Police determine cause of Bridgeport factory fire

It has been nearly seven months since a category 5-11 fire ripped through a vacant factory at 3757 S. Ashland Ave. on January 22, and Chicago Police have closed their investigation concerning its cause. Initially, law enforcement officials suspected arson caused the fire, according to the Chicago Police Department. The building is owned by a company that had been headed by Calvin Boender, who has been in federal prison since 2010 after being convicted of bribing former Alderman Isaac “Ike” Carothers.

St. James Church demolition goes forward

The Archdiocese of Chicago, after postponing its planned demolition of St. James Catholic Church at 2942 S. Wabash Ave. in May, citing ongoing conversations with parties interested in saving the church, sent a letter read to parishioners June 23, saying the church would be torn down.

CHA officials open to discussions on Roosevelt Square changes

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) officials indicated new flexibility on long-term plans for developing the Roosevelt Square mixed-income community, saying they are willing to talk.

Water ordinance revised in favor of nonprofits

Some nonprofit organizations in Chicago will be exempt from paying water bills once again after the City Council recently approved a revised ordinance providing a four-tier system to determine how much nonprofit groups must pay for water.

Fioretti presses for meeting on Circle Interchange

Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) continues to press for another community meeting with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) concerning the proposed Circle Interchange upgrade.

St. James demolition postponed to May

The Archdiocese of Chicago has postponed its planned demolition of St. James Catholic Church, 2942 S. Wabash Ave., to May after falling behind schedule.

Grid garbage collection expands locally

The City of Chicago has rolled out the sixth phase of its grid garbage collection system to approximately 57,000 households in several local wards—the 3rd, 4th, 11th, and 25th—as well as the 5th, 6th, 12th, and 20th.

LVEJO organizer receives environmental prize for coal plants

The Goldman Environmental Foundation has named Kimberly Wasserman one of its 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize winners in recognition of her efforts in a campaign to shut down two coal-burning power plants in Chicago.

Women’s Park field house renovations set

The second and third floors of the field house at the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens on south Indiana Avenue at 18th Street will undergo renovation soon. Leading the renovation efforts are the members of the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens Advisory Council. The non-profit group is attempting to raise funds and awareness for community based educational, entertainment, and health-related programs that include games, clubs, arts and crafts, and children’s camps.

CPS targets 129 schools for closing

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) on Feb. 13 announced that 129 underused schools currently are at risk for closure. The CPS process of elimination began in November with an original list of 330 allegedly “underutilized” schools.

Killer of UIC student deported

The U.S. Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) has deported a Lithuanian national who had been serving time for second degree murder for his role in the 2005 beating death of University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) student Tombol Malik.

Pilsen residents want job opportunities and green space

Now that the Fisk Power Plant is closed, residents of Pilsen and Little Village want its land used for green space, including public access to the Chicago River, and clean industries that bring in living-wage jobs. Residents voiced their opinions during recent community meetings.