Tornadoes' toll / 'He seemed like a president' / Pizza rebirth

TORNADOES’ TOLL. A rash of twisters took at least three lives across the Midwest—including two in Illinois.
 One resident tells The Times of Ottawa: “It looks like a war zone.”
 For the first time in 146 years, the Weather Service reports no snow on the ground in Chicago during January and February.
 A U.S. senator says President Trump was “childish not to mention climate change” in his address to the nation last night.

‘FOR THE FIRST TIME, HE SEEMED LIKE A PRESIDENT.’ That’s presidential historian Douglas Brinkley’s assessment for Politico of Trump’s address.
 The full text of the speech.
 The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush: Five takeaways from Trump’s speech.
 The Times fact-check.
 Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept: Trump’s citing of a Navy SEAL widow exemplifies “standard fare in U.S. war propaganda.”
 Republicans disagree over what Trump said about health care.
 The Onion:Trump Outlines Bold Vision For Nation’s Next Mass Protests.”

‘WE ARE A COUNTRY THAT STANDS UNITED IN CONDEMNING HATE AND EVIL IN ALL ITS FORMS …’ The president began his address with a condemnation of “hate and evil in all its forms,” including “vandalism of Jewish cemeteries.”
 Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect nevertheless slams Trump for being “so vague.”
 “Wait Wait” host Peter Sagal on Twitter: “To be fair to the President, the gravestones could have been knocked over by all the Jews rolling in their graves.”
 From a year ago: A history of Trump and the KKK.

‘WE’VE … BUILT ONE GLOBAL PROJECT AFTER ANOTHER, BUT IGNORED THE FATES OF OUR CHILDREN IN … CHICAGO …’ The president again singled out Chicago, asserting that “to break the cycle of poverty, we must also break the cycle of violence.”
 In a statement after the speech, Mayor Emanuel suggested the reverse might be more apt.
 Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan tells Trump “no.”
 Cubs’ part-owner Todd Ricketts’ nomination to be deputy U.S. commerce secretary may be in trouble.

SAUSAGE HIRING FEST. Hickory Farms, the maker of cheese-and-meat gift baskets, is moving its headquarters from Ohio to Chicago with what Crain’s reports are plans to bring on new employees.
 Guaranteed Rate, the mortgage company whose name the White Sox ballpark now bears, plans to bring on another 280 workers in Chicago.
 Gov. Rauner’s set up a website to hire temporary workers if state employees strike.

TRIBUNE + SINCLAIR? Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group has approached Tribune Media Co., the TV (and one radio station) company that spun off from (and kept the name of) the former Tribune Co., to discuss a combination—a deal that could require the Trump administration’s blessing.
 Struggling in the battle against Amazon, Target stores are moving to cut prices.

PIZZA REBIRTH. A beloved Chicago-area pizza shrine—closed for a year-and-a-half, since shortly before the death of its owner—reopens Friday.

MAD WORLD. Today marks the 95th anniversary of the birth of Mad Magazine’s founding publisher, William M. Gaines. Way back in 1978, Gaines talked to your Chicago Public Square proprietor and (now WGN-TV entertainment reporter) Dean Richards about—among other things—the Chicago connection that explains why Mad for decades refused to run advertising.

MISTAKE CORRECTED. Yesterday’s Square item about an off-the-record session Donald Trump held with TV network anchors and executives dated back to November and shouldn’t have been included. This was Trump’s off-the-record meeting with the media MondayThanks to reader Reed Pence for flagging the mistake.
 If you find a mistake in Square, email—and see your name here in pixels.

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