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Political News

Local and State Headlines for 03-05-2021

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New program brings COVID-19 vaccine to homebound Chicagoans

An elderly couple from Portage Park received the vaccine Thursday morning.


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Discover opening call center in shuttered Target store in Chatham

"The mayor issued a call to action for Chicago companies to bring jobs directly to the communities that need them and we are answering that call," said Roger Hochschild, Discover’s CEO and president.


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Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson got secret deal from Bridgeport bank shut down for ‘massive fraud’

He bought a summer home in Michigan with an unrecorded loan from Washington Federal Bank for Savings and now is under investigation for claiming deductions on his tax returns for interest authorities found he never paid, sources tell the Sun-Times.


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Oops. Lightfoot wishes city a happy 185th birthday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted a happy birthday video Thursday on the city’s 184th birthday. The tweet was removed after the Sun-Times asked about the mistake.


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CPS parents, organizers demand elected school board

Community members are urging Mayor Lori Lightfoot to honor her campaign promise to support an elected board to oversee Chicago Public Schools.


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Lightfoot unveils search warrant reforms

No-knock warrants will be strictly prohibited except in "specific cases where lives or safety are in danger." But the attorney for the social worker targeted in a botched CPD raid said the mayor’s changes fall "woefully short."


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Wrigley Field could join United Center as mass vaccination site

But will fans be able to watch baseball in person at Wrigley — or Guaranteed Rate Field — this season? Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday said it’s going to happen, but she didn’t say how soon.


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Lightfoot says she was ‘sexually harassed in a workplace,’ sympathizes with Cuomo accusers

"Every woman who has been sexually harassed in a workplace setting, as I have been, understands how difficult it is for a woman to come forward and to speak her truth," the mayor said.


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New program helps Chicagoans manage debt, find aid — and it’s free

Financial navigators like Carolina Guzman go over residents’ debt, income and puts them on a financial plan while also finding social programs to help pay for things like utility bills and rent.


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Lightfoot loosens grip on restaurants and bars — again — to allow 50% capacity

Besides eased capacity restrictions, Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia wants restaurant employees to be vaccinated faster by including them in category 1B, which also covers grocery store workers.


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Former City Hall inspector pleads guilty to wire fraud in case tied to Carrie Austin probe

Joseph E. Garcia was accused in a 2019 indictment of submitting bogus documents and falsely claiming to have inspected home-repair projects done for low-income Chicago homeowners, giving City Hall the go-ahead to pay a contractor. 


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Johnson & Johnson’s one-and-done vaccine arriving in Chicago this week, mayor says

"We will put it to work as soon as we get it," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday. "And it gives us obviously another tool to use to get people vaccinated. So we’re excited for that opportunity."


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Bringing the COVID-19 vaccine directly to public housing senior residents is a great idea

Chicago and Cook County are doing just that. Ellyson Carter, 63, is among those who signed up despite being "a little apprehensive. But I want to be a part of what makes this nation heal."


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City Council authorizes $377 million in federal stimulus spending

Mayor Lori Lightfoot was confident she would get her way 48 hours after two City Council critics used a parliamentary maneuver to delay the vote. And she was right.


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Mortgage lending practices criticized at City Council committee hearing

Joe and Rayne Bozeman recounted a banking odyssey that took them from Chase Bank to Wintrust Bank to Rocket Mortgage — with different denial explanations at every stop.


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A Chicago summer? CPD is planning for it

The Chicago Police Department refused to say what types of major events Mayor Lightfoot is contemplating.


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Speed cameras to start churning out $35 tickets Monday under lower threshold

City Hall says the decision to start ticketing motorists caught driving 6 mph to 10 mph over the posted speed limit was triggered by a 45% surge in traffic fatalities, but Ald. Anthony Beale doesn’t buy it. It’s about generating more revenue for the city, he said.


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Chicago alderman exploring race for Illinois secretary of state

If she takes the plunge, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) would join a field of candidates that includes City Clerk Anna Valencia and former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough is also considering a run.


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Community protests relocation of South Side tower ladder truck

The Chicago Fire Department says the truck is being moved as part of an effort to improve overall fire coverage of the South Side.


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Retiring fire commissioner sounds the alarm about surge in fire fatalities

Chicago ended 2020 with 22 fire deaths, half as many as in 2019. But as of Feb. 25 there have been 13 fire fatalities this year. That alarms retiring Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II.


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Lightfoot says she’s heard demands of hunger strikers — which now include Ald. Sigcho López

The mayor says she wants to improve environmental conditions on the Southeast Side but wouldn’t immediately agree to deny the metal shredder’s permit.


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Burke, Lopez use parliamentary maneuver to delay vote on federal stimulus funds

After aldermen Edward Burke (14th) and Ray Lopez (15th) moved to postpone a vote on CARES Act funding, Lightfoot adjourned Wednesday’s meeting and summoned the City Council back at 3 p.m. Friday.


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Lightfoot caught on a hot mic again — this time, using profanity during City Council meeting

As Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez concluded remarks on a Black History Month resolution, Lightfoot can be heard muttering, "You’ve got to be f---ing kidding me." Lightfoot quickly texted Sanchez, telling her the profane remark had nothing to do with what the alderman was saying.


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Demolition surcharge proposed to preserve affordable housing in Pilsen, along 606 trail

The plan proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot would impose a $15,000 surcharge for demolishing a "detached house, townhouse or two-flat" and a $5,000-per-unit fee for tearing down "multi-unit residential buildings."


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Black women aldermen want ban on no-knock warrants, other changes to avoid repeat of botched raid on social worker’s home

Anjanette Young thanked the aldermen for championing her cause in a way that will "foster a better sense of safety for all families in Black and Brown communities."


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Kim Foxx won’t oppose parole bid of man who killed a Chicago cop in 1967, reversing her past stance

The state’s attorney’s changed position regarding Joseph Hurst’s release marks the second time in less than a year she’s done that in a case involving a convicted cop-killer.


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Zoning Committee approves watered-down smoke detector ordinance

The ordinance backed by Ald. Gilbert Villegas stalled last year amid opposition from Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II and Public Safety Committee Chairman Chris Taliaferro. But after Villegas made some changes, it passed.


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Activists call on city to provide homes for homeless

"Many people are one paycheck away from being homeless, this is horrifying...this is a fight for every Chicagoan to take seriously," said Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th).


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Federal appeals court tosses $44.7M judgment against city in shooting that left man severely disabled

A jury in 2017 found that onetime Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly shot his friend, Michael LaPorta, while off-duty. But the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Kelly "was not acting as a Chicago police officer but as a private citizen" when LaPorta was shot.


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Lightfoot signs revised Welcoming City ordinance

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) led the campaign to eliminate exceptions in the ordinance that had allowed Chicago police officers to cooperate with federal immigration officials in some situations.


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Lightfoot goes to bat for U.S. Attorney John Lausch, wants him to stay in job for now

The mayor says she’s told the White House Lausch has done a "terrific job" as top federal prosecutor in Chicago and it makes "zero sense" to replace him, particularly headed into the usual summer spike in violent crime.


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Alderman calls ‘random’ attack by two men a case of mistaken identity

Ald. Brendan Reilly says he was standing outside Boss Bar, 420 N. Clark St., Thursday night when a man yelled at him from the street. The next thing the alderman knew, the man was trying to punch him in the head.