DNAinfo reborn / 'A cretin' / R.I.P., John Mahoney

DNAinfo reborn. Alumni of the local Chicago news operation shuttered by Cubs patriarch Joe Ricketts are getting the band back together to launch a new website, Block Club Chicago.

They’re seeking Kickstarter support ahead of an April debut.

If at first you don’t succeed… A previously failed Republican judicial candidate has changed his name for a Democratic campaign this go-round—from Phillip Spiwak to Shannon P. O’Malley.
Ballot challenges may delay the start of early voting for millions in the Chicago area.

‘I want to know why people are so offended by it.’ Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives is at least pretending not to understand why people consider one of her campaign ads “repulsive.”
Eric Zorn’s transcript of Ives’ defense before the City Club of Chicago yesterday: “The transgender man, that’s exactly what, typically, a transgender man looks like (groans in the audience). Sir, with all due respect, I’ve had them show up at my door, so ...”
In an announcement later this morning, the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization opts to skip an endorsement in the governor’s race. (Link to come here.)

‘A cretin.’ With unusually blunt language, the Tribune editorial board warns Illinoisans not to vote for the Nazi in the upcoming Illinois Republican primary.
But because Arthur Jones is the only Republican candidate in that congressional contest, he’s in position to win regardless—something the state party says it’s exploring “all options” to prevent.
Commenter Kurt Wehrmeister on Facebook: “You have a district that was so laughably tailored for the Democrat that no sensible GOPer … would take the plunge.”

‘Treason, which is punishable by death, is the only crime that is explicitly defined in the Constitution.’ The Washington Post explains why President Trump flippantly accusing Democrats of “treason” is no laughing matter.
The New York Times: “After Hurricane Maria, a one-woman company was awarded a huge contract by FEMA to provide 30 million meals. Only 50,000 were delivered.”
Math rips apart research Attorney General Sessions has been using to support the notion that immigration feeds criminality.
The nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is suing the EPA, demanding proof its embattled head has indeed issued orders that guarantee scientific freedom.

R.I.P., John Mahoney. The Steppenwolf Theatre and Frasier star who left Hollywood for Oak Park is dead at 77.
… or maybe you remember him as the dad in Say Anything.
The Tribune’s Michael Phillips: “Other actors have made equally persuasive arguments for a late start on an acting career. … But at the moment I can’t think of any.”
Was Netflix’s surprise Super Bowl Sunday drop of the new Cloverfield movie an attempt to beat bad reviews?

‘Wells Fargo … remains a rogue financial institution.’ In smacking down Wells Fargo, the Tribune’s Robert Reed says, departing Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen sent a message to other U.S. banking giants: Stop Stomp out sleazy management practices or else.
Updating coverage: Wall Street is off to another wild day.

Apple’s HomePod speaker reviewed. “Best-in-class voice recognition … stymied by the limited command sets that the Siri protocol offers.”
… and it “demands that you live entirely inside Apple’s ecosystem in a way that even Apple’s other products do not.” (Photo: Nobuyuki Hayashi.)
Apple is wrestling with a growing number of reports newer iPhones won’t let their owners answer incoming phone calls.