News Round Up • Cold & Snow Slow Weekend Shootings, Kanye Meets with Trump & More

Photo by Michael Salisbury

Photo by Michael Salisbury

It's been a long week as the city has been inundated with snow, cold and the impending craziness of the neverending holiday season. While traffic on the expressway might be getting slow and slippery, the news has continued unabated and TheseDays is here to pick and choose some of the most compelling headlines from around the city just for you. Scroll down to check out new stories on the dropping temperature's affect on the city, Trump's new pal and much more all below.

Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow Contribute to Less Shootings

While the warmth of summertime in Chicago in June and July is often met with a steep rise in shootings and homicide deaths, it appears the opposite is true for the winter months in the country's leading city for gun-related murders. 

The numbers may have been "down", but fifteen people were still shot on the city's streets over the weekend, three of those killed. It's still a lot, albeit half the total from a week earlier according to the Chicago Tribune, but the statistic only serves to further underline the particularly deadly year the city has seen in 2016. Currently, the city is on pace to match the most homicides since 1998 when the number hit 704 according to the CPD. This year's mark of 4,170 shootings is reportedly a 40% increase over 2015 according to the Tribune.

Kanye West Meets With Donald Trump

Kanye West continued an odd run as of late, reportedly stopping by Trump Tower yesterday to meet with the President-elect in his gilded penthouse apartment. What the pair met about wasn't immediately disclosed, reports from the lobby of the tower where the pair were photographed said that West was uncharacteristically tight-lipped. Meanwhile, Trump told reporters they talked about "life" and that Kanye is "A great man".

Following the brief affair, West explained to fans and reporters on Twitter that he had visited the Donald to talk about violence in Chicago, bullying and public school curriculums. While that may have been brought up, it's hard to believe either of them got past the initial compliment session before moving on to their respective gold hairlines soon after. It may be an olive branch to the other side, but it's one that comes at a rather auspicious time for the star.

The meeting comes after West told a crowd at a Sacramento concert over a month ago that he would have voted for Trump, had he voted. Soon after he canceled his tour, wound up in the hospital and has recently been seen sporting a hairstyle that seems wedged somewhere between Chris Brown and Trump himself. Maybe he was just looking to make a good impression. These are scary times, folks. I'm just saying, Kanye was standing up to George Bush with his natural hair color before the Kardashians.... (Lamar!). 

Update: Singer John Legend, close friend of West, called the Trump photo and meeting "a publicity stunt" via Rolling Stone.

Ald. Willie Cochran Indicted for Stealing Funds & More

The latest instance of a local government employee taking their powers a bit too far exposed itself this week as it was reported that 20th Ward Alderman Willie Cochran would be indicted for diverting and stealing funds meant for his constituents. 

The news is the second consecutive time an alderman for this particular ward has found himself in negative headlines after it was revealed that he allegedly took $25,000 to support gambling debts and another $5,000 for his daughter's tuition. The indictment of the former Woodlawn police officer came during the City Hall proceedings on Tuesday. 

The charges, according to the indictment (DNAInfo):

• Cochran took a check for $1,500 — with the space for the payee left blank — from an attorney pushing the redevelopment of vacant and foreclosed homes using federal funds.

• In addition, the indictment alleges Cochran took $3,000 in cash from a man who needed his support to open a liquor store on Cottage Grove Avenue between Marquette Road and 68th Street.

• Cochran told donors to the 20th Ward Advisory Fund that the money would be used to hold a back-to-school picnic, holiday parties, a Valentine's Day dance for seniors and to buy children winter coats, gloves and hats but instead used that money himself, according to the indictment.

Cochran, who was the only person authorized to withdraw money from the fund, used $5,000 in 2011 to pay his daughter's college tuition and withdrew $25,000 from the fund near casinos where the alderman gambled.

BullsTV Debuts Latest Luv-A-Bulls Visual

I'm terribly afraid of heights. So back in September when Bulls TV's Senior Creative Producer Josh Kahn invited me to take part in a shoot he'd been concocting all summer, on the roof of the United Center. So it was that on an early Fall day I found myself perched on top of the iconic west side dome. The reason for the visit and a great Instagram opportunity was a series of unique videos placing the Luv-A-Bulls dance team front and center.