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News Round up from Saturday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 2, 2007

Chicago man pleads guilty to uploading ‘24′ shows before premiere

A Chicago man pleaded guilty to a federal charge Monday for posting episodes of Fox’s “24″ on the Internet more than a week before they premiered on television.

Jorge Romero, 25, entered his plea in federal court to one count of uploading copyrighted work being prepared for commercial distribution, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.

He downloaded the episodes from the Internet and then uploaded them back to the Internet. A robot could have done that. Arresting this guy will not at all affect the supply or the demand of television on the Internet.
[via San Jose Mercury News]

Common Sense for Chicago

“This town needs an enema,” shouts Jack Nicholson’s Joker to a fictional Gotham on the brink. This outburst sums up the rainbow of disappointment known as the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the folks who have woefully mismanaged our city’s public transportation. To solely blame CTA for this crisis is unfair, because underfunding the system lies squarely with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). Despite new-ish leadership, they continue to use a flawed formula to distribute funds to CTA, Metra and Pace.

To simplify, RTA doles out a fifty-eight percent/thirty-four percent/eight percent split to CTA, Metra and Pace, respectively, with no professional assessment of actual need.

The RTA is seen as underfunding the CTA which is using much older equipment (whether it be buses, trains, or garages) compared to Metra and Pace. Meanwhile the CTA is having to use operating funds for maintenance and they’re running out of money. With what little money they do have they award (the managers) themselves with higher pensions. Underfunding, bad management, and future rising pension and health care costs could lead to meltdown of the CTA or and an increase in fares which many who depend on the CTA simply cannot afford.
[via New City Chicago]

CHICAGO Taxi, motorcycle collide; woman dies

[via Chicago Tribune]

Pig Parts Spill Closes Chicago Highway

A busy section of highway was closed for seven hours Sunday after a truck tipped over and spilled pig ears, pig feet and grease.

The greasy pig parts created slippery conditions and forced the closure of northbound lanes of the Edens Expressway in Chicago. The lanes were reopened Sunday afternoon.

[via Forbes]

Increased security at Chicago’s airports

CHICAGO (AP) - Although there’s no evidence to suggest an imminent threat to Chicago, authorities are beefing up security at O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport in the wake of terror attacks in the United Kingdom.

If you weren’t already aware.
[via WQAD]

4 suburbs on US foreclosure list

Some south suburban ZIP codes rank high for foreclosures, but officials say they are part of a larger regional and national trend. recently ranked Chicago Heights, Harvey, Calumet City, and Dolton ZIP codes among its top 500 ZIP codes for foreclosure filings nationwide. The problem is more widespread, said Ed Paesel, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

“Traditionally, (these communities) have had fairly high foreclosure rates,” he said, but the increase in foreclosures is actually a lower percentage compared to other Chicago areas in the last two years. “It’s not only a south suburban problem anymore.”

Communities across the Chicago area have had “a large jump in foreclosures” in the last two years, said Beth Devers, housing director of Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

The problem of foreclosures is spreading throughout the metro area (depressing the real estate market) but it’s still worse in the south suburbs.
[via Munster Times]

Chicago teen killed in gang crossfire remembered

Schanna Gayden was killed last Monday in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, caught in the crossfire of two rival gangs as she stood with her grandmother on the corner of a school playground.

“It was beautiful. The turnout was incredible. People I hadn’t seen since I was a girl.” said Rita Sallie, Schanna’s mother.

Also present at the funeral were officers from the Chicago Police Department and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who took the opportunity to talk about the need for federal anti-gang legislation.

If it was mostly people who have lived in the neighborhood of Logan Square for a long time than I think the senator was talking to the wrong people. They already know of the need but haven’t been able to do anything about it. Maybe the gentrifying newcomers wield some money and power to actually make some changes.

Public transit urged to offer military discounts

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority has passed a resolution asking the Chicago Transit Authority and the Pace suburban bus system to consider offering discounts to military personnel on active duty.

Consider it free security because we know (anyone who has read the Red Eye recently) that the CTA can use some. And these guys are supposed to be fighting terrorism anyways, right?
[via WAND]

31 Men Accused in Gang-Related Killings

Thirty-one men have been charged with murder in 22 gang-related killings that date back nearly two decades, authorities said Friday.

Many of those charged were former leaders of the Latin Kings gang, and some still possibly could be in the gang’s upper echelons, said Aurora police Chief William Powell. He said the Latin Kings account for a “huge percentage” of the gang crime in Aurora, a suburb of Chicago.

Aurora, located about 40 miles west of Chicago, is the state’s second-largest city with a population of about 170,000 people. It has struggled with gang-related violent crime since the early 1980s; the city has seen eight murders so far this year, Powell said.

Some of these guys were in their 50s being charged for crimes that happened 20 years ago. Is this really a setback for the Latin Kings? The police in Aurora can’t be satisfied with what is merely a high profile media story.
[via Forbes]

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