The settlement of a racial discrimination lawsuit lodged by police officer Rickey Davis against the city of Springfield could hinge on a recent Illinois Times article, The State Journal-Register reports. Under the settlement, which awaits city approval, Davis would continue to receive his full salary until he retires on Aug. 1, 2007. But a city alderman is holding it up, citing a Times article on a leaked Illinois State Police report alleging that Davis and other officers violated unspecified departmental procedures.

Continue ReadingIllinois Times Scoop Weighs on Discrimination Settlement

The case of Marty Dwyer, a gay man who was discharged from the Air National Guard under questionable circumstances, was first reported in Illinois Times' April 13 cover story. Other media outlets later picked it up, and Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week told the Associated Press that he had asked the state attorney general to investigate Dwyer's discharge. However, the attorney general's office denied receiving the request. Dwyer told the AP, "I think the governor’s office is paying lip service to me."

Continue ReadingIllinois Times Story May Prompt Investigation Into Discharge — Or Not

Superior Court Judge Joan M. Lewis issued a temporary order preventing the San Diego Reader from publishing details about Polyheme, a blood substitute still in testing, that were obtained under the California Public Records Act. Northfield Laboratories Inc. had sued the Reader last month to stop publication of the information, which Northfield calls "trade secrets." On July 28, the Reader had published an article saying that Polyheme was being tested in downtown San Diego and in poor minority neighborhoods, on trauma patients who were unable to consent. A Northfield spokesperson said the two sides would meet next week in an attempt to reach an agreement.

Continue ReadingJudge Bars San Diego Reader From Publishing Blood Substitute Info

Rene Spencer Saller began writing music reviews for a fanzine when she was in her mid teens and has since made her way in a field that seems to be dominated by "white guys." She can admire a band and still take it to task for its misogyny. Her award-winning column, Sound Patrol, appears in Illinois Times. This is the 26th in a "How I Got That Story" series highlighting the AltWeekly Awards' first-place winners.

Continue ReadingRene Spencer Saller: Music Criticism Without the Testosterone

This week, almost two dozen Association of Alternative Newsweeklies member papers published "Soldier's Heart," an article by freelance reporter Dan Frosch that casts a critical eye on the Department of Veterans Affairs' ability to properly treat Iraq War veterans with serious psychological problems. The article will appear in more than 40 AAN papers in coming weeks. Many of the participating weeklies will supplement the article -- AAN's latest collaborative story project -- with additional reporting to reflect the issue's regional and local impact. The collective stories can be found in a dedicated section of

Continue ReadingAAN Papers Cover Iraq War’s Psychological Impact on Veterans

After serving as associate publisher of the Springfield, Ill., newsweekly for the past 18 months, during which time she oversaw the paper's Web site debut and redesign, Whalen replaces Fletcher Farrar as the Times' publisher. She also becomes part owner of the paper along with Farrar and his wife, Mary Jessup. Farrar, president of the weekly's parent company, Central Illinois Communications, says Whalen "not only understands how to serve advertisers and keep the business side running, she also has a passion for the news and editorial side of our business."

Continue ReadingSharon Whalen Named Publisher of Illinois Times