Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, September 14, 2017.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners stopped short of repealing the controversial penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax Wednesday, but it did send a repeal measure to committee, which will lead to a battle October 10. Cook County commissioner Richard Boykin is proposing "cutting spending and eliminating vacant positions" in place of the six-week-old tax, which added 68 cents to the price of a two-liter bottle and 72 cents to a six-pack, DNAinfo Chicago reports. Boykin is considering a run against Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, who's spearheaded the fight for the tax. [DNAinfo Chicago]
Mike Rendina is stepping down from his position as a senior adviser to Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take an unnamed job in the private sector, freeing him up to work part-time on the 2019 mayoral campaign, the Sun-Times reports. Emanuel hasn't announced his candidacy yet, but Rendina said be "shocked" if Emanuel doesn't enter and win the race. "I see every day his fight," Rendina said. "We have a governor who is constantly attacking Chicago. We have a president who's constantly attacking Chicago. And I cannot see him stepping down from the challenge. And I can't see anyone else out there better suited to defend and move our city forward." [Sun-Times]
Chicago Public Schools inspector general Nicholas Schuler found that the York Alternative High School in the Cook County Jail "has been falsifying credits and attendance for hundreds of students for years, cheating some of the city's most at-risk students of an education," according to the Sun-Times. "We agree having a diploma would be great," but "giving them credit for when they were in solitary confinement, that's disingenuous," Schuler said. "That isn't real help. You're depriving them of the benefit of an education." [Sun-Times]
The death of 19-year-old west-side resident Kenneka Jenkins in a Rosemont hotel over the weekend has become a trending topic on social media this week. Thousands of people have been speculating how Jenkins ended up in an industrial freezer in the hotel, but not all of the talk is fueled by facts. The Tribune is attempting to clear up the rumors by publishing a time line of what we now know about the case and what we don't. [Tribune]
A neighbor of the controversial Bottled Blonde restaurant in River North showed video of patrons peeing and vomiting near his building during his testimony in the establishment's license hearing Wednesday. Daniel Shiba also showed photos of vomit outside his condo building and the restaurant. Bottled Blonde is in danger of having its license revoked by the city. [DNAinfo Chicago]
A new European-inspired wine bar is now open in the West Loop. The Press Room is located in the 109-year-old Free Methodist Publishing House at 1134 W. Washington. [Eater Chicago]