(Reuters) – A lawyer for a long-separated mother and daughter said on Friday he is investigating whether staff at a now-closed St. Louis hospital may have taken babies from impoverished young black women to put them up for adoption.
Melanie Gilmore was reunited with her mother, gospel singer Zella Jackson Price, after 49 years in March in an emotional video that has been seen by almost 300,000 people on YouTube. Price was told by a nurse at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis in 1965 that her baby had died, said family attorney Albert Watkins.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A southern Illinois teen pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal firearms charges in a plot to sell guns and loot businesses in Ferguson, Missouri, which had been the site of sometimes violent protests over a fatal police shooting.
Dakota Moss, 19, of Centralia, admitted in federal court to burglarizing a farm and home supply store and stealing 39 guns in November of last year. Moss and a juvenile accomplice stole the guns in order to sell them in Ferguson, prosecutors said.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former Illinois Governor Daniel Walker, a Democrat who walked across the state talking to voters before his 1972 election and later went to prison for bank fraud, has died at the age of 92, the state’s current governor said on Wednesday.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, expressed his condolences to Walker’s family and friends in a statement, saying he and his wife Diana were “saddened” to hear of Walker’s passing.
(Reuters) – A woman has died and 23 others were sickened by a suspected botulism outbreak after a potluck lunch at an Ohio church, health officials said on Wednesday.
Fifty to 60 people attended the Sunday lunch at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, about 30 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, said Jennifer Valentine, a spokeswoman for the Fairfield Department of Health. Most began getting sick on Tuesday, Valentine said.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Cook County State’s Attorney in Chicago plans to change how it handles low-level drug offenses, which will include the dismissal of future misdemeanor marijuana cases, a spokeswoman said on Sunday.
Misdemeanor marijuana cases for possession of small amounts of the drug, which totaled 15,000 cases last year, will be dismissed for those with less than three arrests or citations, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett is taking a leave of absence pending the outcome of a federal probe into a contract the district awarded to a company that had previously employed her, officials said on Friday.
“In light of the ongoing federal investigation and its impact on her ability to effectively lead Chicago Public Schools, Barbara Byrd-Bennett is taking a leave of absence from Chicago Public Schools effective immediately,” board President David Vitale said in a statement.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago from 1997 until 2014, has died at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, the Chicago Tribune and other media reported on Friday.
Known for his intellectualism and strong defense of church dogma – including sometimes controversial statements against gay marriage – George halted his treatment for bladder cancer early in 2015 and was hospitalized for tests in March.
(Reuters) – An Ohio man who trained with Islamic militants
in Syria pleaded not guilty on Friday in a Columbus federal
court to charges of supporting terrorism and making false
statements, court documents said.
Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, a naturalized American, had
been instructed by a Muslim cleric to return to the United
States and carry out an act of terrorism, a federal indictment
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The acting head of the Chicago Teachers Union said on Thursday that a federal probe of the city’s public schools chief executive points to a larger pattern of apparent conflicts of interest at the debt-troubled district.
Federal authorities are investigating Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and a $20.5 million no-bid contract the district awarded to SUPES Academy, a training facility for principals that had formerly employed her, local media reports said without naming their sources.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A new strain of dog flu from Asia that started infecting pets in Chicago this January has spread to thousands of dogs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana and killed six, animal health officials said.
The canine influenza virus (CIV) currently affecting dogs in the Midwest is a strain known as H3N2, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University. It has been in wide circulation in southern Chinese and South Korean dog populations but had not been seen in North America before this year, Cornell researchers said.