Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty / ‘Crash after crash behind us’ / Thanks, NASCAR

Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. A federal jury’s convicted four political insiders—including Commonwealth Edison’s former CEO—in a nearly decade-long conspiracy to bribe then-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
A Sun-Times editorial: The verdicts are a bad omen for Madigan, whose trial begins next April.
The Better Government Association: The outcome underscores the need for “strengthened ethics reforms.”
Ex-Chicago inspector general Joe Ferguson says it makes the case for a statewide grand jury to explore public corruption.
Meanwhile: A state inspector general’s report concludes Gov. Pritzker’s transportation secretary skirted ethics rules by letting his high-ranking lieutenants pass off certain duties to their underlings.

He had help. The wife of the Texas man suspected of killing five neighbors after they complained about his late-night gunfire has been arrested, accused of hiding him from police.
What makes this case a political Rorschach test: The suspect is a Mexican national who’s been deported four times. (Image: Opening shots from Jen Sorensen’s cartoon commentary.)
Columnist Will Bunch: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott all but spit on the victims’ graves.
The Conversation: A survey of Chicago’s Black mothers trapped in unsafe neighborhoods spotlights gun violence’s stressful health toll.

‘Crash after crash behind us.’ A survivor of Monday’s devastating I-55 dust storm pileup describes what happened after a burst of dirt cut visibility to zero.
The death toll’s risen to seven—two of whom had yet to be identified.
At least 17 people—including 10 students—were sent to hospitals yesterday after the collision of a Chicago school bus and an SUV.

‘These miraculous individuals have made history.’ Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson praised the dozens of Chicagoans sworn in yesterday as inaugural members of the city’s new Police District Councils.
A former Chicago Police Department patrol chief has reportedly agreed to take over as interim superintendent.
Block Club: Chicago’s getting the nation’s gayest city council.

Divvy, Divvy everywhere. Chicago’s shared bikes are now available in all 50 wards …
 … and more are on the way.

Thanks, NASCAR. Two months before a street race commandeers the heart of the city, Chicago today closed a stretch of Columbus Drive to “support NASCAR.”
Teams of Chicago school kids gathered at the Field Museum yesterday to compete in a NASCAR-themed academic challenge.

‘It’s just a profoundly behavior-based way to blow 18 billion pounds worth of coal emissions into the atmosphere.’ Environmental journalist turned tech investor Molly Wood says free returns are “a climate nightmare.”
Amazon’s begun charging a small fee for some returns (April 11 link).
Bud Light sales are in the toilet after a boycott triggered by its promotion with a transgender woman.

On the plus side: Earlier bedtimes. The Hollywood writers strike’s first casualties: Late-night shows …
 … including Saturday Night Live.

‘Awkward and unpleasant.’ Columnist Neil Steinberg is unwowed by the pending coronation of King Charles.
The AP says to expect “much more discussion of whether Britain still needs this antiquated institution” …
 … which British expatriate John Oliver condemns as something that has left the U.K. “hemorrhaging money supporting a family of lightly-inbred billionaires.”

Chicago Public Square mailbag.
 In response to yesterday’s edition, Matthew Tarpy writes of Texas’ governor: “Abbott is a despicable human being. With his horrific busing program and the unspeakable evil of how he responded to the massacre in his state this weekend (sneeringly using the term illegal alien over and over) I simply do not understand how he calls himself a Christian. If there is a God, this man will have much to answer for when he meets his maker. What a complete waste of a person.”

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