In Other News

By The Columbia Chronicle

City plans ‘mini-Looptopias’

Looptopia, the night-long celebration of dancing, nightclubbing and street theater is changing. Instead of a one-night celebration, the Chicago Loop Alliance will host five mini-Looptopias on the third Thursday of each month from May through September, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The Thursday events will take place at various venues across Chicago including the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., the Wit Hotel, 201 N. State St.;the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive; and the Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive.

Moment of silence ruled unconstitutional

On Jan. 22 a federal judge has ruled that Illinois’ law requiring a moment of silence in public schools is unconstitutional, citing it crosses the line separating church and state, according to The Associated Press. Robert Sherman, a talk show host and outspoken atheist, and his daughter, a high school student, filed a lawsuit challenging the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. The act allows students to reflect on the day’s activities rather than pray, but the judge agreed with critics who said the act is a thinly disguised effort to bring religion into schools. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reviewing the decision and had no comment on if she would appeal the ruling.

Alderman arrested on DUI charges

Ald. Sharon Dixon (24th Ward) was arrested on drunken driving charges Jan. 21, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Dixon said she was not drunk, and the officers only arrested her because she was going to write them up for mistreating her. Dixon also told the Chicago Sun-Times she did not use the bathroom once in the seven hours she was held at a North Side police station, and that proved she was not intoxicated. Arrest reports from the incident say Dixon was the one who yelled at officers and failed a field sobriety test. Dixon has been charged with driving under the influence, obstructing a police officer, obstruction of traffic and operating a vehicle without insurance.

Patricia Blagojevich fired

Illinois first lady Patricia Blagojevich has been fired from her job as a fundraiser for a Chicago homeless agency, according to the Chicago Tribune. The board of the Chicago Christian Industrial League exercised the termination clause in her contract on Jan. 20. Mary Shaver, executive director, confirmed the firing, but would not discuss the reasons for it. This comes as the state Senate prepares an impeachment trial that could remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office. Patricia Blagojevich, whose voice can be heard in the background in several of the governor’s tapped phone conversations, is still under investigation as part of the federal probe into the alleged pay-to-play schemes.