Afternoon Edition: April 26, 2021

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

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Despite being able to rejoin the team, Morgan said from then on she was “super uncomfortable” being alone with her coach and other players’ parents.

Pat Nabong/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 be mostly sunny with a high near 76 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 63 degrees. A taste of summer is in store for tomorrow, which will be sunny and humid with a high near 84 degrees.

Top story

La Grange teen accuses hockey team of disability discrimination

Morgan Urso tried many sports as a young child and didn’t like any of them. Everything changed at age 10 when she went to hockey practice with her brother.

“I ended up loving the game,” Morgan said. “The feeling of the fresh air hitting my face every shift is a feeling that I’d take any day.”

Now a high school sophomore, Morgan’s zeal for the game took a hit when her club hockey team unexpectedly banned her from practice, games and team activities.

The Urso family, who lives in La Grange, recently sued Team Illinois Hockey and the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois for disability discrimination, claiming Morgan was suspended after she told a coach about her mental illness.

During her freshman year in 2019, Morgan experienced a severe depressive episode, resulting in her going to an outpatient program and being given new medication.

Morgan said her coach, Team Illinois Hockey Director Larry Pedrie, was initially supportive. “He said if I needed to be an assistant coach on the bench with him or if I wanted to go out and skate or miss, I could do whatever I needed to,” Morgan said.

Morgan’s mother, Kelly Urso, said she received a call the next day and was informed that Pedrie had spoken with Mike Mullally, USA hockey director at the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois, and they had decided to bar Morgan from all Team Illinois practices, games and other activities.

“I remember saying, ‘What?’ a lot, like, how did he decide this,” Urso said. “He just kept saying, ‘I have [Team Illinois’] full board support, this is what AHAI has advised us to do.’ I ended up hanging up on him because I got so emotional.”

Read Mari Devereaux’s full story on the Urso family’s lawsuit, which they say was filed to prevent other families from undergoing a similar situation.

More news you need

  1. A man has been charged with last year’s murder of Tray Savage, a rapper signed to Chief Keef’s record label, after he was extradited to Chicago from Texas. Investigators identified Demitri Jackson, 20, as the gunman from surveillance video, Cook County prosecutors said in a court document.
  2. A 17-year-old boy was killed in a shooting in Little Village this morning. Police say the teen was walking in the 2700 block of South Drake Avenue when someone opened fire.
  3. Illinois will lose one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Census Bureau said today in announcing the redistribution of the 435 congressional seats based on population shifts in the 2020 Census. Over the past 50 years, Illinois, reflecting the results of each new census, has been allocated fewer and fewer members in Congress.
  4. Chicago landlords, while at times not the most admired group of people in the city, wonder whether they’re being left behind in official pandemic recovery plans. David Roeder spoke with building owners who say a ban on evictions has left them with rent scofflaws and squatters, forced them to cut expenses and lowered the quality of the housing stock.
  5. Mayor Lightfoot unveiled details of her five-year capital spending plan today at a press conference timed with the start of the 2021 street paving season. To emphasize the “equity” component of her plan, Lightfoot chose an arterial street resurfacing project at 81st Street and Damen Avenue in Auburn Gresham as the backdrop for the announcement.
  6. The Chosen Few Picnic & House Music Festival, which takes place annually in Jackson Park, has postponed its usual slate of in-person activities in favor of a July 3 online event. The group wants to wait until it can hold the actual picnic and festival local house heads know and love.
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A bright one

Buona launching plant-based Italian beefless sandwich

Where’s the beef?

It’s not in the latest sandwich offering from Buona.

The iconic Chicago purveyor of beef sandwiches is adding a plant-based Italian beefless sandwich to its restaurant menu starting Monday.

The vegetarian- and vegan-friendly seitan meat sandwich mimics its classic Original Buona Beef counterpart, except for the main ingredient. Everything from the vegetable-based gravy and bread to Buona’s iconic giardiniera was already vegan. The new sandwich retails for $7.99 (available only in the 7-inch size) and is now on the menu at all 24 Buona locations for a limited time.


Chicago’s Buona is offering a plant-based, beefless sandwich.


“The sandwich is the result of a partnership with Upton’s Natural, a locally based creator of seitan,” said Candice Jordan, director of marketing for Buona. “We have separate production area where we make the ‘beef’ and seasoned vegan gravy on-site at our main distribution center, and then it is sent to each of our locations, which now have their own vegan production area.”

“It’s been almost two years of development to bring it to fruition. We went through a lot of flavorings until we got it right and the [Buona] family helped make sure the vegan sandwich was up to their authentic recipe.” The company, based in Berwyn, was founded 40 years ago by the Buonavolanto family.

Read Miriam Di Nunzio’s full story on this new spin on a classic Chicago sandwich.

From the press box

At the recommendation of doctors following his latest concussion, Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw announced his retirement from the NHL this morning. “There comes a time when every athlete needs to realize when their health is a priority and a future with their family is what is most important,” Shaw said in a statement. “That point for me is now.”

Check out how we see the first round going in our latest 2021 NFL mock draft.

Your daily question ☕

What’s your favorite sandwich in Chicago? Tell us why.

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

Friday ahead of the 2021 Academy Awards, we asked you: What’s your favorite part of watching the Oscars each year? Here’s what some of you said...

“I haven’t seen any new movies this past year. I really miss movie theaters.” — Tony Galati

“Seeing all the good and bad fashion choices.” — Petra-Maryanne Lawler

“The ‘In Memoriam’ segment of all the stars that have passed in the last year” — Ken Neth

“The announcement of the big eight awards, tallying the scores for each movie, and the ‘In Memoriam’ section.” — Benjamin Nunis

“My favorite part? Hmmm. When I change the channel to watch something else.” — Douglas Ahle

“I no longer watch. It became more about politics than art.” — Phyllis O’Neill

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