Lead story: In case you missed it Wednesday among all the debate hubbub, Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave the entire ethics board the heave-ho, once again doing something I have to give him credit for. Take, for instance, the fact the Tribune points out: The board has never investigated any aldermen for violations even though nearly two dozen have been convicted. Of course, the board was lax during the entire Daley The Second administration, which probably shocks absolutely no one and is another way in which Emanuel has cut ties with the past administration (no matter how similar he’s seemed to Daley at times). And just to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same: It was recently revealed that Ald. Ed Burke’s law firm got plenty of work from the Wrigley company after Burke and the City Council gave the company a sizable tax break. To his (small) credit, Burke abstained from the vote – not that it really mattered – because of, well, conflict of interest.
Also: Yes, the first presidential debate has come and gone. While it wasn’t exactly a clear-cut knock-out, GOP candidate Mitt Romney appeared to come out on top last night. Jetisoning the divisive rehtoric that’s gotten him in trouble recently (like “47 percent”), he was sharp and made calls for bipartisanship. Meanwhile, President Obama seemed a little too releaxed at times in a debate that got fiesty, particularly over the economy. Still, like the replacement refs in the NFL, this debate will probably be most remembered for moderater Jim Lehrer’s complete inability to control the discussion, letting the candidates blow through time limits and, at many points, outright ignoring Lehrer. There were also plenty of missed opportunities to talk about things besides the economy and health care at this, the “domestic issues” debate. Granted, those are the most pressing issues, but why, with the two candidates standing just a few miles from Aurora, Colo., was gun control and the recent spate of mass shootings never mentioned? Where was the discussion over birth control and womens reproductive rights that have spurred so many arguments across the country? Perhaps Obama is playing rope-a-dope and will come out swinging big at the next two debates, but, for now, Romney has made a dent in the president’s lead.
And then: A new Sun-Times report shows that areas on the South Side are left without power longer than areas on the North Side, challenging ComEd’s ability to restore power in a timely manner. The report follows similar accusations made last year by residents in the suburbs. When faced with the data, the power company claimed that race and class had nothing to do with it, saying instead that the South Side has a higher tree density and overhead power lines, as opposed to the North Side, where many power lines are underground. Residents the Sun-Times talked to countered this by pointing to equipment neglect also haunting the South Side. In related bad news for ComEd, a ruling by the Illinois Commerce Commission has thrown a wrench into the power company’s plan to spend $2.6 billion implementing a new “smart grid” across the area. ComEd plans to appeal the ruling.
RIP: R.B. Greaves, R&B singer of the hit “Take A Letter, Maria,” at the age of 68. Greaves was the nephew of Chicago’s own soul legend, Sam Cooke.
- While much of America’s focus was on the skirmish on stage last night, internationally, tensions between Turkey and Syria are on the rise.
- New research indicates one of the most effective painkillers now available may be the venom of the black mamba snake.
- The Chick-Fil-A controversy is still a thing.
- Also still a thing: buttchugging.
- Shocking: Long before his now-infamous comments about “legitimate rape,” Rep. Todd Akin said even stupider things about abortions.
- The Chicago-area-based DVD renter system Red Box is now extending its reach into selling concert tickets.
- A recent investigation by the Sun-Times into police officers who abused disability has prodded federal investigators to look into the matter.
- A huge field of pot the size of multiple football fields has been growing on the South Side and police are just now noticing it.
- The City of Chicago has announced locations where food trucks will be allowed to operate. If you’re hoping for locations on the South Side or in the Loop, don’t hold your breath.
- The new exhibit at the Art Institute? Paperweights!
- An added twist of the knife to Sox fans: the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera became the first Major League player in 45 years to win baseball’s triple crown.
- Now that the 61-101 season is over, the Cubs have begun letting folks go, starting with third base coach Pat Listach.
- Apparently, the Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew and Jay Cutler had a Twitter fight in 2011 that the media is trying to make relevant for this weekend’s game.
- The Philadelphia Eagles’ Lesean McCoy comes close to topping Brandon Lloyd for awesome showboating, but not quite.
- For Cubs, Sox, and Blackhawks fans that are looking for another team to invest in this fall, consider the Chicago Fire who seemed locked in for another playoff run in the MLS.
A fascinating look at going undercover as a Mexican drug lord.