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Chicago City Council

Members of the the Chicago City Council convene at City Hall, Wednesday morning, April 21, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool

The Rundown: The Chicago City Council’s hall of shame

Good afternoon! It’s Wednesday, and wow, the responses to this week’s question have been amazing. Keep ’em coming, because some of them are hilarious. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. A member of Chicago’s City Council has been convicted every 16 months on average since the early ’70s

That’s according to an analysis from my friends over at the Chicago Sun-Times.

With this week’s conviction of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson for income tax fraud, the grand total of council members convicted since the ’70s now stands at a whopping 37.

And two other council members are indicted by the feds: Ald. Ed Burke, who is accused of abusing his power for his own personal gain, and Ald. Carrie Austin, who allegedly took bribes from a contractor.

But Thompson stands out a little more: He is the first member of the once powerful Daley family to “land a spot in the Chicago City Hall of Shame,” the Sun-Times reports. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is under pressure to appoint an Asian American to the City Council and represent the 11th Ward now that Thompson is convicted. Local community leaders and politicians say the ward will likely become the city’s first Asian-majority ward after council members redraw ward maps. [Chicago Tribune]

2. Decision expected this week over a controversial metal shredder proposed for Chicago’s Southeast Side

City health officials could soon release a report on how adding another source of pollution to the Southeast Side could impact the environment, health and quality of life of nearby residents who already face poor air quality, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

A business formerly known as General Iron wants to move much of its business from the white, affluent Lincoln Park neighborhood to a mostly Latino area. A federal civil rights investigation is underway after residents complained to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

In an online presentation this week, city officials weighed the pros and cons of allowing the metal shredder to relocate to the Southeast Side. Among the benefits was the addition of more than 100 new jobs.

The negatives included additional air pollution and “potential explosions.” [Sun-Times]

3. Americans are close to a phase where COVID-19 isn’t a “crisis,” according to a White House official

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said today that the nation has made “tremendous progress” in the fight against COVID-19, pointing to masks and several treatments that are now available.

“As a result of all this progress and the tools we all have, we’re moving toward a time when COVID isn’t a crisis but is something we can protect against and treat,” Zients told reporters. “The president and our COVID team are actively planning for this future.”

Meanwhile, more businesses are ending mask mandates. Disney World and Disneyland will no longer require vaccinated guests to wear masks beginning tomorrow. The unvaccinated will still have to wear masks indoors.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today that federal guidance on masks and other pandemic measures will soon be updated. [Washington Post]

4. The U.S. and NATO see no signs of Russian troop withdrawal near Ukraine

The U.S. and its European allies say they have not seen any evidence of a significant withdrawal of Russian troops near Ukraine a day after President Vladimir Putin said he was pulling back.

“Unfortunately there’s a difference between what Russia says and what it does,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with ABC News. “And what we’re seeing is no meaningful pullback. On the contrary, we continue to see forces — especially forces that would be in the vanguard of any renewed aggression against Ukraine — continuing to be at the border, to mass at the border.”

Meanwhile in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky is reportedly considering a resolution that would keep his country from joining the NATO military alliance, a key demand from Moscow. [New York Times]

Here’s a good explainer on the broad implications of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. One area of concern for the White House is Taiwan, which China wants under its control. [Axios]

5. Freezing rain and up to 7 inches of snow could hit the Chicago area

It was an unusually warm February day in the Chicago area, with temperatures approaching 50 degrees, but winter is expected to bounce back.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Chicago area from 3 a.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday, saying as much as 7 inches of snow are possible and freezing rain and sleet could create icy conditions on roads.

The warning also affects Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Livingston and Will counties in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

The rain and sleet are expected to begin late tonight and last until Thursday morning. Heavy snowfall is then expected to start tomorrow afternoon, with 3 to 7 inches possible. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • A Democratic Illinois lawmaker wants to strip the courts of their immunity from the state’s open records law and increase transparency for the public. [WBEZ]
  • Cafeterias and food vendors at nine Chicago hospitals failed inspections last year. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Illinois gamblers bet nearly $61 million on the Super Bowl. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Satirist P.J. O’Rourke, a panelist on NPR’s Wait…Wait Don’t Tell Me, died this week at 74. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

This is so weird. I was watching Yellowjackets on Showtime last night and thinking about whatever happened to True Detective. (My mind easily wanders.)

Turns out, the show could be revived, according to HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys.

“There’s something in the True Detective area, there’s things we’re feeling good about. I would say stay tuned on that one,” he told Deadline.

And that’s not all the news. Bloys says Mare of Easttown could return for a second season, depending on Kate Winslet and the creative team. [Deadline]

Meanwhile, the superhero action-comedy Peacemaker has thankfully been renewed for a second season. [Hollywood Reporter]

Tell me something good ...

I can’t stop thinking about how spooky the trailer is for Jordan Peele’s new movie, Nope, that will be out this summer. So I’d like to know: What movie or TV show actually scared you, either now or as a kid?

Carli writes:

“When I was about 5 years old, Beauty and the Beast was released, and needless to say I was terrified of the Beast. This led my older sister to put a Beast stuffed animal in her doorway so I would run away screaming and wouldn’t bother her in her room.”

Maggie writes:

“I know that I am not the only person terrified by the scene in The Neverending Story where the horse gets bogged down in the swamp and then everything breaks. I didn’t finish watching that movie until I was in my 30s.”

And Noel Steere writes:

“It’s funny that someone mentioned E.T. as a scary movie, because I was 11 at that time and my mom and I decided not to go to the opening week of E.T. to instead see … Poltergeist.”

Feel free to email me at or tweet me at @whuntah, and your responses might be shared here this week.

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