Afternoon Edition: Oct. 9, 2020

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

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Orville “Orvie” Cochran after his 16 years on the run ended with his 2017 arrest in Evergreen Park for shoplifting a back brace.


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.

Happy Friday! With sunny skies and a high near 81 degrees, it feels more like summer than fall this afternoon. Tonight’s low will be around 64 degrees. This weekend will be perfect for some outdoor activities: both Saturday and Sunday will be partly sunny with a high near 73 degrees.

Top story

Ex-Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club boss Orvie Cochran: 16 years on the lam was a ‘terrible time’

In his 16 years on the run, stories circulated about former Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club boss Orville “Orvie” Cochran living the good life, flush with ill-begotten cash and hidden by a network of sympathizers for the notorious biker gang.

But Cochran’s time on the lam was actually pretty bleak, as his lawyer described in a court filing that offers the first glimpse into what Cochran was up between his disappearance in 2001 and his capture in 2017 — when he got busted for shoplifting a back brace from a Meijer store in Evergreen Park.

“During these long years separated from anyone who ever knew or cared about him, he managed to get by doing landscaping, home repair or any kind of fix-it work that might generate some cash and maybe a bed to sleep in,” attorney John W. Campion wrote to a judge before Cochran was sentenced in 2019 to five years in federal prison.

“He spent his time in the Chicago area during warmer months and then in Arizona during winters,” wrote Campion. “During those years he received no medical treatment or monitoring, and his health deteriorated. Toward the end of this terrible time, he often needed to lay flat for long periods to try to calm his racing, arrhythmic heart.”

“For 16 years he had no contact” with his fiancée or “his mother, who died shortly after he ran, or his ex-wife and three children,” Campion wrote. “He feared that any contact would put those people in peril and could get him caught. During this time, his two sons would also die.”

Now 70 and being held at a federal prison hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, Cochran believes his arrest “was about the best thing that could happen to him,” his lawyer wrote. “He suspects he may not have lived much longer without medical intervention.”

Besides heart problems, he was treated after his arrest for “depression and anxiety” and had other medical issues including a hernia, “high blood pressure, acid reflux, chronic back pain, tinnitus, bursitis, blood clots, bronchitis,” according to court records.

Exactly where he spent his time on the lam isn’t spelled out in the court records. Nor is whether Cochran, who pleaded guilty, cooperated with authorities. Campion wouldn’t comment.

Cochran’s fiancée, who lives on the South Side and asked not to be named, said, “Nobody knows what he was doing … and nobody really cares.”

He had taken off in response to a racketeering indictment in 2001. “Cochran saw what he thought was writing on the wall,” his lawyer wrote. “He panicked and fled.”

Cochran and five other Outlaws were charged in the case, which accused members of the motorcycle gang in Illinois and Wisconsin of involvement in the 1990s in bombings, drug dealing and the killings of two members of the rival Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Cochran’s co-defendants all were convicted and have served their prison sentences.

Read Robert Herguth’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. An attorney representing Kyle Rittenhouse pointed to a heated presidential election and argued in an extradition hearing today that the teen shouldn’t be sent back to Wisconsin to face homicide charges because “this is not a legitimate criminal prosecution, it is a political prosecution.” No decision was made today; another hearing was set for Oct. 30.
  2. Pierre Kezdy, bass guitarist for Naked Raygun, one of Chicago’s most influential and best loved punk rock bands, died early this morning at 58. The longtime Evanston resident had cancer.
  3. Chicago’s iconic iO Theater, the longtime comedy hub on the North Side, is officially for sale after being closed since March. The two-story complex is listed for $12,900,000.
  4. It’s expected to be a more subdued Columbus Day this year, in part because the city has canceled the annual parade due to the coronavirus, but also because there’s almost no trace of the famed Italian explorer and navigator. The Grant Park statue was “temporarily” removed over the summer, along with two others.
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A bright one

Field Museum’s new dinosaur curator is a ‘punk rock’ paleontologist

It’s no surprise that Jingmai O’Connor is into bones, skeletons and other preserved remains of creatures that existed hundreds of years ago. But what makes the Field Museum’s new dinosaur curator stand out from her paleontologist peers is her interest in rock — punk rock, that is.

“I think I’ve shown that you can be a nerd and still have fun and live your life,” said O’Connor, who once named a fossilized bird she discovered after Greg Graffin, the lead singer of the L.A. punk band Bad Religion.

“I want to show people that scientists do come in all forms. Being a scientist starts early in life and if people think that it is not accessible to them or only open to certain types of people, then people aren’t going to think it’s a choice that is for them,” O’Connor said.


Jingmai O’Connor during the filming of the PBS documentary “When Whales Walked” in 2018.


O’Connor, 36, was recently named associate curator of fossil reptiles at the Field Museum. The Pasadena, California native received her Ph.D. in earth sciences at the University of Southern California in 2009, and gained recognition for her expertise on flying dinosaurs and the transition of dinosaurs into birds.

“It still blows me away that I got this job because being at the Field skyrockets you to this position of now being one of the top paleontologists in America,” said O’Connor, who often DJs on her off-hours.

As part of her research, O’Connor will be piecing together the bird family tree from the Mesozoic Era to present day.

Read Adam Mahoney’s full story here.

From the press box

Rather than praise his team’s 4-1 start during last night’s game against the Buccaneers, Bears coach Matt Nagy unloaded on his offense for incorrectly run routes, poorly set blocks and missed opportunities by quarterback Nick Foles.

Columnist Rick Morrissey thinks we should cut Tom Brady some slack for thinking it was fourth down late in the 20-19 loss to the Bears. If you had to face Khalil Mack, you’d forget what down it is, too, he writes.

The Blackhawks started the NHL free agency window by signing Dominik Kubalik to a two-year contract extension and re-signing goaltender Malcolm Subban to a two-year contract today.

The NBA’s new normal during the pandemic means a more difficult draft preparation for the Bulls.

And as for what games are on this weekend, the Red Stars play Sky Blue at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow on CBS All Access, and the Fire host DC United at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on WGN-9.

Your daily question ☕

Are you noticing anything different about your dreams since the pandemic started?

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: Who do you think won last night’s vice presidential debate? Here’s what some of you said…

“For being on topic, focused, and having detailed plans, the clear winner was Harris. For interrupting this broadcast with clear symbolism of God’s visiting seven plagues upon the unrighteous, you got to give credit to that fly!” — Laura Smith

“Pence. His arguments were sound, and while he did exaggerate at times, they paled in comparison to the misrepresentations and outright falsehoods of his opponent.” — Joshua Paul

“Hopefully the American people is the correct answer. Personally, I was not impressed by either, but they were much more civil and respectful than the other debate.” — Ronald Hartman

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