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The [Friday] Papers

"After a goodbye tour that stretched from Chicago's Ravenswood Manor neighborhood to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Rod Blagojevich turned, waved and disappeared Thursday behind a darkened doorway of a federal prison," Annie Sweeney writes for the Tribune.

"Inside Federal Correctional Institution-Englewood, change came in an instant as Blagojevich left his media entourage and the hovering helicopters behind to start an afternoon intake that involved a strip search and mental evaluation."

Hey, Englewood, this one's on us.


Our very own Scott Buckner wonders how prison guards performed a cavity search on someone who's 100% asshole.


"Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was jovial and seemed cheerful when he got on a flight Thursday to Colorado, but appeared decidedly more somber once he arrived in the state where he'll serve his federal prison sentence for corruption, fellow airline passengers said," AP reports.

"[F]light attendants did not give him extra attention but were trying to get accompanying journalists to keep the noise down."


"Suddenly, the flight attendant, a small wiry woman, came rushing down the aisle and laid into us about the no-filming rule," a Denver Post correspondent reports.

"'Don't make me come back here again!' she said, treating us like middle school students. 'Do we understand each other?'"


Blago to Kids: Stay Out of Politics.


"Sources tell CBS 2 that Blagojevich was high-fiving other inmates at dinner Thursday night."


NBC Chicago: 5,109 Days To Go.


Conjugal visits are not allowed at Englewood.


"While one ex-governor heads off to federal prison, another is still there, pinning his hopes for an early release on a long-shot before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"As WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports, former Gov. George Ryan remains in prison in Terre Haute, Ind. He has served 4 1/2 years of the 6 1/2 year sentence that was handed down for his corruption conviction in 2006, and is due for release on July 4 of next year."


"And so it goes in the great state of Illinois, once famous for gangsters, the bad guy Al Capone," Walter Jacobson kvetches. "Then famous for the good guys, Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

"Now again famous for bad guys - the corrupt politicians elected to public office.

"And whose fault is it? The place to look for that is in a mirror."


"Maybe Judge Zagel should have found the media guilty of enabling the former governor, and sentenced us to 14 years of zero coverage of him," says Bob Sirott.

Local Hero
"For eight nervous months, while her blood pressure rose and her nails thinned, Illinois hospital executive Pamela Davis wore a tiny FBI recording device under her shirt.

"She recorded conversations starting in 2003 to document a shakedown scheme that involved hospitals and a state board, kicking off an investigation that eventually reached - and brought down - the state's highest elected official," AP reports.

"In a phone interview Wednesday, Davis recalled passing her tapes to FBI agents at department store makeup counters - rendezvous sites that she chose to feel a small sense of control and 'have a moment I could chuckle at,' she said.

"Davis said she's proud of her role in the FBI's Operation Board Games investigation, despite the toll it took on her health and personal life."

Staff Chaff
"Rod Blagojevich's former chief of staff is scheduled to learn his fate Friday," ABC 7 reports.

"John Harris was convicted in the same corruption scandal that sent Blagojevich to prison."

Harris was the guy Daley sent.

The Real Englewood
"Since mid-January, Chicago police have flooded the blocks that are the site of much of the gang and drug activity plaguing the Englewood area," the Tribune reports. "The move is part of a tactical 'surge' in law enforcement that is also being employed in crime-heavy neighborhoods on the city's West Side.

"Similar efforts have been tried before in the Englewood area, which for decades has been a national emblem of urban despair as it struggles with joblessness, underperforming schools and other factors that contribute to neighborhood crime.

"In the early 2000s, Project Safe Neighborhoods teamed local police with federal prosecutors and helped bring down murders and other violent crimes in Englewood by targeting convicted felons more likely to commit gun-related crimes.

"But none of the efforts has proved a lasting solution. Last year, while homicides fell slightly in Chicago overall from 2010, homicides in the Englewood area soared 50 percent."


The Beachwood Tip Line: Conjugal.


Posted on March 16, 2012

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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