<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Sun, 04 Oct 2015 06:25:48 -0500 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 06:25:48 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Where Chicagoans Are Most Likely to Move]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:01:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/suitcase+couple.jpg

Many call Chicago their "sweet home," but census data shows that more people are moving away from Chicago and than moving to the city.

A report by Crain's Chicago Business using census data analyzed exactly where Chicagoans go when they leave the Windy City.

According to the report, between 2009 and 2013, the 10 metro areas with the highest average number of people moving from Chicago over the course of a year were: 

1. Champaign-Urbana (7,355)
2. Phoenix (7,251)
3. New York (6,435)
4. Milwaukee (6,410)
5. Los Angeles (5,554)
6. Atlanta (5,275)
7. Indianapolis (5,260)
8. Houston (5,252)
9. Bloomington, Illinois (5,092)
10. St. Louis (5,029)
TOTAL: 255,450

The report also analyzed Chicago transplants based on where they lived prior to their move to Chicago. Between 2009 and 2013, the 10 metro areas with the highest average number of people moving to Chicago per year were:

1. New York (7,385)
2. Atlanta (4,582)
3. Los Angeles (4,316)
4. St. Louis (3,925)
5. Phoenix (3,890)
6. Minneapolis (3,738)
7. Detroit (3,648)
8. Champaign-Urbana (3,635)
9. Indianapolis (3,600)
10. Milwaukee (3,533)
TOTAL: 176,271

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders vs. Bears: Offensive Preview ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 15:23:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bears+raiders+1.jpg

When the NFL schedule came out earlier this year, Chicago Bears fans circled Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders as a potentially easy game after a tough start to the campaign, but the Raiders could prove to be anything but easy to beat on Sunday at Soldier Field.

That’s because the Raiders’ offense has been one of the most impressive in the league thus far, and it all begins with their potent passing game. Derek Carr, whom the Raiders drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, has been positively brilliant this season for the team, completing 63.3 percent of his passes while throwing for 726 yards and five touchdowns in three games.

A big part of Carr's success has been rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper, whom the Raiders drafted in the first round of this year’s draft. The Alabama product has 20 catches on the young season, racking up 290 yards and a touchdown in the process. He also has a remarkable 178 yards after the catch, displaying speed and field awareness that aren’t common characteristics of a receiver of his experience level.

The Raiders have also gotten a good amount of production from their second wide receiver, with Michael Crabtree averaging six catches and 61 yards per game so far this season. He also leads the team in first downs, racking up 12 of them for the Raiders so far on the young season.

As if all of that passing firepower wasn’t enough, the Raiders also have a solid run game going behind Latavius Murray. The back is averaging 4.8 yards per carry this season, racking up 248 yards and two touchdowns so far.

To cap off everything, the Raiders take care of the ball extremely well. Through three games, the team has just three turnovers, with Carr and Matt McGloin with one interception apiece and Cooper losing a fumble for the only turnovers that the team has committed.

When one contrasts that kind of effectiveness with the Bears’ offensive struggles, the results can be jarring. The Bears’ passing game hasn’t looked all that great even with Jay Cutler at the helm this season, and it’s still questionable as to whether or not he’ll be able to play on Sunday. If he can’t, then Jimmy Clausen will likely be under center, and with his poor performance against the Seattle Seahawks in a Week 3 loss, there isn’t much reason for optimism if he gets the call in this one.

The Bears’ running game has been an effective weapon this season, but with their struggles against Seattle last week, they weren’t able to keep the ball long enough to get into any sort of rhythm. That will be a key component going up against a Raiders’ defense that hasn’t been great at stopping the run this season, and if that trend continues then Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford could have big games for the Bears on Sunday.

One thing to keep an eye on in the run game will be whether or not the Bears can get effective blocking on the left side of their line. They got some good news on the right side as Kyle Long won’t have to wear a cast on his hand during Sunday’s game, but the team will not have Jermon Bushrod at left tackle against the Raiders, and they’ll have to rely on Charles Leno Jr. as they look to re-establish their rushing attack.

The Bears' wide receiver corps could also be weakened on Sunday, as Alshon Jeffery has reportedly been ruled out of the contest. On the official injury report, Jeffery is listed as questionable for the game, but there still isn't much optimism that he will make his way back onto the field. 

Needless to say, the Raiders seem to hold the edge on offense this week, but with an improving pass rush and the potential to have Cutler back under center, the Bears could start to have a bit of a turnaround this week despite some struggles early on in the season. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Artemi Panarin to Make Blackhawks Debut vs. Dallas ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:57:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/artemi+panarin+russia.jpg

As the Chicago Blackhawks take the ice for the final time during the preseason on Saturday night when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the United Center, the team will display a lineup that is likely very close to the one they will use on opening night next week.

The Blackhawks will welcome a new face to the ice on Saturday, as Artemi Panarin will make his Hawks debut in the game. The highly-touted Russian star has a ton of potential to be a prolific goal scorer in the NHL, and the team will look to exploit that skill as they put him on the second line alongside Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov.

With the game contested on home ice, the team will also put numerous stars back in the mix, with Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Kane all getting their final tune-up before the regular season begins. The three players haven’t played much during the preseason, but all three will be key contributors to the Hawks once things get underway.

Here are the four forward lines the Blackhawks will use on Saturday night:

Shaw – Toews – Hossa
Panarin – Anisimov – Kane
Bickell – Teravainen – Garbutt
Desjardins – Kruger – Baun

The only forward that will not be playing in the game is Viktor Tikhonov, who could potentially replace Bryan Bickell if he ends up being sent down to the Rockford IceHogs before rosters are finalized next week. Bickell was placed on waivers by the Blackhawks on Friday, and he cleared without being claimed on Saturday morning.

The Blackhawks’ primary defensemen will also be in the game on Saturday, with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson all hitting the ice as the team looks to grab one more victory before they open the season against the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Astronaut Takes Stunning Photo of Chicago, Aurora Borealis]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 14:22:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/scott-kelly-gabrielle-giffords-astronaut.jpg

Astronaut Scott Kelly has once again captured a one-of-a-kind view of Chicago that shows the city in all its beauty.

During his #YearInSpace mission, Kelly floated in space above Chicago at night and caught a view of the city lights and the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) in the distance. The result was a stunning Instagram photo of the entire city from above awash in orange lights. The aurora borealis appears as a green halo to the north.

Noting Chicago's history of jazz, Kelly wrote, "#Aurora and all that jazz over #Chicago city lights. #YearInSpace." 

In September, Kelly tweeted a photo of Soldier Field from space while the Bears were playing the Green Bay Packers.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cubs Reach 2 Milestones in Friday Win vs. Milwaukee ]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:41:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cubs+brewers+edwards.jpg

The Chicago Cubs have set all kinds of records and hit all kinds of milestones this season, and they racked up two more in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

To start with, the Cubs’ pitching staff set a new National League record for strikeouts in a season, bringing their total for the season up to 1,414. The previous record had also been held by a Cubs team, with the 2003 group accumulating 1,404 punch-outs.

The Cubs also picked up their 46th road victory of the season when they triumphed over the Brewers at Miller Park, and that mark is a notable one for the team as well. The 46 victories away from Wrigley Field represents the team’s highest total in that category since the 1945 season, when they made their World Series appearance thanks in large part to winning 49 games on the road.

The Cubs also kept their hopes alive of tying their 2008 season record of 97-65 with the win. They’ll have to win each of their final two games of the season in order to match the win total, which would be their highest since they won 98 games during the 1945 season. A win Saturday would match the Cubs’ 1984 total of 96 victories.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Waves Several Feet High Crash onto Lakeshore]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:40:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/waves+paul+hormer.jpg High winds and high lake levels caused massive waves to crash on the lakeshore Oct. 1-3, 2015.

Photo Credit: Paul Hormer]]>
<![CDATA[13-Foot Waves Possible During Lakeshore Flood Advisory]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:06:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/waves+rita+anthony.jpg

The National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Advisory for Lake and Cook counties as strong winds caused waves up to 13 feet tall along the lakefront Saturday.

The high winds along with above average lake levels will likely cause minor flooding by the shore, according to the National Weather Service. The flood advisory is expected to end at 11 p.m.

Most of the day Saturday will remain cloudy and cool with a high of 57 degrees. A chance for rain showers and patchy drizzle arrives in the afternoon and again in the evening.

The wind will die down in the evening and overnight hours, but the cool, cloudy conditions will remain. The high for Sunday is 60 degrees, and the chance for rain showers persists in the morning and afternoon.

The wind and rain will move out by the start of the work week, and temperatures are expected to rise into the 70s.

The next chance for rain is expected to arrive Thursday.

Photo Credit: Rita Anthony]]>
<![CDATA[6 Injured After Car Crashes Into Grayslake Church]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:04:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/grayslake+church.JPG

Six people were injured after a car crashed into a church in north suburban Grayslake while about 100 were lined up for a monthly food pantry distribution Saturday morning.

At about 8:45 a.m. Saturday, a 72-year-old woman drove a 2002 Toyota Camry into Wildwood Presbyterian Church, located at 18630 W. Old Gages Lake Road, according to Lake County Sheriff's Detective Christopher Covelli.

One person was pinned between the car and a wall, according to fire officials. A total of five people, including the driver, were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries, and one person was treated and released on the scene, according to Covelli and fire officials. None of the victims were children.

The crash caused "extensive damage" to the building, fire officials said.

The Lake County sheriff's office is investigating whether the crash was intentional.

<![CDATA[Man Fatally Struck by Car on I-290]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 09:08:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/i+290+fatal+hit2.jpg

A man died after being struck by a car on Interstate 290 early Saturday morning.

The man was struck at about 4 a.m. in the westbound lanes of I-290 near the Western Avenue exit, according to Illinois State Police. The driver of the car did not stop until near the Homan exit.

Police believe the victim was walking along highway after his car broke down when he was struck and killed.

Several westbound lanes were temporarily closed as crews cleared the scene.

Further details were not available.

Photo Credit: Captured News]]>
<![CDATA[Vigil Held for Women Killed in Back of the Yards Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:55:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Yards-Vigil.png

Family and friends gathered Friday to remember two women gunned down in a shooting Monday night in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

A prayer circle set the stage of the vigil for Patricia Chew, 23, and Lolita Wells, 46, the women killed in the shooting. Chew's 11-month-old infant and two other men were also wounded in the shooting. 

The family was coming back from an outing when a barrage of bullets were shot in the 5300 block of South Aberdeen just after 7 p.m, police said. An 11-month-old suffered a gunshot wound in the shooting and was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition.

"Her son asks about her I don't have anything to say," Persha Chew, Patricia Chew's sister and Lolita Wells' daughter, said at the vigil.

Funerals for the two will be held on Wednesday. Meanwhile, family and activists are begging for anyone with information to speak up and "annihilate the code of silence in the streets."

<![CDATA[Laptop Helps Save 21-Year-Old's Life in Motorcycle Crash]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:59:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/IMG_2168.JPG

Nicolas Laboy will soon be able to walk after a horrific motorcycle crash three months ago – thanks in part to his laptop.

The 21-year old army reserve specialist who lives in Bolingbrook was riding to work when he was involved in an accident that left him with several injuries including a broken fibula and tibia, a fractured right foot, a third-degree burn on his thigh, a ruptured spleen, a fractured shoulder and three fractures in his spine.

Laboy said that he was getting ready to cross an intersection and someone was going to make a left, but he remembers nothing else.

Laboy said he has had 13 surgeries for his injuries, but it could have been worse. Laboy was wearing his helmet and a backpack with this laptop inside.

“Between those two things it saved me from breaking my spine essentially,” Laboy said.

Laboy’s mother and girlfriend have been by his side through it all.

“I feel like I won the lottery,” his mother Ilda Laboy said. “My son is my heart and soul. Without him my life would be nothing.”

<![CDATA[Chicago Marathon 2015: Street Closures]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:10:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-128040712.jpg

Over a million spectators are expected to watch Chicago marathoners run the Oct. 11 race. It will stretch 29 neighborhoods, which will allow people all over the city to see the runners.

However, it also means getting around the city that day will be a bit complicated. Here are some things to know as you try to get around Chicago on marathon day:


No Parking Zones that will be in place along the course will be enforced, starting at 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. Street closures will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., though the roads in Grant Park will be closed for a longer period of time. Chicago police will close and re-open streets in a way to ensure runner and spectator safety.

Vehicle Towing

It is important to know that vehicles will be towed along the course and other No Parking zones starting at 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. They will be ticketed and towed to the nearest auto-pound. Also, if you happen to live on one of the streets along the race’s route, you have to move your vehicle off the course by Saturday, Oct. 10. For information in the event that your vehicle gets towed, call (312) 744-4444.

Main Streets:

Lake Shore Drive 
North and southbound lanes will stay open.

Inner Lake Shore Drive
North and southbound lanes will stay open from Diversey Pkwy. all the way to Belmont Ave. Lake Shore Dr. will remain open at Belmont Ave.

Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94)
East and westbound lanes will remain open to motorists. However, the Southbound exit ramp to 31st St. will be closed.

Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94)
East and westbound lanes will remain open. However, the entrance and exit ramps will be closed at Adams St.

Eisenhower Expressway (I-290)
East and westbound lanes will remain open. However, the entrance and exit ramps will be closed at Westbound ramp to Damen Ave.

Stevenson Expressway (I-55)
North and southbound lanes will remain open.

Local Streets

All streets in the Loop will be open to traffic by 9 a.m on the day of the race, but public transportation is recommended.

North of the Loop
North and southbound lanes on Michigan Ave. north of 8th St. North will remain open, including access to the Magnificent Mile. Clybourn Ave., Lincoln Ave. north of Sedgwick St., and Clark St. north of Diversey Pkwy. will also remain open.

West of the Loop
Milwaukee Ave., Halsted St. north of Adams St., Ashland Ave. north of Adams St., and Damen Ave. north of Adams St. will remain open.

South of the Loop
Damen Ave. south of Van Buren St., Ashland Ave. south of 18th St., Archer Ave. west of Halsted St., and Martin Luther King Dr. will remain open.

For more information on street closures, visit the marathon's site.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/SuperStock RM]]>
<![CDATA[Louis-Dreyfus' Son Makes Northwestern's Basketball Team]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 21:44:30 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP535111354121_1Veep.jpg

Julia Louis-Dreyfus may be visiting Evanston a lot more that her son has joined Northwestern University's basketball team as a walk-on, according to a representative for the school.

Northwestern Associate Director of Athletic Communications Nick Brilowski tweeted the news on Wednesday.

The “Veep” star tweeted Wednesday night:

Freshman Charlie Hall is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds, his Northwestern athletic profile shows.

Louis-Dreyfus met her husband, Brad Hall, while they were attending Northwestern, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Thief Leaves Behind Cellphone After Burglary]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:27:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Cell+Phone+Generic.jpg

A thief may have left behind a crucial piece of evidence when he burglarized an apartment in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood last week – a cellphone.

According to a police report, Renee Labrana came home to the 7700 block of East Lake Terrace around 12:20 a.m. last Friday to find her home had been ransacked.

Police said among the things taken were a cell phone, a bottle of loose change worth about $800, and a 28-inch Apple computer.

Authorities noted that a cell phone was left behind during the burglary, sitting on a ping pong table in the residence. Police said the phone was taken into evidence and was being checked for prints.

As of Friday no one had been arrested in the case.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Northern Illinois University Student Diagnosed With Mumps]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:10:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/GettyImages-481681423.jpg

Health officials have reported a Northern Illinois University student has a confirmed case of mumps.

School officials notified students of the mumps case in an alert Thursday saying the DeKalb County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public health and NIU Health Services were working to provide information on the disease to the community.

In August, 50 people were diagnosed with mumps in Champaign County and most of the cases were linked to the University of Illinois campus. In the same month, the Chicago Department of Public Health confirmed a Chicago high school student had a case of the mumps, marking the seventh case of mumps in the city since January.

Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness that's characterized by swollen jaws and puffy cheeks. Although not everyone who gets mumps shows symptoms, they include fever, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite. 

The virus is spread through the saliva or mucus of an infected person, but can spread faster on a college campus because students are in close contact with each other, Dr. Robert Palinkas, director of the McKinley Health Center, said.

Health officials said a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for all children in two doses, but adults should receive at least one dose of the vaccine if they "have no evidence of immunity."

Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Doctors Spoof 'Game of Thrones' in Flu Shot Video]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:36:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/209*120/flu+vaccine+generic.jpg

Winter is coming.

It may be commonly known as a Game of Thrones reference, but Chicago doctors are using the popular phrase to warn residents of the upcoming flu season.

Northwestern Children’s practice posted a video to their Facebook page, spoofing the hit HBO show in an attempt to encourage more people to get flu shots.

“It’s time to stop playing games and start thinking about getting a flu shot,” the video says.

The spoof features fake sword-fighting and toy dragons and has received more than 20,000 views since Wednesday.

“There are two forms of flu vaccine, an injection for children age six months to two years and a nasal spray for children over age 2 who do not have a history of wheezing,” an actor in the video explains.


Beginning October 1, you can come in for a flu shot without an appointment at noon, seven days/ week. WE CURRENTLY ONLY HAVE THE INJECTED FORM, and will update this page when we have the nasal spray.

Posted by Northwestern Children's Practice on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Chicago Department of Public Health is urging residents to get their flu shots now.

"The influenza vaccine actually takes two weeks to actually provide protection so getting it now is great," said Julie Morita, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Experts warn that even when people who are typically healthy get the flu, they put others who are more fragile at risk.

"Flu is a very dangerous disease," said Manijeh Ghafouri, Minuteclinic practice manager for Illinois.

Last year, Centers for Disease Control experts said the flu shot wasn’t as effective as it should be after a new strain of influenza started circulating, but experts said even a less effective vaccine could prevent hospitalizations and deaths, particularly among young people and children.

This year's vaccine, however, is different, according to Morita.

"The vaccines that are available this year made a change and so the strain that cause this last year will be covered this year," she said.  

<![CDATA[Farmer Finds Mammoth Bones on Michigan Farm]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:22:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/196*120/washtenaw-county-mammoth-find-hints-at-role-of-early-humans-pit-orig-20151002.jpg

A farmer and a property owner in Michigan were installing drainage pipe in a wheat field when they discovered a 3-foot-long bone that were later identified as a part of a mammoth pelvis, the University of Michigan said in a press release.

University of Michigan paleontologists worked in Lima Township, located about 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, to recover the skeleton of the animal, according to the release. They were able to retrieve the skull and two tusks, numerous vertebrae and ribs, the pelvis and both shoulder blades.

The bones came from an adult male mammoth that lived 11,700 to 15,000 years ago, paleontologist Daniel Fisher said. However, the remains have yet to be dated.

"We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it," Fisher said, according to the release.

The team said they believe the animal was placed in a pond for storage, explaining that two boulders found near the skeleton may have been used to anchor the carcass, the release said.
"We didn't know what it was, but we knew it was certainly a lot bigger than a cow bone," property owner James Bristle said, according to the release.

Photo Credit: University of Michigan
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 70 Overdose Cases Reported in Chicago in 72 Hours]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:23:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-487311038.jpg

The number of overdose cases on Chicago's West Side has jumped from more than 20 in 24 hours to more than 70 within 72 hours.  

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said there has been 74 overdoses in the past 72 hours, noting that the number is more than double the rate of overdoses the city saw at this time last year. 

Chicago authorities said Thursday they were investigating what's behind the spike. 

A Chicago Department of Public Health alert obtained by the Tribune reported more than 20 people had overdosed in the neighborhood in just 24 hours.

Police recovered a sample that may have been heroin laced with the painkiller fentanyl purchased at two West Side locations. Langford said it was not clear how much fentanyl had been added to the heroin batches. 

Chicago Police News Affairs on Friday said that 23 overdoses were reported in 24 hours, but no one had died as of Friday afternoon.

Police said multiple law enforcement agencies were working "to identify the source of the extremely strong batch of heroin."

The painkiller was in the spotlight in the in the mid-2000s when dozens of people died from fentanyl-related overdoses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How One Syrian Refugee Family Started Over in Chicago]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 23:17:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Refugee.png

Nine months ago Zachariah Torkmany spoke no English.

Now the 12-year-old goes to school, has American friends and teaches his sisters to play basketball.

“I like to play basketball and soccer and the beach,” said Zachariah Torkmany.

NBC 5 Investigates first met Mayada Hamdo Torkmany and her six children back in June. The family had made a desperate escape from Syria. Just five months into the Syrian Civil War, Torkmany’s husband was shot in the head by a sniper and the family’s home was flattened by a barrel bomb. They fled to Jordan and were eventually resettled here in Chicago.

Since our initial encounter with the Torkmanys, their life has changed dramatically.

“Our life has generally improved since we moved,” said Mayada Hamdo Torkmany, who is taking classes to learn English. “My oldest son Ziad is now working. We moved to a new apartment. … We’re closer to our organization which has resettled us. And the kids are back in school.”

But the Torkmanys are in the minority. So far in 2015, 94 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Illinois, according to the U.S. State Department.

NBC 5 Investigates was there as the most recent refugee family arrived at O’Hare. Mohammad Akram Oibdat, his wife, their 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter have no relatives in Chicago but will be assisted by Refugee One, the largest in the Midwest.

“All of them are coming from some trauma,” said Melineh Kano, executive director of Refugee One. “All of them are coming from a civil war. Many of them have been sitting in refugee camps for years and they need help.”

Refugee One offers assistance with housing, employment, medical care and other life necessities.

“We establish a relationship with those families,” said Suzanne Ahkras Sahloul, founder of the Syrian Community Network, a volunteer organization that also helps refugee families transition to life in Chicago. “We go and do house visits and then we start to fill in the gaps.”

Families like the Torkmanys and the Oibdats get a fresh start here. While millions of other refugees face an uncertain future.

“I’m constantly watching the news and following what’s going on,” said Torkmany.” It’s very sad to see everyone leave the country.”

More than half of Syria has fled the country. Thousands have drowned attempting the treacherous journey to Europe in overcrowded boats. Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi‘s drowned body off the coast of Turkey, now  a symbol of the Syrian migrant crisis. Weary Syrians are turned away daily at the borders of Hungary, Croatia and Serbia.

President Barack Obama pledged earlier this month to take in at least 10,000 more Syrian refugees during the next year.

But there’s still the issue of screening all the refugees entering the states. Some law enforcement and politicians argue that the refugee resettlement program could allow terrorists to slip into the states. And just this week, presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that if elected, he would force all Syrian refugees to leave the United States.

“I can only imagine how difficult it is for others who travel for such long distances and they tell them to go back or they hold them or there’s some abuse while they are in those countries,” Torkmany said.

<![CDATA[These Chicago Neighborhoods Have the Most Rat Complaints]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:44:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-482246112.jpg

Some Chicago neighborhoods get more rat complaints than others.

More densely populated areas, such as North Center, Logan Square and Bucktown, see more complaints over rodents than less populated ones, according to a Chicago Tribune analysis of 311 complaints.

In Logan Square alone, the city’s rodent control teams have baited 18,446 premises in the neighborhood since 2001, according to the Tribune.

Data also shows that rat reports are more frequent between April and September, the warmest months in Chicago, the Tribune reported.

It is worth nothing that garbage and feces are sources of food for neighborhoods, the Tribune notes, so areas with many restaurants, people and dogs make for great homes for the pests.

A spokesperson for the city said this week that it plans on reassigning 10 workers from the Department of Streets and Sanitation to rodent control in 2016, according to the Tribune.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Bartman Responds to Fundraising Drive]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:37:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/Bartman.jpg

Chicago Cubs fans have been trying to raise money for Steve Bartman to attend the team’s wild card game, but according to a spokesman, the famous fan isn’t going to participate in any reunion.

The spokesman, who spoke to ESPN about the situation, says that Bartman will not attend the game:

“He has no intention of being at the wild card game. Steve is glad the money will go to a good cause and will be cheering on the Cubs as always.”

According to the GoFundMe page dedicated to bringing Bartman to the game, the money will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association if he opts not to go to the game.

<![CDATA[Robin Ventura Will Remain White Sox Manager]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:36:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ventura_robing.jpg

On Friday, the Chicago White Sox fired bench coach Mark Parent, but the team will retain Robin Ventura as manager, according to G.M. Rick Hahn.

Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune revealed the news as Hahn spoke prior to Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers:

Ventura, who has a record of 295-350 and just one winning season on the South Side, has come under fire this season as the White Sox have struggled to live up to expectations. An offseason spending spree brought in free agents like Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche, and David Robertson, but it wasn’t enough as the White Sox will finish with a below-.500 record for the third consecutive season.

The White Sox have not made the postseason since the 2008 season, and with a depleted farm system and underachieving players at the big league level, there have been plenty of questions about how the team will respond to the issues facing them. With Ventura’s retention, it appears the team will largely keep the status quo in place.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Health Experts Say This Year's Flu Shot Will be Different]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:28:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/flu+shot+generic.jpg

Even though doctors don’t anticipate flu season to hit its peak until January, health experts say it could hit at any time and are warning people to get their flu shots early.

The Chicago Department of Public Health is urging residents to get their flu shots now.

"The influenza vaccine actually takes two weeks to actually provide protection so getting it now is great," said Julie Morita, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Experts warn that even when people who are typically healthy get the flu, they put others who are more fragile at risk.

"Flu is a very dangerous disease," said Manijeh Ghafouri, Minuteclinic practice manager for Illinois

Last year, Centers for Disease Control experts said the flu shot wasn’t as effective as it should be after a new strain of influenza started circulating, but experts said even a less effective vaccine could prevent hospitalizations and deaths, particularly among young people and children.

This year's vaccine, however, is different, according to Morita.

"The vaccines that are available this year made a change and so the strain that caused this last year will be covered this year," she said. 

Flu can be a serious illness, particularly for young children, senior citizens and those with such chronic conditions as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. On average thousands die each year from the flu, a number that can fluctuate depending on which strain is circulating. The CDC has estimated from a low of 3,000 deaths to a high of 49,000 between the 1976-1977 and 2006-2007 seasons.

The CDC recommends that you get a vaccine every year even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed. Your immune protection from the vaccination will decline over time.

Symptoms for influenza include a fever, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago-Area School Encourages Others to Examine Preparedness]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:26:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/215*120/security.png

A Chicago area college encourages other schools to be on heightened alert and examine their own preparedness after a suspected gunman on Thursday opened fire in an Oregon community college, killing 9 people.

Officials significantly ramped up security not too many years ago at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, following another deadly incident closer to home.

“As a result of the tragedy at Northern, we wanted to make sure we had more robust security,” said David Cronan, the school’s executive director of human resources.

The 2008 Valentine’s Day massacre at Northern Illinois University ended with 5 students dead, and Prairie State College realized they might not be ready in a similar incident. At the time, college officials say they only had unarmed security guards.

“This is our area, this is our home, we protect it,” said Officer Robert Pinnow of Prairie State College police.

After the tragedy, they upgraded emergency call boxes, added nearly 150 cameras throughout campus, and installed a silent panic button in every classroom.

“If you have someone confronting you, just like a panic button in a bank, they just flip the button,” said George Pfotenhauer, the school’s police chief.

Pfotenhauer says the 14 full-time officers also undergo firearms and active shooter training.

“We hope and pray we've done enough but we can't ever just sit still we have to be aware of what's happening,” Cronan said.

Other schools commented on the issue of security in light of the shooting.

“City Colleges of Chicago expresses its deepest condolences to the students, faculty, and staff of Umpqua Community College," a spokesperson for the school said. "City Colleges placed its security teams on alert in response to this incident, and we regularly conduct prevention measures, including active shooter training. We remain vigilant about providing our students, faculty and staff with safe and secure teaching and learning environments.”

"Loyola’s Department of Campus Safety has police officers and security officers patrolling our Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses 24 hours a day, and we maintain a close working relationship with the Chicago Police Department," a spokesperson for the school said. "On campus, we have a panic alarm system, a public address system, and an extensive closed-circuit video network. In the event of an emergency, we can also activate Loyola Alert, a notification system that distributes messages to our community."

<![CDATA[Thief Caught on Camera Burglarizing Drone Store]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:43:03 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/217*120/drone+burglary.jpg

A small Chicago store that sells cameras and drones was burglarized just a few weeks after it opened in the city – and the theft was all caught on camera.

Surveillance video from 312-UAV shows a burglar throwing a brick through the front window of the Wicker Park shop just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The burglar is then seen driving through the opening, shattering glass and stealing what the store owner believes is about $2,000 worth of merchandise. The thief then flees the scene down a nearby alley.

“I’m a little bummed,” said store owner Stan Miskiewicz. “Who wouldn’t be?”

The store sells quad-copters, commonly called drones, and the cameras and parts that go with them.

Miskiewicz says four of the devices were stolen in the burglary.
“I wish I could help that guy out as well because obviously he’s in some sort of situation where he needed to do that for some reason,” Miskiewicz said.

Chicago police detectives were at the scene Friday morning and said no one was in custody, but the incident was under investigation. 

Miskiewicz said he wanted to release the surveillance video, in hopes that someone may recognize the thief.

“I'll get through it. We'll get through it,” he said. “We'll get back up and running and we'll get some better security in there to try to prevent that from happening again.”

The store opened just two weeks ago.

“There's not a whole lot of profit in these things so you really want to do it for the love of it, or don't do it cause it's not something you're gonna get rich off of,” Miskiewicz said.

The store owner plans to install a security gate in front of the store’s façade.

He asks anyone with information about the crime to call Chicago police.

<![CDATA[Video: Kris Bryant, Girlfriend Lip Sync Tune From "Frozen"]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 23:08:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kris+bryant+sunflower+seeds.jpg

On Thursday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs dressed up as pretty princesses as part of a traditional rookie ritual, but apparently Kris Bryant isn’t quite ready to give up his glamorous alter ego yet.

Bryant, who dressed as Elsa from the Disney film “Frozen” on Thursday, apparently is a big fan of the movie, judging by a video he made with his girlfriend of the pair lip-syncing one of the songs:

Bryant’s dedication to the film will surely endear him to plenty of fans, but now the real question is this: when he inevitably wins the NL Rookie of the Year award, will he wear this to the ceremony:

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Video Game Simulation Not Kind to Blackhawks]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:05:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/parade162.jpg

Every year, EA Sports does a simulation of the upcoming NHL season, and Chicago Blackhawks fans won't be happy with the latest outcome.

According to the simulation, the Blackhawks will finish with the third-best record in the Western Conference, racking up an even 100 points. They will also beat the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the postseason, but they won’t be able to best the Minnesota Wild, losing in a four-game sweep in the second round.

With the Blackhawks out of the picture, EA Sports is predicting that the Anaheim Ducks will knock off the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final, securing their second championship in franchise history.

While the Central division provides plenty of tough teams to get past both in the regular season and playoffs, the notion that the Wild could sweep the Blackhawks is tough to swallow. The two teams have met in each of the last three postseasons, and the Blackhawks have come out on top all three times, including a four-game sweep on the way to the Stanley Cup last season.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ticketmaster Mistakenly Posts Kanye West Chicago Show]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:48:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_14379640266.jpg

Bad news for Kanye fans who thought the hip hop star was coming to Chicago to perform – he’s not.

The United Center said a show featuring Kanye West at the venue was mistakenly published to Ticketmaster Friday morning.

“Unfortunately, this was done in error, as there are no current plans for a Kanye West show in Chicago,” the United Center posted to Twitter.

The Chicago native was apparently slated to perform on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m., but shortly after the show was posted, the information was removed from the site and replaced with a message that read “Sorry, but this event no longer exists in our database.”

Last month, West performed the 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak in its entirety at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl. 

Ticketmaster could not immediately be reached for comment.

Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cubs Fans Raise Money to Send Bartman to Wild Card Game ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:42:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/Bartman.jpg

It’s been 12 years since Steve Bartman cemented his place in Chicago Cubs lore, but one group of fans is extending an olive branch to the infamous fan.

On the website GoFundMe, there is a page dedicated to raising money to send Bartman to the Cubs’ wild card game next week. That game could potentially be in Pittsburgh or back at Wrigley Field, but according to the fundraiser’s description, it’s about more than just having Bartman attend a game:

“Lifelone Cubs fan wants to make amends for 2003, let’s make it happen. First we need to find him to get him to the big game. If anyone knows where he is at, tell him we are looking for him. The money would pay for his expenses including his ticket, hotel room, flights and a little spending money.

If he cannot be found by the time of the big game all the proceeds raised will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Bartman has not made any public comments or conducted any interviews since he entered Cubs lore in 2003. During Game 6 of the NLCS against the Florida Marlins, Bartman tried catching a ball that Cubs outfielder Moises Alou was trying to catch.

Bartman quickly became a scapegoat for fans after the Cubs blew a 3-0 lead in the game and ultimately fell short of a World Series berth, and he has since avoided the spotlight entirely.

<![CDATA[Chicago Haunted House Named Among Scariest in Nation]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:52:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/haunted-house-722.jpg

A Chicago-area Haunted House was named among the top haunts of 2015 – and it’s ranking on list was one of the spookiest numbers.

HauntWorld, a Halloween resource and online directory for haunted houses and activities, released their list of the country’s scariest haunted houses for 2015 and House of Torment Chicago ranked at no. 13.

The frightening Morton Grove event was the only Chicago-area haunted house to make the list.

“This multilayered psychological thriller is more like a trip through a modern horror movie than a haunted house complete with detailed sets, iconic characters and chilling environments,” HauntWorld said in a release.

The scariest haunt on the list was the Haunted Overload in Lee, New Hampshire.

“There’s no creativity ceiling on the Halloween industry. Consumers expect haunted houses to be scarier every year, so the industry has to tap into modern technology, be truly innovative and create the best experiences possible in order to keep people coming back,” Larry Kirchner, owner of www.Hauntworld.com, said in a statement. “The haunts on this year’s list are especially impressive and unique.”

House of Torment Chicago, located at 8240 Austin Ave. in Morton Grove, is open now through Nov. 7.

Here’s a look inside the spooky event:

<![CDATA[Reports: Jeffery Out for Sunday's Game vs. Raiders]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:51:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/175*120/GettyImages-453565844.jpg

The Chicago Bears will reportedly be without their top wide receiver again on Sunday, as Alshon Jeffery will miss his third consecutive game with a hamstring injury.

The news, which came from Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago and was corroborated by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, is a big blow to the Bears after a week in which their passing attack generated just 64 yards and zero points in a 26-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Jeffery missed a huge chunk of training camp and the preseason with a calf injury, and while he did play in a Week 1 loss against the Green Bay Packers, he has only seen the field on a limited basis since. He sustained an injury in the lead-up to the Bears’ Week 2 contest against Arizona, and although he has been a limited participant in practice this week, it appears that he’s still not healthy enough to play against the Raiders Sunday.

Jeffery’s absence means continued work for Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson as the team’s starting wide receivers, and running back Matt Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett will also stand to benefit from an increased workload.

<![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[Marko Dano Among Hawks' Latest Cuts ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:37:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*124/GettyImages-489586606.jpg

With the regular season just five days away, the Chicago Blackhawks made several roster moves on Friday as they sent down some of their top prospects.

Headlining the list is Marko Dano, whom the team acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Brandon Saad swap. Dano impressed coaches and fans during training camp, but his preseason performances weren’t quite up to snuff, and the team has opted to send him down to Rockford for more seasoning.

The Blackhawks also sent down Vincent Hinostroza (who had an excellent game in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday), Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen, and Garret Ross. Defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Ville Pokka have also been demoted to Rockford.

Dano's demotion is surely performance based to a degree, but it's also a reflection of how well Kyle Baun has played. Both players can be sent down to Rockford without having to clear waivers, so the Blackhawks went with the hot hand as they prepare for the regular season. 

The moves leave the Blackhawks with 13 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders on the roster. The deadline to finalize the regular season roster comes next week, and by that date the Hawks will likely jettison one goaltender (Michael Leighton) and at least two defensemen as they look to carry 22 or 23 players on the roster.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Bryan Bickell Placed on Waivers by Blackhawks ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:50:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-459635672.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have been trying to trade Bryan Bickell as the regular season approaches, but on Friday they reportedly took another step as they placed the winger on waivers.

That report, which comes from Elliotte Friedman, indicates that the Blackhawks are exploring other options on how to get Bickell off of their NHL roster and to free up salary cap space in the process:

While the Blackhawks will still have the option to trade Bickell if he clears waivers (and with a $4 million annual salary, it seems likely that he will), they will more likely send him down to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs instead.

The Blackhawks will also have the option to place Bickell on long term injured reserve (LTIR) once the NHL season offically begins. The designation would allow the Blackhawks to spend an extra $4 million to replace him, and would allow them a great deal of flexibility with their roster. 

Bickell has dealt with vertigo issues since the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where he was forced to miss time with the ailment. He has participated in training camp and in preseason games, but the Blackhawks could still sit him out if he's not at 100 percent. 

The move would save the Blackhawks $950,000 in cap space, but they would still carry a $3.05 million cap hit on their NHL roster because of rule changes in the last NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement.

<![CDATA[ McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Menu Begins Tuesday]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 09:23:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-481668542.jpg

If you thought McDonald’s decision to roll out all-day breakfast was too good to be true, well, it might be; at least for those who already had a specific order in mind.

The fast food giant will indeed be making breakfast available anytime you want to order it beginning on Oct. 6, but only certain menu items will be available.

“Depending on the local market, All Day Breakfast will have a limited menu that focuses on either McMuffin or Biscuit items,” the company announced on their website. “This decision is made at the local level based on customer preference.”

The company cites the reasoning as simply not having enough room on the grills to be rotating through all breakfast, lunch and dinner menus in their entirety throughout the day.

So if you’re really craving a biscuit but in a city where McMuffins are more popular, then you’ll have to get up before 10:30 a.m. to get one when the traditional breakfast menu is available.

If you have a preference, now is the time to let it be known before the big day, like many have on social media: 

Depending on your location, you will be ordering from either the "McMuffin Market Menu" or the "Biscuit Market Menu." I think the question is, which kind of person are you?

McMuffin Market Menu

McMuffin Sandwiches
• Egg McMuffin
• Sausage McMuffin with Egg
• Sausage McMuffin
• (Does not include Egg White Delight)

• Hotcakes with Sausage
• Hotcakes

Sausage Burrito

• Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait
• Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
• Hash Browns*

Biscuit Market Menu

• Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
• Sausage Biscuit with Egg
• Sausage Biscuit

• Hotcakes with Sausage
• Hotcakes

Sausage Burrito

• Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait
• Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
• Hash Browns*

*available breakfast items vary by location