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Sheriff to jail inmates: Pay for your own meals

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart discusses an archaeological dig Burr Oak Cemetery indicating thbodies were dumped an unused corner cemetery

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart discusses an archaeological dig at Burr Oak Cemetery indicating that bodies were dumped in an unused corner of the cemetery in far greater numbers than a 2009 criminal investigation originally found, Monday, March 21, 2011. | Jean Lachat~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 17, 2011 8:36AM

Food for thought . . .

In an effort to save the county money, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants to make county jail inmates pay for their meals.

To wit: Sneed hears Dart is this/close to announcing a plan requiring inmates kick in for the cost of feeding them while they are locked up. Dart’s plan, pending review by county attorneys, would take any money inmates have placed in commissary accounts and apply it to their meals before the money can be used for things like snacks or deodorant. While not every inmate will have enough money to pay for the meals, Dart figures every little bit helps in covering the expense of three meals a day for the 9,000 inmates.

Kitchen crew: Also look for Dart to require inmates make their own lunches in the jail kitchen. Inmate workers are paid $2 an hour to do the labor now, but it’s overseen by a private firm. Dart realized that since the same lunch is served every day — a baloney sandwich and chips — the county could save $3 million if the inmates continued to do it but under the supervision of sheriff’s officers.

Suds savings: The moves come after Dart announced last year that inmates would begin doing their own laundry, saving $2 million a year.

The Perry file . . .

Jog ’em: GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry was spotted jogging in the dark and the rain early Wednesday morning in Schaumburg.


“Perry had to get up at the crack of dawn to attend a fund-raiser in Carpentersville after attending a Chicago fund-raiser at investment maven Steve Cortes’ house the night before — so he overnighted in Schaumburg,” said a Sneed source who attended both events.

“He may dress to the nines, but he wears mock crocodile leather shoes with ‘gym shoe’ soles,” said a Sneed source.

A surprise guest at the Chicago fund-raiser was former Gov. Jim Thompson, who claimed his favorite presidential candidates were “Romney, Huntsman and Perry because I am partial to governors.” Isn’t that special. Zzzzzzzz.

The letter bin . . .

Your theory about the president chewing gum on his helicopter is a valid one; it’s tough to kick the smoking habit. But it’s equally likely that he was chewing gum to deal with the change in air pressure so his ears wouldn’t pop!

J.A. from Evanston

Yum. Yum.

Food guru Rachael Ray concocted a special recipe which was served in most Chicago Public Schools last Thursday: Rachael Ray’s Yum-O! Windy City Chicken.

◆ Quoth Ray: “When I developed this recipe, I included adobo seasoning, paprika, cumin and poultry seasoning and created a new recipe that reflects the cultural diversity of Chicago,” said Ray, who worked with Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality in developing the tasty luncheon treat.

Press patter . . .

Better Government Association boss Andy Shaw doesn’t miss a beat: He’s lined up CBS anchor Scott Pelley to headline the BGA luncheon Oct. 20 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. Pelley will be introduced by Johnson publishing CEO Desiree Rogers. It’s the first visit to Chicago by Pelley since taking over the CBS News anchor chair from Katie Couric in June.

◆ The stats: Pelley, who is trying to round up an interview with Rahm, will also anchor the CBS Evening News from Chicago that day.

Sneedlings . . .

Early birthday wishes to Nona Peacock, who turns 105 Monday. Today’s birthdays: John Mayer, 34; Flea, 49; Tim Robbins, 53; Bob Weir, 64; Suzanne Somers, 65, and Angela Lansbury, 86.

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