TIME Aviation

Plane That Crashed Into Chicago Home Missed Couple by 8 Inches

Twin-engine small cargo plane had just taken off from Midway Airport

A small cargo plane that crashed into a Chicago home Tuesday morning missed hitting an elderly couple residing in the house by eight inches, according to the city’s fire chief.

The twin-engine plane had just taken off from Midway Airport when it began experiencing engine problems, the Chicago Tribune reports. The pilot, who was the only person on board, was attempting to return to the airport but crashed into the home. He was dead at the scene.

The plane collided with the right side of the house, but the couple, an 84-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman, were on the left side of the residence asleep in their bedroom. Neighbors said the couple was “bewildered,” but did not sustain any injuries.

“They were in a bedroom next to the living room and the living room is gone,” Chicago Fire Chief Michael Fox said. “Eight inches. They were very lucky.”

[Chicago Tribune]


Police: Small Plane Crashes Into Chicago Home

Chicago Plane into Home
A small twin-engine cargo plane is seen after it crashed into a home on Chicago's southwest side on Nov. 18, 2014. Brian Jackson—Sun-Times Media/AP

(CHICAGO) — Chicago police say a small plane has crashed into a home on the city’s southwest side.

Police spokesman Ron Gaines says the single-engine plane crashed into the house around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Gaines says the occupants of the home were not injured but he did not know about the condition of the person or people aboard the plane.

Fire officials told local news outlets they were still searching for the plane’s pilot.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Corey told the Chicago Sun-Times the small cargo plane, an Aero Commander 50, had just departed from Midway International Airport on its way to Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling when the pilot reported engine problems and tried to return to Midway. The plane crashed about a quarter-mile from its departing runway.

TIME chicago

Jane Byrne, Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor, Dies at 81

Portrait of American politician and mayor of Chicago Jane Byrne, early to mid 1980s.
Portrait of American politician and mayor of Chicago Jane Byrne, early to mid 1980s. Robert Abbott Sengstacke—Getty Images

Elected in 1979 and served until 1983

Former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, the city’s first and only female mayor, died at age 81, her daughter said Friday.

“She looked down on the city she loved,’’ Kathy Byrne, the late mayor’s daughter, told the Chicago Tribune. Her death followed a week in hospice care in a downtown high-rise. “She has lived a very amazing and satisfying life.”

Byrne was elected in 1979, after an unexpected primary victory over an incumbent, and served until 1983.

TIME Music

K-Pop Pioneers: The Kim Sisters Take America

In the late 1950s, three young singers left the hard times of postwar Korea to seek their fortune in the West -- and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams

A few years ago, TIME.com designated K-pop “South Korea’s greatest export.” While the folks at Hyundai, Samsung and a few other Korean corporations might have something to say about that assertion, there’s little doubt that over the past few decades, the treacly, hook-infused musical style has made itself felt, in one way or another, all over the globe.

But few fans of the genre are aware that, more than 50 years ago, three talented young Korean women formed a kind of proto-K-pop group—an ensemble unlike any that American audiences, at least, had ever seen.

Here is how LIFE introduced the trio to its readers in February 1960:

Just one year after leaving Seoul the Kim Sisters [Min Ja, Ai Ja and Sook Ja] are an all-out nightclub hit in the U.S.

The act began 10 years ago when the girls were taught “Ole Buttermilk Sky” and “Candy and Cake” by U.S.troops in Korea. Min Ja sang off-key and Ai Ja chewed gum while she sang, but to the GIs they were the Orient’s answer to the Andrews Sisters. Last year an ex-GI named Bob McMackin, who had heard them in Seoul, brought the Kims over [to the States]. The girls learn their songs by rote since they know little English.

In fact, Min-ja, or Mia, was a first cousin to Sook-ja and Ai-ja [the preferred Anglicized spelling of their names), but “Two Kims and Their Cousin” hardly had the ring of the eventual band name. So, in a time-honored entertainment ploy, when they began performing in Seoul in the 1950s, the three took a bit of license and, lo and behold, the Kim Sisters song-and-dance act was born.

In their heyday, the women played nightclubs and other venues all over America and around the world. They were huge hits in Vegas. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more than 20 times. In short, for a number of years in the early to mid-1960s, the Kim Sisters were, without a doubt, the most famous Korean entertainers on the planet.

By the late Sixties, though, all that changed. As Mia Kim told the Korea Times a few years back:

In 1967, all three of us got married. I married a Hungarian musician, Tommy Vig, Sook-ja and Ai-ja married two Italian men. My aunt was a very wise lady because she always told us, “Don’t get involved with a man, because if that happens, your career will be over.” She was right, you know, the priority was instantly changed and after I gave birth to my son, I wanted to be a full-time mother. Also, as we had husbands in our lives, we began to have disagreements and conflicts, so I moved to Los Angeles with my husband in 1970.

After that, the band played on, but without Mia. The real Kim sisters—and eventually, their brothers—played Vegas for years after the original trio broke up. Ai-ja died in the late 1980s of lung cancer, and the remaining “sisters,” Mia and Sook-ja, lost touch with one another.

Still, for a while there, the three beautiful, accomplished young singers and musicians who left the hard times of postwar Korea to seek their fortune in the West had, in fact, found receptive audiences, and more than a little fame, far from their native Seoul.

K-pop or no K-pop, it’s a tale worth telling, and remembering.

TIME Bizarre

Cockroach Interrupts Chicago Pest-Control Chief’s Testimony

Getty Images

The official in question called pest control soon after the hearing concluded

A cockroach with impeccable timing (or terrible timing, depending on how you look at it) scaled the wall of Chicago’s City Council chambers on Thursday during a testimony by the official in charge of pest control.

Fleet-and-facilities commissioner David Reynolds was testifying at a budget hearing in City Hall, but was interrupted by an alderman’s observation that there was a large cockroach on one of the walls of the room they were in, according to the Associated Press.

“Commissioner, what is your annual budget for cockroach abatement?” the Chicago Tribune quoted alderman Brendan Reilly as asking, setting off a chorus of laughter among all the hearing’s attendees and an embarrassing few moments for Reynolds.

Reynolds, who had to call in a private extermination company right after the hearing ended, told reporters he was “mortified” when Reilly pointed out the large insect, its dark color in sharp contrast to the chamber’s white walls.

TIME ebola

Illinois Orders Mandatory Ebola Quarantine for Certain Travelers

An Office of Field Operations Officer conducts an interview with a passenger at Washington Dulles International Airport
An Office of Field Operations Officer conducts an interview with a passenger arriving from either Guinea, Sierra Leone, or Liberia at Washington Dulles International Airport on Oct. 16, 2014. Reuters

A 21-day quarantine is mandatory for anyone who had direct contact with an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia

People in Illinois who have had direct contact with an Ebola patient in certain African countries must now undergo a quarantine for 21 days.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed an order on Friday that affects medical workers and other “high-risk” travelers who have been around Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“This protective measure is too important to be voluntary,” he said in a statement. “While we have no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Illinois, we will continue to take every safeguard necessary to protect first responders, health care workers and the people of Illinois.”

Similar orders, which exceed federal recommendations, are in effect in New York and New Jersey for travelers landing in New York City-area airports, including Newark in New Jersey.

[Chicago Tribune]

TIME Food & Drink

Saturday Will Be the Best Day Ever if You Love Pizza (But Only if You Live in Chicago)

Getty Images

Domino's will offer $1 pies across the area to celebrate its 100th Chicago location

Great news: on Saturday, you can get a whole lot of Domino’s pizza for super-duper cheap. Sadly, though, this comes with a few caveats. First, this only applies if you will be in the Chicago area, and second, the deal only lasts from noon to 1:40 p.m.

The chain is offering one-topping medium pies for $1 to celebrate the grand opening of its 100th Chicago location, the Chicago Tribune reports. (That means each pizza costs 100 cents and the deal is available for just 100 minutes. Get it?) Oh, another caveat: there’s a limit of five per customer, but that feels pretty reasonable.

TIME Transportation

Cities Have Found a New Way to Take Your Money

Yellow Traffic Light
Getty Images

Watch your speed at those yellow lights

Correction appended, Oct. 15.

All yellow traffic lights are not created equal, it seems. Especially in Chicago.

Earlier this year, the city began issuing tickets to motorists who drove through yellow lights that turned red fractions of a second shorter than the three-second city minimum. The change was slight, but the effect for the cash-starved city was real: nearly $8 million from an additional 77,000 tickets, according to the city’s inspector general.

All of those $100 tickets were issued after cameras installed at intersections caught the drivers as they passed through. These systems, known as red light cameras, are an increasingly controversial tactic for policing roadways. Established in the name of public safety, critics contend the cameras have become little more than a way for municipalities to funnel money into their coffers.

“If the machine is set to catch more people and generate more revenue, then it does not really seem to be about safety but about revenue,” says Joseph Schofer, a professor of transportation at Northwestern University.

Chicago isn’t the first municipality to benefit from shorter yellow traffic lights. In 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation secretly reduced its policy on the length of yellow lights, likely bringing millions of dollars in additional revenue to the state.

There is no federal rule for how long a yellow light should be illuminated, but the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends three to six seconds. Nationwide, a minimum of three seconds is generally considered standard. John Bowman, a spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, which opposes the cameras, says the organization routinely gets calls from people saying they received a red light camera ticket, believing the yellow light was too short.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to get a public official on the record saying, ‘We shortened them to make more money,’” Bowman says. “But I think that clearly goes on.”

Red light cameras gained popularity in the 1990s after New York became the first U.S. city to install a network. The initial motivation was safety, says Hani Mahmassani, the director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. The hope was that cameras would deter drivers from running red lights if they knew it would lead to a ticket. But in the 2000s, as the popularity of the cameras grew, cities and the companies that manufactured, installed and helped operate the cameras adopted a revenue-sharing model. The more violations caught by the cameras, the more money the city and the businesses stood to make.

“That’s when it became a greed thing,” Mahmassani says.

By the end of the decade, red light camera networks were in hundreds of municipalities. Today, 499 towns and cities have adopted them, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While the potential for profit is clear, the public safety value of red light cameras is fuzzy. Studies on whether red light cameras actually enhance safety are mixed. Several studies conducted by IIHS, which supports the cameras, show that crashes have not only decreased in intersections that utilize the cameras but that vehicle-related deaths have declined in those cities as well. But other research has shown that the cameras actually increase rear-end collisions because they force drivers to stop more quickly over fear that they’ll run the light and get ticketed, causing tailing motorists to smack into them.

And many of the systems have had other problems. In New Jersey, 17,000 motorists never received tickets for running a red light, while in Chicago, a former city official and the former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems have been indicted as part of an alleged bribery scheme. There have also been reports of unexplained spikes in tickets given out by the system.

All of which has led to a growing backlash against the cameras. Red light cameras are currently banned in seven states, and others are considering outlawing them. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie says it’s unlikely he’ll extend the state’s red light cameras beyond their expiration date at the end of the year. In Ohio, state lawmakers are looking at banning them by requiring speeding or red light tickets to be handed out in person by officers. And in Chicago, the city said it will no longer ticket motorists who breeze through the shorter yellow. But it’s keeping the money from the ones it already issued.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the relationship between the length of Chicago’s yellow lights and the city’s ticketing policy. Chicago began issuing new tickets for traffic violations after the city started using a different red light camera vendor earlier this year.

MONEY Budgeting

Guess Which U.S. City Is the Most Expensive


Hint: It's not NYC.

On average, American households spend the largest share of their annual expenditures on housing. The average family spends $16,887 on housing per year, equating to 33% of the average household’s annual expenditures. But how much do those expenses vary from city to city, and which places are the most expensive?

Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report (link opens PDF) detailing Americans’ average annual expenditures on housing and related items. And contrary to popular belief, New York City is not the most expensive city to live in. Two U.S. cities have overtaken it.

A breakdown of housing costs

The BLS took a deep dive into all the costs of housing, rather than simply comparing the cost of rent or average mortgage payments. Their analysis also took into account utilities (electric, water, and natural gas), household furnishings and equipment (textiles, furniture, floor coverings, appliances, and the like), housekeeping supplies, and other household expenses. What they found was that average annual expenditures on housing were far higher in both Washington, D.C., and San Francisco than in New York.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data is current as of 2012, and housing costs in the District of Columbia and San Francisco have risen since then. In D.C., the rise in housing costs is being led by the redevelopment and gentrification of the downtown area, which in turn is being triggered by the high relative number of government and government-related jobs, particularly in the defense contracting sector. Baby boomers are also moving from the suburbs into the city.

In San Francisco, housing costs have always been high, but they’re spiking because of a confluence of factors. The continued boom in technology companies in Silicon Valley — most notably Apple, Google, and Facebook — means that a growing cadre of high-paid employees want to live in the area. Add in a longtime lack of housing development in the city, and you have a rise in housing prices that has become a contentious issue in the San Francisco Bay area as longtime renters are priced out of the city. TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler provides a great, in-depth piece on San Francisco’s housing problem.

The difference in annual housing costs between the two most expensive cities and the national average is a staggering $10,000. Excluding New York City, the difference between the two most expensive cities and other major U.S. metropolitan areas is over $5,000 annually. If you’re thinking of moving, it’s smart to compare costs carefully before moving to one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

National differences in housing cost

While the above data is just from major U.S. cities, we have other data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing the real value of housing dollars in each state compared with the national average.


You can see that generally, coastal states are more expensive than non-coastal states, as many people enjoy living near the ocean. You can also see that the Northeast on average is more expensive than the rest of the country except for California. These high costs, coupled with better weather and low to no income taxes, are why many retirees move south to Florida, Texas, etc.

If considering moving to a more expensive city, you should be sure the benefits will be worth the extra expense. For instance, while I pay a high cost of living to live in New York City, the quality of life that I get in the city makes it well worth it, in my opinion. While New York state is ranked poorly in terms of the happiest states in the U.S., New York City is ranked in the top quartile by happiness among U.S. cities, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The most important thing is to live in a place where you are happy. While the main determinants of happiness are the same for everyone, the specifics vary. Be sure that an increased cost of living comes with an increased quality of life.

TIME National Security

Chicago Teen Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS

The FBI intercepted him at O'Hare as he was allegedly on his way to join the militant group

A Chicago teenager was arrested at O’Hare International Airport over the weekend while allegedly attempting to go to Turkey to join the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), officials said Monday.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, was arrested by the FBI before he boarded a flight to Vienna on his way to Istanbul, and has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the Department of Justice. Khan is a U.S. citizen.

While he was at the airport, the FBI executed a search warrant at Khan’s family home and found handwritten documents expressing support for ISIS and a desire to fight along side the group, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court. The documents included travel plans, drawings of the ISIS flag and flags of other known terrorist organizations, and a page that included writing in Arabic that, using another name for ISIS, said: “Islamic State in Iraq and Levant. Here to stay. We are the lions of war [unintelligible.] My nation, the dawn has emerged.”

Law enforcement also found a letter written to Khan’s parents that appeared to explain his thinking. He told them not to contact the authorities, that he was intending to “migrate” to ISIS “now that it has been established,” and that he was upset that his taxes were being used to kill his “Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Khan was in federal court Monday and was ordered held at least until a detention hearing on Oct. 9, the Associated Press reports. If convicted of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, Khan could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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