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University of Chicago’s Dr. Donald F. Steiner, pioneer in diabetes research, dead at 84

Dr. Donald F. Steiner’s work improved the lives of diabetes patients around the globe. Nearly half a century ago, he discovered that the insulin molecule was composed of a single protein chain, not two, as previously thought. He called it proinsulin.


Homicide Watch


Mike Hawkins, poet, mentor to Chance the Rapper, dies


The charisma of “Brother Mike” Hawkins and his encouragement and respect for students drew them to poetry slams, digital media workshops and open mike events, where he urged them to create their own albums and videos, saying they didn’t have to wait for a record deal to make their voice heard.

The Watchdogs: Rahm Emanuel’s silent partner in mayoral campaign: Mike Madigan


THE WATCHDOGS: After staying neutral in the last race for Chicago mayor, Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan has provided major support to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows.

The Watchdogs: Rauner adviser Poshard's pension bonanza


THE WATCHDOGS: One of the big problems Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will face is what to do about the state’s public pension crisis. He doesn’t need to go any farther than a member of his own transition team, Glenn Poshard, to get a close-up look at some of the factors fueling the crisis.

Fire Chicago cop with rap sheet, Supt. Garry McCarthy urges


THE WATCHDOGS: Officer Richard A. Rizzo, a subject of the Chicago Sun-Times’ “Tarnished Badges” investigation last year who’s been arrested four times by his own department during 17 years as a Chicago cop, should be fired, Supt. Garry McCarthy says.

Jane Byrne left a colorful legacy


Jane Byrne, who died Friday at age 81, presided over a time of political change in Chicago; she was the city's first, and still its only, female mayor.

Obama pal Eric Whitaker stonewalls feds on sex question in grant-fraud case


THE WATCHDOGS: Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, one of President Barack Obama’s closest friends, has refused to answer federal prosecutors’ questions about whether he had a “sexual relationship” with a former aide who has pleaded guilty to stealing taxpayers’ money, court records show.

Darby Tillis, who fought wrongful convictions after he was freed, dies at 71


Darby Tillis, one of the first men to be freed from Illinois’ death row, died Sunday morning at Rush Hospital of what is thought to have been an aneurysm. He was 71. Mark A. Clements, a board member of the Campaign to End to Death Penalty, said Mr. Tillis was a respected and strong advocate for ending the death penalty and wrongful convictions and “will be greatly missed.”

Will Kilkeary dies; owner of legendary Chicago bar, a favorite of Royko, Ebert


Will Kilkeary, who was the proprietor of O'Rourke's, a landmark Chicago bar peopled by some of the nation’s most gifted writers, journalists, grifters and good-time boys and girls, has died at 74.

The most dangerous block in Chicago? A stretch of South King Drive where a young Michelle Obama once lived


They call it “O Block.” It’s a notorious stretch of South Side real estate, including the sprawling Parkway Gardens apartment complex, known for violence. Nineteen people were shot on O Block — the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive — between June 2011 and June 2014, making it the most dangerous block in Chicago over that period, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis found.

While some Koschman cops await fate, many get big pensions


THE WATCHDOGS: Nine months after a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, not one cop has been disciplined for letting Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko get away for nearly 10 years with killing David Koschman. Many can’t be punished because they no longer work for the city.

Bernard “Bernie” Feinstein, police officer known as mayor of Devon Avenue, dead at 82


Bernie Feinstein, a cop who walked a beat on Devon Avenue for 18 years and got to know the immigrant business owners there by listening to their worries and life stories, died Oct. 14 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. He was 82.

Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65


Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein’s Loop business, International Importing Bead & Novelty Company, often provided accesories for actors and musicians. Cher, Sally Rand and Eric Clapton were among tose who came to stock up on beads, crystals, sequins and feathers. Mr. Klein, 65, died of a heart attack Oct. 12 at Skokie Hospital.

Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery


Dr. Lawrence M. “Larry” Solomon loved a mystery — in medicine and also in fiction. His collection of 6,000 books, many of them featuring Sherlock Holmes, was testament to that. Like Holmes, he’d use his powers of observation to arrive at deductions that dazzled and sometimes confounded patients and other physicians. The former University of Illinois dermatology chief Oct. 8 at his North Shore home. He was 83.

Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85


When Father Bob Botthof introduced his kids to people, they looked confused. Some asked, “What does your mother think about your dad becoming a priest?” Others inquired, “Isn’t that frowned upon by the church?” He’d lived a whole other life before becoming a Roman Catholic priest. Mad about his fellow teacher and wife, Mary Elizabeth, he used to serenade her with “Shall We Dance?” But after losing her to cancer after 23 years of marriage, the father and former U.S. Marine joined the Dominican friars.

3 Daley scandals cost Chicago taxpayers over $6 million


THE WATCHDOGS: Chicago taxpayers have paid more than $6 million to private lawyers hired to fight three City Hall scandals that benefited family and friends of former Mayor Richard M. Daley. And the legal bills keep mounting.