Six Counties in 60 Seconds

Article excerpt

Cops accused of stealing cash:

Federal authorities have accused two Chicago police officers of stealing $5,200 in cash they thought belonged to a drug dealer but was actually part of an undercover FBI sting. The U.S. Attorney's office says police Sgt. Ronald Watts and patrol officer Kallatt Mohammed are charged with theft of government funds. They appeared in federal court Monday and were released on $10,000 unsecured bonds. The criminal complaint accuses 47-year-old Mohammed of taking a bag with the cash from a homeless man who was cooperating in the sting. The complaint says 48-year-old Watts later gave the man $400 for going along with the theft. A telephone number for a Ronald Watts didn't answer Monday. A directory-service message said Kallatt Mohammed's number was unpublished.

If convicted, they face a maximum 10-year prison term.

Amtrak files CN complaint:

Amtrak has filed a complaint against the Canadian National Railway over delays to its passenger trains caused by freight transportation. The complaint was filed with the federal Surface Transportation Board. It asks the board to investigate and make recommendations for improving the on-time performance of Amtrak trains operating on CN's tracks.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says CN's performance in dispatching Amtrak trains has been dismal.

There were nearly 4,100 instances where freight trains slowed two Amtrak routes last year -- the Chicago-New Orleans route and the Chicago-Carbondale route. Freight train delays were imposed on 99 percent of the Chicago-New Orleans trains that year. Canadian National Railway Co. spokesman Patrick Waldron says the railroad is disappointed Amtrak filed the complaint instead of continuing negotiations.

Quinn targets ethics reform:

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to change Illinois' constitution to allow voters to enact ethics reform through popular initiative and referendum. Quinn called for the passage of the so-called "Lincoln Amendment" on Sunday which would have been Abraham Lincoln's 203rd birthday. The Democrat says the amendment will give Illinois voters the power to directly implement stronger ethics laws and recall elected officials. Currently, voters can only propose by popular initiative amendments to the Illinois constitution that deal with structure and procedure of the General Assembly. The proposed amendment allows voters to directly impact ethics laws. It's sponsored by state Sen. Annazette Collins, who's a Chicago Democrat. Quinn says voters deserve the power to recall any elected official and enact ethical standards by referendum.

Mag Mile jewelry store robbed:

Authorities say robbers hit a jewelry store in the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. Chicago police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak says three robbers allegedly smashed a glass door of the Omega jewelry store on Michigan Avenue around 7:20 a.m. Monday and made off with jewelry. Authorities did not know how much was stolen. Kubiak says the three robbers then fled in a silver-colored car.

BC-IL -- NIU Shootings-Cole Hall, 1st Ld-Writethru, 131

Museum opens to public at NIU's Cole Hall

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) -- The public is getting its first look at a new museum at Northern Illinois University's Cole Hall.

The building was the site of a deadly 2008 shooting and reopened last month after four years. The building was given a $6 million renovation and has a new high-tech classroom, dozens of computer stations and the museum.

The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle ( reports that an open house at the Anthropology Museum was held Sunday.

NIU President John Peters says the building was named for an anthropologist.

University officials say the opening shows that something good can come out of something so tragic. …