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Ald. Helen Shiller comments on the proposed city budget in 2009. File Photo. Brian Jackson/Chicago Sun-Times

Deadlocked committee puts off vote on City Council budget analyst

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. 

A large 2 inch "cicada killer wasps" excavates sand from a tunnel he is clearing out on the beach at Gillson Park in Wilmette. | Sun-Times file photo

All told, I prefer the wasps as metaphor

I’m a cautious person, so nothing bad ever happens to me. Mostly. I’ve never broken my arm. I’ve never lost my wallet, or accidentally set myself on fire, or any of the accidents and happenstance that seem to afflict so many people. I’ve developed rituals to help. 

The county ethics board sued Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios in March, to get him to at least pay a fine for flouting its ban against nepotism. The case is still pending, court records show. | Sun-Times file photo

Berrios relatives risk injury for right to crowd county payroll

Joe Berrios believes he’s free to hire whomever, even his dog. That’s the way a political adviser to Berrios — the Cook County assessor and county Democratic Party chairman — once explained it to me. That’s why his sister Carmen Berrios was working one evening in April 2007, after normal business hours, at the Cook County Board of Review. It was in the line of county duty, Carmen Berrios says, that she “tripped on a floor outlet and landed on the floor,” on her right shoulder.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Poll shows Emanuel with 12-point lead over Lewis

After taking a beating in a series of Sun-Times polls, including one where Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had a 9-point lead, one poll has given Mayor Rahm Emanuel the edge.

Ald. Helen Shiller comments on the proposed city budget in 2009. File Photo. Brian Jackson/Chicago Sun-Times

Deadlocked committee puts off vote on City Council budget analyst

A $485,000-a-year independent budget office created last year to provide the City Council with expert advice on mayoral spending, programs and privatization will have to wait a while longer to get off the ground.

Kathy Byrne (left), daughter of former Mayor Jane Byrne, holds up her mother's autobiography while she testifies Tuesday morning during a Chicago City Council Committee on Finance meeting. | Ashlee Rezin/For Sun-Times Media

Proposal to rename plaza after ex-Mayor Jane Byrne advances

Pending formal approval Wednesday by the City Council, Chicago will finally honor the legacy of its only female mayor: Jane Byrne, who served from 1979 to 1983. The City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a recommendation to rename the plaza on which the Old Chicago Water Tower sits as the Jane M. Byrne Plaza.

Ald. Carrie Austin, right, talks with Ald, Lona Lane at a City Council meeting last month. File Photo. | Brian Jackson/ Sun-Times

Aldermen advance anti-sweatshop ordinance after awkward debate

Uniforms, headgear and footwear worn by Chicago Police officers, firefighters and other city employees could not come from “sweatshops” or be produced using child labor under a crackdown advanced Tuesday after a politically incorrect debate.

Chicago cop wins $540K suit vs. sergeant accused of taunting him

Officer Detlef Sommerfield sued the city and his former boss, Sgt. Lawrence C. Knasiak, in 2008, accusing Knasiak of taunting him for years with anti-Semitic and racist remarks, according to a federal court complaint. On Monday, a federal jury awarded $540,000 to Sommerfield.

Pro-Israeli demonstrators aim their signs at the pro-Palestinian supporters across from 100 West Randolph Street on Monday afternoon in Chicago. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Supporters of Israel and Palestinian backers speak out at rallies

Supporters of Israel and Palestinian backers squared off on opposite sides of a downtown street Monday, pointing fingers about who’s to blame for ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds packed the square outside the Thompson Center, waving Israeli flags while public speakers condemned Hamas, the militant Palestinian faction in control of Gaza that has called for the destruction of Israel. 

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