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Chicago News Roundup for December


Woman Found Stabbed To Death In Lincoln Park

CHICAGO (CBS) A woman’s body was found with a knife in her chest in Lincoln Park after emergency crews responded to a 911 call early Friday.

Police received a 911 call about 2 a.m. of a person down and when crews arrived to an area near Diversey Parkway and Cannon Drive, they found the body of a fully clothed woman with a knife in her chest, according to a Town Hall District police lieutenant.

[via WBBM780]

Chicago braces for smoking ban

City officials warned business owners that the enforcement clock starts ticking at midnight. But they said fines levied against owners will not be instantaneous.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Terry Mason said regulators initially will field complaints from the general public through the local 311 telephone assistance line and via the citys Web site at www.cityofchicago.org. After two complaints against a particular business, the city will send the establishment a letter. A third complaint will trigger an inspection, possibly followed by citations and fines that begin at $250 per offense.

[via Springfield State Journal Register]

Anti-terror center adds crime focus

In a windowless office at Chicago police headquarters, Detective John Benigno checks out several computer databases in an effort to identify the owner of a truck like one seen at a murder scene.

When he’s done, he will send a package of information to the detectives working on the case, keeping investigators on the street and away from their desks.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Hallucinogenic plant joins list of Illinois bans

CHICAGO (AP) - A law taking effect in Illinois on New Year’s Day makes possession or sale of a plant called Salvia divinorum a felony.

The plant can cause hallucinations within seconds after it’s smoked, licked or chewed. Violators will face legal consequences as harsh as those for heroin or LSD.

[via Pekin Daily Times]

4 Chicago area men arrested in alleged Craigslist prostitution ring

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said the arrests earlier this week came out of a three-month investigation, dubbed Operation Quiet Money, in which investigators monitored advertisements in the “erotic services” section of Craigslist. The ring operated in Illinois and Indiana and involved at least 11 women, some of whom were high school freshmen and sophomores, he said.

“If you’re looking for exploitation at its absolute worst, this is it,” Dart said.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Boutique Chicago

Sunday Times travel expert Richard Green responds: You can get some great boutique style hotels in the Loop - the downtown central area - but finding one with a pool there is tricky. You might have to decide between a central boutique hotel, or somewhere by the lake, larger, but with a pool.

The Burnham Hotel is a terrific option. Its 122 rooms are all smartly furnished in dark blues and cream, with a cosy lobby and swish ground floor cafe. It’s right where you need to be, in the Loop district, and there’s a complimentary wine reception every night for guests, to get you off to the right start. Doubles are from {pound}120. However there isn’t a pool. Similarly pool-less, is the nearby and more designer feeling Hotel 71, which has modern doubles, minimalist public spaces, and an excellent fusion restaurant, from {pound}143.

[via Times Online]

Kmart to Acquire Sears in $11 Billion Deal

NEW YORK - A resurgent Kmart, home of the blue light special, is buying the once-dominant Sears department store chain in a surprising $11 billion gamble it is counting on to help both better compete with Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers.

Led by Kmart Holding Corp. chairman Edward Lampert, the new Sears Holdings Corp. would be the nation’s third largest retailer. Both chains would survive, but several hundred stand-alone Kmarts throughout the country are expected to be transformed into Sears stores. The goal: A quick kick-start to sales away from Sears traditional base of shopping malls.

[via Newsday]

Suburban Sprawl in Chicago Extends Further

The Chicago Tribune recently featured a two-part series on the roots and dynamics of urban sprawl, focusing on the Chicago metro area.

While the population of the seven-county Chicago metro area experienced a growth rate of 63 percent between 1950 and 2006, that rate jumps to 261 percent by removing the city of Chicago from the equation, according to the first article in the series, entitled “Leaps of Faith Drive Ever-Expanding ’Burbs.”

[via MuniNet Guide]

Prosecutor: Charged teen chose Hyde Park because ‘people have money there’

Demetrius Warren was ordered held without bail today after appearing before a Cook County judge on charges that he was involved in a string of robberies and shootings on or near the Hyde Park campus on Nov. 19.

Warren, 17, allegedly told Eric Walker, 16, who is already charged in the attacks, that they should commit robberies in Hyde Park because “people have money there,” Cook County prosecutor Maria McCarthy said today in court.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

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