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Afternoon Edition: March 24, 2021

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

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker gets a bandage from Registered Nurse NaTasha McCoy after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Justin L. Fowler /The State Journal-Register via AP

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.

This afternoon will be cloudy and breezy with some showers and a high near 59 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 42 degrees. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with rain likely mainly after 1 p.m. and a high near 48 degrees.

Top story

Pritzker gets his COVID-19 shot: ‘I’m not asking you to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself’

Barely a year after issuing a sweeping stay-at-home order for Illinois residents as COVID-19 turned life upside down across the state and beyond, Gov. J.B. Pritzker was vaccinated against the coronavirus today, calling it a key step “back to normal life.”

The shot that went into the governor’s arm at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is among more than 5 million doled out statewide since December.

“I’m deeply, deeply grateful that so many of our residents have embraced this life-saving protection,” Pritzker said before getting his dose. “But I also want Illinoisans to know, especially those who may not yet feel confident enough to get vaccinated, that I’m not asking you to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.

“I’m not a doctor, but I trust doctors, and thanks to the great work of our doctors, researchers, and public health scientists, these vaccines offer us all the fastest way back to normal life. I’m so excited to get there and to protect my family, my friends and my co-workers.”

Pritzker was vaccinated in Springfield, more than 200 miles away from his Gold Coast mansion. The Democratic governor still wouldn’t have been eligible to get a shot in his hometown, where city officials won’t expand eligibility until Monday for Chicago adults younger than 65 with underlying health conditions.

But Pritzker underscored his own eligibility even further this week when he expanded the pool of shot recipients to include government workers as well as higher education staff and members of the media.

Read Mitchell Armentrout’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. An anti-retaliation ordinance proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot would protect Chicago employees getting the coronavirus vaccine. The rule would prohibit businesses from taking “any adverse action,” such as terminations, demotions or layoffs, against employees who take time off to get the shot.
  2. The mayor also called today for a major rewrite of the city’s affordable housing ordinance, introducing changes that would strengthen the directive. But some progressive aldermen say the proposal doesn’t go far enough.
  3. A 37-year-old man from New Lenox is accused of giving a Nazi salute while yelling “white power” in front of Black children in the southwest suburb. Justin Giarraputo confronted the three children, two of whom are Black, as they were inside a parked car while their mother returned from a Walgreens, police say.
  4. Chicago-based CNA Financial, one of the largest insurance companies in the country, was the victim of a recent cyberattack. The company says it has enlisted forensic experts to figure out the scope of the damage and policyholders will be notified directly if consumer data was compromised.
  5. Three weeks after the city lowered the threshold used for speed cameras to hand out tickets to motorists, Ald. Anthony Beale wants to go back to only targeting vehicles going at least 10 mph over the limit. Beale recently called the move to ticket drivers going 6-9mph over the limit as a “cash grab.”

A bright one

Here’s how you can help soldiers working at the United Center get Chicago-style meals

After reading our story on how soldiers staffing the United Center mass vaccination site were short on food to eat, restaurant owner Robert Magiet knew he needed to help.

“I saw that and thought that was absolutely ridiculous. These are our Army soldiers,” Magiet said. “It’s not even just about the soldiers, it’s about everyone else working there as well.”

So Magiet, who owns TaKorea Cocina in Ukrainian Village, decided to partner up with other local restaurants to donate Chicago-style meals to the 101st Airborne Division and other UC staffers and volunteers through his organization, West Town Feeds. And he set up a GoFundMe page so that Chicagoans who want to participate can pitch in money to supply the meals, too.

West Town Feeds volunteers serving a lunch of Chicago street tamales to soldiers and other staff at the United Center on Saturday.
Robert Magiet/Provided

Magiet estimates he has delivered close to 1,200 meals to those staffing the United Center. West Town Feeds’ last delivery, on Saturday, consisted of 900 tamales from a duo of sisters located on Sacramento Ave. between Fullerton Ave. and Milwaukee Ave.

“I asked the soldiers what kind of foods they’ve had, and I don’t think a single one of them ever said they had a real Chicago street tamale,” he said.

Read Grace Asiegbu’s full story here.

From the press box

The Fire will welcome approximately 7,000 fans into Soldier Field for their April 17 season opener against the New England Revolution. Tickets will be available next month with first dibs for season-ticket holders.

The Bears have added another weapon to their offense by signing former Chiefs running back Damien Williams in free agency. Williams, who sat out the 2020 season after his mother was diagnosed with cancer, played a key role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV run.

And tickets for the new – and potentially final – season of horse races at Arlington International Racecourse went on sale today. Opening Day for the venue is April 30.

Your daily question ☕

What do you think the Bulls should do before tomorrow’s NBA trade deadline?

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: What’s your favorite family-owned restaurant in Chicago and what’s your go-to meal there? Here’s what some of you said...

Bacchanalia on Oakley Ave. Their chicken Bacchanalia and manicotti are fantastic entrees.” — Laura Johnston Vercelli

Luella’s Southern Kitchen on Lincoln near Wilson. Love so many dishes there! The gumbo, the jerk chicken, mac ’n’ cheese, the pimento burger, everything. And the beignets are amazing!” — Colleen Curry

“Vegetarian beet soup (borshch) and crispy potato pancakes at Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen.” — Nataliya Kupriy

Huck Finns Restaurant! The soup! The donuts!” — Maria Sellas

Duke Of Perth in Lakeview! Amazing authentic British/Scottish fish and chips.” — Tony Baiz

“My Favorite is Superdawg! I get one with everything, no onions and one with everything, no onions, no fries. Both extra pickled green tomatoes and three supercookies! Iced tea to drink.” — Rich Poppert II

Calo Ristorante in Andersonville. My family has been going there for decades. Menu has been updated over the years but their Linguine with White Clam sauce has remained a favorite.” — Diane Mockenhaupt

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