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Dionne Martin is employed as a part-time home care worker and attends school. Though her hourly rate is higher than the national and state minimum wage, she currently is assigned just 12 hours of work a week. | Jessica Koscielniak / Chicago Sun-Times

Faces of minimum wage: Trying to escape string of low-paying jobs


Cartoonist Jack Higgins on Daley development deal

Three years after leaving City Hall, former Mayor Richard M. Daley has gone after a government contract in Chicago, apparently for the first time, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show. 

Here's editorial cartoonist Jack Higgins' take on it:

Crowds lined 26th Street for the annual Mexican Independence Day parade, which drew a slew of politicians. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Mexican Independence Day parade draws plenty of politicians

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not grimace after downing shots of tequila that were handed to them Sunday afternoon by the hosts of the Mexican Independence Day parade in Little Village.

President Barack Obama announces Penny Pritzker as his nominee for secretary of commerce on May 2, 2013, in Washington, D.C. | Getty Images

Big profit for Pritzkers on costly Chicago FBI deal

THE WATCHDOGS: When the government was seeking a new Chicago FBI headquarters, it gave the deal to Jack Higgins — a friend of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley. Higgins brought in Penny Pritzker, who would go on to be a top campaign fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and is now his secretary of commerce. The $125 million FBI complex turned out to be a profitable venture for the Pritzker family and Higgins but not as good a deal for taxpayers.

Provided photo shows a dead reat at a Southwest Side elementary school said to be having problems with rodents and roaches since janitorial services were privatized.

Chicago Public Schools contractor to lay off 476 custodians

The move to lay off nearly 500 privately contracted custodial workers who clean Chicago Public Schools will make it harder to keep classrooms tidy, the union representing the custodians said Sunday. “Scheduling and other changes that are causing the problems we are seeing now will only be exacerbated,” SEIU Local 1 spokeswoman Julia Valentine said in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Summit Mayor Joe Strzelczyk in 1999. | Sun-Times file photo

No degree, no references — town mayor’s nephew still got top job

Chester “Chet” Strzelczyk abruptly resigned this past month as village administrator in Summit amid revelations that he gave himself a taxpayer-backed loan —  a no-interest $2,800 pay “advance” — apparently without approval of the village board. Now, village officials are hiring an auditor to dig through the books to see how this all went down, and whether other financial irregularities exist. While that’s played out, we decided to look at why Strzelczyk was hired in the first place. He’s the nephew of Mayor Joe Strzelczyk, so was this an instance of straight-up nepotism?

University of Illinois students holds signs as they listen to discussion by members of the university’s board of trustees at their meeting Thursday in Urbana. The trustees on Thursday voted 8-1 not to hire Steven Salaita, a professor whose anti-Israel Twitter messages were deemed anti-Semitic by some, raising the likelihood of a lawsuit and further campus protests. | AP Photo

Problem isn't would-be U of I professor; it's all those like him

With anti-Israel protests already common on college campuses, Steven Salaita would have been just another academic preaching to the choir. But education shouldn't echo what kids already believe. It should challenge those beliefs.

our children were killed and two adults, the children's mother and her boyfriend, were critically injured in an extra-alarm fire that broke out about 3:25 a.m. Monday in an apartment building in the 11200 block of South Vernon Ave. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

Smoke detectors can make all the difference

The tragic fire that killed four children last week in Roseland is a bitter reminder that the city can’t always protect us from negligent landlords.

Joe Perillo | Sun-Times file photo

Rosemoor Hotel owner ordered to pay tenants for move

A group of SRO tenants who probably couldn’t afford to buy a late-model Chevy if they pooled their money taught luxury auto dealer Joe Perillo a lesson Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Chicago charter schools doing better than many claim

Recent Sun-Times coverage of Chicago charter school performance, as well as an opinion piece by a CPS principal, both draw sweeping conclusions from limited data about how charter schools and district-run schools compare. We at the Illinois Network of Charter Schools feel compelled to tell the rest of the story. 

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