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Jack and Marti Higgins with Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2005. File Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

Daley pal gets lucrative development deal — despite unpaid taxes

After inviting Mayor Byrne to lead off Hike for Hearts in 1980, Shelby Norris, a Chicago Heart Association representative, gives her a kiss.

A ‘perfect’ way to honor the legacy of Jane Byrne

An icon is about to be honored. The selection of a fitting city monument to honor the legacy of former Mayor Jane Byrne, the city’s only female mayor, is coming to a close.

Hanan, a 7-year-old girl brought to Chicago for treatment by the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund.

Middle East battles maim, haunt kids like Hanan, 7, of Syria

Hanan is 7. She has a gap-toothed smile and loves Hello Kitty, the intensely cute Japanese cartoon character. A spangled Hello Kitty decorated her pink dress. Hanan is a Palestinian from Syria, and came to Chicago in April for medical treatment for her right leg, which was blown off below the knee by a bomb in the Syrian civil war which, in case you’ve lost track, has cost more than 100,000 lives over the past three years and displaced millions.

Frank Ozny, Claude Michaelis, Jeff Cunningham, Sam Filan, and Catrina Clark are homeless people living near Montrose Beach. | Alex Wroblewski / Sun-Times

Mixed signals on ‘homeless outreach’ a ‘little kink' or ‘lying’?

It was sometime after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when Chicago police swept the homeless people out of the park along Lake Shore Drive in Uptown, ordering them to pack up and move along or face arrest. If you read Tuesday’s column, then you’re thinking to yourself: But Brown, you said they called off the homeless sweep after you started poking around. What happened? “What we told you yesterday is what happened, except there was a little kink in it,” a city official explained. Ah, a kink.

Groups blast CPS budget as 'shortsighted,' based on gimmicks

On the eve of the approval of Chicago Public Schools’ $5.76 billion budget for 2015, two advocacy groups on Tuesday blasted the budget in their own analyses as unsustainable, shortsighted and based on a gimmick.  Both the Civic Federation, which promotes responsible government spending, and Access Living, which advocates for the disabled, said they cannot support the schools budget.

Jack and Marti Higgins with Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2005. File Photo by Scott Stewart/Sun-Times

Daley pal gets lucrative development deal — despite unpaid taxes

Nine months ago, Jack Higgins — a longtime friend of former Mayor Richard M. Daley — had to walk away from his winning bid to develop nine-acres of government land on the West Side because he didn’t disclose his federal tax liens totaling nearly $2.8 million. On Tuesday, the Illinois Medical District Commission selected a new development team for the $300 million project — and Higgins is part of the team.

Ald. Will Burns (4th) during a City Council meeting in April. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

CPS plans to move Kenwood Academy program into closed school

Despite promises made by the Chicago Public Schools chief not to put schools into buildings shuttered for being underused, CPS plans to move Kenwood Academy’s special academic program into the vacant Canter Middle school building.

Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), chairman of the Chicago City Council's budget committee, is worried about people who end up on the do-not-hire list after they are accused, but who then find it hard to have their names removed if they are acquitted or charges are dropped. She says the removal process shouldn't take so long. | Sun-Times File Photo

Aldermen embrace do-not-hire list in post-Shakman era

Chicago aldermen have agreed to follow a "do-not-hire" list, as long recommended by a federal monitor. The list would show people who, because of past misconduct, are banned from city employment.

Jim Franczek (left), the city's chief labor negotiator, talks to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's City Council floor leader, Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th), after Tuesday's committee vote ratifying a new $80 million contract that will give firefighters and paramedics an 11 percent pay raise over five years. (Photo by Fran Spielman)​

Council panel ratifies $80 million firefighters contract

Chicago firefighters will get $32 million in back pay within 75 days—and the city will get a dramatic upgrade in ambulance care — under a five-year contract advanced Tuesday that opens the door to even higher pay raises.

Some residents near O'Hare International Airport are complaining that new traffic patterns have dramatically increased noise levels in their neighborhoods. The city has agreed to install more noise monitors as it continues to look into the issue. | Sun-Times Media File Photo

City to install new O'Hare noise monitors

Eight additional monitors will be installed to track airplane noise around O'Hare International Airport, the city annouced Tuesday. The work comes in the wake of a change in flight patterns that have dramatically increased jet noise in some neighborhoods, according to residents.

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