June 2, 2007
Obama to give donation away
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is donating to charity a $5,000 contribution to his 2004 Senate campaign from an indicted former Illinois official. Ali Ata, former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, was charged Thursday with trying to help entrepreneur Antoin Rezko borrow $10 million in a fraud scheme. Rezko is also charged with trying to shake down investment firms that wanted to do business with the state, and his personal and financial relationship with Obama has been an issue in Obama's presidential campaign. Obama spokesman Bill Burton said it was unclear whether Obama and Ata knew each other. Ata donated $5,000 to Obama's Senate campaign on June 30, 2003. Burton said $5,000 from the Senate campaign account would be donated to an unspecified charity. Prosecutors said Ata produced a bogus letter designed to help Rezko borrow $10 million to buy two groups of pizza restaurants at inflated prices.
Seminary grads hear Episcopal leader
The head of the nation's 2.4 million member Episcopal Church U.S.A. made a stopover Friday in Evanston to address graduates at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori spoke about her former career as an oceanographer and the need to love others without judgment. Last year, she became the first presiding bishop of the denomination, the U.S. arm of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Some Anglican leaders have rejected the Episcopal Church because of support of women and gay bishops, as well as same-sex relationships.
Misericordia wins top marks again
Misericordia, a Chicago nonprofit that helps the developmentally disabled, again has won high marks from a firm that evaluates more than 5,200 charities nationally. Misericordia recently earned a four-star rating for the sixth straight year from Charity Navigator, making it the only nonprofit in Illinois and one of 49 in the United States to get the highest score for all of the years Charity Navigator has published its ratings, Misericordia said in a news release.
Deer crashes into post office
Nature collided with civilization Thursday afternoon when a deer charged through and shattered a window at a post office in northwest suburban Elgin. U.S. Postal Service worker Lisa Martin said there were about six customers in the Randall Road branch at 2:15 p.m. and she was helping a customer at the front desk when she heard a loud crash of breaking glass. She walked around a corner and saw a female deer standing in broken glass. "She was scared. She just wanted a way out of here," Martin said of the deer, which left spots of blood in its wake. The doe circled the post office lobby for three or four minutes, looking for an escape. Customers seemed stunned, Martin said. The deer eventually went out a front door held open by a customer. The shattered window was about 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide. There is a wooded area behind the strip, and deer occasionally are spotted there, but this is the first time one has crashed through the window, Martin said.
Cops flag drag race, nab 30
Police have been trying to catch drag racers in north suburban Waukegan for a while now, but every time officers showed up, the culprits were gone. Not so Wednesday night, when police arrested more than two dozen people, including some juveniles, for trespassing on the property of the Comcast building at 1558 Waukegan Rd. Police had received a report of people drag racing behind the building, and when they arrived they found many people who were at the location to either watch or participate in the parking lot drag strip, police Cmdr. Wayne Walles said. Police officers met with security personnel at the building and arrested 27 adults and three juveniles for trespassing.
Contributing: Sun-Times News Wires, AP