Mary's Feed
Mar 24, 2015

Three arrested as Chicago protesters demand police reforms

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three people were arrested on Tuesday at a protest at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office while demanding reforms to the nation’s second largest police department, including an end to what they consider excessive use of “stop and frisk” searches.

A group of about 100 protesters – which included several clergy members – chanted “Black Lives Matter,” sang “We Shall Overcome,” and lay down in front of the mayor’s City Hall office until staff agreed to meet with some of them.

Mar 23, 2015

Indiana House passes controversial ‘religious freedom’ bill

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – A controversial Indiana bill that could protect
business owners who don’t want to provide services for same-sex
couples moved closer to law on Monday, after passage by the
state’s House.

Senate Bill 101, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration
Act,” was approved by the Republican-controlled House by 63-31.
A version was previously passed by the Republican-controlled
Senate, and Republican Governor Mike Pence has indicated support
for it.

Mar 23, 2015

Rooftop bar owners argue Chicago Cubs’ signs would kill business

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Owners of rooftop venues with views into Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field asked a federal judge on Monday to block the Chicago Cubs baseball team from putting up signs over right field, saying they would block views and destroy their businesses.

The businesses sell tickets to eat, drink and watch the ballgame to fans on top of residential buildings outside the 101-year-old ballpark. They have permission under a 2004 contract which requires them to pay the Cubs 17 percent of their revenue.

Mar 22, 2015

Woman fatally stabbed while visiting at Chicago area hospital

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago suburban police are investigating the stabbing death of a woman by a family member while both were visiting a patient at a hospital on Sunday.

The 42-year-old woman was attacked by a 44-year-old man at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. The suspect was immediately taken into custody without incident and is being cooperative, according to Elk Grove Village Police.

Mar 20, 2015

Illinois man freed after 20 years in prison gets $20 million

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An Illinois man who was freed from prison after 20 years for a murder he did not commit was awarded $20 million in a settlement – the highest individual settlement ever given in a wrongful conviction case, his lawyers said on Friday.

Juan Rivera, 42, was cleared by DNA evidence of the 1992 rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker in Waukegan, a city about 40 miles north of Chicago.

Mar 19, 2015

Former Illinois state lawmaker sentenced to 8 years for child porn

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a former Illinois state lawmaker to eight years in prison for sending child pornography through office computers, rejecting a request that the critically ill man be allowed to die at home.

Former Democratic Illinois State Representative Keith Farnham, 67, of Elgin, has pulmonary fibrosis and is expected to have only a few months to live, according to court documents. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang rejected a defense request that Farnham be allowed to remain on electronic home detention for six months to give him the chance to die at home.

Mar 18, 2015

Chicago City Council votes to transfer parkland for Obama library

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Chicago City Council, hoping to boost the chances of landing President Barack Obama’s presidential library for his hometown, on Wednesday unanimously approved the use of land in two parks near the president’s home.

The land is near the University of Chicago and would be transferred if the school’s bid for the presidential library is accepted. Obama was a law professor at the university before his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Mar 18, 2015

U.S. Presbyterian Church approves same-sex marriage amendment

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – The U.S. Presbyterian Church on Tuesday approved a change in the wording of its constitution to include same-sex marriage, a move which threatens to further splinter one of the largest U.S. mainline Protestant denominations.

A majority of the 171 regional “presbyteries,” or local leadership bodies of the church, have now voted to change the wording of the constitution to define marriage as a commitment “between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

Mar 17, 2015

U.S. Presbyterian Church close to accepting same-sex marriage

March 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Presbyterian Church was close
on Tuesday to approving a change in the wording of its
constitution to include same-sex marriage, a move which
threatens to further splinter one of the largest U.S. mainline
Protestant denominations.

The 171 regional “presbyteries” or local leadership bodies
of the church have been voting on whether to change the wording
to call marriage a contract “between a woman and a man” to being
“between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

Mar 17, 2015

Missouri set to execute brain-damaged man who killed deputy

By Mary Wisniewski

(Reuters) – Missouri is set to execute the convicted killer
of a sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday over objections from his
lawyers who say a sawmill accident decades ago cost him part of
his brain and made him ineligible for the death penalty.

Cecil Clayton, 74, of southwest Missouri, is scheduled to
die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. CDT at a Missouri state
prison. He would be the second inmate executed in Missouri this
year and the 10th in the country.