Jeb Bush commented on the decision not to indict the police officers who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice yesterday, saying, "I think that Chicago's got a lot of work to do to rebuild trust. The level of violence is abhorrent." When reminded that the Rice case was in Cleveland, he said, "I'm sorry, my bad."
Mayor Emanuel a
nnounced a new police training program aimed at deescalating confrontations and reducing the use of deadly force. Meanwhile, protesters outside the mayor's house last night discovered that his sidewalk had not been shoveled.
1600 flights were canceled at O'Hare and Midway yesterday, stranding thousands in the terminals. One guy who was allegedly stuck at O'Hare for 50 hours (really? more than two days?) gave up and proposed to his girlfriend by text.
Mayor Emanuel is
coming back from Cuba early following the police shooting death or Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones.
It's hard to wrap one's head around yet
another police shooting, this time of a mentally disturbed teenager and a neighbor who was just answering the door.
Remember the call for DNA samples from people who believed their family had been killed by John Wayne Gacy? The results have cleared 11 unrelated cold cases.
Technically, it's illegal to place ads on city property -- as in, a concert poster on a lamppost -- but it's rarely enforced. However,
RCP Publications (the local communist press) is challenging the law in court after it was fined $350 for hanging posters for a documentary screening, potentially paving the way for flyers all over the place.
A grand jury
did not indict the jailers in Texas where Chicagoan Sandra Bland died. However, the jury reached no decision regarding charges against the officer who arrested her, and will meet again in January to continue deliberation. Not surprisingly, Bland's family was disappointed in the decision.
stormed off "HuffPost Live" earlier today after the show's host asked him about the effect of his legal woes on his career.
The University of Chicago Medicine
announced today that it will build a level 1 adult trauma center on its Hyde Park campus, canceling plans to partner with Sinai on a trauma center at Holy Cross Hospital on the Southwest Side.
A federal judge ruled Monday that
tasing and dragging handcuffed Philip Coleman out of his cell amounted to "brute force," ruling against Chicago police in a civil suit brought be Coleman's family. Meanwhile, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke expressed frustration with pretrial handling of suspects in Cook County.
Salon reports on
a recent investigation in which State's Attorney Anita Alvarez chose not to prosecute an officer who admitted to lying on the stand.
A sleeping patron from North Dakota
pulled a gun on a Pump Room manager when awoken. He was eventually escorted by security to his room at the Public Hotel, where the police met him later.
"For the citizens of a community to trust the police, they have to know that they aren't being systematically lied to."
The New Yorker on Chicago's relationship with its police force.
released the Ronald Johnson dashcam video, but Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez does not plan to charge the officer who shot him (the chief of detectives resigned, though). Meanwhile, yet another video shows a suspect being hit with a Taser while in lockup in 2012. When does that federal probe start?
Jason Van Dyke, the police officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times,
was involved in the cover-up of a police shooting case a decade ago, the Tribune reports.
Sheriff Tom Dart has been thwarted in his attempt to shut down Backpage.com, a site where "adult services" are listed. Dart says Backpage is facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking, but an appeals court ruled that the site is protected under the First Amendment.
fired Police Supt. Garry McCarthy last night. In a news conference this morning, he said, "The public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken," and announced that a task force has been appointed to find ways to increase police accountability.
A UIC student is
under arrest as the suspected issuer of the mass shooting threat at University of Chicago that canceled classes today. The Tribune reports that the suspect made his threat in a comment on WorldStarHipHop on Sunday, prompting another site visitor to notify the FBI.
The U of C is
cancelling all classes and most other activities on campus tomorrow in response to "an online threat of gun violence" in the main quad.
Aldertrack broke news of another police shooting video being considered for release in the courts. Mike Fourcher talked with Fox News about it this morning.
CPD braces for the release of the video in the Laquan McDonald case, the officer involved in the shooting will be charged with murder, according to anonymous sources. Meanwhile, Supt. McCarthy announced his intent to fire Dante Servin, the officer who was acquitted in the off-duty shooting death of Rekia Boyd ( previously).
Jon Lowenstein happened to be in Paris during last week's terror attacks. He shared some of the photos he took over the next five days with Chicago magazine.
Lots of people on Facebook are sharing a
Tribune story about four gang members admitting they killed a 9-year-old because they thought he was snitching. You'd be forgiven if you thought it was current events, and also if you found this incredibly depressing.
Lincoln Towing driver taunted and berated a long line of concertgoers whose cars were towed while at a concert at the Aragon -- and then assaulted and tried to run over a cyclist who tried to talk some sense into him -- Ald. Ameya Pawar is threatening to force the long-problematic company out of Uptown. ( Previously.)
Five Cook County judges
received letters saying they're on a "kill list." Ten years ago, Judge Joan Lefkow's mother and husband were murdered in her Andersonville home.
You might be profiled as a drug dealer. DEA officers searched Issa Serieh as he exited a plan from Chicago to Los Angeles, and confiscated more than $30,000 in cash without charging him -- apparently simply because he had
flown that particular route and was carrying a backpack.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert
will serve little (if any) prison time after pleading guilty to a federal financial crime. Since no one will take the stand, the details will remain secret, but anonymous sources have said he was hiding bank withdrawls from authorities in order to pay hush money to a former student.
Lucas Museum of Narrative Art's imperial march to the lake shore was delayed a week or more -- by the need to reach an agreement with the Chicago Bears, who hold a lease on the parking lot the museum plans to build on.
kicks off the big city rivalry ahead of the Cubs-Mets NLCS with a "who does it better" quiz.
Unless he's been framed,
Tony Donutz is probably going to have a talk with police soon. Last night several cars in Rogers Park were vandalized following the Cubs game with graffiti that included his Instagram and Twitter handle.
On The heels of the
deadliest September in more than a decade, the Washington Post re-runs the numbers on Chicago and the rest of the country in terms of gun-related deaths.
Augustus Sol Invictus, a Libertarian candidate for senate in Florida, announced today that he had in fact sacrificed a goat and drank its blood in a pagan ritual in order to gain success in the election. Invictus (not his original name) has a law degree from DePaul University, and in 2013 wrote a bizarre letter to alumni and colleagues in which he renounced his US citizenship as well as his law degree and pretty much everything else.
September was the
deadliest since 2002, putting McCarthy under pressure to change things fast.
The NYTimes tested
the cost of loading mobile advertisements on 50 high profile websites and found that the Trib was among the worst. On an LTE 4G network, it took an average of 12.9 seconds to load the Trib's front page, 9.5 seconds of which was due to advertisements. That means it costs a typical mobile user 9.5 cents to load the ads, and only 3.4 cents for the content.
Alice, the Chicago Botanic Garden's
other corpse flower, has unexpectedly bloomed. The garden will be open till 2am tonight and 8am to 7pm tomorrow for your stinky viewing pleasure. [ via]
Among this year's class of
MacArthur Fellows is LaToya Ruby Frazier, SAIC professor and visual artist; John Novembre, a computational biologist and professor at U of C; and Juan Salgado, President/CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino.
If you break out of jail,
you can't sue the jailers for not preventing your escape.
Lincoln Towing, hated by anyone who's had their car towed by them, was cited for unauthorized towing -- and the driver who did the towing got a ticket for talking on his cellphone as he reached the tow lot.
Michael J. Anderson, head of the New Orleans FBI office, is
transferring to Chicago to run the office here.
A new report ranks Chicago between Tokyo and London as the
seventh most expensive city in the world. The good news is, we're also 11th in terms of purchasing power. Whet Moser takes a closer look at how UBS arrived at their numbers.
A University of Chicago PhD student is
joining the effort to find thousands of Yazidi girls and women captured by ISIS who are being sold as sex slaves.
Moms who took to the streets of Englewood to prevent gun violence are now
staking out Facebook and other social media sites for threats of violence.
trauma center is finally coming to the South Side after years of protests calling for one to better treat victims of gun violence.
Freakonomics took an in-depth look at how programs like
Becoming a Man help kids recognize and modify automatic responses and ultimately stop problem behaviors.
The latest attempt to organize a corgi beach meetup in Chicago
got an immense amount of attention, and the Facebook event is no longer publicly accessible.
drug markets on the West Side provide easy access to product and evade police as dealers duck into nearby businesses when they come by.
Residents of public housing say private security companies
hired to police the developments are harassing them.
found the remains of a small child in a lagoon in Garfield Park.
are the kindest to tourists in our tweets, according to a study by Twitter which must be accurate because computers are great at detecting sarcasm.
asked a teenage Chicago girl to sing to him after she told him about being bullied at school for having a rare skin condition.
A fire in Old Town reportedly
destroyed Second City's administrative offices but spared the theaters in the multi-level complex.
Notorious "dick lit" star Tucker Max is leaving
his douchebaggery behind for a new turn as a relationship guru for guys.
Caitlyn Jenner will make her Chicago speaking debut at a Chicago House
event highlighting transgender issues.
city's most popular places for public urination, or at least where people get the most tickets, tend to be by public transit and areas with lots of bars.
robbing ice cream trucks in West Humboldt Park.
Data scientists at U of C are analyzing police behavior to f
ind out when misconduct is likely to happen so that it can be prevented in the future.
technically still illegal in Illinois, although the law is not enforced.
epidemic of heroin addiction is causing a surge in demand for already-strained treatment programs, while budget cuts mean state funding will likely decline.
A reputed gang leader who previously won $25 million after serving 16 years for a wrongful conviction is
facing charges in connection with a shooting on the Northwest Side.
Records released by the Chicago Police Department revealed they
spied on activists opposed to the City's olympics bid.
Local lawyer Larry Wood won the
New Yorker caption contest a record-setting six times; he shared some tips of his technique with Chicago Magazine.
When gang members
use social media to taunt their rivals, tweets can turn into bullets.
parachutist Corey Hood died Sunday after he was injured in a skydiving accident during the Chicago Air & Water Show.
While funny people flock to Chicago, many
struggle to balance their passions, personalities, and responsibilities as they battle for the few paying gigs in the city.
Bricks from Wrigley Field and old Comiskey Park
will be installed on the exterior of Tribune Tower, but a brick of parking meter cash and other "historically significant" items should be stuck in there as well, writes the Beachwood Reporter.
searching for Chicago's poor white neighborhoods, Curious City takes a look at why poverty is more concentrated in African American and Latino communities.
A cowboy hat-wearing lawyer who once defended mob bosses and hitmen is now
working pro bono to get a man released from a life sentence.
Manny the Frenchie went from being the runt of the litter to one of
Chicago's biggest social media stars.
Many of Chicago's neighborhoods don't have "official" boundaries designated by the city;
do you know where your 'hood is?
Chicago police agreed to
keep track of every time they stop people on the street or pat them down, even if the interaction doesn't result in an arrest, as part of an agreement with the ACLU.
many reasons why shoes end up on power lines around the city, and over 6,000 pairs were removed over the past seven years, reports Curious City.
The Sun-Times' new site Extract
is dedicated to marijuana news from across the country.
The Onion's new series
takes on Vice's expletive-laden, gonzo approach to covering world news. Edge
"Rogue plumbers" operating without licenses
drastically over-bill their customers because they have no frame of reference for how much it should cost.
video shows a racist rant directed at a woman and her children by a white beachgoer after the kids "splashed" her at Oak Street Beach.
If Cook County Jail is the largest mental institution in the country, it makes sense that
its new warden is a psychologist.
A Chicago couple's apartment
burned down on the same day as their wedding; a fundraising campaign for them already passed its goal of $5,000 and is approaching the $10,000 mark.
Chicago police shot and killed 70 people between 2010-2014, which is
more than other major U.S. cities, according to the BGA.
A former white supremacist shares
how he first embraced an ideology of hate as a teenager in Chicago.
Rolling Stone examines the cycle of violence in Chicago with a look at how a basketball star's killing
sparked even more shootings in retaliation.
The Jewish community site Oy! Chicago
released its own list of "36 under 36" full of people working to make the world a better place.
Texas Rangers are
investigating the death of Chicago civil rights activist Sandra Bland, who officials say committed suicide in a jail cell after being detained for assaulting a public servant.
NASA released high-resolution images today of Pluto and its moon, the planet no more that was discovered by
Illinoisan Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, sent back from the New Horizons spacecraft. Tombaugh's ashes were even on the spacecraft as it passed the planet, allowing the man to meet his discovery. You can watch a live stream of NASA's analysis of the photos via the Guardian here.
Former Tribune correspondent Paul Salopek is
following the path of humankind on an eight-year walk from Ethiopia to South America, and is raising money on Kickstarter to support the storytelling mission.
One man's campaign to
change Illinois' official flower to the mallow aims to encourage the state to protect its threatened ecosystems.
After escaping from prison, Joaquin "El Chapo"
Guzman will be labeled "Chicago's Public Enemy No. 1" once again.
Undercover tactics used to catch American terrorism suspects
often border on entrapment, writes Mick Dumke in the Reader.
Legendary radio DJ Moses "Lucky" Cordell
died after he was injured in a house fire.
A federal judge ruled Cook County Jail's newspaper ban
violates inmates' rights to free speech.
moms patrolled the neighborhood, signs warned of kids playing nearby, and other efforts came together, the 4th of July weekend in Englewood was free of violence.
map of homicides in Chicago put together by DNAinfo marks the location of every killing in the city since 2005.
Moderators of Chicago's local Reddit page
are starting from scratch as Reddit itself faces an upheaval from users upset with its new moderation policies.
The "Marvel Experience"
will not bring its interactive and futuristic attractions to Chicago after the tour's organizers canceled all of its stops.
The Sun-Times' former Homicide Watch editor Michael Lansu
opens up about his time covering every murder in the city.
A video captures two Chicago police officers
in the act of playing with a group of boys in Lawndale, tossing a football and giving one a chance to use their intercom.
A Chicago police officer who shot 16 times at the wrong car and then provided false information about the incident in 2011 should be fired,
said an Independent Police Review Authority recommendation uncovered by the Reader, the first time the authority has recommended such action.
DNAinfo takes a look at
where people who work from home live in Chicago.
A Hyde Park transgender couple
shared their story as part of Miley Cyrus' #InstaPride social media campaign.
When cops miss court appearances for people they've arrested, the charges are dropped, which some
claim is a tactic for avoiding discipline for bogus arrests.
arrested 42 people in connection with running an open drug market in Lawndale.
Focusing on the Confederate flag or the N-word
misses the point by not addressing systemic racism, writes Felonious Munk.
After President Obama used the N-word during an interview, writer Britt Julious
reflects on its place in popular culture.
The Sun-Times uncovered an arrest report documenting how a young man
ended up in police custody before officers posed with him in a simulated hunting photo.
penned a letter to white supremacists in the wake of the Charleston shooting, noting some of the ways whites are not any better than other races.
A Chicago cop
shoots at a car full of unarmed black teenagers in a dashboard camera video from 2013 released recently by a retired judge, reports the Chicago Reporter.
A woman can
keep frozen embryos made with an ex-boyfriend who now objects to her using them, a court ruled.
Instead of trying to distinguish fireworks from gun shots,
it's best to just call 911, police say.
Personal and nude photos of famous women may have been leaked online last summer by a South Side man and others
suspected of hacking celebrities' e-mail and iCloud accounts.
A student accidentally
gave a thong disguised as a rose to his teacher as a gift on the last day of school.
loses when its media organizations eliminate local coverage and shift their focus to national issues, writes Scott Smith.
It took Chicago a few years to build it, but this weekend you can celebrate The Bloomingdale Trail and the associated 606 park system. Details for the festival abound at the
606 website. There will be food, art installations, a ribbon cutting and dance lessons just to kick things off.
A suburban man can check "back a car through a garage door"
off his bucket list.
Someone who bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket in Blue Island
won the $260 million prize.
William Shatner will
ride across the country from Chicago to L.A. on a three-wheeled motorcycle.
Chicago ranks number 7 on the 2015
Global Cities Index conducted by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The index of 125 cities measures how globally engaged each city is across 26 metrics in five dimensions--business, human capital, info exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.
A veteran drove to Chicago to
clean away weeds and trash from the Chinese American Veterans Memorial after reading about its sorry state online.
A shootout in the street in Albany Park was
captured on video by a dashboard camera from a car parked nearby.
Amid a growing national conversation about use of force by police, the Reader takes an
in-depth look at some of the 1,600+ police shootings in Chicago since 1986, all of which were ruled to be justified.
NBC Chicago put together a map of
where child luring incidents happened in the Chicago area.
Today GB's documentary video series,
The Grid, features three 360° videos shot with a special six-camera rig. The videos, which let you point the "camera" in any direction, are about the April 28th demonstration at the CPD headquarters, droning in the Chicago Park District and the Art Institute's recent MFA show.
Q&A on The Marshall Project website, University of Chicago Crime Lab co-director Harold Pollack compares recent events in Waco, Texas, with gang violence in Chicago.
A Chicago cop was
caught on video sleeping in his squad car while on duty in West Englewood.
The Emanuel administration
decided to delay plans Monday to refinance $383 million of the city's debt after Moody's downgraded the city's credit rating by two levels to junk on May 12. The refinancing would have been part of a plan to reduce the level of variable-rate debt to a fixed rate.
Redhead Days Chicago will bring the red-haired and those who love them to the suburb of Highwood. ( via)
Last night, President Obama demolished
the record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Twitter with the creation of his personal account, @POTUS. The account reached one million followers in less than five hours. #recordbreaker
12-year-old Emily Beazley, whose battle with cancer inspired many in Chicago and beyond,
passed away Monday night.
A reputed gang leader was arrested after he
posted videos of himself shooting guns on Instagram, which as a convicted felon, he's not allowed to do.
The Illinois State Police are
planning to use drones in some vague way that they swear won't be surveillance. Meanwhile, the Chicago Park District is seeking to limit drone use in the city's parks without a permit.
On Tuesday, Moody's Investors Service
revised Chicago's credit rating to junk. They followed up Wednesday by downgrading CPS and the Park District to junk status, too.
A Lakeview woman whose "Tinder Games" went viral
spoke with Chicagoist about using the dating app to get men to send her food - and why she deleted her account.
Chicago Magazine revisited its investigation alleging Chicago police routinely reclassified crimes so overall statistics would show crime going down, and
found not much has changed.
A man accused of trafficking a 16-year-old girl was arrested after the
Cook County Sheriff's Office received a tip on Twitter from a student who saw the girl in an ad.
Some communities are
turning to private police and security cameras to fight crime, funded by additional property taxes paid to "special service areas."
serial airplane stowaway, was caught loitering at O'Hare without a ticket recently.
Hundreds of demonstrators showed solidarity with those in Baltimore and
spoke out against police violence Tuesday, marching from CPD headquarters on the South Side to Hyde Park.
CPD Chief Garry McCarthy is going on a
listening tour to meet with residents to hear their concerns and build trust between police and the community. Meanwhile, McCarthy also said that the criminal charges of brought against Det. Dante Servin in the Rekia Boyd case would " provide a safety hazard" as officers might be more hesitant about using their guns.
Tonight's White Sox game versus the Orioles was postponed amid the Freddy Gray protests in Baltimore. The Sox
supported the decision, and Orioles COO John Angelos eloquently expressed his support of the protestors.
Tamale Sepp discovered a two-way mirror in the women's bathroom at Cigars and Stripes in Berwyn. Jezebel's Karyn Polewaczyk gave the bar a call.
Someone is posting "bum bait" signs in Wicker Park
comparing homeless people to rats.
Cassandra Francis, head of
Friends of the Parks, stepped down Tuesday, potentially paving the way for the Obama Presidential Library.
dismissed charges against CPD officer Dante Servin for the shooting death of Rekia Boyd in 2012.
The Great Chicago Fire Festival on the river was, you may recall,
a bit of a bust. City Council and Redmoon are planning changes to make sure it's better this year.
100th murder of the year was recorded on Wednesday. It took 12 days longer to reach that milestone last year.
Mayor Emanuel is supporting an ordinance
approving a $5.5 million reparations package for victims of torture under former Chicago police commander Jon Burge. Meanwhile, the City is also paying the families of David Koschman and Laquan McDonald, as well as $350,000 for a music collection ruined by basement flooding.
Trespassing incidents at O'Hare, including a guy who rode his bike across the runways, are among the
airport perimeter breaches detailed in an AP investigation
It's one thing to be dumb enough to try to mail pot from Colorado to Chicago. It's another to do it twice -- and
get caught both times.
Jason Narducy and his band
Split Single drove to Walkerton, IN to , the shop that announced it not eat at Memories Pizza wouldn't cater gay weddings after the state's RFRA law passed. Instead they bought $100 of pizza from the other pizza place in town, and fed it to the gathered journalists. Meanwhile, people have threatened Memories and defaced its Yelp page, leading to the owners closing the pizzeria for the time being.
In Fuller Park on the South Side, thieves are
putting up fake roadblocks near legitimate construction zones and robbing drivers.
Dunno if you heard, but
Zayn Malik left One Direction this week, possibly due to meddling by Modest Management, Malik's manager. As a result, Chicago startup Modest Inc., no relation, got a ton of Twitter hate mail.
Tree House Humane Society is gearing up to break ground on a doozy of a cat house (no, not that kind of cat house). It's an animal shelter and clinic that will also host a cafe where you can interact with adorable cats up for adoption!
Yellow Cab is
declaring bankruptcy after losing a $25.9 million verdict in a wrongful injury case. It probably won't affect you very much, but it does mean the woman left with severe brain damage after an accident won't receive much money.
Martese Johnson, an honors student from Chicago, required 10 stitches after being beaten by University of Virginia police during
an arrest after allegedly using a fake ID to get into a campus area bar. His violent arrest led to a student protest of police brutality Wednesday and a call from the UVA president for an investigation.
An Orland Park man had a seizure and blacked out after trying some super-hot hot sauce while on vacation, and an MRI at the hospital
revealed an early-stage brain tumor. Once home, the cancer was removed at Northwestern Memorial, and he's expected to make a full recovery. [ via]
Dan Weissman did a two-part story for "Marketplace" looking at
the cost of police misconduct in Chicago and why the CPD doesn't seem to ask itself why are we getting sued?
The LA Times compares the controversial plan to site the potential Obama presidential library on Chicago Park District property
to previous presidential library plans.
In case you're looking for an article about the mayoral race written for a national, rather than local, audience,
the NY Times published a major story on it.
After searching more than 2,600 bags and packages on CTA train stations over four months,
police found no explosives and made one arrest -- of someone who refused to submit to a search.
Lee Varon, co-owner of pizza place
The Squared Circle with his wife, Lisa Marie Varon (aka WWE Diva Victoria), easily subdued a man who came into the restaurant's kitchen with a gun Saturday night. TMZ uncovered video of the incident.
While it's nice to watch warm temperatures melt the snow away, people aren't so pleased about the
dog droppings and trash that's left behind.
A train of carrying 103 tanks of crude oil derailed while on route to the Chicago area, prompting everyone from Senator Durbin, the state's Emergency Management Agency director and environmental activists
to warn about such an event happening in Chicago. You can check how close you live to "oil train" routes via the environmental group Forest Ethics.
The former owners of an electric car-charging company were
charged with fraud after failing to deliver on their contract to build charging stations in Chicago and elsewhere.
Curious City founder Jennifer Brandel is spreading the show's curiosity-driven journalism
to the rest of the country with Curious Nation.
CPS schools are open but most County and City agencies are closed today to honor the very local holiday
celebrating the Polish Revolutionary War legend Casimir Pulaski.
A fire broke out on the
87th floor of the Hancock last night. Fortunately, it was put out quickly and no injuries were reported.
An investigation by the Guardian
alleges CPD holds suspects in an off-the-books facility in Homan Square where they are interrogated and denied access to attorneys.
Chicago Magazine's annual Power 100 list of the most influential Chicagoans puts Mayor Emanuel on top.
A 5-year-old Cincinnati boy claims that
in his previous life he was a woman who died in a fire at a Chicago residential hotel in 1993.
Surveillance video of yesterday's widely-reported theft of a minivan full of dogs reveals that the driver was not carjacked by two men, but that the car was taken while unlocked and unattended.
carjacked a minivan owned by Urban Out Sitters -- with six customers' dogs still inside. UPDATE: The van has been found, with all the dogs cold but safe.
An investigation by the Guardian alleges a Chicago detective who used brutal methods to solicit confessions from suspects
was also responsible for torture at Guantánamo Bay.
The Chicago Ridge and Ford City malls are
banning teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights unless accompanied by adults in order to encourage a more family-friendly atmosphere.
Yesterday's lake effect snow caused a
38-vehicle crash on the Kennedy inbound express lanes. Twelve people went to the hospital.
A former prison chaplain is on trial for
allegedly smuggling messages from an imprisoned mob hit man revealing the location of a Stradivarius violin once owned by Liberace.
A company owned by one of the central players in the
hired truck scandal was hired to help remove snow from the blizzard.
Drew Peterson allegedly
tried to hire a hit man to kill the state prosecutor who put him in jail for killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
50 million tourists visited Chicago last year, according to the City.
A police officer at the
Stickney Water Treatment Plant accidentally revealed the existence of a secret drinking room in the plant while giving a new officer a tour. The officer, now suspended, also used quite a few racial slurs, leading Water Reclamation District to launch a broader investigation of employee behavior.
Police SUVs and emergency vehicles got stuck on the unplowed side streets yesterday, thanks to a batch of two-wheel drive SUVs purchased a few years back.
Professional eater Pat "
Deep Dish" Bertoletti, whose Taco in a Bag restaurant will soon open in Lincoln Square, won the 23rd annual Wing Bowl in Philadelphia, devouring 444 hot wings in three rounds.
Hundreds of volunteers
canvassed the city to count Chicago's homeless population Thursday - last year over 6,000 people were found in shelters and on the streets.
Rahm Emanuel is escalating the pattern started by his predecessor, Richard M. Daley, in selling off parts of the city to private enterprise.
In These Times reports on how everything from school services to infrastructure is being sold to bulk up the city budget.
Gov. Rauner was in a traffic accident in the Loop yesterday: two vehicles crashed at Michigan and Randolph, and one of them hit the governor's SUV, which was waiting at the light. He was not injured.
An FBI raid of the Biological Resource Center in Rosemont may be connected to an operation in Detroit that was
selling body parts on the black market.
Heather Mack, the Oak Park teen who is about to stand trial in Indonesia for the murder of her mother Sheila von Wiese Mack, is
suing her uncle, the executor of her late mother's estate, for money to pay for her legal defense.
Piss Christ, the controversial photo by Andres Serrano of a plastic cross in a jar of urine, is back in the news thanks to the Charilie Hebdo attack and subsequent opinionating about free speech and censorship. So far, nobody's brought up , but it's just a matter of time. What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?
Federal prosecutors are
seeking leniency for for two top Chicago drug dealers because of their "unparalleled cooperation" in informing on their confederates.
Neighborhood groups and strip clubs don't usually get along, but the Albany Park Neighbors gave an award to the Admiral Theatre
for helping to keep their area clean.
New parents could
sign up for regular text messages about children's health and city services through a new program proposed by the City.
70 percent of shootings happen in a network of 6 percent of the city's population, according to a study, which also said anti-violence campaigns should imitate outbreak containment efforts.
A massive ball of ice -- aka a megacryometeor --
crashed through the roof of a Ravenswood Manor home last week.
Three men were stopped in Portland, Maine with
a truck full of energy-efficient light bulbs, which they bought using a Maine subsidy with the intention of selling them in Chicago at a profit. They would've gotten away with it, too, if they hadn't left it parked in front of a federal courthouse for too long.
Some nearby Acuras were engulfed in salt when a wall at the
Morton Salt plant collapsed this afternoon. No word on new markdowns at the dealership. (No injuries were reported.)
Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray-painted on synagogues and garages in the Jewish neighborhood of West Rogers Park Sunday night. Police are investigating.
Lumpen is accepting nominations for its Field Guide to Chicago Jagoffs; guys blocking the El door, bike ninjas, and Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers are early contenders.
fight broke out in the Rock & Roll McDonald's Saturday night; it was captured in a video posted anonymously on YouTube.
Mayor Emanuel's son was
assaulted and robbed of his cell phone while walking near their home in Lakeview Friday night.
using cars as battering rams to smash through glass storefronts and steal as much as they can in a matter of minutes in "crash-and-grab" burglaries.
Three politically connected companies will
no longer have free access to city-owned parking lots near the United Center, where they've parked cars for years without paying rent.
Chicago doctors smuggle medical supplies into Syria and
put their own lives on the line to help save those wounded by the country's civil war.
Summer jobs programs
substantially reduce violent crime among teens from low-income areas, according to a study.
The police officer who
played "Sweet Home Alabama" on his car's PA during a protest last weekend will be disciplined ...in some unspecified fashion.
You have till Thursday at 2pm to
vote on the name of the Shedd Aquarium's orphaned otter Pup 681. The winner will be announced Friday.
investigating allegations that an Uber driver raped one of his passengers. Coincidentally, on Monday Uber was banned in New Delhi following the report of a rape by one of its drivers there. UPDATE: Uber has removed the driver from service and is cooperating with the investigation, the AP reports.
Activists are suing to find out whether Chicago police
intercepted protesters' cell phone conversations. ( Previously.)
24/7 Wall St.
calls Illinois the worst-run state in the country based on its poor credit rating, unemployment, housing market, and decreasing population.
Some Chicago cops will
start wearing body cameras as part of a pilot program slated to begin within 60 days.
Customers' credit card information was
compromised by a data breach affecting ten parking garages in Chicago.
Matthew Clark and Gregory Malandrucco share their story of
suing the Chicago Police Department after they were assaulted by two off-duty cops.
Estimated crowds of
over one million people packed Michigan Ave. Saturday for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and parade.
Members of one of Chicago's
Chinese gangs were arrested for extorting area restaurants. It's unclear whether there's any connection to the raids on Lao Sze Chuan and other restaurants owned by chef Tony Hu.
Two women and a dog were
rescued from a collapsed apartment building in Washington Park that "pancaked" after a possible explosion.
The number of Chicagoans living in middle-class neighborhoods
is steadily declining, with more people living in affluent or poor areas instead, writes Whet Moser.
While the number of homicides is decreasing citywide,
it's holding steady or increasing in some neighborhoods . Photographer Carlos Ortiz shows the impact of this violence on Chicagoans.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is pushing for a cop who has been suspended seven times and arrested four times to
finally be kicked off the force.
Chicago Magazine's selections for
Chicagoans of the Year include the Jackie Robinson West Baseball Team, Latino activist Juan Andrade, Sister Rosemary Connelly, author Stuart Dybek, and nonprofit founder Amy Lehman.
Well, sort of. The iconic water tower of Andersonville will be
replaced with a replica, as the original was too badly damaged last winter to be repaired. Instead, the old tank will be broken up into souvenirs by its owner, the Swedish American Museum.
A Japanese woman is
suing the City after she was fined for going topless at North Avenue Beach on Go Topless Day this summer. A judge charged her with public indecency last month so that she could challenge the city's ordinance in the name of equal gender rights.
Video is NSFW, obviously.
Alstory Simon is now free, after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez vacated charges against him in a 1982 murder case. Simon was convicted after confessing to investigators with the Chicago Innocence Project, but it was later determined that his conviction was coerced. It's another black eye for Northwestern and former professor David Protess; the organization's predecessor, the Medill Innocence Project, was shut down amid allegations of falsification and coercion.
Zombies and other ghouls are floating around Lake Michigan after high waves
sunk part of a haunted house barge floating near Navy Pier.
Sure the elections just happened, but Chicago is in the international news for the
rescued otter now living at the Shedd Aquarium.
When violence or accidents cause blood to be spilled in public places,
firefighters are called in for a "washdown," using copious amounts of water to wash it all away.
digs deeper into the local scary stories of Resurrection Mary and the "alley of death and mutilation."
arrested 29 people in Chicago and Indiana -- including members of a rap group called RACK Boyz -- for allegedly "cracking" credit cards.
Inmates from Cook County jails on (unpaid) work release are helping cities
tear down abandoned buildings in blighted areas.
Sun-Times reporters are petitioning the newspaper's owners to open up about the
circumstances surrounding political reporter Dave McKinney's resignation.
Chicago's new Archbishop Blase Cupich will
forgo the church's $14.3 million Cardinal's Mansion, living in the rectory at Holy Name Cathedral instead.
its own coverage of alleged serial killer in Darren Deon Vann, CBS2Chicago.com published an amateurish satirical article about a "severed body" being found under the Loop el tracks.
A Cook County Jail guard and three inmates and their wives and girlfriends were charged with
smuggling marijuana and cigarettes in Jim Shoe sandwiches, which features a messy mixture of toppings and condiments they hoped would conceal the contraband.
Residents of Lafayette, IN have long believed that former residents of Chicago's projects were the cause of increasing violent crime and drugs in the area. In a two-part investigative report, the Lafayette Journal-Courier shows
that's just not true.
After a year of covering the impact of false imprisonment on people who've been released from jail, Alison Flowers reflects on
how the system could ever repay them.
The Sun-Times apologized for publishing a syndicated cartoon that
said, "Love is... knowing that 'no' means 'maybe' and 'maybe' means 'yes.'"
Investigators are trying to identify some of Chicago's poorest residents
who were buried by the thousands in a Dunning cemetery, and then forgotten, from the 1850s to the 1910s.
Chicago Ideas Week kicks off today, featuring events highlighting big-picture insights from speakers like Captain Richard Phillips, George Lucas, and Sean Combs.
Karen Lewis has
relinquished her duties as head of the Chicago Teachers Union. Lewis has been hospitalized since Sunday for undisclosed reasons; CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey is filling in until Lewis recovers.
Graduates of the University of Chicago came in second in a
ranking of the least dateable alumni.
WBEZ's Susie An tagged along with an appraiser to see
how they determine a house's value.
The Chicago Law Bulletin
profiles attorney Marta Almodovar of the Cook County Circuit Court's Mandatory Arbitration Center, a Polish-American who helped organize a judicial exchange between Cook County and Poland.
A 19-year-old Bolingbrook man was
arrested by the FBI at O'Hare as he attempted to fly to the Middle East to join ISIS.
where its readers think the "actual" borders of Chicago and other cities lie -- even if people living beyond them claim to be residents of the city. On the other hand, the map actually exorcizes huge chunks of the city and adds Oak Park...
Lest we all forget, Buzzfeed helpfully assembled a list of "
51 Reasons Living In Chicago Ruins You For Life."
As former CPD Commander Jon Burge is released from federal prison, torture victims and some aldermen are
calling on City Hall to create a fund to pay reparations to victims.
sharing their stories of forgiveness during the Jewish days of repentance as part of a special series on Oy!Chicago.
11 percent of Chicago residents
earn less than $12,000 a year for a family of four -- less than half of the federal poverty level -- according to the Chicago Reporter.
searching for the Chicagoan with The Big Idea through an online contest offering mentorship, advertising, and more to the winner.
New York Magazine
profiles Tribune overnight crime reporter Peter Nickeas and his mission to tell a more complete story of violence in the city.
The skies above Chicago were eerily quiet this morning after an
intentional fire at an Aurora radar facility closed O'Hare and Midway to flights for several hours. Flights have resumed at a " reduced rate."
Improv pioneer Sheldon Patinkin, who was a mentor to many comedians and a member of the group that spawned The Second City,
Despite rating the city as one of the worst when it comes to crime and taxes,
two-thirds of residents would stay in the Chicagoland area even if money was no object.
A wide range of items from
Ray Bradbury's estate are now up for auction, including pieces from his art collection and the cups and balls magic trick he said inspired him to be a writer.
Someone in Minnesota sent
two sets of human bones to the Japanese Embassy in Chicago.
A majority of Americans think Chicago is unsafe, according to a YouGov poll which found more Americans think the city is unsafe than any other city in the U.S.
Acrobat Nik Wallenda wants to
walk across the Chicago River on a tightrope suspended 50 stories up, at night and without a net, in November.
That's how the lawyer tracking the offenses of Commander Glenn Evans
describes the officer recently charged with excessive force after allegedly sticking his gun in the mouth of a suspect.
Washington Post reporter Lonnae O'Neal Parker returned to the South Side of her youth to
see whether it had become as violent as it seems in the headlines.
Furniture company Herman Miller is using Chicago-based design platform
Unbranded Designs to find furniture fitting the mobile offices of the future.
An unused rail line in Englewood
may be turned into an elevated park similar to The 606 on the North Side. See also " The Area," Gapers Block's award-winning short documentary about the Englewood neighborhood of the same name that's being demolished to make room for a new rail yard.
Chicago ranked as
the top destination for people to relocate to in a study of moving company United Van Lines' customers.
After Burger King mistakenly listed the phone number of a local man as the contact for one of its branches, he
pranked anyone who called trying to get a hold of BK.
TimeOut collected pictures of some of the
best and worst Chicago-inspired tattoos.
While photographers have captured some compelling images by flying drones above the skyline, it's still
unclear whether they're breaking the law in the process.
Ted Allen reflects on
Clark-Devon Hardware as a quintessential neighborhood hardware store, where the service is brusque but you always find what you need. [ via]
While Crain's wonders whether
there's a boom of office building construction in the Loop, the Tribune shows how building activity rose and fell from the 1850's until today.
Crime coverage in Chicago
may actually be too good reflects Kari Lydersen, while Justin Glawe shows what it was like for two Sun-Times journalists as they covered the violent Fourth of July weekend.
fell four stories while trying to jump from one rooftop deck to another during Friday's Cubs game. Amazingly, she only broke her hip.
A piece of stonework fell from the Second Presbyterian Church in the South Loop and
killed a young mother of two as she walked by with her boyfriend.
A man suspected of being a bank robber dubbed the "No Boundaries Bandit" by the FBI is
facing charges for holding up a bank on the Southwest Side and 13 others.
cracking open ATMs to find vulnerabilities to making mounds of public data digestible, civic-minded hackers use technological know-how to help their community.
The number of murders between January and August
fell to its lowest point in over 50 years, although there are a higher number of gunshot victims in the city.
Following the well-deserved fanfare for Jackie Robinson West's win at the Little League National Championships, one player and his family will be receiving
free housing for one year courtesy of a funeral home after it was revealed that they are homeless.
The City is
filing for a restraining order against the scandal-plagued suburb of Harvey to keep it from collecting water fees because the town owes the city over $20 million.
A police commander praised for his "no-nonsense approach" has been stripped of his police powers for
allegedly placing his gun in a suspect's mouth.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes before moving to Minnesota in his teens, was killed in Syria while apparently fighting for the Islamic State.
Protests sparked by the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. are inspiring
increased scrutiny of police-involved shootings here in Chicago.
New regulations would
take away the right of Illinoisans to kill wild carnivores on sight, although people can still defend themselves against dangerous wildlife.
You asked for it. The heat index
might reach up to 110 degrees in some areas of Chicago today.
Couples trying to mark their love by fastening a lock on a bridge in Chicago like they do in Paris usually find
their symbols are snipped off by the City.
SocialCon is bringing dozens of stars from YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and other platforms to Rosemont so kids can pay to see their favorite social media stars in person.
found a threatening reference to Chicago among the digital chatter by supporters of the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
A River North bar with predominately black clientele was recently tagged with racist graffiti, while its owners are
considering a discrimination lawsuit against the City.
A drug dealer who
wasn't convicted of murder may end up serving time for it when he's sentenced for a different crime, according to the Reader's Mick Dumke.
More billionaires are born in Chicago than in any other U.S. city except New York, according to research; it helps if your last name is Pritzker.
The Chicago Housing Authority is
decreasing the value of its "super vouchers" after receiving criticism for helping low-income recipients live in expensive apartments downtown.
DNAinfo's Jackie Kostek climbed into the cockpit to
capture a pilots-eye view of the city.
mapped concealed carry permits county by county; Cook has the 96th fewest out of 102.
Hackers may have
stolen Chicago Yacht Club members' credit and debit card information.
While crime is trending down citywide, factors like families, wealth, housing, and immigration may provide insights into whether
crime in a neighborhood is likely to go up.
Alleged patriarch of the Gangster Disciples Johnny "Goo" Herndon and more than 30 others were
arrested for their roles in heroin and crack dealing operations on the West Side.
Columbia Journalism Review
takes a look at coverage of violence in Chicago, including efforts to tell stories beyond crime scene photos and murder statistics.
Redfin listed Humboldt Park as one of America's "red hot" neighborhoods due to
rapidly-rising prices for homes in the area.
A 19-year-old suburban woman was
kicked off a Metra train at the Jefferson Park station at 11pm recently because she didn't have enough money for a ticket home. While that's apparently against Metra policy, NBC 5 felt the need to cite Chicago's "violent summer" to somehow make this seem like a dangerous situation. so very scary
150 cops who usually do administrative work are
heading into the streets to help patrol high-crime areas on the South and West sides.
Fifth-graders from the South Shore
wrote an op-ed for the Tribune, partially addressed to the media, saying "This isn't Chi-raq. This is home." [ via]
Spinning off the Tribune and other newspapers into Tribune Publishing
may allow the company to dedicate more resources to them as they try and find their way in a digital media environment.
A Chicago family is
visiting relatives in Liberia amid the Ebola outbreak. Chicago's hospitals are preparing for potential patients, and O'Hare is scanning international passengers for the virus, just as they did in 1995.
Samuel Walker Sr., a member of the Vice Lords gang, was
shot and killed yesterday morning in Homboldt Park, less than a week after his 13-year-old son, Samuel Walker Jr., was shot and killed.
did nothing in response to dozens of citizen complaints filed against two cops who were eventually convicted of major crimes.
City Council gave the responsibility of campaign finance oversight
to a city agency that didn't want the job.
Charges filed against a crew with suspected mafia ties
show how the FBI tracked the group and eventually arrested them for crimes including home invasions, armed robberies, burglaries, arson, insurance fraud, and prostitution.
Many Chicagoans are taking to social media to
share what makes them "so Chicago."
George Lucas selected
two world-renowned architects, Chicago's Jeanne Gang and China's Ma Yansong, to design the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Northerly Island.
While the connection between health and housing issues and crime has been well documented, studies are taking a closer look at
why their effects differ between neighboring communities.
The DuSable Museum of African American History, Museum of Science and Industry, the University of Chicago's museums and others have
joined forces to create the Museum Campus South.
Postal Union members
protested outside the Staples at Wabash and Washington over a deal that allows Staples to offer USPS services.
A man suffering from schizophrenia gouged out one of his own eyes while detained in southern California for a parole violation, and
attempted to gouge out the other after he was transferred to Cook County Jail. He's been outfitted with a hockey mask and mittens to prevent further self-harm while in custody.
A man who swore at a Cook County judge was
sentenced to 30 days in jail.
A City employee
disarmed security systems overnight at a facility where 4,000 pounds of copper wire worth $21,800 was stolen, according to the inspector general.
A Rogers Park man was
charged with a hate crime after allegedly spitting on and slapping Circuit Court Judge Arnette Hubbard, a 79-year-old civil rights pioneer, because she was smoking too close to him, allegedly calling her "Rosa Parks" during the altercation.
Chicagoans whose identities are stolen are also among the biggest victims of
having their data used for online purchases as well.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is
seeking federal approval to temporarily house children who entered the country illegally without an adult.
I agree with Deadspin,
this really is one of the worst ledes on a story about Chicago's violence so far -- though some of theirs are pretty bad, too.
While Chicago has been among the top three U.S. cities with the most murders since 1985, its murder
rate on a per-person basis is nowhere near the highest.
Crime goes up
when all the streetlights on a block go out, according to a study commissioned by the City.
60 people were shot and nine were killed over the 4th of July weekend.
The wealth gap in Chicago is
widening faster than anywhere in the state or in the U.S. generally, with the top 5 percent taking home over 25% of income paid to Chicagoans.
New rules for dumpsters passed by City Council are the latest example of
how ordinances are passed with minimal oversight, writes Mick Dumke in the Reader.
Two women were
shot near Montrose Beach Sunday night; photographer Todd Diedrich captured the scene around one of the victims.
Criticism of Trump Tower's "TRUMP" stamp has City Hall considering a
ban of any similar signs on the riverwalk.
Two guns were found on CTA buses yesterday. One was
discovered by the driver as he broke up a fight; at least one of the young men involved was arrested. In a separate incident, a passenger found a small gun left on a seat, and accidentally shot another passenger in the leg.
With an estimated average of $4.15 per gallon for regular gasoline, Chicago's gas prices
may be the highest in the nation.
Inspired by a Northwestern philanthropy course
profiled in the New York Times, Bill Gates asked his Twitter followers how they would give away $50,000. What would you do?
Over a dozen people are
suspected of running out with at least $5,000 worth of merchandise from a South Side store.
Jenn Gibbons, the woman who went all the way around Lake Michigan on a rowboat to raise money for charity,
plans to circumnavigate the lake once again, this time with fellow fundraisers, on bikes. (Read our profile of Gibbons and Recovery on Water from 2010.)
You know how police always deny having a quota on tickets? Now it's really true in Illinois;
Gov. Quinn just signed a bill banning them.
Reporting on untreated mental illness across the country, 60 Minutes visited Cook County Jail, referring to it as the "
largest mental institution in the United States."
A robber allegedly held a man at gunpoint and demanded his possessions, but
gave the victim his cellphone back because it wasn't an iPhone or better phone worth taking.
University of Chicago students accused Dan Savage of a hate crime for referring to a transsexual person as "it" in conversation refusing to stop using the word "tranny" in an academic setting, he shares his side of the story and reflects on the nature of language in universities today.
Fewer people are paying the suggested donation before heading into street festivals across the city.
Four suspects were caught
breaking into train cars containing pickles and packing peanuts yesterday.
You heard about the mystery person
hiding cash around San Francisco, right? Well, now there's a Chicago copycat. Follow @HiddencashChi to join the chase.
City Council is considering a bill to
limit the number of Segways allowed on tours to eight.
There's already a state law against it, but City Council just passed an ordinance making upskirting -- taking photos up women's skirts --
punishable by a $500 fine.
Four years after beating Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane with a bat and one year after pleading guilty, Heriberto Viramontes was sentenced to 90 years in prison, and must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole.
The City received over $169 million from the federal government to deal with vacant properties, but as the money was spent on projects all over the map, it's
unclear if it made any impact on blighted areas.
A woman was ejected from the
National Restaurant Association convention at MCCormick Place for bringing her 10-day-old infant into the show, violating their rule against children under 16.
Conversations about the future of Chicago are taking place all across the city today as part of the
Chicago Community Trust's "On the Table," including a session on community news and citizen journalism hosted by GB.
A Cook County judge previously found not guilty of assaulting a deputy because she used the insanity defense was
removed from the bench by a panel of judges.
Some South Side residents are upset that a new flight path heading towards Midway Airport is
leading hundreds of planes to fly closer to their homes as they land.
A fleet of 500
Finch Robots will be available to anyone with a library card after Google Chicago donated the programmable robots to the Chicago Public Library.
A Calumet Park man is under arrest after feeding a woman and her 1-year-old son chocolate
cake laced with marijuana.
In Chicago's African-American community there's a growing tradition of
friends and family coming together for a pre-prom party before young gussied up couples head off to the big dance.
Mothers from across the city tell the Chicago Reporter
what motherhood means to them ahead of Mother's Day this weekend.
A "Speaking Exchange" program uses video chats to
connect students learning English in Brazil with senior citizens at a nursing home here in the U.S.
People all over the city are
having problems getting their mail delivered, possibly due to a high amount of turnover at the U.S. Postal Service.
While Chicago's electric vehicle-charging network was planned to be one of the largest and fastest-charging in the country,
many of the stations in the area are out of order thanks to lawsuits and investigations by the FBI.
The Chicago Police Department is
cutting back its use of lineups to save time and money, and will ask witnesses to identify suspects in photos instead.
While L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist comments and history of racial discrimination lawsuits ignited a media firestorm, Whet Moser
reflects on Chicago's own legacy of racial segregation.
wrong-way drunk driver collided head-on with a taxi on Lake Shore Drive early Sunday morning, killing one of the cab's passengers and injuring three others.
singles out the 20 most powerful women in Chicago's media industry, with Tribune managing editor Jane Hirt taking the top spot.
Amer Ahmad, the former City comptroller who
fled to Pakistan in an attempt to avoid prosecution for corruption at his previous job as Ohio deputy state treasurer, kept a journal of his escape.
compares areas where shootings took place last month with the entire city using demographic data, showing there's more poverty and unemployment in areas affected by violence, but fewer college degrees.
When the University of Chicago posted online asking for help translating mysterious notes written on a copy of Homer's "Odyssey" from the 1500s,
people from all over the world came together to help crack the code.
Mayor Emanuel's former city comptroller Amer Ahmad was
arrested in Pakistan with a fake passport and a large amount of cash, days after a warrant for his arrest was issued for violating bail while awaiting sentencing for corruption charges.
While medicinal marijuana is still rolling out across Illinois, four Chicago-area politicians are
advocating a complete decriminalization of pot in the state.
The citywide ban on smoking e-cigarettes in public places indoors
goes into effect today.
It's technically illegal to throw away old computers and other electronics, and since it's Earth Day you might as well
drop them off somewhere where they'll be recycled.
The U.S. Attorney's new Violent Crimes section will use drug, gun, extortion, and money laundering laws to
go after groups responsible for violence in Chicago.
At least nine people died and 32 were wounded in
gun violence this weekend, including two police officers dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
Two police officers are being praised as heroes after they spotted a house on fire while on patrol on the Far South Side and convinced two boys trapped inside
to jump from a second-floor window and into their arms.
While the man suspected of being the Benchwarmer Bandit was
charged for one of six bank robberies police think he committed, another bank robber is relieved to be returning to prison after spending most of his adult life there.
Groups on both sides of the issue weighed in on
whether Chicago should be the home of a state-run casino at a public hearing today.
Window washers at Lurie Children's Hospital
don superhero costumes before swinging by patients' windows, bringing a little more light to their hospital rooms. [ via]
After three Chicago police officers were caught lying under oath, opinions differ over
how widespread a problem perjury by police officers represents.
The team behind GB's
The Grid has teamed up with WTTW for a nine-week web series about education in the Chicago region. The first video in the series introduces the five middle school students who will be followed while they wrestle with the transition to high school.
Chicago Magazine takes an in-depth look at
whether CPD's claims of a dramatic drop in crime over the past three years are accurate or if they're reclassifying cases so the numbers look better.
Patrick Weier, one of the guys behind the unofficial Cubs mascot
Billy Cub, got in a fight Saturday with a patron at John Barleycorn who removed his head. Weier says he was provoked.
The number of murders during the first three months of this year
was the lowest since 1958, according to CPD.
William P. O'Connell was the first Illinoisan to have his
concealed carry permit revoked after he pulled his gun during a property dispute.
It may not surprise you to learn that 911 calls are answered about
three times slower in parts of the South Side than those on the North Side, according to a Sun-Times analysis.
We've all dozed off driving a train [or a car]," said Robert Kelly, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, in defense of the CTA driver who crashed a Blue Line train into the escalator at O'Hare earlier this week. The driver worked 69 hours last week in on-call shifts with no set schedule, Kelly said.
A Chicago-based law firm
will be representing family members of the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight in a lawsuit against Boeing and the airlines, alleging the plane crashed because of a mechanical failure.
Buzzfeed thinks you
probably don't know these 50 things about Chicago, including spray paint was invented here in 1949, Western Avenue is the longest continuous street in the world, and the first automobile race in the U.S. was held here in 1895.
The first negligence
lawsuits have been filed by two passengers in Monday's CTA Blue Line derailment, and as a fun bonus, video of the crash has emerged.
Federal investigators are bringing new charges
against a man who allegedly killed an off-duty Chicago cop back in 2008 and intimidated all the witnesses into not testifying against him.
death of former Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps brought to mind the protest-happy group's past trips to Chicago, most recently visits to University of Chicago, UIC and downtown, and to several synagogues.
Elvira Arellano, the undocumented immigrant who took refuge in a local church, igniting a fierce debate over deportation of parents of American-born children, is seeking refugee status in the US after allegedly receiving kidnapping threats for her human rights activism in Mexico.
standoff on Lake Shore Drive led to chaos on the streets as motorists found ways to get off the road. A fire at Hollywood and Kenmore this morning closed the Hollywood entrance to the Drive during rush hour.
Crime in Wrigleyville + Boystown compiled the fury unleashed by St. Patrick's Day revelers on Wrigleyville over the weekend.
One of the men convicted in the Brown's Chicken Massacre case just
won a civil rights lawsuit against the state. James Degorski was awarded $451,000 in compensation for a beating he received from a Cook County Sheriff's deputy as he entered prison to serve his life sentence.
A suburban Chicago family is accused of
shoplifting more than $4.2 million dollars worth of goods from stores around the country and selling them on eBay.
CNN's interview with GB alum Britt Julious on must-know Chicago facts
touches on jibaritos, the names of places, and gym shoes.
tip more often than residents of any other major American city according to Square, leaving an average gratuity of 16.8% of the bill.
Oscar nominees who fail to get a golden statue may lose hope, but at least they can get some hair back using a
voucher for free hair transplants from a Chicago surgeon.
A 21-year-old man is facing charges for a methamphetamine lab for the second time in less than one year, but that's not the best part. The suspect appears in his
booking photo wearing a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt, representing the fictional fast-food chain created on the television show "Breaking Bad."
The head of the DEA wants Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to
stand trial here for drug trafficking.
A 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly
throwing a snowball at a police officer on Wednesday. The unnamed boy claims the snowball hit the vehicle, not the officer, but the eighth-grader is still facing juvenile court and a five day school suspension.
Gay couples can get
married in Cook County as early as Saturday, following a ruling issued by a federal judge today.
If you live near Western and Chicago, keep your eye out for twisted sadists
trying to light stray cats on fire.
Doctors in the University of Illinois Hospitals' Chicago surgical department is
under scrutiny after endorsing a surgical robot in a NYTimes advertisement. Some of the doctors failed to report compensation from the company running the ad, violating U of I's code of ethics.
A time lapse video taken by photographer Albert Bartkus from a balcony along the Chicago River provides a unique glimpse of the ice as it breaks and flows away. [
The Walt Disney Magnet School is planning to
build a lab of 3D printers for its students.
CPD says its computer-generated "heat list" identifies the people most likely to be involved in a violent crime,
but is it just racial profiling?
Two men are accused of
flooding part of the Trump Tower with thousands of gallons of dirty water and causing over $700,000 in damages, apparently after they were denied service by bartenders at the bar there.
Sites that use
scraper code to grab mugshots off police websites (so they can post them on their own sites and charge people to have them removed) have brought the Cook County Sheriff's website to its knees in recent weeks. The " inmate locator" section of the site now sports a captcha to fend off the bots.
For the first time in the university's history, faculty at UIC plan to
walk out of classes Tuesday as part of a two-day strike.
The Chicago police released the official tally for the
number of shootings in the city last weekend: zero. (For the record, the Chicago police do not typically include self-inflicted gunshot victims in their count.)
favorite hybrid precipitation returned today- which you're well aware of if you're stuck in the whiteout conditions that settled in around rush hour.
Spanish, Polish, and Chinese are the most common languages other than English in Chicago, and CBS takes a look at
where in the city you're most likely to hear foreign tongues.
Bartender Peter Vitale
handed out meals and Valentine's Day gifts to some of the people in need he said he sees on a daily basis.
Over 60,000 people
signed a petition calling on Whole Foods to reinstate the Chicago woman who was fired for missing a day of work when her child's school was cancelled.
The Reader sets aside its usual anti-Valentine's Day snark to
profile four "outstanding" Chicago power couples.
ranked as the most romantic American city (and the Hyatt Regency as the second most romantic hotel) in an obviously sound, scientific survey of Priceline.com users.
The former Chicago cop who had plans to
kidnap and mutilate his victim's genitals in order to seize a strip club also had plans to create a torture chamber. The cop's partner who assisted in creating the space said the chamber would "make Stalin proud." Steve Mandell's trial began on Tuesday.
vicious winter blast is scheduled to hit many states in the Southeast today, so Chicago is offering some advice to those in the south less familiar with the full spectrum of winter weather.
Someone carved a
thoughtful message in the snow visible from several of the hospital rooms inside Rush University Medical Center: "Hi Mom, God Bless U!"
All of the local campuses of DeVry University were closed today
after the school received a threatening email.
An ABC7 investigation looks into recent cases of
patients getting burned during surgery when the oxygen being pumped into them suddenly ignites.
While CVS announced they would stop selling any tobacco products, Walgreens hasn't rolled out similar plans- yet- but
plans on launching a free online smoking cessation program instead.
If you get tired of slip-sliding your way through neighborhood sidewalks, take a trip down to the Loop where the
heated concrete keeps the ice away.
Mysterious vibrations are rattling many Hyde Park residents who
want to know what's causing them, with theories ranging from pipes, to construction, to secret experiments conducted by the University of Chicago underground.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will be
visiting Chicago on Feb. 11 for a Republican Governors Association fundraising event. He will also be giving a speech to The Economic Club of Chicago. His visit is scheduled in the midst of the George Washington Bridge scandal, upon which the RGA has remained neutral.
The groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and meteorologists agree:
six more weeks of winter in Chicago.
A fast-thinking woman trapped a would-be carjacker by
closing the garage door after giving up the keys to her SUV.
Former Mayor Daley's nephew Richard Vanecko will
serve 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the 2004 death of David Koschman, who died after Vanecko hit him during a drunken fight.
Four to eight inches of snow are
forecast for this weekend. Good thing you never put your boots away.
Chicago's blood banks are running low, with polar vortexes and record cold causing blood drives to be cancelled and donors to stay at home. You can find places to give blood through the American Red Cross' website.
After Chicago said
"hell no" to revenge porn kingpin Hunter Moore, a ban on revenge porn was introduced to Illinois legislature. The proposal would make it illegal for post revenge porn on the Internet without consent.
Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police wants
Google to tell them who posted one of their board meetings to YouTube, using audio recorded secretly during the event.
Maybe it's just the cold, but this look back at the
Chicago blizzard of 1967 makes me feel nostalgic for snowier (but warmer) days.
From amateur photographers to crime watchers, Chicagoans tuning in to CPD's scanner radio frequency
keep tabs on the police as they fight crime across the city.
A record 20 million passengers
traveled through Midway last year, an increase of 5 percent from 2012. O'Hare's passenger traffic grew only slightly.
TV reporters are no strangers to standing outside in ridiculous weather, and their helpful strategies include everything from
battery-powered socks to ninja suits.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office is objecting to an application for a concealed carry permit filed by someone
they say is a leader of the Latin Kings gang.
The woman who left an alligator at O'Hare Airport is facing misdemeanor
charges of animal cruelty and reckless conduct.
Chicago native Lexie Kamerman was educating young women in Afghanistan when she was
killed during a Taliban-led attack on a restaurant in Kabul on Friday.
A suit filed by Chicago-area in-home care providers will get its day in the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices will decide
whether the healthcare workers can be required to pay union dues.
Even after handing over his cell phone to two robbers, Kevin Baker was
shot Thursday afternoon while walking home from school. The 19-year-old Harold Washington College freshman died Saturday.
Two aldermen announced that they
oppose the renaming of ATF headquarters after crime-fighter Eliot Ness. Jonathan Eig notes that Ness didn't actually bother Capone much, despite the film depiction.
ongoing pre-trial announcements about ex-cop Steven Mandell, new details emerged that Mandell planned to kill two targets in order to take over their lucrative strip club. The Chicago Tribune had created a timeline of the "Steven Mandell Saga" that will now continue to grow.
With the trial of the NATO 3 set to begin next week, prosecutors
dropped four of the 11 counts against them, although they still face terrorism-related charges for allegedly planning attacks during the 2012 NATO Summit.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is handing over thousands of pages
documenting sex abuse allegations against clergy to attorneys representing the victims.
A would-be robber broke the lock on a Wicker Park bar, but
couldn't pull the door open to get in- despite the sticker marked "PUSH" on the outside.
Police responding to reports of shots fired in the west suburbs found an elderly man was
shooting the icicles hanging from the roof of his house to knock them off.
When the pipes froze in a Chicago couple's house, they
found a wedding ring lost years before while repairing them. [ via]
As soon as the temperature gets above freezing, people
take their pants off and take a ride on the Red Line.
Labrador retrievers are the most popular dogs on the North Side, while South Siders prefer pit bulls, according to
a look at registered pets by DNAInfo.
laid off more than a quarter of its staff and closed its Lakeview store. [ via]
So the arctic cold is gone and the snow is melting, but that water and rain together means
potential flooding across the city, or at least in that one spot where you have to cross the street.
A music maker, custom pinball machines, and smartphone-controlled blinds
are among Chicago's contributions to the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
A Humboldt Park woman
shoveled her entire block to stop people from claiming "dibs" on street parking spots they cleared of snow.
If your street is still covered in snow, you're not alone.
According to the Sun-Times, city aldermen have been receiving hundreds of side-street snow removal complaints this week. Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said he's limiting salt use to manage the city's supply.
Two former Chicago cops were
caught boasting on a tape about plans to mutilate a kidnapping victim's genitals. Moments before their kidnapping attempt, the two were arrested. Last year one of them was also accused of planning to extort and murder a local strip club owner.
complaints on Facebook about a woman leaving her dogs outside in this week's cold weather escalated to tickets, police visits, and eventually a Cook County commissioner calling her an "asshat."
Losing your dibs, extra-corrupt politicians, and festival season made Buzzfeed's list of
things only Chicagoans are scared of.
In his first public interview, a Chicago man shed light on his
claims that CPD officers beat him and sodomized him with a gun until he agreed to be a drug informant. He was working on a documentary about the Jon Burge torture scandal at the time.
The dispute (
previously) between Chicago State University and a faculty-run blog critical of university administrators continues, with the school now demanding the site change its domain name.
16 people lost their lives in fires in Chicago last year -- fewer than ever before in the recorded history of the city.
Some intrepid workers braved the snow, but no one can work through
the torrent of sewage that rained down in the Leo Burnett building downtown. UPDATE: Leo Burnett claims it was only water and dust.
While the bitter cold seemed to keep people from
shopping or ice skating outside, things stayed busy at bars and breweries across Chicago as many workers with the day off made the most of their free time.
Some heated disputes are breaking out in the cold as Chicagoans continue the pastime of
reserving their street parking spots after digging them out of the snow.
The Sun-Times' Mark Brown says Chicago Rep. Monique Davis
hasn't paid rent on the CPS building she uses for her district office in 11 years.
As a result of the
dangerously low temperatures, Chicago public schools will remain closed Tuesday.
An Andersonville man took advantage of this winter's snowy weather by
building a backyard igloo.
Chicago's Department of Transportation often
lagged behind goals for repairing potholes and responding to 311 requests, while also keeping inaccurate records to make their performance seem better, according an audit by the Office of Inspector General.
Chicagoans trapped at home are
trying out science experiments in the record-setting cold, like throwing boiling water into the air where it instantly turns into steam.
grey seal pup was recently born at the Brookfield Zoo, but it will be kept out of public view for its first few weeks. There are still plenty of videos and photos posted online to quench your thirst for cuteness, though.
over a dozen Southwest Airlines flights sat on the tarmac and waited for an open gate at Midway Airport for over three hours Thursday, possibly violating federal rules on such delays.
RedEye looks back on
the creative ways people have reserved their parking spots alongside Chicago's snow-covered streets.
Applications for concealed carry gun licenses become available online Sunday -- and businesses will be expected to post very specific signs to keep guns off the premises.
A 9-year-old girl
helped deliver her own baby sister after her mother went into labor at their home.
The CTA is continuing its tradition of
offering penny rides on New Year's Eve. Also: there will be no cabs, so don't even try. [ via]
A new year means a
slew of new laws will go into effect on January 1, including legalization of medical marijuana, new speed limits, and a statewide ban on talking into a cell phone while driving.
A fire in the
Pine Yard Chinese restaurant in Evanston destroyed three businesses early Sunday morning.
Photo by Michael Salisbury
A University of Chicago plastic surgeon
wore Google Glass during an operation, allowing him to look at X-Ray and MRI images without looking away from his patient.
The New York Times' Steve Radcliffe
explores the cocktail scene in Logan Square and beyond, but falls short of an authentic Chicago experience by . He tried malört at Scofflaw. passing on malört
Sooner or later those Christmas trees will have to go, and
recycling them is a better option than tossing them to the curb.
Dennis Rodkin points out that despite a much-hyped spike in the retail market, home prices in high-foreclosure neighborhoods where the biggest gains are taking place
are still where they were in 1997.
With the City continuing to roll out Divvys, protected lanes, and other bike-friendly measures, a fair question remains:
who is going to pay for this stuff?
The Sun-Times' Tina Sfondeles shares the story of a local man who lost 40 pounds in two months so he could
donate part of his liver to his five-month-old daughter.
The Drake hotel's signature bright pink neon sign was replaced with a more reliable, energy-efficient LED version, but the
color is more purple than its predecessor. Does it matter?
Sold in Chicago almost a year ago, a lottery ticket worth $250,000 and another worth $100,000 still haven't been claimed, and will
expire if the prizes are not collected in the next couple of weeks.
From a Target in the Sullivan Center downtown to a Walgreens in an elaborate Wicker Park bank, Curious City looks at how -- and why --
corporations are occupying historic buildings around the city.
Remember the "
goddess of the train," human heads at O'Hare, and alleged ninja attacks? TimeOut Chicago revisits some of the craziest local news stories of 2013.
Bluesman Eric 'Guitar' Davis was the
latest victim of Chicago's gun violence, killed while sitting in a car in the South Shore neighborhood.
With Internet domains set to expand beyond the usual .com,
entrepreneurs are swiping up everything from .chicago to .xyz, writes Sandra Guy.
top trending searches of the year were "Paul Walker" and "Blackhawks" according to Google. When it came to Chicagoans asking "what is" and "how to," both "What is twerking" and "How to twerk" were the most popular.
Federal agents are
confiscating thousands of packages coming through Chicago from abroad this holiday season as they hunt for fakes and forgeries, including everything from Blackhawks jerseys to Ferrari hair dryers.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields is alleging that at least two arbitrated police contracts were "
fixed." On the other hand, some in the police community don't believe Shields is so trustworthy himself.
The Mega Millions jackpot is
up to $400 million dollars-the second-highest total ever- for the drawing on Friday.
The family and widow of Urooj Khan, who was
poisoned last year right after winning the lottery, have reached a settlement to split his estate. Part of the agreement is that neither side may sue the other for wrongful death unless new evidence as to who did it comes forward.
While bargain hunters
flock to "going out of business" sales at Dominick's across the city, job-seekers hope to find work at the Mariano's stores replacing the closing grocer.
CPS wants to
make computer science a core part of its high school curriculum, while also providing computer courses for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Proposed legislation would
make it illegal to wear Google Glass while driving in Illinois.
Hyperlocal news site DNAinfo.com debuted a weekly print edition for Lincoln Park that's
delivered to every household in the neighborhood.
Murphy's Bleachers received national scorn for an offensive sign advertising "bombs and Kamikazes" on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The bar apologized on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on the sign itself.
Former Republic Windows CEO Richard Gillman was
sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $500,000 from the company.
Urban explorer Bradley Garrett
captured some unique views of the city while climbing to the tops of Chicago skyscrapers.
When one woman moved from New York from Chicago the moving company
held her belongings hostage and demanded thousands of dollars in additional payment.
are taking to the streets Downtown to watch out for pickpockets and other thieves as people head to the shops to do their holiday shopping.
Two Chicago servers
received thousands of dollars in tips from TipsforJesus, an anonymous group that has left quite a bit extra to others around the country.
The Illinois legislature
approved a pension reform proposal that saves the state an estimated $160 billion dollars. Labor groups are planning to challenge the law in court.
A strange, text-speak message on the side of a school in Woodlawn
has teachers and parents scratching their heads. See if you can decipher it: "Lol :) liv / do u kno y? / gr8 com cr8s gr8 ppl / a ______ jrny sts w/1 stp/ me2+u2=we2."
Walt Disney was born in Chicago in 1901, and his boyhood home at
2156 N. Tripp may soon become a museum dedicated to his early life.
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Mother's and other bars along the eastern edge of Division St.
are seeking "historic" status, even if much of the history made there is of hookups that people may want to forget.
Despite increasing national attention to gun violence and killings here, Chicago is on pace to have have
fewer murders this year than any other since 1965.
In another step towards Peace on Earth, a referendum by the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas may
end the ages-old feud between Santas with real beards and those with artificial ones.
Chicago's South Shore Drill Team
joined the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time ever this year, performing to an EDM song while wearing Tron-style costumes.
Some of the photographers laid off from the Sun-Times
may be heading back to work as part of an agreement made between the paper and the Newspaper Guild.
An ordinance backed by Mayor Emanuel would
add electronic cigarettes to the city's smoking ban, since they currently are allowed in smoke-free areas.
While "selfie" was selected as Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year, RedEye's Mick Swasko
says some local options are better, like: Ventrapocalypse, Divviot, and O'Halligator.
blast of arctic air coming our way this weekend, it might be a good time to curl up by a fireplace, find your center to prepare for winter, or seek retail therapy at some local stores.
Scientists from the Field Museum
discovered a new "top predator" dinosaur that sat atop the food chain in North America well before Sue -- or any other T. Rex for that matter -- ever existed.
Michael Jordan's mansion in Highland Park is
being auctioned off today. If you've got a couple million handy, you could be the lucky owner.
A World War II veteran who just turned 100 years old somehow
owes the City over $40,000 in unpaid water bills.
A South Side landlord allegedly
abused and tortured two mentally handicapped tenants until they served him, working every day of the week at different jobs and giving him every cent they made.
awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Oprah Winfrey and Ernie Banks, granting them both the country's highest civilian honor.
Regional Transportation Authority is launching a probe into Ventra's constant problems as a fare payment system for the Chicago area. Ventra was instituted to meet a bill signed by Gov. Quinn requiring Pace, Metra and CTA to use a universal fare system. Cubic, Ventra's parent company, has a long history of problems.
surging in popularity locally (and across the country), thanks to the Hunger Games movies.
The French Foreign Ministry is telling its nation's tourists to
avoid the West and South Sides of Chicago after 59th Street.
Arrested 396 times, one woman is
looking to change her ways after she was released from prison this week.
Following demands from the Environmental Protection Agency,
air quality monitors are going to be installed near the piles of petroleum-byproduct petcoke on the Southeast side.
Hackers targeted another Chicago media outlet, this time
taking over several social media accounts run by the Chicago Tribune. They're back under the Trib's control now.
Red Line trains were briefly delayed on Saturday by
a nude woman calling herself the "goddess of the train." She verbally and physically attacked riders until police removed her from the train at Granville.
Chicagoist noted, "maybe these incidents are happening because people aren't getting the quality mental health care they need." Artist Justin Younger took the incident as inspiration for a new painting.
Someone hacked CME Group, the largest futures exchange in the world.
People whose lives have been touched by violence in Chicago share their stories in a new book (
available for free) put together by DePaul University students who interviewed the family, friends, and neighbors of victims.
Over 5,000 vanity license plates are officially banned in Illinois, and
RedEye highlights some of the most interesting, including "IMDRUNK," "BRKNWND," and "FOBAMA."
An investigation by NBC 5 found there are
hundreds of underground storage tanks leaking throughout Chicago, contaminating land like a patch slated for a new elementary school.
Lawyers for the City are considering a
lawsuit against drug manufacturers for understating the addictive nature and overstating the benefits of opiate-based painkillers in their marketing.
Felines & Canines have no doubt been moved by the shelter's loving crusade to help abandoned dog, Willow, who recently was found near death in an alley. The brave pooch is slowly improving, thanks to generous donations ( not fake ones), but they could use some more donations and advocates of their "Say Something" campaign to aid neglected animals.
As they've often done when disaster strikes,
Threadless is offering up a t-shirty option for those who are looking for a way to help out people in the Philippines who've been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. 100% of net shirt proceeds from the sale of the tee will be donated to Architecture for Humanity. (You can also donate to nonprofits like the Red Cross, UNICEF and other organizations.)
Only 2,000 people in the entire State of Illinois
signed up for health plans using the Internet exchanges launched in October as a part of health care reform.
A Chicago man admitted to
using Google Maps to case homes in the suburbs for robberies, getting a 360-degree view of them before breaking in.
Juno owner Jason Chan chased down a guy who allegedly stole a customer's iPhone, knocking him out and holding him while awaiting police.
A Sun-Times reporter was there to capture the scene
as a paleontologist cleaned and dusted the Field Museum's famous Tyrannosaurus rex.
The Sears (ahem, Willis) tower will
no longer be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, after the official body that decides these things ruled One World Trade Center's antenna will count as part of its height, making it 1,776 feet tall once it's finished to Willis' 1,450 feet. Without the antenna, One World Trade Center's height is only 1,368 feet.
A water main break
caused a massive sinkhole to form in the middle of a road on the South Side.
Activists and the family of a man who was unarmed when he was
shot in the back and killed by a Chicago police officer in 2011 are calling for a federal investigation into the case after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said she would not bring charges against the cop.
DNAInfo's Josh McGhee visited a practice of Thanksgiving Day Parade volunteers as they
fought to control a 40-foot-tall inflatable Tweety Bird to prepare for the parade.
A Texas man claimed he had been
shot while driving near Michigan Avenue on Saturday night, but police determined it must have happened elsewhere (and was possibly drug-related) when no shell casings or broken glass were found near where the incident supposedly occurred.
Greg Hinz writes that Chicago's financial situation
suffered more during the Great Recession than every other major U.S. city except Boston and Detroit.
The family of a French man who weighs over 500 pounds has been stranded in Chicago for a week
after he was deemed too fat to fly on British Airways; they're now planning on taking a ship back to France.
Federal authorities in Detroit
seized 156 pounds of pot hidden in a truck of frozen vegetables bound for Chicago.
A cyclist who was riding a rented tandem bike when he was doored and then hit by a car is
receiving a $700,000 settlement, including $350,000 from the rental company for not providing him with a helmet or training on safe riding.
An investigation by a local documentarian uncovered
a cache of thousands of hand-made marionettes in two Wicker Park apartments. ( Previously.)
A group of Marines heading home from Afghanistan
received a hero's welcome as they headed through O'Hare to their connecting flight, on which seven First Class passengers vacated their seats so the soldiers could take them.
The driver of an allegedly stolen SUV
hit a cab on Belmont yesterday -- then executed the worst fleeing of an accident you're ever likely to see. [ via]
A jury found the city and several CPD officers
liable in the death of activist May Molina in 2004 while she was in lockup, awarding her family $1 million in damages.
When people in the western suburbs felt the ground shake, it wasn't caused by an earthquake as many suspected, but rather was
the result of an explosion at a nearby quarry.
As part of a performance by Swedish electronic duo Dada Life, over 3,800 people crammed into the Aragon pelted each other with pillows,
setting a new Guinness world record for largest pillow fight.
The Tribune takes a deep look into the City's
issuing and spending $9.4 billion dollars worth of bonds with little to no oversight, potentially setting the stage for a future debt crisis.
WGN Radio's Steve Dale hosted his show this weekend while he was
trapped in an elevator in his building.
a small alligator in Terminal 3 at O'Hare Airport Friday night. The gator, nicknamed "Allie" and suffering a bone deficiency, is now in the care of the Chicago Herpetological Society.
Some Chicagoans gained more notoriety this week as the
Chicago Innovation Awards celebrated some for bringing bold new ideas to the city, while the Studs Terkel Awards lauded others for telling the unheard stories of Chicago's communities.
People across Illinois who rely on food stamps will be
getting less starting Friday, as federal stimulus funds dedicated to the program expire.
A man who was shooting a paintball gun with his friend was
injured when a nearby man returned fire- with a real gun. [ via]
The family of an activist who died after Chicago police put her in a holding cell for over 24 hours is
suing the City for between $6 million and $9 million in damages.
More than 900 gallons of hot chocolate
will be poured to set a new world record for the largest cup of the delicious liquid ahead of this weekend's Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K.
While it's pretty clear fears of predators and poisoned candy on Halloween are unfounded, some parents are
turning to "trunk or treating" between cars in parking lots as a safer alternative.
A DePaul student whose note to the thief that stole her bike went viral
got a new set of wheels from a man who saw a story about her on the news.
A local food vendor's money was almost gone with the wind when he dropped stacks of cash on the ground, but his superhero costume-clad grandchildren
wrangled the bills before they blew away.
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. began his time in prison on Tuesday, but his
efforts to gain publicity in the process are probably not the best idea, say experts who advise keeping a low profile instead.
Giuliana Rancic's extensive
guide to Chicago for E! Online covers River North (known "North Loop" in the guide) and no further than Lincoln Park's Original Pancake House.
captured the scene on the street the morning after a deadly shooting in Logan Square.
Speaking of weddings on the cheap, a couple got married on the sly at the Art Institute this weekend, in front of Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte."
A cab driver
tried to make a gay couple exit the car on the Kennedy Expressway after seeing the two men kiss, according to a complaint filed on their behalf.
calls Chicago the seventh best city for trick-or-treating in the country, and gives Ravenswood the city's top neighborhood ranking.
The Chicago Reporter compares the segregation of Chicago's schools in the 1960's with
inequality seen in CPS today.
exonerated last month of a 2002 rape he didn't commit, was arrested by Berwyn police for not registering as a sex offender -- which he is not required to do since he was cleared of guilt.
An anonymous donor
paid $30,000 to get the gas turned back on at Clara's House, a shelter for homeless and battered women in Englewood.
More Chicagoans are
signing up for gun training ahead of the legalization of concealed carry in Illinois next year.
A viral video of pranksters sneaking into a restaurant after-hours to cook pizzas for the homeless didn't take place in Chicago (as
some media are misreporting), but we'll take some credit since the pies were baked at a Chicago-style eatery in Columbus, OH.
Residents living near the shipping yards on the South Side are saying
stored "petrocoke" produced at a nearby BP oil refinery is polluting their neighborhood, coating cars, streets, and buildings with a greasy black dust.
A Gresham man who robbed a designer he met on Instagram was arrested after she provided police with
a picture he posted of himself online.
failed to meet federal standards for response speed up to half of the time in some South Side neighborhoods, an official audit found.
A male dolphin was
born at the Brookfield Zoo this week, and another dolphin is expected to give birth later this fall.
Forbes profiles two former payday loan company owners who are now
buying up thousands of South Side apartments, applauding their redevelopment work as succeeding where government failed, despite the company's lack of civic values.
Now that the Bloomingdale Trail's construction
is well underway, the police warn they will actually arrest people who head up on the tracks.
drivers swerving into traffic and brandishing guns during gang members' funeral processions prompted a new ordinance allowing cops to ticket and impound vehicles of unruly funeral-goers.
SEC is investigating UNO for possible violations surrounding its past bond offerings.
Jury selection started this week for the trial of a man accused of
brutally beating an Irish woman and her friend with a baseball bat in 2011.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III are moving to an undisclosed location on the West Side to
draw more attention to gun violence in Chicago.
AOL's Patch is
laying off its last remaining local editors in Chicago. The sites will stick around, but there won't be anyone dedicated to reporting on those neighborhoods.
Abandoned properties in Englewood are turning into dumping grounds that attract rats "
so big the cats are scared." Residents want action, but the City can't trespass to kill rats on private property.
Chicago Housing Authority CEO Charles Woodyard has resigned after being in the position for two years. According to WBEZ's Natalie Moore, it's to spend more time with his family.
RedEye took a trip behind-the-scenes at the Shedd to see how they
patiently train Opal the octopus.
Two UC professors have been
awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for their work in asset prices (I don't know what that is, either). Fun fact: one of these awardees is known as the " Father of Modern Finance."
A former CPD police sergeant caught
shaking down drug dealers for protection money was sentenced by a federal judge to 22 months in prison.
Construction workers digging up human remains in the Gold Coast
is actually not a big deal- thousands of bodies are still buried where cemeteries used to be.
filed charges against 33 members of a West Side gang, including its alleged "King," saying they were responsible for several murders, trafficking narcotics, and running drug markets in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.
Krokodil, a Russian drug used as a cheap "alternative" to heroin, has arrived in Chicagoland: three women in Joliet are being treated for the drug's side effects, which include severely damaged skin, gangrene, and abscesses that expose bone to the elements. [ via]
If you prefer your news with some double entendre, you'll enjoy DNAinfo's coverage of a man who removed his clothes before representing himself in court:
Hung Jury in Trial of Naked Man.
A new study finds that
only one in four jobs created downtown between 2002 and 2011 went to city residents.
Former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor is
in Europe, allegedly to avoid paying millions in child support to his ex-wife. A warrant had been issued for his arrest.
A former city Animal Control worker is continuing his mission of catching stray cats and turning them over to shelters, but is
seen as a "vigilante" by advocates of kitty catch-and-release.
Many users who logged on to the brand-new health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act
encountered glitches and error messages as 6.1 million other people visited the websites.
That's what Ald. John Arena did when he spotted two men working under a parked car with a Sawzall earlier this summer. He jotted down their license plate and
helped police bust catalytic converter thieves.
Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios campus in the West Loop
may be put on the market.
Collar & Leash, the city's oldest pet shop, is going out of business after its owners stopped selling dogs and cats because they could not tell if the animals came from puppy mills.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
told 60 Minutes the prison system is unable to provide appropriate care to inmates with mental illnesses, including over 2,500 people at Cook County Jail.
Lincoln Park Zoo's Keo, the oldest chimpanzee in America, has
passed away. He was 55. The zoo has set up a memorial page for him.
The FBI is
no longer leading an investigation into who killed seven people in Chicago and the suburbs 30 years ago by lacing Tylenol with cyanide.
Government services could be restricted and
thousands of federal employees in Chicago may see their pay affected if Congress is unable to pass a spending bill today.
This weekend's "
national unity summit," intended to bring together gang members to discuss reducing violence, drew mostly anti-violence activists and victims' families.
An arbitrator ruled that the City must
pay $1 million dollars more in overtime pay to police officers who were on duty during the NATO summit last year.
Three men paid to maintain ATMs allegedly
stole $1.3 million dollars from them in the process.
Jewel-Osco has removed the self-checkout lanes at some of its Chicagoland locations. The move is intended to reconnect staff with shoppers.
Police say the men suspected of firing indiscriminately into Cornell Square Park and injuring 13 people last week were retaliating for a shooting earlier in the day where one of them was
grazed in the leg by a bullet.
A Mississippi newspaper has published the
full list of this year's MacArthur Genius Grant recipients a few hours ahead of the requested press time (whoops!). Among them is Steppenwolf ensemble member and playwright Tarell McCraney.
Al Jazeera rode along with video journalist Ken Herzlich as he worked the graveyard shift, capturing the sights of
Chicago's late-night disasters and crime scenes.
A digital drawing
commissioned by ABC News "20/20" shows what Paul Fronczak may look like 49 years after he was stolen from a Chicago hospital as an infant.
Chicago Tribune reports two more people, including the suspected gunman, have been charged in last week's mass shooting in the Back of Yards neighborhood that left 13 wounded.
Gathering of the Juggalos ( previously) wasn't a money-maker for Insane Clown Posse, and they're having trouble paying their vendors.
Following last week's shooting at a basketball court that injured 13 people in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, the Tribune
calls the area a "no man's land" for police and politicians.
Over 636,000 people, or one in four Chicagoans,
lived below the federal poverty line last year.
The CHA recently dropped 47,000 people who were homeless or otherwise looking for housing from its waiting list after they failed to
respond to a letter sent by the agency.
Thirteen people were shot in an attack in Back of the Yards last night, including a 3-year-old boy.
A fight on Facebook allegedly led to
Lakeisha Tate's murder, police say.
A judge ordered pitch man Kevin Trudeau thrown in jail after finding out he was
actually living lavishly while claiming he couldn't afford to pay a court-ordered fine.
Beanie Babies inventor Ty Warner was
charged with felony tax evasion and agreed to pay a $53.5 million penalty.
A Northwestern University study found that anyone living near a liquor store or bar on the South or West side is
500 times more likely to be shot than their neighbors.
Chicago has the
highest number of sworn police officers per 1,000 people of any major U.S. city (4.4), according to Department of Justice figures. [ via]
New crime statistics released by the F.B.I. reported 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, more than any other city in the country, including New York.
Over 80,000 guns are stored in the CPD's vault
in the old Sears Roebuck catalog factory.
Measuring the use of stop-and-frisk tactics by Chicago police is difficult because officers inconsistently record their interactions with people on the street,
according to WBEZ.
Standard & Poor's
changed its outlook of Chicago's bond rating from "stable" to "negative," meaning the credit agency may decrease the city's A-plus rating unless it addresses its budgetary problems.
An investigation by Wired shows how
trash talk on social media can quickly escalate to violence among young members of Chicago's rival gangs.
Jennifer Pritzker -- formerly Col. James Pritzker -- is the
first transgender person on the Forbes 400 list of the country's richest people.
embattled owner of the Congress and Portage theaters, has left tenants without heat or hot water after not paying gas bill the Portage theater complex. His response? "I don't know why it is such a big deal. The bigger deal is how I'm improving that shitty neighborhood."
United Airlines' online ticketing system was letting customers book free flights yesterday afternoon, due to an error on the part of some employee who is no doubt now fired. United says it hasn't decided yet whether to honor the free flights.
Rookie CPD officers are now
patrolling 20 of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods on foot as part of a strategy that officials say has decreased the number of shootings by 45 percent and overall crime by 29 percent.
Volunteers are serving across the city as part of a
national day of service commemorating the anniversary of 9/11, including a group of handymen that remodeled the kitchens of low-income apartments in Uptown.
Al-Jazeera America's Christof Putzel said that although he reported from war zones he's never experienced the same "
level of intensity on the streets" as he did covering gun violence in Chicago.
Carl Chatman, a homeless man who was wrongfully convicted of rape in 2002, is
to be released as soon as today.
The students who were
locked out of the old Trotter's restaurant by the eponymous retired chef last week have a new location and date for their photography show. The exhibition will open Saturday at the Artists Frame Service in Lincoln Park.
Regular readers of the Trib and Sun-Times are probably used to racist and abusive comments, but the
proposed Englewood Whole Foods articles are generating an almost unbelievable level of bile with seemingly no editorial response. UPDATE: Both papers have shut down comments on the articles.
There's a new party drug called "molly" and
CBS News is . on it
Former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea, saying his visit
is not a diplomatic mission, but rather a chance to hang out with ruler Kim Jong Un and "start a basketball league over there or something like that."
As the school year kicks off, Lake Forest College celebrates alumnus
Diana Nyad, whose historic swim from Cuba to Florida is an inspiration to current student athletes.
DNAInfo's Jackie Kostek
takes a look inside the cinder-block home a homeless man built for himself on the site of a failed condo development in Wicker Park.
The young man accused of trying to
blow up Cal's Liquors last year has been further charged with attempting to order a hit on an FBI agent scheduled to testify against him. In both cases, the people he contacted about the dirty work were undercover FBI agents.
A group of photography students from After School Matters who were setting up an exhibit of their work in the former Charlie Trotter's space last night were
abruptly kicked out by Trotter himself; the chef, who is an ASM board member, ordered his guests to clean his toilets, used gay slurs and obscenities, told them to get "Charlie Trotter tattoos," and then refused to let the kids back in to get their work and other items. A WGN reporter had a bizarre confrontation with Trotter on camera, who mumbled "Should I do an Alec Baldwin?" as he walked off.
More than 30 people were
charged with trafficking heroin throughout Cook and DuPage Counties.
Three men in Englewood and four in Rogers Park were charged with felonies after appearing in two separate gang beef rap videos while flaunting some serious guns.
While officials like Ald. Cardenas may think it's a good idea to
use drones on safe passage routes, a new law signed by Gov. Quinn prohibits police from using drones to spy on civilians without a warrant.
raided the offices of Mobile Doctors, a service for arranging house calls, and arrested its CEO and one of its doctors on charges of health care fraud.
While there is no formal "stop and frisk" police policy in Chicago, the Reader's Mick Dumke shares different perspectives on how similar pat-downs
play out in Chicago.
National Geographic documentary looks at Chicago's drug trade, calling the city both "one of the biggest open-air crack and heroin markets in America" and "murder capital of the U.S.A."
WGN reporter Mark Suppelsa spent 12 hours in Englewood to provide a
glimpse of what life is like in "one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city."
An Oklahoma teenager accused of
shooting a man at random because he was "bored" apparently is a fan of Chief Keef -- so of course that's being trotted out as the latest example of music fostering violent behavior in youth.
Remember that car with more than
$100,000 in tickets? The City finally settled with the owner for a little under $4,500.
It's not every day you read about a
chainsaw-wielding maniac attacking neighbors on the South Side.
The Obamas have a
Gov. Pat Quinn
signed a bill today banning cell phone use in Illinois without a hands-free device. The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 and violators can face fines starting at $75.
discovery of a new carnivorous mammal in 35 years was spurred by a visit to the Field Museum's archives by a Smithsonian curator. The olinguito had been confused with the olingo, an unrelated but somewhat similar animal from South America, for nearly 100 years.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. was
sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. Sandi Jackson received a one-year sentence, which she'll serve after Jesse gets out.
The City has started using 120 animals, including goats, sheep, llamas and burros to
maintain the landscape at O'Hare. They will not get on the runway.
Details of the
day-to-day work of a mob extortionist and enforcer have been revealed in the trial of Paul Carparelli.
A man was
found dead Friday in a tent at Gathering of the Juggalos, which began Wednesday at downstate Cave-in-Rock. UPDATE: And someone was paid $158 to cut off his nipples! (Warning: graphic picture)
Chicago FBI office is reopening a kidnapping case from 1964 after a DNA test determined the 14-month-old infant returned to the grieving parents was not the missing baby.
full-frontal gay strip night has launched on Monday nights in a Harvey strip club, where it's legal for full nudity and liquor to be in the same room. But time will tell if the boys from Northalsted are willing to go that far south on Halsted, even with a shuttle.
I think we're all lucky to know someone who inspires us. But just in case you are looking for more inspiration, Leah Pickett shares brief stories of
11 Chicago women who are doing amazing things to make our city better. But each woman has more than one inspiring story, far more.
DNAinfo mapped where
tickets for marijuana possession have been written in the seven months since having less than 15g of pot became a ticketable offense. Interestingly, Portage Park had twice as many tickets as the second worst community area.
Over a dozen demonstrators continued a
hunger strike protest outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital today, demanding access to organ transplant procedures for undocumented immigrants.
In an effort to fight gang violence in Chicago, the Rev. Gregory Tatum and former Ceasefire director Tio Hardiman are
hoping to bring hundreds of gang members together at a summit in September; similar meetings in 1992 led to a truce in LA between the Crips and Bloods gangs.
Metra Board Chairman Brad O'Halloran
is stepping down amidst a continuing scandal surrounding the departure of CEO Alex Clifford, who wrote in a memo that O'Halloran and another board member were plotting to force him out because he refused to make political hires and did not get rid of employees that O'Halloran told him to fire.
Two young filmmakers who put a
fake post on Craigslist looking for actors to appear in "Austin Plowers" are making the porn film after all (and a documentary about it) after they received real responses to their ad.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill
legalizing medicinal marijuana in Illinois, placing strict restrictions on its use and making it available to patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other ailments.
City of Chicago officials said they
will not end its sister city relationship with Moscow, after local groups called on the city to do so in response to Russia's passage of anti-gay legislation.
water tank fell from the roof of the landmark Brewster Apartments, injuring three people.
Two men posing as police officers stopped the wrong guy:
an actual cop. They managed to lose him as they sped away. Still, could be worse: they could've been real cops hassling their off-duty commanding officer.
The main story on the Tribune's homepage briefly
looked like this earlier today. [ via] UPDATE: Tribune's Amy Guth explains to Gizmodo how it happened.
The FBI arrested more than 150 people, including
one in Chicago, in a massive child sex trafficking sting over the weekend, freeing 105 sexually exploited children.
The only juror of color on the George Zimmerman trial jury was originally
from Chicago. She spoke with "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts Thursday and said she originally voted for second degree murder.
Proving old dogs can learn new tricks, Drew and Susan Goss of
West Town Tavern ( previously) have announced they're reopening as Chicago Taco. Viva los Gosses! [ via]
Chicago chapter of the Guardian Angels passed out flyers on Michigan Avenue referring to it as the "Muggers Mile." Mayor Emanuel responded in a press conference that the Angels would be more useful guarding Safe Passage corridors for students.
Police officers are going door to door this Friday
warning potential shooters and victims on the West Side not to commit any violent crimes.
Ald. Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward reportedly abused power by calling Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley and Taboo Tabou, according to a report from the City Inspector [PDF]. Tunney called Thomas regarding assistant state's attorney Sarah Naughton allegedly biting an employee at Taboo Tabou.
At a City Hall news conference, Blaine Elementary Principal
Troy LaRaviere excoriated CPS budget cuts for "turning a full school day into an empty school day."
Peter Troost, the miserly multimillionaire owner of a
gravestone company, was sentenced to a year in prison and 200 hours of community service for tax evasion.
Attorneys for former governor Rod Blagojevich have
filed an appeal of his 2011 conviction on corruption charges -- just barely under the midnight deadline last night.
Over 200 people
rallied Sunday at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago to protest the acquittal of 28-year-old Florida man George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
A server at Pequod's Pizza received
a $500 tip on a $45 bill from the family of a man who died last year, whose last wish was "Leave an awesome tip (and I don't mean 25 percent. I mean $500 on a fucking pizza) for a waiter or waitress."
Police shot an off-duty fireman outside a Mount Greenwood pharmacy, after mistaking his wallet for a gun. His wife called the cops because she was concerned her husband was suicidal.
Morgan station opened just over a year ago. Google already announced its move to the area, and rumors of a Rick Bayless restaurant are now swirling.
"A massive iceberg, larger than the city of Chicago,
broke off of Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier on Monday."
Three years after brutally attacking two women with a baseball bat in Bucktown, one of the two suspects has pleaded guilty.
Mayor Emanuel's office announced a deal with Chicago's energy suppliers that will double the city's wind energy. Integrys Energy Services was chosen to supply 5 percent of consumer electricity, via ComEd, to save money and ease pollution.
didn't make the best decision about how to title Sunday's front-page coverage of the Seoul-based Asiana flight that crashed during landing in San Francisco.
Real estate broker
Gary Dailey chased down a mugger who stole a woman's cellphone as people headed to the lake shore at Division for 4th of July fireworks.
There were several reports of
UFOs on the 4th of July in Chicagoland and elsewhere around the country.
PAWS Chicago has another 79 pets rescued from Oklahoma City-area shelters up for adoption.
Great enough for TripAdvisor users to vote
it the best museum in the country and third best in the world in this year's Travelers Choice Awards. [ via]
The older brother of slain Hyde Park Academy basketball star
Malcolm Whitney confessed to accidentally shooting his brother with their father's gun and trying to cover up the murder.
laying off its professional photographers in May, the Sun-Times will also be cutting its book review section and folding its entertainment coverage into their lifestyle section later this month.
a million people came out to the Pride Parade this Sunday, thanks in part to the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Prop 8.
Don't forget, the Blackhawks parade and rally are this morning beginning at 10:30, and roads are blocked off all along the route, so
some buses are re-routed and there are extra security measures. Oh, and there's a Jimmy Buffet concert at Northerly Island tonight, so traffic on Lake Shore Drive will be gummed up later, too. You might as well not go to work.
Mexico's Sinaloa cartel -- whose leader is
Chicago's Public Enemy #1 -- produces as much as 80% of the crystal meth in the US.
A business owner who has a
lucrative VA disability rating based on a twisted ankle he received in a military school football game nearly 30 years ago got shamed in a hard way in Congress yesterday by double amputee, veteran and Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
Well, not really, but the former Cubs pitcher did
find a body in Belmont Harbor on Monday.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will demolish the historic
Saint James Catholic Church starting on Wednesday, despite pleas from the congregation to preserve the building.
Thirty-two Chicago police officers who have been fired or resigned to avoid firing since 2004
continue to collect pensions -- including Anthony Abbate, Jr. and many others who have been investigated for misconduct.
parachuted off Trump Tower around 12:30am last night, and unlike the last time, the police didn't catch them.
Right after appearing in court for his
speeding arrest, Chief Keef was arrested again, this time on a month-old trespassing warrant. Plus, he was served with a paternity suit, his second.
Tinley Park native and current River North resident Stacie Juris was the second runner-up at Miss USA last night. The crown went to Erin Brady of Connecticut. Juris is currently studying fashion business at Columbia College Chicago.
Cubby Tees created a "Chicago Stronger" shirt to show support of the Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins. The shirt has been pulled after the company received what they're calling a " Twitter-lynching." The shirt is a play on the " Boston Strong" slogan created after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Soon after being honored with a "Tomorrow's Leader" award from the local
Meeting Professionals International chapter, Jill Kaplan and her companion, Leo Perez, were arrested on drug charges.
A human leg, severed at the hip, was found washed ashore in Kenwood yesterday.
Want to know if John Wayne Gacy buried victims in the yard and walls of the apartment building his mother lived in? (
Previously) Buy it for $599k and go to town.
A man was arrested after being caught
having sex with a pit bull in a cage at the Chicago Animal Care and Control Facility on the Lower West Side.
Ryne San Hamel, the driver who killed cyclist Bobby Cann
last week, has been charged with reckless homicide and DUI; bail is set at $100,000. San Hamel is a partner in drink deal website AllYouCanDrink.com.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is
suing the company behind the Boobies Rock breast cancer awareness gear, after a Sun-Times report that little proceeds make it to charity.
A man accused of planting a (fake) bomb in Wrigleyville (
previously) was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Chicago activist hacker Jeremy Hammond
pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the Lulzsec/Antisec hacking case. He released a statement regarding his plea.
An Evanston woman
has lost her lawsuit against real estate mogul and loudmouth Donald Trump over a condo deal.
After reviewing unremarkable surveillance camera footage and having no luck finding witnesses, police are now
skeptical that a group of kids robbed a woman of $200k in money and jewelry earlier this week on Michigan Avenue.
...Where 200 people pay $7 each to see a DJ in an 800-square-foot apartment and spill out onto a dangerous roof, 'cause well, those parties tend to get
shut down by the police.
The police officers who were caught on tape in 2011
driving a gang member into another gang's turf in Humboldt Park were fired last week.
CPD has already run through
two thirds of its overtime budget for the year.
For the second day in a row, Michigan Avenue was shut down near the bridge due to "suspicious" items.
Yesterday it was a bottle of Liquid Fire drain opener; granted, that stuff's sulfuric acid. This morning it's a stuffed animal taped to a post near the Wrigley Building.
CNN.com's LZ Granderson argues that
treating gangs like terrorists will solve Chicago's violence problem. The comments immediately devolve into a gun debate.
Shermain Miles has been arrested 396 times since 1978. That puts her ahead of Darryl Marlow ( previously), who's continuing to add to the 253 arrests he'd racked up by September 2010. (He's still going, though.)
bit off half the ear of his friend, who happens to be his girlfriend's roommate, during an argument. And from the looks of his mugshot, he enjoyed it.
A 17-year-old burglar allegedly decided to
take a break from robbing an ice cream shop to sample some of the merchandise.
Note to self: Don't list pet
alligator for sale on Craigslist, unless you want the cops to show up. Crocs are OK, though.
A decapitated goat carcass was found bound to a tree on Indian Boundary Golf Course yesterday; speculation is that the head was the one that showed up at Wrigley last week, although it's apparently the third apparently sacrificed goat found in area forest preserves in the past year.
The Tribune has
an eye-witness report from a Chicago runner in the Boston Marathon, who had finished and was watching runners near the finish line. Expect more of a police presence around Metra stations and other key locations around Chicago tonight. Our thoughts go to Boston and those affected by the bombings.
The City offered to
cut more than $100,000 off Jennifer Fitzgerald's bill for a car abandoned in an O'Hare parking lot by her ex-boyfriend ( previously), but she's unable to pay -- in part because she also owes more than $2,000 in fines on another car.
A 64-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly
hiring her grandson to kill her husband because she was "sick" of him.
Chances are the way you proposed to your beloved was not as cool as
the way Jason Methner did it. He put it in a children's book.
An 80-year-old resident of a Gold Coast condo tower was
found dead Monday, apparently after falling down the trash chute. Last year, a 16-year-old with Down syndrome and autism fell to his death in the same chute.
An Illinois Tollway garage supervisor who'd already been fired twice was
fired again this week after being photographed sleeping on the job, among other things.
The latest strategy for policing the city's most violent neighborhoods:
beat cops on foot patrol, Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced yesterday.
An ex-Chicago cop stands accused of
planning to extort and murder a local businessman and other offenses -- in addition to to the charges that he and an accomplice were planning to kidnap and dismember a different victim. And that's just the most recent stuff on his rap sheet.
One driver wounded another before their vehicles collided in the Jefferson Park neighborhood this morning. Police are blaming it on some early morning road rage. Both drivers are hospitalized with injuries.
A jury took less than three hours to find Cook County Commissioner William Beavers
guilty of tax evasion today.
Former federal prosecutor
Zachary Fardon is in the lead to become the new US Attorney in Chicago, replacing Patrick Fitzgerald, after his chief rival, Lori Lightfoot, withdrew from the running.
A man who had a
nuclear stress test set off radiation detectors at Ogilvie Station, leading to a swarm of federal agents surrounding him on his train.
A man was
beaten to death on a Green Line station on Saturday, while five gang members assaulted passengers on a Red Line train Friday night. One man was arrested in the latter incident; police are still investigating the former.
don't walk into houses with wide open doors when you have $5,000 in your waiting car.
shot a father and his 6-month-old daughter while he was changing her diaper in Woodlawn yesterday. The baby was hit five times, and is in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; the father is also in critical condition. UPDATE: Jonylah Watkins, the infant, has died.
Crain's breaks down the neighborhood differences in the rate of "distressed" housing sales throughout the city. The situation improved in 2012, although with an average of 46.7%, nowhere was near perfect. Riverdale had the worst record, 100%, but even Lincoln Park had an 11.3% distressed sales rate.
A new group of reports from the Urban Institute about the CHA's Plan for Transformation describes marginal improvements for housing conditions and some support services but crippling problems. Among them, serious crime, health and social mobility concerns.
Our fair city's most unexpected comedy offspring, Amsterdam's
Boom Chicago, is gaining in size and stature.
The Atlantic Cities features Chicago-based CityScan, whose ability to combine open data and LIDAR to detect violations of city codes could be a boon for the budget.
Cardinal George is uncharacteristically publicly addressing sexual abuse and corruption while at the Vatican for the "general congregation."
Toast raised money to to replace a dog's custom wheelchair that was stolen from a resident's porch.
other U of C protest news, the Chicago Maroon uncovered that the school planted an undercover detective in a recent demonstration. The officer, who was dressed in plain clothes, carried a protest sign and even symbolically placed a sticker over her mouth, kept contact with the deputy chief throughout the demonstration while covertly probing demonstrators about their plans. UPDATE: The school's provost and president have announced an "external independent reviewer" to investigate the events.
WBEZ marks the steady decline of Chicago's SROs with the likely closure of the Chateau Hotel.
As of today,
Cook County's excise tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase by $1, bringing the total tax on a pack of cigarettes sold in Chicago to $6.67. Here's betting there'll be more false walls in convenience stores.
The Washington Post compiled a table showing how the sequester will affect each state. Make sure to select the "Illinois" profile in the drop down menu.
The boy band
Mindless Behavior's concert at Ford City Mall seems to have prompted 100 teenagers to riot.
Drew Peterson's request for a new trial was denied, so
sentencing is now underway. Hopefully that will mean the end of this story soon. Keep an eye on the #DrewPeterson hashtag for live tweets from the courtroom, and/or peruse Craig Newman's Storify of coverage. UPDATE: 38 years.
The fire department's fleet of ambulances is
in poor shape, the BGA reports. At least one has lost a wheel while carrying a patient. The City is in the process of buying 25 new vehicles, but in the meantime the entire fleet is at or near 100,000 miles.
The St. Louis-based
Preservation Research Office blog uses Chicago's battles over Prentice and Michael Reese to evaluate each city's hospital preservation experiences. The verdict: "Alas, Chicago has done the wrong thing while St. Louis years ago made a wise choice."
Rush University Medical Center has established
visiting hours for pets of hospital patients.
Several more teenagers were shot over the weekend. Eighteen-year-old
Janay McFarlane a new mom whose sister was in the audience for Obama's speech on gun violence, was killed in North Chicago on Friday; Frances Colon was also killed on Friday, the third Clemente High School student to die this year.
Three teens were shot and one was killed in two separate incidents on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, a student brought an unloaded handgun to Foreman High School on Monday.
By now, it's clear that but Indiana's weak gun laws allow would-be criminals easy ways to circumvent Chicago's tough laws.
The Trib documents how it's done.
Federal charges were filed today against former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson. Jesse was charged with conspiracy, making false statements, mail and wire fraud in connection with diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use, while Sandi was charged with filing a false tax return. Don't miss the expenses list after the jump, which includes a lot of Michael Jackson memorabilia and even a mink cape.
United States of America vs. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. by Gapers Block
The President is back in town and at
Hyde Park Academy High School, where he will deliver a speech linking inequality and violence.
Chicago has a "Public Enemy No. 1" for the
first time since Al Capone. He's Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Loera is believed to be in hiding out in Mexico City.
Two men were charged Monday with the murder of Hadiya Pendleton. Police say they had fired into the group Pendleton was walking with after mistaking one of her friends for a rival gang member. One of the suspects had been arrested three times for various crimes while already on probation for weapons charges. Meanwhile, Pendleton's parents have been invited to the State of the Union Address.
reports that EveryBlock, which abruptly closed late last week, has attracted interest from potential new owners. EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty is not impressed with how owner NBC News handled the closing, stating that the site is now "damaged goods."
Nearly all of the 42 newly minted police detectives will
focus on violent crimes.
CEO of Redflex Holdings resigned amid allegations of bribery connected to Chicago's red light camera contract. The City now says it will end the company's contract.
A Chicago police officer is
suing the City over whether being required to check email on one's smartphone after hours counts as overtime.
Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital
is currently before the city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks. If you're interested in real time updates, you can follow the Save Prentice coalition on twitter and facebook. UPDATE: Prentice no longer has preliminary landmark status, allowing another step towards demolition. Next: another court date.
Michelle Obama will
attend the funeral for Hadiya Pendleton on Sunday; still no word on whether the president will attend.
Police say Jason Logsdon, who was arrested last week after allegedly robbing hair salons in the city and suburbs (
previously), was paying for his addiction to cocaine.
Governor Quinn's State of the State speech went as planned today, in which he called for actually dealing with the state's fiscal woes, increasing the minimum wage, legalizing same-sex marriage and controlling guns. Read more from the
Trib, Sun-Times, WBEZ and Chicago Business, or read it yourself.
Controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who's facing
a recall campaign, has another headache on his hands: identity theft. Someone used his credit card number to buy nearly $300 in groceries here in Chicago.
For some reason, a convicted murderer from Indiana
was mistakenly released from custody after appearing in a Chicago court yesterday. Hoosier State authorities are not happy! Steven Robbins was convicted of murder in 2002 in Indianapolis.
$11,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person shot Hadiya Pendleton, whose death Tuesday, a week after she performed at the Presidential Inauguration, brought focus in DC and beyond on Chicago's soaring murder rate.
took part in an anti-gang video in 2008.
Marktown, the landmark northwest Indiana community surrounded by industry, may be threatened by BP's expansion of its Whiting refinery. See an aerial view of the neighborhood after the jump.
The Great Clips at Webster and Sheffield in Lincoln Park was robbed at gunpoint around 9:40 this morning.
Police are investigating whether the robbery is connected to others that have occurred in the past month at hair salons in the area.
A new ordinance introduced in City Council would make it a
$1000-a-day fine if a landlord fails to bring in exterminators for a bedbug infestation.
Shirley Chambers has
lost her youngest son to gun violence this weekend when someone shot up the van Ronnie Chambers was riding in. His siblings were killed in 1995 and 2000.
Commission on Chicago Landmarks has taken the unusual step of adding the old Prentice Women's Hospital to its February 7 agenda [pdf]. As scheduled, it will receive a revised report regarding economic issues and then consider the decision to reject its preliminary landmark recommendation. The Trib has some background.
The NYTimes media blog wrote up Chicago Public Media's "saucy" new advertising campaign.
GB Managing Editor
David Schalliol went down to the site of last night's warehouse fire to check out the aftermath. What he found was an ice-coated beauty amid the wreckage.
See even more photos on
Nearly 200 firefighters are on the scene of
a burning Bridgeport/McKinley Park warehouse, a fire that is the biggest " in many years." View CFD photographs after the jump. The Trib and the Sun-Times also have visuals. UPDATE: The CFD says the fire is now " under control."
CBS2 Chicago reports that Ald. Willie Cochran has suggested using
GPS devices on all guns. "Just like if your car gets stolen, OnStar can tell you where your car is. If your gun gets stolen, and you report it, we should be able to find that gun."
It doesn't look like there will be officially recognized camping in Chicago for the foreseeable future, but
the Forest Preserve plans to make camping viable in the county by 2014. Read the full plan here [PDF].
DNAinfo has obtained
surveillance video from a 2010 incident in which a man was strangled after stealing toothpaste from a CVS.
Following last night's highly anticipated Simeon-Morgan Park basketball game at Chicago State, a
17-year-old was shot and killed outside the gymnasium. It's unclear if the shooting had anything to do with a post-game fracas that was broken up by Chicago Public Schools security.
Pitchfork video interview in which Chief Keef went to a gun range finally came back around to haunt him, as a judge decided it violated the terms of his probation for aiming a gun at police. Keith Cozart will be sentenced back to prison on Thursday.
Customs officials at O'Hare held up
18 human heads destined for an area medical research facility. Apparently the heads are all fine and properly documented, but the facility is under investigation on unrelated matters. UPDATE: Apparently the heads weren't headed to a research facility at all -- they were going to a crematorium.
The City will pay
$22.5 million to Christina Eilman, who was picked up by the police during a bi-polar breakdown at Midway, held overnight and then dropped off in a high-crime neighborhood, where she was kidnapped, raped and fell from the seventh story of a public housing high-rise. The settlement is the largest to a single plaintiff in Chicago history.
The neon sign at
Madame ZuZu's, Billy Corgan's tea house in Highland Park, was in the news recently when the Tribune reported the sign is about 5 times the size allowed by local zoning ordinance. Billy wrote a letter to the city asking for permission to keep the sign, and the city council approved the sign in last night's meeting.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart received
approval to search for bodies in the Northwest Side apartment complex in which John Wayne Gacy's mother lived, at which the serial killer worked as a maintenance man for a number of years. Dart announced intentions to dig on the property last March.
There's been a lot in the news about the city's murder rate, but most of the pieces aren't
nine minute conversations with actual researchers and Alex Kotlowitz.
NPR's "Morning Edition"
reported yesterday on Chicago's rising murder rate. They follow that up today with a piece prompted by listener questions about Chicago's "gun ban."
Urooj Khan won the lottery,
and died the next day. Except cyanide was found in his body, so it's not just faux- ironic, it's a homicide investigation.
According to Accuweather,
Chicago's cumulative winter snow total finally exceeded an inch on Saturday. Quite uncharacteristically, we trail Little Rock, El Paso, and Oklahoma City in snow totals this winter.
Some kind Lincoln Park folks
foiled a robbery Saturday night, tackling and restraining a purse-snatching, screwdriver-wielding parolee until police arrived.
The NY Times
takes a look at Chicago's 2012 murders and breaks down the demographic differences between those near and far from homicides.
From skin taxes to skee ball prizes, 2013 brings
over 150 new laws for Illinois, all of which went into effect yesterday.
While everyone else's count totals 500 (or more), the official CPD homicide count
stands at 499.
One of the two inmates who escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center earlier this week
was caught last night.
Over at WBEZ,
Louisa Chu reminds us that German Kinder Uberraschung chocolate eggs are still illegal and heavily fined in the US, no matter what those pushers at Christkindlmarket might tell you. Achtung!
new locally built police SUVs have arrived in the CPD motor pool.
bank robbers escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center this morning. Jose Banks and Kenneth Conley apparently knocked cinder blocks out of their cell wall and used a makeshift rope to climb out.
Yes, therapy dogs. A
group of Chicagoland-raised golden retrievers made the trip to Newtown, Connecticut this weekend to comfort those affected by the shooting. The group started in 2008, following the NIU shooting, when a group of dog caretakers hoped to console the student body.
The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals
struck down Illinois' concealed carry law as unconstitutional yesterday, potentially paving the way for another attempt to pass legislation allowing it. Illinois is the last state in the union where concealed carry of any sort is illegal.
Jack McCullough, a 73-year-old former policeman
from Washington state once known as John Tessier, was sentenced to life in prison for the 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph.
stabbed another man in the neck with a broken beer bottle at Wrigleyville's Red Ivy during this year's TBOX bar crawl. The security who helped the victim said he was bleeding so much it " like ." Friday the 13th
Speaking of massage parlors, Center Square Journal reports that a chain of North Side spas offer a little something extra with your rubdown.
A dissatisfied customer at a Chinatown massage parlor
took an employee hostage when he realized his massage wouldn't come with any extra, um, perks.
The Cook County Sheriff's office
figured out a way to submit samples from John Wayne Gacy and other murderers to the FBI's DNA database -- by listing the executed men as homicides. The samples will be checked against the database to see if potential new victims turn up.
Richard "RJ" Vanecko, former Mayor Daley's nephew, has been
charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman.
Eighth District State Rep. La Shawn Ford was indicted Thursday on
federal bank fraud charges in connection with a line of credit he took out with failed ShoreBank. Rep. Ford denied the charges, saying, "There is no bank fraud in my blood."
If you're smuggling
$7 million of pot inside frozen strawberries, and you tell police that your cargo is frozen fruit, they'll probably -- and understandably -- get suspicious if 1) your truck isn't refrigerated and 2) your destination is a residential driveway.
United Airlines is suing Untied.com, a website where dissatisfied passengers can air their grievances.
Alex "Cowboy" Campbell was
sentenced to life in prison for running a sex-trafficking operation. Campbell forced his women, who were illegal immigrants from eastern Europe, to get tattoos of his initials or even worse.
You've no doubt seen "
Boobies Rock" breast cancer awareness t-shirts being sported and hawked around town. But think twice before buying them if you're serious about donating to legitimate cancer research organizations.
Remember that $600 car that racked up more than $100,000 in tickets? The Expired Meter follows up with more details on what exactly happened.
The USPS will soon test out
same-day delivery in Chicago and other major cities, after a test in San Francisco starting in December.
The owners of the ill-fated E2 nightclub are
suing the city after their involuntary manslaughter convictions were overturned earlier this year.
Though pregnant, Julie P. Franck donned a ski mask last month and
robbed her own mother last month.
The "Englewood Four," who spent 12-17 years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of Nina Glover, have
filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Cook County prosecutors and police framed them for the crime. Harold Richardson, Michael Saunders, Terrill Swift and Vincent Thames were exonerated earlier this year.
The parking meter deal
can't be nullified because the city is benefiting from it, a judge ruled in a lawsuit. Despite Mayor Emanuel's bluster about the deal, City attorneys sided with Chicago Parking Meters LLC in the case.
In about half an hour, a Circuit Court will hear a lawsuit by preservationists challenging the process by which Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital was
denied landmark status. In short, they argue that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks violated and overstepped its legal authority. Read the complaint after the jump. UPDATE: The judge temporality halted any demolition plans until both sides of the conflict can be heard.
Prentice Complaint With Attachments
The Sun-Times reports that CeaseFire, now known as
Cure Violence, has had " no significant success stories" in the three months since being given $1 million by the City to help curb gang violence.
Gapers Block has covered CeaseFire extensively over the years, both
positively and more skeptically. Most recently, Jason Prechtel questioned the decision by Vice magazine to run a documentary about CeaseFire as part of a marketing campaign for a revenge-themed video game; Vice has since removed the documentary from the marketing campaign site.
Chicago's high level of gang violence is nothing new, but its increasingly popular "trap" rap scene, featuring
juvenile rappers that rhyme about guns, "bitches" and drugs, is adding more fuel to the already out of control fire. Many wonder who is responsible for the epidemic, the misguided teens or their parents? Chicago blogger Alexander Fruchter explores this troubling trend in an editorial for Ruby Hornet.
Cook County has approved a
$2.95 billion budget that will increase taxes on guns, cigarettes, large out-of-country purchases, slot machines and video gambling terminals. The taxes, which includes a $1-per-pack increase, will go into effect next year.
NBC has decided to continue its new drama "Chicago Fire" for a
full season. Much of the TV show has been shot on the city's West Side at the up-and-coming film studio Cinespace.
Andre Curry, the man who used painter's tape to bind his 22-month-old daughter for a joke photo he posted on Facebook, was
convicted yesterday of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery, and faces up to seven years in prison.
The City of Chicago is likely to benefit greatly from Obama's second term in office. According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the president has promised to
invest in the education and infrastructure of his hometown.
In 2009, Jennifer Fitzgerald's ex-boyfriend abandoned his run-down old car in United's employee lot at O'Hare, where he worked. Unfortunately, the car's title was in Fitzgerald's name, so she got stuck with
more than $100,000 in tickets the car racked up since then.
Just in time for Halloween, the Sun-Times provides tips on
getting the most out of your fake blood.
The Children's Museum signed a 90-year lease on its Navy Pier space, putting to an end plans for a new subterranean spot in Millennium Park.
Hurricane Sandy's effects are being felt throughout the Great Lakes as high winds kick up waves as tall as 33 feet.
A flood warning has been issued for the lake shore from 1am tonight through 4pm Wednesday. Meanwhile, more than 500 flights have already been canceled at Midway and O'Hare. Whet Moser passes along a couple ways to see Sandy's effects on local weather.
CAPS is unfunded in the 2013 City budget, the Reader reports. CAPS meetings will supposedly continue, but police superintendent Garry McCarthy says he wants each district commander to decide how the program is handled in their district.
Some activists will patrol Chicago neighborhoods on Halloween in hopes of
protecting trick-or-treaters from egg-throwers. The messy and cruel act has become a recent trend among kids and teens, who like to record and post videos of them pelting the innocent, costumed children with eggs.
settled with Tonya Cooley, a "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" contestant (and "Real World: Chicago" alum) who sued the network last year for not intervening as two of Cooley's castmates sexually assaulted her on camera. MTV claims that Cooley "failed to avoid the injuries of which she complains."
Lil Reese is being investigated by police again ( previously), after a video of him beating a woman went viral (watch it on WorldStarHipHop if you must.) The rapper, whose real name is Tavares Taylor, owned up to the video on Twitter. UPDATE: Lil Reese has apologized for the assault.
Last week, the Sun-Times
announced that Jenny McCarthy was coming on board as a print columnist and blogger for Splash magazine to give Chicagoans advice in her "Ask Jenny" column. Apparently, a few had something to say about it.
Forest Park Patch has filtered through the Boy Scouts' "Perversion Files" for
reports on local sex abuse scandals, including the one in Chicago from back in 1977. The LA Times has a searchable database.
The "rooftop pastor"
Corey Brooks is back from his walk across the country to raise money for Project Hood. He only raised $500,000 of his hoped-for $15 million, but says he's not giving up on that goal.
In honor of
Chicago Ideas Week, the city turned to Twitter to ask users their opinion about the best way to get guns off of the streets. They received over 300,000 responses, varying from stricter parenting to looser gun control.
The newest entry in our
To be Demolished series is 834 W. Armitage Ave., the former Greater Little Rock The Lord's Church. Walgreens is currently planning to build a new store on the site.
A retired police officer
shot and killed one of his own sons who was staying with him, mistaking him for an intruder.
A cyclist was killed this morning in Old Town when, attempting to avoid being doored, he swerved into traffic and was run over by a semi. WBEZ's got a map of dooring incidents, and the Active Transportation Alliance has a petition you can sign if you'd like to see protected bike lanes in the Loop.
social science research study conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, in conjunction with Chicago Public Schools and local non-profits, determined that youth mentoring programs have the potential to significantly decrease violent crimes involving young people.
Paul Sereno, paleontologist and professor at U of C, has discovered a new species of dinosaur through fossils that were originally excavated from southern Africa in the 1960s. The Pegomastax africanus ("thick jaw from Africa") is a small, fanged herbivore that resembles a bird.
Dude, sorry to have to tell you, man, but the cops
found your forest of marijuana down in Trumbull Park. They spotted it by helicopter, man.
Though temperatures have dropped recently, homicides have
escalated. Violence that occurred in the city this weekend marked the 400th homicide this year.
According to the Sun-Times, there have been two more cougar sightings in the North Shore. And not the Courteney Cox kind, but
actual mountain lions. Residents are asked to take photos if they spot one.
Someone broke into the police department's South Shore stables Sunday night and let loose 27 of the 30 horses, and
injured two of them with a fire extinguisher.
Adel Daoud, an 18-year-old kid from Hillside, was arrested Friday night after allegedly
trying to blow up a Loop bar with a car bomb. The FBI had been tracking him for months. The target was not released, but the owners of Cal's are pretty sure it was them.
O'Hare is looking to
hire a herd of goats as a greener way to keep grass around runways short.
There may be fewer horse-drawn carriages plodding through the city
following a fire at an Old Town stable. No mammals of any kind were injured.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy's recent report,
How America Gives, breaks down charitable giving by state, metropolitan area and by zip code. Illinois ranks 29, and the Chicago metropolitan area comes in at 227 out 366 areas. Local donors give 4.2% of income, a median amount of $2,296. If you want to know how your ZIP code fares, take a look.
Larry Porter, who
became a father on Wednesday, was killed the same day when someone shot him while he was driving on the Dan Ryan Wednesday night.
Open House Chicago's 2012 website
is now live, including this map of the locations open on October 13 and 14.
The wild and crazy Drew Peterson case moves briefly out of court today as
the jury found him guilty of the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. I say briefly, because you can bet there will be an appeal.
More than 150 people have died this summer due to gun violence.
The Complex City-Guide shares just a few facts about each teenager who died this summer in Chicago. This R.I.P Guide shares a few images and basic facts about each life we've lost. Listening to this great piece by Natalie Moore of WBEZ provides an interesting context for reading the names and descriptions of the shootings.
As of yesterday, Illinois'
credit rating has been downgraded by S&P in response to the state's failure to fix the pension system. Only California has a lower credit rating, but without the (apparently) ominous "negative outlook."
Forty-sixth Ward Ald. James Cappleman was
chased by a woman with a knife on Friday after he called the police twice to report her public drinking.
As if the Drew Peterson trial couldn't be more of a circus, the jury
all wore sports jerseys yesterday. It's not the first time they've coordinated their outfits.
Shauna Prewitt was raped while attending U of C; she became pregnant with her attacker's daughter, and later she successfully battled him in court for custody. Now a Chicago-based attorney, she wrote about the legal difficulties of women who become pregnant through rape, and penned an open letter to Rep. Todd Akin's recent comments on "legitimate rape."
That's the title of a book returned to the Chicago Public Library returned this week that's been
checked out since 1975. The lendee found it while cleaning his Naperville home, and returned it during the CPL's amnesty period, so he got away with it scott free.
Three guests at the JW Marriott Hotel at Adams and LaSalle have
contracted Legionnaires' Disease in the past month. The hotel has notified 8,500 guests who've stayed in the hotel to watch for symptoms.
tried to rob the gate at the Northside Summerfest in North Center by claiming he was there to relieve an employee, then stuffing his pocket full of cash.
Several Muslim gravestones in an Evergreen Park cemetery were
desecrated with anti-Muslim graffiti this week, the latest in an up-swelling of hate crimes in recent weeks.
There is now
a plaque marking the spot where Barack and Michelle Obama had their first date and first kiss. You can visit the spot at 53rd Street and Dorchester.
Gang members will no longer be allowed to post
recognizance bonds (aka I-bonds) when they're arrested, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said yesterday.
Adrian Holovaty, who founded the wonderful
EveryBlock, is leaving the company after five years. Holovaty's only plan is to stay in the city and work on some new projects.
But United's customer service was
less so when an unaccompanied minor from San Francisco was left stranded at O'Hare on her way to a Michigan summer camp in June.
If you're intrigued by suburban companies moving back downtown (including
today's United announcement), you may be interested in Forgotten Chicago's " Corporate Kings of the Suburbs & Stern Pinball Tour," which will visit several midcentury suburban corporate campuses. Their upcoming Hyde Park modernist walking tour looks promising too.
Chicago Canine Rescue, which adopted out the dog who was punched to death by its owner last week, has started a fund for supporting behavioral training for abused animals in the dog's name.
Two Navy vessels will be joined by the Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy docking at Navy Pier as part of Navy Week. They're on the first scheduled Naval cruise of Lake Michigan since 1999.
An unmarked police car
went around the gates at the Kedzie Brown Line crossing after a Loop-bound train passed -- and was hit by a northbound train. The car's driver and the conductor were taken to the hospital, and are reported in stable condition. The CTA is running a shuttle to take passengers between the Kimball and Western stations.
Photo by redditor Dookster
The new marijuana ticketing law
netted 11 people in its first weekend. The process is long: the alleged weed has to be taken to a police station to be verified, and there's plenty of paperwork; ultimately offenders receive tickets of $250 to $500.
Rock Island police arrested a
naked man covered in cooking spray on Monday.
Wendella tour boat hit the dock just west of the Michigan Avenue bridge, injuring seven.
Donald Liu, a pediatric surgeon at Comer Children's Hospital,
drowned this past weekend in Michigan while successfully saving two small children who were struggling to stay afloat in Lake Michigan. Many grateful parents have flooded the comments section with touching messages--take a look.
tactical officer with the Chicago Police Department has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy -- a fancy way of saying that he made a lot of money by stealing drugs and cash from one gang and giving them to another.
The Drew Peterson trial
finally got underway with opening arguments this morning. The Tribune is posting updates from the coutroom.
Eagle Scouts returning their badges in protest over the Boy Scouts' ban on gay troop leaders and scouts is Oak Park's Rob Breymeier.
More than a dozen people entered
Mildblend Supply Co. Saturday night and stole around $2,000 dollars worth of merchandise. More in Mechanics.
William Balfour was
sentenced today to three consecutive life sentences plus 120 years for the murder of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew. Judge Charles Burns told him his "soul is as barren as dark space."
The City agreed to
settle two lawsuits related to Jon Burge torture cases -- which means former Mayor Daley won't have to testify. Meanwhile, jury selection resumed in the Drew Peterson trial.
reflects on the Aurora, CO shooting and the links between mental illness and guns, and violence and publicity.
Ashley Pruneau, a cook at
Mana Food Bar, was attacked in her home on July 1 by a man who broke in and beat her with a hammer that she'd reached for in self-defense. She's undergone one surgery, will need at least one more, and is recovering with family in Ohio. Coworkers have set up a fund to help defray medical costs.
Dwell features important women designers, and among those featured are the local collaborators of Quite Strong.
Whet Moser digs into
the history of "point'em out, knock'em out," the "game" three teens were playing when they allegedly killed 62-year-old Delfino Mora ( previously).
The police aren't the only ones
paying out millions a year in disability, the Sun-Times reports. The Chicago Fire Department pay more than $27 million to 390 firemen and paramedics, although the rules are different.
The CPD is
moving forward with plans to fund CeaseFire, the somewhat controversial anti-gang violence organization profiled in the documentary , in an effort to reduce violence. The Interrupters
A 16-year-old has been arrested for murder after
posting a video on Facebook of himself beating 62-year-old Delfino Mora to death in an alley off Devon Avenue over the weekend. Two other teens have also been charged in the case.
Twelve CPS administrators were removed from their jobs after the city's Inspector General discovered they
falsified paperwork in order for their own children to qualify for free or reduced cost lunches at their schools. It gets worse: the city found 55 more CPS employees in the last four years who have also lied on their paperwork for the lunch program.
caught a man suspected of a gang shooting in New York by searching his name on Google.
You may recall our reporting back in March of an off-leash dog
attacking and killing another dog at the Montrose Dog Beach. The owner of the attacking dog turned out to be an off-duty police officer, who was suspended over the incident. Today the Tribune reports that the dead dog's owner is suing him.
A 16-year-old died after falling inside the vacant Ravenswood Hospital, which he was exploring with to friends Monday. GB staffer Monica Reida compiled a list of Chicago hospitals that have closed in the past 12 years.
The gun buy-back program the City ran
last month netted 5,500 guns -- but some of them came from pro-gun group Guns Save Life, who turned in "junk" guns and received $6,240 in gift cards, which they used to pay for an NRA shooting camp for kids.
That storm that gave us all those
crazy photos on Friday turned into a derecho or " land hurricane" that kept rolling all the way to the Atlantic, downing trees and knocking out power in Columbus, DC and elsewhere.
While City Council was
letting the guppies off with a ticket, the CPD and DEA were busting the big fish, seizing eight tons of marijuana on a semi trailer
After several years of decline,
the Census Bureau estimates that Chicago is once again growing in population. It's only by 8,800 people, but that's a big change from the previous average declines of 20,000 people a year.
WBEZ does a roundup of some of the media outlets who had a hard time reporting on today's health care decision.
SPIN's David Drake explains how the same social factors fueling the rise of much buzzed about local rap star (and recent Interscope signee) Chief Keef have also fueled the city's 38% spike in homicides this year. Previous GB coverage of Chief Keef and Chicago hip-hop here and here.
Speaking of the Trib's business practices, its keyword based Google ads generated this recent gem
in an article about potentially questionable chemical additives in foreign Coca-Cola formulations.
new Brookings Institution report identifies Chicago as one of 10 US cities that account for 51% of all naturalized citizens. The report details that Chicago's population is 4% naturalized citizens and has a balance between high and low skilled labor characteristics.
As in, he hasn't quite endorsed marijuana decriminalization, but has put his support behind an ordinance that calls for
ticketing for possession of 15g or less, rather than a mandatory trip to the police station.
Luigi Zingales penned an op-ed in today's NYT that proposes that to lessen the student loan crisis, investors finance college expenses in exchange for a portion of the students' post-grad earnings.
controversial and beleaguered hotel-retail-residential project in Wrigleyville has gotten a(nother) financial reprieve.
Wrigley Building is now an official Chicago landmark. For some reason, the building owners are going to celebrate by pointing blue lights at it for the next few months.
Charlie Trotter's been sued for failing to show up for a private dinner. The former Microsoft executive who won the dinner at a charity auction 11 years ago also won the judgement against Trotter -- but lost sight of the bigger picture, which was that the dinner was for, you know, charity.
Some Chicago-based authorities on healthy, sustainable food -- including
Jim Slama, Rick Bayless, and Will Allen -- are among a group of heavy hitters who're pretty upset with Congress.
...Or whatever it is you have. On June 23, the City is holding
gun turn-ins at 23 locations around town. Anyone bringing in a gun will receive a $100 gift card, no questions asked.
Word to the wise: if you get pulled over for not having your toddler in a car seat, probably not the best idea to
ask your toddler to hold your gun for you.
Although the city's farmers markets are kicking into
full gear, don't expect to see your neighbor's awesome rhubarb crisp or your co-worker's garlic scape pesto for sale. At least, not if you live in Cook County.
the Kinzie Street protected bike lane? Yesterday, it was the site that national nonprofit Bikes Belong Foundation chose to announce their new Green Lane Project: a two-year initiative to create dedicated, inviting bike lanes throughout Chicago and four other cities.
One of the Shedd Aquarium's Pacific white-sided dolphins, Piquet,
gave birth yesterday to a healthy, but not yet named calf. Fearing the birth over the NATO weekend closure, several staffers had moved into the aquarium for the summit's duration, but Piquet held out until Memorial Day
Despite a mission to make sure no wrongful conviction goes uninvestigated, the
Medill Innocence Project has let drop the case of Willie T. Donald, who had the misfortune of being in process during the David Protess evidence-tampering scandal.
Emanuel and McCarthy announced
a new plan to attack the gang problem yesterday, including monitoring social media for gang coordination. What would ? you do
Roy's Furniture burned to the ground Tuesday night, just in time to royally screw up North Siders' commute home. Roy's plans to rebuild.
In which Chicago panhandlers, frequently intimidated and threatened by police,
seek First Amendment justice for being shooed out of their Michigan Avenue spots.
Patrick Fitzgerald announced today that he will step down at the end of June. He said he'll take the summer off to consider future career plans ...which sounds to the folks here in the office like he's headed to the private sector. The Trib runs down highlights from his 10 and a half years.
The Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern and the University of the Michigan Law School have set up a national registry of exonerations, which collected more than 2,000 cases of wrongful convictions over 23 years.
This collection of
live streaming video sources is a good place to start if you want to check out the NATO protests and events- without actually going outside. SUNDAY UPDATE: Two standouts for today's demonstration include the Occupie Chicago stream from inside the crowd and the WGN camera from above.
Students in various CPS high schools have been preparing for the influx of European heads of state by learning national anthems, history and, for a lucky few, even taking a trip to the EU.
Including young people in the summit activities brought out messages of understanding, tolerance and optimism. Important concepts for young students that hopefully won't be lost on the power-holders occupying McCormick Place next week.
Guardian Angels were stabbed while trying to intervene in an iPhone robbery last night at the Clark and Division Red Line stop.
When the Onion published a faux
story last week about an archaeologist named Brian Bauer who narrowly avoids deadly fate a Peruvian temple, no one apparently realized that there is a real-life Incan researcher and archaeologist named Brian Bauer; he's a faculty member at UIC.
Jeremy Hammond, the local hacker accused of being a member of Lulzsec (
previously), pleaded not guilty today. Meanwhile, there's a defense fund at FreeHammond.org.
William Balfour was
found guilty of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew on Friday; Natalie Moore writes in Ebony that Englewood is not to blame.
Four women celebrating Mother's Day together
died in a car accident late Saturday night.
Sam Kass, the Chicagoan who's a double-threat at the White House -- assistant chef and senior policy advisor on healthy food initiatives -- dishes about food deserts.
Some downtown office workers were reportedly advised to "
look like protesters" to avoid being "targeted by protesters" during next week's NATO summit.
The A-Ville Daily, which chronicled the comings and goings of Andersonville, has
Marilyn has had her final days in Chicago and is being shipped to Palm Springs where she will stand until June 2013. Sorry Marilyn, maybe the Windy City was just too windy for that dress.
Interesting dismantle to say the least.
American Airlines used to sell a ticket for unlimited travel for life. As it got expensive, the company shut it down -- and
started investigating some of its most active users.
Yesterday the right-wing Heartland Institute
launched a new anti-climate science campaign with a billboard on the Eisenhower. It included a photograph of the "Unabomber" with the words "I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?" The organization planned to add Charles Manson and Fidel Castro with a similar message but promptly cancelled the advertisement after acknowledging that "our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland's friends and supporters." Still they "do not apologize for running the ad."
The Secret Service
announced the parking, walking and driving restrictions that will be rolled out starting May 13 in anticipation of the May 20-21 conference at McCormick Place.
If Michael Jordan's mansion is out of your price range, but you still want some Chicago-celebrity real estate, Al Capone's
weekend retreat is on the auction block.
City Farm gets
shouted out in a National Geographic feature on urban farming.
The Mayor's going digital tonight for the third time in a Facebook town hall meeting. Topics up for discussion include food trucks and education reform amongst other questions submitted earlier on
askchicago.org. The hour-long event starts at 6 pm at Facebook.com/chicagomayorsoffice.
If you're morbidly curious, you can now listen to
Jennifer Hudson's panicked 911 call from the night she found her mother and brother murdered in her home.
Scott McMurry's mom mailed him a postcard from the
Shedd Aquarium while she visited Chicago in 1957. The postcard finally reached him in Decatur, GA last week, after first mysteriously arriving in South Daytona, FL. And now the Shedd is flying 71-year-old McMurry to Chicago for a visit.
Fortunately not, but a
Delta flight from Detroit was quarantined at Midway Thursday evening after concerns that a passenger with a rash might have contracted monkeypox while visiting Uganda. The CDC checked the woman out and gave the all-clear after two hours, so you're totally safe.
It wasn't enough for Jicheng "Kevin" Liu to steal from people. He also
cyberstalked and harassed anyone who called him out on it.
Hero: Lincoln Square resident
Ron Psenka, who in bare feet chased a man who had sexually assaulted a woman in the alley behind his home. Horror: a 2-year-old girl died after being beaten, scratched and bitten, allegedly by the man who was babysitting her while her mother was at work.
up 60 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to last year. Learn the stories behind the murders on RedEye's homicide map.
Sorry, Illinoisians holding out hope that the Simpsons' Springfield was our own. Matt Groening
revealed to Smithsonian that the cartoon town is named after (if not based on) the Springfield in Oregon.
jury selection nears completion, the judge presiding over the trial of William Balfour, accused of murdering Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, is requiring journalists to list both work and personal social media accounts on their credentials application in order to maintain media decorum. At least one reporter seems to think this is an outrage.
The famed CBS journalist
passed away last night at the age of 93. Wallace's career had many Chicago connections, having worked in local media (WMAQ, Chicago Sun) in his beginnings. Wallace also took a hit in the jaw on camera during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. His 1957 interview with Frank Lloyd Wright was also particularly compelling.
Or at least fighting recidivism. Illinois sheriff Tom Dart is bringing
chess boards and pieces to Cook County Jail in hopes of teaching patience and decision-making.
If you were like me last night, the odds that you would win the $640m lottery were not in your favor.
Three winning tickets were sold last night, one of them in downstate Red Bud. The other winning tickets were sold in Kansas and Maryland.
The Cook County Sherriff's office
hopes to excavate the yard of an apartment building where John Wayne Gacy once worked on the possibility that more of the serial killer's victims are buried there.
In further poor pet ownership news, a man on the South Side was arrested for
hanging his dog by its neck from a tree using a bicycle tire, claiming it was treatment to keep the dog from getting dementia. [ via]
Billy Corgan shared a lot of his conservative
political opinions on Alex Jones' radio show at SXSW last week.
A drunk man first dared the driver of a car to run him over Saturday night, then got in his SUV and
repeatedly rammed the car before fleeing, police say.
Starting Sunday, you'll be able to buy
Illinois Lottery tickets online -- we're the first state in the country to do it following new legislation.
third teen has been charged in connection with the rape of a young woman outside the Congress Theater New Year's Eve.
The majority of the Onion's editorial staff is reportedly
opposing the newspaper's move from New York to Chicago.
Rogers Park pet owners should be on the lookout for pink
squirrel poison pellets in places where dogs and cats can reach it. The pellets have more food content than rat poison, so other animals are more likely to think it's a treat.
A new court filing alleges that police
falsified reports in a death investigation involving a nephew of former Mayor Daley, including possibly an admission of guilt. The mother of the victim, who died after a fight outside a bar in 2004, is asking for a special prosecutor to reexamine the case.
The Medill Innocence Project did
something unusual last week: it published evidence contradicting the claims of innocence of one of its subjects.
Tomorrow at 10am, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will appear with Gov. Pat Quinn at King College Prep, 4445 S. Drexel Blvd., to promote the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education initiative. Doors open at 9am.
If you want a seat in the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park during
Taste of Chicago this year, you may have to shell out $25 due to a new ordinance being introduced by Mayor Emanuel. The lawn is still free though!
In These Times' Joel Handley makes the case that our understanding of gangs is outdated, and the city could do a better job of dealing with street violence if it had a better model of its causes.
Yesterday the CPD announced
it cancelled plans for its controversial South Side shooting range following "input from community organizations." The bald eagles might have something to do with it too.
Michael Altenberg, chef and owner of Bistro Campagne,
passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. Altenberg is credited with pioneering the farm-to-table movement in Chicago; he was 48 years old. A memorial is scheduled for Wednesday; details have not yet been announced.
Riccardo Muti, the
CSO's music director was astounded by two patrons fighting at a performance: "Never could I imagine the concert hall would become a (wrestling) ring." No word about the subsequent fistfight in the parking lot.
The hunt for the Higgs boson
carries on at Fermilab, even though the Tevatron has been shut down.
On Tuesday's G-8 press briefings, if you didn't hear Obama's
mis-step on the pronunciation of Lollapalooza in regards to his confidence in Chicago being able to handle the security concerns of the NATO summit, check it out at the 1:20 mark. Notice the chuckle from the press. Maybe someone should give him a ticket to the next one.
Jeremy Hammond, a suspected member of hacker group Lulzsec and Anonymous was
arrested in Bridgeport during an FBI raid today, apparently aided by the group's former leader. Read Chicago mag's profile of Hammond from 2007.
True Form Productions will be replacing the sword that was broken and stolen from Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield last fall.
In light of the NYPD's recently revealed spying efforts on Muslims, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy promised that the department
"does not and will not conduct blanket surveillance and profiling of any community in the city of Chicago."
After decades of protesting, Little Village and Pilsen residents celebrate a recent deal to shut down two
coal-fired power plants, owned by Midwest Generation. Pollution from the plants has been blamed for illness, asthma attacks and even death in the community over the years.
A celebration of Chicago's 175th birthday with Rahm Emanuel at the Chicago History Museum was
interrupted by a group protesting the closure and consolidation of city mental health clinics.
Robert Duffer writes an
update on the "curious case" of Columbia not renewing the contract of Fiction Writing Department Chair Randy Albers.
Michael Jordan has
listed his Highland Park mansion for $29 million, making it the highest-priced home in the Chicago market. I can only assume this includes a three-bedroom guest house filled with Rayovac batteries.
Starting March 4, the
19th Police District, which includes Lakeview and Lincoln Park, will absorb the 23rd district and move its headquarters to 850 W. Addison. The redrawn district's new commander has not been announced yet.
Chicago Housing Authority is launching [pdf] the design process for the "Plan for Transformation 2.0," and they'd like your input.
Tomorrow at 10am, a public street dedication ceremony will be held to pay tribute to
Bernie Mac; the late comedian and actor will be honored in the Englewood community with "Bernie Mac St.," at the corner of 69th and Sangamon Streets, the actual block where he was raised.
Reverend Corey Brooks, aka "The Rooftop Pastor,"
who has been camped out atop an old South Side motel for over 90 days in an effort to raise funds to build a community center for inner-city youth, can finally come down: This morning, filmmaker/director Tyler Perry, whose new movie Good Deeds opens today, announced live on the syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show that he would pay the $98,000 balance needed to fund the project.
Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the city this evening with accumulation predictions ranging from 4-to-7 inches in 36 hours; totals which WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling says could "rank among the city's heaviest."
Rudy Carrillo, father of two and piercer at
Chicago Tattoo & Piercing Co, was struck by a car on Sunday while riding his bike. He's been badly hurt and doesn't have health insurance, and CTC has launched fundraising efforts to help defray the cost of his medical bills. For information on how you can help, see this Facebook post, this Instagram post, this blog post, or check the CTC website tomorrow for more details.
The City is currently taking bids to outfit the Chicago Police Department's 30-man mounted unit with riot gear for the G8 summit.
And not just the officers, but the horses too -- leather nose guards, wrap-around eye visors, high-impact plastic leg shields and a small sign asking you not to pull on their tail (not true).
A group of parents, students and supporters have occupied
Brian Piccolo Specialty School. The group's first statement was released just before midnight on Friday via Occupy Chicago, and live streaming video has been established inside the school.
Chicago News Cooperative told its staff today that it will shut down at the end of next week. UPDATE: In Crain's, CNC Editor Jim O'Shea characterized it as a "suspension," saying that the organization was exploring possibilities including splitting into for- and non-profit units and partnering with the Sun-Times. UPDATE: Further details in the Reader. UPDATE: Read the official announcement on the News Coop's website.
Careful- in some areas, thieves are
gaining entry to homes by posing as utility company employees, only to cart off cash and jewelry when they leave. They're largely scamming the elderly, so consider warning neighbors who might be targets.
newest installment of our documentary series The Grid examines how The Plant -- Chicago's vertical farm and food business incubator -- has been represented in the media.
After purchasing the 5-year naming rights, Akoo International, Inc. will
change the name of the Rosemont Theatre to the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont.
James Marcello and Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, reputed Chicago Mobsters convicted in the 2007's Family Secrets Trial, get another chance
today to oppose their 2007 conviction.
Approximately $500,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from
Steve Quick Jeweler when thieves broke into the sushi restaurant next door in order to gain access to the store's safe.
The City has decided to
pull the winning city sticker design amid concerns that its imagery includes gang symbols. No word yet which of the other designs will be substituted, nor whether the 15-year-old student who designed the winning sticker will be forced to give back the $1000 bond he received.
gang signs hidden in this year's city sticker design? Police blogger Detective Shaved Longcock makes a convincing argument that the sticker features symbols for the Maniac Latin Disciples. A gang member source of the Expired Meter corroborates.
Authors Charlie Newton and Jonathan Eig are trying to help Chicago police officers
write better police reports.
Crews working on the Wacker Drive reconstruction
discovered a fully stocked fallout shelter from 1962.
Homicide Tracker added a murder today for the first time since Jan. 24. It's the first time since reporter Tracy Swartz started the tracker that there's been a whole week without a homicide.
A historic terra cotta building partially collapsed in Auburn Gresham yesterday, injuring four pedestrians. As Eric Rogers notes, one shame in the whole situation is the city bought the building more than ten years ago to try to protect it and the community. A photograph of the partially demolished building is after the break.
Newt Gingrich may want to be seen as rising up the the challenge of his rival, but he didn't check on whether Survivor was OK with him
using "Eye of the Tiger" at campaign rallies, and now he's got a legal challenge on his hands.
If you liked my play on the lyrics up there, you'll love
Samantha Abernathy's post on Chicagoist.
The latest Chicagoan to heap scorn on:
Percy Love, who kicked his kitten 15 feet into the air and signaled a fieldgoal, according to police.
Though a new fire-safety ordinance was passed by the city in 2003, quite a few residential high-rises
still fail to meet standards. City council recently extended the compliance deadline to 2015, but you can look up the status of your building here.
A Willowbrook man called 911 and said that he "wanted to see an officer because he wanted to fight with them."
The police obliged.
A local man proved once again that it's possible to
shoot a nailgun into one's own head and not realize it.
Well, sort of -- last week in the southwest suburbs, a few scrap metal thieves managed to
dismantle an entire building and cart off the steel. The article has no mention of security lasers or a slightly off-kilter demolitions expert, but we can hope.
After 123 years of providing social services to the city's underserved people and communities, the
Jane Addams Hull House Association will close by the end of March and file for bankruptcy.
IBooks 2, a digital textbook service from Apple, was unveiled today. The move, in collaboration with textbook market majority publishers Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is likely to make Apple's iPad an education essential.
A quick update on the
teen beating caught on video: seven have been charged in the attack, and one of them is being charged as an adult. Bail was set at $100,000.
Chicago's future last rapper standing and all around hustler
Sharkula is the subject of a feature in Forbes.
Breakups are never easy, but Walgreens seems particularly upset about
cutting ties with Express Scripts, formerly one of the drugstore chain's biggest customers. Walgreens is taking to Twitter with its grievances, saying, "It's time to take a stand against @ExpressScripts. Tell them people want a choice by tweeting hashtag #ILoveWalgreens" in a (sponsored) tweet.
Two suspects hanged themselves in the same week at the Area Two police station, leading their families and community leaders to
call for an investigation.
An appeals court found that a woman injured by the flying body parts of a man struck by a Metra train
can sue his estate.
Be careful drinking that new marshmallow vodka. Apparently it makes you
break into houses.
Chicago has been unleashing formidable would-be victims, most recently including
this former wrestler.
Another presumed victim of John Wayne Gacy has been
found alive ( previously).
Andre Curry thought it would be funny to post a photo of his 22-month-old daughter with her,
mouth, hands and feet bound with painter's tape on Facebook. The police were less than amused.
It's official: A Chicago-based investment group inked a deal to purchase the Sun-Times. In related news, you can buy a major newspaper for "more than $20 million."
Chicago was named the
fourth most economically powerful city in the world by The Atlantic. Meanwhile, the idea that the rest of Illinois should separate from Chicago is still getting play. The Huffington Post Chicago sums up the dramatics nicely.
While we're on the topic of city cred, Chicago ranked 26th in the Mori Memorial Foundation's
Global Power City Index this year, we're the fourth most walkable city in America ( previously), and came in sixth in the Chicago Council of Global Affairs' 2010 Global Cities Index ( previously). So we've got that going for us, which is nice.
Remember the dentist in Marina City who was laundering money for pimps? He's out of prison and looking to get back to filling cavities.
All last week Evanston Township High School
repeatedly played Justin Bieber's song "Baby" over the building's loudspeakers during passing periods until students coughed up enough donations to fund the construction of a student art space and hangout.
The Wilco frontman may be better at
delivering the weather report than the rock and roll.
A man who beat up a woman who wouldn't give him a cigarette in 2008 was
arrested in Uptown after threatening to kill a man who wouldn't give him change.
Though we were all very fond of noticing that various vending, parking or CTA machines accepted or gave presidential dollar coins as change, Biden has declared,
"Nobody wants them." Though this $50 million cut from the federal budget will end the series on James Garfield, Biden contends, "As it will shock you all, the call for Chester A. Arthur coins is not there."
The magazine will be shutting down operations and
moving to Los Angeles by the middle of next year.
Chicagoland boasts two of the
richest zip codes in the country. You probably won't be surprised at which ones: Kenilworth at #3, Lake Forest at #13 and Winnetka at #14. (Thanks, Dee!)
CPD and ATF officers
arrested three suspects after a standoff in Uptown that suspended CTA Red and Purple Line service north of Belmont for more than six hours Monday night.
Rev. Corey Brooks has been living in a tent
on top of an abandoned motel across from his church for the past 12 days. Last night, Occupy Chicago protestors joined him.
Three tow-truck drivers have been arrested and more are being sought by police after an investigation found multiple cases of
drivers stealing cars, often selling them for scrap.
An 80-year-old man donated a suit to Goodwill -- and accidentally
gave away his life savings with it. Workers are currently sifting through more than half a million donations to find it for him.
Hans Peterson was convicted of murdering Chicago dermatologist David Cornbleet, and
sentenced to life in prison. Kevin Guilfoile shares an interview with Cornbleet's son.
Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District officials assured the citizenry that it is
safe from cyber attacks, after Russian hackers very slowly took down a water system downstate via a stolen password.
Kevin Guilfoile has an
update on the Cornbleet murder case from a couple years ago (previously 1, 2, 3, 4)
More than 50 "professional shoplifters" have been arrested in
stings at area malls and along Michigan Avenue since October.
A week after an April video of a
man punching out a homeless man in the Chicago Red Line subway station went viral, Chicago police are searching for the attacker.
A misunderstanding on where exactly proceeds where going
has left a blemish on this year's women in cycling pin-up calendar by local group (though not for long) Though You Knew.
If you hear sirens at 1pm today, don't worry -- it's part of the first-ever
nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.
It's hard to keep your name out of the papers when you win the jackpot, but
there are ways.
One of the best TribLocal headlines I've read, "
It's hard out there for a mime," is actually about a teen mistaken for one when what he intended was to dress up as a dancer from America’s Best Dance Crew. "...not used to seeing street performers in a residential neighborhood, some neighbors were confused and called police."
Dorothy Rodham, mother of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, passed away this morning at a hospital in Washington at the age of 92.
To help make sense of the whirlwind of TIF talk, Ben Joravsky put together a beginner's guide about
where your money actually ends up.
A man believed to be among serial killer John Wayne Gacy's victims turns out to be
alive and living in Florida. He was discovered as part of the Cook County Sheriff's efforts to identify eight John Doe victims through DNA testing.
Naluark, the Shedd's 13-foot-long beluga whale, recently took two trucks and a plane to get to Connecticut for some, um, personal time with two female whales.
The driver of a MegaBus from Chicago to Des Moines was pulled over in Iowa for
drunk driving this weekend.
Chicago Police Officer Gildaro Sierra is
under investigation after the third shooting of a suspect since January, with two resulting in fatalities. The latest was caught on tape -- though according to Second City Cop, it's not muzzle flashes you see in the video.
So nice, in fact, that they've been
named the nation's best by Cintas in its 10th annual America's Best Restroom awards.
A Chicago man is suing a lot of people after a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony allegedly attacked him on the group's tour bus.
Unless you want a ticket. Police are
ticketing some cars with expired city stickers still on their windshields despite having valid current stickers, too, enforcing a little-known technicality in the ordinance.
A Brighton Park woman hit and
pelted her husband with cupcakes in a domestic dispute over the weekend. Her husband had been arrested three times for domestic battery since 2003, but the charges were dropped; so far he is pressing charges.
One side-effect of the foreclosure crisis in Chicago:
abandoned pets are crowding local shelters. Meanwhile, sales of luxury items for pets are on the rise.
A judge has approved the
exhumation of one of John Wayne Gacy's victims for a DNA test. Meanwhile, Steve Rhodes reviews a new book about Gacy by one of his lawyers.
Jacques Rivera was
released yesterday after 21 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
The Cook County Sheriff netted more than 100 people with outstanding warrants by inviting them to
collect prize winnings at a consumer electronics survey session.
The moon rock embedded in the Tribune Tower has been removed
so that NASA can replace it with a new one sometime soon.
most mustache-friendly city in America, according to the American Mustache Institute, who should know.
Alisha Brennon, spouse of Christina Santiago, who died the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair, has
filed a wrongful death suit. The lawsuit will likely help set precedent for how same-sex marriages or civil unions are recognized in states that don't offer them.
Terrible puns aside, O'Hare is now home to
the world's first airport aeroponic garden. The O'Hare Urban Garden -- 26 growing towers in Terminal 3, which boast more than 50 varieties of herbs and vegetables -- will provide produce for several restaurants at the airport.
It's official: The Wrigley Building's been
sold. The dudes behind Groupon are minority partners in the new ownership structure.
Today the Trib is among the papers revealing iCircular, a new advertising platform for newspaper apps developed by the AP.
A dude who decided to relieve himself in an Uptown alley on Saturday didn't realize that a security camera was
watching his every move(ment). (Maybe kinda NSFW)
The head of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce thinks the
Thompson Center should be turned into a casino.
Pasieka, a Polish bakery that's been serving the Avondale neighborhood since the Great Depression,
burned down on Tuesday morning. The extra-alarm fire, which took 150 firefighters more than three hours to extinguish, is under investigation. GB flickr pool contributor Gabriel X. Michael has some photographs from the scene.
death of a teenager led to the discovery of three more maltreated teens and more than 200 animals in an 1,100-square-foot Berwyn apartment.
In other Internet news, suburban-based
Vasco Data Security's Dutch subsidiary DigiNotar is at the center of a hacking scandal that potentially threatens global Internet security.
The Atlantic totals up Texas' unprecedented wildfires this season and
superimposes the total area on the country's ten largest cities. So much for Chicago.
With a sampling of NIU students examined before and after the 2008 on-campus shooting, researchers might be able to take
something positive away from the tragedy.
A South Side man recently got a red light ticket in suburban Willowbrook for a car that was supposedly
in an impound lot for months. When he checked at the lot, he was informed that the car had been destroyed, despite the fact that he was paying off fines on a payment plan.
New trouble for hometown giant Groupon, this time self-inflicted.
According to a report in The New York Times, Groupon chief executive Andrew Mason may have broken SEC rules preventing a company from attempting to "condition the market by hyping its stock" by issuing an internal memo recently. In it, he defends against media reports about the company's numbers, a balance sheet that will no doubt be adversely affected if Groupon's IPO is put on hold.
Kirk Tobolski, the man who stabbed street artist Brendan "
SOLVE" Scanlon to death in 2008 was sentenced to 12 years in prison yesterday.
The deeds to at least 30 homes in Chicagoland have been
mysteriously transferred to the Moorish Science Temple of America, an obscure religious sect -- including the home of City Treasurer Stephanie Neely.
John Lott looks at crime statistics before and after the gun ban overturn.
Or maybe not- turns out
police lineups might not be worth all that much. Studies suggest almost one third of witness identifications are wrong. Scary numbers for cities eager to put criminals behind bars. Earlier work in Chicago helps lead the way.
Now it's a little easier
to get it expunged.
Nearly 50 years ago, Chicagoan and Peace Corps Volunteer Larry Radley was among 30 people who died in a plane wreck in the Colombian jungle. His brother vowed to visit the site,
but didn't realize how difficult that would be.
Chicago's breakaway-spirited MDW Fair will return this October to Bridgeport's Geolofts, and has announced that proposals for the sophomore installment are now being accepted.
With tickets being written for up to $750, you might have to sell your entire suspenders collection to pay.
After three decades out of the spotlight,
the Gaylords street gang is in the headlines again with a bust.
After 29 arrests in late July,
"Operation Uptown Girl" has sent 11 to prison on narcotics charges. This follows "Operation Sugar Magnolia" in January as part of an effort to combat a rise in gang violence and drug sales in the area.
Nope, not in the concessions department (sadly). But
23 bee hives have been installed along the east side of the airport, managed by Sweet Beginnings, to make use of unused open space. Sweet! (Pun!) [ via]
And with festival damage the worst it's ever been,
it might not get better for another month.
No, he wasn't digging up corpses, but a suburban man was
caught stealing more than 400 graveside vases from area cemeteries and trying to sell them to a scrap dealer on the South Side.
Corrie Besse definitely deserves a high-five after chasing down the thief who stole her iPhone on the train -- and has since pleaded guilty to pushing a 68-year-old woman down the stairs to her death in another CTA iPhone robbery back in April.
Two major trade shows have changed their annual show dates in order to accommodate next May's G8 summit and its security demands.
The City is considering
reducing trash pickup from once a week to every 10 days as a cost-cutting measure. Methinks the reduction in sanitation staff would be offset by the increase in pest control staff.
Non-violent Cook County jail inmates have been chosen to work after-hours at Chicago's Animal Care and Control
cleaning up kennels, a program that helps save the City money and gives the inmates useful services to perform.
new ordinance passed yesterday by the city council, children under the age of 12 now have an earlier curfew that requires them to be home by 8:30 pm on weekdays, 9 pm on Friday and Saturday nights.
Eleven post offices
may close in the latest round of proposed cutbacks from the USPS. All of them are on the South and West sides except for one in the West Loop.
Here's a full list of the
post offices in Illinois currently targeted for closure. Around 3,700 are on the list nationwide.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez was arrested yesterday afternoon outside the White House. He was seen
sitting on a curb with others to protest the more than one million people who have been deported since President Obama took office. This wasn't the first time he's been arrested related to immigration reform.
An alleged kidnapper
threw the infant he was carrying at the cops chasing him down. One of the officers managed to catch the baby before it hit the ground.
more in taxes in Chicago than anywhere else in the nation, a new report finds.
A man shot another man dead
over a dripping air conditioner Monday. [ via]
Yesterday the Trib announced
it will print the Sun-Times and seven of its papers in addition to distributing them.
Aaron Swartz, one of Chicagoland's earliest bloggers (now living in Cambridge, MA), was indicted today for allegedly stealing more than 4 million documents from MIT and the JSTOR journal article archive. Here's the indictment [PDF]. Demand Progress, the political action committee he founded, has released a statement that notes MIT asked the government not to prosecute. More on BoingBoing, Kottke and Reddit.
The City turned its curbside recycling program into
a three-way competition, with two private firms going up against Streets & San trucks. The plan is to expand recycling to more neighborhoods in six months.
A former commodities broker from New York had several members of the Chicago-based
National Futures Association on his hit list, according to federal prosecutors.
Following an unsuccessful play for a bankruptcy-court auction (no bidders stepped in to save the national bookstore chain),
Borders Group Inc. will liquidate its 399 stores, possibly starting as early as Friday.
If you get hot during the day,
you can head to a cooling center.
Troy Bonaparte became the first person sent to prison for human trafficking in Cook County. Read our 2010 story about sex trafficking in Chicago in Mechanics.
Illinois Association of Realtors made a mistake in its May estimate for median home values that suggests their last three years of data may be erroneous. The result: rather than Chicago's median condo sale price going up more than 10%, it was down at least 7.8% compared to last year.
This morning's severe thunderstorm
knocked out power for more than 600,000 people in the Chicagoland area. I caught a screenshot of the radar that I think explains why we were caught off guard by this storm.
Thefts of iPhones and other smartphones are skyrocketing on the CTA.
charging a local 18-year-old with disorderly conduct after a suspicious package left by "The Bean" in Milennium Park led police to evacuate part of the park. The package apparently only contained two bricks, and was left there as part of a "role-playing event."
City Council approved an ordinance
allowing firing ranges within city limits -- just ahead of a court ruling striking down a ban on said firing ranges.
Andrea Lyon, DePaul University law professor and a noted death penalty defense attorney, was involved in Casey Anthony's defense early on in the trial. She discussed the verdict on "Eight Forty-Eight" this morning.
A man was
beaten and stabbed by a group of young people on Halsted in Boystown Sunday night; the incident was caught on tape. Ironically, a "positive loitering" rally had been held the night before, after two similar attacks in recent weeks; the rally generated controversy itself.
I'm not sure if
this is boredom or just plan 'ol stupidity. Since this is public knowledge now, we can all be the judges.
Garfield Park Conservatory is closed indefinitely due to an unprecedented number of broken windows from last night's hailstorm. As many as 60 percent of the windows in the conservatory's showrooms were shattered. Donate here to help with repairs. UPDATE: A few indoor galleries and all outdoor spaces are now open while repairs continue elsewhere in the conservatory.
Chicago's tourism bureau announced a new tourism slogan yesterday:
Chicago: Second to None. Unfortunately, Aurora, Illinois' second largest city, has used the slogan "A City Second to None" in an unofficial capacity since 2005.
Local Methodist pastors have joined more than 200 other Illinois Methodist clergy in a proclamation
that they will perform marriages for same-sex partners in defiance of church rules.
The couple who have been renting Mayor Emanuel's Ravenswood home
began moving out today. The Halpins' lease runs out next Friday.
Obama impersonator who got yanked from the stage at last weekend's Republican Leadership Conference? He's Reggie Brown, and he's from Chicago.
He has also appeared on
John Stossel's Fox News show in recent weeks.
Federal agents are accusing a Chicago man of making and planting a bomb in Evanston in order to report it to the police --
and then collect a reward.
The Wall Street Journal checks in on the Adler Planetarium's
massive star show update; supercomputers are crunching data nonstop in advance of the planned July 8 debut.
A police officer in a clown costume
shot and killed a teenager who tried to rob him at gunpoint last night as the officer was leaving a fundraiser for a day-care business on the South Side.
A whopping 83 percent of men arrested in Cook County last year tested positive for
at least one illegal drug. UPDATE: The Reader's Steve Bogira points out those stats are kind of old.
An unemployed single mother in Hobart, Indiana is
selling a handwritten note she received from President Obama last fall for $11k.
Mayor Emanuel announced plans to
put 150 more police on the streets in response to the "mob action" attacks. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball has warned teams to be careful when visiting Chicago.
Paige Wiser, the television critic at the Chicago Sun-Times for 17 years,
left the paper after getting caught writing a fake review of "Glee Live." Wiser apparently fled the show early after one of her own kids fell off a chair and another puked in a cotton candy bag.
Whet Moser puts the recent "
flash mobs" in perspective with a history of Chicago's beach violence.
the opportunistic message of the Illinois State Rifle Association; they claim the city's gun laws "leave good citizens defenseless against brutal "flash mobs."
Local design journal MAS Context's new issue,
Conflict, is now live, as is its redesigned website.
The mobs of teens shoplifting on Michigan Avenue seem to be
branching out into assault.
Local hotel housekeepers are speaking out about being
propositioned or assaulted by guests and the lack of support from management, joining LA in solidarity with housekeepers in New York following two high profile assaults.
Today marks the first day of same-sex civil unions in Illinois, with many eagerly getting licenses. Catalyst Ranch is sponsoring a midnight group ceremony for six couples. Congratulations!
Chicago makes a humorous appearance as a foil in a syndicated columnist's
somewhat confusing article about where area youth should move.
Eight people fell ill at North Avenue Beach on Monday, probably with heat stroke or related illnesses, prompting the CPD to
close the beach.
The Chicago Law Bulletin broke a story (behind its paywall, unfortunately) of a lawyer who filed a motion to remove a large-breasted paralegal from the counsel's table because she might distract the jury. Jezebel has the text of the motion.
Lightning struck in Rogers Park this morning and took out some poor defenseless chimney bricks near Pratt and Greenview at the
Lake Shore School. Luckily, no one appears to have been injured. Transmission contributor Dan Snedigar took some pictures of the debris.
The Rapture may not have happened on Saturday, but Chicagoland's
rich tradition of finding the Virgin Mary where you'd least expect her carried on.
Out in the middle of Schaumburg's suburban sprawl,
an Indian mound has somehow avoided destruction.
Chicago ranks 13th in the number of mailmen and -women bitten by dogs in 2010, according to the USPS.
stock market wobbled briefly today after a Metra train struck a dump truck this morning, over fears that it was a terrorist attack.
Followup: Two police officers have now been officially charged with sexual assaulting a drunk woman they took home from the Wrigleyville bar area and played strip poker with.
likelihood any given Chicago area homeowner is underwater on her mortgage.
Stolen nacho cheese was at the center of a recent scuffle at a West Side 7-Eleven.
Just how cheap has DNA testing become? Cheap enough to lead to an arrest for
special shipment of 235 hogs will soon leave Chicago for South Korea to help replenish the country's herds after a devastating foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
A Los Angeles woman left her marriage and prepared to move to Colorado to be with a volunteer firefighter she met online when he suddenly died. Why did he die? Probably because he and more than 20 other people the woman met over the last year and a half
were allegedly created by the same Batavia woman.
It was apparently only a matter of time before the whole
chain restaurant accidentally serves alcohol to a toddler meme made it to Chicagoland.
A pizzeria owner
tracked down five guys who allegedly attacked him after recognizing one of them in his son's hockey picture; the rest were tracked down via facebook.
1,700 fake IDs have been intercepted at O'Hare, mostly on their way to college students, ordered off the internet.
You know your taxes are due Monday, right? If you're running behind on this, you can get
some free help from the city or the government.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about
these anti-abortion billboards which feature an image of President Obama on the south side of Chicago. Well, it turns out they're illegal and there is a petition to get them removed.
The Cook County Jail now houses prisoners
based on their gender identity instead of birth sex, a big step forward for the transgender community.
A guy parachuted off the under-construction
Waterview Tower in the wee hours of Sunday morning. A police officer happened to hear his chute open, and was there to arrest him when he landed.
Rogers Park blog is reporting that Ald. Joe Moore has green-lighted a deal to bring a "mini" Wal-Mart store to the corner of Greenview Ave. and Jarvis in Rogers Park. The Alderman will have a press conference on Monday about the deal, but it sure won't be the last you'll hear about it.
And if you believe that, you're pretty gullible. That's a sweet April Fool's from RogersPark.com.
Two police officers are under investigation amid allegations that they played strip poker with and
sexually assaulted a woman they had driven home to Rogers Park from the Wrigleyville neighborhood. The comments on Second City Cop regarding the case are worth reading.
The Sun-Times surely left an opportunity dangling with the straightforward headline on
this story about the TLC Tugger, a foreskin restoration company soon to appear on the TLC network. I'm having trouble settling on just one.
A new South Loop dog park
may be named after jazz icon Fred Anderson.
Two Chicago police officers have been
given desk duty after WBEZ discovered a video showing a young man being taunted by a large crowd while seated in the back of a police SUV. Our own Micah Uetricht spoke to Humboldt Park residents to get their reactions.
Chronic sewage overflow problems with Chicago's Deep Tunnel have prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to
launch an investigation.
mentioned several of the projects that the Chicago Justice Project has begun, but this newest one gives me hope. They'll be collecting information from three different city departments and offering suggestions on how to improve the amount and quality of data related to felony sex crimes. Since they're encouraging transparency, the membership list is public, and quite impressive. (Thanks, Veronica!)
The Consulate General of Japan at Chicago is, of course,
coordinating donations to the relief efforts, but it is also opening the doors at its Japan Information Center to those wishing to express sympathies to victims of the earthquake in a condolence book.
Do not try to remove the squirrels in your apartment
with a smoke bomb.
Believe it or not, the Reader has another personnel switcheroo in the works; this time,
Mick Dumke will be returning to the weekly after a year at the Chicago News Cooperative.
The ads that
University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Assistants answered didn't say that, but they should have. Due to a change in tax law, GA's at University of Illinois are having their pay withheld until the taxes of their tuition wavers are paid. This means they work for free. GA's at Champaign-Urbana were given grants to cover this difference. GA's at UIC were told to take out loans. Don't think this is fair? Say so.
signed into law a ban on the death penalty in Illinois today, making the moratorium George Ryan began 11 years ago permanent.
The president of Northwestern has
announced an investigation into the motorized sex toy (aka "fucksaw") demonstration in a recent human sexuality class. ( Previously.) Meanwhile, Rachel Rabbit White got the other side of the story from the people who put on the demo.
CBS2 reports on
a recent rash of shoplifting cases in which groups of teenagers descend on a store, make a scene, and escape with merchandise. The attacks are allegedly organized via Twitter.
Despite saying he
wants to stay in Chicago, Police Superintendent Jody Weis is allegedly leaving his post today, when his contract expires, rather than sticking around till May when Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel takes over and fires him. Keep an eye on Second City Cop for officer reactions.
If by hottest, you mean deadliest, that is. Some light poles, fences and sidewalk grates throughout the city are
Perhaps inspired by Wisconsin Democrat senators who
fled to Illinois to block a vote taking away collective bargaining rights from unionized government workers, congresspeople from Indiana are heading to Illinois (or Kentucky) to avoid a similar vote. Meanwhile, Arizonaesque anti-immigrant legislation has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly, as well as in Indiana.
Approved today, the
Navy Pier Flyover seeks to eliminate the lakefront path's most notorious choke point.
Three guys from the suburbs decided to trash the insides of some unlocked cars last night. Only problem was, the cars were on display in the Toyota booth at the
Auto Show, surrounded by thousands of people, so of course they were caught.
2010 Census numbers demonstrate that Chicago's population declined 200,000 people between 2000 and 2010. The African American population declined 17%, Latin Americans gained a little over 3% and non-Hispanic whites slightly declined.
Follow-up: Remember the guy who looked like "Owen Wilson without the crooked nose" who scammed a bunch of Oak Park businesses? He's been caught, and the description holds true.
Police chief Jody Weis said this weekend that his controversial decision to meet with West Side gang leaders last August
led to a drop in crime, particularly murders. There is some skepticism.
Greg Kot has some gossip on who's going to headline this year's Lollapalooza music festival (August 5-7, 2011), and it's all bros. Word is that Eminem, Muse and Foo Fighters will likely be top on the bill.
The Sun-Times has a
peek inside the National Weather Service's Chicagoland station as the blizzard arrived.
A man described as "
Owen Wilson without the crooked nose" is wanted for using counterfeit coupons at the Lake movie theater and several stores in Oak Park.
Edward Acevedo -- who also happens to be a police officer -- had a gun pointed at him in Heart of Chicago this weekend.
alarming/alarmist media coverage of Illinois' new tax increases? The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization, advises skepticism about some of the numbers reported. Not that we're not all still screwed, of course.
The Lake Villa District Library has
banned men from attending its exhibit on the history of women's undergarments. UPDATE: come on in, pervy dudes!
Heroes of the week:
Augustin Zamora and his dog, Scooby.
A Northwest side woman has been
charged with disorderly conduct after calling police to (falsely) claim that her boyfriend, who was trying to break up with her, was attacking her. The real reason why she called? She was hoping to scare her now-ex into marrying her (I don't get it, either).
Though it was a deadly year in Chicago, the total number of
homicides was 435, the lowest since 1965 when the total was 395. The 2010 total represents a drop of more than 54% from the all time high set in 1992 with 943 homicides.
a neighbor adds details (some very sad) to the suspicious fire at Ole Hardwood yesterday.
If you're carrying a "
mobile meth lab" and several pounds of drugs in your backpack, it's probably a good idea not to pass out in the back of a cab.
Baked goods from Rolf's Patisserie in Lincolnwood may be contaminated with
Staphylococcus aureus. 100 people in Illinois and Wisconsin have already been sickened.
A man was recorded
stealing UPS packages off of a porch in Andersonville over the weekend. Police are still looking for him, or waiting for his heart to grow three sizes. [ via]
Speaking of jail, white supremacist radio host
Hal Turner was sentenced to 33 months in prison for threatening the lives of three Chicago appeals court judges after they overturned a local ban on handguns.
Eric May -- artist, proprietor of Roots and Culture and food enthusiast -- has set out to start up a " Mobile Culinary Community Center."
No less than
22,000 lbs of marijuana were seized on six train cars in Chicago Heights. It's nearly three times the size of the previous largest seizure in recent years.
A Chicago man was arrested for
stealing tip jars from at least three Starbucks and possibly several other coffee shops in the city and suburbs.
Brenda Starr, the intrepid reporter who filled comics pages for more than 70 years, will cover her last story on January 2.
PETA is praising the CTA for its
humane killing of mice.
Chicago police officers have tased people 683 times in the last year -- that's roughly 200 more times than in 2009 -- according to the
Independent Police Review Authority's annual report. [ via]
A federal judge
has ruled against the closure of Chicagoland's shipping locks, thereby dashing (at least temporarily) the hopes of anti-Asian-carpers in the Great Lakes basin.
Neither Rahm Emanuel nor Sen. Mark Kirk made their high school's hall of fame the Sun-Times
reports. (h/t: Politico). Members of the hall of fame include former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Christie Hefner (daughter of Hugh Hefner).
Illinois Senate approved the bill giving same-sex couples the same rights in a civil union as married couples. Gov. Quinn is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as today.
Whatever your thoughts on WikiLeaks,
the little tidbit culled from their latest document dump detailing how much the powerful Afghan president's brother "loves Lakeview" is undoubtedly entertaining.
More than 600 people
played that number in last Wednesday's Illinois Lottery Pick Four, and won. They'll share $8.4 million.
Heart valves meant for a Chicago hospital ended up at
a New York City Home Depot. No word on what showed up at the hospital. [ via]
Senator Dick Durbin is filming a scene with Laurence Fishburne today for the upcoming thriller "Contagion." For the senator's cameo, Durbin will be the chair at a Senate hearing.
A prominent component of recent Chicago art history, art critic Kathryn Hixson
has passed on...
A condo building at Irving Park and Greenview has been tagged repeatedly with gang graffiti, apparently
intended as a message to a rival gang.
The Department of Justice
filed suit yesterday against a Chicago lawyer who allegedly has been promoting phony tax shelters.
A UPS cargo plane flying from Yemen to Chicago was
detained in England when a suspicious package that appears to be a fake bomb was found on board. The package was addressed to a Chicago-area synagogue. UPDATE: The device and another found on a different flight did in fact contain explosives.
Hugh Hefner says Playboy will "
probably" leave Chicago, but the company's spokesperson said the company has " no plans" to leave. We'll see...
their fight to get a library for their children.
The Tribune and Sun-Times both report two officers are suing police superintendent Jody Weis for defamation, but one calls it
libel, the other calls it slander. Which is it, guys?
the new wbez.org. If you have compliments or complaints, here's the place to put them.
Tomorrow's thunderstorms are likely to be pretty bad, with
55mph winds likely. But " Great Lakes Cyclone"? I don't think that means what you think it means.
McDonald's will raise prices in 2011. (But before you start considering a boycott, heed the online comments: according to one patriotic diner, "anyone who does not eat at McDonald's is not a true American.")
Word on the street is Rahm Emanuel has raised $3.6 million since he kicked off his campaign for mayor. He announced his candidacy two weeks ago.
Lee Abrams, Tribune Co's Chief Innovation Officer, has resigned his post.
IRS: Strip club owner didn't show us everything." Oh, and going 11 years without filing a tax return isn't wildly clever either.
is going to close the iconic police station at Halsted and Addison next month. Its future is uncertain.
stealing parking meters -- not the old-fashioned ones, the 200-pound pay-and-display boxes. Twenty of them so far.
If you've yet to get to
Longman&Eagle or Epic, you'd best do so soon: Esquire just named both places to its list of the country's best new restaurants. If the waits at Great Lake after their "best pizza in America" hat tip from GQ taught us anything, it's to get there before this issue hits the stands.
Chi-Tonw fiasco from a couple years ago, a tattoo artist at a Belmont-Cragin parlor is being sued for tattooing the White Sox logo backwards on a client's leg.
a CTA bus careened off Lake Shore Drive into a tree, injuring dozens. Eyewitness reports suggest a mechanical malfunction caused the crash—and that the bus's crowdedness prevented more extreme injuries. [ Video report from WGN ]
Forbes released its annual list of the
100 most powerful women in the world, and Illinois can claim three of the top ten. Not to be outdone, NBC Chicago's Feast published a list of 10 of Chicago's most badass female chefs.
There is unfortunate news today about
the woman hurt while working as an extra on the set of Transformers 3. A lawsuit filed by her family details a grisly injury and claims she is "permanently brain damaged."
Maybe someone gave Rahm's White House replacement Pete Rouse
this heartfelt message on his first day.
Hoosier Mama Pie Company just made Bon Appetit's list of the country's Top 10 Best Places for Pie. Achatz Handmade Pie Company, from Armada, Michigan, also gets a shoutout -- as much for the pie as for being related to Grant Achatz and served at Alinea.
The Sun-Times must be hurting for photo illustrations, given their decision to use
this of one of Mayor Daley's pals 1982 photograph for a story about water billing problems.
While lounging by the pool at his condo located in the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas, Chicago personal injury attorney
Bill Pintas claims to have been "cooked" by a "death ray" that resulted from the reflection of the sun hitting the concave, all-glass building.
that's why Oak Brook needs to "fire 'em." Oh, and there's something about "namby pamby" in the article too, so pay close attention.
Among the 23 brainiacs receiving a no-strings-attached $500k MacArthur Genius Grant is U of C Anthropology professor Shannon Lee Dawdy and Columbia College-educated director/actor David Cromer.
If you've been following the
progress of the parents at Whittier Elementary School in Pilsen, then you know that a group of moms have been fighting for seven years to get a library. They've occupied the field house that Chicago Public Schools wants to tear down to turn into a soccer field. The Chicago Underground Library believes in their fight and is starting a book drive and asking librarians to get involved to help them build a library, book by book.
The New York Times came back to Chicago for
36 hours recently.
Two U of C psychologists are figuring out why people are less likely to trust statements made by people with foreign accents.
Beginning this morning, the
FBI began searching the homes of antiwar activists located in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina. Details are vague, but no arrests have been made, nor are expected to be made. UPDATE: More information about the Chicago searches is becoming available.
The last elephant at Brookfield Zoo
left this week.
Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
was in Illinois today to protest abortion at Planned Parenthood. Several abortion rights and reproductive health organizations held a press conference to contradict King's claims and ask that she join them in their anti-poverty work, work her uncle would support.
Darryl Marlow has now been arrested 253 times, many of which seem to be for "aggressive panhandling."
planting a bomb he believed would blow up an entire block of Wrigleyville on Saturday night, a 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged. Apparently he really hates Sluggers, Dave Matthews and Mayor Daley.
Rookie outfielder/likely vampire,
Tyler Colvin was impaled by a shattered bat as he was running towards home during the Cubs-Marlins tilt in Miami yesterday. No word on whether Van Helsing was in attendance or not.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra and plenty of music lovers are treating Riccardo Muti as a rockstar during the monthlong " Festa Muti," which kicks off his new role at the CSO.
Anne Elizabeth Moore, local activist and writer for
Vocalo.org, interviewed one of the women staying at Whittier Dual Language School until the city agrees to build the students a library. Araceli Gonzalez told Moore that security guards pushed her daughter and other children while arguing with the women to leave. If you think the parents of Whittier students deserve a library, you can sign a petition.
Frank Castaldi was sentenced to 23 years for
running a ponzi scheme for 22 years.
DePaul researchers Jody Raphael and Brenda Myers-Powell released a research report [pdf] yesterday noting pimps' common histories of sexual abuse, prostitution and familial involvement in sex trade prior to becoming pimps. (Related: our feature on sex trafficking in Chicago.)
Walter Payton College Prep is the national winner of the Intel Schools of Distinction contest, earning it more than $175,000 worth of cash and prizes.
Chicago leads the nation (well, four studied cities) in hand washing in public restrooms, but don't celebrate too quickly: 23 percent of men still don't wash their hands after visiting the toilet.
A man walking his dog early this morning found a
decapitated body and a suspected explosive device at Nichols Middle School in Evanston.
A suburban Menards was evacuated on Saturday
when an employee saw a man placing a box in a parking lot light post. Apparently the item had been cached there since January.
He may have been sorry, but he still faces jail time if convicted.
An oil pipeline in Romeoville
sprang a leak yesterday. "One of our guys said it looked like the Beverly Hillbillies in the opening scene when the crude is bubbling up from the ground," said Romeoville Fire Chief Kent Adams.
Consumerist.com reports that a pregnant traveler felt like she was bullied by TSA agents to go through a full-body scanner instead of getting a pat-down exam. Yikes!
The Sun-Times has a terse announcement
that Mayor Daley will not seek re-election, promising more to come. This election cycle just got very interesting. Chicago Breaking News has slightly more context regarding the announcement.
Chicago may be the third largest city in America, but it's only fourth on
Match.com's list of cities most actively looking for dates this summer. Apparently Miamians are far more desperate than we are. [ via]
What was smuggled?
Hawaii is pulling out all the stop to win the Obama Presidential Library and Museum. Chicago,
not so much.
The formal announcement is "
Two US citizens traveling on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Amsterdam are being
detained by Dutch police this morning after suspicious items in their luggage--several cell phones and $7,000 in cash--suggested to baggage screeners that the duo were making a dry run for a terrorist attack. Relatives claim that the two men were merely bringing gifts to family in their native Yemen.
The fight for the Obama presidential library is
heating up. In one corner, Chicago; in the other, Hawaii.
picking up her first Emmy award for her work on the television show "Glee" last night, Dolton native Jane Lynch name-checked the South Side in her acceptance speech. Lynch will be hosting an episode of "Saturday Night Live" later this fall (perhaps with the new locally grown talent who will join the cast for its next season). Other Chicago-connected talents who won awards at the ceremony include "Modern Family's" Eric Stonestreet and Jason Winer.
The Rod Blagojevich
retrial is scheduled to begin this January.
No matter which
study you reference, Chicago has bed bugs, and the city has some information to help those plagued by the pests.
unemployment rate fell to 10.5 percent in July. That's a decrease of .1 percent from June 2010. In July 2009 it was 10.8 percent.
We're #3 in bedbugs -- what is a bedbug, you might ask. And how can I get rid of them? [ via]
ShoreBank, the only bank with a slogan anything like "Let's change the world," failed. Its "good" assets have been transferred to the brand new Urban Partnership Bank, leaving some to worry about the future of investment in Chicago's low income neighborhoods.
The director of the Department of Revenue was
suspended for a day over the memo about police needing to up their ticket writing, after Mayor Daley called it stupid.
Jay Goltz uses Evanstonian Seth Weinberger as an example in his recent NYTimes blog post questioning the label of "social entrepreneurship."
After 14 days of deliberations, the former governor of Illinois is only charged for
lying to the FBI, a charge that carries a maximum of five years in jail and a $250k fine (prosecutors have until September 7 to decide if they want to retrial on the other 23 counts that the jury deadlocked on). Somewhere, Patrick Fitzgerald is stuffing his face with marshmallows.
birthdays, Sunday was the 175th anniversary of the Chicago Police Department's founding.
While performing onstage at this weekend's Gathering of the Juggalos in downstate Cave-in-Rock, entertainer (?)
Tila Tequila was injured by rocks, beer bottles, firecrackers, feces and urine thrown by concertgoers, some of whom later chased her to her trailer after Tequila abruptly ended her set. Update: now with NSFW video!
You've got to be
Former US Representative
Dan Rostenkowski has died at 82. The once powerful politician spent time in jail in 1996 for mail fraud.
Skip this unless you want to be depressed all day:
Seven puppies perished after an American Airlines flight from Tulsa to Chicago.
Q: A federal judge in California
just overturned Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriages in the state, what are you going to do now? A: Go to a rally at Daley Plaza at 6pm, of course! Celebrants are encouraged to bring rainbow flags. (Thanks, Marc!)
made appointments to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission over the weekend, clearing the way for more official investigations into police torture in the state.
The Sun-Times' Mark Konkol and Frank Main are working on a fantastic series about
why gun violence is endemic in the city, why suspects often are never charged, and why anti-snitching culture keeps witnesses from testifying.
The Elvis autopsy memorabilia that was to go on auction has been
withdrawn last week due to "questions of ownership" -- but you may soon be able to bid on Rod Blagojevich's life-size statue of Elvis, along with other stuff from an Arlington Heights storage space.
Mosquitoes in Evanston have tested positive for
West Nile Virus. Don't fret, there are easy ways to protect yourself.
some reporters, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's travel writer actually made it off the beaten path a bit for for his piece on visiting Chicago.
River City condos are being evacuated due to flooding caused by yesterday's storms, leaving residents without shelter for the next few days. Follow Gapers Block correspondent and River City resident Alissa Strother as she reports on the situation via her Twitter feed, ( @alissas).
Geoff Dougherty just announced he is "immediately" ceasing operation of the Chicago Current and taking on a new role as associate publisher of the Chicago Reader, where other changes are also in the works.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's
draft of Go to 2040, a plan for the Chicago area's next three decades, is available to read online. You can leave your comments for CMAP on the plan's site through August 6.
If frequent the highway towards the Northwest suburbs then you know it's been a pain with
5 o'clock traffic and the road construction. What you probably didn't know is that construction came to a halt with workers on strike.
Top ten facts lists usually leave a lot to be desired, but there's actually some interesting information in this "
10 things you might not know about the South Side" piece from the Trib.
Less than a week after the FBI
released its list of Chicago's most wanted criminals, one of them was caught.
Following the success of New York's
High Line, the NYT looks at what other cities (like ours) are doing to innovate unused rail spaces.
Fifteen small Chicago theaters
just won $20,000 each from the Chase Community Giving contest. It was a unique community effort amidst an otherwise diverse field -- the national contest pitted nonprofits from all over the country in a Facebook voting spree to be in the top 200, so Chicago theaters ran against, for example, a blind cat shelter in North Carolina. Chicago's winners included Stage Left, Strawdog, The Hypocrites, Barrel of Monkeys, The House and The Neo-Futurists. WildClaw theater nabbed the 200th spot, in fact. (The blind cats placed 6th.) Now: What shall the theaters do with the cash?
Lindsay Lohan has
hired Chicago defense lawyer Stuart V. Goldberg. I'm guessing this video is what did the trick.
This tourism story from the San Antonio Express News is so generic I almost wonder if the author even visited Chicago. Particularly shady: he supposedly caught a foul ball at a game -- but doesn't mention which park.
Meet Pete Cullen, the FBI agent in charge of the Blagojevich wiretaps.
Xue Feng, a University of Chicago-educated geologist and US citizen, was
sentenced to eight years in a Chinese prison for buying a database that contained information about the country's oil industry.
From Chicago magazine's archives:
A story that traces the life of a gun that was fired at a 7-year-old girl in West Englewood. It's an excellent primer into how firearms end up in criminals' hands despite the efforts to prevent exactly that.
typing, the Chicago Headline Club is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday for out of work journalists. The money will go towards the journalists' freelance reporting costs, equipment needs and skill development workshops.
is a notable exception to the recession's downward figures.
The latest in highway sploshing. A load of
grapes spilled on the Stevenson yesterday, and today a truck rolled over on the Edens, losing 1200 cases of Miller Lite. Last March it was honey. Yummy. UPDATE: Here are a couple of photographs of the destroyed truck.
The northbound I-55 on-ramp to the Tri-State Tollway might be a bit sticky for a
while after a truck hauling grapes rolled.
fire in a Red Line tunnel had 19 passengers heading to hospitals yesterday. Scary stuff.
A Chicago Public School social worker donated his kidney to an almost perfect stranger, but could lose his job for
violating district residency requirement.
Taking a page from the movie
, an Airplane! American Airlines flight attendant stepped in for the first officer on the flight after he fall ill and assisted in landing the plane normally.
FDA is seeking to ban a doctor specializing in HIV research from doing future work due to false data, lack of protection for study participants, forged documents, and missing experimental drugs.
Museum of Broadcast Communications is finally restarting construction after receiving a $6 million grant from the state. Barring any new delays, the museum will be ready to open next year.
is expected to have raised thousands of dollars on top of the $250,000 previously raised to benefit Natasha McShane, one of the two women attacked with a baseball bat seven weeks ago. McShane is showing signs of improvement but has a long rehabilitation ahead of her. Learn how to help at HelpNatasha.net.
The jury pool for Blagojevich's trial includes a knitter, a couple ex-Marines and an avid runner -- and their professions and interests are fuel for some odd conjecture about their predispositions.
Condo foreclosures dominate
Rogers Park. The problem goes beyond the neighborhood: the number of bank repossessions in nation's housing market increased by 44 percent in May.
Today U.S. District Judge Zagel asked Blagojevich
to restrain his gestures while in the courtroom. I wonder if the same goes for his hair.
Comedian Dennis O'Toole
breaks down why Oprah's boyfriend thinks Chicago doesn't appreciate her.
new Grévy's zebra colt at the Lincoln Park Zoo, the first born since 2001. More really cute pictures and videos here.
If you've misplaced your
kinkajou, one was just found down in Pilsen.
After word spread about the
Jesse White Tumblers' missing drums, donations to the group poured in, including from the Chicago Cubs Charities and the Ricketts family -- leading to a happy ending.
lost his wallet in Chicago in 1941. He just got it back.
Three Illinois students (Arlington Heights, Peotone and Charleston represent!) have made it into the
semifinalists of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which concludes tonight at 7pm on ABC7.
So apparently the Tribune wants to start up a
photographic, chest-thumping competition between Illinois residents and those who live in Montana. Isn't that like getting involved in a land war in Asia?
Chicago Public Schools is apparently on the search for
math and reading computer software that could help teach students each day, sans teacher supervision.
Jesse White Tumbling Team showed up to their storage facility before an event to find their equipment missing.
Remember Rudy Acosta and his
crazy mansion next to expressway? It's now sitting empty, on tax-exempt land, John Kass reports.
memorial fund has been set up in honor of Albany Park boy Cashmere Castillo who fell into the Chicago River while playing last week. His body was found earlier today in the river near Lawrence Avenue.
The fake cobblestone streets from the
film are at the center of a Public Enemies lawsuit. A man was severely injured when he crossed the rubber cobblestone street and his foot was wedged under a trolley track. He is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for permanent physical injuries.
breaks down how the city spends TIF funds, ward by ward. This is the latest in their long-running series of investigations into possible misuses of these "shadow budget" funds.
The fashion world's embrace of teen fashion blogger
Tavi Gevinson is isn't universal, The Economist finds.
A UIC researcher has
concluded (based on inventories of discarded empty packs of cigarettes from 100 city neighborhoods) that 75% of the cigarettes smoked in Cook County are not purchased in the county. But don't be angry that we will miss out on that much-needed tax revenue; those who buy their smokes on the down low have a convenient self-claim form to pay that extra $2 per pack.
Chicago Housing Authority has issued eviction notices [PDF] to the 31 remaining households of the Cabrini-Green high-rise 1230 N. Larrabee. Note: Contrary to ABC7's report, the building is not the last standing Cabrini Green high-rise.
How many firetrucks does it take to put out a fire in a
highrise trash can? This many. (Better safe than sorry, of course.) UPDATE: Reader Nicole says, "To be fair, I work 20 floors above that fire, and the smoke was pretty bad up here."
A mylar balloon is
responsible for cutting power to 3,825 households last night in what is apparently the most recent of approximately 200 Chicago power outages in the last four years. In other news, ComEd paid for this photograph of a concerned employee with a "Congratulations" balloon.
OnStar figures prominently in a
very detailed account of a robbery in Gresham.
The University of Illinois is
expected to appoint Michael Hogan, formerly of the University of Connecticut, its next president.
Breaking news from the
Sun-Times reports that a man fell to his death this morning at the Marina City Towers. The Fire Department was called to the scene, but little else is known at this time.
A Highland Park High School girl's basketball team
has canceled a scheduled trip to Arizona. Speculation is that this move is in response to recent Arizona immigration reform despite the official reason listed as "safety concerns." Parents are upset at the apparent political statement being made with their children. [ via]
Dustin Shuler, the artist behind the
Spindle in Berwyn, passed away last week.
announced this morning that Solicitor General Elena Kagan is his nominee to replace Justice John Paul Stevens. Kagan taught at University of Chicago Law School and even played 16-inch softball, so I think we can claim her as one of our own.
I tried to resist the urge to post a story entitled "
Drunken, naked stranger arrested in couple's hot tub"--I really, really did.
It's a big day for strange and sad news in Chicago: the Tribune reports that a
shooting at Old Navy on State and Washington was a murder-suicide. Live video coverage is available as of 11:45am.
A day after a
criminal probe was launched against Metra's executive director, Phil Pagano was killed when he was struck by a train. UPDATE: The death is being called a suicide. And allegedly, "a copy of Metra's procedures on how to handle a service disruption after a suicide" was found on Pagano's body.
riots in the streets of Greece, many ( in this case WBBM Newsradio 780) are pointing to a supposed trading error in Chicago as the catalyst to yesterdays market free fall. The economy teetered on the edge because, if the reports are correct, a trader entered a 'b' instead of a 'm' before the 'illion'. Hear that Greece? It's not your fault.
Guess who's got his own Facebook page? That's right,
Ike — the Eisenhower Expressway Dog.
war in Cuidad Juarez is nothing like Colombia, Italy or Chicago.
In an effort to help fund the
recently strapped McCormick Place and Navy Pier proprietor Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (McPier), state officials may allow them to sell their naming rights.
Perhaps you've heard about Stephanie Grace, the Harvard Law student who penned an email last fall to her friends suggesting that African Americans are genetically predisposed to intellectual inferiority;
Grace's words are now making the rounds of the (understandably outraged) Internet. A fellow Harvard classmate and UIC grad ( who had some very surprising opinions about MLK Day in 2003) has been identified as the forwarder. Her motive? She was mad at Grace over a boy.
Building on our earlier
post: Former Chicagoan ( and Steinmetz High School alum) Hugh Hefner chipped in the last $900,000 needed to transfer ownership of the property surrounding the iconic Hollywood sign in California from Chicago-based real estate developers Fox River Financial to the Trust for Public Land.
It turns out that putting
anti-freeze in mom's coffee isn't as fun as it appears it might be in . Heathers
really wants to open more stores in Chicago. So badly, in fact, they've agreed to talk to local unions. The conversation should be an interesting one, given the company's insistence that wages won't be on the table -- and their well-known stance on workers organizing.
Chicago to Phoenix, yesterday's civil disobedience for immigration reform is drawing quite a bit of of national attention. How can we be sure it was a big deal? Well, the Huffington Post put a word in ALL CAPS in their article's title. They usually save that for celebrity NIPPLE SLIPS or when somebody famous LAYS THE SMACK DOWN on somebody else famous.
In case you hadn't heard,
here's an update on the infamous Bucktown baseball attack story from last weekend. The comments, as always, are particularly interesting.
In the wake of the
South Park/Muhammad controversy, Tribune cartoonist Scott Stantis explains where he draws the lines (or doesn't) on drawing lines.
Also via Trib blog The Seeker,
Ahmed Rehab and Hesham Hassaballa provide thoughtful responses to the turbulence between Comedy Central and Revolution Muslim.
State reps John Fritchie and LaShawn Ford think violence in Chicago has gotten bad enough to
call in the National Guard. Father Michael Pfleger, among others, thinks that could just make the violence worse.
According to some
recently crunched numbers on Chicago's demographics, from 2000 to 2008, Chicago's African American population dropped while the suburban African American population grew. The 2010 census data may show an even greater exodus.
Patti Blagojevich's just went
on the market.
Whether or not the feasibility of a potential
Mayor Rahm has you scratching your noggin, the Tribune compiled a list of interesting facts about the former ballet dancer turned White House chief of staff.
In the strangest "he said, she said" argument heard in a while, a couple is arguing over whether the
homemade explosives traded for methamphetamine were dynamite or fireworks.
Landmarks Illinois released its annual list of
most endangered historic places today, and Chicago's Uptown Theatre and Prentice Women's Hospital make the cut along with the St. Lawrence Complex and North Pullman. (Related: the Uptown just launched a Twitter feed this week.)
Illinois' cash-for-appliances program, which took effect at 8am today,
might already be tapped.
Harry Weese ensured that the Metropolitan Correctional Center was visually striking, but now it's found its way into a book for being less than ideal on the inside. If you're itching for other tales of life inside the prison, you can read this detailed 2007 review from the fiancée of an inmate. If you'd like to toss your hat into the ring, you can always review it ... on Yelp.
If you like to scene spot TV shows for local locations, things are looking up! The
Sun-Times reports that there're six pilots for TV Shows that are currently being filmed in town.
You're not imagining things: today is
the hottest April 1 on record. The warmth doesn't last, alas -- Friday will stay warm, but the weekend looks to be rainy and cooler, moving back into normal spring temperatures.
If you find yourself overqualified for your current job, you just might be
working for the U.S. Census.
An early morning
fire has destroyed the building that houses Cakegirls bakery at 2207 W. Belmont Ave. A residential fire started on the second floor at about 5:30am and was brought under control by 7:00am but the Chicago Fire Department judge the building a total loss.
A student's questionable Facebook status update warrants
an investigation by university police over a possible "death threat" [PDF]. This, of course, begs the question: How would merely censoring the student have solved the problem?
The man who
stole bleacher seats piece by piece from a West Side high school is finally caught.
Kevin J. Long tried to bring four knives into the Daley Center courthouse last week. A search of his home turned up
1,600 knives, batons, brass knuckles, a few handguns, and "several pieces of papers with police officer and sheriff deputy names on them." I'm sure he has a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Chicago is the
second biggest tax-procrastinator city in the country. Maybe if the sales tax were lower that wouldn't be the case.
A group of witnesses to an armed robbery on the near South Side
captured and detained the suspect until the police arrived. The suspect apparently sustained some injuries in the process.
The Tribune looks into
the rough, dangerous and some 80-hour workweeks leaving cab drivers frequented ( more than 58 percent) by occupational violence. The Reader's Whet Moser weighs in with their account last year on "bad neighborhoods" vs. "white-collar types partying in trendy areas" and why race plays a major role.
Chicago's unemployment rate reached 11.6 percent in January, Chicago Business
The 2010 Census will start filling our mailboxes soon, but will your identity be truly counted? The Tribune
looks into how mixed races might be erroneously counted with local Chicagoans.
The City of Chicago's website got its
first overhaul in almost a decade today. Check out the new cityofchicago.org (which seems to run on a similar template to explorechicago.org) and see if you can navigate it any easier.
A "reputed mobster" has been charged with
rigging contracts at the convention center.
list of 119 words and phrases that Randy Michaels, CEO of the Tribune Company, banned? Well, it seems Mr. Michaels didn't take kindly to Robert Feder's post about the list and dug himself a deeper hole while expressing his frustration.
Chicagoans will now have the opportunity to be shocked
by 380 new Tasers. The announcement nearly immediately follows the death of a southwestern suburban man who was Tased by Midlothian police officers.
The Trib proclaims "
Quinn wants 33% tax hike" on its front page, while the Sun-Times opts for " Quinn calls for raising income tax to 4 percent." Ah, politics. (Note that the links reference articles with slightly longer titles.)
Now that criminals have learned to operate around the perimeters of blue light cameras, Chicago police plan to
deploy smaller undetectable cameras around the city.
Well, he has another reason to dislike the home of Obama and Daley: a Chicago federal judge
allowed a case against Rumsfeld to proceed that will explore his role in setting detainee handling policies in Iraq.
The Reader's Publisher of the last few months,
James Warren, will step down to move on to other opportunities. Here's his email to the staff on the matter.
This week's New Yorker has an article on Mayor Daley by Evan Osnos. The article is behind a paywall but you can read a summary
Desiree Rogers will step down as the White House Social Secretary.
Except this time it's...the mayor. That's right. Mayor Daley has been
Trib reviews recent research on the disparities in compensation, working conditions and demographic characteristics for those who work in the front of the restaurant compared to those who work in the back.
Aqua is to be named the recipient of the Skyscraper Award, the "world's most renowned prize for high-rise architecture" according to the presenter, global building database Emporis.
Kevin Trudeau is up to a pile of shenanigans involving a Chicago court.
Tony Rezko's old mansion
is on the market.
Belleville News-Democrat reporters George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer
won the George Polk Award for Local Reporting for their investigative series on harsh conditions in a supermax prison.
An adult bookstore in Melrose Park apparently also has
rooms set aside for group sex, according to a Fox News Chicago investigation. [ via]
Don't forget that you leave footprints in the snow
when you flee the house you were just burglarizing.
The New York Times
describes the struggle of Kenwood resident Jean-Paul Coffy as he cares for his parents in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. Coffy's Chicago friends are maintaining a blog following his travels.
Apparently, the far West Suburbs experienced a
this morning. That's the 4.33.8-magnitude earthquake second one in about two years. No, we're probably not doomed.
The Chicago City Council
may vote today to confer landmark status to 6140 S. Rhodes Avenue. The house was owned by Carl Hansberry, a prominent progressive African American businessman and father of playwright Lorraine Hansberry. A court case related to his ownership of the building ultimately struck down one form of racially restrictive covenants.
Well, sort of.
Fox River Financial Resources agreed to sell the property it owns near the landmark Hollywood sign to the Trust for Public Land -- but only after it was unable to sell it to a commercial developer. To raise money for the purchase, the Trust will change the sign to read "Save the Peak" on Thursday.
A Rockford police car and the handcuffed man who was driving it were reunited with the Rockford Police Department after the car was stopped at a Chicago intersection.
Illinois's current junior senator, Roland Burris,
owes over $600,000 in legal fees according to filings released today.
GB flickr pool contributor (and today's Rearview photographer), looked out his window last night to see Greektown restaurant Costa's in flames. Another contributor, Michelle Wotkun, headed down to get a closer view.
The department unveiled a new
public safety alert system today, designed to deliver urgent, location-specific email and text messages to registered subscribers. CPD says Nixle will help citizens "stay more safe and aware" while increasing community engagement.
An identity thief's dream is floating around out in Des Plaines, as loads of W2s, job applications and other sensitive documents blow down Touhy Avenue.
The latest chapter in the Chicago Sports Webio saga (
remember that?): founder David Hernandez pleaded guilty to fraud yesterday.
Someone is following women from the Francisco Brown Line stop and
attacking them, according to police and independent reports we've received here at Gapers Block. More details and descriptions of the suspects will be shared at Thursday night's Beat 1713 CAPS meeting, 7pm at the Korean American Senior Center, 5008 N. Kedzie Ave.
The Mayor's Office of Special Events announced today that
the July 3 fireworks show has been canceled this year due to budget cutbacks. UPDATE: Instead, the City is planning three smaller July 4 fireworks shows for downtown and the North and South Sides -- the Trib has details.
A man with a gun has been
spotted on Northwestern's downtown campus. Campus and Chicago police are searching the Rubloff Building. UPDATE: The lockdown has ended and all buildings on campus are open: an intensive search was conducted but no one matching the gunman's description was found.
Twenty volunteers from Rush Hospital are
on their way to Haiti to help assist in the relief efforts.
According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the unemployment rate in December rose to 11.1% within the state. (Via the
WBEZ report examines the CHA voucher program and finds that instead of provinding low-income tenants with more opportunities, it's actually creating more of the same.
The libel lawsuit against a woman who
tweeted a complaint about her landlord, Horizon Group Management, has been dismissed with prejudice.
A former Chicago police officer was
convicted of fraud for trying to deposit a counterfeit $1 million check.
Abraham Bolden, the first African-American White House Secret Service agent, lives on the South Side
and has quite a history to share.
The John Kass was obviously intrigued by
recent nipple biting, so he raised the bar.
This Saturday, several of Chicago's beloved bakeries and celebrated sweet shops will join forces for a
charity bake sale, hosted by Medici on 57th. All proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam for their ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.
The heartbreaking tragedy in Haiti has claimed at least two victims with local roots. Andrew Grene, a Chicago native who studied at both Northwestern and the University of Chicago, was the top aide to the head of the UN's mission in the Caribbean country. He was
confirmed as one of the casualties this morning. ( Previously.)
Center Square Ledger, "your definitive neighborhood guide to North Center, Lincoln Square and Ravenswood Manor," launches today. Read more about it in Mechanics.
An off-duty officer suffered a "
severe bite to the nipple" during an altercation with an unruly diner outside Gibson's last night.
Sue the T-rex reminds us that Chicago was, essentially, founded by a Haitian. Please help out.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
moved the Doomsday Clock back one minute, to 6 till midnight.
An off-duty police officer
shot a neighbor's dog yesterday. Seems like dog shootings have been in the news a lot lately. Is this a regular occurrance or a case of echoing coverage?
Thomas Frank's magazine, The Baffler, has finally published its first resurrection issue. Alongside the new print, the magazine's website has also been streamlined. Check it out
Results of a
UIC study reveal that the 2006 opening of a Walmart in Austin had a detrimental effect on job creation and economic development in the West Side neighborhood, causing nearly 100 nearby businesses to close after its opening and losing almost as many jobs as the new store provided.
The prime suspects in the
1982 Tylenol Murders, in which cyanide-laced Tylenol killed seven people in the Chicago area, may be forced to provide DNA samples to investigators.
Former governor Rod Blagojevich
will be a contestant on the next season of the NBC show "The Celebrity Apprentice." He will join other luminaries such as comedian Sinbad and Poison's Bret Michaels. The show will debut March 14.
A man in Park Ridge yearns for the fulfilling life of
Blagg the Axman but instead only does battle in convenience stores.
man on a bicycle was hit by a southbound Brown Line train tonight near the Francisco stop. He was transported to the hospital in serious to critical condition. There are shuttle buses operating currently. Please be safe out there!
AP travel writer Beth Harpaz includes the pair of Blues Brothers statues at the House of Blues store in Midway Airport as
the sole notable attraction in Chicago's airports. I would have chosen the Terminal One Tunnel at O'Hare, myself.
Playboy sunk TMZ.com's "news" of
a scandalous photo allegedly of President John F. Kennedy sunning himself on a yacht full of naked babes. Turns out it was a photo from 1967 Playboy photo shoot. (Both links NSFW.)
Last summer, a teenage girl felt threatened by a group of boys in a car who kept driving by, yelling, and threatening her and a friend. She picked up a rock and threw it at the car, smashing a window. Today, a judge found that, while the action wasn't the smartest move,
the girl was justified in defending herself from possible assault.
Don't forget, from this Friday onward, you'll get a ticket for
texting while driving. (Then again, how many people actually get tickets for using their phone while driving?)
Those new Pace buses that serve Bolingbrook, Schaumburg and Harvey (
among other stops) have it all: plush seats, leg room, even bathrooms. Now if they only had riders...
Illinois is the fifth biggest state in the country according to
new Census Bureau numbers. The Land of Lincoln has 12.9 million people which puts it behind California (37 million), Texas (24.8 million), New York (19.5 million), and finally Florida (18.5 million).
I hope you don't have official city business to take care of today,
because it's one of the year's furlough days.
It's been a bad couple of days for animals in captivity in Chicago. First, one of two beluga whales born this week at the Shedd Aquarium
died Tuesday. And today an elephant at the Brookfield Zoo had to be euthanized after suffering kidney failure.
A Beluga whale
has been born at the Shedd for the second time in a week. This time the calf is 5 feet 6 inches long and weighs 152 pounds. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the calf did not survive past its first day.
Steve Rhodes is no longer contributing to
NBCChicago.com, and here's why. UPDATE: Justin Kauffman interviews Rhodes on the WBEZ blog.
Artist Christopher Drew has been fighting against Chicago's regulations against peddling for years, most recently with
an "art for sale" poncho worn on State Street. Earlier this month the police finally arrested him, giving him the opportunity to fight it in court -- but also charged him with felony eavesdropping for taping his arrest despite it occurring in public. Reason notes it's just the latest attempt by the CPD to hide the identities of its officers.
Don't text your girlfriend that
there's a man with a gun in the bank if there isn't one.
Charges against the woman who was arrested for taping a couple minutes of
New Moon at her sister's birthday party have been dropped.
A Naperville doctor was woken from a nap aboard a flight to Salt Lake City to
deliver a baby. Mother and child are doing fine, but the doctor is a little sleepy.
accused of attempting to record the movie New Moon at a Rosemont theater is facing three years in prison, but she has a surprising defender: the movie's director.
Former Bulls star Luc Longley won an eBay auction for naming rights to
a new shrimp species found off the coast of Australia, not far from his home town. He named the colorful shrimp Lebbeus clarehanna after his 15-year-old daughter. Think you've got a better name? Tell us in Tailgate. [ via]
It seems a computer containing undercover recordings from the Blagojevich corruption investigation were
stolen from the offices of the attorneys defending Blago.
Via The Reader's
Michael Miner, behold the Illinois State News service.
In these lean times,
Chicago Public Library usage and circulation is up. Unfortunately, the hours at many facilities are being cut back.
The Trib reports that his work as the founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core has netted Eboo Patel the $200,000 Grawemeyer Award.
Residents of the CHA's
Lathrop Homes, set to be demolished to make way for a mixed-income development, say the'll pull a Tiananmen Square and block the bulldozers.
Hate crimes are on the rise for LGBT youth in Chicago's south and west sides (in neighborhoods such as Englewood and Roseland) when
Youth Pride Center members come home from the Hyde Park-located community center. Chicago Free Press looks into this unsettling trend and how it's related to LGBT legislation's prominence in the news.
The RedEye is
increasing its circulation from 200,000 to 250,000, making it the largest daily newspaper in Chicago and one of the largest in the nation, Kevin Pang notes.
Zell is no longer the CEO of Tribune Company. He's not totally disconnected though, he remains Tribune's chairman.
Senator Durbin is hosting a briefing of the Illinois Congressional Delegation today to discuss the possible transfer of Gitmo detainees to the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, IL.
New York Times picks up on the troubled existence and continuing saga of the Block 37 project, despite the recent opening of the Puma flagship store there.
The Church of Scientology has announced
plans to move their Illinois headquarters to Printer's Row in 2010.
It's not just Black Friday,
it's also a reduced service day in Chicago. Most city-run institutions will be closed which the city hopes will help fill a budget hole. This is the second of three reduced service days this year, the first one was on August 17, the last one is on Christmas Eve.
The Washington Post is
closing its national bureaus, including the one in Chicago.
The Parking Ticket Geek and Reuters blogger Felix Salmon got into a back-and-forth about the Chicago Parking Meter story (and I got a few questions in)
Chicago's handgun ban will be reviewed by the Supreme Court, and
38 states have weighed in against the law.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Andy McKenna is
quoting the Tribune on things it didn't publish.
Chicago-Kent College of Law has opened the Center for Open Government. They'll focus on helping people challenge closed government practices under the Illinois Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, and other similar acts. An Oak Lawn resident who is suing her village for deciding to fire public employees by a private consensus, instead of a public hearing, is their first client.
Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon has
some problems with the Chicago News Cooperative's Dan Mihalopoulos's story on the Chicago Parking Meter deal.
Al Gore is going to be on Chicago Public Radio tomorrow morning at 9am to talk about climate change, among other things.
David Axelrod was in town recently and James Warren sat down with him over a meal at Manny's. Warren's subsequent
story briefly recounts Axelrod's journey from being a Chicago journalist to a senior advisor to the president.
Coming to the end of a banner week in his career, Mayor Daley told a reporter at a United Negro College Fund benefit last night that
the media is partly to blame for Oprah Winfrey's decision to end her show in 2011. "So you keep kicking people, people will leave, simple as that."
Indiana Jones, Universtiy of Chicago celebrity palentologist Paul Sereno, unveils five new species of ancient crocodiles that he unearthed in the Sahara over the past few years. The new findings include the PancakeCroc. We're guessing it didn't eat flapjacks.
Oprah, and her 453-local-employee-run Harpo Inc. studios are not fleeing the Windy City for L.A. as earlier speculated. Oprah is actually leaving her talk show altogether. The announcement will be officially made on her show (after 25 years on the air) Friday with the last show scheduled on Sept. 9, 2011.
Note to would-be muggers, maybe wearing a
bright orange coat isn't the way to go. Also, don't " go nuts" and decide to "go on a spree."
The Chicago edition of The New York Times, produced by the Chicago News Cooperative,
The Wall Street Journal looks at the proliferation of
outdoor surveillance cameras cropping up around the city and discusses the safety-vs.-privacy issues.
A Pittsburgh Steeler fan says he was
poisoned and blinded while drinking at a bar near Soldier Field following a post-game altercation with Bears fans.
interviews Chicago Current founder Geoff Dougherty.
Remember how Generation X supposedly all slackers who hate their jobs? Yeah well, apparently the recession is is a good excuse to
bring that stereotype back, with a twist.
Effective February 1. the Associated Press
reports one way fares will increase by six percent alongside a $2 ($5 to $7) increase for weekend fares and a $1 ($2 to $3) increase for buying tickets on the train.
Governor Blagojevich is trying to delay his trial until September.
The tragedy of the shooting at Fort Hood struck close to home today as the body of Army Pfc. Michael Pearson,
one of three soldiers killed from the area, returned to his family in Bolingbrook.
OK, food stamps aren't involved, but a variety of organizations in the Chicago area and elsewhere
are providing assistance to families who are having a hard time buying food for their pets.
A criminal crew got creative on the North Side Monday night by
attempting to break into a jewelry store via the beauty shop next door . They didn't make it into the jewelers, but they made off with some beauty products, prompting some pretty funny one-liners at the end of the article.
The first of
1,000 Illinois prisoners to be released early as part of a cost-cutting measure are springing free. Only 62 are to be released today, getting out of their sentences up to a year early.
The CTA has
lots of ideas about how to fill the budget gap, but nobody knows which one will actually work.
The new area code 872
goes live on Saturday, so don't forget you'll need to dial an area code for any Chicago number -- even if it's in the same area code as your phone.
With the Cubs' change of ownership, they have become the first professional sports team
with an openly gay owner.
Elementary school students in Oak Park, Naperville and Villa Park are learning early about making "
zero impact" on their environment. They're recycling, composting food scraps after lunch and sending far less trash to area landfills.
When Chicagoland bride-to-be
Teanne Harris's fiancé left her days before their Halloween-themed wedding and reception, it was too late to cancel the arrangements -- so she and her mom moved it to the Des Plaines retirement home across the street. [ via]
If you pick up a copy of the Trib next week and notice something different, there's a good chance it's because
the paper will be testing whether or not it needs the Associated Press.
forked over $4 million to expedite renovations to the North and Clybourn Red Line stop, below a Lincoln Park shopping center and below the future home of Chicago's second Apple Store. This apparently could earn Apple the naming rights and ad space to that station.
imminent closure of the 61st Street Community Garden is getting a lot of attention from the media, with the Trib and Sun-Times augmenting weeks of coverage in the Hyde Park Herald and the Invisible Institute's Garden Conversations.
Two venerable Chicago institutions officially have new owners:
the Sun-Times and the Cubs.
Will the Trib be able to woo luxury advertisers?
It hopes LX365 will make it happen.
the lawsuit Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart filed against CraigsList for creating a prostitution marketplace via its "erotic services" listings? A federal judge dismissed it yesterday.
While demolition preparation continues for nearly all of the Michael Reese campus, the city is
keeping one considering Gropius building, the Singer Pavilion.
Next month when The New York Times
launches its Chicago edition, it will be edited by some big names in the media business -- James O'Shea, James Warren and Ann Marie Lipinski to name a few.
According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, Chicago is the
nation's most stressed out city. Said survey was sponsored by Princess Cruises, who calls the survey their "Life Balance Barometer." No word yet on whether a cruise is the perfect stress reliever.
Among other major cuts in his next budget proposal, Mayor Daley has
proposed to reduce city funding for Venetian Night.
CeaseFire is getting renewed attention in light of the violence at Fenger High School, but Beachwood Reporter's Steve Rhodes thinks it's a load of hooey, likening it to the failed DARE anti-drug program in the '80s and '90s. Related: a profile of CeaseFire gang mediator Tio Hardaway we ran last summer.
The New York Times
launched its San Francisco "Bay Area Report" edition recently. The Times Company plans to launch a similar Chicago edition soon, although if the San Francisco venture is a flop the Chicago one probably won't happen either.
FBI wants to know what happened to the $1.1 million Illinois FIRST grant given to the Historic Pullman Foundation for the still unrestored Market Hall.
Call it The Blago/Ryan Rule. After having two consecutive governors involved in scandal, voters will get the chance to vote on a
gubernatorial recall amendment on the November 2010 ballot. Meanwhile, former Gov. Blagojevich's hole gets a little deeper...and he's getting mud on a few others in the process.
playing ringtones in public doesn't infringe copyright. Looks like it might be time for Chicago's DJs to learn how to beatmatch that noise.
crime is down nearly 10% compared to the same time last year -- even youth homicides dropped by 19%.
If you'd rather rock'n'roll than
swing, why not wear a clump of Elvis's hair while you're at it?
Two odd belongings of two legendary Chicago gangsters are changing hands. A
collection of artifacts from John Dillinger, including a letter to his father from jail and a gathering of guns, goes up for auction in December. And Al Capone's former Wisconsin hideout was snapped up by a local bank yesterday at a foreclosure auction for $2.6 million.
Barack Obama just
received a Nobel Peace Prize.
writing on the Huffington Post, reminds us that "Were this in Colombia, the Congo or Myanmar, we would recognize that children who are recruited into warring groups by much older adults to fight as child soldiers must be disarmed, demobilized, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the community."
A bankruptcy judge has
approved the sale of the Sun-Times Media Group to the $25 million bid led by James Tyree. Of the 16 unions needed to realize the deal, 14 have approved it so far, and the bidders are optimistic about the final negotiations.
It's official: the 61st Street Community Garden
will be demolished by the University of Chicago "shortly after Halloween" so it can be the staging area for the Chicago Theological Seminary construction site. CTS is relocating in order to make room for the Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.
Windy Citizen just got a little more democratic with the ability to vote comments up and down.
In other Tribune news, the NY Times examines
the raiding of the Tribune Company.
Now that there is no need to build an Olympic Village, the Trib is calling
for a broad set of community investments, including the preservation of "Reese's landmark Walter Gropius buildings."
Even the Wall Street Journal
wonders if we dodged a bullet not winning the 2016 Olympics.
I'm not sure the Trib is really selling this article: "
Citi isn't planning to beef up Chicago presence." Um, OK.
The New York Times
will launch a Chicago edition.
Villa Park car dealership is accused of playing the Archie Bunker card in dealing with women customers and employees.
Illinois is known for a lot of great things, but one of them
isn't nursing homes.
James Degorski, the second suspect in the infamous
Brown's Chicken Massacre case, was found guilty this afternoon. Now all that remains is sentencing before this grisly tale finally comes to a close.
A mother and her teenage son are suing four other teens for
allegedly setting up a fake profile for the son on Facebook that contained racial and sexual slurs.
Apartment renters on the North Side of Chicago might have to dig a little deeper around the first of the month. Thanks to tax assessment hikes, landlords are contemplating
"skyrocketing" rent increases for the rest of this year and 2010.
Two former employees of J.C. Cutters Horse Carriage Co. were
found guilty of mistreating their horses by failing to meet feeding and sheltering standards.
You know that $13.7 billion the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid team says the Olympics will pump into the city's economy? Yeah, no.
A new analysis to be released today says it will be only a third of that amount.
Record-high public transit ridership in 2008 (along with, no doubt, all the bikes I see streaming by on Milwaukee everyday)
saved Illinois nearly 260 million gallons of gas. In the new report from advocacy group Environment Illinois, the group says that's equal to the amount of gas from over 450,000 cars.
It's bad enough to get arrested for drunk driving on your
Razor MX500, but riding it in the courtroom as part of your defense is a whole new level.
The CPD is
putting an end to the overtime detail at Obama's house starting October 1. What security will remain is still under review.
After a University of Chicago geneticist
died after researching plague on Sept. 13, virus bacteria federal health investigators arrived in Chicago yesterday to check it out. About 100 people who might have been exposed to the nasty Yersenia pestis bacteria have been given antibiotics as a precaution, and city health officials are saying there is no evidence of a spread.
The Field Museum Univeristy of Chicago's star paleontologist Paul Sereno announced the discovery of Raptorex, an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus Rex but 100 times smaller. (Thanks, Kevin!)
Chicago Canine Club in Burr Ridge is hoping to find a new home for a family of four dogs whose owners were recently killed in a tragic accident.
Speaking of local bodies of water, the Coast Guard has
partially reopened the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to recreational boaters four weeks after the increase in voltage in an Asian Carp barrier.
Geoff Dougherty, editor-in-chief of The Chi-town Daily News, has a
Q&A up about the online newspaper's recent closing.
There's a certain poetic irony to the thought of
multiple bands called the Drifters performing all over the country, questionable strangers blowing through town for a gig and then disappearing into the night.
Then you may want to consider buying
Al Capone's Wisconsin retreat. It has "407 secluded acres with a 37-acre private lake, an eight-car garage and a guard tower."
Some Chicago runners are hanging up their sneakers and
hitting the trail barefoot, or in new glove-like shoes intended to simulate the au natural feel. It's more natural, they say, and even cuts down on pain (once your feet get tough enough to handle the rocks and gravel).
Uli Schmetzer didn't do himself any favors
five years ago when he quoted a fictional person in an article, but the distance he gained from the ensuing scandal likely gave him the conscience to write his telling memoir ... if we can trust it.
That chest pain is evidently the least of your worries in Chicago. Unlike other cities,
our ambulances don't come with the equipment that identifies "widow maker" heart attacks, meaning delayed treatment and increased chance of permanent heart damage or death. "We are doing a disservice to our patients," said one local director of cardiology.
No, it wasn't the Hulk that did
this, but you have to wonder how fast a car has to be going to overturn a garbage truck. Drive carefully, folks.
Speaking of shopping, if you're thinking about spending time on Michigan Avenue from Wacker Drive to Ohio Street anytime between Monday and Wednesday morning, the
street will be closed to vehicular traffic in order to tape Oprah's new season kickoff. If you want to get in on the O action, the show will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will be free and open to all. You can scope out the best seats ahead of time by reviewing this map [pdf] of the event.
Chicago Public School buses get an
upgrade: new GPS systems and cleaner engines.
Michigan Avenue will be blocked off from Wacker Drive to Ohio Street for more than two days on Sept. 8. Guess which local mogul is hosting the little shindig with the Black Eyed Peas - Hint: All of Chicago is invited.
Midwest Generation, LLC, the
Edison International subsidiary that runs the Fisk and Crawford coal-burning power plants on the South Side (and four others in Illinois), is being sued by the state and U.S. EPA for allegedly upgrading systems without meeting current Clean Air Act controls.
Multiple news sources are reporting on a
developing story of an officer and another man shot in the Loop around 1pm today. Chicago Now has it that a man tried to steal a woman's purse and a nearby policeman called for him to stop (perhaps after the man also then held a knife to a woman's neck) and then shot the attacker. UPDATE: The policeman was wounded but saved by his bulletproof vest. Meanwhile, the Sun-Times reports Apparenly the officer was the officer was stabbed, not shot. shot accidentally by another cop on the scene. The man has been declared dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Here's a view from above of the scene.
The Sun-Times looks into the late
Ted Kennedy's ties to Chicago, from the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention and an endorsement from then-Mayor Richard J. Daley, to the to the Merchandise Mart and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Two women who run a nail salon in Countryside were convicted of aggravated battery for threatening their landlord with a
gun...shaped lighter. They claim they were using the lighter as part of a prayer ceremony; he says he feared for his own life and that of his young daughter. Despite their conviction, at least the women know they have a loyal customer base -- a crowd of more than 20 showed up to support them.
National Museum of African American History and Culture will take possession of Emmett Till's glass-topped coffin on the 54th anniversary of his death. The ceremony will take place at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, the same location as his funeral.
Imagine if your identity was stolen by a criminal with more than credit card fraud on his record -- and the police find
you first. It happened to Loyola student Darius Whitehorn, and led to a week spent in jail.
This story contains nothing of obvious Chicago interest -- unless you're a Cubs fan. Then the idea of a goat potentially being sacrificed in connection with the Viking Brett Favre might make a little more sense. [ via]
A result of the economy, a lack of nursing graduates, and a possible wave of nurses retiring from the field, more of these health care professionals are needed, and Chicago is
So the Trib
wants to do a serious assessment of taxing junk food. To whom should it turn? Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University? Sounds good. A report from the Urban Institute? A-OK. Military science fiction author Julie Cochrane? Huh?
A controversy is a-brewin' in Carol Stream, where a former library worker filed a federal discrimination lawsuit.
She alleges her firing was political.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan is going after the Chicago-based maker of a
malt liquor energy drink which contains 12.5 percent alcohol by volume for its alleged questionable marketing tactics.
From Detroit to Chicago by rail in four hours?
Dare to dream...
Apparently robberies including mugging were only up
1.1 percent through July, but it sure seems like violent crime is up more than that this summer, doesn't it? Anecdotal evidence sure points that way.
WTTW's Chicago Tonight is devoting its September 1 show to health care reform, and is looking for interested audience members. "We'll be hearing from legislators, insurers, doctors and hospitals...but we also want to hear your questions and concerns," says an alert the channel sent to supporters today. To request a ticket, email the show or call 773-509-5590.
An alligator was found lurking in the north branch of the Chicago River, near Damen and Fullerton. Last year, one was spotted in the south branch near Bridgeport.
Nine years after the death of
Jeff MacNelly, the Chicago Tribune's editorial cartoonist, the paper has hired Scott Stantis to pen original work for the paper. For a glimpse of what to expect from Stantis (and the Trib's editorial vision), check out this gallery of selected work.
Well, "history" may be a strong word, but
Tony Rezko's 8,400-square-foot mansion just sold at auction for $2.8 million. Even after the sale, Rezko still owes more than $3 million on the house.
Uptown Update has some amazing video of a street brawl that broke out around 9pm Wednesday night. ( via)
About that Chicago alderman who
admits he used his clout to get his daughter into Whitney Young High School? Yeah, Mayor Daley's cool with that.
John Kass points to a Facebook group " Lakeview 911" that was created this month to gather "concerned citizens" who want to connect about the recent muggings in the neighborhood. Remember EveryBlock is also a great local resource on crime stats relative to your street, no matter where you live in the city.
Guy Who Dumped A Beer On Philadelphia Philies Outfielder Shane Victorino In Last Night's Game (not this guy, who was tossed out the park for it): the Cubs, Victorino and the cops want to talk to you. UPDATE: The culprit turned himself in.
A man taking an evening run last night was
shot in an apparent robbery attempt around 10pm on the 7000 block of North Sheridan. Luckily the jogger was not seriously injured.
Was it a "boisterous" yawn or was it "not an outrageous yawn?" What is clear is
a man will serve at least 23 days for it -- and maybe as much as six months.
Suspects have been arrested in connection the recent spate of muggings
in Lincoln Park and Roscoe Village -- which isn't to say you shouldn't be on your guard when walking alone late at night.
Chicago cabbies will again be collecting a 50-cent-per-ride fuel surcharge, only three weeks after expiring. Yay increased gas prices.
A young girl writes a fan letter to director John Hughes in 1985, which turns into one of
the coolest, most touching pen pal friendships ever.
that Triple H. It's going to be especially intense weather-wise this weekend, (hazy, hot and humid), so take care of yourself!
School Board President and Chicago 2016 bid committee member Michael Scott (no, not also
from "The Office") has been arranging to develop property near planned Olympic sites; here's a map. His development team also includes several politically connected West Side ministers. As the Beachwood Reporter says, "Michael Scott, you are today's winner of our new So Chicago Award."
A firm has been selected as design engineer to connect McCook Reservoir to Deep Tunnel in order to "
reduce flood risk, protect the vital Lake Michigan water supply and improve the quality of water in area watercourses." If you are intrigued by giant holes in the ground, here is some additional information about our future tunnel and reservoir plans.
Director, writer, and producer John Hughes
has died of a heart attack. A graduate of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, he wrote, directed or produced a number of films set in fictional Chicago suburbs, including National Lampoon's Vacation, Sixteen Candles and Home Alone.
just redesigned its website, but the " feedback" tab on the right side of the page seems to be treating it as a work in progress.
The Schuba brothers are nearly ready to open a new mid-sized music venue named
Lincoln Hall near the old Biograph Theater.
Write a song called "
Birthday Sex" and you could be tapped to encourage Chicago kids to go back to school! That's what happened when the CPS folks chose Morgan Park High School graduate Jeremih Felton to use his Twitter feed to tell his 60,000 followers to go back to school Sept. 8.
"It's a blighted area, underutilized with vacant buildings." So clearly the answer is for the city to
sell five acres to a developer for $1 so he can build new buildings.
Doesn't it always seem like the
craziest stories are the ones from Wisconsin?
In another strange arrest, the
FBI arrested a 20-year-old for making approximately 300 "unauthorized transmissions" over CTA radio waves. He was identified by his voice when he and his brother asked if they could collect a reward for returning a stolen CTA radio. In related news, the FBI apparently needs to hire a copy editor. Perhaps you could edit their release as an introduction.
An 86-year-old woman
was caught stealing "anti-wrinkle cream ... other cosmetic items, nearly a dozen packs of AA batteries, four packs of Taster's Choice coffee and several packs of salmon" by stuffing them in her pants. Other interesting facts: she's been arrested more than 60 times and has at least 20 aliases.
these billboards along the expressway this morning?
The University of Chicago's Office of Civic Engagement has notified the
61st Street Community Garden that the garden must be vacated by October 30. The move is prompted by construction efforts related to the expansion of the controversial Milton Friedman Institute.
Jerry Reinsdorf, who already owns the Bulls and White Sox, is a little bit closer to adding some puck-wielding Coyotes to his stable after the NHL's
unanimous approval of his bid. Don't worry Hawks fans, he plans on keeping the team in Phoenix.
Why? Well, the 10 person brawl at the wedding probably didn't help, but the trunk full of guns
was the icing on the cake.
The firm that leased seven oases on the Illinois Tollway
may be foreclosed upon -- and turns out to have made big campaign contributions to Blago to sweeten the deal. [ via]
A Chicago man is
accused of stealing more than $45,000 worth of eyeglasses from suburban Milwaukee stores. Why, and again, why? The complaint quotes the accused as saying he "really likes to be around glasses."
covers the anti-Olympics movement in Chicago.
A Chicago woman is
being sued by her apartment's management company after she tweeted negatively about them to her 20 followers. UPDATE: Horizon Realty responds to the Twitter backlash.
The latest version of the
Ford Taurus has workers at a South Side auto plant keeping their fingers crossed that it becomes a hit. If it's a success with the public, it could mean more jobs at the Torrance Ave. factory.
Man, the Wienermobile is having a bad week. First one
crashes into a house in Wisconsin, now an environmental group is criticizing it for being bad for the environment (and violating a law against advertising vehicles in Hawaii).
The Cook County Board voted yesterday to allow
Cook County Sheriff's police to issue tickets for marijuana possession of less than 10 grams -- but only in unincorporated areas of Cook County, for now. And the cops still have the option of taking you to jail instead.
Fresh off the
deepening scandal over the Burr Oak cemetary f-up, a Glenwood cemetery is being sued for double booking grave sites.
As anyone in Hyde Park/Kenwood knows, the area around Obama's house is fairly well controlled. We now know it's protected to the tune of $2.2 million, but
it's not entirely certain the city will be fully reimbursed for those expenses.
Streeterville is getting yet other chunk of controversy, this time from the
proposed Children's Memorial helipad.
Don't freak out if your favorite downtown newsstand evaporated overnight.
It'll be replaced within a month by a fancy, new design by JCDecaux S.A.
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile crashed into a house this weekend in Racine after making a wrong turn and trying to turn around in someone's driveway.
Fuel question demonstrates, when it comes to the Sears/Willis Tower name change, people either lament the loss of another piece of "Chicago" or you think it's much ado about nothing. Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin falls on the side of the former and tries to put the whole thing in perspective.
So you know that
$300 million budget shortfall? In true Chicago style, the city has opted to make up part of the funds with more aggressive car ticketing and booting. Motorists with two unpaid tickets older than one year have been punished, with 183,293 seizure notices and 3,493 boots thus far.
Today is the
last day the Sears Tower will officially be known as, well, the Sears Tower. Tomorrow it become the (ugh) Willis Tower. We're toasting with a highball in its honor. Let us know what you think in Fuel.
A member of the FSU street gang alleged to
use violence to exert control over the hardcore punk scene was arrested on Monday. The federal charges were filed in Chicago, and said to be the result of a complaint made by a popular Chicago area recording artist. The FSU name stands for "F*** S*** Up," and "Friends Stand United" ... crickets.
CNN Money's Best Places to Live rankings are out, and Illinois small towns only garnered 3 of the top 100 spots. Batavia, Buffalo Grove, and downstate Glen Carbon made the list, but none broke the top 50.
Late Sunday night on the West Side, approximately 35 police cruisers were called to
a Family Dollar store. While there are no other media reports at this point, police officers stated "about 20 people looted" the store, and bystanders were discussing people going "in and out five times." All visible doors were open, and a window was broken in the front. Here's one photograph from the scene.
Although it's not hard to catch him smoking in front of the Tribune Tower or having a burger at Billy Goat,
100 lucky Tribune print subscribers will schmooze and make beer-can chicken with legendary columnist John Kass Aug. 1 at the Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton.
Among the losses -- albeit restorable -- in the recent Burr Oak Cemetery scandal is Emmett Till's original casket, which was
found in a storage room with possums living in it.
The call for the King of Pop to be
buried in Gary is mounting, while Chicagolands top Michael Jackson impersonator is in mourning.
fireworks may not have been violence free, but at least one man didn't allege he had $250 stolen from him by the police there ... and then recant.
When the weather forecast is too vague, institutions from the city to universities
are calling on private meteorologists to take some of the uncertainty out of the day.
A new study shows Illinois kids are in a Top 10 list that no one's bragging about.
One in three Illinois children is overweight or obese, and Illinois ranks 10th in the country for percentage of children ages 10-17 who are too heavy.
"The housing bubble caused a migration bubble and it has burst." In non-sound byte language: Depressed housing prices in California and Florida mean fewer people are moving out there. Consequently, established cities are making population gains. We gained 21,000 people last year.
Remember that 1968 riot police reunion? Well, it happened, and here's
a little summary of it.
Does Chicago pay too much to move bodies to the morgue?
Ald. Edward M. Burke says yep, and wants to hold hearings about the contractor, which the city pays $915 to transport each body. In good old Dayton, OH, the company's hometown, it's a measly $75 per body.
The thought of year-round school is enough to make any elementary school student pound his or her head on their locker in anguish. So if you hear repeated banging coming from the vicinity of
Herzl Elementary School in North Lawndale, you'll know why.
The world of infomercials (or, shows you find yourself watching at 2 AM) will never be the same: Pitchman Billy Mays, who brought OxiClean into our lives,
died this morning at age 50.
Unemployment is hitting Chicago hard, with a seasonally unadjusted jobless rate for the metro area of 10.7 percent. That's the highest level since August 1983.
The FBI arrested a New Jersey blogger for writing that three Chicago-based federal judges "
deserve to be killed," then posting their photographs, phone numbers and a map of their courthouse on his blog. He was upset that the judges recently upheld the handgun ban in Chicago and Oak Park.
Anthony Abbate, the Chicago cop caught in the infamous barmaid beating videotape, has been sentenced to two years probation for the incident.
Twenty-one million dollars is the most a jury has ever awarded in Chicago for a wrongful conviction.
Juan Johnson's is just the latest acquittal tied to alleged police misconduct. If what the city lawyers say is true however, there is a lot more than meets the eye.
A Hudson News store at O'Hare used a blinder (a black plastic square usually