Afternoon Edition: March 4, 2022

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

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Illinois’ former Speaker of the House Michael Madigan attends committee hearing in 2021.

Ashlee Rezin/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.

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Afternoon Edition


Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a high near 42 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 36. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 66. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 50.

Top story

Madigan’s Chinatown ‘scheme’

For five years, Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Ald. Danny Solis secretly schemed to give developers control over a prime piece of land in Chinatown owned by the state if they would hire Madigan’s law firm for their property tax appeals, according to the sweeping federal indictment of Madigan and other court records.

As outlined by prosecutors, their plans for a state-owned parking lot in the 2100 block of South Wentworth Avenue abruptly fizzled in January 2019.

They don’t say why.

The deal had faced opposition from two legislators. But that also was when we reported that Solis had been working for years with federal authorities as an undercover informant, secretly recording conversations at City Hall, helping build what could end up being one of the biggest political corruption cases Chicago has seen.

Much of the attention since Madigan was indicted Wednesday under a law that’s been used to go after mob bosses and others accused of engaging in criminal conspiracies has focused on charges involving ComEd. That part of the indictment accused Madigan of seeking jobs, contracts and money from the utility for his associates and says he used his powerful position in Springfield to help ComEd get laws passed that benefited the company.

The behind-the-scenes machinations over the 2.7 acres of prime Chinatown real estate are another big piece of the case against the former House speaker, who is charged with operating a racketeering conspiracy involving bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion aimed at helping him politically and strong-arming new business for his law firm.

Read the full Watchdogs investigation here.

More news you need

  1. Two men are charged with the murder of a father who was stringing Christmas lights at his Gage Park home in mid-December, according to police. The two men allegedly, while on a five-hour crime spree in which they beat or robbed 13 other people, killed Jose Tellez in front of his young daughter, Police Supt. David Brown said today.
  2. Two Chicago police officers were shot early this morning on the West Side after a gunman accidentally dropped his weapon in front of them, picked it up and started firing, authorities said. One of the officers was grazed in the face and the other wounded in the leg, police said.
  3. Police are searching for a gunman who wounded a man and killed the man’s dog early this morning in the Edgewater neighborhood. The man was outside with his dog shortly before 5 a.m. when someone came up and opened fire, Chicago police said.
  4. A man has been charged with murdering a 63-year-old woman experiencing homelessness whom he kidnapped and sexually assaulted last November in West Garfield Park, according to police. The 23-year-old was arrested yesterday and charged with murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault in the death of Darlene Solis, police said.
  5. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today branded as “deeply offensive,” “ridiculous” and “wholly lacking in merit” the claim that she made an obscene and derogatory remark against Italian Americans during a call to discuss the removal of a Christopher Columbus statue. One day after refusing to comment on the allegation contained in a lawsuit filed by the Chicago Park District’s former deputy general counsel, Lightfoot broke with her longstanding practice of saying nothing about pending litigation.
  6. A nonprofit’s ambitious, $1 billion plan to send thousands of students and their parents to college or trade school is ultimately about stopping the gang violence plaguing Chicago, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson said today. Jackson spoke with our Fran Spielman about leaving CPS and signing on as CEO of Hope Chicago, the nonprofit founded to fully fund post-secondary education for two generations of students.
  7. The deadline to run for a Local School Council at Chicago Public Schools has been extended to March 9 with the district still looking for nearly 5,000 candidates for the mid-April elections. Community members, parents, teachers, support staff and students are eligible to run for LSCs.
  8. Sixty-four years since its founding by its talented namesake, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater remains one of this country’s most popular and indomitable modern-dance companies. The longstanding troupe will continue its return to the Auditorium Theatre tonight through Sunday to reprise what had been annual visits prior to the COVID-19 shutdown.

A bright one

‘Chicago kid’ KAINA explores the many meanings of home on heartfelt new album

On her new album, “It Was A Home,” released today, Chicago singer, songwriter, producer and musician KAINA explores and celebrates the many meanings of “home” over the course of 12 breezy, finely-tuned tracks that see poetic lyrics woven into lush, flowing arrangements.

It’s an album that blends the tender songwriting of 1970s-era Carole King and Stevie Wonder with floating, reverb-kissed harmonies of 1960s pop, rhythmic layers and textures of salsa, soulful melodies of 2000s pop and R&B, and tempered experimentation and moods of indie-pop.

Tracks like “Anybody Can Be In Love,” “Good Feeling” and “Golden Mirror” examine various types of love and the different “homes” we can find in others. Songs like “Sweetness,” “Apple” and “Friend of Mine” guide listeners toward introspection and delve into finding the strength and security of home in yourself. While the title track and “Casita” celebrate the spaces shared with loved ones and the homes we hope to make in the future.

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KAINA sits in a practice studio at Phonology Rehearsal Space, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The album’s title track was the catalyst for the whole project, KAINA said. On it, she sings of her childhood home in Irving Park, where she “used to live in a little room in the middle house with a crooked view.” Glossy, nostalgic images of catching lightning bugs and her parents’ late-night dance parties shimmer on the verses before KAINA declares “It was home — not a hill,” on the chorus.

“As a first-gen kid, there’s so many times when your family’s like, ‘One day we’ll do better — we’ll move into a better home, we’ll move into a better apartment,’” said the artist, born Kaina Castillo to Venezuelan and Guatemalan parents.

“It Was A Home” is about making peace with the past and assuring her 8-year-old self that the home her family made was more than enough, she said. But it’s also about letting go of any guilt felt around not enjoying it enough, KAINA said.

“My parents immigrated to Chicago and I’m a product of that,” she said. “I’m a Chicago kid who is creating music inspired by Chicago with the influences of where my parents come from.”

I’ve got more from my recent conversation with KAINA here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How will you be spending Saturday’s bout of warm weather?

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 your most memorable Chicago concert experience?

Here’s what some of you said…

“My most memorable concert experience was Bruce Springsteen at Wrigley Field in the rain. Everyone stayed, people were dancing, and Bruce and the band just kept playing. It was a religious experience.” — Caryn Chaden

“The Jacksons at Comiskey Park on the Victory Tour in 1984. Me and my baby sis went. Why? Because it was the Jackson 5 and we had great seats! I screamed the entire concert.” — Marta Omarr

“George Harrison in 1974 at the Chicago Stadium. He was the quietest Beatle yet it was the loudest concert I’ve ever attended.” — Dawn Pericles

“George Michael at the Rosemont Horizon in 1989.” — Amanda Folkes Rodriguez

“When I was a kid, our family went to the Chicago Music Festival every summer. There were contests for different groups such as the best Barber Shop Quartet. I remember them harmonizing beautifully on Sweet Adeline.” — Janice Gehrman

“Chance The Rapper, Magnificent Coloring Day. It was the only time to date anyone was allowed to have a concert in then-US Cellular Field. September 24 , 2016. The best moment was when the special guest Kanye West ran out. The crowd went absolutely crazy. It was a moment I will never forget.” — Akeya Ch

“Elvis on March 28, 1957. I had front row seats and ran up to the stage to touch his gold shoes! I still have that thrill when I see the gold lamé suit photo! I was a lucky teenager, my parents liked Elvis.” — Marcia Tracy

“Tina Turner and Lionel Ritchie. The one time I actually felt as though I was a part of the show. Lionel told everyone, ‘Get up and out of your seats! We’re going to have a party!’ And we danced and sang with him the entire show. Tina was amazing as well! We danced and sang with her too! I think we all sweated off 5 lbs that night. Truly the most enjoyable concert my friends and I ever attended.” — Barbi Steineke Gennardo

“It was a non-concert at Grant Park when Sly and the Family Stone were late. People were upset and throwing things. It was a fun time until the tear gas. 1970.” — Michael Thomas

“Bob Mould at the Metro in 2019. Lots of older shows here, but this one stands out because it was on my 40th birthday, and it was the first time I’d heard of or seen Beach Bunny. Watching them win over a room full of beardy dudes old enough to be their fathers was one of the reasons I love live music in this city. Three DePaul seniors won over a skeptical room that night, and it was magical.” — Ernesto Cruz

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