Illinois briefs 6/15/2011

*Stewarding Excellence releases reports on University small centers, utilities*

The Stewarding Excellence @ Illinois team has completed two more project reports on small centers and utilities.

The project team on small centers had the following system level recommendations. They are encouraged to ensure explicit and detailed charters for new centers and initiatives, use alternatives in creating centers and institutes, integrate educational activities of centers and initiatives with department, college and university governance. The report also gave specific

recommendations for 10 University centers and initiatives.

The utilities project recommendations focused mostly on energy conservation options for the University. There will be an incentive program for projects focused on saving energy.

*Illinois state police reject bias claim*

Illinois state police are defending their record on searching minority drivers during traffic stops.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed an official complaint because state police consistently ask minority drivers to allow a search of their cars more often than they ask white drivers. The ACLU says these “consent searches” should be investigated by the Justice Department.

But the state police said Tuesday they seek searches of minority drivers much less often than local police do. They also told The Associated Press that the percentage of minority drivers who are asked to allow a search has fallen steadily over the past few years.

*Number of homeless in Illinois falls 7 percent*

New numbers from the federal government show that the number of homeless people in Illinois has fallen 7 percent since 2007.

A report released Tuesday for Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development details homelessness since 2007 in the United States. Its statistics show that about 0.1 percent of Illinoisans are homeless, or about one in every 1,000 residents.

The report found that the Illinois homeless population was 15,487 in 2007, falling to a low of 14,055 in 2009 before increasing to 14,395 in 2010.

Homelessness fell 53 percent in Michigan. It increased by 127 percent in Louisiana and 99 percent in Mississippi.