News Roundup: Austin residents worried about police scale back

Austin residents expressed concern that cuts to the Chicago Alternative Police Strategy program may leave the neighborhood even more vulnerable to crime at a Beat 1524 meeting  in September. In an area with more than 1,000 arrests a month, community members will have to assume some of the community policing duties to prevent the crime rate from jumping.

Also in the news...

  • The faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago is pressuring the school's Board of Trustees to review its decision on denying faculty member Bill Ayers emeritus status. Professor Elliott Kaufman, who is leading the effort to petition the vote, claims that the board conflated routine bureaucracy with personal emotions when chairman Christopher Kennedy--the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy--informed his colleagues he would not vote for a man who dedicated a book to his father's assassin. The Senate Executive Committee slated the issue for discussion next week.

  • The City of Chicago gave a $1.6 million subcontract to a plumbing company owned by Virginia Reyes, the sister of Richard M. Daley's former patronage chief. Toltec Plumbing says its lucrative water meter upgrade deal had nothing to do with Reyes' brother, Victor.
  • Rod Blagojevich's lawyers, Sam Adam Sr. and Sam Adam Jr., opted out of defending their client in his next trial, writing in a court filing that public funds could not cover the expenses of their desired seven-lawyer team. The two lawyers likely to remain, Aaron Goldstein and Shelly Sorosky, requested that Judge James Zagel permit them to use the assistance of two paralegals for the overwhelmingly complex case.

    --Compiled by Ryan Jacobs

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