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.
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 sunny with a high near 88 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 71 degrees. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 87 degrees and some rain.
Single rooms, meals to go, required COVID-19 testing: Illinois colleges plan students’ return to campus
Ending in-person classes before Thanksgiving break and living alone in dorms will likely be the new normal at many colleges and universities in Illinois this fall.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave them permission — along with K-12 schools and community colleges — to reopen if they follow state guidelines that include mandatory face masks, social distancing and monitoring students’ symptoms.
Beyond those basic guidelines, individual schools are developing their own reopening plans, with precautions ranging from removing doors in office buildings to testing every student living on campus.
Most college campuses plan at least some face-to-face classes, with many courses at least partially or completely online. “Hybrid” has become a new buzzword in higher education, said Illinois State University President Larry Dietz. The term describes classes meeting both face-to-face and online.
But how many classes will meet in-person or online at each campus remains in flux.
Already, Loyola University announced yesterday that it was scaling back reopening plans and said most classes will be online unless they require face-to-face interaction, such as for lab work or research.
Illinois State junior Ethan Kosberg is going into the fall semester with reservations about how long in-person classes will last. Kosberg, a history and political science major, is taking five classes this fall; two are online-only.
“My biggest worry would be that on, say, Sept. 15, there’s a huge outbreak and everyone goes home,” said Kosberg, 20, ISU’s student body vice president. “Then it’s like, what was this all for?”
ISU and many other Illinois colleges plan to hold final exams online so students don’t need to return to campus after Thanksgiving. But Kosberg said it’s much harder to focus on exams from his bedroom in Springfield, Kansas. Loyola, Northwestern and the U. of C. also will end in-person classes before Thanksgiving break.
At U. of C. and the University of Illinois at Chicago, new students get priority for enrolling in on-campus classes. Roosevelt University — which is reserving most face-to-face classes for labs, studio classes and clinicals — is allowing first-year students the chance to schedule two or three in-person classes.
“Being able to be on campus for at least one class during your first year is such an important part of building community,” said Wasan Kumar, a senior and student body president at UIC. “It’ll be something that stays with you for the rest of your life.”
More news you need
- A former CPS football coach has been accused of sexually assaulting one of his players, photographing him nude and posting the photos in the victim’s apartment building and along the route to his school. Curtis Thomas, 51, has been charged with criminal sexual assault, child pornography and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a second victim.
- More than 21,000 City Colleges students who dropped out over the last decade because they couldn’t afford tuition and fees could clear their debt and return to earn their certificates or degrees under a new mayoral program announced today. “Fresh Start” begins this fall and continues through 2023.
- Enforcement of city sticker and residential permit parking requirements won’t kick in until Aug. 1 — a two-week extension meant to give motorists extra time to come into compliance. Meanwhile, expired vehicle registration enforcement won’t begin until November.
- Public schools across the state will receive an additional $50 million from the governor’s emergency education relief fund, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today. The money will go, in part, toward closing the digital divide and training educators and families to assist students in using technology.
- South Side pastor Bishop Larry Trotter has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesman for the religious leader confirmed today. The pastor of Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago is now stressing the importance of getting tested for the virus.
A bright one
Homegrown Kush connoisseurs are being tapped to test an array of primo pot products as Illinois prepares to host a socially distanced version of the vaunted High Times Cannabis Cup later this summer.
High Times hosted the first Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in 1988 and the event has since become a staple of stoner culture, with icons like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa performing and serving as testers at recent incarnations of the bacchanal.
Now, members of the public will have the chance to “identify and award the best cannabis products in all of Illinois,” High Times said on its website. It’s the first time the competition will be open to the public, making it “the largest pool of judges in history.”
Those judges will rate eight categories of pot products — including flower, concentrates, edibles and vape cartridges — that legal Illinois pot dealers must submit for consideration between Aug. 17-20.
From the press box
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and local Ald. Tom Tunney agreed today to loosen restrictions on the number of Cubs games that can be held on Friday and Saturday nights at Wrigley Field for the upcoming season.
The current city ordinance that bans Friday night games at Wrigley Field limits the Cubs to just two Saturday night games per season. Today’s change will allow the team to hold 11 games on those nights for the pandemic-shortened 60-game campaign.
And if you’re ready for some Cubs baseball ASAP, Marquee Sports Network is airing today’s intrasquad game from Wrigley Field at 6 p.m. tonight. It’ll be the first game broadcast for the team’s new TV network.
Your daily question☕
Since many of us are working remotely these days, we want to know: What’s the best Wi-Fi name you’ve ever seen?
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 think the Washington Redskins new name should be.Here’s what some of you said…
“Red Tails (Tuskegee Airmen tribute). Perfect for airplane logo!”— Scott Lynn
“The Washington Swamp Things.”— Shane Vander Hart
“The Washington Panderers.”— Jim Maher
Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed?Email us here.