WBEZ | Mike Puente http://www.wbez.org/tags/mike-puente Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Activists arrested for blocking petcoke site http://www.wbez.org/news/activists-arrested-blocking-petcoke-site-113814 <p><p dir="ltr">Activists opposed to the storage and handling of petcoke on Chicago&rsquo;s Southeast side want it completely eliminated from their neighborhood, and on Monday some were willing to get arrested to prove it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not willing to negotiate,&rdquo; Kate Koval, a member of the grassroots Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, said Monday morning.</p><p dir="ltr">Koval joined<a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/-J1H_cnb6-dva9JTI3B-jrFKQnlcZ1T4jiLIs0/" target="_blank"> about a dozen other activists in blocking two entrances</a> into KCBX Terminals, the Koch Brothers-owned facility at 107th and Green Bay.</p><p dir="ltr">Koval says after a couple of years of fighting to get rid of petcoke, residents have had enough.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Petcoke.JPG" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Activists block the entrance to KCBX Terminals on Monday morning to protest the handling and storage of petcoke on the facility. Activists say petcoke is harmful to the community. (WBEZ/Mike Puente)" /></div><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re looking for clean, green industry. We need to change how we do business along the Calumet River and that change needs to start happening,&rdquo; Koval said.</p><p dir="ltr">10th Ward Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza joined activists in blocking the entrance to KCBX.</p><p dir="ltr">The struggle between Southeast side residents and KCBX has endured for more than two years, and in that time, activists have had some successes. For instance, KCBX&rsquo;s main source of petcoke, BP&rsquo;s Whiting, Indiana Refinery no longer sends thousands of pounds of petcoke to the Southeast side.</p><p dir="ltr">The City of Chicago and State of Illinois have also clamped down hard on KCBX to reduce the amount of petcoke dust that can become airborne.</p><p dir="ltr">The company has responded by shuttering its north facility and spending millions on a new enclosed structure.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We have invested more than $30 million in improvements, including a new dust suppression system at our Burley Avenue terminal. We recently closed our other terminal and we are committed to continuing to operate our remaining site on Burley Avenue in full compliance with Chicago&rsquo;s new rules, which call for the enclosure or removal of all product piles by June of (2016),&rdquo; KCBX spokesman Jake Reint said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Petroleum coke is an important product that has many uses, including energy generation and the production of cement, steel, aluminum and other specialty products. It is not considered toxic, but even so, KCBX has adopted practices to manage the potential for dust.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Still, many Southeast side residents say they won&rsquo;t be satisfied until KCBX leaves the area completely, even if that means taking some 50 jobs with it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he was going to get this stuff out of here. Either he can&rsquo;t do it or he won&#39;t do it,&rdquo; Peggy Salazar, executive director of the Southeast Side Environmental Task Force, said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re going to find a way to do it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s unclear how the protest affected KCBX&rsquo;s operations. After about a half hour, trucks that had been lined up to enter the facility, turned around and headed toward another entrance that protesters had not blocked off.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trucks line up at KCBX on Chicago&#39;s SE side, unable to enter due to protestors blocking front gate.(photo provided) <a href="https://t.co/o8quXSwzRP">pic.twitter.com/o8quXSwzRP</a></p>&mdash; Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/666264781813338112">November 16, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">After about three hours, Chicago police moved in to<a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/-J3yEUHb_sBRVQjic9QLFpLyUymVHutPWB62o0/" target="_blank"> arrest the dozen&nbsp;for trespassing.</a></p><p dir="ltr">KCBX says the request did not come from the company but from Calumet Transload Railroad, which relies on the rail line to transport its salt loads into the Southeast side.</p><div>Michael Puente is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/mikepuentenews" target="_blank">@MikePuenteNews</a>.</div></p> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 17:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/activists-arrested-blocking-petcoke-site-113814 Family, city officials send message to community at Tyshawn Lee's funeral http://www.wbez.org/news/family-city-officials-send-message-community-tyshawn-lees-funeral-113733 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/TyshawnLee_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Family, <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/664147311145181186" target="_blank">friends</a> and officials from Chicago&rsquo;s South Side are remembering the short life of Tyshawn Lee on Tuesday.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Mourners arrive to St. Sabina Catholic Church for funeral of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Chicago Mayor Emanuel here. <a href="https://t.co/vJcK96TaLL">pic.twitter.com/vJcK96TaLL</a></p>&mdash; Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/664124283401187330">November 10, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Police believe the nine-year-old was lured into an alley last week where he was executed because of his father&rsquo;s alleged involvement in an ongoing gang conflict.</p><p>Hundreds gathered at Saint Sabina&rsquo;s in Auburn-Gresham to offer their remembrances --<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-tyshawn-mother-pleads-her-south-side-community-113645" target="_blank"> and messages to their community</a>.</p><p>The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><div><em>&nbsp;A Chicago priest says the funeral for a 9-year-old boy who was killed in an alleged gang execution marks &quot;a new low&quot; for the city.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>The Rev. Michael Pfleger presided over Tuesday&#39;s funeral for Tyshawn Lee, who was shot in the head in an alley on Nov. 2 as he headed to his grandmother&#39;s house.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Chicago police say the death was the result of two gangs fighting in a string of retaliatory events dating back months.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>The boy&#39;s body arrived at St. Sabina Church on Chicago&#39;s South Side in small red casket. Pfleger, an anti-violence activist, told mourners that it was &quot;a new low for Chicago&quot; and that the city &quot;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gun-violence-high-despite-tough-city-laws-113726" target="_blank">has to face itself</a>.&quot;</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Mourners included Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and actor-rapper Nick Cannon.</em></div></blockquote><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente was there this morning.</p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 17:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/family-city-officials-send-message-community-tyshawn-lees-funeral-113733 LGBT members in NW Indiana fight against same-sex marriage amendment proposal http://www.wbez.org/news/lgbt-members-nw-indiana-fight-against-same-sex-marriage-amendment-proposal-109682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Indiana LGBT two-way.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana is a step closer to cementing the state&rsquo;s ban on same-sex marriage for possibly years to come. The state already outlaws same-sex marriage.</p><p>On Monday a senate committee passed a measure that would enshrine the ban in the state&rsquo;s constitution. Pushed by Governor Mike Pence, it goes before the full Senate later this week.</p><p>But not everyone supports the constitutional ban, known as House Joint Resolution 3. The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce says it could hurt in attracting top talent to the state.</p><p>And some members of the LGBT community wonder why the Hoosier state is moving in the opposite direction of neighboring Illinois.</p><p>They recently sat down for a conversation with WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente at our bureau in Crown Point, Ind.</p></p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/lgbt-members-nw-indiana-fight-against-same-sex-marriage-amendment-proposal-109682 Examining the likelihood of a Super Bowl in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-31/examining-likelihood-super-bowl-chicago-95988 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-31/soldier field flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Sunday, thousands will descend on the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to watch the New York Giants and the New England Patriots vie for the NFL's championship title. City officials are bracing for the crowds--and the extra money that will flow through its coffers. It's a big deal and cities are always hoping to be selected to host the football extravaganza. Well, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> wondered--what about Chicago? How come the Windy City has yet to host the big game?</p><p>Before tackling that question, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> checked in with WBEZ's Northwest Indiana reporter Mike Puente who's been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/human-trafficking-bill-heads-indiana-governor-95922" target="_blank">reporting</a> on the buzz around the bowl in Indianapolis.</p><p>To tackle the Chicago question, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by Sam Stark, executive director of the <a href="http://www.choosechicago.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Sports Commission</a>, ESPN’s <a href="http://www.choosechicago.com/" target="_blank">Lester Munson</a> and Marc Ganis, president of Sports Corp Ltd.</p></p> Tue, 31 Jan 2012 16:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-31/examining-likelihood-super-bowl-chicago-95988 Indiana Democrats flee from anti-union vote http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-24/indiana-democrats-flee-anti-union-vote-82835 <p><p>Illinois is turning into a hot destination spot&ndash; at least for Democrats on the run from surrounding states! First, Democrats from Wisconsin began camping out last week in Rockford. Now a group of Indiana Democratic lawmakers are reportedly in Urbana. They left to avoid voting on what some describe as anti-union legislation put forth by Republicans.</p><p>Indiana&rsquo;s Republican <a target="_blank" href="http://www.in.gov/gov/">Gov. Mitch Daniels</a> had some choice words about these absentee Democrats.&nbsp; WBEZ's Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight&nbsp;</em>to discuss the Democratic move &ndash; which has effectively shut down work at the Indiana Statehouse.</p><p><em>Music Button: Bill Frisell, &quot;Better Than A Machine&quot;, from the CD Beautiful Dreamers, (Savoy Jazz) </em></p></p> Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-24/indiana-democrats-flee-anti-union-vote-82835