Here are some of the top stories you may have missed this week (Sunday, April 30 through Friday, May 5).
2 Chicago cops wounded in Back of the Yards attack
Two Chicago police officers were wounded Tuesday night when two vehicles pulled up alongside their unmarked van and being firing at them in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, police said.
One officer was hit in the arm and the other in the back, Rosemary Regina Sobol, Tony Briscoe, Jeremy Gorner and Elvia Malagon report.
Their injuries were not life-threatening, officials said.
“It’s just another example of how dangerous this job is,” said police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
The officers were wounded by a high-powered rifle in an area where military-style weapons are increasingly being used by gang members.
Three people were arrested and police are searching for others, they said.
Obama library design finally unveiled
Chicago got its first look at the design of the planned Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park on Wednesday, showing a campus of three buildings with the museum the tallest of the structures, Angela Caputo, Katherine Skiba and Blair Kamin report.
The museum will house exhibition space and meeting rooms. To its south would be a forum housing an auditorium, restaurant and public garden, and the library, which will hold documents, emails and other artifacts from Barack Obama’s two terms in office.
The conceptual plans by Obama’s team of designers shows a promising start on urban planning, but the architecture itself isn’t yet persuasive, writes Kamin.
The Obama library offers a chance for Chicago youths living amid violence to see themselves somewhere else — a chance to train the future Barack and Michelle Obamas, writes Dahleen Glanton.
The Obamas donated $2 million toward two Chicago programs that provide summer jobs and apprenticeships in an effort to help the presidential center’s mission to hire and train South Side youths, writes Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz.
Did the ‘Devil in the White City’ fake his execution?
The remains of H.H. Holmes, whose murder spree during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago was detailed in a best-selling book, are set to be exhumed from a Philadelphia cemetery, Robert McCoppin and Tony Briscoe report.
Holmes was hanged in the City of Brotherly Love in 1896 and buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, but rumors have survived for 120 years that he paid off jail guards to hang a cadaver and fled the country.
Holmes killed several women in what the media called his “murder castle,” a three-story hotel with trap doors, hidden passageways and a crematorium in what is present-day Englewood.
The request to dig up his body was made by a descendant, and the results of the forensic testing will be featured on the History Channel.
In other Chicago-area news:
Stop fidgeting: Fidget toys, which are supposed to improve concentration and stimulate learning, have become a major distraction in classrooms, and in some cases are being banned, reports Kate Thayer.
What happened to South Shore?: A once-vibrant neighborhood near Jackson Park where Michelle Obama grew up, has seen an increase in violence and a mass exodus of jobs and middle-class African-American families, report Kathy Bergen, Angela Caputo and William Lee.
House Republicans pass revived health care plan
House Republicans, after months of infighting, took the first step toward repealing Obama’s health care law, passing a replacement bill on a narrow 217-213 vote on Thursday.
The bill, which polls show is unpopular with most Americans, would remove the mandate to buy insurance, eliminate tax increases on the wealthy, cut Medicaid and allow states to apply for waivers that could allow insurers to charge more for sick and older customers and cover fewer things, such as pregnancy care.
House Republicans traveled to the White House to celebrate with President Donald Trump, but the bill likely won’t survive in its current form in the Senate, which will likely craft its own bill, leaders there said.
The bill’s passage left people with pre-existing conditions nervous about how much their premiums will increase if the legislation becomes law.
It also left House Democrats singing a goodbye jeer on the House floor, confident that they can use the vote to take back the chamber in 2018.
Illinois’ seven Republican congressmen voted for the bill, while 11 Democrats voted no. See how your representative voted here.
The bill would have a profound effect on thousands in Illinois, where 1 in 4 residents are on Medicaid, which faces reduced funding. It could also affect people who get insurance through their employer, reports Lisa Schencker.
Tribune’ voices weigh in: Mary Schmich took issue with some Republicans’ contention that good health is contingent on morality. Rex Huppke writes that Trumpcare can be boiled down to one sentence: “I got mine, Jack, you’re on your own.” Heidi Stevens writes that the man who brought Chicago its first Ronald McDonald House is a guiding light in the health care fight.
Comey feels ‘mildy nauseous’ to think he affected election
FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to disclose information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation shortly before Election Day, while staying mum about an inquiry into possible contacts between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign.
“I can’t consider for a second whose political futures will be affected and in what way,” Comey told the senators, saying it made him “mildly nauseous” to think his decisions influenced the election.
A day earlier, Clinton discussed her loss to Trump extensively for the first time, partially blaming interference by Russian hackers and Comey’s letter to Congress for her defeat. “If the election had been on Oct. 27, I would be your president,” she said at a Women for Women event in New York.
In other nation and world news:
Budget deal: Congress on Monday approved a $1 trillion-plus spending bill to fund the government through September but provide little money for Trump’s priorities. Trump did not seem thrilled with the plan, tweeting on Tuesday that the nation “needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September” to fix Senate filibuster rules that require 60 votes on legislation.
Police shootings: There was news this week in three high-profile police shooting cases. Sources said the Justice Department will not charge two white Baton Rouge police officers in the shooting death of Alton Sterling, though state charges are still possible. Former South Carolina Officer Michael Slager, whose fatal shooting of Walter Scott as Scott was running away was caught on camera, pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges. Finally, a Texas officer who killed teenager Jordan Edwards, who was in a vehicle driving away from him, was fired on Tuesday.
What’s next for the Bulls?
Bulls management plans to continue its attempt to stay competitive while developing young players, which was a big reason the team finished at .500 last year, reports K.C. Johnson.
“We remain focused on both the long term and the short term,” as the Bulls reshape the roster, said Executive Vice President John Paxson.
That reshaping will depend on what happens with “The 3 Alphas”” Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler.
Paxson said there’s a good chance the Bulls pick up Rondo’s $13.4 million option, but Wade will have to decide if he wants to return, depending on the team’s direction.
Then there is Jimmy Butler, the subject of trade rumors who could be dangled again in the offseason.
While the Bulls’ news conference on Wednesday may have seem like an endorsement of the status quo, the fact that Paxson and Gar Forman wouldn’t rule out trading Butler means the door is open for major changes, writes David Haugh.
The Bulls are bringing back coach Fred Hoiberg for a third season but challenged him to “find ways to be a better leader.”
In other sports news:
Cutler on TV: Bears fans can still watch former quarterback Jay Cutler on Sundays, but now it’ll be on Fox Sports, where he will be a color analyst, reports Dan Weiderer.
Feeling cheated: Bears quarterback Mike Glennon, signed to an $18.5 million free agent contract, was the guest of honor at the Miller Lite Bears draft party at Soldier Field last week, where he promptly watched the team trade up to take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Glennon reportedly felt as though he had been cheated on, sources told Rich Campbell.
Broken trophy: The Cubs’ World Series trophy suffered minor injuries during team President Theo Epstein’s benefit concert in Boston, reports Paul Skrbina.
Stray bullet: A woman attending a St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium on Tuesday was hit in the arm with a stray bullet, police said.
Racist slurs at Fenway: Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he was the target of racial slurs during a game in Boston this week, an event that doesn’t surprise Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, who said it’s common in other cities, reports Mark Gonzales. Former Red Sox star Curt Schilling, meanwhile, accused Jones of lying about the incident.
Airline execs find unhappy customers in Congress
Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, and other airline executives got a public spanking from members of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday, reports Lauren Zumbach.
The hearing was sparked by the passenger-dragging incident on a United plane last month, but legislators, in addition to criticizing the practice of overbooking flights, also complained about checked bag fees, hefty change fees and canceled flights.
Munoz apologized multiple times during the hearing, calling the incident “a mistake of epic proportions.”
Legislators warned the airline executives that if they don’t deliver on promises to improve customer relations, lawmakers may be forced to address the issue through regulations.
It’s not clear the threats stuck, as a day later, American Airlines announced it is cutting legroom for coach passengers in its new 737 jets.
In other business news:
Calorie count delayed: The FDA delayed a federal rule that would have required all chain restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and other food sellers to post calorie counts on their menus, reports Samantha Bomkamp. But some chains are posting calories anyway, as they were already moving forward with the change. How many calories are in your favorite fast food? Take our quiz to find out.
Allstate expansion: Northbrook-based Allstate Corp. signed a lease to more than double its space in the Merchandise Mart, a year after opening an innovation center there, reports Ryan Ori.
Lake battle over: Baxter International agreed, after a 15-year fight with residents near Long Lake, to stop dumping treated water into the north suburban lake, reports Lisa Schencker.
Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo wins top James Bead award
A Chicago restaurant was named Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards for the second straight year, this year going to Topolobampo, owned by Rick and Deann Bayless, reports Joseph Hernandez.
A year earlier, the award went to Alinea.
There was only one other Chicago winner at the awards. Sarah Grueneberg, of Monteverde Pastificio, won in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category.
In other entertainment, dining and lifestyles news:
Big beer news: Lagunitas Brewing is selling its remaining 50 percent stake to Heineken International, putting the Chicago and California-based brewery under full control of the global brand, reports Josh Noel.
Kimmel gets personal: Jimmy Kimmel teared up through a nearly 15-minute monologue Monday night, recounting the birth of his son and the boy’s subsequent medical ordeal, thanking the people involved in his care and urging politicians to make health care available for those with pre-existing conditions.
Colbert backlash: CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert responded to criticism of his raunchy Donald Trump joke by saying he would do it again, but “would change a few words.”
‘People are scared’: Owners of Mexican restaurants in Chicago talked with Louisa Chu about how their lives and those of their employees have changed under Trump’s immigration policies.
Woke women: Several Chicagoans, including cultural critic Luvvie Ajayi and activist Veronica Morris-Moore, made the list of “100 woke women” in the May issue of Essence magazine, writes Heidi Stevens.