<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.comen-usThu, 18 Jan 2018 08:12:12 -0600Thu, 18 Jan 2018 08:12:12 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Mother of Brian Urlacher's Son Files $125M Defamation Suit]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:25:30 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/1588194702.jpg

The mother of Brian Urlacher’s son filed a $125 million lawsuit against the former Chicago Bear alleging he conspired to “defame and destroy” her by framing her as a murderer, according to court documents.

Tyna Karageorge filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday and told the Chicago Tribune she has not had custody of the 12-year-old son she had with Urlacher since her husband, Ryan Karageorge, died in December of 2016.

A copy of the lawsuit obtained by NBC 5 says Tyna and Ryan got in an argument at their home in Willow Springs when Ryan allegedly shot himself in the head.

Urlacher was given temporary custody of his son after Ryan Karageorge’s death.

The lawsuit alleges that Urlacher planned to portray Tyna Karageorge as her husband’s killer to impact the outcome of the custody case. The suit also names a Chicago Tribune reporter as having conspired with Urlacher.

Urlacher’s attorney said the allegations had already been disproven and called them false, the newspaper reported.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deadly Crash Closes Lanes on I-80 in New Lenox]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:11:31 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/NBC5+4AM+News+Clean+-+06145020_30504517.jpg

A man stopped on Interstate 80 in New Lenox was killed early Thursday morning when his car was rear-ended by another car, Illinois State Police said. 

The accident happened just after 4 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of the interstate near the Veterans Memorial Tollway.

A 31-year-old man was stopped on I-80 when he was rear-ended by another car, police said. 

The man was ejected from the vehicle, according to authorities. 

It was not immediately clear if anyone else was injured. 

The crash closed multiple lanes on I-80 as police continued to investigate the scene hours after the accident. 

<![CDATA[2 Men Shot in City's First Fatal Shooting in 1 Week]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:52:09 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Two+Shot+on+Evans+Blurred+-+00030023_30504566.jpg

Two men were fatally shot in Chicago early Thursday morning, marking the city's first deadly shooting in near one week. 

The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. in the 6600 block of South Evans in the city's West Woodlawn neighborhood. 

A 36-year-old man and a 27-year-old man were sitting in a vehicle when someone pulled up alongside them and fired shots, police said. 

Both men were taken to Stroger Hospital where they were pronounced dead. 

Area Central detectives continued to investigate Thursday morning, but no one was in custody. Authorities said both men were documented gang members. 

The deadly shooting marked the first in seven days for Chicago. 

The city’s last fatal shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. Jan. 11, when two people were shot in the city's South Austin neighborhood, one of them fatally.

Police said a 26-year-old man and a 33-year-old man were getting into a vehicle they heard gunfire and realized they were shot. 

The 33-year-old suffered multiple wounds to his body and was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital. The 26-year-old was shot in the back and last listed in critical condition. 

So far in 2018, there have been at least 20 homicides in the city, according to police data. 

<![CDATA[Another Bright Flash Lights Up Indiana Sky]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 07:39:04 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AUX+03+1182018-73210+AM+-+07324902_30504837.jpg

A bright flash lit up Midwestern skies once again Wednesday night, one day after a meteor entered the atmosphere causing a massive "boom" to be felt in Michigan. 

Police and social media users reported seeing the latest bright flash in the sky just after 11:45 p.m. Wednesday in Indiana.

"A bright blue green flash was witnessed by officers in Shelby, Rush & Henry CO at approximately 11:50 p.m.," Morristown Police tweeted. 

Authorities said there were no reported of power outages following the flash, but noted it "may have been a meteor" or possibly a shooting star.

Social media users flocked to report the sighting as well, sharing photos and videos of the scene as it unfolded. 

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis confirmed it received reports of a flash in the sky, noting that meteorologists also saw the light burst, but could not confirm what it was. Meteorologist Angela Buchman at NBC's Indianapolis affiliate station WTHR, reported witnessing the flash as drove on Interstate 70 on the east side of the city. 

According to the American Meteorological Society's website, there were numerous of reports of a meteor sightings around that time in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. 

What exactly the flash was, however, remains unclear. 

On Tuesday night, the National Weather Service in Detroit confirmed a meteor broke apart about 20 miles above ground over Michigan. An "atmospheric compression wave" then hit the ground, causing a loud "boom" and what the USGS said was the equivalent of a 2.0 magnitude earthquake.

"Some small fragments may have reached the ground downstream," the NWS Detroit tweeted. 

The meteor was about 6 feet in diameter and was traveling around 28,000 mph, officials said. 

Photo Credit: Bryan Bunton
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<![CDATA[2nd Case of Measles Confirmed in Person Who Was at O'Hare]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:42:02 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MEASLES+TSE+-+00001606_30500732.jpg

Public health officials are reporting a second case of measles in a person who was at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the nation's third-largest airport by passenger volume.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday that the case is unrelated to one reported last week. The department says there's no measles outbreak at O'Hare, which served 78 million passengers in 2016.

Officials say the individual with the second confirmed case was at the airport on Jan. 9. Authorities say local health departments are contacting people believed to be most at risk, including passengers on the inbound flight to Chicago. The individual also was at locations in suburban Chicago.

Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. Experts say people who think they may have been exposed should contact their health care provider.

<![CDATA[Cops Chase U-Haul Truck From Portage to Chicago]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:52:23 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/POLICE+CHASE+-+00001006_30501209.jpg

Police apparently chased a U-Haul truck driver through two states Wednesday night before the vehicle was finally pulled over in Chicago.

Reports say the chase started in Portage, Indiana -- and ended on Chicago's South Side near 63rd and Parnell.

Apparently, the driver of the U-Haul and a passenger -- both wanted for fraud -- ran away.

NBC 5 was told by a witness at the scene police caught one of the people but a search with K-9 units was still underway for the second suspect.

Chicago police deferred to Portage authorities who told reporters to call back Thursday morning and declined to comment further.

<![CDATA[Officer Struck in Face, CPD Searches For Suspect]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:29:05 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/policesearch_30500472.jpg

A Chicago police officer was hit in the face by an unknown suspect who police were searching for Wednesday night on the city’s Northwest Side.

The officer sustained minor face injuries after being hit near Cornelia and Harlem in the Belmont Heights neighborhood about 5:30 p.m.

Police were searching for the person who struck the officer Wednesday night and no one was in custody as of 7:30 p.m.

No other details were immediately available.

<![CDATA[Gay Couple Sues Vistaprint After Receiving 'Hateful' Flyers]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:19:53 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Gay_Couple_Sues_Printer_Over_Alleged_Message_of_Hate.jpg

A gay couple sued Vistaprint on Tuesday in Massachusetts, alleging the printing company sent them pamphlets with messages about temptation and sin instead of the wedding programs they ordered for their special day.

Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg were married in Pennsylvania in September but on the eve of their wedding, they say they opened up a package that was supposed to be their wedding program, and instead they say Vistaprint sent them pamphlets about sin and Satan.

The couple filed a federal lawsuit claiming discrimination.

The couple's lawsuit says they were horrified to find the package they received the day before their wedding contained pamphlets with "hateful, discriminatory and anti-gay'' messages. They say they hope their lawsuit sends a message that "there will be consequences for acts of hate.''

The couple's lawyer spoke for them from New York via FaceTime.

"It was supposed to be the happiest day of their life and it was marred by this delivery," Michael Willemin says.

Willemin believes the pamphlets are an assault on the rights of all gay people, equating the couple's relationship to satan's temptation.

The printing company, with a regional headquarters in Massachusetts, confirmed in a statement Wednesday night that they just learned of the incident on January 16 and says they support diversity and reject discrimination in all forms.

"Vistaprint in no way condones — and does not tolerate — discrimination against any of our customers based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation."

Vistaprint CEO Trynka Shineman and Vistaprint founder and Cimpress CEO Robert Keane said in the statement they have reached out to the couple to "express our sadness that this incident occurred, and disappointment that this in any way diminished the joy of their wedding day memories."

Heasley and Borg say their special event was a little less special because of the hateful messages.

"Of course they didn't want to become the face for this but they know what they're doing has to be done," Willemin says.

The printing company went on to say in their statement that they are hoping to establish a dialogue with the couple so together they can use this incident as an opportunity to shine a light on important LGBTQ issues.

"To know that any customer could feel treated in such a way, especially during a time that should be filled with joy, is extremely disheartening," Vistaprint said in the statement. "We have never been more disappointed to let a customer down."

Vistaprint officials say they are investigating the incident to determine how and why the couple received the materials. 

<![CDATA[Train Crossing Stirs Up Frustration, School Tardies]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:51:43 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TRAIN+CROSSING+TSE+-+00003123_30501316.jpg

A single train crossing in Will County has the potential to make thousands of kids late for school, according to parents, a school official and bus drivers who spoke to NBC 5 Investigates.

The Oakland Avenue train crossing in suburban Crest Hill is adjacent to the bus depot used by First Student, a company responsible for transporting children to seven school districts across Will County. A First Student spokesperson said in recent months many school buses exiting the depot during morning and afternoon runs have been blocked at the crossing by slow or stopped trains.

First Student district manager Steven Merner said the random delays happen two or three times a week and can last up to forty-five minutes.

“We notify the districts. Unfortunately, it’s become such a frequent occurrence that they dread our phone calls when we do have the call them that the buses are late because of trains,” said First Student district manager Steven Merner.

The bus company said it is increasingly concerned about children waiting longer in the cold weather.

Melissa Miranda is a Joliet mother of eight who said her kids have been delayed recently.

“They wait inside the house now because it’s too cold to stand outside,” Miranda said. “It takes terribly long for the buses to get here sometimes in the morning.”

A district administrator for Will County School District 92 said delays are causing safety concerns and interrupting class time.

“We have some classmates that are here. Other classmates that are not here. The teacher then has to turn around and go back from the beginning on a lesson plan,” said assistant superintendent Teresa Bishop.

According to state records, the Oakland Avenue train crossing arm was activated for ten minutes or longer on 26 occasions in January 2017. The activations were recorded at various times of the day, however.

Still, things don’t seem any better a year later.

“We don’t want our kids standing out on corners for ten or fifteen minutes longer than they need to,” Bishop said.

Canadian National owns the tracks near the bus depot. A railroad spokesperson said stops are not planned. But they could be the result of trains slowing down, speeding up or crew changes.

The railroad also moved a safety device in recent years from Plainfield to an area closer to Crest Hill. The device, called a hotbox detector, monitors for overheating wheels and can stop a train. The decision to relocate the hotbox detector was made after residents of Plainfield complained about delays at several crossings.

“By removing the problems we were having with the north bound trains that caused tremendous headaches in Plainfield, it improves the overall traffic,” said CN spokesperson Patrick Wharton. “CN can continue to operate and serve Chicago and the American economy, but be sensitive to the needs of motorists in these communities.”

Wharton said school buses exiting the First Student depot can drive the opposite direction on Oakland Avenue and still make their runs on time. Additionally, the mayor of Crest Hill said the city has a good relationship with First Student and buses would be allowed to go through neighborhoods in the case of long train delays.

The bus company said it would prefer not to create so much noise in the neighborhoods.

“When you’re talking about five-thirty, six in the morning, you have a large number of diesel buses going through the community, it’s rather disturbing to all of our neighbors,” Merner said.

The Chicago area continues to be the busiest rail hub in the country and there are dozens of projects in the works to speed up traffic.

You can contact the Illinois Commerce Commission if you have an issue with a train crossing.

<![CDATA[Democratic Candidates Clash in Sun-Times Forum]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:41:03 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/dem+gov+forum1.png

Six of the Democratic candidates for governor clashed in a heated meeting before the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board on Wednesday.

The candidates exchanged rhetorical barbs over property tax appeals, support of House Speaker Mike Madigan, and the millions of dollars that are poised to turn the race into the most expensive campaign in the United States.

Candidate Daniel Biss blasted frontrunners J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy, saying that they both gamed the property tax system to get extra money.

“When you again and again use the system to decrease your own property taxes, when you rip the toilets out of your mansion to decrease your property tax, that doesn’t take away money from schools,” Biss said. “That just drives up my property tax bill.”

 Kennedy, whom Pritzker attacked for using “existing property tax laws and connected lawyers” to get a tax break on his Wolf Point Project, went after the businessman for his refusal to distance himself from Madigan and Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.

“Pritzker’s really there to protect the status quo,” Kennedy said. “People like Mike Madigan and Joe Berrios.”

All of the candidates were asked about the controversial figures, as Madigan has featured prominently in Republican attack ads and Berrios has come under scrutiny for his office’s reported failures to properly assess thousands of Cook County properties.

“The reality is that we would have to work with Mike Madigan as long as he’s in that position,” candidate Tio Hardiman said. “I don’t agree with Mike Madigan though.”

While the candidates spent a good amount of time drawing distinctions between their records and those of their opponents, they also directed plenty of criticism at Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

“We have to beat Bruce Rauner and nominate someone who doesn’t have the connections to these unpopular politicians,” Biss said. “It’s a risk the Democrats can’t afford to take.’

The subject of plenty of criticism himself, Pritzker tried to issue a call to Democrats to unite against Rauner, who has been ranked as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the next election cycle.

“I think we ought to be focusing on Bruce Rauner,” he said. “That’s what every one of these Democrats ought to be doing. The failings of this governor are immense.” 

<![CDATA[Record-Setting Weight Lifter Shares His Incredible Story]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:16:34 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Matt+Byrne+1-17.jpg

Record-setting weightlifter Steve Johnson has accomplished incredible things in his life, but the challenges he’s faced along the way make his story even more remarkable.

Johnson set a new U.S. raw deadlift record last summer when he lifted an incredible 909.4 pounds.

“The reaction explains it all,” he said. “It’s so exciting, because not only did I set the record – I’ve joined the smallest, most elite group of deadlifters in the entire world.”

Life wasn’t always easy for Johnson, as he has gone through homelessness and a whole host of other adverse circumstances on his way to the top, but he’s grateful for the experience.

“In a way, I’m thankful for what’s happened,” he said. “Because if it never happened, would I have ever turned out to be this good at what I do? Or would I have had the same mentality and mindset?”

Back in 2005, Johnson was out of a job, and he even was evicted from his apartment. He found sanctuary in the gym, living in the parking lot of an XSport Fitness location in Arlington Heights where he worked out.

Johnson’s motto, honed and put to good use during his trials and tribulations, has served him well over the years.

“Train like you feel you’re about to die, and then train some more,” he said.

That message has inspired countless other weight lifters and athletes, and Johnson's Instagram feed is loaded with those kinds of stories:

[[469829303, C]]

Now, Johnson has his eyes on a new goal, as he’s looking to deadlift a half-ton of weight.

“It’s not a matter of if I pull 1000 pounds,” he said. “It’s a matter of when.” 

Photo Credit: Matt Byrne/NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Crate & Barrel to Close Flagship Michigan Avenue Store]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:05:00 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CRATE+AND+BARREL+MICHIGAN+AVE+-+00515804_30498010.jpg

After 27 years, Crate & Barrel will vacate its iconic Michigan Avenue storefront at the end of the month to make room for the world’s largest Starbucks said to open in Chicago next year.

Curbed Chicago reports the company will close its flagship store along the Magnificent Mile on Jan. 24, possibly sooner. 

"This building has a unique way of becoming a beacon for a brand, and I can’t think of a better retailer than Starbucks to offer Chicago something new and exciting with its Reserve Roastery,” Gordon Segal, founder of Crate and Barrel, said in a statement.

Starbucks secured a building permit with an estimated $10 million in construction costs for the 43,000-square-foot space at 646 N. Michigan Ave. The space will reopen as a four-story Starbucks Reserve Roastery that will include a bakery and a rooftop deck.

According to the company, the roastery will be a “fully sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world.”

The interactive space will feature multiple brewing methods, a new menu of coffees and mixology and fresh baking on-site.

It will be the third roastery to open in the U.S. behind the flagship Seattle location, which opened in 2014, and one slated to open in New York this year.

<![CDATA['Fireball' Lights Up Midwestern Sky, Sets Twitter Ablaze]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:32:54 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/231*120/BrightflashoflightMichigan.png

Twitter ignited Tuesday night after users reported hearing a “boom” in southeastern Michigan and began sharing videos of what appeared to be a meteor flaring in the night sky.

The National Weather Service confirmed the flash and boom was not thunder or lightning "but instead a likely meteor."

The U.S. Geological Survey said a meteor blew up over the Detroit area Tuesday night with enough force to register as a 2.0 earthquake, NPR reported.

Adler Planetarium spokesperson Michelle Nichols said a sonic boom occured and the energy of the explosion was the cause of the earthquake.

"This thing came into into the earth's atmosphere, screamin' in...really fast, and the air in front of it just couldn't get out of the way, and so pressure built up, this thing exploded," said Nichols.

Law enforcement agencies in the area asked witnesses to stop calling 911 to report the meteor, saying they were tying up the phone lines. Ingham County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said it received multiple calls about 7:30 p.m.

“There is no need to call 911,” the agency said in a Facebook post. “It's a natural meteor fireball.”

The American Meteor Society’s website was “overloaded” after the celestial event.

“Major event in Michigan. Server is getting overloaded. We'll be back asap, check back soon,” the crashed site reads. It also suggests if a fireball was seen it should be reported at fireballs.imo.net.

Twitter users and brands were quick to share video and reports of the fireball that was reportedly seen in Illinois, Michigan, Canada and Ohio.

Photo Credit: twitter.com/bgandrew1
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<![CDATA[17 Hospitalized in Incident at Chicago Meat Authority: CFD]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:52:54 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/EMS+PLAN2+-+09332802_30493507.jpg

Seventeen people were taken to area hospitals, some in serious condition, after emergency responders were called to the Chicago Meat Authority Wednesday morning.

Chicago Police said multiple people at the South Side meat business were complaining of difficulty breathing following a carbon monoxide leakage caused by a malfunctioning fan.

Multiple ambulances were called to the scene at 8:48 a.m. in the 1100 block of West 47th Place, authorities said.

Chicago Fire Media tweeted there have been a total of 17 transports to area hospitals and one refusal so far.

According to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt, eight of them are in good condition, five in fair-to-serious condition and four in serious condition.

Check back for more on this developing story. 

<![CDATA[Trump Admin Moves to Bar Agricultural, Seasonal Worker Visas]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:05:10 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-2148503.jpg

The Trump administration is moving to prohibit people from Haiti — which the president allegedly insulted in a meeting last week — from applying for visas for seasonal and farm workers.

The Department of Homeland Security has given notice it plans to prohibit people from Haiti, as well as Belize and Samoa, ineligible to apply for H-2A and H-2B visas, which are temporary. The H-2A visa is for agriculture and the H-2B is for non-agricultural seasonal work in places such as resorts.

In the notice, DHS said that Haitians applying for the visas “present extremely high rates of refusal." DHS also said it stopped taking Belize applications because the country is not complying with U.S. anti-trafficking laws. And Samoa is now listed as “at risk of non-compliance” because it has not made progress in accepting back nationals deported from the U.S. 

Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Center for Global Development, said barring Haitians from the visa will encourage illegal migration to the U.S. and hurt the U.S. economy. "Haitian farmworkers on the H-2A visa that I have studied in Alabama added $4,000 to the U.S. economy per worker, per month," said Clemens, who is a labor economist.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Street Curling Rink' Sets Up Shop in Chicago]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:40:38 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Curling+Rink+Chicago+1-17.png

If you'd like to try your hand at curling, there's a fantastic spot downtown that you can head to. NBC 5's Sabrina Santucci reveals where it is, and what you can expect when you get there. 

<![CDATA[Chicago Women in Government Wear Black for #MeToo]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:18:17 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WOMEN+IN+BLACK+NEWSER+-+10403120_30495776.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Porn Star Described Affair With Trump in 2011 Interview]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:16:19 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Donald-Trump-Stormy-Daniels.jpg

Adult movie actress Stormy Daniels purportedly denied having an extramarital affair with Donald Trump back in 2006, but she told a different story in 2011, according to a recently rediscovered magazine interview published Wednesday.

InTouch magazine has just made public a 7-year-old interview with Daniels in which she claims that a sexual relationship with Trump began after she met the future president at a celebrity golf tournament in July 2006 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

NBC News has reached out to Daniels, Spears, Moz and the White House for comment on the InTouch interview but received no response.

The InTouch interview surfaced after The Wall Street Journal reported last week that a lawyer for Trump, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 in hush money a month before the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen also provided a statement that was signed in the name of Daniels that called rumors of the affair and hush money "completely false.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Battle Over Silverstein's Petition Signatures Continues]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:58:29 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SILVERSTEIN+HEARING+.png

The legal battle over whether state Sen. Ira Silverstein will be on the primary election ballot dragged on Wednesday as lawyers made their closing remarks before a final recommendation to the Chicago Board of Elections.

In the basement of the George W Dunne Cook County Office building, Hearing Officer Maurice Sone announced he would not make his recommendation Wednesday, citing the “voluminous” amount of evidence proposed by each side.

However, a decision was expected within three to four days and, regardless of the outcome, an appeal is likely.

Silverstein, a veteran lawmaker representing Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, has been embroiled in allegations of sexual misconduct since October.

A woman lobbying for a crime bill accused him of misconduct, claiming Silverstein sponsored her legislation “with the intent to degrade her” and publishing Facebook messages the two had exchanged over the course of 17 months.

In late December, election officials notified Silverstein’s campaign that he did not have enough signatures on his nominating petitions to remain on the ballot for the upcoming Democratic primary. In Illinois, at least 1,000 signatures must be collected in support of a candidate to be placed on the ballot, and Silverstein’s campaign delivered 1,999, though a legal challenge to the validity of some left him under the minimum requirement.

In response, Silverstein’s election lawyer James Nally filed 100 affidavits on the lawmaker’s behalf on Jan. 8 from individuals who swore under oath they had signed petitions for the embattled incumbent. However, another review — this time by Sone — dismissed the majority of those affidavits for inconsistencies in the signatures between the petitions, affidavits and voter registration cards, keeping Silverstein 19 signatures short, at last count.

The following Wednesday, more than 30 witnesses appeared in court to testify on Silverstein’s behalf, and several handwriting experts were called to speak on the petition and affidavit signatures.

Since then, Ross Secler, the attorney challenging Silverstein’s petitions, has argued that the evidence submitted in his favor did not fall within an acceptable time frame – claiming Wednesday that the issue “calls into question this entire process.”

On Wednesday, Secler suggested the possibility of fraud, referring to a witness who came to testify earlier in the month before realizing that her signature wasn’t on the petitions as her street address was spelled incorrectly.

Nally dismissed the idea of fraud, arguing that one rejected signature could not affect the validity of the rest.

Four other Democrats have filed to oppose Silverstein for the 8th District seat including Ram Villivalam, Zehra Quadri, David Zulkey and Caroline McAteer-Fournier.

<![CDATA[Rauner Leads Ives in GOP Primary, Poll Shows]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:25:58 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rauner+ives.png

A Republican primary poll released Wednesday had a bit of sunshine for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in an otherwise dreary month.

Rauner leads his opponent state Rep. Jeanne Ives by more than 50 percentage points in name recognition and 40 points in voting likelihood, according to the survey conducted by polling firm We Ask America.

Sixty-eight percent of Illinois Republicans surveyed said they have never heard of Ives, the poll found.

Rauner has name recognition well over 99 percent among those surveyed, a 65 percent favorability rating, and was also projected to win 65 percent of the vote if the GOP primary was held at the time of the poll.

Just under 15 percent of voters are undecided, according to We Ask America.

The governor’s good news came after a bumpy stretch of scandals and missteps from the Rauner camp in recent weeks. Last month, he was criticized widely for his administration's handling of a Legionnaires' outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, where 13 people have died since 2015.

Then on Monday, Rauner fumbled in answering a question about whether former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is racist - raising eyebrows and drawing considerable blowback.

The blow to Ives arrived less than a week after she won a straw poll of the Chicago Republican Party by an overwhelming 17-3 vote.

Ives said she entered the race following Rauner's decision to sign into law a measure to allow Illinois to cover abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients, as well as to keep abortion legal in Illinois should the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Ives' gubernatorial campaign responded to the poll Wednesday with skepticism, arguing it was common sense that a sitting governor of three years would be ahead at this point of the race.

"His inch deep support will dissipate quickly once GOP voters are aware of the choice they have," a spokesman for the campaign said in a statement.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 14 and 16 by phone using both automated and live callers to contact 1,026 likely Republican voters, according to We Ask America.

Just under half of the responses were from cell phones, according to the polling firm, which has a “C” rating from FiveThirtyEight in “the historical accuracy of each firm’s polls along with its methodology.”

<![CDATA[Emanuel Says Chicago Will Look to Pursue Apple's New Campus]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:53:30 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/city+council+part+2+WOJO+-+01294904_30499133.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that the City will look to persuade Apple to build its newly announced campus in Chicago.

The tech giant revealed plans Wednesday to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers over the next five years, pledging $350 billion toward the effort.

“Apple’s roots in Chicago are deep,” Emanuel said at a news conference Wednesday. “They’re opening up across the globe 25 very unique stores, Chicago was number one – first store they opened up.”

Touting the city’s ranking as number one in the country for corporate relocations for four years in a row, Emanuel said the access to “world class talent,” “world class transportation” and affordable living makes Chicago stand out for companies looking to expand.

“I don’t know what Apple is looking for, but whatever it is we're gonna go compete and put our best foot forward,” he added.

Apple’s announcement and Emanuel’s declaration came three months to the day after Chicago submitted its bid to become home to Amazon’s second headquarters.

Amazon announced plans for another headquarters in 2017, pledging to invest $5 billion in a new site that will eventually house 50,000 employees.

Apple did not release detailed information on its plans to solicit proposals from cities, but the California-based company said that like Amazon, it would announce the chosen location later this year.

<![CDATA[10 Fast Facts About Speedskating Star Shani Davis]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:39:15 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-901955760.jpg Thin crust or thick crust? Cubs or White Sox? U.S. Olympian Shani Davis loves Chicago, and he has plenty of opinions on the city's hottest debate topics.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Orders City to Get Its Act Together on Police Records]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:58:39 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/6PM+PKG+POLICE+SHOOTING+EVIDENCE+-+00000000_30498371.jpg

An exasperated Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ordered the City of Chicago to gets its records in order in the next 24 hours, in a simmering police shooting case where defense attorneys have accused city lawyers of withholding evidence.

During a hearing Wednesday morning at the Dirksen Federal Building, Pallmeyer cut a city attorney off as he was attempting to explain the difficulty in getting an officer’s complete disciplinary history. 

“You’re responsible to find out,” Pallmeyer said. “This is your client!” 

The controversy has arisen in the case of Jaquise Evans, who was 16 when he was shot by Chicago Police officer Richard Salvador in August of 2015. Salvador maintained that Evans had pointed a gun at him. But those charges were thrown out by a Cook County judge, and now Evans is suing Salvador and the City of Chicago for his injuries. 

Last week, Evans’ attorneys said they had just been made aware of a video showing Salvador cursing at a cuffed suspect 8 weeks before the Evans shooting. The late revelations of that video infuriated Pallmeyer, especially after she learned city attorneys had been aware of its existence last April, and that it had been written off by a supervisor as a mere episode where they officer might have used bad language. 

“To call what happened on that video nothing more than use of profanity is just---nobody in this room believes that,” Pallmeyer said. “It was threatening violence on an arrestee!” 

The day after that hearing, Evans’ lawyers said city lawyers revealed three complaints against the officer, known as CR’s, which had never been produced before. Those revelations prompted today’s hearing, where city attorney Scott Cohen described a cumbersome system where the city’s disciplinary agency COPA doesn’t always inform CPD, or even the officers themselves about complaints on a timely basis. 

Pallmeyer, well known for her friendly and gentle manner on the bench, made no effort to hide her anger. 

“Let’s assume if an officer tells you he doesn’t have any, you follow up anyway,” Pallmeyer said. “A procedure will be put in place in this case within 24 hours---24 hours for there to be complete disclosure of everything!” 

Defense attorney Michael Oppenheimer complained that the city had ample time to have turned over critical evidence. 

“Now we know there are open CR’s where Salvador gave a statement---we don’t have that statement,” he said. 

“Well, we’re going to have all of those within 24 hours,” Pallmeyer replied. 

The judge set another hearing on the matter for Friday to gauge the City’s compliance. The case is set for trial later this month.

<![CDATA[Norge Ski Club Makes History at 2018 Olympics]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:48:49 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/norge+ski+club+thumb.jpg

It is an Olympic sport that is not for the faint of heart: ski jumping.

Athletes must race down a very steep incline before launching themselves off a massive hill. Ski jumpers have been taking off at the historic Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove since 1905.

In its history, the Norge Ski Club has never had an athlete make an Olympic team – until this year. 

Michael Glasder, 28, of Cary has qualified for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Team, after narrowly missing the last two teams.

Kevin Bickner, 21, of Wauconda, Casey Larson, 19, of Barrington and A.J. Brown, 22, of Fox River Grove are all vying for Olympic spots. The entire team is expected to be announced on Jan. 22. 

“It is really exciting. It gives me goosebumps,” said Guy Larson, who is on the Board of Directors for the Norge Ski Club. He is also the father of Olympic hopeful Casey Larson. 

“It’s huge for our organization. To have one, potentially two, maybe even three athletes from Norge, to be representing the U.S. from this ski club in Fox River Grove is so cool,” said Larson. 

Glasder, Bickner, Larson and Brown all grew up jumping on the 5-meter hill at Norge Ski Club, eventually making their way up to the largest 70-meter hill. 

“You think of that journey when they came out here when they were five or six years old to where they are today. It’s been an incredible journey.” 

Ski jumping also takes place at the Norge Ski Club year round. During the spring and summer months, a special turf that simulates snow is laid down. Equipment is also available for rent at Norge. 

“The suits, the boots, the skis,” said Larson. “(Athletes) are using those skis as wings. It makes them fly farther.” 

Cara Larson, 17, is a junior at Barrington High School, who started jumping when she was five years old. She followed her brother Casey to Norge, and the siblings both fell in love with the sport. 

“It’s the thrill,” said Cara, who is on the U.S. Women’s National Team. “Every jump is completely different and new. I never get tired of flying through the air.” 

Cara said seeing the success of her older brother and friends is an inspiration for her own Olympic dreams. 

“To see them make it is really cool and just pushes me even harder,” said Cara.

Photo Credit: Katie Kim]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders: Flake Only Criticizing Trump Because of Low Poll Numbers]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:46:05 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_WH_BRIEFING_011718-151622134311900002.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Senator Jeff Flake's speech on the senate floor was made due to low poll numbers than an actual sincere criticism of President Trump. Sanders also talked about Steve Bannon's lawyer relaying information from the House Intelligence committee's questions to his client directly back to the White House, saying it is "standard procedure."

<![CDATA[Stunning Photos at the Norge Ski Club]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:43:05 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/norge+jump+thumb.jpg Ski jumpers have been taking off at the historic Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove since 1905.

Photo Credit: Katie Kim]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says N. Korea Close on Missile, Russia Helping Regime]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:32:51 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-905685696.jpg

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Russia is helping North Korea get supplies in violation of international sanctions and that Pyongyang is getting "closer every day" to developing a long-range missile that could hit the United States, Reuters reported.

"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea," Trump said during an Oval Office interview with Reuters. "What China is helping us with, Russia is denting. In other words, Russia is making up for some of what China is doing."

With North Korea persisting as the major global challenge facing Trump this year, the president cast doubt during the 53-minute interview on whether talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be useful. And he said Pyongyang is steadily advancing in being able to deliver a missile that could threaten the United States. 

"They're not there yet, but they're close. And they get closer every day," said Trump.

Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]]>