Afternoon Edition: Feb. 19, 2020

Today’s update is a 4-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, joined by his wife, Patti, and two daughters gives a speech outside his Ravenswood Manor home. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 4-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.

Don’t let those mostly sunny skies fool you — it’s cold out there. Today, we’ll see a high of 27 degrees and a low of 18 degrees, but with a wind chill of -3 degrees. There’s a chance for flurries tonight between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tomorrow, it’ll still be sunny, but even colder, with a high near 22 degrees.

Top story

Blagojevich, calling himself ‘freed political prisoner,’ praises Trump, vows to reform ‘broken’ criminal justice system

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich said this morning he hopes to “fight to help people who have been wrongly incarcerated” and over-sentenced in what he called a “broken,” “racist” and “corrupt” criminal justice system.

“I saw what they do to families because I saw it happen to my own,” Blagojevich said.

Blagojevich emerged from his Ravenswood Manor home to make a speech — dabbing his chin with a tissue after cutting himself shaving — and also expressed his family’s “most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump.”

“He didn’t have to do this,” Blagojevich said. “He’s a Republican president. I was a Democratic governor. Doing this does nothing to help his politics.”

Read more about what he said today. And if you were wondering who Blago was talking about when he thanked “the kinda guy who can get you out of prison,” we have the answer.

Sutherland Elementary School, 10015 S. Leavitt St.

Sutherland Elementary School

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More news you need

  1. Three white kindergarten teachers at a top-rated public school on the South Side assigned their students a project on “African animals” to honor Black History Month, outraging parents who say the situation has magnified simmering racial tensions in the community. Get the full story.
  2. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s second-year budget includes putting nearly $1.4 billion in reserves, including funding for education — unless his preferred graduated income tax amendment passes this November. Here’s what else is in the budget.
  3. Summer must be just around the bend, because Pitchfork announced who’s playing its 15th annual festival in the West Loop. Headliners this year will be The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels and The National. Check out the full lineup.
  4. Drivers who park, stand or otherwise encroach on bus and bike lanes would have a greater chance of getting caught under a mayoral crackdown proposed today. Guess how much a ticket will cost you.
  5. Of the hundreds of murder cases cleared by Chicago detectives last year, the oldest one involved a loan shark who was killed in 1966 and was the partner of one of the most fearsome mobsters in the city’s history. But the case was only closed because the suspect died, records show. Frank Main has the whole story.
  6. Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez — who was awarded a fortune in a wrongful-conviction lawsuit only to return to jail over a shooting recorded on a cellphone camera — now faces a new felony charge stemming from a jail fight. Read about what happened.
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A bright one

If former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is looking for a post-prison job, he might want to call the makers of Blago shampoo and conditioner.

“Maybe this could be some income for him, if he wants to endorse it and be a spokesman,” said Dennis Fath, founder of Delta Laboratories Inc., an Elk Grove Village manufacturer of fragrance, skin and hair care products.

Recognizing a good marketing gimmick in Blagojevich’s famous helmet of hair, Fath created the haircare line around the time Blagojevich was indicted. Their slogan, “It’s Bleep’n Golden,” stems from the infamous wiretap in which the then-governor said Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat was “[Bleepin’] golden.” Federal prosecutors said he wanted to leverage it for financial or other benefits.


Blago shampoo and conditioner are stamped with the slogan “It’s Bleep’n Golden!” | Provided

When Fath first rolled the Blago products out, Delta Laboratories sometimes sold hundreds of bottles a day. Today, he says he still gets a few orders a year.

“Only two uses,” wrote one Pennsylvania customer in the testimonials on the product’s website, “and I’m already feeling scandalous!”

Read more about Blago — the hair care line — here.

From the press box

The Blackhawks finally return home from Canada tonight to host Artemi Panarin and the Rangers at the United Center. Adam Boqvist, who’s been getting tips from Duncan Keith on how to be an NHL long-timer, checks back in for Nick Seeler on the blue line.

Your daily question ☕

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is officially back today after a three year hiatus. Will you be indulging in the seasonal green treat, or do you prefer sipping on a green juice, instead?

Email us and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

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