Plans announced for full rehab of Wilson Red Line station

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn announced that the Wilson Red Line station is due for a renovation, with plans to fully update the Uptown travel hub. According to 46th ward Alderman James Cappleman‘s website release, work is slated to begin in 2012 with an estimated completion date of 2014.

Here’s the story from the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel found common ground Thursday, talking up an additional $646 million in state funding for work on the CTA Red Line, the system’s busiest train route.

The money will be spent largely on rebuilding the tracks on the southern part of the Red Line, where riders should see five minutes shaved off a trip from 95th Street to downtown when the track replacement is complete in 2015, CTA President Forrest Claypool said.

Stations at the Clark/Division stop and the Wilson stop will be completely rebuilt during the work, Claypool said. He said it’s possible those stations will need to be closed for construction. Several other stations will also receive more modest improvements.

The latest injection of state funding, which had been expected, means about $1 billion in state, federal and city money is being devoted to the Red Line rehab.

The backbone of the CTA train system needs more work, however. Another $2 billion to $4 billion is needed to overhaul most Red Line stations and track on the North Side and Evanston. Emanuel also made a campaign pledge to extend the Red Line south from 95th Street to 130th Street, which could cost $1.5 billion.

The long checklist of upgrades needed for city trains and roads and bridges is a big reason why Emanuel earmarked proceeds from a Chicago casino to infrastructure needs. But Quinn has said the major gambling expansion pending in Springfield is overstuffed, and has threatened to veto it, much to the mayor’s chagrin.

On Thursday, Emanuel touted the latest track and station improvements as a way to bring the line into the 21st Century.

“You can’t keep the city growing on a 20th Century infrastructure with a 21st Century economy,” Emanuel said at a news conference at the Red Line station east of U.S. Cellular Field at 35th Street.

Quinn championed the 2009 construction measure that’s the source of the state money.

“Public transportation is more important than ever to get people to work, to get people to school, to get people to shop, or wherever they want to go to have entertainment,” Quinn said.

– Nick Passarelli

Mouse droppings reportedly found in Rogers Park bakery

Caribbean American Bakery was closed by Chicago city inspectors Monday after they reportedly found mouse droppings throughout the building, including in the oven, WLS 890 AM reports.

Here is a portion of the WLS story:

City inspectors closed a bakery at the city’s northern border after hundreds of droppings were found throughout the business, including inside the ovens.

Dumpster Task Force inspectors visited the Caribbean American Bakery at 1539 W. Howard St. in Rogers Park on Monday to follow up on a complaint, which was confirmed by the finding of more than 500 mice droppings, a release from the city Dept. of Streets & Sanitation said.

Droppings were found on the front selling counter, along the ledge inside the oven, under the steam table, on shelves containing 50-pound bags of flour and even on the cutting board and counter in an area where bread was sliced, the release said.

Tickets were issued for the critical violations of inadequate pest control and for failing to protect food contact surfaces from contamination, the release said. The bakery was also cited for the serious violation of failing to have a certified food service manager on site during food preparation.

“Management at the Caribbean American Bakery failed to adequately address their problems with mice and that put their customers at risk,” Josie Cruz, deputy commissioner of Streets & San, said in the release. “Before they can reopen they will have to revamp their housekeeping and pest control programs, clean and pest-proof their bakery, and then seek and pass a tough re-inspection.”

New Loyola recruits at Letter of Intent Day party

As the basketball season is just getting underway, Loyola University Chicago’s coaching staff has been actively recruiting. Sponsoring a National Letter of Intent Day Party On November 9, they will introduce new Rambler signees. The event is open to the public, free and there will be food.

Here’s the story from LoyolaRamblers:

Nov. 4, 2011

CHICAGO – The Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball program will be hosting a National Letter of Intent Day party on Wednesday, November 9 at 5:30 p.m., in the media room of The Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics. Loyola head coach Porter Moser, who along with his coaching staff, has been hitting the recruiting trail with full force since taking over the reins of the program in April, will announce his signees that afternoon.

Video highlights of Loyola’s recruits for the 2012-13 basketball season will be shown, and Moser will speak about the Ramblers’ new recruits. Admission to the event is free and open to Loyola students, faculty, staff and the general public. Free Pete’s Pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

Loyola officially opens the 2011-12 campaign when it travels downstate to face Big Ten rival Illinois on November 11.

– Marie Janzen