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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, August 18, 2016.
It will be sunny and humid Thursday, with a high of 85 and a low of 73. [AccuWeather]
The Chicago River has been infamously polluted for much of the city's history. But ongoing efforts to clean up the river might make it possible for humans to swim in it safely by 2030, a director at the Metropolitan Planning Council told DNAinfo Chicago. MPC, Friends of the Chicago River, and the city revealed a plan Wednesday to improve the Chicago, Des Plaines, and Calumet Rivers, with improvements in infrastructure and access as well as in cleanliness. [DNAinfo Chicago] [Tribune]
An autopsy of Chicago police shooting victim Paul O'Neal confirmed that the 18-year-old was shot once in the right side of his back following a police chase July 28. O'Neal had no drugs in his system at the time of the shooting, according to the report. [Tribune]
Twenty-year-old Lisa Kuivinen (who identified as non-gender-binary and went by plural pronouns) was riding their bike in the bike lane on Milwaukee Avenue Tuesday morning when they were fatally struck by a semitruck, according to authorities. Kuivinen was the third Chicago cyclist killed this year. [Streetsblog Chicago]
A new book traces the history of the famed company: Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago: In Their Own Words, by John Mayer (no, not the singer). Through interviews with most of the past and present ensemble members, Mayer examines how the theater juggernaut emerged from an idea developed by Highland Park High School students Gary Sinise, Jeff Perry, and Terry Kinney. "I compare it to Apple starting out in a garage and growing into Apple computers," Mayer told Vanity Fair. "That's what Steppenwolf is to theater." [Vanity Fair]
Reporter Peter Nickeas spent three years covering the overnight crime beat for the Tribune, and during that extremely tough job, he experienced a side of the city that many people never see. In a fascinating piece for Chicago magazine, Nikeas writes about running from crime scene to crime scene all night. On the scene of his second homicide: "I didn't know the body would still be there," he wrote. "I didn't know the police would be OK with me being there. I didn't know what to do when the family showed up—the dead man's son was there. I didn't know how to talk to them." [Chicago]