Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich delivers his closing argument at his impeachment trial in 2009. Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Thursday, December 22, 2016.

  • Weather: A pleasant day

The weather will be nice Thursday, with a high of 35 and a low of 24. It’s supposed to be mostly sunny, with virtually no chance of snow or rain. [AccuWeather]

  • Former governor Rod Blagojevich is appealing his prison sentence again

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich isn’t giving up trying to appeal his 14-year prison sentence. Blagojevich and his lawyers claim that “the judge who resentenced him in August failed to consider the glowing letters from fellow prisoners and all the good works of the ex-governor while behind bars,” according to the Tribune. The newspaper says that the former governor’s latest request is “considered a legal long-shot at best.” [Tribune]

  • Grand jury in Laquan McDonald case reportedly sends out subpoenas

The grand jury tasked with investigating the Laquan McDonald shooting sent out subpoenas to select Chicago police officials Saturday evening, according to the Sun-Times. “Police officers who either abruptly resigned, were fired, or told to resign by police department brass received the subpoenas,” the report says. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder for shooting McDonald in October 2014. [Sun-Times]

  • Richest man in Illinois donates $12 million to separate the lakefront bike and jogging paths

Billionaire Ken Griffin has donated $12 million to the Chicago Park District in order to separate the bike and jogging paths on the Lakefront Trail. The gift from Griffin, a major donor to politicians including Governor Bruce Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, will allow the Park District to separate the paths along the entire trail. “The lakefront is our crown jewel,” Griffin told reporters Wednesday. “On a beautiful day, the Lakefront trail should be a place where cyclists, runners and walkers can enjoy without having to navigate around one another.” [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Dwyane Wade tackles the city’s gun violence problem after personal tragedy

Nykea Aldridge, the 32-year-old cousin of Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was one of the more than 700 people murdered in Chicago in 2016 when she shot to death on the south side in August. “When your auntie is the one crying on your shoulder, if you’re looking at your nephews and nieces and their lives are turned upside down, it becomes real,” Wade told CNN. [CNN]

  • Rash of burglaries in Pilsen has restaurants, other businesses on alert

Four restaurants along 18th Street in Pilsen were burglarized Monday night within just an hour of each other, according to ABC 7 Chicago: Pilsen Breakfast and Grill, Dia De Los Tamales, Café Jumping Bean, and Memo’s Hot Dogs. The same burglar is believed to have committed all the robberies, breaking into the restaurants’ windows or doors with a tool and then taking petty cash but ignoring more valuable gadgets like iPads. [ABC 7 Chicago]