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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
It's a battle of the billionaire gubernatorial candidates. Governor Bruce Rauner slammed Democratic gubernatorial front-runner J.B. Pritzker calling him "one of the worst investors on the planet" while scrutinizing his tax returns. Pritzker, who Rauner says inherited $3 billion, only reported $16 million in income to the IRS. Rauner then accused Pritzker of avoiding taxes and/or being a terrible investor. "Inherits $3 billion, and he's still got $3 billion years later, mostly?" the governor said Tuesday. "But he only reports $16 million of income? How do you do that? I mean, you, you have to be one of the worst investors on the planet to only generate $16 million of income on $3 billion of assets. How do you do that? By hiding from taxes and tax avoidance. That's how you do that." [Sun-Times]
Fourteen Chicago Public Schools high schools, including Whitney Young Magnet High School, dropped their football teams and programs in 2017 as enrollment continues to decline at neighborhood high schools, according to the Tribune. Reporter John Keilman profiles the football program at Englewood's Robeson High School, which CPS is planning to close at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, and how it positively affects students. "It is the glue," Robeson principal Melanie Beatty-Sevier said a few weeks before the closing announcement. "I just think it's important to keep programs such as football in the schools if possible, especially when you have a small neighborhood school that's struggling financially. You don't want to just dismantle everything." [Tribune]
Construction on University of Chicago's long-awaited Level 1 trauma center is completed, and the $35 million adult emergency department is scheduled to open in five months pending state approval and inspection. "This is a big deal, this is a huge deal," Derek Douglas, the university's vice president of civic engagement, said. "I think what today reflects is what can be accomplished when the university and the community come together to accomplish common goals." [ABC 7 Chicago]
U.S. representative Luis Gutierrez may have endorsed Cook County commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia to succeed him in the Fourth Congressional District, but Garcia is only one of 11 candidates running. Seven Democrats, including aldermen Raymond Lopez, Proco "Joe" Moreno and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, and four Republicans filed paperwork with the Illinois Board of Elections to run for the seat in the heavily Latino district. [WBEZ]
North Side Housing and Supportive Services' men's shelter was closed briefly before Christmas 2016 after losing more than $400,000 in grants from the city, but visitors now would not know what happened, according to WBEZ. The Reva and David Logan Foundation quickly donated $400,000 over three years to keep it open, which also secured its funding from the city again. The generous donation has not only kept the shelter open for homeless men in need but has made much-needed upgrades possible. [WBEZ]
Famed Hollywood director Spike Lee filmed Steppenwolf Theatre's production of Pass Over in September and will premiere it at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January, according to the Tribune. Steppenwolf staff were "sworn to secrecy," which was "apparently imposed by a contractual arrangement with Amazon Studios." [Tribune]