Chicago officials are expressing disappointment in a federal court ruling that says city restrictions on publicly accessible gun ranges violated the Second Amendment.  The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that restricting shooting ranges to manufacturing areas and bans on minors at the ranges were unconstitutional provisions.


University of Illinois system trustees have endorsed a plan to increase enrollment at its three campuses by 15% over the next five years.  University of Illinois President Tim Killeen presented the plan to the Board of Trustees. The plan's goal would have more than 93,600 students enrolled at the school's campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. 

Several Chicago aldermen want the federal government to follow its report on the city's police department with a review of City Hall lawyers.  The aldermen recently sent a letter to the Justice Department asking for a review of Chicago Law Department practices. Law department lawyers represent officers accused of wrongdoing in civil cases. 

Lauren Chooljian, WBEZ / Twitter

The annual Rainbow / PUSH Martin Luther King breakfast in Chicago is always full of current and hopeful future politicians. And this year, possible candidates for governor were looking to shake a few voters’ hands. Illinois Public Radio's Lauren Chooljian reports.

A credit ratings agency says for the Chicago Public Schools to work its way out of debt it must consider a property tax hike of more than $400 million annually.  Moody's Investors Service says the new tax revenue would be used to make debt payments now covered with state aid meant for the classroom. 

The Justice Department and the city of Chicago have signed a joint statement in which the nation's third largest city commits to police reforms under a court-enforced agreement, called a consent decree.  The document, along with the findings of a yearlong Justice Department civil rights investigation of the police force,was released Friday.

The National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago has acquired 31 screen prints by the American writer Kurt Vonnegut Jr.  An exhibit of Vonnegut artwork is on display at the museum through May 6.

Facebook/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois System is considering extending a freeze on its base tuition for in-state freshmen to a third consecutive year.  The proposed in-state tuition freeze for the system's universities in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign was reviewed by the Board of Trustees' Audit, Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee. It will be considered by the full board on Jan. 19.

The Better Business Bureau is warning against buying tickets to President Barack Obama's farewell speech in Chicago on online marketplaces.  Tickets were handed out for free on Saturday morning in Chicago, prompting thousands of people to wait for hours in single-digit temperatures. Obama's speech is scheduled for Tuesday night at McCormick Place.

The horrific beating of a mentally disabled white man in Chicago by four black assailants broadcast on social media is a focal point on anti-white hate crimes.  But federal statistics and experts say anti-white incidents are a smaller percentage of overall hate crimes. Anti-black hate crimes make up the largest number of cases.

Facebook/Chicago Police Department

Prosecutors say one of four people charged with the Chicago beating of a mentally disabled man demanded $300 from the victim's mother.  Prosecutors offered details of the beating during the suspects' court appearance on hate crimes, battery and kidnapping charges.

Facebook/Chicago Police Department

Chicago police say there was never any doubt the beating of a white man broadcast live on Facebook would be investigated as a hate crime. They say the four black suspects face hate crime charges because they were shouting racial slurs at the victim and because they referred to his mental capacity.

A federal jury has convicted six alleged leaders of the Hobos street gang of a racketeering conspiracy in the biggest gang trial in recent Chicago history. The verdicts follows six days of deliberation and a three-month trial.  Hobos boss Gregory "Bowlegs" Chester, hitman Paris Poe and four others were accused of a racketeering conspiracy that included nine murders.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson met with Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss violence and other issues in Illinois cities.  Jackson says he asked for the sit-down in Chicago because it's a new political season with President-elect Donald Trump set to take office. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Tony Webster

President-elect Donald Trump isn't the first to broach the idea of the federal government stepping in to help stem deadly violence in Chicago. But what more it can do isn't at all clear.

Children Often Victims of Chicago Violence

Jan 3, 2017
infinity7664 / Flickr

Chicago’s violent year was especially dangerous for the city’s children. Dozens of young kids were shot in 2016 before reaching high school age. Police data show that last year, there were 41 shootings that killed or wounded children younger than 14. That’s way more than any time in the last 10 years. And its more than double the number of child victims in 2015. Illinois Public Radio’s Patrick Smith reports.

Chicago has Record Homicides in 2016

Jan 2, 2017

  CHICAGO (AP) - One of the bloodiest years on record in Chicago ended with 762 homicides and more than 3,500 shooting incidents.

Police released crime statistics Sunday that reveal rampant gun violence. Not only were nearly 300 more homicides and more than 1,000 more shooting incidents than there were in 2015, but the total number of homicides was the highest since 1997.

HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama is entering the closing stretch of his presidency. He’s in an eleventh-hour push to tie up loose ends and put the finishing touches on his legacy before handing the reins to President-elect Donald Trump.

Obama returns to Washington at midday Monday from Hawaii with less than three weeks. His final days will largely be consumed with a bid to protect his endangered health care law, a major farewell speech and the ongoing handover of power to Trump's team.

Chris Yarzab / Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The number of arrests in Chicago fell approximately 28 percent this year.The number is on target to be the lowest since at least 2001.

Gideon Tsang / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois legislators are facing increasing pressure from law enforcement to crack down on repeat gun offenders who are blamed for the surge in Chicago's violence this year. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and others have urged lawmakers for months to pass a bill that increases prison sentences for defendants who previously committed a gun-related crime.

 State Sen. Kwame Raoul is working on a proposal for next year's session that would direct judges to impose longer sentences on repeat gun offenders. But his measure would not impose a new mandatory minimum. 

AP Photo

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he hand-delivered to Donald Trump a letter from mayors of some of the nation's largest cities urging the incoming president to continue to protect young immigrants.

Emanuel told reporters after his Wednesday morning meeting with Trump in New York that the letter asked him to continue a provision that protects immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16 from deportation. 

Chicago officials are creating a legal services fund to help those living in the country illegally and facing deportation.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced $1 million to start the fund that's being run with the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center. The money will be used to help individuals with consultations and representation, among other things.

Flickr Creative Commons/Tony Webster

November was another bloody month in Chicago, ending with more than twice as many homicides as during the same month last year.  The 77 homicides recorded in November 2016 mark the highest death toll for that month in nearly a quarter century. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago will push ahead with police reforms, regardless of the outcome of a U.S. Justice Department probe.  Thursday is the anniversary of the release of a video showing a Chicago officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. 

Motorola Solutions Inc. plans to cut 200 workers from offices in two suburbs and its headquarters in Chicago.  Company spokeswoman Tama McWhinney says that most employees being cut from campuses in Schaumburg, Elgin and Chicago are taking "voluntary separation packages" which offer "more generous" severance incentives for those who were thinking of leaving anyway.  Some of the jobs could be filled again. 

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is joining the board of the foundation building President Barack Obama's future presidential library.  The Barack Obama Foundation says Patrick will serve alongside other board members including Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. 

A man was arrested during a performance of "Hamilton" in Chicago after audience members say he shouted "We won!" and other election-related comments from the balcony.  Chicago police say 56-year-old John Palmer of Chicago is charged with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass in the incident Saturday. 

McDonald's says it plans to offer table service across its U.S. stores to make the ordering process less stressful, but did not say when the overhaul will be complete.  The world's biggest burger chain says about 500 of its more than 14,000 domestic stores have been testing table service and ordering kiosks for people who do not want to wait for the cashier. People in those stores order at the counter or kiosks, then sit and wait for an employee to bring them their food.

Chicago Man Sentenced For Attempting to Murder Informant

Nov 15, 2016
Michele Adami / Flickr

A judge in Chicago has sentenced a convicted drug dealer to 35 years in prison for plotting to kill an informant cooperating with federal agents to disrupt a trafficking ring.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the outcome of the U.S. presidential election won't impact Chicago's commitment as a sanctuary city for immigrants.  Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the late 1980s. That means authorities and city officials aren't allowed to ask residents about their immigration status during routine activities, like traffic stops.