Daywatch: Can Chicago reverse a two-year spike in gun violence? | Park District wants to keep the lawsuit away from the public

Good morning Chicago.

The first three months of 2022 saw both fatal and non-fatal shootings in Chicago. And while these are welcome statistics after a two-year spike in gun violence, the Tribune’s Annie Sweeney reports: Experts warned it was too early to say if the city is finally coming out of a high crime season.

Asiaha Butler, a longtime organizer at Englewood, has observed how crime has fluctuated over the years: “It shouldn’t be a story that crime has gone down. Hopefully that should be the norm.”

And in the latest from Ukraine, Russia is facing a new wave of condemnation after evidence emerged of what appeared to be premeditated killings of civilians.

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

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The Chicago Park District is set to settle a public lawsuit against Mayor Lori Lightfoot over obscene comments

The Chicago Park District has filed a motion trying to seal a lawsuit alleging Mayor Lori Lightfoot verbally abused an attorney and used obscene language in a Zoom call about a Christopher Columbus statue – an unusual move that would leave the public in the dark about the case.

The Park District argues that the case should be sealed to protect its interests as it defends a separate lawsuit filed by an Italian-American group over Lightfoot’s removal of a statue of Columbus in Little Italy. It’s rare for an entire case to be sealed from the public, experts said.

Crime and budget take center stage for Illinois lawmakers as Friday’s session concludes

With their abbreviated election-year session due to end Friday, Illinois lawmakers are anxious to leave Springfield for the campaign trail, but they must first deal with issues expected to play a significant role in the upcoming election will play: Fighting crime and creating a government spending plan with a rare projected surplus.

Elections often generate unforeseen dynamics, and amid national and local concerns about an inflationary economy, violent crime and corruption, and a never-ending pandemic, Democrats have been forced to defend themselves after years of enjoying supermajorities in the General Assembly and their power in the US once republican wealthy suburbs had sprawled.

Longtime Fenwick High School teacher suspended after complaint from former student

A longtime teacher and former coach at Fenwick High School in Oak Park was placed on administrative leave following a complaint from a former student of alleged inappropriate behavior.

In a letter to Fenwick’s parents, Rev. Richard Peddicord, the Catholic High School’s president, said: “A Fenwick graduate has posted a video detailing her experience as a student at Fenwick and our handling of a serious matter involving the one faculty member involved should be detailed.”

The Tribune does not name the teacher because he has not been charged with a crime. The teacher issued a statement through a lawyer denying the allegations.

A Chicago Bears stadium in Arlington Heights could receive public aid, the village mayor says, but resources are limited

After the mayor of Arlington Heights initially downplayed taxpayer subsidies for a proposed Chicago Bears stadium leaves the door open to limited public aid for the project.

Such help could come in the form of a financial district or other local tax district that uses the location’s property taxes to pay for roads, sewers, and other infrastructure. Any proposal would be subject to public consultation. With the Bears hoping to finalize a deal by early 2023, Mayor Tom Hayes said a public hearing will likely take place before the end of this year.

Column: Some of the best veggie tacos in Chicagoland are made at Taco Mucho in Oak Park

Head to the Taco Mucho counter in Oak Park and you’ll see a range of well-known taco fillings like carnitas and carne asada.

Order both because they are excellent. But trust Tribune reviewer Nick Kindelsperger: no order is complete without a toasted poblano con queso taco ($5), one of the best veggie tacos in Chicago.

() Daywatch: Can Chicago reverse a two-year spike in gun violence? | Park District wants to keep the lawsuit away from the public

Jessica MacLeish

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