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Welcome to the Reader's weekday news brief.
The number of homicides in Chicago dropped from 771 in 2016 to 650 in 2017, and the number of shootings dropped from 3,550 in 2016 to 2,785, according to the Chicago Police Department. Despite the notable decrease, there were still more homicides in Chicago in 2017 than in New York City and Los Angeles combined, and gang violence is still continuing at high levels, the Associated Press reports. But violence didn't drop in every neighborhood, and murders actually increased by 20 percent in 2017 in North Lawndale, according to WBEZ. "You still have to start with the fact that 600 people dead in Chicago is a hell of a lot of people to be dead in one year," Reverend Marshall Hatch, senior pastor at New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church of West Garfield, told AP. [Associated Press via Time] [WBEZ]
Individual A, the person who was sexually abused by former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert and accused him of reneging on a $3.5 million hush-money pact, is seeking a protective order to keep many details of his lawsuit confidential, according to the Tribune. Attorneys made a brief appearance in court Tuesday morning by Kendall County judge Robert Pilmer, who "delayed imposing the order while both sides hammer out specifics," the Tribune reports. [Tribune]
A divorce trial for former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and former alderman Sandi Jackson looks "inevitable," according to Jackson Jr. "It appears that my holiday hopes of reaching a fair settlement will not be achieved and that this case will continue in 2018 through a trial," Jackson Jr. said in a statement. "As such, I have released my Washington attorneys and have secured new litigation counsel to work cooperatively and in tandem with my Chicago team." The potentially explosive trial could include subpoenas for former Chicago Police Department superintendent Garry McCarthy and former Today Show anchor Tamron Hall.[Tribune]
Chad Estep, a Northwestern University doctoral graduate student in neuroscience, was arrested October 9 for allegedly pushing innocent bystander Ben Benedict onto the CTA Blue Line tracks and preventing him from getting up. But the Chicago Police Department never released a public alert after Benedict was pushed onto the tracks August 1. The Tribune chronicles how an arrest was made with little help from authorities. [Tribune]
Josh Iachelli and Clay Hamilton, the co-owners of Old Town's Happy Camper pizzeria and Lincoln Park's Homeslice, are planning to open another restaurant at 1913 W. North, in Wicker Park. It's not clear whether the new restaurant will also specialize in pizza, but if it does, neighbor Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, at 1927 W. North, isn't afraid of the competition. "At this stage of the game, we're pretty damn secure in what we can do," Piece founder and chief executive officer Bill Jacobs told Eater Chicago. "I wish them well. I'm not here to disparage them." [Eater Chicago]