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« Taste of Chicago
» News Round up from Saturday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 2, 2007

News Roundup

Chicago officers plead not guilty to beating four businessmen

CHICAGO: Three Chicago police officers pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that they beat up four businessmen while off duty in a city bar in December.

In May, the businessmen filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the officers attacked them, unprovoked, while they were playing pool. The men claimed they suffered broken bones, injured vertebra and bruises.

Is it me or are police beatings in bars becoming more popular? Maybe these men really did do something to deserve broken bones in their backs or maybe the accused, being put these officers, should have known better?
[via International Herald Tribune]

Chicago Woman Born With Tiny Arms Denied McDonald’s Service for …

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a McDonald’s franchise, claiming that employees in two suburban Chicago restaurants refused to serve her because a birth defect forces her to use her feet as hands.

Dawn Larson was born with Holt-Oram Syndrome, which left her with diminutive hands just six inches from her shoulder, according to a report Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times.

In her lawsuit filed last week against the Rockford, Ill., McDonald’s chain, Larson claims staff refused to serve her after she paid by credit card with her left foot for $23.59 of food last November, the paper reported.

“What’s the matter with you? . . . You ain’t got no arms. … Let me see your arms,” an employee allegedly told Larson with a tone of disgust, withdrawing the bags of food from Larson’s outstretched foot, the paper said, citing the lawsuit.

I should note that this happened all the way out in Rockford.
[via FOX News]

Summer scene camouflages troubled turf

On the sunny afternoon I visited the Logan Square playground where 13-year-old Schanna Gayden was murdered, a group of butterflies danced around a makeshift memorial to her. Every now and then, bubbles danced too.

According to the article, gentrification is one of the causes of increasing gang violence in Logan Square. According to that logic, things will get worse as things get better, until finally all of the gangs kill each other and move to different neighborhoods. The gangs involved this time were the Imperial Gangsters and Spanish Cobras.
View the map of Chicago’s North Side gangs.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Police Recover AK-47, Four Handguns Near West Side School

At about 12:15 a.m., the Grand Central Area Gang Team executed a search warrant at a residence at 2438 N. Linder Ave. Inside, police recovered an AK-47 rifle, four handguns and a small amount of drugs, according to Grand Central Area Sgt. Muscolino.
The residence is located within 1,000 feet of Hanson Park Elementary School, at 5411 W. Fullerton Ave., Muscolino said.
“With the recent shootings around schools in the city, we’ve been keeping an eye out and investigating,” Muscolino said.


TASTE OF CHICAGO She aced the Taste: A day of 253 bites

In the previous 3 1/2 hours, I’d tasted almost 200 dishes from most of the 64 booths at the Taste of Chicago. I’d tried more than a dozen pizzas, about 50 deep-fried items, 15 types of barbecue, about 10 things dipped in chocolate and nine sausages — and there was still plenty to go.

How is this even possible?? One bite from each dish? Actually, I would sign up for that. Not that many of the “taste”-sized portions were much more than a bite anyways.

They should learn from the Sofitel Hotel in the Gold Coast. The bar inside that place serves three micro hamburgers that are each about the size in diameter of silver dollars although the set costs about $15.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Evanston’s lofty skyline dilemma

Battle after battle is being fought over the height of condo towers, the number of required parking spaces and the displacement of locally owned stores by formulaic chains. But the biggest fight is just getting started.

It’s a never-ending battle between density in sprawl, those who seek new and hopefully improve and those who want everything to say exactly the same. The latter are obviously losing as anyone who compares downtown Evanston today with what it was several years ago with either not our shake their heads in agreement or disgust.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Slain teen laid to rest

Schanna was killed Monday when a gang member’s stray bullet hit her in the head as she was buying watermelon in a park half a block from her Logan Square home, police have said. The accused murderer, Tony Serrano, 19, is being held in Cook County Jail without bail. Mwenda Murithi, who allegedly ordered Serrano to shoot into the crowded park, is being held on a $2 million bond.

Schanna was the third Chicago child in five days to be caught in gang cross fire and the 25th Chicago Public Schools student gunned down this year, numbers not lost on the hundreds of mourners inside the church.

[via Joliet Herald News]

Amtrak teams up with luxury company to offer new kind of service

WASHINGTON—Mahogany interiors, five-course meals and personal butler service will be available on several Amtrak routes starting this fall, as the national passenger railroad embarks on a new partnership with GrandLuxe Rail Journeys.

The new service, dubbed GrandLuxe Limited, will be available between Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area; Chicago and Los Angeles; and Washington and Miami. Limited trips are also scheduled between Washington and Chicago; from Denver to San Francisco; from Denver to Chicago; and from Chicago to Albuquerque.

A bit pricey (I’m waiting for the $80 one-way tickets to San Francisco return) but nice to have this option. Consider yourself an Amtrak patron.
[via San Jose Mercury News]

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« Taste of Chicago
» News Round up from Saturday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 2, 2007