Afternoon Edition: March 15, 2021

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

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Police investigate the scene of a shooting Sunday, March 14, 2021 in the Park Manor neighborhood in Chicago

Sophie Sherry/Chicago 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.

More snow showers are in the forecast for this afternoon, along with a high near 34 degrees. Up to 2 inches of snow accumulation is possible. A snow/rain mix continues tonight, which will see a low around 33 degrees. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 43 degrees.

Top story

Cops investigating possible ‘gang nexus’ in Park Manor ‘pop-up party’ shooting that killed 2, injured 13

Chicago police are trying to determine whether a gang dispute sparked a weekend shooting that left two dead and 13 others wounded at a “pop-up party” inside a Park Manor garage.

This morning, police spokesman Tom Ahern said investigators are “looking to see if there’s some kind of a gang nexus” that led to the shooting early yesterday at the South Side Think Tank, 6798 S. South Chicago Ave.

“They’re still looking into motive and they’re still talking to the witnesses [and] they’re talking to the victims,” Ahern told us. “They’re just trying to piece together what could have possibly led up to this.”

But Ahern noted police are also trying to determine whether a “personal conflict” could have precipitated the violence — an acknowledgment that shows the investigation remains in its early phases.

Yesterday, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said the site of the mass shooting is a garage that houses a towing company and doubles as an event space for parties.

“There’s actually a bar set up inside, so at one point it may have been an old lounge that is obviously converted just for the pop-up party,” Brown said. “We don’t know what the celebration associated with this party was.”

Because so many potential witnesses and victims were there when shots rang out, Ahern said police are still “attempting to sort out who’s who and what their involvement was.” Over a day after the shooting, he added that investigators have yet to determine whether multiple gunmen opened fire at the makeshift nightclub, or whether there was an exchange of gunfire.

“There was a lot of confusion when the shots started happening,” he said.

Read Tom Schuba and Fran Spielman’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and wounded today in Calumet Heights on the South Side, according to authorities. He was the second CPD officer shot in as many days.
  2. Some working families in Illinois will get a temporary one-year reprieve on certain fines that otherwise would’ve been withheld from their 2020 state income tax refunds. Roughly 41,000 families will get an extra year to pay off unpaid traffic fines, unpaid parking tickets and outstanding court judgments.
  3. Cook County has launched a new COVID-19 vaccine campaign after a recent survey showed 46% of African American residents say they don’t plan to or are unsure about getting the shot. The “My Shot” campaign will include billboards and other media featuring stories of actual residents promoting getting the vaccine.
  4. CPD Sgt. Rhianna Hubbard has seen a lot in the line of duty, but nothing quite like what she came upon in February: an 11-year-old boy, desperate for food, pumping gas for people in the subzero chill for a little money. Read Stefano Esposito’s full story on how a Chicago police officer has tried to help a struggling father and son get back on their feet.
  5. Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner filed a lawsuit last week in Chicago’s federal court against a woman who’s seeking millions in compensation amid their fractured personal relationship. Warner filed the suit against Kathryn Zimmie, whose attorney claims Warner owes her “in an eight-figure range” as a result of “an implied or oral agreement.”
  6. Kim Foxx has announced two new appointments, including a chief diversity and inclusion officer, within the Cook County State’s Attorney office. Lea Gutierrez was appointed to the aforementioned position, while Ted Berger is the new deputy chief of staff.
  7. The Academy is moving in the right direction with a strong and diversified list of Oscar nominees, bursting with talented artists and films you shouldn’t miss, writes film critic Richard Roeper. Two deserving women are in the running for the best director award.
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A bright one

Chicago theater veteran Paul Raci nominated for Oscar

Paul Raci, a journeyman actor who got his start in Chicago theater, won an Academy Award nomination today for his breakout role in “Sound of Metal.”

The local native, who grew up in the 2300 block of West Potomac Avenue in Humboldt Park, is a best supporting actor nominee for his performance as Joe, the owner of a substance abuse treatment facility for the deaf.

Joe advises a punk-metal drummer, played by Riz Ahmed, who abruptly loses his hearing while on tour. Ahmed is a best actor nominee, and the film is nominated for best picture.


Paul Raci plays the owner of a substance abuse treatment facility for the deaf in “Sound of Metal.”

Amazon Studios

“During my 40-something-year acting career, I have always been about the work,” said the 72-year-old Raci. “I’ve continued to work in small theater houses, like Deaf West Theatre, doing what I was trained to do from my Chicago Theater years, but to be validated in this way is gratifying on a level that I can only describe as heavenly.”

He expressed thanks to “Sound of Metal” writer-director Darius Marder “for directing and writing a script and a character seemingly for me without even knowing me that changed my life.”

Keep reading Darel Jeven’s story here.

From the press box

DePaul fired head basketball coach Dave Leitao today after another last-place finish in the Big East this season. The move sets up athletic director Dwayne Peevy, who started in September, to make his first big hire for the Blue Demons.

This will be a big week for the Bears with NFL free agency officially set to start Wednesday afternoon. Get caught up with our primer on the team’s salary cap situation, top needs, potential free agent departures and more.

For a flawed roster like the Bulls’, head coach Billy Donovan’s willingness to be flexible with the starting lineup ultimately benefits everyone. Joe Cowley looks at how Donovan’s approach differs from the previous coaching staff under Jim Boylen.

Your daily question ☕

How did you adjust to daylight saving time over the weekend?

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

On Friday, we asked you: How are you celebrating a more low-key St. Patrick’s Day this year? Here’s what some of you said...

“We attended an event in the northern suburbs. We had green beer, Irish food, dancers and live music! The weather was perfect! It was awesome!” — Erika Hoffmann

“Same as always, at home. What I miss is the Leprechaun Leap in Elkhart, Indiana, for charity.” — Maureen Vanderbilt

“No parades this weekend, so we had a socially distant driveway party with the neighbors! Drank some Guinness, listened to the Tossers and sipped some whiskey.” — Jason Betke

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

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