Chicago's water menace / 'Slime ball' / Chicago by air

Chicago’s water menace. A Tribune analysis finds tap water in 3 of every 10 homes sampled registered brain-damaging lead concentrations above the maximum the federal government allows in bottled water.

Chicagoans can test their water for lead with a kit the city will send free.
Chicago Public Schools will hire 200 more custodians to clean up filthy schools.

Blue Friday.
Chicago taxpayers are on the hook for $2.3 million to settle a police shooting case complicated by bad lawyering.
The professional fate of a cop who shot and killed a baseball bat-wielding kid and an innocent bystander will be decided by a randomly picked member of the Police Board.
Three cops charged in the cover-up of the shooting—16 times—of Laquan McDonald as he walked away from police go to trial in July.
A man wrongfully convicted of arson—and imprisoned for 24 years—is suing Chicago Police.
Police are hoping Lincoln Park residents and businesses can share surveillance video to help catch a man who grabbed a woman from behind and stabbed her repeatedly Tuesday night.

Unappealing behavior. A Tribune investigation concludes Cook County officials who decide the outcome of property tax appeals took more far more in campaign donations than allowed by ordinance from businesses that help challenge tax bills.
Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s lobbyist landlord is under pressure from his colleagues to quit.
The Onion: Pruitt Defends Use Of 1st Armored Division For Trip To Dry-Cleaner.”

‘Slime ball.’ Chicago Public Square would like to thank President Trump for tweeting that insult at the FBI director he fired, James Comey—justifying a subject line no one saw coming.
He seems to have taken 16 minutes to ponder which epithet to use.
Mr. President: “Slimeball” is one word, not two.

‘There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me.’ Comey’s memoir quotes Trump, detailing a fixation on reports Russians filmed Trump interacting with prostitutes in 2013.
Comey tells ABC he cautioned the president against ordering an investigation of the “pee tape” story: “It’s very difficult to prove something didn’t happen.”
CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter runs down Comey’s media appearances over the next two weeks.

Speaking of recordings … Who and what did Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, record?
Cohen and Trump are seeking to pause the civil (non-criminal) lawsuit between porn actress Stormy Daniels and President Trump on Fifth Amendment grounds—because, they contend, it overlaps a criminal investigation.
Updating coverage: Cohen hopes to persuade a judge today to keep the government from using stuff the FBI seized from his home, office and hotel room.
In Chicago yesterday, Hillary Clinton warned: “We’re living through a war on truth, facts and reason.”

Less for your life at Sears. The company is closing its last store in its birthplace, Chicago.
Trump is escalating his feud with Amazon (whose owner, Jeff Bezos, also owns Trump’s journalistic nemesis, The Washington Post) by ordering a task force to review the U.S. Postal Service.
Credit card charge signatures will become a thing of the past this month.

Locked and unloaded. An organization called the National Constitutional Coalition of Patriotic Americans is encouraging gun-rights worshippers this weekend to rally with unloaded rifles in state capitols across the country—to counteract protests held by those meddling kids.
The rally planned for Springfield Saturday could be interesting: Carrying firearms in the open—loaded or unloaded—is illegal here.

Chicago by air. Sunday night’s installment of the Smithsonian Channel’s Aerial Cities series delivers what TV critic Curt Wagner calls “a visually magnificent tour” of the Chicago area from above. (Image: Smithsonian Channel.)
Brookfield Zoo’s oldest animal, a 50-year-old gorilla, is dead.

Has Facebook’s data mining ever harmed you? The Tribune’s Eric Zorn says he asks that question a lot and gets the same answer over and over.
Gmail is getting an overhaul.

No Chicago Public Square Newscast audio or Chicago Public Square Annex email this afternoon. Next editions Monday afternoon.
But keep an eye on the Square Facebook and Twitter accounts for between-editions updates.
Yesterday’s Square included a surplus comma in the phrase “Cohen, owns 22 Chicago cabs—and a dozen of them have been cited for violations.”
The eagle-eyed reader who spotted that mistake has chosen to remain anonymous, but if you’re first to report a Square error by writing to, you can see your name here.
Congratulations to all this year’s Chicago Headline Club Lisagor Award finalists.
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