Correspondent, Chicago
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Jun 28, 2012

year-old girl named Heaven latest Chicago murder victim

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Seven-year-old Heaven Sutton was selling cold drinks and candy at a street stand with her mother when she was shot to death, becoming the 253rd victim this year of Chicago’s surging murder rate, police said on Thursday.

Sutton and her mother, Ashake Banks, were about to close up their stand on Wednesday night when two men approached and began shooting. Heaven was shot in the chest, and a 19-year-old man standing nearby was wounded in the leg, police said.

Jun 27, 2012

High Court gives some jailed as teens hope of freedom

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Qu’eed Batts, jailed for life in Pennsylvania at 16 for the gang-ordered slaying of a fellow teen, could be among some 2,000 juvenile murderers eligible for reduced sentences or freedom from jail following a landmark Supreme Court decision.

The court ruled on Monday that juvenile murderers cannot be handed mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole, as is the law in 29 U.S. states.

Jun 13, 2012

Canada’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’ among award-winning skyscrapers

CHICAGO, June 13 (Reuters) – A pair of curvaceous Canadian
towers dubbed the “Marilyn Monroe,” an Australian skyscraper
that breathes, an Italian building that evokes Milan’s Galleria,
and a cylindrical tower in Qatar whose skin evokes Islamic
decoration were named on Wednesday the best new tall buildings
in the world.

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban
Habitat (, a group of architects and
structural engineers that monitors tall building projects around
the world, said there had been a “renaissance” in skyscraper
development. A record 88 towers taller than 200 meters (656
feet) were completed in 2011 – compared to 32 such projects in

Jun 1, 2012

Illinois lawmakers put off vote on pension reforms

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Reuters) – Illinois lawmakers on Thursday put off a vote on proposed changes to its vastly underfunded public employee pension system, risking further credit rating downgrades of the state.

Tom Cross, the Republican leader of the state House of Representatives, announced that too few House Democrats would support the current form of the legislation so he had agreed with Governor Pat Quinn not to call for a vote on it.

May 24, 2012

Departing prosecutor Fitzgerald rules out politics

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Departing U.S. prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, known for being tough on corrupt politicians, ruled out running for political office himself on Thursday, but said public service is “in my blood.”

“I’m not wired for campaigns or running for elective office,” Fitzgerald, 51, said the day after he announced he would leave his post as the top Justice Department official in the Northern District of Illinois after 11 years.

May 23, 2012

Chicago police erase 1968 stain at last with NATO summit

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The NATO summit ended without major violence between police and protesters, winning praise for Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy and helping erase bad memories of the bloody street battles here during the 1968 Democratic convention.

Ever since anti-Vietnam protesters were beaten in what a commission later called a “police riot” in 1968, Chicago has tried to live down its reputation for police brutality.

May 20, 2012

Two more men charged as NATO protests get underway

CHICAGO, May 20 (Reuters) – Two more men have been arrested
in Chicago for threatening behavior before a NATO summit,
bringing to five the number of people charged with
terrorism-related activities or possessing explosive devices in
the days leading up to the meeting of the military alliance.

Chicago resident Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, was accused of
falsely making a terrorist threat, and Mark Neiweem, 28, also of
Chicago, was charged with attempted possession of explosives or
incendiary devices.

May 20, 2012

Two more men charged in probe of NATO attack plots

CHICAGO (Reuters) – One man was arrested on terrorism-related charges and another for possession of explosives, bringing to five the number of people arrested ahead of the NATO summit on Sunday in an alleged plot to target U.S. President Barack re-election headquarters.

Chicago residents Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, and Mark Neiweem, 28, were charged as part of the investigation that led to the arrest of three self-described anarchists on terrorism-related charges.

May 20, 2012

Chicago protests on eve of NATO summit raucous, peaceful

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hundreds of demonstrators staged raucous protests against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget cuts and other economic issues on the eve of the NATO summit, but police said there were few arrests and only minor clashes.

The crowds were in the hundreds on Saturday, down from an estimated 2,500 people on Friday at Daley Plaza, named for longtime Mayor Richard J. Daley, who headed the city during bloody clashes between police and anti-Vietnam War protesters at the 1968 Democratic convention.

May 20, 2012

Chicago protests on eve of NATO summit small, peaceful

CHICAGO, May 19 (Reuters) – Hundreds of demonstrators
protested peacefully on Saturday on the eve of the NATO summit
in Chicago, gathering outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home to
criticize cuts in mental health services before moving downtown
under the close eye of police.

An estimated 500 demonstrators participated in the march to
Emanuel’s home, police said. There were also several smaller

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      "Cover the Midwest -- from Tennessee to Kansas and the Dakotas -- with help from other correspondents in Chicago and Kansas City. Also keep tabs on issues related to religion and the environment, especially as concerns the Great Lakes."
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