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Will Cook County voters back higher taxes for forest preserves? – Chicago Tribune



Good morning, Chicago.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, long-maligned by a reputation for mismanagement and politically motivated hiring, is taking a gamble on the November ballot: It’s asking voters to hike their own property taxes to give the district an annual budget boost of $40 million.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and her hand-picked Superintendent Arnold Randall unveiled a revamp of the district in 2014, but a tax hike was deemed a political non-starter after decades of damaging headlines. A referendum question for voters across the county will ask their permission for a 0.025% increase above the current state-mandated Property Tax Extension Limitation Law cap for the district, bringing the limit to 0.076%.

What does it mean for your bill?

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Tire skids are visible in the intersection at Archer and Kedzie in Brighton Park on Oct. 23, 2022, after an overnight shooting involving a car caravan killed three people.

Southwest Side Ald. Marty Quinn, 13th, is joining other aldermen, including downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, in co-sponsoring legislation that he said would further crack down on reckless driving. In the proposed ordinance, a broad circle of those involved with the drag-racing or drifting could be penalized.

An organizer, defined as anyone who helps plan or promote the event, could be fined $1,000 to $2,000, while a participant could be subject to $500 to $1,000 penalties. A “spectator,” or anyone present for the purpose of witnessing the drag racing or its preparations, could face $100 to $250 in fines.

Chicago police officers Calla Rounds and Patrise Washington and community member Megan Mathias help Erica Hungerford and Peter Charnley paint their Jefferson Park garage, Oct. 23, 2022, after it was targeted with anti-LGBTQ messages and other political harassment five times in recent months.

Erica Hungerford and Peter Charnley’s garage is not just any garage. For months, it’s been the repeat target of political vandalism that has damaged the couple’s Jefferson Park home. But now, the defaced garage has newly embellished bright rainbow colors with a large mural reading, “Love Wins.” For them, their garage is now a symbol of their community’s creativity and support.

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Since May, the homeowners say they have experienced five separate incidents of anti-LGBTQ harassment. In the latest incident, an unidentified individual spray-painted “MA” across their garage. Due to past vandalism with MAGA-related messaging, they believe the person intended to write “MAGA” but ran out of paint.

One of two female southern sea otters that arrived at Shedd Aquarium as part of an innovative California program in which rescued females that can't be released into the wild are raised to be surrogate moms to orphaned pups, Oct. 13, 2022.

Over the next week, Shedd Aquarium is looking for help to name one of the two female otters that arrived in Chicago from California this month. These furry marine mammals will join the rescued sea otter population in the exhibit in the Abbott Oceanarium.

Otters 926 and 929 are a 9-month-old pair that were discovered separately on the coast of California. At just two weeks old, they were found alone with no mother or adult otters in sight, according to a statement from Shedd Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued the two and ever since, the otters have been referred to as their intake numbers, 926 and 929.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) breaks free for a first down on a third and 15 in the second quarter of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Oct. 24, 2022.

The game had some historical significance beyond the Bears beating the Patriots for the first time since 2000 and the first time ever in New England. It prevented Patriots coach Bill Belichick from passing Bears founder George Halas for sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list, for a week at least.

But the significance of the game for this season was that Justin Fields led the offense to 390 yards — including 243 on the ground — and a season high in points.

The dumplings at Nine Bar, 216 W. Cermak Road in Chicago, are seen on Oct. 20, 2022.

Across the street from the gate to Chinatown, next to the fire station on Cermak Road, you’ll find a family restaurant transformed. But only if you know what you’re looking for.

Nine Bar opened as the first craft cocktail bar in Chinatown. It’s not the only one now, since another followed just weeks later in June. That’s not to mention karaoke bar culture, though, which is a whole other thing.