<![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 Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:19:04 -0600 Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:19:04 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Girl, 14, Shot in Kenwood]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:21:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/girl+14+shot+in+kenwood.jpg

A 14-year-old girl was shot Sunday afternoon in the Kenwood neighborhood on the South Side.

The girl was shot in the leg at about 4:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of South Lake Park Avenue, said police News Affairs Officer Thomas Sweeney, citing preliminary information.

She was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, but her condition was not immediately known, Sweeney said.

<![CDATA[2 Children, 2 Adults Shot Dead in Rockford Home]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 19:20:11 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rockford+shooting.jpg

Four people, including two children, were shot dead inside of a residence in Rockford, Ill., on Saturday night, Rockford police said.

A neighbor said she heard pounding on the door of the residence and then the sound of the door being forced open. The sound of gunshots immediately followed.

Police responded to the call of shots fired in the 3200 block of Montrose Avenue at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, they found four victims with gunshot wounds. All of them were pronounced dead on the scene by Rockford Fire Department paramedics, police said.

The victims were Martia Flint, 24; Demontae Rhodes, 24; Tyrone Smith III, 6; and Tobias K. Smith, 4. The two children belonged to Flint.

An autopsy is scheduled for the victims on Monday.

Rockford detectives are continuing the investigation in the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Rockford police shift commander at (815) 987-5824 or Crime Stoppers at (815) 963-7867.

<![CDATA[CPD Foundation Visits Family of Fallen Officers]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:40:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CPD+memorial+foundation+delivers+gifts.jpg

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation traveled by motorcade on Sunday with Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves in tow to visit the homes of officers killed or seriously injured on the job. Since 2010, five Chicago police officers have been killed.

The motorcade comes on the heels of another motorcade that happened in New York on Saturday after two NYPD officers were shot dead in Brooklyn. Investigators believe the lone gunman posted threatening messages about police on his social media accounts before ambushing the officers.

"After what happened yesterday in New York, this hits home," said Phil Cline, former Chicago Police superintendant.

In Chicago, members of the foundation delivered presents to family members of fallen CPD officers.

"It's a pleasure they come to my house and give me gifts," said Naomi Taylor, whose father, Nathaniel Taylor, was shot and killed in 2008 after serving in the department for 14 years.

During the event, the deaths of officers around the country weighed heavy on Chicago law enforcement. Cline said it's a sobering reminder to honor those who sacrificed everything.

"We're a family who sticks together and supports each other when one of our officers goes down," Cline said. "Hopefully this will rally people to get behind police again."

<![CDATA[Hawks Look to Rebound vs. Leafs Sunday]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:50:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/blackhawks+maple+leafs+preview.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to rebound from a tough loss as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night at the United Center.

The Hawks dropped a 3-2 decision in a shootout against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, but there was plenty to be positive about. Despite some early struggles in moving the puck, the Blackhawks racked up 41 shots on goal in the game, and they got a huge push from one of their biggest stars, as Patrick Sharp racked up seven shots on goal and scored on a 2-on-1 rush in the second period.

On Sunday, though, their offense will be put to a serious test, as center Brad Richards will miss the game with an upper body injury. Head coach Joel Quenneville said that Richards is day-to-day with the ailment, but at this point it’s unclear who will replace him at center on the line. There is a chance that Marcus Kruger could fill the role, with Joakim Nordstrom or Ben Smith taking over center duties on the fourth line. Andrew Shaw could also be in line for a promotion, so Quenneville has no shortage of options.

The Blackhawks will also have a different goalie in net, as Antti Raanta will play in place of Corey Crawford. While Crawford only had to face 17 shots during the first 65 minutes of Saturday’s game (he faced nine shootout chances as well), the fact that he’s just coming off a lower-body injury likely is playing into Quenneville’s decision to rest him in the second half of a back-to-back set of games.

As for the Maple Leafs, they are coming off of an embarrassing 7-4 loss on home ice against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. The Hawks have to be cautious about the Leafs coming in with extra incentive to win, as a horrific loss to the Nashville Predators earlier in the season propelled the team on a run where they went 10-1-1 over a 12-game span.

The big key for Chicago tonight is a simple one: take advantage of opportunities. The Maple Leafs are a team that has a tough time holding onto the puck, and the Hawks should get plenty of scoring chances in the game. Getting traffic to the front of the net will help increase the chances of goals being scored, and that means players like Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell will both have to be in top form to pick up a win in this one.

Other Notes:

-The Blackhawks’ organization was rocked on Sunday afternoon as it was announced that assistant equipment manager Clint Reif had passed away suddenly. There will be a pregame moment of silence in his honor, and the Hawks will wear special decals on their helmets with his initials.

Our thoughts and prayers go out not only to the Hawks, but more importantly to Clint’s wife and four children in this difficult time.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Band Gives Up on Jay Cutler in Music Video]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:23:06 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/firago+jay+cutler+i%27m+giving+up+on+you.jpg

Disappointed Bears fans can now find solace in music. A local band has written a song exposing their feelings toward Jay Cutler, and it promises to strike a chord with many fans.

The Chicago band Firago posted a music video to YouTube entitled "Jay Cutler (I'm Giving Up on You)." The song is a Bears-centric parody of A Great Big World's "Say Something."

The song's chorus may ring true with many Bears fans of late: "Jay Cutler, I'm giving up on you. All of the millions we gave to you. To the ship I would have followed you. Jay Cutler, I'm giving up on you."

The band also gave advice in lyrical form to Bears General Manager Phil Emery: "Phil, swallow your pride. He's too overpaid. Please say goodbye."

The four-person band Firago, whose members describe themselves as "Chicago's dance-rock authority/Jay Cutler parody experts," counts themselves in as part of Cutler's disappointed fan base.

The song may be making light of a serious situation for the Bears, but who knows. Maybe this is the call Cutler needs to make a change.

<![CDATA[Man Charged with Robbery of Loop Convenience Store ]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 13:46:18 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Ardamis+Simms.jpg

A man has been charged with armed robbery of a convenience store in the Loop.

Ardamis Simms, 35, of the 4800 block of S. Champlain Ave., is accused of entering a convenience store on the 100 block of N. Franklin Ave. on Dec. 5 at about 4:45 a.m. and announcing a robbery. He fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

After identifying Simms as the offender, police arrested him and charged him with armed robbery and aggravated robbery.

Simms is due in bond court on Sunday.

<![CDATA[Bears Chairman McCaskey Speaks Out Before Game]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:36:23 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/George+McCaskey+exclusive.jpg

There was no smile on Bears Chairman George McCaskey's face ahead of their game against the Detroit Lions Sunday.

"This whole season has been out of the ordinary, not in a good way," McCaskey said in an exclusive interview with NBC 5's Peggy Kusinski before the game.

George McCaskey, who is named after his grandfather George Halas, admits he has had to restrain himself from reacting emotionally to a disappointing season. That includes not holding any press conferences to assure fans they will right the ship. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York get criticized for speaking publicly during his team's struggles, so McCaskey has avoided speaking engagements with the press for almost two months.

Media reports of a house cleaning coming at Halas Hall have been fast and furious, changing not just by the day but by the hour. When asked if wholesale changes coming, McCaskey would only say, "The focus is on the Lions [this week]."

Reports last week of an ownership meeting was confirmed by McCaskey, who said the ownership team meets at every game. The meetings include his mother, Virginia McCaskey, and brothers Brian, Ed, Michael and Pat.

McCaskey joined Bears team president Ted Phillips in presenting a television photographer who is retiring with an autographed jersey Sunday before the Bears hosted the Lions.

When asked about last week's 10,000 no-shows in the Soldier Field stands McCaskey had only a brief comment: "It's disappointing, but a fact of the season."

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Lions Knock Off Bears 20-14]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:25:07 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bears+vs+lions+2.jpg

Jimmy Clausen threw two touchdown passes, but a late touchdown from Joique Bell and an insurance field goal by Matt Prater gave the Detroit Lions a 20-14 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. 

The Bears got the ball to start the game, but Jimmy Clausen and the offense looked out of sync as they went three and out. Two short passes did little to get things going, and Matt Forte was stopped well short on a third down draw play as the Bears punted the ball away. 

Chicago's defense yielded two consecutive first down catches by Calvin Johnson as the Lions took the field for the first time, but things got better after that. Jared Allen made the big play of the drive as he sacked Matthew Stafford on third down, and the Lions were forced to punt. 

After the Bears went three and out again, their defense came out and looked like they made a big third down stop, but a flag on Kyle Fuller extended the drive. Reggie Bush took advantage of the new life for the Lions, catching a screen pass on fourth and five to get a first down, and he rushed for a 13-yard touchdown on the very next play to put Detroit up by a score of 7-0 with about five minutes remaining in the first quarter. 

The Bears' offense finally got churning after the Detroit score, and Jimmy Clausen found Marquess Wilson and Matt Forte for back-to-back first downs. A short time later, the Bears went for it on 4th-and-1, and a screen pass to Alshon Jeffery worked out for them as they extended the drive on the first down. Clausen found Jeffery for another first down to open the second quarter, but the drive ultimately proved fruitless as the quarterback threw an incomplete pass on fourth and goal to leave the Bears empty-handed. 

The Lions got their drive started in excellent fashion thanks to two more first down catches from Johnson, but the Bears' pass rush started hammering Stafford with alarming frequency. David Bass picked up a sack, and just a few plays later Christian Jones did too. That pressure may have forced Stafford into forcing a throw downfield, and the lofted pass was intercepted by Brock Vereen to stop the drive. 

After another Bears three and out, the Lions got the ball back and pushed their way deep into Chicago territory again. Stafford once again ended the drive abruptly as an underthrown pass was intercepted by Ryan Mundy, and the Bears took over near the goal line. 

Alshon Jeffery made a couple of nice plays to get the Bears out near midfield, but the Bears' drive ended up stalling out as Michael Ola was whistled for a false start on fourth and three, forcing Chicago to punt. Fortunately for Chicago, Detroit was still in a giving mood as the punt bounced off their returner and Sherrick McManis pounced on it to give the Bears a new drive. 

On the very first play from scrimmage, Clausen rolled out and lofted a great touch pass to Forte, who ran into the end zone to tie things up at 7-7 just before the end of the first half. 

As the second half got underway, the Bears caught an awful break as Willie Young was carted off the field with an injury. They were able to force a punt from Detroit, but not before Dominic Raiola also stomped on Ego Ferguson's ankle for good measure. 

The Bears' offense started churning quickly as they got the ball for the first time in the half, with Jeffery and Wilson each hauling in first down catches. They were ultimately stopped by the Lions as Wilson dropped a pass on third and long that would've gotten them into field goal range, but Detroit committed another special teams error as they were flagged for roughing the kicker, giving the ball back to Chicago. 

Clausen quickly took advante of the mistake, finding Jeffery down the field for a 20-yard touchdown strike. The perfectly thrown ball was positioned where only the receiver could haul it in, and when Jay Feely booted through the extra point, Chicago seized a 14-10 lead. 

The Bears' special teams came up big for them on Detroit's next drive, as Matt Prater's field goal attempt was blocked by Jeremiah Ratliff to keep the Lions off the board. They were unable to take advantage of the chance to extend their lead however, and they were forced to punt the ball away. 

It looked like Chicago would escape with another defensive stop, but Tim Jennings was flagged for pass interference to extend the Detroit drive. On the very next play, Joique Bell carried the ball up the left side of the field and scored on a 17-yard touchdown run, and the extra point made it 17-14 Detroit. 

The Bears' offense once again stagnated on their next drive, but the defense did a nice job of hodling the Lions to a field goal with about two and a half minutes left. Down 20-14, Clausen attempted to run early on the Bears' next drive, and he drew a penalty when Ezekiel Ansah drilled him with a helmet-to-helmet hit. 

The penalty pushed the Bears further down the field, but ultimately a case of the drops by Jeffery cose the Bears. He dropped a pass on second down, and he dropped a surefire first down catch on third down. On fourth down Clausen threw the ball downfield, but he was intercepted, and the Lions secured the season series sweep over the Bears. 

The Bears will close out their season next week when they travel to Minnesota to take on Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Could Cutler Land with Titans After the Season?]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:22:17 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/170*120/459956290.jpg

While it’s unclear at this point what the Chicago Bears intend to do with quarterback Jay Cutler after the season ends, the market for trading him is beginning to take shape.

Numerous teams have been mentioned as potential landing spots for his services, with the Houston Texans, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills all potentially vying for his services. But the one team that seems to make the most sense, according to some experts, is the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans are a team in need of a jump start for the quarterback position, with Jake Locker likely leaving via free agency after the season ends and Zach Mettenberger not exactly grabbing the job by the horns in his rookie year. They also have the benefit of being a team that plays in the same town where Cutler attended college at Vanderbilt, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, it could be where Cutler will end up:

There is one caveat that has to be added to Tennessee’s status as a front-runner to land Cutler. Their record currently sits at 2-13, and they could wind up with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. They do have a better strength of schedule than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, meaning that if the two teams wind up with the same record, Lovie Smith and the Bucs would get the No. 1 pick.

If the Titans get that selection, it would seem unlikely that they would trade for a contract like Cutler’s, with Marcus Mariota being their likely selection with the top pick. If they don’t get that spot, however, making a move to grab Cutler could make sense, especially with a wide receiver like Amari Cooper potentially being available to them to give Cutler a weapon to throw to.

The Bears' decision to bench Cutler set off alarm bells as to what the quarterback's future with the team is, and one possible explanation is that they are looking to keep him from being injured ahead of a trade.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Dead, 8 Injured in House Party Shooting]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:09:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dewayne+purnell.jpg

A 19-year-old man was killed and eight others injured in a shooting during a house party in a south suburb of Chicago early Sunday morning.

Police received a call about shots fired at a residence in the 600 block of Escanaba Avenue in Calumet City at approximately 1:50 a.m. When police arrived, they say a large number of adults were fleeing from the house.

The shooting took place during a party in the basement of the residence with at least 150 young adults in attendance, according to police.

Dewayne Purnell, 19, died from gunshot wounds, and eight other victims were taken to area hospitals, two in critical condition, police said. The youngest victim is 15 years old.

Purnell's father said his son, who just turned 19 on Dec. 15, was supposed to leave for the Army in nine days. Purnell recently graduated from high school, and his father said he didn't go out to parties very often.

"He was in the house all the time," Donald Purnell, the victim's father, said. "He was putting up the Christmas tree yesterday with his sister."

Police said they had been called to the residence before but never for anything as serious as this incident.

Police are still searching for the gunman.

Calumet City detectives and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are continuing the investigation.

<![CDATA[Johnson Shootout Goal Sinks Blackhawks in Columbus ]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 22:07:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/460727834.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks managed 41 shots on goal and had five chances to score a game-winning goal in the shootout, but they were stymied time and again by Sergei Bobrovsky as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith scored goals in the game for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 17 saves as the Hawks dropped the tight contest. Jack Skille and Kevin Connauton were the goal scorers for Columbus, and Jack Johnson scored the shootout winner as Columbus ended a 13-game losing streak against the Blackhawks.

The game started out with the Hawks on an early power play, but they couldn’t get any good scoring chances on the man-advantage. When the game returned to even strength they did start to move the puck better, and Brandon Saad fired a high shot on Bobrovsky that he was able to glove down. Marian Hossa then hit Bobrovsky’s glove as he skated through the crease, and even though the puck popped out and the veteran winger fired it home, the goal was immediately waved off.

After more quality scoring chances by the Hawks, their penalty kill chipped in as they kept Columbus off the board. Thanks to aggressive forechecking by the team’s forwards, Columbus wasn’t able to get a shot on goal during the two-minute power play, and the game remained scoreless.

With about three minutes to go in the first period, it was Columbus that broke the deadlock. Fedor Tyutin fired a shot in towards the net, and it took a deflection off of Ryan Johansen’s stick. Skille then deflected the puck as it slid along the side of the goal crease, and the Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead.

The Blackhawks’ offensive chances continued to pile up early in the second period, and they got a 4-on-1 chance about three and a half minutes in. Unfortunately they weren’t able to convert, as Brent Seabrook’s pass to Hossa skipped a bit and the winger’s stick ended up breaking on the one-timer attempt.

About seven minutes into the period, the Hawks’ consistent offensive push finally paid off. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Michal Rozsival pushed the puck up to Sharp, who carried it across the blue line. On the ensuing 2-on-1 rush, Sharp rifled a wrist shot over Bobrovsky’s glove and into the top corner of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The end of the second period saw more scoring chances for Chicago, but Columbus finally started to generate some of their own. Nick Foligno and Jeremy Morin each had quality chances that were stopped by Crawford, and a 2-on-1 chance from Johansen was broken up by Seabrook. A Saad shot near the end of the period nearly gave Chicago the lead, but it skipped just wide of the net as the contest remained tied through 40 minutes.

The Blue Jackets continued their momentum from the end of the second period on an early third period power play, and they were able to score the go-ahead goal with just one second left on the man-advantage. Matt Calvert provided a great screen in front of Crawford, and Connauton dropped down into the face-off dot and flocked a wrist shot past the goaltender to give Columbus a 2-1 lead.

The Blackhawks got several good opportunities over the next few minutes, with Saad getting robbed by Bobrovsky and Hossa sliding another shot just through the crease. With about 11 minutes left the pressure paid off again, as Marcus Kruger slid through the goal crease and kicked a loose puck toward the goal line. Smith ultimately got a stick on it just before it crossed the line, and after video review overturned the original no-goal call the Hawks tied the game at 2-2.

Chicago had two big opportunities as the third period wore on to take the lead, but both times the Blue Jackets’ penalty killing unit stood strong as they earned at least one point and forced overtime.

In the extra session, the Hawks dominated time of possession, but once again Bobrovsky didn’t allow them to score. Saad and Hossa each had good opportunities from in near the blue paint, and Michal Rozsival ripped a shot from the blue line, but nothing would go as the Blue Jackets forced a shootout.

The first four rounds of the shootout yielded no goals as both goaltenders stood tall, but Morin scored to open the fifth round to give Columbus a chance to win. Andrew Shaw came out for the Hawks to take the attempt, and his shot went over Bobrovsky’s glove and into the net to extend the game.

After Saad found the far post with his eighth round attempt, Columbus was finally able to take down the victory. Johnson made a tremendous deke to fool Crawford and slid the puck into the open net, and Bobrovsky stopped Bryan Bickell to end the ninth round and give the Blue Jackets the win.

The Hawks will look to bounce back on Sunday night as they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to the United Center for an Original Six showdown.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Sweetener May be Required in Cutler Trade]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:52:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/173*120/460514190.jpg

The Chicago Bears will be starting quarterback Jimmy Clausen on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but the big story surrounding the team continues to be the fate of Jay Cutler.

The quarterback, who signed a lucrative seven-year contract back in January, has seemingly worn out his welcome in Chicago, and there are reports all over the place that Cutler could be traded before the season comes to an end.

There are teams out there who could use an upgrade in the quarterback position, including the Tennessee Titans (who were linked with Cutler last year when there was debate on whether or not the Bears would re-sign him) and the Buffalo Bills. Even with those kinds of suitors, there is still a chance that the Bears would have to sweeten the pot in order to shed the large amount of money Cutler is owed over the next two seasons.

Here is what ESPN’s Adam Schefter had to say:

“Some NFL executives believe that with any team having to absorb $25.5 million worth of guarantees in Cutler’s contract, the Bears might have to package a decent draft pick to get another team to take him….Such a scenario could enrage Bears fans, but to get a team to take on so much guaranteed money that could be used on valuable free agents and contract extensions, the Bears just might have to compensate a team with more than Cutler to do it.”

The thought of the Bears having to package a pick along with Cutler to trade him isn’t a new one (Mike Florio also floated the suggestion), but the fact that it could be a pick better than the one the Bears might get back in a trade is. If the Bears end up trading Cutler and a third round pick for a team’s fifth round pick, it would be a bitter pill to swallow for both fans and front office personnel alike.

That being said, if the Bears’ brass has decided that there is absolutely no way to keep Cutler on the roster and still make the moves necessary to rebuild after another disappointing season, certain sacrifices are going to have to be made. Trading Cutler will not be easy even with several other teams potentially serving as landing spots (the New York Jets could also be in play), and adding a sweetener to the deal could certainly help facilitate a move that would cost the Bears a ton of money.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hawks Look to Extend Winning Streak vs. Jackets]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 22:08:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/484439389.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks have won plenty of games in recent weeks, but they’re looking to extend another winning streak Saturday night as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Hawks have won 13 straight games against their former Central Division rivals, and this time around Columbus is dealing with almost unimaginably bad luck on the injury front. According to Rick Gethin of Fox Sports Ohio, the Blue Jackets will have already lost 209 man-games to injury when the puck drops against Chicago. For some context, last year in 82 games, the Blue Jackets lost 245 man-games to injury.

All of those injuries have caused the Jackets to shuffle up their lineup in a big way, and that means former Blackhawk Jeremy Morin will have a big role. In two games with Columbus, he has one assist and a plus-one rating, and he will be tasked with extra responsibility Saturday as he moves up to the team’s second line.

On the other side of the ice, the Blackhawks will get a couple of key players back to help combat the Columbus offense. Duncan Keith will be back in the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game due to illness, and Corey Crawford will also return to the net to start after missing the last eight games with a lower-body injury.

For the Hawks, the key in this game will not only be to get good performances from the guys returning on the defensive side of the ice, but they will also have to shake off the rust on offense as well. The team hasn’t played a game since Tuesday, and they haven’t had a lay-off like that in a long time. Good puck movement around the zone and dedication to their transition game will be key against Columbus, and adding netfront traffic to the mix with Sergei Bobrovsky in the crease for the Blue Jackets will also be critical.

One player to really keep an eye on in this game is Patrick Sharp. He has one goal and one assist in the five games since he returned from a lower-body injury, but he loves playing against Columbus. In 46 career games against the Blue Jackets, Sharp has 26 goals (his most against any team) and 19 assists (second most, behind the 26 helpers he has against the St. Louis Blues).

Playing on the third line hasn’t been all that great for him in terms of scoring opportunities, but if he can assert himself on the power play and take advantage of Keith’s return with his penchant for getting open for stretch passes up the ice, Sharp could potentially have a good game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Red Light Cameras Cause Increase in Crashes, Study Shows]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 01:09:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/52663156.jpg

Chicago’s red light camera system makes some intersections more dangerous instead of making them safer, according to the results of a study commissioned by the Chicago Tribune.

In the only scientific study to date analyzing the nation’s largest network of 350 red light cameras, the Tribune found intersections with cameras snapping photos and ticketing drivers as they pass through red lights saw a 22 percent increase in rear-end crashes resulting in injuries.

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel has claimed the cameras are to thank for a 47 percent decrease in “T-Bone” right-angle crashes, the Tribune’s study showed a much different statistic of a mere 15 percent reduction.

The red light camera program has garnered the city nearly $600 million since 2003.

“You are generating revenue under the guise of fake safety,” said Mike Brockway, writer of the Chicago-driving-centric blog The Expired Meter.

Dominique Lord, an associate professor at Texas A&M University's Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, headed the Tribune's study.

"The biggest takeaway is that overall (the program) seems to have had little effect," Lord told the Tribune.

<![CDATA[Man Charged in 20-Year-Old Murder Case]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:30:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/David+Ramirez-Martinez.jpg

A Colorado man was arrested Thursday for the murder of a woman in Chicago more than 20 years ago.

David Ramirez-Martinez, 45, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 39-year-old woman in Chicago on May 14, 1994.

The victim was found stabbed to death inside her residence in the 3900 block of North Ashland Avenue two decades ago. Area North cold case detectives linked Ramirez-Martinez to the murder through DNA testing.

Ramirez-Martinez was arrested in Boulder, Colo., where he had been living.

<![CDATA[Funeral Held for 15-Year-Old Demario Bailey]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 17:14:52 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/demario+bailey+2.JPG

A funeral was held Saturday morning for 15-year-old Demario Bailey, who was shot to death during an attempted robbery last week.

Bailey died on Dec. 13 when he was shot in the chest by a gunman after a group of robbers tried to take his coat. Bailey was on his way to a basketball practice with his twin brother in the 0-100 block of West 63rd Street when the incident happened.

Four teens have been charged in the shooting death.

Members of the Johnson College Prep basketball team and cheerleading squad gathered at the funeral wearing t-shirts that said, "I will live and not die."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Diana Rauner, the wife of governor-elect Bruce Rauner, were among the attendees at the funeral who spoke.

"When you see the love, when you see the passion and you see the strength, this room is stronger than what is out there, than the hatred," the mayor said.

Diana Rauner spoke about the violence plaguing Chicago youth.

"We've lost this beautiful boy, but we've lost the boys who hurt him too," Rauner said. "And we can't afford to lose all these children."

Demario Bailey's mother also spoke at the funeral service and urged attendees to hold their children close.

"If you want to be here for me today and you stand up for me today, I want you to stand up and hold your child," Delores Bailey said. "Be there for your child. And no matter what they do, love them anyway."

On the eve of the boys' 16th birthday, Bailey's twin, Demacio Bailey, played in a basketball tournament in his brother's honor. Demario, a sophomore at Johnson College Prep, was not on the basketball team, but his family members say he attended every game and every practice for his brother.

After Bailey's death, the boys' mother vowed to protect other children in Chicago from violence.

"I'm going to make sure that every last boy gets a basketball, and I'm going to make sure that every girl gets a pom-pom if i can," Delores Bailey said. "I'm going to get a bus, I'm going to use every dime I got and I'm going to drop them off and pick them up, and I'm going to make sure they get back to their mamas myself. Devil, you took one. I'm going to take 101 and let them live."

<![CDATA[Mayor's Son Assaulted, Robbed Near Family Home]]> Sun, 21 Dec 2014 00:10:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mayor%27s+son+robbed.jpg

Police are investigating the robbery of Mayor Rahm Emaneul's son, which occurred near the family's home in the Ravenswood neighborhood Friday night, according to a spokesperson for the mayor.

The incident happened in the 4200 block of North Hermitage at about 10:05 p.m. The mayor's son, 17-year-old Zach Emanuel, was walking in the block when he was approached by two unknown male offenders who grabbed him and went through his pockets. The offenders took his phone and then fled the scene, according to police news affairs.

Zach Emanuel sustained injuries that required medical treatment, according to Kelley Quinn, a spokesperson for the mayor.

The police cameras on the corner of the block were reportedly not working during the incident, according to a City of Chicago source.

Neighbors said they were surprised the incident occurred on their block because they say there is always security in front of the mayor's home and in the alley. Police sources are saying the security detail did not see the reported robbery.

Several police officers were seen on the mayor's front porch late Friday night and Saturday morning.

Area North detectives are investigating.

<![CDATA[Obama Only Calls on Female Reporters]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:46:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP536550772061.jpg

There was a lot said at President Barack Obama’s annual year-end press conference, but it was who he spoke to during the conference that had people talking.

The President took questions from reporters at the end of his speech, but he only called on female reporters, a move that set the Twittersphere ablaze.

Eight women posed questions during the conference, asking Obama about the Sony hacks, Cuba, race relations, the economy and more.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed after the event that the move was in fact intentional.

"The fact is, there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day-in and day-out do the hard work of covering the President of the United States. As the questioner list started to come together, we realized that we had a unique opportunity to highlight that fact at the President’s closely watched, end of the year news conference," Earnest said, according to Politico.

While seemingly subtle, the move didn’t go unnoticed by viewers.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Stores Offer Non-Stop Hours for Late Xmas Shoppers]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:48:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/454128685.jpg

With just six shopping days left until Christmas, stores are offering extended hours and good deals for last-minute holiday shoppers.

“I definitely put it off a little longer than I should have,” shopper John Hoevel told NBC Chicago.

As the days wind down, procrastinators are feeling the heat.

“[I need] a last minute Christmas present for my wife – who has everything!” said another shopper, Greg Krebes.

Experts estimate about 50 percent of consumers will shop at some point this weekend, meaning “super Saturday,” could prove to be a bigger day for retailers than Black Friday.

Kohl's opened at 6 a.m. Friday and will remain open around the clock until Christmas Eve.

“I think it's great,” Jessica Dimas said. “People are still working today and have busy schedules so to have a little extra time is good.”

In the packed parking lot of Toys "R" Us, which begins non-stop shopping hours Tuesday at 6 a.m., shopper Leslie Albrecht said any extra time is appreciated.

“I’d say I’m about half way through, definitely not finished,” Albrecht said. “I wish!”

Others are relieved to not have to scramble at the last minute.

“I’m finished, everything’s good,” said Sharon Haines. “Now it’s just time for happy!”

<![CDATA[Archdiocese of Chicago Superintendent Steps Down]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:37:47 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/nun+generic+cross+habit.jpg

The largest Catholic school system in the country will soon see a changing of the guard – Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, the Superintendent of the Chicago Archdiocese Schools, is stepping down as of Jan. 1.

The announcement comes just weeks after Archbishop Blasé Cupich was installed in Chicago.

Sister Mary Paul lead more than 207 elementary schools for the Chicago Archdiocese for six years and more than 60,000 students attend those grammar schools. Another 23,000 attend 37 high schools.

Earlier this fall the Archdiocese announced seven schools would close and six more consolidate due to financial constraints.

Sister Mary Paul will take on a new role working with donors in the Archdiocese capital campaign and as a liaison between the schools and the Catholic Conference of Illinois.

Dr. Mary Kearney, the current Associate Superintendent will fill in in her place. Kearney, a longtime educator at various Chicago Catholic schools including Loyola Academy, will step in as Interim Superintendent while a national search is underway.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese says this change was Sister Mary Paul’s request, although others note it is unusual for a school superintendent to leave in the middle of the school year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blackhawks' Debut Toews ASG Campaign Video]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:18:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/459636036.jpg

It's undoubtedly been a long week for you, but with Christmas right around the corner, the Chicago Blackhawks have already created a gift that is sure to either lift your spirits or frighten you beyond all belief.

With the NHL All-Star Game fast approaching, the Blackhawks are pulling out all the stops to aid the candidacy of their players in fan voting. Jonathan Toews is the star of this video, which sees the captain and several of his teammates dressed up like something straight out of a 1980's exercise video: 

Toews is currently in third place in All-Star voting among forwards, trailing only Zemgus Grigensons of the Buffalo Sabres and Hawks teammate Patrick Kane. The top three forwards get into the All-Star Game automatically, as do the top two defensemen (Duncan Keith currently ranks first, with Brent Seabrook third), and the top goaltender also gets an invite to Columbus (Corey Crawford leads that list).

Voting ends on Jan. 1.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Waukegan Woman Files to Trademark "I Can't Breathe"]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:20:21 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/460014244.jpg

A Waukegan woman has filed an application to trademark Eric Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe.”

Catherine Crump, 57, submitted her request to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 13 in hopes of registering the phrase for use on apparel such as “hoodies and t-shirts for men, women, boys, girls, and infants.”

In the application acquired by the Smoking Gun, Crump claims to have been using the term for merchandising since “at least” Aug. 18, one month after Garner’s fatal arrest.

The July video of a NYPD officer placing a chokehold on unarmed Garner for selling loose cigarettes went viral after the father of six was seen shoved to the ground pleading, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” in his final moments of life.

When a grand jury decided not to indict the officer who killed him protesters erupted nationwide using, “I can’t breathe,” as their battle cry against police brutality.

Crump told the Smoking Gun she has “nothing to do with the Garner family,” and did not speak with them regarding her intentions to trademark the term.

<![CDATA["Family Man" Shot While Washing Dishes]]> Sat, 20 Dec 2014 10:37:57 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/juan+ortiz.jpg

More than a week after a 44-year-old man was shot in the chest while washing dishes inside his south suburban home, officials are still searching for shooter.

Juan Ortiz was shot during the evening hours in his home in the 1600 block of West Sunnyside Avenue in Chicago Heights on Dec. 11, according to Cook County Crime Stoppers.

Police said Ortiz's family, including his wife and four children, who are each under the age of 11, were in the home at the time of the shooting. Officers responding to a call of shots fired found Ortiz on his kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to the chest.

He was taken to Franciscan St. James Health in Chicago Heights, where he was pronounced dead. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the death.

The Cook County Crime Stoppers said Ortiz was a “family man, not someone prone to violence.”

“Juan was looking forward to the upcoming Christmas Holiday; normally a time to enjoy family and presents. All of this is gone because someone had a gun and pulled the trigger,” George McDade, chairman for Cook County Crime Stoppers, said in a statement. “I am not sure if this was just an errant shot that struck Juan, or if it was someone’s sick minded way of having fun and seeing him through the kitchen window decided to shoot at him. Either way a family has lost a father and husband and community a leader.”

Chicago Heights Police Chief Charles Guiliani said the crime is "highly unusual" for the area and police have not yet found a motive or any suspects in the shooting.

Chicago Heights police, Ortiz’s family and friends and the Cook County Crime Stoppers are scheduled to gather Saturday on his block to distribute fliers asking for information on his death.

A $1,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest, according to authorities.

“The offender is at large and the community needs to step forward and help us identify the person responsible before they shoot again” McDade said.

Anyone with information can call an anonymous hotline at (800)-535-STOP (7867).

Photo Credit: Cook County Crime Stoppers]]>
<![CDATA[Two Charged With Stealing Salvation Army Bucket]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 16:13:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kavin+gipson.jpg

Two men have been charged with stealing a Salvation Army bucket outside of a suburban grocery store, according to DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

Kavin Gipson and Roosevelt Huddleston allegedly approached the donation bucket outside of Ultra Foods in Lombard while the bell ringer was inside the store around 7 p.m. Thursday. Gipson took the bucket while Huddleston acted as a lookout before both of them fled in a car Gipson was driving, according to the state's attorney's office.

The two men then led police in a high-speed chase through a residential area before police caught up with them and arrested them.

Gipson, 48, of the 5100 block of Ridge Avenue in Hillside, was charged with one count of aggravated fleeing and eluding and one count of misdemeanor theft. Huddleston, 51, of the 300 block of Morris Avenue in Bellwood, was charged with one felony count of theft.

Both men appeared in bond court Friday morning, and bond was set at $20,000 for Gipson and $30,000 for Huddleston.

Gipson and Huddleston are due in court next on Dec. 30.

"It is very disheartening that in the midst of the holiday season, these two men allegedly stole money intended to brighten the holidays for those truly in need," Berlin said.

<![CDATA[Kirk Plans to Host Screening of "The Interview"]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:56:23 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/seth+rogen+mark+kirk.jpg

Sen. Mark Kirk said in a recent interview he hopes to have his first big re-election fundraiser at a screening of "The Interview," calling Sony Pictures' decision to cancel the film's Christmas Day premier "a terrible lesson to terrorists."

The Republican senator up for re-election in 2016 told WBEZ he was “pretty disappointed” with Sony’s decision to pull the film from theaters after threats from hackers.

“I would say that I’m going to be trying to hold the first big Kirk for Senate fundraiser at a screening of The Interview, so that everybody shows the North Koreans that you cannot edit what we want to see and do in the United States, under the First Amendment.”

He then tweeted, “With Sony’s surrender to North Korea, I plan to host a movie screening of @TheInterview.”

The FBI said Friday that North Korea was responsible for the hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that exposed private employee information and corporate secrets, NBC News reported.

In the aftermath of the hacking, Sony pulled its planned Christmas Day release of "The Interview" when major movie theater chains dropped the film, citing security fears.

Kirk added in his interview Friday that he hopes the movie will be “a smash hit.”

“It was a terrible lesson to terrorists, to give them what they wanted — that we should, as Americans under the First Amendment, we should never have to ask North Korea for permission as to what movie we can — just think of a previous really good movie, that was 'Team America: World Police,' that was really funny about North Korea. And your birthright as an American citizen — you never have to ask the North Koreans for permission for what movie you can see. I hope that now all the media about this movie makes it a smash hit, and that we see many more movies like it, and teach the North Koreans a lesson about what Americans can and cannot do.”

<![CDATA[Keith, Crawford to Return vs. Blue Jackets]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:13:08 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/495182751.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks will be getting back two key pieces in the lineup on Saturday night as they welcome defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford back into the mix.

Keith, who missed Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild, was absent with an illness, and while there were rumors that he was sick with mumps, that apparently isn’t the case as he practiced with the team on Friday.

As for Crawford, he has been out of the lineup for the Hawks’ last eight games as he dealt with a lower body injury suffered at a concert in November. He has been practicing with the team in recent days, but it was unclear whether or not he would be starting Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, or if he would back up Antti Raanta.

Now, it appears that Crawford will make the start. He has a 12-5-1 record so far this season with a 1.87 GAA and a .929 save percentage, and he is currently the frontrunner to be the first goaltender selected to the NHL All-Star Game, which will be played in the very building where he’ll make his return to the ice Saturday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Honoring Chicagoland's Fallen Heroes]]> Sat, 10 Nov 2012 19:11:50 -0600 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[Quinn Appoints Stermer as Topinka Replacement]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:55:53 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/quinn-stermer.jpg

Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday afternoon named Jerry Stermer to replace late Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Stermer has been director of the governor's budget office since 2012. He was the Chicago Democrat's chief of staff during Quinn's first term and the longtime director of advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children.

“The sudden passing of Judy Baar Topinka left a hole in the hearts of the people of Illinois,” Quinn said in a statement. “While no one can replace Judy Baar Topinka, government must continue. Jerry Stermer is a respected and experienced budget expert who will carry out the duties of Comptroller with integrity and heart.”

Stermer will serve until Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner takes office on Jan. 12, when Rauner will announce a full four-year replacement. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans was on hand to swear Stermer into office.

"Appointing a temporary placeholder and keeping Judy Baar Topinka’s staff in place is an appropriate decision and will ensure continuity of services for the people of Illinois – for that I thank the governor," Rauner said in a statement released after the announcement. "I know Jerry Stermer will be well served by Nancy Kimme and the team in the comptroller’s office."

Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, on Thursday called for a special session of the Illinois Legislature to approve a special election to replace Topinka. While the appointment he makes Friday will be temporary, he also wants voters to have the option to choose her successor.

Topinka died earlier this month after having a stroke. She won a second term as comptroller during last month's general election.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Monday issued a ruling about Topinka’s successor. The governor’s staff notes that while Madigan sees two appointments – one for Quinn and one for Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner – other legal experts believe that Quinn’s appointment will keep the comptroller job until there’s an election held.

Last week, Rauner said he wanted Quinn to appoint Topinka’s Chief of Staff Nancy Kimme.

The late comptroller was remembered at a memorial service Wednesday as a tough, honest leader with a signature sense of humor.

Crowds filled the Operating Engineers' Local 150 headquarters in Countryside to pay respects. Individuals included the state's top leaders, lawmakers, local leaders and Illinoisans who knew her for more than 70 years.

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<![CDATA[Willie Wilson Says Rahm Challenged His Own Signature on Petition]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:09:50 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Willie+Wilson.jpg

Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson is challenging the challenges to the legitimacy of his spot on the ballot.

In a press conference with the media Friday morning, Wilson expressed his determination to stay on the ballot despite Rahm's attempts to get him off. The Wilson campaign called the conference to say they were revealing "bombshell documents" against the mayor, who recently challenged the validity of thousands of signatures on Wilson's nominating petition after Wilson came up with 43,000 signatures in just five days.

In the press conference, Wilson and his campaign attorney, Frank Avila, and former Illinois Sen. Rickey Hendon charged that Rahm and his campaign have unfairly challenged thousands of signatures, including Wilson's own signature. They revealed the list of signatures on the petition as proof.

The Wilson campaign says that only 11,000 signatures have been approved, and they need 12,500 for a spot on the ballot.

The Chicago Board of Elections approved the Emanuel campaign subpoenas and called in hundreds of petition circulators to see if they are who they say they are. In all, there are 344 subpoenas related to the people who signed the petition and the circulators of the petition.

Wilson says the challenge to all those signatures is a violation of voting rights. "Today, in this era, you would think nobody would be challenging the right to vote," Wilson said.

Wilson's next hearing at the Board of Elections is Monday.

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<![CDATA[Analysis: Eateries With Most Failed Inspections]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:07:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trinity-Bar-chicago-1.jpg

More than 50 licensed Chicago restaurants failed inspections at least three times each this year, a review of city data shows.

Six of the eateries -- Trinity Bar, Taj Mahal, Hana Restaurant, Fischman's Wagyu Wagon, Nueovo Leon Restaurant, and Lawndale Food Market -- each failed four separate health inspections.

While the information is readily searchable on the City of Chicago Data Portal, it was Brandon Harris, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, who analyzed the information to come up with the easy-to-read comparison.

The number of fails doesn't necessarily mean a restaurant will be forced to close. Harris said his analysis revealed "a lot of missing and duplicated values." Additionally, a restaurant can fail an inspection for not being open when an inspector pays a visit.

Still, the data can give potential diners an idea of how well an eatery operates.

For example, Trinity Bar, on the 2700 block of North Halsted Street, failed an initial annual inspection on March 6, the data shows. The problems at that time included "excessive food debris" in the cooler and food that was stored at potentially unsafe temperatures.

That failed inspection triggered follow-up visits on March 13, March 14, and March 20. Those visits also resulted in failed results. Trinity Bar finally received a passing grade during a March 21 visit.

A man at Trinity Bar said "no comment" when asked about the inspection information on Friday morning.

Harris' analysis also easily determined which restaurants were the most frequently inspected and which had two or more failures within one mile of the University of Chicago's Gleacher Center.

Photo Credit: Regina Waldroup
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<![CDATA[Animal Shelter Passes Fundraising Goal to Save Homeless Pets]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:22:42 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Suzy+Q.jpg

Friday marked the start of a happy ending for a suburban animal shelter whose pets are facing homelessness after the shelter received an eviction notice earlier this month.

On Dec. 16, Cache Creek Animal Rescue in Joliet created a Go Fund Me page asking for donations of as little as $1 to help find a new temporary home for the rescued animals.

Their goal was $50,000. As of Friday afternoon, they have successfully raised more than $65,000. And it only took three days.

"Words will never be able to express how truly grateful we here at cache creek [sic] are at this moment," the animal shelter said in a post on their fundraising page Friday morning. "We are truly blessed to have all you animal lovers in our corner, the power of the human spirit has been shown and continues to be shown."

The excess donated money will go directly toward housing and caring for the animals in the shelter now and in the future, according to shelter.

Cache Creek Animal Rescue is a non-profit no-kill shelter that rescues dogs and cats from kill shelters in 11 counties in southern Illinois. The adoption center is facing eviction because the Joliet building was not up to code during a recent inspection, according to the shelter's fundraising page. The owner wants them out of the building by Jan. 10, which gave the staff at Cache Creek less than one month to find a new home for the pets.

The pets at the adoption center in Joliet come from a shelter in Anna, Ill., where the animals are initially taken after being rescued from pounds and puppy mills across southern Illinois. The shelter in Anna is also in need of repairs as it frequently floods, endangering the animals' lives, said Donna Hawk, the director of the shelter.

The fundraising page is still active and accepting donations. For more information about the shelter, visit www.cachecreekanimalrescue.com.

Photo Credit: Cache Creek Animal Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Brookfield Zoo Welcomes 2nd Dolphin Calf in 5 Days]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:11:52 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/brookfield-allie-calf.jpg

A Brookfield Zoo official on Thursday evening announced the birth of a second bottlenose dolphin within five days.

Sondra Katzen, with the Chicago Zoological Society, said a 27-year-old dolphin named Allie gave birth to a female calf early Tuesday.

Allie is a protective mother and was successfully nursing the calf and slipstreaming — when the calf rests in his mother's wake as she swims, Katzen said.

The zoo also welcomed a male calf born to 9-year-old Allison on Dec. 12.

The society's marine mammal curator, Rita Stacey, said the births have been very rewarding for the marine mammal team. She has said a calf's first 30 days are critical, and a dolphin birth is not considered successful until the calf reaches 1 year old.

"We are thrilled with this birth, as well as with Allison’s calf," Stacey said. 

The Chicago Zoological Society has cared for bottlenose dolphins for 54 years and opened the first inland oceanarium in the United States in 1961.

Photo Credit: Chicago Zoological Society
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