Chicago

Flickr Creative Commons/Tony Webster

Chicago police are solving homicides at a far lower rate than their counterparts in some other major cities, which may reflect how hard it is for detectives to crack the culture of silence surrounding the violence committed by the city's street gangs.

The Chicago Police Department is expanding the use of a gunshot detection system and surveillance cameras in areas of the city that are dealing with high rates of gun violence.  Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says in a statement the expanded ShotSpotter system and crime cameras will be in police districts on the city's south and west side. 

Flickr Creative Commons/prsa-ny

A former Chicago law clerk and current candidate for a judgeship who was fired after allegedly taking the bench to hear some minor traffic cases now has a challenger.

A pregnant Chicago woman who was shot in the abdomen during another violent holiday weekend in the city later delivered a nearly full-term baby boy.  The shooting Monday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood also wounded the woman's boyfriend. 

Stephen M. Scott / Flickr

Police say 90 people were killed in Chicago last month, more homicides than New York and Los Angeles combined. Hundreds more people were shot in one of the bloodiest months in recent history. The city is now on pace for its deadliest year in almost two decades with more than 460 murders already.

Loyola University criminologist Arthur Lurigio says the first thing the police need to do to reduce violent crime is start solving more murders.

The FBI is appealing for the public's help in solving a more than a decade-old killing of a 13-year-old Indiana girl, whose decapitated body was found by boaters in a river near Chicago. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Afshin Darian

The iconic Tribune Tower on Chicago's Michigan Avenue will have a new owner.   Los Angeles-based CIM Group has agreed to buy the tower for up to $240 million. The deal, expected to close by September's end, was announced by Chicago-based Tribune Media Tuesday. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Nate Pesce / Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office

A popular site for "Pokemon Go" characters in a conservation area on the north Chicago lakefront has attracted hundreds of players and inspired legislation to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

A law clerk running unopposed for a judgeship has been fired after she was accused of donning a robe and taking the bench in a Chicago courtroom to hear some minor traffic cases.   Chief Judge Timothy Evans' office says Rhonda Crawford is no longer employed by the Cook County Circuit Court. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Jim Pennucci

Enormous rats are making their way through the federal court system. But they're not wet-nosed, living rodents. They're rubber, inflatable ones.  Unions deploy such rat replicas outside businesses they have disputes with.  

Cook County officials say they expect to issue the 10 thousandth marriage license to a same-sex couple this week.  Cook County Clerk David Orr held a news conference along with state lawmakers and civil right groups to mark the milestone. 

A former Chicago transportation official has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was convicted of taking bribes to steer $100 million in red-light camera contracts to a company in Phoenix.  U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall sentenced John Bills today in Chicago. 

A federal judge has ruled a suburban Chicago terrorism suspect mentally unfit to stand trial on charges he placed what he believed to be a bomb outside a bar.  U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman has concluded 22-year-old Adel Daoud is sincere in his belief that aliens, the Illuminati and Freemasons are conspiring against him.

Chicago police are debunking Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's claim that department officials told him they can reduce crime by being tougher.  During a Monday interview on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor," Trump said Chicago's police force doesn't have "the right people in charge." He added he met "very top police" who told him if a specific person were put in charge, violence could be stopped "in one week."

Flickr Creative Commons/Fibonacci Blue

Anti-abortion activists are challenging a Chicago ordinance that stops protesters from getting within 8 feet of anyone entering a health care facility.   The complaint was filed in federal court in Chicago by anti-abortion groups and "sidewalk counselors" who want to hand out literature near abortion clinics. 

Federal prosecutors want a 10-year prison sentence for a former Chicago official convicted of taking bribes to steer $100 million in red-light camera contracts to a Phoenix company.  Federal prosecutors filed a memo with the court asking U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall to consider a 10-year sentence "as a floor" for John Bills. 

Flickr Creative Commons/sittiealiah M A

The agency responsible for investigating complaints against Chicago police is looking into last year's arrest of a Muslim woman whom officers mistakenly identified as a potential terrorist as she walked from a subway station. 

Former Governor Pushes for More Consumer Advocacy

Aug 2, 2016
Metropolitan Planning Council / Flickr

Few politicians can be defined by a single strategy, but organizing voter initiatives has been a repeated ‘go-to’ for former Governor Pat Quinn. The Chicago Democrat led the campaign that created the Citizens Utility Board more than 30 years ago. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian O’Keefe spoke with Quinn recently about his push to create a new independently-elected Consumer Advocate in Chicago:

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

One person is dead and another wounded following two separate shootings by Chicago police. The police shootings happened less than an hour apart early last night on the city’s South Side.

Police say a little before 7:00 P.M., officers responding to a robbery in progress saw a man fleeing with a weapon near Ogden Park. When he did not follow their orders to drop it,  they shot him twice in the legs. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

A person familiar with the selection process says an exact location for President Barack Obama's presidential library has been chosen.

The individual says Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have selected Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side for the library and presidential center.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual wasn't authorized to discuss the choice before a formal announcement.

Activist Turned Attorney Observes RNC Protests

Jul 21, 2016
Tony Arnold / Twitter

Republicans have been in Cleveland this week for their national convention. And so have protesters. Those activists are kept away from the arena where the convention is happening. They’ve been gathering in a public square a couple blocks away. That’s where Chicagoan Jerry Boyle has also spent the week, not to take part in the protests, but to watch them. Illinois Public Radio’s Tony Arnold reports.

 

Ray Tsang

A city watchdog report says the Chicago government lacks a centralized program to keep down the hundreds of millions of dollars it pays out each year for things like police misconduct cases and workers' compensation claims.

Police statistics show that nearly 15 people were shot in Chicago every day during June, including a daily average of more than two who died.  The department says there were 315 homicides in Chicago in the first six months of the year, or more than 100 more than during the same period last year.

A judge says he hopes to name a special prosecutor by Aug. 4 in the case of a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a black teenager.

Barack Obama's presidential library on Chicago's South side will be designed by a New York architectural firm that designed the David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.  The Barack Obama Foundation announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects has been chosen for the library that will be built near the university where Obama once taught constitutional law. 

The minimum age in Chicago for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products goes up to 21 at the end of the week.   The city joins about 170 local jurisdictions around the country that have made the change, including New York City and Boston. Health advocates have pushed the policy to discourage teenagers from starting a harmful habit.

Hillary Clinton Blasts Trump at Chicago Luncheon

Jun 27, 2016

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wasted no time attacking her Republican rival Donald Trump during a speech in Chicago this afternoon at McCormick Place.   Clinton spoke before the Women’s Luncheon for the Rainbow Push Coalition.

"Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas says Chicago won't be home to his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.  Lucas Museum officials say it will no longer consider Chicago as a potential site for the museum because of an ongoing federal lawsuit from a parks advocacy group. Instead, museum officials say the museum will be located in California.

A judge in Chicago has agreed to release former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds from jail as he awaits trial on misdemeanor tax charges.  Today's ruling requires the Illinois Democrat to wear an electronic-monitoring device so authorities can keep tabs on him. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Mark Goebel

Amtrak is making plans to unveil improvements at Chicago's Union Station, including the new Metropolitan Lounge.  The $7 million-dollar lounge opens to the public on Monday. Customers will be greeted by Amtrak customer service representatives who will check their baggage and later help them board their trains. 

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