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: 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 … ]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 02:15:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Campaign to honor ‘trailblazer” Jane Byrne started here ]]> Lead story image

It’s a go! It’s done! And it’s two months to the day since this column started a campaign to right a wrong: The city’s failure to honor the legacy of its only woman mayor — Jane M. Byrne. In a unanimous vote, the City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday memorializing Byrne, who served from 1979 to 1983, by renaming the Old Chicago Water Tower Park to the Mayor Jane M. Byrne Plaza. Following a standing ovation by the Council, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated: “Jane Byrne was a trailblazer. It’s no accident that soon you had an African-American [Mayor Harold Washington] … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:15:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Proposal to rename Water Tower plaza for Jane Byrne advances ]]> Lead story image

Pending formal approval Wednesday by the City Council, Chicago will finally honor the legacy of its only female mayor: Jane Byrne, who served from 1979 to 1983. The City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a recommendation to rename the plaza on which the Old Chicago Water Tower sits as the Jane M. Byrne Plaza. ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:16:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Contrary to rumors, Jay-Z and Beyonce marriage isn’t in trouble ]]> Lead story image

Based on private peeks at music moguls Jay-Z and Beyonce in Chicago last week by a top Sneed source — Big Apple tabloid reports of a marriage in trouble is balderdash. “That’s crazy,” said the Sneed source, who observed the couple arriving, eating and exiting Chicago Cut restaurant for dinner the night before their concert at Soldier Field last Thursday. ]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:13:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Free Pre-K on the way? ]]> Lead story image

Sneed exclusive . . . The eraser set . . . The Pre-K way: Sneed hears Mayor Rahm Emanuel is this/close to rolling out a plan to fund free preschool enrollment for 4-year-olds from low income families. “Watch for the mayor to build on his expansion of full-day kindergarten to all Chicago children,” said a mayoral source. “Roughly 1,500 4-year-old kids from low income families who qualify for the federal school lunch program have no access to half-day pre-K,” said a mayoral source. Sneed is told the mayor plans to close this gap with an investment of $6 million “by … ]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:25:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Timing of divorce filing stuns billionaire Ken Griffin’s wife ]]> Lead story image

Sneed is told that billionaire CEO Ken Griffin stunned his estranged second wife, Anne Dias Griffin, by filing for divorce Wednesday just before the courts closed while she and their three children were en route out of the country. News of the powerhouse couple’s divorce proceedings sent shockwaves throughout the philanthropic community, which is indebted to the couple’s generosity. It also saddened close friends. Sources familiar with the situation claim that the couple, who separated last year, were in settlement negotiations as recently as Monday, shortly before Anne was due to leave on a family holiday to London with the … ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:17:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed exclusive: Jay-Z, Beyonce and baby Blue Ivy dine out in Chicago ]]> Lead story image

It was a family night out. Sneed hears Jay-Z and Beyonce dined at Chicago Cut Steakhouse on Wednesday night with baby Blue Ivy. They’re in town ahead of their “On The Run” tour stop at Soldier Field on Thursday. About 5 p.m. Wednesday, two SUVs pulled up in front of the restaurant, having given 30 minutes notice — and disgorged Jay-Z, Beyonce, Blue Ivy and two nannies. The group settled into a quiet booth near a window with seven bodyguards, who set up a perimeter around the table. No one bothered them while they dined on sliders, tuna tartare, steak, … ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:14:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: A ‘perfect’ way to honor the legacy of Jane Byrne ]]> Lead story image

The forgotten mayor . . . An icon is about to be honored. The selection of a fitting city monument to honor the legacy of former Mayor Jane Byrne, the city’s only female mayor, is coming to a close. It’s also the answer to a flood of responses to Sneed’s campaign to memorialize our nearly forgotten mayor, which included this e-mail from a Sneed reader a few days ago: “Michael, “What was the outcome of “Remembering Jane Byrne?” There was so much press about naming something after her, and then nothing (unless I missed it). Thank you. Jean Trnka” Dear … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 02:16:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sneed: Will Michelle Obama speak up for Shamiya on Thursday? ]]> Lead story image

The Shamiya tragedy . . . Sneed is wondering if the tragic death of 11-year-old Shamiya Adams, who was killed by a stray bullet during a sleepover with friends Friday in West Garfield Park, will be addressed by first lady Michelle Obama when she hits town Thursday for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. In February 2013, Obama attended the funeral of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed in a Kenwood park the week after she went to Washington, D.C., to attend inauguration festivities for President Barack Obama . Michelle Obama returned to Chicago the following April to speak … ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:39:31 -0500