WBEZ | Maywood http://www.wbez.org/tags/maywood Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Maywood, Illinois: A small village with a circus of talent http://www.wbez.org/news/maywood-illinois-small-village-circus-talent-106467 <p><p>There are two Maywoods in Illinois.</p><p>One is a 2.72 square-mile small town nine miles west of downtown Chicago that has produced a circus of raw talent ranging from NBA players to activists, folk singers and Emmy award winners.</p><p>The other is a Chicago suburb with a fewer than 25,000 people struggling with crime, blight, housing issues, poverty, changing demographics and identity.</p><p>On the south side of town, you have boarded up buildings, burnt-out brick buildings in a slow-state of repair, a quiet little downtown area and a Masonic lodge that serves as a Boys and Girls Club.</p><p>The north side boasts an eclectic mix of Chicago architectural styles where Frank Loyd Wright&rsquo;s students were said to have practiced. You can find 16 homes on the National Register of Historic Places, many tucked away in a quiet little neighborhood just west of the Des Plaines River.</p><p><object height="465" width="620"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633156114641%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633156114641%2F&amp;set_id=72157633156114641&amp;jump_to=" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633156114641%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633156114641%2F&amp;set_id=72157633156114641&amp;jump_to=" height="465" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620"></embed></object></p><h2><strong>You&rsquo;re in Pirate Country</strong></h2><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PTHSpic0101.jpg" style="height: 211px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Image courtesy of Proviso East High School alumni site)" /></p><p>What the two Maywoods share, besides history and square footage, is a high school called Proviso East, which has proven a fertile ground for more than athletic achievement. The last man to walk on the moon, the inventor of the Sidewinder missile, the founder of BET and an influential member of the Black Panthers all attended the school.</p><p>Proviso East High School - formerly the home of the Proviso Township School District until it was split into east and west schools - is a focal point of the small town.&nbsp; Its colossal brick field house and impeccable blue track make it look more like a small college than a high school.</p><p>Rivaling the school&rsquo;s physical size is its lengthy list of impressive alumni:</p><ul><li>Folk singer John Prine</li><li>Black Entertainment Television (BET) co-founder Sheila Johnson</li><li>Dennis Franz of <em>NYPD Blue</em></li><li>Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for the Will Smith film <em>The Pursuit of Happyness</em></li><li>Dr. Walter LeBarge, undersecretary of the Air Force</li><li>Tony and Pulitzer prize winning producer Dennis Grimaldi</li></ul><p>At a concert at the school a few years ago, John Prine said: &quot;Boy, I spent a lot of time in this place, I had a lot of naps...it was rumored that the Dean of Students had a metal plate in his head, so we would carry magnets in our pockets.&quot;</p><p>The school&rsquo;s athletic prowess, especially in basketball, is legendary. Proviso players who made it to the NBA include Reggie Jordan, Steven Hunter (currently with the Denver Nuggets) and most famously Glenn &ldquo;Doc&rdquo; Rivers, the NBA All Star who went on to coach the Celtics all the way to an NBA championship in 2008.</p><p>Donnie Boyce also played in the NBA.</p><p>Boyce was born in Maywood and grew up just down the street from Doc Rivers.&nbsp; He was one of the so-called &ldquo;three amigos&rdquo; (along with Sherell Ford and Michael Finley, both of whom also played in the NBA) on the Proviso team that won the Illinois State Championship in 1991.&nbsp; Boyce played for the Atlanta Hawks in the late &lsquo;90s.</p><p>Two years ago he came back to Proviso, this time to coach.</p><p>For an ex-player with offers to coach in Europe, his decision to come home was a big one for himself and the community.</p><h2><strong>Fred Hampton&rsquo;s legacy of black activism</strong></h2><p>Another famous Proviso alumni is Fred Hampton, the charismatic activist who founded the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party (and became chair of the Illinois BPP). Hampton was shot and killed by the Chicago police in 1969. &nbsp;Hampton earned three varsity letters and graduated from Proviso with honors in 1966. Though he didn&rsquo;t join the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) until he enrolled at Triton Junior College, he seems to have developed his political consciousness and organizing skills at the high school.</p><p>While at Proviso, Hampton led student demonstrations and boycotts over a number of issues: disparities between the treatment of black and white athletes, the lack of black teachers and administrators, and even the election of homecoming queen, a contest limited to white females. <a href="http://www.westsuburbanjournal.com/Maywood/sep17_09_hampton_fred_article55624.html">He won a number of reforms and was head of the school&rsquo;s Inter-racial Council</a>.</p><p>After high school, Hampton continued his activism while rising to lead a Youth Chapter of the NCAAP. He led a campaign to get an integrated public pool in Maywood. Some demonstrations he was involved in apparently became violent, including one against a city board meeting in 1968.</p><p>Many associate the term &ldquo;rainbow coalition&rdquo; with the Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., but it was actually Hampton who coined the phrase to describe the alliance he formed between the BPP, Chicago street gangs, youth organizations and student political groups.</p><p>Maywood has remembered Hampton by naming both a street and that very pool he fought for after him. Outside the pool is a bust created by famous Chicago sculptor Preston Jackson. But on Proviso&rsquo;s wall of famous alumni, Hampton&rsquo;s name and image is notably absent.</p><p>Still, not everyone has forgotten him. Donnie Boyce says Hampton had a big impact on him - in fact he thinks Hampton helped quell racial tensions at Proviso.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F86363109" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Maywood Now</strong></p><p>In his 1978 song &ldquo;Bruised Orange&rdquo; John Prine described Maywood like this:</p><p>&ldquo;My heart&#39;s in the ice house come hill or come valley<br />Like a long ago Sunday when I walked through the alley<br />On a cold winter&#39;s morning to a church house<br />just to shovel some snow.</p><p>I heard sirens on the train track howl naked gettin&#39; nuder,<br />An altar boy&#39;s been hit by a local commuter<br />just from walking with his back turned<br />to the train that was coming so slow.</p><p>You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,<br />throw your hands in the air, say &quot;What does it matter?&quot;<br />but it don&#39;t do no good to get angry,<br />so help me I know&rdquo;</p><p>If you talk to residents now, you&rsquo;ll find that some are mad. They are mad about what they perceive as high property taxes and water rates. They&rsquo;re mad about murder rates.</p><p>Even the mayor of Maywood, Henderson Yarbrough Sr. <a href="http://www.maywood-il.org/News&amp;Info/Newsletters&amp;Releases/Releases/2010/VoM_d042210_PropertyTaxAppeal.htm">says that property taxes are high</a>. He&rsquo;s held an appeal forum with <a href="http://www.cookcountygov.com/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_336_226_0_43/http%3B/www.cookcountygov.com/ccWeb.Leadership/LeadershipProfile.aspx?commiss_id=506">commissioner Larry Rogers Jr.</a> for three years running.</p><p>With a murder rate hovering near an average of <a href="http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Maywood-Illinois.html">eight murders per year</a>, and the blight of old buildings boarded up and empty houses, it might be easy take Prine&rsquo;s approach and gaze at the window and &ldquo;get mad and get madder.&rdquo; &nbsp;But with elections coming up on April 9, citizens have that one quintessentially American way of expressing themselves at their disposal. &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 10:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/maywood-illinois-small-village-circus-talent-106467 Alderman accuses bank of ‘redlining’ http://www.wbez.org/news/west-side-alderman-accuses-us-bank-owner-%E2%80%98redlining%E2%80%99-103151 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5396_Mitts1-scr.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 279px; width: 250px; " title="Ald. Emma Mitts, 37th Ward, is angry about a plan by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp to close a branch in her neighborhood. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />An alderman on Chicago&rsquo;s struggling West Side is steamed about a plan by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp to close a full-service branch in her neighborhood.</p><p>Ald. Emma Mitts (37th Ward) said the company&rsquo;s decision to shut down its U.S. Bank outlet at 4909 W. Division St. blindsided her. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re leaving high-and-dry with no warning,&rdquo; she said, calling the process &ldquo;disrespectful.&rdquo;</p><p>The branch is an anchor of Austin, a mostly African-American neighborhood hit hard over the years by factory closings and, more recently, home foreclosures.</p><p>But Mitts said there is still plenty of banking business for company officials to keep the branch open. &ldquo;The money is good but they don&rsquo;t want to be in the neighborhood,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s redlining.&rdquo;</p><p>U.S. Bancorp spokesman Tom Joyce bristled at the alderman&rsquo;s accusation. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s off base and unfortunate,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;In 2011, we put more than $152 million into affordable housing and economic development in metropolitan Chicago,&rdquo; Joyce said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re a proud citizen of the Chicago area and the Austin neighborhood and we&rsquo;ll continue to serve the neighborhood.&rdquo;</p><p>When the branch closes November 16, Joyce added, the company will leave an ATM and start shuttling seniors from that part of Austin to nearby U.S. Bank locations two or three times a month.</p><p>The branch on the chopping block was once part of Park National Bank, a&nbsp;commercial chain owned by Oak Park-based FBOP Corp. The chain was known for charity and investment in low-income areas. U.S. Bancorp acquired FBOP holdings as part of a 2009 federal rescue.</p><p>Austin community groups fought the U.S. Bancorp takeover. In 2011, bowing to pressure from the groups, the company agreed to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into affordable-housing efforts in Austin and Maywood, a nearby suburb.</p><p>U.S. Bancorp says it has 88 branches and 1,600 workers in the Chicago area.</p></p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 05:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/west-side-alderman-accuses-us-bank-owner-%E2%80%98redlining%E2%80%99-103151 On video: The architecture of Maywood http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-09/video-architecture-maywood-102477 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Maywood home.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yTzmXu_OiMo" width="560"></iframe></p><p>The west suburban town of Maywood often gets viewed through the narrow lenses of crime and &mdash; as the Chicago <em>Sun-Times</em> reported a month ago &mdash; <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/bga/14682183-418/corruption-cops-murder-call-for-investigation-of-maywood.html">shocking municipal mismanagement.</a></p><p>All that tends to overshadow one of the village&#39;s best assets: It&#39;s architecture. The 140-year-old town located on the west edge of the Des Plaines River has some insanely overlooked high-quality examples of pre-World War II building design, ranging from neat Craftsman bungalows to stately Prairie School homes that can complete with those found in nearby Oak Park and River Forest.</p><p>Which brings me today&#39;s video, <em>The Historic Homes of Maywood,</em> sent by Tom Kus, chairman of the Maywood Historic Preservation Commission. It&#39;s a well-done piece that does right by the town &mdash; and those there who are working to preserve and enhance Maywood&#39;s buildings. My favorite is the Cluever House at 12:57 in the video, designed by architect John Van Bergen.</p><p>&quot;It kind of gives you a nice overview of the community from an architectural and historic perspective,&quot; Kus said of the video.</p><p>Check it out and enjoy.</p></p> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-09/video-architecture-maywood-102477 Charter-school agency’s funding raises questions http://www.wbez.org/content/charter-school-agency%E2%80%99s-funding-raises-questions <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-14/Namaste_charter_SCALED.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-14/Namaste_charter_SCALED.jpg" style="margin: 8px 18px 5px 1px; float: left; width: 302px; height: 238px;" title="Namaste is among 109 charter schools in Chicago. Suburban and downstate districts are less eager for such schools. (AP/File)">A new government agency could boost the number of charter schools in Illinois. But the way the agency is financing itself raises questions.</p><p>The Illinois State Charter School Commission, created by a law enacted this summer, can authorize charter schools that fail to win approval of local school districts. The per-pupil state funding for the charter schools comes at the expense of the districts. The commission will also monitor the performance of schools it authorizes.</p><p>Despite the commission’s responsibilities, the state has not provided it any startup money. The only public-funding mechanism won’t be in place until next July, when the commission can begin collecting a fee from schools it authorizes.</p><p>Greg Richmond, the commission chairman, said his agency will need between $100,000 and $200,000 to operate until then.</p><p>The law that set up the commission allows it to raise private money. The commission’s sole funding so far is a $50,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation, which supports several Illinois charter school operators and their state trade group.</p><p>Told by WBEZ about this financing, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery said it created a conflict of interest.</p><p>“This is really the rubber hitting the road — why we thought this was a bad law,” said Montgomery, whose union includes most K-12 teachers in Chicago. “The state should reconsider this. I don’t think the people of Illinois would stand for the gaming industry, say, to have the right to reverse a community’s decision not to allow a race track in its town. I don’t know why we wouldn’t give at least the same protections to the children of Illinois.”</p><p>A spokesman for the Illinois Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union, echoed Montgomery.</p><p>But the law’s chief sponsor, state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said providing taxpayer funds for the commission’s launch would have been unpopular. “It was not going to make folks happy [to take] dollars away that could be going to the traditional public schools,” she said.</p><p>Other states have allowed charter school commissions to launch with private funding, Steans said.</p><p>The Illinois State Board of Education doesn’t see a conflict with the commission accepting foundation money, according to board spokeswoman Mary Fergus. “If we had any information that specific strings were attached to the donation/funding, that would be a problem,” Fergus said in a statement.</p><p>Before the commission’s creation, charter school operators that failed to win authorization from local school districts could appeal to ISBE. That state board received dozens of appeals but, according to Fergus, it reversed a district and authorized a charter school just three times.</p><p>Charter schools are independently run but depend on public funds. Most of their taxpayer support would otherwise go to local school districts.</p><p>Chicago officials have encouraged charter schools. On Wednesday, the city’s Board of Education approved a plan for 12 new charter school campuses. Chicago already has 109, a district spokeswoman said.</p><p>Elsewhere in Illinois, only 14 charter schools are operating. Officials in many districts say charters would weaken other schools by taking away students and resources. Those officials have been reluctant to authorize charter schools.</p><p>The nine commission members — recommended by Gov. Pat Quinn and appointed by ISBE — are already holding official meetings and overseeing a staff member, attorney Jeanne Nowaczewski.</p><p>The commission this month handled its first case, an appeal from a charter school operator spurned by school officials in west suburban Maywood. That operator withdrew the appeal last week after meeting with Nowaczewski, according to Richmond, the commission chairman.</p><p>The money for the commission’s staffing and other expenses so far comes from the Walton foundation. That family started Walmart and Sam’s Club. Other recipients of Walton grants include the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, a statewide umbrella. The foundation reports that it gave the network more than $1 million in 2010. Andrew Broy, the network’s president, said the amount for 2011 is about $950,000.</p><p>The network also serves as an intermediary — a “fiscal agent” in nonprofit parlance — for Walton’s funding of the state commission. Richmond said Nowaczewski receives her paychecks from the network, not the commission.</p><p>Richmond acknowledged that the Walton money could create the perception that the commission has a conflict of interest. But he urged the public to withhold judgment on the financing until seeing how the commission performs.</p><p>“We’re going to do everything possible to do the right thing, to act ethically, to make decisions based on the merits of what’s in the interest of kids, what’s in compliance with the law,” Richmond said.</p><p>Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office hasn’t issued an opinion about whether the commission’s funding meets legal and ethical standards, a spokeswoman said.</p><p>The Illinois Association of School Administrators, which represents most school district superintendents in the state, declined to comment about the commission’s financing.</p></p> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 11:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/charter-school-agency%E2%80%99s-funding-raises-questions Fire, water and something in between: A trio of intriguing buildings in Maywood http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-09-08/fire-water-and-something-between-trio-intriguing-buildings-maywood-91650 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-08/Maywood_WBEZ_Lee Bey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-08/untitled shoot-050.jpg" style="width: 492px; height: 640px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The photo above is of a 102-year-old former fire station in the western suburb of Maywood, Ill., a leafy but rough-around-the-edges town just west of River Forest--Oak Park's more affluent neighbor--along the bank of the Des Plaines River.</p><p>It's Maywood's first fire station, located at St. Charles Road near 5th Avenue. It was retired from duty long ago and it looks as if someone in recent years has turned the place into a residence, preserving a great-looking building crowned with a remarkable stair-step parapet.</p><p>The structure is one of three impressive buildings that stand together shoulder-to-shoulder on the industrial street. The first is a water department building built the same time as the firehouse. The architectural style is compatible with that of the fire station with that killer roof line and striated blond brick facade:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-08/untitled shoot-045.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 426px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The building in the middle is a puzzle. I couldn't find it on the tax rolls, so I was unable to determine a date of construction--and its blocky Art Deco style would indicate it was either built or recladded after the two end buildings. The original use was also a mystery, although by the looks of it, the building would have made a great powerhouse or police station. It is a youth center today:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-08/untitled shoot-047.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 467px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>And all together now (although I wish I'd brought a wider lens with me):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-08/untitled shoot-048.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 307px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>Architecture doesn't come to mind when you think of Maywood. But it should. The suburb of 27,000 has been marred by blight, crime and loss of industry. Yet the village possesses a collection of late 19th and early 20th century homes and public buildings that rivals that of their suburban neighbors to the east. There are large Prairie School homes, particularly on Maywood's northeastern edge; Queen Anne homes, substantial former bank and commercial buildings--the works. Some are tattered, torn and outright endangered (<a href="http://www.landmarks.org/hcih/imperiled_buildings.htm">click on this link</a>, then scroll down to see the Prairie School/Arts and Crafts bungalow designed by Talmadge and Watson that's for sale for $129,000) but they're still standing. And that's the important thing.</p></p> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 13:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-09-08/fire-water-and-something-between-trio-intriguing-buildings-maywood-91650 Housing groups salute banking giant for rehab deal http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/housing-groups-salute-banking-giant-rehab-deal <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Hartnack_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the nation&rsquo;s largest banks Friday provided details about an agreement with some nonprofit groups in Chicago-area neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. <br /><br />The deal, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates">revealed Wednesday by WBEZ</a>, stems from the collapse of Oak Park-based banking chain FBOP Corp. The company&rsquo;s flagship, Park National Bank, was known for donations and loans in low-income areas. In 2009, federal authorities took over FBOP and sold it to Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp said it couldn&rsquo;t fill Park National&rsquo;s shoes in the community. After protests, though, the banking giant last fall started negotiating with a coalition of nonprofit housing groups. The two sides reached a deal a few weeks ago and kept it quiet until this week.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp is promising $600,000 in interest-free loans this year to buy six foreclosed homes in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood and Maywood, a suburb nearby. Community groups will then renovate them and sell them at cost. If the effort breaks even, U.S. Bancorp will lend another $800,000 next year and $1 million more in 2013, bringing the total to $2.4 million.<br /><br />To celebrate the deal, U.S. Bancorp officials flew in for a gathering outside an Oak Park branch Friday. They included Richard Hartnack, vice-chairman of the company&rsquo;s consumer and small-business banking.<br /><br />Could this agreement be a model for banks and community groups to soften effects of the nation&rsquo;s housing crisis? Or is the deal just a U.S. Bancorp public-relations ploy? We got a chance to ask Hartnack at the celebration and included his responses in this WBEZ segment:<br /><br /><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-89527" href="/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-march/2011-03-04/bank2way110304cm.mp3">bank2way110304cm.mp3</span></p></p> Fri, 04 Mar 2011 20:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/housing-groups-salute-banking-giant-rehab-deal U.S. Bancorp cuts deal with housing advocates http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Virgil_Crawford.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the nation&rsquo;s largest financial firms will fund some nonprofit groups in Chicago-area neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. <br /><br />Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank, has faced pressure from community groups in West Side neighborhoods and nearby suburbs since 2009, when it purchased an Oak Park-based banking chain, FBOP Corp., as part of a federal rescue.<br /><br />FBOP units included Park National Bank, a Chicago-area lender known for charity and investment in low-income areas. U.S. Bancorp said it couldn&rsquo;t fill those shoes, but last fall started negotiating with a cluster of West Side groups called the Coalition to Save Community Banking.<br /><br />Now they&rsquo;ve inked an agreement. U.S. Bancorp will put up $600,000 for rehabbing six foreclosed homes, according to the coalition&rsquo;s Rev. Catherine Palmer. Three of the homes are in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood and three are in Maywood, a suburb nearby.<br /><br />Palmer says U.S. Bancorp will contribute a smaller sum for housing advocacy by the coalition and four other groups: Bethel New Life, Inc.; South Austin Coalition; Westside Health Authority; and Maywood-based Housing Helpers, Inc.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp spokeswoman Lisa Clark confirmed the two sides have struck a deal, but she declined to provide details.<br /><br />John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition in Washington D.C., praises the bank. &ldquo;The fact that it&rsquo;s willing to make some commitments to local organizations to help them do their work is a good sign.&rdquo;<br /><br />But Taylor offers some cautionary advice: &ldquo;The groups need to continue to work together to make sure that the bank is indeed making the loans for mortgages and, for that matter, for small businesses and needs that are in the community.&rdquo;<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp and the coalition are planning to unveil the agreement this Friday.</p></p> Wed, 02 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates Suburban school district vows to defend expulsion http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/suburban-school-district-vows-defend-expulsion <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-November/2010-11-04/ProvisoEast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A suburban school district says it&rsquo;ll fight a lawsuit aimed at overturning the expulsion of a student. Proviso Township High Schools says kicking him out was necessary for the safety of other students. <br /><br />Proviso East High School in west suburban Maywood claims Coris Ashford, 17, took part in a hallway fight that injured a student last May. The district says it caught the fight on videotape. Officials expelled Ashford and two other students until next August.<br /><br />Ashford&rsquo;s mother, Erica Edmond, says the punishment is not justifiable. &ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t show me the videotape,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t show me any type of proof that my son did anything.&rdquo;<br /><br />In a statement Thursday afternoon, the district says it gave each student due process and will defend itself &ldquo;to the fullest extent.&rdquo;<br /><br />In July, a Cook County judge threw out a Proviso East expulsion that involved an unrelated incident last year.<br /><br />In September, WBEZ found that the school district has been suspending or expelling one in three of its students each year.</p></p> Thu, 04 Nov 2010 21:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/african-americans/suburban-school-district-vows-defend-expulsion Polls will stay open late in seven suburban Cook County precincts http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county/polls-will-stay-open-late-seven-suburban-cook-county-precincts <p><p>In a written release, Cook County Clerk David Orr said a judge has ordered seven precincts in suburban Cook County to stay open for voting until 8 p.m. tonight due to opening late.&nbsp;Voters registered in these precincts are permitted to vote&nbsp;up to one hour after the statewide poll-closing time of 7 p.m. All voters in line by the 8 p.m. deadline will be allowed to cast a ballot in the following precincts.</p><p><strong>Niles</strong><strong> 29</strong><br /> LINCOLNWOOD PLACE<br /> 7000 McCormick<br /> Lincolnwood, IL 60045</p> <div><strong>Northfield</strong><strong> 25</strong><br /> ST CATHERINE LA BOURE SCHOOL<br /> 3425 Thornwood Lane<br /> Glenview IL 60025</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><strong>Northfield</strong><strong> 66</strong><br /> COLE PARK<br /> 1031 Kenilworth<br /> Glenview, IL 60025</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><strong>Northfield</strong><strong> 67</strong><br /> COVENANT VILLAGE<br /> 2625 Techny Road<br /> Northbrook, IL 60062</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><strong>Proviso 46</strong><br /> MC CLURE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL<br /> 4225 Wolf Road<br /> Western Springs, IL 60558&nbsp;</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;">&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;"><strong>Proviso 53</strong><br /> WASHINGTON SCHOOL<br /> 1111 Washington Blvd<br /> Maywood, IL 60153</div> <div style="margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt;">&nbsp;</div> <div><strong>Proviso 95</strong><br /> VICTORY CENTRE<br /> 1800 Riverwoods Drive<br /> Melrose Park, IL 60160</div></p> Tue, 02 Nov 2010 22:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county/polls-will-stay-open-late-seven-suburban-cook-county-precincts