Tag Archives: keith conrad

National Voter Registration Day

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 has been named National Voter Registration Day!

From the website NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org:

In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register. In 2016, we want to make sure no one is left out. On September 27, 2016, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities–allowing us to reach tens of thousands of voters who we could not reach otherwise.

What It Means

  • Volunteers at transportation hubs, retail stores, sporting events, and concerts.
  • Technology to help eligible voters find registration drives nearby and register to vote online.
  • A network of grassroots, local organizations engaged in their own communities.
  • Tens of thousands of voters registering to vote online and offline in a single day.


What It Will Accomplish

  • Register Voters: A network of a thousand organizations operating on the ground and through social media will register tens of thousands of voters in the field and tens of thousands more online while also receiving pledges to vote from those already registered.
  • Mobilize Volunteers: By partnering with nonprofits not usually engaged in voter registration drives, and amplifying existing drives through event-based recruitment and cultural outreach, National Voter Registration Day will bring together thousands of volunteers across the nation to register voters.
  • Educate Eligible Voters: Millions of voters need to register and re-register every year. By utilizing new technology and leveraging partners, we’ll educate more Americans than ever before, bringing new voters into the fold.
  • Change the Conversation: National Voter Registration Day will be an opportunity to put our differences aside and celebrate the rights that unite us as Americans; democracy.

National Voter Registration Day is set for the fourth Tuesday of September by resolution of the National Association of Secretaries of State.


REGISTER TO VOTE HERE: National Voter Registration Day

Jury Awards Over $250K To Former Dollar General Cashier Who Drank Orange Juice

Linda K. Atkins worked at a Dollar General store in Tennessee, that was until she was fired for drinking a bottle of orange juice to treat her diabetic condition while on her shift.

Atkins felt a hypoglycemic attack immanently approaching and therefore drank the store’s orange juice to stop the attack. According to the lawsuit, “To avoid leaving the cash register unattended, and for the security of the stores, Ms. Atkins grabbed a bottle of orange juice from the cooler and consumed it to stabilize her blood sugar.”

Atkins had paid for the bottle of OJ immediately after consumption. A year later she subsequently had another approaching attack and did the same. Again, paying for the product she used. She then asked management permission to keep juice near the register in case another episode were to happen. She was denied and fired for violating the store’s “grazing” policy against consuming in-store products before purchasing them.

Atkins sued the company claiming the store discriminated against her in regards to the Americans with Disabilities act. A jury sided with the woman’s pain and suffering, awarding her $277,000.

WLS-AM’s own Big John Howell suffers from the same condition, but typically will blame his ‘disability’ whenever he finds himself in trouble with station management.

Here it all here on John and Ray in 60-Minutes:

Weekend A-Jenda: July 14th – 17th

This weekend is possibly the most popular of the summer for festivals. Here are just about all of them in the city and suburbs!

Are you going? Since I can’t get to every single one of these events, tag @trafficjamjen in your pictures & I will retweet them! –Jen

Click Here for Weekend Traffic Projects
Click Here for Weekend CTA Travel Alerts


Where to find Pokemon!
Where to find Pokemon!


PokemonGO was introduced on Wednesday, July 6, and since has taken over cities across the world with players of all age running around searching for virtual cartoon characters.
The map above was created by a PokemonGO user, and shared on Reddit. Check it out!

Southport Art Festival

Date: Saturday, July 16 – Sunday, July 17
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Lakeview

Traffic Alert: Southport at Waveland will be closed to traffic.

The festival will showcase the work of more than 75 of the city’s most diverse artists who work in a variety of mediums, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, jewelry, sculpture, photography, glass and mixed media. Attendees can look forward to seeing Chicago-based standout artists, edgy photographers and abstract painters. In addition to supporting the arts and viewing incredible artwork that is available for purchase, festival guests also will have the opportunity, through live art demonstrations and booth chats to speak one-on-one with the artists.

Restaurants in the Southport Corridor area will be open for business, serving up summer favorites.

BenFest 2016

Date: Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17
Time: Friday, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: St. Benedict Parish, Northcenter

Info from the BenFest website: This year’s BenFest has something for every age! Come join us for three days of family fun including great bands, cuisine from local restaurants, activities for the kids and a chance to win some great prizes. This year’s Grand Prize Drawing is a cash prize for $10,000.

Get started supporting BenFest 2016 now! Become a sponsor, volunteer or purchase your entry and activity wristbands ahead of time through advanced purchasing (new this year). Click here to get started!

St. Benedict Parish BenFest is conveniently located on the northside of Chicago in the North Center neighborhood and can be reached via CTA buses (Irving Park or Western Avenue Routes) and the Brown Line El.

The Main Entrance to BenFest is located at 2215 West Irving Park Road. There are also additional entrances located at the 3900 blocks of North Bell Street and Leavitt Street.

Travel Alert: Leavitt closed south of Irving Park Road

Windy City Smokeout

Date: Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17
Time: Friday – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday – 12:00 p.m.
Sunday – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Avenue and Chicago River

Line up includes Old Dominion, Chase Rice, Billy Currington, Frankie Ballard, Corey Smith, Big & Rich with special guest Cowboy Troy, Phil Vassar, Jessie James Decker, Whiskey Myers, Walker Country and Whiskey Jam perform at the annual fest, which also features beer and barbecue vendors.
Read more here!

Celebrate Clark Street World Music Festival

Date: Saturday, July 16 – Sunday, July 17
Time: Noon each day, Saturday 11:00 p.m. close, Sunday 10:00 p.m.
Location: Rogers Park

This festival is one of the last independent street festivals in Chicago that is locally managed and organized by a community organization – Rogers Park Business Alliance.

The festival reflects the unique diversity in Rogers Park by presenting music from all four corners of the world encouraging audiences to dance and experience local, national and touring bands.

The festival provides two live music stages, food from local restaurants, beer, wine and micheladas from local bars, interactive entertainment throughout the festival area, an Art Lot, kids’ activities and especially a meeting space for the community. This information and more on their website!

Traffic Alert: Clark Street will be closed all weekend between Morse and Estes

Laid Back Festival

Date: Saturday, July 16
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island


It’s A Celebration of Music & Food, featuring Gregg Allman, Peter Frampton, Blackberry Smoke, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band and more!

Click here for tickets!

Chicago Open Air

Date: Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17
Time: Friday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Toyota Park


It’s that time of year again! Chicago Open Air is right around the corner! It’s July 15th through July 17th at Toyota Park. You don’t want to miss this three day festival of rock, craft beer, and man food. Get your tickets before they sell-out!

Other Events

from Festing.com

Taste of Park Ridge 07/14/2016 Park Ridge, IL
Concerts in the Park, Palos Hills 07/14/2016 Palos Heights, IL
Antioch Taste of Summer 07/14/2016 Antioch, IL
Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel 07/14/2016 Melrose Park, IL
Summer Celebration, Vernon Hills 07/14/2016 Vernon Hills, IL
Braidwood Summerfest 07/14/2016 Braidwood, IL
Liberty Arts Festival 07/14/2016 Morris, IL
Itasca Fest 07/14/2016 Itasca, IL
Liberty Arts Festival 07/14/2016 Morris, IL
Plainfield Fest 07/15/2016 Plainfield, IL
Irish Fest 07/15/2016 Arlington Heights, IL
Forest Park Music Fest 07/15/2016 Forest Park, IL
Mchenry fiesta days 07/15/2016 Mchenry, IL
BBQ Block Party, Westchester 07/15/2016 Westchester, IL
Alpine fest 07/15/2016 Lake Zurich, IL
Chatham Jaycees Sweet Corn Festival 07/15/2016 Chatham, IL
Jazz in Glen Ellyn 07/16/2016 Glen Ellyn, IL
Ribs on the River 07/16/2016 Yorkville, IL
Groovin on the Grove, Berwyn 07/16/2016 Berwyn, IL
Columbian Fest Chicago 07/16/2016 Chicago, IL
Chinatown Summer Fair 07/17/2016 Chicago, IL
Sundown Concert Series,Skokie 07/17/2016 Skokie, IL
Anonapalooza 07/17/2016 Geneva, IL


CTA and Public Transit Weekend Alerts

July 15 – 17, Friday through Sunday

Increased Capacity and More Frequent Service

How does this affect my trip?
Red Line: Friday through Sunday, daily — Longer trains will operate between 95th/Dan Ryan and Howard until 11:59 p.m. On Sunday, longer trains will begin operating from Howard earlier, at 5:00 a.m..

Green Line: Friday — Longer trains will operate from Cottage Grove, 10:22 a.m.to 11:59 p.m., from Ashland/63rd, 9:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., and from Harlem/Lake, 11:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m..

Saturday and Sunday, daily — Longer trains will operate between Harlem/Lake and Ashland/63rd – Cottage Grove from 11 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
Pink Line: Fri — Longer trains will operate between 54th/Cermak and the Loop from 10 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Trains will run every 12 minutes from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, daily —  Longer trains will operate between 54th/Cermak and the Loop from 11:00 a.m. to 11:59 a.m. on Saturday, and 7:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.on Sunday.

Blue Line: Friday to Sunday, daily — Longer trains will operate between Forest Park and O’Hare from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

** Note: Forest Park-bound Blue Line trains will not stop at Irving Park due to ongoing construction. See alert on the Customer Alerts page.

Why is service being changed?
Added service is being provided for the convenience of customers attending Pitchfork and the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

July 15 – 16
10:00 p.m. Friday – 5:00 a.m. Saturday
10:00 p.m. Saturday – 6:00 a.m. Sunday

Boarding Change, Delays Between Montrose and Addison

How does this affect my trip?
Board/exit trains on the O’Hare-bound side of the platform at the Irving Park station.

Trains in both directions will operate on the same track between Montrose and Addison, resulting in minor delays.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing station construction to improve the Irving Park station as part of the Your New Blue modernization program.

Jul 17 – 18
10:00 p.m. Sunday to 4:00 a.m. Monday

Boarding Change, Delays Between Irving Park and Logan Square

How does this affect my trip?
Board/exit all trains on the O’Hare-bound side of the platform at the Belmont and Addison stations.

Trains in both directions will operate on the same track between Irving Park and Logan Square, resulting in minor delays.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing station construction to improve the Addison station as part of the Your New Blue modernization program.

July 15 – 16
Friday and Saturday nights
10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. next day

July 17 – 18
10:00 p.m. Sunday to 4:00 a.m. Monday

Boarding Change, Delays between Pulaski and Western

How does this affect my trip?
Board/exit all trains on the Midway-bound side of the platform at the Kedzie station.

Trains in both directions will operate on the same track between Pulaski and Western, resulting in minor delays.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing track maintenance to ensure that trains continue to operate safely along the Orange Line.

July 15 – 18
9:00 p.m. Friday to 4:00 a.m. Monday

95th-bound Trains Bypass Jarvis Thru Loyola Stations

How does this affect my trip?
95th-bound trains will not stop at Jarvis, Morse, or Loyola stations.

For service from these stations, take a Howard-bound train to Howard and transfer to a 95th-bound train.

For service to these stations, take a 95th-bound train to Granville and transfer to a Howard-bound train.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing track maintenance to ensure that trains continue to operate safely along the Red Line.

Traffic Restrictions & Road Projects

Union Pacific Railroad to Temporarily Close IL-176

From TravelMidwest.com: The Union Pacific Railroad will be closing the railroad crossing on IL-176 east of US-41. The closure is necessary to replace and widen the existing railroad crossing. During this time, the Lake County Division of Transportation will reconfigure the North Shore Bike Path at the railroad crossing by creating a separate railroad crossing of the bike path. The work will begin Monday, July 25 at 6 a.m. and is scheduled to reopen to traffic in the early evening of Saturday, July 30.

Click for larger map.

Detour Route: IL-43 to IL-137 to IL-131.



Submit an Event to Jen

What's on your agenda this weekend? Send it over in an email, and it's just might pop up on Jen's A-Jenda and the Big John Howell Show!

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Weekend A-Jenda: June 23rd – 26th

Ray’s Forecast:

  • Friday – Partly cloudy skies. High 82F. Cooler by the Lake. Low 64F.
  • Saturday – Sunshine and some clouds. High around 90F. At night, Variably cloudy with scattered thunderstorms. Low 73F.
  • Sunday – Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the upper 60s.

Click Here for Weekend Traffic Projects
Click Here for Weekend CTA Travel Alerts


White Sox at Home

The White Sox are home this weekend, and they are giving away some really neat things as long as you get there early!
white sox promos june 24

Styx at the Taste of Joliet

Date: Friday, June 24
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Location: ATI Field at Joliet Memorial Stadium

Although Styx plays Friday night in a show with our sister station, 97.9 WLUP, the Taste of Joliet runs all weekend long.

From the website: With 25 food vendors, carnival, kids zone, and headline entertainment, the Taste of Joliet is the highlight of the summer.

Friday, June 24 Noon – Midnight
Saturday, June 25 Noon – Midnight
Sunday, June 26 Noon – 7 PM

Proud to Run 2016

Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Montrose Harbor

From the website proudtorun.org: As part of Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Week activities since 1982, Proud To Run (PTR) is an annual 10K run & 5K run/walk along the lakefront, focused on celebrating pride in and raising funds to support the greater Chicago area LGBTQ community. In 2015 we had a record turnout of more than 1,700 registrants. Overall, more than 2,200 people participated in this year’s event by running, walking, volunteering and sponsoring.

The Proud To Run 10K run & 5K run/walk is organized by an all volunteer, community based board of directors.


Date: Sunday, June 26
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Uptown, Lakeview East, Lakeview

The 47th Annual Chicago Pride parade steps off at noon on Sunday, June 26, from the intersection of Montrose and Broadway in Uptown, and ends near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan in Lincoln Park.

Upwards of 750,000 people line the streets of the north side of Chicago for the event. Pets are welcome, but keep in mind that the rules still apply and open alcohol is not allowed on city streets.

Traffic Alert: Broadway CLOSED between Sunnyside and Diversey.

For more information on the event, click here.

Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party

Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: West Loop

Passion Pit headlines the historic annual block party that benefits area education and outreach programs. The event is in a parking lot on Morgan between Taylor and Roosevelt.

A bags tournament, food trucks and lots of alcohol attract the adult crowd to this 21+ event.

PHISH at Wrigley Field

Date: Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago

LivePhish.com will webcast live from Phish’s 2-Night Sold Out show at Wrigley Field this Friday & Saturday. Shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and there will be additional traffic in the area.

There is a webcast for those who wish to throw a Phish party in their living room. Here is where you are able to get that.

Fountain Square Art Festival

Date: Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday
Location: Evanston

From the official website: The festival takes place in downtown Evanston, just steps from the eponymous Fountain Square. It also features a popular children’s art tent with fun activities overseen by the acclaimed Evanston Art Center, food, and a soothing jazz-centric music lineup.

Saturday night enjoy a beer tasting with tickets for $25 that include 15 tastings.

Traffic Alert: Sherman at Clark Closed
Public Transportation – Purple Line CTA L Train to Davis


Other Events

From Festing.com

Homer Community Fest 06/23/2016 Homer Glen, IL
Rotary GroveFest 06/23/2016 Downers Grove, IL
Summer Solstice Festival 06/23/2016 Yorkville, IL
Galesburg Railroad Days 06/23/2016 Galesburg, IL
Cicero American Fest 06/23/2016 Cicero, IL
Wauconda Fest 06/23/2016 Wauconda, IL
Party in the Park 06/24/2016 Tinley Park, IL
BeachFest – Round Lake Beach 06/24/2016 Round Lake, IL
Northlake Days 06/24/2016 Melrose Park, IL
Champaign Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival 06/24/2016 Champaign, IL
Taste of Joliet 06/24/2016 Joliet, IL
Long Grove Summer Festival 06/24/2016 Long Grove, IL
Fox Lake Fire Department 58th Annual Festival 06/25/2016 Ingleside, IL
Glenview Summer Festival 06/25/2016 Glenview, IL
The World’s Largest Block Party 06/25/2016 Chicago, IL

Traffic and Travel

From TravelMidwest.com: The ramps connecting eastbound I-88 to northbound Farnsworth Avenue and northbound Farnsworth Avenue to westbound I-88 will be closed permanently for removal and detours will be posted. Traffic on eastbound I-88 exiting to northbound Farnsworth Avenue will be detoured via Diehl Road, Eola Road and Butterfield Road. Traffic on northbound Farnsworth Avenue entering westbound I-88 will be detoured via a similar route using Butterfield Road, Eola Road and Bilter Road.

Ramp closures and detours will also be put in place for the ramps connecting eastbound I-88 to southbound Farnsworth Avenue and southbound Farnsworth Avenue to westbound I-88 as work begins to reconfigure the ramps. Traffic for both these ramps will be detoured via Illinois Route 31 and Indian Trail Road. These ramps will reopen this summer.


Roadwork on Illinois 390 at I-290: On Saturday, June 25, one eastbound lane on Illinois Route 390 between Meacham Road and I-290 is scheduled to close at 9 p.m., followed by second lane closure at 11 p.m. to prepare for bridge beam placement. 

At 1 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, a full closure of the ramp connecting Meacham Road to eastbound Illinois Route 390 and I-290 is scheduled and traffic will be detoured. The ramp is scheduled to reopen by 7 a.m. and all lanes are scheduled to reopen by 10 a.m. Sunday, June 26.

Meacham Road Ramp from TravelMidwest.com
Meacham Road Ramp from TravelMidwest.com

Weekend CTA Travel Alerts

Cumberland station service impacts

Jun 24 – 25
10 p.m on Friday to 6p.m. on Saturday
Boarding Change, Delays Between Harlem (O’Hare branch) and Rosemont


From the CTA: CTA offers convenient service for those attending the 2016 Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26. To avoid crowded areas like Belmont, attendees are advised to consider viewing the parade from areas like Broadway, south of Montrose — a short walk from the Wilson and Sheridan stations on the Red Line. For more information, tips and a map and information, visit our Chicago Pride Parade page.

Sun, Jun 26
Increased Capacity/More Frequent Service
Red Line: More frequent service will operate between 95th and Howard every 5 to 8 minutes from 9am to 7pm.
Orange Line: Longer trains will operate between Midway and the Loop, 8am to 6pm.
Brown Line: Longer trains will operate between Kimball and the Loop every 7 to 8 minutes from 8am to 5pm.
Blue Line: Longer trains will operate between O’Hare and Forest Park from 8am to 11pm.
Why is service being changed?
Added service is being provided for the convenience of customers attending the 2016 Chicago Pride Parade.


Jun 24 – 27
10pm Fri to 4am Mon
Trains Rerouted Downtown: Lake and Wabash Closed
How does this affect my trip?
Orange, Green, Pink and Brown Line trains will be rerouted on the west side of the loop.


Big John Howell Show Notes 6-9-16

The debate over the new plaza at Wrigley Field is heating up. The Cubs say the plaza will be used for mostly family-friendly events, but als want to be able to sell beer and wine to people visiting the area. Meanwhile, the people living in the area say it will be a 6,000 person beer garden. Lisa Iverson from the Southport Neighborhood Association joined John with the neighborhood point of view on the debate. (Listen here)

Most of the Republican party elected officials seem to have come to terms with Donald Trump being the party’s Presidential nominee, even if they aren’t thrilled with the idea. Could Trump at the top of the ticket end up huring the rising stars down the ticket? CNN Commentator and DailyCaller.com Senior Contributor Matt Lewis says yes. He joined John to talk about why. (Listen here)

Did you ever see the “Spirit of America” rocket car at the Museum of Science and Industry? It broke the land speed record in 1965 and then the owner Graig Breedlove immediately loaned it to the museum. They just sent it back to him 50 years later and he’s suing them in federal court, because he says there’s $400,000 worth of damage to the car.

A Corpus Christi fisherman is claiming Facebook removed his post featuring photos of a captured shark. Eric Ozolins says Facebook told him the photos of the 13-foot hammerhead shark went against the website’s “terms and policy.” Ozolins says the social media site is trying to “gain influence from uneducated tree-huggers,” instead of focusing on “graphic violence, terrorists threats, and racism.” The fisherman posted photos of the hammerhead on Sunday.

An Atlanta woman has taken time off from her job as a bartender to establish breastfeeding because she wants to start an Adult Breastfeeding Relationship.

The FAA is saying that secret military testing out west could make GPS “unreliable” for about a week. Luckily it will only effect small private jets and not commercial aircraft.

Kris Kristofferson has been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was having memory issues, and doctors assume he had Alzheimer’s or dementia, but he took medication for years and it didn’t help anything. Eventually doctors tested him for Lyme disease and he tested positive.

Illinois Congressman Peter Roskam

Republican lawmakers in the House used a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday to push for impeachment of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen for what they see as his breaching “every single duty he had.” Congressman Peter Roskam from the 6th district joined John to talk about the impeachment proceedings, and also weighed in on the report that House Speaker Paul Ryan will endorse Donald Trump.

Big John Howell Show Notes 5-24-16

Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan met with other party leaders in Springfield to try and find some common ground in the long running budget battle. There are nine days left to go in the legislative session, so the pressure is on to come to some sort of agreement. Governor Bruce Rauner joined John to talk about the status of the negotiations. (Listen here)

A fellow inmate says Drew Peterson admitted to killing his wife, and also asked for help to hire a hit man to kill James Glasgow. The testimony came from Antonio “Beast” Smith, who is serving 40 years for attempted murder, home invasion and robbery.

The parking meters and garages in Chicago took in $156 million in 2015. The city didn’t see any of that money, thanks to Mayor Daley. Chris Fusco from the Sun Times joined John to talk about the fallout from the parking meter deal. (Listen here)

The two candidates likely to square off in November’s general election are both disliked or even hated by roughly six in 10 Americans, according to the results of the latest weekly NBC News/SurveyMonkey tracking poll out Tuesday. Fox News contributor Juan Williams with The Hill says that the electoral math in 2016 is not in Donald Trump’s favor. (Listen here)

Big John Howell Book Recommendations:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald says they shouldn’t worry about wait times, because Disneyland has long wait times. People on both sides of the aisle immediately began to register their disgust, including Illinois Senator Mark Kirk.

Hillary Clinton is asking a question that most of America has probably thought of during the current election cycle: How could Donald Trump lose money running a casino? Doesn’t the house always win?

If Hillary Clinton is elected President and is ultimately found guilty of some wrong-doing in the email scandal, Clinton could conceivably pardon herself.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has released a new ad featuring Juanita Broderick and Kathleen Willey. The black and white spot runs for about 20 seconds and includes quotes from a 1999 interview on ‘Dateline.’

A Chicago chihuahua got a foot stuck in a bathtub drain — and it took 16 firefighters two hours to set the pooch free. That group of firefighters will now receive an award from PETA for saving the dog, a 5-year-old named Moky.

The San Diego Padres apologized to a gay choir, whose members said they were humiliated following a bungled performance of the national anthem before a game. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was brought in to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before the team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park on Saturday. A recording of the choir was supposed to play over the loudspeakers, but a recording of a woman singing the anthem sounded instead.

North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un is looking for a few good men, to date his sister. He is holding a contest to find a husband for his unmarried sister. If you win, you get a fairy tale wedding to the sister of the Supreme Leader of Best Korea. If you lose, you get a front row seat to their next nuclear test.

Kim Jong-un to hold dating contest in hopes of finding his sister a husband – AOL

Big John Howell has now added “match-maker” to his repertoire by finding love for his executive producer, Keith Conrad.

Keith’s short walk to the red line that drops him off at the front door of the WLS-AM 890 studios leaves him with little interaction with the opposite sex (not to mention a 5:00 p.m. bedtime…morning radio sure does have it’s perks).

Is this the love connection that Keith has been waiting for?

In addition to being a close relative of the nation’s most powerful person, Kim Yo-jong serves as a member of the country’s influential Central Committee.

Source: Kim Jong-un to hold dating contest in hopes of finding his sister a husband – AOL

Congressman Adam Kinzinger

Donald Trump says he’d be willing to speak with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — a sharp departure from current U.S. policy toward the reclusive Asian nation. But he also turned to one of his frequent talking points on North Korea — that he would pressure China to put more pressure on North Korea to change its ways. Representative Adam Kinzinger from the 16th district thinks Trump’s foreign policy proposals are “narcissistic” and hopes they will change so he can support Trump in the general election.

Former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill

Clint Hill was a Special Agent on the elite White House Detail of the United States Secret Service and served five Presidents from 1958-1975. He will forever be remembered for his courageous actions during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and is credited with saving Jacqueline Kennedy’s life. He joined John Howell to talk about his amazing career and his new book “Five Presidents.”

Big John Howell Show Notes 5-16-16

The security lines at Chicago airports aren’t going to get better any time soon. American Airlines says it had to provide cots for passengers overnight.

According to a confidential TSA document, the TSA has a list of body language signs that it believes indicates a greater likelihood that a passenger is a terrorist, which include “fidgeting, whistling, sweaty palms …arrogance, a cold penetrating stare, and rigid posture.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the board in charge of police accountability has lost “credibility” and needs to be replaced by a civilian agency. Emanuel announced that he would ditch the Independent Police Review Authority. Kelly Bauer from DNA Info Chicago joined John with the latest on Emanuel’s plan for police reform. (Listen here)

Donald Trump’s past was front an center in the news cycle over the weekend. On Friday the Washington Post broke the story that during the 1990’s, Trump would pose as a PR spokesperson named John Miller during some interviews. Then on Sunday the New York Times ran a piece examining Trump’s professional relationship with women. Bret Baier the host of Special Report on Fox News Channel joined John to talk about what, if any, impact the revelations will have on the Presidential race. (Listen here)

Ben Carson says Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz are both on the short list to be Donald Trump’s running mate. Palin has already said she might be too much of a divisive figure. Wall Street Journal columnist Stephen Moore joined John to talk about the running mate search. (Listen here)

With National Police Week set to start Sunday, Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) urged Chicagoans to show their support for the Chicago Police Department. Residents can pick up a blue balloon, ribbon or porch light from the 41st Ward office, 7442 N. Harlem Ave.

Two lawmakers in Springfield were caught on camera playing video games while bills were being debated. One claimed he had already done all of the work he planned on doing that day, and other basically had no response, although she did say she’s “focused on working to end the budget impasse.”

A South Carolina man refused to cut a customers hair because he’s black… then he decided it was a good idea to pull a gun on him. The barber said he felt threatened by the man.

John Howell Book Recommendations:

Weekend “A-Jen-Da” May 12th-15th

May 12 thru 15 Weekend Ajenda events

The Fun Stuff…

Big John Howell’s Pick: Judy Roberts Plays the Jazz Showcase

Date: Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15
Time: 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 4:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Sunday
Location: Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court

Read this wonderful piece from Howard Reich in the Chicago Tribune,


ChicaGO24 Kickoff Boat Tour: Chicago along the River

Date: Friday, May 13
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Chicago Line Cruises

Hosted by the Chicago History Museum, kick off the summer months with a river boat sunset cruise! More information and how to get tickets here.

Girls on the Run 5k – Southwest Region (Joliet)

Date: Sunday, May 15, 2016
Location: Chicagoland Speedway, 450 E. Laraway Road, Joliet
Time: 6:30 a.m. On-site registration opens, 8:00 a.m. Start Time

Join WLS-AM 890’s very own Jen DeSalvo at the Girls on the Run 5k in Grayslake!

Run 3.1 miles and see Jen of the Big John Howell Show announcing at the starting line!

The event is still in need of volunteers!

For registration and more information visit this link.


Tails on the Trails

Date: Saturday, May 14
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: The Morton Arboretum

There are only a few days each year when you can enjoy a “paw”fect day out with your pup, meandering down the Arboretum’s 16 miles of hiking trails. You can also shop from local businesses and organizations in the pet expo, test out the agility course, and join us for guided hikes. Meet dogs available for adoption and inquire about volunteering with local pet shelters. Sign your pooch up for some doggy games, including the crowd-favorite peanut butter licking contest!

Learn more about the event here.

Stargazing at Lake Katherine

Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Location: Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens
7402 Lake Katherine Dr, Palos Heights, Illinois 60463

May 14 is Spring International Astronomy Day (it happens twice per year)!

From the Facebook Event Page:  Astronomer Joe Meyer will be guiding stargazers as we look at the moon and Jupiter and its four moons. No registration is needed. Meet near the entrance bridge. The program will be cancelled in the case of cloudy skies, rain or snow.

The Orchestra w/ former members of ELO

Date: Friday, May 13, 2016
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Location: Arcadia Theater, St. Charles

From our sister station, 97.9 WLUP-FM:

The Orchestra is formed by former members of the Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II. It is the continuation of ELO Part II following Bev Bevan’s departure and selling of the rights to Jeff Lynne.

With former ELO members and vocals from 90’s era Styx singer Glenn Burtnik, The Orchestra brings the one-of-a-kind ELO sound to Chicagoland.

Wings Rockshow Artshow – Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Wings over America

Date: Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15
Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Saturday), 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Location: Tinley Park

WLS-AM 890 sister station 94.7 WLS-FM along with Bettenhausen Automotive present The Wings Over America 40th Anniversary Rockshow Artshow. The show will feature signed artwork from Paul McCartney, Photographs from Linda McCartney and a special appearance by Wings guitarist Denny Laine! For more information, click here.

And the Traffic Issues…

Weekend Ramp Closure on Jane Byrne Interchange

More Jane Byrne Intersection work is happening this weekend, beginning with the southbound ramp from the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to the westbound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290), on Friday, May 13.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, the ramp from the southbound Kennedy  to the westbound Eisenhower will be closed from Jackson Street to Morgan Street until 5 a.m. Monday, May 16.

There will be a posted detour for travelers planning to use the closed ramp. The project will result in a new auxiliary lane on the ramp.


Intersection Reconstruction at U.S. 6 and Parker Road

IDOT announced temporary lane closures on U.S. 6 at Parker Road in both directions, in New Lenox, beginning Thursday, May 12.

This project will add turn lanes and new traffic signals at the intersection.

The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2016.

Overnight Closures Under East River Road Bridge

Overnight lane closures along with full expressway closures on I-90 and I-190 begin Friday, May 13. This work is for beam removal, and should last about one week.

Lane Closures on Westbound Lake St. between Swift Rd. and Medinah Rd.

From the Illinois Department of Transportation, beginning at 6 a.m. on Saturday, westbound Lake Street (U.S. 20) will be reduced to one lane between Swift Road and Medinah Road.
The left turn lane from eastbound Lake Street to northbound Medinah Road and the left turn lane from northbound Medinah to westbound Lake Street also will be closed.
The pavement repairs are expected to be completed by 6 p.m. Saturday.

Big John Howell Show Notes 3-31-16

We’re down to the finals in Media Madness 2016!

The Chicago Teachers Union has released details of how it will conduct a citywide walkout and rallies this week to call attention to school funding and contract negotiations. Union officials say union members will picket at every school Friday. Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is saying that the kids are the ones being hurt the most by the one-day strike. Karen Lewis the President of the Chicago Teacher’s Union joined John to talk about the upcoming one day strike, and reacted to John’s interview with CPS President . (Listen here)

Trump tells MSNBC Town Hall that abortion should be outlawed and women who have them should be punished. Meanwhile, polls in Wisconsin show Ted Cruz leading, and it’s beginning to look more and more like Trump will not have enough delegates to win the Republican nomination outright in the first ballot at the Convention in Cleveland. Sean Trende the Senior Elections Analyst for Real Clear Politics joined John to crunch the numbers. (Listen here)

A longtime Chicago Police veteran became the embattled department’s new interim police superintendent on Monday. Those who know and have worked with Eddie Johnson, formerly the chief of patrol, called him a listener who is fair but firm. And despite Johnson not being on thes hort list of names the Police Board recommended, everyone agrees that he must get to work, and get to work immediately, addressing problems in a city shaken by violent crime and deep-seated distrust of law enforcement. ABC 7 Political Analyst and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington joined John to with reaction to the Eddie Johnson pick. (Listen here)

A former homeless man has paid forward the good deed of two Illinois residents by donating $10,000 to their former high school. Dan Kaiser, the principal of Dwight Township High School in Dwight joined John to share the story behind the donation. (Listen here)

You think it was a mess at O’Hare on a normal day? The baggage handlers and custodians are set to go on strike overnight.

Rahm Emanuel has recovered somewhat from the political firestorm surrounding the Laquan McDonald shooting. Now he is dealing with a Chicago teen who has challenged him to a sword fight.

The NFL is expanding their draft celebration in Chicago since it was so successful last year. This year they’ll have a 120-foot-tall Ferris wheel between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, an area showcasing the College Football Hall of Fame, and they’ll move the center of Draft Town toward Buckingham Fountain.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced they’ll hear Drew Peterson’s appeal. They are fighting the use of hearsay statements in his trial.

Big John Howell Show Notes 3-24-16

Five terrorists — three dead, two whose fates are unknown. So far, that’s how many people that authorities say played a part in Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium, that killed 31 people and injured 270. Two were allegedly involved in bombing a train near the Maelbeek metro station. Of them, one has been identified as Khalid El Bakraoui, who died in that suicide attack. Authorities believe a second, unnamed person was also involved in that blast. That man’s whereabouts — and whether he’s dead or alive — is unknown.

Zoya Sheftalovich is a reporter for Politico Europe who was 500 yards away from the bombings in Brussels. She joined John with the latest on the investigation. (Listen here)

Fox News National Security Analyst K.T. McFarland joined John with reaction to the attacks in Brussels. (Listen here)

Dr. Faran Bokhari is the Chairman of Trauma and Burn Services for the Cook County Health and Hospital Systems. He wants to give Naval trainees some real-life experience in treating people in the field. He joined Big John this morning. (Listen here)

The Chicago Teachers Union’s governing body gave its resounding approval Wednesday to a one-day walkout that would shut down the city’s public schools April 1. Union leaders called for what they described as a one-day strike in an effort to push Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislators to create a new funding plan for schools. The district has said the union’s action would represent an illegal strike because it isn’t in line with the state-mandated process that must take place before teachers can walk off the job.

The sentencing of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been delayed. It’s not exactly good news for him, because it’s being delayed so the victims can testify, rather than his health problems.

Donald Trump tonight, not content with mere threats, retweeted a fan tonight who posted an image insulting Ted Cruz‘s wife’s looks. Trump is angry at Cruz over an ad an anti-Trump Super PAC (that has nothing to do with Cruz) ran showing a picture from his wifeMelania‘s nude photoshoot.

The Ricketts family has an unlikely defender from the onslaught of Donald Trump. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Bill Cameron the Ricketts family are model corporate citizens. He also joked that when the Cubs are in the World Series, Trump will probably have a problem getting tickets.

A group of students at Emory University led a campus-wide protest after someone wrote ‘Donald Trump 2016’ in chalk across campus. The event was considered to be so traumatic for students, it lead the university to provide “emergency counseling” sessions in response. The President of the University is vowing to hunt down whoever had the temerity to write “Trump 2016” in chalk.

Back in 1980 Donald Trump said in a TV interview that he wouldn’t want to run for President. He said it’s a “mean life,” which is ironic considering what he’s had to say about just about everyone else out there. He added that someone with good but less than popular ideas would have a hard time competing against someone with a “good smile.”

A company called Hanson Robotics was showing off their latest abomination named “Sophia” at SXSW. Sophia is an incredibly realistic robot who can carry on conversations with you and could be used for things like healthcare, therapy and education. Much to her creators chagrin, she also told reporters that she would like to destroy all humans.