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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 18, 2021

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

Community activists huddle and pray with a student Monday morning at Michele Clark Academic Prep High School on the West Side.
Stefano Esposito/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 with a high near 72. Tonight will be clear with a low around 50. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 71.

Top story

Pastors, community leaders help students at West Side school deal with the loss of one of their own

Tristan Smith hopes to some day play in the NBA, and he understands it will take a tremendous effort to make it.

What makes no sense to the 10th grader is how someone with a similar dream, who was putting in the work, could be gunned down — hers now only a what-might-have-been story.

“That’s crazy because you can put so much work in and put so much effort to reach your dream and get it cut short off of something like that,” Smith said.

Smith was among the dozens of students who streamed into Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School on the West Side Monday. About two dozen community activists, including pastor Ira Acree, greeted them, hoping to ease the pain of losing their classmate, Kierra Moore, who, family said, was destined to play in the WNBA.

The 16-year-old was shot and killed Oct. 14 while standing with a group of people in Lawndale, according to police, who said the gunfire came from gunmen in a black car around 11:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of West Polk Street.

Moore was hit several times and died at Mount Sinai Hospital. Family insisted that Moore was not with a group of people when she was killed. Moore was with her twin sister in a rideshare car that was blocked by another vehicle, her family has said.

Some students huddled with Acree and his group in prayer Monday. Others walked into school, appearing dazed — perhaps from the unwelcome spotlight or from trying to process the tragedy.

Read the full story from Stefano Esposito.

More news you need

  1. A federal jury today convicted a onetime student at DePaul University of trying to help the Islamic State by providing computer software that would disseminate the terrorist group’s propaganda. Jurors came to the verdict after listening to roughly two weeks of evidence in the trial.
  2. Cook County Democrats today officially rebuked Ald. Jim Gardiner and removed him from his party posts in response to “misogynistic, homophobic, and obscene language” in texts first published last month. Rachel Hinton has more on what the moves mean and where Gardiner stands now.
  3. Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s 12-year run as Chicago’s top watchdog ended Friday. His final quarterly report includes a range of wrongdoing by city employees, including one who tried to sneak a firearm through an airport checkpoint.
  4. Nea Gates never planned to get vaccinated, then she saw reports about pregnant women having severe and sometimes fatal cases of COVID-19. Gates, who is now set to be fully vaccinated weeks before her Dec. 18 due date, says her change of heart came in part because she thought about her unborn child.

A bright one

Fans revel in Sky’s first championship: ‘They’re at the helm of Chicago prominence’

Milton Jackson, decked out in Chicago Bears gear, sipped on his beer Sunday afternoon between cheers he started for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky with the other men sitting at his table in the corner of Fatpour Tap Works, a bar located a half-block from Wintrust Arena on the Near South Side, where the Sky were playing for the championship title.

“This is generating a great deal of energy… and they need to be recognized for what they’re doing,” Jackson said as he intently watched the final three minutes of Game 4 of the Sky’s championship series against the Phoenix Mercury.

As the Sky clawed back from a 14-point deficit in the second half, the cheers inside the bar got louder.

Once the trophy ceremony was over, Sky fans flooded the sidewalks around the Wintrust Arena. Some waved rally towels and banged noise makers while others screamed with excitement.
Madeline Kenney/Sun-Times

“Let’s f-----g go!” a man yelled when Kahleah Copper hit a layup to pull within three points of the Mercury.

One would’ve thought the Sky had won when Candace Parker hit a game-tying three with less than two minutes that sent the bar into a total frenzy, with strangers high-fiving one another. That excitement remained until the final buzzer.

“Oh my God, they did it,” a patron said after the Sky clinched their first title, winning 80-74.

Read Madeline Kenney’s full story from the post-championship celebrations here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How did you celebrate the Sky becoming Chicago’s latest championship team?Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: Have you ever reconnected with an old friend or long-lost loved one? How did it happen? Here’s what some of you said...

“My old girlfriend from my Air Force days back in ‘92 and she’s now my wife. Found her on Facebook five years ago.” — Enoral Sacul

“Didn’t see him for 30-something years. Ended up together for nine years until he died.” — Sandy Tyszkiewicz

“Old classmates and teachers from high school. Old friends from summer camps I went to growing up. All were found on Facebook.” — Steve Price

“Yes, through FB. Each connection has been wonderful.” — Barbara Silverman

“Yes only to be disappointed again I will let my past stay there now.” — Karen Johnson

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