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Chicago News Roundup for August 29-September 6, 2007

All Cities Tested Had Bacteria on Their Playgrounds

So, “Good Morning America” investigated playground cleanliness across the nation by collecting 60 samples at public playgrounds. The samples were tested to determine which playground was the cleanest and which had the most germs.

“GMA” tested 12 playgrounds in four cities including: Washington, D.C., and suburban Virginia and Maryland; two in New York City; and at three parks in Chicago.

“All representatives had evidence of fecal flora,” he said.

That means human feces was present everywhere and where there is feces, a chance of illness exists.

Salmonella, shigella, hepatitis A and a norovirus also were found in some of the samples.

Thirty samples tested contained E.coli. In fact, 11 of Chicago’s 15 samples came back with bacteria.

And on a baby swing seat at Chicago’s Armour Square Park, group-a beta strep was found. It can lead to strep throat and other illnesses.

[via ABC News]


The demand for help is expected to be high because Sauk Village is among 10 communities in Cook County with the highest unmet food needs, according to a recent study by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Three other south suburbs — Steger, Chicago Heights and Ford Heights — were also in the top 10.

The new pantry at 21701 Torrence Ave. will be open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will serve those who meet the Agriculture Department’s eligibility guidelines for getting free food and have identification that shows they live nearby. Respond Now has another south suburban facility in Chicago Heights.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Future O’Hare tax use gets OK

In addition to getting help paying for new runways, the approval permits the city to use the ticket taxes to help pay for increases in the cost of acquiring land. The airlines strongly oppose using ticket taxes for land acquisition.

The Federal Aviation Administration decision marked the first authorization to use O’Hare’s $4.50 passenger facility charge, which is added to airfares on every departing flight, for the $15 billion airport expansion project. The ticket tax revenues, currently used to improve airport facilities, will be shifted to support O’Hare expansion starting in 2016 and continuing until May 1, 2024.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Governor Betting Big On Anti-Casino Voters

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Ernie Fletcher released his third anti-casino advertisement Wednesday.

Fletcher said gambling has become a key issue in the November election because his Democratic opponent, Steve Beshear, has made it one.

[via WLKY]

Ill. House Blocks Transit Aid Tax

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A plan to prop up the Chicago area’s struggling mass transit systems failed Tuesday in the Illinois House, despite warnings of impending fee increases and service cuts that would affect hundreds of thousands of people.

The Chicago Transit Authority plans to suspend 39 bus routes and raise fares by up to $1 on Sept. 16. The Metra rail service will cut maintenance funds, and the Pace suburban bus company will reduce service to Chicago and raise fares.

[via Houston Chronicle]

Motorist Killed In Collision With CTA Bus

CHICAGO — A 22-year-old motorist was killed and two CTA bus passengers were injured when a car collided with a bus in an Englewood neighborhood intersection early Wednesday on the South Side.

Steven Q. Perkins, of South Emerald Avenue in Chicago, was pronounced dead at St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center at 5 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiners Office. Perkins was killed at 6902 S. May St., according to the medical examiners office.


Chicago priest killed in bicycle crash

The pastor of a Ukrainian Catholic church on Chicago’s Northwest Side died Tuesday after his bicycle and a sport-utility vehicle collided in Des Plaines, police said.

Rev. Pavlo Hayda, 42, was riding a bicycle eastbound in the 1900 block of East Oakton Street about 11 a.m. when the bicycle and the SUV collided as the SUV was exiting the driveway of an apartment complex, police in the northwest suburb said.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago’s ‘hosting boulevard’

La Salle Street is known for its financial institutions, but Jackson is becoming the “hosting boulevard,” as in Web hosting.

Web-hosting companies of differing varieties line the street:, MidPhase and Server Central, to name a few. The privately held companies, among dozens in the Chicago area, provide the brawn, upgrades and 24/7 reliability that Fortune 500 companies require for their Web pages and e-commerce businesses.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

City promises ‘unique vision’ in Olympic letter

In the high-stakes game of Olympic poker, Chicago has officially pulled up a chair at the table. In a letter sent last week to international officials, organizers here promise a “unique vision and unmatched passion” in hosting the 2016 event.

Just how big a bankroll Chicago will need to win is unclear. The Chicago committee is also holding its cards close to the vest regarding details of staging the Games, saying the public will not get a look at its bid book until February 2009. The winning city will be announced in October 2009.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Going to Chicago? Check the web first for tourist tips and tours

(AP) — Summer heat is winding down on the Lake Michigan lakefront and winter’s cold wind is still months away, making this a great time to visit Chicago. And a few minutes on the Internet will show you there’s more than enough going on to keep you entertained.

Expand your travel horizons across the broader metropolitan area with the help of Visit Chicagoland - - which touts coverage of events and attractions within 60 minutes of Chicago. Look for their link to Bike Chicagoland for an alternate method of touring the region.

[via The Canadian Press]

Fare hikes more likely: Transit-funding bill fails

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois House on Tuesday rejected a regional tax package to shore up funding for Chicago-area mass-transit systems, increasing the potential for fare hikes and service cuts at the Chicago Transit Authority and the Pace suburban bus agency.

House Democrats, led by Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago, provided the vast majority of the votes as only a handful of Republicans from the Chicago suburbs supported the measure. The measure fell 10 votes short, but Madigan said he hoped to make up the difference quickly before transit riders face “great hardship.”

[via Chicago Tribune]

Seven People Hurt When Car Hits Crowd In Schaumburg

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Authorities say seven people were hurt Sunday night when a car went out of control and struck festival-goers in lawn chairs waiting to watch fireworks in the northwest Chicago suburb of Schaumburg.

Schaumburg Police Sergeant John Nebl said a car traveling northbound on Plum Grove Road left the roadway and struck several pedestrians.

[via WREX-TV]

Fisherman killed in possible hate crime

The body of 62-year-old Du Doan was pulled from the water Saturday morning. He was Vietnamese. Police say there was a similar attack at the harbor in July.

In the previous incident, which took place July 31, the victim survived because he knew how to swim. He did not report the incident to police until he heard about Saturday’s homicide.


Ghanaian population in Chicago increases

When Ghana, the West African nation formerly known as the Gold Coast, achieved its independence in 1957, the number of Ghanaians living in the Chicago area was small.

During the following four decades, however, Chicago’s Ghanaian community grew to between 10,000 and 15,000 people. The first wave of immigration came in the 1970s; opposition to military coups and other undemocratic regimes led many Ghanaians, especially students, to pursue educational and other opportunities in the United States.

[via Joy Online]

Youth killed and man paralyzed in Chicago shooting

September 3, 2007 (CHICAGO) - Chicago police say a 14-year-old boy was killed and a man was wounded last night when someone pulled up next to their car and began shooting.

Police Officer David Banks said the shooting occurred shortly before 9 p.m. near East 57th Street and South Wabash Avenue.


Father, son among 5 slain on S. Side

Charles Williams Sr., 83, and his 61-year-old son Charles Williams Jr., were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Earlier this morning, Officer David Banks said the killer and the victims might have known each other. No one was in custody early today.

The stabbing happened at about 9:30 p.m. at the victims’ home in the 10000 block of South Perry Avenue, Chicago police said.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Teen Shot To Death In Chicago Heights

(STNG) CHICAGO HEIGHTS A teenage boy who was shot twice, found lying on the ground near an alley late Saturday and died shortly afterwards in what police are investigating as a homicide in south suburban Chicago Heights. Police early Monday are talking to witnesses but no arrests have been made.

Shortly before midnight Saturday, police received a call of shots fired and found the boy, identified as Rick Ybarr, according to the Cook County Medical Examiners office, laying in the street near an alley behind 1239 Otto Boulevard, a residence, according to Chicago Heights Police Sgt. Bryan Howard.

[via CBS2 Chicago]

Indian Garden: New look, new decor and new management

CHICAGO: Anuradha Sharma happened to be a Registered Nurse and was nursing sick people back to their normal health in a suburban hospital near Chicago for over a decade. She decided now to change gears and nurse the people in a different way - making them eat fresh and good quality food - so that they do not fall sick.

She picked up Indian Garden restaurant in Chicago Downtown and re-did everything- from furniture to paintings, dcor, ambience and food- to meet her taste and give it a typical oriental look so that she could achieve her newly set goals in a quick and fast manner.An old adage says there is a woman behind every successful man.


One dead, two wounded in Chicago shooting

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago police are investigating a West Side shooting that killed one teen-aged boy and wounded two others.

Officers say they were flagged down on the street early yesterday morning in the North Lawndale neighborhood and found three male teens with gunshot wounds.

[via WAND]

Hundreds of Illinois spans get poor structural ratings

More than 1,500 Illinois bridges, some used by tens of thousands of people each day, carry worse structural ratings than the Minneapolis span that collapsed last month and killed 13 people, according to a review of records by The Associated Press.

Cars and trucks are barreling across worn-out decks, crumbling pillars or aging supports. One bridge in downtown Chicago that carries 139,000 vehicles every day has a structural rating of just 2 out of 100

The south bridge of Interstate 290 over the Chicago River, which carries 139,000 vehicles a day and has a sufficiency rating of 2. A sufficiency rating summarizes detailed inspection data for a bridge’s deck, superstructure and substructure and provides an overall picture of a bridge’s health.

[via Chicago Daily Herald]

CTA Service Cuts, Fare Hikes To Hit Mid-September

(CBS) CHICAGO There’s big trouble at the state capitol Friday for a plan that would stop bus and train fares from going up by increasing the sales tax. As Political Editor Mike Flannery reports, even supporters concede they may not have the votes needed to pass it in time.

As many as 100,000 commuters may lose their rides if the CTA implements huge cutbacks its now planning for Sept. 16, not to mention cutbacks in the suburban Pace bus system.

[via CBS2 Chicago]

Gangbanger dragnet totals 58 arrests

An operation aimed at getting foreign-born gang members off the streets ended Wednesday with an announcement of 58 arrests.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday they detained 58 known gang members, all Mexican nationals, during the three-day operation. The majority of the gang members arrested as part of ICE’s ongoing “Operation Community Shield” were from Lake County.

[via Waukegan News Sun]

Welcome to Chicago

Chicago has long been a favorite hangout for old-school steak houses, sport bars, and blues clubs - and it still is. But today the city also boasts an exciting and varied art and food scene.


CHICAGO Red Line subway trains get a temporary reroute

The rerouting also will occur between those stations during the same times Sept. 10 to Sept. 14. Southbound trains will not be affected.

Rerouted northbound trains will stop at the following elevated stations between the Cermak/Chinatown and Fullerton stops: Roosevelt/Wabash, Adams/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, Randolph/Wabash, State/Lake, Clark/Lake, Merchandise Mart, Chicago/Franklin and Sedgwick.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago Building Blown Up For Batman Movie

A stunt in Chicago for the next Batman movie goes off with a bang. FOX cameras in the Windy City were rolling as crew members of “The Dark Knight.

[via MyFox Kansas City]

Plan advances to allow dogs at Chicago outdoor cafes

“It’s a great experience, it’s part of the Chicago experience,” said dog expert Steve Dale, noting that dogs joined their owners at outdoor restaurants for many years until the Health Department started cracking down on the practice last year. “The majority of people in Chicago have a dog [and] consider their dog a member of the family.”

The City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposed ordinance that would permit restaurants to allow dogs accompanied by their owners in outdoor seating areas such as sidewalk cafes and patios.

The writer should have pointed out that nowhere close to a majority of people in Chicago have a dog.

Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said some areas of the city have well-behaved dogs but, in lower economic wards in particular, owners don’t spend the money necessary to train their dogs to have the social skills to go to a restaurant.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago Scraps Costly Wi-Fi Project

City officials have scrapped plans to blanket the city of Chicago with an ambitious Wi-Fi network, citing costs and that too few residents would use it, as the principal reasons.

[via PC World]

Union: Chicago, teachers reach deal to avoid strike

The agreement, reached late Tuesday, now goes to the union’s 75-member executive board, which will vote on it Friday. If approved, it would go before the 800 union delegates representing each school, possibly late Friday. The final step would be the vote of all 33,000 teachers, Stewart said.

“I’m happy to announce that hopefully schools will open on time” next Tuesday, Stewart said. “No one wanted a strike.”

[via Chicago Tribune]

Bill Clinton coming to Chicago sushi joint to raise money

Barack Obama is off the campaign trail until Labor Day and former President Bill Clinton hits Chicago on Sept. 10 to fund-raise for his wife.

After Labor Day, Obama will start a fund-raising sprint, including a Sept. 4 reception at the Chicago home of his earliest patrons, Bettylu and Paul Saltzman. Honorary chair is Mayor Daley; other hosts are the Saltzmans, Obama national finance chair Penny Pritzker and Illinois finance co-chairs Jim Crown and John Rogers.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Daley, other leaders rally for transit funding bill

If the legislature doesn’t heed a Sept. 15 deadline for approval of the measure, riders will awake the next day to fewer CTA and Pace buses and will pay higher fares, officials warned.

“If Springfield doesn’t act, every resident will suffer through more traffic congestion, more air pollution, more absenteeism and less productivity, slower transit service and more money out of our pockets for higher fares and car travel,” Daley told about 200 sign-carrying transit advocates, union workers and others at a rally organized by the Regional Transportation Authority at the James R. Thompson Center.

[via Chicago Tribune]

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» Chicago News Roundup