Oak Lawn: Car Jacking Victim Struck In Head

by T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

April 23, 2022

OAK LAWN, IL – A man allegedly struck another man in the head with a blunt object during an attempted carjacking.

According to police, Osama Mansur, 23, of Chicago Ridge allegedly struck another man in the head during an attempted carjacking in the 5600 block of 105th street.  Police reports indicate that Mansur was involved in a physical altercation with the victim during the attempted carjacking which prompted Mansur to strike the victim in the head with bunt object.  The victim was later found bleeding from the head by Oak Lawn police.  Mansur was arrested without incident at 103rd and Central Avenue.

Mansur is charged with one count of felony aggravated vehicular hijacking and is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.

Cases Tied To Corrupt Chicago Cop Watts Dismissed

by James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

April 23, 2022

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge dismissed 44 cases connected to corrupt ex-Chicago police sergeant Ronald Watts.

In a hearing Friday, Cook County judge Erica Reddick vacated 44 cases tied to Watts, bringing the total amount of cases vacated to 212.

Watts and other former members of his tactical team allegedly extorted drug dealers and residents at the notorious Ida B. Wells housing project in the early 2000s.  Victims that refused to pay were allegedly framed by Watts and his team.  Victims allegedly had felony-level drugs planted on them by Watts and his co-conspirators.

Watts along with another co-conspirator, were indicted on federal charges in 2012.  Prosecutors revealed that Watts and his co-conspirators operated a protection racket, falsely charged victims with crimes, and sold drugs and weapons.

Metra To Expand Rail Service

by Jeff L. Tucker, The Chicago Times

April 8, 2022

CHICAGO – Metra to expand rail service on its UP Northwest Line and UP North Line starting April 25th.

Metra has announced that it will “significantly” expand weekday service on its UP Northwest Line and modification to its UP North Line.

“We have said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that Metra is committed to adjusting its schedules to meet growing ridership and our riders’ changing needs.  We are greatly encouraged by the growth in ridership so far this year and we are happy to be welcoming returning riders and new ones to My Metra.” Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said in a statement.

According to Metra, the new UP-NW schedule will add 21 weekday trains to the current 45 scheduled.  In addition, Metra will modify schedules to offer more “. . . consistent service patterns and departure times, making the schedule easier for customers to understand and memorize. Most midday trains will now arrive in Chicago on the 10s, allowing better connections with other UP lines.”

Metra’s UP North Line schedule will also be modified in which “the schedule is being adjusted to add one more morning departure from and one more evening train to Kenosha. Train 310 will now depart Kenosha at 6:38 a.m. In the evening, Train 351, the 4:32 p.m. departure from Chicago, will provide service to Kenosha arriving at 6:02 p.m.”

Pritzker To Place Grocery Sales Tax On A Diet

by Horace Douglas, The Chicago Times

April 8, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker announced plans to suspend grocery taxes and freeze the state’s fuel tax.

According to Pritzker’s office, $1.8 billion have been earmarked in the new budget for taxpayer relief.

“Over the last few weeks, and especially over the last 48 hours, we’ve engaged in a true give and take, which led to genuine compromise, and it honestly helped that we all came into this process committed to a fiscally-responsible spending plan that improved our state’s finances and helped our people in an hour of genuine need.” Pritzker said in a statement.

Pritzker’s budget proposes a suspension of Illinois’ 1% sales tax on groceries for the new fiscal year which will end July 1, 2023.  In addition, Pritzker proposed a freezing the state fuel tax at $.39 a gallon until January 1, 2023.  According to official Illinois bean counters, the election year tax gimmick will save taxpayers $470 million dollars.

Amazon Workers Reject Unionization In Alabama

by Al Brown, The Chicago Times

March 31, 2022

BESSEMER, AL – It appears that Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama have rejected unionization attempts this Thursday with a vote 993 to 875 against forming a union.  However, the National Labor Relations Board stated that 416 challenged votes could overturn the decision.

According to Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, “This is just the beginning and we will continue to fight.  Regardless of the final outcome, workers have shown what is possible. They have helped ignite a movement.”

Appelbaum has instructed RWDSU lawyers to file objections to how Amazon conducted the election.  The RWDSU was founded in 1937 and represents some 60,000 laborers in retail, grocery stores, food processing plants, hotels, and the public sector.  The RWDSU has allegedly been connected with various communist activists and provocateur throughout its history.

Amazon has fought hard to resist unionization since it would lead to higher costs for consumers.  Amazon workers were provided with training sessions depicting the ills of unions, which often impose heavy mandatory member dues and actively push companies into an adversarial relationship with workers.  Amazon currently offers workers health care, 401(k) plans, and an opportunity to participate in a prepaid college tuition program.  In a statement, an Amazon spokesman said “As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees.  Our focus remains on working directly with our team to continue making Amazon a great place to work.”

Alabama is currently a right-to-work state in which workers can not be forced to join a labor union.

Lake View: Elderly Woman Shot While Pushing Stroller

By James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

March 31, 2022

CHICAGO — A 72-year-old woman was shot in the 3100 block of North Broadway in the Lake View neighborhood.

According to police, the shooting occurred in broad daylight around 1:40 p.m. while the woman was pushing a small child in a stroller.  Reports indicate the victim was struck in the upper left thigh and was taken to a local hospital.  Family members stated the victim was visiting from the suburbs.

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