American

Mon, 02/27/2012
In sports, it’s about numbers. Leo High School won their latest track and field state title last May by one point. This marked the school’s sixth state championship. When Leo won its first state title in 1981, it became the first Catholic school to take the top trophy in track and field, and no other Catholic school in Illinois has done that...
Mon, 02/06/2012
Until recently, the sound of gunfire crackling in the streets of Englewood came from at least two or three blocks away, giving La’Keisha Gray-Sewell and her young family a fragile sense of safety and distance from the mayhem. But Gray-Sewell, who runs a mentoring program for girls, and her husband, Barry Sewell, a disc jockey, have taken no...
Fri, 11/11/2011
Pete Mackanin is a smart guy. He has to be if he graduated from Brother Rice High School, a South Side citadel of learning where several scholars I know first embarked on the path to true knowledge. Mackanin, a self-described “young 60” after 43 years in pro baseball, looked the part during last week’s visit to Wrigley Field: trim physique, nicely...
Sun, 09/25/2011
Mike Quigley knows about cheap shots on ice. Now he’s an expert on being blindsided on the internet and cable TV. Quigley, a Democratic Chicago congressman, had a relatively light Saturday recently. He played ice hockey in the morning, did a beach cleanup with the Sierra Club and hit four block parties in the 32nd, 43rd and 44th Wards. Along the...
Wed, 09/21/2011
While Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to unveil his 2012 city budget next month, Ald. Daniel Solis (25th Ward) will be bicycling in the Netherlands. But Solis won’t be on a European vacation: He will be peddling amid the canals of Amsterdam on a study trip paid for by a bicycling advocacy group. Solis revealed the trip on Twitter and said he will...
Thu, 09/01/2011
More than six weeks after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he could dismiss as many as 625 city workers to balance this year’s budget, just a small fraction of that number have received layoff notices. Only 165 workers were let go so far, according to city documents obtained by the Chicago News Cooperative through the Freedom of Information Act. On...
Wed, 08/17/2011
When Gary, Indiana was booming, the city’s factories belched a constant cycle of smoke and steel. When the industrial hub thirty miles south of Chicago went bust, those buildings decayed with equal fervor. The steel industry has not returned, but the crumbling remains of Gary’s last viable economy are offering some small hope of a new one. Last...
Mon, 08/15/2011
This summer, a group of college students from China interned at the office of the city clerk, Susana Mendoza, and found City Hall, well, a lot different from what they were used to at home. But their comparisons may not be what some Americans would expect. “I’m surprised to see there is no debate in the Council meeting,” said Yana Huang. “There is...
Fri, 07/08/2011
Although it never shared the notoriety of Miami, Los Angeles and Phoenix during America’s foreclosure crisis, the Chicago area now has the nation’s largest inventory of foreclosed homes because it is harder to unload troubled properties here than in most other metropolitan areas. The inventory data compiled by RealtyTrac, a California company...
Thu, 07/07/2011
 Chicago and the Midwest could see an uptick in renewable-energy business with a German flavor if goodwill forged at a recent gathering translates into real deals. That optimism was shared by many among the 120 attendees at a recent daylong meeting in Chicago between business executives, policy experts and government officials from...