West Pullman: Victim In Slater Triple Shooting Dies After Attempting To Help Others

by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times

May 8, 2022

CHICAGO – Man shot mowing lawn on Mother’s Day in West Pullman was running to aid other victims has passed away.

According to police, Larry Purnell, 64, was in the middle of mowing a customer’s lawn in West Pullman when he heard gunshots ring out around 3pm.  As any other decent civilized man would do, Purnell ran to see if anyone needed medical care.

As Purnell neared a home in the 11600 block of South Lowe Avenue, he was shot in the chest by gunman who had just murdered Brendon Slater, 26, and wounded another unnamed victim.  Purnell was taken to Christ Medical Center and where he was later pronounced dead.  Slater was shot multiple times and died on scene.  It has been reported that Slater was picking up a Mother’s Day cake.  The unnamed victim was shot in the leg and is listed in good condition.  

According to police no suspects are in custody.  Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan is asking for public help in bringing the gunman to justice.  Perhaps one anonymous tip from someone with just an ounce of the courage Mr. Purnell had will help bring the killers to justice.

Chicagoland Starbucks Store Rejects Workers United

by The Chicago Times Business Staff

May 8, 2022

LA GRANGE, IL – Starbuck’s employees in La Grange have rejected an attempted unionization ploy by Workers United.

The La Grange Starbucks filed for representation with Workers United, an affiliate of the notorious Service Employees International Union (SEIU), back in January.  However, 5 months later, employees voted 9-6 to reject Workers United conditions.

Workers United immediately claimed that employees at the La Grange location were subjected to anti-union propaganda by Starbucks. 

“Since then, workers at this store were forced to undergo five months of aggressive, and quite possibly unlawful union-busting tactics as they waited to vote. Unfortunately, as a result of a sustained, months-long barrage of coercive propaganda and intimidation, workers at this store voted against unionization 9-6 today.” Workers United said in a press release.

Currently, only 50 of 250 Starbuck locations have voted to join Workers United, known for oppressive union dues and alleged intimidation tactics used against members who think independently.

Union organizers from Starbucks met with the Biden administration at the White House this week to discuss unionization attempts and the alleged “union busting” actions by Starbucks.  Starbucks denied the “union busting” allegations and sent a letter to Biden administration asking for a meeting.

“We are deeply concerned that Workers United … was invited to the meeting while not inviting official Starbucks representatives, to discuss our view on the matter. We believe this lack of representation discounts the reality that the majority of our partners oppose being members of a union and the unionization tactics being deployed by Workers United.  Simply stated, we have a drastically more positive vision for our partners and our company than Workers United.” AJ Jones II, Starbucks senior vice president for global communications and public affairs wrote in the letter.

According to Starbucks, “Starbucks succeeds when our partners do, and we believe that success is best when shared. Our world-class benefits and programs for eligible part- and full-time partners are tailored to your needs. Your Total Rewards package includes base pay and bonus, benefits, retirement savings, stock and perks.”

Benefits and perks of working at Starbucks, without unionization, includes healthcare coverage, stock and savings programs, paid time off, opportunity to earn 100% tuition coverage for education in pursuance of a bachelor’s degree, commuter benefits, and emergency financial assistance.

Man Murdered In West Pullman

by The Chicago Times Staff

May 7, 2022

CHICAGO – One man was murdered in West Pullman on Saturday.

According to police reports, three men were shot on South Lowe near 116th around 3 p.m. after a gunman exited a parked vehicle and opened fire.

Bullets ripped through the air killing 26-year-old Brandon Slater and wounding two other men.  A 27-year-old was wounded in the leg and a 64-year-old was wounded in the chest and is listed in critical condition at a local hospital.

No suspects are in custody.  Police are asking for any information leading to an arrest.

Europe: Russia To Suspend Natural Gas Supplies To Poland

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

April 27, 2022

WARSAW – According to the Polish government, Moscow has decided to suspend natural gas to Poland since the Polish government will not pay in Russian rubles, which is required by Russian sanctions imposed in response to sanctions imposed by western allied nations.

Russian (nee Soviet) state run Gazprom, Russia’s largest source of gas, notified the Polish government that gas supplies will be cutoff starting Wednesday unless payment is made in Russian rubles.

The Polish government, which staunchly supports Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression, declared that Poland is prepared to make do and would never again live under the Russian yoke of tyranny.  Poland has been developing its own source of liquefied natural gas and a partnership with Norway for natural gas supplies.  According to a government source in Poland, Poland will not become dependent on Russian gas as Germany has decided to do.

Chicago: Man Murdered With Hammer

by Gary Parker, The Chicago Times

April 27, 2022

CHICAGO – A Chicago man claims self-defense after allegedly bludgeoning a man to death with a hammer after they met at a local club.

According to Chicago police, Gregory Stamps, 31, of Englewood, was discovered sitting in the stairwell of his apartment building in the 7100 block of South Lowe Avenue with blood on his hands and clothes, along with a slick trail of blood leading to the rear entrance of the building.

Police officers searching in the rear of the building discovered David Castile, 42, splattered with blood next to the building’s garbage dumpster.  According to police, Castile died at a local hospital.

As Stamps was interviewed on scene by investigators, he claimed that he had fallen down the stairwell into the sticky blood smeared in the hallway which had coated his hands and clothes.  Later, Stamps allegedly confessed to the murder and claimed Castile tried to rape him in Stamps’ third floor apartment.

According to police, Stamps admitted bashing Castile in the head with the hammer while in Stamps’ bedroom.  Police later found a blood saturated mattress and splattered dripping blood on the walls.  Investigators also found a hammer coated in blood as well as Castile’s wallet on Stamps’ person.  Stamps declined to comment on how he allegedly came into possession of Castile’s wallet.

Stamps allegedly confessed to investigators that he met Castile in a local club and asked for a ride home after which Castile allegedly attempted to rape Stamps.  Stamps did not explain how a ride home from a stranger led to two men in a bedroom in third-floor apartment.

Investigators later reported that Stamps claimed to have dragged a still breathing yet bludgeoned Castile down three floors and into the building’s ally.  Stamps allegedly dumped the body by the dumpster as if he were taking out the trash.  At some point, Castile’s wallet was allegedly taken by Stamps.  Stamps also declined to comment on why he did not report the attempted rape and alleged act of self-defense.

According to the Cook County medical examiner, Castile’s hammered skull had up to 30 impact points with defensive wounds to his arms and hands.  Police have yet to confirm if Stamps had any visible wounds.

According to court records, Stamps is currently on parole for a 2013 attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery conviction.

According to Stamps attorney, Stamps is in the female hair and make-up products industry.

Stamps is currently being held without bail and is expected back in court on May 16.

Electric Company To Plant Trees

by Sloan T. Wilson

April 23, 2022

CHICAGO – ComEd announced that it will donate over 3,300 trees and shrubs to northern Illinois communities to honor Arbor Day.  In collaboration with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program, ComEd has pledged to distribute trees and shrubs to 255 communities during the next two months.  Since the 2015 launch of the collaborative program, ComEd has provided 30,000 trees and shrubs to Illinois communities.

“At ComEd, we are committed to protecting green space and lowering energy usage and carbon emissions for all 9 million people in our communities.  In collaboration with Arbor Day Foundation, we are donating 3,300 trees this spring for to help neutralize carbon pollution, generate cleaner air, and promote green spaces that enhance quality of life across all our communities.” ComEd CEO Gil C. Quiniones said in a statement.

Quiniones, former CEO of the New York Power Authority, was brought in as CEO of ComEd in 2021 to lead the company out of its scandal plagued past and alleged connection to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan who has been indicted on federal corruption charges.

“Spring is one of the best times of the year for companies and organizations to go out and engage communities around environmental causes.  ComEd’s continued investment in this program means cleaner air and water, and an overall increased savings in energy cost. The trees distributed by the Energy-Saving Trees program will provide innumerable environmental benefits for years to come.” Dan Lambe, CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation said in a statement.

The Energy-Saving Trees program, started by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2011, is powered by i-Tree, a credible research-based forestry tool. Using the i-Tree tool, which includes benefits estimations from the USDA Forest Service, customers can research the environmental impact for a variety of tree species, and where to plant the tree to maximize its benefits.

According to a ComEd press statement “The annual program is an initiative by ComEd’s vegetation management team, which performs maintenance and hazard mitigation to ensure safe and reliable power delivery, while protecting our green canopy and surrounding ecosystems. Some of the plant species include: Bayberry, Eastern Redbud, Meadowsweet, Ninebark, Dogwood, Hydrangea and Viburnum. All are low-growing trees and shrubs that will not interfere with power lines.”

ComEd, also known as Commonwealth Edison, is the largest electric utility in Illinois and the sole electric provider in Chicago.  Founded in 1907, ComEd is today a unit of Exelon Corporation and serves some 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois.