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I've gone to Chicago 3x aleady and have passed through Illinois about 5x or so..This was my latest trip using a rental car with 2 other friends that we divided the cost, which saved us a lot of money compared to individually flying there....

Chicago Trip:
-Car Rental $87.12=>$29.04 each
-Gas $47.00->$15.67 each

Cicero: Hispanic Neighborhood

I went to visit a Hispanic friend of mine that went to UMM in the predominate Latino neighborhood.

Related Links:


  • -Newspaper

  • Lawndale Newspaper, serving the hispanic community in Chicago
  • -Restaurants

  • Cicero Restaurants
  • Naperville Community

    I'll be attending an old college buddy's wedding this Saturday, March 25th at...

    Signature Event, hotel/convention center
    at Woodridge chamber of commerce
    *where my friend Randy G. will be getting married with Tiffany S.

  • Seven Bridges
  • -Hotels

    Picture of my UMM buddies (Prince & Ryan)
    Marriott: Towne Place Suites Chicago Lombard in Village of Lombard

    This weekend (March 24th-26th) has been really fun with my old college buddies-Prince and Ryan. We are here for a good friend (Randon) of our's wedding. Despite the recent (last year) highway toll increase (60 cents along hwy 280 to $1.80 by the state line of WI), the driving has been wonderful! Our first night here on Friday, we went to this Greek style restaurant called "Great Wraps", which I had a good Philly Steak Wrap on Roosevelt Avenue in Lombard, IL. That same evening, we met with Prince and then went to Yorktown Mall. Today (Saturday), we just went to our friend's wedding this afternoon at the Seven Bridges in Naperville. After, we went to this Italian restaurant next door to it after going back to our hotels (Hyatt-pick up Melissa) to change-the food wasn't good with pricey menu! Tomorrow (Sunday),we might check out this pancake restaurant called Omega Restaurant before heading back to St. Paul.

    Recommended Resources



    -State Representative

  • Election '08 In Review: Former Morris resident becomes youngest U.S. House Representative Morris Sun Tribune Published Saturday, November 08, 2008

  • "Former Morris resident Aaron Schock keeps adding to his list of “youngest ever to ... .”
    Schock, 27, became the youngest member of the U.S. House of Representatives with his victory in Tuesday’s election.
    Schock, a Republican from Peoria, represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional District. He won about 59 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic challenger Colleen Callahan for the seat previously held by Ray LaHood, who is retiring.
    Schock was born in Morris and lived in the area until the fifth grade. His father is Dr. Rich Schock, who practiced at Stevens Community Medical Center.
    Schock still has family in the Morris area, including his grandfather, Albert Joos, of Hancock.
    After high school, Schock became the youngest school board member ever elected in Illinois at age 19, and in 2005 he became the youngest person ever elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the state’s 92nd District."



  • Chicago Advocacy Center

  • *is where a UMM friend/gateway student/peer/alumn 02' works as a a Forensic Interviewer


    *see Bible

    Trinity United Church of Christ: Barack Obama's Church

    "Jane Fisler Hoffman, a Minister in the United Church of Christ who also attends church with Barack Obama, talks about Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and the United Church of Christ. Get the facts:"



  • Wheaton College

  • "..exists to help build the church and improve society worldwide by promoting the development of whole and effective Christians through excellence in programs of Christian higher education."
  • Moody Bible Institute, 820 N. LaSalle Blvd. Chicago, IL 60610

  • Our Rich Heritag
    "Moody is driven by the belief that people committed to living and declaring the Word of God can actually change the world. Beginning with our founder, D.L. Moody, generations of Christ-followers at Moody have committed themselves to learning the Bible and sharing it with the world."
    Biography of D.L. Moody Written by: Unknown Posted on: 03/13/2003 Category: Biographies Source: CCN (
    "...A third incident was the Chicago fire and the ensuing filling of the Holy Spirit. On Sunday night, October 8, 1871, while preaching at Farwell Hall, which was now being used because of the increased crowds, Moody asked his congregation to evaluate their relationships to Christ and return next week to make their decisions for Him. That crowd never regathered. While Sankey was singing a closing song, the din of fire trucks and church bells scattered them forever, for Chicago was on fire. The Y.M.C.A. building, church, and parsonage were all to be lost in the next 24 hours. The church was reopened on December 24, 1871, and it was now called the North Side Tabernacle, located on Ontario and Wells Street, close to the former building. There was no regular pastor at this church in its brief history 1871-1876....
    From The Day Of Penticost to Today, from
    "...Every evangelist knows the classic story of D. L. Moody and the Chicago fire. D.L. Moody had preached the Gospel to his regular congregation at Farwell Hall. According to one account, the sound of fire engines disturbed the solemnity of the meeting to the point that Moody decided it best to dismiss the crowd. He asked them to go home and evaluate their relationship to Jesus Christ and return next week when he would ask if any had made their "decision for Christ."1
    That next meeting never took place. The Chicago Fire not only destroyed the Hall, but most of the buildings in that part of Chicago. No one knows if any in that congregation died without Christ. If Moody had followed his usual routine, he would have asked the seekers in the crowd to stay for an after meeting, where they would pour out their souls (repent) before God and get counseling and prayer from trained ministers."


    Ethnic Groups

    Iglesia Rios De Agua Viva Chicago

    "Slideshow of picture of the church in Chicago known as Iglesia Rios de Agua Viva "
    -Middle Eastern: Arabic
    Arabic Church Chicago- Worship Song

    "Arabic Worship Song"


    Earthquake hits southern part of Illinois

    "Earthquake shakes Illinois and is felt all over the midwest."


  • Cause of the Great Chicago Fire

  • "Historians agree that on Sunday evening, October 8, 1871, the Chicago Fire did indeed start in the barn of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Catherine O'Leary. While the blaze ironically spared the O'Leary home, located on the city's West Side at 137 De Koven Street, much of the rest of Chicago was not so fortunate. Before the fire died out in the early morning of Tuesday, October 10, it had cut a swath through Chicago approximately three and one-third square miles in size. Property valued at $192,000,000 was destroyed, 100,000 people were left homeless, and 300 people lost their lives"



  • WGN TV
  • Medical

    *the two below is where a UMM Alumn/Peer (Tajuan B. 01') of mine works as A Info Systems Applications Analyst (Clinical and Financial Apps) Vanguard Health Systems at..

  • MacNeal
  • Weiss Hospital

  • Ministries

  • Rockford Master Commission

  • *morris hossana worship center connection


    Chicago Mission Trip

    "An Urban Mission Trip to Chicago"


  • Chicago China Town

  • Chicago Chinatown - YCTV

    " - Chicago's Chinatown is located in a small area on the south side of the Loop. Chinatown is a unique neighborhood in that it is more than simply a collection of restaurants, shops and homes. It is a microcosm of Chinese culture here in America. Restaurants in Chinatown serve almost every type of Southeast and Far East Asian cuisine. The first immigrants to Chinatown opened restaurants, and some of these are still around; in this neighborhood, food is taken very seriously and there is something for everyone. For general Chinese food, try Three Happiness, Phoenix or Dragon Court Restaurant. Several restaurants boast cuisine of a specific country; Penang serves Malaysian fare, Hing Kee Restaurant and The Noodle both serve Vietnamese and The Moon Palace Restaurant serves Mandarin meals. Category:"
    "From North:
    Take the Kennedy Expressway. (I-90/94) and exit at 18th St. Turn left (east) to Canal St., then right (south) to Cermak Rd. The Chinatown Gate is just a few blocks ahead and to the right (east)...


    Best Pizza in Chicago? ,
    "...All depends on wha kind of pizza you are looking for (thin, deep dish, etc), where you are in Chicago and what kind of transportation you have. Suffice it to say that Lou M's is one of the better places around, along with Uno, Due, Gino's East, Bacino's, Giordano's and Home Run Inn, Aurelio's, Vito & Nick's, Father & Son, Candlelite, Barnaby's, and countless others (first group primarily for deep dish/stuffed, second group for thin)...
    Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
    " Lou's is the home of the BEST Chicago-style deep dish pizza in the world! If you love a buttery, flakey crust, sweet and tangy tomatoes, gooey mozzarella ..."



  • Cornerstone Music Festival

  • Cornerstone Festival 2007 Pt. 1

    "This is a documentary/promo video for Cornerstone Festival ( I was cinematographer and editor for this project. It was shot and edited the summer of 2006. Check out the website for the complete DVD"
  • Resurrection Band

  • Rez Band- Bargan

    "Resurrection Band, also known as Rez Band or REZ, is one of the most well-known and respected Christian rock bands in the history of Contemporary Christian music. They were based out of the Jesus People USA Christian community in Chicago, Illinois, and most of its members continue to be part of that community to this day..."


  • Tornado Kills at Least Eight in Illinois, in Utica on April 21 of 2004 from National Public Radio
  • Social Issues


  • Laptop taken in campus shooting probe is missing hard drive, Saturday, February 16th of 2008 (CNN)

  • " DEKALB, Illinois (CNN) -- A laptop computer seized from a DeKalb motel and believed to be connected to Thursday's deadly shooting at Northern Illinois University had no hard drive, federal officials said Saturday.
    DeKalb Travelodge manager Jay Patel said police confiscated a Toshiba laptop computer from Room 105.
    Steven Kazmierczak, 27, killed five students and himself Thursday in a lecture hall on the university campus in DeKalb, west of Chicago.
    The motive behind the shooting spree remains unknown. Video Watch a profile of the victims »
    As the university mourns, school officials on Saturday announced classes will resume February 25.
    A memorial service for the victims is scheduled to take place the day before, university spokeswoman Melanie Magara said.
    Faculty and staff will return to work Tuesday and will receive training on how to help students when classes resume, Magara said.
    On Friday, a bomb squad swept the Travelodge room where the laptop was found for explosives, a source close to the investigation said.
    A DeKalb police source said a duffel bag with shotgun ammunition and regular ammunition was found in the room and confiscated. No note was found, the source said.
    Slain victims
    # Daniel Parmenter, 20, Westchester, Illinois # Catalina Garcia, 20, Cicero, Illinois # Ryanne Mace, 19, Carpentersville, Illinois # Julianna Gehant, 32, Mendota, Illinois # Gayle Dubowski, 20, Carol Stream, Illinois
    Source: Northern Illinois University
    Patel said a white man named Steve -- his last name was illegible on the motel registry -- checked in to the room Monday, paying cash.
    The DeKalb source confirmed Kazmierczak was the same "Steve" who stayed at the Travelodge.
    On Tuesday, a housekeeper asked the man if he wanted the room cleaned, and he declined, according to Patel. The guest wasn't seen after that, Patel said. His checkout day was Friday. Video Watch how the shooting has affected security on the Illinois campus »
    Patel said the man wore sunglasses and they saw each other for only about two minutes.
    Patel said police called the motel Friday and spoke to his wife, asking if anyone had found a laptop. She sent a maintenance man to check some of the rooms, and he found the computer in Room 105, Patel said.
    Police came to the motel to pick up the laptop, and the room was searched. Patel said he gave police the man's receipt.
    After police left, a pile of men's clothes was found on one of the beds, as well as three opened cans of Red Bull energy drink, a black wallet and a small black suitcase on the dresser.
    There were also two small bottles of Gorilla Glue, some Gold Bond lotion and a partially burned red candle.
    Authorities believe Kazmierczak checked in and out of another hotel closer to the NIU campus, said Dana Nichols, assistant special agent in charge for the Chicago office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    However, police do not think Kazmierczak stayed in the room. Nichols could not confirm when Kazmierczak was there or the name of the hotel.
    But the DeKalb police source said it was a Best Western hotel a few doors down from the Travelodge.
    On Thursday night, at least one weapon was removed from Kazmierczak's apartment in Champaign, Illinois, police said.
    Meanwhile, the AP reported that Kazmierczak's parents had placed him in a Chicago psychiatric treatment center after high school. A former employee of the center said Kazmierczak habitually cut himself and wouldn't take his medication, according to the AP.
    The ex-employee, Louise Gbadamashi, told the AP she could not recall Kazmierczak being violent during his stay of more than a year at the Thresholds-Mary Hill House in the late 1990s.
    "He never wanted to identify with being mentally ill," she told the AP. "That was part of the problem."
    As an undergraduate at Northern Illinois in 2006, Kazmierczak wrote a paper called "Self Injury in Correctional Settings: 'Pathology' of Prisons or Prisoners?" Former professors said he had a keen interest in prison social work.
    The AP also reported Kazmierczak briefly had a job as a prison guard in 2002 before failing to show up for work.
    He also told a friend that he was given a psychological discharge from the Army after six months in the service in 2001-2002, according to the AP.
    The guns used in the campus killings were purchased in August, December and February, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    Kazmierczak had a valid state-required firearm ID card. The application form asks whether the applicant has been treated for mental illness within the past five years.
    University Police Chief Donald Grady said Friday that there were no "red flags" suggesting Kazmierczak was dangerous or disturbed.
    People close to him have told police he was taking medication but had stopped and had become "somewhat erratic" in the last couple of weeks, Grady said, not specifying what the medication was.
    A statement posted on the door of the Urbana, Illinois, home of Kazmierczak's sister said his family was "shocked and saddened" by the shooting incident, according to the Chicago Tribune. advertisement
    "In addition to the loss of innocent lives, Steven was a member of our family. We are grieving his loss as well as the loss of life resulting from his actions," the statement said, the Tribune reported.
    Police in Florida have questioned his father, Robert Kazmierczak, but did not say if any information was provided. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend
    CNN's Don Lemon and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.
    Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.
    All About Northern Illinois University • Steven Kazmierczak"

  • Families, friends mourn victims, from CNN 2/16/08

  • " CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Two dreamed of becoming teachers. Another gave friends rides to class and helped them with homework. One served in the military.
    Victims are carried to a vehicle Thursday after the deadly classroom shooting at Northern Illinois University. more photos »
    The five students killed when a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University Thursday afternoon were at college to begin building their dreams.
    On Friday, friends and family mourned them and remembered the effect they had on those they met. "

  • Christians focus on university following a shooting in U.S., Posted: 18 February, 2008 * Topics in this story: * intervarsity * , north america * , shooting * , university * , usa (Mission Network News)

  • " A student remembers the victims at the Northern Illinios University tragedy.
    USA (MNN) ― Students are stunned at Northern Illinois University just outside of Chicago after a gunman opened fire on a class, killing students and then turning the gun on himself. Last week's tragedy has left many wondering about their safety and about eternity. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is reaching out to these students through their campus ministry program.
    Casey Beckley is on staff at InterVarsity and serves Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Beckley says many students came to a realization. "About 25,000 students all at the same time thought about and realized that they were going to die at some point. And that changes the climate, especially the spiritual climate of the campus, in one fell swoop."
    While the whole campus is being affected, Beckley believes those closest to the shooting could be most impacted. "Students that were in the room and weren't shot, or that were and weren't fatally wounded, or even the students who skipped class and are thinking about 'what was keeping me from that?' And, 'What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life now?'"
    Because of those many questions, InterVarsity is organizing some activities that will help students. "We'll have kind of a prayer and listening station in a residence hall about 50 yards away from where the shootings occurred. We actually had a three-part series planned already that was asking the question, 'Who is God?'"
    The majority of the students commute. Beckley says since many of them are at home, dealing with grief may take time. Beckley says they need prayer for: "Sensitivity for the InterVarsity staff and students to be able to understand how they'll be able to walk along side people, particularly if they're still grieving weeks and months from now because they've been kind of avoiding it by continuing to leave campus."
    Beckley also asks pray for "those students would be able to look up from their own hurt and anxiety right now and be able to look at the fear and anxiety of the people around them, and be able to bring Christ into those situations."



    Chicago Cubs win the world Series Back to the future II


  • Chicago Land Chamber, a UMM friend (Gerardo V.) works here

  • Choose Chicago
  • Events Calender
  • The Sears Tower

  • "Standing at 1,450 feet and 110 stories high, Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and the third tallest building in the world."
    Chicago's SearsTower Tour Part I

    " While visiting former college friends of mine at Chicago, IL. A friend (Charles-a.k.a. "Dr. Love") takes me to the famous skyscraper. In this first part, we take a look at the South & West Side..."
    Chicago's SearsTower Tour Part II

    "...looking at the North and East Side."
    Related Sites:
    Sky Deck
    " The view is amazing! You can see 40 – 50 miles (65 - 80 kilometers) on a clear day. Imagine seeing Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, just by walking around the Skydeck. And there’s no finer view of Chicago architecture. "


  • Toll Free Driving to Chicago You Can't Get There from Here Dwight J. Beguin, Yahoo! Contributor Network Jul 25, 2008 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."

  • "... There are not really any viable options from the north, if toll free driving is your goal. The northwest tollway, I-90, through Rockford is best route from Minneapolis or Madison. From Green Bay or Milwaukee, I-94 also known as the Tri-State Tollway I-294, is the most direct route, but you will have to pay a toll.
    My advice to all travelers is to use the tollways and invest in the I-PASS. In addition to saving time with open road driving (you don't have to stop and pay the toll), you actually save money compared to those who pay their tolls in cash. Depending on your final destinations, using the tollways will no doubt save you time and will likely save you gas, rather than having to drive out of your way to avoid the toll. Many states have reciprocal relationships with the Illinois Tollway, so if you are from a state that has a toll road, your automatic transponder may work in Illinois, too....


    Willis Tower

    "June 19, 2010 — Willis Tower hit by storm"

  • Storms Kill 1 and Damage Skyscraper in Midwest, (Saturday, June 19th 2010) from

  • "..DEXTER, Mich. (June 19) -- Severe thunderstorms sweeping through the Midwest have killed a motorist in Michigan, shattered windows in an iconic Chicago skyscraper and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people.
    Sheriff's officials say a driver was killed near Dexter, Mich., about 40 miles west of Detroit, when winds toppled a tree onto a vehicle.
    In Chicago, powerful winds and heavy rains broke windows in the 110-story Willis Tower. Witnesses say the debris looked like icicles falling from the skyscraper, formerly known as Sears Tower....


    Blizzard in Chicago

    "Added On February 2, 2011 CNN's Rob Marciano reports from Chicago, Illinois, where a blizzard is sweeping the city."
    Hundreds of Cars Stranded in Chicago

    'Added On February 2, 2011 Hundreds of vehicles are stranded along Chicago's Lake Shore Dr. after being trapped by a major snow storm. WGN reports."
    A fearful, frigid night on iconic Chicago road, By DON BABWIN and LINDSEY TANNER, Associated Press Don Babwin And Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press – Wed Feb 2, 6:40 pm ET
    "CHICAGO – Lindsey Wilson was on Lake Shore Drive, but she couldn't tell where. It was dark, and the snow swirling around the stranded bus made it impossible to see anything but the closest cars.
    There was talk among her fellow commuters of 25-foot waves washing up from Lake Michigan and about when the bus might get going, but nobody knew anything — not the driver, not the emergency operators passengers were calling, and not the shivering motorists climbing aboard to keep warm after firefighters pulled them from their cars.
    When a group of passengers decided enough was enough and started to walk, she joined them.
    "I got 100 feet, everything was an orange hue, there was snow in my face, I couldn't see anything, I turned around and couldn't see the bus and I thought I was going to die," she said Wednesday morning.
    Wilson, 26, was among hundreds of people in at least 1,500 vehicles who found themselves trapped on Chicago's most famous stretch of road for as long as 12 hours Tuesday night and Wednesday morning during one of the worst snow storms in the city's history. The situation was among the worst impacts from the winter storm that carved a frigid path along a 2,000-mile stretch across the eastern U.S.
    In the morning light, the roadway looked like rush hour had been stopped in time. Three lanes of cars cluttered the road with snow reaching as high as the windshields. Some cars were almost completely buried. Bulldozers worked to clear the snow from around the cars, then tow trucks plucked them out of snow drifts one by one.
    On a stranded public transit bus, a two-way radio echoed eerily through the open passenger doors. Some abandoned cars still had yellow hazard lights blinking through the snow — without a human in sight to see them.
    The stranded vehicles were the worst breakdown in Chicago's handling of the storm.
    Some motorists came away angry, frustrated and puzzled at why the city didn't close the crucial thoroughfare earlier, or why officials didn't anticipate that a bus accident could clog it up like a cork in a bottle.
    "In 31 years with the city, I haven't experienced anything like we did at Lake Shore Drive," said Raymond Orozco, Mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff. Later, Orozco told reporters that it was his own call not to shut the road as soon as snow began, and stood by the decision. Late Wednesday, it wasn't known when the road would reopen, and some 200 cars were still stuck.
    City officials estimated as many as 900 cars were caught in the jam; an AP photographer at the scene counted at least 1,500.
    Orozco said more than 130 firefighters, some on snowmobiles, and 100 police officers were sent to the road. As they sat and waited, the stranded motorists gratefully gobbled down granola bars and drank coffee and Gatorade, brought to them by Good Samaritans who climbed fences and railings to deliver them.
    For hour after hour, the passengers in Wilson's bus waited. As lightning crackled, and wind gusts of up to 70 mph whipped up the snow and buried vehicles before their eyes, they huddled in their cars and on buses.
    With word spreading that one or more buses had jackknifed ahead of them and sealed the drive, they tried to make a break for it. Fearing that they would be swallowed by the snowdrifts that by morning had climbed to the tops of vehicles, some turned around.
    "I thought if I fall over, what would happen if I got buried under a pile of snow?" said Wilson, who made it back to her bus as much by feel as sight.
    With so little information out there, motorists said the mood slipped from jovial to apprehensive and even to panic.
    "The bus driver kept yelling,' We are all gonna die,'" said Ron Nelson, a 51-year-old salesman who was on a bus bound for a northern neighborhood where he lives. It wasn't clear if the driver was joking and "nobody thought it was funny," Nelson said at a hospital, where he was taken.
    In cars, after watching their gas gauges falling, drivers tried desperately to keep their vehicles idling long enough with heaters on full blast to warm them up before turning off the ignition to keep from running out of gas.
    People called family and friends on cell phones, as much to get information and ask to be rescued as relay what was going on — mostly because nobody knew.
    Carolyn Pirotte, a 28-year-old nurse, just waited in her car and talked to her husband on the cell phone. He caught a ride as far as he could get, then started walking. He peered into windows until he spotted her just before midnight, six hours after her ordeal began.
    He climbed in and waited with her for three hours until firefighters took them to a warming center at a nearby hospital.
    As for Wilson, she wonders why she hopped on that bus just before it rolled onto Lake Shore Drive.
    "I should have been smart enough not to take that route," she said"

    Stranded Motorists Rescued

    "Added On February 2, 2011 Hundreds of motorists were rescued after more than five hours being trapped by blizzard conditions."
    Video: Chopper footage of Lake Shore Drive Cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago (video)
    Drivers Stranded in Route 173

    Thank you for visiting! Please feel free to e-mail me (Sal) at on any comments, suggestions (e.g. any new websites),complaints, or anytype of feedback to improve this website leave a comment on my blog.

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