Election Coverage

You can read in-depth coverage on yesterday’s election by logging onto www.austinweeklynews.com. 

Church without heat seeks donations

(AUSTIN TALKS) An Austin church that feeds the needy was without heat Friday and asking for help.

Fraternite Notre Dame, 502 N. Central Ave., lost both of its boilers — the first conked out two weeks ago and the second died on Wednesday — due to age and the below-freezing temperatures, said Sr. Marie Valerie.

One heating company told the nuns the entire heating system needs to be replaced, at a cost of about $200,000.

The 15th District CAPS posted on its Twitter feed Friday news of the dire situation the church is facing and asked residents to help in any way they could.

CAPS Sgt. Roger Powell said the church does such great work in the neighborhood that he felt compelled to try to help.

“This is one of our neighbors,” Powell said.

Fraternite Notre Dame feeds breakfast to about 200 people every day, and 300 to 400 people receive food every Wednesday, Powell said.

The attention the church has received already has prompted some residents to come forth with donations, Sister Marie Valerie said. (CBS Chicago, ABC 7 and NBC Chicago all did stories).

Eight sisters live at the site and have been staying warm with space heaters, according to local media.

Anyone interested in donating can do so directly by stopping by the church, or by sending a check made out to Fraternite Notre Dame.

A GoFundMe campaign has also been set up.

Man charged in fatal shooting
at Austin Chinese restaurant

A 26-year-old who entered the See Thru Chinese Kitchen demanding money on the 5200 block of West Madison Street at about 7 p.m. on October 31, 2014 has been charged with murder, according to a recent ABC 7 report.

Deshawn Johnson fatally shot employee Chang Z. Qui, 41, of the 3200 block of West Wallace that October night. 

According to the ABC 7 report, “Authorities said Johnson was also identified as the man who robbed a liquor store at gunpoint in the 3100-block of West Monroe Street in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood on July 26, 2014. He allegedly fired a shot at a man inside the store.”

“Johnson, of the 5200-block of West Quincy Street, was charged with first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder, two counts of armed robbery where a firearm was discharged and armed robbery with a firearm.”

Ankle bracelet monitoring up by 70 percent
in Cook County

“Cook County judges last year ordered 14,717 criminal defendants awaiting trial onto electronic home monitoring as a condition of bond, an increase of 70 percent over 2013,” according to a recent Chicago Tribune article published February 23. 

“Not all defendants, however, were placed on electronic monitoring. Often they were homeless or could not raise the monetary bond required for their release,” the Tribune notes.

Many of the defendants are part of a “little known program” that requires sheriff’s deputies to make three random daily visits to the homes of “high priority” defendants, many of whom have been “accused of child sex abuse, child pornography and attempted murder.”

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has said that the marked spike in monitored defendants has helped to mitigate the problem of overcrowding in Cook County Jail, but at least one defendant in the program says “that the sheriff’s office has harassed him even though he has not been convicted of a crime,” the Tribune reports. 

To read more of this story, see: “In Cook, more monitored with ankle bracelets,” Chicago Tribune, Monday, February 23, 2015.

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