Good morning, Chicago.
As Chicago mayoral candidate Jesús “Chuy” García fends off efforts by political opponents trying to tie him to indicted former House Speaker Michael Madigan, his campaign is calling on a Southwest Side aldermanic candidate who briefly worked for Madigan’s political organization to stop using a picture of García on political flyers.
The campaign brochures focus mostly on the race for alderman of the 23rd Ward near Midway Airport. But the mailers — a well-worn tool for typically parochial races — could have broader implications in the mayoral race and particularly for García, a congressman who is one of eight challengers looking to upend Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s efforts for a second term.
The latest twist in the García-Madigan saga is playing out on doorsteps and throughout much of the 23rd Ward where challenger Eddie Guillen said his campaign sent out thousands of flyers with photos of him and García that urge residents to “Vote Chuy García for Mayor & Eddie Guillen for Alderman” and elect “New Leadership That Works for You!”
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The residential high-rise in Kenwood where an extra alarm fire occurred Wednesday morning, killing one person, has a history of code violations and building inspection failures, city records show. It’s been cited for fire-related code violations at least 11 times since October 2021, according to Department of Buildings records.
The Chicago Fire Department said it took 300 firefighters and over 80 pieces of equipment to put out the blaze at 4850 S. Lake Park Ave. after they had responded to reports of smoke in the high-rise shortly after 10 a.m.
Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates opened public comments at the first Board of Education meeting of the year, asking for support for teachers and staff on a range of issues, from the impact of gun violence to the length of parental leave granted employees.
“I bring you urgency from the workers who are making it happen every day. … How do we honor their commitment?” Gates said, with the union again highlighting the discrepancy between the maximum two weeks of paid parental leave that Chicago Public Schools employees receive and the three months granted to city employees as of Jan. 1.
A federal judge sentenced a former Chicago college student to eight years in federal prison for spying on behalf of the Chinese government, saying it was clear that his ultimate goal was to become a “sleeper agent” and infiltrate some of the United States’ most sensitive operations.
Ji, 31, was convicted by a jury in September of spying for the Chinese government by gathering information on scientists and engineers in the U.S. with valuable knowledge about aerospace technology, artificial intelligence and even aircraft carriers.
Plans for a 17-home subdivision built by Habitat for Humanity on Aurora’s far West Side passed another hurdle this week with the city council approving preliminary plans.
Habitat officials estimate the houses would be valued at about $325,000, but would cost prospective homeowners at least 30% less because Habitat for Humanity is not only the developer, but the mortgage holder too, offering 0% interest mortgages.
The world headquarters of Mold-A-Rama Inc. is tucked inside a colorless strip of businesses in Brookfield, the kind of block so forlorn it’s hard to tell if anything is open or closed. There’s a small mailbox noting that Mold-A-Rama is inside, but nothing like a typical storefront sign. On a January morning, the scene is so winter beige, to even call this location a strip mall seems extravagant. Fans of Mold-A-Rama, collectors of its 60 years of colorful molded statues, show up occasionally, unannounced.
“They assume they’ll find hundreds of employees, but nope,” said Sue Jones, wife of co-owner Paul Jones. He was out at the Museum of Science and Industry, servicing their Mold-A-Rama machines, making certain visitors receive tiny plastic chicks, submarines, steam trains.
The college all-star game season reaches its peak in the next week as East-West Shrine Bowl practices begin Saturday in Las Vegas and the Senior Bowl gets going Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles is expected to be present at both locations with the team holding the No. 1 pick in the draft and needing to infuse the roster with talent across the board.
The Senior Bowl remains the premier event. Last year 106 players who participated got drafted with the Bears choosing four: wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., defensive end Dominique Robinson and offensive linemen Braxton Jones and Ja’Tyre Carter.
“A cut above the best, the Peacock murder mystery series ‘Poker Face’ scratches all my old-school ‘Columbo’ itches — and does it without putting a police detective at the center,” writes Tribune critic Nina Metz.
Natasha Lyonne stars as a cocktail waitress on the run from a casino boss. She’s driving cross country with no real destination in mind, stumbling upon crimes at every pitstop.