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Nov 14, 2014

Jane Byrne, Chicago’s first female mayor, dies

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Jane Byrne, Chicago’s first and so-far only female mayor, died at age 81 on Friday, according to city officials.

The cause of her death was not immediately known, but her daughter told the Chicago Tribune that she had been in hospice care amid failing health.

Nov 13, 2014

Chicago parks group sues over planned George Lucas museum

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago parks protection group sued the city on Thursday over a planned museum by “Star Wars” filmmaker George Lucas, saying the site is on a lakefront spot that cannot be handed over to a private entity.

The Friends of the Parks said in its federal lawsuit that the proposed “Lucas Museum of Narrative Art,” which will include artifacts from his hit science fiction film series, violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clause.

Nov 12, 2014

Chicago expected to pass law to stem redevelopment of cheap hotels

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Chicago City Council is expected to pass an ordinance on Wednesday that will make it tougher to redevelop single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels, which advocates say will protect residents from homelessness.

Hotel residents are often disabled, veterans or seniors on fixed incomes. Advocates for the poor say that over 2,000 SRO units have been lost to redevelopment in gentrifying neighborhoods in the past three years, forcing some residents onto the streets.

Nov 6, 2014

Chicago Archdiocese will release files on 36 abusive priests

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago said it will release on Thursday internal files of 36 priests who church officials found had sexually abused children.

The files were to be released online at 9 a.m. CST, the archdiocese said in a statement. Together with other documents released earlier this year, they were expected to show how the archdiocese dealt with abuse allegations during the past six decades.

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

Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks between Chicago skyscrapers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Daredevil Nik Wallenda broke two world records on Sunday with two high-wire walks between Chicago skyscrapers without a net or harness, doing the second walk blindfolded.

To the cheers of a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands on streets below, Wallenda spoke cheerfully of the view as he walked the wire over the Chicago River. As he approached the end of the first walk he said, “God is in control.”

Nov 2, 2014

Daredevil Nik Wallenda to walk blindfolded between Chicago skyscrapers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Daredevil Nik Wallenda plans a high-wire walk between Chicago skyscrapers on Sunday evening without net or harness – and will make part of the trek blindfolded.

“I’m always pushing myself both physically and emotionally,” Wallenda, 35, said in a statement. “I hope to inspire people around the world and show that the impossible is not so impossible if you set your mind to it.”

Oct 31, 2014

Illinois mother, three kids killed in crash heading to Halloween parade

CHICAGO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – A mother and three of her
children on their way to a Halloween parade were killed and a
fourth child seriously injured when their vehicle was hit by a
freight train in southern Illinois, police said on Friday.

The accident happened on Thursday night in Vandalia, a town
of roughly 7,000 people located about 70 miles northeast of St.
Louis, just minutes ahead of a Halloween parade that draws many
visitors, said Vandalia Police Chief Jeff Ray.

Oct 31, 2014

Despite history, Chicago gangster Capone’s home languishes on market

CHICAGO (Reuters) – It could be the perfect place for a Halloween Party – the Chicago house that once belonged to the notorious Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone. And it’s for sale.

But despite its possible attraction for history buffs, the house where Capone lived with his family on Chicago’s south side has sat on the market for over 800 days.

Oct 31, 2014

Three Illinois siblings killed in crash before Halloween parade

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three siblings on their way to a Halloween parade were killed and their mother and brother seriously injured when their vehicle was hit by a freight train in southern Illinois, police said on Friday.

The accident happened on Thursday night in Vandalia, a town of roughly 7,000 people located about 70 miles northeast of St. Louis, just minutes ahead of a Halloween parade that draws many visitors, said Vandalia Police Chief Jeff Ray.