<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:27:06 -0500 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:27:06 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bennett Played Most of 2013 Season with Torn MCL]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:31:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/455466848.jpg

The Chicago Bears dropped to 2-2 on the season Sunday in a 38-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but on a day where the team’s defense struggled, several members of the offense had great days.

One of those players was tight end Martellus Bennett, who hauled in a season-high nine receptions for 134 yards. On the year, Bennett is the Bears’ leading receiver with 29 catches for 295 yards and four touchdowns, and he’s following up a year where he set career highs in numerous categories. His 65 receptions last year were a career high, as were the 759 yards he picked up thanks to those catches.

Making the feat even more remarkable was that Bennett did it all with a couple of injuries that could have easily ended his season:

Needless to say, Bennett looks perfectly healthy this season. His speed and elusiveness have been on full display, and when you add his size into the mix, it’s easy to see why he’s had such good results so far. Oddly enough though, Bennett didn’t have surgery to correct the ailments that hampered him last year:

Bennett will look to continue his hot start when the Bears take on the Carolina Panthers next week, but with Marc Trestman talking about how the offense didn’t target Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall enough in Sunday’s loss, catches may not be as plentiful for the tight end in the next game. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[911 Recordings Released From Air Control Center Fire]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:54:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FAA-aurora-1.jpg

Newly-released recordings provide some insight into the first frantic moments on the ground and in the air after a fire broke out at an Aurora Federal Aviation Authority facility Friday.

The fire, allegedly intentionally set by contract employee Brian Howard, triggered widespread cancellations and delays at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports, and days later continues to affect air travel.

The first call to Aurora's 911 center, from a person who identified himself as "Ivan," gives little indication of how serious the fire inside the FAA facility on East Indian Trail Road was or how much damage it was doing to the sensitive computers and telecommunications inside.

Dispatcher: Aurora 911. Where is your emergency?
Caller: This is at the FAA.
Dispatcher: Yes, what's going on there?
Caller: We got smoke in the building so we need the fire department out here.
Dispatcher: OK, can you tell where it's coming from?
Caller: Inside the building. We got calls from the person inside to call the fire department.
Dispatcher: You don't know which part of the building they're coming from?
Caller: No, I don't know which part of the building it's coming from, but it's smoke inside.
Dispatcher: Your name?
Caller: Ivan.
Dispatcher: Alright, we are on the way. Thank you.

When police and firefighters arrived, they found Howard inside suffering from burns and self-inflicted wounds to his neck and arms in what appeared to be a suicide attempt.

By that time, the building had been evacuated and other radar centers were picking up flights flying through Chicago air space.

On the ground, the O'Hare tower was telling pilots to park their planes and shut them down.

The water used to fight the fire caused more damage inside the facility than the fire itself.

FAA officials say new equipment is being built and will be transported to the Aurora facility, but that may not happen until Oct. 13.

An FAA analysis showed that by 1 p.m. Tuesday, almost 80 percent of the average Tuesday traffic for the past two months was flying in and out of O'Hare, and about 85 percent at Midway.

Howard appeared in federal court Monday for an initial hearing. He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago

Photo Credit: Sky 5 / NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Illinois Man Killed When Tire Goes Through Windshield]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:22:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Mark+Bolan.jpg

A 55-year-old Lombard man was killed Monday after a tire flew off an oncoming vehicle on I-90 in Wisconsin and through the windshield of the vehicle he was riding in.

Mark Bolan was traveling to Wisconsin on a fishing trip with his best friend when the crash happened in Dane County. His family said he was killed instantly.

"In a freak accident like this there's no intent involved, maybe some carelessness," Bolan's brother-in-law, Dan Simic, said. "It's hard to blame anybody. It's better not to dwell on vengeance or guilt. It's better just to move forward."

Wisconsin State Patrol said the tire came off an unknown heavy utility truck or trailer heading eastbound on I-90 near Madison as Bolan's car was travelling westbound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

As Bolan's family focuses on funeral plans, his wife says she's in shock.

"I'm aware one moment," Mia Bolan said, "not aware one moment. It's hitting hard."

Bolan grew up in Chicago and graduated from Maine South High School. His family said he often performed improv at ComedySportz and was employed by the restaurant company Lettuce Entertain You. Entertaining was his joy, they said.

"Mark was the life of the party. Gregarious, outgoing, engaging. When he was in the room, it just lit up."

Boland was in the passenger seat, and his friend was behind the wheel when the crash happened. His friend was not injured in the accident.

"What is it going to be like without him?" Mia Bolan said. I can't imagine. It will be scary. It will be scary."

Police are still searching for the driver whose tire struck Bolan.

<![CDATA[Opinion: Pols Need to Back Off Their Love For Uber]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:55:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Uber-Car-Rentals.jpg
It’s one thing when a politician embraces a profitable company and tries to take credit for its success.
It’s another when a politician seeks out photo ops with a company operating under a currently illegal business model while actively helping grease the skids for that company’s future expansion, all for political benefit in an election year.
That’s what’s happening right now in Illinois with ride-sharing giant Uber. Gubernatorial candidates Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner, along with a host of other politicians, are falling all over themselves to praise Uber while at the same time working to change the playing field in a heavily-regulated industry to help ensure the company’s success.
On Monday, Democratic Governor Quinn visited Uber’s headquarters in Chicago as part of the company’s announcement it was adding 420 new jobs as part of a expansion of its regional headquarters, contingent on favorable legislation engineered by Quinn being upheld in the state legislature.
He got to hang out with some of the city’s brightest and most talented tech employees while praising Uber. The ride-sharing company, Quinn said, “understands that having the opportunity to get a good job that pays a decent wage, that serves the market and serves consumers—that’s what it’s all about.”
Quinn’s Republican opponent, Bruce Rauner, has been no slouch when it comes to singing Uber’s praises, either. In July, Rauner called on Quinn to veto a bill that would have required a level of background checks and liability insurance for Uber’s drivers. At the time, Rauner called Uber an "innovative, growing company” and that signing the bill was tantamount to saying “Illinois is closed to innovation.”
There’s only one problem: Uber’s less the innovative tech start-up its backers make it out to be and more just a company looking to steal market share by avoiding regulations with the help of well-placed, powerful politicians.
Let’s review some facts. Uber’s business model involves hiring non-professional drivers who use their own vehicles to provide transportation services to customers. The company takes roughly 20 percent of whatever’s earned and provides support, such as smartphone apps that lets customers call for a driver anytime they want.
Uber says it operates in 130 cities. In each of those cities, a taxicab industry already exists, likely heavily regulated by local and municipal governments. To earn market share, Uber must take away existing business from this industry or find new customers currently not using taxi services for one reason or another.
The issue of taxicab regulation is where the rub comes in. Picking up a stranger in a car and driving him or her to another destination is fraught with risk and potential problems all along the way. That’s why every municipality with a taxicab industry actively manages and regulates those who work in the industry, including requiring background checks, commercial liability insurance and the like.
Uber wants nothing to do with any of this. Instead, it wants to hire unprofessional drivers and allow them to operate without any regulation at all. That’s why it’s hired some of the biggest and most well-connected lobbyists, lawyers and public relations firms in the country in a bid to influence municipal and state political leaders to give it a pass.
As of late, that list even extends to David Plouffe, who once ran Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and served as key White House advisor. As well, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ari, holds a financial stake in the firm.
Uber has parlayed its story of industry innovation into one of the world’s largest corporate valuations, hovering near the $18 billion mark for a company with only a few million in revenues.
Yet all the lobbying efforts in the world can’t cover the fact that what Uber offers is currently illegal in city after city.
Recently, Attorney Generals in San Francisco and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey sent letters to ride service companies like Uber claiming they are operating illegally and warning them about possible legal action if they don’t change their practices. In Washington, D.C., authorities had to ticket Uber drivers for illegal street pick-ups. In Chicago, the company had to be stopped earlier this year from making illegal pick-ups at the city’s busy O’Hare Airport.
As well, some Uber drivers have said the company promise of big paydays doesn’t match reality. As well, there’s a growing consensus among savvy tech industry observers that Uber’s sky-high valuations are more mirage than anything else.
That hasn’t stopped Illinois politicians from standing by the company’s side, however.
In fact, to hear politicians like Quinn tell it, Uber is the veritable future of Illinois economic growth.
“Through innovation and job creation, Uber is helping drive Illinois’ economy forward,” Governor Quinn said in a statement tied to the company’s announcement of new jobs. A few paragraphs later, he touted his own plans to help business, citing programs to help business find “an easier path to creating new jobs and ensuring workers have the skills to drive a 21st century economy.”
Apparently, it doesn’t really matter how a company makes its money for some Illinois politicians to come-a-running.
All that matters, really, is whether it can promise some new jobs in an election year.   

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Illinois Lawmakers Proceed With Hearing on Quinn's Scandal-Drenched Anti-Violence Program]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:42:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_gov_pat_quinn.jpg

While he gains traction in the race to keep his job, Gov. Pat Quinn is not off the hook for lingering questions about the troubled anti-violence program he launched four years ago.

A committee of state legislators received the go-ahead Monday to continue its probe into the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a $55 million Chicago area-focused state grant program that Quinn's Republican rivals have called a "political slush fund." Now defunct, the NRI—which aimed to distribute cash to needy neighborhood organizations combating this city's crippling gang-and-gun-violence—became awash with scandal as allegations emerged over managerial incompetence and financial wrongdoing within its loosely organized network.

Quinn has denied accusations that the program was anything but a well intentioned effort to reduce crime.

Earlier this year, Auditor General William Holland released a blistering report that listed the NRI's management failures, prompting investigations by the feds and a bipartisan group of lawmakers headed up by Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman and Democratic state Rep. Frank Mautino. The ongoing controversy, coupled with allegedly improper patronage hiring inside the Illinois Department of Transportation, has dogged Quinn's campaign as he fights for re-election against Republican opponent Bruce Rauner, who's pounced upon the bad press to cast the Democratic governor as a corrupt heir to Rod Blagojevich. (At the same time, the wealthy venture capitalist is dealing with significant problems of his own, most notably the disturbing federal bankruptcy case involving his former private equity firm and patient deaths at a nursing home chain in Florida.)

Back to the NRI debacle: U.S. Attorney James Lewis, who's based in central Illinois, had previously barred the General Assembly's Legislative Audit Commission from calling hearings into the matter so as to not conflict with his federal grand jury investigation. That ban, enforced for a 90-day period from July, was lifted Monday when the prosecutor gave his OK to the commission to go forth with a hearing slated for Oct. 8, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Barickman told the paper he expects to call to witness Jack Lavin, Quinn's former chief of staff whose emails were subpoenaed by the feds, saying: "We have posed many questions, such as how the decisions were made to choose certain communities and certain providers (for grants), and I would hope we would begin to have an understanding as to how those decisions were made by the Quinn administration."

With Nov. 4's election fast approaching, the month of October still stands to be a terrible, no good, very bad time for Quinn as he attempts to fend off a formidable offensive from Team Rauner. The silver lining: The Obamas (and Hillary) are coming to town to throw A-list support behind Quinn, who could use a star-studded distraction right about now.

<![CDATA[Pet Hospital Where Dogs Died Passed Recent Inspection]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:52:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Dolton_animals_9_22.jpg

Eleven months before several dead and emaciated dogs were discovered at a south-suburban animal hospital, state inspectors pronounced the facility "satisfactory" in an annual inspection report, according to documents obtained by NBC5 Investigates.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office first discovered what it described as "deplorable" conditions at Dolton Animal Hospital on September 21 when a Dolton police officer brought a stray dog to the facility. The owner of the hospital – who is also a licensed veterinarian – now faces multiple charges relating to the animals’ deaths. So does the hospital’s manager, who told authorities that "things just got away from her," according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Conditions were apparently better when inspectors from the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Welfare visited the facility in October of 2013, according to the most recent inspection report on file with the state. Facilities such as Dolton must renew their licenses once a year, and are supposed to be inspected annually, according to Jeff Squibb, a department spokesman.

NBC 5 Investigates filed a Freedom of Information request, asking for Dolton’s most recent state inspection. The four-page report states that every part of the building and premises were considered "acceptable," as was the sanitation for the dog cages, dog runs, and cat cages.

At the time of the inspection, the facility housed eleven dogs, and the report describes all eleven as "fair" (versus "good” or “unacceptable”) in their appearance and health, and says their cages and runs were cleaned twice a day. The report recommends two improvements: "Try other disinfectants to hide odor" and "Open windows for better ventilation."

The state report shows that Dolton first received a license in 1995, and holds a current license to operate as a kennel operator with an expiration date of June 30, 2015.

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<![CDATA[Hot Doug's Owner Doug Sohn Reveals Plans for Auction]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:13:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Doug_Sohn.jpg

Fans sporting a Hot Doug’s tattoo may already have a piece of the famous encased meat eatery with them forever, but for those not brave enough to ink their love for the Avondale hot dog stand, there may be another way to walk away with a sausage souvenir.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Hot Doug’s owner Doug Sohn said he plans to auction off meaty memorabilia for charity. Details on when and where have not yet been revealed, but fans are sure to be chomping at the bit to take home part of the beloved restaurant at Roscoe and California.

Sohn also left some hope for fans as he prepares to serve his last Hot Doug’s meal Friday.

In the interview, Sohn noted that a pop-up restaurant isn’t off the table following the shocking closure of the beloved restaurant at Roscoe and California.

"I haven’t ruled that out," he said. "Like a one-night charity thing. Not saying I would, but I’d consider that."

Lines at the Avondale restaurant are longer than ever leading up the “permanent vacation.”

The hot dog stand has generated what some have called "cult fandom."

A man even proposed at the restaurant and had owner Doug Sohn ordain his wedding, and a number of followers got tattoos when it was announced that Sohn would give free meals for life to the questionable souls who inked their loyalty.

The restaurant will even live on in a movie as filmmakers plan to document its final days.

<![CDATA[Defense Wraps Case in Brutal Joliet Slayings Trial]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:41:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Joshua_Miner.jpg

A judge will make a decision Oct. 8 in the bench trial for the alleged "ringleader" of a gruesome 2013 double murder in Joliet.

Joshua Miner, 26, is one of four suspects charged in the murders of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22. Police said the victims were lured to the house, robbed and strangled, and then the suspects played video games until police arrived.

Defense lawyers presented one witness Tuesday before the judge received the case.

Miner claims one of the victims tried to rape one of his co-defendants, Bethany McKee, but prosecutors said the motive for the crime was robbery.

During a videotaped police interview played last week in court, Miner described what happened.

"I punched him in the side of the head ... we wrestled and I overtook him ... finally, he stopped moving," Miner said during the interview.

Christopher Botzum, a Joliet police computer forensics expert, testified about text messages and phone calls from a mobile phone possibly owned by Miner.

Botzum said an outgoing text from the phone said, "We'll clean up ... trying to keep their stuff separate." An incoming text from the phone said, "We'll try and clean. We will do our best."

Miner waived his right to a jury trial.

During a brief opening statement, the Will County State's Attorney's Office said Miner confessed to at least one of the murders, saying, "I killed this guy." Prosecutors also said there is DNA evidence in the form of Rankins' blood on the defendant's shirt.

In its opening statement, the defense took issue with there being a "common plan" to murder Rankins and Glover and went on to say that "evidence is not going to support that."

Last month, a Will County Judge found McKee, 20, guilty of first-degree murder. A third suspect, Alisa Massaro, pleaded guilty to robbery and concealment of a homicidal death in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence and a fourth suspect, Adam Landerman, is awaiting trial.

Terrance Rankins' father, Duval Rankins, attended court throughout the trial.

"I wanna hear what happened in that house. I wanna hear what Joshua Miner done to my son," Rankins said.

"Our family is going through a trying time right now. It's very, very hard."

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow is personally trying the case.

<![CDATA[Chicago Singer Swivels Chairs on "The Voice"]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:45:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/John_Martin_voice.jpg

A Chicago man may have set himself up as an early favorite on NBC's "The Voice" and a chance to be a heartthrob on the show.

John Martin, a forklift operator by day and singer by night, sang Amos Lee's "Sweet Pea," prompting judges Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams to turn their chairs around.

Martin chose Shelton, which means the country singer will try to coach him to victory in the competition this season.

The 25-year-old singer said on the show he was a music major before dropping out of school. He found his love for music in the church where his dad is a pastor.

Several of the judges noted Martin's good looks, and the whistling girls in the audience seemed to agree.

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC 5 at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: The Voice
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<![CDATA[Standout Niles North Swimmer Shot, Killed]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:00:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Max_Gadau.jpg

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Niles North High School student who was fatally shot Sunday night.

Max Gadau, 17, and another person were either standing next to or inside a Honda Civic in the 9200 block of Kedvale Avenue when they were both shot. Gadau died in the attack and the other person was listed in critical condition at Evanston Hospital.

The victim's mother, Patricia Gadau, said her son was asked by a classmate, who's allegedly involved in drugs, to accompany her for "protection."

"Max went to front of the house, to the car, where they were approached by two men on foot and they shot him," Gadau said. "She wanted him to protect her and he did, and he lost his life for it."

Students gathered at the scene of the shooting Monday night to pay their respects. Max was a standout swimmer who instructed others at a local gym.

"To shoot somebody through a window over marijuana is just petty," the victim's longtime friend, Sunair Ibrahim, said.

Niles North parents said they're sick of the violence.

"Enough guns! What are you hunting? What are you doing here in Skokie that you need guns to kill people?" Stacey Robinson said.

Max was planning to swim in college and had just filled out applications at Eastern Illinois University.

"If this can happen to Max, who's a bystander, it can happen to anybody. Bad things happen to good people. You could be next," Patricia Gadau said.

The police department's K-9 unit was brought in and shell casings may have been found inside the vehicle, which was towed Monday morning to an evidence lab.

<![CDATA[Medical Devices Vulnerable to Hack Attacks]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:58:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Medical_device_hacks.jpg

Delivering a lethal dose of insulin, remotely stopping a pacemaker or even administering a deadly shock through a defibrillator are all real possibilities in the world of medical cybercrime, NBC 5 Investigates has found.

"Occasionally patients will raise the question, can somebody hack into these devices?" said Brad Knight, a cardiologist and the Director of Electrocardiography at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Knight and his team at Northwestern implant about 600 pacemakers and defibrillators each year that can be remotely monitored and programmed.

"We can wirelessly communicate with these devices," Knight said.

But this cutting edge technology is what makes these devices vulnerable, and NBC 5 Investigates has discovered some of these devices are not secure, making it possible for cybercriminals to remotely access and alter the equipment.

"That does give me some concern," said Jerry Hoffman, who was born with a congenital heart condition.

The Evanston resident had open heart surgery at 34 and a pacemaker a year later.

"I don't know what people would do with the actual data, but they certainly could potentially manipulate the device for one reason or another," said Hoffman.

The idea of breaking into medical devices became a reality when security expert and diabetic Jay Radcliffe hacked into his own insulin pump.

"I reverse-engineered the communication between this and the insulin pump so that way I knew what kind of language to speak," said Radcliffe, who works for privately-held Boston-based cybersecurity firm Rapid7. "Once I
was able to do that, I was able to write my own program to modify all the settings in the insulin pump, or to turn the insulin pump off."

Radcliffe's groundbreaking research exposed a security flaw that could allow hackers to remotely control the amount of insulin, potentially administering a deadly dose.

"The only thing you needed to know was the six-digit serial number on the back of this," said Radcliffe, referring to his Medtronic insulin pump.

A spokesperson for Medtronic told us the company does not share specifics about the way they secure their products. But she did say the company has made changes since Radcliffe hacked into his insulin pump.

"Over the last few years, we have made security improvements and design changes to some of our products, including software and firmware updates, expanded encryption and improved authentication and application integrity protocols," said Marie Yarroll, Medtronic public relations. "Many of these steps are also part of our product and technology development process."

Medtronic is considered one of the world leaders in medical device technology.

"We are aware of no instance of a malicious, criminal hack, and strongly believe that the therapy benefits of our products greatly outweigh potential risk," Yarroll said.

Security experts say vulnerabilities in medical devices are an industry-wide problem. Some medical device companies have designed cutting edge devices, but experts says they did not given much thought to the potential security flaws that could exist in the equipment and the software.

The Food and Drug Administration issued guidelines on encryption for wireless medical devices about a year ago. But currently there are no Federal requirements regulating medical devices. The FDA and Department of

Homeland Security are holding a public conference next month in Arlington, Virginia to discuss medical device and healthcare cybersecurity.

"I think everything with a computer has flaws," said Dr. Kevin Fu, who will be speaking next month at the cybersecurity conference.

The University of Michigan professor tests all types of medical devices in his Michigan lab.

"They do have shortfalls in that security wasn't really part of the picture when they were designed," Fu said.

Fu uses a synthetic cadaver to test out the devices.

"We actually look at defensive approaches and technology that might allow us to either detect or stop malicious attacks," he said.

Fu has been called to testify before both the House and the Senate. Ultimately, he hopes his research will force medical device companies to increase security.

"The problem with malicious hacks is what is going to come down the line in the future if the manufacturing community doesn't solve these problems," he added.

And that remains a big concern among security experts.

"People who are building these devices are not security people who are familiar with what it takes to withstand all of the attacks," said Christopher Budd, Global Threat Communications Manager at Trend Micro.

And if these security issues aren't addressed, doctors say technology - and patient care - can't move forward.

"I think there are a lot more things we can do for patients that are not a possibility currently because of these concerns about somebody hacking into a device," said Northwestern Cardiologist, Dr. Brad Knight.

<![CDATA[Man Charged After Woman, Child Found Dead in Home]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:00:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dunning+murder+2.jpg

A Chicago man was charged Monday after a woman and a child were found fatally stabbed inside a Northwest Side home over the weekend.

Maciej Kotlinski, 35, was charged with two felony counts of first-degree murder.

Police discovered the bodies of Victoria Kotlinski, 7, and Ania Kosinska, 34, inside the home in the 3400 block of North Odell at 9 a.m. Sunday. Both died from multiple stab and incise wounds.

Chicago police say they were alerted to the situation by Waukegan authorities after a suicidal Maciej Kotlinski claiming to have "harmed his family."

Neighbors say the family didn't appear to be having any problems when they were seen walking together Saturday night.

Kotlinski is due in bond court Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man With Knife Attacks DePaul Student ]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:05:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/crime+tape+generic+edit.jpg

DePaul University is urging its students to be on the alert after a woman was attacked by a man with a knife on campus Sunday night.

School officials say the woman was grabbed by the arm and the man slashed her shirt with the knife in the 2200 block of North Racine. The offender then fled east.

The woman was not injured in the attack.

The university issued a pair of safety alerts earlier this month warning of a group of men seeking the phone numbers of female students for nefarious purposes on the Lincoln Park campus.

<![CDATA[Group Snatches Expensive Watches From Rush Street Store]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:03:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Jewelry_surveillance_9-29.jpg

The owner of a Gold Coast jewelry store is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of four people accused of stealing several expensive watches.

Police say two women and two men walked into the B. Young & Company store in the 800 block of Rush Street at about 12:15 p.m. Saturday. One man pulled the glass panels apart on a display cabinet while another man took the watches, and the two women provided cover by acting as lookouts, according to a business alert issued by Chicago police.

The four individuals left the store on foot and drove away in a silver-colored minivan.

Police released surveillance photos and the following descriptions of the suspects:

  • East Indian male, 50-60 years old, between 5-feet-10 inches and 6-feet tall with grey hair and glasses.
  • East Indian male, 50-60 years old, between 5-feet-10 inches and 6-feet tall with black hair.
  • East Indian female, 40-55 years old between 5-feet-7 to 5-feet-9 inches tall, 140-160 pounds with black hair tied in the back and wearing glasses.
  • East Indian female, 40-55 years old, 5-feet-7 to 5-feet-9 inches tall, 140-160 pounds with black hair tied up in the back.

The boutique jewelry store is located inside the Bentley Gold Coast dealership.

Anyone with information is asked to call Chicago police at (312) 747-8384.

<![CDATA[Chicago's Only Olive Garden Opens on NW Side]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:06:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Olive_Garden_chicago.jpg

Chicago residents won't have as far to travel for an unlimited pasta bowl.

Olive Garden restaurant opened its only eatery in Chicago's city limits Monday, setting up shop in the Avondale neighborhood at 3555 West Addison St.

Gov. Pat Quinn and other elected officials were on hand to tout the approximately 170 new jobs they say the restaurant is expected to bring to the community.

Officials say the new 7,780-square-foot restaurant can host more than 240 guests.

Photo Credit: Olive Garden]]>
<![CDATA[Work Begins on Wrigley Field Renovation Project]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 04:00:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Wrigley_reno_.jpg

Construction on the $575 million Wrigley Field renovation project officially went into high gear Monday.

The Chicago Cubs wasted zero time between the end of the baseball season last week and the start of construction.

Over the next six months, workers will expand the bleachers in both outfields, push the stadium's footprint further onto both Waveland Avenue and Sheffield, and lay the foundation for seven new outfield signs along with a 2,400 square foot video scoreboard in right field. The Red and Purple parking lots will also be excavated to make room for underground players' locker rooms and lounges.

Some fans are excited about the changes but others are worried about losing the historic venue's character.

"I don't want to see it get too doctored up with too much commercial-ness, but I appreciate what they're trying to do. I support the Ricketts," a Cubs fan told NBC 5 near the stadium.

"I just think the neighborhood feel of the ballpark's going to be greatly diluted, or maybe disappear," another fan said.

A pending lawsuit looms over the project. Eight nearby rooftop owners are suing the city claiming the project violates their profit-sharing agreement with the team.

The first phase of renovations is expected to completed by Opening Day 2015.

<![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[President, First Lady and Hillary to Stump for Quinn]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:37:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP222398648587.jpg

Some big name Democrats will be in Chicago over the next couple of weeks to help support Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign.

President Barack Obama returns to Chicago on Wednesday for a closed-door fundraiser on Thursday at a downtown hotel and a speech on the economy at Northwestern University in Evanston.

Michelle Obama will be in Chicago on Oct. 7 to support Quinn, and Hillary Clinton is expected on Oct. 8. The specific details behind the events have not been released.

The big-name appearances may provide a welcome distraction for the Quinn campaign next week when a state legislative committee is scheduled to hold hearings looking into the governor's troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

Early voting begins Oct. 20.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jewel-Osco Reports Another Possible Data Hack]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:43:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP985800088575.jpg

Jewel-Osco revealed Monday that hackers attempted to obtain payment card information at some of its stores in late August and early September.

The intrusion is separate from an earlier incident reported by the company in August, and used a different type of malware, according to information posted on the company's web site.

Company officials say the hackers may have captured "account numbers, expiration dates, other numerical information and/or cardholder names," but it's not known whether they were successful in capturing the customer data.

Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa Jewel-Osco customers who used a credit card from June 22 through July 17 or between Aug. 27 and Sept. 21 are encouraged to monitor their credit and debit card accounts and promptly contact the bank in case of suspicious activity.

Federal authorities have been contacted and third-party forensics experts are investigating the intrusion, according to Jewel-Osco officials.

Jewel customer Alan Rebok said Tuesday that he plans to cancel his account after erroneous activity appeared last week.

"I tried to use my ATM card and it said maxed out. The next day it worked and then I heard the stories this morning and I'm like, 'Oh wow,'" he said.

Officials have not yet confirmed if any customer information was in fact stolen as a result of the breach.

"I think every business needs to think about beefing up their cyber security," said customer Nate Lucero.

The company is offering free consumer identity protection services to anyone affected. Call 855-865-4449 for more information. Customers also can call the Illinois attorney general's office identity theft hotline at 866-999-5630.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Durbin, Oberweis Butt Heads on ISIS, IRS]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:58:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/durbin+oberweis.jpg

Illinois' Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate, faced off against Republican rival Jim Oberweis in a frequently hostile "endorsement debate" before the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Monday.

Chicago's conservative-leaning paper recently live-streamed a similar pseudo-debate featuring Gov. Pat Quinn and GOP challenger Bruce Rauner wherein the two enemies were figuratively at each other's throats for the better part of 90 minutes.

Stretching past an hour, Durbin and Oberweis' exchange began on a respectful note and closed the opposite as the opponents delivered blows on the former's controversial 2010 letter urging the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a conservative political group and the latter's association with the tea party movement.

Oberweis, whose chances of defeating the Democratic incumbent are slim to none, as evidenced by a recent Trib poll, seized another opportunity to target Durbin for requesting the IRS probe Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, a conservative organization that has poured millions in anonymous donations toward like-minded causes and candidates.

The Sugar Grove dairy magnate, who operates a chain of ice cream stores, whipped out purported evidence revealing further correspondence between Durbin and fomer IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, sniping that the senator should "stop lying" about his alleged Nixonian attempts to investigate political nemeses.

"I wasn't hiding a thing, and I won't hide a thing," said Durbin, calling for political groups of all stripes to disclose their donor lists and make political spending transparent.

When it was Durbin's turn to ask a question of Oberweis, he pressed the GOP state senator about whether he supports the tea party's opposition to using federal money to build highways, and the possible loss of construction jobs in Illinois as a result of said opposition.

"I'm not in the tea party," declared Oberweis before noting that he thinks the conservative grassroots movement has had a "generally positive" effect on politics. He said he likes the emphasis on limited government and lower taxes.

The opponents sounded off on a range of hot-button topics including President Obama's proposal to equip and train moderate Syrian rebels to combat the spread of ISIS in Syria and Iraq—Durbin shot down Oberweis' critique that U.S. troops shouldn't have been pulled out of Iraq in the first place—as well as immigration reform, an issue which has plagued Oberweis for years. (In 2004, he courted controversy during a failed bid for U.S. Senate when he aired an ill conceived commercial casting undocumented immigrants as villains who are taking over middle-class jobs.)

Apologizing for the infamous campaign-derailing ad, Oberweis said "it did not communicate the right message" and conveyed his support for giving undocumented children an easier path to citizenship while cracking down on adults with criminal track records. As for those who have no committed no crimes, "They should apply for citizenship and go to the back of the line."

Durbin, as well as the Trib's editorial board, appeared to balk at Oberweis' remark that federal immigration reform would result in "blanket amnesty" for immigrants.

Asked about his hardline stance on corporate inversions—Durbin has crusaded in recent weeks to prevent an exodus of corporations departing Illinois for greener tax pastures—the Senate Majority Whip went on the defense against critics including Oberweis who accuse him of being a bully.

He said he told Walgreens that it would be better for business in the long term if they stuck to their American roots rather than going overseas to "avoid tax responsibility." Oberweis pressed Durbin on why he hadn't earlier sought to reform state tax code to ensure companies wouldn't want to leave Illinois in the first place.

"I favor tax code reform," proclaimed Durbin, blaming Senate filibusters as the reason for the hold-up.

Speaking of taxes, things got real below the belt when the the paper raised the subject of Oberweis' dual residency—his wife lives in Florida, which has has no state income tax—and questioned why he had not disclosed his most recent returns. While Durbin suggested Oberweis "may not be paying Illinois state income taxes," the latter affirmed that he has to pay "more" but did not provide further details.

When the conversation turned to Oberweis' pitch to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, Durbin told his opponent to "get out, meet some of these people" who need that healthcare coverage to survive. Striking back, Oberweis he's been the one on the ground talking to constituents, notably in the South Side.

"I'm sure they're looking for the first Oberweis ice cream store (to open) in the South Side of Chicago," sniffed Durbin.  

<![CDATA[FAA Fire Suspect "Deeply Regrets" Actions, Attorney Says]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:39:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Brian+Howard+sketch.jpg

As engineers and controllers work to repair Aurora's fire ravaged air traffic control center, the man accused of setting that fire was ordered held in federal custody, his own lawyer arguing that's the one place he may get the help he needs.

"He made a tragic mistake in the course of trying to end his own life," said Ron Safer, the attorney representing suspect Brian Howard. "Only someone who is deeply troubled would do that."

The fire triggering widespread cancellations and delays at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports, affecting travelers throughout the country.

Howard said nothing officially in court Monday -- save for giving the judge his name and birthdate -- but he did acknowkledge six family members sitting in the front row when he was walked in.

"I'm sorry," Howard said. They tearfully responded, "Don't apologize. We love you."

Prosecutor Andrew Polovin asked that Howard be detained because he "imposes a danger to the community." Howard's attorney, Ron Safer, countered that he doesn't impose a danger to the community, but to himself.

"What I would ask of the public is that they consider people in their own family, friends, touched by that kind of trouble," Safer said, "and that they summon the kind of compassion and forgiveness that they would want us to summon for those people."

Howard was cuffed and taken to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where he will be held. No future court date was set.

As he was cuffed, his family shouted out in court that they loved him and started crying.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Monday it will likely be at least two weeks before the Aurora facility, known as Chicago Center, is back on line.

"Visualize 29 racks of computer equipment," Huerta said. That's what this system entails. Twenty of those need to be replaced."

Huerta ordered a top to bottom review of air traffic control systems and security in ATC facilities across the country. And he said added security personnel are already in place.

"It's additional people, it's additional patrols, it's additional restrictions on access for core pieces of the infrastructure," he said.

Howard, a contractor who had daily access to the Aurora facility, is accused of pouring gasoline in critical areas of the building's basement and setting equipment ablaze, before trying to slash his own throat.

"Cut all of the cables, cut all of the automation," said former Chicago controller Bob Richards. "Everything that links that control center to the rest of the world of aviation. He was instrumental in taking it completely out!"

The president of the air controllers' union, Paul Rinaldi, suggested it was almost impossible to exaggerate the damage Howard had done.

"This is the biggest challenge we have faced in the national airspace system since the tragedy of 9/11," Rinaldi said. "We're going back to manually inputting routes, and you have a very large chunk of airspace that is not being controlled by anybody, and we're re-routing airplanes around this airspace."

Insiders have been warning for decades that the air traffic control system was vulnerable to just such an attack. Sixteen years ago, the Government Accountability Office expressed concerns about the possibility of both online and physical sabotage.

"Contract employees were given unrestricted access to sensitive areas without appropriate background investigations," that report noted. Two years later, the GAO sounded the alarm again.

"The FAA does not know how vulnerable the majority of its operational Air Traffic Control systems are," the 2000 report warned, "and cannot adequately protect them."

In 2011, the FAA's own Inspector General expressed shock that outsiders were allowed almost unfettered access to FAA computers.

"The sensitive information may provide a rogue employee or contractor sufficient understanding to identify and exploit weaknesses in the air traffic security structure," that report said.

"It's a simple case of somebody's who's already within the system who's just gone rogue," said Richards, the former O'Hare controller. He advocates a "missile silo" mentality, with a minimum of two workers required in any sensitive area.

In the meantime, the FAA said it was learning to work around the damaged Aurora center. While transcontinental flights were routed around Chicago's airspace, the Elgin approach control facility picked up responsibility for flights up to 17 thousand feet, as did companion centers in 18 other cities. Controllers from the fire-damaged Chicago Center were dispatched to other FAA facilities to help with the added loads.

On Monday, the FAA insisted that conditions at Chicago airports were improving. In a statement, the agency said that as of noon, more than 80 percent of O'Hare's normal traffic was arriving and departing, along with 90% of the normal capacity at Midway.

"The Department of Transportation and the FAA appreciate the patience of the traveling public," the agency said in a statement.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Chicago

Photo Credit: Tom Gianni]]>
<![CDATA[CPD Officer Flips SUV in Uptown]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:18:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Police_SUV_flipped.jpg

A Chicago Police Department officer was being treated at a local hospital after flipping a police SUV in Uptown Monday.

It happened at about 1:15 p.m. at the intersection of West Montrose and Ashland. Photos show the vehicle completely upside-down on the street and resting on its hood and windshield.

The officer was listed in serious condition at Illinois Masonic hospital.

At least one other car appeared to be involved in the accident and suffered front end damage.

It's not clear what prompted the accident.

<![CDATA[Chicago Could See First Frost This Week]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:31:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FrostyLeaves.jpg

Brace yourself. The Chicago area could see its first frost of the season by the end of the week.

Weather models show temperatures in some locations could plunge into the mid-30s overnight on Friday, creating frost and a possible freeze by dawn.

It's the culmination of what is expected to be a chilly week after a mild weekend, with Monday being the last warm day for at least the next seven days.

Temperatures could drop from the mid-70s along the lake to the 50s as early as Monday evening. Clouds likely will increase by the afternoon in far northern counties, signaling a sharp fall in temps that gradually will slide south toward Chicago.

Some drizzle or spotty showers are possible late Monday, and lows could dip to the mid-40s by dawn in north and west counties.

There's another chance for sprinkles or spotty showers on Tuesday, a day expected to otherwise be mostly cloudy and much cooler with highs in the upper 50s to low 60s.

Wednesday rebounds with partly sunny, breezy and milder conditions boasting highs in the low- to mid-70s. Showers are expected to develop overnight, and by Thursday, periods of showers and a few thunderstorms are likely.

Friday looks to be unseasonably chilly with highs between 55 and 60 degrees. Those temperatures are expected to persist in the area through the weekend.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Illinoisans on Forbes' List of Richest in U.S.]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:04:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/Money_generic.jpg

Forbes has released its annual ranking of the 400 richest people in America, and Chicago hedge fund tycoon Ken Griffin—who has donated millions to Illinois' GOP governor candidate Bruce Rauner—jumped ahead 14 spots to No. 89.

The 45-year-old Griffin, who ranked 103rd last year, boasts a net worth of $5.5 billion as the founder of the $20 billion hedge fund firm Citadel Group. In June 2014, the active political donor broke records by writing a $2.5 million check to help Rauner defeat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November's election. Griffin has contributed $3.57 million in total to the Winnekta venture capitalist's campaign.

Back in February, he offered $150 million to Harvard, his alma mater, to be used for students' financial aid.

A vocal supporter of charter schools, the libertarian-leaning Griffin—who's going through a contentious divorce from wife Anne Dias Griffin—has padded the campaign war chests of politicians including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and ex-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He was a member of Rauner's exploratory committee before the multi-millionaire businessman declared his candidacy in 2013.

Rauner isn't on Forbes' freshly updated 400 list, but 16 other deep-pocketed Illinoisans made the cut, ranking below Griffin. Among them: Sam Zell, No. 104 with $4.8 billion in the bank; food and beverage entrepreneurs Christopher and Jude Reyes (net worth: $3.7 billion), and four Democratic-donating heirs to the Pritzker fortune.

Not technically a Chicagoan anymore, Oprah—whose primary residence is Montecito, Calif.—came in at No. 209, commanding a net worth of $3 billion.

The richest American is Bill Gates (again) followed by Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and the Koch brothers, another set of influential political donors to conservative candidates and causes. Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, placed eighth on the list.

<![CDATA[Blackhawks Cut Roster to 28]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:40:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/162*120/490146297.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks continued to trim down their training camp roster on Monday morning, with the latest round of cuts bringing the total number of players on the team to 28.

Highlighting the list of cuts was forward Joakim Nordstrom, who had an outside chance of making the team as a member of the fourth forward line. He was a surprise addition to the roster last year before the season began, and ultimately played in 23 total games between the regular season and playoffs, scoring a goal and two assists in that stretch.

Nordstrom will be joined in Rockford by forwards Dennis Rasmussen and Garret Ross. Two of the team’s top defensive prospects will also be making the trip to IceHogs camp, with Adam Clendening and Klas Dahlbeck both being sent down. Clendening is a tremendous puck mover with great passing ability, while Dahlbeck is more of a traditional two-way defenseman. Both players were outside shots to make the roster, especially if the team traded Johnny Oduya or Nick Leddy to make salary cap room to start the year, but both will report to Rockford instead.

The Blackhawks finished off the demotions by sending goaltender Scott Darling to the IceHogs. The move leaves the Hawks with three goaltenders in camp, with Michael Leighton likely to be sent down if Corey Crawford and Antti Raanta both make it to the regular season in good health.

A couple of players were also placed on waivers by the Blackhawks, as Cody Bass and Pierre-Cedric Labrie were both cut from the camp roster. If they clear waivers, they could be sent to Rockford by the Blackhawks, but other teams will get a crack at claiming them first. 

The Blackhawks will next hit the ice on Wednesday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at the United Center. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Prosecutors Rest Case in Brutal Joliet Slayings Trial]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:10:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Joshua_Miner.jpg

Prosecutors wrapped their case Monday morning in the bench trial for the alleged "ringleader" of a gruesome 2013 double murder in Joliet.

Joshua Miner, 26, is one of four suspects charged in the murders of Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, both 22. Police said the victims were lured to the house, robbed and strangled, and then the suspects played video games until police arrived.

Defense lawyers are expected to present one witness Tuesday before the jury gets the case.

Miner claims one of the victims tried to rape one of his co-defendants, Bethany McKee, but prosecutors said the motive for the crime was robbery.

During a videotaped police interview played last week in court, Miner described what happened.

"I punched him in the side of the head ... we wrestled and I overtook him ... finally, he stopped moving," Miner said during the interview.

Christopher Botzum, a Joliet police computer forensics expert, testified about text messages and phone calls from a mobile phone possibly owned by Miner.

Botzum said an outgoing text from the phone said, "We'll clean up ... trying to keep their stuff separate." An incoming text from the phone said, "We'll try and clean. We will do our best."

Miner waived his right to a jury trial.

During a brief opening statement, the Will County State's Attorney's Office said Miner confessed to at least one of the murders, saying, "I killed this guy." Prosecutors also said there is DNA evidence in the form of Rankins' blood on the defendant's shirt.

In its opening statement, the defense took issue with there being a "common plan" to murder Rankins and Glover and went on to say that "evidence is not going to support that."

Last month, a Will County Judge found McKee, 20, guilty of first-degree murder. A third suspect, Alisa Massaro, pleaded guilty to robbery and concealment of a homicidal death in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence and a fourth suspect, Adam Landerman, is awaiting trial.

Terrance Rankins' father, Duval Rankins, attended court throughout the trial.

"I wanna hear what happened in that house. I wanna hear what Joshua Miner done to my son," Rankins said.

"Our family is going through a trying time right now. It's very, very hard."

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow is personally trying the case.

<![CDATA[Fitzgerald Floated for Top Attorney General Spot]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:56:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Patrick+Fitzgerald+3.jpg

Well, you have to admit—he’s got a good resume. 

Patrick Fitzgerald, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, is being touted by some as a potential replacement for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Fitzgerald’s name is being bandied about in legal circles, and no less than Illinois’ junior Senator, Mark Kirk, appears to be in Fitzgerald’s corner.
Fitzgerald’s reputation as a hard-nosed prosecutor of political corruption, along with a recognized expertise in national security law, makes him the perfect choice in the eyes of those looking to re-energize the nation’s top law enforcement office after years of controversy under Holder.
Fitzgerald won national acclaim for his many high-profile investigations during his tenure in the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office, including convictions of two former Illinois governors, Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan. He also set his sights on media mogul Conrad Black, several aides to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley in the Hired Truck Program, and Chicago detective and torturer Jon Burge.
Despite a welcome return for some to a focus on civil rights issues while in office, many observers feel Holder’s tenure to be a series of missed opportunities at best and a controversy-ridden tenure at worst.
Republicans in Congress, long opposed to Holder and more than happy to cause President Obama problems on any available political front, have already signaled their likely opposition to anyone Obama nominates for the post.
Nevertheless, some Fitzgerald backers are hoping his reputation and track record can be brought to bear on those areas critics have faulted the U.S. Attorney General’s office for being lax on. Specifically, they point to Holder’s failure to aggressively prosecute Wall Street malfeasance and re-litigate the errors and missteps of the Bush administration’s War on Terror as places where Fitzgerald could make his mark.
Yet, the last two years of any presidency are often marked by Congressional investigations into executive branch policies and behavior that could easily end up on the Attorney General’s desk. That could well mean Obama may be reluctant to appoint a prosecutorial bulldog to occupy an office just down the street on Pennsylvania Ave.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton to Campaign for Quinn in Illinois: Report]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:56:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_hillaryclinton7.jpg

Hillary Clinton is heading home to her native Illinois to campaign for Gov. Pat Quinn, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Quinn's campaign did not respond to Ward Room's request for confirmation.

The Democratic governor is entrenched in a highly competitive—and increasingly hostile—showdown with Republican rival Bruce Rauner, a Chicago venture capitalist-turned-political rookie who just poured another $1.5 million of his own fortune into his campaign to take Springfield's highest office for the GOP.

Clinton, who has yet to announce her decision on 2016, is extremely popular in diehard Democratic Chicago, where she recently kicked off a national tour to promote her new memoir, Hard Choices.

According to the Sun-Times, she may endorse Quinn in Chicago on Oct. 8, if she's not too tied up with grandma duty.

As previously reported, the Obamas will stump for the governor in early October.

<![CDATA[Boy, 13, Shot to Death in Chicago Lawn]]> Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:02:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Demureya-Macon.jpg

A 13-year-old Chicago boy was shot to death Sunday night in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood after someone asked him about his gang affiliation, police said.

Demureya Macon, 13, was shot in the torso in the 6600 block of South Talman at 8:35 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

"I just want him back," Macon's mother, Tawana Macon said. "I had him when I was his age. He died at the age I had him." 

Macon was with a friend when someone walked out of a nearby alley and asked him about his gang affiliation, according to a police report. The person then pulled out a handgun and began firing.

Tawana Macon said her son, a seventh grader at Fairfield Academy, and two friends were walking a girl to the bus stop near Montgomery Park when the shooting happened.

The teen was shot in the chest and tried to run away, according to the source. He was found lying on a nearby sidewalk.

Macon, of the 6400 block of South Maplewood, was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:36 p.m., authorities said.

"I didn't get to say goodbye," Tawana Macon said.

According to the police report, the teen had no reported gang affiliations.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.