CHICAGO (CBS) — A senior living in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood said she hasn’t gotten her mail in two months and so far her post office hasn’t been able to help.
CBS 2’s Megan Hickey has the latest.
The woman said she’s missing important bills and letters and it’s taking a toll on her financially. Her local post office said right now they can’t exactly explain it, but they are going to investigate.
Another trip to the mailbox – and Valerie Adams Hatley comes up empty handed. It’s been this way since December. Two months without…
“My gas bill, my light bill, my credit cards, Social Security information my insurance,” said Hatley who said she only received a few pieces of junk mail.
Hatley said her health insurance company told her they sent a new prescription card. But she hasn’t gotten it. And she said she can’t afford her prescriptions without it.
“Somebody should be able to tell me what to do,” Hatley said. “I just want to get my mail.”
The problem stems from a change of address form she submitted a year ago when she moved just one floor up in the same building. The United States Postal Service said they forward first class mail for a limited period of one year. After the one year period, the mail is returned to the sender “forwarding order expired.”
Hatley said she’s updated her address with the senders, but still nothing.
CBS 2 ran into several people inside the post office at 74th and Exchange on Tuesday who sympathize because they said they also had issues with their change of address. Andrew Holloway said he ended up without mail for three months.
“They’re making us feel like we’re idiots,” Holloway said who added that the process could be clearer. “We missed lots of stuff.”
When it comes to Hatley’s current case, the branch manager said they’re well aware of her issue. Because of the inquiry by CBS 2, the manager said she’s going to look into whether there is a processing problem before it gets to their office. And she’s sending some test letters to see where they go.
Hatley said she’s grateful and hopes the problem is straightened out soon.
USPS is also offering to take down information about the missing pieces of mail to provide those details to the delivery office in the hopes of sorting things out.
The story started with a tip from a viewer. If you anything else we should check out send us an email at email@example.com.
CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s one thing for an elected official to decide not to attend a candidates’ forum. It is completely different for a politician to try to shut forums down.
As CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley explains, that’s exactly what Ald. Derrick Curtis is accused of doing in the 18th ward.
By all accounts, Ald. Derrick Curtis has chosen not to attend any 18th Ward candidate forums. But what has some steamed is a letter from Curtis, on official Chicago City Council stationery, which said “I am posting this letter so residents of the 18th Ward do not show up for a FAKE forum that I will not be attending at all.”
“When I saw the letter, I literally cried. I said this is wrong. We can’t keep quiet about this,” said Marquis Dreyer. She sent the letter to CBS 2, because she said Curtis falsely said a park group needed a permit to hold a forum.
“He did not show but we actually had the forum at Hayes Park,” Dreyer said. “I think he does not want to participate in the forums, mainly because residents want to ask him some hard questions.”
Questions about allegations from the Chicago Tribune that Curtis plagiarized answers from Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) on a candidates questionnaire. Curtis’ answers were almost exactly the same as Harris’.
“It’s clear the letter is to intimidate,” said Chuks Onyezia, who is running against Curtis. Onyezia believes the letter may violate campaign laws.
“It’s crystal clear the use of the city shield and official letterhead from the city is not to be used for any campaign or political purposes whatsoever,” Onyezia said. “So this is actually a huge ethics violation, if not illegal.”
Onyezia charges Curtis has been tough to find. His ward office was closed for Presidents Day. At his home, CBS 2 was directed to his political office. The office was locked and totally empty with no furniture inside with a little more than a week until the election.
How big an issue will this letter become in the aldermanic race? That’s tough to say. It’s Onyezia’s third run for the 18th Ward seat. Ironically, Curtis promised accessibility when he won the office, defeating then-incumbent Lona Lane in a blowout victory four years ago.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Even though the Chicago White Sox lost more games than the 95 the Chicago Cubs won last season, our two teams have come to spring training with something to prove.
CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke has been on the move in Arizona. She reports from both camps.
“You can’t imagine, I’m really happy, really happy to be here and work and try to help this pitching staff. And it’s up to them to put it everything together. I think we have something special here.” said Sox catcher Wellington Castillo.
He can’t contain his excitement over the Sox young pitching staff. But they did add a few veterans to the mix, including starter Ivan Nova acquired in an off-season trade.
“We have a lot of talent, good enough to compete. That’s what I see. I see it on the face of these guys. They’re hungry and they want to win. Even though they are young, they have big expectations. I’m looking forward to see what they can bring us,” Nova said.
In Mesa, the Cubs don’t have as many new faces as the Sox. Jason Heyward is relieved the Cubs brass didn’t break up their chemistry and is giving this crew another chance to bounce back together.
“We most definitely earned that. We’ve been to the postseason four years in a row. NLCS three years in a row, win a World Series. That stuff is earned and they want to try and get the most out of this club,” Heyward said. “It’s not something we take for granted, man. You have a roster like this one, they’ve shown us in the front office that if we keep running that, they’ll make a move at the deadline. This year they’ve kind of got what they want, so we’ll see.”
“And a baseball prospectus new projection has the Cubs finishing dead last in the Central with around 80 wins.
The players quickly dismissed that when asked about it Thursday.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Coming off a 100 loss season, the only way to go is up for the Chicago White Sox.
CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke has the story of one pitcher at Sox camp who is taking a headfirst approach to improving his game.
“I feel like I’m attacking the day a lot better from the get-go,” said Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito.
Starter Gioltio is looking for a major rebound after leading the American League in walks and earned runs last year. Gioito is a cerebral guy and he noticed a lot of his struggles were going on in his head.
“I did a neurofeedback program where basically they read your brainwaves, you work to build better neuropathways,” Giolito said. “For me, it was about focusing on controlling breathing and being confident at all times. I kind of put it all together on the mental side.”
“Any neurofeedback we have was a kick in the butt or slap on the back of the head. Now you have the ability to put a camera on someone and slow everything down,” said Sox skipper Rick Reteria.
Giolito said he marathoned through 20 session of the mental program on a computer. Physically, Renteria has already noticed a difference in him.
“He’ll speak about what I saw today through my eyes. Which was a shorter arm swing. A little more compact. A lot of strikes,” Renteria said.
“It’s about winning now. I’m sick of losing. I have been losing for minor leagues,”said Giolito. “My last few years coming up to here. I am ready to win.”
Giolito will be a major factor if they get more wins this season. And he needs to prove that he belongs. He said we will see a more calm, composed and confident pitcher this year.
CHICAGO (CBS) — In Illinois, thousands of people are about to get a pay raise.
On Thursday, lawmakers gave final approval to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. But who will pay the higher costs?
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley has the story.
Fast food operators are particularly concerned because they fear a higher minimum wage will lead not only to higher costs but also fewer jobs, especially for young people.
For three years, Jennifer Spencer has run the Northbrook Dairy Queen. But the store’s been in her family for decades.
“This place has always been my heart,” she said.
But Spencer said the $15.00 minimum wage will, in effect, be a tax on everyone.
“The only way that a business makes money is by the customer walking through the door and that’s who’s going to hurt the most,” Spencer said. “The cost of everything going up in the long run, that’s who it’s going to hurt is the consumer.”
The wage hike will come in steps. From $8.25 now to $9.25 next January, then $10.00 in July 2020 with a dollar-an-hour hike each following year until reaching $15.00 by 2025.
Democrats said it’s long past due.
“We’re taking bold and decisive action because we have for way too long allowed the minimum wage in this state to be a poverty wage,” said Illinois State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago.)
And Dairy Queen worker Bernadette Simpson said she’d benefit from the wage hike.
“For me, it would make it where I didn’t have to work multiple jobs,” said Simpson. “This isn’t my only job. I work one other job and that’s to support my daughter.”
But Republicans argued businesses won’t stand still.
“There’s no doubt through automation, through kiosks, that jobs will be lost,” said Illinois State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington.)
And Spencer agreed, saying higher labor costs means fewer workers.
“Last year, I hired 10 new employees. When the minimum wage goes up starting in 2020, I can see it only being two or three,” she noted.
The bill includes a tax credit for small businesses with fewer than 50 workers. And it continues to allow restaurants to count tips toward workers’ wages. But that will not help fast food operators.
Governor Pritzker is expected to sign the bill before his budget address next week.
(AP) — Amazon will not be building a new headquarters in New York, a stunning reversal after a yearlong search.
The online retailer faced opposition from some New York politicians, who were unhappy with the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives Amazon was promised. The Seattle-based Amazon had planned to bring 25,000 jobs to New York, and spend $2.5 billion building its offices.
“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion — we love New York,” the company said in a blog post , adding that it has 5,000 workers in the city and plans to grow those teams.
Amazon said Thursday it does not plan to look for another location at this time, and will continue to build out offices in Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
It was announced last November that Chicago was out of the running for the HQ2 facility. Sources hinted at the time that Springfield’s political rancor, pension problems and tax hike uncertainty didn’t help in the competition.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Less than two months after the first section of the Navy Pier Flyover opened along the lakefront, the long-delayed pedestrian and bicycle bridge already is showing surprising signs of wear and tear.
The much-anticipated project has taken longer to build than the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s still not finished. But the section that opened in December already is showing signs of trouble before the rest of the project is completed.
A shiny new bridge that lifts cyclists and runners over traffic on Grand Avenue and Illinois Street opened a few days before Christmas.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the project would “stand the test of time,” but less than two months later, sections of the trail have cracked, markers denoting the different sections for runners and cyclists have faded, lane dividers are missing, and rusted nails are protruding in spots.
Expansion joints on the Navy Pier Flyover have cracked less than two months after the first section opened. (Credit: CBS)
Few people use the path in the winter, so overuse can’t be the problem so soon after the trail opened. For some of the markings, a simple touch can peel away the paint.
“If there’s no lane markings, it’s going to cause a lot of confusion,” said Aaron Duncan, who speaks from experience.
Duncan collided with a rented quad bicycle a few hundred feet past the flyover last summer.
“I hit my head on the pavement, almost broke my arm,” he said. “My biggest concern is that when the tourists are walking up and down the walkway, they’re going to have no idea where to be walking, which side to be on, and it’s going to get dangerous and crowded.”
Painted lane markings on the Navy Pier Flyover have completely faded less than two months after it opened. (Credit: CBS)
The Chicago Department of Transportation acknowledged the Navy Pier Flyover paint did not hold up this winter, and promised to fix it when the weather improves. A spokesperson also said the opened portion of the flyover is a “temporary structure.”
While CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld called the first phase of the flyover a “major milestone” in December, a spokesperson said that referred to the separation of path users from cars.
The entire Navy Pier Flyover isn’t expected to be completed until 2020 at the earliest. Construction began in 2014, and originally was supposed to be completed in 2018, but the city said repairs needed on the seawall and the existing Lake Shore Drive Bridge delayed construction of the flyover.
Painted lane markings have started to wear away on the Navy Pier Flyover, less than two months after the first section opened. (Credit: CBS)
CHICAGO (CBS) — With less than two weeks to go until election day, charges of dirty tricks have surfaced in the campaign for 45th Ward alderman.
Robocalls are falsely hinting at domestic abuse by Ald. John Arena and what’s more, it’s a tactic used against him before.
Ald. John Arena insists there’s no truth to the domestic battery smear and said reviving it is a sign of desperation from opponents, whoever they may be.
“I think we debunked this back in 2014 when these anonymous calls came out,” Arena said.
But now, the calls are back.
“(There’s) absolutely no truth to it. It’s disgusting lies about our family and I wish they’d stop,” said Arena’s wife Jill.
“It’s the exact same language, exact same voice, everything,” noted the alderman.
Five years ago, Arena’s major opponent was police lieutenant John Garrido, who denied supporting the robocalls. Today, it’s firefighter Jim Gardiner.
“If anybody who is doing that, I ask them to stop,” Gardiner said. “That is not, in my eyes, a productive way of running a campaign.”
Meantime, Gardiner acknowledged a former girlfriend filed an order of protection against him two years ago. A situation he addressed at an aldermanic forum.
And that raises questions for Arena about the robocalls.
When asked if it was a way to deflect from that troubling past, Arena said there’s just no way to know. He insisted he has no idea who’s behind the robocalls.
The robocall may reference a 911 call Arena’s wife made back in 2009 when she said her husband became disoriented due to a sleep apnea medicine.
There are two other candidates are also running in the 45th ward: Marilyn Morales and Robert Bank.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cubs and White Sox are getting settled in at their respective camps in Arizona. It was the first time that both teams went to work officially on Wednesday.
White Sox pitchers and catchers had their official workout, but all the talk is about who isn’t in camp.
So does newcomer Yonder Alonso and brother-in-law of Manny Machado have any intel on the superstar free agent signing with the Sox?
“I’m really far away from him right now. (He’s) 3,000 miles away ,” Alonso said who admitted while they spoke on the phone Tuesday, they didn’t talk about baseball.
Over at the Cubs camp, the buzz is about starter Yu Darvish feeling great after surgery on his arm, and teammates are noticing how much stronger he looks.
Darvish opened up and admitted he felt the pressure of high expectations last season after he signed a $126 million dollar contract.
“At that time last year, I didn’t say anything about that, but I was definitely thinking I have to do something for the Cubs,” Darvish said. “I should win 20 games or something. I want to be myself. I want to start like 32, 33 starts. I want to get more wins for the Cubs because now I feel like a family, so I feel good right now.”
Darvish is clearly more comfortable with the Cubs. This is the first time he has spoken in English to the media without his interpreter right next to him. Darvish joked after he felt like he lost five pounds because he was sweating so much.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A picture that some see as racially insensitive has rocked Chicago’s First Ward aldermanic campaign.
First Ward aldermanic candidate Daniel La Spata was uncomfortable and embarrassed Tuesday.
A photo, taken six years ago at La Spata’s Millennium Park bachelor party shows La Spata dressed in a banana costume, his friends in monkey masks, joined by a group of black children.
“I apologize for any offense we’ve caused,” said La Spata. “It was silly. It was ridiculous. The kids in the photo were watching. They thought it was hilarious and so they wanted to take a photo with us and so we let them.”
“I think the photo in the context with those young men is what causes the offense. Because I do recognize the harmful racial stereotypes that are portrayed in that context,” he added.
The picture was on La Spata’s public Facebook page. But it was circulated and highlighted by his political opponent, Ald. Joe Moreno. He told CBS 2 “this type of intolerance and insensitivity has no place in Chicago, the 1st ward or anywhere.”
But, La Spata claims Moreno’s simply trying to change the subject.
“I would not put it past them to distract from the implosion of Moreno’s campaign under the weight of his own ethical behaviors,” La Spata said.
Moreno is still under investigation by Chicago police for falsely reporting his car stolen by a girlfriend. It was later revealed he’d allowed the girlfriend to drive the vehicle. But La Spata’s not dodging blame for the photo.
“I apologize for that,” he said.