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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez and a group of other immigration activists staged a sit-in Monday at the Chicago branch of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency after a unsatisfactory meeting with ICE's acting regional director. Gutierrez was handcuffed briefly after refusing to leave. "The congressman decided he did not get the answers he was looking for from the regional director, and he's going to be staying inside until he gets answers, even if that means risking arrest," the congressman's spokesman, Doug Rivlin, told reporters. [Tribune] [NBC Chicago]
Large photos on poster board of Mayor Rahm Emanuel were hanging in the hallways of the Chicagoland Laborers' District Council Training & Apprentice Fund center when he gave an invite-only speech on infrastructure in February. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Tribune discovered that City Hall spent "$1,364.54 on the 49 large photos of the mayor displayed at the union hall, including eight of him shaking hands with construction workers, six showing him cutting ribbons and five featuring the mayor plunging a shiny shovel into some dirt." [Tribune]
The Jewish Community Centers of Chicago received a bomb threat targeting Purim celebrations over the weekend. The Hyde Park center, which also received a bomb threat February 20, was hosting the only Purim festivity and was cleared by the police before the event. There's been a massive increase in bomb threats at Jewish institutions across the country since January. "It is new, it is being heavily vocalized and expressed and we are working through this climate with great care and thought," Addie Goodman, executive vice president for JCC Chicago, told DNAinfo Chicago. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Illinois state rep Andrew Thapedi introduced a bill to honor former president Barack Obama with a state holiday, and in return, Thapedi has received death threats and hostile phone calls and e-mails. This despite the idea garnering support from some Republicans, including former Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady. "The reality is he's the first African-American president in the history of the country," Brady told Politico. "I think Democrat or Republican, we should take some pride in that." But Brady thinks a government day off in honor of Obama isn't realistic given the state's financial crisis. [Politico]
Local author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who wrote the recent viral essay "You May Want to Marry My Husband" for the New York Times's Modern Love feature, has passed away from ovarian cancer at age 51. The author of more than 30 books, she was also an NPR contributor and had given a TED talk. "It is Amy's gift with words that has drawn the universe in," her husband, Jason Rosenthal, told the Today show in a statement. "Unfortunately, I do not have the same aptitude for the written word, but if I did I can assure you that my tale would be about the most epic love story—ours." [Sun-Times]
Phillipa Soo is only 26 years old, but this fall three musicals with roles that she helped originate will be playing on Broadway at the same time: Hamilton, Amélie, and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Soo, who graduated from Libertyville High School in 2008, landed a role in Natasha shortly after graduating from the Juilliard School in 2012. She then went on to win coveted roles in Hamilton and now Amélie. After gaining experience developing new characters for two earlier musicals, she says, she's finding it easier to originate her latest character. "I think I've learned, really, just how to let go—if an idea doesn't work, or it's not perfect, that's O.K.," she told the New York Times. "I'm happy that I learned something, and will apply it in the next version." [New York Times]