Midwest Correspondent
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Jul 11, 2015

Presidential hopeful Cruz blasts N.Y. Times for keeping book off bestseller list

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz says his book “A Time for Truth” is a legitimate bestseller and on Friday challenged the New York Times to prove its contention that the tome’s high sales were due to bulk buying.

In a statement on his campaign website, the Texas senator said the New York Times should apologize or release evidence of its analysis. He said he was being kept off the bestseller list because the newspaper is politically biased against him.

Jul 10, 2015

Lenient sentence for Beanie Babies billionaire stands

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A lenient sentence for the billionaire
creator of Beanie Babies, a self-made businessman who was
convicted of hiding $5.6 million in taxes, was upheld on Friday
by a federal appeals court.

The Department of Justice wanted jail time for Ty Warner,
70, and asked the Seventh Circuit Court to vacate a lighter
sentence imposed by a district court judge. U.S. prosecutors
filed the appeal in February 2014.

Jul 7, 2015

Groups sue Chicago suburbs for more gun control

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A group of civil rights activists on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against three Chicago suburbs to force them to take stricter gun-control measures to stem the flow of weapons into the city’s crime-ridden neighborhoods.

The complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court against the towns of Riverdale, Lyons and Lincolnwood said gunshops there, along with stores in Gary, Indiana, supply a fifth of guns seized by police at crime scenes in the city.

Jul 6, 2015

Chicago’s Fourth of July rituals: fireworks, gun deaths

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Late in the evening on July 4 a haze of smoke from backyard fireworks hung over Chicago. Like kids all over the city, 7-year-old Amari Brown stood on the sidewalk enjoying the show –

until the staccato burst of explosives turned into gunfire.

Brown was hit when a man ran around the corner and shot at his group in an apparent gang-related attack. He was rushed to the hospital in his father’s arms and died two hours later.

Jul 2, 2015

Illinois mired in uncertainty over budget

SPRINGFIELD/CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) – Illinois blew through a budget deadline this week, and now the state faces court battles over spending and a political standoff between rookie Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and veteran Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has dominated state politics for three decades.

Rauner said he can soften the impact of a looming government shutdown and continue paying state workers on time and in full. Democrats said there are strict limits on what the governor can spend without a budget that has been approved.

Jul 1, 2015

Illinois House fails to pass an emergency spending bill

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 1 (Reuters) – Illinois’
Democrat-controlled House failed to pass an emergency $2.26
billion one-month spending bill on Wednesday as a budget impasse
threatens a state government shutdown.

The Senate did pass an identical bill on Wednesday, which
will move to the House next week for a vote. However, Republican
Governor Bruce Rauner has signaled he will veto the bill if it
gets through both chambers. He is calling for pro-business
reforms that he says will help the economy, before he will
approve a budget.

Jul 1, 2015

Illinois governor increases budget pressure, grounds shuttle planes

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Reuters) – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on Wednesday increased pressure on lawmakers unwilling to adopt his pro-business reforms as the state began its new fiscal year without a budget.

The Republican governor followed through on his plan to ground the state airplane shuttle between Chicago and Springfield, forcing some Chicago area lawmakers to find other ways to make the 195-mile trip home. He also used an amendatory veto to remove legislators’ salary hikes ranging from $1,356 to $1,905 in fiscal 2016, noting a similar provision eliminating raises was incorporated into other recent state budgets.

Jun 30, 2015

Illinois Legislature to take up temporary budget

By Fiona Ortiz

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Reuters) – The Illinois Legislature will take up a one-month budget on Wednesday to keep delivering “essential services” to residents while an impasse continues over a full-year spending plan for the fiscal year that begins at midnight, House Speaker Michael Madigan said on Tuesday.

“This is another opportunity to not shut down the government,” Madigan told reporters.

Jun 25, 2015

Judge blocks Kansas ban on second trimester abortion procedure

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – A Kansas judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a
law that would ban a common second trimester abortion procedure
from taking effect next week, according to an attorney for an
abortion rights group that challenged the law.

Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks granted
an injunction that will allow dilation and extraction abortion
procedures to continue in Kansas for now, said Center for
Reproductive Rights lawyer Genevieve Scott, who attended the
hearing. The law was scheduled to take effect on July 1.

Jun 24, 2015

A big, dark Chicago room will get a view when it goes on the market

CHICAGO, June 24 (Reuters) – FOR LET: 36,000 square-foot
(3,345 square-meter) cave in central Chicago. Three-story
ceilings, cutting-edge fiber optic feeds, historic art deco
setting. Ten pits available, perfect for lounging. Jackets not

When CME Group Inc’s futures pits in the cavernous
trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade building fall quiet
next month, real estate broker Holly Duran will be working
overtime to find a tenant to occupy a storied piece of America’s
financial history.

    • 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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