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Four @ 4 Updates for Your Commute    

Friday, Oct. 31 Update

By Robert Martin

Posted: Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

1. Waukegan Teachers Strike Officially Over

Teachers in Waukegan voted Thursday to ratify a new three three-year contract, effectively ending their 20-day strike. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, 86 percent of teachers voted yes to a new contract that will allow them to keep their fully-funded, single health care coverage. Students will return to class on Monday. The strike was the second-longest in Lake County history.

2. Chicago Journalist Monitored for Ebola After Trip to West Africa

The Chicago Department of Public Health is monitoring journalist Marcus DiPaola for Ebola three times a week after a recent trip to Liberia. DiPaola was on assignment covering the Ebola outbreak for Chinese wire service Xinhua News Agency. He will continue to check with health department nurses through Nov. 9. According to The Chicago Tribune, DiPaola never came into direct contact with anyone while in the African nation, and plans to return sometime in December. 

3. Nick Wallenda Gears up for Tightrope Walk Between the Marina City Towers

Crews began work Thursday night to prepare the Marina Towers for daredevil Nick Wallenda’s tightrope walk on Sunday. A 750-foot steel wire was attached from the west Marina Tower to the Leo Burnett building across the river. According to ABC 7, Wallenda who tightroped across the Grand Canyon last year will walk blindfolded from Marina City’s East Tower to its West Tower. Wallenda’s father is the chief rigger and safety coordinator for the stunt.

4. Boystown Hosts Halloween “Freak Show” Parade

The 18th annual Northhalsted Halloween Parade is taking its inspiration from “American Horror Story” this year. According to DNA Info, the parade will have a “Freak Show” theme complete with an assortment of creepy clowns and circus characters. Festivities include live music, street performers and more. The parade starts at 8 p.m. Belmont and Halsted avenues.


Thursday, Oct. 30 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted:Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

1. Bomb Threat at Federal Building in the Loop
Authorities are investigating a bomb threat that was called in this morning at the Kluczynski Federal Building downtown. According to the Chicago Tribune, police were notified at 7:15 a.m. that an unknown male had phoned in the threat. At least six Homeland Security officers, multiple police officers and K-9 units secured the perimeter of the building. Many people waited over an hour to get back inside the building.

2. Convicted of Double Homicide, Alstory Simon Released
In 1982, Alstory Simon confessed to a double homicide that helped free inmate Anthony Porter from death row in 1999. Simon has spent the last 15 years in prison for the double murder, according to ABC News, but State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has concluded Simon’s confession was false. Porter was two days away from execution for the crime before Simon confessed, however Simon’s attorney believes Porter is the real killer. Currently, no one is in jail for the 1982 double murder. Even if police think Porter is indeed the killer, they can’t do anything about it due to double jeopardy.

3. Boston’s Longest-Serving Mayor Dies of Cancer
Tom Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor, died today of cancer at the age of 71. President Obama hailed Menino for shaping the fortunes of his city and invoked “Boston strong,” the slogan adopted after the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line. According to USA Today, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Menino’s gift was his dedication to improving Boston.

4. Apple CEO Tim Cook Officially Comes Out
Although most people already know, Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out to the public as gay in a personal essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek. He stated, “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” According to the Chicagoist and Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel, this is the first time a Fortune 500 CEO has voluntarily stepped out and said "I'm gay."

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Wednesday, Oct. 29 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted:Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

1. Some Chicago Catholic Schools to be Closed
Cardinal Francis George has said some Archdiocese Schools will be closed or consolidated due to rising costs and low enrollment. Meetings were held earlier in the year with the schools that were at-risk to notify them of their status, but many of them were not able to grow in student numbers. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Archdiocese school system currently educates more than 82,000 Chicago-area children in 240 elementary and high schools.

2. Purdue University Shooter Found Dead in Prison
Convicted killer Cody Cousins, who shot and killed Purdue University student Andrew Boldt, was found dead from suicide at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Cousins, 24, was sentenced to 65 years for Boldt’s Jan. 21, 2014 murder at the university’s Electrical Engineering Building. According to the Department of Correction, Cousins was found unresponsive in his cell during a routine security check Tuesday night; he had cut his neck and arms. According to Fox59, Cousin’s attorney Kirk Freeman said that Cousins was “so sick he didn’t know how sick he was.”

3. Chicago Will Not Refund $7.7M from Red Light Tickets
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration will not refund $7.7 million in red light camera tickets it collected after quietly lowering the yellow light standard, according to the Chicago Tribune. Emanuel said earlier this month he would consider refunds, but Chicago Department of Transportation chief  Rebekah Scheinfeld dismissed that option. “These were violations of the law, they were legitimate tickets and we stand behind them,” said Scheinfeld.

4. Chicago Billboard Makes Joke of Lamarr Houston’s Injury
Lamarr Houston’s ACL injury has now become the joke of a billboard on the Edens Expressway. According to WGN, Command Sign posted an electronic billboard near Niles Center Road on the expressway which reads, “Houston, we have a problem.” Houston tore his ACL while celebrating a sack in the Bears-Patriots game Sunday.

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Tuesday, Oct. 28 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted:Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

1. Cook Co. Commissioner Garcia Enters Mayoral Race
Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia announced Monday evening that he would challenge Rahm Emanuel in the next Chicago mayoral race, according to the Chicagoist. Garcia declared his candidacy with a central message that Chicago “is not headed in the right direction.” He has a strong resume and could be an attractive candidate with left-leaning voters, now that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has left the race.

2. Dozens Hurt in Chicago-Bound Amtrak Accident
According to Reuters, 24 people were injured aboard an Amtrak train heading from Indianapolis to Chicago when it collided with a semitrailer that crossed into its path. The collision occurred around 8:20 a.m. Tuesday, approximately 25 miles north of Lafayette, Indiana. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says no one aboard the Hoosier State line suffered serious or life-threatening injuries. WLFL-TV in Lafayette reports that the conductor on the train was also involved in a train crash last year near Monon, Indiana.

3. Chicago’s 4,000+ Neighborhood Gardens
A new study by University of Illinois researchers John R. Taylor and Sarah Taylor Lovell identifies more than 4,000 neighborhood urban agricultural plots within Chicago, DNAinfo Chicago reports. The researchers said existing lists of community gardens were incomplete and outdated. “We decided to scan the entire land area of Chicago looking for gardens that hadn’t been reported on any list; backyard gardens, utility right of ways and other things that I could see in Google Earth,” said Taylor.

4. CTA Tests Controversial Geolocation Technology
According to RedEye Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority quietly began testing geolocation sensor technology last month. The agency said it installed Bluetooth-enabled sensors called “beacons” on 40 locations near 11 busy rail stations in a two-week pilot. The same technology is currently being used by stores and restaurants to alert passers-by – via smartphone – about deals in their business. The CTA is looking at how this technology could be used to give riders bus and train tracking information. The beacons have come under fire from some who say they represent a violation of privacy.

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, Oct. 27 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

1) No Increase on CTA Fares
CTA unveiled a $1.44 billion 2015 budget proposal that would not increase transit fares for the second year in a row. It also proposes a slight increase in Brown and Orange line services to ease crowding, according to the Chicago Tribune. The agency will rely on ridership gains rather than fare hikes to help pay the bills. Still, the CTA projects less than 1 percent growth in overall ridership next year.

2) Baby Wipes Recalled Due to Possible Bacteria
According to WGN Chicago, there has been a nationwide recall of baby wipes because some packages may contain bacteria. There were complaints of odor and discoloration from several brands at Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Family Dollar, and Diapers.com. Company officials say the bacteria poses little medical risk to healthy people, but could be problematic for those with weakened immune systems.

3) Washington High School Shooting Victim Dies
One of four students injured in a Washington high school shooting has died, bringing the death toll to two. According to CNN, three other students remain hospitalized from Friday’s shooting in the school’s cafeteria. The shooter killed one student at the scene and injured four others before shooting and killing himself. Two of the students who remain hospitalized were the shooter’s cousins.

4) Lamarr Houston Tears ACL After Sack Celebration, Out for the Season
In the fourth quarter of the Bears’ 51-23 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, Lamarr Houston suffered a torn ACL after jumping in the air to celebrate a sack. The Bears’ were down 25 points at the time of Houston’s sack, according to CBS Chicago. Houston will be out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL and will be in rehab for six to eight months. Houston has apologized to the team for his actions.

Watch video of the injury here.


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