Afternoon Edition: March 5, 2020

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

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Princess Gonalzes, 36, left and Maribel Saenz, 38, told the Sun-Times that while working four jobs and clocking in 80 hours a week, and they struggle to make ends meet for their family of five. | Ahlaam Delange/Sun-Times

Ahlaam Delange/Sun-Times

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.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with the possibility of some scattered showers. The high will be around 52 degrees and the low tonight will be 29 degrees. As temperatures plummet, there is a slight chance of snow showers late tonight. But don’t worry, a big warm-up is in the forecast for the weekend.

Top story

Nearly half of Chicago households struggle to afford basic necessities: report

Chicago families are struggling to afford the basics.

In the city, 44% of all households don’t earn enough to cover essentials like housing, child care, food, transportation and health care while saving for the future, according to a study published this week by the United Way, one of the country’s largest nonprofit organizations.

The report shows how economic hardship mirrors patterns of racial segregation in Chicago: in the Near North Side, a quarter of households struggle to afford basic needs, compared to 70% in South Shore.

The findings point to an uneven economic recovery in the decade after the Great Recession. While the vast majority of working-age people in Illinois are employed, 56% of those jobs pay under $20 an hour. And as wages stagnate, job insecurity is up across the board, making it hard for workers to pay off rising monthly expenses while saving enough money for a secure future.

“There are so many families who aren’t in deep poverty but make a litany of tough decisions every day,” said Ashley Anglin, the director of research at United Way. “Families are asking themselves if they should get groceries this week, or buy medicine? Get the car fixed or take your kids out of daycare?”

Read the full story from reporter Carlos Ballesteros.


R. Kelly pleaded not guilty Thursday to a revised set of criminal charges in a federal courtroom in Chicago that were filed last month.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

More news you need

  1. A Cook County man in his 20s is Illinois’ fifth confirmed case of coronavirus. He tested positive for the virus after traveling to Italy, the state’s Department of Public Health said today. Public health officials are looking for his close contacts.
  2. The story behind what happened before a fatal stabbing outside Richard’s Bar last month is becoming more complicated. Prosecutors said in court today that Kenneth Paterimos jumped the Marine Corps veteran charged with his death and threatened to “kick his ass” before he was stabbed in the back. Matthew Hendrickson reports from the courthouse.
  3. Former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., whose sexuality was questioned publicly by federal investigators following his 2016 indictment over alleged misuse of political and government funds, came out publicly as gay today. He detailed the fraught experience in a post on his website and Instagram page.
  4. Federal authorities are continuing to build on their case against R. Kelly, recently seizing more than 100 electronic devices like cell phones and hard drives with a search warrant, and signaling plans to add another alleged victim to his case in Chicago. Jon Seidel details what else happened in court today.
  5. Elizabeth Warren ended her presidential campaign today: “I refuse to let disappointment blind me – or you – to what we’ve accomplished,” she said. Read her full speech.
  6. Mike Bloomberg coughed up at least $241 for each vote that went his way in the Super Tuesday Democratic primary contests. Read what else he spent big bucks on during his 101-day campaign.
  7. Attention Little Monsters: Lady Gaga announced a special six-city tour this summer, which includes an Aug. 14 stop at Wrigley Field. Here’s how to get tickets.
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A bright one

John Dillinger’s escape from Crown Point’s jail on March 3, 1934 — 86 years ago this week — could have come straight from a modern-day action flick. The original coverage of the event in the Chicago Daily News reads like it was written by someone who’s outraged by Dillinger’s brazen escape — and also a little impressed.

Described in the Daily News story as an “industrious wood carver, Bible student, bank robber and murderer,” Dillinger made his escape from the “strongest jail in Indiana” at 9:30 a.m. that Saturday, armed with a wooden pistol carved days before and blackened with shoe polish, according to local legend.


The front page of the Chicago Daily News on March 3, 1934 announces John Dillinger’s escape from Crown Point’s unbreakable jail. | Chicago Daily News

The escape makes for a great story, but historians have debated whether it’s true or not, according to Sun-Times federal courts reporter Jon Seidel, who researched Dillinger for his recent book, “Second City Sinners.”

Some believe Dillinger’s associates smuggled a real gun inside, Seidel says.

Join us on a trip through the archives to find out how Dillinger was caught five months later.

From the press box

What do Cubs fans have against the Marquee network? A whole lot — and the team needs to recognize that by getting on Comcast as soon as possible, Jeff Agrest writes.

The Blackhawks’ playoff odds may be on life support, but a three-game winning streak has them holding out hope heading into tonight’s matchup against the Oilers (7 p.m. CT, NBCSC). Unfortunately Connor McDavid has been on a tear since coming back from injury with 14 points in six games.

Your daily question ☕

“Love is Blind,” Netflix’s popular new reality show, has couples propose to each other sight unseen before getting married a few weeks later. Would you be able to commit to marrying someone you’ve never seen before?

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 what you thought of the results from Super Tuesday. Here’s what some of you said:

“No matter what political party a voter prefers or whom you finally vote for, the slate has an overload of Grumpy Old Men on both sides,” wrote Irene Lathrop from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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