Missing / Bernie-Biss connection / Environmental No-tection

A Sun-Times analysis finds Mayor Emanuel made almost two dozen out-of-town trips last year—and taxpayers covered a chunk of the bill.
ABC7 and the Sun-Times report four Cook County Board members (annual salary: $85,000) have missed at least a quarter of the board’s meetings over the last five years.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the Sun-Times’ and the Better Government Association’s legendary investigative Chicago corruption sting operation, “The Mirage,” they’re hosting a special commemorative event Thursday.

Drugstore deserts. Residents in more than a dozen Chicago neighborhoods live more than a mile from a pharmacy, a Tribune report has found—and recent closures aren’t helping.
Bank of America is eliminating free checking accounts popular among the poor.
A new report concludes the world’s billionaires last year made enough money to end extreme poverty around the world seven times over.
Amazon’s cashier- and cash-free convenience store, Amazon Go, opens to the public today.

‘Immigrants in! Racists out!’ That was one of the chants Sunday during the weekend’s second round of anti-Trump protests in Chicago.
A Women’s March organizer: “We proved that we were able to maintain the momentum.”
At the Tribune’s request, Chicago designers take a whack at improving the lackluster cover to Michael Wolff’s expose, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Bernie-Biss connection. The first union to have backed Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid is backing fundraising underdog Daniel Biss for the Illinois governor’s job.
But the state’s largest public interest coalition is backing J.B. Pritzker.

‘Do I have to get a hammer and beat these people?’ A retired postal worker has been crusading for years to get the state to change Dan Ryan Expressway signs to read “Cermak” instead of “22nd Street”—a name change 85 years old. (Photo: Ken Lund.)
Pulitzer-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin on Obama Presidential Center plans for historic Jackson Park: “Opponents are imposing a narrow aesthetic perspective on plans that promise to be an economic boon … for African-Americans who have long suffered from racial discrimination.”
The Sun-Times: How Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood became a national model for community revitalization.

Environmental No-tection. More than a thousand staffers at the U.S. EPA’s Chicago office are staying home today because of the government shutdown.
Chicago’s federal courts may close if this lasts into February.
Updating coverage of the shutdown from the AP.

A Chicago state of mind. For the fifth straight year, Billy Joel will play Wrigley Field this fall.
His ex has apologized for joking about “s___hole” countries.

‘A complicated and often confounding personality.’ Media critic Robert Feder remembers Chicago weathercaster John Coleman, who went on to found The Weather Channel. (Photo: ABC 7.)
He was first to deliver a full forecast in front of a green screen … and a climate change denier.

Friday’s Square got the name of the host of that day’s edition of Morning Shift wrong. It was Jenn White. How’d your Square publisher do on the air? Hear here.
As Square approaches its one-year anniversary, take a look back at one of the (mostly) secret early issues.

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