<![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 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:55:34 -0600 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:55:34 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Briggs Placed on IR by Bears Friday ]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:54:53 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Briggs_9-3.PNG

The Chicago Bears have been dealing with a ton of injuries over the past few weeks, and they got more bad news on Friday afternoon as it was announced that linebacker Lance Briggs was placed on the injured reserve list with a groin injury, ending his 2014 season. 

Briggs, who has played all 12 of his NFL season with the Bears, will be a free agent at the end of the year, so this could very well mean that he's reached the end of the line with the team. He has been harshly critical of the organization at times during his career, demanding a trade on several occasions and holding out of team activities in an effort to get a contract extension. 

If this is Briggs' last act with the Bears, his career would have to be considered a successful one. He has reached the Pro Bowl seven times in his career, and he has started 170 games for the Bears, good for the fifth most in franchise history. 

<![CDATA[Car Crashes Into Lake Michigan at Lake Shore Drive]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:16:46 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/LSD+2.jpg

Emergency crews responded to a traffic accident Friday afternoon where a car had gone into the water near Lake Shore Drive, fire officials said.

The accident happened around 3 p.m. near Lake Shore Drive and Balbo Avenue, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.

Witnesses near the scene said a car was traveling in reverse when it went through a fence and into the water.

"I saw a car traveling in reverse in front of me, slammed on the brakes, saw him continue through the fence right about here, right into the water about 20 feet out," said witness Kevin Shaken. "The door was wide open and he’s kind of out of the car, seemed like he was completely out of control."

It was not clear if anyone was injured, but emergency crews were seen searching the water.

Earlier Friday, a Chicago Park District truck slid into Lake Michigna near Oak Street. Ron Dorneker, the Deputy District Chief of the Chicago Fire Department's Marine & Dive Operations, said the driver was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

Check back for details on this developing story.

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Gives Birth to Baby in Stairwell in Schaumburg]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:26:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/stairwell+schaumburg+baby.JPG

A woman gave birth in the stairwell of an apartment building in Schaumburg when she could no longer wait for an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

The Schaumburg Fire Department was responding to a fire in the 1400 block of Albany Court just before 8 a.m. Friday when, at the same time, they were called to assist with the emergency delivery of a baby in the stairwell of an apartment complex at 21 Kristin Place, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The department sent a crew to the apartment complex and paramedics from Hoffman Estates and Elk Grove Village were also called to help, but by the time emergency personnel arrived, the baby was already born.

The mother and baby were taken to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates where they were “doing fine,” according to the Tribune.

The Bloch family says the baby is the couple's third child. They had gone to the hospital Thursday night, but were sent home when the mother, Miki, "wasn't progressing fast enough."

The father, Mike Bloch, said the couple called 911 and the baby arrived seconds later. The baby was named Tristan.

No injuries were reported in the fire. The cause is under investigation.

<![CDATA[Man Wins $100,000 From Forgotten Lotto Ticket]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:06:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/michael+gonzalez+lotto.jpg

Sometimes, it pays to clean out your wallet—literally.

Michael Gonzalez kept a lottery ticket in his wallet for more than a month without realizing that it was worth $100,000.

“Two days after my birthday I bought a Lucky Day Lotto Quick Pick ticket, put it in my wallet and forgot all about it,” Gonzalez told Illinois Lottery officials.

About a month later, the Berwyn resident was at a store going through his wallet when he found the ticket and asked the cashier to check it for him. It was then that he found out he had won $100,000.

“Since I am always joking around, my mom wouldn’t believe me,” he said. “She kept calling me back asking if I really won.”

The 23-year-old, who is originally from Mexico, says he plans to use the winnings to buy a new home for his mother and sister.

When it comes to advice for other lottery players, he said, “Don’t forget to check your tickets.”

The winning ticket was purchased at Joe’s Liquors, located at 6803 Ogden Ave. in Berwyn.

Photo Credit: Illinois Lottery]]>
<![CDATA[Emanuel Calls Special Meeting for Minimum Wage Vote]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:12:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/178*120/tlmd_alcalde_rahm_emanuel2.JPG

Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn't plan to wait and see if the state of Illinois passes a minimum wage hike.  

NBC 5 has learned Emanuel called a special City Council meeting to pass the minimum wage ordinance, impacting businesses within city limits. Aldermen were informed of the meeting on Friday.

The work force committee will meet first at 3:45 p.m. on Monday to discuss the details of the ordinance. A special City Council meeting was called for 9 a.m. Tuesday when a vote will be held.

The mayor's spokeswoman, Kelley Quinn, confirmed the meetings and added the proposal is to raise the wage to $13 an hour.

The current proposal is to raise the minimum wage in stages.

While most of the aldermen may be on board, many would have also preferred the state to raise the wage first. Those whose wards are along suburban borders are concerned the wage hike will drive business elsewhere.

Mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia issued a statement earlier Friday urging Emanuel to call the council into emergency session.

“More than a week has passed since 34 Members of the City Council went on record supporting a minimum wage hike and opposing efforts in Springfield to stop the city from taking action.” Garcia said. “The votes are there in the City Council. The threat is real. The only thing missing now is the political will to protect the people of Chicago.”

<![CDATA[Protesters Urge Black Friday Boycott in Chicago]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:28:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/black+friday+protest.jpg

Protesters in Chicago used the Black Friday shopping holiday to bring attention to the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri.

About 100 people gathered at the Water Tower on Michigan Avenue to express their frustration over a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Brown in August.

"We chose here so that we could be out here for four-and-a-half hours, which is the amount of time Michael Brown's body was left in the street," Kristina Colon said.

While they stayed out of stores, protesters urged passersby to boycott shopping and used social media with the hashtags #blackoutfriday and #boycottblackfriday to get the word out, saying capitalism is tied to Brown's case.

"I think it's definitely connecting capitalism with racism and saying, look, these are the real issues right now, so getting the best sales is just silly when people's lives are being wrecked every single day," Heather Loring-Albright said.

The protesters then headed to Wicker Park and planned to walk to Walmart on North Avenue for an anti-Black Friday protest.

On Thanksgiving, protesters marched at a St. Louis-area Target, calling on shoppers to boycott shopping as police stood watch. Protesters remained relatively peaceful.

In a separate march, protesters held a demonstration at a Chicago Walmart, demanding the company pay employees $15 an hour.

Photo Credit: NBCChicago.com]]>
<![CDATA[Park District Truck Slides Into Lake Michigan]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:59:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/car-into-lake-1.jpg

The driver of a Chicago Park District truck was able to get out before his vehicle slid into Lake Michigan, but the truck remained submerged early Friday.

Officials were called about a vehicle in the lake near Lake Shore Drive and Oak Street about 10:35 a.m.

Ron Dorneker, the Deputy District Chief of the Chicago Fire Department's Marine & Dive Operations, said the driver was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

The park district vehicle, which had been at the lake for graffiti removal, was completely submerged at midday.

"Depending on the ice conditions -- and we'll talk to the tow truck driver and the police department -- we'll decide when the vehicle will be removed from the water," he said.

Boats from the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department were on the water searching for the truck.

A Chicago Park District spokeswoman told NBC Chicago the lakefront bike path would be closed until further notice so crews could clear and de-ice it.

<![CDATA[JRW Player, His Family Thankful for Gift of New Home]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 11:46:33 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/benton-family.jpg As Jaheim Benton and his teammates were winning the hearts of Little League fans, his family was battling homelessness. Then an area businessman stepped up. NBC Chicago's Regina Waldroup reports as the family celebrated their first Thanksgiving in their new home.]]> <![CDATA[Weekend Warm-Up Predicted for Chicago Area]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:02:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Cold-people-12-23.jpg

If you've been putting off decorating the outside of your house for the holidays, this may be the weekend to get it done.

NBC 5 weather models show a big warm-up on the way with temperatures reaching 10 degrees above average.

Friday evening temperatures are expected to hold steady in the mid-30s overnight before warm air advection produces temps well into the 40s on Saturday morning. If the Chicago area sees more sunshine than clouds on Saturday, we could warm up to the low- to mid-50s.

The mild air should last into Sunday morning before a strong cold front sweeps across the metro area, shifting winds and causing temps to fall.

Some showers are likely along the front as it passes, but southern sections and northwest Indiana likely will be the most affected. 

It’s back to reality on Monday as unseasonably cold temps return with highs in the 20s. 

Early models show cold air easing somewhat into mid-week.

<![CDATA[Three Hurt in Englewood Stabbing]]> Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:20:59 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/knife3.jpg

Three people were wounded in what police said they believe was a domestic-related stabbing in Englewood late Thursday.

About 10:30 p.m., the three -- whose ages and genders weren’t immediately available early Friday -- were stabbed in the 400 block of West Normal Parkway, police said.

Their hospital information was also not disclosed, but police said their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

<![CDATA[Lions Beat Bears 34-17]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:50:41 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/170*120/459651652.jpg

The Chicago Bears ran out to an early lead, but 21 straight points in the second quarter helped the Detroit Lions to a 34-17 victory in the teams’ Thanksgiving showdown.

The Lions got the ball to begin the game, and the Bears’ defense promptly stopped them on a three and out. Marc Mariani returned the ensuing punt to the 45-yard line, and Jay Cutler took it from there. He found Brandon Marshall for a first down and two plays later hit Martellus Bennett for another one. A screen pass to Matt Forte brought the Bears to within shouting distance of the goal line, and two plays later another screen pass to Alshon Jeffery finished the drive off as the Bears grabbed an early 7-0 lead.

Matthew Stafford came onto the field for Detroit’s second drive, and he started hitting a bit of a groove. A bootleg play to Eric Ebron resulted in a first down (and a highlight reel hurdle over Kyle Fuller), and Calvin Johnson got involved with two first down catches of his own. Ultimately though the Bears’ intense pass rush forced Stafford to throw an incompletion on third down, and Matt Prater booted through a field goal to make it a 7-3 game.

The Bears were forced to punt on their second drive of the game, but Pat O’Donnell pinned Detroit deep in their own territory. Jared Allen thanked him by getting to Stafford and forcing a fumble, and the defensive end also recovered the loose ball to put the Bears at the five-yard line. Two plays later, Jeffery went up for a jump ball and hauled in his second touchdown catch of the afternoon, and the Bears seized a 14-3 lead with three and a half minutes to go in the first quarter.

The Lions’ offense got moving again as the first quarter came to an end, with Johnson snaring two more first down catches to help spark the offense. When the second quarter started, that trend continued as Stafford stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike to Johnson near the goal line, and the receiver went up between Kyle Fuller and Brock Vereen to haul in a touchdown to narrow the deficit to 14-10.

Jeffery got the Bears’ offense to a good start by picking up a first down reception, and then Martellus Bennett grabbed a pass and bulldozed his way for another one. A Roberto Garza holding penalty erased another big gain by Bennett, and after Marshall dropped a pass over the middle of the field on third and long, the Bears were forced to punt the ball away.

Stafford picked up two quick first downs for the Lions as they looked to take the lead, with Johnson and Golden Tate each making solid catches. Jeremy Ross extended the drive a few plays later as he gained 31 yards on third down, and on a Tate catch, Tim Jennings was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver to give the Lions a first and goal opportunity. A holding penalty erased a Joique Bell touchdown on second down, but he got his revenge on fourth and goal as he dove over the pile and extended the ball past the goal line to give the Lions a 17-14 lead with about three minutes remaining in the first half.

The Bears were forced to punt the ball away at the two-minute warning, and the Lions continued their all-out assault by marching down the field and scoring just before the half. Theo Riddick hauled in a pass to get things going, and then with 30 seconds remaining, Johnson got one-on-one coverage against Kyle Fuller, and he made an excellent catch in the corner of the end zone to give the Lions a 24-14 lead just before halftime.

Opening the second half, the Bears’ offense got the ball back, and Cutler teamed up with Jeffery to push up the field. The receiver picked up a big first down after a sack to extend the drive, but it soon sputtered out and Robbie Gould was forced to kick a field goal, making it 24-17.

The Bears’ defense came out for their first drive of the second half and immediately made an impact, forcing a quick three-and-out for the Lions. Unfortunately that momentum wasn’t enough to push the offense forward, as a drop by Bennett forced the Bears to punt the ball back to Detroit.

Stafford once again made the Bears’ secondary pay for their poor play on Detroit’s next drive, completing passes to several different receivers to move the team down the field. Demontre Hurst whiffed on an interception attempt, allowing Tate to make a catch for a first down. Then Riddick got one of his own, and Tate beat Fuller and Vereen downfield for another one. A roughing the passer penalty on Willie Young gave the Lions a first and goal, and three plays later Bell trotted into the end zone to open the fourth quarter with a 31-17 Detroit lead.

Both teams exchanged unsuccessful drives after the Bell touchdown, but the Bears ended up making the big mistake as Cutler’s badly underthrown pass to Marshall was intercepted by the Lions. Bell was able to catch a screen pass and get near the first down marker, but Stafford barely missed Johnson in the end zone on the third and short play. Prater had to come in to kick the 40-yard field goal, and when he hit it he put the Lions up 34-17.

Cutler and the Bears came back on the field needing to string some plays together, but the Lions’ pass rush had other ideas. Ezekiel Ansah sacked Cutler on first down, and then the quarterback was forced to throw the ball away on second down as the pass rush descended on him again. A screen pass to Bennett on the next play, and the Bears were forced to punt away again.

Bell picked up several good rushes on the next drive, but the Lions weren’t able to finish the game off as they were stopped on fourth down just after the two minute warning. The Bears managed to move the ball down the field on their final drive, but it wasn’t enough in the end as Marshall attempted a forward lateral on the last play of the game, negating a Ka’Deem Carey touchdown, and then Cutler threw an interception on an extra play caused by offsetting penalties. 

After a short week heading into the game, the Bears won’t have any extra rest going into their next game, as they’ll be battling the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Thieves Smash Wall to Rob Austin Clothing Store]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:14:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/190*120/smash+and+grab+p1.jpg

A group of thieves plowed a red pickup truck through a brick wall at J-Bees Clothing and Footwear in Chicago's Austin neighborhood early Thursday morning. 

The theives made off with an unknown amount of merchandise from the retailer located at 5250 W. North Avenue. 

At about 4:15 a.m., theives used the back end of a maroon pick up truck to smash through the exterior wall. Once they had created a hole, about 20 to 25 people in hoodies were seen on surveillance video looting the store, carrying garbage bags full of merchandise. 

"The came from everywhere," said store manager Muhammed Lodhi, who's been burglarized on numerous occassions. 

This crime is similar to a spate of smash and grab robberies that have taken place throughout the Chicago area over the past few weeks. Police would not say if this was related to those incidents. 

<![CDATA[Kane's Three Assists Lead Blackhawks Over Avalanche]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:02:58 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/173*120/459628912.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks came into Denver hoping for a rebound after a lackluster loss Sunday, and they got exactly that as three Patrick Kane assists led them to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw each scored power play goals for the Blackhawks, and Bryan Bickell’s even-strength tally in the third period proved to be the difference maker as the Hawks secured their third win in four games on their annual circus trip. Maxime Talbot and Ryan O’Reilly scored goals for the Avalanche as their tough season continues.

The Blackhawks began the game on the sloppy side, with poor passing and silly decisions nearly costing them on several occasions. Duncan Keith capped everything off by committing an early penalty, but the Avalanche repaid that kindness by committing one of their own to cancel out the power play. Marian Hossa got a great chance on goal during a 2-on-1 rush, and Toews would have scored had Tyson Barrie not hauled him down on the play to earn a penalty.

After the early mistakes by the Blackhawks, they seemed to turn things around following the Hossa chance and grabbed control of the game. Hossa had another great shot from the middle of the ice, but Colorado goaltender Calvin Pickard made a great save. Brandon Saad followed that up with two more shots, but neither could evade the goaltender. A few moments later, Kane got in on the act as he rifled in a shot on the rush, but it rang loudly off the post and kept the game scoreless.

In the closing stages of the period, the Blackhawks continued their onslaught. Shaw fired a shot from the wing just outside of the post and off of the side of the net. Kane also got another shot in, but Pickard found the puck through traffic and knocked it down as Toews screened him in the crease. The momentum was stymied a bit when Keith was sent to the box again at the very end of the first period, but the Hawks’ penalty killing unit came up big as they prevented Colorado from getting a single shot on goal as the power play carried over into the second stanza.

The Blackhawks got a power play of their own shortly after that kill, but they couldn’t score either. Richards fired in a shot from the point that hit traffic in front, but Saad couldn’t quite push the rebound home. Toews also had a stuff attempt rebuffed by Pickard, and Marian Hossa tried to fool the officials by sliding the puck underneath the back of the net when Shaw lifted it from its moorings, but the men in stripes weren’t fooled as the game remained scoreless.

Eight minutes into the second period, it was Colorado that finally broke the deadlock. Marc-Andre Cliché grabbed the puck behind the Chicago net, and he feathered a pass to Talbot, who wristed a shot past Crawford to put Colorado up 1-0.

A few minutes later, the Blackhawks got another power play, and this time they were able to capitalize. Brent Seabrook blasted in a shot from the point that hit traffic in front, and as it skipped along the goal line, Toews was able to get a stick on it and pop it into the net to knot the game up at a goal apiece.

The Blackhawks got yet another power play a few moments later as Nick Holden was sent off for holding, and they scored again to take the lead. After pulling up in the offensive zone, Kane feathered a pass across the zone to Shaw, who was able to stretch out to grab the pass and flip a wrist shot past Pickard and inside the near post to make it 2-1 Blackhawks.

As the second period came to an end, the Avalanche started pouring it on offensively, but the Hawks withstood the barrage. Matt Duchene got two quick shots in on goal that Crawford stopped, and a few moments later Jarome Iginla fired in a shot and tried to score on the rebound, but the Hawks’ goaltender stood tall and kept his team ahead after 40 minutes.

That Avalanche pressure continued into the third period, and it ultimately resulted in a game-tying goal. With five Blackhawks skaters surrounding the net, a loose puck simply laid on the ice, and O’Reilly eventually picked it up and wristed it into the top shelf of the net to tie the game up at 2-2.

The Blackhawks ended up rebounding nicely from the Colorado goal, generating several more scoring chances despite failing to pick up a goal on the power play. When play returned to even strength, Kane knocked a cross-ice pass out of midair from Duncan Keith, eluded three different Colorado defenders, and fed a pass to the front of the net to Bickell, who tapped home an easy shot to make it a 3-2 game.

Over the final few minutes of the game, the Avalanche fired away at Crawford, but they couldn’t get any goals home. The Hawks’ fourth line ended up playing really solid defense in the closing 30 seconds or so, with Ben Smith nearly picking up an empty net goal on a diving attempt. The Hawks then won a face-off in the offensive zone, and they ran out the clock to seal the victory.

The Blackhawks will take Thanksgiving off before starting a two-game swing through southern California, beginning with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[3 Activists Arrested During Ferguson Protest in Loop]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 21:10:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/white+house+ferguson+protest.jpg

Three activists were arrested in Chicago Wednesday two days after a grand jury decided not to indict the officer who shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Two 63-year-old women and a 57-year-old man were arrested during a protest near Jackson and State, according to Chicago Police News Affairs.

Police could not comment on what led to the arrests or if charges will be filed.

Protesters claim the three were “arrested as they peacefully stepped into the street at the intersection of Jackson and State with a banner calling for “Justice for Mike Brown!”'

The arrests come after two days of protests in the area and amid several protests across the nation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Activists Criticize Emanuel's First Campaign Ad]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 20:21:34 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+ad+protest.JPG

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first TV ad of his 2015 re-election campaign is under fire as a coalition of community groups demands it be taken off the air.

The 30-second spot, called "Clean Air," features Chicagoan Kim Wasserman praising Emanuel's response to toxic coal plant pollution affecting residents' lungs (including her son's) in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods on the West Side of town.

Two years ago Emanuel made a pact with the plants' owner, Midwest Generation, to shut down the smokestacks amid growing resident and activist outcry.

But a coalition of community groups went to City Hall Wednesday to demand the ad be taken off air. The groups say it was activists who got the plants shut down, not Emanuel.

“What do you think about a guy who tries to take a community victory and turn it into his own political gain,” said Jerry Mead Lucero from the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization.

Several protesters stood in City Hall with signs saying “ads make me sick” and calling the latest ad a “loser move” before delivering a cease and desist order to the mayor’s office.

Emanuel’s campaign spokesman released a statement on the issue Wednesday.

“Community groups spent a decade fighting these coal plants,” the statement read. “Mayor Emanuel heard their concerns and quickly joined the fight. This was a fight by hundreds of community activists that he was proud to play a small role in.”

Supporters of Emanuel say the groups protesting are linked to those opposing the mayor in the upcoming election.

Protest leaders said that was not was the demonstration was about and would not comment on the matter.

<![CDATA[Obama Met With Cupich During Chicago Visit]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:41:15 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/198*120/tlmd_obama_chicago_discurso.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was the point person in the first introductory meeting Tuesday between Archbishop Blase Cupich and President Obama.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese says the Archbishop pledged to help as the President asked if the Catholic Church would be a partner in making Immigration reforms.

The meeting came just before the President was set to speak on his executive action on immigration at the Copernicus Community Center.

Cupich said in a statment Wednesday that he supported the Preisdent's annoucement of administrative relief for immigrant families.

"This is a time for momentary celebration, a time to give thanks for a first step toward immigration reform for all of those who are being granted this relief. It is also a time to mobilize our communities to assist in helping those affected by the President’s actions to realize the full benefit of what is being offered," Cupich said. ""However, we must not forget that there are millions of people left out
of these recent relief decisions, still forced to live in the shadows."

<![CDATA[Unusually Popular Thanksgiving Recipes in Each State: Report]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:08:32 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/176*120/turkey5.jpg

Thanksgiving meals go far beyond making the perfect turkey.

Holiday meals and traditions change from state to state and family to family, but it appears some states might have a signature dish.

The New York Times and Google researchers recently released a list of the distinct dishes residents in each state Googled. For Illinois, the unusually popular dish was Hawaiian salad.

According to the study, Hawaiian salad recipes were 13 times more commonly searched for in Illinois than in other parts of the nation.

Also among the list of distinct recipes Illinois residents searched for were taffy apple salad, pumpkin bars, and bacon wrapped dates.

Across the Midwest, the search results differed.

For Wisconsin, the most distinct recipe searched for was brownberry stuffing. In Iowa, residents were more likely to search for snicker apple salad and in Indiana, persimmon pudding.

Other unusually popular recipes across the nation include frog eye salad, pig pickin cake, and dirt pudding.

Researchers stressed the results of the study don’t indicate that the dish is the “most iconic” in each state, or even a state’s favorite dish, as some classic recipes may not need to be searched for. If analysists were to search for the "most popular" dish in each state, the answer would unanimously be "turkey."

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Briggs Ruled Out for Thursday vs. Lions ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:45:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Briggs_9-3.PNG

The Chicago Bears will be taking on the Detroit Lions on Thursday, but they are hardly feeling thankful after it was announced that linebacker Lance Briggs will not play in the Thanksgiving game. 

Briggs, who injured his groin last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, already has missed time this season with injury, and missed nearly half of last season with a fractured shoulder. Khaseem Greene will likey suit up in his place at weak side linebacker. 

The Bears will also be missing Brian de la Puente, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, and Darryl Sharpton and Chris Williams will also be out of action. Defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff could also be out of the lineup, as he was listed as doubtful on the injury report along with defensive end Trevor Scott. 

The team did get a bit of good news on Wednesday as Kyle Fuller was listed as questionable on the injury report. If he is able to go, it will give a boost to a secondary that will be going up against one of the league's best receiving tandems in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. 

<![CDATA[Bears vs. Lions: 3 Keys to a Chicago Victory]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:46:17 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/190*120/bears+dolphins+getty9.jpg

The Chicago Bears will be looking to reach the .500 mark again for the first time since their Week 6 win against the Atlanta Falcons, but the task will be far from easy as they go up against the defensively dominant Detroit Lions.

As the two teams prepare to take the field on Thanksgiving, we have three keys that can help make the Bears’ holiday in the Motor City a bountiful one.

Forget the Deep Ball, Focus on Slants

The Bears are a team that has huge wide receivers capable of going up and winning jump balls, but over the past few weeks, they’ve gotten away from that model. Their offense has become much more dink and dunk, and they only completed four passes of 10 yards or more in their win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While some observers have said that the Bears need to stretch the field more with their deep vertical passing game, doing so against the Lions would be a fool’s errand. They’re one of the few teams in the NFL that has the size in their secondary to compete with guys like Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, and so challenging them over the top could result in a long day at the office for Jay Cutler.

Instead, Cutler should rely on Jeffery, Marshall, and Marquess Wilson to run short slant routes to find soft spots in the Detroit defense, and doing so will not only give the Bears more of a chance of success in getting completions, but also will help keep Cutler upright against a ferocious Lions pass rush.

Reserves Must Play Like Stars

The Bears are going to be missing a couple of players on Thursday, as Brian de la Puente was placed on injured reserve and Lance Briggs hinted that he will not be able to play after sustaining a groin injury against the Buccaneers. The Bears could also be without Kyle Fuller, who has been listed as “did not practice” on the injury report all week (the Bears didn’t hold any practices, so the designations were estimates).

In order for Chicago to win this game, they are going to need to get some big contributions from these players’ replacements. Michael Ola will slide back in to left guard in place of de la Puente, with Jordan Mills presumably rejoining the lineup after missing the last two weeks. Mills is going to have his hands full with Ezekiel Ansah on the right side of the line, but Ola will have it worse as he tries to contend with N’Damukong Suh and Caraun Reid up the middle.

As for Briggs, his presence in calling out plays and helping to stop the run will be sorely missed, and Khaseem Greene will slide into the weak side linebacker spot to replace him. He’ll have to keep an eye on Eric Ebron for the Lions over the middle of the field, but he may also have to deal with the Lions’ running game if they can get Joique Bell going. Demontre Hurst would be the most likely replacement for Fuller at corner if he can’t go, and having to go up against either Golden Tate or Calvin Johnson would be a tall order.

The Bears were ravaged by injuries last year, and slowly but surely they’re dealing with the same issues again. The question is whether or not they can overcome it thanks to improved depth at certain positions, and this week will go a long way toward answering that query.

Special Teams Must Play Clean Game

The Bears’ special teams unit has been, in a word, bad this season, with frequent penalties, struggles by punter Pat O’Donnell, and even missed field goals by Robbie Gould all conspiring against them. The worst part of all of it however, has been the kick returning, with Rashad Ross, Senorise Perry, and Chris Williams all failing to grab the role.

If the team is going to win on Sunday, they are going to have to clean up in all of those areas. No more holding penalties that tack yardage onto kicks and returns. No shanked punts by O’Donnell (like the one he mis-kicked in the closing stages of their game against the Buccaneers). More accuracy from Gould in the field goal kicking game. Most importantly of all, Marc Mariani needs to decide more appropriately when to bring the ball out of the end zone on kick-offs, because that will help determine where the Bears get the ball during games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Family Sues After 10-Year-Old Boy Dies in Chicago Fire]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 21:46:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/fire-5700-north-kimball-1.jpg

A Chicago family filed a lawsuit Wednesday after a 10-year-old boy was killed earlier this month in a Northwest Side apartment fire.

Ans Khan died in the blaze that left 11 others injured in a four-story apartment building on the 5700 block of North Kimball Avenue in Hollywood Park.

The fire started shortly after 3 a.m. Nov. 9 and was extinguished by 4:45 a.m. Several people jumped to safety, but officials said the boy became trapped by the flames and was found dead on the fourth floor.

"[The children] said they just woke and their parents are screaming, 'We have a fire in our house and we have to jump from the window,'" said Khan's aunt Safia Khan.

The boy's parents were severely injured and remain hospitalized. Two of the couple's younger children also were injured.

"Neither parent was able to attend the funeral of their oldest son killed in the fire," the family's attorney from the Cavanagh Law Group said in a statement. "The father still does not know his son died in the blaze."

The family filed a lawsuit against the building owners, alleging the owners were negligent in not providing working smoke detectors or a sprinkler system.

"We filed this lawsuit because we believe this family deserves answers about why this fire started," said Attorney Tim Cavanagh. "This landlord didn't care about his tenants, he didn't care about this family."

Ans Khan's classmates remembered the boy as a “great friend" and extremely smart student.

“He was a really good friend to us,” Kaela Nicholson said. “Really nice, always thoughtful, put others before himself.”

“I want to thank [Ans] for helping me,” said his classmate Jocelyne Vasquez. “I want him and his family to know that he was always positive, in all moments, never doing anything wrong.”

<![CDATA[The United States of Heckling: Obama Schools Protesters on Immigration, Everything Else]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:29:48 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/200*120/tlmd-obama-chicago-inmigracion-accion-ejecutiva2.jpg

When protesters heckled President Obama during his Tuesday immigration speech in Chicago, POTUS responded by acknowledging the group's gripes as "absolutely right" before smoothly shutting them down.

"The point is that though I understand why you might have yelled at me a month ago, although I disagree with some of your characterizations, it doesn't make much sense to yell at me right now when we're making changes," said Obama, using a tough-love approach to respond to complaints about his deportation policy.

It's a strategy he employed while criss-crossing the country to discuss his newly minted, hot-button executive order to enact sweeping immigration reform. 

In Las Vegas last week, he told an unruly crowd: "I've been respectful to you. I want you to be respectful to me."

He took a similar tone to address a heckler during an immigration-themed speech in San Francisco last November.

The president was looser and less serious in get-out-the-vote speeches leading up to 2014's midterm elections. Here he is in Austin back in July, scolding a shout-y citizen: "I'm on your side, man! Sit down guys. We'll talk later, I promise."

At a Democratic National Committe fundraiser in May: "You kinda screwed up my ending, but that's OK."

At another DNC event in February: "What the heck are you talking about? ... See, he thought happy hour started earlier!"

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[Jackie Chan Movie Inspires Northwestern Solar Discovery]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:10:42 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/219*120/042009+Jackie+Chan+P1.jpg

Researchers from Northwestern University used a 1993 Jackie Chan movie as inspiration to test Blu-ray discs' solar cell efficiency.

A new paper from the Evanston school shows patterns on the surface of the discs not only are perfect for increasing efficiency but that solar panels can be more efficient by breaking up sunlight before it hits.

The school's first test was a copy of Chan's "Police Story 3: Supercop," but it turns out other Blu-ray discs work just as well.

"It’s as if electrical engineers and computer scientists developing the Blu-ray technology have been subconsciously doing our jobs," lead study author Jiaxing Huang said.

NBC News reports breaking up sunlight ensures an even exposure across the whole surface, and some patterns work better than others.

What works best? Video data burned into Blu-ray discs.

<![CDATA[The Executive Mansion Elevator Is Busted: Rauner Reality Check? ]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:05:32 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/governor%27s+mansion+p1.jpg

The Civil War-era Illinois governor's mansion is due for an upgrade—especially since the Polar Vortex of 2014 led to significant water damage. 

While Gov. Pat Quinn chose not to live in the Springfield manse, his successor Bruce Rauner aims to make it his permanent HQ as he begins his first term. The multi-millionaire multiple-home-owner and his wife, Diana, will soon decamp from their Winnetka base to take up full-time residence at the crumbling state-owned property, which recently suffered from a leaky roof and flooded basement. It was built in 1855, making it nearly 160 years old.

The Rauners' rep told Capitol Fax earlier this week that the future First Couple took a tour last Thursday and are (allegedly) happy with the place. 

"Bruce and Diana are excited and looking forward to moving to Springfield," said spokesman Mike Schrimpf. "Clearly there's some work that needs to be done on the people's house and Bruce has committed to raising private funds to make the necessary repairs."

Meanwhile, Executive Mansion curator Dave Bourland tells the Sun-Times: "I'm looking forward to working with him, but so far I've heard nothing."

"Transition is always difficult and the mansion still needs a new roof and the elevator is not working, so the new first family will have to climb the tall, winding mansion staircase to get to their private enclave," says Bourland.

After a round of bad press, Quinn finally caved on long-delayed repairs and last summer ordered emergency fixes costing in the ballpark of $40,000. The prevailing theory on why he held off on taking action to rescue the decaying landmark: An apparent skittishness toward seeming hypocritical after loudly complaining about the state's $50 million project to restore the Capitol's west wing.

When Rauner is done with it, the Executive Mansion will look like this

For now, he'll have to take the stairs.

<![CDATA[Bruce and Diana Rauner Tour Crumbling Governor's Mansion]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:57:44 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bruce+and+diana+rauner.jpg

The Civil War-era Executive Mansion, aka the Illinois governor's digs, is due for an upgrade—especially since the Polar Vortex of 2014 led to significant water damage. 

While Gov. Pat Quinn chose not to live in the Springfield manse, his successor Bruce Rauner aims to make it his permanent HQ as he begins his first term. The multiple-home-owner and his wife, Diana, are decamping from their Winnetka base down to the historic property, which recently suffered from a leaky roof and flooded basement.

The Rauners' spokesman, Mike Schrimpf, tells Capitol Fax blogger Rich Miller that the future First Couple took a tour on Thursday and are (allegedly) happy with the place. 

"Bruce and Diana are excited and looking forward to moving to Springfield," says Schrimpf. "Clearly there’s some work that needs to be done on the people’s house and Bruce has committed to raising private funds to make the necessary repairs."

After a round of bad press, Quinn finally caved on long-delayed repairs and ordered emergency fixes costing in the ballpark of $40,000. The prevailing theory on why he held off on taking action to rescue the decaying landmark: An apparent skittishness toward seeming hypocritical after loudly complaining about the state's $50 million project to restore the Capitol's west wing.

When Rauner is done with it, the Executive Mansion will look like this.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago-Area Outlet Malls Unleash Deals on Thanksgiving]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:56:31 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/161*120/livermore4.JPG

Black Friday is upon us. If you plan on getting your shopping done all in one place, here's a list of opening times and top deals at outlet malls in the Chicago area and beyond.

Chicago Premium Outlets – Aurora

Thanksgiving Day: 6 p.m.-midnight; Black Friday: Midnight-10 p.m.

Featured deals:

Asics Outlet: Thanksgiving and Black Friday Sale: 60 percent off apparel, including clearance

Cole Hann: Black Friday Sale: 50 percent off suggested retail price, plus additional 15 percent off until 10 a.m. and additional 10 percent off after 10 a.m.

Levi Outlet Store: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: All jeans $29.99 each when you buy two or more; 40 percent off all tops, sweaters, outerwear and accessories

PUMA: Nov. 27-Nov. 30: Entire store 50 percent off, no exclusions

Tommy Hilfiger: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: 40-60 percent off everything

Gurnee Mills

Thanksgiving: 6 p.m.-11:59 p.m.; Black Friday: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Featured deals:

Sunglass Hut: “Shady Friday”: Nov. 27-Nov. 30: 60 percent off original and clearance prices, including REVO

Gap Factory: Nov. 24-Nov. 30: 50-75 percent off entire store; Nov. 27-Nov. 30: gifts for the family for $9.99 and under

DEB Shop: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: 50 percent off entire store

Best Buy: Nov. 27-Nov. 29: Get a Galaxy S5 for $1 with activation

Aeropostale: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: Entire store 60 percent off with a free fleece blanket with purchase of $100 or more

Fashion Outlets of Chicago – Rosemont

Hours: Thanksgiving: 10 p.m.-midnight; Black Friday: Midnight-10 p.m.  

Featured deals:

Gucci: Nov. 21-Dec. 1: 20-80 percent off select merchandise

DKNY: Thanksgiving Day: Additional 20 percent off any purchase of four items or more

Halston: Nov. 20-Dec. 2: New markdowns up to 70 percent off

Tanger Outlets of Tuscola

Hours: Thanksgiving: 6 p.m.-midnight: Black Friday: Midnight-2 a.m. and 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Featured Deals:

Gap Factory: Nov. 24-Nov. 30: 50-75 percent off entire store; Nov. 27-Nov. 30: Gifts for the family for $9.99 and under

RUE21: Nov. 27-Nov. 30: Entire store 60 percent off

Van Heusen: Black Friday: 50 percent off dress shirts and ties; everything else 70 percent off. Door busters: $12 selection of men’s and women’s shirts

Rockport: Black Friday: Midnight-10 a.m.: Receive $15 off your purchase of $75 or more; Super Buys starting at $29.98 and women’s boots at 50 percent off

Old Navy: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: 50 percent entire store

Huntley Outlet Center - Huntley

Hours: Thanksgiving: Closed; Black Friday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Featured deals:

Bose Factory Store: Nov. 23-Dec. 1: 20-50 percent off select factory renewed products

Gap Factory: Nov. 24-Nov. 30: 50-75 percent off entire store; Nov. 27-Nov. 30: Gifts for the family for $9.99 and under

Reebok: Black Friday: 30 percent off door busters storewide; some footwear $29.99, some apparel $9.99-$19.99

Tommy Hilfiger: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: 40-60 percent off everything

Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets – Pleasant Prairie, Wis.

Hours: Thanksgiving: 6 p.m.-midnight; Black Friday: Midnight-10 p.m.

Featured deals:

Brooks Brothers Factory Store: Thanksgiving Sale: 40-60 percent off throughout the store. Early Bird Thanksgiving Day until 9 a.m. Black Friday: All men's and women's shirts $29.90, men's suits $199 and 50 percent off women's sweaters

Calvin Klein: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: entire store 10-70 percent off, plus an additional 15 percent; Open-10 a.m. Nov. 28: Take an additional 10 percent; 10 a.m.-close Nov. 28: plus in-store door busters

Coach: Nov. 27-Nov. 30: Take 50 percent off storewide, plus an additional 40 percent off clearance. Thanksgiving exclusive: Signature Stripe Tote $75 until Friday at 9 a.m. Holiday specials: Some handbags starting at $99, zip-around wallets starting at $75, scarves and gloves staring at $20, wallets and wristlets starting at $20

Fossil: Nov. 27-Dec. 1: 50 percent off storewide; early bird savings: $49.99 watches; $49.99 Lane messengers; $79.99 Mimi leather satchels

Kate Spade New York: Nov. 25-Nov. 27: 50 percent off the entire store plus an additional 20 percent off your entire purchase through Friday at 6:00 a.m.; Beginning at 6:01 a.m. Nov. 28-Dec. 2:  50 percent off the entire store plus take an additional 20 percent off all handbags.

Wilson’s Leather:
Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: Between 50-70 percent off entire store, plus take an additional 40 percent off entire purchase

Tommy Hilfiger:
Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: 40-60 percent off everything

Photo Credit: Bob Redell]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago's Winter Overnight Parking Ban Starts Monday]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:32:22 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chi-winter-parking.jpg

Chicago's annual winter overnight parking ban is in effect from Dec. 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015.

Regardless of snow, the ban will be enforced along 107 miles of arterial streets each day from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., according to a reminder issued from the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Cars parked in violation of the overnight ban prevent routes from being fully plowed and salted when it snows.

The city began posting fliers on cars on restricted streets last week as a reminder.

Violators will be towed and will face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $20 per day. Vehicles will be towed to Pounds 2 or 6, at 103011 S. Doty Ave. or 6 or 701 N. Sacramento.

Nearly 240 vehicles were towed on the first night of the ban last year, department officials said.

A separate permanent ban on another 500 miles of arterial streets is activated when at least two inches of snow are present to help facilitate the clearing of snow.

Both bans were implemented on designated streets to prevent traffic standstills during major snowstorms in 1967 and 1979.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Paea Pushing Free Agent Value Higher and Higher]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:34:46 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bears+rams+19.JPG

The Chicago Bears spent a ton of money and a ton of draft picks on their defensive line this season, but after 11 games one could make a fairly compelling case that the MVP of that group hasn’t been one of those acquisitions, but rather one that had already been in the fold.

That player is Stephen Paea, and his performance on Sunday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hammered home just how great a season he’s having. According to Pro Football Focus, which graded him at a 5.7 for the game (and gave him player of the game honors), Paea had 10 pressures on quarterback Josh McCown in that game, and his consistent burst up the middle of the field really forced the Tampa Bay offense into a lot of mistakes.

Paea has seven hurries on the season, which ties him with some pretty impressive defensive linemen including Michael Bennett (Martellus Bennett’s brother that the Bears tried to sign in the offseason), Justin Tuck, and Calais Campbell.

The Bears have been the beneficiaries of this big contribution to their run defense and pass rush, but after the next five games, it will be time to decide whether or not to pay the piper and keep Paea around. He’s reaching the end of his four year contract, which only pays him at a cap hit of $1.2 million. That number is sure to go up, but how much is the big question.

On one hand, you can argue that Paea should be paid like a lineman who is generating similar production, and if that’s the case, he’ll end up making anywhere between $3-5 million. Jonathan Babineaux of the Atlanta Falcons is a good example of that, as he signed a contract before the 2014 season that pays him an average of $3 million per season.

The Bears also have to be careful that Paea doesn’t try to look for Henry Melton-esque money, which would likely put him out of their price range. Melton is scheduled to make over $9 million next season, but thanks to the way the Dallas Cowboys structured the deal, the average salary over the life of the four-year contract is just under $6.9 million per season.

Paea likely isn’t going to get that even if he goes somewhere other than Chicago, but it would be reasonable to expect him to ask for a salary that’s worth more than Jeremiah Ratliff is making. The former Cowboys standout is due to make $2 million next season, so if Paea wants to ask for a salary in the $3-5 million range, the Bears will likely accommodate him.

Of course, if Paea sees dollar signs and another team makes a sizable offer, it would be hard to blame him for jumping at the chance. He’s played well this season, and for a cap-strapped team like the Bears, it might be hard to pay him what the free agent market could offer him.

For the Bears, losing Paea would sting at this point, but at the very least they do have a player in the fold that would seem to be his successor, as Ego Ferguson could slide into the role. Having defensive line depth has been a big boost to the Bears this season however, so that's something that has to be considered after the season concludes. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves Drive Into West Side Clothing Store]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 20:23:42 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/219*120/smash+and+grab+garfield.jpg

Thieves made off with shoes and jeans after smashing a vehicle into a business in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood early Wednesday, police said.

Officers responded to a report of a burglar alarm at a business in the 4000 block of West Madison and found a vehicle crashed into it. From NBC Chicago's helicopter, a red Dodge Caravan could be seen completely inside the building.

Police later said the vehicle had been used in a smash-and-grab style burglary, with thieves getting away with merchandise from the "Cisco NYC" store. Surveillance video recorded during the heist showed about 20 people taking part in the raid.

No one was at the scene when officers arrived, and no injuries were reported, police department spokeswoman Ana Pacheco said.

No arrests were reported as of 10 a.m.

Police on Tuesday released surveillance video recorded during last week's smash-and-grab burglary at the Louis Vuitton store at an upscale mall in Northbrook.

Three high-end retailers were targeted in September, at Luxury Garage Sale in Old Town, Moncler on Oak Street and Louis Vuitton at a mall in Oak Brook. Investigators said earlier they believe the break-in at the Moncler store is connected to the heist at Louis Vuitton in Oak Brook.

Earlier this month a stolen minivan was crashed into the Salvatore Ferragamo in the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall in Aurora, causing more than $20,000 in damage.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Man in Home Hit by Stray Bullet Fired Outside]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:50:38 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/shooting-2100-garfield.jpg

A man was critically wounded Tuesday night when he was hit in the head by a stray bullet while he was inside his home.

Police said the 50-year-old was in a second-floor bedroom of his home, on the 2100 block of West Garfield Boulevard, when shots were fired outside shortly before 11 p.m. One bullet went through the window and struck the victim.

The man was transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County where he was listed in critical condition, police department spokesman Ronald Gaines told NBC Chicago.

No arrests had been made as of 5:45 a.m. Wednesday.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Mohammed Khan: Terrorist or Confused Teen?]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:11:11 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/218*120/khan+investigates.jpg

Mohammed Hamza Khan seemed like any other teenager living in the Chicago suburbs. He goofed around with his friends, worked part time, and went to college. But this 19-year-old may have had a dark and unusual secret

Federal agents arrested Khan in October at O’Hare international Airport trying to board a plane for Austria and then Turkey. Law enforcement officials say Khan was planning to join the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group known worldwide for public beheadings and a progressive social media campaign aimed at recruiting westerners.

“It’s a very serious charge of allegedly traveling over there to join ISIL,” said Mohammed Kaiserrudin, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

In an unprecedented move earlier this month, the government released 21 exhibits during Khan’s detention hearing, including his journal entries, sketches and his most private thoughts. Some are in English, others Arabic. NBC 5 Investigates had Khan’s writings translated by two different experts.

“My first impression is that this is a disturbed young man,” said Governors State University Professor Khalil Marrar. “But when I dig deeper, when I actually start looking at his words there’s a lot of stuff that begins to make sense as to his motivation.”

Khan’s school notebook is filled with Arabic passages from the Quran - written on the same pages as his notes for math and science.

“That’s what a devout Muslim does,” said Khalil Marrar. “The way that he’s going about it is not any different than say any other Muslim school child doodling around about the Quran.”

Khan’s sketches include the ISIS flag, jihadist fighters and admiration for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“I think these are definitely the writings of a teenager struggling with his identity,” said Marrar. “This person is confused about who they are and they’re trying to sort of play that out literally on paper.”

If interpreted literally some of his Arabic writings clearly point to violence.

“It suggests he’s praising the fact they are killing infidels,” said Marrar. “Liar, dog, monkey, pig, those are all terms used to describe people who are infidels.”

Khan’s attorney Thomas Durkin argues that his client did not act on his thoughts. The US Attorney’s office declined to comment. But both sides of this legal case say there is little doubt khan was radicalized over the internet.

“I don’t think there’s any question about it,” said attorney Tom Durkin.

Durkin says Khan and his 16-year-old brother and 17-year-old sister were recruited in just a matter of months. Khan’s younger siblings were detained and questioned by Federal agents, but not charged. Durkin says that the recruiters used an anonymous texting app Kik – which has roughly 120 million users – to communicate with them.

“That’s what should be most frightening to parents that this didn’t take very long,” said Durkin.

A very real concern within the Muslim community.

“They’re concerned about their own children,” said Mohammed Kaiseruddin, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. “Are they subject to this kind of radicalization - This kind of drastic steps that Mohammed Khan did?”

<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Prayer Service Turns Into Cry for Justice]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:33:46 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/219*120/jackson+on+ferguson.jpg

A Thanksgiving prayer service at St. Sabina Church in Chicago turned into a cry for justice Tuesday night, one day after a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

“Until we have the courage in the country to face the de-valuization of black life in America and equal the playing field, we will continue to fail,” said Father Michael Pfleger.

Many in the church spoke out against the decision.

This comes after a night of protests and just hours after President Barack Obama encourage peaceful demonstrations, saying he has no sympathy for violent demonstrators.

Rev. Jesse Jackson told the audience, Brown’s death is being used to “bring about life.”

“Many big people in high places could not get the people’s attention, but God is using an 18-year-old kid’s dead body to bring people to life,” Jackson said during the service. 

Many chanted Tuesday night that there’s a “Ferguson everywhere, a Mike Brown in every town.”

<![CDATA[U of C: Student Admits to Facebook Hacking Stunt]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:06:08 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/uofc+generic.jpg

The University of Chicago says a threatening Facebook post targeting students, originally believed to have been part of a hack, was not what it appeared to be.

Officials Tuesday said the Facebook user initially believed to have been targeted in the “hack” claimed responsibility for the post.

“That conclusion does not erase the seriousness of this episode, the harm it has caused to individuals and our broader community, or the consequences for those responsible. Whatever its purpose, the language used in this incident does not constitute discourse and will not be tolerated. Its use underlines questions about campus climate already raised in other contexts. These emerging facts do not in any way diminish the University’s commitment to a diverse campus, free from harassment and discrimination, as articulated by the president and provost in their message,” an announcement from the school read.

School officials said “there are still many facts to be learned” and noted that an investigation into the matter continues.

“Once University officials knew that the nature of the incident was different than it first appeared, the University could not allow the inaccurate story to stand. That would not have served our community,” the school said.

Last week, school officials said in a campus email that a student’s Facebook page was hacked and someone posted a racially-charged threat with “hateful and abhorrent” attacks on other students. The email said federal law enforcement agencies and third-party website providers were investigating the attack.

<![CDATA[Surveillance Video Released in Northbrook Smash-and-Grab]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:40:02 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/northbrook+smash+and+grab.jpg

Police released surveillance video Tuesday after burglars crashed a car into the Louis Vuitton store at an upscale mall in Northbrook, Illinois last week.

Northbrook Police said the crash happened at 4:53 a.m. Police said a number of purses were taken from the store, estimating the total value stolen at $120,000.

The video appeared to show at least eight burglars entering the store and fleeing with arms full of merchandise.

Sources close to the investigation told NBC5 the heist is similar to several other recent thefts in the Chicago area.

Police said in total, the theft took less than two minutes to complete.

Three high-end retailers were targeted in September, at Luxury Garage Sale in Old Town, Moncler on Oak Street and Louis Vuitton at a mall in Oak Brook.

Investigators said earlier they believe the break-in at the Moncler store is connected to the heist at Louis Vuitton in Oak Brook.

Earlier this month a stolen minivan was crashed into the Salvatore Ferragamo in the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall in Aurora, causing more than $20,000 in damage.

The burglars made off with more than $40,000 worth of purses and luggage, police said.

It's not clear whether the Northbrook heist is connected to the recent string of burglaries, but an investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: Highland Park Police]]>
<![CDATA[Tips to Avoid Black Friday Shopping Scams]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:59:35 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/black-friday-employees-thanksgiving+%281%29.jpg

Black Friday shopping isn't always easy.

With many retailers planning to start Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on Thanksgiving Day, some even sooner, the Better Business Bureau has listed the top ways for holiday shoppers to avoid scams and hackers.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

Print out your coupons to have them on hand when you go to the store, ensuring that they can guarantee the low prices they’ve claimed to have.

Only Shop at Trusted Retailers
Shoppers should start with the BBB to check on the seller's Business Review for customer satisfaction at www.bbb.org . When browsing online, look for and click on the BBB seal to confirm that it is a valid and trustworthy source.
Check Store Policies Prior to Buying
Confirming each store’s policies on returns and exchanges will help you decide where to spend your money, avoid costly restocking fees and miss short holiday return deadlines.
Use Your Credit Card
Shoppers are protected under Federal law to dispute any unauthorized charges on their credit card. Same goes for if you buy an item and it is never received. Many card issuers have “zero liability” policies under which you pay nothing if someone steals and uses your credit card number.
Hold On to Documentation of Your Purchase
A printed gift receipt protects the recipient from being denied the ability to return or exchange an item at the full value you paid for it. When shopping online, the BBB recommends saving a copy of the final confirmation page you are brought to after purchasing you item. This saves you from relying on the business to email you a receipt and can serve as a back-up proof-of-purchase if need be.
Make Sure Your Personal Information is Protected
It’s worth taking the time to read the site's privacy policy to understand how your personal information will be used. If you can’t find one, consider that to be a red flag your information may be used and sold to others without permission.  Always look in the address box for the "s" in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the "lock" symbol before paying.
Yes, Some Deals Are Too Good To Be
If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, especially those showcasing extremely low prices on hard-to-get items.  Go with your instincts. Sometimes the best deal is passing up a scam that would cost you more in the end.

Photo Credit: AP/FILE Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Addresses Hecklers in Chicago]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:37:26 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/heckler+obama+chi+speech.jpg

President Barack Obama took on a group of hecklers during his speech on immigration in Chicago Tuesday.

Obama was in Chicago to discuss his executive action on immigration during a planned visit to the Copernicus Community Center, but in the middle of his speech, he was disrupted by several hecklers.

Three protesters seated in various parts of the auditorium began shouting and criticizing Obama’s deportation policy, saying more than just criminals were being deported.

“You have been deporting families,” one heckler said.

Obama listened for some time then asked them to stop yelling, saying "nobody's removing you, I've heard you, but you've got to listen to me too."

Obama said the group was "absolutely right" and acknowledged that there have been a significant number of deportations.

"But what you're not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law, so that's point No. 1," Obama said. "Point No. 2, the way the change in the law works is that we're reprioritizing how we enforce our immigration law generally. The point is that though I understand why you might have yelled at me a month ago, although I disagree with some of your characterizations, it doesn't make much sense to yell at me right now when we're making changes.”

The audience of roughly 1,800 people applauded the President’s remarks.

"But the point is, let's make sure that you get the facts and that you know exactly what we're doing," Obama said.

He noted if they still disagree with parts of his immigration policy, they can turn to the immigration advocacy groups the administration has worked with on the issue.

It did not appear that any of the hecklers were removed during the speech.

<![CDATA[Obama Has "No Sympathy" for Violent Ferguson Protesters]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:16:14 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/obama+copernicus.jpg

President Barack Obama once again addressed a grand jury’s decision to not indict the Ferguson police officer who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown, saying he has “no sympathy” for those who erupted in violence following the announcement.

“To those who think that what happened in Ferguson is an excuse for violence, I do not have any sympathy for that,” Obama said during a speech at Chicago’s Copernicus Community Center, where he was slated to discuss his executive action on immigration. “And I don’t have any sympathy at all for destroying your own communities.”

Obama commended those who peacefully gathered to address the decision and said he plans to work with those activists.

“The frustrations people have, generally, those are rooted in some hard truths that have to be addressed,” he said. “Those who are prepared to work constructively, your President will work with you.”

He also noted that he assigned Attorney General Eric Holder to set up regional meetings focused on “building trust in our communities.” Next week, Obama plans to gather state and local officials, law enforcement agencies, and community and faith leaders to “identify specific steps we can take to make sure that law enforcement is fair and is being applied equally to every person in this country.”

“The problem is not just a Ferguson problem, it is an American problem,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that we are actually bringing about change.”

But that change, he emphasized, does not come from violence.

“I’ve never seen a civil rights law or a healthcare bill or an immigration bill result because a car got burned,” he said.