Kevin Matthews returns to Chicago. Too bad I can't listen to podcasts in my 1987 Dodge Colt | WBEZ
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Kevin Matthews returns to Chicago. Too bad I can't listen to podcasts in my 1987 Dodge Colt

Crane basketball star Sherron Collins in 2005 (AP/File)

The CPS has been busy! There is a plan here, a multi-phase plan to make better schools. It was announced earlier this week that some schools were slated for turnaround, which is like those 80's movies where one guy gets put in another guy's body. Same idea, but with two staffs switching place instead of Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage. And then last night (embargoed til 4pm), it was announced that some schools would close. I think the CPS could help their cause by creating a line-dance/electric slide based on their plan. It would go:

  1. Test. One time.
  2. Turnaround. Two times.
  3. Stop (accepting freshmen)
  4. and close.
  5. Everybody clap your hands! 

The list of school closings also included Crane High School, which isn't closing immediately, but will be phased out, which means it will no longer be accepting freshmen.

Crane is the highest profile school on the list, and probably the only one known by a wider audience than the neighborhood in which it resides. Why? Well, Crane is a basketball school. Several famous basketball players have played there. Tony Allen, Will Bynum and Sherron Collins are among the latest Crane products playing or almost playing in the NBA. Also, George Halas went there. And it was opened in 1890, or so I read on Wikipedia.

So what does this mean? It means tonight's "Schools on the Line" with CPS Chief Jean Claude Brizard is going to be awesome. Listen in live (and call-in) at 7pm.

B story: Newt Gingrich is trending in the polls. Right now, he's killing it! C'mon, who doesn't want a year-long Gingrich/Obama showdown for the President of the United States?

C story: Do the people who select the Grammy nominees only listen to KISS-FM? How is Kanye's 'My Dark Twisted Fantasy' not up for Best Record of the Year? Whatever.

D story: 3,243. That's the number of news articles telling me that today starts the snow parking ban. We get it. You can't park overnight where there are signs that say 'you can't park overnight'. 

E story: Steve Dahl just added Kevin Matthews to his new Dahl podcast network. Great move. As a recovering Kev-head (from high school), this is a perfect match of two legendary Chicago radio performers. Now if I can only get my 1987 Dodge Colt back...

Weather: Nice, chilly, December.

Sports: Julius Peppers was named the NFC Player of the Month for November. This is the second year in a row that Peppers received this award. Lovie Smith said that Peppers' game against the Raiders might have been the best Defensive End performance he's seen. Wow.

OK, so Ron Zook is now out as well all know - and probably a year late at that. After all, Zook was pretty awful coaching Illini football. Illinois should be competing every year for a Big Ten title. The fact that they lost the final six games of this season is embarrassing. I was hoping they would go after former Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach. But he just got hired by Washington State. So who now?

David DeJesus comes to Chicago as the first Theo Epstein hire. He will pay right field and possibly lead-off for the Cubbies. And the rumor mill has the Cubs trying to deal Alfonso Soriano. Interesting.

Kicker: Bazer has a good post for anyone trying to avoid the Greenpeace dude on Michigan Avenue. I threw a couple bits in there too. I'm ghost-writing now. No big deal.

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