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Four Stories for Your P.M. Commute

Friday, March 14 Update

By Scott Sutton
 @RedLineProject

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014

1. St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Chicago-Style
Even though there is snow on the ground and a chill in the air, St. Patrick’s Day will go on. Though the holiday isn’t officially until Monday, the river and beer will be dyed green starting Saturday. The parade officially kicks off at noon, hours after many bars will be open for the early morning crowd. Looking for something to do this St. Patty’s Day? Check out Metromix’s lineup of Chicago hotspots. 

2. Foul Play Suspected In Missing Malaysian Airline
The case of missing Flight MH370 is taking a turn toward sabotage, according to reports by the Chicago Tribune. Officials say they believe the plane filled with 239 passengers was intentionally steered hundreds of miles off course toward waypoints in the Middle East. “What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijacking still on the cards,” a senior Malaysian police official said. The revelations have resulted in an increased multinational search effort in the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean.

3. CTA: Ventra Will Be Only Way To Pay By July
CTA officials announced Friday that Ventra cards will be the only accepted payment method for CTA and Pace trains and buses, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Officials said they were pleased with the progress they have seen after a glitch-filled transition into the new payment method and that they are implementing a three-step process to phase out magnetic stripe cards. After May 1 riders will no longer be able to purchase magnetic stripe cards, and after June 1 they will no longer be able to reload those cards. July 1 will be the last day riders can use the old cards.

Check out The Red Line Project’s Ventra coverage:
The Ventra Disaster
Four Things To Know About Ventra
Ventra Storify

4. Michigan Ousts Illini From Big Ten Tournament
After beating Indiana in the first round of the conference tournament, the Illini came up just short against heavily favored Michigan Friday afternoon. Illinois fell 64-63 after junior Tracy Abrams missed a buzzer beater layup off the front of the rim, stopping the Illini from completing a 13 point comeback. Michigan’s Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas led all scorers with 19 points.

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, March 13 Update

By Emily Brosious
 @RedLineProject

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2014

1. Former Ald. Robert Shaw to Run for Mayor
Former 9th Ward Alderman and Cook County commissioner Robert Shaw announced plans to challenge Rahm Emanuel in the 2015 mayoral race. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Shaw criticized Emanuel for closing schools, declining attendance rates at Chicago Public Schools, using “nickel-and-dime tactics to generate revenue” and attacking pensions. “Becoming the mayor of Chicago is the right thing to do,” Shaw said.

2. Amazon Prime Price Increase
CNNMoney reports Amazon Prime raised membership prices Thursday to $99 a year, up from $79. This increase is only about half as much as the online retailer said it was considering a month ago. Prime members get two-day shipping on many Amazon items at no extra cost as well as the ability to borrow Kindle books and stream movies and television shows. Amazon blamed the added costs on increased fuel and shipping costs.

3. Rifle Billboard Sparks Controversy
A billboard over the Stevenson Expressway featuring a baseball bat, an apple pie and an assault rifle, all above the words “Pure American”, is sparking outrage from local gun control activists. According to WGN-TV, South Side activist Rev. Michael Pfleger said the billboard, which was paid for by a Texas-based rifle parts company, is disrespectful and should be removed. 

 4. Alderman Proposes Rodent Sterilization
With spring on the horizon in Chicago, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward) is advocating for sterilizing female rats with liquid rodent sterilization bait called “ContraPest” to control the city’s rat problem, according to the Chicagoist. New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched a similar pilot program last year with SenesTech, the Arizona-based company that invented ContraPest. The MTA said the program was successful, with data showing a 43 percent decline in the rat population in Grand Central Station’s trash room.

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, March 12 Update

By Lindsey Murphy
 @RedLineProject

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1) Chicago’s Third Snowiest Winter on Record
After last night’s snowstorm, Chicago has now had the third snowiest season on record. Temperatures fluctuated from mid-40’s to low 20’s in the past two days. Some areas got up to six inches of snow just last night and the southern suburbs appear to have gotten the worst of it. According to WGN Chicago, the second snowiest on record happened in 1977-78 with a total of 82.3 inches, and first place goes to 1978-79 with 89.7 inches.

2) New York City Building Collapses – Kills 2, Injures 16
A building collapsed in Upper Manhattan this morning, killing at two people and injuring more than a dozen. Police spokesman Martin Speechley, told the Chicago Tribune, “the cause of the explosion is undetermined at this time.” The New York City Police Department believe the collapse may have involved two buildings, one that housed the Spanish Christian Church and one a piano repair shop. Residents have reported a faint scent of gas for days.

3) Kustok Found Guilty of Murdering his Wife
Yesterday, a Cook County jury took less than two hours to convict Allan Kustok of first-degree murder for shooting his wife, Jeanie. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Allan Kustok showed little emotion after the verdict. He faces a minimum of 45 years in prison. The prosecution contended Kustok killed his wife to escape a financially troubled and unhappy marriage. The Kustoks are a prominent sports family in Chicago. Son Zak played quarterback at Northwestern and daughter Sarah, who testified on her father’s behalf earlier this week, played basketball at DePaul.

4) Helicopter Rides for Chicago Tourism?
Trevor Heffernan, CEO of Chicago Helicopter Express, presented in Bridgeport hoping to sell residents on his plan to transform an industrial plot of land into a heliport. The heliport would be used for helicopters giving tours around Chicago; something Heffernan believes would become a bustling hub for Chicago tourism. According to DNAinfo, the company’s proposal includes the creation of 14 pads for launching and landing the company’s tour helicopters, along with a two-story terminal that would house interactive displays about Chicago architecture. Some think the heliport would boost tourism and bring money to the neighborhood, while noise level is still a concern.

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, March 11 Update

By Lindsey Murphy
 @RedLineProject

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

1) Bears Hoping to Rebuild Defense with Free Agency
As the NFL free agency begins this afternoon, finally allowing players to sign with any team, the Bears are primarily looking for defensive players. Hoping to improve their rank as the league’s worst defense in 2013, the Bears are targeting players previously playing for teams such as Cincinnati and Oakland, after striking out for free agent defensive end Michael Bennett, who resigned with Seattle. Track Bears free agency news on 670 The Score's live blog.

2) So Close to Spring, Yet So Far Away
Up to 4 to 8 inches of snowfall are expected in the city tonight. After the 53-degree weather on Monday, temps are expected to be in the mid-20s on Wednesday. According to DNAinfo Chicago, the storm will likely start with rain and later transition into wet snow, then snowfall overnight. The snow and heavy wind on Wednesday is expected to impact the morning commute.

3) Retired Chicago Police Sergeant Shot in Home Invasion
Late Monday night, Elmer Brown, a retired Chicago police sergeant, was shot in a home invasion on the far South Side. According to WGN Chicago, two suspects entered his home through an unlocked door and inquired about a safe. Brown told the two men where the safe was. However, the suspect shot him anyway. The two suspects are still at large.

4) Fox News Misspells 'Spelling Bee' in Story
After the longest spelling bee in history, Fox News reported the story while misspelling the word “bee” in a graphic. The network used “spelling be” in a caption at the bottom of the screen. This isn’t the first time the network has ironically made a spelling error while covering a spelling bee. In 2012, a reporter interviewing a student qualifying for the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee, failed to spell ‘tourniquet’ correctly.

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, March 10 Update

By Jakub Rudnik
 @RedLineProject

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014

1. Person Killed by Metra Train
A person was struck and killed by a Chicago-bound Metra train this afternoon near the New Lenox station, according to a Chicago Tribune report. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. and delayed trains until about 1:30 p.m. This latest accident comes three days after a high school student was struck and killed by a Metra train on the Northwest side. 

 2. Chicago’s Pothole ‘Strike Teams’
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city will use pothole ‘strike teams’ to take on the damage done to streets by the harsh winter weather, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Emanuel said that crews began work one week earlier than normal this year, and that he added an additional six crews to bring the total to 30. Main-street potholes will be worked on Mondays and Fridays, while side-street potholes will be fixed Tuesdays through Thursdays. Chicago Spectrum’s map shows all the 311-reported potholes since the beginning of 2014.

3. Tinley Park Coach Accused of Sex With Student
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, police say Tinley Park High School’s head varsity wrestling coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a student. Ryan Dolan, who is also a teacher at the school, remains in the Will County jail after being charged with one count of criminal sexual assault. He is scheduled to be in court this afternoon.

4. Attendance Down for DePaul Men’s Basketball
DePaul men’s basketball attendance dropped significantly since the 2012-13 season, according to Crain’s Chicago. Analysis of Allstate Arena ticket records shows that attendance dropped 27 percent to a little over 1,900 fans per game. DePaul reported 101,972 as its full-season attendance number, but only 30,566 fans passed through turnstiles at Allstate Arena during the 16 regular-season games. This drop in attendance comes three seasons before the planned opening of a new 10,000-seat arena next to McCormick Place. You can read the Red Line Projects coverage of the new arena here


The proposed DePaul arena roof, featuring skylights. (Courtesy/Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects)

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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