Best-selling author Scott Turow once described the act of being a Chicago Cubs fan as "quasi-spiritual."

He's right. Generations of Cubs fans have come and gone without ever seeing their belief in the team validated. It's been 108 years running without a title.

There's something about that blind faith that feels holy to Chicago's North Siders. Their fandom is purer and more absolute because they give of themselves over and over again and get nothing in return. (No World Series wins, at least.)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has apologized for the death of Laquan McDonald, the black 17-year-old shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2014.

"That happened on my watch," Emanuel said in an emotional address to a special meeting of the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, NPR's David Schaper reports.

"I'm sorry," the mayor said, promising "complete and total reform of the system."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears to be reversing course and says he now "welcomes" a Justice Department investigation in "systemic issues embedded" in the city's police department.

The mayor's office Thursday morning released a statement seeking to "clarify" Emanuel's comments Wednesday, in which he suggested a federal civil rights pattern-and-practice investigation "in my view, would be misguided."

Amid growing criticism, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has dismissed police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

After announcing that he was appointing a task force to look at police accountability, Emanuel said that "public trust" in the city's police force has been "shaken" and "eroded" and so he had asked McCarthy to resign.

Seeking to calm growing criticism about his administration's handling of police misconduct cases, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed a new "police accountability task force."

In a press release, the mayor's office said the task force "will review the system of accountability, training and oversight that is currently in place for Chicago's police officers."

Update at 10:40: p.m. ET: Protesters React To Video Release of Shooting

purple_onion / Creative Commons

It wasn’t that many years ago that gambling was seen as a pretty good bet when it comes to improving the state’s economic situation. In Connecticut, two tribal casinos were thriving and spinning off slot revenues into the general fund. Then came the recession and declining revenues just as other states started to get into the gambling business.

Now, in a move that couldn’t have been predicted a decade ago, both state tribes have agreed to work together on a new casino to help stave off a threat from Massachusetts. That plan is now under legal attack.

A tornado that hit Illinois on Thursday was so massive and the damage so extensive that in some areas, plows had to push debris off the streets so emergency crews could reach survivors.

At least one person died as a result of twisters that raked the state and other areas Thursday. Numerous injuries were also reported.

Health officials in Illinois are trying to find the source of a measles infection, after five babies were diagnosed with the contagious respiratory disease in a Chicago suburb. Saying that more cases are likely, a health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

Because the Illinois patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. The new cluster of cases joins more than 100 other reports of measles in 14 states this year; most of them have been traced to an outbreak at Disneyland in California in December.

When the first pitch is thrown between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, it will mark the start of the 100th professional baseball season at iconic Wrigley Field.

The ball park on Chicago's North Side, known as the Friendly Confines, opened as the home of the Chicago Federals 100 years ago this month.

The Cubs moved there two years later, and in all that time the Cubs have never won a World Series. There hasn't even been a World Series game played at Wrigley since the end of World War II.

Flickr Creative Commons/The U.S. Army

Earlier this week, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees of the university. That could have implications for other student athletes in private universities nationwide, including local schools like the University of Hartford.

This all started because the football players at Northwestern wanted to form a union so they could have collective bargaining rights and better health coverage.

Lots of people in and around Washington, Ill., are referring to the areas devastated by Sunday's tornado as looking like a war zone.

David Casler is among them.

"Right here, right now, if you look around this street, this is a war zone, only no one's shooting at us," he says.

Casler knows the difference. He served as a Marine in Iraq in 2004 and was subsequently hit by a roadside bomb while working there as a security contractor, suffering a brain injury.

Tucker Ives / WNPR

Luis Gutierrez has been a tireless advocate for comprehensive immigration reform throughout his career in congress.

The Connecticut Mirror

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has selected former Chicago schools CEO and 2002 gubernatorial candidate Paul Vallas as his running mate in 2014.

The Chicago Democrat announced Vallas as his pick in an email Friday.

Quinn says he's known Vallas for 30 years and "he's never been shy about fighting for education, reform and opportunities for working people."

With the approval of the Statehouse, same-sex marriages are one step away from being legal in Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune reports the bill received 61 votes, just one more than necessary to send the bill to the Senate, which is expected to pass it.

The House was the bill's biggest hurdle because Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law.

The Tribune adds:

Home Field Advantage?

Aug 16, 2012
Media Lab photograph and Wikimedia Creative Commons image

The CPBN Media Lab has taken an interest in this year’s political campaigns. Today, we looked at the primary results, and looked for different trends. Linda McMahon won the statewide election with 73% of the vote, but how did she fare in her hometown of Greenwich? Did Chris Shays get enough support from his neighbors to win in Bridgeport?

Is Adult Education Right For Teens?

Mar 15, 2012

INTRO: More and more Connecticut teens are leaving high school for adult education programs. Some say these programs offer more flexibility to kids who would otherwise just drop out of school. But others say adult education is not for teens. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.