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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, April 13, 2017.
Zion residents Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti were arrested Wednesday morning "for conspiring to provide support to the Islamic State," according to the Sun-Times. The 35-year-old men became friends with two undercover FBI agents and a non-ISIS supporter who cooperated with law enforcement; they believed that the three individuals were also ISIS supporters, according to authorities. Jones and Schimenti allegedly took pictures of themselves holding the ISIS flag at a beach in Zion. The men "gave several cell phones to the cooperating individual believing they would be used to detonate explosive devices in ISIS attacks" and drove that individual to O'Hare International Airport Friday "expecting that person to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS." [Sun-Times]
Mayor Rahm Emanuel returned to his old stomping grounds in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to discuss infrastructure at a Wall Street Journal event and meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. In order to improve infrastructure, President Donald Trump will have to spend federal money and not rely on tax credits, Emanuel said at the WSJ event."We didn't build up Afghanistan or Iraq on tax credits. We did not. We did it with U.S. dollars," the mayor said. "When we built schools and roads in Iraq, we didn't do it on tax credits." Emanuel then met with DeVos to discuss education in the Chicago. "I applaud the Mayor for Chicago's rising high school graduation rates and commitment to providing more students new opportunities through dual enrollment programs," DeVos said in a statement after their meeting. [Huffington Post] [U.S. Department of Education statement]
A hearing on legalizing marijuana in Illinois will take place in Springfield April 19. State senator Heather Steans and state representative Kelly Cassidy are proposing legislation to make the drug legal and heavily taxed in order to help the state solve its budget crisis. Under the proposed law, Illinoisans could legally possess five marijuana plants and 28 grams of the drug. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, will give the commencement speech at Northeastern Illinois University for free after it was revealed that she was going to be paid $30,000 for the speech. The university is in a fiscal crisis without state funding and had to shut down operations over spring break. Jarrett was set to receive the $30,000 speaking fee from a private donor after the university board learned of the cost. "While keenly aware of the financial challenges in Illinois, we were not aware of the specific issues facing Northeastern Illinois University or that a donor would be paying for the speaking fee," Jarrett spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in a statement to POLITICO. "Jarrett notified President [Richard] Helldobler this morning that she will not be accepting a speaking fee for the commencement address. Jarrett looks forward to addressing the graduates and other members of the NEIU community next month." [Politico]
Restaurant and bar Slightly Toasted is planning to open its second West Loop location in the office building at 300 S. Riverside Plaza, owner Art Mendoza told Eater Chicago. The second location, which Mendoza hopes will open in July, will be larger than the original at 22 N. Clinton and feature a larger menu. Slightly Toasted is open all day and focuses on toasts, sandwiches, coffee, beer, and whiskey. [Eater Chicago]