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Four at Four Updates for Your Commute  

Friday, May 16 Update 

By Sade Carpenter

Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014

1. General Motors to Pay $35 Million Fine
U.S. safety regulators imposed a maximum fine of $35 million on General Motors for taking at least 10 years to disclose ignition switch defects in small cars, which are now linked to at least 13 deaths. According to The Associated Press, automakers are required to report safety defects within five days of discovering them. “Literally silence can kill,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “GM did not act and did not alert us in a timely manner. What GM did was break the law.”

2. Madigan Proposes Ballot Question on $10 Minimum Wage
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has proposed a measure that would ask voters on the November ballot if the state’s minimum wage should be raised to $10 an hour, according to RedEye Chicago. This move could help drive Democratic voters to the polls. “We’re trying to build support,” said Steve Brown, Madigan’s spokesman. “It seems like a pretty widely supported issue (in the general public). I think you need to educate the legislature.”

3. Lakeview, West Town Bike-Friendly Business District in the Works
The Lakeview and West Town chambers of commerce are working on a program that would offer discounts to cyclists in June, the Chicago Tribune reports. Planning is still in the early stages, but eventually bikers in a participating neighborhood might receive a free cup of coffee, pastry or other service discounts. Officials say the concept is to promote bicycle use as part of their neighborhood brand.

4. Full Lollapalooza Schedule Released
Lollapalooza officials have released the full schedule of acts set to perform during the three-day August festival. Headliners Eminem and Arctic Monkeys kick off the fest night one, Calvin Harris and OutKast perform night two and Kings of Leon and Skrillex headline night three. Check out the full Lollapalooza schedule.

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 Thursday, May 15 Update 

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014

1) Chicago Fast Food Workers Join National Strike
Dozens of fast food workers and activists rallied Thursday morning outside the Rock ‘n Roll McDonalds in downtown Chicago, joining a national ‘Fight for 15’ strike calling to increase hourly minimum wages to $15, according to the Chicago Tribune. Protests are planned throughout the day outside several McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast food restaurants. The walk-off is part of a national labor strike in 150 cities today.  

2) It’s Festival Season in Chicago
Summer is on the horizon in Chicago and that means festival season is almost here. There are numerous opportunities for music fans to take in the tunes around town including major music festivals like Lollapalooza, Pitchfork and North Coast. And for those on a budget, Chicago’s got free Jazz and Blues festivals too. For more festival details, check out this Chicago Magazine article.

3) Aaron Hernandez Indicted on Additional Murder Charges
Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was indicted Thursday in Boston on murder charges in a 2012 double slaying, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Victims Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were fatally shot while sitting inside a car in Boston’s South End. Boston police said they have probable cause to believe Hernandez was driving the SUV that drove up and opened fire on the victims and that he “may have been the shooter”. Hernandez is already being held without bail after pleading guilty to the unrelated murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd last year.

4) Ukrainian Village Bank Robbed
Authorities are searching for a man who allegedly robbed North Community Bank in the 1600 block of West Chicago Avenue at about 9:15 a.m. Thursday, DNAinfo Chicago reports. His head was covered and he did not show a gun or take over the bank, but he did make off with an undisclosed amount of money, the FBI said.

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, May 14 Update

By Jakub Rudnik

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

1) Ex-City Hall Manager Arrested
According to the Chicago Tribune, former City Hall manager John Bills was arrested Wednesday on federal charges related to a bribery scheme with Reflex Traffic System, the city’s former red-light camera vendor. Bills, who ran the program, was accused of taking over $2 million in salaries and bonuses, including an Arizona condo. Bills retired in 2011 from his position after a 30-year city career.

2) $177M Plan Includes Creating a Lake Shore Drive Island
DNA Info Chicago reports that a $177 million plan introduced at a Streeterville meeting calls for lakefront-overhaul from Olive Park to North Avenue Beach and would create an offshore island. The proposal would also straighten the S-curve and bury part of Lake Shore Drive underground. The island would be 745,000 square feet and the project would create 1.2 miles of additional shoreline.

3) ‘Pollen Vortex’ Hits Chicago
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago is experiencing its highest weed count in at least 20 years, resulting in what one expert is calling “a pollen vortex.” The current weed count is over 1,000 while it was just 200 at this time a year ago. In addition to high levels of weed pollen, trees and mold were also at high levels.

4) Illinois Second in Dog Bite Claims
According to NBC Chicago, State Farm reported that Illinois had the second-most dog bite claims in the U.S. during 2013. Illinois, with 309 total claims that cost the insurance company $8.9 million, trailed only California, which had 449 claims. In another report, Chicago ranked No. 5 among all U.S. cities in dog attacks on Postal Service workers in 2013.

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, May 13 Update

By Lindsey Murphy

Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1) Smoke in Air Traffic Facility, Flights Halted at O’Hare and Midway
After a fire erupted in a bathroom ceiling fan at an Elgin FAA facility today, clouds of smoke forced an evacuation. All flights were stopped into and out of O’Hare International and Midway airports, officials said. The Elgin Fire Department had four fire engines and two ladder trucks on the scene. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Elgin Fire Capt. Anthony Bialek said a motor in a bathroom ceiling fan had burned up, sending smoke into the building’s heating and air conditioning systems.

2) Violent Storms Create Flooding Problems for Chicago
Heavy downpours of rain caused major challenges from drivers around the Chicagoland area Monday night, for the second straight day. According to WGN Chicago, police were forced to shut down Route 41 in Lake County, due to standing water, at least two-feet deep, making the road impassable. Some areas in the city received more than an inch and a half of rain in just 30 minutes. Storms will remain throughout the week but should subside this weekend.

3) Truck Drives into Maryland TV Station
This afternoon, a truck rammed into the entrance of the ABC2 TV station near Baltimore. After an evacuation of the building, all employees have been accounted for and police search for a suspect. The incident began when a man started banging on the door of the station, demanding to be let in, cursing and claiming that he was God. According to NBC Chicago, when he was not let in, he got into a large truck and rammed it into the building at least three times. Once everyone was evacuated, the intruder made his way to the second floor of the building and may still be inside.

4) Smokey Bear Turns 70, Gets a Makeover
This summer, Smokey Bear turns 70 and will be returning to work to educate people about wildfires. According to the federal government, last year, there were 47,579 wildfires nationwide, with typically 9 out of 10 caused by humans. With a new marketing campaign, Smokey Bear will remind humans to be more careful. Handlers of the iconic bear have decided to give him a younger, fresher look to fit in with the millennial generation of teenagers and young adults. According to the Chicago Tribune, Smokey is also getting up to date with social media and now has Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

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, May 12 Update

By Emily Brosious

Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014

1. Sen. Durbin Pushes Student Loan Refinance Plan
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin spoke at Loyola University this morning about a proposal to allow people with older student loans to refinance them to a lower rate, according to the Chicago Tribune. Congress passed a law last year that capped new student loan rates, however older loans did not qualify for the new rates. Durbin, a Democrat running for re-election against Republican state senator Jim Oberweis, has proposed the legislation.

2.  Storm Tunnel Explosion in Calumet City
CBS Chicago reports heavy rain from Sunday’s storms – which dumped more than an inch of rain in only 20 minutes at one point -- overwhelmed a stormwater system in south suburban Calumet City. All the water caused a sewer in part of the Deep Tunnel system to explode, leaving a massive crater. The storms also caused flooding, power outages to thousands of ComEd customers and more than 100 fight cancellations in the area.  

3. 2nd Deadly MERS Case in U.S
The Centers for Disease Control confirmed the second imported case of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Monday in Florida. The CDC and the Florida Department of Heath are working together to prevent the spread of this disease within the U.S. The first imported MERS case was discovered in Indiana on May 2, and involved a male health care worker who was living and working in Saudi Arabia, which has recorded the most cases of the virus. MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which caused more than 800 deaths globally in 2003.

4. Chicago Ballet Center Moves to Portage Park
The Chicago Ballet Center is leaving its home at 3433 W. Diversy Ave. in Logan Square for a bigger space in Portage Park, DNAinfo Chicago reports.  The school will move to 4024 N. Cicero Ave., joining a growing arts scene in Portage Park’s Six Corners shopping district. The ballet school will expand from one studio to three and will offer Broadway jazz, hip-hop and tap dance classes in its new location.

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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