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Afternoon Edition: Sept. 14, 2021

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

The Chicago City Council convened Tuesday to consider approving a new contract with the Fraternal Order of Police, among other matters.
Anthony Vazquez/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 mostly cloudy with scattered thunderstorms and a high near 87 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 60. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 77.

Top story

City Council approves eight-year police contract with 20% percent pay raise

Chicago Police officers rose above their anger at Mayor Lori Lightfoot to ratify a new contract that gives them a 20% pay raise over eight years, more than half of it retroactive.

Today, the City Council did the same, rising above bitter disappointment that the city did not take greater advantage of its opportunity to demand police reform. The final vote was 40 to 8.

“It’s not where all of us would like to be, but it’s definitely far from where we are,” Ald. Jason Ervin (29th), chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus said prior to the final vote.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) was one of the eight aldermen who voted no.

He pointed specifically to fact that the contract does “little to nothing to ensure that there is accountability when false statements are made” by officers accused of misconduct or that they provide “accurate statements within 24 hours.”

“Have we forgotten the cases of Adam Toledo, of Anjanette Young or Laquan McDonald? Those are the cases that should be considered when we talk about this contract,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

Jim Franczek, the city’s longtime chief labor negotiator, acknowledged the city did not get the requirement it sought compelling officers to disclose secondary employment or hours worked at those second jobs. It also did not cap those moonlighting hours.

But, he argued, the city won “the most accountability reform measures that have ever been had” in an FOP contract.

Read the full story from Fran Spielman here.

More news you need

  1. The family of a man beaten to death last Friday afternoon in Pilsen is appealing to the public for help to solve his murder. Juan Antonio Garcia Rios, 67, had just had a meal at a church soup kitchen when he was killed, his niece said.
  2. Family and friends are mourning George F. Wendt, 73, who drowned last Saturday during his favorite swim event, the Big Shoulders race off Ohio Street Beach, officials said. An avid swimmer, Wendt participated in all 30 annual Big Shoulders swims since the event’s founding in 1991.
  3. Mayor Lightfoot’s downtown marijuana “exclusion zone” would shrink to a narrow band under a plan to help people of color shut out of the legal pot industry. The proposal, which is poised for City Council approval, would also streamline zoning processes for weed businesses.
  4. A federal judge handed an 18-month prison sentence today to a bar operator who pleaded guilty in 2019 to a drug crime — but who also admitted he gave more than $6,500 in bribes to public officials in Summit. Mariano “Mario” Martinez, 52, agreed when he pleaded guilty to cooperate with federal prosecutors, which they say has been “fruitful so far.”
  5. The FBI and Chicago Police are seeking information on a man wanted for striking a person in a violent hate crime last month at a CTA station in Uptown. When the victim asked why he’d been assaulted, the man told him deserved it and used an ethnic slur against him and his partner, the FBI said.
  6. Chicago’s James R. Thompson Center could become a waterpark, a “vertical Loop” of homes and commercial space with a rooftop vegetable garden, or a prototype public school based on winning submissions in a design contest. Organizers hope the results will influence public discussion over whether the Helmut Jahn-designed building can be saved from the wrecking ball.

A bright one

How Oooh Wee It Is discovered the pot roast cupcake

Diners at Oooh Wee It Is tend to stumble upon an unusual yet intriguing dish as they peruse the menu at Oooh Wee It Is soul food restaurant in Chatham: pot roast cupcakes.

If that’s not enough to get customers to commit to ordering the appetizer, then seeing serves walk through the bustling venue with a piping hot plate of a trio of these sweet-and-savory cupcakes usually tends to do the trick, co-owner Mark Walker said.

The appetizer is something people would usually see at a festival or out of a food truck — not necessarily at a sit-down restaurant. But the ingenuity of the dish and the balance of flavors makes it a perfect starter to set the tone for any meal at Oooh Wee It Is, which prides itself on serving “soul food with a twist.”

It’s one of the most popular bites, according to Mark’s wife, Shae Walker, the First Lady of Oooh Wee It Is. “It’s always trending; people love it,” she added.

But even Shae wasn’t necessarily sold on the idea of pot roast cupcakes when Mark first pitched it to her.

“I’m like, ‘Pot roast cupcakes?’” she questioned bewildered, before Mark confidently laid out the blueprints of the dish. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God… this man!

“But when we did it, it was really good,” she admitted. “He has that gift, you know, like that creative part of just doing things a little bit different.”

Madeline Kenney has the full back story in her latest installment of the Dishin’ on the Dish series here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s the best way to enjoy the remaining days of warm weather in Chicago before the temperatures drop?

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: If you could master a new language in 24 hours, which one would you choose? Why? Here’s what some of you said...

“I would like to learn Swedish. I really love the language and then once I know Swedish, it would make it easier for me to learn Norwegian and Danish.” — C. Thomas Lensegrav Jr.

“Italian because it’s close to Spanish, which is my first language — making it a little easier.” — Maria Malave-Gibson

“Polish, because my parents were both Polish and spoke it fluently, but with seven kids in our family, they said it was their only form of privacy, so we never learned the language.” — Linda Rose

“Hebrew because when my Dad passed two years ago he was the only immediate family member that spoke it.” — Lori Ellen

“Tagalog so I could understand what my families are talking about.” — Michael Roque

“Swahili because it is reflective of my ancestry.” — Catherine Webb

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