Police chief: Poverty, ‘society issues,’ not CPD, are causing the gun violence surge, and other Chicago news

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A woman sits on the curb as police investigate an August scene where gunfire at a birthday party left a man dead and a woman injured. - ASHLEE REZIN /CHICAGO SUN-TIMES VIA AP
  • Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP
  • A woman sits on the curb as police investigate an August scene where gunfire at a birthday party left a man dead and a woman injured.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, September 7, 2016.

  • Weather: Another hot and humid day

The weather won't change much Wednesday, with a high of 90 and a low of 75. It will be humid and partly sunny. [AccuWeather]

  • Eddie Johnson: Gun violence is a "society issue"

After 65 people were shot in the city over Labor Day weekend, Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the police are doing their job and that "society issues" are driving the violence. "Impoverished neighborhoods, people without hope do these kinds of things," he told reporters Tuesday. "You show me a man that doesn't have hope, I'll show you one that's willing to pick up a gun and do anything with it." Over the long weekend, Chicago saw its 500th homicide in 2016. [Tribune] [USA Today]

  • Chicago Public Schools start new school year as CTU contract issues loom

Tuesday was the first day of school for many Chicago Public Schools students, and negotiations between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union are getting tense due to budget cuts. "We are at a real breaking point in the schools," CTU staff coordinator Jackson Potter told WBEZ. "And as a result, children are suffering, so we are gearing up." The union is expecting another offer from the district this week, according to CTU attorney Robert Bloch. [WBEZ]

  • How a meeting with Mother Teresa changed a Chicago gang leader's life

In 1985 former west-side gang leader Demetrius Ford met Mother Teresa in Chicago, an encounter that changed his life. Ford had been working odd jobs around Saint Malachy's Church while he tried to get away from gang violence. Mother Teresa, who was made a saint by the Catholic Church over the weekend, prayed for Ford and held his hands in hers. "And that was like the changing point in my life," he told the Sun-Times. "I was like really feeling down and low. I was running from the police at the time and there were a million awful things going on in my life. And at that moment I just felt relief." [Sun-Times]

  • Rauner reportedly says he'll vote for Donald Trump

Governor Bruce Rauner has repeatedly distanced himself from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, including refusing to endorse him and not attending the Republican National Convention in July. But when asked by a young man at the Taste of Polonia Festival if he'd vote for Trump, he reportedly nodded his head yes. [Politico Illinois Playbook]

  • Humanities Festival lineup: Trevor Noah, Maureen Dowd, Gloria Steinem, Senator Barbara Boxer, and more

The Chicago Humanities Festival always brings in an interesting array of thinkers to Chicago each fall, and the 2016 lineup is no exception. Daily Show host Trevor Noah, legendary feminist Gloria Steinem, New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd, California senator Barbara Boxer, and presidential biographer Jon Meacham will be headlining events during the festival. There will also be lectures on topics ranging from the rise of ISIS to Chicago's police culture to General George Armstrong Custer and the American west. [Sun-Times]


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