Friday, Sept. 19 Update
By Sadé Carpenter
Posted: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Police arrested four suspects in connection with the death of 9-year-old Antonio Smith, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to their arrest reports, the suspects belong to the Sircon City faction of the Gangster Disciples. Police say Antonio was not affiliated with gangs, but the suspects wanted to shoot members of a rival faction know as Pocket Town. Antonio was shot at least four times in a backyard, and he is Chicago’s youngest victim of gun violence this year. Read more about Chicago homicides and shootings on our Storify.
Indonesian police said a Chicago man has confessed to killing his girlfriend’s mother in a Bali hotel, according to NBC Chicago. Tommy Schaefer, 21, and Heather Mack, 19, were arrested last month after the body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi. Mack now admits to helping Schaefer stuff the body in a suitcase.
Thanks to a deal made with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Jimmy Fallon is bringing the “Tonight Show” to Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The bet: if Chicago kids read 2.4 million books over the summer, Fallon would bring the show to Chicago for a visit. The young readers exceeded that goal by reading 2.7 million books instead. “So congratulations Chicago, you’ve got some smart kids. You won the bet. We will be coming to Chicago,” Fallon said.
If you haven’t made weekend plans yet, Time Out Chicago has a breakdown of events in the city and surrounding ‘burbs. Highlights include the two-day Oaktoberfest in Oak Park, TacoFest on Southport Avenue in Lakeview and Sunday’s Aahh! Fest, headlined by rapper Common.
Thursday, Sept. 18 Update
By Scott Sutton
Posted: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014
1. Scotland Votes on Secession, Still too Close to Call
For the first time since 1707, Scotland may be its own sovereign nation. The historic vote for Scotland’s secession from the UK took place today after years of buildup and campaigning from both sides, but the results of the vote most likely will not be known until Friday morning, according to the New York Times. If the secession succeeds, it could have far-reaching economic effects such as creating a new currency for Scotland. The decision could also have an even larger impact in the political realm, where the debate over where British nuclear submarines will be housed has heated up.
2. Gang Leader Identified as Chicago Cop Killer in 2008 Case
A Chicago drug dealer and gang leader was sentenced by a federal judge to 35 years in prison today for the 2008 killings of Detective Robert Soto and his companion Kathryn Romberg, according to the Chicago Tribune. Numerous witnesses tabbed Jason Austin, who was already serving prison time for a 2013 drug conspiracy conviction, as the killer. The case drew attention because of the brutal nature of the crimes and the prosecutors’ inability to nab any convictions because of supposed witness intimidation.
3. CPD Helicopter to Patrol Rogers Park Airspace
Residents of the Rogers Park neighborhood may notice an increased police presence not only on the streets, but also in the sky. The Chicago Police Department announced it will be using a helicopter for “visual surveillance.”
According to DNAinfo Chicago, the increase in police presence will cover Rogers Park and West Rogers Park/West Ridge, and is a response to heightened violence. The move comes after the high-profile murder cases of photographer William Lewis and Markeyo Carr focused much of the city’s attention on the North side neighborhoods. CPD says the helicopter is not intended to become a permanent fixture.
Check out the Red Line Project’s gun violence coverage.
4. ComEd Reaches $46 Million Settlement, to Refund Customers
Energy giant ComEd has reached an agreement with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to refund $46 million to customers, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. But don’t get too excited – the refund will only average about $8 for residential customers. The refund will be reflected as a credit on customers’ November bills, and the settlement stems from a 2008 decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Wednesday, Sept. 17 Update
By Lindsey Murphy
Posted: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014
1. Woman Convicted in Deadly 2012 'Huffing' DUI Crash Gets 5 Years
Two years ago 5-year-old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento was struck and killed on a sidewalk in Highland Park by a car. After “huffing” cleaning chemical, Carly Rousso, then 17, passed out behind the wheel of her father’s Lexus and veered across lanes of oncoming traffic and onto the sidewalk where Santos-Sacramento, her two brothers and mother were walking. According to WGN, Rousso pled guilty to reckless homicide, and was convicted of four counts of DUI. A judge has just sentenced Rousso to five years in prison, NBC 5 Chicago reports.
Correction (posted Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014): An earlier version of the NBC 5 article reported Rousso's prison sentence as nine years. The article has since been updated, as Rousso was actually sentenced to five years. We apologize for the error.
2. Rallies Continue After Chicago Police Shoot Third Black Man
Protestors took to the streets of Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood after police shot another young black man over the weekend, the third incident in the last three weeks. The rally focused mainly on the shooting of Denzel Ford, 20, who was shot while being arrested for alleged involvement in the selling of narcotics, according to the Huffington Post. After trying to run over an office with his vehicle, Ford was shot multiple times in the upper body and taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition. He was later charged with a total of five felonies.
3. Adrian Peterson Banned from Team Activities
Star running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings has been put on the NFL exempt list, suspending him from all team activities. According to the Chicago Tribune, Peterson faces court in Texas for reckless or negligent injury to a child, stemming from a whipping incident that reportedly left bruises and wounds on his 4-year-old son. The NFL Players Association released a statement including, “Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues.”
4. Increase in Rats to Follow Uptown CTA Demolition
In a big city, with demolition comes more rats and the CTA’s $203 million makeover of the Wilson Red Line will be no exception. During a meeting with Ald. James Cappleman (46th) and the Chicago Transit Authority, rats were one of the major concerns for residents who will be affected by the construction. According to DNAinfo Chicago, CTA representative Jeff Wilson reassured residents by indicating that they will have rat abatement before, during and after construction to control the issue.
Tuesday, Sept. 16 Update
By Emily Brosious
Posted: Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
1. Poll Shows Illinois Voters Support Minimum Wage Boost
According to a Chicago Tribune poll, Illinois voters strongly support efforts to increase the minimum wage and raise state income tax on millionaires – positions that might help Democrats increase turnout in November’s elections. The survey also found voters like the idea of enacting term limits on state lawmakers, an initiative that was struck down by the courts after Republican governor challenger Bruce Rauner tried to put it on November’s ballot.
2. Art Institute of Chicago Named Best Museum on Planet
Travel site TripAdvisor has bestowed its 2014 “Traveler’s Choice Award” to Chicago’s Art Institute, naming it the best museum on Earth. “This Classical Renaissance structure, guarded by two bronze lions at its entrance, boasts one of the world’s great art collections, including the trademark ‘American Gothic,’” TripAdvisor said.
3. Riot Fest Leaves Major Mess in Humboldt Park
According to DNAinfo Chicago, this weekend’s Riot Fest music festival in Humboldt Park was bigger and messier than ever. Friday’s rain and approximately 160,000 fans left Humboldt Park a “muddy mess” of trampled grass, porta-potties and trash. Crews were still working Tuesday morning to clean up after the three-day music festival. Last year, it cost an estimated $54,300 to repair the park, but that was when the fest was smaller – about half the size it was this year, according to park district spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner.
4. Nik Wallenda to Tightrope Walk Across Chicago River
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Nik Wallenda is planning an untethered tightrope walk across the Chicago River, between Marina City’s west tower and the Leo Burnett building, on Sunday, Nov. 2. Wallenda’s performance is expected to be broadcast live in more than 220 countries on the Discovery Channel. “This is going to be the most incredible tightrope walk of my career,” Wallenda said. “I can’t think of a better city to do it.”
Monday, Sept. 15 Update
By Sadé Carpenter
Posted: Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
1. CPS Contractor to Lay off Nearly 500 Custodial Workers
Approximately 480 privately contracted custodians will lose their jobs at the end of the month, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The union representing the custodians said the move will make it harder to keep classrooms clean. Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said Sunday it was “a continuation of the policy to do away with union workers.”
2. Same-Sex Marriages on Hold in Indiana
A U.S. appeals court panel put same-sex marriages on hold in Indiana while the state appeals its ruling overturning a ban on gay marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Supreme Court’s justices are scheduled to meet Sept. 29 to consider what cases to hear for the upcoming term. Gay marriage advocates and supporters of the state ban both want the Supreme Court to decide whether states can ban same-sex marriage.
3. Illinois Observes Rail Safety Week
This week more than 300 police departments across the state will participate in Rail Safety Week, a new initiative aimed at reducing the number of deaths that occur on the tracks. According to CBS Chicago, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported 46 deaths and 67 injuries by train in 2013. Police officers will hand out educational flyers near train stations and busy crossings this week.
4. Study Shows Journalists, Police Officers Drink More Coffee
A new study shows 85 percent of workers admit to drinking at least three cups of coffee per day, WGN reports. The study found that men consume about 5 percent more coffee than women, and 70 percent of respondents believe their work performance would be affected without their daily doses of caffeine. The professions that drink the most coffee are:
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