Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The city of Chicago on Tuesday will name a block of West 69th Street after the late comedian in the Englewood neighborhood where he was raised. The block will be named "Bernie Mac Street" at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the corner of West 69th and Sangamon streets.
Monday, February 27, 2012
McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi and the City of Harvard filed the lawsuit earlier this month against five men they say are Latin King members. The lawsuit would bar the alleged gang members from associating with each other in public, among other things.
Harvard “is kind of the epicenter of gang violence,” Bianchi said. “We don’t want to wait until someone gets seriously injured. It’s time to target the people in an effort to target the gang.”
The lawsuit stems from the 1993 Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, which allows prosecutors to pursue civil cases — including monetary damages — against gang members. Similar initiatives have taken place in Kane, Boone and DuPage counties.
Harvard residents Antonio M. Figueroa, Alfredo Garcia-Castillo, Justin Pena, Genaro Pena, and Spencer M.L. Ortiz are named as defendants along with “other unnamed Latin King members,” according to the lawsuit. The men are due in court June 15.
Prosecutors said the men, including those unnamed, engaged in a pattern of gang-related activity between 2000 and 2010. For example, Garcia-Castillo was convicted last year of aggravated battery after striking a man in the chest with a metal pipe.
The lawsuit states that the gang members also “committed forcible felonies, felonies, criminal defacement and damage to property and other criminal offense against others” during that same time period.
Gang-related issues have been ongoing in Harvard for the past several years, according to Donna Kelly, chief of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Civil Division. She previously served as the special prosecutor in cases against at least three of the men named in the lawsuit.
These men “continue to be a menace to the City of Harvard,” she said. “This doesn’t replace the criminal justice system, it’s just another avenue to assist prosecutors in trying to thwart gang violence.”
The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction that would prevent gang members from “standing, sitting, walking, driving, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public view with any other defendant or known Latin King gang member.”
It also would prohibit them from having anything that could be used as a weapon outside of home or work. They would be prohibited from having anything that could be used to create gang-related graffiti, throwing gang signs, or displaying tattoos or other markings pertaining to a gang, according to court records.
Other defendants from throughout the county could be added to the lawsuit if they commit two gang-related criminal offenses, including a forcible felony, within a five-year period.
“This is an effort to discourage recruitment and at the same time keep the community safe,” Bianchi said. “Gangs in McHenry County are enough of a problem to warrant this type of lawsuit.”
The lawsuit, filed Feb. 10, also seeks more than $50,000 for the City of Harvard for “the damages, impairment and harm proximity caused by the acts of the Latin Kings and any of the named and unnamed defendants.”
The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Elgin Police Department Gang Unit sued about 70 gang members in fall 2010. Four arrests have been made this month in connection to the lawsuit.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
A South Side pastor who has spent more than three months living in a tent on the roof of a Park Manor motel says he will end his vigil today, thanks to a promise of $98,000 from movie mogul Tyler Perry that will allow the pastor to buy and demolish the motel to make way for a community center.
The Rev. Corey Brooks moved into a tent on the roof of the motel Nov. 22 and has spent 94 days on his third-story perch in an effort to bring attention to gun violence that plagues the area. He had said he wouldn’t come down until he raised the $450,000 to buy the former motel, which he said was a drug den, and raze it.
Brooks said Perry promised to make the donation while being interviewed today on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," a syndicated radio program. Perry stars in and directed “Good Deeds,” a movie that opens today.
“I guess he thought it would be good to do a great deed on the day that his movie is coming out, so we got a commitment,” Brooks said. “The check is not in our hands, but Tyler Perry’s word is good.”
Perry’s donation will put Brooks about $13,000 over his target. Brooks said he will use the money -- plus a promise of $85,000 from a Christian businessman in Chicago who wants to remain anonymous that was also received today – for the community center that he hopes will serve as a peaceful gathering place for the neighborhood’s residents. Brooks estimates that the full cost for the center will be about $15 million.
Brooks said he will probably leave his rooftop home about 5 p.m. today so his friends and family and members of his church can join in the celebration. Then, he said, he’s going to take a hot shower, shave and take a group of people to see Perry’s movie.
The lonely nights spent in a chilly tent heated only by kerosene and electric heaters will be worth it when neighborhood residents see the motel torn down and the community center begin to rise in its place, Brooks said.
“When they see this community center being built, they’re going to be reminded that one person can change things,” he said. “One person can make things better. And hopefully it’s going to inspire people to continue.”
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Mae Jemison, the first black female astronaut to fly to space in 1992, has made history again. Jemison was selected as the winner of the latest challenge by DARPA - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - under the Pentagon. Last February, NASA and DARPA announced a joint-venture soliciting ideas for the next step in human space exploration. The 100-Year Starship study collected entries until July from various experts in the field, resulting in a ton of ideas for a one-way manned mission into space. And now, the best idea has been chosen, and it was written by a true pioneer in space travel: Mae Jemison, former astronaut and the first black woman in space, submitted the winning proposal, entitled “An Inclusive Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth & Beyond beating thousands of entries, including one to create human life in space. The new project will be 100 years in the making. Jemison and her crew of experts have been awarded a $500,000 seed grant to begin development of a starship. Jemison and DARPA hope that the training will one day result in the creation of a starship through years of development.
Jemison is no stranger to excellence. The 55-year-old skipper from Alabama is also a physician, engineer, a trained professional dancer and has dedicated service to the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Jemison first flew on the Endeavour shuttle mission and spent six years with NASA before ending her career as an astronaut in 1993. Since then, she has worked in a variety of fields including education, outreach, and technology. And, since there are so many fun things to know about this woman, she speaks four languages including English — Russian, Japanese, and Swahili — and is the only actual astronaut to appear on Star Trek. A fan of the show since she was a kid, Jemison said she was inspired by Lt. Uhura to consider space travel as a career. (She is now good friends with Nichelle Nichols.) And in 1993, she did a walk-on role as Lt. Palmer on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
bear jordan says "and you can bet your last money its gonna be a stone gas in parting we wish you love peace and soul."