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[23 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]

Alderman Bernie Stone, 87, died Monday at Skokie Hospital, according to his family. Stone’s health had deteriorated after he fell Saturday, said his daughter, Ilana Feketitsch.

Stone served on the City Council from 1973 until 2011, holding the largely ceremonial position of vice mayor under Richard M. Daley from 1998 to 2011. He is perhaps best known for his sharp tongue — he once called then-Ald. Luis Gutierrez a “little pipsqueak” — and bold personality.
Read more in the Chicago Tribune

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[9 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]

A contentious 4-3 vote by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority board allowed Quinn’s former campaign manager, Lou Bertuca, 30, to become its new executive director. The outgoing governor’s appointees stood firm against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s appointees, who criticized the move as rushed and unfair to taxpayers without interviewing other candidates.

“Just going to the governor’s assistant isn’t much of a search,” said Norm Bobins, a mayoral appointee and longtime banking executive. “And I think Lou’s resume speaks for itself since his last position was campaign manager for Gov. Quinn.”
The $175,900-a-year position …

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[1 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]

If Kilgore does rejoin the faculty, at least one major university donor has said he will withdraw his pledged support, which would mean about $4.5 million to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s bioengineering department. Both UIC and the Urbana-Champaign campus are part of the U. of I. system.

Chicago businessman Richard Hill last year pledged $6.5 million to UIC’s bioengineering department, the largest gift in the history of the College of Engineering and one that brought praise from Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Hill said he has …

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[30 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Re-writing a key chapter in Illinois’ death penalty history, Cook County prosecutors Thursday threw out the murder and manslaughter convictions of Alstory Simon, whose videotaped confession unraveled one of the state’s most pivotal wrongful convictions, sparking reform and ultimately the end of capital punishment in Illinois.

At a brief hearing, Presiding Judge Paul Biebel granted prosecutors’ request to dismiss Simon’s convictions and ordered him released from prison. A few hours later, the 64-year-old Simon walked out of the Jacksonville Correctional Center in central Illinois into a cold, steady rain.
“I’m not angry …

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[27 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

The rapidly expanding rides-for-hire industry in Chicago is undergoing more change Monday.

Now, the city of Chicago is preparing to enter the contest. It will implement one or more universal smartphone apps to connect riders with the closest available taxi among all cabs in the city rather than a customer going online to hail a cab from a specific company. The apps are designed to provide one-stop shopping for taxis and also “can help level the playing field” between taxis and ride-sharing services, city officials said.
Read more in the Tribune

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[6 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Loretta Durbin, 68, who said she plans to retire soon, has earned a total of at least $1.04 million in salary from lobbying since 1998, according to the senator’s annual financial disclosures. Sen. Durbin also makes his federal and state tax returns public.

The senator, 69, who is seeking his fourth term in the Nov. 4 election, said he has never helped his wife get business.
“People know the name because I’ve been around for a while,” the senator said. “But whether that helps or hurts her in attracting clients, you know, …

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[29 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

Regardless of what top U.S. military officials might advise, Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday he does not expect any American troops to conduct ground combat to take on the Islamic State as long as Barack Obama is president.

“I think the president’s premise on this is right. We cannot, should not, will not do this alone. We are not going to send in combat troops, but we will coordinate and work with a multinational group that includes Arab and Muslim states that are trying to bring peace and order to the …

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[11 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

In a report Tuesday on WGN-Ch. 9, Bronaugh said he was trying to address racism within the department and showed as evidence a picture of a monkey smoking a cigarette that had been taped to a locker.

“To see these pictures, and to draw the conclusion that there are racist firefighters working in this firehouse, (it is) something that as the fire chief here, I cannot afford nor tolerate,” Bronaugh said in the WGN report.
Bronaugh refused to answer questions about the picture Wednesday, even though members of his …

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[24 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Federal grand jury subpoenaed emails of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff and two other onetime top aides as a criminal probe into a botched $54.5 million anti-violence grant program continues ahead of the November election.

The subpoenas, disclosed by the Quinn administration in response to a Tribune open records request, shows the grand jury asking the state for the emails of Jack Lavin, who served as Quinn’s chief operating officer and later as his chief of staff until departing state government last September.
The July 28 subpoenas were requested …

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[21 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

Hstess Brands said Wednesday it will close its Schiller Park bakery, where Twinkies and other iconic sweets have been produced for 84 years, affecting about 400 employees.

Union officials said they were notified of the closure on the same day they were set to start negotiating a new labor contract. About 280 of the workers had voted to unionize in May.
The plant, among only four remaining Hostess bakeries in the country and the last left in Illinois, is expected to close Oct. 19. Twinkies were invented in the Chicago area in …