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Metra BNSF Riders Should Seek Alternative Transport: Agency

Metra BNSF Riders Should Seek Alternative Transport: Agency

Metra officials are urging riders who use the Metra BNSF Line to take alternative transportation after an incident in a train yard Friday afternoon.

In a social media post, the agency announced that a train is blocking all tracks out of the rail yard, and that the incident is preventing the movement of equipment for the evening rush hour.

There is no word on when the incident will be resolved, but the company is advising riders to “take alternative transportation if possible.”

The BNSF line, which originates at Union Station, services the western suburbs of Chicago, including Naperville and Aurora.

Metra is advising riders to stay up to date with the delays on the agency’s Twitter feed.

Published at Fri, 12 Jul 2019 21:12:16 +0000

R. Kelly Attorney Details How Singer’s Arrest Went Down

R. Kelly Attorney Details How Singer’s Arrest Went Down

R. Kelly’s attorney on Friday released a statement after the singer was arrested on federal sex charges the night before, saying the arrest wasn’t a surprise to Kelly.

“Mr. Kelly was aware of the investigations and the charges were not a surprise,” Steve Greenberg, R. Kelly’s attorney, said in the statement. “He had already assembled a team of outstanding federal litigators, Steve Greenberg, R. Kelly’s attorney, said in the statement.”

The 52-year-old’s arrest came nearly five months after he was released on bail for additional sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Here is Greenberg’s full statement:

“As has been reported, Robert Kelly was arrested by federal agents last night while walking his dog. The agents were courteous and professional, as was Mr. Kelly. The charges arose from alleged conduct in the Northern District of Illinois as well as the Eastern District of New York. The conduct alleged appears to largely be the same as the conduct previously alleged against Mr. Kelly in his current State indictment and his former State charges that he was acquitted of. Most, if not all of the conduct alleged, is decades old.

Mr. Kelly was aware of the investigations and the charged were not a surprise. He had already assembled a team of outstanding federal litigators. He and his lawyers look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to the vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain. Most importantly he looks forward to being able to continue making wonderful music and perform for his legions of fans that believe in him.

A bail hearing will be held early next week, at which time Mr. Kelly hopes to be released from custody.

There will be no further comment at this time.”

Published at Fri, 12 Jul 2019 13:31:55 +0000

Elgin library plans to tighten budget to increase salaries

Elgin library plans to tighten budget to increase salaries

The Gail Borden Public Library District’s proposed new budget includes a general tightening of expenses across the board so salaries can be raised gradually by the time the state’s minimum wage reaches $15 in 2025.

About 34% of the library’s workforce makes less than $15 per hour, Carole Medal, the library’s executive director, said at a board meeting Tuesday. The minimum wage now is $8.25 per hour in Illinois.

“We want to avoid salary spikes in the next few years,” she said, adding that “the rest of the budget we really streamlined as much as possible.”

The nearly $13.9 million tentative operating budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 — the board will retroactively approve the final budget in September — is a 2% increase from the 2018-19 budget. The largest increase, or about $435,000 equating to 6.1%, is for salaries. There will be base salary increases across the board, plus merit-based raises of 2%, library spokeswoman Denise Raleigh said.

“Every department did a great job of taking things out (of the budget),” board President Jean Bednar said.

Board member Amanda Garcia agreed, saying, “Well done, everyone.”

The previous library budget increased by 4% from the year before. By comparison, the national Consumer Price Index rose by 1.8% in one year through May, data shows.


The good news is that circulation increased by 3.1% after seven years of decline, Medal said.

The library wants to increase spending for e-books and streaming, mostly audiobooks.

Cuts will include laptop dispensing machines, the replacement of security gates, seal-coating of parking lots, marketing items like mugs and water bottles, and conferences and continuing education for staff members. The newsletter will go from 12 to eight pages, and a “staff day” will be a half-day with no lunch, Medal said.

The library fronted unexpected expenses this past year to fix burst pipes during January’s extreme cold and to clean nontoxic mold in an archive/storage room that holds local history and special interest magazines, Raleigh said.

The board also gave the OK on Tuesday to start the work to put a question on the March ballot that will ask voters to keep their library taxes at the same amount after the library finishes paying off its bonds Dec. 15, 2021. The proposed budget includes $2.5 million for bond principal and interest payments.


“The number one reason that this is really critical for the future of the library district is the maintaining of the buildings,” such as roofs, boilers, parking lots and more. There is also need to expand the South Elgin branch and possibly expand hours of operation, Medal said.

If voters say “no,” the owner of a house with a cash value of about $152,500 would save an estimated $48 per year, Raleigh said.

In that case, the library would have to look at cutting hours, staff and materials, Medal said. “We would be working with less, and this budget is already pretty tight,” she said.

The next step will be to establish an advocacy committee, because the library cannot advocate for a specific vote, only inform voters, Medal said. A pro bono consultant who specializes in helping libraries will assist, she said.

Published at Thu, 11 Jul 2019 18:13:19 +0000

Inmate who escaped from Indiana State Prison captured in Beverly Shores

Inmate who escaped from Indiana State Prison captured in Beverly Shores

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (WLS) — An inmate who escaped from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana has been taken into custody, police said.

Travis Hornett, 39, escaped from a work detail on prison grounds at 11:10 a.m. Michigan City police said he was apprehended Wednesday night in Beverly Shores by Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Corrections staff and the Michigan City Police Department.

Hornett was charged with burglary, and sentenced on September 14, 2018, to serve five years.

Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Published at Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:06:39 +0000

‘Dangerous’ Inmate Escapes Indiana State Prison

‘Dangerous’ Inmate Escapes Indiana State Prison

Police are searching for a “dangerous” inmate who escaped the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City Wednesday, according to authorities. 

Travis Hornett, 39, fled from a work detail around 11:10 a.m. on prison grounds and was believed to still be in the area, the Michigan City Police Department said. He was weatring khaki clothes when he fled but it was unclear if he would still be wearing them outside of the prison. 

“If you see this person he’s to be considered Dangerous, call 911 immediately and provide information on his whereabouts,” the department wrote on Facebook.

Hornett is described as a white hispanic male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is about 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds, police said. 

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According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, Hornett was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a burglary charge in 2006. He was released in 2015 but arrested again for burglary in 2018 and was sentenced to another five years in prison in September. His projected release date was May 30, 2021, according to the department.  

Published at Wed, 10 Jul 2019 18:39:09 +0000

Beyonce drops ‘Spirit,’ new ‘Lion King’ song, as film premieres

Beyonce drops ‘Spirit,’ new ‘Lion King’ song, as film premieres

As if there weren’t already enough reasons to get excited for the new “The Lion King” movie, now we have new Beyonce music to go with it.

Just as Queen Bey ruled at the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Tuesday night, she also dropped a new song called “Spirit,” which will be on the soundtrack.

Beyonce will voice Nala in the new live-action take on the ’90s animated classic alongside Donald Glover’s Simba. We already got to hear her take on “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” when that audio was released last month.

The all-star cast will also feature Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and John Oliver as Zazu. James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa.

“The Lion King” will hit theaters on July 19, 2019. Tickets are on sale now.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of this station.


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Beyonce, Donald Glover sing ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’ from ‘Lion King’: LISTEN

Watch Beyonce talking as Nala for first time in new ‘Lion King’ clip


Disney’s Freeform claps back against critics of ‘Little Mermaid’ casting

New ‘Mulan’ trailer: Disney drops first look at live-action remake

Halle Bailey joins Disney’s live-action ‘Little Mermaid’ cast as Ariel

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Published at Wed, 10 Jul 2019 12:56:52 +0000

Alligator spotted in Chicago park lagoon

Alligator spotted in Chicago park lagoon

Authorities on Tuesday were attempting to rescue a small alligator in Chicago’s Humboldt Park Lagoon.

Several witnesses said they saw the creature about 4 p.m. as it surfaced from the water. One of the onlookers pointed from the shore and said, “Look, did you see it?”

Chicago police said in a news conference that an alligator, about 4 or 5 feet long, was inside the lagoon. Police said the reptile would be trapped tonight and then relocated to a zoo for veterinary evaluation.

For the full report, visit

Published at Tue, 09 Jul 2019 22:01:26 +0000

Crews Search Lagoon After Alligator Sighting Reported

Crews Search Lagoon After Alligator Sighting Reported

Crews were seen searching a Chicago lagoon after police said they received reports of a possible alligator in the water Tuesday. 

Chicago Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department was alerted to the potential sighting in the Humboldt Park lagoon Tuesday afternoon.

“Weve [sic] notified animal control but have not confirmed this is a legitimate call as of yet,” Guglielmi tweeted. 

Police were responding to the scene to “give general safety tips should this be a legitimate incident,” he added.

The Chicago Park District could not immediately be reached for comment on the matter. 

Published at Tue, 09 Jul 2019 20:26:13 +0000

Woman seeks new sentence for role in 1987 kidnapping

Woman seeks new sentence for role in 1987 kidnapping

KANKAKEE, Ill. — A judge says he will consider arguments made by lawyers for a woman sentenced to life in prison for aiding in the 1987 kidnapping and death of a northern Illinois businessman.

Attorneys for Nancy Rish say she should be re-sentenced under a recent change in Illinois law designed to benefit people who can show their crimes were related to being abused.

Rish’s lawyers say physical abuse and threats from onetime boyfriend Danny Edwards led her to unwittingly assist his kidnapping of Stephen Small and attempt to extort $1 million from Small’s family.

The 40-year-old Small, who was buried alive in a plywood box, suffocated when a breathing tube running to the surface failed before a ransom could be paid.

The Illinois attorney general’s office oppose the effort by the 57-year-old Rish. The office notes the abuse Rish cites is not new and is not likely to have changed her sentence.

Kankakee County Associate Judge Michael Sabol said Monday he would issue a ruling July 26.

Published at Tue, 09 Jul 2019 08:53:00 +0000

Garth Brooks Kicking Off New Tour at Dive Bar in Chicago

Garth Brooks Kicking Off New Tour at Dive Bar in Chicago

Garth Brooks is kicking off his next tour at a dive bar in Chicago.

On Monday afternoon, Brooks announced on Twitter that he will be playing at Joe’s on Weed St. bar, located at 940 W. Weed St.

The country music star announced Sunday a summer “Dive Bar” tour, which will take place at dive bars in seven cities. Brooks recently debuted a new single with Blake Shelton called “Dive Bar.”

The tour kicks off July 15 in Chicago.

“Chicago, looking forward to this,” Brooks said in the announcement.

The remaining six cities in the tour weren’t immediately released. Brooks said the cities will be chosen by Seagrams7 Crown.

Published at Mon, 08 Jul 2019 23:02:56 +0000