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Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at the Chicago Public Schools Annual Back to School Inter-Faith Breakfast at the New Life Community Church, 5101 S. Keeler on Tuesday. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Emanuel fires back at City Council's inspector general

Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks to reporters after the Chicago Public Schools Annual Back to School Inter-Faith Breakfast at the New Life Community Church, 5101 S. Keeler, on Tuesday. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Plan to turn 311 into two-way street could help Rahm

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is forging ahead with his plan to turn a 311 non-emergency number that fields 3.4 million calls-a-year into more of a two-way street in a way that could benefit him politically. One year after issuing a request-for-proposals to develop  “constituent relationship management modernization software” for a 311 system virtually unchanged since its launch 15 years ago, City Hall has narrowed the competition to two and will begin contract negotiations with both bidders.


Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett at the Chicago Board of Education meeting on Wednesday. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Chicago Board of Education changes how it ranks schools

Chicago’s Board of Education unanimously changed how it ranks its schools Wednesday, introducing minimums that will benefit the highest-performing schools and potentially lessen the number of schools at the bottom.

Jackie Robinson West Little League players at the rally at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Wednesday. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Emanuel plans funding for city youth baseball, including JRW team

Play ball! Watch for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make a major announcement soon on government funding to finance city youth baseball — including the city’s Jackie Robinson West Little League Team. Sneed hears it could be part of a broader strategy for keeping inner-city kids out of street gangs and giving them the chance to experience all the life lessons taught when participating in our country’s national pastime. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel presides over a City Council meeting in 2013. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

Emanuel super PAC makes first move to elect friendlier aldermen

The $1.35 million-and-counting super PAC created to re-elect Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his aldermanic allies is taking its first concrete step to ensure that Emanuel has even less City Council resistance if he’s re-elected to a second term.

Gov. Pat Quinn talks to Darold Butler, coach of the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars, during Wednesday's rally at Jackie Robinson Park. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

PHOTOS: Politicians cheer on Jackie Robinson West

Thousands cheered on Jackie Robinson West during their downtown rally on Wednesday, and a handful of politicians were on hand as well.

Activist Tom Tresser has set out to do what the city won't: tell us how much of our tax money is sitting in tax increment financing accounts. | Sun-Times file photo

As TIFs keep collecting tax dollars, schools face more cuts

"I don't think it should be too burdensome to tell us how they're spending 1.7 billion of our property tax dollars," activist Tom Tresser said.

Can Karen Lewis guard the henhouse?

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, is clearly preparing to run for mayor of Chicago — filing the necessary forms with the State Board of Elections, circulating petitions to get on the ballot and meeting with community groups. If elected next spring, one of Lewis’ first big jobs as mayor would be to negotiate a new contract with the CTU. Does anybody think that’s a job Karen Lewis could do?

Rod Blagojevich addresses the media as his wife Patti listens outside their home in 2012. File Photo. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

Blago to Patti: ‘The end of this nightmare must surely be near'

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is still awaiting word on his appeal in a federal prison outside of Denver, must be one proud dad.  Sneed is told his daughter, Amy, 18, just got accepted at Northwestern University and will be studying journalism at Medill. “She wants to be a reporter,” said a source.  Meanwhile, Blago’s wife, Patti, posted a wedding anniversary letter from her imprisoned hubby on her Facebook page Monday night.

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