Mary Dixon is a Chicago native who had to take the long way home. Not long after her birth at Loretto Hospital on the West Side, Mary’s parents packed the family up for their ancestral home of Dixon, Illinois. It was there that she quit a career as a very bad waitress to begin spinning records and reading hog reports for WIXN Radio. [Read Mary’s Full Bio]
President Obama plans to hold his final news conference as chief executive this afternoon. He’s drawing praise and condemnation for his latest round of clemencies and commutations. They include the ex-Army private Chelsea Manning, who pleaded guilty to leaking military secrets to Wikileaks … former FALN leader Oscar Lopez Rivera, who’s from Chicago … and another Chicagoan, the former governor of the Gangster Disciples, Eric Wilson. … A Chicago firefighter is recovering from a fall at a home on fire in the Austin neighborhood … Chicago police report a 5-year-old girl is in serious condition after she shot herself in an East Garfield Park home … President-elect Trump is back in Washington. He hosted the Chairman’s Global Dinner last night, the first inaugural event of the week. The list of Democrats skipping Friday’s ceremony has grown to nearly 60 … Confirmation hearings continue for Trump’s picks for Health and Human Services, Education, Commerce and the EPA … The Blackhawks won in Colorado … the Bulls lost at home … We’ll see cloudy skies and temperatures in the low-40s today.
UPDATE: Russian president Vladimir Putin says those who spread “phony stuff” about US president-elect Donald Trump are, “worse than prostitutes.” Putin accuses the Obama administration of trying to undermine Trump’s legitimacy. (Also this morning, Ukraine has filed a case against Russia in the UN’s highest court, over Putin’s annexation of Crimea and backing of separatist rebels.) Nearly 10% of Congress will not attend this Friday’s inauguration. The Washington Post counts 42 Democrats sitting out following Trump’s attack against civil rights hero and fellow congressman John Lewis … General Motors and Hyundai will be announcing plans to bump up investments in their US plants. Trump has been pressing automakers, and threatening big tariffs on German car companies … A fatal accident blocked the outbound Eisenhower between Damen and Sacramento. Illinois State Police report three deaths early this morning … The World Series Champion Cubs visited the White House yesterday … There’s a Dense Fog Advisory this morning … turning cloudy with a chance of light rain and temperatures in the low-40s today.
They’re announcing the findings of the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation into the Chicago police department – and it’s being reported investigators have concluded that police routinely violated peoples’ rights, and were not trained or disciplined properly … The Justice Department will investigate whether FBI Director James Comey broke the rules when he discussed the probe into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails … The US House votes today on the first step toward dismantling the Affordable Care Act … Vice President Joe Biden will fly to Ukraine on Sunday. Russian leaders are complaining about the US troops now in Poland … They’re bracing for an ice storm from Texas to Missouri and parts of southern Illinois … The Bulls lost to the Knicks … It’ll be cloudy and in the mid-20s today.
Early this morning, senators voted 51-to-48 to draw up the budget blueprint that will dismantle President Obama’s signature health care law. Democrats staged an unusual floor protest as they voted ‘no’ … More of President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees begin confirmation hearings, while Trump’s plan to put his sons in charge of his business is under fire from the Office of Government Ethics, which calls the workaround “meaningless.” … In yesterday’s news conference, Trump conceded that Russia influenced the election, but angrily denounced the unverified intelligence reports that the Kremlin had collected compromising personal information on him … Chicago police believe an assault rifle was used to kill one man and injure others in the Brighton Park neighborhood … The Justice Department will announce changes in how Baltimore’s police department deals with racial minorities today; Chicago’s report is due tomorrow. The AP reports investigators have found a pattern of the CPD violating residents’ rights … Japan reports a 70-percent die-off this year in its largest coral reef … The San Diego Chargers are moving to LA … Freezing rain is making things kind of dicey out on Chicago-area roads this morning.
President-elect Trump is supposed to have a news conference today, and he’ll probably face some questions about last week’s intelligence briefing. The heads of the intel agencies told Trump not only about their conclusion that Russia influenced the US election, but that there are unsubstantiated reports that Russia collected compromising personal information about him – some of it financial, some personal. Trump tweeted that it’s fake news and a witch hunt … Hearings continue on Trump’s cabinet nominees. His pick for secretary of state, former Exxon chief Rex Tillerson, is sure to face questions on his business deals in Russia. Four other confirmation hearings have been postponed while ethics disclosures are completed … President Obama urged Americans to work to protect democracy as he made his farewell address at McCormick Place … The Blackhawks beat Detroit in overtime … the Bulls lost in Washington … and the Cubs will visit the White House and President Obama next Monday … It’s going to be rainy today, with high temperatures in the mid-40s.
President Obama plans to say goodbye where his political career began – here in Chicago. The CTA is adding extra service around McCormick Place this evening … and the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium plan to close early because of the farewell address … Illinois senators have worked out a new budget, but they’re waiting until Thursday to present it to the new General Assembly … Democrats question whether President-elect Trump’s appointment of his son-in-law as a senior adviser violates the federal anti-nepotism law. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, is expected to face tough questions as his confirmation hearings begin today … Police around the U.S. are investigating at least 16 bomb threats against Jewish community centers and buildings in nine states in the South and Northeast … That guy who disrupted Chicago’s production of Hamilton and blamed everyone else for his poor behavior in November has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing. John Palmer is banned from that theater for at least six months … The Bulls lost to the Thunder and Clemson upset Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship … High winds today and rainy, with temperatures in the mid-40s.
US tanks have rolled into Germany. CBS News reports Operation Atlantic Resolve is meant to protect Eastern Europe against a potential Russian invasion and reassure nervous European allies … Senate confirmation hearings begin this week for Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees – some of whom have not filed their ethics disclosures … President-elect Trump dismisses Meryl Streep as a “Hillary lover” – Streep called him out last night for mocking a disabled reporter during the campaign. This was at the Golden Globes – where La La Land and Moonlight won top honors … A Joliet man faces charges that he breached security at O’Hare yesterday … The CTA is getting one-billion dollars from Washington to rebuild parts of the Red Line on the North Side … The Blackhawks beat the Predators … the Packers and Steelers won NFL wild card games … It’ll be cloudy with a high in the upper-20s today.
It’s go time for holidays: today and tomorrow are expected to be the busiest days at the airports, while the US Postal Service expects this to be their busiest for package deliveries … Mayor Emanuel used private e-mail accounts to discuss city business. He released thousands of messages to settle a lawsuit brought by the Better Government Association … Anti-violence activists demonstrated outside the mayor’s house last night, while interfaith groups urged Governor Rauner to ease his opposition to welcoming Syrian refugees to Illinois … President-elect Trump says the Christmas market attack in Berlin has proven him right on his proposal to stop Muslims from entering the US … North Carolina lawmakers have failed to repeal their anti-LGBT bathroom law … Obamacare has hit record enrollment numbers for the coming year … The Bulls lost to the Wizards … It’ll be partly sunny and in the upper-30s today.
CTA workers are planning to protest today in favor of a new contract, but they’re saying it won’t disrupt service … Illinois lost more residents last year than any other state … Roughly 30 people have died in a chain-reaction blast in a Mexico City fireworks market … The Islamic State is claiming responsibility for the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin … President Obama is moving to ban offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans … Chicago’s lakefront paths will get a makeover to separate runners and bikers. The Sun Times reports local billionaire Ken Griffin is donating 12-million bucks for the project … The Blackhawks lost to Ottawa and Marian Hossa got hurt … It’ll be cloudy and breezy on this first day of winter with high temperatures in the mid-30s.
Chicago police have stepped up their presence around the downtown Christkindlmarket after the suspected terror attack in Berlin. Officials say it’s a precaution. At least a dozen people died in the truck attack in Germany yesterday. … Former Mayor Richard M Daley is expected to give a deposition next month on accusations of police torture of criminal suspects under former commander Jon Burge. … Russian, Turkish and Syrian leaders are meeting to discuss the Syrian civil war … one day after a Turkish policeman shot and killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey. President-elect Trump is blaming both attacks on Islamist terrorists. His transition team offered no source for the assertion. He won yesterday’s electoral college vote. … UPDATE Illinois State Police are still clearing a number of accidents from northbound I-55. A fatal accident involving two semis shut it down this morning at Route 53. … The Bulls beat the Pistons. … It’s a blustery day, with blowing snow and temperatures going back up to the 30s.