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Afternoon Edition: Dec. 22, 2021

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

Felicia Townsend Plummer, the mother of MaShawn Plummer, a firefighter who died while putting out a fire Dec. 16, speaks during a vigil today.
Pat Nabong/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 sunny with a high near 31 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 27 degrees. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 43 degrees and gusts as high as 25 mph.

Top story

Mother of rookie firefighter: ‘I have solace in knowing he died with dignity and grace and being of service’

For MaShawn Plummer, becoming a firefighter earlier this year was a launching point for the rest of his life.

Plummer, 30, wanted to be good at his job and had dreams of advancing to the rank of chief. He and his girlfriend were preparing for the next step: marriage and kids.

“He had his life mapped out but, but God said ‘No,’” Plummer’s mother, Felicia Plummer Townsend, said today at a memorial service outside the fire station in Portage Park where the rookie firefighter had worked for several months.

Plummer died yesterday, five days after he was critically injured while fighting an apartment fire in the Belmont Central neighborhood.

“He died doing what he loved doing. I have solace in knowing he died with dignity and grace and being of service,” Townsend Plummer told a crowd of about 100 people who gathered in front of the fire house in freezing temperatures.

“He died a hero,” said Plummer’s father, Jermaine Plummer, a field manager with Christy Webber, a landscaping company.

An investigation into what led to Plummer’s death is underway, a Fire Department spokesman said today.

Plummer grew up in Englewood and lived with his parents at his boyhood home near 51st Street and Lowe Avenue at the time he died.

“From the moment he got that letter saying it was time to report to the training academy, he was so overjoyed and he told me ‘This is my time to make a difference, my time to show people where I came from, that we can, we don’t have to be confined by where we live, our touch can reach far.’ And he got that opportunity, although it was short,” she said.

Mitch Dudek has more on Plummer and how loved ones are remembering him here.

More news you need

  1. Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford and her husband were carjacked last night in west suburban Broadview with masked gunmen stealing her 2018 Mercedes SUV, police said. Lightford and her husband Eric McKennie were uninjured, police said.
  2. Federal prosecutors are seeking a year-and-a-day prison sentence for convicted former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz, according to a court memo filed today. Muñoz pleaded guilty in September to stealing almost $38,000 from the Progressive Reform Caucus that he used for personal expenses like a family member’s college tuition, skydiving and more.
  3. Two kittens who disappeared after being tossed into a trash bin at O’Hare International Airport have been found, Chicago police said today. The kittens were inside a pet carrier that was stolen from a traveler on Dec. 6, then a couple found them and left the airport.

A bright one

Stars of ‘Chicago P.D.,’ ‘Chicago Med,’ ‘Chicago Fire’ share holiday recipes in free cookbook

They’re the actors known for portraying firefighters, paramedics, doctor and nurses on television, and now they want to share their real-life cooking and baking prowess.

Whether or not you’re a fan of “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Fire” you can get a free digital copy of a special holiday cookbook brimming with recipes for the holidays (or year-round).

Universal Television, Wolf Entertainment and NBC are offering a free download of the “One Chicago Holiday Cookbook,” featuring a collection of recipes and family anecdotes from the casts of each of the three “One Chicago” branded series.

Greta Stolte and her dad, “Chicago Fire” star Christian Stolte, share their recipe for pumpkin Whoopie Pies in a new, free digital cookbook featuring recipes from the stars of the “Chicago One” NBC drama series franchise.
Courtesy Kim Whitehead-Stolte

“For ten years, you’ve invited us into your living rooms ... it’s our turn to invite you into our kitchens to share some tasty treats and family secrets,” writes Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of the series, in the cookbook’s foreword.

The colorful, 32-page book is divided into easy-to-follow recipes for appetizers and sides, entrees and desserts, and features a treasure trove of family photos, anecdotes, family stories and more from each of the stars who’ve made their recipes available.

Recipes include pinwheel cookies courtesy of S. Epatha Merkerson, pear tart, courtesy of David Eigenberg, spicy tofu with broccoli and cashews courtesy of Marina Squerciati, and much more.

Miriam Di Nunzio has more on the cookbook and how you can download it here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Is it ever OK for a dog owner to toss their pet’s waste in a neighbor’s trash? Explain.

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: How do you feel about Chicago’s plan to require proof of vaccination for most indoor businesses?

Here’s what some of you said…

“I’m in complete agreement with this — except I think it should happen immediately, with Omicron being so contagious. Our poor health care workers are overwhelmed! If this helps stop some of the spread — fabulous! It’s our civic duty to join together to try to mitigate this virus.” — Judy Sutton

“I agree with this because it’s how we get rid of diseases. When I was young, we couldn’t go to school unless we were updated on all of our shots.” — Janet Williams

“I think it’s an invasion of privacy. I want to wait to get it when I feel it is safe to get it, I’m feeling forced to get it by the “majority” and I trust my own instinct of when to get it.” — Jaime Calvarin

“I feel just fine. The more protection, the better. I’m not afraid of a little inconvenience for the common good.” — Steven Schnur

“Will gladly take my money and spend it in Indiana or any other neighboring state without these draconian measures.” — Cristy M Van Rijn

“When venturing out for entertainment, dining and sports, you should be confident in your surroundings! Those that work in these venues should be in a safe environment also! It works! I’m happy about it.” — Jill Reilly White

“Honestly, not sure I am going to bars or restaurants right now anyway. However, it would be great to know the people around me at least are vaccinated.” — Kyle Hillman

“Great! Let those who refuse to help get this under control sit at home.” — Rebecca Mis

“I understand the reasons behind it. But businesses are hurting already this is more on them to enforce and keep staff. Tough.” — Terri Riley

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