CHICAGO - An analysis comparing U.S. cities' job growth for the last two years, by Chicago-based CareerBuilder, was published in February. Guess who was on the very bottom... Chicago! That makes the Chicago metro area the least competitive metro area in the nation. But Chicago is at the top of another list... most homicides in 2016. Chicago beats out LA, NY, St. Louis, and even Baltimore with over 100 and counting. It's not even close! Chicago Heights (just a fraction of Chicago) alone beats out other major U.S. cities! Not too far off is Harvey, another suburb of Chicago.
It was reported on February 5 that the Chicago Stock Exchange was to be sold to Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group. Ever heard of them? Neither have I. That's because it's a Chinese company. Am I the only one that sees a problem with that?! I guess not. Nearly two weeks later, the sleeping Congress woke up and wasn't too happy about it. Some congressmen are now demanding a "full and rigorous investigation" of the deal.
KENOSHA - Congratulations to the Kenosha Bradford wrestling team on defeating the mighty Oak Creek, 28-26! Next up? Bradford will face Stoughton in the state quarter-finals on March 4.
ZION - Over a hundred people were at the local youth hangout, Pinsters Bowl, on February 7, near 2 a.m., when gunshots were fired. Panic set in as many fled. One man was shot multiple times, following a gang dispute.
CHICAGO - Chicago Tribune Company has a new top shareholder named Michael Ferro. Do you know who that is? Ferro is the majority owner of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hmm... I wonder how that will work out.
LAKE GENEVA - Lake Geneva's Winterfest brings a lot of people from around the area. Most years it's quite cold and the lake is usually frozen over. This winter's temperatures have been warmer than most, but that didn't stop people from parking on the ice! Ten cars broke through the ice and suffered severe water damage; they were totaled!
CHICAGO - Billionaire Ken Griffin, owner of Citadel, purchased two abstract paintings in February. How much did he pay for both? $500 million!
WATERTOWN, WI - Watertown High School (located between Madison and Milwaukee) closed down on February 22, due to alarming posts on the web. Pictures of guns and the message, "Don't come to school tomorrow" were posted. A 16-year-old was taken into custody, but upon further investigation, it was determined that the boy meant no harm. It was just fun and games. But in these times, that is not something you can take lightly. The school remained closed for the rest of the day, and the boy will probably not do that again!
LAKE FOREST - A Megabus caught fire on February 21, just outside Waukegan. The bus driver acted fast and was able to help the 40 passengers safely exit the bus. He attempted to get the luggage off, but was overcome with smoke. He was the last to get off; no one was hurt. The fire department arrived quickly and extinguished the flames, but the bus was totaled.
ZION - Jim Taylor has served the city of Zion since 1976 and has been a commissioner for most of the years following, that is, until recently. He handed in his resignation to Mayor Al Hill in February, effective March 1. He will be missed.
CHICAGO - Two United Airlines flights slid or skidded off an O'Hare runway in less than a month - one on December 30 and the other on January 22. No one was injured, but many were scared. In other news, O'Hare has dropped to 2nd place as the nation's busiest airport. Atlanta International has reclaimed the top spot.
MILWAUKEE - A semi filled with $70,000 worth of cheese was stolen from a warehouse in Germantown. The police shared a photo of the truck online and received a call when someone spotted it in Milwaukee. By the time police arrived, all the cheese was gone, with no sign of any suspects.
BEACH PARK - On January 20, fifty-six Beach Park elementary children were on a bus en route to their homes when they got a driving lesson. As the bus traveled north on Green Bay Road, a semi hit it from behind and forced the bus into another semi in front of it, essentially sandwiching it! No one was seriously hurt, but nine students were taken to the hospital.
WHEATON - Wheaton Warrenville South High School Show Choir members were traveling north on I-90, on January 15, excited to be going to the Show Choir Classic in Onalaska, Wisconsin the next day. All of a sudden, one of the two buses jolted off the highway onto an exit ramp. One of the students told the driver to stop when she saw fire coming up the side of the bus. All the students rushed out before the bus went up in flames. Nobody was inured, but many costumes, makeup, and personal belongings were ruined. Not willing to give up, they all climbed into the one remaining bus and headed for Onalaska. As the saying goes... the show must go on! After help from family, friends and strangers, the girls were ready to perform. And perform they did! They got top prize and the title of Grand Champions!
KENOSHA - Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha was on lockdown for part of Monday, January 25, after parents and others heard of threats via social media aimed at Lincoln school students. Turns out they were aimed at Lincoln High School in Florida. Better to be safe than sorry! If it is your own children who are at risk, you can never be too safe!
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN - A handful of animal-rights groups were upset at a coyote hunting contest in northeast Wisconsin in January. They were afraid some wolves would get shot, but they also showed concern for the coyotes. What these groups fail to understand is that the large population of coyotes is killing a lot of deer each year. Also in danger are small children! The population of coyotes must be kept at bay for safety reasons. There were even wolf-hunting seasons in Wisconsin during the 2012-2014 hunting seasons, because of the growing wolf population. This is not just a sport but a necessity!
WAUKEGAN - I'm not really fond of PETA, an animal rights group which has protested the killing of bugs, wild mice, rats and other questionable critters. I admit I laughed when I first saw a mock PETA bumper sticker, "People Eating Tasty Animals". But in January, PETA offered $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who hung a cat from a tree branch in December. It's one thing if you're talking about saving some bugs or wild rats, but animal cruelty is wrong. I hope the police find this sick individual and put him in jail! And I have to say, "Thank you, PETA."
LAKE GENEVA - A two-story house caught fire from a space heater, in January, and fire started to spread rapidly through the house. The two people on the first floor quickly ran out with the clothes on their backs, but there were two adults and a baby stranded on the roof with only minutes to spare. A policeman driving nearby saw the smoke and rushed to the scene. The officer told the mother to drop the baby. At first she didn't want to, but then she realized that it was her only option. She finally did as he instructed, and the officer caught the baby safely. The mother and the grandmother of the child eventually got down with the help of neighbors. And the baby? She never cried once - oblivious to the crisis around her.
ZION - Two young Zion women (Amanda Hutchison, 27, and Jameka Leonard, 29) and their families have gone through so much in the past few months. Amanda was diagnosed with small cell ovarian cancer late last year, and Jameka was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer in 2009. Jameka, who has been fighting this cancer for years, was placed in hospice care in January. She currently has a gofundme page: (gofundme.com/teammeka) and any help that you can give would really be appreciated! Amanda also has a gofundme page: (gofundme.com/8cep5zgs)
for all who wish to help. A special fundraiser for Amanda is scheduled to be held on February 6 at Market Square Hotel (see page 11 of our February 2016 issue for details).
WAUKEGAN - In December, environmental group members clashed with David Gaier, a spokesman for NRG Energy at the Waukegan City Council meeting concerning Waukegan's coal-burning power plant. Ten speakers addressed the council and presented over 2,000 petitions to shut down the plant. David Gaier said that they could express their opinions, but NRG, fully complying with all regulations, would continue to operate the plant effectively and safely... indefinitely.
GREEN BAY - A McDonalds in Minnesota got the wrong promotional cups delivered to them in December. The offer reads, "Buy one breakfast or regular menu sandwich, get one FREE when the Packers win!" Viking's fans were not happy, but they did get free food whenever the Packer's won.
LAKE COUNTY - Starting in 2016, your Com Ed bill will be lower, according to reports that say the Illinois Commerce Commission is approving a $67 million rate decrease. Average savings per bill per month?... $1.
WILMETTE - Aren Emrikian, from Wilmette, Illinois, is the new National Chess Champion... for kindergartners. The 5-year-old won the Kindergarten National Championship in December.
CHICAGOLAND - Nearly 2,000 workers will be laid off soon according to filings with the state regulators. Orbitz is moving out of Chicago, costing the city over 300 jobs. General Mills will lay off nearly 450 workers. The company said that they're closing down the Chicago plant as "part of a broader cost-cutting initiative". In other words, "We'll save a lot of money by going elsewhere!" Other smaller companies are shutting down for similar reasons.
MADISON - The famous Wisconsin firefighter, Rob Verhelst, 27, known as Fireman Rob, set a Guinness world record. He completed 23 IRONMAN triathlons in 2015, breaking the old record of 22. And Fireman Rob did it by running the 13.1 mile run portions in full firefighter gear!
LAKE COUNTY - Because of certain requirements in the Affordable Care Act, a federal agency is penalizing hospitals (758) nationwide for high rates of infections and injuries. Of more than 100 hospitals, 23 Illinois hospitals have failed (15 in Wisconsin). More than half are from the Chicago area. No hospitals in Kenosha County were penalized but, surprisingly, there were 3 that were on the "blacklist" in Lake County: Northwestern Lake Forest, Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, and Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion. They will lose 1% of their Medicare reimbursements costing over 1/2 million dollars each. But I'm sure they'll figure out how to make that up. Since taxpayers are ultimately paying for Medicare and other government programs, we'll either be paying on the front end or the back end!
WISCONSIN - Bald eagle numbers are soaring in Wisconsin. An aerial count of active bald eagle nests is at a record 1,465 nests.
ZION - My friend, Gary Lloyd, stared in disbelief at his new trailer on the morning of Christmas Eve. Inside he had stored most of his tools that he has used for home remodeling projects throughout the years. So when he saw smoke and fire coming from the trailer at about 11 am, he tried to put it out himself. Not being able to, he called 911. As he waited, a small propane tank exploded, adding fuel to the fire. By the time help came, it was too late. Gary stood by with tears in his eyes, as if saying goodbye to a dear friend. He estimates about $40,000 - $45,000 in tools were lost. No foul play is suspected. The insurance company will pay for the trailer but only part of the cost of the tools. Gary said that he is trusting God, knowing that He will take care of him and his family. He has received some support, both emotionally and financially, and is grateful. He is looking forward to seeing what God is going to do!
MILWAUKEE - Sheriff David Clark pulled up in front of the War Memorial for a Veterans Day event. Since that area was a no-parking zone, Clark asked another officer to move his car. Clark then left to take part in the festivities. But when he got back, he saw that the officer had never moved his car. He ordered a county citation to be written immediately on the car. His car! Clark essentially gave a ticket to himself. Now that is one honest cop! He paid the $35 fine and donated the city fee of $200 to a charity.
CHICAGO - Another plant closing in Chicago! Tyson Foods is closing up and moving. 480 people will lose their jobs. Donnie King of Tyson Foods said that it was a very difficult decision. He went on to say, "We can better serve our customers by shifting production and equipment to more modern and efficient locations." In other words, they can save a lot of money by moving to another state! When is Illinois going to wake up and realize that they're taxing their businesses and homeowners out of the area!
WASHINGTON DC - John Boehner made the way, in October, for Paul Ryan to be the next Speaker of the House by announcing his resignation after serving 25 years. Ryan, 45, who has served 17 years in the House, is the youngest Speaker since 1875. I'm confident that Ryan will make a great Speaker and get a lot done.
KENOSHA - Diana Kanecki has tossed her name into the mayoral race. Now voters will have three to choose from.
ZION - The new and improved Cancer Treatment Center had its grand reopening (even though they never really closed) on November 18. Actually, the ribbon cutting ceremony was for the new inpatient tower which cost $84 million! That's a lot of money, but it does look awfully impressive.
KENOSHA - The property taxes for Kenosha County home-owners will actually go down next year after the county board passed the 2016 budget on November 12. Imagine that! Being a resident in Zion, I can't even imagine. The approved 2016 budget for Pleasant Prairie calls for a 9.36 % increase in the tax levy. Now that's something I can imagine.
CHICAGO - Natasha West, 27, went on a tirade on November 13 at a Denny's restaurant. She ordered an all-you-can-eat pancake special for only $4. Several of her friends sitting with her ordered only drinks. But that did not stop West from sharing her pancakes with all of her friends! When she was told by the server that the $4 offer was for a single diner (obviously), West went ballistic. She cursed at the server, threw several punches, and kicked and screamed as she left without paying her bill. Oh, and she didn't leave a tip either. The police tracked her down and she was charged with assault and property damage.
KENOSHA - Looks like there will be a Kroger near you in the future after Kroger Co. bought out Pick n' Save. That's what we need... more grocery stores. I do like the competitive pricing, though!
ILLINOIS - More than 800 people bought a total of 13,000 grams of pot to the tune of $210,000 in the first week of operation. State officials said that they need more people buying pot to make this work. Oh, excuse me, I mean more patients buying cannabis, or medical marijuana. That's the politically correct way to rake in a lot of cash for the state! What's ironic about this is that the black-market price for pot is actually lower per ounce. Maybe people will get so high, they'll forget about being taxed so much.
KENOSHA - A Kenosha man was robbed of some electronics by two black men he met on Craigslist. They forcibly entered his home when they arrived. If you have any info, or need info, contact the police at 262-605-5200.
CHICAGO - Even though the Chicago Cubs did not advance to the World Series, they came up big winners! Kris Bryant won the NL Rookie of the Year award. Jake Arrieta won the coveted Cy Young award. And Joe Maddon won the Manager of the Year award in his first season! All I can say is, "Go Cubs!"
CHICAGO HEIGHTS - Charles Gluckleder was driving to work on the morning of October 14 when he missed a turn. And it was a good thing he did! Driving down the next street, Charles saw flames coming out of a house. He immediately stopped the car and ran to the door. Resident Chong Lee Barnes, partially burned, told Charles that there were two men inside. Charles ran into the hot, smoke-filled house to search for them. He was able to get Tyree Miller, Jr. to safety and determinedly went back in to rescue Tyree Miller, Sr. He barely pulled him out in time. Tyree, Jr. said that he and his father would not have survived if not for the actions of hero Charles Gluckleder!
MICHIGAN - Some parts of Michigan had some early snowfall on October 16. Residents woke up to 6 inches the next morning! Is this what is expected for us? Many forecasters are predicting a milder winter because of El Nino. Thinking back to the past two winters, I hope they're right!
MADISON - A 26-year-old woman was arrested on October 10 for leaving her 3-year-old child in a locked SUV at the casino Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. Witnesses said that she left the child alone for over an hour while she was gambling inside.
CHICAGO - Getting a boot off a car is going up from $60 to $100 soon. With the city booting about 55,000 vehicles annually, that would be an extra $2 million in revenue! Since most "bootees" have unpaid tickets or moving violations, I really can't feel sorry for them. Just pay the tickets on time!
WAUKEGAN - A music teacher from Webster Middle School was arrested October 22 and charged with sexual assault relating to a minor. Briana Travis, 33, carried on the inappropriate relationship for over a year! If certain teachers cannot restrain themselves, they should not be teaching children at all! The violators ruin their own lives and the lives of their victims.
GILLETT, WI - A Gillett Secondary School teacher was taken to a hospital after a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl poured some cleaner in the teacher's soda. Why did they do that? They told police that it was just a prank. They are learning that this "prank" is really a crime!
KENOSHA - In October, the City Council voted and approved a liquor license for Westown Foods on Sheridan Road. What's the problem with that? Across the street is Washington Middle School. With over 400 establishments in Kenosha already able to sell alcohol, was this necessary?!
BEACH PARK - Denise Pawlawski, 57, using a walker, was crossing Sheridan Road with a friend on the night of October 13, after buying some liquor. But before she could make it across, Denise was hit by a car. She died almost immediately. Andre Perez, 20, ran into the path of an oncoming ambulance, near the same section of Sheridan Road, early Sunday morning on October 18. On-board paramedics treated him right away and he was rushed to a Libertyville hospital.
Scott Walker has dropped out of the race. He said that he wanted to "clear the field" for other conservatives to take on moderate Donald Trump. The whole truth is that he ran out of money. His slipping poll numbers dried up the cash. No one wants to give to a sinking ship. Walker saw that the national scene is a different beast, and he was not prepared for it. Walker is known to "speak softly and carry a big stick" in Wisconsin. But one has to speak boldly - even forcibly and fearlessly - in the primaries.
A report came out in September, listing the most expensive cities to live in. With all of the taxes, fees, and inflated prices that Chicagoans have to pay, it's no wonder that Chicago ranks #7 in the world!
Doing business in Illinois can be very expensive. And if your business gets sued, it could be devastating. Illinois comes in at #48 in a study ranking states' kindliness to businesses as far as suits and damages. Wisconsin is at #30. How a state treats businesses in litigation is a big factor in a company doing or not doing business in a state. In many cases it is not worth doing business in Illinois; too many times companies lose money or go bankrupt.
The company's cost of operations will be much lower because of far less taxes, fees, and other costs, and less regulations. Do you know how much the company will be saving? Mondelez International will save $46 million annually from closing up their one Illinois plant! $46 million every year! That's a lot of money. Many companies are relocating to other states - and countries - for similar reasons. Can you really blame them?!
The Kenosha County DA's office has issued a warrant for the arrest of Jennifer Verwey, 26, of Williamstown, Vermont. Her ex-husband, a resident of Kenosha, has sole custody of their 9-year-old son, but by law he has to send the boy to his mother for 3 weeks every summer. (Their names are omitted to protect their innocence.) But when it was time for Verwey to send the boy back on the August 31 flight, which was paid for by the dad, she didn't.
She refuses to let the boy go, bringing up false accusations against the dad. He offered to drive to Vermont, but she said no. She will not tell him where his son is or let the boy talk to him. She refuses to send him to school. Frustrated and sad, the dad can only pray and wait. I wish him a speedy answer to prayer and a speedy reunion with his son. I also hope that she will be sent to prison for a while for her crimes.
Jesse Jackson Jr., 50, is free again after nearly two years in prison. He still has to serve 3 years on supervised release (parole). His release was not met with a lot of celebration though, since his wife Sandi, 52, has to start her prison time in October. Her term will conclude in under a year.
P.S. Congrats to Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta, on his recent 3-hit shutout against the Brewers on September 22!
Thomas Fulmer, who caused trouble in July, was charged with 3 misdemeanors on August 12. A few days later, he ended his mayoral campaign in Kenosha, saying it was because of personal reasons. I think everyone knows the reasons... #1 He was arrested, #2 He was charged with multiple violations, #3 He's going to trial!
Congratulations to the Kenosha Kingfish for winning the League championship! Many fans attended the last game on August 14 and celebrated with the team.
Since we're talking baseball, how about those Cubbies?! Alright, so it took a little while for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to get the Cubs on track. Since Joe Maddon took over this year as manager, they have been winning... most of the time. After going 15-15 at the 30 game mark, the Cubs won 6 in a row. At 99 games they were 52-47 before winning 15 out of 16 games! The only problem is that the Cardinals and Pirates keep winning! They do have a lock on 3rd in their division however, since the Brewers are way behind. The talk of playoff tickets is in the air. Could this be their year? Let's not get carried away! One game at a time... Go Cubs!
The tornado that tore through Grayslake on August 2 didn't take any lives but it did destroy many beautiful trees. It also left behind damage to a lot of buildings, including the Grayslake Central High School. Total repairs were about $350,000 and were done before the start of the new school season.
The intersection of Lewis and 29th Street will be getting a makeover. Actually, a new signal light system will be installed but not until next year.
Governor Rauner signed into law a bill that allows nursing home residents or their families to install cameras in their rooms. This will help protect residents against abuse and other crimes. Why was this not put forward years ago?!
Thaddeus Jimenez, of Chicago, was convicted of murder in 1993 and sent to prison to serve 45 years. He was 13 at the time. Jimenez was in prison for 16 years before he was released in 2009 because of wrongful conviction, receiving a certificate of innocence. He was 29. A few years later in January 2013, with the help of a lawyer named Jon Loevy (pictured), Jimenez won $25 million. A third of that went to Loevy. What did Jimenez do with the money? Some went for a dozen or so fancy cars. Some went to guns and establishing a gang in Chicago, with him as the leader. Not good! Since his release from prison, Jimenez has been in and out of trouble. On August 17, Jimenez, now 36, shot a man in both legs because of a disagreement. He is headed back to prison, this time being rightfully convicted. With all that money he won, Jimenez should have gotten out of Chicago for good... for his own good!
A 6-year-old won the Arlington Park's main event on August 15. It is the first time that an Illinois-bred horse has won that race. The name of the horse?... The Pizza Man!
Scott Walker officially announced his presidential run on July 13th, but I told you that, (unofficially), back in February.
Of the 18 counts of corruption that sent former Governor Rod Blagojevich to prison, 5 of them were dropped in July. But that still leaves 13 counts against him. Blagojevich and his family were elated, but that changed when they learned that his sentence of 14 years would most likely not be reduced. No doubt, he will be let out earlier than that, though... probably for being such a model prisoner.
It looks like the Illinois courts are going to the dogs... and it's about time. Governor Rauner signed into law a bill allowing specially-trained "facility" dogs to accompany children and developmentally disabled adults in certain cases. The bill passed the House and Senate by a combined 175-0. The law goes into effect at the start of next year.
Jack Henderson, 54, of Waukegan, was out riding his bike, as he often did. On the morning of July 14, he stopped on the sidewalk at the corner of Washington Street and Martin Avenue to adjust his bike. All of a sudden, a car crashed into him and didn't stop. A witness at the scene said that the driver of the car "just kept on going". Mr. Henderson died shortly afterwards. Waukegan police are needing help in identifying the car and driver of the vehicle which was caught on a nearby security camera. The hit-and-run driver was wearing a red jacket and was driving a dark green sedan (see picture). Anyone with information should call: 847-599-2631.
A 16-year-old Kenosha girl crashed into Lee's Family Daycare & Learning Center on July 22, thinking she had her foot on the brake pedal when, in fact, she was actually stepping on the accelerator! There were 22 children and 8 adults inside the building at the time of the crash, but no one was hurt. The driver did not have a license, permit, or even insurance. The woman in the passenger seat was Ranie Hall, 33, also from Kenosha. Hall was charged with allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle. The girl was also ticketed. Now they are both in big trouble, but it could have been much worse!
Tom Fulmer, a mayoral candidate in the upcoming Kenosha race for 2016, messed up. He was arrested twice in July for disorderly conduct and violating a restraining order. Fulmer was caught using vulgar language in public and acting inappropriately. He also did not cooperate with police. Fulmer said that he is a viable candidate, but really he is an unsuitable candidate!
Good Foods Group relocated to Pleasant Prairie from Illinois a couple of years ago. In July, Good Foods completed their expansion, with Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch joining in the celebration. Kurt Penn, CEO and founder of Good Foods thanked Wisconsin and only had good things to say about their relationship. Just another good company that Illinois let go.
After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's escape from a maximum-security prison in July, the Chicago Crime Commission has updated their "wanted" list. El Chapo is now Chicago's Public Enemy #1. Chicago gangster Al Capone held that same title in 1930. El Chapo escaped through a mile-long tunnel that ended at the shower stall in his cell. He used a custom-made motorcycle to aid in his escape. His drug operation is ever-present in Chicago, as well as many other cities. Many people are dead, or living in bad conditions because of him.
Since winning the Stanley Cup in 1961, the Chicago Blackhawks have won it 3 more times in the past five years. Amazing! The Blackhawks set another record in June... the highest TV rating for Chicago viewers in its history! On a low note: 25 people were arrested after the championship, and many more got away with looting and/or vandalism. Some police officers were injured, and squad cars were damaged. Those law breakers aren't true fans!
Rumor had it that the Jelly Belly Visitor Center with store and distribution warehouse on Green Bay Road in Pleasant Prairie is moving and the building is for sale. Not true. The rumor was false. Well, some of it is true. The building is definitely not for sale. The Visitor Center (tours and store) will continue, but the distribution part is moving out of state. What is taking its place? The company will announce its plans in the near future.
After Lake Michigan produced a record-low water level in 2013, there were concerns. But now, 2 years later, the lake has rebounded to an above-average level and is increasing every week. The lake provides water usage for millions of people, so the more water, the better!
It's official... goodbye Hamilton. There's going to be a new face on the $10 bill soon. And it's going to be a woman. Which woman? The selection committee doesn't know yet, but the announcement will be made later this year.
There was a near crash with two passenger jets at the Chicago airport on June 16. But it was not in the air and it was not at O'Hare. The two planes at Midway were taking off on intersecting runways at the same time, before one controller started shouting, "Stop, stop, stop!" They both put the brakes on and avoided a certain tragedy.
Jeralean Talley of Michigan was born in the 1800's and she died this year. It's true! She was born in 1899 and became the oldest person in the world. After her husband died in 1988 at the age of 95, Jeralean lived another 27 years before passing at the age of 116 on June 17!
Finally, Brian Williams has admitted to lying and deceiving TV viewers, as well as his co-workers. He really did not have a choice... admit it or quit. He did have to step down from his $10 million "NBC Nightly News" gig and be demoted to a lesser news anchor with less pay. And who is going to replace him? Lester Holt. Remember Lester Holt? He anchored the evening news for Channel 2 in Chicago for 14 years before going to MSNBC and, ultimately, NBC. And guess what? He wants the same pay ($10 million) as Williams was getting, and NBC might have to fork it over! I've always liked Lester. He will do a better job than Williams ever did.
Okay, you must have heard by now that Donald Trump is running for president. Does he stand a chance? I don't think so, but who knows. He said that he is really rich ($8 billion or so) and that he is going to fund his whole campaign without lobbyists or donors. The Donald said, "I will be the greatest jobs president that God has ever created!" And who will be his running mate? Trump wants Oprah to be his vice president! Sounds like a made-for-TV reality show special!
The bill to increase the speed limit on I-94 to 70 mph - from the Illinois state line to the Milwaukee County line - was passed into law on May 20. New signs will be posted soon. Look for Illinois to increase the current speed limit of 65 mph to 70 mph on Illinois' northern portion of I-94, as well. I recently drove on I-94, getting on at Gurnee and exiting at Kenosha. The toll alone - road tax - for driving a few minutes to the state line was $2.80! (When in Gurnee, take 41 instead.) I accelerated to 75 mph, going 10 miles over the limit, and most of the cars were still passing me by. When the speed-limit signs are increased by 5 mph, look for the cars to be speeding along at 80-90 mph and more. And the semis will be trucking at about 70 - 75 mph. My daughter, Ruth, didn't like to go on the highways as it was, and now with the increase, forget it! I don't blame her. Me? I'll be flying down the interstate with all the other risk-takers!
A salmonella outbreak has occurred in Kenosha. It originated at a grocery store called Supermercado Los Corrales, located on 52nd Street, near 39th Avenue. Nearly 100 people were affected. City officials closed up the meat and food prep areas at the store, awaiting further investigation.
Jones Decorah, 56, of Wisconsin Dells, was involved in a hit-and-run on May 13. When the police caught up to him, they gave Decorah a sobriety test which revealed a blood alcohol level of .380. That is nearly 5 times the legal limit! Come to find out, that was his 10th DUI offense! Can we finally lock him up for a while... before he hurts or kills someone?!
The Environmental Protection Agency has come up with a plan to remove the tar-like substance at Waukegan's lakefront. The nasty residue was left behind by North Shore Gas years ago, when coal was used as the primary source of energy. The cost of the clean-up? $10.6 million. North Shore Gas will have to pay for the clean-up, which will take 7 years to complete. One taxpayer commented that North Shore Gas "will raise the cost of gas to the consumers", and concluded that "You and I will pay." He took the words right out of my mouth.
By a 113-0 margin, the Illinois House has approved a proposal to ban powdered alcohol. That's right, no powdered alcohol allowed. What? Powdered alcohol? I didn't even know there was such a thing. Apparently it can be very dangerous when abused. What's next, powdered steak and potatoes? Oh, wait, there is such a thing as powdered potatoes. I want the real stuff!
It will once again be okay to hunt bobcats in Illinois after the measure was approved by the Illinois House and Senate. Bobcats? There are bobcats in Illinois? I never knew that. Former Governor Quinn vetoed the measure earlier this year, saying that the big cats still needed protection after a 40-year ban. The truth is: there's an overpopulation of them now. So, bobcats beware.
Priti Shah, of Des Plaines, was given 3 lottery scratch-off cards by her daughter on Mother's Day. Priti did not win anything with the first two, but she struck it rich with the last one. How much? $4 million!
A new report concerning the prevalence of allergies and asthma in cities nationwide has put Chicago near the top of the list. Chicago was ranked as the 6th "sneeziest and wheeziest" city in America. Chicago was also 6th in the country in a different survey last month. But this time it's favorable... 6th most "bikeable" city.