Midwest Correspondent
Fiona's Feed
Nov 5, 2014

Illinois prosecutors probing election-disrupting robocalls

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois state prosecutors are investigating robocalls that targeted Chicago election workers, causing voting snafus that have led Democratic Governor Pat Quinn to refuse to concede he lost his race to wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has launched a criminal investigation, her office said on Wednesday.

Nov 3, 2014

Chicago-area teen tried to take siblings to join Islamic State

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday ordered pre-trial detention for a Chicago-area 19-year-old accused of trying to fly with his two younger siblings to the Middle East to join the militant group Islamic State.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan of suburban Bolingbrook was arrested a month ago at O’Hare International Airport as he tried to board a plane to Turkey, and later charged with attempting to provide material support to a group the United States has designated a terrorist organization.

Oct 31, 2014

‘Tis the season: to tour Halloween light displays

, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Breathtaking
purple-and-orange light displays, zombie graveyards, mutilated
mannequins and singing inflatable pumpkins are just some of the
front-yard Halloween decorations that Americans are expected to
spend $7.4 billion on this year.

In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, the displays got so
elaborate that Annette Wehrli decided to set up a tour.

Oct 30, 2014

Apple’s Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle

By Dan Levine and Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – In his essay coming out as gay, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook criticized an Arizona proposal that would have given private business owners the ability to deny services to gay people on religious grounds.

Cook on Thursday became the most prominent American corporate leader to come out, saying he was trading his closely guarded privacy for the chance to help move civil rights forward.

Oct 30, 2014

Illinois releases prisoner, bringing wrongful conviction full circle

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A celebrated Illinois wrongful conviction case went full circle on Thursday when authorities freed a man sentenced for a 1982 double murder and said they believe another man exonerated 15 years ago is probably the murderer after all.

Prisoner Alstory Simon, who in 1999 confessed to shooting and killing teenagers Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard on Chicago’s South Side, was released from the Jacksonville Correctional Center in Central Illinois.

Oct 29, 2014

Catholic Church to close, merge a dozen schools in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Catholic Church will close or merge a dozen of its 240 Chicago-area schools due to falling attendance in some areas of the country’s largest parochial school system, the Archdiocese of Chicago said on Wednesday.

“We will not be able to maintain all schools in their current form,” outgoing Cardinal Francis George said in a letter posted on the website of the archdiocese, which has a deficit of millions of dollars.

Oct 26, 2014

Top U.S. health official warns of risks from Ebola quarantines

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Quarantines imposed on travelers coming from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa are a “little bit draconian,” a senior U.S. health official charged on Sunday, saying they could discourage American health workers from going to the region to help fight the epidemic.

But the governors of New York and New Jersey, two of the states that have imposed the measures, defended the measures.

Oct 23, 2014

Reporter quits Chicago newspaper, says governor candidate influenced paper

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A veteran Illinois political reporter quit his job at the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday and accused the newspaper of bowing to pressure from Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner by removing him from the campaign beat.

Dave McKinney, a 19-year veteran of the paper who covered the state capital, said in his resignation letter that the paper reassigned him after the Rauner campaign accused him of a conflict of interest, which he denies.

Oct 21, 2014

Chicago corrections officer charged in pot smuggling attempt

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A corrections officer in Chicago’s Cook County Jail was arrested on Tuesday and faces a federal criminal charge for allegedly trying to smuggle two sandwiches packed with marijuana into the jail last year, federal authorities said.

Three inmates, two civilian women and a police dispatcher have also been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in the case.

Oct 14, 2014

Police arrest 50 protesting shootings of blacks in St. Louis area

By Fiona Ortiz

FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) – Hundreds of people demonstrated in the pouring rain in the St. Louis area on Monday, staging a series of rolling protests in the latest show of anger over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in August.

At least 50 protesters were arrested in civil disobedience acts in Ferguson, the suburb where Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead. Other groups occupied St. Louis city hall, where they tried to hang a banner, shut down a local Walmart, and chanted outside a fundraiser for a local politician.

    • 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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