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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, July 13, 2017.
Chicagoans are paying more money for street parking than drivers in any other city in the U.S., according to a study from INRIX. It costs $13 to park at a metered spot downtown for two hours, compared to $12 in San Francisco and $7 in New York City. The average driver in the city also spends about 56 hours a year looking for parking in downtown. "When parking fines, congestion and the difficulty of finding parking are added together, being a motorist in Chicago is costly indeed," DePaul University transportation expert Joe Schwieterman told the Tribune. "Chicago's unusually high fees for parking no doubt encourages people to switch to transit, but they also are a drag on downtown retail and tourism when supply doesn't meet demand." [Tribune]
Governor Bruce Rauner, fresh off of a defeat in the state budget battle, has fired several staff members this week, including his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, and his spokesperson, according to Politico. He then replaced both chief and deputy chief with with staffers from a conservative think tank, the Illinois Policy Institute. The sudden changes could signal a more conservative shift as Rauner faces a tough reelection battle in 2018, according to the site. [Politico]
Aviation security officers at O'Hare and Midway airports will no longer be considered police officers, Chicago aviation commissioner Ginger Evans announced Wednesday. "We are confident that these actions are necessary to guide our department forward, while improving clarity for the aviation security officers who play an integral role in maintaining safe and secure conditions for the traveling public at both of Chicago's airports," Evans said in a statement. The change was prompted byWhen she first announced the shift in January, she ran into a wall of opposition, from aldermen and the officers' union, the Service Employee International Union, has filed an objection that is pending before state Labor officers. But then came the April 9 incident in which a man who refused to leave his was dragged of the train by three cops. The three officers involved have been suspended without pay while the case is being reviewed. [DNAinfo Chicago]
The owner of the Hard Rock Hotel in the Loop is splitting with the Hard Rock chain, according to Crain's Chicago Business. Owner Becker Ventures has chosen Aparium Hotel Group to run the new independent hotel in the historic Carbide & Carbon building on Michigan Avenue. The hotel is facing increased competition in the Loop and on Michigan Avenue. "We can position ourselves slightly more luxury, we can position ourselves something more Chicago-based that will resonate with the locals," Becker copresident Carrie Meghie said. [Crain's Chicago Business]
Former Today Show host and Fox 32 Chicago anchor Tamron Hall has landed a daytime talk show. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's Weinstein Television is developing a show hosted and executive produced by Hall for "viewers looking for a blend of heart, humor and information." "I've been working towards developing a talk show for a long time, but needed to make sure I did it the right way and with the right person to take the lead," Weinstein said in a statement. "Tamron is far and away that person. She's an exceptionally talented journalist whose interviews masterfully walk the line between entertainment and hard hitting." [Sun-Times]
Legendary River North steakhouse Gene & Georgetti is planning to open a restaurant with a new concept in the same neighborhood. There are not many details on the new restaurant yet except it will be located in the spot where namesake Gene Michelotti met his wife. [Sun-Times]