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Morning Shorts

Monday, Jun 28, 2010

* Roosevelt U. study finds Chicago area worst in nation for heroin abuse

Huge increases in heroin use among whites, suburbanites and teenagers are a major factor in why the Chicago area suffers what might be the nation’s worst heroin problem, according to a new study released today.

“It’s cheaper than a six-pack of beer and it’s easier to get. Drug dealers don’t ask for I.D.,” says Kathleen Kane-Willis, one of the authors of the Roosevelt University report on heroin use in Illinois from 1998 to 2008.

* 3 Killed, At Least 29 Wounded By Weekend Gunfire

* In Chicago, at least 3 dead in weekend shootings

* 10 wounded in 8 overnight shootings

* Home sales, prices rise in May

* 100% of S. Side school’s first class college-bound

About 85 percent of the Class of 2010 came from low-income families, the overwhelming majority single mother households. The students would face problems far beyond poor academics.

Safety, for example. Some kids had to alter their bus routes so they wouldn’t face gangs who might see their blazers and ties as inviting targets.[…]

At Urban Prep, every student has at least one mentor — maybe a coach or a teacher. About 60 percent of teachers at the Englewood campus (Urban Prep has another school and plans to open a third this fall) are black men. They serve as confidantes and role models to students, many of whom have no fathers in their lives.

All staff members have school-assigned cell phones so students (and parents) can phone day or night. And they do.

* Lesson in schools out for profit won’t be forgotten

* Tribune: Dancing lemons

Huberman says the state school code gives him authority to fire the bad teachers first. Karen Lewis, president-elect of the Chicago Teachers Union, says its contract calls for layoffs to be done according to tenure, “unless another method is established.”

Our guess is the teachers union will challenge the board’s decision in court.

Here’s a plea to the CTU’s president-elect: Don’t do that.

* Watchdog says Chicago school officials aren’t evaluating special education students

Equip for Equality, the state’s federally mandated watchdog for people with disabilities, said in its complaint that “hundreds of children between the ages of 3 and 5, who have been referred for evaluations, wait many months to receive a response to their request for an evaluation, or worse, never receive one.”

* Rothert: Old Navistar plant Canton’s equivalent of BP spill

* Burge Deliberations Continue

* Chicago sales tax still highest in the United States

Cook County’s portion of the sales tax is a fraction of the overall state, city and regional transportation sales tax pie. Sitting at 1.75 percent, the county’s share will be reduced to 1.25 percent on Thursday for items such as clothing, appliances or dining out.

* Another deal goes sour for Daley nephew

For the last three years, Mayor Daley’s nephew Robert G. Vanecko has been a frequent figure in the news.

First, when the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that five city pension funds gave him $68 million to investment in risky real estate deals.

Later, when a federal grand jury began investigating.

Now, Vanecko’s real estate deals are falling apart, records show, potentially jeopardizing the money he got from the pension funds representing Chicago’s police officers, teachers, city employees and CTA workers.

* Consultant sues to make Vanecko deal public

* Alderman’s son returning to city job after DUI bust

* Man accused of threatening Daley remains jailed

* Man Accused Of Threatening Daley Appears in Court

* Calumet Township trustee drowns at pool party

The body of Carlos Salgado, 26, who had dreams of a career in politics, wasn’t found at the bottom of Memorial Park Pool until Saturday morning.

Salgado was one of about 20 Park District and Calumet Township officials who attended the after-hours pool party, said Blue Island Police Chief Douglas Hoglund.

* Calumet Township trustee drowns at Blue Island Park District facility

* ShoreBank bailout probe kicked out of Wall Street reform bill

* ShoreBank probe killed

* CTA’s ad agency has track record of going off the rails

* Metra forces out its chief lawyer in new Pagano fallout

* Weis makes change at Deputy Supt. of Patrol Division

* Wrongfully convicted veteran could get $6.3 million from city

A man who spent 25 years behind bars for a brutal rape he did not commit stands to get $6.3 million from the city of Chicago under a legal settlement the City Council Finance Committee recommended today.

* [Springfield] to pay $225,000 over noose incident

* [Palatine] Officials say budget woes may put vehicle stipends on chopping block

* Some suburban officials say car allowances necessary to perform job duties

* Residents say report on future airport is absurd

The Illinois Department of Transportation last week publicly announced the results of a report it compiled and released in mid-May, which forecast population growth and demand for air cargo, passenger and general aviation services at a yet-to-be-built airport near Peotone.

It updates IDOT’s forecasts from 2004, which also found strong demand for a third Illinois airport. According to Susan Shea, IDOT’s Director of Aeronautics, the updated data demonstrates “strong future demand.”

Opponents of the state’s plans to build the airport maintain IDOT’s data are skewed to show demand and growth, when in reality demand is low and the airport is not needed.

* Drop in state revenue leaves Rock River Valley budgets in limbo

* Rockford City Council OK not needed to close 2 fire stations

* Quincy crime index shows 3 percent overall drop in 2009 compared with 2008

* Pekin inmate died in agony while pleading for help

* Job losses slow in Decatur area; construction takes harder hit

* DeWitt County Board turns down hiring of zoning administrator applicant

* Sun-Times Media chief Tyree gets ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award

* Chicago Reader’s longtime Editor Alison True is out

* Baughman family recovering after accident

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jun 28, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    Urban Prep’s success shows what can happen when the fundamentals are in place: a clear vision, a worthwhile mission, clear and fair rules, and caring people who believe in the first three.

    Congratulations to the students and staff at Urban Prep.

  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 28, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    It’s amazing to me that more isn’t made of Mayor daleys nephew being able to get his hands on city workers pension money and naturally blowing it. The Chicago media is afraid of Daley or just accepts this type of corruption as typical Chicago.

  3. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Jun 28, 10 @ 12:02 pm:

    The Tribune ran some more slop about Speaker Madigan …here are the type of comments they edit out of their on-line operation Not surprising

    Once again the bankrupt —- in more ways the one — Trib tries to smear someone who stands up to special interest ( i.e. potential advertisers) and misses the mark.

    As the story briefly mentions the managing partner of the law firm who came to work for Oak Lawn for substantially lower fees LIVES in the town, Madigan’s advice was REJECTED, the other law firms were recommended by SOMEONE ELSE and practically EVERY CITY IN IL IS SEEKING EPA WATER SYSTEM loans.

    Other than that it is a fine story about an elected official help local officials work through the state maze to save the taxpayers some money.

  4. - John Peller - Monday, Jun 28, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    Kudos for Rep. David Miller and Sen. Donne Trotter for passing legislation to reduce deaths from heroin - HB 497/PA 96-361, which became law on Jan 1, 2010. The bill creates a drug overdose prevention program in DHS and allows wider prescription of a safe and effective drug overdose antidote, nalaxone. DHS is moving forward with implementation.

  5. - Cornerfield - Monday, Jun 28, 10 @ 12:57 pm:

    ==Huge increases in heroin use among whites, suburbanites and teenagers are a major factor in why the Chicago area suffers what might be the nation’s worst heroin problem, according to a new study released today.==

    I guess it’s time for a new Command in charge of the War against drugs. It looks like they must have had the bulk of the troops flailing around on the front line fighting pot, only to get “smacked” in the flank by heroin.

    Good grief. Prioritize! Maybe it’s past time to redistribute the troops to fight the drugs that kill and ruin lives and just let go of the pot phobia.

  6. - Independent - Monday, Jun 28, 10 @ 6:13 pm:

    Anonymous raises a good point. The investigative reporters like Novak and Warmbir, or the folks at the Chicago Reader, do a great job breaking stories of corruption, cronyism, and incompetence. The problem the media at large do not follow up at press conferences by pushing for answers. Either Daley gives a dismissive reply or cracks a crude joke like sticking a rifle up a reporter’s butt and they back off.

    When a mayoral nephew blows city pension funds at a time when they are facing massive shortfalls the media needs to stay on Daley and hold him accountable. Instead they will most likely let him slide.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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