Afternoon Edition: April 28, 2020

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

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Chicago police Supt. David Brown. | File photo

Tyler LaRiviere/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.

More rain today, and it looks like that’ll be the case for the next couple of days, too. Showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for this afternoon and throughout the night. The high will be near 74 degrees and the low will be near 51 degrees. Tomorrow, more rain, with a high near 56 degrees. ☂️

Top story

New top cop David Brown clamps down on Chicago police overtime

One of David Brown’s first moves after being sworn in last week as Chicago’s new police superintendent aims to crack down on the department’s more than $130 million a year in overtime spending.

A source said Brown made the decision during a meeting with top police brass. “Everyone in the room was surprised that was his move,” the source said. “He decided right then and there. A bold move.”

The order, approved late Friday, requires officers to get approval from a supervisor with the rank of deputy chief or above for overtime they work after their regular shifts. In the past, officers needed final approval from an exempt member of the department — usually a district commander, who’s a notch below the rank of deputy chiefs.

The order also requires deputy chiefs to perform a monthly review of overtime to identify patterns of misuse. Any disciplinary action they take must be reported to the superintendent.

Some rank-and-file members wonder whether deputy chiefs will be overwhelmed by requests for overtime under the order. Ald. Chris Taliaferro said he wonders the same thing.

“The superintendent has to run the department as he sees fit,” Taliaferro said. “I’m not going to completely disagree with it, but, in my opinion, it may be too much for a deputy chief to handle.”

Overtime has been an issue for the police department’s leaders, with city Inspector General Joe Ferguson saying in February they hadn’t done enough to control overtime, identify “patterns of fraud and abuse” and prevent officers’ fatigue.

Last year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was “angry and frustrated” by the police department’s overtime expenses and planned to hold then-Supt. Eddie Johnson accountable for limiting such spending, which she said Chicago taxpayers “can’t afford.”

Officers have been accumulating large amounts of overtime during the coronavirus pandemic. And city officials expect much of that will be reimbursed by the federal government. But some of that spending won’t be covered and will add to the city’s budget woes.

Read the full story from Frank Main and Fran Spielman.

More news you need

  1. While you’re keeping 6 feet of distance between yourself and other owners at the dog park, be sure to give your pet equal distance from other animals. The CDC now recommends pet owners isolate their dogs, cats and hamstersfrom close contact with other animals after two cats tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Each of Chicago Public Schools’ 514 principals has received their school budgets for next fall, with increases across the board to special education and funds devoted to teacher pay raises. The overall sum of school budgets has increased by $125 million over last year, the district said.
  3. Illinois officials said another 144 people have died from COVID-19, marking the state’s highest number of deaths in a day. The state has now lost 2,125 people to the coronavirus.
  4. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a program backed by private donations to provide $5,000 grants to microbusinesses affected by the coronavirus. Applications will be accepted until May 4, and grants will be awarded just a week later.
  5. Eighteen employees at a Tootsie Roll manufacturing plant on the Southwest Side have tested positive for COVID-19 since the end of March. The employees and others they came into contact with were asked to self quarantine.
  6. Kids Off The Block founder Diane Latiker, her husband and volunteers have been distributing food, gloves, masks, sanitizer and information to vulnerable populations, including the homeless, since March 31. Maudlyne Ihejirika talked to the hometown hero.
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A bright one

Mayor Lightfoot leading ‘virtual’ museum field trips

You might not be able to take little ones to Chicago’s world-class museums and other cultural attractions during the state-wide stay-at-home order, but kids can still explore places like the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry and even the Lincoln Park Zoo while at home during the next few weeks.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes viewers on behind-the-scenes visits to those iconic spots and others in WTTW’s new show, “Stay Home. Hit Play.” In the first episode, which debuts tomorrow, Lightfoot goes to the Shedd, where she feeds sharks, walks around with some penguins, chats with Nickel the sea turtle and admires the colorful fish in some of the aquarium’s exhibits.

Subsequent field trips will also take viewers to the DuSable Museum of African American History, the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Here’s how to tune in to WTTW’s new show.And for more things to do with your kids,like other virtual tours, educational and artistic activities, and even some exercise ideas, check out Alison Martin’s roundup.

From the press box

Weeks after ownership said he’d be back for next season, Blackhawks president John McDonough was fired last night after 13 years with the organization. The move hints at big changes for the Hawks at the same time that the Bulls undergo a massive front office overhaul of their own.

The Blackhawks rose from the dregs of the NHL to win three Stanley Cups under McDonough’s leadership, but hisfiring sends a message that the team’s on-ice performance over the last five seasons was not good enough, Rick Morrissey writes.

Your daily question☕

Beyond the official restrictions, how is the stay-at-home order affecting your circle of family and friends?

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 books or TV shows you’re happiest about being able to catch up on now that you’re not commuting every day.Here’s what some of you said…

“Westworld.”— Katina Weatherspoon

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