Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ After 3 decades, Iran hostage still seeking what’s owed ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — He was my hostage. I was his reporter.  After 444 days as one of 52 hostages held captive in Tehran, seized by Iranian militants, Marine Sgt. Paul Lewis was released on Jan. 20, 1981. Lewis was soon back in Homer, the small Illinois town about 20 miles east of Champaign-Urbana where he was raised. The day after the town threw Lewis a parade, I interviewed him in his parents’ living room about his ordeal.  Months earlier, I was assigned Lewis as “my” hostage. Any time there was a possibility of a release — and there were multiple false starts — … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 11:19:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Reps. Rush, Davis encourage Karen Lewis to run for mayor ]]> Lead story image

U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis are encouraging Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis to run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking exclusively to the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday after speeches on the House floor deploring violence, discrimination and disinvestment in the city. ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:19:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kirk comes off as mean for tying border crisis to gangs ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is unnecessarily inflaming the border children crisis, raising fears about kids from other countries in Chicago shelters, without parents around, caught in a legal limbo. Kirk is trying to connect this crisis to his anti-gang crusade and instead of looking tough, he comes off as just mean. Kirk created the impression that hundreds of these youths are suddenly flooding Chicago as he sounded the alarms. Here’s Kirk’s Thursday hyped-up Tweet, the short version of his press release: “Just learned 429 minors from border crisis are now in Chicago, but State Dept. can’t say if … ]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 02:09:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lawmakers: VA needs to improve suicide prevention ]]> Lead story image

Most of the Veterans Affairs scandal impacts the living — vets who faced long waits for appointments while staffers cooked the books. On Thursday, lawmakers, including Rep. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill., focused on vets who committed suicide and the need for the VA to improve suicide prevention services. ]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:42:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Durbin urges students to avoid Everest College ]]> Lead story image

Corinthian Colleges, Inc. is the parent company of Everest College, with about 3,000 students attending classes — most in health care fields — in Skokie, Bedford Park, Burr Ridge, Merrionette Park, Melrose Park and North Aurora. In a July 2 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Corinthian Colleges, headquartered in Santa Ana, California, disclosed that the company is now running under an “operating agreement” negotiated with the Department of Education. ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:21:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Al the Pal’ — Dixon relished the nickname ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — The last gathering of Al and his pals here was in October, when the gang got together at the Monocle, a Capitol Hill favorite of former Sen. Alan J. Dixon, D-Ill., who died Sunday. The party celebrated the publication of Dixon’s memoir, “The Gentleman From Illinois: Stories From Forty Years of Elective Public Service.” Dixon’s 29-election winning streak actually stretched a little longer, starting in 1949 when he was elected Belleville’s Police Magistrate and ending in 1992, when he lost the Illinois Democratic Senate primary to Carol Moseley Braun, in large part because of his vote to confirm … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:27:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama by the lake: Exclusive look at library bid from South Works site developer Dan McCaffery ]]> Lead story image

Among the rival locations in Chicago for the Obama library and museum, the most majestic one hugs the Lake Michigan shore on the Southeast Side with a stunning view of the Chicago skyline. The Chicago Lakeside site has vast potential to trigger massive related economic growth and create jobs in an often ignored part of the city. With a presidential library and museum as an anchor, large-scale private investment that otherwise might take a generation to occur could happen in a decade. ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 13:00:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago-area native brings consumer approach to VA ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s pick to fix the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs is Robert McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble CEO and a graduate of West Point and the now-closed Arlington High School in Arlington Heights. In announcing McDonald as his pick on Monday, Obama highlighted McDonald’s management experience at P&G more than his military career as an Army Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division. To quickly fix problems in delivering health care to veterans, many lawmakers on Capitol Hill — and top White House aides — concluded that a new model was needed: Not a military officer … ]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 02:15:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Obama foundation nixes Kenya university’s bid for ‘institute’ ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — When the bidding process for the Obama library and museum started, Barack Obama Foundation chair Marty Nesbitt said he wanted to cast a wide net for ideas and proposals. With that open invitation, a university in Kenya — the birthplace of Barack Obama’s father and where a half-sister, Auma, lives — submitted to the foundation a detailed pitch to create the Barack Obama Institute for Peace and Democracy Studies based in Nairobi. The United States International University-Africa, an offshoot of a university in San Diego, sent its proposal to the Chicago-based foundation by the June 16 deadline for … ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 02:14:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rep. Luis Gutierrez: No hope for immigration deal ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — In a major switch, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., a leader in negotiating with House Republicans on immigration reform, declared Wednesday there is no chance for a deal and called on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order curbing deportations. ]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:58:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rep. Robin Kelly won’t stand for gun violence ]]> Lead story image

Kelly came to Congress last year with gun reform as her defining issue. Freshman Kelly is neither naive nor wide-eyed, having served in the Illinois House, with its pro-NRA contingent. Still, since being sworn-in on April 11, 2013, Kelly has discovered the enormity of the challenge of one lawmaker making a difference when it comes to gun reform. ]]> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 02:17:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ 10 takeaways from Roskam’s loss ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Rep. Peter Roskam’s defeat for GOP House whip puts him in the back of a line of ambitious rivals seeking leadership posts, a setback of at least two years, unless he catches a break along the way. The Wheaton Republican can come back, but it will take a while. In the meantime, Roskam’s got repair work to do with his Illinois GOP House colleagues — three of whom did not support him publicly in the Thursday contest won by Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. My other takeaways: 1. Roskam invoked his mentor, the late Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., in … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:41:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rep. Peter Roskam loses whip bid — with Shimkus and Schock working against him ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Before heading into the vote for majority whip on Thursday, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., met with his team to discuss strategy. They wrapped up in a prayer circle and a reading of Proverbs 21:31, a verse about being prepared for a “day of battle.” And it was a fight within the House GOP family. Republican lawmakers were looking for someone new in the leadership mix — someone from the South, a red state and perceived as an ultra-conservative. All added up, these factors led to the defeat of Roskam, from blue-state Illinois who failed to win the No. … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:56:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam invokes Henry Hyde in House whip race ]]> Lead story image

Emerging from a private meeting of House Republicans in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday morning, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who is backing Roskam, told me Roskam “spoke about Henry Hyde. He spoke about how [the whip job] sounds simple but this is an important post . . . and how he is committed to working with everyone.” ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:33:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ A dozen sites in bids on deadline day for Obama presidential library ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle are being offered a dozen sites — from Honolulu to Harlem to Hyde Park and other Chicago locations — for the Obama Presidential Library and Museum. The bids emphasize Obama’s singular place in African-American history and how the facility would trigger economic renewal and community engagement. ]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:24:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rep. Gutierrez says Cantor’s loss does not mean immigration reform impossible ]]>

WASHINGTON — Rep. Luis Gutierrez D-Ill., a leader in the immigration movement, — who has been quietly seeking to forge compromises with House Republicans — told me he does not think the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Virginia primary dooms the potential for a vote on some measures. It’s a contrarian position, since Cantor’s loss to a little-known, poorly funded tea party challenger was seen as ending all hope — of which there already was little — that House GOP leaders would allow any votes on immigration bills. Cantor was forced to run to the right … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:21:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ After Cantor fiasco, Rep. Peter Roskam aims for whip post ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — The day after the Republican Party’s humiliation in Virginia, where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by a tea party unknown, Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., on Wednesday started aggressively lining up votes to move up the House leadership ladder. ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:04:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hillary Clinton calls Rahm the ‘glue’ of Obama’s first cabinet ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Chicago is the second stop of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book tour — sort of serving as a soft launch of her 2016 presidential run — with Mayor Rahm Emanuel taking on the role of interviewer when he chats with her Wednesday about her memoir as Secretary of State. Expected in the front rows at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in the Loop for the Chicago Ideas Week event will be Clinton’s pals from her days growing up in Park Ridge: Betsy Ebeling and Kevin O’Keefe plus her “girlfriends,” Judy Osgood, Kathy Burgess, Ann Drake, … ]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:44:28 -0500