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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 25, 2021

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

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara addresses a group of union protesters and their supporters outside City Hall as they rally against a requirement that police, like all other city employees, get the COVID-19 vaccine.
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 cloudy with scattered showers and a high near 53 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 44. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 56.

Top story

FOP president warns Council members who fail to repeal vaccine mandate: ‘We are coming for every one of your damn seats’

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara on Monday likened Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate to the midnight destruction of Meigs Field and warned City Council members who refuse to take a stand against it that “we are coming for every one of your damned seats” in 2023.

Two vaccine-related ordinances were introduced at Monday’s Council meeting. Both were shunted off to the Rules Committee, the burial ground for legislation opposed by the mayor. Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) tried to suspend the rules to reverse that action but was voted down 30-to-20.

That didn’t stop Chicago police officers from showing up in force outside City Hall. Nor did it stop Catanzara from demanding a show of hands from Council members who support repealing the vaccine mandate and threatening those who oppose that repeal.

“We’re taking a report card and anybody who does not raise their hand — you will be challenged in 2023. We are coming for every one of your damn seats because this is not the way a government is supposed to run. It is not a queen on that throne. … It is not, ‘Take it or leave it,’” Catanzara said during the public comment section that preceded Monday’s meeting.

“Shame on every one of you. When she challenged your aldermanic prerogative, you all lost your mind. How dare [she] challenge your aldermanic prerogative. You are literally handing it to her on a platter. Culpable deniability is not going to be an excuse here.”

Fran Spielman’s got more in her full story here.

More news you need

  1. Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez will be paid a $340,000 annual salary under a five-year contract set for final approval by the Board of Education. The position’s salary has increased 31% since December, when then-CEO Janice Jackson made $260,000 per year.
  2. Another victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy was identified today by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. Francis Wayne Alexander, identified as victim No. 5, was killed by Gacy sometime between early 1976 and early 1977, authorities said.
  3. Nearly 20,000 people were without power today as storms whipped up strong winds and dumped more than two inches of rain in Chicago, which has seen a relatively dry season so far. Some suburbs reported three or more inches of rain.
  4. A police dog hailed as a hero for taking a bullet from a Chicago murder suspect last week has been released from a hospital. The dog, Riggs, is expected to make a full recovery.
  5. House or hip hop? ‘It’s Different In Chicago,’ scheduled for a Black Harvest Film Festival premiere, details how local music continues to be locked in an ongoing rivalry for respect at home and abroad. Read Evan F. Moore’s preview ahead of the doc’s November release.

A bright one

‘Books shouldn’t be a luxury’ — reading program brings free books to South and West sides

On a sweltering October Saturday in Boxville, 6-year-old Josiah Wilcher sits on his grandmother’s lap, flipping through a book.

Pointing to each word, Josiah reads, “School Picture Day.” It’s one of his favorites.

As some two dozen other children rush about laughing, eating and doing arts and crafts, Josiah hops off his grandma’s lap to slip the book into a basket near two wicker chairs.

Soon, Briana McLean and Grammy-award winning artist Chance the Rapper will be in those chairs, reading to the crowd gathered for Chance & Bri’s Books & Breakfast.

Chance the Rapper and educator Briana McLean read “The Boy with the Big, Big Feelings” at Chance & Bri’s Books & Breakfast event at Boxville one day before world mental health day.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

McLean and Chance started Books & Breakfast in late July. McLean, a former kindergarten teacher at Marquette Elementary School, created the program after she “became very aware very quickly (that) what was happening inside of my classroom and the culturally responsive teaching that I was doing was not happening outside of the walls of my classroom.”

She created a non-profit — Boundless Early Education — that would focus on three things: digital resources filled with things like lesson plans; early learning literacy resources; and Books & Breakfast.

“It’s very, very good to get the kids excited about reading,” said Josiah’s grandmother, Vickie Long. “Joe ... now reads like a storyteller. It excites me! He doesn’t just read to read, he leads you to the page, and he really picked up reading very well.”

Read Cheyanne M. Daniels’ full story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What do you think is Chicago’s defining music style? Why?

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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