The [Friday] Papers
Slouching toward Saturday.
1. "More than 2,000 deer in 76 Illinois counties likely have died from a virus that often kills the animals but poses no risk to humans," the Daily Herald reports.
Still, I don't feel so well.
2. "Although Chicago teachers have signed off on their new contract, the lingering anxiety about the future of the city's public education system surfaced Thursday as aldermen stepped up a call for hearings on potential school closings," the Tribune reports.
"Chicago Public Schools officials say publicly that there is no specific school-closing plan, but aldermen and other sources have told the Tribune that discussions focus on closing 80 to 120 sparsely populated and underperforming schools."
We all know there's a plan, but Rahm has probably ordered staff not to put anything in writing so they won't have to disclose any documents in a Freedom of Information Act request.
3. "Cook County is touting success in cutting the time it takes to see a doctor at Stroger Hospital's emergency room as officials prepare to wipe more jobs off the books in the county's vast public health system," the Tribune reports.
"So far this year, the average wait time to see a doctor is one hour and 51 minutes, about one hour less than it took last year, officials said Thursday."
That may be progress, but they still seem hazy on the concept of "emergency."
Well, did they get better?
5. "Gov. Pat Quinn's choice to run the state agency that oversees the financial operations of U.S. Cellular Field filed for bankruptcy three years ago after racking up $102,500 in debt, mainly from credit cards, court records show," the Tribune reports.
"The revelation follows questions Mayor Rahm Emanuel has raised about whether Kelly Kraft, the governor's chief spokeswoman, is qualified to be the executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority."
Or-or-or, and I'm just spitballin' here, maybe that makes her eminently qualified to manage fiscal disasters
"According to court records, Kraft filed for bankruptcy in September 2009."
Well, that could really happen to anyone. I've always thought I might end up there. And health care expenses in particular can be financially ruinous if serious illness strikes.
"Among the debts listed in that filing are $33,248 to Bank of America for 'consumer goods and services,' $20,995 to Discover Card and $3,543 to Nordstrom."
6. John Kass writes that 364 people wrote letters to Judge James Zagel on behalf of clout king Bill Cellini, who was sentenced Thursday on one count of conspiracy to commit extortion.
"The judge said he'd never received so many letters. Then Zagel really shocked me, and a few other reporters in the courtroom, when he talked about a few of the pro-Cellini letters. Among these, Zagel said, were 'letters from three prominent journalists.'"
Name those journos, Zagel!
Seriously, the names are sealed and I can't think of any good reason why they ought to be.
Unseal those files, Zagel!
We already know that longtime Tribune managing editor Dick Ciccone is in Cellini's corner (see the item Clout Spout). Who else?
7. "The issue of tax returns took the spotlight in a North Shore congressional campaign Thursday as Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Dold made public his tax returns and Democratic challenger Brad Schneider declined to do so," the Tribune reports.
Obviously the questions to ask each are these:
"Mr. Schneider, do you think the Obama campaign is wrong to criticize Mitt Romney for not releasing his tax returns?"
"Congressman Dold, do you think Mitt Romney is wrong to not release his tax returns?"
8. "A federal grand jury has indicted a South Side businessman, who once served as a commissioner for the Illinois Medical District, for allegedly being the mastermind behind a scheme to steal nearly $4 million in state public health grants," the Sun-Times reports.
"The 23-count fraud indictment unsealed Friday accused Leon Dingle Jr., his wife, Karin, and two others in the scheme through which the Dingles allegedly used taxpayer funds intended for breast, cervical and prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS and emergency preparedness to buy Mercedes Benz automobiles, maintain and renovate vacation homes in Savannah, Ga. and Hilton Head, S.C., and pay mortgages and other personal expenses for family members."
They should have just put it all on their credit cards and then declared bankruptcy later - but maybe Discover rejected them.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Play the dozens.
Posted on October 5, 2012
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