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Thursday, March 23, 2006

George Ryan Trial
Jurors in former Governor George Ryan's corruption trial received a stern letter from Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer this morning. It was in response to reports that jurors are having personality conflicts and problems in their deliberations. Rich Samuels will have some insights on why the jury is having troubles. Here is the text of Judge Pallmeyer's letter:

"Dear Jurors:

You twelve are the jurors selected to decide this case. In your deliberations, I expect you to treat your fellow jurors with dignity and respect.

As I understand from your notes, you may be having some difficulties during your deliberations. As I told you earlier, you have two duties as a jury. Your first duty is to decide the facts from the evidence in the case. This is your job and yours alone. Your second duty is to apply the law that I give you to the facts. You must follow these instructions, even if you disagree with them. Each of the instructions is important, and you must follow all of them.

Finally, I remind you that any deliberations in this case must be conducted only in the jury room among all of you. Private discussions about this case outside the jury room among any smaller group is a violation of your sworn duty.

Yours truly,
Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
United States District Judge "

Madigan vs. Exelon
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking on a nuclear giant. She is suing Exelon for spilling radioactive tritium into the ground water around their Braidwood nuclear plant 40 miles southwest of Chicago. Elizabeth Brackett reports on the lawsuit and the impact of the spills on area residents.

The Economist Loves Chicago
The Economist magazine is based in Great Britain. Now one of its writers has crossed the pond to do a major feature on Chicago -a city he says "exudes vitality." The author of the special report, John Grimond, joins Phil to discuss how a Brit discovered that our city "is a city buzzing with life, humming with prosperity...."

Jon Scheyer
Local basketball sensation Jon Scheyer's high school career came to an end last week. He's off to Duke University in the fall but a friendship he shares with a special member of his team will go on. It's a relationship that Scheyer says helped him become a star on and off the court. Christian Farr has the story.

Friday Night Show
John Callaway's guests tomorrow evening on the "Friday Night" program will be two of America's top film critics, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper. Tonight we hear a bit of their conversation.

Gary Griffin
Chicago has launched many actors from its stages to become household names. The same can't be said of Chicago theatrical directors. But one local director may be on the way to changing that. Gary Griffin is the associate artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre but recently he made his Broadway debut directing Oprah Winfrey's presentation of the stage musical The Color Purple. Hedy Weiss talks with Gary Griffin about his career and the show that will make its national debut in Chicago next year.

Check, Please! Supper Club
On the supper club, we head up to Libertyville to The Tavern for contemporary American fare in a distinctive ambiance. Here is their recipe for Grilled Asparagus.