Blackhawks Swept - News With Mary DixonThe Blackhawks season is over. They lost to the Predators, 4-1, and were swept out of the first round NHL playoffs for the first time since 1993. The Bulls will try to press their playoff advantage over the top-seeded Celtics tonight at the United Center ... Another sign that the Illinois budget impasse is screwing up Illinois' public universities: Standard and Poor's has downgraded the credit ratings for six schools including the U of I, and put them all on "negative watch" ... President Trump plans to sign three executive orders that may lead to looser regulations on financial firms. The IRS is about to start using private debt collectors to track down overdue tax payments. The New York Times reports consumer watchdogs are concerned they'll target the most vulnerable taxpayers, and open them up to criminal copycats ... The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on police officers in Paris. It comes just before Sunday's presidential election ... The state of Arkansas has executed a convicted murderer -- the first allowed by courts before the state's lethal injection drugs expire at the end of the month ... Cloudy and cooler today, with high temperatures in the low-50s and cooler by the lake.
It's 4/20 - News With Mary DixonOn this April 20th -- 4/20 -- people backing legalized marijuana use are planning smoke-ins around the country. (There are a number of stories about why 4/20 is a holiday for weed enthusiasts. Ask a friend.) In Washington, DC, demonstrators on Capitol Hill are reportedly going to try to hand out free joints to Congressmembers. Illinois lawmakers heard testimony on a proposal to legalize it here ...A Cook County judge will rule next week on a Chicago Public Schools funding lawsuit against the State of Illinois ... Governor Rauner is catching heat from reproductive rights advocates. He ran as a pro-choice candidate three years ago but is now promising to veto a measure that would keep abortion legal in Illinois if the Supreme Court overturns Roe-v-Wade. Chicago's Cardinal Cupich praised Rauner's veto plan ... Two more courts have stayed two more executions in Arkansas ... Secretary of State Tillerson says the Trump administration is conducting a thorough review of the deal to restrict Iran's nuclear program ... Russia is shutting down a UN Security Council condemnation of North Korea's latest missile test ... CBS News reports the CIA and FBI are investigating what may be the worst breach in CIA history. They're looking for an insider who leaked information on tools used to spy on smartphones and tvs to Wikileaks ... The Cubs came back to beat the Brewers ... the White Sox lost in New York ... and it's do or die tonight for the Blackhawks in Nashville ... There's a chance of rain this morning. Otherwise, it'll be breezy and near 70 degrees.
Tax Day 2017 - News With Mary DixonPresident Trump plans to be in Kenosha today, to sign an executive order changing the the temporary visa program used by companies to hire high-skilled foreign workers. The so-called Buy American and Hire American order will be signed at the Snap-On tool plant. It's Tax Day, when a lot of us scramble to file our returns ... or extensions. Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer says the president has not released his returns because of audits, and had no answer on whether they'd ever be released ... Chicago firefighters are working to put out a big fire in a two-flat in the Albany Park neighborhood ... Mayor Emanuel is not saying whether the city's aviation police force should be disbanded, as he calls their dragging of a seated passenger on a United flight last week 'unacceptable.' ... The US Supreme Court has stalled Arkansas officials' drive to execute two murderers. Prison officials plan to execute eight men before their lethal injection drugs expire at the end of the month ... North Korea's deputy UN ambassador accuses the Trump administration of turning the Korean peninsula into the world's biggest hotspot ... British prime minister Theresa May is out with a shock reversal - and is calling for an early general election ... The Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox lost. What the heck is going on? Sunny, breezy and warmer today, with temperatures in the mid-70s this afternoon.
US Bombs ISIS In Afghanistan, Anticipates North Korean Nuke Test - News With Mary DixonAfghan officials say about three dozen Islamic State fighters have been killed by an 11-ton American bomb. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast is also known as the Mother of All Bombs ... US intelligence officials think North Korea may conduct another nuclear test this weekend. It's possible US forces would be ready to launch a pre-emptive strike ... Chicago aldermen say city aviation officers shouldn't be doing United Airlines' dirty work. The lawyer for the Kentucky doctor dragged off a United flight at O'Hare says he's recovering from a concussion, and a lawsuit is likely ... A dozen teachers at the fancy Connecticut boarding school Choate-Rosemary Hall are accused of sexually assaulting students over several decades ... NASA scientists think one of Saturn's moons might support life ... The Blackhawks lost to the Predators in their first game of the playoffs ... the Cubs and White Sox won ... There's a chance of rain on this Good Friday, with temperatures ranging from the low-70s inland and low-50s by the lake.
US Strikes Syria - News With Mary DixonSyria's government is condemning a US missile strike on an air base believed to be the launch point for a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians. Russian leaders are demanding a UN Security Council meeting. President Trump authorized the strike from his Florida resort, where he's meeting with China's president Xi ... The US Senate is expected to vote today to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, after Republicans changed the rules to shut down Democrats' opposition ... Twitter is suing the Trump administration, over its effort to unmask the identity of an anti-Trump account focusing on immigration and homeland security ... Billionaire JB Pritzker has entered the Democratic race for Illinois governor ... The Cubs won in Saint Louis, the White Sox won at home and the Bulls won in Philly ... while the Blackhawks lost in Anaheim ... It'll be sunny and springy today, with temperatures in the mid-50s unless you're near the chillier lake.
Chicago Fed Court: Civil Rights Act Protects LGBT Employees - News With Mary DixonLGBT workers are protected by the sex discrimination ban in the 1964 Civil Rights law. That's the ruling from Chicago's federal appeals court - the first US appellate court to weigh in on workplace discrimination against gay employees ...The Chicago Teachers Union won't stage a one-day strike on May first, after all ... Chicago police have charged a man in the murders of four people at a South Shore restaurant last week ... The UN Security Council is meeting on the apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria. Everyone *but* Syria's Bashar Assad and his Russian allies suspects that government forces are to blame ... US Secretary of State Tillerson has offered a terse, three-sentence statement on North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch ... Democrats have begun their filibuster against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; Republican leaders may move soon to change the rules and end it ... The Cubs won in Saint Louis ... the White Sox lost their home opener to the Tigers ... the Bulls and Blackhawks lost on the road ... It's going to be windy and rainy today, and we might get some snow tonight.
St. Petersburg Subway Bombing - News With Mary DixonUPDATE: There's news from Russia, where state media report at least ten people have been killed and dozens more are injured in a bombing in the Saint Petersburg subway. Russian president Vladimir Putin was visiting his country's second-largest city today. President Trump, meanwhile, is tweeting about a Fox News story on FBI surveillance of his campaign ... Chicago police are investigating about two dozen shootings over the weekend, including a drive-by that killed two men in the East Garfield Park neighborhood yesterday afternoon ... Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee plan to send the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to the full senate, where Democrats may filibuster ... Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is touring Iraq with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ... Blues fans are mourning the death of Chicago legend Lonnie Brooks. He was 83 ... The World Series Champion Cubs opened their 2017 title defense with a loss in Saint Louis ... the White Sox open the season at home against the Tigers this afternoon ... The Bulls won ... the Blackhawks lost ... and South Carolina has won its first women's N-C-Double-A championship ... It's going to be rainy today and tonight and some of tomorrow, with temperatures this afternoon in the upper-40s.
Another Link To Russia - News With Mary DixonThe Associated Press reports President Trump's former campaign chair secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Vladimir Putin and undermine anti-Russia opposition in the former Soviet republics. This would contradict Paul Manafort's and the administration's assertions UPDATE: Manafort confirms the story, but complains it unfairly casts the work as inappropriate ... President Trump is warning Republicans about the political consequences of voting against the GOP health care bill ... Chicago police are searching for a group of people seen raping a 15-year-old on Facebook Live ... A man is held without bond on charges of posing as an Uber driver and kidnapping and raping two women in Skokie ... NASA and SpaceX are looking for a place on Mars to land a spaceship ... The provocateur who created The Gong Show has died. Chuck Barris was 87 ... The architect of the Bulls' six-championship dynasty, Jerry Krause has died ... the Bulls and the Blackhawks lost in overtime last night ... It'll be windy and cold today with high temperatures in the upper-30s.
Russia Hearing Begins - News With Mary DixonFBI Director Comey is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today on the Kremlin's interference in the US election. It's expected congressmembers will ask whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and whether President Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that President Obama ordered wiretapping at Trump Tower is valid ... Senate confirmation hearings begin today on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ... Chicago police are warning North Siders in the Ravenswood, Uptown and Sheridan Park neighborhoods about a recent round of armed robberies ... A Chicago man is being held without bail on charges that he kidnapped and assaulted a Wrigleyville woman earlier this month ... Bears legend Gale Sayers has dementia. His wife tells the Kansas City Star that Sayers was diagnosed four years ago, and his family believes football contributed to his condition ... The Blackhawks beat the Avs ... Michigan and South Carolina stage N-C-Double-A upsets ... DePaul is out of the women's N-C-Double-A dance ... Kinda rainy today, with temperatures in the mid-50s ... cooler near the lake.
White House To UK: "Sorry" - News With Mary DixonThe White House has apologized to British leaders and promised not to repeat a claim that UK spies surveilled Donald Trump. Spokesman Sean Spicer repeated the Fox News story yesterday while answering reporters' questions about President Trump's still-unsubstantiated allegation that President Obama ordered wiretaps on Trump Tower. Senate and House Intelligence Committee leaders say it didn't happen; British intel officials took the unusual step of calling it nonsense ... Chicago police say a three-year-old boy was critically injured by a gunshot as he and other children played cops-and-robbers in a South Side home ... Saint Charles police are investigating the deaths of two 18-year-olds found in a car ... Republican and Democratic congressmembers are pushing back against the GOP health care bill and the president's budget proposals for cutting domestic programs ... Secretary of State Tillerson is warning North Korea against further missile tests, and says pre-emptive military strikes are an option ... Northwestern won their first-ever NCAA game and will play Gonzaga tomorrow. Notre Dame won, too. And the Blackhawks won in Ottawa ... It'll be a bit rainy and in the mid-40s on this Saint Patrick's Day.
Senate Hearings On Russian Interference Begin Today - News With Mary DixonUPDATE: Senator Lindsey Graham says FBI Director Comey did not promise to reveal today whether the bureau is investigating the Trump team's connections to Russia. Graham's Judiciary subcommittee will open hearings today on the Kremlin's interference in the election ... The White House is releasing some details of President Trump's 2005 tax returns - as they were being released last night on MSNBC. They show Trump paid $38-million in taxes on more than $150-million in income after writing down $100-million in business losses ... The Federal Reserve today is expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year ... Billionaire J-B Pritzker is exploring a run for Illinois governor. Fellow Democrats Chris Kennedy and alderman Ameya Pawar are already in the race ... Yesterday's big snowstorm hit New England pretty hard. The snow's moved past Chicago ... and a mother and baby are doing fine after she went into labor and delivery in a stuck car yesterday on South Lake Shore Drive ... The Blackhawks won in Montreal ... The Illini got a first-round win in the NIT; ISU plays tonight ... It'll be sunny with temperatures in the upper-20s today.
AG Sessions Met Russian Ambassador During Campaign - News With Mary DixonAttorney General Jeff Sessions spoke twice with Russia's ambassador to the US while he was a senior adviser to the Trump campaign. The Justice Department confirms it; Sessions did not disclose this during confirmation hearings. UPDATE: Sessions now tells NBC he never met with Russian officials to discuss any political campaign. Top Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign; some Republicans - including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz - say Sessions should clarify his testimony, and recuse himself from investigations relating to President Trump's ties to Russia ... The New York Times reports officials in the Obama White House spread information across the government on Russian interference in the US election. Their goal was to make sure it didn't happen again, and to leave a trail for investigators ... A second person has died of injuries from this week's tornadoes in LaSalle County ... Illinois lawmakers are pulling the plug on a budget compromise, and Democrats blame Governor Rauner ... Chicago's Cardinal Cupich is telling priests to not allow immigration agents into churches without a warrant ... The Blackhawks beat the Penguins ... Northwestern's men beat Michigan in basketball ... The city's snow trucks are being deployed for the first time this year. We'll get up to an inch of snow today, with high temperatures in the mid-30s.