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.
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."
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.
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.