Mary's Feed
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.

May 14, 2015

Filmmaker Spike Lee defends his planned film on Chicago violence

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Movie director Spike Lee, known for films that deal frankly with racial issues, appeared in Chicago on Thursday to defend his planned movie about the city, after its reported title, “Chiraq,” was criticized by local politicians.

Speaking at a South Side church and surrounded by African-American mothers carrying pictures of children killed in street violence, Lee said artists hold up a mirror to society and are not afraid to tell the truth.

May 13, 2015

Missouri passes right-to-work bill, but governor’s veto expected

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – Missouri Republican lawmakers passed a bill on
Wednesday that would stop workers from being required to join a
union or pay dues, but without enough votes to override an
expected veto by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.

By a 92-66 vote, the Missouri House of Representatives
approved the measure that would allow Missouri to join 25 other
states with “right-to-work” laws.

May 12, 2015

Obama presidential library will be built in Chicago

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Barack Obama’s presidential library will be built in his hometown of Chicago, the Obama Foundation announced on Tuesday.

Chicago beat out proposals by New York City and Hawaii to host the facility.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization that conducted the site-selection process and will oversee the development and building of the library, has not decided on its exact location, but it is expected to be in one of two parks near the University of Chicago’s main campus.

May 8, 2015

U.S. appeals court overturns sabotage conviction against nun

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A U.S. appellate court on Friday overturned
sabotage convictions against an elderly nun and two other peace
activists for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear defense facility
in 2012.

Megan Rice, 85, was sentenced to three years for the
break-in at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, an
incident that embarrassed U.S. officials and prompted security
changes.

May 5, 2015

Chicago asks school teachers to take 7 percent pay cut: union

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three years after a public school strike, Chicago teacher contract talks are off to a rocky start, with the debt-burdened district demanding a 7 percent pay cut, union officials said on Tuesday.

The Chicago Teachers Union said in a statement it was “highly insulted” by the district’s demands, which include increases in health insurance premiums. The current contract expires on June 30.

May 1, 2015

Missouri lawyer said former hospital may have stolen black babies

By Mary Wisniewski

(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.