High school graduates celebrate in 2014. Credit: Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

  • New Emanuel plan would require CPS students have post-high school plans in order to graduate

On Wednesday Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced “Learn. Plan. Succeed,” a new Chicago Public Schools initiative that would require high school students to have a post-high school plan in order to graduate. CPS high school seniors would have to provide evidence of a job offer or acceptance into a two- or four-year college, trade school, or the military in order to graduate. “We are reinventing what high school is,” the mayor said. Students who are currently freshmen and set to graduate in 2020 would be the first class required to provide post-graduation plans. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Report: Rauner might face a Republican primary challenger

Republican state senator Sam McCann has been approached by other Republicans who want him to run against Governor Bruce Rauner in the 2018 primary race for governor, according to Politico. McCann is pro-union and has found himself opposing Rauner on several issues, but says that he won’t make a decision about running until the current legislative session in Springfield is over. “There was a significant segment of the party that attempted to recruit me to run as an independent in 2014,” he told Politico. “I chose not to do that because I wanted to play a role in bringing my party and my beloved state together, not see them both torn apart more than they already were. Fast-forward to the present and we see our state more divided and in bigger shambles than ever. It’s heart-wrenching.” [Politico Illinois Playbook]

  • Ed “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak may now be facing “more serious criminal charges”

Former alderman Ed “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak was indicted by a grand jury in 2016 and now may be facing “more serious criminal charges” over the next few months, according to the Sun-Times. Vrdolyak was initially indicted for “his role in a scheme to pocket millions of dollars from Illinois’ $9.3 billion settlement with tobacco companies nearly two decades ago.” The difference between the original indictment and the new charges would be akin to the difference between “a heart and a heart attack,” Vrdolyak’s defense attorney Terry Gillespie said during a status hearing Wednesday. [Sun-Times]

  • High school basketball team will get state championship rings thanks in part to Hannibal Buress, Martellus Bennett

The Morgan Park High School boys basketball team won the Illinois Class 3A state championship, but neither the school nor CPS could afford to buy the team championship rings. Thanks to generous donations from comedian Hannibal Buress, Green Bay Packers player Martellus Bennett, and even the rival Fenwick High School community, the team will now get their rings. Bennett, who used to play for the Bears and lives in the suburbs, is going to design the rings, and spoke to the team via FaceTime. “I put him up on the big screen and let him tell the kids,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin told the Sun-Times. “They knew who he was right away and got really excited. They were so happy, it was great to see their reaction. That is a blessing right there.” [Sun-Times]

  • A developer has bought the parking lot across from Holy Name Cathedral for $110 million

The Archdiocese of Chicago is selling Holy Name Cathedral’s parking lot at the corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue to a developer for more than $110 million, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. Chicago-based JDL Development is still negotiating a contract with the archdiocese for the 90,000-square-foot lot in a prime location. The lot has enough space for two high-rise buildings, and JDL is expected to build condominiums, apartments, and retail space, according to the report. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

  • Neighbors aren’t happy that a Taco Bell is being built on the Little Village-Pilsen border

Plans to open a Taco Bell at West 24th and South Western, near the border of the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, is sparking controversy. Putting in a Taco Bell is “slapping the local Hispanic flavor in the face,” resident Aaron Pylinski told DNAinfo Chicago. “Why would you put a Taco Bell in a neighborhood known for its authentic Mexican restaurants?” he asked. “It’s not real Mexican, and it’s an insult to the authentic Mexican restaurants in this neighborhood.” [DNAinfo Chicago]