Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
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Mike Madigan spent 50 years in the Illinois House, but the man he personally chose to succeed him served less than 72 hours.
Edward Guerra Kodatt offered his resignation from the Illinois General Assembly t0day just three days after he was sworn in.
Madigan, 78, who had enough of the required vote to single-handedly make the appointment, wasted no time throwing his support behind another candidate later this morning.
Kodatt, 26, is also out of his 13th Ward job, but he is entitled to a full month’s salary as a state representative — $5,788.66 — despite serving less than a full week, introducing no bills, taking no votes and attending no legislative sessions.
A spokesman for House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said Welch’s office received Kodatt’s resignation letter this morning. Kodatt’s resignation comes on the heels of a Tuesday night statement from Madigan and Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) suggesting Kodatt step down because of “allegations of questionable conduct.”
“After learning of alleged questionable conduct by Mr. Kodatt, it was suggested that he resign as state representative for the 22nd District,” the statement reads in part. “We are committed to a zero-tolerance policy in the workplace.”
The statement did not explain what the “questionable conduct” was.
Kodatt also lost his 13th Ward job as infrastructure manager to Quinn, Madigan’s handpicked alderman, a job he’d held since July 2017. Data from Chicago listed him as a staff assistant making $42,456 a year.
More news you need
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot got caught on a hot mic again at a City Council meeting — this time, using profanity. As Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez concluded remarks on a resolution commemorating Black History Month, Lightfoot could be heard muttering, “You’ve got to be f---king kidding me.”
- Negotiations over a planned spring reopening of Chicago’s public high schools will begin this week between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, officials said today. The logistics behind reopening for older students may be more complex, but district and union leaders hope the framework established by the K-8 reopening plan will ease those challenges.
- While the state prepares to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, only 4.9% of Illinois residents have been vaccinated so far. Still, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is moving forward with Phase 1B of the vaccine plan, which allows people 16 and older with underlying health conditions to sign up to get a shot.
- A sweeping ordinance introduced today by a group of Black female aldermen would ban no-knock warrants and require that all other search warrants executed by the Chicago Police Department be done in the “least intrusive” manner. The proposal turns outrage over the botched raid at Anjanette Young’s home into a series of major reforms.
- Developers who tear down single-family homes or multi-unit buildings in Pilsen or along the 606 trail would be required to pay extra fees under a plan proposed today. The move is intended to slow the pace of gentrification that’s displacing longtime residents.
- Lightfoot told hunger strikers protesting the relocation of General Iron to the Southeast Side that she wants to work to address concerns about pollution and health. But the mayor stopped short of agreeing to deny a permit to the metal-shredding operation.
- A woman survived after being trapped for 10 hours under a collapsed snow-covered awning two days ago at her home in northwest suburban Schiller Park. The woman, in her 50s, had been shoveling when the awning fell, which trapped her until a family member returned home.
- Criminal jury trials will resume in Cook County next month, roughly a year after the coronavirus pandemic suspended most in-person courthouse activity. Potential jurors will only be excused if they can present “extreme hardship.”
A bright one
Chicago Restaurant Week returns this year with high hopes and some key changes.
The 17-day celebration of the Chicago area’s dining scene moves to the spring for 2021, running March 19-April 4. In the past, the event was held in the winter, generally late January through early February.
For the first time, the event will include pickup and delivery, in addition to limited indoor or al fresco dining reservations due to COVID-19 restrictions.
And it will cost a bit more than previous years. But it’s all for a good cause as restaurants hope this year’s event will help their bottom line somewhat as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the culinary industry.
Participating restaurants will be offering prix-fixe menus that will set you back $25 for lunch or brunch, and $39 or $55 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).
From the press box
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will be away from the team’s spring training complex the next few days after testing positive for the coronavirus. The reigning AL MVP is asymptomatic, the team said.
And Bulls guard Zach LaVine, who got a sweet surprise from the franchise after being named to his first All-Star team, won’t be satisfied with one appearance. He wants to become a staple at the event, Joe Cowley writes.
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Yesterday, we asked you: Do you plan to travel this spring now that the city’s travel guidelines have been loosened? Here’s what some of you said...
“I didn’t travel at all and I usually take two to three trips a year. If it is safe to do so, I will. I am completely vaccinated, but I still can’t go to Europe because they are not playing with us.” — Veronica Dionne Holeyfield
“Yes. We bought a travel trailer last year and we are going to use it a lot this year.” — Becky Schmidt-Chalberg
“Pretty sure nobody cared about their ‘travel guidelines.’” — Paul Dukich
“I sure do hope so. I’ve got five new babies born in my family I have yet to meet, and that would do my heart some good.” — Rob Diaz
“I would love to see my son. It has been a year, but I won’t put our health at risk. I will wait until a lot more people are vaccinated.” — Jo Ann Fields
“Yes, I’ve been traveling back and forth from Florida being a snowbird. Mask, social distancing and hand washing and sanitizing. Other people have been pretty good about it, too.” — Cindy Schoop O’Brien
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