<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:37:01 -0500 Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:37:01 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Teen Rescued After 90 Minutes Under Water]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:21:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mchenry-county-pond-1.jpg

A 15-year-old boy was alive but reportedly in critical condition late Thursday night after spending roughly 90 minutes under water.

First responders said they pulled the teen from a pond off Haligus Road in Woodstock, northwest of Chicago.

Firefighters said parts of the pond are 20 feet deep, but the boy was ultimately found in eight feet of water. He was pulled out at 10:37 p.m., officials said, more than 90 minutes after the initial call for help went out.

The teen was transported to Cetegra Hospital-McHenry. Citing privacy laws, hospital officials declined to release any information so it was unclear early Friday morning how the teen was doing.

Officials from the McHenry County Sheriff's Office were investigating how the teen ended up in the water.

<![CDATA[Tractor Theft Endangers Exotic Animal Shelter ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:56:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/settlers_pond.jpg

A theft at a large suburban shelter has put hundreds of animals in danger.

Thieves broke into the Settler's Pond Animal Shelter and stole the large tractor used to feed 350 animals. It happened in Beecher, about 40 miles south of Chicago.

The animal shelter houses a wide range of animals, such as alpacas, emus and rare tortoises.

Feeding the animals on the 60-acre shelter is a 12-hour daily job, but that time has been doubled with the loss of the Kubota utility vehicle that was stolen from a barn on the property.

Now, shelter owner Aircolina Jonota and her team of volunteers are forced to do the work by hand.

"We would put a 100 gallon water in there ... now we're carrying buckets, running hoses. It'll be a long time before we get another Kubota," shelter owner Aircolina Jonota said. "They had bolt cutters that they cut the lock off and the chain, and opened the door, went in and stole the Kubota."

Jonota says Settler's Pond is unique because it rescues exotic animals, but now their mission is in danger of veering off track.

"It's going to be hard for a long while," Jonota said.

Jonota says another tractor was also stolen five years ago. Replacing it will cost $17,000, money they say they don't have.

The shelter has a donation page on its website at SettlersPondShelter.net.

<![CDATA[Boy, 12, Shot in Altgeld Gardens]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:39:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bullet+generic_722.jpg

A 12-year-old boy was shot Thursday night in the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood on Chicago's far south side, officials said.

The boy was shot in the leg about 8:45 p.m. after he walked past two males in the 13100 block of South Corliss Avenue and then heard shots and felt pain, said police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.

He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was listed in stable condition, Greer said.

No one was in custody early Friday morning.

Photo Credit: William Hook, Flickr]]>
<![CDATA[Suit Filed Against Cops Accused of Lying On Stand]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:56:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Cops_camera_investigates.jpg

Five police officers, three from Chicago and two from Glenview, all accused of lying on the witness stand in a Glenview drug case faced new problems Thursday, as the man who was the target of their alleged lies filed suit against them in federal court.

The dramatic revelation that the five officers had allegedly lied during testimony has called into question dozens of other cases which the officers have pending. The Cook County State's Attorney's office will only say it is reviewing the matter, but privately, authorities are clearly concerned about a case which fell apart, when the officers were confronted with a video which contradicted their sworn testimony.

That moment came two weeks ago, when the officers, three from Chicago and two from Glenview, testified in the case of a drug suspect named Joseph Sperling.

"If it could happen to me, it could honestly happen to anybody," Sperling said Thursday. "I just happen to be one of the lucky few that has a video that proves they are wrong."

Lucky indeed. There is no dispute that Sperling had a bagful of marijuana on his back seat. The officers testified that they pulled Sperling over under the pretense of a traffic stop, asked for his license and insurance, allowed him to exit his vehicle and walk to the rear, then removed the bag. Only then, they said, did they arrest and cuff him.

But during the rebuttal case, Sperling's lawyer confronted one of the officers with dashboard video from her squad car, which clearly showed the officers approaching Sperling's car and immediately taking him out of the car and putting him in handcuffs. Only then did they begin searching, finding the bag in the back seat.

"In America, you have a right not to be searched unless there is probable cause," his attorney Jon Loevy said. "They can't just walk up to you, arrest you, and say maybe you've got drugs, maybe we'll find them!"

Indeed, when the bombshell revelation came in open court, prosecutors did not even attempt to clean up the mess. They offered no closing argument, and the judge immediately announced she was granting a defense motion to nullify the case.

"Obviously this is very outrageous conduct," she said. "State, I expect you to do something about this, and to talk to all the superiors involved in this case. All of the officers lied on the stand today!"

The Cook County State's Attorney confirms that an investigation is underway.

"I'm going to drive it home so that officers everywhere know that you can't just operate outside the law and say whatever you want and get away with it," Sperling said.

Minutes after filing a civil rights suit against the five officers, alleging a conspiracy, his lawyer conceded that had the officers played by the book, there was a good chance Sperling would have been convicted.

"If what they had said in court was true then there would have been probable cause, and Joe would have been sentenced to years in prison," Loevy said. But he noted, that is not what happened.

"If the police want to make a case proving drug crimes, proving responsibility, they have to follow the law," he said. "And they can't lie."

Among the officers was Chicago Sgt. James Padar, who recently made the rounds with his father, promoting a book, "On Being a Cop", about their father-son adventures on the Chicago Police Force. Padar also made headlines last year, when he was accused by a fellow officer of reneging on a home remodeling job. The officer said he did work on Padar's summer home, but the sergeant refused to pay him, saying he had falsified the officer's official city attendance records instead.

All five officers have been stripped of their police powers and placed on leave, pending investigations of the Glenview case.

<![CDATA[Friday's Forecast: Partly Sunny]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:06:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Andy+Avalos+Updated.jpg

TODAY:  Clouds decrease this AM - turning mostly - partly sunny, breezy and cool. Cooler lake. HIGH: 54º

TONIGHT: A few passing clouds, breezy and chilly. LOW: 38º

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny and milder. Cooler Lake. HIGH: 63º

EASTER SUNDAY:  Partly sunny and warmer. HIGH: 72º

MONDAY: Scattered showers and perhaps a few storms. HIGH: 66º

TUESDAY : Partly sunny. HIGH: 60º

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny - few showers late. HIGH: 57º

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, chance for showers. HIGH: 68º

<![CDATA[Secret Service Threatened to Shoot Mr. Met: Book]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:11:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mr-met-cohen.jpg

A Secret Service agent once threatened to shoot Mr. Met if he approached the president during a baseball game at Shea Stadium, according to a man who once worked as the baseball-headed mascot.

AJ Mass, who was the Mets’ mascot from 1994 to 1997, said a member of former President Bill Clinton’s security detail told him they’d “go for the kill shot” if he tried to pal around with the then-commander-in-chief at a Mets-Dodgers game on April 15, 1997. The account comes from an excerpt of Mass’ new book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots,” published on Sports Illustrated’s website this week.

Mass wrote that he had planned to make his way to see Clinton, who was at the game commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major-league appearance, calling the photo-op "the holy grail for all mascots."

Before he could make it to the president’s box, Mass wrote, he was stopped by an agent in a dark suit and a businesslike demeanor.

“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent told Mass. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. Nobody will bother you. But approach the president, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”

Then the agent, who Mass wrote was staring into the mouth of Mr. Met’s head to make eye contact with the man inside, repeated himself.

“Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” the agent said to Mass. “ARE-WE-CLEAR?”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[911 Calls Reveal Chilling Moments After Calif. Bus Crash]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:57:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/217*120/AP619076443222.jpg

The 911 calls released Thursday reveal audible cries of fear in the moments after the fiery Northern California bus crash that claimed 10 lives while en route to Humboldt State University last Thursday.

The distressed caller tried to explain what happened over screams in the background.

"We crashed into a bus...a truck. I don't know where we are," the caller said. "We were coming from LA and we're going all the way to Humboldt State University."

Ths bus erupted into flames when a FedEx big rig crossed a 60-foot median and slammed head-on into the bus.

"The bus is on fire," the caller said as others could be heard screaming and crying. "We are getting away from the bus actually."

California Highway Patrol Capt. Todd Morrison said that investigators will conduct vehicle tests using a 2014 tour bus and a 2007 FedEx tractor-trailer truck to learn more about characteristics such as braking and visibility.

“We are hoping to learn how it happened so that we can identify what to do to prevent it from happening again,” Morrison said.

Investigators were also still interviewing passengers, witnesses and urging anyone with video of the crash to send it to authorities. They also attempted to recreate the crash scene with similar vehicles to try to gain insight.

"We owe it to the families of the involved families and the victims of this tragic collision that we tell the story of what happened, and that we tell it as accurately as possible," Leal said.

All 10 victims in the crash had been identified, some by authorities and others by family, including a recently engaged couple, a college admissions counselor and the the drivers of the truck and bus.

Fellow students returned to the scene of the crash Thursday to pay tribute to those killed one week ago.

Glenn County Sheriff-Coroner Larry Jones said most of the victims had been positively identified by his office, but their causes of death were being withhel pending toxicology testing.

"That can be several weeks out before we receieve all of that data from the labatory," Jones said.

Michael Myvette, 25-year-old Mattison Haywood, 26-year-old counselor Arthur Arzola, students Adrian Castro, 18, Marisa Serrato, 17, Denise Gomez, Ismael Jimenez , Jennifer Bonilla, bus driver Talalelei Taiao and FedEx driver Tim Evans were among those killed in the wreck.

The news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. near the collision site.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hawks Fans Gear Up For Another Magical Run]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:54:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/blackhawks_dinosaur_field.jpg

With the Blackhawks getting ready to kick off the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, Blackhawks nation is rallying for another championship run.

Hawks pride is on display outside The Field Museum, where a brachiosaurus skeleton was outfitted with a Jonathon Toews No. 19 jersey.

"There's a framework that the jersey actually hangs on, that they invented that they installed," said exhibition director Ray Leo.

Hockey fans -- and players -- are known to be a superstitious bunch, and players Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad made sure to get their playoff mullets.

"They're very superstitious guys, so it's one of those things that they'll continue on every year during the playoffs," barber Carmelo Preiti said.

"It's flowing a little better, kind of like Billy Ray Cyrus," Preiti said of Kane's 2014 mullet.

Hawks fan Ryan O'Rourke is getting into the spirit as well, getting his mullet on Thursday -- even though his friends chickened out.

"I'm gonna trim it every time they win a series," O'Rourke said.

<![CDATA[Benny the Bull Waves Flag Atop Willis Tower]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:34:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Benny_Willis_Flag.jpg Are you ready for the playoffs? Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull waved the team's flag on top of the Willis Tower Wednesday. The stunt was shot by BullsTV and will be incorporated into the "Benny around Chicago" playoff themed video that will be shown in the arena.]]> <![CDATA[Suspect in Gym Hidden Camera Case Faces Child Porn Charges]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:47:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Landt_Wenckebach.jpg

Investigators say a search of the Waukegan home of a man charged in connection with placing a hidden camera at a Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin gym has turned up child porn.

Karl J. Landt, 36, and Melissa A. Wenckebach, 27, face 11 felony counts of Capture an Image of Nudity Without Consent after two cameras were discovered in the women's locker room at RecPlex earlier this month.

Police say the child porn was discovered among several computer memory devices found in Lundt's home during an April 8 search, but the child porn was not captured on the cameras at the Pleasant Prairie fitness facility.

Illinois authorities have issued a criminal warrant for Landt for Possession of Child Pornography. He is currently in custody.

Police say Wenckebach has confessed to placing the cameras inside the facility.

Investigators say three of the images found on the hidden camera files appear to be juvenile females.

<![CDATA[2014 Playoffs: Blackhawks Versus Blues]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:46:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hawks_blues_1_blurb_2.jpg Hawks try to knock off their higher-seeded rivals in the first round.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kittens Survive Accidental Mailing]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:29:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cox+kittens+3.jpg

These two kittens are just a few weeks old, but they’ve already taken the trip of a lifetime.

A worker at Cox Communications in San Diego County discovered the kittens inside a box of equipment. They had been accidentally packed up and shipped from Cox Communications in Hollywood.

Somehow, they survived the journey to San Diego.

The kittens, named Mouse and WiFi, are now being cared for at the San Diego Humane Society’s 24-Hour Kitten Nursery. Humane Society workers believe the mother cat was looking for a safe, warm place for her babies and put them in the box.

San Diego Humane Society public relations manager Kelli Schry said it’s a miracle the kitties survived.

“They were just a few days old, and at that young age kittens have to be fed every two hours,” she said via email.

Mouse and WiFi will be available for adoption when they are 8 weeks old. 

Photo Credit: San Diego Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Courtroom Erupts After Conviction]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:34:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AlHimidi-Verdict-1.jpg

A broken family’s screams erupted in a San Diego courtroom after a guilty verdict was announced in the trial of an Iraqi immigrant who killed his wife.

As the defendant cried out in Arabic "not guilty," his mother-in-law flailed her arms, screaming "you killed my daughter," while his two teenage sons chose opposing sides.

Jurors found Kassim Al-Himidi, 49, guilty in the death of his wife Shaima Alawadi -- a bloody, brutal beating once considered a hate crime that was, in the end, an act of domestic violence.

After Judge William McGrath handed off the verdict for reading, several family members began screaming, including the defendant's oldest son, who yelled profanities, saying he disagreed with the jury's verdict.

"This is bulls---!" This is f---ing bulls---!" the son yelled. "My dad is innocent. He was tried unfairly."

Al-Himidi smirked, crossed his arms, shook his head, wagged his finger and began praying as the jury was polled one by one. At one point, he put his head on the table in front of him. Then, he too began yelling.

According to a translator, Al-Himidi screamed out in Arabic, "God knows I'm not the killer. I'm not the killer! I'm innocent. Not guilty."

As deputies rushed to place handcuffs on Al-Himidi, he continued to yell, telling his family to seek international help on this case and have investigators look at it as a hate crime. He said to get him help from overseas to get him out of jail, the translator said.

Meanwhile, the mother of the victim stood up in court, flailing her arms, and screamed,"You killed my daughter. This is not a mistake, you did kill her."

Another one of Al-Himidi's sons sided with his grandmother and said his father did kill his mother.

Outside of the courtroom, through a translator, the victim's mother said a guilty verdict is the least Al-Himidi could have gotten in this case.

"If you killed her, you deserve to be killed as well," she added, with tears in her eyes. "My daughter was home, as you probably all know. He's the one."

The grandmother went on to say that she disagreed with her oldest grandson about the verdict.

"He does not believe that, but I do," she added.

She said she heard about the problems between her daughter and Al-Himidi before the killing, but she never imagined it would lead to murder.

Ron Rockwell, attorney for Al-Himidi's children, including daughter Fatima Al-Himidi, said the tension in the courtroom was from years of pent-up emotions. Despite the oldest son's outburst, which surprised the attorney, Rockwell said all of the siblings agree with the guilty verdict.

He released this statement, on behalf of the children:

“Fatima and her brothers and sisters respect the integrity of the jury system and find it unfathomably sad that their father found life so difficult that he resorted to taking the life of their dear mother but hope that this is justice for her and for them, her children that miss her dearly. We agree with the jury’s decision and although we love our father, we hate what we also believe that he did.

After over two years of great sadness, Fatima and her brothers and sisters find relief in now believing that they can begin to heal as a family while knowing in their minds that while missing their mother more and more with each passing day, whether that is with or without their father, it will always be without their mother.”

Al-Himidi will be sentenced on May 15, Judge McGrath said Thursday.

Alawadi, 32, was beaten in a bloody attack inside the family's home on March 21, 2012. She suffered critical brain injuries and died three days later.

At first, the case was investigated as a hate crime because of a handwritten note found at the crime scene that read: “This is my country, go back to yours, terrorist.”

Just before they entered deliberations, jurors were reminded of the defendant's timeline on the day of the beating.

According to phone records, Shaima called her husband at 8:04 a.m.

Video from a nearby middle school shows a burgundy Nissan Quest going and leaving the home that morning.

At 8:15 a.m. the van was seen traveling southbound along Emerald Avenue toward Skyview Street as Al-Himidi returns to the house from taking the children to school, prosecutors said.

Then, at 9:49 a.m. a vehicle matching the description stopped at the curb, just north of the intersection of Emerald and Skyview.

Prosecutors say 30 seconds later, a pedestrian can be seen moving from the vehicle towards the house at 564 Skyview Street, three homes from the corner.

At 10:10 a.m., cell phone records show someone called Al-Himidi’s cell phone but it goes unanswered.

Prosecutors say the phone communicated with the cell tower that serves the same area as the family’s home on Skyview.

“At 10:10 he’s still in his home tower area,” Deputy District Attorney Kurt Mechals said Tuesday.

The next phone call to Al-Himidi’s cell phone was from his daughter, Fatima, at 11:18 a.m. after Shaima is discovered.

Defense attorneys poked holes in the prosecution's case in their closing arguments.

Investigators did not find any forensic evidence linking their client to the crime scene, the defense argued.

They reminded jurors that witnesses testified how violence is not in Al-Himidi's character.

Throughout the trial, the defense raised questions about the role of Shaima's daughter, Fatima, who was in the house at the time of the attack.

She was called to testify several times and shared details of her parents’ tense marriage.

The defense believes Fatima was somehow involved in her mother’s murder.

“You don’t have to solve this mystery to acquit Mr. Al-Himidi,” defense attorney Richard Berkon told the jury. “You don’t have to figure out who did it.”

In closing, even Mechals told jurors, "Fatima doesn’t make your job easy, that’s for sure."

"Whether you can believe anything she says, that’s up to you," he said.

However, Mechals urged the jury to use their common sense to find what is reasonable and what isn't.

Al-Himidi has been visibly emotional throughout the trial, at times crying and wailing loudly as evidence was presented to the jury. He wept uncontrollably when 911 tapes were played in the courtroom at the beginning of the trial.

Cameras were only allowed in the courtroom during opening statements and closing arguments.

“He thought he had committed the perfect crime. He thought he had nothing to worry about,” Mechals said.

Both the defendant and victim are Iraqi immigrants. The murder investigation reverberated across the nation when it first happened because of the discovery of a threatning note.

However, in November 2012, El Cajon police announced the arrest of Al-Himidi and said the killing was not a hate crime, but rather one of domestic violence.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Indiana High School Goes Viral With Epic Lip Dub Video]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:13:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/218*120/avon+viral+lip+dub.jpg

An Indiana school’s “lip dub” video has gone viral.

The toe-tapping film showcases thousands of Avon High School students and staff who lip sync to a “danthology” of 68 pop songs, including hits from Justin Timberlake, Lorde and Taylor Swift. And they did it all in the name of charity.

“Avon High School Lip Dub 2014” was produced to drum up excitement for the school’s dance marathon event this weekend, hoping to raise money for James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children.

The more than six-minute video posted to YouTube Saturday has already garnered more than 150,000 views.

Produced and filmed by student Suketu Patel, the video showcases thousands of students from cheerleaders to athletes to musicians to art students, and it was all done in one take.

The video starts in the school cafeteria and travels through the halls as students and staff, dressed in spirited school attire, sing and dance in a choreographed routine, culminating in the school gymnasium where thousands of students cheer and celebrate.

The school hopes the video will encourage donations ahead of their Riley Dance Marathon Saturday.

Donations can be made here.

<![CDATA[Toews, Kane Finish Among Top in NHL Jersey Sales]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:45:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/blackhawks-bruins-G6-4.jpg

Every year, the NHL’s jersey sales list is littered with the league’s elite players, as guys like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin help the league to line its coffers with fresh loot.

This year’s list features two members of the Chicago Blackhawks, as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both finished in the top five in the league in jersey sales. Toews checked in as the number three selling jersey in the 2013-14 season, while Kane rounded out the top five.

Crosby took the top spot in the league once again, with Pavel Datsyuk finishing just behind him at number two. Ovechkin wound up in the fourth position, with Ryan Callahan, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning just before the March trade deadline, shooting all the way up to number six.

Seeing Kane and Toews’ names on the list isn’t much of a surprise, considering how aggressively both the Blackhawks and the league use the two players for marketing purposes. They both have had a great deal of success in their careers, winning two Stanley Cups and each winning the Conn Smythe Award as the playoff MVP (Toews in 2010, Kane in 2013). Most importantly of all, they both have been used by the team to sell the franchise to children, and it isn’t uncommon to see groups of kids all wearing Kane and Toews jerseys as they walk along the concourses at the United Center.

For a full list of the players who finished atop the heap, you can check it out on Deadspin.


Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Mother, Two Kids Found Safe]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:00:48 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Duignan-Family.jpg

Chicago police early Thursday afternoon said a mother who ran off with her two children were located in eastern Wisconsin and were unharmed.

"Family and investigators are enroute to their location to continue the investigation and reunite the children with their father," police said in an email.

The family was located in a van in a mall parking lot in Grand Chute, outside of Green Bay. 

It's unclear if charges will be sought against Jamie Duignan, who is a detective with the Chicago Police Department. Police earlier in the morning issued an abduction alert, saying Duignan left the family home with her two children, 11-year-old Daniel Duignan and his brother, 9-year-old Owen Duignan.

The boys' uncle, Patrick Duignan, said Jamie Duignan's husband is a sergeant with the force and said the couple has been talking seriously about getting a divorce. Patrick Duignan said he didn't believe the mother would harm the boys but said family members were worried and scared.

In their alert, police said they believed Jamie Duignan was driving driving a gray 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan with Illinois license plate number 5138379. A family dog, an Old English Bulldog resembling a boxer breed, was thought to be traveling in the vehicle, police said.

Officials did not issue an Amber Alert in this case. In Illinois, an alert may be issued when the  following criteria is met: 

  • Law enforcement must confirm a child has been abducted
  • The child must be under the age of 16 or have a proven mental or physical disability
  • Law enforcement must believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death
  • There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect’s vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help

A Chicago Police Department spokesperson said officials with the Illinois State Police, which issues Amber Alerts in the state, did not believe this case met the criteria.

<![CDATA[First Lady Welcomes CPS Students on College Visit]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:45:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/michelle+obama+cps+howard.jpg

First Lady Michelle Obama and rapper Bow Wow welcomed dozens of Chicago high schoolers to Howard University in Washington Thursday afternoon.

The First Lady joined the students on their college visit to promote the President’s “North Star” initiative, which aims to bring America’s proportion of college graduates back to the highest in the world by 2020.

Obama, a Princeton University and Harvard Law alum, toured dorm rooms and posed for a group photo with the juniors and seniors from Chicago Public high schools as Howard students shouted from dorm room windows.

Donning a maroon pant suit and black flats the First Lady showed her school spirit by waving a “Howard hand” and speaking to the students from a campus food court.

Bow Wow, formerly L’il Bow Wow, joined the First Lady Thursday to help moderate the students’ discussion.

"I'm very proud of you guys," Bow Wow said, after starting off by shouting out Chicago neighborhoods.

Obama pumped her fist when he said “South Side.”

The 27-year-old co-host of BET’s “106 & Park,” a weekday show on which the First Lady has appeared, didn’t attend college and instead pursued an entertainment career, according to his manager Bart Waters.

The First Lady commended Bow Wow, a child rapping prodigy, for his support for education and said she was "very proud of this young man.”

She then went on to encourage the students to go to college or pursue other higher education.

"While there's a lot of work that needs to be done on our end," she said, referring to government, philanthropy and other resources, "you don't have time to wait for everybody to fix the system."

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools.

“This has been the most phenomenal day of my life,” Pamela Mondane, 17, told Obama.

The senior at Whitney Young, Obama’s alma mater, said she intended to enroll at Howard University later this year.

<![CDATA[Judge Laughs at Man Named Cocaine]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:41:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000012359097_1200x675_229639747887.jpg Broward Judge John Hurley thought he had heard it all, until this man walked into his courtroom.]]> <![CDATA[Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 04:05:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/198*120/chelsea-clinton-pregnant.JPG

The Clintons are going to be grandparents -- Chelsea Clinton is expecting her first child later this year.

Chelsea Clinton, who married Marc Mezvinsky in 2010, made the announcement Thursday during an event in New York with her mother. 

"Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," she said. "I just hope that I will be as good a mom to my child, and hopefully children, as my mom was to me."

Chelsea Clinton, 34, delivered the news as she and her mother hosted "Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation," which is part of their project that works to advance progress for women and girls around the world.

The former New York senator and secretary of state, who is considering another presidential run in 2016, said she is thrilled.

"It makes this work even more important because we've made a lot of progress," said the former first lady.

"Obviously we are very excited about what's happening in our family," she said. "But we're also very excited because of what we are doing that we hope gives confidence and support to so many of you across our country as you make decisions about the lives you want to lead."

Later Thursday, the Twitter account for Bill Clinton posted a tweet that said "Excited to add a new line to my Twitter bio ... grandfather to be! @hillaryclinton and I are so happy for Chelsea and Marc!"



<![CDATA[Blackhawks' Road to a Repeat Begins Thursday]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:53:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/blackhawks+blues+getty+2013.jpg

When it comes to teams like the Chicago Blackhawks who come into every season with high expectations, the regular season is nothing but a warm-up act for the postseason. For the Hawks, the real test begins now.

The team is down in St. Louis getting ready for the start of a playoff run that they hope will result in their second consecutive championship and third title in five seasons. Hoisting the Stanley Cup again would not only give the Hawks those impressive marks over the past several seasons, but would also make them the first repeat champions in the NHL since the Detroit Red Wings won back to back championships in 1997 and 1998.

In many ways, the gauntlet that the Hawks would have to travel through to get to that promised land is even tougher than it was last season. The Hawks had home ice advantage throughout the playoffs last year, and it ended up proving crucial as they closed out their first three series on United Center ice. They won’t have that luxury this year thanks to their third place finish in the Central Division, and starting off the postseason on the road against a team that went nearly an entire season without losing a game in regulation against a Central Division foe is going to be a daunting task.

Helping the Hawks as they prepare for a playoff run is the fact that they have gotten back both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane from injury. Both players missed the final games of the regular season, Toews with an upper body injury and Kane with a leg ailment, but both have been skating since last week and are expected to be in the lineup when the puck drops on Thursday night.

The infusion of talent into the lineup is going to have a ripple effect on the rest of the Hawks, as it will allow Joel Quenneville to tinker with his lines to the degree that he likes to do. Using the team’s full depth to his advantage, Quenneville will try to exploit some of the health issues that the Blues are having at the forward position, as TJ Oshie and Patrick Berglund will both be out of the lineup for St. Louis in Game 1 of the series.

Amping up the speed among his forwards and rolling four lines capable of scoring will make for an interesting challenge for a Blues team that has struggled to score goals lately, and if they can’t adjust quickly to the Hawks’ aggressive style, they could be in for a world of hurt once things get started.

All of that being said, the Hawks know that they don’t have the luxury of cruising into the playoffs on a tidal wave of momentum like they did last year. Chicago had basically steamrolled everyone in their path as they won the 2013 title, losing only seven games in regulation as they romped through the regular season. This season, the Hawks have struggled at times, including a three game losing streak in late March, but they will try to use that experience with adversity to their advantage as they begin the long and arduous slog through the Western Conference on Thursday night.

In all likelihood, this ride will be a bumpier one for the Hawks and their fans if the team is to repeat its successes from a season ago, but if one is being totally honest, playoff hockey is always a grind, so this year will be no exception.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Meet "The Voice" Contestant Tess Boyer]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:49:08 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/THE_VOICE_FOR_THE_WEB_14116732_1200x675_229468227815.jpg Tess Boyer hails from Glen Carbon, Il. She's competing on NBC's hit show "The Voice" this season and recently made the Top 12. NBC 5 spoke to her about her time on the show so far.]]> <![CDATA[Mayor Assembles Task Force for George Lucas Museum]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:41:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/george-lucas-r2d2.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has created a task force of community leaders to decide on a potential location for George Lucas' arts museum.

The 12-member team is tasked with determining a location that is easy to get to and large enough to host a museum comparable to the city's other major cultural institutions. In addition, the site must not require taxpayer dollars to pay for it.

The task force will accept public input before making recommendations by mid-May. The chosen location will compete against proposed locations in other cities, including San Francisco, where Lucas spent most of his life.

Members of the task force include community and cultural leaders, local development practitioners and urban planners, including:

  • Ted Beattie, president and CEO of the Shedd Aquarium
  • Lee Bey, special projects manager at the University of Chicago
  • Gia Biagi, chief of staff at the Chicago Park District
  • Michelle Boone, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
  • Gillian Darlow, chief executive officer of the Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Nilda Esparza, director of youth and cultural programming at Latinos Progresando
  • Jeanne Gang, founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects
  • Walter Massey, president of the School of the Art Institute
  • Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor
  • Mary Ann Smith, former alderman of the 48th ward
  • Jackie Samuel, director of the New Communities Program at Claretian Associates
  • Kurt Summers, senior vice president of Grosvenor Capital Management

Star Wars creator George Lucas wants to create the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to display his collection of Norman Rockwell paintings and Star Wars memorabilia. Lucas had his eye on Chicago to host the museum after discussions with leaders in San Francisco fell through.

The museum would feature an exhibit with props, costumes and designs from Lucas' films. Other exhibits would feature digital art and pieces from Lucas's private art collection, which includes modern masterpieces created by the likes of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth.

Lucas would pay the $300 million price tag for this museum out of his own pocket and would endow another $400 million to keep it running.

Lucas, 69, already has ties to Chicago. He and his wife, Mellody Hobson, in February donated $25 million to the University of Chicago. Hobson is the president of the Chicago firm Ariel Investments. The filmmaker last year donated another $25 million to After School Matters, the charity created by former Chicago first lady Maggie Daley.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CTA Announces Plans For Red Line Extension and Rehab]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:04:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CTA+rendering+red+line.jpg

Red Line riders have something to look forward to in the coming years.

Chicago Transit Authority officials announced Thursday plans for rehabbing five North Side stations and building a long-awaited South Side extension. The projects are part of the first phase of the city's Red and Purple Modernization program.

The stations at Wilson, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr were specified for the rehabilitation, which could begin as early as 2017. The five stations are among the oldest, having been built between 1908 and 1923.

The CTA also announced plans to build a Red-Purple Line bypass north of Belmont to eliminate delays and speed up train service where the Red, Purple and Brown Lines intersect.

On the South Side, the CTA plans to extend tracks for 5.3 miles and add four new Red Line stations south of 95th Street. Stops would be located at 103rd, 111th, 115th and 130th Streets, and up to 2,000 “Park and Ride” spaces would be added.

No date has been set to begin the construction of the new stations, but plans for the route have been narrowed down to three options. The first option is to build tracks parallel to the Union Pacific freight tracks from 98th Street to 130th Street. The second option is to build elevated tracks above Halsted Street. The final option is to build a bus-rapid transit route to 130th Street.

Last year, the CTA closed nine Red Line stops south of Roosevelt Road as part of the Red Line South Track Renewal Project. The $425 construction project repaired the crumbling tracks and reduced commute times.


Photo Credit: CTA]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Confections Make List of Nation's Top Cupcakes]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:07:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/cupcakes_generic.jpg

Add cupcakes to the list of Chicago foods ranked among the best in the nation.

Four city bakeries have made the Daily Meal’s list of “101 Best Cupcakes in America.”

Taking the lead for Chicago as no. 30 was the Loop’s gourmet cupcake shop Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique.

According to the Daily meal, Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique cupcakes are “more like an experience than just a dessert treat.”

Molly’s cupcakes in Lincoln Park ranked as no. 61 and Swirlz Cupcakes and West Town Bakery and Diner followed as no. 83 and 89.

Rankings were based on criteria that included menu variety, presentation, social media, online reviews, culinary value and variety.

Taking the top confection spot was Pink Cake Box in New Jersey, which snagged two other spots on the list.

Chicago also dominated the Daily Meal's list of America's top 25 doughnuts, and the 101 best pizzas in America.

Photo Credit: www.jupiterimages.com/unlimited]]>
<![CDATA[First Round Matchups: Backes vs. Toews]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:04:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/475984677.jpg

With the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues set to square off in the playoffs for the first time since 2002, Madhouse Enforcer is taking a look at some of the key matchups that will help decide the series between these Central Division rivals.

Today’s matchup is one of captains who are recovering from injuries that hampered them at the end of the regular season, as David Backes and Jonathan Toews butt heads.

As the 2013-14 regular season came to an end, the Blackhawks and Blues both looked on as the Colorado Avalanche surged past them and won the Central Division championship. The Blues in particular looked putrid down the stretch, losing their last six games in a row and a slew of players to the injury bug in the process. The Blackhawks also had some serious injuries, with Toews and Patrick Kane missing chunks of time, but they reeled off a four game winning streak before quietly dropping their last two games as they rested starters on their final road trip.

Backes was one of the Blues who missed time during the dwindling days of the season, leaving an April 8th game against the Washington Capitals with a foot injury. There was some worry that the injury could put his status for Game 1 against the Blackhawks in doubt, but he has been practicing with the team and is expected to be on the ice when the game begins.

As for Toews, he missed the final six games of the regular season for the Hawks with an upper body injury that he suffered on a big hit from Brooks Orpik against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Toews has been skating since late last week, and like Backes is expected to be on his team’s top line when the series gets going at Scottrade Center.

Backes’ play down the stretch for St. Louis mirrored the team’s late swoon. In his final five games (including an abbreviated appearance against the Capitals), Backes had just one assist, racked up 22 penalty minutes and only had nine shots on goal. He put up those pedestrian numbers despite playing nearly 20 minutes per game in four of those contests, and his struggles on offense led to a serious power outage for the team’s scoring attack.

When Toews went down with his arm injury, he was certainly cooling off after a red-hot start to the month of March, but he was still contributing despite his struggles. In his final five games, the Hawks’ captain had two assists and 10 shots on goal, but his team did lose four of those five games as they slipped into the third spot in the Central Division standings.

With all of those numbers floating around in our heads, an important question has to be asked as the two teams get ready to face each other with their returning stars in tow: how will Backes and Toews fare as they jump back into the lineup, and will either of them have a big impact on the series, at least at the beginning?

In the case of both players, they will be jumping right back into top line roles for their teams. Backes was skating with Alexander Steen and Steve Ott on Thursday during the morning skate, and if Ken Hitchcock opts to keep that line arrangement going into the contest, then Backes’ role is going to be the same as it always is: get to the front of the net, put shots on goal, and hit anything that’s wearing a white jersey.

Toews will also be on the top line, skating with Kris Versteeg and Brandon Saad as the team prepares to face the Blues, and his role is similar to that of Backes. His defensive skills make him one of the team’s most important forwards, and his ability to pass the puck with the same prowess as he can shoot it makes him a dangerous threat that is hard to game plan against.

Since both players are coming off of injuries, and since both Hitchcock and Joel Quenneville are trying to juggle lines to welcome players back into the rotation, it’s hard to pick a winner between the two captains if we’re asking which of them has the edge in this series. Backes historically has played Toews hard, using his brute strength to force the Hawks’ leader off the puck, but Toews has generally been able to respond with some serious scoring punch in the face of those confrontations.

If Backes is able to get Toews off his game from the puck drop on Thursday, then he will win this matchup easily. In the more likely event that Toews can withstand the initial burst, he will have a bit of an edge in this matchup of stars.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Opponents of Flooding Prevention Plan Fear Contamination]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:56:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/investigates+water+pkg.png

A northern suburb’s plan to combat frequent flooding may wind up impacting its beaches and the source of drinking water for millions of people, according to opponents of a proposed tunnel project in Winnetka.

“The tunnel will pollute. Make no mistake about that,” said tunnel opponent Matt Wendt.

The proposed tunnel would send excessive storm water runoff down a 7900 foot pipeline along Willow Road and into Lake Michigan. The plan is expected to include a treatment mechanism designed to keep contaminants out of the lake.

However, Wendt and other residents who argue against the project said chemicals from lawns and streets would still manage to slip into Lake Michigan. They also fear the village’s water quality problems would be made even worse by the tunnel. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency determined four of the village’s beaches to be impaired last year due to high bacteria levels.

The Better Government Association is researching the issue and said it has ramifications all along the shore in communities that need to balance flood control and concerns about Lake Michigan.

“What Winnetka does to control their flooding is going to have an impact on not only its nearby neighbors but on all of us who use the lake,” said Brett Chase of the BGA.

While village leaders said the project would not go forward if strict water quality standards cannot be met, Winnetka is facing a major dilemma: what to do with emergency storm water runoff the next time a 100 year flood hits the area.

Major floods in 2008, 2011 and 2013 damaged buildings and flooded basements in parts of Winnetka.

“Eighteen inches of standing water represent sort of a life safety hazard for people,” tunnel supporter Christina Codo said. “You can’t get access to the streets.”

Storm water on the village’s east side already enters Lake Michigan through water outlets and natural streams. The village said it uses existing drainage infrastructure in the western part of Winnetka to keep as much runoff water flowing west as possible.

During severe storms, however, areas holding water runoff west of the village fill up fast.

The village has awarded a contract to the engineering firm MWH to provide design engineering and permitting services to move the project forward. The estimated cost of the tunnel project is $34.5 million.

“The village looked at a number of options to provide flood risk reduction, and the least costly and most feasible project to protect structures against flooding from large rain events is the proposed Willow Road Project,” wrote village manager Robert Bahan in an email to NBC 5 Investigates.

The project has the support of the Winnetka Homeowners Association (WHOA).

“This would more than help,” said WHOA co-manager Ann Dillon.

However, a slight majority of residents voted against the project in a March advisory referendum.

“This is a regional issue. The lake belongs to everybody and any pollution we put in the lake is going to Wilmette, to Evanston, to Chicago, to Calumet and on and on,” said opponent Debbie Ross.

Ross said the village and its residents should consider more environmentally-friendly options to prevent floods, such as permeable surfaces and additional green infrastructure.

Village leaders said the referendum vote would not end the project or relieve the Village Council of its statutory duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of thousands of residents.

“The Village has been working on the storm water program for several years, cannon further delay this important work and needs to continue to develop effective solutions to the flooding problem,” Bahan wrote.

The project is by no means a done deal.

Winnetka must go through a rigorous permitting process before tunnel construction could begin. The primary regulatory agencies that must approve the project include the Illinois EPA, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the US Army Corp of Engineers.

“We want to make sure that as storm water is being managed on a quantity side that they’re also managing it from a quality standpoint,” said Marcia Willhite of the Illinois EPA.


<![CDATA[Salsa Singer Cheo Feliciano Killed in Crash]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP070907056835.jpg

Puerto Rican salsa and bolero singer Cheo Feliciano died in a car crash early Thursday morning, Telemundo Puerto Rico has confirmed. He was 78.

Jose Luis Feliciano Vega, better known as Cheo Feliciano,  was killed just after 4 a.m. when the Jaguar he was driving hit an electrical post in the Cupey area of San Juan, according to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia.

Feliciano, the sole passenger in the vehicle, died on impact following the 4:13 a.m. crash on a road near the Universidad Metropolitana. A police inspector told the newspaper he was not wearing a seat belt. He is survived by his wife, Puerto Rican dancer Coco Prieto Leon Feliciano, and four sons.

Feliciano, one of the most recognized musicians of his genre, was credited as influencing other salsa stars, including Ruben Blades and Gilberto Santarosa. He produced a list of hits that includes "One in a Million," ''My Promise," and "I Learned with You," according to The Associated Press.

The musician, who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, started his career as a percussionist in New York before joining the Joe Cuba Sextet as a singer. He recorded 17 albums with the band performing with top Latin artists of the era, before joining Fania Records' All-Stars ensemble and starting a successful solo career, according to a biography on Billboard.com.  He was honored with the Latin Grammy Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He was a vocal participant in anti-drug campaigns following his own battle with addiction, El Nueva Dia reported.

Feliciano had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer last year, but continued to make public appearances. According to El Nueva Dia, he was supposed to fly to Acapulco for a show with other salsa singers later this week.

<![CDATA[Boy, 12, Killed in Hit-and-Run with Semi in Whiting]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:27:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/angel-villafuerte.jpg

A 12-year-old boy was struck and killed by a semi Wednesday afternoon in an apparent hit-and-run in Whiting, Ind., according to authorities.

Police said two brothers were walking home from school when the 12-year-old boy attempted to cross a street near 119th Street and Indianapolis Boulevard.

Officials said his brother tried to stop him but the boy was hit by a semi, which authorities say did not stop.

"A car stopped in front of here right behind me and approached the young little boy and checked his pulse and when he checked his pulse the brother just broke down," said witness George Torres. "He just turned pale and couldn’t move."

The Lake County Coroner's office identified the boy as 12-year-old Angel Villafuerte, and said the cause of death was blunt force trauma from a motor vehicle accident.

According to Whiting Police Chief Stephen Miller, police managed to stop a flatbed semi a few miles from the scene and were inspecting the truck for evidence and questioning the driver.

"We got the description of the truck from the witnesses at the scene and squad officers from my department approximately three miles from here pulled over a vehicle matching that description," Miller said.

Miller said officials believe the driver did see the boy.

Indianapolis Boulevard was shut down Wednesday afternoon and Indiana State Police are investigating.

Villafuerte's death was the second fatal hit-and-run in northwest Indiana this week. A 13-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run in Gary on Sunday.

Malik Herron, 13, and another boy, Robert Davis, were walking on the 4900 block of Vermont Street on Saturday evening when a large dark-colored vehicle left the roadway and struck them. Herron was later pronounced dead and Davis was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials said a vehicle that may have something to do with the crash has been located.

<![CDATA[Lyons Residents Speak Out Following Police Cuts]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:11:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/220*120/lyons+police+cuts.jpg

Residents of a southwest Chicago suburb are speaking out after one-third of the area's police force was cut last week.

"I'm kind of appalled," said Lyons resident Cindy Mateck. "Let's say three cops are out and there is a domestic or something, they need more than one cop. It's really sad."

Seven police officers were cut last Friday following unsuccessful negotiation talks between the village and police union over raises, according to the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.

"Concerning financial constraints, it was something that was necessary," said Mayor Christopher Getty. "We still believe our community will be safe."

According to Tamara Cummings with the Illinois FOP General Council, the cuts eliminated the detectives division along with all special units, leaving 16 officers for the area’s 10,000 residents.

“The majority [of officers cut] are experienced officers who’d been with the department for a while,” the Illinois FOP said in a statement. “One has nearly 10 years of experience. He and the others were let go without a severance package.”

In a village meeting Wednesday, some residents argued the board gave themselves raises and healthcare benefits at the expense of their safety and the safety of the officers.

"These cops are going to be on calls, who is going to back them up?" said resident Jodi Jaras.

Others, however, said they're confident with the board's decision. Former mayor Marie Vachata believes this will not affect safety in the area.

"I don't have a problem," she said. "I'm not afraid."

<![CDATA[LEGOLAND to Host Job Fair]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:51:22 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/LEGO-logo.jpg

If you’re looking for a job and have a love for LEGOs you might be in luck.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago is holding its first-ever job fair Tuesday.

Recruiters are looking for “outgoing and qualified individuals” for positions in model building, entertainment, admissions, retail and café.

“We’re looking for motivated individuals who are creative, have an appreciation for LEGO, enjoy working with our guests and can be a role model for the many children who visit the Center,” said Nick Miller, general manager of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago.

Job fair attendees will have the opportunity to meet with a LEGOLAND Discover Center recruiter and applicants for the center’s model builder team will also take part in individual and group LEGO brick building challenges.

The event will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the center at 601 N. Martingale Rd. in Schaumburg.

<![CDATA[Emanuel Urges State to Pitch in $100M for Obama Library]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:15:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+obama.jpg

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging Illinois lawmakers to devote $100 million in state funds to help bring President Barack Obama's presidential museum and library to the city.

Emanuel spoke Thursday before the Illinois House's Executive Committee.
He says the money would make Chicago's bid for the library more competitive and that the investment would return dividends "well beyond" $100 million.
Emanuel also says the funding would be a fitting way to welcome Obama back to his hometown after his term is up.
Several sites — most on Chicago's South Side — want to become home to the library and museum. Hawaii and New York also are vying for it.
The $100 million for construction costs would be part of a new capital construction plan, which the Legislature must approve.


Photo Credit: flickr.com//whitehouse]]>