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 brings the potential for more lake effect snow with a high around 25 degrees. Tonight will have a low near 10 degrees. Tomorrow the sun returns, though it’ll be a chilly day with a high of around 24 degrees.
John Catanzara, the controversial firebrand who leads the biggest Chicago police officers’ union, is again facing administrative charges that could lead to his firing from the Chicago Police Department.
The new charges, made public today by the Chicago Police Board, allege Catanzara filed a false police report against former Supt. Eddie Johnson after Johnson took part in an anti-violence march on the Dan Ryan Expressway in July 2018.
Catanzara “knowingly generate[d] a case incident report under RD number JB346816, falsely and/or misleadingly listing Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as an offender for Criminal Trespass to State Supported Land,” the charges state.
Months later, Catanzara filed another police report against Cmdr. Ronald Pontecore Jr., listing the commander “as an offender for ‘Interference with Public Officer; Obstructing Justice,’” according to the charges. It’s also alleged that Catanzara identified himself as “Beat 801” — a designation reserved for CPD supervisors.
Elected to lead the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 in 2020, Catanzara is one of the most frequently disciplined members of the police department. Before his election, he was stripped of his police powers during the CPD’s investigation of his report against Johnson. Catanzara is the first union leader to be elected while stripped of his police powers.
In December, a single member of the Chicago Police Board decided that Catanzara should face an evidentiary hearing regarding incendiary and obscene posts that he made to Facebook before his election.
He has also faced heavy criticism in recent weeks after he, in an interview with WBEZ-FM, initially defended the actions of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month, leaving five people, including a police officer, dead.
Catanzara, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, later apologized, though dozens of aldermen and other civic leaders have continued to call for him to step down as union president.
More news you need
- Preservationists and the family of Emmett Till have won their years-long battle to obtain landmark status for the childhood home of the teen whose 1955 lynching sparked the Civil Rights Movement. City Council approved the measure in an expedited vote today – just in time for Black History Month, our Maudlyne Ihejirika reports.
- A group of Chicago Public Schools parents urged the district and the mayor today to abandon the controversial reopening plan and stick to remote learning amid the standoff with the Chicago Teachers Union. Thousands of students and staff are due to return to schools next week, but the union has said a strike is possible.
- Before a night where four more carjackings were reported, Ald. Stephanie Coleman declared the city is in a “state of emergency” over the problem. Coleman, who represents the 16th Ward, said she’s particularly worried about women being targeting as carjacking victims.
- Four young children and an adult died in a house fire this morning in suburban Des Plaines. The children, who were all under 6 years old, and the adult belonged to the same family, an official said.
- For undocumented immigrants living in fear of deportation, Chicago became a more “welcoming city” today as City Council eliminated carveouts in a city ordinance that allowed CPD officers to work with ICE in certain circumstances. The 41-to-8 vote was the culmination of a nearly six-year campaign by immigrant rights advocates.
- A day after the city got hit by a major snowstorm, Ald. Ray Lopez proposed a crackdown to protect pets from being left out in the cold. The ordinance would spell out rules concerning when and for how long pets could be left outside in certain weather conditions.
- Another ordinance proposed today would allow recreational marijuana shops to move into the heart of the Loop. The move would do away with the much-maligned “exclusion zone” championed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot that bans stores in a certain area downtown.
A bright one
Mitch Trubisky is engaged.
The Bears’ quarterback of the past four seasons recently proposed to his longtime girlfriend Hillary Gallagher at The Breakers Palm Beach, a resort in Florida.
In the video posted to Instagram last night, Trubisky — wearing a baby blue dress shirt, navy pants and dress shoes — gets down on his right knee, pops the question and puts a ring on her finger.
“Can’t wait to spend forever with my soulmate,” she wrote on Instagram.
Trubisky, 26, will be a free agent in March after the Bears decided not to pick up his fifth-year option last year. He was benched last season but returned and gave the Bears’ offense a shot in the arm.
From the press box
Pat Fitzgerald isn’t leaving Northwestern anytime soon after the school announced he’s signed a new contract that runs through the 2030 season. That should quiet rumors of Fitzgerald’s potential leap to the NFL.
From Roger Clemens to Barry Bonds to Curt Schilling, everyone on this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot fell short of induction. That includes Sammy Sosa, who garnered just 17% of the vote and has just one year left on the ballot.
And the Bulls got some bad news last night with the announcement that Wendell Carter Jr. will be sidelined at least a month due to a severe right quad contusion. For a team already lacking physicality, Carter’s absence will be felt nightly.
Your daily question☕
Do you agree with Baseball Hall of Fame voters’ decision not to induct anyone this year? Tell us why, or why not.
Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: What’s your favorite meal to prepare on a snowy day? Here’s what some of you said...
“Tomato soup and grilled cheese.” — Vicky Longawa
“Chicken and dumplings, beef noodle soup, chili or loaded baked potato soup. All homemade of course!” — Patty Fisher-Sheahan
“Homemade creamy chicken and wild rice soup! I make it super chunky so it’s more like a stew.” — Laurie Fisher-Foley
“Chicken soup or Greek avgolemono soup.” — Faye Nefeli
“My dad’s chili! Then I had the audacity to put my own spin on it and challenge him to a cook-off.” — Twitter user @HerChiBlues
“Broccoli and cheddar soup.” — Rosa Vargas
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