In fact, Shanower, a Navy commander who grew up in Naperville, gave his life on 9/11 as he rushed into action at the Pentagon after the World Trade Center towers were struck. His mother Patricia, who laid a wreath at his memorial on Monday, says the pain doesn’t go away. “I’ve been buoyed by the support that this community has given me, as well as my family,” she said. Patricia added that while the support remains strong, she still questions the current unity of the country.“I would like to say that we are as united as we were after 9/11, when the whole country came together, but obviously we’re not. That’s something that I would long for.” Yet speaker after speaker recalled the response to the attack as one of America’s finest moments. Lanny Russell, the former DeKalb Fire Chief, said, “No matter what the terrorists threw at America, she responded with heroism and compassion. It’s the American way.” This year’s 16th anniversary of the attacks were held at the Cmdr. Dan Shanower Memorial, 400 S. Eagle St., along the Riverwalk.
The Guzman family said now their biggest fears are falling rocks and mudslides. In Humboldt Park, fears linger for other Chicago Latinos with family in Puerto Rico, who are dealing with the wake of Hurricane Irma. “It was horrible. I just passed the night without sleep,” said Carmen Cuevas, who’s relatives experienced the storm pass through. Her loved ones are safe, but she said she is still nervous. In fact, members of the Puerto Rican Agenda, an organization that seeks to influence policy for the advancement of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, says they feel the bulk of the hurricane coverage has focused on Florida, and that there is very little mention of Puerto Rico. “We also know that more than 63 percent of the island is in a blackout,” said Cristina Pacione-Zayas, who’s with the organization. Authorities said it could be 4-6 months before power is restored. “We are standing in solidarity with our island and we are going to coordinate efforts because they are not forgotten,” Zayas said. The Puerto Rican Agenda is convening an emergency task force Saturday morning to formulate a plan on how to deploy resources and make sure the money goes directly to the intended people.
(CBS) – There is still no official cause of death – or charges – in the mysterious death of a toddler in Joliet Township more than four months ago.
People are desperate for answers, CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports.
Family members and activists gathered Thursday outside the Will County courthouse calling for an outside inquiry into the death of 16-month-old Semaj Crosby.
In late April, the little girl went missing from her Joliet Township home. After a day of searching, the child was found in her family’s rental home under a couch.
But the corner says the autopsy was inconclusive and has not yet ruled on a cause of death.
“I hold my city accountable,” resident Mireya Reyes said at a news conference Thursday. “We need to know what happened. We need to know who — why. She was an innocent life. Her life mattered.”
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has faced scrutiny since the girl’s death. A DCFS worker had visited the family the day before the girl’s disappearance.
Local authorities say Semaj and the other children were living in squalid conditions.
CBS 2 has reached out to the Will County Sheriff’s Department for an update on the case.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Summer 2017 has shifted to the rear view mirror, and it’s time for Chicago Public Schools students to go back to class.
Parents and students are starting the new school year with a bit less concern than years past.
Unlike the last few years, there is no looming threat of a teachers’ strike, and thanks to a last-minute deal to fund public schools statewide, no uncertainty about whether there will be cuts to school spending in the middle of the year.
Addie Peckler is ready and anxious to start 2nd grade. The 7-year-old East Side resident is in the gifted program at Jane Addams Elementary School, located two blocks from her home.
“We love it, and all the teachers are great,” said her mother, Rosemary Peckler.
Rosemary said it’s great not having to worry as much about whether her daughter’s school has enough money to make it through the whole year.
“I hope it stays stable. That’s all we can hope for, because you never really know,” she said.
After years of financial uncertainty, the apparent stability to start the school year is due to a statewide education bill approved by lawmakers and the governor last week. CPS would get up to $450 million more than last year under the new funding plan, if it exercises the authority to raise property taxes by up to $163 million.
“Not only are we going to have a full school year and a full school day, we’re going to make sure that it’s done, because now the state actually is living up to the responsibility,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
The mayor and CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool said there is another reason for optimism entering the new school year. Claypool said the district’s 5-year graduation rate has increased from the mid 50s in 2011 to 77 percent in 2017, with some of the biggest gains among African-American males.
Adam Goldstein’s daughters are fourth generation CPS students. He said he agrees the state school funding plan helps alleviate concerns from years past, but he still has others.
“CPS still continues to borrow money at alarming rates, and I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long run,” he said.
The Chicago Teachers Union said all the back-slapping from politicians who worked on the new education funding deal is premature. The union said, although the new school funding formula generates $350 million in new revenue for schools across the state, Illinois really needs about $5 billion.
CTU planned to hold a rally Tuesday morning to protest CPS funding which the union believes is still inadequate.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A man’s body was pulled out of Lake Michigan near 31st Street Beach on Friday.
Around 9 a.m., the Fire Department received a call of a person in the water off 31st Street Beach.
When crews arrived on the scene, it was quickly apparent they were dealing with a dead body in the lake. Due to very choppy conditions on the lake, it took crews until about 10:30 a.m. to pull the man’s body to the shore.
“We had to deal with some difficult wind and wave conditions. This removal of the body from the water took an extended period of time, due to the difficulties and the risks to the rescuers that were attempting to recover the body,” Chicago Fire Department Deputy Chief Ron Dorneker said.
The victim has not yet been identified, and it was unclear how long the person was in the water before the body was spotted, or how the person ended up in the lake.
The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazard advisory for the entire lakefront in Illinois through Friday night, due to waves of 4 to 7 feet, and strong currents along the shore.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Shocking new statistics have been released about the opioid epidemic.
The National Safety Council released Thursday findings of a statewide poll on the opioid epidemic in Illinois. The council polled 1,000 Illinoisans to gauge their awareness of the opioid epidemic, understand how they use prescription drugs, and whether they are confident they can spot abuse and misuse, among other things.
The findings showed that one in three people in Illinois have been directly impacted by opioid use. Yet 41 percent of those polled are not concerned about addiction happening in their family.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has more from Itasca where a rally is underway to call attention to a growing crisis.
The event ties in with International Overdose Awareness Day.
And there are two important takeaways – this can happen to you and there is hope.
“I think I started how most teens do, in the party scene,” said Jessica Gerke.
32-year-old Jessica Gerke was addicted to heroin by the time she was 18.
“That is the time I had that emotional bottom was in a jail cell,” she said.
Today, eight years off of drugs, she works at a treatment center, but said the problem is far worse.
“In the last five years I’ve seen deaths weekly or two times a week, three a week,” Gerke said.
The National Safety Council said in 2016, 2,350 Illinoisans died of drug overdoses, 80 percent attributed to heroin and opioids. Forty-five percent of those addicted, like former NBA player Rex Champman said it started with legal prescriptions.
“I wasn’t a partier, drinker or smoker,” Chapman said. “I had an emergency appendectomy. Doctors gave me a prescription for Oxycontin for a month.”
He said he knew he was addicted in three days and when he finally sought help?
“When I went in taking 40 Vicodin a day and eight Oxycontin a day,” Chapman said.
Both Gerke and Chapman recovered from their addictions. But they said there is no magic word to get your loved one to treatment. They recommend you do your research and show compassion, because as they put it, no one wants this.
(CBS) – A mother of six who was due to be deported Wednesday took sanctuary in a Chicago church.
Her husband is a U.S. citizen, as are four of her children. All of them have moved into a small Humboldt Park church building, trying to buy time as they fight her deportation.
After 15 years of seeking U.S. citizenship, Francisca Lino is out of options.
“I am not a terrorist,” Lino, speaking in Spanish, told reporters at a news conference. “I am not a criminal, I’m a working mother.”
Because the Obama Administration deported criminals first, she was low priority. But a change in administrations seems to have changed that. She was supposed to turn herself to immigration officials this week.
“We have to fight together,” her husband, Diego, said.
Lino, who entered the U.S. illegally but married a U.S. citizen, was denied a green card due to an earlier deportation.
Her attorney, Chris Bergen, says President Trump claimed his policies would target “bad hombres.”
“The government’s decision to remove Mrs. Lino shows that even the good hombres, or ‘mujeres,’ are not safe,” the attorney says.
Bergen said he continues exploring federal legal action and is asking politicians to put pressure on the Trump administration to stand down.
Federal immigration officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that charges were filed in connection to a fatal crash last month in Beecher, killing a pregnant mother and her three sons.
The other driver, Sean B. Woulfe, 25, was charged with 16 counts of reckless homicide — 14 counts of reckless homicide and two counts of reckless homicide of an unborn child.
12 of those counts are eligible for extended term [up to 10 years in prison] due to aggravated factors: Killing a child under the age of 12, killing more than one person and driving more than 20 miles above the speed limit.
According to the investigation, Woulfe was going 75 mph in a 55 mph speed zone at the time of the incident on July 24. He also blew a clearly displayed stop sign. Authorities say there isn’t any physical evidence of alcohol or drug use, but would not comment on whether texting could be involved.
Woulfe faces up to 10 years.
Lindsey Schmidt, 29, of Beecher and her sons, 6-year-old Owen, 4year-old Weston and 1-year-old Kaleb were traveling northbound on Yates Avenue when Woulfe, who was traveling eastbound on Corning Road, ran the stop sign and collided with Schmidt’s vehicle in the intersection of Yates and Corning.
The Schmidt family was on their way to bible camp.
Schmidt and her youngest son Kaleb were pronounced dead at the scene. Weston died the following evening after being placed on life-support and Owen died three days after the crash, after being placed into a medically induced coma.
Woulfe received a traffic citation that was dismissed earlier this month. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office said, by dropping the ticket, prosecutors were making sure they can file more serious charges later, by avoiding possible double jeopardy if the driver were to plea on the citation first.
Woulfe was taken into custody on Tuesday morning, and is currently being held with bond set at $1 million.
He is expected to be in court Wednesday morning at 9.