Third Coast Today

Welcome to Third Coast Today, our curated, of-the-moment rundown of the latest news in Chicago politics, education, business and finance. We'll cover Chicago, the state of Illinois and other news of interest to our arts-and-culture fiend readers. Catch it here for updates every weekday or check it out on our home page--in the first right-hand column.

State Sen. McCann Files Petitions For Governor’s Race

State Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview) formally filed petitions for his candidacy for Governor Monday, challenging incumbent Bruce Rauner from the right. “This is about a calling,” McCann said after he filed some 65,000 petitions, more than double the amount needed to qualify to run as an independent or member of a third party. “This is about doing what’s right. It’s about restoring people’s faith in our state and in our nation…that we can have servant-driven leadership and not politicians who serve themselves.” McCann, who is running as a candidate for the “Conservative Party,” has nearly $300,000 in campaign funds, making his bid an uphill battle against the more than $210 million Rauner and Democratic challenger JB Pritzker have raised. (State Journal-Register)

Pfleger Calls For Dan Ryan Shutdown To Protest Gun Violence

Fr. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, announced more details of his plan to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway in July to protest gun violence. Earlier this month he called on attendees of the annual peace march in the neighborhood to join him on July 7th to shut down the expressway. “We will disrupt the flow of traffic because gun violence has disrupted the lives of thousands Chicagoans,” Pfleger wrote Monday on Facebook. “We want our city to act vigorously to bring about systemic change and real solutions….for our children!” Protesters are expected to assemble at 79th and the Dan Ryan at 9:45AM. (Chicago Tribune)

Developer Unveils Plans To Renovate Union Station

Developers unveiled plans for renovating Union Station on Monday that would add hotel and residential units in a seven-story glass and steel structure that would be built on top of the current building. The new structure would have a hollow center, which would allow daylight into the Great Hall below. The space would contain 404 residential units and a 330-room hotel, and developers say would create 6,000 temporary construction and 600 permanent new jobs. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) says what was proposed was better than the initial proposal, but will withhold judgement until after he hears from his constituents. (Crain’s Chicago)

Chicago Non-Profit Housing at Least 66 Migrant Children Separated from Their Families

At least 66 migrant children who were separated from their families in the past six weeks at the border due to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy are being housed in Chicago by a local non-profit. The Heartland Alliance, which provides housing and legal assistance to immigrants, said that 66 out of 451 children it houses are migrants that were separated from their families. “These children are scared when they arrive at our doors,” said Evelyn Diaz, president of the organization. “And I can tell you my staff — who are clinicians, teachers and family reunification specialists — are doing everything in their power to make a horrible situation less scary, to provide comfort and support to the children and to reunite them with their families as quickly as possible.” On Friday, Senator Dick Durbin toured one of the facilities. (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago City Council Targets Sex Workers With Anti Loitering Ordinance

The Chicago City Council plans to toughen anti loitering laws, a move that some say will curb crime but others say will encroach on civil liberties. On Friday the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety agreed to an ordinance put forth by West Side Alderman Jason Ervin (28th) which outlaws “prostitution-related loitering.” The measure gives the power to Chicago Police to designate areas of the city where suspected sex workers could be dispersed for a period of 8 hours. “It’s an issue of supply and demand. We’re trying to focus on the demand side of the equation. If no one is there to purchase the service, the supply side has to move elsewhere,” said Ervin. Civil liberties advocates however, worry that the measure is too broad and vague, and could encourage police to disperse, detain, or arrest people for what “may be innocent and constitutionally protected behavior.” (Sun-Times)

Parkland Students Kick Off Bus Tour in Chicago

Student survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida kicked off their multi-state “Road to Change” bus tour over the weekend in Chicago and the suburbs. “Our voices your voices united are stronger than anything else,” said Kyra Simon of the Parkland students at St Sabina’s annual peace march on Chicago’s South Side. “Us together, we’re going to make the movement what it needs to be – united. All of your voices, no matter where you come from, your community, your economic background, matter.” On Saturday, they attended a town hall meeting in suburban Naperville. (Nation of Change)

Sun-Times to Sell Chicago Reader to Chicago Crusader

The Chicago Sun-Times will sell its ownership of the Chicago Reader to Chicago Crusader publisher Dorothy Leavell. The deal, which is expected to close in 30 days, was announced Friday at the Rainbow PUSH Convention. “I am so honored to have had an opportunity to stand here to say to you that not only am I the publisher of the Chicago Crusader and the Gary Crusader but now the Chicago Reader,” said Leavell, who has published the Chicago and Gary Crusader papers for 50 years. In a written statement Leavell said the goal of the new ownership is “to preserve and strengthen this brand and to make the paper accessible to all Chicago communities.” (Chicago Reader)

Walgreens to Relocate to Old Post Office

Walgreens plans to relocate its Deerfield headquarters to the Loop in the fall of 2019, moving some 1,300 employees from the suburbs to the city. The company will move to a 200,000-square-foot space in Chicago’s Old Post Office building at 433 West Van Buren. In total, the company will have about 1,800 employees in the space. (Sun-Times)

Elon Musk to Build O’Hare Express Tunnel

City officials confirmed Thursday that they’ve selected billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and his Boring company to construct an autonomous high speed transit system that will take passengers from Block 37 in the Loop to O’Hare Airport. “Bringing Chicago’s economic engines closer together will keep the city on the cutting edge of progress, create thousands of good-paying jobs and strengthen our great city for future generations,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This transformative project will help Chicago write the next chapter in our legacy of innovation and invention.” The underground transit system will use “autonomous electric skates” that travel at speeds of 125-150mph to transport vehicles containing between 8 and 16 passengers. Officials say the project will allegedly be privately funded, and is expected to cost just under $1 billion. (NBC5)

Block Club Chicago Officially Launches

Block Club Chicago officially launched its subscription based news service Wednesday, after securing initial startup funds via Kickstarter and other donors and initially rolling out some stories over the past few months on the platform Medium. “We are incredibly excited to get back to covering neighborhood news,” said Shamus Toomey, editor-in-chief and co-founder in a statement. “We want to thank our readers for their patience and officially say: ‘We’re back!’” The site was founded by former editors of DNAinfo, which was shuttered along with Chicagoist last year by billionaire owner Joe Ricketts after employees attempted to unionize. “Our entire team believes in this so wholeheartedly, and after hearing from our readers and supporters, we think we can give Chicago the community-level journalism it needs and deserves,” said Jen Sabella, co-founder and director of strategy. (Robert Feder)