Friday, December 6, 2019

ABC 7 Chicago: Motorcyclist killed in Bishop Ford hit-and-run on way home from watching Bears game, suspect charged with DUI

Very sad story:
A motorcyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash on the Bishop Ford Freeway in Chicago Friday morning and a driver has been arrested and charged with DUI, Illinois State Police said.

The crash occurred in the inbound Bishop Ford at 111th Street just before 2 a.m. Police said the motorcyclist was struck and killed by a car and the driver of the car did not stop.

The motorcycle driver, a 42-year-old man, was transported to Roseland Hospital and later died. Friends identified him as Eric Smith.

The victim was watching the Bears game Thursday night according to friends and was heading home. His girlfriend was apparently trailing him in a car not far behind and witnessed him get hit as the other driver sped away.

"He was getting off there with his girlfriend trailing him so she's very distraught because she was able to witness the whole thing," said Percy Hope, the victim's friend.

The driver of the car was later taken into custody at 103rd Street and Stony Island Avenue and charged with DUI, police said. Police have not released the driver's name.
As always be careful out there! 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Chicago Police superintendent fired

Via Newsalert

I feel if this has been brewing anyway. With that incident of him slumped in his vehicle and news that he intends to retire at the end of the year. The situation seemed suspicious and orchestrated.

Either way we know there will be someone else at the top of the police department.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Englewood Brews

[VIDEO] This new company is expected to open up shop in a space located across the street from the Whole Foods Market Englewood store at 63rd & Halsted Streets.

I've been wanting to share this video and an article from Block Club Chi which reports that the owners are hoping to raise money to further build out their space in Englewood.

As with the Whole Foods store in Englewood that opened in 2016 best wishes to Englewood Brews owners Lesley Roth and Steve Marchese.

CTA capital budget includes investment in the Red Line Extension

Got this e-mail this week from CTA regarding the Red Line extension
On November 20, 2019, the Chicago Transit Board approved a $1.57 billion operating budget that preserves existing bus and rail service levels, while continuing the agency’s unprecedented efforts to modernize its infrastructure and improve the CTA travel experience for customers.

CTA’s 2020 capital budget includes a commitment to invest $310 million into the $2.3 billion Red Line Extension (RLE) project, which will extend the Red Line south by 5.3 miles and include four new, fully accessible stations at 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street. This is the single most significant funding contribution that CTA has ever made towards the RLE project, and will fund work efforts, including engineering and design activities, to help position the RLE project to receive federal funding.

The 2020 Budget Recommendations book is posted on CTA's web site under Finance & Budget and is available here.
Two photographs were with the email one of which I will show you here. It advertised CTA's efforts to connect with those stakeholders with regards to this future project. You might recognize one face in the photograph long time leader in West Chesterfield Michael LaFargue.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

State's Attorney Kim Foxx kicks off her re-election bid

[VIDEO] I saw this video over at Capitol Fax last night and I retweeted her campaign kick-off vid on Twitter. Before she was first elected in 2016 defeating incumbent Anita Alverez, I really didn't know much about her. This video is a good introduction to her if you know little about her background. Of course we should know her or any candidates background before they get elected to a public office.

Is Kim Foxx your vote next year for re-election as State's Attorney? Are there any reasons why you wouldn't support her?

Monday, November 11, 2019

WTTW: CPS Enrollment Declines By 6,000 Students

CPS enrollment figures were released on Friday
CPS on Friday announced a 20th-day enrollment total of 355,156 students for the 2019-20 school year. That’s down from last year’s total of 361,314, but based on the graduation totals and enrollment rates, the drop-off is actually smaller than CPS projected with its own data model.

“We’re pleased that more students are enrolling in kindergarten, matriculating to higher grades and graduating, which serves as a testament to the hard work of our dedicated educators and school communities,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson. “While there are signs of encouragement, we are fully committed to supporting school communities that are struggling with enrollment by providing additional resources through equity grants and a budgeting approach that promotes stability.”
Here are some numbers from a few local schools in Wards 6 & 9. You can check out enrollment figures for a CPS school near you here.
  • Harlan High School 300
  • Frank I Bennett Elementary 324
  • Gillespie Elementary 434
  • Hirsch High School 95
  • Englewood STEM High School 414
  • Dixon Elementary 590
  • Burnside Elementary 412
  • Corliss High School 280
  • Simeon High School 1338 
  • Deneen Elementary 492
Or actually you can check out enrollment figures in the embed below

Thursday, November 7, 2019

About that search warrant raid on Ald. Carrie Austin

Over the summer Ald. Carrie Austin (Ward 34) saw her offices raided by federal authorities on a search warrant and if I recall this Sun-Times article was the first time she spoke out about it.
After the ceremony, Austin said she is confident the ongoing federal investigation won’t end with any indictments — either of her or her relatives, employees or associates.

What makes her so sure?

“Faith. … I try to live my life above board. If I haven’t, then I have to reckon that with God — not man,” she said.

She said she doesn’t believe she is under a “federal cloud.”

“I haven’t been charged with anything,” she said. “They’re looking to see if am I associated with something. I am not.”

Austin maintained her innocence despite being reminded the feds don’t get a warrant to raid a politician’s ward office without convincing a judge there is probable cause that a crime has been committed and evidence of that crime is inside.

“They were investigating,” the alderman said.

She declined to answer further questions.

“It’s over. … If you don’t want to talk about this [project], then I don’t want to talk. I’m not gonna let you worm me into that conversation,” she added.

“Let’s talk about this situation. Not about anything else.”
h/t Capitol Fax. As of late and in the Chicago area there have search warrants executed on a lot of people from politicians to business owners who are politically connected. A member of the state house resigned after being arrested on corruption charges.

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois Community Care Fair

I got one of these flyers from people passing them out to random people on 95th. I'm guessing this is related to the offices BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois plans to open at the former Target store on Marshfield Plaza on 119th street. Either way here's another local event to take advantage of.

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois
Health Care Enrollment and Wellness Community Care Fair
Christ Universal Temple
11901 S. Ashland Ave
Chicago, Illinois

Saturday, November 23, 2019
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

This event is open to everyone.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Strike over students go back to school Friday

Teacher's strike at an end?

A couple of items regarding the teacher's strike from CapFax. To start, he was on it when it appears that CTU and the mayor came to an agreement to finally end the strike. A few updates to the post were made once developments had occurred.
Also another update from today about miscommunication between legislative leadership in Springfield who publicly made their own efforts to end the teacher's strike and of course the governor's office. It seems no state politicans wants to enter the sticking point of an elected school board that could only serve to prolong the strike.

Teacher's strike day 11

It appears the city and the teachers have reached a deal to end the strike, however, the teachers want to be able to make up the days they missed during their strike pay wise. It's good news that union members agree to a new contract and I expect students will be returing to class soon. With that said schools are closed today.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Teacher's strike day 10!!!

We're on day 10 (yesterday I erroneously referred to yesterday as day 8) of the teacher's strike. Here's a report from the Sun-Times:
Chicago Teachers Union leaders met Tuesday evening with the union’s governing body, its House of Delegates, to discuss the state of negotiations with Chicago Public Schools and set a plan for a possible strike-ending vote on Wednesday.

The union’s 25,000 teachers are expected to look over the city’s new offer on Wednesday morning before the House of Delegates reconvenes for a meeting and potential vote later in the day.

Meanwhile, CPS canceled classes for another day, threatening some CPS football teams’ chances to go to the playoffs. The PSAT, scheduled to be held at some schools, was also canceled.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot hand-delivered a new proposal Tuesday afternoon to the top leaders of the CTU — an offer that included $10 million more than the $500 million she had offered previously — in an effort to end the teachers strike that has roiled the city for nearly two weeks.

But the mayor and the union officials walked out of their second City Hall meeting of the day without a tentative agreement ahead of the delegates’ meeting.
Here's a post announcing the cancellation of classes this morning from CPS' ig

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Red line extension update

103rd Street station rendering CTA
The latest update about the future CTA Red Line extension from Curbed Chicago as it's included with a few other updates as far as priority CTA projects in the city.
The plan will fund design and engineering work for the proposed extension of the Red Line to Chicago’s Far South Side. The study will help the CTA secure federal funding for the massive undertaking, which is expected to cost $2.3 billion in total.

8 straight days of cancelled classes for CPS students

Not whole lot of updates to this strike on this blog since it started on October 17th. So far as I write this it doesn't appear there will be a return of students to the classrooms in CPS schools at this time. Today will mark 8 days of cancelled classes which makes this strike the longest since 1987.

For the most part I've been using ig with the use of ig stories and have posted updates on our fb page with regards to this strike. Here's a recent CPS post from Monday with regards to the announcement of CPS' cancelled classes.
I do sincerely hope that CPS students will return to the classroom in the near future.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

7627-43 S. State Street for sale

If you remember a few years ago there was a proposal for a hotel on this site. It was noted in this recent post from Concerned Citizens of Chatham. It was owned by the late Herbert Hedgeman. Here's hoping there some decent proposal to develop this property depending on who makes the purchase.