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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, February 11, 2016.
The good news is that it will be mostly sunny all day. The bad news is that the sun won't keep us warm. There will be a high of 21 and a low of 15. [AccuWeather]
The president returned to his old stomping grounds Wednesday to give a speech to Illinois lawmakers about bridging the partisan divide. Exactly nine years after he announced his candidacy on the steps of the Old State Capitol, he admitted that many people feel American politics has become more divisive under his administration. He also stopped for lunch at a local restaurant, where he took selfies with patrons. [Springfield State Journal-Register]
The former state senator didn't come back to Illinois empty-handed. The CTA will receive up to $281 million from the federal government for the Red Line reconstruction project if Obama's budget proposal is passed. [Crain's Chicago Business]
The ongoing Chicago Teachers Union vs. Chicago Public Schools negotiation saga has taken a Star Wars-inspired turn. In a video posted on the union's Twitter account, CTU president Karen Lewis wears a Jedi uniform and carries a lightsaber. She says "no economic layoffs" and "enforceable class size" as she waves her lightsaber around. We will have to wait and see if her Jedi powers can sway CPS. [DNAinfo Chicago]
The gruesome murders of six family members, including two children, found shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death on the south side last week have left police, friends, family, and neighbors with many questions and not many answers. Law enforcement suspects that the Martinez family was targeted, but no one is sure why. [CNN]
The free concerts at Millennium Park are one of the many highlights of summer in Chicago, but sources have told the Tribune that the popular "Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz" series on Thursday evenings is no more. The series has attracted many well-known jazz artists in the past. [Tribune]