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.
Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.
Some light snow is in the forecast for this afternoon, along with a high near 16 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 4 degrees. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a high near 19 degrees and a chance of more snow.
Beginning Feb. 25, all Illinois residents with underlying health conditions or disabilities are expected to be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today.
That will include people with diabetes, those who have or had cancer, COPD or heart disease, Pritzker said after touring a new mass vaccination site in Quincy.
The expansion of Illinois’ Phase 1B distribution plan follows CDC guidelines for vaccinating people with such underlying conditions, the Democratic governor said.
For now, about 4 million of the state’s 12.7 million residents have been given the green light to sign up for shots — if they’re able to track down an appointment to get one of the coveted doses that remain in short supply.
Eligible residents so far include health care workers, nursing home residents and workers, some other “front-line essential” workers and any residents 65 or older. The expanded Phase 1B will do away with the age requirement for those with underlying conditions, though it’s not clear how large that population is.
“Those who are under 65 and live with co-morbidities have an elevated risk of serious complications or even death,” Pritzker said. “We need to waste no time in protecting them.
Doses have still been hard to come by for eligible Illinoisans, however. About 2.1 million doses have been shipped to the state over the past two months, with about 1.4 million already administered.
Only 311,589 people have received both required doses, or about 2.5% of the Illinois population. The Illinois Department of Public Health is aiming to vaccinate 80% of the population to achieve herd immunity.
More news you need
- A Yale University graduate student with Chicago roots was shot to death Saturday night in Connecticut just blocks from the Ivy League school. Kevin Jiang, 26, was driving in New Haven when he was fatally shot, according to police.
- Chicago took another step to help struggling restaurants and bars today by allowing them to serve up to 50 people “per room,” up from 25. The head of the Illinois Restaurant Association called the move a “baby step.”
- Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial said today they would prove that Trump was no “innocent bystander” but the “inciter in chief” of the deadly attack at the Capitol. Get the latest on the impeachment trial here.
- Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth escalated their call to retain U.S. Attorney John Lausch this morning, writing in a letter to President Joe Biden that the federal prosecutor needs to remain in office until his successor is chosen. Biden requested resignations for Trump-appointed prosecutors by Feb. 28, but Lausch had not resigned as of this morning.
- “Judas and the Black Messiah” stars LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya discussed with our Evan F. Moore how they were “moved” by Fred Hampton’s speeches while researching their roles for the movie. Stanfield said Hampton was rarely mentioned in school, so he had to learn the history on his own.
- Salesforce is committed to anchoring a new office tower on Wolf Point despite the company’s desire to trim real estate costs because many employees will work from home, the building’s developer said today. Greg Van Schaack, senior managing director at Hines, said Salesforce is enthusiastically proceeding with its plan to occupy 500,000 square feet in the 60-story building.
A bright one
While New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras, Chicago has its own gluttonous February holiday — Paczki Day.
Also known as Fat Tuesday, Paczki Day marks the last day before the Lenten season begins for Christians. Because Lent is meant to be a time of fasting and prayer, many people spend the day before gorging themselves on, well, paczki (POONCH-key).
This year, Paczki Day falls on Feb. 16.
The Polish fried dough treats are similar to jelly doughnuts, but they’re *not* jelly doughnuts— they’re paczki. Unlike doughnuts, paczki dough is richer, and contains a bit of Polish vodka or other spirits.
Check out our map to see some of the bakeries across Chicago that will be frying up the Polish pastries on Tuesday. If you’re looking to get your hands on some, try calling ahead — many places sell out quickly!
From the press box
Blue bloods like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan State are all struggling. Illinois is flirting with the top of the national rankings, while Loyola is in the top 25 for the first time in decades. Everything is upside down in college basketball, and not just because of the pandemic, Steve Greenberg writes.
And the Bulls, who take on Zion Williamson and the Pelicans tonight (8 p.m., NBCSCH), may be hurried into seller status as injuries keep piling up. “No Bull is untouchable,” Joe Cowley writes. “Even rookie forward Patrick Williams, the No. 4 draft pick in November, may have a price.”
Your daily question ☕
Do you agree with the NBA’s decision, citing league policy, to force the Dallas Mavericks to play the national anthem at home games, even though Mark Cuban wanted to stop doing so? Tell us why or why not.
Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: In honor of National Pizza Day, what’s your favorite Chicago pizza place? Here’s what some of you said...
“Aurelio’s in Homewood. Everything is perfect, toppings, cheese, texture, and the sauce!” — Tay Moor
“Pizza Castle because it’s the best South Side pizza and has been around since the 70s to prove it!” — Colleen Ryan
“Falco’s Pizza. The crust and sausage are so delicious you’ll be reaching for another slice! If you haven’t had it before you must try it at least once. It’s my family’s go to pizza.” — Eileen Camargo
“It’s Pequod’s, hands down. Well done.” — Benjamin Janik
“Piece Pizza! Yum! Their crust is perfect and their toppings are generous. Sauce hands down is tasty and not overdone ... just simply perfection! Their beer goes perfect with their slice!” — Kathy Kozak
“Obbie’s Pizza on Archer. It’s cracker thin with nice charred edges. Their Sausage has a nice kick.” — Jimmy Davey
“Palermo’s on 95th and Cicero in Oak Lawn. Ask for an extra thin and extra crisp with Italian sausage. Something about their sweet sauce just works. We live on the North Side but will make the occasional road trip for this pie.” — Jamey Richardson
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