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Afternoon Edition: Sept. 22, 2020

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

Adam Hollingsworth, 33, otherwise known as “The Dread Head Cowboy,” takes a selfie with a Chicago Police officer as he rides his horse Prince in the Loop on June 16.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/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.

Another beautiful afternoon is in the forecast: sunny, with a high near 80 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 58 degrees. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 80 degrees, just like today.

Top story

Pfleger, activist Ja’Mal Green call for dropping charges against Dread Head Cowboy

Father Michael Pfleger and activist Ja’Mal Green are calling on authorities to release Adam Hollingsworth — better known as the Dread Head Cowboy — from police custody, and to drop charges against him for riding a horse on the Dan Ryan Expressway during yesterday’s evening rush as a form of protest against kids getting shot in Chicago.

“I’m with the Cowboy 100% and I think these charges need to be dropped” Pfleger, who led 5,000 people onto the Dan Ryan in 2018 to protest violence, told us in a phone call today. “I think we need to do a whole lot more disruption of shopping and traffic and business as usual until we deal with this violence.”

Hollingsworth was still in custody today, charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, disobeying a police officer and criminal trespassing to state-supported property. He may face additional charges of animal cruelty, sources said.

The horse Hollingsworth rode was injured and will be taken to a temporary shelter by Chicago Animal Care and Control for treatment. State police said it was bleeding from one hoof, and another was injured. The right side of the horse’s body had sores from the saddle.

“I trusted that he knew what was best for the horse,” Pfleger said. “If the horse was injured in any way, obviously, I don’t want that. I’m sorry about that.”

Green also spoke out in support of Hollingsworth during a news conference today outside the far South Side police station where he is being held. Green pointed to Pfleger’s highway shut down two years ago — and the fact that he was not charged for the action — and said state police are picking and choosing who they arrest and charge for the disruptive form of protest. Pfleger has “a little bit more influence” and is better connected than Hollingsworth, Green said.

Pfleger disagreed: “We had planned that for a couple of months and had about 5,000 people at that protest, which is a little different. I don’t think it’s necessarily about power and influence” he said, adding that negotiations with law enforcement came down to the last second when authorities agreed to let them march on half of the Dan Ryan’s northbound lanes.

Hollingsworth also met with authorities to try to get the okay to ride on the Dan Ryan.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said the incident was a “stunt” that endangered the horse and others on the expressway, and was the wrong way to protest.

Hollingsworth posted video of his ride on Facebook Live, which was also captured by news helicopters. In his posts, Hollingsworth — who has ridden his horse to multiple civil rights protests this summer — says “I shut down the Dan Ryan! Kids lives matter!”

Read the full story from Mitch Dudek here.

More news you need

  1. You might want to cancel that Sunday drive to Wisconsin to see the fall colors: For the second time in less than two months, Wisconsin is slated to go back on Chicago’s 14-day quarantine list. The move comes one week after Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady warned the state it had one week to get its act together.
  2. Fourteen people were shot yesterday in Chicago, including three homicides that all happened on the North Side within three hours after midnight. Among the wounded were a 10-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman hurt in a triple shooting on the West Side.
  3. Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned ComEd’s top executive this week that the city will not renew its utility agreement with the electric company unless she receives a “substantive” plan that details goals for ethics reform, an end to residential disconnections, help with the city’s clean energy goals and other measures. Brett Chase has the story.

A bright one

Rooftop park awaits crowds at Old Post Office

Promoters of the Old Post Office, an imposing trophy from a real estate boom now muted by the pandemic, showed off its newest attraction yesterday for current and potential corporate customers who might not be ready to appreciate it.

It’s a 3.5-acre landscaped rooftop now open to tenants and their guests, featuring a contoured palette of plants, a running track, basketball and paddleball courts and three bee colonies to service the wildflowers. Reinforcing the rooftop and bringing in the landscaping, a job that required 3,000 helicopter lifts, cost more than $19 million. Its planners said while it has been in the works for two years, the rooftop park has the post-COVID virtue of providing outdoor space for people tired of their desks.

People walk through the 3.5-acre, green rooftop terrace at The Old Post Office on Monday morning.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

For now, the chance of the rooftop drawing a big crowd is slight. Of the companies that have moved to the building, only about 10% of the employees are present, said Brian Whiting, CEO of the Telos Group, the leasing agent. But he said the cavernous landmark still has been a hit in the marketplace, with 81% of its roughly 2.3 million rentable square feet spoken for.

The roof of the Art Deco building at 433 W. Van Buren St. is available for weddings and other events, and the building plans to eventually add an outdoor bistro, too.

Check out more photos of the rooftop park here.

From the press box

A week after Danny Trevathan looked a step slow against the Lions, the Bears responded by slashing his playing time against the Giants. Trevathan, usually a key starter, played just 48% of Week 2 defensive snaps, down from 90% the week before.

And running back Tarik Cohen, who recently signed a three-year contract extension, says he “left some money on the plate” to make it easier for the team to agree to a new deal with Allen Robinson. Cohen has been publicly campaigning for Robinson to get an extension in recent weeks.

Your daily question ☕

Has the pandemic made you consider moving elsewhere? If so, why, and where would you want to go?

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 did you think of last night’s virtual Emmys? Here’s what some of you said…

“The show was a pretty decent effort, given the restrictions. If you don’t have Netflix, find someone who does. ‘Schitts Creek’ is hysterical.” — Sandra J. Harney

“I thought that it was suitable for the circumstances. I love Jimmy Kimmel so he kept it going.” — Jackie Waldier

“Didn’t even know it happened.” — Nelson Junior

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

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