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Four Stories for Your P.M. Commute

Wednesday, April 2 Update

By Jakub Rudnik

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

1) Emanuel’s Pension Plan Moves Forward
The pension proposal by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cleared a House committee today by a 6-4 vote, according to the Chicago Tribune. The proposal is now set for consideration by the entire state House of Representatives. It would then have to pass through the Illinois Senate. The proposal could be fast tracked through the General Assembly, and Emanuel ally John Cullerton—the Senate President—has already scheduled a hearing on the proposal.

2) Chicago Potholes Cause Record Damage
The City Clerk’s office introduced 1,100 damage to vehicle claims at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Spokesman Pat Corcoran said that there were more claims than the office had ever received. For perspective at a Feb. 5 meeting, 305 claims were introduced—the highest total for a month in four years. The Clerk’s office processes claims of up to $2,000, typically paying up to half the cost, after a processing time that can take six months.

Bonus pothole coverage: A Chicagoan is creating pothole art:

3) Blackhawks Stars Out For Regular Season
An upper-body injury will keep the Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews off the ice until the playoffs, according to ESPN Chicago.  Toews has been ruled out for the final six games of the regular season after being hit into the boards in the second period of their loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were already without Patrick Kane, who was placed on long-term injured reserve March 21 with a lower body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said Toews is expected to be at 100 percent for the playoffs, and Kane will begin skating in the near future.

4) Beware the POTUS Traffic Delays
If you plan to drive downtown or on I-55 this afternoon, be prepared for some potential street closures. According to NBC Chicago, President Barack Obama will be flying into O’Hare at 4 p.m. for two events. The first is at Chicago Cut Steakhouse at 4:45 p.m., and the second will take place at 6:55 in a Lincoln Park home. The presidential motorcade will bring rolling street closures between each location, so plan your commute accordingly.

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, April 1 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

1) Rahm Emanuel’s Pension Deal Would Raise Property Taxes and Trim Benefits
Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a plan Tuesday to cut about half of the city’s pension debt, which would raise property taxes while increasing the amount of money city workers contribute to their retirement, according to The Associated Press. Property taxes would be increased by about $250 million over five years, raising taxes about $50 a year for the average homeowner.

2) ‘Godfather’ of House Music, Frankie Knuckles, Dead
According to Huffington Post Chicago, the man who created house music not only in Chicago but also around the world has died. Frankie Knuckles was 59 years old and died unexpectedly on Monday afternoon; his cause of death has not been officially disclosed although reports have indicated he may have died of complications from type II diabetes.

3) CPS Teacher Comes out as Transgender
Jeff Rowell, a teacher at Murray Language Academy in Hyde Park, came out to the community as a transgender. Rowell was born a woman and, according to DNAinfo, said she wanted to show students and adults that it was OK to be transgender or to question their gender. She also said she wants to show that transgender people are just as much a part of the community as anybody else. She said she’s been going through hormone therapy for the past two years.

4) Marilyn Monroe Statue Moving Again
The 40,000-pound Marilyn Monroe statue that used to reside on Michigan Avenue is moving to it’s new home in New Jersey. In May of 2012, the statue was moved from Chicago to Palm Springs. The 26-foot-tall, stainless steel and aluminum statue, which referenced her famous scene in the 1955 movie “The Seven-Year Itch,” always draws a big crowd. According to the Chicago Tribune, It will make its way to New Jersey on April 7 via flatbed truck.

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 31 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2014

1) MLB Opening Day
Major League Baseball season officially gets under way today with 26 of 30 teams playing in 13 games, weather permitting. Opening day has long been an unofficial holiday for serious baseball enthusiasts, but this year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports over 100,000 fans signed a petition to declare the day a national holiday. John Earnest, Principal Deputy Press Secretary for the White House, gave the official response to hopeful fans:

“While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it’s a little outside our strike zone:  creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress. So, it’s up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch.”

 For today’s game details, check out USA TODAY’s MLB Opening Day primer.

2) Blue Line O’Hare Service Reopens
Chicago Tribune reports the CTA O’Hare Blue Line station reopened Sunday afternoon with no delays, almost one week after last Monday’s train derailment. The train plowed through a barrier early last Monday morning and crashed into an escalator on the rail platform, injuring at least 30 and causing more than $6 million in damages. The escalator has been replaced by a wooden stairway, leaving just one working escalator at the O’Hare station. 

See The Red Line Project's Storify coverage for more on last Monday's train derailment.

3) Affordable Health Care Insurance Deadline
Today is the last day for Illinoisans to sign up for the state Healthcare Insurance Marketplace. According to Associated Press, there were early-morning glitches when the HealthCare.gov website went down for almost four hours of apparent maintenance. The website is now up and running again. People without health insurance have until 10:59 p.m. (CDT) Monday to enroll, otherwise they’ll face federal tax penalties under the Affordable Care Act.

4) Chicago Libraries to Loan Wi-Fi Hot Spots, Laptops Under New Program
DNAinfo Chicago reports Chicago Public Libraries is planning to launch a pilot program to lend out wireless hot spots and laptops. The program, one of the first of its kind in the country, is designed to make the Internet more available to people who don’t have such technology at home, said Brian Bannon, commissioner of the library system.

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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