Anybody who was present or owned property within a large area of Little Village on April 11, 2020 is eligible for a cash payment from Hilco Redevelopment Partners, the company behind the controversial implosion of the smokestack from the coal-powered Crawford Generating Station. In the aftermath of the implosion, which covered the neighborhood in dust at the start of the pandemic, three residents filed a class action lawsuit against Hilco on behalf of themselves and others affected by the implosion. In December, Hilco agreed to settle the lawsuit to the tune of $12.5 million; the money will pay for attorney fees and be dispersed among eligible residents who submit a claim form. The website for the settlement, www.littlevillagesmokestacks.com, states that submitting a claim form or doing nothing binds those eligible to the settlement, which prevents future legal action against Hilco; to retain the right for future legal action, residents have until February 26 to opt out of the settlement. The deadline to submit a claim for a cash payment is March 26.
Since the implosion, Hilco built a Target distribution center on the property, at 3501 S. Pulaski Rd., called Exchange 55, which opened in 2021. The center has been protested by some residents worried about the impact of truck traffic on roads and air quality. In late 2022, Hilco announced plans to build a trailer storage site next to the distribution center.
Texas bus company sues city
Texas-based Wynne Transportation filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago on January 5. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration contracted the bus company to transport migrants to Democratic-led cities across the country. Since August 2022, Chicago has welcomed over 35,000 migrants seeking asylum arriving via Texas buses and airplanes. In early December, Chicago began creating stricter guidelines on where individuals could be dropped off by bus companies, and has filed several dozen complaints with bus companies who violated those protocols since then.
The lawsuit from Wynne Transportation asserts the city exceeded its authority over immigration and that such protocols can only be put in place by the federal government. The bus company and its subcontractors are facing more than ninety suits filed by the city with fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. The City has yet to file a response to the complaint.