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Spiking food and gas prices hit Chicago neighborhoods hard – Chicago Tribune

Good morning, Chicago.

As Donald Trump and Mike Pence take center stage at the Jan. 6 committee hearings, they will be making visits to Illinois to stump for candidates before the primary.

The former president will hold a Downstate rally in support of freshman US Rep. Mary Miller, whom he endorsed in a one-on-one Republican matchup with five-term US Rep. Rodney Davis. His visit will follow stops on Monday in Chicago and Peoria by former Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn his 2020 election defeat came into ever-clearer focus Thursday, with testimony at the Jan. 6 committee hearing describing his pressing Pence in vulgar private taunts and public entreaties to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the run-up to the Capitol insurrection. Rioters came within 40 feet of the place at the Capitol where Pence and others had been evacuated.

Here are takeaways from the committee’s third public hearing this month.

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“I can’t keep up.” It’s a refrain that was heard across the city well before the Federal Reserve announced it was hiking interest rates 0.75%. The hope was that higher interest rates will help combat inflation, officials said, which in May rose 8.6% compared with the prior year.

But despite rising interest rates, relief from inflation won’t come quickly, warned Phillip Braun, a clinical professor of finance at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Despite the Fed’s interest rate hike, Braun said he expects inflation to remain high throughout this year and likely well into 2023.

For more than 2 1/2 years, the ubiquitous catch phrase “school safety” was inextricably tied to COVID-19 protocol requiring masking, social distancing and a slate of other virus mitigation strategies at Illinois schools throughout the pandemic.

But the recent school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 students and two teachers were killed, was a jarring reminder to Illinois educators and law enforcement that school safety plans to prevent and respond to violent incidents remain a priority, despite the lingering pandemic.

Chicago and most of the surrounding area has returned to a medium COVID-19 transmission level with case numbers dropping and lower hospitalization rates. Cook County, including Chicago, dropped to a medium rating on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention metric Thursday.

As of late Thursday, Kane, Lake and DuPage counties were also rated medium, while McHenry County was listed at low transmission for COVID-19. Will County stayed high, as did Kendall, DeKalb and Kankakee counties.

Cook County prosecutors are investigating Parlor Pizza Bar’s tax payments. Last month, authorities issued a subpoena for records related to the trendy restaurant chain’s payment of city restaurant taxes. The subpoena required the department to include a schedule of each year’s month-by-month sales submitted by each location “for each and every year the businesses have been operating in the city of Chicago.”

The document was obtained by the Tribune via a Freedom of Information Act request. The subpoena marks the latest development in a string of problems for Parlor, which has also been investigated by the city for alleged sexual harassment, discrimination and labor law violations.

After sharing his story about how karaoke has become a healing factor for him and has led him through some adventures in life, David Woulard prepared to do what he does best. Woulard stomped his foot, played air guitar and at one point dropped to his knees as he sang “All These Things I’ve Done” by The Killers, rarely paying attention to the lyrics on the screen.

His performance was one of seven that night at Karaoke Storytellers’ 38th show. The show is a combination of storytelling and karaoke, where performers tell a story tied to a song then sing the related song. “Karaoke Storytellers has been a grind for much of its history,” Gorman said. “I’ve always felt like it wasn’t necessarily getting the opportunity it deserves.”

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