Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Health scare in February figures in Holder’s decision to leave Justice Dept. ]]> Lead story image

The Holder file . . . Sneed is told that Attorney General Eric Holder, who has announced he is pulling the plug on his White House career, decided to finally do so over the Labor Day holidays. Although it has been reported that Holder, who is this/close to President Barack Obama and his chief White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, now wants to get involved in justice issues involving minorities, Sneed is told he faced a major stop sign in late February, when he was taken to a hospital in Washington, D.C., after experiencing an elevated heart rate and shortness of … ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:53:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Justice Anne Burke a big fan of Bishop Blase Cupich ]]> Lead story image

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke may have had a contentious relationship with Cardinal Francis George, but her encounter with his successor — Chicago Archbishop-elect Blase Cupich — at the Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Union Hall on Tuesday night was anything but. ]]> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:49:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Rev. Pfleger hopes Bishop Cupich will ban guns from archdiocese buildings ]]> Lead story image

Archbishop-elect Blase Cupich has got a firebrand on his hands . . . already. The Rev. Michael Pfleger, who was singled out for praise by Chicago’s new archbishop for his anti-violence gun stance, tells Sneed he plans to continue his battle to get guns out of church! The peace priest, who has been fighting to get guns banned from every building owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, tells Sneed he is still shocked by Cupich’s praise, which “came out of left field.” “I still can’t believe it that he singled out my name on TV,” said Pfleger, who … ]]> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:58:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed exclusive: Cardinal Francis George, Bishop Blase Cupich could share residence ]]> Lead story image

The cardinal’s story . . . Sneed is told Cardinal Francis George, whose successor is practically at the doorstep of the cardinal’s residence, has yet to decide where to hang his crozier. ◆ Translation: Sneed hears that George, who is the first cardinal in Chicago history to meet and greet his successor, had yet to make a decision where to live during his retirement when he got word a week and a half ago that his replacement had been chosen. “This could be a historic first,” said a top Sneed archdiocesan source. “Both men could wind up living together in … ]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:00:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Cupich cut from same cloth as Pope Francis ]]> Lead story image

The pope’s pick . . . The next leader of Chicago’s Roman Catholic flock, Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, is being likened to the man who chose him. “In a pastoral sense, Cupich is like Pope Francis,” said Mark Rowlands, a former Roman Catholic seminarian from Columbus, Ohio, where Cupich had been president-rector of the Pontifical Josephinum College years ago. “He is a humble man. Spiritual. Not pompous,” Rowlands said. “You never got the feeling you were watching a play about a guy getting dressed up in clerical frippery. “He was approachable, a good listener . . . and … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:27:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fact-finding finished in effort to canonize Chicago’s first black priest ]]> Lead story image

Pew news . . . Sneed is told that the Chicago phase of an effort to canonize the nation’s first black Catholic priest — a Chicago priest named the Rev. Augustus Tolton — has ended. ◆ To wit: The historical fact-finding commission created by Cardinal Francis George in 2010 to investigate Tolton’s “heroic virtues” while in Chicago — one of several studies that could ultimately lead to Tolton’s sainthood — has just completed its job. “Happily, no one is fighting over the exhumation of Father Tolton’s body — like Peoria and New York, who are battling over the body of … ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:55:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Trump has no beef with Rahm, glad his sign will be one-of-a-kind ]]> Lead story image

“The mayor’s new sign ordinance will ensure nobody else will have a sign like mine,” Donald Trump said. “Isn’t that what everybody would want?” ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:22:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Is Wallenda’s high-wire act legal without a net? ]]> Lead story image

Getting wired: Adrenaline junkies eager to watch high-wire daredevil Nik Wallenda navigate two Chicago skyscrapers without a net will now get their chance on Nov. 2. Or will they? ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:16:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: All you need is Paul ]]> Lead story image

A Mellody note . . . Leave it to Mellody: Fiscal guru Mellody Hobson, the dynamo wife of “Star Wars’” stellar George Lucas, sent a special-delivery package at warp speed to ex-Beatle Paul McCartney recently. ◆ The package: A plank of wood. ◆ The item: A plank unscrewed from a deconstructed Beatles-themed bench created by After School Matters students. ◆ The reason: Hobson was hoping McCartney would autograph the bench in an effort to boost the bankroll of After School Matters — one of the city’s most successful anti-violence programs — by using it as an auction item for next … ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:14:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Vote could show Scots feel some pigs more equal than others ]]> Lead story image

The Scottish secession . . . Queen Elizabeth wants to stay out of it. Actor Sean Connery wants it to happen. And the British royal family is fretting about whether they’ll lose the use of Balmoral Castle as their Scottish hideaway from duty during parts of the year. So here’s a few wee words about the gloman or gloom being felt by the citizens of Scotland who face a vote next week on whether to break away from the British union. Those that want to stay are primarily concerned about their country’s economy, which is rich in whiskey and oil … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:27:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Lawyer in Bali to advise teen whose mom’s body was stuffed in suitcase ]]> Lead story image

Mack attack! Heather Mack, the pregnant Chicago teen incarcerated in Indonesia since she was declared a suspect in the murder of her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, is now being advised by a Chicago area lawyer on how to protect her unborn baby’s future. Attorney Vanessa Favia, who practices in Oakbrook Terrace, arrived in Bali this week to talk to Mack, whose baby is due in the spring. She was accompanied by Mack’s family attorney, Michael Elkin, who is based in Chicago. “My wife was due home this weekend, but I’m not sure now,” Favia’s husband, Nicholas, told Sneed. A photo … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 02:16:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed exclusive: Almost $100M in unpaid sales taxes on gas recovered ]]> Lead story image

Beep! It’s a fraud sweep! Attorney General Lisa Madigan is putting metal to the gas pedal. ◆ Translation: Sneed is told an ongoing joint investigation and enforcement effort between Madigan’s office and the Department of Revenue has resulted in the recovery of almost $100 million in unpaid state sales taxes from gas station owners and operators throughout Illinois. ◆ Backshot: The tandem criminal enforcement operations were launched in 2010 to recoup tax losses from gas stations that underreported revenues, and it hit the $85 million benchmark last December. Here’s a rundown: Since 2010 . . . ◆ Fifty individuals have … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:11:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Diana Ditka says Ray Rice’s wife wrong to blame press ]]> Lead story image

A knockout punch . . . The indomitable Diana Ditka, wife of legendary Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka, is known for her kindness — and her candor. So Sneed — appalled by the way kid gloves were used by the NFL on the K.O. punch dealt by Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice on his soon-to-be-wife Janay Palmer last February — sought the opinion of the gutsy football frau married to her adored but gruff Grabowski. “Look, Mike, I’ve never understood why men hit women.” she said. “It’s tragic, but it happens. But Rice’s wife blaming the press Tuesday for … ]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 13:16:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Pfleger says he’s getting hate calls after gun shop protest ]]> Lead story image

Pfleger is flummoxed! The Rev. Michael Pfleger, the South Side pastor who led an anti-violence gun protest against Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale on Saturday, says the ugliness hasn’t stopped. Still flummoxed over being compared to the murderous ISIS group — which recently beheaded two American journalists — by the Illinois chapter of the NRA, Pfleger told Sneed: “I’ve been getting hate calls at the church since Friday night and I’m sure I am going to get some more tonight.” Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church — one of the city’s largest African-American churches, said: “Sen. Dick Durbin was … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:05:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Illinois chapter of NRA sets sights on Rev. Pfleger ]]> Lead story image

Sneed hears that the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who has been trying to get guns off the streets for years, has now got a powerful gunsight trained on him. ◆ To wit: The Illinois State Rifle Association, the Illinois chapter of the NRA, is now comparing the firebrand priest, pastor of one of the largest African-American Catholic congregations in Chicago — to the international terrorist group ISIS! “These guys are nuts,” said Pfleger, who claims a “hate email” was dispatched by the gun group following news that he is hosting a press conference and rally at Chuck’s Gun Shop in south … ]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:39:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: The flip side of billionaire’s divorce drama ]]> Lead story image

The Griffin divorce . . . It’s the latest chapter in a Chicago billionaire’s divorce drama. An explosive response Tuesday by Anne Dias Griffin to the abrupt divorce filing by her billionaire hubby Ken Griffin last month — alleging her premarital agreement was signed under duress and that he left the home when she was pregnant in 2012 — was met with this flip side from a source within the Ken Griffin camp. The marital prenup, which reportedly was not revisited or revised during their marriage — paid Anne Dias Griffin millions of dollars while the marriage lasted, and he … ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:18:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hedge-fund billionaire’s wife says she was coerced into signing pre-nup ]]> Lead story image

MICHAEL SNEED: In an explosive response to the divorce filing from her husband, billionaire investor Ken Griffin, Anne Dias Griffin filed a petition demanding the couple’s premarital agreement be dissolved because it was signed under duress. ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:45:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: How Mayor Byrne helped Emerald Society start pipe band ]]> Lead story image

The forgotten mayor . . . The bagpipes are on board. Though a date has yet to be set to officially rename the Old Water Tower Park after the city’s only woman mayor — Jane Byrne — she says she will be there, and the Emerald Society of Illinois is prepared to pipe the music. In the wake of this column’s attempt to honor the forgotten legacy of Byrne, who served from 1979 to 1983 — and the City Council’s decision to do so — Sneed received the following letter from Thomas J. Cody, a founding member and band manager … ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:52:34 -0500