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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 26, 2021

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

FILE - In this July 27, 2018, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman speaks to the media during the NHL hockey team’s convention in Chicago.
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman speaks during the team’s convention in Chicago in July 2018. Bowman and right-hand man Al MacIsaac were fired today.
Annie Rice/AP

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 partly sunny with a high near 56 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 42. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 57 degrees.

Top story

Longtime Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman resigns in overhaul over sexual assault cover-up

Stan Bowman’s 12-year reign as the Blackhawks’ general manager and hockey operations president is over.

Bowman and right-hand man Al MacIsaac, formerly the two most powerful people in the Hawks’ hockey operations, were forced out today.

Their departures headline an organizational overhaul enacted after the release of findings from an investigation into the handling of allegations that former video coach Bradley Aldrich sexually assaulted two players shortly before the 2010 Stanley Cup championship.

Kyle Davidson, formerly the Hawks’ vice president of hockey strategy and analytics, will take over as interim general manager while the Hawks begin a search for a permanent replacement, CEO Danny Wirtz said in a Zoom meeting alongside Hawks chairman Rocky Wirtz.

“Rocky and I appreciate Stan’s dedication to the Blackhawks and his many years of work for the team,” Danny Wirtz said. “However, we and he ultimately accept that — in his first year as general manager — he made a mistake, alongside our other senior executives at the time, and did not take adequate action.”

“The team needs to focus on its future, and my continued participation would be a distraction,” Stan Bowman said as part of a statement. “I am deeply grateful to the Blackhawks for the chance to manage the team; to the players for their dedication; and to the fans for their tremendous support over the years. It has been an honor.”

Ben Pope has more on the staff changes here.

More news you need

  1. Chicago police officers held another rally this morning in protest of the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, this time outside CPD headquarters. At the demonstration, union leader John Catanzara said his members would agree to COVID testing every day, but he’s still encouraging members to defy the mandate.
  2. Authorities today released video of three suspects in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old Azul De La Garza, who was sitting in a parked car in West Elsdon last month. De La Garza had spent the day with their mother and had just bought a Halloween costume, family said.
  3. Labar “Bro Man” Spann — the alleged chief of the Four Corner Hustlers gang — took the witness stand today after federal prosecutors rested their case in his lengthy racketeering trial. The move signaled a potential early end to a trial that has lasted more than a month.
  4. When it comes to explaining Chicago’s struggles with violence, local rappers and their lyrics are a frequent target, as are the radio stations and record companies that promote them. But many say the real issue is city officials’ historical failure to rectify systemic issues within marginalized communities, Evan F. Moore writes.

A bright one

E. Faye Butler conveys powerful tale in ‘Fannie Lou Hamer’ story

When Fannie Lou Hamer spoke to a committee at the 1964 Democratic National Convention during a live televised broadcast, the cameras cut away.

President Lyndon B. Johnson had called a spontaneous press conference at the White House, just to pull the focus from Hamer’s testimony of trying and failing to register to vote. The gambit didn’t go unnoticed, and Hamer’s testimony was replayed widely. Fannie Lou Hamer became a nationally known figure because the president would rather the country not know her name.

Cheryl L. West’s one-person play with music, “Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer),” starts with this very scene of interruption and newfound fame. And as she goes back in time and through the story of Hamer’s life over the next intermission-less 70 minutes, West expresses quite clearly that her subject was as brave and resolute as one can imagine a human to be.

E. Faye Butler stars as 1960s civil rights and voting rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer in “Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer)” directed by Henry Godinez at the Goodman Theatre.
Liz Lauren

What takes this beyond a more traditional one-person play is the frequent incorporation of music. The songs take us beyond the facts of Hamer’s life and explore what steeled her.

E. Faye Butler shines as Hamer, as her musicality is deftly showcased in the mix of spirituals and protest songs threaded throughout the production.

Butler conveys Hamer’s story with great clarity and power. She captures how Hamer’s learning about her right to vote at the age of 44 compelled her to act. She puts deep conviction behind Hamer’s stalwart beliefs in freedom as well as her economic idealism — she founded a successful communal farm later in her life. She helps audiences see the weight and consequences of the responsibilities she took on, in particular, and poignantly, the exhaustion.

Steven Oxman has more on the Goodman Theatre production here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

In honor of the Chicago Theatre celebrating its 100th birthday today, we want to know: What’s the best show you’ve seen there?

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: What do you think is Chicago’s defining music style? Here’s what some of you said…

“Chicago music is defined by the blues. From Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon to Buddy Guy, their influence on future generations of music can not be overstated.” — Howard Moore

“House Music. It was created here and changed the fabric of pop music worldwide.” — N. Felipe

“Everything! Blues, Jazz, Steppers, House, Hip Hop/Rap, R&B and so many others.” — Gail Rice

“Blues and the old garage bands (Ides of March, Buckinghams. New Colony Six, etc.)” — Linda Brons Douglas

“Blues, House and Footwork.” — Hugo Lopez

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