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Morning Shorts

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010

* Shots fired into Washington Park mayor’s house

Mayor Cynthia Stovall-Hollingsworth was not believed to be a target and was not injured, police said. The bullets that hit her house were believed to be stray shots.[…]

Stovall-Hollingsworth came to office in April after the former mayor, John Thornton, was shot to death driving home from work on April 1. Thornton stopped to talk to two men when one got into his car and shot the mayor.

* ‘Frozen in place’ by the recession

The slow economy has led to Chicago’s greatest population increase of the decade.

Chicago gained 21,000 people between July 2008 and July 2009, according to Census Bureau city population estimates released Tuesday.

The reason: fewer people are leaving the city, allowing immigration plus births to more than make up for the 3,500 people who left town.

* 2009 population estimates for Illinois cities

* Chicago home sales jump 32% in May

* Tax incentives drive May surge in [Springfield] home sales

* Home sales dip 2.2 pct despite tax credits

* DuPage tech park to be turned over to airport

The privately run DuPage National Technology Park — a near-empty west suburban non-profit project that Illinois taxpayers sunk $34 million into — is dead, DuPage County Board chairman Robert Schillerstrom declared today.

Schillerstrom said the tech park will be taken over by the DuPage Airport Authority, which owns the land in West Chicago that backers once hoped the park would turn into a flourishing home for dozens of technology businesses bringing thousands of new, high-tech jobs.

* Hinz: Schillerstrom concedes DuPage tech park fight

* Youth’s slaying shows limits of struggling school’s progress

Earlier this month blood marked the grass outside Brian Piccolo Specialty School in West Humboldt Park where a 15-year-old boy was slain. Officials there hope the tragedy won’t taint the progress they have achieved in the past two years.

The school, which had been plagued by violence and low test scores, has seen improvement in both, according to school officials and state data. But Principal Althea Hammond worries that the school’s strides may be overshadowed by one tragedy.

“I always compare schools to a fairy-tale place. It’s an illusion,” Hammond said on a recent morning. “When (students) leave, they are going back to their own reality.”[…]

When it began to rain, Jeremy took refuge near Piccolo along the 4200 block of West Thomas Street, according to an account of the events read by prosecutors in court on June 16. Prosecutors alleged that a 20-year-old began shooting and hit Jeremy in the neck. The suspected shooter has been charged with first-degree murder.

The prosecutor said in court that the area where Jeremy was killed “is the site of ongoing rivalries” between gangs. […]

Even the memorials set up for Jeremy Baggett after the shooting caused stress for the school. What started as flowers and balloons turned into liquor bottles and, eventually, graffiti. City authorities cleaned up the site, but then Hammond heard rumors that people who were angry that the memorial was removed were threatening to shoot out school windows.

* Chicago to spend $25 million to fight school violence

The cornerstone is a $10 million mentoring program for 1,500 high-risk students at 13 high schools. Currently, 250 students get the special attention.

* Mayor Daley: Violence Proves Chicago’s Handgun Ban Is Needed

* Senate confirms Central District U.S. attorney

* Naperville leads Chicago area in DUI arrests, survey says

And according to a recent survey of statewide DUI arrests, several Chicago suburbs lead in enforcement — Carol Stream, Gurnee and Orland Park, to name a few.

Carol Stream racked up nearly 500 arrests for driving under the influence last year, ranking fourth in the state, a source of pride for its police department, officials said.

* Illinois State Police revoke Muslim chaplain appointee

In a statement, state police officials said Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, the associate director of the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, could not serve as a volunteer chaplain “due to information revealed during the background investigation.” State police declined to be more specific. […]

Shortly after Mustapha’s appointment, Steve Emerson, executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, criticized Illinois law enforcement for ignoring Mustapha’s history as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, once the nation’s largest Muslim charity.

The foundation’s two founding members were sentenced last year to 65 years in prison each for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, which the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist organization.

* Defense rests in cop torture trial

* Testimony wraps up in Burge trial

* Former court reporter: Alleged Burge victim had facial injuries

* Sculpture planned for injured Chicago police officers

* City teams help fund police statue

* Trump Tower spire to light up Wednesday night for the first time

* Daley, Wal-Mart tout benefits of chain coming to Chicago

Daley tends to display such emotion when he’s in a tough political situation. He’s frequently gotten fired up when discussing the city’s decades-old handgun ban, which the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to overturn any day now.

In the case of Wal-Mart, Daley is fighting a long-running battle that could come to a head Thursday when the City Council Zoning Committee votes on the proposed Pullman Park development on the South Side that would be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

It’s not clear if the mayor has the votes to prevail — as he almost always does. “We’re gonna try,” he said.

* Daley wants answers from organized labor over $1 billion Wal-Mart deal

* ShoreBank needs bigger bailout: report

* City considers fines for big holes left unfilled

* Buildings Committee moves to fine property owners for eyesores

* SouthtownStar: Recession takes pressure off plan for Howe land

* Elgin seeks partner to find buyers for foreclosed homes

* Homewood bans seeking donations at intersections

* Lombard will close bridge if Glen Ellyn won’t pay

Lombard plans to close the aging Hill Avenue bridge on July 1 if neighboring Glen Ellyn won’t pitch in on the cost of rebuilding it.

The bridge over the DuPage River just south of the Union Pacific tracks belongs to Lombard, but traffic patterns indicate it has more value to Glen Ellyn residents.

That’s why Lombard is asking its neighbor to split the $600,000 local share of the reconstruction cost - and says it won’t foot the bill alone.

* No wage increase for D203 leaders

* Bureaucratic housekeeping in Naperville turns into debate over abortion clinics

City planners recently decided to streamline two separate land-use classifications — “medical or dental clinics” and “medical or dental offices” — into one category, to remove repetition and make the city’s zoning code clearer. Their proposal to do so at the June 15 City Council meeting, however, nearly was derailed by concerns by several council members over the possibility that an abortion clinic can operate anywhere that medical or dental facilities currently are allowed, including in the city’s downtown.

* RR Star: Keep an eye on Navistar

Persistence usually pays off, so it’s important that officials in the Rockford region remain persistent if they have any hope of attracting a Navistar facility that is having problems moving to Lisle.

The Northwest Herald reported Sunday that McHenry County has been aggressive in pursuing Navistar and is trying to lure the company to the Motorola site in Harvard.

Motorola closed the Harvard plant in 2003 and it’s been vacant since. The campus employed 6,000 people at its peak in 2000, so there’s plenty of room for Navistar.

* South Beloit finds $49,400 for next budget year

* [Quincy] to meet with companies interested in hydropower development

* Henry City Council approves utility tax

* Streator now getting ‘back to business’

* Regulators crack down on payday loan firm in Carbondale

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jun 23, 10 @ 10:10 am:

    It appears Barton may hae missed the very eloquent and substantive legislative analysis of Rep Shane “Ironhead” Colture. It appears to be his most detailed comments of the session

    “We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it’s not something we’ll get out of quickly,” added Cultra, whose critique of powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan as “emperor of Illinois” drew the loudest reaction from the crowd of about 115.”
    from the always balanced Bloomington Pantagraph

    Grate job Shane — not

  2. - Leroy - Wednesday, Jun 23, 10 @ 10:33 am:

    Mayor Daley: Violence Proves Chicago’s Handgun Ban Is Needed

    Poor Mayor Daley…so stuck in the 1990s.

    I think the violence proves Chicago needs mayors not named “Richard Daley”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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