String of armed robberies in Austin

Chicago Police are cautioning residents to be on the lookout after three armed robberies took place in Austin on Friday, March 18 — all of them within several hours of each other. The three West Side robberies all occurred after midnight on March 18:

  • 100 block of South Menard Avenue, 12:01 a.m.
  • 4700 block of West Harrison Street, 12:20 a.m.
  • 100 block of South Cicero Avenue, 6:10 a.m.

A fourth armed robbery took place the same day at 3:56 a.m. on the 1800 block of West North Avenue in the Wicker Park neighborhood.

In a separate armed robbery that happened March 20, a 25-year-old man in an alley on the 200 block of South Cicero at around 11 p.m. According to police, an armed male exited a dark minivan and shot at the victim as he ran away, grazing him in his wrist. The victim is in stable condition.

Police suspect that a group of people, between the ages of 14 and 23, are responsible for the four robberies. Police noted that the suspects may have been riding around in a silver or white Chevrolet Malibu.

Law enforcement officials are asking that anyone with information on the crimes, or the suspects who committed them, call Area North detectives at 312-744-8263.

Public meeting about West Side bike routes scheduled March 23

The Chicago Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting designed to get public input about the future of West Side bike routes today, March 23, at Legler Library, 115 S. Pulaski Rd., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CDOT is currently in the process of developing a bike route prioritization plan for the West Side and is urging residents to give their feedback on the issue.

According to CDOT, the bike routes, will “connect residents to the numerous parks, schools and transit stations in the area, as well as complement the ongoing Divvy expansion into West Side neighborhoods.”

For more information, go to

Chicago Teachers Union threatening April 1 strike action

The Chicago Teachers Union is threatening a one-day strike scheduled for April 1. The union is expected to vote on the action at a meeting today.

The union’s “leadership is asking membership to strike on April 1 to demand revenue for our schools, and to build our momentum by joining with thousands of parents, community members and other labor organizations,” according to a March 19 CTU statement. “This action would need to be approved by the CTU House of Delegates.”

“Chicago Public Schools insists that any walkout, as the two sides continue bargaining, would be illegal,” according to a March 20 Chicago Sun-Times report. “CPS has informed teachers who call off without a doctor’s note or written proof of an emergency that they will not be paid that day.”

“CPS will try to intimidate and divide our members by threatening retaliation and saying it is illegal,” noted the CTU statement. “Unions can, however, withhold their labor to protest violations of labor law. In 2012 the mayor tried to declare our strike illegal, even though we played by their rules. We fully expect these threats again. CPS cannot replace 27,000 educators. When we are united and build strong alliances, there is little they can do to stop us.”