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  • nancyloosnow

    Old Farmer’s Almanac: Brace for a bitter cold winter, Chicago

    As the Chicago area finally gets its first real heat wave of the summer, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is warning us, we’re in for a bitter cold winter. The almanac says the eastern two-thirds of the nation will be super-cold, while the western states will be a little warmer than normal, and California’s drought will continue. The Old Farmer’s Almanac uses sunspot readings, prevailing weather patterns and basic meteorology to make its forecasts. The almanac’s winter forecast used to come […]

  • Photo credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

    Did cellphone thieves post selfies online?

    Burglars broke into a woman’s home in California and stole her cellphone, but they may have given themselves away by using the phone to take a few selfies. A few days after the cellphone was stolen from the house in Santa Clarita, the selfies were posted to the woman’s Cloud account. She says she doesn’t know the people in the pictures. They could be the thieves; or, if the stolen phone was resold, they could just be the buyers. A […]

  • Sheila von Wiese-Mack featured in May 2013 issue of the Journal of the Caxton Club. Photo used with permission.

    Murdered woman won big lawsuit vs. cruise ship

    We’re learning more about the finances of the Chicago woman who was murdered on vacation in Bali. The Sun-Times reports that, in 2011, Sheila von Wiese-Mack won more than $340,000 from a lawsuit against a cruise line, over an injury sustained by her late husband. Police are holding her daughter Heather and Heather’s boyfriend Tommy Schaefer in her death. Heather Mack and her mother had a stormy relationship; but it’s not known whether her mother’s money was a motive for […]

  • 2 Chicago area babies born roadside within 24 hours

    Cost of raising a child: $245,340

    Thinking about having your first baby? A new analysis by the Department of Agriculture finds, it will cost you just under a quarter million dollars to raise a child to the age of 18; and that doesn’t include the cost of college. The best private schools can add another quarter million to the tab. The average cost of raising a child rose 1.8% in the past year, to $245,340. Additional children typically cost less than the first if they can […]

  • CPS headquarters moving to smaller offices to save money

    CPS: Buyers wanted for old school buildings

    Chicago Public Schools are still trying to find buyers for nearly 50 schools ordered closed last year; and it is costing the school system almost $2 million a year to maintain power, heat and repairs at those vacant buildings. Out of 47 grade schools and a high school, developers have shown interest in only three properties; but city aldermen plan to meet with prospective bidders on seven others. Charter school operators are forbidden from taking over any of the old […]

  • bun

    Woman discovers Nazi symbol in sandwich

    A woman got quite a shock when she opened a chicken sandwich from her local McDonald’s. Charleigh Matice went through the drive-thru at a restaurant in Morehead City, North Carolina. When she lifted part of the bun to spread mayonnaise on the sandwich, she discovered that an employee had spread butter in the shape of a Nazi swastika, and burned it into the bun. Matice’s grandfather fought the Nazis in World War II. “Many, many people died because of that […]

  • Rough start for online vehicle sticker buyers

    Chicago got off to a bumpy start in its effort to let people buy their city vehicle stickers online. More than 12,000 city stickers had to be reprinted and re-mailed when people complained that they hadn’t received their stickers. Then, the original stickers finally showed up in the mail, leaving people with valid duplicates. Now, the originals have been declared invalid; police can scan a sticker to determine whether it’s a good one.

  • MedicalMarijuana2

    Swedish Covenant wants to be first to sell medical marijuana

    Chicago’s Swedish Covenant Hospital wants to be the first in Illinois to open its own dispensary for medical marijuana. Officials there say a hospital is the ideal setting for such an outlet because its pharmacy is already set up for prescriptions; but the federal government still considers marijuana illegal, and a hospital that sells it could lose Medicare and Medicaid funds. Swedish Covenant is asking congress to change the law to reflect the reality that several states now consider marijuana […]

  • met-police-board 0718 mh

    Police officer fired over woman’s suicide with officer’s gun

    A Chicago police sergeant has been fired from his job after a woman killed herself with the officer’s gun. Sgt. Steven Lesner admitted, he left the gun unattended while off-duty at Catherine Weiland’s apartment in 2009; while Lesner was in the bathroom, Weiland used the gun to commit suicide. Lesner was stripped of his police powers and given restricted duties for almost two years after the incident. Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended a two-month suspension for Lesner, but the police board […]

  • tariq khdeir

    Teen beaten in Israel returns home

    The American teenager who was beaten while visiting Palestinian relatives in Jerusalem has returned home to Florida. Tariq Khdeir was arrested during a violent protest demonstration, and while in custody he was handcuffed and beaten by an Israeli police officer. The beating was caught on surveillance video, and the police officer was suspended. Tariq’s cousin Mohammed Khdeir did not survive his Israeli ordeal. Israeli authorities say they have indicted an adult and two teenagers in his kidnapping and murder. Mohammed […]

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