Category Archives: Watch + Listen

2 Investigators: Credit ‘Repairer’ Is Convicted Felon

(CBS) — 2 Investigator Dave Savini tracks down a woman running a “credit repair” business whose clients say she took their money but did nothing to help them raise their credit scores. Michelle Marshall says she hired Desiree Hawkins-Davis and Freedom Financial Solutions to help improve her credit score. She needed a better score to buy a new home. “We went to get a house and we didn’t get approved,” Marshall tells Savini. “They said they went to someone with a higher credit score.” Marshall says losing the house she wanted for her kids is only part of the nightmare she has faced. “I’ve been hoodwinked. I’ve been bamboozled,” said Marshall. Customers say they would set up consultation meetings, and Hawkins-Davis and the company would take thousands of dollars and not do the promised credit repair work. “I gave her $3,000 dollars — $1,500 for me and $1,500 for my husband,” Marshall says. Four other complaints were filed with the Better Business Bureau, with people saying they paid for credit repair they never got. The 2 Investigators also found a federal lawsuit accusing Hawkins-Davis and her company of making harassing debt collection calls and taking the victim’s money and keeping it. The 2 Investigators found Hawkins-Davis was convicted of felony forgery in a 2012 loan fraud case after she tried to buy a car at Napelton Hyundai with a fake Social Security number. She also had a theft conviction and conviction for writing a bad check. Marshall said the one thing Hawkins-Davis did do was create a pay stub with her husband Keith Marshall’s name, as if he were a Freedom Financial Solutions employee. The document contains a fake Employee ID number, fake Social Security number and fake salary. Marshall said Hawkins-Davis gave them this to use to help boost their chance at a loan. “I told her, ‘No way, and I want my money back’,” Marshall says. “And after that, she started disappearing.” Marshall says she has not been able to get her money back. “I don’t know what to say,” she says. “There’s no way a person should operate like this.” The Illinois Attorney General’s office confirms it has launched an investigation but could not comment further. There are other, unrelated, Freedom Financial credit repair companies. Hawkins-Davis has offices at 4440 Lincoln Highway in Matteson and 9934 S. Western in Chicago. According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit repair companies cannot demand advance payment, and they must provide a written contract along with certain provisions for canceling it.

Gun Club Plan Drops Request To Serve Alcohol

(CBS) – Backers of a controversial proposal to open a gun club in suburban Willowbrook have made major changes to the plan. For the second straight Willowbrook Village meeting, a packed and passionate group voiced their opinions about the gun facility that would break ground at Route 83 and 79th on long-vacant land. Under the latest version, the club would not sell alcohol; would not provide machine guns for rental; and would not be open 24 hours a day. Even without alcohol, some Willowbrook residents still worry about potential risks.  

Emanuel Unveils ‘The Five T’s’

CHICAGO (CBS) — These days, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is attempting to show how Chicago is attracting and keeping businesses to a “T.” We’ve heard Emanuel talk about the four P’s of Public safety before: Prevention, policing, parenting and penalties.
  But now, while cutting the ribbon on Preferred Freezer Services new refrigeration facility in Pilsen, the mayor took his alliteration to another level when describing efforts to bring corporate and industrial companies to Chicago. “The same way in which we recruit major Fortune 100 and 500 companies to move their headquarters to the city of Chicago from around the country and around the world, it’s the same way we convince an industrial company to have a three and, my hope, a fourth facility,” he said. He’s lately been employing five T’s to describe what attracts companies to move to, or stay in, Chicago: Talent, training, transportation, technology and transparency. He also helped the Unilever company announce major improvements to its factory in Little Village.

Digital Dining On Display At National Restaurant Show

CHICAGO (CBS) — The leading plate pleasers in the country are in Chicago this week for the National Restaurant Show. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole received an inside look at the high-tech innovations that could have you dining out more easily. He says for restaurants in the digital age, the right taste is just as important as the right tech.  

Study Finds Chicago Area Trees Are Threatened By Climate Change

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago area trees are facing a threat from Mother Nature. As CBS 2’s Ed Curran explains, climate change has warmed us up. Trees are feeling the heat and it is only expected to get worse. Over the last 100 years, the temperature in Chicago has risen about one degree. “We’re anticipating, by the end of this century, to be between two and eight degrees warmer here in the Chicago region,” said Lydia Scott, Director of Chicago Region Tree Initiative. A study by the U.S. Forest Service said almost one in five tree types in Chicago are threatened by climate change. Morton Arboretum’s Lydia Scott said it is not just the heat. “There will be other things that will be coming to us, that are adaptable to these climate conditions, such as invasive pests and pathogens,” Scott said. Heat, more rain, storms and drought at times will take their toll on trees. But planting a wider variety of trees could be the answer. “We are encouraging that people expand their species palette so that they have a broader species diversity in the region,” Scott said. Some trees are a little heartier than others. The Accolade Elm was developed at the Morton Arboretum and is resistant to Dutch Elm disease. There are a ton of those tree planted around the Chicago area. The enormous Linden Tree does well with the changing conditions and the Tulip Tree from the South has stood at the arboretum since 1922. It has adapted well and would probably be resilient in warmer temperatures. The “Urban Heat Island” effect can make it even hotter in the city. Park districts are working to plant the type of trees necessary to maintain a canopy of green as temperatures rise.

Boy, 2, Killed By Truck In Northwest Suburbs

(CBS) – A 2-year-old boy was fatally struck by a truck Monday morning in the northwest suburbs. The pickup truck that killed Levi Cruz of Carpentersville came to rest in a retention pond, CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports. A Kane County accident reconstruction crew pieced together the circumstances that left fatally wounded the child at Deer Creek and Rosewood drives. The Kane County Coroner said the toddler died from “multiple injuries due to an auto striking a pedestrian.” One neighbor tells CBS 2 the child was being dropped off at his grandmother’s house by his mother, who is 9 months pregnant. Carpentersville police offered few details, saying the investigation is ongoing.  

Chicago Cubs Pitcher Lends A Hand At Lakeview Elementary School

CHICAGO (CBS) — When Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta walked into Friedrich L. Jahn Elementary of the Fine Arts, 3149 N. Wolcott, needless to say there was a bit of excitement Monday. “Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go,” chanted the pre-K through eighth-graders waiting outside. Arrieta joined 25 other volunteers from the Cubs front office and from City Year Chicago to paint the auditorium and make banners ahead of graduation, WBBM’s Lisa Fielding reports.
“I came here a couple of years and was able to help paint the gym and do some things to help fix up parts of their school,” he said. “It’s nice to be here again. Being in such a nice neighborhood and not getting the funding they necessarily deserve, it gives me more incentive to come here and help and see these kids really appreciative of me just stopping by and being part of their day for an hour or two, spending some time with them.”
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Arrieta joined volunteers from the Cubs and City Year Chicago to make banners ahead of graduation. (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

Arrieta and Clark The Cub held a question-and-answer session on the playground. “Why did I become a baseball player?” Arrieta said. “It started when I was two or three years old, my mom and dad bought me a plastic ball and I’d practice. My grandfather played, my dad played and that’s why I was interested it in. I also played soccer, basketball, football — I tried to play hockey, but I wasn’t very good at it, but hockey wasn’t popular in Texas.”
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“It’s nice to be here again. Being in such a nice neighborhood and not getting the funding they necessarily deserve, it gives me more incentive to come here and help and see these kids really appreciative of me just stopping by and being part of their day for an hour or two, spending some time with them,” Arrieta said.(WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

“That’s a good question. How do I handle the pressure playing baseball? I think the pressure I put on myself is greater than any other outside sources,” he said. “Wherever the pressures come from, they are all good sources, it keeps you motivated, but I think the way I prepare during my routine is the main thing I lean on to, not allow the pressure to get me down or to mess with the way I perform on the field.” “How did it feel when we won the World Series? Very emotional. Extremely exciting.”
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Volunteers from the Cubs front office and City Year Chicago painted the auditorium ahead of graduation. (WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

“Can we win again? Yes, that’s the goal this year,” Arrieta said. “Who’s my best friend on the team? Other than Clark?” he laughed. “Well, we have a lot of really young guys. I look at guys like Javier Baez and Addison Russell and everyone loves Kris Bryant. Javy and Wilson Contreras I look at those guys as little brothers and I take care of them on and off the field.” he said.
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Arrieta and Clark The Cub held a question-and-answer session on the playground with students from Jahn Elementary School.
(WBBM/Lisa Fielding)

Last year, the Cubs Caravan, an annual community outreach tour, stopped at Jahn Elementary School, where Cubs players and front office associates painted wall murals in the gymnasium, built classroom cubbies and packed healthy snacks for students.

Ordinance Concerning Police Enforcement At Airports Approved

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago city council committee is acting on an ordinance that attempts to prevent a repeat of the notorious incident in which a doctor was dragged off a United Airlines jet, and injured, to make way for a crew member. The ordinance would prevent city employees from removing any passengers from an airliner except in cases of a medical emergency or a security problem. City Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans appeared before the council’s aviation committee Monday to say the department strongly supports the measure. “The ordnance is very much in align with the actions we have taken thus far to strengthen our existing security procedures and help prevent another completely unacceptable incident from occurring in the future,” Evans said.
  But Ald. Edward Burke, one of the ordinance’s sponsors, pressed Evans hard on other topics, including how she came to hire a now fired airport security chief who had allegations of sexual misconduct in his background and how she contracted with an Israeli government agency to help review airport security. Evans also had to field questions on whether she plans to take the police designation away from airport security officers. “It’s an important question that requires careful study,” she said, adding that she was not in a position to answer that on Monday. Matt Brandon, who represents airport sergeants, insists they are police. “These folks are trained by the Chicago Police Department, so there’s no confusion with the officers about what it is they are to do.” And Ald. Emma Mitts said the city should not cast doubt on that either. “Give them the power; they can’t just be there with no power.”

Food Pantry Slams Trump’s ‘Very Harmful’ Proposed Food Stamp Cuts

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Greater Chicago Food Depository said President Donald Trump’s massive proposed cuts to the food stamp program over the next decade would be disastrous. The Trump administration’s budget proposal, to be released Tuesday, was expected to include $193 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next decade. In Illinois, SNAP recipients use Illinois Link debit cards to access their food stamp funds. Calling it the front line of defense against hunger, Food Depository spokesman Jim Conwell defended SNAP. “It is essential, effective, and efficient,” he said.
Conwell said the 25 percent cut to SNAP funding would mean demand on food pantries and their network would skyrocket. “At a time when more than 42 million people in America, and more than 1.5 million in Illinois are at risk of hunger, these cuts would be very harmful, and would push more people to food insecurity and hunger,” he said. According to Conwell, the proposed funding cuts would be nearly impossible to overcome. “We couldn’t do this alone, and if SNAP were going to be significantly cut, private charity couldn’t make up the difference,” he said. SNAP dollars go directly to the hungry. While the Food Depository does receive federal funds for distributing emergency food assistance, it gets most of its funding through private donations. Conwell encouraged anyone who opposes the proposed cuts to food stamps to contact their congressman.

Sea Lion Snatches Girl, Pulls Her Into Water

CHICAGO (CBS) — A local marine mammal expert has some advice should you find yourself around wild sea lions — like a young girl did over the weekend in Canada when a sea lion pulled her into the water. Tim Binder, executive vice president of animals at the Shedd Aquarium, says people, many times, make the mistake of thinking wild animals they see are “friendly, cuddly” animals. If you happen to see wild sea lions, Binder says you should refrain from feeding them, as people were doing in the Vancouver area over the weekend. Feeding the animals, he says, is bad for the animals as well as for the people. He says sea lions and other wild animals need to hunt for their food.
  “When you have the great fortune of seeing a sea lion in the wild, stay your distance. Enjoy the opportunity to see these animals.” Binder says one of the sea lions at the Shedd was rescued from near the Bonneville Dam on the Washington-Oregon border. That sea lion was going to be euthanized for being a nuisance and eating endangered salmon. Binder says male sea lions, like the one near Vancouver, can grow from 600-800 pounds, and can be aggressive, especially when defending their territory or harem. Binder says he did not view the incident near Vancouver as an act of aggression, rather a sea lion going after what he thought was food (the girl’s dress) in an area where he’s often fed by tourists. The YouTube video, which was posted on Saturday, has already garnered six million views as of early Monday afternoon.