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.