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Afternoon Edition: Nov. 2, 2021

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

Carla Sumerlin with her son Torrence Sumerlin.
Provided

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 45 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 30. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 45.

Top story

Mom wants help finding son’s killer: ‘I never thought anyone would kill him over a pair of shoes’

Carla Sumerlin feels like she needs to do something to help catch her son’s killer.

So last week she sent letters to everyone on the 2400 block of West Polk reminding them that her son’s life was taken on that block and asking for anyone with information to contact the police.

Torrence Sumerlin, 26, an avid gym shoe collector, was there about 10:20 a.m. on August 26 to meet someone to sell a pair of Air Jordans.

Instead two people who’d been hiding nearby rushed him as he stood by his open trunk and shot Sumerlin in the chest.

Carla Sumerlin said she worried about previous such meetups to sell shoes and would call her son and ask him, “You OK? You want me to stay on the phone? Where are you?” and her son would assure her he was in a safe area.

“I always worried about him but I never thought anyone would kill him over a pair of shoes,” she said.

The assailants never even grabbed the shoes, said Carla Sumerlin, speculating that her son’s size and physique might have spooked the would-be robbers.

“He was an athlete. He worked out every day,” she said.

Read Mitch Dudek’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. A person was arrested and remained in police custody as of this morning after two 13-year-old boys were shot, one of them fatally, on Halloween in northwest Indiana. Trick-or-treating had officially ended in the town shortly before the shooting occurred, an official said.
  2. The Chicago Park District voted today to release a special counsel report on the “management response” to the burgeoning lifeguard scandal. The report will be made public this afternoon and a press conference is planned for later today.
  3. Some Chicago Public Schools teachers say they were “blindsided” by the district’s enforcement of a 2019 privacy law that’s led them to lose access to key computer programs used to teach students. Sneha Day has more on how CPS’ interpretation of the law has cut off teachers from popular educational software.
  4. Veterans Day is coming up, so the National Women Veterans United group celebrated contributions and stories of women veterans. Maudlyne Ihejirika has more on last weekend’s event, which featured keynote speaker Jessica Lynch, a former U.S. soldier and prisoner of war.

A bright one

Community projects see hope with new city pilot program

For 20 years, Heaven Gallery has opened its Wicker Park doors to artists and curators around the city.

Now, using art in a call for social justice, the gallery is highlighting the work of Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists in its Equity Arts Project.

“We know that creative neighborhoods have artists and they have arts organizations, but they’re constantly being displaced and moved around,” said Alma Wieser, president for Equity Arts and director of Heaven Gallery.

The project looks to end that displacement and provide “wealth building pathways” through mentorships, curating programs and exhibitions.

Heaven Gallery, located at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the West Town neighborhood, is one of 11 community-based projects to earn funds through the new Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Pilot Program announced Oct. 20.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

But the project has been threatened by the owners placing the building at 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave. up for sale. Developers began circling in 2019, and only the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic kept the gallery safe from being sold for a while. Then, this fall, an uptick in crime in the neighborhood once again put a pause on interested developers moving forward.

And now, Equity Arts has been given another chance.

On Oct. 20, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Pilot Program in partnership with Elevated Chicago and Enterprise Community Partners.

Designed to promote healthy, walkable and affordable neighborhoods, 11 community-driven projects have been selected.

“Our ultimate goal with the ETOD program is to maximize the benefits that high-quality, affordable and reliable transit provides to our communities,” said Lightfoot in a press release. “Each of these 11 projects will help us fulfill this mission in an equitable and community-conscious way, as well as help to improve the overall wellbeing of our residents.”

Read Cheyanne M. Daniels’ full story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How do you feel about Scottie Pippen taking shots at Michael Jordan and the Bulls in his new memoir?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: When do you think it’s acceptable to start hearing Christmas music? Here’s what some of you said...

“The day after Thanksgiving at the very earliest. Anyone who is doing it now is plain wrong.” — Abby Oliver

“When the individual enjoys it! I prefer to listen to it the day after Thanksgiving through New Years, but if you enjoy it sooner, listen away.” — Beverly Hajek Cooper

“Day after Thanksgiving until at least New Year’s Day.” — Joanna Urban

“December 24 starting at 6:15 p.m.” — Kenneth M Bobo

November 1st. At Home was playing Christmas music today. It was lovely!” — Kaye Westmoreland-McCluskey

“December 1st, and not a day sooner! November is the turkey’s month!” — Bradley Nawara

“Whenever a person wants to start hearing Christmas music is the right time to start hearing Christmas music.” — Harris Brokke

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