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Matthew Blake

City Council unanimously approves gun-shop ordinance

For the first time in over three decades Chicago will be host to lawful gun sales after City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday legalizing firearms shops.


Chicago Community Trust may strive for greater neighborhood focus

The Chicago Community Trust will likely focus more on neighborhood-level philanthropy following a massive one-day input session the group held last month.


Sun-Times printing plant poised to become data center

In perhaps a sign of changing economic times, the Chicago Sun-Times' old South Side printing plant is likely to become a large-scale data center after a City Council panel Wednesday approved ending land-use restrictions for the parcel.

Hyman, Emanuel say City Colleges’ career focus has paid dividends

City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman said Tuesday that the city’s community college system is making progress in several areas and this year had a record number of graduates.

During a City Club of Chicago talk at which Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced Hyman, the chancellor said just over 2,000 City Colleges students were graduating each year when she took the reins in 2010.

Goose Island tech sector project advances

A city panel unanimously approved Tuesday putting $10 million in Tax Increment Financing money toward a proposed digital manufacturing technology research center at Goose Island, a facility city officials hope will help catalyze Chicago’s tech economy.

Payments to college athletes on horizon, panel argues

Two longtime college football observers predicted Monday that Northwestern University’s football team would not unionize in the near future. But the pair argued there was a groundswell of support for reform of existing NCAA rules that would likely lead to changes that include pay for athletes playing college football and men’s college basketball, sports that generate millions in yearly profits for some universities.


Water Reclamation District preps $200 million overhaul of treatment facility

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is moving forward on an almost $200 million project to build new treatment facilities at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, the world’s largest wastewater treatment facility.

At a meeting Thursday, the MWRD Board agreed to advertise a $198.6 million contract for the Stickney plant, which sits on 570 acres of land in Cicero and processes wastewater for 2.38 million Cook County residents, per an MWRD estimate.

Budget decisions not only matter Springfield deferred this spring

With the November election on their minds, state lawmakers used their spring session to pass a stopgap budget that neither extended a tax increase set to expire Jan. 1, six months into the fiscal year, or cut spending in anticipation of fewer tax dollars.

But there were other key topics deferred including a Cook County pension revamp, and a long-discussed makeover in how the state gives school districts money. In the case of both, the Senate took action but the House ran out the clock. 


County pension changes could mean early retirements at hospital system

More than 1,000 Cook County Health and Hospitals System workers may retire early if Springfield approves major changes to the county’s public employee pension fund, according to the county hospital system’s interim leader.

Dr. John Jay Shannon, CCHHS's interim CEO, told the hospital system's board at its Friday meeting that “the numbers could be very significant.” Shannon later gave a “very liberal” estimate that up to 1,400 of the system’s 6,744 workers could walk off the job in order to collect a more generous pension.

City Council: Minimum wage hike proposed; ride-share law passes

An ordinance co-sponsored by 22 aldermen was introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would make a little more than half of Chicago’s businesses pay a $15-an-hour minimum wage. But according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s floor leader it is doubtful aldermen will consider the bill until the mayor’s  “Minimum Wage Working Group” releases a report on the wage floor.

The ordinance was referred to the City Council Workforce and Audit Committee chaired by Alderman Patrick O’Connor (40th), Emanuel’s floor leader.