The Rundown: Chicago may crack down on noisy cars

Plus, dogs in the courtroom. Here’s what you need to know today.

The Rundown: Chicago may crack down on noisy cars

Plus, dogs in the courtroom. Here’s what you need to know today.

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Good afternoon! I’m already seeing ads for Christmas. It’s going to be OK, world. We live in an age of same-day delivery. It’s not like we’re strapped for time. Anyway, here’s what you need to know today.

1. Chicago may set up ‘noise cameras’ to help ticket drivers with loud mufflers

The City Council could move forward with a pilot program aimed at ticketing drivers with loud mufflers by using cameras equipped with microphones, my colleague David Struett reports.

The cameras, which are similar to speed cameras, would be installed in the downtown area as soon as the New Year.

Supporters say the move will help address the negative health effects associated with loud noises: high blood pressure, depression and even heart attacks.

Critics, however, say the cameras are a cash grab from politicians that will mostly target people who can’t afford car repairs.

The cameras, called SoundVue Noise Camera Systems, have been set up in London, New York City and Knoxville, Tenn. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Mayor Johnson heads to D.C. seeking help for migrants

Mayor Brandon Johnson is expected to meet with other mayors today in Washington, D.C., and put more pressure on the Biden administration and Congress to provide more aid for the growing migrant crisis, my colleague Lynn Sweet reports.

The trip comes as Johnson’s proposed budget for next year only sets aside $150 million for migrants, a sum that’s expected to only last about six months. [Chicago Sun-Times]

The Civic Federation, one of Chicago’s oldest and most respected taxpayer watchdog groups, is urging the City Council to create a contingency plan if the state and the White House do not step up.

Before leaving for D.C., Johnson told reporters yesterday that he plans to turn up the heat on federal officials.

“Here’s why this situation is … so jacked up. Some of these border mayors are moving half a million people from their respective cities annually, thousands a week. … They have the full force of the federal government to help them do that. The federal government is spending money to send people to Chicago,” Johnson said. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Relatives of Judith and Natalie Raanan say seven other family members remain captive in Gaza

When Or Sella was finally reunited with his relatives Judith and Natalie Raanan, Evanston residents who were held captive by Hamas for nearly two weeks, he embraced them both deeply, my colleague Emmanuel Camarillo reports.

“Hugging them was the most intense hug I have ever felt,” Sella said.

Sella said seven other relatives — including a 3-year-old — remain captive in Gaza. Three other members of their family were murdered by Hamas militants in the Oct. 7 attack that sparked the current conflict.

Sella and his cousin Dafna Sella said Judith and Natalie Raanan are doing well physically, but they declined to give a more detailed update, saying the mother and daughter “need time to heal” before they can speak about their experiences. [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Pritzker’s abortion rights group spends $1.5 million in Ohio, Virginia and Nevada

Gov. JB Pritzker’s newly created nonprofit, Think Big America, has already contributed $1.5 million to combat anti-abortion efforts in other states.

Among them is Virginia, which is seen as the next big battleground in the national debate over abortion rights.

There, Gov. Glenn Youngkin has said he would support an abortion ban after 15 weeks should his fellow Republicans win full control of the state legislature in the Nov. 7 election.

Think Big America has contributed $25,000 each to four state Senate Democratic candidates in Virginia, and an additional $150,000 to the state Democratic party, ahead of next week’s election.

A spokeswoman for Think Big America called the contributions an example of “fighting extremism at every level.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. Meet the two Bernese Mountain dogs who could be at the corruption trial of former Ald. Ed Burke

Birdie and Junebug are therapy dogs who have been fixtures at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse for years, my colleague Jon Seidel reports. (Yes, there are pictures in the link.)

And it’s not unusual to see them trailing U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall, who is overseeing the corruption trial of former Ald. Edward Burke. Kendall’s courtroom serves as a part-time home for Birdie and Junebug.

“Your jury will have the benefit of calm court dogs,” Kendall told defense attorneys and prosecutors in the case. “And the lawyers usually need them, too.”

One day, when only Birdie was present, the lawyers set aside their arguments during a status hearing to pet and coo over the 4-year-old pup. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will press Israel for “humanitarian pauses” in the war in Gaza. [New York Times]

  • The last Beatles song, released this morning, got some help from AI. [NPR]

  • Tributes pour in for Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby Knight. [NPR]

  • Here’s a look at when HBO plans to air the next seasons of House of the Dragon, Euphoria, White Lotus and others. [Hollywood Reporter]

Oh, and one more thing …

The Black Harvest Film Festival has become a significant avenue for supporting and introducing new filmmakers to the industry, WBEZ contributor Arionne Nettles reports.

The festival kicks off this Friday and runs through Nov. 16 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Among the films debuting this year is For The Crib, a 5-minute short documenting the South Shore Drill Team’s post-pandemic return and its decadeslong history. It comes from first-time filmmaker Lawrence Agyei, who grew up in Italy but has since made Chicago home.

“I just felt so connected to them, especially with the kids and their stories,” Agyei said. “So I just pretty much started spending almost every single day with them.” [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

I can’t stop laughing at how one of the nephews was singing “the world is a vampire” in Billy Corgan’s voice while in the bathtub. So I’d like to know what are some of your favorite songs from the ’90s.

Michael writes:

“I love’ 90s music, especially mid-’90s alternative. I created a whole playlist devoted to it and my favorite radio station growing up in Cleveland.

“If I had to single out a track though, it would be ‘Your Woman’ by White Town. It was so strange and unique. And as a 12-year-old gay boy, I was so fascinated by a male voice singing lines like ‘you’re such a charming, handsome man’! And the song still hits!”

And Carmen writes:

“There’s nothing like hearing ‘The Way’ by Fastball when I forget I put it on a playlist. I feel like there were so many ’90s songs that directly make me remember swimming at Pioneer Pool as a kid/middle schooler (Duncan Sheik is way underrated) but those piano chords. I’m immediately back in a sweaty van with the other kids at camp heading somewhere and we are all singing at the top of our lungs and wondering if Missy and Jason the counselors are actually, you know, BF/GF. Listen to it. It makes the day.”

Feel free to email me your favorite ’90s songs and they might be shared in the newsletter this week.