CHICAGO (CBS) — Forget what the calendar says. It might be the first day of fall, but it feels like the middle of summer. Temperatures were expected to hit the 90s for the third day in a row. Wednesday’s and Thursday’s highs already broke records for heat in Chicago, and Friday’s temperatures could come close again. The record high for Sept. 22 in Chicago is 92 degrees, set in 1956. Friday’s forecast called for a high of 93, so it appears Chicago could set a record for heat three days in a row. The average temperature in Chicago for this time of year is about 73. With temperatures already in the upper 80s by 11 a.m., and water temperatures in the 70s in Lake Michigan, the beaches were proving quite popular on Friday. Whether you are running, biking, swimming, strolling or just laying out on the beach, there might be no better place to be this weekend than the lakefront. Kelley Farmer said she never figured she and her kids would be swimming in the lake on the last day of summer. “It’s beautiful. We love it, it’s great,” she said. While the water might be a little chilly, judging by the number of people in the lake, it wasn’t too cold on this sweltering hot first day of fall. And with more heat projected for the weekend, Chicago’s beaches likely will be crowded all along 18-mile lakefront. A word of caution if you do go to the lake: lifeguards will not be on duty, so be careful in the water.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Airlines were resuming limited flights to Puerto Rico on Friday, after Hurricane Maria ravaged the Caribbean island and moved on toward Turks and Caicos. San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport partially reopened Friday, and the first flight from Chicago left O’Hare International Airport before dawn. American Airlines was flying team members and passengers back to an island that was utterly devastated by the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years. Maria inundated much of the island forcing people to wade through waist and chest deep water often just to get out of their homes. Trees were essentially clear-cut by winds of up to 155 mph. Boats were tossed about like toys and left stranded on land in many cases. The deadly hurricane left the entire island without power, and it could be six months before power is fully restored. That means more than 3 million people have been left sweating it out in dangerously high temperatures, with only emergency generators and car batteries to provide electricity. Some people in the Puerto Rican community were still trying to track down loved ones back home, which can be especially difficult, with both mobile networks and radio towers also knocked out by the storm.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman and her 4-year-old son were found dead inside their home in Stone Park overnight, and police said they appear to be the victims of domestic violence. The landlord of the home in the 1700 block of Mannheim Road said he didn’t see his renter, a woman, nor her son all day on Thursday, but did see the boy’s father leaving in the woman’s car early in the morning. Neighbor Anthony Gomez said, late Thursday night, the woman’s relatives were at the house before police got there. “They’re saying ‘The little boy’s dead. The little boy’s dead,’ you know, and so I go inside, and the little boy’s on the bed. His neck was bruised,” he said. Gomez said he also saw the boy’s mother dead near the bathroom. She was bloodied, with injuries to her head and back. Gomez said he broke down and cried. “It’s rough. I couldn’t sleep last night, you know?” he said. “I mean, it’s still hitting me now, you know? I probably won’t even go to work, because it’s sad.” The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the two deaths. Stone Park police said the deaths appear to be “an isolated domestic violence incident,” but wold provide no further information about the case. The West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force was assisting Stone Park police in the investigation.
(CBS) – Hurricane Ima’s strong winds and heavy rain brought with it widespread damage across Florida. It also inspired people to help clean up. Dustin and Nikki Presley of Jacksonville, Fla. were among them. Last weekend, the couple spotted a sandy Cub Scout uniform on the beach. It had some identifying patches and marks, including this clue: “Illinois.” Leaders with the Boy Scouts of America stepped in to play detective and help find the scout. They traced the uniform back to a now-merged council in Champaign, Ill. It turns out the Cub Scout uniform belonged — or, belongs — to U.S. Navy Cmdr. Patrick Gegg. He grew up in St. Joseph, Illinois, near Champaign. The fighter pilot is now stationed in Jacksville, Florida, where he lost almost everything during Irma. Gegg says scouting helped shape him into the man he has become, and that’s why he’s kept the uniform through so many moves. “I’m excited to get it back,” he says. Dustin Presley was a boy scout, too, and remembers the motto: Do a good turn daily.
(CBS) — A former college student who posted an empty threat aimed at the University of Chicago says it ruined his life, and he’s telling people not to follow his example. Jabari Dean is the focus of a public service announcement from the FBI. He once posted an empty threat, saying he was going to kill 16 people. The FBI says there are serious ramifications for such threats. “The FBI and our law enforcement have to do a full-on response to every single one of these threats — we can never, ever take them lightly,” says Michael Anderson, special agent-in-charge for the Chicago office of the FBI. As for Dean, he says, “I have a pretty bleak future. I can’t pass background checks. I’ve been expelled from school. It sucks.” Anderson says Dean and his family have been cooperative throughout the investigation. Dean is “very lucky” to have avoided jail, he says. The FBI says it receives thousands of threats on social media each year, and they want that number to go down.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A new milestone is in sight for Chicago Police. As part of reforms put in place after the Laquan McDonald police shooting and others, the Chicago Police Department plans to send all of its officers “back to school” for mandatory in-service training. By next month, all 12,000 officers will have completed new training in the use of deadly force. It’s just the first step in something Chicago’s cops have never had: routine and regular training on the job. CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley has more. This is what the use of force training is designed to eliminate – shooting. Two officers last year shot into a fleeing, stolen cars. It’s the same action that last month earned Officer Marco Proano an excessive force conviction from a federal jury. Shooting into a moving vehicle that presents no threat was already prohibited. Under new deadly force policies, it still is. The goal is reinforcement. First Deputy Police Superintendent Kevin Navarro and Superintendent Eddie Johnson have been in uniform for more than three decades and received training in the use of force only once at the academy, so he said its monumental that all officers will have increasing in-service training beginning in 2018. “Instead of like when I got it in 1986, these officers are going to have use of force training every year, so it’s fresh in their mind,” said First Deputy Chief Kevin Navarro. Four hours of training in sessions. “The community is always watching, no matter good or bad, so it’s important for us to act professionally,” said Chicago Police Sargent Mark Lemus. In fact, training for all Chicago Police is about to ramp up dramatically. This year, eight hours of training, by 2019 24 hours of training and by 2021, every officer will complete 40 hours of training every year. Commander Daniel Godsel of the Education and Training Division said the classes and simulations will be varied. “Mandatory training will include, but is not limited to such topics, as use of force, force midigation, mental health awareness, procedural justice and updates on local, state and federal statues concerning law enforcement. Use of force will be a topic we plan on covering every year. “We’re hoping this annual training will allow CPD officers to keep themselves safe while making Chicago and its residents safer in the process,” said Chicago Police Commander Daniel Godsel. But FOP President Kevin Graham is concerned the union was ignored in designing the new training. “I think what they want to do is pacify the community, saying they’re rolling out training when they should be discussing it with us and having a real plan going forward,” Graham said. Once concern is how 40-hours of yearly training would effect manpower on the street, since police in the classroom are not on patrol. But police leaders say by 2021, the force will have added those 1,000 additional officers. Mayor Emanuel is hiring, which should ease the squeeze. Space at the police academy, where much of the training will be done, is going to be scarce as well.
CHICAGO (CBS) — At least three elementary school students in Maywood were hospitalized Wednesday, after ingesting an unknown substance that some relatives fear might have been cocaine. According to a statement from Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89, “a few” children at Garfield Elementary School were taken to the hospital Wednesday afternoon, after ingesting an “unknown substance” that they got from another student. Carletta May said a 4th grade boy brought multiple small bags of cocaine to the school, and five children were taken to two hospitals after they ingested the powder. May said police officials and the hospital confirmed the substance was cocaine. She said the children were pressured to eat or, in some cases, snort the drug in the cafeteria at lunch. She said one girl and four boys, including the child who brought the bags to school were taken to hospitals to be checked out. May said her grandson notified his teacher about what happened, but it took a couple of hours before anything was done. She said that could have put her grandson’s life at risk. “My grandson could have died, and their protocol to me was not sufficient. He told the teacher at 12:30. She didn’t do nothing until 3:30, because the principal say she wasn’t aware of it,” she said. Police and school officials would not independently confirm the children involved ingested cocaine. District 89 said the “students appear to be fine.” May said her grandson still had a stomach ache Thursday morning. Police and school district officials declined to speak on camera. The district said parents were informed about what happened with letters and phone calls. They said they are cooperating with police as th ey try to figure out exactly what happened.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s Puerto Rican community was uniting to help loved ones back home, after Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico this week, causing massive flooding, and leaving the entire island without power. Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years, and authorities have said recovery will take months. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez said he wasn’t able to sleep Wednesday night, unable to reach his own family after the devastating storm. He described the dire situation on the island, which is heavily populated by the elderly. “We have to understand the gravity of the situation. The infrastructure of Puerto Rico is so weak that it’s going to take a really long time. This is not like the electricity going out in the city of Chicago,” he said. Gutierrez called on Puerto Rican community leaders and residents to come together in this crisis. He was joined by Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, several Chicago Aldermen, and disaster relief experts in a packed house at the UrbanTheater Company in Humboldt Park; for a meeting to plan ways people in Chicago can help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. So many people showed up, some were forced to stand for the meeting. Many of those who attended have relatives in Puerto Rico, and to help out any way they can. Christian Roldan, an artist who moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico three years ago, said he is anxious to talk with his mother, sister, and grandmother who rode out the storm. “I’m concerned. I’ve not been able to communicate with them. I want to know what’s going on,” he said. “All the flooding, all the trees broken, the houses; I’m concerned about how people will be able to recover after all this crisis.” Gutierrez said he’s thankful President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico. Chicago’s Puerto Rican community has planned a number of fundraisers to send money to the hardest-hit areas of the island.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A walk to school turned into a terrifying ordeal for a teenager Wednesday morning in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Police issued a community alert after a 14-year-old girl reported a man wearing a black ski mask approached her from behind shortly after 7 a.m., and tried to grab her near 64th and Minerva, near University of Chicago Charter School: Woodlawn Campus. The girl was able to escape, and the man ran into a white panel van with no rear windows before driving away. A community alert described the suspect as a white male, standing approximately 5-foot-4, and weighing about 175 pounds. In addition to the ski mask, he was wearing a black zip-up hoodie, blue jeans, and white Skechers shoes. Police said people in the neighborhood should be aware of the situation, and call 911 if they see any suspicious activity, vehicles, or people.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Wednesday’s 92 degree high was a record – and people were out and about trying to make the most out of these last couple days of summer. 1971 — that is the last time it was this hot on or after Sept. 20. One couple went straight for the water to cool off, even though beach season is officially over. “We are just trying to enjoy the weather because you never know — tomorrow we might have snow,” DeeDee Gusmao tells CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar. Fisherman Freddy Ortega agrees. “Pretty soon, probably in three weeks, it’s back to the old long johns and ski mask and gloves and everything else.” Warm temperatures were expected to continue into the weekend.