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Mayor Rahm Emanuel chats with Skinner North Classical School student Erin Chapman (left), 10, after announcing the opening of Barack Obama College Preparatory High School, on Thursday. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Mitchell: Timing all wrong for Rahm's new Obama H.S.

Racism over, ‘merit’ to rule college admissions

The strange, random, mysterious, unfair, unscientific, skewed, debated and complex college admissions process ust got stranger, more random, etc. Tuesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that says public colleges there can’t consider race or sex when admitting students. Trumpet-playing yes, football ability, definitely. Volunteering, yes. Scores on tests designed to reward certain kinds of smarts? Absolutely. Race and gender? No.

Democratic Super Donors Meeting in Chicago

WASHINGTON--New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hits Chicago on Sunday to kick off the annual spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance--the organization whose members are mega donors to Democrats and Democratic causes. It's a quick trip for the New York mayor with no other meetings or events on his schedule, Manhattan City Hall tells me. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Emanuel fires back at Rauner for anti-property tax robo-calls

The mayor doesn’t need Rauner — the mayor’s longtime friend and former business associate — making robo-calls to thousands of Chicago property owners urging them to pressure Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the bill that sets the stage for that increase by increasing employee contributions by 29 percent and reducing employee benefits.

Clean Energy: A Very Chicago Enterprise

Earlier this month I attended the Clean Energy Trust’s Clean Energy Challenge, where teams of entrepreneurial students pitched a series of ideas that could set the world on a better path by using the free market to attack serious problems looming

A worker adjusting hoses during a hydraulic fracturing operation last month at an Encana Corp. gas well, near Mead, Colo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Fracking in Illinois said to be at 'grinding halt'

Last year, Illinois patted itself on the back for enacting legislation to govern hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that has what Gov. Pat Quinn called the best environmental protections in the nation. Now, some of those involved in the negotiations are fretting that the deal could become the legislative equivalent of a dry well.

Brent Vincent Betterly (from left), Jared Chase and Brian Church | Chicago Police photos

Prosecutors seek 14-year prison terms for NATO 3

Cook County prosecutors are seeking 14-year prison sentences for the three out-of-town protesters known as the NATO 3, according to a 48-page prosecution memo.

Women wait for a bus after their grocery shopping in Los Angeles in 2012. (AP File Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Aldermen move to ban plastic bags

With self-congratulation but no debate, Chicago aldermen agreed Thursday to ban plastic bags but exempt restaurants and small independent retailers in a move that will require consumers to dramatically change their shopping habits.

GOP lawmaker: 'Men are more motivated' than women

A Republican lawmaker from New Hampshire has finally figured out why women make less than men: They're not as motivated, they shy away from working nights and weekends, and the ladies definitely don't like to work outdoors.

Friends and relatives wrote dozens of letters to the judge in Carla Oglesby's money laundering case, praising her kindness and humility and seeking leniency. The judge on Wednesday sentenced her to 6 1/2 years in prison. | Sun-Times Media File Photo

In letter to judge, Ald. Austin praises convicted Stroger aide

Dozens of letters to a Cook County judge praised Carla Oglesby, a former aide to then-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger as humble, helpful and kind. Prosecutors see her differently. Oglesby was sentenced Wednesday to 6 1/2 years in prison for money-laundering and theft.

Why police recover more guns in Chicago than any other city

It’s not news that Chicago has a gun problem. But that doesn’t make it any more palatable for Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, a firm believer in systems management and improved gun laws as he works to reduce crime in the city.