Sangamon County: Man Indicted On 8 Counts Of First Degree Murder

By David Slavik, The Chicago Times

September 29, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A man suspected of committing a double homicide in Sangamon County was indicted Wednesday on eight counts of first-degree murder.

A Sangamon County Grand Jury indicted 23-year-old Mark N. Crites on 13 counts, including 8 counts of first-degree murder.  The charges stem from the shooting deaths of Gloria and John Norgaard and a separate arson investigation.  Charges include aggravated arson, residential arson, theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, and aggravated possession of stolen firearm.

Crites’ bond has been set at $5 million and faces life in prison if convicted.

Disgraced Former Illinois House Speaker Madigan Granted Extension In Up Coming Trial 

By Gary Parker, The Chicago Times

August 3, 2022

CHICAGO – Disgraced former Democrat Illinois House Speaker Michael “Apples” Madigan and co-defendant Michael McClain were granted an extension in their racketeering trail until next year to allow defense attorneys to review evidence disclosed by prosecutors.

US District Judge Robert Blakey set a February 1 deadline for the filing of pretrial motions in an attempt to limit the number of times Madigan’s defense team would need to ask for extensions.  A status hearing is set for January 9.

In March, Madigan, 79, was charged along with McClain, 74, in a 22-count indictment in which they allegedly conspired in an array of bribery and extortion schemes from 2011-2019.  The most notable scheme involved an alleged scam to divert payments from ComEd to a member of Madigan’s political cronies for influence.  Madigan and McClain have pleaded not guilty.

Comedian Trevor Noah Will To Headline Illinois State Fair Lottery Grandstand

By The Chicago Times Staff

June 20, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Trevor Noah, Emmy Award-winning host of the “The Daily Show”, will bring his stand-up comedy to the Illinois Lottery Grandstand stage on Friday, August 19.

Noah has written, produced, and starred in 11 comedy specials, including his most recent “Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia” on Netflix.

“To be able to secure a big name in comedy to round out our 2022 grandstand lineup is something we are really excited about.  This is one of our most diverse lineups in years with multiple music genres represented, a popular comedian and harness racing to kick it all off. We cannot wait to welcome fairgoers in August.” said Illinois State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark.

Tickets for Trevor Noah will go on sale Thursday, June 23 at 10am at the Illinois State Fair Box Office and online at  Ticketmaster is the only authorized ticket broker for the Illinois State Fair. All other websites and offers may be fraudulent and buyers should beware.

Friday, August 12: Sam Hunt with Sean Stemaly and Shelby Darrall

Tier 3 – $53 / Tier 2 – $58 / Tier 1 – $65 / SRO Track – $65 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $120

Saturday, August 13: Demi Lovato with TBD

Tier 3 – $45 / Tier 2 – $50 / Tier 1 – $57 / SRO Track – $57 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $112

Sunday, August 14: Brooks & Dunn with Kendell Marvel

Tier 3 – $53 / Tier 2 – $58 / Tier 1 – $65 / SRO Track – $65 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $120

Tuesday, August 16: Willie Nelson & Family with Elle King

Tier 3- $38/ Tier 2- $43/ Tier 1 -$50 / SRO Track – $50 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $105

Wednesday, August 17: Shaggy & TLC

Tier 3- $24/ Tier 2- $29/ Tier 1 -$36 / SRO Track – $36 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $91

Thursday, August 18: Jon Pardi with Lainey Wilson and Chapel Hart

Tier 3 – $33 / Tier 2 – $38 / Tier 1 – $45 / SRO Track – $45 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $100

Friday, August 19: Trevor Noah

Tier 3 – $43 / Tier 2 – $48 / Tier 1 – $55 / Track Seats 1200 Avail. – $65 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $110

Saturday, August 20: Disturbed with Nita Strauss

Tier 3 – $44 / Tier 2 – $49 / Tier 1 – $56 / SRO Track – $56 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $111

Sunday, August 21: Sammy Hagar & The Circle with Ann Wilson of Heart

Tier 3 – $43 / Tier 2 – $48 / Tier 1 – $55 / SRO Track – $55 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $110

*A $30 Stage Side Party ticket is offered as an additional upgrade for all paid concerts. All Stage Side Party tickets purchased before July 15 will include a free state fair parking pass for the day of the concert.

Mark your calendars for the 2022 Illinois State Fair, August 11 through 21, in Springfield. Stay up to date with all the latest news and announcements from the Illinois State Fair by connecting with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pritzker To Place Grocery Sales Tax On A Diet

by Horace Douglas, The Chicago Times

April 8, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker announced plans to suspend grocery taxes and freeze the state’s fuel tax.

According to Pritzker’s office, $1.8 billion have been earmarked in the new budget for taxpayer relief.

“Over the last few weeks, and especially over the last 48 hours, we’ve engaged in a true give and take, which led to genuine compromise, and it honestly helped that we all came into this process committed to a fiscally-responsible spending plan that improved our state’s finances and helped our people in an hour of genuine need.” Pritzker said in a statement.

Pritzker’s budget proposes a suspension of Illinois’ 1% sales tax on groceries for the new fiscal year which will end July 1, 2023.  In addition, Pritzker proposed a freezing the state fuel tax at $.39 a gallon until January 1, 2023.  According to official Illinois bean counters, the election year tax gimmick will save taxpayers $470 million dollars.

Killer Nurse Convicted

By Janice Cameron, The Chicago Times

March 24, 2022

EDWARDSVILLE, IL – A licensed practical nurse has been convicted on charges of reckless conduct for failing to administer life-saving measures to a Collinsville Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center patient.

According to Madison County prosecutors, Christy McCall, 45, of Belleville was convicted and handed a sentence of 12 months of probation.  McCall plead guilty to reckless conduct that resulted in death of a patient.

Court documents revealed that McCall failed to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation after a resident patient was found unresponsive by other nursing staff.  According to investigator reports, McCall did not even bother to enter the patient’s room.

As a result of the investigation and conviction, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation suspended McCall’s nursing license.


By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

March 2, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan was indicted Wednesday on 22 criminal counts including racketeering and bribery.

According to federal prosecutors, for decades Madigan, 79, used the power of his elected offices and professional position to further his personal criminal enterprise.  John Lausch, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois has also demanded that Madigan and a co-defendant forfeit $3 million in ill-gotten gains.  Madigan faces criminal charges for bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and racketeering conspiracy.

Over the past 40 years, Madigan allegedly built up his “Madigan Enterprise” while serving as a state representative and then jointly as the Illinois House Speaker and Illinois Democratic Party chairman.  Known for eating precisely sliced apples for lunch everyday, Madigan would often be seen calmly eating his apples plotting his next move to funnel business to his multi-million dollar law firm that appealed property tax rates to unsuspecting taxpayers.  Madigan and his “crew” allegedly received tribute and bribes to doll out favors to cronies.  Prosecutors claim to have secretly recorded Madigan’s conversations with Danny Solis, former Chicago alderman turn informant, in which Solis tells Madigan that he coerced a building owner to hire Madigan’s law firm.

“I was never involved in any criminal activity.  The government is attempting to criminalize a routine constituent service: job recommendations. That is not illegal, and these other charges are equally unfounded. Throughout my 50 years as a public servant, I worked to address the needs of my constituents, always keeping in mind the high standards required and the trust the public placed in me. I adamantly deny these accusations and look back proudly on my time as an elected official, serving the people of Illinois.” Madigan said in a statement.

Madigan was the longest-serving Illinois House Speaker, having held the position from 1983 to 2021 minus two years after being defeated by Republican Lee Daniels in 1995.  Daniels once claimed that when Madigan vacated the House Speaker’s office, Daniels discovered a small tin first aid kit on the desk. 

Madigan is expected to be arraigned on March 9.

Frank Conklin, Illinois Political Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.