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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, January 12, 2016.
President Barack Obama is a White Sox fan, but he's still planning to host the 2016 World Series champion Cubs at the White House during his last week in office. The Cubs will visit Monday, making them the final professional sports team to celebrate a championship with Obama. President-elect Donald Trump recently tapped Cubs co-owner and major GOP donor Todd Ricketts as deputy secretary of commerce. [Yahoo Sports]
The U.S. Department of Justice will reportedly release the findings of its yearlong civil rights probe of Chicago Police Department misconduct Friday. With only a few days left in President Obama's term, the DOJ is likely to have the city sign an agreement in principle instead of a consent decree, the Sun-Times reports. Such an agreement would serve as a "legal foundation for Justice Department officials to go to court to hammer out a consent decree after Obama leaves office," according to the newspaper. A consent decree "would create a federal court-enforceable path addressing investigatory findings from the probe" and force the CPD to make the required changes. "If there's a findings letter that comes out that details present-tense challenges within the department, there will be broad pressure to make sure that . . . we are correcting any constitutional policing problems and that there's a commitment on the part of the mayor, the City Council and, of course, the superintendent, to do what is necessary to right the ship," says Chicago Police Board president Lori Lightfoot. [Sun-Times]
The Illinois house reelected Michael Madigan as speaker Wednesday for a record 17th term, according to the Tribune. None of his fellow Democrats voted against Madigan despite pressure from the Illinois Republican Party, though Democratic rep Scott Drury avoided voting for him by voting "present" instead of "yes" or "no." [Tribune]
Sasha Obama was conspicuously absent from her father's farewell speech at McCormick Place Tuesday evening because she had to study for an exam in Washington, D.C. She was the only immediate family member missing from the event; First Lady Michelle Obama and elder daughter Malia Obama attended. [DNAinfo Chicago]
A bill passed by state legislators Tuesday will require public schools and licensed day care centers in Illinois to be tested for lead. The requirement is the result of "long-running negotiations among environmental groups, lawmakers, the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the governor's office [that] culminated in a compromise late last week," according to Politico. Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the bill as a result. [Politico] [Tribune]
The National Veterans Art Museum has acquired 31 screen prints by author and University of Chicago alumnus Kurt Vonnegut. The works of art are currently on display in the museum's "Vonnegut's Odyssey" exhibit, which runs through early May. Vonnegut enlisted in the army after graduating from Cornell University and was taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. [Chicagoist]