<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usSat, 23 Sep 2017 15:16:19 -0500Sat, 23 Sep 2017 15:16:19 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cubs' Central Division Clinching Scenarios]]> Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:48:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-852051434.jpg

The Chicago Cubs have won nine of their last 10 games, and they are zeroing in on their second straight division title and third straight playoff appearance.

The key to the team’s surge has been a winning streak against the teams chasing them in the National League Central, as they’ve won two straight games against the Milwaukee Brewers and recently swept a three game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

With their division lead sitting at five games and their magic number sitting at five, fans are asking themselves: when can the Cubs clinch the division title?

If everything falls to plan, the earliest the Cubs can clinch is on Monday when they take on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Two more wins against the Brewers would eliminate them from Central Division contention, and would at a minimum drop the Cubs’ magic number in the Central to three.

That’s where the Pittsburgh Pirates come in. Assuming Cubs victories, if the Pirates beat the Cardinals even once out of the next two games at PNC Park, the Cubs would come into Busch Stadium with a magic number of two, and just one win in the four game series against St. Louis would clinch the division title for the Cubs.

Best Case Scenario:

The ultimate best case scenario would occur If the Cubs win both games and the Cardinals lose both of their games this weekend. In that scenario, the Cubs would come into Busch Stadium having clinched at least a share of the NL Central title, meaning that just one more Cubs win or one more Cardinals loss would wrap up the division for Chicago.

Worst Case Scenario:

As for the absolute worst case scenario, the Cubs could go into St. Louis with the magic number still sitting at five if they lose both games against Milwaukee and if St. Louis sweeps the Pirates. In that scenario, the Cubs could clinch no earlier than Wednesday, and they would need to win their first three games against the Cardinals AND for the Brewers to lose their first two games against the Cincinnati Reds next week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Exposed Himself Near Northwest Side Day Care: Police]]> Sat, 23 Sep 2017 10:49:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Day+Care+Center+Photo+cpd.png

Police are searching for a man who exposed himself near a day care on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

Authorities said the same offender exposed himself to someone on two separate occasions several months apart.

Both incidents occurred near the intersection of North and California avenues in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood, according to a community alert from Chicago police.

The most recent incident took place around 10:18 a.m. on Sept. 15.

That same man also exposed himself in the area sometime between May 22 and June 22 earlier this year, an event that was previously unreported until the man showed up again last week, according to police.

The offender was described as a Hispanic man, thought to be between 30 and 35 years old.

He stands at approximately 5’8”, according to police, weighing around 180 pounds. He had dark hair with a full mustache and beard, authorities said, and was most recently seen wearing a red T-shirt with dark blue jeans.

Anyone with information on the suspect or these incidents is asked to contact detectives at (312) 744-8261.

No one is in custody as authorities continue to investigate.

Photo Credit: Chicago Police]]>
<![CDATA[1 Arrested in Protest Over Teen Found Dead in Freezer]]> Sat, 23 Sep 2017 10:34:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NVP_Protesters+-+00022008_29019151.png

One person was arrested Friday during a protest outside the Rosemont hotel where a woman was found dead inside a freezer earlier this month.

A large group of demonstrators gathered around 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to demand justice in the case of Kenneka Jenkins.

The 19-year-old Chicago woman was found dead inside a freezer on Sept. 10 after authorities said she attended a room party at the hotel.

Police said surveillance video showed Jenkins wandering into the freezer alone, though family members – who took part in Friday’s protest – said they have yet to see that footage, and they want answers.

“We’re in this together. It’s not about a race, color; we’re in this together,” said Jenkins’ cousin Melannie Williams.

Williams was among those demonstrating outside the hotel, which has seen protests nearly each night since the incident occurred.

Police said Friday’s event drew up to 400 people and was peaceful until around 10 p.m., when officers went to end it as they have done each night. Rather than dispersing, authorities said the group instead swarmed River Road, the street in front of the hotel.

Around 10:30 p.m., protest organizers said a man in the group was aggressively taken down and struck by police before being arrested.

“The way they grabbed him, they swarmed him, many, many officers, many uniformed, heavily uniformed officers swarmed him and we could not get a clear visual once he got up off that ground we don’t know what kind of state he’s in,” said community activist Jedidiah Brown.

Police said they have one person in custody in connection with the incident, but did not release any further details.

Authorities can charge the man within 48 hours, but as of Saturday morning, no charges had been filed in the incident.

Activist Eric Russell said he arrived to bail the man out at around 5:45 a.m., but the paperwork wasn’t completed.

Protest organizers said they’re working with attorneys in the case, and another demonstration is expected outside the hotel Saturday night.

Photo Credit: Network Video Productions]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Engulfs Apartment Buildings on Chicago's South Side]]> Sat, 23 Sep 2017 09:27:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/prairie+fire+923.png

A massive blaze engulfed two apartment buildings on Chicago’s South Side early Saturday, according to fire officials.

The two-alarm fire began around 6:45 a.m. in the 5800 block of South Prairie Avenue in the city’s Washington Park neighborhood, authorities said.

Area residents said the building where the blaze began caught fire about three weeks ago, but this time, it was much worse and spread to the structure next door.

There were unconfirmed reports of someone missing in the fire, according to CFD District Chief Jeffrey Horan.

Horan said the person in question may be a 40-year-old male, but there were conflicting reports as to where the man would be.

Firefighters did a primary search and were unable to find anyone trapped, officials said, and would continue to search the area and the two four-story buildings impacted by the flames.

More than one hundred firefighters were called to the scene, according to Horan, who said the department was taking precautions with the hot weather.

Firefighters can’t be in the fire for more than ten minutes because of the high temperatures, Horan said, which is why so many were involved in the operation.

Residents were evacuated from the apartment building where the fire spread, and smoke could be seen for miles around.

No injuries were reported, and emergency crews remained at the scene Saturday morning.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Lisa Chavarria]]>
<![CDATA[Family Says Surveillance Footage Shows Their Cat Nabbed]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:33:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CATVIDEOPILSEN_29017295.jpg

Gogo has been a beloved member of the McGee family for more than six years. But on Tuesday--he went missing--while the family was eating dinner outside their Pilsen home.

"Once we were done out here we went in house and were like where's the cat?" said Nikki McGee. "We couldn't find him."

Surveillance video shows two people playing with Gogo outside the McGee's home at about 6 p.m. They can then be seen walking with the cat down the sidewalk before disappearing out of the frame.

"I immediately started crying," McGee said. "And ran outside looking all over."

The McGee's have hung at least 250 posters around their neighborhood, they say.

They also walk the neighborhood each day calling Gogo's name.

McGee says the entire family misses Gogo, but perhaps no one more so than her 4-year-old daughter.

"Oh every night, every morning: Where's Gogo," she recalls. "I've been telling her that he's on vacation."

McGee doesn't know why someone would take Gogo.

She thinks it's possible whoever took the cat though he was a friendly stray.

"Please please bring him back," she said Friday.

The McGee's say they aren't looking to get the police involved, they're just asking whoever might have the cat to bring him back, no questions asked.

<![CDATA['Despacito' Singer Gathers Puerto Rico Supplies in Chicago]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:44:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/aragonballroom_29017176.jpg

Friday night was more than a concert at the Aragon Ballroom on Chicago's North Side for Puerto Rican rapper and reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee.

Performing Thursday night in New York, he asked his fans for disaster donations and did the same here in Chicago.

This was also an opportunity to collect donations for his hurricane ravaged home country and disaster relief abroad.

"Right now, I've got to perform, but at the same time--my heart is in Puerto Rico," Yankee Daddy told NBC 5 before taking the stage.

Fans dropped of tons of supplies: water, diapers, first aid kits and flashlights. All for those traumatized by one of many recent and ongoing disasters.

"I've been crying all day because it hurts," said Luz Navares, who was donating supplies at the concert Friday night.

Navares was hardly alone.

"It's just a nice feeling, doing something ... for people in Puerto Rico," said Daleris Rodriguez.

Jade Daugherty, also in attendance at the Aragon, says she can't reach family in Puerto Rico.

"I'm Puerto Rican and I was just in Puerto Rico this summer," she said. "It's sad to see the island destroyed and sad for my family I haven't been able to contact since it hit."

For many fans at the concert, its as much about the show as it is about the good deed.

"We love Daddy Yankee, saw that he's helping them, so we brought some stuff," said Monica Baagna.

Daddy Yankee has already raised tens of thousands of dollars for Puerto Rico alone.

<![CDATA[Man Executed Cab Driver, Wounded US Airman Out For Jog: Pros]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:15:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Joseph+Brown+25.jpg

A 25-year-old felon has been charged in two separate 2016 shootings—one that left a taxi cab driver dead and the other that ended the career of a U.S. airman, authorities said Friday.

Joseph Brown, of the 4700 block of South Indiana Avenue, is charged with murder and attempted murder. He was arrested Wednesday after being positively identified by witnesses and ballistics tests as the shooter in both incidents, authorities said. Both shootings occurred in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. He was already in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections and awaiting trial for an unrelated 2015 felony arrest, police said.

On Oct. 19, Brown was one of two gunmen who shot an unarmed 21-year-old man in the shin, knee cap and upper thigh, prosecutors said. The victim, a member of the U.S. Air Force, was jogging in the 200 block of South Central Avenue when he attempted to cut through an alley to avoid Brown, prosecutors said. Brown was outside with several others when he and an accomplice approached the victim and asked if he was in a gang, according to prosecutors. Brown and the other unidentified shooter opened fire on the victim after he said he wasn’t affiliated with a gang, prosecutors said.

Because of the gunshot wounds, the airman was no longer capable of carrying out his military duties and was honorably discharged from the Air Force, prosecutors said.

A couple weeks later, on the evening of Nov. 2, Brown fired a single fatal bullet into a 51-year-old cab driver’s head, prosecutors allege. The killing occurred in the 300 block of West 5th Avenue.

Brown walked up to the window of Gregory Wong’s taxi, pointed a gun at him and ordered him out of the cab, prosecutors said. When Wong complied, Brown pistol-whipped him and rifled through his pockets for the cabbie’s cash, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Brown then shot Wong at close range when he wouldn’t stop screaming, according to prosecutors.

Wong’s execution-style killing was caught on the cab’s security camera, the state’s attorney’s office said. Brown can be seen and heard on camera making threats and shooting Wong, prosecutors said.

"I will shoot this b----," prosecutors argue Brown can be heard saying to Wong. "Let it the f-- down."

Wong can be heard screaming in the footage until Brown fires the fatal shot, prosecutors said.

Wong was holding a money clip and keys when police found his body in the street next to his cab, the state's attorney's office confirmed.

A Cook County judge denied Brown bail Friday.

Photo Credit: Chicago Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Madigan Could Undo Soda Tax if County Board Doesn't]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:12:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Preckwinkle+Madigan+9-22.png

The push to repeal Cook County’s controversial sweetened beverage tax may have picked up a powerful new ally in House Speaker Mike Madigan, as he is purportedly considering legislation to undo it. 

NBC 5 has learned of clash between Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Madigan. If the county commissioners do not repeal it when they vote on the measure Oct. 10, Madigan is signaling that he favors the state preempting the county and passing legislation to take the soda tax off of the books. 

Preckwinkle has made it clear during the furor over the tax that she does not want the state interfering with the county’s decisions on whether or not to implement such a bill.   "If I were them, I'd stick to theirs (and) I'll stick to mine," she said earlier this month.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin released a statement on the tax Friday, calling the bill “bad politics” and urging his colleagues to rescind it. 

"It was bad policy from the beginning and it's also bad politics, and you know the two will create a donnybrook where Democrats will lose races that they ordinarily would win," he said.

Boykin -- who was in Washington, D.C. Friday, revealed that he plans to announce next week whether he will run against Preckwinkle for board president.

"My pledge to the people of Cook County is that we're going to live within our means," he said.

With fire coming from both sides of the aisle to repeal the tax, Preckwinkle may be feeling similar pressure to what former Cook County President Todd Stroger felt when he instituted an unpopular sales tax increase in the county. 

"The biggest problem about the beverage tax is it's not about sugar," he said.

Stroger certainly understands the burden of budgeting, as his hike in the sales tax while he was Cook County board president in all likelihood led to his eventual defeat.  Does he think that Preckwinkle could encounter a similar fate? 

"I think the (opposition to the) sugar tax has some real legs and polls that I know of show that people are so against this,” he said. “Her unfavorables are very high and it's hard to win when people won't vote for you.”

When the political pressure to repeal the tax is added to the potential loss of seats, some experts are starting to believe that the tax will be repealed next month. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Signs Supporting Refugees Stolen in Wheaton, Residents Say]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:05:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/20953720_1738082239553239_8375111037870746739_n.png

Yard signs meant as a message of inclusion and solidarity with the Chicago-area's refugee community now becoming a show of strength against those who wish to silence their message, neighbors say.

Surveillance video shows a thief removing a sign from a front yard in Wheaton. The homeowner, Susan Booton, says the person who made off wit her sign did not steal her resolve.

"I'm not going to let them silence me," Booton said.

The signs read "we are not afraid" and "hate has no home here." It's a show of support for the refugee community in DuPage County.

Resident Kate Sisk says she began distributing the signs months ago in response to President Donald Trump's administration's immigration ban. Hundreds now have been stolen and just this week signs in her own front yard were defaced with black spray paint.

"We wanted to show them we are with them we support them and we don't want them to leave," Sisk said.

According to the World Relief Organization, more than 200 refugees have been relocated to DuPage County from countries including Ukraine, Iraq, Iran and South Sudan.

Glen Ellyn resident Lynn Allaway is proud of the sanctuary status.

"This is a community that cares that is welcoming," Allaway said.

Despite the thefts the number of yard signs is not shrinking.

Sisk has placed new signs in her yard, now secured with fishing line.

"It's just really important to our country that we accept everybody," she said.

Police are investigating reported thefts and say if there are any other victims they want to hear from those who have had their signs taken.

Any photos or videos would also help their investigation, authorities said.

<![CDATA[Pet Show Organizer Speaks Out After Canceling Event]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:55:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/diggitydogzzzzz_29016099.jpg

The organizer of a canceled pet expo that left animal rescue groups and small businesses concerned about refunds said it has been put in a “financially devastating” position, but it remains devoted to its exhibitors.

St. Louis-based Amazing Pet Expos was scheduled to hold the Windy City Pet Expo in late July in Schaumburg. Dozens of exhibitors purchased booth space and thousands of people were expected to attend the weekend event. But the company said it had to be canceled due to a last-minute insurance issue that could not be approved in time.

President and CEO Sheila Rilenge said a former employee who was issued a restraining order earlier this year found ways during and after their employment to disrupt business operations. Rilenge said that included canceling contracts and fabricating records.

“We have never been in this position before,” Rilenge said. “It has created such an impact.”

Amazing Pet Expos said it also canceled its expos scheduled to be held in Pittsburgh, Memphis and New England.

Rilenge told NBC 5 Responds that while it has taken longer than expected to get issues resolved for Windy City exhibitors, more than half of the animal rescue groups who bought booth space have been refunded.

“Not only are people receiving refunds and other expenses, but they have all been offered free space at next year’s Windy City Expo,” Rilenge said.

The explanation from Amazing Pet Expos comes as more vendors have stepped forward to say they lost time and money as a result of the canceled event.

“The expo was supposed to be in July. We’re in the end of September now. It’s a lot of money to be out of for a small business,” said dog groomer Mary Beth Ritchie.

Ritchie, who owns the Yuppie Puppie in Schaumburg, said she is waiting to be reimbursed for booth fees and advertising expenses. She said she also purchased dog collars and bandanas to sell at the expo and attract potential customers.

“Now I have all these things I purchased that are just sitting on shelves, in the shop and in storage, because I’m not going to get 14,000 people in the next couple of months to come through a small shop like this,” Ritchie said.

Several exhibitors also expressed confusion upon being told to initiate the refund process by completing an online survey. However, Rilenge said she thought it would be a simple process and would not cause delays in getting the necessary information to her company’s insurance provider.

Dahna Betts of the Shih Tzu Rescue, Adoption and Education Safehouse (S.T.R.A.E.S.) in Homer Glen spoke to NBC 5 Responds in August regarding her wait for a booth fee refund. Several days after we contacted Amazing Pet Expos to inquire about the status of exhibitor refunds, Betts received a $700 check.

Rilenge said if insurance has not processed expense refunds for vendors by September 30th, the company would issue the money.

<![CDATA[Cubs Knock Off Brewers at Miller Park]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 23:30:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-851132058.jpg

Thanks to another tenth inning comeback, the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers and moved another step closer to a division title. 

Thanks to the win, the Cubs now lead the Brewers by five and a half games in the Central, and they reduced their magic number to clinch the division title to five. 

Tommy La Stella's bases loaded walk in the tenth was the difference, and Carl Edwards Jr. got the win as the Cubs secured their second straight win over the Brewers.

John Lackey went four innings in the game, giving up three earned runs and striking out just one batter in a brief start. The Cubs' bullpen held Milwaukee to one run over six innings of work, and they were able to close the door on the team's ninth victory in their last 10 games. 

Things looked bleak for the Cubs early in the contest, as Lackey allowed back-to-back home runs to Stephen Vogt and Brett Phillips in the third inning to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead. 

Slowly but surely, the Cubs fought their way back into the game, as Jon Jay smacked an RBI double and Kris Bryant hit an RBI single in the third inning to trim the lead to 3-2. 

Ben Zobrist did his part in the fifth inning, singling to center field to drive in Jay and Bryant to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. That lead would evaporate in the bottom of the frame however, as Brian Duensing gave up an RBI double to Travis Shaw to knot the game at 4-4. 

That would remain the score until the 10th inning, when the Cubs loaded the bases against Milwaukee reliever Corey Knebel. La Stella came in to pinch hit for Albert Almora, and he coaxed a bases-loaded walk to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead late. 

Eric Sogard was on first base with one out in the 10th inning, but Willson Contreras threw him out while he tried to advance on a wild pitch, and then Edwards retired Neil Walker to end the game and give the Cubs the victory. 

Thanks to the win, the Cubs now have a five game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central Division, and a five and a half game lead over Milwaukee. 

The Cubs and Brewers will play again on Saturday afternoon, with a 12:05 p.m. first pitch in Milwaukee. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Baun, Glass Placed on Waivers by Blackhawks]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:21:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/KyleBaun.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly made two more roster moves on Friday as they continue to put together their lineup for the 2017-18 season.

According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, the Blackhawks have placed forward Kyle Baun and goaltender Jeff Glass on waivers.

Baun, who has appeared in five NHL games, will likely be sent back to the Rockford IceHogs if he clears waivers. Baun scored 14 goals and dished out 20 assists in 74 games for the IceHogs last season, and he’ll be hoping to earn a call-up back to the NHL if he gets sent down.

Glass was briefly called up to back-up Scott Darling last season while Corey Crawford was out of the lineup, but never made it into a game. He posted an 8-10-0 record with a 2.63 goals against average and a .914 save percentage in 20 games with Rockford last season after being acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ organization. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[18 Ambulances Respond to Pep Assembly For Sick Students]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:38:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/HEATSICKBERWYN_29015892.jpg

Eighteen ambulances responded to a pep rally at Morton West High School in Berwyn Friday afternoon after nurses became inundated with students reporting heat-related illnesses, authorities said.

Berwyn Fire Chief Dennis O’Halloran said the calls of heat exhaustion started coming in around 3 p.m. The students were in the school’s stadium, he said. Six patients were transported to hospitals and one signed a release form to go home with their parents, he said.

Paramedics were helping nurses who were overwhelmed by the number of people feeling sick, O’Halloran said. Anyone else in the stadium that did not go to the hospital was sent home.

A walking parade between Morton West and Morton East high schools began at 1 p.m. but it was unclear if those students were sick.

Sky 5 was over the scene shortly before 4 p.m. where half a dozen ambulances, police and fire vehicles could be seen.

Eight other agencies responded to the school, O'Halloran said.

Berwyn has added an additional ambulance to be on standby during Friday night's homecoming football games.

<![CDATA[Bears Release Final Injury Report]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:34:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kyle+long+2+GettyImages-490522936.png

The Chicago Bears are going to look a bit healthier this week, as Kyle Long and Prince Amukamara were both removed from the team’s injury report Friday.

The move means that both players appear to be all-systems-go for the Bears’ Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon, and both would be making their season debuts for the Bears.

Wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who came off the injury report Thursday, also was not listed Friday, meaning that he too should make his season debut on Sunday barring any setbacks.

One player was ruled out for the Bears, as linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski will miss the game with a pectoral injury. The team is still seeking second opinions on the injury, and there is a chance that it could be a season-ending injury for the middle linebacker.

Right guard Josh Sitton was listed as “doubtful” on the injury report, leaving the Bears without one of their best offensive linemen against a tough Steelers pass rush.

Finally, Tom Compton was listed as questionable on the report after being limited in practice over the last two days with a hip ailment.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, running back Jordan Howard, wide receiver Kendall Wright, and tight end Zach Miller were all full participants in Friday’s practice, and were not listed on the game status report.

For the Steelers, linebacker T.J. Watt, brother of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, will nto play against the Bears, and neither will offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert.

Stephon Tuitt (biceps) and Jerald Hawkins (knee) were both listed as questionable on the report. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Teamsters Chief Indicted Again on Extortion Charges]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:53:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_111021011775.png

Former Teamsters chief John Coli Sr. has once again been indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago, alleging that he extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from a business reported to be the Cinespace movie studios on Chicago's West Side.

Coli was previously indicted in July with extorting at least $100,000. The new indictment goes much further, indicating the payments went back to 2014, and now total at least $325,000.

The government charges say the payments were made "induced by the wrongful use of fear of economic loss from threatened work stoppages and other labor unrest."

In addition to the extortion charges, the indictment lists numerous counts charging Coli underpaid his taxes. The government is seeking forfeiture of $325,000, and barring that, seeks to seize a home in the 1200 of West George Street in Chicago.

Cinespace is a thriving facility hosting many hit movie and TV productions, including NBC's "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago PD."

Photo Credit: M. Spencer Green/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Three Stars: Schmaltz, Saad Shine in Blackhawks' Win]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:00:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NickSchmaltz922.jpg

If the preseason is any indication, then the Chicago Blackhawks’ offense is going to be just fine, as they steamrolled the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 on Thursday night.

The Blackhawks lit up the scoreboard in the second period, racking up four goals and showcasing the additional speed and grit that they’re hoping new acquisitions to their lineup will add this season.

If you missed the game and need a bite-sized snapshot of what took place, here are your Three Stars of the Game.

Third Star: Nick Schmaltz

Tongues will certainly be wagging about Alex DeBrincat scoring his first preseason goal in his first game, but the reality is that this play was made by Schmaltz as he skated into the offensive zone:

On the play, Schmaltz drove hard to the middle of the ice, drawing Detroit defenders in with him. That cleared an open path for DeBrincat, who converted a tremendous pass from Richard Panik into a superb goal to make it a 3-0 game.

That kind of assertiveness is exactly what the Blackhawks need from Schmaltz, and he formed a great combination with DeBrincat even without Patrick Kane on the ice.

Second Star: Corey Crawford

While the Blackhawks have scored 11 goals in their first two games, they’ve also given up a boatload of shots, and Crawford had to be in midseason form as he got his first action of the preseason.  

The netminder ended up making 30 total saves in just two periods of work, including 16 in a fast-paced second period. The netminder was a big part of the reason that the Blackhawks’ penalty kill went a perfect 7-for-7 in the game, and he looked sharp and focused in his first game action since the Western Conference playoff sweep at the hands of the Nashville Predators.

First Star: Brandon Saad

Blackhawks fans are thrilled to have Saad back in the mix, but even the most optimistic supporter couldn’t have imagined just how good he would be in his first game back with the team.

Saad ended up netting a preseason hat trick as he scored three goals against the Red Wings, including this tap-in goal that finished off the three-peat:

What was truly noteworthy about Saad’s hat trick was that none of the goals were of the spectacular, jaw-dropping variety. They were the kinds of goals that the Blackhawks simply didn’t score last season, with Saad collecting rebounds near the front of the net and pounding away at loose pucks to tally three goals.

If Saad can be that kind of impact player for the Blackhawks, then their offense will take on a whole new dimension that they were lacking last season. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Blackhawks Return to United Center for Preseason Opener]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:40:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-851079756.jpg The Chicago Blackhawks returned home to the United Center on Thursday for their first home preseason game of the year, and they brought along their biggest stars for the party.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[$3.7M Donated to NBC 5-Telemundo Disaster Relief Drive]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:59:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/maryannredcross_29016440.jpg

Thanks to the generority of so many, the NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago Disaster Relief Drive has collected more than $3.7 million in donations just hours into the drive.


In the wake of deadly earthquakes in Mexico and horrific hurricanes that recently hit parts of the U.S. and Caribbean, NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicagoo are working with the American Red Cross to support relief efforts.

From 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, the stations are hosting a Disaster Relief Drive with donations going to the Red Cross in support of areas affected by these recent devastating natural disasters.

Just before 7 a.m., Walgreens donated a whopping $3.4 million to the effort. By 11 a.m., viewers from the Chicago area donated almost $40,000 by phone. More than $11,000 was donated online.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stopped by the phone bank to thank volunteers and make a personal donation of $2,000.

Before noon, Motorola Solutions donated $30,000 to the drive, and Exelon donated $25,000.

Want to join us in Making a Difference? During the drive, call 312-836-4855 to donate through NBC 5 or 312-836-4844 to donate through Telemundo Chicago.

You also can click here to donate online to help people affected by Hurricane Maria, Mexico earthquakes, Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey. Online donations are being accepted now and will continue to be taken after Friday's Disaster Relief Drive.

Looking for other ways to help from the Chicago area? 

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<![CDATA[Blackhawks Could Get Denied Cap Relief for Hossa: Report]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:35:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-619017020.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks are still awaiting official word from the NHL on whether or not they will get salary cap relief because of Marian Hossa’s skin condition, but according to a new report, there’s at least a chance that they won’t.

According to The Athletic’s James Mirtle, the league is investigating the Blackhawks’ evaluation that Hossa will be unable to play because of the ailment, which forced him to announce that he will miss the entire 2017-18 season.

The league is looking into Hossa’s case, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, and there is at least a chance that they could deny the Blackhawks cap relief:

“With Hossa’s case, a lot of other teams complained the Blackhawks were getting cap relief….I’m told that even if the independent doctor rules there is something off with the medicals, that doesn’t mean either player will necessarily return to the roster. What it could mean is that the team won’t be permitted to use long-term injured reserve to get cap relief from these contracts.”

That news would be especially rough if the Blackhawks aren’t able to get relief, as they currently sit around $40,000 over the league’s salary cap with Hossa’s deal on the books. Putting him on injured reserve would allow the Blackhawks to add around $5 million in contracts, which they would need to sign a player like Cody Franson or another veteran defenseman to a contract.

The Blackhawks could conceivably get creative with the deals, perhaps jettisoning Jean-Francois Berube or Jordin Tootoo to clear space, but that would then limit their options to add anyone else during the season or at the trade deadline later this year.

The NHL is expected to make their final ruling on Hossa’s LTIR claim before the regular season begins. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Forecast: Another Record-Breaker]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:08:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000025793904_1200x675_1052577859751.jpg

Fall officially arrives this afternoon, but it appears summer isn't going away just yet. Andy Avalos has the latest forecast update for the Chicago area.

<![CDATA[Mom, 4-Year-Old Son Found Dead in Western Suburb]]> Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:07:26 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Emily+-+04332007_29007818.jpg

A mother and her 4-year-old son were found dead in what police believe may have been a domestic violence incident in a west Chicago suburb, authorities said. 

A heavy police presence could be seen in the 1700 block of Mannheim Road beginning late Thursday night and into the morning hours. 

Little information has been released by police, but the Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed it was called to the scene. The West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force was also investigating. 

Crime scene tape surrounded an entire apartment complex in the area, where the landlord said a woman and her young son lived inside a rental home. 

A neighbor who said he ran into the home when he heard a woman screaming, said he saw a child unresponsive in a room and the woman face down in a bathroom. He noted the child appeared to have an injury to his throat, but police could not confirm that information. 

"This appears to be an isolated domestic violence incident," Stone Park Police Chief Christopher Pavini said in a statement. 

Authorities said a person of interest was being sought in the case. 

An investigation remained ongoing Friday. 

Check back for more on this developing story. 

<![CDATA[Chicago Firefighter Emerges From Smoke With Family's Cat]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:40:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WEB_10P_CAT_RESCUE.jpg

A fire rescue to warm the hearts of pet lovers everywhere. A house was totally in flames on Chicago's South Side Wednesday night. The human residents got out OK, but they worried about a loved one they left behind. Then, from out of the smoke, a firefighter emerged with the family cat. It was alive, apparently in good condition, and happy to be back in the arms of a very relieved, very loving, and very grateful owner.

<![CDATA[10-Year-Old to Host 5K Supporting 'Play for Peace']]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:29:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/web_-_mad_peacemaker.jpg

A 10-year-old is looking to help people around the world by hosting a 5K run supporting "Play for Peace." Sabrina Santucci has the story.

<![CDATA[FBI Uses 2015 Chicago Social Media Threat as Cautionary Tale]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:43:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/uofcthreat.jpg

The “chilling firsthand account” of a Chicago college student that posted a threatening message on social media will serve as a warning to other users to “think before you post,” the FBI’s Chicago Field Office announced Thursday.

In 2015, Jabari Dean posted that he would execute 16 students or staff members at the University of Chicago on the campus quad and then die “killing any number of white policemen that I can in the process,” court records show. He was arrested several days later by the FBI and charged with a threat in interstate commerce.

The university canceled classes after the threat, which came on the heels of unrest and rising racial tensions over the Chicago police shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald.

Dean deleted the post shortly after writing it, but it was reported to authorities by someone who saw it in New York, the FBI said.

In the 30-second PSA video, Dean recalls the fallout as a cautionary tale of not thinking through potential ramifications from posting on social media.

“At the time, I just wasn’t thinking,” Dean says in the video. “I used social media to vent—I wish I would have thought about the effects of scaring people.”

Dean says he searches his name on the internet every day and “it’s not going away.”

The FBI receives thousands of reports of social media threats every year, the agency said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson said every single time those threats are made “we unleash the cavalry to go out and respond to those folks.”

“While many of them are meant as a joke, law enforcement thoroughly and quickly investigates each and every one of them as a serious threat to public safety. The public rightfully expects no less,” Anderson said. “These threats lead to a wide scale emergency response and, in some instances, the closing of businesses, schools or other public locations.”

During a news conference, Anderson referenced “a certain type of momentum that could build in social media, especially if it’s centered around a particularly sensitive or politically charged topic.”

As Anderson spoke, Dean sat next to him in khakis and a blue button down, folding his hands and furrowing his brow.

“I’ve lost a lot of friends,” Dean said, adding that his relationship with his family has suffered as well. “It just seems like they’re very angry at me because of what I did.”

Anderson said Dean’s post has resulted in a lifetime of consequences.

“I have a pretty bleak future,” Dean said. “I can’t pass background checks, I’ve been expelled from school—yeah, it sucks.”

Anderson thanked Dean and stressed the value of his story being told. He said he hoped there was a level of “catharsis” for Dean in talking about his tumultuous experience.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the charge against Dean if he completed 100 hours of community service.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Family Matters' House Set to Be Demolished]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:31:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/urkel_family_matters_house_-_00003524_29011830_960.jpg

Steve Urkel made himself at home there, but now, the building made famous by "Family Matters" is going to be torn down.

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Honoring Chicagoland's Fallen Heroes]]> Sat, 10 Nov 2012 20:11:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/american-flag1.jpg NBC Chicago salutes the men and women in the armed forces who have died in combat.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[9 Accused of Running Murderous Drug Conspiracy in Chicago]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:30:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Dirksen+Building+Chicago.JPG

Nine alleged members of a violent Chicago street gang were charged in connection to half a dozen murders and operating a sprawling drug empire on Chicago’s South and Southwest Sides, the U.S. State’s Attorney’s office announced Thursday.

The indictment, unsealed this week, also says members of the Four Corner Hustlers robbed rival drug dealers, outfitted a security detail to its members and used police scanners to stay ahead of the cops.

Labar Spann, 38; Sammie Booker, 43; Tremayne Thompson, 33; Juhwun Foster, 37; Marchello Devine, 30; Rontrell Turnipseed, 24; Keith Chatman, 29; Stevon Sims, 27; And Deandre Spann, 40; all of Chicago, are charged with racketeering conspiracy.

The victims murdered by the Four Corner Hustler members, according to the unsealed indictment, are: Carlos Caldwell on Jan. 19, 2000; Maximillion McDaniel on July 25, 2000; Levar Smith on Aug. 14, 2000; George King on April 8, 2003; Willie Woods on April 16, 2003; and Rudy Rangel on June 4, 2003.

The indictment accuses Labar Spann of participating in all six slayings, with help from at least one other member of the conspiracy in five of them.

Individual counts in the indictment charge Spann, Thompson and Foster with murdering Woods; and Spann with murdering Rangel. The charges allege that the murders carried out by Woods and Rangel were for the purpose of "maintaining and increasing position in the Four Corner Hustlers."

Labar Spann and Thompson are also charged with participating in extortion conspiracy along with Mikal Jones, 33, and Antonio Devine, 25, both of Chicago. Three other alleged members of the gang are also name in the indictment but died before they could be charged, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The indictment was returned Sept. 14 and ordered unsealed after several of the accused conspirators were arrested this week. The defendants have begun making initial appearances in federal court in Chicago.

The alleged gang members managed a drug operation that saw cocaine, heroin and marijuana sold in the city’s South and West sides—including the LeClair Courts housing projects and the West Garfield Park and Humbolt Park neighborhoods since the 1990s.

Authorities uncovered the alleged gang activity through a lengthy joint investigation conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, Chicago FBI’s Safe Street Task Force, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, the ATF’s Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force and the Chicago Police Gang Investigations Division.

Racketeering conspiracy charges usually carry a max sentence of 20 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office says, but other illegal activities paired with the charges can make life in prison possible.

Attorney information for the accused was not immediately available.

<![CDATA[McD's HQ in Oak Brook Eyed as Possibility for Amazon]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:53:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Amazon+9-21.png

Restaurant giant McDonald’s is moving out of its Oak Brook headquarters and into Chicago, but could the campus lure another massive company to the suburb?

That headquarters is one of the rumored possible landing spots for the much-sought after second headquarters for Amazon, which is holding a nationwide competition as it looks for a location to house a massive facility that could create 50,000 jobs and billions in economic benefits to the area lucky enough to land it.

“We have low taxes, low government, low crime, and outstanding public schools,” DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin said.

Cronin says that it is working with the city of Chicago, who is rumored to be one of the biggest contenders for the new facility. He says that if any city in the region gets the headquarters, it will be a boon to the entire region’s economy.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has launched an all-out effort to land the project, and has floated several potential locations, including the Thompson Center, the old post office, and the former location of the Finkl steel plant.

Not everyone is enthused about the project, as Illinois gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss cautioned about giving up too much to land Amazon’s new campus.

“When states compete with each other, trying to hand out as big of incentives as possible, they get trapped in a race to the bottom,” he said.

Cities in other states are also in on the bidding, including Austin, Atlanta, and St. Louis, but even if Oak Brook doesn’t land the project, Chairman Cronin says the McDonald’s headquarters will not sit empty.  

Photo Credit: NBC 5 Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Ridesharing Leads to Struggles for Chicago Taxi Companies]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:53:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Web+-+Taxi+Story_29000454.jpg

The proliferation of ridesharing companies in Chicago has caused the taxi cab industry to suffer massive losses, according to data provided by the city.

“If the city takes no action, there will be a day when Chicago has no cabs, and that day is coming soon,” Meg Lewis of the Cab Driver’s United AFSCME Council said.

In July of 2014, Chicagoans took 2.6 million rides and pumped $32 million in revenue into cab companies and to cab drivers, but now, those numbers are significantly lower.

According to data, only 925,000 cab rides were taken in July 2017, raising just $12.5 million in revenue.

That precipitous decline in revenues and rides has been caused by the successes of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, according to cab drivers.

“(It’s) very bad,” cab driver Mirza Uddin said. “They (always) have a call for an Uber. I never have seen anything like this.”

According to AFSCME union estimates, there are just 6000 cabs left in Chicago, compared to nearly a quarter of a million rideshare drivers.

“We have seen a drastic decline that began with the city’s implementation of a two-tier regulatory system that unfairly advantages billion-dollar, out of state rideshare corporations at the expense of hard-working Chicago cab drivers,” Lewis said.

Most of the blame is pointed at medallions, which taxi drivers had to buy from the city to operate cabs. Those medallions sometimes cost upwards of six-figures, and more than a thousand of the medallions are now in foreclosure.

The union is asking that the city lower taxes and requirements on cab drivers to help level the playing field with rideshare companies.

<![CDATA[Long, Amukamara Make Steps Toward Starting Week 3]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:22:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-589414666.jpg

The Chicago Bears are getting healthier by the day, and they are looking to have three starters rejoin the fold for this week’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to Thursday’s injury report, cornerback Prince Amukamara, who has missed the first two games of the season with an ankle injury, and Kyle Long, who has been out since last season with ankle issues, were full participants in the team’s workout at Halas Hall.

Both players will hope to make their season debuts on Sunday, and they will appraently be joined by wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who was not listed on the injury report as he continues his comeback from a broken pinky that he suffered during training camp.

Running back Benny Cunningham, who missed Week 2 with an ankle injury, and quarterback Mark Sanchez were also listed as full participants in Thursday’s workout.

Running back Jordan Howard and wide receiver Kendall Wright were both still limited with shoulder injuries, as was defensive lineman Akiem Hicks.

Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski is still out with a chest injury, and Josh Sitton sat out of Thursday’s practice with a rib injury.

The Bears’ final injury report will be released on Friday afternoon. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Durbin Calls for MLB Teams to Extend Netting in Stadiums]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:05:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-684671882.png

A day after a toddler was struck by a line drive at Yankee Stadium, Senator Dick Durbin is joining a growing number of public figures to call for improved netting at big league stadiums.

In a statement issued Thursday, the senator asked MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to extend the netting at all 30 big league parks following the incident.

“The solution is clear: extend the nets protecting the fans,” he said. “Ten teams have already taken this important step. But, it is not consistent throughout MLB stadiums. For the good of the sport and the safety of your fans: extend the nets.”

Durbin’s statement comes after a young girl was struck by a line drive off the bat of Yankees infielder Todd Frazier. The ball, which was travelling at over 100 MPH, struck the girl in the face, and she was immediately taken to a local hospital.

On Thursday, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they will extend the netting at the Great American Ballpark in time for next season. 

All 30 teams have met new MLB standards that netting extend 70 feet down the foul lines, but only nine teams have extended netting past that. Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field are not among those stadiums, according to NBC News. 

Some cities, including New York, are considering passing city ordinances to require teams to extend netting to protect fans. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kris Bryant Gives Mitch Trubisky Kudos in Interview]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:55:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/BryantTrubisky+9-21.jpg

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant knows all about carrying the hopes of a city on his shoulders, and he’s offering his support to a very popular Chicago Bears rookie.

That rookie, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, was taken with the second overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and already he has fans clamoring for him to go under center as the Bears have started the season 0-2.

Bears fans can now count Bryant among that group.

“I mean, give him a chance,” Bryant said on 670 the Score’s “Bernstein and Goff” show. “You’ll never know unless he’s out there playing.”

Bryant, also a second overall pick, has captured a Rookie of the Year Award, an MVP award, and a World Series ring in his first three seasons, and he knows a thing or two about heightened expectations, and what the nerves of making your debut can do to a player.

“That will definitely get your heart pumping a little bit – everyone knows what I did in my first game,” he said.

In that game, Bryant struck out three times, but he rebounded nicely to have one of the best rookie seasons in Cubs history. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Indiana Coroner Asks For Help IDing Discarded Urn of Ashes]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:47:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/112816+cremation+urn.jpg

A brown plastic urn containing a bag filled with cremated remains was found along a bike path near a Hammond, Indiana golf course earlier this month, the Lake County coroner’s office announced Thursday.

The coroner’s office said the Hammond Police Department was called to the bike path on the north side of Lost Marsh Golf Course on Sept. 10 when someone found the urn.

The urn, 8.25 inches deep by 6.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches long, the coroner’s office said. “Triple H,” a company based in Ventura, California, is tamped on the bottom of the urn. A torn sticker with the name “Gardens” and a zip code with the last four numbers “2302” in green writing is on the front, the coroner said.

Anyone with information about the urn is asked to call the Lake County coroner’s office at 219-755-3265.

A manager at Lost Marsh Golf Course said he was unaware of the urn being found and would ask the course's administrator for more details.

Hammond police Lt. Steven Kellogg said the urn was turned over to the coroner's office by Hammond police detectives.

Police had no additional information to provide regarding the urn, he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>