Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, February 14, 2017. Happy Valentine's Day!
Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in Washington, D.C., Monday to meet with attorney general Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, according to the Tribune. Even though Emanuel wasn't scheduled for a meeting with the president or his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, he "prepared for the possibility of such a meeting materializing Monday" because of "the sometimes unpredictable nature of the new president's administration," the newspaper reported. The mayor was also scheduled to meet with Gary Cohn, the director of the president's National Economic Council, and federal transportation officials. [Tribune]
Neighborhood activist Jedidiah Brown is doing better after his suicide attempt near Buckingham Fountain shut down Lake Shore Drive in the Loop for an hour and a half Sunday evening. "I'm not wanting to die anymore but whoa the pain is cutting deep," Brown wrote in a Facebook post Monday afternoon. He was reportedly extremely upset after the death of a nephew and the difficult work of being a south-side activist while violence is surging, according to DNAinfo Chicago. "This freed a part of me that must take away the power of pain in passion," he wrote Monday. "I must get my healing but I need Chicago to truly see why we are getting no better." The 11-year-old cousin of another antiviolence activist, Rachel Williams, was shot over the weekend. [DNAinfo Chicago] [NBC News]
Meanwhile, Trump has ordered Sessions to "prosecute individuals who commit or attempt to commit crimes of violence against . . . law enforcement officers." Alderman Ed Burke proposed similar legislation, called the "Blue Lives Matter ordinance," in July but it has "languished," according to DNAinfo Chicago. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Chicago Public Schools is "overpaying by as much as $10 million for its new fleet of for-profit alternative schools for dropouts" because more than half of the students don't attend class, according to an analysis by WBEZ. CPS pays for dropouts to attend the alternative schools for half days based on enrollment numbers, but only 44 percent of the enrolled students are actually attending. When CPS officials visited the alternative schools, they were upset to see that so few students in attendance and so much money was being wasted. "Because I know we're in a financial crisis and if schools are lucky enough to be getting adequate funding or per pupil funding above and beyond what's happening in our (regular) high schools or schools, I was upset that students were not able to benefit from that the way that the program was designed," CPS chief education officer Janice Jackson told WBEZ. [WBEZ]
The Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer brought national attention to the controversial convictions of then 16-year-old Brendan Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Dassey's conviction for Halbach's brutal murder was overturned by a federal judge last year, but the decision was later appealed by Wisconsin's attorney general. The case will be argued in the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago Tuesday morning, but it isn't yet clear whether or not the judge will make a decision on Dassey's fate during this hearing. Dassey remains in prison. [NBC Chicago]
Chef Michael Mina will open a Parisian cafe-inspired restaurant and an accompanying French patisserie in the Waldorf Astoria hotel in the spring. Called Margaux Brasserie and Petit Margaux, the eateries will be the first Chicago ventures from the Beard Award-winning chef. Mina operates 30 restaurants including his most famous, Michael Mina, in San Francisco. [Sun-Times]