U.S. Steel dumped more toxic chromium into Lake Michigan in October, asked state regulators to ‘keep it secret’, and other Chicago news | Bleader

U.S. Steel dumped more toxic chromium into Lake Michigan in October, asked state regulators to ‘keep it secret’, and other Chicago news

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U.S. Steel's Gary Works plant looms over Gary, Indiana - AP PHOTO/JOE RAYMOND, FILE
  • AP Photo/Joe Raymond, File
  • U.S. Steel's Gary Works plant looms over Gary, Indiana


Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

  • U.S. Steel dumped more toxic chromium from Indiana plant into Lake Michigan in October, asked Indiana officials for "confidential treatment"

U.S. Steel dumped 57 pounds of toxic chromium from its Gary Works plant into Lake Michigan in late October, just six months after another spill at the same plant, according to the Tribune. The amount dumped was 89.7 percent higher than the plant's water pollution permit allows over a 24-year period, and when U.S. Steel informed Indiana officials of the spill it asked for "confidential treatment" of the incident. The document revealing the October pollution violation is evidence in a lawsuit accusing the Pittsburgh-based steel company of repeatedly violating the Clean Water Act since 2011. U.S. Steel's Gary Works is the biggest polluter in the Lake Michigan basin. [Tribune]

  • Lori Lightfoot endorses Chris Kennedy for governor

The heated Illinois gubernatorial race is showing no signs of slowing down before the holiday season as Democratic candidate Chris Kennedy released his first TV ad. Lori Lightfoot, the head of the city's Police Accountability Task Force, also endorsed Kennedy Tuesday. "It's just not enough to say to people this is what we are against," she said. "We gotta be for something." Kennedy's closest rival in the Democratic primary is still billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker. "If people want more of the same, if they like what they're getting from government, if they think the current leadership is the leadership they want in the future, well, they have a choice—they should support J.B. Pritzker," Kennedy added. [NBC Chicago]


  • Man gets out of jail after serving 29 years for wrongful arson conviction

Arthur Brown, 66, has been released from prison after serving 29 years for a wrongful arson conviction. "I just want to be around my family and enjoy a good meal. Hopefully sleep in a real bed," he told reporters at Cook County Jail on Tuesday. The Cook County state's attorney's office dropped the charges against him after a review found "significant evidentiary issues." Brown's attorney Ronald Safer credited Cook County state's attorney Kim Foxx and her staff with serving justice at last: "Previous administrations have clung to wrongful convictions in the face of direct evidence." [Sun-Times]

  • Retail rents on Michigan Avenue among the highest in North America

The retail industry is struggling, but retail rents on the Magnificent Mile, the city's iconic shopping district on North Michigan Avenue, are still among the highest in North America, and haven't decreased since 2016, according to a report by commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. "It speaks to the demand for high street flagships," Danny Jacobson, a Cushman & Wakefield managing director, said. "I think the real doom and gloom is in a different part of the retail market. Shoppers are going to continue spending money and seeking experiences at flagship locations like Michigan Avenue." [Tribune]

  • The 60th construction crane of the year goes up in Chicago

High-rises have been a hot commodity in 2017, with more and more under construction. The 60th construction crane of 2017 was put up in Chicago Tuesday at a condominium project at 403 N. Wabash. In 2010, there were only 12 construction cranes in Chicago. [Curbed Chicago]

  • All-day breakfast restaurant Nighthawk: AM, opens in Lincoln Park

Nighthawk: AM, a new all-day fast-casual breakfast restaurant, has opened in Lincoln Park at 2273 N. Lincoln. The concept is from California's J. Fall Group, which is also behind LA's Nighthawk: Breakfast. The Chicago iteration won't serve alcohol, but serve signature items such as Frosted Flakes-coated french toast sticks and raw cookie dough by scoop. [Eater Chicago]


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