Kids in hospitals / Robocall retribution / Water you waiting for?

Kids in hospitals. The number of Illinois children admitted to hospitals in this wave of the pandemic is 50% higher than a year ago—but the Tribune reports it’s worse in other states.
The Illinois High School Association is putting the squeeze on high schools: If they don’t enforce mask rules, their students won’t compete in state-sponsored playoff games.
If Illinois’ plight worsens, Gov. Pritzker warns, get ready for more “phases.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Chicago to unvaccinated people in 43 states: Stay home.
 A psychologist offers guidance on how to endure this round of “pandemic purgatory.”

On the plus side. Bloomberg reports: “Delta will be less scary after booster jabs” …
 … and Johnson & Johnson says new studies indicate booster doses of its one-shot vaccine do a lot of good.
Maybe a special Avengers comic book can persuade skeptics to get the shot …
 … or how about Delta Airlines’ plan to slap a $200 surcharge on unvaccinated workers’ health insurance premiums?
The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg asks: What if wearing masks makes us more free—by foiling government surveillance like those cameras coming to Chicago-area expressways?

Shotspotter censure. Chicago’s top watchdog is joining the chorus of critics who’ve concluded the city’s vaunted ShotSpotter technology is an expensive—and racially discriminatoryboondoggle.
Read the full report, which concludes that “ShotSpotter alerts rarely produce documented evidence of a gun-related crime.”
Whoops: A shooting suspect fleeing a car crash scene ran into a Lincoln Square restaurant where a bunch of cops just happened to be having lunch.

Thompson Center dreams. The Chicago Architecture Foundation has named finalists in a contest to reenvision the state of Illinois’ decaying Chicago headquarters.

‘How screwed is Adam Kinzinger?’ Politico games out the future for Illinois’ iconoclastic Republican congressman: “Donald Trump would love to take down Adam Kinzinger … in next year’s midterms. But Democrats might beat him to it.”
Men Yell at Me columnist Lyz Lenz talks to the new boss of, a political action committee focused on winning votes in areas Democrats have mostly abandoned.

Robocall retribution. In a rare unanimous vote, the habitually deadlocked Federal Communications Commission is proposing to lower a $5 million boom on conspiracy theorists who bombed minority communities with vote-suppressing robocalls before the last election.
In October, a judge considering a separate lawsuit against these guys accused them of carrying out “electoral terror.”

Paint it black. Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts is dead at 80.
He and the Stones had deep ties to Chicago. (Photo:
A Boston University music prof explains how Watts infused the Stones with a touch of jazz and swing.

Water you waiting for? WTTW News offers a simple way to find out if your home is served by a lead water line.

‘What? It was an article in the Chicago Tribune whose popularity was so embarrassing for Facebook?’ Journalism watchdog Joshua Benton examines the case of a story that became a hit among anti-vaxxers.

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