<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago News]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.com en-usWed, 19 Dec 2018 07:31:44 -0600Wed, 19 Dec 2018 07:31:44 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Warning Signs: Keeping an Eye on Who Your Kids Text]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2018 07:28:11 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/10p+PKG+COFFEY+App+Chat+-+00005823_34907348.jpg

You may already keep an eye on who your kids text and what they post to social media. But who’s chatting with your children while they are playing online gaming apps?

Theresa, a concerned mom from the south suburbs who asked us not to share her last name, said her nine-year-old daughter is a fan of the game Roblox. However, she recently checked her daughter’s phone and discovered an unfamiliar number with someone requesting inappropriate photos of her daughter.

Theresa learned the person requesting the photographs had originally communicated with her daughter via Roblox’s in-game chat feature.

Theresa said her daughter said “no” each time the user requested photos and that no photos were exchanged.

“I’m proud of her that because he tried so many tactics to reach her,” Theresa said.

The other user offered a cat, money and gifts to Theresa’s daughter in exchange for photos of her in her underwear.

“As a parent you feel sick to your stomach and you feel that you did something wrong, even though I have gone through everything you can go through as far as teaching my daughter right from wrong and what information is yours and what you don’t give out over the internet,” Theresa said.

Theresa notified her local police department. The case is currently under investigation.

Roblox told NBC 5 Investigates it took immediate action by banning and blocking the bad actor.

“We feel very confident that this bad actor will not have contact with people,” a Roblox spokesperson said.

It is not clear if the other user was a child or an adult.

Roblox said the other user somehow snuck around the game’s strict chat filters. According to the spokesperson, the game’s filters are continually being updated.

“Our 100% focus is keeping families safe,” the spokesperson said.

Retired Naperville Police detective Rich Wistocki talks to parents and kids across the country about online safety.

“What I tell the kids is that the common denominator that this person is a predator, that they will try to get you off the gaming platform or the social network to go to private chat. When they do that they are not who they say they are. Because if they have something to say, why not say it on the game?” Wistocki said.

Wistocki also said many kids are not telling the truth about their age when they register for online gaming and social media accounts. He said in many cases, kids click on the year “2000” when an app asks for “year of birth.”

“What do you think’s gonna come to them? Adult images, adult videos, adults trying to talk to them and meet with them,” Wistocki said.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, offenders often start grooming kids by “liking” or commenting their posts.

Still, parents can disable the chat features on their kids’ games. You can select “chat with no one” on Roblox, for example.

Roblox said parents can also set a pin code to prevent their kids from adjusting the settings.

The makers of Fortnite said its platforms all have built-in parental controls.

Theresa said she used her own date of birth when helping her daughter sign up for Roblox. She said she did not know about the game’s chat features at the time.

These days, Theresa said she is compelled to advocate for other children and to warn their families.

She said apps like Roblox must be held more accountable and do a better job of protecting younger users.

“The issue here as that bad guys are taking advantage of every opportunity to get in touch with children in real time, a feature that shouldn’t ever even be an option for anyone under 18 years of age,” Theresa said.

Roblox said its chat filtering can be more stringent for users 13 and under.

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<![CDATA[1 Airlifted From Fire at Trailer in Beecher]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2018 05:45:22 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/BEECHER+FIRE+STRINGER+-+00000019_34902163.jpg

One person was airlifted with severe burns from a fire at a trailer in south suburban Beecher early Wednesday, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at around 12:02 a.m. in the 2900 block of West Indiana Avenue, the Beecher Fire Protection District said in a statement.

There they found a recreational travel trailer "heavily involved" in fire, officials said. Near the trailer, first responders located a severely burned victim who was then airlifted to the University of Chicago Hospital, according to fire officials.

Further details on the victim, including age and condition, were not immediately available.

Firefighters were then able to extinguish the fire within fifteen minutes, authorities said, adding that the trailer sustained heavy damage and was rendered uninhabitable.

Twelve different agencies responded to or provided resources in battling the blaze, which was fought by 25 firefighters alongside a rescue squad and commanding officers, among others, Beecher fire officials said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Wednesday morning.



Photo Credit: Network Video Productions]]>
<![CDATA[5 Chicago Bears Named to 2019 Pro Bowl]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 19:28:43 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-454956674.jpg

The NFL announced Tuesday evening that five Chicago Bears have been voted to the 2019 Pro Bowl.

Linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, defensive backs Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson and return specialist Tarik Cohen, were among the players selected to play on Jan. 27, 2019 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

According to a statement issued by the team, "the five selections are the most for the Bears since the 2014 Pro Bowl."

Mack is headed to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl after being selected three times as a member of the Oakland Raiders from 2015-17.

“God is good,” Mack said. “Thank you to the Bears fans for giving me the opportunity to represent Chicago in the Pro Bowl. We also have a few of my guys with me! Congratulations to Kyle, Akiem, Eddie and Tarik! Bear Down!”

Mack and his teammates are the first Bears defensive players to be named to the Pro Bowl roster since cornerback Tim Jennings made it in 2013.

The Bears also had seven players voted as Pro Bowl alternates, including QB Mitchell Trubisky, C Cody Whitehair, OL Charles Leno Jr., and LBs Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sue the T. Rex Returns to Field Museum]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 19:07:04 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Sue_the_T-Rex_Returns_to_Field_Museum.jpg

The new exhibit features video animations that show how Sue may have lived and died.

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<![CDATA[How One Check Can Produce Millions for Politicians]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 19:03:08 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/madigan+630_27876408.png

Aug. 22, 2018, was a big day for arguably the most powerful politician in Illinois.

On that day, House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political campaign committee got a $55,400 contribution from UFCW Local 881, the union representing retail food and nursing home workers in Illinois, according to state campaign finance records.

But wait.

That same day, the Illinois Democratic Party, which Madigan chairs, also got the same amount from the union’s political action committee.

The Democratic Majority, whose chairman is Michael J. Madigan, got $52,400.

In total $163,200 was given to three committees on one day, run by the same man, who had no opposition in either the primary or general election.

Less than three weeks later, another UCFW Local 881 check for $55,400 was sent to the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, run by Mike Madigan.

It’s the maximum donation any political action committee can make each cycle a candidate is up for election, according to Illinois campaign finance laws.

"You max out in the primary [election] and you max out in the general [election],” said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois in Springfield.

For the four Illinois legislative leaders who, unlike other legislators, have access to multiple political committees, there is a significant perk to this ability to collect campaign contributions, according to Redfield.

Once the money is in their campaign account, Redfield said, "it is not terribly difficult to move a lot of money into the system and then for them to move it around," most likely to fellow Republicans and Democrats running for office.

The campaign finance law was changed after the arrest and impeachment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The current limits are capped at:

-$5,600 for individuals

-$11,00 for corporations and labor groups

-and $55,400 for a political action committee

But there is a loophole that allows candidates to self-fund with a $100,000 contribution, thus blowing the caps and opening the financial floodgates.

On Aug. 16, Madigan gave his campaign fund $100,001.

What followed, state records show, were 23 six-figure contributions to his campaign committee, Friends of Madigan, totaling nearly $8 million.

"It does give an advantage to people who are in leadership, who have access to a number of different committees,” Redfield said.

But Madigan wasn’t alone.

State records show Republican senate leader Bill Brady likewise gave his campaign $100,001 on Oct. 1.

A few days later, the state’s richest citizen, Ken Griffin, gave Brady’s campaign a whopping $1.5 million.

And while it is all legal, critics argue the $100,000 rule is just another example of how the campaign finance law in Illinois can benefit the politically powerful and wealthy.

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<![CDATA[Funerals Set for Chicago Police Officers Hit by Train]]> Wed, 19 Dec 2018 04:46:45 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/officers+gary+marmolego1.jpg

NOTE: News Affairs later rectified their original statement Tuesday evening and told NBC 5 not all funeral details have been solidified.

Funeral services for two Chicago police officers who were struck and killed by a train this week while responding to a call of shots fired will be held Saturday, according to the church where they will be located. 

Funerals for both Officer Conrad Gary and Officer Eddie Marmolejo will take place at the St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel, located at 7740 S. Western Ave. in Chicago, the school tweeted. 

Gary's funeral will take place at 9:30 a.m., and Marmolejo's funeral will begin at noon, St. Rita's said.

Marmolejo, 36, and Gary, 31, were working as partners on Monday night and had a combined four years on the force, authorities said. Gary had been with the department for 18 months, while Marmolejo had been with CPD for two-and-a-half years.

They were responding to a report of shots fired around 7 p.m. near East 103rd Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue in the city's Rosemoor neighborhood, officials said.

Footage from a body camera found 100 feet from the tracks showed a northbound train heading toward the officers, who were standing on southbound tracks when they were suddenly hit, Chicago Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern said.

Authorities believe the northbound train drowned out the sounds of a southbound train approaching the officers from behind.

According to Ahern, the officers were heard on camera "talking to each other" up until the moment they were struck.

Less than 24 hours after the officers' deaths, thousands of dollars has been raised to help their families. 

The GoFundMe campaigns for Gary and Marmolejo collectively have more than $20,000 as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

The young officers each leave behind wives and children. 

The fundraiser for the Marmolejo family, which includes the officer's wife and three young girls, raised a little more than half its $10,000 goal in two hours Tuesday. Within six hours, the campaign for the Gary family, which includes his wife and young daughter, had raised more than $15,000.

The campaigns also are listed on the Fraternal Order of Police: Chicago Lodge No. 7 Facebook page.

GoFundMe said both campaigns were verified and the company guarantees the money will get to the families. 

"This holiday will never be the same for those two families," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "Our hearts are with them."



Photo Credit: Chicago Police]]>
<![CDATA[Hinsdale District 86 Deals With Budget Cuts]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:45:16 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hinsdalebudgetcuts.JPG

When you think of high school sports you think of football and cheerleading.  Now, those two activities and many more are in danger of disappearing at District 86 in Hinsdale.

On Tuesday, the superintendent said the district is dealing with a budget shortfall and as a result has been forced to cut numerous sports and activities for next year at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools.

In November, voters in Hinsdale turned down a $130 million referendum that would have paid for infrastructure improvements at both schools.

On Monday night, the school board announced starting the 2019-2020 school year, football, cheerleading, pom pom, wrestling, swimming, water polo, bass fishing would be cut.

The cuts total just over a million dollars.

“We are at the point that in order to make the basic fixes that we have to make to the schools we are going to have to do things that impact the education we provide students; so the question for the community is, what do you want for your schools and your students?” Superintendent Bruce Law said.

According to Law, this could mean no football for the next five years or as long as it takes to make upgrades at the two high schools.

There is a hopeful silver lining for students. Another referendum is scheduled in April.

If voters pass it, the district said some of the activities and sports will remain.

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<![CDATA[NBC 5 Shares Favorite Holiday Memories]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:27:33 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/holiday+memories.png

Happy Holidays from NBC 5! 

To get into the spirit, we asked the team to share their favorite holiday memories with you.

Thank you for watching and hope you have a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

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<![CDATA[Chicago Choirs Empower People Impacted by Homelessness]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:11:38 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/4P+PKG+HARMONY+HOPE+HEALING+-+00001309_34895395.jpg

Old St. Pats Church on Tuesday hosted a memorial service for homeless Chicagoans who died in 2018. It’s one of more than 150 similar events happening around the country, and the performing choir, Harmony, Hope & Healing, has more than a passing interest in the cause. NBC 5's LeeAnn Trotter reports.

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<![CDATA[Best Friends Raise Thousands After Same Leukemia Diagnosis]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:48:59 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/5P+PKG+LEMONADE-+-+00002502_34895280.jpg

A pair of best friends are kicking cancer to the curb.

Emma Bergeron and Johnny Sorial, both 11, have managed to raise thousands of dollars for other sick kids, after being diagnosed with the same type of leukemia.

Emma beat the disease and is now pulling her best friend through his treatment.

“He knows everything is going to be ok and that he can do it,” she said.

They both understand what it’s like to be stuck in a hospital—that’s when they decided to create a good old fashioned lemonade stand to help those who’ve walked in similar shoes,.

“Emma and I understand what these kids are going through and we want to do something about it,” Johnny said.

Just like that, they got to work, set up a shop right in their own neighborhood and ended up raising $12,000 in a day.

The money was split between Lurie Children’s Hospital—where Emma was treated—and Advocate Children’s Hospital—where Johnny is currently being treated.

Their moms say they are still in shock.

“Little did we realize the generosity of the community,” said Susan Sorial. “It was so heart-warming. Everyone came out and they were so sweet and generous.”

Emma however, never doubted their earnings—radiating positivity as her best friend continues to undergo his medical procedures.

“Even if it’s scary, just keep going,” she said.

The duo is proving that sometimes life is about mind over matter.

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<![CDATA[Ring in 2019 With NBC 5's 'New Year’s Eve Live in Chicago']]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 16:28:19 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Crystal-Gardens_2011-NYE-1.jpg

Ring in 2019 with NBC 5's "New Year’s Eve Live in Chicago"!

Party with NBC 5’s Marion Brooks, Siafa Lewis and Chris Hush; KISS 103.5’s Fred; Big 10 Network’s Ally Sturm; and, returning to TV, Ji Suk Yi from The Grid at the Chicago Sun-Times.

We’ll be at the Hilton in downtown Chicago, the legendary Drake Hotel and at The Crystal Gardens under the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel.

Tweet your photos with #NBC5NYE -- they might be featured on TV!

Staying in instead of going out? Tune in to NBC 5 starting at 11:08 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, following NBC’s New Year’s Eve network show.

We’ll have special appearances and performances -- yes, performances! -- by Chicago Med’s Nick Gehlfuss and Chicago Fire’s Joe Minoso. (Did you know they can sing?)

Get a preview of the Winter Classic from Chicago Blackhawks players ahead of the big New Year’s Day Game between the Hawks and Boston Bruins at Notre Dame. The game airs at noon on NBC 5.

Then, raise your glass with us for a special midnight toast to all things Chicago just before blazing fireworks from Navy Pier on Chicago’s riverfront to welcome in 2019.

Are you ready? Tune in to NBC 5 or come see us on New Year’s Eve!

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<![CDATA[Chicago Bears Playoff Tickets Go On Sale Thursday]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 14:49:04 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bears+packers+getty+2018.jpg

It's official! Chicago Bears playoff tickets for a Wild Card or Divisional game go on sale to the general public on Thursday, Dec. 20, the Bears announced.

Set your clocks: Ticket sales start at 1 p.m. CST on Thursday.

Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000, or 800-943-4327 for the hearing impaired. There is a limit of four tickets per order.

"Tickets will be priced for a Divisional game," the Bears said in a statement. "A refund will be issued by Ticketmaster for the difference should the Bears host a Wild Card game instead of a Divisional game."

The Bears reminded fans to buy home game tickets from a reputable, verified source, noting Ticketmaster and the NFL Ticket Exchange are official partners of the team and NFL.

"Fans should avoid making ticket or parking purchases from Craigslist sellers, as many counterfeits are coming from this source," the team said. 

Fans are encouraged to call the Chicago Bears Ticket Office at 847-615-BEAR for more information.



Photo Credit: Getty Images Sport]]>
<![CDATA[Police Search for Suspects After Theft at Old Orchard Mall]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 22:30:17 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SKY+5+NORDSTROMS+OLD+ORCHARD+ROBBERY+CAR+CHASE+-+14282018_34894087.jpg

Police were searching for multiple suspects after a theft at a Nordstrom store in a popular suburban mall Tuesday afternoon led to a crash and armed carjacking a nearby school.

Police said the theft took place just before 1 p.m. at 4937 Old Orchard Center in Old Orchard mall in Skokie. 

A witness reported seeing five men running out of the store with purses in hand. The men got into a stolen silver Audi and fled before crashing into another vehicle on the west side of the mall, authorities said. 

The suspect then left the vehicle behind before running toward the parking lot of Niles North High School, Skokie police said. 

Minutes later, one suspect - described as a bald black man in his 30s, standing about 6 feet tall, with a thin build and wearing a black coat - pulled out a gun and stole a Jeep from two people in the school's parking lot. 

Before the suspect left the scene in the Jeep, he was seen picking up four others. 

A Niles police spokesman confirmed an aggravated vehicular hijacking was reported in the parking lot of the school, but said school remained in session Tuesday afternoon. 

The stolen Jeep was later found abandoned and on fire near Cicero and Peterson avenues in Chicago, authorties said. Video from NBC's Sky 5 chopper showed the torched vehicle at the edge of the Forest Glen Woods. Skokie police searched the area along with Lincolnwood Police and Chicago police, but no suspects were found. 

The incident was under investigation Tuesday but police said no one was injured as a result of the carjacking. 

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed what happened is being asked to call the Skokie Polie Department at (847) 982-5900. 

Check back for more on this developing story.

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<![CDATA[Portillo's Added to Another National 'Top Restaurants' List]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 14:15:38 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/portillos+lemon+cake+resize.png

Portillo's is on a roll.

A week after the Chicago chain was named best fast-casual restaurant chain in the country, TripAdvisor included it among the top 10 medium chains in the United States.

"Chain restaurants are integral to the American dining experience as they offer consumers convenient and satisfying meals for all occasions," said Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president for TripAdvisor Restaurants, in a statement. "For the first time, TripAdvisor is ranking restaurant chains that provide exemplary food, service and value to diners."

Ten restaurant chains were chosen in three categories: small chains, medium chains and large chains.

Portillo's ranked sixth in the medium chains category.

According to TripAdvisor, "rankings were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews from all of a chain’s property locations that were listed on TripAdvisor during a 12-month period."

Eddie V's Prime Seafood took first in the small chains category, The Capital Grille was first in medium, and Ruth's Chris Steak House got top billing in the large chains category.

“We are honored to receive this award,” Portillo’s CEO Michael Osanloo said earlier this month in a statement responding to the restaurant's best fast casual win. “It’s a true testament to our hard-working restaurant team members and our passionate fans. We’re thrilled our guests think Portillo’s truly cuts the mustard.”



Photo Credit: Portillo's]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Raised for Families of Officers Hit by Train]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 22:35:46 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/officers+gary+marmolego1.jpg

Thousands of dollars has been raised in less than 24 hours to help the families of two Chicago police officers who were hit and killed by a train while responding to a call of shots fired Monday. 

The GoFundMe campaigns for Officer Conrad Gary and Officer Eddie Marmolejo collectively have more than $20,000 as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

The young officers each leave behind wives and children. 

The fundraiser for the Marmolejo family, which includes the officer's wife and three young girls, raised a little more than half its $10,000 goal in two hours Tuesday. Within six hours, the campaign for the Gary family, which includes his wife and young daughter, had raised more than $15,000.

The campaigns also are listed on the Fraternal Order of Police: Chicago Lodge No. 7 Facebook page.

GoFundMe said both campaigns were verified and the company guarantees the money will get to the families. 

"This holiday will never be the same for those two families," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "Our hearts are with them."

A cousin of Marmolejo said the family has been devastated by the tragedy. 

Marmolejo, 36, and Gary, 31, were working as partners on Monday night and had a combined four years on the force, authorities said. Gary had been with the department for 18 months, while Marmolejo had been with CPD for two-and-a-half years.

They were responding to a report of shots fired around 7 p.m. near East 103rd Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue in the city's Rosemoor neighborhood, officials said.

The location above a viaduct has eight tracks where, at any given time, two commuter lines and a freight line operate trains. 

Police said the officers were both on foot when they were struck by the passing train.

According to Chicago Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern, body camera footage recovered from the scene showed a northbound train heading toward the officers, who were standing on southbound tracks when they were suddenly hit. Authorities believe the northbound train drowned out the sounds of a southbound train approaching the officers from behind.

According to Ahern, the officers were heard on camera "talking to each other" up until the moment they were struck. 

Both officers were assigned to CPD's 5th District - Calumet, which covers several Far South Side neighborhoods including Roseland and West Pullman.

The district has "faced tragedy after tragedy this year," Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference Monday night, referring to three other deaths - two suicides and another on-duty death.

Johnson and First Deputy Anthony Riccio were at the scene for hours overnight supervising the investigation. 

A procession escorted the officers' bodies to the Cook County medical examiner's office early Tuesday morning, with several members of the Chicago Police and Fire departments paying their respects along the way.

A weapon and shell casings were recovered from the scene and one person was in custody, charged with a "firearms violation," Ahern said. That charged was pending review by the Cook County State's Attorney, he said. 



Photo Credit: Chicago Police]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside: Urlacher Cuts Asking Price for Suburban Mansion]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 11:45:56 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/urlacher+home+1.jpg Retired Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has cut the asking price for his north suburban mansion.

Photo Credit: Chicago Home Photos]]>
<![CDATA[Why Viral 'Glitter Bomb Trap' Was Addressed to Illinois Home]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 10:53:31 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/glitter+bomb+2.png

Video of a former NASA engineer's "glitter bomb trap" that hilariously punished thieves for stealing packages off his porch reached viral status thanks to more than 7 million views.

Illinois residents will be especially interested in the delivery label YouTube personality Mark Rober created for the faux package, packed with a detonating plume of fine glitter and four pumps of "fart spray."

Rober says in his YouTube video that the delivery label is "perhaps my favorite part of the whole thing."

"Because if the thief wasn't in such a hurry," he said, "they'd see that the package is actually coming from my childhood hero and inspiration for this project, Kevin McCallister."

In the movie "Home Alone," main character Kevin McCallister sets an intricate trap for two bumbling burglars at his fictional home, located in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka.

The address for the Winnetka home where filming took place served as the return address on Rober's package.

"I even looked up and am using the address for the actual house they filmed the movie in," he said.

And to whom has "Kevin" addressed this "glitter bomb"?

"Of course it's being shipped to his boys, Harry and Marv," Rober said.



Photo Credit: Mark Rober]]>
<![CDATA[Body Cam Gives New Insight After Officers Hit by Train: CPD]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 22:26:13 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Officers+Hit+by+Train+-+Raza+-+21141721_34890729.jpg

A body camera recovered near the tracks where two Chicago police officers were hit and killed by a train Monday night revealed new details on the moments leading up to the tragic accident, authorities said. 

According to Chicago Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern, the body camera was found 100 feet from the tracks on Chicago's Far South Side where 36-year-old Eduardo Marmolejo and 31-year-old Conrad Gary were killed. 

Footage showed a northbound train heading toward the officers, who were standing on southbound tracks when they were suddenly hit, Ahern said. Authorities believe the northbound train drowned out the sounds of a southbound train approaching the officers from behind.

According to Ahern, the officers were heard on camera "talking to each other" up until the moment they were struck. 

The incident took place at around 7 p.m. near East 103rd Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue in the city's Rosemoor neighborhood, officials said.

The location above a viaduct has eight tracks where, at any given time, two commuter lines and a freight line operate trains. 

Police said the officers were both on foot, responding to a call of shots fired, when they were struck by the passing train.

Marmolejo and Gary were working as partners on Monday night and had a combined four years on the force, authorities said. Gary had been with the department for 18 months, while Marmolejo had been with CPD for two-and-a-half years.

Both officers were assigned to CPD's 5th District - Calumet, which covers several Far South Side neighborhoods including Roseland and West Pullman.

The district has "faced tragedy after tragedy this year," Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference Monday night, referring to three other deaths - two suicides and another on-duty death.

Marmolejo and Gary were both married fathers - Gary had one young child and Marmolejo had three children, according to police.

"This holiday will never be the same for those two families," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "Our hearts are with them."

“There are no words that can express the grief and sense of loss—this knocks you back on your heels,” he added.

Supt. Eddie Johnson and First Deputy Anthony Riccio were at the scene for hours overnight supervising the investigation. 

A procession escorted the officers' bodies to the Cook County medical examiner's office early Tuesday morning, with several members of the Chicago Police and Fire departments paying their respects along the way.

A weapon and shell casings were recovered from the scene and one person was in custody, charged with a "firearms violation," Ahern said. That charged was pending review by the Cook County State's Attorney, he said. 

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<![CDATA[Chicago Weather Forecast: Sunny Skies, Warmer Temps]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 09:20:09 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000033178239_1200x675_1401002563618.jpg

NBC Storm Team 5 meteorologist Pete Sack has your latest forecast update.

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<![CDATA[Your Hilarious Elf on a Shelf Scenes]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 08:48:56 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hilarious+elf+on+a+shelf.jpg We asked, viewers answered. See some of the creative and hilarious Elf on a Shelf scenes left behind at area homes.

Photo Credit: Abraham Palma]]>
<![CDATA[Procession Escorts Bodies of Officers Hit, Killed by Train]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 06:30:41 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000033174800_1200x675_1400882755959.jpg

A procession escorts the bodies of two Chicago police officers fatally struck by a train while investigating a report of gunfire on the city's Far South Side. 

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<![CDATA[Chicago Mourns 2 Officers Fatally Struck by Train]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 08:03:04 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NBC5+4AM+News+Clean+-+06000616_34888188.jpg

Chicago was in mourning Tuesday after two police officers were hit and killed by a train while investigating gunfire on the city's Far South Side Monday night.

The officers were identified as 36-year-old Eduardo Marmolejo and 31-year-old Conrad Gary, according to police.

The incident took place at around 7 p.m. near East 103rd Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue in the city's Rosemoor neighborhood, officials said.

Police said the officers were both on foot, responding to a call of shots fired, when they were struck by a passing train.

Movement on both the South Shore and Metra train lines was halted for several hours in both directions.

Marmolejo and Gary were working as partners on Monday night and had a combined four years on the force, authorities said. Gary had been with the department for 18 months, while Marmolejo had been with CPD for two-and-a-half years.

Both officers were assigned to CPD's 5th District - Calumet, which covers several Far South Side neighborhoods including Roseland and West Pullman.

The district has "faced tragedy after tragedy this year," Supt. Eddie Johnson said at a news conference Monday night, referring to three other deaths - two suicides and another on-duty death.

Marmolejo and Gary were both married fathers - Gary had one young child and Marmolejo had three children, according to police.

"This holiday will never be the same for those two families," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "Our hearts are with them."

“There are no words that can express the grief and sense of loss—this knocks you back on your heels,” he added.

A procession escorted the officers' bodies to the Cook County medical examiner's office early Tuesday morning, with several members of the Chicago Police and Fire departments paying their respects along the way.

A weapon was recovered from the scene and one person of interest was being questioned in connection with the gunfire that sparked the investigation, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. 

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<![CDATA[Gary School Employee Charged With Child Porn]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 22:26:21 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/teacherporn.JPG

A photography teacher's aide at a Gary middle school is accused of having hundreds of images of child pornography. Officials explained the charges to parents and students Monday afternoon.  NBC 5's Trina Orlando reports.

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<![CDATA[Race for Mayor: Candidates Angry Over Petition Challenge]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 22:16:22 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/petitionchallengenew.JPG

One petition challenge is settled. Paul Vallas has withdrawn his objection to Garry McCarthy's signatures, which insures McCarthy will be on the February ballot. Toni Preckwinkle however, continues her fight to knock five women of color off the ballot. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

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<![CDATA[CPD Reaches Goal of Addition of a Thousand New Officers]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 21:40:32 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/T4P+CPD+New+Officers+PKG+Iris+-+00003506_34878554.jpg

Chicago officials announced Monday that the goal of hiring a thousand new police officers this year was met. In addition, they welcomed the next class of recruits to the training academy. NBC 5’s Dick Johnson reports.

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<![CDATA[Honoring Chicagoland's Fallen Heroes]]> Sat, 10 Nov 2012 19:11:50 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/american-flag1.jpg NBC Chicago salutes the men and women in the armed forces who have died in combat.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Carell Talks About New Film 'Welcome to Marwen']]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 21:26:58 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/STEVECARRELLTROTTER_34878448.jpg

Steve Carell stars in a new film on how artistic imagination is able to restore the human spirit. NBC 5's LeeAnn Trotter has the details on the true story that is 'Welcome to Marwen.'

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<![CDATA[2 Cops Struck, Killed by Train on Far South Side]]> Tue, 18 Dec 2018 08:00:45 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Officers+Hit+by+Train+-+Raza+-+20042625_34880046.jpg

Two Chicago police officers were fatally struck by a train Monday evening on Chicago’s Far South Side, police said.

The incident occurred near 103rd Street about 7 p.m. in the city’s Rosemoor neighborhood, Metra officials said. Police said the officers were responding to a "shots fired" call when they were struck by a passing train. They were on foot. The NICTD Indiana South Shore Train SS9119 was halted after the incident. The South Shore rail line uses Metra tracks. Metra shut down power in both directions.

The officers were later identified as partners—both fathers—with a collective four years on the force, Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

“They have faced tragedy, after tragedy, this year,” Johnson said.

Officer Eduardo Marmolejo was 36. Conrad Gary was 31.

The superintendent referred to other deaths in the Fifth District over the past year—including two suicides and another on-duty death.

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A visibly weary Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke of the difficulty to grasp more fallen Chicago police officers in a year where the department has had multiple tragedies befall it.

“There are no words that can express the grief and sense of loss—this knocks you back on your heels,” he said.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi called the incident a “devastating tragedy.”

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The Fraternal Order of Police tweeted "Prayers, please," shortly after the incident.

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Former Chicago police superintendent and Chicago mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy also tweeted after the officers were struck.

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"Just now hearing @Chicago_Police lost 2 officers tonight," he said. "Pray for the brave men and women of CPD, they need our support."

No other information was immediately available.

Just now hearing lost 2 officers tonight. Pray for the brave men and women of CPD, they need our support.


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<![CDATA[Could Trump Tweet Signal Freedom for Rod Blagojevich?]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 21:36:26 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/blago+part+2.png

For the second time this year all eyes are on the White House to see if there is a holiday gift which could mean freedom for former governor Rod Blagojevich. 

Blagojevich is roughly halfway through a 14-year corruption sentence at the federal prison in suburban Denver. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump dispatched a tweet that seemed to equate his case with Blagojevich’s own legal troubles.

But whether that means a Christmas commutation is in the works, isn’t clear. 

The latest drama began Friday night, when Patti Blagojevich made an appearance on Fox News Channel, equating her husband’s case to special counsel Robert Mueller’s most recent probes into fundraising for the Trump inaugural. 

"These prosecutors with their unchecked power and no oversight can go after any politician they want," the former Illinois First Lady said on Fox.  "They were successful in going after my husband and locking him up and throwing away the key, and because nobody stopped them from going after my husband, now they are going after a bigger target!"

That prompted a tweet from the president declaring, "Required television watching in last week’s @marthamaccallum interview with the wonderful wife of Rod Blagojevich and the @trish_regan interview with Jerome Corsi. If that doesn’t tell you something about what has been going on in our country, nothing will. Very sad!"

Corsi, a well-known conspiracy theorist tied to previous questions about President Obama’s birth certificate and hoaxes about government involvement in 9/11, reportedly is under scrutiny by the special counsel as part of the Wikileaks release of Clinton emails.

Last May, the president suggested in another tweet that Blagojevich was doing time for "being stupid and saying things that every other politician, you know, that many other politicians say." Many observers believed a commutation of the former governor’s prison sentence might happen, but no action was taken. 

Blagojevich was a contestant on President Trump’s "Celebrity Apprentice" program. The former First Lady has made a series of appearances on Fox, the president’s network of choice, to press her husband’s case.

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<![CDATA[Trubisky's Post-Game Christmas Sweater Appears to Sell Out]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 14:43:29 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_18350794110570.jpg

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky decided to get festive after the team won the NFC North Division on Sunday, and apparently fans want to too. 

The incredible light-up sweater Trubisky came out for his postgame press conference wearing had Bears fans going wild. So wild, the sweater, which was at one point available on NFLshop.com, appeared to be sold out as of Monday morning, according to a spokesperson for the team.

It was not immediately clear if more sweaters would be released. 

The sweater features the Bears logo and a stadium outline, and even had blinking Christmas lights. 

Ever the gentleman, Trubisky asked the assembled media if they wanted the lights on or off for his interview, which followed the Bears' 24-17 win over the Packers. 



Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP
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<![CDATA[What Chicago Read: Our Most Popular Stories of 2018]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 13:21:07 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/top+stories+2018.jpg This year, the best-read stories on NBCChicago.com ranged from the amazing (a whole island for sale!) to the head-scratching (hundreds of suburban cars turned filthy overnight) to the heartbreaking (three children killed in a crash at their bus stop). Here's a look at the stories that had you clicking in 2018, ranked from 20th to first. Thank you for reading.]]> <![CDATA[District 211 Strike Averted After Agreement Reached]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 21:32:53 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/4P+VO+DISTRICT+211+STRIKE+TALKS+-+00000622_34875469.jpg

A strike has been averted at Illinois’ largest high school district after an agreement was reached Monday afternoon between the teachers union and board of education.

"We are pleased to announce that the Board of Education and the Teachers’ Union have reached a resolution to the contract negotiation impasse," a statement read. "Because of this, a teachers strike has been averted and school will continue as normally scheduled on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, including the regular school day and all extracurricular practices, clubs, and school-sponsored events. Final exams, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, December 19, will be held as normal. Regular exam schedules are available on school websites."

Earlier in the day, the district urged parents and students to prepare for a potential strike this week as negotiations with teachers continue just before the holidays. 

"Because we do not yet have the complete terms of a resolution, we must prepare for the prospect that a strike could occur," District 211 Supt. Daniel Cates said in a letter to parents. 

School continued as usual Monday, but students were told that if an agreement wasn't reached before the school day ends, they should "gather any materials they might need for all final exams" and take them home. 

If a strike had occured and lasted beyond Tuesday, final exams would have been altered, the school said. 

"We recognize and acknowledge the emotional disruption that the uncertainty of a strike creates for our students and families, staff members, and many partners in our District 211 communities," Cates wrote. 

Andrew Cantrell, field service director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, said members of the Northwest Suburban Teachers Union Local 1211 hoped to avoid a strike.

“We are ready to negotiate,” Cantrell said. “We are. Like I said, we’ve been in talks with the board and we’re going to continue talking with them and try to get this settled because there’s no reason for us to be here.”

Though negotiations have been ongoing for a year, current discussions had left the district and the union about $2 million apart, according to Cantrell.

“We are dealing with a district that is very flush in reserves and budget surpluses and can easily afford this proposal,” he said.

But the district argued the union’s demands are “not financially sound.”

“After more than a year of negotiating in good faith with the Northwest Suburban Teachers Union Local 211, including bringing in a federal mediator, our Board offered the Union a proposed agreement that honors the quality work of our staff members and protects the sustainability of the District’s student programming,” the Township High School District 211 Board of Education wrote in a letter to students and parents. “The union rejected our offer and has communicated its intent to strike, timing it to occur during semester exams, which will be a hardship to students. We have never had a teachers’ strike in our district, ever.”

Union members said talks have come “down to a handful of issues” that aren’t entirely based on salary, like adding counselors to help students.

Last week, the district said its offer included salary increases “well above a 20 percent increase over the span of the four-year contract,” additional compensation via extra duties like coaching or teaching summer school, no increase for health insurance costs for the year, and lifelong retirement benefits that “commonly exceed $100,000 per year and increase by 3 percent each year once the individual reaches 61 years of age.”

“The Board’s proposal is a very strong package, but the Union demands even higher amounts,” the board’s statement read.

A Board of Education meeting took place Thursday night at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, and a massive crowd gathered to voice their concerns about a potential strike. 

"I'm appalled to look you all in eye right now," John Braglia, union president, said during the meeting. "Fortunately, our skin is thick and your devaluation of our work shall not prevent us from doing what we love."

Township High School District 211 is in Chicago's northwest suburbs. It serves nearly 12,000 students in five high schools, including Conant High School, Fremd High School, Hoffman Estates High School, Palatine High School and Schaumburg High School. It also has 175 special needs students at two alternative high schools. 

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<![CDATA[Fans Have Hilarious Reactions to Bears' Win Over Packers]]> Mon, 17 Dec 2018 10:29:26 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WEB+Fan+reacts+-+00012910_34874481.jpg

Bears fans have been waiting a long time to celebrate a win like Sunday's victory over the Packers. 

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