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Madigan's army, slow drivers and the rest of the news you need today

1 Mike Madigan’s army

All but one of 30 campaign workers who helped the speaker of the Illinois House get on the ballot in 2012 were on the public payroll, according to a Sun-Times Watchdogs investigation. One of them worked at Metra, and when he asked for a post-election raise — surprise! — he got it. [Sun-Times]

2 Slow ride, tickets easing

Area cops issued a whopping 25 percent fewer speeding tickets in 2012 than they did in 2010. The most likely explanation, besides Burt Reynolds’ retirement, is that fines for speeding went up, and fewer of us are driving. [Sun-Times]

3 Mystery of Wrigleyville fire

Investigators still don’t know what caused the Friday night fire that burned a Wrigleyville building to the ground. They don’t suspect arson and haven’t made any jokes about the hookah lounge where the blaze started. [Sun-Times]

4 Must be the helmets

In the midst of its concussion scandal, the NFL has found a handy scapegoat: Chicago-based Riddell, which is the league’s official helmet-maker (but doesn’t make all the players’ helmets). NFL officials told ESPN on Friday that they’re breaking the contract. Because clearly the problem is headgear, not the fact that the sport is based on massive, elite athletes crashing into each other as hard as they can. [ESPN]

5 Sales-Griffin on ‘Minority Report’

Neal Sales-Griffin is 26 and has a roommate. But he’s worked in venture capital and co-founded the red-hot Starter League. He tells Grid’s Micaela Brown about going all in on a startup and what his last words would be. [Grid]

6 Where the housing recovery ends

As home prices around Chicago continue a steady post-recession climb, parts of the region are getting left behind. In many south suburbs, houses aren’t worth any more than they were 20 years ago. [Crain’s]

7 RIP Lou Reed

The punk rock songwriter who inspired decades of cerebral punk rock, died Sunday. Reed was 71. [NY Times]

8 Nice work if you can tweet it

What’s social media good for? If you’re social maven Steve Green, it’s good for $3,000 per Twitter chat. He hosts weekly discussions on food — and charges restaurants three grand to pick the topic and questions. [Grid]