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A new contract with Chicago firefighters approved Wednesday by the City Council will upgrade ambulance service. It also includes $32 million in back pay. | Sun-Times Media

Council passes firefighters contract with ambulance upgrade

A vendor weighs marijuana buds for card-carrying patients seeking the drug for medical reasons. Such shops could be coming to more Chicago neighborhoods under state law, though the Chicago City Council imposed what restrictions it could on Wednesday. | Getty Images

City Council approves medical marijuana rules

Bemoaning the fact that their hands were tied by the Illinois General Assembly, the City Council on Wednesday imposed what rules and restrictions it can on the sale and growth of medical marijuana

Guests drink wine at BYOB Swedish restaurant Tre Kronor, 3258 W. Foster Ave. Restaurants like this will be able to continue the city tradition of having allowing diners to bring their own alcohol. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

BYOB stays; City Council excludes restaurants from crackdown

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday preserved the cherished city tradition of bringing your own alcohol to dinner at some restaurants. It exempted restaurants from a watered-down ordinance passed at the urging of Ald. Deborah Graham (29th); that measure allows aldermen to strip BYOB privileges from parts of their wards covering “no less than two contiguous city blocks” after notifying all other impacted businesses.

A new contract with Chicago firefighters approved Wednesday by the City Council will upgrade ambulance service. It also includes $32 million in back pay. | Sun-Times Media

Council passes firefighters contract with ambulance upgrade

A new firefighter contract approved by the Chicago City Council on Wednesday has almost none of the concessions Mayor Rahm Emanuel hoped for, but a city officials said he hopes the "collaborative" approach will carry over as they continue to seek ways to shore up the police and fire pension funds. The contract also will upgrade the city's ambulance service.

Ald. Ed Burke (14th) called hiking the phone tax "a wise move," considering the financial problems the city faces. | Associated Press photo

City Council more than doubles telephone tax

Chicago aldermen dodged a political bullet by hiking phone fees, but the total annual hit may not go down easy with city taxpayers did not. Starting Sept. 1, the surcharge tacked on to telephone bills will rise to $3.90, up from $2.50. And the tax on pre-paid phones will rise from 7 percent to 9 percent, effective Oct. 1. A family of four with four cell phones and a land-line would end up paying $84 in additional taxes each year.

Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan talks to reporters at City Hall Wednesday after being stripped of his power to investigate the campaign finances of Chicago aldermen. | Fran Spielman/Sun-Times

Council inspector general loses fight with aldermen he alienated

Power to investigate the campaign finances of Chicago aldermen was stripped from Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan and returned to the Board of Ethics Wednesday, prompting Khan to declare t

Jerome Finnigan was convicted in federal court of seeking to have another police officer murdered. | Associated Press photo

List shows two convicted cops were topic of dozens of complaints

Two of Chicago’s dirtiest cops are at the top of a list of police officers who had generated more than 10 misconduct complaints between 2001 and 2006, according to newly released records.

Jane gets a kiss from Shelby Norris in 1980. | Sun-Times file photo

Five things you probably don't know, or forgot, about Jane Byrne

Chicago will honor the legacy of Jane Byrne, its only female mayor, who served from 1979 to 1983. On Wednesdsay, the City Counci approved renaming the plaza on which the Old Water Tower sits will be renamed Jane M. Byrne Plaza.

3 Questions: Carmen Berrios

Dan Mihalopoulos answers three questions about Carmen Berrios, her recent $25,000 county settlement and her job working for her brother, Joe.

An employee at Bloom Well, a medical marijuana dispensary in Bend, Ore., holds a container of cannabis that is marked with the THC and CBD results earlier this month after it was tested in a lab to better inform their customers on the product they are looking at. (AP File Photo/The Bulletin, Ryan Brennecke)

City plans for strict limits on medical pot sites go up in smoke

Chicago medical marijuana dispensaries are likely coming to busy shopping areas, despite the city’s initial attempt to hide them away at the edges of the city.  That means a medical marijuana dispensary could potentially open next door to a tony restaurant on Randolph Street or in River North near touristy fast food joints, according to new zoning regulations approved Tuesday by a the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards. 

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