Illinois

10:22pm

Sat May 12, 2012
Around the Nation

Lack Of Support Puts The Brakes On High-Speed Rail

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am

California's Legislative Analyst's Office said the latest proposal to build a $68.4 billion high-speed train system is still too vague and the state legislature should not approve funding it for it this year.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Three years ago, President Obama was rolling out an ambitious vision for high-speed rail in America. "Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 mph," the president said at the time.

Today, there are a few Amtrak trains going that fast, but for the most part, the president's plans for high-speed trains have slowed considerably.

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3:23pm

Sat May 12, 2012
Author Interviews

The 12 Days Of Disaster That Made Modern Chicago

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 4:05 pm

In 1919, Chicago was called the "youngest great city in the world." World War I had just come to a close, troops were coming home, industry was booming and crime was down. Chicago's mayor at the time, William Hale Thompson — known as Big Bill — had just been re-elected and was spearheading an ambitious urban improvement program.

But in mid-July of 1919, just about everything that could go wrong in Chicago did. Among the headlines were a deadly dirigible crash, a bizarre kidnapping, race riots and a major public transit strike.

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3:56pm

Fri May 11, 2012
The Two-Way

William Balfour Found Guilty In Murder Of Jennifer Hudson's Family

William Balfour.
HO AFP/Getty Images

A jury has found William Balfour guilty of killing three members of Grammy-award winning singer Jennifer Hudson's family.

Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother in law, was found guilty on all three counts of first-degree murder for the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The Chicago Sun-Times adds that he was also convicted of "home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle."

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1:21am

Wed May 2, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Should Banks Maintain Abandoned Properties?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:49 am

An abandoned home on Chicago's South Side, which neighbor Ruben DeSantiago says attracts gang activity. DeSantiago and other neighbors mow the lawn and pick up trash because they say no one else is caring for the house.
Odette Yousef

Like hundreds of cities across the country, Chicago is trying to tackle the issue of too many foreclosed and vacant homes. The city is now requiring lenders to ensure that those abandoned properties are secured and maintained. Other cities have similar laws.

But the federal government is suing Chicago over its new rules in what's seen as a test case that could affect whether any city would be allowed to keep lenders on the hook for abandoned properties.

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3:42pm

Mon April 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Jennifer Hudson Testifies During Ex-Brother-In-Law's Murder Trial

In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour.
Tom Gianni AP

The Oscar-and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson took the stand today during the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.

Reporting from Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Hudson began crying when a prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family. She answered it was the Sunday before their slaying in October of 2008. The man accused of killing them, William Balfour, was Hudson's brother-in-law at the time.

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