Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Field Museum will be open the Saturday and Monday of the NATO summit, despite some street closures and parking limitations, officials announced today.
The museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Parking will be limited Saturday, but spokeswoman Nancy O’Shea said she believes there will be enough space. The top three floors of the north Soldier Field parking lot and the Adler Planetarium parking lot will be open.
“We are confident people can get here, and pedestrians can still get here through the walkway,” she said.
The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium will be closed Sunday, May 20, the first day of the two-day summit. Officials had said Monday they were discussing whether to remain open the rest of the summit weekend.
Shedd officials said today they are still discussing whether to open Saturday and Monday. Representatives from Adler could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday morning.
Lake Shore Drive will be closed between midnight Saturday, May 19 until the evening rush hour Monday, May 21.
Officials are recommending people take Columbus Drive south to McFetridge Drive if they are driving to the museums.
Parking lots will close at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and all vehicles still parked will be towed.
The ruling from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago is the strongest blow yet to the law, which is one of the strictest in the country and makes it illegal for people to audio record police officers in public without their consent.
The ruling follows last month’s announcement by Chicago officials that they would not enforce the law during the May 20-21 NATO summit when potentially thousands of people armed with smart phones and video cameras are expected to demonstrate in the city.
The ruling from the appeals court stems from a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. The suit sought a preliminary injunction barring Cook County prosecutors from enforcing the law.
A federal judge denied the request, prompting the ACLU to appeal to the 7th Circuit. In its ruling today, the appeals court agreed with the ACLU, saying, “The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests.”
The ACLU of Illinois welcomed the ruling. Its legal director, Harvey Grossman, said that the “widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish.”
“In order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police,” Grossman said in a statement.
Public debate over Illinois’ law has been simmering since last summer.
In August, a Cook County jury acquitted a woman who had been charged for recording Chicago police internal affairs investigators she believed were trying to dissuade her from filing a sexual harassment complaint against a patrol officer.
Judges in Cook and Crawford counties later declared the law unconstitutional, and the McLean County state's attorney cited flaws in the law when he dropped charges in February against a man accused of recording an officer during a traffic stop.
Meanwhile, state legislators are considering a bill that would allow people to record police officers working in public.
WASHINGTON -- Three Illinois universities are getting $2.8 million in federal research grants, scholarships and fellowships to train future leaders in the nuclear industry.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that the money would go to the Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Secretary Steven Chu says the investment will encourage innovations that will create jobs and export opportunities.
Most of the money -- $1.6 million -- goes to Northwestern for research on fuel cycle technologies.
The University of Illinois will get about $876,000 to develop reactor designs and technologies. Another $5,000 will fund an undergraduate scholarship for one student at the university for a degree in the nuclear field.
The Illinois Institute of Technology gets $300,000 to buy equipment for its research reactor.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
An Aurora man walking back into his home after a late night smoke was startled when a large animal believed to be a coyote lunged at him, biting and scratching his arm, police said.
The 47-year-old man told police he was on the side of his house in the 1200 block of Cottonwood Drive when he encountered the "large animal" shortly before midnight on April 20, according to Aurora police spokesman Dan Ferrelli.
The man, whom police would not identify, said the animal bit him in the arm and scratched him and then ran off, Ferrelli said.
As paramedics were treating him, the man told police the animal was not alone. "He said there was what looked like a second animal nearby before they both ran off," said Ferrelli. Police searched the area but could not find them, Ferrelli said.
The next day, animal control officers canvassed the neighborhood and alerted residents of the encounter. He said officials called in wildlife experts who, with animal control officers, determined that "a coyote was probably responsible for this." The officers also reinterviewed the man and got more details about the animal.
"It's extremely rare, we had to go with what the gentleman was saying," Ferrelli said. "[The attack] happened very, very quickly so he wasn't sure at first."
Officials distributed pamphlets to about 400 homes in a one-mile radius of the home giving tips on how to deal with the coyotes.
Aurora, like many towns in the area, has seen a spike in coyote encounters as developments spring up and open land becomes scarcer.
Ferelli said residents can get more information on coyotes on Aurora’s website at www.aurora-il.org, or by calling the city’s animal control division at (630) 256-3630. Another resource is the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website, www.dnr.illinois.gov.
Carl Boyd won the Democratic nomination in March for a subcircuit judge post in Cook County and is a shoo-in for the November election because he is running unopposed. But first he must deal with a trial late this month — his own. He faces a misdemeanor charge of allegedly stealing the campaign signs of a primary rival in the middle of the night.
Boyd, a veteran Chicago attorney, was arrested by Chicago police about 2 a.m. the day before the March 20 primary while allegedly in the possession of a dozen signs promoting the campaign of primary rival Chester Slaughter.
The arrest garnered no public attention, and the next day Boyd won in a landslide over Slaughter and two other candidates with more than half the vote.
In a telephone interview Monday, Boyd acknowledged his arrest but denied any wrongdoing.
"I can tell you that the police officer stated that this would make for a great story," he told the Tribune. "But he certainly did not see me pick up one sign. That much is true."
Boyd said he believes the police report was fabricated, but he wouldn't explain why.
"At this point, I would certainly appreciate an opportunity to have this matter heard in the appropriate forum, which would be the court," he said.
One of his lawyers, Steven Watkins, described Boyd as "a great guy."
"We do expect to be acquitted of the charge," Watkins said.
According to a police report, a Chicago police sergeant spotted Boyd removing Slaughter campaign signs from Boyd's parked 2000 BMW and placing them in his trunk near 119th and Halsted streets early on March 19.
Police reported recovering 12 of Slaughter's campaign signs from Boyd's car.
Boyd was arrested on a misdemeanor theft charge, booked at the Calumet District police lockup and released later in the morning after posting $200 in cash for bail.
The next day, Boyd swept to victory, garnering more than 19,000 votes, more than his three opponents' combined tally, according to the Illinois Board of Elections. Slaughter finished last with just 12 percent of the vote.
Slaughter declined to comment, but another rival, Arthur Wesley Willis, was incredulous on learning of the charge from a Tribune reporter.
"He was arrested?" Willis said. "All I can say is that I'm shocked."
Told generally of the charge against a judicial candidate, James Grogan, deputy administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, said he couldn't remember a similar case.
Boyd, who has been practicing law in Illinois since 1991, has never been disciplined, records show.
Dane Ciolino, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who specializes in legal and judicial ethics, said that even though Boyd was charged with a misdemeanor offense, he could face "significant" problems with legal disciplinary officials. Boyd could be suspended from practicing law or if he wins election as judge, he could be removed from office, Ciolino said.
" It takes a village to raise a child" come to mind when I hear about how the city schools have failing students. Maybe if the schools offered something to the children or if the childs nieghborhood stuck together to ensure the kids went to school. Maybe children would stay in school. In the ghetto's the children want to earn cash by stealing it or taking stuff and selling it, or they kill each other. I hear everyone saying they a tired of it but what are you doing about it to grab a childs intrest and holding on to him and struggling to educate him properly. Dr. M.L. King once said " The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character- that is the true goal of education. " So now I wounder what we are going to do about it.
A 51-year-old man whose family said he'd been missing for days was found dead inside his Far South Side home, the apparent victim of a brutal stabbing, authorities said.
The man was identified by family members and the Cook County medical examiner's office as Henry Howard
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No one is burning mortgage papers to celebrate, but the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust has achieved a goal many homeowners dream of — they have paid the balance on the famed architect's home and studio in Oak Park, and they now have full ownership of it.
The long road to ownership began in 1975 when the trust raised $130,000, about half of the purchase price of the structure. The Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation agreed to pay the balance. In exchange, it held the title and leased the property back to the local organization for a low-cost rent. The trust was given the option to buy the property, which it has done, officials announced Monday.
"This is the fulfillment of a 40-year goal. It's a milestone," said Jim Schiefelbein, chairman of the trust's board of trustees.
A price of about $260,000 may seem a bargain. But through the years the trust also raised the money to restore and preserve the structure, which was built in 1889.
"We've spent millions of dollars restoring and preserving the property, and that's not covering all the volunteer hours that have gone into it," Schiefelbein said.
A market value cannot be placed on the property, according to Schiefelbein, because the property, which attracted 80,000 visitors in 2011, is a priceless cultural asset.
"This is where Wright created the Prairie School (of architecture)," he said. "He used the house as his architectural lab. It was his sketchbook."
Schiefelbein said the transfer of ownership will not change anything in the way the home and studio is operated or in its programs.
He said that the trust plans to launch another campaign to raise money to continue to preserve the structure. He said the money would go to such projects as repairing a brick wall and front porch.
A 20-year-old man was shot multiple times this evening on the South Side in the city's Englewood neighborhood.
The shooting happened about 6:57 p.m. on the 7400 block of South Eggleston Avenue, said Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.
The man, who was shot multiple times, was taken to Stroger Hospital where his condition had been stabilized, Zala said.
There was no immediate information available about the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama will give the spouses of NATO leaders a taste of her native South Side on May 20 before a private dinner for them at the Art Institute of Chicago, her aides said Monday.
She's inviting the group to tour the Gary Comer Youth Center, which offers educational, arts, physical education and other enrichment programs — and boasts a rooftop garden. The center is at 7200 S. Ingleside Ave.
Performers slated to entertain the dignitaries include the Soul Children of Chicago, the South Shore Dance Drill Team, which makes its home at the youth center, and the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, known for African and African-American dance, music and folklore performances.
Noted Chicago chef Paul Kahan, an Obama favorite, will work with young people from the youth center to create a private lunch for the spouses. He is with the restaurants avec, Blackbird and The Publican.
Later, the first lady will entertain the NATO leaders' spouses at a gala dinner at the Art Institute.
A day earlier, while President Barack Obama meets with G-8 leaders at Camp David in Maryland, Michelle Obama will host their spouses for a tour of the White House led by its curator, Bill Allman.
In preparing that day's lunch, White House chefs will be joined by guest chef Jose Andres. Born in Barcelona, Andres is a restaurateur, television chef and big booster of the first lady's "Let's Move" program to battle childhood obesity — plus he just made Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.