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Afternoon Edition: May 1, 2020

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

John Whedbee owner of Heart of Chicago Grooming and his Dog Wally, sit together inside his grooming salon in Pilsen.
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.

Happy Friday! This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 65 degrees, and tonight’s low will be around 52 degrees. This weekend will feel like the start of summer, with sunny skies Saturday and a high near 75 degrees, and more sun on Sunday with a high of 70 degrees. ☀️

Top story

Businesses ready to open as some state COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Under the changes to Illinois’ stay-at-home order taking effect today, some non-essential businesses are able to start serving customers again inside their brick-and-mortar stores.

Businesses with permission to reopen include beauty supply stores, gardening centers, pet groomers and golf courses, as well as some state parks. Many of these must implement new safety measures, including restricted hours and constant sanitizing. Some are adding new services, like curbside pickup.

We talked to some business owners as they prepared to open their doors again this week. They’re hoping to recoup some of the money they lost after being shut down, even if the ease in restrictions is far from a return to normalcy.

At House of Melanin, a beauty supply store in Oak Park that specializes in hair care products for African Americans, owners Myeisha Campbell and Samuel Campbell reopened today, taking cues from how they’ve seen larger grocery stores operate during the pandemic: placing markers on the floor to remind people to stay 6 feet apart, limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time and requiring customers to wear masks. For online shoppers, delivery and curbside pickup are available.

“We will also have staggered hours because we will need time to routinely sanitize our products, wipe down shelves and also sanitize our air,” Myeisha said.

We’re making our vital coronavirus coverage free for all readers. See the latest news here.

John Whedbee, owner of Heart of Chicago Grooming in Pilsen, said his cage-free shop and one-customer-at-a-time approach is an advantage during social distancing. He’s adding a 20-minute buffer between appointments so he can disinfect the shop.

“I think it’s an honor to be able to provide services for people in a time like this, but it’s also a bit of pressure because we are putting ourselves in harm’s way to an extent,” Whedbee said.

Olivia DiCola, general manager of Olivia’s Garden in Morgan Park, said the revisions to the state’s stay-at-home order couldn’t come at a better time for her shop, where business is usually slow from January to April, but picks up during the growing season.

She said only 10 customers at a time will be allowed into the gardening center and everyone must wear a mask, including all 10 employees.

“I hope it’s a good season despite everything that is going on,” DiCola said. “We have a nice 70-degree weekend ahead of us and it should be a test for what we should expect moving forward.”

Read the full story from Manny Ramos.

More news you need

  1. Chicagoans eager to confirm whether they’ve been infected with the coronavirus can get an antibody test at a healthcare clinic for about a hundred bucks. The problem is that no one can say for sure what the test results mean.
  2. Health officials said another 105 people have died from COVID-19 while a record-high 3,137 new cases were confirmed in Illinois today. The deaths raised Illinois’ coronavirus toll to 2,457.
  3. The Chicago Police department’s “surge strategy,” which shifts officers from low-crime districts to temporarily flood high-crime areas, is a “recipe for disaster,“ the police union president says. Read Fran Spielman’s full interview with Kevin Graham.
  4. Sixteen years after then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko threw a punch that cost David Koschman his life, newly released phone records reveal that one of the people Vanecko was with called the mayor’s brother just eight hours after the incident. Tim Novak has the story.
  5. A face mask adorning one of the iconic lion statues at the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago was stolen last night, less than 24 hours after the symbolic masks were installed. The lions now have new, reinforced masks that will be more difficult to cut off.
  6. Bored of staying home all day? Kids are too. That’s why we’re providing books to Chicago Public School kids through our “Chicago Reads” program. Getting involved is easy: all you do is buy books online and have them shipped to your book buddy’s school. Here’s how to sign up.

A bright one

New Pritzker, Lightfoot bobbleheads nod to their handling of the coronavirus crisis

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have received the ultimate nod of respect for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic: their very own bobbleheads.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled their newest bobbleheads today. The museum chose to honor Pritzker and Lightfoot, along with several other governors, for their work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the state, co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said.

The bobblehead of Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, unveiled by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. | Provided

Both bobbleheads can be pre-ordered online for $25 each, plus a shipping charge of $8. The knickknacks are expected to ship in July.

For every bobblehead sold, the museum will donate $5 to the Protect the Heroes fund, which helps healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus.

Read the full story from Madeline Kenney.

From the press box

While Michael Jordan’s determination to succeed was unmatched, his talent is what carried him to his legendary status, writes columnist Rick Morrissey. That’s been clear throughout “The Last Dance.”

But while everyone’s been reminiscing about Jordan’s final season in Chicago, the Bulls have been overhauling their front office in an attempt to make their organization relevant like it once was. Today, the Bulls officially introduced new general manager Marc Eversley, who is known for his strength building relationships with players and their camps. What does Eversley’s hiring mean for Jim Boylen? That’s yet to be determined.

On another note, the Bears are one week removed from the NFL Draft. Our Mark Potash and Patrick Finley take a look at the questions still facing the team.

Your daily question ☕

What do you think of the stay-at-home order changes that went into effect today, like mask requirements and the reopening of golf courses and state parks?

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 your favorite family recipe is, because we’re putting together a recipe swap. Here’s what some of you said…

“Stuffed peppers with potatoes on the side. Yum.” — Donna Durbin

“Kugelis!!” — Alexas Bartkus

“Pot roast, carrots and potatoes.” — Beverly Calvert

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

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