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Justin Kaufmann
16 hours ago - News

Metal shredder permit stalls on Southeast side

Metal shredder on waterfront
Southside Recycling's new facility on the Calumet River on Chicago's Southeast side. Photo: Kelter Davis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Last week, the city of Chicago delayed a public hearing on issuing a permit for metal shredder Southside Recycling. Again.

Why it matters: The shredder has run into controversy from both the federal government and residents after it secured a written agreement with the city to build on the Southeast Side.

  • The Latino-majority neighborhood has been fighting back against industry and pollution, including the recent high-profile fight over manganese (petcoke).
Monica Eng
18 hours ago - COVID

CPS COVID testing enrollments well below goal

Data: CPS; Note: Schools reporting more than 100% enrollment were omitted; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios
Data: CPS; Note: Schools reporting more than 100% enrollment were omitted; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

One goal of the recent CTU-CPS agreement was to get 100% of students enrolled in opt-in COVID-19 surveillance testing by February.

Progress: CPS CEO Pedro Martinez announced last week that districtwide enrollment has doubled since December, with 82,683 students now opted in.

  • That's less than a third of students in district-run schools and a far cry from 100%.
Monica Eng
18 hours ago - Things to Do

Best Day Ever: culture commissioner Erin Harkey

Woman in building.
Cultural commissioner Erin Harkey. Courtesy of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Erin Harkey was confirmed as Chicago's new Commissioner for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events last month as the city's arts community is still recovering from deep pandemic losses.

  • In a Crain's op-ed, Harkey detailed how she aims to support that recovery with $26 million in new arts investment from the latest city budget.
Yacob Reyes
Jan 25, 2022

House ethics panel investigates Rep. Marie Newman for alleged bribery

Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) said Monday there is "substantial reason to believe" that Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) offered a job to a potential primary opponent to keep him from running in 2020.

Driving the news: Newman is alleged to have "promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support" and if proved, she may have federal law and House rules. Newman strongly denies the allegations.

Justin Kaufmann
Jan 24, 2022 - Sports

MMQB: Bears conducting second interviews

Coach with a headset.
Jim Caldwell watches the action during a game against the Packers in 2017. Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images

It was hard to watch the NFL playoffs this weekend without the Bears. It was even harder to keep up with the organization's slew of head coach interviews.

Here's a quick update to cut through the clutter on the potential front-runners for the Bears head coaching vacancy:

Monica Eng
Jan 24, 2022 - COVID

CPS addresses COVID under-counting charges

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

CPS officials did not respond to allegations of under-reporting COVID-19 cases in schools last week, but finally released a statement on it Friday night.

  • Officials said that after the winter break, they changed the kinds of cases they report at the school level. They stopped reporting new "open" cases and only reported "closed cases" that have already been "reviewed and investigated," which can take weeks.
Monica Eng
Jan 24, 2022 - COVID

Vaccination bright spot: Cristo Rey High School

School with kids out front
Students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. Photo courtesy of Cristo Rey

CPS announced last week that 53% of its high schoolers and about a third of elementary school students are now vaccinated, an improvement over fall figures.

But at least one school, a Catholic high school in Pilsen, has achieved 100% vaccination.

Must watch: Chicago TV and more

Woman in a pink dress on Fallon show.
Actress Bridget Everett talked about her new show with Jimmy Fallon last week. Photo: Paula Lobo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

👋 Hi, Justin here! The Netflix smash hit Ozark returns today for its fourth and final season.

  • If mafia/drug cartel/Missouri lake shows aren't your thing, here are a couple shows featuring Chicago ready for your binging pleasure.