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The Evening Rush for Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013

Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Ventra being Ventra

Apparently, Ventra is getting better. The downside? It’s still Ventra. CTA chief Forrest Claypool swears it’s all coming together, saying that there has been “dramatic progress” and “We’re going to take it slowly because there’s a lot more work to be done.” Because what’s the sense in rushing something that didn’t work when it was supposed to several months ago? At least the feds got Obamacare working pretty quickly. But getting people on buses and trains in Chicago seems harder than health care for an entire nation. About two-thirds of CTA rides are being paid using Ventra, which certainly is an improvement but also leaves a long way to go. Meanwhile, my Chicago Card continues to work just fine. [Sun-Times]

NSA update

You know, you don’t really have to check in to a place using FourSquare or Facebook, because the NSA is tracking your cellphone anyway. [WaPo]

Pension fight

As Gov. Quinn promises to sign the newly passed pension reform, a long battle looms. [Sun-Times]

911 calls

The 911 tapes from last December’s Sandy Hook Elementary shootings have been released. [Slate]

Standoff

A suburban standoff in Homewood has extended into the late afternoon hours. [Southtown Star]

Dept. of Bad News

A truck with a load of dangerous, radioactive material has gone missing in Mexico. File under: Probably a James Bond plot, too. [Sun-Times via AP]

Old school

And now, the oldest human DNA ever discovered. [BBC]

More nights at Wrigley

The ordinance allowing more night games at Wrigley Field has advanced, but the one about booze in that new plaza isn’t as lucky. [Sun-Times]

Smelly situation

A suburban high school was overwhelmed by the stench of adolescent stank and Axe body spray today. [Sun-Times]

The perfect cookie

Gaze into an unending Heaven. [NPR]

Sticking around

You’ll still have Paulie next year, Sox fans. [Sun-Times]

The Bright One

Rick Telander explains why NIU star Jordan Lynch gets his Heisman vote. [Sun-Times]

Commute

Sudoku; Weather; Traffic; CTA; Metra; Flight delays

And finally

Thanks, (Sunny) Obama. [Sun-Times]