Shoe tax backer seeks quarter in Illinois

Also: Groceries closing / Lyric Opera probed / Super Bowl questions

February 6, 2013

Shoes!THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOE BUSINESS ... At least, for Illinois lawmakers looking for new cash. A proposal in the House would stamp gym shoes with an extra 25-cent tax to help high-school dropouts get jobs. But that's not the sole issue on the General Assembly's agenda:
Bill to legalize same-sex marriage moves ahead.
* Governor to call for online voter registration.

GROCERIES CLOSING. Life's not getting easier for traditional grocery chains, squeezed between big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and specialty chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Latest to bite the dust:  Three Chicago-area Jewel stores.
* Illinois companies warn of almost 1,200 layoffs to come.
* Chicago area home foreclosure auctions hit post-crisis peak.

FAT LADY NOT SINGING. The case of the actor burned in a stunt at the Lyric Opera isn't closed. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is talking to witnesses, performers and other employees.
* Injured performer is President Truman's great-grandson.

'WHAT IF IT HAD BEEN TERRORISM?' When the blackout hit the Super Bowl, The New Yorker's Steve Coll asks of CBS News, "Why was there no ... information at all available beyond the no-commenting, self-protecting public-relations arm of the N.F.L. juggernaut, to which we have become all too accustomed during its systematic campaign of denial about football-related concussions?"
* Next, kids who survived the Newtown school shooting may play the Grammys.
Slate's Laura Helmuth: "People are right to be pissed at Danica Patrick."
* WBEZ's Nico Lang: Manti Te'o's "official" story makes no sense.

STARTUP DREAMS UNLEASHED. "For the first time in American history, your health insurance is going to get unhitched from your oversized, shuffling, bureaucratic employer," according to lawyer Coco Soodek.
* Out-of-work journalists taking jobs in world of "branded content."

FED HACKED. The Federal Reserve says one of its internal Web sites was hacked. It's playing down the impact, but the incident -- which comes just a few days after reports thousands of U.S. bank executive accounts were compromised -- raises questions about U.S. financial-system security.
* Wall Street Journal still under attack, Murdoch says.
* Fox News cuts Dick Morris loose.

WHO TURNED OFF THE WATER? Lake Michigan's level is officially at an all-time low.
Don't blame bottled drinks.


ANNOUNCEMENTS.
* Music that got this edition out the door: The oeuvres of Electric Light Orchestra and Foo Fighters.
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