by J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times

On the Southwest Side of Chicago, a 24-year-old man was fatally shot early Sunday morning. 

Around 12:40 a.m., the man was outdoors with a group of friends in the 6300 block of South Campbell Avenue when an unknown gunman in a silver sedan fired rounds at him. 

According to CPD, he was hit in the upper chest and sent to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he died later. 

The individual has yet to be identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.  According to CPD, there was no description of the shooter.


Consolidated Press News File

May 16, 2021

CHICAGO – Metra to add rail cars that can accommodate bicycles.  The bike rail cars began operating on the Rock Island and BNSF lines on Saturday, according to Metra.  The cars can accommodate 16 bicycles instead of the 5 that Metra had been operating.

The bike cars will be available on weekday and weekend trains and are identifiable by a bright blue and grey color scheme on the exterior and a large white bicycle decal next to the exterior doors.  The initiative also emphasizes Metra’s dedication to environmentally friendly “green” transportation choices.


by James R. Scott, The Chicago Times

May 16, 2021

During a gunfight Saturday at a parking garage on a busy Near North Side block, rapper Lil Reese and two others were wounded.  According to Chicago police, the men were “. . . all shooting at each other. . ” around 9:50 a.m. inside a parking garage in the first block of West Grand Avenue.

Police sources said 2 men, ages 27 and 28, were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds.  The younger man was hit several times and was critically injured, while the older man was grazed in the eye and was listed in good condition.  One of the injured men, according to a police source, was rapper Lil Reese, whose legal name is Tavares Taylor.

According to police, a third man, 20, was transported to Stroger Hospital in good condition with two gunshot wounds to his knee.

Taylor has been shot twice since November 2019, when he was shot in the neck in the south suburban community of Country Club Hills.

Witnesses who did not want to be identified mentioned a “weird” sequence of events in the garage of a luxury high-rise condominium in a busy town.

Taylor’s PR staff declined comment if the gunfight was a publicity stunt and as of Saturday afternoon, no one has been charged in the gunfight.


City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor

May 13, 2021

CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot along with CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., and BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareño announced a full expansion of the Vaccine Exemption when Chicago enters the Bridge Phase of reopening tomorrow, May 14th, allowing businesses to expand capacity for vaccinated patrons. In addition to the increased capacity that comes with the Chicago Bridge Phase, businesses will have the option of not counting fully vaccinated individuals towards COVID-19 capacity limits for all industries. Restaurants and bars will also be able to seat parties larger than ten people if all patrons are fully vaccinated.  This next step is possible due to continued progress in the fight against the pandemic, the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the City’s ongoing efforts to reopen safely and cautiously while encouraging all Chicagoans to get vaccinated as soon as possible so we can return to normal.  

“It’s been nearly five months since vaccines first arrived in our city and since their arrival, we’ve been able to turn a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel into a full-blown flood of hope,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “With more and more of our residents vaccinated, we will be able to reopen more and more of our city in a way that is not only safe, but will allow us to eventually return to a sense of normal. This vaccine exemption expansion announcement, as well as our city’s shift into the Bridge Phase, proves that we are continuing to make progress in our mission of overcoming this pandemic once and for all.”

Over the last two weeks, since the launch of “Open Chicago,” all of Chicago’s COVID-19 metrics continue to decline or remain stable, including the average daily case count (now under 400), test positivity (under 4%), and hospitalizations and deaths. Due to this continued progress, Chicago is able to enter our Bridge Phase along with the state tomorrow, May 14th. Chicago’s Bridge Phase largely aligns with the state’s plan and, following standard protocol, we will update our plan to align fully with the state in two weeks if our metrics continue to remain stable or decline. 

“We are pleased to report continued progress in our fight to end this pandemic and I want to applaud all the Chicagoans who have made this possible by getting vaccinated and following the public health guidance,” said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Arwady. “This further reopening is exciting but we need everyone to continue to follow the health and safety guidance if we want to fully reopen for summer.”

COVID-19 capacity restrictions will increase across industries under the Chicago Bridge Phase effective tomorrow. This represents a broad loosening of regulations, including allowing bars and restaurants to operate within their regular liquor license hours, opening standing areas for the first time at 25% capacity, increasing to 250 people indoors or 500 people outdoors at social events, and increasing to the lesser of 60% or 1,000 people at meetings, conferences, and conventions. Certain capacity limits will remain in place to keep patrons and employees safe, including the limit on table size to ten people for any place that serves food or alcohol. However, in order to give businesses the opportunity to increase capacity safely while encouraging vaccine uptake, businesses will have the ability to take advantage of the Vaccine Exemption.

There are three components of the Vaccine Exemption:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not count towards COVID-19 capacity limits across all industries.
  • Bars, restaurants, and other establishments that allow onsite consumption of food or alcohol can increase table or party size above the limit of ten if all patrons age 16+ at that table or within that party are fully vaccinated. 
  • Late Hour Liquor Licensees can operate without hour restrictions for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began if only fully vaccinated patrons are permitted to enter. While all bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open under standard hours in the Chicago Bridge Phase, this will allow Late Hour establishments to stay open until 4:00 am Monday through Saturday morning and 5:00 am on Sunday morning if all patrons are fully vaccinated.

Businesses who choose to take advantage of the Vaccine Exemption will be expected to verify that patrons are fully vaccinated and track which customers are exempt from capacity limits to ensure compliance. A full overview of the Vaccine Exemption can be found here. 

“The Chicago Bridge Phase is a huge milestone on our path towards reopening and one that would not be possible without ongoing buy-in from our incredible business community,” said Rosa Escareño, BACP Commissioner. “However, if we want to continue moving forward and hopefully get back to normal soon, we need all Chicagoans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

While this broad loosening of restrictions and the new Vaccine Exemption reflects our progress in the fight against the pandemic, we are not at the end of this crisis. As such, certain regulations will remain in place across industries, including the requirement to maintain six feet of social distancing between parties and to wear face coverings at all times except in limited circumstances, such as when patrons are actively eating or drinking. 

To help businesses understand the new Chicago Bridge Phase and the Vaccine Exemption, BACP will be holding webinars this Friday, May 14, at 2:00 pm and Monday, May 17, at 1:00 pm. Register and learn more at 

City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor


Consolidated Press News File

CHICAGO – Patrick Daley Thomas, nephew of former Mayor Daley, pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal tax charges in connection with the failed Washington Federal Bank for Savings scandal.

Thompson faces five counts of filing false tax returns and two counts of lying to federal agents.  He denied the charges after the indictment was filed April 29.  Charges stemming from Thompson’s interview with federal agents about $219,000 in loans between 2011-2014 from the now defunct Washington Federal Bank for Savings.

On orders of U. S. District Judge Franklin Valerrama, Thompson was ordered to hand over his passport while awaiting trial.


DuPage County Sheriff’s Office

April 28, 2021

A Villa Park man is in custody, charged with the April 21 battery and car-jacking of an Amazon delivery driver in unincorporated DuPage County near Villa Park.

Jiovani Villa, 21. (DOB 08/13/99) of the 1600 block of South Michigan Avenue in Villa Park is charged with vehicular hijacking, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, robbery and aggravated battery on a public way. Judge Jeffrey MacKay set bond at $100,000.

The victim reported that he parked his personal vehicle, a blue 2006 Toyota Scion, at about 8:10 p.m. on April 21, in the area of Danby Street and Kirkland Lane in the Brandywine neighborhood to deliver packages. As the Amazon delivery driver returned to his vehicle, an unknown male who was wearing dark colored clothing appeared, pushed the Amazon delivery driver to the ground in the roadway and then stole his vehicle.  The vehicle contained multiple Amazon packages that were rendered undeliverable. An anonymous citizen’s tip led police to Villa.

“Criminals are getting more and more brazen as we see penalties for these violent crimes begin to be reduced. When you reduce penalties, it only makes sense crime will increase,” Sheriff James Mendrick said. “That being said, we’re still DuPage County and we do not tolerate this behavior here.”

The stolen vehicle was located Friday morning, April 23, in the parking lot of a Villa Park motel near the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Ardmore Avenue. Villa was located in the driver seat of the vehicle and was taken into custody without incident by officers from Villa Park and surrounding agencies. Once in the custody of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, Villa confessed to hijacking the vehicle as well as opening and selling the Amazon packages found inside the vehicle at a gas station in Chicago.

“I would like to thank Sheriff James Mendrick and his team for the quick identification and apprehension of the suspect in this case,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “Their successful efforts send the message to any would-be carjackers that this type of violent crime will not be tolerated in DuPage County.”  

Villa’s next court date is scheduled for 8 a.m. on May 24 in courtroom 4000.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

DuPage County Sheriff’s Office