Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Hedge-fund billionaire’s wife says she was coerced into signing pre-nup ]]> Lead story image

MICHAEL SNEED: It looks like the gloves are off in the divorce of one of Chicago’s wealthiest couples. 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 pre-marital agreement be dissolved because it was signed under duress. ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:55:05 -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 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Will Karen Lewis button down campaign with some history? ]]> Lead story image

The blue button . . . The blue button is back! Could the resurrection of the late Mayor Harold Washington’s 1983 mayoral blue campaign button . . . turn Mayor Rahm Emanuel red? Could the legendary blue button, which became an inspiration for Barack Obama’s first campaign logo — a blue sun coming up over a red horizon — give Rahm a case of the jitters? Sneed is told a cache of blue buttons was delivered as a gift to Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who has yet to decide whether she will run for mayor. The buttons are … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:27:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Will Rauner’s shoe rules follow him to Springfield mansion? ]]> Lead story image

The Quinn bin . . . A million-dollar endorsement? Bet Gov. Pat Quinn, who is in a neck-and-neck race with his GOP opponent Bruce Rauner, leapt for joy when Jackie Robinson West manager Darold Butler described him as his “new best friend.” “Thank you Governor, we have gotten so close. You are one of my buddies. He is my new best friend,” said Butler at the Millennium Park rally Wednesday. Lose the shoes? Hmmm. News GOP gubernatorial gazillionaire Bruce Rauner and his wife, Diana — who own nine homes — plan to actually reside in the governor’s mansion in Springfield … ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:20:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Emanuel plans funding for city youth baseball, including JRW team ]]> Lead story image

Dugout scoop! Play ball! Watch for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make a major announcement soon on government funding to finance city youth baseball — including the city’s Jackie Robinson West Little League Team. Sneed hears it could be part of a broader strategy for keeping inner-city kids out of street gangs and giving them the chance to experience all the life lessons taught when participating in our country’s national pastime. ◆ A history note: Baseball diamonds sprung up at the Cabrini-Green housing project in 1981 when then-Mayor Jane Byrne’s husband, Jay McMullen, turned garbage-strewn fields into sports courts. ◆ The … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:39:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blago pours out heart to wife in love letter from prison ]]> Lead story image

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s wife, Patti, posted a wedding anniversary letter from her imprisoned hubby on her Facebook page. “Today is my 24th wedding anniversary,” she said. “I am sharing this message from Rod because I think it applies to everyone.” ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:46:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed scoop: Daley nephew (and grandson) to run for City Council ]]> Lead story image

Sneed Exclusive … Psst! The Daley dynasty is not dead yet. Sneed has learned attorney Patrick Thompson , who now lives in the 11th Ward home of his famous grandfather — the late Mayor Richard J. Daley — plans to run for alderman of the bastion of Daleydom. Sneed hears 11th Ward Ald. James Balcer has been told his retirement would be welcome and will announce he will be leaving office in April. ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:50:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Karen Lewis’ union members can’t keep facts straight ]]> Lead story image

The desk set . . . Attention! Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, a former chemistry teacher, needs an eraser. Last week, Lewis, who is eyeing a mayoral bid, told the Chicago Sun-Times she would make no “rookie mistakes” about campaign finance law. It seems the same can’t be said of her facts. ◆ To wit: At her Tuesday night rally in Beverly, the event program was filled with glaring errors — prompting Sneed to wonder if Lewis needed to hire a campaign proofreader. ◆ Error No. 1: The event’s program claims Lewis was elected to her second term with … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:31:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Gov helps Jackie Robinson West team’s coach cover his bases ]]> Lead story image

Covering all bases . . . Play ball! Sneed hears that Gov. Pat Quinn, who was awed by Little League coach Darold Butler volunteering his time to Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team, called Butler’s boss to make sure his job was safe because he had to take time off from work. ◆Backshot: Quinn first met Butler in 2013, when Butler’s JRW team fell just one game short of reaching the World Series. Butler, who volunteers for the team, also works as a locomotive engineer for the Union Pacific railroad. “The governor feels Butler is an impressive, inspiring man who works … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:16:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Rahm pulls plug on city parking perk ]]> Lead story image

The park shark . . . Rahm’s running with scissors! Sneed hears Mayor Rahm Emanuel is cutting down on free downtown parking for city employees that has been around for more than a decade. ◆ Snip snip: Emanuel recently ordered his staff to draft a proposal to sell three parking lots and a one-story parking garage in River North currently used by 80 city employees at various city agencies. ◆ Backshot: This isn’t the first time Emanuel has cut paid parking: Since taking office, Emanuel has eliminated more than 40 paid downtown parking spots. A real rail tragedy . . … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:45:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Karen Lewis to discuss mayoral bid with black business leaders ]]> Lead story image

The Lewis ascendancy . . . To run or not to run? Sneed hears Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will attempt to woo black business leaders onto her mayoral bandwagon this month. Sneed is told the Business Leadership Council, a non-profit organization made up of top African-American business leaders and financial gurus, has scheduled a meeting this month with Lewis. ◆ The big question: Can the obstreperous Lewis, 61, who put the odds at 50-50 she will run against the equally obstreperous Mayor Rahm Emanuel, convince them to back her candidacy? “No black contender for the mayor’s job has … ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:16:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed scoop: FBI agents to hit Chicago streets to combat gangs ]]> Lead story image

Sneed has learned that the feds plan to dispatch 65 FBI agents to the streets in high-crime areas on the South and West Sides in an all-out battle against gang crime. The 65 feds are part of a group of 100 Chicago agents already assigned to curb gang and violent crimes. “This is a new tactic the FBI is using in fighting crime,” an FBI spokeswoman said, “by working in a concentrated area and a concentrated time on the street.” ]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 13:23:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Tom Dreesen on Robin Williams: ‘He was searching for himself’ ]]> Lead story image

The Williams tragedy . . . “In my opinion, he wasn’t searching for fame and fortune. He was searching for himself.” Thus spake comedian Tom Dreesen, whose ties to Chicago run deep, on the life of comic genius Robin Williams, who hanged himself in his California home. “He gave so much,” Dreesen said. The two comedians, who grew up in the Chicago area, go way, way back. “In 1977, I was performing at a club in Newport Beach, Calif., called the Laff Stop, and my opening act was this new kid named Robin Williams,” Dreesen said. “He was to do … ]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:16:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Obama hits the links in Martha’s Vineyard ]]> Lead story image

Love on the links . . . Let’s go turfing. President Barack Obama, who is this/close to Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, continues to spend tee time with two of her closest links. ◆ Translation: The president, a golf devotee who is vacationing with his family — and Jarrett, natch — in Martha’s Vineyard, now includes sportscaster and former NFL wide receiver Ahmad Rashad, Jarrett’s apparent hush-hush beau, as a member of his favorite golf entourage. ◆ All in the family: Jarrett’s cousin, Cyrus Walker, is now a permanent member of Obama’s link buddies. The trio not only hit … ]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 02:14:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Quinn pays Walgreens a visit ]]> Lead story image

The Quinn bin . . . Gov. Pat Quinn, our populist patron, had a unique way of saying thanks on the corner of happy and healthy this week. El Jefe went shopping. ◆ To wit: On the day it was announced the iconic Walgreens drugstore chain had agreed to keep their headquarters in Illinois — and not take advantage of tax breaks overseas — our irrepressible governor went shopping. ◆ To wit, again: Quinn, who claims he is nearly a daily shopper at Walgreens, hit their flagship shop at State and Randolph streets Wednesday afternoon to buy a few things … ]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:14:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Quinn poll shows gov, Rauner neck-and-neck ]]> Lead story image

The 1 percent margin . . . Dead heat or dead meat? Sneed hears that Gov. Pat Quinn just received his latest internal poll, which has the gubernatorial election locked in a virtual tie. ◆ The poll of 600 people, taken by Quinn’s pollster Mark Mellman of the Mellman Group from July 27 to 29, shows Quinn at 38 percent, GOP candidate Bruce Rauner at 39 percent and 23 percent of voters undecided. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. On to November! Oh oh Oprah! Who knew? Talk show titan Oprah Winfrey is addicted … ]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 02:17:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: McCarthy’s Summer Surge to move 150 cops from desk duty to the street ]]> Lead story image

The Summer Surge . . . A phalanx of police department pencil pushers just got merged into the Summer Surge. ◆ Translation: In anticipation of an increase in violence during the August heat, top cop Garry McCarthy is dispatching a cadre of desk cops and sergeants to patrol high crime areas on the South and West sides. “Supt. McCarthy is beefing up his ‘Summer Surge’ plan to put more administrative officers on the street by detailing a new contingent of 150 police officers and sergeants who normally have desk jobs,” said a City Hall source. “They will now be detailed … ]]> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 02:25:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed exclusive: Rev. Pfleger wants guns banned from all archdiocese buildings ]]> Lead story image

Sneed exclusive . . . The Rev. Michael Pfleger, the peacemaker priest who has been trying to get guns off the streets for years, has a new anti-gun target. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Pfleger, the firebrand pastor of one of the largest African-American Catholic congregations in Chicago, now wants guns banned from all buildings belonging to the archdiocese. “Guns shouldn’t be in our churches,” said Pfleger, the combative pastor of St. Sabina who describes himself “as the only priest in the archdiocese to be suspended twice!” “How can we be role models and a witness in the world … ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:41:12 -0500