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Mark Brown is a columnist who specializes in politics and public policy issues.

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With end of Shakman in sight, court monitor burrows in on new Illinois political hiring probe

‘No evidence’ of politics in state hiring, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration says. But Noelle Brennan wants to know how the Illinois Capital Development Board hired two previously fired state employees and a son of an agency official.

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Not so high times for Chicago’s oldest head shop as Adam’s Apple to close after 52 years

Once a counterculture staple, it’s closing Jan. 31 after 52 years selling ‘smoking accessories.’ Owner Shelly Miller hoped legal weed might save the business. It didn’t.

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Holiday season can be hard on hoarders, as columnist who’s kept shoeshine stool knows all too well

Just because I’m sentimental and thrifty, my wife mistakes my tendency to hang onto stuff as some sort of sickness. Unfortunately, the holidays can expose such tendencies.

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Las facturas de los impuestos a la propiedad llegarán tarde

La oficina del asesor puso en marcha una nueva tecnología este año, que es el año en el que está realizando la reevaluación de los valores a la propiedad.

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Early warning: Cook County property tax bills will be late next year

Assessment delays portend problems for local governments that rely on timely tax payments. Board of Review member Larry Rogers Jr. blames Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

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County Dems want written loyalty pledge from candidates seeking party endorsement

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Patrick Daley Thompson labels move to create city’s first Asian American-majority ward ‘racism’

‘Dividing areas or neighborhoods based on race is indeed racism,’ the Chicago City Council member representing Bridgeport says in a letter to his ‘11th Ward family.’

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Sleepless night under Chicago stars affords time to contemplate youth homelessness

Covenant House’s annual Sleep Out Chicago event, held last week, raised nearly $500,000 for a shelter that targets homeless 18- to 24-year-olds.

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Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: It really was self-defense no matter how reckless he was

The evidence showed he wasn’t the aggressor. That it took so long for the jury to decide that indicates some jurors found it harder than others to arrive at the conclusion.

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Acquitting Rittenhouse in Kenosha murder case would be the correct, if unjust, verdict

Before, I could see Kyle Rittenhouse being found not guilty. Now, having seen the rest of the evidence, I’d be shocked if he’s convicted of anything more than a weapons charge