Investigation: Emanuel's Chicago Infrastructure Trust has cost taxpayers $5 million but has contributed little, and other news | Bleader

Investigation: Emanuel's Chicago Infrastructure Trust has cost taxpayers $5 million but has contributed little, and other news

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel kisses Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo goodbye at a press conference Chicago's climate change summit earlier this month . - AP PHOTO/CHARLES REX ARBOGAST
  • AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel kisses Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo goodbye at a press conference Chicago's climate change summit earlier this month .

Welcome to the Reader's weekday news briefing.

  • Investigation: Emanuel's Chicago Infrastructure Trust has cost taxpayers $5 million but has raised nothing

Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched the nonprofit Chicago Infrastructure Trust in 2012 with the promise of finding private investors to fund public infrastructure improvement projects. But the trust has cost Chicago taxpayers more than $5.1 million in administrative costs and salaries without raising any money, the Sun-Times reports. And it's accomplished little beyond assisting the city in choosing contractors for streetlight upgrades and the $95 million police and fire training academy. "There's no excuse for the mayor to avoid closing down this thing that's been a complete failure," a high-ranking Chicago official told the Sun-Times. "They've done nothing that can't be done by [the Department of Fleet and Facilities Management] or the Public Building Commission." [Sun-Times]

  • Progressive Democrats targeting Congressman Dan Lipinski in primary

Longtime Chicago congressman Dan Lipinski is being targeted by the progressive wing of the Democratic party in the 2018 primary. New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Gloria Steinem, the Human Rights Campaign, and numerous organizations have endorsed Lipinski's opponent, businesswoman Marie Newman. "Dan Lipinski has a real, formidable challenger like he's never had before. The environment is different. . . . The energy is palpable," Sasha Bruce, vice president for campaigns and strategies with NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Politico. "This is a staunchly progressive values Democratic district." Lipinski is one of the few pro-life Democrats in Congress. [Politico]


  • Department of Justice plans to add three new federal prosecutors in Chicago

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adding 40 new federal prosecutors in 27 different cities, including three new prosecutors in Chicago. The Chicago-based U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois has more than 150 prosecutors but has been asking for more for years. [Associated Press via the Tampa Bay Times]

  • The biggest challenges facing interim CPS CEO Janice Jackson

Chicago Public Schools interim chief executive officer Janice Jackson will be facing some major challenges when she takes over for current CEO Forrest Claypool in 2018. The Claypool administration has left the former CPS student with serious problems: likely school closings, deep financial issues, and Illinois's impending "public inquiry" into CPS's special education program, WBEZ reports. [WBEZ]

  • A historic bridge in Jackson Square is up for sale

Wanna buy a bridge? You have a chance to. The Chicago Department of Transportation is replacing the Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge in Jackson Park, and the National Environment Policy Act requires it to offer the existing bridge for potential reuse before it building a new pedestrian bridge. The city will not charge money for the historic bridge but is accepting proposals from groups or individuals who can move and reuse it. Pedestrians have not been allowed to walk on the bridge since 2015, and cars have not been permitted to drive on it since 2009. [Tribune]

  • The Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's is remodeling, losing its rock music theme

The infamous Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's in River North is remodeling and leaving its long-time rock 'n' roll theme behind for good. The massive McDonald's will close December 30 and reopen as "an experience of the future" in the spring. [Eater Chicago]


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