Hey there, happy Tuesday! If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to get rid of your Christmas tree, check out this great list of resources. Here’s what else you need to know today.
Midway International Airport remained a sea of lost baggage today after massive service disruptions at Southwest Airlines left passengers around the country stranded, my colleague Stefano Esposito writes for Chicago Sun-Times.
As the newspaper reported on Monday: “The Midway situation was perhaps worst at the lower-level arrivals area, where thousands of pieces of luggage sat unclaimed from flights around the country. Some baggage was grouped by departure city, but many others weren’t labeled or grouped.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
Around the U.S., Southwest canceled more than 70% of its flights on Monday and at least 60% of today’s departures.
Though other airlines also canceled flights because of winter weather over the holiday weekend, NPR reports that Southwest had 10 times the number of cancellations as Delta, the company with the second-most scratched departures. A Southwest spokesperson told NPR the disruptions were from lingering effects of last week’s winter storm and issues “connecting flight crews to their schedules.” [NPR]
If your flight was canceled, here are some tips from experts about what to do. [AP]
Temperatures in the city are expected to hit the 50s later this week — a significant warmup after the holiday weekend’s winter storm, reports Block Club Chicago.
Though Tuesday is only expected to reach 25 degrees, Wednesday will hit a high of 39 and Thursday could reach 51, according to the National Weather Service. [Block Club Chicago]
The storm that brought dangerously cold temperatures to the Midwest also dumped significant snow in Buffalo, New York, where at least 28 people have been reported dead. State and military police were sent in today to help enforce a driving ban in the city.
Buffalo officials say they’re working through about 1,000 unanswered emergency calls and clearing snow from roads. Thousands of households are still without power, and the weather service expects several more inches of snow to fall today. [New York Times]
3. What happens when cash bail ends? Here’s what other states saw when they tried limited versions of Illinois’ plan.
No other state has completely eliminated cash bail, as Illinois is poised to do in 2023, but Harvard researchers found no meaningful increase in crime in states that have tried a more limited bail reform.
Washington, D.C., is often cited as a leading example of successful bail reform. There, cash bail isn’t completely banned, but “it can only be imposed for those deemed at risk of fleeing the jurisdiction and cannot exceed a person’s ability to pay,” reports my colleague Matthew Hendrickson at the Chicago Sun-Times.
New Jersey mostly eliminated cash bail in 2017, and in 2020, 97% of people released from jail returned for their court hearings, according to a report to the legislature.
Meanwhile, Alaska did not stick with the reforms it implemented because of an increase in property crimes that led to an uproar over the law. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Illinois abortion providers say they’re seeing a record number of out-of-state patients, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Patients are also coming from more states than before, Planned Parenthood of Illinois told the newspaper. Before the end of Roe v. Wade, Illinois’ Planned Parenthood said clinics usually saw patients from 10 to 15 other states each month — now, that number is up to 31.
The right to terminate a pregnancy is established in Illinois law — a stark contrast to surrounding states that have recently passed restrictions on the procedure, including Wisconsin and Indiana. Illinois abortion clinics have responded to the surge in demand by increasing space and expanding services. [Chicago Tribune]
When glassfrogs — named after their translucent appearance — are awake their arteries, veins and blood are on full display. Wait until the creatures are asleep, however, and they’re completely colorless.
Scientists learned the frogs hide most of their red blood cells in their livers, which are coated in reflective white crystals.
The trick is meant to help the animals camouflage themselves when they’re asleep and vulnerable to predators.
But, as NPR reports, this deception could also benefit humans: “Normally, those conditions can trigger some clotting disorders. The researchers say that knowing how the glassfrogs avoid a blood clotting cascade could pave the way for new anticoagulants for humans.” [NPR]
Here’s what else is happening
A U.S. House committee will release former President Donald Trump’s redacted tax returns on Friday. [Reuters]
The hiring process for people who investigate abuse in Illinois prisons is mismanaged. [WBEZ]
A co-leader of the plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor was sentenced to 16 years in prison. [AP]
Here are 10 events honoring Kwanzaa in the Chicago area. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Oh, and one more thing …
Tired of all the “best of 2022” lists yet? This one from NPR Pop Culture Correspondent Linda Holmes is a bit different.
These 50 Wonderful Pop Culture Things are not objectively the best, Holmes says, they’re simply “wonderful things.”
Ranging from TV shows and books to tweets and performances, this article is full of moments I haven’t seen appear on a dozen other end-of-year lists. [NPR]
Tell me something good …
It’s that time when we think of how to be better in the year ahead. That has me wondering, what are your new year’s resolutions for 2023? Personally, I haven’t decided if I’ll make any resolutions this time around, but I’m always looking for inspiration.
Feel free to email me, and your response may be included in the newsletter this week.