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Hairston closes budget books

Hairston closes budget books

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Ald. Hairston (5th) has ended her ward’s participatory budgeting (PB) program. According to Hairston — the first South Side alderman to give her constituents a choice to vote on how to spend more than $1 million in annual discretionary funds — the decision to put a halt to the district’s experiment(…)

How Wright came to Kenwood

How Wright came to Kenwood

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Frank Lloyd Wright came to Chicago when he was just a teenager. By the time he was 24-years-old he was designing his first houses, with the budget and support to explore his aesthetic choices. Dozens of Kenwood residents came to an informational meeting on the Blossom and McArthur houses, hosted(…)

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer To restore the decaying Frank Lloyd Wright houses at the center of a controversy in South Kenwood will take between $4 and $5 million, in addition to their purchase prices. The Blossom and McArthur houses have languished on the real estate market since fall of 2012. The McArthur house, 4852(…)

Mitchell ready for March opponent

Mitchell ready for March opponent

By JEFRREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Illinois’ youngest state legislator, state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26), will face off in next March’s state primary with former Kenwood Oakland Community Organization Executive Director Jay Travis. But the 27-year-old incumbent — who is seeking a second term to represent the district including parts of Hyde Park, Kenwood, downtown and(…)

Jay Travis eyes Springfield

Jay Travis eyes Springfield

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer As a young girl growing up in Bronzeville, Jay Travis heard stories of her grandmother standing up to slumlords in the 1950s and ’60s and witnessed her father’s involvement with several civil rights movements. She said seeing the positive effects of people who used their own power to stand(…)

Village demolition paves way for City Hyde Park

Village demolition paves way for City Hyde Park

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Demolition started last week on the former Village Shopping Center. The dilapidated buildings are being torn down to make way for a Jeanne Gang-designed retail and residential tower, with upscale grocer Whole Foods as the anchor tenant. Demolition is expected to conclude in mid-February of 2014. The new tower, named(…)

BankFinancial ends experiment on 55th Street

BankFinancial ends experiment on 55th Street

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer BankFinancial will close its branch at 5500 S. Lake Park Ave. on Jan. 2. The BankFinancial location — one of two in Hyde Park, including another at 1345 E. 55th St. — was unveiled by the company as an ebranch in spring 2012. The Burr Ridge-based company’s tellerless concept was(…)

Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to pass

Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to pass

By JEFFERY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor When Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1 Thursday, he capped a years-long debate in the Illinois legislature over how to address the state’s pension crisis — with the help of Hyde Park’s elected officials. Beginning this year, Illinois’ unpaid debt to its public employee retirees amounted to(…)