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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pilot reported fuel problem before crash | VIDEO
A medical transport plane crashed in north suburban Riverwoods, killing three people -- the pilot, the patient and the patient's wife.

Another John Wayne Gacy victim identified | VIDEO
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his office has identified a previously unknown victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy as 19-year-old William George Bundy.
'Turnarounds' proposed for 10 Chicago schools
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city public school officials say they want to fire the staffs of 10 underachieving schools in hopes of improving student performance.
Chicago firefighter, son accused in attack | VIDEO
A Chicago firefighter and his son are accused of punching a 20-year-old Bridgeport man and taking his wallet.
High winds close bike path, delay flights | VIDEO
High winds delayed some flights in and out of O'Hare Airport Tuesday morning and closed the bike path along the lakefront on the North Side.
Evanston decriminalizes small amounts of pot
The Evanston city council has voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The vote was unanimous.


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Windy with occasional rain and drizzle

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American Airlines files for Ch. 11 protection The parent company of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, seeking relief from crushing debt caused by high fuel prices and expensive labor contracts that its competitors shed years ago.

Holiday Hors D'oeuvres Elaina Vazquez, executive chef of luxury catering company Boutique Bites, shares several appetizer recipes that are easy to cook, delicious, and sure to impress guests during upcoming festivities.

Holiday Hors D'oeuvres: Mac and Cheese Bites
Holiday Hors D'oeuvres: Goat-Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Holiday Hors D'oeuvres: Potato Leek Soup with Cheddar Crisp and Bacon
Holiday Hors D'oeuvres: Shrimp Tempura Lollipops


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Michael Jackson’s Doctor Conrad Murray Sentenced to Four Years in Jail | Amplifier (NEW) - Yahoo! Music

Michael Jackson’s Doctor Conrad Murray Sentenced to Four Years in Jail | Amplifier (NEW) - Yahoo! Music:

Michael Jackson’s Doctor Conrad Murray Sentenced to Four Years in Jail

Dr. Conrad Murray/CNN.com

Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, was sentenced to four years imprisonment, the maximum punishment the judge could deliver. The sentencing came nearly three weeks after a jury found Murray guilty of administering Jackson with a fatal dose of the powerful sedative Propofol on June 25, 2009. "Some may feel that this was a medical malpractice case. It wasn't. And this jury found that Conrad Murray, with criminal negligence, caused the death of Michael Jackson," Judge Michael Pastor said before revealing the sentence. "The fact is, Michael Jackson died because of the actions of, and the failures to perform legal duties on the part of, Conrad Murray."

The judge also admonished Murray for his "horrific violation of trust" in treating Jackson. The defense was seeking a sentence that included probation but no jail time, but given the severity of the crime and the world-famous victim, the judge sided with the prosecution in delivering Murray his punishment. In addition to the sentence, Murray was also ordered to pay Jackson's children a restitution estimated to be in the amount of $100 million, a sum that combines the cost of Michael's funeral arrangements, plus the lost wages and earnings the singer didn't collect because he died before his This Is It concerts began. The exact restitution, however, will be decided on a later court date.

While Jackson's family members did not address the court, they collectively wrote up a statement, which family spokesman Brian Panish read to the judge. "There's no way to adequately describe the loss of our beloved father, son, brother, and friend," Panish said on behalf of the Jacksons. "As Michael's parents, we never could have imagined that we would live to witness his passing; it is simply against the natural order of things. As his brothers and sisters, we won't be able to laugh, hold, or perform again with our brother Michael. And as his children, we will grow up without our father, our best friend, our playmate, and our dad."

"We are not here to seek revenge, there is nothing you can do today to bring Michael back," Panish continued. "We respectfully request that you impose a sentence that reminds physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder and cast aside their Hippocratic oath to do no harm. As we all know, doing so has devastating results… That is all that we can ask for as a family, and that is all that we can ask for here."

With a sentence of merely probation a possible outcome, prosecutor David Walgren next took the podium to convince the court why Murray deserved four years behind bars. Walgren spoke of how the "careless and reckless behavior by Conrad Murray continued for two months before the death of Michael Jackson at the hands of Conrad Murray." He added that Jackson's death was a "direct result" of Murray's actions, and that the doctor was constantly was playing a game of "Russian roulette" with Jackson's life every time he administered sedatives to the singer. Walgren also accused Murray of trying to cover up his crime and lying to investigators.

In addition to the plea for an appropriate sentence, the prosecution also asked the court to make Murray pay an astounding $100 million restitution to the Jackson family. Even worse than the jail time and the restitution Murray will never be able to pay, however, is the fact that the doctor will inevitably have his medical license universally revoked, ensuring that he never treat another patient again and also crippling his financial means.

The defense, meanwhile, called no one to attest for Murray's character, and the doctor himself declined to speak on his own behalf to plead for a lighter sentence. Lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff made a brief statement to lobby for probation, since Murray is a first-time offender with six children and patients that depend on him.

"We do not disagree with the prosecution that this is a tragedy, and what we lost with Michael Jackson and what his children lost certainly demands punishment. I do wonder, though, to what extent the court considers the entirety of a man's book of life, as opposed to just one chapter. The two months Dr. Murray was treating Michael Jackson, he did so regrettably. He shouldn't have done it." Chernoff also called Jackson a "drug seeker," and said his client, a 58-year-old cardiologist who was born "dirt poor" in the Caribbean, was lured by the King of Pop and the promise of wealth.

However, the judge was unaffected by Chernoff's statements and proceeded to eviscerate Murray's reputation in his critical and moving 15-minute decision. Pastor also condemned Murray for recording an audio tape of a weakened, drugged-out Jackson. "It was designed to tape his patient surreptitiously at that patient's most vulnerable point," the judge said. Pastor also explained why -- even though Murray was eligible for probation -- he was handing the doctor a jail sentence: Throughout the trial, Murray has shown "absolutely no remorse." Pastor had been an interesting, colorful presence throughout Murray's trial with his quirky requests to witnesses and his clashes with the defense, but his delivery of the sentence was both a magnificent encore and a stirring epilogue to this long ordeal for the Jackson family and Michael's fans.

From the onset, Murray and his defense team asked the judge to ban the live television cameras in the courtroom during the sentencing process, since the testimony would threaten the "privacy interest of the defendant." However, Judge Pastor cited Murray's controversial MSNBC documentary as a reason to deny Murray's request, adding that there is a "public interest" to Murray's fate. It's no surprise why Murray wanted to cameras off, though: The Jackson family statement, Walgren, and especially Pastor further permanently tarnished Murray's reputation, which is something he won't escape even after his sentence expires.

As The Amp previously reported, despite the judge's harsh sentence, Murray will not spend any time in a federal penitentiary, thanks to overcrowding in the California penal system. Instead, since Murray was convicted of a non-violent felony, he'll instead be transferred to a county jail, where sentences are routinely reduced. For example, there's every instance where Lindsay Lohan is sentenced to spend 30 days in a county lockup and instead goes free after six hours.

Additionally, because of the overcrowding, a new California law dictates that "low-risk" convicts charged with a lesser felony only have to serve half their sentence behind bars, and the other half on probation. For now, though, Jackson's family and fans can take small solace in Murray receiving a max sentence.

Morning 10: American bankruptcy | Maggie Daley laid to rest | Schools to close

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
BREAKING: American Airlines parent company AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection this morning in an effort to reduce labor costs and its heavy debt load. American says it plans to operate normally through the bankruptcy process. Read more at the New York Times
Chicago Public Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard is expected to announce the closing and restructuring of 10 public schools, a process that will allow students at the eight grade schools and two high schools to continue attending while the school staffs are completely changed. The underperforming schools, all on the South and West sides, will be eligible for millions of dollars in funding. The teachers union is not happy. Read more in Greg Hinz's blog

--A look at the 10 schools targeted for the overhaul. Read more at the Chicago Tribune
Maggie Daley often said, ''The act of caring was an overlooked virtue,'' said her son, Patrick Daley. Chicago's former first lady, Mrs. Daley, who reminded her children to "love others less fortunate,'' was laid to rest Monday after a funeral Mass at Old Saint Patrick's Church that drew hundreds of mourners, including Vice President Joseph Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama. Read more in Shia Kapos' blog

--Sneed: Who was Maggie Daley, really? Read more in the Sun-Times

--Brown: "She revealed herself to Chicagoans gradually and mostly at moments of her own choosing.'' Read more in the Sun-Times

--Maggie Daley's unfinished legacy: Northerly Island Read more in Greg Hinz's blog

--Watch "Chicago Tonight's'' coverage of the funeral. See more at WTTW
A House panel passed a bill to provide tax relief for the city's exchanges and Sears Holdings that officials say is crucial to keep the headquarters here. A full House vote is expected Tuesday. Read more in Greg Hinz's blog

--Deal struck to save Tinley Park mental health facility. Read more at the Sun-Times
Roughly $200 million in customer funds gone missing from MF Global surfaces in Britain, DealBook reports. Read more here

--Facebook is expected to raise $10 billion in an IPO, valuing the social media giant at roughly $100 billion. Read more at Bloomberg

--Groupon shares continued their decline on Monday even as the broader markets rose. Read more at Crain's
The private group developing the FutureGen 2.0 "clean-coal'' project confirmed that the costs of converting an oil-fired power plant had skyrocketed and at the same time, a St. Louis-based partner is pulling out of the project. Read more at Crain's
Sweeney: "Like Black Friday before it, this year's Cyber Monday is shaping up to be one for the record books.'' Read more in Brigid's blog
Scott DeGraff, who opened hotspots Drink Chicago in 1992 and N9NE Steakhouse in 2000, was found dead in Aspen of an apparent suicide, the Sun-Times reports. Read more here
Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh is considering running for re-election in the Eighth District, heading off a potential battle with congressman Randy Hultgren in the newly redrawn 14th District, the Daily Herald reports. Read more here
Contrary to what is sometimes portrayed, Chicago's startup community is not made up of all white guys. Read more at Crain's
Jim Kirk is chief of editorial operations for Crain's Chicago Business. You can reach him at jkirk@crain.com and follow him on Twitter: @kirkjim12.


Greg Hinz on Politics

CPS to overhaul 10 'worst performing' schools; union protests

Shia Kapos Takes Names

Maggie Daley remembered for her caring work and passion

Ann Dwyer on Entrepreneurs

Training employees to think globally

Brigid Sweeney on Retail

Cyber Monday projected to generate a record $1.2 billion

Ed Sherman on Sports

VIDEO: Big Ten's Delany on why the time is right for title game


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Tuesday's Daily Brief

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Arianna Huffington: Mitt Romney's brazenly dishonest ad is far from the garden-variety truth stretching we're used to in political campaigns. It is so breathtakingly cynical it should cause us to question whether a candidate that would put it forth is fit for any public office -- let alone the presidency. Along with being deceitful, the ad is also a challenge to the media. It's like when a toddler looks right at you and slowly and deliberately spills a glass of milk. The child wants to see the reaction. It's a test of boundaries. If there's no reaction, then the message is that it's okay. That Mitt Romney hasn't been forced to apologize for this ad, that he hasn't been forced to fire the team responsible for it, isn't just a failure of Romney's -- it's a failure of our media culture.
Facebook Said To Ready Biggest Announcement Ever
Students Storm British Embassy In Tehran
American Airlines Files For Bankruptcy
Cain Accuser Speaks Out
Democrats Propose Tax Cut For Middle Class, New Tax For Millionaires
Lorelei Kelly: Dumb by Design: Gingrich's Lobotomy of Congress and Today's Dysfunction
In January, 1995, Newt Gingrich pushed through a bill that wiped out the shared system of expert knowledge and analysis inside Congress. The bill made Congress dumb -- on purpose. And now, today, we're feeling the effects more than ever.
Robert Reich: Restore the Basic Bargain
Corporate profits are up right now largely because pay is down and companies aren't hiring. This is a losing game even for corporations over the long term. Without enough American consumers, their profitable days are numbered.
Cheryl Forberg, RD: How to Get Back On Track After an Indulgent Long Weekend
Overdo the holiday? Don't wait until January 1 to get back on track -- climb back on the wagon today! It's so easy to let one holiday derail you with a huge meal, a long weekend and not enough exercise.
David Wild: "Blame It On Cain": A Playlist for Herman and Ginger
I do not know if Herman Cain ever cheated with Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White. But this much I do know: the worse the personal behavior, the better the song.
David Borgenicht: 7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From 'Star Trek'
I would say there are seven life lessons I learned from "Star Trek" that I take with me to this day. These are lessons I hope to pass along to my own children someday--but for now, I will share them with the interweb.