Happy Barack Obama Day.
Illinois government offices remained open Saturday as the home state of former President Barack Obama commemorated his birthday under a new state law.
The bill marking Aug. 4 as “Barack Obama Day” throughout the state was enacted without making the date a full-scale holiday.
The Illinois House narrowly rejected a plan to make Obama’s birthday a state holiday amid worries that the cash-strapped state could not afford to give state state employees another paid day off.
But in Chicago, non-state employees (but often state wards) celebrated in the traditional fashion with fireworks.
At least two people were killed and 17 wounded in city shootings since Friday morning, including a 66-year-old man carjacked in the West Side’s Fifth City neighborhood, Chicago police said.
Two people were shot just after 12:55 a.m. in North Austin while standing on the sidewalk in the 1700 block of North Mason Avenue. Someone shot at them from across the street, police said. They tried to get away in a green SUV and ended up hitting a parked vehicle in the 1600 block of Mason. A 22-year-old man was shot in the head, and a 20-year-old woman was shot in the right foot. Both were taken to Loyola, where the man was in serious condition and the woman was stabilized.
The man was sitting in his car just after 7:15 p.m. in the 400 block of South Kedzie Avenue when two people pulled him out, shot him in the abdomen and drove away in his car, police said. An ambulance took him to Stroger Hospital, where he was in serious condition.
Around 4 a.m. Saturday in East Garfield Park, two people, a man and a woman, were shot while standing on the sidewalk in the 3400 block of West Huron Street. The man was shot in the left hand and foot, and the woman was shot in her right leg, police said. The two, each 41 years old, were taken to Stroger Hospital.
...and on and on... in just another weekend of hope, change and death in Chiraq. Happy Obama Day to one and all. Especially the survivors.