Afternoon Edition: March 10, 2021

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: March 10, 2021

People watch the Air and Water Show from North Avenue Beach.

Victor Hilitski/For the 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.

Afternoon Edition signup

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 cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 68 degrees. Tonight, more rain is in the forecast, along with a low around 53 degrees. Tomorrow will bring more showers, mainly before 11 a.m., with a high near 58 degrees.

Top story

Fingers crossed, Chicago aldermen authorize full calendar of special events for 2021

A City Council committee today authorized a full calendar of the special events Chicagoans treasure — including Taste of Chicago and the Air and Water Show — hoping the city’s $1.8 billion share of new federal stimulus funds can help bankroll those large-scale summer gatherings.

With vaccinations surging and coronavirus cases dropping, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked the Chicago Police Department to prepare security plans for Lollapalooza and other massive events.

Just this week, the mayor delighted Cubs and Sox fans by allowing them to return to Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, though at 20% of capacity.

The City Council’s Special Events Committee authorized the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to hold the “full calendar” of events it normally puts on. That includes everything from Taste of Chicago to the Air and Water Show to the Blues, Jazz and Gospel festivals.

“We are continuing with our discussions with the fifth floor [mayor’s office]. And we are hopeful that there may be in the [Biden stimulus] bill when it’s passed some additional support for arts and culture,” said Mark Kelly, Chicago’s commissioner of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

“I will say that, even though we have a 49% [budget] cut, we’ll be making some announcements in the next several weeks that speak to an ambitious agenda for arts and culture as we, hopefully, emerge” from the pandemic.

Read Fran Spielman’s full story on how Chicago continues to prepare for the potential of large events being held in the city later this year.

More news you need

  1. As the city continues to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, officials opened registration for appointments at the United Center to all residents in a handful of South Side ZIP codes today. Anyone living in the 60608, 60619, 60620, 60649 or 60652 ZIP codes can sign up for a vaccine now.
  2. The social distancing requirement at Illinois schools will be reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet for students and fully vaccinated staff, state education officials announced today. The move will help make it easier for schools to reopen, officials said.
  3. Mike Hamernik, a WGN-TV meteorologist, died of lung cancer this morning at age 60. The Chicago native, who joined CLTV in 2002 before moving to WGN three years later, died at home “surrounded by love and at peace,” his sister said.
  4. Under pressure from Black female aldermen, the “Anjanette Young Ordinance” to reform Chicago’s search warrant process will get a committee hearing. Ald. Maria Hadden said it’s “good to hear” a hearing will happen, but she wants a specific date — and soon.
  5. Former pot regulators and politicians are cashing in on the exploding industry in Illinois — and a proposed crackdown won’t stop all of them. Tom Schuba explains how the state plans to further tackle conflicts of interest in the legal marijuana industry.
  6. Sharone Mitchell, the director of the Illinois Justice Project, has been chosen to be the next Cook County public defender. Mitchell will be appointed at a special meeting Friday.
  7. One comes away from the emotionally exhausting “The Father” wondering if Anthony Hopkins has ever been better than this. He’s that good, our Richard Roeper writes. Read Roeper’s full review of the film and Hopkins’ “brilliant, career-crowning performance” here.
Subscription Offer
Support civic-minded, independent journalism by signing up for a Chicago Sun-Times digital subscription.

A bright one

Giant lemon can snag you a free bike from Goose Island Beer

Find a giant lemon? Win a bike.

It’s that simple.

Goose Island Beer Co.. is giving away 50 bicycles to celebrate “312 Day” on March 12, to anyone who can find and redeem one of 50 giant lemons strategically scattered across Chicago.

The giveaway coincides with Goose Island’s launch of 312 Lemonade Shandy, “a new beer inspired by Chicago’s classic street corner Italian ice stands.” The 312 Lemonade Shandy is lemony, crisp and refreshing, balanced by acidity, Goose Island said.


Redeem one of these giant lemons for a Goose Island-branded bike on Friday.

Goose Island

All “lucky lemon finders” can redeem the giant citrus at the Fulton Street Taproom (1800 W. Fulton) on Friday for one bicycle (one bike per person/lemon); fans (21+over) will be able to check out the new beer at the official 312 Lemonade Shandy stand/taproom as well.

Read Miriam Di Nunzio’s full story on the Goose Island promotion here.

From the press box

Blackhawks fans lucky enough to be in Dallas last night cherished the chance to watch Patrick Kane’s 1,000th NHL game in person. Some of them discussed what it was like watching Kane pass such a big milestone with our Ben Pope.

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews also made his first public appearance of sorts in 2021 by giving Kane some love in a tribute video the team posted. “Wish I was there to celebrate with you. See you soon, man,” Toews, who remains sidelined due to unspecified health issues, said.

And Cubs legend Billy Williams, who’s scheduled to receive his second COVID-19 shot soon, is torn on what to do next: Should the 82-year-old go to spring training in Mesa? Is it safe? Is it the right thing to do?

Your daily question ☕

Which major Chicago event do you hope you can attend this summer?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: With the news that Chicago traffic was ranked third-worst in the country, what’s the most congested street in your neighborhood? Here’s what some of you said...

“Sheridan Road. People from the suburbs use it as a de facto extension of Lake Shore Drive as they commute between downtown and the North Shore.” — Dennis Fritz

“Lights on 87th, Pulaski, Southwest highway and Metra tracks.” — Mary Sweeney

“The light at Lawrence and Harlem is what I call a coffee and cake light, for obvious reasons.” — Bob Chiarito

“Halsted St., Cicero Ave. and Western Ave.” — Mo’ease E. Shegog-Winters

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

Sign up here to get the Afternoon Edition in your inbox every day.

The Latest
“These books think the White Sox will fail, and I don’t disagree with them,” says one handicapper.
The federal agency announced last year that it would roll out Direct File in a limited number of states as a test run.
Beloved celebrity owl quickly was embraced by New York City for surviving despite the odds after zoo escape made possible by vandal now blamed for shortening its life.
The expansion would certainly provide more government cash for eligible families, but it complicates things further by creating disincentives to work and rise from poverty, especially as it builds on other existing transfers.
In states where physician-assisted suicide is legal, I cannot help but ask if the people who ended their lives had adequate access to services to make life easier, including hospice and palliative care, a disability advocate writes.