Sugar-free beverages are also covered by the penny-per-ounce tax still on hold pending a final ruling. Credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

  • Judge continues Cook County “pop tax” block until at least Friday

A Cook County judge has ruled that the controversial penny-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages will remain blocked until at least Friday, July 28, according to DNAinfo Chicago. Judge Daniel Kubasiak, who initially blocked the county’s tax from being implemented on July 1, will make an official ruling on the tax Friday afternoon. Opponents of the policy say it’s not fair that the law would tax, e.g., a Starbucks Frappuccino purchased at a convenience store but not one sold at a Starbucks location. “If the goal is to reduce obesity, then these drinks should be treated the same,” Illinois Retail Merchants Association attorney David Ruskin said. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • City Council committee approves safety equipment requirement for large trucks

The City Council Budget Committee approved an ordinance Tuesday that protects pedestrians and bikers by requiring safety equipment on large trucks. Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed the ordinance, which gives trucks about ten years to add more side-view mirrors and side guards. The full City Council is expected to vote on the measure Wednesday. [Tribune]

  • An unsolved mystery: the mysterious poisoning death of a local lottery winner

Chicago resident Urooj Khan won $1 million in the lottery in spring 2012, but the 46-year-old unexpectedly passed away a few weeks later. Subsequent tests revealed that his death had been caused by a fatal dose of cyanide, yet five years after his murder, Khan’s death remains unsolved. Police don’t have answers because “people close to Khan who might have information about his death have not been forthcoming with detectives,” a police source told the Tribune. “I keep getting the same answer—they are looking for a witness. How long is it going to take?” Khan’s older brother, Imtiaz, said in an interview. “Who could be the witness?” [Tribune]

  • EPA approves city plan to kill rats with dry ice

The Environmental Protection Agency has given Chicago permission to resume a program to abate its growing rat population by killing the vermin with dry ice. The quick dry-ice method, which had a test run last fall, suffocates rats underground and “essentially puts them to sleep before they perish,” said Streets and San commissioner Charles Williams. Mayor Emanuel called the tactic “smarter and more effective” in a statement. The city will also test the effectiveness of an environmentally safe bait called Contrapest that over time is supposed to make rats infertile. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • The Daily Show is coming to Chicago in October for a four-night stint

Trevor Noah is bringing The Daily Show to Chicago for four nights of taping this fall. The Comedy Central show will broadcast from the Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview from October 16 through 19. [Variety]

  • The Chicago Sky is moving from Rosemont to the Wintrust Arena

The Chicago Sky, the city’s WNBA team, will be playing games at the new Wintrust Arena for its 2018 season. After eight years at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, the team now has a five-year deal for games at the new     10,000-seat South Loop arena, where DePaul’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will also play. [Associated Press via ESPN]