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A sign that says RIP RBG in front of the Supreme Court building

People gather at the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on the morning after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87.

J. Scott Applewhite

Newsletter: Who Will Trump Nominate For The Supreme Court?

Hey there! It’s Monday, and I have a cuddly new work-from-home buddy. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Who will be the next Supreme Court nominee?

President Donald Trump said today that he’ll wait until after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s funeral to nominate her successor. Trump said he’s considering five names, but Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago is reportedly a front-runner. [New York Times]

As Politico reports, Barrett is a strong candidate for religious conservatives. And at just 48 years old, her appointment has the potential to shape the court for decades. [Politico]

NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported that Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her replacement not be selected “until a new president is installed.” But Trump, without evidence, suggested today that Democrats made up the request. [New York Times]

Meanwhile, here’s a look at the six Republican senators who could decide if Ginsburg’s replacement is confirmed before the election. [Politico]

2. The U.S. is nearing 200,000 coronavirus deaths

The coronavirus has now killed nearly 200,000 Americans (roughly equal to the population of Akron, Ohio). And the number of new cases is rising again, fueling concerns among some epidemiologists that a surge in cases could come with colder weather.

Around the world, at least 73 countries are seeing an increase in new cases. Many countries are trying to avoid more stay-at-home orders, which impacted more than 4 billion people at one point this year. [New York Times]

In Illinois, state officials today reported 1,477 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths in the past 24 hours. [WBEZ]

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course today and removed language it posted just three days earlier that stated the coronavirus could potentially be transmitted via lingering airborne particles. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious disease, said the Friday update was posted in error. [Washington Post]

3. Chicago releases new outdoor dining guidelines for winter

The city of Chicago today issued new outdoor dining guidelines to help restaurants and bars plan for the winter. What could cold-weather diners encounter? Open-air tents, temporary structures, and more electric and gas heaters.

The guidelines also say restaurants and bars that want outdoor seating need special licenses, more fire extinguishers, extra training for employees and notices about the risk of COVID-19 transmission in enclosed spaces. [Chicago Tribune]

And some restaurants say they earned just 30% of pre-pandemic sales over the summer. Here’s a look at why many owners say the cold weather might force them to close. [WBEZ]

4.There weren’t supposed to be parking tickets in the early days of the pandemic. 35,000 car owners got them anyway

When COVID-19 first hit Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said drivers wouldn’t get tickets or have their cars impounded — except in cases of public safety — to ease financial pressures through April 30.

Yet more than 35,000 parking tickets were issued during that break, the Chicago Tribune reported today. And nearly half were from expired meters downtown, which Lightfoot specifically said were exempt.

Behind the scenes, the Trib reports, the Lightfoot administration said cars illegally parked in the central business district were a threat to public safety. Outside the downtown area, citations were most often written in Black and Latino neighborhoods. A city spokeswoman denied the mayor ever said parking tickets wouldn’t be issued.

“It’s a betrayal, just absolutely ridiculous,” said one person who received a $70 parking ticket for an expired meter April 10. “It puts people in a tough financial position at the absolute worst time. It’s just a really shady thing to do.” [Chicago Tribune]

5. How a utility watchdog got millions from the utilities it watches

The Citizens Utility Board, a consumer advocacy group that’s supposed to be thorns in the sides of ComEd and Exelon, received at least $11.55 million from a pair of ComEd-funded foundations over the past 20 years, WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Dan Mihalopoulos report.

Despite a state law that says the group can’t accept money from utility companies, this arrangement has gone on for at least two decades, and it’s clear evidence CUB has “fed at the utility trough just like the rest of them,” according to one Springfield advocate for the elderly who has frequently locked horns with ComEd.

The WBEZ investigation into the Citizens Utility Board comes after ComEd admitted in July it engaged in an eight-year, Springfield bribery scheme with associates of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Madigan and the CUB both deny wrongdoing. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • The stock market dropped today as U.S.-China tensions grow. [NPR]

  • Forty-five people were shot, 9 fatally, in Chicago over the weekend. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Missed the virtual Emmys? Here’s a look at the winners. [New York Times]

  • High schoolers of color have launched Instagram pages to document concerns about racism in Chicago Public Schools. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Oh, and one more thing ...

When the Palmer House Hilton closed its doors over the summer, it was only the second time this hotel has done so in its 141-year-history. The first was for an extended period in October 1871, when the hotel burned down in the Great Chicago Fire.

As Dennis Rodkin reports, the hotel — one of Chicago’s biggest and longest-running — has a fabled history.

The hotel was the site of two presidential nominations, a sports league and a notorious murder -- and the place where Frank Sinatra had the audition that skyrocketed his career. Read more about the history of the Palmer House Hilton in the link. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good ...

I adopted a new rescue dog over the weekend, a two-year-old retriever mix who seems to have two hobbies: fetch and taking naps. While my husband and I both grew up with lots of pets, this is our first time as dog parents.

I’d love to know: What makes your pet — whether dog, cat, exotic lizard or guinea pig — special? Feel free to email or tweet us, and your response might show up here this week. (And bonus points for cute pics!)

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! We’ll see you tomorrow.

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