Afternoon Edition: Feb. 26, 2020

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

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A group of passengers wearing face masks, enter Chicago at the international terminal at O’hare airport.

Tyler LaRiviere/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.

We got lucky last night: the little snow that accumulated was a far cry from the six inches of “heavy, wet snow” forecasters predicted. This afternoon will see a high of 32 degrees with a chance of flurries after 3 p.m. The low tonight will be 18 degrees. Tomorrow, it’ll be mostly sunny in the morning and then cloudy in the afternoon.

Top story

Lightfoot accuses CDC of spreading panic about the coronavirus

Chicagoans shouldn’t be too anxious about yesterday’s warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that coronavirus could cause “severe disruption” to daily life, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot essentially accused the federal officials of fear-mongering today, and said she was “very disappointed with the comments of the CDC,” which warned that the spread of the virus may require schools and businesses to close.

The mayor assured skittish Chicagoans that city, state and county public health agencies are “in constant contact” with the CDC and Homeland Security and have a “well-planned,” coordinated and frequently-tested response prepared, should the virus reappear.

Chicago has only seen two cases of coronavirus so far: a woman who traveled to Wuhan, China the epicenter of the outbreak tested positive in late January, and a week later her husband was diagnosed. Both have since recovered.

“I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and suggest to the public that there’s a reason for them to be fearful,” Lightfoot said. “Obviously, they need to be diligent. This is a very serious and novel virus.

“But we need people to continue to go about their daily lives. I want to emphasize in particular that Chinatown is safe,” Lightfoot said.

Since coronavirus started making headlines last month, Chinatown restaurants have seen a dramatic decline in business.

Read what else Lightfoot had to say about coronavirus in Chicago.

Chicago police investigate the scene where multiple people were shot and one was killed in the 7900 block of South Avalon, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.

Chicago police investigate the scene where multiple people were shot and one was killed in the 7900 block of South Avalon.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

More news you need

  1. An 18-year-old woman was killed and four others were wounded last night when several gunmen opened fire into an Avalon Park convenience store, striking five bystanders. Police say the shooters were targeting someone inside.
  2. Chicago schools chief Janice Jackson said today that the parents protesting the firing of top administrators at Lincoln Park High School are ignoring the real victims — students. Nader Issa lays out the arguments on both sides.
  3. The long-vacant Washington Park National Bank building earmarked for demolition has been listed as one of the seven “most endangered” buildings in Chicago. Why preservationists want to save it.
  4. A federal immigration case that’s been in the national spotlight these past few days – thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s attacks on Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — is being fought in Chicago. Lynn Sweet breaks down why this case matters.
  5. Chicago’s Thattu and Tzuco are among the semifinalist nominees for best new restaurant in the 2020 James Beard Awards, announced today. See the 12 other Chicago spots that made the list.
  6. Time to start thinking about your weekend plans. Pilsen Gourmet which showcases some of the city’s best Latino chefs kicks off this weekend, the JCC Jewish Film Festivalreturns and a new exhibit opens with sculptures from the artist best remembered for that giant eyeball on State Street in 2010. Here’s our full roundup of things to do.
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A bright one

Many women veterans say their U.S. military service is often overlooked. Constance Edwards experienced this firsthand when she attended her daughter’s career day dressed in an Army Nurse Corps uniform like the one she wore while serving in the Vietnam War.

Her daughter came home crying that day; a classmate’s father had called Edwards a liar. She couldn’t have been a military nurse, he said, because women weren’t in Vietnam. But Edwards was.


Women veterans of every branch of the U.S. military, salute as the national anthem is sung at an auditorium at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A program called Operation HerStory wants to change that by sending 100 Illinois veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., where they will tour war monuments for a day and be celebrated for their service.

Women who served between 1940 and 1975 are invited to participate. Almost 40 have signed up already.

The flight, which will be the first all-female Honor Flight in Illinois history, departs the morning of Oct. 7 and returns late that same day. In D.C., the women will tour the Women In Military Service for America Memorial and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Read the full story.

From the press box

The Bulls’ losses keep mounting, but Jim Boylen said after last night’s defeat he doesn’t expect to be judged by his dismal win-loss record. Veteran forward Thad Young also said that the team’s injuries make it difficult to evaluatetheir results.

It’s a quiet night for Chicago sports fans, with the Cubs and White Sox’ spring games already underway this afternoon. Eloy Jimenez said this morning he’s been working hard on his defense so he can be a nine-inning player.

Your daily question ☕

We’re in need of some new weeknight dinner ideas! On a cold winter night, what’s your favorite meal to prepare? Email us and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you how you were celebrating Paczki Day. Here at the Sun-Times, Watchdog reporter Tim Novak treated the office to a couple of boxes from Sweet World Pastry (they were delicious).

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