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Four @ 4 Updates for Your Commute   

Friday, Oct. 3 Update

By Scott Sutton

Posted: Friday, Oct. 3, 2014

1. Jobs Report: Unemployment Down, Job Creation Up
The Labor Department released the September jobs report Friday, reporting that U.S. employers added 248,000 jobs last month to bring the unemployment rate down to about 5.9 percent, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The unemployment rate is now the lowest since July of 2008, just before the economy took a tumble. The report came out a day after President Obama touted his policies as the reason for the nation’s economic recovery.

Check out the Red Line Project’s coverage, including video and Storify, of President Obama’s speech.

2. CTA Offers Half-Off Fares, with Stipulations
Through the end of 2014 Pace and CTA customers can get half-off on their ride fare, according to the Chicago Tribune. But it’s not that simple. In order to redeem the discount, riders must tap their smartphones on the Ventra card readers to pay with an American Express e-payment account. In order to be able to tap and pay, users must download the Softcard app, which contains digital credit cards and payment methods but can only be used with certain credit card brands. For more information about the promotion check out paywithisis.com.

3. Strip Club Owner Applies for Marijuana Dispensary in West Loop
VIP’s strip club owner Perry Mandera applied on Friday for a license to open a medical marijuana dispensary on Fulton Street in the West Loop, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Mandera, who also owns a trucking company and a group of gyms, is the second entrepreneur to apply for such a license. According to Mandera’s lawyer the dispensary would be called Custom Strains, and is Mandera’s way of giving back to his fellow veterans.

4. Hong Kong Protests Shaken by Violence
Protesters in Hong Kong’s bustling Mong Kok district were involved in violent outbreaks on Friday when they were confronted by Chinese supporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Chinese supporters ripped down banners and the protesters’ tents, causing them to have to move. The protesters, who want democracy and freedom from mainland China, claim that the police did not do enough to protect them from the violence, but the police maintain they did all they needed to. According to the Tribune, Hong Kong’s share index the Hang Seng has fallen 7.3 percent since protests started in September.

Still commuting? Read more news from our Twitter feed, RebelMouse page or subscribe to our mobile text news alerts. Or suggest an idea to us @RedLineProject.


Thursday, Oct. 2 Update

By John Zaccari

Posted: Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

1. Weather Forecast Prompts Airlines to Cancel More Than 750 Flights at O'Hare, Midway

The Chicago Tribune reports, as of noon, more than 450 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport and nearly 300 flights at Midway Airport, with delays averaging 20 minutes at both airports, according to the Chicago Aviation Department. Thunderstorms are expected to hit the Chicago area tonight, with winds possibly exceeding 55 mph and up to an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service. The worst is expected to hit south of Chicago.

2. President Obama Visits Northwestern for Speech on the Economy

President Barack Obama visited Northwestern University’s Evanston campus to deliver a speech on the economy and close a two-day fundraising trip to Chicago. President Obama also attended a fundraiser for Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday morning. Read the Red Line Project's live coverage from the speech.

3. Texas Says That Up to 100 Are at Risk of Ebola Exposure

Health officials in Texas say they have reached out to as many as 100 people who may have had contact with a Liberian man sick with the Ebola virus while he was contagious, the New York Times reports. Of those people, only some have been isolated, including the family members and medical technicians who rushed the patient, Thomas E. Duncan to the hospital.

“None are symptomatic,” spokeswoman for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, Erikka Neroes said.

4. Turkey Approves Military Operations in Iraq, Syria

Turkey’s parliament approved a motion today giving the government new powers to launch military incursions into Syria and Iraq and to allow foreign forces to use its territory for operations against the Islamic State group, the Associated Press reports. Parliament voted 298-98 in favor of the motion, setting the legal framework for any Turkish military involvement, and for the possible use of Turkish bases by foreign troops.

Still commuting? Read more news from our Twitter feed, RebelMouse page or subscribe to our mobile text news alerts. Or suggest an idea to us @RedLineProject.


Wednesday, Oct. 1 Update

By Lindsey Murphy 

Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

1. Secret Service Director Resigns
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. This comes after the latest in a string of security lapses involving protection of President Obama. Joseph Clancy, a veteran of the agency, has been named acting director. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama concluded new leadership was needed after fence-jumper Omar Gonzalez made it through the unlocked front door of the White House on Sept. 19.

2. CPS Students with Good GPA Might be Awarded Full Ride to City Colleges
Student in Chicago Public Schools who graduate from high school with a grade point average of 3.0 or better would be guaranteed free tuition to any one of Chicago’s seven City Colleges under a mayoral plan in the works. This is the latest in a series of steps by Mayor Rahm Emanuel toward his lofty goal of making all CPS students “100 percent college-ready and 100 percent college-bound,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Full-time tuition, school fees and books run about $4,400 a year for city residents, according to City Colleges.

3Murders in Chicago at Lowest Level in Almost 50 Years, Shootings Up
According to CBS Chicago, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the number of murders so far this year in Chicago is at the lowest level since 1965. However, the number of shootings was up compared to last year. There were 22 fewer murders in the first three quarters of 2014 than the same time frame last year, and 102 fewer than 2012. However, McCarthy said there were 78 more shooting incidents in the first nine months of this year than last year, and 114 more shooting victims.

4. CTA Performance has Blue Line Commuters Dancing
A video uploaded last week by Teo Lopez captured a performance of his Afro-Puerto Rican band, Buya, singing and drumming on the CTA Blue Line train. According to the Huffington Post, this isn’t the first time Buya has given a unique travel experience to commuters.

Still commuting? Read more news from our Twitter feed, RebelMouse page or subscribe to our mobile text news alerts. Or suggest an idea to us @RedLineProject.


Tuesday, Sept. 30 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

1. Emanuel to City Agencies: Pay Contractors Higher Minimum Wages
Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently signed executive orders requiring city contractors to pay employees $13 hourly minimum wages and now says all city agencies should do the same, according to the Chicagoist. Emanuel called on Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Park District, the Public Buildings Commission and the City Colleges of Chicago to require contractors and subcontractors to pay employees a minimum wage of $13 an hour. The wage increase would benefit nearly 2,400 employees including custodial, landscaping and maintenance workers, and bus drivers and aides.

2. Swimmer Michael Phelps Arrested for DUI
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was arrested Monday on DUI charges, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines, the Chicago Tribune reports. Maryland police stopped Phelps about 1:40 a.m. for driving 84 mph in a 45 mph zone on Interstate 395. Police said he was uncooperative. This is Phelps’ second arrest on DUI-related charges.

3. California Bans Plastic Bags
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, California has become the first state to ban single-use plastic bags. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday that will phase plastic bags out of large grocery stores next year and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016.

4. Hot Doug’s Memorabilia
Avondale’s beloved Hot Doug’s hot-dog stand will close its doors for the last time this Friday. But Chicago sausage lovers still have a chance to pick up some souvenirs before the lights go off for good at the popular restaurant. According to NBC Chicago, Hot Doug’s owner Doug Sohn said he plans to auction off restaurant memorabilia for charity. Sohn also told the Chicago Tribune that a pop-up restaurant isn’t off the table following the restaurant’s closure.

Still commuting? Read more news from our Twitter feed, RebelMouse page or subscribe to our mobile text news alerts. Or suggest an idea to us @RedLineProject.


Monday, Sept. 29 Update

By Sadé Carpenter

Posted: Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

1. Aurora Radar Center Fire Suspect Due in Court, FAA Orders Review
The suspect in the fire at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) center in Aurora is due in court today, the Chicago Tribune reports. Brian Howard, 36, of Naperville, faces one count of destruction of aircraft facilities. The fire, allegedly set as a suicide attempt, has grounded thousands of flights. The Aurora facility won’t be fully operational again until Oct. 13. The chief of the FAA has ordered a review of air traffic control contingency plans as well as an examination of security measures. “This is one of the most challenging situations that air traffic controllers and other FAA employees have faced since 9/11,” said Paul Rinaldi, the president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. “The damage to this critical facility is unlike anything we have seen before.”

2. Wrigley Field Renovations Begin
Crews are set to start tearing down the bleachers at Wrigley Field today, according to WGN. Both sections above left and right field will be rebuilt. The Cubs also plan to install seven new outfield signs. The center field bleachers will remain intact.


3. Police Search for Two Missing Teens
Chicago police are searching for two missing 15-year-old girls in separate cases, CBS Chicago reports. Stephanie Williams, 15, described as a 4-foot-11, 186-pound black girl, was last seen in McKinley Park Saturday afternoon. Police are also searching for 15-year-old Maria Gonzalez, who was last seen in the 900 block of West 50th Street on Sept. 24. Maria is described as a 5-foot-5, 120-pound Hispanic girl, police said. Anyone with information on either disappearance should call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8380.

4. Chicago Celebrates International Coffee Day
If you’re a coffee-drinker seeking an evening caffeine fix, DNAinfo Chicago has the map for you. Their list includes about 1,000 places in Chicago where you can grab a cup of joe. The map includes independent shops as well as chains including Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, 7-Eleven and McDonald’s.

Still commuting? Read more news from our Twitter feed, RebelMouse page or subscribe to our mobile text news alerts. Or suggest an idea to us @RedLineProject.

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