Need a boost? / ‘Years too late’ / SNL transitions

Need a boost? Now that COVID-19 booster shots are officially a thing, here’s who qualifies and where to get ’em in Illinois.
President Biden and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell got theirs.
An Illinois law could provide cover for workers who flout vaccine requirements.
This Sun-Times headline fails to cite the mother’s unvaccinated status: “CPS mom dies after her child exposed to COVID-19 at school where hundreds of kids quarantined.”
Columnist Neil Steinberg asks a tough question about a post-pandemic return to the workplace: “What if nothing that happens at the office could possibly counterbalance the time lost commuting, and the smartest thing any business could do is ditch their physical space entirely and distribute the savings to the staff?”

‘Unwelcome sexual relationship.’ That’s an allegation in a lawsuit against a guy who may be Chicago’s highest-paid radio personality, WTMX (“The Mix”) morning host Eric Ferguson.
The former assistant producer who filed suit accuses Ferguson of advising her to “stay silent and to deny any allegations by other women that Ferguson had engaged in inappropriate behavior.”

‘Years too late.’ Chicago journalist Jim DeRogatis—who’s covered the story for decades, beginning at the Sun-Times—considers the guilty-on-all-counts verdict in the sex trafficking trial of singer R. Kelly.
DeRogatis on the Chicago Media Talks podcast in July: “Every system in this city failed … to protect these young black girls.”
A Sun-Times editorial calls the verdict “a victory, especially for Black women.”
The Conversation: The Kelly case illustrates “a network of complicity” common in workplace abuse.
Kelly, already staring at the prospect of life in prison, faces still more charges in Chicago and elsewhere.
Variety’s Jem Aswad asks: Should Kelly’s music be banned?
Can reporters at least strip him of the title “superstar”?

A phrase you don’t want to see in a story about Lake Michigan pollution. “She did not describe the contents of the leaked substance”—from the AP’s report on U.S. Steel’s gibberish account of “an upset condition” at its Portage plant after an unknown orange substance made its way into a lake tributary …
 … prompting the National Park Service to close Indiana Dunes National Park beaches.
Axios Chicago ranks Chicago’s poopiest beaches.

(Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

‘Picking a fight with the state’s attorney and the chief judge is not helpful, even if it feels good.’ Chicago’s top cop is pulling back from his criticism of the judicial system in Chicago’s violent crime surge.
An 8-year-old boy was shot and killed in front of his suburban home—allegedly by a gunman targeting his older brother.
A criminal justice professor says more guns, pandemic stress and a police legitimacy crisis created perfect conditions for 2020’s homicide spike.
Axios: As a pandemic-driven court backlog grows, COVID-era criminals are going free.
Illinois lawmakers are considering a plan to restore voting rights to imprisoned people.

Another one down. Ex-Ald. Ricardo Muñoz has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and money laundering charges.
The man charged with assaulting Ald. James Cappleman is in jail, accused of battering a 62-year-old woman.

‘Bad Apple.’ Popular Information: Even though Apple’s called for “urgent action” to pass “climate policies that quickly decarbonize our electric grid,” it’s part of a lobbying blitz to kill the Clean Energy Standard pending in Congress.
Consumer Reports warns: The FCC is considering approval for a virulent new strain of “ringless voicemails” that would bypass phones’ ringtones, going straight to your inbox.

SNL transitions. Wilmette native Beck Bennett is leaving Saturday Night Live.
Joining: “Boundary-pushing” Chicago comedy veteran Sarah Sherman.

‘I want to see who I am when I’m not doing this.’ Sun-Times editorial page editor Tom McNamee is wrapping up a nearly four-decade run with the paper.
McNamee joined a panel of editorial overseers for a 2108 2018 edition of your Square columnist’s podcast series.

Thanks to Ben Meyerson (yes, relation) for catching that date typo right above.

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