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Hyde Park public schools rise to challenges in 2015

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer Bret Harte Bret Harte’s first 8th grade class in 13 years, 31 students total, graduated on June 15. Bret Harte Elementary, 1556 E. 56th St., offered a mixed middle school experience to its students this year, where 8th graders traveled from room-to-room as a group or separate for their various(…)

Trauma center, university police take spotlight in U. of C. news

By ALLISON MATYUS and SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writers University news It was a busy year for change at the University of Chicago (U. of C.), starting in February, when union nurses at the U. of C. Medical Center voted to authorize a strike. That strike almost happened on April 30, but in early May, the(…)

Hyde Park continues to grapple with violent crime in 2015

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Hyde Park saw an unusual amount violent crime in 2015. As the City of Chicago wrestled with how to address a surge in homicides across the city, local residents held forums on how to best combat neighborhood crime. In a September community meeting, held at St. Paul and The Redeemer(…)

CPD body-camera program expands into Hyde Park

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and interim Police Superintendent John Escalante announced that the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) body-worn camera program will be extended to six addition police districts, including the Wentworth District (2nd), which encompasses most of Hyde Park. Currently the camera program is only underway in the Chicago(…)

Recycle Christmas trees at Jackson Park

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer The holidays aren’t necessarily over, but to get a head start on taking down your decorations, you can recycle your Christmas tree at Jackson Park. Starting this Saturday until Jan. 16, the Chicago Park District is providing tree recycling at 24 locations, including Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave. Ornaments,(…)

Wooded Island opens on weekends

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer After New Year’s Day, Hyde Parkers will have the opportunity to spend a few hours of their weekends touring Jackson Park’s Wooden Island at their leisure. The island has been closed since April due to an ongoing effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revitalize the park’s natural(…)

Ring in 2016 at Hyde Park events

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer 2015 is almost over, and for last-minute planners, Hyde Park still has some great options to ring in 2016. To celebrate with little ones, Blackstone Public Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave., is hosting a New Year’s Eve (NYE) celebration from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Open to children and families of(…)

University Church holds 3rd annual lock-in

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Approximately 60 teenagers from Hyde Park and surrounding neighborhoods will participate in University Church’s, 5655 S. University Ave., third annual lock-in on Jan. 1. This year organizers from Black Youth Project 100, Assata’s Daughters and Black Lives Matter-Chicago will hold information sessions for those attending the lock-in. University Church Pastor(…)

Science movie and discussion by Doc Films

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer “The Martian” will be shown in partnership with University of Chicago (U. of C.) Science on the Screen and Doc Films at Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., on Jan. 9 for $5. The movie is nominated for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy for the 2016 Golden Globes. The(…)

Parents continue to question the necessity of standardized tests

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer The issue of standardized testing has been widely discussed and challenged in the education sphere. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is one of those tests that are surrounded with differing opinions and resistance. The PARCC tests math and English language arts (ELA) for students(…)

Looking ahead to plant in spring

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer Openlands, an organization that protects the natural and open spaces of Illinois, is accepting applications for its 2016 TreePlanters Grant. The grant will be used to plant trees in neighborhoods throughout various communities, and residents in Chicago have from now until Jan. 11 to apply for a chance for their(…)

DuSable celebrates Kwanzaa

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer This weekend, the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., begins its annual celebration of Kwanzaa. The festivities begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 26, in the museum’s Illinois Black Legislators Auditorium (ILBA) with celebration of umoja, which means unity. The celebrations will continue on Sunday, in(…)

Obama Foundation hones in on possible library architects

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Monday morning, The Barack Obama Foundation narrowed its search for a designer of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) down to seven architectural firms. In August, the Obama Foundation issued a Request for Qualifications to which 140 architectural firms responded. Since mid September, the foundation has been reviewing the field of(…)

Christmas Eve events in Hyde Park

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer The countdown to Christmas is in single digits, and if you haven’t made plans for Christmas Eve yet, two events in Hyde Park will get you in the holiday spirit. On Thursday, the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., holds its traditional Christmas service beginning at 4 p.m. Carols(…)

HPKCAC questions its future

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council (HPKCAC) meets once a month to discuss area schools and the current issues. However, the council is having its own issues with attendance and commitment at their meetings. The council was created almost two years ago, and the eight HPKCAC members that were at(…)

La Rabida benefits from Michael Jordan settlement

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer La Rabida Children’s Hospital will receive a portion of the $8.9 million awarded to Michael Jordan this past summer when a jury ruled that a 2009 Dominick’s advertisement unlawfully used the legendary athlete’s name. Jordan announced on Tuesday, Dec. 15, that he would be donating the settlement money to 23(…)