Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 - Posted by Kevin Fanning
* U.S. Steel to idle Granite City Works steel mill
Lower demand for steel used in the automotive and construction industries is leading United States Steel Corp. to temporarily idle the Granite City Works steel mill and two others, the company said late Tuesday afternoon.
As of mid-November, the Granite City plant employed more than 2,100 hourly workers and salaried employees. U.S. Steel would not say Tuesday how many of the area workers would be laid off but said about 3,500 workers across the three plants would be affected.
Few other details were available Tuesday evening.
Neither the company nor United Steelworkers Local 1899, which represents workers at Granite City Works, could say how long workers would be laid off.
* Making sense of crime during a recession isn’t so clear-cut
In Chicago, property crimes are up more than 3 percent and robberies even more so, in excess of 9 percent.
In fact, crime rates across the country have gone up in every recession since the 1950s, said Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Still, other factors could be at work. An increase in the population of males between 17 and 25—the gender and age of typical offenders—can be a contributing factor to a rise in crime.
* Attorneys for Bensenville claim proposed O’Hare expansion is unconstitutional
* Milwaukee neighborhoods could print own money
It’s not a new concept—experts estimate there are at least 2,000 local currencies all over the world—but it is a practice that tends to burgeon during economic downturns. During the Great Depression, scores of communities relied on their own currencies.
And it’s completely legal.
* Radio static: Stroger takes on Claypool
What followed was the first unofficial broadcast debate between Stroger and Claypool 14 months before their highly anticipated — but not yet confirmed — showdown for board presidency in the 2010 Democratic primary.
* Stroger, Claypool take feud to radio
* Press Release: Citizens’ Lawsuit Challenges $62 Million Dollar Uptown TIF
* Tax relief could keep many in their homes
Cook County Assessor James Houlihan has come up with a temporary, yet well considered, solution to ease the pain. Under a plan he has proposed, if the property taxes you pay exceed 5 percent of your household income, you would get a one-time relief check, up to $700.
* FBI: Police officers, jail guards were muscle for ‘drug deals’
* Where corrupt officials learn to share
* Harvey cop allegedly suggested where to do drug deals
“The best spot for ya’ll to do that, believe it or not, is the train station,” Stallworth allegedly said. “Fast-food places, that’s where we be looking.”
* 15 officers caught in FBI drug sting
* Ex-cop convicted of conspiracy
* Giannoulias: Pension proposal worth fight
* Giannoulias: No estimate for layoffs under pension plan
* State Capitol Q&A: State government jobs
* Justin Oberman latest name in 5th District race to replace Rahm Emanuel
* Marin: Carpenters Union Shafts Members?
But Prate fought back. And gathered evidence. And went to court. And ultimately into binding arbitration.
If you want to read the decision of arbitrator James P. Martin, it’s a great read. Martin, who is 82 and has 44 years of experience arbitrating more than 3,000 cases without ever being reversed, wrote the following:
“Mr. Prate would be a very unlikely candidate for work as an adviser to a charm school. . . . However, his record in this matter is truly impressive: years of fighting the union, at great cost and with little success, and an indomitable determination not to be walked upon.” Martin found “Mr. Prate to be true and honest,” with a mound of evidence to back him up. The union leadership, he determined, “vindictively makes Prate unequal” to other companies.