A smoldering fire has persisted in a tangle of dozens of freight cars, some carrying hazardous materials, that derailed in Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line. An evacuation order remained in effect and environmental authorities kept a wary eye on air quality monitors. About 50 cars derail…
The founder of an educational program for at-risk youth in Des Moines says he will remain “all in on helping kids that are not reachable in so many peoples’ eyes” after he was wounded in last month’s shooting that killed two students. Forty-nine-year-old Will Keeps made his first public comm…
A United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Las Vegas made an unplanned stop in Nebraska on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems. Mark Grant, a communications operator at the Lincoln Airport, said 326 passengers and crew members were aboard the Boeing 777 when it took off fr…
In the South Dakota Senate, a group of far-right Republican lawmakers are looking to challenge the establishment by pushing for hardline stands on social issues. Most recently, one state senator was suspended, then reinstated and censured, after she allegedly harassed an aide because the aid…
City officials in Chicago have announced the winning monikers in their “You Name a Snowplow” contest — and they're so Chicago. WGN-TV reported Friday that the mayor's office received nearly 17,000 responses from Chicago residents with more than 80,000 votes for snowplow names. Mrs. O'Leary's…
A Chicago woman is accused of keeping her mother’s dead body in a freezer for nearly two years while living in a nearby apartment. Eva Bratcher appeared in court Thursday on charges of concealing her 96-year-old mother’s death and possessing a fraudulent identification card. Regina Michalski…
NFL prospects are facing the standard barrage of questions designed to probe their personality and attitude. They're less likely to get the outlier questions that players might find demeaning or embarrassing. It's a nod to the greater attention being paid to mental health concerns among athl…
A judge has sentenced a former health club controller to four years in federal prison for embezzling $4.1 million from the facility. The Chicago Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman sentenced 58-year-old Peter Craig Savely on Thursday. Savely pleaded guilty in October to one count of bank fraud. He acknowledged in a plea agreement that he wrote fraudulent payroll checks for employees at the East Bank Club and deposited the payouts into accounts he controlled over a seven-year period beginning in 2013. Savely's attorney, Andrew Porter, asked that his client get 2.5 years because he's unemployed and deep in debt.
Three men have been arrested on accusations that they clashed with police officers during separate incidents at the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. Federal prosecutors announced charges on Wednesday against men from Vermont, Illinois and Pennsylvania, more than two years after the riot that halted the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. They are among nearly 1,000 people across the U.S. who have been charged with federal crimes in the Capitol attack. The new arrests were of William Nichols, of Manchester, Vermont; Joseph Pavlik, of Chicago; and Dustin Sargent, of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania.
He gets most of the PR, at least nationally, but Punxsutawney Phil isn't the only groundhog to purport to predict the weather. Not hardly. From Staten Island Chuck in New York City to Jimmy the Groundhog in Wisconsin, there are a lot of them. And their predictions, which of course is a generous term, can be all over the map just as they are. And please do remember Charlotte, a groundhog who died in 2014 a week after the New York City mayor dropped her during festivities.
NFL prospects are facing the standard barrage of questions designed to probe their personality and attitude. They're less likely to get the outlier questions that players might find demeaning or embarrassing. It's a nod to the greater attention being paid to mental health concerns among athletes. The NFL warned teams in a memo last January that they could be forced to forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth round and be fined a minimum of $150,000 for out-of-bounds questions, and individual club employees could also face fines or suspensions.
The family of a suburban Chicago boy who was 12 when an officer shot him in the knee during a 2019 police raid will receive $12 million under a settlement of the family’s lawsuit. The settlement will be paid by the village of Richton Park’s insurance company. Family attorney Al Hofeld Jr. said Wednesday the Richton Park officer apologized last weekend privately to Amir Worship and his mother, Crystal Worship. The village also issued a public apology to the boy and his family, as the settlement required. Amir was shot in May 2019 as police were raiding his family’s Markham home, searching for Crystal Worship’s boyfriend on drug possession charges. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the officer later said the weapon was defective and had accidentally fired.
Disgraced Los Angeles celebrity lawyer Tom Girardi has been indicted in Los Angeles and Chicago on charges of stealing more than $18 million from clients. The charges mark the latest in a string of legal disasters for a once powerful player who rubbed elbows with politicians and celebrities as one of the nation’s most prominent plaintiff’s lawyers, known for winning settlements such as the one portrayed in the movie “Erin Brockovich.” Federal prosecutors say the schemes included stealing funds from clients injured in car and boat crashes and some who lost family members in a 2018 Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.
A federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020 can proceed against Rittenhouse, police officers and others. The father of Anthony Huber, one of two men shot and killed by Rittenhouse, filed the lawsuit in 2021, accusing officers of allowing for a dangerous situation that resulted in his son’s death. He alleged that Rittenhouse conspired with law enforcement to cause harm to protestors. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman on Wednesday dismissed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, allowing it to proceed.
Some Amtrak commuter service between Detroit and Chicago has been disrupted after freight cars derailed along tracks on Detroit’s southwest side. The Detroit Free Press reports Wednesday that an Amtrak spokesman said several routes were canceled through Friday. Nine empty railcars derailed about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. One car teetered over the side of a rail bridge. That forced about two dozen Amtrak passengers traveling from Chicago to disembark their train and complete their trip by bus. The tracks were cleared by Wednesday morning. The cause of the derailment was under investigation. No injuries were reported.
Boeing bid farewell to an icon Tuesday: It delivered its final 747 jumbo jet. Since it debuted in 1969, the 747 has served as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, and the Air Force One presidential aircraft. It revolutionized international travel. But over about the past 15 years, Boeing and its European rival Airbus have introduced more profitable and fuel efficient wide-body planes. The final plane is the 1,574th built by Boeing in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. Thousands of current and former Boeing workers gathered for a ceremony marking its delivery to cargo carrier Atlas Air.
An Illinois appellate court has upheld a temporary restraining order on enforcement of the state’s three-week-old law banning semiautomatic weapons. A three-judge panel for the 5th District Appellate Court on Tuesday affirmed the restraining order issued Jan. 20 by an Effingham County circuit judge. The state’s attorney general plans appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court. The law was enacted largely in response to the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. It prohibits the manufacture or possession of semiautomatic handguns and rifles and says existing guns must be registered with state police,
The body of a 96-year-old woman has been found inside a freezer in a garage behind a northwest Chicago apartment building. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Tuesday that police responded Monday afternoon to the building in the city’s Portage Park neighborhood after receiving a call from a relative who lives in another state. Neighbors said the woman and her daughter, the building’s landlord, lived together in a first-floor apartment. The dead woman was identified as Regina Michalski, according to the newspaper. One of Michalski's grandchildren, Diane Michalski, told the Sun-Times she had not seen her grandmother or aunt for about 20 years. Police have not said if any arrests were made.
Los Angeles' police chief says a weekend shooting in which three women were shot and killed at a short-term rental home in an upscale neighborhood was a targeted attack. Investigators are still searching for suspects in the early Saturday attack at a home in the Beverly Crest area in which four other people were wounded, two critically. Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that detectives believe the shooting was “not in pursuit of a robbery, or some random act." Two of the three women who were killed were from the Chicago area and the other was from Buckeye, Arizona. Moore says two of the women had young children and the third was an aspiring actress, rap artist and music promoter.
A judge has followed the recommendation of a Chicago prosecutor and dismissed sex-abuse charges against R&B singer R. Kelly. Tuesday's hearing lasted just minutes. It came a day after Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said she was comfortable dropping the case because Kelly already will spend decades in prison for convictions in federal court. Kelly was awaiting trial in Illinois state court on charges of sexually abusing four people in the Chicago area, three of whom were minors. Federal juries in Chicago and New York have convicted him of a raft of crimes, including child pornography, enticement, racketeering and sex trafficking. Kelly is serving a 30-year prison sentence in the New York case.
A Chicago prosecutor is dropping sex-abuse charges against singer R. Kelly. The decision follows federal convictions in two different courts that ensure the disgraced R&B star will be locked up for decades. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made the announcement Monday, a day ahead of a court hearing. Kelly was indicted in 2019 on multiple crimes and accused of sexually abusing four women in Illinois, including three who were minors. Since then, federal juries in Chicago and New York have convicted him of a raft of crimes, including child pornography, enticement, racketeering and sex trafficking. Kelly is already serving a 30-year prison sentence.
Hall of Fame forward Bobby Hull, who helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup Final, has died. Hull was 84. The two-time MVP was one of the most prolific scorers in NHL history, leading the league in goals seven times. Nicknamed “The Golden Jet” for his speed and blond hair, he posted 13 consecutive seasons with 30 goals or more from 1959-72. Hull and Stan Mikita powered Chicago to the NHL title in 1961. Hull remains the Blackhawks’ career leader with 62 playoff goals. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 and his No. 9 sweater was retired by Chicago that same year.
A Chicago-area school district official has been charged in the theft of $1.5 million worth of food — mostly chicken wings. WGN-TV reports Monday that 66-year-old Vera Liddell was being held in the Cook County Jail on a $150,000 bond. Liddell worked as food service director for Harvey School District 152. Documents reviewed by the television station show that more than 11,000 cases of chicken wings were ordered from the district’s food provider and then picked up in a district cargo van. The food was ordered during the height of the coronavirus pandemic at a time when students were being educated remotely and not allowed to attend class in school buildings. The theft was discovered during an audit.
Chicago prosecutor dropping sex-abuse charges against singer R. Kelly, after convictions, long prison sentence elsewhere.
Authorities say two workers with a company hired for restoration work on a Chicago high-rise apartment building following a deadly fire allegedly stole $19,000 and jewelry from one resident’s apartment. Court records show the men are charged with felony residential burglary. Cook County prosecutors told a judge Sunday the woman whose co-op apartment was burglarized was out of town last week but had a surveillance camera that alerted her to movement inside her unit on Chicago’s South Side. Prosecutors say the camera captured the face of both men inside her unit. The Chicago Tribune reports the woman later discovered two envelopes containing a total of $19,000 missing from her home, along with two bags of jewelry.
Three women killed in a weekend shooting at a short-term rental home in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood have been identified, while police continued to search for suspects. Four other people were wounded, two critically, when gunfire erupted around 2:30 a.m. Saturday at the property in the Beverly Crest area. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Sunday identified those killed as: Iyana Hutton, 33, of Chicago; Nenah Davis, 29, of Bolingbrook, Illinois; and Destiny Sims, 26, of Buckeye, Arizona. Investigators are trying to determine if there was a party at the rental home or what type of gathering was occurring at the time off the shooting.
A bill sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker would lift restrictions on Illinois residents who can’t change their names because of past crimes. Supporters say the legislation would especially help people who are transgender or have been victims of human trafficking. Under current law, there’s a lifetime ban on name changes for people who have been convicted of identity theft or are on state registries for certain crimes. Others convicted of crimes can face a 10-year waiting period to change a name. A judge would make the final decision on a name change with input from a local prosecutor under a bill that has cleared the General Assembly.
Advocates for highway construction are concerned their projects are getting shortchanged in the competition for grant money under the new infrastructure law. The Department of Transportation is expected to formally announce the law's first Mega Grants this week. The initial batch, which was shared with Congress, includes some highway projects, as well as money for bridges and mass transit. But some applicants have a beef with what they say is the Biden administration's clear preference for projects that repair roads rather than build or expand them. One of the projects that failed to make the cut seeks to widen a notoriously congested stretch of interstate highway on the route between Arizona's two largest cities.
As mass shootings are again drawing public attention, states across the U.S. seem to be deepening their political divide on gun policies. A series of recent mass shootings in California come after a third straight year in which U.S. states recorded more than 600 mass shootings involving at least four deaths or injuries. Democratic-led states that already have restrictive gun laws have responded to home-state tragedies by enacting or proposing even more limits on guns. Many states with Republican-led legislatures appear unlikely to adopt any new gun policies after last year's local mass shootings. They're pinning the problem on violent individuals, not their weapons.