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Then & Now: Union Stockyards – Chicago

Plainfield News - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 00:15
The Union Stockyard and Transit Company, known commonly as The Chicago Stockyards, was a major industrial hub in Chicago for more than a century.

Officially opening on Christmas Day 1865, the stockyards were formed as a consolidation of older stockyards scattered throughout the city.

In doing so, the city’s meatpackers decided to concentrate their efforts along the south branch of the Chicago River, partly because of the complaints from the odors, but mostly to take advantage of improved transportation facilities offered by the newly opened Illinois and Michigan Canal.

While the stockyards were located near a fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River to take advantage of the canal, the stockyards also were developed in tandem with the railroads, which would take freshly slaughtered meat all over the country.

At their height, it is estimated that the stockyards processed nearly 15 million head of livestock a year. All of this helped position Chicago as the center of the American meat industry.

By the close of the 19th century, the stockyards became a popular tourist attraction by allowing visitors to view the killing floors and “disassembly lines.” The entire slaughtering process was known as a “disassembly line,” and the Chicago stockyards are widely credited with providing the inspiration for modern industrial assembly lines.

For more than 100 years, millions of cattle, hogs and sheep were being transported from hundreds of miles away to Chicago to be slaughtered, processed, packed and sent via railroad to cities across the U.S. Gustavus Swift, who came to Chicago to ship cattle, helped to develop a way to send fresh-chilled beef in ice-cooled railroad cars.

The Union Stockyards left an indelible mark on Chicago’s history, not only defining the city as “hog-butcher for the world,” but also provided jobs for the many immigrants coming to Chicago during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In addition to providing employment for newly arriving Europeans, the stockyards also were the inspiration for Upton Sinclair’s Nobel Prize-winning book The Jungle, which revealed unsanitary conditions in the meatpacking industry and ultimately would lead to many reform measures.

Once refrigerated trucks and highways came into play, the processing plants, no longer dependent upon the proximity of the railroads, decentralized and moved west. The Union Stockyard and Transit Company closed its doors in 1971.

The Then and Now images show views of the old Lemont limestone gate, which marked the entrance to the stockyards. Designed by the architectural firm of Burnham & Root, the gate was built in 1875 and is located near Exchange Avenue and Peoria Street.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, the gate survives as one of the few visual reminders of Chicago’s past prominence in the livestock and meatpacking industries.

Channahon teen quick to say three magic words

Plainfield News - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 00:15
CHANNAHON – Aiden Lopez of Channahon was always the first to say, "I love you," to his family.

I-80 analysis finds road design contributes to Joliet crashes

Plainfield News - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 00:14
JOLIET – An analysis of Interstate 80 released last week describes some of the conditions that can make the route hazardous as it runs through Joliet.

The Great Debate: What the MLS Can Be, and What It Should Be

Real Estate News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:06

Ask any agent, broker or constituent in real estate: There are challenges facing the Multiple Listing Service.

A discussion on the future of the MLS—what it can be, and what it should be—hosted by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) recently illuminated those issues, and strived for solutions.

“An MLS should be defined not only by its data, but its access to the data, so brokers can get easy access to and keep the products and services they want and not necessarily what the MLS decides to provide to its members,” said Rebecca Jensen, CEO and president of Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED), during the discussion, held on Jan. 10 in Los Angeles.

Jensen is board chair of The MLS Grid—a consistent data feed, licensing and rules for brokers, MLSs and vendors—as well as on the board of the Broker Public Portal (BPP). The BPP and The MLS Grid are two of a few initiatives in play, along with Upstream, which is backed by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®).

Art Carter, CEO, California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS); Chair, Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO)

Addressing the inefficiencies is key, the panel said.

“Our goal is to really work on the challenges…to find a way, through the efforts of all these organizations, to provide consistent data efficiency, to try to break down data silos that are huge pain points in brokerage communities,” said Jeremy Crawford, CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), which has developed data standards used by hundreds of associations, brokerages, MLSs and vendors.

“As someone who lists and sells real estate, I need it to be more efficient—I need to not have to go multiple sources,” said Jeanne Radsick, broker of CENTURY 21 Tobias Real Estate in Bakersfield, Calif., and member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Mergers & Consolidations Task Force. “I think the first step is we need to have one system.”

Mark McLaughlin, CEO, Pacific Union International

“We are playing a long game,” said Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union International, based in the Bay Area and a member of 12 MLSs. “The solution for our businesses to drive efficiencies and economies of scale is very important to us, especially in the race to zero. The only way to do that is to have one database.”

“It’s all about how you define ‘one database,'” however, said Craig Cheatham, CEO and president of The Realty Alliance, a brokerage network that includes Douglas Elliman Real Estate and HomeServices of America. “As I talk to our brokers, it’s not about one MLS or one database; it’s ‘I just want to have access to my data, or my marketplace’s data.'”

Is it beneficial, even, for the existing inefficiencies to be streamlined?

“Fundamentally, the MLS needs to serve [agents and consumers],” said David Silver-Westrick, partner at Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty in San Clemente, Calif. “We serve them less and less with every year—not because we don’t intend to solve their problems, but because the world has moved on, and we’re unwilling to…reimaging our relationship with consumers, and agents’ relationships with consumers, has got to be at the base of what we do.”

“Meeting the consumer where they are, but empowering the agent with more data—that’s available through these silos that we’re trying to break down—will make the MLS more valuable than it is today,” said Quincy Virgilio, broker associate of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in San Jose, Calif.

Concerning, however, is the pace of progress.

“There’s an opportunity that is fast fading in the MLS community as a whole to make meaningful change, and if we do not do it shortly, then we will forever be chasing others that will most likely take the handles and move forward,” said Art Carter, CEO of the California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS) and chair of RESO.

Is the answer consolidation? Archaic hierarchies are a hurdle, with resistance starting at the top, according to a few panelists.

“The issue boils down to an obvious reality,” said Wes Burk, broker/owner of Patterson Realty in San Luis Obispo, Calif. “I think that the MLS structure itself is a legacy organizational chart, and I think it’s led fundamentally to a bureaucratic roadblock to what should be our primary objective, which is serving the consumer.”

“The people that sit on those [MLS] boards don’t have the broader view that others have…[they’re] not as well informed as they need to be, and it goes all the way through the system,” Radsick said.

Fear is another obstacle.

“It’s really human factors that stand in the way of this—of greater cooperation and consolidation,” said David Charron, chief strategy officer of Bright MLS, which is a consolidation of nine Mid-Atlantic MLSs. Bright MLS adheres to the RESO Data Dictionary.

“The elephant in the room is a lot of people are employed doing this stuff,” Silver-Westrick said. “A lot of people are employed at the local board level, the MLS level—the pushback we get is natural enough. ‘Yes, I’m willing move towards the future, so long as I’m still here.’ I think what we have to discuss is a lot more revolutionary than evolutionary. We’re talking about perfecting a VCR in a world of streaming and virtual reality. We need to leapfrog that. What do you do about the career incentives of the very talented people working in MLSs that say we can do this better, but we want to still be here?”

“The reality is that those people are so protective of their jobs,” said Sandra Deering, broker of record for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Southern California. “People who sit on the board of directors of MLSs have great intentions, but they don’t have the bandwidth to see beyond their day-to-day operation.”

“There’s fear in association-owned MLSs that they may lose revenue,” Virgilio said. “Let the association use what they want to lay on top of the database. They can serve their subscribers and clients in any way they think best, but put the data in one spot. It’s a matter of getting past that fear.”

As a construct, the MLS is still valuable, agreed the majority of panelists. Across the board, collaboration—and compromise—is needed.

“We have to remember that the MLS is a terrific concept,” said Dale Ross, CEO of RPR. “That should not be thrown out—that has to be enhanced.”

“If you have a hand in creating your future, even if you [only] get 85 percent of what you want, that’s still enough to move forward,” Jensen said.

“We get tension between who does the resolution,” Cheatham said. “Is it [The MLS] Grid? Is it Upstream? Is it RPR? We need to be in a room and be open to letting go of our project…It can’t be the superstars of the MLS world again and again talking about the problem and getting painted with a broad brush. We’ve got to be open, because our industry is at stake.”

Readers: What is the fate of the MLS? What improvements are needed? Comment to share your thoughts.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post The Great Debate: What the MLS Can Be, and What It Should Be appeared first on RISMedia.

California Real Estate Professional Among Mudslide Victims

Real Estate News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:05

A Southern California real estate professional perished tragically in the mudslides last week, one of more than 15 victims of the latest catastrophe to strike the state.

Rebecca Riskin, of Riskin Partners in Montecito—known as the “first lady of luxury real estate”—was killed as a result of the ensuing flood and mudslides in the Thomas Fire‘s wake, Riskin Partners confirmed in a release on Thursday. Riskin was a longtime Montecito resident, responsible for over 470 transactions totaling $2.17 billion, according to the release.

“The pinnacle of Rebecca’s life’s work and her lasting legacy lies in Riskin Partners and our enduring commitment to selling Montecito real estate,” said Dina Landi, managing partner of Riskin Partners. “We plan to continue Rebecca’s legacy and love for real estate with the same level of excellence, experience, and service that Rebecca so effortlessly embodied.”

Riskin is survived by her husband, Ken Grand, and a son and a daughter, as well as other extended family members.

(At press time,) the mudslides have claimed the lives of 17 people and destroyed 100 homes, reports the Wall Street Journal. Mudslides commonly occur post-fire season when the land has been stripped of vegetation, allowing water to quickly flow down hills in under 30 minutes of torrential downpour.

This incident, however, has been one of the more destructive. According to CAL Fire, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory evacuations for areas below the Thomas, Whittier, Sherpa and Rey fire burn areas last week, and multiple areas were under voluntary evacuation orders. But unlike the fires, which take more time to reach the communities within the hills, the mudslide happened quickly, leaving residents with less time to prepare.

Controversy surrounds the state’s preparedness, as residents report confusion when it came to delineating the mandatory and voluntary evacuations zones. Residents did not have time to make a decision about staying or going, and confusion about whether their area was in immediate danger could have played a role in the only 200 individuals (reported by WSJ) that heeded warnings to leave the Montecito area.

The heavy rainfall has tapered off, taking with it the risk of additional mudslides. Multiple rescue teams have been deployed. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) reports it deployed a 14-member Swiftwater Flood Search and Rescue Team from the Long Beach Fire Department last week, along with others.

Multiple residents are still reported missing, but the rescue efforts are underway, having rescued over 20 injured or stranded residents (at press time). The WSJ reports that helicopters are airlifting people off rooftops, stating that a real estate agent was found alive, hanging from a tree branch, after his partner assumed worse hours earlier. Another real estate agent, Marco Farrell, survived the ordeal after he stepped outside to discover the oncoming mudslide and tried to warn neighbors, reports ABC News.

It is too early to assess the full scope of property damage or the impact on pending real estate transactions, but the CAL OES Twitter account reports that the mudslides lifted entire homes off their foundations. Mike Eliason, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, told the New York Times that “Some single-story homes were obliterated, just wiped off the foundation. Others had holes blown through from boulders.”

Have you been impacted by the California mudslides? Email online@rismedia.com to share your story.

Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post California Real Estate Professional Among Mudslide Victims appeared first on RISMedia.

Fair Housing Makes Us Stronger

Real Estate News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:04

On April 11, 1968, President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law. This marked an important and historic change in our nation’s commitment to property rights, recognizing that property rights should not be abridged because of discrimination based on race, color, national origin or religion. In later years, the law was amended to prohibit discrimination based on gender, disability and familial status.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) will commemorate this historic piece of legislation with a year-long campaign beginning in January and highlighted by a reception at the National Museum of African American History and Culture during NAR’s 2018 Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in May. The campaign will incorporate a review of history that recognizes our early opposition to fair housing and celebrates real estate leaders and organizations that helped change our policies. Today, we’re leading efforts to expand fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We’ll also look at ongoing fair housing issues affecting our communities. Fair housing isn’t just about the transaction. Our livelihood and business as REALTORS® depend on a free and open market that embraces equal opportunity. We need to take a leadership role in identifying and addressing these issues. Whether it’s school quality or access to healthy communities and economic opportunity, these issues not only affect the choices of homebuyers and renters; they make it harder in some communities to be a successful REALTOR®.

By commemorating this law, NAR, as the “Voice for Real Estate” and a champion for private property rights and homeownership, will raise awareness about the importance of equal housing opportunities. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Asian Real Estate Association of America, and the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals will join NAR in commemorating the fair housing anniversary. These organizations are firmly committed to equal housing opportunities and recognize the unique and important role each organization has in this noble endeavor.

You can go to fairhousing.realtor to learn more about the commemoration and to find materials and resources you can use to participate. Consider the following actions to join in this commemoration:

  1. Help your company, community, and local and state association identify and commemorate fair housing history and champions in your state.
  1. Post what you’re doing on fairhousing.realtor. Share ideas, adapt what others are doing to meet your needs and work with local chapters of our national partners.
  1. Work in your committees to support efforts to get Congress to pass changes to the Fair Housing Act to expand fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

This column is brought to you by the NAR Real Estate Services group.

Fred Underwood is the director of Diversity and Inclusion, NAR Community and Political Affairs. For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Fair Housing Makes Us Stronger appeared first on RISMedia.

What's Selling Now: Homes That Sold for Around $1.5 Million

Recent residential sales in New York City and the region.

Democrats try to stand out in attorney general primary

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 01:13
CHICAGO – With early voting just weeks away, the Democratic candidates vying for a shot to replace Attorney General Lisa Madigan are raising millions of dollars, crisscrossing Illinois and touting endorsements.

Eight Democrats are trying to stand out from the crowded field, despite similar views and promises to fight President Donald Trump’s agenda. The open race features a former governor, state legislators, a police reform leader, a mayor and former federal prosecutors.

On the Republican side, Urbana attorney Erika Harold, a former Miss America, has establishment backing over a lesser-known county board member.

Here’s a look at the March 20 Democratic primary:

The candidates

• Kwame Raoul, 53, is a Chicago state senator. He was appointed in 2004 to replace Barack Obama, who’d been elected to the U.S. Senate.

• Scott Drury, 45, a Highwood state representative, swapped his gubernatorial bid for attorney general. The former federal prosecutor became a legislator in 2013.

• Pat Quinn, 69, assumed the governor’s office from his lieutenant governor job when Rod Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges and impeached. Quinn won office outright in 2010, but lost re-election in 2014.

• Sharon Fairley, 57, is a former federal prosecutor named by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to overhaul a police oversight organization after video of a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald was publicly released.

• Aaron Goldstein, 42, represented Blagojevich at two corruption trials. In 2016, he won a ward committeeman post over Dick Mell, Blagojevich’s father-in-law.

• Jesse Ruiz, 52, heads the Chicago Park District’s board. He’s served as the chairman of the State Board of Education and as a Chicago Board of Education vice president.

• Nancy Rotering, 56, is Highland Park mayor. She made an unsuccessful primary bid for the U.S. House in 2016, despite U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin’s endorsement.

• Renato Mariotti, 41, a former federal prosecutor and frequent television commentator, is making his first bid for public office.

The horse race

When it comes to statewide name recognition, Quinn leads.

A former state treasurer, he was known for populist tactics, such as walking across Illinois to promote universal health care. Since losing the governor’s race to Republican Bruce Rauner he’s tried to stay in the public eye, including circulating petitions for term limits on Chicago mayor.

However, Quinn doesn’t have establishment backing.

The Cook County Democratic Party unanimously endorsed Raoul during November slating session. Raoul has also picked up union support.

Some candidates including Drury, are casting themselves as outsiders. He was the sole Democrat last year not to vote for Mike Madigan – the father of Lisa Madigan – as House speaker, a post he’s long held.

Fundraising

Fundraising experts say the attorney general’s race is the most closely watched statewide contest after the expensive gubernatorial election.

A clearer picture will emerge with next week’s fundraising disclosure deadline, but an early look shows Raoul leading with over $1.2 million raised, including donations from unions and the tobacco industry.

Drury raised over $800,000, followed by Fairley and Rotering, who have over $550,000 each. Trailing them are Ruiz, Quinn, Goldstein and Mariotti.

The issues

The candidates’ stances are hard to distinguish on a variety of issues, including immigrant-friendly views and supporting marijuana legalization. They call the office a last line of defense in fighting the Republican president’s agenda and all pledge to do more to fight sexual harassment.

There are slight differences in their goals for the office, which through Lisa Madigan’s tenure focused on consumer rights.

Rotering hopes to tackle gun violence and push an assault weapons ban. Goldstein and Drury say fighting public corruption is a priority. Fairley says Illinois has had too many career politicians.

Their words

Goldstein “Having real criminal justice reform, stopping mass incarceration and fighting corruption, that’s what I would do as attorney general.”

Mariotti: “I’m running for attorney general because we don’t live in an ordinary time ... We are in a crisis. We have a president who is violating our constitutional rights.”

Rotering: “You need to deal with public corruption... It’s not a joke. It’s not what our state is. This is inefficient government.”

Ruiz: “I want to protect our health care. I want to protect our safety and our communities. I want to protect our environment and make sure I’m an advocate for the people of Illinois.”

Fairley: “The people of Illinois are tired of our political leaders failing to address the challenges we face, leaving our state stuck in a seemingly never-ending crisis.”

Raoul: “The office of attorney general has an opportunity to direct victims’ resources ... I’m going to make sure the most victimized communities get those resources.”

Drury: “I’m not running to be a spokesperson for the machine. I’m not running to be a spokesperson for lobbyists. I’m not running to be a spokesperson for special interests. I am running for you.”

Quinn: “I want to be the lawyer for the people of Illinois. That’s really the definition of the office.”

Lawsuit: Former Joliet caregiver abused, discriminated for being a lesbian

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:38
JOLIET – A former employee of a home care agency is suing the company over allegations of workplace abuse and discrimination because of her sexual orientation.

Nicole Novak, a former caregiver at the Joliet branch of Help At Home, alleged in a lawsuit filed Jan. 8 in Will County that her repeated complaints about the abuse by a manager went ignored.

An area director for the company allegedly told her she was an “illiterate individual” and did not want to receive any more complaints because “they were a nuisance.”

The lawsuit alleges the company violated the Illinois Humans Rights Act and states Novak filed complaints with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. She received notices of dismissal from the state agency and “exhausted her administrative remedies under Illinois law.”

“She’s just looking for a fair resolution based on the claims that have been raised,” said David B. Levin, Novak’s attorney.

Help At Home did not return a call Friday afternoon.

The company, along with its sister company Oxford Healthcare, has 146 branches in 13 states, including Illinois. The company provides a “viable alternative to living in a nursing home or long-term care facility,” according to its website.

In the lawsuit, Novak alleges that in 2016, her manager, Meagen Galloway, discriminated against her because she is a lesbian, saying “being a lesbian is a disability and said that lesbians should be banned because the Bible is against such behavior.”

“Galloway also asked [Novak] if she had considered seeing a mental health professional to get evaluated due to her sexual preference,” the lawsuit alleged.

Novak also alleged Galloway yelled at her, made negative comments about her speech, issued false disciplinary warnings and coerced her to sign a write-up containing false information.

When reached Friday, Galloway declined to answer questions about the lawsuit and insisted The Herald-News contact the corporate office for Help At Home.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ll have to call the corporate office,” she said.

Novak allegedly contacted Rebecca McClellan, the company’s area director, multiple times with complaints about her treatment, but they were ignored.

– Felix Sarver

“[McClellan] ignored [Novak’s] concerns, called [Novak] an illiterate individual, told her she was slow and told her she did not want to receive any more complaints by letter or phone call because they were a nuisance,” the lawsuit alleged.

Police: Joliet man found with drugs, loaded gun

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:35
JOLIET – A Joliet man was arrested in connection with possessing cocaine, weapons and drug paraphernalia, and on a charge of aggravated battery, police said.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, Joliet police officers served several arrest warrants on Johnnie P. Green, 36, at his home in the 700 block of Mason Avenue, Joliet Deputy Police Chief Ed Gregory said.

Officers searched the apartment Green was living in and reportedly recovered cocaine, a loaded semi-automatic handgun, drug equipment and drug paraphernalia, Gregory said.

Green was arrested and booked into Will County jail.

His bond was set at $250,000. Green was charged with possession of any substance with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon by felon and aggravated battery.

Green was scheduled to appear in court Jan. 31.

Police: Bolingbrook man recorded, posted conversations with two officers online

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:35
SHOREWOOD – A Bolingbrook man not only allegedly recorded a conversation with a Shorewood police officer without his consent, but also recorded one with a Plainfield police detective, authorities said.

Michael R. Cronin, 42, of the 1400 block of Danhof Drive has been charged with attempted eavesdropping for allegedly using a cellphone to record a conversation between himself and a Shorewood police officer without his consent and then posting it online.

Cronin also allegedly recorded a conversation between himself and a Plainfield police detective and posted it online as well, according to a Shorewood police report obtained by The Herald-News.

He has been summoned to appear in Will County court Tuesday or a warrant may be issued for his arrest.

Cronin failed to return an email and call Friday.

He owns On Demand Grass & Snow and he was sued for libel last year by two customers. The lawsuit was dismissed in December.

Maria and James Fredericks, both of Shorewood, alleged in the lawsuit that Cronin ran a blog called Grassholes and a post accused them of fraud, filing false reports, harassment and in the case of James Fredericks, being drunk.

A statement on the supposed blog said “Don’t Be A Grasshole.”

Grassholes was given a single one-star review on Yelp. The reviewer, named Maria C. of Hindsale, accused Cronin of having no customer service skills and performing poor quality work, and accused him of attacking her and her husband through email after they expressed disapproval.

In the Shorewood police report, an officer responded to a harassment complaint from a woman whose named was redacted. He was shown several Yelp posts that were allegedly from Cronin that he deemed to not be threatening or damaging.

The woman suspected Cronin caused damage to her property but reportedly didn’t have proof. She also showed the officer YouTube videos of a phone conversation the officer had with Cronin, along with one of the Plainfield detective.

Shorewood police investigated the grassholes.net website that allegedly contained links to the audio recordings, according the police report.

Plainfield Police Detective Sgt. Kevin McQuaid said they did investigate an incident where Cronin allegedly recorded a conversation with a detective without his knowledge and posted it online. He said the case was referred to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Police: Joliet public housing resident gropes, exposes himself to woman

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:31
JOLIET – A Joliet man allegedly sexually abused a 66-year-old woman at the John F. Kennedy Terrace public housing building, police said.

The arrest of Lamaris L. George, 42, a resident of the apartment building at 2200 Oneida St., was in response to an incident Dec. 20 where he allegedly groped the other resident’s breasts and exposed himself to her, police said.

Joliet Deputy Police Chief Ed Gregory said George approached the woman in the laundry room of the apartment building and allegedly tried to kiss her.

When she thwarted his attempted kiss, George then became aggressive, pushing and rubbing his body against her, Gregory said. George allegedly kept trying to kiss the woman and then exposed himself, he said.

The woman filed a complaint with the police. The incident was investigated and a warrant was issued for George’s arrest Thursday. The warrant for George’s arrest carried a $40,000 bond. George surrendered to police and was booked into the Will County jail Friday.

George was charged with aggravated battery in a public place, aggravated battery to a victim over 60 and public indecency.

Two restaurants planned for Jefferson Street

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:30
JOLIET – A restaurant is planned for a former Taco Bell location on West Jefferson Street that has been vacant for five years.

The city council on Tuesday will consider drive-thru permits for a Beef Shack at that location, 1606 W. Jefferson St., and for a Nick’s Gyro restaurant at 1350 W. Jefferson St.

The Beef Shack location has become an eyesore with rusting metal on the front signpost and tattered siding from its last days as a Shrimp House restaurant.

A plan to put a loan store in the building was turned down by the city council in 2013 as it faced opposition from Unity Community Development Council, a network of Joliet neighborhood groups.

At the time, former City Manager Thomas Thanas recommended the loan store, saying neighbors in the area had complained in the past about noise from the restaurants that occupied the building.

The building was originally a Taco Bell but has been used for at least two other restaurants since.

A backhoe has been sitting in the parking lot for weeks.

But the existing building would be used for the new business, according to a staff memo on the proposal.

City staff has recommended approval for the drive-thru permits for both the Beef Shack and Nick’s Gyro.

The Nick’s Gyro site, now occupied by two buildings, will be redeveloped for the new business, according to a staff memo. One of the buildings on the site, located on the southeast corner at Midland Avenue, is the former Bob and Sis’ Catering, which closed last year.

Romeoville Metra station to open Feb. 5

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:30
ROMEOVILLE – The new Romeoville Metra Station on the Heritage Corridor Line will begin service Feb. 5.

The station will be the first new stop on the Heritage Corridor line since Metra was created in 1984 and the first new stop on a Chicago area Metra line since 2011, according to a press release.

The Heritage Corridor line travels from Joliet to Chicago Union Station and back on weekdays with current stops in Lockport, Lemont, Willow Springs and Summit. The Romeoville station is located near the intersection of 135th Street and New Avenue. The station’s address is 899 E. Romeo Road.

The station is located in Zone F, which covers stations located 25 to 30 miles from Chicago. One-way tickets to Chicago will cost commuters $7.25 a ticket. A 10-ride ticket goes for $69 and a monthly pass will go for $210.25.

There is also a parking lot at the station with 123 spots.

Drivers can purchase annual parking permits for $250 or semiannual permits for $125, but that’s limited to 23 permits because the remainder of the spots are open to daily parking spots with a $1 fee.

Permits go on sale Jan. 15 for Romeoville residents only and Jan. 22 for the public.

Permits will only be sold online. Information on obtaining a permit can be found at Romeoville.org.

Construction of the station was primarily funded with more than $3.9 million in grants secured by the Village of Romeoville through CMAP’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program. Romeoville also secured a supplemental grant from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program for pedestrian access from 135th Street to the station.

Joliet woman arrested in connection with shooting

Plainfield News - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:30
BLOOMINGTON, MN. – A Joliet woman was arrested in Bloomington, Minnesota, in connection with the shooting of three people at a hotel early Saturday morning.

Bloomington police received multiple calls shortly after 4 a.m. regarding shots fired at a Comfort Inn, according to a press release. Officers found two men from Chicago in the lobby with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

They were transported to a local hospital. There was also a third man from Chicago who was shot but left the scene before police arrived.

An investigation into the shooting led to the arrest of two adults, Kia Joyce Johnson-Gordon, 21, of Joliet, and Jermaine Cameron Taylor, 28, of Aurora, on charges of second-degree assault.

Police said in the press release that the shooting appeared to be the result of a robbery that targeted a large number of recently purchased cellphones.

An initial press release stated the investigation found that two groups had planned to meet at the hotel lot and that at some point during the meeting shots were fired. A second press release stated the victims stayed the night at the hotel and were loading their vehicle when they were confronted by the suspects.

The latter press release goes on to state the shooting does not appear to be a random act. Both suspects are in custody at the Bloomington Jail.

The investigation is ongoing.

Ask Real Estate: Can You Convince a Landlord to Buy You Out of an Apartment?

A tenant who lives in a rent-stabilized apartment in Elmhurst, Queens, wonders how to negotiate a buyout.

Mississippi Giving Away Radon Test Kits This Month - U.S. News & World Report

Radon Testing News - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 10:53

Herald Times Reporter

Mississippi Giving Away Radon Test Kits This Month
U.S. News & World Report
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's health department is giving away radon test kits this month. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas and is the second-leading cause of lung cancer nationwide. More than 20,000 people die of radon-related lung cancer ...
Manitowoc County Health Department: January is National Radon Action Month | BriefsHerald Times Reporter
Radon test kits offered in selected countiesNorfolk Daily News
Free radon test kits available in Macomb, St. Clair countiesNew Baltimore Voice Newspapers
Port Huron Times Herald -Jackson Hole News&Guide
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Confidence in Housing Subdued at Year-End

Real Estate News - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 00:02

Confidence in housing was subdued in December in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), derived from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey® (NHS). The HPSI overall posted 85.8 in December, two percentage points lower than the month prior.

“Consumers remained cautious in their housing outlook at the end of 2017, as tax reform discussions continued,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. “In December, mirroring the other major consumer sentiment benchmarks, the HPSI reflected this caution and declined slightly.”

The share of homebuyers surveyed for the Index who believe now is a good time to buy fell five percentage points to 24 percent, while the share of sellers who believe now is a good time to sell stayed the same at 34 percent. The share of those who believe home prices will go up fell two percentage points to 44 percent.

Source: Fannie Mae

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Confidence in Housing Subdued at Year-End appeared first on RISMedia.

Infographic: How Recent Buyers Purchased Their Home

Real Estate Consumer News - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 00:01

Demand and home prices are increasing, but that has yet to keep homebuyers out of the market. Here is how they did it:

 For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Infographic: How Recent Buyers Purchased Their Home appeared first on RISMedia.

PBS show connects sister of Oak Lawn geologist killed on Mount St. Helens with grad student he saved - Chicago Tribune

Oak Lawn Home Inspector News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 20:22

Chicago Tribune

PBS show connects sister of Oak Lawn geologist killed on Mount St. Helens with grad student he saved
Chicago Tribune
Pat Ruthenberg holds a photo of her brother David Johnston. David was a geologist killed while studying Mt. St. Helen during its eruption in 1980. (Gary Middendorf/Daily Southtown). Donna VickroyContact ReporterDaily Southtown. Privacy Policy. Pat ...


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