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Afternoon Edition: May 19, 2021

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

A man is taken into custody on June 1, 2020 as Chicago police officers clash with hundreds of protesters outside a store that had been looted near East 71st Street and South Chappel Avenue.
A man is taken into custody on June 1, 2020 as Chicago police officers clash with hundreds of protesters outside a store that had been looted near East 71st Street and South Chappel Avenue.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

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 be partly sunny with a high near 77 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 67. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 85.

Top story

City watchdog condemns revised database of police disciplinary cases

Chicago will create a public database of closed police disciplinary investigations under a watered-down mayoral compromise that, Inspector General Joe Ferguson argued, does not go nearly far enough to repair shattered public trust.

Last month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot argued the database of sustained and dismissed complaints against the Chicago Police Department would cost “tens of millions of dollars” to create and wasn’t worth that exorbitant cost.

Ferguson, who co-chaired the Task Force on Police Accountability with Lightfoot, strongly disagreed.

The inspector general pegged the cost of creating the database at $709,501 and said Chicago was “out of runway with respect to the public’s patience.”

Now, Lightfoot has agreed to create a database of closed police disciplinary investigations, but control the potential costs by limiting the content of that easily searchable database to only certain kinds of cases, and only those from 2000 onward.

Read Fran Spielman’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. Mayor Lightfoot will deliver her own plan for civilian police oversight tomorrow, according to Ald. Chris Taliaferro. It’s expected to be stripped of policymaking, budgeting and hiring and firing powers championed by police reform advocates.
  2. Chicago aldermen are moving to corral the “Wild West” of rogue tow truck drivers who hold motorists’ cars hostage until they pay exorbitant fees. The industry would face greater regulation under a revised ordinance that got approved today by a City Council committee.
  3. City data released today shows the vaccination rate is three times higher in some downtown areas than in South and West Side neighborhoods. Citywide, the seven-day average has shrunk by more than half since mid-April.
  4. The University of Chicago will require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall, the school said yesterday. The university joins Northwestern, Loyola, Columbia College and DePaul in requiring students get shots.
  5. Lollapalooza dropped its lineup today, touting Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Miley Cyrus and Tyler, the Creator as headliners. Tickets are on sale now.

A bright one

Lyric Opera, Joffrey Ballet announce return to in-person seasons at opera house

Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet will take turns performing on the Lyric Opera House stage for the first time in 2021-22, as the two major companies return to live, in-person productions after a more than 1½-year hiatus.

As part of a joint announcement today, Lyric Opera of Chicago revealed plans for a seven-production season (one in an alternative venue) that includes its first mainstage opera sung in Spanish: Daniel Catán’s “Florencia en el Amazonas (Florencia in the Amazon)” (1996).

Among other highlights are Verdi’s “Macbeth,” led by new music director Enrique Mazzola, and the Chicago premiere of “Proving Up,” a 2018 chamber opera by Missy Mazzoli, composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The Joffrey Ballet will present a four-program season at Lyric Opera House highlighted by the April 27-May 8, 2022, world premiere of choreographer Cathy Marston’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” © Todd Rosenberg Photography

Joffrey Ballet will present a four-program season highlighted by the April 27-May 8, 2022, world premiere of choreographer Cathy Marston’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” It will be paired with the company’s debut of “Serenade,” a 1934 classic by legendary 20th-century choreographer George Balanchine.

Lyric Opera’s season is arranged in a such way that it leaves the Opera House stage open for the Joffrey Ballet’s annual monthlong presentation of “The Nutcracker.” Returning Dec. 4-26 will be Christopher Wheeldon’s five-year-old take on the Tchaikovsky classic set during preparations for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Read Kyle MacMillan’s full story here.

From the press box

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said today he has not sensed any pushback from players in the clubhouse over his handling of Yermin Mercedes’ late-game homer off a Twins position player in a blowout win. La Russa said he was surprised by the fuss over his reaction, which included an apology to the Twins.

Ahead of the Sky’s 6 p.m. road game against the Atlanta Dream, coach James Wade is preaching the same defensive message.

And former Bulls star Toni Kukoc discussed his road to the Hall of Fame with reporters after his upcoming induction was announced over the weekend.

Your daily question ☕

What do you think of this year’s Lollapalooza lineup?

Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s your favorite “Chicago-style” food you can’t find anywhere else? Here’s what some of you said…

“Italian beef dipped with sweet peppers, a classic Chicago-style hot dog with the neon green relish and a poppyseed bun, a Ricobene’s steak sandwich, pizza puff, Vitner’s hot chips, and deep dish and tavern-style pizza (I miss the little squares). Also, I didn’t think to mention polish ham AKA Krakus.” — April O’Neal Luevano

“Jibaritos from Humboldt Park.” — Meagan Leeth

“The real Chicago Pizza. Square cuts and thin. Can’t find that flavor anywhere — first thing I want when back in my hometown.” — Bob Bryar

“A good Italian beef sandwich. Living in Denver is great, but I miss the food of my childhood. Ooh, and pizza puffs, definitely pizza puffs. Nobody even knows what that deliciousness is, much less how to prepare it correctly.” — Candace Van Horn

“Rib tip and hot link combo served over french fries and slices of white bread. Haven’t found them anywhere outside of the Chicago area.” — Paul Fedrick

“Orange Garden’s sweet and sour chicken ... before I moved to Chicago I had no idea sweet and sour sauce came with tomatoes, pineapple and peppers.” — Meghan Monaghan

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