Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, February 20, 2017. Happy Presidents Day!
The once-busy streets of Little Village have become quiet as immigrants worried about President Donald Trump's deportation policies remain at home. "News of last week's immigration raids, coupled with rumors that federal agents were asking people for their documents on sidewalks and at businesses, have kept immigrants from leaving their homes unnecessarily," the Tribune reported. "Everybody is talking about how ICE is catching people," dress shop owner Kocoy Malagon told the Tribune. The economy is slowing down for shops like Malagon's. Businesses in the neighborhood have been reporting losses, according to the Little Village Chamber of Commerce. "We're working on strategies to bring business back," the executive director of the chamber of commerce, Jaime di Paulo, told the newspaper. "(Trump's crackdown) should be more of a reason to unify and be one voice." There are approximately 20,000 undocumented immigrants in Little Village, according to U.S. Census data. [Tribune]
Democratic Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan and Republican governor Bruce Rauner agree on one thing: the state should "consider" selling the Thompson Center in the Loop. The office building at 100 W. Randolph is in a prime location that could net Illinois $220 million, according to estimates from the governor's office. "While technical questions pertaining to the sale remain, it is my intention to work with the governor on developing a course of action for the Thompson Center that best serves the interests of the people of Illinois," Madigan said in a statement. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Governor George Ryan, who spent six years in prison after being convicted of federal corruption charges, thinks the state is "in a hell of a shape," he told the Sun-Times. "It's terrible. It's not getting any better." The state has gone without a budget for a year and a half, and Ryan thinks that Governor Bruce Rauner "has to make things happen" because he's the "leader," and house speaker Mike Madigan isn't. "But look, it's not my place to tell people what to do," he said. "And my spending time in federal prison pretty much ensures a lot of people wouldn't listen to what I have to say anyway." [Sun-Times]
The city of West Palm Beach, Florida, home to President Donald Trump's famous Mar-a-Lago resort, had a violent crime rate that was comparable to Chicago's in 2015, according to NBC News. While Trump talks about Chicago's gun violence issues, there were 23 homicides in the city of 104,919 people in 2015 and nine violent crimes for every 1,000 residents that year—the same violent crime rate as Chicago. "If he is serious about making changes in the inner cities, he would be welcome," West Palm Beach activist Ricky Aiken told NBC News. "But people like him tend to avoid communities like mine." [NBC News]
Amtrak police officer LaRoyce Tankson has been charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting Chad Robertson near Union Station. Robertson was smoking marijuana with two companions outside Union Station while waiting for a bus to Minneapolis on the evening of February 8 when they were stopped twice by Tankson and his partner, according to prosecutors. Robertson was allegedly running away from the officers when Tankson fatally shot him. Robertson was unarmed, but Tankson's defense team says he was acting in self-defense and was scared for his life. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Chicago has very lenient laws governing what kinds of livestock residents can house in their backyard, so don't be surprised if a neighbor buys five goats and three chickens, according to WBEZ's Curious City. The municipal code only bans raising animals for meat and slaughtering them at home and excessive noise from animals. Backyard chickens are rising in popularity in the city, according to the owners of Belmont Feed and Seed. [WBEZ]