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.
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 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.
High Wind Warning Today - News With Mary DixonSurf's up, dudes. High winds are stirring up big waves on the lake, knocking debris all over the roads, cancelling some flights at the airports, and cutting power to several thousand homes in Cook County this morning ... Senate Republicans today may invoke the so-called nuclear option -- it doesn't involve bombs, it's a rules change -- that would allow them to get around a Democratic filibuster and confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ... President Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon is no longer an official member of the National Security Council. Trump today meets with China's President Xi, at the president's private members-only resort in Florida ... Turkish officials say autopsies confirm a chemical weapons attack in Syria, and that Syria's Assad regime is to blame; Assad and his Russian allies deny it ... The Tribune reports the Cubs' Javy Baez will get an honorary street name designation in Humboldt Park next week ... The Cubs and White Sox were rained out yesterday - and will try to get a game in today ... There's a high wind warning and a lakeshore flood warning - it's going to be very gusty out there, with light rain and temperatures in the mid-40s.
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.
BARE LEGS ALERT - News With Mary DixonIt'll be cloudy, breezy and warm today, with high temperatures in the 70s! In other news: President Trump says he's done negotiating, and that if the US House can't vote today to repeal Obamacare it'll stay on the books. Both moderate and conservative Republicans are balking because the GOP replacement bill does either too little or too much ... UPDATE: The Trump administration today has given the go-ahead for the Keystone XL oil pipeline ... Police in the UK have arrested two more people in the terror attack on Westminster. A fourth victim has died ... Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke faces new charges - 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm - in the deadly shooting of Laquan McDonald ... A judge has ruled that Illinois lawmakers should get their paychecks, even though they still haven't worked out a state budget ... The Blackhawks beat Dallas in a home shootout ... Michigan is close but no cigar in the sweet 16 while Xavier upsets Arizona ... and Cubs mastermind Theo Epstein is named World's Greatest Leader by Fortune Magazine.
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.
FBI Confirms Russia/Trump Campaign Probe - News With Mary DixonThe FBI is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian agents to influence the 2016 election. FBI Director James Comey made this extraordinary announcement during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in which Comey also debunked Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that President Obama ordered wiretaps at Trump Tower. The White House and the Kremlin dismissed Comey's testimony ... President Trump heads to Capitol Hill to lobby Republican support for the Republican House leaders' health care bill ... Senators continue confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ... The U.S. is restricting some electronics from being carried on U.S.-bound flights on foreign carriers from a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa ... The Tribune reports the Chicago Board of Ethics is reviewing e-mails from Mayor Emanuel's personal accounts and whether they expose lobbying activity ... Drivers in Chicago will get a fraction of a second more to beat red light camera tickets ... In the NIT -- The U of I advances while ISU is finished. The Bulls and Blackhawks play tonight ... Partly sunny and high temperatures near 50 today.
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.
Trump Travel Ban Blocked Again - News With Mary DixonPresident Trump told a rally in Nashville that he would appeal the ruling of a federal judge in Hawaii (and another this morning in Maryland). The decisions block President Trump's second attempt at a travel ban from six majority-Muslim countries. The Hawaii judge cited statements by Trump and his adviser Stephen Miller as examples of what he called the religious animus making the order unconstitutional ... The Trump budget proposal goes to Congress today, and includes big cuts to the EPA, poverty programs, medical research, the arts and the State Department with big spending increases for the Pentagon ... Chicago police superintendent Johnson and other police chiefs will meet today with Attorney General Sessions ... Mayor Emanuel will help break ground on a new factory that will build CTA rail cars in the Hegewisch neighborhood ... The Bulls lost to the Grizzlies ... ISU won their first round in the NIT... and Northwestern begins a historic dance this afternoon as the NCAA men's tournament begins in earnest ... Sunny and upper-30s today ... some rain, sleet and snow overnight.
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.