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The list of things to do in Illinois is about to get a lot longer: Governor Pritzker has announced that Phase 3 of the five-step “Restore Illinois” plan will launch on May 29. Salons, barbershops, offices, state parks and, yes, bars will be partially back in business at the end of the month.

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A thin layer of slippery mud covered about half of Lower N. Stetson Ave. from E. South Water St. to the Chicago River at 11 a.m. on Monday May 18. The other half was submerged in floodwater from a marathon downpour that soaked the city on the preceding day.

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Chicago Police Sergeant Chris Schenk hosted a virtual CAPS meeting via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. He was joined by CPD Detective McCarthy and Miguel Guzman, coordinator for the department’s Office of Community Policing. The meeting covered recent and ongoing activity in Chicago Polic…

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By Daniel Patton, May 7, 2020 On May 5, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker unveiled a “public health plan to safely reintroduce the parts of our lives that have been put on hold in our fight against COVID-19.” Titled, “Restore Illinois,” the plan divides the state into four disctinct “health regi…

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By Daniel Patton, May 6, 2020 New Eastside for Charity has launched a campaign to raise $7,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). By setting a goal for each of the neighborhood’s 14 buildings to collect $500, the “New Eastside 2020 Food Drive” is an opportunity to “help bring fo…

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Residents of 600 N. Lake Shore Drive picked up their dinners in the lobby of their building on April 24, where a number of dishes from Indian Garden were waiting for them. The tasty convenience was the latest edition of a new service featuring meals that are cooked, prepared and delivered to…

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Thanks to a dedicated staff and a supportive community, Streeterville’s Ronald McDonald House (RMH) has continued fulfilling its mission to support the families of children receiving medical treatment during the COVID-19 crisis. “Our daily operations have been impacted quite significantly as…

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By Daniel Patton, April 23, 2020 In his COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, April 23, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that next week he plans to “sign an extension of our stay at home order through Saturday May 30.” “We are now at the most difficult part of this journey,” he added. “I kno…

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By Daniel Patton, April 22, 2020 Chicago’s annual House Music Conference & Festival, Gospel Music Festival, and Blues Festival have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, according to an April 21 announcement from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). The tri…

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By Daniel Patton, April 20, 2020 Discolored fountains, broken lightbulbs, deteriorating walls and unsafe staircases are just a few of the items listed in a petition asking Magellan Development to address the alleged state of disrepair at Lakeshore East Park. Titled, “The 2020 Lakeshore East …

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By Daniel Patton, April 17, 2020 Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has ordered schools throughout the state to remain closed for the entire 2020 academic year. Announced during his daily COVID-19 briefing, the action extends the closure of all K-12 schools that the governor ordered on March 13. …

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Although the Lookingglass Theatre’s Michigan Avenue stage has been temporarily closed to comply with the city’s stay-at-home order, the legendary Chicago-based company is streaming a variety of online content to help drama lovers quench their thirst for entertainment.

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By Daniel Patton, April 14, 2020 Chicago has launched an effort to reduce transmission and increase treatment of COVID-19 among the city’s homeless population. Scheduling nurses to visit homeless shelters, building a new care network with community-based providers, and distributing personal …

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Daniel Patton, April 10, 2020 Mayor Lightfoot has introduced new regulations to increase the safety of CTA passengers and employees. Effective April 9, riders will board CTA buses through the rear door of the vehicles, where fare card readers will be relocated to accommodate them. Riders who…

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By Daniel Patton, April 7, 2020 Chicago’s last call for alcohol will be 9 o’clock every night for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Part of an ongoing effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Public Health Order was issued in a joint announce…

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By Daniel Patton, April 2, 2020   The City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the broader philanthropic community are teaming up to provide financial assistance to artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19. Launched April 1, the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (AIRF)…

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By Daniel Patton, April 1, 2020   Chicago’s Second City will soon deliver its award-winning humor to homes around the world, according to a news release. At 7 p.m. on April 2, the famed 60-year-old Chicago institution will begin live-streaming entertainment, education and business content di…

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March 31, 2020   Illinois’ current stay-at-home order will be extended through the month of April to help curb the spread of coronavirus. The proclamation was made by Governor JB Pritzker during his daily #COVID19 briefing on March 31. It adds a month to the original order that he issued on …

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  Downtown Chicago’s lakefront and parks closedWhen sunny spring weather caused crowds to gather on the lakefront, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered that the lakefront, beaches, parks and the 606 be closed March 27 for an unspecified time to curb the spread of coronavirus. Chicago police patrolle…

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New Eastside resident Karin Long has added a unique voice to the ongoing dialogue about the current national health crisis: she’s offering to help. Whether it is fetching groceries, waiting in line at the pharmacy, or completing some other small task, the Loyola law student recently posted h…

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By Stephanie Racine, Elisa Shoenberger, and Daniel Patton   The Chicago culinary community is not taking a backseat during the restaurant shutdown. With Illinois’ shelter-in-place order planned through April 7, local restaurants have had to alter their methods of feeding the community.   Vol…

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By Daniel Patton, April 1, 2020   GEMS World Academy temporarily shuttered its New Eastside campus on Friday, March 13, in accordance with Illinois Governor Pritzker’s order to close all of the state’s public and private schools to combat the spread of coronavirus. Classes resumed via online…

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To help ease the burden of Illinois’ stay-at-home order, the City of Chicago has arranged a deal to reduce the cost of renting Divvy bikes. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced today that the cost of an annual Divvy membership would be reduced 50% — from $99 to $49.50 — in a press release…

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The Chicago Transit Authority today offered partial credit to customers who purchased fare cards but have been unable to use them due to the coronavirus. “A one-time credit,” according to a CTA press release, applies to “any remaining days left on an active 7- or 30-day pass.” In other words…

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People who test positive for coronavirus or are awaiting test results may be housed in hotel rooms rented by the city beginning today, according to a press release issued by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office. Intended to “relieve unnecessary strain on hospitals and healthcare workers,” t…

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Governor Pritzker has declared that all residents “will be subject to a stay-at-home order” beginning tomorrow at 5 p.m. and continuing until April 7.  The announcement was made during the governor’s daily #COVID19 update at 3 p.m. today, which was also attended by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfo…

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  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described a plan to keep the city safe through the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference at City Hall this afternoon. In her second live television appearance since taking office, Lightfoot revised Chicago’s official guidelines for wellness. The addres…

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To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, Illinois bars and restaurants will be closed for in-person dining for two weeks beginning tomorrow — but drive-through and curbside pickup will continue to be allowed — Governor Pritzker announced this afternoon. Referring to “the actions that the sc…

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By Daniel Patton, March 10, 2020   Nearly 40 residents attended the March 5 Community Beat Meeting for Chicago Police Beats 1831 through 1834  — which includes the Magnificent Mile, River North, and Streeterville. Hosted by the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) on the second floor…

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Chicago’s iconic six-pointed star and a font called Big Shoulders are key elements in a new city logo unveiled by Mayor Lightfoot’s office on March 4.

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by Mat Cohen At the Feb. 6 New Eastside  CAPS meeting, community members and police discussed competition for sidewalk space by pedestrians, scooters and Segways.  “I don’t want anyone to get hurt by these yo-yo’s,” one male resident said, noting that many violators know they are in the wron…

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by Stephanie Racine “Elevating State” will be the goal and catchphrase of a new plan to revamp the State Street Corridor in the Chicago Loop. The State Street Corridor plan was the main focus of the Chicago Loop Alliance and Foundation Annual Meeting on Feb. 20. Ernest Wong, co-founder and p…

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by Stephanie Racine What started out as a regifting event turned into something much more.  In December, a group of Parkshore residents had an idea. Resident Jonni Miklos and social director of the Parkshore, Charlene Roderick, met to discuss how to give back for the holiday season. Miklos n…

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by Stephanie Racine Streeterville police want to work with residents to help keep them safe. After a slew of violent muggings and surprise carjackings in Streeterville at the end of December and beginning of January, 18th district police held a community meeting on January 11 to discuss safe…

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by Mat Cohen At the New Eastside CAPS meeting, which is now the first week of the month, community members discussed traffic clogs, pedestrian safety and an increase in construction in the neighborhood. A resident said that due to the construction of three new condos in the neighborhood, the…

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by Jacqueline Covey At the Streeterville CAPS meeting, 6 p.m., Jan. 2 at Living Access, discussion focused on neighborhood justice activities and when to contact the police.  Officer Al Robinson reported to residents that calls to service were up. Calls to service are the number of times “th…

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by Jacqueline Covey The Chicago Help Initiative gives free meals to guests who are in need. During the holidays, there is no shortage of volunteers, but post giving-season, this organization, like many non-profits in the area, becomes short-handed. Executive Director of Chicago Help Initiati…

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by Mat Cohen On Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., Phyllis Mitzen walked with a cane along E. Delaware Place and across Michigan Avenue along with her husband, Michael.  She’s on a mission to make cross- walks safer.  Six months ago at this crossing, Mitzen was knocked to the ground by a van whi…

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by Mat Cohen When people think of yoga, they often think of twisting, sweating and breathing in a 95-degree room. However, that’s not always the case. Chair Yoga is practiced around the neighborhood, including at Renaissance Court in the Chicago Cultural Center and a senior class at the Magg…

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by Stephanie Racine It’s hibernation season for bears—and humans. But a Pedway art installation may turn hibernation on its head.  “Massimals in the Loop,” will be situated across the Pedway from Dec. 20 through the winter. The artwork depicts hibernating bears that vary in color and size as…

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Photo credit: Chicago Theatre street scene 1951 Chicago History Museum, ICHi-019350; Harold Beach, photographer By Elisa Shoenberger Chicago’s Christmas traditions are  a mixture of ethnic and racial celebrations, combined with the strategy  of the city’s retailers to form the public celebra…

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by Jacqueline Covey First District officers fielded complaints  regarding street performers and the use of  city streets, along with questions about crimes within the beat, during a recent CAPS meeting at the 400 E. Randolph Street condominiums.  Though street performers are protected by lic…