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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 19, 2021

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

The Chicago Sky celebrates its WNBA Championship title at Pritzker Pavilion.
Ashlee Rezin/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 mostly sunny with a high near 71 degrees. Tonight is expected to be mostly clear with a low around 53. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 71 and a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Top story

Fans, team celebrate Sky’s WNBA title: ‘I think it’s going to make the city a little happier’

The Chicago Sky’s come-from-way-behind win on Sunday gave the city its first major league championship in five years, and was celebrated today with a parade, then a rally at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

The Sky beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 Sunday at Wintrust Arena. The win made the Sky the first Chicago sports team to win a title since the Cubs won it all in 2016, ending a centurylong drought. The Sky were also the first team to win a championship at home since the Blackhawks in 2015.

The parade left Wintrust Arena about 11:25 a.m. — a little later than the scheduled 11 a.m. start time. The motorcade headed to Michigan Avenue, then north toward Millennium Park for the noon rally.

Fans lined Michigan Avenue to cheer on the champions.

Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot looked out at fans waving, took a deep breath and said, “I truly can’t believe this.”

As the parade came to an end, hundreds more fans flocked to the Pritzker Pavilion, where thousands had already gathered in anticipation for the rally. Some fans arrived as early as 9 a.m. for the noon ceremony.

Some people started to line up on the edge overlooking the outdoor theatre as red seats filled up. People danced and clapped along to the beat of the music. Some waved baby-blue Sky flags and pumped their fists in the air.

Madeline Kenney, Manny Ramos, Jason Beeferman, and Annie Costabile were on-site covering the festivities from multiple angles — read their dispatches here.

More news you need

  1. Three city officials should be disciplined, including a possible firing, for the mishandled implosion of a former coal power plant that left Little Village covered in a massive blanket of dust last year, former Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson said in a new report today. The report, Ferguson’s final one before ending his 12-year-run as Chicago’s top watchdog, stated the IG’s office forwarded the discipline recommendations to City Hall.
  2. Ferguson also delivered a 163-page report on the botched police raid on the home of Anjanette Young. He said Lightfoot’s decision to hire a private law firm to look into the raid — and use attorney-client privilege to conceal details of that investigation — stymied efforts by the watchdog’s office to find out what happened.
  3. A clout-heavy Chicago janitorial company is suing City Hall in an effort to hold onto a deal at O’Hare — under which it’s been paid almost $200 million over nearly a decade. United Maintenance Company Inc. says Lightfoot’s administration is violating city and state procurement and contract bidding procedures.
  4. Hope Chicago, a new nonprofit, aims to help more than 30,000 Chicagoans graduate from college and trade school over the next 10 years, and it looks to raise over a billion dollars to do it. The organization is led by former Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, who said she looks forward to her new role, a job that comes with “a lot less drama.”
  5. A 23-year-old man has been charged with shooting a Chicago police officer in the face yesterday afternoon in a Lincoln Park strip mall. Immediately before he shot the officer, he kidnapped and restrained a 21-year-old woman, police said.
  6. Gov. Pritzker today encouraged residents eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to get one, allowing Illinoisans to be “even more protected than you are today.” He also expressed hope for removing precautions like the mask mandate “as we approach the holidays.”

A bright one

Local artist’s lifelong love of birds showcased in Evanston mural

Tyrue “Slang” Jones became “obsessed” with drawing birds as a kid because he’d always see them in the art books his mother got him.

The West Humboldt Park artist has been creating bird art ever since.

His latest: the graffiti-style “Birds of Concern” mural at 1901 Central St. in Evanston that features three vulnerable birds found in Illinois: a redheaded woodpecker, an American kestrel and a Blackburnian warbler.

Tyrue “Slang” Jones, working from a scissor lift, painting the mural “Birds of Concern” at 1901 Central St. in Evanston. He finished the mural Sept. 26.
Tyrue “Slang” Jone working on his mural, “Birds of Concern” at 1901 Central St. in Evanston.
Provided

Jones, 51, says he’s been influenced by different artistic styles. For the Evanston mural, he returned to one he knows well: graffiti art. That influence can be seen in the exaggerated, curling vines and branches.

The 15-foot mural, which brightens the exterior of businesses, is the result of a collaboration between Art Encounter and the Evanston North Shore Bird Club.

“We wanted it to be a melding of art and science,” says Libby Hill, who leads the bird group.

Zack Miller has more on the story behind Jones’ work here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Whether you’re a transplant or born and raised here, what do you love most about living in Chicago?

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: How did you celebrate the Sky becoming Chicago’s latest championship team? Here’s what some of you said…

“Victoria Park and I were at the game and the Sky were behind for a huge portion of the game. But the ladies never gave up and fought their way back. The last 30 seconds of the game were so emotional and when they won, the crowd absolutely erupted! Such an amazing experience! After the team spoke and they were presented with the trophy, along with Kahleah Copper being presented with the MVP trophy, we went to Offshore Rooftop at Navy Pier to celebrate!” — Celina Barajas

“I was having lunch in a sports grill with the only TV not set to football. I watched the entire game, and when the final timer went off, I was yelling and whooping louder than any guys or gals watching football! Go Sky!” — Patricia Simmons

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