28-year cold snap / Dusted? Get cash / Who’s watching you?

28-year cold snap. Chicago’s coming off its first three-day stretch since 1996 in which temperatures failed to top 5 degrees.
 Block Club: While the city’s warmer today, it’s still colder than Alaska—and more snow’s coming.
 It’s been a challenge for organizations tending to the homeless …
 … like Chicago’s Night Ministry, which could use your help.
 Guess which state saw the most tornadoes in 2023.

‘The race is pretty much over.’ Political analyst Lauren Martinchek says ABC News’ cancellation of tomorrow’s Republican presidential debate makes clear just how clearly the party is in Donald Trump’s sway.
 Nikki Haley: “The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden.”
 Salon’s Amanda Marcotte: With Trump’s Iowa landslide, “evangelicals reveal who they really are.”
 Acknowledging that Iowa’s cold snap played a role, The Bulwark’s Joe Perticone says the low Republican turnout suggests “a real enthusiasm problem among GOP voters.”
 Columnist Neil Steinberg: “Almost half of the Republicans caucusing in Iowa didn’t vote for Trump. Maybe the spell is lifting.”
 Next stop for the campaigns: New Hampshire.
 Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump, is launching a nationwide campaign to “wake up Republicans … to the point where they are so informed (and thus horrified) that they just can’t bring themselves to vote for Donald or … his fascist enablers.”

‘Wild crime spree.’ Chicago police say they’ve arrested two men in connection with two robberies, a carjacking and an attempted carjacking on the Near North Side last night.
 A 61-year-old woman who was found “stomped” and robbed on a CTA Red Line train Jan. 4 has died.

Ya Got Trouble Dept.
 WTTW: Emails show Mayor Johnson knew about sewage, roaches and illnesses at a Pilsen migrant shelter almost two months before a 5-year-old boy’s death exposed problems there.
 Chicago’s inspector general says Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin fired employees who warned her that she was violating the city’s ethics ordinance by using city resources to host a prayer service.

Dusted? Get cash. Were you affected by the screwed-up 2020 smokestack demolition that covered the Near Southwest Side with dust and debris? You’re entitled to a piece of a $12.25 million settlement.
 File a claim here.

‘In the dark about transportation rights.’ Chalkbeat: Chicago’s migrant students may be entitled to bus service—but the schools aren’t telling them.
 Author Cory Doctorow slams the all-too-common “common core” approach to U.S. education: “The standardization of American education has produced all the downsides of standardization—a rigid, often suboptimal, one-size-fits-all system—without the benefits.”

A wheel issue. The Tribune reports that a Lincoln Park bicycling “greenway”—bike lanes, lower speed limits and about 200 feet of road closed to cars—has become one of the neighborhood’s most contentious issues.
 Streetsblog Chicago, Jan. 10: An article from a “car-centric newspaper chain … falsely claims the project was paid for with ‘Chicago taxpayer funds.’
 WTTW: Chicago has for decades ignored blind pedestrians’ needs—and now wants years more.

‘Banks call it a service—I call it exploitation.’ President Biden’s rolled out a plan to limit charges for overdrawn bank accounts to as little as $3.
 Gizmodo: The end may be near for “the self-checkout nightmare”—partly because “not only is it easy to steal from self-checkout machines, it can be hard not to steal.”

‘Is there something worse for a newspaper than being owned by Alden?’ Nieman Lab founder Joshua Benton says The Baltimore Sun—once owned by the former Tribune Co. and more recently, like the Trib, in thrall to a vampiric hedge fund (2020 link)—is about to find out …
 … now that it’s been bought by David Smith, who leads the Trumpophiliac Sinclair Broadcast Group, which Popular Information’s Judd Legum says “regularly requires its local affiliates to run segments pushing right-wing talking points.”
 Sun veteran and The Wire creator David Simon: “Everyone … within the sound of an honest Bawlamer accent needs to subscribe to the [rival] @BaltimoreBanner right fucking now.”
 Here’s Simon in 1997 talking about his time at the Sun.

Who’s watching you? The Markup and Consumer Reports say each Facebook user is monitored by thousands of companies.
 You can see which of them have shared your data with Facebook by visiting this page.

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