Your NPR news source
Chicago Teachers Union rally 2019

Chicago teachers and supporters rallied downtown earlier this week. Chicago Public Schools canceled classes on Thursday as teachers are likely to go on strike.

Manuel Martinez

Newsletter: CPS Cancels Classes Ahead Of Looming Strike

Hey there, it’s Wednesday! It’s also leg day at the gym and I often wonder how many split squats I’ll have to do before I die. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. No school tomorrow as Chicago teachers prepare to strike

Put down your No. 2 pencils because Chicago Public Schools canceled all classes tomorrow as a teachers strike appears likely. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today said she could not accept the Chicago Teachers Union’s demands because they would cost the school district an extra $2.5 billion.

The voting body of the teachers union will meet later today to decide whether to proceed with a strike scheduled for tomorrow. About 300,000 students and their parents would be affected by a strike.

The CTU, which represents about 25,000 teachers, had forged a pact to strike at the same time as Chicago Park District workers. But the union for those employees said today it reached a tentative agreement with the Lightfoot administration.

Check out WBEZ’s live strike blog for the latest news. [WBEZ]

And here’s a look at where parents can send their kids if teachers strike. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Winners and losers of last night’s Dem debate

Did you miss the THREE-HOUR primary debate last night? Don’t worry, here’s a quick recap of reactions from the fourth debate.

Everyone piled on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose surge in polling has given her front-runner status. NPR’s Domenico Montanaro writes the attacks on Warren last night exposed some of her core vulnerabilities. [NPR]

Political strategists were divided over how well Warren weathered the attacks. But they generally gave high grades to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who both stood out among the crowded field of 12 candidates on stage.

And many observers said Sen. Bernie Sanders gave a reassuring performance after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago. [New York Times]

Meanwhile, other observers said former Vice President Joe Biden appeared “somewhat off his game.” [Washington Post]

3. New Trump tax documents show “major inconsistencies”

That’s according to ProPublica, which obtained documents showing that two of President Trump’s buildings were made to look more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials.

As ProPublica reports: “A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are ‘versions of fraud,’ said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. ‘This kind of stuff is not OK.’” [ProPublica]

4. Top U.S. officials head to Turkey to urge cease-fire

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are expected to meet with officials in Turkey tomorrow to press for a cease-fire in the conflict between Turkey and Kurdish militias.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today said his forces would not stop their attacks on the militias, which he views as terrorists. Turkey also wants to create a “safe zone” in northern Syria, where the militias are located. Erdogan said the goal of the safe zone is to create an area to resettle some of the millions of Syrian refugees who live in Turkey. [BBC]

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump today defended his decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying, “It’s not our border.” [NPR]

With bipartisan support, the House approved a resolution condemning Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from inside Syria’s border. [New York Times]

5. Lightfoot’s pot plan passes despite minority ownership concerns

The Chicago City Council today overwhelmingly approved Mayor Lightfoot’s plan for where recreational marijuana can be sold in the city.

That plan appeared to be in jeopardy last night when the council’s Black Caucus threatened to hold up the ordinance due to concerns that minority owners were not getting a fair shake. Lightfoot said she sympathized with the caucus’ demands and would work with them to find a solution. [Chicago Tribune]

Here’s what else is happening

  • More details are emerging about the federal raid on the mayor’s office in southwest suburban Lyons. [WBEZ]
  • Former Cubs manager Joe Maddon returns to the Los Angeles Angels. [AP]
  • More employers are adapting to an increasing number of workers who identify as gender nonbinary. [NPR]
  • Stefan Edlis, a major art donor to Chicago’s Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art, died at 94. [WBEZ]

Oh, and one more thing …

Uh, the property where John Wayne Gacy buried 29 of his 33 victims is on the market for $459,000. The infamous serial killer lived there until his capture, and the original house was torn down in 1979 when investigators searched for bodies.

The new house on the property includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It’s located in unincorporated Norwood Park, just east of O’Hare. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Some interesting background: Properties with dark histories are known as “stigmatized houses” by realtors, and Illinois law does not require the disclosure of violent crimes to potential buyers. Sellers in Illinois also don’t have a “legal duty to disclose that someone believes the house is haunted,” according to a state trade association. [Illinois Realtors]

In some states, you actually do have to disclose if ghosts reside in a home, as explained in this pun-heavy appellate court ruling from New York. [Above the Law]

Tell me something good ...

Halloween can’t come soon enough. I’d like to know what’s your favorite candy, sweets or Halloween snacks?

Suzanne Meyering writes:

“Almond Joy! So exotic with coconut, almonds, chocolate. First time I ate one, it tasted like a grown-up treat to me, something a parent might hide from the kids. So crunchy and sweet.”

What’s your favorite candy, sweets or Halloween snacks? Feel free to email at or tweet me at @whuntah.

Have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.

The Latest