Midwest Correspondent
Fiona's Feed
Mar 13, 2015

Renewed violence threatens fragile recovery in Missouri city

By Edward McAllister and Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – The violence that returned to Ferguson, Missouri, on Thursday threatens to trample a barely perceptible recovery as the town of 21,000 people struggles to rebuild after two spates of race-related unrest last year.

The shooting of two police officers and a subsequent manhunt in Ferguson on Thursday have relit tensions that erupted in the St. Louis suburb after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white policeman Darren Wilson in August.

Mar 4, 2015

Union backing elusive as Garcia seeks to unseat Chicago Mayor Emanuel

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is struggling to round up support from labor unions as he seeks to unseat pro-business Mayor Rahm Emanuel, even though he bills himself as more progressive.

Garcia’s surprisingly strong showing in a first round of voting on Feb. 24 prompted some big unions to see him as a viable challenger to the well-funded Emanuel and to rethink their neutral stance in the race for mayor of the country’s financially troubled No. 3 city.

Feb 25, 2015

Rahm-Rauner ties likely to survive Chicago mayor’s re-election battle

CHICAGO (Reuters) – As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel struggles to get re-elected, one of his biggest problems will be how to deal with Illinois’ new Republican governor Bruce Rauner, whose proposed budget would slash hundreds of millions of dollars of state funding for the city.

The strains have led to a deterioration in the relationship between the two politicians, referred to in Illinois political circles as “Rahm-Rauner.” Though Emanuel is a Democrat and Rauner a Republican, the two have been close friends and even political allies, with Emanuel appointing Rauner as chairman of the city’s tourism agency soon after he became mayor in 2011.

Feb 25, 2015

Chicago’s Garcia has a chance in second-round mayor’s race

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Mayoral underdog Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has a fighting chance in an April runoff election against well-funded incumbent Rahm Emanuel but political insiders say he must broaden his coalition beyond the Hispanic voters and disgruntled teachers who boosted him so far.

Garcia must also persuade tough-minded Chicagoans that he can do a better job than the mayor at keeping trains running and police on the streets as the city’s budget gap balloons past $1 billion.

Feb 22, 2015

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel spends heavily to avoid run-off

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping his warm hug with President Barack Obama in the last days of his re-election campaign will help him avoid a run-off in the race to lead the financially troubled, third largest city in the country.

Chicagoans cast votes for mayor and for aldermen on Tuesday and polls show Emanuel in danger of closely missing the 50 percent needed for an outright win, even though his massive campaign chest has allowed him to saturate the airwaves.

Feb 4, 2015

Urban roller skating fights for survival as U.S. rinks close

CHICAGO (Reuters) – On a frigid winter night, snow blankets hundreds of cars in the dark parking lot outside the Rink on Chicago’s south side.

But things are cooking inside the aging roller rink. Under colored lights, a huge crowd of skaters wearing black leather and four-wheel skates shoots around the wooden floor doing dance routines in groups, or solo twirls, Axels and acrobatics to R&B remixes.

Feb 1, 2015

Whitney Houston’s daughter revived after found unresponsive in tub

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only daughter of the late pop star Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Georgia home on Saturday, but she was revived and rushed to a hospital, police said.

The incident comes nearly three years after Houston, a superstar who battled substance abuse, drowned in a bathtub in Beverly Hills, California, in February 2012. Authorities determined cocaine use and heart disease contributed to her death.

Jan 31, 2015

Whitney Houston’s daughter revived after being rushed to hospital

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only daughter of late pop star Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Georgia home on Saturday, but she was revived after being rushed to a hospital, police said.

The incident comes nearly three years after Houston, a superstar who battled substance abuse, drowned in a bathtub in Beverly Hills, California, in February 2012. Authorities have said cocaine use and heart disease contributed to her death.

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.

    • 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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