“Jim Tyree was one of us.” That’s what Sun-Times publisher John Barron writes about the man who cared enough about Chicago as a two-newspaper town to put a group together in `09 to buy the paper and pull it out of bankruptcy. Tyree valued the paper’s “watchdog” role and its aggressive investigations, including those in which we partnered. He supported us, and we admired him. He is also a classic Chicago success story that inspires all of us. His death from cancer yesterday at the age of 53 leaves a huge hole in our world. He will be hard to replace and missed by many.

  • Taking Toni’s temperature. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle gives herself high marks on her First Hundred Days Report Card. BGA agrees for the most part, as I told CBS 2‘s Walter Jacobson Wednesday. The Trib reports that she is warning county employees to expect reductions in health and pension benefits as she grapples with ongoing budget deficits.
  • Seething seniors. State Journal-Register reports on the angry reaction of low-income seniors to Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed elimination of prescription drug assistance to save $107 million.
  • Reform rejection. Daily Herald reports the Illinois General Assembly rejects campaign cash limits on legislative leaders and political parties, despite the lobbying of reforms groups led by Change Illinois.
  • Fitz and starts.Two good items from Greg Hinz of Crain’s: Chicago’s corruption-busting U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is reportedly on the short list for new FBI director after Robert Muller’s mandatory retirement this year, and Illinois officials scramble to appease Amazon and other companies that are threatening to bolt the state over a plan to start collecting the sales tax on internet purchases.
  • “High honor.” That, according to Trib Local, is what Grayslake school board member Michael Carbone calls the censure he received from his board for seeking district personnel records to find out which teachers traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, in support of the teachers there in their collective bargaining fight with Gov. Scott Walker. Carbone says he was just being a “watchdog.”