(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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
(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 (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.
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.
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.
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.