Chicago News Headlines for Monday, Dec. 9
Updated 3:09 p.m.
- More than 2,000 employees at Chicago’s Loyola University Medical Center will see a pay increase starting next month.The new minimum wage will be $15 an hour. Hospital president Shawn Vincent says the pay bump will cost about $3 million.
- Almost one in three high school students have reported using a tobacco product recently. That’s according to a new federal survey. Public health officials say while cigarette smoking is at an all-time low among teens, the popularity of e-cigarette has reversed progress made in the decline of overall youth tobacco use.
- Chicago-area Rapper Juice WRLD has died at age 21. Authorities say the rapper died after suffering a “medical emergency” at Midway International Airport on Sunday. The artist was from the Chicago suburb of Homewood where he stood out as a talented high school musician. Chicago police are investigating the incident and an autopsy is planned for Monday. Juice WRLD was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May. He got his start on SoundCloud and then became a streaming juggernaut.
- The city of Chicago and a nonprofit are teaming up to help ensure a robust census count next year. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city has set aside half a million dollars for groups getting the word out about the census. The nonprofit Forefront will administer the grants to groups focused on hard-to-count communities.
- A committee of Chicago aldermen Monday will discuss and vote on five proposed legal settlements worth a collective $3.65 million dollars. All cases involve police in some way. The largest settlement would pay $1.3 million to the family of a teenager killed by a stolen SUV during a high-speed police chase. The payouts will also need approval by the full City Council later this month.
- Authorities say dozens of cars were set on fire in two separate arson incidents on Chicago's South Side. According to officials, someone entered a private towing yard shortly after midnight on Monday and set 30 cars on fire. Minutes earlier, someone entered a fenced lot and set fire to eight abandoned vehicles. No injuries were reported in either incident. No one is in custody. Police say it's not clear whether the two arsons are related.
- The Chicago Police Board is holding three hearings this week to get public input on what the city needs in its next top cop. The police board is in charge of nominating three candidates to replace former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. The mayor will make the final decision. The first listening session is Monday at the United Church of Christ on 95th Street.
- One of the multiple cases against R. Kelly is up for a status hearing in Brooklyn Monday. Kelly is being held in federal jail in Chicago and will not attend the hearing. Kelly is facing dozens of charges in multiple jurisdictions — mostly involving his alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. Kelly has three trials scheduled to take place next year — one in Cook County court, one in federal court in Chicago and one in federal court in New York.
- Authorities say an inmate escaped from a northern Illinois county jail while helping deliver meals. The Grundy County sheriff's office says 34-year-old Andrew Viles walked out of the jail around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, dressed in a dark coat, light jeans and dark shoes. He had been jailed in Morris Illinois since June on a burglary charge. Authorities at the jail described Viles as a “model inmate” who had earned the trust of jail officials and been allowed privileges, such as helping with meal service.
- Chicago Public Schools officials are recommending the closure of two charter schools. Frazier Preparatory Academy in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side and Chicago Virtual Charter School are on the chopping block for poor performance. The Board of Education will vote on the proposed closures on Wednesday. CPS also announced that no charter operators applied to open new charter schools this year.