Afternoon Edition: Aug. 27, 2020

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

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Kyle Rittenhouse, who was arrested in the shooting of 3 protesters in Kenosha Tuesday night, helps clean the exterior of Reuther Central High School Tuesday morning.

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.

Some scattered showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for this afternoon, which will otherwise be sunny and hot, with a high near 95 degrees and heat index values as high as 98. Tonight’s low will be around 73 degrees. Tomorrow, more storms are expected in the afternoon, which will see a high near 93 degrees.

Top story

Antioch teen arrested in Kenosha double murder is a high school dropout, Blue Lives Matter supporter

Kyle Rittenhouse built an identity around his unwavering support for the cops.

But after the 17-year-old from Antioch was accused of shooting two people to death Tuesday night and wounding another amid the ongoing unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he’s found himself firmly on the other end of the law.

Antioch police reported yesterday that Rittenhouse was arrested on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide after he allegedly opened fire during a protest that erupted in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse remains held in Lake County awaiting an extradition hearing set for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a portrait has emerged of a high school dropout who used social media to back the pro-police Blue Lives Matter movement and flash a high-powered weapon — one that looks similar to the gun he was allegedly seen firing in a video of Tuesday night’s incident in Kenosha.

The banner image on Rittenhouse’s Facebook page, which has been taken offline, showed him posing in two separate photos with a rifle. A frame overlaid on his profile picture carried a clear message: “Duty. Honor. Courage. Blue Lives Matter.”

The Blue Lives Matter countermovement emerged as Black Lives Matter protesters sought accountability for officers involved in high-profile police killings. Rittenhouse’s Facebook also included memorials to Samuel Jimenez, a Chicago cop killed during a mass shooting at Mercy Hospital in 2018, and McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Keltner, who was shot to death serving a warrant in Rockford last year.

A photo of the baby-faced alleged killer posted to another Facebook page belonging to his mother shows Rittenhouse clad in a blue cadet uniform adorned with a badge. WBEZ reported that he participated in a “public safety cadet program” in the far northern suburbs.

Rittenhouse also supported President Donald Trump, whose reelection campaign has centered on a “law and order” agenda. Buzzfeed News reported that Rittenhouse even attended Trump’s Jan. 30 rally in Des Moines, Iowa, posting a video of the event from his front-row seat.

Before the alleged shooting that took place, Rittenhouse was photographed helping clean the exterior of Reuther Central High School Tuesday in Kenosha. Rittenhouse later told a reporter he had been “pepper-sprayed” and said he and the other vigilantes weren’t using “non-lethal” ammunition. In another video circulating on social media, he explained his motive for being there.

“People are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business. And part of my job is to also help people,” he said. “If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, obviously.”

Last night, the YMCA of Metro Chicago confirmed that Rittenhouse is a part-time employee who has been on furlough since March. The statement did not indicate where he worked.

“He will not be returning to the YMCA,” the YMCA said in a statement. “We abhor these violent acts. Our condolences go out to the families of the victims in this incident.”

Read the full story from Tom Schuba and Madeline Kenney here.

More news you need

  1. A key Chicago Public Schools official with close ties to the CEO has been charged with lying to the FBI about a controversial private custodial contract worth at least $1 billion, federal court records show. Pedro Soto allegedly made a false statement about whether he had given out “nonpublic information” to an unnamed individual during a bidding process.
  2. Gaige Grosskreutz, who was shot in the arm in Kenosha Tuesday night, should be able to keep his arm, a close family friend said. Grosskreutz, 26, had surgery yesterday and will need freconstructive surgery. He “lost his bicep” because of the gunshot, the friend said.
  3. Preservationists and the family of Emmett Till are advocating for landmark status for the Woodlawn home where the teen lived before he was brutally lynched while visiting family in the South on Aug. 28, 1955. The home, which has many building code violations, has changed hands several times in recent years and is now believed to be vacant.
  4. Exelon said it will close its Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants in 2021 unless it wins a change to state law, a demand that will be intensely scrutinized because of the bribery scandal that ensnared the company’s ComEd division. The closures will eliminate 1,500 full-time jobs and reduce work for 2,000 supplemental employees hired during refueling.
  5. Embattled R&B superstar R. Kelly was assaulted by a fellow detainee at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, according to his lawyer. “We have not been provided any information from the jail, nor has Mr. Kelly called,” Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, tweeted today. “We are hopeful that he was not seriously injured.”
  6. City agencies plan to conduct a large safety drill this evening that could block traffic in much of downtown. The drill, set for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., comes after two waves of looting hit Chicago neighborhoods in May and August.
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A bright one

‘The Binge’: As drinking movies go, this one’s sloppy and obnoxious

Take the “smart” out of “Booksmart,” the “super” out of “Superbad” and the edge out of “The Purge,” and you get the Hulu movie “The Binge,” one of the worst comedies of this or any other year, notable only because it features what might just be the most terrible performance in Vince Vaughn’s up-and-down career, writes movie critic Richard Roeper in his latest review. “And I say that with no glee because I’m a Vince Vaughn guy.”

Vaughn tries valiantly but fails to wring some laughs out of the part of Principal Carlsen, a fast-talking ball of strange who presides over an high school called American High School in the year 2032, when it’s illegal to use, sell or manufacture all forms of alcohol and narcotics — except for the one day a year when the embargo is lifted for 12 hours and you can go nuts without repercussions.

“The Binge” follows the misadventures of three 18-year-old seniors who will be imbibing for the first time: the earnest good guy Griffin (Skyler Gisondo, who actually was in “Booksmart”), the wisecracking and troublemaking Hags (Dexter Darden) and the deeply weird Andrew (Eduardo Franco).

“Being in the same room as this movie is like getting stuck at a table at a wedding reception with the drunkest and most obnoxious guy in attendance,” writes Roeper. “All you can do is count the minutes until the sweet relief of the night coming to an end.”

Read Roeper’s full one-star review here.

From the press box

Bears running back David Montgomery’s status for the Sept. 13 season opener against the Lions is uncertain after the team reportedly set a 2-4 week timetable for his recovery from a groin injury. 

NBA players also voted today to resume the postseason after refusing to take the court yesterday in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. It’s unclear when games will resume as tonight’s games have already been postponed. 

Your daily question ☕

What are some creative ways you’ve been beating the heat while also social-distancing?

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 are you doing to prepare you and your kids for learning at home this fall? Here’s what some of you said…

“I started with the rules, every child has a laptop, I bought baskets with each child’s name so they keep their things organized, and headphones! So essentially rules, structure, organization, and expectations.” — Brenda Mendoza

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

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