CTA To Alter Schedules To Address Security Concerns

By Jeff L. Tucker, The Chicago Times

CHICAGO – CTA President Dorval Carter announced on Thursday plans to alter schedules in an effort ease safety concerns and long wait time for passengers.

“CTA service has been under pressure for nearly three years, and recent job market and workforce challenges are compounding an already difficult time. From the market forces of the ‘great resignation’ to a very competitive job market and high attrition rates among bus and rail operators, our services are not meeting our high standards,” Carter said during a luncheon speech with Chicago business leaders.

The CTA has been inundated with complaints from passengers and city officials about overall service and safety.  CTA ridership continues to lag and there is no sign it will recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Carter insisted that a shortage of train and bus operators is to blame for the long wait times.  CTA reported that it has lost nearly 1,000 employees since the pandemic.

To remedy long wait times, Carter rolled out a new schedule that will be based on current rider patterns which he hopes will make wait times more consistent and limit any large gaps in CTA arrivals.  Carter also emphasized that service hours will not change. 

Carter also mentioned plans to hire new full-time employees as well as retired operators on a part time basis.

© The Chicago Times – All Rights Reserved

Naperville: Man charged In Violent Home Invasion

By Kathy Whitaker, The Chicago Times

August 9, 2022

NAPERVILLE, IL –  A man who was out on probation was charged after he allegedly broke into a Naperville residence where his ex-girlfriend was visiting and violently attacked residents.

According to prosecutors, on Saturday at 4:00 am,  24-year-old Adam Stone, of Chicago, allegedly broke into a residence on Smokey Court in Naperville where his ex-girlfriend was visiting.  Stone supposedly broke a basement window and entered the residence without permission and then attacked several of the occupants as they attempted to force him out of the residence.

When Stone was finally thrown out of the residence, he allegedly threw a brick through the windows of two vehicles owned by the victims.

Stone has been charged with home invasion causing injury and three counts of criminal damage to property.

Stone is expected in court on Friday.

© The Chicago Times – All Rights Reserved

National Weather Service: Lake Michigan Too Dangerous For Swimming 

By The Chicago Times Staff

August 8, 2022

CHICAGO – National Weather Service declared Lake Michigan too dangerous for swimming in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area starting Monday and Tuesday.

According to the NWS “Dangerous swimming conditions are expected to develop on Monday, and will persist through early Tuesday afternoon.  Waves will be 3 to 6 feet high and currents in Lake Michigan could be life-threatening.  The high swim risk warning applies to beaches in Illinois and Indiana.  There is a moderate risk for Lake Michigan beaches in southeastern Wisconsin.”

Photo: Roman Boed, Flickr.com

© The Chicago Times – All Rights Reserved

Lightfoot Desperate To Keep Bears With Soldier Field Dome

By Frank Slawson, The Chicago Times

July 25, 2022

CHICAGO – In a desperate bid to keep the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled plans to construct a tax funded dome to cover the historic stadium.  According to Lightfoot, the price tag for the project could range between $900 million to $2.2 billion.

In September, the Chicago Bears announced they had reached an agreement to purchase the former site of Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights for $197 million.  Bears front office declined to comment on Lightfoot’s tax funded plan.

 “We are doing what we believe is making a compelling case for the Chicago Bears to stay in Chicago.  They want a tier one stadium environment to maximize revenues.  And we are going to keep making the case to the Bears, the NFL and the public that a revitalized Solider Field makes the most economic sense for that storied franchise.” Lightfoot said in a statement.

Landmark Development

Lightfoot’s plan would also increase seating at Soldier Field from 61,500 seats to 70,000.  The plan would also improve transportation to Soldier Field via public transportation.  Lightfoot also indicated that she would advance the plan with or without the Bears.

“Whether the Bears stay, and I hope they do, but even if they don’t, we’re going to generate a massive amount of revenue and financial impact for our city,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot also suggested that another NFL team lease Soldier Field, yet NFL regulations would give the Bears veto power over another team’s plan to move into Beardown territory.

Ferrero To Sweeten Chicago With Major Investment

By Al Brown, The Chicago Times

July 15, 2022

CHICAGO – Candy giant Ferrero to further investment in Illinois with innovation center in Chicago.

Ferrero North America announced Thursday they plan to construct a new innovation center in Chicago’s Marshall Field and Company Building.

Ferrero said the 45,000 square foot space will house research and development teams and employees from Ferrero’s Old Post Office location representing Fannie May, Nutella Café, Keebler, Famous Amos, Mother’s, and other Ferrero brands.

Ferrero’s announcement comes a month after plans for expanding its Bloomington facility by an additional 169,000 square feet was announced along with the expansion of a chocolate processing facility. 

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker, always one for expansion, was pleased to announce more chocolate and Ferrero products coming to Illinois.

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker

“Ferrero is an iconic manufacturer and we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen Illinois for their first U.S. chocolate processing facility.  Today we celebrated the expansion of Ferrero’s operations and the Kinder Bueno line coming to Bloomington,” Pritzker said on Twitter.

Ferrero expects the new innovation center will employ 170 employees and is expected to be completed by Spring of 2023.

Woman Killed In Chinatown During Shootout

By J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times

July 2, 2022

CHICAGO – A woman was killed as a result of gunfire in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood Friday night.  Two others were also wounded in the incident.

The shooting occurred in the 2200 block of South Wentworth around 11 pm.  Police arrived on scene and found a 24-year-old woman shot in the torso.  She was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

A 42-year-old woman was shot in the hand along with a 38-year-old male that was wounded in the buttocks.  Both are listed in good condition.  Police believe the male victim, now suspect, exchanged gunfire with another suspect that fled the scene.