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In-depth political coverage, sports analysis, entertainment reviews and cultural commentary.

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Suburban delivery driver puts 1 million miles on pickup truck and still gets a good trade-in

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Support your favorite restaurants — so long as they’re abiding by the rules on masks

All restaurant workers, not just servers, must wear masks.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: ‘Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth’

Lightfoot’s smackdown was in reaction to McEnany calling her "the derelict mayor of Chicago."

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In ‘Boys State’ doc, teens know the merits — and the tricks — of U.S. elections

Sobering fly-on-the-wall film tracks the high school achievers running for office in a sort of political fantasy camp.

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Looters are looters no matter what the circumstances

Don’t be confused. The young people smashing and grabbing on the Mag Mile on Sunday weren’t protesting. They were stealing.

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Latest looting leaves a lot to unpack: shock, anger, sadness — and heartbreak

For the second time in barely two months, we are left to contemplate whether it has come to this: that criminals can act with impunity on what we have always believed to be the safest streets in Chicago.

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Americans pay price as Trump fails to lead

At a time when bold action is imperative, the president offers posturing and gestures.

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‘Mapleworth Murders’: Hilarious actors criminally misused on sophomoric detective spoof

Former ‘SNL’ writer stars on Quibi’s jokey sendup of ‘Murder, She Wrote’

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For 1st time in Chicago Police history, top 3 brass are African American

History was quietly made last month when the Chicago Police Department promoted 28-year veteran Eric Carter to 1st Deputy Superintendent. It meant the top three brass are African American — a milestone in 185 years. Promotion of 20-year veteran Barbara West in January also made her CPD’s highest-ranking African-American woman ever.

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This You Gotta See: Cubs back at it, White Sox hit the road, Blackhawks get dreaded Knights

Despite being shut down for most of a week, the Cubs — 10-3 — can get back to the business of kicking tail and taking names. Or trying to.

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Finished before it starts? College football’s 2020 season in grave danger

Over the weekend, things began to loudly fall apart. At Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and everywhere else the college game is played, they are bracing for an end before a single ball is snapped.

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Democratic convention preview: Illinois Democrats virtual at-home program; delegates still get swag

Democratic Party of Illinois executive director Mary Morrissey said the party wants to use virtual delegation convention meetings "to broaden our outreach."

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Hope alone is not a success strategy

The Archdiocese of Chicago plans to open Catholic schools for in-class education this fall. Is that wise?

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In the battle for Black lives, churches must now answer the call

Let the church mirror those transformative congregations and souls who still stand as a remnant, a lifeline and ark.

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Another Native American mascot controversy washed away by the wave of progress

Many of my former classmates don’t like it, but Lane Tech College Prep has voted to get rid of its "Indians" name and mascot. It was time for a change.

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In praise of Bud Billiken, banished in 2020 by COVID-19

The Bud Billiken Parade is the South Side’s annual back-to-school celebration, canceled at a time when our girls and boys need it the most.

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“I had to look at my daughters and remind them what it means to do what’s right”

It will be fascinating to see what happens with Terra Costa Howard in the coming weeks after she publicly called for Mike Madigan to step down as House speaker.

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‘A Most Beautiful Thing’ documentary on West Side high school rowers is truly beautiful

In a time of sorrow, this uplifting documentary gave me hope. That these young men from Manley High School are even alive to tell their stories is a triumph of the human spirit.

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Preschool programs forge ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic but raise a warning flag

Early childhood education providers like the Carole Robertson Center for Learning in North Lawndale and Little Village are straining to keep functioning.

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Go ahead and laugh, but maybe the Bears’ approach to COVID-19 will help during the season

The teams that stay healthiest during the pandemic will have a big leg up in 2020.

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‘Waiting for the Barbarians’: Inquisitors rule with iron fists and stilted metaphors

The heavy-handed allegory, with Johnny Depp as a ruthless government agent, relies too much on abuse and would-be Big Ideas.

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As Democratic convention looms, a call for Mike Madigan to step down as Illinois party chair

Former state Sen. Carol Ronen, who holds state and national Democratic party positions, said in a tweet, "Speaker Madigan should resign leadership posts. IL Dems bigger than one person."

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‘Work It’: Sabrina Carpenter dances like she never danced before in breezy teen comedy

Lightweight Netflix film focuses on an obsessed student who needs just the right moves to get into Duke.

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‘Burnt Orange Heresy’ a pleasing piece of art built with sharp little brushstrokes

How can you go wrong with a twisty plot, a wicked attitude and Mick Jagger as a conniving art collector?

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Men have long shunned protective gear

Avoiding masks despite COVID risk is in keeping with timeworn notions of masculinity.

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My vote for Joe Biden hinges on his veep pick

Not only do I need to know who Biden will pick, I need to know why. His vice president will be a guiding force in his administration, and potentially his replacement.

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‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’ takes on a whole new meaning with Trumpsters

Rule One in every cult is to ignore everybody except Dear Leader.

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Joe Biden needs a safe choice for vice president

Time for a closer look at Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Rep. Val Demings of Florida. Duckworth’s likability and story of heroism are powerful. Val Demings is a former police chief.

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‘Spinster’: Chelsea Peretti widens her range in a sly comedy/drama

Sitcom actress plays an underachiever who mocks others’ lives but isn’t doing so great herself.

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The time is ripe to bury this slur

There’s no pride in the continued widespread use of a word that was used by racists to denigrate Black people.

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‘She Dies Tomorrow’: A haunting gem about knowing your expiration date

A desperate woman senses imminent doom — and others do too — in a well-crafted film just right for Quarantine Time.

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Vote with your face? Masks one more thing voters will get to decide on Election Day

Although Illinois requires face coverings in public indoor spaces, such as grocery or drug stores, mandating their use in the voting booth would raise some sticky legal issues of possible voter suppression.

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‘The Tax Collector’ in the upper bracket of gore and overcooked plotting

What possessed Shia LaBeouf to get a massive tattoo for this underachieving gangster film?

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Real games, big-league escapism, shots at Joe Maddon — life is good!

We’ve gone from nothing to baseball, basketball and hockey in what feels like the blink of an eye. Let’s enjoy it while we can.

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Illinois has all it needs for a banner season — except for the one thing it can’t control

It’s awful to think that players’ dreams, fans’ hopes and a potentially glorious time of winning at a basketball-mad school might be rolled into a ball and shot into a trash can by a virus that hasn’t the slightest sense of sentimentality.