<![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 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:25:53 -0600 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:25:53 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![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.

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<![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[Chicago Area Treated to Frigid Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:12:50 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Cold-Child-722-generic.jpg

While the East Coast braces for a travel-busting snowstorm leading up to Thanksgiving, the Chicago area expects to see a mostly snowless forecast.

But be prepared to bundle up: We're in for a chilly holiday.

NBC 5 weather models show high temperatures on Thanksgiving reaching only the mid- to upper-20s with wind chills dropping temps even lower.

The day looks mostly cloudy, windy and cold with only a few flurries in the metro area and light snow showers in the Michiana snow belts.

Heading out of the area on Thanksgiving Eve? Models show a few flurries possible, but light snow showers are expected in far southwest counties as a system passes well south of Chicago.

Flurries are on tap again for Black Friday with high temperatures in the low to mid-30s, but there's good news for the weekend.

Saturday turns partly sunny and warmer with a few showers possible in the evening, and temps could get as high as the low 50s.

Temperatures are expected to drop back to the upper 30s for Sunday and stay there for the first part of the week.

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<![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[Mayor: FBI Still Investigating Hammond Stun Gun Case]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:41:12 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/205*120/Hammond_traffic_stop_10-7.jpg

The mayor of Hammond, Ind. issued a clarification Tuesday saying FBI officials have not closed their investigation into two officers who were captured on video breaking a car window and using a stun gun on a passenger.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. wrote on Facebook Tuesday that he heard a report on National Public Radio that contradicted his earlier statement that the officers involved in the incident had been cleared by the FBI.

"I immediately contacted Jay Abbott, Special Agent in charge of the State of Indiana. He requested that I clarify statements that were previously made regarding the status of the investigation," McDermott wrote. "Based on my conversation with Agent Abbott, he informed me that this matter is still being assessed by the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice. Until the assessment is complete, there will not be a determination as to whether a 'formal investigation' will be initiated."

This comes after McDermott issued a statement Monday saying the FBI had cleared the two officers involved in the incident and the Hammond Police Department placed them back on regular duty.

It was not immeditealy clear if the officers would in fact be returning to the streets following the mayor's latest clarification. The mayor's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Patrick Vicari and Charles Turner had been assigned to office duties after the FBI informed the city it wanted to review the Sept. 24 incident.

Jamal Jones and Lisa Mahone, both of Hammond, filed a lawsuit against the city and the officers alleging excessive force was used. That federal lawsuit was still pending Tuesday.

Video recorded from the backseat of the family vehicle video showed the officers smashing the passenger's side window of the car and stunning Jones before pulling him from the vehicle.

Joseph Ivy, 14, said he recorded the video because he was scared and felt something wasn't right about the situation he was witnessing.

In the video, Mahone is heard telling a 911 dispatcher that she was scared for her life.

"He just pulled a gun on us and we don't have a gun," she said of one of the officers looming outside her vehicle.

Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda immediately after the incident said he felt the officers acted within the law.

The entire ordeal centered around an unworn seat belt, Mahone said.

<![CDATA[TODAY'S FORECAST: COLD TURKEY!]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 06:34:01 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Andy+Avalos+Updated.jpg

Thanksgiving Day: Coudy with only a few flurries in the metro area this morning, but periodic light snow showers in the Michiana snow belts.  Clouds break for a little sun later this afternoon in the metro area, but snow showers continue in the Michiana snow belts. Temps hold in the 20s all day, but a NW wind between 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 will make it feel like it's in the teens.

Tonight: Partly cloudy and colder with temps dropping into the teens inland, low 20s in the city. NW wind shifts SW 5 to 15 mph overnight.

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy and cold in the morning. Mostly cloudy, breezy and not as cold in the afternoon.  Only a few showers possible in far northern counties. Highs in the low to mid 30s. Wind SSW 10 to 20 mph.

Saturday: Partly sunny, windy and turning much warmer.  Highs in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Sunday: Becoming cloudy with showers developing mainly in southern areas and in NW Indiana; windy and turning colder.  Highs in the mid to upper 40s, but falling

Monday: Partly sunny, breezy and much colder. Highs in the upper 20s to low 30s.

Tuesday: Partly sunny skies become cloudy late, breezy and not as cold. Low to mid 30s.

Wednesday: Cloudy and cold with freezing rain and sleet in the morning, becoming rain in the afternoon; breezy and turning milder.  Highs in the mid to upper 40s.


<![CDATA[Record Online Sales Expected on Thanksgiving Day]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 09:02:14 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Black-Friday-Toys-R-Us-2013.jpg

If you’re looking for a holiday bargain, help yourself to seconds of turkey or another slice of pumpkin pie and turn on your computer, according to one online shopping survey.

Online prices are predicted to hit bottom on Thursday, lower than on any other day of the holiday shopping season including Black Friday, says the Adobe Systems Inc.’s 2014 Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast.

Record online sales of $1.35 billion are expected on Thanksgiving Day, an increase of 27 percent over last year. Black Friday meanwhile could be the fastest growing online sales day at $2.48 billion, a rise of 15 percent. Among the gifts that shoppers might be looking for, according to social media: iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, PlayStation 4 and the “Call of Duty” video game.

Plus those online prices are expected to match in-store prices except for specific Black Friday promotions and inventory clearances, according to the forecast, which was published this month.

A survey by Nerd Wallet, the personal finance website, found that many of the same Black Friday deals are offered year to year. That might not matter for luggage or Christmas trees but could mean less than good buys for year-old electronics or appliances, the web sites notes.

“Consumers are cottoning on to these clever tactics and so over time they are less likely to be fooled,” said Priya Raghubir, the chair of the marketing department at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York City. “And if they’re less likely to be fooled, the magic of Black Friday pretty much starts getting lost.”

The sales are meant to snap consumers out of any tendency to put off shopping until the last minute, Raghubir said.

“They give you a reason to get out in the cold and start spending money,” she said.

“Consumers love getting a deal or at least feeling they’ve got a deal, feeling smart, feeling that they are in control,” she said.

About 45 percent of consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day, a survey by the New York based-consulting company Accenture found. Sixty-one percent of Americans or more than 140 million shoppers say they will be in the stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

Best Buy is among the retail chains that will open by 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Other include Toys R Us and J.C. Penney. Target, Sears, Kohl's and Macy's will all open at 6 p.m. and Kmart will keep its doors open for 42 hours straight. Radio Shack will open at 8 a.m., however, after workers complained about the early hour, the electronics retailer decided to close between noon and 5 p.m.

J.C. Penney spokesman Joey Thomas said that when chain opened on Thanksgiving for the first time last year, the response from customers was overwhelmingly positive. Giveaways and other activities are planned to show staff members that their work is appreciated, Thomas said.

“Additionally, local store leaders recognize the importance of work-life balance when staffing regular and seasonal associates, and give priority to those who volunteer for holiday shifts,” Thomas said. “Hourly associates will receive time and a half for hours worked on Thanksgiving Day.”

Macy’s noted that there were 15,000 people in line for its Herald Square store in Manhattan last year at 8 p.m., a record. The large majority of shifts were filled voluntarily, according to Holly Thomas, a spokeswoman for the stores.

In contrast, Nordstrom will remain closed on Thanksgiving.

“Over the years, our tradition has been to be closed on Thanksgiving so we are able to unveil our holiday trim the following morning,” said spokesman Dan Evans Jr.

Dismay over the early shopping led 32-year-old Brian Rich of Boise, Idaho, a marketing coordinator at a credit union, to start a Facebook page called “Boycott Black Thursday.”

“The best way to stop this is for everyone to stop shopping on Thanksgiving,” he said.

Twenty-five-year-old Danielle Mesisca quit her job at Kohl’s in New York City rather than work on Thanksgiving. The single mother, who has a day job working for New York City, said she would not object if Black Friday started at midnight or later.

“I feel like working a minimum wage job on a holiday is not worth it,” she said. “Thanksgiving is that one day your entire family gets together to spend time together. I shouldn't have to be forced to work and miss time with my family so other people can shop.”

Kohl’s did not immediately respond for comment.

With sales beginning earlier, and uncertainty about when the best deals are to be found, Black Friday does offer one guarantee: long lines of other shoppers, Raghubir said.

“But yes there will certainly be the buzz also,” she said. “You’ll be with all these other shoppers who are also very excited at having got a deal.”

That excitement is one reason 28-year-old Sy Paulson, a general manager at a Best Buy store in New York City said he did not mind working over the holiday. He typically has his meal the weekend before or a few days afterward and works both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

“This is my tenth Black Friday at Best Buy,” he said. “I get a lot of retail adrenaline. It’s a fun time. It kicks off the holiday season.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thieves Smash Wall to Rob Austin Clothing Store]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:47:15 -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 before. 

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 recent smash and grab burglaries. 

<![CDATA[Cold Turkey]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:15:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009884817_1200x675_364444739812.jpg Andy Avalos confirms what you already know: this is one of the coldest Thanksgiving days in memory. But he's got some good news. A warm up is coming.]]> <![CDATA[Butterball Hotline Helps with Your Turkey]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:11:17 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009884806_1200x675_364443715781.jpg Phyllis Cramer of the Butterball Turkey Help line in Naperville talks us through tips and techniques for cooking the big bird. Call them at 1-800-BUTTERBALL.]]> <![CDATA[Best, Worst Retailers for Black Friday Deals]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:47:40 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/black+friday3.JPG

With so many stores offering up Black Friday deals, it can be tough to decide where to go.

To make bargain hunting a little easier this year, personal finance site WalletHub has released a list of “2014’s Best & Worst Retailers for Black Friday Deals.”

The list, which the company said intends to “help consumers maximize their savings this year,” is based on a survey of 5,525 deals from Black Friday ad scans from 21 of the biggest U.S. retailers, according to researchers.

The list named J.C. Penney as the top retailer for Black Friday deals, with an average discount of 65.44 percent.

Also named among the best retailers were Macy’s, Rite Aid, Meijer, Sears, Walgreens, Office Depot and OfficeMax, Ace Hardware, Kohl’s and Staples.

Sears was dubbed the best retailer for those looking for deals in apparel, accessories and appliances, Office Depot and OfficeMax had the best discounts on electronics and computers, Macy’s topped the list for discounts on consumer electronics as well as consumer packaged goods, Kohl’s had the best deals on toys and furniture and Kmart was the top retailer for jewelry discounts.

Among the stores with the not-so-great discounts were Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, Big Lots and Costco, which all had average discounts less than 32.16 percent.

In addition to traditional deals this year, several retailers are offering pre-Black Friday sales and others are extending the shopping event into a days-long affair.

Experts say shoppers are better off mapping out their Black Friday plans beforehand.

“One way of making sure that the sales are real sales is to know ahead of time what exactly we want/need to buy and what the cost is before this event and where the best prices are and then compare them to what is offered on Black Friday,” Tahira K. Hira, professor of personal finance and consumer economics at Iowa State University told WalletHub.

Hira also recommends making a list of needs ahead of time and sticking to that list to avoid overspending.

At least four major retailers were not included in the WalletHub survey as they did not provide data on their Black Friday deals. Those stores include Apple, Home Depot, IKEA and Lowe’s.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stores That Will Be Closed for Thanksgiving]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:45:21 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Nieman-Marcus.jpg

With many stores opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, some retailers are keeping their doors shut for the holiday.

Several retailers are closed on Thanksgiving to give their employees the chance to enjoy the holiday before the Black Friday shopping frenzy.

Nordstrom announced that it would be closed Thursday, Nov. 28, "to celebrate one holiday at a time."

“This is how we’ve approached the holidays as long as anyone here can remember,” Nordstrom spokesman Colin Johnson said.

T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have also announced they would be closed on Thanksgiving, but would offer extended hours and new merchandise throughout the holiday season.

"As in past years, T.J.Maxx and Marshalls stores will be closed on Thanksgiving so our Associates can enjoy the holiday with family and friends" Rebecca Leonard, spokesperson for T.J Maxx and Marshalls, said in a statement.

Home Depot also plans to close for the holiday, tweeting "Take time to enjoy food, family and friends, and we'll see you early Friday morning."

In addition, USA Today reports at least 12 other retailers will stay closed for the holiday, including:

  • Coscto
  • Ace Hardware
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Patagonia
  • Dillard's
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Neiman Marcus
  • GameStop
  • Nordstrom
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Burlington Coat Factory
  • REI

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![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[Toddler Inspires Disney Petition]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:08:28 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/11-26-14-Disney-Princess-revised.JPG

A San Francisco family traveled to Disney's Southern California Headquarters Wednesday to deliver a petition with more than 75,000 signatures calling on Disney to create characters with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Keston Ott-Dahl created the petition in honor of her 15-month-old daughter Delaney, who has Down syndrome.

"I want the world to change," Ott-Dahl said. "I want Delaney to grow up in a society where she knows there’s a place for her and she’s part of society and she’s loved and appreciated."

Ott-Dahl's Care2 petition asks Disney to fight back against stigmas by representing children with disabilities in their animated films.

Ott-Dahl's partner and two daughters — both dressed as Disney Princesses — joined her in Burbank to deliver the petition that has drawn media coverage across the country.

Disney has responded to the petition, saying the studio is "committed to continuing to create characters that are easily accessible and relatable to all children."

While the Ott-Dahl family believes Disney does a good job of teaching children moral lessons, they hope the company will realize "every little girl wants to feel like a princess" and will give the family a "firm commitment" to represent children with disabilities.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![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[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[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[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[Shoppers Prepare for Thanksgiving, Black Friday Shopping]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:07:27 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000009869372_1200x675_364199491864.jpg As Black Friday shopping transforms into a multi-day event, shoppers and stores are preparing for the shopping frenzy. Lee Ann Trotter reports.]]> <![CDATA[10 Stores to Shop Thanksgiving Day]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 22:13:31 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/black+friday3.JPG

More and more retailers are opening their doors earlier and earlier in the run up to Black Friday, with many national chains opening on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a list of stores that will be open for the holiday and what deals you can expect.

Target— Target is opening earlier than ever — 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, two hours ahead of last year's 8 p.m. start — with plans to kick off online sales the week before Black Friday. Target's biggest deal? The new Samsung Galaxy S5, which normally sells for $200, is going for one cent (with a two-year AT&T contract).

Walmart— Walmart announced it will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. this year, kicking off "Five Days of Deals" on different categories of merchandise. Shoppers can even get a head start on Thanksgiving morning, with sales on the Samsung 55-inch Ultra HD Curved Smart TV ($1,298, or $900 in savings) and iPhone 6 ($179 with a 2- year contract).

Best Buy— Best Buy stores will be opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year. Best Buy’s flagship deal: a 50-inch Panasonic TV for $199.99.

Kmart— With sales beginning at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, Kmart is pushing the definition of "Black Friday." Kmart is selling Westinghouse 55-inch HDTVs for $449.99, plus homewares like Proctor Silex irons and toasters for only $4.99.

Sears— Unlike its sister store Kmart, Sears will be opening at the (slightly) more traditional hour of 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, although it's still an earlier start than last year's. Sears is promoting deals on appliances, like a Kenmore front-loading washer-dryer pair for $799.99.

Macy's— Macy's will kick off its Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving afternoon, two hours earlier than its opening time last year. The department store's big deals, which last until Nov. 30, are focused on clothes, shoes and jewelry.

JCPenney— JCPenney is likewise pushing its opening times ever earlier. The store's sales are slated to begin at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, likely aiming to win shoppers from competitors by offering 50 percent off bedding, bath, and luggage.

Toys"R"Us— Another early starter, Toys "R" Us will be open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving with discounts on items ranging from Evenflo Booster Car Seats ($49.99 instead of the usual $89.99) to "Frozen" toys in every conceivable form.

Kohl's— Like many other stores, Kohl's will be opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. In previous years, the retailer has opened as early as 4 a.m. on Friday. Over 500 deals will begin online starting Nov. 24. In store, shoppers will get $15 in "Kohl's cash" for every $50 they spend.

Old Navy— Old Navy is one of the rare stores opening later this year, with a 4 p.m. start time instead of last year's 9 a.m. opening. The retailer is again promising to award $1 million to a shopper in its "Overnight Millionaire" promotion. The first 100 shoppers in line at every North American Old Navy store will be entered in the sweepstakes.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![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[Stepfather Killed Missing Mom: DA]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:13:41 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Stepfather-and-Padgett.jpg

The search for Jessica Padgett, a missing mother and newlywed from Northampton County, came to a stunning end the day before Thanksgiving when investigators announced she'd been murdered by her stepfather.

District Attorney John Morganelli said Gregory Graf admitted he shot Padgett in his home and disposed of her body, burying her in the yard behind a shed. The motive appears to be sexual assault, Morganelli said.

Padgett, a mother of three, was last seen Friday when she left her job at the Duck Duck Goose day care center in Northampton. She told co-workers she had to run an errand but never returned.

The 33-year-old woman's car was found less than a mile away in the parking lot of a Dollar General store. Her cellphone and keys were inside.

"I just want my sister found," said Jeremy Graf, sobbing just hours before being told her body had been found on their parents' property at Covered Bridge Road in Allen Township.

Padgett had a second job working for Graf's company, Distinctive Fence, located on the same property where he and Padgett’s mother live. Investigators believe Padgett went there Friday to use the fax machine.

"During an interview with the investigators he [Graf] did admit that he intentionally and knowingly caused the death of the victim at his home," Morganelli said, adding the crime may have been premeditated. Surveillance video shows a man prosecutors believe is Graf, dropping his truck off in the Dollar General parking lot Friday morning. Later in the day, Morganelli said Graf returned to the parking lot in Padgett's SUV, parked it and drove off again in his truck.

Family and friends launched an intense search effort for Padgett, and started a Help Find Jessica Padgett on Facebook. The victim's sister, Kristi Davis, posted this message:

"We are devastated by the loss of Jessica. she was a beautiful, vibrant young woman who was beloved by her family and friends. The world shines less bright today." 

Greg Graf was one of the 7-thousand people following that Facebook page. Family friends said Graf helped search for Padgett several times after she disappeared.

"The fact that this person was right under our noses and was that close to Jess," said Jim Wilkins, a family friend. "That he could just betray the family...This was a man who was around Jess since she was a child. We're obviously heartbroken." 

Graf, 53, was taken into police custody Wednesday night. He faces murder charges.

<![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[Officer Kills Suspect After Chase]]> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:22:13 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/Lewisvilel+crash.JPG

Lewisville police said they are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting Wednesday morning.

Investigators said a man stole a car from Highland Village, was involved in apparent road rage altercation and the followed the other driver to a Cracker Barrel in the 800 block of South Interstate 35E at about 11:47 a.m. After a brief confrontation, the man pointed a shotgun at the other driver and then walked away.

At about 12:45 p.m., police said a patrol officer saw the stolen vehicle and started following the man. A 5-minute chase ended when the man crashed into two other vehicles on East Round Grove Road near Rockbrook Drive. One woman whose car was hit was taken to the hospital.

Police said the man grabbed his shotgun and ran to the parking lot at a RaceTrac gas station. He unsuccessfully tried to take one car before getting into another one, owned by Erica Montes. She had just finished pumping her gas, saw him coming with the gun and hid behind her car.

“I was very scared," Montes said. "I didn’t know if he was going to shoot at me or grab me because the police had already surrounded him."

Other drivers were ducking for cover.

“At one point I was down in my car because I did see him running around with a shot gun, and I didn’t know which way he was going to go,” said Katy Gallagher.

Police said the suspect fired, and the patrol officer returned fire.

The officer rendered aid to the man until paramedics arrived, police said. The man was taken to Medical Center of Lewisville where he later died. The officer was not injured.

The name of the deceased has not been released.

Lewisville police said that the officer will be placed on leave, per department policy.

<![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[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[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[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[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.

<![CDATA[Ferguson Protests Continue Across U.S. for 2nd Day]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:04:39 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/459584294.jpg

Heated protests continued for a second night in response to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown, with violence and arrests reported across the nation.

Police ordered protesters and media off Ferguson, Missouri, streets after largely peaceful demonstrations turned violent Tuesday evening when a police car was set on fire. Earlier in the evening, demonstrators swarmed the steps of the federal courthouse in St. Louis chanting, "You didn't indict! We shall fight!" The Associated Press reported.

At a news conference early Wednesday, St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar said 44 people were arrested in Ferguson, but added that "it was a much better night."

In New York City, police said 10 people were arrested as protesters gridlocked major streets, highways and bridges. Protesters blocked access to the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel, one of the city's major transit arteries, during rush hour Tuesday evening.

More than 500 protesters marched up Broadway and gathered peacefully in Times Square. They chanted "Hands up, don't shoot" and carried signs reading "We will not be silent." Around 200 protesters also gathered peacefully in nearby Newark, New Jersey.

In Philadelphia, demonstrators were already taking place at noon on Tuesday, with a group holding signs that read "Outraged! Where is Our Justice?" and "Don't Shop Black Friday." A group of about 500 later held a rally at Temple University and protested outside of a police headquarters, demanding that officers wear body cameras. 

Hundreds of activists in Chicago marched through Downtown after police ordered protesters to leave Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office, where they had been participating in a planned 28-hour sit-in. The group called on Emanuel to change what they said was a culture of racism within the Chicago Police Department.

Two people were arrested at a small protest outside the Miami-Dade Metro Justice building Tuesday, police said. A Miami jury deliberating the fate of a woman accused of killing her husband's business partner was dismissed early in anticipation of a protest at the Miami courthouse.

In Los Angeles, almost 100 people were arrested as a few hundred protesters took to the streets, engaging police in a standoff at a freeway off-ramp and surrounding a Highway Patrol car in a tense scene in the south side of the city. Police Chief Charlie Beck said earlier Tuesday that only three arrests were made in protests across LA on Monday.

"I know that this isn't over," Beck said. "This is a wound of the nation that will not heal immediately."

One of the largest protests nationwide was in Boston, where an estimated 1,400 protesters gathered near the Massachusetts Avenue Connector, NBC News reported. Police blocked a ramp leading to I-93 to prevent protesters from going on the highway. The demonstrations in Boston were peaceful overall, however, 45 arrests were made throughout the city, New England Cable News reported.

In Oakland, California, a small group of protesters briefly shut down Interstate 580, but police officers were able to redirect them back onto city streets. Police arrested 40 people on Monday night following the grand jury's decision.

A car plowed through protesters in Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon, injuring one demonstrator, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. Moments after the demonstrator was struck, a group of demonstrators jumped on the hood of the vehicle while others tried to free the demonstrator. Minneapolis Police Department said they were continuing to investigate. 

The announcement that the Missouri grand jury had brought no charge against Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 killing of 18-year-old Brown sparked rioting in Ferguson and some unruly protests elsewhere Monday night.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vowed that the violence would not be repeated, adding that the National Guard presence would be "ramped up significantly."

"Last night criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community, burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts and looting family businesses, many for the second time," he said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in Ferguson. "I am deeply saddened for the people of Ferguson who woke up this morning to see parts of their community in ruins."

Protesters had hurled bottles at officers near police headquarters, and flames engulfed at least a dozen businesses. St. Louis County police deployed tactical units and fired tear gas and smoke to break up the crowds. At least 150 gunshots were fired and a semi-automatic handgun was seized, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference early Tuesday. 

Sixty-one people were arrested in Ferguson on charges that included burglary and trespassing, according to The Associated Press. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said early Tuesday that 21 were arrested in the city.

"I'm disappointed I didn't see more peaceful protests out there," Belmar said. "What I've seen tonight is probably worse than the worst night we had in August."

Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he had briefed the president in the Oval Office about the violence. He said they talked about the need to bring people together.

"This is a difficult time for people in Ferguson," Holder said. "It's a difficult time for people in our country. I think this is an opportunity for us to find those things that bind us as a nation, to be honest with one another about those things that continue to divide us and to come up with ways in which we make this union even more perfect."

Across the country, reactions ranged from marches that threatened to shut down busy streets to gatherings near national landmarks. Most remained peaceful, officials said.

In California, large crowds marched through the streets of Oakland and Los Angeles. Demonstrators shut down Interstate 580 and the USC campus was placed on lockdown as demonstrators marched by.

Angry protesters took to the streets of Philadelphia after the announcement, chanting "No Justice. No Peace. No Racist Police," and holding both arms in the air. Albeit loud in voice, they remained peaceful in actions as police trailed their march.

A man was arrested after hurling fake blood on NYPD Chief Bill Bratton in New York's Times Square during a demonstration. Hundreds marched from Union Square to Upper Manhattan through traffic-clogged streets, with signs such as "Jail killer cops."

At the Chicago police department's headquarters, several hundred people chanted "This is what democracy looks like," and carried photographs of those they said were killed by officers.

Outside the White House, roughly 300 gathered for a peaceful demonstration, chanting "black lives matter." Some carried signs urging the demilitarization of police.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![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[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[Stripping Robbers Hit Again]]> Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:08:20 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/subwaystriprobbery.jpg

A group of armed robbers who make their victims take off their clothes hit again over the weekend, the latest in a string of robberies all with a similar modus operandi.

In the latest robbery, which targeted a Broward County, Florida, Subway restaurant Monday night, the robbers’ victim was a woman who is eight months pregnant. The robbery was the fifth such crime that had similar circumstances in the last two months. All of the robberies have been caught on camera.

“It seems to be that is their strategy, to take their clothes off,” said Keyla Concepcion of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

On November 9th at the Rite Way Food Market in Pompano Beach, a customer and clerk were ordered to the back of the store, at gunpoint, where they were both forced to take off their pants. On October 31, a victim at a Pompano Beach convenience store was hit with a gun and shot in the leg.

October 28th, a Tamarac Subway was hit around 10:30 p.m. where employees were robbed at gunpoint before being dragged to the back of the store and ordered to strip. On October 7th, an employee of a GameStop in Plantation was ordered to drive the robbers around before dropping them off in Lauderhill.

Investigators haven’t said if all of the crimes are related, but said all of them are similar in their actions during the robberies.

If you have any information about the string of robberies, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[City Hall Sit-In Ends, Activists March on Michigan Avenue]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:23:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chi-ferguson-4.jpg

Hundreds of activists marched throughout downtown Chicago Tuesday night chanting about Ferguson, Missouri. The March came shortly after a demonstration ended peacefully at City Hall when police warned activists they would begin arresting people who did not leave the planned 28-hour sit in.

The evening demonstrators marched around city streets, including along Michigan Avenue and through the Loop, with police on bicycles following alongside them. The demonstration was mostly peaceful, but did spark some moments of chaos and confrontations between protesters and police.

A group called the Black Youth Project and its supporters said Tuesday morning they planned to sit outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office for 28 hours as an "act of civil disobedience." The group left City Hall around 6:30 p.m. and some began marching along Michigan Avenue.

The activists were calling on Emanuel to change what they say is a racist culture within the Chicago Police Department.

"Every 28 hours in America, a black person is killed by a police officer, a self-appointed vigilante, or a security officer," said activist Charlene Carruthers. "Black people have the right to be angry. That is righteous anger. We see it as righteous, righteous anger."

The announcement came during a morning press conference that followed a march from West Jackson Boulevard and South State Street, where a small group of protesters gathered in protest of a grand jury's declination to indict a Missouri police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed teen.

Chicago's City Hall closes at 6 p.m., and it wasn't known by midday whether the protesters would be allowed to stay overnight.

Earlier in the day, a group of about three dozen people began gathering at about 7 a.m. with signs and homemade drums. One sign read, "There is no excuse for police brutality."

Michael Brown, a black teenager, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9, sparking protests and elevating racial tensions. A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday night announced that Wilson would not face charges in the case.

"Michael Brown was wrongly killed and his killer should be convicted and justice should be in Ferguson right now, but it's not," said protester Lindsey Roussel.

Tuesday's protests echoed a much larger local gathering the night earlier when than 200 activists marched from the Chicago Police Department's headquarters, wound through city streets and closed parts of Lake Shore Drive.

Chicago police officers on bicycles, horseback and in squad cars followed along with the protesters, but officials said early Tuesday that no arrests were made.

The protest in Chicago was one of several around the country.

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<![CDATA[Blackhawks 4th-Most Valuable NHL Team]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:16:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/495205629.jpg

The Chicago Blackhawks’ resurgence has been one of the biggest stories in sports over the past seven years, and that rise to prominence has continued to yield dividends both on the ice and for the team’s bottom line.

According to new NHL franchise valuations by Forbes Magazine, the Blackhawks are the fourth-most valuable franchise in the NHL, worth approximately $825 million. The Toronto Maple Leafs top the list, with a worth of $1.3 billion, and the New York Rangers ($1.1 billion) and Montreal Canadiens ($1 billion) also finished just ahead of the Blackhawks.

While they aren’t the most valuable American team, the Blackhawks do have some reason for optimism, as their valuation increased by 32% from last year. That is the second-highest rate of growth in the NHL, trailing only the New York Islanders’ sale-boosted 54% rise from last season. The Blackhawks also rank fourth in the league in revenue, with $172 million coming in last season.

The one question we don’t know the answer to is whether or not that surge in value means that the team is turning a profit. According to team owner Rocky Wirtz, the team still lost between $10 and $20 million despite winning the Stanley Cup in 2013.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Determine Cause of Chicago Building Collapse]]> Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:33:01 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/chicago_building_collapse.jpg

A buildup of natural gas caused a three-story apartment building to collapse Sunday night on Chicago's South Side, resulting in the rescue of two women and a dog from the rubble, officials said.

The Chicago Fire Department said Tuesday its Office of Fire Investigation Division determined the buildup of gas was from "an appliance or customer owned piping."

About 1,000 power customers were left without power after the building, near East 58th Street and South Calumet Avenue in the Washington Park neighborhood, came down at around 7 p.m. after what neighbors said was a series of booms.

"I saw the door literally burst out from out the building," neighbor McKiley Jonkins said. "I didn't see the building crash or anything. I just saw the door, like, literally come to the middle the street and it hit my mom's friend's car. It busted her car window out."

Responding officials pulled two women from the debris. They were taken in serious-to-critical condition to both John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County and the University of Chicago Medical Center. A dog named Tigger was also rescued from the rubble.

Officials later deemed the buildings that flanked the collapsed building as unsafe and ordered them evacuated.

Photo Credit: Chicago Fire Department]]>
<![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.

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