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4 Stories to Know About for Your P.M. Commute

Friday, Jan. 24 Update

By Jakub Rudnik and Mike Reilley

Posted: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014

1. Whole Foods to Lincoln Park?
Twitter was buzzing Friday afternoon about the possibility of Whole Foods moving into the abandoned Dominick's location at Fullerton and Sheffield avenues near DePaul University. A Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce source confirmed Friday that an announcement about the location could come as early as late Friday afternoon. We'll update throughout the day. Related: Dominick's closes

2. I-94 Cleared After Devastating Pileup
A Thursday afternoon pileup that involved 46 vehicles on I-94 roughly 60 miles west of Chicago was finally cleared Friday morning. According to the Chicago Tribune, three people were killed, including one Chicago resident—Jerry Dalrymple from the 9000 block of South Bell Avenue. Sudden whiteout conditions are considered to be responsible for the accident that sent as many as 20 additional people to hospitals.

3. A Higher Percentage of Murders Solved in 2013
According to DNAinfo Chicago, CPD detectives brought charges in or cleared 126 of 415 murders tallied in Chicago last year, or a 30 percent rate. That’s a 5 percent improvement from 2012 and the best rate the city has seen since 2012. In 2013, 72 new investigators were assigned to investigate shootings.

Also: Jan. 29 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Hadiya Pendleton in a shooting on Chicago’s South Side. The 15-year-old student was shot just three weeks after she performed with her school choir in Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. The Red Line Project has taken a look how far Chicago has come in handling gun violence and homicides in the past year and has a map of all of Chicago’s homicides in 2013.

4. Monday Metra Commute Delays
After cancelling more than 40 trains during the Jan. 6 polar vortex (#Chiberia), Metra has already warned customers to expect delays during their Monday commute, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. Slower train speeds and increased boarding times are expected to cause slower travel. Current forecasts from The Weather Channel project the high temperature Monday to be 2 degrees, with a low between minus 9 and minus 11 and winds of up 21 mph.

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, Jan. 23 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

1. Red Light Camera Bribe Scandal
The Chicago Tribune reports that a fired executive of Redflex Traffic Systems, Chicago’s red light camera operator, alleged the company gave out bribes and gifts to dozens of municipalities in 13 states. The executive said he is cooperating in an ongoing federal investigation into Redflex’s business practices. This comes on the heels of Redflex’s explosive admission last year that it paid out $2 million in bribes to build its flagship camera program in Chicago.

2. Derrick Rose to Play for Team USA
Bulls guard Derrick Rose plans to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Basketball this year, according to ESPN. Rose, who won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2010 World Championship, will join 27 other players in this summer’s competition in Spain. Rose has been off the court since tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22. He also missed the entire 2012-13 season following ACL surgery. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he is hopeful Rose will be healthy enough to represent his country and play in this summer’s competition.

3. More Arctic Weather
Chicago is in the midst of another subzero temperature blast and it’s not letting up anytime soon. According to the Chicago Weather Center computer models, the “clipper pattern” responsible for recent arctic conditions will continue and even strengthen during the next 10 days. Expect more subzero temperatures and periods of snow. This blast comes less than two weeks after polar vortex storms that turned Chicago into #ChiBeria.

4. The Biebs Gets Busted
We couldn't resist. Justin Bieber was charged with drunk driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license early this morning. CNN reports that the pop star was pulled over in a yellow Lamborghini by Miami Beach police for street racing in a residential zone. According to police, the star was uncooperative and repeatedly swore at officers, saying “What the f*** did I do?” Beiber, 19, was booked into a Miami jail after failing a sobriety test. He was released this afternoon on a $2,500 bond. Read the arrest report.

Justin Bieber Police Mugshot

Photo: Miami Beach police

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, Jan. 22 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

1) Extra Alarm Fire in Cicero Destroys Two Buildings
A five-alarm fire destroyed two buildings in Cicero last night, before the flames were contained around midnight, according to the Chicago Tribune. A Water Department worker driving by notified the Fire Department before the flames spread. Frozen hydrants and water mains inconvenienced firefighters.

2) Sears Flagship Store Closing Downtown
In an effort to focus more on online retailing, Sears Holdings Corp will be closing its downtown flagship store in April. A Sears spokesperson told the Huffington Post that the store has lost “millions of dollars” since opening in 2001. Sears has closed down nearly 300 stores since 2010, due to shoppers placing more orders online.

3) Murder in Mundelein being Investigated
A 14-year-old girl is being charged with first-degree murder after an 11-year-old girl was found deceased in a home in Mundelein. Local school were shut down after police arrived at the home, but restrictions were lifted soon after, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

4) EveryBlock is Back!
After a year of being shut down, EveryBlock, a local news site that hosted community conversation block-by-block, is returning Thursday -- with some changes. After a stormy ownership deal with NBC, they closed the site due to “increasing challenges to building a profitable business”, reports the Sun-Times Voices blog. The site launched in Chicago at the height of the "hyperlocal" media trend and spread to several other cities. It was known of its innovative use of "scraping" and automated archiving of public documents, real estate listings and social media sharing. The relaunch of the website marks the six year anniversary, to the day, of when web developer Adrian Holovaty founded EveryBlock. He says it is “a coincidence.” The site's teaser page:

Everyblock Returns Screengrab

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, Jan. 21 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014

1) One Dead After Shots Fired at Purdue University
After a school shooting occurred at Purdue University this morning, authorities have taken one person in custody, it has not been reported if anyone has been injured. The shooting took place at the University’s electrical engineering building on campus, reports the Chicago Tribune.

2) Sex Abuse Files from Archdiocese Go Public
After many allegations of sexual abuse cases involving members of the church, the internal documents from the Archdiocese of Chicago have gone public. The documents were released through settlements between attorneys for both the archdiocese and the victims, reported the Huffington Post. The documents offer a broad look at how the dioceses responded to the scandals.

3) Divvy Bikes Supplier Files for Bankruptcy
This broke late yesterday, but it's worth mentioning: The Public Bike Company has sought protection from creditors. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the company, also known as Bixi, supplies bikes, docks, stations and software to Divvy. It received a $108 million bailout three years ago from the city council in Montreal, where the company is based. The latest financial news comes after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in November that $3 million in federal grants would go toward the expansion of Divvy stations in the city.

4) Chicago Stumbler Sidewalks Update
Drivers will find potholes hidden under frequent snowstorms, but what about broken sidewalks covered up by the snow? The Chicago Stumbler blog has been udpated with dozens of sidewalks around the city in need of repair. A few of the worst:

Chicago Stumbler Sidewalk Photo

This sidewalk is located near the southwest corner of Archer Avenue and Cermak Road. (Photo/Amy Notestein)

 Chicago Stumbler Sidewalk Photo

Busted sidewalk at 3842 N. Seminary Ave. (Photo/Jessica White) 

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, Jan. 20 Update

By Jakub Rudnik

Posted: Monday, Jan. 20, 2014

1) Two Stabbed on the Northwest Side
According to DNAinfo Chicago, two people in Portage Park were stabbed around 6 a.m. today and were hospitalized in serious-to-critical condition. A 17-year-old girl and 20-year-old man were in an apartment when they were stabbed by two men. They were able to escape and call police from a McDonald’s at 3650 N. Cicero Ave. A Chicago Police Department spokesman said that two suspects are in custody, and one was taken to a hospital with injuries.

2) More Snow on the Way
A lake effect snow warning for the Chicago area has been issued by the national weather service starting at 11 p.m. and going until 9 a.m. Tuesday. Six to 12 inches of snow are expected, with northern Indiana likely to be hit hardest. That will add to the 38.9 inches of snow the city has seen this winter, already above the 36.7 inches it sees in an average winter, according to the Chicago Tribune. See our Storify on the first set of winter storms. Or watch the WGN forecast.

3) Chicago Libraries Best in the U.S.
A study by a German university has ranked Chicago’s public libraries as the best in the United States based on its core services, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Of the 31 international cities in the study, Chicago ranked No. 3 and ranked ahead of cities such as London, Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong. Vancouver and Montreal ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.

4) Hey, What’s That Smell on My CTA Train?
A report in the Chicago Tribune says that reports of feces on CTA trains have been happening more regularly recently. A CTA spokesman said that this is a result of the recent cold snap (and another is on the way), as many homeless people are using CTA services to avoid the harsh conditions. The spokesman said that an additional 15 rail car servicers have been hired to clean cars when they reach the end of the line, but that hasn’t been so obvious with the recent state of some Red Line cars.

In the past week, here are photos off some of the Red Line trains that our reporters and readers have documented:

CTA Trash

Trash on the Red Line on Monday morning. (Photo/Jakub Rudnik)

Dirty CTA Red Line Cars Photo

Trash on a Red Line train last Wednesday morning. (Photo contributed by @sputnikthedog)

Dirty Red Line Train Photo

 This Red Line train was full of papers and trash last week. (Photo/Emily Brosious)

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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