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Welcome to the Reader's weekday news brief.
State education officials have reached a compromise with Governor Bruce Rauner that "will allow more schools to participate in a newly created scholarship program that is designed to help more students afford the costs of attending private and parochial schools," according to the State Journal-Register. Rauner's office announced the compromise just days before his reelection year State of State address Wednesday. Experts believe it will be a tough speech for Rauner to deliver because much of the agenda he ran on has not been implemented. "I think it's a difficult speech because of the fact that he clearly presented himself as being able to overwhelm the opposition and the resistance to his agenda," Kent Redfield, a retired political science professor at the University of Illinois Springfield, said. [State Journal-Register]
Speculation has grown that former Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Paul Vallas will challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the 2019 mayoral race. The former candidate for governor and lieutenant governor has helped turn around several urban school districts and served as the city's budget director for three years. He's resigning from his current position as Chicago State University chief administrative officer in March, which has fueled even more speculation that he'll become the most formidable Emanuel challenger. "I am very, very serious about running, and I'll make a determination if there's the support for it in the next 60 days," Vallas said in an interview Friday. "And then I'll be more than prepared to be very specific about what I'd like to do and what I'd hope to accomplish as mayor." [Tribune]
Serial airplane stowaway Marilyn Hartman was arrested at O'Hare International Airport airport early Sunday morning just days after she was arrested for bypassing TSA at O'Hare and flying to London on a British Airways flight. Hartman was arrested by Chicago police officers around 1:35 AM in Terminal 3 even though a judge warned her last week to stay away from O'Hare and Midway Airports. [Sun-Times]
The murder of Lewis University professor Matthew Lange in a Naperville parking lot remains unsolved one year later. Lange was shot several times while he sat in his car outside Scullen Middle School waiting for his four-year-old son to finish a Polish class. Naperville police insist that it's not a cold case and say they "strongly believe" that it was not a random act, according to the Naperville Sun. "These cases, sometimes they take a while, that's why we're still working at it," Naperville Police commander Lou Cammiso said. "We're hoping that someone comes forward with information." It's one of only three unsolved homicides in the town's history. [Naperville Sun]
People all over the world are mourning the Miracle Whip-loving friend they never knew after northwest-Indiana resident Terry Ward's obituary went viral. His daughter Jean Lahm wrote the obituary for Geisen Funeral Home's website that mentions everything from his love of Bed, Bath & Beyond and Clint Eastwood to his dislike of the Kardashians. "He lived to make people laugh. For sure, the obituary matches his personality," Lahm told the Daily Southtown. "He was a blue collar man who worked for the telephone company and was down to earth. He didn't have an uppity bone in his body. His barometer was so low to the ground." [Daily Southtown]
Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat fame is releasing a new cookbook in April. Called Gather & Graze, it includes recipes for dishes like banh mi burgers, duck breast with brown-butter kimchi, and sticky-sweet potato cake with blueberry-tomatillo jam, according to its publisher, Penguin Random House. [Eater Chicago]