‘The death toll was staggering’ / ‘JB Squishker’ / Posthumous honor

‘The death toll was staggering.’ The AP rounds up what we know about a shooting spree that took at least 16 lives last night at a restaurant and bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine …

 … the nation’s 36th mass killing this year.
 CNN’s Oliver Darcy: “News organizations usually resist airing … the names of the gunman who carry out sickening acts of violence.  … But in this case, with the suspect at large, the reverse was true.”
 Law professor Joyce Vance, who attended college in Lewiston and whose daughter teaches there: “Again, we’re forced to ask why we live in a time when our politicians protect guns, not people.”

‘This … is certainly concerning.’ Lake County law enforcement is investigating video shared with Chicago news organizations, including Chicago Public Square, in which the imprisoned man accused of killing seven and wounding 48 at last year’s Highland Park Fourth of July parade can be seen blaming it on the FBI.
 Ex-NFL player Sergio Brown’s been ordered held without bond in connection with the murder of his mom in Maywood.
 CWBChicago: A shootout at a Walgreens store in Old Town involved a store employee who’s faced five previous weapons-related charges but been convicted just once.

 Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis calls that a big win for MAGA Rep. Matt Gaetz.
 The Sun-Times’ D.C. bureau chief, Lynn Sweet, writes, “I’ve been covering Congress for years, and I never heard of the man.”
 Popular Information: What everyone should know about Johnson.
 Historian Heather Cox Richardson says he’s the least experienced speaker in more than a century.
 Jimmy Kimmel: “You could go to the middle of the phone book and pick any of the hundreds of Mike Johnsons. Each one would be a better choice …because not one of them tried to overthrow the presidential election.”
 Author and filmmaker Michael Moore: “As every Republican unanimously went on the record today to vote for and pledge their loyalty to an … electoral coup leader, they have left the rest of the country now with no choice: All Republicans must be removed from Congress next year.”

Meanwhile, in other Johnson news … Mayor Johnson’s Chicago Department of Public Health has handed responsibility over environmental enforcement to an official who the city’s inspector general recommended be fired for his role in the disastrous implosion of a Little Village smokestack three years ago.
 Johnson’s quiet renewal of a migrant shelter contract with a controversial firm is under fire from some Chicago City Council members.
 An Oak Park woman facing terminal cancer has opened her home to migrants who’d been stuck at police stations.

‘Violent, graphic propaganda videos.’ NewsGuard finds celebratory Hamas footage has been viewed millions of times on TikTok, Twitter X and Facebook—despite their pledges to crack down on such content.
 Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza learned—while he was broadcasting—of the deaths of his wife, son, daughter and grandson in an airstrike.
 Journalism critic Margaret Sullivan on news outlets’ “monumental failure” in reporting the strike on a Gaza hospital: “No, it wasn’t for ‘clicks.’ And it’s something we’ve seen before.”
 Columnist S.E. Cupp: Democrats have an antisemitism problem on the far left.

‘JB Squishker.’ Columnist Eric Zorn condemns Gov. Pritzker for throwing up his hands on the fate of a state program to “divert public tax dollars toward private schools, often schools that promote a certain religion, in the name of ‘choice.’”
 A Wall Street Journal editorial: “Illinoisans … need the governor to do more than duck and cover.”

Trump’s ‘new reality.’ Slapped by a New York judge with (what less wealthy humans might consider) a hefty fine for violating his gag order, the ex-president’s resistance to restrictions is testing the legal system.
 Voters in Franklin, Tennessee, Tuesday firmly rejected a Trump-inspired mayoral candidate—who may in fact live in Chicago.

Halloween justice. Police have charged a guy with arson in connection with a series of holiday decoration fires in the Lincoln Square and Roscoe Village neighborhoods.
 The Halloween forecast for Chicago: Chilly.

Posthumous honor. The National Association of Broadcasters bestowed a Marconi Radio Award on the late WXRT-FM DJ Lin Brehmer—its Major Market Personality of the Year.
 Axios Chicago’s poll to determine the city’s best retired TV news anchor is down to yesterday set two former on-air partners against one another: Ron Magers and Carol Marin.
 Because they’re both generous supporters of Chicago Public Square, your proprietor will abstained.

Nom, nom.
Square hungers after your nomination
for Best Email Newsletter and Best Independent Website in the Reader’s Best of Chicago awards.
Email a screenshot of your Square nominations to Bestof@ChicagoPublicSquare.com—as Ron Schwartz, Art McNamara and Deborah J. Wess have done—and see your name here in a future edition.
 Mike Braden and Jill Brickman made this edition better.

Subscribe to Square.