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» Chicago News Roundup for Saturday and Sunday July 28-29, 2007

Chicago News Update for Tuesday-Friday, July 24-27, 2007


Judge Orders Chicago To Halt Bensenville Home Demolitions

…a judge’s order stopped all major work in a section of Bensenville that would be affected by the O’Hare Expansion project. However, it was unclear how long Bensenville would be able to keep the city of Chicago from demolishing almost 400 vacant homes to make way for the new runways.

The work started Thursday morning; only hours after Popejoy issued an order prohibiting the demotion of these vacant structures. The city said it was just clearing trees and doing routine maintenance, but Bensenville sent out police to make sure the work stopped.

[via NBC5.com]

Man Says He Was Kidnapped, Dropped Off In Texas

MUNDELEIN, Ill. (CBS 2) — Police in far north suburban Round Lake are looking for two men who kidnapped another man, drove him to Texas, and left him there for no clear reason.

The victim returned to the Chicago area Friday and a composite sketch of the abductors was released.

Both were described as Hispanic men between the ages of 28 and 35, with black hair and brown eyes.

[via WBBM780]

Four-Month Illinois Prostitution Bust Ends in 254 Arrests

At the end of the four-month bust, 145 women and 49 men were charged with crimes involved with prostitution. The women were charged with street prostitution and the men with solicitation of a sex act. An additional 60 women were arrested for prostitution for advertising their sexual services on the craigslist website. Most ads on the site offered sexual acts in exchange for money. Two of the women were arrested twice in the operation.

[via Associated Content]

Gang tie probed in Elgin double slaying

Elgin police today were looking into the possibility that a shooting late Thursday night that killed two people and wounded three others was gang-related.

[via Chicago Tribune]

What to do in the county, the region and Chicago

What to do in the county, the region and Chicago

[via Kane County Chronicle]

State funding could help Kane roads

The bill also increases the real estate transfer tax in the city of Chicago, which would go directly toward more funding for the Chicago Transit Authority. And it changes the makeup of the RTA board to give the suburbs more representation, changing the balance of the board to be equal between the city of Chicago, suburban Cook County and the collar counties.

The new funding package immediately would bail out deficits in Pace, the suburban bus board, Metra, the commuter rail board, and the CTA. It would forestall proposed service cuts on suburban Pace routes planned for September.

[via The Courier News]

Sheriff Cracks Down On Craigslist Prostitution

[via CBS2 Chicago]

Best Restaurant Rant EVER: The Owners Speak Out

Located “Off The Beaen Path” in a hidden area of Wilmette called 4rd & Linden (Where one has very little reason to frequent whatsoever!) Chinoiserie Restaurant has struggled to survive for almost 12 years as one of the North Shore’s “Best Kept Secrets.”

WELL FOLKS THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! LET THE SECRET OUT!

Everyone says our food is FANTASTIC. Everyone says our decor is CHARMING. Everyone says they LOVE our restaurant. Then where the heck are you guys???

LOOK - You whined that we didn’t accept change cards and what did we do? We raced right out and 12 years later we take change cards! You complained that you wanted your entrees to come to the table at the same time and now we do our best to honor that ridiculous request. What more do you want? Soup - well guess what!? Do we have soup!!!! You speak and Chinoisere listens!

Yes, in the past our prices were a lot higher then our competition - But check out our new prices. Now they’re just a little higher - but still with the same first rate high quality ingredients. After all, did you marry your wife cause she was a little cheaper?

[via LAist]

Body found in Chicago River

Police work to recover a body from the Chicago River that was found Wednesday between a barge and the wall at Harrison Street.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago’s 90s this decade grow at slowest pace since 1930

Chicago winters have warmed an average of 5 degrees since the 1970s, but summers haven�t kept pace in the production of truly hot days. When overall summer temperatures are averaged and compared, readings haven�t fallen. But, as hot weather enthusiasts may have suspected, the pace at which 90 (degrees)-plus days have occurred is off. Since 2000, the city has hosted only 143 daytime highs of 90 (degrees) or higher at Midway. By comparison, the 1930s saw 343 days with 90s, the 1950s hosted 276, and the 1940s featured 252. If 90s continue occurring at the pace observed so far, the 2000-2009 period would be the lowest yielding decade in terms of summer 90s since the 1930s.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Our spoiled shore

On a warm day in July, Sara Anderson took her boys, ages 11 and 8, from their home in far northwest suburban Richmond to play at Illinois Beach State Park, the same beach she’d gone to as a child.

Not far from the towel they spread on the sand: a piece of washed-up debris that was a stark reminder of a problem that’s marred the park for more than 10 years. Asbestos.

Some beaches may need to be shut down due to latent asbestos in the sand.
[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Chicago Reader bought by chain

The local owners of the Chicago Reader, an alternative weekly newspaper that combines long cover stories with comprehensive entertainment and cultural listings, said Tuesday they have sold the publication to a Tampa-based publisher.

The deal with Creative Loafing Inc., a chain of four alternative weeklies, caught Reader staff members by surprise. The paper has enjoyed stable ownership since it was started in 1971, and several of its 10 shareholders, including co-founder Bob Roth, worked in management.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Illinois lawmakers bash BP plan to dump waste in Lake Michigan

WASHINGTON - Executives from the oil company BP hit a bipartisan buzz-saw on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as Illinois lawmakers rebuked them in a private meeting and the House prepared to condemn BP’s plans for increasing the dumping of pollutants into Lake Michigan.

Bashing BP, which recently secured an Indiana state permit to discharge more ammonia and suspended solids from its massive oil refinery in Whiting, is a new sport for Illinois politicians who see big problems with the permit—and little political downside to attacking an oil giant over drinking water quality, especially with no Illinois jobs hanging in the balance.

There were no Indiana lawmakers at the meeting. They generally have been reluctant to criticize BP, at least in part because the refinery expansion would add 80 new jobs.

Several Illinois lawmakers said Tuesday that protecting the Great Lakes, the world’s largest source of fresh surface water, is more important than the potential for cheaper gasoline.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Democrats put focus on urban issues

With a batch of big-state primaries looming on Feb. 5, after the preliminaries in four contests where rural, small-town and suburban voters dominate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are focusing on problems of poverty and programs to help blighted slum neighborhoods.

Such problems are not unknown in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire or South Carolina, where the primary and caucus trail begins, but they are far larger in California, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and New York — all of which vote on Feb. 5. That is one reason why urban issues have come to the fore.

Obama:
“If you are an African-American child unlucky enough to be born into one of those neighborhoods,” he said, “you are most likely to start life hungry or malnourished. You are less likely to start with a father in your household, and, if he is there, there’s a 50-50 chance that he never finished high school and the same chance he doesn’t have a job. Your school isn’t likely to have the right books or the best teachers. You’re more likely to encounter gang activities than after-school activities. And if you can’t find a job because the most successful businessman in your neighborhood is a drug dealer, you’re more likely to join that gang yourself. Opportunity is scarce, role models are few and there is little contact with the normalcy of life outside those streets.”

And Edwards has made perhaps the most serious effort of anyone to understand the pathology and psychology of poverty, drawing on both academic studies and the firsthand experiences of his walking tours.

They offer similar proposals — a higher minimum wage, an expanded earned income tax credit, new subsidies for housing, easier access to college and job training, and a health care system that insures every family.

[via Lawrence Journal World]

Illinois Bans Smoking in Public Places

Illinois smokers are in for a cold winter.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation Monday making Illinois the latest state to ban smoking in public places _ including bars, restaurants and work places. The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

Chicago carpenter Rob Nelson saw a chilly future. “It looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time outside,” he said.

[via Washington Post]

Man beaten to death by gang members

A 31-year-old man was fatally beaten by a group of gang members late Monday night on a West Side street, police said this morning.

Juan Reyes was beaten at about 9:30 p.m. in the 2700 block of West Haddon Avenue, Chicago Police Officer David Banks said.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Making your commute a little bit better

Road and rail upgrades may be on the way for Kane County commuters. A Kane County Board committee Monday discussed a request for federal funds for four Kane road projects — three of them in the Tri-Cities area — in the upcoming federal fiscal year.

The panel also voted to support a Metra plan to upgrade the Union Pacific west line that runs from Chicago to Elburn.

[via Aurora Beacon News]

No doubt race played role in SW Side fracas

On the night of the fight, the Chicago Police Department and the city’s 911 system failed miserably. It took 26 minutes for police to show up, and if it takes that long for police to respond to an emergency in this well-to-do neighborhood, I shudder to think how long it would have taken for them to show up in a poor one.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Award-winning chef diagnosed with mouth cancer

The award-winning chef of Chicago’s Alinea (Uh LIN’ nee uh) restaurant says he has been diagnosed with mouth cancer.

Grant Achatz says he has been diagnosed with an advanced stage of squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth.

Maybe one should be wary of some of these local “molecular gastronomy” experiments being served at area restaurants.
[via WQAD]

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« Chicago ghetto bus tours
» Chicago News Roundup for Saturday and Sunday July 28-29, 2007