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    Inmates break through jail wall with broom

    ANDERSON, In. — It doesn’t take a sledgehammer to break through a prison wall; some inmates in Indiana did it with a broom. They used the metal tip to carve a hole in a cement block at the Madison County jail. They weren’t trying to break out; they just wanted to smuggle tobacco and cigarette lighters into their cell. They lowered a rope through the hole and down the outside wall, where a former inmate waited with the supplies; but […]

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    34 CPS schools contaminated by lead — so far

    CHICAGO — The number of Chicago Public Schools with excessive lead in their water is up to 34. Close to 2,000 sinks and drinking fountains have already been tested, and about 4 percent of them are contaminated. More than one-fourth of all schools tested to date have at least one contaminated fixture. The school district says, many of those fixtures aren’t used very frequently, so they show a spike in lead at first, then not so much after the water […]

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    Parents: CPS didn’t notify us of school lead meetings

    Chicago Public Schools held a couple of meetings last week to educate parents about the risk of lead contamination in school drinking water; but some parents say they were never told about those meetings. At least 30 Chicago schools have tested positive for contamination. The school board announced the meetings in a press release and on radio and TV; but parents say many school principals didn’t pass along the notice.

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    Chicago-area sees storm damage

    CHICAGO — Severe weather thunders through the Chicago area on Wednesday evening. In Mount Prospect, the wind blew down the canopy at a Shell gas station at Northwest Highway and Forrest Avenue. No one was hurt. In Palatine, flash flooding hit a Taco Bell parking lot. In Evanston, lightning struck a two-story home in the 1500 block of Wesley Avenue and set the attic on fire. The homeowner was out to dinner at the time. Firefighters put the flames out in […]

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    Indiana teen accused of trying to join ISIS, FBI says

    INDIANAPOLIS — Federal authorities have arrested a suburban Indianapolis teenager accused of trying to join the Islamic State. Prosecutors say FBI agents arrested 18-year-old Akram Musleh of Brownsburg while he tried to board a bus from Indianapolis to New York, where he was to fly to Morocco and on to territory controlled by the Islamic State. A criminal complaint alleges Musleh intended to provide material support to the terror group by joining it. Spokesman Tim Horty of the U.S. Attorney’s office […]

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    Wildfires rage in Southern California

    LOS ANGELES — Four massive wildfires are spreading across Southern California as the state struggles with record heat. Palm Springs hit 122 degrees Monday; and low humidity is providing the perfect conditions for fires to spread. One fire is near the Mexican border; another is racing across the Angeles National Forest; it’s believed, that one started when a car ran off a road and burst into flames.

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    Indianapolis mom fires babysitter after viral splash pad video

    INDIANAPOLIS — A mother in Indianapolis fired her daughter’s babysitter after she saw a viral cellphone video taken at a local waterpad. The video taken at the Greenwood splash pad has been shared thousands of times on Facebook. The mother, Brittany Dixson, saw it online at work. She says when she first saw the video she thought, “why would you put a child underneath so much water at once?” But then she quickly realized, the baby in the video was her daughter […]

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    McCormick Place may soon get off-duty police patrols

    CHICAGO — Aldermen in Chicago are close to enacting a plan to add security at McCormick Place in the wake of the Orlando massacre. A City Council committee endorsed a plan to add 135 off-duty Chicago police officers, in full uniform, to patrol McCormick place and protect convention and expo visitors. Navy Pier already has the authority to use off-duty cops as security patrols. The full City Council is expected to approve the McCormick Place plan next week.

  • James Wesley Howell, a 20-year-old Indiana man, was arrested in California on Sunday while headed toward the LA Pride festival with an arsenal of weapons.

    Police: Armed Indiana man near LA pride parade was not legal gun owner

    SANTA MONICA, Calif.  — The 20-year-old Indiana man found with weapons before the Los Angeles Pride parade had a history of gun charges. James Howell’s arrest set off alarms, hours after the Orlando massacre. In his car, police found three semi-automatic rifles, high capacity magazines, and a bucket full of chemicals that can be mixed into explosives. Records show he was accused of pointing a rifle at two people last fall, but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor intimidation. Still, investigators say […]

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    Security enhanced in Chicago’s LGBT communities in wake of Orlando massacre

    CHICAGO — With Chicago’s annual Pride Parade just two weeks away, the Orlando massacre is raising concerns about security for the marchers and spectators. The Chicago Police Department is beefing up its street presence in the Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Boystown neighborhoods, as the city prepares for Pride Festival which kicks off this weekend. There are extra car and foot patrols in neighbors with large gay communities. But the CPD says there is no intelligence indicating any elevated risk of a […]