Mary's Feed
Jun 18, 2015

Hastert defense attorney complains about leaks to judge

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A defense attorney for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert complained to a federal judge on Thursday about leaks to the media, which he said could interfere with his client’s right to a fair trial on money transaction charges.

Hastert has pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to hide cash transactions and lying to the FBI about it. The Illinois Republican allegedly paid close to $2 million to an individual to conceal past misconduct. Media reports have said the misconduct involved sexual contact with a male student while he was a teacher and coach in the 1960s and 1970s.

Jun 18, 2015

Hundreds of thousands jam downtown Chicago for Hawks parade

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – The streets and sidewalks of downtown Chicago were a sea of red Thursday as hundreds of thousands of fans streamed in for the victory parade and rally to celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship – the third for the National Hockey League team in six years.

Fans bunched up behind metal barricades, screaming “Go Hawks,” blowing horns and holding up miniature versions of the silver cup – an hour before the Hawks’ players were due to arrive in double-decker buses.

Jun 17, 2015

Pope’s climate change encyclical could sway U.S. opinion: scientists

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Some U.S. scientists are expressing hope that Pope Francis’ encyclical on global warming embracing the view that it is mostly caused by human activities will change public opinion in the United States, where the issue is highly politicized.

Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe said the pope’s document is important because more facts alone will not convince climate change skeptics.

Jun 17, 2015
via FaithWorld

Ahead of pope’s climate message, U.S. Catholics split on cause of global warming


(A sign advising to pray for rain hangs above an exhibit area at the 47th Annual World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, February 12, 2014. The expo takes place as a third year of drought plagues California farmers with the driest year on record. REUTERS/David McNew)

Ahead of Pope Francis’ much-anticipated encyclical on the environment, a poll released on Tuesday found that U.S. Catholics are divided on the causes of global warming, mirroring the views of the general public.

Jun 15, 2015

Chicago judge grants request to keep some Hastert evidence secret

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge in Chicago on Monday
granted a request by prosecutors to keep secret some of their
evidence in the case against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis
Hastert, who pleaded not guilty last week to charges of trying
to hide cash transactions and lying to the FBI about it.

Hastert allegedly paid close to $2 million to an individual
to conceal past misconduct, which reportedly was sexual contact
with a male student while he was a teacher and coach in the
1960s and 1970s.

Jun 11, 2015

Judge who contributed $1,500 to Hastert campaign to stay on case

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Attorneys for former U.S. House of
Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert and prosecutors agreed on
Thursday to allow a federal judge who contributed $1,500 to his
campaigns more than a decade ago to stay on the case.

The attorneys said in court filings there was no conflict of
interest in allowing U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin to
preside over the case in which Hastert is accused of trying to
hide large cash transactions and lying to the FBI about it.

Jun 10, 2015

Chicago police union fights policy banning visible tattoos

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The union representing Chicago police officers is fighting a new uniform policy, set to begin on Friday, that requires officers with visible tattoos to cover them up, a union official said on Wednesday.

The directive comes just as the nation’s third-largest city begins to swelter under high heat and humidity, and the Fraternal Order of Police has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, said FOP President Dean Angelo.

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.