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Four Stories for Your P.M. Commute

Friday, Feb. 7 Update

By Scott Sutton

Posted: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014

1. ‘NATO 3’ Verdict 
Three men accused of plotting to attack President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home and multiple Chicago police stations with Molotov cocktails during the 2012 NATO Summit, have been found not guilty on all terrorism charges. Brian Church, 22, Vincent Betterly, both of Florida and 29-year-old Jared Chase of New Hampshire, were acquitted on five of seven charges in total. All three were found guilty on much lesser counts of mob action and possession of incendiary device. 

2. Sochi Games: 10 to Follow on Twitter
The opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Sochi dazzled audiences Friday. Here are 10 Chicago journalists’ and hometown Olympians’ Twitter accounts that will keep you up to date on the games in Sochi. Some are funny, some are newsy, all are worth following.

3. Chicago Spire Project Back On Track
The project to build the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building on Lake Shore Drive has regained funding of $135 million, and work should resume by the end of the year, according to the Chicago Tribune. The 2.2-acre site, which went into foreclosure in 2010, will become a massive condo building with owners that include Beanie Babies billionaire Ty Warner. 

4. Snow Plow Tracker Reveals City’s Winter Woes
This winter has been one of the snowiest on record, and for some the snow isn’t budging. The Chicagoist reports that the 4600 block of North Kelso has not been plowed all winter, and thanks to some open data journalists, you too can see where Chicago’s plows have or haven’t been. Check out the Clear Streets application to see if how your neighborhood did.

This is a parking spot someone dug out of today at 3800 N. Wilton Ave. Street not plowed for days. (Photo/Mike Reilley)

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, Feb. 6 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

1. New Technology Incubator Coming to Chicago
Gov. Pat Quinn’s office announced details of MATTER, a new health care technology incubator coming to Chicago. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, MATTER will follow the successful blueprint of River North tech hub 1871. The new nonprofit BioHub will be located next to 1871 on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart. Billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker is backing the project along with a $2.5 million grant and a $1.5 million loan from the state.

2. Cabbies File Suit to Regulate Ride-Sharing Programs
A group of Chicago taxi drivers and owners are filing a lawsuit against the city of Chicago, claiming the city has failed to enforce regulations for ride-sharing taxi services. WGN-TV reports the lawsuit alleges unlicensed taxi companies such as UberX, Lyft and Sidecar operate under a separate, unregulated system that jeopardizes consumer protections and public safety. A new regulatory ordinance would mandate such ride-sharing services be licensed and taxed.

3. The Mini-Skirt Turns 50
Fifty years ago, British fashion designer Mary Quant unveiled the mini-skirt. Replacing the girdles and garter belts of previous generations, the introduction of short hemlines marked a turning point in modern women’s fashion. From mini-skirts came pantyhose, patterned tights, tall boots and many of the fashion staples that women across the world still wear to this day. This Chicago Tribune photo gallery takes a look back at the early years of the mini-skirt.

4. Mobile Apps for Sochi Games
The 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are officially under way. Downhill skiing, luge and figure skating are among the first events. If you weren’t able to snag tickets and fly to Russia for the games, you can still keep track of all the excitement with these five mobile apps:

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. 5 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

1) CVS Stops Selling Tobacco
According to the Chicago Tribune, CVS Caremark has decided to stop selling tobacco at all of its U.S. locations, causing pressure on rival convenient stores to do the same. Although the company racks in $2 billion in annual tobacco sales, they hope that halting the sales will reflect the change to becoming more of a health care provider rather than just a storefront.

2) An End to Horse-Drawn Carriages in Chicago?
Ald. Ed Burke (14th ward) is calling for an end to horse-drawn carriages on the streets of Chicago, raising the issue of “compassion toward animals.” Burke told the Sun-Times that he believes the Chicago tradition has “outlived its usefulness” and finds the industry to be unsafe and obsolete. Although the city has strict regulations for the horse-drawn carriages, the question still remains whether or not they should operate at all.

 3) Pope John Paul II’s Private Notes Published Against His Will
Pope John Paul II’s secretary disobeyed one of the cardinal rules of the Catholic church -- to do what the pope says --by publishing private notes that he wanted burned after his death. John Paul ordered the notes be burned by Stanislaw Dziwisz. However, Dziwisz said he “did not have the courage” to do so, believing that these notes contained precious insight. According to NBC Chicago, the Polish-language notes, called “Very Much in God’s Hands. Personal Notes 1962-2003” will come out today.

4) Trayvon Martin’s 19th Birthday
Today marks the day that would be Trayvon Martin’s 19th birthday. It also introduces day three of jury selection for a case highlighting Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law after another shooting occurred in Florida in a claimed act of self-defense. According to USA Today, George Zimmerman, the man acquitted from charges of shooting and killing Martin, announced today that he will be boxing rapper DMX in an advertised fight in March. Twitter users were not happy with the timing of the announcement landing also on Martin’s birthday.

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. 4 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

1) CHA Seeking New Housing Plan
DNAInfo Chicago reports that the Chicago Housing Authority wants to rework parts of the master plan for a Near West Side mixed-income development. The CHA is expected to send out a request for proposals this spring for Roosevelt Square, a $600 million development of mixed-income housing. Poor community input on the original plan was one of the reasons for the changes.

2) Budget Deficit Lowest it’s been with Obama
According to the Huffington Post, the government’s budget deficit is falling to $514 billion for 2014, which is a substantial downfall from last year, which was $680 billion, and is the lowest since Barack Obama has been in office. The Congressional Budget Office sees the deficit worsening by roughly $100 billion a year for the decade because of slower growth in the economy.

3) Microsoft Names their new CEO, Gates Steps Down
As co-founder Bill Gates steps down to a chairman position, Microsoft Corp named Satya Nadella their new chief executive officer. According to the Chicago Tribune, Nadella has worked for the company for 22 years, led the creation of Microsoft’s “cloud” computing services, and is the company’s third CEO in 39 years, replacing Steve Ballmer who took over from Gates in 2000.

4) Cubs Pick Pizza Vendor
While the Cubs are still battling rooftop owners over modifications to Wrigley Field, the team did get one thing done this offseason – picked a new pizza vendor. Giordano’s is now the official pizza of the Cubs and Wrigley Field, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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. 3 Update

By Jakub Rudnik

Posted: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

1. City of Chicago Plans to Borrow $900 Million
According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is preparing to issue up to $900 million in bonds this year, and Chicago will double its short-term credit line to $1 billion. The first $400 million to $450 million in bonds will be issued in March with the rest issued in the second quarter. The city will take on between $90 million to $100 million in debt to pay off legal settlements from 2013, the bulk of which were connected to police misconduct cases. The plan will lower some borrowing costs, delay some debt to the future and pay for some city services.

2. Man Kills Wife, Two Children in Chicago Suburb
In the southern Chicago suburb of Robbins, Michael Worshom shot and killed his wife, his 17-year-old son and his 15-year-old daughter in their home Sunday night before dying himself of an apparent heart attack, according to the Chicago Tribune. Worshom’s 14-year-old son and five-year-old nephew were able to escape the house without injury. Police are currently unable to explain what caused the shooting, although they said there was a domestic dispute at the home. Worshom had a valid Firearm Owners Identification card. 

3. Rat Removal Calls Up Due to Harsh Weather
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that calls to pest control businesses are up significantly this winter due to the long stretches of bitter cold that have affected Chicago. An owner of one such company says calls are up roughly 50 percent from last year, and that rats are coming inside because frozen ground has made it difficult for them to burrow outdoors. One unnamed rat catcher said that the Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville neighborhoods have been particularly busy, in part because of their “especially tasty trash” from garbage disposal units.

4. 2013 Homicides Map By Police District
The Red Line Project has updated its 2013 homicides map to include all 435 homicides that occurred within Chicago’s borders. The map is broken down by police district beat and is searchable by address, date and age of victim. Check out the map and see coverage on Chicago’s gun violence problem.  

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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