Closed-but-cold cases, Loop hopes, vacant houses and the rest of today’s news

SHARE Closed-but-cold cases, Loop hopes, vacant houses and the rest of today’s news

1 CCX Files

Sometimes Chicago police know who committed a crime but never bring charges. The file is labeled CCX (cleared, closed exceptionally) and usually forgotten. It even happens in murder cases, maybe because the killer is dead, maybe because the state’s attorney disagrees with their findings. Or maybe because the killer’s family has clout. [Sun-Times]

2 Destination Loop?

Other than going to work, or going to see a witch musical, there’s never been much reason to set foot in the Loop. With its new strategic plan, the Loop Alliance wants to change that. First step: turn Wabash Ave. from seedy to sexy. [Grid]

3 A plague of vacant houses

In a calamity that one expert likens to the Great Chicago Fire, many parts of the city and suburbs are being overwhelmed by vacant homes. Chicago has almost 34,000 empty houses — up 22 percent from 2010. The foreclosure crisis exacerbated the problem, but the bigger, and more confounding, culprit is depopulation in many of the city’s poorer neighborhoods. [Crain’s]

4 Like paying the bills with a credit card

As we all know, the city’s revenues don’t cover its expenses. Rather than trying to increase revenue (raise taxes) or cut major costs (everything), city hall uses taxable bond issues to cover the shortfall. In the latest entry in its series on the city’s crushing debt, the Trib looks at how the high interest on those bonds will plague taxpayers for years to come. [Tribune]

5 Nature’s wrath

Three days after a deadly typhoon ravaged the central Philippines, the archipelago nation is picking through the wreckage. Death tolls and other data are hard to come by, but some are estimating that 10,000 Filipinos may have lost their lives in the storm, which brought winds reaching a reported 190 mph. [NY Times]

6 QB controversy

The Bears lost a close one to Detroit yesterday, failing to convert a couple of two-point conversions as time ran out. The Monday morning quarterbacks, including the Sun-Times’ Rick Morrissey, are piling on Bears’ head coach Jim Trestman for not replacing starter Jay Cutler, who banged up his ankle early on, with backup signal caller Josh McCown. [Sun-Times]

7 Graffiti artist-cum-entrepreneur

Certain people consider it a crime to bomb a garage door or an underpass with graffiti. Julian Tillotson considered it career development. The founder and boss at Indirap Productions talks about his spray-can days and his booming video business with “Minority Report’s” Micaela Brown. [Grid]

8 We blame Mandy Patinkin

Hirsute hipsters hamper razor biz! Our alliteration may be lame, but it’s true: The popularity of beards is killing razor-blade sales. [Businessweek]

The Latest
Anthony Driver, president of the Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability, joined the chairman of the City Council’s Police Committee in sounding the alarm about restrictions so severe, they have contributed heavily to an alarming citywide surge in robberies.
The iconic Lake View club shut its doors last month, after 40 years in business. One of the original co-owners said it changed lives.
The Bears’ coaching staff spent part of their bye week dissecting their inordinate number of penalties, which have served as a season-long rebuke of coach Matt Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. system.
Kmet said coaches tell offensive players to be physical, too, knowing that defensive pass interference is unlikely.
Dach’s first pro season is off to a great start. He ranks fourth among all AHL rookie forwards in points per game (with 12 points in 13 games) while playing with an edge.