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Afternoon Edition: Nov. 15, 2021

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

Safari Land indoor amusement park at 701 North Ave. in Villa Park.
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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 cloudy with a chance of snow and a high near 37. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a slim chance of snow before 9 p.m. and a low around 32. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 53.

Top story

Shooter at Villa Park amusement park opened fire with several children ‘just feet away,’ prosecutors say

A Chicago man was ordered held on $1 million bail for allegedly shooting a man Saturday evening at a Villa Park amusement park in the presence of several young children.

Meco Norris, 25, pulled out a gun and shot a man three times at Safari Land indoor amusement park, 701 North Ave., according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

The man was taken to a hospital with gunshots to his chest, shoulder and elbow and was released that evening. Prosecutors did not say what led up to the shooting.

After the shooting, Norris ran into a residential area and was arrested around 3 a.m. Sunday at a home in Chicago, police said.

The shooting happened in the presence of several children, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said.

“Mr. Norris’ alleged actions, with multiple children literally just feet away, demonstrate the most horrifying disregard for public safety I have seen in my 30-plus years as a prosecutor,” Berlin said in a statement.

There were also hundreds of other people inside the venue who witnessed the shooting, Villa Park Police Chief Michael Rivas said.

Read the full story here.

More news you need

  1. Lawyers in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial made their closing arguments today before the jury begins deliberations on a verdict. Earlier in the day, the trial’s judge dismissed a count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, AP reports and you can read more coverage of the Rittenhouse trial here.
  2. The city’s police board began a hearing today that could determine the future of Fraternal Order of Police president John Catanzara with the Chicago Police Department. Catanzara, who’s been with the department since 1995 and became FOP president last year, faces possible termination over obscene and inflammatory social media posts.
  3. Additional reporting requirements will be imposed on Chicago police under a settlement advanced today to resolve a decade-long dispute over inequitable police deployment. The settlement with the ACLU of Illinois – one of five approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee – was the only one of that group not tied to allegations of police abuse.
  4. Two armored truck security guards were shot and critically wounded during a robbery today in Chatham on the South Side, according to Chicago police. The guards were loading an ATM this morning when gunmen came up, demanded the cash and opened fire, authorities say.
  5. Last week City Council’s Committee on Public Safety held an hours-long hearing on the much-maligned ShotSpotter technology that the city recently chose to continue using at the request of the Chicago Police Department. Fran Spielman has more on the debate over the city’s extension of its ShotSpotter contract and some Council members’ reactions.

A bright one

Spanish-language ‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ arrives at Lyric Opera in grand style

The lush jungle, alive and intensely green, saturated by the sun, is the first thing that hits you as you take your seat at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The spectacle is dense and glorious — then vaguely unsettling — as you become aware of mysterious skitterings behind the leaves.

“Florencia en el Amazonas” (Florencia in the Amazon) takes place on a boat trip up the Amazon, its destination Manaus, the inland capital of the Amazonas region, far up the river where, unbeknownst to these travelers, cholera looms. The vessel’s passengers are onboard for reasons they don’t quite understand, driven variously by love, or the fear of it, or the fading of it.

Ana María Martínez stars as the title character in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Florencia en el Amazonas (Florencia in the Amazon).”
Cory Weaver

In the case of Florencia Grimaldi, a famous diva of the European opera stage, her visit is a quest born of the desire to rekindle a long-lost love. She once said goodbye to him in Manaus, she thought temporarily, in pursuit of an international career that was dangled after her Brazilian success. (He was a butterfly hunter back then, a specialist in his own right, chasing his own rare prize, the Emerald Muse.)

So is this ”Love Boat,” with music and a happy ending?

Read more from Nancy Malitz’s review of the Lyric Opera House’s latest production.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s a food/snack you seek out to help keep warm when winter weather hits?

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

On Friday, we asked you: Which of Chicago’s expressways needs improving the most? Tell us why. Here’s what some of you said...

“Eisenhower without question. Make it four lanes all the way and fix the Austin and Harlem exits.” — Nick Cincotti

“Hands down the Eisenhower. The only time during the day it’s not backed up is maybe between 11-1 on weekends.” — Kathy Celer

“Abolish the left side exits in Oak Park and you’ll make 290 drivable.” — David Guyon

“Bishop Ford. It floods when it rains. Extremely dangerous, not to mention the pot holes.” — T’Marie Parks

“No matter which expressways get funding to be improved, none of them should be expanded! There are SO many examples of highways around the US that were expanded and traffic stayed the same, or got even slower. Fix the roads but put that expansion money towards public transit, which actually reduces the need for everyone to drive in the first place.” — Ethan Saltzberg

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