Lead Story: New testimony just released by federal investigators shows that close calls at O'Hare were much closer — and more extreme — than originally thought. The investigation highlights two cases of barely averted mid-air collisions involving planes taking off at the airport in May and August of 2011. The report, conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration, doesn’t place direct blame on any one party, but it does reveal some huge flaws in O'Hare's layout. In both cases the FAA credits quick thinking by pilots for averting disaster. Scarily, the Chicago airport isn’t alone in facing issues of runway safety, in part because many major airports don't have room to expand.
Lead Story: On Sunday, protests surrounding the controversial film Innocence of Muslims reached Chicago. Rather than the violent outbursts we’ve seen overseas, this protest was a relatively small, peaceful demonstration. But don’t look for any mention of it in the local media. The closest thing I’ve seen is a paltry 58-word post on ABC 7’s website that completely left out the "who" and "where." Instead, we get this and this. There has been some coverage of local reaction to the film, so it's not as if the story been completely ignored here.
Lead Story: As the teacher strike grows smaller in the rearview mirror, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attention now turns to negotiations with unions representing the city’s fire, police and transit departments. Of course, none of those three unions are allowed to strike as they provide public services. But after the recent teachers strike, those groups sense blood in the water around Emanuel. And the mayor isn’t standing pat, launching a media blitz that touts the mayor’s reform agenda and the gains to be had from the negotiations with the teachers union.
Lead Story: In most cities, the case of a man charged with the horrific murders of his wife and three children would make headlines for the duration of the trial. But in Chicago, the murder trial of Christopher Vaughn has played second fiddle to a number of other stories this year: the teachers strike, Chicago's overall murder rate and the circus that was the Drew Peterson trial. In fact, while people were distracted by that surreal circus, they probably missed the equally strange twists and turns in the Vaughn case. But the Vaughn case heads to closing arguments today, and still, it barely registers for most Chicagoans.
Unlike the Peterson case, there’s nothing sensational about Vaughn's case — it’s just horrific. Vaughn is accused of killing his whole family; the defendant claims it was his depressed wife who killed the children and then herself.
Lead Story: Let’s say you’re a minister who isn’t happy about the teachers strike (which, hey! is now over!). One might assume, being a man of God, that you’d offer to help negotiations or open up your church to host out-of-school children. But if you’re Bishop Larry Trotter of the South Side's Sweet Holy Spirit Missionary Baptist Church, you protest the strike by staging a mock crucifixion using your four-year-old granddaughter. (ABC 7 notes that other men helped hold the girl up and that she wasn’t actually just “dangling” from the cross, so there’s that.) About his symbolic gesture Trotter said, “Our children are being neglected. Their hope is being crucified. Their education is being crucified and their future is being crucified.” He didn’t take sides, though, blaming everyone involved – Mayor Emanuel, the school board and the teachers union.
Lead Story: Mitt Romney might stand a chance of winning this election – but only if he keeps his mouth shut until Election Day. First there was that misfire regarding the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya last week, a reaction that drew criticism even from fellow conservatives. Then there was that less egregious whoopsie-daisy in which Romney said “middle-income” means you make between $200,000 and $250,000 a year, just as the Census Bureau reported the real median income in the United States is $50,000 a year. Now comes video from a fundraiser earlier this year during which Romney unloaded on Obama’s base.
Lead Story: On Friday, federal agents arrested a suburban teen on terrorism charges after he allegedly tried to set off a bomb outside a downtown bar. The bomb was planted by undercover agents who had been in contact with the teen - who had bragged about his plans online – for several months. While officials haven’t said which bar was the target, the owner of Cal’s Liquors at Wells and Van Buren told the Sun-Times he believes his bar was the target.
Lead Story: It’s been over a week since the first news of the death of local rapper Lil Jojo and the investigation into the involvement of rising local rap star Chief Keef and there’s still no new news. Rumors of Keef being brought in for police questioning circulated on Twitter earlier this week but were never substantiated. Keef still insists that his account was hacked and later tweeted a more appropriate tribute to the fallen rapper. Another local rapper, No I.D. weighed in on the feud between Keef and Lupe Fiasco but just this week Fiasco seemed to be seeking a truce. Another rap star, Fifty Cent, came to Keef’s defense this week, pointing to the lack of charges against Keef as a reason to withhold judgment.