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  • Max Malder
  • July 20, 2019 07:17:02 PM
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7 tornadoes touched down in Chicagoland area during Monday’s ‘derecho’ storm, NWS confirms

CHICAGO — At least seven tornadoes touched down across Chicago area as a strong “derecho”... The post 7 tornadoes touched down in Chicagoland area during Monday’s ‘derecho’ storm, NWS confirms appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.

CHICAGO — At least seven tornadoes touched down across Chicago area as a strong “derecho” storm system crossed the region Monday night, including one that passed through Chicago’s city limits, according to the National Weather Service.

A long-lived thunderstorm complex, which originated along the Nebraska/South Dakota border, produced widespread severe wind damage across northern Illinois and Indiana Monday afternoon. Straight line winds of 60-80 mph were common.

Investigations by the NWS on Tuesday confirmed both an EF-0 and a EF-1 tornado touched down outside Rockford Monday night, as well as EF-1 tornadoes in Spring Grove, Marengo, Wheaton, Lombard and Rogers Park.

According to the NWS, several tornadic circulations developed within the main line of thunderstorms in the “derecho” system, producing conditions that led to high winds and caused damage across parts of Chicago’s far North Side, the western suburbs and far northeast Illinois. 

In the greater Chicago area, there were numerous reports of downed trees and power outages, and 3/4 inch to 1 inch diameter hail. Winds in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood reached 85 mph, while wind speeds of 91 mph were reported in Cedar Point, and 72 mph near Midway Airport.

A supercell that was absorbed into the system also produced tornado damage in and around the Rockford area. The NWS said it’s possible they’ll confirm additional tornadoes in the coming days.

A tornado that touched down in Lincolnwood moved northeast through Chicago and Rogers Park with estimated peak winds of 110 mph and a maximum width of 300 yards.

Rogers Park resident Mary Hopkins said she had just got home from volunteering with the census when the tornado hit.

“I was heading toward the basement and got to the center of the house, and then this tree came down and the whole house shook; knocked the plaster off the wall, the crown molding upstairs, I was cowering in the doorway but it was over in a flash,” Hopkins said.

Storms left 500,000 people without power across the area, and ComEd says it will take several days to get everyone back online.

Chicago’s 311 call center reported 8,859 service requests for downed trees, traffic signal outages and storm-related damage, while 911 received 559 calls regarding downed wires as well.

Branches took down power lines in her backyard, and she said she’s waiting on ComEd to come before the trees can safely be removed.

The Rogers Park tornado was only one of seven that emerged from the strong derecho storm, which caused damage from Iowa to northern Indiana.

At the end of its 3-mile path, the Rogers Park tornado moved through Pottawattomie Park, roughly along west Fargo Avenue, before crossing on to Lake Michigan and becoming a waterspout. There were no confirmed injuries or fatalities. 

This is only the 15th tornado to impact the Chicago city limits since weather records began in 1855. The most recent was a very brief landspout in 2016, and another in 2006 near the Loyola campus.

“The mulberry, these are 100-year-old trees,” Hopkins said. “I go out in the front and both my lindens are gone.”

Mirella Moreno was in her backyard gardening minutes before the tornado touched down on her street.

“The trees were cut like a toothpick,” Moreno said. “We feel so lucky, I could be killed because that branch came exactly where I was washing my feet.”

A large portion of her neighbors’ 70-foot tree hit her roof before falling across her backyard, shattering windows as a chunk of it impaled the back of her house.

“It completely destroyed our whole garden, both fences on both sides,” Moreno said. “Our grill, deck patio door.”

Crews with Progressive Tree Service have a lot of work to do, as more than a dozen large trees are down on this block alone.

“The more I look, the more damage I see outside on the whole block but in our house too,” Moreno said. “It’s going to take a little while to repair everything and clean it up.”

The good news is that there are no reports of injuries, which is unbelievable considering how many huge trees came down on top of homes and cars.

ComEd says it has 800 crews working around the clock, and another 1,400 are headed to the region from the east coast. Still, some customers are being told it could be Saturday before power is restored.

The post 7 tornadoes touched down in Chicagoland area during Monday’s ‘derecho’ storm, NWS confirms appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.


Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman to compete on major party’s ticket

WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on... The post Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman to compete on major party’s ticket appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.

WILMINGTON, Del. — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump.

In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, the 55-year-old first-term senator is one of the party’s most prominent figures. She quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended.

In a tweet, Biden called Harris a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

“Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump,” he said.

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday near Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.

She joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people in the U.S., far more than the toll experienced in other countries. Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused severe economic problems. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality.

After Tuesday’s announcement, Trump quickly tweeted a campaign ad that dismisses Harris as “phony” and says she and Biden “jointly embrace the radical left.”

Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Biden an opening, and he enters the fall campaign in strong position against the president. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.

Harris’s record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned away some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of racism in the legal system and police brutality. She tried to strike a balance on these issues, declaring herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms.

Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, has spent months weighing who would fill that same role in his White House. He pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president, easing frustration among Democrats that the presidential race would center on two white men in their 70s.

Biden’s search was expansive, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive, Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment prosecution of Trump won plaudits, California Rep. Karen Bass, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention.

Rice congratulated Harris on her selection, calling her a “tenacious and trailblazing leader.” Rice said she would support Biden and Harris “with all my energy and commitment.”

Bass tweeted, “@KamalaHarris is a great choice for Vice President. Her tenacious pursuit of justice and relentless advocacy for the people is what is needed right now.”

A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States. Two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. Their parties lost in the general election.

The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when he’s inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. If he declines to do so, his running mate would likely become a front-runner for the nomination that year.

Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In the role, she created a reentry program for low-level drug offenders and cracked down on student truancy.

She was elected California’s attorney general in 2010, the first woman and Black person to hold the job, and focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

As her national profile grew, Harris built a reputation around her work as a prosecutor. After being elected to the Senate in 2016, she quickly gained attention for her assertive questioning of Trump administration officials during congressional hearings. In one memorable moment last year, Harris tripped up Attorney General William Barr when she repeatedly pressed him on whether Trump or other White House officials pressured him to investigate certain people.

Harris launched her presidential campaign in early 2019 with the slogan “Kamala Harris For the People,” a reference to her courtroom work. She was one of the highest-profile contenders in a crowded Democratic primary and attracted 20,000 people to her first campaign rally in Oakland.

But the early promise of her campaign eventually faded. Her law enforcement background prompted skepticism from some progressives, and she struggled to land on a consistent message that resonated with voters. Facing fundraising problems, Harris abruptly withdrew from the race in December 2019, two months before the first votes of the primary were cast.

One of Harris’ standout moments of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, Harris said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”

Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments “a mischaracterization of my position.”

The exchange resurfaced recently one of Biden’s closest friends and a co-chair of his vice presidential vetting committee, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, still harbors concerns about the debate and that Harris hadn’t expressed regret. The comments attributed to Dodd and first reported by Politico drew condemnation, especially from influential Democratic women who said Harris was being held to a standard that wouldn’t apply to a man running for president.

Some Biden confidants said Harris’ campaign attack did irritate the former vice president, who had a friendly relationship with her. Harris was also close with Biden’s late son, Beau, who served as Delaware attorney general while she held the same post in California.

But Biden and Harris have since returned to a warm relationship.

“Joe has empathy, he has a proven track record of leadership and more than ever before we need a president of the United States who understands who the people are, sees them where they are, and has a genuine desire to help and knows how to fight to get us where we need to be,” Harris said at an event for Biden earlier this summer.

At the same event, she bluntly attacked Trump, labeling him a “drug pusher” for his promotion of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, which has not been proved to be an effective treatment and may even be more harmful. After Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests about the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody, Harris said his remarks “yet again show what racism looks like.”

Harris has taken a tougher stand on policing since Floyd’s killing. She co-sponsored legislation in June that would ban police from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set a national use-of-force standard and create a national police misconduct registry, among other things. It would also reform the qualified immunity system that shields officers from liability.

The list included practices Harris did not vocally fight to reform while leading California’s Department of Justice. Although she required DOJ officers to wear body cameras, she did not support legislation mandating it statewide. And while she now wants independent investigations of police shootings, she didn’t support a 2015 California bill that would have required her office to take on such cases.

“We made progress, but clearly we are not at the place yet as a country where we need to be and California is no exception,” she told The Associated Press recently. But the national focus on racial injustice now shows “there’s no reason that we have to continue to wait.”

The post Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman to compete on major party’s ticket appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.


Riverside educators rally for remote learning ahead of board meeting

RIVERSIDE, Ill. — Teachers in suburban Riverside are protesting for their safety and asking for... The post Riverside educators rally for remote learning ahead of board meeting appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.

RIVERSIDE, Ill. — Teachers in suburban Riverside are protesting for their safety and asking for remote learning.

Class is expected to begin Monday and teachers are expected to return to work in two days. The Riverside Brookfield Education Association started their rally Tuesday afternoon ahead of a 7 p.m. board meeting.

The group is calling for the school district to put safety first in response to the pandemic. Organizers of the rally say the district is pushing for a hybrid learning plan that includes outsourcing remote learning to outside company Apex. 

“Care about the safety and health of the students. Their families. The staff in the community around us. Make the right decision and then let’s get ready to move on and figure out how to educate these kids,” Marty Sloan, president-elect of the RBEA, said.

Teachers, parents and students plan to speak during the public comment portion of the Board of Education meeting.

The post Riverside educators rally for remote learning ahead of board meeting appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.


Big 10 postpones fall sports season

The Big Ten Conference is postponing its fall sports season. In a statement released Tuesday... The post Big 10 postpones fall sports season appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.

The Big Ten Conference is postponing its fall sports season.

In a statement released Tuesday the conference said all regular-season games, championships and tournaments are postponed due “to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball are all included.

In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President, said in the statement.

The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward. As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.

– Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren

“The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring. Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated,” the statement said.

A meeting reportedly took place Tuesday between Big Ten University presidents.

Neither the Big Ten conference or Northwestern University media relations has returned WGN’s calls for comment about the meeting.

Earlier Tuesday, before an official announcement was made, University of Illinois head football coach Lovie Smith was asked about the possibility of canceling the season.

-“If there’s something that would cause us to pause (the season), then we should pause, not cancel,” he said. ” We play football. You would like the chance to at least play football first and see if it works.”

“If we can’t play, the first thing on players’ mind is how is their eligibility affected? If there’s a spring season, is it a full season?” Smith said. “A lot of guys worked hard for their senior year and want to play. They are patient enough to wait if that’s the case. They just want to play it.”

We are in the Big Ten Conference. We feel good about it. We will do whatever the Big Ten says, that’s our approach right now.

Illinois head coach Lovie Smith

The post Big 10 postpones fall sports season appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.


Temps in the 80s throughout rest of the week

For the latest weather updates, visit wgntv.com/weather. The post Temps in the 80s throughout rest of the week appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.

For the latest weather updates, visit wgntv.com/weather.

The post Temps in the 80s throughout rest of the week appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on California Sen. Kamala Harris as VP pick: ‘This is not a woman to be trifled with’

Hours after Kamala Harris was named Joe Biden’s running mate, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered... The post Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on California Sen. Kamala Harris as VP pick: ‘This is not a woman to be trifled with’ appeared first on CHICAGO...

Hours after Kamala Harris was named Joe Biden’s running mate, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered up a stark warning to the California Democratic senator’s detractors: “This is not a woman to be trifled with.”

The post Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on California Sen. Kamala Harris as VP pick: ‘This is not a woman to be trifled with’ appeared first on CHICAGO PIXELS.


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