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Afternoon Edition: March 3, 2020

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

In this Sun-Times file photo, family members and supporters attend a memorial service for Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer on the first anniversary of his murder at the Thompson Center, Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2019.
Ashlee Rezin/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.

This afternoon’s pleasant forecast is perfect for your outdoor activities (whether that’s a jog or a rooftop bar). The high will be 48 degrees with mostly sunny skies. Tonight, expect a slight chance of rain or possibly snow as the low falls to 33 degrees. And don’t put those winter boot away just yet, because snow mixed with rain is likely tomorrow morning, right around commute time.

Top story

Opening statements start in trial of man accused of murdering CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer

After the tragic loss of Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer over two years ago, the murder trial of the four-time felon charged with his death started today.

In opening statements, Shomari Legghette’s lawyer said his client had no idea the 31-year CPD veteran — who was wearing a dark coat over his full uniform — was a police officer when the two men struggled in a stairwell outside the Thompson Center in February 2018.

“It was a tragedy, but Cmdr. Bauer brought it on himself,” defense attorney Scott Kamin told jurors before a courtroom packed with stone-faced police officers. “What Mr. Legghette did in firing on this guy … was entirely reasonable.”

But Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier said Bauer was wearing a police radio that was on “full-blast” as he wrestled with Legghette, and had removed his handcuffs from his belt during the struggle.

“[Legghette] knew. He knew Paul Bauer was a police officer,” she said. “He knew he was police officer trying to arrest him. And he killed him for it.”

Legghette, 46, faces a life sentence if jurors find him guilty. In addition to 24 counts of first-degree murder, Legghette was also charged with multiple weapons and drug related charges. He’s expected to make the case that he shot 53-year-old Bauer in self-defense — a trial strategy that often involves the defendant taking the witness stand.

Read Andy Grimm’s full story from the courtroom where opening statements took place today.

Tourists wearing a protective mask walk in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome on Tuesday.
Getty

More news you need

  1. Several Illinois universities are ending study-abroad programs and telling students to come home due to the coronavirus outbreak. Read what students are being told to do once they return to campus.
  2. The Archdiocese of Chicago is changing how priests and parishioners interact during Mass to limit exposure to coronavirus amid a possible outbreak. What you won’t be doing during communion and the sign of peace.
  3. After spending nine months in four detention centers across the Midwest, a 24-year-old Southwest Side construction worker eligible for deportation protections under the DACA program is back home. Read his story.
  4. An associate of former Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak was sentenced this morning to two years in prison in connection with a scheme to cash in on Illinois’ massive tobacco settlement. Here’s what happened in court today.
  5. The new owner of Little Village Plaza says he wants to bring in more national retailers to the six-acre South Lawndale shopping center and potentially close the Discount Mall. Why some people think the 29-year-old mini mall should stay.
  6. It may not be Super Tuesday in Illinois, but don’t let that stop you from voting early. Here’s everything you need to know about the local, state and national races on the ballot.

A bright one

Patrick Berger, the co-owner of Paddy Long’s in Lakeview and Kaiser Tiger in the West Loop, is on a beer-only diet during the 40 days of Lent — and he’s already lost 20 pounds.

The self-proclaimed beer geek and history buff was inspired by the 17th century Paulaner monks and a Cincinnati man who completed the fast last year and lost 44 pounds in 46 days.

Patrick Berger, co-owner of Paddy Long’s, is living off beer for 40 days.
Facebook/@paddylongs

His wife, who is also the general manager at Kaiser Tiger, wasn’t exactly thrilled about the fast when she heard about his plan, and tried to talk him out of doing it. But since she’s figured out that he’s wouldn’t be “drunk all the time,” she’s been supportive, Berger told Block Club Chicago.

Berger’s diet consists of four beers a day, plus black coffee, gallons of water and vitamins. But he wants to be clear, he writes in his blog chronicling the fast, he’s “not a doctor or even very knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition.”

Speaking of doctors: last time he saw one, she told him to cut back on the beer. He says he’s not sure how she’ll react when he sees her next week.

Read the full story from Block Club Chicago.

From the press box

After a grueling February in which the Blackhawks played 11 of 14 games on the road, they’re looking forward to more time at home over the final few weeks of the season. The Ducks are in town tonight (7:30 p.m., NBCSC) for a matchup at the United Center.

The Fire announced some big news: Arlo White, the voice of the Premier League for NBC’s national coverage, will be calling Fire games on WGN this season. It’s a major get for the club that’s looking to stir up interest for its return to Soldier Field.

Your daily question ☕

Today is Super Tuesday, a pivotal day in the primary race. We want to know: Will you be following tonight’s results, or is your mind already made up? Reply to this email and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you if you’ve been stocking up on food and other basic necessities because of the coronavirus outbreak. Here’s what some of you responded:

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