Afternoon Edition: Feb. 3, 2021

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

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Lake Michigan looked icy as temperatures dipped to lows around -20 degrees on January 31, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

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 be mostly sunny with a high near 31 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 26 degrees. Tomorrow, a mix of rain and snow is in the forecast, along with a high near 35 degrees. Enjoy today’s weather while you can, because later this week the city will be hit with its coldest spell in two years — more on that below.

Top story

Wind chill of minus 30 possible this weekend in worst cold snap in 2 years

Dangerously cold temperatures will envelop the midwest this weekend, bringing below-zero wind chills for several days in Chicago’s worst cold snap in two years.

The deepest freeze is expected Saturday night through Tuesday.

Wind chills could reach minus 20 to minus 30 degrees, and temperatures may not rise above the single digits until after Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

“We’re going to be much colder than normal, with highs only reaching the normal minimum temps,” weather service meteorologist Rafal Ogorek said.

Even after Tuesday, the cold is expected to linger for several more days.

It may be the coldest weather in Chicago in two years, Ogorek said. But it wouldn’t be as brutal as the January 2019 cold snap that saw temperatures plummet to minus 23 degrees.

Two snow systems are also expected to hit Chicago in the next week. The first system will hit Thursday night into Friday morning, with strong gusts whipping up snow and ruining visibility. Snowfall could range from 2 inches in the south suburbs to 5 inches in the northwest suburbs, Ogorek said.

Another period of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning could also affect visibility and travel, according to Ogorek, although it was too early to forecast how much snow was expected.

Read David Struett’s full story on the unpleasant weather forecast here.

More news you need

  1. Illinois hit another record for COVID-19 vaccines administered in a day, officials said this afternoon, as eligible residents scramble for appointments. More than 65,000 doses were shot into arms yesterday, but less than 2% of the state’s population has received both required doses.
  2. Groundbreaking on the construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park is expected this fall, officials said today after the completion of a long-running federal review. Pre-construction utility work will begin in April for the privately funded project, which will take a projected four years to build.
  3. A new website launched by a nonprofit journalism organization aims to serve as the home for scores of records that detail the torturous acts carried out by convicted former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his underlings. The “Chicago Police Torture Archive” includes interviews with victims, court transcripts, depositions and more records.
  4. Illinois marijuana dispensaries broke another record in January with $88 million in sales. An analyst at a cannabis industry research firm said the continued growth is encouraging, but not to “expect constant upward trends every single month.”
  5. State legislators were approved today to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during the current phase of the state’s inoculation plan — and like everything in politics today, the move sparked sharp bipartisan disagreements. Democrats welcome the decision, but GOP members call it “ridiculous.”
  6. In response to the extreme cold on the way, warming centers will be available at the city’s six Community Service Centers this week. The locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and as needed during the evenings and weekend.
  7. The 2021 Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning, and our film critic Richard Roeper has some questions for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Read Roeper’s take on the predictable choices, surprises and mind-boggling snubs.
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A bright one

‘Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit’ takes artist’s masterpieces to an animated, experiential level

Radiant colors, swirling brushstrokes and iconic compositions have made Vincent van Gogh an art-world superstar and ensured that his sun-soaked landscapes and probing portraits are visitor favorites at art museums around the world.

But as alluring as his paintings are, what if there was a way to enjoy them in a whole new way? To, in a sense, enter and become immersed in these transporting scenes? That’s the premise behind the “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit,” a walkthrough digital experience set to open Feb. 11 in the recently renovated Germania Club building at 108 W. Germania Place.


“Immersive Van Gogh” (shown at the Toronto site) envelops the visitor in the works of the iconic painter.

Vladimir Kevorkov Photography

The exhibition, which was originally supposed to run through May 2 but will now run to Sept. 6 thanks to strong ticket sales, spreads across two large ballrooms and several other rooms and adjoining nooks, more than 14,000 square feet in all, merging with the striking architectural attributes of the Beaux Arts-style Germania Club building.

Responses to the show in Toronto have run the gamut from some visitors tearing up to others dancing exuberantly. But whatever the reaction, artistic creator Massimiliano Siccardi is in no way trying to replace the actual artworks but reinterpret and complement them in new, exciting ways.

“I sincerely hope,” he said, “to intrigue people to the point that they want to go and enjoy art in museums — to view the original paintings in their truest form and might.”

Read Kyle McMillan’s full story on the upcoming “Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit” here.

From the press box

A former Northwestern cheerleader alleges she was forced to parade around like a Victoria’s Secret model. Her story of harassment is disturbing, but not a bit surprising, writes Madeline Kenney.

Is Bulls guard Zach LaVine worthy of All-Star status yet? That’s not for him to decide. What he has control over is looking at the game through a different lens – and in that aspect, he’s thriving, Joe Cowley writes.

And yet another Super Bowl matchup hammers home the importance of having a star tight end. Do the Bears have theirs in Cole Kmet? He’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of greats like Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.

Your daily question ☕

Is it fair to call “dibs” on a parking spot you dug out after a snowstorm? 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: How do you plan on celebrating Black History Month this year? Here’s what some of you said...

“By remembering if we all work together and give unity a chance we can be a better country.” — Michael Quigley

“Reading up more on obscure but significant figures and events.” — Steve Brumfield

“By correcting all the white people who say that highlighting Black accomplishments is racist or unnecessary.” — Ashley Lindsey

“Respect other human beings on daily basis and world will be better.” — Bartek Gałecki

“Under these pandemic conditions there’s not much I can do except be kind to all I meet, be respectful and courteous to those I meet in the grocery store. One must remember that we all bleed red and are created in the image of the one true God.” — Bill Pionke

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