Afternoon Edition: Jan. 19, 2021

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

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Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, speaks during a press conference.

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.

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Afternoon Edition

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.

Some light snow is in the forecast for this afternoon, which will see a high near 28 degrees. The steadiest snowfall is expected between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tomorrow, the sun returns for a clear-yet-chilly day with a high of around 30 degrees.

Top story

Chicago Teachers Union might take strike vote this week, sources say

The Chicago Teachers Union could vote as early as this week to go on its second strike in as many school years as thousands of teachers and staff continue to protest orders to return to schools they don’t believe are safe in a pandemic, sources told our Nader Issa.

The union is expected to convene its 700-member House of Delegates tomorrow to discuss a work stoppage or other collective action, potentially sending a vote to the 25,000 rank-and-file members of the CTU as soon as the next day, according to sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak about the union’s plans.

If three-quarters of CTU members vote in favor of a work stoppage, a strike could start next Monday, sources said, when Chicago Public Schools officials are expecting thousands of kindergarten through eighth grade teachers and staff to report to work ahead of a Feb. 1 reopening for elementary and middle schools.

Schools chief Janice Jackson said at a morning appearance at Belmont-Cragin Elementary that CPS is “incredibly interested” in reaching a speedy agreement with the CTU over a safe reopening.

“We are not against the union,” Jackson said. “Our teachers are the bedrock of our schools. We cannot do the work that we need to do without the instructors. But at this juncture, we have to come together and not debate whether or not we have in-person schooling, but debate how to do it safely.

“I have every reason to believe we’ll be ready for Feb. 1 provided everything falls into place with our teachers.”

This is a developing story. Read the latest from Nader Issa here.

More news you need

  1. With Illinois’ COVID-19 numbers trending in the right direction, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s health team could clear the table for Chicago bars and restaurants to resume limited indoor service within a few days. City officials also said the bulk of residents could start getting vaccines by the end of May.
  2. Mayor Lori Lightfoot looks poised to finally deliver on a campaign promise to prevent Chicago police officers from working with federal immigration agents. The move would eliminate “carve-outs” in the city’s Welcoming City ordinance that allow police to work with ICE in certain circumstances.
  3. House Rep. Bobby Rush thanked Lightfoot today for keeping another promise: To hold to account the cops accused of lounging in his burglarized campaign office during summer unrest. Rush said he’s satisfied with the response, which included suspensions for 17 officers and supervisors.
  4. A North Side Democrat announced her resignation from the state Senate today after a 12-year tenure that saw her play a key role in legalizing same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana. Rep. Heather Steans, whose resignation will take effect Jan. 31, said she thinks it’s time for “fresh eyes and fresh energy” in her district.
  5. A Chicago man was killed and two others injured after the stolen Maserati they were in crashed on I-65 in Northwest Indiana. The car had been reported stolen from Chicago in December 2019, police said.
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A bright one

‘Muskie fishing is forever ruined for me’: A first muskie of 52 inches caught ice fishing will do that

Now, that’s a first muskie: 52 inches long and caught while ice fishing.

“As I reeled up and recovered some line, I saw the side of a huge fish, light in color, and for sure much bigger than the (39.5-inch northern pike) Tommy landed,” Luis Gonzalez messaged our Dale Bowman.

“I knew I witnessed a muskie but was in disbelief as muskie, to my knowledge, didn’t bite during hard water season. I didn’t want to sound like an amateur and misidentify a pike as a muskie, due to the fact that I’ve never seen one in person but deep down I knew.”


Luis Gonzalez with his 52-inch muskie caught ice fishing Jan. 12 in Lake County.


On Jan. 12 as a birthday outing, Gonzalez went ice fishing with Tommy Krysciak and Mike Jarvis. They loaded up on suckers and golden roaches from Jim Templin at Fish Tech, then targeted pike on a Lake County lake.

Like a lot of anglers, Gonzalez has superstitions. His is playing “Livin’ Part of Life,” by Eric Church, which Gonzalez played anytime he fished with his cousin James Bradley, who died Dec. 18.

Then, minutes before they decided to quit at 4:30 p.m., both Jarvis and Gonzalez thought their eyes were playing tricks when an Ugly Stik Jaw Jacker combo, which Michael Folster gave Gonzalez a few seasons ago, popped.

While Gonzalez played the fish for about 15 minutes, the others identified it as a muskie, too.

Read Dale Bowman’s full story on a local fisherman’s first big catch.

From the press box

This morning, the Mets fired general manager Jared Porter — who previously served as the Cubs’ pro scouting director — following an ESPN report that he sent an unsolicited explicit photo to a female reporter in 2016. Porter, 41, had been hired by the Mets last month.

Meanwhile, ex-Cubs starter Jon Lester joined the Nationals last night on a one-year deal. “The Ricketts family has pulled one Brink’s truck after another into the neighborhood to expand their fortune, yet they continue to cry poor,” Steve Greenberg writes of an offseason of big departures.

And while the stats still paint Zach LaVine as a one-dimensional player, the recent eye test suggests the Bulls’ star guard is putting in the effort to improve defensively, Joe Cowley writes.

Your daily question ☕

Many of us have spent more time at home this year, so we want to know: How have you decluttered or made your home more comfortable amid the pandemic?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: How are you celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Here’s what some of you said...

“I am working from home. Given King fought for the economic advancement of Black people, working is a great way to celebrate his life and work.” — Michael Marsh

Reflection, remembrance, and education. Trying to make our world better today than it was yesterday.” — Phillip Moody

Praying for peace in this country.” — Erica Palmer

“Teaching children about this day.” — Marie Yazzie

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