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CPD Officer Charged In 2014 Shooting Deathposted November 25th, 2015
The Cook County State’s Attorney announced first degree murder charges against Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke. Prosecutors say in October of last year Van Dyke shot the 17-year old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Chicago Kent Law School Dean Harold Krent is encouraged proseuctors charged Van Dyke before a video of the shooting became public. He tells WDCB News it’s hard to say there’s a systemic problem at CPD, but the trend is troubling. Krent says there have been a rash of incidents across the country of excessive brutality by police, too often white officers against suspects of color. He says the McDonald case seems another case of unprovoked extreme violence against someone who didn't appear to be posing a serious threat to police. Krent thinks police and prosecutors hope the charges against Van Dyke will head-off a violent reaction from Chicago’s black community. The Chicago Police Department opposed the release of the dash-cam video because of the expectation that Van Dyke would face criminal charges.
New Book Explores Issues Facing Chicago in 21st Centuryposted November 25th, 2015
A new book is shining a light on several of the problems facing the city of Chicago as it attempts to strive in a global economy. Not surprisingly, political corruption is highlighted in the 2nd edition of “Twenty First Century Chicago”, which was just released. College of DuPage political science professor Melissa Mouritsen co-edited the book. She tells WDCB News political corruption isn’t just a Chicago problem … it extends throughout the entire metro area. Mouritsen says there isn’t a single explanation for the increased corruption statistics. But she believes the numbers are a by-product of “machine” politics which exist in Chicago and many communities in the metro area.
Holiday Hiring Hits High Water Markposted November 24th, 2015
Stronger consumer confidence, and low unemployment are good indications for this year’s holiday shopping season. Chicago based employment expert John Challenger says October saw the strongest holiday hiring since 2005. Retailers added nearly 215,000 seasonal jobs. Challenger tells WDCB News the retail sector probably isn’t finished hiring. He says last year the nation saw 755,00 retail jobs created from October to the end of December, so he expect much more hiring is still to come; but Challenger says it does seem like seasonal hiring is becoming more frequently front loaded. He says the reality is most of the jobs are purely seasonal positions, and by February the retail labor force is back to where it was in September. Still he says there is a chance of some of the holiday shopping season workers to become permanent employees.
Northern Illinois Food Bank Provides Thousands of Holidays Meals For Those In Needposted November 24th, 2015
A recent Northern Illinois Food Bank study found that 77% of the households it serves had to choose between paying for utilities or food over the past 12 months. The Food Bank’s Erik Jacobsen says the organization relies on the community’s support to meet the consistently high demand. Jacobsen says the number of volunteers and donations usually spikes around this time of year. But he tells WDCB News it’s also important to remember the need for food assistance continues the rest of the year. The Geneva-based non-profit recently launched its Holiday Meal Box program which provides a traditional holiday meal for area families in-need. This year the Northern Illinois Food Bank will be distributing 36,000 holiday meal boxes.
The Morton Arboretum Is Ready To Light Up The Nightposted November 20th, 2015
What has quickly become a very popular event returns to the Morton Arboretum tonight. Millions of lights bring trees to life every night for ‘Illumination.’ This is the third year the Lisle tree museum has invited visitors to come and walk along a one mile path to enjoy the light display through January second. The Arboretum’s Kelly Regan says the event has grown each of the past three years. She tells WDCB News organizers did quite a bit of research before the idea became a reality. Regan says representatives from the Morton Arboretum went to England's Kew Botanical Gardens, it has a more Chirstmas themed light event. She says the organizers took some of the ideas they saw there and decided to do something similar here. This year’s ‘Illumination’ includes music and interactive components, but the arboretum’s collection of trees is still the focus of the display. Regan recommends buying tickets in advance, some nights are likely to sell-out and drive-up visitors will be turned away. She says this weekend could be a great time to come out because the display is even more spectacular when it’s snowing or when there is snow on the ground and in the trees.