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CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago man is the first in Illinois to have his permit to carry a concealed weapon revoked.
 
The Chicago Sun-Times reports 54-year-old William P. O'Connell was arrested March 23 on suspicion of a misdemeanor charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
 
O'Connell was allegedly involved in a dispute over rent money with a 52-year-old man. Police say O'Connell pointed a handgun and threatened to shoot the man.
 
The Illinois State Police have revoked O'Connell's concealed-carry permit. The law prohibits carrying by anyone involved in an action that could lead to disqualification.
 
State police spokeswoman Monique Bond confirmed Monday that O'Connell is the first revocation subject.
 
O'Connell did not immediately respond to a message left at his home.
 
The Illinois concealed carry law took effect Jan. 1.
Published in Local News
Thursday, 27 February 2014 13:30

GOP candidates ready for next debate in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) - The four Republican gubernatorial candidates are gearing up for another televised debate just weeks ahead of the March primary.
 
Thursday's event in Chicago comes as two candidates lag far behind in money. State Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady also acknowledge polls that show them behind businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) and Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd). But they say they're not worried.
 
They've vowed to defy expectation and are counting on a late surge. Dillard received an endorsement Wednesday from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association
 
The primary is March 18.
 
The debate is hosted by the League of Women Voters of Illinois, WLS-TV and Univision.
 
Gov. Pat Quinn faces primary challenger Tio Hardiman, an activist. Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat won't participate in any debates ahead of the primary.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Chicago violence-prevention program ordered by Gov. Pat Quinn was so poorly put together that auditors questioned 40 percent of the expenditures turned in by contractors.
 
   The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative announced by Quinn in August 2010 spent $55 million in the first two years that were examined by Auditor General William Holland. His report was released Tuesday.
   The effort was run by the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority. But the agency relied on recommendations from Chicago aldermen when choosing community agencies to run the programs. Those agencies charged $4.4 million, but poor record-keeping led auditors to question $1.8 million of that spending.
   The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took over the Violence Prevention Authority last year. A spokeswoman says the program has been revamped with much tighter grant rules.
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An employee pension reform bill passed by the Legislature for the Chicago park district is being watched as a test case for statewide reforms, even as it poses a tricky dilemma for Gov. Pat Quinn.

Lawmakers say passage of the park district reforms shouldn't be interpreted as a blueprint for the success of a larger plan addressing the state's $100 billion pension problem. But it could be a test case for how pension reform deals will be interpreted by the courts.

House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman credits successful negotiations between the park district and labor union, something that hasn't happened statewide.

Quinn has been a champion of pension reform. But union officials who raised a late objection to the park district plan are among his biggest campaign contributors.

 

Published in Local News

WHEELING, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's not discouraged that lawmakers came away from two days of their fall veto session without tackling any of the major issues on their agenda.

The Chicago Democrat says the days were valuable for discussion to "lay a foundation" on the state's pension crisis and same-sex marriage.

However, neither issue came up for a vote before lawmakers left town.

They'll be back next month. Quinn says that'll be the time to take votes.

A bipartisan panel has been tasked with coming up with a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension problem, but the panel has been stalled on a plan that would save an estimated $138 billion.

Meanwhile, advocates and opponents of legalizing same-sex marriage both held rallies this week in Springfield.

 

Published in Local News

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - A Chicago consulting firm has made recommendations to the Southern Illinois Airport Authority.

The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports that two consultants made a presentation to the authority on Wednesday. It included a development plan and recommendations for the Southern Illinois Airport property.

The consultants suggested relocating, realigning and rebuilding parts of the airport. They also suggested improving access to U.S. 51 and Illinois 13 to provide better access.

Consultant Aaron Gruen said the overall improvement effort would cost about $8 million.

 
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 14:34

4 charged in Chicago shooting held without bail

CHICAGO (AP) - A judge denied bail for four men charged in connection with a shooting at a Chicago park that injured a 3-year-old boy and 12 others.

All four appeared before a Cook County judge Tuesday wearing street clothes.

Authorities say last Thursday's attack on the city's southwest side was gang related and in retaliation for another shooting that occurred earlier in the day, injuring one of the defendants.

Tabari Young, Bryon Champ, Brad Jett and Kewane Gatewood are all charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery. Prosecutors say the four are members of the Blackstone street gang. The park where they opened fire was inside territory frequented by members of the Gangster Disciples.

Investigators say Young and Champ were alleged gunmen.

Police say they don't believe they were targeting specific people

Published in National News
Friday, 20 September 2013 03:45

11, including girl, 3, shot in Chicago park

   CHICAGO (AP) — Eleven people, including a 3 year old child, were injured late Thursday when someone opened fire on people in a park located in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood.

   Chicago Fire Department officials said the child was in critical condition. Two other victims were also in critical condition, officials said.

   Officer Amina Greer said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday. According to Greer, at least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, transporting victims to several area hospitals.

   A witness, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men fired at him from a gray sedan before turning toward Cornell Square Park and firing at people in the area. He said his 3-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.

   "They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house," he said. "They've been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It's what they do."

   Authorities said no one had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.

   Francis John, 70, said she was in her apartment when the shooting occurred. She said went down to see what was going on and "a lot of youngsters were running scared." She said she was surprised by what had happened, saying she has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.

   She told the Sun-Times there hasn't been much gun violence in the neighborhood in recent years, adding the neighborhood went from good to bad 10 years ago, to better recently.

Published in National News

   CHICAGO (AP) -- Bernard "Bernie" Sahlins, who co-founded Chicago's Second City theater and who nurtured the early careers of many of the earliest stars of "Saturday Night Live," died Sunday. He was 90.

   Andrew Alexander, one of Second City's current owners and its CEO, told The Associated Press that Sahlins died peacefully at his Chicago home with his family nearby. He is survived by his wife, Jane Nicholl Sahlins.

   Sahlins and business partners Howard Alk and Paul Sills opened The Second City in December 1959, and it quickly gained national attention and helped establish Chicago as a vibrant comedy town, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

   The Second City wasn't Sahlins' first attempt at running a theater. He was a producer-investor in a theater troupe in the early 1950s that was comprised of many fellow University of Chicago graduates, and he and several business partners produced plays at the Studebaker Theater from October 1956 until the following year, when it had to close due to a lack of funding.

   In his 2002 memoir, "Days and Nights at the Second City," Sahlins wrote that he, Alk and Sills hadn't set out to build another theater.

   "We had been burned enough times doing that. This was still the Beat generation, and we started out to found a coffee house where we idlers, including the actors whom we had with for years, could loll around and put the world in its proper place."

   But The Second City caught on within months of opening, despite some early money problems and other issues, and it became instrumental in the growth and development of improvisational and sketch comedy.

   Sahlins had an eye for talent, and he hired and nurtured the early careers of such future stars as John and Jim Belushi, Joan Rivers, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and Harold Ramis, among others.

   Shortly after "Saturday Night Live" began airing in the fall of 1975, Second City became a breeding ground for the show. According to Second City producer emeritus Joyce Sloane, who died in 2011, Sahlins once half-jokingly commanded her to lock "SNL" creator and producer Lorne Michaels out of the building, the Sun-Times reported.

   Alexander, who along with business partner Len Stuart bought The Second City from Sahlins in 1985, according to the theater's website, told the AP that Sahlins will be remembered for always urging performers to work at the top of their intellect, and that this is still preached at the theater today.

   "You think about that theater, and think of all the stars that came out of it ... from Belushi to Aykroyd to Allan Arkin. It's extraordinary, the amount of talented people that came out of it," Alexander said.

Published in National News

St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings is expanding its presence in the largest city in the Midwest.

Enterprise announced the purchase of IGO--a non-profit car-sharing company in Chicago. IGO was created as a pilot program to encourage city residents to use multiple forms of transportation and lower family's transportation costs.

This is not the first foray into car-sharing for Enterprise. They also purchased Mint Cars On-Demand in Boston and PhillyCarShare in Philadelphia. Every IGO employee has been offered a job with Enterprise. 

 

Published in Local News
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