Afternoon Edition: Nov. 8, 2021

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

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Yamaan Nandolia is a freshman at University of Illinois Chicago majoring in computer science.

Tyler LaRiviere/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.

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Afternoon Edition

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Top story

‘I canceled my plan of attending my dream school:’ 2021 grads hit harder by pandemic than those before them

Four days a week, Yamaan Nandolia rides two trains and a bus to college.

It can take up to two hours to get from his West Rogers Park home to the University of Illinois Chicago campus on the Near West Side.

This wasn’t Nandolia’s original plan for college. His senior year at Nicholas Senn High School, Nandolia was admitted to his top choice: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

But after the huge wave of COVID-19 cases hit last winter, his parents sat him down.

“My parents got really worried,” Nandolia, 17, recalled. They told him, “‘We know it’s your decision to make, but you should be really careful. We’re really scared for you.’” His parents feared Nandolia living in the dorms, getting sick and not being able to get the resources needed.

“Due to the pandemic, I canceled my plan of attending my dream school,” Nandolia said.

High school graduates in the class of 2021 like Nandolia have endured a slew of challenges that have altered their post-graduation plans — even more so than the class before them, who were seniors when the pandemic upended their final year of school. Nationally, just 62% of 2021 graduates followed through with their original post-high school plans, compared to 74% of 2020 graduates, according to a survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center.

Clare Spaulding has more on the unique challenges facing new graduates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

More news you need

  1. Local casino magnate Neil Bluhm has lined up a team of blue-ribbon lobbyists to try and convince the City Council not to lift the ban on sports betting in Chicago. Fran Spielman has more on the upcoming fight over the legality of gambling on sports in the city.
  2. What will the infrastructure bill heading to President Joe Biden’s desk mean for Illinois once it passes? Our Lynn Sweet breaks down the bill’s expected statewide impact from federal highway projects to expanded broadband internet access.
  3. Federal prosecutors sought approval today to seize an aircraft that flew last week into the Gary/Chicago International Airport amid a federal drug investigation. The aircraft in question traveled Nov. 2 from Toluca, Mexico, to Houston, Texas, according to an affidavit filed by prosecutors.
  4. Some Illinois workers are embracing a practice that’s growing in popularity in countries such as Iceland and Japan: the four-day workweek. Employers could use more flexible schedules as a way to prevent employee burnout, David Roeder writes.
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A bright one

Bighead carp bigger than Illinois-record caught from the Humboldt Park lagoon

Jarrett Knize caught a bighead carp that’s bigger than the Illinois-record Saturday in Humboldt Park.

He was fishing a 13 Fishing Magic Man — a lipless crankbait — about 4 p.m. Saturday when he latched into the big fish.

“I was fishing for bass,” Knize said. “It started running and it was running clearly faster than a big turtle. So I thought it might be a 50-pound catfish.”

Good thing Knize was using 25-pound Seaguar Abrazx line.


Jarrett Knize with his bighead carp, bigger than the Illinois record, at Henry’s Sports and Bait.

Provided by Henry’s Sports and Bait

After landing it, he took the bighead to Park Bait at Montrose Harbor, where it was too heavy to be weighed on their certified scale. So Cory Gecht weighed it on their bigger uncertified scale, where it came to 74 pounds.

With that, the story moved south to Bridgeport. Tom Palmisano of Henry’s Sports and Bait opened up their shop after hours and Knize weighed it on Henry’s biggest certified scale at 72 pounds, 8 ounces.

Jack Bailey holds the Illinois hook-and-line record for bighead carp for one of 69 pounds caught May 4, 2010 from the Kaskaskia River below the Carlyle Dam.

If Knize’s fish is accepted as the record, it will be official when Michael McClelland, chief of fisheries for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, signs off on the paperwork after it is completed and submitted.

Dale Bowman has more on the potentially record-breaking catch here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How do you feel about the seasonal pumpkin-flavored treats that arrive every fall?

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

On Friday, we asked you: In honor of ABBA’s new record, what’s something else from the 70s you think should make a comeback? Here’s what some of you said...

“Civility and manners.” — Karl Kelly

“Disco music!” — Christine Bock

“Labor unions.” — Tyler Ibn Sina Miller

“The middle class.” — Kevan Davis

“That overall chill vibe. And great FM rock stations.” — Bryan Fitzpatrick

“Correct names for things: Sears Tower, Comiskey Park, etc.” — Melinda Vaughn

“My youth!” — Kris Perkins

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