by James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

June 1, 2021

NORTH AURORA, IL — Tuesday evening, two men were shot in the parking lot of a North Aurora grocery store.  According to North Aurora Police, officers discovered the two victims with gunshot wounds in the parking lot of Woodman’s Market at 151 Hansen Blvd around 6:30 p.m.  According to police, one male was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.  The other was taken in good condition as well.

North Aurora Police believe the victims were targeted by the gunman.  The suspects is being sought by police in North Aurora and surrounding area.


by The Chicago Times Staff

May 31, 2021

CHICAGO — Arthur Muir, 75, was safely returned from Mount Everest on Sunday, where climbing teams had battled bad weather and a coronavirus outbreak.  Muir climbed the peak earlier this month, breaking the 67-year-old record set by another American, Bill Burke.

Muir’s ankle was injured in a climbing accident on Everest in 2019, but that didn’t stop him from attempting to scale the peak again.  He started mountaineering later in life and admitted to being scared and anxious during his most recent expedition.

“You realize how big a mountain it is, how dangerous it is, how many things that could go wrong. Yeah, it makes you nervous, it makes you know some anxiety there and maybe little bit of scared . . . I was just surprised when I actually got to there (the summit) but I was too tired to stand up, and in my summit pictures I am sitting down,” Muir told reporters in Kathmandu.

At the age of 68, Muir began mountaineering with trips to South America and Alaska before attempting Everest in 2019 and falling off the ladder.

Tsang Yin-hung, 45, of Hong Kong, became the fastest female climber when she reached the summit from base camp in 25 hours and 50 minutes.  Lakpa Gelu, a Sherpa guide, holds the record with a time of 10 hours and 56 minutes.


by J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times

May 31, 2021

MAYWOOD, IL — After allegedly shooting and killing a customer who refused to pay, the owner of a suburban barbershop was ordered held in lieu of $250,000 bail on Sunday.

According to Cook County prosecutors and Maywood police, Deshon Mcadory, 40, of Lombard, was charged with first-degree murder in last Thursday’s shooting at the Studio 914 barbershop, 914 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

Christian McDougald, 31, refused to pay for a haircut that day and began arguing with the barbers, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Meehan.  Except for McDougald and Mcadory, everyone left after the argument moved outside.

When McDougald followed the shop owner to the back door, Mcadory allegedly shot him once in the chest, according to Meehan.  McDougald was discovered by responding officers and taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

According to Meehan, the shooting was caught on surveillance video, and a witness identified Mcadory as the shooter.  A gun linked to the shooting was discovered in a coat thought to be Mcadory’s, and ammunition matching the shell casing discovered at the scene was discovered in his car.

Three additional firearms were discovered at the workstation of Mcadory’s business partner, 43-year-old Samuel Williams.  Williams, a Bellwood resident with four prior felony convictions, was charged with felonious use of a weapon.  His bail was set at $25,000 after he appeared in court alongside Mcadory on Sunday.

Mcadory’s attorney, Anthony Burch, insisted that his client was acting in self-defense, pointing out that he has a Firearm Owners Identification card as well as a concealed carry permit.  Mcadory, according to Burch, was “retreating” back into the barbershop when he shot McDougald, whom he referred to as the “aggressor.”

Burch described his client as a lifelong Cook County resident who employs eight independent contractors and pays for the college education of two sons.  Mcadory has two prior convictions, including a felony for cannabis possession in 2004.

Mcadory and Williams are scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday.


Consolidated Press News File

May 29, 2021

CHICAGO — A white reporter for a conservative news organization is suing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, alleging that she discriminated against him because of his race when she granted interviews to only journalists of color around the midpoint of her first term.

In the case, Thomas Catenacci and his employer, the Daily Caller News Foundation, claim that Lightfoot violated their First Amendment rights and Catenacci’s right to equal protection by refusing to reply to an interview request on her second anniversary in office and subsequent days.  The nonprofit Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in federal court in Chicago on Thursday.

Lightfoot, Chicago’s first Black female and lesbian mayor, said on May 19 that she would only give interviews to journalists of color on the second anniversary of her inauguration on May 20.  She claimed it was done to highlight the fact that the City Hall press corps is “overwhelmingly white” and male in a city where white people make up just around one-third of the population.

At a May 20 ceremony commemorating the occasion, Lightfoot reaffirmed her view while also urging media businesses to diversify their workforces.

“The fact that the City Hall press corps is overwhelmingly white, has very little in the way of diversity, is an embarrassment,” Lightfoot said. “One day out of 365, I say that I’m going to mark the anniversary of my two years in office by giving exclusive one-on-ones to journalists of color, and the world loses its mind.”

According to Catenacci’s lawsuit, he requested a one-on-one interview with Lightfoot by email on May 20, 21, and 24.  According to the lawsuit, he had not gotten a response from her office as of Thursday’s filing.

“On information and belief, Defendant is aware that Plaintiff Catenacci is not a ‘journalist of color,’ and Defendant has denied Plaintiff’s interview request pursuant to her announcement that she will only grant interview requests from ‘journalists of color,’” the lawsuit states.

A spokesperson from Lightfoot’s regime said that the city is evaluating the complaint and that no more comment could be made because the case is still being litigated.


by James R. Scott

May 28, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – After the pandemic delayed the sale of the first genetically engineered animal certified for human consumption in the United States, the first harvest of genetically engineered salmon occurred this week, according to AquaBounty Technologies Inc.

Several tons of mutant salmon developed by biotech business AquaBounty Technologies Inc. will now be sold at restaurants and away-from-home dining services in the Midwest and throughout the East Coast, where labeling as genetically altered is not necessary, according to company CEO Sylvia Wulf.

Samuels and Son Seafood, a Philadelphia-based seafood wholesaler, is the sole client that has announced it will sell the mutant salmon.

AquaBounty grew their mutant salmon in Albany, Indiana, in an indoor aquaculture facility.

The fish have been genetically engineered to grow twice as quickly as wild salmon, reaching market size — 8 to 12 pounds (3.6 to 5.4 kilograms) — in 18 months instead of 36.

The fish was supposed to be harvested in late 2020, according to the Massachusetts-based firm.

Wulf ascribed the delays to the pandemic’s lowered demand and market price for Atlantic salmon.

“The impact of the pandemic made us  re-examine our initial timeline … there was limited demand for salmon then,” she said. “We’re very excited about it now. We believe the timing is right and the harvest will meet the growing demand as the economy recovers.”

Although sales have commenced, the mutant fish has been greeted with opposition from environmentalists for years.

Aramark, an international food service firm, said in January that it would no longer sell mutant fish, citing environmental concerns as well as potential negative consequences for Indigenous groups who gather wild salmon.

Other significant food service firms, such as Compass Group and Sodexo, as well as numerous significant grocery merchants, seafood firms, and restaurants in the United States, made similar announcements.

Costco, Kroger, Walmart, and Whole Foods say they don’t sell mutant fish because they’d have to identify it as such.

Activists with the Block Corporate Salmon movement, which works to safeguard wild salmon and Indigenous rights to sustainable fishing, have led the boycott against AquaBounty mutant salmon.

“Genetically engineered salmon is a threat to the food system.  People need ways to connect with the food they’re eating, so they know where it’s coming from,” said Jon Russell, a member of the campaign and a food justice organizer with Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. “These salmon are so new — and there’s such a loud group of people who oppose it. That’s a huge red flag to consumers.”

AquaBounty is certain that the mutant fish will be well-received.

“We couldn’t get products into the market during the pandemic since most of the salmon in this country is imported,” Wulf added.  “A domestic source of supply that is not seasonal like wild salmon and is produced in a secure environment is becoming increasingly important to consumers.”

The mutant salmon is marketed by AquaBounty as disease and antibiotic free, with a lower carbon footprint and no danger of contaminating marine habitats, as is the case with traditional sea-cage farming.

The genetically engineered fish, despite their fast development, require less food than normal farmed Atlantic salmon, according to the firm.  Biofiltration devices keep the water clean in the Indiana facility’s multiple 70,000-gallon tanks, reducing the likelihood of mutant fish becoming ill and requiring medication.

In 2015, the FDA declared the AquAdvantage Salmon to be “safe and effective.”  Until December, when federal officials authorized a genetically engineered pig for food and medicinal purposes, it was the first genetically modified animal permitted for human consumption.

AquaBounty’s sprawling Indiana plant, which is presently cultivating around 450 tons of mutant salmon from eggs imported from Canada but has the capacity to raise more than twice that much, received government approval in 2018.

Others, however, have a different opinion of the mutant salmon, which has been dubbed “Frankenfish” by some detractors, amid a changing home market that increasingly values provenance, health, and sustainability, as well as wild seafood.

Companies must use a QR code, an on-package display of text, or a specified symbol to reveal genetically modified elements in food, according to the USDA labeling regulation.  The mandatory compliance takes effect in January, however the requirements do not apply to restaurants or food services.

When the mutant fish is offered in grocery stores in the coming months, Wulf said AquaBounty is committed to adopting “genetically engineered” labeling.

Judge Vince Chhabria of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in November that the FDA has the jurisdiction to regulate genetically modified animals and fish.  However, he found that the agency had failed to appropriately analyze the environmental impact of AquaBounty mutant fish escaping into the wild.

The corporation claims that escape is rare since the mutant fish are watched 24 hours a day and kept in tanks with screens, grates, netting, pumps, and chemical disinfection.  The mutant fish produced by the corporation are likewise female and sterile, preventing them from reproducing.

“Our fish are designed to thrive in the land-based environment. That’s part of what makes them unique,” Wulf said. “And we’re proud of the fact that genetically engineered allows us to bring more of a healthy nutritious product to market in a safe, secure and sustainable way.”


DuPage County

May 25, 2021

DuPage County and the College of DuPage have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. 

NACo recognized DuPage County’s “Collaborative Conversation on Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” in the Arts, Culture, and Historic Preservation category.  DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and representatives from College of DuPage developed the series following racial protests last summer.  Together they sought a productive, meaningful way to involve local officials, students, and residents in a community conversation dealing with the difficult topics of equity, inclusion, discrimination, race, and social justice.  The resulting initiative was designed to help both internal and external audiences reflect, share, and act, with stories meant to educate from a personal perspective.  Video projects, blog posts, interviews and panel discussions explored the past and present and sought concrete ways DuPage residents could unite against racism. 

“During a difficult year, our partnership with the College of DuPage, creating a community conversation about racial equity, diversity and inclusion, has been a remarkable effort to break down walls and promote understanding.  I’m pleased that our efforts have been recognized nationally.  The most important outcome of this yearlong initiative is the meaningful dialogue that we started, and will continue, as we work to strengthen the connections we’ve built.”

“The College of DuPage partnership with DuPage County has stimulated many important conversations. As the largest community college in Illinois, I am proud of the equity work that our institution and the county have accomplished together,” said Dr. Brian Caputo, College of DuPage President.

NACo President Gary Moore said, “Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership. This year’s Achievement Award winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. 

DuPage County