Public Affairs

Fioretti takes break from campaigning for pastrami

By Stephanie Choporis and Elizabeth Elving

Alderman Bob Fioretti began his morning as many Chicagoans did- -by heading to the polls. He cast his ballot at his own polling place, an assisted-living facility at 1504 W. Van Buren, alongside fiancee Nicki Pecori. He remained optimistic about his own election day prospects, in spite of a recent Chicago Tribune poll giving him only 7 percent of the vote. “I think we are going to be in the run-off,” he said. “I think it looks pretty good,” he said.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago’s Chinatown registers 12 percent fewer voters

By Jin Wu and Andersen Xia

Voter registration in Chicago’s Chinatown is dropping, according to the Chicago Board of Elections. Multiple community efforts encouraged Chinese immigrants to register and participate in elections.

But after weeks of early voting for Tuesday’s election, the three precincts in the 25th Ward that cover Chinatown had a slow day at the polls.

Continue reading

Working on the railroad: Chicago copes with worst rail congestion in years

By Bryce Gray

Chicago railroads are teeming with activity, routing 1,300 trains daily.  Travelers fill 800 passenger trains, while another 500 haul freight cars filled with corn from Iowa, coal from Wyoming, wheat from the Great Plains, oil from North Dakota and so many other commodities.

Currently the nation’s railways are the busiest they’ve been in years, causing logjams at spots throughout Chicago – such as 63rd and State, and along 75th Street. The bottlenecks reverberate throughout the economy and across the country.

“The railroads are moving more traffic than at any time since 2007 and the last recession,” said Ed Greenberg, a spokesman for the American Association of Railroads. Greenberg reported that 2014 saw more than 28.7 million carloads, containers and trailers take to the railways.

Continue reading

Female Athlete Triad can lead to serious consequences

By Katherine Dempsey

Tina has only gotten her period once during college.

The 21-year-old runner at a Big Ten university remembers seldom menstruating in high school or in college. Diagnosed with anorexia during her freshman year of high school, Tina – whose real name has been changed to protect privacy – spent several weeks out of school for treatment and to escape from the academic pressure that she says sparked her eating disorder.

Tina didn’t participate in track her freshman year of high school, and she says she remembers weighing less than 90 pounds at her lowest weight. With running, the anorexia also related to a her focus on eating right to run well and that turned into limiting the kinds of foods she ate. Continue reading

Where have all the (Michelin) stars gone?

By Elizabeth Atkinson

Restaurants close all the time in Chicago, but what about when several of the best close in succession?

It’s almost like losing a friend. “Oh no! They closed? I loved that place! I remember when I went there last year with my friends from out of town!” The memory plays through your mind’s eye. Continue reading

Hacking – How to fight back and protect yourself

By Zachary Vasile

Like birth and death, hacking became a new form of the inevitable in 2014. Of course, it had bubbled to the surface time and again, stewing in and out of personal computers, government databases and the sci-fi imagination.

During the last 12 months however, hacking broke through to the banner headlines and shows little sign of relinquishing the threatening power it wields in every field from engineering to electronic eavesdropping to entertainment. Continue reading

Aldermanic election results roll in with low turnout and runoffs

By Bethel Habte and Bennet Hayes

Updated: 11:10 p.m.

Results are rolling in for the  aldermanic races, with over 90 percent of votes reported for many key contests.

Voters failed to turn out in high numbers across the city Tuesday. Latest reports from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners show that 32 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Continue reading

Sights and sounds of Election Day in Chicago

By Ellen Kobe

Medill New Service’s team of election 2015 reporters hit the streets of Chicago today, exploring polling places, speaking with voters and spending the day with candidates. Here are some of the most interesting sights and sounds of the city on Election Day. Continue reading

Chicago election turn out hits recent low

By Laura Furr and Emily Hoerner

Updated at 11 p.m.

Chicago voter turnout for the 2015 municipal election was the lowest it has been in recent history, beating out the 2007 low of 33.1 percent.

According to the Chicago Board of Election’s unofficial summary 32.7 percent of the city’s 1.42 million registered voters showed up at the polls Tuesday.

Throughout the day, Chicagoans described the calm of the polling stations.

“It was super quiet. It was like a library,” said 34-year-old Chicagoan Whet Moser, who tweeted that he was the 122nd voter at 3 p.m. at the Smith Park voting site in the 26th Ward.

Continue reading

Emanuel vows to “get back out there” as Garcia forces runoff

By Elizabeth Elving and Sara Romano

Updated 11:16 p.m.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to supporters at his election party Tuesday night that “we will get back out there” as he prepares for a runoff against Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia on April 7.

 

Emanuel fell short of the majority needed to win outright, resulting in the first time a runoff has been needed to decide the Chicago mayoral election. Garcia gathered 34 percent to force the runoff.

 

“They wrote us off, they said we didn’t have a chance, while they spent millions attacking us. We are still standing!” Garcia told supporters at his own campaign party. “We’re gonna fight and we’re gonna work hard and we’re gonna win. We’re gonna take this city together.”

 

Willie Wilson received nearly 11 percent of the vote, followed by  Ald. Bob Fioretti with 7 percent and William “Dock” Walls with 3 percent.

 

Voter turnout hovered around 33 percent of registered voters, down from the 2011 mayoral campaign.

 

Garcia surpassed projections from a Feb. 17 Chicago Tribune poll, which had him getting only 20 percent of the vote.

Continue reading