‘Something bad is about to happen’ / ‘Mom’s been shot’ / Apple update time

‘Something bad is about to happen.’ That was an Instagram message yesterday to a middle school classmate from the shooter who, minutes later, killed six people at a school just south of downtown Nashville …
The Associated Press: The 28-year-old killer—who was killed by police—was an ex-student with a detailed plan.

‘Aren’t you guys tired of this?’ A woman who survived the Fourth of July massacre in Highland Park and who was visiting family in Tennessee when she learned of the shooting took the nation to task for not doing more to prevent these massacres.
Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina: “Firearm injuries (at and away from school) are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S.
The AP counts 175 victims in the 15 times since 1999 that gun violence has left four or more dead at a U.S. school.

‘An automatic death penalty for school shooters.’ That’s Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s suggestion …
 … oblivious to the fact that that’s what a lot of them now wind up with anyway.
USA Today’s Rex Huppke: “It’s the guns. It has always been the guns. And until we treat them like the deadly tools we know they are, it will always be the guns.”
History professor Heather Cox Richardson: “Republican lawmakers will never agree because gun ownership has become a key element of social identity for their supporters.”

‘We’ve got some videos of people putting them up.’ Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas accuses his opponents of posting campaign signs linking him to Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” trope.
Brandon Johnson’s campaign denies knowledge of the signs’ origin. (Photos: South Shore signs, shared by a Square reader.)
Speaking to the City Club of Chicago yesterday, Johnson pledged not to cut the police budget “by one penny.” (See his speech here, and see Vallas’ lunchtime appearance before the club today live here.)
Experts tell WBEZ that Vallas’ plan to rehire retired cops risks a return to “the ‘good old days’ of coercing confessions.”
 Flint Taylor, veteran lawyer for survivors of Chicago police torture: The police union has “without exception, vociferously opposed every proposed police reform.”
New analysis finds Chicago’s police training program fundamentally flawed.
Vallas promises to fire the CTA’s boss.
Johnson and Vallas both pledge to restore Chicago’s Department of Environment.
Ex-mayoral candidate Sophia King, chair of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, was set to endorse Vallas …
 … but Johnson has Wilco.
The Chicago Public Square voter guide will point you to, among other things, a roundup of other mayoral endorsements.

‘Mom’s been shot.’ The Tribune recounts a family’s struggle to comprehend the seemingly random slaying of an Austin woman—“the culmination of an alleged crime spree that prosecutors say started with an armed robbery in Oak Park.”
CWBChicago: Over the course of two minutes Monday morning in Wicker Park, armed robbers assaulted three people.

Riches to … well, not riches. Mayor Lightfoot’s signed off on plans to transform aging buildings along the city’s historic banking corridor, La Salle Street, into mixed-income housing …
 … and to bring a “100% affordable” housing project to a West Side stop along the Green Line.
Journalist, science fiction writer and provocateur Cory Doctorow spotlights a report detailing the menace of dollar stores: “They don’t just destroy the food choices, they also come for neighborhood jobs.”

Twitter’s secret VIPs. Platformer reveals that the company has a list of 35 users whose accounts it gifts with increased visibility …
 … including one of Donald Trump’s faves, @Catturd2.
The Atlantic’s Tom Nichols reviews with alarm Trump’s weekend rally in Waco, Texas: “A man once entrusted … as our chief magistrate and the commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world … considered it an honor to be serenaded by a group of violent insurrectionists who are sitting in jail for offenses against the government and people of the United States.”

‘Could be perceived as controversial.’ That’s a Wisconsin elementary school’s justification for keeping first-graders from performing a song by Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton.
Columnist Parker Molloy says publishers’ rush to clean up books by Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming is primarily about publishers hoping to wring more cash out of aging intellectual property.

Dark money. A Washington Post investigation: “A little-known conservative activist group led by Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, collected nearly $600,000 in anonymous donations to wage a cultural battle against the left over three years.”
Post columnist Alexandra Petri mocks Fox’s branding shift: “It turns out that lurking inside us all along, like a tapeworm, was a Lifestyle Network!

Apple update time. New software’s available for the whole family of iStuff …
 … including a possible fix for skiers who’ve experienced this problem.
Honda’s recalling hundreds of thousands of 2020-2022 vehicles whose side-view mirrors can fall off.

A Square public service announcement

Know an aspiring journalist? Spread this word from the Chicago Headline Club: April 17’s the deadline to apply for the Les Brownlee Memorial Scholarship. An undergrad attending a Chicago-area or Illinois institution can land $5,000.

‘An extraordinary opportunity’ / School wars / Journalism’s ‘bastard stepchild’

‘An extraordinary opportunity.’ That’s how Illinois’ Dick Durbin, the second-highest-ranking Democrat in the Senate, describes the candidacy of his choice for Chicago mayor, Paul Vallas.
 Vallas’ campaign is counting on that to help dispel questions about his links to Republican activists and donors.
Brandon Johnson appeared with the Rev. Al Sharpton—who stopped short of an actual endorsement.
Johnson addresses a City Club luncheon today, Vallas tomorrow—with live streams here.
City Cast Chicago interviewed Johnson at a different venue: A West Side barber shop.

‘Wherever he goes, he leaves and there’s … a mess.’ A veteran of Vallas’ time overseeing New Orleans schools talks to The Triibe about his “trail of school privatization.”
Axios: Johnson’s campaign tests the value of the Chicago Teachers Union’s embrace.
The director of the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab calls on both candidates to address public safety inequality.
A Sun-Times editorial: “Environmental issues should be among the items at the top of the agenda for the next mayor.”
WTTW takes a closer look at the candidates’ environmental plans.
 Columnist Laura Washington: Where are this year’s campaign buttons?

School wars. The Tribune surveys the ways in which conservatives are targeting suburban school board elections.
Columnist Neil Steinberg: “My education involved seeing footage of the naked bodies of my relatives being bulldozed into pits. Given that, I believe schools can spill the beans about segregation without Republican children crying themselves to sleep.”
Election Day’s next Tuesday, so now’s time to check the Chicago Public Square voter guide—for Chicago and the suburbs.

‘Ticking time bomb.’ Politico reports that a state audit describes the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office’s antiquated cybersecurity infrastructure as—in the words of newly elected Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias—“held together by toothpicks and bubble gum” (second section in today’s Illinois Playbook).
Twitter’s hunting the person who leaked parts of its source code—the foundation on which the service runs.

Climate, climate, climate. As Earth warms, U.S. tornadoes—like the massive one that ravaged Mississippi Friday—are shifting south.
Climate change gets credit for the rapid spread of Candida auris, a fungus that was first reported in the U.S. in 2016 and that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now calls an “urgent threat” to human health …
 … and, yeah, you’re forgiven if this makes you think of The Last of Us.

Scotland’s offering spring COVID booster vaccinations to at-risk people—including those over 75 and others with weakened immune systems.

A little Trump went a long way. Donald Trump’s first major political rally of the year failed to hold the attention of some fans who’d waited hours to see him …
 … even though Semafor’s Shelby Talcott says it delivered “everything that his Republican critics had once claimed would be his undoing.”
Digging into Trump’s speech, PolitiFact found a series of nothingburgers.
Popular Information rounds up a list of corporations supporting congressional Republicans who are backing Trump’s “scorched-earth campaign to intimidate Alvin Bragg, the district attorney … likely to indict Trump for a hush money payment to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels.”
Public Notice: Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have the same authoritarian plan, referred to as “Schedule F”—under which the president could “fire tens of thousands of career bureaucrats within the federal government and replace them with loyalists.”

Journalism’s ‘bastard stepchild.’ That’s how Chicago’s Bill Zehme—who died Sunday after a long run against cancer—once described the celebrity profiles at which he excelled.
His subjects included Frank Sinatra, Jay Leno and Andy Kaufman.
Columnist Eric Zorn: “All Chicago writers stood in awe of Bill Zehme.”
The legendary crusading liberal magazine Texas Observer has observed its last.

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