Former Governor Rod Blagojevich nervously adjusts his tie as he arrives at the Dirkson Federal building to hear the jury's verdict on 6/27/2011 (Photo by ChiILLeica/Flickr).
By Ryan Denham
Reporter Alex Degman caught up with one of Rod Blagojevich's attorneys, Sam Adam Jr., who reiterated the defense's concerns over delays in preparing the trial transcripts. That's slowing down the former governor's appeal. "They still do not have the transcripts. It’s been two years since our trial and a year since the second trial," Adam said. Blagojevich started serving a 14-year prison term in March. Also this week, word leaked that Blagojevich is making friends in prison. He reportedly sent a note to a fellow inmate's son for his birthday. One of his comments in the note: "Whatever you do -- stay out of politics." The Huffington Post has more on the note's contents.
Picking up on earlier coverage by the local NewsTribune, the Chicago Tribune reports on a disturbing case involving LaSalle-Peru high school's football team. Before the season, someone leaked an "anonymous, detailed and sinister scouting report" on LaSalle-Peru's players to all nine of the team's opponents during the fall 2012 campaign, the Tribune's Ted Gregory writes. The story takes a "Dateline" turn from there, however. The lead suspect in the leak is a former assistant football coach and teacher at LaSalle-Peru who was removed from his coaching duties back in May. But he stuck around as a teacher until Sept. 4, when he was put on paid leave as the investigation into the leak ramped up. "It's like a sabotage," parent Tinamarie Weiden told the Chicago Tribune. "These kids have worked really hard to get where they're at, and now it's like our privacy was violated."
It's a small world after all. The Peoria Journal-Star's Danielle Hatch caught up with David Commanday, leader of Peoria's Heartland Festival Orchestra, and stepbrother to slain U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. Commanday's music-critic father married Stevens' cellist mother more than three decades ago in California, Hatch reports, though Commanday and Stevens rarely saw each other. They did write each other regularly. “The tragedy of his death and the irony of his death is that he died in a place that he had done so much for and was so dedicated to,” said Commanday. As you recall, Stevens and three other Americans were killed this week during an attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Jacob Goldstein with NPR's Planet Money (the best source for understandable financial reporting there is) breaks down the Federal Reserve's announcement Thursday that it plans to buy $40 billion of mortgage bonds every month. One of the goals is to try drive down interest rates even further, hoping to spur spending and hiring. But Goldstein's take is that the real story Thursday was the open-ended nature of the Fed's announcement -- that it will keep buying bonds until the job market improves. He writes about how the Fed's syntax is closely watched by number-crunchers. "Essentially, the Fed is saying: We are going to do whatever it takes to bring down unemployment (as long as inflation stays low)," Goldstein writes.
I can't say you "should know" this last item, but you definitely will want to know it. Google has rolled out a quasi-secret tool that lets you play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game on its search pages. Just type in "bacon number" before the name of the celebrity, and search. (There are other Web applications that do the same thing, but this is still stupid-cool.) As the Hollywood Reporter notes, "most Bacon numbers are actually quite low" on Google. Charlie Chaplin is only a 2, thanks to Tippi Hedren. My brother, Chris, is an actor, and even he's just a 2. If anyone can find a 3 or 4, post it in the Comments below. But I'm doubtful.
Ryan Denham can be reached at email@example.com.