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Afternoon Edition: June 2, 2020

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

Mayor Lori Lightfoot visited commercial areas on the South and West sides on Monday to assess damage from a weekend of riots and looting. Here, she meets with residents near Brown Sugar Bakery, 328 E 75th St.
City of Chicago photo via Twitter

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.

It’s a hot one today: This afternoon will be sunny, with a high near 92 degrees. Some showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast tonight as the low drops to around 71 degrees. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 85 degrees.

Top story

Despite devastating damage, Chicago businesses to partially reopen Wednesday

Despite rioting and looting that damaged businesses across the city, Chicago will forge ahead tomorrow with its plan to partially emerge from the stay-at-home shutdown implemented because of the coronavirus.

“We will reopen tomorrow,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this morning. She said she made the decision after touring damaged commercial strips on the South and West sides and talking to business owners across the city — businesses that had been gearing up to reopen but were instead cleaning up debris and contacting their insurance companies.

They were nearly unanimous in their desire and determination to reopen their businesses and get people back to work, she said.

In making the decision to tiptoe into Phase 3, City Hall is well aware that scores of businesses looted and damaged over the weekend are not yet prepared to reopen. Those businesses still cleaning up broken glass, replacing shattered windows and replenishing merchandise picked clean by looters will reopen at their own pace.

But the businesses that emerged relatively unscathed and are prepared to reopen may do so.

Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia said Lightfoot made the right decision to proceed with Phase 3. Still, he acknowledged “dozens and dozens” of damaged restaurants — particularly in River North and Wicker Park — are still picking up the pieces and will not be ready to join in the reopening.

Tomorrow’s partial reopening with limited capacity runs the gamut from hotels, outdoor dining at restaurants, office-based jobs and professional services to non-lakefront golf courses, child care, stores and personal services. Barbershops, hair and nail salons are included — at limited capacity, with strict safety precautions.

Conspicuously absent from the Phase 3 list are religious services, gyms and the lakefront that Lightfoot famously shut down because Chicagoans could not be trusted to maintain social distance and avoid gathering in large groups.

Lightfoot has said she hopes to open those “later in Phase 3,” but only after seeing “how our first steps go.”

Read the full story from Fran Spielman.

More news you need

  1. Mayor Lori Lightfoot dismissed President Donald Trump’s threat to “deploy the United States military” to areas where unrest continues in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd. “That’s not gonna happen,” Lightfoot said today. “I will see him in court.”
  2. Federal prosecutors have filed additional criminal charges related to the weekend looting and violence in Chicago. Brandon Pegues and Amber L. Peltzer, both from the south suburbs, are each charged in separate cases in federal court with illegally possessing a firearm.
  3. The coronavirus pandemic has left some senior citizens dangerously isolated in public and subsidized housing around the city, with only a patchwork support system in place to make sure they’re OK. Read the investigation from ProPublica’s Mick Dumke and Haru Coryne.
  4. Many people are posting black squares on Instagram to participate in “Blackout Tuesday,” but some activists say the posts are congesting a vital communication pipeline. They’re asking participants to stop using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
  5. Cooling centers are open on the South and West sides at King Community Service Center and Garfield Community Service Center as high temperatures threaten to break a record in Chicago. They’ll be open until 5 p.m., but cooling buses will be available at police districts until 8:30 p.m.

A bright one

Celebrate Pride Month with these films, TV series, marathons and streams

June is Pride Month, when members of the LGBTQ community come together to celebrate the progress they’ve made since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which helped pave the way for the modern-day gay rights movement.

With Chicago’s Pride Parade canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, many folks are looking for other ways to celebrate. Broadcasters are doing their part, with plenty of specials planned as well as shows and films that are available to stream year-round.

Fourteen crosswalks representing LGBT and transgender pride were installed along Halsted Street last year in June.
Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Time

What’s on tap, you ask? “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” and “Modern Family” marathons, plus favorites like “Queer Eye” and “Will & Grace” that available on streaming platforms for you to binge.

Want more TV and movie options? Read the full story here.

From the press box

With the Bears starting organized team activities over Zoom this week, Patrick Finley looks at seven big questions facing the franchise. Mark Potash also does the same, noting that the only one that really matters is what happens at quarterback as usual.

Your daily question ☕

How are you planning on celebrating Pride Month this year?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: What actions have people in your community taken that have brought you hope in recent days? Here’s what some of you said…

“Kudos to all the teachers … for organizing food for the kids today when CPS did not feed them.”@1unionteacher on Twitter

“Some members of the community are chasing off looters, protecting businesses in the neighborhood.” — Denise Campos

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