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Afternoon Edition: Nov. 1, 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 at a rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates outside City Hall last week.
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 47 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 31. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 44.

Top story

Judge stays vaccine deadline, sends police union and city back to bargaining table

A Cook County judge today effectively sent city attorneys and the Chicago Police Department’s labor unions back to the bargaining table to resolve a dispute over the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate — but also told the city it can’t require officers to get vaccinated by the end of the year.

The case “presents two competing public interests, but one interest need not be scuttled in favor of another,” Judge Raymond Mitchell wrote in his ruling. “The City’s public health objective and the police union’s desire to pursue their grievances are not wholly irreconcilable.”

Mitchell, who heard arguments in the case last week by attorneys for the Fraternal Order of Police and the city, left intact the requirement that Chicago Police Department officers report their vaccine status and the city’s current policy requiring multiple weekly tests for unvaccinated officers. But Mitchell’s order does stay the Dec. 31 deadline for all officers to be vaccinated, urging the city and union to pursue a labor arbitration.

“The reporting obligation itself is a minimal intrusion,” Mitchell wrote, “particularly considering that police officers already are obligated to provide medical information to their employer.”

Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents rank-and-file officers, was joined in its lawsuit by smaller unions representing CPD sergeants, lieutenants and captains.

Read the full story from Andy Grimm and Fran Spielman here.

More news you need

  1. Two people in their early 20s were killed and at least 10 other people were wounded when shots were fired at a Halloween party in Joliet Township early Sunday. The victims who died were identified as Holly Mathews and Jonathan Ceballos, according to the Will County coroner’s office.
  2. When CPS’ privatized custodial operator left Eberhart Elementary School in a constant state of filth, staff and parents stepped in to try to keep the school clean. CPS finally sent more help — but only after our reporters asked them about the school’s condition.
  3. Jury selection began today in Wisconsin for the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Read the Associated Press’ latest reporting from the courthouse in Kenosha, and get more background on the trial here.
  4. The Fugees’ reunion show at the United Center won’t be until March 2 after the group announced it’s pushing back its tour until early 2022. Tickets purchased for tomorrow’s show will be honored for the new date.

A bright one

Steppenwolf Theatre’s new Arts and Education Center is a ‘love letter to Chicago’

The new Steppenwolf Theatre campus is all about collision.

Glass panes collide with ribbed concrete panels. Traditional playwriting collides with a new style of art for performers to imagine. In the new in-the-round theater, artists collide with audiences, who sit close enough to see the sweat bead on actors’ foreheads.

“What we have is an investment in the theater that we are today with the architectural investment in our legacy to come,” said E. Brooke Flanagan, Steppenwolf’s executive director. “We have space to grow into the theater company that we will be. But it’s founded in the principles of ensemble, innovation and the commitment to being a Chicago-based theater.”

Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s new Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center, designed by architect Gordon Gill FAIA of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, will open to the public on Nov. 11.
James Steinkamp Photography

The heart of the new campus, Flanagan said, is the Round Theater, a six-row, 400-seat room where the stage sits in the center and no audience member will be more than 20 feet from the actors.

Bookending Steppenwolf’s renovation fundraising campaign have been two global calamities — the 2008 financial crisis, which came just as talks of the project were getting underway, and the COVID-19 pandemic, as construction wrapped up. Those challenges required Steppenwolf to “drill down to our core values,” Flanagan said.

Read Clare Spaulding’s full story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

When do you think it’s appropriate to start hearing Christmas music?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: If you could commission a mural honoring one Chicagoan, who would you choose and where would you have it painted? Here’s what some of you said...

“A mural somewhere in Old Town of some of the OG Second City alums — Bill Murray, John Belushi, John Candy, etc.” — Mickey Vincent

“Harold Washington on any building facing Ed Burke’s home and/or office.” — Michelle Willis

“Muddy Waters anywhere overlooking Millennium Park.” — Lee Krompart

“Studs Terkel. Anywhere near Bughouse Square (Washington Square Park, near the Newberry Library).” — Jason Betke

“I see a lot of good names, but many are not native Chicagoans. I’m going with Mike Royko, painted on any building overlooking a softball diamond.” — Lynne Victorine

“The late great Bishop Brazier on a viaduct wall on 63rd and Dan Ryan.” — Sandra Wiley

“John Prine, Old Town School of Music.” — Dylan Yellowlees

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