Friday, September 25, 2020

Wrigleyville Bar Owners Say They Need More Support From City As Baseball Season Nears End – Block Club Chicago

“We need to be able to stay open until what we paid for in our liquor licenses, which is 2 or 3 a.m., because that’s when we make most of our money,” bar owner Zach Strauss said. “Even just an hour later would make a huge difference.”

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Demonstrators March Down Michigan Avenue in Protest of Breonna Taylor Decision – NBC5 (Chicago)

Approximately 100 people chanted as they marched up the street, peacefully moving northbound on the roadway. Police were close, following behind the protesters and gathering at the front to keep things under control.

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‘March after march. Protest after protest. And nothing changes in America’ – Chicago Sun-Times*

Cassandra Greer-Lee, one of dozens of protesters who addressed the crowd, said the Chicago Police Department’s intimidation tactics wouldn’t deter her. “I will exercise my right,” she told the crowd. “You will not move me. You will not intimidate me. It doesn’t matter.”

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‘This is not good enough.’ Chicago-area parents rally to get kids back in school, and some districts are making it happen. – Chicago Tribune*

Officials in one district budgeted up to $2.3 million for coronavirus-related expenses, which breaks down to about $1,400 per student — a price many districts cannot afford. Part of that cost includes a partnership with Ambry Genetics to provide immediate coronavirus testing to staff, including an overnight kit for employees who are exhibiting symptoms that yields test results within 24 to 72 hours of receipt.

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An Inside Look At The Chicago Police Looting Task Force – CBS2 (Chicago)

Asked if the arrests so far were satisfying, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said that is a question for business owners – some of which were so hurt by looting that shops remain closed.

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UChicago activists vow year of protest without ‘peace or quiet’ after school refuses to defund police – College Fix

“Students of color are left to fend for themselves on this particularly violent campus, with no real place to access a liberatory education or an empowering collective space,” CareNotCops Tweeted.

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Cook County plans to give out grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses hit hard by pandemic – Chicago Tribune*

To be eligible, the businesses must be for-profit, have 20 or fewer employees and prove sales dropped by more than 20% during any month from March to July, compared with February. If the business received federal funding in the past, the applicant must demonstrate they will use this grant for different expenses.

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CPS plan for reopening schools remains unclear as parents share remote learning woes with Board of Education: ‘It’s just not working’ – Chicago Tribune*

“It is unrealistic to think that this almost 70-page document is usable for parents who are not teachers, non-English speakers or simply overwhelmed with the task of trying to facilitate remote special education for their disabled children,” said Mary Hughes, special education parent liaison.

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What’s It Like to Be a Black Cop in Chicago in 2020? We Ask 3 CPD Officers – WTTW (Chicago)

“As officers, as a Black officer, the three of us, we all agree that resources need to be spent properly,” said Chicago police Sgt. Jermaine Harris. “If we can get past the idea of turning this into a political topic and really get to serving our communities and what’s really needed there, that’s something I can get behind.”

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Boystown, Chicago’s Famed LGBTQ Neighborhood, Now Will Be Known As Northalsted – Block Club Chicago

Neighborhood business leaders launched a three-month survey to get more feedback. Of the nearly 7,900 people who responded, 58 percent favored keeping the Boystown moniker and 80 percent said they don’t feel unwelcome by the name.

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Sun-Times editor Chris Fusco leaving for California news startup – Robert Feder

Fusco’s last day at the Sun-Times will be October 2. Until a permanent replacement is named, managing editor Steve Warmbir will serve as interim editor-in-chief.

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4 Chicago Restaurants, Bars Cited This Weekend For Flouting COVID-19 Reopening Rules – CBS2 (Chicago)

Since June 3, BACP has conducted 2,018 investigations of businesses suspected of violating reopening guidelines, which have resulted in 130 citations.

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Chicago-area Catholic schools enrollment drops, with worst decline among pre-kindergarten students – Chicago Tribune*

“We expected this because a lot of stay-at-home parents are keeping their kids home,” said archdiocese spokesman Manuel Gonzales.

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How Can We Save Chicago Kids From Spiking Gun Violence? ‘We Need All Hands On Deck,’ Mediators, Activists Say – Block Club Chicago

“Violence in Chicago is, tragically, a generational and a multifaceted problem,” said Kim Smith, director of programs at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab. “We’re considering all of the interventions: investments in education, primary and secondary prevention, and then, after incidents happen, how we build resilient communities and help them heal.”

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In debate over where cops should patrol in Chicago, ‘no one wants to lose’ – Chicago Sun-Times*

Northwest Side Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) isn’t happy about revisiting how cops are deployed in beats: “I’m a little concerned about any type of realignment, given the fact that, in the 16th District, part of the ward that I represent, we’re at 17 murders in one year. Historically, we have seen anywhere from zero to five. So we are up 300%. There’s no way that I’m going to advocate for resources coming from my area going anywhere.”

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Outlines Her Demands To ComEd – WBEZ (Chicago)

The mayor wants the company to sign a formal “Energy and Equity Agreement” as part of a new franchise agreement. Among the mayor’s other demands: create community solar sites in Chicago, support for CTA bus electrification, end late fees and provide relief to low-income customers.

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Coronavirus squeeze puts debt on the table for Chicago – The Bond Buyer

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As Chicago Scrambled in Early Days of Coronavirus, Political Ties Helped Win No-Bid Contracts – Better Government Association

While it’s not illegal to use personal relationships, the tale of how a furniture company became a top supplier of medical gear helps illustrate how valuable those connections were during the early days of the pandemic when speed was critical. “This was an all-hands-on-deck moment,” said Joanna Klonsky, a consultant and political adviser to Lightfoot, “and everyone was looking for ways to be helpful in an emergency.”

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Cook County Health officials send Board of Commissioners $3.4B budget plan as pandemic shortfall looms: ‘We’re looking at a compromise here, no question’ – Chicago Tribune*

About $2.2 billion of next year’s expected revenue would come from CountyCare, the health system’s massive Medicaid program serving low-income residents. The insurance plan is seeing an enrollment resurgence during the pandemic and is now expected to see membership peak in November before it plateaus to about 350,000 for most of next year, potentially offsetting all claims payments.

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Next Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Must Improve Public Access, Accountability, Legal Groups Say – WTTW (Chicago)

The clerk’s office under Brown has long been criticized for the inefficient manner in which it handles many public records, relying on paper documents that would many times go missing. This archaic method has been an issue for years, but it’s only grown worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report.

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Chicago’s Top Lawyer Warns Aldermen to Be Careful When Pushing Diversity Goals – WTTW (Chicago)

That direct warning is likely to exacerbate tensions between the City Council and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration, which has been working to scale back the power of individual aldermen — even as the mayor has vowed to listen more respectfully to those who oppose her policies and initiatives.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s top lawyer says city may not defend Chicago aldermen if demands on minority participation cause vendor to sue – Chicago Tribune*

Law Department head, Mark Flessner wrote, “Let me reemphasize my concern in another way: There is a significant difference between” asking questions and making suggestions, and “insisting that a proposed ordinance be drastically and fundamentally amended through the imposition of compelled concessions unrelated to that ordinance, as a precondition of committee approval.”

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Replacing lead water lines is a problem for all of Illinois to solve – Chicago Sun-Times*

Letter from State Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago; State Rep. Lamont Robinson, D-Chicago; Naomi Davis, lead steward, Chicago Black Water Council; Josh Ellis, vice president, Metropolitan Planning Council: "More importantly, equity must be integral to any replacement program; a statewide program would address this issue head-on. Nationwide research has shown that voluntary programs are not equitable."

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Wisconsin among states added to Chicago’s emergency travel order – WGNTV (Chicago)

The list now includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.

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Hundreds gather near Naperville District 203 offices to demand area schools reopen: ‘Our children deserve better’ – Naperville Sun*

Eighth-grader Eleni Nicolaudes carried a sign that summed up her feelings on remote learning: “Stressed Out.” Her younger sister, Sofia, made a sign that told her health story of being a Type 1 diabetic who had COVID-19 and survived. “I like to see my friends,” Sofia said. “I just want to go back to school.”

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Chicago Set to Order Visitors From Wisconsin to Quarantine, Again – WTTW (Chicago)

The one-week reprieve was an acknowledgement that adding Wisconsin back to the order could have a “major impact” since many Chicagoans commute to Wisconsin every day for work, and many have vacation homes on the other side of the border, officials said.

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Archdiocese of Chicago schools make progress with in-person learning, month later – ABC7 (Chicago)

157 schools have reopened for an average of over three weeks, according to Justin Lombardo, the Archdiocese's Chief Human Resource officer. And while he feels progress has gone very well, the biggest challenge is gaining the confidence and trust from the staff and parents. "This was not an exercise of open the door and let it go."

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New Directions for the Office of the Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court: Recommendations for Planning and Transitioning to New Leadership – Civic Federation

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Another Bloody Chicago Weekend Sees Almost 40 Shot, With Homicides Up 50% – ZeroHedge

"The windy city has seen shocking numbers nearly every weekend over the past months, also earlier this month over a bloody Labor Day holiday weekend which saw a whopping 51 shot, including 10 deaths."

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‘No Silver Bullet’: Aldermen Start Confronting Massive Budget Shortfall – WTTW (Chicago)

City CFO Jennie Huang Bennett told members of the City Council’s Finance Committee Monday that several measures long favored by progressive aldermen would do more to hurt than to help the city’s dire financial condition - the so-called LaSalle Street Tax, a monthly head tax and video gaming, among them.

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90 Percent Of Chicago’s Independent Music Venues Will Close Because Of Coronavirus, Desperate Owners Say – Block Club Chicago

Joe Shanahan, owner of the Metro, said there’s no end in sight. “We just need an umbrella right now because it’s raining. It’s gonna stop eventually, but how long."

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Struggling Restaurant Owners Worry New COVID-19 Rules Will Hurt Business More – CBS2 (Chicago)

“It is unbelievably difficult. This struggle is really, really tough,” said bar owner Andrea Kardaras. City liquor sales stop at 11 p.m. Establishments close at midnight. “Something has got to give, and it has to be that timeframe. We need longer hours,” Kardaras said.

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Chicago aldermen create City Council subcommittee on reparations – Chicago Tribune*

The body won’t have much power to enact reparation plans, but aldermen who support the idea nonetheless view its creation as a big step after decades in which the prospect of reparations gained very little traction in the council.

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LaSalle Street titans slam proposed transaction tax on financial exchanges – Chicago Sun-Times*

Terry Duffy, chairman and CEO of the CME Group, explained that the CME is “no longer four walls with a trading floor.” It no longer owns any real estate in Chicago. It leases offices that can be moved out of the city at the flip of a switch. “We’re not talking about an idle threat."

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Editorial: Mayor Lightfoot’s parking ticket switcheroo – Chicago Tribune*

"Lightfoot made a rash, unnecessary decision that was obviously unaffordable, and she soon decided she had to reverse it. But she refused to share that information with her unsuspecting constituents.Thousands of Chicagoans have lost money as a result. They have gained some wisdom about the honesty of politicians."

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Hundreds attend back-to-school rally held in Naperville – WGNTV (Chicago)

One parent said the last few months have been very tough on her family, with unclear communication on a final decision from the school district. “I just think kids need a plan. They like to know what they’re doing and have a plan."

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Report: Chicago issued 35,000 tickets amid confusion over enforcement suspension at start of pandemic – WGNTV (Chicago)

In a written statement, a city spokeswoman said, “(The Mayor) made explicitly clear that ticketing is continuing during the pandemic and reiterated there would be an emphasis on public safety reasons. To make it even more clear to reporters, the Mayor again explicitly stated that this does not mean that there is ‘free parking all over the city.’ On top of that, the Mayor stated that residents will continue to have to feed the meter during this time.”

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Despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s announcement of ticketing relief during the pandemic, thousands received parking citations anyway: ‘It’s a betrayal, just absolutely ridiculous’ – Chicago Tribune*

“Access to government offices, hospitals and hotels cannot be impeded by illegal parking, including metered spaces,” states the letter signed by Jennie Huang Bennett, the city’s chief financial officer. “Police, fire and other first responders performing essential public safety functions cannot be hampered in their duties due to any type of illegal parking in these zones.” In effect, City Hall was suggesting that a vehicle parked at a paid meter was safer than a car parked at an unpaid one.

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Chicago Public Schools needs to make remote learning adjustments, CTU says – ABC7 (Chicago)

"I see my kids and I know that we can do better by them," said CPS Spanish teacher Lori Torres. "I'm watching kids have struggles to stay focused, one. Two, to stay awake."

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Chicago releases outdoor dining guidelines for fall, winter – WGNTV (Chicago)

Among them, temporary outdoor structures that hold multiple parties must have at least 50% of the sides open to allow air flow, and enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, may be used for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation.

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After A Brutal Summer, Restaurants Worry About How Much Worse The Winter Will Be – WBEZ (Chicago)

In this summer of COVID-19, a good day at the restaurant means making just 30% of pre-pandemic sales. Even a drizzle can be the difference between breaking even and losing money. “Remember that last year on Halloween Day it snowed,” owner Michael Roper said. “Some places are of course saying, ‘Let’s put heaters out.’ But once it’s windy and sleet and ice and snow and really really cold weather, those heaters are useless.”

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Neighbors Fear Rift Between Police, Progressive Aldermen After Anti-Cop Posts From Staffers – Block Club Chicago

Ashley Galvan Ramos, a constituent services liaison in Ald. Daniel La Spata's office, tweeted July 18: “The aggression and brutality on YOUTH last night was a direct attack on YOUTH. Lori Lightfoot and her wife wanted to create a networking group for YOUTH to ‘stay off the streets’ but can’t even call her pigs out? She can’t even see wtf she’s doing wrong.”

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A national group studied commercial property tax assessments in Cook County under the last assessor, Joe Berrios. The results were not pretty. – Chicago Tribune*

For the new study, the international assessors' group looked at 1,643 business property sales throughout Cook County in 2018. It found that in the county as a whole, properties were assessed at a median of 61% of their actual sales price, far from the group’s acceptable range of 90% to 110%.

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Chicago postal workers threaten to stop delivering mail after multiple employees shot on the job – FOX News

Mack Julion, president of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers, advised workers to stop delivering in areas where they feel unsafe. "We are not going to have another situation where the letter carrier is shot down."

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When COVID came to Cook County Jail – Chicago Magazine

"The jail was fortunate in one sense: Its annual battle against the flu meant it had a set of protocols for dealing with widespread illness. 'We just went back to those basic practices,' says Dr. Connie Mennella, chair of correctional health."

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‘Coronavirus Death Scoreboard’ display stirs controversy in Illinois town – FOX News

Northbrook resident Lee Goodman, the leader of Peaceful Communities, told Patch, "It is a tragedy and a disgrace that we have failed to do all we could to confront this public health crisis, and as a result, many people have died unnecessarily. But, we can do better in the future."

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Suburban athletes show up for Let Us Play protest, but city turnout is small – Chicago Sun-Times*

Kenwood football player Myles Mooyoung not only showed up, he also was one of six high school students who stood on stage to speak to the crowd. ‘‘Anything that happens is on us. ‘If I get COVID from playing football, I’m fine with that.’’

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Chicago rappers hold peace walk for youth to promote solidarity, education – ABC7 (Chicago)

Saturday's peace walk comes in addition to a 5K for children that was hosted by the Chicago Police Department in South Austin on the West Side.

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The Toll Of Remote Learning On One Chicago Teacher: ‘I Am Learning Everything Again’ – WBEZ (Chicago)

In quiet moments, a scary thought bubbles up, one she doesn’t want to entertain. “Have I thought about how long I could do this?” asked 24-year-old teacher Jessica Vega. “The thought has crossed my mind, but I decided not to linger on it because I want to be positive and optimistic it won’t be forever.”

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What We Do — And Don’t — Know About Chicago’s Lead Water Problem – WBEZ (Chicago)

With 400,000 lead service lines lurking beneath Chicago homes, the city faces the worst documented lead line problem in the nation. These service lines — the pipes that connect the water main in the street to our faucets — are still used in about 80 percent of all Chicago homes.

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Lightfoot Slams ‘Hypocrisy’ Of GOP Push To Fill Ginsburg’s Supreme Court Seat Before Election; Chicago Judge Among Top Contenders – CBS Chicago

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Bulls Hang ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mural From Advocate Center Windows – NBC Chicago

The 33-by-24-foot piece hangs alongside the team’s six championship banners on the north side of the facility, facing West Madison Street.

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Protests Against Police Brutality, For Racial Justice Held Around Chicago; Near West Protest Turns Combative – CBS2 (Chicago)

It was part of a national day of protest in the names of the likes of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. “We’re not asking anybody for this,” a demonstrator said. “We’re demanding this.”

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Chicago’s Lack of Affordable Housing Hurting Latino Families – WTTW (Chicago)

"You’re 120,000 units short, imagine what total’s going to be post-COVID. The reality of families becoming, entire families becoming homeless? That’s is truly a reality and a fear that our renters have and are going through," said Diane Limas, of Communities United.

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Douglass Park officially renamed for Frederick Douglass – WGNTV (Chicago)

Four years after a Village Leadership Academy class assignment aimed to rename Douglass Park after Frederick Douglass, the name change is official. “We thought it would have been a slam dunk for the park district to add an ‘s’," Former Village Leadership Academy teacher Bianca Jones said.

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Pickpocketing’s a dying art, but cops say crew of 60-somethings still preyed on L riders – Chicago Sun-Times*

Suspected in at least 14 thefts on CTA property between Jan. 1 and July 14, they were charged with felonies and released on bail. And then Leavell and Miller were arrested again earlier this month in connection with seven more thefts on CTA property between July 14 and Sept. 8. Sometimes, they used stolen credit cards to buy Ventra passes they could sell at a discount, police say, and would also use what they took to treat themselves at McDonald’s.

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‘Let us play!’: Illinois prep players rally in Chicago – Associated Press

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Disservice to Teachers Evident in Chicago Union’s Tweet – RealClear Education

However, any Chicago teacher who was outraged by the tweet and wishes to leave the union over CTU’s misplaced priorities will likely hit a brick wall. Teachers who want to end their $1,140 in annual dues payments are only allowed to end their payments during a specified opt out window.

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City Hall signals COVID could upend $8.5B O’Hare redo – Crain’s*

Documents the city filed as part of a pending deal to refinance $1.24 billion in O’Hare debt indicate city officials now are “assessing timing” on the Terminal Area Project, and the current 2028 completion date is “subject to change.”

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Chicago suburbs warn ComEd: It’s time to pay up on local utility taxes – Chicago Tribune*

About 50 leaders from roughly 80 suburban communities who feel shorted by ComEd decided to speak up as the utility giant is on the defensive. The mayors sent a letter this month to ComEd CEO Joseph Dominguez calling on the electricity provider to “promptly pay.”

They estimate millions of dollars are owed in overdue in uncollected utility taxes. The mayors say it’s often because ComEd failed to match up the addresses of residences and businesses using power and then pass on the utility tax revenues collected to communities.

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Vista Tower had all the makings of success. Then things got complicated. – Crain’s*

The 93-story tower is now nearing completion on East Wacker in Chicago. But its hotel partner bailed. A plan to sell to Chinese buyers failed. The downtown market tanked. A major design flaw was revealed. Then came pandemic and civil unrest.

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‘The E Stands For Equity’: How 2 New City Plans Seek To Tackle Racial And Economic Segregation – WBEZ

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Chicago Teachers reduces assumed rate of return – Pensions & Investments

Chicago Public School Teachers' Pension & Retirement Fund is lowering its assumed rate of return to 6.75%. The $11.1 billion pension fund's board voted Thursday to lower the rate of return from 7%.

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Public Health System Seeks Increased Tax Support from Cook County – Civic Federation

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Thousands of Chicago hotel workers worried about losing health insurance during pandemic – Chicago Sun-Times*

Nearly 7,000 Chicago hotel workers who remain laid off due to the pandemic are at risk of losing their health insurance at the end of the month.

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Ex-Daley operative Victor Reyes once again in the midst of a big political storm – Chicago Sun-Times*

Unlike Burke and Sandoval, Reyes hasn’t been charged with any crime. But he or one of his firms has come onto the radar of federal authorities in two of the cases they’re investigating, records show. And he has ties to others who have come under scrutiny as federal investigators plow their way across the political landscape in the city and suburbs.

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This big-time private-equity player is heading west as it grows – Crain’s*

Thoma Bravo, which has grown into a big-time private-equity tech investment firm, has quietly moved most of its key decision-makers and personnel to San Francisco. Mitchell and Thoma, 71, are the only two managing partners remaining in Chicago, with the other four based in San Francisco.

Thoma partially faults Illinois for the drift west, criticizing Gov. J.B. Pritzker's policies as not good for business and noting the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes the firm has generated for the state. Thoma also laments Chicago's recent upheaval, which included looting downtown. "I am worried about Chicago," he says. "Six police cars in front of your residence does not inspire confidence."

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Opinion: Is the University of Chicago Requiring Loyalty Oaths from its Faculty? – Newsweek*

Alan Dershowitz: "In totalitarian countries around the world, universities are required to be aligned with governmentally approved values. And when I was in college, some universities required teachers to take loyalty oaths against Communism. But in the United States today, professors and students must remain free to come to their own conclusions, to arrive at their own beliefs and to decide for themselves which struggles are most important."

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Community activists call on Lightfoot to give kids bulletproof backpacks amid Chicago gun violence – ABC7 (Chicago)

During Thursday's press conference, several children demonstrated how the backpacks, made by Tier 1 Protective Solutions, could help during a possible shooting.

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‘We Cannot Normalize This Behavior,’ Lightfoot Says After Spike in Juvenile Shooting Victims – WTTW (Chicago)

Since Sunday, at least six more juveniles have been shot, per CPD records, including a 5-year-old who was wounded in what appeared to be an accidental shooting Tuesday, and two teens who were among five people wounded in a drive-by shooting.

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McCook police chief indicted in extortion scheme that brought down mayor – Chicago Tribune*

The four-count indictment alleged Chief Mario DePasquale conspired with Tobolski beginning in 2016 to shake down a business owner who ran a restaurant at a McCook-owned facility and needed the mayor’s approval to host events with liquor. At the time, Tobolski doubled as McCook’s liquor commissioner.

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Editorial: Vote ‘no’ on the graduated income tax – Crain’s*

"Voting in favor of the progressive tax requires a leap of faith—a belief that Illinois politicians can be trusted to shepherd these new resources responsibly. Sadly, Illinois pols have done nothing to earn that trust."

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Less Than 50% Chance Bears’ Fans Will Return to Soldier Field This Season: Lightfoot – NBC5 (Chicago)

Lightfoot's comments come one week after Bears Chairman George McCaskey said he was "optimistic" about fans being permitted to attend games, adding the team submitted what he called a "good plan" to city officials.

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More Than 50 Chicago-Area Restaurants Closed Due to COVID-19 – NBC5 (Chicago)

Restaurant owner have said they're particularly concerned about the winter months if things don't change and restrictions on indoor dining remain in place.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot rips Chicago FOP president: ‘I don’t have a lot of good things to say about him’ – Chicago Tribune*

“I’m not running in a personality contest here, so I really don’t care if she likes me or not. I’m here to represent the members of this Police Department and that’s what I’m going to continue to do,” union president John Catanzara said. “She has an obligation to work with me just like I have an obligation to work with her, personality interests aside."

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Whether a restaurant survives the pandemic could depend on an uneasy dance with the landlord – Chicago Tribune*

“The truth is that not all landlords are in the same position,” one broker said. “Depending on the loan you have, some landlords are dealing with their lenders, and some lenders won’t even speak to them. I’ve talked to some whose lenders won’t give them any relief. In the next six months, we’re going to see a lot of those landlords going into default.”

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In Englewood, A Push To Empower Residents By Turning Renters Into Homeowners – Block Club Chicago

The project is part of a “buy the block” approach to building up Black communities, facilitating affordable homeownership while preventing gentrification. The strategy recently has been put into action in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward.

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Postal workers say they’ll face rain, sleet and COVID-19, but they’re ‘not doing bullets’ – FOX32 (Chicago)

“There’s a war going on. These gang members are fighting for turf, for blocks that they don’t even own,” said Linda Hudson, the vigil organizer.

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New Poll Shows The Racially Disparate Financial Impact Of COVID-19 In Chicago – WBEZ (Chicago)

More than four in every 10 Black and Latino households in Chicago reported using up all or most of their savings — compared with 25% of white households, according to the report.

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Head of Police Oversight Agency Defends Operations After Critical Audit – WTTW (Chicago)

OEMC failed to fulfill 57% of the agency’s requests for video and audio footage within 60 days, making it impossible for COPA to comply with the law in those cases, according to the audit.

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Lightfoot, firefighters’ union sign new contract that includes pay raises – WGNTV (Chicago)

Chicago firefighters and paramedics got $95 million in back pay but had to concede on healthcare contributions and other areas. However, union negotiators say under the circumstances, it’s a fair deal: Firefighters will get a pay increase of 2% this year, a 2.25% increase for 2018 and a 2.25% increase for 2019.

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Chicago Mail Carriers Threaten To Stop Delivering In Some Neighborhoods Following Shooting – CBS2 (Chicago)

A24-year-old mail carrier  was shot four times during a drive-by shooting in the Burnside neighborhood one week ago.

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Commentary: Who’s ready for a trade show? Poll shows there’s hope for McCormick Place and other halls. – Chicago Tribune*

"In our poll of American adults, we also found that conventioneers think Chicago has managed the COVID-19 outbreak about as well as local governments in America’s other top five convention cities — Las Vegas, Orlando, Florida, Atlanta and Dallas. Despite more than 136,000 coronavirus cases and 5,100 deaths in Cook County, the survey results suggest that Chicago has maintained its competitive stature nationally as a host city."

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John Kass: Kids with bulletproof backpacks provide bad but real optics for Chicago – Chicago Tribune*

"It is appalling, actually, to see a baby crouched behind a shield, little fingers holding the backpacks out for cover, playacting at what is all too real here."

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For some, youth sports is a path to a different life and COVID-19 has sideline those dreams – WGNTV (Chicago)

"(S)cholarship money means everything to Jonathan Rodriguez — his mother is unemployed and at home with him and his two sisters. His father works in a tire shop. Every dollar counts and Northwestern’s tuition is over $75,000 a year."

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Once Buzzing With Downtown Workers, Loop Food Halls Face Uncertain Fate As Pandemic Drags On – CBS2 (Chicago)

“All of us where hoping to see this area come back a lot quicker than it has,” said Britni DeLeon, co-founder of FARE restaurant.

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North Suburban Parents Upset About New COVID-19 Travel Restrictions – CBS2 (Chicago)

The superintendent emailed parents, “students that are required to quarantine for travel-related reasons (i.e., travel to high-risk area), will not be permitted to access remote learning during the quarantine period.” Some in the community are thrilled with the tough policy. Others feel it’s overreach, saying kids should never be prevented from learning remotely during the pandemic.

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Progressive Aldermen Lay Out Plan to Build More Affordable Housing for Black, Latino Chicagoans – WTTW (Chicago)

The proposal also endorses the task force recommendations that the city prioritize building affordable housing in areas served by CTA trains and buses, and centralizing marketing and leasing efforts via a web portal to ensure prospective tenants do not experience racial or economic discrimination.

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Column: Upset by Smollett flap, judges refuse to kiss the ring with campaign donation — but will they tell Dems to kiss off? – Chicago Sun-Times*

Mark Brown: "It was a rare election-year display of political independence for the judges, who saw in the attack on Toomin, a respected veteran jurist, a clear threat to their own autonomy. Whether this turns out to be a revolt from the Democratic Party itself or just a revolt from Preckwinkle’s leadership of the party remains to be seen."

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City knew of youth baseball field contamination a year ago but didn’t tell residents – Chicago Sun-Times*

"In fact, Brian Koch, of the Division of Environmental Health, said in the letter that...players and spectators can minimize exposure by 'cleaning clothing and equipment of dust or loose dirt prior to leaving the field” and washing hands after playing. The letter also suggested removing shoes when going inside homes, using door mats and vacuuming frequently. And Koch recommended eating a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals.'"

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Systemic Racism to Blame for 9-Year Life Expectancy Gap between Black, White Chicagoans: Report – WTTW (Chicago)

Said Dr. David Ansell, the chief health equity officer at Rush University Medical Center, "People’s housing is different. Their schools are different. They live in unsafe neighborhoods. They have different access to food, different access to health care and different access to jobs. And these life conditions create the social inequities that drive poor health."

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Orland Park students, parents rally for high school sports to continue – WGNTV (Chicago)

The group of parents at Thursday’s rally comes from about a dozen nearby districts. “I do believe there’s a way our school board can get the kids back safely. They’re willing you wear masks. They’re willing to wash their hands. They just need to be in the classroom,” one parent said.

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Alderman lavished with cash, luxury trips by program for Caribbean med students – Chicago Sun-Times

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Insanity grips Northfield School District 29 – Chicago Now

"For me, the greater offense is school officials getting it into their heads that they have the right or the obligation to get involved in the details of any family's life. It is beyond arrogance to deny a child an education--even if it is the second-rate remote kind--as a club to push a family around."

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Here’s How to Cut $55M from the $1.7B Chicago Police Budget: Office of Financial Analysis – WTTW (Chicago)

However, those cuts will not be possible in 2021, since they are required by labor agreements approved by the City Council. The City Council’s Office of Financial Analysis also recommended that the city require officers to carry liability insurance as a way to reduce the cost to taxpayers to settle misconduct lawsuits. That change would require a change in state law.

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Chicago Board of Ethics to start enforcing ‘cross-lobbying’ ban Oct. 1 – Chicago Sun-Times*

Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), the former federal prosecutor now chairing the City Council’s Committee on Rules and Ethics, said, “A lot of the scandals that are going on right now in the state of Illinois have to do with really small municipalities. The mayor of McCook [was indicted]. … It is important that citizens have confidence that their elected officials are only there to benefit them.”

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As critics slam UChicago for black studies-only commitment, campus spokesman defends it – The College Fix

Samantha Harris, a free speech and due process rights attorney, said, "It sets forth the English department’s very specific views on contested political issues and effectively says ‘those who disagree need not apply. [The university] may certainly have the right to do that, but it’s a sad commentary on the state of American higher education."

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Families of Chicago violence victims rally in front of Kim Foxx’s downtown office – ABC7 (Chicago)

"You tell us you know who did it but you're not doing nothing about it. We are upset. We are hurt," one family member said during the rally. Some parents are now asking for the federal authorities to take over their cases instead.

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As Another Shooting Interrupts Meeting On Albany Park Gang Violence, City Says Help Is Coming To 17th Police District – Block Club Chicago

“We’re a progressive community and we’re concerned about systemic criminal justice issues and police reform and we want alternative strategies for prevention,” State Rep. Ann Williams said. “But when a shooting happens at a day care, you need to take some action while also still looking at long-term strategies to prevent this.”

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Hundreds Attend Pro-Police Rally In Jefferson Park — Including Counter-Protesters – Block Club Chicago

Djuan Wash, an activist with Black Lives Activists of Kenosha, was one of the counter-protesters who came to Chicago to “have a conversation with those who don’t believe that Black lives matter.” He said most people screamed at him and told him to go home, but a few listened. “A few did engage, and we began to find out that there were a lot of things we agreed on in terms of how things are run in the country."

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Council Tensions Linger Over Lightfoot’s Ongoing Battle Against ‘Aldermanic Prerogative’ – Block Club Chicago

“We campaigned against aldermanic prerogative because we thought it would be replaced by community prerogative, with transparent and accountable processes for things like landmark districts and liquor licenses,” Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said. “Unfortunately what we’ve seen so far is much worse: mayoral prerogative.”

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State’s Attorney Foxx faces questions after man’s release before stabbing – Center Square

Days before the stabbing, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office had the chance to object to Williams’ release from electronic monitoring on an unrelated charge for the theft of more than a dozen firearms from a gun shop but did not, according to attorneys representing Calderon and Foxx's opponent in her re-election campaign, Judge Pat O’Brien.

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The Government Is Protecting Renters, But Who Is Looking Out For The Landlords? – WBEZ (Chicago)

“My landlords are very desperate. They have [renters who] are working but don’t want to pay,” Chicago attorney Carol Oshana said. “It’s extremely difficult to get somebody out right now. Extremely. Even if they are the worst tenants. Even if they are having the police called over and over again. It’s very difficult."

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‘There’s not a comparable year’: Homicides are up 52% in Chicago amid COVID-19, with majority involving people of color – USA Today

Demeatreas Whatley, a violence interrupterwith the organization Cure Violence in the South Side neighborhood of Grand Crossing, said that his community feels "on edge" this year. "The way it is now, these guys, if they get word that three of their guys are getting tooled with on a particular block, they don’t care — they'll shoot the whole block up."

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Daniel Biss Announces Run for Mayor – Evanston RoundTable

Mr. Biss responded, “The most important thing is to give everyone a seat at the table. Evanston is home to plenty of skilled and experienced advocates, which is a blessing, but that sometimes means that other voices get ignored.

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Some Bars Say City Is Keeping Them Waiting In Issuing Permits To Serve Outside – CBS2 (Chicago)

Said the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, "...(W)e have created processes that involve rapid review by various City Departments to ensure safe and responsible operation. While some permits applications have raised public safety concerns or been submitted with missing pieces, we issue the majority of permits within 10 days of a completed application.”

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Commentary: My daughter loved pre-K; now in CPS’ remote kindergarten, she says ‘I hate school’ – Chicago Tribune*

"It’s frustrating that the CPS has not been more proactive in developing a plan to reopen. We currently have no metric or measure that will allow for schools to reopen in winter. Rather, we wait for CPS and CTU to argue to a solution."

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FOP storms away from contract talks after Lightfoot demands 17 pages of disciplinary reforms – Chicago Sun-Times*

“We will be taking names. We will be slating candidates. … We will have a $1 million-a-year PAC going forward starting next year. And in 2023, there’s going to be a day of reckoning for these aldermen who think they can skate by under the radar and say they support the police, but do nothing,” FOP President John Catanzara said.

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CPS reports 258 cases of COVID-19 among staff and vendors, including eight deaths, in six months since schools shut down – Chicago Tribune*

The district employs 37,775 people but that does not include vendors. CPS attributed most of the cases to exposure in the community or household members who also tested positive. Less than 13% of all cases — 33 of the 258 — have been tied to a cluster, in which multiple cases were identified at a school within a period of 14 days.

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Neighborhood shops used to think it wasn’t worth the hassle to sell online. Now they can’t afford to ignore it. – Chicago Tribune*

Being limited to bricks-and-mortar sales makes the city’s 25% capacity limit especially challenging, one business owner said. “How are you supposed to be at 25% of your sales and 100% of your rent, and no one is helping you out financially?”

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City rejects $300,000 offer to buy old Chicago firehouse: ‘I don’t understand it’ – FOX32 (Chicago)

“Frankly sad, disappointed and frustrated. Because they are in a budget deficit. They’re raising taxes…and they are going to turn down a $300,000 offer compared to a dollar,” said Stephen Cioromski.

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Willie Wilson embraces endorsement of police union that’s clashed with Black Lives Matter – Chicago Sun-Times

“If anybody can understand race, it’s me,” Wilson said.

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In a career born in her own grief, violence recovery specialist works at a Chicago hospital in a city under siege – Chicago Tribune*

“Justice looks like having someone advocate for them and having someone really give them the resources they need to be a survivor," she said. "It gives them their control back, and I think when you seek justice that is what you really want. It is not ‘an eye for an eye’. It is, ‘I want somebody to care that this happened to me. I want some resources. I want to feel safe.’”

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How 3 Latina business owners are working through the pandemic – WGNTV (Chicago)

Comment: The women in this video display enough optimism and resolve to save the city.

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Chicago has been quietly intercepting millions from state tax refunds during the pandemic – The Chicago Reporter

Of the $27 million collected through the tax refund intercept program this year, $20.7 million has been collected from Chicago residents. Of that, approximately 83.8% hit residents in ZIP codes where the median household income falls below the city’s overall median household income of $55,000.

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Chicago Is Considering Issuing A Pension Bond – And Taking A Gamble – Forbes

"So here’s the bottom line: the city really has no particularly good options. But the city risks making a bad situation even worse, if it looks for solutions that promise a free lunch rather than making hard choices."

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Sun-Times investment gives state government unions another tool in their arsenal – Chicago City Wire

"An analysis by Wirepoints calculated that a $75,000 per year earner in Illinois would have to pay nine percent in state income taxes under Pritzker’s spending plans. Arguments like Wirepoints’ were omitted from 'Everything you need to know about the Graduated Income Tax,' a primer on the debate for Sun-Times readers, written by Sun-Times political reporters Tina Sfondeles and Rachel Hinton. Far from 'everything,' Sfondeles and Hinton didn’t include 'anything' other than arguments from Gov. J.B. Pritzker in favor of the measure."

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‘Millions in Losses:’ Empty Dining Rooms Land Restaurant and Bar Owners in Courtrooms – NBC5 (Chicago)

“As soon as dining rooms were closed, and they had to put up physical barriers, alter restaurants, essentially rendering our restaurants nonfunctional, that's when we’re damaged, and at that point, that’s when insurance should have recognized that we suffered physical loss as a result of those orders, and paid our claims,” says plaintiffs' attorney Gabriel Gillett.

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John Kass: Boss Preckwinkle and Braveheart Evans muscle a judge to protect Kim Foxx – Chicago Tribune*

"They tell you everything that’s wrong with Chicago and Cook County’s toxic politics: judges like Toomin being muscled out of office and residents brought to the morgue because of bad public policy as homicide numbers keep rising."

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Mike Ditka again tells NFL players to ‘get the hell out’ of country after protests – USA Today

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Government Corruption and Negligence Drive Most Wrongful Convictions, Report Finds – NBC News

Attorney Josh Tepfer, who represents several victims of one corrupt Chicago sergeant, said his clients were wrongfully convicted despite warnings from police whistleblowers, residents and defendants about the shakedowns and planted drugs. “This was allowed to happen because officers were corrupt and the victims were not cared about. They were forgotten and were viewed as disposable.”

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Chicago mayor says ‘suffering’ small businesses need access to capital – The Hill

“We want to help shape federal policy because we know what is going on in our cities,” Lightfoot added. “Having mayors with a seat at the table in federal policymaking to me is one of the surest ways to ensure those businesses won’t be passed over."

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2020 homicide total in Cook County has surpassed last year’s – FOX32 (Chicago)

People of color made up 95% of all 2020 homicide deaths. More than 86% of this year’s homicides are gun-related.

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As MLB Plays On, The Businesses It Feeds Fight for Survival – WTTW (Chicago)

"The bars and restaurants around Wrigleyville in Chicago’s North Side managed just fine during a World Series drought that lasted a century. Some of them might not make it to the other side of the pandemic."

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Editorial: Winter dining is coming. Start building the yurts. – Chicago Tribune*

"Nearly 600,000 people across Illinois work in restaurant and food service jobs, and the Illinois Restaurant Association estimates more than half of them have been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic...The Tribune’s running list of shuttered restaurants in the Chicago area has topped 50, and probably doesn’t account for dozens more tiny mom-and-pop spots that couldn’t make it. The corner diner. The taqueria. The all-night gyro shop. So many favorite places, gone."

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Chicago Making ‘Some Improvement’ Against Coronavirus, City’s Top Doctor Says – Block Club Chicago

Chicago saw its first day without a coronavirus-related death since March, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Tuesday.

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With Ridership Down About 90%, Metra Looking At Bleak Financial Forecast, Seeking To Lure Riders Back To Trains – CBS2 (Chicago)

“We have known for years our riders were telecommuting once a week or more,” the report states. “A shift that would normally take 10-20 years seems to have occurred in 10-20 weeks.”

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Chicago Drops Several States From Quarantine List as City Issues Warning on Wisconsin – NBC5 (Chicago)

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Utah was added to the city's order but Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, Texas, Hawaii and Nevada were all removed. While Wisconsin had reached the threshold to be added to the order, the city recognized that "people need time for planning."

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People Detained At Cook County Jail To Keep Getting Protections Amid Pandemic, Appeals Court Rules – Block Club Chicago

In upholding most of the preliminary injunction, the appeals court ruling recognized the “significant and impressive” precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the jail.

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How Will We Dine Outside This Winter? From Igloos To Shipping Crates, City Shares Your Ideas – Block Club Chicago

"Officials hope the ideas (with photos in the article) can help restaurants and bars stay afloat this winter. Many have already closed or are struggling due to the pandemic; even now that they’re reopened, they face strict indoor capacity limits."

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DuPage County voters will decide ballot question on defunding police – Illinois Policy

"These are advisory votes, so they will not carry the weight of law. Still, local advisory referendums are one way voters can make their preferences known."

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Chicago Partners With 31 Community Organizations For Contact Tracing Efforts – CBS2 (Chicago)

Around 500 people will be hired through the organizations for a two-year project. The initiative will use a $56 million grant from the city of Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Public Health will oversee the program.

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Cornell Faculty Demands Removal Of “Colorblind” Policies While Chicago Will Only Accept Applicants For “Black Studies” In English – Jonathan Turley

"There are students this year who have profound interest in pursuing other areas of study at one of the world’s most premier institutions. They are not racist because they have a deep interest in subjects ranging from Asian literature to Greek classics."

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Chicago police officers targeted ‘5 times’ more than years prior as crime surge continues, superintendent says – FOX32 (Chicago)

The violent crime wave plaguing Chicago continued over the weekend as police reported 53 victims – including one child – as a result of 35 shootings from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Brown said 52 gun-related arrests were made this weekend.

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Chicago poised for comeback, top mayoral advisers say, insisting downtown security top issue for Lightfoot – Chicago Sun-Times*

Said deputy mayor Samir Mayekar, “We’ve been tremendously focused on making sure that we keep downtown, that our commercial corridors are vibrant. But we have been just as focused on making sure that our neighborhood commercial corridors are safe. That they’re vibrant, that we’re promoting equity in how we distribute city resources."

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Judge Who Handled Smollett Case Says ‘Retaliation’ May be Reason Dems Didn’t Endorse Him – NBC5 (Chicago)

Last July, Toomin appointed Dan Webb as a special prosecutor to investigate the handling of the Smollett case after all the charges against the actor were dropped. In a scathing ruling, Toomin referred to Smollett as a “charlatan who fomented a hoax” and suggested Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx mishandled the case.

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Alderman Wants More Mental Health Workers, Not Police — But Neighbors Want More Cops After Shooting Spike – Block Club Chicago

“Rossana (Rodriguez, 33rd Ward alderman) wants to double down on one prong of addressing crime,” said Heather Sullivan, who lives in Ravenswood Manor. “We are supportive of police reform, but it can’t be one strategy at the expense of another.”

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With Full Capacity Nowhere In Sight Amid Pandemic, Could A Restaurant Collapse Be Coming In Chicago? – CBS2 (Chicago)

Pat Doerr, Managing Director of Hospitality Business Association of Chicago, did not mince words: “Unless the City of Chicago allows it’s beloved locally owned bars and restaurants to operate under the same reopening guidelines in place for the bars and restaurants in Illinois, there will be an enormous loss of bars, restaurants, and the tens of thousands of Chicago jobs that depend on them.”

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Chicago’s Sustainability Officer on Legacy Pollution and Neighborhood Priorities – WTTW (Chicago)

One of the issues many Southeast Side residents have been grappling with: the proposed move of metal scrapper General Iron from its current Lincoln Park site, which has faced heavy opposition.

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Column: Judicial politics isn’t child’s play — or is it? Democrats link call to dump judge to juvenile justice, not Jussie Smollett – Chicago Sun-Times*

Mark Brown: "In addition to Toomin, another judge Democrats will oppose for retention is Mauricio Araujo, who is under fire over multiple sexual harassment allegations and for issuing more than 80 search warrants to two Chicago police officers convicted of using them to commit crimes."

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U. Chicago English Dept. says it will ONLY admit ‘Black Studies’ grad students this year – Campus Reform

The program boasts a “commitment” not just to “ideas in the abstract,” but also to more concrete action in the form of “activating histories of engaged art, debate, struggle, collective action, and counterrevolution as contexts for the emergence of ideas and narratives.”

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Suburban Harvey Suspends Licenses for Half of City’s Businesses Over Unpaid Liquor Taxes – NBC5 (Chicago)

Harvey officials say that the suspension of the licenses stems from failure to adhere to the terms of an excise tax that went into effect in 2008.

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Lightfoot Calls on Investigators to Finish Probe Into Officers Who Lounged, Napped in US Rep. Rush’s Office as Looting Swept South Side – WTTW (Chicago)

The mayor released still photos from the footage at a news conference on June 11, where she vowed to hold the officers to account. The Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the incident, and “an evaluation” is underway by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Lightfoot said.

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Chicago behind schedule on contact tracing program as Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces plan to work with community groups to hire workers – Chicago Tribune*

"Dr. Allison Arwady, the public health commissioner, told reporters that 'there’s always some bumps in the road in terms of figuring out things like payrolls.' Later, a public health spokesman blamed hiring delays on civil unrest in May and June that followed the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, saying that many of the agencies that would take part in the effort were involved in helping the community at that time."

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Editorial: Remote learning is largely on track, but some Chicago schools have a ways to go – Chicago Sun-Times*

"We also hope CPS has better success this fall in reaching children who essentially have gone missing, as more than 2,000 children did last spring. Security officers will start to make home visits this week to connect with students who have not responded to other outreach efforts."

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More Suburban Students, Parents Rally For Resumption Of In-Person Classes, School Sports – CBS2 (Chicago)

“COVID’s not going away. It’s here to stay,” said Heather Ewalt, mother of a high school senior, “and I can’t imagine our lives this way forever.”

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COVID-19’s economic impact forces Wrigleyville bar to close, Gold Coast restaurant close behind – ABC7 (Chicago)

"So where we go from here, I don't know," said owner Janet Thomas. "We stretched it out as far as we could." Thomas says she needs to raise $50,000 in just a matter of weeks, or they fear they will have to close for good.

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Chicago Must Build More Affordable Housing That Black, Latino Chicagoans Can Actually Afford: Task Force – WTTW (Chicago)

The city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance created just 1,049 homes in 13 years by requiring some developers to set aside 10% or 20% of new units for low- and moderate-income Chicagoans. That has barely dented the city’s affordable housing gap of nearly 120,000 homes,

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‘Beacon of journalism’ Carol Marin says she’s bowing out of TV news – Robert Feder

Marin said she will continue to serve as co-director of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence at DePaul University, which she co-founded in 2016. Don Moseley, co-director of the center and Marin’s longtime producer and reporting collaborator, also will be leaving NBC 5.

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Belmont Cragin, Home To City’s Largest Latino Population, Continues To Struggle With Coronavirus – Block Club Chicago

“We’re not back to business as usual. We’re still operating in the same mode. The summer became a social end to the pandemic,” said James Rudyk, of Northwest Side Housing Center. “We’re saying the pandemic is still real, the need is still real.”

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Six months into the pandemic, downtown Chicago is a humbled giant. Can it get back on its feet? – Chicago Tribune*

"At the city’s tallest building, Willis Tower, 15,000 office workers poured through the lobby on a typical day before the pandemic. On Thursday, between 8 and 9 a.m., Tribune reporters counted 75 people passing through its main entrance...Willis Tower exemplifies the struggles, and high financial stakes, of the downtown office market."

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NBC 5 Exclusive: Judge Who Handled Smollett Case Doesn’t Receive Backing of Cook County Dems’ Executive Committee – NBC5 (Chicago)

Last July, Toomin appointed Dan Webb as a special prosecutor to investigate the handling of the Smollett case after all of Smollet’s charges were dropped; Toomin noted “unprecedented irregularities” and referred to Smollett as a “charlatan who fomented a hoax.” Toomin also suggested Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx mishandled the case.

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Activists Sound Off In Call For Rent Forgiveness Amid COVID-19 Pandemic – CBS2 (Chicago)

“A lot of tenants have been out of work for months. They have not been able to pay rent, and now they’re behind by hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars, and those people are at risk of eviction as soon as an eviction moratorium is raised,” said Kathleen Roberts of the North Spaulding Renters Association.

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Lead Water Pipes Can Be Replaced For Free For Low-Income People As City Starts Process Of Removing Them – Block Club Chicago

There are about 380,000 lead service lines in Chicago, many of them used by single-family and two-flat homes. It will take years and cost an estimated $8.5 billion for all of those lines to be replaced.

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‘Let Us Play:’ Students Take Part in Suburban Rally Calling for Fall Sports to Resume – NBC5 (Chicago)

Said Jonathan Rodriguez, a senior on the Thornton Township High School soccer team, at Sunday's rally: "I come from a community that's really low income, so a lot of us really rely on scholarships, and this is a time where we look forward to having colleges come out to our games."

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Bears and Lions have different demonstrations for social, racial justice before their season opener – WGNTV (Chicago)

During the playing of the national anthem, there were a number of different demonstrations by players and coaches on both sides. Some on each team weren’t on the field, choosing to remain in the locker room while those on the field either stood or kneeled.

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Some Chicago Schools Are Struggling With Remote Attendance – NBC5 (Chicago)

Ellington Elementary, on Chicago's West Side, reported 66% attendance Tuesday. Principal Shirley Scott said she was optimistic about the coming weeks as some parents were still picking up laptops.

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Evanston Residents Contribute Ideas to Help City Stem COVID-19 Budget Losses – Evanston Roundtable

Residents spoke of the Library, Health Department, affordable housing and mental health services among the areas that should receive continued support; they also raised the prospect of Northwestern University, which is exempt from paying property taxes under State charter, taking a bigger role financially. "Costs disproportionately fall on Evanston residents because Northwestern property is not taxed."

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Column: ‘It’s like we’ve been living in a pandemic all along.’ COVID-19 and recent looting add to setbacks for long-neglected North Lawndale. – Chicago Tribune*

"It’s not the newly boarded-up buildings and shuttered businesses that have hit North Lawndale residents hardest. They are used to adversity, having lived for decades in a commercial desert with few options for shopping, entertainment or meeting their basic needs. This time, the economic ruin was paired with a tenacious virus that roared through struggling African American neighborhoods such as North Lawndale like a freight train, threatening the lives of everyone who came into its path."

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Closed doors, virtual services and lawsuits: Here’s how the pandemic has affected religion in Chicagoland – Chicago Tribune*

"Still, the pandemic has ushered in a new era of worship, one that now caters to an online audience and emphasizes electronic giving. And as churches, synagogues and mosques gradually reopen for in-person services, faith leaders say they will continue using the virtual tools implemented during the pandemic."

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Chicago pastor calls for parents to reject ‘1619 Project’ slavery identity for children – Fox News

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Chicago residents aid looted South Side furniture business with donations – WGN

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With deadline looming, Chicago is badly lagging in census response, especially in communities of color – Chicago Tribune*

While the state’s response rate stands at 70%, slightly higher than the national average, the city’s rate remains just under 59%, with some neighborhoods around 30%.

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More than 800 nurses begin strike at U of I hospital in Chicago- A.P.

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Column: Bears Coronavirus-Free Opener Proof Public Health Guidance Works – Patch Chicago

Mark Konkol: "If only we would follow the pandemic Bears's lead by keeping mindful that in a lot of ways making personal sacrifices in a time of crisis — putting on a mask, maintaining social distance and setting aside personal ideology to respect each other — maybe this year might not have been such a 'Double-Doink.'"

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Evanston’s road to reparations – Chicago Magazine

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2 Cook County judges, indicted Ald. Ed Burke, 3 retired judges partnered in investment club – Chicago Sun-TImes*

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Editorial: The alarming downward spiral of downtown Chicago. Is a comeback possible? – Chicago Tribune*

Not without assurances from Chicago’s leaders, and not without a tangible reduction in crime. Not without an urgent plan, now, to bring the city back and not without buy-in from residents, employers, civic leaders and everyone who cares about this place. Divisiveness won’t cut it, nor will silence.

We used to hound Chicago’s mayors to focus on struggling communities and remind them downtown, for the most part, could fend for itself. That’s not true anymore.

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Former High-Ranking Chicago Public Schools Official Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI During Probe Into $1B Contract – NBC5 (Chicago)

"While our understanding of this issue is developing, our preliminary review indicates that Mr. Soto’s actions did not influence the award of any contract or services and the lobbyist Mr. Soto provided non-public information to has not represented any current or former CPS vendors," CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson's letter reads.

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Chicago-area renters are still being pushed out of their homes with threats of lockouts and notices on doors, despite COVID-19 eviction moratorium – Chicago Tribune*

“I can’t be on the street right now,” said one renter who was evicted when her building changed ownership. “This is a bad time. People have taken down all their (for rent) signs, because they don’t trust who is coming in. Why are you leaving? Probably you have COVID. Maybe you lost a job, you don’t have money — that’s why they kicked you out.”

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CPS Says 4 Of 5 Students Logged In On First Day Of All-Virtual School – Block Club Chicago

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City of Chicago Releases Projection of FY2020 Revenue Shortfall Due to COVID-19 – Civic Federation

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Eric Trump to Mayor Lightfoot: ‘We Truly Appreciate You’ Amid Unrest: Texts – WTTW (Chicago)

“Mrs. Mayor — know that I have been thinking about you. I still appreciate the call you made to me which was a class act. I only imagine how difficult the situation is but know we are all rooting for Chicago .... I hope you are well. Eric T,” the text read. The mayor’s office did not release any texts from Lightfoot to Eric Trump, the executive vice president of The Trump Organization.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot warns aldermen someone has been using a fake email in her name – Chicago Tribune*

In the message, Lightfoot’s office added, “The mayor will only use a city email account to communicate with you about city business.”

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Police Oversight Agency COPA Improperly Ended Misconduct Investigations, Inspector General Finds – Block Club Chicago

The report cited several example cases where criteria for administrative termination were not met, including an investigation into an “extraordinary occurrence notification” where someone was found unresponsive in a cell and ultimately died; an investigation into allegations of an officer using racist and ethnic slurs; and an investigation into allegations of excessive force.

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Chicago’s Eviction Cliff Is Here – Chicago Magazine

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Chicago says 4 of 5 students logged in on first day of all-virtual school – Chalkbeat Chicago

This marks a 10 percentage point drop from the usual first-day figures that have hovered around 94% for the past several years. But attendance rates tended to vary widely on the campus level, with some schools reaching attendance rates upwards of 95%, while others reported closer to 60% of students participating on the first day.

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Chicago’s Pension-Bond Plan Could Use a FAANG Rout – Bloomberg

The Windy City is again considering a risky strategy to shore up its retirement funds.

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After Slaying Of 8-Year-Old Dajore Wilson, Mourners Beg Shooters To Stop Killing Children: ‘We Must Protect Them’ – Block Club Chicago

State Rep. Sonya Harper, who grew up on 53rd and Paulina streets, said at a gathering of community members Thursday that she is tired of having to witness children dying: “If Black Lives Matter in the hands of police, surely Black lives matter in the hands of any other man, too.”

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Lopez proposes dramatic expansion of Chicago’s camera surveillance network – Chicago Sun-Times*

“This is a real benefit that costs us nothing...Ring itself has over 500 [memoranda of understanding] throughout the country where they are coordinating with the police. We don’t have that kind of agreement in the city of Chicago. It’s an important tool we are leaving in the tool box," said Ald. Ray Lopez (15th).

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Backing Trump Re-Election A ‘No-Brainer’ For Chicago Police Union – Patch

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City Rolls Out Plan to Slowly Replace Lead Service Lines Shown to Contaminate Tap Water in Homes – WTTW (Chicago)

Lightfoot told reporters the likely cost of the program would be $8.5 billion. “That money doesn’t exist right now,” Lightfoot said, adding that she would move as fast as possible to replace lead service lines once funds are available.

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John Kass: AG Bill Barr says federal corruption hunters never ‘at a loss for work’ in Chicago – Chicago Tribune*

"You could call it The Chicago Way, I said. 'It is The Chicago Way,' said Barr. 'The stakes may not be as high as in New York, maybe. But there’s fun in the game.'"

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Hinsdale Central students say remote learning is a threat to their health – ABC7 (Chicago)

"Social interaction is necessary not only to help students collaborate in learning but also to keep us mentally stable," said Cayden Torsberg, a student at Hinsdale Central High School. "Over the past eight months, I know more kids suffering from depression than I do COVID-19."

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PPP loans kept many small businesses afloat this summer. Without more funds, experts say a wave of bankruptcies is coming. – Chicago Tribune*

"While the evidence is largely anecdotal at this point, the pandemic appears to have outlasted the PPP funds for a growing number of small businesses...That’s the case in federal bankruptcy court in Chicago, where a handful of Chicago-area companies filed for bankruptcy after receiving PPP loans of at least $150,000, according to publicly available SBA data and court filings."

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Restaurant owners in south suburban region say tighter COVID-19 restrictions are unfair – WGNTV (Chicago)

Restaurant owner Eddie Iljazi said he’s seen an 80 percent decline in business over the last two weeks at his diner-style restaurants in Elwood, Yorkville and Momence. “It feels like they’re picking on restaurants and bars specifically."

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Will Chicago’s Theater Scene Survive the Pandemic? – Thrillist

“COVID has aggressively forced us to be still,” said actor and activist Sydney Charles. “To address the issues of systemic racism and white supremacy and inherent patriarchy within our theater institutions. We can no longer be distracted by the grind but rather determined to keep our art form alive and make it a true safe space for all humans.”

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DePaul Starts Fall Classes With Strict Coronavirus Restrictions: ‘It Feels Like A Ghost Town’ – Block Club Chicago

DePaul announced in mid-August nearly all fall classes would be held online the entire term. DePaul also is limiting how many students live in dorms, restricting residence halls to athletes, international transfer students and people in work-study programs.

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Protests And Pandemic Change Quality Of Life For Chicago’s Downtown Residents – NPR

"In Chicago, some realty indicators do show more downtown condos for sale than usual. But overall, the Chicago Association of Realtors says it does not see a significant rise in listings yet, maybe because many people here seem to be taking the situation in stride. And some are even embracing the change, like fewer commuters and tourists."

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Chicago announces plan to start replacing lead water pipes after decades of denying the dangers – Chicago Tribune*

Jeff Steele, a plumber with the city's Department of Water Management, attaches a copper service line to an existing lead service while he and others work to replace water main lines in 2016 in the 1500 block of West Roscoe Street in Chicago.

Chicago, the last big American city to require water pipes made of brain-damaging lead, is now the last one beginning to rip toxic pipes out of the ground. Under plans shared Wednesday with the Chicago Tribune, the Department of Water Management envisions a long and costly effort to protect Chicagoans from a widespread public health threat that remained largely hidden for decades. Initial work will be modest compared with the scope of the dangers.

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NPR Poll: Financial Pain From Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Much, Much Worse’ Than Expected – WBEZ (Chicago)

"(A)bout half of Chicago households report losing jobs or wages since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. More than two-thirds (69%) of those with job or wage losses say they are having serious financial problems, including an impact on savings as well as on the household’s ability to pay bills, including mortgage or rent."

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Another hurdle for Chicago’s internet push: Reluctance to take free deal – Chalkbeat Chicago

Maricela Garcia of the Gads Hill Center said some immigrant families, especially those with undocumented members, are reluctant to provide personal information over the phone or sign up for a program they might incorrectly perceive as a form of public assistance. “Some families have responded they have to think about it. And some have said, ‘No, I don’t believe this is free. What’s the catch?’”

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City Council ratifies firefighters contract – Chicago Sun-Times*

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Aldermen approve measure that will allow more nudity in Chicago bars – Chicago Tribune*

The ordinance the City Council passed removes reference to gender from the liquor license statutes governing how much flesh can be shown by performers in various Chicago establishments.

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Activists call for alternative Cook County ‘Budget for Black Lives’ – Chicago Sun-Times*

Groups such as Black Lives Matter Chicago and several South Side pastors want $157 million cut from Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s budget. But they want the majority of the money funneled toward health services and housing in the city’s poorest communities.

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Orland Park’s only Black owned business benefits from Black Lives Matter movement – Medill Reports

“It used to be mainly white and Indian races that came in,” owner Tee Scott said. “Now it’s a mix, with 25% to 30% Black customers, because now they know that I’m here.”

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Lightfoot Blasts Barr’s ‘Victory Lap’ as ‘Factually Inaccurate’ – WTTW (Chicago)

At Mayor Lightfoot’s request, Police Supt. David Brown hand-delivered a letter from the mayor to Barr on Wednesday. In that letter, Lightfoot decried the “continuous stream of misinformation coming from the White House about Chicago."

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Will There Be Trick-Or-Treating In Chicago This Year? Mayor Says Low-Key Holiday Expected – Block Club Chicago

“But obviously this is a different time, and I don’t expect to see mass crowds of trick-or-treating like we have in years past,” Lightfoot said. “It’s not safe for children. It’s not safe for adults.”

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Chicago student housing bonds cut to junk as coronavirus threatens occupancy – The Bond Buyer

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Aldermen Approve Ordinance To Protect Affordable Housing Near Obama Presidential Center In Woodlawn – CBS2 (Chicago)

“Housing in our city is a human right, and we have plenty of organizations and people across the city who have seen investment happen, and people be displaced,” said Woodlawn Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th).

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CTU Files Complaint Against CPS Regarding COVID-19 Safety – CBS2 (Chicago)

Clerks and other staff required to report to work in person on August 26 say not everyone at CPS is wearing masks or practicing safe social distancing.

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Navy Pier Closed Until 2021: How Businesses Are Handling The Situation – CBS2 (Chicago)

Hotel construction will continue and the management company, Maverick Hotels and Restaurants, said it still plans to reopen in November. Navy Pier said winter guests will be limited to the hotel and parking garage, and may not roam the pier.

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Barr Touts Fed’s Role in Decreasing Chicago’s Violent Crime, But Homicides Still Up 50% – WTTW (Chicago)

While the number of homicides did decline in Chicago by 45% from July to August, CPD data shows that as of Sunday, the number of both homicides and shootings are still up 52% year-to-date over the same period in 2019.

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You Can No Longer Rent Airbnbs For 1 Night In Chicago As City Cracks Down On Partying – Block Club Chicago

The ban is only temporary, though, and could be lifted by city officials when they deem it safe for one-night stays to return,

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Attorney General William Barr gives Operation Legend update in Chicago – WGNTV (Chicago)

Locally, the latest breakdown of arrests shows 102 arrests which includes 27 for narcotics-related crimes, 72 charged with firearms-related crimes and four others have been charged with other violent crimes.

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Column: Chicago cannot lose the Palmer House, now locked up and in deep financial trouble – Chicago Tribune*

"The Palmer House is something else entirely, and there has been enough going on in recent days for preservationists and lovers of retro urban glamor to be very afraid of its future prospects. The Loop, like all urban centers, needs huge hotels in order to function on a 24-hour basis, filling the nearby restaurants, music venues and, of course, the equally historic theaters on the surrounding blocks."

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Lightfoot warns of employee layoffs to erase 2021 budget shortfall now pegged at $1.25B – Chicago Sun-Times*

“We can’t ask individual taxpayers to give us more if we don’t prove to them that we are being good fiduciaries of their tax dollars and that includes making painful sacrifices,” the mayor said.

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Officials insist “affordable bail” does not contribute to Chicago violence, but court cases tell a different tale – CWB Chicago

"Foxx’s claim is skewed because she limits the amount of time that gun defendants are given to qualify as a re-offender...she drives the re-offend statistic down by creating a tight window of opportunity for someone to get caught with another gun."

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John Kass: Is there a rain hard enough to cleanse Chicago of its sins against children? – Chicago Tribune*

"Each weekend brings more shootings and more death in the street gang wars. More children are forgotten. And City Hall worries about optics."

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Aldermen bemoan ongoing bloodbath on Chicago streets, but shoot down National Guard proposal – Chicago Sun-Times*

“Our officers are tired. I feel it. I see it. And I talk about this every day. [But], the National Guard is gonna stand up there and he or she will act as a scarecrow. … I hate to say it that way. But it’s the truth. Because they really can’t do what we want them to do,” former Public Safety Committee Chairman Ariel Reboyras (30th) said.

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Hundreds of suburban parents, students hold rally to reopen Wheaton schools – WGNTV (Chicago)

“Now is the time to provide in-person instruction to those who are prepared to return,” high school senior Becca Hohenstein said. “Our districts are capable of bringing us back into the building so that we can get the full experience that our schools are designed to provide.”

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Column: Is It ‘White Flight’ If The Wealthy Are First To Flee Chicago? – Patch Chicago

Mark Konkol: "'We're just in such a weird place,' (Suburban Jungle owner Alison) Bernstein said. 'Walk the streets in major cities, and it's very eerie and looks like a horror show. When crime goes through the roof and you don't know if or when people will come back, or if the place you loved will ever be like it was … I think that's the key to why there's an exodus.'"

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Cash Frenzy: New data shows ATM thefts were worse than first reported during Chicago rioting – ABC7 (Chicago)

More than 100 ATMs were stolen or damaged during the two major riot periods of May 30 to June 2 and between Aug. 9 and 11. The most spectacular ATM theft occurred early Monday, Aug. 10, when police say a man videoed himself hammering an ATM into smithereens and beamed the act live onto social media.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says President Donald Trump’s threat to cut federal funding for districts that teach ‘1619 Project’ is ‘more hot air’ – Chicago Tribune*

Lightfoot also said Trump has “no power to try to take funding from any school district...If he does, obviously, we will see him in court."

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Appeals court upholds most of federal judge’s order to curb coronavirus at Cook County Jail – Chicago Sun-Times*

While the ruling allows holding two detainees in the same cell or in group housing, social distancing policies previously implemented at the jail will continue, a county spokesman said.

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Chicago’s biggest real estate corruption scandals over the last decade – The Real Deal

Over the past 10 years alone, there have been several scandals that echo the patterns of corruption between real estate figures and politicians found in the most recent FBI investigation. Here are some of the biggest.

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Chicago violence: 51 shot, 10 fatally in Labor Day weekend shootings – ABC7 (Chicago)

The superintendent said police have recovered more than 200 illegal guns over the weekend. He also said he would be extending the use of the CPD Summer Mobile Patrol Unit for another 90 days.

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These notable Chicago restaurants and bars have now permanently closed – Timeout Chicago

This list is by no means exhaustive.

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Kentucky added to Chicago travel order; California, Puerto Rico removed – WGNTV (Chicago)

States already on the list are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

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Northwestern law faculty refuse to explain why they introduced themselves as racists – College Fix

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Lightfoot Defends 1619 Project – Politico

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Here’s the evidence—in case you needed it—that downtown’s been seriously damaged – Crain’s*

Plummeting numbers for home buyers as well as renters for both apartments and office space are sounding the alarm. "The pandemic, crime and lingering concerns over the city's and state's financial health have combined to form a toxic triple-whammy that threatens to have a lasting impact on the economic viability of the Loop and its perimeter."

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‘It’s just sad’: On Navy Pier’s final day until spring, patrons and merchants rue another COVID-19 shutdown – Chicago Tribune

“I’m hoping for the best, planning for the worst,” one tour boat owner said. “There’s not much we can do between that. I just don’t think we can get back to normal right away, no matter what happens.”

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Editorial: Back to school, back to remote learning. Have CPS, CTU learned their lessons? – Chicago Tribune*

"Schools are anchors for those students and the communities in which they live. They’re springboards for the futures of so many young lives. Yes, educating through remote learning poses daunting logistical challenges. But CPS can’t afford to get it wrong."

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Chicago shooting: 8-year-old girl killed, 3 adults injured in Canaryville after someone fired shots into car, police say – ABC7 (Chicago)

The girl and three adults were sitting in a Subaru SUV at the stop light on Union Avenue at West 47th Street when police say the gunman's car intentionally pulled up behind them, targeting someone inside.

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Restaurants That Have Hung On Through Pandemic Brace For Turn Of Weather – CBS2 (Chicago)

“We’ll just have to see what happens, you know?” one general manager said. "We don’t know if we’ll be able to open up fully or if we’ll still have to keep our social distancing.”

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Questions and anxiety loom large as CPS resumes remote learning – Chicago Sun-Times

School board member Luisiana Melendez, who specializes in early childhood education, said that research shows younger students don’t benefit from extended screen time and need adults sitting with them to guide their virtual learning experience. “That is one of my major concerns with remote learning and young children. It demands a lot from the families that are already stressed.”

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Labor Day celebration of struggle: Bea Lumpkin’s 100th Birthday! – Peoples’ World

More than 300 people, including many on Chicago's left, gathered at the Chicago Teachers Union Center to celebrate the 100th birthday of communist Beatrice “Bea” Lumpkin.

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Northwestern U. Sends Freshmen and Sophomores Home Days After Arrival – Breitbart

“I apologize for people who are so angry, and I understand that anger as a parent and as an educator,” University President Morton Schapiro said. “In retrospect, I probably should have decided earlier in the week.”

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Riots Have Hit 48 Of America’s 50 Largest US Cities, New Study Finds – ZeroHedge

A new study out of Princeton University reveals that 48 out of the 50 largest cities in the United States have experienced riots associated with the Black Lives Matter movement since late May.

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Chicago’s streetwear boutiques weather COVID-19, social unrest – Chicago Sun-Times

“You almost forgot about COVID [-19] because so much more is going on,” said business owner Michael Willis. “It’s very upsetting...At the end of the day, I understand the reason — not particularly [the looters’] reasoning — with the looting going on, but you never want something that’s yours being damaged or taken away from you, especially when you busted your a- - to get it.”

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New figures show downtown is being drained of apartment dwellers – Crain’s

The downtown apartment occupancy rate is down to 89.2 percent in the second quarter, its lowest level since 2002

Some tenants are fed up with the violence and mayhem that has resulted in boarded-up storefronts and made them uneasy. Others who now work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic are no longer willing to pay sky-high rents to live near an office that's closed or in a once-vibrant central business district that's suddenly sleepy.

"The Loop's like a ghost town." Suburban landlords, meanwhile, are faring surprisingly well.

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CPS’ Year Ahead Comes With Many Tests. Will The School District Pass? – WBEZ (Chicago)

A parent posted a copy of her son’s fourth grade schedule on Facebook with this comment: “I seriously want to cry. … There is NO WAY he can be online all day like this. It isn’t possible.” A teacher responded: “Believe me, teachers are crying too.”

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Video: They’re trying to stop shootings in Chicago before they happen – CNN

A "perfect storm" of coronavirus, record unemployment and financial and emotional strain in Chicago have led to a spike in gun violence this summer. One organization is working to prevent shootings by providing conflict mediators who deescalate disputes before they turn deadly.
 

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An Unpopular Fix for Chicago’s COVID Budget Problem – Chicago Magazine

Instead of a property tax increase, Lightfoot called for a new casino in Chicago. That’s not the most sensible solution: as the Times reported, “[i]n Detroit, one-fifth of the municipal budget typically comes from casino revenue. And casinos have just reopened, at reduced capacity.”

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University of Chicago Students End 7-Day Occupation Outside Provost’s Home – WTTW (Chicago)

Alicia Hurtado, a third-year student at the University of Chicago and an organizer with Care Not Cops, said, “Care Not Cops and UC United is committed to making sure our administration knows no peace until there is justice."