The [Friday] Papers
1. Auto Erotica.
"The 2017 Chicago Auto Show was flush with new trucks, off-road vehicles, SUVs, and crazy van concepts," Autoblog reports. "There was even a muscle car and a cute hatchback to broaden the scope of things among the new product reveals. Our complete coverage."
2. And . . . Scene.
"Nine years ago, legislators agreed to give lucrative tax breaks for movies, TV shows and commercials made in Illinois," the Sun-Times reports.
"And to help ensure whether minorities and women get a piece of the booming action that so far has led to tax breaks totaling more than $330 million, they said the state agency that handles those tax breaks 'must' give them yearly reports on their hiring.
"But the agency that runs the Illinois Film Office routinely has violated that part of the law, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found."
3. World Class.
"A Kenyan girl was denied entry into the United States a day after courts barred President Donald Trump from deporting immigrants," the Star of Kenya reports.
"Ednah Chepkoton, 25, was held at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport for many hours after getting off a United Airlines flight on February 4.
"She had been given a five-year multiple entry visa by the U.S. embassy in Nairobi on January 20.
"Ednah, a Kabianga university nursing graduate, narrated her harrowing experience to the Star from the airport, after an immigration officer singled her out of thousands of passengers who were on transit."
4. What Letters?
"Mayor Fred Kondritz never saw it coming," the Southern Illinoisan reports.
"As he was walking with his wife in front of the Fred's Super Dollar in Benton about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, he saw Albert Smith, a man Kondritz said he's known most of his life.
"As a matter of small town conversation I said, 'Hey, you going to the ball game tonight,'" Kondritz said. After Smith pushed his cart to the front of the store, Kondritz said Smith responded, "I've been to more games than you have."
"Kondritz was taken aback.
"He was walking over to me and I mean just hauled off and punched me in the face," Kondritz said.
"The Benton Evening News reported Thursday that the incident stems from letters to the editor printed in The Southern and the Evening News."
"Smith has been a regular critic of Kondritz and has written repeated letters to the editor of the Benton Evening News concerning the mayor.
One appeared in Wednesday morning's paper questioning the mayor's recent published account of crowd behavior at a recent high school basketball game. In a Jan. 25 letter, Kondritz praised the crowded gym as an example of 'small-town America,' contrasting the people in attendance with unruly rioters in cities across the country. Smith wrote Wednesday that the mayor ignored fans stealing signs from each other and an adult having to be removed from the floor. Smith inferred Benton lacks 'good leaders.'
A clearly angered Kondritz visited the Evening News office just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, several hours before the incident with Smith, questioning why the paper had printed Smith's 'fabrication.' Kondritz did not respond to repeated inquiries regarding what information was inaccurate before abruptly leaving."
5. Baby Bucks.
"British household products company Reckitt Benckiser is acquiring Glenview-based baby formula maker Mead Johnson for $16.6 billion in a move that will help the company grow in China," AP reports.
"Reckitt Benckiser . . . makes products ranging from condoms to Lysol."
So a perfect fit.
6. Lincoln Logs.
"A once in a lifetime opportunity sat inside Pinnacle Bank Arena Friday morning," the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal Star reports.
"That's why 31-year-old Matt Mau of Waco took half a day off work and drove to Lincoln to sit outside in 35-degree weather.
"The Chicago Cubs Trophy Tour made a stop in the city, allowing about 500 people to take photos with the 2016 World Series trophy."
7. Damage Control.
"After William Hope Jr. was killed during an altercation with two Chicago police officers in 2010, a jury sent the police department a stern message, awarding the man's family $4.5 million," the Tribune reports.
"That was for compensatory damages, paid for by city taxpayers. But the jury went a step further and ordered the two officers, Armando Ugarte and Michael St. Clair II, to each personally pay $10,000 in punitive damages to Hope's estate.
"It was a rare penalty that juries in civil lawsuits often reserve for particularly egregious cases of police misconduct.
"But the officers never had to pay. Instead, their lawyers, who also work for the city, and the plaintiff's attorneys negotiated away the damages.
"In case after case, a Tribune analysis of court records found, the state law that requires officers to pay punitive damages in civil lawsuits is routinely undercut by negotiations absolving them of the penalties."
8. Trump's Thug.
"Torrence Cooks was stunned last week when he saw a Cleveland-area pastor tell President Donald Trump on live TV that 'top gang thugs' in Chicago wanted to work with the new administration to quell the city's relentless gun violence," the Tribune reports.
"A self-styled anti-violence activist, Cooks could hardly believe that he was the supposed 'thug' the pastor was referring to or that his simple idea of organizing a field trip to Washington, D.C., had now mushroomed into something much, much bigger."
Top thugs are working on it. Top. Thugs.
9. Easy, D.
"Microsoft Corp.'s decision to move its regional headquarters to downtown Detroit from the suburbs has talking heads all atwitter. Why stop there?" Detroit Free Press columnist Daniel Howes writes.
"For the first time in who knows when, southeast Michigan and the reinventing city at its core can legitimately compete to become the regional headquarters of choice for the Midwest. That's an honor for way too long owned by Chicago.
"Yes, the mind reels: Detroit, not Chicago. Woodward Avenue, not the Magnificent Mile. The Lions and Pistons, not the Bears and the Bulls. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, one of the best in North America with direct flights around the globe, not the reliably choked Chicago O'Hare."
Yes, the mind reels. Easy, cowboy.
10. Hence, Pence.
"The new governor of Indiana on Thursday pardoned a wrongfully convicted Chicago-area man who spent nearly a decade in prison for an armed robbery and shooting, marking what experts say is the first time in that state's history a gubernatorial pardon was granted based on actual innocence," the Tribune reports.
"Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he had thought about Keith Cooper and the campaign promise he made to pardon him every day since he took the oath of office about one month ago. Cooper's request had remained in limbo for nearly three years, and now-Vice President Mike Pence left the Indiana governor's office without acting."
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Posted on February 10, 2017
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