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.
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‘This one is going to happen’: Why move to suburbs makes sense for Bears now, after years of threats
Three months ago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot cavalierly dismissed the Bears decision to put in a bid to buy the Arlington Heights International Racecourse property as the same old negotiating ploy.
But the agreement the Bears signed last week to purchase the 326-acre racecourse site for $197.2 million makes it abundantly clear that this time, on this site, the McCaskey family is playing for keeps.
“It’s gonna take a while, but this one is going to happen,” said veteran sportswriter Lester Munson. “This is not ‘boy who cried wolf.’ This is not posturing. This is not negotiation. This is going to be a transaction that will transform the family asset.”
Chicago-based sports marketing expert Marc Ganis has advised numerous NFL teams on their stadium financing. He has closely followed the Bears stadium saga for decades, including former President Michael McCaskey’s past flirtations with sites in Gary, Indiana, Hoffman Estates, Aurora, the Near West Side and the ill-fated McDome project near McCormick Place.
Ganis ticked off a laundry list of factors that make this time different.
More news you need
- Chicago police shot and killed a man while answering a call of a domestic disturbance in Gresham this morning, authorities said. Police did not give any details of what led to the shooting, which is under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
- A Springfield family is pleading for vaccine skeptics to get the jab after their beloved matriarch, who was vaccinated but immunocompromised, died of COVID-19 last month. Candace Ayers, 66, died after a month-long fight with the virus, which her family believes she caught while visiting a friend in Mississippi.
- President Joe Biden’s trip to the Chicago area, initially planned for last month, is back on with the president now set to visit later this week. The president will be in town Thursday to tout his vaccine mandate for large employers, Lynn Sweet reports.
- A man described by the feds as one of the largest agents for a massive, international gambling ring pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to his role in the conspiracy. Justin Hines became the latest person to plead guilty in the ring that also involved Casey Urlacher, another defendant who was pardoned in January by then-President Donald Trump.
- Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman today bemoaned the us-versus-them mentality that has pitted the city’s residents against its police force. Read more on Foreman’s comments about the city’s relationship with CPD.
- The final 007 film of the Daniel Craig era hits theaters in only a couple of days, and our Richard Roeper says the series sends off the best James Bond since Sean Connery with a film that’s exciting, engrossing — and way too long. Check out Roeper’s three-star review.
A bright one
Born and raised in Englewood, 21-year-old Joshua Barker has seen the streets snare young people who graduate high school without skills, resources or job options.
After graduating from Urban Prep Academy in 2018, Barker was fortunate to be hired by the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) — one of six organizations PepsiCo has joined with in an effort to create career pathways for 3,000 young people on the South and West Sides over the next five years.
“I was blessed to get this job. It keeps me busy. This new program is really important because a job keeps you motivated. Helping them work and put money in their pockets will keep a kid out of the street,” said Barker, a public health ambassador with SWOP.
In the Fortune 100 company’s shift to an equity-centered model of community engagement, the $5 million “PREP by PepsiCo | Stronger Together” initiative launching Monday is result of months of roundtables with Chicago community organizations on how best to uplift Black and Brown youth in disinvested areas.
Some 12% of African American youth ages 16-19 were neither in school nor working, compared to 8% of Latinos and 5 percent of whites in that age group, according to a December 2019 report by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute, based on U.S. Census figures.
Within the age 20-24 population, 38% of African Americans were neither employed nor in school, compared with 20% of Latinos and 7% of white peers.
PREP aims to boost workforce readiness within those age groups, helping organizations now doing that work to provide skills training, career exposure, paid work experiences and career-track jobs to the young people they serve.
Besides SWOP, other program partners include Imagine Englewood if, North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC), UCAN, Chicago Jesuit Academy, and the Cubs Scholars program of Chicago Cubs Charities.
From the press box
- Bears coach Matt Nagy said this morning the team will evaluate Andy Dalton’s condition before deciding who will be the starting quarterback against the Raiders on Sunday.
- Jason Lieser breaks down the film from Justin Fields’ second professional start.
- After years of irrelevance, the new-look Bulls still have their doubters, but don’t count DeMar DeRozan among them: “This is an opportunity for a talented group that has a chip on their shoulders. You kind of run faster when the dog is chasing behind you.”
- The White Sox won’t rush to decide Carlos Rodon’s status for the upcoming ALDS series against Houston. The lefty starter has been dealing with shoulder soreness.
- Bulls coach Billy Donovan said today that he let Lauri Markkanen know after the season that he would have an important role if he stayed, but the damage was done and the 7-footer wanted a fresh start.
Your daily question ☕
In honor of “No Time To Die” coming out this week, what’s your favorite James Bond movie?
Send us an email at email@example.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
On Friday, we asked you: You’ve just been made an alderperson for the day — what’s the first thing you’ll do for your ward? Here’s what some of you said...
“Education, after school programs, cut property taxes, hire more police, take our streets back from criminals. Only wishful thinking.” — Carlos J. Beltran
“Go door-to-door, like our aldermen did when I was young, asking for input. And not just around election time, either.” — Christine Bock
“Pay a few crews to clean up the filthy alleys, a few of which smell like urinals. That’s about the only thing I can do without receiving any pushback from bleeding hearts.” – Elliott Avant
“Work on affordable housing, potentially including some form of tax relief for neighborhood homeowners. In my own neighborhood of 10 years, Pilsen, a lot of homeowners would have preferred to stay rather than sell to developers but felt the taxes made that untenable for them. That’s a problem for them and it’s a problem for neighborhood tenants.” — Julia Harris
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