Mary's Feed
Jun 8, 2015

Former U.S. House Speaker Hastert hires top D.C. defense lawyer

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A high-profile Washington, D.C., defense
attorney will represent former U.S. House of Representatives
Speaker Dennis Hastert on criminal charges he tried to hide $3.5
million in payments he was making to conceal past misconduct,
the attorney’s law firm confirmed on Monday.

Thomas Green of Sidley Austin will represent Hastert, 73,
according to Carter Phillips, chair of Sidley’s executive
committee. The former lawmaker will be arraigned on Tuesday in
U.S. District Court in Chicago, the court’s website says.

Jun 6, 2015

Chicago opens bike-pedestrian trail on old rail bed

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A nearly three-mile strip of land that once carried freight trains through Chicago’s Northwest Side opens on Saturday as an elevated park, with room for walking and bicycling.

The “Bloomingdale Trail” will connect six new parks, four of which have been completed. The entire park and trail system is named the “606,” after the first three digits of city zip codes.

Jun 3, 2015

Two years on, empty schools pose tough sell for Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Sitting at the dead end of a west side Chicago street, the vacant Ward elementary school is a gloomy sight.

The three-story building has boarded up windows and graffiti. Dandelions poke through cracks in the parking lot. Two concrete playground turtles, their paint fading, provide seats for drug users, neighbors say.

Jun 1, 2015

Ex-House Speaker Hastert due in court on federal charges on Thursday

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert will appear in a Chicago court on Thursday to face federal charges related to his alleged effort to hide $3.5 million in payments he was making to conceal past misconduct.

Hastert, 73, will appear at 10 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) before U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin, according to court records updated on Monday.

Jun 1, 2015

Dennis Hastert to appear in court on federal charges on Thursday

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert will appear in a Chicago court on Thursday to face federal charges related to his alleged effort to hide $3.5 million in payments he was making to a person to conceal past misconduct, a court official said on Monday.

Hastert, 73, will appear at 10 a.m. (11 a.m. EDT) to be arraigned on charges including lying to the FBI, according to Sandy Newland, a courtroom deputy for U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin.

May 21, 2015

Illinois lawmakers pass marijuana decriminalization bill

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Illinois Senate on Thursday passed a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, sending it to the governor for signature.

The bill, which passed 37-19 vote, makes possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana a civil law violation punishable by a $125 fine. Individuals will not face jail time.

May 20, 2015

McDonald’s, other fast-food workers, protest ahead of annual meeting

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Thousands of McDonald’s workers seeking a minimum wage of $15 per hour and the right to unionize are expected to swarm the fast-food giant’s headquarters for two days of protests that will coincide with the fast-food chain’s annual meeting on Thursday.

Protests by low-wage fast-food and retail workers have helped fuel a national debate about pay levels. Companies such as McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are raising starting pay and cities like Seattle and Chicago are boosting their respective minimum wages over time.

May 19, 2015

Psychologist to head Chicago jail, nation’s second largest

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A clinical psychologist will be appointed head of Chicago’s Cook County Jail, the nation’s second-largest jail where a third of the inmates are mentally ill, officials announced on Tuesday.

Nneka Jones Tapia will become executive director of the jail on May 26, county officials said. Tapia, who has been with the sheriff’s office since 2013 and oversees mental health strategy, replaces Cara Smith, who will become chief strategy officer for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

May 15, 2015

Chicago Mayor Emanuel names Carole Brown as city’s new CFO

CHICAGO, May 15 (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on
Friday named Carole Brown, a managing director at Barclays
, as chief financial officer for the financially
troubled city.

Brown, who heads Barclays’ Midwest municipal practice,
replaces outgoing CFO Lois Scott. Brown had previously served as
chair of the Chicago Transit Authority board.

May 14, 2015

Illinois lawmakers reject right-to-work, send message to governor

By Fiona Ortiz and Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – Illinois Democratic lawmakers rejected their own
right-to-work bill on Thursday in a symbolic vote meant to send
a message to Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who says he wants
union membership to be voluntary.

Powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan sponsored the
designed-to-fail bill, which House Republican Leader Jim Durkin
decried as a “sham” aimed at undermining Rauner’s call for
bipartisan solutions to Illinois’ deep financial crisis.