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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, April 7, 2016.
It'll be hard to believe it's spring Thursday, which has an expected high of 43 and a low of 35. Both rain and snow are expected. [AccuWeather]
The Broadway musical Hamilton took America by storm and made founding father Alexander Hamilton cool again. A Hamilton statue at Diversey Parkway and Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park is currently being touched up before the musical opens in Chicago this fall. Grant Park had a second Hamilton statue, but it's been in storage for more than ten years; it's not clear when it will return to the park. [Tribune]
There's no doubt that Chicago has a rat problem, with 50,000 of the pests estimated to be living in the city by the end of 2016. But the city is using a natural and effective method to combat the rats: cats. The Tree House Humane Society's Cats at Work program has placed thousands of feral cats (who otherwise might have been euthanized) with Chicago area families. Not only do they kill rats, but they scare away other rats from the property. [Crain's Chicago Business]
In honor of Playboy founder and Chicago native Hugh Hefner's upcoming 90th birthday, the Tribune has created a definitive guide to local Hefner sites from the original Gold Coast Playboy mansion to the first Playboy Club to his northwest-side high school. [Tribune]
Spots at LaSalle Elementary school in Old Town are highly coveted, and CPS accidentally admitted 512 children when they only could accept 16 students. Apparently an "internal error" caused the potentially heartbreaking mistake. CPS had to e-mail almost 500 families to tell them their acceptance was a mistake. [Tribune]
As the NHL playoffs approach, the Blackhawks have recalled forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion Bryan Bickell from the Rockford IceHogs. He's spent a lot of the 2015-2016 season playing for the Blackhawks affiliate; the postseason could be his chance at redemption. [Second City Hockey]