Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, February 16, 2017.
In a speech Wednesday, Governor Bruce Rauner tried to persuade state lawmakers to pass the senate's "grand bargain" budget plan after more than a year and a half without a budget. "This isn't about pointing fingers or assigning blame," he said. "We are where we are. It's not about the past; it's about how we move forward together." On the Democratic side of the Illinois house during the address, four signs that read "Rauner budget = fake news" and "Rauner budget = alternative facts" were taped onto podiums; Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan had refused to take the signs down when asked by Republicans. During the speech—during which his teleprompter briefly broke down—Rauner also pressed for "a permanent property tax freeze, a workers' compensation system that mirrors Massachusetts and a cap on spending," according to the Sun-Times. [Sun-Times] [DNAinfo Chicago]
Antwan C. Jones, 19, was trying to shoot three members of a rival gang Saturday night when he fatally shot 11-year-old Takiya Holmes instead, according to authorities. A stray bullet hit Holmes, who was sitting in a van with her mother, aunt, and brother. Holmes died Tuesday at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital after being taken off life support. Jones, who has been arrested three times as an adult and has a "lengthy" juvenile record, was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday. Several children have been shot recently in Chicago, including two-year-old Lavontay White Jr., whose fatal shooting was captured on Facebook Live. [Tribune] [Washington Post]
Chicago restaurants, restaurateurs, and chefs—a full 14 of them—account for 32 spots on this year's semifinalist list for the James Beard Foundation Awards, a much-coveted honor. Among the nominations: Paul McGee's Lost Lake for outstanding bar program, Rick Bayless's newly renovated Topolobampo for outstanding restaurant, Sepia for outstanding wine program, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia and Carrie Nahabedian of Naha for outstanding chef, and Boka's Meg Galus plus newcomer Aya Fukai of Maple & Ash for outstanding pastry chef. [Tribune]
A new shelter in River North operated by the privately funded nonprofit Covenant House will provide homeless teens and young adults ages 18 to 24 with a "sanctuary" during the daytime hours, according to staff. "This will be a place to exhale," Covenant House CEO Kevin Ryan said. The shelter offers "breakfast, lunch, showers, lockers and a place . . . to do laundry—in addition to medical care, substance abuse treatment, job training and legal aid," according to DNAinfo Chicago. There are about 500 people from ages 16 to 24 who are homeless each night in Chicago. The shelter will offer 20 beds for overnight stays later in the year and 60 beds in the future. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Chance the Rapper is tired of President Donald Trump's negative, headline-grabbing tweets about Chicago and its gun-violence problems. "I hope he's coming in to do some type of federal overturn of our state and city budgets in terms of schooling and housing," he said in an interview with website the Undefeated. "I'm tired of n—s talking about Chicago like it's a Third World country. Like, that it's not a place of booming business with a very successful downtown and all types of new development. It sounds like he was announcing he was going to war with Chicago." [Undefeated] [Uproxx]
It's been 60 days since there was an inch of snow in Chicago, a very rare occurrence in a city known for its harsh winters. If there isn't an inch of snow before February 22, the record of 66 days from the winter of 1921-'22 will be broken. It also could be the least-snowy February in the city's recorded history, according to ABC 7 Chicago. [WGN News] [ABC 7 Chicago]