Midwest Correspondent
Fiona's Feed
Oct 1, 2015

Federal appeals court hears arguments on Wisconsin abortion law

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Federal appeals court judges on Thursday
challenged Wisconsin to defend its suspended law requiring
abortion doctors to have privileges to admit patients to a
nearby hospital, in a case that could help propel abortion
rights back to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge William Conley in March blocked the
Wisconsin law that requires doctors to have admitting privileges
at a hospital located within 30 miles (50 km) of his or her
practice. Conley ruled the health benefits, if any, of the law
were outweighed by the burden on women’s health due to
restricted access to abortions.

Sep 30, 2015

Thousands line up for rare corpse flower bloom near Chicago

, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Thousands of curiosity
seekers lined up in the blustery, dark Chicago Botanic Garden on
Tuesday night to catch a rare glimpse of a 4-1/2-foot
(1.4-meter) tall corpse flower in full bloom, but not in full

The garden in a north Chicago suburb planned to stay open
until 2 a.m. on Wednesday to let the crowds see the blooming
corpse flower – properly known as the titan arum or
Amorphophallus titanum – during the 24 to 36 hours it is
expected to stay in bloom.

Sep 28, 2015

Ex-House Speaker Hastert negotiating plea deal: U.S. attorney

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers for former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert are negotiating a possible plea deal on charges that he tried to hide large cash transactions as part of a hush-money scheme, a top Illinois U.S. attorney said on Monday.

Hastert, 73, was charged in May with illegally structuring large withdrawals of cash to evade detection. Federal prosecutors allege he promised to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed individual from his hometown of Yorkville, Illinois, to conceal past misconduct. He has pleaded not guilty.

Sep 28, 2015

Missouri AG finds no evidence Planned Parenthood mishandled fetal tissue

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – An investigation in Missouri found no evidence
that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis clinic mishandled fetal
tissue or engaged in unlawful activity, Attorney General Chris
Koster’s office said on Monday.

Koster’s office had launched an investigation after an
anti-abortion group released videos over the summer alleging
that Planned Parenthood in other states illegally sold fetal

Sep 23, 2015

Chicago man arrested, charged in connection with Bali suitcase murder

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago man was arrested on Wednesday for his long-distance role in the August 2014 murder of Chicago-area woman Sheila von Wiese-Mack, who was killed in Bali by her daughter’s boyfriend and stuffed into a suitcase, prosecutors said.

Robert Bibbs, 24, is charged with conspiracy in the murder because he advised the killer in hope of sharing in an inheritance, according to charges brought by federal prosecutors.

Sep 23, 2015

Gacy probe leads to closing of 1979 Chicago missing persons case

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A John Doe murdered in San Francisco in 1979 has been identified as a teenager who went missing in Chicago a year earlier, thanks to ongoing efforts to identify victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, the Cook County sheriff said on Wednesday.

Andre “Andy” Garth, 16 when he disappeared, was not a victim of Gacy, Chicago’s so-called Killer Clown who murdered 33 young men in the 1970s.

Sep 23, 2015

Police focus on seizing guns to combat Chicago gang murders

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Two Cook County Sheriff’s officers reached under trash bins in an alley just before midnight in Chicago’s crime-heavy Austin neighborhood, looking for a hidden gun.

“I think I’ve got it. Yup. Loaded. Make sure to take the bullet out of the chamber,” said Officer Steve Bialczak, as he unwrapped a black plastic bag containing a handgun that had been stashed between a stack of boxes and the garbage cans.

Sep 22, 2015

Ridesharing companies get big win at O’Hare, but at a high price

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago’s budget woes have handed rideshare companies like Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] and Lyft a major victory – long-sought-after access to pick up passengers at the city’s busy airports, O’Hare International and Midway.

But it comes at a high price: a $5 city fee to pick up and drop off passengers, compared with a $2 fee that taxi drivers must charge customers for the same service.

Sep 18, 2015

Indiana top court reverses murder convictions of three men in burglary

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Indiana Supreme Court threw out the murder convictions of three young men, saying they were not the immediate cause of the death of their friend who was shot by the owner of a home they were burgling, in two rulings published on Friday.

The case involved the October 2012 afternoon home burglary by five men aged 16 to 21 in the town of Elkhart, in northern Indiana. Four of the men broke into the home, unarmed, while one stayed behind as a lookout.

Sep 12, 2015

Ex-director of former Subway pitchman’s foundation appears on child sex charges

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – The ex-director of the foundation started by former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle appeared in U.S. District Court in Indiana on Friday ahead of his agreement to plead guilty to child sexual exploitation and child pornography charges.

Russell Taylor, who was executive director of the Jared Foundation, was informed of his rights by Federal Judge Debra McVicker Lynch and will remain in custody, his lawyer Brad Banks said. The foundation, now defunct, focused on child obesity prevention.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is a general news correspondent for Reuters Americas based in Chicago and covering the Midwest. Previously, she was Reuters' chief correspondent in Madrid, where she covered political and economic news and ran a bureau of some 25 correspondents who wrote about everything from the debt crisis to sports. Fiona has been with Reuters since 1996 and has had assignments in Guatemala, Mexico, Chile and Argentina."
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