Afternoon Edition: Oct. 6, 2021

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

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A lifeguard stand at North Avenue Beach.

Scott Olson/Getty

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.

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Afternoon Edition

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.

This afternoon will be cloudy with a high near 72 degrees. Tonight, there will be a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a low around 64 and a 60% chance of precipitation. Showers and thunderstorms are possible tomorrow, with a high near 72 and an 80% chance of precipitation — rainfall amounts are between a quarter and half of an inch are possible.

Top story

Park District supervisor accused of ‘inappropriate relationship’ with underage lifeguard

An adult male supervisor in the Chicago Park District’s Beaches and Pools Division has abruptly resigned after being accused of an “inappropriate relationship” with an underage female employee who once worked as a seasonal lifeguard, the Sun-Times has learned.

The ouster of the supervisor at Humboldt Park is the most explosive development yet in the burgeoning investigation of sexual harassment and abuse among lifeguards at Chicago’s pools and beaches that has raised questions about an alleged cover-up in Supt. Mike Kelly’s administration.

Today, the Park Board called a special meeting for 10 a.m. Friday with a single agenda item: “closed session.” The sudden scheduling — for a “presentation from the board’s outside counsel” — has fueled speculation that Kelly’s days as superintendent may be numbered.

Park district spokeswoman Michele Lemons confirmed the new allegations about illicit contact between an adult natatorium instructor and the underage lifeguard only after being confronted by the Sun-Times.

Fran Spielman and Lauren FitzPatrick have more on the latest development in the Park District scandal here.

More news you need

  1. A Villa Park man was arrested Monday after robbing a bank with fireworks duct-taped around his waist and texting his wife a photo of him holding cash, the FBI said. After ditching his car and walking home, he stepped outside for a smoke and was promptly arrested FBI agents, who’d been watching his place for hours.
  2. A second person has been charged with chasing down and fatally shooting a 14-year-old girl in Back of the Yards over the summer. The 26-year-old man was arrested Monday on the West Side and charged with murder in the June 2 slaying of Savanah Quintero, police said.
  3. Chicago Public Schools students who are exposed to COVID-19 at school will face a less stringent quarantine procedure moving forward, officials announced yesterday. The change is an effort to ease the early disruptions caused by thousands of children being sent home every week.
  4. A Chicago-area woman convicted of assisting her boyfriend in her mother’s murder and stuffing the body in a suitcase in Bali in 2014 is being released early from a 10-year sentence, the Associated Press reported today. Heather Mack was 18 when she was arrested a day after the body of her mother was discovered in the trunk of a taxi parked near the St. Regis Bali Resort.
  5. A former Northwestern University professor accused of brutally stabbing his boyfriend to death denied he committed the 2017 murder yesterday. Wyndham Lathem said the deadly attack on Trenton Cornell-Duranleau was solely carried out by another man — Andrew Warren — during a meth-fueled threesome gone awry.
  6. City Council members got some welcomed news yesterday: Chicago’s chronic shortage of those black, 96-gallon garbage bins provided by the city will finally be addressed. The city’s new Streets and Sanitation Commissioner said the department is getting almost $1 million to provide more carts to homes and businesses.

A bright one

Young artists’ work to be featured at Steppenwolf Theater’s Loft

Most of Alyah Khalil’s oil paintings take her a month or even longer to complete.

But in July, after hearing about the Loft Teen Art Project at Steppenwolf Theater and after a week of six-hour-long days of painting, Khalil’s piece was complete.

“I’ve always wanted my art up in a gallery of some sort, whether that’s the Art Institute or… something as small as a school art show,” said Khalil, 17, of Irving Park. “Just seeing my art up is really encouraging and inspires me a lot to continue creating.”

A senior at Senn High School in Edgewater, Khalil was the youngest artist of the five individuals and two groups selected as finalists for the Loft Teen Arts Project. More than 150 young artists in the Chicago area applied, said Rae Taylor, manager of education partnerships at Steppenwolf.

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Alyha Khalil, 17, holds up her work that will be displayed at The Loft, located at Steppenwolf’s Arts and Education Center, yesterday.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Each finalist received between $1,500 and $2,500 to produce a piece inspired by the theme “The Future I See: Creating for Community.”

The result: four paintings, two of which use mixed media; two photography projects; and a textile made by twin sisters as they sent the fabric back and forth from their colleges — Duke University and Northwestern University.

The seven finalist pieces will be displayed for a year in the Loft, which encompasses the entire fourth floor of the theater’s new Arts and Education Center.

Clare Proctor has more on the theater’s program here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What did you do during the more than five hours Facebook and its apps (Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.) were down on Monday?

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: In honor of World Teachers’ Day today, think of a teacher who had a positive impact on your life — what would you tell them if you could talk to them today? Here’s what some of you said…

“If I could talk to my first-grade teacher, Ms. Fields (Farren Elementary), I would thank her for ‘seeing’ me. I wish I could tell her in person. I don’t even know what was her first name. But I loved her and I believe she loved me.”—Camilla Rhyne

“I would thank Mr. James Stedt. He was a special education teacher I had at Homewood Flossmoor High School. He was not only a great teacher but he was a great father figure who understand working with students with disabilities and being patient with them.” —Steve Price

“Mollie Landfear, thank you so much for all your care, guidance and encouragement. It has been 30 years since I was in your class, but you left a beautiful handprint on my heart and also so many other Larkin High School students.” —Renee Jorgensen Sweeney

“I already have just recently thanked him — turns out he is a published author. Back in the day, I was in a very dark place and he reached out, without judgment, trying to help. He did not ask many questions but just allowed me to sit in on his classes, in times of need. I did not accept his help at that time and my darkness stayed with me for a very long time, and at times, still here. But I never forgot about his kind gesture. It seems even the smallest and quietest gestures can make a difference.” — Kevin Fitz

“Thanks, Mr. Gonring for making me feel like what I had to contribute was important.” — Amy Jo

“I transferred schools in the fourth grade because of boundary changes. I was the only one of my friends affected. I was a shy child. My fourth-grade teacher helped me overcome this shyness by making me the emcee of the holiday assembly. This boosted my confidence and to this date, I have no issues speaking in front of large crowds. I am forever grateful.” —Rhonda Rowe-Skolnik

“Ms. Martin, my kindergarten teacher at Lorraine Hansberry/Daniel Webster Elementary School on the West Side of Chicago. She inspired me to begin writing. I would tell her, ‘thank you.’ I was writing full stories in kindergarten, and I still love the power of my pen. Not only that, my son and I have an editing business. My love for writing fell on his heart. Thank you, again, Ms. Martin.” —Tayatta S. Cummings

“Loretta Brunious, thank you for everything! Thank you for caring and thank you for your sacrifice of time, self and even your resources. I have never forgotten your kindness and will always be grateful to you. Because of you, I’ve been able to continue to progress even when life wasn’t so good. It has been 40+ years, and I’ve never forgotten how you let us know we were worth it. We were your ‘girls’ and after all these years, we still are.” —Gail Rice

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