In a file photo from March 2012, former governor Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media the day before reporting to federal prison, flanked by his wife, Patti. Credit: AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, January 20, 2016.

  • President Obama snubs Rod Blagojevich’s commutation request

President Barack Obama chose not to shorten former governor Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence during his final days in office. Blagojevich, who was convicted of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat, had petitioned the president in December, but although Obama ended up commuting more prison sentences than any other president in history, he snubbed his former colleague. President-elect Donald Trump might be more sympathetic to Blago in the future—the latter appeared on Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice show in 2010. “So, Governor, you have a hell of a lot of guts. I have to tell you that,” Trump told Blagojevich during his first Apprentice episode. [Associated Press via St. Louis Post-Dispatch] [NBC Chicago]

  • Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder in death of unarmed man

Chicago police officer Lowell Houser has been charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of 38-year-old Jose Nieves. Houser, who was off-duty at the time, allegedly shot Nieves on January 2 on the northwest side. Nieves and Houser had argued in the past, and according to authorities, the victim was not armed at the time. [Tribune]

  • Another move for the Women’s March Saturday as attendance estimates double

Organizers of the Chicago Women’s March are expecting about 50,000 attendees to protest against president-elect Donald Trump Saturday, more than double the number originally anticipated. Originally slated for the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park, the protest will now start at Jackson and Columbus Drive at 10 AM, with the march to follow at 11:30 AM. [DNAinfo Chicago] [Tribune]

  • Four unnamed cops suspended for dashcams that didn’t capture audio during McDonald shooting

Four unnamed police officers have been suspended for one week for “improper operation” of their dashboard cameras as their fellow officer Jason Van Dyke killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Video of Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times was caught by cameras on five different squad cars, but none of them captured any audio of the incident. The suspensions were first revealed in a report from the city’s inspector general, Joe Ferguson, and confirmed by a Chicago Police Department spokesman. [Reuters] [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Trump Tower’s two-Michelin-star restaurant is losing its chef

Sixteen, the two-star Michelin restaurant in Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower, is losing its executive chef of four years, Thomas Lents, to Detroit. “The election has been difficult for everyone involved and frustrating to see all the great product that’s been put out by this hotel suffer because of situations that are outside of our control,” Lents, a Michigan native, told the Detroit Free-Press. He’s accepted a job at the upcoming Foundation Hotel in Detroit, where he’ll oversee all food operations including a ground-floor flagship restaurant. [Eater Chicago] [Detroit Free-Press]

  • Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book was Soundcloud’s top album of 2016

Chance the Rapper had quite a year in 2016: his third mixtape, Coloring Book, was the top-streamed album on SoundCloud in 2016. Its 14 songs were streamed 108 million times on the digital music service, and his biggest hit, “No Problem” (featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz), was alone streamed 40 million times. [Billboard]