Alderman Raymond Lopez under police protection after retaliatory threats from gangs, and other Chicago news

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Chicago Police Department deputy superintendent Kevin Navarro and 15th Ward alderman Raymond Lopez speak at a press conference Sunday night. - LAUREN FITZPATRICK/SUN-TIMES
  • Lauren FitzPatrick/Sun-Times
  • Chicago Police Department deputy superintendent Kevin Navarro and 15th Ward alderman Raymond Lopez speak at a press conference Sunday night.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

  • Alderman Raymond Lopez under police protection after gangs threaten his life

Alderman Raymond Lopez is under police protection after being threatened with what officials judged "credible threats" by gang members for saying that "no innocent lives were lost" in a recent mass shooting at a memorial in Brighton Park, the Tribune reports. Lopez stands by his statement, and says he won't stop fighting "back against the gang and gun violence" in his southwest-side ward, adding that the threats haven't stopped him from working or going out in public. "However my comment is taken, the point remains we have people who are willing to kill indiscriminately to maintain this culture of gang violence and retaliatory warfare in our communities," he told reporters. "Standing up against that is what brought this on; not remaining silent is what brought this on." [Tribune]

  • Emanuel delays briefing City Council on his plan for a CPS bailout

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is working on a bailout plan for Chicago Public Schools that "could rely on using a mix of borrowing, tax-increment financing surpluses and job cuts for support staff" so the district doesn't have to end its school year early, according to the Sun-Times. But he delayed a fuller discussion of his proposals for the second time when he canceled the Tuesday briefing he'd scheduled with the City Council. "We are going to reschedule the aldermanic briefings on CPS, and we'll be in touch with them in the next few days to reschedule," Adam Collins, Emanuel's communications director, told the Sun-Times. "This is a very real, very complex problem, and each move or option has its own implications for students, parents, teachers and the financial markets." Alderman Ricardo Munoz (22nd) said it's "unacceptable" that the mayor is keeping the City Council in the dark on such an important issue. "I have no clue what's going on," Munoz said. "But all I can surmise is that they really don't know what they're doing over there . . . It is scary. It's very scary." [Sun-Times]

  • Daley's photo is finally added to the wall of mayors at City Hall

Just days after the Sun-Times reported that it was missing, former mayor Richard M. Daley's photograph was finally added to the wall of mayors in City Hall, six years after he left office. The paper had questioned why Daley, whose 22 years as mayor make him the city's longest serving, was conspicuously absent, while city clerk David Orr, who spent eight days as acting mayor after the death of Harold Washington in 1987, was represented. Through a spokesman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel denied that the omission had reflected any tension between the two men: "Mayor Daley has been a mentor and a friend to Mayor Emanuel for 25 years," Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins said. "The mayor has been criticized for not criticizing Mayor Daley—something he has not done and has no intention of doing." [Sun-Times]

  • City's use of dry ice to kill rats put on hiatus; meanwhile rat complaints up 30 percent

Rat complaints were up 30 percent between November and April, but a city pilot program of killing rats with dry ice is now on an indefinite hiatus after officials learned it hasn't been approved as a safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to DNAinfo Chicago. The practice, in which workers put dry ice—frozen carbon dioxide—into rat burrows, then seal the openings, suffocating the vermin, has been praised as effective by both the mayor and Streets & San head Charles Williams but criticized by PETA, which told DNAinfo that rodents "deserve our protection." The news site reports that city officials are working with the Illinois Department of Health to get the program reinstated. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • The Chicago River will get a floating museum this summer

The Chicago River Float is a mobile museum and event space that will ply the river to bring cultural programming to underserved communities this summer as part of the city's Night Out in the Parks initiative. Featuring "screenings, projections, exhibitions and participatory art," the barge will travel to stops including the Resource Center in Riverdale and Eleanor Park on the lower west side as well as the Chicago Riverwalk, Navy Pier, and other locations starting August 7. [Time Out Chicago]

  • Billy Corgan is buying the National Wrestling Alliance

Smashing Pumpkins front man and Highland Park resident Billy Corgan has purchased the National Wrestling Alliance, described by Deadspin as "pro wrestling's oldest and deadest brand." Corgan, a longtime wrestling aficionado, has been involved with the industry for years, founding a Chicago-based promotional firm, Resistance Pro Wrestling, and making a play for control of TNA (now Impact Wrestling) that ended with his filing a lawsuit against the company in October. It's not yet clear what he will do with his new acquisition, but according to Deadspin, "the only sane explanation for the NWA purchase is that Corgan is going to start a wrestling promotion again." [Deadspin]


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