Sunday, December 17, 2017

McPier gets new line of credit in state budget bill – Crain’s

The agency that operates McCormick Place will be able to pile on to its massive debt load thanks to the state's long-awaited budget. Built into legislation that passed last week is a $293 million increase in the bonding capacity. The agency maxed out its borrowing limit two years ago. Despite a gargantuan long-term debt burden that totaled $3.7 billion as of June 2016,McPier officials plan to take advantage of the new line of credit immediately.

Amazon rapidly expanding Chicago corporate presence – Chicago Business Journal

Amazon, the Seattle-based online retailer, said today it will double its corporate office presence in Chicago to accommodate 400 employees at 227 W. Monroe in the city's Loop business district.

Protesters caused thousands in damage at Trump Tower: prosecutors – Chicago Tribune

Environmental activists who raised a banner at Trump Tower in protest of President Donald Trump's agenda caused thousands of dollars in damage to the River North skyscraper, according to prosecutors.

‘We are still in’: Rahm Emanuel’s futile and stupid virtue signaling – Washington Examiner

A more topical example of virtue signaling — and one not exclusively confined to social media — is the recent decision made by a...

Share Why opposing Cook County taxes is important – Suburban Chicagoland

"Cook County has tried to force suburban businesses to pay more in wages in an effort to allow Chicago based politicians to extend their reach into the suburbs. They’ve targeted the suburbs with taxes like the 1 cent hike in the Soda Tax. The people most hurt by that tax will be people living in the suburbs, not Chicago where Cook County government is controlled."

Growing Muslim population means more services to keep up – Chicago Sun-Times

The Council on American-Islamic Relations estimates Chicago’s Muslim population at between 300,000 and 500,000 people, or between 11 percent and 18 percent of Chicago’s population. As for mosques, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago says there are 52 within the city’s limits, but that number varies.

Environmental Study Finds Air In Chicago Now 75% Bullets – The Onion

“Far exceeding the levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and even oxygen, bullets now constitute three-fourths of Chicago’s air supply,” said atmospheric scientist and study...

This Chicago Startup Is Changing How Governments Interact With Citizens – ChicagoInno

CityBase is a tech company hoping to make citizen-government interactions more personalized and responsive. Its current offering includes a mobile, web and kiosk platform that allows citizens to make government payments, as well as access general services like property searches and permit applications. Moreover, CityBase also analyzes data from its platforms, empowering governments to directly tailor communication with individual residents.

Citing CPS’s finances, Moody’s to review city’s bond rating – Chicago Sun-Times

“These actions reflect the close financial, political and governance relationship the city shares with the Chicago Board of Education.”

Moody’s warns of another credit downgrade for CPS after district fails to make full $733 million pension payment – Illinois Policy

Chicago Public Schools failed to pay in full the $733 million pension payment that was due June 30, instead making a partial payment of $464 million, even after taking out a $387 million loan from JPMorgan.

Troubled Chicago school system sets $250 million bond sale – Reuters

Chicago's public school system will sell $250 million of bonds as soon as next week even as it faces a possible downgrade from Moody's Investors Service to the deep junk level of Caa1, signifying high credit risk. It wants to raise $200 million from the sale of general obligation bond sale through lead underwriter J.P. Morgan, according to the preliminary official statement. It plans to use the proceeds to reimburse costs of terminating interest-rate swaps and for capital improvement expenditures.  

How will Cook County survive without the soda tax? Let’s find out. – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

"This is a useful exercise, whether or not Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak eventually lifts the brick on this cowardly tax."

Luxury home sales surge in first half—but prices slip – Crain’s

Comment: The "tale of two cities" continues.

Lawmakers Rename Part of I-55 for Former President Obama – NBC Chicago

The state Senate voted in favor a resolution passed by the House last week to designate the stretch of I-55 from the Tri-State Tollway south to mile marker 202 near Pontiac as the “Barack Obama Presidential Expressway.”

Preckwinkle administration: Prepare for 10% budget cuts if soda tax stays on hold – Chicago Tribune

In a letter dated Monday sent to all county elected officials, bureau chiefs and department heads, Preckwinkle budget director Tanya Anthony said analysts would be providing them "a recommended course of action" to meet spending cuts needed if Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak doesn't lift a temporary restraining order that's preventing the penny-per-ounce tax from being levied. Kubasiak stopped the tax, which was supposed to go into effect Saturday, after the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and several grocers sued the county to permanently block it on the grounds it is vague and unconstitutional.

Property tax bills arrive; Assessor Berrios goes yachting – Chicago City Wire

Berrios was spied spending his Independence Day yachting on Lake Michigan, hanging on the "Good Times," an 83-foot luxury boat owned by Chicago corporate lawyer Christopher D. Lueking.

Cook County ID card proposed for undocumented immigrants as city tries its own – Chicago Tribune

Cook County officials on Wednesday set out to create a county ID card for undocumented immigrants and others, even as Mayor Rahm Emanuel presses ahead with his own plans to offer a city ID.

Why township road district merger is proving difficult – Daily Herald

Comment: It's indeed very hard and complex, politically and otherwise. But essential for Illinois.

A View From The Outside: Chicago Violence Stuns Australia’s ’60 Minutes’ – DNAinfo Chicago

Through a segment entitled "Chicago Without Hope," Australian television viewers this week got a glimpse of Chicago's violence, with a perplexed host describing the situation as "urban warfare out of control."

Illinois Almost Has A Budget — Here’s What It Means For Chicago – DNAinfo Chicago

Good summary of some provisions pertinent to Chicago that haven't gotten much press.

Truth in Accounting’s quest (again) for the overdue Chicago financial report

Legally, the City of Chicago is required to produce its annual report within six months of the end of the fiscal year (December 31).  But June 30 came and went without a published report.

Chicago commits $100 million to investment fund aimed at low-income areas – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Don't expect the city to earn market level returns on this cash. For any government, using treasury or pension money for social goals is a ticket to earning less.

Bag tax missing revenue goal but city touts drop in use of disposables – Sun-Times

Chicago aimed to raise $9.2 million from the 7-cents-a-bag fee in its first year. As of collection on June 18, the tax has raised nearly $2.4 million in the nearly five months since it took effect; that leaves it well off the mark.

N.Y. Daily News slams Emanuel over ‘dumb’ boast about transit – Chicago Tribune

  Rahm Emanuel on Daily News front page Mayor Rahm Emanuel scored a publicity coup Monday when the New York Times published his op-ed essay boasting of the CTA’s superiority to New York City's public transit system. But Emanuel probably got more publicity than he planned when the New York Daily News took offense and put his picture on Tuesday's front page with the headline “DUMB TRACK MIND.” The Daily News noted that New York, with three times the population of Chicago, has fewer than half as many homicides so far this year. A subhead declared: “Rahm touts Chicago trains, but AT LEAST our riders don’t get SHOT on the way home.”

Rahm Urges Federal Gas Tax Hike for CTA, Rips Trump – DNAinfo Chicago

Comment: I considered writing a piece asking how long it would be after the state tax increase that the next round of tax increases began. Never mind.

Planting seeds of hope for teens in the Forest Preserves – Chicago Sun-Times

More than 50 African-American teenagers from the south suburbs will be working in the Cook County Forest Preserves removing invasive plant species, earning some money and maybe changing the future.

Chicago’s Elected School Board Stalls Again – WBEZ

Despite sailing through both chambers of the Illinois state Legislature, a bill creating an elected school board for Chicago is stalled and won’t be coming back up until at least the fall. Comment: Since Chicago isn't capable of governing itself why would the schools be any different?

In Chicago, Thought-Police Brutality – National Review

'What’s going on in Chicago is a reminder is that greasepaint revolutionaries can barely handle even mild intellectual opposition. They picture themselves riding bravely into the battlefield of ideas. But if anyone shows up to fight for the other side, they cry meekly, “Excuse me, I don’t think you’re allowed here.”

Chicago, Feds Create ‘Strike Force’ To Curb Gun Violence – NPR

Twenty ATF agents have been permanently sent to the city for what officials called a "laser focus" on the illegal trafficking of weapons. They join 41 ATF agents already in Chicago. The force will also focus on investigating and prosectuing repeat gun offenders.

Cook Co. jury orders $115M to families of victims of 2013 Afghanistan military cargo plane crash – Cook County Record

A Cook County jury has ordered a Florida-based cargo airline to pay the families of three aircraft crew members who died in an airplane crash while transporting armored vehicles in Afghanistan a combined award of more than $115 million.

Chicago June PMI at 65.7 vs 58.0 expected – Reuters

It's a Midwest manufacturing index.

Preckwinkle: The soda tax isn’t popular — but it’s necessary – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Average voters will be livid when they see this moronic tax in action, and retailers rightfully already are.

Monthly Case Shiller Index: 4% Chicago Area Home Price Gains Kinda Sad – ChicagoNow

When the 20 metro areas covered by Case Shiller average a 5.7% year over year gain in single family home prices it's pretty sad when the Chicago area can only eke out a 4% gain. That's the lowest year over year gain in 5 months and once again Chicago finds itself 4th from the bottom in the ranking of the metro areas.

Analysis: North Cook County fire, police pension funds paid $195 million, lost $5 million on investments in 2016 – North Cook News

North Cook County’s 61 police and fire pension funds paid out a total of $195,281,518 in benefits to 3,465 retirees and inactive recipients in 2016 while losing $5,495,345 on their investments, according to a North Cook News analysis of the funds' mandated financial filings with the Illinois Department of Insurance.

Raises Coming Saturday For Chicago’s 270,000 Minimum Wage Workers – DNAinfo Chicago

In 2014, the minimum wage in Chicago was $8.25 an hour. As of Saturday, it will be $11 an hour. Comment: A raise for some, but no job for others.

Emanuel flexes home-rule muscle on pensions – Sun-TImes

Chicago would forge ahead with higher contributions to two of four city employee pension funds — even without employee concessions that only the state can authorize — under a mayoral plan introduced Wednesday.

Cargo carriers are about to pay more at O’Hare—a lot more – Crain’s

With their leases set to expire soon, cargo carriers at O'Hare International Airport are about to lose what appear to have been truly sweetheart deals to rent warehouse space at the airfield.

Proposed Fair Workweek ordinance would mandate predictable schedules, stable paychecks – Chicago Tribune

Chicago employers would have to give workers at least two weeks' notice of their schedules and pay them extra for last-minute changes under a proposed ordinance that will be introduced Wednesday at the City Council.

CPS borrows another $112 million at exorbitant rate – Sun-Times

A week after CPS borrowed $375 million from J.P. Morgan at a whopping 6.39 percent, it secured an additional $112 million from the same lender at 6.41 percent.

Chicago Looks to Become Fintech Mecca As Lawmakers Show They Actually Understand Blockchain – International Business Times

Comment: To be fair, the headline should be "Rauner Administration understands...." This is their initiative. The tech folks in the administration are doing great work under tough circumstances, and should be recognized.

Guns Waved Around In Music Video Shot During 1,000-Person Gang Bash – DNAinfo

A music video shot during a raucous gang party that brought 1,000 people to the Near West Side last weekend shows shocking images of men and even children flashing guns while others party, drink and dance in the middle of residential streets as police idly sit by.

Looming ACA changes pose a drag on Cook County finances: Fidelity Investments

From The Bond Buyer's Yvette Shields: Cook County, Illinois will work in the coming months to close a $97.6 million gap without tax increases...

Speed up the foreclosure process so real estate can rebound – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Comment: McCarron's instinct is dead on this time. You gotta flush the toilet fast and often to get rid of the problem but we haven't done that.

Obama Library’s Wish List Is Long, But Who Will Pay For It All? – Hyde Park – DNAinfo Chicago

Plans for a place for concerts, a farmers market and community events first proposed as part of a new visitors center by Project 120...

Dems to nix Rauner official as potential pick for top fed Chicago spot – Chicago Sun-TImes

Congressional Republicans from Illinois have recommended four lawyers to the Trump White House for the U.S. Attorney post in Chicago, with one of them,...

City Colleges of Chicago Fund Balance Continues to Decline – The Civic Federation

Fund balances are down to just 4.8% of annual operating expenses, far worse than a recognized standard of 16.7%.

No Buyers for Chicago School Bonds Causes Rates to Hit 9 Percent – Bloomberg

"The spiraling interest bills are reminiscent of the chaos that erupted in the wake of the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy in 2008."

U.S. Supreme Court decision could have big impact on mass actions in Cook County, elsewhere – Cook County Record

"This ruling could prove to be a powerful tool in stopping the kind of venue abuse we see all of time in Cook County."

Chicago Public Schools borrow $275 million at sky-high interest rate – Chicago Sun-Times

More than four times the interest rate a typical government would pay on the same borrowing deal, financial experts say.

Packers fan sues Bears over dress code – Crain’s

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A Green Bay Packers fan is taking the Chicago Bears to court over his right to wear Packers apparel on the field during a pregame warmup session he had access to through the team's rewards system.  

Chicago goes high-tech in search of answers to gun crime surge – BBC

In a cramped office in a police station in Chicago's 11th district, the sound of gunfire is a little computerised ping that rings out a few times a day.

Chicago’s slow housing recovery has a huge price tag – Crain’s

The Chicago area's slow housing market recovery comes at a price: $107 billion. That's the difference between the current market value of all residential property in the six-county area and what it would be worth if the Chicago real estate market's recovery were keeping up with the nation's.

Oak Park businesses brace for wage hike, raise doubts about future – West Cook News

“Let me be clear: Every one of my employees is paid more than minimum wage, and I am a Democrat,” Morava said. “But to...

Emanuel donor and alderman’s husband face fines for improper lobbying – Sun-Times

  Alan King, husband of Ald. Sophia King (4th), and James Abrams — whose wealthy North Shore family owns Medline Industries and sold the city...

Setting the stage for the end of the Chicago Public Schools fiscal year – Truth in Accounting

A casual observer might infer that if they are regularly balancing the budget, expenses would run in line with or below revenue, and debt...

Forgotten Illinois: Round Lake – united by nature, divided on paper – Illinois Policy

According to data from the Tax Foundation, the median Lake County property tax bill is almost $7,000 each year, the highest in the state...

Immigration Not Enough to Halt Exodus From Biggest U.S. Cities – Bloomberg

Chicago -- beset by crime, economic and budgetary woes and high taxes -- is the net exodus leader among 100 metro areas tracked by...

Home-buying incentive for police officers sails through committee – Sun-Times

   Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to “stabilize” high-crime neighborhoods by offering police officers and firefighters “forgivable loans” to purchase homes cleared a key hurdle Tuesday.

Cook County, Illinois, Experiences Disastrous Rollout of Its Soda Tax – Reason

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Comment: "The rollout of a soda tax in Cook County has been a complete fiasco." Yeah, well, so is the whole county, but read the article for just one chapter.  

Group demands University of Chicago pay slavery reparations – Campus Reform

The group also calls capitalism a “monstrosity,” writing of the need to think “beyond the legal framework of ‘damages,’ or the neoliberal ordering of...

Chicago property taxes are about to go way up – Crain’s

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Chicago homeowners are about to get whacked with a 10 percent increase in their property taxes. Owners of commercial properties will have to dig almost as deep. The average hike there is 9.3 percent.

Competence at the assessor’s office: Too much to ask? – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

Cook County homeowners expect to pay property taxes based on a fair determination of their home's worth. In short, they want the Cook County...

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios makes a dicey situation worse – Crain’s

In the wake of a biting media probe and statewide howls for reform and property tax freezes, the Cook County assessor yesterday declared that...

Spotlight on Chicago, the Brand Hub That’s Become a Capital of Culture – Adweek

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"This week, Adweek is digging deep into the world of Chicago’s marketing, media and tech."  

What an Algorithm Reveals About Life on Chicago’s High-Risk List – The New York Times

"We analyzed that information and found that the assigned risk scores — and what characteristics go into them — are sometimes at odds with the Chicago Police Department’s public statements and cut against some common perceptions."

School funding overhaul dispute centers on Chicago Public School dollars – Associated Press

Comment: You'd think more would notice that the funding per student for Chicago, when you combine state, federal and local, is much higher than the state average. See data linked here.

The Chicago Tycoon Who Battled Canadian Elitism (in Hockey) – The New York Times

Long before President Trump turned a protectionist eye to the iniquities of Canadians, another opinionated American tycoon decided that he had had enough. Eighty years ago, the cross-border irritant wasn’t Nafta or softwood lumber. As Maj. Frederic McLaughlin saw it, Canada was flooding American markets with too many hockey players. In 1937, his short-lived America-first campaign was all about making his Chicago Black Hawks great again.

An Era of Errors – Chicago Tribune

Part 3 of the Tribune's detailed look at Cook County property taxes. For more than a decade, the Cook County assessor’s office hid a secret...

Inspired by Sanders, activists in Chicago push Democrats to left — or out of the way – Chicago Tribune

Sanders was the star of this year's People's Summit, which has quickly become the country's largest progressive political conference. At least 4,000 people trekked...

Anti-Sharia Protest, Counter-Demonstrations Held in Chicago Saturday – NBC Chicago

It was supposed to be a rally against Sharia law, but those demonstrators were quickly outnumbered by counter-protestors in Chicago on Saturday afternoon.

JPMorgan to purchase new debt for struggling Chicago schools – Reuters

Comment: Mortgaging to the hilt. "The new borrowing is secured by about $467 million of CPS' delayed grant funding from the state of Illinois,...

The problem with appeals – Chicago Tribune

Assessor Joseph Berrios encourages homeowners to file appeals. But the process makes the property tax system even less fair. Part 2 of the Tribune's...

Two Chicago pension funds slip amid state’s continued inaction – Fidelity Investments

By The Bond Buyer's Yvette Shields. The funded ratios of Chicago’s municipal and laborers' pension funds further eroded last year and prospects remain bleak...

Block 37 apartment sale could be biggest here since 2007 – Crain’s

The developer of a big brand-new Loop apartment tower has put the property on the market, the first step in what could be the...

Illinois owes billions to suburban non-profits, companies, government agencies – Daily Herald

The amount is roughly 15 percent of the $14.7 billion the state owes all vendors. Chicago-based vendors are owed close to $5.6 billion, according...

‘Kind of the calm before the storm’ for downtown Chicago apartments – Crain’s

Developers will complete a record 4,500 apartments in downtown Chicago this year and another 3,500 in 2018, a potential downer for landlords enjoying the best rental market in decades.

School funding equity loses out to Chicago greed – Editorial – Daily Herald

Chicago Democrats used the issue as a means to maneuver a bailout of the mismanaged Chicago Public Schools system that for years has wildly overspent while overpromising its powerful unions.

For taxpayers, a window into Chicago’s union contracts – Chicago Tribune

In 2007, the City Council signed off on dozens of city worker contracts, all in force for 10 years. It was an unusual and risky move, meant to buy labor peace until after the 2016 Summer Olympics, which then-Mayor Richard M. Daley hoped to bring to Chicago. Oops.

Chicago sees decrease in violence so far this year after long, bloody 2016 – ABC News

There were 56 homicides and 257 shootings in the city in May 2017, down from 68 and 316, respectively, in May 2016, the Chicago...

Chicago phone tax could rise by 28 percent to save pension fund – Chicago Sun-TImes

Instead of $3.90 a month per phone number, Chicagoans would pay $5 per number. The increase flew in under the radar because it was...

City of Chicago fire brass warn they may quit ‘exempt’ jobs and return to ranks – Sun-Times

The fire officials are seeking pension changes, expanded health insurance benefits and pay raises — and have been unable to persuade Mayor Rahm Emanuel...

How the Hyperloop Could Transform the Midwest – Chicago Inno

In the Midwest, a Hyperloop proposal is moving forward that would connect Chicago to Pittsburgh in just 47 minutes. Dubbed Midwest Connect, it’s part of call for proposals by Hyperloop One, a startup founded in 2014 that’s raised $160 million to bring Musk’s vision to life (though the company is not officially affiliated with Musk).

Ferguson urges Emanuel to seize moment, renegotiate union contracts – Sun-TImes

Lucci: Emanuel spins as Chicago reels from population flight – Opinion – INN

Chicago might be bleeding manufacturing jobs, but city pols are still world-class when it comes to manufacturing a fake reality.

City watchdog offers Emanuel cost-saving ideas as dozens of union contracts expire – Chicago Tribune

Comment: The report is a ripping indictment of the the city's collectively bargained labor agreements. The full report is linked here.  And closely related, skim through the database of City of Chicago salaries we just posted.

Kane County may resort to layoffs to address midyear budget deficit – Daily Herald

Layoffs for Kane County government employees may become a reality for the first time since 2010 as officials scramble to address a midyear budget deficit of $2.8 million.

Where rising assessments are boosting property tax bills most – Daily Herald

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The assessed value of residential properties in 50 suburban townships increased an average of 11 percent over the past three years. But the rise in assessments varies widely, from 32.7 percent for homes in Kane County's Plato Township to as little as 1.3 percent in Lake County's Antioch Township.

CPS Chief Makes Plea To Save District From ‘Brink Of Insolvency’ – WBEZ

He said there is nothing the district can do on its own to escape from impending financial doom driven by rising pension costs.

Case Shiller: Chicago Area Home Price Gains Lag The Nation – ChicagoNow

Comment: This author, Gary Lucido, always has the best and most objective look at the monthly Case-Shiller Index, which is the best available means of tracking home prices.

Governor Kills 911 Legislation Supported by Chicago – NPR IL

The nixed deal involved letting Chicago increase its fee per phone from $3.90 to $5. All other cell phone bills in the state would...

Cubs owners launch agency to promote Wrigleyville ventures – Crain’s

In a move aimed at streamlining the family's ability to take advantage of its growing footprint around Wrigley Field, the new agency will be led by Cubs executives and book business across multiple properties, including the team, the Park at Wrigley adjacent to the stadium, rooftop properties beyond the Wrigley Field bleachers and the new Hotel Zachary set to open next year across the street from the ballpark.

Singed by census report, Emanuel turns to U-Haul – Chicago Tribune

But the U-Haul study did not analyze the number of one-way rental departures out of the city -- or how many people or families left town with a truck. U-Haul even included this disclaimer in its news release: “Destination cities do not account for departing traffic and thus do not necessarily reflect growth like U-Haul Growth Cities.” And where does Chicago rank on the U-Haul’s list of Top 25 growth cities? It doesn’t.

RTA Worrying About State’s Backlog In Public Transportation Funding – CBS Chicago

What’s really worrying RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden and her chief deputy, Jill Leary, is how badly the state has fallen behind — $484.5 million.

Popular Chicago floating and sensory deprivation studio coming to Schererville – NWI Times

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A floating and sensory deprivation studio has proven popular in Chicago's River North neighborhood, getting booked weeks in advanced and lining up notable clients like Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Chicago Teachers Union Pet: South Suburbs’ Hutchinson leads charge for CPS bailout – South Cook News

State Sen Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) doesn't represent the City of Chicago. But she's isn't shy about her support for Chicago's public schools.

The illogical reason your electricity bills are going up – Crain’s

Much of it is actually quite logical, though foolish. The cost of the renewable energy elements in that Com Ed bill went entirely unmeasured....

Pritzker company loses $100M contract after Ald. Reilly insults San Antonians – Chicago Tribune

Just two weeks after Ald. Brendan Reilly went viral for mocking San Antonio's touristy waterfront as "cheap and crappy-looking," his counterparts on the San Antonio City Council snubbed a Chicago boat business in Reilly's 42nd Ward, instead handing a $100 million contract to run San Antonio's tourist boats to a local company.

Supreme Court decision puts dent in ‘patent troll’ cases, may put companies on defense in Chicago court – Cook County Recod

“The potentially far-reaching implication of this case is that instead of seeing cases brought by mainly Illinois-based patent owners, the Northern District is likely to see patent owners from around the country suing Illinois corporations here. In other words, the Northern District could go from being more offensive-based to a more defensively-based venue.”

Chicago firm will run $1 billion overhaul of Union Station – Associated Press

Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development is calling redevelopment of the iconic building a "transformative" project for the city. It's expected to include retail, hotel and office space. Officials say there'll also be a pair of 12-story residential towers.

April home sales down in Chicago as limited choices discourage buying – Chicago Tribune

Sales were down 2.3 percent compared with a year ago, but prices rose 5.2 percent as sellers raised prices amid a limited supply of homes for sale. There were 10,157 homes sold.

Record number of city homes under contract – Crain’s

In the week that ended May 13, buyers put 874 homes under contract in the city, according to data posted Monday by the Chicago Association of Realtors. (It's the latest week for which data is available.) The contract figure is on pace to end May as a record-setter. Both weeks of May have had more contracts than any week in March, which saw more contracts signed than any month going back to 2007. If the momentum continues through the later weeks of May, the monthly total will eclipse March's 3,141 contracts.

Hartford latest U.S. city on the brink of bankruptcy – Fox News

Hartford, is just the latest city to mull over the bankruptcy option. Since 2010 a total of nine municipalities have filed for bankruptcy protection—which...

Trial begins for West Side nonprofit head accused of using funds for spending spree – Chicago Tribune

As the leader of a small nonprofit in Chicago's poverty-stricken West Garfield Park neighborhood, Franshuan Myles was supposed to use a $60,000 state grant to help impoverished youth learn new skills and stay out of trouble over their summer break. Instead, federal prosecutors allege that Myles started stealing the funds the moment they hit her bank account

Preckwinkle: Soda tax will stand – Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle believes efforts to repeal a countywide sweetened beverage tax before it takes effect in July will come to...

Rahm’s latest plan to stave off Chicago financial collapse under fire – from Dems – Opinion – American Thinker

"The crash is coming.  The Dems are just looking for opportunities to blame Republicans for the consequences of their bribes to unionized public employees."

Helping the ‘most broken’ of Southland’s homeless – Chicago Tribune

There are few options, even for a former Marine who was shot, stabbed, run over and had his left hand nearly "chopped off" and sewn back on before he was discharged for playing Russian roulette. He pushes back a sleeve to show the scars. Living under a bridge

The Nasty Women Art Show, an important first step for female artists in the Trump – The Reader

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"We're here today to represent every nasty woman across America. I know I'm nasty at what I do," said one participant.

Butterball to close 600-employee Illinois meatpacking plant – A.P.

Turkey processor Butterball has announced it will shut its meatpacking plant west of Chicago, resulting in the loss of about 600 full-time jobs.

‘Racism’ Painted On U. of C. Frat House After Controversial 5 De Mayo Party – DNAinfo Chicago

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A University of Chicago fraternity's construction-themed Cinco de Mayo party has sparked racial tensions on campus, the latest in a series of polarizing incidents on the South Side campus.

How a Chicago alderman has used zoning law and political strong-arming to control private businesses – Project Six

An ongoing battle between Chicago’s Double Door music venue, the venue’s building owners and Alderman Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) is a telling example of how zoning laws, zoning changes and political threats can be used to inflict personal agendas and punish those who aren’t politically connected.

CPS to borrow against late state block grants to pay for end of year – Sun-TImes

Aldermen will be told Friday that the Chicago Public Schools will get through the end of the school year and pay for teacher pensions by short-term borrowing against $467 million in late block grants owed by the state, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Wealthy blacks just as likely to be segregated as poor here – Crain’s

n Cook County, affluent black people are more likely to live near poor blacks than near white people of their income level—or any income level—according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Analysis: CPS has overspent budget 15 years straight, by total $6.6 billion – Chicago City Wire

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have blown their annual budgets in 15 of the past 15 years by a collective $6.6 billion, amassing debt to continually increase spending on operations while district student enrollment has steadily fallen.

John Hancock Center could change owners — and names – Chicago Tribune

The owner plans to sell. In addition to 897,000 square feet of office space and a 730-space parking garage, a buyer would acquire control of the naming rights.

New study: Chicago City Council is growing a spine — ever so slowly – Sun-Times

It shows that there have been 67 divided roll call votes — roughly three per month — in the two years since the new...

Police and Fire finally switching to electronic time-keeping – Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Police and Fire departments — which together spent nearly $200 million on overtime last year — are finally coming out of the Dark Ages when it comes to employee time-keeping.

CPS cancels presentation to pension fund – Chicago Tribune

Without short-term borrowing or some other rapid cash delivery, officials said the district will fall far short of making the pension contribution. At the same time, the state pension code doesn't specify what course of action the fund could take in the event CPS doesn't make the full payment. CPS owes the fund roughly $716 million, though the district is expected to pay a little less than $470 million of that tab by the end of June.

A decade later and still down – Crain’s

 

Homeowners in many Chicago-area ZIP codes have yet to share in the recovery that is boosting values in hot city neighborhoods and a handful of suburbs.

Chicago losing some of its allure as a convention city – Chicago Business Journal

In Cvent's 2017 annual rankings of top convention cities, Chicago dropped to third place from the No. 2 spot in 2016.

Emanuel’s CPS rescue plan gets cool reception from aldermen – Sun-Times

Chicago aldermen reacted coolly Tuesday to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to tax downtown businesses, high net-worth individuals or both to dig the Chicago Public Schools out of a $596 million hole without state help.

New Algonquin Township highway commissioner fires predecessor’s sons-in-law in first minutes on the job – Northwest Herald

Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser fired the two sons-in-law of predecessor Robert Miller immediately after taking office, sparking a battle with the union...

Emanuel considering taxes on rich, downtown businesses to fund CPS – Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel may seek new taxes on downtown businesses, “high net-worth individuals” or both to dig the Chicago Public Schools out of a...

Eldorado Trading is latest Chicago firm to wind down – Crain’s

Many of the small- and mid-sized trading firms in the city have been squeezed out of the industry in recent years as technology, exchange...

Chicago water commissioner resigns amid IG probe into racist, sexist emails – Chicago Tribune

Out is Barrett Murphy, who made $170,000 a year leading the Department of Water Management after taking the job in April 2016. He's a...

Alderman Profited Off The 606 — But That Doesn’t Mean He Wants You To – DNAinfo Chicago

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Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) rode the wave of soaring property values along the popular 606 trail to flip four properties, pocketing $300,000 in profit...

In South Loop, plans for city within the city begin taking shape – Chicago Tribune

Over the next two decades, the developer envisions creating a city within the city on the 62-acre parcel along the Chicago River, south of...

Class action says Fannie May bumps box size to ease sales of 7 oz candy boxes for $10 – Cook County Record

Iconic Chicago candymaker Fannie May has been hit with a class action lawsuit by consumers who claim they overpaid for $10 boxes of candy after discovering the boxes were only about 60 percent full.

University of Chicago frat’s construction-themed party called ‘racially insensitive’ – CampusReform

The "FIJI" fraternity at the University of Chicago had to apologize for holding a construction-themed party to celebrate progress on renovations after students deemed...

Obama Library Will Give $3.1 Billion Boost To Cook County, New Report Says – Woodlawn – DNAinfo Chicago

Comment: That number may sound exaggerated, and maybe it is, but don't be so sure. Money coming in from visitors from outside the state is gold -- it doesn't cannibalize internal spending that might have gone somewhere else. Put a multiplier of 4 or so on that and you get big bucks.

Police Assign ‘Heat Score’ To 398,000 People To Track Violence – DNAinfo Chicago

Over 398,000 people are on a Chicago Police Department database used by police to identify and track those who are most likely to be...

Florida woman seen hitting herself with fallen sprinkler piece highlights fraud case – Sun-Sentinel

Comment: This story is from Florida, but anecdotal stories of widespread worker's comp fraud in Chicago have been rampant for decades. Sure wish somebody would get to the bottom of it.

For J.B. Pritzker, mansion’s disrepair has saved $230K in taxes – Sun-Times

Comment: And that, my friends, is what high property taxes incentivize owners to do. Imagine if you live in Chicago's south suburbs where taxes average over 5.5%? Are you gonna improve your property or do what you can to get the appraisal down?

Chicago will short teacher pensions by $250 million, taxpayers to pick up tab – WBEZ

"One thing is clear: the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund won’t be getting the full $715.9 million owed to it on June 30. CPS plans to subtract $250 million from that total."

Rahm willing to consider head tax to bail out CPS – CBS Chicago

Comment: A special tax based on how many jobs you give makes great sense, don't you think? Let's also put a special tax on inner city kids who graduate from high school with honors.

Chicago Startup TurboAppeal Acquired by Paradigm Tax Group – Tech.Co

Comment: They deliver an online platform for challenging property taxes, so they were we wise to launch in Cook County as their first market.

Emanuel won’t say why he waited so long to reveal depth of CPS money woes – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Let me speculate with this explanation: Because he's pathologically dishonest.

Peapod moving headquarters from Skokie to Chicago, exec says – Chicago Tribune

Peapod plans to relocate its headquarters from Skokie to downtown Chicago this year, an executive said Wednesday — a move that could affect 180 employees.

CPS says it may fall short on upcoming pension payment – Chicago Tribune

Officials say that without short-term borrowing or some other rapid infusion of money, the district will fall far short of making a $700 million-plus...

Sinclair Bid for Tribune Gives Conservative Voice a Big-City Perch – Bloomberg

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s deal for Tribune Media Co. would give a broadcaster known for its conservative leanings fresh reach into leading media markets...

More gloom for Chicago department stores – Crain’s

Sales at Chicago-area general merchandise stores, a category that mainly covers department stores, fell by a whopping $1.3 billion, or 10.3 percent, last year,...

City issues plan for 760 acres along Chicago River, likely to bring building boom – Tribune

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Billions of dollars in commercial real estate development, as well as new sports fields, bridges, a new Metra station and other infrastructure could soon...

How a $500,000 green card started fueling Chicago hotel developments – Crain’s

Now it's hard to find a Chicago hotel developer that isn't exploring the program. EB-5 investors helped finance the Godfrey Hotel in River North,...

Here’s hoping the spirit of WGN stays in Chicago – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

What happens to WGN radio and WGN-Ch. 9 once they lose local ownership? On Monday, Tribune Media — which owns the WGN combo as well as 41 other TV stations across the country — announced plans to sell itself to Sinclair Broadcast Group of Maryland in a deal valued at $3.9 billion.

Actuary’s model shows Chicago pension plan depleted in seven years – Chicago City Wire

The Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago will run out of money by the year 2024, according to a model developed by...

Anthony Rizzo’s Foundation Announces $3.5 Million Donation to Lurie – NBC Chicago

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has gained a well-earned reputation as a philanthropist during his time in the Windy City, and on Monday morning his foundation announced yet another massive charitable donation.

Chicago mayor Emanuel posts EPA’s deleted climate change page – Sun-Times

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to the Trump administration pulling down its website detailing information about climate change: putting up his own.

Ex-Aide To Dorothy Brown Indicted – WBEZ

A former high-ranking official in Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown’s office has been indicted on federal charges for lying to a grand jury that’s investigating hiring and promotion practices in the clerk’s office, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

Chicago’s South Side Golf Courses in Line for a Tiger Woods Upgrade – The New York Times

Source: Chicago’s South Side Golf Courses in Line for a Tiger Woods Upgrade - The New York Times

CTA spends $200 million to rebuild 1 train station – Crain’s

is the Chicago Transit Authority doing the right thing by spending $203 million, to be exact, to rebuild just one el stop, the hoary Wilson Avenue station on the Red Line in Uptown? Are taxpayers really getting a good deal?

McHenry County Board begins to brainstorm ways to cut property tax levy by 10 percent – Northwest Herald

A working group of just less than half the McHenry County Board has started looking at ways to fulfill its promise to cut its property tax levy by at least 10 percent.

Former owner in failed car-charging station project pleads guilty to fraud – Tribune

The former owner of a California company selected to install a vast network of electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago and elsewhere pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraudulently obtaining at least $1 million in federal grants related to the failed green initiative.

Chicago police department struggles with officer suicide – Reuters

"Chicago is a war zone," said Alexa James, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Chicago. "They (officers) are seeing the worst...

Can Chicago become Big Agriculture’s innovation hub? – Opinion – Crain’s

There is no greater need in the world than sustainable ways to feed the growing number of people on earth. There is no more...

Illinois legislation would ensure payment to wrongfully convicted – Journal Star

The bill sponsored by Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, would provide continuing funds — even without a state budget — for payments for time unjustly...

Lawyer: Zillow ‘Zestimate’ illegal appraisal hampering home’s sale; Zillow: Only estimate, not appraisal – Cook County Record

A lawyer in suburban Glenview who is attempting to sell her home has asked the courts to step into her dispute with real estate...

Surburban Chicago assessors inundated by appeals – Crain’s

In what's becoming Cook County's own rite of spring, homeowners who have received the county's latest estimate of their homes' taxable value are inundating...

Among Major Cities, Chicago Ranks Worst In Home Value Recovery – Chicagoist

The conventional real-estate wisdom says that the U.S. housing market has for the most part recovered from the recession, at least in terms of...

Barack Obama Has Big, Bold, Optimistic Plans For The South Side – DNAinfo

"This isn't just about buildings," Obama said, "I tell people, Chicago's never looked more beautiful. It has never sparkled more.

Crime’s toll on a neighborhood: Violence that crushes lives also crushes parts of Chicago – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

Witnessing the decline of South Shore is sad and frustrating. This attractive neighborhood on the lakefront, within easy commuting distance of the Loop, should...

Rogers Park Effort Aims To ‘Ruin’ ICE’s Plans – WBEZ

A group of Rogers Park residents are mobilizing to interrupt and protest immigration raids with the hope of making the process so inefficient for...

Bank of America to anchor planned skyscraper along Chicago River – Chicago Tribune

Bank of America will be the anchor tenant in a 51-story office tower to be built along the Chicago River.

Chicago last among major cities in real estate recovery – Crain’s

Of the nation's ten largest metro areas, Chicago has the smallest share of homes that have recovered to their pre-recession peak values. The culprit:...

How much trouble is the city’s economic development chief in? – Crain’s

A flurry of internal turmoil has hit World Business Chicago, the city's public/private economic development unit, with staff departures, an outside consultant's review and...

IDOT: Six firms interested in South Suburban Airport – Daily Southtown

Six firms recently responded to the Illinois Department of Transportation's attempt to gauge developers' interest in building, operating and maintaining the planned South Suburban...

‘There’s a story behind why we shoot’ – WBEZ

Two young Chicagoans talk about why they picked up a gun, and how it changed their lives.

Chicago once again ranked top metro for corporate investment – Curbed Chicago

For the fourth year in a row, the Chicago metropolitan area has taken the top spot on Site Selection magazine’s list for corporate growth.

Illinois House passes bill to allow dissolution of township road districts – Illinois Policy

House Bill 607 would allow for the consolidation of a duplicative layer of government, something Illinois taxpayers desperately need.

New home sales highest in Chicago almost four years – Crain’s

The sales figure for the quarter was the second-highest of any quarter since new-home sales tumbled in 2008 in the wake of the housing...

Northwestern suit promises big load of dirty laundry – News Gazette

The fuse has been lit. When and if the bomb goes off, prestigious Chicago institutions — Northwestern University, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, prominent media outlets — and people — a sitting judge, a former state's attorney, prominent journalists — will have more than egg on their faces.

How millionaire’s gang fantasy ‘blew up the West Side’ – Chicago Sun-Times

In 2012, he won an astonishing $25 million in a wrongful-conviction lawsuit against the city of Chicago. Half went to his lawyers. And he...

Judge OKs Work on Illinois Highway Some Say Threatens Bee – A.P.

The court had earlier ordered a halt to work, but now the plaintiff's bee expert failed to show up.

McHenry County a model for reforming government – Opinion – INN

"According to the United States Census Bureau, McHenry County residents pay higher property taxes than 99.99 percent of other Americans," but the county is...

Illinois Tollway approves $4 billion Tri-State widening project – Illinois Policy

Despite the massive size and scope of the project to widen the Tri-State, the Illinois Tollway board suggests new tolls and taxes won’t be...

John Kass: The lies we were told about who would silence free speech – Chicago Tribune

Safe spaces are not about learning or critical thinking. Safe spaces belong to education camps, where future bureaucrats are trained in the Orwellian shaping...

Chicago fintech, the rising star in innovation – Chicago Business Journal

With names such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Citadel, Discover, DRW Trading, JPMorgan Chase, Morningstar and Northern Trust, these financial...

New FOP president claims victory in early battles with city – Chicago Sun-Times

The battles stem from what FOP President Kevin Graham called the “unilateral expansion” of body cameras to all Chicago Police officers, and the Chicago...

New Grants Available For Struggling Shopping Areas On South, West Sides – DNAinfo Chicago

With the City Council's blessing, the city has earmarked $16 million from Tax Increment Financing districts to spruce up commercial corridors in Austin, Back...

State’s ‘illegal’ streaming tax described as rerun from Chicago – Sangamon Sun

lllinois failed to learn from a court-challenged Chicago ordinance when it tried to tax streaming services as part of the failed "grand bargain" in...

Giant Puffball Mushrooms The Size Of Soccer Balls Grow Around Chicago – DNAinfo Chicago

The mushrooms can grow to massive sizes: A 5-foot, 50-pound specimen is on record, according to mushroomexpert.com.

Faisal Khan: What has Chicago learned from the Barbara Byrd-Bennett scandal? – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Why is Byrd-Bennett, the former chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, going to spend so much time incarcerated? No-bid contracts. There are flaws with every process, but the city should be awarding contracts based on a company's value and performance, not political connections.

City could deal blow to Trump wall contractors – Chicago Sun-Times

“It would be much like an ordinance proposed years ago banning any Chicago bank doing business with a Swiss bank resisting cooperation in reparations...

World’s Largest Starbucks to Open in Chicago in 2019 – NBC Chicago

Whoopee. It's the end of the week and we're short for news.

Emanuel leads cheer for latest corporate HQ to move to Chicago – Chicago Sun-Times

Great Wolf Resorts’ CEO Rubén Rodriguez calls the office “Wolf Den Chicago.” It’s home to 45 Great Wolf Resort “pack members” and has room...

Harris Associates’ Oakmark Fund excels at stock-picking – Crain’s

Touting stock-picking expertise in the face of an industry swing toward index-investing takes a certain amount of guts. But glance at graphs charting the...

New ax throwing venue open in Chicago – Chicago Tribune

The second one in Chicago and a growing sport.

Google Building’s Newest Perk? A CTA Train Car On Its Roof – DNAinfo Chicago

When complete, the train car will serve as a focal point and casual place to sit on the green rooftop for employees and others....

Redfin migration study suggests Chicagoans looking to stay

Among the dominant trends:  Chicago, Boston and Seattle had perhaps the most dedicated residents, with more than nine out of 10 local users planning to stay in the area. Comment: Interesting data, but whether this really shows intent to stay is questionable.

Lawyer, guns and liquor — gunplay for the country club set – Chicago Sun-Times

Joe Neveril’s fervent desire is to bring the Chicago area its first “guntry club,” which he describes as kind of a country club for gun enthusiasts.

Case Shiller Home Price Index Up Again in Chicago Area – ChicagoNow

Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers it does seem as though the Chicago area is now performing better than most of the other metro...

Data Points: In the Chicago region, when white people leave jobs tend to follow – Metropolitan Planning Council

The invisible barriers that generally separate people by race and income in the Chicago region also appear to serve as barriers to population growth...

Who’s lending to South Side homebuyers? – Crain’s

In a region where home values have sputtered and many people have damaged or poor credit, who's writing mortgages? Marquette Bank, for one. Its...

U.S. Supreme Court deals struggling taxi industry another blow – Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s taxicab industry is likely to turn into a “Wild West” dominated by independent drivers, with fleets disappearing and the city losing control, after...

Chicago aldermen propose $33 per employee ‘head tax’ on city employers – Illinois Policy

Eighteen aldermen signed on to legislation that would introduce the “head tax” to Chicago employers with 50 or more employees. Comment: An attempt to revive...

The Vote is in for Chicago Growth at Conference on Fiscal Future – MuniNet

Comment: This event was a whitewash that the Chicago Fed and The Civic Federation should be ashamed of. The best presentation was from Harrison...

Obama to deliver first post-presidency speech in Chicago – Associate Press

Comment: Hey Obama, you came to office with the stars aligned as they do only a couple times a century. You had both houses...

Clout-rich janitor firm accused of job offer mess – Sun-Times

The city contractor that allegedly “reserved jobs for individuals based on political considerations” is United Maintenance Co. Inc., according to City Hall sources and...

Testing Chicago MEABF to Destruction – Stump

A look at one of Chicago's pensions, the Municipal fund, by actuary Mary Pat Campbell.

Inundated with gunshot victims, Chicago doctors and nurses face ‘compassion fatigue’ – Chicago Tribune

Comment: A friend who interned at Cook County Hospital said their unofficial motto in the E.R was "The life you save may take your...

Emanuel shoots down stripping aldermen of control over menu money – Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday he is not about to strip aldermen of their cherished control over infrastructure projects in their wards and hand...

GOP leader files ethics complaint over Chicago schools letter – Chicago City Wire

The CPS letter began with an accusation that Gov. Bruce Rauner "decided to attack those who need the most help." It continued with a...

The Rebuilders: A set of pioneers is buying property on the South Side and in the south suburbs – Crain’s

They're staking a claim, hoping to recapture something that has been lost: a community that may not be prosperous now but could be again...

How Mathematicians in Chicago Are Stopping Water Leaks in Syracuse – Politico

Using an algorithm developed by a team at the University of Chicago, the city put reams of information, scattered among various departments, to work....

Justice Department moves against Chicago, other sanctuary cities – Chicago Sun-Times

The Justice Department took its first steps on Friday to strip Chicago and Cook County of some crime fighting grants as part of a...

Teachers Claim CPS ‘Harassing’ Members Over Sick Leave – WTTW

The Illinois State Board of Education released data last year that showed almost one in four CPS teachers missed 10 or more days of...

Witness To Street Robbery Shoots Thief In The Butt As He Runs Away – DNAinfo Chicago

The thief is in the hospital, where his butt is listed as "stable." Comment: Fortunately, the shooter is unidentified, or he'd probably get charged and...

Chicago’s ‘menu’ program for aldermen: 50 ways to waste your money – Chicago Tribune

"We can't think of a worse way to spend a too-small pool of tax money than to split it into 50 equal parts and...

Homeowners Trying To Lower Cook County Property Taxes Hit ‘Record High’ – DNAinfo Chicago

Based on the board's report for 2015, some 64.1 percent of appeals by property owners in the city of Chicago resulted in a tax...

Even being seen with gang member sends 1,000s to jail – Chicago Sun-Times

Under pressure to reduce gun violence, the Chicago Police Department has increasingly used the parole-violation law as a tool to get convicted felons off...

Toxic soil at Pullman monument limits use of Chicago’s national landmark – Chicago Tribune

The National Park Service has grand plans in store for Pullman National Monument, but it could take years before visitors have full access to...

Caterpillar Names Deerfield, Illinois, as New Global Headquarters

The company expects about 100 employees to relocate this year, with about 300 people in the new headquarters when fully operational in mid-2018.

Young Cubs fan gets emotional after receiving surprise tickets to Wrigley Field – ABC

In the beginning of the video, Kolt’s dad, Andy Kyler, said he was testing his work ethic that day, “and he never once complained,”...

Decision On Closing Chicago Public Schools Early Rests On April 28 Court Ruling – WBEZ

A Cook County judge said Wednesday he plans to rule April 28 on Chicago Public Schools’ civil rights lawsuit against the state over school...

Chicago aldermen don’t need licensing approval powers: Faisal Khan – Opinion – Crain’s

An ordinance currently sitting in committee, would require city departments to alert an alderman about each license application filed in his or her respective...

Illinois road project stung by judge’s endangered-bee ruling | The Seattle Times

Because of the bumblebee’s status, construction on a multimillion-dollar suburban Chicago road project has to stop. Court documents say the bee was found along...

Ethics chief blasts aldermen for pushing ‘unhealthy secrecy’ – Sun-Times

The chairman of Chicago’s reinvigorated Board of Ethics on Tuesday accused aldermen of injecting a “very unhealthy secrecy into government for a privileged few”...

Most of 2016 Increase in National Murder Rate Came From Chicago: Study – NBC Chicago

"Chicago alone was responsible for 43.7 percent of the rise in urban murders in 2016," the study finds.

Political Scientist Dick Simpson On The Past And Present Of Chicago Machine Politics – Video — Upstream Ideas

Comment: Great, extended interview on the current nature of corruption in Chicago (though Simpson is far too sanguine about the city's financial straights).

City contractor accused of ‘reserving’ jobs for alderman’s office – Chicago Sun-Times

"There has been speculation that city contractors may be picking up the slack by hiring candidates recommended by Chicago aldermen." Comment: "Speculation"? Why, yes, there...

Documents show Ald. Reilly accepted campaign contributions from Wanda Vista Tower developer – Chicago City Wire

Despite his campaign promise not to accept money from developers, records indicate Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly received more than $72,000 from Magellan Development or...

O’Hare growth badly lags peer airports – Crain’s

Specifically, figures drawn from U.S. Department of Transportation reports indicate that over the past decade, the total number of departing passengers dropped 1.5 percent...

Jackson Jr. copped to another possible crime, said he’d help feds – Sun-Times

But no indication what the crime is. Comment: This guy is a gift that keeps giving for reporters.

A fragile hope in Ford Heights IL – Washington Examiner

"It is difficult not to be moved by the blight and sorrow of this town; impoverished, bypassed by the world, it is a part...

Parade of police abuse settlement continues — with $1M more – Chicago Sun-Times

The parade of settlements stemming from allegations of police abuse that cost Chicago taxpayers $30 million last year will continue next week, with $925,000...

Park district police described as $5 million redundancy – Chicago City Wire

It costs Illinois municipalities $5 million to maintain park district police forces that cover areas already under the watchful eye of the regular police...

The damaging effects of Chicagoland’s latest tax hikes – Illinois Policy

Chicagoans have been burdened with a slew of new taxes and the full damage has yet to be felt. A state income tax hike,...

Claims overwhelm commission investigating Burge torture – Chicago Tribune

The influx of cases brought the total the panel is required to investigate to nearly 400, pushing the commission not only to reach out...

Asia’s Richest Man Is Building Chicago’s Priciest Penthouse – Bloomberg

When the 95-story Vista Tower is completed in 2020, it will be the third-tallest building in Chicago, and at its very top will be...

Detroit’s downtown revival is real, but road to recovery remains long – Chicago Tribune

So you think Chicago is a tale of two cities? The gulf between its booming downtown and its violence-plagued neighborhoods is nothing compared to...

Former Uber executive runs afoul of Chicago’s lobbying rules, city hands down $90K fine – Cook County Record

Comment: In fairness, it's too easy to run afoul of these rules. "Any form of written or verbal communications, including formal or informal in-person...

Chicago high-speed trading firms draw overseas talent – Crain’s

Chicago's high-speed trading industry is so secretive, it's easy to overlook the worldwide magnet the city has become for the business.

Should North Shore public schools set lower academic, discipline standards for black and hispanic students? Activist to make the case. – North Cook News

In two presentations at Elm Place Middle School, 2031 Sheridan Rd., Noguera will explain why he believes public school teachers should stop focusing on...

Rahm’s private email still being filled by fans, foes, citizens – Chicago Sun-Times

Powerful people and average Joes are continuing to use Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s personal email to counsel, praise and lambast him, knowing full-well that their...

Chicago to Q-C rail takes ‘pretty exciting step’ forward – QC Times

Local officials say they have been told there is a memorandum of understanding between the state of Illinois and the Iowa-Interstate Railroad, owners of...

A Four-Foot-Long Chicago Style Hot Dog Made This Chef’s Birthday Epic – DNAinfo Chicago

Trump's response: "Weak. Believe me, I could show you a yuge one."

6 Chicago TV stations will change channels after broadcast frequencies sold for wireless use – Chicago Tribune

Six Chicago-area TV stations, including Fox-owned WPWR-Ch. 50, NBC's Telemundo outlet WSNS-Ch. 44 and PBS affiliate WYCC-Ch. 20, will be changing channels after selling...

Chicago should annex adjoining suburbs – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Just a reminder that we post lots of things here that we don't necessarily agree with.

Houses taking longer to sell in Chicago – Crain’s

Single-family city homes that sold last month were on the market an average of 113 days, the longest selling time since February 2015, when...

Suspect charged in Illinois judge’s murder; not believed to have acted alone – Reuters

"The motive of this crime is robbery, which we do not believe was random, nor do we believe Smith acted alone."