Author Archives: Elvir Mujkanovic

Six Injured in West Rogers Park Ambulance Crash

Six people, including two Chicago Fire Department paramedics and a police officer, were injured early Tuesday morning when a car allegedly ran a stop sign and collided with an ambulance.

The ambulance, which was transporting a patient and had its emergency lights activated, was headed south on Richmond when a sport utility vehicle, heading west on Granville, failed to stop, according to Chicago Police news affairs.

The driver of the ambulance was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, with injuries described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “serious.” A paramedic and a police officer, who were in the back of the ambulance, were described as suffering from non-life-threatening injuries, according to Chicago police. The patient who was being transported was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital with injuries described as “serious,” police said.

The driver and passenger of the SUV were also transported to the Illinois Masonic Hospital with non-life threatening injuries at the time of the incident, police said.

The driver of the SUV, whose name had not yet been released Tuesday afternoon, was cited for, among other things, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an uninsured motor vehicle, and failure to obey a stop sign, Chicago police said.

The accident is still under investigation, police said.


New Vending Machine Options Coming to CTA Red Line

Red Line riders will get a variety of new vending machine options, thanks to a new pilot program announced by the Chicago Transit Authority Tuesday.

Portable charging, fresh organic food, and a photo booth will be among the options installed this Spring along the Red Line and at other stops.

“It has been my goal since day one to further enhance the transit rider experience and these pilots keep CTA on the cutting-edge of offering transit riders unique and practical services as part of any trip on our system,” said CTA President Carter

MobileQubes vending machines will dispense battery charging packs for iPhones and other mobile devices, either for sale or for rent. Rentals will charge a one-time $4.99 fee. with a 99-cent perday charge after that. The machines will be installed at 26 CTA stations, mostly along the Red Line.

Farmer’s Fridge is a Chicago-based healthy food startup. It offers fresh, ready-to-eat snacks and meals. Four of their machines will be installed, including at the Grand and Fullerton stops on the Red Line. Other machines will be at Indiana on the Green Line, and Damen on the Pink Line.

Another new vending machine will be a DNP Photo Booth at the Chicago station on the Red Line. It will dispense photos that could be used for recreational, travel, and business uses, including passport and ID photos. 

All three vendors will cover the costs of installation and upkeep, according to a statement from the CTA.

It’s All Musicals This Month As Edge Theater Presents Annual Festival

If you’re a fan of musicals, Edge Theater is the place to be this month.

Nine shows in all will take the stage at the theater, at 5451 N. Broadway, part of its fifth annual Chicago Musical Theater Festival.

OH HI JOHNNY: The Roomsical, kicks off the month. Remaining shows are Feb. 14, 17 and 23. It’s described as “unauthorized musical parody” of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, the Citizen Kane of bad movies,” according to the Edge Theater’s website.

Showings of An Artist and the Ember: A Self-Love Story, are also underway. Remaining shows are Feb. 17, 19, and 22. It’s billed as the story of Eve, a composer who struggles with anxiety and wishes to create a beautiful piece of work, but just can’t.

My Dear Watson, a Sherlock Holmes musical, has shows remaining Feb. 15, 20, and 23. The dramatic musical revolves around Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s many adventures, but also explores their friendship and love for one another through the perspective of  Watson, according to the Edge Theater’s website.

Then there is Unison, with remaining shows Feb. 15, 21, 23. It is described as a story that tells the tale of a tight-knit high school wind ensemble that struggles to find its groove after the infection of senioritis, with a mixing pot of rehearsal preparation, partying, essays, and personal problems. They’ll need to pull through together if they want any chance at sticking to post-graduation plans that won’t lead to the demise of the group’s friendship.

On Feb. 14, 16, 17, 19, 23, there will be a showing of INCREDIBLE SIX THOUSAND-FOOT LADDER TO HEAVEN: A New Musical Fairy Tale. After the passing of Hadley Breaker’s father, many adults in her life were quick to offer their condolences and offered some not-so-pleasant piece of advice: Move on. Instead, Hadley Breaker and her friend, Spider, decide to build a six thousand-foot ladder to meet Hadley Breaker’s father in Heaven.

On Feb 6, 10, 16, 22, 24, there will be showings Cancerman, about a man with cancer wishes to reconnect with his granddaughter by writing a song, before it’s too late.

On Feb 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24, there will be showings of Moonshiner: A Musical Fabulism. Set in Chicago during the 1950s, Selene Orb goes to private eye detective Nicodemus Silver to try to find out where her missing husband has gone. 

On Feb. 13, 17, 22, there will be showings of Lucky: A Musical. It is described as a story about a girl whose whole understanding of the universe is based off of a copy of “The Care and Keeping of You,” a book given to her by her absent mother. Upon entering college, she realizes that every problem that she faces can’t be solved by her trusted book.

Finally, Brooke Astor’s Last Affair takes the stage Feb. 13, 16, and 20. Based on the true story of Brooke Astor, it tells the tale of her rise and fall in New York City life.

If you want to learn more about the festival, go to to learn more.

Man Found Unresponsive On CTA Bus in Rogers Park Dies

Police say foul play is not suspected in the death of a 52-year-old man, found unconscious on a CTA bus in Rogers Park at around noon Wednesday.

A CTA spokesperson said the driver of the 147 bus found the man in his bus after it pulled into the Howard terminal at the end of its run. Police and paramedics were notified, and the man was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead.

A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said there are no signs of foul play. The identity of the man has not been released.


Flatts and Sharpe Offers Free Lessons to Federal Workers’ Kids

Flatts and Sharpe Music Company owner Chris Bell was inspired when she saw that St. Gertrude’s food pantry was offering help to federal workers who are not being paid during the government shutdown.

“They are just another small neighborhood organization that is doing something, and I thought, we’re a small neighborhood organization, we should do something too,” she said.

Bell will offer free lessons for the month of February to children of anyone affected by the shutdown.

“There’s no reason that children should suffer,” she said.

Flatts and Sharpe has about 600 music students between their Rogers Park (6749 N. Sheridan) and Norwood Park locations, Bell said. So far only four students have applied for the free lessons. But that doesn’t mean the response was small.

“For every one person who requested help, there were about 30 people who replied that they would donate for scholarship. I thought that was so great,” said Bell.

Government workers are expected to be paid for the time they miss from the shutdown. But Bell said she won’t ask them to pay for the free lessons.

“No way. They are going to have enough catch-up on their hands as it is,” she said.

Bell noted that one of her students, a Rogers Park resident, has both parents working for the federal government. Nationally, about 800,000 workers are not being paid during the shutdown. Many of them, including TSA officers and air traffic controllers, are still required to work.

Bell said Flatts and Sharpe offers lessons from a wide variety of instruments.

“Everything except bagpipes and the harp,” she said with a laugh.

Community Efforts Secure New Roof For Kilmer Elementary School

Kilmer Elementary School in Rogers Park has had water damage within the school’s walls and roof for years.

Now, thanks to efforts from parents and school officials, plans have been unveiled to replace the roof and fix the outside facade of the school over the next two years for $5-10 million.

“This good news is due in no small measure to the dogged determination of Kilmer Principal Jean Papagianis, who is a fierce advocate for her school, and Kilmer’s local school council, who kept the need for a new roof front and center,” Ald. Joe Moore (49th) wrote in a statement on his website.

Betsy Elich Vandercook and Stefanie Elliot Cirillo have been fighting for Kilmer School for years, and they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

“Stuff is literally falling out of the walls,” Vandercook said in an interview last week.

Vandercook and Cirillo are two of four Kilmer school board members who spoke on behalf of the school at a Chicago Board of Education meeting. They also argued for the Board to help plug funds that had been taken from Kilmer in earlier budgets.

“We were really hopeful in this huge budget there would be something for our schools here and there was nothing, there was nothing in the budget,” said Cirillo.

Community members put together a petition on Facebook, hoping to show the Board of Education how much the neighborhood cares about its local school.

“We really give credit to this petition,” Cirillo said. “Someone was looking through Facebook and saw this… we’re not going to take this petition down.”

The petition garnered well over 1,200 online ‘signatures,’ to go with more than 150 physical signatures, Cirillo said.


A Comic Twist on Halloween for RogersEdge Trick-or-Treaters

Rogers Park’s own Third Coast Comics is getting in the Halloween Spirit once again, offering free comics for trick-or-treaters.

The shop, located at 6443 N. Sheridan, is participating in Halloween Comic Fest this Saturday, Oct. 27, from 12-4 p.m.

Owner Terry Gant said this is the sixth year his store has participated.

“Kids are going to be trick-or-treating, getting candy anyways so it’s a way to get comic books in the hands of kids that are maybe Halloween themed or a little on the spookier side,” Gant said.

There isn’t a specified age limit for the event, according to Gant.

“If you’re old enough to trick or treat, you’re probably in the right age group for the comics we’re giving away,” Gant said. “Everything we give away is pretty much going to be age-appropriate.”

Halloween Comic Fest is a national promotion, and Gant said other Chicago-area comic book shops will be participating.

You can find out more about the event here.



Lyft Offering Discounts To Rogers Parkers Uneasy About Two Recent Murders

The ride-hailing platform Lyft is offering half-off coupons for rides within Rogers Park, responding to neighborhood concerns about two recent killings police believe were carried out by the same person.

Ald. Joe Moore announced the program Wednesday, after several local business owners say they came up with the idea.

Lyft will provide discount cards good for half off two rides within the Rogers Park Community, Moore said. The coupons can be picked up at his office, at 7356 N. Greenview Ave.. Or they can be mailed to residents, he said.

“Even if you don’t avail yourself of Lyft’s offer, I do hope you support our local businesses this month,” Moore said in a statement.  “Call a friend or neighbor and go out shopping or dining together in Rogers Park.”

The recent homicides, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, have caused concern among neighborhood residents, who packed a police meeting last week. Erik Archambeault, owner of Rogers Park Social (6920 N. Glenwood Ave.), said neighborhood businesses have been hurt. Mostly, though, he said he and some other local business owners were looking for a way to help neighbors feel safer.

“It wasn’t [about] the decline in business,” he said. “We were all afraid to walk to work.” Archambeault said.

Archambeault said the business owners originally talked to Uber. And Moore said that company may still offer a similar coupon.

“Lyft, to their credit stepped up to the plate and agreed to help. Uber, the other major ride share company, has agreed to consider it, but is still working out some technical glitches,” Moore said in his statement.



Edgewater Pets to Paw-rade this Weekend

Edgewater’s Edgefest will be holding its 2nd annual Pet Parade on Saturday, August 4 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This event will take place on the south stage at Ardmore and Broadway.

The cost to register is $10 a pet for the parade. Out of the ten, five of which will go to Care for Real.

Participants and their furry friends can win awards such as best costume, best trick, smallest or biggest pet and/or the pet and owner look-alike contest.

Participants can register online at by August 3, or in person on August 4.

Katrina Balog, executive director of Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, said there are no restrictions as to how many pets can be entered by a participant and organizers are expecting about 100 attendees this year.

“[There are] no exclusion for pets. Owners know their pets best. They should only bring their pet if they will do ok in a crowd,” Balog said. “We will have a band leading the parade, so there will be some noise as well.”

She added, “Care for Real’s board chair will be a judge for the contests after the parade.”

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