Afternoon Edition: March 16, 2020

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

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An early voter receives an “I voted!” bracelet after casting his ballot in the March 17 Illinois primary election at the new Loop super site at 191 N. Clark St., Monday morning, March 2, 2020.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a5-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.

For those of you who still went to work today, there’s a chance you might get some rain on your way home. The high will be 41 degrees and tonight’s low will be around 36 degrees. Tomorrow will be significantly warmer, with a high near 51 degrees.

Top story

Election day is tomorrow in Illinois

Despite the coronavirus creating complications for many, tomorrow is Election Day in Illinois.

Voters will head to the polls to vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries and choose a candidate for president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and the Illinois Legislature.

Local races in the Chicago area include Cook County State’s Attorney, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board of Commissioners and the Cook County Board of Review.

As the coronavirus outbreak forces many to stay home and practice “social distancing,” Chicago broke its primary election record for early voting and broke its record for mail-in ballots, with nearly 118,000 ballots requested.

If you’re voting tomorrow, there are some things you can do to limit your exposure to the coronavirus, like staying at least six feet away from people whenever possible, washing your hands frequently and keeping you hands away from your face.

Don’t know if you’re registered? You can check your status at the Cook County Clerk’s Office website. If you’re not registered, you can still register tomorrow, but you’ll need to bring two forms of ID and cast your ballot immediately after registering.

Read our full voting guideandsee the Sun-Times’ Editorial Board’s endorsements.

Our journalists are working around the clock, from the field and from home, to bring you the latest information you need on COVID-19.

More news you need

  1. If you’ve got room for an extra house on your Chicago lot or an apartment in your basement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot believes you should be able to add it. A new ordinance could increase the supply of affordable housing and help long-term homeowners stay put if they need rental income.
  2. Five people including a police officer and a gunman have died in a shooting at a Missouri gas station after the gunman went inside and opened fire, police said this morning. Here’s the latest.
  3. Chicago’s oldest residential buildings would have until 2023 to install smoke detectors with 10-year batteries under a costly fire safety mandate advanced today —over the objections of the Chicago Fire Department.Fran Spielman breaks down both sides of the argument.
  4. State regulators today ordered all video gambling machines be shut down across Illinois until the end of March, bringing the gaming industry to a full stop a day after officials shuttered Illinois casinos to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The ban goes into effect at 9 p.m. tonight.
  5. A day before the Illinois primary, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president — calling him the “right candidate to beat Donald Trump.” Why Pritzker said he’s backing Biden.
  6. As movie theaters close and highly anticipated movies like “Mulan” and “A Quiet Place, Part II” get postponed, Richard Roeper writes about what makes going to the movies so special, while encouraging us to hit the Pause button on the shared moviegoing experience, at least for now. Read his column.
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A bright one

There might not be any human visitors at the Shedd Aquarium, but the dolphins and fish that live there were still greeted by some friendly faces on the other side of the glass this weekend.

While the aquarium is closed to visitors to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the staff at the Shedd have been getting creative with planning activities for the animals. On Sunday, they took some of the penguins on a field trip around the aquarium to explore.

One rockhopper penguin, named Wellington, seemed particularly interested in the fish in the Amazon Rising exhibit. And the freshwater species, like the red-bellied piranhas and the black-barred silver dollars, were also intrigued by their peculiar visitor.

A Magellanic penguin, Monte, took a trip to the Polar Play Zone, another Shedd exhibit, to see some dolphins.

Read the full story and see more photos from the penguins’ field trip.

From the press box

While the rest of the sports world goes into hibernation, the NFL offseason brought out a bombshell this afternoon with the Texans sending star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. If that’s any indication, football fans are in for an interesting few days.

Free agency officially starts Wednesday, so here’s our tracker of all the Bears-related moves. The team is reportedly talking to ex-Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater, who would likely come in as a replacement for Mitch Trubisky under center.

Finally, with the IHSA basketball playoffs canceled, Michael O’Brien served up his final Super 25 rankings of the season. Check out who finished No. 1 in the Chicago area this year. 

Your daily question☕

Since this is the first day many people worked from home, how did it go for you? Were you more or less productive than usual?

Email us(please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you what you plan on doing at home as health officials encourage “social distancing” because of the coronavirus. Here’s what some of you said:

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