Tag Archive: Chicago


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People Are Waking Up to the Dark Side of American Policing, and Cops Don’t Like It One Bit

Pushing back against a creeping police state.

If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming — and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do.

 

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The humble sergeant thought nobody would know about the kind act.

When he saw a man in need, this humble cop decided to help without expecting any recognition in return.

Sgt. Brendan Hagarty of the Chicago Police Department in Illinois was having lunch at a Chipotle restaurant in early September when he saw a man picking through the trash outside, Hagarty told The Huffington Post. The officer tapped on the window to get the man’s attention, ushered him inside and bought him food.

The interaction was caught on camera by Rachel Mitchell, who posted it to Facebook. It later went viral when a country music radio station, as well as Hagarty’s own department shared the posts. The pictures have received more than 10,000 shares and over 26,000 likes on the police department’s Facebook page alone.

019th District Town Hall – Sergeant Hagarty
Leading by Example

A quote posted on social media, Facebook…
Rachel Mitchell – “So today I saw something that made my day. This Chicago Police officer was sitting at a window seat at Chipotle, outside the window he saw a homeless man digging through the trash. The cop knocked on the window, getting the homeless man’s attention. Through the glass he asked the man if he was hungry. The man nodded yes, and the cop motioned for him to c

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Chicago Police Department's photo.
  • Steve Eagan, Lani Yost Lawson, Sue Self and 27,178 others like this.

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On Wednesday, Zeus, a young pit bull, was rescued from the Chicago, Ill., Animal Care and Control.

Zeus’ photo was posted on Facebook on Tuesday, along with a plea for help. Zeus’ family had left him at the animal control facility and he was heartbroken about being left behind.

Zeus was listed as “rescue only,” and there was great concern for his safety.

On Wednesday, I received the following email containing wonderful news:

I picked Zeus up this afternoon for CPR Fund K9 Rescue. He will be boarding at our vet’s office (Forest South Animal Hospital in University Park, IL) until his foster mom returns from vacation on March 7th. He’s a super sweet dog who loved the car ride and thoroughly enjoyed being scratched behind the ears. I have included a few pictures from his freedom ride.

 

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MSN

More snow is ahead for residents of northern New England a day after a fast-moving storm dumped about a foot on many communities, but rain and warmer temperatures could present problems in other states.

A worker is reflected in a building facade as he clears snow from the sidewalk in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. It was expected to drop 3 to 5 inches of snow on Boston, with 6 to 10 inches forecast for parts of Northern New England, before moving out late Tuesday and early Wednesday. (AP Photo | Michael Dwyer)

A worker is reflected in a building facade as he clears snow from the sidewalk in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. It was expected to drop 3 to 5 inches of snow on Boston, with 6 to 10 inches forecast for parts of Northern New England, before moving out late Tuesday and early Wednesday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — More snow is ahead for residents of northern New England a day after a fast-moving storm brought about a foot to many communities, but rain and warmer temperatures could present new problems for other states.

A rain and snow mixture is possible Wednesday along the northern New England coast, but inland communities could see between 1 and 4 inches of snow, said Eric Schwibs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

That’s far less than the 12 inches of snow reported Tuesday night in New Boston, N.H., or the nearly 10 inches that fell in Kennebunk, Maine. There were no immediate reports of any major traffic messes caused by the weather.

MSN Weather: Check your local weather forecast

MSN Weather: Rock salt supply at critical low

Elsewhere in the country, as warmer temperatures bring rain and melt snow, concerns are being raised about the potential for flooding and collapsing roofs.

In Chicago, the weather service says people who live along rivers and in flood prone areas should prepare for possible flooding as the mounds of snow in yards and along streets melt.

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NBC News

Flooding Woes are on Tap for Snow-Buried Midwest

Winter’s woes aren’t just about severe storms and bitter cold — there’s still freezing rain and melting snow to grapple with.

Nasty thunderstorms will target the Ohio Valley on Thursday and could bring an inch-and-a-half of rain and create extreme flooding conditions in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, according to forecasts. A flood watch has been issued across Illinois.

“The great melt has started,” National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hirsch told NBC News.

Aside from the rain, warmer temperatures are moving in, which will speed the melt. Chicago, for instance, could hit a high of 50 degrees Thursday, forecasts say. The Windy City endured a 52-day stretch of below-freezing temperatures this winter, keeping the the accumulated snow firmly in place.

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Updated yesterday at 8:14 PM

SEATTLE — There are over 20 cities in Washington State that use red light cameras and they’re split between two different vendors. In Seattle it’s American Traffic Solutions. The other is a company called Redflex.

Whether you consider them big brother or an electronic cop that can watch dangerous intersections all day every day, traffic cameras are controversial.

One of the things that make them that way is perception over the money they generate, which in our state is $124 a ticket.

Watchdog organizations like bancams.com say profits for the companies are a big incentive to win contracts with cities at any cost. And in Chicago allegations are swirling around a scandal involving Redflex and how far some company sales employees were willing to go to win millions in business.

So what does that have to do with Washington State?

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Fired photo radar exec. says he bribed Colorado officials

by 13News Now, Trevor Hughs/The Coloradoan

WVEC.com

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Updated today at 5:10 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH — A former top executive of the company that runs red-light and speed-camera systems in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News says he and others gave “lavish gifts and bribes” to government officials in Colorado and elsewhere to secure and retain their business.

None of the three cities say they’ve received anything from Redflex, the Arizona-based company that runs the city’s camera-radar systems. The contracts between Redflex and the three cities were not available on Friday, but Virginia Beach says its contract for the current fiscal year tops $700,000.

According to legal documents, former Redflex Executive Vice President Aaron Rosenberg says he and his bosses routinely gave out everything from sporting-event tickets to rounds of golf and meals to government officials in charge of deciding whether to hire and retain the company.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Flu viruses are spreading in Illinois and the leading strain detected in lab tests is H1N1, the same strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.

Health officials say statewide flu activity is “regional,” which is a step below “widespread.” That means the flu has been confirmed in less than half the regions of the state.

In Chicago, hospitals are reporting an increase in emergency room visit from people with flu-like symptoms. But levels are half what they were during the same week last season.

“It’s been very quiet, very much in the background,” Paul Schreckenberger, microbiologist, said of the strain. “Then all of the sudden this year, starting last week, we’ve had a big upsurge of the 2009 pandemic strain.”

 

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Trial to examine if Detroit eligible in bankruptcy

The Miami Herald

FILE – This Oct. 24, 2012 file photo shows a graffiti-marked abandoned home north of downtown Detroit, in background. Thousands of Detroit streetlights are dark, many more residents have fled. Donors are replacing ambulances that limped around for 200,000 miles. Detroit’s bankruptcy case is going to trial, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2013, and the result will determine whether the city can reshape itself in the largest public bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Carlos Osorio, File / AP Photo

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Associated Press

The city of Detroit for months has disclosed the awful condition of its finances. Now it’s up to a judge to determine if the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history really can go forward.

An unusual trial starts Wednesday, pitting Detroit’s emergency manager and his legal team against unions and pension funds that claim the city isn’t qualified to scrub its books clean under Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

A city isn’t eligible for a bankruptcy makeover unless it shows that key steps were met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. It’s a critical decision for Judge Steven Rhodes: If Detroit clears the hurdle, the case then would quickly turn to how to solve at least $18 billion in debt and get city government off the ropes.

“It’s a crucial point in the case,” said lawyer Chuck Tatelbaum, a bankruptcy expert in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “There will be others, but this is the go or no-go. … If there was ever a poster child for what Congress decided when they enacted Chapter 9, it’s for a city like this.”

Jim Spiotto, a bankruptcy expert in Chicago, said it’s “virtually impossible” to argue that Detroit is solvent.

“They’re not paying their debts,” he said. “Look at their blighted areas. Look at their services.”

Nonetheless, unions and pension funds are challenging Detroit on the eligibility question. They claim emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who acquired nearly unfettered control over city finances following his appointment by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, was not genuinely interested in negotiating when they met with his team in June and July. Orr insists pension funds are short $3.5 billion and health coverage also needs to be overhauled.

 

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Detroit faces crucial trial three months after bankruptcy filing

An unusual trial starting Wednesday to determine whether Detroit may scrub its books in the largest public bankruptcy in US history

  • theguardian.com, Tuesday 22 October 2013 14.27 EDT
Detroit river

Detroit isn’t eligible for a makeover unless a judge finds that key steps have been met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters

Thousands of Detroit streetlights are dark. Many more residents have fled. Donors are replacing ambulances that limped around for 200,000 miles. Millions in debt payments have been skipped.

Is there really any doubt the city is broke?

A judge starts exploring that question Wednesday in an unusual trial to determine whether Detroit indeed is eligible to scrub its books in the largest public bankruptcy in US history. Unions and pension funds are claiming the city failed to negotiate in good faith before filing for chapter 9 protection in July.

A city isn’t eligible for a makeover unless a judge finds that key steps have been met, especially good-faith talks with creditors earlier this year. It’s a critical decision: If Detroit clears the hurdle, the case would quickly turn to how to solve at least $18bn in debt and get city government out of intensive care.

“It’s a crucial point in the case,” said lawyer Chuck Tatelbaum, a bankruptcy expert in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “There will be others, but this is the go or no-go … If there was ever a poster child for what Congress decided when they enacted chapter 9, it’s for a city like this.”

Jim Spiotto, another bankruptcy expert in Chicago, said it’s “virtually impossible” to argue that Detroit is solvent.

“They’re not paying their debts,” he said. “Look at their blighted areas. Look at their services.”

Nonetheless, unions and pension funds are challenging Detroit on the eligibility question. They claim emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who acquired nearly unfettered control over city finances following his appointment by Michigan governor Rick Snyder, was not genuinely interested in negotiating when they met with his team in June and July. Orr insists pension funds are short $3.5bn and health coverage also needs to be overhauled.

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 Deonta (pronounced Deontay) Howard, 3, was shot in Cornell Square Park, Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. (@photojeskos/Twitter)

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King 5  .com

13 wounded in late-night attack on Chicago park

13 wounded in late-night attack on Chicago park

Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A police officer stands guard outside a home where a man was shot in the chest in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city’s Westside on September 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. At least 20 people have been reported shot in the city, including at least one fatally, in less than an eight-hour period Thursday evening through early Friday morning.

by HERBERT G. MCCANN / Associated Press

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Updated today at 8:02 AM

CHICAGO — A 3-year-old boy who was among 13 people wounded in a late-night attack on a southwest Chicago park was alert when he arrived at the hospital and was apparently doing well, his family and friends said early Friday.

The attack late Thursday in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood left three victims, including the boy, in critical condition. The others were reportedly in serious or fair condition.

The child’s uncle, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men in a gray sedan shot at him Thursday night before turning toward nearby Cornell Square Park and opening fire. He said his nephew was shot in the cheek.

“They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house,” Harris said. “They’ve been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It’s what they do.”

Police officials declined to discuss details of the investigation. Ron Gaines, a department spokesman, said no arrests had been made and that victims were being interviewed to try to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack, which happened shortly after 10 p.m.

The shooting comes nearly three weeks after Chicago saw an outburst of violence over the Labor Day weekend that ended with eight dead and 20 others injured. Chicago’s police superintendent has said that overall violence is down so far this year compared to 2012, when the number of homicides topped 500 for the first time since 2008.

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Chicago shooting: 13 wounded in late-night attack

A three-year-old boy and two other minors among 13 people wounded in a late-night attack in a southwest Chicago park

Chicago shootings

Chicago detectives at the scene where 12 people, including a three-year-old, were reportedly shot in a city park on the South Side. Photograph: Paul Beaty/AP

A three-year-old boy who was among 13 people wounded in a late-night attack on a southwest Chicago park was alert when he arrived at the hospital and was apparently doing well, his family and friends said early Friday.

The attack late Thursday in the city’s Back of the Yards neighbourhood left three victims, including the boy, in critical condition. The others were reportedly in serious or fair condition.

The child’s uncle, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men in a gray sedan shot at him Thursday night before turning toward nearby Cornell Square Park and opening fire. He said his nephew was shot in the cheek.

“They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house,” Harris said. “They’ve been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It’s what they do.”

Police officials declined to discuss details of the investigation. Ron Gaines, a department spokesman, said no arrests had been made and that victims were being interviewed to try to determine the circumstances surrounding the attack, which happened shortly after 10 pm.

Officer Amina Greer said at least 10 ambulances responded to the scene and took victims to several area hospitals. One victim transported himself to a hospital, police said.

Among the 13 victims were at least two other minors, ages 15 and 17.

The 3-year-old boy was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. Hospital officials declined to disclose his condition, but fire officials said the boy’s condition was critical.

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Published on Aug 5, 2013

The world’s first test-tube burger has been revealed in London and tasted by two lucky volunteers who seemed to quite like it! Scientist-turned-chef Professor Mark Post produced the burger from 20,000 tiny strips of meat grown from cow stem cells. The lab-grown 5oz (142g) patty cost £250,000 to produce was fried in a little sunflower oil and butter by leading chef Richard McGeown.

Nutritional scientist Hanni Rutzler said the burger tasted “close to meat” but that it was “not that juicy”. Report by Ashley Fudge.

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Google’s Sergey Brin bankrolled world’s first synthetic beef hamburger

The billionaire co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, said he invested €250,000 in the technology for animal welfare reasons

Link to video: Google burger: Sergey Brin explains why he funded world’s first lab-grown beef hamburger The man who has bankrolled the production of the world’s first lab-grown hamburger has been revealed as Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The internet entrepreneur has backed the project to the tune of €250,000 (£215,000), allowing scientists to grow enough meat in the lab to create a burger – as a proof of concept – that will be cooked and eaten in London on Monday.

Brin, a computer scientist who set up Google with university colleague Larry Page, is one of the wealthiest men in the world and has a history of backing projects that sound as though they belong in science fiction movies.

The pair have teamed up with film director James Cameron and others to investigate mining asteroids, and Brin is an investor in the private spaceflight company Space Adventures, which is selling $100m (£65m) trips to the moon. Google is also developing driverless cars and its philanthropic arm, Google.org, has invested in green energy projects.

“It’s really just proof of concept right now, we’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger,” said Brin in a film to mark the tasting event in London. “From there I’m optimistic that we can really scale by leaps and bounds.”

The synthetic meat hamburger will be cooked and eaten at an event this afternoon. Among the tasters will be the Chicago-based author of Taste of Tomorrow, Josh Schonwald, and an Austrian food trends researcher, Hanni Rützler of the Future Food Studio.

Brin said that he was moved to invest in the technology for animal welfare reasons. People had an erroneous image of modern meat production, he said, imagining “pristine farms” with just a few animals in them. “When you see how these cows are treated, it’s certainly something I’m not comfortable with.”

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Earth Watch Report  –  Power  Outage – Storms



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25.06.2013 Power Outage USA State of Nebraska, Omaha Damage level Details

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Power Outage in USA on Monday, 24 June, 2013 at 18:02 (06:02 PM) UTC.

Description
A severe thunderstorm hit the Omaha metro area around 10 am packing 70 mph winds and heavy rain. Those strong winds downed trees, power lines and caused outages throughout Douglas and Sarpy Counties. There are reports of trees down all over the city blocking streets and bringing down power lines. Omaha Fire Department units are busy responding to calls of smoldering tree limbs on power lines. Omaha Public Power District perhaps has the biggest job ahead of them. Nearly 50,000 customers are without service. Loss of service also means traffic lights are not working and that is causing backups throughout the entire metro area. The storm also impacted Council Bluffs and most intersections there are also four-way stops. There were reports of trees down at several locations in that city as well. MidAmerican Energy is reporting is reporting that about 5,000 customers are without service.

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‘Intense’ morning storm causes power outages, tree damage around Omaha

 

 

 

A summer storm that blasted through the Omaha metropolitan area Monday morning downing trees and power lines came about when several thunderstorms joined forces about 4 a.m. in eastern Nebraska.

Frank Strait, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, The World-Herald’s private weather consultant, said forecasters had been predicting chances of thunderstorms, but they “were caught off guard” by the strength of the severe weather.

“We knew there was a good chance of thunderstorms popping up, but what we got was a cluster of thunderstorms organizing into a squall line with high winds in the eastern part of the state,” Strait said. “That made everything more intense.”

More photos: Storm damages trees around Omaha

Scott Dergan, of the National Weather Service in Valley, said the storm began with winds of 40 mph on the western edge of Douglas County about 10 a.m. By the time the storm reached Eppley Airfield on the eastern boundary of the county 45 minutes later, winds there were clocked at 69 mph.

The storm continued through Iowa, with Harlan reporting winds of 75 mph, Dergan said. The line of thunderstorms was expected to hit Chicago late Monday or early Tuesday.

“A lot of times storms like this take time to brew before they get what we call water loaded, and then they accelerate,” Dergan said. “It was nothing specific about the metro area such as the urban heat island effect. It was just Mother Nature.”

 

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