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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 28, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

The lifeguard stand at North Avenue Beach along the Lake Michigan shore in Chicago on June 22, 2020.
The lifeguard stand at North Avenue Beach along the Lake Michigan shore in Chicago.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will see showers with a high near 55 degrees and a 90% chance of precipitation. The rain will continue into tonight with a low around 53. Tomorrow will also be rainy with a high near 55 and an 80% chance of precipitation.

Top story

Former Chicago Park District lifeguard supervisor charged with sexually assaulting 16-year-old employee

A former Chicago Park District lifeguard supervisor was ordered held on $500,000 bail today for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who worked for him.

Mauricio Ramirez, 32, began talking to the girl in July while she worked as a lifeguard under his supervision, Cook County prosecutors said.

During their initial conversations, the girl told Ramirez she was a junior in high school, prosecutors said.

Later, Ramirez began picking the girl up from her high school and they would drive to various locations, including his house, where he sexually assaulted her on at least seven separate occasions, prosecutors said.

In September, the girl told a friend and her parents what had happened and she was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where a sexual assault kit was administered, prosecutors said.

Ramirez was first arrested on Oct. 12 in connection with the case.

At that time, he agreed to provide his DNA for testing and was released from custody, prosecutors said.

Ramirez was arrested again yesterday on criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges after tests showed his DNA matched samples taken from the girl’s sexual assault kit, prosecutors said.

Matthew Hendrickson and David Struett have more on the charges facing the former Chicago Park District employee here.

More news you need

  1. The agency that oversees Chicago police has concluded its investigation into a confrontation between an officer and a Black woman who said she was racially profiled while walking her dog in August. The officer was placed on desk duty while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability conducted its investigation.
  2. Months after one of the city’s most violent weekends this year, Chicago police today announced charges in the shooting death of 27-year-old Antwan Davis. Police on Tuesday arrested the man they say shot Davis July 16 on the block where Davis lived in West Pullman.
  3. Workers at El Milagro have announced that they filed new complaints with government agencies, alleging the tortilla company unlawfully threatened workers based on their immigration status and engaged in employee surveillance. After initial protests over working conditions last month, workers today claimed a victory, saying El Milagro advised them it is ending its seven-day work schedule for some shifts.
  4. The local union in Chicago representing EPA employees across the Midwest is asking President Biden to declare a climate emergency and take major unprecedented actions to slow global warming. Union members want Biden to ban the export of crude oil, place a moratorium on permits for any fossil fuel plants and move to a carbon-free power system by 2035.

A bright one

Youth-decorated pandemic time capsules sealed in downtown ceremony

After months of reflection and decorating, about 2,000 pandemic time capsules — designed and filled by city youths — were ceremoniously sealed yesterday evening in large bins that won’t be revealed for another five years.

Nearly two dozen children and some adults paraded around the ninth floor of the Harold Washington Library to the beat of a drum, and one by one, they dropped uniquely embellished time capsules — filled with pandemic mementos and letters from children describing what life was like during quarantine — into larger bins, which were later slammed shut with a giant cardboard hammer.

About 40 youth organizations came together to sponsor “Once Upon Our Time Capsule,” a public art project that celebrates children and teens for overcoming the adversity they endured amid the pandemic as they look forward to the future.

“It’s really cool, it’s really nice here,” 16-year-old Fannie Yu said. “I’ve never really had my artwork made into a product before so it’s a different experience.”

The “Once Upon Our Time Capsule,” a public art project, celebrates children and teens for overcoming the adversity they endured amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

Yu, a high school junior and After School Matters participant, decorated the outside of a capsule with anime characters that express different emotions she experienced throughout the pandemic. Meanwhile, Max Howard, 10, drew fast cars and tall buildings on his — both things he sees happening in the future.

Others used feathers, jewels and ribbons that read, “The Sky is the limit.” Some included notes detailing their experiences throughout the pandemic.

“A lot of people have been talking about children, but no one was talking about asking children what their stories are,” said Jacqueline Russell, co-founder and artistic director of the Chicago Children’s Theatre. “We brought in three teaching artists who developed a really beautiful curriculum that combined theater and storytelling and visual art to help kids process and reflect and, in the end, kind of recognize their own resiliency.”

Madeline Kenney has more on the capsules here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Say you’ve been tasked with making a pandemic time capsule to be dug up in 50 years — what would you put in it? Tell us why.

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? Here’s what some of you said…

“A homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume.” — Tom Ramey

“The Statue of Liberty.” — Jamie M. Wohrer

“Pac-Man in 1983.” — Carlos J. Beltran

“A keg of beer!” — Denise Thompson-Liekis

“I was the Noid when I was 6. My Mom and Grandma made my costume.” — Heather Burkhalter

Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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