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The [Wednesday] Papers

"One of the three senior citizens about to go on trial for allegedly plotting an armored car robbery and break-in at the home of a deceased mob boss pleaded guilty this morning - and another one was set to plead," the Tribune reports.

"[The] third defendant, Arthur Rachel, has decided to go ahead with the trial and fight the charges against him."


"The three defendants, all in their 70s, were charged with racketeering and conspiracy in connection with allegedly plotting an armored car robbery and a break-in at the home of dead mob boss Angelo LaPietra. Prosecutors said the trio hoped to find a hidden stash of valuables in the house.

"[Joseph] Scalise and [Arthur] Rachel, both reputed Chicago Outfit members, are well-known for robbing a London jeweler in 1980 of the 45-carat Marlborough Diamond. They served 13-year prison terms, but the diamond was never recovered."


"The [Marlborough diamond] robbers were less efficient covering their tracks than they were with the robbery and within 11 hours of the raid were arrested as they stepped off a British Airways plane in Chicago," the BBC says.

"The thieves were named as Joseph Scalise and Arthur Rachel - both Chicago Mob gangsters.

"The men were extradited to England where they were tried and imprisoned for nine years, but the Marlborough diamond has never been recovered."


"Two Chicago men - one said to be a master thief, the other a near genius - were arrested as they stepped off a flight from London 12 hours after a $3.4 million jewelry theft there that included the 48-carat Marlborough diamond," AP reported at the time.


Here's the report NBC Chicago's John Cochran filed back then:


See also: Secret Recordings Reveal How Three Aging Robbers Plotted Heist


Scalise's attorney remains Ed Genson after all these years. Which gives me the opportunity to once again refer y'all to the profile of Genson I did in 2005 when I worked at Chicago magazine: The Devils' Advocate.

Liar's Poker
Rahm's Cute Concessions Still Leave Huge Freakin' Holes In Our Civil Liberties.

Junior's Warm
"Both sides in the hotly contested Democratic primary election match-up between Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and former Rep. Debbie Halvorson released recent poll results to the Sun-Times Tuesday - and each portrayed their poll as good news for their side," the paper reports.

"Both polls find Jackson 13 or 14 points ahead of Halvorson."

So how does Halvorson portray that as good news?

"Halvorson said that with the incumbent polling so low, she sees a 'path to victory' for herself, especially with so many voters in the district telling her they don't like Jackson: 'I don't barely have time to get my name out and they say, Oh, you've got my vote,' Halvorson said."

A) Maybe that's why her name recognition is still so low (56 percent); she doesn't even have time to get it out!

B) Clearly, substantially more voters are saying the same thing to Jackson.

C) Clearly, Halvorson sees a path to victory for the GOP presidential nominee given that the incumbent is polling near or below Jackson.

D) Even after having negative statements read to them about Jackson, including the ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation into whether Junior improperly used the resources of his office to campaign for an appointment to the U.S. Senate, Halvorson was losing.

It's not that the race is sewn up for Jackson. Not at all. It's just that spin makes me nauseous. I'd rather Halvorson just say, "We're still down but we're gonna keep working" and leave it at that.

Worst To First
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel will propose a 'Chicago first' ordinance designed to give Chicago-based companies a better chance of winning a share of the $2 billion in contracts City Hall makes each year," Crain's reports.

The new ordinance would replace the Daley First program.

Cab Crab
It now costs $3.25 just to get into a cab in Chicago.

Tide Wide
"A new, upscale dry cleaning chain owned by Procter & Gamble Co. and named after its Tide detergent is coming to the Chicago area," Crain's reports.

"According to brokers at Baum Realty Group, who represented Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, a Tide Dry Cleaners will open a 3,000-square-foot drive-through franchise in west suburban Naperville next summer.

"The business will include 24-hour pick-up, alterations, same-day service - and clothes that come back tinged with that classic Tide scent rather than chemicals."

You know, to hide the scent of chemicals.


"The American Chemical Society designated the development of Tide as the first heavy-duty synthetic detergent a National Historic Chemical Landmark on October 25, 2006."

Dirty Thirty
Thirty Fortune 500 Companies Spent More On Lobbying Than Taxes.

Four were based in Illinois: Boeing, Integrys Energy Group, Baxter International, and Navistar International.

Corporate Welfare
"Gov. Pat Quinn's administration said Tuesday that it has pledged more than $2.6 million incentives to a manufacturing company to create 100 jobs in the state's north central region," the Tribune reports.

"In exchange for the incentives, Pekin, Ill.-based Excel Foundry & Machine, a maker of bronze parts for machines used in the mining industry, plans to invest $7.4 million to build a warehouse and expand its office space and its foundry."

So if the state hadn't given Excel Foundry the money to create 100 jobs at $260,000 per it wouldn't have invested $7.4 million to expand? I don't get it.

Paging Pat Quinn, the poker game starts at 9 . . . bring beer.


"The state's package includes more than $1 million in tax credits and training funds, a $750,000 grant and more than $859,000 for road improvements."

Huh. I hate to say it, but I think I'd rather have had Bain make the deal.


"This is the second incentives package for Excel Foundry & Machine, which employs 230. Through October, the company was eligible to claim $392,697 in tax credits from a 2004 incentives package to create at least 15 jobs in Pekin."


Yeah, well, Excel already has quite a few openings and I have a feeling they would have expanded without the taxpayers' generous contributions.

After all . . .

"Having seen record profits in the first quarter of 2011, Pekin-based Excel Foundry and Machine plans to expand its operations - and increase the size of its workforce - to take advantage of growth in the global mining industry," the Pekin Daily-Times reported in spring.

"The business has grown from $10 million in earnings in 2000 to $100 million in 2011," the paper noted in its report today.

Quaker Shaker
Maybe Excel could fund their expansion this way.

The Student Newscast . . .
. . . Chicago Academy High School Didn't Want You To See.

Fantasy Fix: Ditching Joakim Noah
And the rest of the deadweight on your roster.

When Glencoe Was Fun
As remembered by Blind John Davis.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Blind man's bluff.


Posted on January 18, 2012

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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