Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lexis Nexis Bridgeport Tales

Chicago Daily Herald

January 12, 2007 Friday
Lake Edition; Cook Edition; F1 Edition; F2 Edition; McHenry Edition

'He's got a gun!' A dispute over 'dirty beer' and a bar manager's efforts lead ultimately to a fatal exchange

BYLINE: Tony Gordon and Lee Filas, Daily Herald Staff Writers


LENGTH: 833 words

Robert W. Norden had been at the bar about 3 1/2 hours and was drunk when he started to get testy, officials said Thursday.
What began as an argument with a bartender at The Bridgeport Inn, 42411 N. Converse Road, ended as a shooting with police.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said the 56-year-old Trevor, Wis., man shot at deputies from the doorway area of the tavern and died from two fatal gunshot wounds to the chest when police returned fire.
Norden, who was divorced and unemployed, had prior brushes with the law in Wisconsin - two drunken-driving convictions since 2002 and a third pending case - but friends and neighbors said he was quiet and never violent.
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene after Norden had been told to leave the tavern because of his behavior, went to his pickup truck, grabbed a gun and walked back inside.
Curran said Norden had complained a draft beer he had been served was "dirty," but refused the bartender's offer of a bottle of the same brand.
When Norden, who had been in the bar since about 1 p.m., made a similar complaint to one of the two other patrons around 4:30 p.m., he was again offered a bottle.
"At that point he became agitated, shouted some profanities and threw his beer on the bartender," Undersheriff Charles Fagan said. "It was at that point he was told to leave."
One of the two other patrons in the bar - a man and a woman - watched Norden walk to his truck and remove an eight-shot, .22- caliber revolver.
"At that point, the man shouted, 'He's got a gun,' and ran out of the establishment with another man who was behind the bar," Fagan said. "Two women - one patron and one bartender - were still inside when the offender came in."
One woman ran to a walk-in cooler behind the bar, Fagan said, while the other retreated to a bathroom.
The sheriff's dispatch center received the first call for help at 4:36 p.m., followed shortly by a call police believe was placed by Norden.
"He said something to the effect that there is a nutcase in a bar with a gun," Fagan said. "He said he had six people in a cooler and did not want to hurt anyone."
Charlie Stenseth, manager and son of owner Linda Stenseth, said he placed the first call to the dispatch center shortly before confronting Norden in the parking lot.
Stenseth said Norden, a semi-regular at the tavern who answered to the name of "Trapper Bob," was leaving his truck with the gun in hand when the manager caught up with him.
"I told him to leave before the cops came," Stenseth said. "He said the cops were already called and he isn't leaving."
Stenseth said he continued to ask the clearly intoxicated Norden to "just leave."
"He told me to get away from him," Stenseth said. "So I told him I was going into the bar, and he said, 'If you go in that bar, I'll shoot you.' "
Stenseth said Norden ran into the bar moments before police arrived.
Three deputies, two of them off duty but in the area, responded and were joined by four others, Fagan said.
Through a window, they saw Norden pacing, Curran said. The deputies used a loudspeaker on a squad car to repeatedly tell him to put down the gun and come out with his hands up.
Instead, Norden came to the door and opened fire, prompting three deputies to fire a total of 12 rounds in response.
Curran said it is unknown how many shots Norden fired at officers.
There were eight bullet holes in the building's brick wall near where Norden was standing when he was shot.
Stenseth, who viewed the exchange between police and Norden, said the gunman fired one shot at officers before deputies opened fire.
"(Officers) told him to drop the gun, but he raised it and fired at them," he said. "Then, they opened up and took him down."
One deputy suffered a bruise to his leg that police do not believe was caused by a bullet. Another was treated briefly at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for blood pressure-related problems.
Curran said the three deputies who fired on Norden "are taking a few days off," while the other four at the scene declined any leave.
Coroner Richard Keller said the two fatal wounds Norden suffered were his only injuries. He had a blood-alcohol level of .21, nearly three times the legal threshold of .08.
Curran praised the conduct of the deputies who confronted Norden.
"I have talked with members of the major crimes task force (which is investigating the shooting), and they told me all the witnesses said the offender opened fire first," Curran said.
"There is no doubt in my mind our deputies acted heroically and that there will be no problem with the investigation."
Deputy State's Attorney Jeff Pavletic said it is standard procedure for the task force, made up of officers from several departments, to investigate police shootings.
He said detectives are still interviewing witnesses and will report to him on their findings, at which point a ruling will be made on the justification for the shooting.
- Daily Herald staff writer Corrinne Hess contributed to this report.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Event Pick of the Day--Hypnotique Brass Ensemble at Taste--Free


Phil Cohran (of AACM and Sun Ra, get with it) is jazz and he has 8 sons that are also probably jazz.

The 8 sons play as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble free tonight at Taste of Chicago in Grant Park. Here's hoping going downtown isn't a shit show.

FREE YA'LLS. 6:30. Grant Park.

Details after jump:

Friday, May 15, 2015

James Balcer's Last Day, 11th Ward Inauguration, and Mayor's Day of Service

A call to the ward office...May 15, 4:02 PM

"Is today Alderman Balcer's last day or Monday?"


"Is he around?"

(small laugh.) "No, he's not around. You can leave a message."

"Will he get it?"

"I don't know if he'll get it. He's retired."

(muttered.) "So he's not going to respond to my other messages?"

It is with small fanfare and an early Friday that 11th Ward Alderman for 17 years,  James Balcer, takes his leave of the office.

Perhaps there were others, but I believe I witnessed Alderman Balcer's retirement speech at the Bubbly Creek restoration meeting at the Daley Library a few weeks ago.

Hopefully new Bridgeport radio station...WLPN will get an interview with Balcer. 

But in the meantime, this weekend is RAHM EMANUEL PRESENTS TM: Inauguration Weekend.

Including: Ward Cleanup Events at UnGodly Hours TM--help clean the viaduct at 1800 S Union. 
Hope they provide some gas masks...try not get Cryptococcosis. I can't make it but I'd like to know how one "cleans" a viaduct? Pressure washers and bleach? 

And don't forget, incoming Alderman Thompson will be sworn in this Monday at the Chicago Theater.  Guests only, hope you got your ticket already.  

And I guess ward office hours will start right after the ceremony ends at 12:30?
 Start practicing your pothole grievances in the mirror. 

"It's two-three inches deep!" 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Don't forget...come learn about Bubbly Creek Restoration today at 6 at the Daley Library...

Army Corp of Engineers will be available to answer your questions...check out the report

Maybe they will have a sample of this hybrid fish ft. in the report.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Public Meeting Thursday at Daley Library about FIXING BUBBLY CREEK

The Army Corps of Engineers has released a proposal to revamp Bubbly Creek.

Check out DNA Info's summary, read the proposal yourself, or wait for the Bridgeport International to summarize the meeting.


Friday, April 24, 2015

The Version Fest 2nd Day Curse--Bridgeport Rumours

"I'm worried he's going to drop that bench on his head", says Marian of the Go Intel Prosperity Sphere, "The second day of Version Fest something always bad happens so I'm feeling paranoid."

Come to Version Fest.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The video on this link is a must-watch, especially for the photo collage at the of rahms numerous violations.

Not sure how we missed this story....

h/t chicagoist

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Alderman Balcer 911 Call

Not sure how we glossed over this story back in February,

AUDIO: Ald. Jim Balcer Calls 911 After Plow Hits Canaryville Man

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Hey contributor to the Bridgeport International here. My name is Marchefski and I've lived on the south side of chicago for 65 years and I'm only 60!
Ha-ha. This is being typed by my wife, Ethel, who is much better are computers than I am.
Must be all those classes down at the library.

Ethel make sure you type everything I say! Could you pass me a beer? Don't type that though Ethel. What are you typing? Ok let's do the list now.

Top 6 Ways to Get Fit for Summer In Bridgeport

  1. Stand in front of the 9th District Police Station and moon the officers through the glass windows. You'll be running in no time. 
  2. Draw with some chalk on the front of the Ward Office. When the police come by, start running! 
  3. Get a free trial class at Bridgeport Boxing Club, then when you are about to leave tell owner Frankie "Timebomb" Scalise  that his right hook looks like a soggy manicotti noodle.  Run, or fight, you'll get a workout. 
  4. Go into Ricobene's and tell the owners that their breaded steak tastes like soggy manicotti noodle. Someone will run after you. 
  5. Swim laps in Bubbly Creek. One of the ensuing illnesses you get will help you lose weight.
  6. Do a free trial Kettleball class at Rockfit. Ask owner Rock Cox what his middle name is. He won't chase you but the class will make you tired.

We gotta go practice for St. Barbara's Thursday Bingo now, but see you all around!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What even is in the covenent? This election is like a mystery novel...smh...

Don't Forget to Vote--What's Going to Happen Tonight?

Polls are open until 7PM tonight. Look up your polling place here .

Too bad election day came so soon, the Bridgeport International Club House built out of campaign mailers was almost finished. As was our paper trail to nowhere.

(One-sided) inside sources say " We've been polling. Thompson is gonna get 53% of the vote."

If money counts, Thompson is going to win. He's been getting stacked with bills in these last few weeks. I'd link to the election finance website but I think it costs $400,000 just to google it.

Not sure what will happen, but you can be sure the Bridgeport International will be hiding out somewhere on the North Side until Wednesday comes.

People will probably be drinking and hugging at Maria's.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bobak's Closed on Archer--A Note From the King Sausageologist

H/T to Maureen Sullivan's Facebook for the Press Release

I once biked to Bobak's in a thunder storm and found a kingdom of Polish goods at devastatingly cheap prices. Knockwurts and brautwursts and premade Hunters Stew and pickles out of the barrel. 
My polish friend asked me to pick up "Kabanosy" --- a special kind of sausage that transformed his voice into a low and majestic tone when he pronounced it-- played it back for the cashiers @Bobak's and they knew exactly what to give me. 

RIP Bobak's---none of your speciality goods seem to be available online or in stores. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Women for Thompson Meet n' Greet Tonight & Kozlar Interview

Kelly Fitzpatrick, PDT's youthful social media manager asked me to spread the event below.
If you are undecided about the aldermanic election, it might be something that you would like to attend.

Kelly is a huge bada$$. She got her current position when she tried to sell a copying machine to the Thompson campaign office.  Young women in politics is the best. So I post this for you, Kelly.

In the interest of fairness, I am also embedding a recent interview with John Kozlar.
The interviewer is pretty obviously into Kozlar going so far as to say "I have a guy for that" in reference to some improvement project they are talking about doing.

The only point of contention I have is------

Kozlar & Thompson, are you aware that there is a Bridgeport 3rd Fridays (  as well as a Pilsen 2nd Fridays?

Kozlar only mentions one is this interview, and Thompson didn't reference it in his speech about cultural development last night.

Branding 3rd Fridays is long overdue.

Monday, March 23, 2015

THIS WEDNESDAY: Winter Issue Release Party & P.Daley Thompson Discusses His Plans for Culture in the 11th Ward


Dear All--
Winter has sprung again just in time for the release of the


(Your only destination for Bridgeport news & ephemera.)

come pick up a copy & drink some beer

this Wednesday @6:30 PM

CO-Prosperity Sphere

3219 S Morgan

Aldermanic hopefull Patrick Daley Thompson (PDT) will be speaking about his plans for hipster reunification in the 11th Ward.


after that we will party & talk about THE FUTURE OF THE PAPER



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Unofficial 11th Ward Results--Color-Coded

The Bridgeport International has received this image from a twitter well-wisher. Data is said to be from

Check out this link for some precinct-level percentages.

Who Was Behind this website?--Heliport

How come it was never "revealed" who was running this facebook page and website? 


And why did this group collect names at the first St. Barbara's public meeting?
Why did no one ever contact me? 

Just wondering.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Party Update: Kozlar @ Fabulous Freddie's

Our lithe and beautiful intern, @samstecky, is reporting live from John Kozlar's party at Fabulous Freddie's.

He reports thus:

"I'm here"

"No pizza, looks like salad and beer?"

"Kozlar is 'feeling good' "

"He looks shaky and nervous as hell though"

AlderManic Panic

We don't know how many people have voted. At 5PM--only 100 people had voted at the 9th District Police Station. That's about as good and verifiable a sample size as the only poll conducted about the 11th ward race.  The BI had to drag teenagers off the street in-between their runs to Wing Stop and make them vote.

 Early results point to a possible run-off between Thompson and Kozlar. (WTF).

We'll be covering election parties tonight. Kozlar's is at Fabulous Freddie's. BI Intern Sam Stecklow should be arriving soon. Sullivan's is at her office at Morgan and 34th. PDT has announced NO party. MAYBE HE KNEW IT WOULD BE A RUNOFF.

The Bridgeport International has been alternately weeping and shaking with rage all day. We should have gotten interviews we should have gotten the scoop! We should have been FOIAing since the summer. This race feels really important and under researched. 

Questions left unanswered by candidates:

If you were throwing out the first pitch at Sox Stadium—what theme song would you have played?

What is the last move you saw in theaters?

What will you do to bring Rudy home?

If you (hypothetically) caught me writing in chalk on the outside of the aldermanic office “More Trashcans…Long Live the Bridgeport International”

Would you 

A. Call the police and send me to jail. 
B. Have me wash it off with a bucket and water hastily borrowed from Schaller’s Pump.
C. Say “You damn hipster!”

Will you get me a patronage job?

Election Results: Tuesday 7:35

Holy shit. Do we know anything about Kozlar besides the fact that he built a stadium?
What kind of music does he like? Is he Hazel Motes from Flannery O'Connor's novel Wise Blood?
Is this indicative of further results? Did Daley thugs really break ballot seals?

Editor's Note: Maureen Sullivan Would be the Chillest Alderman #BIElection Coverage

She also told the BI she'd make them a punk CD mix.

These views do not represent the publishers of the Bridgeport International or anyone else that would be pissed off. 

Go Vote!! 11th Ward Go Vote!!! @BportINTL Election Coverage

Democracy Update:

I know we already voted in November but GOOD CHRIST IT IS TIME TO VOTE AGAIN.

Get in the mood with this original song by KEVINandHELL and the Bridgeport International, specially written to promote voting.

Where is your voting place?

Check out:

Polls close at 7PM--get out there folks!! And make good choices.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jobs Listings: Cermak Produce

Cermak Produce, 3033 S Halsted Street, appears to be hiring. 

You could be the hog butcher for the world. Or at least for Cermak. I think the first title goes to Iowa now.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Event Pick---CYC Valentine's Day Dance & Typeforce 6 Opening at Co-Pro--Friday, February 13

CYC Youth Center at 844 W 32nd St
Typeforce Six Opening at Co-Prosperity Sphere until 11PM tonight & the CYC Annual Valentine's Day Dance until 9PM. 

Check out the extended audio version of our event pick, including interviews with the organizers of the Valentine's Day Dance.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Get a Job! Bridgeport Job Listing & RIP ISS Mart--Monday, February 9th

Help wanted sign posted in the window of 623 W 31st St, at the former site of ISS Market (review of the defunct ISS below the jump). 

Peeping through the window a few weeks ago revealed elaborate amounts of decorative bamboo being set up in the space. The voicemail message sounded like an alien language overdubbed with a foreign language, so you might have to show some persistence to score this position.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Street Fashion--Saturday, February 7th--Bport Coffee

Hey Christian, Who are You Wearing?

"I'm wearing something I bought in Colorado 7 years ago. It was on sale. A little shop in Breckenridge."
Benton House Heir-Christian Lennon-Photo: Netiya "Shiny" Shiner

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Side Street Clearing in Bridgeport

Plow location as of 1:48 AM Tuesday. 

Side streets are still looking pretty rough in Bridgeport, but camaraderie has never been higher.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Teaser from the First Trinity Aldermanic Forum

"We don't need a dinosaur-made website."


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Notes from the Canaryville Aldermanic Forum

****Candidate answers are paraphrased and not exact quotes, except what is in quotes.****

Kozlar(ski), Sullivan, Thompson take the stage at the St. Gabriel Church Auditorium. I've never seen Kozlar or Thompson in person, but I've been reading about them extensively. It feels like a celebrity sighting to me. Maybe that's how looking in the mirror feels to them. Fresh off Chicago Tonight, they are stars in some circles now.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Event Pick--- Bridgeport Third Fridays--Friday January 16

It is "Third Fridays" here in Bridgeport, which means that the Bridgeport Art Center, Zhou B Art Gallery, Co-Prosperity Sphere & the galleries on Morgan St will be open & giving out free booze/snacks. 

As a neighborhood, it would be helpful to brand these events as "Third Friday" because I can never remember what day of the month it is on. 

Galleries are open from 6-10. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Event Pick--I'm About to Bring a Weird Vegan Cake to Marias's Come Eat Some-- Wednesday January 14

Happy birthday to the writer behind our column The Bridgeport Naturalist... in honor of his birthday I will be bringing a weird tasting vegan cake to Maria's, right now.

An excerpt from his column in our upcoming Winter 2015 Issue after the jump...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Event Pick--Free Ticket to David Lynch Documentary--Tuesday January 13

Email to be entered to win a free ticket to the sold-out documentary "David Lynch: Meditation, Creativity, and Peace" playing at the Vittum Theater tonight at 7:30, put on by the Chicago branch of the David Lynch Foundation.
About the film after the jump.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Event Pick-- Eat at MeztiSoy in Pilsen -- Sunday January 11

It is rare for me to promote leaving Bridgeport for any extended period of time, but MeztiSoy, on 18th St between Paulina and Walcott, is delicious enough, and close enough, that you should get your act together and stop in. Or get your friend with a car to drive you.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Canaryville Takes Over Reggie's-- Event Pick-- Friday January 11th

If your toes are still a-tappin and you are near the south loop I would say head to

aldermanic candidate for the 11th ward JOHN KOZLAR is rumored to be in attendance. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Event Pick---Saturday Night, January 3 -- Hosted Bar @ Beauty Bar

 "Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin' if you wanna be with me"

 sings Billy Preston from the speakers of the Jackalope coffee house,