29th Ward projects decided for 2020

29th Ward residents approved six out of seven projects that will be completed over the next several months. The projects include street resurfacing, community park improvements and a pedestrian crosswalk, with a safety island.

Black lawmakers push West Siders to take part in census

Traveling as part of the “Get Counted” bus tour, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus made a stop at MacArthur’s Restaurant to unveil a new partnership they hope will help hard-to-count areas such as Austin get an accurate count in next year’s census. The data collected every decade determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

Loretto Hospital jumps in patient safety rating after new report

The hospital – which remains the largest private employer in Austin, with 624 people on staff – received an A rating for its fall report, after receiving average ratings of C’s and D’s. The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit based in Washington, grades hospitals across the country on factors like in-patient care, infections and practices to prevent error. Hospitals voluntarily participate, and Leapfrog releases reports twice a year.

Austin residents celebrate Veterans Day despite the cold

Veterans were honored Monday at the 29th Ward’s Veterans’ Peace Garden, 5413 W. Madison St. The event – held in the midst of falling snow and bitter winds – was sponsored by the recently formed Austin Veterans Community Organization (AVCO). The group will be meeting the third Wednesday of every month at noon at the 29th Ward Veterans’ Peace Garden when it’s warm enough to meet outside and at MacArthur’s restaurant during the winter.

Voting begins Nov. 6 on 29th Ward projects

Voting will be available to any resident of the 29th Ward who is 14 or older. Ballots will be available online on Ald. Chris Taliaferro’s website and in person at his office, 6272 W. North Ave.; at the Austin Chicago Public Library, 5615 W. Race Ave.; and at the North Austin Chicago Public Library, 5724 W. North Ave. Voting ends Nov. 20.

West Side parents, students relieved school is resuming

Austin families uttered a sign of relief Thursday with the news that the Chicago Teachers Union had suspended its 11 day-strike and that classes for about 300,000 Chicago Public Schools students will resume Friday. Earlier this week, union delegates voted 364 to 242 to approve the 41-page, five-year agreement.

BMO Harris Bank giving $10 million to bolster Austin

The donadtion – the largest corporate gift in United Way of Metro Chicago’s history – will be used to help implement Austin’s quality of life plan and to support social service infrastructure and development in the city’s most-populated community area. The investment was announced last week at an event hosted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and attended by several local elected officials.