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Chicago News Roundup for Wednesday August 1, 2007

Is Chicago Big Enough For Sharpton And Jackson?

The Rev. Al Sharpton is coming to Chicago, targeting what he calls chronic police misconduct and a lack of political accountability.

The New York-based civil rights leader’s Chicago office plants him squarely on the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s turf, leading some to wonder if the city is big enough for both of them.

[via CBS2 Chicago]

3 held in sex attack on girl in Southwest Side park

Three people were in custody Wednesday afternoon, suspected in the Tuesday sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in a Southwest Side park, Chicago police said.

The girl was attacked by three men about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hayes Park in the 2900 block of West 85th Street, but the crime was not reported to authorities until Wednesday, police said.

In Chicago Lawn.
[via Chicago Tribune]

West Side drug market shut down

At a West Side drug market that was recently shut down by Chicago police, dealers took the idea of the free sample to a particularly ruthless extreme: those who took samples and then didn’t show up to buy more drugs were beaten up or worse.

At least one was shot dead, said 11th District Commander James Jackson.

Police announced today that they shut down the market, run by the Traveling Vice Lords street gang in the East Garfield Neighborhood.

[via Chi-Town Daily News]

Chicago-NY investors pay $113 million for 125 S. Wacker Drive

Fulcrum Asset Advisors LLC of Barrington and Angelo, Gordon & Co. of New York are working on a deal to buy 125 S. Wacker Drive for about $113 million from Tishman Speyer which bought the same 540,000 square foot tower for $44 million in late 2004.

Tishman, an old-line New York-based real estate firm that has been expanding its presence here, bought the 31-story tower for about $80 square foot and is selling it for about $210 square foot, a 163 percent price rise, knowledgeable industry sources said.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Court rules city not liable in 2003 porch collapse

A court ruled Wednesday the City of Chicago is not liable in a deadly porch collapse that happened four years ago in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Thirteen people were killed and dozens injured when the crowded porch gave way, sending people and debris crashing to the ground.

The families of the 13 people who died when the Lincoln Park porch collapsed in 2003 sued the city, among other parties. Their argument was that the porch had no building permit, was way oversized, poorly constructed, that city inspectors knew that, didn’t write it up, and were themselves poorly trained.

Instead of trying to assign blame after the fact why not be proactive about all the porches you see everywhere in Chicago that are probably unsafe yet which still are turned into big parties holding more people at one time than they should.

R. Kelly Finally Going To Trial!

The criminal case against R. Kelly is finally headed to trial. At a hearing in Chicago today (August 1), Judge Vincent Gaughan decided Kelly’s trial will begin on September 17.

Kelly was charged with 21 counts of child pornography in 2002 (seven of which were later dropped) for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with a girl prosecutors claim was only 14 years old at the time. Kelly pleaded not guilty

[via HipHopDX]

Chicago Police porn pranks cost $650000

The Chicago Police Department is out $650,000 because a jury found male officers harassed a female officer by putting pornography in her mailbox every day.

[via United Press International]

4 Attacks In North Lakefront Neighborhoods Linked

Police believe there is a link between four attacks against women in north lakefront neighborhoods over the past several months, but they say it is likely a different man raped and clubbed a woman in Wrigleyville early Sunday.

The latest attack happened early Tuesday near Clark Street and Deming Place at the north end of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. A woman reported that she was grabbed by a man at 3:20 a.m. He fled when she started screaming.

Police issued an alert after two earlier incidents: one around May 14 in the 600 to 800 blocks of West Aldine Avenue and one on April 27 in the 3300 block of North Broadway. In each case, a man approached a woman between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., touched her and asked for a sexual act in exchange for money. In both attacks, the man tried to overpower the woman but the woman fought him off, according to the alert.

The fourth incident was on July 23, when a woman was attacked between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. as she walked to her home in the 500 block of West Briar. The woman was thrown to the ground and the suspect tried to assault her, police said. He was described as a Hispanic, 25 to 30, with short, combed-back hair and medium complexion.

But police believe a different man is likely the culprit in the attack on Lakewood Avenue near Waveland Avenue at 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police say in that case, a woman in her mid-20s was coming home to an apartment in the 3700 block of North Lakewood Avenue at 4:30 a.m. when she was attacked from behind.

[via CBS2 Chicago]

Groups: Toxins found in E. Chicago air

[via Chicago Tribune]

Explosion, Fire Destroys Garage On West Side

A garage exploded and burned to the ground early Thursday on the city’s West Side near Garfield Park.

As Kris Habermehl reports from Chopper 2, the garage behind a two-flat at 632 N. Trumbull Ave. exploded and caught fire around 6:30 a.m.. The roof was blown off the structure, and it was left leaning to one side.

The walls of the garage later collapsed, leaving the entire structure on the ground. The fire was so strong that it communicated to a garage across the alley, belonging to a home at 633 N. St. Louis Ave.

[via WBBM780]

Teen Killed On CTA Brown Line Tracks

An autopsy is scheduled for later Wednesday for a man who was struck and killed by a Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line train on the Northwest Side Tuesday night.

According to police News Affairs officer David Banks, a 17-year-old Hispanic man was hit and killed by a Brown Line train near Albany and Eastwood avenues about 9:45 p.m.


Living under the microscope

Not only do scholars trip over each other in the community, the titles of their books echo each other. Allan Spear’s “Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920″ released in 1967, was followed by Arnold Hirsch’s “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960,” published in 1998.

Those and similar books collectively paint a portrait of Chicago’s black community over a century — from when African-Americans came to the city hoping to escape Jim Crow to the present-day gentrification described in Pattillo’s book.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago casino could plug budget holes

A Chicago casino emerged Tuesday as a potential way out of the state’s deepening budgetary morass, but top lawmakers couldn’t agree how to divvy up the massive windfall it might generate.

But GOP leaders said they would like to see revenues from a city casino go, at least in part, toward a statewide construction program.

Last week, Senate Democrats proposed a 90-cent hike in state cigarette taxes to fund a capital program — a plan Republicans oppose.

Cigarettes or casinos, both are taxes on the poor.
[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Chicago Sun-Times in the Graveyard Spin

Since the indictment of its former boss Conrad Black in November 2005, the Sun-Times Media Group has seen its market cap slashed by 75% and its stock price cut in half. Last year the company’s advertising revenue was down 14%.

The Sun-Times may believe they are positioned as a bulwark against the Chicago Tribune, which is suffering a much slower but similarly real demise.

[via Human Events]

Chicago manufacturing index slows

A key barometer of manufacturing activity in the Chicago area showed a bigger-than-anticipated decline in July, apparently reflecting a slowdown in auto-related production.A key barometer of manufacturing activity in the Chicago area showed a bigger-than-anticipated decline in July, apparently reflecting a slowdown in auto-related production.

Historically, manufacturing in the Chicago area has been disproportionately affected by the fortunes of the domestic auto industry.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Power shut off to part of Brown Line after man killed

Power was shut off to part of the CTA Brown Line Tuesday night after a man was reportedly killed after being struck by a train.

About 9:45 p.m., a man was struck by a Brown Line train near Albany and Eastwood, according to police News Affairs Officer David Banks. The man was dead on the scene, Banks said. It was not yet known what exactly happened — if the incident was a suicide or if the man was accidentally struck by the train.

The incident occurred near the Brown Line’s Francisco station, Taylor said.

It appears this was not a suicide.
[via Chicago Sun-Times]

A Neighborhood Grieves Over Another Child Killed

The family of Daniel Piña is gathering for his wake on Chicago’s West Side this evening. Police suspect it was gang members who gunned down the 17-year-old over the weekend.

Humboldt Park, still rough.
[via Chicago Public Radio]

ECONOMIC REPORT Business activity in Chicago worsens in July

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Business activity in the Chicago region worsened in July, according to a survey of corporate purchasing managers released on Tuesday, surprising analysts who were looking for a better reading.

The Chicago purchasing-managers’ index dropped to 53.4% in July from 60.2% in June, according to the Chicago NAPM.

The report about activity in the Chicago region followed an upbeat reading on overall U.S. growth on Friday.

[via MarketWatch]

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» Whiting, Indiana