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Afternoon Edition: Sept. 30, 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,” leaves a hearing at the Circuit Court of Cook County Wednesday.
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.

This afternoon will be sunny and windy, with a high near 63 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 48 degrees. Tomorrow, we’ll get a little more sun, with some showers and thunderstorms sprinkled throughout the day and a high near 59 degrees.

Top story

Dread Head Cowboy says he has no regrets about horseback protest

Outfitted in his iconic black boots and western hat, the Dread Head Cowboy left a Far South Side courthouse today while defiantly telling reporters he had no regrets after taking his horse NuNu for an evening ride on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

“No,” a somber-looking Adam Hollingsworth simply said when asked if, in retrospect, he regretted riding into rush hour traffic to protest violence against children last week.

NuNu, a pinto-colored mare, could be seen bleeding from a foot and had wounds on its side after the miles-long ride, and Hollingsworth, 33, was charged with a felony count of animal cruelty and several misdemeanors.

At his bond hearing last week, Cook County prosecutors said NuNu will never ride again and may need to be euthanized. Since then, Hollingsworth’s “beloved horse” has been doing “extremely well,” defense attorney, Jonathan Feldman, said after the brief hearing today.

Prosecutors agreed to continue the case until the end of October, Feldman said. Hollingsworth has not yet been arraigned on the charges and has not entered a plea.

Feldman called his client’s case a “perfect opportunity” for State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to direct her prosecutors to defer prosecution and order Hollingsworth to go through a court-ordered program.

Feldman called it “a hypocrisy” that Hollingsworth faces a felony for his alleged poor treatment of his horse, but that no such charges were filed after more than a dozen French bulldogs were found in unsanitary conditions at O’Hare Airport last month.

Feldman called on critics of Hollingsworth to work with him, saying that the cowboy’s “heart is pure.”

Hollingsworth spoke little to the media today, saying that he hoped to bring awareness to his cause, “Kids Lives Matter.” He also mentioned that Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who previously worked with him to promote the U.S. Census in South and West Side wards, had turned her back on him following his arrest. “I meant no harm,” Hollingsworth added.

Feldman has been in close contact with officials at the city’s Animal Care and Control department but said Hollingsworth has not been able to see NuNu.

The defense attorney compared his client to Chicago-born actor Mr. T, who he urged get in contact with Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth dreams of opening a stable in the city to give jobs and training to at-risk youth, Feldman added.

As Feldman and Hollingsworth walked away, a fan of the cowboy rolled down his car window in the courthouse parking lot and blared Little Nas X’s rap-country hit “Old Town Road” as other supporters gathered around Hollingsworth to dance and give him hugs.

Read Matthew Hendrickson’s story here.

More news you need

  1. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’s moving forward with a plan for Chicago’s civilian police review board that will leave her as final arbiter in disagreements between the board and Chicago Police Department. The leader of the group, Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability, calls Lightfoot’s decision a betrayal of a campaign promise.
  2. State records updated this morning show 2,001,775 people, or 24.6% of registered voters in Illinois, have requested ballots to vote by mail so far, and 11,506 people have already returned those ballots to their election authorities. The state has also seen 45,892 people vote early as of this morning.
  3. Last night’s presidential debate started with a casual “How you doing, man?” from Joe Biden to Donald Trump, and within minutes the former vice president was sniping at the president to “keep yapping, man.” It all went downhill from there. Here are 8 key quotes from the debate.

A bright one

‘Friends’ Experience brings the hit TV show to life in interactive pop-up

Touting a full re-creation of Central Perk, a wigged-out display of Rachel’s evolving hairdos and the chance to bug Ugly Naked Guy, the new interactive “Friends Experience — The One in Chicago” opening tomorrow at The Shops At North Bridge couldn’t BE any more of dream come true for fans of the long-running television hit series.

The two-level pop-up has been carefully assembled with an incredible eye for detail, offering 12 rooms and activations that resurrect the ‘90s classic TV series in all its glory. In addition to a look at actual scripts and original costumes utilized by the all-star cast, the main event is the numerous selfie-worthy spots that offer authentic re-creations, like Chandler and Joey’s apartment (complete with a foosball table and recliners), the infamous “Pivot!” staircase and couch, and the iconic fountain featured in the show’s opening credits.

Monica’s kitchen is among the interactive exhibits at “The Friends Experience: The One in Chicago” at The Shops at Northbridge, 540 N. Michigan Ave.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Created by Superfly X, the global entertainment group behind Bonnaroo and Outside Lands music festivals, “The Friends Experience” was first staged in 2019 in New York City and Boston to commemorate the show’s 25th anniversary. Increasing fan demand encouraged creators to bring it to Chicago, where the pop-up will enjoy one of its longest runs as well as one of its largest footprints, one of the unlikely benefits of social distancing guidelines the team is stringently adhering to as they get ready to open.

In addition to $35 general admission tickets, fans can opt for a private access option starting at $350 that allows their “quarantine bubble” of 6-10 people to enjoy it together.

For more information on the pop-up, read the full story here.

From the press box

Devin Hester had a lot of nice things to say about former teammate Jay Cutler’s physical talents. As a leader, however… not so much: “Now when it comes to leadership? The worst,” Hester said on a Bleacher Report video series. He don’t know how to communicate. He don’t know how to get his teammates involved.”

And with the Cubs in the midst of their wild card series opener against the Marlins, David Ross seems to have given the team just what it needed: Himself. Read Steve Greenberg’s story on how Ross delivered on his promise to shake up the clubhouse post-Joe Maddon.

Your daily question ☕

What did you think of last night’s presidential debate?

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: If you could ask one question during tonight’s presidential debate, what would it be? Here’s what some of you said…

“Why do teachers spend more of their own money in their classrooms than you paid in taxes, President Trump?” — Fieda Bennett

“Mr. Biden, how is it possible that public servants like yourself and many other in Congress who have held political offices for decades become millionaires serving the public?” — Michael Thinnes

“Mr. President, we would like to know specifics about your healthcare plan that would replace Obamacare, not that you would just discontinue it.” — Lynne Wolman Cook

“What is your plan for stopping the us-against-them mentality that has gripped this country, and work with legislators from both sides of the aisle to create and enact policy that will result in positive impacts for our country?” — Heather White Goodwin

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