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Mayor Rahm Emanuel attends a roundtable discussion on increasing the minimum wage with minority-owned business owners. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

'City of big hearts' can take in 1,000 immigrant kids, Rahm says

 
Kathy Byrne. Photo by Sun-Times Media

Campaign to honor ‘trailblazer' Jane Byrne started here

It’s a go! It’s done! And it’s two months to the day since this column started a campaign to right a wrong: The city’s failure to honor the legacy of its only woman mayor — Jane M. Byrne. In a unanimous vote, the City Council passed an ordinance Wednesday memorializing Byrne, who served from 1979 to 1983, by renaming the Old Chicago Water Tower Park to the Mayor Jane M. Byrne Plaza.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel opens the new quarters for Engine Company 16 of the Chicago Fire Department in 2012 | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times File Photo

Rahm: Strength of CPS diversity behind hiring preference plan

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday defended his decision to give graduates of Chicago Public Schools a leg up on city jobs — including Chicago firefighters.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel attends a roundtable discussion on increasing the minimum wage with minority-owned business owners. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

'City of big hearts' can take in 1,000 immigrant kids, Rahm says

Citing his immigrant grandfather’s frightening flight from the pogroms of Eastern Europe, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday defended his decision to open the city’s arms to 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing violence in Central America.

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

Chicago City Council members were critical of the lack of power they had been allowed under state law to regulate the location of medical marijuana dispensaries. But the council on Wednesday passed as much regulation as it was allowed, requiring that anyone wanting to sell or grow medical marijuana in the city would need zoning board approval, which would give neighbors a chance to have their concerns heard, aldermen said.

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 increases telephone tax 56 percent

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. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

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.

 
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