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Sneed: Chicago is no second city to New York — when it comes to murder rate

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Updated: October 21, 2013 2:25PM

Bang! Bang!

Who’s on first?

It has always been nettlesome for Chicago to be called the “Second City” to New York.

◆ The gut buster: But news Chicago has passed up New York as the murder capital of the U.S. is a title no one wants.

◆ Translation: The FBI released new crime statistics Monday handing Chicago the murder moniker — claiming there were 500 murders here in 2012, compared to New York, which reported 419 murders last year.

◆ The kicker: Chicago has only a third the population of New York. Chicago’s murder total rose from 419 in 2011 — compared to the Big Apple, whose murder total declined by nearly 100 over the same period.

The Daley dossier . . .

Does Cook County Commissioner John Daley, the last office holder in the Daley political dynasty, got game?

◆ Translation: Daley has been challenged to a game of Scrabble with Helen “Queen of Scrabble” Kutschke, 102, on Sunday — one of seven centenarians celebrating their collective 100-plus birthdays at Smith Village, a continuing care retirement community in Beverly.

◆ Back shot: “[Daley] has spent the past year sending each of them cards whenever their birthday hit,” said Peg Rafferty, a spokeswoman for the community. “The oldest is 105.”

◆ Bank shot: Helen, who has kept her mind fit by playing Scrabble weekly for more than 20 years, set her sights on a birthday game with Daley. “It’s the present she wants,” Rafferty said.

◆ Upshot: Sneed is told Daley plans to show up bearing resolutions honoring each one. Nice.

The women’s room . . .

Mistress Gennifer Flowers, the prurient posey who never seems to disappear, is back in print.

In an interview with London’s Daily Mail, former President Bill Clinton’s alleged former mistress of 12 years claims she and Bubba would still be together if it weren’t for his daughter, Chelsea — and she is launching an online advice column called “Ask Mistress Gennifer.”

◆ Cheapshot: She also called Hillary a name or two . . . but we won’t go there.

A Lincoln memorial . . .

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tells friends she will miss her frequent nightly appointment she called “seeing Mr. Lincoln” when she heads to her new job as the first woman president of the University of California system.

◆ Translation: One of Napolitano’s late night stops was going down to the Lincoln Memorial at night — when it was very quiet — to “take it in for a few moments.” Wow. Nice.

Scoop du jour . . .

Psst! Media mavens Christiane Amanpour (CNN) and Ann Curry (NBC), who were in a race to be the first to interview new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, resulted in one femme getting to the starting line first.

◆ The upshot: Curry, who dealt with humiliation in 2012 when she was ousted from her hosting spot on NBC’s “Today”, won!

Papal palaver . . .

Pope Francis has a new lexicon.

His eminence is now chastising members of the Catholic clergy he calls “airport bishops,” the ones who spend more time on airplanes going to worldwide conferences and seminars — rather than staying home and tending their own flock.

◆ Quoth the pope: “You are betrothed to your community, deeply bound to it. I am asking you, please, to remain among your people. . . You must stay, stay! Avoid the scandal of airport bishops,” he told a conference of bishops.

“Careerism is a cancer,” the pontiff said.

Oh, dear.

The Rodman report . . .

What do Rodman, Rod and Levi have in common?

Here’s what: Nuts. Specifically, pistachios.

◆ To wit: Dennis “The Worm” Rodman is now appearing in a Wonderful Pistachios commercial with a look-alike of his new buddy, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. This is the same nut company that hired Alaskan goofball/Bristol Palin baby daddy Levi Johnston and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to do their commercials.

Sneedlings . . .

Friday’s birthdays: Sophia Loren, 79; Gary Cole, 57, and Dale Chihuly, 72, and happy belated to Jerry Berliant, ageless.

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