Illinois

3:56pm

Fri May 11, 2012
The Two-Way

William Balfour Found Guilty In Murder Of Jennifer Hudson's Family

William Balfour.
HO AFP/Getty Images

A jury has found William Balfour guilty of killing three members of Grammy-award winning singer Jennifer Hudson's family.

Balfour, Hudson's ex-brother in law, was found guilty on all three counts of first-degree murder for the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. The Chicago Sun-Times adds that he was also convicted of "home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle."

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1:21am

Wed May 2, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Should Banks Maintain Abandoned Properties?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:49 am

An abandoned home on Chicago's South Side, which neighbor Ruben DeSantiago says attracts gang activity. DeSantiago and other neighbors mow the lawn and pick up trash because they say no one else is caring for the house.
Odette Yousef

Like hundreds of cities across the country, Chicago is trying to tackle the issue of too many foreclosed and vacant homes. The city is now requiring lenders to ensure that those abandoned properties are secured and maintained. Other cities have similar laws.

But the federal government is suing Chicago over its new rules in what's seen as a test case that could affect whether any city would be allowed to keep lenders on the hook for abandoned properties.

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3:42pm

Mon April 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Jennifer Hudson Testifies During Ex-Brother-In-Law's Murder Trial

In this courtroom sketch, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson testifies on Monday in Chicago at the murder trial of William Balfour.
Tom Gianni AP

The Oscar-and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson took the stand today during the trial of the man accused of killing her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.

Reporting from Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Hudson began crying when a prosecutor asked her about the last time she saw her family. She answered it was the Sunday before their slaying in October of 2008. The man accused of killing them, William Balfour, was Hudson's brother-in-law at the time.

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1:38am

Mon April 23, 2012
Education

Chicago Wants Longer School Day; Foes Want Details

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:39 am

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sits with South Side first-graders in October. Emanuel's plan to lengthen the school day and the school year has met with resistance.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Most kids in Chicago's public schools spend just five hours and 45 minutes in school a day. It's one of the shortest school days in the country.

That's why more than half of the city's public elementary schools have no recess. At those that do, it's shockingly short.

"We have a 10-minute recess and a 10-minute lunch at our school," says Wendy Katten, mother of a third-grader at Burley Elementary School in Chicago. "It's not sufficient."

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11:02pm

Wed April 18, 2012
Around the Nation

Alleged $30M Theft By Comptroller Stuns Ill. City

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:52 am

This November 2011 photo provided by The American Quarter Horse Journal shows Rita Crundwell of Dixon, Ill., at the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. FBI agents arrested Crundwell, the Dixon comptroller, on charges she misappropriated more than $30 million since 2006 to finance a lavish lifestyle.
AP

The top financial official for the small city of Dixon, Ill., is accused of stealing more than $30 million from city coffers over the past six years. It's a staggering amount of money for the city of just 15,000 residents in northwest Illinois, and federal prosecutors allege she used the funds to finance a lavish lifestyle that included horse farms and a $2 million luxury motor home.

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