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Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009

* 77 Names Added to Slain Journalists Memorial in Washington D.C.

The youngest journalist’s name added to the wall was Ryan Rendleman, 22, who was on assignment for the Daily Egyptian student newspaper at Southern Illinois University in April 2008 when a tractor-tractor slammed into his stopped car at a construction zone.

* Batavia native added to journalists memorial

* Batavian’s name added to journalists memorial in D.C.

* New law reduces charges for uninsured

[Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s] office says hospitals have sometimes charged the uninsured at rates that are more than 200 percent over the cost of services.

* Ford to call back 300 full-time workers to build new Explorer

* Union: Ford calling back workers

Amid weak demand for cars, Ford dropped a second shift at the Chicago assembly plant in November, eliminating 600 part-time positions and about 200 full-time jobs. The plant began a temporary shutdown this week.

Kolanowski said building the Explorer will lead to the callback of 300 laid-off full-time workers at the plant and at a Chicago Heights stamping plant.

* State on a high in tech

Despite Motorola’s thousands of layoffs, Illinois’ high-tech industry managed to add 2,400 jobs in 2007, pushing the state to No. 7 from No. 8 in cyber sophistication among the 50 states, according to a study being released today. […]

Illinois’ tech industry employed 211,800 with a total payroll of $16.6 billion in 2007, the latest data available, while Indiana’s tech industry employed 71,300 with a total payroll of $4.2 billion, the report said.

* Chu believes FutureGen project has merit

* B-N to receive more than $1 million in energy efficiency grants

* Collapsing mines have been long-standing problem in Metro East

Schools, it seems, have been common victims.

* Students reassigned from school damaged by subsidence

* Caught in the 2-earner trap

But with so many women joining the work force, other expenses have skyrocketed for middle-class families, who have bid up prices for things like a home in a safe neighborhood with good schools. Other expenses in a dual-earner family — including child care, an extra car for mom to go to work and rising college costs — have gobbled up nearly all of the gains in salary, some argue.

* Daley deal to privatize Midway might not fly

Mayor Daley’s $2.5 billion plan to privatize Midway Airport has run into turbulence — and it just might be grounded entirely — because of the nation’s credit crunch and Wall Street slide, City Hall sources said Monday.

An April 6 closing date that would have made Midway the “first privatization of a major American airport” has been cancelled — and it’s likely to be put off for six months to give Midway Investment and Development Company LLC an opportunity to salvage the deal by lining up more equity investors or bank financing.

Asked to assess the chances the blockbuster deal will ever go through, the source said, “I wouldn’t put odds on it. No matter what happens, the city gets $126 million. That’s more for the city budget than the city gets” if the deal goes through, because of strings attached to the larger pot of money.

* O’Hare: Computer kiosks replace laid-off greeters

* HP, Chicago create high-tech lounges for visitors at O’Hare

* No stimulus money for $15 billion O’Hare expansion

* Federal Stimulus Money Flowing To O’Hare

* O’Hare Receives Millions in Stimulus Money

* City plans $15.5B in downtown projects

A draft of Chicago’s plans for the city’s central area through 2020 calls for $15.5 billion in public works, mostly for transportation improvements, and asserts the projects are attainable with or without the 2016 Olympics.

The projects include a West Loop transit hub beneath Clinton Street with an estimated price tag of almost $6 billion. The hub would connect Metra and CTA rail and bus lines with a proposed Carroll Street rail line, itself a $260 million item, near the north bank of the Chicago River.

The city’s share of the total $15.5 billion cost should be in the range of $6 billion to $8 billion, the report said. Most of the money would come from tax-increment financing, a property tax source that diverts money from regular government expenses. The rest would have to be drawn from state and federal aid or corporate deals, it said.

* Deloitte to sponsor U.S. Olympic team

* NLRB threatens complaint against Chicago company

* Window co. violated labor laws: NLRB Chicago

* City Hall hiring: Federal judge rejects compliance chief’s memo to department heads

In a “transition plan” memo issued Thursday to all city department heads, Anthony Boswell, executive director of compliance, said his office would manage “the day-to-day monitoring of all hiring.”

But an order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen states that the court-appointed hiring monitor shall continue each of her duties until Boswell’s office “advises her, and she concurs, that it is capable of assuming that function.”

The court monitor, Noelle Brennan, declined to comment Monday. In a report that led to the order, she cited continuing City Hall hiring abuses and “notably decreased” efforts to comply with federal court rules.

* Cop probed in senior’s missing $400K

Authorities are investigating whether a Chicago Police officer assigned to help senior residents bilked an 87-year-old Northwest Side woman of several hundred thousand dollars, according to court filings.

Officer Anthony Robles does not deny that his name is on Maria Hoyos’ bank accounts, nor that she lived with him for a time, nor that he traveled to Puerto Rico with her to help her.

* Let the Trout Fishing Begin!

It may still look like winter out there, but here’s a sign of Spring. Illinois’ hugely popular trout-fishing season opens this Saturday. The state’s Department of Natural Resources is stocking lakes, ponds and rivers with rainbow trout–60-thousand of them. But you need a special permit, and there’s no jumping the gun, says Chris McCloud of the Natural Resources Department..

- Posted by Mike Murray        


3 Comments
  1. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    A long time ago I heard mines could take up to half the coal out of a vein. Don’t know where that figure came from or if it’s even true. Anyway, the mines took out more coal than they were allowed? Or was half too much.


  2. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    I love the headline writers this AM on the O’Hare “stimulus” funding. Is it flowing, or not?


  3. - Lynn S - Wednesday, Apr 1, 09 @ 12:44 am:

    The figure is true, Cheswick. In the article it says Illinois is plagued by soil issues and softer coal. Also almost 1/2 of all abandoned mines unmapped.


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