CHICAGO — If you're a Chicago sports fan, you probably had a couple rough mornings this week. We wholeheartedly sympathize. So if you're afraid you missed out on some great local news while trying to stay awake at the office, never fear, here are some of our big stories this week.
• You probably heard that Dante Servin, the off-duty cop who shot into a crowd and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, was acquitted on all charges. It was an "unusual, but not rare" occurrence, since the judge dismissed the charges before the defense attorneys even brought witnesses to the stand.
Boyd's brother, Martinez Sutton, told DNAinfo Chicago Tuesday that the family is weighing other options for legal action. "You know I have faith. [The case] is not going to be put away this easy. ... They're trying to waste time because they know families are going to give up. But I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to let these murderers walk around."
• Real estate agents are seeing a sharp increase in demand for housing in the West Loop, according to a new Redfin study. Reporter Stephanie Lulay spoke to some Chicago Realtors who said that homes in the neighborhood are receiving multiple above-asking price offers.
The booming market is great for sellers and property values but "frustrating" to buyers, the agents said. Another downside is that some long-time residents have been priced out of the neigborhood.
• Meanwhile, a massive restoration project is underway in Jackson Park on the South Side. The Army Corps of Engineers is draining the lagoon to reshape the shoreline and plant new flora in the area, and Wooded Island could be off-limits for up to five years.
It's high time for a makeover, it appears. Crews already finished removing invasive fish from the area, and, as reporter Sam Cholke wrote, "Three massive pumps have emptied much of the lagoon already, revealing scraps of old buildings and what may be a car lurking in the deeper recesses of the lagoon."
• In more development news, we've been following closely the so-called "Twin Towers" planned for Logan Square. This week, the project cleared the second-to-last hurdle, and will need just one more vote at the full City Council. It's expected to pass with Ald. Joe Moreno's blessing.
The project inspired competing petitions amongst neighbors who either support or oppose the project. Some say that 11- and 12-story towers will increase affordable housing in the booming area, while others say it will do the exact opposite.
• Speaking of intra-neighborhood spats, it seems someone in Wicker Park has something to say (and a lot of free time to do it) about the homeless people in that area.
The person in question has used his or her graphic design skills to create signs parodying the City's rat-poison signs, comparing homeless "bums" to rats, posting them around Wicker Park. Other residents have torn them down, calling them "completely offensive."
• If you're a longtime Chicago resident, you probably have a love/hate relationship with the CTA. Love, as in, you will verbally assault any out-of-towner who dares to criticize it, and hate, as in, you are constantly criticizing it yourself.
If you want to prove your chops at understanding the "L" in all its multi-colored glory, take our "How Well Do You Know the 'L'?" quiz and brag about it to your friends. (Caution: It's definitely not that easy.) And don't worry, we didn't include the proposed future Brown Line station near the Cabrini-Green redevelopment.
• We close with two feel-good stories from the week: First, the kids from an Englewood elementary school bowling league went to the state competition and had a great time. We profiled them a while back: Though they started by practicing on carpet, they raised enough money and interest from their community to practice on real lanes and get uniforms.
The coach, David Berkson, said the performance was "outstanding" because they never missed a practice and they were always ready to listen and learn, Andrea Watson reported.
• We also profiled the adorable Josh, a pitbull who was saved after being thrown in a dumpster. His foster mom, Erin Kowalski, told reporter Kyla Gardner that Josh has adapted to using a wheelchair and is working hard on physical therapy to regain the use of his legs.
"He’s just a ham," Kowalski said. "He's such a good time, [has] such a good disposition, is so sweet. You always hear about bully breeds being negatively portrayed ... but he is one of the sweetest dogs."
Really. Just look at that mug and try not to let your heart melt. See the video and full story here.
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