Metro

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...
Fri, 02/24/2012
Lawmakers in the Illinois House earned an extra $661,000 last year for serving as committee officers, even though some committees met fewer than five times and a handful met once, a Chicago News Cooperative analysis found. The House paid members who serve as committee chairmen and spokesmen (Springfield’s term for ranking minority members) $10,326...
Mon, 02/13/2012
For years, environmental and health organizations have called for the closing of the 83-year-old coal-fired State Line Power Station, one of the Chicago area’s top polluters. Now the plant, which is in Hammond, just across the Indiana border on Lake Michigan and adjacent to Calumet Park, is burning through its last stores of coal. It will stop...
Wed, 02/08/2012
Chicago Central Food Mart, a corner store in West Humboldt Park, straddles the northern edge of an area considered one of Chicago’s “food deserts.” The store’s faded yellow awning promises “fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables.” But until recently, little fresh produce could be found among the 99-cent sodas, chips, and canned meats packed onto the...
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...
Mon, 01/30/2012
Illinois’ financial outlook could go from bad to catastrophic, according to a new analysis of state budget figures from a government watchdog group. The report from the non-partisan Civic Federation comes two days before Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address, traditionally a chance to tout the health of the state....
Mon, 01/16/2012
Lobbying by Illinois lawmakers would be barred under a bill proposed by the Legislature’s inspector general, who monitors ethical conduct by state representatives and senators. “Legislators should not be allowed to be paid to lobby on behalf of clients before any public body,” said the inspector general, Thomas J. Homer, who plans to introduce the...
Mon, 01/02/2012
A new Army Corps of Engineers study of Chicago-area waterways has stirred the debate over whether to sever the connection between Lake Michigan and inland waterways that were created by the construction of canals a century ago. The study, released on Dec. 7, is part of the Corps’s nearly decade-long process aimed at preventing invasive species,...
Thu, 12/29/2011
Illinois finally crossed the finish line first in the latest “Race to the Top” competition for federal education grants, a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s reform agenda. After coming up empty-handed three times in a row, the state was awarded $42.8 million from the United States Department of Education last week in a fourth round of Race...
Tue, 10/18/2011
The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved three contracts with Teamsters Local 700 Tuesday, even as President Toni Preckwinkle continued to push labor unions to agree to eight unpaid days off in the next budget year. Preckwinkle, who is expected to unveil her budget recommendations next week, is working to close an estimated $315 million...