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The most thorough coverage of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago's city council, including analysis and news from veteran City Hall reporter Fran Spielman.

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Pot lottery winners chosen — and downtown tops their choices for weed shops

Cresco Labs and PharmaCann were among the pot companies able to chose the most lucrative locations to sell cannabis when recreational pot becomes legal next year.

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Civic Federation president questions whether CPS can afford $1.5B cost of new teachers contract

The first-year cost is not the issue. The problem, according to Laurence Msall, is what happens after that.

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Suburban businessmen linked to Ald. Carrie Austin involved in a property tax shell game

Suburban businessmen linked to a federal investigation didn’t pay taxes on properties for years, then bought up $861,000 of their own tax debts — for $26,000.

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Ald. Austin has faith feds won’t find anything in probe, but doesn’t want to talk about it

"I try to live my life above board. If I haven’t, then I have to reckon that with God," Austin said Wednesday.

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Public weed consumption will be allowed only at dispensaries and smoke shops, not bars and restaurants

Backtracking on the law they passed last spring, Illinois lawmakers voted Thursday to sharply restrict where people will be able to consume cannabis once it becomes legal in January.

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Lightfoot wants to expand Chicago Police Board powers

Just as the board is launching a search to find a replacement for Eddie Johnson, the mayor wants the board to hear appeals from rejected CPD applicants whose names have been removed from the eligibility list.

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Hospital quiet zone ordinance stalls amid concern about aldermanic prerogative

The ordinance stalled because it would allow additional quiet zones to be designated, but only with the approval of three city departments.

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Lightfoot comes up empty in Springfield; No wonder she tamped down expectations in advance

The rookie mayor came up empty on both of her top priorities.

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Lightfoot softens $54 million ‘payoff’ charge against Uber

Instead of calling it a payoff, as she did Wednesday, the mayor on Thursday used "investments" to describe the offer she said was made to African-American ministers enlisted by Uber.

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First company in city gets feds’ OK to fly drones over people

Helios Visions has found a niche providing mapping and photo services on construction projects, but the waiver could eventually allow companies to make deliveries.

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Luxury New York developer blindsides alderman with plan to build 434-unit building on 18th Street in Pilsen

Property Markets Group’s previous plan to build an even larger development at the site was blocked by former Ald. Daniel Solis.

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Aldermen propose lobbying ban for City Council

Aviation Committee Chairman Matt O’Shea and Ethics Chairman Michele Smith are trying to stay one step ahead of the lobbying scandal swirling around ComEd and video gaming interests pushing to legalize sweepstakes machines.

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Activists want public hearings on Chicago Police gang database

The city’s inspector general has described the database as a hodgepodge of outdated, and often unverified, information.

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Chicago rated the most welcoming U.S. city for immigrants

The New American Economy’s 2019 Cities Index examined the largest 100 cities in the United States and found "traditional immigration gateways" still lead on immigration policy.

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Lightfoot says Uber offered black ministers $54M to get her to ‘back off’ fee hike — which Uber disputes

Its plan would raise millions more while being more equitable, the company says. Mayor says the plan ‘doesn’t hold any water.’

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Lightfoot floats minimum wage compromise

Chicago’s minimum wage would rise to $15-an-hour by 2021 — four years sooner than the state — but tipped workers would be guaranteed only 60 percent of that.

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Lightfoot wants to stop impounding cars found with pot — and dramatically lower fines for public pot use

Even after pot is legalized, some use and possession will be prohibited. But the mayor plans to introduce an ordinance that will drastically lower the penalties.

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Lightfoot lobbies Springfield for Chicago casino, with rare visit to Democratic caucus

With Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s legislative wish list still up in the air, the mayor took questions from a packed House Democratic caucus on Tuesday — reminding them a Chicago casino "benefits the entire state."

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Police acknowledge missing consent decree deadlines, but insist they are making progress

Officials say an upcoming report from an independent monitor will lay out a series of missed deadlines toward reforming the department, but they said they are committed to the process.

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Top mayoral aides acknowledge graduated real estate transfer tax is dead, come clean about Plan B

Aldermen are told city can get by without the transfer tax for now, but there’s a catch: They also learn city’s property tax levy will rise $65 million — which includes previously-announced $18 million to fund Sunday library hours.

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Uber wants users to help it fight City Hall

It’s using receipts to urge riders to speak out about the city’s proposal for higher taxes on shared rides.

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Mayor Lightfoot heads to Springfield to push agenda — including Chicago casino

If Lightfoot does not get her preferred casino plan and the real estate transfer tax passed this week, it will once again spark talk of a much dreaded property tax hike for Chicagoans.

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Smart money is on ethics, pension fix action during veto session — but no big bets placed on Chicago casino

State lawmakers are also poised to take up key measures such as a ban on flavored vapes and a cap on insulin prices at $100 a month when they return to Springfield on Tuesday.

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Chicago’s acting health commissioner concerned pot use by young will surge after legalization

Dr. Allison Arwady also wants to focus on reducing the nine-year gap in life expectancy between black and white Chicagoans.

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Police union now on board with Gov. Pritzker’s pension consolidation plan

On Friday, the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police said they now support the pension consolidation plan, signaling that there could be motion when lawmakers return to Springfield for the veto session next week.

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Lightfoot: No back channel search for permanent police superintendent

The mayor says the process "only has legitimacy if you follow it," and she will choose from among the Chicago Police Board’s three finalists.

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Mayor on interim top cop: ‘This is a guy who knows how to get something done’

Ex-LAPD chief Charlie Beck ruled out taking the job permanently but vowed to rebuild shattered public trust and win "buy-in" from rank-and-file officers.

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Why were East and West Garfield Park excluded from Lightfoot’s neighborhood development plan? West Side alderman demands to know

Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox was on the hot seat at City Council budget hearings — and Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), chairman of the Black Caucus, had Cox right where he wanted him.

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Supt. Eddie Johnson announces retirement after 31 years with CPD

"I know this city. I grew up surrounded by blue-collar families that are the lifeblood of this blue-collar town," said Johnson, who will serve through the end of the year.

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Aldermen urge Lightfoot to pick an insider to replace retiring Supt. Eddie Johnson

But Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) predicted Lightfoot will go outside CPD based on "what I’ve heard her say and her people say."

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Hard choices for Chicago’s mayor over new police boss

Whomever Lori Lightfoot picks to be the new police superintendent will be the wrong choice.

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Who might be next to lead the Chicago Police Department?

Mayor Lori Lightfoot might soon be tasked with finding a new leader for a department grappling with low officer morale, entrenched violence and a series of reforms mandated by a federal consent decree.

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Concerned about ‘public trust,’ Preckwinkle seeks to air out county land bank deal

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the insider deal involving the Cook County Land Bank Authority and a building that Ald. Carrie Austin’s chief of staff owned.

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Hate crime reports increase by 60 percent in Chicago; political vitriol blamed

The Chicago Police Department received 78 reports of hate crimes during all of 2018. With nearly two months to go this year, there have already been 77 hate crime reports based on immigration status, sexual orientation and religion.