Shot down again, Rod Blagojevich takes his sentencing appeal to the Supreme Court a second time, and other Chicago news | Bleader

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Shot down again, Rod Blagojevich takes his sentencing appeal to the Supreme Court a second time, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 06.06.17 at 06:00 AM

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click to enlarge Former governor Rod Blagojevich arriving at the federal courthouse in 2011 - AP PHOTO/CHARLES REX ARBOGAST, FILE
  • AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File
  • Former governor Rod Blagojevich arriving at the federal courthouse in 2011

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

  • Rod Blagojevich will again appeal to the Supreme Court after federal circuit court refuses to hear his arguments

Former governor Rod Blagojevich, currently in prison in Colorado serving a 14-year term on public corruption charges, is taking his case to the Supreme Court for a second time after the local Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday denied his request for further arguments. The appellate court affirmed Blagojevich's original sentence earlier this spring, and the Supreme Court shot down an earlier attempt of his at appeal, but "[w]e will [again] be asking the Supreme Court to take a look at this case," Blagojevich's lawyer Leonard Goodman told the Sun-Times in an e-mail. "The issues here are important not just for Mr. Blagojevich and his family, who never used his office to enrich themselves and yet he is serving one of the longest sentences ever handed out to a governor, but also to every elected official who is not independently wealthy and has to raise campaign funds." Barring a change of decision on the part of the Supreme Court, Blagojevich's last hope would appear to be a commutation from President Donald Trump, on whose reality show The Celebrity Apprentice the former governor appeared in 2010. As it stands, Blagojevich's sentence runs through 2024. [Sun-Times]

  • The taxi industry in Chicago is in crisis

The taxi industry in Chicago is in serious trouble, according to a new report from the union that represents most local cabdrivers, AFSCME Local 2500. As of March, 42 percent of the city's registered cabs were inactive, 579 drivers had received foreclosure notices, and 774 cab medallions had been surrendered as drivers and/or owners struggle to keep up with fees. In the face of challenges from ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, the union is calling for protection from the Chicago City Council and the city's Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Development. [Chicagoist]

  • Gas prices in Illinois are the lowest they've been in 12 years

Illinois gas prices are at their lowest level in 12 years just in time for summer vacation, according to the Tribune. The average price for regular unleaded in Illinois is $2.40 a gallon, 13 cents lower than it was a year ago, and the lowest it's been since June 2005, AAA Chicago reports. [Tribune]

  • Report: Whole Foods has become a "thriving community hub" in Englewood

The Englewood Whole Foods has become a "thriving community hub" in the neighborhood since it opened eight months ago, according to DNAinfo Chicago. The high-end grocery store has changed shopping habits and day-to-day life for many residents and community leaders. Michelle Rashad, a program manager for the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, used to drive to the South Loop Whole Foods every day to shop and socialize, but now stays in her neighborhood. "If they had a spokeswoman, it would be me," the 25-year-old said. "I love the fact that it's there." Whole Foods says it's committed to making sure the store's items are affordable. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • River North residents hope to revoke controversial nightclub's license during city hearing Tuesday

River North bar Bottled Blonde, at 504 N. Wells, has "generated hundred of complaints" from residents and has been investigated numerous times by the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, according to alderman Brendan Reilly. On Tuesday residents plan to further voice their complaints against the self-proclaimed family-friendly restaurant, which they claim is actually a rowdy nightclub with a racist dress code. "I think we'd finally like to see Bottled Blonde held responsible," one neighbor, who lives just feet away from the nightclub, told DNAinfo Chicago. "They don't get a pass because they opened up in River North and they seem to think it's OK for them to act the way they do because they say River North is some party neighborhood." [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Michelin-starred Uptown restaurant 42 Grams suddenly closes

Uptown BYO 42 Grams, an underground "guestaurant" turned fine-dining upstart, announced via Twitter this weekend that it was "closed indefinitely starting immediately." The prix fixe spot, awarded two Michelin stars just ten months after its January 2014 opening, maintained the rating throughout its three-plus years of operation. General manager Alexa Welsh wrote on the restaurant's website that the closing was not due to financial reasons and that refunds were in progress. Eater Chicago subsequently posted a statement from chef-ower (and reportedly Welsh's former husband) Jake Bickelhaupt saying, "I will take a short break to gather my thoughts. But, I will come back again and cook. After all, cooking is what makes me happy." [Tribune] [Eater Chicago]


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