Category Archives: Watch + Listen

Pilsen Residents Want Say In Development Plans

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Pilsen Planning Committee is unveiling a Quality of Life Plan to preserve Mexican and Latino culture in the neighborhood. Hundreds gathered at Benito Juarez High School where the principal says the student population is still about 95% Latino. But with gentrification, Teresa Fraga with Pilsen Neighbors Community Council says it’s important for the community to maintain its strong Mexican culture. “We’ve reached that point where it’s so attractive now, so close to downtown, that developers want to developers the land that is underutilized or non utilized,” said Fraga. Also discussed were components of what could be a New Quality of Life plan for Pilsen, placing emphasis on education, health, jobs, young people and their activities and affordable housing.

Mark Wahlberg In Town To Inspire Young Catholics

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Archdiocese hopes one of Hollywood’s biggest actors can energize the young faithful in the church. Cardinal Blase Cupich sat down with Mark Wahlberg at an event called (re)Encounter. “We are blessed to be able to have a fresh start every day,” said Wahlberg. “You just got to be able to have confidence in yourself and belief in yourself, surrounding yourself with good people.” The “Young Adult Faith Night” at the UIC Pavilion featured speakers, live music and discussions about how to better engage young people more in their Catholic faith. This year, Walhberg topped the Forbes list of the highest paid actors, earning $68 million dollars in 2017.

UPDATE: It Will Take Days To Clear Groundwater Gasoline Leak

CHICAGO (CBS) – Explosions rocked parts of Willowbrook and Westmont Friday after gasoline leaked into the sewage system. Westmont officials say it will take several days to fully clear gas from the groundwater. All signs point to a leak from a nearby gas station as the source. Some in the area are still without electricity. People who live down the road from the gas station were allowed to return home overnight. One woman remains hospitalized with burns. Her neighbors at the Knolls condominium complex in Willowbrook say the victim was doing laundry when something exploded Friday morning. By the end of the day, firefighters responded to about nine other flashes and fires. They also checked out hundreds of reports of gas odors. Investigators eventually determined the source: a Speedway gas station in Westmont. They believe fuel leaked from the station into the sewer system that stretches about eight miles. Westmont Deputy Fire Chief James Connolly explained what crews would be doing today. “Ventilating the system, tracking product, putting emulsifier in the system to reduce any vapors,” said Connolly. “Speedway and their contractors removed approximately 60,000 gallons of water and gasoline mixture. That doesn’t mean it’s all gasoline. It’s a mixture of water and gasoline. We believe we have the source of the problem isolated.” Experts from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state fire marshal will conduct separate investigations into the gas leak. Westmont’s Deputy Fire Chief said the gas tanks in the area are roughly 20 years old. The Speedway remains closed until further notice. A Facebook update from the Willowbrook Police Department says the sewer is cleared of fuel but workers will continue to monitor it. The Red Cross has set up a reception center at Hinsdale South High School for those impacted by the Willowbrook explosion.

Thousands Of Illegal Cigarettes Found In Skokie Raid

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two people are facing charges after more than 1,500 illegal packs of cigarettes were discovered during a recent bust at a store in north suburban Skokie. After receiving a tip, an undercover Cook County Department of Revenue investigator purchased an unstamped pack of cigarettes Oct. 19 at Skokie Discount Tobacco, 4019 Oakton St., according to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office. Investigators later returned to the store, where they saw a clerk closing a concealed wall compartment “in an attempt to hide the illegal cigarettes.” When the business owner arrived at the store, the hidden compartment was opened using a remote control device, and 1,258 packs of illegal cigarettes were recovered, Preckwinkle’s office said. Another wireless remote that was found in the compartment activated a second compartment in the countertop near the cash register, where an additional 303 packs of unstamped cigarettes were found. The Cook County Department of Revenue issued fines totaling more than $47,000 following what is believed to be this county’s largest confiscation of illegal cigarettes this year, Preckwinkle’s office said. Two suspects were also charged “due to the exceptionally large quantity of unstamped cigarettes found on the property,” Preckwinkle’s office said. Their identities weren’t known. “Beneath floorboards, concealed by hidden compartments or behind false walls accessed by garage door openers, Cook County Department of Revenue investigators have seen it all when it comes to hiding illegal cigarettes,” Preckwinkle said. “Through determined enforcement efforts, our Revenue Department is combatting a sly and sophisticated tobacco black market.”  (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

3 Shot In Greektown Restaurant

CHICAGO (CBS) — Three people were shot when a man opened fire during a fight early Saturday inside a Greektown restaurant. The three people were fighting at 4:21 a.m. inside a restaurant in the 800 block of West Jackson when one of them fired shots, according to Chicago Police. A 31-year-old man was shot in the chest and taken in serious condition to Stroger Hospital, police said. A 26-year-old woman was grazed in the right foot, and refused medical treatment at the scene, police said. The shooter, a 26-year-old man, also shot himself in the left leg and was taken in police custody to Stroger Hospital, police said. His condition had stabilized. Area Central detectives are investigating the shooting.  (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Former Marine Running 31 Marathons In 31 Days

(CBS) — If you ran a marathon today, you’d do what tomorrow? Probably rest. Well, not one retired Marine. He’s doing 31. In 31 days. And, as CBS 2’s s Brad Edwards explains there’s more. Rob Jones, who retired as a sergeant, is a double amputee. His job in Afghanistan was to find Improvised Explosive Devices. In 2010, he was clearing a route. “I was trying to find an IED, and it found me first,” Jones says. Since then, he has medaled in the Paralympics and rode a bike cross-country. Now, in 31 cities in 31 days, he will be running 26.2 miles each day, he says. “My mission is to help my brothers,” Jones says. He is raising money for veterans’ charities. His last run will be on Veterans Day at the disabled veterans mall in Washington D.C. in three weeks. He has raised roughly $70,000 and hopes to raise $1 million. Jones would like you to come along for the run in Chicago. He is running at 7 a.m. at Northerly Island. It takes him about four hours to run the entire 26.2 miles. For more information, go to the Rob Jones Journey website.        

A Cancer Survivor’s Dream To Climb Mountain Comes True

CHICAGO (CBS) – An update on the cancer survivor who set out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. He made the attempt along with his doctor. CBS 2 was there as the men reunited for the first time since the trip. It was a special reunion for cancer survivor Ken Brown and his doctor Malcolm Bilimoria. The last time the two saw each other was three weeks ago, climbing the highest mountain in Africa. “The beauty of Kilimanjaro is truly indescribable,” said Brown. Dr. Bilimoria says the best part of the adventure was spending time with Ken and watching him realize a dream, after beating pancreatic cancer. Video from the climb shows Brown all smiles. He’s asked how he’s feeling. “Pretty good” said Brown. When asked if he was going to make it, Brown replied “I think so.” “I think Ken is a huge inspiration,” said Bilimoria. “He’s got such a positive attitude about everything.” But on day six, Brown had an irregular heartbeat. Rather than risk a medical emergency, he decided to come down the mountain. A choice he doesn’t regret. “How great of a story would it have been to have a photograph Malcolm and me at very top,” said Brown. “But between you and me, I think it’s a better story. It’s real life. Not everybody’s the world champion.” Dr. Bilimoria and the rest of their group finished the climb. And when they reached the summit… “The first thing I saw was this rock sitting right there. And I thought about Ken,” said Bilimoria. So he picked it up and brought it home as a gift for Ken. “That’s yours and I hope you keep it and think about the memories we had together,” said Bilimoria. “I’m going to cherish this.” Said Brown with a smile. “I’m getting a little bit emotional just holding it.” A priceless reminder of a dream come true. Brown said the climb was tough but his sorest muscles were in his cheeks from smiling all the time.

CPD Recovers Stolen Items Worth $500,000

(CBS) — From ladders to lawnmowers, you’re looking at some half-million dollars’ worth of loot. It didn’t come from the helpful hardware man. Chicago police say it’s all stolen. If you think you’re a victim, CBS 2’s Sandra Torres explains how you can get your stuff back. Bill Uchyn never thought he’d see his stolen generators again. Friday was his lucky day. “I’m glad it’s here,” he says. He’s one of several people who recovered stolen goods at Chicago Police District 25, after one of the largest operations the department has ever seen. “This is what we call a fencing operation. They take in stolen items off of these burglars or thieves and they resell them to people who come in,” says Chicago Police Cmdr. Anthony Escamilla. Police say they executed a search warrant at a home in Maywood, where crooks used the back yard to store items worth almost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The majority of equipment recovered is used for construction, though there are many bicycles. Among the items are  miter saws. Torres counted at least 20, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars each. One robbery victim who recovered property said he’s thankful for the diligent police work. All of the items will remain at the 25th District on Grand Avenue until October 26. In order to claim yours, you’ll have to show an ID and proof of ownership such as a receipt or serial number for the item. One person is in custody in connection with the recovery of the stolen items.

Monterrey Security Now Under State Review

CHICAGO (CBS) —  CBS 2 has learned a state oversight agency is now reviewing the operations of Monterrey Security. The move comes after a second NFL team fired the company. Monterrey provides security for the Bears and a host of other Chicago events. This time the Buffalo Bills kicked out Monterrey Security after state regulators rejected the company’s license application. They won’t say why. It comes weeks after Monterrey was fired by the Minnesota Vikings’ brand new stadium. It’s alleged Monterrey double billed the team, failed to do proper training and background checks and hired ex-cons. That’s illegal in Minnesota. “There was a Monterrey security officer that was wearing an ankle bracelet because he was making terroristic threats to the FBI,” said Greg Cook of the Minnesota Board of Private Detectives. Monterrey has used its political clout to land contracts at Soldier Field, Lollapalooza, Wrigley, Navy Pier and Lincoln Park Zoo. No one would answer the phone or the door when CBS 2 visited the company’s offices in Pilsen. Monterrey admits it gives second chances to felons, but in Minnesota, its CEO denied any wrongdoing. Earlier this month, Juan Gaytan, the CEO of Monterrey Security, was asked whether they were trained under Minnesota law.  “I don’t believe they were and I don’t believe they were performing protective agent roles,” said Gaytan. “I would never intentionally try to misrepresent.” Today, several Chicago area contractors said they’re sticking with Monterrey. McCormick Place: “At this time we have no issues with their performance.” Shedd Aquarium: “We are confident Monterrey staff…is certified and licensed.” Village of Rosemont: “To date they have done a good job for the village.” On Monterrey’s website Bears chairman George McCaskey heaps praise on the security firm. But today the team had no comment on whether it still believes the firm is fit to protect its fans.

Wheeling Cop, Football Coach Helped Save Referee Suffering A Heart Attack

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Wheeling police officer and football coach probably weren’t expecting to help save a life during a high school game on Thursday night, but that’s exactly what they did. Varsity Coach Joe Wolinski and his players decided to watch the Wheeling High School freshmen game before their own game. “All of a sudden, the referee went down,” he said. The 55-year-old referee had suffered a heart attack. Without hesitation, Wolinski, who also teaches health at the school, grabbed an automated external defibrillator and rushed onto the field. “I applied the AED pads,” Wolinski said. “I kind of let the machine run its course.” Meantime, Wheeling police officer and assistant football coach Rick Richardson performed CPR. “Eventually, the AED actually told us to stop care because he had regained consciousness,” Wolinski said. “His heart had come back.” Miraculously, the referee was able to talk with paramedics before being taken to the hospital. A day later, Wolisnki said he’s no hero. “It was one of those things where it was kind of right place, right time,” he said.