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Important safety gear, such as breathing apparatus, is being removed from Chicago ambulances, putting paramedics and the public at risk, firefighters say. | Sun-Times File Photo

Ambulance changes put paramedics and Chicago public at risk

Important safety gear, such as breathing apparatus, is being removed from Chicago ambulances, putting paramedics and the public at risk, firefighters say. | Sun-Times File Photo

Ambulance changes put paramedics and Chicago public at risk

Self-contained breathing apparatus are being removed from all 75 Chicago ambulance, and about 70 paramedics graduating Sunday will not be issued fire helmets, boots and protective clothing, known as bunker gear, that are standard issue for firefighters. Without breathing masks and oxygen tanks, veteran paramedic Pat Fitzmaurice said paramedics will no longer be able to go into a burning high-rise--or subway after a derailment, collision or explosion--to rescue victims or firefighters in distress.

Josh Rutherford, owner of Smoke Daddy, stands near the smoker in his Wicker Park restaurant. | Jessica Koscielniak/Chicago Sun-Times

Faces of minimum wage: Restaurant owner weighs pay, fairness

Josh Rutherford got a $6.25 an hour job washing dishes at Chili’s restaurant his first year at Purdue University. When he graduated four years later, he was making $9.25 an hour running running its kitchen. Now the 38-year-old and his business partners, as Four Star Restaurant Group, own seven restaurants.

Ald. Bob Fioretti, shown working the crowd at last weekend's Mexican Independence Day parade, may be a longshot for mayor, but he could force a runoff, some observers say. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

ANALYSIS: Fioretti a longshot for mayor, but could force run-off

Ald. Bob Fioretti is facing an uphill battle against Mayor Rahm Emanuel , but don’t count Fioretti out. If Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis joins Fioretti in challenging the unpopular incumbent, it could make it more difficult for Emanuel to get the 50 percent-plus-one votes he needs to avoid a runoff.

Jimmy Fallon will be a little drier when he brings the 'Tonight Show' to Chicago than when he participated in the city's Polar Plunge in March. | AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles

Fallon keeps deal with Emanuel, brings 'Tonight Show' to Chicago

'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon told Mayor Rahm Emanuel he'd bring the Tonight Show' to Chicago if the city's students hit the books. They did, and he will.

A Metra commuter crosses over snow drifts on the tracks at 159th Station last year in Oak Forest. File Photo. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media

The hidden link twixt rail safety and Byron

Metra tries not to kill its customers. It really does. Say what you will about our commuter rail service: its jaw-dropping top-level mismanagement, creaky equipment and seasonal surprise at finding itself once again in a cold climate. But when it comes to sparing the hectic, harried, charmless lives of the commuters who travel its length, Metra is outstanding. 


Something smells in Little Village

If not for its unbearable stench, Collateral Channel would go unnoticed in Little Village. Covered by trees and brush, the slip of water on the north side of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is barely visible to traffic along 31st Street near Cook County Jail. But residents who live nearby cannot escape the smell produced by sewer overflows and a century of pollution. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a City Council meeting on Sept. 10. On Thursday, he dropped plans to name a new selective enrollment high school on the Near North Side after his former boss, President Barack Obama. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Emanuel is missing a larger issue with school name

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to name a high school planned for the North Side in honor of President Barack Obama may keep the president’s name out of a nasty re-election campaign. But it won’t stop the mayor’s opponents from using the issue as part of the “tale of two cities” narrative that has grown since Emanuel was elected in 2011.

Off Message: Fioretti's mayoral prospects

Fresh off his announcement that he's running for mayor, Ald. Bob Fioretti stops by Off Message to talk with Natasha Korecki, Fran Spielman and Dan Mihalopoulos about why he's running, the hurdles he faces and how he plans to defeat Rahm Emanuel, $25 at a time.

John Crombie, owner of the Duke of Perth, works the North Side bar as Chicago Scots meet to watch the results of Scotland's vote on independence Thursday evening. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Chicago Scots gather as they await results of independence vote

John Crombie, 59, who has owned the Duke of Perth bar for 25 years, is a native of Dundee, Scotland. He hopes the people vote for independence. But he understands the sense of unity many Scottish people feel with England.

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