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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
The demand for legal firearms in Illinois and the rest of the nation has dropped since the election of President Donald Trump, but demand is up in Chicago and the suburbs. Applications for concealed-carry licenses in the city have been on the rise because of changes in the law and the recent wave of shootings, according to the Tribune. "People are worried about protecting themselves in the Chicago area," Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, told the paper. "People have started seeing the value of a concealed-carry license." The growing interest has even led the Union League Club of Chicago to hold four concealed-carry classes over the past year. But there are still no gun stores in Chicago despite court rulings that struck down the city's ban on them in 2014 and its handgun ban in 2010. [Tribune]
Segregated neighborhoods have a "powerful effect" on blood pressure levels, according to a new study led by a Northwestern University researcher and published in the JAMA journal Internal Medicine. The study tracked 2,820 African-Americans over decades and discovered that the subjects who left highly segregated neighborhoods experienced a drop in blood pressure, the Tribune reports. The researchers believe that the subjects who lived in less segregated neighborhoods most likely experienced less stress and had more access to healthy food, exercise, and medical care, which results in lower blood pressure. "Where you live influences where your kids go to school, so there's more opportunity for social and economic mobility, decreased exposure to violence and more economic investment back into the neighborhood," says Kiarri Kershaw, the study's lead researcher and assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern. [Tribune]
Donations to the Obama Foundation rose to $13 million in 2016 even though former president Barack Obama could not directly fund-raise while in office, according to the foundation's tax report. The George Lucas Family Foundation and the Hutchins Family Foundation both donated $1 million. It's the most money raised in a year since the foundation started, but donations are expected to increase dramatically in 2017 with Obama now actively fund-raising. [Sun-Times]
City clerk Anna Valencia, Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard, playwright Ike Holter, casting director Marisa Ross, and Oriole chef Noah Sandoval all made Chicago magazine's list of "emerging power players." It's a diverse list with some interesting profiles. Valencia says she looks at the clerk's office as more than "city stickers and operations," telling the magazine, "I really see it as a welcoming center and that link between the communities and government." Ross, who does casting for Chicago Med, Chicago Justice, and other shows filmed locally, has "become Chicago actors' greatest champion, using her West Coast connections to nurture a host of rising stars." [Chicago]
Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan will run for a fifth term in 2018. Although she has long been considered a rising star in the Democratic party, Madigan has said that she will not run for governor as long as her father Michael Madigan is speaker of Illinois House of Representatives. "A woman that young, you don't want to say the game has passed her by, but she's clearly lost some opportunities here," David Yepsen, a former director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, told the Tribune. [Associated Press via the Peoria Journal Star] [Tribune]
Kuma's Corner, arguably Chicago's most famous burger joint, is opening its highly anticipated West Loop location soon. On May 24, the heavy-metal-themed restaurant will open at 852 W. Fulton Market, just blocks from competitors Au Cheval, Umami Burger, and a new Shake Shack location slated to open later in 2017. [Eater Chicago]