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Four Stories for Your P.M. Commute

Friday, Feb. 28 Update

By Scott Sutton

Posted: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

1. State Police: Concealed Carry Permits In The Mail Today
About 5,000 of Illinois’ first concealed carry gun permits are being printed and mailed today, according to the Illinois State Police. The number represents only about ten percent of the applications the state police have received for the permits, only 300 of which have been denied. Another 800 are still under review because of law enforcement opposition. The permits are being issued after a December 2012 appellate court decision that ruled Illinois’ ban on concealed carry unconstitutional.

2. Disney’s Childhood Home Fails To Meet Kickstarter Goal
The campaign to raise money for renovations to Walt Disney’s boyhood north side Chicago home fell well below its goal, according to the DNAinfo Chicago. Run through crowd funding site Kickstarter.com it raised $111, 138, well short of the lofty $500,000 the campaign’s organizers hoped to garner. While it appears renovations will not be happening, an effort to turn the home into a museum is still under way.

Walt Disney's Chicago childhood home, located at 2156 N. Tripp Ave.

3. More Snow, Frigid Cold On The Way
As the promise of March looms this weekend, so does the threat of another wintry blast. According to the National Weather Service, Chicago could be in for up to an inch of snow tonight and another 2-4 inches Saturday. Couple that with temperatures predicted to get down into the single digits (a poultry six degrees Sunday night) and it looks like the city is headed back into #Chibieria mode. This winter, which meteorologically ends today, is the third coldest and third snowiest on record and the worst since 1978-79.

4. Blackhawks Take Over Soldier Field, Host Pens Saturday Night
The Blackhawks are taking to the ice Saturday night as the home team, but will not be playing at the United Center. Instead they will host the Pittsburgh Penguins along the lakefront in the first ever NHL game at Soldier Field as part of the league’s Coors Light Stadium Series. The Blackhawks come in to Saturday night on a two game skid and in third place in the Western Conference, while the Pens hold the top spot in the East. Each team has 84 points on the year. The Hawks have only ever played one other outdoor regular season game, in which the Detroit Redwings won 6-4 at Wrigley Field.

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Thursday, Feb. 27 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

1. Chicago Heating Bills Rise Sharply
In the midst of a record-cold winter season in Chicago, heating bills are set to rise sharply next month and next year if state regulators grant Peoples Gas’ proposed utility rate hikes. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Peoples Gas announced Wednesday that its charges for the gas commodity will soar to 93 cents per therm this March. This is a 79 percent increase from February’s gas price of 52 cents. Peoples Gas has also filed with state regulators for a delivery rate hike totaling $129 million to take effect next winter. If granted in full, this rate hike would bring the average Chicago household’s monthly gas bill to around $100.

2. Cash-Strapped Chicago Still Better off than Bankrupt Detroit
National media and financial analysts have been drawing economic comparisons between Chicago and Detroit lately. However, the Chicago Tribune reports that a report released Thursday by bond-rating agency Standard & Poor’s contradicts that financial comparison. The rating agency acknowledged that Chicago is cash-strapped and struggling to manage government worker pension debts. Still, the report concluded that unlike Detroit’s spiral into bankruptcy, which was largely outside of the city’s control, Chicago can largely control its own fate.  

3. So a Man and a Tiger Walk into a Bar ...
A man recently walked into Uncle Richie’s Bar in suburban Lockport accompanied by a knee-high baby tiger cub. According to CNN, this wasn’t the first time John Basile took his exotic pet tiger to that bar. Local police weren’t swayed by the fluffy cub’s cuteness however, and filed multiple misdemeanor charges against Basile including disorderly conduct and possession of a dangerous animal.

4. Polar Vortex Libations
Another polar vortex is coming to Chicago. But don’t worry; this one comes in a bottle. Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville found inspiration in the season’s weather and crafted Polar Vortex Dunkel Lager. The cold-weather friendly beer has a medium body and hints of chocolate and caramel.

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, Feb. 26 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

1) State Auditor Slams Gov. Quinn Anti-Violence Program
Illinois’ top auditor slammed Gov. Pat Quinn’s $54.5 million anti-violence program that was launched a month before the 2010 election. Auditor General William Holland said Quinn’s proposal didn’t target the most crime-prone neighborhoods in the city. He also said the initiative didn’t monitor how state grant dollars were spent or on whom. Among the top 20 most violent neighborhoods in the city, seven of them didn’t receive money through this program

2) New Digital Manufacturing Lab Could Benefit Small Companies
As many as 70 jobs may become available for the City of Chicago after the new public-private digital manufacturing lab opens at Goose Island. The institute will include 23 universities and more than 40 large companies. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a mechanical engineering professor from the University of Illinois will be the chief technical officer. The lab’s mission is to link research capabilities of big universities and the businesses that can put it to use to solve similar problems.

3) Champaign County Begins Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
Champaign County Clerk Gorden Hulten announced today that his office will also be providing licenses for same-sex marriages before the June 1 start date in Illinois law. Last week, a federal court ruling allowed Cook County to start issuing marriage licenses to all gay couples immediately. According to the Chicago Tribune, Hulten said the delayed implementation of the new law was unnecessary.

4) Pothole Claims Have Soared
The Sun-TImes reported that the number of auto damage claims against the city have soared due to the increasing number of potholes. At a City Council meeting earlier this month, 305 damage claims stemming from potholes were introduced, more than any other month — by far — in at least the last four years. Officials blame a frigid, snowy winter on the increase in claims, of course.

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, Feb. 25 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

1) JP Morgan to Cut 5,000 Jobs in 2014
In a presentation tied to its annual investor day conference, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced that it will be seeing a significant cut in 2014, including full-time employees and its target profit. According to the Chicago Tribune, the bank cut its target for a key measure of profitability and returns on tangible common equity down to a range of 15 to 16 percent. The number of employees working in the bank’s branches will also decline in the coming years.

2) Visiting Gang Leaders Homes to Reduce Violence
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy set out to stop the violence of South Side gangs after a deathly shooting earlier this month. McCarthy ordered his staff to visit the homes of every gang leader in the area and warn them to stop shooting. Not only were they threatening them with prison time, but also giving them contact information for job training and other social services to turn their lives around. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, McCarthy believes this will change the gang members’ behavior because they address family members as well. Also: Town hall meeting on gun violence | Special report: Chicago gun violence

3) Police: Man Jumps to His Death in Water Tower Place
According to DNAinfo Chicago, a Massachusetts man committed suicide late Monday night by jumping from the seventh floor inside the Water Tower Place. Police are still investigating, but witnesses say the man was last seen setting down a drink and then leaning over the railing of the indoor atrium.

4) New Edward Gorey Exhibition in His Hometown
Beginning earlier this month and continuing through mid-June, the Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago is hosting two exhibitions of the late Gorey’s work. A Chicago native, Gorey’s work has never been showcased in the city. According to the Huffington Post, one of the shows is a touring exhibition that offers comprehensive looks are his illustrations, and the second exhibition offers a number of rare items for a deeper look at the man behind the art. Photos of Gorey’s work in the exhibitions can be found here.

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, Feb. 24 Update

By Jakub Rudnik

Posted: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

1. Great Chicago Filmmaker Harold Ramis Dead at 69
North Shore resident and Hollywood comedy filmmaker Harold Ramis passed away Monday morning from complications with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Ramis directed such comedies as “Caddyshack,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.” He was a writer for “Ghostbusters,” in which he also co-starred, and directed four episodes of NBC’s “The Office.” In 1996, Ramis moved with his family back from Los Angeles to Chicago, where he had begun his career at Second City.

2. Chicago Jail Escapee Tells Judge to “Stick It”
Bank robber Kenneth Conley smirked and winked in court before being sentenced to an additional 41 months in prison for his escape from a Loop prison in December 2012, according to the Chicago Tribune. After receiving the sentence, which was added to the 20 years he was serving for bank robbery, Conley told a federal judge he had something to say for the record. “You can take your analogy and stick it right up your (expletive).”
3. Man Atop Train Delays Metra Service
A Union Pacific North line train was delayed for over 30 minutes this morning because of a person standing on top of the train in the Roger’s Park neighborhood. Passengers witnessed the man jump from an outbound train to the train headed toward Chicago, and the train was halted when he would not come down. One passenger told Redeye, “There’s a building next to the train and we can see the shadow of the man on top of the train.” The man was taken to hospital for evaluation, and a police department official said police were assisting Metra in a “criminal trespassing incident.”

4. Jimmy Fallon to Take On Polar Plunge
Last week “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon invited Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to come on the show, to which Emanuel replied that he would if Fallon took part in Chicago’s Polar Plunge. Monday morning Fallon tweeted that he will join the March 2 dip at North Beach—while wearing a suit and tie. According to DNAinfo Chicago, Emanuel participated last year after Chicago kids read over 2 million books in the city’s Summer Learning Challenge. 

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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