The must-read news stories for March 29, 2013.
An Illinois Tollway garage supervisor who had been fired and then re-hired twice before was recently fired for a third time for sleeping on the job. Joseph Caffarello, who was making over $78,000 a year when he was fired in February, told the Sun-Times he was "screwed" by the Tollway. Caffarello's history isn't exactly a clean slate: He was fired in 2000 for allegedly head-butting a toll collector during an argument but was later reinstated after winning a grievance. And then in 2004, he failed a drug test after a traffic accident with a Tollway vehicle but was re-hired thanks to an arbitrator's ruling. Whether the third time is Caffarello's last strike or not will be determined soon, as he's fighting the charges despite the photo evidence that shows him sawing logs on the clock. [Sun-Times]
While CPS plans to shut down 54 schools and Chicago Police are having to find a way to pay for more foot patrol cops to keep crime down, the city is just fine with spending a $100 million federal loan on prettying up a six-block stretch of the river walk downtown because no one involved in the planning thinks to watch HGTV for cost-effective tips. [Sun-Times]
James Sauter, an Illinois State Trooper, was killed on-duty overnight when a semi struck his patrol vehicle on I-294. [Tribune]
A judge has ruled a threat by Johnny Borizov, accused of a 2010 quadruple murder in Darien, can be heard by jurors, but a statement by one of the victims worrying about Borizov will not be admitted. [Sun-Times]
Kim Jong-un thumping his chest
North Korea is huffing and puffing like the Looney Tunes chicken hawk by "leaking" maps that show plans to attack the U.S. via missile, specifically Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Austin, Texas. [The Telegraph, NK News]
In an effort to replace the now-defunct Venetian Night, the city is planning to collaborate with arts groups to put on the Great Chicago Fire Festival, because what better way to commemorate the city's worst disaster than with a party? [Sun-Times]
Friend or foe?
A South Side teenager stands charged with shooting a friend six times after that friend refused to join a gang. [Sun-Times]
In the year 2013, a U.S. Congressman actually thought it was OK to refer to Latinos as "wetbacks." Alaska Republican Don Young was speaking in a radio interview. [HuffPo]
British star of stage and screen Richard Griffiths. While he'll be best remembered for his role as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter film adaptations, his career went beyond that, including Withnail and I and an award-winning turn in the stage production of The History Boys. [A.V. Club]
Chicago is finally getting an Olive Garden to call its own, and the lucky neighborhood is Avondale. [DNA Info]
Baseball returns over the weekend, and the Cubs and Sox both open the regular season on Monday afternoon. [MLB]
Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa practiced, but don't expect them to play against the Ducks. [ESPN]
The Boston Police are going to hilarious, awfully embarrassing links to try to bust kids putting on illegal DIY shows. [Slate]