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The [Tuesday] Papers

1. NIU vs. Who?

"If the businessmen had taken an unimpassioned look at the financial fundamentals of the football program at the University of Alabama-Birmingham on a late May day in 2015, they would have left it in the dustbin," the New York Times reports.

Six months earlier, the president of the university, Dr. Ray Watts, had shut down the debt-ridden program. Now, 25 of the region's business moguls were gathered on the 14th floor of the university's administration building with Watts. They did what they were not expected to do, pledging $5.2 million to help bring back the program.

"It was not a UAB thing, it was a Birmingham thing," said Hatton Smith, a Birmingham native and one of the businessmen in the room.

Now look at UAB football, and Birmingham. In an era when there are routine calls to dismantle expensive, money-losing college football programs and high school students are shying from the game over concerns about safety, the U.A.B. story is the ultimate unicorn. It fits no larger trend, other than football remaining very popular in the South. Still, it is entirely possible this would not have happened at any other university with UAB's fact pattern.

The Blazers returned to action in 2017, going 8-5 and losing to Ohio University in the Bahamas Bowl. They are 10-3 this season, winning Conference USA, and will play Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl [tonight].

2. Judas Priests.

"Eighteen Jesuit priests with ties to Chicago-area institutions were named on a list released Monday alleging instances of sexual abuse dating back more than six decades, including one defrocked priest who was convicted of sex crimes in federal court," the Tribune reports.

"The Midwest Province Jesuits, part of a Catholic religious order known for its focus on education, released a list of dozens of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse to their names since 1955."

Since 1955. Credible allegations. Let that sink in.


"I think in the past, church leaders tried to avoid scandal," Paulson told the Tribune. "But I think now we realize the greater scandal is keeping this information in our drawer."

3. The One Thing John Wayne Gacy Would Never Admit.

4. McDonald Delay.

"A Cook County judge will delay her announcement on the guilt or innocence of three current or former Chicago cops on trial on charges of covering up the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald," the Tribune reports.

"After hearing closing arguments Dec. 6, Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson said she would issue her findings Wednesday. But in an e-mail Wednesday afternoon, the trial's media coordinator said the decision would be delayed.

"Attorneys are still expected to appear Wednesday in Stephenson's courtroom. She could set a new date for her to announce her decision.

"No reason was given for the delay, but Stephenson could simply need more time to examine the voluminous evidence in the high-profile case."

My understanding is that that is the most likely reason. It can take months for judges (and their clerks, if they have them) to review, research and write these decisions.


I remain curious about the judge - not much has been written about her. I dove into the archives and came up with just these items:

"For years, she was known previously in the Criminal Courts Building as a hard-working, if low-profile, assistant state's attorney," the Sun-Times reported in a trial preview last month.

"Stephenson's low-key demeanor on the bench is a contrast to the more gregarious personality of Judge Vincent Gaughan, who presided over the trial of Jason Van Dyke.

"A career prosecutor before she was appointed to the bench, Stephenson worked with [officer David] March's attorney, Jim McKay, then a well known Cook County prosecutor, on the 2000 trial of three men charged with the murder of community activist Arnold Mireles. Mireles was slain over reporting a bad landlord to the city, and the trial resulted in conviction of the three men."


And from the Tribune in 2000:

"For the Dunne vacancy, Domenica Stephenson, an assistant state's attorney who has a fine record as a trial lawyer, is the choice. Stephenson recently worked with State's Atty. Dick Devine in the prosecution of three men found guilty in the murder of community policing activist Arnold Mireles."


UPDATE: Apologies, somehow I missed this Trib profile of Stephenson:

"When the unprecedented trial over an alleged cover-up by Chicago police in Laquan McDonald's fatal shooting gets underway Tuesday, the spotlight will fall on a Cook County judge praised for her legal chops but unfamiliar to the pressure of handling a so-called heater case.

"Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson, who will be sitting in judgment in what's expected to be a weeklong bench trial, has more than a decade of experience but was only assigned her own courtroom a year and a half ago.

"A former Cook County prosecutor, Stephenson, 56, is regarded as quiet and low-key - the polar opposite of the veteran judge who oversaw Officer Jason Van Dyke's recent trial on murder charges stemming from McDonald's shooting."

Click through for the rest, which includes a discussion of whether she is biased toward the police.


Thanks, Tribune!

P.S.: I absolutely appreciate it when someone points out if I've missed something, so don't be shy. I don't ever want to leave readers with a false impression.

5. Go Spiders!

Rooting for you. #TeamSpiders




Female workers formerly employed by Millennium Station Burger King demand owner pay tens of thousands of dollars in wages they are rightfully owed after filing class action lawsuit

What: Elected officials, faith leaders and lawyers will join workers, community organizations, and community members to demand that the Millennium Station Burger cooperate in a class action lawsuit and pay workers their stolen wages before the holidays.

Who: Alba, a former Burger King worker, female workers, City Clerk Anna Valencia, Cook County Commissioner Alma Anaya, Presbyterian Reverend Nayoung Ha, community residents and community organizations, Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA) lawyers, HANA Center, community leaders with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos.

When: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 11 a.m.

Where: Millennium Station Entrance | 77 E Randolph (In front of the Chicago Cultural Center)

Background: In Cook County, low-wage workers lose $7.3 million in stolen wages every week when employers pay less than minimum wage, fail to pay overtime, force employees to work off the clock, shave hours off checks or abscond without paying workers. Across the state, bad employers steal $625 million a year in wages from nearly a quarter of Illinois workers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Workers should be able to rely on the paychecks they have earned. But instead, employers often give them the runaround when they ask to be paid in full and on time. The service industry - one of the backbones of Illinois' economy - is powered by low-wage workers who are struggling to survive economically.

On June 21st, members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos formerly employed by the Millennium Station Burger King announced a class action lawsuit against the restaurant for thousands of dollars of wage theft. These former workers experienced ongoing wage theft and other workplace abuses while working at this franchise, owned by Faisal and Ali Poonja. Acts of wage theft regularly included erasing one to three hours from workers' paychecks and bluntly refusing to give workers their final checks.

Over the past six months, workers have consistently picketed in front of Millennium Station and talked to hundreds of concerned customers and community members. Meanwhile the franchise owners have continued to avoid accountability. This December, while the Burger King franchise owners are able to enjoy a happy holiday season, workers continue to deal with the harmful ongoing effects of wage theft.

"We have been fighting for the last six months and we will not stop until our money is returned to us. It is not fair that we are robbed. With our hard work, they are getting richer while we are in need of that money for our expenses, our families, and under the conditions. The refrigerators do not work. We have to do double the work. I have had to do the work of two people. A lot of work, and they are robbing us. It is not fair," said Alba, a former Burger King worker."


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Chicagoetry: Springsteen On Broadway (My Cousin Nora)
Mom grew up at 197 Liberty Street.



Dumb advice about Mold-O-Roma from r/chicago





Procession For Two Chicago Police Officers Hit By Train.



Take A Look Back At Chicago's Tri-Taylor Neighborhood In 1971.


A sampling.




GOP = treasonous.






The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Divey.


Posted on December 18, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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