Taser timeout

A jail with a dubious record of Taser use is being used as a timeout for Cook County detainees. According to recent lawsuits, some inmates at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee, Ill., are being shocked with Tasers as a first, not last, resort.

Refinance Blues

DATA: Click here to download a list of top 10 metropolitan areas with the most high-cost loans. Chicago area homeowners most likely to have a high-cost loan were least likely to benefit when banks lowered mortgage payments or threw out cash life lines last year. The Chicago Reporter analyzed recently released federal mortgage lending data by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council and found that there were just 175,000 successful refinances for new interest rates or to withdraw equity last year in the Chicago metropolitan area, though nearly 370,000 applications were submitted. White and Asian borrower fared the best, though black and Latino homebuyers in 2006 had higher rates of high-cost loans. Black and Latino homeowners received nearly 50 percent of all high-cost loans in 2006 compared to nearly 22 percent of prime rate loans.

Buy Organic* (Some Restrictions And Limitations Apply)

This is the second installment in a three-part series for Chicago Matters: Growing Forward. This year’s Chicago Matters–the award-winning multimedia public affairs series made possible by The Chicago Community Trust with programming from WTTW 11, Chicago Public Radio, the Chicago Public Library, and The Chicago Reporter–will examine how the choices we make today impact our environment and the future of our region. For more information, visit www.chicagomatters.org. On a one-acre vegetable farm in Chicago, a bearded, 6 foot, 3 inch-tall black man squats before a bed of green, leafy radishes. Unlike most produce, these have been grown without toxic chemicals.

D.C. Renters Buffet Storm

As the nation’s housing foreclosure crisis sweeps through the District of Columbia, the group best prepared to buffet the storm is renters. Like New Jersey and New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., is one of three U.S. jurisdictions where a renter isn’t evicted after a foreclosure. “We have a statute that lists nine reasons for which you can be evicted and if your landlord wants to kick you out for anything other than that, he can’t,” said Anne Smetak, an attorney at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, which advocates for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In Illinois, whoever holds the mortgage on a property has the right to evict tenants in a building whose loan is in default at any point during and after the foreclosure lawsuit has been filed, as long as the tenant receives ample notice of the eviction and an opportunity to contest it in court. In Cook County in 2007, there were 2,497 two to six-unit apartment buildings that went into foreclosure, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis of mortgage foreclosure filings compiled by the National Training and Information Center, a Chicago-based group that organizes communities around issues of racial and economic justice.