<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.com en-usTue, 25 Sep 2018 02:25:37 -0500Tue, 25 Sep 2018 02:25:37 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Taxpayers Spend Thousands to Contradict ‘Code of Silence']]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 22:44:41 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/code+of+silence+investigates+bga.jpg

It was perhaps Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s most emotional moment to date: A speech he gave before the Chicago City Council in 2015, during the fallout from the city’s handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, in which the mayor acknowledged that a “code of silence” existed within the Chicago Police Department.

"It is the tendency to deny,” Emanuel said at the time of the CPD. “It is the tendency – in some cases – to cover up the bad actions of a colleague or colleagues."

But NBC5 Investigates, in a joint investigation with the Better Government Association, has discovered that the city has been paying a police expert to testify the precise opposite: That there is no “code of silence” within the CPD.

NBC5 and the BGA found at least 26 civil court cases where Jeffrey Noble, a police expert based in southern California, has been hired by the city’s Law Department to offer testimony in lawsuits filed by people claiming that they were victims of Chicago police misconduct. Noble has billed city taxpayers more than $325,000 for his testimony in those 26 cases.

In many of those cases, NBC5 and the BGA found that Noble specifically offered his expert opinion that there was no “code of silence” within the CPD. That includes five cases where Noble offered his testimony after Emanuel made that 2015 speech. In all five of those cases, Noble directly contradicted the mayor by specifically testifying that there was no such “code of silence.” The cost to taxpayers for those five cases alone: More than $165,000.

For more details about the joint NBC5/BGA investigation click here.

<![CDATA[Woman Groped, Husband Attacked by Motorcyclist in Noble Square]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2018 02:17:14 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Motorcycle+Noble+Sq+-+00000000_33773011.jpg

A 33-year-old woman says she was riding her bike to the grocery store when she was sexually attacked by a man on a motorcycle Saturday afternoon in Noble Square.

The East Village resident, who prefers to remain anonymous in fear of possible retaliation, says two motorcyclists pulled up beside her at the North Milwaukee Avenue and West Augusta Blvd. intersection.

The victim says just as the street light turned green, one man went behind her and grabbed her buttocks before taking off.

According to the woman, her 35-year-old husband shortly followed the motorcyclists toward North Milwaukee Avenue and West Division Street, to confront them.

As soon as she caught up to her husband, she said she saw him laying unconsciously on the pavement.

Confused as to what occurred, the woman said her instinct was to immediately check his chest for gunshot wounds—assuming the worst.

A witness took photos of the bright green motorcycle involved, the victim said, and told police that the man on the motorcycle punched the victim's husband—causing him to fall to the ground.

The offender riding a lime green motorcycle, was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the words "Legalize Wheelies" on the back, with a helmet covered in stickers, police said.

The victim told NBC 5 she is ok physically, though her husband suffered a concussion.

Anyone who recognizes the motorcyclist is urged to contact authorities immediately.

<![CDATA[Woman Says She Contracted Legionnaires' Disease in Chicago]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:52:38 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/5P+PKG+LEGIONNAIRES+VICTIM+-+00000414_33771668.jpg

A woman who stayed a downtown hotel on a trip to Chicago said she was unknowingly exposed to a dangerous bacteria during her stay.

Public health officials said last week that two people, who both stayed at the Embassy Suites hotel at 600 North State Street, contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said it was not known if the hotel was the source of the bacteria but that potential exposure sites were being sampled.

Sharon, who was visiting from Lawrence, Massachusetts, said she was healthy when she arrived in the city, but began feeling ill after using the hot tub at the hotel.

“The following day I feel like me and my husband feel like allergies are acting up,” she said.

As she returned home, the symptoms worsened.

“I started to have flu-like symptoms and developed a very bad fever,” Sharon said.

On Sept. 11, she was admitted to the intensive care unit of a local hospital and diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease.

“I was in respiratory shock,” she said.

Sharon was released from the hospital nine days later and said she quickly contacted the hotel and told a manager about her diagnosis. She later contacted the city’s health department and action was taken.

“Our primary concern is always the safety and well-being of our guests and employees,” hotel General Manager Ed Buckley said in a statement. “We are working closely with the city and are taking all appropriate steps as directed by the Disease Control division at the Chicago Department of Public Health while they conduct their investigation.”

The hotel’s fountain, hot tubs and pool remained closed Monday while testing continued, officials said. They maintain there is “no risk to the public.”

<![CDATA[See the New Course for the 2018 Chicago Marathon]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:28:54 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-8590219721.jpg

NOTE: NBC 5 will offer complete live coverage of the 2017 race beginning at 7 a.m. CT online and on TV on Oct. 7. The race can be streamed live from around world on the NBC Chicago app, which will also offer a live stream of the finish line from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

More than 40,000 runners will traverse 26.2 miles of Windy City streets for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon -- but things will be a bit different this year. 

The route has changed slightly for 2018. 

The start and finish line areas are still located in Grant Park on Columbus Drive. The 26.2-mile course runs through 29 Chicago neighborhoods. The route extends north to Sheridan Rd., west to Damen Ave. and south to 35th St.

Here's what it looks like: 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Kavanaugh Speaks Out After Sexual Misconduct Allegations]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 22:30:08 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kavanaughalleg.jpg

Brett Kavanaugh fights back on national television Monday tonight, appearing with his wife on Fox News. He categorically denied accusations from two women of sexual misconduct going back to his high school and college years. NBC 5's Patrick Fazio has the details.

<![CDATA[Search For Chicago's 2018 Official Christmas Tree Underway]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:54:12 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/chicago-christmas-tree-11-21.jpg

Is it possible the winter holidays are approaching sooner this year?

It might feel that way now that the search is on for Chicago's next official Christmas tree. 

Submissions must be 55 feet or taller, a spruce or fir (pine trees are ineligible), and located less than 100 miles from the city's Loop. 

At least two photos of the tree, one close up and one from afar, must be submitted by Oct. 19. 

To nominate a tree, submissions must include the owner’s name, address, phone and email along with a brief description on why the tree should be Chicago's offical Christmas tree, including any additional background information as to what makes the tree special.

[[492960661, C]]

Entries can be sent via email to DCASE@cityofchicago.org or via mail to: Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, ATTN: Christmas Tree Contest, 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, IL. 60602.  

The selection will be announced in early November, city officials said. 

The 105th lighting of the tree ceremony is set for Nov. 16 at Millennium Park. 

For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.

<![CDATA[Cubs Can Clinch Playoff Spot Monday Night]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 19:22:14 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-969227378.png

If the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night, they could potentially accomplish something that they never have. 

The Cubs, who just took two of three games from the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, have a two and a half game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the Central Division, but they could wrap up at least a wild card game berth on Monday night if they win, and if the Colorado Rockies lose their game to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

If both results occur, then the Cubs would make the postseason for the fourth straight year, something that the team has never done before in its 140-year history. 

The Cubs are also trying to win the Central Division title for the third straight year, another feat the team has never accomplished. 

The Cubs and Pirates will get started at 7:05 p.m. at Wrigley Field, while the Rockies and Phillies will get underway at 7:40 p.m. at Coors Field in Denver. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CTA Bus Drivers Demand More Protection Amidst Recent Attacks ]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 18:27:04 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ctabus1.jpg

Bus drivers in the Chicago area are pushing for tougher action against people who attack them on the job. NBC 5's Christian Farr has the details on the possible new security measures.

<![CDATA[Six Flags St. Louis Dares Visitors to a 30-Hour Coffin Challenge ]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:55:55 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/212*120/pumpkin27.jpg

The Six Flags in St. Louis, Missouri is challenging dwellers during the theme park’s Fright Fest 2018, to spend 30 hours straight inside a coffin in celebration of their ‘30 Years of Screams.’

Six Flags announced a total of six people will be chosen to spend more than a day inside a coffin starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 until 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14—with no opportunity to leave the premise except for designated bathroom breaks—for the chance to win $300 and keep their handcrafted coffin.

Coffin dwellers are allowed to bring a friend during Fright Fest operating hours, though the theme park warns “they must brave the non-operating hours alone,” the official site states.

[[493988461, C]]

Winners will also win two 2019 Gold Season Passes, a Fright Fest prize package including two VIP Haunted House passes, a ticket for two to ride the Freak Train for Freaks Unleashed.

Coffin Dweller Requirements:

-Must be 18 years or older and have a photo ID for verification

-Cannot have any medical condition(s) where participating could be a health risk 

-Complete and sign a waiver at check-in  

-Must be able to completely lay in a 2’ x 7’ coffin

-Provide own pillow and sleeping bag or blankets

-Check in at Six Flags St. Louis by 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13

Six Flags St. Louis will provide:

-Six, deluxe, 2’ x 7’, slightly used coffins

-Breakfast in bed (well all meals, snacks and drinks in bed actually)

-One, six-minute bathroom break every hour

-Random visits by 'Fright Fest Freaks'

-A Six Flags representative will be present at all times

-Phone charging stations       

Six Flags will choose the six participants on Oct. 4 and dwellers must accept by Oct. 6.

Click here to register. For those interested, the deadline is Oct. 3 at midnight.

[[492960661, C]]

Photo Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[18 Convictions Overturned in Cases Tied to Disgraced Cop]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:25:59 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MASS+EXONERATION+HEARING+-+10135917_33767891.png

In an extraordinary move, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx did something Monday which isn't often done in Chicago's criminal justice system. 

She apologized. 

Foxx's comments were directed to 18 men, whose convictions had just been thrown out by Chief Judge Leroy Martin. All 18 were arrested at the hands of notorious police sergeant Ronald Watts and his tainted tactical unit, which critics say ran roughshod and virtually unsupervised for a decade on Chicago’s South Side. 

"The system owes an apology to the men who stand behind us,” Foxx declared, after standing at the back of the court and shaking hands with each of the plaintiffs as they walked from the bench. "We know that what was happening with Sgt. Watts, and the way he ran his operation, is that there were many men and women who fell victim to his corrupt ways."

While even fellow officers pointed to corruption in the unit, only Watts and one of his officers, Kallatt Mohammed, were ever prosecuted for shaking down and framing residents of the Ida B. Wells housing project. Both went to prison. 

"It's noteworthy to me who's not here, and that's the city and the Chicago Police Department," attorney Joshua Tepfer said after court. "(They) really owe the apology to these men and so many others, for letting this happen and covering it up for so long." 

Indeed, residents of the Wells housing project had long argued that residents there were being unjustly targeted. 

"They put cases on people who didn't cooperate with their corrupt schemes, took bribes, stole money and drugs from drug dealers, and really ruined the lives of dozens---maybe hundreds," attorney Joel Flaxman said. "These officers knew who they were, would go after them, and would frame them over and over again."

With Monday's exonerations, at least 42 individuals have now seen their convictions overturned. And the State’s Attorney’s office says it is examining many more. 

"I believe in the interest of public safety in Cook County, we must have a criminal justice system that has integrity and credibility," Foxx said. "That means that we have to admit when things have gone wrong and actively work to fix it." 

"Maybe this is a day of reckoning," attorney Sean Starr told reporters. "We hope that the officers that are on the street that see things happening-don't continue to play a complicit part in this. Speak up."

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Rosenstein, Future in Doubt, to Meet With Trump Thursday]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:06:26 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/1039389112-Rosenstein-John-Kelly-White-House.jpg

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet on Thursday with President Donald Trump, the White House said Monday, amid conflicting reports about Rosenstein's fate in the administration.

Trump has been weighing whether to fire him, and a report that Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the special counsel's Russia investigation, was resigning set off hours of speculation in media reports. But press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' statement on the Thursday meeting appeared to demonstrate that Rosenstein would remain secure in his role for at least a few days.

Sanders indicated that Rosenstein, who was at the White House for hours Monday, talked to Trump Monday. The president is in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.

"At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories," Sanders said. "Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C."

NBC News worked to confirm multiple reports that Rosenstein was being fired or resigning. Sources close to Rosenstein and the president offered contradictory claims about the deputy attorney general's position in the administration.

After being at the White House for several hours, Rosenstein joined a previously scheduled meeting with high-level White House officials, a Justice Department official told NBC News. As Rosenstein departed the White House, chief of staff John Kelly was seen shaking his hand.

Later, Trump addressed the Thursday meeting, saying: “We’ll be determining what’s going on. We want to have transparency, we want to have openness.”

It remains unclear if Rosenstein ever intended to resign, or if the White House contemplated firing him. He discussed his future in the administration with the top White House lawyer over the weekend, sources said. Several people familiar with the discussion told NBC News that Rosenstein contemplated resigning but others were determined to stay in the job unless Trump fired him directly.

The reports of Rosenstein's departure brought uproar from some Democrats in Washington.

"This looks to me like a slow-moving Saturday night massacre," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said on MSNBC, referring to the Saturday in 1973 when President Richard Nixon's deputy attorney general quit rather than fire the Watergate special prosecutor.

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that Rosenstein "should under no circumstances resign."

In a radio interview that aired Monday morning, Trump was asked about Rosenstein's future in light of a recent report that Rosenstein had talked about a way to remove Trump from office. Trump said that he didn't want to comment on it until he got more facts.

"But certainly it's being looked at in terms of what took place, if anything took place," Trump told Geraldo Rivera in an interview taped over the weekend.

But multiple sources told NBC News that Trump decided over the weekend not to fire Rosenstein after consulting with staff and outside allies, including Fox News host Sean Hannity and influential Republican Rep. Mark Meadows.

Meadows wants Rosenstein to testify under oath about whether or not he ever thought about wearing a wire durign meetings with Trump or invoking the 25th Amendment, which provides a process for replacing the president if he or she is unable to fulfill their duties, as The New York Times reported last week. A Justice Department official and a source in the room countered the Times report to NBC News, saying that Rosenstein's discussion about wearing a wire was sarcastic.

The situation among Trump's allies is "chaos," according to an NBC News source who is close to the White House.

Rosenstein's ouster would throw the future of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election into doubt. Special counsel Robert Mueller has reported to Rosenstein because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

The Times reported that Rosenstein made the suggestions to record Trump and invoke the 25th Amendment in the spring of 2017, after the president had fired James Comey, the FBI director. The suggestions also reportedly came after it was revealed the president had asked Comey to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security advisor, the Times reported.

Rosenstein had written a memo that was used to justify the president's firing of Comey by criticizing his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Rosenstein was afraid he had been used, according to the Times. That report cited people briefed on meetings and conversations or on memos documenting Rosenstein's actions written by FBI officials, including Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI chief who also was fired, nearly a year after Comey.

McCabe said in a statement Monday that he "had no role" in providing information to media organizations about the aftermath of Comey's firing. He also said he personally made sacrifices to protect Mueller's investigation.

"If the rumors of Deputy AG's Rosenstein's departure are true, I am deeply concerned that it puts that investigation at risk," McCabe said.

Trump has long mulled firing Rosenstein, angry that the deputy attorney general appointed Mueller, whose probe Trump frequently calls a "witch hunt." Rosenstein took over the probe after Sessions recused himself in March 2017 over his earlier interactions with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

It's not clear who would take over the Russia probe if Rosenstein resigned or were fired. The next Justice Department official in line to perform the duties of the attorney general is Noel Francisco, the solicitor general.

Rosenstein told at least one confidant in April that he was prepared to be fired then and confident that he had done his job with integrity, NBC News reported at the time. Trump had been criticizing him publicly and was considering terminating him.

In private conversations, Rosenstein repeated the phrase, "Here I stand," referring to Christian reformer Martin Luther's quote, "Here I stand, I can do no other," sources who spoke to Rosenstein told NBC News.

In May, Rosenstein fired back against news reports that articles of impeachment against him were reportedly being drafted by Republican members of the House in a dispute over documents in the Russia probe.

"I can tell you there have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now, the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," he said in response to a question.

Photo Credit: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Van Dyke's Defense Attorneys Begin Calling Witnesses]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 18:46:59 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CT+van-dyke-tribune-pool-092018-Day-4-03-CT0082034188.png

Follow along live from court above and below. (NOTE: Not all witness testimony will be streamed live above. You may notice intermittent bars and pauses.)

After more than four years, Jason Van Dyke and his attorneys are telling their version of what happened the night Chicago teen Laquan McDonald was killed. 

The defense began their case Monday in the highly-publicized trial of the Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting that shook the city and the nation. And they're offering a new theory on what happened.

Special prosecutors rested their case against Van Dyke Thursday after calling 24 witnesses over three and a half days. 

Van Dyke is charged with murder after he shot McDonald 16 times the night of Oct. 20, 2014, on the city's Southwest Side.

Van Dyke's attorneys maintain the Chicago officer has been wrongly charged, saying he was acting within the law when he shot the teen, who at the time was an armed felon fleeing a crime scene. 

Among the first witnesses called Monday were other law enforcement officers who testified they had violent encounters with McDonald when he was a juvenile. 

"He came at me... he swung at me," said Miguel Dejesus with the Cook County Youth Detention Center. "I was able to pick him up and pin him against a glass partition." 

The defense also challenged the prosecution's autopsy analysis, alleging McDonald died shortly after one, maybe two, of the 16 shots fired. Previous reports indicated the teen died on his way to the hospital. 

"If it was the pulmonary artery, [his death] would have been minutes, maybe up to five minutes," testified pathologist Dr. Shaku Teas. 

Jurors have previously seen dashcam video showing the fatal shooting in which Van Dyke fired 16 shots at McDonald. But the defense plans to challenge the perspective of the video and show jurors a new recreation of the scene from Van Dyke's point of view. 

So far in the trial, the jury saw graphic autopsy images showing the more than a dozen gunshot wounds on the body of 17-year-old McDonald as a forensic pathologist detailed how each bullet affected the teen's body. 

They have heard testimony from several Chicago police officers and witnesses at the scene, seen the weapon Van Dyke used, and watched as FBI specialists demonstrated the shooting. 

Van Dyke has claimed he opened fire that night to protect himself and other officers. 

        With the end of the trial still more than a week away, both the McDonald family and the Van Dyke family are praying for justice. 

        "Justice is trying to figure out whether there was a murder," said Father Ed Cronin with St. Jane De Chantel Church. 

          4:08 p.m.: As trial of Jason Van Dyke enters the defense phase, his Parish Priest calls for peace. For. Ed Cronin says, “We are deeply troubled by the kinds of protests we see. This city needs to be a peace. This case cannot tear is apart again.”

          12:01 p.m.: Defense pathologist says Laquan McDonald likely died from a gunshot that went through his lungs. She says he died from blood loss. 

          “How fast did he die?"

          "If it was the pulmonary artery, it would have been minutes...maybe up to five minutes.”

          11:28 a.m.: Pathologist says Laquan McDonald died as the result of only a few of his wounds. When asked: “Are you saying he died before some of those other wounds had a chance to bleed?" Dr. Shaku Teas answered, “Probably. He had bad circulation”

          10:19 a.m.: Protests outside 26th and California as defense begins it’s case in the trial of Jason Van Dyke. First witness, a forensic pathologist re-examining autopsy of Laquan McDonald.

          Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune]]>
          <![CDATA[Local Runner Races Chicago Marathon for the 25th Time]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:41:23 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MARATHON_PROFILE.jpg
          The 41st running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is just two weeks away and this local Chicago-area runner is more than ready to compete for the 25th time. NBC 5's Alex Maragos has his story.
          <![CDATA[Michelle Obama Officiates Wedding in Chicago: Reports]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 12:31:13 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-981570654.png

          Michelle Obama returned to Chicago over the weekend to perform a special task - officiating a wedding along the lakefront.

          The former first lady reportedly made a quick stop in her hometown on Saturday to participate in the wedding ceremony of Stephanie Rivkin and Joel Sircus. 

          The wedding took place at the Theater on the Lake on the city's North Side, according to the couple's wedding announcement in The New York Times, which made no mention of Obama's appearance.

          One attendee posted a video on Instagram, according to TMZ, that shows Obama guiding Rivkin through a portion of her vows.

          "I promise to stand next to you and support you," Obama appears to read, before pointing the microphone at the bride to repeat the phrase, followed by "through all of life's trials and trails." 

          The video, captioned, "Holy Moly" with a heart emoji, and "That moment when Michelle Obama officiated at your couain's [sic] wedding," was later deleted, according to multiple reports.

          So how might the couple know the former first lady? Rivkin's father is the deputy mayor of Chicago, their wedding announcement says, and her mother is the president of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, the charity of Penny Pritzker, who was commerce secretary in the Obama administration. 

          It was a short trip home for Obama, who then jetted off to Las Vegas on Sunday to hold a campaign-style rally to encourage voter registration.

          She will be back in Chicago soon though, as she kicks off her 10-city tour to promote her upcoming book "Becoming" at the United Center on Nov. 13.

          Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
          <![CDATA[Solicitor General Who Could Take Over Russia Probe Has Questioned Role of Special Counsels]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:51:54 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_17130590128623.jpg

          With Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s job security in question, the spotlight is on the person next in line to oversee the Russia probe should Rosenstein be ousted: the solicitor general.

          Noel Francisco, who represents the Trump administration and the United States before the Supreme Court, could take over supervision of the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election -- a probe that President Donald Trump calls a witch hunt. Francisco has questioned the role of special counsels and has said that executive privilege shields presidents from most investigations, NRP and Mother Jones have reported.

          He told a House panel in 2007 that “my own personal belief is that when you hand these issues off to career prosecutors in the public integrity sections in the U.S. attorneys' offices in the Department of Justice, those attorneys are generally better able to assess whether a case should be pursued.”

          Politico noted too that he has accused fired FBI Director James Comey of political bias and the FBI of overreach. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he co-authored, Francisco suggested that Comey had used “kid gloves” in his investigation into possible criminal violations by Hillary Clinton, Politico reported. While a lawyer at the law firm Jones Day, he accused the FBI of overreach in its investigation of former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, arguing successfully that the Supreme Court should throw out the conviction because McDonnell had not acted on behalf of the businessman who gave him expensive gifts. 

          His past positions raise the question of whether he would view Robert Mueller's Russia probe as another example of partisan overreach, Politico wrote.

          Monday morning was filled with speculation that Rosenstein would be fired or would quit, but in the end, he remained in the job. Now Rosenstein is to meet with Trump on Thursday to discuss his future in the Justice Department.

          Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia probe because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself in light of his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

          Under Justice Department rules, the department's third-ranking official, the associate attorney general, should be Rosenstein’s successor, but the last associate attorney general, Rachel Brand, left early in the year and has not been replaced.

          Francisco, a member of the Federalist Society, was a clerk for the U.S. Justice Antonin Scalia and a law partner at Jones Day with White House counsel Don McGahn, NPR has reported. The solicitor general position, to which he was confirmed by a divided Senate, 50 to 47, is his “dream job,” NPR wrote.

          Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has cast doubt on Francisco’s ability to oversee the Russia probe.

          Christie told ABC News in April: "I can tell you, Noel Francisco, very talented lawyer, but to be Solicitor General, you have a specific skill set and running a Russia collusion investigation is probably not one of them.”

          Francisco was part of the team who helped former President George W. Bush in the recount in Florida during the 2000 election and went on to work in the Bush White House.

          He argued Trump’s travel bans before the Supreme Court, telling the court that the last iteration was not a so-called Muslim ban because it excluded most of the Muslim world. The court ultimately upheld the ban by a 5-4 vote.

          Photo Credit: Cliff Owen/AP]]>
          <![CDATA[Feds’ New Tool to Combat Opioid Crisis: Data]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:58:59 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+SF+OPIOID+STORY.00_00_02_18.Still010THUMB.jpg

          Federal officials have a new tool to battle the opioid crisis: data. The DEA’s “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area” program is using a web portal called the “OD Map” to track overdoses caused by opioids in real time. The program will help the agency target high-problem areas with resources and track the sources of the drugs.

          <![CDATA[Senate GOP's No-Win Situation Imperils Kavanaugh: Analysis]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:00:28 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/kavanaughAP_18247751396644.jpg

          Brett Kavanaugh's prospects of winning confirmation to the Supreme Court are dimming as Republicans grapple with the increasingly complicated politics of supporting him, NBC News reported.

          Legal analyst Andrew Napolitano said on Fox Business Monday that the nomination is "a case of lasting impressions" that doesn't rest on whether Kavanaugh can disprove the claims against him, which he denies.

          Republican organizer Matt Schlapp told NBC News there will be a "meltdown" in the party if Kavanaugh isn't confirmed, and that could doom its prospects in November's midterm elections.

          Many Republican senators are cautious or quiet altogether as the nomination twists in the wind.

          Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP, File]]>
          <![CDATA[How to Track Runners at the Chicago Marathon]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:17:36 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chicago+marathon+spectators+GettyImages-457114904.png

          With thousands of runners and millions of spectators, the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is undoubtedly going to draw a massive crowd.

          With so many participants and even more cheering fans, it will be tough to spot friends and family as they race through the 26.2 mile course. 

          Fortunately, race organizers have made it easy to track runners. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has its own mobile application that features live race-day runner tracking. 

          Runners and fans can download the app here for iPhone and here for Android, or by searching "Bank of America Chicago Marathon" in the App and Google Play stores.

          To add registered participants to your tracking list, simply search their name and add them to your favorites. You can track up to 20 runners through the app, which also includes an interactive course map, a schedule of events, and race photos.

          Runner tracking will also be available on the Chicago Marathon's website on race day, allowing spectators to view the race leaderboard, and follow friends and family by getting real-time updates and splits every 5 kilometers.

          For complete coverage, NBC 5 will live stream the race on NBCChicago.com and in the NBC Chicago app beginning at 7 a.m., including footage of runners along the route, elite racers and finish line cameras.

          Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
          <![CDATA[Watch the 2018 Chicago Marathon Live From Around the World]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:33:34 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-613603208+chicago+marathon.jpg

          NOTE: NBC Chicago will offer a live stream with complete race coverage beginning at 7 a.m. Oct. 7 right here.

          Not able to make it to Chicago to watch your favorite runners cross the finish line in person? 
          We've got you covered.

          Not able to make it to Chicago to watch your favorite runners cross the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon finish line in person? 

          We've got you covered. 

          Whether you're at work, on the go or at home you can watch complete live coverage of the race on NBC 5 or on the NBC Chicago app from anywhere in the world. 

          We will offer a live stream with complete coverage beginning at 7 a.m. online and on-air. The coverage will continue until 11 a.m. on TV and a live finish line camera will stream until 3 p.m. on the NBC Chicago app and website.  

          Telemundo Chicago will offer Spanish coverage of the race on-air from 7-9 a.m. and on TeleXSitos and online from 7-11 a.m. A finish line camera will also stream on the Telemundo Chicago app and website from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

          The 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon steps off Oct. 7 in the city's Grant Park. 

          Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
          <![CDATA[How to Volunteer for the 2018 Chicago Marathon]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 12:15:02 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/web_-_chicago_marathon_recap.jpg

          NOTE: NBC 5 will offer complete live coverage of the 2017 race beginning at 7 a.m. CT online and on TV on Oct. 7. The race can be streamed live from around world on the NBC Chicago app, which will also offer a live stream of the finish line from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

          They're the unsung heroes that make race day everything it needs to be -- the volunteers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

          Whether it be at the expo or along the course or at the finish line, volunteers are with the runners every step of the way to make sure things go as they should. 

          If you're thinking about volunteering or if you already are, here's everything you need to know:

          Volunteer Registration

          All volunteers must register online individually by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 1, or they will not be allowed to volunteer for the event.

          Where Are Volunteers Needed?

          Individual volunteers: 

          Abbott Health & Fitness Expo

          Friday, October 5 – Saturday, October 6

          Advocate Health Care International Chicago 5K

          Friday, October 5 – Saturday, October 6

          Bank of America Chicago Marathon

          Sunday, October 7

          Start corrals, information team, course marshal and Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party beer opportunities are open to individuals on race day.

          Volunteer groups

          Join the fleet of over 200 volunteer groups that make up the Bank of America Chicago Marathon volunteer team. Group leaders recruit volunteers, share assignment information, relay registration instructions and keep their group on task and organized on the day of the event. Visit the group leader application to learn more about group registration and to apply.

          Key volunteers

          Key volunteers help fulfill critical leadership and management roles on race weekend. Becoming a key volunteer is a great opportunity for people looking to translate their experience, enthusiasm and passion into a higher level commitment to the event. Visit the key volunteer application to learn more about key volunteer roles and to apply.

          Volunteer Age Minimum

          All volunteers must be 16 years of age or older on the day they are volunteering. A parent/guardian must agree to the volunteer waiver for volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age. Children and young adults under the age of 16 are not permitted to accompany registered volunteers who meet the age requirement when they are volunteering at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo or on race day.

          What Volunteers Should Wear

          You are expected to dress in clothing appropriate for the work duties you have been assigned to perform. When required, you must have visible appropriate and current event issued credentials and/or ID vests and wristbands to be on the premises. Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear closed toe shoes at all times and the current event attire logo hat, shirt or jacket, if provided. All volunteers receive their uniform at volunteer check-in. Abbott Health & Fitness Expo volunteers receive a Nike long sleeve t-shirt and credential. Race day volunteers receive a Nike track jacket, hat and credential. The volunteer uniform should be worn as the outer layer and the volunteer credential should be visible at all times.

          What Not to Do

          Never block the path of race participants, throw items, yell or argue with participants, spectators, event staff or other volunteers. Any inappropriate conduct relating to race, ethnicity, gender, religion or physical disability is not tolerated.

          What You Should and Should Not Bring

          Volunteers are strongly discouraged from bringing personal belongings to the event. Gear check will be required for belongings that cannot be carried in a volunteer’s pockets, including personal bags, purses, backpacks or similar items. Bring a valid photo ID. Volunteers will be required to provide photo identification at Volunteer Check-In in order to volunteer. School IDs are accepted.

          Is Food Provided?

          Snacks and meals are provided depending upon the time of day and duration of the volunteer shift. It is not guaranteed that meals will accommodate all dietary restrictions.

          Transportation and Parking

          Volunteers are encouraged to use public transportation when possible.

          This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
          <![CDATA[Dallas Police Officer Accused in Botham Jean's Death Is Fired]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 22:31:55 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Guyger+and+Botham+split.jpg

          Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer accused of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of her neighbor Botham Jean earlier this month, has been fired by the Dallas Police Department.

          The department announced on Twitter that Guyger was "terminated for her actions" by Chief U. Renee Hall during a hearing Monday morning.

          [[494180621, C]]

          "An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, 2018, Officer Guyger engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter," the department said.

          [[494146691, C]]

          "As a police chief, my job is to ensure the integrity of the highest level," said Hall. "That is what I did, and I waited until the critical portion of this investigation was complete."

          Hall said that happened over the weekend. Guyger had a hearing at police headquarters Monday morning, which was followed by her firing.


          Guyger, 30, told investigators she returned home at the end of her shift Sept. 6 and found the door ajar to what she believed to be her apartment.

          In an arrest warrant affidavit, investigators have said Guyger described seeing a "large silhouette" in the apartment and that she gave "verbal commands that were ignored" prior to firing the shots that killed the 26-year-old Jean, her upstairs neighbor. Guyger told investigators she mistakenly believed the apartment was her own and that Jean was a burglar.

          Jean's family and their attorneys dispute those accounts and said information they gathered from witnesses will contradict Guyger's statements.

          "We're not sure why it took so long, but we're glad the chief of police made the decision to fire this officer," said Jean family attorney Daryl Washington. 

          On Monday night, Guyger's attorney released a statement saying "What happened on September 6th was a tragic mistake and words can never express our sorrow for the pain being suffered by those who knew and loved Botham Jean.  Amber Guyger is completely devastated by what happened. Unfortunately, today Chief Hall bowed to pressure from anti-police groups and took action before all of the facts had been gathered and due process was afforded.  That’s not the way our system of justice should work.  It is important for all parties and the integrity of the justice system that a full and fair investigation be allowed to reach its conclusion before decisions such as this are made."

          When asked last week why Guyger hadn't been terminated, Hall said she wasn't able to terminate the officer. She elaborated Thursday with the following statement:

          "There is one overriding reason that I have not taken any administrative or employment action against Officer Amber Guyger. I don't want to interfere with the on-going criminal investigation into her actions. Here's why. As an employer, DPD can compel Officer Guyger to provide a statement during a DPD administrative investigation and those statements given to DPD could potentially compromise the criminal investigation. That is not a risk I am willing to take. We cannot let the criminal case be determined on a 'technicality' rather than the facts. An exhaustive and thorough criminal investigation is essential, and as soon as we are assured that conducting an administrative investigation will not impede on the criminal investigation, we will proceed."

          Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement Monday that firing Guyger was the right move.

          "I have heard the calls for this action from many, including the Jean family, and I agree that this is right decision in the interest of justice for Botham Jean and the citizens of Dallas. The swift termination of any officer who engages in misconduct that leads to the loss of innocent life is essential if the Dallas Police Department is to gain and maintain the public trust. I know Chief Hall agrees with me on that and I appreciate her leadership. Once again, she’s made the right call," Rawlings said.

          Washington, one of the three attorneys representing Jean's family, commented on Guyger's firing Monday morning while at an unrelated "use of force" trial in Dallas County.

          "The Dallas Police Department has now stepped in and made a decision which is contrary to the decision Chief Hall said was going to be made just a few days ago," Washington said. "Obviously there has been enough information presented to the Dallas Police Department that would justify termination, so we're hoping that now that this has happened, it's our belief that perhaps the district attorney's office should have enough information to move forward with an indictment."


          Attorney Lee Merritt said the chief called the attorneys and Jean's parents last night and explained she intended to fire Guyger.

          "She had to answer some tough questions from the family, specifically about why it took so long and she tried to explain the employment process could, in fact, impact the criminal investigation. In other words, if she's faced to give a statement in protection of her job, that can infringe on her Fifth Amendment right and can affect the criminal investigation. It's a complicated question," Merritt said.

          Merritt said the family sees Guyger's termination as a victory -- especially on Monday, the same day Jean is being buried in St. Lucia. A memorial was held for Jean Sept. 13 in Dallas before his remains were flown to his native St. Lucia.

          "The nation of St. Lucia, has turned its attention to that burial service. This comes as a welcome relief, however there's still a long way to go," Merritt said.


          During a meeting with the Dallas City Council's Public Safety Committee Monday morning, Hall recommended suspending the department's 72-hour cooling off period following an officer-involved shooting. The current cooling-off period gives the officer three days before being compelled to make an official statement on the shooting.

          Hall's proposal said those statements should immediately follow an incident and that they should include mandatory drug testing. She also said she wanted to make sure there was communication with the community within five days of an incident and to expand citizen review power.

          Lastly, Hall said she wants to expand the department's fairness and bias training to include every officer and not just sergeants and new recruits.


          The Dallas Police Association offered no statement on Guyger's termination and said they will withhold comment until the ongoing investigation is complete.

          Guyger was arrested and faces a manslaughter charge, though Dallas County prosecutors have said they will conduct their own review to determine if a murder charge or other charges are more appropriate.

          Online -- Public Safety and Criminal Justice

          NBC 5's Noelle Walker, Maria Guerrero, Ken Kalthoff, Scott Friedman and Cody Lillich contributed to this report.

          Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
          This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
          <![CDATA[Fla. Deputy Fatally Shot Wife, Killed Self With 4 Kids in Home: Sheriff]]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:55:48 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/092418+florida+deputy+murder+suicide.jpg

          A Florida sheriff's deputy fatally shot his wife before turning the gun on himself while their four children were inside the home, NBC affiliate WFLA-TV reported.

          The shooting happened at a subdivision in the Pasco County city of Land O’Lakes, located just north of Tampa.

          Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said deputies responded to the home around midnight Monday after a teen called 911 to report a shooting. 

          Once inside, deputies found the body of 33-year-old Samantha Keithley on a couch downstairs. Kirk Keithley, 39, a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, was found dead upstairs with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Pasco County Sheriff's office said.

          According to WFLA, deputies said the couple had two children together and one child each from a previous relationship. The children were inside the home at the time of the shooting, but Nocco said they did not appear to witness it.

          The children's ages were not immediately clear, but Nocco said the oldest child is 14 years old. 

          Nocco said the deputy did not use his service weapon in the shooting and added that there had been no previous 911 calls to the home.

          "Domestic violence is a horrendous act that goes on in every community," Nocco said at an early morning news conference. "The moment that any individual goes from protecting people to harming people loses the right, no matter what agency they're with, to call themselves a law enforcement officer."

          DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY) provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support.

          Photo Credit: WFLA-TV]]>
          <![CDATA[Man Who Brokered Trump Tower Meeting Conveyed 'Dirty Offer']]> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 06:57:19 -0500 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/180921-goldstone-trump-tower_-ew-413p_e827e22a14e2cdeb4589e029c6825f3c.fit-2000w.jpg

          British-born music publicist Rob Goldstone now believes the infamous meeting he helped arrange between senior Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Democrats may have been a Russian intelligence set-up, he told NBC News exclusively.

          He also agreed that he conveyed a "dirty offer" to the Trump team, and while the dirt "didn't materialize," he believes that's what drew the scrutiny of congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller.

          Goldstone had promised Donald Trump Jr. that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had information that "would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." He also emailed that it was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

          Goldstone hopes his new book, "Pop Stars, Pageants & Presidents: How an Email Trumped My Life," will provide context for his role in the episode.

          Photo Credit: NBC News]]>