Elmhurst: Man Charged With Hate Crime

By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

July 14, 2022

ELMHURST, IL – An Elmhurst man has been charged with spray-painting swastikas on the homes and vehicles of several Elmhurst residences.

Joel Jexie, 25, of the 500 block of Crockett Avenue, appeared at a bond hearing Wednesday where Judge Michael Reidy set bond at $100,000.  Jexie has been charged with three counts of Hate Crime, a Class 4 Felony and one count(s) of Criminal Damage to Property, a Class 4 Felony.

On July 9, 2022, the Elmhurst police received a call regarding vandalism that occurred on Oak Street.  On scene, officers observed swastikas painted on two garage doors of the home as well as on a Lexus ES 350.  Three days later, on July 12, 2022, Elmhurst police responded to another call regarding a swastika that was spray-painted on a VW Atlas located on Crockett Avenue.  After an investigation, Elmhurst police were able to identify Jexie as a suspect in the two cases in addition to an April 2022 incident where a swastika was spray-painted on a home on Walnut Street.  Jexie was taken into custody Wednesday at his home without incident.

“The allegations against Mr. Jexie are very disturbing and have been charged accordingly.  Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society and the allegations against Mr. Jexie in no way represent the welcoming, good-hearted people of DuPage County. I thank the Elmhurst Police Department for their work on this case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Rob Willis and Grace Barsanti for their efforts on this case,”  DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.

Jexie’s is expected to appear in court on August 5, 2022,a for arraignment in front of Judge Reidy.

Inflation Soars To 9.1% in June

By Sloan T. Wilson, The Chicago Times

July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday the consumer price index, an aggregate measure of everyday goods and services, increased to 9.1% from a last June, outpacing the 8.8% Dow Jones estimate.  

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, CPI increased 5.9%, monthly CPI rose 1.3% and core CPI increased 0.7%, compared to estimates of 1.1% and 0.5%.

CRCP: $500 Monthly Payments Distributed To Chicago Residents

By James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

July 11, 2022

CHICAGO – Monday saw the first $500 monthly payments to low-income Chicago households that endured financial hardship during the recent pandemic.

The $31.5 million Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot, which gives 5,000 Chicago households $500 cash payments every month for a year via lottery selection, is funded by federal tax dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Mayor Lightfoot announced the launch of applications for the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot on April 13, 2022, just about two months shy of her official announcement to seek another term as mayor.

Lightfoot has stipulated that tax dollars distributed through the CRCP are unrestricted and participants will not be required to report how they spend the money.

“Prepaid debit card data will be anonymously aggregated and reported to the City to support the public’s understanding about how people generally make use of cash assistance funds. If you select to use a prepaid debit card, you will be able to opt out of reporting your expenditure data. If you select to use direct deposit, your transactions will not be tracked or reported in aggregate to the City.” According to the CRCP website.

“In order to recover fully from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we must develop solutions that equitably and inclusively address the challenges facing our residents.  Through this cash assistance program, we are able to serve those who have borne the brunt of COVID-19. Direct cash payments have the potential to be truly transformative for communities that need it most, which is why I remain so proud to be able to provide this vital programming for residents.” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

Lightfoot’s office said 176,000 residents applied for the pilot program this spring.  Applicants who were eligible were entered into a selection lottery that determined who would receive the $500 monthly payments.  In total, 5,000 households were randomly selected to receive the funds.

According to the Mayor’s office, “The lottery is designed to prioritize households living in poverty (at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level) and those living in communities with preexisting economic hardship. This is aligned with the Chicago Recovery Plan’s objective of promoting an equitable economic recovery.  All 5,000 fund recipients, plus a few thousand applicants who are not selected to receive funds, will have the opportunity to participate in an optional research study which will include a small stipend for participation.”

Participants will receive payments through direct deposit or via a prepaid debit card.

Communist North Korea Conducts Artillery Fire Drills

By Douglas F. Roberts, The Chicago Times

July 11, 2022

SEOUL – South Korea claims communist North Korea may have conducted artillery firing drills in response to the deployment of an advanced fighter jet by the United States to South Korea in a joint training exercise.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, defense forces detected “multiple trajectories” presumed to be North Korean artillery on Sunday afternoon.

“Our military spotted flight trajectories that are suspected to be North Korea’s multiple rocket launchers from around 18:21 to 18:37 pm today.  Our military has strengthened surveillance and vigilance and maintained a thorough readiness posture while keeping close US-South Korea cooperation,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

South Korea’s defense forces said the suspected artillery fire occurred off the communist North’s west coast.  Kim Sung-han, South Korea’s National Security Advisor said his office monitors launches by the communist North on a regular basis.

Currently, communist North Korea has conducted massive weapons test and is suspected of preparing to resume underground nuclear weapons tests after a 5-year hiatus.  Even more alarming is communist North Korea’s test launch of a nuclear-capable missile that can reach the US mainland and allies.

The US and South Korean governments have repeatedly said they have no intention of invading or attacking communist North Korea, which invaded South Korea in June of 1950 along with help from communist China.  By 1953, communist aggression had caused the death 170,927 allied troops with 32,585 declared missing in action.  Since an armistice was signed in June of 1953 without a formal peace treaty, communist North Korea is technically still at war with South Korea and allied forces.

Photo: KCNA via REUTERS

President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka To Resign

By S. E. Flynn, The Chicago Times

July 10, 2022

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s president and prime minister agreed to resign Saturday after protesters stormed the presidential residence and set fire to the private residence of the prime minister.

According to the Parliament, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe agreed to leave office once a new government is formed and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will leave office Wednesday.  The resignations come after massive protests over the nation’s economic collapse and shortages of goods and energy.

Government security forces attempted to impose a curfew to prevent protests, however the curfew was later lifted as opposition leaders and legal experts exposed it as illegal.  Over the next day, thousands of protestors stormed the capital, Colombo, and forced their way into the presidential residence.  Protesters later made their way to the prime minister’s private residence and set it a blaze.  It is unclear if the president or the prime minister were in their homes at the time.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena later issued a statement that parliamentary leaders had met and formally requested that President Rajapaksa leave office.  Rajapaksa agreed to leave after a new government is safely in place.

“He asked me to inform the country that he will make his resignation on Wednesday the 13th, because there is a need to hand over power peacefully.  Therefore there is no need for further disturbances in the country, and I urge everyone for the sake of the country to maintain peace to enable a smooth transition,” Abeywardena said in a statement.

Rauff Hakeem, opposition leader, announced that parliament had agreed that the speaker of Parliament would become the temporary president in the interim government.

Wickremesinghe announced his resignation but said he would not step down until a new government is formed.

“Today in this country we have a fuel crisis, a food shortage, we have the head of the World Food Program coming here and we have several matters to discuss with the IMF.  Therefore, if this government leaves there should be another government.” Wickremesinghe said in a statement.

Willie Wilson Gas Giveaway Saturday

By The Chicago Times Staff

July 9, 2022

CHICAGO — Willie Wilson will giveaway gas in Chicago Saturday morning.

Wilson, a millionaire businessman and candidate for Chicago mayor, is again giving away gas in Chicago to as relief to residents as gas prices remain high.  Wilson has personally funded similar giveaways over the last few months.

Saturday’s giveaway begins at 7 am at the following 10 locations:

Amoco, 7201 N. Clark St.

BP, 101 N. Western Ave.

BP, 5701 W. Fullerton Ave.

Citgo, 1745 W. Western Ave.

Citgo, 2801 W. 59th St.

Citgo, 3820 S. Archer Ave.

Gulf, 9901 S. Halsted St.

Mobile, 850 E. 63rd St.

Super Save, 11100 S. State St.

Super Save, 48 E. Garfield Blvd.