Chance the Rapper announcing his $1 million donation to Chicago Public Schools in March Credit: Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, April 21, 2017.

  • Chance the Rapper named one of Time‘s 100 most influential people of 2017

Chance the Rapper has been named as one of the most 100 influential people in the world by Time magazine. Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein, President Donald Trump, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, actor Riz Ahmed, actress Emma Stone, and basketball legend LeBron James are some of the other influencers to make the 2017 list. Rapper, actor, and fellow south-side native Common wrote a glowing profile about Chance for the magazine: “Chance upends expectations about what artists, ­especially hip-hop artists, can do. He streams his albums instead of selling them. He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective—music that transcends age, race and gender. He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not on the list but wrote the profile of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. [Time]

  • Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts withdraws his nomination from the Trump administration

Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to be deputy commerce secretary, has withdrawn his nomination from consideration for the job. Ricketts “could not unravel the overlapping family holdings that obviously include the Cubs” even though he was willing to, a source told the Sun-Times. “I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration, and the important work they are doing to promote economic opportunity,” Ricketts told the newspaper in an e-mail. “I hope there are other opportunities to contribute to his administration in the future.” [Sun-Times]

  • Illinois leads the U.S. in spending on the 2018 gubernatorial race

The amount of money spent in the 2018 race for Illinois governor will be “unprecedented,” and the state is already leading the country in spending for the gubernatorial race, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. With six Democrats and one Republican officially running, there are also more candidates so far than in any other state with an gubernatorial election in 2018. The Illinois candidates have raised $61 million, with incumbent governor Bruce Rauner at $50 million and his fellow billionaire, Democrat J.B. Pritzker at $7 million. That’s nearly double the $34 million that has been raised in Texas, which has the second-highest total. [Politico Illinois Playbook]

  • Judge in Jason Van Dyke hearings warns activists against approaching the former cop

Judge Vincent Gaughan has warned protesters that they will be held in direct criminal contempt if they approach former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke with signs or anything else during upcoming court hearings. Van Dyke has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. “That’s not going to be allowed in this courtroom or on the outside of my courtroom or any place in this building,” Gaughan said during a hearing Thursday. “It’s a violation of just civility, and it’s a violation of being a human being.” Protesters say they still plan on filling the courtroom during the next hearings. “It’s all about community pressure,” activist William Calloway told DNAinfo Chicago. “It’s been 16 months since [Van Dyke] was charged. We want a trial date.” [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Steppenwolf’s Straight White Men is heading to Broadway in 2018

Acclaimed Steppenwolf artistic director Anna Shapiro is taking the theater’s recent production of Straight White Men to Broadway in July 2018. The Tony Award winner and Broadway veteran will direct the play about a family of straight white men during the holidays at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Its author, playwright Young Jean Lee, will be the first female Asian-American writer to have a script produced on Broadway. [Tribune]

  • Los Angeles-based Mexican restaurant Pink Taco is coming to River North

The Los Angeles-based Pink Taco chain is planning to open its first Chicago restaurant in the old Bull & Bear location in River North later this year. Described in its marketing as a “playful Mexican restaurant brand,” Pink Taco will introduce itself to the city with food trucks before it opens the brick-and-mortar restaurant. [Eater Chicago]