settlements, accumulating millions of dollars for clients. His new Super Lawyers rating is just one of many honors Mr. Ankin has received throughout the course of his career. He has earned the ranking of BV Distinguished from Martindale-Hubbell, which is a widely respected mark of achievement; the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group honored Mr. Ankin as one of the WILG Top 100 Injured Workers’ Attorneys in 2014; and he also holds an Avvo “Superb” rating. When he is not representing clients, Mr. Ankin actively participates in the legal community with groups such as the Illinois State Bar Association, the Work Injury Lawyers Association and the Chicago Bar Association. His commitment to service extends beyond the legal arena. The Chicago Teamsters Hispanic[READ MORE…]
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