<![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 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:46:58 -0500 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:46:58 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Nesita Kwan Reports on Chicago's Ebola Preparedness]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 18:55:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Ebola_Presby_reax_6p_1200x675_347569219651.jpg

Community health workers went door to door in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood to help prepare the city for an Ebola outbreak the morning after the first Ebola case was diagnosed in New York.

"We're finding signs and symptoms to look for, how to diagnose it, most importantly making sure that they take the appropriate steps so other people aren't infected or exposed," said Julie Morita, the City of Chicago's chief medical officer.

The outreach had been planned for weeks, said Morita.

Emily Landon, University of Chicago infectious diseases expert dealt with a potentially infected child who came to Comer Children's Hospital. It turned out to be a false alarm.

"We probably ask far more people to be concerned about Ebola and to take their temperatureor to remain home in quarantine than probably need to be, but that's wise," Landon said.

The way health officials would track a Chicago Ebola patient's contacts is the same way they track the contacts of chicken pox and measles patients.

"It's no different than how we track those diseases," Landon said. "The good news is that most people know whose bodily fluids they've been in contact with, and that makes the contact tracing for Ebola a little more simple than it is with something like the chicken pox or measles."

<![CDATA[Wheaton Warrenville South Takes DVC Title in Last Minute]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:21:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Generic-High-School-Football-5.jpg

Wheaton Warrenville South managed to clinch the DuPage Valley Conference title with only 43 seconds remaining in the game against Naperville Central Friday.

With the game tied 20-20, Keishawn Watson scooped up his teammate Jonathan Johnson's fumble and went on to score in the game's final drive.

The game's final score was 27-20.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Beginnings Church Robbed of $8,000]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:53:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Pastor+Corey+Brooks+across+country+story.JPG

Around $8,000 was stolen from a donation box at Pastor Corey Brooks' South Side church during a burglary, police said.

The burglary happened sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning at the New Beginnings Church located on 6600 block of South King Drive. A member of the church reported the incident to police Saturday morning.

Burglars entered the church through its back entrance and broke the glass in the doors. Brooks said he recorded death threats hours before the burglary, citing his public support for Bruce Rauner as the reason.

"Today, I'm going to show our community the damage and share with them the threats I've received," Brooks said in a statement. "We'll start on repairs -- not just the structural ones that are easy to fix, but the spiritual ones that are going to take some time -- and I'll pray for the people who did this."

Brooks is known as the "rooftop pastor" after he held a 94-day vigil on the roof of a former Super Motel at 6625 S. Martin Luther King Drive. Brooks held the vigil to gain support for building a community center in the abandoned building.

Area South detectives are investigating the burglary.

<![CDATA[State: Travelers from Western Africa Subject to Quarantine]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:50:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/493339009.jpg

Some airline passengers arriving into Chicago from three West African countries will be put under a mandatory home quarantine, Illinois health officials announced Friday.

Passengers who had any contact with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea will be placed in quarantine for 21 days under a mandate from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Illinois follows New York and New Jersey in the rule change.

The order includes any high-risk medical personnel who have performed medical services to individuals infected with the Ebola virus and will be implemented by local health departments across the state. Previously these high-risk individuals were subject to a voluntary quarantine.

While Gov. Pat Quinn called it a "common sense" move, some experts maintain it's risky to rely on the honor system.

"It's too dangerous. I mean, it's too easy to lie. I don't think that's anything we want to rely on," said Aaron Gellman, a professor at the Transportation Center and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "I don't think it's bad to ask them the question, but you don't necessarily have to believe it."

More than 10,000 people worldwide have contracted ebola, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S., a health care worker who was in isolation at a New Jersey Hospital tested negative for ebola.

Officials said the woman who treated patients in West Africa would remain under mandatory quarantine.

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Illinois.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boy, 13, Shot Nine Times]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:12:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Jones.jpg

A Gary, Indiana, boy was killed Friday after being shot nine times by a neighbor whose home was burglarized earlier in the day, police said.

The 13-year-old boy, Kobe Jones, was reportedly laughing about the home invasion after his neighbor created a scene outside the home on the 1000 block of Polk Street.

Police said the home was burglarized at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. The homeowner and his girlfriend returned home about five hours later and was visibly upset about the discovery, police said.

"I was told that my son was laughing and the guy shot him dead," Jones' father, Kaunda Jones, told reporters.

The teen, one of 12 siblings and described as a funny, outgoing young man, died at the scene and his death was ruled a homicide. Family members said the unexpected funeral would be a financial burden and have created an account to collect donations. Contributions can be sent in the form of a check or a money order to 505 Adams St., Gary, IN 46402 or the Chase account 3005774699.

The neighbor and his girlfriend took off after the shooting and were arrested at about 7 p.m. when they returned to the home, police said. Their names were not publicly released because no charges had been filed by midday Saturday.

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<![CDATA[Top Chicago Halloween Costumes for 2014]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:22:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/186344907.jpg There is still time to find your Halloween costume. Here are the most popular costumes in Chicago and where you can get them.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Colors of Fall 2014]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:20:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/ee2f003830db48b4833e1fa7a62d55ae.JPG.jpg Midwest weather is always unpredictable but one thing can be counted on, the beautiful fall colors. Look at photos of fall captured from around Illinois.

Photo Credit: Patrick Richardson]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Appoints Monitor for IDOT Hiring]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:06:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_pat_quinn16.jpg

A federal judge has named the same attorney who oversaw hiring in the city of Chicago to monitor hiring problems at Gov. Pat Quinn's Department of Transportation. 

A brief Friday order names Chicago attorney Noelle Brennan. She monitored Chicago hiring from 2005 until this year when the city was found to be largely in compliance of decrees barring patronage hiring.
Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier decided Wednesday to appoint an IDOT monitor. That was a setback for the Democratic governor, whose re-election campaign claims he's navigated Illinois away from ethical problems.
Anti-patronage campaigner Michael Shakman has alleged improper hiring at IDOT.
Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says Quinn "has directed IDOT to work closely" with Brennan and the court to ensure all "rules are strictly followed."
Quinn's office has denied any wrongdoing.

<![CDATA[Opinion: Why Oberweis Is Pivoting on Gay Marriage]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:00:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/10P_PKG_OBERWEIS_LUNCHEON_13786509_1200x675_196265539512.jpg

In a stunning turnaround, Jim Oberweis has revealed that he would support a federal law for gay marriage though he'd rather states have the final say on the issue.

Previously the Republican state senator voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, so this apparent evolution in his mindset comes as a surprise—or does it? Consider where Oberweis made the statement: Onstage during his first official debate against Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, whom he's trying to knock out of office despite insurmountable odds. Durbin, by all accounts, will easily win a fourth term in the Senate on Election Day Nov. 4; he's out-fundraised the Sugar Grove dairy mogul by the millions, and bull-dozed him in a recent pseudo-debate at the Chicago Tribune's editorial board.

Oberweis dropped his gay marriage bombshell while the candidates sparred on the subject Wednesday night, saying recent court decisions paved the path for legalization in several states and he'd now back a federal law.

"Time has passed and I believe courts have said that that is the law and I will uphold the law of the land," declared Oberweis, later refusing to elaborate when reporters noted afterward that, no, there's actually not a federal law authorizing marriage equality across the nation.

Durbin, who has sought to link Oberweis to the tea party, said gay marriage should be legal in each state and on the federal level, too.

Given his dire circumstances—the election is right around the corner and he's got nothing to lose—Oberweis may have thought that a high-profile, media-attracting debate was be a pretty good time to steal some shine from Durbin and announce his pivot on the subject.

It perhaps had less to do with personal philosophy than with politics: After all, Republicans in 2014 are trying to shake off a negative view of the party as backwards and out of touch, especially on wedge social issues like gay marriage that are gaining a gradual cultural acceptance; making such a last-ditch declaration is a way to get Oberweis attention at a crucial moment and re-spin him as closer to a fiscally conservative, socially moderate brand of Republican. But that spin will only go so far, since Oberweis is forever tainted by that tone-deaf, anti-immigration ad from his previous failed Senate bid circa 2004.

His fellow Illinois Republican, 10th-district congressional candidate Bob Dold, is hogging much of the national GOP's resources, in addition to gobs of outside money from super PACS and deep-pocketed donors like billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Dold's district, up in Chicago's tony, Democratic-leaning northern suburbs, is a battleground and the outcome a toss-up. The Kenilworth businessman has moved to present himself as a political independent who is both—here we go again—fiscally conservative and socially moderate. He's been endorsed in a TV ad by like-minded Sen. Mark Kirk, a well regarded Republican centrist and Durbin ally serving the 10th, who's shied away from publicly campaigning for Oberweis.

Kirk was the second GOP senator to back gay marriage, with Dold coming around to change his mind ahead of its 2013 legalization in this state.

As he prepares to lose another senatorial campaign, Oberweis' flip-flopping can be viewed in several lights: A) A desperate attempt to rebrand (and rehab) his image in the vein of Kirk, Dold and other establishment GOP-ers; B) A noble, if not seemingly genuine, effort to propel forward on a popular and important civil rights issue; C) A cynical strategy to get on the good sides of GOP voters for whom the "tea party" is tantamount to  "Voldemort"; or D) All of the above.

Asked whether he intended to run against Kirk in 2016, Oberweis quipped recently: "I'm going to win in 2014, so I don't even have to think about that."

It's precisely that kind of outsized confidence that could beckon the ambitious "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" state lawmaker back for round four after three losing bids. Maybe he'll give away more ice cream next time.

<![CDATA[Top Figure Skaters Performing in Suburbs]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009394232_1200x675_347545155993.jpg Skate America is bringing the top U.S. figure skaters to the north suburbs this weekend, and a local athelte is among them. LeeAnn Trotter reports.]]> <![CDATA[Gloria Steinem, Feminist Legend, Stumps for Quinn]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:21:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009394613_1200x675_347554371768.jpg 10/23/14: Feminst icon Gloria Steinem Friday stumped for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, lauding his virtuous nature and imploring female voters to reelect him.]]> <![CDATA[This Week in Mudslinging: Bruce Rauner Is An Alpha Bully; Oberweis Is Toast.]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:59:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SKoreanMudFest.jpg

There's T minus 12 days to go 'til Election Day, and no clear winner in the close battle between Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner. Both men are in survival mode. The stakes are high. This cash-strapped state's future hangs in the balance. Cockroaches run amok.

Without further ado, This Week in Mudslinging:

Quinn vs. Rauner. The nemeses ripped one another to shreds in their final debate before Election Day, firing off the muddiest round of Quinn-sults and Rauner rips thus far in this knock-down, drag-out fight. Rauner, a finger-pointing "mansplainer" onstage, repeatedly bashed the incumbent Democrat as a "failure" and a "phony," to which Quinn responded: "He's a champion name caller." (If this were a kindergarten playground, Rauner would get a time out. Then he would try to buy his way out of time-out, by donating millions to build a new charter school for over-privileged children in Lincoln Park.) The multi-millionaire GOP investor then dropped his braggiest campaign ad yet, touting all of his mainstream media endorsements. Next came results of a Tribune poll showing the two rivals in "dead heat" with Rauner inching two percentage points ahead of Quinn, 45-43, thanks to growing support from white suburban collar-county women voters who tend toward the fiscally conservative and the socially moderate. Can Quinn out-campaign Mr. Mansplain heading into the home stretch? With the outcome in "toss-up" territory, the governor got some back-up this week from Democratic power brokers like President Barack Obama and ex-President Bill Clinton, slinging mud on his behalf in Chicago (where Quinn has a firm grip), as well as Veep Joe Biden, traveling north to Vernon Hills to stump in the battleground 10th district. Negative ads abounded.

Dave McKinney vs. the Sun-Times and Rauner. Sending shockwaves throughout the incestuous Chicago media-verse, McKinney—a veteran political reporter at the liberal-leaning Sun-Timesresigned in protest after brass allegedly cowed to pressure from Rauner's PR team to kill a controversial story he was working on and "yanked" him off his beat. In a letter addressed to Sun-Times owner Michael Ferro, whom he blamed for a "chilling effect in the newsroom," the journalist lamented that the candidate's aides had forwarded to higher-ups an error-ridden "opposition-research hit piece" falsely suggesting that his wife, a Democratic political consultant, was collaborating on the story. The final straw for McKinney? The paper's decision to break its no-endorsement policy, endorse Rauner over Quinn and support "the very campaign that had unleashed what Sun-Times management had declared as a defamatory attack on me." Now he might sue, but in this case, a legal victory is an uphill battle. For more on this insidery yet significant media scandal, see my colleague Mark Anderson's excellent essay "Sun-Times Squanders Trust Right When City, State Need It The Most."

Dick Durbin vs. Jim Oberweis. The second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate has no competition whatsoever from the Illinois state Republican senator and ice cream tycoon. He's now 14 points ahead of Oberweis. Despite those long odds, Durbin's GOP rival keeps on swinging ... and missing. In the enemies' first and only televised debate Wedneday, he slammed the incumbent as "smooth" and out of touch with "people on the streets." Sniped Oberweis: "He's not the same man that he was 32 years ago when he first ran for Congress." Countering, Durbin linked the Sugar Grove politician to the much-maligned tea party and referenced Oberweis' past remarks encouraging a tea party group to "take over" the state Republican Party. Oberweis, pulling a Biden, made headlines by publicly supporting gay marriage, and Durbin—a strong proponent of marriage equality—had no mud to sling upon that surprising 180 from the guy who voted against making it legal here in the Land of Lincoln.

City Council vs. Cockroach. Having once lived in New York City, the sight of a cockroach gives me stress hives. I instinctively want to reach for a can of Raid and spray the vermin before it disappears underneath my bed never to be seen again until eight hours later, when it re-surfaces and FLIES ACROSS MY STUDIO APARTMENT. Cockroaches are prehistoric, resilient bugs. And they can smell fear. They also appreciate irony. On Thursday one was spotted climbing up the walls of City Council during testimony from Fleet and Facility Management Commissioner David Reynolds, the authority in charge of ridding the city of such pests. Reynold said afterward, "I was mortified. The timing is ironic, that in the middle of my budget hearing a cockroach decides to make itself known." That is exactly why I am dubbing it the very first "Mudslinger of the Week" for hilariously—and courageously—creeping into a notorious chamber of corruption and keeping aldermen on their toes.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Passengers File Lawsuit After Indiana Megabus Crash]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:49:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/megabus+crash+indiana.jpg

At least eight passengers are suing Megabus after they were injured in a double-decker bus crash on earlier this month on I-65 outside of Indianapolis.

The lawsuit claims the bus had mechanical failures and never should have been on the road. Passengers said they received emails from Megabus mid-trip and the bus driver made public announcements about the bus’ mechanical failures.

“In light of the bus driver’s announcement and the Megabus email acknowledging a mechanical failure with the bus," attorney Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr. said in a statement, "we obtained an emergency order from the Court to preserve the bus and its components so that we can have it examined by an expert.”

The suit alleges Megabus was negligent in maintaining and operating the bus.

Sean Hughes, associate director of corporate affairs for Megabus.com said the company believes "it is premature for anyone to comment on the cause of the accident while the investigation is ongoing. However, Megabus.com has no reason to believe that faulty wipers caused or contributed to the happening of this accident."

"Megabus.com takes the safety of our passengers as its number one priority, consistently going above and beyond federal requirements," Hughes said.

The bus was traveling from Atlanta to Chicago on Oct. 14 when it crashed and rolled onto its side at about 4:25 a.m. in Greenwood, Indiana. Between 50 and 60 people were on board, and officials said at least 18 people suffered injuries.

State police Sgt. Shawn O'Keefe told reporters the driver apparently tried to avoid an accident when the crash happened.

Passengers who filed a lawsuit a day after the crash said they could hear the bus driver complaining about the windshield wipers not working.

Their lawsuit states that each plaintiff suffered "personal injuries, financial damages and subsequent medical expenses." Injuries included a separated shoulder, knocked-out teeth and numerous facial cuts that required stitches.

<![CDATA[2014 Chicago-Area Halloween Decorations]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:13:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/b479bfdd068a47c2a37049d319d54c3d.jpg From spider webs to front-yard mock cemeteries, some Halloween enthusiasts love to show their holiday spirit with spooky decor. Here are haunted decorations from around the Chicago area.

Photo Credit: Brianna Gentile]]>
<![CDATA[Joe Maddon's Tampa Departure Heats Up Cubs Speculation]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:41:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/maddon-martinez.jpg

The Tampa Bay Rays have long been a model of what baseball teams in small markets should do. Led by GM Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon, the Rays made the playoffs four times and reached the 2008 World Series, becoming one of the biggest success stories in the sport.

After a disappointing 2014 season however, things are now changing in Tampa, as Friedman left earlier this month to become the President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Friday, the next domino fell, as it was revealed that Maddon had opted out of the final year of his deal with the Rays to pursue other options.

Speculation was rampant when Friedman was hired by the Dodgers that Maddon would eventually follow him to southern California, but according to various reports, Maddon isn’t interested in the job. With Don Mattingly getting a vote of confidence from Friedman when he was hired, the thought is that the team is at least a year away from looking for an alternative on the bench, but another team could potentially stand to benefit from Maddon’s resignation: the Cubs.

The Cubs do have manager Rick Renteria under contract for two more seasons, but according to several national baseball reporters, they are viewed as the frontrunner for Maddon’s services:

Members of the Chicago media haven’t reported anything on the topic, but it’s still an intriguing idea. With a roster flush with young talent and a minor league system that’s preparing to churn out even more players (Kris Bryant was named the best offensive player in minor league baseball on Thursday), the Cubs have a lot of similarities to the Rays teams that Maddon piloted to four playoff appearances, and unlike Tampa, the Cubs actually have the financial resources to go out and secure top-tier talent rather than just watching it leave town as soon as it’s able to.

 All of the Cubs’ talk this offseason has been about their goal for 2015, which is to win the NL Central. Going out and getting a player like James Shields, Cole Hamels, or Jon Lester could be a huge boost to those chances, but adding a guy like Maddon to the mix would be an absolute coup. With playoff experience, a unique style, and most importantly of all, an ability to command respect from his players, Maddon would seem to be a tailor-made fit in Chicago, and the Cubs would be wise to look into his interest immediately.

There are some downsides to the plan, to be sure. Renteria was brought in specifically to work with young Latin American players like Starlin Castro, Javier Baez, and Jorge Soler, and he did exactly that. Castro had a bounce back year after a subpar 2013, and Soler came into the big leagues crushing the ball with regularity. Anthony Rizzo also responded well to the first year of the Renteria experiment, and while Maddon does have a reputation for getting a lot out of younger players, it’s unclear whether firing Renteria would send a bad signal to players like Castro and Baez.

That reality leaves the Cubs with an interesting decision to make. Maddon is clearly the best available candidate on the market, but does his availability fit in with the time frame that the team is working with? If this had occurred last season, there’s little doubt that the Cubs would have aggressively pushed for him, but Renteria’s two remaining years and success in working with Castro casts some doubt on a change.

It will be an interesting situation to follow, and the Cubs’ approach to the situation will be a great indicator of where they feel they are in their rebuilding process.

<![CDATA[Rose Says Kane Pushes Him to Excel on Court for Bulls]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:48:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/175*120/457315830.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls share a home arena, and with that shared space comes some mutual admiration, as players from both teams are often seen supporting one another in the stands at games.

One such relationship has formed between Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane. Pictures of Kane at Bulls games are common place (his relationship with LeBron James has also been noted a time or three), and in the past, he’s spoken highly of the way Rose plays the game.

On Friday, Rose returned the favor in an interview with ESPN’s Scott Powers:

“He’s a talent the way that he skates, how he is on the ice and the way he is able to play an aggressive game and still be productive in games….I’m a fan. He’s pushing me along with him. He’s pushing me.”

Rose will be looking to have a big bounce back season after a torn meniscus ended his 2013-14 season, and even as he makes adjustments to his game, it appears as though he still values what speed can bring to the table for an undersized player. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Three Stars: Smith, Shaw Shine as Hawks Fall ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:01:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/174*120/456929204.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks gave it a valiant effort, but despite goals from Ben Smith and Andrew Shaw they fell just short in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Even in the losing effort, several players’ performances stood out, and we’ll give them some kudos in this edition of Three Stars.
Third Star: Trevor van Riemsdyk
One of the things the Blackhawks have missed with Nick Leddy being traded is his ability to bring the puck into the offensive zone consistently, but they may have found an adequate replacement in van Riemsdyk.
During Thursday’s game, the rookie split the Nashville defense on several occasions, using his speed and strength to muscle his way into the zone. He set up several quality scoring chances, and even though he didn’t pick up any points, he still was one of the most active blue liners on a night that the Hawks needed him to be.
Another thing that van Riemsdyk has brought to the party is some responsible defensive skill. In Thursday’s game he blocked four shots, and none of them were more important than the one he stopped from Taylor Beck in the second period. On the play, Nashville got an unexpected 3-on-2 rush from the blue line in, and Beck looked to be gaining the outside edge when he got the puck. Van Riemsdyk made a quick adjustment on the ice and dove to block the shot. He ended up getting kicked in the head for his trouble, but the important thing was that he was okay and that the Predators didn’t score.
It was a great play by the youngster, and if this is indicative of what the Hawks can expect from him going forward, he’s going to be a really nice addition to the blue line corps.
Second Star: Andrew Shaw
Shaw’s third period goal was a thing of beauty, and all it took was a funky bounce off the boards to make it happen.
Retrieving the puck in the defensive zone, Shaw skated through the neutral zone and tried to dump the puck into the offensive zone for a teammate to retrieve it. The puck ended up hitting the boards and bouncing out toward the middle of the ice instead of skirting along behind the net, and Shaw picked it up. He then drove straight to the front of the net, and even though Pekka Rinne made an initial save, Shaw was able to bat the rebound out of midair and into the goal to make it a 3-2 game.
It was, needless to say, a very odd play because of the bounces, but the big takeaway was how Shaw reacted to it. Seeing the open space allowed him to drive immediately to the front of the net, and the whole play seemed to take Nashville by surprise. It was a good goal set up by good ice-awareness and hand-eye coordination, and it’s a continuation of Shaw’s strong start to the season.
First Star: Ben Smith
Smith is a Swiss Army Knife in Joel Quenneville’s arsenal of weapons, and he showed that ability on Thursday. He was strong on the penalty kill, looked good in even strength minutes with Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw, and played responsible defense whether at even strength or short-handed.
Smith’s biggest contribution to the game came in the first period when he scored the first goal of the contest for Chicago. On the play, Smith worked his way into the corner and wrestled the puck out of a scrum. He then pushed a pass to Marcus Kruger, who ended up putting a wraparound attempt through the goal crease. Fortunately for him, Smith was crashing the net on the other side, and when he punched in the rebound, the Hawks grabbed a 1-0 lead.
The play was a perfect encapsulation of what Smith brings to the table for the Hawks. He is willing to go into dirty area to win puck battles, he crashes the net with abandon when necessary, and most importantly of all, he can score goals. It was a great play all-around, and if the Hawks had won, it would have stood out even more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FBI, IRS Agents Raid Chinatown Restaurants]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:59:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/fbi-chinatown-2.jpg

FBI agents executed search warrants at "a number of locations" in Chicago as part of an ongoing investigation, an agency spokeswoman said.

Lao Beijing Restaurant, on the 2100 block of South Archer Avenue, in the Chinatown neighborhood, was one of several locations visted. The owner, Tony Hu, owns the Tony Gourmet Group, and it appeared several of his locations were being investigated.

"No arrests [are] involved with today's activity," Special Agent Joan Hyde told NBC Chicago.

The IRS was also involved in Friday's action. It remained unclear as of 1 p.m. Friday what the investigation was regarding.

Photo Credit: Chris Coffey
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<![CDATA[Bears' Run Game Can Thrive Against Patriots Sunday]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:21:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bears+packers+12-29+13.jpg

The Chicago Bears haven’t gotten many opportunities to run the ball this season, as they’ve faced some of the best rushing defenses in the NFL in the first seven weeks. Sunday’s game should be a big exception to that rule, as they face a New England Patriots team that is currently ranked 24th in the league in that category.
This isn’t just a matter of one team gashing the Patriots either. They’ve had a few good weeks, only allowing 54 rushing yards to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2 for example, but they’ve also had some really bad weeks. In a Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots were gashed for 191 yards, with Knowshon Moreno picking up 134 for the team. In Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, things were even worse for New England as they coughed up 207 rushing yards and nearly had a pair of 100-yard rushers against them as Knile Davis and Jamaal Charles both ran roughshod over them.
The big game that the Bears need to pay attention to is the Week 7 game the Patriots won over the New York Jets. A blocked field goal at the end of the game preserved the win for New England, but before that they had given up 218 yards on the ground to Chris Ivory and company. In total, the Jets averaged 5.1 yards per carry against the Patriots’ defense.
While the Patriots do have some really good weapons to use against the Bears, such as defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and defensive end Rob Ninkovich, but they will be missing a couple of key pieces too. Linebacker Jerod Mayo will still be out of their lineup, a huge loss up the middle, and defensive end Chandler Jones will also be out for the game, depriving them of one of their best pass rushers and run defenders.
As the Patriots deal with those losses, the Bears have got to be able to get Matt Forte and Ka’Deem Carey going early. Against the Green Bay Packers (who also vary up their defensive fronts in a similar way to the Patriots), both players were able to get some serious yards both up the middle and around the edge, and Sunday should provide similar opportunities. Having healthy linemen in Matt Slauson and Roberto Garza will only help in that regard, and if Jordan Mills can go on Sunday (he’s been limited in practice this week), he is a much better run blocker than he is a pass blocker.
Adding to the urgency for the Bears is that the Patriots’ pass defense is currently the best in the NFL, only allowing 204 yards per game through the air. Cornerbacks Alfonzo Dennard and Darrelle Revis are among the best in the league, and safety Devin McCourty is a dangerous weapon in the middle of the field. Jay Cutler will have to tread carefully against them, and having a solid running performance from Forte and Carey could open things up in the passing game too.
Ultimately, this game is going to come down to time of possession and the Bears’ ability to establish that they aren’t just a one-trick pony. This isn’t the kind of game that’s going to be won with deep passes and Cutler’s arm. This game will be won or lost based on the Bears’ ability to show the Patriots that they can run the ball, and if they can’t, it’s going to be a long afternoon in Foxboro.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Opinion: Was City Duped on Interest Rate Swaps?]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:28:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chicago+skyline+getty1.jpg

One of the most underreported stories to come out of the 2008 global financial crisis is the relationship between big Wall Street firms, local municipalities and budget decisions. 

In cities big and small across the country, city officials entered into complex financial deals known as interest rate swaps that in many cases have backfired on them, costing millions in potentially unnecessary payments and fees. 

Now, activists and others are calling on the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools to come clean about their own dealings with interest rate swaps, charging the city and CPS are dragging their feet in doing all they can to challenge the terms of any bad deals they’ve entered into. 

The question becomes: what does the city have to hide? 

Boiled down to their basics, interest rate swaps offer a debt issuer, such as a city or school district, the opportunity to avoid higher interest rates on bonds they issue. They do so by typically exchange fixed rate interest payments for variable rates, determined in large part by how the economy is doing and how specific market indexes behave. 

Chicago has long used interest rate swaps as a potential hedge against higher interest rates. It even has a publicly listed “Swap Policy”, which details how and when swaps should or shouldn’t be used.

For it’s part, the Daley administration relied heavily on interest rate swaps as part of its overall strategy for issuing bonds and fixing the city’s budget. However, two factors have conspired to make at least some of those deals go bad: a drop in interest rates and downgrades in the city’s credit rating. 

The Chicago Sun-Times has reported the city could be on the hook for $200 million because of the deals if the city’s credit rating drops further. Bloomberg is reporting it could cost the city as much as $400 million to get out of the deals entirely. 

For it’s part, CPS is believed to have spent more than $800 million in payments to banks and financial services firms as part of interest rate swap agreements. 

Organizations such as the Chicago Teacher’s Union, AFSCME Council 31 and SEIU Healthcare have called on the mayor and CPS leadership to file for arbitration with FINRA, the financial industry’s regulatory body, to seek a refund of payments for what they say were “fraudulent” swap deals.

As well, the Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus has called for an end to the interest-rate swap agreements with banks and private investment firms, including Bank of America and Loop Capital. 

Recently, former North Carolina Congressman and onetime member of the House Financial Services Committee Brad Miller testified before an open CPS meeting, calling on municipal issuers like Chicago and CPS to review the specific documents pertaining to their deals and explore legal options to recover their payments on the grounds that they likely violated state and federal laws. 

Yet, in another example of how politics and public policy are done in Chicago, the Emanuel administration has said the city has looked into the matter and decided there’s simply nothing to be done

According to Corporation Counsel Steve Patton, not only have city lawyers concluded that there's no provable case of fraud or misrepresentation here but city officials hired two outside hot shots to make sure: James Kopecky, a former supervisor in the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago, and Daniel Collins, a former federal prosecutor. 

They just completed their work and found that “there's no claim to be filed,” Mr. Patton said. 

When it comes to municipalities, much of the success of financial firms leading up to the 2008 crisis and beyond depended on the mismatch between the financial expertise of Wall Street professionals and the lack of sophistication of many town and county administrators.  

Yet big cities such as Denver, Kansas City, Philadelphia, New York and others all are in the hole on swaps agreements they made with financial firms. 

In a letter to the editor of the Sun-Times, Saqib Bhatti, director of the ReFund America Project and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, pointed out that it’s not like the city hasn't been duped before.

Although the mayor would have us believe that Chicago’s finance teams are too sophisticated to be swindled by banks, the parking meter fiasco demonstrates that city officials have the capacity to be duped. Interestingly, Morgan Stanley, one of the key banks involved in the parking meter deal, was also a major underwriter on the bonds underlying the city’s swaps. 

Activists such as Miller and the CTU have repeatedly asked both CPS and the city to disclose documents pertaining to the deals that would shed light on how they were made and what banks and financial services firms promised to the city to make the sale. Yet, repeatedly, they’ve been told their requests were too burdensome or the documents wouldn’t be delivered. 

Which is how things seem to work in Chicago: even as millions of dollars fly out the door, there’s no reason anyone should see how the deals were made.  

Photo Credit: Jeff Gentner/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police To Screen CTA Passengers' Bags for Explosives]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:18:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CTA+screening.jpg

Starting in November, Chicago Transit Authority train passengers' bags will be randomly screened for possible explosive materials as part of a new security procedure. 

The Chicago Police Department introduced the federally funded counterterrorism effort on Friday and said screening will begin Nov. 3.

“While there are no credible threats to Chicago or to the region’s public transportation facilities, Chicago is taking this step, as other major cities in the United States and around the world have already done, to ensure the safety of residents and passengers,” Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement.

Each day a mobile explosive screening team will set up at one CTA rail station and randomly select passengers before they pay CTA fare. Their bags will be swabbed with a cloth and tested using a small machine that detects explosives.

If possible explosive materials are detected, officers will ask to inspect the bag. Police said the procedure, which is similar to the one completed during large events in Chicago, will take less than a minute and expect it won't impact customers' commute time.

"The baggage screening process is non-invasive, takes a very short time, and will be done in an open area of the station prior to the customer entering the turnstiles," said Nancy Lipman with the Chicago Police Department's Public Transportation Unit.

If a customer refuses the screening, the rider will be denied access to the train.

The initiative already has been implemented in New Jersey, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Boston and at Amtrak stations.

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rauner Pours Extra $3 Million Into His Governor Campaign]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:41:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Bruce_Rauner_marijuana.jpg

With Election Day less than two weeks away, Bruce Rauner is replenishing his campaign war chest with even more money: He's written checks worth $3 million in the span of 48 hours to bring his total self-donations to an eye-popping $23 million.

The multi-millionaire Republican Illinois gubernatorial candidate, formerly a managing partner at Chicago private equity firm GTCR ("R" stands for "Rauner"), deposited separate payments of $1.5 million on Monday and Tuesday of this week, according to Illinois State Board of Elections records.

Rauner has spent generously in October, earlier this month adding $6 million to his expensive bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn while picking up endorsements from the state's biggest newspapers (and most controversially, the Sun-Times).

Quinn, meanwhile, has countered his opponent's cash-fueled offensive with support from heavyweight Democrats President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, who've all flown to the Windy City in recent days to stump for the vulnerable governor.

<![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[Funeral Homes Step Up to Cover Homicide Victims' Funeral Costs]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:22:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Darren-Vann.jpg

The owners of funeral homes in Northwest Indiana and Chicago have stepped up to cover the funeral costs for two women who may have been killed by suspected serial killer Darren Vann.

Smith-Bizzell Funeral Home in Gary will take care of the funeral for Anith Jones, The Gary Post-Tribune reported late Thursday. Additionally, Planet Green Cremations in Glenwood, south of Chicago, are covering the cremation costs for Afrikka Hardy.

Hardy, 19, was found slain inside a room of a Motel 6 in Hammond on Oct. 17. Vann, 43, was arrested a day later and, according to police, provided information which led to the discovery of six more bodies, including Jones' on Saturday. All of the deaths were ruled homicides.

Vann was subsequently charged with murder in both cases.

A third potential victim of Vann's, Kristine Williams, will have a funeral on Nov. 1 in Knox, Tennessee, her father said in a Friday post on Facebook. Funeral arrangements for 28-year-old Teairra Batey and the three women who have yet to be positively identified were not known Friday.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey on Tuesday asked for the public's help in identifying two of the women who were recovered over the weekend. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Coroner’s Office at 219-755-3265.

Officials in Northwest Indiana and suburban Chicago, including Cook County, have checked abandoned homes in recent days searching for additional victims. Vann has indicated to police that his crimes could date back 20 years, police said.

A judge ordered Vann held in contempt of court Wednesday when the former Marine refused to even acknowledge his name during an initial court hearing in Hardy's slaying.

Vann was convicted in 2009 of raping a woman in Austin, Texas. He was released from prison last year and moved back to Indiana. Before that conviction, he served a year in prison in Indiana after he grabbed a Gary woman in a chokehold in 2004, doused her with gasoline and threatened to set her on fire.

In both cases, the charges against Vann were reduced in plea bargains, and Texas officials deemed him a low risk for violence. Vann registered as a sex offender in Indiana and police checked in September that he lived at the address he provided.

Photo Credit: Hammond Police Department
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<![CDATA[Michelle Obama Stars In Another Pro-Quinn TV Ad: Video]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:31:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/169*120/Michelle-Obama-Ikram-thumb2.jpg

Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign has released a new TV ad starring First Lady Michelle Obama, this one with footage from her Oct. 7 rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The 30-second spot interweaves Obama's passionate pro-Quinn speech with images of the governor in Good Citizen Mode, visiting schoolchildren and talking to Illinoisians at a diner. She urges the crowd to vote early, saying "let's just get this done."

"I know Pat Quinn. His push for the minimum wage is essential," declares Obama. "If you think women should get equal pay for equal work, if you want our kids to have quality pre-school, have a chance to go to college, if you want a governor who shares our values, then we need Pat Quinn has governor of Illinois!"

Earlier this month, she appeared in Quinn TV and radio ads touting the Chicago Democrat's efforts to boost Illinois' minimum wage and improve the lives of military veterans.

The incumbent, locked in a tight race against Republican rival Bruce Rauner, has recruited a small army of political A-listers to stump on his behalf including the Obamas, the Clintons and Vice President Joe Biden. His political future in this state will be decided Nov. 4, on Election Day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stunning Time Lapse of Chicago Before Solar Eclipse]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:18:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009389175_1200x675_347389507503.jpg Before Thursday's solar eclipse, we captured this breathtaking time lapse of Chicago's skyline.]]> <![CDATA[Jackie Robinson West Featured on Frosted Flakes Box]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:56:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/jackie+robinson+west+frosted+flakes.jpg

The Little League World Series team that captured Chicago's heart now has a spot in the cereal hall of fame.

Jackie Robinson West's likeness was featured this month on boxes of Frosted Flakes holding a banner that reads "United States World Series Champions."

Though the commemorative boxes aren't for sale to the public, Frosted Flakes presented the boxes to the team last weekend "as a token of appreciation and a recognition of their amazing accomplishments at the 2014 Little League World Series."

This is the latest honor for the U.S. champs, whose homecoming this summer was celebrated with a rally at Jackie Robinson Park, a parade through downtown and a ticker-tape finale at Millennium Park.

Both the Cubs and White Sox honored the team, the players were granted their Disney World Wish, and Dick's Sporting Goods presented the team with a $164,000 check from T-shirt sales.

The icing on the cake? President Barack Obama even invited them to the White House.

Photo Credit: Frosted Flakes]]>
<![CDATA[Partial Solar Eclipse in Chicago]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:35:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/35144d5e6ffc42e9bdd65995c3841fa9.jpg The partial solar eclipse took place last night and people from around Illinois were able to capture it.

Photo Credit: Streff, Stephanie (NBCUniversal, WMAQ)]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 1 Injured After Officer-Involved Shooting]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:22:58 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/shooting-7900-s-justine.jpg

One person was killed and two others were wounded after an armed robbery attempt led to a police-involved shooting in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side late Thursday, police said.

Officers said they were on patrol near the 7900 block of South Justine Street shortly before 12 a.m. when they saw two males in an alley approached by two others who announced a robbery, authorities said in a statement.

"The officers pull up. They see an individual firing a weapon in the alley about three houses down. Two of the officers get out [and yell] 'Police! Drop the gun!' The guy turns and starts running through a gangway," said Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden.

The two robbers shot the two other males, then ran off as officers approached, police said. The officers chased one male who turned and pointed a dark object in their direction. One officer then shot the male, police said.

The male was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in serious condition, Camden said. The other robbery suspect ran off and was not in police custody by 6 a.m.

One of the males who was shot in the robbery was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in good condition, Camden added.

A spokesperson with the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the fatality but did not have additional details as of 6 a.m. Friday.

No officers were injured.

As is standard in officer-involved shootings, the Independent Police Review Authority was notified to investigate.

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<![CDATA[Officer "Alert" After Being Shot on South Side]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:03:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cop-shot-stretcher-1.jpg

An off-duty police officer was in "serious but stable" condition after being shot during a possible attempted robbery early Friday in Chicago's South Side Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.

"He was in great spirits. He was praising God that it wasn't his time yet," Felicia Warner, a cousin of the 41-year-old officer, said outside Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

The District 3 officer, whose name was not publicly released as of 5 a.m., was sitting in a vehicle in the 7400 block of South Langley Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. when he was approached by three males, Chicago Police Department First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger told reporters.

Sensing something was wrong, the officer began to drive away when he was shot once in the chest, Wysinger said.

"He just knew that the guys were on something, and so his instincts just kicked in," said Warner.

The officer took a through-and-through wound to the chest and continued driving until he flagged down a marked squad car, which drove him to University of Chicago Medical Center. Once the officer’s condition had stabilized, he was taken by ambulance to Mount Sinai Hospital, Wysinger said. He was "awake and alert" as of 3:15 a.m.

Marty Maloney, deputy director of police News Affairs, said the officer was listed in “serious but stable” condition.

No one was in custody as of 5 a.m., but officers were investigating.

"Detectives are out there. We're going step-by-step, possibly door-by-door to see if anybody that lives in the community may have witnessed this, may have saw the direction the offenders may have fled in, and we're back-tracking to see if maybe they left any clues or dropped any items as they fled," Wysinger said.

The officer, who has been with the department for eight years and has received 22 departmental awards. He has three children.

Supt. Garry McCarthy, who normally speaks on officers injured, was out of town at a conference at the time of the shooting.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Predators Power Past Blackhawks 3-2]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:29:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/183*120/456992640.jpg

In a battle of the final two teams in the NHL without a regulation loss, it was the Nashville Predators that came out on top as they bested the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 3-2 on Thursday night.

Ben Smith scored a first period goal for the Blackhawks, and Andrew Shaw scored in the third period, but it wasn’t enough as James Neal scored a natural hat trick for the Predators. Pekka Rinne stepped up in a big way in the third period for the Predators, stopping 16 shots and keeping the Hawks largely at bay. Antti Raanta played a solid game in his second straight start, saving 24 shots in the contest.

The game started out on the sluggish side for both teams, with each team struggling to generate many chances. Derek Roy did get a good chance early in the game as he stripped the puck from Kris Versteeg at the blue line, but Raanta was up to the task as he slid out to the right side of the crease and made the save.

The Predators got a couple of huge chances near the midway point of the period, but Raanta made a few great saves. Filip Forsberg feathered a great pass across the ice to a streaking Neal, but the redirection shot went just wide. Colin Wilson had a great shot too, and Shea Weber followed that up with a hard shot of his own, but Raanta made both stops. Finally, Roman Josi’s shot from the point was swallowed up by the goaltender, and the Hawks got a much-needed whistle.

The missed chances ended up costing the Predators a few moments later as the Hawks seized the lead. After working his way out of the corner, Smith pushed a pass to Marcus Kruger near the goal line. Kruger then put a wraparound attempt through the goal crease, and Smith pounded home the loose puck to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.

The Predators got a power play shortly after the goal, but they weren’t able to generate much in the way of scoring chances. Just as it looked as the Hawks would escape the period with the lead however, the Predators struck at even strength with less than a minute remaining in the frame. Seth Jones made a good play for Nashville as he entered the zone and circled to buy a moment for his teammates to join on the rush, and when he fed a pass to Neal, the sniper didn’t miss as he fired a shot just inside the far post to tie things up at 1-1 at the conclusion of 20 minutes.

Early in the second period, the Blackhawks started out poorly, eventually running their shot-less streak to nearly 13 minutes before a Shaw shot found its way on net. After that play however, the floodgates opened a bit, with Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews adding chances of their own. Rinne was up to the task, stopping every shot and keeping the game tied up.

The Predators pushed back quickly after those chances, racking up several good ones of their own. Paul Gaustad put a knuckling shot on Raanta from the face-off dot, and when the goaltender yielded a rebound, Niklas Hjalmarsson was able to tie up Eric Nystrom’s stick to prevent a second chance. Seabrook then committed a penalty to keep Nashville’s momentum up, but despite two chances from Colin Wilson and Jones, the Predators came up empty on the man-advantage.

A few minutes later, the Hawks got a power play of their own, but despite spending the entire two minutes in the Nashville end of the ice, they couldn’t score. The Predators seized the momentum back after that successful kill when Neal stole a wayward pass from Brandon Saad and rifled a shot just under the crossbar to give the Predators a 2-1 edge with less than four minutes remaining in the period.

Early in the third period, the Predators extended their lead thanks to a good bit of work by Ryan Ellis. After securing the puck at the point, Ellis fired a shot toward the net that hit traffic in front, and Neal was there to collect the rebound and flip it past Raanta to make it a 3-1 game less than two minutes into the frame.

After that initial punch, the Blackhawks responded with some scoring chances of their own. Daniel Carcillo had a rebound chance just in front of the cage, but he couldn’t quite get his stick on it. Rinne then robbed Versteeg off a nice feed from Seabrook across the ice, and then stopped a Saad shot off a well-executed break into the zone by the youngster.

The intense pressure finally got to Rinne with a little over seven minutes remaining as the Hawks narrowed the deficit to one. After a funky bounce off the boards, Shaw grabbed a loose puck and drove to the net. Rinne made the initial stop, but Shaw followed up by batting the puck out of midair and into the net to make it a 3-2 game.

In the final seven minutes of the game, the Hawks tried to exert more pressure on Nashville, but they had a difficult time even pushing the puck into the offensive zone. Roman Josi had a nice play to deny Shaw a chance off a Marian Hossa feed, and Kane had a couple of shots in the final few minutes of the game, but neither went as Rinne helped the Predators to secure the victory.

The Blackhawks will wrap up their quick two-game road trip on Saturday night when they take on the reeling St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boil Order in Effect After Water Main Break in Robbins]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:37:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/robbins+water+main+break.jpg

A 24-hour boil order is in effect after water main break in a southern suburb Thursday.

Officials say the water in Robbins was turned off around 11 a.m. after crews putting light poles near 135th Street and Kedzie hit a 12-inch water main encased in concrete.

The error left roughly 5,000 residents, a nursing home and schools in the area without water for several hours, but officials say the issue was fixed late Thursday evening.

“I need water,” said resident Yumita Robinson. “This is something we need every day. It’s very frustrating.”

Robbins Mayor, Tyrone Ward, says a mapping error may be to blame for the break.

“They are gingerly trying to get around the main so that more damage will not be done,” he said.

The fire department began handing out two gallons of water to area residents and 700 gallons were dropped off at a nearby nursing home, but many said that’s not enough.

“I’m going to work tonight and I haven’t had a bath yet,” said resident Christopher Johnson. “I have not had a cold drink of water.”

Photo Credit: Regina Waldroup/NBCChicago]]>
<![CDATA[Dart: Suspected Serial Killer Liked to Visit the Bodies]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:35:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_darren_deon_vann_nueva.jpg

Suspected Indiana serial killer Darren Deon Vann told authorities he liked to revisit his victims’ dead bodies in the abandoned homes after he killed them, according to Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County in Illinois.

In an interview Thursday, Dart compared the investigation into Vann to the investigation into serial killer John Wayne Gacy saying, "When you’re dealing with someone who kills a lot of people, give up trying to predict."

Vann, 43, has been charged with two homicides and is suspected in at least four others after leading police on a bloody scavenger hunt in Northwest Indiana. All of the victims were believed to be sex workers, officials said.

Police said Vann has hinted that his crimes stretch back 20 years.

"The thing that is so tragic about this ... these are just these women that have these horrific lives and now it’s ending in this," said Dart.

Illinois law enforcement officials said Vann may have been in Chicago's south suburbs between the time the first body was found and when he was arrested. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation into Darren Vann.

Investigators were using Vann's cellphone records to pinpoint his movements after he told police he liked to check on the status of bodies he'd previously stashed after a fresh kill, authorities said.

Investigators were searching 16 abandoned buildings in Illinois on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the investigation into Vann's movements after the body of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy was found, authorities said.

"Trying to predict was he being accurate when he said he killed loads of people? Don’t know," Dart said. "Could he have just killed a few? Don’t know. It’s all going to play itself out. From a law enforcement standpoint, whether you’re here in Cook County or you’re in Indiana or Texas for that matter, if you’re not going at least to his areas where his patterns were with abandoned buildings, people involved in the prostitution trade, you’re really making a horrible mistake.”

A judge ordered Vann be held in contempt of court Wednesday when the former Marine refused to even acknowledge his name during an initial court hearing in Hardy's slaying.

<![CDATA[Classes to Resume at Skokie Middle School]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:08:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_mensajes_sexting.jpg

Classes will resume at a north suburban middle school after two days of cancellations due to threatening Instagram posts shared with sixth graders, police said.

Officials canceled classes at Oliver McCracken Middle School at 8000 E. Prairie Rd. Wednesday and Thursday after police were contacted by school officials Monday about “inappropriate and threatening” social media posts received by students, according to a statement from the Village of Skokie.

Police said Thursday the threats were deemed "not credible" and involved juveniles. It was not immediately clear if any action will be taken against the juveniles involved.

On Thursday, officials rescheduled the school’s Student Council dance, originally set for Friday, as well as the Buzz Buck Bonanza assembly program scheduled. The assembly program has been rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 31 and staff sponsors are working to set a new date for the school’s dance, Principal Allison Stein said in a note to parents.

Student Mia Connelley says she received a follow request on Instagram from someone she didn't know.

"The bio looked really weird and shady so I declined it," she said.

Connelley said her friends later received a request from the same user and the profile contained a threat. The students suspect the requests are related to the anonymous threats that canceled classes at the school.

"We have to determine the credibility of the threats," said Skokie Police Officer Eric Swaback.

Stein encouraged students to wear orange or blue “to symbolize peace” as students return to classes Friday, an idea she said was suggested by an eighth grade student.

Stein said all student lockers were checked by district personnel to “ensure they only hold items appropriate for school.”

“We assure you that no inappropriate items were found,” she said. “We are proud that our students continue to demonstrate respectful, responsible, and ready behavior in the items they choose to bring to school.”

The district is cooperating with the Skokie Police Department in investigating the occurrences, according to a letter sent to parents Oct. 21 by Dean of Students Nancy Arrola.

The posts came to light because students, parents and staff followed the school district’s media policies, according to a statement posted on School District 73.5’s website.

“Some of our McCracken students are following anonymous users and/or allowing anonymous users to access their Instagram accounts,” Arrola wrote. “These anonymous users are able to view students’ comments and photos, and post comments on their own.”

Arrola did not specify how many students were impacted by the Instagram posts or share details of the posts.

“Student safety is our first priority, and we encourage you to monitor your child’s Internet activity (including all digital devices) very closely,” Arrola wrote.

“The Skokie Police Department assures the community that this incident is isolated to McCracken Middle School and does not compromise the safety or scheduling at any other Skokie public or private school,” according to the statement.

District 73.5 Superintendent Kate Donegan said the district could not provide more information because the matter is an on-going investigation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Child Tests Negative for Ebola in Chicago]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:15:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ebola40.jpg

A child being tested for Ebola at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital does not have Ebola, officials said Thursday.

A statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Ebola Resource Network said preliminary test results for the patient were negative for Ebola and those results were later confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The child was discharged from the hospital Thursday evening.

Health officials said the child has shown "clinical improvements" since arriving in Chicago Tuesday night after traveling from Liberia but, as a result of dehydration and "out of an abundance of caution," the patient's doctors decided to test the child for the Ebola virus.

A statement from the Chicago Ebola Resource Network on Tuesday said the child passenger from Liberia became ill on a flight to O’Hare and reportedly vomited one time. When the flight landed, federal authorities tested the child and found no other Ebola symptoms aside from the vomiting and said the passenger had no known risk of exposure.

The child initially was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital for a medical evaluation. The CDC decided not to test the patient after the evaluation, and the child was transported to Comer Children's Hospital for ongoing observation in isolation.

The child’s family, though not experiencing any symptoms, were being quarantined until the evaluation is complete, officials said.

Later Tuesday, an adult passenger traveling alone from Liberia reported nausea and diarrhea. The passenger also reported having been diagnosed with typhoid fever in August.

After being tested at O’Hare Airport, the passenger was found to have had a normal temperature and reported no known risk of Ebola exposure. The passenger was transported to the Rush University Medical Center and health officials determined the patient did not need to be tested for Ebola.

Officials later moved the adult patient out of biocontainment and determined he did not have Ebola.

“City and hospital officials are working closely with the CDC to continue monitoring,” the release said.

The Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday that anyone coming to the United States from one of three West African countries reporting an Ebola outbreak must enter the country through one of five airports screening passengers for the deadly disease—including O’Hare Airport.

Four Chicago hospitals have agreed to take on the responsibility of caring for Ebola patients if the deadly virus emerges in the city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office and the city's health department announced the four hospitals Monday, calling an Ebola diagnosis in the city "unlikely."

Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago Medical Center would take adult and pediatric patients, Northwestern Memorial Hospital adult patients only and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital pediatric patients.

The mayor's office says infectious disease specialists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are visiting the hospitals this week to determine their capabilities and their needs.

<![CDATA[Waukegan Strike Puts Stress on Community Centers]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:26:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/waukegan-strike-1.jpg

Community centers in Waukegan are desperately trying to take in children affected by the ongoing teacher strike in the city, but many have reached capacity as workers continue to work overtime.

The strike has kept about 17,000 students from all of Waukegan’s public schools out of the classroom for the last three weeks.

“We don’t have homework to do, I can’t be in band, it’s not that fun,” said 12-year-old Thomas Evans Jr.

But with schools not in session, parents have had to find alternate places to take their children.

“We have doubled up on our staff to be able to accommodate having the youth here all day,” said Cesile Price, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County.

About 1,200 teachers walked off the job over several issues, and salary and insurance remain the key sticking points. Talks have ramped up in recent days, and both sides met for about 10 hours.

Price says the strike has forced the “after school” program to be turned into a daycare for up to 125 students each day, putting them at full capacity.

“We’ve turned away easily more than 50 youths and we would love to be able to serve them,” she said.

Since the strike began, the club has been providing fun and educational activities as well as serving students breakfast, lunch and oftentimes a snack, and many of those meals were donated.

“[The donations have] really helped,” said Price. “We alone couldn’t provide these wonderful meals.”

But despite the efforts of many in the community attempting to help the children, the students say they just want to go back to school.

“I don’t want to spend the school time in the summer,” said Waukegan fourth grader Christian Welch.

Photo Credit: Lauren Petty]]>
<![CDATA[City on Course to Patch 350 Miles of Roads This Year]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:26:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pothole-generic.jpg

With winter lurking around the corner, road repair crews are rushing to fix pothole-strewn streets while they’ve got weather on their side.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday the city has repaved 255 miles of roads so far in 2014. He wants to fix 100 more miles before year’s end.

“We used to do about 175 miles a year of paving. From now on, we're never going below 300 miles of paving,” Emanuel said.

Last week, the mayor proposed a two percent increase in parking fees at downtown garages to raise the $10 million in extra funding he wants to patch potholes.

If the city meets its target for this year, crews will have repaved 1,000 miles of streets since 2011 – or nearly a quarter of all Chicago’s roads, according to the mayor.

In the meantime, drivers stuck in traffic along Fullerton Ave. expressed frustration with construction delays but said it’s a small price to pay.

“(The traffic is) awful,” said driver Jack Seymour. “But I’d rather have a little bit of traffic and smooth roads than bumps that mess up my car.”

<![CDATA[Negative Ads Take Spotlight in Governor's Race]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:27:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Quinn-rauner-p1.jpg

In the race between incumbent Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner close to $56-million dollars have been spent on campaign ads since the beginning of the year.

That’s more than 50,000 television commercials through Oct. 20, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Some of the ads have been positive but most have been either totally or partially negative, according to the Center’s ad wars tracker.

The Rauner campaign has flooded the commercial airways this year spending $10 million for what are called mixed ads. In all nearly 15,000 mixed ad spots have run on broadcast television that praise Rauner and blast Quinn.

When it comes solely to negative ads---without any positive message--the Center for Public Integrity says Pat Quinn holds a large lead.

Through Oct. 20 there have been 13,600 Quinn negative ads as opposed to 8,452 by the Rauner campaign.

But do negative ads work?

“People remember the negative ad,” said DePaul University political science professor Michael Mezey, who says the Quinn strategy mirrors what Barack Obama did to Mitt Romney.

“If you can get there early with those ads you are able to define your opponent. That helps you later on,” Mezey said.

But there is no clear cut evidence Mezey says that negative ads move undecided voters. The ads in fact, he says, drive down those independents not strongly committed to either candidate.

“They (undecided voters) arrive at a curse on both their houses type position and they stay home,” he said, noting the aim is to “drive down” any votes they are not certain of.

It has been 50 years since the most famous negative ad of all time ran on TV. The 1964 commercial of a young girl picking the petals off a daisy was an attempt by Democrat Lyndon Johnson to define his 1964 Republican opponent Barry Goldwater.

The commercial aired only once.

“The importance of the ad has been exaggerated,” Mezey said. “It’s not clear it moved many voters."

But it was memorable. And that’s the point.

While academics don’t think negative ads make a difference campaign managers do. If it’s positive, one campaign manager once said, save it for your tombstone.

<![CDATA[Why Employees Are Calling in Sick to Work]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:27:01 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Sick-Flu_generic.jpg

It might not come as a surprise that employees calling in to work sick aren’t always sick, but a new survey has revealed some surprising excuses employers say they’ve been given.

The survey, conducted by Chicago-based CareerBuilder, shows 28 percent of employees have called in to work sick when they were feeling well.

While almost half of employees say they have a “paid time off” program that allows them to use their time off however they choose, 23 percent of those workers say they still feel obligated to make up an excuse for taking a day off.

But the creativity of some excuses has some employees raising their eyebrows.

From putting a casserole in the oven to “accidentally” getting on a plane to having a "lucky night" and not knowing where they were, the unbelievable reasons employees called in to work are quite surprising.

While the outrageous excuses might come as a surprise, not every employee is playing hooky. A majority of workers feel they do not have the luxury to take a sick day and more than half of employees said they have gone into work sick because they felt the work wouldn't get done otherwise, the survey noted.

Though the majority of employers say they give their employees the benefit of the doubt, 31 percent of those surveyed said they have checked to see if an employee was telling the truth. Some asked to see a doctor’s note, some called the employee, and some even drove past the employee’s house.

Nearly 1 in 5 employers have fired an employee for calling in sick with a fake excuse.

How are these employees being caught in a lie?

Nearly 24 percent of employers say they caught an employee lying about being sick by checking social media. So think twice next time you post a photo of your adventures to Facebook or tweet about your day off.