Erin Allen: Good morning, welcome to Friday. I’m Erin Allen and this is The Rundown.
Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us and I hope your travel plans are made, if you have any, as the extended travel period for Turkey Days starts today and doesn’t end until November 27th. And all of you, us out here. The Transportation Security Administration expects airport security checkpoints to be busier than last year and possibly close to pre-pandemic levels. TSA Midwest spokeswoman Jessica Mayle says Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday will be particularly busy both statewide and in Chicago. Mayle says checkpoints move faster when passengers pack smart. That’s you, pack smart. And if you’re traveling with Thanksgiving side dishes, gravy and cranberry sauce are considered liquid, so pack them in your checked baggage. Or maybe you risk it and buy them after you land? Up to you.
And the holiday season is also the start of flu season. This year, some healthcare professionals are particularly concerned about what they are calling a triple demia. dr Larry Kociolek of Lurie Children’s Hospital joins public health officials in warning people about COVID, RSV and the flu. There is no vaccine for RSV but they are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID 19 and the flu ahead of the holiday season. Illinois health officials say we should be really worried about children because of their lack of immunity, and they expect infection rates will rise, putting a heavy strain on hospitals.
Cook County commissioners yesterday approved a more than $8 billion 2023 budget excluding new taxes, but they are concerned about spending associated with the sheriff’s office. My colleague Kristen Schorsch has more on this.
Kristen Schorsch: Commissioners oversee a vast court and prison system. But they have overwhelmingly advocated diverting money from the police following the murder of George Floyd. During a board meeting, Commissioner Brandon Johnson voted against hiring social workers who would handle 911 calls during a mental health crisis. He supports the effort but doesn’t want funding to flow through the sheriff’s office.
BrandonJohnson: It’s hard for me to support an action that will continue to take the approach that many people in my community don’t really trust.
Erin Allen: Other commissioners promised to find another source of funding, but stressed that they wanted to go ahead and get the program up and running.
The Illinois State Board of Education yesterday voted to close the downtown campus of the once-announced Urban Prep Charter School in Chicago. The board said the all-boys school, which focuses on black teens, has failed to meet its enrollment goals for years. The downtown campus has only 51 students. It closes at the end of the school year and students can enroll at Urban Prep’s other two campuses. These were recently taken over by the Chicago Board of Education after being subpoenaed for mismanagement and financial turmoil.
So you’re using the internet right now to listen to this podcast. But you might assume that Internet access is actually not that accessible. My colleague Adora Namigadde says churches across Illinois are working to address this.
Adora Namigadde: Comcast has donated 200 laptops to pastors to support federal affordable connectivity program. It can cover up to $30 per month in eligible household Internet expenses. Pastor Ira Acree of Chicago’s Greater St. John Bible Church says it’s critical for people in poorer communities to take advantage of such programs.
Ira Acree: And it might not sound like a lot of money to some people, but for the working poor, if you can put $400 a year back in your pocket, some important bills are taken care of.
Erin Allen: A study conducted earlier this year uncovered wide disparities in Internet access across Chicago neighborhoods.
And a few quick shots before we get to the weather. Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he will not run for mayor next year. And if records are your thing, the bad news is that Dave’s Records and Lincoln Park are closing after 20 years as the building that houses the store is due for demolition, according to Block Club Chicago. The good news is that they have some record buy one get one sales going into next month. And construction at the Obama Center has resumed after being halted because a noose was found at the site, but investigations into who is responsible for the noose are ongoing.
Slightly cooler outside today than yesterday high in the upper 20’s. Some snow this morning and then cloudy skies in the afternoon. Tonight some clouds will move low around 8pm. And that’s it for this morning, this afternoon: a very special and hilarious Chicago, and passed by Navy Pier and sat down with my little old me.
Hannibal Buress: Hey wassup, this is Hannibal Burris, Eshu Tune and I make music.
Erin Allen: That was Eshu Tune, his stage name, because in case you haven’t heard, Hannibal Burres has released a new single. I’m going to talk to him about it and how he’s been making music for a while. That’s coming this afternoon on The Rundown. I’m Erin Allen, then talk to you.
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