Disappearing Act

A small green road sign along Route 16, in southwestern Illinois, greets motorists rolling into the town of Hillsboro by announcing the size of the local population: 6,300. Brian Sullivan, who is wrapping up his third and final year as mayor of Hillsboro, is proud of the town, but he also knows there’s a level of Potemkinism in that road sign. The nearby Graham Correctional Center accounts for more than one-quarter of the official population. “We’re really a town of 4,500,” Sullivan told me when
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'Empire' actor Smollett pleads not guilty to lying about Chicago...

CHICAGO (Reuters) - “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty in a Chicago court on Thursday to new charges that he falsely reported to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault on a city street. Wearing a navy suit and dress coat, Smollett, 36, appeared serious and quiet standing next to his attorneys as Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins was assigned to his case. “Yes, sir,” Smollett said in a soft voice as the judge instructed him that he would nex

Jussie Smollett Makes Court Appearance to ‘Show Confidence in His Innocence’

Jussie Smollett briefly appeared in court Tuesday for a hearing to determine whether or not cameras would be allowed in the courtroom for his upcoming disorderly conduct trial in which he’s accused of staging a racist, homophobic attack on himself and reporting it to police as true. Judge Leroy Martin Jr. approved cameras for Smollett’s next court appearance on Tuesday, but noted that “all bets are off” once a new judge — who has final say on the issue of cameras — is assigned permanently to th

Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: March 1, 2019

Chicago’s field of 14 mayoral candidates has been narrowed down to two. The top vote-getters, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, must now earn the support of nearly 70 percent of voters they failed to secure in the Feb. 26 election. Both are campaigning as progressives, and both are black women. It’s not just the mayor's race — at least 14 ward aldermanic races ended in runoffs. Ald. Ameya Pawar and Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin will also face off in the April runoff for city treasurer. A pane

Opinion | In Chicago, History-Making Didn’t Have to Be So Hard

CHICAGO — History was made in Chicago’s wide-open mayoral race last night. Bill Daley, the son and brother of the city’s second-longest and longest-serving mayors, finished a close third behind Lori Lightfoot, a Democratic former federal prosecutor, and Toni Preckwinkle, chairwoman of the Cook County Democratic Party. After a runoff in April, one of the two women will be the city’s first black female leader. Long dominated by a white patriarchal machine, Chicago should celebrate its milestone. But after a convoluted and at times chaotic race, the winning women will move forward having each won less than 20 percent of the vote amid a record-breaking field of 14 competitors. [read more]

Judge Sets $1 Million Bond for R. Kelly After Underage Sex Abuse Charges

More than a decade after he was acquitted on child pornography charges, a stoic-looking R. Kelly was back in a packed courtroom Saturday where a judge set the R&B star’s total bond at $1 million — $250,000 for each of the four sex abuse cases against him. Additionally, Kelly was ordered to surrender his passport and not contact anyone younger than 18 nor of the witnesses personally, on social media or via third parties. Clad in a black hoodie and jeans, Kelly mostly stood motionless and frownin

Attorney Shares Disturbing Details of R. Kelly Sex Abuse Video

Hours after R&B superstar R. Kelly was indicted in Chicago on ten counts of criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, three of whom were underage, an attorney representing one of the victims shared disturbing details of a video that depicts one of the alleged incidents. Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti told reporters Friday that the video in question is a “break” in the case that Kelly’s victims have been waiting for. Avenatti has previously teased existence of the video when he announced

Aurora Shooting: Laid-Off Worker Gary Martin Kills 5

AURORA, Illinois—A laid-off employee killed five people at his place of work in Aurora, Illinois on Friday, according to authorities. Officials said Gary Martin, 45, fatally shot five people and wounded six more, including five responding police officers at the 29,000-square foot warehouse of the Henry Pratt Company at around 1:30 p.m. Martin is dead, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said. Two officers were immediately shot when they arrived at the water valve company. Because families were st

Disappearing Act

A small green road sign along Route 16, in southwestern Illinois, greets motorists rolling into the town of Hillsboro by announcing the size of the local population: 6,300. Brian Sullivan, who is wrapping up his third and final year as mayor of Hillsboro, is proud of the town, but he also knows there’s a level of Potemkinism in that road sign. The nearby Graham Correctional Center accounts for more than one-quarter of the official population. “We’re really a town of 4,500,” Sullivan told me when

Buying Black: Then And Now

There’s been an explosion of hashtags and online tools aimed at helping black consumers identify which products are produced and sold by black-owned businesses. But hashtags like #BuyBlack, #BlackDollarsMatter and websites like Shoppeblack.us aren’t simply about making a profit, they also contain a message about empowerment: African-Americans should create and support black businesses that build wealth for the black community, employ black workers, and address inequality.

What CTA Workers Know

Most of the hundreds of thousands of people who ride the L or take a city bus every day don’t pay much attention to transit employees — at least until something goes wrong. When that happens, those workers get an earful, and sometimes worse. They also routinely have to deal with sick passengers, rowdy teen­agers, violent drunks, fare skippers, suicide jumpers, and homeless people desperate for shelter, to say nothing of the demands of keeping trains and buses running on time 24 hours a day...

How the Patriarchy Protects Itself – Kim Bellware –

The men of the Senate Judiciary Committee stepped carefully into last week’s hearing with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, well aware that the specter of Justice Clarence Thomas’ 1991 confirmation was still in the room. Those closely watching the proceedings hoped that enough had shifted in the cultural landscape since the last time another accomplished, professional woman — Anita Hill — leveled claims of sexual misconduct against a powerful man seeking to gain even more powe

’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: August 31, 2018

In this week’s Friday News Roundup, host Jenn White breaks down the biggest news stories of the week, including Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke’s trial, former President Barack Obama's visit to Chicago and construction on Lake Shore Drive. President Obama shares the vision of the Presidential Center (YouTube 8/28/18) Chicagoans Spend More Than A Year Of Their Lives Getting To And From Work, Report Says (Block Club Chicago 8/29/18) Prosecutors seek to jail Van Dyke for Chicago Tribune

Dan Bigg Revolutionized Opioid Treatment

Dan Bigg, the longtime harm reduction advocate who challenged the stigma of opioid addiction and saved lives through his efforts to expand the use of the overdose reversal medication, Naloxone, died at his Chicago home on Tuesday. He was 59. The Cook County Medical Examiner said the cause of death is still undetermined. For nearly three decades, Bigg served as the director of the Chicago Recovery Alliance, a primarily mobile support organization that offers education, care, and recovery help f

Opinion | Rudy Giuliani Is Wrong About Chicago’s Bloodshed

The “let cops be cops” solution — most recently peddled on “Fox & Friends” in light of the bloody weekend — feeds the delusion that police officers themselves can actually control crime, that the causes of and prescriptions for plagues like gun violence are untied to socioeconomic factors. Giving the police more of anything — more numbers, more money, more liberties — to quell violence is still a reactionary, and thus limited, posture. And yes, so is simply calling for tougher gun laws (regulations the city of Chicago has, but its immediate surrounding area does not). To the communities affected, policing and gun laws are only parts of the puzzle.

Opinion | Local Media Needs Security. What Chance the Rapper’s Purchase of Chicagoist Means.

In mid-July, the 25-year-old Chicagoan Chancelor Bennett, known to the world as Chance the Rapper, released an unannounced batch of songs for social media and the blogosphere to feed on. In 2018, this happens all the time in music. But embedded in the lyrics of “I Might Need Security,” the most viral of his four new tracks, was a genuine surprise. He wrapped up a line rebuking bias in local media with a decree: He’s going to own part of it. “I got a hit list so long I don’t know how to finish/

What Trauma Docs Know

Call it a dubious distinction, but Chicago is one of the best places in America to get field experience as a trauma surgeon. The city’s Level 1 trauma centers — hospitals specially equipped to handle the most severe injuries — treat a staggering volume and variety of patients, including, most notably, victims of so-called penetrating trauma, typically gunshot and knife wounds. In Chicago, such cases constitute nearly 30 percent of all Level 1 trauma admissions, compared with 4 percent nationwide
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