Obama shows up in Chicago for jury duty
CHICAGO (AP) — Former President Barack Obama, free of a job that forced him to move to Washington for eight years, showed up to a downtown Chicago courthouse for jury duty on Wednesday morning.
The 44th president's motorcade — considerably shorter than the one he had when he lived in the White House — left his home in the Kenwood neighborhood on the city's South Side and arrived at the Richard J. Daley Center shortly after 10 a.m.
Obama — wearing a dark sport coat, dress shirt, but without a tie — waved to people who gathered outside after hearing reports that he would be reporting for jury duty.
Whether he will be selected to sit on a jury, and presumably be selected jury foreman, was not known. But if he is like other would-be jurors, Obama will have to watch a decades-old video in which a much younger Lester Holt, who was a local news anchor before he became a national news anchor, explains the ins-and-outs of jury duty.
Obama is also in line to receive the $17.20 a day that jurors are paid for performing their civic duty.
Obama is the highest-ranking former public official to be called to jury duty in Chicago, and almost certainly the only one who ever arrived with a Secret Service detail.
Police: Thief didn't get far in motorized grocery store cart
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A man accused of stealing a motorized shopping cart from an Alaska grocery store didn't get very far or go very fast before his low-speed getaway attempt was foiled by police.
The battery-operated cart with a basket mounted behind the handlebars has a top speed of 1.9 mph.
Authorities say Rondell Tony Chinuhuk of Anchorage is charged with felony theft for attempting to take the cart early Tuesday from a Safeway store in Fairbanks.
Police say they stopped Chinuhuk while he was crossing a thoroughfare following a 10-minute joyride that consisted mostly of trying to leave the expansive store parking lot.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Chinuhuk was charged with felony theft of the $2,500 cart. Assistant public defender Jennifer Hite says in an email the office doesn't comment on cases.
Town near Grand Canyon rejects push for taller buildings
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Voters in Tusayan rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would have led to big changes for the gateway town to Grand Canyon National Park.
The all mail-in election asked residents to decide whether they wanted buildings heights up to 65 feet. Of the 131 people who cast ballots, 60 supported the measure, while 71 opposed it.
Italy-based Stilo Development Group USA asked the Town Council for the change after the U.S. Forest Service blocked access to two Stilo properties in town.
The company teamed up with another landowner, Elling Halvorson, in pushing for the higher buildings to develop their property at the edge of town. It has plans for apartment buildings, retail shops and lodging at the site.
Opponents have said it's the wrong kind of development for a town that relies on Grand Canyon tourism.
The Town Council unanimously approved the increased building height earlier this year but was challenged in a petition drive led by Vail. The town clerk and Coconino County officials initially rejected the petition over a signature a judge later deemed to be valid.
Months later, the Town Council voted to settle the question through a ballot measure.
Signs went up around town urging voters to say yes to higher buildings to bring jobs, independence and housing to the community of about 550 people. Other signs asked voters to reject the measure to protect the Grand Canyon.