- Created on 23 May 2013
A compromise allowing the carrying of concealed weapons backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan and agreed to by the General Assembly's leading gun-rights advocate materialized Wednesday, adding to the list of gun-free locales but making it easier for qualified gun owners to get permits.
Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, emerged from a closed-door meeting of his caucus late in the afternoon, saying the reworked version of southern Illinois Rep. Brandon Phelps' measure would get its first test with a committee vote Thursday.
A House floor tally would follow a day later, just 16 days before the deadline for establishing a concealed carry law set by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when it decreed the state's last-in-the-nation ban unconstitutional.
Phelps said the plan is a framework for a "shall issue" law, meaning the Illinois State Police would be required to issue a permit to anyone with a Firearm Owners Identification card who has the requisite training and clears a criminal background check.
"All we're doing here is making sure the good guys have guns," said Phelps, D-Harrisburg. "Right now, the only ones that have the guns are the bad guys."
- Created on 23 May 2013
The population of Chicago has climbed but it climbed slower than any major city in the United States.
The U.S. Census Bureau's national estimates released Thursday found that Chicago's population rose about 10,000 between July 2011 and July 2012 to just over 2.7 million.
The city's growth was enough for Chicago to remain the nation's third largest city. But the two cities with more residents — New York and Los Angeles — grew a bit more in the year. The census bureau says New York added 67,000 residents and Los Angeles added 34,000.
In Illinois, of the 10 most populated cities only Rockford and Waukegan saw a drop in population. And in both cases the drop was less than 1 percent.
- Created on 22 May 2013
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday he's not concerned with the political consequences that could come his way if the Chicago Board of Education approves a plan to shutter more than 50 schools.
He's so sure his plan is the right one that he said not taking the action would have far greater consequences for the students he said would be robbed of a quality education.
"You can about the political consequence to me versus the lifetime consequence to a child that drops out because of poor education, and to me, the balance, if you're weighing equities -- I will absorb the political consequence so our children have a better future," Emanuel said during a press conference at the Department of Water Management headquarters.
Across town, parents and teachers gathered with Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) at DuPrey/Von Humboldt School to protest the planned closures.
"If Lafayette closes and DuPrey/Von Humboldt closes, there will be no public school in East Humboldt Park," Moreno told those gathered. "That is not acceptable."
Emanuel and CPS officials say closing schools is a bold but necessary step to improve education and get the nation's third-largest school district on a better financial footing. But many teachers and their supporters say the closures are based on fuzzy math and are altogether unfair because they disproportionately affect students of color and put them in harm's way.
(Photo: NBCChicago screen shot.)
- Created on 23 May 2013
CHICAGO (CBS) – The parents of a disabled boy have filed suit against the Chicago hospital where he was mistakenly pronounced dead.
Jaylen Dorsey was taken to the emergency room after he was found unresponsive in his family’s home.
The boy suffers from severe brain damage and breathes with assistance from a ventilator.
Two doctors at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center pronounced Jaylen dead at 9:52 a.m. on Feb. 18.
The child’s mother, Sheena Lane, and his father, Pink Dorsey, weren’t ready to let go. It appeared to them their son wasn’t, either.
“His eyes would pop open,” Dorsey says.
“He was still showing signs of life,” Lane says.
It was enough for them to demand more tests. And nearly five hours later, an ultrasound of his heart proved Jaylen was alive.
“You didn’t have to be a doctor to see that that heart was pumping blood,” Dorsey says.
Read more at CBS Chicago.
- Created on 21 May 2013
In what has to be great news for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election prospects, a new study by the Brookings Institutions finds that the number of poor people living in Chicago’s suburbs has increased 99 percent in the past 10 years.
That means they aren’t living in Chicago, where they might be inclined to vote against the mayor in 2015. A Tribune survey conducted earlier this month found that voters earning over $100,000 a year are the only demographic group in which a majority said Emanuel is “in touch with people like you” -- and even that figure was only 55 percent.
African-Americans, who have a disproportionately high poverty rate, are particularly disenchanted with Emanuel. But that’s exactly the population the city has been offloading to the south suburbs over the past 10 years, as a result of gentrification and destruction of housing projects. Chicago’s black population declined by 200,000 between 2000 and 2010.
Here’s a list of suburbs with higher poverty rates than Chicago. They’re all in that region known as “out South.”
Robbins -- 37.9 percent
Harvey -- 30.9 percent
Markham -- 24.5 percent
Chicago Heights -- 24.4 percent
Riverdale -- 23 percent
According to a Tribune story on the study:
More poor people moved to the suburbs, pulled by more affordable homes or pushed by urban gentrification, the authors said. Some used the increased mobility of housing vouchers, which used to be restricted by area, to seek better schools and safer neighborhoods in suburbia. Still others, including immigrants, followed jobs as the booming suburbs demanded more workers, many for low-paying, service-sector jobs.
Among the communities spotlighted in the book are suburbs in southern Cook County: Blue Island, Dolton, Lansing, Park Forest and South Holland.
The poor population in Park Forest has grown by more than 125 percent since 2000, and the poverty rate has jumped from 7 percent to 15 percent, according to the book. In South Holland, the poor population also more than doubled and the poverty rate jumped from 5 percent to 10 percent.
As long as Emanuel is mayor, you can bet that trend will continue.