Afternoon Edition: Feb. 17, 2021

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

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Sarah Manos sits in her apartment holding a photo of her dogs Kirby, left, and Daisy, right, who were killed by a man she met online, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.

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

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.

This afternoon will have a high near 20 degrees with a 30% chance of snow, mainly after 5 p.m. Tonight the low will be around 12 degrees. More snow is in the forecast for tomorrow, which will see a high near 25 degrees.

Top story

Arlington Heights woman sues boyfriend she met on Bumble dating app, says he killed her dogs

They were drawn to each other by their love for dogs.

Sarah Manos, a 27-year-old high school teacher, owned Daisy and Kirby, mixes of the Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise breeds.

Mathew Berry, a 28-year-old driver for a medical transportation company, had a German shepherd named Zip.

They met on a dating app, and it seemed like a perfect match, but their relationship soon turned hellish, Manos says in a lawsuit filed today against Berry in Cook County circuit court. In it, she says that, over the next two and a half months, Berry tortured and killed her dogs as he became increasingly controlling and jealous and threatened violence.

Her suit accuses Berry of violating the Illinois Human Care for Animals Act and seeks an unspecified amount of money for emotional suffering.

“Mat and I originally connected on how much we loved our dogs, as he said his dog was the No. 1 thing in his life, too,” Manos said in an interview. “I had thought that somebody who loves a pet that much must be a good, kind, caring person.”

In an interview, Berry denied he was abusive to Manos or harmed her dogs and said, “I think she’s doing this for attention.”

Some of Manos’ allegations are similar to those made by a former girlfriend of Berry when he was 17 and living in Grayslake. In 2010, that ex-girlfriend obtained an order of protection against him in Lake County circuit court that accused him of striking her in the face, demanding to read her journal, ordering her not to try out for a softball team and threatening to kill her and her parents.

“His violence is escalating and I am afraid of him,” she told the court.

Keep reading Frank Main’s story on Manos’ lawsuit and the allegations against Berry here.

More news you need

  1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled a $95.5 billion budget today for the upcoming fiscal year that closes or minimizes some corporate tax loopholes to help fill a budget gap. The budget avoids the “painful” cuts Pritzker previously warned of after the proposed graduated income tax failed to pass last November.
  2. Mayor Lori Lightfoot cited yet another reason today for her failure to deliver the elected school board she promised during her campaign: the lack of parental involvement built into current proposals. In response, a top CTU official accused the mayor of talking out of both sides of her mouth and making up excuses for failing to deliver on a key campaign promise.
  3. Heavy snow led to a third straight day of relatively low COVID-19 vaccination numbers across Illinois. Less than 41,000 shots went into arms yesterday across the state – down 35% compared to the state’s output on the same day a week ago.
  4. A Chicago man accused of carjacking a Mercedes Benz in Orland Park last week now faces a criminal charge in federal court following his arrest, prosecutors announced today. The case appears to be the first federal charge to result from a carjacking in 2021.
  5. Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who railed against liberals and “political correctness” as one of the most powerful voices in American conservatism, died today at age 70. The death of Limbaugh, who said a year ago that he had lung cancer, was announced by his wife, Kathryn.
  6. An online fundraiser posted recently seeks to help a Chicago private investigator who was allegedly attacked on the job last month in suburban Antioch. Matthew Kulesza, 51, said he thought he was going to die in the attack, which left him with a crushed nose and cracked skull.
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A bright one

‘Chicago Fire’ actor Joe Miñoso aims to create space for people of color, LGBTQIA+ students to find film/TV gigs

Joe Miñoso, who plays firefighter Joe Cruz on NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” recalls a time when he says he had to “gentrify” his name in order to gain acceptance from the film and television industry.

“I would have a few conversations with some professors and other colleagues, and people who would come in and do workshops and say: ‘You might want to take that tilde away,’ ” said Miñoso, referring to the symbol that distinguishes the Spanish letter “ñ” from an “n.” “It’s gonna confuse people; they’re not gonna know how to say it.”

Years later, Miñoso has a platform — and has the tilde back in his last name.


Adrian Burrows/NBC

He hopes to help young creatives with the “The Epiphany Project,” a screenwriting scholarship that teaches people of color and LGBTQIA+ students the ins and outs of working in the film and television industry.

The contest has two categories for screenwriters: feature and short. Two winners from the feature category will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a development deal with Miñoso’s Mass Epiphany Studios, while short selection winners will receive a $500 cash prize and a development deal with the studio.

“I think about myself as a kid; I didn’t even know acting was a thing,” said Miñoso. “I didn’t think it was something someone did until I got in high school in the ’burbs of the Bronx in Yonkers and I went to my first play. … I literally went up at the intermission to those people [cast and crew] and I said: ‘Hey, you guys need any help with anything here?’ ”

Read Evan F. Moore’s full story on Miñoso’s “Epiphany Project,” which will be accepting submissions through Feb. 28.

From the press box

White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech “looks great and is excited to be back” with the team at spring training, teammate Lucas Giolito told reporters. Kopech isn’t expected to make the Opening Day rotation but could play a key role before the end of the season.

The Cubs filled out their pitching staff with some veteran help today by signing Brandon Workman and Pedro Strop. Workman was one of the AL’s best relievers in 2019 before struggling with the Red Sox and Phillies last year.

While stuck at home in COVID-19 quarantine, Blackhawks players like Nicolas Beaudin and Lucas Wallmark tried to learn something from watching games at home.

Your daily question ☕

What’s a positive habit you’ve developed during the pandemic?

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: Where’s your favorite place to get paczki in Chicago? Tell us why. Here’s what some of you said...

“Weber’s Bakery on Archer. When I go back home to visit always make a stop. The flight attendants think I’m crazy carrying kolachkys and chocolate chip coffee cake as carry-ons.” — Patricia Marie Novack

”Orland Bakery. My favorite is the Strawberry Cheese Paczki, because of the fresh strawberries and flavorful cheese filled in a delicious donut. Crispy outside, fluffy tender inside topped with glaze! Hands down the BEST paczki!” — Rey Guajardo

“Pticek & Son Bakery on Archer and Narragansett, the absolute best!” — Stephanie Becker-Lihosit

“Central Continental Bakery in Mount Prospect. Get in line.” — Kevin McAllen

“My house. Nothing better than homemade!” — Chris Cassidy

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