Midwest Correspondent
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Jan 29, 2015

Ebony seeks buyer for photo archive, the ‘African American Getty’

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A climate-controlled archive in Chicago holds 5 million images of what could be called the African American experience since 1942, including exceptional, intimate photographs of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., singer Billie Holiday and boxer Muhammad Ali.

Now Johnson Publishing, parent company of struggling Ebony and Jet magazines, is seeking a buyer for the archive, which it estimates is worth more than $40 million.

Jan 13, 2015

U.S. man, 19, pleads not guilty to trying to join Islamic State

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A 19-year-old man from suburban Chicago pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal charges of trying to provide material support to Islamic State militants after he tried to travel with his two younger siblings to the Middle East to join the Islamic State.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan of Bolingbrook, Illinois, was arrested in October at O’Hare International Airport as he tried to board a plane to Vienna en route to Istanbul with his then 17-year-old sister and 16-year-old brother.

Dec 18, 2014

Missouri attorney general sues cities over predatory traffic ticketing

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a civil lawsuit on Thursday against 13 St. Louis suburbs for predatory traffic ticketing, saying the cities were depending on traffic fines for too much of their budgets.

Black residents in some municipalities around St. Louis have complained they are unfairly targeted by frequent police patrols on highways, and have pressured politicians to make it more difficult for cities to earn revenue from traffic fines.

Dec 5, 2014

Neighbors of Chicago’s O’Hare airport amp up noise complaints

CHICAGO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Retired engineer Ed Phillips
lives almost seven miles (11 km) east of O’Hare International
Airport, but conversation at his home is often interrupted by
the roar of low-flying jets landing at a new runway at one of
the world’s busiest airports.

Across a broad swathe of northern Chicago, people who never
noticed planes before now say their houses shake, they can’t
sleep and and their property values have dropped.

Dec 3, 2014

Trial nears for white Chicago police officer who killed black woman

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A judge is expected to set on Wednesday a trial date for a white Chicago police officer who shot and killed a young black woman in 2012, in a case that has gained notoriety in the national uproar in recent months over policing and race.

    Dante Servin is the first Chicago police officer in 17 years to face criminal charges over a shooting death. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other felony offenses in connection with the off-duty shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd.

Dec 1, 2014

Chicago police to adopt body cameras, other post-Ferguson changes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The head of the Chicago Police Department, the second biggest in the United States, said on Monday its officers will start wearing body cameras and it will make other changes after a fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, in August set off a national debate on race and policing.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy said body cameras will be in use by late January by police officers who volunteered for a pilot program, as soon as the department works out how to store the camera recordings.

Nov 24, 2014

Mexican drug trafficker sentenced in Chicago to 22 years

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge sentenced a Mexican drug trafficker to 22 years in prison for shipping 276 kilos of cocaine to Chicago hidden in railway cars in a case that highlighted the city’s role as a hub for distributing tons of cocaine throughout the United States from 1998 to 2008.

Judge Ruben Castillo said there was no proof Alfredo Vazquez Hernandez, 59, was a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa cartel, as prosecutors alleged. But in handing down a long sentence for a first-time offender who had pleaded guilty, he said he had trouble believing Vazquez had never dealt drugs previously.

Nov 24, 2014

Alleged Sinaloa cartel logistics head to be sentenced in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An alleged top member of the Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel will appear in court for sentencing on Monday in a case that has highlighted Chicago’s role as a hub for distributing tons of cocaine throughout the United States from 1998 to 2008.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of up to life in prison for Alfredo Vasquez Hernandez, 59, who pleaded guilty in April to one count of drug distribution but who denies he was part of Sinaloa.

Nov 18, 2014

Indiana releases details on unidentified serial murder victim

CHICAGO (Reuters) – She was in her 30s or 40s, likely Hispanic, 5-feet 6-inches tall and has healed fractures in her nose. That is all authorities know about the woman believed to be a serial killer victim, whose skeletal remains were found a month ago in Gary, Indiana.

The Lake County coroner in northwestern Indiana released the scant details on Tuesday, hoping the information will lead to the identification of one of seven victims of Darren Vann, who has been charged so far in two murders.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. veterinarians issue guidelines for handling pets exposed to Ebola

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An American veterinary group issued guidelines on Wednesday on how to handle and potentially quarantine pet cats and dogs that may have been exposed to humans with Ebola.

Dogs and cats are not known to be capable of getting or spreading Ebola. But Spanish health officials killed a dog belonging to a nurse who got Ebola, stirring widespread protest. U.S. authorities quarantined the dog of an American nurse with the virus.

    • 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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