Some of the guns confiscated by the Chicago Police Department in 2012 Credit: Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, April 29, 2016. Have a great weekend!

  • Weather: Slightly warmer with a bit of sun

After a cold and dreary week, Friday will be a little nicer, with a high of 52 and a low of 44. A little bit of sun will peek through the clouds. The temperatures will remain about the same over the weekend, with some rain and clouds expected Saturday and Sunday. [AccuWeather]

  • Police say they’ve taken more guns off the street than last year

Chicago Police have confiscated nearly 2,900 illegal guns in 2016, about a 30 percent increase over 2015 (although gun arrests are reportedly down and the number of shootings has skyrocketed). Many of the weapons have come from gun buyback programs, in which the police partner with the community to take guns in exchange for gift cards. The program has been very popular—268 guns were handed over in four hours during a recent buyback in Austin. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Processing the Hastert scandal proves difficult for man he coached

Gary Matlock knew former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert well when he was a student at Yorkville High School. Hastert was his wrestling and football coach, and taught him government, history, and economics. Matlock won the state wrestling championship in 1973 with Hastert as his coach. The now-disgraced politician even helped him get his first job. Now Matlock is having a hard time processing the stories about Hastert sexually abusing wrestlers. “I accept what the courts says. I’m trying to let it sink in,” he told the Sun-Times. [Sun-Times]

  • Chicago Republican Party sign removed after alleged vandalism

The illegal Chicago Republican Party sign hanging above the McDonald’s at the corner of Fullerton, Lincoln, and Halsted in Lincoln Park is gone—but not out of compliance with the city’s order for it to be removed. The group took it down after it was ripped by a vandal, according to Chicago GOP chairman Chris Cleveland. Cleveland had hung the sign without a permit, to the consternation of his neighbors—it covered a large window in the office one floor below. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • CNN picks five of “Chicago’s coolest neighborhoods”

What neighborhoods does CNN approve of? The list isn’t surprising: the Near West Side (Fulton Market District), Ukrainian Village, Pilsen, Bridgeport, and Uptown. As the cable network gets ready to air the long-awaited Chicago episode of its acclaimed food show Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Sunday, it singled out a few neighborhood favorites, including the Empty Bottle, Maria’s Packaged Goods, and the Green Mill. [CNN]