Use this map to see where red light cameras are located in the Southland:
May 2013 Archives
Stormy weather could be in store for us today and into the night. Here's this morning's briefing from the National Weather Service.
Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown has been against the idea of an elected school board in Chicago. Until Wednesday, May 22. That's the day that the Chicago Board of Education, appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in nearly the blink of an eye, voted to close 50 public schools in the city.
Mark wrote about his change of heart on an appointed body. Here he discusses why he sees need for a change.
According to U.S. Census data out today, city living is, increasingly, the life we lead. While Chicago posted only a modest gain - not enough to reverse years of decline, Art Golab reports - most major American cities saw robust population gains for the second straight year.
Big cities surpassed the rate of growth of their surrounding suburbs at an even faster clip, a sign of America's continuing preference for urban living after the economic downturn quelled enthusiasm for less-crowded expanses.
Farther-out suburbs known as exurbs saw their growth slip to 0.35 percent, the lowest in more than a decade.
You can explore the different rates of population movement in Illinois and Indiana in this searchable database:
A look at the people who are deciding the fate of the schools on the CPS closing list:
A 737 that had a cracked windshield landed safely at Midway Airport Wednesday morning.
A standby and EMS Plan 1 response was called for the plane's landing about 8:45 a.m.
The emergency response was called because the plane reportedly had a cracked windshield, according to dispatch reports.
About 9 a.m. the plane landed safely and no injuries were reported.
Reporting from Sun-Times News Wire
This morning, the City of Chicago's appointed (not-elected) Board of Education will hold a hearing and then vote on the proposed closings of over 50 CPS schools. Below, you'll find a live-blog of updates from reporters at the scene as well as reporters with parents and students whose schools face closure.
UPDATE: The Board voted to close 50 and hold 4 open as requested by CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.
Barbara Byrd-Bennett is apparently withdrawing her recommendations to close four schools and to delay the closure of a fifth until next year. If the board approves all of her remaining recommendations, a maximum of 50 schools could close in June. Here's why sources told the Sun-Times they'd be spared (spared schools in red) from Wednesday's board vote:
-- The Call, "Oklahoma"
I never made it to my undergrad commencement ceremony -- because I was cowering in a basement.
The sky darkened outside my garage apartment as I ate breakfast on May 8, 1993, in Norman, Okla. When the clouds turned from their familiar deathly grey to that telltale sickly green, I called my folks and told them not to drive down from the city. By the time I hung up the phone, my landlord in the adjoining house was knocking frantically on the door. "You'd better get down here with us," she said. "You're not safe up here."
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, I've spent many an afternoon and evening sheltering like this. I've crouched in bathtubs and basements, huddled in hallways and high schools. I've been bored and terrified, often simultaneously. But I've been blessed -- tornadoes have gotten so close but stayed, thankfully, so far from me and my loved ones.
As a kid, of course, tornadoes can seem wondrous. I remember pressing my face against our front-door glass around age 7, watching a faint funnel dance its way along Grand Boulevard in Oklahoma City, just a few blocks away. The next day, we drove the boulevard and saw the huge old trees uprooted, the park swings knotted, the monkey bars toppled. Around age 12, upon hearing reports of twisters in the area of our home in Edmond, an OKC suburb, my father and I stood in our cul-de-sac, taking advantage of its clear views to scan the horizon for dipping funnels. My mother occasionally stamped onto the front porch to cuss at us and threaten that she wouldn't mourn if both us fools got swept away.
As the Chicago School Board prepares to vote on which schools targeted by CPS for closing should be shut down, here is a look at two of the more controversial measurements and profile characteristics that have surfaced during the debate: Utilization rate and race. In this chart the red circles represent schools on the list and the gray circles represent other CPS elementary schools not on the list. They are sorted vertically by the percent of students who are black and horizontally by the school's utilization rate (the percent of school being used.)
When news originally broke in March that more than 50 Chicago Public Schools were on a kill list, Sun-Times reporter Lauren FitzPatrick and multimedia reporter Jessica Koscielniak began working on a deep-dive storytelling venture to show the largest toll that cost-reduction plan would take.
The pair spent months interviewing parents, children and community members in three effected neighborhoods for a series, The Final Bell, that looked at the difficulties children will face simply walking to and from school - often crossing gang territories, past open air drug markets and skirting other dangerous situations.
In this video, Koscielniak talks about a number of the images she made during the reporting for the series and provides added insight into the people who told their stories.
A deadly tornado hit suburban Oklahoma City on Monday. A quick look at some basic facts:
Q. Is global warming to blame?
A. You can't blame a single weather event on global warming. In any case, scientists just don't know whether there will be more or fewer twisters as global warming increases. Tornadoes arise from very local conditions, and so they're not as influenced by climate change as much as larger weather systems like hurricanes and nor'easters. They're not easy to incorporate in the large computer simulations scientists use to gauge the impact of global warming.
And when scientists ponder the key weather ingredients that lead to twisters, there's still no clear answer about whether to expect more or fewer twisters. Some scientists theorize that the jet stream is changing because sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking. And the jet stream pattern drives weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
Q. How does this tornado season stack up against previous ones?
A. The season got off to a quiet start this year. Typically, there are more during spring, and the numbers dwindle in the worst heat of the summer. An unusually cool spring kept the funnel clouds at bay until mid-May this year. The last two seasons illustrate the extremes in tornado activity. In 2011, the United States saw its second-deadliest tornado season. Last year, it was busy in April but there were few twisters after that.
Q. What happened in Oklahoma?
A. The tornado destroyed an elementary school and flattened neighborhoods with winds up to 200 miles an hour. The National Weather Service made a preliminary ranking of the twister as an EF4, the second-most-powerful classification.
Q. How did it form?
A. Like the most destructive and deadly tornadoes, this one came from a rotating thunderstorm. The thunderstorm developed in an area where warm moist air rose into cooler air. Winds in the area caused the storm to rotate, and that rotation promoted the development of a tornado.
Amongst the scenes of destruction, death, and despair in Moore, Oklahoma this morning, there was a ray of hope when a dog feared lost during the storm managed to wriggle free from the wreckage while its owner was being interviewed by CBS. These are the stories that sustain survivors and bring hope, even to viewers like us, far removed from the scene of tragedy. [via Gawker]
If the medical marijuana bill is signed by Gov. Quinn, people with these conditions may be eligible for a prescription:
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
Including but not limited to arachnoiditis
Spinal cord injury
Arnold-chiari malformation and syringomyelia
Spinocerebellar ataxia (sca)
(Complex regional pain syndromes type i)
(Complex regional pain syndromes type ii)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Agitation of alzheimer's disease
Spinal cord disease
Traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome
Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating
A tour bus crashed into another vehicle on the Near North Side Thursday night, police said.
The crash occurred about 10:15 p.m. in the 400 block of West Division Street, police said.
The tour bus was travelling eastbound when the driver crossed into the westbound lanes and hit an SUV head on, said police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. The driver of the bus may have experienced some kind of medical issue, Mirabelli said.
Two people were hospitalized with "non-life-threatening" injuries at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.
With the upcoming Red Line mess about to whack us right in the face for several months, the CTA has gone and done something... awesome. Just in time for the big construction project, they've gone and rolled out a solid upgrade to their Train Tracker with more options on both mobile and website. Some of the big improvements include options to track one specific train's estimated arrival times at all stops on its line as well as the option to use your phone's GPS to locate the nearest station in case you're not sure of exactly where the hell you are.
But perhaps one of the coolest options is on the web-based version: a great interactive map that allows you to track the location of actual trains along the route, similar to the map tracker that's already in place for the CTA's bus tracker. The only downside is that this option doesn't appear to be available on mobile as of yet, but here's hoping. [H/T Red Eye]
If you are prone to vertigo, don't watch. If you aren't prone to vertigo, this may give it to you.
This point-of-view video shows the spire being hoisted atop the new One World Trade Center tower last week, capping the building at 1,776 feet.
Skip to the 7:20 point or so to see the moment it reaches the top - and the four iron workers all the way up there charged with fitting it in place.
Here's another edit that shows the moments it reaches the end of the line:
The stretch of Red Line along the Dan Ryan Expressway that will undergo construction beginning May 19 has more slow zones -- a total of 45.2 percent -- than any other CTA rail line branch. Use this map to see where the slow zones are located:
Angelina Jolie announced in an op/ed in the New York Times on Monday night that she had chosen to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. Jolie, who's mother and grandmother died of cancer, is a carrier of the gene that mark a likelihood that she would contract breast or other types of cancer.
Mary Mitchell, herself a breast cancer survivor, had a similar reaction, calling Jolie courageous and her new "she-ro."
Former NBC 5 Chicago news anchor, Zoraida Sambolin has announced that she has breast cancer and is getting a double mastectomy.
I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how tell you that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was... fb.me/1HItarAMz— zoraida sambolin (@ZoraidaCNN) May 14, 2013
Sambolin posted this message to her Facebook page Tuesday morning:
"I struggled for weeks trying to figure out how tell you that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was leaving to have surgery then..Angelina Jolie shares her story of a double mastectomy and gives me strength and an opening. #bravewoman"
Sambolin, who left Chicago in 2011 to anchor CNN's "Early Start" morning show, credits Angelina Jolie's mastectomy for giving her the strength to reveal her decision to have the surgery.
In today's New York Times op-ed, Jolie announced she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer.
NASA is awesome and so are their astronauts and here is even more proof, as if you needed any more. This is Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station singing a version of, what else, "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. Hadfield also has a wonderful Twitter account that features spectacular photos of the Earth from space (including Chicago!) that's worth a follow. But only after you start your Monday with the above video.
UPDATE: Bowie approves.
CHRIS HADFIELD SINGS SPACE ODDITY IN SPACE!"Hallo Spaceboy..."Commander Chris Hadfield, currently on... fb.me/24sZNW5ly— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) May 12, 2013
In Fran Spielman's one-on-one interview with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the mayor talked about Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, loyalty and whether he would work for himself.
Audio: Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Mary Carpenter wrote a wish list letter to her children for Mother's Day and it's become quite popular for it's funny, honest insightfulness. Below find Mary's letter republished with permission and be sure to check out our feature story on Mary in the Sun-Times.
So I've decided to be proactive and tell my kids what I want for mother's day. Here it is:
What I Want for Mother's Day
Mother's Day is coming up, and I thought I should tell you what I want. This way there's no guilty panic or last minute purchasing of flowers at the closest gas station. So, this is what I want, this year and every year after; it's pretty simple really.
I want you to be a decent human being.
I want you to be who you are, but don't be an asshole.
I want you to work hard at everything you do, because life is too short not to give it everything you've got.
I want you to ask for help when you need it.
I want you to help others when they need it.
I want you to learn how to cook, do your own laundry, pay your bills and know how to clean a bathroom.
When you screw up, and you will, more than once, I want you to own it, because it's the screw-ups that make the victories sweeter.
I want you to travel, because the world is huge and you are one part of it.
I want you to know that even when we hate each other, I will never stop loving you.
I want you to play nicely with others.
I want you to feed your curiosity.
I want you to find a way to do what you love, and realize that that might look different than you originally thought.
I want you to respect every human being's right to be who they are.
I want you to sometimes be more interested in someone else than in yourself.
I want you to know that you are flawed and you are extraordinary. There is no one else like you.
I want you to know that I would lay down my life for you in Lily Potter fashion any day of the week.
I want you to realize how lucky you are every once in awhile even if only for an instant.
I want you to know love, even if it means getting hurt.
I want you to relax and not feel guilty about it.
I want you to know life can be brutally hard sometimes.
I want you to know that you can choose happiness even when the dark side offers you cookies.
And I wouldn't mind breakfast in bed.
Did you know that Indiana Twitter users use "the n-word" more than Twitter users in Mississippi, Alabama, or Georgia? It's true, according to research by professors and students at Humboldt State University who filed through 150,000 tweets to find which regions tweets with hate speech come from. What's more is that they didn't just auto-filter; they actually read the tweets so that tweets using those words but not in a way that intended hate speech - i.e., "People should never say n-----" (censoring mine) - weren't counted. The Guardian adds: "The data has also been 'normalised', meaning that the scale accounts for the total twitter traffic in each county so that the final result is something that shows the frequency of hateful words on Twitter."
Of course, there are other variables - maybe Twitter users are more racist than non-users and it's entirely possible (and likely) that Southerners use Twitter less than, say, Northeastern folks, keeping their racism offline (these are my people; I know them).
But it's still an interesting look at where the hate speech generates.
Ahoy, mates! Navy Pier has announced that the semi-annual Tall Ships fest is returning this summer, and this time it's timed with the Chicago Match Cup to create the ultimate event for boating enthusiasts.
Historic tall ships will sail into Navy Pier August 7-11, from as far away as Norway and Canada. The fest will feature a "Parade of Sails" and tours of several of the ships. Fest goers will also have the opportunity to watch professional sailing competition, the Match Cup. Chicago is the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.
Used to catching the CTA at a certain time? Well, things may change for you on May 19, especially if you depend on some South Side bus routes. While we already know about the big Red Line Project that will alter travel on the Red (none) and Green (super-packed) Lines on the South Side, the CTA announced new timetables today for other affected trains as well as bus routes. All route and schedule changes go into effect on May 19 and the maps and timetables are already available on the CTA's website so adjust your schedules accordingly. [via RedEye's Tracy Swartz]
Amanda Berry, the woman who escaped after being held captive for a decade along with two other Cleveland women, is expected to speak soon as she finally returns home today for the first time in 10 years. Watch live video from Cleveland's WKYC above.
Charles Ramsey claims he's no hero, but that isn't stopping others from labeling him one.
An interview he gave WEWS-TV Monday shortly after discovering Amanda Berry and the two other missing Cleveland women quickly went viral. His no-nonsense, honest quotes have seemingly captivated the nation.
Ramsey gave an equally amazing interview to Anderson Cooper last night:
Hearing officers appointed to analyze CPS's list of schools to close are opposing the closing of several of the schools on the list (shown below in red), citing reasons ranging from non-compliance by CPS during the closing process, community opposition and personal opinion. Use this map to see comments by some of the officers about why the schools should remain open as well as statistics about each school on CPS' list:
Three women who went missing separately about a decade ago were found Monday in a home just south of downtown and likely had been tied up during years of captivity, said police, who arrested three brothers. One of the women said she had been abducted and told a 911 dispatcher, "I'm free now."
Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man that found the women gave this fantastic interview:
Beginning May 19, many Red Line passengers on the South Side will need to find alternative routes when workers repair a stretch of the line from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th St. Use this map to see what alternatives -- including shuttle buses, the Green Line and the Orange Line -- will be in place once construction begins:
With the months-long overhaul of the Red Line from Cermak to 95th less than two weeks from starting, May 19, discussion of the work is ramping up.
While the inconvenience of the Wells Street bridge on Brown and Purple Line riders has been well documented, that work only took two weeks, spread over about a month. The entire Red Line south will be down for five months in both directions.
Richard Steele dedicated most of his weekly Barber Shop Show on Friday to discussion the Red Line project - along with some other transportation issues, like Ventra and West Side bus service.
The overhaul work on the Welles Street Bridge that shut down CTA and road service over parts of the last two months is complete. You can find the complete story here, and this graphic explains the work done (click to enlarge):
Kara Spak and Rich Hein reported on the unseen collections of the Field Museum. Enjoy Rich's wonderful photos of the Field's photos in the above video and below .
Note: Click each photo to open a bigger version and more information.
A look at the city through camera phone lenses in photos shared by Instagram users in the last week.
UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): A couple of hours after power had been restored to the CTA Blue Line after a body was removed from the subway at a Loop station, power was cut again as police returned to the scene.
UPDATE (10:35 a.m.): Per the CTA, service has resumed on the Blue Line but residual delays should be expected.
PREVIOUSLY: CTA Blue Line service to and from O'Hare Airport is temporarily suspended as Chicago Police investigate a body under the tracks.
Power has been removed to a portion of the CTA's Blue Line on Friday morning after a person was reported on the tracks.
Power was removed to the Blue Line between the Damen and Racine stations following a report of a person on the right of way, according to CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis.
View CTA Blue Line service disrupted in a larger map
An unconfirmed report said a body was found on the tracks near Clark and Lake.
Chicago Fire Department personnel have been called to the scene for a person down, according to Fire Media Affairs.
Blue Line trains are operating only between O'Hare and Damen; and Racine and Forest Park, according to a CTA rider alert.
The No. 7 Harrison or No. 20 Madison buses, or Pink Line trains are recommended for service between downtown and the West Side; while the No. 56 Milwaukee train is suggested towards O'Hare.
The CTA is putting together shuttle bus service for affected customers, Lukidis said.
Service on the Blue Line has been temporarily suspended between Damen and Racine due to a police investigation underway.— cta (@cta) May 3, 2013
In a summer right of passage going back 86 years, the iconic fountain on Chicago's front lawn shot into action, partly to benefit March of Dimes fundraising.
Police exchanged gunfire early Thursday with a male who opened fire in the South Side Roseland neighborhood.
Officers were responding to a call of a man with a gun at 12:55 a.m. in the 500 block of West 113th Street when the male began firing shots, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.
The officers returned fire and the male fled, Alfaro said.
No one was injured, Alfaro said.
A police Independent Review Authority spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
No one is in custody and Area South detectives are investigating.
Three additional suspects taken into custody in Marathon bombing case. Details to follow.— Boston Police Dept. (@Boston_Police) May 1, 2013
Three additional suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing case have been taken into custody, say police.
Here's the latest:
Real estate mogul, TV reality show host, and political hornet nest kicker Donald Trump is apparently taking a little time off from looking for President Obama's Kenyan roots to testify in a lawsuit that revolves around two units in his Chicago Trump Tower. Jacqueline Goldberg is suing the Trump Tower, claiming buyers were originally promised a share in revenue from the building's hotel but that the Trump organization then backed off of the deal. From the Tribune:
Goldberg deposited $516,000 on the hotel units, which she intended to buy as investments because of that revenue-sharing plan and other promised investment incentives, the lawsuit said. But she decided not to complete the sale after the hotel changed the terms, according to the suit.
Goldberg is seeking a return of her deposit and damages in excess of $500,000, according to the suit.
As a result, Trump is slated to testify on behalf of his company and building on May 13, the first time, apparently, that he's ever testified in anything involving the Tower along the Chicago River.
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images