Illinois

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Movement Aims to Kick Chicago Out of Illinois

Conservative activists largely behind the push

(Newser) - Cook County, which includes Chicago, and the five urban counties surrounding it are largely Democratic. But though Illinois has a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in the state Senate and House, the rest of the state is increasingly Republican, a political professor emeritus says. That may explain why there's... More »

Kid's Rock-Throwing Leads to Zoo Flamingo's Death

Bird in Illinois zoo had to be euthanized after 'truly unfortunate accident'

(Newser) - A young guest at an Illinois zoo apparently didn't mean any harm, but what a Bloomington city official is calling a "truly unfortunate accident" has resulted in one of the center's flamingos being put down. The Pantagraph reports the bird was hit by a rock that the... More »

Synagogue Workers Saw Broken Bottles. Then, 'Puddles of Oil'

Jewish community in Chicago on edge after attempted arson, vandalism incidents

(Newser) - All Jewish schools, businesses, and synagogues are getting "special attention" from Chicago police this week after an arson attempt and vandalism at a number of synagogues. Rabbi David Wolkenfeld tells the Chicago Tribune someone tried to set fire early Sunday at the Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in... More »

Nobody Alerted Police, State About Womb-Cutting Case

Weeks passed before Family Services was told

(Newser) - Police and Illinois' child welfare agency say staff at a Chicago-area hospital didn't alert them after determining that a bloodied woman who arrived with a gravely ill newborn had not just given birth to the baby boy, as she claimed, the AP reports. The woman, Clarisa Figueroa, was charged... More »

Mom Who Allegedly Cut Baby From Womb 'Not That Wise'

3 weeks later, detectives found body, murder weapon, blood

(Newser) - "Words cannot really describe how disgusting, and thoroughly disturbing, these allegations are," Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday in announcing a mother and daughter had been charged with Marlen Ochoa-Lopez's murder . Clarisa Figueroa, who allegedly lured the pregnant 19-year-old to her home under the guise of... More »

She Was Promised Free Baby Clothes, Killed for Her Unborn

4 arrested in death of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez of Chicago

(Newser) - A pregnant Chicago 19-year-old arranged to pick up baby clothes from a person she met in a Facebook group. It appears to have been a horrific ruse. A 46-year-old woman called 911 on April 23, reporting that she'd given birth at her home on the 4100 block of West... More »

Cubs Investigating 'Repulsive' Gesture Fan Flashed on Air

Fan appeared to make white power sign behind black commentator Doug Glanville

(Newser) - A Chicago Cubs fan at the game Tuesday night against the Miami Marlins could be banned from Wrigley Field for life if the home team ever catches up to him. While fans are often caught on camera at MLB games waving and making various gestures, one in particular has raised... More »

8th-Grade Football Star Featured in Sports Illustrated Shot Dead at Party

Jaylon McKenzie was 14

(Newser) - In November, Sports Illustrated featured 14-year-old football sensation Jaylon McKenzie as one of "Six Teens Who Will Rule the Future in Sports." Less than six months later, he was dead. Police say the eighth-grader was fatally shot after leaving a party in the southern Illinois city of Venice... More »

A Quiet Friday Night, Then a 'Catastrophic' Blast

4 injured, others unaccounted for after explosion at silicone factory in Waukegan, Illinois

(Newser) - At least four people were sent to the hospital after what police are calling a "catastrophic" explosion at a factory in Waukegan, Ill. CNN reports the blast at AB Specialty Silicones, which authorities say happened around 9:30pm local time, also left others unaccounted for. Waukegan's fire marshal,... More »

On Night Boy Died, a Telling Internet Search

Police say AJ Freund's mother looked up how to perform CPR on a child

(Newser) - Police say it was a deleted video, recovered from the cellphone of Andrew "AJ" Freund's mother, that prompted the boy's father to confess, reports CNN . The March video, shown to Andrew Freund Sr. before he led Illinois police to the 5-year-old's body, showed AJ being berated... More »

Worker Said He'd Kill Everyone if Plant Fired Him: Officials

Five colleagues died and five officers were wounded

(Newser) - The gunman who killed five colleagues at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant and wounded five police officers before he was killed in a shootout had told a co-worker that February morning that he would kill everyone there and "blow police up" if he was fired, prosecutors said in a... More »

Parents of Missing Boy No Longer Cooperating With Police

Andrew 'AJ' Freund vanished Wednesday night in Illinois

(Newser) - The parents of a missing Illinois child have stopped talking to police as investigators focus on the family home and call it a crime scene, ABC7 reports. The story began Thursday in the city of Crystal Lake when 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund's parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn... More »

Hope, Then Devastation: Details Emerge on Missing Boy Hoax

Investigators: Brian Rini says he learned about Timmothy Pitzen, who vanished in 2011, from TV

(Newser) - An "astounding" story turned into a crushing blow for the family of a missing Illinois boy, and now there are a slew of questions surrounding the man who prosecutors say impersonated him. A young man turned up in the streets of Newport, Ky., on Wednesday, claiming to be Timmothy... More »

Teen Found by Police Gives Astounding News

Timmothy Pitzen has been missing since his mother died in 2011

(Newser) - A boy found by Kentucky police Wednesday says he's Timmothy Pitzen, 14—and if he is, that's long-awaited news. Newport residents called police about a suspicious boy walking the streets in a hoodie with a bruised face, who later said he had just escaped two kidnappers at a... More »

Jussie Smollett Investigator: 'I Am Not Perfect'

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx says she's open to an outside investigation

(Newser) - Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx is open to an outside investigation into her office's decision to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett, the prosecutor wrote in a newspaper editorial. Foxx said in a Friday night op-ed for the Chicago Tribune that a review about prosecutors' decision to... More »

Dad Charged With Giving Gun to Mass Shooting Suspect

He knew son was mentally ill, prosecutors say

(Newser) - The father of a man accused of killing four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee last year has been charged with unlawful delivery of a firearm in Illinois, a prosecutor announced Thursday. Jeffrey Reinking's son, Travis Reinking, has been held without bond on first-degree murder charges since the... More »

Measles Patient Passed Through Busy Airport, ER

If you were in Chicago's Midway Airport on Feb. 22, you might want to read this

(Newser) - A person who visited a Chicago airport and hospital last week had the measles, the Illinois Department of Public Health says—meaning those who were in the same locations at the same time could possibly be infected. The Chicago Tribune reports that the unidentified Illinois resident came in to Midway... More »

Drinking in Hot Tub Ends With Wife Dead, Husband Charged

Eric Huska charged with involuntary manslaughter in bizarre incident

(Newser) - A bizarre tragedy in Illinois left a woman dead and her husband charged with involuntary manslaughter. Laura and Eric Huska were drinking in their backyard hot tub on a Saturday afternoon in Wheeling. Home security camera footage from the Feb. 9 incident shows Laura, 57, trying and failing to exit... More »

R. Kelly Turns Himself In

R&B star is now in police custody in Chicago

(Newser) - He was acquitted over a decade ago on child pornography accusations. Now, R. Kelly is about to face the music on a whole new set of charges , and he turned himself in Friday to begin that process. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the 52-year-old R&B star, real name Robert Kelly,... More »

Chicago Cops Reveal Actor Smollett's Alleged Motive

They say he staged attack because he was unhappy with his 'Empire' salary

(Newser) - He wanted a better salary. That's the alleged motive of Empire actor Jussie Smollett for staging a fake assault on himself, according to Chicago police. Chief Eddie Johnson told reporters Thursday that the 36-year-old actor wasn't happy with what he was making on the Fox show and thought... More »

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