This is a “good news/bad news” update for Quad City readers.

First, the good news.

On the front page of July 25, 2009’s Chicago Tribune is a story entitled “Top Pols Snub Clout Panel.” The gist of the article is that an investigative committee that is investigating legislative abuses by members of the House or Senate in using undue influence to get special treatment for their friends or relatives had been snubbed by some who were asked to testify, including Mike Madigan (House Speaker), John Cullerton (Senate President), and House Minority Leader Tom Cross. The “good” news for Quad Citians is that our Representative, Mike Boland of East Moline, nont only did not refuse to appear, but made an appearance last Monday during which it was determined that he had NO instances of trying to use his influence to gain admission for the children of friends or relatives. Of 9 names asked to testify, Boalnd was the only one who had appeared. Yes, you heard me right. The ONLY one who has appeared. And it was determined that he had NO instances of asking for “special treatment” for admission to the University of Illinois. This may stand in contrast to some local articles in the (Moline, IL) Daily Dispatch that reported on all the loyal contributors whose children he had helped to scholarships…some of them quite deserving, some of them (perhaps) not quite so deserving, if their parents are, say, lawyers and well-paid teachers, but nevermind about that! At this time, in this issue of the Chicago Tribune, the ONLY legislator who has (a) appeared, to date and (b) had it determined that he had not asked U. of IL officials to let a deserving nephew or son or contributor’s child in, despite their failure to meet the standfards of the school, is nil. NONE, said the front page.

The others listed in the article, with accompanying head shots were: Mike Madigan (admissions requests made 43; 27 known admissions); Senate President John Cullerton (8 admissions requests made; 7 admitted); House Minority Leader Tom Cross (13 admissions requests made; 9 admitted.) These 3 have declined to testify.

In the middle set were Senator Chris Lauzen, who has made 1 request and had none admitted. He will appear next week. Next, smack dab in the middle, is Representative Mike Boland (former Glenview Junior High School teacher), who has made NO requests and testified last week. Listed as “uncertain” were Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, with 4 requests and 3 admissions who, it said, had made no decision on whether to testify or not; Representatigve James Brosnahan, with 17 requests and 12 admissions, who had not made a decision yet; Senator Ed Maloney, who was unavailable for comment, but had made 17 requests and had 11 of those requests admitted and Representative Angelo “skip” Saviano, who had made 22 requests with 7 admissions and was also unavailable for comment.

Nice to see Mike Boland on the NONE listed as the only one of the nine who has currently testified at all.


The “bad news” for local Quad Citians is that former WHBF-TV reporter Mike Barz has been off the air from Chicago station WFLD while there is a probe of alleged misconduct during an off-site party for reporter Margaret Shortridge, who was leaving the station after her contract was not renewed by WFLD, Channel 32.

Barz had been co-anchor of  the Fox-owned station’s show “Good Day Chicago” and was a former WGN Channel 9 sportcaster, who came to Channel 32 in 2007 from ABC’s “Good Morning, America.”

But, along the way to “Good Morning, America” and, evidently, “Good Day Chicago”, Barz put in time as a feature reporter and anchor at WLUK in Green Bay, as an anchor for WHBF-TV in Rock island, and as a producer for Intersport Television.

No specifics of the party where there were “allegations of misconduct” in Barz’s interaction with a fellow employee at the party. (This from the HR department at WFLD.) “The station confirmed an investigation but not its substance or findgins, citing privacy issues. Barz decllined comment.”

So, all we former Quad City fans of WHBF’s ex-anchor can know, for sure, is that it must have been one heck of a send-off party for Margaret Shortridge.

The beneficiary of this “bad news” would seem to be former Channel 32 morning co-anchor David Novarro, who is now co-anchoring the stations’ 10 p.m. newscast. He is seen as the front-runner to replace Barz, although Patrick Elwood, who has been substituting for Barz, is also in the running. Just when David Novarro was expected to leave Channel 32’s air waves after 9 years on the job is that, because some people seem to have had too good a time at a going-away party, he now may well stay past September, the time he was expected to leave the station.